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New Day Saturday

CDC Nearly 37 Million Vaccine Doses Administered; U.S. Showing Slight Decline In Coronavirus Cases; Trump Rejects Dem Request To Testify At Senate Trial; McCarthy Emerges From Tumultuous Week With Tight Grip On House GOP; CNN Goes Inside A Gathering Of QAnon Followers; Biden Lays Out Blueprint To Restore U.S. Diplomacy; Chiefs' Assistant Coach In Crash That Severely Injuries Child. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired February 06, 2021 - 07:00   ET




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nationwide, more than nine million shots administered last week. That's 10 times the number of new cases added in the U.S.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The NFL has pledged to make all 32 of their team's stadiums available as mass vaccination sites.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think overall, things are definitely getting better.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The impeachment trial is taking shape. We are learning that House Democrats say they have enough evidence to make their case.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is so much footage of what happened on that day. We see the images. We also clearly hear the President's words.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The $15.00 minimum wages in the White House proposal. The expectation is it will likely have to be stripped out in order for Democrats to be able to pass the package on a simple majority vote.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look, the White House is in a complicated political position.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Republicans have proposed, it's either to do nothing or not enough.


ANNOUNCER: This, is NEW DAY WEEKEND with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Sun coming up here in Atlanta, but we understand there is a winter storm brewing for so many of you. We'll talk about that in just a little bit. Happy Saturday to you. The U.S., happy to start with a little bit of good news here. Seeing some progress in the fight against COVID-19. Experts are encouraged, health officials warn now isn't the time to let up on this. This morning, I'm going to give you the numbers here that the number of people hospitalized, that's dropping. New cases, down by 15 percent from last week. The thing is the number of deaths in the U.S. is nearing 460,000.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Now, when it comes to the vaccines, the U.S. is administering an average of 1.3 million per day, that's up from 1.1 million last week, and almost 1000 troops will be deployed to states across the country to get more shots into arms. Now, as for the debate about getting children back into schools, the CDC says they'll release new guidance on that in the coming week.

PAUL: Several mass vaccination sites opened across the country this week. It includes Fort Worth, Texas, Motor Speedway, Six Flags in Prince George's County, Maryland. CNN's Polo Sandoval is outside Yankee Stadium because that's one of New York's mass vaccination site. So, Polo, how's it going this far?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And Christi, it took weeks of waiting for that Yankee Stadium behind me is now again open serving as a mass vaccination site here in the Bronx. Why here, you might ask? A couple of reasons not only does this pearl have the highest test positivity right now, throughout all New York City, but also obviously a high population of Latinos, also of African Americans in their communities had been particularly hard hit hard during the pandemic with high infection and death rates.


SANDOVAL (voice over): COVID-19 vaccinations are up and infections are down as the first week of February comes to a close. The latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show just over 36 million vaccine doses have been administered with efforts moving forward at an average rate of about 1.3 million shots a day nationwide.

JAHQYAD AUSTIN, VACCINATED IN NEW YORK CITY: I work at a restaurant in Brooklyn and all of our team actually is coming, you know, this week within their timeframe to get their vaccine. So, that was why I was eligible.

SANDOVAL: Supermarket chain, Kroger, promising to pay any of their employees $100 in store credit if they roll up their sleeves for a shot. And take a look at the map showing how many new infections are down about 18 percent this week over last. As for hospitalizations, those dipped below 90,000 for the first time since Thanksgiving. But will those trends hold? Epidemiologists Dr. Celine Gounder is cautiously optimistic.

DR. CELINE GOUNDER, EPIDEMIOLOGIST: It really depends on how we abide by some of these mitigation measures over the next several months while people are getting vaccinated. Only about two percent of Americans have been vaccinated so far, so we are very far from achieving herd immunity. SANDOVAL: You would expect multiple promising developments. The U.S.

government scheduled to ship one million Moderna vaccines to U.S. pharmacies next week. With Sunday Super Bowl marking the end of the football season, the NFL is offering the government every one of the league's stadiums to serve as vaccination sites. In South Dakota, dentists are now allowed to administer shots and vaccination doses could get a major booster if the Food and Drug Administration issues Johnson and Johnson emergency use authorization for its vaccine candidate. Some hospitals like Louisiana's Baton Rouge clinic have been anxiously waiting for more vaccine allotments.

ED SILVEY, CEO, BATON ROUGE CLINIC: We've got a long way to go and the demand is exceptionally high.

SANDOVAL: COVID-19 variants continue to worry health officials are they still expected to become the dominant form of the virus by next month, says Dr. Anthony Fauci. On the COVID treatment front, the FDA limited some use of convalescent plasma therapy. That's treatment using blood from recovered COVID-19 patients. This on the same week, British researchers documented how that might be helping fuel the rise of viral variants.


SANDOVAL (on camera): Back here in New York, the state given frontline health care workers at least one more week to get their shots. Just yesterday, the governor announcing that starting February 15th, any vaccines that were set aside for health care workers that will not use those will be reallocated and offered to those with underlying conditions that people of all age with illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, cancer. So, what we're hearing here is basically, Victor and Christi, is a message to those healthcare workers, use it or potentially lose it.


BLACKWELL: Polo Sandoval for us there. Thank you so much.

PAUL: Thank you, Polo. Let's talk to Dr. Carlos del Rio. He's the Executive Associate Dean at the Emory University School of Medicine at Grady, also an Infectious Disease Expert. Doctor, good morning to you.


PAUL: Thank you. So, we've seen these positive numbers and it's the first time that we can really talk about it. So, we don't just want to gloss over it. Hospitalizations are in decline. Cases are in decline. Why aren't death numbers in decline? Why are we still seeing so many people dying of this?

DEL RIO: Well, so several things. Number one, it takes about two to three weeks before you see death numbers come down after you start seeing cases and hospitalizations come down. But the other thing we need to remember that even though they're coming down, we're coming down from a very high peak. Even in the, the peak of last summer, we have about 60,000 new cases per day and about 60,000 hospitalized patients. You know, so we're still way above the peak of last summer, so that's going to take a while to come down.

PAUL: I know the wildcard here is the, is the variants. The Washington Post reporting this morning that these mutated viruses may actually re-infect people who have already had COVID, so that, that calm that some people might have had who have been infected and who have overcome it, they may not have that immunity that they think they do. What, what is the scope help us understand the scope of these variants?

DEL RIO: I mean, I think the variants are concerning, they're concerning, because they're all very different. Some of them are more transmissible, some may be caused more severe disease, some may actually evade the treatments, particularly the antibody treatments, and some may, may evade the vaccines. The Brazilian one is the one that I'm more concerned about, as well as South African one. We know they're in this country, the question is how spread they are? And there's a lot of genomic sequencing happening trying to determine how spread those variants are. But the best way we can do to stop variants is to stop transmission.

If we stopped transmission of the virus by using mitigation strategies, by using masking and social distancing, and avoiding crowds, and the other thing we do is, you know, we get our vaccine, when we're up to get a vaccine. We will stop the variants from, from occurring. My biggest concern, quite frankly, is tomorrow's Super Bowl Sunday, which, you know, people will get together and in some cities, have you got 25 people together for Super Bowl Sunday in a party, the chances of having one person with COVID among those individuals depends on the city, but in some cities like L.A., it's over 50 percent.

PAUL: So, and you're right, I mean, that's obviously something that we're going to be watching for. So, do you have an expectation that after Sunday, we may see those numbers increase again?

DEL RIO: Well, we'll know two weeks later, right? It takes about 10 days to two weeks for those numbers to go up. So, there's a lot of Super Bowl parties, and there's a lot of super spread events. We will start cases start to come up again. So, I sure hope that doesn't happen, because we really need cases to come down, and we really need hospitalized individuals to come down. So, eventually, mortality will also come down. I want to get back down to less than a thousand deaths per day.

PAUL: I want to ask you about teachers, Chicago and Philly, we understand are advising some of their teachers that they need to get back into classrooms. And if they do not do so, there could be some disciplinary action. You are a doctor here; you have been in this thing. If you could sit down with some of these districts, how would you advise them on what to do we do know kids need to get back in school is, is forcing teachers back into the classroom the way to do it right now and should they take priority prioritization for vaccine, those teachers? DEL RIO: Well, we clearly need to get students back in the classroom. I think it's critical for those kids. It's critical for education, but it's critical for the economy. You cannot reactivate the economy if you don't get schools back in because people cannot be at home working and at the same time be teaching kids. So, schools are very critical to getting the economy up and running again.

Having said that, what we know at schools right now, is we know transmission in schools is very low, unlikely, if we follow mitigation strategy. So, I'll be making sure that those schools are following the appropriate mitigation strategies. You know, social distancing, masking, you know, clean it, you know, cleaning procedures, they're having good ventilation. On top of that, I would layer additional things in that sort of that sweet chase phenomena. You know, you can get testing and there's not a lot of rapid tests available, you can get tested, incorporate testing.

And then, on top of that, if you can get vaccination of teachers and have administered personnel in the school and other personnel in the school great. Again, I agree with CDC director having vaccines is not a prerequisite to vaccinating teachers is not prerequisite to opening schools, but it will be it should be a priority as soon as the vaccine becomes available. We should try to vaccinate teachers, but we shouldn't wait for that to open schools because otherwise we may be opening schools in the summer and that may be too late.


PAUL: Dr. Carlos del Rio, appreciate your expertise so much, sir. Thank you.

DEL RIO: Thanks so much. Of course, and we know a lot of you are having trouble finding exactly where to get vaccinated. Well, we've got some information for you. Go to You're going to find a link there that shows you where to find vaccine information in your state. We hope that helps.

BLACKWELL: Still ahead, President Biden signals that he will move ahead with his coronavirus bill with or without Republicans but here what major portion of it, a campaign promise he expects will not make it to his desk for signature.

PAUL: Also, former President Donald Trump says, he won't show up. With the start of a second impeachment trial, it's really just days away, it starts on Tuesday, who else might be called to testify?



BLACKWELL: President Biden is calling for quick passage of his $1.9 trillion American rescue plan with or without support from Republicans.

PAUL: The President pointed to an underwhelming jobs report as evidence that Americans are still, they're still suffering. It's not clear what a final package, though, would include. CNN's Jasmine Wright is live in Delaware. Jasmine, good to see you this morning. We know that the President defended the huge price tag that's attached to this and says a Republican plan would mean more pain for more people for a longer period of time. What do we know about where the President may be willing to make some concessions?

JASMINE WRIGHT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christi, President Biden made it clear in his most direct criticisms of Republicans to this date, showing that he is ready to go forward with his COVID relief bill with or without them. Now, yesterday, he used those sluggish job numbers to really defend both the price tag of his build out $1.9 trillion asset that he's making, but also the speed and urgency in which he wants to get it passed. And now, Biden said that he's not interested in getting tied up in lengthy negotiations with Republicans, and that is despite that real push for bipartisan support that we've heard from him since then.


BIDEN: I've told both Republicans and Democrats, that's my preference to work together. But if I have to choose between getting help right now to Americans, who are hurting so badly and getting dry, or bogged down in a lengthy negotiation, or compromising on a bill that's, that's up to the crisis. That's an easy choice. I'm going to help the American people who are hurting now.


WRIGHT: Now, Biden is really drawing some lines here. He said that he is not coming down from that $1400 direct payment amount to Americans. But he did say that he's willing to negotiate on who exactly can qualify for those. Now, Democrats are saying that they are ready to move forward to get this bill passed before their self-imposed deadline of March. They said that yesterday after meeting with President Biden in the White House but is still an open question of when exactly this bill can get done. As we know, next week, the Senate will turn to the impeachment of former President Trump, Christi, Victor.

BLACKWELL: Jasmine, before the break tease, that there's an element of the bill that the President expects will not survive. That's that minimum wage increase. Talk to us about why.

WRIGHT: Yes, it seems really unlikely that this minimum wage increase is going to go into this COVID bill. President Biden alluded to as much yesterday in an interview with CBS saying he didn't know if it would make it in because of Senate rules. But also, because of Democrats. Not all Democrats are on board with this increase.

And as we know, they will need to stay united because they cannot lose a single vote to get this COVID relief bill passed because of their slim majority. Now, Biden said that he is open to negotiating an increase in minimum wage down the line and possibly another bill because he needs, he would like to see this happen here, he says this increase needs to happen, Victor, Christi.

BLACKWELL: Jasmine Wright in Wilmington, thank you.

PAUL: Thanks, Jasmine. So, the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump starts four days from now in on Tuesday, I should say, and there's no questions about the legal strategies on either side right now.

BLACKWELL: Among the questions still outstanding is will the House impeachment managers present their case against the former president with witnesses, without witnesses? How long will the trials last? CNN's Daniela Diaz is on Capitol Hill with some indications of which direction this will go. What do you have for us Daniela?

DANIELA DIAZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Guys, it's only two days before the impeachment trial is supposed to begin and we have a lot of unknowns right now. But here's what we do know. We know that the impeachment trial will begin Tuesday and we know that we expect some pre-trial briefs to be filed on Monday that will provide us some insight into both Donald Trump's defense and what the impeachment managers are going to argue.

We also know that we're likely not to see Donald Trump testify at his own impeachment trial. The impeachment managers actually sent him a letter requesting that he testify under oath. And Donald Trump's spokesperson Jason Miller responded very quickly and said, absolutely not. He called it a public relations. He said it wouldn't happen unless he subpoenaed. And right now the impeachment managers are signaling that that subpoena is not going to come. We also know that Democrats are hoping for a short trial, nothing like last year, which was three weeks long, Donald Trump's first impeachment trial.

This is now his second. And they want to be able to focus on Biden's large legislative priority list, including the COVID-19 relief package that they are working on. Sources told me that, Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell are talking right now working on setting the ground rules ahead of Tuesday. And until then, we really don't know what's going to happen or if there's going to be witnesses called a lot of unknowns right now.


PAUL: Well, not only that, but there's this GOP fracture Daniela, that seems to be kind of a neon sign blinking over the party right now. What are you hearing about how GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy is navigating all of that right now?

DIAZ: Christi, Kevin McCarthy had probably one of the hardest weeks he's ever faced as the House Republican leader. He had two very large issues in front of him, including House Republican leader, the number three House Republican Liz Cheney and Marjorie Taylor Greene. Liz Cheney was facing backlash for her vote on Donald Trump's impeachment trial, for Donald Trump's impeachment.

And Marjorie Taylor Greene was facing backlash for her comments before she entered office, her very controversial statements. McCarthy had a large gathering, I would call it at big family meeting last Wednesday where he allowed all the members of his conference to air out their grievances to talk about what they felt were issues in their own party. And I spoke to a bunch of members after this five-hour meeting, and they were all saying the same thing.

They felt that they emerged from this meeting with renewed confidence from McCarthy. They had a -- they, they felt like the party was very united. And look, I want to be clear, McCarthy has his eyes on one thing heading into 2022 heading into the midterms. He wants to win back seats from Democrats to win the majority because he has his eyes on the speaker's gavel, Victor and Christi.

PAUL: Daniela Diaz, thank you so much, Daniela.

BLACKWELL: So, in a letter obtained by the New York Times more than 140 constitutional lawyers say the former president's First Amendment defense in his upcoming impeachment trial is legally frivolous. They write this: "The first amendment is no bar to the Senate convicting former President Trump and disqualifying him from holding future office." They add this, "We urge the Senate not to base its decision on the erroneous understanding of the First Amendment urged by President Trump's lawyers."

So, we'll start there a conversation about the impending impeachment trial with CNN Legal Analyst Elliot Williams, a former federal prosecutor and Deputy Assistant Attorney General. Elliot, good morning to you. In this letter, they make a couple of points. And the first one I want to focus on is that the First Amendment does not apply to impeachment proceedings, what's your take?

ELLIOT WILLIAMS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, I think that's a very, very important point to make. And what we all need to know is that the, the impeachment proceedings don't require the commission of a crime or frankly, anything that's illegal to be have happened. The standard is, did the President or the federal judge of the high official commit what are called high crimes and misdemeanors? That does not require that he necessarily committed a crime as we think of it today, like arson or robbery, or looting or whatever, right. And the first amendment wouldn't necessarily, he doesn't need to have violated the First Amendment, right. So, it's the -- I'm losing my train of thought, I guess it's really sorry, Victor.

BLACKWELL: I can move on if you want, because I've gone -- OK, go ahead.

WILLIAMS: These are critical point, though, because it's what, what they're attempting to say is that the -- by merely speaking, and merely taking the same the First Amendment titles of President to free speech, and that, that's a blanket, that would that would entitle him to virtually any sort of conduct from the stage. That's simply not the case. That's not how impeachment works. The standard is, did he violate his oath of office? And that's clearly the case here.

BLACKWELL: OK. Let's move on to just the general constitutionality of the case because we know that Republicans have argued that we know the Rand Paul resolution that many Republicans voted for to end debate on moving forward, which is start debate on the constitutionality. You point out verbiage specifically in the Democrats briefing, both to remove and disqualify, and how that speaks to the constitutionality of what we're going to see start on Tuesday.


WILLIAMS: Yes, so two different points: one, judges, so pretend this were a real trial, judges love dismissing things when they don't have to reach the facts of the case. If they can throw it out on a technicality, right? Let's pretend the senators are a court here, they would love to be able to say this, is unconstitutional.

So, we don't even have to reach the fact of President Trump's conduct, right. That's not really the case, because number one, this, isn't constitutional. Now, if you look at the language of the impeachment provision in the Constitution, it says, you know, remove or disqualify, necessarily, someone can't be disqualified unless they've already been removed, or already are a former member of office. It's just a rhetorical thing that the framers put in.

So, that specific wording and look, conservatives love looking at the precise language of statutes in the Constitution. And the wording is right there "removed or disqualified." They can remove him, which is what they could have done prior to his having left office back in January. Now, that he's gone, and already technically, "removed are no longer in office," the remedy would be to just simply disqualify him from running for office once again.

BLACKWELL: The House managers asked requested that the President testify. The President's attorney, former president's attorneys have said that he will not. If they don't plan or did not plan to compel him through subpoena, what was the strategy behind simply asking?

WILLIAMS: Right. Here's the thing. It's, you know, it's a brilliant strategy, because it puts him in the position of either: A, coming and testifying and lying in which he'd be subjected to perjury charges potentially. B, coming in admitting the conduct, or C, fighting the subpoena.

The problem if the House managers were to attempt to enforce the subpoena, that becomes litigation, and as you said, in the tease that would slow the entire proceeding down. And I know that people don't like hearing that. Well, you know, if it's so important, why not go for it? That would grind the proceedings to a halt.

And in fact, and it would also turn in President Trump's testimony, were turned the whole thing into a bit of a circus. Because, you know, we know how President Trump, or at least we can assume how he would behave on trial, you can make a wonderful case right now without the testimony of the President on the strength of: number one, all of the documentary and video evidence that's already out there.

Think about the videos of the Capitol, and the videos of Windows being broken, and so on. But more importantly, the testimony of Capitol Police officers would be profoundly compelling. You know, once you put -- once Jamie Raskin puts an officer on the stand that says, excuse me, Sir, did you? Or did you not hear someone shouting the words, number one, the president sent me here; and number two, grab his gun and shoot him with it. As evidence of number one, the fact that the people felt gemmed up and

were incited by the President of the United States. And number two, the profound sense of threat and tragedy at the Capitol building that day. And so, you know, it's easy when people look at trials to think God, why didn't, why didn't you bring that one witness? Why didn't you know, they call that one person, but, but it's just not critical and the strength of the record and reminding the public and these 100 senators of everything that's out there, and so vivid, I think, is what ends up being the most compelling here.

BLACKWELL: The two things we know, we know that the reporting is, is that the Democrat House Managers, they are going to make this emotionally charged case including a lot of that video, as Representative Val Demings discussed, there's so much out there. And also the White House was likely to be done with this pretty quickly and dragging this out across the next several months with these legal fights probably is not in line with that. Elliot Williams, thank you so much for being with us this morning.

WILLIAMS: Thank you. Of course.

BLACKWELL: Be sure to watch CNN for special live coverage of former President Trump's second impeachment trial. All day coverage starts Tuesday.

PAUL: A CNN exclusive for you we're taking you inside a gathering of QAnon followers. This was just weeks before many of them travel to Washington on January 6th.



BLACKWELL (on camera): For months leading up to the 2020 election, former President Trump or some of his supporters either embraced or fueled the conspiracy theory spread by QAnon.

PAUL (on camera): Yes, and many are wondering what conversations these numbers are having behind closed doors. Well, CNN's Donie O'Sullivan attended this gathering of QAnon followers. This was in Arizona two weeks before the election. Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not supposed to be --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One piece of advice for the mainstream media is not everything can be debunked.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The media is either going to has to be on the right side of history, or they're going to go down with (INAUDIBLE).

DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN POLITICS AND TECHNOLOGY REPORTER (voice-over): You might think wearing a face mask could help a reporter go unnoticed, but not at this gathering of QAnon followers in Arizona just two weeks before November's election. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Take off those damn masks and leave them off.

O'SULLIVAN: That's me and my colleague there. Two of the very few people wearing masks at this indoor event in the middle of a pandemic. And the guy at the back of the room, he is known as the QAnon shaman, and he would go on to storm the Capitol in January.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where we go one, we go all. Won't push you down (INAUDIBLE).

O'SULLIVAN: Where we go one, we go all, an infamous QAnon slogan promoted by Trump's first national security adviser Michael Flynn.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where we go one, we go all.

O'SULLIVAN: And played as an anthem at this meeting of Trump supporters.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are at war right now. And we in this room understand that very, very much.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obviously, you've heard the president talking about the stuff, haven't you?




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did he disavow it, anybody?


O'SULLIVAN: Two nights earlier, Trump had praised QAnon followers at a town hall with Savannah Guthrie.


SAVANNAH GUTHRIE, HOST, NBC NEWS: Can you just once and for all state that, that is completely not true, and that disavow QAnon in its entirety?



I know nothing about QAnon.

GUTHRIE: I just told you.

TRUMP: I know very little -- yes, you told me, but what you tell me doesn't necessarily make it fact. I hate to say that.

O'SULLIVAN: The message to the people in this room was clear. Trump was on their side.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, we have 17 days between now and a massive Trump victory. How do you feel about that?


O'SULLIVAN: In the room, prominent figures in the QAnon movement, including Jim Watkins, who runs the hate-filled site, 8kun, where QAnon messages are posted. And at least two people who would go on to Washington, D.C. on January 6th.

JACOB CHANSLEY, SO-CALLED QANON SHAMAN: A lot of the time all it really takes is keeping our eyes and our ears open to see who is on what side.

O'SULLIVAN: Jacob Chansley, the so-called QAnon shaman, who is charged for his role in the insurrection and went on a hunger strike in prison because they didn't have organic food.


O'SULLIVAN: And this man, Alan Hostetter, known for organizing anti- lockdown protests in California.

HOSTETTER: Nobody wants violence. And we are conditioned from the time we are children in this country to always think that violence is a horrible, horrible thing.

Until we go back and reflect on a revolutionary war. They picked up guns at some point and said enough. Until we reflect on the civil war. We ended slavery by picking up guns and dealing with (INAUDIBLE). We don't want that to have to happen, but it always has to be something in the back of your mind.

O'SULLIVAN: Hostetter's home was raided by the FBI after the insurrection.

Media was not allowed to officially attend the event, but any member of the public could attend. And I signed up using my name and work e- mail address.

Also in attendance was Travis View, a host of the QAnon Anonymous podcast, who has been tracking this conspiracy theory for years.

TRAVIS VIEW, HOST, QANON ANONYMOUS PODCAST: One of my big takeaways from attending the Q conference is that the QAnon movement is so much more than just the predictions or the feeling like you're getting inside information. It's about the community.

The people there felt like they were part of something big and revolutionary, and that they were opposing absolute evil. And that made me feel like this is something that's not going to go away just because Trump lost the election.

AMERICAN CROWD: Where we go one, we go all. (END VIDEOTAPE)

PAUL: And our thanks there to Donie O'Sullivan reporting.

BLACKWELL: Now, President Biden, in many ways, has reset America's foreign policy. He declared that America is back. What his new plan means for the nation's allies and foes, next.



BLACKWELL: In his first major foreign policy speech in office, President Biden promised to restore America's place in the world, and pledge his commitment to our global allies.


BIDEN: America is back. Diplomacy is back. Over the past two weeks, I've spoken with the leaders of many of our closest friends. American alliances are our greatest asset. And leading with diplomacy means standing shoulder to shoulder with our allies and key partners once again.


BLACKWELL: A few of the president's foreign policy goals here: Stopping Russian aggression, ending support to Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen, allowing more refugees into the U.S., and rejoining the Paris climate accord.

As the president tries to repair America's standing abroad, he is also working to restore relations between the White House and the State Department.

In a new piece for Time Magazine, our next guest writes, "Opening his first foreign policy speech with a dad joke, Uncle Joe offers battered state staffers a return to normal.

With me now to discuss, CNN global affairs analyst Kimberly Dozier. Good morning to you.


BLACKWELL: Let's start here. I was hoping to end up here. But with that intro, I want to start with the tone. The last administration looked at the DOJ, the State Department, defense even, with the suspicion of the deep state. What the tonal change means for career service persons, especially in the state department?

DOZIER: Yes, there was an internal and an external message from Biden. The message to the state department employees who Trump had referred to as the deep state department, was that their efforts are appreciated. He has their back; he trusts them to do their job.

And one of the key things he did that day was announced that a foreign service officer -- that's one of the veterans doesn't get his paid as much as political appointees. A guy named Tim Lenderking would get a key high-profile job as the envoy to the conflict in Yemen, which is important to the administration.

So, that was a signal to the long-suffering employees who have survived the Trump administration, because a lot of senior officials have left, that they're going to be welcomed to high positions. And their opinions are going to be listened to.

And from the officials that I spoke to in the rank and file, it was a message that was really appreciated.

BLACKWELL: You mentioned Lenderking and his appointment in Yemen. So, let's stay there. Last night, the administration announced -- reversing what the previous administration determined -- designated on the very last day.


BLACKWELL: The Houthi rebels in Yemen, a foreign terror organization. Two angles on this question, what does that mean for the two acute humanitarian crisis in Yemen, and how does that play into the broader strategy with Iran? Iran, of course, backing the Houthi rebels?

DOZIER: Well, the administration was careful to say this doesn't mean the Houthis are off the hook. They are still considered bad actors in this civil war because they're a very small minority and have at the negotiating table with the U.N. tried to parlay that into a much larger share of power than their size represents. And so, they have been also accused of indiscriminate bombing as Saudi-back forces and Saudi forces have.

The problem with officially declaring them a terrorist organization, according to U.N. and multiple humanitarian organizations is it creates all sorts of legal barriers to getting humanitarian goods into the country. Even though the Trump administration tried to make sure those avenues were open.

If you're a shipping company and you're shipping humanitarian goods to Yemen, you might be fearful that, still, you're going to get tripped up by some of these legal concerns, and get your goods impounded, or get crossways with the last administration, the Trump administration, financially.

So, this administration, the Biden team has announced this. But at the same time, announced that they are stepping up efforts to try to bring the parties back to the negotiating table, and get the fighting at least stopped for a time.

BLACKWELL: Yes, yes, those are talks fell apart or at least deflated back in 2018. Let's move to China because there was a conversation between Secretary of State Tony Blinken, and his Chinese counterpart late last night.

The readout from the state department is that the secretary was firm with Mr. Yang. He also -- he tweeted as much. And during his confirmation hearing, he praised the Trump administration for being tougher -- taking a tougher stance with China.

Is the U.S.-China relationship dramatically different two weeks after the inauguration than it was two weeks before?

DOZIER: Not really. We got a lot of signals from the Biden administration that it would be a lot of similar policies, but with a slightly different tone. A tone of trying to remind China that it is a great power, and with that, come great responsibilities.

So, sort of a stern talking to that Blinken is giving Chinese officials. That's all well and good, but when you look at one of the first foreign policy issues to confront the Biden White House, and state department, that's the military coup in Burma or Myanmar, the Chinese have the upper hand.

They joined in a U.N. Security Council statement this last week saying that they vaguely disapprove of it. But they haven't used their massive commercial and trade power and influence with the Myanmar military, to get them to relinquish the house arrest of the civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

And the fact to the matter is the other countries like Japan, like India, like Singapore that the U.S. could try to use. That -- you know, the Biden administration said that they're going to try to use their local allies to bring about change.

The fact to the matter is they -- those trading countries are in a trade agreement with China and Myanmar.


DOZIER: So, they don't want to rock the boat too much. China has the upper hand.

BLACKWELL: Yes, and, you know, China and that massive trade bloc, another place where -- when the U.S. kind of stepped back or stepped off the stage, trying to took the opportunity to increase its dominance.

Kimberly Dozier, always good to have you.

DOZIER: Thank you.



PAUL: All right. Tom Brady is about to play in his tenth Super Bowl. We're going to hear from the legendary quarterback, what he thinks is the key to winning this time around.


PAUL: An assistant coach for the defending Super Bowl champion, Kansas City Chiefs, under investigation this morning after a car crash that left a child with life-threatening injuries. BLACKWELL: Andy Scholes has this morning's bleacher report. Andy, what happened here?

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Well, Victor and Christi, police in Kansas City say that Britt Reid, who's the son of head coach - the Chiefs' head coach Andy Reid, and he's also linebacker's coach.

He was involved in a multi-vehicle crash near Arrowhead Stadium, Thursday night. And two children ended up going to the hospital from that crash.

SHOLES (voice-over): Police say a car was disabled on an on-ramp. The driver called family members for assistance. Family members arrived and parked south of the disabled car, then a dodge ram truck struck both of those vehicles.

In a search warrant first obtained by CNN affiliate KSHB, police identified Britt Reid as the driver of the dodge ram. A responding officer noted that Reid smelled of alcohol and retold the officer he had consumed, "two to three drinks". Reid has not been charged with any crime at this time.

A 4-year-old and 5-year-old were hurt in the crash. Police described the 5-year-old's injuries as life-threatening. The condition of children is unknown at this time. In a statement, the Chiefs said, the team is aware of the situation and said its thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved.

SCHOLES: All right, the Chiefs are traveling to Tampa later today. Super Bowl LV. It is just a pretty awesome matchup. Chiefs trying to become the first team to win back-to-back titles since Tom Brady and The Patriots did it back in 2005.

Brady, meanwhile, trying to win his seventh Super Bowl at 43 years old.



TOM BRADY, QUARTERBACK, TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS: The one thing about this game, you're playing the other best team in the league. So, there's not a lot of margin of error. If you do anything that's unsound, it's not going to work.

So, execution has to be at your best. And it should be that way. That's the way this game should be played, it should be the highest level of execution.

SCHOLES: We'll have much more on the Chiefs and Bucs later today in our CNN bleacher report special, "KICKOFF IN TAMPA BAY". Coy Wire and myself going to get you ready for the big game. We'll be joined by two-time Super Bowl champion Malcolm Jenkins, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and many more. That's this afternoon, 2:30 Eastern right here on CNN.

All right, we'll have more NEW DAY right after the break.