Return to Transcripts main page
New Day Saturday
Out of Control Rocket to Reenter Earth's Atmosphere This Weekend; U.S. Adds Just 266,000 Jobs in April, far Fewer Than Forecast; Biden: Economy Moving in Right Direction, but "A Long Way to Go"; U.S. COVID-19 Infection Rate Hits 7-Month Low As Vaccinations Rise; Pfizer Seeking Full FDA Vaccine Approval for People 16 and Older; Chauvin, 3 Other Former Officers Face Federal Charges. Aired 6- 7a ET
Aired May 08, 2021 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Dr. Sanjay Gupta and this is CNN.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Well, good morning and welcome to your NEW DAY. I'm Christi Paul.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, Christi. I'm Boris Sanchez. A 22-ton out of control Chinese rocket is plunging toward earth and a big question we're all trying to answer is where is this thing going to land?
PAUL: Yes. A major letdown as U.S. economy adds just 266,000 jobs. That's far short of what the estimates were. President Biden says this is just proof that his massive economic plan is what the country needs.
SANCHEZ: Plus, new indictments for the former Minneapolis police officers involved in the death of George Floyd, the federal charges all four of them are now facing.
PAUL: And a sign of the times maybe? Major League Baseball, it's back for one team at full capacity.
It is Saturday, May 8th. We are so grateful to have you waking up with us. Hey, Boris.
SANCHEZ: Hey, Christi. Grateful to be with you, Christi, grateful that our audience is joining us this morning and the more I keep reading about this story, Christi, the more surreal it seems. It's happening right now. A about 100-foot long, more than 20-ton used Chinese rocket is barreling toward earth at 18,000 miles an hour, but nobody knows exactly where this thing is going to land.
PAUL: A Defense Department spokesman suggests it's going to reenter earth's atmosphere sometime today. Now, they also say don't worry. There's one expert who says this is a really small risk that it will cause damage. CNN's ...
SANCHEZ: Yes. But the odds ...
PAUL: Go ahead.
SANCHEZ: I was just going to say the odds are not zero. There is a chance this is going to land somewhere ...
SANCHEZ: ... where there are people. In fact, it's happened before.
PAUL: Yes. CNN's David Culver is following all of this. So David, as we were talking about, this is one of the largest pieces of space junk to ever fall to earth. What more do we know about it?
DAVID CULVER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey there, Christi and Boris. Good morning to both of you. This is really big. This is the size of a Greyhound business. It's 22 tons. It's moving really fast and that's what complicates the trajectory here and leaves the big really unnerving question of where and when is it exactly going to land?
Meantime, while it's getting a lot of attention outside of China, here within China, this has not been widely published and perhaps because it's a bit embarrassing for them, but at the same time, they're also saying that this is a double standard, that this happens all the time, as they put it, and they showed other headlines as they've put out a few articles really contradicting what other media is saying and they're considering this to be just a bunch of hype.
The officials here say that this is a extremely low chance that it'll cause any harm or damage, but nonetheless, it still remains a question where is it going to end up?
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
CULVER (voice-over): What goes up must come down. The question is where? Scientists say they will not know the exact entry point of the 22-ton Chinese rocket until it's so close it's only hours away from reentry. Experts say don't panic. This is not like the Hollywood blockbusters where the impact of something from outer space threatens to end the world, but uncontrolled space junk crashing back to earth is a growing concern.
What's expected to hit earth this weekend is the empty core of a rocket that's been losing orbit since its launch, much of which should burn up in the atmosphere, but some pieces could get through, like last year when the largest piece of space debris in 30 years landed in the Atlantic Ocean and over parts of Africa, remnants of a similar Chinese rocket.
JONATHAN MCDOWELL, ASTROPHYSICIST, HARVARD-SMITHSONIAN CENTER FOR ASTROPHYSICS: The Chinese have this new type of rocket called the Long March 5B and unlike other big rockets, it litters space by leaving its big, 20-ton core stage in orbit. American rockets, Russian rockets, European rockets don't do that.
CULVER (voice-over): Chinese state media says the risk of it hitting a populated area are low and suggest it may fall in international waters or burn up on reentry, a fair guess since more than 70 percent of the planet is covered in water. The United States is tracking its course and says right now, it has no plans to shoot it down, but with a cloud of 9,000 tons of rocket boosters, dead satellites and other hardware floating above, there are growing calls for more regulation of what gets sent up to space and how it returns.
GEN. WILLIAM SHELTON (RET.), FORMER COMMANDER, U.S. SPACE COMMAND: As we think about launching thousands of objects into low earth orbit here, we need norms of behavior so that everybody's playing off the same sheet of music and everybody is focused on safety of flight and we just don't have that sort of thing right now.
CULVER (voice-over): Until then, all eyes are on the skies this weekend with the questions of when, where and how much debris will fall still up in the air.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
CULVER: And so if this goes along the path that most experts are expecting, Christi and Boris, and that it doesn't really cause any harm or damage at all, it still raises another big question and that is the congestion that we're seeing put up in space, particularly from China in particular.
This country is incredibly ambitious when it comes to its space program and when we talk often about the assertiveness, as the U.S. has put it, from China in the South China Sea, in the arctic, but you got to look out of this world now and into space and they are really going after that new frontier.
They have a mission to Mars that's likely to land a rover in the next few weeks, they've got a space station that's being constructed likely in the next few months and they look to get a person on the moon within the next few years, by 2030s, as they put it. It may be behind the U.S., but you've got to look at the time frame that they've done all of this and it's been rapid development and they're not slowing down.
PAUL: David Culver, great piece. We appreciate it so much. Thank you. So let's bring in retired NASA astronaut Leroy Chiao. He's the former commander of the International Space Station, by the way. Good morning, Leroy. I know it's ...
LEROY CHIAO, FORMER COMMANDER OF THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION: Good morning. Good morning.
PAUL: ... a big day. You're a very busy man today. We all want to know what you think and I want to ask you that first and foremost. China saying, look, this happens all the time, it's all hype. What's your reaction to that? CHIAO: Well, the fact is that the chance that it's going to hit an inhabited area is low, but it doesn't happen all the time that we leave such a large piece of rocket, a core stage that's getting enter the atmosphere. So pretty significant pieces are going to come back and survive the reentry.
You know, if you look back at the shuttle program, the space shuttle program, every time we launched a space shuttle, a piece of the external tank would survive the reentry, but our trajectories were planned such that that piece would fall harmlessly into the Indian Ocean, away from shipping lanes.
Other things that have come back down in years past, Skylab, of course, reentered and hit a remote part of Australia not causing any damage. The Mir Space Station in more recent years came back down and splashed into the ocean harmlessly. Several years ago, there was an old Soviet spy satellite that crashed in northern Canada, spread some radioactive debris, fortunately in an uninhabited northern area in the -- in the tundra where nobody was around.
So not unprecedented, but, you know, you keep -- you keep taking those chances, at some point, you main hit somewhere that's inhabited.
PAUL: So I picked up on something you said. You mentioned pieces. Do you anticipate that this thing is going to break itself up? We know some of it would -- we anticipate it would burn off, but you're not talking about one large piece. You're saying this could be many different pieces which mean they could fall in different areas? I mean, I'm wondering what the scope of that area might be.
CHIAO: Right. So it will break up. Most of it will burn up in the atmosphere from the reentry heat coming down at 18,000 miles an hour hitting the atmosphere and heating up, melting and burning most of it away, but some of the big structural pieces will survive. In case of a space shuttle external tank, we had a big beam, a titanium alloyed beam, that connected -- went right through the tank and connected the two solid rocket boosters, so very big structural piece.
That was the piece that survived. Not the entire thing, but parts of it and so the same thing will happen with the Chinese rocket.
Now, if we let it come down and enter, it's not going to be spread out too far over the -- but it'll be along the track. These pieces will come down along the track that this booster is taking. So look for a line of debris that will come down and hit the earth.
PAUL: Do you think that if there is damage that China needs to take some responsibility for this? I'm just wondering if there is a -- if there's any thought going into some sort of collective governing body to handle things like this.
CHIAO: I'm not aware of any efforts to create some kind of a multi- country, you know, control board or something like that, but, you know, players are becoming more aware of this kind of thing and becoming more responsible, if you will. If you look at some of the small sats (ph) that are being launched, for example the Starlink system -- the SpaceX Starlink system, when those satellites, which are orbiting pretty low relative to other satellites, when they reach their end of life, they're being designed so that they will automatically deorbit themselves into a planned area to make sure that it doesn't hit any inhabited -- anything that survives doesn't hit any inhabited areas.
PAUL: OK. Leroy Chiao, I'm sure we'll be talking to you throughout the day. Thank you so much, sir. We appreciate your expertise.
CHIAO: Thank you.
SANCHEZ: Still ahead on NEW DAY, major questions about the economy after a dismal jobs report. The White House now saying this is exactly why it's time to go big.
PAUL: Also, the U.S. appears to be turning a corner. Coronavirus cases are down, hospitalizations are down. Optimism is what's up. We'll have the latest ahead on NEW DAY.
SANCHEZ: We are 14 minutes past the hour and the latest job numbers are out. They are rough and reflective of what so many are feeling in their personal lives. The economy is still struggling to get back on track.
PAUL: Yes. And employers and economists are struggling to pin down exactly what's behind this lackluster jobs report in April. It came in much lower than expected. CNN's chief business correspondent Christine Romans has more to walk us through here what went wrong.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Boris and Christi, it was not the flood of rehiring economists had predicted, more like a trickle. April's jobs report shows a job market struggling to rebound. Economists had expected America would add 1 million jobs.
The economy still down 8.2 million positions in the pandemic. Now, most of the hiring happened in leisure and hospitality as states have allowed greater numbers in bars and restaurants and as vaccinations have allowed for more travel. The leisure sector, though, still down some 2.8 million jobs since February 2020.
The unemployment rate rose slightly to 6.1 percent. The job market is still in a deep hole and the damage has been uneven. Lower income earners, women, Hispanic and black workers bore the brunt of the layoffs and millions are still out of work and some employers report trouble finding workers.
There are a half million factory job openings right now and elsewhere, some workers may be reluctant to venture back into the labor market for three reasons -- fear of contracting the virus, a lack of child care with children out of school and the cushion from $300 a week extra in jobless benefits.
The potential good news for workers, employers may have to pay more to attract talent. Average hourly earnings jumped $0.21 in April. Christi and Boris, as the economy heals, Montana and South Carolina are opting out of that $300 a week in extra jobless benefits. They cite labor shortages and they call it a disincentive to return to work.
PAUL: Christine, thank you so much. So there is new pressure on President Biden and his economic strategy as a -- as a result of those rough job numbers that we saw.
SANCHEZ: Yes. Let's get over to the White House right now and CNN's Jasmine Wright. Jasmine, Biden says this COVID recovery is a marathon and not a sprint, but there's just not much good news in this new report. So how is the President reacting?
JASMINE WRIGHT, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, Christi and Boris, President Biden is using this disappointing jobs report as evidence for why the country needs his multi-trillion dollar economic agenda. Yesterday on Friday in remarks, he made three major points. First, he said that the raw data from the jobs numbers shows that the country's actually moving in the right direction, but still has a long way to go.
Second, he defended his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package signed in March, saying that, listen, it wasn't supposed to just flip a switch and bring back jobs. That is a near year-long effort and, third, he dismissed concerns that those extended unemployment benefits were actually dampening the work force. He said he didn't see any evidence of that and that's an argument from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other groups.
Instead, he said that the numbers showed just how far back the pandemic set the country. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're still digging out of an economic collapse that cost us 22 million jobs. Let me say that again. It cost us 22 million jobs. When we came in, we inherited a year of profound economic crisis and mismanagement on the virus and we proposed -- and what we've proposed is going to work. We're going to get to 70 percent.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WRIGHT: So President Biden said that we have work to do and that work for the White House is getting past that two-pronged infrastructure and jobs package. White House officials hope that these dismal numbers give those negotiations new urgency. So going into this week, the White House is goal and President Biden's goal is to find compromise and he'll try to do that in two of those big Oval Office meetings that he'll have this week. On Wednesday, he will meet with the big four congressional leaders. On Thursday, he will meet with Republican Shelley Moore Capito and other Republicans who efforted that counterproposal that came in from Republicans at just a fraction of President Biden's initial asking price, but, Christi and Boris, the question going into next week is what exactly does compromise look like?
PAUL: Good question. Jasmine Wright, good to see this morning. Thank you.
So the travel numbers are up as (ph) people are preparing for hopefully a more normal looking summer. We're going to talk about what you need to know before you go, though.
PAUL: Twenty-three minutes past the hour right now and vaccination efforts in the U.S., they're paying off. Coronavirus infection rates are at their lowest in seven months. Now vaccine hesitancy and the possibility of new, more contagious variants is still a worry for experts.
SANCHEZ: Yes. Look at this. For the first time since the beginning of October, the United States has a seven-day average of 45,000 new COVID-19 cases a day and hospitalizations are falling across the country, too. Why? Because vaccines work. Experts predict 185 million people are going to be vaccinated in the United States by September, though the CDC says it is monitoring a new coronavirus variant and vaccine makers are now reworking their formulas to combat some of the more troubling strains. CNN's Alison Kosik has more.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
ALISON KOSIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Pfizer announced it has begun seeking full approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration of its COVID-19 vaccine for people 16 and older. This is the first COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S. to be assessed for full approval from the FDA. Pfizer's two-shot vaccine is currently used under emergency use authorization from the FDA. Full approval may help get people who are hesitant to get vaccinated.
DR. ASHISH JHA, DEAN, BROWN UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH: For a lot of people who are on the fence who are worried about, well, this is an emergency use, should I get vaccinated, it will give them confidence and then there are a lot of businesses who want to require that their employees be vaccinated. For those businesses, it will also make them feel better about moving forward with that.
KOSIK (voice-over): Nearly 111 million people are fully vaccinated according to data published Friday by the CDC, more than 33 percent of the U.S. population, and about 45 percent of the U.S. population or more than 150 million people has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
JEFF ZIENTS, WHITE HOUSE COVID-19 RESPONSE COORDINATOR: Overall, we will hit two significant milestones in our vaccination program -- 150 million Americans with at least their first shot and 110 million Americans fully vaccinated. Our wartime effort is mobilized to meet the President's goal and we are in all-out implementation and execution mode.
KOSIK (voice-over): For now, U.S. cases per day are falling. The U.S. averaged more than 45,109 new cases a day over the last week. It hasn't been that low since October 6th according to Johns Hopkins University data. The U.S. will likely reach its COVID-19 vaccine goals for the summer, but vaccine hesitancy and variants could still cause a surge in the winter, an influential model predicted Thursday.
The CDC is preparing for seasonal COVID-19 vaccine boosters in case they are needed and with more variants spreading around the world, officials are racing to encourage Americans to get vaccinated and help the country reach herd immunity before vaccine resistant variants develop and reach the U.S..
DR. VIVEK MURTHY, SURGEON GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES: We've dedicated $250 million for committee organizations to provide vaccine information, help make appointments and assist with transportation to those appointments and another $100 million will support rural health clinics in their education and outreach efforts in rural communities. On top of this, nearly $250 million will be available to states and other jurisdictions to power the next phase of their outreach efforts.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
KOSIK: And, Boris and Christi, now there's a new explainer from the CDC about how coronavirus is transmitted, stressing that the virus is spread through the air. Now, I know that's not new news to anybody, but what the CDC is basically doing is boiling it down, saying with the virus spreading through the air, you either catch it by breathing it in, by getting it into your mucous membranes like your nose or your eyes or the virus goes ahead and settles on a surface that people later touch and then touch their faces.
So the advice is, the advice is familiar, keep your hands clean, keep the air clean and try not to get exposed in those mucous membranes, Boris and Christi.
SANCHEZ: Generally a good idea to avoid mucous membranes. Alison Kosik, thank you so much.
KOSIK: You got it.
SANCHEZ: Joining us now to discuss all the headlines is Dr. Chris Pernell. She's a fellow at the American College of Preventative Medicine and a public health physician. Doctor, thank you so much for joining us this morning. The United States is in this really odd position, right? The largest stockpile of vaccines and yes the highest rates of vaccine hesitancy. Is the United States ever going to reach herd immunity at this rate? Is that something that officials should still be striving for?
DR. CHRIS T. PERNELL, PUBLIC HEALTH PHYSICIAN: You know, I describe it as a bit of an American paradox. We have a plethora of vaccines available, but we still have a significant or meaningful portion of our population that's either wait and see or it's just downright a definite no. I don't think that the goal is a fixed number or even a range.
We spoke a lot previously before the vaccines were available at the level that they are about anywhere from 70 percent to 85 percent of the population needing to be fully vaccinated or have had a previous coronavirus infection. What we know is that we just need to suppress the virus levels significantly and if we can suppress those levels significantly, then we won't have the rate of transmission. So in effect, we will have the benefits of comprehensive immunity.
SANCHEZ: Yes. And so as we're getting there, I imagine that, as we see temperatures get lower and we get back inside again in autumn and winter, what does that look like in terms of outbreaks? What kind of patterns are we going to see? Are these areas with higher rates of vaccine hesitancy more likely to get outbreaks? It kind of makes sense, doesn't it? That they would?
PERNELL: Definitely. Look, coronavirus will never be totally eradicated. I just want to make sure that the public understands that. What we want to do is to get ahead of it and to get ahead of it in such a significant way that even with those pockets of resistance or hesitancy and even with emerging variants, that we'll still have a significant amount of people vaccinated that we don't see the levels of devastation that we saw previously.
This will be a constant fight. We will never, ever be able to totally let our guard down.
SANCHEZ: That is unsettling. I do want to play some sound for you that caught me off guard. It's from former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb. He was asked if he supports lifting indoor mask mandates. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When do you think the CDC can have a meaningful conversation about lifting the mask mandates indoors?
SCOTT GOTTLIEB, FORMER FDA COMMISSIONER: I think we can do it right around now. I think we should --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now?
GOTTLIEB: Start lifting these restrictions as -- I think we should start lifting these restrictions as aggressively as we put them in. We need to preserve the credibility of the public health officials to perhaps re-implement some of these provisions as we get into next Winter if we do start seeing outbreaks again. And I think the only way to earn public credibility is to demonstrate that you're willing to relax these provisions when the situation improves, that's what gives you the credibility to implement them when things worsen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: Given that a lot of folks don't trust the guidance that they're getting from the federal government right now, is that a good idea to re-establish some of that trust and take that step?
CHRIS PERNELL, AMERICAN COLLEGE OF PREVENTIVE MEDICINE FELLOW: It's always a good idea to re-establish trust. And the way that you do that is by demonstrating trustworthiness. And I just don't agree. I don't believe it's that. I don't believe it's saying, go -- let's go indoors and let's remove our masks. Look, I still see on my social media feed people who are dying because of this virus or people who have debilitating effects because of this virus. And we need to allow the data to be our guide. I think the public will have more confidence in the public health officials, more confidence in the CDC if we make measured decisions.
If we give out guidelines that show forth that we've done the due diligence around looking at the data and considering the risks. We just aren't there yet. I do agree that we can be outdoors and we can remove our masks, they're very low risk situations unless you're in a very crowded or cramped outdoor event. But indoors with mask removed, I don't agree with that.
SANCHEZ: Dr. Pernell, very quickly, I want to ask you about the FDA authorizing the COVID vaccine for kids as young as 12 years old, it could happen within a matter of days. But fewer than 30 percent of adults say that they are going to get their kids vaccinated as soon as it's authorized. Is there any evidence that supports that broad hesitation or resistance?
PERNELL: Look, we're just going to have to do deeper engagement and deeper outreach. I could give you a story, I was just at a community event last Sunday where we had a 16-year-old get vaccinated. The father on the scene decided to get vaccinated seeing his 16-year-old. So, while now people are saying or really intend or willing to get their 12 to 16-year-olds vaccinated, once we start to see kids vaccinated, I think parents would have a sense of reassurance. And that number could very well change.
SANCHEZ: Yes, we certainly needed to, Dr. Chris Pernell, thank you so much for sharing part of your weekend with us. We appreciate it. Derek Chauvin along with three other former Minneapolis police officers are now facing federal charges for allegedly violating George Floyd's constitutional rights. We'll discuss in today's legal brief, next.
PAUL: And listen, Braves fans are singing take me out to the ball game. What we saw at last night's game that we haven't seen since October of 2019.
[06:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
PAUL: Thirty seven minutes past the hour right now. Derek Chauvin and three other former Minneapolis police officers are facing federal charges now for possibly violating George Floyd's constitutional rights. The Justice Department filed the charges yesterday just weeks after Chauvin was convicted in Minnesota state court of murdering Floyd. Now, federal prosecutors say he deprived Floyd of the right to be free from, quote, "the use of unreasonable force by a police officer." CNN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney Joey Jackson of course is with us. Joey, let's walk through the charges here real quickly, these criminal charges.
First of all, we know Chauvin alone is facing that one count of violating Floyd's civil rights and using excessive force. Two other officers are charged with their failure to intervene in Chauvin's use of unreasonable force. And all four of them are facing a charge for failing to give Floyd medical aid that day. Any chance that any of those charges could impact Chauvin's sentencing next month?
JOEY JACKSON, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: So, Christi, good morning to you, always good to be with you. So, the two are separate. And so micro and then mini. And here's the issue. We have a Justice Department now who has made a calculated decision to get involved in these cases. This is very significant. And we really cannot really undermine or otherwise, you know, indicate that it's not. And here's why? We've seen the federal government in recent years be disengaged from this, and they've left it to states to prosecute matters. Of course, we've seen a compelling state prosecution, at least as it relates to Chauvin.
That prosecution led to his conviction on three charges, as we know, with regard to the felony murder, with regard to the deprave indifference murder and the manslaughter. That sentencing will occur in June. And that sentencing will be independent, separate and apart from what we're looking at here with respect to the federal charges for these officers. So, that the immediate answer to your question is no, it will not. That will be done in accordance with the state of Minnesota rules, the penal code there and the aggravated circumstances involved in the Chauvin murder, right?
He's now convicted with respect to him using his authority, his position and him abusing it, et cetera. These federal charges, however, have meant that the federal government has made a calculated decision that there is involvement for us. Where there's a violation of a federal right, we are going to undertake to move forward.
And what's compelling about what we were seeing on the screen in those charges is that Chauvin and his counterpart are not only being held accountable for what they did, but for what they did not do. What am I speaking about? The two officers who were holding him down, the indication from the federal government, Christi, is that you knew or should have known, that in fact he was going to die. He was in danger. You did nothing to intervene. That's a crime if proven. And finally, with respect to what they're all being charged with, you have a duty and responsibility to render aid, if you don't do it, it's deliberate indifference and you'll be held accountable there. So, this is huge news that our federal government is taking an activist role in looking to these cases. We are in a new era, Christi, of accountability.
PAUL: And do you see any space here for a plausible plea deal with the DOJ?
JACKSON: You know, that's always an open question. Let's be mindful of that, of course. Chauvin has gotten his day in court, at least state court. And now to come on the three other officers who we will see potentially in August, right, moving forward, I say potentially because there could be a plea deal in state court also. And then in terms of the federal government, even though it's separate and apart, and everybody deserves it, they in court and justice, there's always room for negotiation, so let's see how that develops in the weeks and months to come.
PAUL: All right. I want to talk to -- with you about the second case, this growing outrage over in Atlanta Civil Service Board ruling. The former Atlanta police officer Garrett Rolfe, he is the officer charged with killing Rayshard Brooks in Wendy's parking lot last June had been wrongly terminated and they reinstated him. Now, the Atlanta Police Department says Rolfe is remaining on administrative leave until the criminal charges against him are resolved. That decision -- the decision to reinstate him isn't about whether the shooting was justified, but whether Rolfe's firing was in line with city code.
Joey, the police department we know says they're looking into whether Rolfe violated a PD policy. Does that mean that he could possibly be fired again if due process goes through? Because that's what his attorney said we're very excited that the civil board says due process matters. What's your reaction to that?
JACKSON: So, indeed, an answer to your question, Christi, he could be fired again, right? So the Atlanta Police Department where he served took immediate action, and I should say, the mayor did. And so what happens is, we have to be mindful of the fact that although the Civil Service Board looked at the case, determined that before anyone could be fired, there's a process, there's a protocol. There are rules. There are regulations. Whether you're the mayor, the police chief, no matter who you are, right? You're the executive of Atlanta, and you have a right to terminate if you think it's appropriate. We should also hasten to add, Christi, that this was only two weeks right after the killing of George Floyd and the country, obviously, being -- you know, very raw with respect to what happened and the injustices.
So the mayor made the determination of Atlanta that the firing was appropriate. However, since the firing was done only a day later and not really, you know, only hanging it on that, but the fact that he did not -- that is the officer we just saw had an opportunity --
Excuse me, to respond, the Civil Service Board said no, we're a society about due process. Even though the potential, they didn't reach any conclusions as to whether he violated policy or protocol, even though that could have been violated very well here, the fact is that you deserve a process. So, it's on that ground that he was reinstated. However, even though, Christi, he's reinstated, I don't think he'll see another day as a police officer. He is on administrative leave. He will not be sent back on the street. He's facing a murder charge in addition to aggravated assault charges in connection with that criminal prosecution. So, this is indeed just a Civil Service Board saying that due process matters and it does matter, and at the end of the day, that due process stays, I think justice will be served in that case as well.
PAUL: So, you mentioned the mayor, and she gave a statement about this yesterday. And here's what she said. "Given the volatile state of our city and nation last Summer, the decision to terminate this officer after he fatally shot Mr. Brooks in the back was the right thing to do." Does the quote, "the state of the city and nation", does that warrant termination? I guess -- in other words, I'm kind of wondering if the atmosphere of the city and the country were different, would that mean this would have been handled differently and how does that play into this?
JACKSON: You know, it's a great question, Christi, and I think that's exactly what it means. I think the mayor made a determination that you know what? George Floyd just occurred right with respect to the video that we saw two weeks before that. You have tensions that are enflamed. You have protests everywhere, you have people demanding justice. Then you had Rayshard Brooks last June.
I'm not going to tolerate that, said the mayor, I'm going to act now an I'll worry about it later. And that's exactly what she did. And then bringing it back to Civil Service Board said, I get it, I understand it, but you can't do that and we're not -- the service board making any determination as to policy, what you're saying, you cannot act so hastily, and so that's where we are with respect to this. But again, Christi, I think justice will be served ultimately, and that's what matters.
PAUL: Joey Jackson, we are so grateful for you every day. Thank you so much.
JACKSON: Same for you, thanks, Christi.
SANCHEZ: Another day, another no-hitter in Major League Baseball. At a nearly record-setting pace they're happening. Find out how the incredible hulk played a role in a second no-no in three days.
PAUL: So, Major League Baseball season, it started just over a month ago. We've already had four no-hitters.
SANCHEZ: It's incredible. Carolyn Manno has this morning's "BLEACHER'S REPORT". Carolyn, batting averages at an all-time low, strike out set at an all-time high, feels like a golden era of pitching in baseball.
CAROLYN MANNO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Good morning to you both, 2021 quickly becoming the year of the no-no. We've seen four already, this is the earliest that it's happening in a calendar year since 1917. That was actually almost a fifth, you guys, but it didn't count, it was a seven-ending game, so not quite official, but it's pretty remarkable stuff you think about it. In a moment he called surreal, Cincinnati's Wade Miley accomplished the feat on Friday night. The 34-year-old struck out eight frequent batters while walking one in the red, free up and land in the battle of Ohio.
This is baseball's second no-hitter in three days. It's the second time this year that the Indians have been noted, Miley giving the credit to his 4-year-old son Jim who gave him something special before the game.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WADE MILEY, PITCHER, CINCINNATI REDS: Thank you. I've got to give a little shout-out to my son, made me wear this Hulk tattoo on my forearm, and I might have to get the real Hulk tattoo now, I don't know, but thank you, Jim.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MANNO: In the meantime, the Atlanta Braves played in front of a full capacity crowd for the first time in 19 months. Nearly 39,000 fans turning out for last night's game against the Phillies. The Braves joining the Texas Rangers as the only teams to increase attendance to a 100 percent. Atlanta fans didn't have too much to cheer about though, the Phillies ended up scoring six runs on the top of the first inning, they won 12-2, but still good to see fans back. You know, last weekend's NFL draft introduced us to the newest group of young athletes that are hopefully going to make a difference while on and off the field.
And 1996 Heisman winner Danny Wuerffel ended up using his off the field work, made it a priority, has become the most important thing in his life, and he recently spoke about that with our Coy Wire in this week's difference makers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANNY WUERFFEL, HEISMAN TROPHY WINNER: Football is a microcosm of life. I really think if nothing else, it forces you into situations that you're going to be dealing with in life, struggles, highs, lows, team work.
COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: We all have our trials and tribulations that fuel our successes in life. What's something that you've been through that helped harden you and make you better?
WUERFFEL: Ten years ago, I was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome. Which basically your body attacks its own nervous system and I got paralyzed and was -- couldn't move for weeks. And that was a really difficult time, but forced me to grow, to look inward, and I think to become a better man, husband and father.
WIRE: As executive director of Desire Street Ministries, what is the goal?
WUERFFEL: Desire Street is trying to raise up a generation of leaders that live and serve in urban neighborhoods, under-resourced neighborhoods and help them to be effective, thriving and sustainable.
WIRE: This place, Peace Preparatory Academy here in Atlanta is incredible. What is your hope for places like Peace Prep Academy?
WUERFFEL: English Avenue is often looked as one of the worst neighborhoods in Atlanta. But there are some people that see beauty here that needs to grow and to be nurtured. And so, Benjamin Wills and the Peace Preparatory Academy team have made this their focus.
WIRE: You have won the Heisman. But since then, you've kind of started a Heisman of your own in a sort for communities. Tell us about the worthwhile trophy for community service.
WUERFFEL: We have young men that are nominated, the hardest part is picking one winner to actually give the award to. But our goal is to spotlight not just in, but the work they do, and to inspire us all to do just a little bit more.
WIRE: When all of this is over, what do you hope people look at your life and say, this was Danny Wuerffel.
WUERFFEL: That people recognize me as somebody who cared and used his resources to the best he could. That'd be a great way to be remembered.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MANNO: Important work being done, Christi, close to where you and Boris are, and just another reminder of the important work that athletes do off the field as well.
PAUL: No doubt. Carolyn, so good to see you, thank you so much. We'll be right back.
SANCHEZ: In this weekend's story of late night, comedians reflect on how Johnny Carson, deathly navigated the turbulent 1960s to elevate the "Tonight Show" and become the undisputed king of late night. Here's a clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CONAN O'BRIEN, COMEDIAN & TELEVISION HOST: My experience with late night television was all about my relationship with my dad.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My dad was a comedy maven. He would say, all right, so you can stay up late to watch Johnny because he knew how much it meant to me.
O'BRIEN: He'd always say, look, just watch the monologue.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I understand we have a special group tonight of little league mothers here.
Oh, God, a couple of old bats along also.
OBRIEN: They go to commercial, and he'd say, let's just see if they do conak(ph).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A 100-yard dash. A 100-yard dash.
O'BRIEN: He was funny and he was sharp.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He had this aura about him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What happens after you hit a 100-year prune?
WHOOPI GOLDBERG, ACTRESS & TALK-SHOW HOST: Johnny Carson was not black or white or Asian or -- he was funny, and funny, I think trumps everything.
JIMMY FALLON, COMEDIAN & TELEVISION HOST: He was just part of culture. I thought that Johnny Carson came with a TV set.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: A close look at a legend on "THE STORY OF LATE NIGHT" tomorrow.