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Early Start with John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin

Social Security Will Not Have Money For Full Benefits By 2035; Utah Families Challenge Ban On Transgender Girls In School Sports; Harini Logan Wins 2022 Scripps National Spelling Bee After Spell-off. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired June 03, 2022 - 05:30   ET



CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: On disability than they previously thought.

There's also new estimates for Medicare -- the fund for Medicare Part A that covers inpatient hospital benefits. That can only pay full benefits until 2028. Medicare Parts B and D, covering doctors and prescription drugs -- that has enough money going forward, supported by premium payments.

Bottom line, the cost of both Social Security and Medicare is projected to grow faster -- much faster than the nation's economy. That's mostly because Americans are getting older and they need more benefits.

So far, Congress can't agree what to do about it. Lawmakers will have to raise revenues, cut costs, or a combination of both. Democrats tend to lean toward expanding; Republicans toward cutting -- trimming benefits, Laura.

LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: Why is this all coming to a head now?

ROMANS: Every year, the trustees have to look at the numbers and tell Congress look, here's how it stacks up. Here's what you're going to have to do. Here's where the shortfall could be.

Ironically, this is a little bit -- they've got a little bit more time until this X date because the economy has been doing so well. Tax receipts are coming in. So that's good news. But overall, the demographic -- the curve of that demographic still a challenge for Congress.

JARRETT: No longer a guarantee. All right, thank you.

Queen Elizabeth taking a break from her Jubilee. An update on her health just ahead for you. And a history-making spell-off. We'll tell you about the new queen bee.


[05:36:00] JARRETT: In Utah, the families of two teens are suing to challenge a state law banning transgender women and girls from participating in school sports. Utah, though, is not alone. Fifteen states have enacted similar laws targeting trans athletes, particularly trans girls.

I want to bring in Madeleine Carlisle, staff writer for Time magazine who has been doing a lot of reporting on this. Madeleine, so nice to have you up bright and early with us this morning.

You write that GOP lawmakers often try to claim that these bans are actually about protecting women and girls, but you note that there are vanishingly few examples nationwide of trans youth actually even trying to play sports at all. Separate facts from fiction here.

MADELEINE CARLISLE, STAFF WRITER, TIME (via Skype): Right. So, supporters of these bans say that they are not intended to discriminate against anyone. They're intended to keep women's athletics fair. However, like you noted, there are very few examples of trans athletes that are actually sports across the country right now. And those that are playing sports are actually already subject to local policies.

And so, critics of these bans say that makes these laws really a solution in search of a problem.

In Utah, for example, there are only four trans athletes who are playing high school-level sports when the state enacted its sports ban in March, and only one was playing girls' athletics. And so, viewed in that context, critics say such an expansive statewide ban is both unnecessary and can be very cruel.

JARRETT: Yes, and I want to talk about sort of what's driving that here given that's how miniscule the numbers are. But I think it's important to note that part of the backdrop here is really a question about what fair play means in the context of women's sports, especially with historically -- you know, women's sports have been sort of an afterthought at best and women have, for decades and decades, been trying to just compete with men and be taken seriously as athletes. That's the whole point of Title 9, right?

And so, you have this swimmer now, Lia Thomas, who has sort of become a lightning rod -- not that she wanted to be, but the poster child for issue. And she recently said to ESPN that she didn't transition for a competitive advantage; she did it to be happy.

What do you think is missing in this discussion?

CARLISLE: So, I think the thing to remember about Lia Thomas is she is already subject to the NCAA's guidelines. She was required to undergo at least a year of hormone suppression therapy before she started swimming this season. And the rule actually changed halfway through the season and now is going to be based on testosterone testing.

But regardless, advocates argue you can't hold up an example of an elite-level athlete like Lia Thomas and say it's the same thing as an 8-year-old trans girl who wants to play soccer with her friends.


CARLISLE: I spoke with one advocate who says the rules can't be the same for third-grade kickball as they are for sixth-grade lacrosse, as they are for varsity-level -- I don't know -- track.

And this advocate was saying that an expansive statewide ban that determines whether or not a trans girl can play sports solely based on her gender identity not only won't ensure fairness but also could have a really devastating mental health impact on a vulnerable group of kids that are already at a higher risk of suicidal ideation.

JARRETT: Yes. I think it's such a great point that kickball in second grade is not the same as playing at the college elite level.

So let's get down to it. Let's talk about the politics at play here.

You note that many Republicans have been able to capitalize on this issue, at least at the state level, and use these anti-trans sports bans and essentially just have them sail through state legislatures on the ground without really a peep from the corporate world, or at least not to the extent that you see on other LGBT issues or other issues affecting gender equality. We don't see a lot of strongly-worded statements on this.


CARLISLE: Yes, exactly. So, critics of these bans say that, like we've discussed, they are not being enacted because there is a surge of trans athletes dominating women's athletics. They're really political issues, plain and simple.

Republican strategists and conservative lawmakers realize that this is an issue that can reliably excite the Republican base and potentially woo potential swing voters and pull them into broader discussions about gender and transgender rights, which tend to serve Republicans electorally.

Now, the idea of a trans girl competing against a cis girl tends to trigger an emotional response in someone who has never met a trans person. Trans people today still have very, very little visibility, particularly trans young people.

And I spoke with one advocate who told me she thinks these bills are really proliferating because people view that the harm that they do to kids is very narrow. They view these bills are really only dealing with sports. But advocates argue that you need to view them as part of a much broader push against trans rights that we're seeing in state legislatures. Typically, in the advancement of legislation that chips away at the advancement in trans rights, a sports ban comes first.

In Alabama, for example, last year, the state banned trans girls from competing in women's athletics. This year, they've limited where trans people can use the bathroom, whether LGBTQ issues can be taught in school, and whether medical doctors can provide gender-affirming care to anyone under 19.

And so, critics say you really need to view this as a much larger push against trans issues and that's not how they're being framed right now.

JARRETT: Madeleine, really great reporting. Please come back soon. Thank you.

CARLISLE: Thanks so much for having me.

ROMANS: And what a great discussion.

All right. Critical new information on the health of the American jobs market in just hours. Why some economists are hoping for slower job growth.



ROMANS: All right, it is Friday, so let's get a check on CNN Business this morning to finish up the week.

Looking at markets around the world, Asian shares mixed. Europe has opened also mixed. And on Wall Street, stock index futures are leaning down a little bit.

Stocks rose Thursday. Let me say it again because I have not been able to say this in a long time. Stocks had a good day Thursday. A big rally for tech -- Microsoft, Nvidia, Tesla, and Facebook's parent company Meta. Consumer stocks also rebounded.

But the main event today is the May jobs report. That's due in less than three hours. Economists forecast -- this is the consensus -- 350,000 jobs added back last month. The jobless rate at 3.5%. That would be a new pandemic-era low despite soaring inflation, worries of a recession, and a new phase now in the pandemic economy.

I want to bring in Nela Richardson, chief economist at ADP, for a little discussion here.

Nela, we hear about these headwinds all the time in the American economy but -- I mean, I guess the bottom line is companies are still hungry to hire workers here, right?

NEILA RICHARDSON, CHIEF ECONOMIST, ADP (via Skype): That's right, and you can see that, Christine. First of all, good morning --

ROMANS: Good morning.

RICHARDSON: -- and happy Friday.

But you can see that in the latest numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The hiring rate is still strong. Layoffs and discharges are at serious highs. You can see it in the relatively low initial jobless claims. People are not looking to file for jobless claims at the same rate that they had been even before the pandemic.

So companies are holding onto their workers. There's a lot of reluctance to let people go in this tight labor market.

ROMANS: Yes. Mark Zandi, from Moody's, was on -- 24 hours ago was on this program. He told us that the job market is rip-roaring. Those were his words.

And he said we want to see job growth start to slow. That would actually be a healthy development for the new phase of the pandemic recovery. Do you agree?

RICHARDSON: I think when the recovery begins to mature it's very probable that we won't see half a million job increases every month. Remember, even last year, we were talking about the probability of a million jobs created every month.

As we get closer to that inflection point where we match the number of people in the labor force as there were before the pandemic the monthly gains will slow. So that's a characteristic of a maturing recovery and that's something that we should expect as job gains become more moderate and more normal like they were before the pandemic.

ROMANS: But the big flashing headline is still inflation. It's gas prices hitting records every -- pretty much every night now. And we've seen a sharpened focus from this White House on tackling inflation.

What is your feeling about where we are on the inflation front? Of course, a strong job market feeds into that with wage growth. Where are we on the inflation fight, Nela?

RICHARDSON: You know, inflation is the biggest hurdle. It's the biggest hurdle for the economy right now and it's affecting Main Street. It means that the wage increases that we've seen companies give to lure workers back to the labor market aren't holding muster with the state of the elevated crisis.

It also means that inflation is a one-time step up. Those prices aren't likely to go down. So even if inflation slows, Main Street is going to still be stuck with higher prices. So it is a thorn on the side of an otherwise fairly healthy labor market.

ROMANS: Yes, it's interesting. We heard Jamie Dimon from JPMorgan Chase this week talk about six to nine months of spending that consumers still have -- $2 trillion in COVID spending that's still in Americans' pockets. But they're spending that money on higher prices in many cases.

RICHARDSON: Right. Look, consumer resilience throughout this recovery has not only been remarkable, it's been economy-saving. Consumers continue to spend, boosted by the stimulus dollars that went directly to their pocketbooks.

[05:50:01] The question is going forward as we see the shift back into services as the economy opens up. There will be less goods spending, maybe less durables, and those big-ticket items spending like houses and cars. That shift to services might also be in conjunction with higher inflation for services. So we might see a slowdown in spending and that's what a lot of economists are watching right now.

ROMANS: Yes, it certainly has been a period for the history book -- no question.

Nela Richardson, thank you for charting it all through for us. Thanks, Nela. Have a nice weekend.

RICHARDSON: Thanks. You, too. Thank you.

JARRETT: I always enjoy --

ROMANS: I know.

JARRETT: -- listening to you two. I always learn something.

ROMANS: I love her.

JARRETT: Just ahead on "NEW DAY," brand-new CNN reporting on former Trump campaign manager Steve Bannon. And, oh yeah, that border wall that his old boss promised.



JARRETT: All right. The Celtics come through with an incredible comeback to beat the Warriors in game one of the NBA Finals.

Andy Scholes was there and has more in this morning's Bleacher Report from San Francisco -- bright and early, Andy.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, very early here in San Francisco, Laura. And I'll tell you what, I think all the fans that were here last night as just in shock from what they witnessed in game one. The Boston Celtics proving once again they're just one of the grittiest teams we've ever seen in NBA history.

Now, Steph Curry had an all-time great first quarter last night in game one. He hit an NBA Finals record six threes and poured in 21 points. It was the most points in a final's quarter since Michael Jordan back in 1993.

Now, the Celtics were down 12 entering the fourth quarter but that's when they just got red-hot. Derrick White and Al Horford hitting four threes in a row for Boston at one point. The 15-year veteran Horford just incredible in his first finals game, scoring 26 points.

The Celtics absolutely dominating the fourth quarter, outscoring the Warriors by 24. They win game one 120-108. And the Celtics, the first team in NBA history to win a finals game by double-digits after trailing by double-digits entering the fourth quarter.


MARCUS SMART, SCORED 18 POINTS IN GAME ONE WIN: We've been counted out all year, and rightfully so. We know we've had moments but we continue to fight. And that's who we are.

JAYLEN BROWN, SCORED 24 POINTS IN GAME ONE WIN: And we've battle- tested. We've been through a lot. We've been through a lot of experience, a lot of losses. So we know what it takes to win. It's an all-around collective effort every single night, and everybody did their job.


SCHOLES: Yes, and happy 36th birthday to Al Horford today. This was the first loss for the Warriors at home in this postseason. What a win for Boston. Teams that win game one go on to win the finals 71% of the time. Game two is going to be Sunday night.

All right, Stanley Cup Playoffs, meanwhile, continuing on TNT last night with game two of the Western Conference Finals between the Avalanche and the Oilers. After a scoreless first, Colorado's offense just exploding with three goals in just over two minutes, including this one by Josh Manson whose dad is an assistant coach for the Oilers. He must have had mixed emotions watching that.

Backup goalie Pavel Francouz coming up big, stopping all 24 shots he faced the day before his 32nd birthday.

Colorado wins 4-0 to take a 2-0 series lead.

All right, to Paris for the French Open where 18-year-old Coco Gauff is into her first Grand Slam final just days after celebrating her high school graduation. She handled Italy's Martina Trevisan in straight sets, meaning that she still hasn't dropped one during this tournament. She's now the youngest American woman to reach a major final since Serena Williams at the 1999 U.S. Open.

And after the match, Coco doing the signature camera autograph. But check out her message -- peace and end gun violence. And here's what she had to say about that afterwards.


COCO GAUFF, 18-YEAR-OLD AMERICAN TENNIS PLAYER: We definitely need some reform and some change to go on to control what's happening in the United States. And now that I'm 18 and of the age to vote, I've been really paying attention to what's going on so that when my time comes I can make the right decision.

And I also want to use this moment to encourage people my age to vote locally because those are the people that can really affect your community.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SCHOLES: Yes. And guys, Coco is going to take on world number one Iga Swiatek in the championship match tomorrow.

JARRETT: All right, Andy. Have fun out there. Get some rest.

Finally this morning, a fourth time is a charm for one incredible 14- year-old spelling champ.












UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Harini, you correctly spelled a total of 21 confirmed correct words.


JARRETT: Harini Logan edged out runner-up Vikram Raju in the first- ever spell-off at this year's Scripps National Spelling Bee. Each had 90 seconds to spell as many words as possible -- basically, my worst nightmare.

The new champ gets a trophy and $50,000. She is going to be a guest on "NEW DAY." Just incredible.

ROMANS: I couldn't spell any of those words, could you?


ROMANS: Nor do I know what they mean.