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New Day Sunday

One Dead, One Injured After Truck Runs Over Crowd At Pride Parade In South Florida; This Week: President Biden To See Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill; Interview With Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI); First Sentencing Of Capitol Rioter Set For Wednesday; Biden's Domestic Agenda Stalls Amid Republican Resistance And Infighting In Democratic Party; Biden Mourns Loss Of German Shepherd Champ; Concern Grows Over Spread Of Delta Variant. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired June 20, 2021 - 07:00   ET




AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone, and welcome to your NEW DAY. I'm Amara Walker, in for Christi Paul.


We have new developments to bring you from Florida after one man is killed and another injured when a truck hits a crowd during a pride parade.

Plus, the latest from Washington and President Biden, and a group of bipartisan lawmakers reach a compromise on infrastructure.

WALKER: And good news on the COVID front. The United States reaches a milestone in COVID vaccinations.

And one man goes looking for tips on how to be a better father.


SANCHEZ: We are thrilled that you are up with us bright and early this Sunday, June 20th. To all of the dads out there, we hope you are having a happy Father's Day.

Amara, great to see you as always.

WALKER: Yeah, great to be with you this morning and happy Father's Day to all the fathers in our lives.

We begin with breaking news this morning. Three people have been taken to the hospital after a shooting in Houston.

SANCHEZ: Yeah, the SWAT team is on the scene there looking for a suspect right now. We're still following the latest information coming from the area. We're going to bring you the latest as we get it.

Of course, we do want to pivot to what happened in south Florida yesterday. One person is dead, at least one more injured after a white pickup truck plowed through a group of pedestrians.

We're now learning that the driver and the victims are members of the Fort Lauderdale gay men's chorus community. This happened at the Stonewall pride parade around 7:00 last night in Wilton Manors, Florida, very close to Fort Lauderdale, right as the event was kicking off.

WALKER: And there was some initial speculation about whether or not it was an accident or what some, including the mayor of Fort Lauderdale, have called a terrorist attack on the LBGTQ community.

CNN's Natasha Chen has been following this story from Atlanta.

So, what do we know on whether or not this was intentional?

NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Amara and Boris. That this is -- there are a lot of questions right now about that. The thing is that there were so many members of law enforcement and high- profile officials, I think, you saw there in the video, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, everybody there to d celebrate at the beginning of the Stonewall pride parade when this happened.

So, there were many witnesses. From the witnesses what we're hearing is that this pickup truck plowed into people, as you mentioned, hitting two men, one of them has died. The other one is expected to survive. The FBI is assisting in this investigation right now.

Here is what authorities are saying about the investigation at this moment.


DETECTIVE ALI ADAMASON, FORT LAUDERDALE POLICE: The Fort Lauderdale Police Department and the Wilton Manors Police Department, we send our deepest condolences to the families, to the victims, to the participants, to everyone affected by this incident. I know that out of respect for this incident, the city of Wilton Manors decided to not continue with the parade out of an effort to be and have the utmost respect for those involved.


CHEN: So you heard there that the parade was then canceled. You know, everybody expected and ready to celebrate. Instead, having to witness this tragedy, and I should mention a lot of the first responders and witnesses on scene jumped in immediately to relationship render aid. So, a lot of people acting very quickly.

Again, the Fort Lauderdale gay men's chorus gave a statement to our affiliate station WPLG saying that the victims involved are members of their chorus and that the driver is also a member of the chorus family. Right now I've reached out to the chorus to see if we can talk about further details. Still waiting to hear back.

But really a devastating moment for this community, Wilton Manors, who prides themselves on being gay friendly, according to its website, very welcoming. So, this was a big event where people were not expecting this turn of events -- Amara and Boris.

SANCHEZ: And, Natasha, are there any more details that you can share about the suspect? And also I wanted to note, it appears that the person in that vehicle that we have shown is Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. She appears to be shaken up. Do we know if she's okay?

CHEN: Yes, the congresswoman did issue a statement after the fact that she was there. She was participating. She saw what happened. In her Twitter statement, she said she was devastated and shaken, but that she and her team are okay.


The Broward County sheriff also was there and mentioned that he and the deputies also witnessed this, also devastated. You can just imagine what that's like in that moment where there is a party atmosphere and, all of a sudden, you are assisting with these two people seriously injured.

As far as the driver goes, the authorities, the police say that they are talking to him. He was brought into custody on scene there. A witness told our affiliate station that they heard the pickup truck engine rev up before going into the people. So it's unclear right now exactly what the intention was or if this was an accident. That's all something that investigators are working on at this moment.

SANCHEZ: Yeah, sort of a sad state of affairs when we are sort of conditioned to assume that things like this are intentional because we've seen so many acts of hate over the years.

Natasha Chen from Atlanta, thank you so much.

CHEN: Thanks.

SANCHEZ: A series of shootings has led to yet another weekend of deadly gun violence across the country. At least four people killed, nearly two dozen more injured in shootings in Anchorage, Alaska, Colorado Springs, Minneapolis, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Oakland, California. We could potentially add Houston to the list following the breaking news earlier today.

The mass shooting in Oakland happening yesterday at a lake near where people were celebrating Juneteenth. At least one person there was killed.

WALKER: So far this year there have been nearly 290 mass shootings in the U.S., and that list that Boris went through is disturbingly long, isn't it?

Let's bring in Polo Sandoval who's been following the latest on the shooting in Oakland.

Polo, do we know what led to this?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, at this point, investigators believe this was a large gathering that was being held yesterday there in Oakland, Amara and Boris. According to what police are saying at this point, there were about 1,000 people that had gathered there at Lake Merritt. We have some video that's actually been provided by our affiliate on the ground that shows a massive crime scene that's been processed throughout the night, as investigators try to piece all of this together.

So, apparently, shots rang out a little after 6:00 p.m. yesterday evening. At least six people were shot, all of them young individuals, just 16 to 27. One of them in particular, a 22-year-old man was rushed to the hospital where, sadly, he died.

Investigators did arrest two men who, according to investigators, were carrying guns and seen fleeing the scene in the moments after the shooting. They were detained. They are speaking to them this morning, really trying to confirm whether or not they were actually involved in this particular shooting.

But at this point, again, those numbers do continue to contribute or at least add to that -- to the growing list of people who have been affected by gun violence now, specifically in Oakland. At least one killed and at least five hurt after this shooting yesterday evening at a large gathering there near a park, near the heart of the city.

Now, broader, when you look at the numbers here, not only because of a CNN analysis, but because of the mounting numbers by gun violence archives, they do show at least a 40 percent increase last year over 2021. Obviously, there is the easing of pandemic restrictions. There are more people out there.

But when you hear from some experts, they believe it's simply, obviously, more guns in the hands of people who should not have those. That, of course, includes former police Commissioner Charles Ramsey yesterday weighing in on what happened here, obviously, calling not only for stricter gun laws but also stricter prosecution of those involved in these kinds of incidents -- guys.

SANCHEZ: Polo Sandoval, thank you so much.

WALKER: Thanks, Polo.

Well, support for a bipartisan infrastructure bill is gaining steam on Capitol Hill.

SANCHEZ: Yeah, but that $1.2 billion price tag is below what President Biden originally wanted, and progressives are threatening to withdraw their support if they can't pass more of their priorities.

Let's get to CNN White House reporter Jasmine Wright.

Jasmine, not even President Biden has seen the final version of the proposal?

JASMINE WRIGHT, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, we don't exactly know how President Biden is going to react. That's kind of the million- dollar question today. Going into tomorrow, President Biden said on Friday that he would react to the proposal Monday after he has read it, though we know that he has been briefed.

So this bipartisan group of senators, remember, that they penned this, it was Senator Mitt Romney, it was Senator Kyrsten Sinema, among a bunch of others, and -- but remember that the price tag is a lot smaller than what President Biden originally proposed. So it's an open question of exactly how President Biden is going to move forward, if he is going to move forward, right?

So, we know that President Biden called for $2.25 trillion in his original proposal over the next eight years. This bipartisan proposal, a working plan, has $1.2 trillion of spending over eight years. Biden's original had $621 billion for transportation. This working proposal has $312 billion for the same subject.

And, of course, President Biden's plan would pay for by raising corporate tax rates. Now, this working draft suggests that paying for it in a couple of different ways, including redirecting unused COVID relief money, which is something that the White House has consistently said is a non-starter.

But listen, Amara and Boris, if President Biden does agree to go forward with this framework, it would give him something that he long, long campaigned for, which is a major piece of bipartisan legislation. Either way, Democrats in the Senate have already started laying the groundwork to go it alone if things do not work out.

But, remember, any piece that they try to go alone using that process called reconciliation, it still needs 50 votes. And right now, there is no evidence that there are 50 votes in the Senate with Democrats to get an infrastructure bill passed, and they want to pass something around $6 trillion if they go it alone.

So, on Monday is when we expect to hear more from President Biden on this. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, she says that President Biden will spend the week engaging with both sides of the aisle on his infrastructure plan and also Monday, we can expect to see President Biden talking to lead financial regulators as he gets an update on the country's financial systems and on Friday, we can expect to see him giving remarks about pride month -- Amara, Boris.

WALKER: It takes a lot of patients by everyone, including all of us who are watching, to see these bills move past an impasse, hopefully.

Jasmine Wright, appreciate you joining us. Thanks so much.

And just ahead, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell will tell us why she believes Democrats may need to take action on the president's infrastructure plan with or without bipartisan support.

SANCHEZ: Plus, the latest on the pandemic. The delta variant is now spreading in the United States. Health officials are concerned about another surge, especially among the unvaccinated. We'll break down what you need to know to stay healthy ahead this hour.



SANCHEZ: The bipartisan infrastructure plan is picking up steam in the Senate. The proposal now has the backing of 21 senators, including 11 Republicans.

Joining us now discuss infrastructure and much more, a member of the House Democrats who is adamant about getting this bill done this summer. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell joins us now.

Congresswoman, good morning and thank you so much for sharing part of your weekend with us. You have warned against talking an infrastructure bill to death. The White House has made deadlines that have come and gone on a bipartisan plan.

At this point, there is no indication that this new version ever the plan is definitely going to happen. Do you want the president to give up on a bipartisan effort at this point?

REP. DEBBIE DINGELL (D-MI): Well, good morning. It's great to be with you.

You know, I have very mixed feelings. But then again, they're probably not mixed. I think -- I'm somebody that works across the aisle, talks to my Republican colleagues on a regular basis, and I think that the country is better off when those kinds of things happen.

But I also think that we are in a once-in-a-generation opportunity, that we need to pass some very serious legislation. Our roads and bridges are broken. I talked (ph) with the governor (ph). And we need to fix the damn roads.

But there's a number of very critical things that have to happen. Electric vehicles, they are the wave of the future. And we are getting behind other countries. And I am not giving up America's being at the forefront of innovation and technology. We've got to include that in the package.

And there are other things that the president has talked about. You are going to be hearing more about this this week on care-giving, both childcare and senior care, which is part of infrastructure because addressing these issues is part of helping to make our country run efficiently and smoothly.

When you come out of a pandemic, America suddenly understands we've got real fractures in many areas. That's how we got Social Security, that's how we got Medicare. Now is the time to act and we need to do it this summer.

SANCHEZ: So, Congresswoman, do you have a timeline for when you would like to see negotiations just break off and head to a vote?

DINGELL: Well, you know, I have a great deal of respect for Joe Biden. I think we probably operate much the same way. We like to include as many people as possible.

But I think both the speaker and the president have said we need to get about doing new stuff. So, we have two more weeks left before the Fourth of July. I think you will see where much of this is going to gel.

And in July, we need to be putting pen to paper and we need to be working and we need to be doing our job.

SANCHEZ: Congresswoman, you mentioned electric vehicles. Biden's American jobs plan would invest $174 billion in the electric vehicle market. That you've indicated is a red line for you. There needs to be more investment in EVs.

If there was a bill put forth that had everything else that the White House and you wanted, but with significantly less money, less investment in electric vehicles, would you vote against it?

DINGELL: I would, because it is -- this is the opportunity. There's not going to be a better opportunity. That's where we've got to go. I mean, each of our OEMs, the car manufacturers, General Motors is saying it will have 100 percent product line, electric vehicle product line in 2035.

People aren't going to buy those vehicles if there aren't two things. For one, they've got to be able to afford them. But, two, there needs to be a battery that they have confidence it's going to have range. We've got to be investing in that. I'm not giving that to China or India or Europe.

I'm -- this is the home of the auto industry. We need to do that here. And we've got to build up the electric vehicle infrastructure.


It's got to be a public/private partnership. But people need to know that they're going to be able to charge. That's just got to happen.

Other countries are doing it. We cannot not be competitive. It's critical and it matters and it's one of the things I'm going to be fighting very hard for.

SANCHEZ: And it's important for your constituents in the auto industry in Michigan, certainly. So --

DINGELL: And the country. I mean, it's also for the country. We have to address global climate change.

We have got -- in other countries, they're doing it. China is already way ahead of us. Is that really what we want to do, is let other countries be ahead of us?


DINGELL: This is a competitive issue.

SANCHEZ: I hate to cut you off, Congresswoman, but we have two very important topics that I want to hit. There have been nearly 290 mass shootings in the United States this

year. We are currently tracking breaking news out of Houston that might add to that tally.

You reintroduced a bill this year to close legal loopholes that would allow abusers and stalkers to access guns, but bipartisan negotiations over things like federal background check bills and others, they are basically at a standstill right now at Capitol Hill.

What would you like to see done to stop these senseless tragedies?

DINGELL: You know, I'm in a very complicated place. I lived with man, a man that I loved was a board member of the NRA. And before he died, he said times have changed and he was proud of the work that I was doing.

I don't want to take guns away from legitimate gun owners, but we have a problem in this country. Too many people are dying. I'm going to try and sit down and talk to Republicans and just say, what are we going to do to keep these senseless deaths from happening?

And it's one of the things I'm going to be very focused on this summer, trying to tell people where I come from, that I have lived with a man who, you know what? He had a gun under his pillow the night he died. But I also lived with a man that shouldn't have. And how do we get people -- how do we keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have them?

SANCHEZ: Congresswoman, I have to ask you about voting rights legislation. You co-sponsored HR-1 to expand access to the ballot. Its counterpart in the Senate appears doomed. Mitch McConnell has vowed to block it with a filibuster.

The math simply is not on your party's side. So, where do Democrats go from here?

DINGELL: Well, we've got to keep going. I mean, even as we have this discussion, Republicans are very much trying to discourage people from voting at the polls. My state of Michigan is one of the next places that they're doing this. They've introduced 39 bills.

Not only are they trying to keep African-Americans from voting and others, but seniors, who for decades the state are on absentee ballot lists, have to show voter ID, have to show ID to be able to submit their A.V. ballot. That's going to keep seniors from voting. People don't know what is happening.

And what bothers me the most, Republicans are trying to attack the credibility and outcome of our elections. People need to know that their -- our elections are safe, they are legitimate, and we cannot let those who are trying to undermine people's confidence are, in fact (ph), they win and we have to do something to fight back.

It's going to have to be both the states and the federal level and you don't give up. We will at the Washington -- at the federal level keep fighting to address these constant attacks to protect our democracy. SANCHEZ: And we have to leave the conversation there.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, we appreciate the time. Thank you so much.

DINGELL: Thank you.

WALKER: And we are expecting to see the first sentencing of a Capitol Hill rioter this week. The defendant said January 6th was, quote, the best day ever. Why she may not get any jail time though. That's next.



WALKER: The first sentencing of a U.S. Capitol rioter is set for later this week. It's been nearly six months since a violent mob stormed the building, trying to stop Congress from certifying the 2020 election.

SANCHEZ: Since then, hundreds of people have been charged in connection to the attack, but it could be months, even years, before their cases are all wrapped up.

Here is CNN's Marshall Cohen to explain why.


MARSHALL COHEN, CNN REPORTER: Boris and Amara, we're just a few days way from the first Capitol rioter getting sentenced. It's been more than five months since January 6, and nearly 500 people have been charged.

These defendants come from all across America, 43 states and Washington, D.C. They are from big cities and small towns. They include people that flew here on private jets and others that scraped together the money to pay for gas.

Now, a few of these defendants have already pleaded guilty. And later this week, one of them will be sentenced. Her name is Anna Morgan- Lloyd. And back on the day of the attack on January 6th she posted online that it was the best day ever.

Now she is singing a different tune. She's apologizing for her actions, disavowing the rioters who got violent and she's asking her judge for a lenient sentence. She'll find out her fate on Wednesday.

It's possible she gets no jail time, and that's because prosecutors have even said that probation might be appropriate because she is pleading guilty to one misdemeanor of non-violently demonstrating inside the Capitol.

But her case is really moving a lot faster than many of the other cases. One lawyer who represents a dozen rioters said yesterday that he wants to take his cases to trial and fight for acquittals. That could take months or even years, and beyond that, prosecutors are still adding new defendants to some of the large conspiracy cases against members of right-wing extremist groups like the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers.

So all of these months later, we are still finding out new things from January 6th and we're still seeing new footage from the attack. The Justice Department last week released about a half dozen video clips after CNN and other news outlets filed a lawsuit trying to get those publicly released.


More of these videos, horrifying videos from the Capitol grounds, more of them should be coming out soon -- Boris and Amara.


SANCHEZ: Marshall Cohen, thank you so much for that.

As we learn new details about what happened on January 6th, CNN's Drew Griffin talks with the people who were there. "Assault on Democracy: The Roots of Trump's Insurrection" is tonight at 9:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

Here is a quick preview.



CROWD: Stop the steal, stop the steal!

TRUMP: Fight like hell.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is not a law enforcement operation. This was a military defense.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're coming for you, Nancy!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Once they started banging on the door, that's all I heard.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Overran the capitol.

ANNOUNCER: Now new details from those who were there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: President Trump said come to D.C., it's going to be wild. And I knew it was going to be history.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This might sound extremely strange to a lot of your viewers, but I feel like he was anointed by God.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We peacefully protested.

GRIFFIN: You call January 6th a peaceful protest?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my God, what is happening? I was scared. Absolutely scared.

ANNOUNCER: CNN special report, "Assault on Democracy: The Roots of Trump's Insurrection", Sunday night at 9:00.




SANCHEZ: We are continuing to following breaking news out of Houston this morning. It appears a 4-year-old girl is in surgery right now and a suspect is on the loose after a shooting at the home of an off-duty deputy. Houston's police chief says that a man forced his way into the deputy's home and began shooting. The deputy's wife was shot in the leg. His 4-year-old stepdaughter was shot in the arm.

The deputy returned fire and investigators do believe that the suspect was hit. Right now, it's still unclear if the deputy or his family were targeted. This, of course, the latest incident in a wave of gun violence that we've seen sweep the nation. We're going to keep working the story and bring you any new updates as we get them.

WALKER: President Biden's hope for an infrastructure deal, police reform, and voting rights protections are in danger, not just from Republicans, but from splits in his own party. What can he do to jump- start his stalled domestic agenda?

Alex Burns joining me now. He is a CNN political analyst and national political correspondent for "The New York Times."

Good morning. Good to see you, Alex. Thanks for being with me.


WALKER: So you say, Alex, that this is a real test of the promise that President Biden has made to voters that he would work with both parties to get his agenda accomplished, but as much experience as Biden has as a deal maker from his, what, decades, four decades in the Senate, is anyone skilled enough to find bipartisanship in Congress today?

BURNS: Well, I think we're about to find out in probably the next week or two weeks. From the lawmakers that I speak to on both sides of the aisle, the expectation is that we're approaching a real moment of truth here on the subject that you mentioned and a couple others.

If there is going to be a deal on police reform, if there is going to be a deal on infrastructure, it's going to happen very soon, particularly because the White House and President Biden have this sense that clock is ticking, that there is only so much time that a president has, and that a congressional majority has, to be productive before suddenly it's election season again. And that will happen sooner than any of us would like to contemplate at this moment.

And the question now for President Biden is, you know, does he take a deal on infrastructure, a smaller deal on infrastructure, and trust that he can bring along the left wing of his own party, or does he reject the Republican offer for a smaller infrastructure deal, and then try to bring along the center of his party on a larger package, pass along a party line.

And, you know, right now, from the folks I talk to, the reporting I do, there is no particular sense of extreme confidence in either of those scenarios.

WALKER: Well, to that point, Alex, I mean, for Biden and his party, the Republicans obstructing their agenda is one challenge, and the other, as you mentioned, is uniting the Democratic Party from the moderates and progressives. And as you were saying, the clock is running out.

When it comes to the progressives, are they running out of patience, especially when it comes to the stalled talks on infrastructure and voting and Biden's refusal to support getting rid of the filibuster?

BURNS: There is a real impatience on the more sort of left-leaning side of the party. Both because I think, you know, they have this sense that President Biden made a lot of commitments during the general election to bring the Democratic Party together and get people excited about his candidacy against Donald Trump, issues likes climate, issues like voting rights and immigration and gun violence, all those appear to be totally stalled right now at the legislative level.

And when you talk to people who represent the progressive wing of the Democratic Party you hear frequently this sense that we were elected to get things done, not to sort of, you know, play out the tape as long as we can and see if we can get a deal. They believe that even if they go somewhat more liberal and party line direction on policy, they believe that voters will reward them simply for getting results.


And you do actually hear that from some folks closer to the ideological middle of the Democratic view, this view that, you know, we were elected with an obligation to succeed, and that that involves getting stuff done by whatever means you have to use.

WALKER: And what is the president's calculus do you suppose when it comes to taking a more forceful stance, you know, from his bully pulpit and also perhaps what's the thresholds for him to say, fine, let's go at it alone?

BURNS: Well, on the second part, the threshold to say, let's go it alone, you know, unfortunately, for Joe Biden, that decision is not his alone to make. That if he says let's go it alone but Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, two very moderate Democratic senators, aren't on the same page, that he is going to be going it very alone on some of these subjects.

If you cut off your bipartisan negotiations but you can't bring along the middle of the party on a party line approach, well, guess what? You just have lost everything.

But, you know, on some of these subjects, and I think particularly on voting rights, there is a growing pressure on the White House to get the president out there more explicitly speaking to the imperative to get something done. The concern is that, you know, you have some sense of public alarm right now, at least among Democratic and moderate voters about voting rights and election integrity, the subject of January 6th still casts a long shadow over all of this.

But if Congress goes home for a long period in the summer and people go on vacation, does the momentum dissipate and does it require a presidential-level use of, you know, rhetorical force to get that momentum back?

WALKER: Yeah. That momentum, the deadline seems to be July 4th for now.

Appreciate you joining us, Alex Burns. Thank you for the conversation.

BURNS: Thanks a lot.

SANCHEZ: A sad update this weekend. The president and first lady are mourning the loss of their dog Champ.

WALKER: Yeah, the Bidens say Champ was a beloved and cherished companion since the day he joined the family 13 years ago.

CNN's Kate Bennett has more.



That's right. After a four-year hiatus of no pets in the White House, the Bidens brought animals back to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Unfortunately, over the weekend, one of their beloved dogs passed away.

(voice-over): Condolences for the Bidens are pouring in after the president announced the family's much loved German shepherd Champ passed away Saturday.

Michelle Obama tweeting, Champ was such a good boy. Barack and I are sending all our love to you.

And Biden's former national security advisor adding, boy oh boy, did he love chasing golf balls.

Champ chose the Bidens when he was a month old after Barack Obama won the 2008 presidential election. For Jill Biden, getting Champ was about keeping a promise. She said the family could get a dog if Joe and Barack won the election. Biden's grandchildren gave Champ his name, an homage to the nickname

Joe Biden's father called him. In the announcement, the Bidens write, he was our constant cherished companion during the last 13 years and was adored by the entire Biden family.

They say champ loved nothing more than curling up at our feet in front of a fire at the end of the day, joining us as a comforting presence in meetings or being in the White House garden. And note, Champ was there for their most joyful moments and most grief stricken days.

They even got their other German shepherd, 3-year-old Major as a companion for Champ to help keep him busy and active as he got older. The pair were featured in Biden's campaign ads when he was running for president and the first lady says the pups had some major adjustments to make when they moved into the White House.

JILL BIDEN, U.S. FIRST LADY: They have to take the elevator. They are not used to that. They have to go out on the South Lawn with lots of people watching them. So are, that's what I have been obsessed with, just getting everybody settled and calm.

BENNETT: President Harry Truman once said, you want a friend in Washington? Get a dog. But it's Jill Biden who summed it up saying, everything was instantly better when he was next to us.


BENNETT: Rest in peace, Champ.


BENNETT (on camera): Well, if there is a bright side to any of this, we do hear that the cat that the Bidens have promised to adopt is somewhere on the horizon in the very near future so Major won't have to be the only animal in the White House for much longer -- guys.

SANCHEZ: Thanks to Kate Bennett for that.

Rest in peace, Champ.

Just ahead, our Dr. Sanjay Gupta gives us an update on the Delta variant of COVID-19. How it might affect the next phase of the pandemic.



WALKER: We have some good news to share.

Right now, almost 45 percent of the U.S. population is now fully vaccinated.

SANCHEZ: Yeah, and as 300 million shots have been administered, President Biden warns the country is still not yet in the clear from the virus. WALKER: That's right. CNN's chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay

Gupta has more on why the delta variant has health officials so concerned.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: So we are at this 300 million doses administered mark, and that is, obviously, a very notable number here in terms of overall immunity in the country. It's not the 70 percent nationally that we wanted. But if you look at the amount of immunity from the vaccines and also add in the amount of immunity that comes from people having been naturally infected, we are probably at functional herd immunity or soon to be there.

So, we see the numbers coming down, hospitalization, deaths, all good news. The question is about the variants. And I think it's interesting to look around the world at these variants and see how much of an impact they are making.


But take a look at the U.K., for example, I think there is a story here that is important that you see in the graphic. The end of January, it was primarily the alpha or the U.K. variant that was dominant in the U.K., understandably.

What happened over that time period? The numbers came down overall, which was good, but at the same time, the delta variant start today enter the scene there. You saw the numbers pop back up. That was primarily, obviously, people who had been vaccinated.

So, that is the concern here, and we know that this is a much more transmissible variant. The U.K. or alpha variant was 50 percent more transmissible than the strain before that and this is 60 percent more transmissible than the alpha variant. So, you get an idea.

In Scotland, there was a study showing that people who are infected with the delta variant were also more likely to be hospitalized. So, this appears to be more transmissible and more serious also. So, that is why there is so much attention on this.

If you look at the effectiveness of the vaccines, take a look there. You see that alpha or delta you get a lot of impact, a lot of protection from these vaccines. And that's why the message remains the same to go out and get vaccinated.

It is also worth pointing out that as you can slow down the spread of the virus overall through vaccination through immunity, you're going to be less and less likely to develop mutations that are problematic that are going to create more variants we continuously worry about.

So, no matter how you cut it, whichever way, the message remains the same, to go get vaccinated.


WALKER: Go get vaccinated. Can't say that enough. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thanks for that.

Just ahead one man's quest to be a better dad and how it changed his life.



WALKER: So today is Father's Day and, of course, there is no handbook on how to be a father, right?

SANCHEZ: Yeah. It didn't stop one dad, though, from gathering advice from fathers across the country.

Our Christi Paul has the story.


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Most dads are just trying to get it right, but navigating fatherhood can be overwhelming.

COO of Top Golf and father of three boys, Craig Kessler, told me he didn't have a great relationship with his own dad, so when he became one he felt a void

CRAIG KESSLER, AUTHOR, "THE DAD ADVICE PROJECT": I asked a handful of buddies to write me a letter on how to be a good dad. In the last two and a half years, the project snowballed and we ended up with 42 submissions from unbelievable guys.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're going to make mistakes. You're going to make some wrong moves but you work through those as a family and you work through those with truth and honor.

JOHN SPEER, FORMER STEALTH BOMBER PILOT: The 10 or 15 minutes before bed time, you should treat as a sacred time with your children.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I feel like a lot of times we can all lament or regret things that happened in the past and the reality is all we control is what we do at this moment going forward.

PAUL: Craig was so moved by the advice, he wanted to share it and compiled it in his book, "The Dad Advice Project".

Is there any sort of answer, any sort of advice that you saw repeated in people's answers?

KESSLER: Number one, kids need to feel a sense of physical and psychological safety. And number two, love your spouse and make sure your kids see it, because that is how they'll learn to have healthy relationships.

PAUL: One friend particularly opened Craig's eyes to the idea of opening the door to give kids a glimpse into our career world, even if there is a business of discomfort at first. A lot of people have a great opportunity to do so now with so many working from home. KESSLER: What he says is that we give our kids exposure to things we

want them to feel comfortable with -- arts and crafts, music, sports. When it comes to business, we often close the door and tell our kids to be quiet because mommy or daddy are on a work call.

Why not open the door and let our kids hear what we're doing, which will for sure give them exposure to business at a younger age?

Parenting is the great equalizer in the sense that all of us want to do the best we can and we all start with zero foundation or close to no foundation.

I remember reading a passage from a guy named Sean Bratches (ph) and he talks about in his family, they tried not to mold their four boys, they tried to unfold them.

That philosophy has really stuck with my wife and me. It's interesting. Our oldest boy plays sports but he loves arts and crafts and Legos and he is a super creative, big thinking type kid. Our middle child is a total bruiser and he would wrestle and play golf and football all day every day if he could.

And what I'm learning is, you know, whether you're a parent of three boys, three girls, or, you know, whatever the combination is, this idea of unfolding your kids and letting them explore their true passions is part of our responsibility of being parents.


SANCHEZ: Some really terrific advice for dads there. Thanks to Christi Paul for that.

Amara, it's been great anchoring with you.

If you permit for a second, I just want to say to my dad (SPEAKING SPANISH). And to my brother-in-law (SPEAKING SPANISH).

WALKER: Oh, I understood all of that. You love them and you miss them and you're sending them a kiss.

SANCHEZ: That's right.

WALKER: That's beautiful.

Boy, I love the advice about loving your spouse is also loving your kids and also to my husband who's watching at home with the kiddos, you know, he bakes them too many sweets and I get on him about that and he rough houses --

SANCHEZ: There is nothing wrong with that, Amara.

WALKER: It causes heartaches, I mean, like attacks for me. Sure. Dad will say there's nothing wrong with it, right?

He is a wonderful father and, of course, to my father who I love very much, shows us unconditional love and to my brother who just became a dad. He's entered the chapter of spit-ups and sleepless nice but a big congratulations.

Thanks for starting your morning with us.

SANCHEZ: Maybe a good idea to get him some coffee.