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President Biden Finally Weighing in on the Sexual Harassment Accusations Against NY Governor Andrew Cuomo; Today the Biden Administration Kicks Off a Nationwide Tour to Promote Economic Recovery. Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired March 15, 2021 - 10:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[10:30:00]

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MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: But right now access to those faculties is nearly impossible. Albert Einstein Hospital is one of Brazil's best, but here, too, the rooms are full. They are scrambling to build more ICU beds because the patients just keep coming.

DR. FARAH CHRISTINA DE LA CRUZ SCARIN: It's the most busy time we have every been in this last year.

RIVERS: We first saw hints of this about six weeks ago when we reported from Manaus, a city in Brazil's Amazon Rainforest. Hospitals there were overwhelmed amidst a new outbreak, and the city was forced to build so-called vertical graves.

And from then to now that chaos has spread nationwide. In 22 of 26 Brazilian states ICU capacity is at or over 80 percent government data shows. In Sao Palo it's 90 percent and climbing, and when you run out of beds, doctors tell us people die.

SCARIN: The coffin is closed so the family doesn't have the opportunity to say goodbye.

RIVERS: The number of such coffins is surging at the Sao Palo Public Cemetery. From above you can see the thousands of newly-dug graves. The number of burials like the one going on behind me had been staggering recently. Since the pandemic began the three single days where Sao Palo has reported the most coronavirus deaths have come in just the last week.

Experts say the causes of the new surge are myriad. A more transmissible variant, few vaccines, relaxed lockdowns, and government mismanagement all playing varying roles, but no matter the cause these are the effects. Outside this public hospital every day between 3 and 5 p.m. family members of COVID patients inside wait to hear their names. They go in to get news on conditions. And often it's not good, and then comes the grief and the tears wrought from a pandemic that just won't end.

You know, and Jim and Poppy, in talking to friends and family back in the U.S., my parents just got a chance to be vaccinated. The opposite is happening here in Brazil. Less than 10 million people of a population of 220, 210 million people maybe have gotten their first dose. Less than 2 percent have been vaccinated overall. There is no real plan, substantive plan to get doses in arms as quickly as possible. We are in the worst days of this pandemic in Brazil right now, and the government's plan to get this country out of it, it is just unclear. Jim, Poppy.

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JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: I mean, listen. You see places like that where folks can't get them and want them and then you hear folks here who have the opportunity and don't go for it. Well Matt, thanks so much for bringing us the story.

Well, President Biden finally weighing in on the sexual harassment accusations against New York Governor and fellow Democrat, Andrew Cuomo. You'll hear his response next.

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[10:37:21]

SCIUTTO: Well there's a growing list of women who are now accusing New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, of sexual harassment, unwanted - unwanted touching. President Biden was asked about it this weekend. He says he's not calling for him to step down at this point.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think Governor Andrew Cuomo should resign?

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think the investigation is underway and we should see where it brings us.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): I do think that the women deserve to hear the results of these investigations as does the governor.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC THIS WEEK HOST: But you're not calling on him to resign right now?

PELOSI: I think we should see the results of the (inaudible), but he may decide and that was - hopefully this result will be soon.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: While Speaker Pelosi is saying wait for this investigation to be completed, New York Senators, Democrat Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, are not. They have now joined along with the majority of the state's congressional democrats to call on the governor to resign. He has been adamant, Jim, that he is not going to do that.

SCIUTTO: All right, to discuss we're joined now by CNN Political Commentator, Errol Louis, Political Anchor for Spectrum News and host of "You Decide" podcast. Errol, always good to have you on. The fact is that at this point Cuomo is facing two scandals, right? I mean, the allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior by women but also questions about what he did with data on nursing home deaths in the midst of the - of the crisis.

And it's interesting, in New York Magazine the write, Rebecca Traister, connects the two in a way. She quotes a former Cuomo staffer who says the same attitude that emboldens you to target a 25-year-old also emboldens you to scrub a nursing home report, and I wonder do you see those as connected and can he survive that combination?

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: They are - they are definitely connected, Jim. There's a third one, by the way, involving a very important bridge that apparently there were questions about whether data was covered up showing the possibility of catastrophic failure of that bridge, a very real public safety infrastructure question that's floating out there. That investigation dropped in the middle of all of this.

Look, the reality is the governor can probably stay for at least a little while as long as people think that this investigation is super important to help them make up their minds. Now from what you've said and what we're seeing, a majority of elected leaders in New York State, Democrats - top Democrats, they've already seen enough. They've seen enough to know that they don't think the governor is playing straight with them.

[10:40:00]

They don't know if they can rely on him to be truthful about information. The conduct in that office, whether or not the sexual harassment charges in particular are proved, but the New York Times just talked to something like 35 people who used to work in the office who decide - who described it at chaotic, that there's a lot of bullying, that it's unprofessional.

The elected leaders are saying, look, this is - this is just not who we need to be running the state right now. Can they impeach him? That's sort of a different question.

SCIUTTO: Yes, yes.

LOUIS: Will there be a legal finding that there was actual sexual harassment. That, too, is an open question.

HARLOW: Governor Cuomo has not changed his stripes in terms of how he leads, right, Errol, through his terms? And so, I'm interested in why now the flood of this openness. I mean, Rebecca Traister's piece and Jim picked a great quote from it. More - those were more than 30 women that most of them who worked for him talking about this, so this has been going on for a long time in terms of the behavior, the bulling, et cetera. Why now is everyone talking about it?

LOUIS: That's how we got to this point. Listen -

(CROSSTALK) HARLOW: Yes.

LOUIS: -- for 10 years now this governor and his staff they've been bulling. They've been abusive. They've been unprofessional. They've threatened people. They've drive really good people out of public service, you know, gleefully, you know, openly. And when asked about it the explanation was always, well, you've got to - you've got to act this way. You've got to be tough. New York's a tough place, and this is how we get things done. And just look at our performance.

Well the performance fell down when it came to a certain aspect, a really important aspect of dealing with the pandemic, and that's when the whole thing began to fall in where people said, listen, if we're going to - we've put up with 10 years of abusive behavior and unprofessional conduct by this governor and his administration.

Now they're covering up nursing home data. They're covering up thousands of deaths. We're not getting the performance. The end does not justify the means, and enough is enough. That's really what got this whole push for removal in motion.

HARLOW: The ends does not justify the means. Sorry, I think it was Rebecca's piece where it said, you know, he was our bully, the bull for New York. But then when it all started to fall apart for New York this is what happened. Errol, thank you. We'll have you back much more on this story, and good point bringing up the bridge as well, sort of three prongs to this.

All right, well we all know but the data is so unbelievable when you look at the numbers of how much this pandemic has made the income gap even wider. There's a new report from Goldman Sachs and it finds black women in American now hold 90 percent less wealth than white men. The company is taking a major step to invest in them to try to level the playing field. We'll talk about it next.

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[10:47:15]

HARLOW: Today the Biden administration kicks off a nationwide tour to promote economic recovery in their plan. It needs to hit big, especially for one of the hardest-hit demographics in this pandemic, and that is black women in America. The latest report shows for black women they are not recovering as quickly as their white counterparts economically, and right now black women only make $0.66 for every dollar paid to a white man in this country.

So Goldman Sachs just came out with a plan to invest $10 billion in one million black women by 2030 to try to tackle this issue. Margaret Anadu is with me now. She's the Global Head of Sustainability and Impact for Goldman Sachs Asset Management business, also the youngest woman to ever be named youngest partner at the firm. Margaret, it's very good to have you.

Let's talk about the numbers here. I mean, you guys have data that shows that black women hold 90 percent less wealth in America now than white men but it's only gotten worse. It's increased since the 80s, and it is happening at every stage of a black woman's life. How can even $10 billion address this crisis?

MARGARET ANADU, GLOBAL HEAD OF SUSTAINABILITY & IMPACT, GOLDMAN SACHS ASSET MANAGEMENT: So what we think we can do with the $10 billion is really start to invest in the areas that are contributing to that wealth gap.

So one of the things that we explore in the research of black womenomics is all of the pieces that really build up to that wealth gap, and what it democrats is that all the key factors that actually help someone build economic prosperity in this country and build that wealth across whether it's acess to capital for entrepreneurship, housing where we see lots of equity bills (ph), things like healthcare access that make you healthy to be in the workforce and move your life forward, all of these areas we see significant disadvantage for black women.

And so, the idea behind the $10 billion is if we can invest in solutions in those things (ph), right, quality affordable housing, access to quality healthcare in communities, access to capital for black women to grow their businesses and hire more employees in their community we can start to narrow those gaps.

And it's not just about those one million black women specifically, but it's about their families, it's about their communities, and that's why we think we're going to get just the broader economic lift out of it in terms of economic growth, job creation, and that's why we're focusing on black women.

HARLOW: One of the things that I think is fascinating about this is you. You've been spearheading this. You're the youngest black woman ever to make partner at Goldman. You were 37-years-old. Most of the people who built this at the company are black women. I think six leads on it are black women, and then you look at one of your partners, for example. Dr. Montgomery Rice. She is of course the Dean of Morehouse Medical School.

[10:50:00]

What's interesting to me is sort of this isn't just about injecting capital directly into small businesses run by black women. This is about dealing with things like maternal mortality, which is 12 times higher for black women here in New York City than for white women. It seems like a unique approach.

ANADU: So I think - I think what's - I think there are two very unique things about the approach that we're really excited about. One, you know, you mentioned Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice. There's so much talk about black women and the role that we play in society today -

(CROSSTALK)

HARLOW: Right.

ANADU: -- and what we need, but there's not enough asking black women for what we think the solutions are, what we think the ideas are that are going to move us forward. And so, part of this initiative through our advisory council, with black women leaders like Dr. Montgomery Rice, but more broadly around the country and who we partner with it's really about putting black women's voices at the center. What do they need?

Let's - you can't - you can't impact a community without asking them what they need and getting their feedback and input. The other thing that I think is really unique about the approach is just being holistic, right? We have long history with providing access for capital for entrepreneurs and helping them grow their businesses.

I think if you look at the research and how expansive these challenges are, for example, it's not particularly helpful to get a small business loan if you don't have quality child care to send your kids to advance that goal. It's not - it's not helpful to get a small business loan when you can't get a COVID vaccine in your community.

And so, by building out the broader infrastructure that supports black women, again, across all these facets of a black woman's life, where she goes to the doctor, where she lives, where she learns, where she works, that's where we think we can have a real impact by having that holistic approach.

HARLOW: You know, it's interesting. Goldman Sachs just came out yesterday with this research note, and they said the economy's going to be gangbusters. I mean, they're predicting 8.5 percent growth for the U.S. economy in the end of this year. The fourth quarter 4 percent unemployment, which would be a big improvement, but if you look at black unemployment now for black men it's over 10 percent. For black women it's almost 9 percent. It's double what it is for their white counterparts.

I guess my concern is that's a great projection, but it - I mean, it doesn't look from these numbers, Margaret, like it will be equally shared by black men and women in this country.

ANADU: Yes, I honestly - I think there was no more stark data around the uneven recovery than what we saw in the jobs report, which you highlighted, right? Unemployment across the country decreasing, seeing that growth, seeing us start to, you know, move forward from this pandemic, and yet in that same report black women's unemployment increased, right? The disproportionate role that black women play in hospitality role, you know, lower wage healthcare jobs.

So I think it really speaks to and really validates what we're doing with this approach. You have to focus. You have to focus on the underserved groups and populations that aren't part of this wave of growth as we see out of this pandemic.

And so, I think that's why we're doing what we're doing. We can't - we can't just look at the topline numbers and get excited about what we're - what we're seeing in terms of growth. We really have to unpack it and make sure that every group is part of that growth and that it's truly inclusive. HARLOW: Yes, otherwise it's not really a recovery for the country. It's bifurcated. Well thank you, Margaret Anadu, for being here very much. We'll have you on again soon.

ANADU: Thanks for having me. Good to see you.

HARLOW: Jim -

SCIUTTO: Yes, great conversation. Well women breaking records, making history at the Grammy Awards. We're going to bring you all the highlights just ahead.

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[10:58:25]

Well women reign supreme at the Grammy Awards, especially someone you might of heard of - Beyonce.

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TREVOR NOAH, GRAMMY AWARDS HOST: The Grammy goes to Beyonce!

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HARLOW: Beyonce made history last night winning four awards for a career total of 28 Grammies, the most won by a woman ever and the most for any singer male or female. Our Stephanie Elam is live in Los Angeles. Steph, it was a big night for her, for Taylor Swift, for several women.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORESPONDENT: For lots of women. That's right, Jim and Poppy. And when you take a look at Beyonce's big wins she was there on hand to accept. In fact, let's take a listen to her speech.

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BEYONCE, SINGER: This is so overwhelming. I've been working my whole life, since 9-years-old, and I'm - I can't believe this happened. This is such a magical night. Thank you so much. I know my daughter is watching. Two daughters and my son. You all are all watching. Blue, congratulations. She won a Grammy tonight. I'm so proud of you.

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ELAM: Proud momma, and she also won an award for "Savage" along with Megan Thee Stallion, who was completely floored that she was there. And the you saw Billie Eilish win. She won for record of the year, which she really thought should have gone to Megan Thee Stallion. She made that very clear in her speech. And then you also had Taylor Swift performing, and she broke a record with her third win for album of the year, so that was also a big one there. And Lionel Richie singing "Lady" in the In Memoriam to his friend, Kenny Rogers. It's a song that he actually wrote for Kenny Rogers, so that was very touching.

And then the scene-stealer of the night, Jim and PoppyKenny Rogers, so that was very touching.

And then the scene-stealer of the night, Jim and Poppy

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