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Shooting Outside Nationals Park Sends Fans And Players Scrambling; Three Have Tested Positive For COVID In Olympic Village In Japan; Interview With Olympic Athlete, Kenny Selmon; Interview With Gov. Roy Cooper (D-NC); Jeff Bezos Getting Ready To Go To Space. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired July 18, 2021 - 14:00:00   ET

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


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[14:00:25]

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: Hello, everyone. Thank you so much for joining me.

I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

Some terrifying moments at the Washington Nationals baseball game last night after shots rang out directly outside the stadium. The sounds of gunfire can be heard just moments after the television commentators give the score during the sixth inning. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Padres put three more on the board -- 8 to 4.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: You can hear that banging sound along with the music in the background that sent fans and players scrambling for the exits. Some fans even rushed into the team dugouts trying to escape. The manager of the visiting team, the San Diego Padres, gave an emotional recount of the events. That was this morning.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAYCE TINGLER, MANAGERS, SAN DIEGO PADRES: I couldn't be any more proud to be a Padre, to be -- to be with the men in there and they're getting their families.

And then it's just human nature. They're seeing fans and seeing people in panic. They just -- they did the right thing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: What a sequence of moments.

CNN's Suzanne Malveaux is following the details from outside Nationals Park. Suzanne, what more do we know at this hour about the shooting, those involved, and what about the people and their concerns behind you?

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Fred, you can only imagine really kind of the horror and the shock that they experienced last night.

I mean, this was at the bottom of the sixth inning, when you had this game going on. Many of the fans who just didn't even realize what was happening behind the third base gate, so many, at first it was confusion and then it turned into panic essentially when they heard these loud banging type of noises and then realized, police telling us that three people shot, one of them a fan that was caught between two vehicles, individuals that were actually engaged in a shootout amongst themselves.

And that this fan really just kind of stumbled into -- back into the area where other fans were and they could see that she was visibly injured and bleeding. And that is when the panic ensued.

Initially, you had a warning from folks saying stay seated, be seated. And then they cleared out the area once it was safe for fans to go home. They have since resumed this game. It started at 1:00 this afternoon.

Saying -- D.C. police saying look, the area's safe, it's an isolated incident. Nevertheless, there's a heightened police presence in this area.

We talked to a lot of people who seem to be still invigorated, if you will, excited about this game. But really having undergone a traumatic sense of disbelief at what has taken place.

I want to bring in somebody I know very well. Our D.C. bureau chief, Sam Feist. And he was at the game. He's been to many of these games. And Sam, you immediately went into kind of reporter mode when you heard this. Just give us a sense of what happened and when you realized it was kind of serious.

SAM FEIST, CNN WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF: Yes, so I was at the game with my wife and several CNN colleagues. And at the end of the sixth inning -- in the middle of the sixth inning we started -- we looked down and we were not on the lower level. We were just in the middle section so we could look down and we saw people beginning to duck and then run for the gates.

And we had heard thunder during the night, so we weren't sure if it was thunder or -- now we know that it was actually gunshots. But what we saw was a crowd that was in full panic.

On the first base line, that's the Nationals' side, people ran over the fence onto the field into the dugout. Because they were trying to escape whatever they thought might be out there. And they ran into the tunnel to get away.

On the third base side, that's where the gunshots were heard from. That was the San Diego Padres side. People went both out the gate, this gate that we are at right now, the central -- the center field gate, and also in and around the padres dugout, the same way.

Other people just ducked behind their chairs, and you could tell that they were frightened there was an active shooter. But it was pandemonium in one ways.

But in another way people just left the stadium as quickly as they could. And as I understand, nobody was injured or at least seriously, leaving the stadium.

[14:05:00]

MALVEAUX: I understand that the woman who was shot, one of the fans, herself stumbled back into the arena itself and that's when people started to really panic.

FEIST: Correct. And she stumbled in I believe the third base gate, which is over behind where you are. And that's the side where people really began to flee quickly.

That's what we saw from above. We could tell that something was going on down there, and that's when folks were just leaving, leaving, leaving as quickly as they could.

At the time the ballpark announcer had not yet said anything. So we had no information those inside the stadium other than watching the fans who were either hiding behind their chairs, because they had heard something, or racing for the gates.

After that they made an announcement put into the overhead scoreboard that you should stay in the stadium, that whatever activity is going on is outside the stadium, and then eventually they let folks out.

MALVEAUX: How long did that period last where people were just told to stay, having no information, no idea what was happening?

FEIST: So the most terrifying few minutes were before they had made an announcement. Obviously, the Nationals and the folks who run the ballpark also probably didn't know what was going on.

I would say that was for me three to four minutes at least. And that's when folks were moving every which way or hiding behind their seat.

After that they put up the sign "shelter in place". And then I would say about ten more minutes before they seemed to have it under control and they invited people to leave the stadium.

MALVEAUX: Were people visibly emotional? Were they crying or were they carrying their children? I mean this must have been very frightening for some.

FEIST: So you heard screams because I think a lack of knowledge of what was going on. But I heard from a friend who had a 17-year-old who was in the stadium who called his mother terrified that he might die today because he also didn't have information.

So you can just imagine at that moment when you think there's an active shooter how terrifying it is. It cleared up relatively quickly. And as we now know no one inside the park was injured at all. But it was a frightening few minutes, of course.

MALVEAUX: Sam, I mean you've seen a lot. You've experienced a lot, you know. You're a pretty hardened character yourself. But did you have any second thoughts about coming back today and coming back here to the ballgame?

FEIST: I didn't. When we heard from Metropolitan Police in Washington, D.C. that this was not related to the ballpark, this was an activity outside the ballpark, South Capital Street, which is right behind you.

It's a busy thoroughfare, and we now know that there were people -- unrelated to the ballpark. Could have happened anywhere in the city. It didn't really give me pause.

But I'm sure there are people who were particularly in the lower level last night who were terrified who -- it's going to stick with them a while.

MALVEAUX: All right. Sam, thanks so much. Really appreciate it. So glad you're safe as well as, you know, friends and colleagues and family. So thank you, Sam.

And Metropolitan Police are telling us today that none of those who were injured are facing life-threatening injuries. And they are still questioning some of the suspects involved in the shooting. Again, there is increased police presence here. A lot of people nevertheless are coming out to have a good time, Fred.

You know, this all comes at a time when people are entering back into the public fold here after the pandemic and really just trying to get a sense of whether or not it is safe to come out and be with family and friends. And people seem to be comfortable today that that is in fact the case, Fred.

WHITFIELD: Well, understandable why some would still be pretty shaken up. But I too am very glad that Sam, friends, family, fans and players are all ok today.

Suzanne Malveaux, thank you so much. We'll check back with you.

So the shooting at the Nationals-Padres game is just one of more than 215 shootings that occurred in the U.S. since Friday alone. That's according to the Gun Violence Archive.

CNN's Polo Sandoval joining me right now.

So Polo, a 6-year-old girl was killed in a shooting just three miles away from Nationals Park. What can you tell us?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The result, Fred, is a community in southeast Washington, D.C. that is just outraged. This 6-year-old little girl was supposed to be starting the first grade this fall, and now we know that won't happen. And so authorities there in Washington, D.C. are offering a $60,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest of those responsible for the death of little Naya Courtney, an innocent bystander that was in a crowd when a car pulled up and opened fire there near some businesses.

Look at the video that was released by investigators hoping to turn some leads. And in that video you see what appears to be a silver vehicle driving through an intersection.

And then from one second to another once it approaches that intersection you see the muzzle flashes as they opened fire. D.C.'s police chief says officers were actually nearby.

There's that moment there, Fred. It's pretty dramatic stuff.

[14:09:50]

SANDOVAL: Police officers with the Washington, D.C. Metro Police Department were nearby. They rushed to the scene. And they desperately tried to save this little girl. Even at one point even rushing her in their patrol car to the hospital. And sadly she did not survive.

Five other people, all adults, were injured. Their injuries, however, not life-threatening. But really we listened to the update from investigators here and you can hear the outrage in their voice here. The police chief saying that he's not only sick but he is tired of being sick and tired of this level of violence, not just in his community but throughout the rest of the country.

Chicago is one example. They're also dealing with violence that plagued their city over the weekend. Just look at the numbers alone, Fred, that we've been following here. In Chicago alone here they investigated three dozen shootings since Friday.

That's resulted in 43 injured, five of them fatally, one of those shootings was at a party in which four teenage girls as well as a 12- year-old little girl were injured. Their injuries, though, not life- threatening.

And then finally a double shooting in Philadelphia, a one-year-old boy in stable condition after being shot in the leg. No arrests made in the case.

But these cases happening throughout the country. But what they all have now in common here, Fred, is that so many lives, so many families, their lives have been forever changed. In some cases, of course for Naya Courtney's family, their lives have changed forever.

WHITFIELD: Yes, terribly and senselessly. Polo Sandoval, thank you so much. We'll check back with you.

All right. Coming up, coronavirus is spreading ahead of the start of the Olympic games. Three members of an Olympic team tested positive just days before the opening ceremonies. I'll talk live with an American Olympian who is competing in his first games. Find out how 400-meter hurdler Kenny Selmon is preparing to go to Tokyo.

[14:11:41]

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WHITFIELD: All right. We're learning new details today about three people who tested positive for coronavirus in the Olympic village this weekend. South Africa confirms they were members of their national soccer team, two athletes and one analyst, all of whom arrived in Tokyo just last week.

With opening ceremonies in just five days the city is now reporting more than 1,000 new COVID cases for a fifth day in a row. Undeterred and steadfast about traveling to Tokyo in hopes of bringing home gold, more than 600 U.S. Olympians are heading to Japan.

And among them, that fellow right there, four-time all-American and three-time ACC champion, former UNC and now U.S. Olympic 400-meter hurdler, finishing second in the trials with his personal best time to secure his spot. Here he is, Kenny Selmon. Drum roll.

Kenny, good to see you. Great to have you here. Congratulations on your first Olympic games. I know you have to be over the moon excited. When do you leave for Tokyo?

KENNY SELMON, OLYMPIC ATHLETE: I'm leaving the 24th. I get out of here next week. And just super excited to make this thing happen. And thanks for having me on.

WHITFIELD: Fantastic. We're so glad that you're with us, that you had the time to do this. I know your head must be swirling. All that you have to do to prepare for the games beyond containing your excitement.

But don't contain it. This is your moment. Tell me what you're going through right now.

SELMON: I mean there's just so much going on, you know. Like just trying to enjoy the moment but also like make sure I'm preparing for the games, you know, properly.

You know, just excited. Nervous. Ready to make it happen. Anxious. And also with everything going on with COVID it's just kind of like gosh, how do I manage what I'm doing here.

WHITFIELD: It is a lot. You know, and now hearing that three South African team members arriving in the country tested positive, I mean, what are your concerns about being in the athletes' village?

SELMON: Yes, you know, hearing that's not great. I mean there's a lot going on. COVID is still very real. And it's unfortunate that things are still happening in that way.

You know, I'm nervous to kind of get out there and see what the village looks like and what we're able to do. But you know, I'm vaccinated. I'm excited to get there and hopefully that I can kind of, you know, make sure that there's not a problem for me.

WHITFIELD: Oh, yes. Well, hopefully not. I mean, you know, we're all praying that you keep yourself safe as well as all of the 600 U.S. Olympians.

So no spectators in any of the stands. And instead there will be some crowd noise, you know, pumped in. Tell me, you know, what that's going to be like for you. you know, does it affect your performance? Or are you kind of like, you know, tunnel vision and you're in your zone and you really don't pay attention to the crowd anyway? What do you think it's going to be like?

SELMON: I mean, to say not having the fans would not affect us is not true. I mean we want the fans. Like that energy, we thrive off of that. So I'm going to miss that.

But trust me when I say all the other guys are not worried about that. You know, they're going to run just as fast as if the fans were there. So I've got to make sure that I'm ready to run that fast as well.

So it's unfortunate. But it's the reality right now. And we have to move forward.

WHITFIELD: How about your family? Worries? Are they bummed that they can't be there with you? I mean what are they feeling and what are they going through?

SELMON: No. They're so sad. You know, they've been a part of my life up until this point obviously and they've been to every meet, my parents have. And they haven't missed much at all. And to now not be able to do the biggest one, it's sad.

But you know, everybody's going through it. We're not isolated. It's the reality right now. And like I said, you know, either you can sulk on that and be sad about it or move forward and make sure you get this thing done and bring them home, you know, the gold.

WHITFIELD: Yes. Oh, these pictures are so fantastic. And I know -- I can only imagine, and we'll be highly anticipating what the images are going to be looking like for you coming out of Tokyo.

So I mean, Kenny, is there a way to kind of summarize what has this whole experience been like for you? I mean, particularly in the last year.

[14:20:00]

WHITFIELD: With the games delayed by a year, the restrictions still in place globally, and how you've had to adapt yet keep your head in the game, keep yourself mentally and physically fit for this moment.

SELMON: Yes, I mean that's the whole thing. There's -- you know, obviously COVID hits. The games were last year. A lot of us athletes were ready to compete last year and ready to make it happen. And then you know, COVID hit.

And so we had to readjust our schedules, kind of change up our training patterns and just restart for an entirely new year. And so now you know, that it's here there is relief. We're glad we can actually get it done. We're thankful that, you know, it's finally here.

And we're just -- like I said, the trials was an incredible, incredible meet. And U.S.A. team's the hardest one to make. And so that we all made it, we're just glad to kind of be able to make it and go to Tokyo and see this thing happen.

WHITFIELD: Oh, congratulations. So happy for you. I mean 400-meter hurdles, that's a monster. But you nailed it. And you are going to soar, continue to soon on your way to Tokyo.

All the best on your trip. We'll be watching you. Go U.S.A. Kenny Selmon, you're amazing.

SELMON: Oh, thank you so much. I appreciate it.

WHITFIELD: Thank you so much for being with us. All the best.

SELMON: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: All right.

Still ahead, North Carolina is giving away millions of dollars to get people vaccinated. But is the program working? Governor Roy Cooper joins me live to talk about that and the debate over school masks.

And I know he's wishing former UNC grad there, you know, Kenny Selmon the best. We'll talk about COVID as well with the governor. We're back in a moment.

[14:21:41]

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WHITFIELD: The U.S. Surgeon-General is blaming misinformation as a big reason for the lagging vaccination race in the U.S. and insists that big tech companies still aren't doing enough to fight the lies online.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VIVEK MURTHY, U.S. SURGEON-GENERAL: There have been some positive steps taken by these technology companies. Some of them have worked to try to up-promote accurate sources like the CDC and other medical sources. Others have tried to reduce the prevalence of false sources in search results.

But what I've also said to them publicly and privately is that it's not enough. That we are still seeing a proliferation of misinformation online. And we know that health misinformation harms people's health. It costs them their lives.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: All 50 states and Washington, D.C. are now seeing rising cases, as you can see from the red and the orange on this map.

North Carolina has one of the lowest rates of vaccination in the U.S., with just under 43 percent of the residents fully vaccinated. COVID cases there in the Tar Heel State have also jumped in the past few weeks.

Joining me right now, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper. Good to see you, Governor.

So your state is trying to incentivize people. You set up a million- dollar vaccine lottery to encourage vaccinations, giving away a million dollars to two people so far.

But you've still only seen a slight uptick in the vaccine percentage in your state. So if a million dollars can't entice reluctant North Carolinians to get the vaccines, what will?

GOV. ROY COOPER (D-NC): Well, how about saving your life? It's pretty obvious that these vaccines are safe and effective. And when you see 99 percent plus of the people going in the hospital and dying are unvaccinated people, that should set off alarm bells for people that they need to get the shots in arms.

Look, North Carolina's 33rd, 34th in the country -- not where we want to be. We're ahead in the south, but we know we've got to do a lot more.

And one of the things we were successful at doing is building our own data base. We knew that communities of color were -- there were great health disparities there even before the pandemic.

As COVID came on, we saw blacks and Hispanics dying at twice the rate. And it is why we put forth an effort to make sure we collected the data and tackled this race disparity. And we were able to close the gap with vaccinations in our Hispanic community and narrow significantly the gap in our black, African-American communities. And that's a positive step for our state. We've still got a long way to go, as does the rest of the country right now.

WHITFIELD: Do you blame any of the hesitancy or reluctance on the misinformation that the surgeon general has been speaking out about, saying that tech companies need to do more? There has to be some way to contain the misinformation? Do you think that's part of the problem in North Carolina too?

COOPER: Absolutely. In North Carolina and across the country. In fact, we're seeing a lot of our rural efforts -- a lot of our rural states see a significant rise in COVID cases and particularly the Delta variant.

I think a lot of them --

(CROSSTALK) WHITFIELD: In fact, I think we have some information on that in your rural -- in the rural areas that the vaccination rates are the lowest. Polls also showing that in addition to influences by misinformation that also politics has injected itself into it, that apparently a larger percentage of Republicans than Democrats and Independents have shown a reluctancy to get vaccinated.

[14:29:54]

WHITFIELD: As a Democratic governor how do you convince residents who may not support you politically or a particular party politically to get vaccinated?

COOPER: Well, we've got a number of Republican leaders in our state who have joined me in this effort to get people vaccinated. We're getting ministers, trusted people in communities. And the number one thing we're telling people, if you don't believe me, if you don't believe other people on TV or on the internet, ask your doctor, that is the best place to find out whether you need to get this vaccination. And the doctor's going to tell you that you should get it.

And in fact, in rural counties, we're having mobile clinics. We're visiting house by house. We know that this is going to be a person by person, shot by shot conversation by conversation situation from now until the end. The disinformation that's out there is so wrong, particularly with people who know better and are doing it for political purposes. We have to push to stop that because we have a life-saving vaccine that can put this pandemic in the rearview mirror. It's time for us to pull together, make sure that people get it.

WHITFIELD: And then, I wonder if FDA approval in your view is going to make a difference too.

COOPER: You know, we hope so. And, you know, we want transparency about that and where we are in the process. We do know, however, that these vaccines are very safe and wildly effective. I don't think researchers even imagined that we'd have the effectiveness with these vaccines that we have actually seen. So, it's such a strong argument for people to go ahead and get this shot.

We've done well with our 65 and older, our most vulnerable population. We're at about 86 percent of them that have had at least one shot. That's a good thing.

WHITFIELD: Yes.

COOPER: But where we're seeing a lot of hesitancy, as you said, in rural areas, we're seeing younger people being more hesitant about it. So, getting approval, I think, will be helpful.

WHITFIELD: Yes. And let me ask you too. School, you know, back to school is right around the corner. And according to CNN analysis there are seven states, Arizona, Georgia, Iowa, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Vermont have banned schools from requiring masks. In California, K through 12 students are to wear masks but it would be enforced by the local school district.

So, have you made a decision about what families can expect in your state? Will it be required that kids who are, you know, not eligible to be vaccinated wear masks?

COOPER: Right now, in our last school year and during summer school children are required to wear masks in school under my executive order. We are looking at the latest CDC recommendations. Our health team is looking at it. We will be making recommendations, I think, in this coming week about what we ought to be doing. You're not going to see us say you can't do it because we know that masks, particularly for children who are under 12, we know that they can't get vaccinated yet.

So, we know that they may be vulnerable. We have to find ways to try and protect them. We're going to be announcing that strategy in the coming week or two as we approach the school year. But we know that masks, particularly for unvaccinated people, are extremely important and to keep them from getting infected.

WHITFIELD: All right. We'll be reporting on your announcements. Governor Roy Cooper of North Carolina, thank you so much. Stay well.

Up next, nausea, headaches, and sudden vertigo. Mysterious symptoms first identified in Cuba now affecting U.S. diplomats in another part of the world.

And tonight, on CNN, a new CNN original series documents 3,000 years of the most coveted city in the world. Here's a preview of "Jerusalem: City of Faith and Fury."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you don't know the history of Jerusalem, it's very hard to understand what's going on there today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A story centuries in the making.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The conflict that we are experiencing today, you've seen it for thousands of years.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Six epic battles.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was a bloody massacre.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is desert combat at its worst.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Israel had to fight for its existence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three major faiths.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People believe that they must possess it absolutely.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the spiritual significance inevitably raises the stakes. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The most coveted city in the world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's equivalent of a magical place.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People are said to have conquered the world have swept through this city.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's the only city that exists on heaven and earth. It exists twice.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This story hasn't ended.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 3,000 years. One city. "Jerusalem: City of Faith and Fury."

Tonight at 10:00, only on CNN.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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[14:35:00]

WHITFIELD: Welcome back.

U.S. diplomats working in Austria are complaining of sudden vertigo, nausea, headaches and head pressure, sometimes accompanied by a piercing directional noise, symptoms similar to what's been dubbed Havana syndrome. Those mysterious symptoms first surfacing in U.S. diplomats working in Cuba back in 2016.

CNN International Diplomatic Editor Nic Robertson is here with more on this.

So, Nic, what more do we know about what happened and some of the commonalities?

[14:40:00]

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, there certainly seem to be commonalities in the symptoms. This sort of auditory sensation and then sort of things not playing right in the mind. This sort of memory loss, the hearing loss, these sorts of effects. So, there's those similarities.

And I think we get a key to this in what the state department is saying and they've released a statement. I'll read it to you here. It says, in coordination with our partners across the U.S. government, we are vigorously investigating reports of possible unexplained health incidents among the U.S. Embassy Vienna community or wherever they are reported.

Now, what we are hearing from Austrian officials at the moment is that they take these reports very seriously. They say that they take the welfare of whomever they're hosting, diplomats and their families, very seriously. They say that they are working at the moment with the United States to find a solution. It isn't quite clear what that solution is.

And the information that I have at the moment in Vienna from what I understand is that they're having difficulty, if you will, pinpointing what could be the source of the problem here. Again, that was a problem that was witnessed in Havana. So, that is, again, symptomatic. These things happen, and it's very hard to pinpoint the precise location of what's causing it. So, that's part of the picture.

I think one of the big differences here of course is Cuba, potential adversary. Austria and Vienna absolutely not. It's an ally, not an adversary at all. You know, Vienna very close to the sort of former Soviet Union during the Cold War.

There were lots of sort of dark deeds, if you will, between spies of a variety of different governments back during the Cold War. But this is different. This is now. This is today. This is a friendly country. And they say that they're doing what they can to help, but nobody seems to be able to put their finger on precisely what's causing it.

WHITFIELD: And still, this mystery has been broadened because it wasn't that long ago, remember there were people in Washington, D.C. not far from the White House who said they were experiencing some of the same things.

All right. Nic Robertson, keep us posted. Thank you so much.

All right. The waters, they receded, revealing the devastation left behind.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know the people around here, but everybody is helping each other.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: And now, the massive cleanup is under way. We're live in Germany next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[14:45:00]

WHITFIELD: The enormous scale of destruction in Western Europe is being revealed as devastating flood waters begin to recede now. At least 189 people are dead, and the search continues for hundreds more still missing.

Earlier today, German chancellor, Angela Merkel, visited one of the hardest-hit areas and said she had trouble finding the words to describe what she saw.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

Angela Merkel (through translator): I have come here today especially to Schuld together with the state premier in order to make sure we from the government want to have a proper assessment of this. I have to say, it is a surreal situation. It is horrendous. The German language doesn't really have words for this devastation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: CNN's Atika Shubert is in Germany where Chancellor Merkel made her stop.

So, can you give us a sense of the devastation there and what it was like for her and others to tour?

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we were in Schuld earlier and we're just a little further down the (INAUDIBLE) river valley now. But this entire area was very hard hit. This is where the highest death tolls have come from. And as the waters have receded, they've left a lot of debris behind.

I want to show you here behind me a car. As you can see, it's been wedged in here between the trees and a house. But what's interesting here is that search and rescue have already come through this area and they've marked this car with lehr, and that means empty. So, what they're basically marking this car with is saying there are no bodies in this car that we have found.

Having sailed that, we actually saw police come here, break through the window because the owner of this car is still reported missing. And this is very much an ongoing is search and recovery effort. So, they're really going through every car that they find that might be registered to somebody. They want to see if they can find that person. So, it's a very fluid situation at the moment. But this entire scene really gives you a sense of the devastation.

And then, when we think of floods, we think of them happening quite gradually, the rising of the water. But this was very fast. It happened very quickly, within a number of hours. People said that they expected to have time to evacuate and leave their homes, get their valuables, get their families safe, but they just did not have time. Basements filled up very quickly. And it filled all the way up to the second story of many homes. People had to be air-lifted off of their rooftops.

So, as those search and recovery efforts are continuing, so are the cleanup efforts. We've seen a lot of -- this road actually when we were here a few days ago is completely jammed, but now, a lot of it has actually been pushed back. So, it's actually looking a lot better than it was, Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: Devastating. Atika Shubert, thank you so much.

Back in the United States, a water park in Houston is shut down indefinitely after more than 60 people got sick in what's being described as a chemical incident. Local officials say it started when a lifeguard got sick and then dozens more fell ill, including kids and families all suffering from respiratory issues. The Harris County judge says, she's concerned safety systems at the park didn't catch this. [13:50:00]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LINA HIDALGO, HARRIS COUNTY, TEXAS JUDGE: The different departments have been verifying the technology of the water park, and they don't find any readings that are off. So, if you can have 60 plus people get sick and your system doesn't catch it, doesn't catch what is off with the chemicals or whatever it is, then clearly something is wrong with the system.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: And those affected had to be rinsed down by a fire truck before leaving the park. The most serious cases included a three-year- old taken to the hospital, but is expected to be OK. There was also a pregnant woman that officials believe was going into labor as she was transported from the park.

All right. This Tuesday, Amazon's Jeff Bezos is making his attempt to go into space. The billionaire's company, Blue Origin, is having its first human launch nine days after Virgin Galactic's Richard Branson completed a successful suborbital flight.

CNN's Rachel Crane

RACHEL CRANE, CNN BUSINESS INNOVATION AND SPACE CORRESPONDENT: Jeff Bezos and three fellow passengers are days away from their 11-minute journey to the edge of space.

Just this week, Blue Origin announced the identity of the final crew member, 18-year-old, Oliver Damon. He is taking the seat that was reserved for the winner of Blue Origin's online auction. The anonymous bidder who paid a whopping $28 million of the seat apparently has a scheduling conflict.

On Tuesday, if all goes to plan, Damon will become the youngest person ever to travel to space. And fellow crew member, Wally Funk, she'll become the oldest. She's an 82-year-old former astronaut trainee and aerospace legend. Along with Bezos and his brother, Mark, they're board Blue Origin's new Shepherd rocket in a remote part of Southern Texas and hurdle more than 60 miles above earth.

The autonomous spaceship has undergone years of uncrewed testing. But this flight will be the first-time humans have ever flown onboard, and it will commence the company's commercial operations.

WHITFIELD: All right. Thank you so much, Rachel.

All right. Still ahead, Don't Fauci my Florida? How a fund-raising group is using anti-Fauci t-shirts and beer cozies to raise money for Governor Ron DeSantis.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[13:55:00] WHITFIELD: If you're like many people working from home, you may find you're sitting for far too long. Well, you could do more than just stand up, as we learned in this week's staying well.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VENUS RAMOS, PHYSICAL MEDICINE AND REHABILITATION SPECIALIST: Research has shown significantly that a sedentary lifestyle increases your risk for so many diseases. You have increased risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, diabetes, heart disease. Maintaining mobility is important because we need to stay physically active to stay healthy.

High intensity interval training can give you so many health benefits in essentially a shorter period of time than the traditional going for a jog for 30 minutes. You can start with two minutes, do something really vigorously for 60 seconds. And when you work up to it, you could maybe just do another 60 seconds of some moderate lower intensity. Your body and heart is constantly revving itself back up again with these shorter intervals.

The one-legged sprint. The mountain climber. Side-to-side lunge. Just going jump from side to side as if you're jumping over a candlestick. Make sure to warm up and cool down after each little session. Always consult your doctor before you start a high intensity interval training program.

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WHITFIELD: Oh, I'm motivated. That looks good.

All right. Famed film director, Spike Lee, with a major spoiler alert at the Cannes Film Festival. He's the president of the festival's jury, but he accidentally let slip who took home the festival's top prize, the Palme d'Or. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Can you tell me which prize is the first prize?

SPIKE LEE, CANNES FILM FESTIVAL JURY PRESIDENT: Yes, I can.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Cool.

LEE: The film that won was Palme d'Or is "Titane" --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Wait, wait, wait. No.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: But not right now. Obviously, that was not what was intended. Lee was visibly mortified about the mix up, and he issued a heartfelt apology later.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) LEE: I messed up, simple as that. And I was very specific to speak to the people of "Titane" and tell them that I apologized. They said, forget about it, Spike. So, that means a lot to me. Thank you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: Oh, the winning film, "Titane," was directed by Julia Ducournau. She is the only -- she is rather the second female director to take home the award in its more than 80-year history.