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New Day Sunday

U.S. Surpasses 700,000 COVID Deaths Since Start Of Pandemic; Sinema Slams House Over Infrastructure Delay; Speaker Pelosi Sets October 31 Deadline For Infrastructure Vote; Thousands March In Washington In Defense Of Reproductive Rights; Supreme Court Justices Take On Critics In Rare Public Comments; Supreme Court Justices Take On Critics In Rare Public Comments; Tennessee School District Looks At Banning Some History Books. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired October 03, 2021 - 07:00   ET



BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: The next hour of NEW DAY starts right now.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Well, good morning to you. If you're just joining us, it is your NEW DAY and we're grateful to have you. I'm Christi Paul.

SANCHEZ: Hey, Christi. I'm Boris Sanchez.

President Biden is urging Americans to get vaccinated as the United States marks 700,000 COVID deaths. Amid that summer milestone, there's hopeful news in the fight against coronavirus. We'll share it with you soon.

PAUL: Also, Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema slamming House Democrats for delaying a bill on President Biden's infrastructure bill. Where things stand right now and the new deadline for getting it passed.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All this curriculum highlights is the mean, white people and how she's victimized, and it speaks to nothing of the good.


SANCHEZ: And angry parents in parts of Tennessee taking on a school district over how they teach lessons about race. The pushback from teachers coming up.

PAUL: Stunning pictures out of Spain. Look at this. That's lava snaking down a mountainside. The warning for people who are living near this still erupting volcano.


PAUL: Sunday, October 3rd. We are so grateful to spend some time with you this morning, as you take a look at the seven-day average of coronavirus deaths there. SANCHEZ: Yeah. A lot to report on coronavirus as the federal

government tries to fight these trends. Federal employees now have a November 8th deadline to receive their final vaccine shot. That's according to a memo from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, detailing the process of enforcing President Biden's vaccine and testing mandate.

PAUL: Yeah, and cases are decreasing, hopefully COVID deaths will follow soon thereafter. The U.S. has passed that grim milestone, though, this weekend -- 700,000 Americans have now died from this virus.

SANCHEZ: Yeah. Health experts say vaccines are still our greatest protection from COVID-19, but there is a new tool in this fight.

Here's medical analyst Dr. Jonathan Reiner.


DR. JONATHAN REINER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: We've lost 700,000 Americans now and fully 200,000 of those folks have died since vaccines have been available to almost everyone in this country and every one of those deaths is unnecessary. So even though the news is great for the antiviral agent, really, the message people need to receive is get vaccinated. No one needs to die from this virus.


SANCHEZ: You heard the doctor talking about the oral antiviral medication developed by Merck. Meantime, President Biden also urging Americans to get vaccinated saying, quote, the astonishing death toll is yet another reminder of just how important it is to get vaccinated.

CNN's Polo Sandoval has more.


POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Another somber milestone crossed in the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus has now killed more than 700,000 people in the United States. In a statement Saturday, President Biden marked a death toll saying, quote, on this day and every day, we remember all those we lost to this pandemic and we pray for their loved ones left behind who are missing a piece of their soul.

A sea of white on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., a flag for every life lost. Currently the U.S. has the highest COVID-19 death toll of any country in the world and the U.S. is still averaging about 1,900 COVID deaths every day.

But there's good news. New cases and hospitalizations are dropping, suggesting that new deaths will also begin to decline. Even more encouraging, drugmakers Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics say their new antiviral pill cuts the risk of hospitalization and death by 50 percent for COVID patients. They request emergency use authorization from the FDA as soon as possible. REINER: We'll be able to prescribe this to folks that will take a

five-day course and hopefully be able to stay home and not come in for an intravenous infusion and keep folks out of the hospital. So it's really very promising news.

SANDOVAL: Nearly 56 percent of the U.S. population fully vaccinated CDC data shows. Thirty-four states have fully vaccinated more than half of their residents. President Biden reminding U.S. citizens if you haven't already, please get vaccinated. It can save your life, the lives of those you love and will help us beat COVID-19 and move forward together as one nation.

Polo Sandoval, CNN, New York.


PAUL: Speaker Nancy Pelosi has reset the clock on that trillion dollar infrastructure bill. Progressives and moderate Democrats are hammering out details on a separate massive spending measure.

SANCHEZ: Right. Progressives refuse to back the measure without a vote on that reconciliation bill that includes a number of President Biden's top economic priorities.



REP. JUDY CHU (D-CA): The deadline to vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill was an artificial one. There was actually no reason to have voted on it by this last Monday or this last Thursday. I think that there are things that we can do to shave off elements in each of these programs.


SANCHEZ: Well, let's get to CNN congressional reporter Daniella Diaz. She's now live from Capitol Hill.

Daniella, Representative Chu there saying that the deadline that had been previously set was seemingly arbitrary, now another deadline.

But Senator Kyrsten Sinema who is pivotal in this process is slamming Democrats for not having voted on the infrastructure bill.

DANIELLA DIAZ, CNN CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: You know, she's not alone. You know, Senator Patrick Leahy told me yesterday that he was also upset that the House did not vote on this bipartisan infrastructure bill that, you know, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi promised moderates would happen this week.

The problem here is they're two separate bills going on, the bipartisan infrastructure bill that has already passed the Senate and only needs to pass the House before it goes to president Joe Biden's desk, and then the reconciliation bill, Democratic leaders and Democrats settled on $3.5 trillion for this bill and it would expands the nation's social safety net.

It would have funding to combat climate change, expand the child tax credit, it would have paid family and medical leave. These are issues progressives want and this is why they're fighting for this.

Yes, you mentioned Senator Kyrsten Sinema, a moderate Democratic senator, a key negotiator here, she had a statement yesterday where she slammed Democrat in the House for not having this vote for the bipartisan infrastructure bill.

Let me read a little bit about what she said. She said: The failure of the U.S. house to hold a vote on the infrastructure investment and jobs act is inexcusable and deeply disappointing for our communities across the country. Democratic leaders have made conflicting promises that could not all be kept and have at times pretended that differences of opinion within our party did not exist even when those disagreements were repeatedly made clear directly and publicly.

Now, it's really interesting that Kyrsten Sinema is saying this. She's actually the one that progressives feel is holding up this economic bill. Democratic leaders and Democrats have already decided on a $3.5 trillion economic bill that would create thousands of jobs and progressives want this bill to pass and they want -- they are withholding their vote for the bipartisan infrastructure bill until the economic bill details are finalized.

But Kyrsten Sinema is not sharing where she stands on this and this top line number. She wants to bring the $3.5 trillion line down with Senator Joe Manchin. It's really progressives versus moderates, really fighting to negotiate on these two bills so they can pass and achieve Joe Biden's historic agenda.

PAUL: Daniella Diaz, great wrap, thank you so much.

Luke Broadwater, congressional correspondent for "The New York Times", is with us now.

Luke, it's good to see you. Thanks for being here.


PAUL: Good morning to you as well. I want to read part of your article right now. It's so interesting here. You write, their persistence risked the collapse of both bills, angering moderates in the party who had delivered the slim majority of the Democrats and are at the highest risk of losing their seats in the midterm elections -- talking about progressives.

The power progressives it seems more potent than it has been in the past.

What's different this time around?

BROADWATER: That's correct. So progressives have grown in strength on Capitol Hill. That's in part due to a few reasons, but one is simply they've been running progressive candidates in many districts and winning the races. So, the progressive caucus is nearly 100 members strong on Capitol Hill. That's almost half of all House Democrats. So they have a huge voting block. They have lots of influence.

But in the past, progressives have been reluctant to use their power. There have been times when only a handful of them were willing to buck party leadership and stand up against the -- what party leaders wanted.

This time it seemed that about half the caucus was willing to stand together and hold firm to ensure that they get movement on the broader domestic policy agenda you were just talking about which has all those things, the child care tax credit, pre-K, community college funding, battling climate change, all the things that progressives want, ensuring that that moves forward before they go forward with the centrist priority which is the infrastructure bill.


So, yeah, they've gained in power tremendously. But as you point out, the centrists are bristling at the latest development because they really wanted to go back to their districts and show movement on the infrastructure bill, talk to those unions who supported them, and say, look, we've got -- we're going to have shovels in the ground soon, we're going to get bridges and roads moving, and the jobs rolling out.

So we're really at a stalemate right now on Capitol Hill, and we'll see which priority will move forward first or if Democrats will be able to reach a deal and move forward together.

PAUL: So, Daniella brought this up with Kyrsten Sinema. Her stance has been hard to pin down on this. I mean, even Senator Manchin has said oh, I could live with $1.5 trillion and he's given some specifics, but there have been no definitive numbers or precise clarity from Senator Sinema.

Do you have a read on what she's thinking?

BROADWATER: Well, we've heard that Senator Sinema is very reluctant to raise taxes. Their proposals to pay for the broader domestic agenda of president Biden to raise taxes on the wealthy, to raise taxes on corporations, to try to close some loopholes, and so, I think that's her primary concern, is the impact on taxes.

But that said, she's played her cards very close to the chest. She says she's been specific with her request of the Biden administration in negotiating this deal, but she hasn't detailed those requests to the press and when reporters ask her, she has largely declined and her office has declined to give out those specifics saying they don't want to negotiate it through the media. That said, she is a more centrist member of Congress and you can see her resisting some of the policy recommendations from the progressives.

PAUL: Real quickly in terms of Republicans, they've been trying to as we understand it, encourage some allies in the House, some moderate Republicans, to vote for infrastructure, but what is the strategy there?

BROADWATER: Right. So we have now a new deadline set by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, 30 days from now or I guess less than 30 days now, for a vote on this infrastructure bill. Nothing gets done in Congress without a deadline.

Everything -- lawmakers love to wait for the last minute, so Speaker Pelosi has set a deadline to try to force movement, gets the different parties together, and try to get a deal before the end of the month.

PAUL: Luke Broadwater, great to have you with us. Thank you for taking the time.

BROADWATER: Thanks for having me.

PAUL: Of course.

So make sure to watch CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION" this morning. Senator Dick Durbin and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal will be with CNN's Dana Bash. She's also going to be joined by Dr. Anthony Fauci we should point out. You can watch all of that 9:00 a.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.

SANCHEZ: Women took to the streets across the country yesterday marching in cities from coast to coast. We'll tell you what they're demanding from those in power, coming up.

PAUL: Also in southern California, officials are searching for a New Jersey woman who was last seen in Los Angeles back in June. We have more on that investigation just ahead.



SANCHEZ: In the nation's capital yesterday, thousands of protesters marched to the steps of the Supreme Court to protest the Texas law that almost completely bans abortion.

PAUL: This was part of a nationwide protests that continue to -- that demand access to abortion, continued restrictions access to abortion. There were more than 600 marches. The protests took place two days before the Supreme Court is set to reconvene for its October term.

Suzanne Malveaux filed this report yesterday from Washington.


SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Boris, we are at ground zero of this debate and in front of the Supreme Court you can see the officers protecting the building there, counter protesters outside, out front, offering prayers and song for the justices here, also Capitol Police in front trying to make sure the two groups stay separate. One block over, if you swing over on East Capitol, where the women's march is concluding and there were thousands strong here in the nation's capital. The focus, on reproductive rights, a sense of urgency, particularly on

the Texas ban on abortion after six weeks, the Supreme Court refusing to get involved in that case. Many people are saying that they will be paying attention to what the next steps are with the Supreme Court and the possible overturn of Roe v. Wade.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm dressed up as the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and I'm here today for everything women have fought for since 1973 when this law was first passed giving us the right to choose. I'm just curious what has changed in that timeframe that makes our Supreme Court justices think we have changed our minds about that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm dressed up as lady justice and I believe it stands for the fact that justice should be blind without bias and there's religious bias on the Supreme Court, extreme religious bias. So -- I'm here today, the things that are going on in Texas drove me here today.

MALVEAUX: The Supreme Court will be back in session on Monday and they will be taking the Mississippi case, that law banning abortion after 15 weeks, and so now many people saying they're going to shine a spotlight on that case, a decision very likely coming mid year next year -- Boris, Christi.



SANCHEZ: Suzanne, thank you for that.

We have a sad update to share with you out of central Florida where authorities believe they found the body of a missing teenager. Nineteen-year-old Miya Marcano went missing last month. Investigators have been searching a wooded area near the apartment complex where she lived and worked for several days.

The Orange County sheriff said in a news conference Saturday that a purse with her identification was found near the body. Just a few days after her disappearance the only person of interest in the case apparently died by suicide.

PAUL: The case of another missing woman we want to tell you about 30- year-old New Jersey native Lauren Cho is in the spotlight. Family and friends are continuing still to search for her in southern California.

SANCHEZ: Lauren was last seen in late June while staying at an Airbnb outside of Los Angeles.

CNN's Natasha Chen has this story.


NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Lauren Cho, whom friends call "El," had been staying at an Airbnb desert resort about a two-hour drive from Los Angeles when she vanished in late June. A 30-year-old New Jersey native Cho was staying there with friends, including her ex-boyfriend.

The San Bernardino sheriff's department said the friends reported Cho was, quote, upset and presumably walked away from the resort leaving behind her personal belongings.

JEFF FROST, FRIEND: Looked everywhere we can from 29 to Bartow.

CHEN: As the sheriff's department and volunteers scoured the area, so did Cho's friends.

FROST: We have gone thousands of miles and tirelessly went to gas stations and pasted up flyers in the low desert and high desert. Out to San Diego because she said in the week before she disappeared she wanted to go to the beach.

CHEN: The sheriff's department said her ex-boyfriend reported her missing about three hours after she disappeared. In a statement investigators say, quote, he indicated she was suffering from mental distress.

LEN GHERARDI, FRIEND: She worked here at my studio. The plan was I was going to teach her how to pierce.

CHEN: Friends at home in New Jersey say she wanted a fresh start.

GHERARDI: The pandemic was wearing on her and she like had this opportunity to change scenery in her life and go after a dream of cooking and chef work.

CHEN: And baking, shown here on an Instagram account shared by Cho's sister.

Cho's sister told CNN the family doesn't have an official statement right now, but described Cho as a dynamic firecracker of a person who is creative and funny. The San Bernardino sheriff's department says it has conducted multiple searches in the last three months and even with the renewed interest in her case, they haven't gotten new substantive leads, leaving friends and loved ones hoping more stories about Cho --

GHERARDI: She is super caring, very loving, and just a really loyal and good friend.

CHEN: -- may help jog someone's memory of having seen her.


PAUL: Thank you for taking a good look at those pictures and hopefully this story will help them. Just cannot imagine what families go through with that.


So there's a new term for the Supreme Court starting tomorrow. Are they going to take up the abortion rights that we were talking about just a few moments ago? Those cases?

That story next.



PAUL: The U.S. Supreme Court convenes tomorrow to start its new term and it comes as several justices are speaking out. And this is rare, they're making provocative public comments.

SANCHEZ: Now, the justices are likely going to take up some really divisive issues, including abortion rights, as the high court now faces its lowest approval rating in 20 years.

CNN justice correspondent Jessica Schneider has more.


JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The start of the new Supreme Court term is Monday, but the justices have been unusually outspoken in the weeks leading up to their return to the bench. Five of the nine justices have made public appearances in recent weeks, speaking out about the divisions that have been deepening behind the scenes.

JUSTICE CLARENCE THOMAS, SUPREME COURT: I think the court was thought to be the least dangerous branch and we may have become the most dangerous.

SCHNEIDER: The danger in his mind is that the media and the public portray the court as political.

Clarence Thomas is the senior most justice on the court. He spoke to students at the University of Notre Dame insisting he is driven by the law, not his own opinion.

THOMAS: They think you're anti-abortion or something personally. They think that's the way you always will come out. They think you're for this or for that. They think you become like a politician. And I think that's -- that's a problem.

SCHNEIDER: The Supreme Court ignited a firestorm last month when it allowed a restrictive Texas abortion law essentially banning the procedure after six weeks, to take effect. The 5-4 decision came down in the middle of the night without a hearing causing critics to slam the action as part of the court's so-called shadow docket.

A new Gallup poll shows a plummeting approval rating of 40 percent, the lowest in 20 years. The liberal justices lashed out with stinging dissents when it ruling came down, some have spoken out since then off and on camera.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor was blunt about what she thinks lies ahead. There's going to be a lot of disappointment in the law, a huge amount. Look at me, look at my dissent.

Justice Breyer who had been pushed by progressives to retire last summer minced no words on the Texas decision in an interview with CNN.


SCHNEIDER: The conservative justices have been pushing back. The newest, Amy Coney Barrett, appeared at an event with the top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell and declared my goal today is to convince you this court is not comprised of a bunch of partisan hacks.

Justice Alito was forceful in a speech, at times blasting the media for portraying the now conservative-leaning court as a dangerous cabal, deciding important issues in a novel, secret, improper way in the middle of the night.


Alito calling that criticism very misleading.


SANCHEZ: Thanks to Jessica Schneider for that report.

Let's get a preview on the upcoming SCOTUS session with CNN contributor Steve Vladeck. He's a professor of law at the University of Texas School of Law.

Steve, thank you so much for joining us this morning, sharing part of your weekend with us and your expertise.

We've heard pretty strong public opinions from justices recently including that comment from Justice Alito, rejecting criticism that the court is a dangerous cabal. I don't really recall an era like this where justices have been so defensive about criticism of the court.

What do you think his remarks suggest?

STEVE VLADECK, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yeah, Boris. It's a great question. I mean, I think, first of all, perhaps most surprisingly the justices are reading their criticisms. Part of why I think we haven't seen this before is because we've assumed the justices paid no mind to folks like us.

But also I think what it suggests they actually see the decline in approval polls and they are worried. They should, because the court's legitimacy and power really depends not on any police force, the Supreme Court doesn't have a military, it depends on the notion that we accept what they're doing as exercises of judicial power as opposed to political power, that justices are all going out on a speaking tour trying to persuade us, perhaps inartfully, perhaps a little tone deaf, that they are not acting in ways that are partisan, suggest that they are really are starting to feel some of the heat and are worried about this trend.

SANCHEZ: I want to bring up this notion that Alito brought up in this speech that he was talking about this shadow docket and he was referring to something that Elena Kagan mentioned on her dissent on the Texas abortion case. You testified at a Senate hearing this past week about the shadow

docket. Help us understand what it is and why it may be a concern.

VLADECK: Yeah. So it's really not meant to be a pejorative tern. It's about the obscurity of these rulings. The notion, Boris, is that we're seeing more and more rulings like the Texas abortion ruling where the justices are being asked to decide important questions without the full, you know, sort of the full throated review that we see on the merits docket where it's an emergency application, asking the court to freeze a law or to unfreeze a law, while the litigation unfolds, and those kinds of applications, Boris, historically were pretty anodyne, they weren't that divisive, didn't produce massive consequences for millions of people on the ground.

Boris, we're seeing more and more cases where that's not true from the eviction moratorium to the Texas abortion law to the remain in Mexico program where the court is being asked to do this kind of work and where they're handing down decisions without a lot of analysis and briefing, et cetera.

SANCHEZ: So, Steve, the court is going to take up a case directly challenging Roe versus Wade in December.

What are your expectations and what are the potential implications? It seems like it could be huge.

VLADECK: Yeah. I think the implications could be huge. The Mississippi has asked the Supreme Court in this case called Dobbs going to be argued December 1st to overrule Roe. The case about a 15-week ban, not a six-week ban like the Texas case. It's possible the court tries to split the difference.

But I think the real problem here is, you know, even if the court doesn't overturn roe, but it does actually uphold that the ban is constitutional, that's another big bite out of the abortion right.

SANCHEZ: Yeah. I also want to ask you about what other potential cases they may hear when the court convenes tomorrow. We know they're going to take up you an important Second Amendment case in November. What are you expecting this term?

VLADECK: Yeah. I you mean, Boris, it's a conservative court with a sharp conservative majority. I think we're going to see rulings that move the court and country and at least our constitutional doctrine to the right. That's not going to be surprising.

I think the key is are the justices able to convince us that this is because of principled legal justifications or is it going to look more and more like this is just the inevitable result of a court that has been captured by the Republican Party.

I think that's where you're going to see the legitimacy conversation happen, which is, are the justices able to persuade the American people that these are the right decisions or are they going to hand down increasing numbers of decisions that actually make them look like partisan actors so that more and more people will believe the court is just exercising political rather than judicial power.

That's where the legitimacy concerns will become most significant and serious and really most threatening to the court as an institution.

SANCHEZ: Tremendous implications. Steve Vladeck, we not only appreciate your expertise, but also it sounds like juggling some very young responsibilities this morning in the background there.


Thanks so much, Steve.

VLADECK: Thank you.

PAUL: He did really well. He did really well with that. I have to give him kudos. It's not the first time we've seen it. It's just how it is. It's all good.

So speaking of parents, there's some angry ones in Tennessee that are taking on educators. They're calling on districts to ban books that spotlight the harsh truth about history and racism and pulling their students out of school in protest.

What the teachers are saying in a moment.



PAUL: Good morning. 40 minutes past the hour.

There's a school district in Tennessee that may ban some history books after parents took issue with the material being taught.

SANCHEZ: Yeah, several of the books are about segregation and Martin Luther King, Jr.'s famous march on Washington.

Here is CNN's Evan McMorris-Santoro on what some parents see as a problem with that material.


EVAN MCMORRIS-SANTORO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Just outside of Nashville, basic American history is up-for-debate.

ROBIN STEENMAN, CHAIR, WILLIAMSON COUNTY CHAPTER OF MOMS FOR LIBERTY: His parents taught him about George Washington and he identifies George Washington as a white man and asked if he would be killed back then because he had brown skin. He's judging George Washington not by any of -- by being the founder of our country.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: When do we tell the kid he may have been killed because of the color of his skin?

STEENMAN: Well -- I'm not sure that that's what you teach, that you would have been killed for the color of your skin. That's -- that's a narrative really.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: Robin is trying to change the narrative on race in the Williamson County, Tennessee, public school district. She pulled her child out of public school and now she leads a chapter of Moms for Liberty in this wealthy, Republican leaning suburb.

Nationally, the group is known for loudly protesting school masking.

STEENMAN: And it has traumatized Williamson county kids.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: But Steenman's chapter filed a different complaint with the Tennessee Department of Education this summer.

STEENMAN: Because it's historically accurate it's appropriate for 6, 7, 8-year-olds.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: Moms for Liberty is angry about an inclusion curriculum being taught in the county public schools. They're concerned about four books taught in second grade. One tells a story of a school segregation through the eyes of Mexican-American students. One is about the march on Washington. And two are about civil rights icon Ruby Bridges.

STEENMAN: I'll show you in the teacher's manual it instructs the teacher to point this out and teach about racial slurs.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: Steenman says it's okay for kids to read the books Bridges wrote about her experience as a six-year-old, but it's not okay for kids to talk about some of the pictures in the book like Norman Rockwell's famous painting.

STEENMAN: All this curriculum highlights is the mean white people and how she's victimized and speaks to nothing of the good.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: Educators across the country are alarmed by talk like this.

KIM ANDERSON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION: We see some sort of almost manufactured crisis here. There isn't a crisis in how we teach history in this country. You would never go into a school in Germany and say, oh, why do you teach about Nazism? You would never ask that question because they do teach about it because teachers want kids in Germany to understand what that history was.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: The Mom for Liberty's complaint says students are taught lessons that have anti-American, anti-white, and anti-Mexican teaching and state law may be on their side.

GOV. BILL LEE (R), TENNESSEE: We will not be teaching critical race theory in tennessee.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: In May, the governor signed HB-580 into law. It bans lesson plans that make students, quote, feel discomfort, guilt or anguish because of their race.

Moms for Liberty says the new rules mean separate is never equal, a picture book about the California schools in 1940s should be banned because it makes both white and Hispanic kids feel bad.

STEENMAN: They're the ones that looks like the Mexican children are behind bars --

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: That surprises the book's author.

DUNCAN TONATIUH, AUTHOR, "SEPARATE IS NEVER EQUAL": The villain here is racism, it's segregation and at the end of the book what I wanted to show is, the Mexican-American children and the white children being in school together and playing together and interacting with each other.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: These conversations about the past are very relevant, other moms in the community say.

REVIDA RAHMAN, CO-FOUNDER, ONE WILLCO: My son had an incident at his middle school that was where students locked arms and if you were white, they would break the arms to let kids go through. If you were black they kept their hands together and told you that you needed to go back to Mexico.

JENNIFER CORTEZ, CO-FOUNDER, ONE WILLCO: They said they were building a wall.

RAHMAN: Building a wall.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: Public school moms Revida Rahman and Jennifer Cortez founded the group one WillCo after a series of racial indents rocked the district.

RAHMAN: What's concerning about the law is it's not inclusive of everybody. I don't think it's divisive be talking about these uncomfortable topics.

CORTEZ: They're bullying our school board. They're bullying our elected officials.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: The school board told CNN it's reviewing the books cited in the complaint.

What would it mean for education like books like "Separate is Never Equal" were pulled off the shelves by these laws that we're seeing spread across the country?


ANDERSON: Well, I think we're entering toward a pretty scary time if we're talking about politicians banning books. I thought we were long past those days. Educators know how to talk about race with kids in an age-appropriate way. These conversations can be had and in a way that is in keeping with our core values as Americans.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: Evan McMorris, CNN, Williamson County, Tennessee.


SANCHEZ: Yikes! Thanks, Evan, for that report.

Fountain of lava spewing from a volcano after a fiery eruption in Spain. We're going to show you more of the incredible video next.

Plus --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hello. My name is Jay Nordling Smyth (ph). I am concerned and I'm also crazy. Let's begin.


SANCHEZ: Oh, maybe laughing will make us feel better. "SNL" taking on the rowdy school board meetings you just witnessed. We'll be right back.



PAUL: Next Sunday, do not miss the new CNN original series "DIANA." It reveals the person behind the princess. It shows her life was more complicated than the world knew. "DIANA" premieres October 10th at 9:00 p.m. right here on CNN.

So the Coast Guard is on the scene of a major oil spill along the coast of southern California. As much as 3,000 barrels or 126,000 gallons of oil spilled in the waters off Huntington Beach. We know crews are working right now to contain the oil that first appeared on the surface yesterday morning.

According to the Coast Guard, the spill covers 13 square miles. Investigators say it may be from an offshore production facility. Cause isn't determined but Huntington Beach officials say the leak has been stopped. They describe it, though, as a potential ecological disaster.

SANCHEZ: Looking overseas for a moment, officials lifted a stay-at- home order on the Spanish Canary Island of La Palma as volcanic eruptions continue to spew hot lava and ash into the area. The volcano has been active for nearly two weeks now and officials are warning that the chemical reaction of lava hitting the sea and reacting to water could cause toxic gases to be released. They say for now the air is safe to breathe.

So far, the lava destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses, nearly 6,000 people have been forced to evacuate.

PAUL: All righty. So heavy rains get ready to drench the southeast. It's going to be a mess.

SANCHEZ: Yeah, meteorologist Allison Chinchar is in the CNN weather center.

Alison, we're packing umbrellas as we speak. ALLISON CHINCHAR, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yeah, we may need them for

several days. That's the problem, is that the couple of different systems moving through, so it's going to be days of rain for some of these areas. Today, the main focus is from the Great Lakes stretching down to the Gulf Coast.

It's not going to be a washout but you need multiple waves of rain moving through areas as you continue to make its way off to the east. Again, you can see a lot of areas, a lot of scattered showers and even some thunderstorms across the Southeast. Here is that first system and that starts to make its way out by Monday and Tuesday. Then the next system comes in but notice, it's impacting a lot of the staples states getting the first system come through.

So, overall, over the next several days, you're likely to get wide spread areas of two inches of rain but where you see yellow and arrange, 2, 3, 4 and 5 inches of rain. That's the amount of rain some see for the entire month of October and they're just going to get it in a few days including cities like Atlanta, Asheville, Birmingham looking at the months' worth of rain in a few short days. Because of that, that's why you have the potential for flooding and flood flooding, not just today but also Monday and even Tuesday, Boris and Christie.

So, yes, you need the raincoat, umbrella, rain boots and I'd hold on to them for a few days.

PAUL: And maybe a boat. My gosh.

SANCHEZ: Not a bad idea. Allison Chinchar, thanks for keeping an eye for us.

PAUL: Thanks, Alison.

SANCHEZ: "Saturday Night Live" returned last night for a new season of laughs.

PAUL: Yeah, among other things, they took aim at irate parents that have been at school board meetings across the U.S. upset at safety, COVID safety and more obscure issues.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now, we know there are lots of questions about the school district's COVID policy. So we open the floor to the public.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hello. My name is Jay Nordling Smyth (ph). I am concerned and I'm also crazy. Let's begin.

The Johnson & Johnson and Johnson are because of Fauci, okay? The Pfizer is only part of it but not all of it because this, all of this, this is about Israel.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ma'am, ma'am, do you have a question about the school district's COVID policy or your child's safety?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't have a child and I don't live in this town.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi. I'm so mad I'm literally shaking right now. Forget COVID, the real threat is critical race theory being taught in our schools.


My question is, what is it?



PAUL: Oh my gosh. Just a little levity, right?

SANCHEZ: Yeah, sometimes parody is close to the truth and makes you uncomfortable laughing at things like that.

PAUL: Yeah, but sometimes you need to take it in.

All right. Boris, so good to see you this weekend.

SANCHEZ: Always great to be with your Christie. Spooky season, it's here.

PAUL: Yeah, that's right. We hope you go make good memories today.

SANCHEZ: "INSIDE POLITICS SUNDAY" with Phil Mattingly is up next.