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Promising U.S. Jobs Report to be Released in Coming Hours; U.S. President Touts $2.3 Trillion Infrastructure Plan in Louisiana; More of the U.S. Starts Opening Up as Cases Decline; Grieving Families Lashing out at Medical Workers in India; Elise Stefanik Campaigning to Replace Liz Cheney; Conservative Win in Former Labour Stronghold; U.S. Secret Service Chief Testifies About Riots. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired May 7, 2021 - 04:00   ET



KIM BRUNHUBER, CNN ANCHOR: Signs of a pandemic recovery in the United States. We'll preview what's expected to be a bumper jobs report. And what it says about the economy.

In other parts of the world, the news is anything but good. We'll take you to India, where health care workers are the target of rage by grieving families.

And the changing face of the U.S. Republican Party. What this lawmaker's elevation says about divisions within the GOP and its enduring allegiance to Donald Trump.

Live from CNN world headquarters in Atlanta. Welcome to all of you watching here in the United States, Canada and around the world, I'm Kim Brunhuber. This is CNN NEWSROOM.

We begin right here, in the U.S., where we're just hours away from a highly-anticipated jobs report. Economists are predicting there was a hiring boom last month as the economy shows signs of a robust recovery. They estimate anywhere from 700,000 to more than two million jobs may have been created.

Now this comes as COVID cases are declining, businesses are reopening, and federal aid is taking effect. This follows a strong showing on Thursday, with the Dow Jones Industrials closing at a record high. The index gained more than 300 points.

And we'll be hearing from the president on that jobs report, in just a few hours. Joe Biden headed to Louisiana, Thursday, as part of his getting America back on track tour. He touted his economic proposals to help the middle class and stressed the need to invest in the nation's crumbling infrastructure. CNN's Kaitlan Collins has more.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have failed. We have failed to properly invest in infrastructure for half a century. KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):

President Biden pitching his $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan, in a Republican stronghold.

BIDEN: I've never seen a Republican or Democrat road. I just see road.

COLLINS (voice-over): While in Louisiana, not only did the president defend his proposal to raise taxes on the wealthy and corporations to pay for it, he embraced it.

BIDEN: All those folks are still going to have two homes and three homes, and their jets and it won't matter. It's not going to change their standing one little bit.

COLLINS (voice-over): Biden made the case for his plan to revamp the nation's infrastructure in front of the rundown Calcasieu River bridge, which is 20 years past its prime.

BIDEN: It's the perfect example of how we've neglected as a nation to invest in the future of our economy and the future of our people.

COLLINS (voice-over): Republicans have countered Biden's $2.3 trillion offer with a $600 billion alternative. While arguing that his corporate tax hike will hurt the growth of American businesses.

BIDEN: There's just one problem with their argument, the facts.

COLLINS (voice-over): Comments like these from GOP leader Mitch McConnell are raising questions about whether compromise is possible.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): Yes, 100 percent of our focus is on stopping this new administration.

COLLINS (voice-over): Alongside Louisiana's Democratic governor and Lake Charles Republican mayor, Biden argued for bipartisanship outside of Washington.

BIDEN: I find more support from Republican governors and mayors and Democratic governors and mayors around the country because they got to answer the question, is life better in this town, this city, this state, than it was before I got elected.

COLLINS: When president Biden landed in New Orleans, he was greeted by the state's two Republican Senators, John Kennedy and Bill Cassidy. Of course that does not mean that they agree on an infrastructure proposal just yet. Because you saw Senator Cassidy tweeting a few minutes later, that he believes that the Republican proposal that $600 billion, compared to the $2.3 trillion that President Biden wants is still a better option.

Kaitlan Collins, CNN, traveling with the president, in Louisiana.


BRUNHUBER: Two Republican-led states are ending federal pandemic unemployment benefits next month. The governors of South Carolina and Montana say the programs are creating labor shortages by encouraging people to stay out of the work force. Their the first two state leaders to bow out of the landmark federal aid program. Montana is offering cash bonuses to aid recipients those who start working. Both say they have thousands of new jobs available and not enough workers to fill them.


The U.S. is getting closer to its coronavirus vaccination goals and closer to normal life. New daily cases in the country are steadily declining and hospitals are having an easier time caring for patients. Nick Watt explains where the U.S. is headed now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His name is Alexander Hamilton.

NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Broadway tickets back on sale.

Cruises almost back. Trial voyages with volunteer vaccinated passengers, and kids from Jersey soon play basketball out of state again.

DR. LEANA WEN, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Things are only going to get better over the summer. I feel extremely optimistic about where we're headed.

WATT (voice-over): The COVID-19 daily infection rate across this country, lowest it's been in seven months. And --

DR. ROCHELLE WALENSKY, U.S. CDC DIRECTOR: The models projected a sharp decline in cases by July 2021, and an even faster decline if more people get vaccinated sooner.

WATT (voice-over): Vaccinations, the only number going the wrong way right now. Average daily doses in arms down 20 percent in a week. The president's goal, at least one dose in 70 percent of adults by Fourth of July. Some states already there. A few getting close. Some a long way to go. Republicans are most hesitant. But look at this new poll. The percentage of Republicans who say never is falling.

DR. SCOTT HARRIS, STATE HEALTH OFFICER, ALABAMA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH: We've encouraged particularly primary care doctors, but all physicians in the state to personally reach out to people that they have a relationship with and try to make the case for getting vaccinated.

WATT (voice-over): Kim Simmons of Illinois was hesitant, now fully vaccinated.

KIM SIMMONS, GOT VACCINATED AFTER BEING CONVINCED IT WAS SAFE: I don't think it would be good to try to force people to get the vaccine, but I think they should think about their family, their community and herd immunity. DR. PAUL OFFIT, MEMBER, FDA VACCINE ADVISORY COMMITTEE: I would say immunize at least 80 million to 100 million people and next winter comes, it will just be a bump instead of a surge, and we can do that.

WATT (voice-over): July 4th, we can probably gather to celebrate independence from the pesky Brits but not quite independence from this virus.

WATT: Here in California, early January, there were over 20,000 people in the hospital fighting this virus. Today, fewer than 2,000. And as the governor of the state just tweeted, it turns out the vaccines work. The science works.

Nick Watt, CNN, Los Angeles.


BRUNHUBER: The U.S. is expected to authorize the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for use in children ages 12 to 15 next week. A new surveys from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows many parents in the country aren't ready to have their kids get it. 19 percent of the parents, of those under 18, say they definitely won't get their children vaccinated. And nearly a third say they'd rather wait to see how the vaccine is working before giving their child a dose. The dean of Brown University's School of Public Health Dr. Ashish Jha says he is not surprised by the hesitancy.


DR. ASHISH JHA, DEAN, BROWN UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH: That wait and see attitude, we get it, these are new vaccines. A lot of parents are going to say, we just want to see how this goes, and I think it's going to go really well, because the data is really good. And I'm hoping that most of those parents then jump off the fence and get their kids vaccinated. And then we may have a third who are on that like only if you make me or no way. And maybe some schools will push some of those people over. So I would be optimistic here. I know it's a big hill to climb. We got to get all of these people on board. But I do think we're going to get there if we just keep plugging away at it.


BRUNHUBER: For the second day in a row, India's health ministry has reported more than 400,000 new cases. So far, India has reported more than 21 million cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began. But that figure is double what it was two months ago and may in reality be far higher. The virus is now spreading into smaller cities, towns and villages. Local hospitals have been so overwhelmed, that patients are being treated outdoors. And as more people die, grief-stricken families are lashing out in anger at medical workers. CNN's Sam Kiley has that report.


SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Frantic, knocking on the door to an intensive care unit for COVID patients. There's confusion among relatives and police. When they push inside, what they find is horrific. The ICU has been abandoned, except for its patients. And there were six dead before the doctors left.

A voice says everyone ran away. There are no medicals here, there's no one here, no doctor, no guard.

How can doctors run away, leaving patients? A crime has been committed here. How can you leave them -- he yells at a police officer?


There's been no crime. There has been a tragedy. Medical staff were ordered out of the ICU and to hide when the oxygen ran out.

It's little hospitals like this that really form the backbone of the public health structures right across India. They're very much on the forefront of the COVID pandemic, dealing with patients but also dealing with the emotional fallout.

KILEY (voice-over): It's that fallout that caused them to briefly flee. Here's why.


KILEY (voice-over): Four days earlier, bereaved relatives of another deceased COVID patient attacked staff, forcing calls to the police from doctors. When the oxygen ran out in the ICU a couple of days later, another attack on the doctors began.

DR. SWATI RATHORE: Fifteen people attacked us, we were sitting, and then I asked, I requested my doctors and staff, you please run away and hide on the third floor until I manage the situation, because I don't want them to get hit at any cost.

KILEY (voice-over): COVID cases have soared past 20 million in India, with the official death toll climbing towards 4,000 a day. Many people have died through lack of oxygen. There is growing anger at state and national governments but it's often medics who bear the brunt.

RATHORE: Please help us, understand us, love us, respect us, because everyone can be on the ICU any hour of the day. You have to need doctors to supply the oxygen to the patient. If you will hit them, then who will care for your patients?

KILEY (voice-over): Her staff are back at work, and the ICU again filled with patients. There is ample oxygen here, at least for now.

But as scientists are warning that a third wave before the second even peaked, anger and fear will continue to grow.

Sam Kiley, CNN, Gurugram.


BRUNHUBER: And the toll India is witnessing can be seen at how it struggles to cope with the growing number of deaths. These images are from Varanasi, India's holiest city. Cremations start before dawn with the fires burning through the day. Workers tell CNN they've never seen anything like it. Our Clarissa Ward will be live from Varanasi with more on what she's seen coming up on "EARLY START" and that's in less than an hour.

One of the top Republicans in Washington is being ousted because she refused to say Trump won the presidential election. The woman poised to replace her doesn't have a problem promoting that lie. Why some Republicans still have a problem with her.

Plus, Boris Johnson's party scores a huge election victory in one English town. Why this national election is making national headlines. We'll have that next. Stay with us.



BRUNHUBER: Republicans seem all but certain to quickly replace one of their most powerful leaders because she dared to denounce President Trump's big lie about winning the U.S. presidential election. The Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, a vocal Trump supporter, is already campaigning to take Liz Cheney's spot. She insists she can unite the divided party, but some members aren't so sure. CNN's Ryan Nobles explains.


RYAN NOBLES, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): House Republicans making it clear.

REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): Yes, and I think that for sure the votes are there, and I think it will happen most likely next Wednesday.

NOBLES (voice-over): Liz Cheney is out, and New York Congresswoman Elise Stefanik has the votes to replace her as their conference chair. Stefanik endorsed by former President Donald Trump, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and GOP Whip Steve Scalise.

The reason Cheney's being forced out, refusing to stay quiet over Trump's big lie about the 2020 election results, while Stefanik continues to spout Trump's falsehoods.

REP. ELISE STEFANIK (R-NY): When you talk to any voter across this country, certainly at any Republican event, they are focused on election security and election integrity.

NOBLES (voice-over): On Thursday, Stefanik trying to shore up her credentials with wary conservatives who worry about her moderate past, giving her first interview to former Trump adviser Steve Bannon and falling in line with FOX News talking points.

STEFANIK: I fully support the audit in Arizona. We want transparency and answers for the American people. NOBLES (voice-over): Stefanik saying she supports an ongoing audit of Joe Biden's 2020 win in Arizona, which Republican election officials in the state have panned. Stefanik also doubling down on Trump's lies that he won, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary from GOP election officials in many of the states where Trump and his supporters are complaining about the results.

But her ascendancy to GOP leadership is not without complications. The conservative advocacy group Club for Growth called her a liberal and warned, quote, House Republicans should find a conservative to lead messaging and win back the House majority.

The House Freedom Caucus -- which is no fan of Cheney's -- held a conference called Wednesday night, where many members expressed concern about Stefanik's past support for Republicans like former Speaker Paul Ryan and expressed hope they could meet with her to make sure she is conservative enough.

Meanwhile, very few Republicans are rushing to support Cheney, this after she wrote a scathing op-ed in "The Washington Post," again hammering Trump over his election lies and insisting this is a fight for the survival of democracy itself.

On the ground in her home state, Wyoming Republicans are already gearing up for the 2020 election, with several candidates eying a primary challenge.

Former GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina arguing Cheney's ouster will have long-term repercussions.

CARLY FIORINA (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Liz Cheney is correct. This is terrible for the party in the medium and the long run, and it's terrible for the country in the short run.

NOBLES: And although it appears inevitable that Stefanik is going to replace Cheney as the House conference chair for the Republican party, there is still a lot of angst among conservatives about her moving into this role so quickly. I'm told on that conference call with members of the House Freedom Caucus, there were a number of members that expressed reservations about her taking this job. Concerned that they could put themselves in the same situation that they are right now with Cheney.


That this messenger for the Republican Party doesn't necessarily align with all of its members. Those same people, though, that were on that call also recognized the fact that Stefanik has the votes, and she will likely take over for Cheney in the very near future.

Ryan Nobles, CNN, on Capitol Hill.


BRUNHUBER: Atlanta Mayor Kesha Lance Bottoms says she won't run for re-election this year. She says her decision wasn't based on whether she could win again, or fund raise effectively. Bottoms became a rising star in the Democratic Party and was even a contender to be Joe Biden's vice president. She's an advocate for minorities who denounce violence during the George Floyd protests. And she confronted Georgia's Republican governor over voting rights.

We're getting the first results from Thursday's elections in the U.K. and it's a big win for Boris Johnson's Conservative Party. The opposition Labour Party has conceded defeat in the Hartlepool election. Now keep in mind this is an English constituency that has voted Labour for almost 50 years. So that's a hugely encouraging sign for the Prime Minister and his party who have been under pressure, over their handling of the pandemic.

CNN's Bianca Nobilo is with us from London with more now. Bianca, a blow for Labour for sure there, but does this one result tell a bigger story?

BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it's a bellwether result, it's one of those constituents that everyone had their eye on, and it's crucial for a couple of reasons. First of all, as you say, this is the Labour heartland traditionally. Ever since this seat has been created back in 1974, it's been won by the Labour Party.

And now the Conservative Party didn't just win it, Kim, they won it with a 16 percent swing. That's a phenomenal achievement politically, for any party that's not been in power for 11 years. It's unheard of at that stage in an electoral cycle. Usually the incumbents take a hit. So it's a shattering defeat for Labour. That's what their shadow cabinet had referred to it as. And a very good morning for Boris Johnson.

It's also an indicator of how these elections that are taking place across the United Kingdom and likely to shake out for the Conservative Party. Not only has the party been in power for a long time, but Boris Johnson's been embroiled in many scandals recently. Related to his former aide Dominic Cummings, related to the fact that he used all of the money potentially to refurbish the Downing Street flat. His handling of the pandemic, where 128,000 people have died in Britain from coronavirus.

So it's interesting to see that the electorate certainly haven't resonated with the Labour Party's challenges on so-called, the Conservative Party sleaze. There's obviously concern about the way the pandemic has been handled but potentially because of the vaccine rollout in Britain has been successful, over 30 million dose -- 35 million doses administered, and that might be something which is buoying Boris Johnson through this period.

At the end of the day, Boris Johnson has shown one thing consistently throughout his political career, that he is capable of winning and continuing to deliver political victories and that is what his party and his supporters will be pleased to see this morning.

BRUNHUBER: Thank you so much, Bianca Nobilo in London. Appreciate it.

Here in the U.S., lawmakers are trying to learn more security lessons from the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. A mob of Trump supporters stormed Congress on January 6th trying to prevent the final count of Electoral College votes. Now the big question for lawmakers is what could have been done to prevent that? As Brian Todd report, the chief of the agency in charge of protecting the president offered this testimony Thursday.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The director of the Secret Service in his first public remarks since the January 6th attack telling Congress if his agency had been put in charge of security planning ahead of the electoral vote count, the Capitol could have been better protected.

JAMES MURRAY, DIRECTOR, U.S. SECRET SERVICE: You would have seen more people, you have seen more perimeter fencing, you would have seen more resources.

TODD (voice-over): But James Murray said that would have involved designating January 6th as a so-called national special security event beforehand, something like a State of the Union Address, which would have allowed more time to coordinate protection for the Capitol between local, state and federal security agencies.

Former Capitol Police Chief Terrance Gainer says with or without the intelligence failures leading up to that day.

TERRANCE GAINER, FORMER U.S. CAPITOL POLICE CHIEF: There was not an indication that it needed to be a national security event. We hadn't progressed that far to think the counting of the votes required it to be a national security event.

TODD (voice-over): The Secret Service did play a pivotal role that day, whisking then Vice President Mike Pence to safety as rioters came within 100 feet of Pence.

Secret Service Director Murray also admitted some of the civil disturbances over the past year have brought to light some critical needs in his agency.


MURRAY: We found we did not have enough of our folks trained in civil disturbance. We didn't have enough equipment in that regard.

TODD (voice-over): The Secret Service director's testimony comes as D.C. Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone who was brutally attacked on January by rioters lashes out at Congress. In an open letter to elected officials, Fanone says he struggles with psychological trauma, emotional anxiety, and quote, with the anxiety of hearing those who continue to downplay the events of that day and those that would ignore them all together with their lack of acknowledgement, the indifference shown to my colleague and I is disgraceful.

Fanone didn't say who he was referring to but had earlier complained to CNN's Don Lemon about these remarks from former President Donald Trump about the rioters.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: Some of them went in, and they're hugging and kissing the police and the guards, you know, that they had great relationships.

MICHAEL FANONE, WASHINGTON DC POLICE OFFICER: I think it's dangerous. It's very much not the experience that I had on the 6th. You know, I experienced a group of individuals that were trying to kill me.

TODD: And in the meantime, a man from Tennessee, one of several being charged with assaulting Officer Fanone has dropped his effort to be released from jail and will stay behind bars pending his trial. That man named Albuquerque Head allegedly grabbed Officer Fanone by the neck and pulled him into the mob where he was mercilessly beaten. Albuquerque Head has pleaded not guilty to ten different charges.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


BRUNHUBER: All right, much more to come here on CNN NEWSROOM, including a look at the impact the ongoing pandemic is having on medical professionals in the United States.

Plus, a controversial proposal to give away patents on COVID vaccines is picking up some international support. We'll have a live report from London. Stay with us.