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New Day Saturday

U.S. Resuming Use Of J&J Vaccine Amid Dip In Demand For COVID Shots; SpaceX Capsule Arrives At International Space Station; DOJ To Investigate Police Activities In Minneapolis; Dispatch Call Reveals black Man In North Carolina Was Shot In Back; Growing Calls For Police To Release Body Cam Video In Shooting Death OF Andrew Brown; ISS Welcome Party Greets NASA Astronauts In SpaceX Capsule; 30 Million People Under Threat Of Tornadoes, Large Hail And High Winds Across The South. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired April 24, 2021 - 07:00   ET



BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to your NEW DAY. I'm Boris Sanchez.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Christi Paul. Hope we're waking you up there really well. So, I want to give you a look at the International Space Center live minutes from now, that SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft will be opening its hatch after docking with the ISS. Now, the capsules caring for astronauts who will live on the space station for the next six months. We do expect to see the ISS crew welcome the SpaceX crew aboard this hour and that is a whole thing there. So, we're going to bring those live pictures to you as they happen.

SANCHEZ: Now, to a major development in the effort to eradicate the Coronavirus, Johnson and Johnson's vaccine is rejoining the race to vaccinate Americans, just as the United States sees worrying signs that demand for vaccines is dipping.

PAUL: In a single dose vaccines label will include a warning now about rare but potentially deadly blood clots, noting certain women under the age of 50 may have a small risk. After a 10-day pause, the CDC's advisors decided the benefits outweigh the rare danger that we're seeing.

New coronavirus models from the IHME show the current pace of vaccinations will help save thousands of lives by August 1st, but they're worried about a slow erosion of vaccine confidence predicting vaccine supply will likely outstrip demand by next month by May.

SANCHEZ: Let's get to CNN's Evan McMorris Santoro, who joins us live from outside of museum turned vaccination site in New York City. Evan, let's start with this decision about the J&J vaccine. What's the latest?

EVAN MCMORRIS SANTORO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's a huge move. We're looking for it for a long time to see what would happen. And official said, they met, they talked about it, they said, look, this vaccine is safe and it's safer for people to use with these additional warnings.

Now, I can throw you up. But let's look at a quick graphic here of what these warnings are for some of those women that we talked about. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should seek medical attention. But the officials in America are stressing that these symptoms are rare. These instances are rare, and that this vaccine is once again safe to be used in the vaccine program. Boris.

PAUL: So, you're outside the Museum of Natural History. It's a vaccination site, obviously now. So, walk us through how that rollout is going. Because experts are saying, you know, they're concerned about this drop in demand for shots that they've seen here in the U.S.

SANTORO: That's absolutely right. The vaccine conversation is changing in America. If you don't recall, not that long ago, we were talking about waiting on hold on the phone forever and refreshing those websites over and over trying to get appointments. Well, now there's enough supply that people can get vaccines if they want them. The fear is that not enough people want them.

Let me show you a quick graphic of vaccine administered across the United States. You can see that we're -- we've been on average over three million pretty regularly now, which is an amazing number to think about considering what it was like at the beginning and how desperate you were to get these vaccines. We show you that slight dip at the end of that chart. And that dip is that fear that people are not going to get this vaccine, maybe they don't want it, maybe demand is dropping off.

So, the public, the officials are changing their focus on how this vaccine is working. And here at the Natural History Museum in New York. It's now a vaccine site. And the way it works is you can just walk in, there's no appointments needed us walking, if you're a New Yorker, you can get a vaccine. And also if you do get a vaccine, you get four passes to come back and come this museum with your family. See the big famous blue whale, walk around, you know, do the stuff you need to do after you've been vaccinated. So, the goal now is to really try to shift this conversation away from if you want it, you can get it to actually saying you should want it and you should get it. Boris and Christi.

SANCHEZ: Evan McMorris Santoro, thanks so much for that.

PAUL: Dr. Megan Ranney is with us now. She's an Emergency Physician at Brown University and Director of the Brown Lifespan Center for Digital Health. Doctor, so good to have you with us. As always, I want to ask you about your comfort level with what has come out about Johnson and Johnson and putting that vaccine back into the mix now.

DR. MEGAN RANNEY, EMERGENCY PHYSICIAN, BROWN UNIVERSITY: I think it is absolutely the appropriate decision to make Christi. The risk of those blood clots is so minuscule. It is approximately one in a million overall. If you are a woman in that 18 to 49-year-old age group, it's around seven in a million. That risk is so, so, so much smaller than the risk of catching COVID or even the risk of getting a blood clot if you catch COVID that it makes absolute sense to lift the restrictions. And in fact, it's the same thing that Europe decided to do.

PAUL: Yes. Are you surprised that that's the only guidance we have women under 50, may be the ones who have some sort of very small risk to this at this point? There obviously have been a lot of studies once they found these blood clots, not just studies in the U.S. but around the world. Are you surprised we don't have more clarity or is that just because there is no science behind who these women or these people were that did have blood clots from it?


RANNEY: I think when you're talking about numbers this small, unless there is very obvious link between them, it's difficult to provide more clarity at this point. If there are more cases that are identified here or in other countries, we'll be able to gather more data and identify more things that are similar between the folks that get this very, very rare complication. I know a couple of the women who did have blood clots here in the U.S., we're on oral contraceptives, but most of them weren't, right? A couple of them were smokers.

Most of them weren't, there's no single thing that we can identify that is a risk factor. So again, it becomes a risk benefit analysis. For those who have not gotten a shot yet, no one is going to force you to get J&J. If you're someone who only wants one shot, and that J&J is the only kind of vaccine you're going to get, you now have that as an option. If you're someone for whom that makes you uncomfortable. You have been doing it in Pfizer, which are totally different vaccines and have no risk of blood clots associated with them that are totally safe, that you can also go and get. So, it allows Americans to have choices right now.

PAUL: OK, before I let you go, I want to ask you about an article you wrote for Time Magazine when it came to health and gun violence that we've been seeing in this country. Here's what you write, we must meet this challenge regarding the gun violence we've been seeing by approaching firearm injury as a public health epidemic, rather than a debate about gun rights or control. So, if it's approached from a public health standpoint, what would that look like?

RANNEY: What that looks like is doing the same thing for firearm injury, honestly, that we've done for COVID. It's about putting resources into doing the science. And we don't even know how many firearm injuries there are in a year Christi. So, it's figuring out these very basic numbers. And then it's doing the work to develop things to stop it. Things like vaccines or masks for COVID. There are similar things for firearm injury that many of us are working on. And then it's putting those things into place. It's stopping making it a debate just about policy. Policy matters, but it's never enough. And it's taking this health approach where we talk about, we want to stop people from being shot. We want folks to be safe and we have to work together as gun owners and health experts to make that happen.

PAUL: Dr. Megan Ranney, good to have you with us. Thank you so much. We always appreciate hearing from you.

RANNEY: Thank you.

SANCEHZ: We want to take you straight to the International Space Station. Here are some live pictures at any moment. Now, as SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft is going to open its hatch after docking with the ISS earlier this morning. The capsule caring for astronauts from three different countries who will live on the ISS for the next six months. At any moment, we expect to see them opening the hatch. They're eventually going to be welcome on board by the crew that's at the space station within the hour.

PAUL: CNN Business Innovation and Space Correspondent Rachel Crane following the latest from Cape Canaveral, Rachel, good to see you. Well, what do we know is in store for these astronauts over the next six months?

RACHEL CRANE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christi, of course, I just want to point out that actually we just hit a major milestone because they did in fact open that hatch on Crew Dragon. So, now all the hatches have been open, the pressurization of the vegetable vestibule in between Crew Dragon and the International Space Station has been pressurized. So, you know within a few moments we'll be seeing those astronauts float into the International Space Station one by one. So really exciting moment here.

Yesterday, of course was the historic launch of crew to from Kennedy Space Center here in Florida. It was incredible to watch. But, you know, onboard that was just the beginning of their journey. Because onboard, they'll be there for six months. They're incredibly busy. They'll be running over 260 experiments. Several spacewalks will take place. They're updating the International Space Station's power supply in the solar arrays.

So, there's a lot of work to be done on station. Another thing that's really important is, you know, just their day to day lives, they'll be working out at two hours a day astronauts have to work out to make sure that they maintain their muscles and bones, their muscles don't atrophy. But you know, they just have to also eat and it's interesting to point out that these are the things that they eat out of these are these little packets of food.

And we have a multinational crew that's on board right now. And Thomas passed gay he's French, so he had the opportunity to bring up you know, some fancy gourmet French cuisine. So right here, I actually tasted some of the food that he brought up and this is a creamy crispy einkorn so who knows what their celebrate Tori meal will be today. But it also could be beef boring you all because that's another thing that he brought up as well as crepe Suzette. So, you know, you're still having to live there day to day lives work out eat, but also an incredible amount of science and research is Of course done on the International Space Station every single day.

A lot of that research is in the effort to return us to the moon, that's part of the Artemis program. You know investigate life support systems that will be necessary in order to get there as early as 2024. Boris, Christi.


SANCHEZ: And Rachel, walk us through what we're going to see here. I know that before they launched through the superstition at Kennedy Space Center, where they play a few rounds of rock, paper, scissors, are we going to see any of those sorts of superstitious rituals? Is there a ceremony that's going to take place? What's about to happen?

CRANE: Yes, that's right. So, what we're going to see? So what we've seen over the last, you know, couple hours, actually, they docked at 5:08. Eastern Time, they've been reading the International Space Station to welcome the four crew members of crew to so they actually had to move a lot move a lot of stowage that was in front of the hatch. You know, space is, is kind of an issue on the International Space Station. I'm talking about figurative space here.

So, they have to, you know, they carefully design where they're going to put everything, we had to move a lot of things out of the way. They also have to add padding into the hatch to make sure that, you know, no one bumps their head as they're floating through, which has happened several times before. And we're expecting about 7:45 there to be a welcome ceremony. That's when the astronauts that are on currently on board will welcome crew to and they'll, you know, do a televised event. But it's also interesting to point out that it's going to be pretty crowded on the International Space Station for the next couple of days.

That's because there'll be 11 astronauts on board. That is of course, you know before crew two says goodbye to crew one crew one is expected to leave the space station on Wednesday. And splashdown back here on earth after they've had their six months stay on the International Space Station. But Pretty cool right now that they're overlapping that crew one and crew two who both made these, you know, historic journeys on Crew Dragon, get to overlap on the International Space Station and welcome each other and also, you know, beat each other a deal.

SANCHEZ: Yes, hopefully, for some emotes as in some champagne for some of Bags you're showing us?

PAUL: Go head, yes, that that was actually interesting. But go ahead. Go ahead. It's interesting that, the, he chef who the engineer who did the French meals, he said it was actually kind of a challenge to create the French meals because you couldn't use alcohol. So, it's interesting that you said that, you know, they had to boil off the alcohol because of course alcohol is, you know, a big ingredient when we're talking gourmet French cuisine here. Yes.

PAUL: Yes. And I don't know that they weren't any alcoholic.

SANCHEZ: I want to say. After a long spacewalk went?

PAUL: Why not to help you sleep? Rachel Crane, thank you so much. We're going to check back with her in just a little bit too as we wait for that that welcoming ceremony to happen for us.

SANCHEZ: Yes. Also coming up on NEW DAY. After former officer Derek Shogun was found guilty of the murder of George Floyd the Justice Department announcing it is now investigating police practices in Minneapolis. The latest on that upcoming investigation ahead.



SANCHEZ: The family of a North Carolina man who was shot and killed by police is set to hold a news conference this afternoon. Andrew Brown's family still has not seen the body cam footage of what happened on Wednesday morning when police were serving a warrant. Something that the community has been fighting for ever since.

PAUL: The police say they were trying to serve that arrest warrant on Brown. Witnesses say deputies open fire on the car that he was driving. CNN's Dianne Gallagher is in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, where the calls for transparency are getting louder.


DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: After three days of peaceful protest in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As you see all these people here, they want answers.

GALLAGHER: Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten revealing seven deputies involved in the incident that led to the shooting death of Andrew Brown, Jr. or on administrative leave and three have left the force on their own.

SHERIFF TOMMY WOOTEN, PASQUOTANK COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA: There is absolutely nothing to hide. I am trying to let the investigation unfold.

GALLAGHER: Wooten meeting with Brown's family for the first time late Friday afternoon. Though, we offer condolences, the family called the sit down, "almost a waste of time."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The same way we're winning is the same way we came out. We don't stand on anything. When they call the family, I thought we were going to see the video.

GALLAGHER: The sheriff claims, he wants the same.

WOOTEN: The family's not going to have to wait much longer. Their wishes will be granted. I want what the citizens of this county won't.

GALLAGHER: But that state law prevents the video from body cameras worn by deputies who shot and killed Brown while serving warrants from being publicly released without a court order.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We asked our local officials to release that video. Something the city council called an emergency meeting Friday afternoon to request. CNN has also joined a media coalition to petition the court to release the videos. Officials haven't given many details about the shooting itself. They say deputies were serving both search and arrest warrants issued by an alcohol Drug Task Force. CHIEF DEPUTY DANIEL FOGG, PASQUOTANK COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA: This is an arrest around and felony drug charges. Mr. Brown was a convicted felon with a history of resisting arrest.

GALLAGHER: Witnesses claim Brown was in his car trying to get away.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because it's grass, so of course it's been in mud. And it's they started they stood behind him. I couldn't tell you what, who shot him. I couldn't do that. But one of the officers or maybe a couple shot him.

GALLAGHER: A law enforcement radio dispatch from the deadly encounter obtained by CNN does reveal that Brown was shot in the back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Be advised, EMS has one male, 42 years of age, gunshot to the back.

GALLAGHER: Browns family says, its quest for answers is made even tougher when they think about what his death will mean for his children.

BETTY BANKS, ANDREW BROWN'S AUNT: I've never in my life see a man take up the time and love his children the way that he did. And the way he would just look at them and they loved him.

GALLAGHER: Wishing they could see him one last time.

BANKS: I would just want him to know, as he did that I loved him, that I loved him.

GALLAGHER: Now, the sheriff has said that he's trying to get all of the elements together perfectly before they released this information to make sure that everything is right. But the family says, the more time that goes by, the more suspicious they become. And protesters have echoed that same sentiment saying that they plan to protest every night until the video is released.

And then, depending on what's on that video, well, they will continue to do so to demand accountability and justice. North Carolina's Governor, Roy Cooper, tweeted calling the shooting tragic and concerning and said the body camera footage should be released quickly. Dianne Gallagher, CNN, Elizabeth City, North Carolina.



PAUL: Dianne, thank you. Now the Chauvin Trial called Minneapolis policing methods into question again. And now, the Justice Department is investigating the department's practices. Coming up, what could happen if problems are uncovered? This is NEW DAY. We'll be right back.


PAUL: So the Justice Department announced this week it will investigate the Minneapolis Police Department.


SANCHEZ: Attorney General Merrick Garland made the announcement the morning after former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, was found guilty of murdering George Floyd. Chauvin, of course, will be sentenced in June. CNN's Adrianne Broaddus joins us now from Minneapolis. Adrianne, the Justice Department is going to try to figure out if the Minneapolis Police Department had a pattern and practice of illegal conduct. What exactly does that mean?

ADRIANNE BROADDUS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, part of that means that the Department of Justice is going to create this comprehensive review of the department's policies and practices that will include looking at its supervisors looking at its use of force investigations, and also looking at its training. Something else we likely will see the DOJ take a look at the initial news release members of the media receive following the death of George Floyd.

I remember that night clearly, not only was there a news conference overnight, where a spokesperson with the Minneapolis Police Department said a man died in custody because of a medical condition. The department also put that in writing and many of us still have a copy of that news release. This week. We learned that was not the case. Video also showed us that was not the case. The members of the jury found Derek Chauvin guilty on all three counts something we will not see.

We will not see the names of those doors for at least six months because of safety. Their names have been withheld. Meanwhile, I spoke with a former Minneapolis police officer. And he and his wife who works in education, say they embrace the Department of Justice's investigation. I asked him, can that policing be changed? Is it a possibility that we could see reform? Here's what he said.


MIKE FRIESTIEBEN, FORMER MINNEAPOLIS POLICE OFFIER: Can it be fixed? Absolutely. But you got to start changing the way you police. You do have to know your community.

MAURI FRIESTIEBEN, MINNEAPOLIS SCHOOL PRINCIPAL: I think to myself, there have to be more Mikes around and if there's more Mikes around, then we can do this.


BROADDUS: And she says, "There has to be more Mikes around." Her husband, Lieutenant Michael Friestieben, he was beloved on the Minneapolis, beloved by the community, I would say in Minneapolis. He was the former inspector of the fourth precinct here. And that's the same precinct where Jamal Clark was killed by police back in 2014, 2015, five years ago. And that case with Jamal Clark is also something the Department of Justice could examine. But again, the sentencing is scheduled for June. And that's the big question, what will happen? How many years will Chauvin spend behind bars? Back to you. SANCHEZ: We will all be watching. Adrianne Broaddus, thank you so much. Joining us now to discuss this and more is Elliot Williams, CNN Legal Analyst and former Deputy Assistant Attorney General, and Dimitri Roberts, a former Chicago Police Officer and a Law Enforcement Analyst. Gentlemen, thank you both for joining us this morning.

Elliot, I want to start with you. These kinds of investigations during the Trump era were scaled back. But now with Merrick Garland as Attorney General, it appears that the Department of Justice is going to flex its muscle when it comes to reforming police departments. So, give us an idea of what investigators are going to be looking at how far they can go into changing things. And ultimately what this means on a larger scale for departments across the country.

ELLIOT WILLIAMS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes. So, you know, Boris, I would even say not even call it flexing muscles because all the Justice Berman can regard these investigations. I mean, communities can regard these investigations as a collaborative process. You referenced the Trump administration.


Former Attorney General Sessions regarded any sort of investigation into police departments in this manner to be sort of bad for morale, but if the community stakeholders, the justice department, and the police department can come together, look at how policing is conducted in the neighborhood or in the community, and just work to make it better.

They don't -- this never has to end them in a lawsuit, and people hear the word investigation, and think, oh, no, the feds are wagging their fingers here. No, this is an opportunity for everybody to work together. And look at training manuals, use of force guidelines, statements issues.

So, for instance, like you said at the beginning, do the statements that -- or Adrienne said this: Do the statements that the police issue create a systemic pattern of misinformation?

All of the above, and then, put out a report at the end, laying out ways in which the community can make policing better. So, it's just not -- people should be really cautious about thinking about this as a way of the Justice Department playing gotcha and more of just trying to work with the community.

SANCHEZ: Good point. Dimitri, I want to ask you about something that Elliot mentioned, and that is the disposition among some like former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

To think that investigation's like this affect morale. There have been concerns about law enforcement at multiple levels from the rank and file to union leaders that this might hurt their ability to recruit new officers, and it could lead to a reluctance among some to police proactively.

What do you make of that perspective? DIMITRI ROBERTS, LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, I think that if there are people that are reluctant to do the job because it's a little uncomfortable and inconvenient, or because there are new standards or accountability processes that are being put in place, then, those folks just simply don't need to be police officers.

And we're seeing that play out throughout the country where we have other law enforcement officers that are very quick to the draw. It seems as though they have moved not just away from their training, but moved away from what they signed up to do and the oaths that they took.

And on the side of every police car in this country, it says service first. And I hope that we can work towards getting back to that.

SANCHEZ: Now, Elliot, I want to get into the Andrew Brown case and a specific aspect of it. Local officials have not yet released body camera footage of the incident where he was shot and killed as they were attempting to serve a warrant.

The video apparently hasn't been released because of state law. Is that something in your eyes that should be reformed because it -- I can't see an immediate purpose for having a law that prevents transparency.

WILLIAMS: Right. Look, sunlight is the best disinfectant here. And the police in North Carolina would do themselves a great service if they would release the video, get the information out there -- you know, and go from there.

You see the challenge is that they want to have it both ways, Boris. What they're doing is saying we can't release the video because it's part of an investigation, and that will take the investigation.

Oh, but by the way, he has a history of release -- of resisting arrest, and he's got these drug convictions in the past, and we were there for executing a drug warrant, but we can't provide any information about it.

So, once again, this is -- this is a beautiful thing to talk about in the context of police reform. It is a police department that is using the language of policing prior to being reformed, right?

This is how police departments for decades have talked about incidents like this, which is shift the narrative from the beginning before the public has a chance to actually see the information and move on. And it's exactly to some extent what you saw at the -- in the early stages of the George Floyd matter, where a statement went out that was just plainly inaccurate and based on limited information.

And so, yes, it will benefit the entire public and the police department. They will do themselves a great favor by putting that video out because maybe it exonerates them. Maybe it -- you know, once the facts are out there, the police have a better story to tell, but they're just not doing themselves any favors right now. SANCHEZ: Yes. And Dimitri, I'm eager to get your thoughts on the role of the police unions in all of this. Because we hear over and over again stories about leadership within police departments wanting to dump bad apples so to speak. Those efforts often wind up stifled by rules that are created through collective bargaining that ultimately wind up protecting officers that should be banned from policing. What reforms do you think we need to see at the union level?

ROBERTS: Well, I think that unions play an important role in one, protecting the efficacy of what the job -- of what the job should be, or how the jobs should be done when you're a police officer and then protecting those good officers that are out there every day.

Where the reform comes in is that we just got to draw the line in the sand and say that when we're on the other side of these issues, we just have to take a better approach, and one is reasonable and sensible for everybody involved.


ROBERTS: And in a lot of cases, what we've seen, particularly in Chicago is that police unions come out and they double down. And that just doesn't help anybody or especially the public to better understand how we can address these issues collectively. And I think that's where the real reform needs to be.

There needs to be a little more transparency into how police unions do their job. But more so, how they advocate for good police. But you don't do anybody any favors by saying, hey, we're trying to weed out the bad apples, when the public is seeing the bad apples happening, but they're doubling-down on protecting them.

SANCHEZ: Yes, and they're getting statements, as Elliot pointed out that are bogus, and they're waiting weeks if not months to see footage of incidents as police officers involved in those incidents are leaving the force, it doesn't do much to inspire trust.

Elliot, Dimitri, thank you both so much for your time this morning. We appreciate it.

ROBERTS: Thank you.

PAUL: So, take a look there. These are live pictures of the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft at the International Space Station right now.

In just a couple of moments, we're going to take you there live for a welcome ceremony. How astronauts greeting each other that are boarding ISS today.

Stay with CNN. You're watching NEW DAY.



PAUL: We're going to show you what's happening right now. This, you're looking at is the crew of the Space X Dragon capsule, set to be welcomed aboard the International Space Station by the current crew members.

Any moment now, the SpaceX crew took off from Kennedy Space Center early Friday. They spent nearly 24 hours soaring through orbit at 17,000 miles per hour, just to catch up to the ISS.

SANCHEZ: Yes, the four astronauts are going to live on the ISS for the next six months. So, as we take a look at these live pictures, let's bring in CNN Business innovation and space correspondent Rachel Crane. And we also have with us retired NASA astronaut Leroy Chiao.

Thank you for joining us, Leroy. But Rachel, let's start with you. Walk us through the history here. This is a historic moment, in part, because SpaceX is reusing hardware that they used in the past, and that's a big step toward space exploration for the United States, isn't it?

RACHEL CRANE, CNN BUSINESS INNOVATION AND SPACE CORRESPONDENT: That's exactly right, Boris. I mean, it's hard to overemphasize how important reusability is in terms of driving down the cost of space exploration to, you know, hopefully, one day, be able to put boots on Mars, return us to the Moon. It's going to be pretty costly. So, you don't want this one and done, you know, space flight of the past in terms of the hardware.

And SpaceX had reused their boosters many times before, but never on a crewed flight. I'm talking about the first stage booster of the Falcon 9. So, they had to put that booster through many, many checks -- thousands of checks, including the spacecraft Endeavour. Endeavour, the spacecraft, that Crew-2 flew on, is actually -- it's returning to the space station. It's already been there, flew Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley nearly a year ago on that made in voyage of Crew Dragon to the International Space Station with a crew on board.

So, you know, a really historic moment here that SpaceX has really been able to crack the nut on reusability in terms of these crewed missions, all in an effort to continue to drive down the cost of space exploration.

But Elon Musk also making the point that it actually might be safer to fly flight proven hardware because you know it's already been put through your phases, you know it's already working.

It was interesting also to see yesterday at the launch that the Falcon 9 booster had suit in scorch marks all over its SpaceX.


SANCHEZ: And Rachel, we --

CRANE: You know, choosing to wear --


PAUL: Yes. CRANE: Go ahead.

SANCHEZ: I don't want to interrupt you. I just want to let you know that right now, the astronauts aboard the SpaceX capsule are actually entering the ISS. It appears that Thomas Pesquet, Akihiko Hoshide have entered.

And there is Megan McArthur, she's a pilot from California. Her husband, actually, is Bob Behnken, who Rachel just mentioned.

To you, Leroy, what do you think watching this, having been there before, having been one of the astronauts who helped build the ISS as it is today?

PAUL: Actually, hold on a second. Can we listen? Can we listen real quickly to see if we can hear what they're saying?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The 11-person crew of the Expedition 65 now together inside Node 2 of the International Space Station.


PAUL: OK, I guess that's all we get to hear. But go ahead. Go ahead, Rachel.

CRANE: Well, you know, right now, this is the moment they've all been waiting for. You know, this -- the arrival -- the safe arrival, you know, most importantly of Crew-2 on the International Space Station. There were seven crew members on board station. So, now with the arrival, there's 11 of them.

This is the moment, you know, where there is congratulatory hugs. As you can see, you know, everyone is very joyous here. This is a big, big moment. We're going to see an official welcoming ceremony coming up.

But, you know, this is the moment where the families of these astronauts can take a little bit of a sigh of relief that they are safely on board. And as I pointed out, you know, it's a little crowded on board station, and it only be for a few days. Crew-1 will be departing station in just a couple of days.

But this welcoming ceremony should be happening any minute, and this is something that they do when any crew arrives. But, you know, this is a really -- an important one, because this passing of the baton of Crew-1 to Crew-2, you know, is quite special.


PAUL: Yes, Leroy, I know that you have done this because you spend six months serving as International Space Station commander back in 2004 and 2005.

PAUL: I want to -- I don't know what that is, but I want to try to -- you can get back to live pictures of them because we saw them all get in there -- their respective places. And they have a microphone in their hands, so they are going to be speaking, and we're going to be waiting to see that happen.

But Leroy, talk to us about what it's like to be a new member of the ISS when you first got there and you had that welcoming ceremony. I mean, did you feel an immediate sense of camaraderie with the people who are already there?

LEROY CHIAO, FORMER INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION COMMANDER: Well, absolutely. Of course, we all know each other very well from our training. We've trained together and we've known each other for a long time. And so, getting on board is a -- is a great feeling because that means you're going to -- your mission is going to go. In other words, if you're docking at failed, and you had to return to earth and all that training that you went through, you know, that all kind of gets put on hold.

So, getting the hatches open and coming on board and the excitement of starting your own expedition is really special. So, these folks are very happy, obviously, and you know, this is I believe a record number of people we have on the station at one time.

And so, a lot of firsts in this mission, including as was discussed, the first usage of a recycled or refurbished spacecraft, and another refurbished first stage rocket for a flight with astronauts on board.

PAUL: I understand that it took the Dragon spacecraft to align itself with the docking ports and parked itself. And all of those maneuvers were directed by computer. It -- I'm assuming everybody's obviously comfortable with that, but who's at the ready to fix it if something happens, Leroy?

CHIAO: Oh, absolutely, yes. No, the docking procedure is automated, just as it is for the Russian Soyuz. And the crew is the backup, the crew is monitoring everything very carefully, and they're ready to take over manual control.

In fact, during my approach in docking in the Soyuz spacecraft, we had it an emergency under 200 meters. It was actually pretty dangerous. Our autopilot failed and start speeding us up instead of slowing us down, and also started a left roll or left rotation. So, we start -- started losing side of the station, and we actually did have to take manual control and complete the docking manually.

SANCHEZ: Yikes, well, we're glad you're OK, Leroy.

Rachel, I wanted to ask you because you mentioned future space exploration and a mission perhaps to Mars.

The ISS at this point is actually old enough to drink, it's 21 years old. What is its role going to be moving forward for the United States, specifically, in heading to Mars?

CRANE: Yes, well, you know, the International Space Station, it's important to remember, is a national laboratory. So, a ton of science and research is being conducted on the International Space Station.

Right now, in that effort to return us to the Moon, the Artemis mission, and then eventually, to get us to Mars. So, you know, it's an incredibly important steppingstone. And you know, vehicle with which to get us on these, you know, these deeper space journeys.

And you know, the future of the space station is a little bit in limbo right now. You know, it does have -- it is going to have to be retired at some point or they're going to have to update it because it -- as you pointed out, it's old enough to drink at this point. So, you know whether it's going to be another commercial space station that will replace it, all of that is yet to be determined.

But what we do know is that there's an incredible amount of important research being conducted right now and will continue for the foreseeable future to help us to get back to the Moon. And you know, hopefully, in our lifetime, Boris, get us to Mars.

PAUL: Rachel Crane and Leroy Chiao.


CHIAO: If --

PAUL: Go ahead, Leroy. What did you want to say?

CHIAO: Well, I was going to say, actually the space station, I think, is a -- is an important and critical part of the exploration program because it serves as a testbed, not only for hardware that we will put on a spacecraft to go to Mars but also for a biomedical testbed to develop these what we call countermeasures.

It turns out that space is pretty harsh on the human body and all living systems, and we need to figure out how we're going to keep these crews healthy on a journey to Mars and back. And the space station provides us with that test bed and, you know, in addition to all the physiological research that's going on.

PAUL: Oh, yes. I mean the toughness of all of these people of you, Leroy, who has been there and done that. We see all of them standing there together for the first time now as they are all in space.

And on Wednesday, we know those crews are going to flip, and the crew that has been there for six months is going to come home.

Rachel Crane and Leroy Chiao, thank you both so much for walking us through what we're watching today.

SANCHEZ: Thanks.

CHIAO: It's a pleasure, thanks.


SANCHEZ: Back on Earth, we've got hail, damaging winds, and possible tornadoes, threatening millions of people across the country. More on the severe weather risk after a quick break.


PAUL: So, there are tornadoes, large hail, damaging winds, those are the threats facing 30 million of you in the south as this potent spring storm rolls across the area.

SANCHEZ: Yes, the area facing the biggest risk right now stretches between Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar is in the severe weather center. Allison, what are you seeing this morning?


ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: it's a very busy day yesterday, and it's turned into a very busy morning today. We already have some very active thunderstorms across the southeast as we speak.

The biggest activity is really going to be focused along the Gulf Coast region. Sure, we have rain for places like Atlanta and Birmingham. But the bigger threat for severe weather exists closer to the gulf coast.

Right now, you're looking at active tornado watches that we have in place. The counties on the far western side, that's going to be valid until 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time today. The counties on the eastern side of this map are going to stick around until at least 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time this afternoon. And that's because we're going to see multiple rounds of this.

The main area for severe storms this morning may exist along the Gulf Coast, but for the rest of the day, it does spread east. The potential for very large hail, bigger than golf ball size, tornadoes, and also damaging winds.

When we talk about the tornadoes, the biggest threat exists in this orange-shaded area here. And you also even have the potential for some of those EF2 or larger type of tornadoes this afternoon.

Here is where the storms are this morning. So, you can see we already have some active ones. But then, you start to see a lot of what we call back building. These storms that sort to fire back up over the same places that already had some storms this morning. That will continue into the evening hours as well, but one of the other concerns not only does that mean more severe thunderstorms are back building, but also the potential for flooding because these areas will continue to get the same storms over and over again.

So, widespread guys. We're talking two to four inches, some areas picking up more.

One thing to note, Christi and Boris is that typically while May is peak, April we tend to see quite a few tornadoes here. We average about 178 this month, so far, we've only had 34. We'd like to keep it that way, but we'll see how it goes today.

PAUL: Yes, fingers crossed. Allison Chinchar. Thank you so much.

SANCHEZ: We want to take you back out to outer space and the International Space Station. The crew of the SpaceX Dragon capsule just welcomed aboard the International Space Station by the crew right there. The SpaceX crew will replace the astronauts currently on the ISS, and they're expected to be there for the next six months.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And welcomes by the Expedition 65 crew members --