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Tropical Storm Elsa Headed to Florida; President Biden Ask Americans to Get the Vaccine; Taliban Forces Gaining More Control in Afghanistan; Law Enforcement Warns a Repeat of the January 6 Riot; Governor Cuomo Promise to Sign Gun Reform Laws; Millions Brace For Impact Of Tropical Strom Elsa; Florida Condo Collapse Crew Battle For Bad Weather; England To Ditch Self-Isolation For Fully Vaccinated; Prize-Winning Journalist Chooses Howard Over UNC; Grappling With Racism In The United States; Richardson Won't Compete In Tokyo Olympics; Euro 2020, Italy To Face Winner Of England Vs. Denmark In Final. Aired 3-4a ET
Aired July 7, 2021 - 03:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR (on camera): Hello, and welcome to our viewers joining us here in the United States and all around the world. You are watching CNN Newsroom. And I'm Rosemary Church.
Just ahead, tropical storm Elsa is on track to make landfall in Florida in the coming hours. It's packing sustained winds of 70 miles per hour and gusts to 80. We're tracking its path.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Please get vaccinated now. It works.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH (on camera): A new plea from the president to vaccinate as the Delta variant now accounts for more than half of America's new infections.
And later, the battle over history. Schools and teachers under pressure over how much context to give students when teaching about America's past.
Good to have you with us.
Well millions of people along the U.S. Gulf Coast are bracing for impact this hour as tropical storm Elsa barrels toward Florida. Elsa briefly strengthened to a hurricane late Tuesday but has since lost a little bit of its punch. Still, 33 counties are under a state of emergency. The storm is expected to make landfall in the coming hours along Florida's northern Gulf Coast. Before that, Elsa has been battering southwest Florida. This was the
scene on Marco Island Tuesday as the storm skirted up the coast. And our meteorologist Tyler Mauldin is tracking the storm and joins us now.
So, Tyler, what is the latest on all of this?
TYLER MAULDIN, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Tropical storm Elsa no longer a hurricane. It had a brief little flare-up where it re-strengthened into a category one hurricane around the evening hours on Tuesday. But it has since weakened. However, on the east side, it's kind of becoming more galvanized, and we're seeing some thunderstorms fire up.
At the moment, sustained winds 70 miles per hour, gusts as high as 80 to about 90. And you can see where this little flare-up of thunderstorms are occurring. It's occurring from basically Disney World all the way down to Marco Island. And that red box there, that's a tornado watch. You can see the heavy rain pushing from south to north and rotating.
That's why we have that tornado watch, because any one of these little bands could easily start spinning up a brief little quick tornado and cause the National Weather Service to issue a tornado warning. So that's why we have that tornado watch until eight o'clock this morning.
You can also notice that a lot of those areas we're seeing just bands of rain, a fire hose of rain just fire up over the same area. We call that training. When you have training showers and thunderstorms, that can lead to a lot of rainfall in very short order.
And down here across south Florida, especially southwest Florida, we have seen some areas pick up six inches and wouldn't be surprised if we add to that in the coming hours. Elsa is about 60, 65 miles offshore of Tampa and it's coinciding with high tide at the moment, which is causing the high tide to be exacerbated at the moment.
You can see that it will make landfall around Cedar Key early on Wednesday, probably around nine o'clock or so in the morning. And then it pushes up the East Coast and as it races up the East Coast, Rosemary, we are going to see this spread more rainfall and gusty winds to the Carolinas, on into the mid-Atlantic and possibly New England as well.
CHURCH: Watching that very closely, Tyler. We appreciate it of course.
CHURCH: Thank you.
Well, America's top infectious disease expert is warning the Delta COVID variant poses a significant threat to those still not vaccinated. Right now, more than 157 million people are fully vaccinated. That's nearly 48 percent of the U.S. population. But there are many states with vaccination rates below the national average. Dr. Anthony Fauci says if there was ever a reason to get vaccinated,
the Delta variant is it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: If we do get surges, they're going to be regional among those areas of the country where the level of vaccination is low. We still have some areas of the country where the percent of vaccinated people is like 30 percent, which is very, very low.
We've got to get it up above that. Otherwise, people in those particular locations are going to wind up having a higher degree of risk of infection, and you're going to see more infections and more hospitalizations, and unfortunately in some cases, maybe even increase in deaths.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH (on camera): And those concerns are pushing the Biden administration to put forward a new strategy to get more shots in arms.
CNN's Phil Mattingly has the details.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: So please get vaccinated now.
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Tonight, President Biden pleading with millions of Americans to do the one thing proven to defeat COVID-19. Get vaccinated.
BIDEN: If you're vaccinated, you're protected. But if you're unvaccinated, you're not.
MATTINGLY: Laying out a series of expanded initiatives designed to target areas with the lowest vaccination numbers. Biden's remarks, which followed a briefing from his top COVID advisers, underscoring the urgency felt by the administration with the clock ticking.
BIDEN: Right now, as I speak to you, millions of Americans are still unvaccinated and unprotected.
MATTINGLY: Even in the wake of historic success in its vaccine rollout, the White House now finds itself in a race against the spread of the Delta variant.
BIDEN: It's more easily transmissible, potentially more dangerous. It seems to me it should cause everybody to think twice, and it should cause reconsideration especially in young people.
MATTINGLY: After months of steady and in some cases dramatic declines, the variant driving an increase in new cases, and no secret where transmission is highest. A series of states with the lowest vaccination rates.
ERIK FREDERICK, CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER, MERCY HOSPITAL SPRINGFIELD: It's almost I think a sense of shock a little bit. Like how did we end up back here? A sense of fatigue and frustration knowing that there is a readily available solution to this problem and we still have so much reticence in the community to step in and join collectively in this fight to kind of get things back to normal.
MATTINGLY: Including Missouri, where the seven-day average for new cases has risen 165 percent compared to this time last month. As stories of new outbreaks start to trickle in including from this church in Galveston, Texas, was forced to shutter after more than 125 people tested positive after attending summer camp. The vast majority made up of teens eligible for the vaccination yet likely unvaccinated.
ANDY SLAVITT, FORMER ACTING ADMINISTRATOR, CENTERS FOR MEDICARE AND MEDICAID SERVICES: Obviously, parents need to decide this and kids need to decide this for themselves. That we in the U.S. have determined that if you're over 12, it's safe to get vaccinated and smart.
MATTINGLY: Underscoring the rising concern inside the White House across age groups, all as warnings about the Delta variant continue to grow. The Israeli health ministry releasing preliminary data showing the Pfizer vaccine protected 64 percent of inoculated people from infection, down from 95 percent before. Crucially, the vaccine still 93 percent effective at preventing severe illness in the same group, underscoring a message Biden and his team are practically shouting out to the country right now.
BIDEN: You can do this. You can do this. Let's finish the job. Finish it together.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTINGLY (on camera): And gone are the mass vaccination efforts you've seen over the course of the last several months. The Biden administration officials keenly aware that this is basically going shot by shot, door to door, trying to reach those who are either reluctant, hesitant, or haven't found the time up to this point.
That will include making sure they have campaign-like apparatuses to go door to door, get people information they need to make the decision on the vaccine. Also, a new push to get vaccines towards primary care physicians, pediatricians, knowing that in many cases people trust their doctors and are willing to do what their doctors ask. And doctors obviously widely supportive of the vaccine.
Also expectations of an expansion of mobile units, trying to get the vaccine to where people are and also trying to set up vaccine centers, vaccine operations at people's workplaces, understanding that sometimes time is one of the most significant issues for individuals as they look or consider whether or not to get vaccinated. All of this underscoring that there is no easy mass vaccination push coming in the future. It is going to be a grinded out type moment for the Biden
administration but one that the president and his team make clear they're not giving up on anytime soon. In fact, they plan on doubling down over the course of the entire summer.
Phil Mattingly, CNN, the White House.
CHURCH: Dr. Eric Topol joins me now to talk more about all of this. Thank you, doctor, for all that do you and for talking with us.
ERIC TOPOL, PROFESSOR, MOLECULAR MEDICINE, SCRIPPS RESEARCH: Thanks so much, Rosemary.
CHURCH: So, doctor, President Biden is ramping up efforts now to get more Americans vaccinated after falling short of his 70 percent goal for partial vaccinations in all adults. And he's also warning of the threat posed by the Delta variant, which now makes up half of all new cases in the U.S. Will his new strategy work, and what advice would you give him?
TOPOL: Well, I think it's going to fall short, continue to be inadequate, Rosemary, because we've tried all these things like incentives and lotteries, and it's just not working. And what we really need is to get this FDA approval.
That's really the only singular strategy that would lead to such a large number of Americans both because of the one who's are hesitant waiting for the full approval, also because it would become a requirement by so many organizations, including health systems, the military, and employers. So, that's the one thing missing right now that could make a big difference.
CHURCH: So, what's the holdup? I mean, we've seen hundreds of millions of people take these shots. Why is it so difficult to move forward and give this full approval?
TOPOL: I wish I could tell you because they've had seven months at FDA to review the document serially. That is, they were sending in submissions, the manufacturers of vaccines all along, not just in May or June. And while it normally takes many months to do this, I mean this is kind of an emergency, and we've already seen so many things accelerated in this pandemic as you well know. This should be one of them.
CHURCH: Right. Of course, we are seeing an increase in COVID cases driven, driven up by the Delta variant. In a third of all states where vaccination rates are low, vaccine save lives. I mean, that is the simple message here, isn't it, but it's not getting through to the 30 percent or so Americans currently refusing to get the shot. Why? What is the barrier here?
TOPOL: Well, I think this barrier, which of course is some of it's political, anti-vax and anti-science. Some of it's just kind of fear and this approval issue. But the Delta variant has made this such a pressing issue because now we have a variant that is so much more of a super spreader, and we know the vaccines work especially well, especially the vaccines here in the U.S. that have remarkable preserved efficacy.
So, it's really unfortunate because now it's a true emergency. Earlier this year, it was important but never as in the case right now.
CHURCH: And what was very alarming was in Missouri over the weekend, one hospital ran out of ventilators. Now, we are in the summer months here.
CHURCH: How concerned are you about another wave hitting the U.S. in the months ahead and certainly when we reach the winter months, if those that aren't vaccinated refuse and continue to refuse to get the shot?
TOPOL: Well, the point you're making is really selling it, Rosemary, because Missouri has over 90 percent of the Delta variant as the basis for its cases. And Arkansas is right there as well. And these two states that are now the leading edge, the epicenter in the U.S., they are among the lowest of vaccination in states. They're well below the average, which as we've discussed is not adequate.
So that's where the vulnerability lies, and as you say, there's already been hospitals that are back in that situation. In the monster wave, that third wave that we had in the U.S. So that's why it's so important to pull out all the stops to get this straight.
You know, we've seen other countries, particularly Israel, that so far mounted a remarkable wall against the Delta variant. They've done that with a very high proportion, over 85 percent of adults with two doses of vaccines. And so that's what we should be striving for.
CHURCH: Dr. Eric Topol, thank you so much for talking with us. We do appreciate it.
TOPOL: Thank you, Rosemary.
CHURCH: We turn to Australia now and Sydney's coronavirus lockdown is being extended for another week as the city tries to contain the Delta variant. The New South Wales premier says the goal is to make sure this is the only lockdown they'll need until more people get vaccinated. Twenty-seven new local cases were detected in the state on Tuesday. Sydney's schools will move to remote learning next week after their winter break.
South Korea is entering its fourth wave of coronavirus infections. The health ministry says the capital, Seoul, reported its highest ever single-day increase in new cases on Tuesday. Officials say the country is in a dire situation as the virus is spreading at a very fast rate, particularly the Delta variant. And the majority of new cases are being found in younger people in their 20s and 30s.
Meantime, parts of Europe are easing restrictions. Fully vaccinated travelers from the U.K. and India can now visit Germany without having to quarantine upon arrival. Germany no longer considers those countries areas of variant concern and is relaxing travel restrictions starting today.
The rules will also apply to Nepal, Portugal, and Russia. Unvaccinated travelers will still have to quarantine for 10 days upon arrival, but that period can be cut in half if they test negative for COVID.
In Afghanistan, the central government is scrambling to halt Taliban advances in the north as the U.S. nears a complete withdrawal. Looters have tried to make a profit on what the U.S. left behind, picking through scraps at Bagram Air Base.
A source says U.S. forces also left a prison with thousands of detainees, including Al Qaeda figures and Taliban. Nearly half of the country is under Taliban control, shown here in black, according to the long war journal. CNN has not independently confirmed these details. And all this comes as the U.S. says it's almost done with what it calls an orderly and responsible withdrawal.
CNN's Anna Coren has our report.
ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As the security situation in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate, U.S. Central Command has announced that more than 90 percent of the U.S. withdrawal is now complete. It comes days after U.S. and NATO forces flew out of Bagram Air Base, once the nerve center of U.S. operations in America's 20- year war.
Since President Biden announced the withdrawal back in April, the equivalent of approximately 984 C-17 loads of equipment has been flown back to the United States. Six hundred fifty U.S. marines will remain in Afghanistan to protect the U.S. embassy while other U.S. troops will secure the international airport until a permanent arrangement is reached with Turkish forces.
But while this may signal the end of America's war, for Afghanistan, it is just another chapter. An emboldened Taliban is launching wide scale offensives across the country, particularly in the north where tens of thousands of people have been displaced as they flee the fighting.
Peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban are at a virtual standstill and the threat of civil war is looming. For the Afghans we speak to, they say there is no end in sight to the violence and have little confidence there will ever be peace in this country.
Anna Coren, CNN, Kabul.
CHURCH: The U.S. Justice Department releases more videos of the capitol riot. Why police and others say not enough is being done to address the security failures exposed by the insurrection.
And New York State is confronting gun violence after a bloody Fourth of July holiday weekend. The latest efforts to fight America's epidemic of shootings. That's next.
CHURCH (on camera): We are getting a look at more graphic video from the January 6th riot at the U.S. Capitol. But six months after the insurrection, some police and law enforcement officers say they still have major concerns about security.
CNN's Whitney Wild has our report.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WHITNEY WILD, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Tonight, roughly a dozen newly released videos show rioters' vicious attacks on police. In one video, rioters are heard chanting our house.
UNKNOWN: It's our house.
WILD: In another, a man in a pro-Trump hat fights with law enforcement. And this footage released Tuesday by the Justice Department captures the moment a rioter allegedly stole a badge and radio from D.C. Police Officer Michael Fanone. Six months after the insurrection, capitol police say the agency is changing to adopt to the new threat landscape. They've purchased more equipment, offered new training and now share intelligence with officers, something glaringly absent before rioters attacked the capitol.
But officers tell CNN they're worried the changes amount to marginal differences and fear they're no better prepared today than they were in early January. Since the insurrection, at least 75 officers have resigned.
TERRY GAINER, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Providing security is done by people. Those officers have to be rested, trained, sharp, with good information, and well led. When morale is bad, that makes it more difficult.
WILD: Terry Gainer is a CNN contributor and the former chief of Capitol Police, as well as the former Senate sergeant at arms. He worked on the first review of capitol security that generated more than 100 recommendations from hiring hundreds more officers to ramping up intelligence operations.
GAINER: We thought some of the recommendations could take upwards of a year or two.
WILD: Physical security around Capitol Hill is slimming. The National Guard, once a large presence, is gone. The outer perimeter fence taken down and in coming days, the inner perimeter fence will likely be folded up too according to reports. Long-term fixes will ultimately require Congress to pay for them.
(END VIDEO CLIP) WILD (on camera): All of this comes as conspiracy theories swirl on far-right corners of the internet that former President Donald Trump will return to the White House in August. And as federal officials warn about potential summer violence, a source tells CNN capitol security leaders are watching August closely to see if anything builds into any kind of activity. Officers say simply monitoring the situation feels like more of the same.
In Washington, Whitney Wild, CNN.
CHURCH: U.S. President Joe Biden marked the six-month anniversary of the insurrection saying, people of goodwill and courage must stand up to the hate, the lies, and the extremism that led to this vicious attack, including determining what happened so that we can remember it and not bury it, hoping we forget. It requires all of us working together, Democrats, Republicans, and independents, on behalf of the common good to restore decency, honor, and respect for the rule of law.
Congressman Adam Kinzinger is one of a few Republicans willing to speak out against the attack. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R-IL): I think the vast majority, if not all of them, my colleagues believe that this was a Trump-incited insurrection. But when you're in a tribe and you know if you say something truthful that gets you kicked out of the tribe, you keep your head down and stay in the tribe.
I don't think they believe it. But if you watch the videos, you get that tinge of guilt, and it's much easier to just paper over that tinge of guilt, hope that this organically kind of fixes the glitch, and nobody is willing to step up. It's disappointing, of course. It's sad.
And I think what's even more sad is not that, you know, so many people that aren't acknowledging the truth. It's that there are millions of people, base voters, Republican voters, many in my district that believe the big lie. And it's not really their fault although everybody is responsible for what you believe and doing research.
But all the leaders they trust are sitting here telling them it's a big lie. And everything that they see on CNN or everything they read in the paper is a lie and it's just a cover-up. That's what I think the biggest tragedy is much -- you know, not to mention what it's doing to our republic.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH (on camera): Justice Department officials say more than 535 people have now been arrested in connection with the attack on the capitol. Well, the governor of New York has declared an emergency over the state's gun violence. Andrew Cuomo says he will sign legislation that allows for civil lawsuits against gun manufacturers, distributors, and dealers for how they market and sell firearms. He says the new law will do what Washington refused to do, hold gun manufacturers accountable.
More than 50 people were shot in New York state over the Fourth of July holiday weekend. Governor Cuomo says there are more people dying of gun violence and crime than of COVID, and he's calling on the state to confront the problem head-on.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): This is a national problem. I get it. But somebody has to step up and somebody has to address it. And the place that should step up and address it is the state of New York, and we should do it comprehensively and honestly and creative, and that's what today is all about because this is the state when it sees an injustice, we don't look the other way. We stand up, and we fight it. And that's what we're going to do with gun violence.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH (on camera): One encouraging point of data, the gun violence archive says the number of people killed or injured by guns nationwide during the Fourth of July holiday weekend dropped significantly, about 26 percent compared to last year.
Well, tropical storm Elsa closes in on Florida. The storm losing strength as it nears land. But that hardly means the danger is over. The threats Elsa's bringing for millions along the coast, including crews working at the condo collapse. That's next.
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR (on camera): More than 4 million people in Florida are under a hurricane warning at this hour as tropical storm Elsa closes in on the gulf coast. Those warnings are staying in effect even as Elsa weakened to a tropical storm early Wednesday morning.
Elsa is expected to make landfall within the next few hours in Florida's big bend area. But millions already are feeling the storm's impact. This was the scene in Key West on Tuesday as Elsa churned up toward the mainland. Forecasters are warning of a potentially deadly storm surge along with heavy winds, rain, and a chance of tornadoes.
Crews working at the site of the Champlain Towers condo collapse in Surfside are keeping a close eye on the storm. They have been working around the clock combing through the rubble. On Tuesday, we learned eight more bodies have been recovered, bringing the official death toll to 36. Officials say they will continue searching for more than 100 people who are still unaccounted for. But Elsa has made that work more complicated as the mayor of Miami-Dade County explained on Tuesday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR DANIELLE LEVINE CAVA, MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA: They were forced to pause for a little bit, about two hours earlier this afternoon because of the lightning, which is mandatory to not work during lightning, and also some gusts of wind that did go above 30 miles per hour with the tropical storm. And this is to protect the safety of our first responders.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH (on camera): Crews will now be working around the clock unless conditions worsen. CNN's Rosa Flores takes a closer look at the debris that search and rescue workers are meticulously sifting through.
ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): I want to warn our viewers because I know that so many people around the world and around the country know people or have family members who are related to this collapse. I just want to warn you that these images might be difficult for you to watch because this is the first time that we're getting this close access to this collapsed building.
FLORES (voice over): As you might imagine, it is -- you can feel the pain. You can feel the urgency here from all of the first responders that are surrounding us. Now, what you're looking at is what is left of the demolition that happened on Sunday. That's what this front portion of the building is. This is what's known as the alpha portion in the grid search that search and rescue teams are using to find signs of life, to find survivors.
Beyond this first pile of rubble, then you'll see heavy machinery, equipment, a crane. Those are the tools that are being used right now to search for survivors. You can see that these cranes rise up to the sky. They have American flags flying that almost seem like they touch the sky. I can tell you from talking to search and rescue teams here, there's about 200 search and rescue personnel on the site right now.
They are very carefully sifting through this rubble. They only bring and use the heavy machinery when they feel it's safe. First, before that happens, every single piece of this rubble that they come in contact with, they methodically analyze their movements because any movement could be catastrophic.
CHURCH (on camera): Rosa Flores there reporting from the site of the collapsed condo tower in Surfside, Florida.
[03:34:56] Well, right now in England, anyone in close contact with someone who
has the coronavirus must self-isolate for up to 10 days. But that requirement will soon go away for people who are fully vaccinated providing they don't test positive. Now, this change is the latest in a number of sweeping updates to Britain's COVID restrictions. The U.K. health secretary says children under the age of 18 will also get to skip the self-isolation requirement even though they're not yet eligible for vaccines.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAJID JAVID, HEALTH SECRETARY: Anyone under the age of 18 who is a close contact of a positive case will no longer have to self-isolate. Instead, they'll be given advice about whether they should get tested dependent on their age and will need to self-isolate only if they test positive.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH (on camera): CNN's Scott McLean is with us now from London. Good to see you, Scott. And the British Prime Minister facing questions over the relaxing of COVID rules, raising a lot of eyebrows. We know Germany too downgrading travel restrictions. All this making the WHO very concerned. What's the latest?
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): That's right, Rosemary. Yesterday the WHO's Europe Director said that if your country has the ability to spot and mitigate outbreaks, that's one thing. But if not, European countries should not be rushing to have large gatherings of unmasked people, especially when case counts are rising.
And that pretty much encapsulates the situation right now in the U.K. Case counts are rising rapidly thanks to the Delta variant. Virtually all restrictions are set to be lifted in less than two weeks' time. And the U.K. truthfully does not have a great track record for tracking and tracing the virus by any stretch of the imagination.
And yet the government continues to forge ahead with its plans to reopen despite the fact that case counts, which right now are about 25,000 per day or so, could be set to rise to about 100,000 per day. And if you look at the government, though, says there's a big difference. If you look at these graphs, the last time that the U.K. saw roughly this amount of cases per day that was back in January. And hospitalizations were about 10 times higher.
The time before that when the U.K. was on the upswing of cases, they were about five times higher and the U.K. had just come out of several weeks of lockdown. So the situation is quite different now because of the vaccines. So in addition to lifting virtually all those restrictions, Rosemary, you mentioned that starting in August, fully vaccinated people won't have to isolate if they come in contact with a positive case.
The same will apply for schoolchildren. The education secretary also announced yesterday that they will be doing away with school bubbles and staggered start times. Here's why. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GAVIN WILLIAMSON, BRITISH EDICATION SECRETARY: I do not think that it is acceptable that children should face greater restrictions over and above those of wider society, especially since they have given up so much to keep older generations safe during this pandemic.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCLEAN (on camera): Now the government's plans to lift all restrictions are not without controversy by any stretch of the imagination. The opposition Labour Party is taking particular issue with the plans to scrap the requirement for people to wear masks on public transportation.
The mayor of London has also been a big proponent of this. He says he's hopeful that there could be a deal worked out by next week to keep that mandate in place, Rosemary.
CHURCH (on camera): All right. Scott McLean joining us live from London. Many thanks.
Well, as the United States struggles with a racial reckoning, conservatives are pushing to control how race is taught in schools.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNKNOWN: Are you teaching children to hate America?
UNKNOWN: No. I'm teaching children to question America, and that's what makes a good patriot.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH (on camera): Coming up, the battle over critical race theory.
CHURCH: A Pulitzer Prize winning journalist is ending a tenure controversy at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill by accepting a faculty role at Howard University. Nikole Hannah-Jones is the creator of the 1619 project, a piece that put the history of the United States into context with the arrival of the first slave ship that year.
Her tenure was initially denied by the UNC board of trustees, but the decision was reversed after protests from alumni, faculty, and students. Hannah-Jones will be joined by author Ta-Nehisi Coates of the historically Black Howard University in Washington. She will also found a new center for journalism and democracy. She said she never wanted the public scandal of the tenure battle.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) NIKOLE HANNAH-JONES, JOURNALIST: It was humiliating. It was deeply
hurtful, and it was enraging because as you know, you don't grow up a black child in this country without being told that you have to work twice as hard to get half as far, that you have to be twice as good. But I've been that.
And to do everything that you are told to do to be successful and then have them change the rules at the end at a school that I am an alum of, and for a job that I didn't seek out but that I was recruited for.
TA-NEHISI COATES, AUTHOR: What has happened is that the black students and the white students and you know, students of all, you know races and creeds at UNC has been denied the counsel of arguably the most decorated journalist in America right now. Nikole Hannah- Jones, if I can just sing her praises, is not just the author of 1619, she is a Peabody winner. She is a national magazine winner. She was hot before 1619.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH (on camera): The discussion of slavery and racism in the U.S. has become a hot-button issue for conservatives. Analysis by Education Week found 25 states are considering ways to limit how race and racism can be taught. It's a controversy that's surfacing in school board meetings across the country, including a Philadelphia suburb where Elle Reeve has this report.
UNKNOWN: There are thousands of parents all over the U.S. of all race who's have been speaking out against CRT and rightfully so. These are my babies, not yours. If you are embarrassed or ashamed of your skin color, that's your issue, not mine nor my children.
ELLE REEVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): This is a school board meeting in a suburb of Philadelphia where a small group of very vocal parents are speaking out against critical race theory, or CRT.
UNKNOWN: We do not want our children to be taught that America is systemically racist.
UNKNOWN: 600,000 people died in the civil war to end racism and slavery. Don't rewrite factual history or indoctrinate. Just present the facts.
REEVE: In the wake of protests of the murder of George Floyd, Republican politicians have been hyping critical race theory as a threat to the impressionable minds of America's children.
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): Critical race theory says every white person is a racist. Critical race theory says America is fundamentally racist, irredeemably racist.
REEVE: In more than 12 states, legislators have proposed bills to ban CRT. We wanted to meet the actual people working with actual kids in actual schools, so we talked to Keziah Ridgeway, who teaches high school African-American history and discusses CRT in her anthropology class.
Can I just start with a very simple what is critical race theory?
KEZIAH RIDGEWAY, HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER: Yes. Critical race theory is not being taught in schools. It is a theory. It is a lens by which to view history and the way that law and race kind of overlaps and connects in society. Can it influence the way that some teachers teach? Yeah, but that's a good thing, right, because race and racism is literally the building blocks of this country. So how can you not talk about it?
REEVE: Critical race theory is an academic framework that says racial inequality is perpetuated by the racism embedded in America's laws, not by individual bigotry. But relentless propaganda from some conservatives has created a panic that white people, and especially white children, are under attack.
UNKNOWN: Critical race theory is basically teaching people to hate our country.
UNKNOWN: Schools are embracing this ideology and forcing white students and white teachers to be ashamed of their own skin color.
TUCKER CARLSON, FOX HOST: It's not critical race theory. It's racism.
RIDGEWAY: These are systemic things. Ignoring it perpetuates the problem. By acknowledging it, we can find solutions and we can address the problems in the inequality that exists in our country. And so I think teaching it this way actually does the opposite of what these people say it does.
REEVE: Are you teaching children to hate America?
RIDGEWAY: No. I'm teaching children to question America, and that's what makes a good patriot.
UNKNOWN: Don't force on our kids a particular world view. Taking a wide brush and painting this country as structurally racist, it's insane.
REEVE: Why is it insane, though? I mean I just --
UNKNOWN: Because it's a lie.
REEVE: Last year, Elana Fishbein said she received an email from her kids' school that students would be learning more about the role of race in American society. She thought the materials were racist, so she pulled her kids out of public school. Then she created an advocacy group, no left turn in education, to draw attention to her claims that CRT is poisoning young minds.
This isn't distant history. In the 90s, the crime bill gave much more severe sentencing to crack cocaine versus powder cocaine simply because black people were perceived as doing crack cocaine and white people --
ELANA FISHBEIN, ANTI-CRT ACTIVIST: Ask Joe Biden why he did that.
REEVE: That's a great question. Joe Biden, I think, is a perfect illustration, right? Joe Biden would present himself as a nice guy who would never have a racist bone in his body, yet he participated in creating these laws that have a structural effect of affecting black people more than white people.
FISHBEIN: But we don't have them now.
REEVE: People affected by that law are still alive.
FISHBEIN: We're talking about something entirely different now. This is my taxpayers' money. I don't want it to go to indoctrinating kids that are then going to hate my kids because of the color of their skin and (inaudible) them because of the color of the skin. What happened in the summer, it twisted the minds of all kids. My kids can be attacked by Antifa kids or BLM kids if they're not black. They're white like my kids, but they are believing. They were indoctrinated and they internalize this philosophy.
REEVE: Were your children beat up by Antifa kids?
FISHBEIN: I beg your pardon?
REEVE: Were your children beat up by Antifa kids?
FISHBEIN: I'm talking it's going to happen if we're not going to stop it. But we are going to stop it. We are. We are the great majority of this country.
REEVE: Anti-CRT propaganda is drawing big crowds.
UNKNOWN: Of course I'm against critical race theory.
REEVE: More than 100 people showed up at this diner near Baltimore where local Republican groups held a panel on school COVID shutdowns and CRT. What is critical race theory?
SAM JONES, COLLEGE REPUBLICAN: Critical race theory is the idea that's taught to our nation's youth that the way that you're born contributes to the amount of success that you can achieve in this country. It basically states that white people are born with everything and if you're not white, you're born with nothing.
REEVE: Can you name any critical race theory scholars?
JONES: Probably not.
REEVE: Can you name any critical race theory concepts?
JONES: I don't know what the concepts are. I think I -- I think I summarized critical race theory as a whole pretty well.
CRAIG LEWIS, COLLEGE REPUBLICAN: To paint the country as an inherently racist country from its founding, I think is dangerous.
REEVE: The three-fifths compromise is written into the constitution in which slaves are counted as three-fifths.
LEWIS: Of course. And that was applied at an earlier time. That's not the case now obviously.
REEVE: Well, you just mentioned the founding of the country, so --
LEWIS: Yeah. It wasn't perfectly written in the constitution.
REEVE: When did you first hear about critical race theory?
UNKNOWN: Sometime around last year.
REEVE: Where did you see it?
UNKNOWN: On Fox News.
The idea that you can succeed based on your race is ludicrous. This is not the 1960s anymore. Just because of your skin color does not mean that you cannot be successful here in America, point black, period.
RIDGEWAY: I teach these books for my Anthropology class.
REEVE: Are you teaching white kids to hate themselves for being white?
REEVE: Are you teaching black kids that there's nothing they can do to improve their situation because --
RIDGEWAY: Absolutely not.
REEVE: There's racism and they can never fight it so they should give up?
RIDGEWAY: Absolutely not. I'm creating little free thinkers and future politicians and lawyers and teachers and change-makers. Our kids are smart. They know what's happening, and I think we do them a disservice by continuing to pretend like critical race theory is the issue when it's really you just don't want kids to learn the truth because not only do they become critical thinkers, they also become voters.
And that is what's scaring a lot of these people because they know that as this generation gets older, a lot of these people that are making these laws will be voted out of office.
REEVE: Elle Reeve, CNN, Philadelphia.
(END VIDEOTAPE) CHURCH (on camera): An Olympic dream comes to an end. American
sprinter Sha'Carri Richardson won't make it to the Tokyo games. But U.S. track and field says the rules need to change going forward.
CHURCH: Pure jubilation in Rome as Italy have booked their ticket to the Euro 2020 final. They will meet the winner of England versus Denmark with kickoff just over 11 hours from now. Italy defeated Spain on penalties after a dramatic match. Italy is now unbeaten in its past 33 matches. If they win Sunday, it will be their first European championship since 1968.
England have yet to surrender a goal in the Euro 2020 tournament. They will have home field advantage at Wembley Stadium. Many consider Denmark the sentimental favorite after their star midfielder, Christian Ericson, suffered a heart attack in their first match.
Well, the Olympic journey to Tokyo has come to an end for Sha'Carri Richardson. USA track and field revealed their Olympic roster Tuesday, and the sprinter's name was not on it. She had hoped to compete in the 4 by 100 meter relay because the one-month suspension she recently received for a positive THC test would have ended before that event in Tokyo.
But a statement from USA track and field says while they fully agree the merit of the world anti-doping agency rules related to THC should be re-evaluated, it would be detrimental to the integrity of the U.S. Olympic team trials for track and field if USATF amends its policies following competition only weeks before the Olympic Games.
I want to thank you for joining us. I'm Rosemary Church. I'll be back with more news in just a moment. Do stay with us.