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New Day Saturday

Pfizer Boosters Now Available For Millions In U.S. Who Qualify; Alabama Reports 100 Plus COVID-19 Deaths Per Day Over The Past Week; Derek Chauvin Will Appeal Conviction In The Death Of George Floyd; Jan. 6 Committee Issues Subpoenas To Four Trump Loyalists; Judge Orders Trump Organization To Respond To Subpoenas. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired September 25, 2021 - 08:00   ET



BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Boris Sanchez. The surge in coronavirus cases is pushing morgues to the brink forcing workers to bring in refrigeration trucks to stack bodies. One coroner says it is the worst she's ever seen. Hear her story live in just a few moments.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. And Democrats are working through the weekend to resolve their differences over President Biden's spending bill. They're trying to keep his economic agenda afloat and avoid a government shutdown.

SANCHEZ: Plus, the last remaining migrants have been cleared from that makeshift camp in Del Rio, Texas. But the diplomatic fallout remains. What is next for those seeking asylum in the United States?

PAUL: And the site of that condo collapse in Surfside, Florida could be sold as soon as next week. Why the families of the people who were killed there in that collapse are speaking out against the sale. What they want to see happen there.

Saturday, September 25th, again, we are so grateful to share your company on this weekend morning.

SANCHEZ: Always a pleasure to be alongside you, Christi. Let's start with Pfizer's COVID-19 booster shots because they're now available for millions of Americans after CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky split with her agency's vaccine advisors by recommending a third dose for people who are considered high risk based on where they work.

PAUL: Yes, more than 2 million people with compromised immune systems have already received that third dose. The recommendation for boosters now expands access to grocery store workers, teachers and of course, healthcare workers.

SANCHEZ: The country is now seeing a 13 percent decline in new cases compared to last week. But Dr Walensky says that the country cannot boost its way out of the pandemic.

PAUL: Hospitals across the country are still under immense pressure. ICU beds are scarce, community spread of the virus is high. CNN's Alison Kosik has the latest. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's hard to acknowledge them over 65 but I'm going to get my booster shot.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Joe Biden, along with millions of other Americans is now eligible for a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

BIDEN: Like your first and second shot, the booster shot is free and easily accessible. Booster shots will be available in 80,000 locations including over 40,000 pharmacies nationwide.

KOSIK (voice-over): The booster shots are now greenlit by the FDA and CDC for Americans 65 and over, people 18 and up with certain underlying health conditions, and adults at increased risk of COVID because of their workplaces or institutional settings.

DR. ROCHELLE WALENSKY, DIRECTOR, U.S. CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION: In a pandemic, we most often take steps with the intention to do the greatest good even in an uncertain environment. And that is what I'm doing with these recommendations.

KOSIK (voice-over): But getting more initial shots in arms remains a high priority for the administration.

WALENSKY: I want to be clear, we will not boost our way out of this pandemic.

KOSIK (voice-over): A dramatic theme played out in real time on Friday during a taping of the view.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I need the two of you to step off for a second.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And we're going to bring (ph) back later.


KOSIK (voice-over): Two hosts of the show tested positive for COVID just ahead of an interview with Vice President Kamala Harris. But later in the day, two sources said that both women subsequently tested negative on follow-up rapid and PCR tests. Harris had not interacted with them, a White House official said.

According to new data from the CDC, on Friday, 75 percent of the eligible population in the U.S. has received at least one dose of the vaccine and 32 states and D.C. have now fully vaccinated more than half of their residents. But in Alabama a different story. The state's health officer said yesterday that reports that the state has had the highest death rate in the country recently need to be verified but they certainly make sense. He said over 100 people died there every single day last week. DR. SCOTT HARRIS, ALABAMA STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH OFFICER: You know, these aren't numbers or stats, these are our friends and our family and our loved ones. These are Alabamians who were dying of COVID. We continue to say, you know, at least 90 percent of these deaths are completely preventable with vaccination.

KOSIK (voice-over): Meanwhile, here in New York State on Monday, a vaccine mandate for all health care workers will go into effect.

GOV. KATHY HOCHUL (D-NY): I believe it's critically important for our health care workers to be as healthy as they can before they attend to the health of others.

KOSIK (voice-over): That same day, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is also requiring all school staff to provide proof of receiving at least one dose of the vaccine.

BILL DE BLASIO, MAYOR, NEW YORK CITY: We're going to work with anyone who needs to get vaccinated between now and the deadline. If they don't get vaccinated, if they consciously make the choice not to get vaccinated, they will be suspended without pay.

KOSIK (voice-over): Alison Kosik, CNN, New York.



SANCHEZ: Thanks, Alison, for that report.

Hospitals in Idaho, not coincidentally, one of the least vaccinated states in the nation, are now rationing care because resources are so scarce. As of this week, the state hit a record number of COVID hospitalizations and health officials were forced to activate crisis standards of care. They're now prioritizing treatment for healthier people that are more likely to recover from COVID.

Surgeries have had to be put on hold as patients are being treated in hospital lobbies or being sent to neighboring states for help. COVID deaths are on the rise there as well, and funeral homes say they are struggling to manage an influx of bodies piling up in their morgues.

I want to bring in the coroner of Ada County, Idaho, which is seeing the largest surge in cases there. Dotti Owens joins us this morning. Dotti, we appreciate having you and you sharing part of your weekend with us. I really want you to share with our viewers the challenges that you're facing. There are several funeral homes in your area that have stopped accepting bodies from your office altogether. You had a refrigerated truck that you had to buy to store cadavers. Your staff has been working nonstop, how are you holding up?

DOTTI OWENS, ADA COUNTY, IDAHO CORONER: Thank you, Boris, for the invitation to come and talk about this. This is really becoming a huge problem in our county and in our state. I'm -- We are working nonstop. We're exhausted, frustrated. I am -- I did have to purchase -- it was about last November, December, we purchased a mass fatality trailer just in case we needed it. We've utilized it throughout the last six, eight months. But now we've -- we're packing them in there. Our internal cooler is full. We've now had to hire outside individuals. And we're working on contracting with outside individuals to come in and help us transport these COVID individuals from the hospitals to our facility to hold just because we're out of storage. Funeral homes are out of storage, our hospitals are out of storage. It's just become quite a mess.

SANCHEZ: And Dotti, you've expressed frustration about people in your community accusing you of fearmongering and somehow making money off of this. Why do you think people have a hard time believing that you're trying to help keep people healthy?

OWENS: You know, honestly, I think that people have gotten so wrapped up in the fact that they think that this is some political government scam. I'm -- that's where their focus lies and it's not the case. We aren't making any money on this. This is cutting county budget. I'm -- We're trying to get reimbursed for things like necessary PPEs and body bags.

The trailer was purchased on our CARES Act funds, otherwise, we wouldn't have been able to purchase it. And so, every time I turn around, I am constantly defending is COVID real, are we seeing these deaths, are we falsifying death certificates? And it's really getting frustrating.

We're picking these individuals up. We're handling these cases, and I don't understand why our communities aren't understanding that this is real, and you're going to lose someone.

SANCHEZ: And Dotti, you're a Democrat, and as personal politics shouldn't matter during a pandemic, the sad truth is that they do. The numbers show that Republicans are less likely to get vaccinated. In fact, in a recent poll, 44 percent of Republicans told CNN they were not vaccinated. I'm curious about how you think that speaking out might affect your political future in Idaho, a very red state.

OWENS: You know, to be honest with you, this isn't Democrat or Republican, this is life and death. And when have we gotten to the point where we are so determined to either be a red state or a blue state versus saving lives, and that's where I'm at. I'm angry and I am -- we're tired, we're angry, we're frustrated.

And anything I can do to slow this down to save these individuals in our community, I'm going to continue to talk out. I'm going to continue to speak. I'm going to continue to fight. And, you know, to be honest with you, if it ends up costing me my position, so be it, as long as I can save some members of my community and people around the state. I'm -- we're frustrated. We're tired.

SANCHEZ: Dotti, is there something that state officials or the federal government can do to help Idaho right now?

OWENS: Honestly, at this point, we're -- we are headed into recovery mode. We need to -- we need the refrigerated trucks, our funeral homes are at capacity. Our hospitals are asking for help.

I recorded eighteen deaths in one day earlier this week and we have 13 reported from our hospitals. That's unheard of in a county our size.


SANCHEZ: Dotti Owens, we have to leave the conversation there. We appreciate your work and also you coming on this morning. Thank you, Dotti.

OWENS: Thank you very much.

SANCHEZ: Of course.

So turning now to politics on Capitol Hill, Democrats are divided ahead of a key vote next week, and it's throwing President Biden's economic agenda into limbo.

PAUL: Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the House will move forward with plans to pass an infrastructure and a reconciliation bill. But there are sharp disagreements between Moderate and Progressive Democrats that threatened to derail the plan as a whole.

CNN White House Reporter Kevin Liptak with us now live. So talk to us, Kevin, about these lawmakers who are working through the weekend to try to keep the President's economic agenda alive and the likelihood that they can do so.

KEVIN LIPTAK, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes, this is really going to be a frenzied stretch of time for Democrats to come together. It's really not an overstatement to say that this is the most critical stretch of President Biden's early presidency. Virtually, his entire domestic agenda is tied up in these two bills, the infrastructure package and the much larger social spending package that Democrats are now trying to piece together.

And just to give you an update of where things stand this morning, there is no top line number on that deal. There is no clarity yet on what the two sides can agree should be included in there. The House does plan to vote Monday on that infrastructure package. That's a $1.2 trillion bill that Senate has already passed. It includes things like money for roads and bridges, bolstering the power grid, high speed internet, water, public transit, and airports.

It's not clear that they have the votes for this bill yet. And that is because Progressives in the House want to see that bill accompanied with that much larger social spending plan. That's the bill that they're currently negotiating. Right now, that package includes things like universal pre-K, free community college, Medicare expansion, in- home care, and a lot of climate change provisions.

Now what ultimately ends up in this bill is going to be the result of these intensive negotiations. Democrats are working through the weekend trying to piece together this bill. White House aides, I'm told, will also be on the phone with key members of the party. President Biden is spending the weekend up at Camp David. I'm told he's also prepared to get on the phone with Democrats, if they have concerns, if it becomes necessary for him to sort of wade directly into these talks.

Now, what has frustrated the President up until this point, including during that Oval Office meeting he had with Democrats this week, is sort of an inability to get Moderates to say exactly what their top line number is on all of this. What are the programs? What are the provisions they want to see included in this bill? He spoke to a little bit of that yesterday. Listen to what he had to say.


BIDEN: What are your priorities? And several of them when they go through their priorities, that adds up to a number higher than they said they were for. Because I think this is -- we're getting down to the, you know, the hard spot here. People are having now to go in and look in detail as to what it is specifically, therefore.


LIPTAK: Now we're told that the President also spoke to Democratic leaders in the Congress yesterday. The White House said that they agreed that there was broad agreement on the principles of this bill, but that's still far away from a final agreement, Boris.

SANCHEZ: Kevin Liptak reporting from the White House. Thanks so much.

PAUL: Thank you, Kevin.

So you heard Kevin allude to it, the infrastructure bill is expected to cover this laundry list of democratic priorities. Here's CNN's Tom Foreman to walk us through what that looks like.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): What can you buy for $3.5 trillion? High on the deliverables list is education. The American Families Plan would put $200 billion into universal pre-K, educating three and four year olds affecting roughly 5 million kids. It would provide two years of tuition free community college for older students.

With the feds picking up 75 percent of the tab, states covering the rest. There would be 82 billion for public school improvements. Also, more money for universities that serve minority groups, including historically black colleges.

REP. DEBBIE DINGELL (D-MI): A decent (ph) Democrat is deliver. We need to deliver for the American people.

FOREMAN (voice-over): There would be help with child care. So middle to low income families with kids under five would spend no more than 7 percent of their income on such services. He proposes to help low income families save money by making the Earned Income Tax Credit permanent, and it would pump $35 billion into Child Nutrition, giving 9 million more children free school lunches. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're not leaving anything behind. So, we're not passing an infrastructure bill and then saying, oh, there's no urgency to taking on climate change or immigration or any of these other things.

FOREMAN (voice-over): $150 billion in grants is aimed at helping electric companies provide Clean Energy, $9 billion to modernize the power grid.


There are rebates for consumers going more green, money for electrifying the fleet of federal vehicles, and for conservation in agriculture and forestry, aimed at among other things, reducing the threat of wildfires. Critics, of course, are calling it an inferno of spending.

REP. TOM REED (R-NY): That contains significant tax increases on our small businesses on individuals. It is a policy expansion using just partisan exercise of democratic votes only.

FOREMAN (voice-over): Still, there is more, the bill would expand Medicare and reduce how much Obamacare users must pay. It would bolster affordable housing and put $190 billion into Home and Community Services for the nation's growing senior population, the disabled and those who work with them.


FOREMAN: Indeed, this is so much spending over the next 10 years. It's possible that no one person knows everything that's in it. All the more reason, critics say, there should be a lot of caution when looking at that whopping price tag.

Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.

PAUL: Yes, some of the migrants who'd been camping out under that bridge in Del Rio, Texas, had been sent back to Haiti now. Lot of others, though, are waiting to find out if they'll have to go back. They're returning to the issues that that caused them to make that long journey to the U.S. in the first place.

SANCHEZ: Plus, four men with close ties to former President Trump have been called to testify before the January 6 committee next month. What information could they share with lawmakers? That story and more still to come.



PAUL: Twenty minutes past the hour. It's good to have you with us this morning. You know, according to the Homeland Security Department, thousands of Haitian migrants at that makeshift camp under a Texas bridge you've been looking at, they've been removed. Some have been deported back to Haiti. Others have been allowed into the U.S. for processing. Thousands though chose to return to Mexico. So the crisis at the border, at the end of the day, had highlighted the challenges facing the Biden administration when it comes to immigration.

SANCHEZ: Let's get you to the border. And CNN Correspondent Rosa Flores who joins us now live from Del Rio, Texas. Rosa, update us on the situation at the bridge and the fate of those migrants that spent days living under the bridge.

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, Boris, I've been here for more than a week. I can tell you that I saw the first tents go up and then we saw those numbers swell to about 15,000 migrants. That area right next to the international bridge look like a sea of manmade huts. Well, on Thursday, we started to see the numbers dropped significantly and heavy machinery started rolling in and yesterday, that heavy machinery leveled the entire area.


FLORES (voice-over): The migrant camp in Del Rio, Texas where at one point more than 15,000 migrants waited in squalor to get processed by U.S. immigration authorities closed Friday.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As of right now, there were zero persons under the bridge.

FLORES (voice-over): CNN drones capturing some of the last migrants being loaded onto buses. They appear to be single adults, their hands zip tied, their bodies patted down.

Today, the President vowing there will be consequences. Following the controversial images of border patrol agents on horseback using aggressive tactics.

BIDEN: It was horrible what to see as you saw. To see people treated like they did, horses barely running them over, people being strapped, it's outrageous. I promise you, those people will pay.

FLORES (voice-over): According to DHS, more than 1,900 Haitian nationals have been returned to Haiti. Around 3,900 are in Customs and Border Protection custody. About 1,600 have been released in Del Rio, according to a local non-profit. That's where we met Reginald Fei Fei (ph). He spent a week under the bridge with his family.

(on-camera): How is it to be there with an infant?

(voice-over): He says his daughter got sick due to the cold morning wind and the dust. DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas saying that a small percentage of migrants are being allowed to stay.

ALEJANDRO MAYORKAS. DHS SECRETARY: If in fact, they make a valid claim to remain in the United States, then of course, we honor that.

FLORES (voice-over): Jean Wilvens says he waited under the bridge for a week. His number in line, 10,825. It was finally called Thursday.

(on-camera): Why did you leave Haiti? JEAN WILVENS, MIGRANT FROM HAITI: (Speaking Foreign Language).

FLORES (on-camera): He says he left Haiti because it's very tough there.

WILVENS: (Speaking Foreign Language).

FLORES (on-camera): And he says imagine they assassinated our president, what safety could he have.

(voice-over): Vice President Harris, who was tasked with examining the root causes of migration at the U.S.-Mexico border, was asked if all deportations of Haitians should be halted.

KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I feel very strongly, the President feels very strongly we've got to do more.

FLORES (voice-over): And now a new problem. Immigration processing facilities are over capacity.

MAYORKAS: Just over 5,000 are being processed by DHS to determine whether they will be expelled or placed in immigration removal proceedings.

FLORES (voice-over): Our cameras capturing in the past week a free flow of migrants from Mexico into the U.S. and the swelling of a migrant camp in Texas that resembled the third world.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you take responsibility for the chaos that's unfolding?

BIDEN: Of course I take responsibility, I'm President.


FLORES: Now that the migrant camp has been cleared out, the Del Rio mayor says that he has a new worry. He's still hearing that thousands of migrants are headed to the U.S.-Mexico border. But he says he doesn't know exactly how many and he doesn't know exactly where they're going. He does say that there's a silver lining to this humanitarian crisis that was in his hands, which at one point had 15,000 migrants under a bridge. He says that no one died, and at least 10 babies were born.

Christi, Boris?

PAUL: Wow. Wow. Rosa Flores, thank you so much. Great information.

SANCHEZ: Thanks, Rosa.

PAUL: That is something.


SANCHEZ: Still ahead, four of former President Trump's most loyal aides have been subpoenaed to testify about the January 6th attack on the Capitol. But what happens if they refuse?



SANCHEZ: Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin has filed an appeal in the state of Minnesota. He was convicted of second degree unintentional murder, third degree murder and second degree manslaughter for his role in the 2020 killing of George Floyd. Chauvin is currently sentenced to 22.5 years in prison after kneeling on Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes. According to the court filing, Chauvin plans to appeal 14 issues with his case claiming the court, quote, abused its discretion.

PAUL: Well, the House Select Committee investigating the January 6th insurrection has issued its first round of subpoenas. Their targets? Documents and testimony from at least four of Trump's closest aides and advisors.

SANCHEZ: Investigators want to know what the former president's inner circle knew about the plans that led to the Capitol attack and what decisions were made once the violence began. CNN's Manu Raju has more.

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Now four former Trump officials have up until mid-October to decide whether or not they will comply with subpoenas that are just come from the House Select Committee investigating the insurrection on January 6th. Those Mark Meadows, the White House Chief of Staff at the time, also Kash Patel, a former National Security Official in the Pentagon, as well as Dan Scavino, one of the president's -- former president's closest aides, his social media director, as well as Steve Bannon, a long-time political advisor, someone who, the former president, had an on and off again relationship with but someone who was close to the former president in his final days in office.

What this committee is trying to do is understand the discussions that were happening in the White House in the run up to January 6th, what was happening after January 6th, and all the effort to try to overturn the electoral results, that is going to be a central part of this investigation. And they believe these four individuals possess key information that can help their investigation and shape their investigation going forward.

Now, I talked to the Chairman of the Committee, Bennie Thompson, who'd made clear to me that this could take some time to play out but he said if they do not comply with this, expect the House to move forward with contempt proceedings.


REP. BENNIE THOMPSON (D-MI): All criminal (ph) content is on the table. We've discussed it. And if it comes to that, there will be no reluctance at all on the committee to do it.

RAJU: But just based on the subpoena, sir, it feels that you're really trying to dig into what Donald Trump's mindset was on that day in the run up. Is that right?

THOMPSON: We think those four individuals have clear information as to what Donald Trump was doing on that day.


RAJU: Now, Thompson also acknowledged that's going to take some time if these individuals are assigned to fight this out in court. We don't know if they're going to do that yet. But if they do, this could be a drawn-out process and potentially could stymie this investigation, which is expected to continue up until the midterm elections of next year. Sometimes it could take years to play out in court. Thompson acknowledges that.

He also said that there are people coming forward with voluntary information, including people who used to work in the Trump administration. So he says he hopes to get voluntary cooperation from individuals as well. And I asked him, will any other Trump officials get hit with subpoenas? He said, absolutely.

Manu Raju, CNN, Capitol Hill.

SANCHEZ: Manu, thanks for that report.

Now advisors have until October 7 to submit requested documents. The committee also is requesting that Patel and Bannon appear on October 14th, while Scavino and Meadows have been asked to appear before the Committee on October 15th.

PAUL: So a judge is ordering the Trump Organization to respond to subpoenas from the New York Attorney General. The company has until next week to show that it's working to respond to their subpoenas. The New York A.G. is looking into whether the Trump Organization improperly inflated the value of assets to obtain loans and insurance or lower the values to pay lower taxes.

SANCHEZ: The future of that site in Surfside, Florida where a condo collapsed is now up for debate. Some families arguing that nothing should be built where the condo collapsed. Others saying it's the only way they can be compensated. You'll hear from one of those families shortly after a quick break.



PAUL: We all watched together didn't we in horror as these families grieved, these families who lost people that they love in the Surfside condo collapse earlier this summer. And those families are now fighting plans to build a new high rise on the site. Remember, 98 people were killed when several units in the Champlain Towers South collapsed. This was back in June.

Now, we're months later, of course, and the beach side community is torn over the future of that site. The land itself is worth tens of millions of dollars and some of the survivors say that money is crucial to their financial futures. Others argue there should be a memorial built here to honor the victims.


VICKY BTESH, LOST HUSBAND IN CONDO COLLAPSE: Nobody deserves to go to sleep and never wake up, crushed by their own home. And nobody deserves to have their final resting place be disrespected. Nobody. We do not build over dead people.


PAUL: Ronit Felszer is with us now, her son Ilan died in that collapse. Monica Iken lost her husband in the September 11th attacks, and she's helping the families with this whole process. So, thank you both of you, ladies, for taking the time to be with us.


So, thank you both of you, ladies, for taking the time to be with us. Ronit, I want to start with you. Talk to me about what life has been like since Ilan passed.

RONIT FELSZER, SON DIED IN SURFSIDE BUILDING COLLAPSE: So, life is difficult. I mean, we have choices, choices like to continue with life or not to continue with life. I have a husband, a loving husband, and I have two beautiful daughters. And for them, life has to continue but it's heart-wrenching.

PAUL: Monica, you know what this is like, how have you connected with some of these people? And Ronit, perhaps, how have you connected with some of these people in the commonalities that you now share?

MONICA IKEN, FOUNDER, SEPTEMBER'S MISSION: Well, we've all experienced sudden loss from our family, our loved ones just going to work who are going to sleep in their homes, and the tragedy and the nightmare of this event happening and watching it as well unfold. You know, there are two different events, but the same similarities of sudden loss and a traumatic, horrific way. Because some of them are awake when they die, the same thing in the towers.

As we watched in horror that day, I watched in horror as this building collapsed with sleeping individuals who some, unfortunately, were awake. So I connect with that in that instance of sudden loss and being in a nightmare together. We're in this nightmare together, unfortunately.

PAUL: And now I know you're entering this next phase, in the sense this phase of what is going to happen to that, what is called by some hallowed ground. Ronit, I know that you really firmly believe this needs to be a memorial. What do you say to some of the other family members who lost people in that collapse who say, you know, we know that there's already a $120 million bid for that site to rebuild. And some of the families say, we need that money, the people that lived there, some of them were the breadwinners. That was their condo. How do we go on in this way? To them, what do you say?

FELSZER: So I strongly believe that everybody is entitled to the financial needs. I don't want to go into the details of whether there's a buyer or the legalities. But I do believe that all the politicians that stood by us on June 24th for two weeks and said they would help, we voted for them. This is their time to step up. We're asking for help. We're asking for our leaders to help us.

You know, they stepped up for 9/11. They step up all the time for natural disasters, for earthquakes, for sending troops abroad. This is in our country. I moved to 2002 because I believed in America. I'm asking for our leaders to step up, please.

PAUL: Would you be satisfied with a new development on the site if there was a memorial space included, or do you want that memorial space to be there as a whole?

FELSZER: Monica, I think would answer this better than I would.

IKEN: Well, at this point, it's 1.8 acres, which is almost the size of the two tower footprints where the pools are today in New York City, at our world class Memorial Museum. So I feel like, at this point, we want the 1.88. We don't know exactly where the remains were found in New York City. We knew that they called it the bathtub at that time where the two tower footprints stood and the Marriott and the PATH station and 80,000 remains were found in that space, which today is the 8 acres out of the 16.

So, we were pleased with that because we felt we could honor them in that space, the 8 acres. But at this point, we don't know. And that 1.88 acres where those majority of remains were found. So until we kind of figure that out, we're willing to look at that. But at this point, we don't know. So we would say we want the 1.88 to be dedicated to a memorial and to honor all those last sacred and hallowed space.

And I want to clear -- be clear that only some bodies were found, a lot of remains were not found. And there were pieces of bodies. So it's not clear in the media that it's not whole bodies were found. And it's very important in the Jewish religion that we don't bury -- we don't build over dead people, especially when you can't bury them.

PAUL: Yes, even the Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett called it a holy site. We will continue to watch how this develops.


But Ronit Felszer, we are -- Felszer, we're so sorry and Monica Iken for your losses. We are grateful that you are so strong to share it with us and so gracious to let us into these moments. Thank you.

FELSZER: Thank you for having us.

PAUL: We're wishing you the very best. We'll be right back.


PAUL: It's the first full weekend of fall.

SANCHEZ: And it feels like it. Meteorologist Allison Chinchar joins us live from the CNN Weather Center. Allison?

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: It's kind of a tale of two seasons though because you have some areas of the country where it does actually feel like fall should. And then you have other areas that are still dealing with kind of that lingering summer field.


Now, areas of the northeast and the southeast specifically, you've got those nice fall temperatures, that cold front move through bringing things down and taking the humidity away too. But the Central U.S., it's a little bit of a different story there.

Here's one of those cold fronts making its way through and this does have some showers with it. So all along the Great Lakes region today you are going to be dealing with some showers. This is not going to be a washout by any means, and it's really not anticipated to be strong or severe thunderstorms. Just some light to moderate showers.

But look at the temperatures here. So take a look, Columbus only 67 today. They normally would be 75. A little bit warmer in New York, but once that front moves through, that's going to change things. Out to the west, quite a different story.

Denver looking at 15 degrees above average definitely feeling much more like summer. Same thing for Dallas and a few other cities. The good news for them, that -- those temperatures will start to come down by next week.

PAUL: All right, excellent. Allison, thank you.

SANCHEZ: So when Paul J. Fronczak was a young boy, he discovered that he'd been kidnapped as a newborn and reunited with his family nearly two years later, or so he thought. As an adult, Paul discovered that everything he thought he knew about himself was a lie.

PAUL: The new CNN film, "The Lost Sons" take an intimate look at Paul story and the unimaginable journey he's taken searching for himself.


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): As a child, Paul Fronczak thought he knew who he was, but he did not. At the age of 10, he discovered a box full of old newspaper clippings in his house.

PAUL FRONCZAK, SUBJECT AND EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, "THE LOST SONS": So I started reading it and it said, Paul Joseph Fronczak kidnap and that's not the picture of my mom and dad. And they look really, really sad and heartbroken and distraught. I said, mom, what is this? This is about me, right? What is this? She said, you're kidnapped. We found you. We love you. We'll never talk about that again.

BOLDUAN (voice-over): And they didn't. But Paul couldn't let it go. And years later, he embarked on a mission.

P. FRONCZAK: What really happened to me? That's what I needed to find out.

BOLDUAN (voice-over): It all starts in Chicago, 1964. That's when Paul's mother gave birth to a beautiful baby boy.

MARY TRENCHARD PETRIE, FORMER STUDENT NURSE: As I was leaving, this woman walked in. She was dressed in white. I just thought, oh, she's a nurse.

BOLDUAN (voice-over): But she wasn't. And before anyone knew it, that baby was gone.

PETRIE: Her doctor came in. And he said, Mrs. Fronczak, your baby has been taken.

BOLDUAN (voice-over): Setting off a frantic search for the baby and that mysterious woman.

DORA FRONCZAK, PAUL'S MOTHER: She must have been desperate for a baby that she would come and take someone else's baby away from them.

BOLDUAN (voice-over): But nothing. Then 15 months later, a toddler is found abandoned in a stroller on a sidewalk in Newark, New Jersey. When no one steps forward to claim the child, investigators start thinking maybe this could be the missing child from Chicago. So they set up a meeting with the Fronczaks.

JANET ECKERT, FOSTER CAREGIVER: They open the door and the mom said, oh my God, that's my baby.

BOLDUAN (voice-over): And that should be the happy ending to the story, a family reunited, or so they thought.

P. FRONCZAK: I love my family, and I loved my family upbringing.

BOLDUAN (voice-over): But Paul could never shake the feeling that he didn't belong. And when he became a father himself questions about his family's medical history, spurred him into action, asking his parents to take a DNA test.

MICHELLE FRONCZAK, PAUL'S WIFE: He's like, I can't believe that he's like, I'm not the real Paul Fronczak. He's like, I don't know my birthday. It's like I don't even know where I was born or who my parents are.

BOLDUAN (voice-over): And if you can believe it, that's really just the beginning. CNN film, "The Lost Sons" is narrated by Paul Fronczak himself, opening incredible doors into his past and raising deep questions for all of us about what identity truly means.

P. FRONCZAK: But there's more.


SANCHEZ: A strange but true story. "The Lost Sons" premieres tomorrow at 9:00 p.m. on CNN. Don't miss it.

Thanks so much for joining us this morning. Smerconish is up next.

PAUL: Quick programming note for you, join some of your favorite CNN anchors tonight as they highlight everyday people who are making the world a better place.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Join your favorite CNN anchors for a special night.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Immigrants enrich our country and they're proving it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sharing stories of change makers.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: This is one of the most devastating and yet preventable issues of our day.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: He helps the defenseless learn to defend themselves.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Theater teaches courage, confidence, trust.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She saw in me an everyday she sets out to fulfill that evening.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: He is using scuba diving for better environment.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She is a trailblazing black woman.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Preserving the ocean for our children.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Empowering women for financial independence.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: No one should drowned because they don't know how to swim.

Very good, very good, very good.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Small steps can lead to a big impact.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We, our hope can help kids in school and beyond.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He is a champion.

WHITFIELD: She's a champion.




GUPTA: Change.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: "Champions for Change" tonight at 8:00 on CNN.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "Champions for Change" is presented by Charles Schwab, follow the stories of pioneers who are challenging the status quo. Go to to learn more about these stories of transformative individuals and the lasting impact of their actions.