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Iran's Next President; U.S. Investigators Release New Videos of Capitol Riots; Western U.S. Facing Worst Drought in 20 Years; U.S. Bipartisan Infrastructure Plan Gaining Steam on Capitol Hill; COVID-19 Delta Variant Becoming Dominant Strain; Palestinians Cancel Pfizer Vaccine Agreement with Israel; India Black Fungus; U.S. Catholic Bishops Advance Communion Document Plan; Some Restaurants Aim to Keep Post-COVID Outdoor Space. Aired 5-6a ET

Aired June 19, 2021 - 05:00   ET

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


[05:00:00]

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KIM BRUNHUBER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Winning by a landslide: Iran state TV reports Ebrahim Raisi is Iran's new president. We are live in Tehran with the latest.

Plus, a fresh look at the shocking events of January 6th.

And the U.S. Gulf Coast seeing heavy rains and tropical storm force winds. We will have the latest forecast.

Welcome to all of those watching around the world. I'm Kim Brunhuber. This is CNN NEWSROOM.

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BRUNHUBER: It's now 1:30 in the afternoon in Tehran. Iran's state media is reporting that Ebrahim Raisi has won by a landslide. He got an estimated 62 percent of the vote with about 92 percent of the ballots counted.

Let's get to Fred Pleitgen live in Tehran.

So a landslide victory for the hand-picked favorite candidate. No surprise. Take us through what this means for Iran, first of all, and the direction of the country.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think right now, if you look what has been going on this morning as the Iranians are starting the transition of power, quite interesting, a couple of minutes ago, the outgoing president Hassan Rouhani met with the incoming president. They met at the judiciary where until now Raisi has been the head of until he will take over the office of president.

Rouhani congratulated Raisi and said it was important for the transition of power take place in a clear and also in a peaceful way as well. For Iran, itself, of course, it means that much of society will move

further toward a more conservative trajectory. Some of the things won't necessarily change that much. One of the things we have to keep in mind is a lot of the things decided here in this country, not just internally but externally as well, they run through a lot of echelons.

And in the end, it is Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say. But one of the folks I spoke to as this election was going on, bumped into him at one of the polling stations, is the head of Iran's supreme national security council.

And he told me that, for instance, the Iran nuclear agreement is something that will remain on track or getting the Iran nuclear agreement is something will remain. The supreme leader has said he supports the negotiations to get the U.S. back into the deal and Iran back into full compliance.

Certainly, there are -- this was a pivotal election. There are changes that most probably will be coming on the way. But also, the fundamentals of Iranian politics of the Iranian state will certainly stay the same.

BRUNHUBER: So, this was a real victory for hardliners.

What does this mean for moderates and the reform movement such as it is?

PLEITGEN: Well, I think they have certainly been weakened. I think it's something where the writing was on the wall before the election even took place.

One of the things, of course, we did see before the election happened was that the guardian council, the body that vets the candidates to let them take part in the election, they disqualified a lot of candidates. And moderates thought it was disproportionately a lot of moderate candidates were disqualified.

So, you really have Ebrahim Raisi, on the other hand, a very strong conservative candidate who didn't have a very strong candidate on the moderate side. You had Abdolnasser Hemmati, who only got 2.5 million votes. That is very, very little. I think what that showed is essentially, in this election, turnout is probably less than 50 percent.

And there are a lot of people in the country who are quite disillusioned and disappointed in the policies of the Rouhani administration, given the economic sphere, the country very much suffering from the crippling sanctions put in place by the Trump administration.

[05:05:00]

PLEITGEN: But people also believe the economy was not necessarily managed very well by the Rouhani administration.

BRUNHUBER: Fascinating. Thank you so much for that analysis, Frederik Pleitgen in the Iranian capital, Tehran, for us, appreciate it.

Former U.S. vice president Mike Pence was heckled on Friday as he spoke to what you would think would have been a very friendly crowd. He was addressing a religious conference in Florida when he was shouted down and repeatedly called a traitor.

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MIKE PENCE (R), FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And I want to thank my friend Ralph Reed (ph) for those overly generous words.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Traitor.

PENCE: I'm deeply humbled by them. Ralph Reed (ph) knows me well enough to know the introduction I prefer is a little bit shorter. I'm a Christian, a conservative and a Republican in that order. And I am honored to stand before you today.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRUNHUBER: Pence has been criticized, of course, by former president Donald Trump, since Pence provided over the joint session of Congress that certified election results on January 6th.

Now some of the pro-Trump rioters who stormed the Capitol that day even threatened to hang Pence. Despite all of that, Pence has still showered his former boss with praise in Friday's speech. Pence is rumored to be considering a future presidential bid.

Many Republicans have been trying to whitewash what happened at the Capitol on January 6th. Never mind that hundreds of suspected rioters have been arrested and face prosecutions and jail and that many of them can be seen doing what they did on video and social media posts.

Well, now the U.S. Justice Department is releasing more footage of the riots after CNN and other media organizations went to court to seek access to it. A word of warning: the videos are graphic. There is profanity. Paula Reid reports.

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PAULA REID, CNN SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tonight, newly released footage showing an up-close look at what officers protecting the Capitol went through during the January 6th attack.

These new videos, revealed after CNN and other media outlets sued for them in court, showing Scott Fairlamb, a gym owner from New Jersey, taunting, then shoving an officer and punching him in the face.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, stay away from us. Fuck them.

REID (voice-over): Another video taken from an officer's body cam showing Thomas Webster, a former Marine and retired NYPD officer, seen here wearing a red coat, threatening police with a flagpole before tackling one officer to the ground. Both men have pleaded not guilty to all charges.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): It's a rude awakening for everyone. But hopefully it will also help people see the lies of the former president.

REP. MADELEINE DEAN (D-PA): It's shameful. But sadly, there's an awful number of my Republican colleagues who seemed to not feel shame.

REID (voice-over): But the videos come as some Republican members of Congress are attempting to rewrite history, downplaying the events of that day and latching on to baseless conspiracy theories.

REP. LOUIE GOHMERT (R-TX): DOJ, FBI or any of the intel community, what kind of role were they playing?

REID (voice-over): The latest lie that the people behind the insurrection were not Trump supporters but the FBI, the claim stemming from references to unindicted co-conspirators.

A right-wing website claims without any evidence that the phrase is a reference to FBI informants or undercover agents infiltrating pro- Trump groups.

But legal experts say the term is not used to describe FBI agents and instead refers to people who participated in the conspiracy but haven't been charged. In one example, touted by FOX News, the unnamed co-conspirator was likely the defendant's wife according to court filings. Fox News host Tucker Carlson doubling down on the theory just last night.

TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: But we won't shut up and we shouldn't. It could not be more obvious at this point that the government is in fact hiding something probably quite a few things.

REID (voice-over): With Representatives Matt Gaetz, who is under investigation by the FBI, and Marjorie Taylor Greene, tweeting that theory. But some Republicans are pushing back, Representative Peter Meijer tweeting, "Not FBI. Can't believe I have to say that. It was what it was, a violent attempt to stop the constitutional transfer of power."

And Representative Adam Kinzinger renewing calls for a January 6th commission.

REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R-IL): Tell your constituents the truth. Tell the American people the truth. Let's get to the bottom of the truth. And then we can move on.

REID: CNN and other media outlets have spent months fighting to get access to those video clips you just saw.

[05:10:00]

REID: Those clips have been used as evidence in dozens of cases against the rioters but they were not available publicly. Now media outlets continue to fight for access to additional clips to

help show exactly what happened on that day -- Paula Reid, CNN, Washington.

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BRUNHUBER: In New York, police are looking for two gunmen in a brazen shooting that was caught on camera. A man was shot and wounded near to two children, who were miraculously were not shot or injured. The victim is in stable condition and the video you're about to see is graphic.

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BRUNHUBER (voice-over): It shows the 24-year-old victim trying to get away from a gunman before running into the two kids Thursday. They all fall to the ground before the attacker shoots the victim multiple times in his back and legs. The victim was hospitalized after the incident.

The attacker, whose face was covered, got away on a scooter that was operated by another man. Police say the children you saw in the video are a 10-year-old girl and a 5-year-old boy. For our viewers in the U.S., we will have a live report from New York on CNN's "NEW DAY" on this and other recent examples of gun violence. That will start in about an hour on CNN.

Heavy rains and winds are pummeling the U.S. Gulf Coast. When we come back, the storm officially becomes tropical storm Claudette. We will go live to the CNN Weather Center for the latest.

Meanwhile, California endures a crippling heat wave. The state's governor has promised to help struggling farms. We'll have the story after the break. Stay with us.

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BRUNHUBER: Parts of the U.S. Gulf Coast are under weather warnings right now and being hammered by heavy rain and tropical storm force winds. In just the past few minutes, the National Weather Service has announced that storm is now a tropical storm named Claudette.

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BRUNHUBER: Californians were asked to conserve power for a second straight day on Friday as record breaking high temperatures bake the entire region. The state's governor has declared a heat wave emergency, which frees up additional energy capacity. He also promised assistance for the agriculture industry.

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GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): We're working on assistance and grants for farmers and farm worker support. We put a lot of money in the budget, an unprecedented amount of money, unprecedented amount of money to support our ag community this year.

We are working on the final language of the budget this weekend. We are going to land it with the legislature. Trust me, we are mindful of the acuity of this crisis.

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BRUNHUBER: Officials say 11 of the state's 12 major reservoirs are at below average levels. The reservoir system is vital to California agriculture, which produces a third of U.S. vegetables and two-thirds of its fruits and nuts.

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BRUNHUBER: Joining me now is David Feldman, a professor at the University of California/Irvine and the director of Water UCI, a program to help solve water problems facing California and the world.

Thanks so much for joining us. We spoke a couple of years ago, when I was in California reporting on the last big drought. So here we are again, where many experts predicted.

Your colleague at UCI, paleo climatologist, Kathleen Johnson, said this, quote, "This current drought is potentially on track to become the worst that we've seen in at least 1,200 years."

I mean that is terrifying, if true.

Do you agree?

DAVID FELDMAN, WATER UCI: I do agree.

[05:20:00]

FELDMAN: The evidence is very strong that, in the last several decades, droughts, particularly here in the West, have become longer, more intense and with many damaging consequences. So it definitely seems to be the trend.

BRUNHUBER: Well, let's get to some of those consequences; as we saw earlier, in the piece, one of the most dramatic examples of the effects this is having is on our reservoirs, like Lake Meade.

I've been out there years ago, when it was hitting what was then record lows, now the deficit is about the size of the Statue of Liberty. You study the Colorado River, which feeds that reservoir.

What are you seeing?

FELDMAN: We're seeing the same thing. Basically, there's less snowpack in the winter in the Rockies, which means that there's less snow melt in the spring and the summer. And so that's diminished the inflow into Lake Meade and into Lake Powell.

And of course, our demands for water from the Colorado River are not diminishing. So you put those two things together and it means you're going to have a deficit.

BRUNHUBER: And then, we're seeing the other effects of this hot weather leading to a huge energy consumption; people across the West being asked to cut usage or face power cuts.

The hot, dry weather leading to more fires and now crews are facing water shortages as they try to fight those fires and it is forcing the state, once again, in California, to cut off water supply to farmers. And it is not even officially summer yet.

So what worries you the most when we're looking at the chain reaction of the effects this is having on our daily lives?

FELDMAN: I think there are two things that worry me the most. One is from an environmental standpoint. The intense droughts that we're having are leading to greater wildfires.

And of course, less water available locally to put out these wildfires, so that's a huge problem. Also environmentally less stream flow, which means more threats to fisheries. And then from a social standpoint, what worries me is the fact that our water demands are not really following water supply.

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BRUNHUBER: That was David Feldman, professor at UC Irvine, speaking with me earlier.

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BRUNHUBER: U.S. President Joe Biden marked a pandemic achievement on Friday, 300 million COVID shots in 150 days. But he also noted that the danger isn't over for the U.S. and encouraged more Americans to get vaccinated.

This comes as he is working on getting a passable version of infrastructure legislation through an evenly divided Congress. Here is chief White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins.

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KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Biden trumpeting another COVID-19 milestone today.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thanks to this wartime response we've gotten 300 million shots in the arms of Americans in 150 days.

COLLINS (voice-over): The president touting the number of shots administered since he took office while at least 350 million shots have been given overall.

BIDEN: It's an important milestone that just didn't happen on its own or by chance.

COLLINS (voice-over): But while celebrating the achievement, Biden is also acknowledging the long road still ahead.

BIDEN: Unfortunately, cases and hospitalizations are not going down in many places in the lower vaccination states. They are actually going up in some places.

COLLINS (voice-over): Biden turned his focus to a new milestone today now that he's unlikely to meet this one.

BIDEN: Our goal by July 4th is to have 70 percent of adult Americans with at least one shot.

COLLINS (voice-over): Sixty-five percent of U.S. adults have had at least one dose but the pace of vaccinations is slowing and the pool of those willing to get vaccinated is shrinking.

JEFF ZIENTS, WHITE HOUSE COVID-19 RESPONSE COORDINATOR: We are going to get to 70 percent and we'll continue across the summer months to push beyond 70 percent.

COLLINS (voice-over): The administration is making a last-minute push. Dispatching Vice President Kamala Harris to an historically Black college in Atlanta today where she talked about her own vaccine experience.

KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And now I can stand here with my mask off and talk with all of you and that trade- off, well, it was 100 percent worth it.

COLLINS (voice-over): Meanwhile, Biden is also keeping the focus on his domestic agenda.

REPORTER: The bipartisan plan, do you have any reaction to that?

BIDEN: I'll tell you Monday when I get a copy of it.

COLLINS (voice-over): Briefed yesterday on the latest bipartisan infrastructure package gaining steam on Capitol Hill, which features $1.2 trillion in total spending and $579 billion in new spending on physical infrastructure.

But there could be trouble ahead. After Senator Joe Manchin outlined demands on voting rights legislation that could create an opening for compromise, Senator Mitch McConnell is making clear there won't be one.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): Equally unacceptable, totally inappropriate. All Republicans I think will oppose that as well if that were to surface on the floor.

[05:25:00]

COLLINS: So President Biden said he would review that final bipartisan proposal on Monday. Of course, it has not been final yet. Instead, we have just essentially seen these rough blueprints.

But those blueprints have included raising the gas tax to pay for part of this plan. That is something the White House and top Democrats have said they are not in favor of -- Kaitlan Collins, CNN, the White House.

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BRUNHUBER: The E.U. is lifting travel restrictions for more than a dozen countries, including the United States. Just ahead, we will tell you about the patchwork of rules and regulations you'll need to know before packing your bags. Stay with us.

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BRUNHUBER: Here in the U.S., there is cause for celebration and concern. Officials say more than 300 million doses of COVID vaccine have been given across the country. But top health officials are worried about the spread of the Delta variant. They explain why the strain of the virus is so dangerous.

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DR. SOUMYA SWAMINATHAN, WHO CHIEF SCIENTIST: The Delta variant is well on its way to becoming the dominant variant globally because of its significantly increased transmissibility.

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DR. ROCHELLE WALENSKY, CDC DIRECTOR: We know that the Delta variant is even more transmissible than the U.K. variant. And I anticipate that will be the predominant variant in the months ahead.

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BRUNHUBER: Some health care providers are already getting a first-hand look at the Delta variant's potential to cause devastation in the U.S., particularly among younger people and the undervaccinated.

[05:30:00]

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STEVE EDWARDS, CEO, COXHEALTH: We have seen a fivefold increase in hospitalized patients in less than four weeks. Our doctors are describing them as younger, sicker; they are often coming to us later in the disease process. So we have less therapy options for them.

And it's turned from -- probably about 10 percent of our cases look to be Delta variant and our health department isolates are coming back with 90 percent are Delta variants, so that's turned very quickly.

It does seem more virulent and obviously challenging our staff. The Delta variant is what's fueling this because we have low vaccination rates throughout the South.

And so believe that it's a reminder to me that probably much of the South, Midwest, much of the places that have low vaccination rates, if confronted with the Delta variant, will see a similar surge of patients that we are beginning to see right now.

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BRUNHUBER: U.S. travelers soon may be enjoying their favorite European destinations once again. The E.U.'s governing body is recommending lifting restrictions for the U.S. and many other countries. But travel there may not be quite like it was before the pandemic. CNN's Cyril Vanier explains why.

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CYRIL VANIER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The European Union is moving a step closer to opening its doors to international holiday goers. The E.U. Council recommends rolling back travel restrictions put in place at the beginning of the pandemic for at least 14 countries.

On that list Australia, Israel, New Zealand, Japan, the United States and others. There's a major caveat, though. This should be read as a general statement of intent, not a detailed rulebook because, ultimately, border controls and travel policy depend on individual member states.

What that means is that check the rules that apply to your specific European destination because, even though the E.U. says it wants a harmonized travel policy, requirements vary.

For instance, holidaying on the French Riviera for Americans is already possible for tourists who can show proof of vaccination plus a negative COVID test; whereas, in Greece, unvaccinated Americans can go island hopping. All they need to show is the negative test.

And a word of caution: these rules can change on a dime. European borders can be shut quickly depending on the pandemic, especially on the emergence of possible variants of concern -- Cyril Vanier, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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BRUNHUBER: So for more on this, let's bring in Simon Calder, he's the travel editor for "The Independent" and he's joining me via Skype from Bath, England.

Thanks so much for joining us.

First, is this a surprise at all that Americans will be allowed, vaccinated or not, especially since the U.S. hasn't lifted its ban on nonessential travel by Europeans?

I guess it all comes down to the money?

SIMON CALDER, TRAVEL EDITOR, "THE INDEPENDENT": It does, yes, it's every country for itself. Every country in Europe, as around the world, is balancing public health with public finances.

And certainly, if you are looking at tourism-dependent countries such as France, Spain, Greece and Italy, they are absolutely desperate for visitors, as they are actually in the United Kingdom, although the United Kingdom is keeping the barriers up for Americans for a while longer.

Anybody from the U.S. who wanted to come here would need to self- isolate. And so Europe is getting ahead. And France is actually, as we heard in the report, easing its restrictions and things are going to get even easier from tomorrow; the curfew is over.

But it's really important to say that it isn't a Europe-wide policy. And, furthermore, when you get to Europe, every country has different rules.

So for example, here in the U.K., there's no mask wearing out of doors at all. But in countries such as Spain, open spaces, yes, it's absolutely the norm to wear masks.

And in the Netherlands, if you fail to wear a mask when you should do, that's a fine of over $100. So it's a real patchwork. And as Cyril's report said, you need to absolutely need to make sure you know the rules of getting into the country. And if you're combining multiple countries, well, you're going to have to do a lot of hard work.

BRUNHUBER: So you have this patchwork and the E.U. is urging countries to coordinate with nations around them so that you don't have this patchwork, especially, as they say, if you're traveling from country to country, that things won't be different.

Is there any chance that this harmonization will happen?

Or will it be, as you said before, sort of every country for itself?

CALDER: I can't see any harmonization happening this year, just as it didn't happen last year. It is a really interesting situation, in terms of the U.K., where we have, at the moment, unfortunately, pretty much the highest infection rates in Europe even though we had the most advanced vaccination program.

So a country like Spain just says, yes, you're absolutely essential, the U.K., for tourism here, so you can all come in, regardless of tests, regardless of having been vaccinated or not; whereas other countries like the Netherlands, like Germany, are putting up the barriers to British tourists, either saying you can't come in except for essential reasons or you will have to self-isolate when you get here.

(END VIDEOTAPE) BRUNHUBER: That was "The Independent's" travel editor, Simon Calder.

The Palestinian Authority has canceled its COVID-19 vaccine agreement with Israel and is returning tens of thousands of doses.

[05:35:00]

BRUNHUBER: The plan was to have at least 1 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine transferred to the West Bank and Gaza. But the Palestinian health minister says the first delivery of 90,000 doses did not confirm to the technical specifications and they were close to expiring.

Palestinian authorities are now calling on Pfizer to speed up an agreed-upon shipment that was slated for delivery later this year.

India's COVID numbers are some of the worst in the world and another threat is putting even more pressure on its already taxed hospital system. Black fungus is an infection caused by a type of mold. It tends to be more common in people whose immune systems are already compromised.

It can affect the sinuses, brain, lungs and skin. CNN's Sam Kiley reports on the devastation it's wreaking on India's hospitals.

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SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Srinivas (ph) is 41, a COVID-19 survivor, his doctors tell him he is facing another life-threatening illness.

Black fungus, mucormycosis, has invaded his face. He is being prepared for a third round of surgery to remove it before it spreads to his brain; 71 other patients have battled this rare infection at St. John's Hospital in Bangalore since April.

A surge in the disease has been seen across India among patients who are either already diabetic or when the coronavirus triggered diabetes. St. John's normally treats around 30 black fungus patients per year. This year, 12 have already died and the survival of others will often depend on access to Amphotericin B, a rare and expensive drug.

Srinivas (ph) became diabetic after his bout with COVID. He has lost the feeling on one side of his face and may lose his eye to the fungus that infected nearly 12,000 other Indians already this year.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The disease has progressed and the eye is also looking very bad. So --

KILEY (voice-over): His CT scan reveals that the fungus has spread.

KILEY: The key at this stage is for the surgeons to try to save the eye but also to clear the area around the eye of the dead flesh because this is a fungus that feeds on dead flesh and sugar. And they are trying to prevent it from getting into his brain. KILEY (voice-over): It has already cost around $6,000, just for his

drugs. Medical debt will be devastating to this driver. He has got two small kids to support.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It goes through the blood vessels. It erodes the bones, and it has also entered the lower part of the sinus of the cheek.

KILEY: So if he doesn't get Amphotericin, what will happen to him?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The fungus will continue to spread. It will enter into the brain. It will start infecting all the blood vessels within the brain.

KILEY (voice-over): The Delta variant of COVID-19 has spread from India fast. British experts say that it may be 60 percent more infectious than others. India's second wave may be past its peak, but ICUs are still busy with COVID patients, who, now, may face black fungus or mucor as a secondary illness.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is blatantly staring us in the face, after the second wave, which was a huge surge compared to the first wave, was, of course, mucor.

KILEY (voice-over): Shortages of Amphotericin-B have forced doctors into deciding who gets it and may live and who may not.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It has been extremely tough.

KILEY (voice-over): But It is not just adults who are short of lifesaving drugs. Dozens of children at the Rainbow Hospital in Bangalore have been admitted with multisystem inflammatory syndrome or MIS-C. It is another post COVID illness, caused when the body's own immune system turns on itself.

The best treatment is an imported and expensive drug, called intravenous immunoglobulin, IVIG.

Hadav Samir (ph) is 9, he had mild COVID, recovered and then his antibodies attacked his own organs, including his heart, causing MIS- C. He is on the mend now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We were totally shattered. We were so scared, very scary, very scary.

KILEY (voice-over): The hospital has seen 32 MIS-C cases in two weeks. By the end of this month, they will expect to pass 100. Keeping these kids alive will depend on sourcing IVIG.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a biological drug. As such, it's in short supply. And, if we think that we are going to have a lot of MIS-C cases, we might land up in short supply of this drug.

[05:40:00]

KILEY (voice-over): Black fungus and MIS-C are still rare in India. But even a small percentage of 1.36 billion people adds up to thousands, who may discover that beating COVID isn't the end but the start of renewed suffering, when survival depends on access to scarce and expensive drugs -- Sam Kiley, CNN, Bangalore.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BRUNHUBER: Joe Biden has often put his faith front and center as the first Catholic president in decades. The church may be taking issues with him on his views over a controversial subject. We will explain next. Stay with us.

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BRUNHUBER: The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is moving forward with a plan that could potentially deny communion to public figures who support abortion rights and that includes President Joe Biden, who's now responding.

The bishops voted to draft a document on the eucharist, which is what Catholics receive during communion at mass. This measure is controversial and even the Vatican is reportedly against it.

So here is the reaction from Joe Biden, the first Catholic president of the U.S. in six decades.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

QUESTION: Are you concerned about the rift in the Catholic Church?

And how do you feel personally about that?

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: That is a private matter and I don't think that's going to happen. Thank you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRUNHUBER: CNN's senior Vatican analyst John Allen joins me live from Rome.

How big of a deal would this punishment be?

JOHN ALLEN, CNN SR. VATICAN ANALYST: Hi, there, Kim. Well, the first thing to understand is this is the Catholic Church, where things are not always as they seem.

In this case, I think there's a bit of over-interpretation going about the significance of the vote. But let's be clear, the bishops were not asked to vote whether or not President Biden should be denied communion.

[05:45:00] ALLEN: Instead it was whether to move ahead on the eucharist, which is the sacrament that the church teaches that Catholics receive the literal body and blood of Jesus Christ. It comes when polls show a strong majority, one recent poll shows two-thirds of American Catholics don't actually believe church teaching on this point.

They think the eucharist is just a symbol. Lots of bishops are concerned about that. So this vote was more a referendum on how concerned bishops are on the eucharist than on the status of Joe Biden.

We won't get a gauge on that until November, when an actual draft of this document is put before the bishops. In the meantime, what we do know that the Vatican has made it clear, Pope Francis and his team are against the weaponization of the eucharist.

Presumably, all that will be taken into account over the next several months, as the bishops work on the draft of this document they will consider in the fall.

BRUNHUBER: You talked about the unity of the church. There is many divisions in many Christian dominations between conservatives, who want the church between conservatives, and then the people who want the church to become more progressive.

How likely is this to expose those cracks further?

Is there a danger here that what is happening there with the Catholic Church could further alienate Catholics and with declining mass attendance is already a huge worry with them?

ALLEN: Yes. In fact, declining mass attendance is part of the motive for this document. That was a long-term trend, which was exacerbated by the COVID crisis, when lots of people chose not to go to mass or were unable to go to mass because public celebrations were suspended.

Look, the divisions between conservatives and liberals, as you say, exist in all of the Christian denominations and certainly exist in the Catholic Church. And this debate highlights them.

The problem is for every Catholic bishop is for every Catholic he might reassure. Another Catholic would be ticked off by that. I think what they are going try to do here is thread the needle between a pastoral concern for reviving faith in the eucharist without seeming excessively political.

BRUNHUBER: Interesting story to follow. John Allen in Rome, thank you so much for that. Appreciate it.

Coming up, life in the U.S. is getting back to normal and, for many people, that means going out to eat. But some restaurants don't want everything to go back to the way it was. We will explain just ahead. Stay with us.

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BRUNHUBER: The Capitol Police officer hailed as a hero for keeping lawmakers safe during the insurrection riot had a rare honor. He threw out the ceremonial first pitch at Friday's baseball game between the Washington Nationals and the New York Mets. Watch this.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kyle Shorter.

Officer Goodman, when you're ready, it's your pitch.

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BRUNHUBER: All right. So that pitch wasn't perfect. But officer Eugene Goodman's actions on January 6th sure were. Goodman was seen in the video on January 6th, leading rioters away from the Senate chamber and directing senator Mitch Romney to safety. The Army veteran was later given the Service Distinguished Award.

In the Olympics they haven't decided whether to keep spectators out of the stands. Here is what else they are saying.

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SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Selina Wang in Tokyo. Japan's top COVID-19 adviser said it would be, quote, "desirable" to host the Olympics without any spectators.

But the question is are Olympic advisers going to take that advice?

The government had said earlier that it would allow up to 10,000 people at large-scale venues, where no state of emergency is in place. But medical experts are concerned that the Olympics will lead to a major rebound of cases in Japan.

Olympic organizers have acknowledged that the Delta variant poses a major risk, announcing additional restrictions for athletes coming from India. Among other measures, they'll be required to be tested daily and quarantined for seven days before arriving in Japan.

And for spectators that can come to the Olympics, it won't be the usual festivities and celebrations. They're asked to socially distance, with no partying or drinking in the streets.

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BRUNHUBER: Selina Wang for us in Tokyo.

Some restaurants were able to stay open during the pandemic with the help of outdoor dining space. Now that things are returning to normal, they are hoping to keep that prime real estate for themselves but not everyone is happy about it. Tom Foreman has the story.

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TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Like land rushes seen in old movies and fables, restaurants have spread out their menus and tables. Across the country, countless public streets were taken over by restaurants at the height of the pandemic with the blessing of city governments.

But now an industry poll says 90 percent of restaurant operators surveyed want to keep their outside access, including much of that land.

JEFFREY OTTMAN, RESTAURANT OWNER: To now finally be able to be completely open, at least outside and have a full patio, that's all we've wanted for the last year.

FOREMAN (voice-over): While others are saying hold on.

RON HODGES, RESTAURANT OWNER: Now when we get back open inside again, then we don't need that space.

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FOREMAN (voice-over): The National Restaurant Association's case for holding the land is based like the nightly special on market prices: 90,000 restaurants have been closed permanently or on a long-term basis by the pandemic; millions of jobs, billions of dollars lost.

MIKE WHATLEY, NATIONAL RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION: A lot of restaurants are alive today because of outdoor dining and expanded outdoor dining during the pandemic.

FOREMAN: And you're saying all this economic danger is not over yet?

WHATLEY: Right. At least for right now they have to have it.

FOREMAN (voice-over): The counter?

In many places like New York City, where miles of streets have been closed, though not all for restaurants, that public space is immensely valuable and others would like it, too.

FOREMAN: Think about all of the traffic that might flow on those streets; private cars, public transit.

What about all of the parking and maybe plans for bike lanes?

FOREMAN (voice-over): Some disabled Americans say those expansions have dangerously cluttered sidewalks.

And others ask, couldn't even more people benefit if that public land was reclaimed for all of the public?

HODGES: Once you get started with the celebrations on the street and activities, then it's going to bring foot traffic in. And then these businesses are going to flourish.

FOREMAN: One idea: let these privately owned restaurants pay a fee for this use of public land. Industry experts say that might work because they know, even for restaurant owners, there is no free lunch -- Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.

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BRUNHUBER: That wraps this hour of CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Kim Brunhuber. For our viewers in the United States and Canada, "NEW DAY" is ahead. For everyone else, it's "MARKETPLACE ASIA."