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New Day Saturday
U.S. Tops 100,000 Daily Cases For The First Time Since February; School Year Off to a Shaky Start with COVID Outbreaks and Heated Mask Debate; Cuomo Attacks Report Accusing Him Of Sexual Harassment. Aired 8-9a ET
Aired August 07, 2021 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: First time in all the my years that I've encountered something like this.
PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: A top industry analyst tells me this could hurt Spirit's reputation in the short term, but in the long-term it really will not have much of a business impact. He says eventually people will forget all of this if the ticket price is right. Pete Muntean, CNN, BWI Airport.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, and welcome to your NEW DAY. I'm Boris Sanchez.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, Boris. Good morning, everyone. I'm Christi Paul. We have some breaking news for you in the fight against coronavirus. We are learning now that the U.S. just hit its highest daily case count in nearly six months. And there's also news on the numbers for the people who are getting vaccinated.
SANCHEZ: Plus, not backing down. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo slamming that report that he sexually harassed 11 staffers. Now, the governor is now facing the first criminal complaint tied to that probe.
PAUL: The U.S. seeing its biggest job gains in a year with nearly a million new jobs added last month. What that tells us about the pace of the economic recovery now?
SANCHEZ: And scorched Earth; massive, devastating wildfires ripping through parts of the American West. We're on the fire lines as officials work to try to contain them. NEW DAY starts right now.
Buenos dias. It is Saturday, August 7. Thank you so much for waking up with us. Great to see you Christi.
PAUL: You as well, Boris, as always. So let's talk about what we're hearing now this morning, the U.S. averaging more than 107,000 new COVID-19 cases in a day. This is a rate we haven't seen in nearly six months, since the country was in really the grips of that dangerous winter surge that we went through.
SANCHEZ: Yes, not only are infections rising, deaths are going up as well and hospitals are overrun with unvaccinated patients as the Delta variant spreads. The virus quickly moving through unvaccinated communities. Especially as you look at this map, in the Southeast a lot of red there. Vaccination rates, of course, lagging behind the rest of the country in the South.
In states with the highest infection rates, people are getting vaccinated at a pace not seen since April, but hospitals are still struggling to keep up with new cases.
PAUL: And to further hone in on that, Florida has the highest number of hospitalizations per capita nationwide, even children's hospitals are overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. AILEEN MARTY, INFECTIOUS DISEASE EXPERT: The numbers of cases in our hospitals, in children and our children's hospitals are completely overwhelmed. Our pediatricians, our nursing, the staff are exhausted and the children are suffering and it is absolutely devastating. We've never seen numbers like this before.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Well, CNN's Natasha Chen is live for us now from Orlando, Florida. Natasha, it is good to see you today. We know that this state has become the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. Talk to us about what you're seeing there.
NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christi, we're also seeing that it's now the focus of how political this fight has become because Governor DeSantis here has really doubled down on his strategy defending the lack of a statewide mask mandate, defending his choice to stick up for families who may not want their children to wear masks in schools.
At the same time we're seeing local public health officials really doing their best to curb this surge right now, pushing vaccinations, which is what we're seeing today. Orange County here will be doing a mobile vaccination clinic at this mall.
And what we're seeing, if you take a look at the graph of the seven day average of new cases in Florida, you can see just how that curve has gone way up recently, averaging more than 19,000 cases per day in the past week. That's the highest of any seven day period in the entire pandemic for Florida.
If you also take a look at the graph for hospitalizations, there are more than 12,000 people hospitalized right now in the state. So as we mentioned, this is a very difficult thing to navigate as far as the policy of what to do.
Here is governor DeSantis and President Joe Biden going back and forth about the best way to handle this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: But if you aren't going to help, at least get out of the way.
GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): If you're coming after the rights of parents in Florida, I'm standing in your way.
BIDEN: Governor who?
DESANTIS: I'm not surprised that Biden doesn't remember me. I guess, the question is, is what else has he forgotten?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHEN: And the Florida Board of Education yesterday made some decisions to protect families and their choices. For example, if parents feel that a public school system is requiring masks in a way that harasses their family, they can actually apply for a voucher to go to a private school.
At the same time, the Orange County Public Schools locally here did issue a mask mandate at their start of schools on Tuesday, but they are allowing parents to opt out. So this is a very tough challenge here between different authorities and different local versus state entities. Christi and Boris?
SANCHEZ: Yes. And as you see that lower third on your screen, children's hospitals completely overwhelmed in Florida. Natasha Chen from Orlando. Thank you so much.
Kids across the country are returning to school, but in-person learning has already hit some speed bumps as the highly contagious Delta variant is spreading. Last week more than 100 students in Georgia wound up in quarantine. And this week one school district in Arkansas says more than 900 students also are having to quarantine.
The battle over masking is raging on, as you heard there with Natasha. Some governors trying to ban schools for mandating them. Meantime, the CDC director weighed in on mitigation measures at a town hall this week, listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. ROCHELLE WALENSKY, CDC DIRECTOR: The places that are having a problem, the places that are having disease that is transmitted in the schools, are the places that aren't taking the preventive strategies, the places that aren't masking. The places that you're seeing kids in the hospital - the footage of kids in the hospital - are all places that are not taking the mitigation strategies to keep our children safe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: Let's dig deeper with a former Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, he served in the position for seven years during the Obama Administration. He also served as the CEO of Chicago Public Schools. Arne, thank you so much for getting up early for us. We appreciate your time.
I want to start with something that Education Secretary Miguel Cardona had to say this week, let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIGUEL CARDONA, U.S. EDUCATION SECRETARY: You know what I'm worried about? The adult actions, getting in the way of school safely reopening. Let our educators educate. Let our leaders - school leaders lead, and we can get our schools reopened safely.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: Arne you heard the back and forth between Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and President Biden, isn't that when Secretary Cardona is warning about politics getting in the way of children's safety?
ARNE DUNCAN, FORMER EDUCATION SECRETARY: Yes. Good morning. I have to be just start very bluntly. I'm beyond infuriated by this. We have a collective responsibility to make sure that our children have a safe place to learn and the custodians, and bus drivers, and teachers, and parents and others at home are also safe. The least we could do - the least we can do is have our children, have our teachers wear masks, to keep everybody safe.
This is the third year - third school year that students and teachers have been impacted by this virus. We didn't have to be here. But here we are. Let's do the right thing. Let's get our kids back to a physical school, so they can be around their friends. But let's do it as safely as we can. And the only way to do that is that the children and adults wear masks.
If you were in Secretary Cardona's shoes, having to communicate with leaders in places like Florida and Texas with this hands off approach, how would you try to persuade them to --in adopting, at least maybe not a mask mandate, but adopting a position that allows schools to impose mask mandates?
DUNCAN: Well, quite frankly, I think it's impossible to persuade the governor of Florida, governor of Texas. But we just need to make them irrelevant. You have school districts in those states - school districts like Houston in Texas that are putting their own mandates in place. Let's talk to real people who have real children, who really live in the community, who are vulnerable. They want to do the right thing. They want to stay safe and they want their children to learn.
We've robbed our children of so much academically, socially, emotionally. It's enough. It's enough. Let's all be part of this. Let's do the right thing together. Let's keep each other safe. Our kids are going to be quite happy to do that. The issue here is never the children, it's always the adults.
SANCHEZ: So let's talk about vaccines. Obviously, getting vaccinated remains the single best way to protect yourself from severe illness. Some teachers unions, though, have been wary of vaccine mandates. Here's Randi Weingarten, and she's head of one of the largest teachers' unions. She's speaking to CNN this week, listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RANDI WEINGARTEN, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS: We believed that doing it in a - particularly given the polarization in America, and particularly given that we need to create a welcoming and safe environment in schools and not have what you've seen at school board meetings about masking, about history, that this would have been the best approach.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: Arne, where do you stand on this? Should vaccines be required for teachers?
DUNCAN: Yes, I'm pretty sure that you wouldn't be at work at CNN and many other places of work if you weren't vaccinated. And there have been vaccines to go to school for decades. As you know, there's nothing new about vaccines and starting school. So, absolutely, wearing a mask, being vaccinated, if that's a mandate, that makes absolute sense to me.
Nothing new here. Let's be safe. Let's be smart. Let's not have anyone die because we're trying to educate our kids. Let's get our kids back to school safely. They have missed far too much.
SANCHEZ: You noted that kids and teachers, staff have to show proof of vaccination for other contagious diseases. Do you think kids who are eligible for the vaccine should be required to get it too?
DUNCAN: I think we have to look at all that. Again, it's been decades in which students to go to school, to attend school have to show they are vaccinated. I don't - why do we change now? Why do we change now, because of bad politics? It doesn't make sense. Public health, public safety, keeping our kids safe, keeping all the adults safe, that has to be a paramount importance. Everything else has to go to the sidelines.
SANCHEZ: And more specifically, would you want that mandate to come from the White House or the local level? Which do you think is more effective?
DUNCAN: Well, I think, obviously, education is complicated. You play at the local and state and federal level where you have clarity of message across all those different levels of government, that would be great. Unfortunately, in such a polarized environment, that's difficult for providing leadership. Yes, at the local level, at the state level, at the federal level, we need all of that.
I live in Illinois. Our governor recently put in place a mask mandate to go back to school this fall. He hated to do it. I know he hated to do it. Nobody loves it. It was the right thing to do. It's the honest thing to do. It's the courageous thing to do. That's what leadership is about. SANCHEZ: And, Arne, what do you make of the argument from some,
including the governor of Florida, that mask mandates or potentially vaccine passports or other efforts to get the population onboard with moving forward with eradicating COVID-19. What do you make of the argument that it infringes on the rights of parents, because he's essentially arguing that he's pushing for the freedom of parents to choose for their kids?
DUNCAN: Yes, it's just, again, beyond infuriating. We have in every state, including Florida, including Texas, we have something called speed limits. Why do we have speed limits when we drive our cars? Not just to keep us safe, but to keep everybody around us safe? This is exactly the same. It is no different.
SANCHEZ: Arne Duncan, we have to leave the conversation there. Thank you so much for the perspective. We appreciate it.
DUNCAN: Thank you so much. Have a Good morning.
SANCHEZ: Thanks, you too.
Coming up, the governor of New York vowing to defend himself after a state investigation found evidence of multiple cases of sexual harassment. Can he somehow remain in office? We'll discuss.
PAUL: And in just a bit, we're going to get an update on the largest fire currently burning in the U.S. Look at these pictures. That is the Dixie Fire in Northern California. Stay close.
SANCHEZ: We are 17 minutes past the hour. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is facing growing legal and political fallout from accusations that he sexually harassed 11 women. The governor denies the allegations and is resisting calls for him to resign.
PAUL: Instead, he's attacking the credibility of the investigation itself. And now one of his accusers has filed a criminal complaint against him. CNN Senior Legal Affairs Correspondent Paula Reid has the latest.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAULA REID, CNN SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Lawyers for embattled New York Governor Andrew Cuomo firing back against allegations of sexual harassment. For the first time publicly addressing some claims line by line.
RITA GLAVIN, ATTORNEY FOR GOV. CUOMO: The governor deserves to be treated fairly, and he must be. That did not happen here. This was one sided, and he was ambushed.
REID (voice over): A New York State Attorney General's report this week found the governor sexually harassed 11 women. A report, the governor's lawyer say, was done to support a pre-determined narrative.
GLAVIN: I asked why did this report ignore documentary evidence and why did they not want to tell you?
REID (voice over): A woman named in the AG's report as executive assistant #1 filed a complaint Thursday with the Albany sheriff's office. It's the first known criminal complaint of sexual misconduct against the governor.
ANNE CLARK, SPECIAL INVESTIGATOR: In the executive mansion, the governor hugged executive assistant #1 and reached under her blouse to grab her breast. This was the culmination of a pattern of inappropriate sexual conduct.
REID (voice over): But lawyers for Cuomo say that's not what happened.
GLAVIN: She was at the mansion that day for several hours. She wasn't just working with the governor, she was working with other staffers. E-mails that she sent, while she was at the mansion, reflect that she was joking while she was there. She was eating snacks and she even offered to stay longer at the mansion when her work was done.
REID (voice over): The governor's office says it notified Albany Police of the sexual misconduct allegations several months ago in accordance with state policies.
The governor's lawyers also taking issue with another accusation that the governor inappropriately touched a state trooper assigned to his security detail. The lawyer saying Cuomo sought her out in an event to recruit her and to increase diversity.
GLAVIN: He liked how she maintained eye contact. He liked that she was assertive with him in the conversation. And then he asked one of the troopers he knows about her and they said yes, she's excellent. And he's like, I don't understand this. Why do I not have women on my detail?
REID (voice over): Cuomo's lawyer say the governor will address the trooper's allegations directly soon.
Another accuser Lindsey Boylan says she left the governor's office after being harassed. The governor's lawyers say that's also not true.
GLAVIN: She was leading the public to believe a false story that she left because of sexual harassment and a bad work environment, when in fact she left after being confronted with a number of complaints, and then really wanted her job back, and they wouldn't give it back.
REID (voice over): Cuomo's lawyers who suffered technical issues during their presentation--
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My apologies.
REID (voice over): Say they are preparing an official response to the allegations and will submit it to the state impeachment committee by the August 13 deadline.
REID (on camera): The New York Attorney General's Office responded in a statement saying there are 11 women whose accounts have been corroborated by a mountain of evidence. Any suggestion that attempts to undermine the credibility of these women or this investigation is unfortunate.
Now, the Office also says it will be making redacted transcripts of witness interviews available to the New York State Assembly. Boris, Christi.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Well, thank you so much. Grateful to have CNN Legal Analyst Paul Callan with us here. He's a former New York City prosecutor as well. Paul, thank you so much for taking time for us here. I wanted to ask you about this criminal complaint that's been filed against him from one of the accusers. What has to be present to prove those accusations in the criminal arena?
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, the charges are the charge of sexual abuse in the third degree, and it's a B misdemeanor, which means it's punishable by 60 days in jail. It's a relatively low level criminal charge. And, frankly, you can proceed just on the testimony of the alleged victim in a case like that.
So, executive assistant #1 who says the president cupped her breast without permission and authority to do so, that would be enough to get the case into court. Now, a lot of times though, prosecutors want to see more. They want to see corroboration of the story, particularly when you have somebody like the governor denying it and when the two people were in a room alone.
So it remains to be seen whether the district attorney of Albany County will proceed with these charges against the governor. He hasn't made an announcement yet. But it certainly raises the danger and the stakes against the governor of New York if facing both impeachment and criminal charges.
PAUL: I want to take a look at some numbers with you, as this governor is under this increasing pressure to resign. There's a new Quinnipiac Poll, 70 percent of registered voters in New York say he should resign. Nearly two thirds say he should be impeached and removed from office, and his approval rating is just at 28 percent. Do you see any scenario, Paul, where the governor can overcome this and hold on to his seat?
CALLAN: Hard to say Christi. The one thing, however, I think everybody has to consider is this guy is a real fighter. Cuomo is also looking at the example of the former president of the United States battling off and winning two impeachment proceedings, frankly, on charges a lot more serious, I think, then the charges that Cuomo is facing.
The other thing Cuomo advisors may be telling him is that no New York Governor has been impeached in over 100 years. So there's no recent example of a governor being thrown out of office. And Cuomo is a guy who rules with the stick rather than the carrot. And I think behind the scenes, there's going to be a lot of pressure on individual Democratic assemblymen and senators to back off on this.
And what you're going to see also is he's got a panel of three very prominent, very smart lawyers defending him. And they're going to start taking apart the claims of the 11 women who say they were sexually harassed.
Now, we only heard an example of that yesterday, a very forceful attack on this young woman who's bringing the criminal charges. And I think the other nine women can expect the same treatment publicly. So it's a rough road ahead on both sides in proceeding with this. But I don't see an early resignation by a tough guy, Andrew Cuomo. He's a fighter, and I think he'll try to hold his office as long as possible.
PAUL: You're saying the same thing that Errol Louis said earlier. He said, he's good at fighting when it's right there in your face, essentially.
PAUL: So when you mentioned his attorneys, I think something that stood out to a lot of people who saw, and what we saw actually in Paula's piece just right before this, was Attorney Glavin talking about the demeanor of executive assistant #1 at the governor's mansion that day. Clearly, she was trying to portray an employee who seemed happy, who as she said, was eating, was joking. Trying to show you know that there wasn't any optics in terms of her behavior. That something had gone wrong.
But clearly this is a dicey argument, because there's serious nature, obviously to this. The volume of alleged accusers that are coming out are problematic, and we're in the MeToo era, so things could be handled differently right now. What is your interpretation of the governors' of the governor's attorneys itemization yesterday of what the visitors logs and the email said?
CALLAN: I think you're right, Christi, that this defense as articulated by Rita Glavin, who is the governor's - one of the governor's three lawyers on this. Yes, she's kind of forgetting the me to movement and the times have changed. It's not like, New York in 1955,when women could be treated with complete disrespect and sexually harassed and it was considered perfectly proper conduct.
After all, Governor Cuomo was the person who announced publicly that sexual harassment would not happen in New York ever again. And he's the person in charge of enforcing it. But given all of those things, Glavin showed on a minute by minute basis where the governor was, making phone calls to governors and doing all kinds of things.
And executive assistant #1 came in very, very briefly to his office, according to Glavin, and then went downstairs in the mansion subsequently, and was texting other people that it was a great day, because she was having crackers and cheese, as is a custom, apparently, in the executive mansion. Not acting like somebody who had been sexually abused.
Now, people who defend these cases, sexual abuse experts say it's not unusual for the victim of sexual abuse, to pretend that it didn't happen, sometimes even shortly after the incident itself. So this will be a pitched battle when it gets into court or when it gets into the impeachment proceeding.
And remember, his attorneys only attack to have 11 women who are accusing him of sexual assault, so he has - or I should say, sexual harassment. So he's got an uphill battle, the governor of New York in this case. But I wouldn't rule them out yet. I really wouldn't, because he's a tough, tough fighter and these are hard cases for the victims in a case, because everything is discussed in public.
PAUL: Right, right. Paul Callan - by the way, he's got a great piece on cnn.com about this great op-ed. Paul, we appreciate you so much. Thank you.
CALLAN: Thank you, Christi.
PAUL: Of course. Quick programming note for you. Here later today, Rita Glavin, who we were just talking about, one of Governor Cuomo's attorneys is joining Pamela Brown for a one on one interview. You can watch that tonight 6:00 pm Eastern, right here on CNN. We'll be right back.
SANCHEZ: The July jobs report gave us a promising look at the post pandemic economic recovery.
PAUL: Yes, and it may signal, experts say, whether we're headed in the right direction. Here is CNN's Julia Chatterley.
JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN BUSINESS ANCHOR, FIRST MOVE: Guys, the bottom line, July was a great month for the U.S. jobs market recovery. 943,000 jobs were added back in the month of July. But there was also great news from the prior two months. We got an extra, about 120,000 jobs added back that we weren't expecting. So, overall, good news.
Where are they added back? Well, the bulk coming in the leisure and tourism sector, as you would expect. We know bars, restaurants reopening, trying to rehire. We saw that in the month of July. We also got a surprise bump in education as well. You don't normally see this at this time of year. You normally see job shed. But, of course, education this year has been mixed up with students learning from homes, so that was another positive contribution.
What it meant, ultimately, a significant drop in the unemployment rate to 5.4 percent. That's the good news. The challenges, of course, remain. We are still down 5.7 million jobs since the pandemic began. And the big question mark, and there were a few wildcards here is, what happens in the coming months?
A few things. One, what impact does the Delta variant have on reopenings, on people's willingness to come back into the workforce? What happens when the remaining 25 States that continue to pay those top up benefits roll off? That will happen in September. Does that encourage more people to come back into the workforce? And, of course, what happens if and when kids get back to school in September, because that could bring a near 2 million people, predominantly women, back into the workforce too.
So for now, the recovery continues. But we're still in a pandemic economy. And the jobs market does remain a bit of a pandemic puzzle and we have to wait to get full answers to later on this fall. Christi, Boris, back to you.
SANCHEZ: Julia Chatterley, thanks so much for that. Speaking after the report came out, President Biden said there was still more work to be done on the economy, but he was clearly pleased with the numbers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: The Biden plan is working. The Biden plan produces results and the Biden plan is moving the country forward.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: With us now to discuss is Mark Zandi. He's the Chief Economist at Moody's Analytics. Mark, great to have you on. Appreciate your time.
Let's start with this jobs report. The economy adding nearly 950,000 jobs. The unemployment rate at a new pandemic era low. Of course, this data was gathered in mid-July and since then we've seen an explosion of Delta variant cases. So what stands out to you in the report? And how concerned are you that Delta might derail the momentum?
MARK ZANDI, CHIEF ECONOMIST, MOODY'S ANALYTICS: Thanks Boris. Well, it was a great report, as Julia mentioned - discussed, it's about as good as it gets. So lots of jobs were created. A broad based job creation across lots of industries. And of course, it was large enough job gains to bring down unemployment in a significant way. So all good. I mean, I'm an economist, I look for blemishes in these kinds of records. I couldn't find any in this one. So this is really good news.
But having said that, as Julia said, there are challenges and Delta is the most immediate challenge. It does - so far, it doesn't look like it's doing significant economic damage. But it's showing up in some of the kind of real-time data like Google mobility and OpenTable restaurant bookings, and number of people going through TSA checkpoints, that kind of thing.
Consumer sentiment, business sentiment also appears to be being affected by this. Mostly in the South, and parts of the country that where vaccination rates are low, infections and hospitalization rates are high, which is not too surprising. So it is starting to show up hopefully, this starts to abate before it does any real economic damage. But, clearly, it's the most immediate threat to how well the economy is doing at this point.
SANCHEZ: Yes, there's also some uncertainty on the horizon when it comes to a game of brinksmanship over the debt limit. Suspension of the debt ceiling expired at the end of July. And Mark, we've seen this movie before. There's tough talk on both sides on Capitol Hill. They ultimately relent. They've raised the limit, it's been tweaked, like 80 times in the last 60 years. Is it time to do away with the debt ceiling?
ZANDI: Oh, gee, Boris, I wish we could. It's a pretty anachronistic that type of policy. It really does no good whatsoever. I mean, the idea - the intuition was, OK, you put in this debt limit, it's going to force Congress and the president to come together and figure out ways to be more fiscally disciplined, make sure that our government budgets are more closely balanced. That was the idea. But that's not what's happening.
It just leads to this kind of brinksmanship. In the past that's led to government shutdowns, financial market turmoil. It's very counterproductive. So I think this is the law for the trash bin. It's really is not of any value whatsoever.
SANCHEZ: As you noted, it was designed to serve this important purpose, it hasn't stopped the debt from ballooning. More than $28.6 trillion, and counting likely more government spending ahead. When do you start to get worried about the size of the national debt? Is it something that people at home should care about?
ZANDI: Well, I think we should start to worry about it and really focus on it once the economy is back to full employment. We got - we're getting good job numbers, but unemployment is still very high, underemployment is still very high. I mean, 5.4 percent is much better than 15 percent, which is where we were back last April in the teeth of the business shutdowns.
But a well-functioning economy where everyone is employed, and we're feeling really good about things would be an unemployment rate that's in the mid-threes. So let's get there. And once we get there, then I think we need to focus - pivot focus on our deficits and debt.
And the policies that we've put in place during the pandemic and the policies that we're debating now, I think, passing the law would be just enough to get us back to full employment over the next year and a half, two years. And then at that point, I do think it would be very appropriate, the very desirable for lawmakers to focus on these deficits and debt.
SANCHEZ: Also very desirable for folks to get out there and get vaccinated, and wear masks where they have to, so we don't have the Delta variant and potential future variants derail the progress that we've made. Mark Zandi, thank you so much, as always.
ZANDI: Sure thing. PAUL: Have a lot more coming up on NEW DAY. I want to tell you though, about a CNN film short premiering tonight it's called, "Diving with a Purpose." Here's a quick preview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are so many histories in the ocean that have yet to be revealed to us. Especially with ships involved in the transatlantic slave trade, there are a lot of ships that have gone missing. There are not a lot of documentation of where those ships are.
The process of actually locating these vessels, it really comes down to who's in the water. For years, the number of African-American archaeologists in this country has remained under one 1 percent. That is shifting now. Diving with a purpose shifts that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: In addition to that, you can meet the real life Doomsday preppers. In another CNN film short, "The Bunker Boom," that's tonight at 9:00 pm right here on CNN.
PAUL: Well, this week the CDC issued a new stop on certain evictions, saying that evicting people could be detrimental to public health. This is coming after Congress failed to extend the previous eviction moratorium. Now the new ban continues until October 3rd. Many renters still haven't caught up on their bills, nor have they gotten access to federal aid. And there's a lot of federal aid out there.
The Center on Budget and Policy priority says more than 11 million people are behind on their rent now. Well, Sharon Oser is one of those people. And she's with us now. Sharon, we thank you so much for talking to us.
I know, I'm sorry, I know this has to be a really hard time for you. Good morning to you as well. I understand that you received an eviction notice on Monday. Have you had some contact with your landlord? What are you being told?
SHARON OSER, FACING EVICTION: I have not had contact again with her. I guess since the moratorium was extended, they didn't bother really to reach out to me yet. So I don't - I mean, obviously, they know that it was extended, because I would have had a knock on the door for sure.
SANCHEZ: You've been, as I understand it, trying to get government assistance to pay rent and you haven't received any money. We know that there's 300 - I think it's $300 million that was received by Louisiana for federal rent relief funding that was back in February. What kind of what kind of assistance are you getting, if any? OSER: I haven't gotten any yet. And that is - that's disturbing and frustrating for sure. Yes, they did back to the Louisiana Housing Corporation that had a program through the state last year and I applied, got in and waited and waited and waited. And then the parish took over Jefferson Parish and Orleans Parish were the - one of the - two of the seven parishes that opted to do the program on their own. And additionally, they were the two highest amounts awarded to its residents.
I believe that the Orleans Parish is maxed out of their allotment, and then they are trying to get more. But Jefferson Parish is - it's just literally stuck, like, just stuck.
PAUL: And I'm sure - yes, I'm sure that your landlord would like this to happen as well, because then you could - I understand you've got a pretty sizable balance at this point about $14,000. You're registered respiratory therapist.
PAUL: Have you not been able to work through COVID, I'm assuming?
OSER: I can't do - the thing is, I am RRT and I love that job. But I physically can't do it anymore. It has taken its toll on my body. I've been in the field for 19 years. So the only silver lining that I really can take from all of this is that through the time period that I have been home, I've been able to complete my Master's - my MBA in Healthcare Management. So I am trying to make that pivot into administration.
PAUL: So what is your plan B at this point, and what do you know about the timeframe that you have to be there? You've received an eviction notice?
OSER: Yes. Since the moratorium was extended - I know I'm not alone in this this apartment complex. We are protected somewhat. But that protection is ticking away and it's loud. Right now I am packing this - in anticipation of move. It will come.
PAUL: Well, Sharon, we know that it's hard on you. We also know that it's hard on the landlords as well. They depend on their money.
PAUL: And they can't always take care of the property themselves without that income.
PAUL: But Sharon Oser we appreciate you talking to us. Best of luck to you.
OSER: Thank you so much.
PAUL: Thank you. SANCHEZ: Small towns in Northern California are being burnt down by the Dixie Fire. Up next, the latest on what's now the largest fire burning in the United States. Stay with us.
SANCHEZ: The California Dixie Fire is now the largest wildfire burning in the country and it is still growing.
PAUL: CNN's Josh Campbell gives us a picture of what it looks like right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Boris and Christi, we're learning new details about that devastating fire that ripped through the community of Greenville. Officials say that at least 100 homes were destroyed on Friday. They were working to account for four residents. Officials said that not everyone there had heeded the evacuation orders from authorities.
Now the sheriff here is a native of Greenville. He spoke about the devastation that this fire brought to his hometown.
CHRIS CARLTON, SUPERVISOR PLUMAS NATIONAL FOREST: We're seeing truly frightening fire behavior. And I don't know how to overstate that. But we have a lot of veteran firefighters who have served for 20-30 years and have never seen behavior like this.
CAMPBELL: Now, of course, as we cover these fires, we also have to talk about the cause. Experts continue to tell us that a key driver here in these longer fire seasons, more intense fires is climate change. We're also hearing from veteran firefighters who are saying that what they are witnessing now is unlike anything they've seen in their career.
Now, as far as where things stand here with this Dixie Fire. On Friday, authorities indicated that it had exceeded 400,000 acres burned. That making it the law fire burning in the United States. We're also told that over 5,000 firefighters are now here behind me, working against this fire, to try and stop this blaze. Boris, Christi?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: Thanks so much Josh. The U.S., not the only country fighting intense wildfires. Parts of Greece are currently engulfed in flames after almost 100 new fires erupted. Some of the most dangerous fires are burning just on the outskirts of the Capital of Athens. More than 720 firefighters are battling those flames. So far one volunteer firefighter has been killed. More than 20 people have had been hospitalized.
Hey, thank you so much for joining us this morning. We're going to be back just one hour from now.
PAUL: Yes, SMERCONISH is up next.