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New Day Sunday

Criminal Investigations Launched Into Deaths At Astroworld Festival; Federal Employees Have Until The End Of Monday To Get Vaccinated; Christie Tells GOP To Move Past 2020 Election: It Is Over; Cinematographers Call For Ban On Functional Weapons On Set; FAA Sends 37 Of 5,000-Plus Passenger Complaints To DOJ. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired November 07, 2021 - 07:00   ET



KARIN CAIFA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Another reason consumers might add patience to their holiday checklists.

In Washington, I'm Karin Caifa.


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Well, good morning to you. And thank you so much for sharing your company with us. I'm Christi Paul.


We have new details this morning on that deadly crowd surge at a Houston music festival including what investigators say may have led to it.

PAUL: And up against the clock. Time is running out for federal workers to get their coronavirus vaccines or face some pretty big consequences.

SANCHEZ: Plus, demanding change. Some prominent filmmakers calling for a ban on functional firearms following the death of a cinematographer on the movie "Rust." One of her former teachers who signed that letter joins us live.

PAUL: And midair misbehavior. One group is calling for tougher penalties including a national no-fly list amid a rise in unruly airline passengers.


SANCHEZ: We're so excited to have you this Sunday, November 7th. Thank you so much for waking up with us.

PAUL: Yeah, 7:00, by the way, just to remind you. You're probably waking up going what just happened? Yes, you got an extra hour.

SANCHEZ: Yeah, an extra hour. Didn't help me much, I've got to say.

PAUL: I know. I'm with you, Boris. I'm with you. SANCHEZ: Well, investigators in Houston are now looking into whether drugs may have played a part in the deaths of eight people at the Astroworld Music Festival and questions about how long it took organizers to stop the concert once there were signs of major problems.

PAUL: And let's remember, there were more than 50,000 fans packed in this festival ground for performances by rapper Travis Scott, as well as other acts, but as concertgoers pushed closer to the stage, people began to panic and several passed out. We know 25 people were taken to hospitals, five of them under 18. The youngest just 10 years old. The people who died in the crowd surge ranged in age from 14 to 27.

SANCHEZ: Some concertgoers have criticized organizers for continuing the show even as unresponsive people were being carried away. But Travis Scott who organized the festival says he was not aware as he was performing of just how severe things had become.


TRAVIS SCOTT, RAPPER, FESTIVAL ORGANIZER: My fans really mean the world to me and I'll always just want to really leave them with a positive experience. Any time I can make out, you know, anything that's going on, you know, I would stop the show and, you know, help them get the help they need, you know.


PAUL: Authorities say Narcan, a drug used to treat overdoses, was administered by medical personnel last night several times during the concert Friday night I should say.

CNN's Rosa Flores has more.


ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Boris, Christi, the situation and the investigation has escalated here in Houston because of the account of a security officer who was responding at the scene who says that he got a prick in his neck, he was administered Narcan, and he was revived. According to the Houston police chief, he wasn't the only one that received Narcan that night.

Now according to the police chief, now the narcotics and homicide divisions are part of this investigation. Here's what he said. Take a listen.

CHIEF TROY FINNER, HOUSTON POLICE: One of the narratives was that some individual was injecting other people with drugs. We do have a report of a security officer, according to the medical staff, that was out and treated him last night, that he was reaching over to restrain or grab a citizen, and he felt a prick in his neck. When he was examined, he went unconscious, they administered Narcan. He was revived and the medical staff did notice a prick that was similar to a prick that you would get if somebody is trying to inject. FLORES: We're also learning the ages of the people who died. Now,

according to authorities, eight individuals died between the ages of 14 and 27. The age of one individual has not been released yet. We also learned that the number of people hospitalized increased from 23 to 25 and that five individuals were children.

I can tell you by talking to concertgoers that one of the things they described is that it was very difficult for them to breathe. The taller you were the better off you were because you were able to gasp for air. So, just think about that, that the children who were at this concert were most likely shorter, hence more difficult for them to gasp for air.

Now according to authorities at about 9:15, the night of this concert, was when concertgoers started to compress towards the stage.


By 9:38, they say it turned into a mass casualty event. By 10:10 the concert had ended. Well, now, the investigation now includes the homicide and narcotics divisions and authorities say that they're trying to figure out exactly what happened, but the investigation now escalates because of that account from the security officer who says that he was pricked on his neck, he was treated with Narcan and then revived -- Boris, Christi.


PAUL: Rosa Flores thank you so much.

Leslie Hans is with us now. He attended the concert on Friday night.

Leslie, thank you for taking time to be with us this morning. We're glad that you're okay.


PAUL: I understand that it was a little dicey for you at one point. What was interesting to me when I read some notes about you, you said, even when you got there, the energy felt different. What do you mean by that?

HANS: Yes, like compared to 2019 when we had the festival, there was a sense of like camaraderie that previous year, but this time, it just seemed like everybody was just on edge and everybody was like irritable, like, you know, someone was to bump you, everyone was just like -- everyone had a short fuse this year and made the energy completely different from how I remember it.

Usually, there's a sense of camaraderie and everyone here to see Travis and have a good time, but this year it was like mano-a-mano, every man for themselves and it was just a weird energy that I wasn't used to for Astroworld.

PAUL: So, at what point did you realize the energy could become dangerous? Was this a gradual change or was this something that happened suddenly?

HANS: Well, I only sensed it during the Travis set. I didn't sense it during the previous sets. I think the timer that was on the screen on the stage when it was time for him, a 30-minute timer as the time was winding down, people became more rowdy and antsy and more standoffish, is the vibe that I got.

PAUL: So what did you experience there in the mosh pit? You said it was something so different from anything that you had felt before and what did you see? I mean, were you in that crush of people and did you see people go down?

HANS: No. I didn't see people go down. I did see people getting crowd surfed to security because I was by the barricades by the front. It was getting rowdy before Travis got up there. When the timer hit about five minutes, you know, things started to pick up.

It was increased shoving, increased aggressiveness in the crowd, and, you know, people were already finding it hard to breathe and people were getting hurt, so they were already -- in order to get to security you have to be crowd surfed from the people around you and they have to push you over to the barricades so security can grab you.

PAUL: That was my --

HANS: That's what I saw.

PAUL: That was my question because we talked to an attendee who said she passed out and was crowd surfed out thanks to her boyfriend. You crowd surfed out, was that the only escape at that point.

HANS: I was close to the barricades. At the point when I was getting out, I was the only one at the time getting out, but before I had got out, it was about -- I could have seen maybe about seven or eight other people be crowd surfed because they cans breathe or about to pass out or they're just having difficulty being in that front, in that hostile environment.

The reason why I got out, I had a fanny pack and it was starting to press tight against my chest and make me a little uncomfortable. I knew it was only going to get higher energy from here, so I just took the initiative to get out early, just right when he was about coming out. And then I was able to watch it from a different viewpoint.

PAUL: What may be striking to a lot of people in this is the ages of the kids, the youngest person who has died was just 14 years old. We know there was a 10-year-old who was also treated and we don't have an update on his condition but yesterday at this time he was critical. Did you see many kids there?

HANS: I did -- I did see some kids and it was quite puzzling to me. That's not somewhere where I would think, you know, kids of that age would be at. I saw them on the festival grounds earlier in the day. I did see more of them earlier in the day than at night. I saw a few at night, but earlier in the day I for sure saw some kids by the food trucks, but the little festival rides. I did see some kids maybe on the back of an older person's neck

towards the back of the crowds in the afternoon sets. When I did get to the Travis set later that night when I was in the front I didn't see any.

PAUL: Yeah, puzzling I think is the right word for a lot of people who are wondering about that.


Leslie Hans, we're glad you're okay and thank you again for sharing with us and wishing you every good thing.

HANS: Thank you. Bye-bye.

PAUL: Thank you.

SANCHEZ: Turning now to the coronavirus. New CDC data this morning on vaccination rates here in the United States. Right now, 70 percent of U.S. adults are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. That's more than 180 million Americans since the vaccines became available, but there are still COVID hotspots around the country.

Coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are on the rise again in Colorado where officials say there are now fewer than 100 ICU beds available across the state. And 80 percent of the more than 1M200 patients hospitalized there with COVID are unvaccinated.

Unvaccinated federal employees now have until the end of tomorrow to get their shots or risk facing disciplinary action, even potentially being fired.

PAUL: The deadline falls under President Biden's vaccine mandate for government employees.

So, let's go to CNN White House reporter Jasmine Wright. She's live in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, the president is there this weekend.

Jasmine, so obviously eyes focused ahead on this happening tomorrow?


Look, Christi, the clock is ticking for federal workers to get their shots, and that timeline that you and Boris laid out is exactly right. Tomorrow is the last day that they can get those jabs in their arms to be considered fully vaccinated by November 22nd, that Biden administration deadline.

And the 9th, on Tuesday, that's when they could face if they are not vaccinated and haven't gotten the shots when they can face disciplinary actions from the federal agencies even being fired because of this executive order the president mandated, mandating that all federal workers must be vaccinated.

Remember, he issued that in September after the administration really was struggling to try to control the delta variant. The president himself voiced frustration with Americans who were not getting their shots because things were happening like the hospital cases were increasing, deaths were increasing and the economy was sagging.

So, President Biden did something that he had been reluctant to do up to that point which is embracing those mandates. And he kind of de facto embraced the culture war between him and those who do not accept or do not approve of those vaccine mandates. So, now, that culture war is turning into a legal fight.

Yesterday, we know that a federal court issued a stay on the latest Labor Department rule that says that private companies with 100 or more employees, their employees should be vaccinated or have to submit to weekly testing.

Now, the Department of Justice yesterday in a tweet, they said that they will vigorously defend this rule in court because at the end of the day, Boris and Christi, this comes down to the Biden administration and the president himself feeling like these voluntary mandates are successful.

They have seen vaccination levels rise in private companies after they have gone to do these moves, trying to say that, you know, these are successful as these are tools in their toolkit to try to get this pandemic under control. And they hope really that these mandates, these voluntary mandates, will accelerate that process -- Boris and Christi.

SANCHEZ: Jasmine Wright live from Rehoboth Beach, thank you so much.

Coming up, colleagues of a cinematographer killed on a movie set are working to make sure she did not die in vain.

PAUL: The measures several are taking to prevent it from ever happening again.

SANCHEZ: Plus, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie urging his party to move on from the 2020 election. The question, will they? Has Donald Trump?

We'll be right back.



PAUL: Chris Christie has a blunt message to Republicans. The 2020 election he says is over. In a speech to potential political donors, the former New Jersey governor said it's time for Republicans to move forward.

SANCHEZ: CNN national political reporter Maeve Reston has more on Christi's message and how potential GOP candidates are positioning themselves.

(BEGIN VIDEOAPE) MAEVE RESTON, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER: Boris and Christi, this gathering of the Republican Jewish coalition is such an important stop for any GOP contender who wants to make it to the White House in 2024. We obviously don't know what former President Donald Trump is going to do, whether he will run again, but these potential candidates from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to former Vice President Mike Pence, to Nikki Haley and Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, they were all here to meet with these potential donors and bundlers who would be so critical to their potential campaigns in 2024.

And what this really amounted to was a victory lap for then Republican Party about Tuesday night's results and with all of those contenders talking about what connected with average voters and particularly suburban voters, the pocketbook issues, whether surging gas prices or the cost of groceries or supply chain shortages, or the perception that Republicans have that the Democratic Party is shifting too far to the left and out of the mainstream of where most American voters are right now.

But the most bracing message came from former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie who talked about how the only path forward for the party to win in 2022 and in 2024 is to look forward, not backward. He gave a very not so subtle rebuke to Trump, saying that the party cannot focus on the election results in 2020 if they want to win in those elections going forward.


Let's take a listen.

CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), FORMER NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR: We can no longer talk about the past and the past elections. No matter where you stand on that issue, no matter where you stand, it is over. And every minute that we spend talking about 2020, while we're wasting time doing that, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Nancy Pelosi, and Chuck Schumer are laying ruin to this country. We better focus on that and take our eyes off the rearview mirror and start looking through the windshield again.

RESTON: So that got a fairly mixed response from the room, but clearly Governor Christi feels that's an important message for the party to hear, and he told me later candidates running in the midterms next year should not be afraid of Donald Trump. They should just be themselves on the campaign trail. Of course, the trick to all of that is actually seeing the way that Donald Trump tries to get involved in these races. We'll have to wait and see how that rolls out.

Back to you.


SANCHEZ: Maeve Reston, thank you for that report.

Joining us is now CNN political analyst Alex Burns. He's also a national political correspondent for "The New York Times."

Good morning, Alex. Always great to see you bright and early. ALEX BURNS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Good morning.

SANCHEZ: Chris Christie saying Tuesday marks a new era and that Republicans should look through the windshield instead of the rearview mirror. How is that possible when Donald Trump is still the biggest draw in the Republican Party, and he has not let go of 2020?

BURNS: Well, Boris, I don't know that we know for a fact that it is possible for the party to look forward, rather than backward, as long as Trump remains the dominant figures in the party. I think what Republicans like Chris Christie got on Tuesday was a kind of proof of concept of the idea that it is possible to campaign as a Republican without wearing the red hat and putting Donald Trump at the center of your campaign and still get really strong turnout from the right wing voters who are most attached to the former president.

But the fact that Glenn Youngkin managed to do that in Virginia, the fact that Jack Ciattarelli managed to do that in New Jersey, that doesn't necessarily mean that Republican candidates around the country will be able to do that in the midterms unless Donald Trump chooses to Cooperate and keep his distance. By the way, a lot of those candidates preparing for the midterm elections have already hugged Donald Trump much more tightly than either of the candidates for governor I just mentioned.

SANCHEZ: Cooperating and keeping distance do not sound like things that former President Trump wants to do right now. I wanted to note, you know, Glenn Youngkin stands out as the most prominent Republican to play this playbook to a win on Tuesday's election, but candidates just like him got battered by Donald Trump in 2016.

So, I'm curious from your perspective and the potential field of candidates that were at this event could any of them upset Donald Trump in a primary?

BURNS: You know, I think the bet for Republicans who are preparing to run for president in 2024, I would separate them in two groups, one is the group that they're running as kind of a Trump tribute band, and they see their path as being the most appealing option for Trump's voters if Trump does not run.

And then there's another set, and I think Chris Christie is probably among them, who recognize there's really not an appetite in the party for anti-Trump candidate, that I don't think that there are a whole lot of Republicans who believe that Liz Cheney would have a majority support in the party, but believe there's a large population of Republican voters who are kind of ready for the next thing.

I do think it's easy for us to forget because Donald Trump looms so large in American politics, that it is historically, extremely difficult for a defeated presidential candidate to make a comeback in the next election or any future election. This is a country that is very, very hard by and large on its political losers.

SANCHEZ: Trump tribute band plays on. I like that. So earlier or last week I should say, you heard about the Democrat

setbacks on election night and many of them pleaded with the president and party leadership to act following a series of defeats. President Biden was asked yesterday about the Democrats' poor showing and the impact it had on passing his infrastructure bill. Listen to what he shared with reporters.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm not going to be a prognosticator and make a judgment about what -- how the election could or would have been different. Each state is different and I don't know, but I think the one message that came across was get something done. It's time to get something done. Stop talking. Get something done.


SANCHEZ: How much does this infrastructure package alleviates the pressure that some Democrats are feeling going into 2022?


BURNS: You know, I think it certainly helps. Speaking to members of Congress this weekend, there is a sense that well, at least we'll have something to sell to the public next year, whether or not the political environment gets considerably better or worse. Boris, the big bet for Democrats right now is that if they get the infrastructure bill done and then get Biden's larger agenda, the Build Back Better bill, done, they will be able to promote those around the country while the economy is getting better and the coronavirus is receding.

I think it's easy to sort of hone in on one factor for why the elections this past week were so bad for Democrats, but I think it's a confluence of factors that combined to just make people feel like things are not going so great in this country right now, that they're not as -- that their lives have not improved as much as they were told they would if they elected Joe Biden and his party and put them in charge and got rid of Donald Trump. So, the hope among Democrats, I know the hope in the White House, is that by next spring people will feel a kind of improvement in the steady progress they have not felt so far.

SANCHEZ: The president said yesterday that voters will likely see the impact of the infrastructure plan shovels in the ground within two to three months. We'll see if it makes a difference when it comes to --

BURNS: People will have to check him on that a couple months from now.

SANCHEZ: We will. Alex Burns, thank you so much.

BURNS: Thanks.

PAUL: She was one of his students before she was killed on a movie set. Halyna Hutchins, of course. Now a prominent cinematographer wants Hollywood to make changes in light of the death of that beloved cinematographer. The message from prominent filmmakers next.



PAUL: It's 7:30 right now.

There is a call out for -- to movie studios, I should say, from some prominent cinematographers. They want a ban on functional firearms on movie sets. Now, this new push follows that accidental shooting on the set of movie "Rust" that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

Two hundred directors of photography signed this letter calling for the ban and they say will not allow Hutchins' death to be in vain. She was shot by actor Alec Baldwin. He did not know the gun was loaded.

Among those who signed the petition, Stephen Lighthill, president of the American Society of Cinematographers and he's with us now from Los Angeles.

Thank you so very much, Stephen, for getting up so early to talk to us about this.

I know that Halyna was one of your students at the American Film Institute and you called her a standout. What do you remember most about her?

STEPHEN LIGHTHILL, CINEMATOGRAPHER: Well, of course, what I remember, excuse me, what I remember most is that she, you know, turned to a new career going to graduate school when she had a career as a journalist and in the Ukraine she studied in the Ukraine, and then came to the United States to study cinematography. And, you know, that's a tough decision to make, to change your career, and she had already started a family.

So, what stood out to us was that, you know, we questioned her closely about how demanding two years of graduate school would be and she was very strong in her response, very determined, and she was a great student.

PAUL: We can understand the work that you're doing to try to equate some change here.

I want to read part of this letter that you and these 200 others put out there saying this: We vow to no longer knowingly work on projects using functional firearms for filming purposes. We vow to no longer put ourselves and our crew in these unnecessarily lethal situations. We have safe alternatives in VFX and nonfunctional firearms. We won't sit back and wait for the industry to change. We have a duty to affect change when the industry -- within the industry ourselves.

I understand this went out to union leaders to producers, to lawmakers. Have you gotten any reaction?

LIGHTHILL: No, I haven't personally. I'm just one single person who signed the letter and I signed it as an individual, not as president of the ASE or an educator at AFI.

But, you know, I think the reaction will come when -- we work in a freelance business. We go from job to job. So, I think in the negotiation of our deal memos for each job, this is going to come up. I think our, you know, concerns would be addressed.

I will say a couple things about the letter, yes, it is a request for a specific thing to happen, that is nonfunctional guns to be removed from sets, but it's more than that in my mind in that it is collective action, it's all of us getting together and raising our voice collectively and I think, you know, the community of filmmakers is small, the community of cinematographers is even smaller.

Many of us knew Halyna well, and I think it just has affected us in a way that has been very deep and I think that the third aspect of the letter is that there are budget levels of production that really don't have these kinds of safety issues at all.

They're well staffed. People on the production follow protocols. But there is a trend toward lots of productions that are made outside of production centers like New York or Los Angeles.


And so what we're concerned with is that there's been a watering down of staffing and protocols.

PAUL: We know that this was an accident. You're an insider so you see things very differently in real time and real life that we do not see because of your job. Do you think that somebody has to be held accountable for this in order to move forward and achieve some of the things that you want to be achieved?

LIGHTHILL: Well, look, I received information, you know, the same way any other member of the public does. We've heard a lot of people who were on the movies "Rust" have spoken out. I think we have to let the process by the authorities in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and our guild and our unions to do a really careful investigation of this, to build a timeline for what actually happened, and I think that we'll all learn a lot from those investigations.

PAUL: Stephen Lighthill, really grateful for your insight this morning. Thank you again for taking time for us and best of luck to you.

LIGHTHILL: OK. Thank you very much.

PAUL: Of course.

SANCHEZ: A quick programming note to share with you now. Check out a new episode of the CNN original series "THIS IS LIFE WITH LISA LING". It airs tonight at 10:00 p.m. Here's a preview.


LISA LING, CNN HOST, "THIS IS LIFE": Ms. Juanita Mitchell was 7 years old at the time of the riots in 1919. But she has never forgotten the terror.

Ms. Juanita, what do you remember about the race riot?

JUANITA MITCHELL, RIOT SURVIVOR: The race riot, all of a sudden, we're in the living room and I heard them say, here they come. And then they said "here they come" it meant the white people were running down the road coming this way, coming towards.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Towards your house and around other homes?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That was scary for you?



SANCHEZ: A powerful new episode of "THIS IS LIFE WITH LISA LING" airs tonight at 10:00 p.m. right here on CNN.

We'll be right back.



SANCHEZ: From midair meltdowns and tantrums to physical altercations and throwing punches -- bad behavior among air travelers is on the rise.

PAUL: And of thousands of unruly passenger complaints from airline employees this year, the FAA has sent several dozen to the Department of Justice for criminal review.

Here's CNN's Pete Muntean.


PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The most egregious acts of in-flight violence are now being turned over to federal prosecutors. For the first time, the Federal Aviation Emergency sent the cases of more than three dozen unruly passengers to the Department of Justice. If eventually charged and convicted, they could face up to 20 years in jail.


MUNTEAN: Sara Nelson heads the Association of Flight Attendants. Flight crews have reported 5,033 unruly incidents this year alone. The FAA has initiated enforcement in 227 cases, now it is asking prosecutors to bring charges against 37 of those passengers.

NELSON: We know this works. And the Justice Department just has to take action, put some people in jail and have people understand there's severe consequences if you act like this on a plane and put everybody in jeopardy.

MUNTEAN: The FAA says it has no tolerance for passengers who throw punches and shout down flight crews. The FAA's newest plea to passengers aired first on CNN, the agency cannot bring criminal charges but the Justice Department can. The ad shows the notice of offenders when their case turns criminal.

STEVE DICKSON, FAA ADMINISTRATOR: We're pulling out the stops.

MUNTEAN: FAA chief Steve Dickson says more federal investigators are meeting flights at the gate. Last week, police and the FBI were waiting in Denver for the man now charged for allegedly punching an American Airlines flight attendant in the face.

DICKSON: The crews are there for passenger safety and this is about a behavior that's not appropriate in an aviation environment. And we need to get it under control.


SANCHEZ: Thanks to Pete Muntean for that report.

Now, we should note that Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg tells CNN it's encouraging to see more indictments, and he didn't rule out the possibility of some violent passengers getting added to the federal no-fly list.

Let's get Thom McDaniel in on the conversation. He's an international vice president with the transport workers union advocating for stricter criminal penalties for violence on flights.

And, Thom, you were a former flight attendant for decades. Help our viewers understand exactly how much danger and disruption these aggressive passengers create.


THOM MCDANIEL, INTERNATIONAL VICE PRESIDENT, TRANSPORT WORKERS UNION: I just want to correct you for a minute. First of all, thank you for having me. I'm actually a current flight attendant and I have been for 29 years.

The way that people are reacting honestly, I don't have a friend that I don't see every single day who doesn't tell me how disturbed they are about what's going on with the flight attendants on the aircraft right now.

SANCHEZ: Yeah. And what is it like having, you know, a passenger disrupt the flight as you're in the air and potentially put you and everybody else on board in danger?

MCDANIEL: Well, it's terrible and, you know, we're customer service professionals and we're safety professionals. We're there to protect people. To have people attack our flight attendants on the aircraft when we don't have a way to defend ourselves, other than just hopefully having people come and step in, it's just terrifying. It's very stressful. It's creating a lot of problems across the industry.

SANCHEZ: And Thom, CNN is reporting that the FAA has sent 37 of more than 5,000 passenger complaints this year to the Department of Justice. The agency says it turned over some of the most egregious cases to DOJ.

What do those numbers tell you? Do you want the FAA to turn over more cases?

MCDANIEL: Well, I think that 37 out of over 5,000 this year is a pretty sad statistic. We want to send a message that when you go on an aircraft that you are not allowed to interfere with a flight attendant, you are not allowed to interfere with any airline employee, and that to do so will result in severe penalties, as well as criminal jail time and we want a no-fly list that says if you do that, you're not getting back on an airplane.

SANCHEZ: Some airlines have already banned passengers during the pandemic for not following rules, but they're not sharing that information with other airlines. Do you think they should? Should there be a database among the airlines of troublesome fliers?

MCDANIEL: Absolutely. The transport workers union is advocating for that. The problem is, is a passenger can cause a disturbance or assault a flight attendant on one plane and get on another one and the other crew has no idea of what kind of passenger that they're dealing with.

SANCHEZ: I get the sense you feel your concerns haven't been adequately addressed and acted on by the federal government, is that right?

MCDANIEL: Absolutely. The federal government, the companies, the airlines, the airports, the regulatory agencies, we saw a 2,000 percent increase in assaults against flight attendants between January 1st and the end of June. That's not acceptable. If there were a 2,000 percent increase in assaults on any other industry, that would be taken care of and it would be taken care of swiftly and definitively.

SANCHEZ: So, ultimately what do you thin will be the key to deterring this bad behavior? What do you think would reverse this escalation?

MCDANIEL: Well, we need to make sure that we do have severe penalties for it. We need to make sure that those cases are prosecuted and definitely we need the -- we do need the no-fly list.

The Transport Workers Union is working with regulatory agencies and the government. All of our unions are doing that. But we need to make sure that all of our customers, that all of the regulatory agencies understand that when it comes to assault against airline employees, that just won't fly.

SANCHEZ: Thom McDaniel, we've got to leave the conversation there. Appreciate what you do. Thank you.

MCDANIEL: Thank you. PAUL: Parts of the Southeast are dealing with a one-two punch looking

at some storms, some high tides hammering the coast. We'll walk you through what's going to happen next.



SANCHEZ: From Florida to the Northeast, all along the East Coast, there are flood alerts in effect this morning as a storm system threatens to bring more heavy rainfall and strong winds today.

PAUL: Allison Chinchar is live for us from the CNN Weather Center this morning.

Good morning, Allison.

So, talk to us about what your expectation is here.

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yeah, good morning, guys. This has been quite an impactful storm already, especially across the coastal regions of South Carolina. Now, the good news is the storm is going to gradually begin to depart into the Atlantic Ocean and farther away from the coast over the next 24 to 36 hours.

But at least for now, you've still got some heavy rain bands that will be arriving along the coast lines, some very gusty winds at times. And, yes, you're still going to have some coastal flooding because the direction of the storm is kind of spinning right through there.

Now, one other thing that's really going to be a big impact for today specifically is the threat for rip currents. And this isn't just going to be for South Carolina. This is really going to stretch from Florida to southern New Jersey that will likely be an issue for the remainder of the day today.

Then starting tomorrow you begin to see the storm exit the area back out into the open Atlantic, and really starting to see a lot of these impacts along the coastal regions finally start to get a little bit better. We talked about rip currents, we talked about heavy rainfall at times but also winds. Some of those forecast wind gusts especially right there along the Carolina coast line, even across Virginia and Florida, some areas could still be looking at 40, maybe even as much 50-mile-per-hour wind gusts in combination with all of the other stuff that you have.

Now, after that system moves away, you've got some cold air that's really going to start to push back into a lot of areas, not just the Southeast.


Looking at some of these current temperatures, it's still below freezing for Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and even Syracuse.

One bit of good news, however, is you're going to start to see a lot of those temperatures begin to rebound, Boris and Christi. Atlanta going from a high of only 66 today back into the mid-70s by Tuesday. Orlando going from a high of only 70 today to a high nearing 80 degrees by Tuesday. D.C. and New York also going to see some similar jumps in temperatures as we go through the week.

PAUL: All righty. Mother Nature seems a little bit confused, but we'll take that confusion. Allison Chinchar, thank you.

SANCHEZ: Thanks, Allison.

PAUL: We are always so grateful, if we haven't told you in a while, that we have your company in the morning. So go make great memories and thanks for being with us.

SANCHEZ: Always a pleasure to be with you, Christi.

"INSIDE POLITICS SUNDAY" is up next. Manu Raju in the chair this week.

We'll be back here next weekend. So, hope you have a great day and we'll see you then.