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Early Start with John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin

Officers Reveal Horrors They Faced Defending Capitol January 6; Industries Are Still Struggling To Recover; Tanzania Begins Vaccine Drive, After COVID Denial; Baseball Is Back For Tokyo Olympics, But No Fans In Stands; Walmart Will Cover 100 Percent Of College Tuition For Its Workers. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired July 28, 2021 - 05:30   ET




CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: All right, good morning, everyone. It's Wednesday. This is Early Start. And I'm Christine Romans.

LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Laura Jarrett. It's 30 minutes past the hour here in New York. It's time for our top stories to keep an eye on today.

Call it a mandate or maybe mandate light, a new vaccine requirement is coming for all federal workers tomorrow.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: That's under consideration right now. But if you're not vaccinated, you're not nearly as smart as I thought you were.


JARRETT: A source tells CNN, people who refuse to get a shot will face frequent COVID testing and other restrictions.

ROMANS: Star American gymnast Simone Biles withdrawing from the individual all-around final at the Tokyo Olympics. USA Gymnastics says Biles withdrew from the competition to focus on her mental health. It's unclear if she will compete in other events next week.


REP. MO BROOKS (R-AL): Today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass.


JARRETT: The Justice Department says it is not defending that speech from Congressman Mo Brooks on the morning of the U.S. Capitol riot. The Alabama Republican has been sued by his Democratic colleague, Congressman Eric Swalwell, for fomenting that attack and wanted DOJ to defend him. But DOJ told the court it cannot defend a political campaign activity.

ROMANS: Wildfire drought and now a call to turn off your A.C., California's power grid operator says extreme high temperatures are making energy supplies tight. Officials are calling for voluntary power conservation from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. today to avoid rolling outages.

JARRETT: At least two people are dead and four are injured after an acid leak at a Texas chemical plant. The leak at the facility near La Porte involved a chemical acid used in food-grade vinegar. Officials say the leak was isolated and there is no impact to the community.

ROMANS: A fake Uber driver sentenced to life in prison for the kidnapping and murder of 21-year-old Samantha Josephson in 2019. Nathaniel Rowland claims he is innocent and wishes the state would find the real killer. Justice and death spurred new criminal penalties for predators who impersonate rideshare drivers.

JARRETT: Life behind bars, the Georgia man accused of shooting and killing eight people, mostly Asian women, at three Atlanta area spas, pleading not guilty, I should say, pleading guilty to four of the killings. Robert Aaron Long still faces charges in Fulton County where prosecutors could pursue the death penalty.

ROMANS: The head of track and fields world governing body calls for a review of marijuana as a doping substance. A positive test knocked American track star Sha'Carri Richardson out of the Tokyo games. Sebastian Coe says nothing is set in stone but you adapt and occasionally reassess.

JARRETT: So it was one of the most jarring days of testimony on Capitol Hill in recent memory. Four officers recounting in harrowing and vivid detail, the violent attack by that pro-Trump mob on January 6.

CNN's Daniella Diaz live on Capitol Hill. Daniella, you were there that day, the day of the riot. You heard that testimony from the officers yesterday, it was so compelling, even though we've watched this video for months now, it's different to actually hear it from the people who lived through it. So what stood out the most to you?

DANIELLA DIAZ, CNN CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: For me, Laura, was really hearing what they had to experience, what they suffered, the trauma they experience, for me to be able to be safe during the insurrection. You know, I was hiding with a group of reporters during the insurrection and I was not on the front lines like these officers were protecting this complex. That was really hard for me to listen to.

But, you know, this is just the beginning. Chairman Bennie Thompson is planning to subpoena more people to testify for this -- in front of this committee, although he won't say who, we have an idea of maybe he'll call on Kevin McCarthy. There's other people that we know, other ex-Trump officials that we expect they might call, but he won't give any hints as to who he might call. But, look, he also said he plans to meet with Attorney General Merrick Garland about possibly getting additional data to be able to go through for the committee.

So there are a lot of steps they're taking right now. So this is only the beginning. But I think it's really important for us to listen to some of the testimony from these police officers, these four police officers who were on the front lines that day. It's really emotional. It's really hard to listen to.



OFFICER MICHAEL FANONE, D.C. METROPOLITAN POLICE: As my feet physical injuries gradually subsided in the adrenaline that had stayed with me for weeks waned, I've been left with the psychological trauma and the emotional anxiety of having survived such a horrific event. And my children continue to deal with the trauma of nearly losing their dad that day.

SGT. AQUILINO GONELL, U.S. CAPITOL POLICE: I vividly heard officers screaming in agony, in pain, just an arm's length from me. I didn't know at that time that was Officer Hodges. And he's here today to testify.

I too, was being crushed by the rioters. I could feel myself losing oxygen and recall thinking to myself, this is how I'm going to die defending this entrance.

OFFICER HARRY DUNN, U.S. CAPITOL POLICE: I do my best to keep politics out of my job. But in this circumstance, I responded. Well, I voted for Joe Biden. Is my vote not count? Am I nobody? That prompted a torrent of racial epithets.

One woman in a pink MAGA shirt yelled, "You hear that guys? This nigger voted for Joe Biden". Then the crowd, perhaps around 20 people, joined in screaming, boom -- nigger. No one had ever, ever called me a nigger while wearing the uniform of a Capitol Police Officer.

OFFICER DANIEL HODGES, D.C. METROPOLITAN POLICE: As we came close to the terrorists, our line was divided and we came under attack. Man attempted to rip the baton from my hands and we wrestled for control. I retained my weapon after I pushed him back. He yelled at me, "You're on the wrong team". Cut off from our leadership which is at the front of our formation. We huddled up and assess the threat surrounding us.

One man tried and failed to build rapport with me shouting, "Are you my brother?". Another takes a different tack shouting, "You will die on your knees". To my perpetual confusion, I saw the thin, blue line flag, a symbol of support for law enforcement more than once being carried by the terrorists as they ignored our commands and continued to assault us.

GONELL: It's upsetting, is a pathetic excuse for his behavior for something that he himself helped to create this monstrosity. I'm still recovering from those hawks in cases that day. He claimed that so many rioters, terrorists were assaulting us that day. All of them, all of them were telling us, Trump sent us. DUNN: I use an analogy to describe what I want is a hitman. If a hitman is hired, and he kills somebody, the hitman goes to jail. But not only does the hitman go to jail, but the person who hired them does. There was an attack carried out on January 6, and a hitman sent them. I want you to get to the bottom of that.

FANONE: What makes the struggle harder and more painful is to know so many of my fellow citizens, including so many of the people I put my life at risk to defend are downplaying or outright denying what happened. I feel like I went to hell and back to protect them and the people in this room. But too many are now telling me that hell doesn't exist, or that hell actually wasn't that bad. The indifference shown to my colleagues is disgraceful.

REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R-IL), MEMBER, SELECT COMMITTEE INVESTIGATING JANUARY 6TH CAPITOL ATTACK: I think it's important to tell you right now, though. You guys may like individually feel a little broken. You guys all talk about the effects you have to deal with and, you know, you talk about the impact of that day. But you guys won. You guys held. You know, democracies are not defined by our bad days, were defined by how we come back from bad days. How we take accountability for that.

Many in my party have treated this as just another partisan fight. It's toxic, and it's a disservice to the officers and their families. It's time to stop the outrage and the conspiracies that fuel the violence and division in this country. And most importantly, we need to reject those that promoted.


DIAZ: It's still really hard to listen to a lot of that testimony. I'm not going to -- I'm going to be honest. The goal here for the Select Committee is to find out what happened and what led to the January 6th attack and what the former president's role was in this attack, and what led these extremists to do this and be able to organize, and what kind of security failures took place on that day for them to be able to infiltrate the Capitol.


And I also want to talk a little bit about some of the Republicans who continue to whitewash what happened on January 6, you know. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said he didn't even watch the hearing. He said he was in back to back meetings and did not tune in. And then there's Congressman Andrew Clyde, who, of course, we all know, made news because he compared what happened on January 6 to a normal tourist visit, and it was certainly not that. He was in a hearing yesterday separate from this hearing, a separate one, a House Rules Committee hearing, where he was confronted by Jamie Raskin and asked if he stood -- still stood by what he said calling it a normal tourist visit, and Andrew Clyde's that he did, he still stood by his original statement.

And then there's also Congressman Jim Jordan, who admitted yesterday, he talked to Trump in the middle of all of this on January 6. So lots of questions here for these Republicans as the Select Committee continues their work. Laura, Christine?

JARRETT: Yes. Congressman Clyde is going to have a hard time living down those words. When you listen to that testimony from those four officers, you watch the video, it's just so striking and just gut- wrenching to listen to that reality and it is nothing close to a normal tourist visit.

Daniella, thank you.

ROMANS: All right, the economy is roaring back, but some jobs are not. The economy down still 6.8 million jobs since February 2020. And some of the hardest hit sectors are crawling out of very deep holes blame the virus.

As the pandemic raged, almost all indoor theaters were closed, movie releases were delayed, people stayed home and turned to streaming services instead. Jobs from the concession stand to the box office have yet to return. The industry is about 91,000 jobs below where it was in February of last year.

In the buffet industry, there were concerns the industry may never return to pre-pandemic levels. About half of the limo jobs are back. Vaccinations and a surge in travel have helped there but many employees that were laid off, they have retrained and left that industry entirely for higher paying jobs.

In performing arts, as of May, jobs in theatre and dance were down 49 percent from February 2020. You see the pattern. These are jobs in services that require a vaccinated public to enjoy. Bitter irony here, the very people who railed against COVID restrictions and downplay the safety and effectiveness of our vaccines, they risk holding back the recovery now. And there's a big debate about whether companies should be requiring the vaccine here --


ROMANS: -- for the good of everybody. Is it legal?

JARRETT: Yes. There's nothing in the federal law that prevents public and private employers from doing this. So many employers are already doing it. There's two big things to watch, exceptions for people who have health conditions where they can't get the vaccine for some reason, because it might actually be dangerous, those are rare. The other one is religious exceptions. Those are the two big ones that you need to have carve out for.

But otherwise, you can mandate these vaccines and the fact that the Biden administration has waited so long to do it --


JARRETT: -- I think is actually pretty surprising.

ROMANS: Interesting. All right, 42 minutes past the hour, we'll be right back.



ROMANS: Jumping overseas now to Tanzania with the official launch of a new vaccination campaign there, the country's leadership has come full circle from pushing natural remedies to be coronavirus, like recommending lemon and ginger to now trying to vaccinate at least 60 percent of the population.

CNN's Larry Madowo live in Nairobi, Kenya with more. And Larry, Tanzania we're told is getting help from the U.S. on this.

LARRY MADOWO, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Christine. Tanzania is only launching this vaccination drive because it got the first 1 million shots from Johnson & Johnson from the U.S. government through COVAX, that is the World Health Organization Alliance, to get vaccines to low and middle income countries. But Tanzania has come full circle like you mentioned from COVID denial to now launching a vaccination drive. Tanzania only joined COVAX in June and this first one minute shots only got to the country this past weekend.

In March, the Health Minister of Tanzania who's a medical doctor was promoting herbal remedies like lemon and ginger and steam baths as alternative methods to manage the virus which is completely debunked. If -- and the problem here for Tanzania, the reason why President Samia Suluhu Hassan needed to be vaccinated on national television is to reassure people who believe so much disinformation so many debunked theories that are spread not just in social media, but by religious and political leaders, that now the government has to really try and convince people that vaccines are safe, that their own scientists and health experts have looked into them and it is safe for people to get them because denial was the official policy in Tanzania for so long.

The former president John Pombe Maguuli who died of heart disease officially but some claim that of COVID-19, did not believe in vaccines and downplayed or completely denied the existence of COVID and that's why this country got here. So, for instance, Christine, some of the things people believe now is that COVID and vaccines are from the West depopulate to Africa or they could lead to infertility or even death.

ROMANS: Around the world. All of these conspiracy theories, you know, lemon and ginger and steam baths sound nice, not to make light of it, but it will not prevent coronavirus and we are in the midst of a global pandemic.

Larry, thank you so much for that. Keep us posted.

JARRETT: Well, baseball is back as an Olympic sport for the first time since 2008. But no one was inside the baseball park to see what was supposed to be a triumphant return to a part of Japan recovering from disaster.

CNN's Blake Essig is live in Fukushima near the stadium. Blake, good morning. BLAKE ESSIG, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Laura, good morning. Baseball has long had an on again off again relationship with the Summer Olympics. Since making its debut in 1904, Baseball has only been included 14 out of a possible 27 times including the games here in Japan.


The sport was last voted out in 2005 by the International Olympic Committee in part because the game's best players don't participate. But now after 13 years away, baseball is back.


ESSIG (voice-over): There's something about baseball in Japan that's just different. Here, it's less about the game and all about the people.

SHOTEN LIMURA, BASEBALL FAN (through translation): Baseball is people's life and passion. If there were no baseball, everyone would be depressed.

ESSIG (voice-over): Rooted in Japanese culture, the players on the field and the fans in the stands like Nibushi Emora (ph), each play an important role.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translation): Fans and spectators feel as if we are playing the game with the players together.

ESSIG (voice-over): And that's the kind of connection that can help sue the community in the wake of disaster. It's a role the Semipro Fukushima Red Hopes have played since 2014. One that continues today, although it looks a little different. The coronavirus has made things tricky as restrictions limit the number of fans and ultimately strain that connection.

(on-camera): The crack of the bat, beat of the drum and fans in the stands, this is baseball.

But when Japan and the Dominican Republic opened up play here at Zoom Stadium, the atmosphere looked, felt and sounded very different. That's because unless you were playing, this was about as close as you were going to get.

WATARU KOKUBUN, PITCHER FOR RED HOPES FUKUSHIMA (through translation): There's a huge difference between having no spectators and one. If there's even one person watching, it makes me want to play better.

ESSIG (voice-over): With COVID-19 cases rising, governor decided on no spectators at all Olympic events in the prefecture. Red Hopes Manager Akinori Iwamura says he understands but admits it's disappointing. He says an opportunity has been lost.

AKINORI IWAMURA, MANAGER FOR RED HOPES FUKUSHIMA (through translation): We genuinely wanted people from all over the world to come to Fukushima and see how great it is. ESSIG (voice-over): When the box scores for these games are logged, you'll see nine innings. You'll have final scores, winners and losers. But the traditional way to tabulate a game won't be able to show what's missing.

IWAMURA (through translation): This makes me sad, the Olympics aren't only for the athletes but also for the citizens of the country where they're held.

ESSIG (voice-over): So instead of filling the stands, the game's biggest supporters will be huddled around a TV when a team takes the field. Cheering from afar, even as the game takes place right here at home.


ESSIG: And Laura as you can see right behind me, the Zoom Stadium, the lights are out and the game is over with Japan beating the Dominican Republic in dramatic fashion scoring three runs in the bottom of a night. To win four to three as play begins. Team USA opens up play against Israel this Friday. Unfortunately, baseball's returned to the Olympics will be short lived as it won't be included when Paris hosts the games in 2024. But for fans, there is reason to be optimistic as baseball is likely to be back when Los Angeles hosts in 2028. Laura?

JARRETT: All right, Blake Essig, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

ROMANS: Well, it's Wednesday morning. Let's take a little bit a walk around the world. Let's look at markets. Let's look at Wall Street first here. Stock index futures narrowly mixed this morning here, not much direction at all. Stocks closed lower Tuesday snapping a five-day winning streak. The Dow closed down 85 points, the Nasdaq down about 1.2 percent lower before some big earnings in the tech sector after the closing bell. We'll tell you about that in a moment.

But the big event for today, the Federal Reserve's policy update 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time before remarks by the Fed Chief Jerome Powell at 2:30. The Fed is not expected to change its policy but investors are going to be listening for clues about the strength of the recovery especially as the Delta variant surges around the country. That has replaced inflation risks, honestly, as the biggest threat to the U.S. recovery.

iPhone sales racked up a record quarter for Apple. These are those tech earnings I was telling you about. A boffo numbers here from the big tech names. Second quarter revenue, $81 billion, driven by nearly 50 percent jump in iPhone sales. Apple execs said they expect slower growth in Q3 because of supply constraints.

Strong quarter for Google driven by a rebound in its advertising business, revenue jumped 62 percent from the second quarter last year driven by the Cloud business. Google CEO celebrated that recovery but reminded investors, the pandemic is an over and everyone. He encouraged everyone to get vaccinated.

In a sign of the tight job market, new perks for workers. America's largest retailer says it will pay 100 percent of college tuition for its workers at certain schools. Walmart now has 10 academic partners including the University of Arizona and Southern New Hampshire University, you can see them all there. It's also offering more degree options in fields like Business Administration, and cybersecurity.


Walmart has an incentive to expand the program when executives and employees who participate are twice as likely to get promoted.

JARRETT: That's interesting.

ROMANS: It's about attracting, retraining -- retaining and promoting workers here, real investment (INAUDIBLE) for us.

JARRETT: And coming up with creative ways to do it.

ROMANS: That's right.

JARRETT: You know, a lot of places had done that before and then scale back and now you see they're coming (ph) back.

ROMANS: Perks (ph) your back.

Thanks for joining us. I'm Christine Romans.

JARRETT: Have a great Wednesday. I'm Laura Jarrett. "New Day" is next.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: I'm John Berman alongside Brianna Keilar. Good morning to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. It is Wednesday, July 28th. The breaking news this morning, Simone Biles, perhaps, the greatest gymnast of all time, and maybe the best athlete on Earth right now, announced moments ago that she will not compete in tomorrow's all around gymnastics competition for Team USA at the Olympics.