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Towers of Light Shine Tribute to Those Killed on 9/11; President Biden Calls for Unity as U.S. Remembers 9/11 Attacks; New CNN Polling Shows Biden's Approval Rating At 52 Percent; Ticket Agent Who Checked in Terrorists Reflects on 9/11. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired September 11, 2021 - 06:00   ET




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

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Christi Paul. It is Saturday, September 11TH and we are so grateful to have your company with us this morning. You know, today, America is pausing to mark this grim day. It's 20 years since the September 11th attacks.

SANCHEZ: Yes. Last night, a tower of light lit up the sky from lower Manhattan where nearly 3,000 people lost their lives and there's a similar tribute over at the Pentagon where more than 180 people died. Two decades have passed since terrorists hijacked planes, crashing two into the twin towers of the World Trade Center and one into the Pentagon. Passengers on a fourth flight fought back, forcing hijackers to crash the plane into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

PAUL: Who could ever forget the story of the two words, "Let's roll," right? For the first time as commander in chief, President Biden will pay his respects at the three sites. Yesterday, he released a message to the nation recognizing the people who've died and the people they love that are left behind.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: But it's so hard whether it's the first year or the 20th. Some of them have grown up without parents and parents have suffered without children. Husbands and wives have had to find ways forward without their partners in their life with them.

Brothers and sisters, uncles and aunts, loved ones and friends have had to celebrate birthdays and milestones with a hole in their heart no matter how much time has passed and these commemorations bring everything painfully back as if you just got the news a few seconds ago.


PAUL: CNN's Laura Jarrett is live from what is now forever known as Ground Zero. Twenty years, Laura, and I know that there are these commemoration events today that are still so emotional, especially for either people who were there or even people who just watched it through a screen. What is -- what is it like there, you know, this morning? What's expected?

LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR, "EARLY START": Christi, good morning to you. As you said, I am standing here at Ground Zero. Just over my shoulder here, the two reflection pools commemorating where those two towers once stood. Many of the families expected to be here in lower Manhattan in person this morning, paying their respects, mourning, a day of remembrance, a day for many, not just on a personal level, but a national level, a day of mourning.

President Biden, on this 20th anniversary, expected to be here in New York in person as well as a host of other leaders and dignitaries, including President Barack Obama, President Bill Clinton, both of their wives, the former first ladies and, as I mentioned, many of the families who wanted to be here last year during COVID couldn't be, but they will be here this year.

We're expected to see, as in years past, a reading and hearing the names of those lives that were lost. Last year, they were actually piped in, but this year they will be in person and we're also going to hear a fair amount of song and silence. We know of at least six different moments of silence that will happen today to mark each of the times that the two towers were hit, each of the times that the towers fell, the attack on the Pentagon as well as the time when Flight 93 crashed in Pennsylvania.

I should mention security down here very tight today. The crowd really not gathered yet, but you can see security posted on each corner. A lot of the streets are blocked off. It's going to be really as quite a spectacle here. I'm sure a lot of security we can't even see here. Boris, back to you.

SANCHEZ: Yes. No question, Laura. The effort to rebuild after 9/11, including to make that area as secure as possible, just outstanding work doing that. Laura Jarrett, thank you so much.

Let's get to CNN's Darryl Forges. He's live for us in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. A memorial service is scheduled there later this morning and, Darryl, what are we expecting today?

DARRYL FORGES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Boris. Good morning to you. I'm just standing just a few hundred yards away from the crash site here in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. We're expecting the ceremony to start at 9:45, Boris, but a critical time will be 10:03. That's the time that United Flight 93 crashed here in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

During that time, there will be a reading of the 40 names of the victims who lost their lives and followed by that, Boris, will be a ringing of the bells and then a wreath laying ceremony and then there's also expected to hear from several different speakers, including former President George W. Bush and Vice President Kamala Harris who will be giving the keynote address for today's ceremony.


Now, there's going to be a very emotional moment for the family members involved in the situation because they're actually going to walk through a ceremonial door to the boulder where the crash site happened and that only happens once a year. Now, we've talked to family members who talked about the emotions they still live through 20 years later.

In fact, I spoke to one man, Ken Nacke. His brother, Joey Nacke, was one of those who lost his life. He talked about how caring and loving his brother was, but he said something interesting to me, Boris. He said that because of the actions of those 40 crew members and passengers on Flight 93, the world is a safer place, but he says the world is not better because they're no longer here.

Also, President Joe Biden, who will be in New York and also the Pentagon, will be here as well to pay his respects along with First Lady Jill Biden, Boris.

SANCHEZ: Darryl Forges, thank you so much. And as you noted, Christi, so many inspiring stories. That message from the passengers on United Flight 93, "Let's Roll," something that just stays with you.

PAUL: Yes. That's one of the things, when you talk to people, that they do remember and they take with them, the courage of those people on all of the planes, that one, of course, different because they were able to thwart the attack. Jasmine Wright is live at the White House for us right now and I know we aren't expecting, Jasmine, to hear from the president today. He released that message to the nation yesterday, but talk to us about what is top of mind there.

JASMINE WRIGHT, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes, Christi. Well, President Biden's message is on unity heading into this September 11th, his first as commander in chief. In that video that you mentioned that he released yesterday evening, he spoke about the acts of heroism that followed the 9/11 attack, calling it a true national sense of unity. Take a listen.


BIDEN: To me, that's the central lesson of September 11th. It's that at our most vulnerable, in the push and pull of all that makes us human, in the battle for the soul of America, unity is our greatest strength. Unity doesn't mean we have to believe the same thing, but we must have a fundamental respect and faith in each other and in this nation.


WRIGHT: So Christi, Boris, this six-minute video from the president is likely to be the totality of his public message around September 11th. As you said, we do not expect to hear from him today as he attends those trio of events. So in this video, he honored the victims, both those who lost their lives, but also those who lost their loved ones and he described a grim outcome from the attack, which is the attacks of hate perpetrated against Muslim Americans since then. So today, the president and the first lady will wake up in New York, as Laura told us. They will attend that Ground Zero ceremony where we are likely to hear moments of silence and reading of the victims' names as he sits along the other president and then he heads to Shanksville, Pennsylvania and later to the -- to the Pentagon to lay a wreath.

But I must note, Christi, that this day comes just two weeks after the U.S. withdrew from Afghanistan, ending a 20-year war as basically the outcome of 9/11 and of course that didn't happen before a suicide blast killed 13 U.S. service members at the Kabul airport, a tragedy still fresh on Americans' minds today, Boris, Christi.

PAUL: No doubt about it. Jasmine Wright, so good to see you. Thank you.

SANCHEZ: On the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks today and the recent withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan, as Jasmine mentioned, many Americans are reflecting on the War on Terror and what it's meant for them and for the country, especially those who've risked their lives defending the United States, veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and other nations and the families of the men and women who paid the ultimate price.

Here to share her story is Ryan Manion. She's the gold star sister of Marine First Lieutenant Travis Manion. She's also the president of the Travis Manion Foundation which we will discuss. First, Ryan, thank you so much for sharing part of your day with us. I want you to share your brother's story with our viewers, why he decided to serve in the military and that mantra that he had, "If not me, then who?"

RYAN MANION, PRESIDENT, TRAVIS MANION FOUNDATION: Thanks so much. Good morning. You know, my brother -- my brother and I were born into a military family. My dad's a retired colonel in the Marine Corps and so we were embedded with a sense of service from a very young age.


We understood what that meant, but my brother certainly felt a calling to serve. He attended the United States Marine Corps, went on to become -- or United States Naval Academy, excuse me. Went on to become a Marine and was on his second tour of duty when he was killed by an enemy sniper. But before leaving for that deployment, he was asked why he had to go back and his response was very simple, "If not me, then who?"

And, you know, Travis lived by those five words, but they are five words that are so indicative of our military community. Each and every one of our service members post 9/11 volunteered their service, raised their right hand and, you know, I think it's important for us to understand individuals like this, our military community and what they represent to our country.

SANCHEZ: No question. So you run an organization dedicated to helping those service members in your brother's honor, the Travis Manion Foundation. How does your work honor his legacy? MANION: Well, you know, it started -- the Travis Manion Foundation started to honor Travis' legacy, but it has since grown into one of the nation's leading veteran service organizations and our goal at the Travis Manion Foundation is about creating community, bringing people together to accomplish really good things.

You know, we do things all across the country. Today, I'm getting ready to join thousands and thousands of other people to come together for our 9/11 Heroes Run Race series. So we'll bring 60,000 people together across the country and it is a 5K race, but it's more than that. It's about how we come together, how we honor those sacrifices and how we say we're going to continue to push forward, we're going to continue to serve in honor of those who have given their lives in defense of our freedoms.

SANCHEZ: And that sense of community is so important because in speaking to friends who've served abroad, when they're overseas, they're a very closely knit group. They all have a mission, they're all depending on each other and when they return, you know, the way our society is structured, people are pretty separated, they're pretty far apart and often their service is undervalued.

I'm wondering how veterans that you've spoken to and their families have felt about the withdrawal from Afghanistan because I know it's been a sore subject among some of my friends who are veterans.

MANION: You know, I think collectively -- I can't speak for everyone, but collectively, the veterans I'm speaking to, the gold star families, they're not happy with the way the pull-out happened. You know, we lost 13 of our finest, we left thousands and thousands of Afghans with SIVs that we made a commitment to behind in Afghanistan.

So it's a pretty raw feeling for it to end this way, especially as we're here today on the 20th anniversary of 9/11, frankly the day that started it all, but that's why organizations like the Travis Manion Foundation are so important because our goal is to make sure that, no matter what, we're telling our veterans, we're making sure our veterans and our gold star families understand that no matter what happens, their service mattered.

It kept the enemy from our door for 20 years and, you know, they did beautiful things over there in Afghanistan. They brought freedom and peace to those people for 20 years. So we want them to know that their service mattered and their service still matters right here at home.

SANCHEZ: Yes. Absolutely. And that mission isn't totally done yet. You're still working to help Afghan interpreters and their families resettle in the United States. Why is that an important personal issue for you?

MANION: It's important for me personally because my brother was very close with his interpreter in Iraq, so much so that he helped write the recommendation 10 days before Travis was killed for his interpreter to come to the States. He lives here now, we're good friends and so I saw that sense of brotherhood and that connection. When Afghanistan happened, I had a personal friend that was over there. So I worked to help him and his family get to the United States where they are today, which is amazing, but we made a commitment and for those that don't understand, our SIV, our special immigrant visas, these are men and women that worked alongside our United States military and we made a commitment to them saying, listen, you know, when this is all over, we're going to take care of you, you'll be able to come to the United States.

And so the idea that we honor that commitment, that we don't leave anyone behind is so important, but for those that did make it over, we want to make sure that they're welcomed properly, they're resettled and they can understand why America is the greatest country on earth.


SANCHEZ: Ryan Manion, we appreciate what you're doing and of course your brother and your family's service. Thank you so much for your time this morning.

MANION: Thank you so much.

SANCHEZ: Stay with CNN today. We're honoring the memory of those lost on 9/11 and those, like Travis Manion, who valiantly served when their country called on them. Join Jake Tapper, Wolf Blitzer and Paula Reid as we remember 9/11. Live coverage starts today at 8:00 A.M. Eastern.

PAUL: Well, President Biden unveils new vaccine mandates to help fight the coronavirus. The question a lot of people are asking is will it make a difference as COVID cases are rising, particularly among children?

SANCHEZ: Plus, two decades after 9/11, some pilots are raising concerns about safety in the air. CNN talks to the head of the TSA about what else needs to be done to prevent another hijacking.




SANCHEZ: We are just about 20 minutes past the hour and the White House says it could be a matter of weeks before President Biden's new vaccine and testing mandate for certain employers goes into effect.

PAUL: Yes. Some Republican governors have already criticized the move, but CNN medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen says stricter measures are necessary to curb this latest COVID surge.


DR. LEANA WEN, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Well, from a public health perspective, it is not overreach at all and in fact, I wish that they came out earlier and went even further. We're in the middle of the biggest public health crisis of our lifetimes. We have more than 1,000 Americans who are dying every single day. We, as a society, set laws that protect people's health and well-being all the time.


SANCHEZ: And it's hard to believe, but that stat from Dr. Wen is true. The country's averaging more than 1,000 COVID deaths a day and more than 101,000 Americans are now hospitalized with coronavirus, nearly 26,000 are currently in intensive care units.

PAUL: COVID hot spot Florida has less than 10 percent of ICU bed capacity right now. It's averaging more than 14,000 new cases a day and yesterday, an appeals court ruled to uphold the state's ban on school mask mandates.

SANCHEZ: Joining us now to discuss all things COVID is Dr. Peter Hotez. He's a professor and dean of tropical medicine at Baylor College and the co-director of the Center for Vaccine Development at Texas Children's Hospital. Dr. Hotez, always great to have you on. We appreciate your expertise.

You praised President Biden for the steps he's taking to curb the pandemic, but you said that it's not enough to bridge the gap. You've suggested that the president should appoint special ambassadors to travel to states like your state of Texas and send what message exactly? Given the response from some on the right, how do you think they might be received?

DR. PETER HOTEZ, PROFESSOR AND DEAN OF TROPICAL MEDICINE, BAYLOR COLLEGE OF MEDICINE: Yes, Boris. In fact, I offered to be one of the ambassadors. Look, we're in a dire crisis here and the numbers are really more like 1,500 deaths per day now, with some projections that we're going to get up to 800,000 deaths by December 1. Remember, we've lost 100,000 Americans since April-May, almost all unvaccinated, all unnecessary deaths, 100,000 Americans who lost their lives because they've been barraged with anti-science disinformation.

So unfortunately, the bar is really high for stopping this epidemic. This virus, this Delta variant, is so highly transmissible. It means we need 85 percent of the country fully vaccinated and that means about another 100 million more Americans.

So the federal mandates are a good step. I think it'll help close that 100 million gap that we have to reach in order to reach 85 percent, but it's not going to be nearly enough. We're going to have to figure out a way to get by and from the governors because the federal -- just the way the Constitution is written, the federal government has only so much reach.

For instance, schools. We need school vaccine mandates and that has to be done at the state level. So we're going to have to figure out a way in some way to get some buy-in from especially the Republican governors who, so far, have shown really disappointing defiance at all of this and it's going to be very tough.

SANCHEZ: Doctor, I do want to ask you about that in terms of states like Kentucky and Florida and mask mandates in schools and what you noted, a vaccine mandate, but I do want to dig into the projection that you were sharing with us about potentially 1,300 deaths a day by the time we get to December.

Obviously with this virus, the more that people are indoors, the more likely it is to spread and as we get into the colder months, is there anything that gives you an indication that things may change, the uptick in vaccine rates perhaps, that we may not be looking at an autumn and winter like we saw last year with a surge in COVID cases and deaths?

HOTEZ: Yes, it's hard to know. You know, if you remember last year, Boris, we had that horrible surge in the summer in the south and then it went down and then it went up again in the fall in the upper Midwest and the mountain west and guess what -- that's what's happening now. We've had this horrible surge all summer and now we're starting to see a big uptick going up into West Virginia, Kentucky and then in the mountain west right after that Sturgis Rally and I worry that will become confluent.

I think, you know, if there's any glimmer of good news, it's in the northeast where you've done such a good job vaccinating your population in New England states, mid-Atlantic states. That will be a buffer. So I think that you may weather that a lot better than other parts of the country.


So it's going to be very much a flyover nation epidemic where the middle part of the country, the south, Midwest, upper mountain west is going to get hit very hard, I'm afraid, because we just -- it's like a hurricane going over warm water. There's just too many unvaccinated individuals and too many individuals who are defiant of vaccines.

SANCHEZ: Yes. Quite a metaphor, comparing to the unvaccinated fueling a surge in COVID cases as warm water fueling a surge in hurricane force winds. Dr. Peter Hotez, we have to leave the conversation there, but thank you so much again for the time.

HOTEZ: Thanks so much, Boris.

SANCHEZ: Of course.

PAUL: So Minnesota health officials have linked at least 69 cases of COVID-19 to the Minnesota State Fair. That was as of yesterday. Officials there say they expect those numbers to increase in the coming days as more than 2 million people attended the fair. That was from August 25th through September 5th in Falcon Heights. Now, Minnesota has seen more than 666,000 positive COVID cases since the start of the pandemic.

SANCHEZ: Combating the coronavirus, the Afghanistan withdrawal, President Biden facing a pivotal moment in his presidency and we're getting a snapshot of how Americans feel that things are going. What this could mean for President Biden's agenda and his legacy coming up after a quick break.



PAUL: It is a somber commemoration today of the September 11th attacks. And it's happening at a pivotal time for President Biden. He's trying to get a handle on the COVID-19 pandemic with this new more aggressive approach including vaccine mandates that could affect a 100 million people. Now, the president is also dealing with the aftermath of the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, marking the end of America's longest war. CNN political commentator Errol Louis is with us for some perspective on this.

Errol, it is -- it's always so good to see you, thank you very much. So talk to us about what this means. How all of this affects President Biden and how he moves forward in his agenda. I mean, how does this frame all of that?

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Good morning, Christi. The president has the kind of problem that presidents often have, which is that the near-term political requirements to stay in office, frankly, to keep his party in power are really at odds with the long-term vision that he ran on, and that he has promised and in fact sworn to deliver as president of the United States. So, the strong measures that you mentioned, requiring that people that the federal government can touch, either get tested or get vaccinated, and saying that he really means it and going to battle with some of the Republican governors really try to turn around some of these numbers especially in states like Idaho where majority have not been vaccinated.

This is what he has to do. And of course, it does, in fact, stir some anger. In particular, it stirs anger among independents, people who don't really think of themselves as Republican or Democrat. That's a big part of the Biden base, and they seem to be moving away from him. So, he's dealing with what leaders deal with. You know, you are going to make some people unhappy. You're going to break some eggs to make the omelette. The only silver-lining in all of this is that, it's happening before the mid-term election year. If you're going to have a problem with the electorate, now is the time to do it.

Get all the bad news out, make the withdrawal happen even if it looks bad, force the vaccine mandates on people even if you know it's going to result in a dip in popularity, and then see where things look if the economy starts to turn around going into the first quarter of next year.

PAUL: So, I want to unpack a little bit of what you just mentioned regarding the polling. This is some new CNN polling. And overall, the president is -- has a 52 percent approval rate, 48 percent disapproval rate. That number is up since April. What's striking is that 54 percent of independence disapprove. At a point in the country, obviously here, that is so politically fractured, you know, there are these severed party lines that are just so blatant and independence always matter, but we cannot overlook their power here. Give us a sense of what's more vital in regards to independents and upcoming elections, and when you mentioned the economy, is the economy the one thing that's going to turn this around for the president?

LOUIS: Well, that same poll, Christi, says that the coronavirus, the battle against it, as well as the economy are the two points that have Americans very worried. And of course, they're inextricably linked. You can't get the economy back, you can't get the hundreds of thousands of open jobs filled if you don't have safe work places and a functioning market and ways for people to get to work if they think are safe and so forth and so on. So, it all sort of falls together. If the independents walk away from Joe Biden, he's got a real problem.

You can't stay in power if the independents start voting like Republicans. At that point, the Democrats lose control of the house, possibly the Senate, possibly indeed the White House in three years from now. So, it is a very serious matter. He's got to try and convince them that the path that he has laid out for the country to deal with first, the virus and therefore the economy, that it makes sense, that it's going to work, that people are going to get back to work, that lives are going to be saved.


Now, all of the science lines up in favor of what he is talking about. The question is whether or not you can convince people to hang on long enough, to stay in there long enough, to not be swayed by a lot of the political rhetoric and wait for the effects of the science to take hold, for the vaccines to actually rescue the country and for the economy to start to bounce back basically.

PAUL: So, Errol, I want to ask you about this real intriguing headline over the last 48 hours, and this again relates to some of the CNN polling that we have. This says "74 percent of the people said they're either very angry or somewhat angry." Eighty eight percent of those are Republicans, 67 percent are Democrats, 70 percent are independents. So Andrew Yang, the former presidential candidate and New York mayoral candidate is reportedly preparing to launch a third party next month. What is the potency of a potential third party and him leading it with his recognition and experience.

LOUIS: Well, you know, I have to say Andrew Yang has underperformed politically at every step of the way. He didn't win a single delegate when he ran for president, he dropped out before New Hampshire as a matter of fact after spending months in Iowa that were utterly futile because he won not a single delegate there. He then ran for mayor and although he started out leading in the polls, he ended up finishing fourth. I don't know if his next logical step is to launch a third party since his first two political advances ended in disaster. I could also point out --

PAUL: But do you feel that -- could -- do you feel that there could be a space for a third party based on all of the animosity we see in the existing two.

LOUIS: You know, this often comes up, structurally for reasons I won't bore your viewers with --

PAUL: Yes --

LOUIS: The idea of creating a third party is a very big project that's been talked about since the 19th century, it's been attempted here and there. The high water mark is, you know, maybe in the 20 percent range where you see somebody like Ross Perot influencing things. But it takes a lot of money, it takes a lot of anger, it takes a lot of organization and frankly, it takes a lot of luck. If all of those things fall in place for Andrew Yang or anybody else, sure, something could happen. I wouldn't bet on it happening any time soon.

PAUL: Got you. Errol Louis, I had to ask you that being from New York, I know that you've got all things New York in your wheelhouse there, we appreciate you so much. Thank you sir.

LOUIS: Thank you.

SANCHEZ: In the wake of the September 11th attacks, airlines overhaul their safety measures to make it harder for anyone to access the flight deck. But two decades later, some airline pilots say that the changes are still not enough. We'll explain why? Stay with us.



PAUL: In 20 years after terrorists crashed planes into the twin towers at the World Trade Center --


PAUL: The man who helped check in some of the attackers at an airport in Maine reflects now on that morning.

SANCHEZ: Mike Tuohey was a ticket agent at the Portland International Jetport where two terrorists who later flew a plane into the North Tower boarded their first flight of that fateful day.


MIKE TUOHEY, FORMER U.S. AIRWAYS TICKET AGENT: They didn't do anything to raise any real suspicions. They had probably practiced this countless times at different airports. That was the torturous question that ran through my mind for years that I went to counseling for. What did I miss? Why didn't I see this?


PAUL: You heard there, he went through years of counseling. He's now a retired airline industry veteran and says, he has learned not to blame himself for that deadly attack and we certainly hope so that's -- that would be something to reconcile in itself anyway.

SANCHEZ: Yes, the 9/11 attacks led to a massive overhaul of air travel security. Going to the airport is an entirely different experience than it was before 9/11, everything from heightened security screening to reinforced cockpit doors.

PAUL: Yes, and now two decades later, some of the airline industry say the safety measures, they're not enough. Here's CNN's Pete Muntean.



PETE MUNTEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ellen Saracini can hardly believe 20 years has passed since the death of her husband, Victor. He was the captain of United Flight 175 as terrorists armed with knives and mace forced their way into the cockpit, then slammed the flight into the South Tower of the World Trade Center. But his widow says that should not be his legacy.

SARACINI: It would be a legacy that no one is able to get into a cockpit and use the airplane as a weapon of mass destruction.

MUNTEAN: It is why the months following the attacks that the federal government overhauled aviation security, including a mandate that a flight deck doors be made thicker. But Saracini insists that is not enough since pilots often open the door to go to the bathroom, rest on long trips or in an emergency.

SARACINI: What are you going to do the day that they take over another aircraft. You're going to say, wow, I thought we had our acts together.

MUNTEAN: Major pilot unions call a secondary cockpit barrier, an inexpensive extra line of defense. Congress mandated the metal grates be installed in all new commercial aircraft. Captain Dennis Tajer represents American Airlines pilots who say secondary barriers should be on all commercial flights.


DENNIS TAJER, ALLIED PILOTS ASSOCIATION: Let's be clear, this is not only protecting the aircraft I'm captain on, it's protecting my airline, my country and our passengers.

MUNTEAN: But the airline industry is still not fully on board. Top lobby airlines for America says there is already a sophisticated and multi-layered approach to security, and adding secondary cockpit barriers should be up to each individual airline. Flight crews say the soaring number of in-flight incidents are the latest reason to make it harder to reach the cockpit. The FAA says there have been 4,000 reports of belligerent passengers this year including some who charge the door.


MUNTEAN: TSA administrator David Pekoske says the agency is now adapting to domestic threats. But the most critical protection in- flight remains keeping the cockpit secure.

PEKOSKE: If we can improve security, and I think secondary cockpit barriers will do that. That's something we ought to very seriously consider. MUNTEAN (on camera): The Federal Aviation Administration says

mandating secondary cockpit barriers on newly manufactured planes is an agency priority for this year. The Biden administration is set to release its official rule sometime in November. But pilot groups say this is unfinished business following 9/11 and they are not done pushing for this on all commercial flights. Pete Muntean, CNN, Washington.


SANCHEZ: Pete, thank you for that report. Coming up, California Governor Gavin Newsom fighting for his political survival in next week's recall election where voter fraud conspiracies are already kicking in.



PAUL: Want to take you to the Pentagon right now where just moments ago the American flag was unfurled there on the west side of the Pentagon. That was at the point of impact.

SANCHEZ: Yes, that's where American Airlines flight 77 slammed into the Pentagon. Let's take a moment and watch the flag unfurl. This is done every year at sunrise to honor the 184 people that were killed in the attack on the Pentagon. The Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Chairman General Mark Milley are going to be hosting a private observance ceremony at the Pentagon later this morning. President Joe Biden also is said to stop there later today.

PAUL: Now, Republicans are taking a page it seems from Donald Trump's playbook ahead of Tuesday's recall election in California. When in doubt, blame it on voter fraud. Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom fighting to keep his job. He's getting some high profile help from Vice President Kamala Harris and others, and he is leading in the polls. But GOP pundits are falsely crying voter fraud.

SANCHEZ: Here's CNN's Brian Stelter with more.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The only thing that will save Gavin Newsom is voter fraud.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): That's a new narrative on the right that's sounding all too familiar. "Fox News" star Tomi Lahren diving deep into voter fraud conspiracy.

TOMI LAHREN, CONSERVATIVE POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Pay attention to the voter fraud going on in California because it's going to have big consequences not only for that state, but for upcoming elections.

STELTER: She's directing her warnings at Democratic Governor of California Gavin Newsom who is fighting to keep his office in next week's recall election. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The ballot harvesting that Democrats will do --

STELTER: This is an emerging story line on "Fox", a rebuttal to the election. Baselessly claiming that Democrats can only win if they somehow cheat. It's the big lie playbook phone from D.C. to Sacramento. And let's be clear, there's been no evidence of widespread voter fraud, but the trusted voices on "Fox" like Tucker Carlson have been issuing veiled warnings for weeks which are false.

TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS: Non-citizens can vote.

STELTER: As the old saying goes, "history never repeats itself, but it often rhymes". Trump's tactics last Winter now seem to be applied to the recall with Newsom's chances of surviving looking pretty good, fraud is presented as an excuse to explain away any future Republican loss. The leading GOP candidate to replace Newsom, Larry Elder, is now joining in.

LARRY ELDER, RADIO HOST: So, there are all sorts of reasons why the 2020 election in my opinion was full of shenanigans, and my fear is, they're going to try that in this election right here in recall.

STELTER: The key context here is that the majority of early ballots returned have come from Democrats in of course, a heavily blue state. Now, Elder's campaign says it is gearing up for legal action.

ELDER: We have a voter integrity board all set up, most of these are lawyers, so when people hear of things, they contact us, we're going to file lawsuits in a timely fashion.

STELTER: The "L.A. Times" columnist offering a timely response, saying, only election losers cry voter fraud.


SANCHEZ: The big lie that will not die. Our thanks to Brian Stelter for that report.

PAUL: You know, every year, cervical cancer kills more than 300,000 women. In developing parts of the world, preventative care as you can imagine is extremely difficult to find. So, this week's CNN Hero Dr. Patricia Gordon left her Beverly Hills practice to bring life-saving care to the people who need it.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Free cervical cancer screening, screen and treat for free of charge.

PATRICIA GORDON, PHYSICIAN: There are 350,000 women dying a painful, undignified death globally, and it's almost 100 percent preventable.

So, this is everything you need to screen and treat a patient. We bring in these big suitcases. We teach local healthcare professionals, "the see and treat" technique. At the end of the week of training, we pack up that suitcase and give it to the nurses that are going back to their clinics. Within a day, we can literally save 20, 30 lives depending on a number of women we screen.

That there are 8,000 women who are alive and well and able to provide for their families is honestly the most rewarding thing that I could have ever imagined in my life. I think I'm the luckiest doctor that ever lived.


PAUL: And the world is lucky to have her, right? Go to to learn Dr. Gordon's full story. Stay with us.