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CNN This Morning

Biden To Visit Border The First Time In His Presidency; El Paso Struggles To Deal With Growing Migrant, Humanitarian Crises; House Prepares To Get Down To Business After Speaker Fight; Damar Hamlin Sends Thanks In First Posts; First International Flight To China Since Reopening Arrives; More Than 15 Million People Under Flood Alerts In California. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired January 08, 2023 - 07:00   ET



AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: And the next hour of CNN This Morning Weekend starts now.

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning and welcome to CNN this morning. I'm Alex Marquardt in today for Boris Sanchez.

WALKER: Good to be with you again, Alex. I'm Amara Walker. President Biden is set to make his first trip as President to the southern border later today. The purpose behind his visit and what it could mean for U.S. immigration policy.

Buffalo Bill safety Damar Hamlin posts a message to supporters as the NFL honors him in the first games since his collapse. We're going to take a look at all the tributes.

MARQUARDT: And more than half a million people across California are without power this morning as high winds and rain hammer California. We've got to look at the forecast and how emergency officials are preparing. Plus, are you taking part in dry January? Why you could be doing more good than you think. That's all ahead on CNN This Morning.

WALKER: Hi, everyone, it is Sunday, January 8, a new week. Thank you so much for waking up with us. Alex, so good to be with you. And dry January, do you subscribe to that?

MARQUARDT: I'm doing like half dry January. Like --

WALKER: No, not all in.

MARQUARDT: No, not all in. But I do feel the effects, better sleep feeling healthier, happier, that kind of thing.

WALKER: Well, we're going to talk about that with an expert. And I think what you're feeling is accurate. There's supposed to be some good long-term effects. But up first, President Biden heads for the border as we've been saying while the 118th Congress prepares to get down to business.

MARQUARDT: The President stops in El Paso, Texas, that's today on his way to a summit in Mexico City. This will be his first visit to the border during his presidency. Now the administration is under fire from Republicans as well as some Democrats over the migrant crisis along the southern border.

The border crisis is one of the issues that the new House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and his fellow Republicans are vowing to tackle now that they are in control of the House of Representatives. But first, they have to pass a new set of House rules. That is the very top of the to-do list when the House reconvenes tomorrow.

WALKER: President Biden will get an update on the migrant crisis when he visits the southern border today. White House Reporter Jasmine Wright joining us now with more. Jasmine, this comes days after his new proposed immigration plan. Do tell us more about the President's visit and of course a lot of critics asking why it took him so long.

JASMINE WRIGHT, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes, Amara, well no doubt all eyes will be on the President today when he has the El Paso, his first time as president on the southern border as his administration really tries to confront this surge of migration. Now, he's expected to spend about three hours on the ground there when he lands this afternoon. And he's expected to meet with federal state and local officials really to assess the border security operations.

Now, he'll valuate border enforcement operations, touring the bridge of the Americas port of entry alongside Customs and Border Protection officers, members of Congress and local officials and law enforcement. Now we just got some of these details released to the White House just this hour.

So I'm going to read you a little bit more because he's has -- even though he's only on the hours -- I mean, even though he's only on the ground for three hours, he has kind of a bit of a schedule, and then he'll visit the El Paso County migrant services to meet with local officials, faith leaders and non-government organizations, the White House tells us.

Now, the White House says that it is important for the President to go to a place like El Paso because of the influx of migration that it is seeing kind of being seen overall as ground zero for the issues that are happening across that region. Now, while he's there, though, Amara and Alex, he will have to face the political reality, which is the fact that the border has become a liability for this President, especially as he moles a run for 2024.

And so, not only has the President been receiving criticism from really both sides of the aisle, Democrats and Republicans on his reaction and his response to the border, but the criticism also goes both ways from the President. He has criticized Republicans for demagoguery when it comes to the migration issue.

And also, he's called on them as we can expect him to do today to tell Republicans to come to the table to try to form some type of comprehensive immigration reform because without that, he can't do anything, he says. Now, of course, you're right. This will come days after the President unveiled that new unilateral response he's doing without Congress to expand that humanitarian parole program to up to 30,000 migrants a month from those key areas Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, as well as other places that really opt into this program.

And also, as you can see on the screen there, he's also promising to crack down on those who would circumvent the laws that are not part of that program that still try to come to America. Now, the President after he's goes to El Paso, he will be going to Mexico for the northern American leader summit where he is expected to meet with Mexican President Obrador where they will talk about migration issues as the President hopes to lean on that country to do more to stop the flow of migrants into the U.S. Amara, Alex?


MARQUARDT: Yes, that plan receiving some fierce and angry reaction from human rights groups. Jasmine Wright in Wilmington, Delaware, where the President is preparing to head to the border. Thank you very much, Jasmine.

As El Paso continues to deal with that influx of migrants crossing the southern border, officials there say it has sparked growing -- a growing humanitarian crisis that has enveloped parts of the city. So joining us now to discuss is the El Paso City Manager Tommy Gonzalez. Mr. Gonzalez, thank you so much for joining us this morning.

There's lots to discuss. It is a big day ahead. You have been calling on the federal government for more support at the southern border. What are you hoping that President Biden learns or sees on this visit?

TOMMY GONZALEZ, CITY MANAGER, EL PASO, TEXAS: Well, I know that in the last several days, it's gotten better. I think it's because of the, you know, the enforcement of Title 42 by CBP. But what we want to ask the President weighs on the ground, with our local officials, and also our federal officials that will be meeting with him is really a solution for the undocumented because, you know, we've been working with those that have been crossing, that have been processed by CBP.

Once they get processed, we've been welcoming them, we've been feeding them and making sure that they have shelter. So we really need a solution for the undocumented. And it's really the countries like Venezuela, you know, the long-term immigration reform that's been discussed by both sides that for some reason, we haven't come to some kind of resolution, that would be very, very important in the long term for our community.

MARQUARDT: Well, the solution that he proposed on Wednesday is 30,000 migrants accepted from these four countries, through legal means, but also sending back tens of thousands from those four countries to Mexico. What do you make of that proposal, which, as I just mentioned, has gotten a lot of criticism from human rights groups?

GONZALEZ: Right. At this point, you know, until we see what the numbers look like, we don't really know what to respond with. We're there's some efforts that are being made. But I know our numbers have fluctuated from the very beginning. We've been working on this issue since late 2018.

So we've been working with immigration and border crossings that have fluctuated and been increased at different times of the year for over four years now. So, you know, we just simply want to have a good idea of what to expect. And at this point, we don't have a good idea, because of the policies and the way that they impact the crossings.

MARQUARDT: You did mention Title 42. The President said that he hadn't visited sooner because of the uncertainty over what would happen with Title 42. Do you wish that he had visited earlier than today? He's been in office for just about two years now.

GONZALEZ: Well, whether it's this president or any other president as as any issue arises, yes, we would absolutely like for them to be on the ground to see it firsthand. I know it has subsided somewhat, because CBP has done some sweeps. So it's gotten better. But in terms of the height of it, it'd been good for him to see the height of the situation, and the issues we've been working with here in El Paso.

MARQUARDT: But Title 42 does remain in place. It was instituted, ostensibly to prevent the, you know, the worsening of the COVID crisis. And, however, we have still seen the numbers going up, right?

GONZALEZ: Absolutely. And as I said, you know, at the height of it, we were, you know, the CBP had 5,000 in their facilities, and they can only hold a little over 1,000. And we were having the NGOs, which are the nonprofits here on the ground that were over overcrowded. And then we physically had to open up a shelter, that opened up our convention center. And then we worked with the school district and opened up two other facilities.

But before we were using hotels, because that was -- that is the most efficient way to do it, because right now, the numbers have subsided quite a bit. We've emptied out our convention center, and we're using one of the schools that we worked on with the school district, and those numbers are really low at this particular time.

MARQUARDT: You did touch on it briefly, but if you wouldn't mind explaining a little bit more about what kind of federal resources you need right now.

GONZALEZ: Well, I mentioned what we would like, you know, in terms of solutions, and you did respond that obviously there is a response that the President has been working on, but we just need the funding done sooner which the federal government has responded and we need advanced funding.


We told them that if the numbers continued which was roughly in the Christmas period, if the numbers had continued to rise the way they had, we needed approximately over $4 million a month in order to sustain the numbers. So we did ask for advanced funding, because if we get another surge, we probably are looking at $20 million needed for advanced funding in order to be prepared and be able to be proactive and not reactive to the situation.

MARQUARDT: All right, Tommy Gonzalez, the City Manager of El Paso, Texas, you've got a big day ahead of you. Good luck. Hope your message is heard. Thank you so much for your time.

GONZALEZ: Thank you.

WALKER: All right. After a wild week, the House preparing to get down to business with Republicans in control. One Republican lawmaker says the chaotic speaker fight may have actually helped.


REP. TIM BURCHETT (R), TENNESSEE: We actually interacted more this week than we have in the last four years. Democracy is not a pretty thing sometimes. It's, I believe, sometimes it's just a knockdown drag out, but maybe that's what we need to get to where we're at. And I think the country is going to be well served honestly do.


WALKER: Basically, echoing Kevin McCarthy's comments that they have learned to work together through this. CNN Capitol Hill Reporter, Annie Grayer joining us now. Good morning, Annie. Yes, it's been a crazy week to say the least. So what should we expect when Congress convenes tomorrow?

ANNIE GRAYER, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: Well, Amara, let me just say I was in the press area overlooking the House floor all week. And it was chaotic and unprecedented as the speaker drama played out. But now that Kevin McCarthy has officially been sworn in as speaker and so of the members, they still have to pass this rules package, which is the key legislation that allows Congress to actually begin its work.

It's what allows Congress to be able to start passing legislation, start working on committees and start Congressional investigations. And we saw last week with the delay in getting a speaker elected how any further delay in officially establishing Congress is really harmful. Members were not able to perform constituent services last week, they weren't able to receive intelligence briefing.

So this is -- this rules package is a must pass piece of legislation. But there are a number of concessions in here that McCarthy made to the right wing of his party in order to help get him elected speaker. The biggest one in here is that any single member can bring a vote to the floor to try and oust McCarthy as speaker. And as we saw with the drama last week, that could be a real problem.

But some of these other proposed changes to the House rules package, as you can see also include establishing a special committee to investigate the Department of Justice and FBI, a key target of House Republicans. But, Amara, beyond what's in this House rules package, we know that McCarthy has made a number of concessions that we still don't know the full scope of yet.

WALKER: Yes. Well, we'll see how things go tomorrow. Obviously, it's really anyone's guess at this point, as we saw how the last few days unfolded as well. Annie Grayer, thank you very much.

And later this morning, Congressman Chip Roy of Texas, who was a key negotiator when it came to getting Kevin McCarthy elected as House Speaker will join Jake Tapper on State of the Union, that's at 9:00 a.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

Buffalo Bills Damar Hamlin continues to make really big strides in his recovery. He is now breathing on his own. And for the first times since he collapsed on the field last Monday, he was the one making a statement.

MARQUARDT: And Hamlin posted this message on Instagram. He said, quote, "The Love has been overwhelming, but I'm thankful for every single person that prayed for me and reached out. We brung the world back together behind this. If you know me, you know this is only going to make me stronger. On a long road, keep praying for me." People certainly will.

Andy Scholes joins us now. Andy, from where Damar Hamlin was to where he is now just a few days is just incredible. It's really uplifting. It's really encouraging and we're seeing this outpouring of support and unity.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: It certainly is, guys. And, you know, just thinking where we were Monday night where, you know, we weren't sure Damar Hamlin was still going to be with us to where we are now. Him, you know, awake, talking to his loved ones, talking to his friends. In the last hour, he was posting more on Instagram, updating his stories.

You know, as doctors say he continues to just make remarkable progress. He does remain in critical condition but he, you know, he had a big smile on his face and this FaceTime he posted on Instagram with fanatic CEO Michael Rubin and Rapper Meek Mill. You can see him there on the right, big all smile.

This was the first time we've seen Hamlin in the hospital. Now Hamlin and also -- he's like I said, he's been posting many of the tributes he's been saying, saying the love is what's getting him through We did have two NFL games yesterday before both they celebrated Hamlin's recovery.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At this time, the Raiders asked everyone to join us in a moment of support and love for Damar and cheer for him and his family as they continue their fight.


MARQUARDT: And before the Jags-Titans game, all the players for both teams getting together in midfield on one knee to say a prayer for Hamlin. On the ESPN broadcast, someone had the clever idea to flip off the mic flags to turn the E into Hamlin's number three, that was pretty cool. And both games are, of course, lots of signs of support for Hamlin.

Many of the players wearing his jersey, with others wearing the love for tomorrow warm up shirts, Patrick Mahomes had his own custom Hamlin, the warm up hoodie made that a picture of Hamlin and Hamlin strong on the back. And after his game, Mahomes said, you know, all the positive news the beginning all week about Hamlin, it's really uplifted the players.


PATRICK MAHOMES, KANSAS CITY CHIEFS QUARTERBACK: This weekend, it's been hard for a lot of guys but to have him being able to talk and being able to be with his family, again, it gave us that motivation that we can come out here and still enjoy this game that we all love. And hopefully, he can continue to get better and better and know that we're all supporting him and we all still -- we all sit in love to him, and hopefully he's back on the field sooner rather than later.


SCHOLES: Yes, and we got 14 games on the schedule today, guys. They all plan on honoring Hamlin. The big one of course, though, is going to be the one in Buffalo, 1:00 Eastern as they host the Patriots. And you can imagine, that's going to be a pretty emotional stadium. When they get all together for that game.

MARQUARDT: Yes, all eyes in Buffalo. I imagine we'll still see those same similar scenes before they get down to business, Andy Scholes, thanks so much.


MARQUARDT: Still ahead, China reopens to the world. We're live in Hong Kong with what that means for families as well as businesses as travel restrictions are finally ending.

WALKER: Plus, after days of rain and flooding, people across California especially in the northern part of the state are bracing for even more severe weather. We're tracking the storms next.



WALKER: The first international flight to China since its reopening arrived in the country today. China has dropped COVID quarantine restrictions for international arrivals. It is a major step in reopening its borders after almost three years of COVID isolation.

MARQUARDT: CNN Senior International Correspondent Ivan Watson joins us live now from Hong Kong. Ivan, what are you hearing from these travelers?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Alex and Amara. That's right. This is the end of nearly three years of self-imposed international isolation by the Chinese government. And this is a border crossing between Hong Kong and mainland China that's been closed since February of 2020, and just reopened today.

I mean, many of us experienced some form of lockdown in 2020. Imagine it continuing through 2022. What we've been watching today, and it's the evening now, is a steady stream of people that are going in for quarantine free travel into Mainland China for the first time in years, as well as people coming out.

There are not mobs of people traveling because there are quotas. Only about 60,000 people allowed each direction on each day and you have to book reservations ahead of time. But still that's allowing people to reunite for the first time in some cases in years. I've seen brothers reunited today, I saw a wife waiting, giddy in anticipation for her husband to come across here to Hong Kong.

And then a young man, an 18-year-old who spent his three kind of prime teenage years in various forms of lockdown going to a cousin's wedding on the other side, and expressing real frustration at this zero-COVID policy that China had for such a long time. That's just been lifted as COVID spreads out of control across Mainland China Take a listen to what he had to say.


ANTHONY, LIVES IN HONG KONG: What makes COVID horrible is the policy. It's not about the pandemic itself. Like many people infected, many people get cured for fair fast, but the policy, it keeps harming our lives for few years. So, to whoever who listened to this, I want to say that it's not about we are scared of this COVID, it's we scared of this policy. So that's what we are here.


WATSON: Now the man I talked to, he said this has been -- another man I talked to said this has been a really tough three years. Back to you guys.

MARQUARDT: Yes, such welcome news for so many millions of people. Ivan Watson, thank you so much. Really appreciate it.

Plus, after days of rain and flooding, people across California, especially in the northern part of the state are bracing for even more severe weather. We're tracking those storms, that's next.



MARQUARDT: As California braces for more rain, severe weather is already having a big impact on the state. More than 540,000 people are without power across California, as high winds and rain moved in late last night.

WALKER: Yes, they are in for another round. Let's get right to CNN Meteorologist Allison Chinchar for look at where the storms are right now. Hi there, Allison. So do tell us what's happening now and what we can expect. ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Right. So what's happening now is we've already got some rain and snow coming in with this first round of system making its way in. But a secondary system is set to push in as early as tonight but the real focus becomes Monday and that's what the weather service is calling a potential significant event in terms of how much moisture is anticipated to be with it.

Now here's a look. Right now you've got a lot of the rain focused across northern and central California and a lot of snow right now across both the Sierras and the Klamath mountain ranges. Again, overall, you're talking an intense amount of moisture really for the next 48 hours. That's why you've got more than 15 million people under flood watches just in anticipation of how much rain is expected to come in.

It's not just for California, you've also got some rain and snow anticipated for areas of Oregon, Nevada as well as Washington state. But California is really going to take the bulk of that moisture. Widespread rainfall totals 4 to 6 inches in a lot of places. When you talk about the snow, now it's going to be measured in feet. 1 to 3 feet for a lot of the areas, but some places as much as 5 feet of snow in just the next couple of days.

The thing is it's not just today, we talked about this. There's a secondary system that's going to be coming back in. So you've got even more flooding potential on Monday, especially look at how widespread this red area is here. That's a moderate risk, a level three out of four in terms of excessive rainfall, even Tuesday as the storm just kind of lingers over the area. You still have widespread locations dealing with a slight risk.

And you're talking from San Diego all the way up to Redding.


So, this is a pretty widespread significant event. Yes, when we talk about rainfall, that's really going to be the biggest impact, but snow will be, too, especially when you mix that snow with these very strong winds. That's going to lead to white-out conditions. So, if you have any travel plans, guys, from Reno to Sacramento crossing over those mountains, maybe try to arrange it for later into the week instead if you can.

WALKER: Yes. That might be a good idea. I definitely wouldn't want to drive in those kinds of conditions, right. Allison Chinchar, thank you very much.

We're joined now by executive director of San Francisco's Department of Emergency Management, Mary Ellen Carroll. Mary, first of all, thank you so much. I know that you lost power at home just moments before talking to me and then you drove into the office. What were conditions like when you were driving? What's the situation right now? And how should people including yourself be preparing for this next round of heavy rain?


The roads on the way in -- I'm only about a 10 to 15-minute drive from the office. Right now, it's the calm after the storm. But I did see some trees on the ground, branches here and there in my own neighborhood, I had to take a little detour. But it was a very windy night. We had more wind than rain last night. But my own experience speaks to what we've been saying for the last few days or, really, since New Year's Eve that everyone needs to be prepared for power outages and for really hazardous conditions on the road.

WALKER: Look, I'm a Californian, though I'm from Southern California. I know Northern California is really bearing the brunt of the storm. Californians are not exactly used to this much rain in such a short period of time, and now you're heading into a second round. And the pictures that we saw from the first, I mean, mudslides and so much flooding. What are your biggest concerns over the next 48 hours?

CARROLL: Yes, so our concerns and my concerns really are over the accumulation of this precipitation. So just as you said, this is not the kind of amount of rain that we are used to. And during the very, very heavy storms, what we call the atmospheric rivers, really, our storms system cannot take so much rain over a short period of time. So, that's when you see the flooding.

But now, what we really see -- and after the rain stops, it abates pretty quickly, right? The flooding will kind of go away fast. But what we have now is a saturated Earth. So, what we're seeing is we're seeing sinkholes on our streets, a few of them. We're seeing mudslides.

Nothing significant at this point, but the more rain we get and the less time in between, we know we're going to see more of those conditions. And of course, the power outages, which are of concern and even communication outages, many of the infrastructure for even communications, that's our cell and internet is underground. And so, as we get more inundation from the rain, we're seeing more failure around those what we call lifeline systems.

WALKER: Oh, goodness. OK. What about what's happening there at the Emergency Management Office. What kind of preparations are you guys making and, of course, the kinds of calls you're getting?

CARROLL: Right. So, I am here at our headquarters, which is also our 9-1-1 center. I just spoke to the operations floor at 9-1-1. Right now, we're in green status. Things are good. But what we've been experiencing is a lot of people calling 9-1-1 during these big storm events, and it overwhelms our system.

So, we have to do a lot of public information to let people know who to call when we have a 3-1-1 system here in San Francisco that can handle a lot of non-emergency calls like flooded roads or power outages and that sort of thing. So, we encourage people to use alternate methods to 9-1-1 because people continue to have heart attacks and strokes and babies during storms, and we need to keep that line open for our life -- you know, really life safety events.

WALKER: In the near future, what kind of -- lastly, what kind of updates do you think there needs to be made to infrastructure?

CARROLL: Yes, I mean, it's a difficult call. San Francisco has done a really incredible job of investing in its infrastructure. We are in earthquake country. So, a lot of our infrastructure upgrades are seismic improvements so that during a major event, our major water transmission pipes won't break, our power will stay on, and that sort of thing.


But what we're seeing increasingly are more frequent and much more intense weather events, and that includes rain, and that also includes heat. You know, so our -- it is a bigger problem, I think, for cities like us and cities around the world that are having to deal with extreme heat in the area that has traditionally been very mild.

We have no air-conditions in San Francisco for the most part. And now if we're going to get these extreme storms, we're going to have to expect that we're going to see our infrastructure struggling to keep up. Thankfully, like I said, we do -- we are working on this and have already done a lot of improvements to our storm system over the years.

WALKER: Yes, climate change is real. And warming climate means more moisture in the air, which could lead to more intense and longer storms. Mary Ellen Carroll, thank you so much for making this conversation and for going out of your way after losing power. Hopefully you'll be able to get that quickly. Thank you very much.

CARROLL: Thank you so much.

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Fascinating conversation. Now, we do have a quick programming note. CNN is looking at how Rudy Giuliani went from being America's mayor to facing a long list of legal troubles surrounding election conspiracies. It's a -- in an all-new CNN original series. Here's a preview.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rudy Giuliani is somebody who's talked a great deal about the straight and narrow. And in his own personal way has not tended to be there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rudy needs nurturing. Constant nurturing from the women in his life.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think Rudy's choice of women shows an interesting paradox in his character. It must be said he really has always gone for smart, accomplished, relatively hard-driving women. But they then have to make their life all about Rudy. I think in his personal life as in his professional life, he is the king. And if you don't want to be a courtier, don't let the scepter hit you on the way out.


MARQUARDT: And you can catch "Giuliani: What Happened to America's Mayor" when it premieres tonight at 9:00 right here on CNN.

It is one of the worst race massacres in American history. Today marks 100 years since the violence at Rosewood. What descendants of survivors want the world to know. That's next.



MARQUARDT: And now to a story we've been following this morning. According to Newport News Police, a Virginia school teacher shot by a six-year-old student on Friday, she is now in stable condition. The teacher was identified by her alma mater as Abby Zwerner and was previously in critical condition after the shooting.

On Friday, Zwerner and the student who had the gun were involved in an altercation when the student fired one shot, hitting Zwerner. Police say the shooting was not an accident. Richneck Elementary School will now be closed both Monday and Tuesday in the wake of this really horrifying shooting, that's according to the school's principal.

WALKER: Today families will gather in Florida to mark the anniversary of a terrible racist attack. 100 years ago, Rosewood, a thriving community was terrorized and then burned down.

MARQUARDT: Historians say that it happened after a white woman in a neighboring town, she claimed a black man who lived in Rosewood assaulted her. And for the next seven days, the black residence there fled or were massacred. CNN National Correspondent Nadia Romero has the story.


NADIA ROMERO, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): Over the past few years, growing efforts to unearth tragedies of racial terrors against black Americans by fighting for awareness and atonement.

RAGHAN PICKETT, ROSEWOOD DESCENDANT: It was not a secret. So, we always attended the family reunions, and it was something that was always shared.

ROMERO (voiceover): Raghan Pickett says, her whole life, she's heard the traumatic tails of what happened in Rosewood Florida in 1923. The town's black residence under siege by an angry white mob after a white woman said she was assaulted by a black man. Homes and businesses burned down. Black families lynched, targeted, and torn apart. One survivor described the horrifying events for CBS "60 Minutes" in 1983.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know they killed my aunt and they killed my granddaddy. They made my granddaddy dug his hole and he didn't have one arm but they made him dug his own grave. And he prayed. And they shot him and threw him in the grave.

ROMERO (voiceover): Pickett's great grand uncle are survivors of Rosewood who fled to safety by train. PICKETT: Having people actually died, documented, as we know, seven people. But we know there had to be more. We didn't -- we don't really know exactly where everybody went.

ROMERO (voiceover): Old newspaper articles speak of negro homes raided and burned down, those hiding in the woods fleeing the deadly white mob. Calling the lynchings and terrorization of the black residents a, "Clash between whites and blacks", followed by, "A special grand jury failing to return indictments."

Florida State University professor, Maxine Jones, calls it, an intentional whitewashing of history to hide the horrors of Rosewood.

MAXINE JONES, PROFESSOR, FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY: I think we should feel uncomfortable about certain aspects of our history, but this is our history.


ROMERO (voiceover): In 1994, Florida Governor, Lawton Chiles, signed a bill to give $150,000 to survivors and scholarships to their descendants like Pickett, who now attends college about 140 miles from where her family's history intersects with a painful past. Many saw the passing of the law as a big moment of reckoning.

JONES: I'm glad that the State of Florida acknowledged that Rosewood happened and decided to compensate the families. Again, you can't put a price on what these people lost, the generational trauma.

ROMERO (voiceover): Two generations later, Jonathan Barry-Blocker, a descendant of a Rosewood survivor says his grandfather was separated from his family during the terror. Some family members were never reunited again. Burying his painful memories by refusing to ever speak about whatever happened.

JONATHAN BARRY-BLOCKER, ROSEWOOD DESCENDANT: I didn't learn about his connection to Rosewood until I was 13 when the movie came out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was born and raised in Rosewood. This is my home,

ROMERO (voiceover): The 1997 movie "Rosewood" --

BARRY-BLOCKER: My father sat me down and informed us that -- informed me that people may ask questions in light of this movie and I didn't know why. And he said, well, your grandfather was involved in it a bit.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Colored folks own all the land around here. All the businesses too.

ROMERO (voiceover): This movie, the first-time Blocker learned what he says had been haunting his grandfather.

BARRY-BLOCKER: It wasn't a forward recounting of events, but the gist was someone lied. Someone destroyed a whole community of lives. Someone actually caused people to lose lives violently and suffer violence. And I just thought that was unconscionable.

ROMERO (voiceover): Blocker says his grandfather applied for compensation from the state but was denied because he couldn't prove he owned land in Rosewood. Fearing death, Blocker's grandfather along with many of the other survivors never returned to Rosewood and never reclaimed property and land. A loss back then, still impacting their families today.

BARRY-BLOCKER: Did we own land? Could we have owned land? Could we have amassed land? Could we have obtained wealth? What that looked like a generation or two generations down? What opportunities might we have be pursed, different from what we've pursued now. Might we be further along in our, maybe, generational goals?

ROMERO (voiceover): Nadia Romero, CNN, Atlanta.


WALKER: All right. We're going to have much more after the break. Stay with us.



WALKER: All right. So, you've probably heard of Dry January. What is that? It's when some people give up alcohol for a month to atone for their over indulgence over the holidays, or at least they try to, right? If you do have the will power, there is new data that says you are setting yourself up for long-term lasting health benefits.

Dr. Richard de Visser, joining us now. He is a psychologist at Brighton and Sussex Medal -- Medical School in England. Great to have you on. So, you canvassed thousands of Dry January participants -- first of, what were the benefits they experienced?

DR. RICHARD DE VISSER, PSYCHOLOGIST, BRIGHTON AND SUSSEX MEDICAL SCHOOL: Well, we saw benefits in three times frames during Dry January itself. Within a few weeks, people report that they had better sleep. Their concentration is better. They feel like they've got more energy. By the end of the month, a lot of people said they have saved money. Some of -- half have also lost weight.

Then when we follow up six months later, what we find is that people are drinking less. So, they're drinking on fewer days per week, and they're drinking less on the days when they do drink. And that's all because during Dry January, they also develop more of a sense of being in control of their drinking.

WALKER: OK. So, full disclosure because I'm not and never have been a participant of Dry January because I drink very little. I'm a weekend drinker, a social drinker. I know you're not participating as well either. I mean, who is the best candidate? Who should be trying out Dry January?

DR. DE VISSER: I think anyone who wants to see if they can have a different sense of control over their drinking and maybe try to reduce their drinking a little bit. One group, you know, that it's not for, is people who addicted, who are alcohol dependent because they need professional help. But what we find is there's a whole range of drinkers that take part. The vast majority succeed, and most of those people experience those benefits in the short-term but also in the longer term.

WALKER: Some of those benefits include healthy habits, right, that they go -- get into afterwards?

DR. DE VISSER: Yes, I think -- the thing about Dry January is that people, they try out new things. They realize that they can go and socialize with their friends and not drink. They realize also what they can do if they feel the urge to drink, they can do something else, they can drink something else. So, people find out new skills, they find out new recipes.

And I think the important thing about Dry January as a campaign, is that people get to do that as part of a community. So, rather than them trying to do it by themselves, them against the world of drinkers, they're part of a community of other people not doing Dry January, and that's really helpful. And we find that the more the people engage with the campaign, use the smart phone app, use the e- mails, the more likely they are to succeed and to get those benefits.

WALKER: There must be a rebound effect, though, right? I mean, do people in February just, kind of, go crazy?

DR. DE VISSER: Yes -- well, not really, there was concern about that. But we find that it's actually very few people do. The people that we do find that happens for, the people who, maybe, start of being heavier drinkers, so you don't make it through the month. But what we find is around about half of the people go back to what they were doing beforehand. Around about 10 percent maybe drink a little bit more. But 40 percent are drinking less, fewer drinking days and fewer drinks on the days they do drink

So, overall, given that this is a, kind of, cost free intervention, 90 percent of the people benefit from that. And you know, there's no side effects really.

WALKER: Well, a cheaper intervention because you're not spending so much money --


WALKER: -- on drinks. I have to --

DR. DE VISSER: Exactly, yes.

WALKER: -- I have to ask you, why aren't you doing Dry January?

DR. DE VISSER: That's a good question. I have tried to do the dry month before at a different time, which I've kind of managed. I think January is a -- it is a difficult time for people.


And I'd also like to say that maybe I'm just going to be, you know, I think I'm better than I am and say that I think I'm in control of my drinking. So, I'm not too concerned about that. And I think -- you know, it's not -- it's the case that it's not -- we're not saying that everyone should do it.


DR. DE VISSER: It's a thing where if you feel like you might want to do it, here's a good time to do it.

WALKER: Yes, and it's a good time to reset your body, right? I mean, after a full year --


WALKER: -- it's a new year, you know. And also, maybe, stay away from, you know, sweets or sugar. Quick tips on how people can survive an entire month without giving into temptation.

DR. DE VISSER: A lot of it has to do with planning. So, plan what you do instead. So, instead of meeting someone at a bar or a pub or something like that, maybe meet them in a cafe instead. So, you're not in an alcohol-free -- you're not in an alcohol, kind of, context. If you feel like you might want to go out and have a drink, think about what you drink instead. And also, think about the rewards you give yourself. So, think about what you'll do at the end of the month with all the money that you saved or how good you feel about the weight you're lost, for example.


DR. DE VISSER: So, it's about planning for the month and also rewarding yourself at the end of the month.

WALKER: Love this conversation. Dr. Richard de Visser, thank you very much.

DR. DE VISSER: Thank you very much for having me on.

WALKER: And thank you for starting your morning with us. Always great to be with you, Alex.

MARQUARDT: Thank you for letting me share the weekend with you. "Inside Politics Sunday with Abby Phillip" is up next. Stay with CNN.