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New Day Saturday

At Least 8 Dead, Hundreds More Treated For Medical Issues At Astroworld Festival In Houston; Congress Passes $1.2 Trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill; WH "Confident" Mandate On Sound Legal Ground; Jobs Report Beats Analysts' Predictions With 531,000 New Jobs; Feds: Pennsylvania Drone Crash Targeted Power Sub-Station; Parade Celebrates Atlanta Braves' 1st World Series Win In 26 Years. Aired 8- 8:30a ET

Aired November 06, 2021 - 08:00   ET




BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning and welcome to your "New Day." It's Saturday, November 6. I'm Boris Sanchez. We are grateful to have you.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: We certainly are. I'm Christi Paul. Thank you so much for spending some time with us this morning.

I want to let you know right out of the gate here we are monitoring developments in this breaking news out of Houston overnight. At least eight people will kill that the crowds rushed the stage that has sold out music festival there. It happened on the first night of the Astroworld Music Festival. Investigators say as many as 50,000 people were attending the concert, and for some reason the crowds began to push toward that stage.

SANCHEZ: At one-point medical personnel were so overwhelmed that some audience members began helping fellow concert goers. Investigators say 23 people had to be transported to area hospitals and the youngest patient, listen to this just 10 years old. That patients still believed to be in critical condition. More than 300 people retreated at the field hospital during the first day of the festival.


LINA HIDALGO, HARRIS COUNTY JUDGE: Hearts are broken. I mean, people go to these events looking for a good time, a chance to unwind, to make memories. It's not the kind of event you go to where you expect to find out about fatalities.


PAUL: CNN's Evan McMorris-Santoro is following this story. He's with us live here.

Evan, what are you learning right now? EVAN MCMORRIS-SANTORO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christi as Houston and Texas at America wakes up to this the sheer size of this tragedy last night, we're hearing from more and more people. Just in the last hour, the organizers of that Astroworld Festival released a statement. Our hearts are with the Astroworld Festival family, especially those we lost and their loved ones. We're focused on supporting local officials however we can. With that in mind, the festival will no longer be held on Saturday.

So, an announcement from the officials there that that first night of the Astroworld Festival went so badly that they're not going to have a second night, which seems like a good idea, given what we know, and what we're learning about what happened last night.

We also -- the mayor has also tweeted now thanking the police and other agencies that responded to assist as they clearly tried to clear up this tragedy. Earlier on CNN, the fire chief in Houston spoke about just what happened and what they know so far.


SAMUEL PENA, CHIEF, HOUSTON FIRE DEPARTMENT: We don't know what sparked that, that crowd search. We do know that we had about 50,000 people that attended this venue. It was an outdoor concert event. And the crowd for whatever reason began to push and surge towards the front of the stage or towards the stage which caused the people in the front to be compressed and what they were unable to escape that that situation. That that incident caused a lot of additional panic in the crowd.


MCMORRIS-SANTORO: So, look again, every time I hear that I just imagine what it must be like to be trapped in a large crowd like that as it starts to move out of control. This is not the first time something like this has happened at an Astroworld Festival. It's not even the first time it happened at the Astroworld Festival on Saturday. Earlier in the day, when the gates were opening up, a crowd rushed the gates breaking down at least one entrance and pouring through.

So, while we're still have a lot of questions to answer about what's happening here, people are mourning those eight people that are dead so far, the central questions really go to those people who are in charge of controlling this crowd and keeping things safe because it's very clear at this point. Whatever they were doing didn't work. Boris and Christi.

PAUL: Evan McMorris-Santoro, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

SANCHEZ: This morning, we're also following a major moment for the Biden presidency. After months of painstaking negotiations and hours of delays, on Friday night, Congress finally passed a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill. The legislation is a major victory for Democrats after struggling to unite around President Biden's domestic agenda. Let's go to CNN national politics reporter Eva McKend, she's live for us on Capitol Hill.

Eva, it took a lot of work to get this across the finish line. Walk us through it.


EVA MCKEND, CNN NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER: Yes, sure did Boris and Christi. What happened was that for a long time many Democrats did not feel comfortable passing this bipartisan infrastructure package without also passing a larger social spending bill at the same time. What happened last night, though, was that primarily progressives received enough assurances from moderate Democrats that they will in fact, pass this social spending bill in the days ahead. So that is why this infrastructure bill passed last night.

Now, that still was not good enough for six Democrats in the House, members of the squad, progressives who stuck to their guns on this issue and did not support this vote. But it did pass because 13 Republicans join their Democratic colleagues in moving the bill forward.

Now, here is what is actually in this bill. It includes expanded a high-speed internet, it funds new climate initiatives. It addresses water quality issues. Now there are -- there's money for new charging stations for electric vehicles, money to upgrade airports, and enhance public transit.

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, who leads the Progressive Caucus, take a listen to what she had to say about last night's historic vote.


REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA): We feel really proud of what we were able to get and how far we've come in just four weeks because we held the line over and over again.

We also made the determination that the country needs to continue to move forward. And so, we feel like we got the best of all worlds. We got a commitment on this vote which and every single one of those individuals looked us in the eyes and said they are voting for it.

And so, you know, look, we got a -- we got -- we kind of move things forward.


MCKEND: So, all eyes now on moderates in the House if they will stick to their word and join with their progressive colleagues in passing this larger social spending bill. Boris, Christi.

SANCHEZ: Eva McKend, thank you so much.

PAUL: So, the White House says President Biden plans to speak later this morning about Congress passing the infrastructure legislation, we will bring that to you when it happens.

Jasmine Wright is in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, where President Biden is headed later today.

I'm assuming after he makes that speech, and the other assumption here, Jasmine is that this speech that he's going to make is going to be a victory lap even though there are, you know, some there's some voting that needs to be done in the not too distant future that could be dicey.

JASMINE WRIGHT, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes, that's right. Christi, I think that you can absolutely expect President Biden to take a victory lap. Look, when he heads down here to Rehoboth where I am one of his homes in Delaware, he will have a massive win under his belt. It's a little bit delayed getting here. But it comes just hours after arguably one of the best days of his presidency so far. And of course, this comes after months and months of negotiations. But just last night, he unlocked a key part of his economic agenda and starting that victory lap with a statement released in the wee hours of the night last night, he said, tonight, we took a monumental step forward as a nation, generations from now people will look back and know this is when America won the economic competition for the 21st century.

So, as Eva just laid out the bipartisan bill it brings to the American people roads and bridges and transportation and broadband and clean water. And it should also bring jobs. That is something that the President touted for these months and months. And it really comes after just yesterday he celebrated a robust jobs report. And he hopes that this infrastructure bill will help the economy continue to gain jobs down the line.

But of course, this did not come easy for Democrats and the president. And over the last few months, we heard from officials about the efforts that the President was making. And just yesterday, we kind of saw this back and forth him calling progressives and calling moderates trying to forge a deal. Of course, that happened after progressives said that they would not vote for that infrastructure bill because moderates said that they would not vote for that larger social safety net package. And President Biden really put a firm deadline on things in a statement released last night before that vote, saying it the time to vote is now. Something that in the past he had been reluctant to do.

But of course, we see that it kind of worked out for him, right? Because now he has this infrastructure bill pass. It's something that has been elusive to presidents before him. I've been old enough to kind of gone through those infrastructure weeks time and time again. But this is a president that actually got it done really submitting his legacy for this wide ranging infrastructure bill.

But now the hard part comes back continues as he tries to push for that larger social safety net expansion package. But today we will see him give remarks really as that bill is awaiting his signature. Boris, Christi.

[08:10:10] PAUL: Jasmine Wright always good to get the news from you. Thank you, ma'am.

SANCHEZ: Still ahead this morning, we got some promising news on the economy yesterday, but it may be too soon to call it a comeback. Most Americans not very optimistic. We've got an economic expert to weigh in.

PAUL: Also getting shots into the littlest arms. More and more kids are getting COVID vaccines this weekend. We have a look at the more than two dozen states now trying to stop President Biden's workplace vaccine mandate.


PAUL: Well, about half of the states in the country are pushing back against the Biden administration's vaccine mandate for private businesses with 100 or more workers.

SANCHEZ: More than two dozen states led by Republican attorneys general have filed suit or are threatening to sue.


GOV. BRIAN KEMP (R-GA): It's been my belief that mandates only further divide and politicize our state in our country.

GOV. KAY IVEY (R-AL): We don't need an outrageous, overreaching mandate to get us to do the right thing.

GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): This is a rule that is not consistent with the Constitution and is not legally authorized through congressional statutes.


SANCHEZ: The White House says it is confident the mandate is legally strong and that the Biden administration has the authority to protect workers. Meantime, the push to vaccinate millions of children ages five to 11 is underway after the CDC authorized Pfizer's low dose vaccine earlier this week.


PAUL: In fact, today Walgreens pharmacies across the country will be offering vaccinations. Some cities are incentivizing parents to get their kids vaccinated by offering money or paid time off.

Earlier, I spoke with a parent who's also a pediatrician. And she said she's vaccinating her kids right away, not just to prevent COVID, but also for their mental well-being.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have been seeing children devastated by the virus, children are sick themselves, but they're also suffering from all of the effects of the virus, their mental health has suffered, their normal routines that they need have just been ruined. And when I reviewed all the data and talked to my colleagues and experts, I felt very confident that the vaccine number one was effective, so it worked to prevent children from getting very sick and dying, and that it was safe.


SANCHEZ: An important message. And a quick programming note about a special town hall. CNN and Sesame Street are teaming up to answer questions you and your kids have about the vaccine. Here's a preview.


BIG BIRD: My Granny Bird says that since I'm six years old, I could get the vaccine.

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Oh yes, that's right, Big Bird.

BIG BIRD: But well, I have a lot of questions like, what is the vaccine? And does it have to be a shot? And will I still need to wear my mask?


SANCHEZ: Sanjay Gupta, Erica Hill team up to answer Big Bird's and your questions on "THE ABCs OF COVID VACCINES" at 8:30 this morning on CNN.

PAUL: Well, the help wanted signs you may have seen them because they're all over the place as businesses are adding jobs and the economy is rebounding from the COVID pandemic.

CNN chief business correspondent Christine Romans walks us through the latest job numbers and what those numbers say about the economy we're living in right now.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Boris and Christi, hiring roared back in October companies added back another 531,000 jobs. Even that summer low and hiring wasn't as bad as feared. The government revised higher August and September jobs growth. Wages grew a strong 4.9% companies are paying more to attract and retain their workers and hiring was spread broadly across industries, hiring in bars and restaurants, offices, plants, factories, warehouses, and on construction sites. Employment in leisure and hospitality has grown by 2.4 million jobs so far this year. The jobless rate just 4.6%.

The strong jobs are added to the picture of a booming American economy bouncing back from the COVID crash. The stock market hitting record highs, corporate earnings are strong as companies managed well through supply chain disruptions. And U.S. economic growth is on pace for the strongest year in a generation.

Next week, new government inflation figures will give a read on the rising inflation side of this strong economy. Boris, Christi.

SANCHEZ: Christine Romans, thank you for that report.

So this could be the light at the end of the tunnel of strong jobs report exceeding expectations, the unemployment rate at its lowest point since the pandemic began wages also increasing.

Joining us now to soar through all these new numbers, Mark Zandi, he's the chief economist at Moody's Analytics.

Good morning, Mark, always great to have you on.

First, I just want to get your read of these numbers 531,000 Plus jobs added and a revision of previous months that had come lower than expected in terms of jobs numbers, showing that more jobs were added than expected. What does this -- what does this tell you about where the economy stance?

MARK ZANDI, CHIEF ECONOMIST, MOODY'S ANALYTICS: Well, it's very encouraging Boris. You know, the Delta wave of the of the pandemic did a lot of damage to the economy this past fall, but the wave is now fading. It's been fading over the past four, six, eight weeks and it's showing up in the in these job numbers. So the economy, the pandemic is winding down and the economy's revving back up. So very good news.

Lots of things to take solace in. But the one thing I found most encouraging was the broad based games, they run across all industries, manufacturing, construction, professional services, healthcare. So it's very, very broad based in suggests that businesses are hiring quite aggressively.

SANCHEZ: Mark, there does seem to be a perception problem, though, right. A recent poll from the AP shows that some 65% of Americans view the economy poorly. And roughly half say they believe it is going to get worse in the next year. A lot of that has to do with the price of things, right. Inflation, that is a major concern. When do you see different prices going down, things like gas prices?

ZANDI: Yes, your diagnosis is exactly right. I think what really is creating a lot of agita for people is the high inflation. I mean, I just saw driving this morning to get a cup of coffee that the cost of a gallon of gasoline here in Pennsylvania, my home is 3.50, that that's high by historical series. It has been higher but that's a very high, much higher than it was six, 12, 18 months ago. And that goes for groceries, that goes for lots of different things that we buy. And goes right back to the pandemic and the Delta variant, which scramble a lot of global supply chains created these shortages in higher inflation.


The good news is I think now, again, that the Delta wave is fading, the pandemic is starting to go away, I think supply chains will start to iron themselves out and these higher inflation rates will start to come in. So this is a forecast, it's an interrupted forecast. But I'd say that we're seeing the worst of the inflation now. And if we have a chat, you know, two, three months from now, people have a little bit of opportunity to digest all of that, that they'll be feeling better about things.

But, you know, I'm sure they want to see that first before they give the green light on this economy.

SANCHEZ: Now, Mark, I've heard the argument against some of the legislation that could come up later this month on Capitol Hill, from certain moderate lawmakers be that government spending could negatively impact inflation. Congress just passing this $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill yesterday, the Build Back Better Plan estimated to be 1.75 trillion. How do you weigh roughly $3 trillion of government spending and the impact that that might have on inflation?

ZANDI: Yes, I don't think this is an inflationary problem. I mean, if you do the arithmetic that spending in those tax credits and other benefits, they spread out over a 10-year period. And they're paid for with tax increases on high income households, businesses and some other pay for. So the net of that is no increase in the deficit. So the impact on the economy is really about longer term economic growth is about lifting productivity growth. That's what the infrastructure bill that was passed last night will do. It's about increasing labor force participation. That's what the increase in help on childcare and elder care and housing it, it helps people get back to work because they don't have to reduces the cost of those things. So that's about lifting labor force growth.

So these things are about long term economic growth. I don't think it's going to juice up the economy in the near term to the point that it's going to become an inflationary problem. So I just don't see that as a significant issue.

SANCHEZ: Mark Zandi, always appreciate your perspective, sir. Thanks so much.

ZANDI: Thank you, Boris.

SANCHEZ: Of course.

PAUL: So a drone crash and power substation turns out to be something much more sinister. Up next, while intelligence officials say bear part of the growing threat to our nation's power grids.



SANCHEZ: We've been tracking breaking developments out of Houston, Texas all morning. At least eight people have died and dozens more were injured at the Astroworld Music Festival. Here are the details we've confirmed so far, as many as 50,000 people were in attendance for the first night of this two day festival. It's organized by Houston rapper Travis Scott.

Investigators though say that crowds began to push toward this stage last night it's unclear exactly what ignited this rush. But it created a crush and people were hurt. PAUL: Yes, 23 patients were taken to local hospitals. Many of them were told in cardiac arrest. Officials say the youngest patient was just 10 years old. The second day of that festival, which is today has obviously been canceled and authorities have set up a center to help families get in contact with concert goers.

We're going to continue to stay on top of the story. We'll bring you any of the developments as soon as we get them of course.

So, we've heard about the threat of cyber attacks to the country's power grid. Here's a new one. Drones.

SANCHEZ: Now this is a weird story. Federal officials now say a Pennsylvania incident was the first attempt to target American energy infrastructure, and they warn it may not be the last.

Here's CNN senior national security correspondent Alex Marquardt.


ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): The threats to the most critical parts of us infrastructure are only growing with advances in technology from the ever present fears of cyberattacks to potentially devastating physical attacks, highlighted by an apparent attack at a Pennsylvania power station reported in an intelligence bulletin just obtained by CNN.

It says that in July 2020, a small, modified drone which crashed was likely intended to disrupt operations by creating a short circuit to cause damage to transformers or distribution lines. The intelligence report says that the drone did no harm, but that it's the first known instance of an unmanned aircraft system likely being used to attempt to deliberately damage energy infrastructure in the United States.

MARTY EDWARDS, FMR SENIOR DHS OFFICIAL: We have to keep in mind that these physical threats such as this drone attack are very, very real. And with the rise of domestic extremism and other national foreign, national types of involvement, you know, I think we can only expect these types of threats to rise.

MARQUARDT (voice-over): The drone was a simple, very popular consumer model. There were two long pieces of rope attached to it along with thick copper wire, the camera and other identifiers were removed, indicating that the operator was trying to hide their identity and was probably flying it with line of sight near the power substation. A successful attack could result in widespread regional loss of power.

EDWARDS: Some substations would probably feed a few 100 people, whereas other substations, you know, it could be thousands or hundreds of thousands of households. It just depends on where it is within the power grid itself.


SANCHEZ: Our thanks to Alex Marquardt for that report. The city of Atlanta likely still on cloud nine after Friday's Atlanta Braves championship parade. The team celebrating its World Series championship over the Houston Astros.

PAUL: Yes, the Braves were underdogs all season, but they kept barreling through obstacles to bring home that trophy and there's what victory tastes like right there. First time in 26 years an estimated a million fans turned out to cheer on the Braves as they sped through the city of Atlanta and then onto their home park in suburban Cobb County.

My kids were there they loved it. Congratulations to our Braves. You gave us a lot of excitement that we need it.


SANCHEZ: That was unexpected win congratulations to the Atlanta Braves.

PAUL: Yes, good there. Thank you so much for watching. We'll see you back here at 10:00 a.m.

SANCHEZ: Until then. Here's CNN Town Hall with Sesame Street, "THE ABCs OF COVID VACCINES."