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New Day Saturday

Trump Ally Steve Bannon Indicted for Contempt Of Congress; Prices In America Surging More Than They Have In 30 Years; Supply Chain Crunch Impacts U.S. Food Banks As Price Soar; Experts Warn Of Winter COVID Surge As U.S. Vaccinations Stall; Autistic Student Dies By Suicide In UT School District Amid Bullying. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired November 13, 2021 - 08:00   ET



BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Brynn Gingras, thank you.

The next hour of "NEW DAY" starts right now.

Good morning and welcome to your "NEW DAY." I'm Boris Sanchez.

AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. I'm Amara Walker in for Christi Paul.

The Justice Department sending a chilling message to Trump allies after indicting Steve Bannon for defying Congress. What it means now for Trump's inner circle?

SANCHEZ: Plus, surging prices and record inflation. Now food banks are struggling to keep their shelves stocked and feed those in need.


DR. LEANA WEN, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: I'm very worried. We cannot plateau at this point and especially coming into the winter.


WALKER: After weeks of progress, some states are now seeing a rise in COVID cases. Why health experts are warning of potential surges.

SANCHEZ: Plus, some of the victims of the Astroworld tragedy are being laid to rest as dozens of new lawsuits are filed against the conference organizers. Will take you to Houston for the latest.

Saturday, November 13th, we are grateful for you waking up with us Amara. Great to see you as always.

WALKER: I got to say it was tough to wake up but once you're awake, all is good, and the coffee is in the system.

SANCHEZ: Apple juice for me, you got to try the apple juice. I'm telling you. It'll change your life.

WALKER: You know what I'll try the apple juice and the beef jerky, you just have to tell me which brand you get.

SANCHEZ: That's the key component, that's the key component. We'll talk after this.

WALKER: For sure.

SANCHEZ: But we begin with legal trouble for Trump ally Steve Bannon. A federal grand jury has now indicted the former White House Chief Strategist for criminal contempt of Congress. Bannon hit with two counts, one for refusing to appear for a deposition and another for refusing to hand over documents to Congress.

WALKER: The committee investigating the January 6 insurrection says the Bannon indictment should send a message to other potential witnesses, ignore subpoenas at your own peril.

CNN's Zachary Cohen is part of the team that broke the story yesterday. Zach tell us more about this and diamond and the charges Bannon is now facing.

ZACHARY COHEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: Well Amara and Boris, things in a lot of ways got really real for Bannon yesterday. We were in the courtroom when the indictment was handed down, two different counts of contempt of Congress. Each carries a maximum sentence if he's convicted of one year in prison. Now, let's rewind for a second. Bannon was first subpoenaed by the January 6 committee in October and there were a lot of questions as recently as this week as to why Attorney General Merrick Garland had not come down with a decision and why that decision was not to indict.

Now that Merrick Garland has decided that Bannon will face charges, criminal charges, the House Committee believes that their subpoena power has new teeth, and they should be able to compel other witnesses to hand over information that they may not have otherwise.

SANCHEZ: And Zach, walk us through what committee members specifically are trying to get from Steve Bannon, not just in the way of documents but what information are they looking for?

COHEN: The committee is interested in Bannon for several reasons. Really, they're focused on two main lanes, though one deals with Bannon's communication with Trump in the days and weeks leading up to January 6, and potentially on the day itself. Now, the other lane that they're looking at is Bannon's involvement in the so-called Willard Hotel war room where he and other Trump allies watched the riot unfold. You know, there's a lot of questions on both fronts and ultimately remains to be seen if Bannon will provide the committee with any answers. Yesterday's indictment at least increases those odds.

WALKER: All right, Zachary Cohen. Appreciate your reporting. Thank you so much for that.

Let's get some insight now on the legal issues raised by the indictment of Steve Bannon. Michael Zeldin is a former federal prosecutor and host of "That Said With Michael Zeldin" podcast. Thank you so much for joining us, Michael. Good morning to you.


WALKER: So, first off, talk to us about this case, is it a slam dunk? What will, you know, prosecutors have to prove in this case.

ZELDIN: Right. It is not a slam dunk. There is no real slam dunk in federal prosecutions because you never know how the court will rule, juries will decide. But in this case, they have to prove that Bannon had no good faith, belief in refusing to cooperate. And so, Bannon has asserted that he didn't cooperate because former President Trump asserted executive privilege. And so he says, until such time as a court resolves that question of does the President, the former president have the right to do that? I'm just not able to come. We saw John Bolton and Don McGahn do that in the Mueller case.

And so, there is arguable case for Bannon that he relied on that assertion of privilege by Trump, and that's the reason he's doing it that he isn't a contemnor in a, you know, gross sense.


WALKER: Yes and, you know, let's talk about executive privilege because we keep hearing that term, right. And it's been asserted by Donald Trump several times as loyalists and other potential witnesses. So, when it comes to a former adviser, like Bannon, who by the way wasn't officially a government employee at the time leading up to January 6, how much can he hide behind executive privilege?

ZELDIN: It's a great question. The Justice Department in fights in the -- fight between executive branch and Congress when they don't agree, the Office of Legal Counsel, we heard a lot about them in the Mueller investigation has said that the executive privilege can apply to private citizens. So, there is opinions from OLC that says it is OK for private citizens to have executive privilege. We think about that, in the so-called kitchen cabinets that many presidents have. Clinton had it with Vernon Jordan and Reagan had it with others.

But the big problem for Bannon is that those kitchen cabinet private citizens tend to be giving advice to the President with respect to policy. Here, Bannon seems to be giving political advice to candidate Trump and it would seem to me that that makes the assertion of executive privilege much more tenuous.

WALKER: So, do you see that Mark Meadows, a former White House Chief of Staff to have a stronger case? And what do you think will happen to him next? I mean, especially watching Bannon get indicted. Do you expect him to now comply with the subpoenas?

ZELDIN: Well, he does have I think, maybe the strongest case because he was the President's chief of staff. And that's the person that the President theoretically relies the most on. The question, again, is what is the nature of the advice that he was giving the President? Was he giving it to President Trump about policy related stuff? Or was he giving it to candidate Trump about political stuff? Whether he chooses to come or not is a hard question. I think that he and his lawyer, George Terwilliger are going to try to hold out until there's a court decision as best they're able to.

WALKER: And obviously, Trump also trying to use executive privilege as a shield. And we know that he was able to get this temporary injunction, meaning a basically a temporary hold on the National Archives handing over these White House documents to the committee on Friday, over which president -- of the former President Trump is claiming executive privilege.

It's obvious, I mean, Trump and his team trying to play this out, trying to delay as long as they can. Do you see this being delayed all the way up until after the midterm elections in 2022?

ZELDIN: Well, it's a great question that I don't know the answer to. What we know is that on November 30th, there will be oral arguments in the Court of Appeals regarding the decision of whether to allow the district court's decision, ordering the release of these documents to be had. You would expect a decision by the court of appeals in mid- December. Then Trump will most likely if he loses, apply to the Supreme Court for them to take the case. If the Supreme Court takes the case, then I think we're really running long into the future before we have a decision month into the future. If he loses in the Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court does not take the case, then this should be over by the end of this calendar year, should be required to submit the documents.

WALKER: I say, all right. And I mean, how strong is Trump's claims of executive privilege to keep those documents confidential? I mean, when you look at past Supreme Court decisions, especially that 1977 case, regarding Nixon and the Watergate tapes, the Supreme Court said that, you know, executive privilege is not absolute, and that it exists for the benefit of the Republic, not any individual.

ZELDIN: That's right. So, the Nixon versus the General Services Administration case exactly says what you said, which is that, really it is and the Presidential Records Act, which was passed in the post- Watergate period says that the privilege resides primarily with the current executive Biden. Biden has waived that privilege. Trump has a right to his opinion. But ultimately, the court should rule in my estimation, in favor of no privilege because Biden and Congress need the information or want the information and Trump's desire should be overcome by that desire for disclosure.

WALKER: Really fascinating topic. Michael Zeldin, I appreciate you joining us. Thank you so much.


ZELDIN: Thank you.

SANCHEZ: It seems like the price of everything is going up with surging inflation and it's really hurting food banks. Up next, we'll be joined by the head of the Greater Chicago Food Depository to talk about what they're seeing this year. WALKER: Plus, another person has died from injuries due to the surging crowd at the Astroworld concert last weekend. How can future tragedies be avoided? That conversations, ahead.


WALKER: From the gas station to the grocery store, Americans are struggling with rising prices and historic inflation.

SANCHEZ: In the price of gas, rent food, used and new cars all up. And consumer sentiment is down to a 10-year low. Rising prices have left one in four people feeling that their standard of living has dropped.


CNN's Nadia Romero joins us now live from Atlanta. And Nadia, Atlanta specifically is seeing some of the biggest spikes in the price of things

NADIA ROMERO, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Boris, Amara. It's usually New York or L.A. or San Francisco, but this time, it's Atlanta, afar, beating the inflation rate of the national average. To the average, the cost of living going up over the last year is about 6.2 percent. But in Atlanta, that index is 7.9. And when you talk to realtors, they'll tell you, they can feel it, especially in the housing market, when you look at the cost to buy a house here or even to rent, that has gone up dramatically. And you can point to the economic boom here with more companies, hiring more people and drawing in more people to move to Atlanta.

But you can also feel that across the country, and here in Atlanta at the gas station, when you go to fill up your tank. So we're looking at more than $3 a gallon, which is up almost $2 in Atlanta from last year. I mean, look at that, you fill up your tank, you're going to feel it by the time you're done, because you're going to notice a significant difference, especially if you've been budgeting and many families are still recovering after the pandemic.

So you can also point to the supply chain impacted by the COVID 19 pandemic. And now we're seeing that snarl and our supply chain. And Georgia's Governor Brian Kemp was in Savannah, at the Port of Savannah, talking about a way that he believes will alleviate some of that strain that could help with inflation. But he's also placing blame at the White House. Listen.


GOV. BRIAN KEMP (R-GA): I mean, look, there's a whole another problem with inflation, you need to ask somebody at the White House about that. I mean, because everybody I'm talking to they're worried about gas, they're worried about groceries, and everything else that you're buying. And this is unsustainable, and they're wanting to spend more money out there. So many people have got to get realistic with real economics.

(END VIDEO CLIP) ROMERO: And so you're hearing politicians all across the country talking about the price of goods and inflation. And Boris, you mentioned it, there are so many people in America who are concerned. There was a new index that came out for people who were being asked what do you think about the economy? What do you think about the future? And about a quarter of them said that they're pretty nervous. And remember, we've got the holiday season starting.

So, for some people that already started if you're an early shopper for others like me, you're waiting, I bet you're concerned about the price of those goods, trying to make sure that you get all the gifts you want for the people in your family. And if those gifts will arrive on time, it's causing people a lot of anxiety. Boris.

SANCHEZ: Yes, you got to do your shopping very soon. Otherwise, you might miss Christmas. Nadia Romero from Atlanta, thank you so much.

Ongoing global supply chain disruptions could mean that food banks nationwide may be forced to serve fewer people this holiday season. The Greater Chicago Food Depository, which has more than 700 food pantries and soup kitchens across the city, says that demand is near an all time high. More than 600,000 people there will experience food insecurity this year. But the surge in cost of food and a decline in donations means that meeting that demand has become more and more challenging.

With us now is the CEO of the Greater Chicago Food Depository, Kate Maehr. Good morning, Kate, thank you so much for sharing part of your weekend with us and coming on.

You've led the Food Depository since 2006. So you've seen it through several economic crises at this point, given that we're coming out of a pandemic and this period of high inflation, what are you seeing on the ground that's different this time that concerns you?

KATE MAEHR, CEO, GREATER CHICAGO FOOD DEPOSITORY: Well, candidly, we have never in our 40-year history seen anything like what we've experienced over the last 20 months. And I'll lift up two things. First, of course, at the beginning of the pandemic, the school closures, business closures, the economic downturn, put so many people who were already at the edge into deep need. And now, as the vaccine is rolling into place, and businesses are beginning to reopen, the surge of prices is the second punch for many people.

So in Chicago, we still have elevated need, 40 percent above where we were pre pandemic. And I might know that before the pandemic, we were doing a booming business of serving our hungry neighbors.

SANCHEZ: So, what are the most important items that you're running short on? What do people out there need the most?

MAEHR: Right now and the challenges that we're hearing from food pantries and from our neighbors and we're having to turn to food pantries, cooking oil, but also critical household supplies, laundry detergent, diapers is a challenge for a lot of families, diapers are really expensive and hard to come by. And also great fresh foods sometimes can be challenging to come by eggs, milk, produce.

And so, every day we're just trying to make money magic happened to make sure that our neighbors have the food that they need.


SANCHEZ: It sounds like you need a lot of just about everything. Are you getting enough from local and state leaders? Do you have a message that you want them to hear?

MAEHR: So what I would say is that the response to hunger in this community and across the country has to be a public-private partnership. So, critical programs like food pantries need to have food, food banks all across this country have to have food. But we also need to make sure that our federal nutrition programs like SNAP, the school breakfast program, the school lunch programs, after school programs for children, those also have to be strong too. We need both of them working together to make sure that our neighbors have what they need to eat.

SANCHEZ: And how about people that are watching right now if they're in a position where they can lend a helping hand either directly to you or in their own communities? What do you suggest they do?

MAEHR: So this is the good news, as sobering as it is to think about so many people in our country facing such great need. Wherever people are right now, there is an amazing food bank in their community. The Feeding America Network has more than 200 food banks all across this country. And if you go to, find a food bank, you will find a great organization where you can volunteer, where you can give food, and you can donate financial support.

SANCHEZ: Kate, anything else that you might want to put out there for viewers to know about the situation and ways that this may be creatively approached?

MAEHR: One thing I'll just say is I think it's tempting at this time of year as we look at sitting down at our Thanksgiving tables to think that this is a seasonal problem. And that this is something that's only in this moment.

We have so many millions of people in this country right now who are struggling, and they will continue to struggle unless we do things differently. We need to come together and we need to make sure that everyone in our great country has what they need to thrive.

SANCHEZ: A lot of folks in difficult circumstances right now. Kate Maehr, we appreciate the message and the time thank you so much.

MAEHR: Thank you.

WALKER: More states are dropping restrictions for booster shots. Just ahead we'll tell you why where and the adult is now eligible for a third dose. The latest COVID headlines, next.


WALKER: Some promising news this morning in the fight against COVID- 19. The White House says nearly 1 million children have now received the coronavirus vaccine. Plus, more states are now expanding who can receive a COVID booster shot. California has now joined Colorado and New Mexico in allowing anyone 18 and over to get a third COVID dose.

Here with me now is Dr. Richina Bicette-McCain, she is the medical director at Baylor College of Medicine.

Doctor, appreciate you joining us this morning. Let's start with that. I mean, why do you think the CDC is only recommending shots, these booster shots for a certain group of people. While some states, you know, as you mentioned, are deviating from that policy is a time to just allow everyone -- everywhere who's over 18 to get a booster.

RICHINA BICETTE-MCCAIN, MEDICAL DIRECTOR, BAYLOR COLLEGE OF MEDICINE: Well, I think dates are starting to deviate from the policy because they're watching, as am I the COVID numbers start to increase just over the last two weeks. Case numbers are up 99 percent, we're averaging about 79,000 cases per day, and are still having days where there are over 100,000 COVID cases in a single day. So states are trying to do what they can do to protect their population.

WALKER: And it looks like this, the FDA will likely make a decision on authorizing Pfizer's booster shot for all adults without asking for input from its vaccine advisors, which is always been a part of its process. What do you take away from that? I mean, does the vaccine panel need to meet every time a decision is made?

BICETTE-MCCAIN: There actually is precedent for the vaccine panel not to meet every time there is a change in circumstances. And the advisory committee has given the FDA their go ahead and said, you know, let's create some kind of framework so that we don't have to meet every time a decision needs to be made.

Now, we do know that the CDC does plan on consulting their advisory committee before they are making any decisions. But when we're just talking about changing age groups, I think it's OK to move forward.

WALKER: And just quickly, do you know if there is an abundance of supply for third shots for anyone who wants it that's over 18?

BICETTE-MCCAIN: It seems like there is. The U.S. government has made sure that they are continually -- continuously putting in bids to have endless supply of vaccines. So, it's not an issue of vaccine supply. It's about convincing people that getting vaccinated is the right thing to do.

WALKER: And so, we've got Thanksgiving coming up, right. A lot of people I know including myself will be traveling, a lot of us have little ones who, you know, are not old enough to be vaccinated. What do we need to know regarding family gatherings? What's safe, what's not safe?


BICETTE-MCCAIN: You know, as we're moving into the winter months, people are moving indoors. And we do know that being inside poses a greater risk of transmission of COVID-19. First and foremost, get vaccinated. If you've already been vaccinated, and it's been six to nine months since your last shot, now is a great time to get a booster because you will have time to build up immunity before the holidays.

If you have to travel, make sure that you're wearing a mask, a properly fitting surgical mask or a KN95 are the best options, especially when you're in closed spaces around people whose vaccination status you're not aware of.

WALKER: Let me ask you this. Let me give you a scenario. So let's say there's a family gathering of about eight to 10 people, and we know that maybe one or two in that group is not vaccinated. Is it safe still to have an indoor gathering, if most of the people are vaccinated?

BICETTE-MCCAIN: You know, every family is going to kind of have to mitigate their own risk and decide what's tolerable for them. If you have a family where only one or two people are not vaccinated, but most people are young and otherwise healthy, they may be OK with undergoing the risk for the unvaccinated people to go maskless, versus if your family has a lot of older adults or people who are immunocompromised, everyone may still want to go ahead and put masks on while they're indoors.

WALKER: Yes. And look, you know, we've been tracking the trends, you know, every single day here at CNN. And you know, right now, we're seeing COVID cases down in some states. They're up in other states as you were mentioning. I mean, it's confusing, right, to follow what's happening around the country and how it actually affects me.

We know that what, 58.5 percent of people are fully vaccinated. A lot of states are relaxing indoor mask mandates, although we know that in some states like Texas and Florida that fight over mask mandates continues. Taking all that into consideration, what are your biggest concerns? Are you still concerned about a winter surge?

BICETTE-MCCAIN: I'm definitely concerned about a winter surge, because we haven't yet cleared the Delta surge. Yes, cases are down about half where they were at the beginning of September, but put that into context. We're still seeing about four to five times as many cases as we were seeing in June. So the numbers going up and down maybe confusing for some but to me, it tells me that this pandemic is nowhere near over.

WALKER: All right, dose of reality there. Dr. Richina Bicette-McCain, appreciate your wisdom. Thank you.

BICETTE-MCCAIN: You're very welcome. Thank you.

SANCHEZ: There are serious questions about a school district in Utah after the death of a young girl. Her parents believe that she was bullied to death. That story coming up after a quick break. But first, we want to share a quick programming note and a preview of this weekend's new episode of Diana.


PATRICK JEPHSON, DIANA'S PRIVATE SECRETARY: Beautiful day and the whole city was crowded with people. Considering the number of times, some parts of the Royal establishment had tried to write Diana out of the whole royal story. Here she was and everybody had come for her.

PHILIP BARTLETT, PALLBEARER: We got told to form up outside the back door of Kensington Palace. The next minutes, then to take us brought the coffin out. Staffs started coming up behind the coffin and crying. You can see the emotion in their faces. It was pure love for her.

As we're coming out to Kensington Palace, we were following the (INAUDIBLE) and all of us heard was this massive scream.


BARTLETT: "Diana, I love you." And that scream went through all of us. It was hard. Not just physically, but mentally.


SANCHEZ: Learn all about the lasting legacy of Princess Diana tomorrow night at 9:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.



SANCHEZ: The school district in Utah is under intense scrutiny after a 10-year-old girl with autism died by suicide last week. Isabella "Izzy" Tichenor was allegedly being bullied by classmates and her family says their complaints were repeatedly ignored.

WALKER: Yes, the tragedy comes on the heels of a Justice Department investigation into the Davis School District, which found that serious and widespread racial harassment have previously taken place there. Izzy's parents are now demanding a response from the school district.

CNN Correspondent Polo Sandoval joining us now with more. What more can you tell us, Polo?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Boris, what we know is the Department of Justice profoundly disturbing pattern of harassment against Black and Asian students at the Davis School District which is just north of Salt Lake City. And its school officials deliberately ignored various complaints from parents and from students for years. Now that investigation actually came to a close as you noted just weeks before Izzy Tichenor took her own life. Her family now demanding answers from the school as they prepare to lay their little girl to rest later today.

They say that the first time that they heard about this harassment against Izzy was last month when she was being teased and even being called the N word at school. Well, according to a family attorney, Izzy's mother and stepfather took that bullying complaint to a teacher. They felt that they weren't making any progress there so they went to the principal. The principal then turned them to the vice principal where the family says that they felt very unheard and disregarded according to them, though.


CNN did reach out to the Board of Education at the Davis School District and the Foxboro Elementary School to corroborate this version that was coming from the family. And at this point, the school district declining to comment citing privacy reasons, but they did release a press release that was sent to local media just yesterday, and that they pledge an independent investigation to look further into this claim.

But at the same time, when you hear from the Department of Justice, they've saying that they are deeply saddened by Izzy's death and that their civil rights division is certainly committed to the implementation of that October 21st settlement agreement that was reached between them and the Davis School District. And we should remind viewers, this is an investigation that started back in July of 2019. And when you read that report that we initially reported on in late October, school officials there found that the school district, as we mentioned a while ago, was ignoring various complaints from parents and teachers repeatedly.

And at one point, according to federal investigators, with the DOJ, even recommending that Asian and Black students at the school district, quote, not be so sensitive. At the time, school officials said they certainly have a lot of work to do. But that was before this case, before Izzy took her life, before we're reminded of the devastating impacts of bullying at school.

WALKER: Just heartbreaking. Polo Sandoval, thank you.

SANDOVAL: Thank you.

SANCHEZ: The death toll from the crowd surge at Houston's Astroworld festival tragically rose to nine this week. Many of those affected by the deadly incident have already started taking legal action too, including more than 90 civil lawsuits filed against the event's organisers by hundreds of attendees. New audio also obtained by the Houston Chronicle reveals how police breached barricades and responded to the crisis.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, I'm probably at the medical team and there's a lot of people trampled and they're passed out at the front stage.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's clear. Any other units over there in the front line or anybody like that, that can advise of trampling or any injuries?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) we're at the front of the stage. We have security up there. (INAUDIBLE), we're taking them to the back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's clear. Unit asking about trampling. But I guess they're pulling them out, and taking them to the back.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're getting multiple reports of people sprawled out, unconscious in the crowd.


SANCHEZ: CNN has reached out to the Houston Police Department for comments on that reporting.

Let's get to Paul Wertheimer. He joins us now. He's the founder of Crowd Management Strategies. And he works on events and concerts that fill up with a lot of folks. And, sir, from your perspective, what exactly went wrong here before and during the incident? What could have been done to make the festival safer?

PAUL WERTHEIMER, FOUNDER, CROWD MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES: Well, what went wrong is that the crowd was not managed in front of the stage. And there was no planning to make that crowd, the audience safe. And there was no planning in case of an emergency where best efforts to make the crowd safe failed, and you needed to have an emergency response. We know that because the festival operations manual or what I call the crowd management plan, does not even mention the crowd in front of the stage, does not mention the hazards festival seating standing room crowd's face.

Crowd crush, crowd surge, crowd collapse. It did not even -- and if it did not mention even the crowd acknowledged they existed at the festival, you could not have a proper emergency plan or a mass casualty response.

SANCHEZ: And, Paul, this event, obviously, has sparked calls for new security procedures at these kinds of major events. But you're a sceptic that that'll actually happen. Why is that?

WERTHEIMER: Because in the whole history of rock and roll, the concert and festival industry has failed to do anything. In fact, it's (ph) blocked and obstructed efforts to do it. Every time they have a wake- up call like this, which is what they call it, they hit the snooze button. Oh, they'll say the right thing now about the need to do better, and they'll have a committee, they're going to investigate. They're absolutely going to take it seriously.

They say the right things. But after the public turns away, they don't do the right things. They did nothing. Did nothing after this 79 Who concert tragedy, 11 dead. Did nothing after three kids were killed in Salt Lake City, two 14-year olds and a 19-year olds in a situation crowd crushed in front of the stage. Did nothing to Woodstock '99 after thousands were injured in front of the stage and women were raped.


Did nothing after the 100 deaths and 200 injuries in West Warwick, Rhode Island in 2003. Nothing after the E2 nightclub in Chicago where 21 people were killed. Nothing in Denmark with the American band Pearl Jam after nine people were crushed to death in front of the stage.

In this scenario, this basically the same as we saw at Astroworld. They do nothing because they don't have to do nothing. Because it's the most unregulated industry, dealing with public safety in the United States, and they can get away with it.

SANCHEZ: We will keep an eye on what happens with those lawsuits and if, indeed, any changes are made to these large music festivals in the future. Paul Wertheimer thank you so much for joining us this morning. We appreciate your time.

WERTHEIMER: My pleasure. Thank you.

SANCHEZ: Of course.

WALKER: And after the break, a CNN exclusive from the border between Belarus and Poland where the humanitarian crisis is worsening by the day.



SANCHEZ: A sad story to bring you this morning. The space community is mourning the loss of Blue Origin astronaut Glen de Vries. de Vries, who flew to space last month with actor William Shatner was killed in a small plane crash Thursday in New Jersey. So far, it's still unclear why the plane went down.

WALKER: Blue Origin said in a statement on Twitter, "de Vries brought so much life and energy to the entire Blue Origin team and to his fellow crewmates. His passion for aviation, his charitable work, and his dedication to his craft will long be revered and admired." de Vries told CNN it was his lifelong dream to see planet Earth from space. He was 49.

Poland's Interior Minister is calling the growing migration crisis on the Poland-Belarus border and attack on the E.U. It comes as thousands of people are stranded at the center of an intensifying geopolitical dispute with hopes of travelling into deeper parts of Europe.

SANCHEZ: The inhumane conditions that immigrants are enduring while trying to escape include vicious beatings and going without food for days. CNN's Matthew Chance got exclusive access to the migrant camp in Belarus.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These are the desperate trapped on the front line of Europe's latest refugee crisis. We gained exclusive access to the burgeoning camp at the Polish border in Belarus.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Help. Help. CHANCE (voice-over): "Help, help", the little boy shouts. But there's barely enough help here to keep everyone alive. Already people have died in the cold. This Polish forces stand guard on the other side.

(on-camera): We can see how close we are just across this razor wire fence. Polish security forces there on Polish territory keeping a close eye on the situation, trying to prevent refugees, migrants from this camp here in Belarusian territory from crossing over that frontier line. You see there are thousands of people here.

2,000 now, say Belarusian officials, but with migrants still flooding in from the Middle East in Asia, it could be 5,000, they told CNN, in just another week. To Europe, that's a threat.

CHANCE (on-camera): Sit down. Sit down. Sit down. You're warming children's gloves here?


CHANCE (voice-over): Most like Bina (ph) have already paid big money to traffickers or Belarusian travel agency just to get this far.

(on-camera): You're telling me you've paid $2,000?


CHANCE (on-camera): Which is a lot of money, right, to come from Iraqi Kurdistan to here?


CHANCE (on-camera): Do you think you're going to get through? Do you think you will go to Germany?


CHANCE (on-camera): You do?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. We are -- all people staying here want to go to the Germany.

CHANCE (on-camera): Yes, but do you think it will happen? You'll try?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We'll try. We don't want to stay in Poland.

CHANCE (voice-over): And the more migrants arrive, the more desperate their plight. We witness these refugees frantically scrambling for firewood, essential supplies, as temperatures here (INAUDIBLE).

(Speaking Foreign Language)

CHANCE (voice-over): When Belarusian aid workers arrived with food and water, the scenes are even more (INAUDIBLE).



CHANCE (on-camera): I hope you get some food. You can see these are pretty extraordinary scenes. You've got Belarusian military forces, essentially, trying to push back the crowd of migrants that's gathered round this distribution of aid. They're just giving out bottles of -- you know, plastic bottles of water. But the people here are so desperate for any kind of nutrition, any kind of food, water, shelter.

Look, they're being asked now to kneel down in front of the Belarusian security forces. When they kneel down, look, then some of them are being allowed to go through.

Who's this?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: His name is Ashi (ph).

CHANCE (on-camera): Hello, Ashi (ph). How are you?


CHANCE (on-camera): You good? You speak English too. Do you speak a little bit of English?


CHANCE (voice-over): Shuhan (ph) and her four-year-old son also traveled to Belarus from Iraqi Kurdistan to help her child, she told me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We came here from -- because of my son, because he need an operation.

CHANCE (on-camera): He needs an operation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, big operation in the back.

CHANCE (on-camera): Oh, no.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. He can't walk away without this.

CHANCE (on-camera): Ashi (ph), he's got this splint on his leg.


CHANCE (on-camera): I see.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And he can't walk away without this shoes.


CHANCE (on-camera): Why didn't you do this operation in Kurdistan?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because not very good. Maybe he failed. I mean, the operation failed. And we need to go to Germany, everyone -- and the doctor told me that the operation in Germany very good.

CHANCE (voice-over): But now Germany looks a long way off. With Belarus and the West blaming each other for this crisis, it's these people stuck in the middle who were paying the price.

Matthew Chance, CNN at the border between Poland and Belarus.


SANCHEZ: Outstanding reporting from Matthew Chance there. Thank you so much for joining us this morning. Smerconish is up next.

WALKER: We'll see you back in an hour from now.