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New Day

Brady, Buccaneers Rally to Beat Cowboys in NFL Opener; Biden Unveils Sweeping Mandates, Patience is Wearing Thin; GOP Governors Threaten Battle over Biden's Vaccine Mandates. Aired 7-7:30a ET

Aired September 10, 2021 - 07:00   ET




JOHN BERMAN, CNN NEW DAY: Tom Brady leads the Super Bowl Champion Buccaneers to a fourth quarter comeback to beat the Cowboys in the NFL season opener. Andy Scholes with more from Tampa in today's Bleacher Report.

This has been our entire lives, Andy.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Yes. We have certainly seen this script play out before, John. But the NFL is back and here in Tampa, it was back to normal. A sellout crowd of more than 65,000 fans on hand to see the opener between the Bucs and Cowboys, no vaccine or mask required to entered the stadium last night. The Bucs fans certainly had a good time watching the team unveil their Super Bowl championship signs before kickoff.

Then it was time for 44-year-old Tom Brady to take the field for his 22nd season. In the second quarter, Brady's arm, showing no signs of age, a perfect 47-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Brown. Bucs led 21-16 at the half. Brady four touchdown passes in the game, two of them went to Gronk.

The Cowboys, though, didn't go away quietly in this one. Dak Prescott, his first game back since that devastating leg injury last since, was fantastic. Here, touchdown to Amari Cooper. Dak had four and three yards passing three touchdowns. Cowboys actually took the lead in the fourth quarter but they left too much time for Brady. He led the Bucs down the field in the final minute, Tampa to make a field goal in the final seconds to win the opener, 31-29.


TOM BRADY, TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS QUARTERBACK: We executed some really good plays at the right moment. And it was great to see. It's going to give us a lot of confidence.

ROB GRONKOWSKI, TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS TIGHT END: Oh, man, he just sees it all on the field. It was impressive. I mean, the guy has been playing for, you know, like 80 years, seen every defense, seen every player. (END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHOLES: Yes. And, John, it seems like for almost a decade now we have been saying is this finally the year that Brady is going to show his age? Apparently not in 2021.

BERMAN: Tom Brady led the Patriots to the first Super Bowl after September 11th, and here as we're about to celebrate the 20th anniversary of 9/11, Tom Brady begins yet another season.

SCHOLES: Still going strong.

BERMAN: Andy Scholes, thank you very much. New Day continues right now.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN NEW DAY: Welcome to our viewers here in the United States and around the world, it's Friday, September 10th.

And President Biden getting tough on the millions of unvaccinated Americans, delivering a blunt message that his and the nation's patience wearing thin. In his speech to the nation yesterday, the president announced strict new vaccine rules for as many as 100 million Americans. This includes federal workers, folks who work for larger companies, healthcare staff, all in a sweeping attempt to contain the latest surge of COVID-19.

He said that vaccinated America was growing frustrated with those who have not received shots and are fueling the spread of the virus. And you can just see it here, more than a third of adults in the U.S. are still not fully vaccinated, overwhelming hospitals in some states with patients who did not have to get sick.

BERMAN: President Biden also announced a major expansion of free testing with the focus on keeping schools open and kids safe. And he's calling for increased penalties in some places, like airplanes, for people who refuse to wear masks.


BERMAN (voice over): President Biden showing his frustration, sending this message to the nearly 80 million unvaccinated Americans.

JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: We've been patient but our patience is wearing thin. And your refusal has cost all of us.

BERMAN: The president once again called the crisis a pandemic of the unvaccinated.

BIDEN: Just don't take it from me, listen to the voices of unvaccinated Americans who are lying in hospital beds.

BERMAN: A message echoed by many in hospital beds across the nation infected by the virus without the vaccine.

RONNIE TERRELL, COVID-19 PATIENT: I just never got around to it. I've been healthy for 40 years and I hadn't had a cold in 40 years. BRENDA CARL, COVID-19 PATIENT: I think everybody ought to try to get it, yes. If it will help prevent you from getting really sick, you know, it's going to do its thing.

FRANCISCA: I feel bad.


FRANCISCA: Yes. Cannot breathe good. I have shortness of breath. I feel sorry about not getting the vaccine.

BERMAN: Now the president is turning to a new plan to fight the pandemic, announcing sweeping vaccine requirements for federal, large company and healthcare workers. Biden says all government employees must be vaccinated without the option to use weekly testing instead.

BIDEN: If you want to work with the federal government and do business with us, get vaccinated.

BERMAN: And the private sector, the president directed the Department of Labor to require all businesses with 100 or more employees to ensure their workers get vaccinated or tested once a week. Refusal to comply could result in fines of up to nearly $14,000, according to an administration official.

BIDEN: The bottom line, we're going to protect vaccinated workers from unvaccinated co-workers.


BERMAN: The plan also requires vaccinations for the 17 million healthcare workers at facilities funded by Medicare and Medicaid.

BIDEN: If you're seeking care at a health facility, you should be able to know that the people treating you are vaccinated.

BERMAN: The strategy from the White House steps to keep schools open and safe, expanding COVID-19 testing and mask requirements and allowing the TSA to double fines for passengers who refuse to wear masks.

BIDEN: If you break the rules, be prepared to pay. And by the way, show some respect.

BERMAN: The president slams Republican leaders who are slowing vaccination and pandemic safety efforts.

BIDEN: These governors won't help us beat the pandemic. I'll use my power as president to get them out of the way.

BERMAN: With more than 150,000 new daily coronavirus cases sending mostly the unvaccinated to the hospital, Dr. Anthony Fauci is reminding Americans there are tools to end the pandemic.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: I don't want to see people get sick. I don't want to see them get hospitalized. And I certainly don't want to see them die. But that's what's happening when you don't vaccinate to the full extent possible.


BERMAN (on camera): And joining us now CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Dr. Richard Besser, the former acting director of the CDC and president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson foundation.

Sanjay, let's start with you. Big announcements from President Biden, some big moves from the Biden administration, what difference do you think it will make?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think these are big moves and necessary moves and sort of seeing what the authority of the federal government is in the middle of a pandemic like this.

So you mentioned the numbers overall. This is the action plan. Things like testing and masking and things like that sort of lower down on the list there I think would have a more immediate impact. When it comes to the vaccine mandates, I think you said about 100 million people potentially impacted by this. If you do the math right now, about a quarter of the country has eligible adults have not been vaccinated. So let's just say you apply those same numbers there, it would be about 25 million people maybe that might be affected by these mandates.

A lot of the people we're talking about may have been vaccinated and 25 percent or so that haven't would probably be most affected by this. So, it's not everybody. There's about 80 million people out there that are eligible and that are still not vaccinated. But this does go a long way.

I think the other issue is that we're in the middle of some really bad numbers here, as we've been talking about, 3.5 times the number of cases as compared to this time last year, twice as many deaths as this time last year. It's hard to believe. The vaccines take a little while to work. I mean, you get a shot and then you get another shot a few weeks later and then it takes a couple weeks after that. So a very important tool, but may not stop, you know, this current surge that we're having. Important for the long-term health of the country, but obviously we're in a tough spot right now.

KEILAR: You know, Dr. Besser, we had this heartbreaking and so informative report in the last hour from our Miguel Marquez. He went into a hospital in Hazard, Kentucky and he was interviewing people there, who -- really, they've rolled the dice, right? They may or may not survive COVID and you have people there with supplemental oxygen saying, get this shot.

We know that that kind of message does resonate with Americans. Is that what is going to have people saying, look, I'm going to go get a vaccine, or is it the mandate or is it both? What do you think? DR. RICHARD BESSER, FORMER ACTING DIRECTOR, CENTERS FOR DISEASES CONTROL AND PREVENTION: I think that is absolutely heartbreaking. And it goes beyond our ability to take care of people who have COVID and the message that this vaccine will help save so many lives from COVID. It goes to the need for our hospitals to be able to take care of everyone who has any healthcare problem. And when you see hospitals around the country being so overfilled, when you see children's hospitals being packed to capacity, it says to me that we need to do more. And the measures that the president announced will help.

You know, Sanjay is saying they're not going to be magic. It's not going to end this immediately. It's not going to take effect and show the promise of what it could do immediately. But it does say that we need to do more. We need to be more aggressive. It's moved me away from a belief that you really want to capture people's hearts and minds on this, to saying we need to put in more requirements, we need to look at schools. One thing that wasn't included here was any call for requirements for children 12 and older to be vaccinated in order to go to school. These are things we need to think about because one's decision to vaccinate is not just a personal decision. It has impacts on the entire community.

BERMAN: The Biden administration is applauding decisions amongst school districts like L.A. County to institute vaccine requirements, but they're not actually doing it in any kind of federal level.


Sanjay, I think what's getting the most attention and certainly the most outrage, whether real or not from some Republicans, is the call on private companies with more than 100 employees to either require vaccinations or weekly testing. In fact, the only mandate is weekly testing, right? The way to get out of the weekly testing is to get vaccinated for these companies. With the opt-out, does that, in some way, lessen the impact?

GUPTA: I think it does. I mean, this is one of those things, I think, often get comingled, this idea that get vaccinated or get tested regularly. I think it's pretty clear to most people right now one preventing the infection and illness and the other is diagnosing it. So it's a different sort of thing.

And, you know, I talked to Dr. Fauci about this last night. I asked him specifically why not just say the vaccines are mandatory for that population of people as well as opposed to this off ramp. Listen to what he said.


FAUCI: There are some people who really don't want to get vaccinated but they don't want to lose their job. You have got to give them an off-lane. And the off-lane is if you get tested frequently enough and find out you're positive, you won't come to work and you won't infect other people. So it really is somewhat of a compromise there. Myself, I would make it just vaccinate or not. But he was trying to be moderate in what his pronouncement was. (END VIDEO CLIP)

GUPTA: Sort of the collision of what the science shows and what should be done, which Dr. Fauci is talking about, the vaccine mandate would be the most important thing, but the collision of that with what you can get done, I think, is what Dr. Fauci is saying.

So, for now, there is that off-ramp and I think it's still helpful. I mean, these tests can be very good at determining not only does one carry the virus but are they contagious if you use this the right way and people use the tracing and isolation and all that stuff that we talked about since the beginning of this pandemic, it can make a difference.

But, again, we're in a tough spot. I mean, the numbers may come down over the next few weeks, as we have seen in other countries around the world. But we're in a tough spot right now. And, the vaccines will be good for the long-term health of the country.

KEILAR: Yes. It's also fascinating. We have seen some companies say if you're unvaccinated and you get COVID, we're not paying for your leave, but if you're vaccinated and you get COVID, we will. So we'll see what else they're going come to up with.

Sanjay and Richard, we have more ahead with you, so, standby for us.

We do want to show our viewers a potential model for the U.S. when it comes to fighting skepticism about vaccines.

In France, proof of vaccination is now required across the country. President Macron launched the health pass at the start of summer as cases started rising again. And this was a move you may recall that led to weeks of these large-scale protests, but would this work in the U.S.?

CNN's Melissa Bell is live for us in Paris with more. This is -- is this a case study? That's the question, Melissa.

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, Brianna, you guys have been talking this morning about that sense of frustration that you heard last night from Joe Biden, and that's something that we heard a couple of months ago from the French president as well. He too was coming up against that wall of vaccine hesitancy and he knew that he needed to overcome it, so a far more aggressive strategy for trying to convince people to get vaccinated.

And I think what it has shown, Brianna, is that whilst there may be a hard core of people who will never get vaccinated, the vast majority of the hesitant can actually be convinced.


BELL (voice over): It was the push back in July that made all the difference. EMMANUEL MACRON, FRENCH PRESIDENT: We were extending the use of the health pass to push as many of you as possible to go and get vaccinated.

BELL: Within 24 hours, almost a million appointments had been booked. With the health pass, which shows whether you've been vaccinated or have had a PCR test within 72 hours, suddenly needed to enter restaurants, museums, cafes and bars and now extended to employees of any business that serves the public.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They say you have the choice but you don't really. It's either you get vaccinated or you pay for your test. So, is it really a choice?

BELL: Anais (ph) says she wasn't going to get vaccinated, like 60 percent of those polled during France's second lockdown in December.

For a long time, the United States was ahead of France in terms of the proportion of the population that had received at least one dose. Then in July, Macron took a gamble just as vaccination centers were emptying, as vaccine hesitancy kicked in and French hospitals were being overrun by the delta variant.

BRUNO CAUTRES, POLITICAL SCIENTIST, SCIENCES PO: Took the risk to say I will make the life of the unvaccinated very difficult, which is a very, very, very dangerous statement.

BELL: Protests followed. One of the biggest came on July 31st, just a couple of weeks after Macron made his speech.


Across France, 204,000 people took to the streets, according to the interior ministry. But full of the noise that very same day number of people were quietly getting an injection. The reason says this French lawmaker that most people understood that the alternative was yet another lockdown.

It was saying to the French, she says, that if you're vaccinated you can live like you used to. This health pass will give you your freedom back. Now, France has one of the best vaccination rates in the world, over 62 percent. And despite the spread of the delta variant, hospital admissions have gone down.

CATHERINE HILL, EPIDEMIOLOGIST: The delta variant goes faster but enough people are vaccinated to sort balance between being more contagious and meeting more people who are immunized.

BELL: Macron's gamble depended on his being able to act at a national level, with strong executive powers and solid parliamentary majority none of which Joe Biden has on his side. But the French model does show that with some encouragement, even the vaccine hesitant can be convinced that in the extraordinary circumstances of a pandemic, individual liberties must end where collective responsibility begins.

(END VIDEOTAPE) BELL (on camera): Brianna, Emmanuel Macron had at his disposal a bunch of tools, as you just heard, that Joe Biden doesn't. But what it does show is that that little push can make all the difference, Brianna.

KEILAR: Yes. As your first person in that story said, is it really a choice? Melissa Bell, thank you so much, live for us in Paris.

BERMAN: Back with us now, Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Dr. Richard Besser.

Rich, it's interesting because you alluded to this before, and I want you to talk about it more, about your own personal evolution here as someone deep into the public health sector, you went from thinking and hoping that education on vaccines would do the trick. But now --

BESSER: Yes --

BERMAN: Now you think there needs to be more. You're seeing it in France. You think there needs to be more than just telling people and explaining to people why it's beneficial.

BESSER: I do. And I don't think we should give up on trying to meet people where they are, understanding their concerns and addressing those. But it's clear that the declines that we were seeing at the end of June, the beginning of July, the hope that we were going to come into a fall and see very low levels that would allow us to get back to our lives, that hasn't happened. And it hasn't happened largely because of the new variant, the delta variant, that is so widely transmissible.

And to me, that's a game changer. It's saying to me if we want to get back to our lives, if we want to get our economy going, if we want to keep children in school learning, which is where they should be, we need to increase the number of people who are vaccinated.

And as a pediatrician, I've experienced this big time in terms of school vaccine mandates with where I have a lot of patients, a lot of parents who may have concern about vaccine, but those concerns are not outweighed by their desire to have their kids in school learning. And I think what we're hearing, seeing in France, ensuring that people who are in society fully, are vaccinated can have a big impact.

And so when we're hearing the president yesterday calling on vaccine requirements for large gatherings, for arenas, for people coming together, in order to do that and do it effectively, you don't want someone with a flashlight looking at a vaccine card. You want to have something that's going to be easy and something like that vaccine passport is a good approach to make it plausible for people to restrict entry of people who aren't vaccinated.

KEILAR: Yes. I mean, I would take someone with a flashlight looking at vaccine cards, because I don't see it ever. We had Michael Smerconish, Sanjay, on yesterday when we were talking about how -- when we got our vaccine cards, I didn't laminate mine, still haven't, I thought I should have because I thought I would show it places, and I'd only had to show it a couple places, once at my kid's school to get in, once here at work. And I just wonder if you think that should be more widespread and if you should have to do that to get on, say, a plane or a train to travel.

GUPTA: Well, you know, first question, you know, just about the idea of having some sort of national system, like a passport of sorts, yes. I think that's really important. I got my card here. It's kind of amazing to me that all this talk that we're having revolves around something that looks like this and people don't always carry it with them. They're hardly ever asked to show it, as you point out. It's kind of remarkable.

And right away, the Biden administration basically said we're not going to create a federal sort of database. We're not going to create a passport. This is what they said several months ago. There's still no sort of federal data base or passport, not yet. I think that's a problem. I think people have a hard time sort of navigating that whole system.


I think that -- I can't remember -- what was the second part of your question? Apologies.

KEILAR: For planes, for planes and trains. Because you can just -- I'll be honest, I was on a train yesterday for work and I'm sitting there with 40 of my closest friends going, hello, who is who?

GUPTA: No, I know. It's very interesting. We've looked a lot at the whole aviation just interstate travel as well in terms of these mandates. And what we hear is basically there hasn't been real significant spread within airline travel, and that's true. I mean, I think because of the filtration, because of the mask requirements and all that, it does make a difference.

But, I think the flipside of it is that this is another carrot, potentially, another tool to get people vaccinated. If you want to fly, you have to be vaccinated. They weren't ready to make that jump yet as part of the six-point plan that was rolled out yesterday. But I think that will be another thing that would make a difference. Planes and trains, anything with interstate travel, if we're trying to just dramatically increase the number of people vaccinated as quickly as possible, that would be another important tool.

BERMAN: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Dr. Richard Besser, great to have you on this morning. Thank you guys both so much.

BESSER: Thank you.

GUPTA: Thank you.

BERMAN: So, Republican governors threatening legal action and some Republican candidates calling for basically an uprising.

KEILAR: And as his predecessors and successor attend 9/11 ceremonies, Donald Trump will be calling a pay per view boxing match.



BERMAN: Some Republican governors are already blasting the president's new COVID attack plan, one even calling the president a dictator.


GOV. DOUG DUCEY (R-AZ): What the Biden administration is doing government overreach, pure and simple. And people don't want them hammering down on them to get this vaccine. How many businesses are going to lose employees? How many schools are going to be shut down? How many of these companies are going to be fined?


BERMAN: That's Republican Governor Doug Ducey of Arizona. That's nothing compared to J.D. Vance, Ohio's Senate candidate, said. He said do not comply with the mandates. Do not pay the government fines. Don't allow yourself to be bullied and controlled. Only mass civil disobedience will save us from Joe Biden's naked authoritarianism, mass civil disobedience.

You can see him right there. David Gregory joins us now, CNN Political Analyst.

So, David, J.D. Vance is calling for mass civil disobedience. The only requirement for private companies is weekly testing. So, he's basically saying that he wants the right to walk into companies untested.

DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: You know, I think that the Biden administration knew they were going to face this, right? That's why they waited arguably too long to push this hard to get mandates to really push and prod. And, by the way, a lot of companies already did this. They complied way back when there was an initial urging to do this.

The irony of all this because we're in the political sphere and it's silliness, I mean, I would love to talk to J.D. Vance. Maybe he could talk about why he felt President Trump, his guy now, he wasn't his guy before, but it's his guy now, launched an unprecedented, highly successful and laudable effort to get a vaccine in the first place? Oh, yes, then he took the vaccine.

The only thing President Trump didn't do and maybe if we had called it the Trump vaccine to appeal to his ego, which I think would have been a good idea, he hasn't been out there proselytizing about taking the vaccine, but he did everything else, including bringing it to us. And yet the Duceys and J.D. Vance's are just -- it's just craven politics, saying we're not going to be dictated to.

KEILAR: I do want to ask you as we're here on the eve of the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and you look at the travel schedules of politicians and President Biden, he's going this evening ahead of tomorrow's ceremony in Lower Manhattan to mark the 20th anniversary there, he's going to New York. And this is what the former president, this is what he's doing. He's spending tomorrow night on pay per view calling a boxing match in Florida.

I mean, I know like the muscle gets burned out for outrage with ridiculous things that Trump does. I guess it's -- he's a New Yorker.


KEILAR: It's just seems rather odd.

GREGORY: I'm shocked that Donald Trump's behavior.

KEILAR: You're so shocked at Donald Trump's behavior.

GREGORY: Well, I mean, look, I don't think he deserve a lot of time. I didn't say -- I've always felt that Donald Trump really didn't care about the institution of the presidency. To him being president, running the Ms. America pageant or calling a boxing match, is really all the same thing, and that's what's been so unfortunate about his time in office.

BERMAN: David, on September 11th, you were traveling with President Bush in Florida. You were there that day. I was reading some of your thoughts on September 11th and what's happened in the 20 years since. And what I find so interesting and I think you hit on is we have such a knee jerk tendency to say, that was the moment when the whole country came together, which is true for a second, right? But I think you point out that over time it was also the beginning of some divisions that really still stand.

GREGORY: Yes. I mean, we're just talking about Trump. I think that sense of vulnerability, the sense that we are under attack, that there's forces out there that are meant to hurt us, I think that came into sharp relief that day. And I think there's a through line between that and Donald Trump, where our politics kept evolving and degenerating to the point where a political force like Trump could say, this person is out to get you. This person will hurt our way of life. You know, watch out for the Mexicans and the immigrants and, of course, the Muslims and then the Chinese. All of that really began out of the ashes of 9/11.


And I think that there was just this hardening of our partisanship that emerged out of that time. I think it was building.