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Nation On Edge With Derek Chauvin Trial Verdict Expected Soon; Police Searching For Suspect In Deadly Shooting At Wisconsin Bar; Michigan Pushes To Increase Vaccinations Amid Third Case Surge; Three Dead In Shooting Incident In Austin, Texas; White House: There Will Be "Consequences" If Navalny Dies In Custody; Progressive Backlash On Refugee Cap Puts Biden On Notice. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired April 18, 2021 - 14:00   ET




FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: Hello, everyone. Thank you so much for joining me this Sunday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

We begin with another night of mass shootings in America and the president's chief medical adviser saying today gun violence in this country is a public health emergency.

Last night's shooting brings the total number of mass shootings in the last month to 47 -- 47 cities and towns where Americans have lost family members and friends to senseless violence.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, CHIEF MEDICAL ADVISER TO PRESIDENT BIDEN: When you see people getting killed, I mean in this last month it's just been horrifying what's happened. How can you say that's not a public health issue?


WHITFIELD: And overnight Kenosha, Wisconsin, gunfire broke out at a tavern leaving three people dead and two others seriously injured.

In Columbus, Ohio one person died and five others were injured when someone opened fire in a parking lot. The group was gathering to hold a vigil for someone who had been killed there. The mayor tweeting, "Enough. Put down the guns. We must come together to end the violence that is tearing our community apart."

President Biden echoing that frustration on Friday.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Every single day, every single day there's a mass shooting in the United States if you count all those who were killed out on the streets of our cities and our rural areas. It's a national embarrassment, and must come to an end. (END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: And this breaking news, just in to CNN, another shooting. We're learning three people are dead at the scene of an active shooting incident in Austin, Texas. That's according to Austin Travis County EMS. And as we learn more we'll bring, of course, that to you.

So all of this coming as the nation braces for verdicts in the Derek Chauvin murder trial. Closing arguments are scheduled to begin tomorrow. The city of Minneapolis already on edge. And CNN learning today that two Minnesota National Guardsmen were injured in a drive-by shooting early this morning.

CNN's Sara Sidner is in Minneapolis for us. Sara, what are you learning about the National Guard? Were they targeted and what happened?

SARA SIDNER, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Don't know if they were targeted but clearly they're in their uniforms, you know, standing there here in Minneapolis. We know that the two of them, both had minor injuries from the glass that was -- that was hit, and you know, at this point in time, if nothing else, it ratchets up the tension that is already here in the city.

The first tension was, of course, as this trial is going on, of the man accused of killing George Floyd, the former officer Derek Chauvin.

And then on top of that you had the shooting and killing of Daunte Wright by a police officer, who has now been fired and charged and booked. She is now out on bail.

The tension here cannot be higher. I mean it just can't, and we should state that. And then you have this shooting where there are National Guard who are here. They are here because they've been called in by the government here for fear of, you know, unrest, depending on what the verdict is in the Derek Chauvin trial and here they are facing gunfire themselves.

It is really going to create more chaos in this city with everybody, those who are armed and those who aren't, on edge, Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: Yes, everyone on edge. All right. Sara Sidner, thanks so much in Minneapolis.

All right. Now to Wisconsin where authorities continue to search for whoever opened fire at a tavern near Kenosha, killing three people and injuring two others.

CNN's Martin Savidge joining us with the very latest from there.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Fredricka, another mass shooting, this one in a relatively small town known as Somers just outside of Kenosha, Wisconsin. You can see the law enforcement activity behind me.

This was the Somers House Tavern and according to authorities around 12:40, 1:40 Eastern time there had been a person who was thrown out of the bar for reasons we're not quite clear. And authorities believe that person returned with a gun or guns and opened fire.

There was apparently a lot of gunfire taking place both inside and outside of the tavern. We know that three people were killed, two died on the property, another one died while being transported to the hospital and two other people are in serious condition.


SAVIDGE: The gunman, or possibly more than one suspect, managed to escape. But authorities do not believe that there is a threat to the surrounding community. They described this as a targeted incident.

There was a reverse 911 call that was put out just alerting people, and also asking if they had any information about any possible suspects. There's also a local college that was put on lockdown for a short time.

This is the 47th now mass shooting that has taken place in the United States since March 16th with the Atlanta spa shootings. It is a tragedy that continues even in small towns like this, Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: Martin Savidge, thank you so much.

All right. With me right now is CNN political commentator Joe Kennedy. He is a former Democratic congressman from Massachusetts. Congressman Kennedy, so good to see you.


WHITFIELD: So if not after Newtown, if not after Parkland, if not after 47 shootings in one month including Kenosha and Columbus last night what is it going to take for elected officials in America to do something and do you believe it's up to elected officials?

KENNEDY: I think like everybody in this past month, Fredricka, I wake up in the morning and look at the news and it's just gutting. We started the show, as you started the show you said there's another one taking place in Austin, Texas. It has to stop.

And the idea that some would say this is the price of freedom in this country, that this is what we all have to endure, in order to claim residence and citizenry here. It's just not true. And it doesn't have to be this way.

And there is the vast majority of American public, 80 percent to 90 percent want this stopped and support reforms that will help make it stop. But it's the political system that inhibits it and that prevents it.

And ultimately that comes down to one, the political system and those structures have to change, we have to end the filibuster.

And two, folks have got to start voting. You've got to start voting on this. because we have the power to change it. We've got to act on it. And for far too long we have allowed this to continue and it is enough.

WHITFIELD: And you're underscoring what it says about the politics in this country but what does it also say about the culture in America? Because it seems like a multi-layer faceted thing.

KENNEDY: It might be a multi-layer faceted thing. Obviously there's a lot that contributes to this. there's no single policy that is going to solve this but as you know we are the one country in the world that suffers from this epidemic.

Plenty of other countries have guns, plenty of other countries have video games, plenty of other countries struggle with mental illness. Plenty of other countries have all of the challenges that we do but they don't have this. This is, in fact, a uniquely American problem because we do not do the things that are necessary to stop it.

We can. Ultimately, folks, that is a choice. That is a choice of Republicans not to actually do the hard things that are necessary. That's a choice now for Democrats to end the filibuster so that we can.

Because I can't imagine how many more people have to wake up and say, my father or mother, my brother or sister, my son or daughter, isn't coming home because of gun violence in America. Enough.

WHITFIELD: Yes. It is a horrible distinction that America has on the world stage. Republican Senator John Cornyn was on a Sunday morning news show today, alongside Democratic Senator Chris Coons and said the parties aren't as divided as they seem. Listen.


SENATOR JOHN CORNYN (R-TX): We're trying to identify areas where we can make progress. I know a lot of concern about gun violence in the country, that's been a chronic problem. I worked with Chris Murphy, the Senator from Connecticut, we passed something called the Fix NICS Bill" which has now resulted in millions of new background checks being uploaded to the background check system.

And as I've told Chris, I'm very proud of our work together on that because I believe it's saved lives. So Chris Coons and I have tried to identify those areas like civics education, like you said the background check denial, report to local police, AmeriCorps -- thing like that where we can make some progress and hopefully sort of get -- bring back some of the muscle memory of previous years when Congress actually worked better together.


WHITFIELD: So Congressman Kennedy, does this make you hopeful that something, something bipartisan, could actually happen at this time?

KENNEDY: Look, I hope so. And I don't want to minimize any of the items that Senator Cornyn highlighted there. That would be great.

That doesn't stop this. And that can't be an excuse for inaction on this. We have seen Republicans put up roadblock after roadblock after roadblock. And you've started by listing those names that are now etched in all of our souls from Sandy Hook, to when I was a kid in high school, Columbine.



KENNEDY: We can't accept this as good enough. And we can actually do something about it so I really hope the Senator will not just throw out those reforms.

And look, the NICS system is great. The fact is that the young man that is now accused of killing eight in Indianapolis had a gun taken away from him months ago and went out and bought two assault rifles -- two.


KENNEDY: This has got to stop.

WHITFIELD: So last night Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Democrat, California marched with protesters in Minnesota. And she is hoping for a guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial and she wants the police officer who shot Daunte Wright to also be held accountable in court for his death.

She underscores the power of protest, while also calling for people in elected roles to push for policy changes. Listen.


REP. MAXINE WATERS (D-CA): We've got to stay on the street. And we've got to get more active. We've got to get more confrontational. We've got to make sure that they know that we mean business.

The police all over this country have got to be changed. Policing has got to be changed. We've got to redefine what policing is all about. We've got to reimagine how we can deal with the problems of our society without young people and people of color, in particular, getting killed by police that we pay to protect and serve us.


WHITFIELD: All that you've said, it seems like you agree that, YOU KNOW, we as a nation are at an apex that really demands big immediate changes. and that's exactly what the congresswoman is saying too. And protests and voices being loud is important to help keep the momentum going.

KENNEDY: It's critically important to keep the momentum going but remember, and think of Congresswoman Waters uniquely in this circumstance. She was on the front lines of these issues back with Rodney King. That was in her congressional district back in Los Angeles all those years ago. So what she says on the streets of Minnesota isn't just the moment that we're talking about now. It's now 30 years of watching this play out, and thinking that we still are struggling with these same battles and with these same demons. And we still haven't been able to make the progress that we need to make.

So the time has come for change. A 13-year-old boy.


KENNEDY: An unarmed man at a traffic stop who's 20 and a father. We can -- we can make these changes. They're going to be difficult and they're going to be hard. But we have to do them -- this is just too much, and I think that's obviously the passion and sentiment you're seeing just overflow across this country now.

WHITFIELD: It is frustrating and it is tenuous on so many levels.

So Congressman, I want to shift gears now and talk about an opinion piece that you wrote for where the question -- where you're questioning the motives of a wave of GOP attacks on transgender athletes across the country. State legislators have introduced dozens of bills in multiple states to ban transgender girls from participating in girls' sports.

Tell us why this movement is important to you and where you think it is going in terms of already dozens of pieces of legislation are being introduced.

KENNEDY: Look, this movement should be important for every American because this movement isn't as some would say about a culture war. This gets to the heart of who we are as a nation. This gets to civil rights.

This gets to the point of civil rights that says there are inherent characteristics that we have that are worthy of protection. And that the fundamental freedom that you should enjoy in this country is the ability to just be you.

And that is all that this is about, it's about protecting that for literally, one of the most targeted and vulnerable populations that we have in this country, which is a transgender community.

Fredricka, I'm sure you're aware of it --

WHITFIELD: But you heard the arguments to some of those who are making the argument is that they believe that transgender girls would have an advantage over other girls. And that's at the root of these pieces of -- these proposals.

KENNEDY: So I've heard that argument, interestingly enough one of the folks that filed a lawsuit alleging that, then went on to beat the target of the lawsuit, the young transgirl, in an athletic competition two days later.

That the numbers of incidents that critics would point to where this happens is literally essentially zero. Major sports leagues including the NCAA have protocols put in place -- have protocols put in place to address it.

The fact is that these -- the trans-community is literally one of the most targeted and vulnerable communities in the country. And instead of saying hey, how can we protect that population, Republicans are saying how can we exploit them for our own political gain?


KENNEDY: The -- think of this. The average life expectancy for a black transwoman of color in the United States today, you know what it is? 35 -- 35 years old. We can do better than this.

And the idea that we should be exploiting the fears that some in our country have, and putting them on the shoulders of a vulnerable community, that might be some of our worst history in the past, but we should have learned from that and we should be able to protect them now and what's that I'm calling for and I think so many others are too.

To see this for what it is, which is a clarion call of victimization and that is the only thing that is unifying the Republican Party at the moment. Whether it's regards to immigration, with regards to trans kids. Of saying, hey we are under attack because somehow that unaccompanied minor coming across the border in the country isn't worthy of protection.

They're going to change our country. Somehow trans-kids being protected, are going to infiltrate school sports, and change our culture. Give me a break.

WHITFIELD: Congressman Joe Kennedy. Good to see you and welcome to the arena that is CNN as a commentator contributor. Thank you so much. Appreciate it.

KENNEDY: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: All right. Still to come this hour, Just days after hitting the pause button on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, Dr. Fauci says it could be back on the market. What he told CNN this morning.

Plus as imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny's health rapidly deteriorates, the U.S. national security adviser says there will be, quote, "consequences" if he dies.

And beach goers in Florida got quite a surprise when whoa, this plane showed up just like that. We'll tell you what happened.



WHITFIELD: The CDC's independent panel of vaccine advisers is set to meet again this week to reevaluate the pause on Johnson & Johnson's coronavirus vaccine. Officials recommended the pause after six women between the ages of 18 and 48 who had recently been vaccinated developed rare blood clots.

Doctors say they are beginning to understand what's causing the blood clots. But they have not found a definitive link to the vaccine. Dr. Anthony Fauci expects the panel to have a decision for that vaccine at the end of the week.


DR. FAUCI: I don't want to get ahead of the CDC and the FDA and the advisory committee, but I would imagine that what we will see is that it would come back and it would come back in some sort of either warning or restriction.


WHITFIELD: CNN's Polo Sandoval joins me now from Detroit, Michigan -- a state that is witnessing a third COVID Surge. Polo, what are you learning there?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fred, we are learning that amid this ongoing increase in not just cases but also in hospitalizations here in Michigan, Governor Gretchen Whitmer actually addressing these ongoing calls that we've heard by many, not all, but by many here in the state of Michigan saying that perhaps the best solution to these increasing numbers would be to actually shut down various parts of the state similar to what we saw play out a year ago.

You remember, just recently, even the head of the CDC suggested that that might be the best solution here. But again, today the governor is essentially responding saying at this point that may not be the best solution.

And specifically saying that it's likely because of what she described as Republican-led efforts here in the state of Michigan, including also a -- or at least in addition to a recent decision from the state Supreme Court greatly limiting her authority to extend the emergency declaration.

And because of those reasons, as she explained on "Meet the Press" this morning she's unable to actually take the actions that we saw a year ago.


GOVERNOR GRETCHEN WHITMER (D-MI): We're now in a much different position. On top of that, in the waning months I have been sued by my legislature. I have lost in a Republican-controlled Supreme Court. And I don't have all of the exact same tools.

Despite those things we still have some of the strongest mitigation measures in the country. Mask mandates, capacity limitations, working from home. So we're still doing what we can.


SANDOVAL: And asked by NBC's Chuck Todd is she felt that she basically had her hands tied right now as these numbers continue to increase, the governor then said responded by saying that ultimately it's about personal responsibility and about Michigan as it actually continued to adhere to many of these recommended measures like the mask wearing, like the social distancing.

And Fred, it's something that we continue to hear from the medical community. We spent some time outside a hospital yesterday that's trying to keep up with this third surge, heard from a doctor who's been at the front lines already for the last 15 or 16 months who fears that people are still not getting the message here in Michigan alone that that is the best way to try to bring these numbers down especially with over half the cases right now being tied to that variant that originated in the U.K.

WHITFIELD: All right, Polo Sandoval in Detroit, thank you so much for that.

All right. Joining me right now to discuss is Dr. Jayne Morgan, the executive director of Piedmont Health Care's COVID Task Force in Atlanta. Dr. Morgan, good to see you.

So experts are warning that more states could soon see scenarios similar -- boy that's an alliteration -- you know, to the coronavirus crisis, you know, unfolding in Michigan. What are you most concerned about right now?

DR. JAYNE MORGAN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR PIEDMONT HEALTH CARE: Thank you, Fredricka, for having me today.

I think one of the things that we need to be concerned about is that this tragedy continues to unfold. And currently, as we move deeper and deeper into our vaccination effort we are seeing that seniors 65 and over, over 75 percent of those have been vaccinated.

So now what we are looking at is a shift in the demographics down to a younger and younger age group and we're seeing these surges -- spring break, next will be Memorial Day, next will be Fourth of July. We've got to begin to get serious about this because although many people who are younger than the age of 30 or 35, seem to feel that there's some invincibility if I contract COVID, I will not get sick.


DR. MORGAN: But the fact of the matter is, while that might be true you might be sick later on down the road and develop this long-haul syndrome. And, in fact, be sicker later than you were when you actually were infected. And we have to be able to identify that and to transmit that message.

WHITFIELD: So do you believe that's going to be the new frontier of messaging? Because young people, largely have felt pretty invincible. And now you've got to convince young people, as more states open up, to vaccinations, you know, starting at ages 16 in so many states.

Now there has to be a campaign to convince them to actually get the vaccine, right? Because many of the young people already feel like because so many are asymptomatic that they can kind of beat this thing even if they are exposed to it.

DR. MORGAN: Absolutely, that's correct. And we have to have some sympathy. People are exhausted. And when we look at our youth, this is their time to be free and to socialize and to interact. And we're asking them to please dampen down, follow public health measures and it's going on and on and on.

But part of the reason that it's going on is because we can never get together as a society and truly follow these public health measures. And now that we have these immunizations in place I think that adds another layer of that invincibility.

But long haul syndrome is serious and it's independent of race and gender and age and socioeconomic status and even level of complications of comorbidities. So you can certainly be young and infected with COVID-19 and sit at home and quarantine yourself and play video games and maybe mark your calendar until you can spring yourself in 14 days, but three or four or five months down the road, you might actually develop some of these symptoms that long term you could actually be sicker than you were when you had COVID.

And currently there is no treatment and we have no cure for long-haul syndrome. Loss of taste or smell, disorientation, people have disabilities, unable to return to work, difficulty with memory. Things even more serious -- inflammation of the heart, inflammation of the lungs -- all of these things can develop, even though your course of COVID was fairly innocuous. You were pretty comfortable.

You might be sick later, and that's not a risk that you should take and it's certainly even more tragic when we talk about the disability of our youth.

WHITFIELD: Well, Dr. Jayne Morgan, I heard an appeal that you're making to young people that I haven't heard quite put that way. So hopefully they are listening.

Dr. Jayne Morgan, good to see you. Thank you so much.

DR. MORGAN: Thank you so much, Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: Still ahead, nearly a dozen Russian politicians have published an open letter to President Vladimir Putin saying that he is personally responsible for the life of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny as Navalny's family pleads for medical care.




WHITFIELD: All right. We're following breaking news out of Austin, Texas, where police are on the scene of an active shooter. So far, three people are dead at the scene according to Austin Travis County EMS. Residents in the area are being told to shelter in place. As we learn more, of course, we'll bring it to you. Closing arguments begin tomorrow in the Derek Chauvin murder trial.

And the outcome of this case in Minneapolis may shape policing in America.

Baltimore's former deputy police commissioner, Anthony Barksdale, joining me.

Anthony, so good to see you. I mean, this is one of the most consequential trials of our lifetime? Is it not? I've listened to your sentiments on our air and you have said unequivocally Chauvin's actions were not justified, you even seem exasperated sometimes at the defense, you know, should just plea.

So, what is on your mind today on the eve of these closing arguments?

ANTHONY BARKSDALE, FORMER BALTIMORE DEPUTY POLICE COMMISSIONER: I agree with you 100 percent. This is -- this trial is so important. Chauvin is not what the citizens need in policing, and it's not what cops in policing need in their profession.

So I really want to see a guilty verdict. I pray that there's a guilty verdict. I pray that the sentence is as strong as the law allows because Chauvin in front of the world murdered George Floyd.

WHITFIELD: This case, at the root, is accountability for police. In addition to the fact that George Floyd's life was taken.

Listen to Congresswoman Karen Bass this morning on CNN.


REP. KAREN BASS (D-CA): We have got to come up with a solution. We just can't see this happen to the extent that it is happening now and so having legislation that will hold police officers accountability, so that they don't have immunity and feel that they can do what Derek Chauvin did and act with impunity, we need to be able to prosecute officers.


WHITFIELD: So is an answer, is an issue federal legislation?

BARKSDALE: I think that the federal government must jump in here. We've been hearing bout --


BARKSDALE: Pass legislation, perhaps -- I'll throw one at you right now, that an officer that does not intervene when a fellow officer is using excessive force could be charged federally. How about that? How about that?

I mean, locally, and in Baltimore City, a lot of criminals didn't care about the city cops locking them up but they cared if the FBI came, if the DEA or a ATF came in. Bring the Feds into this. If we're talking about accountability take

it to the highest level that's possible in the United States of America.


WHITFIELD: What also makes this case very unique, the Derek Chauvin trial, is that you saw police testifying against police, taking the stand so seldom do you see that and if the outcome is not commensurate with that emotional testimony, the evidence including video from so many angles that showed George Floyd dying under the knee of Derek Chauvin, is this a potential turning point for how police operate in this country?

BARKSDALE: Absolutely. If, somehow, Chauvin walks, it is a horrible message to not only every citizen in the United States but also what's the message to other officers that may actually think that Chauvin was right in what he did? And I really hope that no one in the profession thinks that he was right with what he did.

But to each his own with that type of thinking. But it is so important that we come out of this trial with the conviction.

WHITFIELD: Anthony Barksdale, I know we'll be talking to you throughout the week. Appreciate your time today on the eve of closing arguments. Thanks so much.

All right, straight ahead in the NEWSROOM, even as the U.S. continues to vaccinate Americans at a rapid pace vaccine hesitancy among some groups, including evangelicals, is very high. Why?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would rather die free than I had live on my knees.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How is it living on your knees to take a vaccine?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because you're bowing against your conviction.




WHITFIELD: Welcome back.

Russian opposition critic Alexey Navalny's supporters say he is near death inside a Russian prison and they're calling for protests in Moscow. Navalny who is a critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin went on a hunger strike more than two weeks ago demanding that prison officials provide him proper medical treatment.

Today, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told CNN that Russia has been warned over Navalny's treatment. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAKE SULLIVAN, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: We have communicated to the Russian government that what happens to Mr. Navalny in their custody is their responsibility and they will be held accountable by the international community. In terms of the specific measures that we would undertake, we are looking at a variety of different costs that we would impose and I'm not going to telegraph that publicly at this point but we have communicated that there will be consequences if Mr. Navalny dies.


WHITFIELD: CNN's Sam Kiley has more now from Moscow.


SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The followers of Alexey Navalny have reached a point where they're so fearful of their leader's death in a Russian penal colony as a consequence of the Novichok poisoning, with never gas that he suffered back in August and a 19-day hunger strike that he's currently undergoing that they brought forward plans for mass demonstrations across Russia against the Putin regime ahead of actually reaching their target of having had 500,000 signatures on an online petition before triggering the demonstrations.

They are now fearful that he could actually die following analysis by doctors who support him, saying that they fear that he could be in imminent danger of renal failure or of heart failure following the spike in the levels of potassium in his bloodstream. This all comes as Moscow prosecutors have been trying to outlaw his organization and designate it as an extremist movement.

Other organizations that fall into that category are more often been associated, for example, with violent Islamic extremism and so designated it would make it impossible for his followers to campaign in the September elections.

But nonetheless, they are hoping to launch these mass demonstrations, details of which we are unable to broadcast at this stage because there is legislation in this country that means even the media circulating details of such demonstrations could be prosecuted for incitement.

Sam Kiley, CNN, Moscow.


WHITFIELD: Thanks so much, Sam.

All right, still ahead, President Biden finally calls the situation at the border a crisis as he explains his changing position on admitting more refugees.

And the new CNN original series, "The People Versus the Klan" tells the true story of Beulah May Donald, a black mother who took on the Ku Klux Klan after brutal lynching of her son Michael. Don't miss this powerful conclusion of the people versus the Klan tonight at 9:00 Eastern and Pacific right here on CNN.



WHITFIELD: President Biden is finally calling the situation at the border a crisis and explaining the increase in the refugee cap after some back and forth on Friday where the administration first announced it would keep the cap at the low-level set by former President Donald Trump. Biden announced the cap would be raised after all after a lot of criticism from within his own party.

CNN's Arlette Saenz is at the White House with more on this.

Arlette, what has the president said now?

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fred, President Biden says he will increase the number of refugees allowed into the United States after he faced some immediate backlash from members of his own party and refugee advocate groups when he had said he would maintain those numbers at those record low Trump era levels. The president spoke about this for the first time yesterday after playing a round of golf. And he talked to reporters.

I want to read you exactly what he said. He said: We're going to increase the numbers. The problem was that the administration was working on the crisis that ended up upon the border with young people and we couldn't do two things at once. And now we're going to increase the numbers.

So the president there suggesting there was a connection between that initial refugee limit decision and what has been happening at the border as the personnel have been working on both of those issues.

And that is something that the National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan spoke about this morning as he talked about the president raising that cap by May 15th. Take a listen.


SULLIVAN: He will raise the cap.


We haven't determined the number. And what will drive our determination are the practical questions of, whether we can fix the absolutely shattered system that we were left with to process refugees, and then of course --


SULLIVAN: -- how we ensure that the same office, the office of refugee responsibility that takes care of those coming in as refugees, also takes care of unaccompanied minors at the border, how it can do both and I would just ask you to wait and see the president will lay out a new target.


SAENZ: Now, back in February, the administration said that they would raise that refugee limit to 62,500. But the administration is now saying that it is unlikely that they will raise it that high by February -- or by May. The Secretary of State Tony Blinken said today that that would be very hard to do. They are blaming the situation, and system they have inherited from the Trump administration and saying that that is what is preventing them from raising it any higher.

But, really, what this entire episode also shows is how this administration is continuing to need the issues of immigration. You heard the president. He said for the first time that the situation at the border was a crisis, referring to the unaccompanied children who've been coming to the border and needed to be sheltered at HHS facilities in the United States.

And his administration has wanted to not use the word crisis, instead referring to it as a challenge. Now, the refugee system and these unaccompanied children come to the border, these are two separate systems but it shows you just what a critical issue these issues of immigration are for this administration -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: Uh-huh. Indeed. All right, Arlette Saenz at the White House, thanks so much.

All right. We're back in a moment.



WHITFIELD: All right. Beachgoers in Florida saw quite a splash at an air show Saturday with this World War II era plane making that emergency landing because of engine failure. No one, including the pilot, was hurt. But authorities are now focused on how to remove that plane. The FAA is investigating the incident.

Once known as one of the most dangerous cities in the country the New Jersey city of Camden disbanded and reimagined its police department almost a decade ago and since then crime has gone down and community relations improved. Is this a police reform model other U.S. cities could follow?

CNN's Gary Tuchman went to Camden's police training facility to take a closer look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that's how we're going to do it.

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): This is the gun range at the Camden County, New Jersey Police Department.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. Go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Taser. Taser. Taser.

TUCHMAN: And this is where Taser training is also conducted, and while some police departments have different protocols, this is what's most commonly done.

TUCHMAN: If you're a righty, your gun is always on your right side. Your Taser is always on your left side.

DET. STEPHEN MARAKOWSKI, CAMDEN COUNTY POLICE: Correct. And vice versa, if you're a left-handed shooter, right, your Taser is going to be on your right hand side.

TUCHMAN: You never have both weapons on the same side.

MARAKOWSKI: Absolutely not.

TUCHMAN: You're about to enter the department's virtual reality de- escalation studio.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Male is armed with a knife, roll me additional units and start ODMS.

TUCHMAN: This is the scenario training these cops do with on-screen actors. Do they use their guns or their Tasers, which weigh less and are yellow, helping to differentiate them?

This is a cafeteria.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everything is good. Anybody else in here with you?

TUCHMAN: Police quickly learn there is a woman with a knife. It's a threat, but not an imminently deadly threat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Last time. Taser. Taser. Taser.

TUCHMAN: And then the man who had been on the ground pops up with a gun.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Suspect. Suspect.

TUCHMAN: The deadly threat leads to the officer using his gun, all part of the critical decision making that is emphasized here.

CAPT. KEVIN LUTZ, CAMDEN COUNTY POLICE: The sanctity of life and the preservation of life is the core of what we do.

TUCHMAN: The gun is on my right hip, the yellow Taser on my left hip, much heavier on my right side, very clearly much heavier.

I am then given some of the training a new police recruit would get.

SGT. RAPHAEL THORNTON, CAMDEN COUNTY POLICE: Sir, we're here to help you. Remember Introduce yourself.

TUCHMAN: My name is -- my name is Gary Tuchman. I'm with the police. Happy to help you, sir.

We are told this man is threatening to stab a child.

Sir, we are here to help you out, sir. I can promise you.

THORNTON: Use active listening. Active listening. See what he is saying?

TUCHMAN: I'm going to listen to what you're saying, sir. Tell me what you're saying. And then we're happy to help you. Sir. No, no.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know who I am, you better back off.

TUCHMAN: Sir, we're not messing with you. We're not messing with you, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know who I am?

TUCHMAN: Who are you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (EXPLETIVE DELETED). That's who I am. You don't know who I am to you.

TUCHMAN: Sir -- sir, we want to help you. Please, just listen to me. I'm happy to talk to you and listen to everything you want to say. Please. We want to defuse the situation.


TUCHMAN: Sir, please. Sir, please, Sir. Sir. Taser. Taser. Taser.

THORNTON: Okay. No gun here. No gun. That's a Taser, everybody.

TUCHMAN: Did we do it right?

THORNTON: We did it right. At this time, you will walk up to the individual and secure him. So right now, we want to do --

TUCHMAN: So, he is okay though.

THORNTON: He's okay.

TUCHMAN: And that was the right way to handle it.

THORNTON: That was the right way to handle it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got two male subjects shot --

TUCHMAN: The training is intense.