Return to Transcripts main page


President Biden Meets with French President Emmanuel Macron at G7 Summit; President Biden Will Not Hold Joint Press Conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin; Many Mourn on Five Year Anniversary of Pulse Nightclub Shooting; Unruly Passenger Causes Delta Air Lines Flight to be Diverted; Internet Sleuths Aiding Authorities in Attempt to Find Hundreds of People Who Stormed U.S. Capitol on January 6th. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired June 12, 2021 - 10:00   ET



MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN ANCHOR: Time for just one. "I dig it. The purple hues are kinda your signature." Thank you so much. Yes, do you like it? And we just unveiled the new skyline today, kind of Andy Warhol-ish, isn't it? I'll see you next week.

AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. It is Saturday, June 12th. I'm Amara Walker.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Boris Sanchez. You are live in the CNN Newsroom.

And we begin this hour with the G7, the world's seven most prosperous democracies meeting for the second day of the summit. And we're standing by. At any moment now we're going to see images of President Biden's first bilateral meeting of the summit with French President Emmanuel Macron.

WALKER: On the agenda for the world leaders today, what we're hearing was a heated debate on how to approach China, plus discussions on building back the global economy post-pandemic and signing a global health declaration to make sure another crisis like the coronavirus pandemic does not happen again.

And in the last hour, first lady Jill Biden took part in an event featuring veterans, first responders, and family members. The organization hosting it helps those with physical injuries or mental health issues through surfing.

SANCHEZ: Yes, looming over the G7, though, President Biden's first face-to-face with Vladimir Putin just days from now. The Russian president in a rare interview with a U.S. network saying relations between the two nations are the lowest they've been in years.

WALKER: Let's get now to CNN's Jeff Zeleny, who is live with us from Falmouth, England. Hi, there, Jeff. So has this bilateral meeting happened? What do we know?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: We do know that any moment now President Biden will be sitting down for his first one- on-one formal bilateral meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron. They did speak yesterday on the sidelines of this G7 summit, and it was a very warm relationship, a very friendly exchange, talking about security, talking about coming out of COVID-19 and counterterrorism.

But inside this meeting, of course, the agenda is also a little bit more specific. So this will be happening really any moment, we are told, in Carbis Bay, which near where we are here in Falmouth on the coast on the south of England. A beautiful, sunny day as the leaders are in their second full day of the G7 summit. We did see, in addition to all of the handshakes and smiles and photographs and receptions, at a private meeting this morning there was, indeed, deep tensions about how to treat China. The competitiveness of China, the U.S. and Canada, and France, actually, are on the same side --

SANCHEZ: We're actually going to stop you for just one second, Jeff --

ZELENY: Yes, and as we see here right now, the leaders are meeting right here. Yes, let's watch.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: OK, we're on. Did you know that? We're just having -- we've had a good couple days so far. I've had a chance to spend some time with President Macron, get to know him. And we have some things we've got to talk about a little bit later. But things are going, I think, well. And we're, as we say back in the states, we're on the same page. So thank you.

EMMANUEL MACRON, FRENCH PRESIDENT: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. President. I want to thank you for our discussion yesterday, and the working sessions we had, indeed. We have to deal with this pandemic and the COVID-19. We have to face a lot of changes, a lot of crises, climate change. And for all these issues what we need is cooperation. And I think it's great to have the U.S. president part of the club and very willing to cooperate. And I think that what you demonstrate is leadership and partnership. And we do appreciate it. And I think we can deliver great things for that.

BIDEN: I think we can do a lot, too. The United States, I've said before, we're back. The U.S. is back. We feel very, very strongly about the cohesion of NATO. And I, for one, think that the European Union is an incredibly strong and vibrant entity that has a lot to do with the ability of western Europe to not only handle its economic issues, but provide the backbone and support for NATO. And so we're very supportive, very supportive.

MACRON: Thank you.

BIDEN: Thank you.




WALKER: We just saw these live pictures of President Biden and the French President Emmanuel Macron speaking after their bilateral talks. And clearly a warm reception by both, and quite a juxtaposition when you compare it to -- I don't know, for some reason, Jeff, it brought me back to years ago when President Trump and Macron were meeting on the sidelines of the G7, and they had that never-ending white-knuckle handshake. It's obviously a very different, I guess, atmosphere and relationship between the two.

ZELENY: No question about it. This is the first time that these two leaders have been sitting right next to each other. And that sound you heard there at the end were reporters asking questions, and it looked to me like the leaders actually were thinking about answering them, but then they were escorted out by aides as they get down to their meeting.

But these first images of their relationship so important. Yes, the relationship between French President Emmanuel Macron and former President Donald Trump did deteriorate, but it started out very warmly in the sense that Mr. Trump was invited to France for Bastille Day. And he went and watched the parade, and that really had a big effect on him, and in fact, he wanted to hold a military parade back in Washington. Those plans, of course, fell apart, as did the relationship.

But going forward here, one of the interesting things was just in terms of agenda items, we heard the French president say that they are willing to cooperate on climate change. And this, of course, is something that is so different, and you have to think of really the main substantive differences between the Trump administration and, indeed, the Biden administration. Climate change certainly is nearly at the top of that list.

One of the first things President Biden did when he came into office was have the U.S. rejoin the Paris Climate Accords, which of course President Trump removed the U.S. from. So this is a front and center issue for these two leaders.

But they do have much more to discuss as well -- counterterrorism, security, troops in western Africa, violence there. But economically speaking, how to come out of this global pandemic that is so front and center in these conversations. But just watching the body language, President Biden has been around a long time. Emmanuel Macron is about half his age, not quite, but it looks certainly like they had a warm friendship, relationship. We'll see what substantively comes out of the first of what is likely to become many conversations over the months and years to come.

SANCHEZ: Jeff, it did look like they were about to answer questions, and then the press wranglers at the White House, as you well know, they can be assertive, if not aggressive in getting reporters out of the way. Jeff Zeleny from England, thank you so much.

Let's discuss further with CNN political analyst Laura Barron-Lopez, she's also a White House correspondent for "POLITICO," and CNN global affairs analyst Kimberly Dozier, also a contributor to "Time" magazine. Kimberly, I just want to go over what we just watched, President Biden saying that he and Macron were on the same page, Macron given an opportunity to go over what was discussed. He mentioned the pandemic, climate change. No specific mention of China, and that's an issue where these two leaders have had some disagreement, with Macron speaking out in favor of strategic autonomy for the E.U. when it comes to China. What did you take from what we just saw?

KIMBERLY DOZIER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, there's a lot more that makes it possible for these two men to cooperate than divides them. They're both multilateralists. They're both committed to democracy. And Biden respects Macron's movement over the past couple of years to step forward with France being a leader throughout Europe, and also taking a lot of its own military matters into its hands, the continuing cooperation where France has troops on the ground in Mali and the U.S. just provides air support, things like that.

Now, when it comes to something like how you handle China, what Macron has been saying, the fact that the U.S. has taken a very bullish tone towards China, what he is trying to say is there are more delicate, diplomatic ways to handle the growing behemoth that is Beijing. And so I think it's, yes, some moves in terms of substance, some disagreements on that, but I think it's more that they could work out behind-the-scenes, like good cop, bad cop. That is more of what Macron could end up doing in his role.

WALKER: Yes, and I don't want to dwell on this too much, but, again, back to the Macron and Trump relationship, we were talking about it started out warm, and then towards the end they didn't really see eye to eye and they did have quite a testy relationship.


And what Trump did was he -- by not wanting to be front and center on the world stage, that presented an opportunity for Macron to step into that vacuum and to take the lead on multilateralism. And if we can talk a little bit more about that, Laura, just what we see in terms -- what we're going to see in terms of how President Biden asserts America on the world stage, especially when it comes to these historic alliances.

LAURA BARRON-LOPEZ, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: That's right, you heard Macron say it's great to have the U.S. as part of the club, because, again, Trump pulled out of so many international agreements. He often scoffed at trans-Atlantic alliances. And he also very publicly, whether it was on Twitter or at these press conferences, would disparage the other G7 world leaders. And so Biden, from the very beginning, is taking a very different tone.

And this is something that he said he was going to do throughout the campaign. He said that given his foreign policy experience, be it in the Senate or also when he was vice president, that he knew how to put the U.S. back on the world stage and cooperate with long-time allies, and that's exactly what he's trying to do during this first summit. He's also trying to make sure that the U.S. is reemerging in competitiveness, and that is why so much of his agenda at this summit is China, because he's trying to not only in his foreign policy agenda, but as well as his domestic agenda, making the argument against China and trying to say that the U.S. needs to be just as competitive or else be lost on the world stage to that emerging power.

SANCHEZ: And, Laura, let's dig into that a little bit more. The White House has obviously put out the message that America is back, a leader in multilateral efforts around the world. But with this sort of reticence from Germany and Italy and others toward having a united front with the E.U. against China, they're more interested in trade deals with Beijing, if Biden can't get these western democracies on the same page when it comes to confronting an authoritarian regime, doesn't that bolster the Trump America-first worldview that the United States can't rely on Europe to get things done on a grand scale around the world?

BARRON-LOPEZ: I'm not sure if it bolsters Trump's world view. Trump also saw China as an emerging threat. But what Biden is trying to do and what it appears as though he has been able to get the G7 somewhat on board with, to hit on Kimberly's point, is that they also understand the importance of confronting China, especially when it comes to the forced labor of the Uyghurs in Xinjiang. And Biden is trying to argue that they have to set higher standards in terms of labor and infrastructure investments across the globe.

And so it appears as though the rest of the G7 leaders also see importance in doing that so far. And that is going to be a key position for Biden moving forward over the next few days. Now, whether or not he is able to get in the final communique out of the summit a really declarative statement on China is something that remains to be seen.

WALKER: So when you talk about confronting China, we've also got to talk about the other adversary that the G7 leaders will be talking about, and that, of course, is Russia. And Putin, I don't know that there will be that much daylight between the leaders on Putin. But to you, Kimberly, there's obviously going to be a lot to talk about, especially when it comes to Biden confronting Putin on the ransomware attacks, election interference, Ukraine, and of course the poisoning and subsequent imprisonment of Alexei Navalny. What will you be watching for? And how do you take the fact that the decision was made that there will not be a joint news conference so that Biden does not elevate Putin's stature with one?

DOZIER: I think what the Europeans are going to be watching for is the tone from Biden that says Putin is the adversary, but we are going to handle him not with a clash of egos, but by supporting and reassuring European nations that the next time you get invaded, we are going to be there for you in a way that many feel the U.S. was not there for them when Crimea was invaded and Ukraine was menaced. The decision not to have a joint press conference with Putin, I think, was very smart in that it avoids having that shot of Biden trying to say something that's very strong and firm with Putin smirking next to him, something that would play and play and play across Russian audiences.


It also gives an opportunity for Biden to answer any questions he wants, have nice, long press conference, and not have to divide time with Putin, who would be, in his way, saying you haven't shown us proof on the ransomware attacks. You haven't shown us your commitment to democracy in your own country. We can see that it's roiled.

From the European standpoint, the other thing they'll be looking for is, how long is this going to last? I spoke to one former German diplomat this past week who said we like what the Biden administration is saying, but we're also looking at the polls. We'll be watching the next midterms. If the GOP comes roaring back, then perhaps the America we hoped had come back just isn't there anymore.

SANCHEZ: The shadow of Trump continues to loom large. A lot of issues on the table. Excellent analysis, as always. Kimberly Dozier, Laura Barron-Lopez, thank you both.

WALKER: Thank you.

SANCHEZ: Still ahead, a day of remembrance, today marking five years since the Pulse nightclub shooting. Forty-nine lives were lost. We'll tell you about the effort to honor those victims.

WALKER: Also, caught on camera, a Delta flight diverted after a fight allegedly breaks out between passengers. We're going to show you the video next.



WALKER: A shooting in Downtown Austin, Texas, has left at least 13 people injured. This happened around 1:00 in the morning. Two people are in critical condition. No deaths have been reported at this time.

SANCHEZ: The city's interim police chief says that the severity of the incident forced officers to transport victims to the hospital themselves. Right now, a motive is still unclear, and police aren't actually sure if there was more than one suspect involved. We're going to keep following that story and bring you any updates as we get them.

Today marks five years since one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history -- 49 people were killed, dozens more wounded at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Police killed the gunman after a three- hour standoff while people were still trapped inside and desperately calling and messaging friends and family. Five years later, many are still mourning the losses of that day.


DEPUTY CHIEF JAMES YOUNG, ORLANDO POLICE: It's the longest shift of my life, and when I say the longest shift of my life, I think that it hasn't ended to this day.


WALKER: Each one of the 49 people killed, now known as the 49 Angels, left behind a legacy. Before they were victims, they were parents, recent graduates, veterans, breast cancer survivors, artists, and more. Every year the community gathers for vigils honoring the victims. And we spoke to Barbara Poma, co-owner of Pulse nightclub, and she says today is the day they lift each other up, no matter how difficult it is.


BARBARA POMA, CO-OWNER OF PULSE NIGHTCLUB: Being there at 2:02 in the morning is something that has been quite organic over the last five years. It's nothing that is ever organized, but it's something that seems to calm many of us there at that time. And so it's a moment where we gather for a very short prayer service and candlelight and we just speak their names. We just hold each other up.

Being on the site at that time is extraordinarily difficult, but for some reason it feels like it's the only place to be. As we approach June every year, as soon as May starts to hit, you realize June is next, something just physically happens to your body. I don't know if your brain is overpowering it, but the more you anticipate June 1st coming, you certainly know it. Your whole body knows it, your senses are heightened, and you are trying to figure out how you're going to cope with it. It's something we all feel here, something that's very common.


WALKER: Our thoughts and hearts are with those connected to the Pulse nightclub.

For the second time in as many days, Delta says an unruly passenger has forced one of its planes to be diverted. This is a different story. You think you may have heard this one, but you haven't yet.

SANCHEZ: Yes, there was an ugly confrontation outside the cockpit. Imagine being a passenger on this plane and watching this. Delta flight 1730 was traveling from L.A. to Atlanta when it had to be diverted to Oklahoma City. You can hear passengers in the video yelling, others running up to help flight attendants in the air. CNN's Polo Sandoval joins us now. Polo, what do we know about this situation? What spurred all of this?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Boris and Amara, CNN has spoken to some of the passengers onboard the flight. They described some of those moments as extremely tense aboard that flight. You mentioned Delta 1730 was on its way from Los Angeles to Atlanta when at one point, according to police, an altercation quickly escalated, and this unruly passenger made its way toward the front of the plane, towards the cockpit door. According to police, he assaulted two female flight attendants on board, and that's when some of this video here picks up, and those passengers springing into action to assist to try to subdue this individual and try to gain control of the situation.

We are told by a passenger that was aboard the flight that they were about two hours away from landing in Atlanta when a voice on the P.A. system from the crew basically called for all able-bodied men to make their way to the front of the aircraft. Of course, that was, we believe authorities were asking for some help to try to control this individual, which is basically what happened here before the captain then diverted to Oklahoma City, where the plane landed safely and authorities were able to board the aircraft and then remove this person.


Now, this was a severe delay, obviously, for the flight. They were able to continue along with their itinerary, but this was hours later, so Delta has, obviously, apologized for any possible inconvenience. But they also, obviously, thanked the passengers and crew that was able to actually gain control of the situation there in flight.

Now, as you mentioned, this is only the second case in recent days here of one of these situations unfolding, and it has been not very smooth traveling on many flights this year. The FAA actually tracks unruly passenger incidents and reports that so far this year they've seen at least 2,900. About 2,200 are people who were refusing to comply with the federal mask mandate due to the pandemic. So these are numbers that do continue to rise, which obviously are concerning for the travel industry, for the FAA and Transportation Security Administration. And ultimately what we do have, though, is this latest case. We're trying to find a little bit more about this passenger. Of course, as soon as we get those details we'll pass them along to you, Boris and Amara.

WALKER: It's so disheartening to see that. The flight attendants, the airlines have been working so hard to keep us safe, and I don't know about you, but I feel grateful that I can fly again. So it's really sad.

SANDOVAL: Absolutely.

WALKER: Thanks, Polo Sandoval.

SANDOVAL: Thanks, guys.

WALKER: Coming up, a record dry year creating extreme drought in the west. Up next, I'll speak with someone dealing with the issue firsthand and urging his county to put water restrictions in place.



WALKER: A Chicago cop has been charged for his role in the January 6th Capitol insurrection. Karol Chwiesiuk allegedly entered Senator Jeff Merkley's office and then walked through the Capitol crypt before leaving through a broken window. Chicago police superintendent David Brown relieved Chwiesiuk from duty after being made aware of his role in the insurrection.


SUPERINTENDENT DAVID BROWN, CHICAGO POLICE: What happened in D.C. on January 6th was an absolute disgrace. The fact that a Chicago police officer has been charged in that attack on American democracy makes my blood boil. It makes me sick to my stomach. And, yes, if these allegations are true, it breaks my heart.


WALKER: The officer is facing five federal misdemeanors, including knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, violent entry, and disorderly conduct.

SANCHEZ: Speaking of the attempted insurrection, the FBI is still looking for hundreds of people who stormed the Capitol on January 6th. And now stepping up to help federal investigators, a sprawling community of social media detectives. CNN's Sara Murray reports on a group that calls themselves "Sedition Hunters."



SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: From the mob, a seemingly unidentifiable hand reaches out with a taser in an attack that would leave Officer Michael Fanone begging for his life.

OFFICER MICHAEL FANONE, METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT: I just remember yelling out that I have kids.

MURRAY: Forrest Rogers and the Internet sleuths known as Deep State Dogs got to work.

FORREST ROGERS, SPOKESMAN, DEEP STATE DOGS: It was one of the more violent scenes at the Capitol.

MURRAY: Within days they compiled video tracing the taser and man holding it through the crowd on January 6th. Others on social media pitched in to determine the man's identity.

ROGERS: You can see him reaching out, the suspect reaching out, putting the taser on the Officer Fanone's neck.

MURRAY: They delivered it to the FBI and a "Huffington Post" reporter, who further confirmed the alleged attacker, Daniel Rodriguez. Rodriguez now faces eight charges, including assaulting Officer Fanone, and has pleaded not guilty. It's not clear from the court documents whether their work helped the FBI's case against Rodriguez.

The Deep State Dogs are one group in a sprawling social media community, so-called sedition hunters, rooting out insurrectionists in the wake of January 6th. John Scott-Railton, a senior researcher at the University of Toronto Citizen Lab, says it's a diverse, diffuse group united by a common goal.

JOHN SCOTT-RAILTON, SENIOR RESEARCHER, CITIZEN LAB: What they are working for is accountability. And they're going about that in different ways, whether it means publishing information in collaboration with journalists, or whether it means making tips to law enforcement.

MURRAY: But their efforts are also a rebuttal to Republicans looking to whitewash the horrifying events of January 6th. SCOTT-RAILTON: Every time I hear a lawmaker try to downplay what

happened, I think of the fear on their faces and the pictures and footage we have of them fleeing from what was going on. And I know that they remember it, too. This was a trauma for them.

MURRAY: Sedition hunters often crowdsource information. They assign hashtags to rioters to state organized as new images emerge. Other times they build files on suspects in closed groups before sharing their findings. Their handywork is sprinkled throughout court documents. "Certain Internet sites assigned this individual the hashtag #boyinthe hood." The second tipster was a member of hashtag #seditionhunters. Unknown Twitter users created the hashtag #scallops to track photographs. The zeal from amateur sleuths led to some misfires early on.

SCOTT-RAILTON: There was a tremendous amount of desire and eagerness on the part of people who had never done this kind of digging before to get involved and to help out, and that resulted in overenthusiastic people making some misidentifications.

MURRAY: Now a set of best practices has emerged. Among the most important rules, don't go tossing out names on social media. The FBI has arrested nearly 500 suspects related to the Capitol riots. They're still looking for the public's help in identifying more than 250 others.


ROGERS: The 400, that's a small number. This will continue. What we've seen now, in my opinion, is only the drop in the bucket.

MURRAY (on camera): Now, the FBI has made clear they want to see these tips continue coming in. A spokesperson for the FBI said tips matter and said the public has been of tremendous assistance in this investigation.

Sara Murray, CNN, Washington.


WALKER: Sara, thank you for that.

A heat wave is building across much of the west. This as several states in the region are already seeing drought conditions where temperatures will soar into the triple digits, next.


SANCHEZ: The first major heatwave of the season could set records this weekend in the western part of the United States, bringing life- threatening heat and temperatures that could skyrocket into triple digits throughout the next week. Over 35 million people are now under some sort of a heat alert for much of the next week.


CNN's meteorologist Tyler Mauldin joins us now live from the CNN weather center. Tyler, where exactly is the heat most extreme?

TYLER MAULDIN, CNN METEOROLOGIST: So many of us will be seeing above- average heat over the next couple of days, but the extreme heat, Boris, will be out across the four corners. This is where we have roughly 35 million people under heat alerts at the moment. You see this cold front right in the middle of the country. That's in name only. We're all going to be dealing with the heat.

But, again, the excessive heat is down here across the four corners. So Omaha, you could top out at 89 degrees today, Denver, you could top out at 91. By the time we get to Thursday of next week, you'll be approaching 100 degrees. It will be 107 in El Paso, 102 in Midland. And when you add in the humidity in parts of the four corners down in the southwest, it could feel like it's up to 120 degrees when you combine all of that together.

So this is where the excessive, extreme, dangerous heat is bottled up, and it's only going to get hotter in the days to come. Phoenix, your average high is 104 degrees. By the time we get to Monday we'll be approaching 117 degrees, and we're going to see that heat continue to expand and push east, as I said. Denver will be approaching 100 degrees once we get to midweek next week as well.

In terms of records, Boris, it looks like we could possibly see 130 records be broken, at least 130 records, and that's just high temperatures. That's not including morning lows, which will be extremely warm overnight as well. So once you start seeing the overnight temperatures get excessively warm, you know during the afternoons it's going to be downright hot, and that's what we're going to be seeing for many in the days to come.

SANCHEZ: Important for folks in that area, in those areas, to stay hydrated, stay inside, and plan for that kind of heat. Tyler Mauldin, thank you so much.

MAULDIN: You got it.

WALKER: And that excessive heat is not going to help the drought the western U.S. is dealing with right now, which is leading to dire conditions. More than 88 percent, 88 percent of western states are experiencing a drought, nearly 55 percent are under the worst levels of extreme and exceptional drought. No rain is expected in those areas in the next few days. Four states, Oregon, California, Nevada, and Utah are completely in drought conditions. According to the U.S. drought monitor, only one percent of California was in exceptional drought back at the start of the year. The latest numbers show that now 33 percent is in exceptional drought.

Authorities in California are taking action to conserve water. The Santa Clara Valley District Board declaring a water shortage emergency is now urging local governments and businesses to put water restrictions in place.

Joining me to discuss is the board's vice chairman Gary Kremen. I appreciate you joining us this morning. This sounds like a dire situation. How bad is it? GARY KREMEN, VICE CHAIR, VALLEY WATER BOARD OF DIRECTORS: We are in a

truly dire situation. Half of our storage is not working due to seismic restrictions. There's zero snowpack, so no water is coming into our county. And we're trying to buy emergency water. Even there we're having difficulty purchasing it.

WALKER: You're trying to buy emergency water from who and where? And why are you running into difficulties?

KREMEN: So because the entire state or almost all of the state is in an exceptional drought, everyone is trying to buy surplus or emergency water, what's left on the market. But it's bidding the price up and up. Right now, we're seeing prices that are 10 times what we were two years ago. That doesn't even mean we can get it into our county because of restrictions.

WALKER: OK, that's frightening, because obviously, for humankind we need water. We were mentioning, Gary, that California is facing drought conditions, but Santa Clara County has other problems making the situation worse, right, because there's a dam that's been drained because it was being rebuilt to improve earthquake safety. So how is that complicating your response to the drought?

KREMEN: That's right, because normally we keep our water in the largest reservoir, which is half our storage, but we've been ordered for earthquake safety reasons, new regulations, to empty it down to three percent. So, 97 percent of the water is drained. So we don't have very much local water other than the aquafer. But if you drain the aquafer down to the bottom, you have subsidence, foundations crack, other things crack. A very dire situation.

WALKER: So, while you try to find water, purchase water somewhere at a reasonable price, hopefully, what is the instructions for the people who live in your county in terms of water restrictions, and are they being enforced?


KREMEN: It's critical that people conserve water. That means don't wash your cars, don't put water down your driveway. Only water, if you're going to water anything outside, just water trees that might die, take shorter showers, fix leaks, et cetera. We've called for 15 percent mandatory reduction in use, and it could get higher.

WALKER: And tell me about how people are responding to these restrictions. I remember when I went to go visit my family in southern California, I think it was maybe five or six years ago, California was experiencing an extreme drought and I know there were a lot of restrictions. My parents, I think they were only able to water their lawns Wednesdays and Fridays or something to that extent. And they took it seriously. And I know there were people in the neighborhood who would call local officials and say, hey, my neighbor across the street is watering her plants and washing her car, and it's Wednesday and she's not supposed to be. Are you seeing that kind of, I guess, people abiding by these rules? KREMEN: Well, we do -- we're not going to send water police out to

arrest folks, OK? We really are about the carrot approach instead of stick approach. So we're doing things like paying people to remove their lawns. It's gotten that serious. Or paying people money to put a rain barrel in. Not that we have any rain right now. And folks actually tend to listen and be compliant. But it is pretty dire.

WALKER: I hope there dire, obviously, a lot of issues with the drought and the heat, and of course a higher risk in fires as well, and then again you'll need water if there's a wildfire. Gary Kremen, we wish you the best. Thank you so much.

KREMEN: Thank you.

SANCHEZ: As Americans begin to return to in-person work, many parents hoping to rejoin the workforce now face a new challenge, finding childcare among worker shortages. We're going to look at the reasons behind the staffing shortage and how it complicates efforts to reopen after a quick break. Stay with us.



WALKER: And just in time for the warming weather, more cities and summer attractions are reopening and dropping COVID-19 restrictions. But vaccinations are lagging in some parts of the country. Over the past week, the country has administered an average of just over a million COVID-19 vaccine doses per day. That's an increase from previous weeks, but it is still down significantly from over 3 million doses a day on average in April.

SANCHEZ: The problem is especially glaring in five states. Fewer than half the adults in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Wyoming have received their first COVID-19 vaccine dose. That's happening as more businesses are looking to return to normal, like Disney World. Beginning next week, masks will no longer be required in most areas at Disney World for vaccinated guests. Face coverings will still be required for guests on all forms of Disney transportation, though.

Meantime, the CDC is monitoring a higher than expected number of cases of heart inflammation among young patients who recently received their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. They are extremely rare, we should point out. In most cases the patient was male. And an FDA adviser says vaccination of kids under 12 should be put off until more safety data is available.

WALKER: As the pandemic eases and businesses welcome workers back to the office, many parents are hoping to rejoin the workforce. They're experiencing a major obstacle -- finding a daycare spot that can take their kids.

SANCHEZ: The main holdup is a shortage of childcare workers. CNN's Vanessa Yurkevich has the story. VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS AND POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: Good

morning, Boris and Amara. The childcare industry is in a fragile state right now. The industry was short workers before the pandemic and has lost nearly 200,000 jobs since, forcing parents on wait lists for their kids as they try to make plans to return to work. The pandemic revealed major cracks in the system in what is a lose-lose situation for both parents and providers.


YURKEVICH: Mornings at Wonderspring Early Education in west Philadelphia start with circle time. The infants are fed and sung to. The toddlers play with blocks and toys, All under the watchful eye of these childcare workers for eight hours a day, every day, called teachers here.

ZAKIYYAH BOONE, CEO, WONDERSPRING EARLY EDUCATION: They are teachers. They're not just daycare workers. We're not caring for days. We're caring for children.

YURKEVICH: But childcare workers, 98 percent women and almost half people of color, are paid poverty level wages to watch, care for, and teach America's youngest, earning a median salary of about $24,000. And now there's a shortage of people for this critical work.

BOONE: Finding teachers today is quite a challenge.

YURKEVICH: These classrooms at one of Wonderspring centers sit empty because 30 percent of their positions are open, just above national numbers, showing a nearly 20 percent loss in the childcare workforce since the pandemic.

BOONE: I can't just sell more toilet paper in order to earn more money to pay my teachers more. I also can't just randomly charge the families 25, 30, 40 percent more in tuition. I have to be able to have funding to do that.

YURKEVICH: The American Rescue Plan allotted $39 billion for childcare centers, but more money is needed. Both the American Families Plan and infrastructure bill would provide billions to these centers.

LEA J.E. AUSTIN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF CHILDCARE EMPLOYMENT AT U.C. BERKELEY: Public funding is the answer to ensure affordable or free access to early care and education for families and to ensure livable wages for the early care and education workforce.

YURKEVICH: Livable wages and less of a burden of cost on parents.

TOMIA MITCHELL-HAAS, WAITLISTED FOR CHILD CARE: I was quoted around $4,300, which is actually not the same price as my rent, but more than my rent.

YURKEVICH: And that's if parents can even find a childcare center with openings. Wonderspring has a wait list of 100 families. In Los Angeles, Tomia Mitchell-Haas have spent months looking for childcare for her two-year-old Ari (ph) and four-year-old Cy (ph). [10:55:05]

MITCHELL-HAAS: I'm on a couple of waitlists. I felt like no one thought of what this is doing to a single mom who still has to work as well.

YURKEVICH: She's a teacher herself, working from home throughout the pandemic. She takes turns watching her toddlers with her 13-year-old daughter Ayanna (ph) until spots open up.

MITCHELL-HAAS: You want them to be learning, you want them to be happy, you want them to be safe. Why should that be something that's so difficult to attain? It shouldn't.


YURKEVICH: Now, part of why public funding is so critical is because it means higher wages for childcare workers and lower costs for families. The American Families Plan says that families will pay for childcare based on income, while ensuring workers make a $15 minimum wage. But as of right now, President Biden doesn't have the support he needs in Congress to get his plan across the finish line. Amara, Boris?

WALKER: Wow, what a story. Vanessa Yurkevich, thank you.

The woman who recorded the murder of George Floyd has received one of journalism's highest honors.

SANCHEZ: Yes, the Pulitzer Prizes gave a special citation to Darnella Frazier. You'll recall, she was 17 years old when she recorded Derek Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd's neck for over nine minutes, and it was that video going viral that sparked protests and calls for racial justice, not just here in the United States, but around the world. Frazier testified during Chauvin's trial. The video obviously a crucial piece of evidence. In its announcement, the Pulitzer board said that honoring Frazier highlights, quote, the crucial role of citizens and journalists' quest for truth and justice.

WALKER: It sure does. It must be a bitter-sweet moment for her. That's our time. Thanks for watching.

SANCHEZ: There's so much more ahead in the next hour of the CNN Newsroom. Fredricka Whitfield is up next.