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New Day Saturday
Biden Meets With World Leaders at First G7 Summit as President Ahead of Meeting With Vladimir Putin Next Week; At Least 13 People Injured in Shooting in Downtown Austin; Chicago Police Officer Charged for Role in Capitol Riot; Vaccination Rates Lag in Some States as U.S. Moves Toward Reopening; Rising Crime in New York City Becomes Defining Issue of Mayoral Race. Aired 6-7a ET
Aired June 12, 2021 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN. More people get their news from CNN than any other news source.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning and welcome to your NEW DAY. I'm Boris Sanchez.
AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. I'm Amara Walker in for Christi Paul. Happening now, President Biden meeting with world leaders at the G7 in England. As Biden sells his America is Back message to allies, it's his meeting with the world leader not in attendance that still looms large over the Summit.
SANCHEZ: Plus, as vaccinations among children rise, there are new questions over just how soon kids should get vaccinated amid new studies showing a possible link between vaccines and heart issues in children.
WALKER: And a Chicago police officer is out of a job after being charged in connection with the Capitol riot. Hear how his former chief is reacting.
SANCHEZ: And there is no question it's the cutest competition around, the Westminster Dog Show kicking off this weekend. This year does bring a change, something not seen in the show's 145-year history. We'll tell you all about it.
We appreciate you joining us bright and early this Saturday, June 12th. Thanks so much for starting your morning with us. Amara, always great to see.
WALKER: Thank you. How are you doing, Boris?
SANCHEZ: Good. Hanging in there. Muggy weather in D.C. the last few days. Hopefully a little bit sunnier today.
WALKER: Yes. Same here. It's been quite muggy and rainy. Well, underway right now, the world's major economies are meeting for day two of the G7 Summit. On the agenda, building back the global economy post pandemic, plus a focus on competing with China and signing a global health declaration to make sure another crisis like the coronavirus never happens again.
SANCHEZ: Yes. Joe Biden's first outing on the world's stage as president is a chance to put his America is Back mantra into practice and so far, the visuals match the message, at least in comparison to his predecessor, right? Allies here side by side for the so-called family photos and even, in some cases, arm in arm with the French president Emmanuel Macron very chummy.
Those two leaders set to hold a bilateral meeting in just a few hours with serious disagreements over China and trade on the table.
WALKER: And looming over it all, President Biden's first face to face with Vladimir Putin in Geneva. The Russian president is laying out his view on the state of the U.S. and Russia relations.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT: We have a bilateral relationship that has deteriorated to its lowest point in recent years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: Let's get straight to CNN's Jeff Zeleny. He's in Falmouth, England covering the Summit. He joins us now live. Jeff, one of the president's goals here is to repair relationships that have been strained and to reestablish a multi-lateral approach to tackling global issues. Walk us through these meetings and what is at stake today?
JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Boris. For the second day of the G7 Summit here, the sun is actually shining in Cornwall on the southern coast of England on the -- up against the Atlantic Ocean, a beautiful site where the leaders are just resuming their meetings this morning.
And as you said, one of the central themes of this entire G7 Summit, at least for President Biden, is to talk about strengthening the alliances between the U.S. and Europe, also talking about really coming together to strengthen the infrastructure plans and strengthen the economic plans coming out of this global pandemic.
All of this, of course, talking about the competitiveness of China. That is one of the central themes, items on the agenda today, talking about how these countries can come together economically to really compete against China's rise.
Now, this is going to be one of the key topics of discussions when President Biden holds his first face to face formal bilateral meeting with French president Emmanuel Macron. We did see them yesterday as they were greeting one another, sort of arm in arm hugging each other. This is what is key about this Summit. President Biden, yes, has been on the world stage for much of his professional life, but has never been in this club of leaders. Now he is forming his own relationships, forging his own friendships and also working through some disagreements here. He has said repeatedly America is Back, but some leaders are skeptical of how true that is and how true that will be in the future. So that is something that he is focusing on here, but last evening here in Cornwall, quite the sight, Boris, when all of the leaders were coming together around Queen Elizabeth. We can see some of the pictures here I believe.
She was holding a family photograph with them, but also meeting with them individually at a cocktail reception and this is a 95-year-old queen really making one of her first outings in the wake of the pandemic, arriving here with other senior Royals.
So certainly, a prelude to their meeting tomorrow at Windsor Castle when President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden travel to Windsor Castle for a formal audience with the Queen, but for now at least, another full day of meetings here in Cornwall. Be a (ph) meeting this afternoon with French president Emmanuel Macron, key to U.S.-French relations, Boris.
WALKER: I'll take that, Jeff Zeleny. Thank you so much. That'll happen in the next few hours, that bilateral between ...
WALKER: ... Biden and French president Macron and I think the breaking news here is that the sun is peeking through there in England. Jeff Zeleny, enjoy it while you can.
ZELENY: Indeed. It's great, I can tell you.
WALKER: Yes. I bet. It looks beautiful there. Thanks so much, Jeff.
WALKER: Well, this historic gathering of the world's top economic powers adds another chapter to the complex history of the G7. CNN's Tom Foreman is here to explain exactly who is in the club and what they do.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The G7 is a short, but efficient abbreviation for the Group of Seven and what it means is seven of the most powerful economies in the world, specifically with a democratic focus, so the United States, Canada, U.K., France, Italy, Germany and Japan. That's the G7 and they get together to talk about these big issues.
How do you get thrown out of the G7? Well, because it used to be the G8 and Russia was in there and they got thrown out because in 2014, they invaded Crimea and the other members said, look, that is not something that we can support. You shouldn't have done that. Russia out the door.
It used to be called the Library Group. That's how it started in the 1970s. It was called that because initially it was an informal meeting of finance ministers from these big economic powers at the White House in the library where they said, look, how can we help each other out and in effect that's what they still do. They meet once a year, and they talk about big issues where these big economies can work together and help each other out.
So global warming would be one of them, right now vaccinating the rest of the world is one of the big concerns out there and maybe even things like cyberterrorism, the idea that there are harboring nations, like Russia and China and Iran and North Korea, allowing individuals to stage cyberattacks on companies around the world. The G7 can get together and say maybe we can find a way to penalize those countries for letting these people do that and there can be global consequences for all this.
That's why the G7 may be just a letter and a number, but those two can reach all around the world with their impact, Boris, Amara.
SANCHEZ: Excellent breakdown from Tom Foreman as always. Thank you for that. We have plenty to discuss and fortunately, we have to great voices to do that. Joining us now are CNN political commentator Errol Louis and CNN political and national security analyst David Sanger.
David is actually in the U.K. covering the Summit, so we'll start with you, David. President Biden's first G7 outing. Not quite as dramatic as those that we saw with Donald Trump leading the United States and I'm reminded of this picture from 2018 in Canada. If a picture says 1,000 words, this one says it all. I'm not sure we have it. There it is. It's like a Caravaggio painting, like a renaissance painting. Donald Trump at odds amid heated negotiations with other world leaders.
Given what we've seen so far, how would you describe Biden's encounters with the G7 and what he's trying to accomplish here?
DAVID SANGER, CNN POLITICAL AND NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, I think, Boris, the first thing that we've learned here is that Joe Biden is benefiting from the fact that he's showing up and not being Donald Trump, right? All of that built in contention that you saw before is gone from this, but that doesn't make any of the issues and including some of the divisions with the Europeans any easier to handle.
For example, today is going to be largely about getting the Europeans on board with an American intended to be much more confrontational with China, as we've -- as we've heard. For the Europeans, that's hard. Germany sells a huge number of luxury cars, a lot of industrial goods, there's a big trade relationship and they don't want to be made to go choose between the United States and China, but from everything that we're hearing, that's in fact what's going to happen.
And one of the things you should expect, for example, is going to be coming up with alternatives to the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative, the big development initiative that is giving China influence around the world. You're going to see joint statements about not buying goods that are made by forced labor. That's obviously aimed right at China. So you are seeing a much friendlier approach, but you're also still seeing some underlying tensions.
SANCHEZ: Now, Errol, we'll dig into China, but I want to step back and look at the big picture because we heard Jeff Zeleny reporting that even though some European officials describe a sigh of relief at having Joe Biden there, there is some skepticism about American democracy.
And about the shadow of Donald Trump and America First policies and the big lie and how they might affect the United States in a lasting way. How does Joe Biden navigate that? Does that pose a challenge to his goals in having these multilateral efforts with European allies?
ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, look, it certainly does present a challenge and of course it's going to come to a conclusion after the Summit when he goes to a further meeting face to face with the Russian dictator. Upholding democracy is one of the things that we expect an American president to do. That's why we call him the leader of the free world.
The G7 Summit is an economic conference primarily, but it's also an attempt to uphold the idea that democracies work better than autocracies, that this is where we want the rest of the world to go, that we will in fact compete not just with ideas, but also with our economies against Russia, against China.
And so that is something that Joe Biden campaigned on, it's something he believes in deeply, it's something he's committed his entire life to and it's something he's going to have to try and fight for even as there are these headlines that we've generated and that we talked about constantly about how we almost lost the whole thing, about how democracy was under attack, remains under attack, that some of those attacks came from within the country itself.
It's a -- it's really, I think, a sign that it weakens the country on the -- on the international stage to have people, you know, roaming the halls of Congress, threatening to hang members of Congress, the idea that hundreds of people have been arrested, some of them from the military, some of them from law enforcement for attacking the very idea of counting up the votes properly. It's a serious question.
SANCHEZ: David, so factoring that into the question of China, Biden has some G7 countries on board, Japan no doubt, but really the two that are most open to economic relations with China as far as Europe goes are Angela Merkel of Germany and Emmanuel Macron of France, both of them arguing for strategic autonomy between the United States and E.U. when it comes to China. How does Biden align the western democracies against this autocratic regime that poses a threat to the 21st century?
SANGER: So, Boris, you've put your finger on just the right issue here. So Germany obviously has been the most outspoken about engaging with the Chinese and that is particularly difficult right now because you're in a position where they're in leadership change, right? This is Angela Merkel's last Summit. She'll be gone in a -- in a few months and so I think one of the big questions is does the new government in Germany take the same view that she does?
And with the French, this is -- their strategic autonomy is also not being overly dependent on American decision making. They're worried about whether Joe Biden is the blip, whether the United States could turn back to some form of Trumpism after the 2024 election.
But I think the bigger issue that has sort of surrounded all of these meetings is that they are concerned that the autocracy versus democracy themes, which they agree with, that Mr. Biden is putting out, is slowly pushing the United States and the alliance backing into a different kind of Cold War, a more digital one, less of a military one, but a Cold War nonetheless and that's been their big concern, that the way they come out of this does not send a signal to the Chinese or the Russians that we're happy to go back to the bad old days of Cold War.
SANCHEZ: We have to leave the conversation there. Still plenty on the table to discuss and I'm sure we will do that in the coming hours. David Sanger from the U.K., thank you. Errol Louis, we appreciate the time. We're going to ask that you stick around though, Errol. We're going to ask you to weigh in on the New York mayor's race in just a few minutes.
WALKER: All right. And this just in, a shooting in downtown Austin, Texas has left at least 13 people injured. This happened around 1:00 A.M. local time at a cantina restaurant there. Two people are in critical condition and there are no fatalities reported at this time. The motive remains unclear and police are looking for a suspect. They are asking people to avoid that area and we will stay on top of the story, bring you more details as we get them.
A Chicago police officer has been fired for his part in the January 6th Capitol riot.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID O'NEAL BROWN, CHICAGO POLICE DEPARTMENT SUPERINTENDENT: The fact that a Chicago police officer has been charged in that attack on American democracy makes my blood boil.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALKER: More from the chief and the charges that officer now facing just ahead.
SANCHEZ: Plus, new details in the Trump era leak investigations of members of Congress, what we're learning about former Attorney General Bill Barr's involvement.
SANCHEZ: We're just about 19 minutes past the hour and we want to bring you some top stories that we're following for you this morning. Police are investigating a mass shooting last night in Savannah, Georgia. One person there is dead, eight others injured, including two kids.
WALKER: And both children, aged two and 13, they have nonlife threatening injuries. Other victims are in serious or critical condition and police do not have a motive and they have not named any suspects at this time.
A Chicago cop has been charged for his role in the January 6th Capitol insurrection.
Karol Chwiesiuk allegedly entered Senator Jeff Merkley's office and walked through the Capitol crypt before leaving through a broken window. Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown relieved Chwiesiuk from duty after being made aware of his role in the insurrection.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: What happened in D.C. on January 6th was an absolute disgrace. The fact that a Chicago police officer has been charged in that attack on American democracy makes my blood boil, makes me sick to my stomach. And yes, if these allegations are true, it breaks my heart.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALKER: And that officer is facing five federal misdemeanors, including knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, violent entry and disorderly conduct.
SANCHEZ: The Department of Justice is pushing back against new restrictive voting laws that have been passed across the country in Republican-led states. Lawmakers in those states wrote the legislation claiming there was a need to correct problems with the 2020 election, which many experts have actually declared the most secure in U.S. history.
Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Friday that within the next 30 days, the Department is going to double their civil rights divisions right to vote enforcement staff.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MERRICK GARLAND, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: There are many things that are open to debate in America, but the right of all eligible citizens to vote is not one of them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: The Department also plans to put out guidance for vote by mail and early voting ahead of the 2022 midterms.
We should tell you that we are learning more about former Attorney General William Barr's role in the Trump administration's targeting of democratic members of Congress. WALKER: Sources say Barr pushed investigators to finish probes that included secret subpoenas on House Democrats perceived to be Trump's political enemies. Now the Justice Department is investigating. Here's CNN's Jessica Schneider with more.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Democrats are demanding former Attorneys General Jeff Sessions and Bill Barr testify under oath after revelations of secret FBI subpoenas served on Apple to obtain metadata from more than 100 accounts according to a source.
The Justice Department's inspector general is initiating its own review of what amounted to a roundup of non-content records from at least two of former President Trump's most outspoken adversaries, now Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff and Committee Member Eric Swalwell.
REP. ADAM SCHIFF, (D) INTELLIGENCE CHAIRMAN: I can't go into who received these subpoenas or whose records were sought. I can say that it was extraordinarily broad, people having nothing to do with, you know, the intelligence matters that are at least being reported on. It just shows what a broad fishing expedition it was.
SCHNEIDER (voice-over): CNN has learned members of the committee, plus staff were part of the dragnet, but also family members, even one minor, people who had no connection to the intelligence committee's Russia investigation like Schiff's personal office staff were also caught up in the collection. "The New York Times" reported the investigation was part of a leak hunt for whomever divulged information about contacts between Trump associates and Russia at the height of the Russia probe.
A source tells CNN officials thought the leak investigation would likely end without charges, but when Attorney General Bill Barr took over at the Justice Department, Barr pushed to complete leak probes, even bringing in a prosecutor from New Jersey.
REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA): I hope Trump supporters who fear Big Brother see that Donald Trump was the biggest brother we've ever seen in our country who did weaponize this to go all the way down the stack into, you know, the private communications of people he perceived as political opponents.
SCHNEIDER (voice-over): President Trump repeatedly made it clear he wanted the DOJ to investigate leaks and Congressman Schiff.
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I've actually called the Justice Department to look into the leaks. Those are criminal leaks.
I think it was leaked from the Intelligence Committee, House version and I think that they leaked it. I think probably Schiff leaked it.
SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Attorney General Barr notably evaded questions about Trump's push from then Senator Kamala Harris during a hearing in May 2019.
KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Attorney General Barr, has the president or anyone at the White House ever asked or suggested that you open an investigation of anyone?
WILLIAM BARR, FORMER UNITED STATES ATTORNEY GENERAL: I wouldn't -- I wouldn't ...
HARRIS: Yes or no?
BARR: Could you -- could you repeat that question?
HARRIS: I will repeat it.
HARRIS: Has the president or anyone at the White House ever asked or suggested that you open an investigation of anyone? Yes or no please, sir.
BARR: The president or anybody else.
HARRIS: Seems you would remember something like that and be able to tell us.
BARR: Yes, but I'm trying to grapple with the word "suggest."
SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Still, Barr told "Politico" that while he was Attorney General beginning in 2019, he was, quote, "not aware of any congressman's records being sought in a leak case" and added that Trump never encouraged him to target Democratic lawmakers, saying Trump "was not aware of who we were looking at in any of the cases."
(END VIDEO TAPE)
SCHNEIDER: Barr did not become Attorney General until 2019. That's after those secret subpoenas for data from Congressman Schiff and Swalwell were issued. Instead, Jeff Sessions was Attorney General at the time, but we're told by a source that Sessions was not involved in any subpoenas related to the House Committee since of course he had broadly recused himself from any matters involving Russia, Boris and Amara.
WALKER: Jessica Schneider, thank you for that report. So, what could the legal fallout be from this? Next hour, former federal prosecutor Elie Honig and Elliot Williams, a former Deputy Assistant Attorney General, will be here to explain.
And just in time for summer vacation, more states are dropping their mask mandates for people who are vaccinated. The push to get more shots in arms for anyone over the age of 12, that's next.
WALKER: Just in time for the warmer weather. More cities and summer attractions are reopening and dropping COVID-19 restrictions but lagging vaccination rates across the U.S. could leave some areas vulnerable to potential outbreaks in new COVID-19 variants.
SANCHEZ: Yes, the country averaged just over 1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered per day over the last week. That's down from over 3 million per day in early April. And that's happening as more businesses look to return to normal, including at the happiest place on earth. Beginning next week, masks no longer required in most areas at Disney World for vaccinated guests. CNN's Polo Sandoval reports on the efforts to reopen.
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Restrictions continue being lifted across the United States as more cities and states start fully reopening. On Friday, Chicago's mayor announced the Windy City has dropped pandemic-era regulations. No more mask mandate or social distancing requirements, even offering some free tickets to its famed Lollapalooza Music Festival to vaccinated fans.
MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT (D-IL), CHICAGO: Now, it's time for you to get up, get out of the house this Summer and fully and safely and enjoy the events of the best city on the planet, our beloved city of Chicago.
SANDOVAL: This week, other major cities like Seattle and Denver crossed the Biden administration's goal of having 70 percent of the adult population vaccinated with at least one dose by the 4th of July. New York State on the cusp of reaching that goal, it's a threshold the state's Governor Andrew Cuomo has said will trigger the end to all of the state's COVID-19 restrictions. New Yorkers can also plan on the return of the famed Macy's fireworks for Independence Day according to New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.
But vaccinations rates in certain states remain relatively low, including in states like Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Wyoming. While adults and children over 12 continue receiving vaccines across the United States, nearly 62 percent of that population has at least one dose so far. And experts are split on how urgently children under the age of 12 should receive their vaccine.
RICHINA BICETTE, ASSOCIATE MEDICAL DIRECTOR, BAYLOR COLLEGE OF MEDICINE: They are still at risk of hospitalization, and they are still at risk of having adverse side effects. Kids have been isolated for a large proportion of time, but as people start back in the Fall and they're in classrooms, they're in group activities and school sports, it's going to get colder, so people are going to start moving inside, their risks is going to increase if they're not vaccinated.
SANDOVAL: And other concerns among experts, the mental health of adolescents during the pandemic. Emergency room visits for suicide attempts rose an alarming 51 percent among teenage girls during the pandemic, that's according to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released on Friday. But there remains signs of optimism and the global fight against the pandemic. The Food and Drug Administration has authorized the use of two batches of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine that were produced at a troubled Baltimore lab concluding they're safe to use. Polo Sandoval, CNN, New York.
WALKER: All right, let's bring in Dr. Saju Matthew now, a primary care physician and public health specialist. Good morning to you, thanks for being with us again. So, doctor, I want to start with this because I know a lot of parents and they're paying attention to the FDA advisors meeting on Thursday, and they were debating the urgency of vaccinating kids under 12. We know the risk is low for children when it comes to COVID-19, but there's also a concern about a resurgence of the virus in the Fall in the Winter months. Where do you stand?
SAJU MATTHEW, PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN: Yes, good morning, Amara, I'm sure this is also specific interest to you. I know you've got young kids at home as well. And the question is, why is there this debate? And the debate is pretty straightforward. As we get into the younger kids below 12 as you mentioned, the risk of severe COVID is actually fairly low, but low risk doesn't mean zero risk. Let's remember, 3 million kids have tested positive for COVID in the U.S., and there have been over 300 deaths from COVID. Also, kids transmit this infection to adults. I saw a multi-generation family four months ago, Amara, the kid brought in the virus.
The parents got sick. Father was in the ICU and the grandmother died. A lot of those stories happen more often than we think so, yes, I do understand that the risk is low. But if every adult is not going to get vaccinated and we're not going to be able to protect kids as a result, children are still vulnerable to this disease. And I am of the belief that they need to get vaccinated.
WALKER: Yes, and I could definitely see that argument. I also want to talk to you a little bit about, you know, concerns that were raised during this meeting about this inflammatory heart condition called myocarditis, I think I said that right, hopefully. You can correct me if I'm wrong. And look, there are preliminary reports, doctor, that show that this condition may potentially be linked to vaccines, and Dr. Cody Misener, during that meeting, the director of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Tufts University said that, you know, I do not feel we can justify an Emergency Use Authorization, the burden of the disease is so small, and the risks are not clear.
And we have here on the screen, you know, just more information on, I guess, risks of -- when it comes to myocarditis. What are your thoughts on that and the potential link between this inflammatory heart condition and the vaccines?
MATTHEW: You know, any time that we see a condition that happens in a greater number than it normally would in that population, it's something that we should look into. And yes, you said it right, myocarditis, inflammation of the muscle and the lining of the heart called the pericardium, pericarditis. These are the two conditions that we're seeing, what's interesting is we're seeing this only in young boys. They -- all of them have recovered. But I still think it's important to look at it. Overall, though, if you look at the number of kids that have had this condition, it's very low, out of 2.5 million shots given so far, Amara, there have only been 80 cases.
And as we vaccinate more and more people, we saw this with adults, you're going to find these rare conditions, I think we should look into it, but it's still a very rare condition that's treatable.
WALKER: You know, I live in a state -- I think you're in Georgia, right? Is that correct, are you in Atlanta?
WALKER: So, you and I live in a state that is among the lowest vaccination rates in the country. There are five states, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Wyoming where fewer than half of adult residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. That's concerning especially when you do have people in your family, or people that you care about, who cannot get vaccinated or who are immunocompromised. So what is your advice in terms of what kind of precautions we should be taking, especially in these states with lower vaccination rates?
MATTHEW: Right. So, we're back to, you know, the playing board again, so to speak, which is what we've said all through the pandemic. Everybody is really at risk for getting COVID. So, people that are not vaccinated might think, hey, if I'm around people that are vaccinated, they will protect me. That's not true. The biggest risks right now are these variants. The Delta variant that's now the predominant strain in U.K. We know it's more contagious, more deadly. It's killing about 10,000 people a day in India. So, if you're not vaccinated, you are giving this chance for the virus to mutate and develop into these dangerous strains.
So, my biggest advice is, if you live in a state like Georgia where the vaccination rates are low, you still have to decide on which activities are considered to be safe. But the most important thing is, that if the unmask people have taken their -- the unvaccinated people have taken their masks off, they can pose a risk to themselves and people around them as well.
WALKER: Dr. Saju Mathew, always great to talk to you, thank you so much for the advice. Appreciate your time.
MATTHEW: Thank you.
SANCHEZ: Early voting begins today in New York City's mayoral primary. And one candidate is facing accusations that he doesn't even live in the city. The big issues defining this tight and at times contentious race, coming up. And we're learning new details about exactly what happened on January 6th. CNN's Drew Griffin talked with those who were there. Do not miss "ASSAULT ON DEMOCRACY: THE ROOTS OF TRUMP'S INSURRECTION" this Sunday, June 20th at 9:00 p.m. right here on CNN. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
WALKER: America's biggest city is about to elect a new mayor. Early voting begins this morning. And one of the top issues the winner will face is the troubling rise in crime in New York City. All of this, as a front-runner Eric Adams is still under intense fire about whether or not he actually lives in New York as the candidates try to cast doubt on his honesty during their final debate on Thursday night. With me now to discuss is CNN's political commentator Errol Louis, a very busy man this morning. He's also a political anchor for "Spectrum News" and a host of "You Decide" podcast. Good morning again, Errol, good to see you.
So, we were watching Thursday's debate, it opened with questions about whether Eric Adams actually lives in Brooklyn or not. Let's take a listen first to what he said in response last night on CNN.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIC ADAMS, NEW YORK CITY MAYORAL CANDIDATE: I am insulting the public to constantly talk about a conversation of where I live, when we have over 100,000 children that don't have a place to live. We have real problems in this borough, and that's my focus, and I answered that question over and over again with a great level of transparency. I'm a Brooklynite and I love being a Brooklynite.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALKER: That's true, he has answered that question many times, Errol. I mean, do voters actually care or are the candidates trying to make something of his residency make it an issue?
ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, good morning, Amara. Yes, the rival campaigns are trying to change the conversation from the fact that Eric Adams has led in almost every poll of the last several that we're going into voting today, and that he seems to be well positioned on the issue that voters have said is the most pressing concern right now in New York which is the rising rate of shootings and of homicides. And so, some of the other candidates are desperate to change the conversation. To change the subject.
And the fact that he's got -- he owns I think about five different apartments. He has a girlfriend who lives in New Jersey, none of that is against the law. He has visited New Jersey. That's not against the law. They asked for his E-ZPass records and it showed -- wait for it, Amara, I think he visited New Jersey 11 times in the last year, right, to go see his girlfriend.
So, yes, this is a little bit of a silly season. This is candidates who have been shopping this story for a while now and trying to get people to think that this is what the race for mayor of New York City should come down to. I don't think the voters are going to be swayed by it, frankly.
WALKER: I thought that was funny how one of the candidates said I only go to New Jersey by accident. And Errol, one major topic that's playing out in cities nationwide, also here in Atlanta is, how to tackle this rise in violent crime this country has been seeing while confronting incidents of police brutality and excessive force. And Eric Adams, who we know, is a former cop, he proposed bringing back the plain clothes police unit which, by the way, was disbanded last year for aggressive tactics and excessive force. He's also said stop and frisk could be used effectively. What do voters think of that?
LOUIS: Yes, well, the voters are going to let us know what they think about it precisely. But it's a nuanced question just as you suggest here. Eric Adams started out not just as a cop, but as a police officer who started an organization to publicly complain about stop and frisk and some of the other tactics and the way that they were being used. So, he's actually ended up on both sides of this issue, in the kind -- with the kind of nuanced conversation that this city and other cities need to have, about how do you actually keep the public safe without trampling on people's rights, without brutalizing people who don't deserve that kind of treatment.
And this is somebody who, you know, his story includes -- he says being brutalized as a 15-year-old, and that, that partly by cops. And that, that partly inspired him to go into the department, not just as a cop, but as a reformer. So, this question of this tension between much needed reforms and the need to keep the public safe which is the core duty of any government, this is something that we're all going to have to try and figure out. We're not going to do it with slogans, though. And that's really in a lot of ways what this race for New York City mayor has come down to. There are a lot of other issues out there, but this one is a tough one. It's a tricky one. It's not cut and dry.
WALKER: And I've got to ask you about Andrew Yang, because he entered the race with much fanfare, I mean, he obviously had the most name recognition, because you know, he did run for president. But he's getting a lot of flak for leaving the city during the pandemic. How are things going for him?
LOUIS: Well, he's been fading in the polls. Honestly, and it's not even so much about the fact that he had a country home and he spent a lot of the pandemic there. There are a lot of people who did something similar. The real issue was, it came to light that, you know, he's never served in government, but he also in 20-plus years of living in the city had never voted in municipal elections. So, you know, the other candidates really kind of slammed him for that, saying how is it that you want to run for mayor when you've never voted for mayor.
And you know, what level of engagement have you had on really important issues over the last quarter century. That's been a hurdle he's not really been able to get over to a certain extent. He started out with great name recognition, but he's sort of seen a decline in the number of people who have said that they're actually going to vote for him. And, of course, all of that, you know, is going to be a moot in a couple of weeks when we get the totals and sum up what it is New Yorkers really want in our next mayor.
WALKER: That's been a dynamic and interesting race to watch. Errol Louis, appreciate you joining us this morning. Thanks so much.
LOUIS: Thanks, Amara.
SANCHEZ: Well, it might be the most adorable competition around. But it's still a competition and it can get fierce. The Westminster Dog show is this week, and there's a new wrinkle to the proceedings. We'll break it down, next.
WALKER: The Philadelphia 76ers are back in control of their series against the Atlanta Hawks.
SANCHEZ: Yes, Philly getting an MVP performance from Joel Embiid. Their other star showing up, too. Coy Wire is here with us now, and Coy, it appears the process may finally pay off.
COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it is, and a little step further, it seems, each year, Boris, good to see you and Amara. Game three of the Eastern Conference semifinals was standing room only, more than 16,000 just across the street here at State Farm Arena, Atlanta, where the Hawks had won 13 straight, 21 of the last 23, but cue that Rocky music, those boys from Philly came to play. Look at this pass from Ben Simmons to this slashing 7-footer Embiid that Boris mentioned, 27 points for him. He now has 106 points through three games in this series along with 31 rebounds, seven blocks. Those types of numbers have never been put up in a conference semis in NBA history. Philly wins 127-111, they're up 2-1 in the Series and they reclaim home court advantage.
To Paris, French Open where Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal put in what some are calling the greatest match ever. So good, authorities allowed fans to stay pass the 11:00 p.m. curfew to watch the ending. After dropping the first set, Djokovic rips off three straight, handing the king of clay just his third loss in a 108 matches at Roland-Garros, it was epic, it was a marathon lasting 4 hours, 11 minutes. My 3-year-old daughter and I could watch "Frozen 2" almost two and a half times. She would have loved that as much as these fans loved this. Djokovic advances to the final to face 22-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas tomorrow for a chance at his 19th Grand Slam title.
And this weekend, for the first time in his 145-year history, the Westminster Dog show is going to be outside. The adorable and fierce competition moving from Madison Square Garden in New York City to Lyndhurst Estate in Tarrytown, New York, about 30 miles north. More than 2,500 dogs from 206 different breeds competing for best in show, including four new breeds, I am going to say that the, you know, the Corgi(ph) is going to be the one this year, because my producer Brian's best friend would be very mad if he's watching at home right now. I'm a cat guy, I have no horses in the race. What do you guys think?
SANCHEZ: I just enjoy watching it. It is one of those things that the competition in itself is just funny to look at. You know, the -- I have no horse in this race either. How about you, Amara?
WALKER: Yes, I like dogs. I just don't get the whole hype of the way they look and the way they prance around. I mean, they look a little snobby to me. You know, they kind of walk around with their hands in the air, their noses in the air.
WIRE: Yes, they are treated like kings and queens, no doubt about that --
WALKER: I know I'm going to get a lot of hate messages from all the dog lovers --
SANCHEZ: Yes --
WALKER: And by the way, Coy, I loved your analogy to "Frozen 2", because yes, I mean, two and a half times, that's a long time --
WIRE: That's a long time to watch --
WALKER: To watch, yes --
SANCHEZ: It's a long time to watch, all right --
WALKER: Plus, I didn't watch the tennis match, that between Djokovic and Nadal, I was impressed --
SANCHEZ: No doubt. Coy Wire, thank you so much. Hey, stick --
WIRE: You got it --
SANCHEZ: With NEW DAY, we're back after a quick break.