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New Day Saturday

$2.1 Trillion Option Floated as Biden Agenda Remains In Limbo; New USPS Procedures Slow Mail Delivery, Cut Post Office Hours; New Pill By Merck Cuts Risk Of COVID Hospitalization, Death By Half; Democrats Search For Way Forward With Biden Agenda In Limbo; Active Duty Military Suicides Rose By Nine Percent In 2020; Op-Ed: Anti- Vaxxers Used Fear Tactics, Distort Information To Influence Social Media; Day Cares Struggle To Keep Up With High Demand; Global Shipping Workers Warn Of "System Collapse." Aired 7-8 ET

Aired October 02, 2021 - 07:00   ET




KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Biden doesn't have the power to fire him. He can replace the board that does, but the President has shown no interest in doing that.

Earlier this year, he nominated three people to vacancies on the Postal Service Board of Governors, but the majority installed on the board under former President Trump standing behind DeJoy. The Postmaster General telling lawmakers he's not going anywhere.

REP. JIM COOPER (D-TN): Well, how much longer are you planning to stay?

LOUIS DEJOY, POSTMASTER GENERAL: A long time. Get used to me.

HOLMES: Kristen Holmes, CNN, Washington.


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Quick programming note for you here. The new CNN Original Series "Diana" introduces us to the person behind the princess, reveals a life much more complicated than the world knew. "Diana" premieres Sunday, October 10th, at 9:00 pm right here on CNN.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning and welcome to your NEW DAY. We're thrilled that you are with us this Saturday. It's spooky season, October 2nd. I'm Boris Sanchez. Good morning, Christi.

PAUL: I like that, spooky season. I'm Christi Paul. Thank you so much for sharing your morning with us. We appreciate it certainly. So, let's talk about COVID-19, Boris, because the vaccine's being widely available across the country. They certainly are helping we know that but the U.S. has now surpassed this really significant figure: 700,000 people have died from the coronavirus. And right, now only about 55 percent of Americans have received their vaccines. The average number of people getting vaccinated is at its lowest point since, since mid- August. We have to point out as well.

SANCHEZ: Yes, there is actually good news to share with you this morning. Drugmakers Merck and Ridgeback say they have developed an anti-viral pill that cuts the risk of COVID hospitalization and death by 50 percent. That's according to a study conducted by the companies. And if it's approved, it would be the first oral medication of its kind. That means it could have huge implications in the fight against COVID.

PAUL: That news comes to the FDA vaccine Advisory Committee announces a meeting in mid-October to review Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccines for young children from five to 11 years old. Here's CNN's Polo Sandoval.


POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As early as next fall, California students will be required to be COVID-19 vaccinated since the state's governor Gavin Newsom made the announcement Friday saying his state is the first in the nation to add a COVID vaccine to the existing list of inoculations required for in person learning.

GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): I want to get this behind us, get this economy moving again make sure kids never have to worry about getting a call saying they can't go to school the next day, because one of the kids or a staff member were tested positive.

SANDOVAL: The governor expects the new requirements will be phased in by groups grades seven-through-12 and K-through-grade six only after the FDA fully approves the vaccine for that cohort. Parents anxiously waiting to vaccinate children under 12 remain hopeful that that may happen by Halloween.

There's also optimism about what may become the first oral medication to cut the risk of COVID-19 hospitalization or death by nearly half. Molnupiravir is not a vaccine but an antiviral designed to fight the virus early after a COVID diagnosis according to experts. Merck, the pill's manufacturer says, it's seeking emergency use authorization from the FDA as soon as possible.

RICHARD BESSER, FORMER CDC ACTING DIRECTOR: I'm very excited about a drug going forward to FDA for consideration. We do need better treatments, we do need oral therapy, it's not a replacement for vaccination prevention is the best way to go. But when people get COVID, we need to be able to provide them with, with better treatment.

SANDOVAL: With about 77 percent of eligible Americans having had at least one vaccine dose, health officials remain hopeful, those who need a second dose will get one. In New York City, the deadline for teachers to comply with the city's vaccination mandate has come and gone. More than 90 percent of the roughly 70,000 teachers in the public school system received a shot according to the city. Those who didn't include Stephanie Edmonds, who now face being forced onto unpaid leave.

STEPHANIE EDMONDS, NEW YORK TEACHER: Unless anything changes come Monday. Now, they've decided that I'm a threat to public health. And I think that goes against some of the very basic values of this country. Of course, we need to balance freedom and safety but I would say this is a is an overstep.

SANDOVAL: The head of the city's Department of Education tells CNN the few teachers who remained defiant of the mandate can still reconsider.

MARSHA PORTER, NEW YORK CITY SCHOOLS COUNCILOR: We hope and look forward to teachers continuing to get vaccinated over the weekend, because if they do, we look forward to welcome them back into their classrooms. We want them with their students.

SANDOVAL: In addition to considering Pfizer shots for people under 12, an FDA vaccine Advisory Committee plans to take up the issue of Moderan and J&J boosters in the coming weeks. Also on tap, discussions about data on a mix and match booster approach. Polo Sandoval, CNN, New York.


SANCHEZ: Polo, thank you so much for that, a dramatic high stakes week on Capitol Hill ends with not much to show for Democrats, no agreement in place and no vote on key elements of President Biden's agenda.


PAUL: Now, the president says he is confident the trillion-dollar infrastructure bill and his sweeping economic package will be approved. He's just not sure when. He emphasized that when doesn't matter. In fact, he made that rare trek to Capitol Hill to encourage Democrats to find some common ground here. His visit has given them some breathing room and a little space to negotiate.

PAUL: Let's go live to Capitol Hill and CNN Congressional Reporter Daniella Diaz. Daniella progressives and moderates trying to agree on a number, right, somewhere between one and a half and three and a half trillion dollars. And the last figure we got was about 2.1 trillion. So where do things stand right now?

DANIELLA DIAZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Boris, Christi, this was the biggest test yet for President Joe Biden and his historic agenda and trying to pass two separate infrastructure bills. One, of course, being a hard infrastructure bill is $1.2 trillion bill that would fix roads, bridges, rails in this country that has already passed the Senate, and then a separate economic bill, massive, $3.5 trillion bill that progressives want, that would do things such as combat climate change, expand the child tax credit, have paid family and medical leave.

And the problem here is progressives and moderates cannot unite in the house on these issues, to try to pass both these two bills together. So, even though this week started with the goal of trying to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill through the house, that would get to President Joe Biden's desk and be signed into law that ultimately did not happen. And he visited you of course, Capitol Hill yesterday met with the Democratic caucus for the first time as in his administration and reminded them that they need to negotiate unless they both these bills will fall apart.

And look, progressives who want the economic bill that I just mentioned, they emerged from this meeting with Biden, feeling incredibly optimistic. Take a listen to what Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, who leads the house progressive said and told Anderson Cooper last night, feeling really optimistic with what Joe Biden told them last night, take a listen.


REP. PRAMILA JAYAPA (D-MD): Six minutes, six days, six weeks, we're going to get this done. We need a little time to negotiate. There was a lot of time to negotiate the infrastructure bill. And you know, there were skeptics like me, who said, I don't think it's going to get done and I was wrong. I'm happy to be wrong about that. Now, we need a little time to negotiate on this Build Back Better Act, and I believe we will be able to do that.


DIAZ: Part of the problem here is the house party wrote this bill, this economic bill $3.5 trillion, to expand the nation's social safety net, but two Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema objected to that price tag, they both want a lower price tag. In fact, Manchin actually wants something between one to $1.5 trillion. And progressives are trying to figure out where they can meet these Democratic senators in the middle, and moderates want this bipartisan infrastructure bill passed because they want Americans to feel the results of that bill, the millions of jobs that it would create, to fix roads, bridges in this country. So, lots of jobs on the line with these two bills not being passed. But the bottom line here is they thought themselves time, they will continue to negotiate on these two bills.

PAUL: Daniela Diaz there's a lot going on, on Capitol Hill. We're glad you're there. Thank you so much.

We want to get some insight from CNN Political Analyst Rachel Bade for us now. She's also co-author of Politico playbook, "Just So You Know." So, it's good to see Rachel, thanks for being here. We heard Pramila Jayapal there seem to say progressives, they have some real optimism right now. Six minutes, six days, six weeks, he snatched that timeline away from what was really a lot of urgency that we had seen this week. What is the reality of his new, I guess, loosened timeline? Does it give them breathing space? Or is it just kind of spiraling the bill into oblivion?

RACHEL BADE, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, it's a great question. And it depends on which Democrats you're talking to. I will tell you, Christi, I woke up -- well, no, just before I went to bed last night, I actually got a call from a very frustrated House Democrat who said to me, that he's never seen anything like what happened yesterday that President Biden went to the hill and whipped his own party against a key member or a key plank of his agenda.

And so, you know, it depends on which way you're looking at it progressive sort of see this delay as a way to get this huge multi trillion dollar social spending package. But other Democrats are just totally baffled by this, particularly moderates, I would say, who thought the president should get this passed with his party in line, get the votes lined up and get a win on the board that he can sort of tout around the country.

And so, I think there's a lot of distrust on the hill right now I think, you know, progressives want to think that they can get this done in the next few weeks, but I have questions for my own conversations with lawmakers about the level of trust I'm seeing between moderates and Democrats and not just moderate Democrats, also traditional Democrats who feel like they don't know what's going on, Pelosi saying she wants to vote, and then Biden's coming to the hill and quashing it. It's a lot of chaos up there behind the scenes, and that doesn't bode well for getting things done.


PAUL: Yes, I wanted to ask you about that, because we had seen Speaker Pelosi say, listen, we're going to get this done. We're going to have a vote on Friday, it came and went, did the President in some regards, undermine her? And, and do we have any idea what her mindset is this morning after all of this?

BADE: I think there's no question that he undermined her on this or trumped her, however you want to say it. I mean, she made a promise to moderate Democrats that they would have a vote on this bill, you know, whether or not they have this larger reconciliation package deal with moderates in the Senate. And a lot of these moderates, you know, were telling us all the way up until yesterday, when the President came to the hill and surprised many of them and said, give this more time that they were going to get this vote and that Pelosi would be true to her word. But the speaker has been put in an incredibly difficult position, with the president saying he doesn't want this vote.

If she puts it on the floor, all these Democrats are going to be going on record voting against a key plank of his agenda. And so, it was almost a stare down contest, and truly extraordinary, not just progressives versus moderates, but Speaker Pelosi versus President Biden. And granted, they're not going to be sniping in public, they're going to be saying they're on the same page and then trying to pass Biden's agenda. But the reality is, this was really the orchestration of this behind the scenes was quite messy. And the way it went down is something like I've never seen in 10 years covering the Capitol Hill.

PAUL So, when you say there is distrust, is there really a fractured system there? Or are there just a lot of people with a lot of different opinions that aren't sure how to make some cohesive effort come to fruition?

BADE: It's a great question. And I think it's actually the distrust. It was Democrats are big tent party, they always have been, you know, some are more left. Some are more centrist, depending on their districts. But what happened this week, was that promises were made and promises were not kept. And it's not just in the house. I you know, we had some reporting. My

colleague, colleague, Burgess Everett, reported a couple days ago about this sort of secret agreement between Chuck Schumer, the majority leader in the Senate, and a moderate Democrat, Joe Manchin, about a $1.5 trillion social spending package and, and that's a much smaller package than the 3.5 a lot of progressives thought they were going to get, and there's a little bit of tap dancing going around, around that document.

But the point is, that also shocked a lot of people and so you know, Democrats right now are kind of wondering, who can they trust? How are they going to get something passed if they can't unite right now? It's a real question going forward.

PAUL: Rachel Bade we appreciate your insight so much. Thank you.

BADE: Thank you.

PAUL: Of course, make sure to watch CNN State of the Union tomorrow morning, Senator Dick Durbin, and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal will join CNN's Dana Bash at nine Eastern right here on CNN.

SANCHEZ: It's a big day for demonstrations, more than 600 marches are planned today across the United States in support of women's reproductive rights. These rally for abortion justice marches are in response to Texas, enacting a very restrictive anti-abortion pill. The law bans abortion after six weeks before many women know they're even pregnant.

There are also no exceptions for rape or incest. The largest rally planned will be in Washington D.C., where as many as 10,000 marchers are expected. The Supreme Court which returns on Monday recently denied a request to block that Texas law. And now activists fear that there will be more states following suit.

PAUL: Stay with us, a new study from the Pentagon reveals and alarming rise in military suicides. Well, now the Secretary of Defense wants to see something done.


SANCHEZ: And from viral TikToks to misleading means vaccine misinformation is everywhere you look online. In a short while we're going to talk to an expert about the tactics being used to convince people of outright nonsense stay with us.


PAUL: 18 minutes past the hour right now. A new department of defense report has revealed a dramatic increase in suicides among U.S. military members in recent years. According to the data, the suicide rate among active-duty service members increased by roughly 41 percent between 2015 and 2020. It rose by nine percent alone in 2020.

So, when you break down those numbers further, the suicide rate among reserve members of the U.S. military went up by more than 19 percent last year, increased by nearly 32 percent among National Guard members. In all, some 580 members of the military died last year by suicide.

CNN Military Analysts and retired Major General James "Spider" Marks is with us now. General, we so appreciate you being here. It's always good to -- it's always good to get your perspective and you are so unique to be able to speak to this with your, your expertise. I want to isolate that number 9.1 percent increase in 2020 alone. The expectation is the pandemic may have something to do with that but is there more going on here?

MAJ. GEN. JAMES "SPIDER" MARKS, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, I think the pandemic certainly has -- is a large contributing factor, right? There was so much increased isolation. The military is all about units being together, creating cohesion. And in many cases that couldn't take place. A very high number of these units are always in a various either deployment mode, although the deployment numbers obviously went down, the deployment numbers to combat zones and into overseas locations. But also, the training numbers have to be maintained.


The only reason we have a military is to assure readiness that soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines can do their job tonight. And so that requires a large amount of training physical, hands on, bonding of those units. And when you have a pandemic, obviously, there's going to be some isolation. So, I think the short answer is yes, the pandemic has a very large contributing factor. But also, I think there needs to be some work done a priori in terms of the recruitment process, and potentially, there needs to be some deeper dives into the -- I'm, you know, I'm not a psychologist. But I would say that maybe the psychological and social makeup of the young men and women who want to serve the nation.

Let's be frank, only 30 percent, Christi, are even eligible to sign up for the military. Because there are social issues, there are health issues, there are obesity issues, there are legal issues, there are educational concerns, and they don't meet the standards. So, it's a very selective crew that can join the military. And then within -- and because those numbers are so low, we have to look very, very hard at whether there are there's some slippage in terms of what the recruitment process looks like. That's kind of my surface view of what we're reading here, which is an incredible tragedy.

PAUL: Yes, well, we know that Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, addressed this, and he said, of this report, "Suicide rates among our servicemembers and Military families are still too high, and the trends are not going in the right direction, we must redouble our efforts to provide all of our people with the care and the resources they need to reduce stigmas and barriers to care, and to ensure that our community uses simple safety measures and precautions to reduce the risk of future tragedies, what resources can you identify if at all, are missing or are absent to try to address this issue more broadly and more powerfully?

MARKS: Yes, Secretary Austin is making the point. He's spot on in terms of what needs to be addressed. The key thing is, is look, you're in a, you're in a martial environment, you're in a tough environment, you're a part of the military, we've been in combat for 20 years. I mean, you get the picture, you see the, the context within which these service members are asked to serve.

And so, what needs to take place is a real effort to encourage all of our service members to acknowledge when they are feeling, when they when they're feeling this way. In other words, it's an acceptance of vulnerability. Look, it's very difficult to raise a hand and say, look, I've got some challenges here. But it's never been difficult for leaders at all levels.

And we're trained to do this, to raise a hand and say, look, I don't think I'm the smartest dude in the room right now. And if I'm the only one talking about whatever this issue is, whether it's a deployment issue, or a soldier issue, or a unit, unique type of mission set, but if you if you realize you're not the smartest person in the room, what are you going to get, you're going to get input from everybody, you've opened the door for people to provide their thoughts.

We need to do that, in terms of our feelings personally, about how we're engaging with our brothers and sisters in these, these units. We've really got to encourage vulnerability, which doesn't mean that we're not tough and hardened, and we can do very tough tasks. We can balance both of those.

PAUL: Well, and, and there's always the issue then, God-forbid after a suicide of how that affects the troops and the families. And that just leaves you with a whole other issue of how to recover and reconcile some of that. Major General James "Spider" Marks, we appreciate you so much. Thank you, Sir.

MARKS: Thank you, Christi.


PAUL: Of course. And we want to make it clear, if you or someone you know needs help, you can call the national suicide hotline, it's there on your screen: 1-800-273-8255. We'll be right back.


SANCHEZ: Welcome back. While the number of vaccinated Americans slowly climbs, vaccine hesitancy still remains a major stumbling block, one that's been fueled by a flood of misinformation from anti-vax groups. Our next guest wrote an op-ed for titled: "Anti-vaxxers are using the same tactics as cults do to attract followers on social media." In it he writes: "In 1974, I was recruited into a cult.

Thankfully, after two and a half years, I was deprogrammed and realized my mind had been hacked. Looking back, though, I see that the fear tactics that were used to recruit and keep me in the cult are the same ones that leaders of the anti-vaccination ideology are using today to attract and retain followers via social media and other outlets." Joining us now is Steven Hossam. He's a licensed mental health

professional and an expert on cults. Obviously, Steven, we're grateful that you are with us this morning. We appreciate your expertise, help us understand how the tactics of a cult overlap with the anti-vax community.


STEVEN HASSAN, LICENSED MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL: So, there are several components of a mind control authoritarian movement, or cult and in particular, there are two points I want to make. One is information control, which is tying. Information control which is lying -- outright lying, withholding vital information, or distorting it intentionally.

And then, the second point is part of the bite model. The behavior information thought and emotional control model that I've developed is the deliberate installation of phobias or irrational fears to short circuit people's critical thinking and analytic minds, to be so afraid that they're misjudging the danger that people are in.

So, what I want to tell the public is that fear is good if there's real danger. We need to be able to react and get away from anything that's really truly dangerous, like the COVID-19 epidemic, pandemic.

And a phobia is where you believe something's dangerous, but there's very little risk of any danger. And the way to tell the difference is we need to look at facts, we need to analyze data to assess, oh, I'm in the Africa Savanna, there's a lion. I -- my life may be over, versus I'm sitting in my living room watching a movie of a lion attacking and I'm here safe in my living room. I shouldn't react. Like that.

And people need to understand to control their minds, otherwise, other people will control it for them.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (on camera): But in a world where you have the opportunity to choose the information that you consume, and often, it's misinformation that you consume, especially on social media. How would you approach someone who's gone down that rabbit hole?

Especially a loved one, it makes it frustrating to try to convince people that you care about that they should get vaccinated.

HASSAN: Yes, absolutely. So, one of the keys is when I was in the Moon cult, I didn't believe I was in a cult. I didn't believe I was brainwashed or mind control. I believe the world was controlled by Satan.

And so, I was indoctrinated to do thought-stopping. I had these phobias put in my mind. And one of the things I put in the op-ed piece was I was deliberately taken to see the exorcist movie in 1974, along with hundreds of other movies.

And then Sun Myung Moon, the cult leader, who claimed to be the Messiah and 10 times greater than Jesus, said, God made this movie and this movie was a prophecy of what would happen if you left the church.

So, I was so afraid of evil spirits. Before the cult, I didn't believe in Satan. I'm Jewish. But they had indoctrinated me so much with fear that I couldn't imagine ever questioning Moon or leaving the cult.

And what's happening now and I see our people are in a cult, where they are so programmed to dismiss any critics, any former members.

For example, there's a great book I want to tell your listeners about the doctor who fooled the world. It's all about Andrew Wakefield, who started this anti-vax autism nonsense. It's been thoroughly debunked in this book.

And what I'd love to see is more mental health professionals who are experts on phobias, teaching people how to do an intervention, basically, where people are taught how to control their minds.

So, if I have a second, I'll just say, if you have an elevator phobia, you can imagine writing safely and comfortably in an elevator. Or you can do as imagine plummeting to your death or being trapped for eternity.

And teaching people, hey, modern elevators have emergency brakes. And you have a phone, you'll never get stuck for eternity. The worst that will happen is you'll pee on yourself.

And then, there's a systematic way to teach people to visualize riding in an elevator, then systematic desensitization techniques in vivo. Meaning, doing it to get over the fear.

And what I'm seeing, you know, is that people can talk to their loved ones not trying to persuade them with facts and attacking their beliefs, but motivational interviewing, asking them about their values, asking if they've gotten vaccinated in the past, do they have trust in a doctor or someone who's a health care professional.

And there needs to be a gentle, incremental approach with gentle questions that motivates the person to realize, you know what, there really is very little risk. The worst that's to happen is I'll feel bad for a day or two, but then my life can be saved by these incredible vaccinations.


SANCHEZ: Yes. Steven Hassan, we have to leave the conversation there. One thing that was instead accountability for these social media companies, right? That are profiting off of misinformation.

HASSAN: Yes, and there are foreign actors and bad actors that want chaos, that want to destroy the government and democracy.

SANCHEZ: Right, right.

HASSAN: And those of us who care about our great country want to step up and support our country.

SANCHEZ: No question about that. Steven Hassan, thank you again for the expertise. We appreciate it.

SANCHEZ (voice-over): A quick programming note to share with you on an all-new season of "THIS IS LIFE". Lisa Ling explores historical events that changed America, but are rarely found in history books.

The hard truths this country still struggles with to this day. Catch the season premiere of "THIS IS LIFE" with Lisa Ling, Sunday, October 10th, at 10:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.



SANCHEZ: Parents have been faced with some really tough choices during the pandemic. And often sadly, the burden has fallen on moms who've been forced to leave their jobs to take care of kids.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR (on camera): Yes, now, as more people are heading back to work, childcare centers, they're in high demand, and they are struggling to keep up. Here is CNNs Vanessa Yurkevich.


VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN DIGITAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): The challenges you're facing hiring staff right now, how would you describe it in a word or two?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Overwhelming. Nearly impossible.

YURKEVICH: And why is that?

MICHELLE PAGANO, DIRECTOR, PATTYCAKE PLAYHOUSE: In the past? It was can we find someone who's qualified for this position. And right now, it's like, can we even get people to apply?

YURKEVICH (voice-over): These three women who run PattyCake Playhouse childcare centers in upstate New York are dealing with the worst labor shortage of their careers?

PAGANO: I've never had the turnover like we've had recently. I've never -- I've never seen it like this.


YURKEVICH: One big reason? Low pay. Wages here at PattyCake are $13 to $15 an hour. Nationally, it's $12.88.

YURKEVICH (on camera): Is that a reasonable, livable wage for somebody who is tasked with taking care of children every day?

DONNA CONKLIN, OWNER, PATTYCAKE PLAYHOUSE: No, it's not. Definitely, not. And that's I think what the frustration is for us is we see how hard they are working. YURKEVICH: Why don't you just raise tuition?

PAGANO: So, we do raise the tuition by a small percentage each year, the parents can only afford so much.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): It's a vicious cycle. Tuition already sky-high for parents directly pay staff. But centers need lots of teachers. Infants alone can require one teacher per four children.

And with little to no public funding, the result is weightless. Here, it's through the summer of 2022.

JACKSON: I feel bad because a lot of them are calling, desperate. Looking for childcare because they're having to go back into the workforce and I just can't -- I can't help them.

YURKEVICH: There are nearly 127,000 fewer childcare workers than before the pandemic. Some citing COVID fears and low pay. Briana Jenkins-Williams is one of them.

BRIANNA JENKINS-WILLIAMS, LEFT DAYCARE WORK BECAUSE OF LOW PAY: I love working here. I just need more money.

YURKEVICH: She was making 13.50 an hour at PattyCake.

JENKINS-WILLIAMS: Wasn't really making enough, trying to make ends meet, you know. Trying to feed my child, make sure, you know, he had food on the table. It just got overwhelming.

YURKEVICH: She's found a new job, making $16 an hour. The decision to leave the children here was not an easy one.

JENKINS-WILLIAMS: Bittersweet, very bittersweet.

YURKEVICH (on camera): Do you feel like the children lose in any way?

JACKSON: When they lose somebody that they trust and somebody that can care for them, and someone, you know, that is their safe space when they come to school.



JACKSON: So, yes. So, the children lose in that aspect of it. Yes.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): Vanessa Yurkevich, CNN, Newburgh, New York.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let's see who remembers the name of the month?


PAUL: Well, Welcome to "CNN UNDERSCORED". This is your guide for the best in tech, style, health, and travel. And the editors in "UNDERSCORED", they work people to find and test and rate products to help you make informed decisions because it's your money that you're spending, and we want to help you do it right.

So, Mike Bruno is the editorial director for "CNN UNDERSCORED", and we're talking about cookware, specifically as you can tell, knives, and I am amazed at how many are in this set comparatively.

MIKE BRUNO, CNN UNDERSORED EDITORIAL DIRECTOR (on camera): Yes. Yes, yes. This is one of our -- my favorite pics of all in "UNDERSCORED" thus far. This is the Chicago Cutlery Fusion 17 Piece Knife Block Set.

PAUL: Wow.

BRUNO: You get 17 pieces, including eight steak knives, and honing steel, and this nice woodblock that they go. It's $130 for a knife set that is as sharp -- pretty much as sharp as anything else we had.

Real, nice, and balanced. You get the full tang, which means the blade goes all the way from the -- from the tip all the way through. It doesn't stop partway through. Gives you nice balance, gives you a little heft for gliding through food. Really good set for $130.

PAUL: So, what is your runner up?

BRUNO: So, our runner up here is the zwilling. Now, you get into the German knives, you start to get a little more expensive. This is the Zwilling Pro 7-Piece Knife Block Set. It's a similar setup minus the steak knives to the Chicago cutlery. But this is about $350.


BRUNO: You're getting into a little bit more of a finer craftsmanship. It has a laser-honed steel blade on it. It was a powder sharp is the Chicago. One thing we'll say that we really like about the zwilling is the chef's knife was the sharpest of any that we tested.

And this is really your workhorse on a knife set. So, having a chef knife that was sharp was really important. So, we did want to kind of call that out.

The serrated knife was a little bit less. It's also really comfortable. It has this little fine grip that they advertise. And we were a little skeptical, but your thumb and your finger kind of go real nice on the -- on the blade here.

So, we really did like this. At $330, it is a bit of an investment, but very well crafted, very nice knife set.

PAUL: OK. So, he says that's an investment. I didn't realize, I mean, we have some knives, we've got some nice knives. We didn't spend as much as we're going to spend on this baby right over here.

BRUNO: Those are the Wusthof. Wusthof is a bit of the gold standard in knavery. This is a $550 set.

PAUL: Wow.

BRUNO: It's the Wusthof Classic IKON Seven-Piece. You only get six knives here. I'm sorry, you only get four knives. You get a chef paring bread six-inch utility. They throw in shears and a honing steel though too.

Look, this is Wusthof, it's as sharp as it gets. They say that robots sharpen them and that they should never need sharpening beyond. We didn't test the robots, but we hear that. They're beautiful. They're just you could tell when you pick them up. They're real heavy. They're really good. These are like lifetime-type knives.

It's only a four-knife set. You only get four knives in the beginning, but you did -- do get this beautiful cherry woodblock with --


PAUL: And -- so, I asked about this, right? Because I said --


PAUL: But there are two slots that are missing. There's nothing in them, and that means?

BRUNO: It's basically, you like you put in your $550. You start you're set. You got a little room to grow, they give you some extra slots. If you want to have a Wusthof set, this gets you started. The four knives gets you started. You could pretty much do what you need to do, but you could build from there.

PAUL: Nice. All right, and now you know. Mike Bruno, thank you so much.

BRUNO: Thank you.

PAUL: Such great information. You can learn all about these products by visiting



SANCHEZ: The coronavirus pandemic forced most of the world to screech to a halt in 2020. But seafarers, truck drivers, and airline workers, they kept moving often at a great personal cost.

PAUL: So, a year and a half later, logistical complications and COVID- 19 restrictions have led to worker shortages. They put the global supply chain at risk of collapse. We were just talking about that in the childcare industry, how they can't find people.

CNN correspondent Anna Stewart is with us live right now. Anna, it's so good to have you with us. What are experts telling you about the -- how potent the strain is on the supply chain workers?

ANNA STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): At this stage, they ultimately saying that something has to give. Supply chain networks across the world are in such a tangle, and it's easy to understand why when you look at the fact that economies have been stopped-start -- stopped-start the world over now for nearly two years.

We all experience shortages right now around the world of just all sorts of different items and staffing. But you know what, the transport workers have been at the absolute sharp end of all of this, enduring quarantines, travel restrictions, different COVID-19 testing requirements. It's different for every country, and it changes all the time, often with little or no warning.

And what we've been told is that particularly for instance, for seafarers, they head out to sea not really knowing when they'll be home. Last year, some of them had to extend their contracts by over 18 months. That was once they were already out at sea. That has no way to live, it's no way to work, and a big risk at this stage is there won't be enough transport workers to keep the supply chains going.

So, in an open letter from various transport groups representing 65 million transport workers, this was sent to heads of state and governments at the UNGA, and it says --

STEWART (voice-over): "Global supply chains are beginning to buckle as two years' worth of strain on transport workers take their toll. All transport sectors are also seeing a shortage of workers and expect more to leave as a result of the poor treatment millions have faced during the pandemic, putting supply chain under greater threat."

STEWART (on camera): What they want to see really is a return to freedom of movement for transport workers. They also want to see, for instance, them being made as a priority when it comes to vaccines. They want to see a coordinated process for checking health credentials.

We were hearing from the secretary-general of the ICS who led this letter. And they were saying how some seafarers have had six different vaccine doses due to all the different requirements from different countries. And yet only a third have actually been fully vaccinated. It's a complete mess. It will take huge international coordinated action to fix.

And until then, I think we're going to see more shortages.

PAUL: Anna Stewart, boy, thank you so much for the update. Appreciate it.


SANCHEZ: Thanks, Anna.

Coming up, lava fountains. The height of a five-story building more incredible video of an erupting volcano in Hawaii when we come back.


SANCHEZ: A question for you this morning. How lucky are you feeling? Because today's Powerball jackpot is at $635 million, the 10th largest in its history.

SANCHEZ (voice-over): The Powerball hasn't been hit since June, so, it's been growing for four months.

We're still a long way off from the all-time record. That was just north of $1-1/2 billion back in 2016. So, get those tickets now if you can.

PAUL: So, if I'm sick tomorrow, Boris -- you know I played the lottery. No, I'm just joking.

SANCHEZ: I will -- I will walk to Atlanta to go take care of you. If you fall out sick tomorrow, Christi.


PAUL: You're so -- you're so awesome. Thank you.

All right, have you seen this video from Hawaii? Oh, my goodness. The Kilauea of volcano is erupting, still, spewing lava from several active sources.