Return to Transcripts main page

New Day Saturday

U.S. Reported More Than 80,000 New COVID-19 Cases Friday; CDC: 20.5 percent Of U.S. Fully Vaccinated, Averaging 3M+ Shots Per Day; FDA Will Evaluate Pfizer's Request to Allow COVID Vaccine For Kids Ages 12-15 As Quickly As Possible. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired April 10, 2021 - 08:00   ET




ANNOUNCER: This is New Day weekend with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: St. Louis, 7 o'clock there, Central Time, 8 a.m. here on the East Coast. Wherever you are, good morning to you. Thanks for being with us. Listen, the Coronavirus vaccination race is at a critical point now. There are several hurdles in the U.S. There's a variant driven rise in cases particularly among young people, and also the hesitancy to get a shot.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, more than 80,000 new COVID cases were added just yesterday. That's the third day in a row, the U.S. has logged 75,000 new cases or more we should point out. Now the often- cited model from the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation forecasts more than 618,000 deaths by August 1.

That toll jumps to more than 697,000 if fully vaccinated people just return to pre pandemic levels of mobility. It drops if people wears masks - wear masks.

BLACKWELL: Now, right now a little more than 20 percent of Americans, adult Americans fully vaccinated, including about 60 percent of the people 65 and older. Now more than 3 million people are getting a shot on average every day and we could soon see kids as young as 12 have access to a vaccine.

PAUL: The governor of Michigan says her state and other hotspots need vaccine surges their way now. This is a change in strategy. The White House says it is not pursuing at the moment. CNN's Polo Sandoval is with us live from a mass vaccination site. They're in Detroit and I know Michigan's desperately trying to curb this outbreak, Polo but help us understand what they're going through right now.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, just consider this alone. Christi Michigan's governor said just yesterday that her state unquestionably in her words, remains a national COVID hotspot right now, especially when you consider the fact that about 18 percent of COVID tests right now are coming back positive. That is four times higher than what was being seen in February, the

head of the Department of Health and Human Services here in Michigan saying that this is all a clear indication that there is currently broad community spread happening throughout the state of Michigan. And that's especially highlighting the need to vaccinate younger members of the population.


SANDOVAL (voice-over): Pfizer is requested to expand the emergency use authorization of the drugmaker's COVID-19 vaccine to include people, ages 12 to 15 in the U.S. The FDA will evaluate the requests as quickly as possible said the agency's Acting Commissioner Janet Woodcock.

The FDA currently allows the vaccine's use in people, 16 and up. The other two COVID-19 vaccines in the United States made by Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are authorized for emergency use in people, ages 18 and older. CDC is aware of several incidents involving adverse reactions to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in four states says the CDC.

DR. LEANA WEN, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: That's something that needs to be investigated. People do you just get blood clots and while you have millions of people who get the vaccine, some people are going to get blood clots so important to investigate. But right now, I am not concerned for myself or for anybody else who got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): Johnson & Johnson also working closely with the FDA to resolve any manufacturing issues that the emergent facility in Baltimore.

JEFF ZIENTS, WHITE HOUSE COVID-19 RESPONSE COORDINATOR: The company also expects a cadence of up to 8 million weekly doses in total, across state and federal channels later in April.

Importantly, Johnson and Johnson has also reiterated its commitment to provide at or near 100 million vaccine doses by the end of May.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): Currently, more than one in four adults are now fully vaccinated in the U.S. Experts hope to get more Americans vaccinated quickly as locked down fatigue takes its toll just as more transmissible variants of the virus become dominant.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, CHIEF MEDICAL ADVISER TO PRESIDENT BIDEN: I don't think that there needs to be concern about any shift or change in the efficacy of the vaccine.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): All 50 states have committed to opening vaccinations to all Americans, 16 and up by April 19.


DR. ROCHELLE WALENSKY, DIRECTOR, CDC: As cases increase in the community, we expect the cases identified in schools will also increase. This is not necessarily indicative of school-based transmission.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): Duke University the latest of at least 16 colleges and universities to require all students to receive COVID-19 vaccines. States including California and Vermont plan to fully reopen this summer, experts are warning that to truly declare victory against the variants, Americans need to get vaccinated and continue mitigation measures.

DR. VIVEK MURTHY, U.S. SURGEON GENERAL: We still have a high confidence that these vaccines are effective but because they are not perfect is precisely why we are still urging people to be cautious. It's why we still have such an emphasis on getting the overall case numbers down, which means - which we can only do by vaccinating and by making sure that people until we have a critical mass vaccinated are wearing masks, keeping distance, washing their hands, avoiding indoor gatherings.


SANDOVAL (on camera): In terms of what Michigan is hoping to actually do to slow this spread, we heard from the head of the Department of Health and Human Services just yesterday recommending that youth sports be put on a two week pause. Again, it's simply a recommendation right now. This in addition to that Governor's call Victor and Christi, to try to increase Michigan's vaccine allotment but as you said at the top, the White House says it's not willing to do that, at least not right now.

BLACKWELL: All right, Polo Sandoval for us there. Polo, thank you so much. And be sure to join our Dr. Sanjay Gupta. He's on a journey to learn why some people are afraid of vaccines. This new CNN Special Report, The Truth about Vaccines begins tonight at 9.

PAUL: So, we just wrapped up the second week of testimony in the Derek Chauvin murder trial. It wrapped with the medical examiner who performed George Floyd's autopsy telling the jury that Floyd had underlying conditions, but it was ultimately those conditions combined with Chauvin's actions that caused him to rule Floyd's death a homicide.


DR. ANDREW BAKER, CHIEF MEDICAL EXAMINER, HENNEPIN COUNTY: Other significant conditions are things that played a role in the death but didn't directly cause the death. So, for example, you know, Mr. Floyd's use of fentanyl did not cause the subdual or neck restraint. His heart disease did not cause the subdual or the neck restraint.

In my opinion, the law enforcement subdual restraint and the neck compression was just more than Mr. Floyd could take by virtue of that those heart conditions.


BLACKWELL: So, Floyd's drug use and heart problems didn't change the medical examiner's ruling. The defense was though able to get this admission.


ERIC NELSON, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: In your opinion, both the heart disease as well as the history of hypertension and the drug - the drugs that were in his system played a role in Mr. White's death.

BAKER: In my opinion, yes.


BLACKWELL: The Floyd family is hopeful. They told CNN's Don Lemon last night that their positive justice will be served.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think they done an excellent job. And I think you've got to get justice on this case. I'm 99.9 percent sure.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: That they're going to get justice.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, definitely.




BLACKWELL: With me now, to take a closer look at the case and the testimony, CNN legal analyst Areva Martin. Areva, good morning to you.


BLACKWELL: So, for all the anticipation of the medical examiner's testimony, did it live up to the expectations? Will this really be the medical testimony, the doctor who will lead the jury to convict or acquit?

MARTIN: Couple of points on that Victor, one, I think the medical examiner did an outstanding job in testifying. There was a lot of anticipation about whether he would change his opinions or whether he would give some ammunition to the defense because he did talk about those contributing causes, you know, the heart condition and the use of drugs, but he was very firm, very emphatic that the cause of death was the cardiopulmonary arrest, which was caused by the subdual restraint, the knee compression, so he remained firm in that.

And we have to remember that under Minnesota law, all that the prosecution has to establish is that the actions of Derek Chauvin were the substantial cause not the sole cause. So consistent with that legal standard, I think Dr. Baker did a great job. And then we can't forget about Dr. Martin Tobin who mesmerized the jury with his personalization of the pain that George Floyd had to feel who, you know, walked the jury through frame by frame in that video and actually showed the jury the moment that the life was literally sucked out of George Floyd.

So, I think that testimony in terms of the medical testimony that has been presented by the prosecution, it has established the key element of this case for the prosecution, which is causation.


BLACKWELL: You focused on Dr. Tobin who is a pulmonologist, right? He is a professional. He is an expert in breathing. I want you to listen to what we heard from Dr. Baker, who was the medical examiner who performed the autopsy. And when he didn't know something or he wasn't sure about something, who he suggested that federal investigators should consult, watch.


BAKER: I think what you're getting at counselor is the sort of things that I would defer to a pulmonologist. Clearly those things are the purview of pulmonologist. I would defer any further questions to a pulmonologist because I would defer that to a pulmonologist or maybe a toxicologist because I believe I defered to a pulmonologist repeatedly.

I think a pulmonologist would be better equipped to answer that question. I'm going to say I said the word pulmonologist at least a half dozen times in that testimony.


BLACKWELL: So as compelling as his testimony was yesterday, actually I should say Thursday on its own. I'm talking about Dr. Tobin, when you hear from the medical examiner who says ask the pulmonologist and the jury just went through hours of his explaining it, it seems that it would elevate that even more.

MARTIN: Oh, absolutely, Victor. And let's be clear, this wasn't just any pulmonologist. This was you know, the world-renowned pulmonologist who wrote the Bible as they call it on breathing, a 1500-page manual that is used in medical schools throughout this country. This is a doctor that, you know, other doctors look to.

He won a prize that doctors win once every 10 years. So, this is a renowned doctor, and he was able to do something that experts typically have a difficult time doing in trials and that's relate to juries. He kept giving them eye contact. He kept making very complex medical terms very simple. So, I think when you look at Dr. Baker saying defer to the pulmonologist and then you look at Dr. Martin Tobin who is the pulmonologist, that makes for a good day or a good week, I should say for the prosecution's case.

BLACKWELL: Quickly and finally here. We've heard from the defense attorneys, we've heard from Eric Nelson, questioning about the mob or the chaos. The crowd that was there, was really just concerned about George Floyd's wellbeing. If he intends to argue that Derek Chauvin did anything based on fear, how do you get that into evidence without calling Derek Chauvin? MARTIN: Yes, this is going to be difficult. And I think that whole

line of you know, that theory, that argument that he's trying to promote about this crowd being unruly, and you know, engaging in mob like a conduct has been refuted by all of the testimony that's been presented to date.

What we know about those bystanders, a nine-year-old, 17-year-old, 61 year old, everyday citizens who were just expressing their concern, not throwing rocks, not throwing bottles, not engaged in any conduct that would be considered unruly. And then we know that Derek Chauvin, 19 years old in police force, 860 hours of training, if he couldn't take someone calling him a name, then, you know, it begs the question about his skill level and whether he should have been on the streets at all.

So, I think that's a non-starter when you think about this whole notion of the crowd. And in fact, it's kind of dog whistle racism, about African Americans in particular, that I think the jury's going to wholesale reject in this case.

BLACKWELL: We'll see where the defense goes, expected that they may start their case sometime middle of next week. Areva Martin, thanks so much. Enjoy the weekend.

MARTIN: Thanks, Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right, Christi.

PAUL: So, Texas Republican lawmakers are taking voting rights. We have details on the proposed bill and why the governor is telling business leaders to stay out of it.




BLACKWELL: President Biden is asking Congress for a 16 percent increase in non-defense spending. We're already hearing response reaction to that from lawmakers before they head back from the Easter break.

PAUL: Yes, Congress is expected to focus on the President's $2.3 trillion infrastructure package. Coming up here CNN'S Daniella Diaz is following the latest from Washington. Daniella, good to see you this morning. Where are things headed with this.

DANIELLA DIAZ, CNN CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Christi, now that Biden has laid out what he wants to see in his infrastructure package, the ball is in Congress's court. And there's already warning signs that Biden might not get everything he wants in this infrastructure package. This massive $2 trillion dollar package that he proposed a few days ago.

Look, moderate Democrats want a smaller package. They think it's too expensive. And there's too many proposals in this package. They want to see something that's a little less expensive. But progressive Democrats think that it doesn't go big enough, they want to see a bigger package.

So, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is going to have to navigate really delicate relationships in Congress with the Senate Democrats, something he's been doing with all the other proposals that have come through the chamber. And it's going to be interesting to see how Biden will get every single Democrat to sign on to this legislation because they cannot afford to lose a single vote.

All eyes are on West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin as they always are because he has already said that this legislation cannot pass in its current form, because the corporate tax hike is too much. And he has said that some moderate Democrats agree with him on this issue. So that's already one warning sign for this proposal.

And I didn't even mention that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is navigating a very slim majority in the House. So she's going to have to navigate having every single Democratic lawmaker sign on to this legislation when she tries to get this on the House floor by July 4.

So bottom line is a lot of delicate relationships that Biden and congressional Democrats are going to have to navigate, leadership are going to have to navigate to be able to pass this package when they want to when they set the deadline for later this year. Victor and Christi.

PAUL: All right Daniela Diaz, we appreciate it so much. Thank you. So voting rights are in question in Texas. Details on what Republican lawmakers in the Lone Star State are proposing and the warnings from the governor to business leaders.



BLACKWELL: American Airlines, Dell Computers, other major corporations are urging the Texas State Legislature to drop bills that they say would make it harder for people to vote. Texas is one of several states looking into new voter laws after President Trump and his allies push the lie fraud during the 2020 election.

So, let's talk about the Texas proposals. With me now to discuss to Mimi Marziani, the president of the Texas Civil Rights Project. Pastor Frederick Douglass Haynes III, Friendship West Baptist Church in Dallas and Jane Hamilton, director of the Barbara Jordan Leadership Institute. Welcome all and pastor Hanes, I want to start with you. One of the elements of the Georgia law that people found most egregious was the criminalization of giving water and food to people.


Proponents of the bill said that it would eliminate voter intimidation. But in Texas, the proposals that are House Bill 6, Senate Bill 7 just parallel coming through the legislature, that would allow partisan poll watchers to take recording devices into polling places and record voters who are getting help if they believe something is illegal.

I mean, that seems like it would be ripe for voter intimidation.

PASTOR FREDERICK DOUGLASS HAYNES III, FRIENDSHIP WEST BAPTIST CHURCH DALLAS: Oh, yes. Well, it seems like there's a pandemic of apartheid that is spreading from Georgia to Texas. And the most terrible strains we see throughout the nation, again, are in Georgia and Texas.

And Texas has decided to pick up on and even remix what is being done in Georgia. And, again, it's voter intimidation. It's voter criminalization, and it's a determined - it's a reflection of a determination on the part of those in power, the Republicans to suppress the vote. No matter how you look at it, you can dress it up in a tuxedo with a bow tie.

It is voter suppression. It is voter intimidation. It is criminalizing those they deem otherwise. I have a member of my church, Crystal Mason, many of you have heard of her. Crystal Mason cast a provisional ballot and that provisional ballot did not count. And yet, because of the criminalizing that is done in the name of voter suppression in this country, Crystal Mason found herself sentenced to five years in prison.

So the bottom line is, we're in a state that does not want everyone to vote. They are determined that those who vote are older, whiter and wealthier. And so they have to engage in voter suppression tactics instead of fixing real problems in this country. Here's what they've done.

They are guilty of creating problems in the name of fake creating solutions that are fixing a problem that does not exist.

BLACKWELL: Yes, the big lie of broad voter suppression - of voter fraud. Let me come to you, Jane, and ask about this. Because there can be an argument. The viewer can determine if it's weak or strong, that allowing poll watchers to record what they see would allow them to offer proof of illegality. Let me come to you on drive thru voting because there were 24-hour drive thru locations that were set up in the 2020 election for people who could not come and vote during the hours that were provided.

Typically, there were no claims of illegalities, of mass fraud from the drive thru locations. So, what is the justification for this? And what's your view of what this - this law would do to the potential for that to continue?

JANE HAMILTON, DIRECTOR, BARBARA JORDAN LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE: Yes, thank you. There is no justification for this. Look, you know, while there are - this was allowed in Houston, what we saw in Houston, was record turnout. And that is the issue for Republicans in this state, frankly.

They are not concerned about providing more access to the ballot. What they want to do is provide less access to the ballot. And so banning drive thru voting is a way for them to limit access to voting. And that is their intent. There is no justification for it at all. Also, what we saw in Harris County was they also extended that as Houston, they also extended the hours that you could go to the polls and vote.

That is now also being taken back as well as they proactively send out vote by mail applications to seniors. Now, that is now criminalized, so that is - that will no longer be allowed is well, if this legislation passes.

BLACKWELL: Mimi, the corporate condemnation of the Georgia law came after it had been signed by the governor. We're seeing now and I mentioned the companies at the top American, Dell, other corporations. Let me read part of the American Airlines statement. "We're strongly opposed to this bill and others like it any legislation dealing with how elections are conducted must ensure ballot integrity and security while making it easier to vote, not harder."

What it doesn't say is and if these passes, we will do x. If there's no or else if there's no consequence, what's the significance of these condemnations?

MIMI MARZIANI, PRESIDENT, TEXAS CIVIL RIGHTS PROJECT: Well, I think the first significance is a widespread recognition that these bills are not just bad for democracy for the reasons we just heard. They're also really bad for business.


And in fact, a report was released just yesterday by a renowned economist in Texas, finding that if these bills were passed by 2025, Texas would lose $30 billion to its gross product and 10s of 1000s of jobs. And so, I think the significance here is that, yes, voter suppression hits communities of color, people with disabilities, more vulnerable Texans the hardest.

But these bills are bad for our entire community. And I've been really heartened to see corporate leaders recognize that.

BLACKWELL: Pastor, how do you mitigate what you see as the effects of voter suppression here? How do you get around it to get the franchise to people?

DOUGLASS HAYNES: Well, on one hand, we continue to mobilize and educate the electorate to know their rights to stand up and fight for their rights. At the same time, we challenge and encourage corporate - corporations to be good corporate neighbors and challenge the politicians who they in many instances have, you know, invested in their campaigns.

We want them to know you're investing in injustice. And so, we want to challenge corporations, all corporations to stand up and speak out. But we also want to educate the electorate as to what's going on and then mobilize as we always do. We always mobilize around, again, our churches. That has been a consistent theme.

But the bottom line is we are going to fight back.

BLACKWELL: Jane, let me come to you on this. The allocation of polling places and machines and elections staff seems like it would even the field, each district receives resources based on eligible voters. But if you take a closer look at where the districts are, and the number of eligible voters, you say that this is a disadvantage for minority communities. Quickly if you can't explain how.

HAMILTON: It absolutely is. I mean, first of all, Texas, we are in districts that have been gerrymandered. So, this absolutely is. We are impact districts, right? So that formula that they are going to create is not going to be helpful when you have for example, let's talk about we have Dr. Pastor Haynes on the call with us right now. His Church is a mega church.

And there is something that's called Super Sunday, where church goers are encouraged to vote after church. Now, if you're limiting the poll, the actual machines at that church, you're just creating longer lines. And so these tactics are really designed to basically hurt and limit the access to the ballot of communities of color, period.

BLACKWELL: Mimi, finally, to you. Are you optimistic that there will be any federal action that will mitigate or slow the tide of what we saw in Georgia, now in Texas and in dozens of states across the country?

MARZIANI: Look, I've been doing this work as a civil rights attorney for more than a dozen years. And I am more optimistic now about new federal legislation than I've ever been. I mean, what we are seeing at the state level in Texas in Georgia is a pretty naked attempt for politicians to grab power at the expense of some of the most vulnerable members of our community.

And I think that's why you're seeing a chorus of faith leaders, community leaders, business leaders, speaking out against it. And I do believe that our national leaders are paying attention and that they understand that we are in a once in a generation fight here.

BLACKWELL: Mimi Marziani, Pastor Haynes, Jane Hamilton, thank you all.

MARZIANI: Thank you.


PAUL: Also talking today about the death of Prince Philip. His passing is being marked. Take a look there in London, by gun salutes across the United Kingdom. This is for more ships at sea, the Tower of London. We have details on the funeral arrangements and what is happening there in the UK right now. Stay close.




PAUL: We're going to share what's happening in the UK this morning. The nation is marking the death of Prince Philip, as you see there with a 41-gun salute honoring his life and his accomplishments, his decades' long military service. Royal watcher and former journalist Hilary Fordwich is with us here. So Hillary, what did you hear? And how is - how is the UK reconciling this loss?

HILARY FORDWICH, ROYAL WATCHER: Well, this is absolutely Christi of course a ghastly loss for the UK and of course for the Queen and the Queen is much love. Her approval rating in the UK stands at well over 80 percent as it's done for many, many years. So you can imagine the nation feels absolutely ghastly for her.

And for the entire family. In principle, it was a man that was devoted to his nation, devoted to the Commonwealth and most importantly devoted to the Queen. And she quoted at their wedding anniversary many years ago and she retweeted this morning that he was her basically her stay, her strength and her stay.


I would actually like to share a couple of things that many Americans may not be aware of that something that really connected him to the U.S. back in 1963, when he was in the U.S. for the funeral of President then John Kennedy. Jackie Kennedy was walking through the White House and was looking for John John, she couldn't find him.

And she opened the playroom door to find him giggling as he was on the floor with Prince Philip spread across the floor playing with him. And then there's an iconic photograph of Prince Philip with the Queen and John John, because Jackie Kennedy traveled to the UK for the dedication of the one acre of land at Runnymede, close to Windsor Castle.

And that's where he was photographed holding John John's hand at the dedication of the memorial to his father, so a very touching man, a very special man.

PAUL: Absolutely. And - and he did not lavish in all the Royal formality as I understand it, he has specific wishes for a funeral. And I'm wondering if you could talk to us about what he wants. And on top of that, how that's being received, because he wants something so simple, but you know, there are people there who want to pay reverence to him.

FORDWICH: Yes, absolutely. He was a man he didn't - his exact sort of quote was, he didn't want any fuss. He actually was quoted as saying that he was dreading his 100th birthday, which was going to be on June 10 because he said it couldn't imagine the ghastly fuss that will be made over his 100th birthday.

But yes, you're totally right. He wants a funeral that is small, that is intimate. Of course, there's COVID, at the moment, with restrictions in the UK, a funeral can only anyway, have up to 30 individuals if they're not living in the same household. And he said that he did not want a state funeral.

Of course, the Queen is observing that but in terms of the feelings in the UK, the request has been made, that those that want to express their feelings to please donate to one of his charities. And he was involved with over 800 charities, and that Christi is another reason he's so admired. He wasn't about himself. He wasn't about celebrity status. He was

about devotion to those that needed him and needed help.

PAUL: And to family. And with that said, what do we know about any potential of Harry and Meghan attending this funeral?

FORDWICH: Well, it is speculated there's been nothing definitive yet. And they did a post on their website very heartfelt sympathy in terms of the loss that he will be greatly lost and thanking him for his service. It is speculated that Prince Harry will join the family but of course, you know, Meghan is heavily pregnant at the moment. So that remains to be seen.

PAUL: Hilary Fordwich, thank you so much. We appreciate your insight. We'll be right back.



PAUL: So, Victor thinks this is a reset. It is in a sense because he's resetting. And I just want you to understand the mark that you have made on people. So, we want to highlight some of those incredible Victorisms, as I call them.



ANNOUNCER: This is New Day weekend. with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I started highlighting the Washington Post's count of President Trump's false and misleading claims made while in office. I searched for a way to make something conceptual like a false statement visual. And I remembered the jar of gumballs. We're now up to 28 jars. Do you believe the science? My question was what will you do next but I took four passes at that. Where's that in the Bible or in science?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is true. But look.

BLACKWELL: What's your source before we go?


BLACKWELL: It's true. What's your source? We're done with this conversation. We're done with this conversation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: His comments speak for themselves. What is very clear is this.

BLACKWELL: What his comment was that it does not contribute to mass incarceration.

You're making a nuance point. So, when you see the president here talk about, he's condemning all types of racism, remember his record over his presidency and the campaign and even before that.

The president says about Congressman Cummings district that no human would want to live there. You know, who did Mr. President? I did. From the day I was brought home from the hospital to the day I left for college.

The eyes of the world had been turned to Baltimore for me this is - this is home. This is where I grew up. My mom would shop there because it was close. I was a junior usher at this church, and we used to ride our bikes through this community.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Victor's not loving this at all. You and I are like yes.


BLACKWELL: Cheers. It's wonderful.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm not going to tell you what they are. I'm just going to let you eat them.

BLACKWELL: Let me see. You bought these last night.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, they're not very fresh. 170 calories.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can't handle it. If I can't handle it, you mere mortals have no place at all.

PAUL: You'd be wearing it. We know that much Coy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I need one of those in my wardrobe. Maybe Victor has one and I could borrow it.

BLACKWELL: Listen, you know to win the Masters they have a beautiful green jacket.

PAUL: I'm sure we both had many memories at prom, right?

BLACKWELL: Speaking of.


PAUL: So I'm telling you I cannot wait to see your picture. I have not seen his picture yet.

BLACKWELL: Oh boy. I immediately regret this.

PAUL: No, what?



BLACKWELL: I was like the sixth temptation.

PAUL: Blame it on his roots. You don't have the words, do you? He showed up in boots.

BLACKWELL: Well, I - no, I didn't know. Let's just admit it. I don't have other words. I'll admit it. I like dollars. I like diamonds. I like stunting. I like shining, you know who that is?


BLACKWELL: Good. Payback for Spring and Garth Brooks lyrics on me in 2014.


PAUL: This man has a memory like you would never believe and something and couple things you might not know about him. He prunes wreaths. He waters mom's and he - one of his famous lines on the left was it's never a bad time for roasted meat.

BLACKWELL: Never a bad time for roasted meat.

PAUL: Listen, there's more. There's more. Because I have to hand you over essentially as best I can into the very wonderful hands of one Ms. Alisyn Camerota and she wanted to welcome you too.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: Hi, Victor. On your last weekend on new day, I just wanted to weigh in and tell you what to expect as you move forward to this new adventure in New York on Newsroom with me. OK, so first of all, for packing purposes. Do make sure that you pack warm clothes. New York City is not the same tropical climate that you've been used to in Atlanta, Georgia. Also make sure that you pack a lot of ugly Christmas sweaters. New Yorkers love those as I know you do.

Of course, pack your warm southern hospitality but do not expect that to be reciprocated. People may not even smile back on the street. But do pack your excitement. People told me that after we stopped our 3 a.m. Wake Up Calls that I know both of us have done for so long that every other job would feel like a day at the beach. But I didn't know they meant literally. But since leaving New Day, it really has been a day at the beach every day. So come on in. The water's warm, and I'll look forward to seeing you next week.

BLACKWELL: That was very nice. I'm looking forward to that I am looking forward to that. I will not pack it an ugly Christmas sweater.

PAUL: I'll send you one.

BLACKWELL: I don't know why people buy ugly clothes.

PAUL: I'll send you one and you know that I will.

BLACKWELL: Yes, you will.

PAUL: And I wanted people to understand, you are the most authentic man, most authentic man I know. One of them but right up there. And I just I love you.

BLACKWELL: And I love you too, Christi. Listen, this is longest relationship I've ever had. Seven, seven years together on this show. And I really wish we could have done this in the same studio, but you know the pandemic separates us. But listen, you're the best part of this show. In front of the camera behind the camera, it has been a joy to be on this show with you.

Listen, we wake up in the middle of the night to work and do this show and you make every day enjoyable, every show enjoyable and to the four executive producers, two seniors, four directors, the list of line producers and associate producers and writers, you do the work. I just have the privilege of standing out front.

So thank you to everyone over the last eight and a half years who have worked really hard on this show. And you know, I took this job when I was 30 and this year, I'll be 40 so I've done a lot of growing here and thank you at home for staying with me as I grew into this new role and I'm ready to go to the next one.

I don't want to get too deep into it because we're holding on the edge of emotion right here. But Christi, listen, Boris Sanchez takes this chair tomorrow morning for the next chapter of New Day. I have spoken with him, he is ready. He is excited and I thank you for being one of the best professional partners I've ever had. Thank you.

PAUL: Thank you for everything that you are and everything that you do and I can't wait to see you shine when you're you know fully awake at two in the afternoon and you may think that you took people to task there, I can't wait to see what's coming.

BLACKWELL: As much as I love this show, I will love bankers hours.

PAUL: I know. I can only imagine. And there are a couple of pictures we should point out too.


PAUL: Yes, Alisyn, if you need to know, that was from the RNC when we finally got into the building. That's when we're on HLN together because, you know, we go back and forth the networks and how fun is that.


That's one of my favorite pictures. I think you look so darn handsome in that picture.

BLACKWELL: I had just come back from Africa and grown the beard.

PAUL: And yes, and he was he was ready and Alisyn, give him some cake. Look at the baby you look like there, like a baby.

BLACKWELL: That was what? 25 pounds ago.

PAUL: But Victor likes his cake.


PAUL: And we had a lot of them on the show.


PAUL: I had a bunch of pictures of the cakes but Victor, you - nobody will ever be able to replace you in that chair the way that you know that you are. We do look forward to Boris.


PAUL: We're welcoming Boris. But Victor.

BLACKWELL: Thank you.

PAUL: All success to you.

BLACKWELL: Listen, so this is the end of my New Day chapter but I'm back in an hour for Newsroom because I'm not saying goodbye to that.

PAUL: Absolutely. Love you Victor.

BLACKWELL: Love you.

PAUL: Smerconish is next.