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New Day Saturday

New Videos Show Rioters Taunting, Assaulting Police During January 6 Attack At U.S. Capitol; Data: 280 Plus Mass Shootings in U.S. Already This Year; Millions Under Warning As Tropical Storm Claudette Makes Landfall; U.S. Marks First Juneteenth as National Holiday; Congress Remains at Odds On Key Legislation Targeting Racial Inequity; Manchin's voting bill compromise faces major GOP pushback; Concern Over Delta Variant Grows as U.S. Passes 300 Million Dose Benchmark; Olympics Organizers Review COVID-19 Safety Advice For Spectators; Iran's Outgoing President Rouhani Meets With Successor Ebrahim Raisi. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired June 19, 2021 - 08:00   ET



AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: In today's "Food as Fuel," CNN Health Reporter, Jacqueline Howard has more.


JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH REPORTER: Five is your lucky number. That's how many servings of fruits and vegetables you need each day to help live your longest life. A study released by the American Heart Association says about two servings of fruit and three servings of vegetables each day is associated with a lower risk of mortality.

For your vegetables. leafy greens are rich in vitamin C and beta- carotene. Those include spinach, lettuce, and kale. Be aware, though, starchy vegetables like peas, corn and potatoes didn't seem to lower the risk of early death.

Now in the fruit category, berries and citrus fruits compact with vitamin C, fiber, beta-carotene and other nutrients. But make sure you eat whole fruits for those benefits. Most fruit juices don't come with as many benefits and can even have added sugars.


BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning and welcome to your NEW DAY. I'm Boris Sanchez.

AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Amara Walker in for Christi Paul.

Police officers being taunted and attacked on the steps of the Capitol. We have new video.

Plus, are we in for a violent summer as more and more shootings take place each day?

SANCHEZ: And its Happy Juneteenth today marking the end of slavery. The nation celebrating in a brand-new way.

Meantime, as the country hits a vaccine milestone there are worries out there that one variant could spark a new wave of cases.

Thank you for starting your Saturday, June 19th with us. The very first Juneteenth National Independence Day, now officially a national holiday, Amara.

WALKER: Happy Juneteenth to everyone and good morning to you Boris. I'm still stuck on the fact that you eat beef jerky for breakfast.

SANCHEZ: Got it right here. It's delicious, great protein, solid start to the day.

WALKER: It tastes like dog food to me. I'm sorry. Boris--

SANCHEZ: I'll send you some of the good kind.

WALKER: OK, fine.

SANCHEZ: And you'll change your mind. I promise. Yes.

So, we begin this hour with images that some lawmakers in Congress who are trying to downplay and distract you from. They're from January 6th and they're a brutal reminder of the violence carried out by a mob that was stirred into a frenzy by the former president and his lies about the last election.

WALKER: Yes, the latest clip shows a rioter taunting, stalking and hitting law enforcement. It was disturbing enough that it moved a judge to keep the man in jail pending trial. The judge saying, "if a crime establishes danger to the community and the disregard for the rule of law, assaulting a riot gear clad Police officer does."

CNN's Paula Reid has our looked at the new footage. And we do warn you it is profane, it is graphic, yet also an important reality check of what happened that day.


PAULA REID, CNN SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Newly released footage showing an up-close look at what officers protecting the Capitol went through during the January 6th attack.

These new videos revealed after CNN and other media outlets sued for them in court showing Scott Fairlamb, a gym owner from New Jersey, taunting then shoving an officer and punching him in the face.

Another video taken from an officer's body cam showing Thomas Webster, former Marine and retired NYPD officer, seen here wearing a red coat, threatening police with a flagpole before tackling one officer to the ground.

Both men have pleaded not guilty to all charges.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): It's a rude awakening for everyone. But hopefully, it will also help people see the lies of the former president.

REP. MADELEINE DEAN (D-PA): It's shameful. But sadly, there's an awful number of my Republican colleagues who seem to not feel shame.

REID (voice-over): But the videos come as some Republican members of Congress are attempting to rewrite history, downplaying the events of that day and latching on to baseless conspiracy theories.

REP. LOUIE GOHMERT (R-TX): DOJ, FBI or any of the intel community, what kind of role were they playing?

REID (voice-over): The latest lie that the people behind the Insurrection were not Trump supporters, but the FBI. The claim stemming from references to unindicted coconspirators. A right-wing website claims without any evidence that the phrase is a reference to FBI informants or undercover agents infiltrating pro-Trump groups.

But legal experts say the term is not used to describe FBI agents and instead refers to people who participated in the conspiracy but haven't been charged. In one example, touted by Fox News, the unnamed co-conspirator was likely the defendant's wife according to court filings.

Fox News Host, Tucker Carlson doubling down on the theory --


TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: But we won't shut up and we shouldn't. It could not be more obvious at this point that the government is, in fact, hiding something, probably quite a few things.

REID (voice-over): With Representatives Matt Gaetz, who is under investigation by the FBI, and Marjorie Taylor Greene tweeting that theory.

But some Republicans are pushing back. Representative Peter Meijer tweeting, "Not FBI. Can't believe I have to say that. It was what it was, a violent attempt to stop the constitutional transfer of power."

And Representative Adam Kinzinger. renewing calls for a January 6th Commission.

REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R-IL): Tell your constituents the truth, tell the American people the truth. Let's get to the bottom of the truth, and then we can move on.

REID: CNN and other media outlets have spent months fighting to get access to those video clips you just saw. Now, those clips have been used as evidence in dozens of cases against the rioters, but they were not available publicly.

Now, media outlets continue to fight for access to additional clips to help show exactly what happened on that day. Paula Reid, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SANCHEZ: Paula, thank you for that. It's so important that you watch

this footage and appreciate it for what it is and see an untarnished version of the events that day. You can see so much more of what happened on January 6th in CNN SPECIAL REPORT "Assault On Democracy: The Roots Of Trump's Insurrection." It premieres tomorrow night at 9:00 pm. Eastern, right here, only on CNN.

WALKER: All right. Now to the epidemic of gun violence across the country. And the hope that next 48 hours won't add to the trend of violent weekends across the U.S. Already this year, there have been more than 280 mass shootings in America. That's according to data compiled by CNN and the Gun Violence Archive.

SANCHEZ: And their context here is important, because in some ways that number undersells, underscores the issue of gun violence in this country. CNN defines a mass shooting as incidents in which four or more people are shot, not counting the shooter. Again, 280 plus.

Data shows that roughly 40 percent increase compared to this time last year, around a 65 percent increase in mass shootings compared to this point in 2019. There's also concern about how brazen the violence has become.

Watch this, shocking attack in New York. First, we want to let you know that everybody involved in what happened here is OK. But you see a young man and two children struggling to avoid gunfire as a shooter opens fire broad daylight in the Bronx.

CNN's Polo Sandoval has been following the story from New York. Polo, the footage is just unsettling. Walk us through what happened.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, those children are OK physically, but emotionally one can only imagine what they face. Now, in terms of the video, it is important to see it for a couple of reasons.

A, NYPD hoping that it will help generate any kind of leads as to who is responsible for this broad daylight shooting that went down on Thursday evening in the Bronx.

And in that video, as you can see, it's a masked gunman that approaches another individual, who was 24-year-old man - the one in the red there. And then opens fire, hitting him several times, we believe in the legs, according to investigators. And then that masked gunman then flees aboard a scooter. So Police right now looking for that gunman. And the man who was driving that scooter.

Now, we do want to also pause the video to point out, because we'd be remiss if we didn't call attention to some heroic actions of the 10- year-old little girl that you see there. You can see how she actually grabs the little boy and then pulls him towards the ground. And then, not only that, then uses her body as a shield to protect that little boy.

And we're working to confirm multiple reports that that little boy and girl are brother and sister. Again, they are physically OK. But as a conversation with Charles Ramsey, former Police Commissioner took us earlier, the emotional toll, obviously, that is a life changing event.

While investigators, obviously, do pursue various leads here to try to find out exactly who's responsible for that very brazen shooting that took place on Thursday evening.

WALKER: And just to see how close that gunman is--


WALKER: --to them, right, as he's shooting off, it's just terrifying. Polo Sandoval, thank you for your report.

SANDOVAL: Thank you. Now, Polo mentioned CNN Senior Law Enforcement Analyst, Charles Ramsey and that he was on earlier. He calls that attack in the Bronx frightening and a snapshot of the violence being seen in cities across the United States recently.

We asked him this morning what he thinks might be driving that. Listen to his response.


CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: You got guns in the hands of people who should not have guns and Congress was doing absolutely nothing. Some state legislatures are doing absolutely nothing. Texas just passed a law letting anybody carry a gun that wants to - which, in my opinion, is exactly the wrong way to be moving right now.

We have to find a way to get guns out of the hands of the people who should not have them. I know people don't want to hear things like background checks and, and all that sort of thing, but those are steps that are really necessary. But also, with that, people who are caught carrying illegal guns and using guns in crimes, need to be in jail. There has to be a consequence for it.


Right now, too many of them are being caught are being let right back out on the street, and that's sending the wrong message as well. So, you've got to be able to do both.


SANCHEZ: Commissioner Ramsey adding that there needs to be a balance between changes in the law and harsher consequences for people committing crimes.

A pivot now to your weather. Tropical Storm Claudette is hammering the Gulf Coast, causing heavy rain and strong winds. Millions of people now under warnings, ranging from Louisiana all the way to the Florida Panhandle. Conditions expected to get worse through the morning.

Let's bring in Meteorologist Allison Chinchar in the CNN Weather Center. Allison, what do you seeing? ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: All right. So, this is going to be very interesting storm to watch over the coming days, because even though Tropical Storm Claudette is now inland, pushing all of that rain, what it's going to do in the couple - next couple of days is going to be really interesting.

Watch this, it weakens down into a low pressure as it continues to across the Southeast, then restrengthens back into a tropical storm once it moves back out over open water and continues up the East Coast. So, again, this is something we're going to have to keep a close eye on in the coming days.

Look at some of the wind gusts that have already come in. Miss Canyon, Louisiana over 60 miles per hour, several other locations in numerous states 40 even 50 mile per hour winds. There's also the potential for tornadoes today.

So, you have a tornado watch across a couple different states, at least until 11:00 am Central Time today. But that watch may expand because this entire area you see here has the potential for tornadoes, waterspouts and even damaging winds as we go through the rest of the day today.

Here's a look at the storm system as it traverses its way across the Southeastern portion of the U.S., dumping a tremendous amount of rain. Some of these areas need the rain, some of them absolutely do not, especially areas of Louisiana and the coastal Mississippi region. Widespread totals four to six inches of rain likely across several of these states.

Again, remember this is going to be in a very short period of time and on top of the rain that has already fallen. Looking at some of these numbers, seven even eight inches of rain in numerous locations has already come down.

Now you're going to be adding several more inches on top of that, which is why you have a pretty decent risk for flash flooding across several states including Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi and the Northwestern portion of Florida as we continue into the rest of the day.

So that's going to be the biggest concern, Amara and Boris, is not only the flooding, but also those wind gusts right there along the coast. But we'll continue to watch the storm as it progresses in the coming days.

WALKER: Too bad we can. Push that system out west where they're dealing with the drought and the heat. Allison Chinchar, appreciate you. Thank you.

SANCHEZ: Georgia's Stone Mountain honors leaders of the Confederacy, and for years has served as a rallying point for the Ku Klux Klan. Today, city leaders plan to celebrate Juneteenth there for the first time ever. We're going to show you how, next.

WALKER: Plus, Mike Pence stood by President Donald Trump when he was in office, so why are so many conservative Christians calling the former VP a traitor. We'll discuss ahead this hour.



SANCHEZ: For the first time in U.S. history today, June 19th are Juneteenth is being celebrated as a national holiday.

WALKER: For generations, it has marked the end of slavery in the United States. But this year it comes less than a month after events commemorating the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. CNN's Nadia Romero joining us now live from Tulsa. Good morning to you, Nadia. Tell us more about how Tulsa is marking the day.

NADIA ROMERO, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning, Amara and Boris. So, this is a big day for residents here in Tulsa, Oklahoma. As you mentioned, just marking the centennial, 100 years since the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre where hundreds of Black people - men, women, children were killed by their white neighbors and really no one has ever answered for that, right.

They had many lawsuits. They were all denied or thrown out. No convictions were ever made. So they want that attention on the massacre 100 years later. And also, on Juneteenth. This is a big moment, having Juneteenth now as a national holiday. I've seen President Joe Biden sign that into law.

But many of the people who built Black Wall Street, who built a Greenwood - that neighborhood in Tulsa, Oklahoma were freed slaves. They were freed by the Native American tribes who they were owned to. And that freedom came a year after the Emancipation Proclamation, so it didn't happen right away.

So, there are a lot of different weaving patterns here when you look at Juneteenth and Tulsa and the massacre. And listen to why one Tulsa Juneteenth festival organizer says she wants people to remember the massacre, but also do so correctly.


LINDSEY CORBITT, EVENT COORDINATOR, TULSA JUNETEENTH FESTIVAL: It's been 100 years. We want to make sure that people know the story. We also want to make sure that the story is being told correctly.


ROMERO: And so, they want people to remember what happened correctly, because for many decades, there were so many denials as to what happened. No one ever saw any justice from that. And we've even heard from survivors that happened 100 years ago.

But there's one woman, Viola Fletcher, she's 107 years old, and she wants to see justice before she dies, because so many of her family members, they were in poverty, and she was he wasn't able to have a real education after the massacre. So, this celebration here in Tulsa is about Juneteenth. It's about remembering the massacre victims and still hoping for some form of justice as we move forward.

Also, COVID-19 hit those businesses and Black Wall Street in a big way. Many of them have to shut down like businesses all over the country, and we also know that Black Americans were disproportionately impacted by COVID 19. So, they'll also have a big health expo here today, hoping that Black Tulsans will come out, they'll get COVID-19 tests, and they'll encourage them to take the vaccine as well. Boris, Amara?


SANCHEZ: Yes, an important moment to look back at history and acknowledge what actually happened, even if it's ugly and to hopefully learn from it and move forward in a positive way. Nadia Romero, thank you so much.

WALKER: A small town in Georgia celebrating Juneteenth in the shadow of a massive monument to the Confederacy.

SANCHEZ: Yes, as Martin Savidge reports, the predominantly Black town is trying to break ties with its own racist history.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): 80-year-old Gloria Brown remembers when hundreds of men in white robes would descend on her town each summer.

GLORIA BROWN, STONE MOUNTAIN, GA RESIDENT: As a little girl, they looked like a white ghosts. You know, they stand like ghosts did and looked like white ghosts.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Crosses would burn on the nearby mountain top. Brown's father, a World War I veteran, reassured her one day things would be different.

BROWN: He said that that will change.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): He was right. This weekend, Stone Mountain, Georgia, birthplace of the modern Ku Klux Klan holds its first Juneteenth celebration, honoring the end of slavery.

CHAKIRA JOHNSON, MAYOR PRO TEM, STONE MOUNTAIN: We'll have a dance group and African dancers, a live DJ, we'll have vendors and food and then we'll end the night with fireworks.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Deputy Mayor, Chakira Johnson is excited to show up how much is different in the village of roughly 6,300, now 78 percent Black.

JOHNSON: It is our hope that people will see us for who we are today and recognize that things have changed. We may not be perfect, but we're not who we used to be. SAVIDGE (voice-over): But the celebration is not without controversy, thanks to the town's neighbor. You see the entire village sits in the shadow of the largest Confederate monument in the United States, a carving on the side of a mountain in Stone Mountain Park.

With its Confederate named streets, Confederate flags and three acre mountainside homage to the myth of the so-called lost cause, a twisted reinterpretation of the South's defeat in the Civil War.

To many, it's a giant reminder of the old Jim Crow South and the village has nothing to do with it.

SAVIDGE (on-camera): You have no say as to what goes on, and what the park does?

JOHNSON: Yes. No say. Zero say.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): The controversy was sparked what a protest group, the Stone Mountain Action Coalition, which describe themselves as a movement dedicated to a more inclusive Stone Mountain Park, requested a booth at the village's Juneteenth festival to pass out flyers about the park. The village said no, because it was a celebration.

GABRIELLE ROGERS, CO-FOUNDER, STONE MOUNTAIN ACTION COALITION: They wanted a day without politics, a day without disturbance and that is not what we stand for.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): It's not the first time Stone Mountain Village has been caught up in the middle of anger over Stone Mountain Park. Last summer, leftist anti-racist group and armed Far Right militia members came to town in a tense face off over race, politics, and the mountain Memorial.

Mereda Davis Johnson is a commissioner in the county that encompasses Stone Mountain Park. She's no fan of the monument.


SAVIDGE (voice-over): But Johnson also spearheaded the effort to make Juneteenth a county holiday and believes it is a time to be celebrated by everyone.

DAVIS JOHNSON: Just like we celebrate the Fourth of July for the freedoms of people in this country, I think it's also important to celebrate Juneteenth for the freedoms of Black people in this country.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Gloria Brown's father wasn't the only one to predict a different day for his town, so did another man in 1963. In is famous, "I Have a Dream" speech, Martin Luther King said in part, " let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies--

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR., AFRICAN AMERICAN MINISTER & ACTIVIST: Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado! Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California! But not only there; let freedom ring from the Stone Mountain of Georgia!

SAVIDGE (voice-over): This weekend in Stone Mountain, Georgia, that dream will seem closer than ever, even as they celebrate in the shadow of the Confederacy.


WALKER: Fascinating report by our Martin Savidge. Thank you for that.

The Justice Department has just released a new video underscoring the horror of the January 6th Capitol Insurrection. This graphic video coming just as some Republicans try to rewrite or simply erase the history of that day.



SANCHEZ: After CNN won a fight in court to obtain it, this week, we saw harrowing new video of the January 6 Insurrection. It is shocking and violent and gives us an unfiltered look at exactly what happened that day. It comes after Republicans blocked legislation to create a bipartisan commission that would investigate the Insurrection.

Here with us now to discuss all things politics is Reporter for "The Washington Post" Toluse Olorunnipa and POLITICO, White House Correspondent Laura Barron-Lopez, thank you both for joining us this morning. Toluse I want to start with you.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has told reporters that she hasn't made a decision on whether she would proceed with a select committee to investigate the Insurrection. Help us understand what factors into the calculus on that decision for her.

TOLUSE OLORUNNIPA, REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST: Well, the House Speaker Pelosi is reluctant to have something that could be characterized as a partisan look into what happened on January 6.


She wanted this to be a bipartisan approach, even though a lot of the questions have to do with what former President Trump did to incite this riot and how responsible he wasn't how responsible the former administration was for the reaction to the Insurrection.

But she wanted this originally to be a bipartisan approach. But now with Republicans essentially closing the door to this, even though there are some Democrats still trying to see if they can get additional Republican support in the Senate to make it happen. It does appear that House Speaker Pelosi will have to use the power that she has as Speaker with a United Democratic Caucus to push forward some kind of select committee.

It may be harder to do it when you don't have bipartisan support to get subpoenas and to get the institutional heft of the House behind and overall look at what happened on January 6. It may not have the same level of legitimacy as something like the 9/11 Commission that was bipartisan.

But with Republicans blocking, it doesn't seem like Speaker Pelosi has very many options. And it's likely that she is going to move forward with a select committee, even if it doesn't have the same level of respect as a bipartisan commission.

SANCHEZ: Digging into the state of the Republican Party, Laura, I want to play a clip for you now of the former Vice President Mike Pence when he got booed and called a traitor at a conservative conference this week. Let's take a look.


MIKE PENCE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want to thank my friend Ralph Reed for those overly generous words. I'm deeply humbled by--

CROWD: Traitor!

PENCE: Ralph Reed knows me well enough to know, the introduction I prefer is a little bit shorter. I'm a Christian, a conservative and a Republican in that order, and I am honored to stand before you today.


SANCHEZ: Not the first time that it's happened. It's painful to watch. It's embarrassing for Mike Pence at this point. He didn't mention January 6 in his speech, the day that Trump supporters called for him to be hanged. Lord, does Mike Pence have any political future detached from the former president?

LAURA BARRON-LOPEZ, POLITICO WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's a difficult to answer, Boris. Right now it appears as though he doesn't, because of the fact that Pence was his Vice President and Pence stood alongside the President throughout those four years. And despite the fact that some of the base has turned against him, Pence rarely, if ever stood up to the President or confronted the president.

A lot of the base is upset with him because of the lies that Trump spread right after the election, saying that pence had the power to stop the certification of Biden's legitimate win and Pence decided - well, I mean, he really didn't have the power to do that. So he just simply oversaw the certification, which is carried out by Congress.

SANCHEZ: So let's talk about the effort to pass a voting rights bill. Toluse, Chuck Schumer widely expected to introduce that bill next week. Republicans widely expected to filibuster it. Joe Manchin being put under a lot of pressure here, essentially to blow up the filibuster. In fact, Jim Clyburn was on cable news this morning doing just that.

I believe we may have the soundbite, if not, I have a portion of what he said this morning. Here's what he said. He said, "if you go back through history, and I hate to go there this early, but the 15th Amendment was passed by one party. It was not a bipartisan vote. The 15th Amendment that gave the right to vote to former slaves. So to me one party has on one occasion saved this country from itself." Clearly, telegraphing here to Joe Manchin.

What other options do Democrats have beyond him, deciding to go against his vow to keep the filibuster at this point?

OLORUNNIPA: Yes, Boris, the pressure is on Senator Manchin at this point, because he has put his name and his backing behind a specific set of voting proposals, and he's gotten the cold shoulder from Republicans. They have not said, let's meet at the table and discuss some of these voting proposals.

You heard Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell essentially say that this new proposal is a nonstarter, even though it came from the most conservative Democrat in the Senate. And if Manchin is not able to get even an audience with Republicans, he is going to face additional pressure to hear from other Democrats that have said, Republicans are not going to work with us on anything, we have to move forward on our own. We have to get rid of the filibuster.

He has been pretty strong in saying that he's not going to get rid of the filibuster. He's not going to support that. But if he sees that his own efforts to put forward a pretty modest, a pretty compromised voting bill with some things that Republicans like and he can't even get an audience from the Senate Minority Leader or other Republicans across the aisle and say, I will work with you on this critical issue. He's going to face additional pressure to say you have to do something otherwise the Senate will just be locked up with gridlock and with no forward movement for the next year.

And nobody wants that. And I think Manchin will be facing some of that pressure and that could change his calculus on what to do about the filibuster over time.


SANCHEZ: Yes. And the White House is, obviously, exploring its options. Laura, you spoke with Cedric Richmond, a close advisor to Joe Biden this week. He said that the White House isn't ready to concede. That the only path for a Voting Rights Act would be to eliminate the filibuster. How is that possible? He knows the math here.

BARRON-LOPEZ: Yes. The White House is saying that they don't want to give up on the - on legislation altogether, because as Toluse has pointed out, there is no path forward right now, whether it's for the big elections bill that Democrats have constructed, or a reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act.

There aren't 10 Republican votes for it. Without 10 Republican votes, you would have to eliminate the filibuster in order to pass it party line. But the White House right now, I think, is going to be avoiding, saying that they think that's the only option until they start to see more Democrats in the Senate like Manchin, maybe loosen their hard feelings about the filibuster.

Because right now Manchin isn't the only Democrat that is opposed to new (inaudible). There's also Senator Kyrsten Sinema, who has been adamant about the fact that she wants to keep it in place. But Manchin has talked to some Republicans about his latest proposal that he issued last week. The issue is that none of them, the ones that met with him, and they also met with civil rights leaders last week, none of them have decided to support it or endorse it. And they're all preparing next week to block it.

SANCHEZ: That's right. We have to leave the conversation there. Laura Barron-Lopez, Toluse Olorunnipa, thank you both so much. Stay with NEW DAY. We'll be right back.



WALKER: President Biden marked a new COVID vaccine milestone this week. 300 million vaccine doses administered, but he warned the country is not yet in the clear from the virus. CDC Director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky says, the Delta variant, first identified in India will probably become the dominant coronavirus strain in the U.S.

Experts are warning people that the rapid spread of the variant will cause a possible surge. And if you haven't been vaccinated, now is the time to get the shot. Joining me now to discuss is Dr. William Schaffner, Professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Good morning to you doctor.

Yes, so first of all, let's talk about the Delta variant. How concerned should we be about it when it comes to the unvaccinated and the vaccinated?

WILLIAM SCHAFFNER, PROFESSOR, DIVISION OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER: So Amara, the COVID virus keeps throwing us curveballs. And the most recent one is indeed this Delta variant. It's a mutation. It's very, very contagious, even more contagious than the parent strain.

And has traveled from India to the United Kingdom, where it's now the dominant strain. And now it's here, and it's picking up steam and it is spreading essentially, among unvaccinated people.

Fortunately, our current vaccines do provide a pretty good measure of protection against this virus. So there are a lot of people out there who are still not vaccinated, and we sure wish they would start rolling up their sleeves and joining the rest of us.

WALKER: But, is there a concern for the vaccinated, especially if the virus continues to spread, which could mean more variants? And could these variants mutate in a way where they can figure out how to evade our vaccines?

SCHAFFNER: Well, of course, that is the concern, whether this virus multiplies abroad or at home. Every time it multiplies, and it multiplies billions of times, when it enters a body, it can mutate. And every once in a while, fortunately, rarely, these mutations become variants that can compete with the parent strain. So that could happen.

The way to tamp all that down, of course, is for everyone to be vaccinated and not give the virus the opportunity to mutate.

WALKER: And what do you think the chances are that - for those of us who are fully vaccinated, that we will need a booster vaccine or shot at some point and when.

SCHAFFNER: So the two things that are on the agenda are, number one, watch how long the duration of protection from the current vaccine is. And the other, just as you say, is, do the vaccines protect against the variants? Those are the two things that will determine when we need a booster.


WALKER: And lastly, because I know a lot of people are planning travel, I as well, the next week going to Europe. But the cruise industry - I mean, there's so much confusion, right because you have States like Florida, and others who are banning, requiring you to be vaccinated before boarding a cruise ship. What is your advice to people who are planning or want to cruise?

SCHAFFNER: Be cautious and if you're older or you're immunocompromised, be very cautious, because that's really an enclosed space for a long period of time. And we know that outbreaks have occurred on cruise ships.

WALKER: Dr. William Schaffner, pleasure to have you on. Thank you.

SCHAFFNER: My pleasure.

WALKER: So as more parts of the country reopen and loosen restrictions, many Americans are finding it hard to leave their homes and rejoin society. Doctor say this reluctancy is due to anxiety from living in a pandemic for more than a year. I think a lot of us could identify with that.

And it is a cause for concern as new CDC data is showing the U.S. saw a significant rise in suspected suicide attempts, particularly among teenage girls. During this Pandemic. The study found that the weekly number - the mean weekly number of emergency visits for girls 12 to 17 was roughly 50 percent higher this year compared to 2019.

SANCHEZ: As Tokyo Olympics organizers plan for some fans in the stands next month, Japan's top coronas advisor does not think it's a good idea. We'll take you to Japan for a live report, next.



SANCHEZ: Ahead of the Tokyo Olympics next month - can you believe they are next month - JAPAN has announced it's going to be easing it's COVID-19 state of emergency and Olympic organizers are planning to allow some fans into the games.

WALKER: But the decision stands in contrast to the country's top coronavirus advisor who says that having the games without spectators poses the lowest risk amid the pandemic. CNN's Selina Wang has been following this story for us. It's been quite a controversy. Where do things stand?

SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Amara, despite that advice you got from Japan's top COVID-19 advisor, Olympic organizers still say they want to have spectators at these games. The question is how many?

But you still have the majority of the population here in Japan saying they don't want the Games held this summer. They're scared of another surge in COVID cases. And even the medical community here says that even without any fans, it's impossible to hold these games completely safely in a bubble considering it involves 10s of 1000s for more than 200 countries.


WANG (voice-over): Japan's top COVID-19 advisor recommends the Olympics be held without spectators.

SHIGERU OMI, PRESIDENT OF THE JAPAN COMMUNITY HEALTH CARE ORGANIZATION: We believe that it is desirable to not allow spectators as this will reduce the risk of infection, he said.

WANG (voice-over): Even though overseas fans are already banned. Medical experts worry the Olympics will cause a rebound of COVID-19 cases in Japan and overwhelm the medical system.

But Olympic organizers still say they'll try to have spectators, but say they may have to cancel at the last minute.

SEIKO HASHIMOTO, FORMER MINISTER FOR THE TOKYO OLYMPICS AND PARALYMPICS GAMES (via translator): I want to make every effort to continue discussions until the end, so that as another sports as many people as possible watch the games, she said.

WANG (voice-over): Olympic organizers also acknowledge that the Delta variant poses a major risk, putting additional restrictions on athletes coming from India. They're required to quarantine and be tested every day for seven days before their arrival in Japan. For three days after they can't train or test match with other countries. In fact, all athletes will be tested daily, contact traced by GPS and socially distanced or they risk getting kicked out of the games.

In Tokyo, and large parts of Japan, the state of emergency is finally lifting, shifting to a qualify state of emergency until July 11. And the government has said it will allow up to 10,000 spectators at events in places no longer under a state of emergency.

WANG (on camera): If that cap is applied, it would mean the opening ceremony held that this national stadium would have more than 80 percent of its seats empty.

WANG (voice-over): The Prime Minister is wary of how easily infections could turn worse again after restrictions are lifted, urging the public to watch the games at home. The Japanese public is worried too. I don't think the Olympics need to be held, he tells me. There will be so many coming into Japan that will probably go out and could give us infections.

And for any spectators allowed it's not going to be the usual celebration. Organizer said they should go straight to Olympic venues and back to their homes, with no drinking or partying in the streets and to eat alone or far apart from others.


WANG (voice-over): So in Olympics like no other for all the athletes and participants, but clearly for the spectators too.


WANG: Another big concern here in Japan is the low rate of vaccinations. Just about 6 percent of the population here has been fully vaccinated, and we still don't know what proportion of Olympic staff and volunteers are going to get the doses.

The Prime Minister has pledged to get to 1 million vaccinations a day. But to put things into perspective, Amara and Boris, even at that rate, less than 20 percent of the population here would be fully vaccinated by the time the Olympics begin.

WALKER: Yes. Logistically it's just a huge headache. How do you keep everyone safe by having these games? Selina Wang, appreciate your reporting. Thank you.

SANCHEZ: Just a short time ago - an update for you on an election overseas - outgoing Iranian President Hassan Rouhani met with his successor, Ebrahim Raisi, to congratulate him on his victory.


Iran state media reporting that Ebrahim Raisi won Friday's presidential election by a landslide. There will not be a runoff. He's an ultra conservative Chief Justice, and he's an ally of the Supreme Leader. Raisi, getting an estimated 62 percent of the vote with about 90 percent of the ballots counted.

Obviously, this has huge implications not only for the region, but for U.S. policy, specifically when it comes to the JCPOA away as well.

Hey, thank you so much for joining us this hour. We're glad to have you.

WALKER: Thanks so much. Smerconish, is up next. See you soon.