Return to Transcripts main page

New Day Saturday

"Mission Critical": Parents Describe Search For Specialty Formula; FDA Chief: Severe Formula Shortage To Improve In "Days"; Biden Attends State Dinner With South Korean President; New Biography Examines George Floyd's Life And Legacy; Pelosi Banned From Receiving Communion In San Francisco Archdiocese Over Her Abortion Position; Oklahoma Passes One Of The Strictest Abortion Bans In America. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired May 21, 2022 - 08:00   ET



ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: -- hours. Once that front moves through, you really see a big drop off in temperatures. New York going from 91 Sunday down to 65 on Tuesday.

AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: Oh yes, that's a big swing. All right, Allison Chinchar, thank you for that. The next hour of New Day starts now.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning and welcome to your New Day, I'm Boris Sanchez.

WALKER: Hi Boris. I'm Amara Walker in for Christi Paul. Empty shelves and frustrated parents. Families scrambling to find formula during a nationwide shortage. And now the Biden administration is using military aircraft to ship more pallets to the U.S.

SANCHEZ: Plus, President Biden is making a critical trip overseas meeting with his South Korean counterpart amid tensions with North Korea and China. We're going to take you live to Seoul for the very latest.

WALKER: Plus, his death inspired people around the country to stand up to police violence. And now nearly two years after George Floyd's death, we're learning new details about his life.

SANCHEZ: Welcome to New Day, it is Saturday, May 21st. We're thrilled that you're starting your weekend with us. Good morning, Amara.

WALKER: Good morning to you, Boris. Thank you everyone for joining us today. We begin with the nationwide plight, testing the most basic function of parents, the ability to feed their child. The baby formula shortage is throwing the White House into crisis mode as parents face empty shelves.

The situation is so severe not only has the President invoked a wartime measure to increase production, but now a military plane will be used to carry formula from overseas. The Defense Department ordered the first flights to leave this weekend from Germany. And just this morning, President Biden signing a new bill into law in response to the severe shortage. It allows the waiver of certain program requirements in the Special Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, also known as WIC.

SANCHEZ: The FDA is struggling to explain a four-month lag from a whistleblower complaint about the problems at one plant of formula maker Abbott, which exacerbated the crisis. The FDA commissioner admits it's going to take weeks for supply to get back to normal. But families may see the situation improve in the coming days.

And the last hour, we got the chance to hear from one couple who said they logged more than 1,000 miles in their car to find NeoSure, the only kind of formula their infant can have. Their baby Mackenzie (ph) was born three months early. Listen to this.


MAC JAEHNERT, DAUGHTER BORN PREMATURE IN NEED OF SPECIAL FORMULA: It's been a frustrating, heartbreaking, unnecessary challenge for a kid who's already overcome so much.

EMILY JAEHNERT, DAUGHTER BORN PREMATURE IN NEED OF SPECIAL FORMULA: My fear that she'll fall off of her growth chart more than she already is hanging on to it. I fear that she'll, you know, have upset stomach that it won't sit well with her that she won't get the nutrition that she needs. That this particular formula right now was providing for her.

M. JAEHNERT: We were not warned in any way proactively by the manufacturer, you know, by anyone who was in a position to know and who that a critical shortage was coming. This absolutely blindsided us.


WALKER: I'm sure it did. You can only imagine the fear and the anxiety so many parents are facing right now. CNN's Polo Sandoval has a story of another couple struggling to feed their child.



POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Come play time. It's easy for Adrianna and Justin Eith to get lost in the joys of raising a baby.

ADRIANNA EITH, MOTHER: He's a big boy. Yes, you are.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): But come feeding time.

EITH: You know the drill, come on.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): The New York couple is reminded of the uncertainty that comes with finding nourishment for their four-month- old baby amid the ongoing formula shortage.

EITH: If someone want a bottle?

SANDOVAL (voice-over): You would know it with a smile. But little Cooper suffers from digestive issues and a dairy allergy.

EITH: You're being such a good today.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): Not only does Cooper rely solely on powdered baby formula for nutrition, but he can only hold down PurAmino, a prescription powder that is not only hypoallergenic, but it's also nearly impossible to find these days, according to Eith.

EITH: It's the easiest thing for him to digest because unlike other formulas on the market, they have like Similac Alimentum and they have Nutramigen, but there's still trace amounts of dairy in that. So in this, there's no dairy and very, very limited soy.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): Eith just had to expand her search for the pharmacies and her Long Island community to the rest of the country.

EITH: I have family in Georgia. I have family in Florida, California, North Carolina. I have everyone helping me right now. My in-laws, my dad, I have co-workers. When, I mean, in this moment why I feel so blessed and where the same comes in it takes a village, I have had more people now helping me than I've had. I mean, in months --


SANDOVAL (voice-over): A network of parents on social media has also been a source of formula and a way for Eith to help fellow parents.

EITH: I joined everything. I'm in a group called One Parent to another.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): So far, Eith just managed to secure at least two weeks worth a formula, with the Food and Drug Administration estimating that it could be a few weeks before shelves are stocked fully again, her worries about Cooper's long-term nutritional needs and those of her the children.

EITH: Listen, I don't sit here, you know, wanting to make it seem that my son has a greater need because I believe every baby has need, every baby needs to be fed. But it is scary when there is a medical need. And even pass my son because there were kids with greater health issues. How do they eat?

SANDOVAL (voice-over): On Friday, a dose of reassuring news for Eith, Reckitt, maker of Cooper's prescription and the nation's second largest infant formula manufacturer announced that it increased production by 35 percent since its competitor, Abbott Nutrition recalled many of its products in February.

Reckitt officials added that they are using unlimited overtime for employees and filing government paperwork to import formula from Singapore and Mexico to ratchet up supplies here in the U.S. EITH: And I don't think right now there is no magic wand that can fix it. I think it's kind of a wait and see. Because when it starts happening and it starts getting back on the shelves, I think that's when people are going to feel at ease.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): Eith remain skeptical, but also hopeful that the government's long-awaited response will soon be felt that empty shelves across the country with Cooper's bottles full for now, the Eiths can focus on keeping the smile on their baby's face.

Polo Sandoval, CNN, New York.


WALKER: Joining me now is Dr. Taison Bell, he is the Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Virginia. Dr. Bell, thank you so much for joining us this morning. I can only shake my head and just say just how tragic it is that America is failing to feed its children the most vulnerable these infants. And then when you hear that the FDA is in touch with these specialty clinics that are prepared, they're proactively preparing to hospitalize these itty- bitty infants because of the shortage and to put them on IV treatments to meet their nutritional needs.

I mean, I'm sorry, as a parent, I'm going, where are we living? It's 2022. And there are risks, right, Dr. Bell, associated with putting, especially such a tiny little infant on an IV?

DR. TAISON BELL, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF MEDICINE, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: Right. I mean, this is an absolutely terrible situation. And I cannot imagine being a parent of an infant that's formula fed right now. And we have to do everything we absolutely can to fix this problem. Because infants are really are the most vulnerable citizens that we have in the country. And we have to do everything we can. We're talking about a basic need right here, so it's time to pull out all the stops.

WALKER: What is some tangible advice you can give to parents who are in this nightmare right now? You know, I've seen posts all over social media. You know, can people watered down their formulas? I mean, that sounds like could be dangerous. And also, what are precautions that need to be taken when it comes to, you know, trading breast milk?

BELL: Right. No, I'll be the first to tell (ph) you, the options are not great right now. This is a really tough situation. I'll direct people to go to the American Academy of Pediatrics website, they have an info section on what to do. But for some advice, things you don't want to do, you don't want to dilute your formula to try to spread it out. This is dangerous, it can cause a change in the baby's electrolytes and it can even lead to seizures.

You also don't want to try to make formula at home, there have been some recipes on the internet. You don't want to do that because there's a risk of contamination. This is a hard process. You have to get it exactly right. And it's hard to do at home, so you don't want to do that. Now if your baby is around six months, you do have some options that you want to discuss with your pediatrician that includes maybe introducing some solid foods, your toddler formulas that some babies can use and even cow's milk for a limited period of time. You want to be careful because you want to have iron in into the baby's diet as well.

So there are some options. And as far as trying to find options, you want to look locally, and locally owned stores and pharmacies, social media websites, the human milk Banking Association on North America. There are groups out there, but I'd admit, it's a struggle right now.

WALKER: Yes, absolutely. And I -- it's frustrating and angry, frankly, when I go on these sites to see people saying, well, just breastfeed your kid. Listen, if you've had a kid and you've tried breastfeeding, like I have, you know, my milk ran out, I think an eight weeks into it. So it's not as easy as you think it might be.

Dr. Bell, what kinds of signs should parents be looking out for to determine whether they need to seek medical attention?

BELL: Well, we trust parents and one thing you learn taking care of an infant, you know your baby. And so if there's something that's off that doesn't seem right to you, especially if you're trying to do something different and do formulation for example, you want to talk to your pediatrician.


But a baby that seems more fussy, more lethargic or more confused, not following their usual routine, those are all warning signs that you want to get checked out.

WALKER: If you don't mind, let's do a quick pivot to COVID, because I feel like the conversation, at least amongst, you know, my friends and colleagues has shifted to, well, what kind of precautions should we be taken, especially, you know, with the Biden administration, you know, raising the alarm now about rising COVID infections?

BELL: Right. So cases are up, hospitalizations are up in 40 states. And we know what works at this point. I mean, I've lost count of how many times we've been through this. But here's what we should do. I think there's been a softening of the language that public health officials have used when it comes to our response to this. We're using words like consider doing this urge to do that, rather than implementing the measures that we know works.

So what I would do, if we were doing indoor gatherings require primary vaccination at this point to make sure that everyone's in a spot is protected, that you want to do at least one of two things, either a universal test requirement to make sure that no one is having active symptoms that are easier to spread, or that you're doing universal masking when you're indoors. These are the measures that we know works, because we're starting to see hospitalizations tick up and we know after wave after wave, what happens after that. WALKER: We have a few seconds, Dr. Bell, but I got to ask you this, because there's an Axios poll, Ipsos poll that shows that one in three Americans say the pandemic is now over. And, of course, there's a lot of confusion, right, because Dr. Fauci a few weeks ago, you know, said that the U.S. is out of the pandemic phase. He did clarify those comments that we're no longer in the acute accelerated phase. Is the pandemic over?

BELL: No, it's not over at all. This is still ongoing. We're still admitting patients to our hospital. We still have an entire population of children that are not eligible for vaccination yet. So for anyone to say that this is over, it's just a complete falsehood.

WALKER: Dr. Taison Bell, appreciate you. Thanks.

BELL: Thank you.

SANCHEZ: New this morning, President Biden is currently attending a state dinner in South Korea with President Yoon.

WALKER: The dinner comes after the President signed the massive $40 billion aid package to Ukraine. Let's go now to CNN Chief White House Correspondent Kaitlan Collins live in Seoul, South Korea this morning. Kaitlan, what's the latest?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, President Biden attending the state dinner right now. He's wrapping up his time here in Seoul, South Korea. He's got a few more stops tomorrow before heading on to Tokyo to wrap up his first trip to Asia. And it's been a significant one so far, because he has been meeting with the newly sworn in South Korean president. He has only been on the job for a matter of days but obviously they've gotten right down to business, talking about the challenges facing them, including, of course first and foremost, North Korea, which they've talked about being of utmost importance to them to talk about.

What's happening is North Korea has only continued to accelerate its nuclear program. They're also dealing with a major COVID-19 outbreak. And President Biden told reporters earlier today that they have offered vaccines to North Korea. I'm told that as recently as within the last several days or so last several weeks at least. And there have been no response from the North Korean side. Certainly not one when they've tried to reach out for diplomatic efforts, whether or not there should be conversations about the U.S.'s goal of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.

And also while they've been on the ground here, President Biden has not only been talking about revitalizing the relationship between the United States and South Korea. He has also invoked President Putin several times in referencing his invasion of Ukraine.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Republic of Korea and the United States is standing together part of a global response with our allies and partners around the world to condemn Russia's flagrant violations of international law and the whole rustle Russia accountable and to support the people of Ukraine.


COLLINS: Now, the President is not just making those comments about Russia, he is also sending a message to China while he is here. That is really the purpose of this entire trip and he has been calling out Putin but also making these not so obvious references to President Xi of China as well. Boris and Amara?

WALKER: And it comes at a time as China is closely eyeing the situation in Taiwan and just how far the United States might go to defend its sovereignty. Kaitlan Collins reporting from Seoul, thank you so much.

WALKER: Still ahead, we go to the front lines of the war in Ukraine. CNN will take you to a village outside Kharkiv where the Russians have pulled back, but are now shelling with incendiary bombs.

And tomorrow night, be sure to watch Jake Tapper's exclusive interview with former U.S. Marine Trevor Reed. Here's a quick preview.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Have you been able to fully grasp that you're free?


TAPPER: You went to a party in August 2019.

TREVOR REED, FORMER MARINE DETAINED IN RUSSIA: And the next morning, I woke up in a police station.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Former U.S. Marine Trevor Reed talks with Jake Tapper about his 985 days in Russian hands.


REED: They have absolutely no value of human life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How it came to an end?

REED: They were never going to break me. Maybe I would have died, they never would have broken me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "Finally Home: The Trevor Reid Interview" tomorrow at 8:00.



SANCHEZ: President Biden this morning signed a $40 billion aid package for Ukraine amid his ongoing visit to Seoul, South Korea. Meantime, Russia claims that the last Ukrainian fighters at the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol have surrendered and that its troops are now in control of that region. Ukraine though has not confirmed Russia's claims.

WALKER: The plant was the last holdout for Ukrainian forces and a symbol of the resistance. CNN's Melissa Bell has more now on what appears to be the last standard Azovstal.


MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The latest picture of Dmytro Kozatskiy, a soldier with the Azov regiment who helped the world to see the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, posting, "That's it. Thank you for the shelter, Azovstal. The place of my death and my life."


A steady stream of its haggard and injured defenders has been leaving these last few days, Russian forces and their allies in the Donetsk militia surrounding the plant.

SERGEI SHOIGU, RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTER (through translation): Nationalist spiked to the plant are actively surrendering. So far, 1,908 people have laid down their arms.

BELL (voice-over): The injured taken to hospital. The evacuees, now prisoners of war in the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic.

Some of their families finally beginning to hear news from their loved ones.

NATALIA ZARYTSKA, WIFE OF AZOV FIGHTER: So my husband wrote me two days ago, and the situation is really hard and tolerable. And my husband is on the way from one hell to another hell.

BELL (voice-over): Russia has promised to treat the fighters according to international law, but has said nothing about any exchange of prisoners of war. According to Ukrainian officials, negotiations are difficult. After weeks of bombardment, the place that symbolizes Ukraine's resistance seems at last to be quiet.

Melissa Bell, CNN, Kyiv.


SANCHEZ: Heavy fighting rages on in eastern Ukraine where missiles struck a cultural center. We're learning that a child was among seven people wounded in the strike.

WALKER: In some areas, Russian troops are adding misery on top of the devastation apparently using phosphorus on top of heavy shelling. CNN's Nick Paton Walsh takes us to the frontline of the fighting.


NICK PAYTON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR (voice-over): Putin would choke the light and life out of here. We are driving into the smoke of an incendiary munitions attack, we're told here, against this civilian village. Homes, field, even the air itself torched. Vera says she saw it falling from the sky and her neighbor hit.

VERA, TSYRKUNY RESIDENT (through translation): Phosphorus or bright sparks of some kind, were flying. That's a fire. Before that, a bomb landed there. It blew up three houses, I think.

WALSH (voice-over): The incendiary munition which burns hot through everything in its path came after heavy normal shelling, which makes you question like so much here exactly why Russia needed to heat fire on top of heavy explosive. It hit just 10 minutes ago, this man says, pointing the way.

Some left bewildered, others in the first moments of shock. Valentina is very matter of fact, as she describes what happened to Viktor in her neighbor's house.

VALENTINA, TSYRKUNY RESIDENT (through translation): There was Andrew Miller^ explosion, smoke all around. He climbed into the attic. Immediately, there was another explosion in the yard. I shouted "Viktor!" He's not there. I jumped into the yard, he's not here. I go to the attic, he's not there.

WALSH (voice-over): She shows us the courtyard where a dead man lies. A large hole in his chest and air torn off. She points to the body just behind the tree and then says who he is.

VALENTINA (through translation): He's my husband.

WALSH (voice-over): Viktor had rushed to check on their neighbor's home. Russia occupied here for weeks. And as it retreats, these tiny corners of green aware it visits its angle (ph). Off the road towards Russia's last positions before the border, the shells land even closer.

Natalia's husband died in shelling weeks ago and her house is like almost everything here ruined.

NATALIA (through translation): We've lived through everything already. I have no strength or patience left after my husband was torn to pieces. You must understand how hard it is.

WALSH (voice-over): For the weeks we're in here was occupied, she lived across the street from an enormous Russian base. Our guides from Ukrainian Rapid Response Unit are cautious. Fighting is intensifying up the road. And they know the Russians got comfortable here.

Their base even needed this aircraft warning device up high to tell Russian jets it was friendly.

(on-camera): This is there a problem each time they move forward. Here they are in what was once a Russian position and look, look all around you. Impossible to know who's really in control of this area with a fight happening just on the other side of the hill.


(voice-over): The smell of corpses among the pines. Under every footstep, the threat of mines.

(on-camera): Everywhere you look, foxholes, ammunition boxes, clearly a significant Russian base here. They're calling it a little of town using this forest as cover, but clearly hit really hard.

(voice-over): The tomb of the unknown Russian soldiers they says ghoulish relics here where it wants buzzed with the brutish clumsy task of besieging the city. Smoldering in the trees here, but swallowed in their tool silence.

Nick Payton Walsh, CNN outside Rozhyshche (ph), Ukraine.


SANCHEZ: Thanks to Nick Paton Walsh for that.

Coming up, an in-depth conversation about George Floyd. We all know too well how he was murdered. But now we're learning more about how he lived and his family history. An important conversation after a quick break. Stay with us.



WALKER: The first funeral was held yesterday for one of the 10 victims of last week's mass shooting in Buffalo, New York. Family, friends and other community members lined up at Lincoln Memorial United Methodist Church to honor 67-year-old Heyward Patterson. He was eulogized by civil rights leader Reverend Al Sharpton.

SANCHEZ: Patterson was a church Deacon and taxi driver and had three kids. He and nine other black victims were killed last Saturday when a shooter opened fire at a Tops grocery store in an apparently racist attack.

It's been nearly two years since George Floyd was murdered by a Minneapolis Police officer. His death on May 25th, 2020 sparked worldwide protests against police brutality and focused attention on systemic racism. A new biography seeks to examine the societal forces that impacted Floyd's life and death and to answer difficult questions about race in the United States.

"His Name Is George Floyd: One Man's Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice" tells his story in vivid detail.

Joining us now are its co-authors, Tolu Olorunnipa and Robert Samuels. They're both reporters for The Washington Post. Thank you both for being with us this morning, sharing part of your weekend with us.

Tolu, in the book you describe how different systems and institutions failed George Floyd, you describe what systemic racism looks like in the context of his life and murder. And I'm wondering how you might present his story as evidence to those who deny or downplay that systemic racism is real. TOLUSE OLORUNNIPA, CO-AUTHOR, "HIS NAME IS GEORGE FLOYD": We went into deep detail in researching how these various institutions impacted Floyd's life. We wanted to show that when he met Derek Chauvin on May 25th, 2020, that was not the first time he was essentially suffocated by the systemic nature of some of the things that he faced in life. He searched family history and saw how racism stripped his family of its wealth in North Carolina.

We researched his experience in the housing system and how he was funneled into a dilapidated government funded segregated housing system. We researched the education public school system that he tried to navigate and how it also was struggled with systemic racism and segregation despite the fact that there was a Supreme Court ruling that said the school should no longer be segregated. And we researched the healthcare and criminal justice systems where he also faced these various systemic pressures.

And there's not enough time to go into everything, but I hope people pick up the book because we are journalists and we decided to deeply research and investigate how George Floyd tried to navigate these systems and how they were all stacked against him.

SANCHEZ: Yes, the detail in the book is exhaustive in the scope at which you look at his life. And Robert, your reporting looked into Floyd's ancestry and how it influenced his mom at one point to warn George about staying out of trouble and avoiding law enforcement from an early age. What did she say to him and why?

ROBERT SAMUELS, CO-AUTHOR, "HIS NAME IS GEORGE FLOYD": Well, George Floyd's mother Larcenia "Cissy" Floyd always told George Floyd and his siblings that they needed to always be aware of the police, respect them and to try to stay on the straight and narrow. Because if there's any loophole, any opening, white people or police officers might seize on it and take it from -- take their lives from them.

The reason she thought that, Boris, is because they saw it happen to their great grandfather who after he was enslaved when he was emancipated, he amassed 500 acres of land. It was one of the wealthiest landowners in North Carolina. Now, if you had your -- that sort of family history, and you are white in this country, you would be the heir to a fortune right now if you are multi -- if you are George Floyd.

But because of the tax practice at the time schemes and fraud, taking advantage of the fact that George Floyd's great grandfather, Hillary Thomas Stewart could not read, that land was seized from him before he could bake one intergenerational transfer in a country where generational wealth, it's how wealth builds. That was robbed and it shaped the family's history from then on.


SANCHEZ: Robert, I also wanted to ask you about a specific incident that you closely studied that's often used to disparage George Floyd's name that he allegedly mugged a pregnant woman at gunpoint. I want you to unravel that narrative for us. I want to know what you found and why you think that narrative wound up being so widely circulated?

SAMUELS: Well, we go through it in great detail in the book. We talked to a number of people who knew George Floyd at the time and talked to him. We also spoke with the victim in her native language, which is Spanish, which is something there's no documentation that the Houston Police Department actually did.

And well, first of all, she was not pregnant at the time of this incident. But when she was presented with the photos of someone of people who might be the suspect, the office, it was a dubious lineup, we go into why in the book, that it's not used in Texas today. It is also true that when she had to identify if she was sure, if she was unsure, or if she was tentative, she chose tentative.

Now, George Floyd, you have to consider the conditions of the place where he lived. And there was a ubiquitous police presence. And it was believed that the justice system was unfair. You would never get a fair shot in a trial, particularly if you're large, like George Floyd was, if you're a big, intimidating looking man. And so George Floyd had a choice. And that choice was to take 40 years in prison or to go through the system and risk spending 40 years in prison or to take a five-year plea deal and say he was guilty.

Now in a system, that's unfair. He thought the most reasonable and best path to rehabilitation would be to take this five-year.

SANCHEZ: Tolu, last question to you. You close the book with a reflection on Floyd's legacy. I'm wondering what you think his lasting impact is going to be on American culture.

OLORUNNIPA: We're still watching that history play out. We did see right after his death, a broad coming together of people from different political backgrounds and different economic backgrounds. Take to the streets together to say that this was not right, that the way he died was not right, and that we needed to stamp out racial injustice.

But two years later, we are seeing the backlash. I mean, books being banned and people talking about how critical race theory should not be taught in schools. And there's political power behind basically the backlash to the George Floyd movement. So it remains to be seen what's going to happen even what happened in Buffalo is, in some ways, part of that backlash.

So this legacy is still being written. And Robert and I were honored to write the second draft of history, but this history is being made live. And we're watching it and continuing to report on it because it's an important movement. It's an important part of our country's history. And what happened two years ago continues to reverberate in very serious and significant ways.

SANCHEZ: Toluse Olorunnipa, Robert Samuels, we have to leave the conversation there. But we thank you and appreciate your work.

SAMUELS: Thank you for having us.

OLORUNNIPA: Thank you.

SANCHEZ: Of course.

WALKER: Oklahoma could soon have one of the strictest abortion bans in the U.S. Details on the bill just ahead.



SANCHEZ: This morning, thousands are without power and a curfew is in place after a tornado killed one person and injured more than 40 others in northern Michigan.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you hear that thing out of my window? Jesus!


SANCHEZ: Witnesses describe hearing what sounded like a freight train as the tornado shredded through the town of Gaylord.

WALKER: A local official reported it went right through the downtown area. One man said residents are also in shock because tornadoes are rare in this part of the country. The state website reports Michigan averages about 15 tornadoes a year. Michigan's governor has declared a state of emergency.

The feud in Washington over abortion rights has put Nancy Pelosi in a tough spot back at home. On Friday, the conservative Archbishop of San Francisco said the House Speaker may no longer receive communion because she supports abortion rights.

SANCHEZ: Pelosi is not the only politician who has been denied communion over her abortion stance. Joe Biden was also denied communion in South Carolina in 2019 over his views. Pope Francis, the leader of the Catholic Church has spoken out against individual bishops enacting these kinds of bands.

WALKER: Now this week, Oklahoma's legislature passed one of the strictest abortion bans in the country. If signed into law, the bill would ban abortions at any stage of pregnancy and would allow private citizens to sue abortion providers who perform or induce an abortion on a pregnant woman.

SANCHEZ: The legislation is a clear rebuke of the protections granted in Roe versus Wade and abortion rights advocates are already vowing a legal challenge if it's signed into law.

Lucy Kafanov has more for us.



GOV. KEVIN STITT (R-OK): We believe life begins at conception and we're going to protect life in Oklahoma.

LUCY KAFANOV, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Republican Governor Kevin Stitt not mincing his words making good on his promise to make Oklahoma the most anti-abortion state in the country. Oklahoma lawmakers passing a bill on Thursday that would ban abortions at fertilization, making it one of the nation's most far reaching abortion prohibitions. Adding to a growing number of Republican leaning states advancing strict measures in anticipation of the Supreme Court overturning Roe versus Wade.

WENDI STEARMAN (R), OKLAHOMA STATE SENATE: This bill does not preclude any other programs seeking to help women and children in difficult times. What this bill does is protect life.

KAFANOV (voice-over): The bill sparked immediate pushback from state Democrats,

CYNDI MUNSON (D), OKLAHOMA STATE SENATE: People will die. Women will die because they cannot access a procedure that they need to save their own life and it will be on our conscience.

KAFANOV (voice-over): Vice Presidents Kamala Harris calling it the latest in a series of blatant attacks on women by extremists legislators while on Thursday, offering a grim preview of a post rural America.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They represents a threat not just to women, but to all Americans at its core. This is about our future as a nation. About whether we live in a country where the government can interfere in personal decisions.

KAFANOV (voice-over): Oklahoma's bill would ban abortions at any stage of pregnancy unless it was a result of rape, sexual assault or incest, but only if those crimes have been reported to law enforcement. While there are exceptions for medical emergencies, it effectively prohibits almost all abortions in the state. It relies on private citizens for enforcement, allowing them to sue any individual who knowingly engages in conduct that aids or abets the performance or inducement of an abortion, including paying for or reimbursing the cost of an abortion through insurance or otherwise.

RABIA MUQADDAM, SENIOR STAFF ATTORNEY, CENTER FOR REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS: This law was designed to encourage people to bring frivolous and harassing lawsuits. It's basically all access pass to the courthouse to bring a lawsuit against somebody for something that you think may be taking place.

KAFANOV (voice-over): The bill now heads to Governor Stitt's desk who's promised to sign any legislation that limits abortion. Just last month, he signed a bill modeled after a Texas legislation that prohibits abortions as early as six weeks before many women even know they're pregnant. The measure does allow for exceptions in medical emergencies.

STITT: Other states can do things differently, but we're going to stay in for life in the state of Oklahoma. (END VIDEOTAPE)

KAFANOV: Amara, here in rural Oklahoma, women are already severely restricted in terms of access to abortions. There are only four clinics in the entire state that provide these services. Two of them have already stopped providing abortions. Now that Governor Stitt has signed this near total ban into law. Planned Parenthood officials tell me that the other two clinics will cease providing abortion services leading women in this state with no options.

Boris, Amara, back to you.

SANCHEZ: Lucy, thank you.

Just ahead, email show that the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas wanted Arizona lawmakers to overturn the 2020 election. We're back in just a few minutes with that story.



SANCHEZ: The S&P 500 briefly fell into bear market territory on Friday slipping more than 20 percent from its record high in January, and potentially ending the Bull Run that began in March of 2020. A reversal late in the day actually pushed the index higher at the markets closed saving it from closing in official bear market territory and mark seven straight weekly losses for the S&P after months of market dives.

Triggered by slow economic and earnings growth, rising inflation and the Fed's monetary tightening. Only one bear market in the past 50 years was not accompanied by a recession.

WALKER: The Justice Department says it intends to appeal a federal judge's ruling blocking the end of a controversial Public Health Authority called Title 42. Yesterday, a federal judge in Louisiana blocked the Biden administration from ending the Trump era pandemic restriction just days before it was set to expire.

In early April, the CDC announced plans to terminate the order stating that it was no longer necessary. Now Title 42 allows officials to turn migrants away at the U.S.-Mexico border to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The CDC says that under Title 42, authorities expelled migrants at the border nearly 2 million times in just over two years.

SANCHEZ: E-mails released Friday show that Ginni Thomas pressured two Arizona state lawmakers to up end the results of the 2020 election. Thomas, who's the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, push the lawmakers to choose a clean slate of electors to up end Joe Biden's popular vote win in that state.

As CNN previously reported, Thomas also exchanged text messages with Trump's White House Chief of Staff at the time Mark Meadows, encouraging him to continue the fight to reverse the election results. Justice Thomas is facing pressure to recuse himself in any cases relative to the January 6 investigations.

We leave you this morning with a quick reminder to watch Nomad with Carlton McCoy tomorrow night. Here's a preview.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's talk Jollof rice.

CARLTON MCCOY, NOMAD HOST (voice-over): No dish in West Africa is more debated than Jollof rice, onions, ginger, Scotch bonnets, sauteed in palm oil and crushed tomatoes, then the rice. It seems simple but Jollof rice sparks a heated debate between Ghana and nearby Nigeria, both claiming that there's the best, sort of like the battle over best pizza in New York City.


Everyone's right, everyone else is wrong. Here at the alley, Jollof rice accompanies chicken quarters, butterflied seasoned and grilled over hot cold.

(on-camera): You must have grown up eating Jollof rice?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, a lot. It was part of the food so we didn't just always have Jollof rice like you did now growing up. You only had this when after graduation or during Christmas.

MCCOY (on-camera): It is special dish.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, it was a very special dish, right, and you know like, so --

MCCOY (on-camera): It's a very familiar flavor.

(voice-over): To be honest with you, Jollof rice is the one dish I may have every night while I'm here. It is so good.


SANCHEZ: Nomad airs Sunday nights at 10:00 p.m. right here on CNN. Don't go anywhere because Smerconish is up next, but we'll be back one hour after that, right Amara?

WALKER: Yes, will see you then.