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Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Returns to Form; More "smash & grab" Mob Robberies, Apple, Nordstrom Stores Hit; At Least 27 Migrants Dead After Boat Sinks in English Channel; Success of "Game Changer" COVID Pills Depends on Rapid Testing. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired November 25, 2021 - 06:30   ET


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: -- we get to this report, Miguel, how many years in a row is this for you?

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I've done many years, 6, 7, 8 years. We didn't do anything last year because it was a tiny little parade. It wasn't even really a parade just basically a TV event. Two and a half million people along the parade route, two and a half miles that they all marched down through the streets of Manhattan. Tom Turkey is here. 28 floats, 15 balloons, 4 of them will be new balloons, 300 pounds of glitter and a cast of 1000s to bring this thing off. One in that cast is my little acorn here Frank Cuce, the first time as a balloon handler. What does it feel like? Why is important to be out here? What does it feel like to be?

FRANK CUCE, BALLOON HANDLER: You know, I think what it is for us as New Yorkers. It helps bring the city back, it helps bring the state back and helps bring the country back and I think it brings some joy to the people that are in it and the people that are watching it.

MARQUEZ: I got to say it feels emotional just being out here. I've covered this many years, it is fun to do. I've done nothing but COVID the last two years. I know the whole, the city, the country, the world, how does it feel to -- you'll be marching down the -- in this parade for the first time in your life, how does it feel to be doing this?

CUCE: Well, I think you hit the nail on the head. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to do something with my daughter, so it's a father, daughter day.

MARQUEZ: Oh, fantastic.

CUCE: So, we're going to be able to bond a little bit by doing this and we'll be able to tell our grandkids and her kids exactly what we did on this day and had a wonderful time.

MARQUEZ: I love it. Happy Thanksgiving.

CUCE: You have a great day.

MARQUEZ: Have a great time. CUCE: Thank you, my friend.

MARQUEZ: I really appreciate it.

That is the sensibility here along the parade route. Just walking up the parade route today as we were getting ready to position here. Everybody shouting Happy Thanksgiving. There's a real sense that the hell that we have been through in the last couple of years. This is maybe one small step toward feeling that new normal, whatever it is. John.

BERMAN: Yeah. I'll tell you, the people I talk to you, they say their favorite floater attraction isn't Baby Yoda or Snoopy, it's Miguel Marquez, it seeing you on the parade. That's why they're cheering. And I just have to ask, did you run it by Frank that it was OK for you to call him your little acorn?

MARQUEZ: I did, indeed. In fact, I was looking for somebody who was an acorn just so I could say, come here my little acorn. You know, it's that kind of day.

BERMAN: Miguel, Happy Thanksgiving to you. I'm so glad after the couple years that you've had covering what you've been covering with the pandemic, you were there for this celebration this morning. It makes it all that much more special for all of us. So, thank you.

MARQUEZ: And I am looking forward to Baby Yoda, Grogu. So yeah, I get that too. I'm very excited for that. And thank you guys. It's been crazy couple years. Happy Thanksgiving.

BERMAN: Happy Thanksgiving, Miguel.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I'm also looking forward to Baby Yoda. But while we wait on that, there are smash and grab robberies that are hitting the west coast in a big way. One happened just yesterday at an Apple store in the Bay Area where four suspects grabbed more than $20,000 worth of goods. Another happened in the Canoga Park area of Los Angeles where robbers assaulted, and pepper sprayed in Nordstrom security guard, made off with items including expensive purses, as you see the scene there. Several Best Buys have also been hit in the process of this and their CEO Corie Barry is speaking out on how these robberies are affecting more than just their bottom line.


CORIE BARRY, BEST BUY CEO: What I would really stress here is for our employees, these are traumatic experiences and they're happening more and more across the country.


BERMAN: I want to bring in CNN's chief Business Correspondent and Anchor of Early Start Christine Romans. What on earth is going on here? CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: And this is not your run of the mill thief. This is not your run of the mill slippage that company's planned for. This is organized retail crime. And these are, you know, SUVs coming up, parking in front of a store. Dozens in some cases of people coming in and smashing and grabbing for the most expensive things. And then out in an instant.

One of those cases yesterday outside of Los Angeles or in Los Angeles, they actually pepper sprayed the Nordstrom security guards so companies have been adding security guards but the same time, they're noting that these are becoming more brazen, and more violent. This is a billion dollar a year industry by some estimates stealing stuff and reselling it elsewhere and it's high and low. It's Louis Vuitton bags, it's Designer clothing, but it's also dishwasher pods and razor blades at the drugstores and so you've got all kinds of retailers scrambling to keep their employees safe and figure out how to stop this is.

BERMAN: Is there particular concern now because it's such a big shopping week? Or are our stores worried about Black Friday?

ROMANS: They are and they're -- but they're worried about every day, right? Because when you have 15 people come in with hoods on and they're smashing your retail cases and they're grabbing your stuff. These employees as you heard, the Best Buy's CEO say they are traumatized by this. They've already faced a year where they're being attacked and verbally abused for wearing masks. And now you've got this organized retail crime that's affecting. It's everything from Designer clothing, laundry detergent, allergy medicine, razors. We know Walgreens in the in the Bay Area closed five or six stores because they were just being hit so frequently. They just closed them.


BERMAN: Christine Romans leave with one happy thought.

ROMANS: Happy Thanksgiving.

BERMAN: Happy Thanksgiving.

ROMANS: Why aren't you wearing orange tie? Baby blue, I'm thinking --

BERMAN: I wear the orange tie yesterday. I did, I wore the orange tie yesterday. I blew it. I miss plan.

ROMANS: Well, I love your Easter -- your Easter up for this one.

BERMAN: Happy Easter, everybody.

ROMANS: Happy Easter, John.

COLLINS: Yeah, meanwhile, I'm dressed like a pumpkin pie over here. Christine Romans, thank you for joining us.

Coming up, at least 27 migrants are dead after a boat sinks off the French coast. We're live in France with the latest.

Plus, Dwyane Wade joins New Day. Why he says LeBron James ghosted him for several days.

BERMAN: And Alabama's head coach, Kaitlan Collins really best friend, Nick Saban tearing into self-absorbed Alabama fans.


NICK SABAN, FOOTBALL COACH: Nobody wants to win worse than they do. Not mem, not you, I don't care what kind of fan you are. So, for all you self-absorbed folks out there that can't look past your own self, I do appreciate what other people are doing.


BERMAN: We have CNN's Chief Alabama Football Correspondent here with us to react to that moment.



COLLINS: There's tragedy in the bitterly cold waters off the coast of France today. Dozens of migrants have drowned after their inflatable boat capsized and sunk in the English Channel, all of them making the dangerous trip in hopes of reaching Britain for a better life. CNN's Cyril Vanier is live in France. Cyril, what are you seeing there? What are you hearing?

CYRIL VANIER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Kaitlan, I'm on this stretch of the Northern French coastline. And we came here to get a better sense of what this story is all about, what these people are going through. And what we found picking this beach at random already paints a pretty detailed picture.

Look at this right here at my feet. This is one of the boats that the migrants use. So, as you see, it's nothing more than a pretty large inflatable boats. This can probably hold several dozen people, the smugglers who put the people on these boats charging several $1,000 each time for the passage to England, will put -- are known to put too many people on these boats to overload them. This has been slashed by law enforcement so that it can no longer be used. But if you look at this, I mean, if you look by my feet, this is the bottom of the boat, just a piece of wood. You would not trust your life much less than life your children in this boat.

This beach here in France along with this stretch of coastline is the jumping off point, Kaitlan, over there is the destination where some roughly 20 miles away from the English coast. That is the point that they are trying to get to, to just live a better life. They think there's going to be more economic opportunity for them.

Now the tragedy that occurred yesterday, 34 migrants were on a boat much like this one. The smugglers will put them on the boat and the smugglers won't get there. And they don't risk their own lives, of course, because for them it's a business and they've got more migrants to put on more boats. 34 people got on a boat. The boat capsized. This is a very dangerous maritime, very dangerous waterway. Not only can it be windy, the seas very choppy. It's also very busy. I see four or five tankers, just crossing the English Channel as we speak. And the boat capsized and 27 people died. Their bodies were recovered from the water by the French rescue operation. Among them, three children.

Now, there are two survivors. They're currently suffering from hypothermia fighting for their lives. The French interior minister, Kaitlan, tells us they come from Iraq and Somalia all the way to here to try and make it to England. Kaitlan.

COLLINS: Biggest single loss of life there since 2014. Cyril, thank you for joining us this morning.

BERMAN: So, the U.S. may soon have a new COVID pill that could change everything. But that all depends on one thing, one thing that the U.S. hasn't been so good at. We'll tell you what that is, ahead.

COLLINS: Plus, why this daytime star from America's longest running soap opera was just fired from the show after nearly 30 years.



BERMAN: So, doctors who rarely use the term game changer call to forthcoming COVID pills game changers. Merck and Pfizer both say their pills dramatically reduce the chances of hospitalization or death for people with mild to moderate COVID. But the success really all depends on testing, which we haven't been great at. CNN's Elizabeth Cohen, here to explain.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: John is amazing as these results are from these clinical trials by Merck and Pfizer, you know what's even better than a pill to treat COVID, it's not getting COVID at all. So, vaccines are still way more important than even these drugs.

Now let's take a look at the results that Merck and Pfizer got when they did clinical trials with these antiviral drugs, just taking a look at death. In Merck and for the Merck clinical trials, they you know, had some people taking a placebo, which is a drug that does nothing, some people taking the actual pill, nine deaths from COVID. In the group that got the placebo, nobody who got the pill died.

For Pfizer, seven deaths in the group that got the placebo, zero in the drug group. That is pretty amazing. You don't see results like that all that often. But here's the but they have to be taken very early in the course of infection. And that's why testing is so important. So, let's take a look at what those -- what they did in the clinical trials. In the clinical trials, they got those results, because people who took Pfizer to them within three days of symptom onset, they felt sick. And then within three days they took the pill. From Merck, it was within five days of symptom onset. That means that you need to know pretty quickly whether or not you have COVID. And that means testing needs to be easily accessible. It needs to be affordable, and those results need to come back quickly. I know for example, a few months ago, I had a COVID test where I got the results back 10 days later, not helpful. And I've heard stories like that for many, many people that I know. So, it's very crucial that testing be improved.

Also, I want to be clear when the FDA advisors sit down to talk about this pill, we're going to hear about some safety issues from Merck which is the one that's coming up soon, that happens on Tuesday. Concerns that the pill might encourage variants of COVID that could be a problem for the vaccine and concerns also that maybe it's not a pill to pregnant women should be taking. So, we'll be hearing more about that on Tuesday. John.


BERMAN: Looking forward to that discussion. The Merck and Pfizer pills work in very different ways. We'll hear about Merck first, though. Elizabeth Cohen, thank you very much.

COHEN: Right.

BERMAN: So, NBA superstar Dwyane Wade joins New Day. What he has to say about Scottie Pippen's new attacks on Michael Jordan.

COLLINS: Plus, what the Justice Department is about to do with unruly passengers on planes?


BERMAN: He's a three-time NBA champion, 13-time NBA All-Star and Olympic gold medalist, just to name a few things, not to mention, father, friend, husband, and his newly published memoir titled Dwyane, former Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade takes the reader on a photographic journey that illustrates his rise from inner city kid to NBA superstar.

Joining me now is the author of Dwyane Wade. This is something. I mean, this is a different kind of book. It is this beautiful, first of all, I work my biceps with it. It's a beautiful book with beautiful pictures. What made you want to do it this way?

DWYANE WADE, AUTHOR, "DWYANE": You know, it's crazy now that, you know, when I thought about all the images that I had not thought about my entire career almost like kind of how do I want to sum this up? I don't want to sum up 16 years or, you know, how do I want to let my fans and my supporters kind of in on the Dwyane?


And so, I have a photographer Bob Metelus, who shot over 200 photos. And he's been following me for the last 11 years, and just getting a lot of intimate moments. And for me, I thought it was very important as I moved to this next phase of my life as I leave basketball for people to see the human side of Dwyane.

BERMAN: So, one of the things I really like about the book, it's not just about basketball, I promise I will ask about basketball for me at the end, but it's about you, and your entire life in the many aspects of it. And one of the things you go into is after the Parkland shooting in Florida, very present there. And part of the reason is that Joaquin Oliver, who was what 17?

WADE: Yes.

BERMAN: He chose to be buried in Dwyane Wade Jersey.

WADE: Yeah.

BERMAN: What did that mean to you?

WADE: I don't know how to process that. I still don't know how to process that. But I did understand at that moment that I had a responsibility. So, I was just very thankful, to the family for allowing, you know, their son to be buried in my jersey. To me, the honor goes way beyond life, you know, that shows me that, you know, I'm on the right path. And so, I just started as a community leader, it was just important to be there. And I didn't have the words, but I didn't know that, you know, we all needed to be together. And so, I showed up.

BERMAN: And being there and showing up really, is everything in that case.

WADE: Yeah.

BERMAN: You also wrote about your family now, and your daughter's Zaya. And being there when she was transitioning, opening up to the world, and you've been public, everyone's been public about this, do you have concerns about her privacy?

WADE: I do. You know, that's one of the things about being in this -- as a public figure, is privacy aspect of it. But, you know, day-to-day you have to live your life as well. And, you know, I preached that, and, you know, definitely my home, my wife and I, so when it comes to Zaya, just about, you know, Zaya feeling acceptance, is I fell in love. Zaya is feeling seen and heard and appreciated, inside of our home. And if she feels that way inside of a home, you know, she feels like she can do anything, she can accomplish anything, she could become anything. And that's what we try to do. We're trying to raise a healthy, you know, young lady, and she's on the right path.

BERMAN: That's why I said you're not just an NBA all-star, you know, championship, but you are also a dad. And it seems like you're devoting a lot of your energy now, to that aspect.

WADE: Yes.

BERMAN: Doesn't mean I'm not going to ask about basketball. I'm going to get to now. So, the big three, being in Miami for that, it does seem and looking through the pictures is one of those moments in history, you knew you were in something different and special.

WADE: Yes. BERMAN: What was that like? And when we look at the pictures of that, what do you want people to see?

WADE: It -- well, what it was like, it was -- it kind of went by like this, it was four years of a lot of lights, the lights were bright, and immediate height was right, a team was -- we were the heroes. You know, we were those guys, but most important we were friends who decided that we want to play the game of basketball together. We wanted to go out and try to compete and win together. You know, in this sport that we play called basketball, they'll tell you have to win championships to be considered great. And so, we all want to be considered great. And so, we wanted to win championships. And along the way, I think we've created so many memories off of so many families. We've, you know, in the NBA, we changed the dynamics and a culture from organization heavy league to a player power meant inertly. And so, it was important for us, you know, a young man to make that decision.

BERMAN: You know, I was in Greenwich, Connecticut, outside the Boys and Girls Club or why or whatever it was, I was standing outside there as a reporter, when LeBron James was making his announcement.

WADE: Really?

BERMAN: Yeah, we're reporting it live, it was like live breaking news on ABC.

WADE: Yeah.

BERMAN: Did you really not know what he was going to say during that interview?

WADE: So, the story goes, July 4 that's the time when we all decided, hey, we're going to do this. The periods assigned was around July 7, but I didn't hear from July 4 until I signed on July 7. I didn't hear from him on July 7, so I'm like, well, you know, maybe it's a tough decision to make. And so maybe he woke up on July 8, there was like, ah, I don't want to do it. So, I didn't know. And I went to the TV just like everyone else to watch and make sure that everything that we discussed was coming true, but that natural celebration was just -- it was real, because I knew like, you know, to be able to sit across from each other, to be able to do something that, you know, the game hasn't seen, to be able to deal with your friends, to me that was one of the deepest moments in sports for me.

BERMAN: Time to be ghosted by one of your friends?

WADE: Yeah, I got ghosted like four days.

BERMAN: You know, the rest of your life to worry about it.

WADE: Yeah, I understood the decision was super hard especially leaving his hometown. I didn't pressure him. I just looked nervous, you know, making sure.