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New Day Saturday

Nation Reeling from Two Mass Shootings In 10 Days; New Pressure of Lawmakers To Act On Gun Reform After Uvalde Attack; NRA Convention Opens In Texas Despite Uvalde Shooting; Texas Gov. Doubles Down On Mental Health, Dismisses Gun Control; Family Desperate For Medical- Grade Baby Formula; Holiday Weekend Expected To Bring Storms, Severe Heat; Southwest Faces Critical Fire Weather Conditions. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired May 28, 2022 - 08:00   ET




BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Buenos dias. Good morning and welcome to your "New Day." We appreciate you starting your weekend with us. It is Saturday May 28th. I'm Boris Sanchez joining you this morning live from Uvalde Texas.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Christi Paul. And Boris I cannot get over the scene behind you and the conversations you are having with people as we just try to reconcile what's happened in the last 10 days.

SANCHEZ: Yes. It is incredibly heartbreaking Christi and yet at this point, utterly predictable.

We begin with a nation reeling from two mass shootings in just 10 days. The nation coping with dual senseless tragedies that defy reason and infuriate those pleading with lawmakers to do anything to prevent them.

Today, Vice President Kamala Harris attending a memorial service for one of the victims of the mass shooting in Buffalo, New York. You'll remember 86-year-old Ruth Whitfield was one of 10 people gunned down at a supermarket. Authority say the gunman in that shooting was motivated by racial hatred. And just two weeks after visiting the site of that shooting in Buffalo, President Biden coming here tomorrow to Robb Elementary School in Uvalde to yet again, console the families of victims at the scene of only the latest heartbreaking mass shooting.

This morning, we're also learning minute by minute excruciating details of the tragedy that unfolded here with 21 dead, two teachers and 19 children most no older than 10 years old. Investigators now admit that mistakes were made in the response to this attack, including waiting to confront the gunman who opened fire inside of a fourth-grade classroom. Eighty minutes passed between the first 911 call reporting that there was a man outside the school with a gun. And the moment that a tactical unit finally entered the classroom with a gunman was holed up. We've learned that as many as 19 officers were in a hallway right outside the classroom, as terrified students were calling 911 pleading for police to breach that room and confront the gunmen.

To bring us up to speed on the investigation, let's bring in CNN national correspondent Jason Carroll. He's been here following this story, seemingly from the beginning.

Jason, what's the latest investigation? Let's start.

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, as you know, bores you out here as well. It took a lot of pushing, first of all to get authorities to finally admit that mistakes had been made. Parents were out here asking, pleading with officers saying why are you waiting to go in there? Those of us in the media were out here asking some of the same questions. Why was it -- why were you waiting? And then yesterday finally we got some answers from Steven McCraw from the Texas Department of Public Safety who basically explained why this incident commander the person who was in charge, why he decided to make this decision to wait saying that basically he had decided that it was no longer an active shooter situation that instead had turned into a barricade-- barricaded subject and because that decision was made, they waited to reach the door. What they did was they waited to get tactical backup and waited to get the keys from a janitor.


STEVEN MCCRAW, DIRECTOR, TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY: A decision was made that this is a barricaded subject situation, there was time to retrieve the keys and wait for a tactical team with the equipment to go ahead and breach the door and take on the subject at that point. That was the decision. It was the wrong decision very.


CARROLL: Again, admitting that that was a grave mistake. And while they were waiting, we do now know that children were calling 911 from inside that call last room, pleading, begging for officers to send police.


And so now Boris, of course the question is that we're hearing from parents is accountability who's going to be held accountability and what that accountability is going to look like.

SANCHEZ: It's a discrepancy that I think deserves the most scrutiny where parents who were outside pleading with police to rush into the building say that they heard kids screaming, they heard what was happening inside that classroom. And yet the decision was made that this was now a barricaded subject scenario, not an active shooter. A lot of questions still to be answered.

Jason Carroll, we appreciate you walking us through all of that.

Let's turn now to Florida congressman, Democratic Congressman Ted Deutch. He knows this kind of tragedy sadly, all too well. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the site of the Parkland shooting falls in his district.

Congressman Deutch, we appreciate you getting up early for us. I hate that we have to chat under the circumstances. But there was a lot of scrutiny over the law enforcement response in Parkland. And similarly, now there's outrage in this community. I wonder in the context of your experience in Parkland, what's your message to this community about the way that officials here responded?

REP. TED DEUTCH (D-FL): Well, I, I know what the community is feeling now from the families that I've gotten to know so well in Parkland. And it's this is going to be a long process and, and day by day things are going to come out that are going to raise people's emotions. I hope that people in Uvalde understand just like my community, came to understand the way that the country stood with them. Ultimately, they're going to want to want to make sure that there's accountability, if anything wasn't done correctly, they're going to want to make sure that that there's a full understanding of everything that happened today that led ultimately to the tragic deaths of their kids and loved ones.

But while that plays out, we can't afford to fall into this trap, where we skipped from subject to subject and missed the opportunity that we have to do something significant that can help prevent the next mass casualty event, the next mass shooting. There are -- there's an opportunity right now for us to come together. And we have to take advantage of it. That's what we've got now. And I know that the community will feel this pain for some time.

But these you all these years, almost five years later, in Parkland, the families are fighting every day to make sure that that laws are put in place that prevent another family from feeling what they felt, or tragically what the families in Uvalde and too many other places around America feel so often.

SANCHEZ: Let's get into that, Congressman, there have been more than 30 mass shootings in schools just this year in the United States. You watched, as you noted, what happened in Parkland, where there was outrage in the community, there was national outrage, it led to this widespread effort to effect change, but it ultimately failed. How would you console the loved ones of victims here that we've heard from in Uvalde who wants substantial change? Who say they want to make this political, when it's not clear that it's ever going to actually happen that the pattern is going to break?

DEUTCH: Right? Well, first of all, I want to respectfully reject the notion of failure after Parkland. The state of Florida, which is hardly known to be the most progressive state in America has meaningful gun safety legislation, because people came together to do it. In this case, it's pretty straightforward. We know what the issue is, and we can't -- we just can't get into this trap where, where we let the gun companies say that it's not about guns, it's about something else. It's always about something else. The answer is it's about everything. Governor Abbott's right, we need to surge mental health professionals into Uvalde, and every underserved community in America for mental health access. That's true. But at the same time, we've got to be clear that if you have a violent history, you don't get to walk into a gun show and leave with a firearm. But if we don't check, we don't know. And then all of our kids could be at risk. That's why the Senate should pass HRA. That's what it does. And it's got poli (ph) -- it's supported by the American people between 85 and 90%. And in Florida, we know that just as you can't buy a handgun nationally if you're 18 years old, in Florida, that the age was raised to buy any gun to 21.

Well, in this case, especially, why should someone -- why should an 18-year-old who can out buy a handgun be able to walk into a store and buy an AR-15. So, we ought to raise the age to buy a gun to 21 that's got broad support.


And just one other one. The fact is that, that when a shooter is able to shoot off 30 rounds at a time, it's the most horrific thing that we can imagine. And we've seen it play out over and over. So, we should limit the size of -- the size of these magazines, so that a shooter, God forbid they get into a school has to change cartridges, it gives people the opportunity to try to save more lives, every time a shooter needs to reload, there's another chance to stop him and save lives. We can do that now, too.

And last thing, if you've got firearms in your house, and you have small kids in your house, then you should keep your gun locked up. That's what safe storage laws are. These are all things that are straightforward, and they're not partisan, and we can no longer let the gun companies convince, try to convince people that this is some big partisan issue. Only in Washington is, this a partisan issue. Not in the real world where people are dying on a regular basis, because people who are a threat to themselves in their community are getting access to terrible, deadly fires.

SANCHEZ: Congressman, I think that part of the reason that legislation has failed on a national level, is because there are people out there who believe that access to these weapons is enshrined in the Bill of Rights. I'm wondering what your argument is to those who say that this is in the Constitution and it is a right, not a privilege.

DEUTCH: No one -- no, that's the that's the biggest false statement in this whole debate. The fact is that everyone understands people with violent histories shouldn't be allowed to get firearms, to buy firearms, there's no constitutional right, for a dangerous person to have a firearm. We have laws in place that require a background check if you go buy a gun in a gun store. So, we have to close the loophole that says --

SANCHEZ: But yet, Congressman --


SANCHEZ: Forgive me. Forgive me, Congressman. I appreciate that you're saying that if someone has a violent history, they shouldn't have access to these weapons. The shooter in this case, those laws, any background check wouldn't have prevented him from getting those weapons, he got them legally. And we can list a number of cases were background checks were either passed, or there were either flaws in the background check system. I'm thinking of another shooting here in Texas at a church just a few years ago. Are background checks enough to prevent these kinds of massacres?

DEUTCH: No. Here's what we always do. And it pains me when this happens, because it happens every time. We're always debating how we could have prevented the horrific loss of innocent life that just happened instead of thinking about how we can prevent the next one from happening. No. The background check law isn't going to save every life, it's not going to prevent every shooting. But people understand that if you can pass a law that will save lives, and it will may not have prevented this shooting, but will prevent others just as the background check system prevents people with violent histories right now from getting firearms, we ought to do it.

You know, what would have prevented this? If you had to be 21 to buy a gun, then this shooter wouldn't have bought it. So let's do that, if that's the answer to that question. But again, it's everything. We ought to be doing all the things I talked about, and we ought to be focused on mental health. And we ought to be keeping our schools safe. And having a clearinghouse where people can have access to the best information on how to keep their school safe. And we ought to be using scientific data to help identify threats before they happen.

So much of this is bipartisan. It's the same arguments that are being made by the gun makers every single time. Thoughtful, rational people, which is, frankly, what most people in our country are, when they listen to this, they get tired because they think it's all about politics. It's not about politics. It's about gun makers trying to protect their profits, and the rest of us paying the price. That's what we have to come to terms with. And then come together to do the things that that every poll, including ones from just a couple days ago have shown the American people want us to do.

SANCHEZ: I certainly hope that even though these shootings appear to becoming more common and larger and more savage, even in their scale and frequency that people don't lose hope that something could be done that it's not normalized, that it's not just another news cycle that comes and goes. And that perhaps something can actually come out of Congress that will prevent the next one.


Congressman Ted Deutsch, we have to leave the conversation there. We hope you come back soon --

DEUTCH: I appreciate it.

SANCHEZ: -- and get into the weeds with us on this debate. We appreciate your time, sir.

DEUTCH: Thank you for having me.

SANCHEZ: Of course. The end of the school year is supposed to be a time of celebration. But in Uvalde, Texas, just two days before the summer break, 21 families are preparing for funerals as an entire community is in mourning over the massacre at Robb Elementary School.


SANCHEZ (voice-over): Three days after 21 innocent lives were taken. We're learning more about the loved ones this small town is grieving.

DORA MENDOZA, GRANDMOTHER OF AMERIE JO GARZA: To all forget them, please do something about it. I beg you.

SANCHEZ (voice-over): Miranda Mathis was 11 years old. A friend of her mother's told The Washington Post, Miranda was a fun, spunky bright little girl. Ten-year-old Rogelio Torres, his aunt telling CNN affiliate KSAT, he was a quote, very intelligent, hardworking and helpful person. He'll be missed and never forgotten. Maite Rodriguez also 10 years old. Her mother Anna says Maite dreamed of becoming a marine biologist and wanted to attend college at Texas A&M. In a touching Facebook tribute, Anna calls her daughter quote, sweet, charismatic, loving, caring, loyal, free, ambitious, funny, silly goal driven and her best friend.

Other victims' names have also been confirmed. Layla Salazar, 11 years old, Makenna Lee Elrod, Alithia Ramirez and Jayca Carmelo Luevanos, all just 10 years old. And then a tragic twist, the husband of Irma Garcia, one of the murdered teachers, has also died. According to the Archdiocese of San Antonio, Joe Garcia suffered a heart attack after news of his wife's death and passed away on Thursday. The couple had been married more than 24 years and were high school sweethearts.

EDUARDO MORALEZ, SACRED HEART UVALDE: They came to mass every Sunday.

SANCHEZ (voice-over): Father Eduardo Morales of Sacred Heart Church in Uvalde knew the family well and greeted Irma as she walked into service on Sunday morning. He says, the couple were a fixture in the community and leave behind four children who he privately consoled shortly after Joe's death.

MORALES: I told the community that in my own family when we've had a death that it's the church in prayer that has gotten through all this made (ph). Not that it takes the pain away.

SANCHEZ (voice-over): The Garcias among a list of names of lives cut too short. Eva Mireles, Amerie Garza, Uziyah Garcia, Xavier Lopez, Jose Flores, Jr. Lexi Rubio, Annabell Guadalupe Rodriguez, Jacklyn Cesarez, Tess Mata, Nevaeh Bravo, Ellie Garcia, Jailah Silguero, Elijah Torres, names that will forever be etched in the memories of those touched and affected by this horrible tragedy.

GEORGE RODRIGUEZ, GRANDFATHER OF JOSE FLORES JR.: (INAUDIBLE) do this, state the nation show him to the world. I want everybody to know him. When he died, I died part with him.

(END VIDEOTAPE) SANCHEZ: And before we go to break, we wanted to leave you with the images of all 21 victims always in the hearts of this community, always to be remembered and hopefully the beginning of a change in this country.

We'll be right back, stay with us.



SANCHEZ: Even amid the devastating tragedy in Uvalde, the top gun lobby in the United States the National Rifle Association, pushed ahead with its annual convention held in Houston just a few 100 miles away from here. Texas Governor Greg Abbott canceled his in person appearance and instead his remarks were pre-recorded for the event.

PAUL: Yes, former President Donald Trump and other GOP leaders that did attend rejected efforts to overhaul gun laws, actually mocking Democrats along with activists who are calling for change.

Here's CNN's Ryan Young who's in Houston with more.

RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Boris and Christi, you can understand the emotions were running high, especially outside the convention center. More than 1,000 people showed up for a rally to show their support for banning assault weapons. But you can really feel the emotion especially from those folks who say nothing's going to change.


YOUNG (voice-over): Former President Donald Trump rally with the National Rifle Association as it holds his annual meeting just days after 21 people, including 19 children were massacred in a school shooting in Uvalde.

DONALD TRUMP (R) FMR PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES: The existence of evil in our world is not a reason to disarm law abiding citizens who know how to use their weapon and can protect a lot of people. The existence of evil is one of the very best reasons to arm law abiding citizens.

YOUNG (voice-over): Instead of new gun laws, the former President calling for more focus on mental health and school security. What we need now is a top to bottom security overhaul at schools all across our country.

Those arguments echoed by others who addressed the NRA Annual Convention in Houston, including Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): We must not react to evil and tragedy by abandoning the Constitution or infringing on the rights of our law abiding citizens.

[08:25:00] YOUNG (voice-over): The NRA has condemned the use of all day shooting, but decided to press ahead with his gathering. Though several musical performers and elected officials canceled appearances in the wake of Tuesday shooting.


UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKERS (in unison): Go away!


UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKERS (in unison): Go away!

YOUNG (voice-over): Across the street, a crowd of protesters gathered outside the convention site.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I am looking right at you the NRA today, I won't want my -- anymore my parents died in a school.

YOUNG (voice-over): Outrage over the gun groups influence and the high profile Republican speakers the meeting attractive.

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKERS (in unison): Shame on you! Shame on you! Shame on you!

YOUNG (voice-over): Former Texas Congressman Beto O'Rourke, the state's Democratic nominee for governor joined those outside the venue calling for action/

BETO O'ROURKE (D-TX) GUBERNATORIAL NOMINEE: The time for us to stop Uvalde was right after Sandy Hook. If you have done anything good, it is the fact that you have brought us here together and that we are committing ourselves to act.

YOUNG (voice-over): Texas Governor Greg Abbott was initially scheduled to appear in person, but sent a video message instead.

GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R-TX): There are thousands of laws on the books across the country that limit the opening or using a firearms, laws that have not stopped madmen from carrying out evil acts on innocent people and peaceful communities.


YOUNG: Now you can see some of the signs that protesters left behind. Look, there is tired of all the talk and the back and forth. They said they want to hear more concrete answers for how things can change. But that hasn't happened as of yet. And those emotions kept running high as the night went on. Boris and Christis.

PAUL: Ryan, thank you so much.

Republican Senator John Cornyn, who's leading Republicans in bipartisan talks with Democrats in Congress to find a middle ground on gun reform legislation said Thursday that discussions among the group are quote, just getting started. And Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, who was in on that meeting says so far it's been quote, very encouraging.

CNN's Daniella Diaz is on Capitol Hill this morning. Daniela, are you getting a sense from Senator Manchin that something is different this time around?

DANIELLA DIAZ, CNN CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: He said it himself Christi when he talked to reporters after meeting with this bipartisan group on Thursday, he said, of course you just quoted him, he called it very encouraging. But he compared it to talks after Sandy Hook -- the Sandy Hook shooting also very horrific. He said quote, I was here in 2013, after the Sandy Hook shooting and getting people to participate back then, until you know Pat Toomey stepped forward wasn't anyone jumping forward. He's really implying that Republicans weren't eager to start discussions with Democrats on some sort of gun safety legislation or some sort of legislation that could help combat any future horrific shootings, a pattern in this country that we've seen again, and again.

Of course, this comes after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the top Republican in the Senate gave his blessing to Senator John Cornyn and the senior senator of Texas to start these discussions with Democrats. Democrats, of course, being very eager to try to pass some sort of bill in the Senate, but they need at least 10 Republicans to sign on to any legislation to break that 60 vote threshold for the filibuster other than that if they don't have those 10 Republicans to sign on with every Democrat signing on, no bill can pass.

Now, I do want to reference that there is such a contrast between what Senator John Cornyn is doing, of course, participating in this bipartisan discussion on some sort of gun safety legislation versus what Senator Ted Cruz the other senator from Texas is doing. Texas, of course being where that horrific shooting took place at that elementary school.

Take a listen to what Senator Ted Cruz said was to blame about the shooting, not faulting guns, but everything but.


CRUZ: Ultimately, as we all know, what stops armed bad guys is armed good guys. We must not react to evil and tragedy by abandoning the Constitution or infringing on the rights of our law abiding citizens.


DIAZ: Christi, I really want to emphasize that this shows that there's still such a divide in within the Republican Party on how to handle gun safety legislation with, you know, Senator Ted Cruz and Senator John Cornyn really showing that divide with Cornyn, of course, participating in these bipartisan talks, leading these bipartisan talks and Senator Ted Cruz still saying that gun legislation does not need to happen that everything but is the reason to blame for the shooting.

So, it's going to be a really uphill climb, a long shot for Democrats to be able to get 10 Republicans on board but they're going to try anyway. Christi. PAUL: Daniella Diaz, thank you so much.

And you highlighted Ted Cruz. Texas Governor Greg Abbott is also dismissing calls for gun reform following the deadly school shooting there. What he's says is the real problem.


That's next, stay close.



SANCHEZ: Though some of the families of victims here in Uvalde are calling for stricter gun control following the deadly shooting at Robb Elementary School, Texas Governor Greg Abbott insists the focus should instead be on mental health and providing resources for different communities. Even though that doesn't exactly jive with his track record. CNN's Nick Watt explains.


NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Governor Greg Abbott isn't talking at all about gun control, but he does talk a lot about mental health.

GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R-TX): Anybody who shoots somebody else has a mental health challenge, period.

WATT (voice-over): This is press conference the day after those 21 murders in Uvalde.

ABBOTT: We as a government need to find a way to target that mental health challenge and do something about it.

WATT (voice-over): Nearly five years ago after 26 were slaughtered in a Baptist church in Sutherland Springs, he told CNN this.

ABBOTT: One of the challenges we have to deal with is not just evil, but also mental health challenges.

WATT (voice-over): Today, nearly five years later, Mental Health America's 2022 access to care rankings puts Texas dead last. Governor Abbott clearly has other priorities. Just a month ago, he diverted nearly $0.5 billion of mostly COVID relief surplus funds to what he calls the disaster at the southern border while taking a political pop at President Biden's open border policies.

And he said this, "Texans safety and security is our top priority, and we will continue fighting to keep our communities safe." But undocumented immigrants have substantially lower crime rates than native born citizens states a recent academic study of Texas, the most aggressive immigrant removal programs have not delivered on their crime reduction promises and are unlikely to do so in the future. To be fair, Operation Lone Star does also target illegal drugs seeping into Texas. But in the meantime, at least 388 people have been killed in mass shootings in Texas on Governor Abbott's watch while he has rolled back gun restrictions.


WATT: So briefly back to that nearly $0.5 billion that was diverted down to the border in Texas, it was taken from various different government departments and they were essentially then reimbursed with surplus COVID relief funds. Now, the governor took more than $200 million from the Department of Health and Human Services and that led some people to say, hang on, is he taking money away from healthcare? His office tells me that is, quote, completely inaccurate.

The department itself tells me that all of their health care programs are fully funded. Budgets for health care, mental health care have shown a modest uptick over the past couple of years. And the governor spokesperson also tells me that he works hard to increase funding and access to mental health care in Texas. But don't forget that league table, Texas ranks last in the United States for access to mental health care.

Nick Watt, CNN, Los Angeles.

SANCHEZ: Thanks to Nick Watt for that report.

Listen, we're going to get some more insight from experts on the investigation into the shooting, including questions surrounding the delayed police response. That's going to be all day right here on CNN.

We're also going to be sharing stories of survivors. And we're going to honor the victims by hearing from those who loved them most. Stay with us. New Day continues after a quick break.



PAUL: 42 minutes past the hour, the Defense Production Act has been invoked for a third time this week in an effort to get baby formula back on store shelves. Nestle for one says it expects to ship 40 percent of a Gerber formula for babies who are allergic to cow's milk to retail stores by the end of the day tomorrow. And Dan On Food Company says half a million cans of its specialty formula should get to families in the first half of July. So a long time away.

This formula shortage is a real crisis for my next guest as well. And here's why. I don't know if you've heard about this, but two of her sons were born with a metabolic condition that requires them to be on medical grade formula. That formula can only be supplied through the manufacturer and she says she's felt helpless because she found out it was on backorder and she hasn't gotten any more just yet. Those are pictures of three of her boys, two of whom have had this problem.

Alexa Beichler is with us now. Alexa, thank you so much for taking time to talk to us. Listen, anybody out there who has had to be responsible for children understands the fear that would be coming to you day by day right now. Help us understand the necessity of this formula for your children. I mean, what happened to them if they didn't have access to it?

ALEXA BEICHLER, TWO SONS REQUIRE MEDICAL-GRADE FORMULA TO SURVIVE: Yes. So this formula is medical formula. There'll be -- it's medically necessary, they'll be on it every day for the rest of their lives. They have a condition called PKU. So it affects -- they can't process protein. So, you know, everything has protein in it. So this formula has all of the other amino acids besides the one part of protein they can't have.

So this is not anything I can get on the shelves at the store. It's not anything that, you know, anyone can find on the internet. It literally shipped to us from our DME, from our -- right from the manufacturer, however, that all works.


But it's really important because within a few days, they can definitely start losing, you know, their brain function. So I mean, they can become severely impacted their brain just -- it acts like a neurotoxin, and it goes in their bloodstream and starts attacking their brain. So it's really important that they get it. And right now we don't have any. We have about a two-week supply left.

PAUL: Have you heard from the company in terms of when you might be able to get some of this?

BEICHLER: So yes, I've actually -- you know, we were in the People article, and I've heard from a lot of different companies. Unfortunately, this is just out. It's not available. Even the director of North America of the entire company cannot get it for me. So if she can't get it for me, nobody can get it for me.

So it's not just me, we're lucky. We have a two-week supply left. There are other families I've talked to that we actually sent some of our formula to, that are already on half doses, which is insane. She was telling me how her son was already acting out in school and all these crazy things. So I was like, no, you can't be on half doses, I'm going to send you what I can.

So we're all pulling together to try to do the best we can. But we're running out. It's times the clock, and we're running against the clock right now. So it's really -- and they tell us it's about to be a month or so. It could be two weeks until it's ready. And then like another two weeks until we actually like get it for whatever reason. So our clock is ticking for sure.

PAUL: I -- help us understand what you're feeling right now as a mom, because I'm nervous for you. I'm nervous for them. I feel helpless with -- how are you?

BEICHLER: It's a constant state of anxiety. You know, it's crazy. Like, I think I've gotten a lot of gray hairs from the past three weeks. I mean, every day, I just look at them. I'm like, oh, my goodness, what can we do for you? And I've literally done everything I possibly could.

And everybody has reached out and tried to do this. It's just not here. Like everybody's like, fly to Canada, fly over here. It is made in New Jersey. And it is shipped to those places. It is not -- it isn't -- it's nowhere to be found. So they're having issues with the raw materials or whatever it is they are having issues with. And it's not available right now. It's not even made. So we're feeling the ripple effects. It was crazy.

PAUL: I was reading that there is -- some people have resorted to a black market community for this. Is that correct?

BEICHLER: Yes. So I mean, our community has been very great to each other like I said. We've shipped what we could to other people. You know, it's probably not the safest emphasis medical food. And it is like, medically required. And different things can be different amounts of protein.

And, you know, so it needs to be done under a doctor's orders. But, you know, we're not going to let anybody in the community have irreversible brain damage because of this. So we're all banding together and we're all working hard. We're all trying to connect what few of us there are because there not many people in our community but we might be small but we're super strong and we're all trying to back each other up and trying to make sure everybody's got what they need. But soon enough, it's going to -- there's going to be no more.

PAUL: Alexa Beichler, please keep us posted. Please keep us informed.


PAUL: We are and we are praying for you and we hope those. That little one is so sweet. Just take good care of each other.

BEICHLER: Oh, thank you.

PAUL: Yes, and we were pulling for you and please just keep us posted. We want to make sure that you're OK and your whole community is OK. Cannot imagine.

BEICHLER: Yes. Thank you so much. We appreciate it.

PAUL: Of course. Thank you. Alexa Beichler there with her -- with one of her three sons there.

We'll keep up with her, I promise.

So this weekend, you know is the unofficial start of summer. Temperatures are feeling like it in a lot of parts of the country. Stay close. We'll tell you what's happening.


[08:53:03] PAUL: So I know so many of you are hoping for good weather this weekend. Well, depending on where you live. That could depend on what you get. Karen Maginnis is with us, meteorologist here. So what does it look like, Karen?

KAREN MAGINNIS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, it looks like it's going to be fairly stormy across the Northeast and New England. That's because we have a slow moving frontal system that sweeping across this region. And that usher in waves of rainfall. Could be heavy at times, not a day-long event but just kind of persistent across that region.

In the northern tier, this is going to be very problematic, not just for today, but going into Sunday and Monday. It'll gradually shift towards the east. So much of the Midwest and into the northern tier. This is what we're looking at the potential for damaging winds, large size hail and maybe the risk of an isolated tornado in areas around Rapid City to Valentine and then stretching a little further towards the east.

It's all part of a dynamic weather system moving across the Pacific Northwest. So dynamic that Southwestern Montana mountains are looking at between 2 and 4 feet of snowfall. It is amazing. So this is going to have a lot of energy associated with it. So from Minneapolis and Duluth to Sioux Falls and into areas right around Laramie, Wyoming, this is where we could see some gusty winds and the risk for severe weather.

Across the southwestern United States, this has become dire. Millions of people are looking at some gusty winds. It is extremely dry. And as a result, Saturday and Sunday, gusty winds, and that threat of fire continuing especially the one that is burned over 300,000 acres just to the east of Santa Fe, that's the Calf Canyon fire is going to be treacherous.

All right here are the temperatures in Chicago. You come close to 90 degrees behind the front, a lot cooler. Temperatures in the 50s behind the front, but thunderstorms from Minneapolis. And then we're looking at some very humid weather conditions across the Deep South. Christi, you know that well.

PAUL: Yes, yes, I do. Yes. Karen, we appreciate the heads up so much. Thank you.


And thank you for spending some time with us this morning. We're back in an hour. Smerconish is up with you next.

First, I want to tell you about an all new episode of "Nomad with Carlton McCoy." Here's a preview.


CARLTON MCCOY, NOMAD (voice-over): My town. And finally, a hidden gem for an unlikely dinner. Let's spot. Proving ground for Toronto's best bull sharks. It's owned by Marco Liu, and his famous locally for its amazing fried rice and crispy wings with Guyanese hot sauce.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You want hot sauce? How many hot sauce do you want? Hello (INAUDIBLE).

Hey guys. OK.

MCCOY (on-camera): How good of a pool player do you need to be to own a pool hall?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It depends. You want to see the $5 game or the $20 game?


PAUL: Don't miss "Nomad with Carlton McCoy." It's tomorrow starting at 9:00 p.m. We'll see you at 10.