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New Day Sunday

Father Walks, Bikes 100+ Miles To Honor Fallen Veterans; Actor Gavin MacLeod Dies At 90; 135,000 Fans Expected For Today's Indianapolis 500. Aired 6a-7a ET

Aired May 30, 2021 - 06:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[06:00:22]

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning and welcome to your NEW DAY. I'm Christi Paul.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Boris Sanchez. Texas one step closer to enacting tougher restrictions on voting following the 2020 election. We're going to break down what lawmakers are pushing for and what President Biden is saying about this as states all over the country pass similar legislation.

PAUL: And maybe turning a corner, millions of people are out this holiday weekend. The Indy 500, in fact, is set to welcome 135,000 spectators today. We're going to take you there live.

SANCHEZ: And let's remember what we're honoring this Memorial Day. Meet the father walking and biking more than a hundred miles to honor fallen veterans.

PAUL: It is Sunday, May 30th, Memorial Day weekend. We thank all of you who have served and have lost somebody who has served as we honor them this weekend.

SANCHEZ: Yes, no question about that. Christi, always a pleasure to join you. We're thrilled that you are with us and we start this morning in Texas where lawmakers have filed their final version of a bill that would add new restrictions on voting and make it easier to overturn elections.

PAUL: Yes. The official filing hasn't yet been made public but a final draft obtained by CNN bans ballot drop boxes and drive through voting. It also makes it illegal to send out unsolicited mail ballot applications, and gives new powers to partisan poll watchers.

The changes mirror restrictions passed by Republican controlled legislators across the country since President Biden won the 2020 election. And last night, the president called on Congress to pass federal voting rights legislation writing -- quote -- "It's wrong and un-American in the 21st century, we should be making it easier, not harder, for every eligible voter to vote" -- unquote.

SANCHEZ: Texas lawmakers now have until midnight tonight to approve the measure, and despite protests from outside groups and Democrats in the legislature, the bill is expected to pass. CNN's Dianne Gallagher has more.

DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Boris and Christi. Yes, the time is ticking on Senate Bill 7, this election overhaul bill by Republicans that will add new restrictions and regulations as well as enhanced criminal and civil penalties to the voting process. It really impacts just about everybody who participates it in, including voters, election officials, volunteers and those get out the vote groups.

Now, it's a 67 page document that does a lot. Many of the items that are making headlines in past versions were still included like codifying these early voting hours that in some cases might expand early voting time in some counties. But in largest and most diverse counties, it will likely cause them to lose early voting time. And it will eliminate completely the ability to do 24 hour voting and also drive through voting which is something Harris County piloted during the 2020 election to help with the pandemic. They saw record turnout last year.

There is also elements that empower partisan poll watchers and add criminal penalties if you obstruct them, but it does require them to take an oath saying that they will not disrupt voters or the voting process. Now, look, there are criminal penalties that make it, for example, a crime to send unsolicited ballot applications. That's something we have seen across the country. It also makes, again, those partisan poll workers empowered, this is something that President Joe Biden hit on saying that it reminded him of other state legislation we're seeing that is restricting voting rights.

He called the Texas bill un-American. The Republican sponsors of the bill say that this is simply about ballot security and ensuring uniformity. Again, the clock is ticking. They have to get something done by midnight on Sunday. Boris, Christi, the expectation is that Governor Abbott, if it is approved, will sign this into law.

PAUL: Dianne Gallagher for us. Thank you. We've got some breaking news we want to fill you in on right now. Police are at the scene of an apparent mass shooting in northwest Miami-Dade County Florida.

SANCHEZ: Yes. Miami-Dade police say that two people are dead and 20 to 25 people are hurt after violence broke out at El Mula Banquet Hall in the Country Club Shopping Center overnight. It was apparently rented out for a concert and a white SUV pulled up and three shooters started opening fire at the crowd outside with assault rifles and hand guns.

[06:05:10]

Miami-Dade police say victims are being treated at various hospitals right now.

PAUL: They are looking for tips to help them track down those shooters. But we'll continue to track this story for you. As soon as we get more information, we will pass it on to you of course.

And that banquet hall, as we know, as we said was rented out for concert -- for some sort of concert. It is the Memorial Day weekend after COVID, essentially. We're not over with COVID obviously, we're not completely in the clear, but we are seeing some of the clearest signs yet that the U.S. is turning a corner on COVID. And people are taking advantage of these relaxed restrictions we have seen across the country.

SANCHEZ: Yes. Remember last year around this time we were cringing at large crowds, not social distancing, not wearing masks, and then of course the inevitable surge in COVID cases that followed. And as Christi noted this is the first big holiday since the CDC said that fully vaccinated people can drop those masks and social distancing without fear of getting themselves or other people sick.

More than 134 million people now make up that group of vaccinated folks, and maskless crowds are now becoming the norm from beaches to baseball games. CNN's Polo Sandoval joins us now live from New York. We're also seeing a surge in travel this weekend, Polo.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we saw it firsthand at some of the nation's airports the last couple of days too, Christi and Boris.

Look, we start today's update here in New York where a sign that the situation does continues to improve, what we can consider, for example, the state's 7-day average test positivity rate over the weekend now 0.59 percent, that is the lowest since the start of the pandemic here in New York.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SANDOVAL (voice-over): The Memorial Day holiday weekend marks the unofficial start of summer in the U.S., the first since COVID-19 vaccinations began.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE). I mean, (INAUDIBLE) for sure.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It feels like we're going back to a little bit of normalcy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

SANDOVAL: Nearly 2 million people passed the U.S. airports on Friday. And according to AAA more than 37 million are expected to travel over the three-day weekend, that's up 60 percent from last year when the country was marred in COVID-19 lockdowns and quarantines. The difference, vaccinations. The CDC says about 40 percent of Americans have been fully vaccinated and more than half the U.S. population has at least gotten their first shot. President Biden suggesting the numbers offer a ray of hope.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I set an ambitious goal of getting 70 percent of adult Americans at least one shot by July the 4th. Today, just over a month to go, we're at 62 percent. We aren't just saving lives. We're getting our lives back.

SANDOVAL: Right now California, Hawaii, New Mexico are the only states that still have mask mandates for everyone still in place. CDC guideline says those who have been fully vaccinated can lose the masks and the social distancing. Americans are ready.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Life has returned, right? I mean, we're back. Thank God we've returned safely. You know, it's been a challenge. This last year has been really difficult.

SANDOVAL: But the number of people getting vaccinated is on the decline and there are some unique motivation plans in place to encourage folks to take the shots. Ohio, California, and Maryland are among the states offering things like scholarships and cash prizes as high as $1 million in vaccination lotteries. Drugstore chains, health care companies, and some employers are also providing financial incentives.

And one Florida concert promoter offering $18.00 tickets to a punk rock concert to anyone who's fully vaccinated. Those who have not gotten the shot will have to pony up nearly a thousand dollars to see the show.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SANDOVAL: Interesting choice there. So, a quick update too when it comes to those incentives, just the start of this weekend the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission actually ruled and decided that employers can now legally offer incentives so long as they're not coercive. Also no limits on those, for examples, with the supermarket chain Kroger offering employees a onetime payment of about $100 if they get vaccinated.

Remember, Christi and Boris, back in December that same agency also ruled that employers could legally require their employees actually get vaccinated. Of course, there are those certain exceptions though.

PAUL: All right. Polo Sandoval, we'll see you soon. Thank you.

SANDOVAL: Thanks, guys.

SANCHEZ: President Biden spending his first Memorial Day weekend as commander-in-chief as you might expect, honoring the men and women of the military.

PAUL: And this weekend has some added personal significance for the president. CNN White House reporter Jasmine Wright with us from Wilmington, Delaware right now. Jasmine, it's always so good to see you. What are you hearing from the president this morning?

JASMINE WRIGHT, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, President Biden will deliver remarks today honoring those who have sacrificed here in Delaware at Veteran Memorial Park.

[06:10:00]

Tomorrow he goes to Arlington where he will participate in a wreath laying ceremony at Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery. Now, Christi, today marks a deeply personal day for the president as it marks the anniversary of his late son Beau Biden and his death. At times we have seen President Biden attending his grave site after attending mass.

Now, on Friday, President Biden gave an emotional speech when he spoke at Joint Base Langley in Virginia. It was his first time addressing an active military crowd on an active base, and remarks meant to honor those who sacrificed he often wandered off teleprompters to talk about his son Beau who served in Iraq.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BIDEN: You are the spine of America, the spine. And I can't tell you how much it matters. I think you underestimate just the consequence of who you are and what you do.

We Bidens are proud to have family in the military, and our son Beau's service was among the achievements, as I said, he was most proud of. My heart swelled to see him in uniform.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WRIGHT: Now, President Biden also spoke about the toll of the war in Afghanistan, touting the administration's draw down as he plans to withdraw later on this year. But his response and the events that he'll have today and tomorrow, Christi and Boris, really serve as a reminder of, one, how President Biden often adopts the role of empathizer in chief, and how today he will use his personal grief to mark the holiday for veterans, and it also shows what a difference we are in terms of the coronavirus, right?

In 2020, we were seeing a rise in deaths from the pandemic, and there were no vaccines. Of course, that is not the case today. So, we will see President Biden out in Delaware albeit in a little bit of a rainy weather, but he will likely be maskless, and it won't be an event about the pandemic. It will be an event focused on honoring those who have sacrificed. Christi, Boris.

SANCHEZ: We know you'll be watching it for us. Jasmine Wright from Wilmington, Delaware. Thanks so much.

PAUL: Thank you, Jasmine.

So, we could learn as soon as this morning whether Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could be pushed out of power. It's dependent on whether leaders and dueling political parties organize. We're live from Jerusalem for you.

SANCHEZ: Plus, another unwanted side effect from coronavirus, huge medical bills. What recovering patients are facing after getting over COVID-19, ahead this hour.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:16:54]

PAUL: Welcome to Sunday. We're talking about a power sharing agreement among opposition leaders in Israel. It could pose a threat to the power of current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. SANCHEZ: Yes. Israeli T.V. is reporting that opposition leaders could announce today that they are forming a new government that would oust the long time leader. Let's get to CNN's Hadas Gold who's reporting from Jerusalem.

Hadas, Netanyahu -- he has watched power slowly slip out of his control over the last few years. He's failed to form a coalition government, had to hold four elections the last two few years. This appears to be a way to break that pattern. But how likely is this actually to happen?

HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, a source close to the negotiations is telling CNN that they are cautiously confident. Cautiously optimistic that within the next few days, we could see the end of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who has run as the longest serving prime minister of Israel.

Now, if this agreement went to work, the way that we are seeing reports in the Israeli media, Naftali Bennett, who is leader of a small right wing party called Yamina, will join forces with a wide swath of political parties led by the centrist leader Yair Lapid. And how this agreement would work was that -- it would be actually -- Naftali Bennett would be the prime minister in a -- at first in a rotating agreement followed by Yair Lapid. This is interesting actually because Naftali Bennett's party only won seven seats in the last election but they became the sort of king makers, after this last election, and who they decided to sit with essentially determine who would be in the next government.

Now, this coalition would have a wide swath of parties from the left leaning labor parties to the centrist parties to Naftali Bennett's right leaning Yamina party. But they are all united in the fact that they do not want to see Netanyahu continue on as prime minister.

But I should warn, this is a fast evolving situation, the negotiations are ongoing, and even within the last hour or so, the prime minister issued a new offer to Naftali Bennett and the leader of another right wing party to have a three-way rotating prime minister deal. Just goes to show you how quickly evolving the situation is, how fluid it is.

But if an agreement is reached and we may as soon as this evening here in Jerusalem, hear from Naftali Bennett, but whether they have reached an agreement within the next few days this new government could be -- could be sent to the parliament for approval and if it is approved we could see a new government and a new prime minister of Israel sworn in within the week. Boris.

PAUL: Yes. We mentioned that there are -- there have been four elections in the last two years, so it has been shaky ground for Netanyahu before this. But how much is the current crisis in Gaza playing into this, Hadas, and could it endanger the cease fire?

GOLD: Well, actually -- well, I mean, looking at opinion polls before the latest conflict with the Hamas led militants in Gaza and after the numbers actually didn't change that much. And actually in the hours before the rockets began flying, just a few weeks ago, we were in the same position where Naftali Bennett was very close to announcing that they had come to a coalition agreement. A few days into the conflict with Hamas Bennett pulled back and said that he would no longer be in talks with this new pro change coalition, but in the last few days something changed.

[06:20:04]

Bennett came back to the table and now we seem to be back in the place where there could be a new government in place in the coming days. But like I said before, this new government will have such a wide range of political ideologies all sitting together.

There's a big question out there about whether they can have an actual functioning government and how they will approach issues such as this cease fire, such as issues with Palestinians, any sort of path to peace because we have such a wide ranging set of views out there that all they seemed to be united on is that they don't want Netanyahu in power. And should this government fail then the Israeli public would likely be heading towards an unprecedented fifth election in the next few months.

SANCHEZ: Yes, certainly the biggest test that Netanyahu had to face yet and it could mean a new chapter in Israeli history. Hadas Gold from Jerusalem, thanks so much.

PAUL: Thanks, Hadas.

So do stay with us because we're talking to a military father who is honoring veterans who have died, and that includes his son. He's walking and biking hundreds of miles. He's not doing this alone. We're going to talk to him in a moment. Stay close.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:25:21]

PAUL: Listen, let's remember what Memorial Day weekend is about, remembering the many veterans who have served this country in honor and have died doing so. For Mike Dalgliesh, the father of a marine who took his own life a few years ago, he is also reminded daily of his son's sacrifice. So, through the month of May Mike has walked and biked a total of 125 miles to honor the many veterans who have been lost, no matter how they died, and he is with us now.

Mike, I want to thank you so much for what you're doing. We are so, so sorry for what you have had to go through with the loss of your son. I want to share some pictures here of you with your son Rory. I understand he was 23 years old when he passed.

And what is striking is that there are 22 veterans who take their own lives every day. This is according to one study that says it's because of PTSD and other mental illnesses that they suffer, that they bring home with after their time with war. So, before we really get into this tell me about your son. Tell me about Rory.

MIKE DALGLIESH, WALKING, BIKING TO HONOR FALLEN VETERANS: Well, Rory was something. He amazed me completely. He was quick witted. He had a dry sense of humor. He was loyal to the corps and his brothers. He enjoyed spending time with family and friends, loved to make people laugh. But what interested me or what got me was that he had a lot of respect for everything. Didn't make any difference what it was, he had the respect.

And that I grew up in an area where respect was considered required. And he got it. And when I think of my son today, or any other day, he was my only child, and he means -- well, he means a lot to me, a lot to my wife. But that's it.

PAUL: Did he -- did he talk to you about what he was going through when he came back?

DALGLIESH: Yes, he talked to us just a few times while he was over in Afghanistan. One call was made at 1:15 in the morning. And -- oh, I see what you mean, yes. No, he never talked about PTSD or anything like that. Those guys never do that because it's a sign of weakness, and it was unfortunate. But, no, he never talked to us about that.

PAUL: So when you are walking, I know that one of the flags that has flown that you've all carried has been the Mission 22 flag that is an organization designed to support veterans with post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injuries and other issues that they face when they come home. And that you recently walked with another family who knows your pain very well because they've suffered the loss of a child as well to this.

What did you talk about with them? How does -- how do your conversations with people who know that very raw level what you're feeling? How do they change you?

DALGLIESH: Well, they really don't change me per se. They -- as long as I get to know them, and we're there together and we get to do things together, that in itself helps -- helps me. We try and do a lot of things like -- Mission Barbecue is apparently down in Fort Myers is going to be putting up a Gold Star wall shortly, and my son's picture is going to go up on that wall.

[06:30:00]

The other family that walk with me on that particular day, I've known him for about three years now two or three years because that's when he lost his son. And we just keep in touch with each other and do what's right and to try and bring that 22 number down to zero because this is all we can do.

There's a lot of private sector or private individuals out there that do things for the 22 and try -- to try and make them -- try and make the veteran stop doing this. And it's heartbreaking. It just simply heartbreaking.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: I couldn't help but wonder as you're walking, I mean, 125 miles through the month of May. It's a long time to be with yourself and your thoughts. What do you think about in those moments and what do you hope comes from this walk? DAGLIESH: Come from this walk, I have no idea. Oh, well, funny enough, I'm talking to you and the entire nation is probably going to be watching this on -- kind of this --

PAUL: So you -- go ahead.

DAGLIESH: I've actually walked 100 to this day before I go out later on, I've actually walked 198 miles. And I've called out 32 names every -- well, I call out a name every single day. And up to this point, I called out 32 names. What do -- I do it because I need to show respect to fallen veterans. I needed to honor my son. I need to honor everybody that I -- everybody's name that I call up. It's something that I just need to do that's all..

PAUL: Mike, we appreciate that you're doing it. There are families that appreciate that you're doing it. And you are bringing awareness to this. And it needs to be -- it needs to be out there. We need to understand what these people who serve our country are left with and what they go through.

Thank you so much for taking time to talk with us. We are walking with you in spirit. Please know that. We're so sorry for your loss. But we are we are grateful for your son and for you. Thank you so much for his service and for what you are doing now.

DAGLIESH: Thank you. Do I have one more thing?

PAUL: Go right ahead. Yes, go right ahead, Mike.

DAGLIESH: There's a flag behind me. It's called the Honor and Remember flag. And I carry that every single mile that I walk. And it's -- that inspires me and it's also got my son's name on it. And it's a wonderful organization. They also have -- run for the fallen as part of their organization and they're simply great.

And it was that same flag that I carried when I carried -- walk with the other Gold Star families-- family that carried the Mission 22 on Saturday.

PAUL: Thank you for making us aware. Thank you for what you do.

DAGLIESH: Thank you.

PAUL: And again, please know that you are not walking around.

DAGLIESH: Thank you very, very much. I like to hear that. I appreciate it.

PAUL: Mike, take good care. Godspeed to you.

DAGLIESH: Bye, bye.

PAUL: Bye, bye.

DAGLIESH: Thanks. PAUL: Thank you. Thank you, sir. And as we go to break, we want to

leave you with some sites from Arlington National Cemetery where American flags have been placed at the more than 260,000 headstones there.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:35:00]

PAUL: It's so sad this weekend to tell you about Captain Stubing, Gavin MacLeod there who has passed away. I know you'll remember him as Captain Stubing aboard the Love Boat, obviously, managing to keep things ship shaped by and there was all the constant romantic turbulence of course on the show.

But a lot of you will also argue that he is best known and loved for a stint on the iconic Mary Tyler Moore Show. Here he is. He played head writer Murray Slaughter of the fictitious and hilarious news department of WJM in Minneapolis.

[06:40:24]

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: In a touching tweet, his fellow Mary Tyler Moore alum Ed Asner writes, "My heart is broken. Gavin was my brother, my partner in crime and food and my comic conspirator. I will see you in a bit, Gavin. Tell the gang I will see them in a bit. Betty, it's just you and me now." Betty, of course, meaning Betty White who also made that show so beloved. McLeod was 90 years old.

So, getting back to the Coronavirus now, one in 10 Americans have been infected with COVID-19 and many are still struggling with lingering symptoms along with what you might call another side effect of the virus, extremely high medical bills.

PAUL: Yes. CNN Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Before the pandemic, Irena Schulz performed at senior centers. But about with COVID-19 last June, almost silenced her forever.

IRENA SCHULZ, COVID-19 SURVIVOR: For a week there. I really wasn't sure if I was going to make it.

COHEN: And now, she's a COVID long hauler, exhausted, her immune system suffering. And because of COVID, she lost her hearing and now she needs expensive hearing aids. The medical bills have been overwhelming.

SCHULZ: There's the ER visit. We've got the cardiologist, the ENT, all the doctor visits, all the tests.

COHEN: How much money have you had to put on your credit card for medical bills because of COVID?

SCHULZ: It's somewhere around $9,300.

COHEN: Irena isn't alone. On GoFundMe, plea after plea for help recovering from COVID medical bills. Democratic Senator Tina Smith of Minnesota says she hears these stories all the time.

COHEN: When your constituents have become ill with COVID?

SEN. TINA SMITH (D-MN): Well, I have heard stories of people facing hospitalization bills and other bills for prescription medicines that can be thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars. This is of course an unexpected medical bill that people weren't planning on.

COHEN: Smith is pressing for new legislation that would make sure that people don't face unexpected bills if they become sick with COVID-19. But for now, some people like Irena, a retired medical researcher in South Carolina, are avoiding the doctor.

SCHULZ: Right now, I can't go see a doctor. I can't afford it.

COHEN: You have long haul COVID. How can you not go to the doctor?

SCHULZ: I have to deal with it.

COHEN: Is it scary that you can't just go when you need to go?

SCHULZ: Yes, it's very scary. I have a 17-year-old. Am I being a terrible mom? Because if this continues on and the worst happens and I die, is that -- you know, how is that helping my son?

COHEN: In June, Irena will go back to work singing for seniors hoping that someday she'll be able to pay off her pile of COVID-19 medical bills. Elizabeth Cohen, CNN reporting.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SANCHEZ: Thanks to Elizabeth Cohen for that report. Look, the Indy 500 runs today. Our Coy Wire is there live. Coy?

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Boris. We are here at Indianapolis Motor Speedway as a vaccination site. 90,000 people have been vaccinated here today. More than 100,000 fans expected to come back to see the greatest spectacle in racing. We'll have more coming up after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:45:00]

PAUL: So, this is something we have not seen in a long time, Boris. 135,000 fans together at the Indianapolis 500 later today. I mean, that's the largest single day crowd in the U.S. since the pandemic began.

SANCHEZ: Yes. And our Coy Wire is there. Coy, Thunder is back on the track and back in the stands too. What are you expecting? WIRE: Yes. Big things today, Boris and Christi. Good morning to you.

And, you know, sporting events, they weren't an option for a lot of fans for more than a year, right? Now, crowds returning in nearly full force. We've seen the NBA having to ban some fans for rowdy behavior at their playoff games. Huge crowds swarmed Phil Mickelson and Brooks Koepka at the PGA Championship.

And today, the so-called greatest spectacle in racing is back. It'll be much different than last year's race where drivers described it as sad without fans. He said it was bizarre, awful, heartbreaking, weird, no energy, even saying it felt like an organized barbecue race. It wasn't spectacular at all.

But now, with 135,000 expected today, drivers are excited about what this means for sports and beyond.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCOTT DIXON, RACE CAR DRIVER: Yes, it's amazing to have the fans back. You know, obviously, this is our marquee events, biggest race in the world.

MARCO ANDRETTI, RACE CAR DRIVER: I mean, I think that the world needs sport. I think they need a reason to come out and smile and be happy.

SIMON PAGENAUD, RACE CAR DRIVER: The fans have been starving for some competition. So, I'm very excited to be able to give them a great show here.

TONY KANA, RACE CAR DRIVER: I mean, this place is -- it needs fans. And then, I'm really glad that we have them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WIRE: Now, 135,000 fans today sounds like a lot, and it is. But it's actually just about 40 percent capacity here at IMS. Typically, this place is capable of holding about 350,000 fans between the grandstand and the infield, in the infield alone, 253 acres. The track is a two and a half mile oval. You could fit Yankee Stadium, the Roman Colosseum, Vatican City, Churchill Downs, the Rose Bowl, Liberty Island, the Taj Mahal, and the White House all inside and still have room. So, fans should still have plenty of space if they want to find some.

[06:5017]

Japan's Takuma Sato is the defending champion. He won the race twice in the last four years. His motto, "No attack, no chance." The rowing crowds will be back here today with a 105th running of the Indy 500. All right, meanwhile, there could be a sellout at Charlotte Motor Speedway for NASCAR's Coca Cola 600 today after North Carolina lifted its capacity restrictions earlier this week. That means as many as 95,000 fans can pack in there, which would make it the second-largest sporting event since the pandemic began.

All right, last night, hockey-crazed fans in Canada finally got to see their national pastime in person for the first time in over a year. 2,500 fans on hand for a playoff game between Montreal and -- the Canadians and the Maple Leafs there in Montreal.

Now, let's go to 25,000 at Fenway Park yesterday. The CDC director and self-proclaimed Sox fan Dr. Rochelle Walensky throw out the first pitch, the first ballgame in Boston without capacity restrictions, a solid effort, no doubt about it, little short, but right on target.

And you know, Boris and Christi, it's amazing to think about this. 10 months ago, Dr. Fauci threw out the first pitch at the Nationals home opener. There were no fans allowed. He never took off his mask. It's definitely a sign that things are moving in the right direction.

SANCHEZ: Absolutely, Coy. And the pitch was pretty straight. It was online. Not bad. Not bad for Miss Walensky.

WIRE: Yes. I think she's got Dr. Fauci beat, no doubt about it.

SANCHEZ: She might. Coy Wire, thank you so much.

PAUL: Thanks, Coy. Be sure to catch the all-new episode of CNN's Original Series Story of Late Night tonight. How a small cable show rose to take center stage. Here's a preview for you.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I really haven't heard too much about the situation in Iraq? What's been going on over there?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It wasn't until really, George W. Bush and the post 9/11 period that The Daily Show became The Daily Show as we understand it.

GEORGE H.W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You deserve better than tyranny and corruption and torture chambers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, you do. Yes, you do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: By really tackling what was going on in government, what we were being told, what we weren't being told.

BUSH: We began to search for hidden chemical and biological weapons and already know of hundreds of sites that will be investigated.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You want to know how that turns out?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was a failure of journalism to really properly question the impetus for going into Iraq.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And Jon Stewart was the one to puncture that. People started to say, this guy is giving us news we're not getting somewhere else.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People realize, oh wait, this is not just silly little making fun of things. He's a real critic.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: Don't miss The Story of Late Night at 9:00 p.m. tonight right here on CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:55:00]

SANCHEZ: There is record cold and heavy rain in the north intensifying heat out west. This weekend's Memorial Day forecast is a bit of something for everybody.

PAUL: Even if you don't want it. Meteorologist Allison Chinchar, help us understand what's going on here with that map behind you.

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, because there's a heavy emphasis on the stuff that no one really wants to have on a holiday weekend, especially some of these examples. Yes, for the Northeast we've got yet again more rain. You're probably sick of it having it had the last few days. We've also got some storms in Southern Florida and then areas of severe weather across portions of the Western U.S.

Let's begin with the severe weather. The main threats are going to be damaging winds, large hail, isolated tornadoes, places like Amarillo, Lubbock, even Roswell, New Mexico. Most of that timeline for those storms will be this afternoon in the evening. Different timeline in the northeast, however, we've already got some ongoing showers this morning, likely to continue through the afternoon and evening. But the good news is by tomorrow, we finally start to see the system slowly begin to exit the area giving some folks a break.

It's still going to be very cool though. Temperatures well below normal. Boston, New York, Albany still all about 20 degrees below where they should be this time of year. But that's also expected to rebound at least a little bit as we get into the actual holiday tomorrow. So, see, Washington D.C. finally starting to dry back out, high temperature of 75.

Boston you will still have some lingering showers especially in the first half of the day, high temperature only about 64 degrees. Atlanta looking at highs in the 80s with some sunshine. Nashville also pretty nice conditions. Enjoy it there. Dallas, Albuquerque, you're also looking at the chance for some showers and thunderstorms in both of those locations, especially Albuquerque today and tomorrow. Dallas, it's more going to be a concern going into tomorrow.

And then out to the west, the key thing here is the heat. Take a look at this. Phoenix, Las Vegas, Reno, but even some portions of interior California like Sacramento, Redding, you're also going to be dealing with triple-digit numbers, not just on Monday, but some of these could even linger into Tuesday as well.

Seattle and Portland also starting to see their temperatures warm back up, Boris and Christi, and some of those areas you're talking 15 to 20 degrees above normal.

SANCHEZ: The unofficial start of summer is here. Allison Chinchar, thank you so much. The next hour of NEW DAY starts right now.