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CNN NEWSROOM

U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Arizona Voting Restrictions; U.S. Supreme Court Invalidates California Donor Disclosure Requirement; Families Asked to Give Details about Tattoos, Jewelry on Victims; White House to Deploy Response Teams Nationwide to Combat Delta Variant; Princes William and Harry Reunite at Diana Statue Unveiling. Aired 1:30-2p ET

Aired July 1, 2021 - 13:30   ET

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


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[13:34:04]

ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: Today, a major Supreme Court ruling that could further chip away at protections for voters. In a 6-3 decision, the justices upheld two provisions of an Arizona law that restrict how ballots can be cast.

CNN's Supreme Court report, Ariane De Vogue, is following this.

Ariane, how significant is today's ruling?

ARIANE DE VOGUE, CNN SUPREME COURT REPORTER: Right. This case was out of Arizona and had to do with the historic Voting Rights Act, particularly Section 2, that bars state law that result in racial discrimination.

And at issue were the two Arizona laws. One said that if you cast a ballot in the wrong precinct, it has to be wholly discarded.

And the second said -- had to do with restrictions on who could deliver a ballot to the polling places. It said only family members, close family members, and really was more restrictive there.

And a lower court said both of these laws had a disparate impact on minorities, struck them down under the Voting Rights Act.

[13:35:05]

And today, Justice Samuel Alito, writing for a 6-3 majority -- and that 6-3 breaking down along ideological lines -- he said that the laws were OK.

And what's really important about it is his reasoning. Because you heard echoes of what the conservatives have been saying, what President Trump is saying, is that states have a right to pass laws to combat voting fraud.

And so what this means is now the court today has limited the reach of Section 2. And it comes as states across the country are passing more and more restrictive laws.

So it should have a big impact in the near future.

CABRERA: Yes, from Georgia, to Florida, to Texas.

The Supreme Court also invalidated a California rule that required charitable groups that solicit donations to disclose the list of their contributors.

What kind of impact could this one have?

DE VOGUE: This is another case with the political undertones. It was this California law, and it required charities to say who their donors were.

And two conservative charities challenged it and said their donors might be chilled from coming forward, fear of harassment.

And here you had John Roberts agreeing. And he said, look, there's no good reason for this law. It's really burdening these people who are afraid to come forward.

And what's interesting about this one is supporters of campaign finance reform had been watching this case very carefully. Because they were afraid that it was going to bleed into the political sphere and allow more anonymous, or dark money, into the political sphere.

And you saw that in the dissent today. Here, Justice Sotomayor, she wrote for the other two liberal members of the court. And she said that today's ruling could be a significant risk, a significant risk that it will topple disclosure regimes that could be constitutional.

So that's the fear in this case, that it will lead to more dark, more anonymous money going into the campaign system. That's why it's important.

CABRERA: Ariane De Vogue, you cover the Supreme Court like no one else. Thank you for joining us.

Listen to this. A high school basketball team in southern California now stripped of its regional title after a tortilla chip throwing incident. This happened during the regional championship just a couple of weeks ago.

And those are tortilla chips being hurled at players at Orange Glen High School, a predominantly Hispanic team that had just lost in overtime to Coronado High School.

Athletic officials reviewed this and deemed it unacceptable. They said it warrants sanctions.

So along with losing their title now, Coronado was put on probation, and must complete a sportsmanship workshop.

In the world of college sports, we are just hours into a new era. Beginning today, student athletes can make money from their name, their image, their likeness.

And already, some are showing off their big deals, including star basketball twins, Haley and Hanna Cavinder, who announced partnerships with Boost Mobile and Six Star Nutrition.

And across the country, Iowa's Jordan Bohannon says he's being backed by Booming Iowa Fireworks to keep nailing three-pointers.

[13:38:15]

We continue to monitor the president's visit to Florida as we learn new details from search crews on how they're working to identify victims in the building collapse. It's devastating, emotional, exhausting work. Details, next.

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[13:43:21]

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: The recovery operation here in Surfside, Florida, involves more than just searching through the rubble of the collapsed tower behind me.

Some officials have the truly heartbreaking task of talking to the families about distinguishing features that could identify their loved ones.

CNN correspondent, Brian Todd, is working this part of the story for us.

This is a really difficult and painful operation.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It really is, Wolf. And we talked to an Israeli commander, part of this operation, a young colonel named Elad Edri.

He says this is the most complicated operation he's been on. He's done this for seven years. He's been in Mexico. He's been in Nepal. He says this is tough.

He outlined for us exactly the reasons why. Here's what he had to say a short time ago to us.

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COL. ELAD EDRI, DEPUTY COMMANDER, ISRAELI RESCUE DELEGATION: Here, it collapsed inside itself. It collapsed in four different phases. And each phase collapsed on the former phases.

As seen on the security movie, you see the center collapse first. Then the back collapse on the center. And then the north side collapse on the center also. So you have -- you don't have 12 stories, 12 layers. You have dozens

of layers.

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TODD: And so Colonel Edri also told us that his job is to get with the families of people who live there, and he's kind of got to act as a detective, Wolf.

He's got to ask them, where was your loved one at the time of the collapse? Were they in a bedroom or living room? Do they have tattoos, jewelry, distinctive hair?

He's a detective here. He's got to work with these families and see if they can get any clues as to where these people might be in this wreckage.

BLITZER: And they're searching for the people, and God willing, there are survivors.

TODD: Right.

[13:45:02]

BLITZER: As we know, the whole search operation has come to a halt because of the dangers from the existing tower, that it could collapse, endangering the men and women involved in the search-and- rescue operation.

We are getting more information about those, sadly, who have passed away, who have died from this.

And 18 confirmed dead right now. Yesterday, four more, including a 4- year-old and a 10-year-old. And now we're learning about a 21-year-old college student confirmed to have died in this collapse.

TODD: We have that information, Wolf. This victim identified as a Adreas Giannitsopoulus, 21-years-old. He was a student at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, according to a statement from the university.

Here's this part of it. "We extend our deepest condolences to Andreas' family, friends, classmates and faculty as they deal with this unimaginable tragedy."

So you're getting more and more information. And we're l learning that there are some young people in there, the four-year-old, 10-year-old, this young 21-year-old from Vanderbilt. It's horrible.

BLITZER: And 18 confirmed dead, 145 people still missing.

Brian, thank you very much. Brian Todd reporting for us.

Ana, I've got to say, I keep stressing it, really emotional, what's going on. And very depressing right now. Because of this halt in the search-and-rescue operation. CABRERA: What a gut check about what can happen so quickly, about just

treasuring every moment that we have, especially with our loved ones.

Thank you, Wolf.

Thank you to Brian.

Another pivotal moment in this pandemic. The Delta variant is now in 50 states. The White House is unleashing a new plan to fight it.

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[13:51:05]

CABRERA: Welcome back.

The White House is deploying response teams across the nation to areas most impacted by this new highly contagious and aggressive Delta variant, which is now confirmed in all 50 states.

Adding to concerns, only 47 percent of the country is fully vaccinated.

Joining us now, CNN medical analyst, Dr. Leana Wen. She is also the former Baltimore health commissioner.

Dr. Wen, more than 2,000 people are still dying per week here in the U.S. from COVID. And we know the new variant is in every corner of the country.

Talk to the unvaccinated people, who have made the calculation that they are willing to risk getting COVID versus the vaccine.

What do people need to know about the Delta variant?

DR. LEANA WEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: People need to know that if you are unvaccinated, you are at high risk for contracting COVID-19, in particular the Delta variant.

This is more transmissible. It is already becoming dominant here in the U.S.

The five states with the highest rate of COVID-19 infections, the Delta variant is more than 50 percent of the cases. It is 70 percent of all of the new cases, for example, in Missouri, 60 percent of all the new cases in Utah.

People who are unvaccinated should know, yes, it is possible that you are not going to get severely ill. Actually, most people do not become severely ill or hospitalized or die.

But you could still be a long hauler. You could end up having long- term symptoms of loss of concentration, fatigue, hair loss, and not being able to work because of coronavirus.

So, please, get the vaccine that protects you from being severely ill and also protects you from having these long-term consequences that are really serious.

CABRERA: The vaccine is key to stopping the spread and it is the key to protecting individuals.

But as this variant does spread among unvaccinated, in particular, that's going to infiltrate more and more communities.

I just wonder, will those of us who are fully vaccinated eventually be at risk?

WEN: Yes. So here is the way I would think about it. There are three categories of situations and people.

The first is if you are fully vaccinated and you are around other people fully vaccinated, you are very safe.

On the other hand, if you are not vaccinated and you are around other people unvaccinated, you are not safe. You should definitely be wearing masks in indoor settings.

Then there's this middle category. What if are you vaccinated but you are surrounded by unvaccinated people? There's still a risk to you. It may be a low risk.

But then you have to consider who do you live with. If you are living at home with people who are unvaccinated or young children, for example, or other people who are immune-compromised and may be at risk for severe illness, you may still want to be wearing a mask in indoor places if you are surrounded by unvaccinated people.

That's why proof of vaccination is going to be increasingly important as we move forward because we want to ensure that the unvaccinated are not posing a threat to people who are vaccinated.

CABRERA: You and I both have children who are not eligible for the vaccine at this point.

How worried are you about your kids? And should parents be behaving differently right now, going back to some of those mitigation measures, even if they're vaccinated?

WEN: I am worried about our children because, when we look at the numbers of people who are getting infected and hospitalized, over 95 percent of people getting hospitalize you now are people who are not vaccinated.

We are seeing younger people getting ill in larger numbers. We as parents, if we are vaccinated that certainly protects us a lot from spreading it to our children, but it doesn't protect us 100 percent.

So my husband and I, for example, are not going to go to indoor restaurants or crowded gyms. And I think that's important to protect our kids.

CABRERA: OK. Dr. Leana Wen, it is always good to have your expertise. Thank you for being with us. To the U.K. Princes William and Harry putting aside their differences

today to unveil a statue of their mother, the late Princess Diana.

The piece will sit in the sunken garden at Kensington Palace where the brothers lived with their mom before she died.

[13:55:03]

And there's a look at the statue.

They unveiled the statue in a place on what would have been Diana's 60th birthday.

While the princes didn't speak at the ceremony, they did release a joint statement, saying, in part, quote, "Every day, we wish she were still with us. And our hope is that this statue will be seen forever as a symbol of her life and her legacy."

That does it for me today. Thanks so much for being with us. I'll see you back here tomorrow at 1:00 Eastern. In the meantime, you can follow me on Twitter, @AnaCabrera.

The news continues next with Alisyn.

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