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New Day Sunday

Search And Rescue Efforts Paused Ahead Of Impending Demolition; State Of Emergency Issued For 15 Florida Counties Ahead Of Tropical Storm Elsa; Massive Cyberattack Hits Hundreds Of Businesses; U.S. Falls Just Short Of President Biden's July 4th Vaccination Goal; Experts Warn Delta Variant Makes Achieving Herd Immunity Harder; CDC Investigating Death Of Michigan Teen After Receiving Vaccine; Trump Condemns Charges Against His Company At Florida Rally; Standoff With Heavily Armed Men Ends With 11 Arrests. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired July 04, 2021 - 06:00   ET



CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Well, good morning. Welcome to your NEW DAY. I'm Christi Paul.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Boris Sanchez. Happy Fourth of July.

Search and rescue efforts right now are on hold in Surfside, Florida, as officials prepare to demolish what is left of Champlain Tower South. They are also now locked in a race against Mother Nature.

PAUL: Yes. Tropical storm Elsa is eying Florida this morning. More than a dozen counties are under a state of emergency now with impacts from the storm being felt as soon as tomorrow they believe.

SANCHEZ: Plus, a bizarre story out of Massachusetts. How what started as a traffic stop turned into an hours-long standoff between police and armed gunmen shutting down part of an interstate.

PAUL: And there is a new ransomware attack impacting hundreds of American businesses. What we are learning about how it's spreading and who might be behind it.

Well, welcome to Sunday, the 4th of July. We are so grateful to have you with us, as always. Thank you for getting up so early and happy holiday to you.

SANCHEZ: Yes, we appreciate you sharing part of your Independence Day with us. Christi, always a pleasure to join you.

PAUL: You, too.

SANCHEZ: We start this morning with a race against Mother Nature. Search and rescue crews in Surfside, Florida, have temporarily had to stop work at the site of the Champlain Tower's collapse. They are standing by as preparations begin to demolish the building's remaining units. PAUL: Yes. Engineers have been keeping a close eye on the still standing structure since the condo's partial collapse, but an approaching tropical system escalating concern about the safety of the crew that's working there at the site. Tropical storm Elsa is nearing the coast of Florida. Potential impacts are expected earlier in the week. Now states of emergency have been issued in 15 Florida counties already and that includes Miami-Dade.

CNN's Natasha Chen is on the scene for us in Surfside. I know that every minute of this delay counts, Natasha. Talk to us about the timeline for this demolition and for the search and when that would pick up again.

NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Christi and Boris. This demolition really has to happen because they are talking about the remaining part of the structure being unsafe for the people on site. They had to stop search and rescue operations at 4:00 p.m. yesterday to allow the engineers to prepare for this demolition.

They are drilling into the columns of the existing remaining structure right now. And right now they were hoping to have the building come down before this storm might come through this area around late Monday. So that is the hope.

But it is unclear. There is no specific exact time that they are going to have this demolition happen. That's according to the Miami-Dade County mayor. The good news is that she said there will not need to be any evacuations in the immediate area, though she will announce a perimeter around the area where this demolition will happen. Here is the mayor talking about this.


MAYOR DANIELLA LEVINE CAVA (D), MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA: We will begin the search and rescue once again on any sections of the pile that are safe to access as soon as we are cleared. The decision to move forward with the rapid control demolition has impacts on the NIST investigation, which you've heard about, the federal team. They are mobilizing with great haste to capture all possible information prior to this building coming down, and that is going to be critical to the research and investigation and final report about this building and the causes.


CHEN: She is talking about the National Science Foundation being here now as well. They are using technology like 3D imaging to gather all of that evidence so that it will be helpful later for investigators to figure out why this building collapsed. At the same time you have got a lot of families still eagerly waiting for information about missing loved ones.

I talked to the relatives yesterday of the Cattarossi family. Officials identified Graciela Cattarossi, age 48, one of the victims that was found with her 7-year-old daughter Stella. Stella is the daughter of a city of Miami firefighter. The family describes the 7-year-old as a wonderful little girl. They are still missing three more family members in the debris. Andrea Cattarossi is Stella's aunt. And Gino and Graciela Cattarossi are Stella's grandparents. So the three of them are still missing.


Andrea Cattarossi was apparently visiting the family from Argentina and has three sons there in that country. Really devastating for all of the families involved, Christi and Boris.

SANCHEZ: And we pray that they and the other families get answers soon. Natasha Chen reporting from Surfside. Thank you so much.

Let's get some perspective now from an expert on this planned demolition. Structural engineer Matthew Roblez joins us this morning.

Matthew, we appreciate you sharing some of your time to give us perspective. Lay out the scale of the challenge for us. They need to complete this demolition with extreme care and also before potentially severe weather comes through. So, walk us through the process.

MATTHEW ROBLEZ, STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: Well, what's going to happen is just like any building, the foundation is the most important. The foundation is what holds up everything. And so they are going to have to come in and very carefully take out that foundation and have it implode as opposed to like we would see on the movie like "Die Hard" or, you know, something like that where it explodes. And I'm sure we have all seen the videos of the casinos as they come down in Las Vegas. That's basically what they're going to have to do.

Where the difficulty comes in is having to go to an archaic let's say 1979 structure and figure out how it was engineered initially so that they can take out and have it implode and come down and not destroy any surrounding buildings or surrounding features.

SANCHEZ: And I'm curious about whether you think this should have been considered earlier. I mean, I know that there is a delicate balance of this being a search and rescue operation. But now with the severe weather on the horizon, this could be a risk for a lot more people.

ROBLEZ: Well, I think what we have to consider, too, is we're breaking new ground. You know, when you really think about it, outside of, you know, some sort of a terrorist or a natural disaster, this is really one of the first times ever something like this has just happened. Buildings don't just fall down in the United States of America and this one hits. So, we are all kind of breaking new ground.

So, could it have happened sooner? Certainly. But we are breaking new ground here. It's something that hasn't happened before and we are riding it as we go along.

SANCHEZ: Yes, officials, no question, have a lot to juggle and a lot of considerations to take into account. And I think it's evident in the fact that they are still calling this a search and rescue operation. They have not given up hope of finding signs of life. How quickly can rescuers get back in the rubble after the demolition, do you think?

ROBLEZ: Almost immediately. Once things have come down, once all the dust and debris have settled, they can go right in and really start working.

SANCHEZ: And I am curious how you think this might impact the investigation. Because as you heard there from the mayor of Miami-Dade County, Daniella Levine Cava, the National Institutes of Standards and Technology, they are taking readings of the site, they're trying to gather as much information as possible. Could the demolition have an impact on the investigation?

ROBLEZ: You know, I think it will have an impact on the investigation. But let's be honest. There has been plenty of history of this building and the lack of maintenance and the spalling and the cracking. So there is a good history.

We had a report in 2018 by a very, very confident structural engineering. So it will impact it, yes, but honestly there is a history here of this building that -- a well documented history of this building and a lot of that was where the investigations come from.

SANCHEZ: And quickly, Matthew, I want to ask you, there are other buildings in the area that are being reassessed, at least two of them being evacuated out of an abundance of caution. Do you think this needs to happen across the country and not just in south Florida?

ROBLEZ: You know, I said this before. Everybody who is in a concrete structure who had a structural engineer evaluate it and give them, you know, this is what's going on, you need to take heed to that. We don't just -- we don't just say things to be hyperbolic. We can do things because we are -- we are entrusted with life safety. That's what my license says.

And so everybody across the country should be looking at these reports if you have one and take heed. We're not -- we're not just making stuff up to scare people. We're experts.

SANCHEZ: Yes, Matthew. And I think any step that can be taken to avoid the tragedy that we saw in Surfside is a worthwhile effort. Matthew Roblez, thank you very much.

ROBLEZ: Yes, thank you very much.

SANCHEZ: Of course.

PAUL: So the search operations, obviously, could be impacted by tropical storm Elsa. Meteorologist Tyler Mauldin is watching that storm's progress right now. He is in the CNN weather center. Tyler, what do you see that is standing out to you at this moment?

TYLER MAULDIN, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, tropical Elsa has weakened slightly. It's now a 65-mile-per-hour storm. But you can see -- and this is despite a little burst in the thunderstorm activity over the last 12 hours on satellite imagery. [06:10:03]

And you can see that it is splitting the uprights between Haiti and Jamaica and it has slowed it has its forward motion to 14 miles per hour. As it takes this track it is going to push over Cuba later on today and conditions in Cuba are going to go downhill.

Now the exact track, which part of Cuba it pushes over, will determine what kind of storm we are dealing with when it reemerges come Monday in the Florida Straits. If it takes this eastern track it can really get -- impacted by the mountains of Cuba, but if it goes a little more west then it maintains its structure and we are probably looking at a stronger tropical storm coming into the Florida Straits.

It's also looking -- we're looking more certain that the peninsula of Florida will definitely be impacted by a tropical storm come late Monday on into Tuesday and Wednesday. And I want you to -- on this graphic -- here's what I want you to take away from. The impacts will be felt well away from the center of the storm.

This cone is only telling you where the center of the storm is going to go. The peninsula of Florida at its widest is 140 some odd miles wide and tropical storm conditions stretch 125 miles from the center. So we're definitely going to feel some tropical storm force conditions across the peninsula.

We do expect the tropical storm conditions in Cuba here soon. That's why we have a warning up. And then we have a tropical storm watch in effect for the lower and middle keys. We expect the tropical storm conditions to be felt as early as midday Monday, more than likely late in the day on Monday in the keys going into south Florida.

We have to watch the threat for storm surge, one to two feet across the keys. Three to five feet in Cuba. In addition, we're going to see heavy rainfall as it takes this track. And again it's -- the models are becoming yet ever in better agreement. And we are going to see as it takes that track drop a lot of rainfall, especially across southwest Florida. And with the bands coming into portions of southeast Florida we could certainly see some heavy rainfall, some gusty winds with those squalls moving through.

To summarize here for you, Christi and Boris, the impacts are going to be felt late Monday on into Tuesday and Wednesday. We are going to feel the tropical storm-force conditions across the peninsula, heavy rainfall leading to possible flooding, storm surge, and you can't rule out -- rule out isolated tornados with this system either.

PAUL: All right. Tyler Mauldin, thank you so much for the heads up. We appreciate it.

MAULDIN: You got it.

PAUL: So, listen, there are new COVID concerns this 4th of July weekend. We know so many of you are traveling, getting ready to gather for the holiday. Well, medical officials say for those who are vaccinated, guess what? There is almost no risk. The question is, should we be celebrating with family and friends that are not vaccinated?

SANCHEZ: Plus, President Biden announcing an investigation after a new massive cyberattack strikes U.S. companies. Now there are questions as to whether Russia was behind the hack. We'll bring you the very latest. Stay close.



SANCHEZ: Just a week after President Biden's face-to-face with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the U.S. has been again hit by another major cyberattack. This time as many as 200 American companies are potentially compromised.

And cybersecurity experts are again saying the hack originated out of Eastern Europe or Russia. They have traced the malware back to the same group that attacked a meat supplier this spring, but Biden suggested Saturday that based on the intelligence that he has received, he isn't quite sure of that yet. Listen.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: First of all, we are not sure who it is. The director of the intelligence community gave me a deep dive on what's happened and I'll know better tomorrow. And if it is either with the knowledge of and/or a consequence of Russia, then I told Putin, we will respond. We are not certain. The initial thinking was it was not the Russian government.


SANCHEZ: The Russian government has not yet commented on this latest cyberattack.

Well, as we celebrate Independence Day, the country, unfortunately, is far from free of the coronavirus. The United States just short of that goal set by President Biden of having 70 percent of adults in the U.S. with at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

PAUL: Yes, 20 states in Washington, D.C., reached that benchmark that was set by the president. But as a whole, only 67 percent of adults in the U.S. have received at least one shot.

The spread of the more transmissible delta variant means there are pockets of the country where vaccination rates are low and that may continue to experience outbreaks there. As so many people travel over this busy summer, the busy summer months here, experts are warning that reaching herd immunity may become actually more difficult.

Dr. Rob Davidson is with us now. He's an emergency room physician and the executive director of the Committee to Protect Health Care. We are so grateful to have you here, Dr. Rob. Thank you.

So, I wanted to ask about this report out today. The American Academy of Pediatrics in March of last year, they said children accounted for about 2 percent of new COVID infections. As of May this year, it jumped to 24 percent.

So on this weekend when we're all gathering and getting together with our families, there may be some concerns about being around children and taking care of those kids, particularly those under 12 who aren't eligible for the vaccine. Is there a sense of reasoning as to what is behind the virus? Do you believe it to be the delta variant?

DR. ROB DAVIDSON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, COMMITTEE TO PROTECT HEALTH CARE: Well, I think this is probably multifactorial. Remember, back last March most kids and kids in my house were in the home doing school from home for the most part. They were not going out and mixing together. And since then, you know, in recent months they have been, you know.


And so I think just having a bunch of individuals who weren't exposed to the virus the initial go-around have no immunity and now are going out in public more, I think they are going to get it more. I think the other piece is, of course, the delta variant. It's more transmissible. We think potentially worse for kids.

And then, yes, those kids who haven't been able to be vaccinated because of their age or who have just rolled into vaccinations in the last few months and, you know, they have run that risk. All of that goes together.

PAUL: So what happens if we don't hit herd immunity, doctor?

DAVIDSON: Well, I think what happens is we do end up with pockets of clusters of coronavirus that pop up at various times. I mean, I thank the Lord that this is an outdoor holiday. I'm here in a county that has about 41 percent vaccination rate, working the holiday weekend, and luckily most people are gathering out in beaches and out -- in backyards on their decks. And so the likelihood of transmitting this is much less. I worry as we get into the fall and then the winter holidays, I mean, it's just going to be ever present if we never get there.

PAUL: So there are also reports this morning, 15 million people have missed that second dose of the vaccine that they need so much, including people who think that they only need one shot because maybe they actually had the virus. What message do you want to send regarding that?

DAVIDSON: Well, I think some of that is really unfortunate misinformation. I mean, I know that we have had still people on the other side. Senator Ron Johnson having a press conference about the vaccine and all the dangers. And I fear that is creeping into people's minds.

But of course some of this is expected. You know, people when they get prescribed an antibiotic for a week we know only about half of people take it the entire week. So, we knew there would be fallout. Those people do have some protection, just not full protection. And so we just need to keep getting the word out. PAUL: So, I know that you mentioned some of the scary information that's out there. The "Detroit Free Press" is highlighting this morning this 13-year-old in Michigan where you are, who died three days after he received the Pfizer vaccine, his second vaccination. We do want to point out, there is no cause of death listed for him right now. It's a bit of a mystery as to what happened. The CDC is investigating. We know that as well.

But here is what the "Detroit Free Press" said. Jacob's funeral was Saturday, just three days after a CDC advisory committee acknowledged a likely association between the Pfizer and Moderna coronavirus vaccines and a risk of heart problems in adolescents and young adults.

What do you say to parents who are on the fence and trying to make that determination, do I have my child vaccinated or don't I?

DAVIDSON: First, I mean, it's tragic. Any time a young person dies, and I have been fortunately been doing this long enough, I have seen that happen, unfortunately, too many times. You know, I tell them also about the child who just left the hospital here in west Michigan, I believe in the last few days, who had four limbs amputated because they developed the multisystem inflammatory syndrome from COVID.

It is a balance. We still don't know. The CDC is investigating. So, we can't attribute causality of that child's death.

Certainly, we need more information. If there is something about that individual or that particular vaccine or the dose or anything like that, we will get that information and then we can adjust. But please we know that COVID is extremely dangerous and I still am grateful that my children are vaccinated. I encourage people to do so.

PAUL: Yes. There are so many gray areas I think here. People are just confused. We appreciate some clarity on this. Dr. Rob Davidson, always good to have you with us. Thank you, sir.

DAVIDSON: Thank you.

PAUL: Of course.

We want to tell you about this July 4th America obviously open. We know that you are ready to celebrate. We hope you'll do so with us. Don Lemon, Dana Bash, Victor Blackwell and Ana Cabrera on a star- studded evening of music and fireworks planned with you. The fun begins tonight at 7:00 right here on CNN.

SANCHEZ: I look forward to that. We have a bizarre story to tell you about. A major U.S. highway shut down in Massachusetts as police faced off with a group of heavily armed men. We'll bring you the latest on the standoff and those arrested after a quick break.



SANCHEZ: Former President Donald Trump this weekend addressing the charges his company and longtime financial advisor are facing during a campaign style rally.

PAUL: Yes, he told the crowd in Sarasota, Florida, that every company uses what he called -- quote -- "fringe benefits." CNN's Joe Johns has more.


JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Former President Donald Trump holding his second enormous rally in a week. This one here in Sarasota, Florida. Donald Trump taking the opportunity to rail against the investigation in New York that led to the indictment of the Trump organization. The former president saying he is being pursued over politics.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is the kind of persecution that they're doing as an example in New York, and they are doing it all over. That you would see in a third-world nation.

This isn't for us. It's reminiscent of a communist dictatorship targeting your political opponents for, really, it is -- it is, think of it, prosecution. They prosecute people. Good people. Fabulous people. People that love our country. Honest people.

JOHNS: Earlier in the day Trump World also announced that next week the former president will be delivering remarks on free speech and the First Amendment. One more indication that Donald Trump does not plan to shirk into the shadows while the Trump organization faces legal jeopardy in New York.


Joe Johns CNN, Sarasota, Florida.

PAUL: And a standoff in Massachusetts started as a traffic stop and escalated into this nine-hour encounter between police and heavily armed men dressed in military style uniforms.

SANCHEZ: And total 11 people were taken into custody. Luckily no one was hurt. Understandably though, people in that area are still shaken up.

CNN's Evan McMorris-Santoro has more on a bizarre incident.

EVAN MCMORRIS-SANTORO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): A sigh of relief outside Boston Saturday as an armed standoff with police on a major highway ends peacefully.


COL. CHRISTOPHER MASON, MASSACHUSETTS STATE POLICE: We were able to successfully resolve this situation through a combination of negotiation and some tactical maneuvers.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO (voice over): An hours-long standoff between heavily armed men and police on one of the nation's busiest interstates ended without incident as authorities took 11 people into custody. Still, many questions are left about what exactly was behind this potentially dangerous Saturday morning just north of Boston.

MASON: They wanted to be heard. They wanted to be -- a variety of not demands, but requests that they just be allowed to leave the area, transit the area without any accountability. And at the end of the day, we couldn't accommodate that.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: Overnight, a highway patrol car came upon two vehicles in the breakdown lane on I-95. Police say the heavily armed men wearing tactical gear were attempting to refuel one of their vehicles.

After learning the men were armed but not carrying firearm licenses, the state trooper called for backup. Some of the men fled into nearby woods, the standoff began.

MASON: We are currently engaged with the subjects through our hostage negotiation team. We are talking with the subjects at some that are in the woods, some that are still at the vehicles in the breakdown lane where the original interaction occurred. And we are hopeful that we will be able to resolve this peacefully with them. We're committed to a negotiation with them having a conversation.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: Portions of I-95 were closed in both directions for several hours on a busy holiday weekend. Those in nearby homes were told to go into lockdown as police attempted to negotiate with the group.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know if you can see this, but he's loading his gun right now.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: The armed group appears to have live-streamed their side of the standoff online. It's unclear if the man filming the incident was one of the 11 arrested.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are not antigovernment. Our nation which our flag is right here has a treaty with your government.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: They appear to belong to a group called Rise of the Moors which seems to be connected with the Moorish Sovereignty Movement that believes among other things, an 18th century treaty between the U.S. and Morocco grants them special rights.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everyone remain calm.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: In live streams from the highway, one member insisted they did not break laws and they did not intend to be hostile. Police said the men were passing through the state on their way to attend some sort of training operation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're abiding by the peaceful journey laws of the United States federal courts.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: But Massachusetts officials said the state's laws are clear. MASON: They did not have gun licenses on them. First of all, Massachusetts does not allow the carrying of a loaded or unloaded firearm on an interstate highway such as this.

You can imagine 11 armed individuals standing with long guns slung on an interstate highway at 2:00 in the morning, certainly raises concerns.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: The man eventually surrendered to police on site without incident and authority seized a still undisclosed number of guns.

MASON: I can share with you that a number of firearms have been seized. I cannot share with you the exact number. The two vehicles that were at the scene are being towed from the scene. They will be processed pursuant to court authorized search warrant. And only then will we know the exact number of firearms that have been seized.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: The vital artery that is I-95 was finally reopened to holiday travelers. But the investigation around the incident is ongoing. Its expected officials will look into this little-known group and their motivations.

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: The bunch of armed men are traveling in a car to do something and we don't know what that something is. So, that's where the investigation is going to go right now.


MCMORRIS-SANTORO (on camera): Authorities say the men taken into custody should appear first in court on Tuesday. The investigation to that incident continues.

And for now, the highway is back open to traffic. Evan McMorris- Santoro, CNN, New York.

SANCHEZ: Evan, thanks so much for that.

Coming up in just a bit, we're going to take you to Afghanistan. The United States updating evacuation plans at its embassy in Kabul as America makes its most significant step yet in the drawdown of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. Stay with us.



PAUL: Well, at least 17 people have been killed and more than 40 injured after a Philippine Air Force plane crashed. It was attempting to land at the time, but you see the aftermath there that they're dealing with now. The C-130 plane erupted into a fireball. Look at that.

This was after it missed the airport and crashed into a nearby village. Local reports say there were 92 people on board the plane. Rescue and recovery efforts are still ongoing this hour.

And the threat of escalating violence in Afghanistan has led U.S. officials to update their emergency evacuation plans at the American Embassy in Kabul.

SANCHEZ: Yes, the decision coming just days after U.S. troops left Bagram Air Base, the center of military power in Afghanistan during 20 years of war.


SANCHEZ: Let's get out now live to Kabul and CNN's Anna Coren who joins us now live.

Anna, some local officials have complained that there wasn't enough coordination from the United States about some of its exit plans. What are you hearing?

ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, for sure. Look, I think it's fair to say that the U.S. military would have kept their departure plans close to their chest. That's due to security reasons.

But what I am getting, an overall -- in an overwhelming sense is that people are feeling abandoned, extremely abandoned here. They can't believe that America has left at a time when there is such insecurity across the country.

And we've been watching the Taliban launch their offensives, particularly in the north. Districts are falling virtually every single day. They are making, you know, gains on provincial capitals. They haven't yet to take any of those cities, but they are getting close.

And this is incredibly unnerving for Afghans, particularly in the capital here in Kabul. And then, on top of that, they get news that the U.S. Embassy is updating its emergency evacuation plans.

You know, there was -- the rumor mill was in overdrive yesterday. Afghan saying, you know, is the U.S. Embassy shutting down? Americans leaving all together. That obviously isn't the case and President Biden has said that America is not abandoning Afghanistan.

But there is a real sense of betrayal here. They think after 20 years of blood and treasure, the countless lives that have been lost, that the trillions of dollars that has been spent, what has it all been for when they're now in a state of violence of insecurity, and hopelessness?

You know, those peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban, no progress has been made. And people are telling me like it's either peace or it's war. And at the moment, sadly, it is just so much violence here.

PAUL: Anna Coren, we appreciate you letting us in on what's happening there. Do stay safe. Thank you so much.

SANCHEZ: Thank you.

PAUL: So, the search is continuing this morning in Japan for at least 20 people who are still missing but look at what is left after that deadly mudslide wiped out more than 130 homes and buildings. This happened in the city of Atami, southwest of Tokyo and hundreds of emergency personnel are sitting with that search now.

SANCHEZ: So far, 19 people have been rescued from the debris. City officials though have confirmed that two people died in the landslide.

And this morning, we're learning that service has been restored to most of the 2,800 homes that lost power.

PAUL: So, anti-Semitic attacks are on the rise across the United States. What's behind this wave of violence and has the Jewish community working to stop it? A CNN special report for you just ahead.



PAUL: 47 minutes past the hour right now and the recent flare up between Israel and Hamas has being cited as reason for the latest surge in anti-Semitic attacks against Jewish Americans here in the U.S.

SANCHEZ: Yes, the issue of anti-Semitism though is not new. It's a problem that's growing spreading far and wide, largely because of social media.

CNN's Nick Watt looks at how bad it's getting. And we should warn you, his report contains disturbing images and language.


NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): A man who was stopped at the door of a South Florida synagogue recently, then police say he left feces outside, spat at a menorah.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We live in a world where hate is easy.

WATT: And Jews are the most targeted religious group in America says the FBI and it's getting worse.

CHRISTOPHER WRAY, DIRECTOR, FBI: We've seen an alarming increase in hate crimes across the country, many targeting members of the Asian American Pacific Islander and Jewish communities.

WATT: I mean, I noticed you're wearing a kippah.


WATT: But do you?

FLAYTON: No. WATT: 12 percent of Americans told pollsters that Jews in this country have too much power.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're dealing with tens of millions of people in the United States that would -- you know, have anti-Semitic tendencies.

WATT: And it's not an aging racist rump.

EITAN HERSH, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL SCIENCE, TUFTS UNIVERSITY: Anti-Semitic attitudes, including in our own data measured in the fall of 2020 not very long ago consistently show higher levels among young people. Now, that point is worth emphasizing because most forms of prejudice that we study are higher among older people and lower among younger people.

WATT: Jews eating sushi in Los Angeles last month, sought out by young pro-Palestinian men.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Men in the cars got out, started running toward the tables and asking indiscriminately who's Jewish.

WATT: A Jew brutally beaten by young men in Times Square New York. He was surrounded by a group that began to --

JOSEPH BORGEN, VICTIM OF ANTI-SEMITIC ATTACK: Kick me, punch me, assault me with weapons and also pepper spray or mace me. I don't even know which one for good measure at the end.

I'm trying to be, you know, macho and you know, not let it affect me, but it does affect you. I mean, when you're alone and your mind -- there's nothing on your mind.

WATT: Some Jewish college kids after a barrage of hate this spring during the war between Israel and Hamas, now scared to go back to campus.

Are you scared?

JULIA JASSEY, FOUNDER, JEWISH ON CAMPS: Yes. I mean yes, and I try not to be.

WATT: Julia Jassey founded an Instagram forum and gathers tales like this.

JASSEY: Somebody drove by slowly, rolled down her window and while filming me with her phone, started yelling out F.U. Jews about 17 times and that was actually someone that I know at school.


WATT: Anti-Semitism is now spread far and wide like never before, thanks to social media. FLAYTON: If Adolf Hitler had an Instagram account, the Holocaust would have happened a lot quicker, because the public would have been convinced a lot sooner.

JASSEY: I saw a post yesterday saying that 40 percent of Palestinian children are sexually assaulted by Israelis, which is a crazy number that has no source, but it's spread all over the internet. And there are definitely ways to critique the Israeli government without being anti-Semitic but it's not what people are doing.

WATT: Some calling out posts they see as anti-Semitic.

BELLA HADID, MODEL OF PALESTINIAN DESCENT: Palestine will be free, from the river to the sea.

WATT: So, where do the Jews go? That's Bella Hadid model of Palestinian descent, more than 43 million followers. She also posted this. Charged language, Hadid says it's not about hate, and the history actually dates back over 2,000 years.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can't learn history from Instagram.

WATT: Some also call out members of the squad for the likes of this and this. Last month, Representative Cori Bush of Missouri tweeted the Black and Palestinian struggles for liberation are interconnected. And she said this about U.S. military aid to Israel.

REP. CORI BUSH (D-MO): Instead of funding a military that polices and kills Palestinians, I have some communities in St. Louis city and in St. Louis County, that -- where that money can go where we desperately need investment where we are hurting.

WATT: Those congresswomen say they stand against all forms of hate that they are legitimately criticizing the Israeli government. Others see it differently, that Israel and Jews are used as scapegoats.

FLAYTON: You make the Jews as a collective Israel, the face of all that you don't like, of all that standing in the way between you and a brighter, more progressive future. That is how anti-Semitism and atrocities against my people have always begun.

WATT: Synagogues are now being defaced from Alaska to Arizona.

RABBI YEHUDA CEITLIN, CHABAD OF TUCSON: Sadly, it's a new reality we're living. And we've seen this rise across America.

WATT: Yes, incidents spiked around the war in May, but --

FLAYTON: It's never been about the conflict.

WATT: OK. What does the data say?

HERSH: Folks across the ideological spectrum of different racial groups, they didn't point to the Israel Palestine conflict, they point to Jews have too much power in media. Jews have too much power in finance kind of classic tropes of anti-Semitism. WATT: American Jews are now suffering hate from many sides.

HERSH: Jewish Americans I think can feel -- how do I say this right? They can feel squeezed.

WATT: Stones were thrown through synagogue windows in New York in April, a young Black man was arrested. Some see this man as fueling anti-Semitism in the Black community.

LOUIS FARRAKHAN, NATION OF ISLAM: And I'm here to separate the good Jews from the satanic Jews. Yes, yes, yes.

WATT: But say the social scientists --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jews will not replace us.

WATT: One group is still the biggest issue.

HERSH: We see really high rates of anti-Semitic attitudes on the far right.

WATT: And like on the left, it's largely the young, the man accused of shooting up a synagogue near San Diego in 2019 was just 19 at the time.

YISROEL GOLDSTEIN, FORMER RABBI, CHABAD OF POWAY: Standing there, his feet spread apart, in the aiming position right at me.

WATT: Our previous president, trivialized anti-Semitism.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You're not going to support me because I don't want your money, isn't it crazy?

JASSEY: It makes it acceptable. You saw the president say it on the news, it's not a problem.

WATT: He said this out loud.

TRUMP: Very fine people on both sides.

WATT: After this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jews will not replace us.

WATT: They won't. Roughly 7-1/2 million Jews in America, roughly 175 million white Christians.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's education. I think education is so critical.

WATT: But for example, just 19 states require the Holocaust to be taught in secondary school. So, 31 states do not.

HERSH: There were a few generations of Americans who may have interacted with a Holocaust survivor, may have been a World War II veteran and that's gone away.

WATT: Security now stepped up around many Jewish institutions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We want to empower our Jewish community to protect themselves.

WATT: Volunteers being trained to protect their own community.

CEITLIN: People that do such things, they're motivated by a very strong feeling of hate, of obviously ignorance as well. My question is what happens next?

BORGEN: I've never met these people in my entire life. I don't understand why they hate me so much. I wasn't wearing any Israeli flags. I didn't have any Israeli -- I'm not Israeli American.

FLAYTON: There are many Jews in my age who are ready to move to Israel, because they see the writing on the wall here.

JASSEY: (INAUDIBLE) seems like a small thing until those people clear up.

WATT: Let's end where we started, Florida.

Hitler was right, a sickening sentiment gaining traction in America now, in 2021.



SANCHEZ: That was Nick Watt reporting. Stay with us, NEW DAY continues after a quick break.


SANCHEZ: Good morning and welcome to your NEW DAY. I'm Boris Sanchez.

PAUL: Good morning, Boris. I'm Christi Paul. We're so grateful to have your company.

So, let's talk about the search and rescue efforts going on right now. Actually, they're on hold. They're looking at Surfside, Florida, because officials are preparing to demolish what's left of Champlain Tower South. They're also now locked in a race against Mother Nature.

SANCHEZ: Yes, it's because of tropical storm Elsa eyeing Florida. Fifteen counties right now under a state of emergency.