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Callahan Walsh is Interviewed about the Petito Case; Henry Ting is Interviewed about Delta Imposing Surcharges; Harry Enten's New Podcast; Don Lemon Shares his "Champion for Change." Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired September 22, 2021 - 08:30   ET



REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA): You know, it's been a great pleasure to work across the caucus with some of the people in the most venerable districts who really do chafe sometimes when they hear it being described as moderates don't want the bill, because they're with us. And, as I said, it's just a very small number of people that are still holding out.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Congresswoman, thank you so much for being so generous with your time at this very consequential moment for the Biden agenda. We really appreciate you.

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal.

JAYAPAL: Thank you, Brianna.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: You know, it's interesting, you've covered Capitol Hill for years and I've covered Capitol Hill and stuff going on in Washington for years and you feel like you've seen every story before, you sort of know how it's going to play out, I have no idea. I have no idea how this is going to get resolved. I have never quite seen this type of impasse before. And I am curious to see if Joe Biden, the president of the United States, if the White House, today, can somehow thread this needle at this moment. I don't -- I'm not saying it can't happen or won't happen, I just don't see how it happens.

KEILAR: I also think that there are a lot of people in the House who say -- Democrats too who are -- I've spoken with them, Democrats who are resigned to this possibility that they lose the House of Representatives, you know, so that some of these folks who are in opposition to this bill, it's for not. I think that's how some Democrats feel. Look, this is the shot they have maybe to get through both of these, try to put pressure on the Senate to move along, maybe jam Joe Manchin a little bit there. But, you know, it's just -- it's so interesting to see how unbudging the progressives are, really both sides.

BERMAN: But, look, if you think you're going to lose the House, which is a perfectly reasonable expectation, historically based, wouldn't you then want to get everything passed that you can? Wouldn't you then want to try to get as much done as you can, as quickly as you can, not draw stuff out? They're taking real risks here.

KEILAR: Yes, and I think that's what we, in a way, some of those, like Pramila Jayapal, are saying, look, you may lose your seat anyways. What are you going to do with it while you have it?

BERMAN: Next, the Gabby Petito case is now a criminal investigation. Where is her fiance? Why wasn't he under surveillance before he disappeared?



KEILAR: Breaking overnight, a medical examiner confirming that the body found in a remote campground in Wyoming over the weekend is that of Gabby Petito. Her death ruled a homicide nearly a month after she disappeared on a cross country road trip with her fiance, Brian Laundrie. As a criminal investigation officially begins, he is missing and the FBI is asking the public for help.

You'll remember that Laundrie returned home from their trip alone on September 1st, and he lawyered up right away, would not cooperate with police.

Let's bring in Callahan Walsh, who co-hosts "In Pursuit with John Walsh," alongside his father, who continues his life-long mission of capturing fugitives and finding missing children.

Callahan, thank you so much for being with us this morning.

I just wonder, as we're looking at these new developments, there are huge questions about this investigation, like, how did Brian Laundrie, how was he allowed to get this head start?

CALLAHAN WALSH, CO-HOST, "IN PURSUIT WITH JOHN WALSH" ON ID: Yes, and, you know, a lot of these questions are slowly being answered, you know, with the autopsy coming out and confirmation of Gabby's remains. There's fewer and fewer scenarios where Brian is innocent. And the fact that he remains on the run is proving the fact that, you know, his innocence isn't really there. It's really falling apart.

You know, why he wasn't surveilled as much, I think it really has to deal with law enforcement's inability because of how many states that these crimes have crossed, right? I mean her body was found in Wyoming. This is likely where the murder occurred. But he's down in Florida. And so, right now, it really is trying to get the right evidence to make sure that the charges that they're going to bring against Brian stick. And I think that's why he's still a person of interest at this point. But once they get him, those charges will change.

KEILAR: There is this question, why didn't Florida law enforcement, why weren't they move aggressive about this? I mean this is potentially -- a missing person, potentially a murder case, at the point before we realized that there was her body discovered. How do we know, Callahan, that Brian Laundrie is definitely in this

nature reserve? How do authorities, law enforcement, know for sure that he didn't flee elsewhere?

WALSH: Well, they're taking a second look at that. And they're not exactly sure that he hasn't fled elsewhere. I mean there has been some evidence that's popped up. You know, we've seen an incredible amount of these Internet sleuths and armchair detectives digging up tons and tons of additional information, some of that pointing to places outside of Florida where he may be.

However, law enforcement is searching that wildlife preserve as we speak. That was the last place that we know him to be. They did an initial search, but, of course, you know, they can pull out more resources, dogs, helicopters, you know, of the sort and many more volunteers as well, other agencies.

And so, you know, hindsight's always 2020. And I think without a body and without much information in those early stages, law enforcement didn't have much to go on to order surveillance on Brian Laundrie. That has quickly changed and all eyes are on him now.

KEILAR: Yes, they certainly are. This story continues.

Callahan Walsh, thank you for being with us.

WALSH: Thank you for having me.

BERMAN: So, Delta Air Lines has announced a new plan to get more of its employees vaccinated. Starting on November 1st, employees who choose to remain unvaccinated will see a $200 surcharge on their Delta-based healthcare plan every month.

Joining us now is Dr. Henry Ting. He's the chief health officer for Delta Air Lines.

Doctor, thank you so much for being with us.

Since you announced this plan, what's happened to your vaccination rate? Has it increased vaccinations?

DR. HENRY TING, CHIEF HEALTH OFFICER, DELTA AIR LINES: John, thank you very much. It's a pleasure to be here with you this morning.

Yes, let's not forget the sight -- lose sight of how we got here. And since the beginning of the pandemic, Delta Air Lines has strived to put our people, our employees and our customers first.

So with the availability of vaccines back in early March, we made vaccines available at all of our locations, 13 different locations, so that our employees can easily themselves go, as well as their friends and families, to get vaccinated.


And that got us to about a 70 percent vaccination rate by June. This next thing we implemented was a financial incentive, a lottery,

where we gave away over a million dollars in cash prizes to our employees who are vaccinated, and that got us to about a 74 percent vaccination rate.

We realized that this last group of 26 percent of employees who are yet to be vaccinated were quite different than the first 55,000. And we strived to meet them where they are and move them with us. So with the announcement of the $200 monthly surcharge, effective November 1st, we have really seen significant engagement and connection with our employees. Many more questions and people have gotten off the fence.


TING: So, in the last three weeks, since the announcement, our vaccination rates have gone from 74 percent to 82 percent.

BERMAN: How many --

TING: That's nearly a third of the remaining 20,000 unvaccinated employees.

BERMAN: How many -- how many unvaccinated employees do you have?

TING: So before the surcharge, the $200 surcharge, we had 26 percent of our employees who were unvaccinated. That's 20,000 people. Since the announcement, a full --

BERMAN: That's a lot of people.

TING: Yes. Since the announcement, a full third have opted to get the vaccine, moving our total vaccination rate, John, from 74 percent to 82 percent. And it's growing every single day, John.

BERMAN: So, what, it's like 18,000 people -- 18,000 Delta employees still unvaccinated?

TING: Thirteen thousand, John.

BERMAN: OK, 13,000.

Why not require it? I mean why should I, as a passenger, feel safer flying on Delta where you don't require your employees to be vaccinated, whereas United does? I mean 10,000 employees, that's still a lot of -- a lot of Delta employees who aren't vaccinated.

TING: Yes. Yes, that's a great question, John. And I can tell you that we know how to keep our employees and our customers safe. Since the beginning of the pandemic, many of our employees have continued to work, right? They never could work remotely.

Since June of 2021, we have opened our campuses where 100 percent of our workforce is now back on campus. So with our measures for masking and testing and continuing to advocate and educate on vaccinations, we've had practically no spread of infection at the workplace and no outbreaks.

And with regards to airports and airplanes for passengers, we know how to keep that safe as well. You know, you've heard about the air exchanges and air filtration and the masking mandate on the plane, but we, with colleagues at the Mayo Clinic and Emory, recently published a real world study of 10,000 passengers flying from the U.S. to Europe during the height of the pandemic, from December to February, where case rates were very, very high. What we were able to show there was with a single test at 72 hours preflight, that the risk of someone infected or infectious getting on the plane was five in 10,000, five in 10,000. And with the safety protocols on board, including masking, the risk of actual transmission of infection or spread of infection was five in 10 million. So that was the first pilot of international travel that allowed passengers with a single test to travel to Italy and the Netherlands without the need of a quarantine during the surge in December and January, John.

BERMAN: Dr. Ting, I appreciate you being with us. Thank you very much.

TING: Thank you, John.

BERMAN: Breaking news at the border. Homeland Security is releasing some Haitian migrants into the United States despite repeated claims that they would immediately be expelled from the U.S. CNN is live at the border, ahead.

KEILAR: And scary, but true. Why a lot of Americans today actually believe in ghosts. Not just my three-year-old.



BERMAN: The heavens have spoken and Harry Enten has a new podcast. He joins us now. CNN's senior data reporter Harry Enten is here.

You've got a podcast, finally! I've been asking for this.

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: Look at this. And there's me, you know, me and me right here.

Look, I got a new podcast. It's "Margins of Error." It's a break from the headlines. So, if you're tired of all the sad news, this one is going to be a fun journey with learning along the way. My mom may even make an appearance on there, that should be fun. And the first episode, John, the first episode is on this. It's on ghosts. Do you believe in ghosts? Look at that. Now 46 percent of Americans believe in ghosts. That's up four-fold from the end of the 1970s.

BERMAN: I don't know whether to be excited about this or terrified by that.

ENTEN: I -- look, I don't know which you should be. But I should just say, what's going to be fun about this podcast is we're going to sort of explore why these trends are occurring, right? So, it might be the fact that, you know, look, only 56 percent of Americans now believe in the God as described by the Bible. But, look, there's this 33 percent of Americans who believe in other higher power spiritual force. So people may not be believing in God as much, but they want to believe in something.

BERMAN: I don't believe in Beatles, I just believe in me.

What other trends are you seeing and what might explain this rise of people who believe in ghosts?

ENTEN: It could be that people are lonely. And we know that more people who are lonely -- people who are lonely are more likely to believe in ghosts. And look at this, fewer than five close friends. Sixty percent of Americans say they have fewer than five close friends. That's nearly double where we were in 1990 when it was just at 35 percent.

But, you know, the thing that I think is just so fun, it could also be that "Ghostbusters" came out in the mid-80s. Ghost hunting shows have been very big in the last 40 years, starting really around 2000. So I think it's a cultural phenomenon. It's a religious phenomenon. But this is what we're going to be doing on the podcast, is we're going to be exploring all of these and help explain trends that we're seeing in real time.

BERMAN: Who you going to call, Harry?

ENTEN: I'm going to call the ghostbusters.

BERMAN: Harry Enten, thank you very much.


ENTEN: Oooooo.


BERMAN: And after ghosts, Harry will be covering --

ENTEN: Whooooo.

BERMAN: (INAUDIBLE) rule for dating, daylight saving time, with no s there, which is my favorite debate ever, separate beds, phone anxiety and his uncle, Neil Sedaka. That is for real. His uncle is Neil Sedaka.

And you can get "Margins of Error" on Apple, Stitcher or any podcast app of your choice.

Harry, thank you.

ENTEN: I worked really hard. Please, give it at least a little go.

BERMAN: So we had Harry now. Don Lemon joins us live, next.





KEILAR: All this week in a special series that we're calling "Champions for Change," we are spotlighting everyday people who don't make the headlines, but they still smash barriers and they lift humanity up.

This morning it is Don Lemon's champion and his team of synchronized swimmers. Don had a chance to hit the pool with Coach Oliver Foote and the Harlem Honeys and Bears as they make waves for the young and old.


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR, "DON LEMON TONIGHT": You're going to help me teach them, right?


LEMON: Coach Foote inspires me to get back in touch with what I love, which is swimming and teaching people how to swim.

Water is my happy place. If I didn't have it, I would probably not be very healthy mentally and emotionally.

Tell me about Harlem Honeys and Bears.

FOOTE: Harlem Honeys and Bears is a synchronized swim team.

LEMON: For seniors.

FOOTE: For seniors.

In 1975, there were only women on the team. And they said they would call themselves Honeys. But then after a few years, the men decided that they wanted to join the team, and they decided they wanted to be the Bears. So now we got the Honey and Bears.

We do synchronized swimming and competitive swimming. Some are on walkers, some of them have canes. But what they enjoy most is once they get in the water, they feel free.

I've been the coach since 1995. That's a little better than 25 years.


FOOTE: My oldest swimmer now is 99 years old.

LETTICE GRAHAM, SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMER: Believe it or not, I learned to swim at age 64.

Mr. Foote, he's the best coach in the world. He has a lot of patience. Because anyone who deals with seniors, that we think we know everything anyway -- FOOTE: You got to get out the way. You're taking too long.

LEMON: Do you have a reputation?

FOOTE: Yes. I have a reputation of being too hard. But it's all in love.

You're taking too long and it's too much conversation.

Some of my seniors sometimes, they say, well, coach, you know, we're 80 years old. I said, you are as old as you feel. Because one of the words that I'll never want to hear on my team is, I can't. And one of the things that I like about the team is they motivate one another.


LEMON: Now, and for the next generation, the Harlem Honeys and Bears teach children and teens water safety skills through their youth Learn to Swim Program.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On three. One, two, three.

LEMON: Coach, it's important for all kids to learn how to swim. But why is it so important do you think for black kids to learn how to swim?

FOOTE: Black kids drown twice as much as any other ethnic group. They didn't have the opportunity.

LEMON: They got rid of the community pool because they didn't want the races mixing. They'd fill the pool either with concrete or with dirt where I grew up because they didn't want people mixing. And that's one reason why a lot of black kids didn't learn how to swim in the '50s and '60s.

FOOTE: Right, because the only thing they were able to do was play in the fire hydrants, you know. And then sometimes they would sneak into the pools late at night and that's how all kids started drowning.

LEMON: Whenever I hear that people can't swim, it makes me sad and it also infuriates me because I know somewhere along the way that they didn't have someone like Coach Foote who took them under their wing to teach them how to swim.

And I immediately want to get in the pool with them and teach them. Probably around 13 years old I became a lifeguard. I helped my sisters, who are older than me, to swim. I helped them become better swimmers. I taught my nieces to swim in the backyard pool. Get in. And both of my great nephews.

FOOTE: All these things that I do for my seniors, and as well for the youth teams, are things that were taught to me. And I enjoy giving back the things that I've learned.

LEMON: Can you imagine doing anything else? FOOTE: I can't imagine doing anything else or being anywhere else than

with my seniors. And I just love them. I just love them. Those are my people. Those are my peeps, as you may say. Yes.



KEILAR: Don Lemon is with us now to talk about his "Champion for Change." That is, I mean, such a beautiful, beautiful story.

BERMAN: Wonderful.

LEMON: Thank you. Thank you.

KEILAR: And it's just amazing what he is doing, Coach Foote, for the young and for the old.

LEMON: For everybody.


LEMON: And it's important for everyone to learn how to swim. I know lots of people of all different ethnicities who don't know how to swim. But you heard what Coach Foote said, black kids especially and black people twice as likely to drown than any other ethnicity. And that's, you know, because of historical things. And, you know, many people didn't have swimming pools in their backyard. We were lucky enough to do that. So I'm glad that I got to learn how to swim when I was coming along, and my sisters came along, and we did it -- we did -- could -- didn't -- couldn't afford it. And then I helped my sisters and then my nieces and my great nephews.

And so, for me, water's my happy place. And I -- it's surprising and it's shocking to me when people can't swim.

John, you can't swim. I know that.

BERMAN: I'm a strong swimmer, as it turns out.


BERMAN: Listen, I could see it in your face during that entire piece.

LEMON: Yes. Yes.

BERMAN: Just how much joy it was bringing you personally.

LEMON: Yes. Yes. It -- I mean it's -- it's amazing. We -- and when kids -- when they -- because they're afraid, right, because you know, you have kids, they cling to you. They're like, oh, no, I don't want to go in -- I don't want to go in, I don't want to go in. And then once they start to get it, their faces light up.

Swimming changed my life. And when I became a lifeguard, I became like -- you know, I feel like I became a man and I became an adult and I had a sense of autonomy about me. If I could master that Olympic size pool at Southern University and Coach Hightower (ph), thank you very much for everything, and the high diving board and the high, you know, lifeguard chair that you would sit there and you'd have authority over the pool, it means a lot.

BERMAN: Do you have pictures? I kind of want to see Don on the chair with the zinc on his nose.

LEMON: In my speedo.

BERMAN: Yes, exactly.

KEILAR: For sure.

BERMAN: I didn't say the speedo.

LEMON: You know, it was like --

KEILAR: I want the -- I want the speedo.


LEMON: What is the name of that show from the '80s with --

BERMAN: "Baywatch."

LEMON: "Baywatch." Yes, that's --

BERMAN: I'm told. I don't know anything about "Baywatch."

LEMON: Yes, maybe. Yes, running along the pool.

Yes, John wanted to know, why are you wearing a swim shirt? I didn't want to show all the sexiness to the entire audience.

KEILAR: Right.

LEMON: I mean, you know, you know.

KEILAR: Too much for morning TV.

LEMON: Too much.

KEILAR: OK, so Coach Foote, I mean he seems kind of like a -- you know, he's tough, right?

LEMON: Task master (ph).

KEILAR: But he was saying to them, too much conversation.


KEILAR: Was that when -- was that when you were in the pool?

LEMON: Yes, but he wasn't saying it to me. But you must be disciplined when you're learning how to swim and you're responsible for people's lives. People -- people can drown like that. And so it's important for him to keep tabs on people, to keep them in line and to watch everyone. And so usually that's why -- you know, I'm wearing a swim shirt or whatever. But usually when you're teaching people to swim, the last part is getting in the pool with them. You want to be able to stand over them and to be able to watch to make sure that people are OK. You don't want to be in the pool, because you don't have a good view.


BERMAN: You know, CNN synchronized swimming team. Let's do it. Shining members right here.

LEMON: I'm totally in.

KEILAR: Right here.

LEMON: What do we call it?

BERMAN: God help us. That's what we call it.

LEMON: Lord have mercy.

BERMAN: Don Lemon, thank you very much. It was a wonderful story.

LEMON: Thank you very much. Good to see you both.


BERMAN: We're going to continue to share these inspirational stories all week. And be sure to tune in Saturday at 8:00 p.m. Eastern for "Champions for Change," the one hour special.

CNN's coverage continues right now.