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New Day Saturday

New Details on Victims of Deadly Spa Shootings in Atlanta; Calls For Hate Crime Charges After Atlanta Area Spa Shootings; Six Asian Women Among Victims Of Deadly Atlanta Spa Shootings. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired March 20, 2021 - 08:00   ET




JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The hate and violence often hide in plain sight. It's often met with silence or silence is complicity.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He is speaking to this issue. It is 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.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The CDC updating guidelines for schools just three feet of space between students down from six.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These recommendations are specific to students in classrooms with universal mask wearing.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, REPORTER: So, you know Vladimir Putin, you think he's a killer?

BIDEN: I do.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So, what price must he pay.

BIDEN: The price he's going to pay well, you'll see shortly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maybe it wasn't the most tactful diplomatic thing to say. But it's truthful. Putin does have blood on his hands.


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Beautiful day, obviously showing up in New York there. I hope that it's beautiful, wherever you happen to be waking up this morning. I'm Christi Paul.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Boris Sanchez in for Victor Blackwell. Always a pleasure to join you, Christi. Look forward to doing it more often during these hours.

PAUL: Yes, get ready for that wakeup call at 2:00 AM buddy. SANCHEZ: Well, we begin this hour with another moment of reckoning in

America. The fear and frustration felt by Asian Americans is in focus this morning as we learn more about the victims of Tuesday's spa shootings in the Atlanta area. In all eight people died. Those are their names, some of their photos you see there. Six were Asian women, Asian American women.

CNN's Natasha Chen is in Atlanta this morning. So, Natasha, talk to us about what we're learning about this investigation, as well as about who these victims were.

NATASHA CHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Christi and - Christi and Boris we are in front of one of these spots in Atlanta, where you see a lot of flowers and candles that people have brought because this is just hit the community so hard.

And I want to go over those names one more time because there are eight people as you mentioned. Soon Chung Park, Hyun Jung Grant, Suncha Kim, Yong Ae Yue and then in Cherokee County, you have Delaina Yaun, Paul Andre Michaels, Xiajie Tan and Daoyou Feng. You can see that six of those eight people are Asian women.

The four here in Atlanta who died at the two spa locations where we are, they are of Korean descent. The South Korean foreign ministry tells us that one of them was a South Korean citizen who is a U.S. permanent resident now and the three others are believed to be Americans of Korean descent.

I want to share with you something that one visitor told CNN yesterday as she came up to deliver flowers as the investigation continues as authorities look at all angles of this, not taking anything off the table as Atlanta police have said, here is her feeling as a member of the Atlanta area, Asian American community.


HELEN PARK TRUONG: ATLANTA RESIDENT: Another thing we can do is continue to make sure that these stories are not in vain. We need to make sure that people understand this is not an isolated incident and we need to call it what it is, it is a hate crime. Period.


CHEN: And of course, that is not a term that any authorities are using at this time. But it is something that many people are at least asking that authorities consider, and Atlanta Police have said that nothing is off the table. The Korean government has issued a statement that we can share with you now, offering the deepest condolences to the bereaved family members.

And the heartfelt condolences to the compatriots in the U.S. they say and the Asian community who were - by this series of shootings. The Korean government strongly supports the U.S. government's efforts against hatred and violence. It also said that the two governments had decided to actively ensure a safe and stable life for Korean Americans from the recent bilateral meeting of the ministers in Seoul. So now we have you know a foreign government here recognizing that

there is a lot of fear and tension in America, in the Asian American community and offering support for efforts in the U.S. to really combat these issues here.

PAUL: That is something. Natasha Chen, thank you so much for the update.

SANCHEZ: President Joe Biden visited Atlanta yesterday, meeting with members of the community and condemning the skyrocketing hate crimes against Asian Americans, noting the uptick in anti-Asian violence since the beginning of the pandemic.

PAUL: CNN's Jasmine Wright is with us. We know that the President is taking on a role that he - that he's familiar with to some degree as consoler in chief. Talk to us about what he shared with the people in Atlanta.

JASMINE WRIGHT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christi, we saw President Biden trying to use his remarks to reflect the rise of violence against Asian Americans in this country, using as you said that, empathy that we are getting to know so well, but also calls to action in his most forceful, strongest remarks yet.



BIDEN: Too many Asian Americans have been walking up and down the streets and worrying. Waking up each morning, the past year failing their safety and the safety of their loved ones are at stake. They've been attacked, blamed, scapegoated and harassed. They've been verbally assaulted and physically assaulted, killed. Documented incidents against - of hate against Asian Americans have seen a skyrocketing spike over the last year, let alone the ones that happened and never get reported.


WRIGHT: Now President Biden stopped short of labeling Tuesday's shootings, a hate crime. We know that federal authorities haven't yet used that term for it yet. But it is something as my colleague Natasha said just earlier, it's something that those in the AAPI community want to see and had been pressuring Biden to do.

So what he said just then was a nod to that pressure. But he didn't go that far. Now for Vice President Harris, the first South Asian Vice President this country has had, she really tied the history of racism and discrimination in this country to the flashpoint that this country stands at right now.


HARRIS: Racism is real in America. And it has always been. Xenophobia is real in America, and always has been. Sexism too.


WRIGHT: Now Harris has been really vocal about the experiences with racism that she has faced as a woman of color as an Asian woman in this country. Now, before they gave these remarks, both Biden and Harris met with AAPI community leaders in Georgia, where one attendee told CNN that Biden brought up former President Trump and how he has contributed to this rise of anti-Asian hate in this country.

And he said that in his administration, he is now trying to roll that back, Christi, but the question is what comes next. Right? We know that President Biden has really encouraged and call for Congress to pass the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act that would allow federal authorities to investigate COVID related hate crimes earlier as well, as we know, White House officials have told us that really these listening sessions within the Asian American community and White House officials and DOJ have started to get to the bottom of this. Christi, Boris.

PAUL: Good to know, Jasmine Wright, thank you so much. Listen, the Atlanta area shootings, they're not isolated events here. I mean, this is something that we're in the middle of right now, a nationwide rise in anti-Asian violence as spurred in part as we understand by the Coronavirus Pandemic.

The Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, says reports of anti- Asian hate crimes have more than doubled during this Pandemic. A spokesman for Cherokee County where the first shooting happened, said the suspect claims the killings were not racially motive and the county's district attorney said as Natasha and Jasmine both said, he said that the investigation is ongoing.

Atlanta's police chief said it's just too early in the investigation to determine a motive. But there are a lot of people who aren't involved in law enforcement and say this is clear to them, that these were hate crimes against Asian American women. And my next guest believes that same thing. Grace Kao is a professor of ethnicity, race and migration at Yale University. We appreciate you taking the time to be with us, Professor, thank you so much.

There is long documentation of hate crimes against Asian Americans here. We are supposed to learn from history, we know that what is the past? Tell us about where we are right now and how we got here.

GRACE KAO, PROFESSOR OF ETHNICITY, RACE AND MIGRATION, YALE UNIVERSITY: Thank you for having me. First, I'd like to express my deepest condolences to the friends and families of the victims have it's been a terrible week, of course, for them. And for the rest of us as well. I guess historically, we could talk about immigration laws, the first immigration bans against people by national origin were against the Chinese Americans.

So, we started with the 1875 Page Act, which targeted specifically Chinese American women. And the rationale used was that was supposedly they're immoral, you know, tendencies that they were seen as prostitutes and so forth. We went from that to something called the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. So that's, that's the historical element of it. But I want to talk about just the very common everyday lives of all

Asian Americans. And these are just little things that happen to us. But I do want to help all of us understand how these little everyday interactions are related to the views of Asian Americans and Asian American women overall.


PAUL: I know that you have a personal story to tell.

KAO: Yes. So, you know, just as everyday life, I guess, I was, you know, my hometown of San Francisco, California. All of us who are Asian Americans, this is probably the most common question we get. The first question is, you know, where are you from?

And for someone like me, I'm Chinese American, of course, the expectation is that I say, you know, China, or Hong Kong or Taiwan, or something, but if I say San Francisco, you know, the next question will be no, really, where are you really from?

And so you know, I have to somehow get to Asia, because the person asking me the question will not be satisfied until I get to Asia. The other question that will come up is, where did you learn to speak English so well? Now these things seem like they're minor, and you know, just sort of from a place of curiosity, but what they point to is someone like me, could never really actually be American, but I must be from somewhere else.

And that I have to sort of help the person who was asking me these questions place me. So that sort of establishes us as foreign. So that's, I guess that's pretty--

PAUL: Right, right. But I mean, I know that you call it minor. But it's it doesn't feel minor, right?

KAO: Well, I think when it happens to individuals, you don't think about it that much. I'm someone who's taught about Asian Americans about race and ethnicity for over 20 years. And so when I, you know, talk to my students, most of my students are of color, many are Asian American, there's a light bulb that goes up because they realize, oh, it didn't just happen to them. It happened, you know, to someone like me who's much older than they are and to other people in the class.

So it is a very common experience. And so that ties in with, I think, what is happening right now, is that because people that look like me, are always seen as foreign, we also must, you know, carry foreign things, right?

So coronavirus, is linked to people that look like me somehow, that somehow I am an embodiment of this disease. And this is the reason people use to attack businesses, or to spit up, spit on people, kick people. And of course, you know, all the awful things have been happening to the elderly in the San Francisco Bay Area, LA and New York, of course.

PAUL: We heard the Vice President yesterday say this is about how we treat people. And what we need to do is figure out how to get over these stereotypes and see each other for who we are. Grace Kao, thank you so much for taking time to be with us.

KAO: Oh, thank you so much for having me.

PAUL: Anytime. Thank you. And listen, we want you to watch CNN Monday night because we have an in-depth discussion for you regarding the fear in America's communities of color. It's at 9pm. Again, Monday night right here on CNN.

SANCHEZ: The CDC is out with new guidelines for schoolchildren, saying they no longer have to be distanced six feet apart. Could these changes get all kids back to school safely?

PAUL: There are new allegations of harassment against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Why the latest accusations stand out from what we've seen up to this point?

SANCHEZ: And after several delays the Olympic Games in Tokyo will go on but you don't want to book a ticket there just yet. Why watching it on TV maybe your best option to catch the games?




SANCHEZ: A potential game changer for kids in classrooms. The CDC cutting physical distancing guidelines from six feet to three for in- person learning. Those new guidelines are giving many people hope that a return to normal is getting closer.

PAUL: More than 77 million people have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Nearly 13 percent of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, now. The Biden Administration met their goal. They wanted to get 100 million doses into American arms 42 days earlier than promised is what they were able to do.

SANCHEZ: Yes, experts though they fear that we could see another spike in cases. Look at this. Just yesterday, the TSA screening more than 1.4 million people at U.S. airports. That sets a Pandemic era record for the second day in a row.

PAUL: Yes. Joining us now to share her insight Dr. Colleen Kelley, Associate Professor at Emory University Department of Medicine. Good morning to you Dr. Kelley, glad to have you here.


PAUL: Good morning. I wanted to ask you about the schools, first of all, and this new guidance from the CDC with a distancing from six feet to three feet. It sounds like great progress. But some of the Teachers' unions are having a hard time with it. We have a statement here from Becky Pringle, who's the president of the National Education Association, which is the largest - one of the largest unions - teachers unions in the U.S.

She says we're concerned the CDC has changed one of the basic rules for how to ensure school safety without demonstrating certainty that the change is justified by the science. Do you see science, Dr. Kelley that backs up what the CDC is - the guidance that they've now modified?

KELLEY: Yes, absolutely. The CDC has assessed a multitude of evidence from many different sources. That really when they looked at the difference between distancing between six feet and three feet in schools did not make a substantial impact on increased rates of transmission. The most important thing is masking in schools and maintaining some level of distance. The WHO announced CDC recommend around three feet.


Now when transmission rates are really high and particularly in the older student classrooms like middle school and high school, those may be places where additional distance might be a good idea. But let's also not forget all of the data to this date was prior to vaccinations being rolled out. And now in almost all places in the U.S., teachers and school staff are being offered vaccinations.

That is the ultimate level of protection that our schools really need to open safely. And we've gotten there. And so really, this is all good news. And it is time to get those kids back into school and follow the mitigation that CDC is recommending, which is including masking all the time, and at least three feet of distance.

SANCHEZ: Yes, now, Doctor, another sign that things are starting to return to normal is that movie theaters are going to start opening up again. Next Friday, AMC will open up nearly all of their theaters, Masks will be required for everyone. But AMC says this, "All guests are required to wear a mask at all times before, during and after the movie unless actively enjoying food or drinks in the auditorium."

Now if you're required to wear a mask, but you can take it off to eat, what's stopping the entire theater from just eating the whole time?

KELLEY: I think that's a really good point. And I think from back when we all used to go to the movie theater, eating and drinking was a very important part of how we enjoyed the movie. So I am a little bit concerned that if you're allowed to take off your mask to eat and drink and everyone's doing that, that we could see transmissions and outbreaks in that sort of a setting. So we'll have to see what happens.

If there's low capacity, if there's distancing if people do a good job with masking but I do think taking masks off to eat indoors is concerning.

PAUL: Real quickly. We're seeing alarming rise in cases in Europe and some shutdowns again in in parts of Europe, with a fear of a third surge, how strong is your fear of something like that happening in the U.S.? KELLEY: I think it's certainly a possibility. We are seeing kind of a

leveling out of cases across the U.S. and even some small increases in some places. This could be due to variants spread, the variant that's more transmissible that originated in UK is now here and very prevalent in the US. And we're watching very closely to see if that's what's happening.

But once again, we are in a race against time. If we can get enough people vaccinated before the variants take home before these increases in cases take off, we may be able to avoid another surge. In addition, if we have done a good job, vaccinating our most vulnerable folks, there are people that are at most risk of severe disease, hospitalization and death.

Even with an increase in cases we may not see the tragedy that we've experienced over the last year. So the message is still vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate as fast as we possibly can.

SANCHEZ: Dr. Colleen Kelley, thanks for spending part of your Saturday with us.

KELLEY: Thank you very much.

PAUL: Thank you.

SANCHEZ: Of course. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo continuing to defend how he handled the Pandemic despite allegations that his office gave false data about the number of COVID deaths will take you live to Albany, next.




SANCHEZ: The New York Times is reporting on new details of the federal investigation into New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and his handling of nursing homes during the Coronavirus Pandemic. They report the investigation is now focused on whether the governor and his top aides gave the Justice Department false data about COVID-19 deaths and cases.

PAUL: Now the Times cites individuals with knowledge of the investigation saying this. "Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation have contacted lawyers for Mr. Cuomo's aides, interviewed senior officials from the state health department and subpoenaed Mr. Cuomo's office for documents related to the disclosure of data last year."

But the governor has defended his handling of the Pandemic and denies any data was inaccurate. CNN law enforcement reporter Mark Morales is with us live from Albany right now. So talk to us about - about this case and where it stands at the moment, Mark.

MARK MORALES, CNN REPORTER: Good morning to you both. So this issue involving the nursing home data is what put Governor Cuomo under fire in the first place. And at this point is just piling up. So as you said the New York Times is reporting that the FBI is focused their investigation in recent weeks on whether - whether or not Governor Cuomo or his aides provided false data to the Department of Justice.

So far what they've done is they've interviewed Health Department officials. They've talked to lawyers who represent the aides. They've even subpoenaed for records. Now, just to provide some background on where this all started. This, remember it was from the COVID-19 deaths that were associated to nursing homes. They only released the number of fatalities of residents who died within the four walls of a nursing home.

So if a resident were transferred to a hospital and died there, they weren't counted under the original tally. Now, high ranking staffers for the governor have always maintained that the reason they didn't include all those numbers was because they still needed to be vetted. An attorney for Governor Cuomo said this in response to the New York Times story.

"The submission in response to the Department of Justice's August request was truthful and accurate, and any suggestion otherwise, is demonstrably false." Now the governor has been asked about this several times and he always maintains that the total number of COVID- 19 fatalities for the state has never changed. It's always been included in that. It just wasn't in this one category.


Now we've reached out to the FBI but they have not responded to our request for comment. The U.S. Attorney's Office out of Brooklyn declined to comment.

SANCHEZ: Now, Mark, you alluded to things piling on Governor Andrew Cuomo, The New York Times also reporting a new harassment allegation against the governor, this time by a current aide, what can you tell us about that?

MORALES: Right, and this is the latest allegation in a string of allegations. The difference here is that this is coming from a current staffer. Now the New York Times identifies the alleged accuser as Alyssa McGrath and she was part of a pool of aides that would work for the governor, either at the mansion or in his office.

And the times, speaking to McGrath, she identifies an instance where she was working with the governor privately in his office and he made a reference to a necklace that she was wearing. McGrath took this as a ploy by the governor to look down her shirt. And that's not the only incident that she described.

She routinely describes the governor addressing her marital situation as she was getting a divorce, comments about her body, even calling her beautiful in Italian. Now in a statement that was provided to the times a lawyer for Governor Cuomo said this.

"The governor has greeted men and women with hugs and a kiss on the cheek, forehead or hand. Yes, he has posed for photographs with his arm around them. Yes, he uses Italian phrases like Ciao bella. None of this is remarkable, although it may be old fashioned. He has made clear he has never made inappropriate advances or inappropriately touched anyone."

Now, this alleged accuser story echoes what similar stories have come from other alleged accusers and that there has been comments that were inappropriate that made inappropriate behavior. Some even say that there was some inappropriate touching with a hand touching the small of their back. The governor has relied on a couple of few points because he's been asked about this at press conferences.

He says that there was never any inappropriate contact with anyone. The governor's also said that at no point did he ever know during those moments that he was making anybody uncomfortable. And the main point that he's been relying on his on the investigations. He's been always saying that they have to wait for the results of the investigation to come out.

SANCHEZ: All right, Mark Morales, thanks so much for that report.

PAUL: Thank you, Mark. So President Biden is being pretty bold in his verbiage when it comes to Vladimir Putin. Why he is not apologizing for saying the Russian leader is a "killer."




SANCHEZ: The Biden Administration is not holding back when it comes to Russian President Vladimir Putin. This week President Biden said Putin is a killer. In a response, Putin suggested Biden was too old to be president and challenged him to a live, televised meeting. I'm joined now by Jill Dougherty.

She's an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, also a former CNN Moscow Bureau Chief. Jill, thanks so much for joining us this morning. When asked about a potential new Cold War, a Kremlin spokesman said they always hope for the best but are ready for the worst. Sort of typical coming from the Kremlin. Don't you think?

JILL DOUGHERTY, ADJUNCT PROFESSOR, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: This thing really has kind of spun out of control. Of course, you know, look, officials and members of the political establishment in the United States have said actually worse about Vladimir Putin.

But when it comes out of the mouth of the President, even though he did not use the word killer, he agreed with the anchor that Putin was a killer. When it comes from the president, it's a whole new ballgame. So you have this back and forth right now, which is continuing, which is kind of outmachoing the other although I don't think it started that way.

I don't think that was the dynamic with President Biden. But Putin has taken it to another level, you know, come on, we'll have a discussion. And which means really kind of a debate. And I can tell you that there is a very heavy emphasis right now with Russian state media propaganda, etcetera, pushing that narrative that President Joe Biden is senile, he's too old.

Look at him, he can't function. And it's - it's a big propaganda war in addition to a diplomatic problem.

SANCHEZ: Yes, it's interesting that you - as you mentioned, that I'm thinking of a lot of conservative media that also sort of parrots, those talking points about Biden's age and his cognitive ability. I did want to ask you about this editorial effort by the Washington Post, what they wrote in this piece that's out today offering Biden this advice.

"This week's report," referring to a report from the DNI, "doesn't anticipate that Russia will stop meddling anytime soon. The White House, the rest of the government and the rest of the nation can also protect themselves from whatever attacks do come by building trust, keeping on guard and refusing to play along." What do you make of that advice the idea that Russia is not done meddling and that really all we can do is try to build trust with each other?


DOUGHERTY: Well, I think they're pointing out something that's very serious. And with Russia, you have the solar winds hack, a massive hack into U.S. government offices, agencies, and also private industry. And then even from China, you have now, the implication by the United States that they are involved in yet another hack that has to do with I believe it's Microsoft Exchange.

So you have some very serious cyber activity going on. And there is a great deal of concern about that. So I think, you know, if you put yourself in the position of the Biden Administration, they come in after the Trump administration in which President Trump was very friendly to Vladimir Putin but his government took actions against Russia, with sanctions, etc

Biden comes in, and he has to be strong. But on the other hand, he knows that there are things that he is going to have to work with Russia on and discuss and negotiate with Russia on that's why when Biden came in, they did that arms control agreement almost immediately extending the New START agreement. So it's a very delicate balance.

And, you know, I think one thing to point out, is this kind of posturing and public, you know, persona you're seeing with the Chinese now, in the meeting just the other day in Alaska with the Secretary of State, you're seeing it with Vladimir Putin. And it makes it very complicated, because this is a kind of a juicy, fun debate.

I mean, you just look at what's happening in the media. But it's a very serious debate about how these relationships aren't going to work out.

SANCHEZ: No question. I'm glad you mentioned those meetings between the Chinese and Secretary of State, Blinken. There's a clip I want to play for you. A bit of a tense awkward moment. Watch this.


ANTONY BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE, UNITED STATES: We'll also discuss our deep concerns with actions by China, including in Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Taiwan, cyberattacks on the United States, economic coercion toward our allies. The alternative to a rules-based order is a world in which might makes right and winners take all. And that would be a far more violent and unstable world for all of us.


SANCHEZ: These events are typically highly choreographed, this one was not. The press was kicked out of the room, they were brought back in. The Chinese and the Americans went back and forth. What did you make of this being the first public meeting between these two sides?

DOUGHERTY: I think it's pretty extraordinary, because on the American side, I don't think people expected quite the strength of the comments by the Secretary of State. And then nobody, I think expected the Chinese to answer it in quite the robust, aggressive way that they did.

You know, calling the media back, talking for much longer than Secretary Blinken. But, you know, right now, you have actually a more aggressive form of diplomacy by the Chinese. In addition to the Russians, you have what's called wolf warrior diplomacy, in which it's not some, you know, faceless bureaucrat who sits there and mows platitudes for two minutes.

This is really more aggressive in your face. It is coming now, in this very graphic form just the other day, and you see it online all the time. Snarking this, kind of a Russian style, I would say, Russian style, aggressions, snarky making fun of and hitting where it hurts.

To give you a good example. When President Putin was talking about Joe Biden, and Joe Biden had said, killer, Putin said, you know, basically, yes, that's what you are kind of using a schoolboy expression. And then he went on to say, look at the United States, killers.

They have, you know, taken advantage and killed Native Americans, black Americans, they dropped the bomb on Hiroshima. What are we talking about? The Chinese are saying many of the same things. The U.S. sows chaos, the U.S. tries to subvert government. So you know, you're seeing it's a big fight.

SANCHEZ: Yes, a lot of challenges ahead for Joe Biden on the foreign policy front. Jill Dougherty, we have to leave it there. Stay with New Day weekend. We'll be right back.



PAUL: Tonight on CNN's special report, The Human Cost of COVID. Our Miguel Marquez has some emotional stories of loss and survival. Here's a preview.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My dad worked his entire career for the Public Health System of Georgia. So when COVID-19 came along, he took it seriously. He did and he will tell me that if him or my mom got COVID, it was not going to be good.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Why was he extra worried about himself and his wife?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My dad had some pre-existing conditions. He knew that it would not be good because of his respiratory situation.

April 2019, my mom in a single day had two brain aneurysms.

MARQUEZ: Oh dear.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And then she had a stroke in the surgery to fix the aneurisms. It left her with left side paralysis. My dad was her primary caregiver since that happened. My dad put a sign on the door said no visitors.

MARQUEZ: But there was at least one which may be how the couple got COVID.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My dad did a great job nursing my mom back to health but all the while his health was going down quick with COVID symptoms.


He knew that he had it, but he wasn't going to leave my mom. And it finally got to the point where I said, Dad, I need you to go to the hospital. Well, who's going to be with your mom and I said, I'm in the car right now and I'm headed from New Jersey to Dalton. And my dad drove himself to Atlanta two hours to the hospital.


SANCHEZ: CNNs Miguel Marquez joins us now. And Miguel, one of the things that I've loved about watching your reports is that when we hear the numbers, they're staggering, and they're overwhelming. But they're impersonal. And when you tell these individual stories, it humanizes it and it allows us to experience catharsis, the pain that we all feel and share in that pain.

MARQUEZ: Yes, I mean, Boris that's exactly it. How do you put this past year into context? Over a half million Americans dead, millions upon millions contracted the disease. Everybody even if you don't have it, you're always worried about whether it's coming to get you and whether you will - you know how you will react to it. And whether you're going to be intubated and fighting for your life, drowning in in your own fluids basically.

It's terrifying. And so the idea behind this hour that Michelle Roche, I have to give it up to her. She really worked incredibly hard to produce this thing and find the town. Dalton Georgia, it sort of encapsulated everything about what the country and the world to some degree went through.

You know that that fear, the suffocating sadness, the conspiracy, just the anger, just everything that we experienced last year, we tried to get it sort of into this hour, at least touch upon a lot of this stuff there. It was a hell of a year and trying to put it into one hour is pretty darn tough.

PAUL: You did an extraordinary job telling these stories, even from emergency rooms. And it was - it was literally riveting TV, and it was so emotional at the same time. But it's what we need to know because it's what's happening with human beings. Miguel Marquez, we will be watching. Thank you so much.

MARQUEZ: Thank you.

SANCHEZ: Yes, don't miss CNN's Special Report the Human Cost of COVID. That is tonight at 9:00 PM.

PAUL: Listen, as we're all standing on the edge of this hill of COVID may be getting ready to slide back down into the valley of normalcy, are you having questions about what that's going to look like? Do you really want to go back to full on normal? That's where the reset comes in.

What's different about us? What might we value now after COVID? What clarity has it given you?

Well, Paula Faris can talk about that even before COVID she left her jobs and has co-anchored on ABC's Good Morning America weekend, co- host of The View. And she wrote her book, 'Called Out.' And she realized she didn't have peace, about jumping right back into the broadcast field. But what happened next, also didn't really make it clear.


PAULA FARIS, FORMER ANCHOR, GOOD MORNING AMERICA WEEKEND: If I have a peace about something, Christi, I'm going to proceed. If I don't have a peace about something then I'm going to pause. It didn't really make sense for us to move down to South Carolina.

I don't have a job, my husband's jobs in New York City, we had a peace about it. So we took that leap of faith and then it was up to us to step out to press into our fear. You can have a peace about something but still be scared as hell. Alright? So often we think, oh, it's my intuition, telling me, that's my fear. My fear is my intuition telling me that maybe I shouldn't go this route. But peace in fear, I found the two of those things. They coexist.

They are not mutually exclusive. So I say if you have a peace about something, proceed, but expect and anticipate fear. And there's nothing wrong with you, if you feel fear. We're trained since we're kids to think about what we want to do when we grow up. I was tired of my kids getting my leftovers. I didn't want my kids to have to fit into my career anymore.

I got to a point a couple years ago at work where I was like, I just don't know who I am outside of it. And so I think, I've just given myself the permission to branch out to try new things because I know my worth isn't just in work. If you feel a little bit of a tug, you ask yourself are the choices that I'm making professionally and personally, are they clashing with my professed values?

We don't have to be one thing forever and ever and ever. And I just want to encourage anybody who feels like I think I need a reset. Not a reroute. Follow that peace in your spirit. You can see the next chapter. You're braver than you think you are. You have more courage, but it's really up to you to take that step. And you don't want to live with the regret of not going with your gut, not going with what you think is right.


PAUL: I'm telling you, she's so wise about this and her podcasts. I think every single one of them that I've listened to talk about this very thing as we're all sitting here after coronavirus and quarantine and how has that changed us so I want to hear from you about your story with that. You can reach me on all of those platforms there. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, but thank you so much for talking to me about it because it matters and we're all just trying to get through this together.


SANCHEZ: Yes, absolutely. And I'm so glad that you shared this with us in part because I think it underscores the importance of mental health, and especially in last year, it's been highlighted over and over again, a huge component of that is human connection. As we're all locked away in our homes and our apartments unable to see loved ones, just how critical it is to get that one on one.

Even if it's over Skype or Zoom, to feel like you're with someone else at a very difficult time.

PAUL: Yes, that's important. All right, Boris is going to be back with us here in just an hour. Smerconish is up next.