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New Day

Texas Sends More Migrants On Buses To Liberal Cities, Including New York City; LAPD Still Unable To Interview Anne Heche Due To Severe Injuries; Arbery's Killers Face Sentencing, One Fears Being Killed In Prison. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired August 08, 2022 - 07:30   ET



BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: And New York City Mayor Eric Adams is condemning the Texas governor's actions. He says that some migrants are being forced onto these buses.


MAYOR ERIC ADAMS (D), NEW YORK CITY, NY: It is unimaginable that -- what the governor of Texas has done. When you think about this country -- a country that has always been open to those who were fleeing persecution and other intolerable conditions -- we've always welcome that. This governor is not doing that in Texas. But we are going to send the right message, the right tone of being here for these families.


KEILAR: Joining us now to talk about this is CNN en Espanol anchor and correspondent Maria Santana. I know you've been doing a lot of digging into this. You spoke to the New York City official in charge of immigrant affairs.

But the mayor there is saying they're being forced. Are they being forced?

MARIA SANTANA, CNN EN ESPANOL ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Well, one of the things that we have heard both from the commissioner of immigrant affairs in New York City and the mayor is that a lot of people who are on these buses are getting off in New York City very confused as to why they ended up here. And some have even told them that their -- they didn't even want to come to New York. That this was not the destination that they needed to come to.

I remember Manuel Castro, who is the commissioner for immigrant affairs, told me that he spoke to a gentleman who wanted to go to Portland, Oregon, and got off this bus in New York City and was wondering how he ended up in New York City.

KEILAR: He thought he was going to Portland?

SANTANA: I don't know what he was told. If he was told that he was coming to Portland. That he was going to stop in New York and then be sent to Portland.

But there are no arrangements made between Texas and New York about what happens to these migrants once they -- once they arrive. They can claim shelter. They can request shelter. New York City is a right-to- shelter city, so anyone looking for housing will most likely receive it.

But a lot of the nonprofit organizations -- a lot of them that have been meeting these migrants at the bus stop at Port Authority -- is where they're coming in -- and then taking them to intake centers or finding them shelter and food. They're also arranging transportation for these migrants to get to whatever city that they wanted to go to.

Now, this can also put at risk their asylum case because they are given court dates at whatever destination -- whatever their final destination is. And if they miss that court date -- they're in New York City and they need to be in Portland -- if they miss that court date, then they're considered fugitives and are subject to deportation.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: We keep referring to this interview you had with the commissioner of immigrant affairs. Let's listen to a little bit of that.


MANUEL CASTRO, COMMISSIONER, NEW YORK CITY MAYOR'S OFFICE OF IMMIGRANT AFFAIRS: What Gov. Abbott is doing is wrong. He's using these people as political pawns to make political statements. And again, these are families, these are people, and we believe what he's doing is wrong. It's cruel. Frankly, it's disgusting and it's pure cowardice.


BERMAN: What recourse does New York have?

SANTANA: The heated war of words between these officials here.

But New York City -- the mayor has made an emergency declaration to procure shelter and other basic needs for people coming in, particularly migrants. That's one of the things they said they're going to continue to do regardless of whether the Texas governor decides to send more people. They're going to try to do as much as they can for them.

But they're also running out of space to put them. The mayor said that 4,000 migrants, since May, have arrived in New York City and mainly from D.C. because they were being bused to D.C. They were making their way to New York seeking emergency shelter. And the Department of Homeless Services said they were receiving about 100 migrants a day in this last few weeks.

Now, with them being bused here directly, the governor of Texas, Abbott -- he sees the criticisms that Adams was giving, making particularly to him for busing these migrants to other cities -- and said well, if you want to know what it feels like, I'm going to send them directly to New York. And he said he only has bad news for these officials because the criticism and the backlash hasn't really deterred him. And he said the bad news is that he's going to be sending more buses every single day.

KEILAR: Yes, it's what he wants is for them to be upset by what's happening. It's the point of it.

Maria, thank you so much -- Maria Santana.

We are getting an update on actress Anne Heche's condition this morning because she was involved in a fiery crash -- a fiery car crash. So we'll have that.

BERMAN: And the three men convicted in Ahmaud Arbery's murder set to be sentenced today. Why one of the men says he now fears for his life.



BERMAN: New questions today about the fiery car crash involving actress Anne Heche, who remains in the hospital in stable condition this morning. L.A. police say they have been unable to question her, at least not yet.

CNN's Chloe Melas has been tracking the developments and joins us now. Chloe, what is the latest here?

CHLOE MELAS, CNN ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER: So, a representative for Anne told us yesterday that yes, her condition has been upgraded from critical to stable and that they're asking for friends and family for prayers, but also for privacy during this time.

We do know from CNN's Josh Campbell that authorities still have not been able to question Anne about this. We know that she was traveling at speeds upwards of 90 miles an hour. We know that her car crashed into that home causing that fiery blaze, and it took over 50 firefighters to put the blaze out.

She was in the car for about 30 minutes before they could extract her from the vehicle, sustaining severe injuries, which is why authorities haven't been able to question her yet. But so many questions as to what led up to this. What caused this?

And don't forget there was also a woman in the home who was living there, who was just a few feet from Anne's car when it barreled into her home. And a GoFundMe page has been started for this woman. And it's a very unfortunate situation all around.

KEILAR: And what's also raising eyebrows is this podcast. She talks in a podcast that was dropped just hours before the crash about drinking vodka with wine chasers. Let's listen to this.


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ANNE HECHE, "BETTER TOGETHER" PODCAST: Today has been a very unique day. I don't know what happened. Sometimes days just suck. And I don't know if you ever have them but, you know, some days, mama says, are just going to be like this. Some days are those no good, very bad days.

I drove Atlas to tennis and I'm a little bit shaken, whatever that means. It's not a very exciting story, it just (bleep) me up, so I'm drinking some vodka and wine.


MELAS: So this was a just a few hours before the crash happened is when this episode of her "Better Together" podcast was released. It has since been removed from its Apple landing page.

Now, we don't know when this was recorded. You know, usually, podcasts are edited and it takes a couple of days. And the podcasts that I know, they're not released the same day that they are recorded. But we don't know.

So I've asked her representatives for further comment. Why was it removed? Was she actually drinking in this episode? Was she just joking about it?

And again, the context. When was this bad day that she's talking about -- this uniquely dark week that she was having? Was it this particular week?

So many questions but definitely, it is terrible timing.

BERMAN: All right, Chloe. Thank you so much for the update on this.

MELAS: Thank you.

KEILAR: A brazen heist -- masked robbers in New York City -- and they made off with more than $2 million worth of jewelry. This is security footage that shows this robbery in the Bronx on Friday afternoon that took less than 30 seconds to pull off.

Three masked gunmen using a hammer to smash through these display cases and stealing a bag full of high-end diamond jewelry, while a fourth man stood at the door appearing to be a lookout. Then all four men fled on foot.

The NYPD is offering a $3,500 reward for any information leading to an arrest.

BERMAN: Thirty-five hundred dollars for a $2 million heist. Those people clearly looked like they knew what they were doing --


BERMAN: -- there.

This morning, three Georgia men found guilty of federal hate crimes in Ahmaud Arbery's death will be sentenced. Travis McMichael, his father Greg, and William "Roddie" Bryan were convicted last November. Now the younger McMichael says he fears for his safety in prison.

CNN's Ryan Young is standing by outside the Georgia courthouse where this sentence will soon be delivered. Ryan, what's the latest?

RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, John, what a difference between November 21 and now. I mean, back then, you had hundreds of people screaming "Justice for Ahmaud" outside the courthouse. Hundreds of people traveled into the city and it was so tense here. The federal court case happened after that state case. In the state case, all three men found guilty and faced life.

And here, the federal case -- it happened afterward on those charges -- I remember being in court in February and some of the jury members actually becoming emotional after this sentence came down and they were found guilty of those federal hate crime charges.

What will happen today, from what we're told, all three men will have separate charges. You talked about that younger McMichael, Travis, has already put out the fact that he wants to stay in federal custody. He believes and his lawyers put out that if he goes to state prison he believes that someone may try to kill him. And he says that there have been rumors and reports that guards may leave doors open and someone may be able to get to him as he's going through his stay at the state court.

Ahmaud's family doesn't believe this and, of course, they want him to go through the state prison system. You can understand that.

All three men will face the judge in different hours throughout the day. This will be sentencing and then we'll hear -- it will probably be tacked on to all these state charges as well.

In the community itself, right now, you do not feel that tension that we felt so many days ago when everyone was screaming "Justice for Ahmaud."

And let's not forget that video that played out throughout this court case of the men chasing Ahmaud Arbery, and then the shotgun fire -- that sound being heard over and over again.

Right now, it's pretty calm here as that federal case gets ready to start at 10:00 -- John.

BERMAN: Ryan, you have covered this from the beginning. Thank you so much for being there.

YOUNG: Absolutely. Thank you.

BERMAN: So, four Muslim men have been shot and killed in Albuquerque, including three in just the last couple of weeks. Officials believe there may be a connection. The city's mayor joins us ahead.

KEILAR: And around 1,600 flights were canceled, thousands more delayed in yet another tough weekend for airlines. (COMMERCIAL)


KEILAR: More cancellations, delays, and frustrations for air travelers this weekend. More than 1,600 flights were canceled, according to Already, today, there have been more than 200 flights scrubbed and the day is young yet.

CNN's Pete Muntean is, as always, at Reagan International Airport outside of Washington this morning. Pete, how is it looking? Not so great?

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Not so great, Brianna. You know, the FAA is already predicting another tough day for air travel with thunderstorms possibly predicting some major hubs like New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, and Dallas.

Just look at the breakdown of flight cancellations. We're averaging about 1,000 flight cancellations per day since Thursday. More than 1,200 flights canceled on Thursday. Most notably, that is when Southwest Airlines delayed some 40 percent of its flights nationwide.

Things got even worse on Friday. More than 1,600 flights canceled nationwide. That is the second-worst day for flight cancellations we have seen since Memorial Day.

Things did improve a bit on Saturday -- about 600 flight cancellations nationwide -- but got worse again yesterday. More than 900 flight cancellations in the U.S.

You know, this is coming as so many people are rushing back to air travel. The TSA screened 2.4 million people at airports across the country just yesterday. It just shows that there is the huge appetite to travel again when August is typically a pretty slow month for the airlines.


This is also coming as there is huge pressure from the federal government on airlines to perform during this huge wave of travel, especially from Transportation Sec. Pete Buttigieg, who has been touting this massive change in how airlines would refund you if your flight is canceled. Now, those rules will likely take months to go into effect. But if they were in place over this past weekend, thousands of people would have gotten their money back in terms of cancellation vouchers that have no expiration date, Brianna -- a pretty big shift, especially after this huge period of cancellations we have seen once again.

KEILAR: Yes, that is a huge shift.

All right, Pete. Thank you so much, live for us from Reagan. We appreciate it.

Are you younger than 60? BERMAN: Yes, still.

KEILAR: Are you vaccinated and boosted?


KEILAR: All right. So the new CNN reporting on your COVID risk -- yours --

BERMAN: News about me?

KEILAR: New about you and others, but also about you.

BERMAN: All right.

Plus, Maggie Haberman reveals pictures of toilets clogged with Trump White House documents. It looks like Trump's handwriting on those documents there. This follows her reporting that staff found flushed documents in Trump's toilets.



BERMAN: So, we have some new CNN reporting this morning on COVID. If you are under 60, check; healthy, check; vaccinated, check; and boosted, check -- you're in a pretty good place. Good news for me. That's the latest from New York's largest health care provider looking at national trends.

And CNN's Elizabeth Cohen joins us now with this good news for me.


BERMAN: That's right, and I'm happy.

COHEN: This is all about you, and it's about a lot of people in the age of Omicron. People wondering it's so mild, who is ending up in the hospital?

Now, unfortunately, CDC and state data -- they don't always correlate who is vaccinated, how older people -- do they have underlying conditions. So we went to Northwell Health -- it's the largest hospital system in the state of New York with 21 hospitals -- and here's what they told us.

They said if you look at who ended up in our hospitals in May, June, and July, 80 percent of them are over age 60. Ninety percent of them have an underlying disease such as heart disease or diabetes, or hypertension.

And when you look at vaccination status, that makes a huge difference. Forty-seven percent -- almost half of them have no shots whatsoever -- hard to imagine. Twenty-one percent of them had only one or two shots. Thirty-two percent were fully vaccinated and boosted. Among those, 78 percent were over 65.

Now, I was speaking with Rochelle Walensky -- Dr. Rochelle Walensky at the CDC -- about this data and she said this meshes with national data. But she also noted that national data is not quite as detailed as this data is. That's because they need to bring it into the new century, and she's working hard on that.

Let's also take a look at what the CDC is expected to announce later this week about easing COVID guidelines, finally. No more 6-feet social distancing recommendation. That's what we're expecting. We've seen some CDC documents to that effect.

Also, no more screening in most circumstances. Like, no more screening in schools, for example. No more quarantining for everyone after exposure. No more quarantining for anyone, actually.

And they do keep a couple of things. They say look, if you get COVID you should be isolated. And they still are recommending indoor masking for about half the country.

We are also expecting them to tailor messages more. To say specifically if you are immune-compromised, if you're over 65, you should be doing things that the rest of the country doesn't necessarily need to be doing.

KEILAR: How should you be approaching everyday life if you are living in an area where they aren't reporting the numbers, you know? Because that's tricky. I've always found I try to be a little more conservative if, say, I have a trip coming up and I want to go, or if I know the numbers are high then I try to be more conservative.

COHEN: I think that's very smart. And I think people should bookmark that CDC page with the counties on it. I think a lot of people don't pay attention. It is so worth paying attention. It is so worth doing what Brianna is doing.

If you're going to a place that either won't -- because that's not a great sign -- or they have high numbers, you might want to do things differently.

And also, I was on an airplane the other day and hardly anyone was wearing a mask. I wore a mask because I thought I don't need it for me -- I'm OK -- but I don't know who else is on this plane. The person I was sitting next to was wearing a mask and I thought they may have -- they may be immune-compromised -- and for three hours from Atlanta to New York, I can wear a mask.

KEILAR: For them.

COHEN: For them, exactly -- not for me.

BERMAN: All right. Elizabeth Cohen -- great.

COHEN: Thanks.

BERMAN: Thanks so much. COHEN: Thanks.

BERMAN: NEW DAY continues right now.

KEILAR: Good morning to viewers here in the U.S. and around the world. It's Monday, August 8, and I'm Brianna Keilar alongside John Berman this morning.

A big win for President Biden and for Democrats. The Inflation Reduction Act, the centerpiece of the president's long-stalled economic agenda, passing the Senate on a party-line vote, with Vice President Harris breaking a 50-50 tie.

BERMAN: So, this represents the largest investment to fight the climate crisis in U.S. history. It has major health care provisions. It caps prescription drug expenditures for seniors at $2,000. It allows Medicare to negotiate some prices of drugs. And it has some new tax provisions as well, including a 15 percent minimum tax on some of the country's largest corporations.

KEILAR: Now, the bill now heads to the House for a vote.

And joining us now is Brian Deese. He is the director of the White House National Economic Council. Brian, thank you so much for being with us this morning.

Is the president going to be out aggressively selling this legislation to the public? And what is that going to look like?

BRIAN DEESE, DIRECTOR, WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL: Well, the president will be talking about this and explaining it, absolutely, to the American people. And what it will look like is trying to explain in very practical terms why this matters for people's lives.