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New Day Saturday

Nancy Pelosi's Husband Attacked In Home Invasion; Obama, Biden, Hit The Campaign Trail Ahead Of Midterms; New York's Tightening Gubernatorial Race Has Dems Frantic In Home Stretch; Stocks Rally Into The Weekend As Prices Still Continue To Remain Painfully High; Drought Sends Mississippi Water Levels Plunging To Near-Record Lows; Two People Detained After Shooting Near Funeral in Pittsburgh. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired October 29, 2022 - 06:00   ET




AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone and welcome to your new day. I'm Amara Walker.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, Amara. I'm Boris Sanchez. We have new details this morning in the violent attack on how Speaker Nancy Pelosi husband Paul, here would police first saw when they arrived at their home plus, an update on Mr. Pelosi's condition and new indications about the suspects potential motive.

WALKER: And it is the final sprint to the midterm elections and both parties bringing out their closers, their messages and last-minute concerns and some of the key races.

SANCHEZ: Plus, new clues on where the economy stands as we continue to pay more for just about everything. Plus, the warning signs pointing to a possible economic downturn next year.

WALKER: And the urgent message from the CDC about this year's flu virus and why they're urging everyone to get the vaccine now.

WALKER: It's Saturday, October 29th. Where does the time go? Thanks so much for waking up with us. Good morning, Boris.

SANCHEZ: Good morning, Amara. Always great to be with you.

WALKER: Well, we begin with new details emerging about the violent attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband.

SANCHEZ: Yes, sources say the assailant tried to tie up 82-year-old Paul Pelosi after breaking into the couple of San Francisco home and attacking him with a hammer. He underwent surgery to repair a skull fracture and other injuries. He is fortunately expected to make a full recovery. And police say this was not random. They say this was a targeted attack.


CHIEF WILLIAM SCOTT, SAN FRANCISCO POLICE: This was not a random act. This was intentional. And it's wrong. Our elected officials are here to do the business of their cities, their counties, their states and this nation. Their families don't sign up for this to be harmed. And it is wrong. And everybody should be disgusted about what happened this morning.


WALKER: You know authorities say it was the quick thinking and a call by Paul Pelosi that helped police get to the scene within minutes.


BROOKE JENKINS, SAN FRANCISCO DISTRICT ATTORNEY: It is really thanks to Mr. Pelosi having the ability to be able to make that call and truly the attention and the instincts of that dispatcher to realize that something was wrong in that situation and to make the police call a priority so that they got there within two minutes to respond to this situation.


WALKER: Authorities are still gathering evidence to determine a motive in the attack while the suspect is expected to be arraigned Tuesday on multiple felony charges.

SANCHEZ: We get more on the attack and how it unfolded from CNN security correspondent Josh Campbell.


JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT COVERING NATIONAL SECURITY (voiceover): 82-year-old Paul Pelosi the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi undergoing surgery today after being violently attacked with a hammer early Friday morning at the Pelosi San Francisco home. Speaker Pelosi was in Washington at the time.

Police say they found Paul Pelosi fending off an attacker after responding to a request for a priority wellbeing check at the Pelosi home.

SCOTT: They encountered an adult male and Mrs. Pelosi's husband, Paul. Our officers observed Mr. Pelosi and the suspect both holding a hammer. The suspect pulled the hammer away from Mr. Pelosi and violently assaulted him with it.

CAMPBELL: The assailant was searching for the speaker according to a source briefed on the attack. He confronted Mr. Pelosi shouting, Where is Nancy? Where is Nancy?

SCOTT: Our officers immediately tackled the suspect disarmed him, took him into custody, requested emergency backup and rendered medical aid.

CAMPBELL: Two sources familiar with the investigation tell CNN the attacker hit Pelosi and attempted to tie him up after breaking into the back of the home around 2:30 am. A suspect 42-year- old David DePape is now in custody. His Facebook page now taken down had posts of memes and conspiracy theories about the 2020 election and the January 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol.

Not long ago, Nancy Pelosi was a target of the January 6 rioters with him hunting for and trashing her office. The motive for Friday's attack on her husband is not yet known.


SCOTT: Mr. DePape will be booked at the San Francisco County jail on the following charges attempted homicide, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, burglary and several other additional felonies.

CAMPBELL: The Speaker's office issued a statement saying Mr. Pelosi is expected to make a full recovery.

CAMPBELL (on camera): And we're now learning how police were initially dispatched here to the Pelosi residence in the first place, sources tell CNN that Mr. Pelosi was able to call 911 at the start of the attack and kept the line open. Speaking in code, it was an adept dispatcher who realized something was wrong, sent police here of course, they were able to tackle that suspect. He was taken into custody and now faces multiple charges, including attempted homicide, and assault. Josh Campbell, CNN, San Francisco.


WALKER: And many thanks to Josh Campbell for that report. So of course, this attack on Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband is just the latest incident raising a lot of concerns among lawmakers, especially in this very polarizing environment we're living in today. Both Democrats and Republicans are condemning the attack.

SANCHEZ: It does come just over a week before the midterm elections. Let's take you to Capitol Hill now and CNN Washington correspondent Sunlen Serfaty, who is live with more. Sunlen, what are you hearing from lawmakers about the attack?

SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, there certainly has been bipartisan condemnation Boris of the attack. We've heard from both Democrats and Republicans across the board, expressing their outrage over this violence and certainly expressing their sympathy for the Pelosi family.

And I think it's notable in many of the Democrats responses, and also one Republican Adam Kinzinger, they're really calling out Republicans here, essentially saying that every elected official whether you're from the Republican Party of the Democratic Party, if you're a candidate running for office or in office now that they should be standing up, speaking out and condemning this attack, so a real pressure moment that Democrats are putting on Republicans.

And we certainly have seen Republicans respond. We heard from the former Vice President Mike Pence, he said that this is an outrage, and that there can be no tolerance for violence like this in our country. We heard from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, he said this, he's horrified by the attack, and disgusted by the news of this report and exactly the details of what's coming out. And Senator Ted Cruz, of course, no friend of Nancy Pelosi note eveness, in his statement, saying that we have our political differences. But violence is always wrong and unacceptable.

WALKER: And, you know, we've also been seeing just over the past couple of years, just increasing number of threats, threats against lawmakers and other officials. What more can you tell us about that? And I would imagine they're asking for more protection, especially for their family members.

SERFATY: That's absolutely right. And this, in many ways, is essentially a combination of lawmakers' worst fears that has just been growing and growing in recent years. You look at some of the events in recent years, not the least of which is January 6, where you had not only members of Congress targeted, but you had many of their family members targeted as well. And we know according to law enforcement sources, that specifically the targets, to the family members of lawmakers that has extended to them an increasing number over the last two years.

So this is something that we understand from sources on Capitol Hill that that they are looking into the U.S. Capitol Police is assessing potentially additional security for families of lawmakers that they don't currently have, certainly in the wake of all of this up political rhetoric, the ratchet up of political rhetoric, and certainly, unfortunately, incidents like these.

SANCHEZ: Sunlen Serfaty, thank you so much. Let's get some expert analysis now from CNN national security analyst, Juliette Kayyem. She's a former Assistant Secretary at the Department of Homeland Security. And the author of "The Devil Never Sleeps: Learning to Live in the Age of Disasters."

Juliette, thanks so much for being up with us bright and early. So far, officials have not explicitly said that this was politically motivated. But given some of what we've seen on the suspect, social media and what CNN has heard from his relatives, it's certainly possible that it was. What evidence do you think officials need to firmly establish that link?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Right. And I think the police are being are not stating the obvious simply because they're trying to make a legal case to say so would probably put it under federal jurisdiction. So they're going to be careful about how they describe it, but we can describe it as it is, which is a man goes into the house, breaks into the house of the person who is second in line to the presidency.

And while we're talking about Paul Pelosi, and what happened to him, this was essentially an attack against Nancy Pelosi. The assailant was looking for her, has said he was looking for her and then attacked her husband when she was not available.


We then look at his social media platforms and his and what he has left, it is clear it is part of the stop the steal, you know ideology, I guess. He embraces this idea that violence is a acceptable extension of politics. And so he's clearly engaged in a world in which the political leadership is promoting violence or the threats of violence as an acceptable discourse. And so, we shouldn't be surprised by this at all. I mean, it's horrifying. But I mean, this is what we've been talking about for years.

SANCHEZ: Yes, in some ways, it isn't surprising, right? There have been so many close calls at this point that something like this was bound to happen.


SANCHEZ: And we're lucky that Paul was able to survive and get out the way he did. I'm curious about this Juliette, because the suspect he's been charged with multiple felonies, including attempted homicide, but some have taken exception to that charge. I want you to listen to this.


JESSE WATTERS, CO-HOST, "THE FIVE": I want this alleged perpetrator to be treated the exact same way if he had treated if he had attacked anybody else, because a lot of people get hit with hammers. I don't know why this guy is being treated differently as he's facing, what, attempted homicide. He's in prison right now. We've seen people assault people all the time, randomly with all kinds of weapons.


SANCHEZ: Juliette, you've seen a lot of cases over your career --


SANCHEZ: -- because attempted homicide makes sense here.

KAYYEM: Oh, absolutely. I mean, the ramblings of someone who wants to defend, you know, the violence and the incitement that they've been spewing for years is I think no of interest is of no interest to prosecutors. This is clearly falls within the attempted homicide.

Here's a couple things to remember, not only had the police not arrived, he probably would be dead. And so that's why you get attempted homicide, but also, he's not young. And even though they are talking about full recovery, anyone who has been around to elders, who knows what it's like for them to suffer trauma, it is very hard to get back to normal. So the idea that this isn't having a permanent impact on a lifespan is ridiculous.

And this is the kind of thing that they do, right, that everything that's done is somehow less violence, less is excusable. And that's that, you know, this is led by Donald Trump and a GOP apparatus that either allows it or nurtures it, or doesn't condemn it. I often think what it what if McConnell had stayed true to his words after January 6 and said, essentially, Donald Trump is a pariah in this party, we do not talk about that. Think about how low the temperature would be in this country. We wouldn't be all friends. We would still have our disagreements. But something's been unleashed. And we saw it yesterday. So, you know, I think we don't have to, you know, we don't have to cater to everyone's apologies of him. I mean, I think that this is clear the kind of attack it was.

SANCHEZ: Juliette Kayyem, we have to leave the conversation there. Thanks so much for the time.

KAYYEM: Thank you.

WALKER: So as we were just mentioning, we're just 10 days away from the midterm elections and both parties are bringing out their biggest stars to get their candidates across the finish line. We'll have their closing messages as voters head to the polls. And also the neck and neck races. The details on that next.

Also, the CDC urging everyone to get their flu vaccine now. Why they say this year's flu season hasn't been this bad this early in more than a decade.



SANCHEZ: Just 10 days to go before the midterms and already election officials say more than 17 and a half million Americans have cast their ballots via early voting. And today, President Biden is expected to join them stepping into the voting booth in Wilmington, Delaware with his granddaughter Natalie, who will be voting for the first time.

WALKER: Wow. While former President Obama will be on the campaign trail today in the critical battleground states of Michigan and Wisconsin. He stumped for Democrats in Georgia last night. You could see there he was with Raphael Warnock.

And starting next week former President Trump will hit the trail hard holding rallies for GOP candidates in Iowa, Pennsylvania, Florida and Ohio. CNN's Jeff Zeleny has more now on Obama's return to the political spotlight.


JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Former President Barack Obama returned to the campaign trail Friday night outside Atlanta, kicking off a week-long series of stops across the country in key battleground states.

He framed the midterm elections as a stark choice between Democratic candidates and Republican ones. He acknowledged that inflation is a challenge for the President and the party. But he said it's a global challenge as well. And then he said Republicans have no answer. BARACK OBAMA, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: They're not interested in actually solving problems. They're interested in making you angry and finding somebody to blame. Because that way, you may not notice that they've got no answers on their own.

ZELENY: The former president also said democracy is on the ballot in November. He talked about election denialism and the rising tensions and coarseness in American politics. He also delivered a blistering critique against Herschel Walker. Of course, he is the Republican Senate candidate here in Georgia, challenging Senator Raphael Warnock. This is one of the key races across the country that could help determine control of the Senate.


Now, the former President praised Walker as a star football player. But then he said he simply was not prepared to serve in the Senate.

OBAMA: In college, he was amazing, one of the best running backs of all time. But here's the question. Does that make him the best person to represent you and the USA? Does that make him equipped to weigh in on the critical decisions about our economy and our foreign policy in our future?

ZELENY: The former president also said he was praying for Paul Pelosi, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who of course was injured in that grievous attack in San Francisco. He also said it's part of the erosion of civility and discourse in American politics. Now, the President is heading to Wisconsin and Michigan today, on to Nevada next week and Pennsylvania by the final weekend of the campaign. Boris and Amara.


SANCHEZ: Jeff Zeleny, thank you so much. Joining us now CNN political commentator and spectrum news political anchor Errol Louis. Errol, always great seeing you bright and early on a Saturday morning. Thanks for joining us.

As Jeff noted, some of the Democratic Party's biggest names are fanning out across the country today hitting the campaign trail. Recent polls have indicated that Tuesday night could be rough for Democrats. How much do you think these big names are going to be able to help candidates in these key states?

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Good morning, Boris. This is classic strategy. You make your closing argument. You try and create some crowd, some excitement, some momentum. Keep in mind in the era of early voting every day is election day. In fact, they're setting records in Georgia for early voting, and I'm sure having the former president come into town will only add to that. So that's what you do in the final week.

But make no mistake about it. The Democrats were from the very beginning, trying to book history, the President's party, typically in a midterm will lose 26 seats on average, that's more than enough. In fact, even half of that is more than enough to lose control of the House of Representatives.

So Democrats are trying to change that around. They thought that perhaps the overturning of Roe versus Wade might give them a lift with some women voters. But it's unclear whether or not that's going to happen. The polls don't suggest it. It suggests that history is asserting itself. And the Democrats are indeed looking at a rough night a week from Tuesday.

SANCHEZ: Yes, you mentioned that the important race is happening in Georgia and specifically that Senate race the polling there indicates that it's much tighter than it was just a few weeks ago. Senator Raphael Warnock making some of his most direct attacks on Herschel Walker. Listen to this.


SEN. RAPHAEL WARNOCK (D-GA): Herschel Walker is not ready. Not only -- not only is he not ready. He's not fit.


SANCHEZ: Up until that point, the senator, Errol, had been very measured in his criticism of the former football star. What's your outlook on that race?

LOUIS: Well, he had -- Raphael Warnock had a two to six point lead that seems to have vanished and it's too close to call now. And so what he's trying to do there, Boris, is disqualify his opponent. It's something of a risky strategy to be honest with you, because either people will believe it or they won't. But when you're debating together and both candidates are on the ballot, there's a certain kind of equivalence that leads voters to think well, you know, he's at least in the running, so to then say, well, he's not fit at all, he doesn't belong here at all.

Very tough argument compared with what people see every day at the supermarket, at the gas pump, which is inflation, crime fears that they see in the headlines. That's front of mind for a lot of voters whether or not this candidate who is on the ballot belongs there is a little bit more of an abstract proposition.

SANCHEZ: And I also wanted to ask about an important race where you are right now that a few weeks ago wasn't much of a race at all. Governor Kathy Hochul running for reelection against Congressman Lee Zeldin in New York. Zeldin really making this a race. Did it surprise you how close this guy?

LOUIS: I thought that the polls would tighten a little bit. The momentum has shifted dramatically from where it had been. But this is a case of, Boris, where there are a lot of firsts going on here. Kathy Hochul is the first woman governor in the history of New York State. We haven't had a sitting governor from upstate New York. She's not from down here. She's not from the city. The first upstate incumbent running for office since 1920. It's been 100 years.

So there are a lot of different factors that are going on here makes it very hard to handicap the race but for sure, because there have been a lot of scary headlines about crime. Lee Zeldin has made that his focus.


He claims that he can get about a third of the vote here in New York City, which is very rare for Republicans. If he can pull that off? Yes, he definitely has a chance.

SANCHEZ: And if Republicans do wind up winning big on November 8, what's your outlook for the last two years of President Biden's first term?

LOUIS: Well, if that's what happened two Saturdays from now perhaps we'll be sitting around talking about how the Republicans ran on a program of undoing much of the President's early initiatives. The, you know, the Inflation Reduction Act, the tax, the corporate tax, a lot of that is going to be squarely in the crosshairs. And the Republicans are -- have vowed and have run on the proposition that they're going to undo a lot of it.

There's also going to be I think, a lot of purely political noise about trying to impeach President Biden, and they'll figure out the reason later, but the hostility, the partisanship, it's going to get ramped up quite a bit, if you see a change of control in Washington.

SANCHEZ: All right, Errol Louis, look forward to a few Saturdays from now breaking down whatever happens on November 8. Thanks again.

LOUIS: Thank you.

WALKER: All right. Still ahead, a major drought is taking its toll on nearly 150 million Americans, especially along the Mississippi River, where the dry spell is creating major problems when it comes to distributing all sorts of vital commodities and when it comes to our food, more on that next.



WALKER: U.S. stocks rallying into the weekend Friday as markets focused on solid earnings from Apple and big oil, which eclipsed concerns about Amazon's bottom line.

SANCHEZ: Yes, but inflation is still riding at a 40-year high as the central bank wrestles to keep prices in check. CNN's Alison Kosik is focused on the numbers.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning Amara and Boris. We're getting more clues into where the economy is headed. New inflation data shows that prices are still uncomfortably high. The Federal Reserve's favorite inflation gauge shows consumer inflation remaining sticky and rising in line with expectations by 6.2 percent for the year-ending in September. The inflation numbers come just days before the Fed meets to discuss

another rate hike, and as Americans hit the polls to vote in midterm elections. But inflation is still holding firm despite the Fed's aggressive rate hikes, and those Fed moves are making it more expensive to buy a home if you need to borrow money. Mortgage rates rose again, topping 7 percent for the first time since 2002.

A year ago, the 30-year fixed rate, it stood at 3.14 percent. We also learnt the economy grew over the Summer from July through September. Driving that growth, consumers shifted their attention away from pandemic-fueled spending like on sofas, bikes and appliances and turn to travel and dining out. Americans companies also exported more goods and services in the third quarter, turned economic growth positive after two consecutive quarters that saw the economy shrink.

But there are indications that consumer spending which powers the U.S. economy is beginning to soften. Consumers didn't spend as much as they did in the first half of the year. It's fueling concerns about an economic downturn happening in the U.S. next year. Amara and Boris.

WALKER: Alison, thank you for that. So a severe drought not seen since the 1980s is suffocating America's most important trade water-way right at the peak harvest time. Before-and-after photos really expose just how dramatic the falling water level in the Mississippi River has become. Yes, that is not a desert. That is the Mississippi River.

And according to "The Washington Post", low water levels have revealed a century-old shipwreck and made it easy for visitors to reach the tower rock island on foot, this is in Missouri. It's also payday for scavengers who are finding everything from discarded grills to sunglasses on the dry river bed. Five hundred and eighty nine million tons of freight move along the Mississippi River every year.

And according to the Army Corps of Engineers, that's more than $400 billion in value. Transport along the Mississippi accounts for 92 percent of our nation's agricultural exports, but as the Mississippi runs dry, barges can't move as fast or carry as many goods, which is making essential items more expensive for all of us. This is why we should care.

And to give you a sense of the real world impact, the Arkansas Farm Bureau says the cost to move soybeans has skyrocketed 300 percent since July. Soybeans are used in a wide variety of foods for humans and animals. All right, joining us now to talk about this is Jennifer Carpenter, she is the President and CEO of American Waterways Operators. Good morning to you, Jennifer.

And as I understand it, the water levels are so low, it's -- I mean, you obviously can't move a barge down the river, right, if it's hitting the dry bed down there. Can you start by telling us how vital this trade artery is to the U.S. economy and the types of cargo that's being transported along the Mississippi every year?

JENNIFER CARPENTER, PRESIDENT & CEO, AMERICAN WATERWAYS OPERATORS: Absolutely, good morning, Amara. Thanks so much for having me. Yes, barge transportation is really the backbone of the American economy. And to mix metaphors, the Mississippi River is our super highway.


So everything from agricultural exports that feed the world, and that is at no time more critical than now with the Russian war on Ukraine to petrochemicals that keep our factories inclined(ph), steel for cars, fertilizers that enable farmers to plant the next round of crops, all of these things depend on barge transportation.

And what we're facing right now is the narrowing of that eight-lane super highway to a mountain road.

WALKER: Yes, so tell us more about how -- you know, the war in Ukraine is complicating things because obviously, the export of grain from Ukraine has obviously slowed down heavily. So we need a lot of these crops that are supposed to come down to Mississippi.

CARPENTER: We need these crops to feed the world. We need American energy cargos to help our allies in Europe, stay warm during what's going to be a cold tough Winter. So barge transportation is always important now more than ever, and we are right in the middle of harvest season which makes things really challenging from an agricultural export standpoint.

WALKER: So, does this mean that the goods are going to just take longer to get to us? And if so, how long is this delay that we're talking about.

CARPENTER: So picture this. In normal times, one big towboat can push 40 barges or more on the lower Mississippi River. Now because the river is narrower, it can move 25 barges. Those 15 barges not moved, that is the equivalent of more than a 1,000 trucks. The river is also shallower, so each one of those barges can carry 25 percent, 30 percent less, and we're moving much slower because periodically we have to close the river so the Army Corps of Engineers can dredge to keep the channel open.

So we're moving less stuff more slowly. But it is just vital that we keep the water-ways open, and our industry is working very hard with the Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Coast Guard to do that.

WALKER: Yes, I mean, soybeans, corn, I mean, all these things, it's ubiquitous, right? In our food chain and our food supply chain. Tell us about how it's going to impact us in terms of how much it's going to raise prices at the store?

CARPENTER: So we're really fortunate that barge transportation is such an efficient and economically efficient way to move cargo. It is by far less expensive than rail or truck. So we still have an economic efficiency advantage here, but there's no question that we are now moving more slowly and that things are more expensive.

This is challenging for farmers who are not only facing higher costs, but in some cases are facing a lack of availability. They're going to the grain elevator, and because the grain elevator couldn't unload onto barges to move down river, the elevator is saying, I'm sorry, I can't take your grain. That is a huge problem for the whole supply chain.

WALKER: Absolutely, a very difficult situation. Jennifer Carpenter, appreciate the conversation, President and CEO of American Waterways Operators. Thank you.

CARPENTER: Thank you.

SANCHEZ: Coming up, a recommendation from experts to get your flu shot this weekend. That is the message as flu season kicks into high gear. Details on one of the worst starts to a flu season we've seen in more than a decade. Stay with us.



SANCHEZ: Here's a look at some of today's top stories. There are new developments in a shooting outside a funeral in Pittsburgh. Two people of interest were detained last night in connection with the incident. Five people were shot near the Destiny of Faith Church on Friday, one of them listed in critical condition.

Police say at least 20 rounds were fired, and that it appears it may have been a targeted shooting.




WALKER: Jerry Lee Lewis, one of the founding fathers of rock and roll has died at the age of 87. Lewis soared to stardom in the late 1950s with hits like "Great Balls of Fire" you're listening to and a whole lot of shaking going on. But his career took a nose-dive after it was revealed he married his 13-year-old cousin when he was 22. Knocked off the charts, the rock and roll hall of famer later made a comeback in country music and toured well into his 80s.

SANCHEZ: The Philadelphia Phillies kicked off the World Series in dramatic fashion last night, the Phillies storming back after trailing by 5 runs, stunning the Houston Astros in extra innings and right there, the final dagger, a solo homerun shot by J.T. Realmuto stealing the win in the 10th inning, your final score, 6-5. Game two of the World Series is tonight.

WALKER: Well, flu season has arrived, and it hasn't been this bad this early in years.

SANCHEZ: CNN senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen explains why experts say that now is the time to get your flu shot.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Boris and Amara, the United States is off to a very early flu season. In fact, when you look at the data, what scientists are seeing is that the flu season has not been this bad, this early in more than 10 years. [06:45:00]

Let's look at some numbers for flu hospitalizations. If you look back at flu hospitalization data, by around October 22nd, if you look at this year, for every 1 million people in the U.S., 15 have been in the hospital with the flu. So 1 million people, 15 hospitalizations for the flu. If you look back at 2019 though, by around October 22nd, for every 1 million people, there were only four flu hospitalizations.

That makes it even more important to get flu shots and to get them now. You may have heard the phrase flu by boo, that means get your flu shot by Halloween. That's especially important now because flu is striking so early. And remember, once you get that shot, the antibodies don't really start to kick in for about two weeks. So, you're getting it now, it's going to take a little while for it to take full effect.

And here's why you want to get a flu shot. If we take a look at the 2019-2020 season, nearly 500 children died of the flu. I have met parents who lost children to the flu. It was shocking. It happened very quickly. It is really horrific. For adults, nearly 25,000 adults died during the 2019-2020 flu season. Now, the flu vaccine isn't perfect.

Some people do still get the flu, but It decreases the chance that you're going to end up getting really sick. So, let's take a look at what the flu shot can do. If we look at that same flu season, 2019- '20, the flu vaccine prevented 6,300 people in the U.S. from dying. It prevented more than a 100,000 hospitalizations and 7.5 million illnesses.

Now, you may hear some people say, I don't want to get a flu shot because a flu shot can give you the flu, that just isn't true. It's an old wives tale. Flu shots save lives. It can save your life, it can save your child's life, important to get it. Now, this weekend, perfect timing. Boris --

WALKER: Standby --

COHEN: Amara?

WALKER: Elizabeth Cohen, thank you so much for that. Still ahead, storms putting a damper on the Halloween weekend. Yes, I'm very disappointed about that. Where we can expect to see severe weather hitting the hardest. That is next.



WALKER: So there's a threat of severe storms across parts of the central U.S. today.

SANCHEZ: Let's go to the CNN Weather Center and Meteorologist Allison Chinchar who has the details. Allison, I guess the silver-lining here is that some areas that have badly needed rain will finally get some. ALLISON CHINCHAR, METEOROLOGIST: Yes, nobody really wants it on a

holiday weekend, but if --


CHINCHAR: You're going to have an area that gets it, this area is probably the one place that is not going to complain. We've already got some showers and thunderstorms around Shreveport, Little Rocky, even some of that extra clouds probably starting to build into Oklahoma City and Tulsa. The concern really is this afternoon and this evening, as those storms really start to ramp up, we also have the potential for strong to severe thunderstorms.

We're talking a few tornados, damaging winds for places like New Orleans, Biloxi, Mobile, even up through Jackson, Mississippi. But overall, much of this area needs the rain, so they're not going to complain, especially pretty much anywhere along that lower Mississippi Valley region, which is still dealing with very low levels of water and a high significant drought.

When you look at most of these areas, you're probably going to pick up about 1 to 2 inches widespread. But there will be some areas, especially where you see the orange and red color, where 3, 4, even 5 inches of rain is not out of the question. Now, the concern is, if you get all of that rain in a very short period of time, it does increase the potential for flooding.

And yes, a lot of these same areas that are on the lower Mississippi River Valley area, that's where we're going to be looking at the biggest concern. But again, overall, the big picture here is that a lot of these areas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, portions of Texas and Mississippi, they need the rain.

So, overall, if you can just get say an inch or 2, you don't get the severe thunderstorms with it, these folks are not going to complain whatsoever. Outside of that area, though, much of the rest of the U.S. really looks relatively nice. So if you've got some early trick or treat plans, maybe there's a Fall festival going on at some point this weekend, you've got very sunny conditions, mild weather across the northern tier of the U.S.

We also do have some showers and thunderstorms, possible across areas of Florida too. So keep that in mind. And one other thing, it may be fine on the continental U.S., but we also have to look elsewhere. When we take a look at the Tropics, we have not one, but two different systems we're keeping an eye on.

This first one about a 20 percent chance of development over near Bermuda. The second system -- this is the one in the southern Caribbean sea, Boris and Amara, that has about a 70 percent chance of development over the next five days.

WALKER: OK, Allison, can we talk quickly just about the Halloween forecast. So in D.C., there's no rain in the forecast, Boris, so you can do your trick or treating all night long.

SANCHEZ: And I will.

WALKER: I'm sure you will, and I'm jealous because I'm looking at our forecast -- I've been looking at it for the past seven days, and it says there's rain in Atlanta. This is what kills me, 50 percent chance, what does that mean? It's like there's 50-50 chance I'll have breakfast. Like there's -- I mean, what am I supposed to do with a 50 percent --

CHINCHAR: All right --

WALKER: Chance of rain?

CHINCHAR: I'll make -- I'll help you out here.


CHINCHAR: Basically what it means is it's not going to be a washout, but you may have to take the umbrella trick or treating with you --

WALKER: Yes --

CHINCHAR: Just in case.

WALKER: I'm not taking umbrella. It's not going to rain, Allison, don't let it rain, thank you.

SANCHEZ: All right.

WALKER: Next week, we'll be announcing this year's top 10 CNN Heroes, and one of whom will be the next CNN Hero of the year. So, before we kick off voting for this year's CNN Hero of the year, we wanted to check in on last year's.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shirley Raines --

SHIRLEY RAINES, CNN HERO OF THE YEAR FOR 2021: As much as you want to live in the moment and say it doesn't really matter, let's be real, I wanted to bring that prize money, that win and that recognition to the community. I really wanted them to have that platform.



RAINES: Good morning to you guys.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Congratulations Shirley --

RAINES: Congratulations to you all.

The world had an opportunity to vote for ten amazing organizations. Then they chose one that dealt with homelessness, which I think to them might say, oh, my God, people really are paying attention. People really are looking. People really do care. I'm hoping that this win will bring more eyes down here. There's a massive need for blankets, there's a massive need for tents.

I've always said this from the beginning, I don't do hero stuff, you know what I mean? I do human stuff.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I knew there was something about you.

RAINES: I know there's something about you too.

Honestly, all the stuff I've been doing in my personal life, I think it's amazing to have gotten this far, because I came from -- oh, my God, the bottom, and I was on CNN Heroes? Hey, Shirl, it definitely should give hope to other people.


WALKER: Such an amazing woman. To see Shirley in action on skid row and catch up with a community that has shared her honor, you can go to right now.

SANCHEZ: There's still much more ahead on NEW DAY, but first, don't forget, a new morning show is coming, starting on Tuesday, join Don, Poppy and Kaitlan every weekend morning -- weekday morning, I should say, you should join Amara and I every weekend morning on CNN this morning, it starts Tuesday at 6:00 a.m. We'll be right back.