Return to Transcripts main page

New Day Sunday

Trump Faces Dem-Controlled Senate In Unprecedented Second Trial; Dr. Fauci: Super Bowl Parties Are A "Perfect Setup" For "Mini Super Spreader" Event; The U.S. Added Another 100,000 Coronavirus Cases And 2,600 Deaths Just Yesterday; Wyoming Republican Party Votes To Censure Representative Liz Cheney; Iran's Supreme Leader: U.S. Must End Sanctions Before Iran Will Return To Nuclear Deal; Arctic Chill Blasts Midwest, 30-Million-Plus Under Wind Chill Alerts; Two Nurses From Buffalo Nominated By Co-Workers To Attend Super Bowl LV. Aired 7- 8a ET

Aired February 07, 2021 - 07:00   ET



SEN. BOB CASEY (D-PA): This is a trial about the conduct of the president of the United States which was led, among other things, not to just death and destruction, it led to people coming to the capitol trying to kill his vice president.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is an attack on the Constitution of the United States itself. The man is accused, but it is the -- it is the country that will suffer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: COVID vaccinations are up and infections are down.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am 89-1/2 and I don't want to die young.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Health officials are warning us not to let our guards down.

UNIDENTIIFED MALE: It's the Super Bowl not the stupid bowl. Don't bring multiple households together and create a super-spreader event in your own home.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY WEEKEND with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Beautiful shot of New York before maybe some of that snow really starts coming down again.

Listen, we are all together getting ready to witness yet another historic week on Capitol Hill. Former President Donald Trump's second impeachment trial begins in two days on Tuesday. This is the first Senate trial of an ex-president.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: And it seems highly unlikely that the former President Trump will himself make an appearance. We should learn within the next couple of days what the ground rules are for the proceedings and get clarity on the strategies of the house managers and the former president's defense team.

Now, this morning we are seeing new video from the Capitol Hill riots that president Trump is accused of inciting.

PAUL: Yeah, this video you are going to see shows the moments after several rioters left the Senate chamber and underscores how closely some of these insurrections insurrectionists were taking their cues from the ex-president.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How did you get out?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How did you get out?

CHANSLEY: The Senate?


CHANSLEY: Cops walked out with me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They just let you go?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's your message to everybody now? What are you willing at?

CHANSLEY: Donald Trump asked everybody to go home. He just said, he put out a tweet. It's a minute long. He asked everybody to go home.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How did he win?

CHANSLEY: He won by sending a message to the senators and to congresswoman, he won by sending a message to Pence, OK, that if they don't do as it is their oath do, don't uphold the Constitution, then we will remove them from office one way or another.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This guy is recording you. He is not on our side.


I thought you assumed that.

CHANSLEY: I am fine with being recorded. All I can say is we won the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) day. Donald Trump is still our president.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do have one more question. There is a lot of people that doubt you were able to go in there and come out. What do you have to say to them that doubt you just walked out? CHANSLEY: Well, a lot of people doubted a lot of prophets, saints and

sages. A lot of people doubted Christ, you know?


BLACKWELL: CNN's Donie O'Sullivan has more on the video and the man you just watched.


DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN REPORTER: That video was originally posted to Parler, a social media website that was very popular among Trump supporters around the time of the insurrection. Now, Parler is temporarily closed down. It's been taken offline. But a computer programmer was able to download thousands of the videos that were shot in Washington, D.C., that day, many of which were at the insurrection itself and were posted on Parler.

You saw there in the video, Jacob Chansley, the so-called QAnon shaman. And we've actually seen him at multi-vents leading up to the insurrection. We were at a QAnon convention back in October where Trump's praise of QAnon supporters was celebrated. We saw Chansley there.

We also saw him 48 hours before the insurrection. On Monday, January 4th, in Dalton, Georgia, outside a Trump rally on the eve of the Senate runoff elections.

Now, as we go into the impeachment trial, which is beginning this week, very important what we heard there from Chansley. Clearly, he was somebody who said he was taking his cues from President Trump.

Back to you.


BLACKWELL: Donie, thank you.

Democrats think that video like what you just saw from January 6th that is damning for the former president and we could see more evidence like that played on the Senate floor.

PAUL: I want to bring in CNN's Daniella Diaz on Capitol Hill for us.

Daniella, good morning to you, what are you hearing as we are now two days before the trial?


Yeah, there are a lot of unknowns heading into next week. But what we do know is that the trial will begin on Tuesday. That's when we're set to hear from Donald Trump's defense team, and we will get a preview of what they will argue on Monday when some pretrial briefs are filed. We also don't expect to hear from Donald Trump as you guys noted at the beginning of the show. [07:05:03]

We -- the impeachment manager sent a letter to Donald Trump asking him to testify under oath and his spokesperson quickly responded and said absolutely not and called it a public relations stunt and impeachment managers are signaling that they are not going to subpoena him. But we don't know if they are going to call on witnesses.

But you guys played this video at the beginning of the show that reveals there is a lot of evidence that these impeachment managers can show that these rioters were inspired by Donald Trump's own words and were following his directions and he played a role in this insurrection.

Look, Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal spoke to CNN last fight and shared what he believed on this issue. Take a listen.


SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D-CT): I believe that the facts are the facts here. They are pretty clear cut. Open and shut, that he summoned and implored that mob to come to Washington and then urged them to storm the capitol with the goal of stopping the ballot count and potentially assassinating political leaders, including his own vice president. That is a punishable offense under possibly criminal law, and certainly an impeachable offense.


DIAZ: So, as you heard from Senator Richard Blumenthal, even if Democrats don't call on witnesses next week, there's lots of videos, lots of evidence on social media and Trump's own words that the impeachment managers can call on and show as evidence that Trump played a role in this insurrection -- Victor and Christi.

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

BLACKWELL: Let's talk about evidence and witnesses now with CNN legal analyst and former U.S. ambassador Norm Eisen. He was the impeachment counsel for House Democrats during Trump's first impeachment and White House ethics czar during the Obama administration.

Mr. Ambassador, good morning to you.

Let's start here with the decision to request that former President Trump testify and the decision not to subpoena him. Let's listen to two Democratic senators on if they think that House managers should subpoena the former president.


BLUMENTHAL: He should be subpoenaed only if his testimony is absolutely necessary and there is also the question about whether he could be forced or compelled to testify.

CASEY: Some days yes, some days no. But I think it's a determination that they have to make with regard to any witness.


BLACKWELL: You think it's a mistake not to subpoena the president, or do you agree with them?

NORM EISEN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Victor, thanks for having me back on the program.

I thought the House managers handled this just right. The president is not going to show whether by letter or by subpoena because he can't defend his behavior in whipping this mob into a frenzy not just on January 6th. For months he told them their country was stolen because an election was stolen. Then the inflammatory fighting words on January 6th, then the attack.

And we saw the video. They were doing it at his behest. How can he defend that?

The House managers sent their letter. They made the point. They will point to the empty chair. There's no real end to be achieved by serving a subpoena that he won't answer now.

BLACKWELL: Let's talk about other potential witnesses then because you questioned constitutional experts during the House impeachment inquiry at the end of 2019. You have written for "USA Today" this time around claims of unconstitutionally or first amendment protections should be dismissed.

Would there be some value in calling witnesses to those ends during the trial?

EISEN: Well, there's some -- there is always the importance of putting the evidence forward in any trial, putting your best foot forward on the evidence.

But, Victor, here, and we saw some of it this morning, here there are hundreds, if not thousands, of pieces of evidence that already exist on video, including the president's own words. And as we did when I had the privilege of serving as down in the last impeachment trial on the floor of the Senate, we will use, we used video and other evidence, and now they have even more.

So I think in this trial, just as we did, the House managers, their very good counsel are going to bring the president into that chamber through his recorded words. Again not just on January 6th. For months, he stoked the flames of insurrection, and the rioters who said they were acting at the president's behest and so much more.

BLACKWELL: Bruce Castor, the president's lead attorney, he suggested in an interview with Fox News that he also would be using video, but that would be video from the spring and summer of 2020 during protests across the country and potentially sound bites from Democratic congressional leaders.

[07:10:13] It is what-aboutism, yes, but could it be effective?

EISEN: Well, it's outrageous. And we mustn't let ourselves be numbed by the fact that the president and his enablers across the country, including up to eight of those senators who will be in their chamber, spread the big lie about a stolen election, and these big lies that somehow trying an ex-president is unconstitutional, their wild claims about the first amendment. Forty-five senators signed on to that garbage about the unconstitutionality of a trial.

So we mustn't let that numb us to the outrage. Now they have got another lie that they are peddling that somehow riots by individual Americans over the summer are relevant in any way to a presidential trial. If this were a real court, that kind of evidence would be ruled out.

It would -- the judge would not let it in because it's totally irrelevant and inflammatory and they think about doing the same here. What nonsense.

BLACKWELL: We talk about the First Amendment. Let's talk about the 14th amendment. There are lots of conversations and think pieces about invoking the 14th amendment, the clause which bars any person from serving in office who incited erection -- I'm sorry, incited insurrection and offered some comfort to people who have.

Is that just compelling, some compelling intellectual exercise, or is that really something you think can happen?

EISEN: Well, the section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which was passed after the civil war because of the terrible acts of insurrection that we saw by the former Confederates attacking the legitimate government in the south, terrorizing individuals, it is very real. But the hitch with the 14th Amendment is section 5, Victor, which says that you have to an implementing statute by Congress. So, if Congress wants to use the 14th Amendment, they will have to pass a statute, as they did in the 19th century, and set up a judicial proceeding.

Congress itself, other than impeachment, cannot convict individuals. That's called a bill of attainder and it's forbidden. So they will need to take several steps. But I think they should because there was an insurrection here. Donald Trump led it, and he and the insurrectionists should be disqualified from ever holding public office again.

BLACKWELL: Ambassador Norm Eisen, thank you so much for your time this morning.

EISEN: Thanks, Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right. Be sure to stay with CNN throughout the day for the very latest on President Trump's second impeachment trial. "INSIDE POLITICS SUNDAY" with Abby Phillips starts this morning at 8:00 a.m. Eastern.

PAUL: And, listen, the U.S. added another 100,000 coronavirus cases and 2,600 people died just yesterday. Health experts have some things to say about potential Super Bowl parties.

BLACKWELL: Plus, Democrats are coming to the defense of Congresswoman Liz Cheney, a Republican, after she was censured by the Wyoming Republican Party. Their message for Senate Republicans ahead of former President Trump's impeachment trial.

PAUL: And there are thousands of front line health workers in Tampa for a socially distanced Super Bowl. Nurses who won tickets to the big game are with us live.

Stay close.



PAUL: So, I know that you probably have plans for Super Bowl Sunday. Health experts are telling us not to gather to watch the game today.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, in fact, says Super Bowl parties could lead to super-spreader events.

BLACKWELL: And while the U.S. is seeing a drop in cases and hospitalizations, thousands of Americans are still dying every day. In Florida, the state that is hosting the game, health officials reported more than 7,400 cases and more than 140 new deaths yesterday.

PAUL: CNN's Polo Sandoval is following the latest for us from New York.

Polo, the good news is people are getting vaccinated and we're seeing some positive signs from that, yes?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, I saw those lines winding around Yankees stadium yesterday in the Bronx. Obviously, people quite interested, especially here in New York, to get that vaccine.

And, look, Dr. Offit from Children Hospital Philadelphia said it best. Overall, things are definitely getting better, this despite the threat that these variants could potentially worsen spread and then that other point you made, the potential for Super Bowl parties to become super-spreader events.


SANDOVAL (voice-over): It's been 20 days since the U.S. topped 200,000 new daily COVID infections, hospitalizations also on the decline as these numbers decrease some cities, including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago are announcing restaurants can reopen indoor dining with capacity restrictions.

Dr. Jonathan Reiner says now is not the time to let our guard down.

DR. JONATHAN REINER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Who slows down once you break into the lead? It makes zero sense. Look, there is a lot of worry about variants that might become

ascendant over the next few months, and just because we see fewer hospitalizations, you know, we still have over 3,000 people a day dying.

SANDOVAL: Fueling fears of a potential super-spreader, today's game. The safest way to watch the Super Bowl is at home and only with members of your own household. In Los Angeles, big screens and outdoor dining areas have it stay off, an effort to keep the cheering crowds away.


And this weekend, Disney announced their annual Super Bowl victory parade is canceled due to the pandemic. By now, more than 20 U.S. states report COVID vaccination data by race and ethnicity, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation analysis. It finds black and Hispanic people continue to receiving a disproportionately low share of COVID- 19 vaccinations compared to the total population and vaccine supplies.

DR. LEANA WEN, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Actually, I think that vaccine hesitancy is often used adds an excuse when the problem of this disproportionate vaccine availability is actually about access. And so, having data is important, but the next step is that we have to then address the bottlenecks and barriers.

SANDOVAL: Like setting up vaccination centers in effected areas. New York has done just that, opening the legendary Yankees Stadium to Bronx residents eligible to get a shot with appointments. Not only is the Bronx the New York City borough with the highest infection rate, it's predominantly black and Hispanic communities have suffered disproportionately during the pandemic.

Yesterday was Maricela Mora's turn to roll up her sleeve.

MARICELA MORA, BRONX VACCINATED RESIDENT: It was fast, it was good, I feel great.

SANDOVAL: Mora (ph), an employee at a local grocery store, became eligible for a vaccination last month when New York expanded eligibility to include essential workers like her.

MORA: We made it a point for people to try to get here and feel that we have an extra protection just to go back to work.

SANDOVAL: Levi's Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers, next to be converted into a massive vaccination site. The biggest in California and it is expected to administer 15,000 shots a day.


SANDOVAL (on camera): The nation's top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci predicting that variants are possible but not inevitable, Fauci recommending people take two steps. Not only double down on the safety measures like the mask-wearing, like the avoiding groups, but also as soon as they are eligible to take a vaccine, to actually get that.

Dr. Fauci predicting that if people follow those steps, then you won't necessarily give that virus a chance to mutate.

PAUL: All righty. Polo Sandoval, appreciate it so much. Thank you.

SANDOVAL: Thank you.

PAUL: So Dr. Colleen Kelley is with us now, associate professor at Emory University Department of Medicine.

Good morning to you, Doctor. So good to have you with us.

I want to jump off the point he was talking about regarding vaccines, and I say that because "The New York Times" is reporting this morning that people are having problems getting their second dose, and we know in New Hampshire and Washington and Connecticut specifically, there are some people who are really having some frustrations here. The CDC, I know, extended that interval from 21 and 28 days between the first and second shot and said you could wait up to six weeks.

But what is the consequence for people? Do we know what the consequence is if they don't get their dose within that timeframe?

DR. COLLEEN KELLEY, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, EMORY UNIVERSITY DEPARTMENT OF MEDICINE: Well, it is a little bit anxiety provoking when you can't get that vaccine at that 21-day interval for Pfizer, 28-day interval for Moderna. But I would encourage people not to worry. There is likely quite a bit of wiggle room in getting the second dose several weeks at least. And that's why the CDC has come out and said six weeks is probably okay.

We don't have the scientific data for these vaccines to support that entirely just yet, but I would say that what we know about other vaccines in extending the intervals is good. It tends to be just fine and sometimes even better when you extend the interval between a two- dose regimen for the vaccine.

So, I would say, get it as soon as you can, but don't panic if it's not exactly on the timeframe that you were expecting.

PAUL: So, I know the variants are a real concern for people as well. Do you believe that when it comes to the variants, there will -- there will be a booster shot needed after the vaccine?

KELLEY: So, we are trying to learn that now. The variants are certainly concerning and we are definitely in a race against time to get enough people vaccinated and community transmission down in order to beat out those variants. They are concerning, that's for sure.

What we know about the vaccine so far is that it does appear that they still do a good job at preventing severe disease, even in the setting of the variants. So it's not time to panic just yet, but we'll continue to learn more as time goes on. But still wearing a mask, keeping your distance and getting vaccinated as quickly as you possibly can is the most important thing you can do. PAUL: Yeah. We are hearing from AstraZeneca this morning that they

have a new version of their current vaccine that is going to target this South African variant. I know we talked to Dr. Carlos del Rio yesterday and he told me that is one of them, including the Brazil, that he is really concerned about regarding the variants.

So if it comes out, they said it will come out in the fall. But we have six months until that happens. What is your assessment of that situation?

KELLEY: Well, in addition to AstraZeneca, the other companies are also generating booster shots that would be more specific to that South African variant, potentially the Brazil variant down the road.


So everyone's on this. People are working as fast as they possibly can, and time will tell whether we need that booster shot or not. But it is something that's developing and we are watching very closely, and all of us in the scientific community and the clinical trials community, which is what I'm involved in, we are will ready to go when the booster shots are available to put those into trials and determine how people respond to them and how safe they are.

PAUL: How comfortable are you with the idea of kids being able to go back to school?

KELLEY: I actually think that where good mitigation, meaning mask- wearing and social distancing and reducing classroom sizes is possible, that it's okay for kids to go back to school. It's safe to go back to school. Two of my three kids are back in school now and it's really the best place for them.

So I think as long as the good mitigation is in place, and that's not the case, unfortunately, in all school districts. But if you are in a school district where good mitigation practices can be implemented, it is possible to get back to school safely.

Of course, we want teachers to be vaccinated as fast as we possibly can. We are just in a supply shortage right now, as we all know.

PAUL: So when we talk about these variants, do you believe that the variants themselves are going to extend this pandemic? And I ask that because I think that the number one question I am asked all the time is, do you know when we are going to recover? How long are we going to be wearing these masks? How long do we have social distance? How do the variants play a role in that?

KELLEY: Well, again, the variants are concerning. The data we have so far from the vaccines would suggest that they still do prevent severe disease. So it could be a situation where the vaccines actually turn COVID into the common cold even in the setting of the variants. We also don't know much about severity of disease after you get a second infection with the variants.

These are all things we are trying to learn and we will know more in a few months. But it's possible that with the variants, even with a vaccine or a second infection, that it's not as severe. And that would be a really, really good thing.

PAUL: Do you have any prognostication for how long it might be before we can maybe ease up a little on masks and on social distancing?

KELLEY: Yeah, I am thinking as soon as it would be, would be late summer or fall. But we really have to see how the vaccine rollout goes and how quickly infection rates come down. But I think at the earliest it will be later, late this year.

PAUL: Okay. Dr. Kelly, we appreciate your expertise. Thank you.

KELLEY: Sure, thank you so much.

BLACKWELL: She won the support of her colleagues during the vote on Capitol Hill, but her constituents back at home, at least the members of the party, not so much. How Wyoming's Republican Party leadership have taken action against Liz Cheney for voting to impeach former President Trump.



BLACKWELL: Take a look at Capitol Hill where it looks like there is some snow flurries coming. We will check on weather in a moment. In several ways, what we will watch this week is something we have both seen before and something we have never seen before. Yes, this country just a year ago watched the impeachment of Donald Trump, but we have never seen a second impeachment trial for a president.

This is also the first time the Senate will hold a trial of an ex- president. It begins on Tuesday, and within the next couple of days we should learn what the ground rules will be.

PAUL: We're also waiting to hear how House impeachment managers and the former president's defense team are going to present their arguments. More pretrial documents are due tomorrow. What we do know is the former president himself is not expected to testify. Democrats are signaling they will use videos of the Capitol Hill riot and similar evidence to show that he incited the January 6th attack.

Now, the Wyoming Republican Party has voted to censure Representative Liz Cheney.

BLACKWELL: She is one of ten Republicans who voted to impeach the president, former President Donald Trump and the latest to face censure back home. But Democrats say she should inspire her fellow Republicans.


SEN. BOB CASEY (D-PA): Well, I think Liz Cheney did something which is all too rare in Washington. She stood up for principle at great political risk, as you just reported. And I hope, I hope, and I can only hope, that Republican senators will look to Liz Cheney and others for some measure of inspiration to do the right thing.


BLACKWELL: CNN's Jessica Dean has more on the response back in Wyoming.


JESSICA DEAN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Victor and Christi, the Wyoming Republican Party voted on Saturday to censure Congresswoman Liz Cheney for her vote to impeach former President Donald Trump. Take a listen to what they had to say.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An extremely vocal majority of Republicans recognize there was significant irregularities in the election process in several states across the country. Ample video evidence suggests the riot at the capitol was instigated by Antifa and BLM radicals.

DEAN: Of course, those statements are simply not true. For her part, Congresswoman Cheney released a statement that read in part, quote, she was compelled by the oath she swore to the Constitution when she took that vote to impeach the former president. Now, the censure vote comes after Congresswoman Cheney was overwhelmingly reported in a secret vote at the U.S. capitol among House Republicans to retain her leadership position earlier this week -- Victor and Christi.


PAUL: Jessica, thank you.

And be sure to watch CNN for special live coverage of former President Trump's second impeachment trial. It all starts all day on Tuesday.


BLACKWELL: New this morning, Iran's supreme leader says the country will not return to a nuclear deal unless the United States lifts all sanctions on Iran. The Ayatollah Khamenei made the comments this morning on Twitter, really reiterating previous statements. The U.S., you remember, reintroduced sanctions on the country after former President Trump left the nuclear agreement. Iran's president has said that he hopes that President Biden will find a way to return to the agreement.

PAUL: I'm just the messenger, remember, but we're talking about snowmageddon part two. There are bone-chilling temperatures expected to grip big swaths of the country here, and that's including areas where I know some of you are still digging out from last week's snowstorm.

Allison Chinchar has your winter storm warning for you, next.

BLACKWELL: And there's a new CNN original series that premieres next Sunday night, "Lincoln: Divided We Stand". It shows the compromises that President Lincoln made to save the Union, also free the slaves. Here is a preview. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lincoln freed the slaves.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's more complicated than that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The new president, a prairie lawyer with no experience, tried to hold together the American experiment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The stakes were extremely high.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This election is an earthquake.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The biggest misconception of Lincoln is that he was perfect.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The man who found a way to make democracy sing.

ANNOUNCER: "Lincoln: Divided We Stand", premieres next Sunday night at 10:00.



PAUL: More than 30 million people are under wind chill alerts right now. That's from Montana to Indiana.

BLACKWELL: And conditions could turn deadly in parts of the Midwest.

Meteorologist Allison Chinchar is here with the forecast. We just did this a week ago, and here it comes again.

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yeah, and take a look at the temperatures, guys. Look at this. Minus 48 is what it feels like in Duluth. I don't even know what that feels like.

But it's painful at that point. Any exposed skin in wind chills like that, it will feel -- it will burn. It will feel very painful on your skin. It's also very difficult to breathe when it is that cold outside.

The high temperatures, they are not much better. Take a look at this. International Falls the high today of minus 12, Minneapolis a high of minus 1, Chicago may be getting up around 20 in the next couple of days.

But here is the thing to notice. It's not just the Midwest. Just wait, give it a few days, you will get your turn. A lot of that cold is going to spread into the Northeast, it's going to spread as far south as Texas will the temperatures will be about 20 degrees below normal.

Now, out ahead of that cold air you have got some rain and snow mix because that's the thing. The temperatures haven't gotten all that cold over here. It's that combination of rain/snow mix moving into the mid-Atlantic and the Northeast. The fact that we have both rain and snow, the models are having a hard time with how much of it will actually accumulate and stick to the ground.

Both of the models agree that likely about 2 to 4 inches but some spots 4 to 6. It's a fast-moving system, by 9:00, 10:00, 11:00 tonight that system is long gone.

Now, on the southern edge of this system, this is where we've been talking about severe storms, Victor and Christi, especially around Tampa, the site of the Super Bowl. The good news is all of that rain will move out in time for game.

BLACKWELL: Good news indeed.

Allison Chinchar, thanks so much.

PAUL: So speaking of the game, we are going to introduce you to two ER nurses from Buffalo, New York, who are in Tampa for the Super Bowl. They are some of the 7,000 health care workers that were invited to today's big game by the NFL. We are talking to them next.



BLACKWELL: Here it is, a bit of a lean, but there it is. Raymond James Stadium in Tampa -- 25,000 spectators expected there today, 7,500 will be vaccinated health care workers. They will be there for the Super Bowl game.

And NFL, the NFL wanted to thank them for their extraordinary service throughout the pandemic, of course.

PAUL: And, listen, we are honored to be joined by two of these really selfless workers. Patty Keller and Rachel Gibson, they are both emergency room nurses at Buffalo General Hospital in Buffalo, New York.

Ladies, it's so good to have you here. Welcome. It is 20-some degrees in Buffalo. So glad that you are in Tampa, I'm sure, right now.



PAUL: Absolutely. I wanted to start with you, Patty, because we know that you were nominated by colleagues to do this. Can you explain to us what that moment was like when you found out you won and what it means to have your colleagues say these two women deserve to get this?

KELLER: Yes, we were actually both nominated by colleagues, and it was truly a humbling experience during a -- such a difficult year to know that people felt that we were deserving of this nomination and trip to the 55th Super Bowl. And the Pegula family, we cannot thank enough.

BLACKWELL: Yeah, Pegula family, the owners of the Buffalo Bills, for folks who did not know.

Let me ask you, Rachel, you said that your job has changed now because you treat every patient as if they have COVID.


How does that change the experience in the emergency room and how you do the job?

GIBSON: Well, it changes our initial interaction because we have to obviously keep a distance, we have to have proper PPE on at all times because when they come into the emergency room you don't really know who has it yet and who doesn't, so you have to assume that everyone does.

PAUL: So, Rachel, I want to stay with you because we were talking about your colleagues who nominated you. You don't know who they are, but if you did, if you could sit down with them face-to-face, what would you tell them about what this means to you after the year you have always had together?

GIBSON: I would obviously thank them, but I would also feel that they needed to know that they also deserved it, we really work together as a team in that department, and I'm sure it's common throughout the entire health care industry that the only way to get through this was to kind of pull together and work as a big team. So I would want them to know as much as I appreciated it, they should have been sitting there right next to me.

BLACKWELL: So it's Super Bowl weekend and y'all are up at 7:50 in the morning. What have you done so far? How is the lead up to the game been?

KELLER: So it's been amazing. We actually were due to fly out of Buffalo on Saturday morning. We chose to change our flight, thank goodness, and we left Friday a day early because Buffalo, New York, is being hit by a storm right now and all flights were canceled. So we both had angels sitting on our shoulders to make that choice because I don't know if we would have made it down here.

So we got in Friday and yesterday we had a great day at the NFL experience. It was just amazing to be there, to experience that, to see so many people. Pictures are -- I know that are on the screen, there are some that we do have masks off, but those were only for pictures. We are two vaccinated nurses and the only time we did take our masks off briefly for pictures and it was just a great day.

PAUL: Well, glad to hear you both were able to get vaccinated. I know that that is of utmost priority.

Rachel, I'm wondering if you've been able to identify any hidden blessings in all of this, any positives. How has this -- how has this COVID era, especially for the two of you being on the front lines like you are, how has it changed you?

GIBSON: Well, it made me develop a greater appreciation for the community that we live in. The community has truly stepped up to assist us through this pandemic, you know. When my kids were having to do remote schooling right from the get-go, and honestly, they just returned to school a few weeks ago, they've been out this entire time, you know, I had their friends parents who are teachers stepping in and helping out with watching them while I would sleep because I work overnight.

You know, some of the nurses had neighbors that were snow blowing their driveways so they could get out and get to work and people were sending in all kinds of meals. You know, it just seemed like the entire community came together to do anything they could knowing that, you know, we were working more hours than usual while many people, you know, unfortunately were out of work or working from home with everything that was going on. And they just stepped up to give us like that little bit of extra pep so that they could get through it.

PAUL: Yeah, that kind of human kindness and that compassion, that is what -- I think that is what has carried all of us through because we have all seen it.

Victor, did you want to say something?

BLACKWELL: Yeah, I've got one question. For each of you, I know you're Buffalo Bills fans, I see the shirts. Chiefs or Bucs?

Patty, you first.

KELLER: That's a tough question. Asked to me quite a bit during these last weeks. I guess if I have to root for anything or anybody, I'm going to root for the Kansas team because they're from the AFC division.

BLACKWELL: All right. So --

KELLER: Rachel is different, though.

BLACKWELL: Rachel, I guess you're going with the Bucs then, huh?

GIBSON: I'm going Tom Brady.

BLACKWELL: All right. See if he can make it to seven.

PAUL: Yeah, it is pretty extraordinary for Tom Brady. No doubt about it.

Patty Keller, Rachel Gibson, we are grateful for what you do, we appreciate the sacrifices that you have made specifically in this time and we hope that you just make some incredible memories where you are this weekend because you do deserve it. And we do wish that everybody on the front lines could have been there, but thank you.

BLAKCWELL: Thank you both.

KELLER: Thank you.

GIBSON: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: So now as for the game, let's get to Andy Scholes with this morning's "Bleacher Report."


ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. You know, Victor, even though there's so many things different for this year's Super Bowl because of the pandemic the match up on the field, I mean, it's as good as it gets. Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs trying to win back-to- back titles today. That hasn't been done since Tom Brady and the Patriots did it in 2005.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is where legacies are built, you know.


I mean, you grow up, you know, dreaming about this moment right here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, my first one was special, but to have two, you know, that would be a great accomplishment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A dream come true. That's something that no one in the world could take from the Kansas City Chiefs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to do it for Coach Reid, do it for the city, do it for the state. Missouri and Kansas, because we have the best fans in the world.


SCHOLES: All right. Beating Tom Brady in the Super Bowl is no easy task, Brady is 6-3 in the big game, he knows better than anyone what it takes to be holding the Lombardi Trophy at the end of the day. He says he never takes nor granted playing in Super Bowls, doesn't favor any one over one another and this one would be special if he's able to win it because it's this one.

PAUL: True.

Andy, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

And thank you for starting your morning with us. We hope you make good memories today.

BLACKWELL: "INSIDE POLITICS SUNDAY" with Abby Phillip is up next.