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Poll: More Unvaccinated Fear Shot More Than COVID; Lawmakers Fear For Their Safety As They Head To Home Districts; One Of Gov. Cuomo's Accusers Files Criminal Complaint. Aired 12:30-1p ET

Aired August 06, 2021 - 12:30   ET



JOHN KING, CNN HOST: You also talk about, my word not yours I believe, information desert. So there are people out there who just aren't getting access to quality information, describe that group. And then how do you get them what they need to get over the Hill.

DR. RHEA BOYD, PEDIATRICIAN AND PUBLIC HEALTH ADVOCATE: So we've long had some information deserts or barriers for certain folks to have access to credible information about their health, and healthcare options. And so what we've been trying to do is to surmount some of those barriers by bringing the information directly to the people. So what we do is we host virtual, and by telephone, webinars and information session so people can just answer, ask their questions to health professionals in real time, so that if you have a question about your own health, or about the health of a family member, you can speak to a clinician over the phone or online really easily.

KING: And walk me through that process in the sense of have you figured out when you put people in touch with somebody, you know, follow up, take your information? What's the gateway, if you will, is there a piece of information or a way to deliver the information that seems more effective and getting someone who's hesitant, maybe worried about side effects to say, OK, I'll do it.

BOYD: You know, I think it really comes down to the number of times we reach out to people, and how specific people are able to get about their exact concerns. Again, most people are carrying actual real fears about COVID and the vaccines. And like you noted, to begin the segment, some people are more concerned about the vaccines than COVID itself, which speaks to the information that they need to hear about the dangers of COVID, and how safe the vaccines are. And so we try to make that clear, by creating spaces where people feel welcome by meeting in folks churches, by meeting in your community groups, or calling up folks alongside their neighbors so that you can hear the other people that you work with that you see at the grocery store, sharing your concern and having their concern answered.

And when we do it in those settings, people are more likely to be vulnerable. They're more likely to be honest about what they're concerned about, and more likely to be moved when we have an honest conversation about what we really know from the science. KING: Dr. Boyd, grateful for your time and some insights on this very important group, critical that we try to reach them and it's critical what you're doing every day as part of that effort. Appreciate it. Thank you.

BOYD: Thank you.

KING: Up next for us. Members of Congress say the toxic atmosphere here in Washington right now often follows them home. Some are raising significant security concerns.



KING: Mounting security threats are top of mind for many members of Congress now as they prepare to head home for the August recess, often far away from the immediate protection of the Capitol Police. So if members quote want and quote need security as New York's Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez puts it, quote, they literally have to fundraise for their own safety.

CNN's Ryan Nobles joins us now from Capitol Hill with more on this new reporting. Ryan, what are you learning?

RYAN NOBLES, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, there's no doubt that security concerns were heightened after what happened on January 6th, and that was here at the Capitol as a lot of these security flaws were exposed here in Washington, DC. But we're now learning about a much bigger problem for these members of Congress as they head back into their own district. And that's because you have 535 members of both the House and Senate. Each one has unique levels of security needs threats against them and exposure in their vast districts in some cases.

And what we've learned is that there isn't a kind of a global policy in place by Capitol Police to help protect them when they go back to their home districts. And a lot of members have told us that that they're very concerned about it as an example, you talk about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez perhaps one of the most high profile members of Congress, someone who is constantly attacked on social media. She said that it's absolutely a broken system.

And then you've got Adam Kinzinger, who is of course, just recently named as a member of the January 6th Select Committee, which puts him in an even more high profile position. He called the system archaic, and told us that it needs to be fixed. And then even more lower profile members of Congress like Representative Jeff Van Drew, who was a Democrat and then became a Republican, told me a story about how he was threatened. He and his wife were threatened in a local newspaper to the point where he had to call in the FBI.

So he said it's a situation where you just never know what is going to happen. And Capitol Police are to a certain degree frustrated by this, because it's so complex to try and find a way to solve this problem. For every single person they tried to address it in the security supplemental, they had $10 million in the House budget that was stripped out by the Senate. So right now, for the most part, John, most of these members are left to figure out their security situation for themselves.

KING: Ryan Nobles, fascinating new reporting. Appreciate your sharing it with us. Let's bring the conversation in the room. Lauren Fox has spent a ton of time as Ryan does up on Capitol Hill. This is Katie Porter, Democrat from California. Hard to feel safe Porter says after a town hall altercation erodes sense of security, punches were thrown at one of her town halls. How much more do you hear that worry now, if roll the tape back to pre-insurrection?

LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, I think that the insurrection had to have been a game changer for a lot of these members when they're back home. But I covered a lot of these town halls during the health care fight when Republicans were trying to rollback Obamacare and I remember how tense some of these meetings would get. And the security that they have in a lot of these town halls, I mean, it's minuscule they might have a local official there to kind of monitor things but that's not enough if somebody came in or wanted to do harm.


And I think these members even though sometimes they may not be doing as many town halls as they were because of COVID concerns, they're moving around their district. They're well known people, there at the grocery store. They're filling up their cars with gas. They are targets. They are public figures. And I think just that feeling of if an entire police force couldn't protect you on January 6th, and they tried, right, how do you feel safe when you're just by yourself, with your family, with your kids, with your husband back home in your own district even when you're so well known?

KING: That's the challenge. It's the challenge. And I want you to listen here. Our Josh Campbell, talked to the new Capitol Hill police chief recently, talking conceptually about we got to reimagine the entire force because of the new threat.


CHIEF TOM MANGER, U.S. CAPITOL POLICE: I'd be a fool to not be concerned about that. We're aware of that chatter out there. We're aware that there are still people who are, you know, talking about, you know, coming back.


KING: The challenge, the chief would say is, who does this? Do you create a giant intelligence unit within the Capitol Police that is tracking threats from district to district and state to state? Or does the Capitol Police focus on the building and this town and have relationships with outside law enforcement to figure that out? But there's no question you need to ramp it up? The challenge is how.

ZOLAN KANNO-YOUNGS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Definitely I mean, it wasn't too long ago that, just to make this clear, we're talking about the Capitol Police. That's Washington. It wasn't too long ago, the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI shortly after January 6th said that these threats, that the threat existed throughout the country, that militia groups, antigovernment groups, QAnon would continue to be emboldened by the events of January 6th to target politicians, public officials throughout the country.

And this was the issue leading up to January 6th as well, the security breakdown of different agencies in different jurisdictions communicating, so it's not just enough for the Capitol Police to bolster their efforts around Washington. The question here is how do you have a unified effort for law enforcement agencies throughout the country when members of Congress travel back to their home districts to maintain public safety.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: And this is something that has gone back to Gabby Giffords, who was shot through the head at a congressional event. And this conversation was being had then about, you know, beefing up security back home. And a lot of members have done that through their local law enforcement departments. But it's just not the same when there is this deluge of threats going on.

EDWARD-ISAAC DOVERE, STAFF WRITER, THE ATLANTIC: And the trick is the politics of this, right? Gabby Giffords was shot trying to meet her constituents, right, like it was at a supermarket, right? These members want to go home and be tethered to their districts and not be off in their own little bubbles. And they can't do it if they feel like somebody could show up with an assault rifle and kill them and their constituents or just start attacking them. The Katie Porter thing obviously didn't involve guns, but could have gotten dangerous. It's the cat does seem to be off after the riot in January, and people will do what they do.

KING: And it'll also doesn't help when the former President of the United States continues to tell the big lie that stokes some of the anger and violence to begin with.

DOVERE: Absolutely.

KING: It does not help. There are structural security questions, but they're also just, you know, keep throwing logs on the fire, you're asking for it. I want to come back. This is somewhat related to the security conversation, because among those who says she needs private securities, that woman you're going to be on State of the Union this Sunday, the new Congresswoman Cori Bush, she was a Democratic hero for most of the week, because she helped pressure the Biden White House through a sit in out on the Capitol steps to take action on the eviction ban. Then she gave an interview about it. And she said this.


REP. CORI BUSH (D-MO): I have had attempts on my life, and I have too much work to do. There are too many people that need help right now for me to allow that. So if I end up spending 200,000, if I spend 10 more dollars on it, you know what, I get to be here to do the work. So suck it up and defunding the police has to happen. We need to defund the police.


KING: She was talking about her need for private security and to raise money to pay for it. And then at the end, she put in a, you know, one of her positions, which is we need to defund the police, the rest of the Democratic Party, suddenly she went from hero to pariah, pretty much like that.

BASH: Right. Because this is the problem that so many Democrats have said very vocally with the label defund the police. And it is so easy for Republicans to attack Democrats about that because it belies what they're actually arguing for, which is to move some of the money that goes into law enforcement over to social services, but that's lost with the term defund the police with a lot of people.

And so you're exactly right that she's arguing about the fact that she needs more security just like we were talking about, but almost in the same breath saying defund the police. It's already Republican ad.

KING: It's a talking point. And so it'd be interesting we'll give her more time obviously to air it out on Sunday when she's on State of the Union, it'll be fascinating to watch that play out. I'm sure many Democrats will be watching as well.


Up next for us, a solid July jobs report more than 900,000, forgive me, new jobs, is the pandemic recovery at full steam or might the Delta variant ruin things?


KING: A banner day for the Biden economy, strong jobs report beat Wall Street estimates for the month of July. You see the numbers there. The country adding over 940,000 jobs, that's the most month to month since last August. Most of the gains coming in leisure and hospitality and in education, we also saw a big drop in the unemployment rate half of 1 percent down to 5.4 percent. Overall, both figures very welcome signs of recovery. But there are worries the Delta variant could ruin things.


With us now is Mark Zandi, he's the chief economist at Moody's Analytics. Mark, it's good to see you on this day. Again, as good as it gets. When you look at the numbers, I know that's your take. I just want to show our viewers. This is not a Labor Department statistic. This is the CDC map of COVID transmission right now. The President is happy today. You say things look as good as they can get today. How much of a risk is the Delta variant and all that community transmission to August and September?

MARK ZANDI, CHIEF ECONOMIST, MOODY'S ANALYTICS: Yes, it's a threat, John. You know, it hasn't shown up in the data yet. But if you look at, you know, kind of third party real time information, like the Google mobility or the number of people making reservations on OpenTable, or home base, which attracts hours worked at small companies, or doing some of the sentiment indexes, like surveys, daily surveys of consumers and businesses starting to show up and it's starting to show up in the places you would expect and parts of the country that are less vaccinated, you know, Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, Missouri, though the variant is spreads more broadly across the country, or if it, you know, starts to infect more of the vaccinated and people get nervous and started sheltering in place schools, don't go back to in person learning, and this will do some real damage. So this is a threat.

KING: If you listen to the President today, he says, number one, looking in the rearview mirror, the Biden plan deserves some credit for these good numbers. He says, looking out the windshield now give me that big infrastructure plan, and then give me what that, you know, what let's -- Senate ease is called the reconciliation bill, more of the Biden agenda, the climate money and additional money. The President says that will be the next step to continue jobs growth and economic growth. Republicans say no, that's going to set inflation on out to a rampage, who's right?

ZANDI: The President, the President has got it right. I mean, the looking through the -- I like the metaphor, by the way, but looking through the rearview mirror, the American rescue plan that was passed in March has really been very helpful support a lot of economic growth. And you can see it in the jobs data, you know, two months straight pretty close to a million jobs. That's again, that's about as good as you get. But looking forward, the support from the American rescue plan is past its peak and is starting to fade. And the economy needs more support. And I think the infrastructure plan that is being debated within Congress is a very good step forward for the economy.

And, you know, John, it's not only about the here, and now in the near term, that infrastructure plan is about things to make our businesses more competitive and our economy stronger in the longer run. So I think it's a good policy, it should be passed. And, you know, if you do the arithmetic, and I do this arithmetic all day long, it doesn't feel like it's going to add up to inflation to me, it adds up to a stronger economy.

KING: Mark Zandi, appreciate your time today. And we'll circle back when we get the August numbers and we watch, your point, about the Delta variant, especially the regional impact of it as we go. Appreciate your time, Mark, thank you.


Up next for us, one of the women who accused the New York Governor Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment has just filed a new criminal complaint.


KING: Topping our Political Radar today, some breaking news out of Albany. One of the women who accused the New York Governor Andrew Cuomo of groping her has now filed a criminal complaint against the Governor. CNN's Polo Sandoval is in Albany joins us live with the details. Polo, what are we learning?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John, this is a wildly -- hugely significant as it is the first criminal complaint that's been filed regarding sexual misconduct against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. So it certainly speaks to the potential criminal implications that the Governor may face here. Now according to multiple sources, from our sources -- from our colleagues, it seems that one of those 11 women actually met with sheriff's investigators here in Albany County just yesterday discussing her allegations with them then.

Now what's important here is that out of those 11 women, she's the one with perhaps some of the most serious and perhaps most recent allegations against the Governor claiming that she was grabbed and funded by the Governor at the executive mansion in November. Now Cuomo for his party has repeatedly denied all these allegations. But the rest of them here, even went as far as to yesterday actually attacked the Attorney General's report that was released earlier this week, saying that it purposely omitted some information that would have been perhaps favorable to his case. So ultimately, though, it's going to be interesting to see exactly what the Albany County Sheriff's Office will do now -- will do next since this now certainly raises the criminal stakes now for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

KING: It certainly does. Polo Sandoval, grateful for the live reporting there and that important story.

Also on our Radar today, round two about to begin in the Texas legislature's battle over voting rights. Remember, more than 50 State House Democrats fled to Washington back in early July to prevent any action in Austin on legislation that would enact voting restrictions. That was during a special legislative session.


CHRIS TURNER, (D-TX), CHAIRMAN, HOUSE DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS: Twenty-five days ago. We took bold action. We left the state of Texas to deny Texas Republicans the quorum they needed to pass the repressive anti voter legislation. The bill is entirely driven by Donald Trump's big lie.


KING: The clock though runs out on that first special session tonight, Governor Greg Abbott calling a second special session of the state legislature tomorrow at noon. And the governor says if necessary, there could be more to come.

Now for a little Friday fun a fashion flashback at the White House. The last hour, you see him there, President Biden walking out to deliver remarks in a tan suit, getting everyone to tweet about the exact same thing at the exact same time. Maybe you remember this moment, seven years ago when President Obama walked into the briefing room? Yes, dressed in tan, preparing fashion notes during a Friday. Have a little fun.

[13:00:10] Thanks for joining us in Inside Politics today. I hope you have a fun weekend. Please stay safe. Ana Cabrera picks up our coverage right now.