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Shots Fired Outside MLB Game; Facebook Slams President Biden About COVID Misinformation Statement; Continued Revolt In Cuba; Historic Flooding In Western Europe Claims 189 Lives; Cori Gauff Tests Positive For COVID, Pulls Out Of The Olympics; Vaccines Will Not Solve COVID, Warns Israeli Prime Minister; Airline Industry Showing Earnings. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired July 18, 2021 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN HOST: You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Jim Acosta in Washington. Terror at the ballpark after gunshots echoed through Nationals Park last night in the middle of a game between the San Diego Padres and the Washington Nationals. Players, their families, even some fans rushed to the dugouts for cover as others scrambled to the exits in confusion.
Eventually, police determined three people had been shot in the streets nearby and there was no threat inside. Today, the managers of both teams got emotional remembering what happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAYCE TINGLER, SAN DIEGO PADRES MANAGER: I couldn't be any more proud to be a Padre, to be -- to be with the men in there, seeing fans and seeing people in panic. They just -- they did the right thing.
DAVA MERTINEZ, WASHINGTON NATIONALS MANAGER: I love this city. You know, this city is my home. It can get crazy. We all know that and we all want to feel safe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: And CNN Suzanne Malveaux is on the scene with more.
UNKNOWN: Ladies and gentlemen, your attention, please. The action is outside of the stadium. At this time, we ask that you remain in the stadium.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Gun fire sending fans and players scrambling during a game at Nationals Park Stadium in Washington, D.C. A fan, one of the three wounded in a shooting near the park Saturday night according to D.C. Metro police. CNN journalists inside the stadium reported hearing multiple loud bangs. SAM FEIST, CNN WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF: 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 of or -- now we know that it was actually gunshots. But what we saw was a crowd that was in full panic.
On the first baseline, 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're at right now, the center field gate, and also in and around the Padres dugout the same way.
MALVEAUX (voice-over): The Nationals were playing the San Diego Padres when the shooting began.
UNKNOWN: Apparently, the news report that was coming out through the security guards is that there was a victim that was shot outside the stadium. She ran into the stadium covered in blood which freaked out a lot of individuals which caused a lot of the chaos and the panic and people have rushed back into their seats because they didn't know what was happening.
MALVEAUX (voice-over): Play was interrupted in the bottom of the sixth inning. A message on the scoreboard initially told fans to remain inside the baseball park. But it was updated later to say it is safe for fans to leave the stadium. At a press conference Saturday night, officials tried to reassure the public.
CHRIS GELDART, DEPUTY MAYOR FOR PUBLIC SAFETY AND JUSTICE: We believe this was an isolated incident. Again, had nothing to do with the game itself tonight and that it is safe to come down here and folks can come down to tomorrow night's game.
MALVEAUX (voice-over): Police have recovered one of the vehicles, but the others remain at large. The two other people wounded in the shooting were associated with the recovered vehicle and are now in the hospital being questioned by police.
It's unclear what their exact involvement was in the incident and officials said those individuals were known to law enforcement. The fan who was shot, a female, is expected to recover. San Diego Padres star, Fernando Tatis, Jr. thanked everyone that helped after the shooting outside Nationals Park.
Tatis said on twitter, "Hope everyone is safe. Just keep the prayers up. Thank you everyone that help on the front line. God bless."
MALVEAUX (on camera): The Nationals were able to complete their second game and they are now going onto game 3.
[17:04:58] Talked to a lot of folks here who said, look, they're not going to let this isolated incident disrupt their lives but at the same time they're negotiating a new normal after, of course, a year after this pandemic and a new kind of way of being with crowds.
In the meantime, D.C. police do have an increased presence. They have issued a surveillance as well of that vehicle they're still looking for and a $10,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest regarding that shooting, Jim.
ACOSTA: All right. Suzanne Malveaux, thank you very much for that. Now to the back-and-forth between the White House and Facebook. The social media giant is pushing back against President Biden's bold assertion that it and other social media companies are "killing people as COVID misinformation spreads rampantly online."
Right now, not even 50 percent of the country is fully vaccinated and vaccine rates are plummeting nationwide. CNN senior Washington correspondent Joe Johns is following this for us. Joe, Facebook did not like what the president had to say, did it?
JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: That's for sure. They're really stepping up the rebuttals after the administration essentially launched this full-court press a few days ago to get Facebook and other social media to sort of pick up the pace on enforcement on misinformation about COVID-19 and vaccines.
The takeaway from Facebook, its message, if you will, is don't call this organization, Facebook, a scapegoat because the vaccination rates are plummeting. Now, they even went out after the surgeon general, by the way, who was one of the first people to really launch the full- court press.
Here's what they said in a statement. "In private exchanges the Surgeon General has praised our work including our efforts to inform people about COVID-19. They knew what they were doing, Facebook says. The White House is looking for scapegoats for missing their vaccine goals."
Some pretty sharp words there and it's clear also that the surgeon general is not backing down. He was on "State of the Union" earlier today. Listen to what he said.
(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 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)
JOHNS: One of the questions here, though, really is how many persuadables are out there. If you think about all of the misinformation and lies that have gone across the internet so far about COVID-19 and vaccines, the one question is, if you remove the misinformation, how many people are going to turn around and decide they want to get the vaccine? Or whatever. Back to you, Jim.
ACOSTA: Absolutely. Got to try something to get these vaccines in arms. All right, Joe Johns, thank you very much for that.
Let's bring in CNN political commentator Ana Navarro and CNN senior political analyst and former presidential adviser to four presidents, David Gergen. David, do you think it was wise for President Biden to callout Facebook and what do you make of Facebook's defiant response there that this is just the White House trying to shift the blame?
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, Jim, it's a very difficult question. The president was right in what he said. It technically is true, there are people being killed by this disinformation. But the question is whether it's wise to go after them in this way, to have us sending in to rancorous debate in one of the most important institutions on our country.
We simply don't need a war of words right now. What we need is cooperation and collaboration in the White House and Facebook and other big tech giants who are in on this. What we know, Jim, is that apparently about -- there are about a dozen people who are sending out disinformation, they call it disinformation dozen, and they account for some 65 percent of the material on Facebook that is misleading or wrong. So it shouldn't be beyond this (inaudible) to be able to shut down those 12 and to work with Facebook in getting that done.
ACOSTA: And Ana, a Republican group in your state is raising funds for Governor DeSantis selling -- I'm sure you've seen these, selling these anti Dr. Fauci masks and merchandise. What do you think about this? I asked Dr. Fauci about it last night. Let's listen and I'll get your thoughts on the other side.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTHONY FAUCI, CHIEF MEDICAL ADVISER TO PRESIDENT BIDEN: You know, this doesn't even deserve a comment. It's just -- you know, taking an individual who stands for public health, for truth, for doing the right things, to protect the safety and the health of the public which I have done now for four decades, and to use my name in a derogatory way to prevent people from doing things that's for the benefit of their own health, go figure that one out, Jim. I have no idea what that's all about. That doesn't make any sense at all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: Yes, Ana, I mean, we're seeing some of those t-shirts and beer koozies that they're selling, "Don't Fauci my Florida" and so on. What's your reaction?
ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Look, I'm indignant about it and I find it painful. As somebody whose family has lost loved ones, as somebody whose husband was hospitalized with COVID and who sees where the numbers are going in my state. Jackson Health, the biggest public service -- health system in south Florida, two weeks ago, there were 51 cases. Today there's 132 cases.
And I know Ron DeSantis knows better and can do better. We just saw him lead in a cooperative fashion at the collapse in Surfside, cooperating with Joe Biden, with the federal administration and with the local mayor. He can do that. And we are seeing Republican governors around the country like Asa Hutchinson in Arkansas, like Jim Justice in West Virginia, Mike DeWine in Ohio who are extorting their citizens to get vaccinated, who are putting politics aside, partisanship aside.
This is so stupid. Ron DeSantis is vaccinated. Donald Trump is vaccinated. Ivanka Trump is vaccinated. Melania Trump is vaccinated. They all live in Florida and yet they have no qualms about exploiting this, exploiting this for political purposes. He doesn't need to do this, to be the heir apparent to Donald Trump.
He's there already. And in the process he is harming the people of Florida and putting his constituents at risk. I am so worried about the children who can't get vaccinated now going back to schools when we see where the number uptick is going. It's irresponsible and it needs to stop.
ACOSTA: And, David, Ana mentioned former President Trump. Let's listen to what Senator Lindsey Graham said last night.
(BEGON VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): I will be shocked if he doesn't run for president in 2024. He owns the Republican Party. It's his nomination. We have a lot of talented people in the Republican Party, but I can tell you this, if President Trump runs in 2024, he will be the nominee of his party. This is the party of Donald Trump. If you think otherwise, you're in for a rude awakening.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: What do you think, David?
GERGEN: Jim, you know so well, and I thought about it a lot. I don't think there are any guarantees in this life especially when around Donald Trump. He's going to make a last-minute decision or somewhere after that. We'll know I think after the 2022 midterms. But, you know, there are signs at getting (inaudible) out for these various rallies that he wants to have, that there are fewer takers.
I think there are some signs that he's gone over the line so often, so many times people are just sort of (inaudible) and I just don't think he's going to have the kind of excitement behind him the next time around that he's had in the past. ACOSTA: And, Ana, speaking of propaganda, the Cuban government
organized a big rally to counter recent antigovernment protests. I don't know if you remember this, but I asked Raul Castro back in 2016 about the government's crackdown on the opposition. Let's watch and then let's talk about the shirt you're wearing and what's happening right now in this country.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: Why do you have Cuban political prisoners?
RAUL CASTRO, FORMER PRESIDENT OF CUBA (through translation): Give me a list right now of the political prisoners so I can release them. What political prisoners? Give me the names.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: Yes, Ana, no surprise. Castro did not want to deal with the reality of the situation and admit that they have political prisoners in that country. And right now they are jailing people, they're doing worse things to people who are protesting down in Cuba right now for freedom, for food, for good health care, to get out of this pandemic. Your thoughts and tell us a little bit about that shirt that you're wearing.
NAVARRO: Look, if he -- if Raul Castro and the assassined president of Cuba, Diaz-Canel, want names, we can give it to them. Human Rights Watch has compiled a list of at least 400 people who have disappeared or are being jailed and detained in Cuba right now.
We have seen what video has been able to come out of the island because they're cracking down on internet access. This shirt is S.O.S. Cuba. It's a campaign to raise awareness on what's going on in Cuba. One of the ways to give whatever protection there may be to these people are being harassed and jailed and beaten and killed in Cuba is to let the Cuban regime know that the world is watching.
And let these people know, these brave freedom fighters in Cuba that they are not alone and that the world, that there are people who care and who are standing in solidarity with them. This is a very painful thing for my community, for our community, and I'm not Cuban-American. I'm married to a Cuban-American and I live in Miami. Have lived here for 41 years. The heart of the exile community.
And I can tell you that we are very pained because people feel very alone and because it takes so much courage for Cubans to go out in the street. And let me tell you, you know, I know people want to make this about the embargo. This is not about the damn embargo. They weren't on the streets of Cuba risking their lives and limb shouting about the embargo. They were asking for libertad, freedom.
What they want is freedom. It's been 62 years of oppressive regime, killing people, oppressing people, violating human rights, beating them, jailing them for being political dissidents. And this is also not a black or white issue.
Educate yourselves on the number of Afro-Cubans who are in jails in Cuba who have been beaten or killed by the Cuban regime -- 62 years of dictatorship. So all we want is for the world to be watching, for there to be solidarity and there should be pressure put on Cuba to do the right thing.
ACOSTA: Absolutely. And people should be able to protest for freedom, for basic human rights. That is just a basic fundamental freedom that every human being should have around the world. And, Ana, I think that sums it up beautifully. All right, Ana Navarro, David Gergen, I wish we could talk all night about that subject as you know, but thanks for your time. We appreciate it.
Coming up, calls are growing for the Biden administration to do something to help the Cuban people who are risking their lives to protest the regime there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNKNOWN: This is not about Republicans or Democrats. This is about freedom. The right to be free. We want Cuba to be free like we are here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: Music legend, singer, Gloria Estefan, she joins me live to discuss all of this next. You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
ACOSTA: In Cuba, people are risking their lives and risking imprisonment to protest the regime there. A week ago today, the country saw some of the biggest antigovernment protests there in decades. Thousands of Cubans took to the streets to protest their lack of freedom. They're also protesting a growing economic crisis which is causing dire food and medicine shortages on the island.
Many here in the United States are demonstrating in solidarity with the Cuban protestors, rallying outside the White House yesterday and they had this message.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNKNOWN: This nation has spread democracy all over the world. No matter what, they have helped. So, we need this nation's help. Not only this nation, all the democratic nations of the world to focus on Cuba because we need that. Because those youngsters there, they cannot do it alone.
UNKNOWN: Please, Joe Biden. Please, the Republican Party. If you so much detest communism, this is your chance to punch in the gut.
(END VIDEO CLIP) ACOSTA: Cuban-American singer, songwriter Gloria Estefan is calling on the U.S. and other nations to condemn Cuba's government and support the Cuban people. She joins us now. Gloria, when you see those protests outside the White House, what would you like to see happen?
GLORIA ESTEFAN, SINGER: Well, what I'd like to see happen, a free Cuba, of course. It would be crazy to think that any one human being can do anything to dislodge that dictatorship that's been in power for 62 years. They have thumbed their nose at every country.
I was a part of the 47th general assembly. I was on the diplomatic team and there was an envoy ordered to look at human rights abuses in Cuba. They did not allow them in. They don't allow their Red Cross in. They don't accept help whenever there's been a hurricane that the United States and other countries has sent or wanted to send aid, they refuse to take it.
So, what would I like to see? I would like to see a peaceful transition. I would love to see that government realize that their days are numbered because just as the music industry was forever changed with the advent of the internet and social media, Cuba is down that same course. They cannot go backwards. They're not going to. This is not going to go away.
The young people of Cuba have had enough. They don't have any romantic ties to the revolution or anything that may have happened 62 years ago. They're hungry, they feel hopeless. They're being jailed. They're being tortured and it's being hidden.
People are dying in the streets and in the hospitals. It's dire. And things are not going to go backwards. If the government of Cuba thinks that this is going to go away, they're sadly mistaken.
ACOSTA: I'm glad you mentioned the young people because during these demonstrations many protestors have been chanting words from a hip-hop song, "patria y vida" which means as you know, homeland and life, which is a play on the Cuban regime slogan of "patria or muerte," homeland or death.
What are your thoughts on what seems to be this rallying cry for many protesting the regime? We were just looking at that video outside the White House a few moments ago and they're wearing those t-shirts, "patria y vida."
ACOSTA: Tell folks what this means.
ESTEFAN: Okay, the revolutionary anthem was patria y muerte meaning fatherland or death, and they have now twisted that to say fatherland and life because why should you have to choose between one or the other. That is the great lie of that revolution. And we have to give props to the San Isidro Movement which started months ago, started by directors, actors, musicians on the island.
[17:24:59] As usual, artists are the ones on the forefront of pushing the envelope with things. And even though they've been censored for years and weren't allowed to express what they wanted to because they would be jailed, they've had enough. And they have come out. They went to jail for it. They went on hunger strikes. This has been coming months. This isn't just overnight that these protests have exploded.
It's been slowly cooking and the San Isidro movement had a lot to do with that. And then the artists got together and created this song which was a big risk because they actually spoke the truth, said that they've had it with the government and they said it in song and they put it out and that is a very, very big risk you take when you do that in Cuba.
ACOSTA: Yes. And it's gone viral and they can't pull the plug on it. I mean, it's everywhere now. It's all over the world. I want to ask you, though, about what the administration here is doing in the United States. This week, the secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, who knows something about Cuban issues, he urged those fleeing Cuba not to attempt to reach the U.S. by boat. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEJANDRO MAYORKAS, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: Allow me to be clear. If you take to the sea, you will not come to the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: Gloria, what do you think about that? You and I both know, we watched this happen so many times over the decades. Cubans taking to the seas, risking their lives. Is that even realistic for the secretary to urge Cubans not to do that?
ESTEFAN: That is the amount of desperation that Cubans feel and by the way, Haitians as well and Vietnamese people. Wherever there's been water that people can escape to a better place to, people are going to do it. This is the tough thing, though. The Cuban government has used their people as collateral damage and used them as a weapon against the United States.
If you remember the last time was Mariel, and my husband went to Mariel to try to get his brother and two children out of Cuba. After he spent days there, they told him he wasn't going to get them and he came back and we found a different route. They eventually were able to come to the United States with their residency through a third country. But the desperation is going to have that happen.
Here's the danger, we lose about 50 percent of people on that trajectory from Cuba to here. So, it is incredibly risky for them to do. And right now, the shores will be Florida, we absorbed 100,000 immigrants in one fell swoop during Mariel. It was very taxing on the state itself, of course, to try to help people. Of course, you go above and beyond, but what Castro did was empty his jails and hospitals with people that were mentally ill.
More so even than the family members of people that would be taken care of when they got to the state. So they became a huge burden on the criminal justice system, on the hospitalization system. I imagine that if that were to happen, the U.S. would probably blockade. I don't know. Who knows what would happen? But for the Cuban people it's very dangerous too.
ESTEFAN: We would gladly sponsor families if they could leave out of Cuba on a plane in a safe place and I think that might be a possibility. If the Castro government or the regime were to say, all right, anybody that can leave will, I would be the first one that signs up to support however many families that I could and guarantee that we would take care of them here in the states.
But that is a very tricky subject and there's very little appetite right now for immigration. How can we do that for the Cuban people and then not do that on the border of Mexico? It's a really slippery slope and very tough thing to do.
ACOSTA: That's right. But Gloria Estefan, we have to also remember that immigrants do enrich this country. There have been so many Cubans who have come to this country over the years and made the United States a better place. That includes all of your family and so many other families in this country.
Gloria Estefan, thanks so much for talking to us about this important issue. I hope we can have you back again soon. I have a feeling we're going to be talking about this again.
ESTEFAN: Thank you, Jim. I hope so. And to all of the governments in the world that may be listening, we need support from all of them. There's businesses run by Spain, by France, by Italy in Cuba and, you know, I know that they fear that businesses may be taken away if they stand up for the people, but this is the moment. I don't think we're going backward. The people of Cuba are desperate and they need our help both from the U.S. and anywhere else in the world.
ACOSTA: All right, thank you so much for that, Gloria. Great talking to you.
ESTEFAN: Thank you. Thank you so much.
ACOSTA: Thanks for coming on. We appreciate it.
Coming up, from devastating floods in Europe to the disappearing Great Salt Lake in Utah that could become a toxic dust bin. These are the real-world impacts of the climate crisis. You're live in the "CNN Newsroom."
ACOSTA: Catastrophic flooding now blamed for the deaths of at least 189 people across parts of Western Europe. Unprecedented rainfall triggered the floods that forced tens of thousands of people to leave their homes in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited some of the hardest hit towns today and expressed shock at what she saw.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANGELA MERKEL, GERMAN CHANCELLOR (through translation): I have come here today especially to Schuld together with the state premier in order to make clear that we from the government want to have a proper assessment of this. I have to say this is a surreal situation.
It is horrendous. The German language doesn't really have words for this devastation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: And as the floodwaters recede, we're getting a better look at the devastation. CNN's Atika Shubert has more.
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jim, we're standing in front of the only passable bridge in the entire (inaudible) river valley. And even here, you can see that the railings there have been torn away by the floodwaters. When we talked to residents, they tell us that it happened incredibly quickly.
In less than an hour, the waters here had risen already to the top of the bridge. Then they spilled over the banks and into people's homes. So as you can see here now, the road or the pathway here has been completely torn up by the floods and that wall of water just barreled down the river and smashed straight into that bridge you can see in the distance. In fact, snapping it in two.
We were there earlier. It's completely impassable. And as the waters has started to draw back, you've also been able to see what's left behind. Cars, gas tanks that have been left out there. We've seen cars wedged into people's homes. We've seen all kinds of things. Even buses and fire trucks flipped over by the sheer power of the water.
And that's what's so striking about this disaster, Jim. This did not happen like other floods which were much more gradual. Even with flood warnings, people did not have time to secure their valuables or their safety. People found that they just barely had time to make it to their rooftops to be airlifted to safety, Jim.
ACOSTA: Devastation is just awful there. All right, Atika Shubert, thanks so much.
Coming up, one of the biggest names in tennis is now out of the Tokyo Olympics. This comes as more people at the Olympic village in Tokyo are testing positive for COVID just five days before the games get under way. That's next. You're live in the "CNN Newsroom."
[17:40:00] ACOSTA: Breaking news into CNN, American tennis star, Cori "coco" Gauff just announcing that she has tested positive for COVID and will not travel to Tokyo and will not take part in the Olympic games. CNN's Andy Scholes joins me now with the latest. This is a big headline in the sports world this weekend, Andy. Coco Gauff was going to be a leader for Team USA tennis. What more do we know?
ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Well, Jim, yes. You mentioned Coco Gauff, you know, one of the most recognizable faces for Team USA at the games. And can you imagine, 17 years old, about to travel across the world, be a part of your first opening ceremony, compete for a gold medal, and all of that taken away from you in an instant because of a positive COVID test.
And Coco, she was the one who broke the news just hours ago saying, "I'm so disappointed to share the news that I've tested positive for COVID and won't be able to play in the Olympic games in Tokyo. It's always been a dream of mine to represent the USA at the Olympics and I hope there will be many more chances for me to make this come true in the future."
Now, United States Tennis Association also sent out a tweet saying they were just heartbroken for Coco and they wish her the best and hope to see her back on the court very soon. Coco Gauff, the second high-profile U.S. athlete, Jim, that has had to pull out of the Olympics because of COVID. Bradley Beal on the men's basketball team pulling out earlier in the week.
And Jim, tell you what, this is a very crucial next few days for the Olympics. And you have more than 11,000 athletes, 1,000 more team members all ascending on Tokyo in the next few days. And we've already seen COVID in the Olympic village. Two South African football players and one of the team officials tested positive for COVID. Their football association said they tested negative before getting to Tokyo.
So COVID is in that Olympic village right now and, like I said, it's going to be a crucial next few days as just thousands of people ascend on Tokyo from around the world.
ACOSTA: And without spectators, they're having this difficulty. It just shows you what they're up against over there in Tokyo. It's going to be extraordinary to watch. Hopefully the organizers will stay on top of this. We know they will. Andy Scholes, thank you very much for that.
In the meantime, the Israeli prime minister has a warning on COVID. Vaccines in his view are not enough. Despite one of the world's fastest rollouts, the number of new daily COVID cases in Israel is rising again and the delta variant looks to be the main reason why. CNN's Hadas Gold joins us now from Jerusalem. Hadas, this is very unnerving. How are Israeli officials trying to get those COVID cases back down again?
HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Jim, on Friday Israel notched more than 1,100 positive coronavirus cases. That's the highest level Israel has seen in four months. There is a glimmer of good news in those numbers though, and that's that the rate of hospitalization for serious cases is lower than at a similar stage in previous waves.
But Prime Minister Naftali Bennett here is warning that the vaccines will not be enough to conquer this delta variant saying that it is showing that the vaccine is significantly less effective against the delta variant than what they had hoped. Now, they're trying to decide whether they're going to offer a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine, something that Israel is already offering here to people who have compromised immune systems like people who've had organ transplants.
Now, experts here are trying to ascertain why the vaccine seems to be less effective against delta, whether it's because the amount of time that has passed since the vaccinations or whether it's because this is just a new variant that requires an updated vaccine.
But in the meantime, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett says that he wants to flood the country with home tests. There are restrictions on travel, pretty much no non-citizens can enter the country. The masks are back on indoors. And significantly, Naftali Bennett says that he wants to now increase the enforcement on coronavirus restrictions, including possible criminal charge for people who test positive for coronavirus but break their quarantine. Jim?
ACOSTA: It is tough to see the world backsliding on COVID. It is happening in Israel. Hadas Gold in Jerusalem, thanks for that report.
And here is CNN's Christine Romans with this week's "Before the Bell."
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Jim. Another sign of a robust economic recovery, airlines are actually making money again. Now last week, Delta reported a second quarter loss, but the airline returned to profitability in June and says it expects to stay there.
This week, United, American, Alaska and Southwest will report results. United says it expects to make money again starting this month. As demand for travel rises, so do prices. Air fares climbed to nearly 3 percent in June. That's on top of a 7 percent jump in May.
For consumers, rising prices are the downside of a booming economy but the head of the Federal Reserve still insists price spikes are temporary. Last week, Jerome Powell told Congress he expects inflation to stay hot in the coming months and then cool off. Investors are hoping the Fed is right. If not, the Central Bank might have to raise interest rates sooner to keep this economy from overheating. In New York, I'm Christine Romans.
ACOSTA: Three thousand years, three major faiths, one city. In order to understand the conflict in the Middle East today, you have to know the complex story of Jerusalem's past. Wolf Blitzer takes you on a personal tour of one of the most coveted cities in the world.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST (voice-over): An ancient city at the cross roads of history, Jerusalem hosts some of the most holy sites in the world venerated by three major religious faiths Judaism, Christianity and Islam, as well as the seat of the Israeli government.
UNKNOWN: Jerusalem besides its religious significance, is the center of national aspiration of two communities, the Israelite community and the Palestinian community.
BLITZER (voice-over): This center of power and prestige in the volatile Middle East is home to a diverse and resilient population, as I've seen over my many visits to Jerusalem over the years, including after terrorist attacks such as the bombing of Cafe Moment in 2002.
(On camera): The people who live here refuse to let the terrorist win.
(Voice-over): The hallowed ground of this city has been the backdrop for violence and conflict endemic to the region and the tensions between Israelis and Palestinians sadly show little signs of abating. These stories and so many others have brought me to Jerusalem as a CNN reporter.
(On camera): I've been coming to this region for many years.
(Voice-over): I've learned so much about the people who live there and even made some deeply personal discoveries.
(On camera): it's part of my effort to find out more about my own personal roots.
(Voice-over): Jerusalem today extends far beyond its original boundaries, walls rebuilt by the Ottoman Empire in the 16th century that now form what is called the old city, a U.N. designated World Heritage site. The old city is divided into four quarters, Muslim, Christian, Jewish and Armenian.
The Temple Mount or Haram esh-Sharif is where the bible says King Solomon Built the first temple around 1,000 B.C. It was subsequently destroyed 400 years later by Babylonian invaders. Also located on the Temple Mount, the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock.
Nearby is the western wall where Jews pray. It is also commonly visited by world leaders and dignitaries. In the Christian quarters, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. It holds the site where Christians believe Jesus was crucified and rose from the dead.
The Armenian quarter is one of the location s where more than a century ago, thousands of Armenians from what is now modern day Turkey, fled to escape what President Biden this year recognized as a genocide. Beyond the ancient walls, is a city divided between east and west.
East Jerusalem came under Israeli control after the six-day war in 1967, though Israel's authority there is not internationally recognized and Palestinians make up a majority of the east Jerusalem residence. The Palestinian authority would like it to be its capital in a future state.
West Jerusalem has been under Israeli control since Israel gained its independence in 1948. It hosts the Knesset, the Israeli parliament. And it's where President Trump moved the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv in 2018, officially recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel amid sharp Palestinian protests. President Biden has kept the U.S. embassy there. West Jerusalem is also the location of the world-renowned holocaust memorial museum, Yad Vashem.
ALEXANDER AVRAM, DIRECTOR, YAD VASHEM HALL OF NAMES: So this is a place where we are trying to give back the victims their names instead of numbers.
BLITZER (voice-over): I always knew my grandparents were killed during the holocaust, but it was at Yad Vashem in 2014 where I learned that my paternal grandparents died at Auschwitz.
AVRAM: It is important that their names are registered here for generations to come.
BLITZER (voice-over): A museum of remembrance and a lasting memorial in a city that has witnessed thousands of years of history. Wolf Blitzer, CNN, Washington.
ACOSTA: And be sure to tune in. The all-new CNN Original Series "Jerusalem, City of Faith and Fury," premieres tonight at 10:00 only on CNN. That's the news. Reporting from Washington, I'm Jim Acosta. I'll see you back here next Saturday at 3:00 p.m. eastern. Pamela Brown takes over the "CNN Newsroom" live after a quick break. Good night.