Return to Transcripts main page

CNN This Morning

White House Urges Congress To Pass Short-Term Spending Bill; DeSantis Opts Out Of Meeting With Biden In Florida; Labor Day Weekend Expected To Bring Record High Temps; Tens Of Thousands Stranded At Burning Man After Heavy Rain; Late Summer COVID On The Rise Across The Nation; Pope Clashes With Conservative Catholic Leaders In U.S.; Singer Adele Stops Las Vegas Concert To Scold Security; Double Dose Of Luck. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired September 03, 2023 - 08:00   ET




AMARA WALKER, CNN HOST: Good morning, everyone. Welcome to CNN THIS MORNING. It is the top of the hour, 8:00. I am sure you all are already awake and had your coffee.

OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN HOST: Ready to roll.

WALKER: I'm Amara Walker.

And you are?

JIMENEZ: I'm Omar Jimenez. I'm in for Victor Blackwell. We're hanging out Labor Day weekend. It's been fun.

WALKER: I haven't seen you -- you do have coffee, don't you?

JIMENEZ: Somewhere. I had coffee. I just happened to get a good night sleep last night, which is rare when you work on this show.

WALKER: You are glowing, Omar. You're glowing.

JIMENEZ: I do my best.

Now, look, we've got a lot to talk to this morning. We are going to start with lawmakers. They are getting ready to return to Capitol Hill. They are facing, though, a critical deadline crunch. We'll break down everything that's on their plate.

WALKER: Also, a death is being investigated at the Burning Man Festival in Nevada's Black Rock Desert as rain and mud leave tens of thousands stranded there with officials telling people to shelter in place.

JIMENEZ: And it is not just the rain. Blistering heat is impacting millions of this holiday weekend. We will tell you who will see the worst of it and whether relief is on the way. WALKER: And COVID cases are back on the rise. Now, some experts warn

the number of cases could actually be higher than what the data shows.

JIMENEZ: So, this week, Congress is heading back to D.C. with a lot on their plate. Senators returned from their August break on Tuesday followed by the House next week. And with the fiscal year ending on September 30th, both chambers are facing a time crunch on a number of key issues.

WALKER: Yeah, that's right. On October 1st, funding for the federal government expires along with the FAA's authority to operate. Also on the first, federal wild land firefighters are facing a potential huge pay cut if Congress does not act. As you know, they do a lot of sacrificial and very hard work, especially in the season of natural disasters.

The biggest issue here is avoiding a partial government shutdown. The most likely route lawmakers will take us to pass a stopgap funding measure. That's a solution that only lasts until early September, kicking the bucket down the road, and how Speaker Kevin McCarthy said he doesn't want to fight about spending come the holidays, right?

JIMENEZ: Yeah, I mean, we'll -- we will see.

CNN White House reporter Jasmine Wright joins us now.

Jasmine, look, the White House is keen on a short term spending bill. Why do they want to go that way?

JASMINE WRIGHT, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, Omar, frankly, it's because time is running out. September 30th is when the government would no longer be able to fully fund itself. Therefore, leading to this short term funding request by President Biden, a clear request to Congress.

Now, the White House has already started the process. They have issued the formal call to action to them. They have also sent them a list of anomalies. Now, those are issues in certain funding areas which would be disrupted if they were not written into a funding bill and the budget office has identified things like food aid to women, infant children, as well as rental insurance, key priorities to the Biden administration.

But the problem comes in here is that there are deep cuts that House Republicans who want to make. Up until now, the White House and Democrats really have not entertained them because they are so severe.

So, therefore, the White House is asking Republicans to really hold up they are side of the deal when it comes to budget and trying to pass a short-term budget so that discussion now in terms of the short-term budget will be able to be turned into long term discussions down the line.

But, of course, we'll have to see what happens in the next few days because we know that there is a time crunch in terms of the Senate's schedule. The House is not in session until September 12th. And the Senate is in session next week but they only have about six days, full days until September 30th, that major deadline.

WALKER: And, Jasmine, through is also this urgency to help those who have been impacted by these natural disasters with Hurricane Idalia, Maui, you name it. So, another top priority for the White House is that additional $16 billion in funding for FEMA which they are asking for including four billion for the disaster relief fund. President Biden has said that needs to be passed this month.

How are the chances of that looking?

WRIGHT: Well, really, it's not yet known. Of course, that supplemental package, that FEMA disaster funds, $16 billion, is separate from that short term funding bill. But, of course, it is the reason why we saw President Biden in Florida yesterday really trying to use those images of devastation to show both Congress and the American public why they need that additional money to fill that -- and replenish that FEMA disaster relief fund.


But, of course, when it comes down to the priorities of the White House and the priorities of Congress, those are often very different, especially now that we know the Republicans are in charge of the House. So, it's going to come down to the numbers and it's going to come to the days to see what this White House is able to do. But, of course, now, they are really fighting on two different fronts, trying to get two different types of funding.

WALKER: All right. Jasmine Wright, appreciate your reporting as always. Thank you very much.

Let's get a closer look now at what's ahead for Congress with the "Wall Street Journal's" White House reporter Catherine Lucey.

Good morning, Catherine. Good to see you.

So, Catherine, as you heard there from our Jasmine Wright, I mean, there are pressing deadlines for Congress to meet by the end of the month, including funding of the government, also reauthorizing funding for the FAA. That could impact our flying experience and much more.

How do you expect this to play out knowing that there are some major sticking points between Republicans and Democrats?

CATHERINE LUCEY, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, WALL STREET JOURNAL: I mean, that's right, Jasmine really laid it out. There is a pending deadline. There's a limited amount of time for lawmakers to work. President Biden is leading this week on a foreign trip. He will be back the following week to try to deal with this.

Obviously, a lot of people are calling for a short term spending bill. The biggest issue is keeping the lights on. And the White House is calling for this congressional leaders are. But House Speaker Kevin McCarthy will have to deal with his caucus. And there are a lot of conservative Republicans who are calling for deep spending cuts and it's not clear right now if they will go along with this. Of course, you know, this is -- you guys know this brinkmanship,

overspending, these fights coming down to the wire is kind of a Washington ritual at this point. So, I think we'll see this play out towards the deadline, towards the end of the month. Certainly, a lot of people are certainly looking to try to get this to a short term solution anyway.

WALKER: Yeah. And, as you know, President Biden spent Saturday in Florida. He was touring the damage from Hurricane Idalia after the Biden administration sent Congress a request for supplemental funding which would include money for disaster relief, along with aid to Ukraine, programs to address fentanyl addiction, all separate from the short term funding plan.

Do you think Congress will at least free of those billions of dollars needed to help people who have suffered from these natural disasters that we've been seeing?

LUCEY: I think what we have to se what we hear from lawmakers when they get back. But, certainly, you know, these calls are top of mind for, you know, members of both parties. We have seen the devastation in Maui, in Florida. So, there are a lot of -- you see President Biden with Senator Rick Scott in Florida when he visited.

So I think there is bipartisan interest in tackling these issues. We will have to see exactly how it plays out.

WALKER: And conspicuously missing there on the ground was Governor Ron DeSantis. I mean, what did you make of Governor DeSantis's, I guess, you know, not meeting Biden at the airport or doing some kind of tour with the president? As you know, they have come together before four other disasters which is the norm.

This time, the Florida governor claiming that Biden's trip would have been very disruptive to the recovery efforts even though we know there is a high level of coordination between the White House and local and state officials whenever there is such a presidential trip.

LUCEY: Yeah, the White House always coordinates with states when they make this kind of trip. That's true with Democratic and Republican presidents who attend to visit as soon as it is considered a safe and not disruptive.

Governor DeSantis is back in Florida dealing with this. He is still a candidate in the GOP primary. That is top of mind. We know that he and President Biden did speak. They have spoken during this process.

Initially, President Biden said that they were going to meet and then those plans changed. I think a lot of Republicans remember that Governor Chris Christie came in with criticism in New Jersey when he hugged President Barack Obama when he visited after Hurricane Sandy. So, there are always anxieties about the optics of these visits.

WALKER: Yeah, I guess I just underscore how high the stakes are for Governor Ron DeSantis, the main alternative to Trump at this point. If you take a look, by the way, the latest new CNN poll of polls and the GOP primary, it shows that Trump still holds a sizable lead over his Republican rivals at 58 percent, trailing him at number two is Ron DeSantis.

I mean, how do you figure, you know, his strategy moving forward coming out of this natural disaster that he has been addressing in the state?


LUCEY: This is a tough moment for DeSantis. You know, our latest poll shows similar numbers. Our latest poll shows, you know, Trump really expanding and solidifying his lead in the primary. We have him at 59 percent currently and DeSantis at 13. So, that is a sizeable difference.

And one of the things that is really interesting in our most recent polling shows is that Trump's legal problems really have helped him at least in the primary race. A lot of Republican voters don't think that his criminal prosecutions have merit. It's about half in the poll who say the indictments fuel their support for him.

So Trump is in a very strong position. We haven't seen DeSantis gaining ground. And so, this is going to -- this fall is going to be a really key stretch for him. Can he find a way to peel off some of those Trump supporters which he so far has been unable to do?

WALKER: It's going to be quite a challenge. Catherine Lucey, appreciate you. Thank you.

All right. So Labor Day is here.

JIMENEZ: Yes, it is.

WALKER: Almost here. The weekend is here.

It's been quite hot as you have noticed.

JIMENEZ: Oh, yeah.

WALKER: Record temperatures are building once again with extreme heat advisories in place for parts of the Midwest.

JIMENEZ: CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar is here to break it all down for us.

All right. So, how much shades should I be looking for, over the next few days?

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: A lot, maybe a pool, a lake, some place to kind of cool off over the next few days.

Yeah, the heat really started over the central U.S. It's now going to begin to spread into places like the Northeast, the mid-Atlantic, and then eventually back down into the south as we look at long term forecasts. This is where you have the heat advisories. You're talking multiple states across the Midwest, those high temperatures, about 95 to 100, that that heat index could make it up to 105 in some of these places.

Look at Minneapolis, you're talking about near triple digits possibly today and tomorrow. And the normal high is only 77 degrees. Chicago, St. Louis, Omaha are all looking at temperatures in the 90s over the next several days. It's likely to break some records there in those cities, and they're one of many, look at this, over 150 possible records are expected to be broken over the next several days.

And not just in the Midwest. You can see, it spreads down to the South and also further east into portions of the Mid-Atlantic and New England. And again, that is because you are going to see, that trend in the coming days.

Now, another thing, it is that time of year. We're still keeping an eye on the tropics. We've got this particular system off the coast of Africa. There's an 80 percent chance of development over the next seven days as it begins to head towards the Caribbean. So, this one is certainly something we'll have to keep a close eye on.

JIMENEZ: All right. A lot to keep an eye on.

Allison Chinchar, thank you.

Still ahead for us this morning, a muddy mess at Burning Man. Tens of thousands left stranded after heavy rains. Now, everyone there is being told to conserve water, food, and fuel.

Plus, caught on camera -- law enforcement zeroes in on the location of a convicted murderer who escaped a Pennsylvania person. We'll show you the video. The latest on the manhunt, ahead.



WALKER: And some sad news to share this morning. Former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson has died at the age of 75.

Richardson was a fixture in Democratic politics, first selected to the U.S. House in 1983. He served as ambassador to the U.N. and secretary of energy under the Clinton administration and launched a nonprofit to help promote international peace.

JIMENEZ: Yeah, he traveled to Moscow last year and met with Russian leadership over WNBA star Brittney Griner's release from a Moscow prison. She, along with her wife, released a statement today saying, quote, we will be forever grateful for all of his efforts to help bring me home from Russia. We applaud his ear so tirelessly representing many families of other wrongfully detained Americans.

Now, back here in the United States, President Biden is helping Florida's families rebuild from the Hurricane Idalia. He and the first lady toured storm-ravaged areas yesterday. But the visit was clouded by politics after Republican Governor Ron DeSantis who is running for president escaped meeting with Biden. The president said he was not disappointed by the snub and instead focused on recovery efforts, urging Congress to make sure there's funding to help respond to this in future disasters.

WALKER: Natural disasters like this have caused insurance prices to soar in states like Florida. In fact, Farmers Insurance announced in July that it is pulling out of the state.

CNN's Camila Bernal explains how homeowners in multiple states are dealing with this are struggling to find affordable coverage.


CAMILA BERNAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Devastating fires, powerful hurricanes, and unexpected earthquakes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Disasters are getting to be part of our normal.

BERNAL: And in this new normal, home insurance is only getting pricier and harder to obtain.

GABRIEL ALBARIAN, WESTLAKE POINTE HOA PRESIDENT: One of the embers from local fires came in and settled on a rain gutter.

BERNAL: Gabriel Albarian, Jr., the HOA president at Westlake Pointe in southern California, has lived it firsthand. It is a high risk fire zone and in 2018, four homes in this community were lost to the Woolsey Fire. He says they were all insured through the HOA until it became impossible.

ALBARIAN: We went to many insurance coverage companies, State farm, Allstate, Farmers was the one who denied us and dropped us. All of the primary insurance companies were not providing us coverage.

BERNAL: In states like Florida, Louisiana, and California, some insurance providers are no longer issuing new policies. In areas where insurance is becoming tougher to find, double digit rate increases are common.

PETE MORAGA, SPOKESPERSON, INSURANCE INFORMATION INSTITUTE: You have increased costs and constructions, labor. You have what's called a cost surge where everything goes up because you have so many claims in one place. It becomes difficult.


BERNAL: Pete Moraga, spokesperson for the Insurance Information Institute, says insurance companies can and will pay claims after natural disasters. The problem comes with renewing a new policy or buying a new home.

MORAGA: In many cases, many of the homeowners are actually losing money.

BERNAL: How much was it to rebuild and how long did it take to rebuild?

ALBARIAN: Yeah, curious question. $6.8 million was allotted for these four properties. And it took roughly four years. BERNAL: The community has since switched from an association insurance

to an individual homeowners insurance. But it's still not easy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are seeing premiums go up, and our renewals are coming up in December. And to be quite honest, I'm quite concerned about it.

BERNAL: According to the latest data from the California Department of Insurance, about 13 percent of policies were not renewed in 2021. And recent decisions by major insurance companies to drop policies in California could increase that number dramatically in 2023.

ALBARIAN: The long term solution probably will take some serious rethinking of the entire insurance industry in the face of new realities.

BERNAL: But in the meantime, at Westlake Pointe, they are implementing mitigation measures to make their homes more fire resistant.

ALBARIAN: We are taking measures into our own hands and making themselves more fire safe. And that to me is powerful.

BERNAL: They believe they will not just protect their homes but also lower their insurance prices.

ALBARIAN: We are a living example of what happened during that fire. It would be a shame for me to put a blind eye to that.


WALKER: All right. Still ahead, tens of thousands of people stranded in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada after rain causes a muddy mess at the Burning Man Festival. Now, people are asked to be -- to shelter in place. We're going to have the latest when we come back.



WALKER: Tens of thousands of people are being told to shelter in place at the popular Burning Man Festival because they are literally stuck in the mud. They are trapped after a rare heavy rain inundated campsites in Nevada's Black Rock Desert. Thick, ankle deep mud is making it impossible to walk or drive. More rain is now likely this afternoon.

JIMENEZ: So, to talk about all of this, we are joined by Sergeant Nathan Carmichael. He's been in charge of the Burning Man event for the Pershing County sheriff's office for about nine years.

Sergeant, thank you for your time. So, just lay it out for us right now. What is the situation right?

SGT. NATHAN CARMICHAEL, OPERATIONS COMMANDER FOR "BURNING MAN": The last few days, we've got some rain. The area (ph) has gotten wet which makes it very greasy, very muddy. It tends to stick to people. It makes it very difficult to move vehicles around.

WALKER: Can you talk to us about this death we are hearing about that is being investigated? What do we know about the circumstances of this death? Do we know who this person is, male, female, participant, where -- how this happened?

CARMICHAEL: The death is under investigation now. The person was found on a playa. They tried lifesaving procedures, were unsuccessful. It is under investigation, so I'm going to leave at that for right now.

JIMENEZ: And just give us a sense of the scale of this year. I mean, how many people are stuck? As we understand, some people are getting out by walking. But how difficult is it to actually do that?

CARMICHAEL: The events from the county (INAUDIBLE) is approximately a mile -- a little over a mile. So, people are walking out. There are a few people again stuck, there are few smaller four wheel drives that have made it out. Most of the RVs are stuck in place. Burning Man Org and the Pershing County sheriff's office along with BLM (ph) are asking people to stay in place until the ground becomes hard enough and safe enough to travel off the playa onto the roadway.

WALKER: Sergeant, did you say the estimate a number of people who may still be there on site and stranded because of the mud?

CARMICHAEL: Yesterday, I was given a population of a little over 70,000 people.

WALKER: Okay. And, you know, the word is please shelter in place. Hope you have enough food and water.

Do you know how the people are doing? Have you heard from the people on the ground in terms of there being enough food and what the, I guess, conditions are?

CARMICHAEL: The Burning Man Org has continued to tell us that people are in good spirits. They are obviously saying that they are obviously sharing. The community is very well-versed in sharing and doing what they have to do to survive.

So, I fully expect that if somebody is or has a low resources, that a neighbor will help them. That is very normal. The town is you still bordering and sharing with each other. So, whatever resources that's out there, I'm sure that they will use and share between them.

WALKER: It's definitely a unique festival. I feel like it is usually -- usually signatured by joy and creativity. And so, you know, it is curious to see how they are dealing with these conditions now.

Moving forward, how long do you expect the roads to be closed or at least difficult to pass on for these folks?

CARMICHAEL: Well, the good news is that the weather has changed a little bit. So, last night, it was supposed to start raining at about 2:00. Looking at the forecast for today, it is pushed out a little bit. So, hopefully, I will give people the opportunity to get off the playa. And it doesn't look like it is going to rain as hard as initially forecasted. So again, these are all positive things.


Normally the people are gone by Tuesday morning anyway. So it might be -- it might give an opportunity to still get off the playa in a decent amount of time when you work in this time period.

There will be some residual, there always is. But I fully believe that within a reasonable amount of time, most of the people will be able to leave.

WALKER: I do want to ask you, in your time, you know, with the sheriff's office, I mean have you ever seen anything like this during your time with this particular event?

CARMICHAEL: Out of the 20 plus years I've been doing this, one of the years that this happened in the past I didn't participate in. But the organization has always worked with law enforcement and the contributors, the co-operators and we've always tried to do table tops to talk about how we're going to get people off if this emergency happens.

So the org and the people that are involved are always thinking about these things and how we're going to deal with them when they pop up.

WALKER: You know, we'll leave it there, Sergeant Nathan Carmichael. Thank you and we wish you all the best and hopefully the roads open soon.

I have to say, talking to the sergeant, seeing some of the images, there was this beautiful rainbow that was put up and it kind of summarized, I feel like the "Burning Man" Festival. This is a place where people come to celebrate, they celebrate community, art and of course, self-reliance, right.

So who better than to weather this kind of situation than the people there at "Burning Man". So hoping for the best.

All right. Let's bring back in CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar. Tell us more about what the conditions look like in that area today, and of course, we are expecting more rain there in Nevada?

CHINCHAR: Yes, we are. And we've already got some ongoing showers across the state right now. Most of them kind of focused on the northern central part.

But you can see, we've also got a lot of lightning here. And additional rain is beginning to develop along the Sierras. That will continue to spread farther north and east into the state of Nevada and other states as well.

So you do have areas that are under flood watches for today, portions of Nevada and Utah, even stretching north into Oregon and Idaho.

Here's the thing thought, this is a look at the forecast radar. You can see a lot more of those showers and thunderstorms are expected to develop this afternoon. And then continue into the evening hours.

When we zoom in a little bit closer, this is the town of Empire where we're talking about that festival that takes place just north of it and farther north and east of the town of Empire.

You can see, look at this, look at the showers that have the potential to slide through starting late this morning and then really pumping up as we head through the rest of the afternoon.

So yes, there is more rain in the forecast. We're hoping it is not going to be anywhere near the amount that they've seen in the last few days but it is still a possibility.

WALKER: All right. Allison Chinchar, thank you.

JIMENEZ: But first, moving up forward for us, COVID cases are on the rise once again. Is the current wave worse than official data suggests? Dr. Sanjay Gupta examines the recent spike next.



JIMENEZ: Now, to you to your headlines this morning.

The manhunt intensifies for the convicts murder who escaped from a Pennsylvania prison. The Chester County D.A.'s office released this new surveillance video. You can see him creeping out from behind the bushes there showing escapee Danelo Cavalcante in a residential neighborhood about 1.5 miles from the prison that's located west of Philadelphia.

He was convicted of stabbing his former girlfriend to death last month and sentenced to life without parole on Thursday.

Police are now offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to his capture.

WALKER: A judge has instruct down new congressional district lines for northern Florida championed by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis. Circuit state Judge Jay Lee Marsh ruled it that the proposed boundaries violated the state's Constitution by diluting the power of black voters.

His decision now blocked the state from using the map in congressional elections and orders the legislature to draw up a new one. The DeSantis administration is expected to appeal.

JIMENEZ: Now, as families enjoy Labor Day and kids head back to school, coronavirus cases are on the rise once again. It feels like deja vu. But this time the late summer spike in COVID-19 has led to an increase in hospitalizations and deaths from the disease nationwide.

WALKER: And while federal data suggest that current cases have stayed below earlier peaks, some question the data because it isn't being recorded in quite the same way. CNN's chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta has more.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's hard to say whether or not we're in a new COVID wave right now. Certainly there has been a lot of anecdotal reports, people more likely to know somebody who might have COVID or may have had COVID themselves.

But admittedly, this is hard to validate because there is just not as much testing. There is not as much testing being done overall and a lot of the testing that is happening is happening at home and not being reported. So it is hard to get those numbers.

One of the things that we've paid attention to throughout the pandemic is hospitalizations. And hospitalizations have gone up a bit. Take a look.

About 15,000 more hospitalizations this past week as compared to the week before that. So the numbers are trending in that direction, but at the same time it is about half overall of what it was at this time last year.

So you get the idea. It is difficult to sort of read into this too much.


DR. GUPTA: Another metric that we pay attention to is how much virus is in wastewater. Again, this is sort of a general look, a sort of broad look at how much virus is out there and we see that the numbers have gone up again over the last several months. Higher than it's been some time now.

Does that translate to more cases? Does that translate to more serious illness or hospitalizations? We don't know yet. But think of these sort of as early warning systems.

When it comes to this weekend, I want you to take a look at this map. And this is a good looking map. It is mostly green, which means these are areas where the CDC says m there is not as much hospital surge or hospital increases. But there are a few places of yellow and even a couple of places of orange.

Pay attention to this like you would pay attention to a weather map. Right now there is not a recommendation for masking in general.

I will tell you on a personal note, I visited my parents a few weeks ago. and they're in their 80s. I masked on the way down there. I tested ahead of time to make sure that I wasn't going to potentially get them sick.

While they are protected if they do get COVID as someone has said to me, it could be one of the worst viral experiences of their life. So we're doing everything to try and avoid that obviously. Also keep in mind, isolation. If you do test positive and you do get COVID starting with the first day after you develop symptoms you should be in isolation for five days after that.

You don't need to test to get out of isolation but there is a recommendation to wear a mask for a few days after that as well.

Finally, I just want to say about the new booster, because this is one of the most common questions we get as well. There is going to be a CDC advisory meeting on September 12th. That is the point where this booster may be recommended broadly for the population. We'll see what happens.

But I put together this grid for the upcoming shots so people could have some idea of what's happening. Get the flu shot before Halloween. That is a general rule.

The COVID shot again in September. If you've had COVID recently, or you've had a shot recently, you can probably wait several months before you get this updated shot.

And then information there about RSV as well, specially for people over 60.

Have a great weekend. Be safe and be kind to each other. Take care.


WALKER: All right. Some great advice there. Thanks so much, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

And make sure that you stick around for "STATE OF THE UNION" at the top of hour. This morning Dana Bash will sit down with Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds and South Carolina Congresswoman Nancy Mace.

That is next right here on CNN.



JIMENEZ: Right now Pope Francis is in Mongolia pushing for harmony and more dialogue among leaders from multiple people. This comes amidst some disharmony from those within his own church specifically conservative critics in the U.S.

Pope Francis recently warned against backward views opposing change in the Catholic Church.

So joining us now to talk about this is Kate McElwee executive director of the Women's Ordination Conference, a group dedicated to getting women ordained as deacons, priests and bishops in the Catholic Church. Good morning to you.

So Kate, I just want to start with look, one of the Pope's biggest critics is American Cardinal Raymond Burk. He published a book in August accusing Pope Francis of driving the church into a schism, a definitive rupture by liberalizing the church.

What changes do he and other Catholic conservatives in the U.S. take issue with?

KATE MCELWEE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, WOMEN'S ORDINATION CONFERENCE: Well, opposition to Pope Francis is nothing new especially in the American Catholic Church. But I think there is increased anxiety around the changes that Francis is proposing and creating space for in the Synod happening in October in Rome.

This is a global meeting of bishops and lay people. For the first time ever women will be voting alongside men at this meeting. And some of the topics on the agenda are increased roles for women in the Catholic Church, LGBTQ inclusion, climate change -- all these things that would make some American Catholics very nervous.

JIMENEZ: And obviously those are some topics that have crossed over into the politics world as well. And I think that is part of what the Pope has said, that he said that backward and reactionary thinking -- to use his words -- will hurt Catholicism and he said it will lead to ideologies replacing faith. And so what exactly is he warning against here?

MCELWEE: I think he's warning about isolation within the Catholic Church. He talked about this faction within the church identifying more with their political beliefs than with their Catholic faith.

And so I think there is a lot of concern around moving backwards instead of moving forward. This Synod project of Pope Francis is something that he's asking the whole church to journey together to advance, to attend to the needs of the church today.

And many traditionalists and conservatives in the United States are worried about those changes and how they may affect their faith.

JIMENEZ: And look, as time goes on, of course, new ideas, religion also tends to have to adapt to what is currently happening in the world as well. And there are some conservative Catholic leaders who are fighting these changes.

Other critics like you in particular say the church hasn't gone nearly far enough in equality and inclusion efforts. So I'll ask you, I mean what changes would your organization like to see?

MCELWEE: We're very hopeful in the promise of the Synod and the open dialogue that Francis has encouraged on greater leadership roles for women.

And so we'll be in Rome as a witness for the majority of the Catholics who are ready to see greater roles for women in the Catholic Church. I think that is a big step. Just that open dialogue.

[08:49:47] MCELWEE: And then, of course, we're working for equality for women in the Catholic Church, a church where women can answer their call to serve, to be priests, to make decisions.

So those are the large scale projects that we're working on but the first step is dialogue. And we are very grateful for Francis for opening that door through this synodal process.

JIMENEZ: And before we go here, Kate, just lay it out for us, why is women's representation in the Catholic Church so important?

MCELWEE: The Catholic Church is a global superpower. They have diplomatic relationships around the world. Whether you're Catholic or not, the way the Catholic Church treats women affects all people.

So gender equality changes the world and we believe that when women are equal in the Catholic Church and that announcement is proclaimed around the world, it will have undue and amazing effects for gender equity around the world.

JIMENEZ: Kate McElwee, thank you for the time this morning.

WALKER: All right. Still ahead, Adele to the rescue. The singer brings her Vegas show to a halt to tell security to back off a screaming fan.

But first he was a hugely influential architect of rock and roll. But did he ever get his due. CNN Films present the story of a music legend, "LITTLE RICHARD, I AM EVERYTHING", tomorrow at 9:00 p.m. on CNN.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is just like a shot out of a cannon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His voice, he created the rock and roll icon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sorry, it wasn't Elvis.

LITTLE RICHARD, SINGER: I am the king of rock and roll.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The first songs that you loved that your parents hate is the beginning of the soundtrack of your life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Little Richard's lyrics were too lewd to get their play on the radio.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was as clean as you were.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was very good at liberating other people. He was not good at liberating himself.

LITTLE RICHARD: Michael was inspired by me. Prince. James Brown, I discovered him. Jimi Hendrix was my guitar player.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just signed on a (INAUDIBLE) and do Little Richard. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everyone was beholden to him.





WALKER: Let's turn now to an Adele concert in Las Vegas where an excited fan was standing up and dancing wildly. I'm sure you do that all of the time at concerts because I do but --

JIMENEZ: Of course.

WALKER: -- this person was also essentially blocking the view of others in the audience.

JIMENEZ: And people kept going up to him. When security intervened, the man got some unexpected back up from Adele herself but many people online weren't too happy about it.

CNN's Jeanne Moos breaks it down.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: How much does this fan love Adele? So much that he seemed to be in an Adele-induced trance. Recording himself with a selfie at one of the singer's recent Las Vegas concert.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Look behind you. Everybody's upset. Everybody.

He was gently scolded for standing, blocking the view of others. And then two seconds after she left -- even Adele noticed from the stage as security quietly tried to get him to tone it down. Adele stopped the show mid-song.

ADELE, SINGER: What is going on with that young fan there. He's been bothered so much since I came on for standing up. What is going on with him?

Yes you, with the stick in your hand.

MOOS: Rescued by his goddess.

ADELE: You can stand up now, darling.

MOOS: Even security seemed insecure when admonished by Adele.

Adele: What are you doing? Why are you all bothering him. Can you leave him alone please?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't have to sit down. You're fine. Stay right here.

MOOS: But some online commenters were annoyed.

"Him and Adele thought it was fine but I'm sure the people who paid a ton of money to sit behind him and stare at the back of his head are pissed."

More succinctly, "You're not special. Just sit the F down. But wasn't sitting.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you. Thank you.

MOOS: When he posted a clip on TikTok, the unidentified fan wrote to Adele, "You started talking to me and I literally stopped breathing." His hand visibly trembled as he took a drink.

ADELE: You enjoy the show. Leave him alone.

MOOS: When Adele stopped singing, even security changes its tune.

Jeanne Moos, CNN -- New York.


WALKER: His reactions are priceless. I don't know. What do you think?

JIMENEZ: Look, the selfie stick might have been too much maybe. But it is a concert. Like look, if someone else is standing in front of you. You get up too. It is part of the concert.

WALKER: But can you imagine, if you paid those big bucks to be right up there and you're sitting behind him, maybe even next to him, right. Because what if the selfie stick gets in your way. I don't know. I mean I can see both sides. But I'm just --


JIMENEZ: I'm also tall. So I guess it is not an issue I've had to deal with. If someone stands, then I can stand up.


WALKER: You're blocking everyone.

JIMENEZ: Yes. I know, I guess I'm the one blocking.

Yes, yes. It is ok. I get it. I get it.

But look, we'd all like to win the lottery once just in our lives. But get this, one woman in Maryland did it twice. Victoria Sadler, she just won $25,000 in one of her favorite lottery games and after getting her winnings, she walked across the street, played again and won $50,000 more.

WALKER: Come on.

JIMENEZ: Come on. WALKER: Sadler says her double dose of luck happened when she decided to play her grandson's birthday numbers -- that is precious -- because the same digits worked the last time. Really?

Sadler says now that she's won the lottery twice she's going to go to Disney World. Of course, I'm sure she'll take her grandson and then put the rest in savings.

JIMENEZ: Come hang out with us. Please. Please.

Thank you all so much for joining us and having me.

"STATE OF THE UNION" is next. Have a great day.

WALKER: Thanks everyone. Thanks for joining us.