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COVID-19 Cases Decline in U.S.; India's COVID-19 Crisis; TSA Extends Mask Requirement; Oscar Winner Olympia Dukakis Dies at 89; Biden Selling $4 Trillion Economic Agenda; Thousands Rally in Support of Brazilian President; Deadly Protests in Colombia; Medina Spirit Wins Kentucky Derby; SpaceX Astronauts Return. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired May 2, 2021 - 01:00   ET




MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hello and welcome, everyone. I'm Michael Holmes.

Coming up here on CNN NEWSROOM, from travel to sporting events, the U.S. looks like a gradual return to prepandemic life.

While in India, however, the COVID crisis nothing short of a nightmare. Oxygen and vaccines in short supply.

And then later in the program, on the long journey home. Four astronauts on their way back to Earth this hour after a record- breaking mission.


HOLMES: Now the coronavirus situation here in the U.S. is looking the best it's been in months. Deaths and cases hitting new lows. That's in large part, of course, due to vaccination efforts.

More than 243 million doses have now been given in the U.S. This weekend bringing even more signs of life, returning to normal across the country, from Disneyland reopening to Delta Airlines resuming sales of middle seats. Natasha Chen now with more on where things stand.


NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Even as global daily coronavirus cases reached a new peak pushed by the crisis in India and South America, the United States curve is flattening.

The improvement in numbers is helped in part by the more than 100 million people in the U.S., close to one-third of the population who are now fully vaccinated.

TIM SMITH, FEMA VACCINATION CENTER LEADER: I'm seeing a shift I think, towards that underserved population, so the ones that are maybe on the fence and are thinking about it, we have to do a little bit more effort to get the knowledge to them and to help them make the correct decision to get vaccinated.

JIM REDICK, NORFOLK, Virginia, EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE DIRECTOR: By the time they leave, they have smiles on their faces and then they share with us the reasons why they are getting vaccinated and they share them, they post them on the wall.

And it's all about doing it for not only themselves but most of the time for their family, friends and other loved ones.

CHEN (voice-over): Now the focus turns to vaccinating younger teens once they're eligible, many of whom have also missed routine vaccinations for things like the flu this past year because of the pandemic.

DR. ROCHELLE WALENSKY, DIRECTOR, CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION: It's going to take a truly coordinated effort to achieve both the rollout of COVID-19 vaccine in adolescents and a rapid catch up of routine vaccinations.

CHEN (voice-over): Pfizer has applied for an emergency use authorization to allow 12 to 15-year-olds to receive its COVID-19 vaccine. President Biden says school should probably all be open in the fall.

This vision of almost normal is tantalizing. New York City will allow 75 percent capacity for indoor dining starting Friday.

MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D-NY), NEW YORK CITY: I think "The Daily News" has it right. Here. This is going to be the summer of New York City.

CHEN (voice-over): The restaurant reservation website Open Table shows the number of customers dining out is around 20 percent below pre- pandemic levels.

Disneyland Resort in California, the only one of the global Disney parks left closed since last March reopened with restrictions to California residents on Friday.

CDC director Rochelle Walensky says falling case rates and rising vaccination rates mean a full reopening of businesses by July 1st is a reasonable target, though she also warns the virus has tricked us before and the U.S. has not reached herd immunity.

Oregon governor Kate Brown on Friday designated 15 counties entering extreme risk level with harsher restrictions as the state recorded five straight weeks of at least 20 percent increases in new cases and a near doubling of hospitalizations in the past week, particularly among younger people.

GOV. KATE BROWN (D-OR): Economic relief is something I can do as your governor to help Oregonians impacted by this fourth surge. What I can't do is bring back someone's life lost to this virus.

CHEN (voice-over): With similar caution in mind, the Biden administration will restrict travel from India for non-U.S. citizens starting Tuesday with some exceptions. So with much to celebrate on the cusp of normalcy, there's also the reminder of what can happen with too much too soon -- Natasha Chen, CNN, Norfolk, Virginia.



HOLMES: And Dr. Shoshana Ungerleider joins me to talk about all of this. She's an internal medicine physician at California Pacific Medical Center.

Good to see you again, Doctor. The president's vaccine goal of 200 million, it's been achieved. But it's interesting. The latest CNN polling says 26 percent of people don't want to get vaccinated in the U.S.; 44 percent of Republicans.


HOLMES: How will that impact the hope for herd immunity?

DR. SHOSHANA UNGERLEIDER, CALIFORNIA PACIFIC MEDICAL CENTER: Well, Michael, really the only path out of this pandemic is through vaccination and trying everything we can to reach herd immunity.

Now this is a moving target based on a number of different variables. But to get there we need as many people as possible who are able to take a vaccine.

For people who are vaccine hesitant, doctors and the public health community need to continue to address the concerns of people who are willing to change their minds and show people what a return to normal looks like.

And that's really on all of us to talk about our experience of getting vaccinated and encourage the people that we love to do so. I think we can get there.

HOLMES: Yes. I saw many states, mainly but not all Republican, are easing restrictions, in some cases lifting pretty much all of them. I mean, here in Georgia, where I am at the moment they're going to have full sports stadiums. Mask requirements are pretty much gone.

I mean, do you have concerns about that?

UNGERLEIDER: Yes. In the U.S. as we know vaccines have rolled out at really impressive speeds so far but there are so many reasons why we shouldn't let up entirely on the brake pedal of prevention measures just yet.

The U.S. is still at a high plateau of cases and deaths per day; continued vaccines coupled with precautions like masking and distancing could really exponentially decrease viral spread and save many more lives.

You know, Michael, we have two great examples of countries with high levels of vaccination, coupled with strong mitigation measures, seeing their cases and hospitalizations and deaths drop precipitously and that's the U.K. and Israel. In the U.S. we really shouldn't be declaring victory yet and opening

things up. You know, maintaining precautions for another six to eight weeks even can make a huge difference in accelerating these exponential declines of cases and deaths.

The sacrifices that have been made, especially by young people out there, have been incredibly significant. We're so close to getting through the last mile of this pandemic but we're just not quite there yet.

HOLMES: Yes. Well put. I mean, when we look at what is happening in India, in terms of both spread there and the impact of the variant as well and the fact variants in one country threaten the world.

I mean, there was a group of 300 public health experts who've called on the U.S. to force vaccine manufacturers to waive intellectual property rights so other countries can start making vaccines themselves.

What do you think of that idea when it comes to the global fight?

UNGERLEIDER: Well, what I can say is, certainly in India and many other countries outside the United States, much of this world is in crisis due to the pandemic. And many countries don't have access to enough supply of these life-saving vaccines.

So absolutely, from a humanitarian and, of course, a public health perspective, putting people before profits is the right thing to do.

HOLMES: And just quickly, there's a wide range in COVID-19 messaging about what people can and cannot do at the state, local and federal levels. As we discussed, some states pretty much eliminating restrictions.

And yet you've got the Transportation Security Administration on Friday, the TSA, extending the mandate for travelers to wear masks in airports, planes, trains, buses and so on.

Are you worried about conflicting messaging?

UNGERLEIDER: Well, from the beginning of this, it's been all about messaging and trying to get it right and make it simple and clear and evidence-based. Michael, I like to use the two out of three rule to know whether to wear a mask in public spaces or when I don't know everyone's vaccination status.

So to lower the risk I make sure that my activity meets two out of the following three conditions: outdoors, distanced and masked. So if I'm outdoors and distanced from others, no mask is needed. If I'm outdoors and there's no distance, I wear a mask. And if I'm not outdoors, right?

I'm indoors. And I'm still distanced. A mask is really still needed.

But yes, we need to continue to push forward with clear, consistent messaging on this and then, as the science indicates, convey when these guidelines change, as we've been trying to do.

HOLMES: What a great rule of three. I like that. Dr. Shoshana Ungerleider, thank you so much. Good to see you again.

UNGERLEIDER: Thanks for having me.


HOLMES: Now for the 11th straight day, India's COVID-19 crisis has exploded by more than 300,000 new cases. The latest daily figures just shy of the record, 400,000 new cases reported on Saturday.

A lockdown in the capital region of Delhi has been extended now to May 10. More than 6 million new infections have been added in India in the past month, 6 million. And the thing is, it's only getting worse.


HOLMES: The country's health care system has nearly collapsed under the strain. Hospitals have run out of just about everything they need to keep patients alive, especially oxygen.


HOLMES (voice-over): And that there is a welcome sight, as about 100 tons of liquid oxygen rolled into a city south of the capital. It will provide some short-term relief. But sadly far more is needed.

Right now India relying on tons of emergency international aid to see it through this crisis; one of those shipments, 150,000 doses of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine, which was only approved for use in India last month.


HOLMES: CNN's Kristie Lu Stout joins me from Hong Kong to talk more about this.

The news in India just never seems to get better.

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely not. India's second wave of COVID-19 catastrophe continues to rage on, with India just today, a couple hours ago, reporting 3,689 daily deaths. That's the highest daily rise in the COVID-19 death toll so far.

It also marked its 11th consecutive day of posting more than 300,000 new daily cases of the coronavirus. And experts say that that number is likely undercounted, given the nonstop cremations that have been taking place inside the country as well as India's lack of desperately needed COVID-19 rapid testing kits.

Those numbers, of course, translate into just endless heartbreaking and gut-wrenching stories of tragedy on the ground inside India, from desperate families looking for empty and available ICU beds to desperate medical workers, pleading for basic supplies. And experts, including the expert you just spoke to, Michael, from San

Francisco, say the only way out, the best hope here is through vaccination. India has started a vaccination program. It started in January but it has been woefully slow. Only 2.1 percent of the total population of 1.3 billion have been vaccinated.

Over the weekend they expanded the vaccine rollout program to include all adults over the age of 18. But states and territories across India say they don't have enough supplies.

And we've also learned that they're just not inoculating enough people. In fact, less than 85,000 people received a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Saturday. So here we have India, the world's largest manufacturer of COVID-19 vaccines, short of vaccines and desperately in need of more -- back to you, Michael.

HOLMES: Yes, it is extraordinary. The world's biggest producer of vaccines short of them.

How is the world responding in terms of aid?

STOUT: The world is pitching in. They're stepping up and helping India. We know that nations ranging from -- in Europe, you've got Germany, the U.K., France, sending in desperate supplies that are needed inside India.

The UAE, Russia, they're also providing supplies. Pakistan has expressed solidarity, aiding India as well. We've also learned that Taiwan is sending supplies. And the United States, in fact, the United States is in the midst of sending over $100 million worth of supplies to help India as it manages this punishing second wave of the coronavirus, including 15 million N95 masks, 1 million COVID testing kits as well as oxygen cylinders and the materials needed to create vaccines, to help create AstraZeneca vaccines for India.

We've also been following what China has been doing. We know yesterday that the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, did have a call, reached out to Narendra Modi, expressed condolences and an offer to help.

But we also know that China's foreign minister, Wang Yi, did have a meeting with India's neighbors last Tuesday, like Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, et cetera, to set up an emergency reserve of aid. And India was not part of that meeting -- Michael.

HOLMES: All right. Kristie, thanks for your reporting there. Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong.

Now only a tiny fraction, as we've been discussing, of India's population is fully vaccinated. And with the virus racing through crowded cities and towns, some health experts say the only good option is another nationwide lockdown. Here's what Dr. Anthony Fauci told the Indian Express.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF COVID-19 MEDICAL ADVISER: One of the things to be considered is to temporarily shut down, I mean literally lock down, so that you wind up not having more spread.

And no one likes to lock down the country, well, that's a problem if you do it for 6 months. But if you do it just for a few weeks, you could have a significant impact on the dynamics of the outbreak.


HOLMES: Dr. Anthony Fauci there speaking with the Indian Express.

Now people in India -- and this is incredible -- are having to turn to social media to get help finding hospital beds and medical supplies like oxygen.


HOLMES: They're also using social media to tell their stories. Have a look at this photograph.


HOLMES (voice-over): It's a doctor who went viral on Twitter, posting a photo of himself in full protective gear for work and then, on the right, covered in sweat once he's taken that PPE off.

He's added the message, "Proud to serve the nation."

As you can see there, in his thread the doctor wrote that health care workers are obviously working hard, they're away from their families and at risk from being so close to COVID patients.

He also said getting a vaccination is the only solution, adding at the end of his message, "Stay safe."


HOLMES: Now there are many ways you can help people in India cope with this devastating COVID outbreak. Go to and you'll see plenty of resources there to show you how.

In Wisconsin, witnesses described the scene at a casino as, quote, "chaos" after hearing gunshots and seeing people running for their lives. It's not clear just yet how many injuries or perhaps even fatalities there might have been. CNN waiting for official confirmation on that.

The casino says the shooting took place at a Radisson Inn hotel connected to the casino late on Saturday just outside the city of Green Bay. In a tweet, Wisconsin's attorney general says the scene is contained and there is no longer any threat to the community. We'll have more on this developing story, of course, as it becomes available.

But for now a short break. When we come back, air travelers saying goodbye to that extra room brought on by social distancing. The changes ahead in the airline industry.

And the world bids farewell to a beloved Hollywood actress. A look back at the career of Olympia Dukakis. That's when we come back.





HOLMES: Well, plan on masking up if you're flying in the U.S. this summer. The Transportation Security Administration extending its mask mandate through mid September. It was initially set to end on May the 11th.

Now that mandate, of course, requires masks in airports, on commercial airplanes and buses, trains and boats. President Biden put it in place shortly after he took office.

Now even though you will have to continue to wear a mask on a plane, social distancing might be a bit more difficult. Delta is now selling its middle seats again, despite the CDC's recommendations. CNN's Pete Muntean has more on that and how the airline industry's trying to get back to normal.


PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT(voice-over): The era of social distancing on flights is over. Delta was the last major airline to cap capacity on board and now every seat on every major airline can be filled.

The newest changes to pandemic-era air travel will make it look more like before the pandemic. Delta Air Lines just resumed selling middle seats starting Saturday, something all other major carriers did months ago.

RANJAN GOSWAMI, VICE PRESIDENT, DELTA AIR LINES: It is safe to get back out there, to go out into the world and see folks in your life.

MUNTEAN: Ranjan Goswami heads Delta's in-flight operations. Its latest estimate that almost 75 percent of Delta passengers have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Airlines say they could not continue capping capacity without a serious increase in fares.

GOSWAMI: The vaccination rate is really helping. We know our customers are feeling confident about it or they wouldn't be booking in such large numbers.

MUNTEAN: The latest modeling from the CDC says leaving middle seats empty reduces the risk of coronavirus exposure by as much as 57 percent. But the airline industry slammed the report for not considering the impact of masks now mandated on planes by the Biden administration.

Harvard University found masks and heavily filtered air on board makes transmission coronavirus transmission rates very low, regardless of where you sit.

DR. LEONARD MARCUS, HARVARD SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH: It's the many things together at the same time do greatly reduce the risk of air travel and in particular provides a safe opportunity for people given the ventilation, given the wearing of masks, given the disinfection the planes, given the individual and personal hygiene attention that does allow for that middle seat to be occupied.

MUNTEAN: Industry groups think flying will look more like normal as more people get vaccinated. Some airlines are now bringing back in- flight food and drink service, something flied attendants fear can blur the message.

SARA NELSON, ASSOCIATION OF FLIGHT ATTENDANTS: As these policy U.S. are going away and we are seeing fuller aircraft, it's more important than ever we're vigilant about the mask policies.

MUNTEAN: New ideas to bring passengers back are coming to all corners of the aviation industry. Plane maker Airbus envisions a future of seats arranged in pandemic-friendly pods. This design from the University of Cincinnati imagined a productivity class, part plane, part coffee house.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm excited to see a future and some of these ideas may take us and where the industry may go in the future. So every crisis turns out to be an opportunity.

MUNTEAN: Delta says capping capacity on board cost $100 million in March. That's when the pandemic air travel started to surge and numbers remained high. The TSA has screened more than a million people each day at America's airports for seven weeks straight -- Pete Muntean, CNN, Reagan National Airport.


HOLMES: Moviegoers are mourning the loss of a great Oscar-winning character actress.


OLYMPIA DUKAKIS, ACTOR, "CLAIREE BELCHER": Here, hit this. Go ahead, M'Lynn, slap her.


"BELCHER": Hit her.


HOLMES: Fans will recall that. Olympia Dukakis, commanding co-star Shirley MacLaine to slap Sally Field in "Steel Magnolias." But it was her scene-stealing role as Cher's mother in the 1987 film "Moonstruck" that won her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

[01:25:00] HOLMES (voice-over): Dukakis appeared in dozens of films and on Broadway and TV. She was the cousin of former Massachusetts governor Michael Dukakis, who unsuccessfully ran for president back in 1998. Her family said Olympia Dukakis died at 89 after many months of failing health.


HOLMES: When we come back, how U.S. President Joe Biden plans to make the case for his massive $4 trillion economic agenda.

And the Trump supporters who refuse to get the coronavirus vaccine. A new CNN poll reveals some bewildering attitudes -- coming up here on CNN.




HOLMES: Welcome back, everyone. I'm Michael Holmes. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.

Joe Biden officially passed his symbolically important first 100 days as the U.S. President and now he has some big proposals to sell, worth about $4 trillion. He's pitching a huge legislative agenda this week. As Arlette Saenz reports, he will need the support of American voters to make it a reality.


ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: President Biden is revving up Air Force One again next week as he is taking his sales pitch for his sweeping economic proposals out directly into the country.

The president is hoping he can earn support for his measures from voters across the United States, who he hopes will then, in turn, urge their lawmakers up on Capitol Hill to get on board with these plans. On Monday, the president will travel to Virginia, along with the first lady.


SAENZ: The two of them will be visiting schools as they are looking to promote that American Families Plan that focuses on child care, education and paid family leave.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the vice president heads to Wisconsin and Rhode Island. And then President Biden will travel down south to Louisiana on Thursday, with stops in New Orleans and Lake Charles, a community that was devastated by Hurricane Laura back last summer.

The president, these trips are following on his visits this past week to Georgia and also Pennsylvania, where he made a direct pitch for his infrastructure proposal at an Amtrak station and argued that these investments will help keep America competitive with the rest of the world. Take a listen.

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have a huge opportunity here to provide fast, safe, reliable, clean transportation in this country. And transit is part of the infrastructure. And like the rest of our infrastructure, we're way behind the rest of the world right now. We need to remember, we're in competition with the rest of the world. People come here and set up businesses. People stay here. People grow because of the ability to access; access transportation, access all the infrastructure. It's what allows us to compete.


SAENZ: Now as he makes this pitch out on the road, the president must also court lawmakers back in Washington. But Republicans and some moderate Democrats have expressed some hesitancy with the price tag and pay-fors in this plan.

The president has said he is willing to sit down with Republicans to hear their ideas. And one of those senators that he has already had a direct conversation with is senator Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican of West Virginia.

The president has invited her and other Republicans to meet with him at the White House to hammer out some of the details of these proposals. And the president must also keep his Democratic coalition together, as he is hoping to get these measures passed -- Arlette Saenz, CNN, traveling with the president in Wilmington, Delaware.



HOLMES: Larry Sabato the director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, joins me now.

Good to see you, sir. Let's start with this. The president's first 100 days are up.

Is he on track to get done what he needs to get done in terms of his agenda?

LARRY SABATO, DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR POLITICS, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: Well, let's remember, there are 1,500 almost days to a presidential term, just one term. So 100 days is interesting.

But it doesn't necessarily reveal what's yet to come. But I would say, for the most part, Biden has done very well and he has stuck to the major programs he felt he needed to push and that he promised he would push, maybe with the exception of immigration. And it's been a good 100 days for him. It's put America back on track.

HOLMES: When you look at things like the infrastructure plan and, even now today, moves to make community college free, universal preschool, how bold is all of it when you put it together?

And what is the political upside versus risk of going full on? SABATO: It's very bold. It really is. In fact, the early part of the presidency, while his people are pointing to Franklin D. Roosevelt, I'd be more inclined to say Lyndon Johnson.

Johnson had the same kind of ambitious outlook on his presidency and always told people, when they said to him, you're going too far, you're doing too much, he would say, "Well, what's the presidency for?"

I think Biden has a similar attitude.

What's the presidency for?

It's doing these things, meeting the country's needs. People could argue about whether too much is being spent. But on the whole, this has been a very aggressive program and it makes sense because, at any given moment on any given day, the Senate could revert to the Republicans if there's a Democratic vacancy.

HOLMES: That's a good point. And I was actually going to ask you about that; because of the peculiarities of American politics, the president has the issue of the 2022 midterm elections to deal with. Historically, the incumbent loses seats and, in this case, perhaps control of House and/or Senate.

How much does that deadline play into Biden's sense of urgency on his agenda?

SABATO: Well, publicly, of course, Biden and everybody around him insists that they're going to keep the Senate and keep the House. Privately, they know that the odds are against them. It's going to be a miracle if they're able to hold both houses. It may be a minor miracle, maybe a major miracle if they hold even one house.

So if you're talking about a legislative presidency -- and that's Biden's expertise after all those years in the U.S. Senate -- you've got to make every day count until that midterm election.

And as you get closer to the midterm, senators and House members from your own party don't want to be in Washington and they don't want to be taking controversial votes.


HOLMES: And real quick before I let you go, the GOP, of course, dealing with the ghost of Trump, rifts in the party, with the whole Liz Cheney versus many other colleagues saying, Mitt Romney being booed at a party event Sunday.

Yet none of that seems to be hurting the party in terms support from the faithful; 70 percent of Republicans think Biden didn't win.

SABATO: That's utterly absurd. Just completely absurd and frightening that people can be misled to this extent and ignore the obvious facts. I mean, 7 million votes, Biden's lead in the election, is no minor thing. As far as the Republicans are concerned, though, here's what makes it

worse. It isn't just that they're going after the well-known established figures in their party; they're treating Romney just like John McCain was treated before his death.

And there are many others, Liz Cheney -- and we could go through the long list, ones who've been censured by their party. It's that Donald Trump continues to try to be center stage.

Now because he isn't on Twitter he's not succeeding as much as he did at least and he isn't giving big speeches because of the pandemic. He's all but said, if he has the opportunity, he's going to run again in 2024. And he's frozen at least part of the Republican field.

So if Republicans thought that the ghost of Donald Trump would go elsewhere before the midterm elections or before 2024, they're sadly mistaken. And I think they realize it now.

HOLMES: Fascinating. Larry, thank you. Larry Sabato, really appreciate it.

SABATO: Thank you, Michael.


HOLMES: Let's talk about a new CNN poll that reveals the ghost of Trump also at work in an area that should be beyond the reach of politics. Donie O'Sullivan reports on the widespread rejection of the coronavirus vaccine among many Republicans.


DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN TECH CORRESPONDENT: I first want to show you the results of this CNN poll, which just came out during the week, pretty remarkable. Incredibly, it shows 44 percent, almost half of Republicans, say that they will not get the COVID vaccine.

That's compared to 8 percent of Democrats. Over the past few weeks, I have been speaking to some Republicans, Trump supporters, who say they're not going to get the shot. Have a listen.


O'SULLIVAN: Are you getting vaccinated?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. I don't need a vaccine. I had COVID last march. Sick for all of five hours. I don't need a vaccine for that.

O'SULLIVAN: The CDC recommends you should be vaccinated.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, they can recommend.

O'SULLIVAN: It has emergency approval.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who determine the emergency approval?

O'SULLIVAN: Do you think Trump is wrong on this one?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know the situation but I know we're not wrong and we're the independent freedom people of America and we make our own decisions.

O'SULLIVAN: You're not getting vaccinated?


O'SULLIVAN: Even if it is the Trump vaccine?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Doesn't matter whose vaccine it is. President Biden got it. President Trump was still in office. So, yes. It is the Trump vaccine. I have no intention.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't blindly follow what President Trump did or didn't do. It's the fact that he promoted individual freedom and your ability to excel. It was a movement. He just happened to come along at the right time to help.


O'SULLIVAN: And I think important to point out here is that they are some of the most passionate Trump supporters. But even they say that, even if the president, the former president, was to directly plead with them to take the vaccine, they would not take it.

And I think we're sort of in a bit of a catch-22 situation here, where the former president knows that, where he knows that he might be alienating possibly some of his base if he were to push too hard and encourage people too much to take this vaccine.


HOLMES: Donie O'Sullivan reporting there.

Now coming up here on CNN NEWSROOM, protests turn deadly in Colombia. Why the coronavirus and other issues are driving unrest there.

And partying like it's 2019. Crowds gather at Churchill Downs to watch the Kentucky Derby and see a bit of history as well. We'll have the details coming up.






HOLMES (voice-over): Disturbing scene, isn't it, really? Thousands of Brazilians rallying to show their support for president Jair Bolsonaro. He's expected to face a strong challenge next year at the polls from former president Luis Ignacio Lula da Silva over his handling of the pandemic.

Brazil has the second highest official death toll in the world. Mr. Bolsonaro opposed strict lockdown measures, failed to strongly endorse masks and only recently embraced vaccines.


HOLMES: Meanwhile, hospitals in Uruguay are at their breaking point as COVID-19 cases soar. Admissions to intensive care units tripled in April, pushing doctors and nurses to the limit. Johns Hopkins University reporting the country has topped 200,000 cases, more than 2,000 deaths.

And still in the region, in Colombia, anger not only over the toll the coronavirus is taking, demonstrators also demanding that the government scrap planned reforms that they say will only add to their misery. Stefano Pozzebon with the latest from Bogota. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

STEFANO POZZEBON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thousands of protesters took on to the streets of Bogota yet again this Saturday to protest against the government's handling of the pandemic and to protest in particular against the fiscal reform that critics argue is going to make the situation worse for the middle class.

It's the fourth consecutive day of protests in Colombia against these reforms. And while the situation remains calm here in Bogota right now, at least three people died in the southern city of Cali since the beginning of this wave of protests.

And this is happening while Colombia is going through the apex of a dramatic wave of COVID-19 that is wreaking havoc in the country and filling up intensive care units. Bogota right now is under strict lockdown orders.

But as you can see, from behind my back, people came out in numbers to protest what is essentially the economic cost of the pandemic. According to recent government figures from Colombia alone, more than 3 million people fell back into poverty since the beginning of the lockdowns last year.

And this is a situation not particular to Colombia only. Many countries in South America are receiving the catastrophic damage from COVID-19 that it has inflicted against informal workers and the unemployed.

And while countries from Argentina to Brazil, from Colombia to Uruguay are this week reporting record increases in numbers and deaths due to the virus.


POZZEBON: The economic cost of the pandemic keeps going up -- for CNN, this is Stefano Pozzebon, Bogota.


HOLMES: Protesters around the world turned out on May Day to call for social equality and better working conditions. I want to show you the scene in Berlin, where police and demonstrators clashed.


HOLMES (voice-over): As you can see there, several fires were set and there are reports some demonstrators threw bottles and stones. At least 5,000 people showed up for the rally, even though social distancing rules are still in effect.



HOLMES (voice-over): And this is what May Day looked like in Honduras. Hundreds of workers marching in cities around the country to demand more vaccines against COVID-19. They accuse the government of acting too slowly against the pandemic.


HOLMES: Now a record-setting space team is scheduled to splash down off the coast of Florida in about an hour from now, actually. We'll have the latest on the return of the SpaceX Crew One.

Also still to come, history at this year's Kentucky Derby, a record- setting win. That's ahead.





HOLMES: Well, there is maybe no better sign to show that things are getting back to sort of semi-normal in the U.S. than the Kentucky Derby. CNN's Andy Scholes was there.


HOLMES: Four astronauts from the International Space Station are literally on their way home as we speak. Just a few hours ago, the SpaceX Crew One undocked from the ISS with three Americans and one Japanese astronaut on board.

They are the first crew to reach the International Space Station on a SpaceX Crew Dragon. Now if weather conditions remain good, the capsule Resilience, which is carrying the crew, is expected to splash down about an hour or so from now -- literally, an hour or so from now -- just off the coast of Panama city beach, in Florida. Now the returning astronauts spent five months in the orbiting

laboratory. That's the longest time in space by a crew launched aboard an American-built spacecraft. Here is a little bit more about their mission.


HOLMES (voice-over): Space is supposed to be vast unless you are one of the 11 space explorers, posing elbow to elbow recently, on the International Space Station.

For NASA and SpaceX, it's one crew starting and another one ending, adding 2 cosmonauts and a NASA astronaut, who arrived on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft in April and it was, officially, a full house in the floating space lab.

For over a week, the 11 stellar roommates bunked together in a place NASA said is the size of a six room house. The number record of people aboard the ISS is 13 set back in the space shuttle era. Still, French astronaut Thomas Pesquet (ph) from Crew Two, says it was a tight squeeze.

THOMAS PESQUET, CREW TWO (through translator): Six sleeping spots for 11 members of the crew, that means 5 camp out. There are people scattered around the entire module. We try to be mindful. People have been trained on that.

HOLMES (voice-over): Wiggle room will return to the ISS, with the departure of SpaceX Crew One. Astronaut Shannon Walker says she is proud of what her team accomplished since they arrived last November.

SHANNON WALKER, ASTRONAUT: I think about all of the science that we did and the repairs that we made and, boy, did we make some good repairs --


WALKER: -- we got it rewired.

HOLMES (voice-over): Crew One's return is the first night splashdown of the U.S. crewed spacecraft since 1968. But Walker says, her time aboard the space station is something she won't soon forget.

WALKER: What really is going to remain with me is the camaraderie and the friendship and the time that we've spent together, the laughing that we do over dinners, the movie nights that we've had, had truly made this very special.

HOLMES (voice-over): And if any returning astronauts feel a little nostalgic, they only need check out the images posted by Crew Two's Shane Kimbrough for a peek at the Earth's few Earthlings get to see firsthand. Crew One's completed mission is the first of 6 crew rotations to the ISS by NASA and SpaceX. Plans that should keep the ISS a busy place for years to come.

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HOLMES: I'm Michael Holmes. Appreciate your company. I'll be right back with more CNN NEWSROOM, in just a moment.