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New Day Saturday
States Ease Restrictions Amid Worrying Spikes; Biden Tells Migrants Not To Come To U.S.; Chauvin Murder Trial Will Continue, Remain In Minneapolis; Parts Of France Begin Month-Long Lockdown As Variant Surges; Korean Air To Test Travel Pass With Flights To Los Angeles; Japan Opens Super Nintendo World After Multiple Delays. Aired 7-8a ET
Aired March 20, 2021 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: A beautiful day there in Washington, as we look at the Capitol, still lit up as the sun's coming up over the horizon. We hope that you are seeing some sunshine today as well or will, wherever you are waking up. Good morning to you. I'm Christi Paul.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Boris Sanchez in for Victor Blackwell. Right now, more than 77 million Americans have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. It's nearly 13 percent of the U.S. population that's fully vaccinated.
PAUL: Right now, HHS says the country will have plenty of shots available but the issue more likely will be getting people to take the vaccine.
SANCHEZ: Yes, several states are pushing forward with easing restrictions. Nearly all AMC movie theaters are set to reopen on Friday, and Disneyland in California set to open in stores next month.
PAUL: Now, the U.S. have seen a significant drop in infection this winter, but the average daily number of new cases is still around 53,000.
SANCHEZ: Yes, experts fear that we could still see a spike. They say that vaccine hesitancy and the increasing number of variants could stand in the way of herd immunity.
PAUL: New guidelines, though, from the CDC are giving a lot of people hope that there is going to be returned to normal. And that that's going to be soon. CNN's Evan McMorris Santoro is following the very latest. Evan, good to see you this morning. So, the CDC put out this new guidance about how schools should stagger students in classrooms now. We understand there are some teachers that I mean, they're still cautious about going back to the classroom. How did the CDC make this decision?
EVAN MCMORRIS SANTORO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christi, we've been talking about this since the beginning of the pandemic. The idea of what's safe and not safe inside a school, and the science he showed us for a while now that being inside a school is relatively safe: everyone's wearing a mask, there's ventilation. And up until this week, students are sitting six feet apart.
Well, the CDC looked at numbers from across the country and looked at three states specific data and found that actually students could sit three feet apart again with the masks and with the ventilation. Which means theoretically, a lot more kids in school, and that could mean a big deal for getting this country back to normal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANTORO (voice over): Big news for schools Friday. New guidance from the CDC having the distance most students need to be spaced in the classroom.
DR. ROCHELLE WALENSKY, CDC DIRECTOR: Layered mitigation strategy, including strict use of masks among students and distance of at least three feet between students were common factors among the schools and these studies that demonstrated decreased transmission from COVID-19.
SANTORO: The new guidance heralded by local government leaders who say the updated rules mean more kids in school.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's going to really help us to reach more kids.
SANTORO: It's not just throwing open the doors however.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are they going to still ensure that you have good enough ventilation in those places? That's going to continue to be a priority, obviously masking is going to continue to be a priority, all those things. So, yes, great news. I think it's going to open the door for a lot of schools to be able to reopen. But don't, don't forget the basics still, masks, ventilation, all that.
SANTORO: Optimism mixed with vigilance as the Biden administration announced a major achievement this week. 100 million vaccine doses administered in 58 days.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have nearly double the amount of vaccine doses that we distribute to states, tribes and territories each week.
SANTORO: States across the country are making the vaccine more available. And with that, some are lifting restrictions. In Kentucky this weekend, bars can serve until midnight and close at 1:00 a.m. at 60 percent capacity. On Monday, Massachusetts reopen stadiums at 12 percent capacity, and raises limits on public gatherings. Signs that Americans are feeling more secure are everywhere, especially at the airport.
The TSA screen more than a million passengers per day for the last eight straight days. That's a record for the year. But it doesn't mean the pandemic is anywhere near over. Dr. Fauci warning, the variant first discovered in the U.K. is spreading in America. And people still need to take the basic measures to protect themselves.
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS TASK FORCE: Get as many people vaccinated as quickly and as expeditiously as possible with a vaccine that we know works against this variant. And finally, to implement the public health measures that we talked about all the time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANTORO (on camera): So, Christi and Boris that challenge of trying to reopen things while remaining focused on this pandemic is still really with us this weekend. I'm at the Javits Center, which is a massive vaccine site here in Manhattan, you can see some people actually starting to line up. They get their vaccines today. I know it's the middle of the day for you two, but it's still the morning for some of us here in New York.
And the focus here is trying to get those vaccines in people's arms as quickly as possible. Chuck Schumer, the Senator from New York, announcing a 33 percent increase in vaccine availability through the end of this month trying to get those vaccines in arms, get that herd immunity going as quickly as possible to keep this vaccine under control and finally put it in check. Boris and Christi.
PAUL: Evan McMorris Santoro, good to see you. Thank you, sir. Let's talk to Public Health Physician Dr. Chris Pernell about all of this, he's fellow at the American College of Preventative Medicine. She is, I'm sorry. Good morning to you so much, Dr. Pernell. Good to have you with us.
I wanted to ask you about as we're talking about vaccines and the availability that we're seeing now, this is what we've been waiting for, is this availability. But we do know that Dr. David Kessler, who's the Chief Science Officer for the White House, this COVID-19 response said this, he said: "I believe we're going to be seeing a shift from a supply issue to a demand issue pretty soon. Based on your experience where you are, how plausible is that scenario to you?
DR. CHRIS PERNELL, PUBLIC HEALTH PHYSICIAN: Look, I think there should be cause for concern, but cause for concern should not pre-empt, pre- emptive planning, should not prevent logistical actions being taken on the ground. We need to be ready so that when supply isn't an issue, we've thought through how to get our homebound seniors, we've thought through how to get deep into our hard-hit communities, and we thought through those pockets of slow to yes, right?
Those pockets of slow to yes, have been talked a lot about in the Black and Brown communities. But actually, we have pockets of slow to yes, or even resistance in certain political affiliated groups, and White men and Evangelicals. So, we have to do a better job at public health messaging and doing it in culturally and socially relevant tones.
PAUL: Dr. Fauci said this week, that we're not likely to get to hurt herd immunity unless we start vaccinating children. We know that older children should be able to start getting vaccinated in the fall, younger children will be beyond that. Do you see a scenario at all that there's a chance we may not even hit herd immunity?
PERNELL: Anything's possible, but we're not going to let up, right? So, I call it community immunity. You'll hear a lot of people talk about that. So, another way to emphasize our sense of social connectedness, the more that we can do to get vaccines in arms. Again, vaccines don't save lives. Vaccinations do. And ultimately, that means we're going to have to vaccinate adolescence.
And right now, we have studies ongoing in children 12 and above so that we can demonstrate safety and efficacy. The science is doing its part, now we need the public to be ready to uptake and receive that and we need the government at every level to have thought through the logistics so that we don't only have a robust vaccination strategy for adults, but a robust vaccination strategy for children.
PAUL: We see relaxing restrictions in a number of states. Now, we know Texas has already done it. Alabama is determining whether they may be going to know masking. New York, we heard they're easing restrictions for dining and whatnot. What do you say to people who point out we've hit 100 million vaccinations in 58 days, which is far better than what had been predicted or what was the goal? What do you say to people who say don't the vaccines make us safer?
PERNELL: Vaccines make us safer but again to emphasize, vaccinations are what saves lives, right? So doses in arms. But above all, we cannot relax, we cannot let up. We have evidence and data pointing back to the summer when restriction started to be ease, when people started to dine indoors and even outdoors. We saw spikes and infections within six weeks. We even saw spikes in deaths.
We can't look at just part of the science or we can't claim a pre- emptive or partial victory. We have to think through what is going to keep the most amount of folks safe and that is to continue with those public health measures. You know, I know everyone wants to return to their routine as much as possible. We want the economy to be robust, but those things don't have to be at odds with public health.
If we do those things in lockstep with the science, in lockstep with the data, we won't see those surges. I can tell you right here in the northeast, in New York, in New Jersey, we're actually seeing an uptick in cases. And we're concerned if those variants are outpacing our ability to vaccinate. So, we're closely watching that while people want to go to Disneyland, while people want to dine outside. It's not the time to be that fast. And definitely universal masking is our key to keeping people alive.
PAUL: Yes, those variants of the wild card and then what we're seeing in Europe as well is also a little concerning. Dr. Chris Pernell, so good to have you with us, ma'am. Thank you for taking the time.
PERNELL: Thank you.
SANCHEZ: Still to come, new surveillance video of what appears to be the shooting suspect in the Atlanta Asian spa shootings, getting out of his car before allegedly opening fire. What this video can tell Investigators.
PAUL: Also, a trail of diapers, children's clothing, discarded, and documents. This is what it looks like for children who are crossing the border alone. We'll tell you more.
SANCHEZ: Fear and frustration among Asian Americans is front and center this morning as we learn more about the victims of Tuesday's spa shooting in the Atlanta area.
PAUL Eight people died. We want to show you their names, some of their photos here. Six of those killed were Asian women. After meeting with community leaders in Atlanta yesterday, President Biden condemned attacks on Asian Americans and Vice President Kamala Harris, herself of South Asian descent, added that racism, xenophobia and sexism in America, they're all real, and they have to be called out.
SANCHEZ: CNN's Amara Walker is in Atlanta with the latest on the investigation and the call for law enforcement to classify the attacks as a hate crime.
AMARA WALKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christ and Boris, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were in Atlanta Friday meeting with leaders from the Asian American Pacific Islander Community. After the meeting, they condemned the rise of xenophobia and racism that we've been seeing in this country but stopped short of calling this killing spree at the three spas across the Atlanta area a hate crime.
Now, while police are investigating whether or not this was a racially motivated crime, CNN is getting new images from surveillance video that appears to show the suspect's vehicle pulling into the parking lot, pulling in front of Young's Asian massage that is the first of three spas of a suspect of went on a deadly shooting spree on Tuesday.
This image shows the suspect right before the shootings that killed four people and injured one. The 21-year-old suspect, Robert Aaron Long, remains behind bars without bond; he faces eight counts of murder and one attempted murder charge. Christi, Boris.
PAUL: Amara, thank you so much. And listen, Anderson Cooper, Amara Walker, Victor Blackwell and Ana Cabrera are going to be with you for a look at a disturbing trend, violent acts against people of color. What are the solutions here? "AFRAID: FEAR IN AMERICA'S COMMUNITIES OF COLOR" begins Monday night at 9:00 right here on CNN.
SANCHEZ: Meantime, as the migrant surge continues, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have made the trip to the U.S.-Mexican border. President Biden says he has no plans to visit. Is that a mistake? We'll discuss next.
PAUL: Well, the Biden administration facing a growing surge at the U.S.-Mexico border right now. The border Patrol's sector Chief in Texas Rio Grande Valley tell CNN more than 2000 migrants were apprehended just on Thursday.
SANCHEZ: Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut was among a bipartisan group of Senators who traveled to the Southern Border with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas yesterday. Take a look at what he tweeted: "Just left the border processing facility. Hundreds of kids packed into big open rooms.
In a corner, I fought back tears as a 13-year-old girl sobbed uncontrollably, explaining through a translator how terrified she was having been separated from her grandmother and without her parents." He later added at the Biden administration has "a ton of work ahead to clean up the mess Trump left them, but their intentions are true."
PAUL: CNN's Rosa Flores has been speaking with migrants about how and why they're making such a dangerous journey, here's her story.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: These are the South Texas trails used by thousands of migrants like these unaccompanied teenagers from Guatemala to make their way into the U.S. And sometimes, they encounter Deputy Constable Dan Broyles as he patrols the border with Mexico.
16-year-old Kevin gets emotional as he shares that he's been traveling for a month, sometimes without food or water. His father waits for him in Pennsylvania.
17-year-old Allen's voice breaks as he explains his grandma, who takes care of him stayed behind in his gang-ridden neighborhood.
Border authorities in the Rio Grande Valley are encountering about thousand migrants a day according to a federal source, many of them unaccompanied minors. Evidence mothers and children are on the trail, litter the landscape, diapers, children's clothing and masks.
Documents left behind by some of the migrants tell part of their story. In this case, it looks like a 34-year-old mom from Honduras and her two year old son, they both tested for COVID before leaving their country and tested negative.
So, what do you look for when you patrol?
DAN BROYLES, DEPUTY CONSTABLE: Well, what I'm looking for is splashes of color that don't belong in the brush.
FLORES: He also looks down the paths that lead to the river for signs of life.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is an indication sign --
FLORES: And he shows us the arrows posted by border authorities.
BROYLES: As you can see that the Homeland Security bag.
FLORES: And this one that reads "asilo" or asylum.
Walk to the bridge, two kilometers.
BROYLES: Two kilometers, yes.
FLORES: What bridge? The bridge near the Rio Grande where immigration processing begins. This is as close as our cameras can get. Border Patrol is not granting media access but with permission, from deputy constables who patrol alongside federal authorities --
BROYLES: Precinct three constables office is in charge of approximately 22 miles of international border.
FLORES: We got our eyes and ears on the ground. Did you come alone? This teen says he paid a smuggler after a recent hurricane flooded his single mom's home.
How much did you pay?
Or about $2500.
How did you get the money?
A (INAUDIBLE) was it alone?
Broyle's job ends here. When he sends the teens off to Border Patrol. For the teens, it's just another step in an already uncertain journey.
Among the banks of the Rio Grande, the landmass that you see behind me is Mexico. The man in charge of this portion of the border is Precinct Three Constable Larry Guiardo. And he tells me that there's a constant dual challenge here, downriver, the smuggling of people; up river, the smuggling of drugs, and the Border Patrol chief tweeting, there is no end in sight. Rosa Flores, CNN, along the U.S. Mexico border.
SANCHEZ: Rosa, thanks so much for that report. Joining us now to discuss the issue of immigration is Laura Barone Lopez, White House Correspondent for Politico and Margaret Talev, Managing Editor for Axios and also a CNN Political Analyst.
Margaret, let's start with you. You said that the crisis at the border is a bigger political threat to the president right now than the pandemic because immigration is an issue that unifies Republicans. And with Republicans eyeing a return to the majority in 2022, what is their incentive to work with Democrats to fix this problem?
MARGARET TALEV, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, Boris, I think we're beginning to see some of the contours of this, right. I mean, we know that the house has the Democrats who control the House have begun breaking up immigration legislation into sort of more digestible pieces, dealing with the dreamers, children who were brought here, without documentation or dealing with farmworkers. These were supposed to be the test cases, the smaller pieces that could be broken off and perhaps passed by 51/50 Senate.
But already, we are hearing Republicans in the Senate saying, well, you know, until we get the border situation under control, it's going to be very difficult to pass this legislation. So, that bigger sort of Biden ministration dream of a comprehensive immigration plan to create a path towards citizenship for 11 million people. OK, put that aside for a couple of months, if it's going anywhere. These are the smaller pieces, and they're already beginning to hit roadblocks, precisely because of the messaging around the current crisis with the surges.
SANCHEZ: Yes, Laura, Biden has been watching members of his cabinet, lawmakers from both parties, traveling to the border. According to the White House, no plans yet for Biden himself to visit. He did share this with ABC News, a message to potential immigrants. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: First of all, the idea that Joe Biden said come because I heard the other day that they're coming, because you know, I'm a nice guy, and I want to --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're saying this?
BIDEN: Yes, well, here's the deal. They're not.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have to say quite clearly don't come?
BIDEN: Yes, I can say quite clearly don't come on what we're in the process of getting set up. Don't leave your town or city or community.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: So, now that COVID relief is passed, and vaccine numbers are rising, despite a need to be more engaged on this issue, does he potentially need to send that message to immigrants in person at the border?
LAURA BARONE-LOPEZ, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, POLITICO: Well, certainly, Boris, there are a lot of factors that go into migrants making that journey beyond what our U.S. officials say. But as the pressure increases, and as the situation escalates potentially at the border, Biden may very well have to go down there.
Right now, the administration is turning to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to handle the situation at the border to make those trips himself to be the one that is showing that he's in charge and controlling the situation. Well, Biden himself is able to continue to go around the country and address the more what the administration considers their top priority and the more immediate domestic crisis.
So, even though the relief plan has been passed, they are still looking to what they want to tackle next in terms of helping the economy rebuild and addressing jobs and infrastructure. And they're also doing trips to try to make sure that the public understands exactly what's in that relief plan. So, so far, there's no indication that the White House is going to change their plans to try to continue to focus on the pandemic.
SANCHEZ: All right, Laura, Margaret, we want you to stand by for just a moment because we want to get your thoughts on another topic. And for that, we're going to turn to Capitol Hill now where Senate Democrats are preparing for a battle. They're going to bring up a major voting rights bill that was passed by the House and that measure would prevent many restrictions on voting being considered in multiple states. But Senate Republicans have promised to block it.
CNN's Daniella Diaz joins us now. Daniella, some Democrats feel they're going to need a break or change the filibuster in order to take action on what would be a major piece of legislation.
DANIELLA DIAZ, CNN CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER (on camera): That's right, Boris. When it comes to the Senate filibuster, a growing number of Senate Democrats are ready to rumble.
They are arguing that if Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans are going to block legislation, particularly this voting rights bill that you just mentioned that is set to counter state-led efforts to limit voter access, they are open to nuking this rule that requires a 60- vote threshold for legislation to pass in the Senate.
But not all Democrats are open to ending this rule. Senate -- from West Virginia -- Senator from West Virginia, Joe Manchin has said that he is opposed to ending this rule. And he is reminding his Democratic colleagues that this could be used against them when they're in the minority.
And he is not the only senator that is opposed to this. He includes Senate -- senator from Arizona Kyrsten Sinema, Jon Tester from Montana, and Dianne Feinstein of California.
And while Manchin and President Joe Biden have been open to changing the rules regarding the filibuster, it's unclear whether this will even happen because of the slim majority that is in the Senate with Democrats. So, unclear right now where this is going.
SANCHEZ: All right, Daniella Diaz reporting from Capitol Hill. Thank you so much.
Back with me now is Laura Barron-Lopez, White House correspondent at POLITICO. And CNN political analyst Margaret Talev.
Margaret, to you quickly, some reporting, specifically from Laura indicates that there have been folks lobbying Joe Biden on this issue and apparently giving him time to come around to see that his agenda could potentially hinge on a change to the filibuster rule.
What is your sense of whether Joe Biden is going to fully come around to blowing up the filibuster? MARGARET TALEV, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST (on camera): Yes, Biden's been taking -- the president has been taken baby steps, right? He's talked about being open to bringing back the talking filibuster -- the actual filibuster where you, you know, read green eggs and ham on the Senate floor at 3:00 in the morning.
Right now, you just kind of say, well, let's make it a cloture vote. It's a procedural way, it's kind of an automatic filibuster button. But it's just very complicated (INAUDIBLE).
The filibuster has been around in the U.S. since the 1800s. It's been around for sort of centuries since there's been some form of democracy. But because of its history in the U.S., it really has experienced an uptick around issues of race during the Civil War, when there were efforts to slow down abolitionism, you saw a lot of filibusters. During the civil rights era of the 1960s, you saw again a return to the active use of the filibuster.
And because now there are so many efforts in red states to make it more difficult to vote because it was easier to vote, and that helped more people vote, and then, Joe Biden became president. The backlash to that has created all these efforts in individual states to make it harder to vote.
Congress and the Democrats are seen as a counterbalance to that. And if Senate Republicans put a -- you know, brakes on that, that is why this issue is coming to the forefront now.
But to be sure, there are other issues, other legislative issues besides voting rights that would clearly be impacted if the Senate voted like the House did with simple majorities all the time.
SANCHEZ: Yes, and Laura, Margaret alluded to the length between the filibuster and issues of race. In your piece, you sort of put out the idea that some Democrats were willing to argue that getting the filibuster out of the way to pass something like a voting rights bill is about protecting minority voters.
Do you get the sense that there are enough Democrats out there that will lean into that argument and move forward with something that would re-arraign Senate rules as we know them?
LAURA BARRON-LOPEZ, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, POLITICO: There's an increasing number of Democrats that are arguing that. You hear House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn comparing it to try and to fight against Brown v. Board.
He also said that why aren't people paying more attention to the two Democratic senators from Georgia? That they also are a part of that Democratic majority in the Senate, and they should have a strong of a say.
And we -- this week, Senator Warnock from Georgia argue that exact point, which was that people in the Senate are more -- senators are more concerned about protecting the minority party in the Senate than they are protecting minority voters. So, increasingly you're hearing House Democrats, civil rights leaders, even a number of Senate Democrats like Amy Klobuchar from Minnesota saying that the reason she thinks the filibuster needs to be done away with is because it's becoming impossible to pass what they consider very critical legislation like the voting rights expansion, as well as police reform.
BARRON-LOPEZ: And that it's going to be impossible to do that if they don't break the filibuster.
So, this is all adding to the pressure on Biden as well as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and that's a big question right now which is where do they both end up and how far can a lot of these Democrats push them as they make what Margaret said those baby steps toward potentially more aggressively reforming the filibuster.
SANCHEZ: Yes, the other big question that's out there is will Democrats ultimately regret this? Mitch McConnell has promised that they will.
We have to leave the conversation there though. Laura Barron Lopez, Margaret Talev, thank you both so much.
TALEV: Thanks, Boris.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR (on camera): So, the judge in the Derek Chauvin trial is making a key ruling about the case. Details on how that may affect things moving forward.
PAUL: New developments to tell you about in the Derek Chauvin murder trial. Judge Peter Cahill has denied former Minneapolis police officer's defense request to postpone the trial or actually even move it out of the Minneapolis altogether.
SANCHEZ: Yes, you recall, Chauvin's team made the request, following the city settlement announcement to the Floyd family amid the ongoing jury selection process. The case moved closer to trial on Friday after the 13th juror was picked.
CNN's Omar Jimenez has the latest from Minneapolis.
OMAR JIMENEZ. CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): At the end of a week, two of jury selection in the trial for Derek Chauvin, we've got 13 jurors. And Judge Peter Cahill on this case indicating he wants at least two more before he feels comfortable heading into opening statements scheduled for March 29th.
We added one juror over the course of Friday, but Peter Cahill also made a series of rulings Friday that had a major impact on the trajectory of this trial. Most notably, it's not going to be delayed or subject to a change in venue as defense attorneys for Derek Chauvin had wanted for. They argued that pretrial publicity damaged jurors' abilities to be impartial in this.
And the judge basically said, no matter when this trial happens, pretrial publicity is going to be a factor. And no matter where it happens in the State of Minnesota, you're not going to be able to find a set of jurors who have not heard of this story or even been impacted by it. So, the trial goes on.
Now, he also ruled on allowing certain limited evidence of a 2019 George Floyd arrest, specifically portions of body camera video from that day. Also, some photographs of hills located in the cracks of a car that day. And testimony from a paramedic, explaining their decision on recommending Floyd go to the hospital that day.
And then, on the jurors' side, I mentioned we are up to 13. And while we don't know their identities, we do know some of their demographics. And right now, we have five white women in their 40s and 50s. Three black men in their 30s and 40s, two white men in their 20s and 30s, one black man in her 60s, and two mixed-race women in their 20s and 40s.
It's all set to continue with jury selection, Monday morning at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time as they try to get to a number of jurors that Judge Cahill is comfortable with ahead of began opening statements on March 29th. Omar Jimenez, CNN, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
PAUL: Omar, thank you to you. So, the U.S. Capitol is going to look a little less like a fortress as it does now. The fencing that was put up after pro-Trump insurrectionists stormed the complex on January 6th, that's going to be taken down this weekend.
SANCHEZ: Yes, in a memo obtained by CNN, the acting sergeant at arms wrote to members of Congress that the Capitol police "will remove the outer perimeter fencing around the Capitol complex sooner than initially anticipated."
The memo says the decision was reached because "there does not exist a known, credible threat against Congress or the Capitol complex that warrants the temporary security fencing."
Under lockdown, yet again. Some European countries are re-imposing restrictions amid a third wave of coronavirus infections. We'll tell you where next.
PAUL: So, we're following developments out of Japan right now. A major 7.0 earthquake struck this morning. It hit off Japan's east coast. People could feel it as far away as Tokyo, which is 200 miles away.
A tsunami advisory was issued immediately after the tremor but it's since been lifted. And we are monitoring developments there to check out any reports of damage or injuries. We'll keep you posted of course.
SANCHEZ: Yes, and staying in that part of the world today, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Organizers Committee announced that international spectators will not be allowed to enter Japan during the Olympic Summer Games because of the ongoing pandemic.
PAUL: Yes, for the latest on how the virus is impacting countries around the world, I want to talk to our team of international correspondents. We begin with Jim Bittermann who's in France.
JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: For the next month, an estimated 20 million French will be facing new restrictions as the government attempts to bring down the alarming rise in COVID cases.
In a large part of the country stretching from Paris, north, to the English Channel, and around the city of Nice to the south, an estimated 110,000 non-essential businesses will be shut down. And people have to carry around justifications for being out and about. As well, travel between parts of the country which are under restrictions and other areas will be forbidden.
Meanwhile, the lagging vaccination program here seemed to be back on track with the prime minister himself getting a vaccine shot on television encouraging the French to do the same.
Jim Bitterman, (INAUDIBLE), France.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): I'm Paula Hancock in Seoul.
Korean Air says that its customers will be among the first in the world to gain access to IATA's Travel Pass.
HANCOCKS: Now, this is a pass that allows passengers to record their COVID-19 testing results and also any possible vaccination. The International Air Transport Association is calling on governments to start issuing digital vaccine credentials to try and smooth the restart of international travel. Now, it's planning to roll out to this travel pass as early as the end of this month.
SANCHEZ: Paula Hancocks in Seoul and Jim Bitterman near Paris, thank you both.
PAULA: Yes, after multiple delays between -- because of the pandemic, the doors of Super Nintendo World are finally open in Japan.
SANCHEZ: CNN's Selina Wang takes us on a tour of the first theme park based on Nintendo's popular video games.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SELINA WANG. CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Here we go, entering Super Nintendo World through the warp pipe. Follow me. And here we are, a life-size replica of Nintendo's most popular games. You've got Yoshi's Adventure, Bowser's Castle, and Peach's Castle, and all the iconic characters.
After nearly a year-long delay because of COVID-19, this theme park in Osaka's Universal Studios, Japan is finally open to the public. We're getting a sneak peek before the big crowds come in.
But this is how things look during COVID, your temperature is taken at the entrance. Hand sanitizer is everywhere, masks are required at all times except for a mask-free zones.
So, I can interact with Mario and Luigi, but there are rules against touching. And one of the few places in this whole park where I can take my mask off are in this photo op area with Mario and Luigi. And actually on the ground here, there are markers to prove that I need to be a certain distance away from them. So, I am being socially distanced from Mario and Luigi.
WANG (voice-over): Park officials say that this all cost about half a billion dollars to construct and more than six years to develop. Now, the gaming industry and Nintendo especially got a big boost during the pandemic as more people were stuck at home inside playing Nintendo games.
WANG (on camera): Games have become real life in this park, the whole park is interactive. You can even compete against other people here. And just like in the Mario video games. I've got this power band on my wrist and I can just punch up on these blocks and I get points in the Mario app on my phone.
WANG (voice-over): And this is what many fans are most excited about. Koopa's Challenge, a real-life Mario Kart race through Bowser's Castle.
WANG (on camera): All right, I'm about to get on a real-life Mario Kart ride. Got to put on the augmented reality headset here. Clip it in. All right, let's go.
WANG (voice-over): The augmented reality headset got a little bit of getting used to, but I was racing through the Mushroom Kingdom next to Princess Peach, Mario, and Luigi.
WANG (on camera): I'm not great at the video game version of Mario Kart, I think I might have fared slightly better in the real-life version.
WANG (voice-over): For Nintendo, this is an important step beyond its core business of video games and consoles.
WANG (on camera): It's cashing in on its treasure trove of intellectual property and iconic characters. Here in the store and in the restaurant, Kinopio's Cafe. We're here in the Mushroom Kingdom and mushroom-themed food is everywhere. It looks like cartoon food, but it's edible. WANG (voice-over): She told me, when I saw all this, I got emotional. I've been playing Nintendo games since I was small. It's not exaggerating to say that Mario games raised me.
This is all beyond my expectations, she told me. I feel like I'm in the Mario world.
I get worried about COVID when I take off my mask to eat, she said. But the park is taking safety protocols, so I feel safe.
WANG (on camera): Japan's borders are still closed so international travelers aren't allowed in this park yet. But there are plans to open Super Nintendo World in Florida, California, and Singapore.
WANG (voice-over): Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto says he wants the whole world to come visit when the pandemic is over. Selina Wang, CNN, Tokyo.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: So, President Biden is talking about what happened in Atlanta this weekend, condemning skyrocketing hate crimes against Asian Americans.
We have more on that in the next hour of NEW DAY in just a moment. Stay close.
PAUL: So, tomorrow night, be sure to watch an all-new episode of "STANLEY TUCCI: SEARCHING FOR ITALY." Here is visiting Sicily, here is a preview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STANLEY TUCCI, AWARD-WINNING ACTOR AND BEST-SELLING COOKBOOK AUTHOR: Garum was sort of like Roman ketchup. Sort of, maybe. Tony then adds lemon zest, Sicilian, of course, and an avalanche of (INAUDIBLE).
On top, he adds salted dehydrated fried capers for crunch and dried bread crumbs ground down with anchovies, which is called Mullika(PH).
This is the Mullika (PH) that people used to use a little but a seed because they didn't have cheese. This in essence took the place of cheese. Come on.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's beautiful.
TUCCI: I love it! Thank you. It's so good! Oh, my god, it's so good! Oh, my god!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL (voice-over): What a job he has, doesn't he? "STANLEY TUCCI: SEARCHING FOR ITALY" airs tomorrow night at 9:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Hate and violence often hide in plain sight. It's often met with silence. Our silence is complicity.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He is speaking to this issue, it's a big change from our former president.
KAMALA HARRIS VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Ultimately, this is about who we are as a nation. This is about how we treat people.