Return to Transcripts main page

New Day Saturday

COVID-19 Boosters Now Available For 114 Million Americans; Arkansas Daily COVID Case Average Rises By 45 Percent in Past Week; Protests Erupt Following Acquittal Of Kyle Rittenhouse; State Attorney's General Investigate Instagram's Impact On Kids; More People Turning To Food Banks This Holiday Season. Small Retailers Struggling Through Holiday Shopping Season. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired November 20, 2021 - 08:00   ET




BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to your "NEW DAY." I'm Boris Sanchez.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Christi Paul. More than 100 million adults are now eligible for booster shots. But health experts are saying that that means for the upcoming holidays. Amid the rise that we've been seeing and hospitalizations.

SANCHEZ: Plus, was following his acquittal, we're now hearing from Kyle Rittenhouse, his attorneys and the families of the people he shot. The reaction from all sides and what could happen, next.

PAUL: And investigating Instagram. Several attorneys general announcing, they are looking into the apps impact on children. We're joined live by one of them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Or I can't compete with Amazon or some other high -- super high-volume suppliers.

SANCHEZ: The haves and have nots as major retailers prepare for record breaking sales this holiday season. Mom and pop stores say they are struggling to compete.

PAUL: While you are waking up to Saturday, November 20th, hopefully without an alarm clock for you. Thank you for being with us. We appreciate your company.

SANCHEZ: The alarm clock certainly went off for us did, Christi, great to be with you as always.

And we begin this morning with news on the coronavirus vaccine. A hundred fourteen million American adults now eligible for a third booster shot. CDC Dr. Rochelle Walensky signing off on the extra dose Friday afternoon after the FDA authorized a third shot of either Moderna or Pfizer's vaccine for everyone 18 years and older.

PAUL: And we should point out U.S. vaccinations were already on the rise. More than 33 million people have received their boosters. And CDC data shows in the past week, there's been a 36 percent boost in vaccinations. And that's due in large part they say to young children receiving their shots. And we should point out that's more than double the rate from just a month ago.

SANCHEZ: And let's go straight to CNN national correspondent, Nadia Romero. She's live in Atlanta at a COVID booster clinic this morning. Nadia, what's the latest?

NADIA ROMERO, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Oh, Boris and Christi, this is really a day that so many people health experts and average Americans have been waiting for to get that seal of approval from CDC director Rochelle Walensky endorsing the recommendation for the booster shot. If you've had your Pfizer Moderna, you're fully vaccinated. It's been within the last six months.

And so, here at Viral Solutions, we're outside of the booster clinic that really just got underway at the top of the hour right at eight o'clock. Behind me you can see that people have lined up through a drive thru and it's all things COVID-19, you can get a test, you can get the vaccine, or you can get your booster.

Now the leaders here say that most of the people that are coming in are getting their booster shots, some of them their second doses, but a lot of people who are fully vaccinated who are preparing for the holiday travel are less than a week away from Thanksgiving and the busiest travel day of the year as well. And so, people are going to be gathering and getting back with family and friends because so many of those events were canceled last year as people were concerned about COVID-19. The concern is still there. But now there's the vaccine and the booster shots that are available to so many Americans.

And it's not just the winter holidays. But Dr. Sanjay Gupta says there's actual data research science that's backing this boost for the booster. Take a listen.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Most of the people who are ending up in the hospital with COVID are the unvaccinated. The next biggest category is people who've received the vaccine. But we do see people who've been boosted getting additional protection from that severe illness. So that's I think what's really driving this.


N. ROMERO: And we are seeing what some health experts are calling a winter wave. So, a rise and COVID-19 cases happening in the Midwest, Michigan and Wisconsin and those states where they're seeing it all come together COVID-19, the flu, the cold and other respiratory illnesses we would normally see this time of year and of course that means a concern for after the Thanksgiving holiday with an increase in cases of hospitalizations because so many people are going to be gathering. Boris, Christi.

[08:05:13] SANCHEZ: Nadia Romero in Atlanta, thank you so much.

Despite an increase in the number of vaccinations COVID cases are still on the rise in certain hotspots across the country, including the South. On Thursday, Arkansas saw the biggest one-day spike in new cases in more than six weeks. The daily COVID case average has seen a 45 percent spike in the last week alone.

With us now is the Arkansas Secretary of Health, Dr. Jose Romero. He's urging people to get vaccinated now.

Dr. Romero, we appreciate you sharing part of your weekend with us. Let's run through the numbers briefly. There are roughly 6100 active COVID cases in your state according to state data, more than 78 percent of those are among the unvaccinated. How bad do you think this surge might get going into the holidays and times of the year where people spent their time congregated indoors? How badly do you think this is going to get if you don't get people vaccinated?

JOSE ROMERO, SECRETARY OF HEALTH, ARKANSAS: (INAUDIBLE) thank you very much for having me this morning. It is a concern to us. As you said spending more time inside spending less time out in the open without a mask and be exposed more to people is going to lead to greater number of cases.

On top of that, really what is also driving our concern at this time is that we are entering into influenza season. We know that some states are already starting to see cases. And so, that the confluence of both COVID cases and now influenza cases could overwhelm our healthcare systems. We've come dangerously close in the last two waves that is the winter wave of last year. The summer wave came very, very close to overwhelming our bed supply.

SANCHEZ: And Dr. Romero, Arkansas notably was one of the first states to expand booster eligibility even before the CDC and FDA authorized it. Why was that so important? And are you seeing it make a difference?

J. ROMERO: So yes, it was important, and we felt it was important to offer the boosters to everyone. We as you had pointed out in your opening piece, see are seeing a growing number of individuals that have received their primary series getting reinfected and coming hospitalized.

So, we felt it was important to get that out. And we are seeing a significant number of individuals taking advantage of that. As a matter of fact, over 50 percent of vaccines administered each day are our third dose vaccines.

SANCHEZ: And Doctor as time has passed, there is research that indicates that those who are vaccine hesitant have become less so as they've seen, you know, friends and family who got vaccinated not have any of the adverse results, adverse reactions that have been spread through misinformation on social media. I'm curious, from your perspective, what is the holdout? What are the reasons that you here as to why some people are still unvaccinated in your state? J. ROMERO: Yes, I think that there's still a significant swath of the population that don't view COVID as a significant illness, that they believe that it is not as severe as it can be. Misinformation is clearly driving that. There's misinformation about the vaccine, which is deeply held. You know, there's no question that these are deeply held beliefs, and it's difficult to overcome them.

We hope -- we're hopeful that we can reach them eventually. But I think that message has to be repeated over and over again. And as you said, even if they see their friends and their relatives becoming ill and some dying, unfortunately, they will not change.

SANCHEZ: And Doctor, some of Arkansas's largest school districts have recently dropped massive mandates for students and staff. Well mandates still remain in place in other districts. In your view, is that a wise decision at this point where you're seeing the spikes that you're seeing?

J. ROMERO: No, I thank you for asking that question. So, I think that the decision to remove mask mandates by some school districts was premature. And that's what we need to understand about this virus. What is here today, when you make your decision may not be here next week. And so, many of these school districts remove their masks mandates when we were at that low, that valley between the summer peak and now what may be the beginning of the winter peak.

And so, we're hoping that -- we're hopeful that though the reverse those decisions and put them back into place, because physical mitigation is very, very important in controlling this virus while these children get their vaccines. We're seeing an uptick in vaccines in these children. It's slow, it's about point 3 percent per day, we're at 5.8 or so percent of the children in the state vaccinated. But we want to get those children fully vaccinated as fast -- as fast as possible.


SANCHEZ: Dr Jose Romero, we appreciate your time and your work and hopefully those numbers start trending in a different direction very soon.

J. ROMERO: Thank you very much.

SANCHEZ: Thanks.

We now turn to the protests overnight across the country after a jury in Kenosha, Wisconsin found Kyle Rittenhouse, not guilty, and the shooting deaths of two people and the wounding of a third.






SANCHEZ: You're looking at the scene outside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, hundreds gathering to protest the verdict. These demonstrators marched from Brooklyn to Manhattan at one point shutting down the Brooklyn Bridge before ultimately dispersing.

PAUL: I want to show you what was happening in Portland, Oregon, where police declared a riot after they say protesters began breaking windows and doors at city buildings. And now this morning, we're hearing from Rittenhouse himself.


KYLE RITTENHOUSE, ACQUITTED IN KENOSHA SHOOTING: The jury reached the correct verdict. Self-defense is not illegal. And I believe they came to the correct verdict. And I'm glad that everything went well. And it's been a rough journey, but we made it through it.


PAUL: CNN's Natasha Chen is live in Kenosha of course. So, Natasha, we just saw that video of Portland and other places where there have been some rallies and some protests. Are you seeing anything there and Kenosha that's mirroring that?

NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Oh, Christi, no, it's actually been relatively calm. And even after the verdict was read yesterday, there was a bit of a crowd gathered on the court steps behind us, but besides a few shout outs from people who were celebrating and supportive Rittenhouse and the deep emotions from the families of those he had killed there, there wasn't much of any marching or rioting going on here in town.

Now you did see that clip just now, trailer actually aired on Tucker Carlson's show on Fox News last night that seems to show Rittenhouse after the verdict where he was reacting to that. Our Chris Cuomo asked Rittenhouse's a defense attorney Mark Richards last night, how he felt about cameras following his client during this process. Here's what he said.


MARK RICHARDS, KYLE RITTENHOUSE'S ATTORNEY: I did not approve of that. I threw him out of the room several times. I don't think a film crew is appropriate for something like this. But the people who were raising the money to pay for the experts and to pay for the attorneys were trying to raise money and that was part of it.


CHEN: And, you know, that when he gave a press conference earlier in the afternoon, some of us asked him about his client's reaction. I asked also if there was a pivotal moment that he felt was pushing toward this successful outcome for his team. And he said it was really about getting rid of the initial defense attorneys because he felt they were going after a cause. And that's not something he was willing to do. He said this was not something he was going to go on a crusade for any greater purpose. And that is something that a lot of people are talking about here what this verdict means, and including the family members of Anthony Huber, one of the people who was killed.

Here is Huber's great-aunt, talking about what this means in this political moment.


SUSAN HUGHES, ATHONY HUBER'S GREAT-AUNT: You throw that much adulation, turned him into a folk hero of some sort. So, you can advance your political career. He will be destroyed by the time he's 30. He's going to have to man up real quickly and learn to say no.


CHEN: And she also said to Chris Cuomo there that yes, there may be a right to self-defense, but that Anthony Huber also had a right to his life. So, this is of course very difficult and emotional for all parties to process right now. But as far as community reaction, what you saw in Brooklyn, in Portland, that is certainly not happening here in Kenosha. Christi and Boris.

PAUL: Natasha Chen, thank you so much. We appreciate it.

So today, President Biden is celebrating his birthday, and his spending bill passing through the House. A lot of people say well, that celebration may be short lived as that plan heads to the Senate. We'll talk about that.

And later what it takes to save the world's sequoia trees from wildfire, (INAUDIBLE) beauties in nature can't be replaced.



PAUL: The President Biden is celebrating his 79th birthday today and the passage of his Build Back Better Plan by House Democrats.

SANCHEZ: Yes, the $1.9 trillion spending plan includes a major expansion of the social safety net, as well as money to address the climate crisis. The bill now heads to the Senate where it faces challenges and likely some changes too.

PAUL: Let's bring in CNN congressional reporter Daniella Diaz here for us. So Daniella, what is ahead for this legislation that we know of this far.

DANIELLA DIAZ, CNN CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Christi, Boris, now that the House has passed this bill, this is just the first step for this economic bill known as the Build Back Better Act that would expand the nation's social safety net. It will go to the Senate where it's likely going to be pared down because of one senator, Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who does not want the $1.9 trillion price tag and does not agree with some provisions that were added back in House version of this bill such as paid leave, some of these climate provisions are more than $500 billion and climate provisions in this bill.


Now, important to keep in mind is this bill would directly help Americans as I said expand the nation's social safety net has money for universal pre-K, childcare, funding to combat climate change, expanding the Child Tax Credit. These are things that would directly help Americans social provisions in this country. But he does not want an expensive bill. He has voiced concerns again and again, that he is afraid that this bill would increase inflation in this country make inflation worse, worse than it already is. But the thing is, progressives want more in this bill.

Of course, there's Senate Budget Chairman Bernie Sanders, who wanted an expansion of Medicare to be included, wanted more money for climate change. Progressives originally wanted this bill to be $6 trillion. They pared it down to from $3.5 trillion to now $1.9 trillion. Manchin wants less than that.

So there are going to -- we expect a lot of changes to happen in this bill in the coming weeks. But the bottom line here is all eyes are on Senator Joe Manchin, because he is the one senator that has not yet offered his assurances for this bill. And because Democrats plan to pass this bill in the Senate using a process called budget reconciliation, which means it only needs 50 votes -- 51 votes, excuse me to pass, every single Democratic senator needs to get behind this.

So, we're going to keep all our eyes on that. But I do want to note, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer wants to pass this bill before Christmas. So these next couple of weeks will be very, very busy here on Capitol Hill.

PAUL: Yes. Daniella Diaz, we appreciate it so much. Thank you.

Let's talk more about this and what is in store with CNN political commentators, Republican former congressman from Pennsylvania, Charlie Dent and Patti Solis Doyle, former presidential campaign manager for Hillary Clinton.

We appreciate both of you being here. Thank you so much.

Let's start with the Build Better -- Build Back Better Act here. Patti, I want to start with you. What is the weight of what the content what's in the bill on this side, and the passage of it on the other? In other words, does the passage of it do enough to help boost this President's approval rating, which is at about 40 -- only 44 percent right now?

PATTI SOLIS DOYLE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think it does, actually, Christi. I think the issue has been really in messaging for the Democrats. You know, Democrats control Congress, they control of the White House. And as we head into the midterm elections, you know, the American people expect them to deliver. And in my view, and I think, in the Democrats view they have been delivering, whether it's on the pandemics, 70 percent of Americans are now fully vaccinated. Job creation is growing. The infrastructure -- the bipartisan infrastructure bill, you know, bipartisan is sort of like a dirty word back in the Trump administration. And now the passage in the house of the Build Back Better Bill.

And I think most of the conversation has been on intra party disputes, price tags of these pieces of legislation instead of what's actually in the bill and how it will impact the American people. And I think that the -- if we go into what's in it and how it helps people, I think that, you know, there will be a, you know, a change in the President's approval rating. And the American people will start feeling it.

PAUL: Congressman Dent, we know that Democrats are reaching out to some female Republicans in the Senate hoping to garner some support. Do we have any gauge of the level of receptiveness to that support? Or is it just, I mean, are you seeing something in Washington D.C. that maybe we haven't seen in a long time? I mean, the partisanship is at an all-time high.

CHARLIE DENT, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, yes, certainly the partisanship is at an all-time high, I was pleased to see that they were able to come to an agreement. Congress was able to come to agreement on the infrastructure bill, and frankly, they should have passed it back in August, it would have been even more bipartisan. But because the Democrats chose to pander to the progressives, they held the thing up for a few months, and made that victory, more bittersweet than it ought to have been.

On the Build Back Better, this is a totally partisan exercise. I -- and I probably would disagree with Patti, I don't think it's going to help the Democrats very much, because that bill is bloated. You know, I listened to Penn Wharton and the Committee for a Responsible Federal government. They say this is going to cost between 4.6 to $4.9 trillion. We just received the CBO score two days ago. And boy, there are a lot of games and gimmicks. Very deceptive and I would argue dishonest in terms of how they scored this thing.

And I think the more people learn about this, the more they're going to be concerned. Even though there are some popular provisions in there, I think the Democrats are missing the point what's on the front of mind for voters its inflation, its shortages, you know, there's border mayhem, they witnessed an Afghanistan fiasco, this is all on top of $6 trillion in COVID spending.


And so, to think that this is somehow going to solve their problems, I really seriously doubt it. I think it will actually make their problems worse. Legislative victory does not necessarily translate into a political victory a year later.

PAUL: OK. So, Congressman, I want to stay with you for a moment here because I want to show some polls, as of late that might have some surprising numbers to people. First of all, with CNN poll back in September, showed and asked, will Republicans have a better chance winning in 2024, with former President Trump or with someone else? This was a poll to Republicans I should point out. Republicans polled said 51 percent said, yes, Trump, but 49 percent said someone else. And then a more recent poll by the Des Moines Register, asked Republicans if they were more aligned with former President Trump or with the GOP.

Look at these numbers, 26 percent said Trump, 61 percent said the GOP. We know that Chris Christie has already said he'd run against President Trump. There are questions about Ron DeSantis and what he's doing. How open do you think the door is? Is it cracked? Is it open more to allow space for potentially another candidate in 2024?

DENT: Christi, I do think the door is somewhat open. The question is, will someone run through it? Republicans -- to my Republican friends I say 2020 and 2021 were very good years for Republican candidates who are not named Donald Trump. What part of Donald Trump's unpopularity aren't they seeing here? And you look with Glenn Youngkin just did in Virginia, where he clearly, you know, distance himself from President Trump talked about issues that were more relevant to the lives of their voters, particularly as it related to schools. That was something I thought was important. But Republicans shouldn't either -- shouldn't delude themselves either. The reason why they're going to probably have a decent year in 2022, is because of President Joe Biden seeking approval rating. That's it.

Now, to the extent that they can make the election about Biden and Democrats all the better, to the extent Donald Trump injects himself into the conversation that will only hurt Republicans. So, Republicans are better off without Donald Trump, more so than they are with him by far.

PAUL: Patti, I want to ask you, even though you're on the other side of this fence, we're seeing a shift it seems that is evident between Governor DeSantis of Florida and President Trump, the president -- the former President Trump, Donald Trump used to sing his praises. It almost seems like something has shifted and he is not so solid behind DeSantis right now. Do you think that he sees DeSantis as a threat?

DOYLE: I think he does. And you know, I'm not in the business of advising Republicans, but I agree with Charlie on this. I think if Republicans sort of distance themselves from Trump, they will fare much better. Clearly, that's what Glenn Youngkin did in Virginia, and he won. I just don't think that Donald Trump is, you know, going to play ball with that strategy in terms of national races and local races.

I think he very much still has a stronghold on the Republican base. I think he's still very much wants to be part of the narrative. I think he wants to take credit for any wins that the Republicans may make in 2022. And I think he wants to run for president again in 2024. So, he will be a huge presence in the midterm elections. And so, while I agree with Charlie and his assessment, I just don't think Donald Trump has bought into it nor will he. PAUL: Congressman Dent, Charlie Dent, Patti Solis Doyle, so grateful to have both of you and your voices here. We really value you. Thank you so much.

DENT: Thank you, Christi.

DOYLE: Well, thanks.

SANCHEZ: So, 10 attorneys general wants to know just how much counting the likes on Instagram is impacting kids. The attorney general of Connecticut, William Tom, joins us next.



SANCHEZ: A bipartisan group of state attorneys general is launching an investigation into Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, that's focused on the harms its platform Instagram may cause on kids. This comes in the aftermath of disturbing revelations from a whistleblower showing that the company's own researchers found that Instagram could hurt the mental health and body image of young users. The state officials say they'll look into whether Meta violated consumer protection laws and put the public at risk by continuing to promote Instagram, despite knowing of potential harm.

One of those 10 Attorneys General William Tong of Connecticut is here with us to walk us through the investigation. Sir, we're grateful to have you this morning. Let's start with a statement put out by the company. They say that you have a deep misunderstanding of the facts. They argue that they've led the industry in combating bullying and supporting people with mental health struggles and eating disorders. They point to certain steps that they've taken to try to mitigate the exposure to children. What's your response?


WILLIAM TONG (D), CONNECTICUT ATTORNEY GENERAL: Well my response is that they'll have no problem responding to our investigation and answering our questions. But what we know is that the company knows that Instagram and Facebook cause real harm to all of us, but in particular, children and young women and can affect the physical, emotional, and mental well-being. So if they are taking steps to protect our kids, it's clearly not working. And that's the point of this investigation.

SANCHEZ: Sir, what documents have you asked for from the company? Who were you seeking to speak to?

TONG: So, this is an ongoing investigation, so I can't comment on the specifics. But what we've learned from whistleblowers, from public reports, and from the company's own documents, and it studies that the company knows that it causes physical, emotional and mental harm, particularly to young women. There's a study at Instagram, for example, that demonstrated that young women, for example, who had trouble with body self-image or eating disorders, that if they typed in hashtags, like skinny or thin, that they would get even more images of eating disorders and content about eating disorders.

And that the algorithm pushes it bombard you with this information and can cause not just bad self-image, but depression, self-harm, or worse, and we're trying to get to the bottom of it.

SANCHEZ: There's no disputing that that research that you pointed to is out there showing conclusively the harm that it does. However, as a parent, as a teenager, you're choosing to download these platforms, you're choosing to be on them, right? So, in some sense --

TONG: Yes.

SANCHEZ: -- doesn't a parent or a teenager have a responsibility? Isn't the consumer ultimately responsible for their own behavior as a personal choice?

TONG: I would strongly disagree with that. I have a 15-year-old, a 13- year-old and a 10-year-old here in my house right now, thankfully, they're still asleep, but a parent's worst nightmare. Not only is that their kids are on devices too much, but they're constantly getting bombarded by messages, by images that may cause them harm. And I don't think kids really have any choice at all.

The way this algorithm works is, it gets you engaged, and maybe causes you to become addicted to your devices and these platforms. And then it feeds you information and messages and content that draws you in even more, and you don't have any choice. When you're a 15-year-old or a 13-year-old or my 10-year-old, you're defenseless against Meta Facebook and Instagram. They're tremendous resources, they have you captive on your screens, on your devices, and they can bombard you with any information that the algorithm chooses to give you.

SANCHEZ: Not to mention, the social influence of seeing friends using it and wanting to fit in and feel like you are part of a crowd, part of a group that you identify with, I think the tobacco industry offers a good analogy here. They sell a product that is addictive. But the harm that's done by cigarettes is eventually evident. It's not quite as obvious visually as it is with social media. I'm curious, do you think that these platforms need visible warnings like a pack of cigarettes that outline the harms that they cause?

TONG: They need visible warnings, but they need to do a much better job, they need to be much more aggressive in moderating their content, taking down offending content, and making sure that the algorithm doesn't prey on my kids, kids across Connecticut and kids across the country. In the way that about a generation ago, state attorneys general came together to take on the tobacco industry for preying on kids and pushing youth smoking, we were able to cut down on you smoking and smoking overall by 50 percent. We need to take similar action now to protect our families and our kids from the dangers of social media.

SANCHEZ: I think one of the issues -- one of the hurdles, perhaps, that I see with any kind of regulation on these companies that-- is that there are so many entities that are bought in and incentivized by their success. So, you have political campaigns, four profit companies, nonprofit companies that benefit from advertising and connecting with their users. So, I'm wondering what consideration just the vast economic ecosystem that these companies, specifically, Meta have created, what considerations you have to that when it comes to regulating them?

TONG: Yes, they're extraordinarily powerful and they have nearly unlimited resources, and they're dominant in our lives and the lives of our children. Which is why state attorneys general are the frontlines and frankly, the last line of defense in the way that we take on the big pharmaceutical companies and the opioid crisis.


The way that we took on the big tobacco companies, at the end of the day, this is a law enforcement action. And the fact that these are public companies, but they are private businesses, right, this is -- we're not talking about government here, we're talking about big corporations. And because they're making so much money, that's what gives us the authority using our consumer protection powers to come in and hold them accountable.

SANCHEZ: Attorney General William Tong, we got to leave the conversation there. Thank you so much for the time.

TONG: Thank you, Boris.

SANCHEZ: Stay with CNN. We'll be right back.



PAUL: So, we're looking right at the holidays in front of us, yes. And food banks around the country are preparing for the possible increase in the number of people who need the extra help after we're all feeling the same thing from this inflation. Here's CNN's Camilla Bernal.


CAMILA BERNAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: (voice-over): The boxes full of food organicity for Medea Torralva.

MARIA TORRALVA, RECEIVES FOOD DONATIONS THREE TIMES A MONTH: I don't make enough money. That's a reason I came and get some food.

BERNAL (voice-over): She receives donations three times a month, and says at times, she has to choose between food and gas.

TORRALVA: So, I ask myself. And the gas, you see my car is almost empty, because we didn't have enough money to get some gas.

BERNAL (voice-over): According to Feeding America, while demand from the beginning of the pandemic has gone down in 202, one in eight people in the U.S. may experience food insecurity. MICHAEL FLOOD, PRESIDENT AND CEO, LOS ANGELES REGIONAL FOOD BANK: Now, you know, 19, 20 months later, we're still running more than double the food volume from the pre-pandemic period.

BERNAL (voice-over): Many food banks are not anticipating the massive distribution lines seen in 2020. But Michael Flood, CEO of the L.A. Regional Food Bank says the need could still increase fueled by inflation.

MANY FLORES, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NORTH VALLEY CARING SERVICES: We fill the gaps with food purchases for what we're not seeing in the donated inventory. And that's where we're seeing some struggles.

BERNAL (voice-over): Many Flores, executive director of North Valley Caring Services sees it firsthand and says it's not necessarily low- income families needing the extra food.

FLORES: People who are trying to stay current with their rent, with their mortgage, with their car, payment, their insurances trying to get, you know, their kids to school.

BERNAL (voice-over): People who are now also dealing with higher food prices.

TORRALVA: There is belted very high prices and everything. So that's impossible to get some food in the grocery store.

BERNAL (voice-over): I'm Camila Bernal, reporting.


SANCHEZ: A quick programming note for you. We have a new CNN film airing tonight at nine, it's called the "Hunt for Planet B. Here's a quick preview.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Anyone wants to know why there's life out there? I guess because we're kind of a lonely species.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When we started, we didn't even know if there are any planets beyond our solar system.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In our own Milky Way galaxy, we have hundreds of billions of stars and other Earth is undoubtedly out there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is the huge eye in the sky.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's going to see deeper into space than any other telescope in history.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have enough sensitivity to detect a child's nightlight on the moon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Part of the point of looking out there for life is to realize just how valuable the life is that we have here. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're betting on the fact that life can originate and evolve anywhere.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Though, what do we expect to see it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have a lot more searching today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The quest for another Earth begins.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think there's life out there. Can we find them in my lifetime? Got I hope so.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "The Hunt for Planet B" premieres tonight at 9:00




SANCHEZ: Despite concerns about the global supply chain, big box retailers are expecting record holiday sales this year. Those smaller, local mom and pop shops are not expected to fare as well.

PAUL: Yes. Here's CNN's Karen Kappa who meets two small business owners and they are bracing for a really tough holiday season.


ALLY KIRKPATRICK, OWNER, OLD TOWN BOOKS: I don't have books in Alexandria, Virginia.

KARIN CAIFA, CNN REPORTER (on-camera): As you can tell, it's like a little bit hard to get around.

(voice-over): Holidays supply chain concerns have shaped Ally Kirkpatrick's plans for months.

KIRKPATRICK: My vendors were sending me warnings as early as April of this year.

CAIFA (voice-over): Like other small business owners who weathered the depth of the COVID-19 economy, she is bracing for how a blockbuster holiday sales outlook will collide with inflation, labor shortages and goods moving slower to shelves.

KIRKPATRICK: I pull the laptop out after the kids are in bed, you know, after bath time and stuff and I think every small business owner does.

CAIFA (voice-over): Competition with giants like Amazon, Walmart and Target is always complicated for small sellers.

KIRKPATRICK: Or I can't compete with Amazon or some other high -- super high-volume suppliers. I don't buy 20,000 copies of a book and I can't negotiate for that lower price. CAIFA (voice-over): But the gap may seem wider right now. Major retailers ramped up e-commerce and soared to record pandemic profits and are spending big to charter ships, hire personnel and circumvent supply chain bottlenecks. In a way Yinibini Baby owner, Soyini George cannot.

After seven years of crafting and selling, George had barely opened this retail store in Washington D.C. in 2020.

GEORGE: Literally two weeks later, I had to shut down because of COVID. So yes, it was a very strange beginning.

CAIFA (voice-over): George sells a mix of handmade children's accessories adorned with her illustrations as well as toys and books.

GEORGE: There's some things I cannot reorder that they're out of stock on.

CAIFA (voice-over): Working largely alone with help from her daughter, she bought what she could early.

GEORGE: I spent the entire time period from April to now just buying as much inventory as I could get, to make sure that I was well stocked during that time period and for the holidays.

CAIFA (voice-over): Kirkpatrick granted an annex for extra inventory shipping and receiving.


Stress on staff is another worry. She delays mount or items run short.

KIRKPATRICK: I'm just hoping that we are going to communicate that well enough and that our customer knows that, you know, it's not necessarily us dropping the ball, that it's just kind of the situation we're in.

CAIFA (voice-over): Since they lean on the small, personal experience as something the big retailers can't buy or sell.

Karin Caifa, CNN, Washington.


SANCHEZ: Thanks to Karin for bringing us that report. And thank you so much for joining us this morning. We're going to be back at 10:00 a.m. Eastern.

PAUL: Yes, we're not going anywhere. "Smerconish" is up next with you, though. Make great memories today.