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New Day Sunday
One Person Shot And Killed Near Protests In Portland, Oregon; Director Of National Intelligence To Congress: No More In-Person Election Security Briefings; Trump To Travel To Kenosha, Wisconsin On Tuesday; Jacob Blake Sr. To CNN: Officer Who Shot My Son "Should Be Charged With Attempted Murder"; NBA Playoffs Return With Renewed Focus On Social Justice; Seahawks Coach Calls For Leadership From Fellow Coaches; Russian Aircraft Intercept U.S. Air Force Bomber Over Black Sea; Moderna Says 24 Percent Of Its Phase Three COVID-19 Vaccine Trial Participants Are From Communities Of Color. Aired 6-7a ET
Aired August 30, 2020 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Portland police have confirmed that they are investigating a homicide that happened in downtown Portland.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These protesters aren't just anti-law enforcement. There was also a large group of pro-Donald Trump protesters who are now also inserted into the mix.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's shock in Congress as the director of National Intelligence now says he is cutting off briefing on election security issues.
MARK MEADOWS, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: But it really comes down to one simple thing, the last time they gave briefing members went out and talked to the press and disclosed information that they shouldn't have disclosed.
SEN. ANGUS KING (I-ME): This is a real step backwards. It's a real slap in the face to the American people who have a right to know what the intelligence community knows.
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY weekend with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: One person is dead after the shooting in Portland. Police are trying to figure out right now what led up to it.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. We do want to warn you that the images we're going to show you here, they're disturbing. So, if you have kids in the room, it may be a good time to tell them to leave. We want to give you that heads up because we don't want you get caught off guard. But CNN just obtained some new video of police, this is as they're responding to that victim that as you can see has been blurred there on your camera. It is not clear if that shooting is tied to a clash that happened between Trump supporters and protesters. CNN's Polo Sandoval is with us with the latest.
So, I know this comes on the 94th straight night of unrest in that city. So, cannot imagine what it's like 94 days later that -- the weight the city is feeling. What have you learned about this shooting, first of all, Polo?
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. It appears that they certainly reached at least another tipping point here after as you say almost a hundred days now of issues there that we've seen in Portland. Plenty that we don't know yet according to authorities. But let me get you straight to what we do know according to Portland police.
They responded to a man -- reports of a man that have been shot there in the downtown Portland area. They arrived and that's what this video shows, a video that you mentioned a little while ago, shows medics evaluating that man that was later pronounced dead. Now, at the same time, while authorities were investigating the shooting we should mention that there were clashes that have been reported and were being monitored by police between President Trump supporters and Black Lives Matter protesters in the region here.
Look we need to be clear here, police at this point have not said whether or not those clashes are directly related to the shooting. These clashes that were -- that broke out between participants of what was described on their Facebook page as a Trump 2020 Cruise Rally and counterprotesters. We should also mention the reporter with "The New York Times," Mike Baker, witnessed and captured many of these clashes on video.
I want to read you some of the descriptions from Mr. Baker here about what actually took place. He describes seeing a -- several items that have been thrown at people coming from a stopped pickup there in downtown Portland. That pickup with the white the words "all lives matter" written on the driver side. And also reports, according to Mike Baker, from "The New York Times," of a man that was seen basically displaying a blue Oregon for Trump flag pointing and then firing a paint ball gun at those counterprotesters.
So, certainly just speaks the level of tensions that was happening again last night here. I want to bring in another legal analyst or at least a law enforcement analyst for a bit more perspective on what actually took place yesterday in downtown Portland.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
STEPHEN MOORE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CONTRIBUTOR (on the phone): When you have law enforcement stretched to the point that they can't keep two competing groups apart this is what's going to happen.
You know, the defunding of the police, the backing down of enforcement leaves a vacuum, a law enforcement vacuum. When law enforcement -- it doesn't or isn't allowed to do their job these vigilantes will do it for them.
You don't have enough officers to maintain riot police every night for 90 days and still give people days off, allow them to sleep, to go home. They're running out of resources.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
SANDOVAL: So, really quite a grim picture here that has been painted by an analyst, a law enforcement analyst, showing that it certainly has been a challenge for law enforcement to try to keep up for the last 94 -- 95 days or so they're in Portland. And now we have this deadly shooting that took place last night. But, again, we want to make clear that authorities have not actually linked the two but we do have to hear from Oregon police perhaps in the coming hours. It could shed a little bit more light on exactly what took place last night, Victor and Christi.
BLACKWELL: Yes. Still plenty of important questions that must be answered. Polo Sandoval, thanks so much.
PAUL: So, we're 65 days away from an election. Let me say that again, 65 days away from an election. And U.S. intelligence agencies warn that Russia, China and Iran are trying to influence that election. The nation's top intelligence office though now says it will no longer brief Congress in-person regarding election security.
BLACKWELL: Instead they're going to give written updates. And, of course, you expect that this is not sitting well with several members of Congress.
CNN's Sarah Westwood is at the White House. We're getting a lot of reaction on this understandably. What explanation is the ODNI giving for the change?
SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Victor and Christi, a lot of strong reaction to this decision from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. And that intelligence office is saying that because of leaks, that's also how President Trump is characterizing it, they are not going to provide primarily written guidance only to the House and Senate select committees on intelligence.
They are not going to brief in-person about election security issues. That's a shift. And even though the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, other agencies that deal with election security are going to continue to do those in-person briefings for lawmakers the intelligence community essentially is not going to do that anymore. And as you mentioned that's just not sitting well with some lawmakers.
But President Trump yesterday defended that by saying that when intelligence community officials did go to brief these intelligence committees that information was leaking.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Director Ratcliffe brought information into the committee, and the information leaked. Whether it was Shifty Schiff or somebody else, they leaked the information before it gets in. And what's even worse, they leaked the wrong information. And he got tired of it. So, he wants to do it in a different forum.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WESTWOOD: Now, Democrats expressed fears that this is just another sign that the Trump administration is attempting to politicize intelligence related to the election. Senator Angus King, for example, said the intel community has an obligation to share what it knows with Congress.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KING: The director of National Intelligence as you indicated made a commitment to Congress and to the American people to make clear in real time what was going on in terms of foreign interference with our elections.
This is a real step backwards. It's a real slap in the face to the American people who have a right to know what the intelligence community knows. That's what they're there for.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WESTWOOD: Democratic Congressional leaders received letters informing them of the decision late yesterday after CNN, by the way, had already obtained those letters. So, a lot of confusion also as to how this was communicated to lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
The president's rival, Joe Biden, is also weighing in on this. I want to read you his statement reacting saying, "This is not how democracy works. But it is how American national security and sovereignty are violated."
And as you guys mentioned the intelligence that was shared earlier this year about Russia, Iran and China interfering potentially in the election lawmakers are already asking questions for more information about that revelation and now it appears that they may not have the chance to post those questions in-person to intel community officials before the election, Victor and Christi.
PAUL: All right. Sarah Westwood, appreciate the update. Thank you so much.
Now, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff gave this reaction in a joint statement. They say in part -- quote -- "This is shameful and coming only weeks before the election demonstrates that the Trump Administration is engaged in a politicized effort to withhold election-related information from Congress and the American people at the precise moment that greater transparency and accountability is required. This keeps both the American people and the Congress in the dark, when both are in need of the information."
CNN national security analyst Juliette Kayyem with us now. She's a former assistant secretary of Department of Homeland Security. By the way, Juliette, it's always so good to have you with us.
One of the consequences obviously of this written -- of reports -- written reports being avoided is the fact that there is no question and answer opportunity then between Congress and the DNI. So, with that said what logical reasoning would there be for forgo this in- person updates? Does the White House's assertion that there have been leaks, that they didn't give evidence of the leaks but the assertion that there have been leaks is that enough?
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: No. And the president is clearly confused or doesn't actually know the background of the document he's talking about. When he says that there was information released about Russia that was a public document that the ODNI released to the American public, to state and local officials about the threats to our elections. That document allege that Russia, China and Iran were all involved with election interference but obviously Russia is different in kind given the history in 2016.
And it seems that the president was concerned that there was so much focus on Russia which, of course, there should be more focus on Russia. The other thing that doesn't make sense is, of course, written documents can also be leaked.
So this is really not a question of these allege leaks that the president claims which are not proved. This is just a -- this is just another instance in which the White House is politicizing intelligence going into the election to essentially, and I'll say it out loud, protect Russia. There's no other explanation for it than to protect any questioning about Russia's interference in our elections.
PAUL: So, at the top of the heap of all of these questions is what does it mean for Russia from this point forward? I want to listen with you to what former director of National Intelligence James Clapper said -- he served, of course, under Obama but this is what he said last night about that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES CLAPPER, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, I think it just reinforces the pass that Putin is getting for this kind of behavior. He, of all people, is going to push the envelope. And you ought to consider Putin's background here, a trained KGB officer who knows how to use his intelligence tools and does so very aggressively. And now he sees that the director of National Intelligence apparently has been muzzled, at least partially, in describing his efforts.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: I want to zoom in on something that he said there. He said, "He, of all people, is going to push the envelope." Obviously referring there to Putin. So, what do you think that means in regards to what Russia or Putin himself will do from this point on?
KAYYEM: I mean, I think it means that he will continue to engage in both misinformation or disinformation and then potentially allege and disruption. We just simply don't know at this stage.
But what you have to remember is from 2016 to 2020 Donald Trump has never reprimanded Putin for his engagement in the election in 2016. Whether it was collusion, cooperation with the Trump campaign we certainly know that his engagement with members around the Trump campaign assisted in the election. He has never been reprimanded, never been publically shamed, never been sanctioned in any meaningful way. So, he has to assume, given the intelligence agent that he used to be, that he is not in trouble so to speak, just put it in basic fourth grade terms, and will continue to do it.
By silencing Ratcliffe, the head of the ODNI, and I don't even know if I will call it silencing. I think Ratcliffe is a political beast who is there to do the political bidding of Donald Trump. But Ratcliffe agreeing not to do oral briefings is simply another piece that Putin would have wanted to ensure that there is no transparency to the American public.
I want to make it clear again, the information that Donald Trump was talking about was a public document. There was no leaking whatsoever. I have it on my screen right now. It is -- it was an election interference document that was released in early August.
PAUL: I want to read to you what Senator Marco Rubio, who's the acting chair --
PAUL: -- of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. The statement that he released with more of the GOP perspective. He takes aim at of who he says are the usual Congressional suspects employing their usual tactics.
He says, "Divulging access to classified information in order to employ it as a political weapon is not only an abuse, it is a serious federal crime with potentially severe consequences on our national security. This situation we now face is due, in no small part, to the willingness of some to commit federal crimes for the purpose of advancing their electoral aims."
I'm sure Democrats would argue with as just the absolute opposite of that. From your perspective though as a security official is there legitimacy to this point?
KAYYEM: No. I mean, basically Marco Rubio might as well just pack up the Senate if he believes that, right? I mean, in other words anyone can allege that there is a leak. And I'll say it again it was a public document that everyone is talking about, about Russia, Chinese and Iranian interference.
Marco Rubio unlike his predecessor Burr from North Carolina essentially is continuing this bidding to go after his own institution, the Senate, with no proof of any serious leaks regarding classified information essentially means it's either one in over his head or two does not believe that there's any reason for there to be a Senate intelligence oversight committee. In either case you got to wonder what is Marco Rubio doing there.
But he continue -- I think in part of this these senators don't know what to do now in some regards. I think that they see a president just basically breaking every rule and law on his way to election.
And Marco Rubio decides that he's just along for the ride. I can't -- I can't say it enough. This is not only based on no proof, based on a document that says Russia is going after us in another election, but I think it's basically a red carpet for Putin to continue what he's doing.
PAUL: Juliette Kayyem, we so value your thoughts on this.
KAYYEM: Thank you.
PAUL: Thank you.
KAYYEM: It's good to be back.
PAUL: It's good to have you back. Thanks for being here.
KAYYEM: I was gone awhile. See you later.
PAUL: I know. It's so good to see you. Thank you.
So, the conversation on election security continues later today, "STATE OF THE UNION." Congressman Adam Schiff is going to sit down with Dana Bash. "STATE OF THE UNION" airs today at 9:00 Eastern here.
BLACKWELL: Remember Jacob Blake was shot in the back seven times in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Listen to what his father is saying now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JACOB BLAKE SR., JACOB BLAKE'S FATHER: He's a bad cop. It didn't take seven shots to find out that. By the time the seventh shot got there, it's attempted murder.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: So, you hear that from Jacob Blake Sr. His father says that the shooting of his son was attempted murder. His uncle calls the police union's version of what happened insulting.
PAUL: And the NBA is back after a 3-day strike over social justice. Why LeBron James says he's more confident than ever regarding the players' message.
BLACKWELL: President Trump is scheduled to visit Kenosha, Wisconsin on Tuesday. And the White House says he'll meet with law enforcement and survey some of the damage from the recent vandalism.
PAUL: It's not clear if the president is meeting the family of Jacob Blake who was shot in the back seven times by police Saturday. Blake's family though -- on Saturday Blake's family, I should say, led a protest there in Kenosha. Here's CNN's Sara Sidner.
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Here in Kenosha there was about 2,000 people who came out in support of Jacob Blake and Jacob Blake's family. His family leading a protest here in Kenosha several blocks that ended up at the courthouse where they then spoke.
We heard from Jacob Blake's uncle, Justin Blake. We heard from Jacob Blake's sister. We heard from Jacob Blake's father as well, all speaking about a couple of things. One asking for peaceful protests but, two, telling people that they must vote. That is the next thing after protesting in the streets.
We also talked to Jacob Blake's father about what happened in this case and what he sees should happen going forward after the police association here in Kenosha made allegations against Jacob Blake that he was armed, that he was fighting with the police, that he had a police officer in a headlock and had to be tased. His father reacting saying what he sees certainly did not prove an imminent threat to the officer who ended up shooting him in the back seven times.
BLAKE: How can you be in imminent danger when a person has nothing in their hands? What was he, Superman? He could see the knife through the walls of the car?
The police union means nothing to me. It's a bunch of cops that pay a bunch of dudes to have a title, a union. They do nothing but support their bad cops.
He's a bad cop. It didn't take seven shots to find out that. The first shot told you he -- that the second one was coming. This third shot told you that the fourth one, he's trying to kill him. The fifth shot said, damn, how many more times are you going to shoot? By the time the seventh shot got there, it's attempted murder.
SIDNER: But no officer at this point has been charged in this case. We do know that, of course, there is an investigation underway.
The State Department of Justice is investigating and saying that they are going to be doing an impartial investigation and that the police association does not speak for anyone, other than the defense of the officers. They are very adamant and clear in that they are the investigating agency in this case.
Sara Sidner, CNN, Kenosha.
BLACKWELL: Sara, thank you. From the protest in Kenosha now to the ones in Orlando. And we're talking about the 3-day protest the NBA, the playoffs returned last night. They have this renewed focus on activism and racial and social justice.
PAUL: Yes. Players stood up. They stood out. They saw the sports world rally behind them. Coy Wire is with us here.
I know they go their message across, Coy. And they say it's about seeing action and result from this point, right?
COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: That's exactly right. Good morning, Christi and Victor. And really is the reason why the Milwaukee Bucks decided to not play in the first place and the rest of the team followed suit.
They felt like their message was getting lost and the country needed to be reminded of this. So with eyes on how teams would respond or if anything would change during the games we saw unity. We saw players and coaches kneeling. Arms linked as the national anthem play now. After LeBron's Lakers advanced to the next round he said that the stoppage allowed them to refocus. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEBRON JAMES, LOS ANGELES LAKERS FORWARD: The solidarity we stood with our brothers from Milwaukee under what's going on with their situation, that's going on in their hometown, so we stood with them as a league. And then we try to -- we're not trying. We put together a plan, and we had action, and we want to continue that. So, it's great to be back on the floor, but more importantly it's great to be able to have a game plan, be able to execute it and then put it into action right away.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WIRE: Now part of the players' plan already happening turning more NBA arenas into polling stations. The Staples Center home to the Lakers and Clippers announcing it will be open to voters November 3rd, is now the seventh NBA arena to be used for casting votes. Joining those are the Bucks, Hornets, Jazz, Kings, Detroit, and Rockets.
All right. Now, one notable person wasn't on the court during the anthem yesterday. Milwaukee's George Hill spotted in the tunnel.
Now, he says he was using the bathroom. It was Hill's words in the locker room before the Bucks' game Wednesday that were the driving force behind the players' decision not to play. He says everything they did came from the heart. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE HILL, MILWAUKEE BUCKS GUARD: Before doing it we say, we have to live with the consequences good or bad. And every guy stood there and stood by my side. But to see how it trickled down into every sport, it really woke the world up and let them know that we're serious. We need change. We need more love in the world, and try to make it a better place.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WIRE: Let's go to the NFL. Seahawks' coach Pete Carroll decided to cancel practice yesterday after a long team meeting then held an unscheduled press conference in which he called out his peers. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PETE CARROLL, SEATTLE SEAHAWKS HEAD COACH: So, coaches I'm calling on you. All coaches. Let's step up. No more being quiet. No more being afraid to talk to topics. No more, you know, I might lose my job over this, because I've taken a stand here or there. Screw it.
We can't do that anymore. And maybe if we do we can be a leadership group, a leadership group that stands out and maybe other will follow us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WIRE: Carroll has been in coaching for about half a century back to his teens he says. Christi and Victor he says that he has learned more in the last six years than in the previous 40 plus. He says he has realized how crucial it is to keep growing and that we always have a chance to get better.
BLACKWELL: Yes. That's for all of us. Coy Wire, thanks so much.
PAUL: Thanks, Coy.
Up next we've got some of this extraordinary footage to show you, more of it in fact. A Russian jet coming within a hundred feet of a U.S. bomber.
PAUL: 30 minutes past the hour. Look at this video. This was new video released by the Defense Department that we want to show you here. That's what the DOD is a Russian jet making an unsafe, unprofessional, in their words, intercept of a U.S. B-52 Bomber. That's happened over the Black Sea in international airspace on Friday.
BLACKWELL: So, let's me you're looking from. This is from the U.S. aircraft cockpit as you saw the Russian jet crosses just in front of it, fewer than a hundred feet to the nose. Apparently, they did this several times. The DOD said the intercept caused the B-52 so much turbulence that it affected its ability to maneuver and could have caused a mid-air collision.
One of the president's closest advisers is scheduled to leave the White House in just a few days.
PAUL: Yes. CNN's Joe Johns has a deep dive on Kellyanne Conway's departure and her legacy in Washington.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Both Kellyanne Conway and her husband said they need to focus on their family, with Kellyanne Conway writing, in part, this is completely my choice and my voice. In time, I will announce future plan. For now, and for my beloved children, it will be less drama and more mama.
The Conways have four children. One of their high school-aged daughters has generated attention recently on social media about her parents and their political views. Kellyanne Conway says, in her goodbye tweet, that she and her husband disagree about plenty but she echoes what unites a lot of parents.
We're united on what matters most, our kids, our four children, our teens and tweens starting a new academic year in middle school and high school, remotely from home for at least a few months. Kellyanne Conway says, that requires a lot of attention and vigilance, particularly during these unusual times.
Kellyanne Conway has been one of the president's fiercest and most public defenders, as well as one of his longest serving White House adviser.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT: Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts to that. But the point remains.
Bob Mueller's report and investigation is definitive and conclusive.
You cannot impeach a president and remove him from office in a constitutional democracy centered (ph) on the rule of law.
We're accepting apologies today too for anybody who feels the grace in offering them.
JOHNS: She landed her position in 2016 after becoming the first female campaign manager to win a presidential race. Political tensions with her husband had spilled into public view. George Conway's opposition took a new meaning when he helped found The Lincoln Project late last year.
Kellyanne Conway had this to say about his anti-Trump Political Action Committee.
CONWAY: They have all failed. They never succeeded they way I did as a campaign manager and they never got their candidate where my candidate got.
JOHNS: Trump often echoed these attacks on his adversaries, including George Conway.
DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: He's whack job. There's no question about it. But I really don't know him. He -- I think he's doing a tremendous disservice to a wonderful wife. Kellyanne is a wonderful woman. And I call him Mr. Kellyanne. The fact is that he is doing a tremendous disservice to a wife and family.
JOHNS: Kellyanne Conway often was on the attack with reporters of favorite foil.
CONWAY: Why are you talking about who they may support (ph) for this? Why are you trying to incite trouble by saying that?
JOHNS: Her aggressive was known to please a president, but in times got her into trouble. A government investigative agency found she repeatedly violated a federal act that prohibited government employees from campaigning on the job, a finding rejected by the administration.
Joe Johns, CNN, the White House.
PAUL: I know you've got a lot of questions about the coronavirus and this new case of a man in Nevada who has been -- who has contracted the virus twice now. We thought that couldn't happen.
Well, Dr. Abdul El-Sayed is going to be here to answer more questions about that and some questions about Moderna's new phase three COVID-19 vaccine trial. That's coming up in a moment. Stay close.
BLACKWELL: Two St. Louis police officers were shot last night. Now, this happened while they were responding to a shooting call. One officer was shot in the head and in his critical condition. The other officer was shot in the leg.
Now, according to the St. Louis Police Commissioner, eight officers have been shot since June 1st.
So, Moderna, which is the first company in the U.S. to begin phase three clinical trials of the COVID-19 vaccine, it has significantly increased its enrolment of minority volunteers.
PAUL: Yes. According to the company, 24 percent of the study participants are minorities. Now, sponsors of vaccine trials have been advised to enroll minority groups in percentages similar to their share of the population and 24 percent is well below that mark.
Epidemiologist and CNN Political Commentator Dr. Abdul El-Sayed is with us now. It's so good to have you with us here, Doctor. Thank you for being with us. Let's talk about this. We know that they have increased their enrolment. These are phase three COVID-19 vaccine trials. But why is there such a problem with outreach in the minority community to try to get communities of color involved?
DR. ABDUL EL-SAYED, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: We've got to step back and look at the context. For a long time in this country, black Americans in particular, but people of color, generally, have been mistreated by the biomedical establishment. And so there's a lot of mistrust when it comes to what these corporations are doing, frankly, even what the government is doing when it comes to biomedical testing.
At the same time though, it is critical that these studies represent and even overrepresent people of color, because we do know that there's going to be some difference in the way that this vaccine or, frankly, any medication may behave across the population and what the whole population reflected so that we can understand what those differences may be and so that we can better treat folks, in particular, people of color. And so it's a hard -- it will be truly a bit of a rock and a hard place here.
And the critical point is that we need to better communication with all communities, but in particular people of color. There need to be ambassadors from within those communities who can take that science forward in full transparency, talk about what is being done here, and making sure that even at the very top of these companies and at the very top of these studies that people of color are represented so that there is trust and transparency across the board.
PAUL: So if you don't get that trust and transparency in those communities, how effective or how accurate will these trials be?
EL-SAYED: Well, you need to have the whole population represented. And if you fail to do that, then it's really hard for us to draw inference about what this vaccine may do across the whole population.
But there's even a bigger picture question here. Right now, we're racing to get a vaccine. But a vaccine is not the same thing as a vaccination. A vaccine is the theoretical existence of a chemical that we can put in bodies that will release an immune response.
But a vaccination is the choice that people make to take it. And right now, in polls, nearly a third of Americans are unwilling to take a vaccine even if it existed today, which is a real problem because for these vaccines to work, you need to hit heard immunity.
And we know that herd immunity happens between 60 and 70 percent. And so if a third of Americans, right, which is about 33 percent, are saying that they're not willing to take one, we may not actually get there.
So there's a bigger question that we have to ask, not just about recruiting people into these studies but also about making sure that they trust these vaccines and are willing to take them if and when they come on board. PAUL: Speaking of vaccines, we have this Nevada man now, who is the first in the U.S. confirmed case of re-infection of COVID. He's 25 years old, lives in Reno and about six weeks in between his first diagnosis of COVID and his second.
So the fact that there is another mutation of this, I don't know, because I think there were two different strains that he had, this is frustrating and it's frightening to people because we have though from the beginning, once you get this, you will have your antibodies, you will be immune to some degree. What does -- what are we learning from this recurrence of it?
EL-SAYED: Well, unfortunately, it's confirming some of the fears that scientists have had for a long time because of the nature of coronaviruses. We know that they can mutate and evolve over time, very similar to the flu, which means that they are trading some of the proteins, the signals on the outside of those viruses, which then makes them really shifty for the immune system and then potentially allow someone to be infected multiple times with multiple strains.
As you know, every year, we recombined different strains into the flu vaccine that we give annually, and that's because flu is so good at mutating. And that's also part of the reason that flu is still here and you can get the flu multiple times. If you've had it one year, it means you still could get it the next year. And it looks to us like coronavirus is going to be the same way.
But I do want to offer caveat. Just like we can immunize against the flu and people be getting a flu vaccine right about now every year, we will be likely able to do the same thing with coronavirus. So, all is not lost, but it does tell us that this is a much shiftier virus than we thought we might have been dealing with.
PAUL: Well, it's shifty especially if we're not paying attention to what we're doing. There were 1,200 students who were tested positive at the University of Alabama in a two-week period.
School opened August 19th. Is there any evidence that distinguishes that precautions aren't working or they're just not being followed?
EL-SAYED: Well, the hard part about universities is that when you get a group of young people who have been thinking about going to college for a long time, particularly often after having been cooped up with their parents or elsewhere, in one place, they do what young people tend to do.
And so it's not that the precautions don't work. It's that when you create a lot of alternatives to following the precautions that are a lot more fun for folks, sometimes they tend to make bad decisions. And we saw the -- whether it was the picture of all those folks at the Lake of the Ozarks after Memorial Day or some of the images that we saw coming after July 4th, that people tend to sometimes make not the safest decisions when they're in large groups of people and they've been cooped up for a long time. And so it's really incumbent, I think, on policymakers and university administrators to think a little bit about what the consequences of opening a campus might be beyond the risk of potentially getting sick in class. Because the most dangerous aspect of opening up campus isn't what's happening in the classroom, because you can often control the classroom, it's what happens outside the classroom, often on the far reaches of campus that are probably the more dangerous part.
And we have to be thinking about how people behave normally and recognize that sometimes young folks don't make the safest decisions for themselves and others.
PAUL: Okay, you smiled that, as if you know. Well, anybody has been to college.
EL-SAYED: I live in (INAUDIBLE), Michigan. So --
PAUL: Okay. I'm from Ohio. I'm with you. I get it. Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, yes, University of Michigan, thank you so much.
EL-SAYED: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: We're showing you the dramatic pictures of these wildfires in California. But California is not alone in this fight. There are new fires breaking out in at least five other states out west and several others are facing a risk. We'll tell you where.
BLACKWELL: What was the traditional wildfire season, at least out west, appears to be expanding. There are new multiple faces of this fire across several states, large wildfires burning in Arizona, Montana, Nebraska, Texas, Wyoming.
PAUL: And there are several other states under an elevated fire risk right now as well, including Colorado. Firefighters there are battling the state's biggest fire on record. An inclement weather is not helping.
BLACKWELL: CNN's Meteorologist Allison Chinchar is in the Weather Center. What are the conditions that are, especially in this region, feeding these fires?
ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes. You've got very low humidity. You've got very strong winds. And, unfortunately, a lot of those conditions are going to be deteriorating as we go through the upcoming week.
So, today is really going to be an important day for the firefighters to really build a lot of those containment numbers, because it's not just one fire. You have 77 large uncontained fires across the country right now.
And, again, when we talk about the conditions, you've got red flag warnings, fire weather watches out for several of those states. Again, you're talking humidity levels below 15 percent in a lot of these areas, so very, very dry air.
Then you have winds about 35 to 45 miles per hour. Yes, that can trigger new fires but it's more important for the fires that already exist. Take Colorado, for example. You already have the Pine Gulch fire, which is the largest in Colorado State history. The previous one went all the way back to 2002. But those strong winds can spread those already existing fires.
California also has very large fires. You have the SCU lightning complex fire, which is the second largest, and the LMU lightning complex fire, that's the third largest in state history. And, again, they're not 100 percent contained. So these fires are likely going to continue to grow.
And in terms of the acres burned in California alone, we've seen over the past several decades that the amount of acreage burning has been increasing.
Now, when we take a look at where we are to-date, yes, we are technically slightly below. The total U.S. wildfires is about 39,000. Normally, by this state, we would be at 41. But here is the thing. What we've noticed in the last month is how quickly they've expanded. Yes, it's that how quickly it's escalated that has been the problem. And that's why, Victor and Christi, the National Interagency Fire Center has listed this as the highest level for fire preparedness, simply meaning we could run out of resources very quickly.
BLACKWELL: Tragic photo picture there for us. Allison Chinchar, thanks so much.
PAUL: Thank you, Allison.
Tonight, on an all new United Shades of America, W. Kamau Bell visits New York City to meet with Iranian immigrants to learn about their American experience. Here is a preview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
W. KAMAU BELL, CNN HOST: It features a lot of women or girls.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, almost in every painting because I'm thinking about myself and people from my generation in Iran and I'm thinking about women issues. But I don't know want to be direct or loud. And I want to have a more subtler approach.
BELL: And why is that?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When you're born under a system that dictates some boundaries, then you find a symbolic way to express your ideas. So there's always a room to say, oh, I didn't mean that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[06:55:00] BLACKWELL: The news of actor Chadwick Boseman's death startled a lot of people around the world and prompted so many tributes from Black Panther fans. Look at this one. If you haven't seen it, it's boy with the help of his Avengers, the toy action figures. They held a memorial for the star. He was 43 years old. You see him posing there with the Wakanda Forever sign.
PAUL: His father actually tweeted this photo saying, his son is heartbroken when he learned of Boseman's death. And this was how he wanted to cope with losing his hero.
BLACKWELL: And on Twitter, the Boseman family's announcement of Chadwick's became the most liked tweet of all-time.
PAUL: It only took 24 hours, according to Twitter. The previous record was held by a tweet from Barack Obama back in 2017. So far, the tweet from Boseman's account has received more than 6 million likes.
Next day -- the next hour, I should say, of NEW DAY starts right now.