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New Day Sunday

Biden To Travel To New York And New Jersey To Survey Storm Damage; More Than 700,000 Customers Still Without Power A Week After The Storm; COVID-19 Hospitalizations Nearly Tripled In July, Doubled Again In August; COVID-19 Cases Among Children Soar As Schools Reopen; Top General Praises Troops In Person For Evacuation Mission; Dems Campaign For CA Governor Newsom Ahead Of Recall Election. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired September 05, 2021 - 06:00   ET



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

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Christi Paul. Louisiana's governor says the state has a long way to go in its recovery from Hurricane Ida. What he calls the biggest challenge in the recovery efforts right now.

SANCHEZ: This amid growing outrage after several nursing home residents died after evacuating from the storm. We'll tell you how state officials are taking action against those responsible.

PAUL: Also, not backing down. Afghan women standing up to the Taliban, protesting for equal rights. Their efforts are not without consequences this morning though.

SANCHEZ: Plus, rallying support. Democratic heavy hitters turning out to help California Governor Gavin Newsom as he tries to keep his job. The message they are hoping breaks through to voters in the final days before the recall election.

PAUL: Welcome to your Sunday, September 5th. We are so grateful to have your company, as always. So --

SANCHEZ: Good morning. Hope you're enjoying this Sunday. Good morning, Christi.

PAUL: Yes, no kidding. Good morning to you, too, Boris.

So, for the second time in less than a week we know that President Biden is visiting an area of the country that has been ravaged by Hurricane Ida. Tuesday he travels to Manville, New Jersey and to Queens, New York, to survey the damage, and this is following his visit, of course, to Louisiana last week.

SANCHEZ: Yes, there have been at least 50 storm-related deaths across six states in the northeast. The remnants of Hurricane Ida brought unprecedented rainfall that led to catastrophic flooding along the Gulf Coast.

Meantime, gas is still in short supply. People have been waiting in line for hours to fill their cars and gas cans, to power generators. Still, at last check, more than 700,000 people have no electricity.

The power company Entergy estimates that electricity will be restored to most of its 1 million customers by Wednesday. Louisiana residents are trying to pick up the pieces from Hurricane Ida, but they face another day of sweltering temperatures and long lines for the bare necessities.

PAUL: Let's get an update on how everybody is handling this. Adrienne Broaddus is with us from New Orleans. Adrienne, is there a difference that you are feeling today versus yesterday morning when we spoke with you?

ADRIENNE BROADDUS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the big difference in this neighborhood, the lights are back on. But a week later there are still signs of the big mess, for example, this tree that snapped at its roots that Hurricane Ida left behind.

Over on the left-hand side it's been dark throughout the week, but here the lights are flashing. At last check, I just checked a few minutes ago, and across the state of Louisiana there are under 630 power outages. But keep in mind those outages are businesses and homes.

And according to the governor, there are still way more -- many -- much -- many more people who are without lights because of Hurricane Ida. And the governor says one of the biggest problems right now is getting the power back on. Listen in.


GOV. JOHN BEL EDWARDS (D-LA): Electricity is one of the biggest challenges that we have across southeast Louisiana. We know that. And depending on the damage to the infrastructure, the transmission lines, the distribution lines as well as the generation capabilities, there is not an even rate of restoration going on and that's always going to be the case.


BROADDUS: And according to the governor, the storm has killed 12 people. Four of them linked to carbon monoxide poisoning. So, this has all happened in the last seven days. On top of the deaths linked to Hurricane Ida there have also been more than 300 deaths due to COVID. At least 350 according to the governor. So it's been a tough week.

We have seen folks lining up here all week long to get basic necessities like snacks. That's what they are supplementing the week with because they can't get to grocery stores for food or the grocery stores aren't open, and gasoline to fuel their generators and their vehicles. Boris and Christi.

PAUL: Adrienne Broaddus, thank you so much. I know it's hard to be out there and see what these folks are going through and those temperatures are so difficult to handle right now. And health officials now also saying they have confirmed the deaths of seven nursing home patients evacuate to a temporary shelter ahead of Hurricane Ida. Five of the deaths are said to be storm related.

SANCHEZ: Yes, so the warehouse where they were taken was overwhelmed with hundreds of nursing home evacuees and apparently sanitary conditions inside the facility have been described as appalling.


As you can imagine, their relatives are outraged. CNN's Brian Todd has more.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a nightmare. It's a nightmare.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Local leaders now looking for answers for what went wrong.

ROBBY MILLER, PRESIDENT, TANGIPAHOA PARISH, LOUISIANA: That nursing home owner should be held accountable. As far as the investigation we understand there is one.

TODD: The warehouse in Independence, Louisiana, served as a temporary evacuation facility for more than 800 patients from seven area nursing homes. The conditions inside were appalling.

MILLER: Crowding. Mattresses on floors instead of beds. Porta potties instead of bathrooms and probably not enough of them. It was just things that none of us would want our family members to have to go through.

TODD: And according to one patient who was inside, insects were crawling all over the mattresses. The Independence police chief says the facility was prepared for a certain number of residents, but the number nearly tripled quickly.

CHIEF FRANK EDWARDS III, INDEPENDENCE, LOUISIANA POLICE: But I believe that the corporate management planned for 350. For whatever reason, they sent in 850. And where they failed was in not proactively seeking to move those patients to an appropriate facility.

TODD: Renata (ph) de Rosa's (ph) 84-year-old mother made it out, but she suffered for several days with a 103-degree fever.

RENATA (ph) DE ROSA (ph), MOTHER IN NURSING HOME: I could tell she was very upset, but at least I know she was alive. And if we would have known it would have been a place like this, I would have took her with me.

TODD: With no power, generators required to provide patients' oxygen failed and the heat was oppressive. The state says the health department tried to intervene Tuesday when they heard about the deteriorating conditions. EDWARDS: LDH inspectors visited the site and I will tell you were expelled from the property and prevented from conducting a full assessment.

TODD: CNN obtained property records showing Bob Dean owns all seven of the nursing homes, plus the warehouse. Dean has a history of poor disaster management. A local investigation from found he made a similar plan to evacuate residents to a warehouse during Hurricane Georges in 1998.

MILLER: I would hope that his license for nursing homes is revoked. That would be the outcome that he doesn't get to do this again.

TODD: The governor committed to a full investigation, a promise relatives will not let them forget.

SABRINA COX, WDSU/AUNT IN NURSING HOME: Why didn't you contact anybody for help? Let somebody know what was going on. Contact one person. People shouldn't be treated like that. You should be held accountable.

TODD (on camera): We reached out several times to Bob Dean, the owner of the nursing homes and this warehouse facility, for comment and any explanation for what happened here. He didn't respond to us, but he did tell CNN affiliate WVUE -- quote -- "We did really good with taking care of people."

Brian Todd, CNN, Independence, Louisiana.


PAUL: So, in response to the deaths the Louisiana state health officer has ordered the immediate closure of all seven of those nursing homes that evacuated to the shelter calling what happened there -- quote -- "reprehensible."

SANCHEZ: Really a sad story.

Let's pivot now and talk about the coronavirus pandemic. The total U.S. hospitalizations due to COVID-19 nearly tripled in the month of July and they doubled again in the month of August. That's according to new data from Health and Human Services. Right now there are more than 100,000 people hospitalized with more than 25,000 in ICUs.

PAUL: That is a slight improvement since last week but it comes amid this growing confusion about COVID vaccine booster shots. The White House may have to walk back plans there to administer a third dose and limit the booster only to those who received the Pfizer vaccine specifically. Now the FDA and the CDC want more data before approving a third Moderna shot. Here's more regarding what we stand -- where we stand in the fight against COVID-19.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'd like to make an important announcement. PAUL (voice-over): Just last month President Biden said Americans should be ready to take a third COVID-19 vaccine shot eight months after their last dose with boosters being made available starting September 20th. But now word that the only third shot available on that day may be Pfizer.

The FDA says it needs more data on the Moderna vaccine, a delay that could take a few weeks, and still no indication as to whether those who received the single-shot vaccine from Johnson & Johnson will need an additional booster. The need for additional shots combined with this delay has some people wondering, how protected they really are and may have others hesitating to get the vaccine at all. But scientists say these kinds of changes are to be expected given the time line of the virus.


DR. MIKE SAAG, ASSOCIATE DEAN OF GLOBAL HEALTH, UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA AT BIRMINGHAM: One of the things that I think folks need to keep in mind is that the urgency, the speed with which you got the vaccines was really important for saving lives. But it did not allow us to look in the long-term for obvious reasons and now we are having to sort of figure this out as we go. So I'd give them a little slack. I'd say, "OK, let's do it right, take a little bit more time if we need it."

PAUL: Right now 53 percent of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, 62 percent have at least received their first dose. The U.S. is now averaging 166,000 new COVID-19 cases every day, that's according to Johns Hopkins, with a 7 percent increase over last week's average. And medical experts are warning that the nation's healthcare system is on the brink of disaster.

DR. MEGAN RANNEY, PROFESSOR OF EMERGENCY MEDICINE, BROWN UNIVERSITY: Our hospitals are at the breaking point already. I will tell you, ERs across the country, my colleagues are crying out for help.

We don't have enough nurses. We don't have enough beds, not because of COVID, but because of all the other stuff that wasn't taken care of for the past year and a half. Even a small COVID surge in many states is going to put hospitals into crisis mode.

PAUL: As children across the country head back to school there is concern regarding kids and COVID. A new study from the CDC finds pediatric hospitalizations for COVID-19 soared over the summer as the Delta variant spread across the globe. The hospitalization rate was 10 times higher for unvaccinated kids than it was for those who had gotten their full shots, and doctors say we have to do everything we can to keep children safe.

DR. CARLOS DEL RIO, EXECUTIVE ASSOCIATE DEAN, EMORY UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE AT GRADY: We are seeing sick children with COVID. But I want to emphasize that for those children under the age of 12 not eligible for vaccination, the best things we can do to protect those children is, number one, vaccinate all the adults around them. And, number two, use masks. I mean, facemasks and vaccination are the key to keeping our children safe. PAUL: Meanwhile, federal health officials are watching a new strain of COVID. The WHO says the Mu variant carries mutations that could make it somewhat resistant to vaccines as well as treatments like monoclonal antibodies. But health officials say it isn't yet a serious threat.


SANCHEZ: Let's dig deep with an expert. Joining us now is Dr. Rob Davidson. He is a West Michigan ER physician and executive director of the Committee to Protect Public Health. Doctor, thanks so much for joining us this morning and sharing part of your Labor Day weekend with us.

Let's start with this debate over delaying the booster shot rollout. CNN's reporting indicates that there has been a debate inside the White House whether they should move forward with this planned rollout date of September 20th or wait for the FDA to collect more data. Walk us through the pros and cons of each.

DR. ROB DAVIDSON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, COMMITTEE TO PROTECT HEALTH CARE: Listen, I think they need to wait for the FDA. When President Biden announced this last month, you know, he did say pending approval by federal agencies.

I understand the desire to get out in front of this. You know, I believe that everybody, including myself, wants to get this under control. And when we think a third shot is needed for the various vaccines or a second shot for J&J, you know, I think we just have to listen to the -- to the FDA, CDC who are charged with telling us when that's supposed to happen.

SANCHEZ: Doctor, let's dig into a topic that you have been very vocal on on social media, ivermectin, that horse dewormer that has led to a lot of emergency room visits. I see you shaking your head.

People have been taking this thing trying to treat COVID, but it has led to a lot of folks getting poisoned which led to this tweet from the FDA warning people not to take it. And yet celebrities like Joe Rogan have been talking about taking it. You see this tweet. You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, stop it.

Doctor, how did this become so popular? Is there any research that points to it being effective at all?

DAVIDSON: It's hard to exactly figure it out. Now, listen, I took ivermectin in 2014 with a team of doctors and nurses who were in Haiti and on a relief trip. And we were exposed to scabies in a pretty significant way.

Ivermectin is a great drug. It won the Nobel Prize in 2015 but it treats things like scabies, river blindness. It's treated -- you know, for large animals, to deworm them like you said.

And so we don't want to say ivermectin shouldn't be used for what it's intended to be used for. It just not an antiviral. It doesn't treat COVID.

There is -- there are studies in Petri dishes using massive amounts of ivermectin and it inhibits the virus. But, you know, you throw that much of a drug at almost anything it's going to inhibit how well it works.

Some scientists latched on to this. We see this in health care all the time. There are groups of doctors or scientists who feel like something that they see may work and so they really want it to work. They try to do research. We see some observational studies, you know, case series -- groups of people that people think it's helping, it gets out into, unfortunately, social media and then folks like Joe Rogan latch on to it.


You know, the president latched on to hydroxychloroquine last year in the same way. Our own Senate majority leader here in Michigan, Mike Shirkey, tweeted out about ivermectin just this week. And it's just inexplicable why these folks want to sort of promote this and amplify it when the evidence just isn't there. People just need to get vaccinated, wear their masks, do the things we know work.

SANCHEZ: Yes, that makes sense. It's striking to me that Joe Rogan promotes psychedelic drugs that he gets from who knows where and he doesn't really know what's in them, but when it comes to a vaccine where millions of people have taken it, there's a ton of research on it, he doesn't recommend taking that.

Let's talk about the Mu variant. Dr. Anthony Fauci had said that it's something that he is watching closely. It's not something to be concerned about right now.

But more broadly, I'm curious from your perspective what can be done to prevent newer variants? Because it seems like every month or so there is another one on the horizon. What's it going to take to keep this virus from mutating so rapidly?

DAVIDSON: I think getting more people vaccinated. Not just here, but around the world. You know, we do need to get more doses of vaccines to other countries that currently don't have them, don't have access to them.

We have a group of people in this country that still, I think, can be convinced to get the vaccine, but there is -- there is about 20 percent of our population that has dug in. It falls largely along political lines. It's become some sort of strange identity to be against masks, against vaccines, against everything that we know works.

And so in light of that, you know, we need to keep working on the folks we can, but get more vaccine doses out there to the world because the more this virus, you know, moves around in any population and the way that global travel works, the variants will keep popping up and they will get to us. You know, it's not just to be kind to other countries. It's really in our own best interest to get everyone vaccinated.

SANCHEZ: An important message to remember, this is a global pandemic, so what happens in other places inevitably is going to go affect us. We have to leave the conversation there. Dr. Rob Davidson, thank you so much.

DAVIDSON: Thanks, Boris.

SANCHEZ: Of course.

PAUL: So next week the U.S. is marking 20 years since the September 11th attacks. What we are learning about how President Biden is going to mark that occasion.

SANCHEZ: Plus, California Governor Gavin Newsom in a fight to keep his job. He is now rallying support just days ahead of the recall election. The Democratic power players now heading to California to help him keep his seat next.



SANCHEZ: The 20th anniversary of the deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil is just a few days away. This coming Saturday, on 9/11 this year, the president and first lady plan to visit all three sites that were attacked. They are going to travel to New York, Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and the Pentagon where in total 2,977 lives were taken.

PAUL: Now, the White House hasn't said whether President Biden will make remarks, but former President Obama and Michelle Obama, former first lady, will attend a remembrance ceremony specifically in New York. Former President George W. Bush will deliver key note remarks in Shanksville.

SANCHEZ: And turning now to the situation in Afghanistan the Joint Chiefs' chairman, General Mark Milley, praised U.S. service members in person for their work helping the United States exit the war-torn nation ending America's longest war this past week. Milley visited Ramstein Air Base in Germany telling U.S. troops they did an incredible job.

PAUL: He also said the evacuation mission is something they should -- quote -- "always be proud of." The general also remembered the 13 service members who were killed in the terror attack at Kabul airport saying their deaths and the deaths of nearly 200 Afghans was a high price to pay, but -- quote -- "124,000 people can live free."

CNN political adviser David Sanger, White House and national security correspondent for "The New York Times" with us now. David, we appreciate you taking time for us. Thank you. He is also, by the way, the author of "The Perfect Weapon."

So when you hear those comments from Milley saying that it was a success at the end of the day, what is your feeling about the accuracy of that statement? DAVID SANGER, CNN POLITICAL AND NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, it's certainly true, Christi, that the evacuation itself was a success. Actually, numbers and scale larger than I think any of us thought possible, getting more than 120,000 people out in two weeks was well beyond even what the Pentagon thought it could go do. But it's a success only if you are trying to narrow this to the specific evacuation effort.

I think now that American troops are out it's going to be a moment to go back and ask how was it that the United States got taken by surprise by the sweep of the Taliban through Afghanistan, by the speed at which the government fell and that Kabul fell with basically no opposition from an Afghan national security force that we spent more than $80 billion arming over the years. There are a lot of really hard questions here.

I think there is also, you know, some doubt about the degree to which people want to go off and dwell on this. Once Americans are out of the city, it's fairly easy for this story to fall off of the front pages. You know, our participation in the war has ended but the struggle and the war itself with the Taliban has not ended.

PAUL: So, that's my next question. Is there some sort of understanding as to what the relationship is between the Taliban and the U.S. given that the Taliban at some point is going to establish a government there and claim Afghanistan as its own?


SANGER: This is going to be one of the hardest questions, Christi, for the U.S. government to go grapple with. And if you have been listening carefully, the secretary of state, Tony Blinken, he has not ruled out the possibility that the United States will be dealing with the Taliban in the future. That does not necessarily mean they'll get full diplomatic recognition. I would be surprised if they did given the fact that they have been a sworn enemy of the United States for 20 years now.

But it's clear that even if they are hardly a democratically elected government in a country that we strived and failed to make democratic, that the Taliban are going to be running the place. And then if we are going to give aid to the Afghan people who are suffering greatly, we are going to have to do it through the Taliban. We are not going to have another choice.

And so it's going to be a very delicate thing to figure out how you actually establish a working relationship with the Taliban. And the Taliban clearly, because so much of their own budget is going to be dependent on aid from around the world, is going to be hankering for that recognition.

PAUL: Right. So that's the thing. We know that the Taliban desperately wants world recognition. They are getting it to some degree. They are getting recognition. I mean, people are watching them when it comes to what is happening with women in that country. We know this faction of women who have stayed there, who have stayed there and said we are going to fight for our country. We have seen several protests for the third time, in fact, yesterday. Listen to -- you can see here what was happening yesterday. Women coming out fighting for their rights, choosing to stay in Kabul. And let's listen to what one witness told us about how that went.


SORAYA, PROTESTING TALIBAN (through translator): Together with a group of our colleagues we wanted to go near the former government offices for a protest, but before we got there the Taliban hit women with electric tasers and they used tear gas against women. They also hit women on the head with a gun magazine and the women became bloody. There was no one to ask why.


PAUL: The Taliban know that the world is watching what they do, specifically with women here, because they have come out and said we will allow women to live the way this they had been living under, you know, their Sharia law, but they will allow women to go about and do their thing. How important is what happens with women there to any legitimacy given to the Taliban worldwide from either the U.S. or otherwise?

SANGER: Well, we hope that it's vitally important, but the Taliban also know that while the world is watching, is not watching anywhere nearly as closely as it was when we had American and European and other correspondents on the ground in much larger numbers. Obviously, most news bureaus, including our own, have had to go pick up and move out of Kabul. So our ability to actually give a full picture of what's happening is much more limited.

That doesn't mean that all news is going to stop and we are going to hear reports like that, that very horrifying one that you just broadcast. But the Taliban know that particularly outside the capital, they are going to have a lot of room to get away with a lot more.

They also suspect that the Russians and the Chinese are not going to hold up their relationship with the Taliban on the basis of human rights. So it's going to be up to the West, the 97 countries that the United States helped organize to make a series of demands on the Taliban to really hold together and try to make this work.

On the other hand, no one is going to want to hold back all aid just because the Taliban is repressing women and beating on people and probably imprisoning, if not worse, their enemies, because they know that aid, much of it, they are hoping, is going to go to Afghans who do not want to be under the Taliban rule.

PAUL: Yes, David Sanger. I think one of the questions is, even if you give them that aid, where will that aid go? David Sanger, we -- yes.

SANGER: That's always an issue, yes, whether it's North Korea or any other repressive state. Yes. PAUL: Very, very true. David Sanger, we so appreciate your voice in this. Thank you for being with us.

SANGER: Great to be with you.

SANCHEZ: In just 10 days California voters are going to decide if Governor Gavin Newsom will get to keep his job, and that decision has national implications. How the governor and his allies are trying to make this election about much more than just the state of California, that story coming up.




SANCHEZ: There is a big election coming up in California and it has national implications and some big names are now coming out to support California Governor Gavin Newsom as he fights to stay in office.

PAUL: Yes, Boris, one of them is Vice President Kamala Harris, of course, set to head to her home state there on Wednesday, campaigning for the embattled governor who is facing that recall election just nine days from now. Here's CNN's Kyung Luh.


KUNG LAH, CNN ANCHOR: Well, Boris and Christi, the California recall is about this state. But in the closing message in these final days, what we are hearing increasingly from Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom is that this is about the Democratic agenda, making that case beside him.

Senator Elizabeth Warren who talked about the Texas abortion law, about the mask battle and the health agenda in the state of Florida. What they told this crowd, the sizable crowd mainly of women is that governors matter.


SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): These flights, you're not just in Texas, Florida, South Dakota. These fights have come to California. So one more time, are you ready to fight?

GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): Are we going to defeat Trump and trumpism? Are we going to send a message to Devin Nunez, and Mike Huckabee, and Rudy Giuliani, and Newt Gingrich, and Kevin McCarthy? Hell no on this recall.


LAH: So, Senator Warren rallying there next to the governor Sunday night. Senator Amy Klobuchar will be standing beside Governor Newsome. And then next week in the Bay Area, Vice President Kamala Harris. Boris, Christi? SANCHEZ: Kyung Lah, thank you so much for that report. Robert Kennedy's children are divided on whether to let their father's killer Sirhan Sirhan out of prison. We'll bring you up to speed on the latest regarding his possible parole after a quick break. Stay with us.



PAUL: Well, he spent 53 years in prison, and the man convicted of assassinating Senator Robert F. Kennedy is being recommended now for parole.

SANCHEZ: Yes, Sirhan Sirhan is 77 years old and he's gone before the parole board 16 times. This is now the closest that he's ever gotten to freedom. CNN's Natasha Chen has more.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator Kennedy has been shot. Is that possible?

NATASHA CHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The possible release of the man who assassinated Robert Kennedy 53 years ago, is dividing the family of the former U.S. presidential candidate and Senator.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get the gun, Rafer.


CHEN: In June of 1968, Kennedy's 10 children lost their father when Sirhan Sirhan shot him in the kitchen hallway of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. His 11th child Rory Kennedy wasn't born until later that year, now responding to a California parole board panel's recommendation last week to grant parole to her father's assassin.

She wrote an op-ed in the New York Times asking how having committed one of the most notorious assassinations of the latter part of the 20th century, can you be considered rehabilitated when you won't even acknowledge your role in the crime itself?

Five of Rory's siblings also opposed parole for Sirhan. 24 years old at the time, Sirhan, a Palestinian, was said to be outraged with Kennedy's proposal to send military planes to Israel. He was convicted and sentenced to death. But his sentence was commuted to life with the possibility of parole after California did away with the death penalty in 1972.

At a parole hearing in 2011, Sirhan's memory of events was hazy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The shooting of the gun, what -- how long did you have the gun?

SIRHAN SIRHAN, CONVICTED OF KILLING ROBERT F. KENNEDY: I don't remember that. I'm not aware that I took it in. I'm not aware that I fired with it. But that was confronted with it later on and I have to take responsibility for that. And I do. CHEN: Responsibility for killing that shaped the course of an already turbulent political era, just two months after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and nearly five years after the assassination of his own brother, President John F. Kennedy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you feel about what you did? It's the most horrible thing that any human being can do to a man.

CHEN: Two of Robert Kennedy's children's support his release.

DOUGLAS KENNEDY, SON OF ROBERT KENNEDY: My father was taken away from me.

CHEN: Douglas Kennedy who attended last week's parole hearing, and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. who wrote a letter saying in part, while nobody can speak definitively on behalf of my father, I firmly believe that based on his own consuming commitment to fairness and justice, that he would strongly encourage this board to release Mr. Sirhan because of Mr. Sirhan's impressive record of rehabilitation.

Sirhan had been denied parole 15 times. But last week, prosecutors did not oppose the release because they were not in the room. That's because the Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon who was elected in late 2020 directed his prosecutors to stop attending parole hearings. His office says, this allows the parole board to make an objective decision not just based on the facts of the crime, but also on how the person has behaved in the years since committing it.

A point of debate among the Kennedys now watching the 120 day review period, to see what the full California parole board decides and whether Governor Gavin Newsome weighs in after that. Natasha Chen, CNN, Los Angeles.


PAUL: And we'll keep you posted on that one. And I know you might have been in front of the television yesterday, watching some college football, which means fall is coming. We'll talk about it. Stay close.



SANCHEZ: Marching bands and packed stands. It is time to rejoice, Christi. College football is back. From the iconic third quarter jumped around at Camp Randall stadium at the University of Wisconsin, to LSU fans from the bayou taking over the Rose Bowl in Los Angeles. I look at these crowds though, Christi, and I can't help but think of the Delta variants though.

PAUL: Yes, I know. I know. And yet, something seems right in the world with normalcy coming back at the same time. It's a hard thing to balance, I know, Carolyn Manno. Thank you for putting in the prompt for my Buckeyes won in Friday. I appreciate that.

CAROLYN MANNO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: I got you. PAUL: Yes, you do. I appreciate it. You do. Talk about some of the

other joys of the games yesterday. My kids, I can tell you, we're just so excited to see it back.

MANNO: It's a really delicate balance because we all want it back and we love to see the crowds jumping around. Of course, there is a danger with that but it's very busy. So, let me take you through what happened. I will say since 2005, this is the first time we sell five matchups between ranked teams in the preseason poll, so there's some good competition out there.


I'll take you to the field now. Fifth-ranked Georgia and number three Clemson headlining a very busy day former Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence make them to the game but not even the top pick in this year's NFL Draft could have survived the onslaught by the Bulldog's defense. Georgia piling up seven sacks against Lawrence's replacement, DJ Uiagalelei. The Dog's defense even have the only touchdown of the game. Second-quarter Christopher Smith grabbing the interception, taking it 74 yards the other way for the score.

Georgia is hoping to make the playoffs for the first time since 2018. They're officially on their way with a seven-point win. No surprises here guys, but Alabama is looking very, very good. After having a record six players drafted in the first round this spring, The Crimson Tide did not miss a beat.

Sophomore Bryce Young setting a school record in his first career start going for four touchdown passes. That's the most ever in the debut of an Alabama quarterback. So, Alabama just continues to roll this one over by halftime. The Tide winning by 31.

Great gesture here in Norman Oklahoma from the Sooners. They painted Tulane's logo on their field. This game was supposed to be played in New Orleans but it was relocated because of Hurricane Ida. So, Tulane playing a very inspired game, down 23 at the half, the green wave came roaring back scoring 21 in the next 24 points (AUDIO GAP) Will Wallace for the score to make it a five-point game with just over two minutes to go.

Now cue the onside kick. Somehow, Tulane manages to come up with the ball here. The come-back did though coming up just short for Tulane. They needed 13 yards to extend the game. They only got 12. So, the Sooners running out the clock to nearly avoid what would have been shocking upset.

A stunner in the Pacific Northwest. The Montana Grizzlies to play in the FCS which is college football second tier going on the road to Seattle upsetting number 20, Washington. This the first time an FCS team has beaten a ranked opponent since 2016. And check out the coach here. Bobby Hauck soaring into the locker room after the game. A huge win. Their first against the Huskies since 1920. That also happens to be the only other time they've beaten them. So yes, these images the celebrations, the fans, guys, college football is back, you like it or not. I think a lot of people like it. PAUL: You got to trust your team if you're going to try to do that.


SANCHEZ: There was a chance he was going to wind up on the floor. I'm glad they supported him.

MANNO: They'll trust. They'll trust.

PAUL: Carolyn, thank you.

SANCHEZ: Caroly, thank you so much. Good to see you.

PAUL: So, they've won four Olympic golds, four World Cup championships, but now the U.S. Women's Soccer Team, they're fighting for equal pay. In a lawsuit filed against the U.S. Soccer Federation in 2019, the players argued they weren't receiving pay that's equal to what the men's team makes.

SANCHEZ: You might recall, the federal court disagreed last year, throwing out the players equal pay claim. The judge found that the women's team negotiated a different pay structure than the men's team and that the women's players were already paid more than the men's team.

The players are now appealing that decision. And as the legal battle enters its next chapter, the all-new CNN film LFG brings you a behind- the-scenes look at the grit and determination that these women bring to their game, both on and off the field.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A lawsuit is something that no professional athletes would ever want to have. It's so much work. It takes you away from your sport. It's very stressful.

MEGAN RAPINOE, SOCCER PLAYER: This is the same sentiment that's been happening for, you know, years and years, decades and decades, through many different negotiations.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Something is just completely collapse and crumble and we need to build it up.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are in camp a lot, but then there's times when we're in completely different time zones, state.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's great, guys, thank you very much for doing this. There's a lot of phone calls, a lot of text messages, a lot of e-mails.

SRAPINOE: Strategizing and keeping everyone on the same page.

And Carlos was the only one that had his eyes on that.

Discriminated people's do not have the luxury of (BLEEP) getting around, frankly. So, it's our players that are having to form what the lawsuit is, you know, figuring out all the inequalities over the year, trying to go through our contract going through the other contracts. So, it's hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours of our time.


SANCHEZ: LFG premieres tomorrow at 9:00 Eastern right here on CNN, a powerful way to wrap up your Labor Day. Stay with CNN. We're back after a quick break.



PAUL: So, our 2008 CNN Hero of the year is helping out the victims of Hurricane Ida. Here's his story.


LIZ MCCARTNEY, CO-FOUNDER, SAINT BERNARD PROJECT: Because of the timing of the tides, I think Ida have pushed a lot of water into places that don't normally experience flooding that are outside of New Orleans, but were really taken off guard. Typically you can go to the communities in the outlying area to access the resources to help people recover with power out in Baton Rouge. It's become a much trickier situation.

We have teams to assist with mucking and gutting and mold remediation. What we've been able to do at SVP is help homeowners understand how they can buy the approval materials that actually kill molds first, and then learn how to dry their house out so that when they do start to rebuild it, their house doesn't have ant mold in it and they can live safely in it.

I just want to say thank you to everybody who was supporting people who have been impacted by Hurricane Ida. The immediate response is really important. The long-term recovery is going to take more time. And so, we ask you to stick with it. Come on down and volunteer. Share your talents and help us make these communities even stronger in the future.


PAUL: To learn more about the Saint Bernard Project's efforts, go to