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Arkansas Doctor Pleads For People To Get Vaccinated; Interview With Gov. Andy Beshear (D-KY) About COVID-19; Interview With Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) About The January 6 Select Committee; Memorial Concert Honors Surfside Condo Collapse Victims; Civil Rights Legend, Bob Moses Dies At 86; Golf Stars Out After Testing Positive For COVID- 19. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired July 25, 2021 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): I do believe that the work of this committee in order to retain the confidence of the American people must act in a way that has no partisanship. Our select committee will seek the truth.
REP. BENNIE THOMPSON (D-MS): This riot was absolutely devastating to the perception of democracy in this United States. Let me say, nothing is off limits. We'll follow the facts.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: American Olympic athletes find the medal stand but COVID forces more to drop out.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
PAMELA BROWN, CNN HOST: I'm Pamela Brown in Washington. You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM on this Sunday evening.
And the rise in COVID-19 cases are casting a shadow of fear and frustration around much of the world. In the United States, the public's willingness to get a vaccine is waning, adding more fuel to what the CDC calls the pandemic of the unvaccinated. Nearly every state is seeing more COVID-19 cases compared to the week before. Less than half of the country is fully vaccinated, meaning the game change in herd immunity is still out of reach.
And at this pace, a new model projects a worst-case scenario of 4,000 deaths every day in the U.S. if vaccination rates don't improve. Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Biden's chief medical adviser, telling CNN that revising mask guidelines for vaccinated people is under active consideration.
And in Arkansas, the state with the third lowest vaccinate rate, health officials say there were more than 1,000 new cases just yesterday. Today, Republican Governor Asa Hutchison tweeted a plea for people to get vaccinated, saying he can only imagine the strain on the state's health care workers. Well, we don't really have to imagine. One Arkansas hospital posted
one of its own doctors sharing what's actually happening as the Delta variant cuts through his community.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. MICHAEL BOLDING, WASHINGTON REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER: What I really wish you could see is to look into the eyes of a young father or a gentleman who knows that they may be short for this world because they didn't get their vaccine. And the regret and remorse on their face and fear.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: The doctor painting that heartbreaking picture, Dr. Michael Bolding, joins me now.
Dr. Bolding, first of all, thank you for all that you have done throughout this pandemic. Here we are with surging cases where you are in Arkansas. You and the other doctors and nurses are just incredible.
We know this is now the pandemic of the unvaccinated. Tell us what you're seeing, what you're hearing every day as you tend to these patients.
BOLDING: Well, thank you for having me. I definitely represent thousands of very tired health care workers. I literally just came from a patient's room in his 20s and it took six people to get him in a prone position on the ventilator, and we are seeing 20- and 30-year- olds dying now from a preventable illness. And it is heartbreaking.
We are seeing -- you know, you can't be too healthy for this virus. We are seeing people that Cross-fit on Tuesday and are on a ventilator on Friday. I can't get the word out enough of what we're seeing back here in these units.
BROWN: And to be clear, I mean, that is so sad. You're just leaving the room of a 20 something-year-old. And does that -- is this person unvaccinated and have COVID? Just want to be clear.
BOLDING: Yes. Unvaccinated, has COVID, and no pre-existing conditions.
BROWN: Wow. And to the extent you can talk to some of these people, what do they say to you in terms of regret? Do they talk about the misinformation that led them to not get the vaccine? What are you hearing from them directly?
BOLDING: That's absolutely right. I think we get a little jaded in health care sometimes when we see some of the very loud vocal minority that are absolutely anti-vaccine. And what I have found out since publishing this video is I have had dozens of people personally, and hundreds throughout our hospital, ask now about the vaccine. I think there's more people that are on the fence and kind of in a gray area that have appropriate questions.
I think that's why you've seen our vaccine rate go up in Arkansas in the last week because people are asking appropriate questions and we're trying to get the message out there.
But I see someone daily for the last three weeks that is possibly dying, certainly very sick, that asks if they can get their vaccine. And it is heartbreaking to tell them that that time has passed. That that was five to six weeks ago, to prevent this.
BROWN: And then in some cases they die.
BOLDING: Yes, ma'am. And that is heartbreaking. You know, I grew up in rural America. I'm, you know, I'm watching this kind of disparity between the unvaccinated and the increased mortality of our state and states similar to ours. And I can't scream it enough. You know, these are my people. And they're dying. And it's tragic. And it is very much a case of misinformation.
BROWN: And where do you think it's coming from? From what you've experienced, the misinformation, and the way you are battling that misinformation every day, you know, you are the trusted health source and yet people are still getting their information from vaccine skeptics, people pushing vaccine hesitancy. What are you hearing on that front?
BOLDING: I can certainly tell you it's not coming from people who have actually seen the pain and suffering that COVID causes. You will not find a physician or nurse on these COVID units that has seen this tell you not to get your vaccine. I don't know what the agenda is for some people. I think we do know for some others. All I can say is that, you know, we have been fighting a war against this virus.
This is a battle. And I think we're a little late to the misinformation battle. And that's what I'm trying to get out there now is, unfortunately, with what we've been through on these COVID units, that's plenty battle enough. But we have to fight the misinformation battle whether it's your (INAUDIBLE), social media is certainly a big one.
BROWN: Sorry. We just lost you for a second, Doctor. You said you have to battle misinformation and -- say that again? Where that's coming from?
BOLDING: We're seeing certainly misinformation on social media. Those are not coming from doctors that are working in COVID units. I can guarantee you that. So let's take the battle there. I wish we didn't have to do that. But that looks like a battle we're going to have to fight along with this virus.
BROWN: Yes. I mean, you're literally battling two viruses. COVID-19 and the misinformation virus, and you're seeing people show up at your hospital, sick as can be, almost on their death bed, asking for the vaccine. You're having to tell them it is too late. Some of these people are then dying. You're having to tell their family members. How do you cope?
BOLDING: You know, that's a fair question. I think we all cope in our own ways. I certainly have a very good support system at home with my wife and my kids. And she has encouraged me to go on shows like this and get the message out there because, you know, she of all people has seen the, you know, pain and suffering, at least that I bring home. But I think we're all coping in our own ways.
Seeing our vaccination rate go up and, you know, we've certainly had some wins and we've had some young people that have survived this thing and gotten out of the hospital. And I think that probably gets us through the day.
BROWN: Wow. And I just -- you make a really important point. The family members of all these health care worker on the front line, they're also carrying so much weight. So thank you to your wife, all the other family members.
Last question for you. I mean, there is a life-saving tool out there to end this pandemic. Are you -- how shocked are you that we are where we are, especially in your state, where you are right now in Arkansas?
BOLDING: Extremely. You know, we saw a light at the end of this tunnel. You know, we all in health care did this for almost a year without a vaccine and put our lives on the risk, at risk daily. And there were health care workers that died before they were able to get their vaccine. And when we saw that, and the vaccine was available, it was absolutely a miracle. And we all got in line and got our vaccines.
And then they opened it up to 65 and up and co-morbid conditions, and when we saw that number kind of stop at under 40 percent in the general population, when it was available to everyone, it was shocking.
You know, you go to your doctor and you ask, what's the treatment for this illness, and they say this is it. And we're all saying, it's the vaccine. It's prevention. It's not coming on the COVID unit, and, you know, whatever we can do for you there, which we're doing our best, but we all know the vaccine is the way to not get sick from COVID. And it is heartbreaking to see.
BROWN: I just -- I mean, just listening to you, Dr. Michael Bolding, I -- oh, gosh, I just can't believe what you all have to go through. And you're just trying to desperately get this message out. Look, people, if you get this vaccine, you'll save your life. You won't have to come in here. I won't have to treat you.
Thank you, though, for telling your story. It is so incredibly important to hear from doctors like you on the frontline, Dr. Bolding.
BOLDING: Thank you.
BROWN: And joining me now is the Democratic governor of Kentucky, Andy Beshear.
Governor, thanks for coming on. You were listening to that. I want to get your reaction to what Dr. Bolding just told me about the dire situation in his hospital.
GOV. ANDY BESHEAR (D-KY): Well, Pamela, Dr. Bolding is incredible. He's one of our health care heroes. And if I could tell him two things, number one is thank you. You're right. For 15, 13 months, they walked into COVID units without a vaccine knowing that they could contract the virus and they could take it home to their families. That bravery is incredible. But the second thing I'd say is, don't burn out because we need you too much.
Even with the setback we're dealing with right now, we need your help. You all have been the very best of us. The very best of us during this crisis, during this pandemic. And we need you to help get us through. But oh, my goodness. Whether it's there in Arkansas or all our health care heroes in Kentucky, we owe them a huge debt of gratitude.
BROWN: We certainly do. And Governor, you're not ruling out a future mask mandate. You said you will rely on science to determine if it's needed. What will be the tipping point for that decision?
BESHEAR: Well, where we are right now is that we have some very strong recommendations. Stronger than in most states. Number one, all unvaccinated individuals should be wearing a mask when they're outside their homes and indoors. The Delta variant is serious. It can be deadly to those unvaccinated. You ought to wear one to protect yourself and those around you.
Number two, if you're immunocompromised or you have one of these pre- existing conditions that COVID comes for, you ought to put that mask back on. And number three, if you work in the hospitality, restaurant, retail, where you're just seeing hundreds of people each day, your chances because of all those interactions go up. So even if you are vaccinated, we strongly recommend that you wear a mask.
But what we're looking at are a number of different factors. First there are the cases. And that's concerning. But second, there is the hospitalizations. There's those that end up on a ventilator, which we don't want to see. And then there is even the breakdown of the vaccinated versus unvaccinated. And how many breakthrough or reinfection cases that we're seeing.
Thankfully, I've got a great team of scientists, of doctors, of strong public health, strong hospital systems. And we listened. We're going to have the courage to do what's necessary but it's really clear where we are right now. There is one and only one answer. Get vaccinated. It protects you from the most aggressive form of COVID that we have ever seen. It provides you huge protection.
And this isn't just me. I didn't just get vaccinated. I brought my wife Brittney who I love more than life itself. When my son turned 12, this is about two months ago, we took him the day after his birthday. I would never stand next to those two individuals if I didn't know, not just believe it, know these vaccines are safe. Please get vaccinated. Get your family vaccinated.
And at the point where we are right now, Pamela, I know people aren't just going to take my word for it. We need friends stepping up and talking to their friends who are unvaccinated. You want those people to be around at the next holiday.
You want to be able to have them over to your house. We want to be back to normal. This is the point where if you really care about someone and you know they're unvaccinated, I need you to talk to them. And it's going to be uncomfortable, it's not going to be easy but it's their life and our way of life that is at risk.
BROWN: You mentioned your son. I know you have two children. School age children.
BROWN: School will be opening up in no time, frankly, in Kentucky. I mean, it's right around the corner.
Do you think that schools should require masks for the kids? Because so many of these kids will be unvaccinated and we know what can happen.
BESHEAR: So we're going to be providing some recommendations for our school systems tomorrow. But let me say this. I have a 12-year-old son who is vaccinated. I have an 11-year-old daughter who is unvaccinated. My daughter is going to be wearing a mask when she goes to school. And that is for her own safety.
But let's just look at the basic science, or if could you do the basic math. An entire class of unvaccinated children isn't going to make it through the school year in person every day. So we're going to have to step back as parents and decide what we care about the most. Is it truly that our kids are in class where they need to be every single day? Or it's whether an argument that parents want to have with parents about masks?
Are we going to put our kids first? Are we going to do what it takes to make sure that they can stay in the classroom? Or are we going to make this a red or a blue or a Democrat or Republican or some culture war thing? I mean, honestly, let's just try to make sure our kids can get the best experience they can when their education is at stake.
BROWN: All right. Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear from my home state, thank you so much for coming on.
BESHEAR: Thank you. We're proud of you.
BROWN: Thank you. I'll actually be home in Kentucky soon.
BESHEAR: We look forward to it.
BROWN: Thanks. Still to come, after a rocky start, there's a gold rush for Team USA in Tokyo. Our Will Ripley is live at the Olympics for us tonight, as day three dawns.
But first, Republican lawmaker Adam Kinsinger now officially appointed to the Capitol riot panel. His fellow congressman, Ruben Gallego, says the assault on the Capitol was the closest he had come to combat in 15 years. I'll ask him if he thinks his Republican counterparts will ever be able to handle the truth.
Congressman Gallego joins me next.
BROWN: This week the House Select Committee looking into the January 6th insurrection is set to hold its first hearing. Just putting the panel together has been fraught with drama and exposed deep partisan divides. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected two picks from Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Then McCarthy pulled the plug on all the members he appointed. Today, though, Pelosi has appointed Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger to the committee.
Arizona Democratic Congressman Ruben Gallego joins me now.
Nice to see you, Congressman, thanks for coming on. So the panel will have Kinzinger, also Liz Cheney. Do you support these choices?
REP. RUBEN GALLEGO (D-AZ): I do. Like this is a very good example of country over party. You know, Liz and Adam, I don't agree with them almost 90 percent of the time, but we do agree on one thing is that we want to preserve our democracy.
What happened January 6th is a great sin against our democracy, and we want to get to the bottom of how it happened. And the fact that they're doing this is very brave and we should commend them for that.
BROWN: In her "dear colleague" letter, Pelosi wrote, "Now our imperative must be to find the truth, and let's do so in a way that retains the trust of the American people in the proceedings so that they will have the confidence in the truth that emerges."
How do you get that trust when the GOP at large isn't buying in?
GALLEGO: Well, look. We have to worry about trying to get the American public to buy in. And we may not have the GOP party apparatus. We may not have the Trump loyalists but there's a segment of this population that I think wants to be educated about what happened. I think they're deeply traumatized by what happened, and we have a committee to do that.
And at the end of the day, the American public doesn't care who really is on this committee as long as they feel that they're going to be even handed. And the fact that you have people like, you know, McCarthy arguing, trying to put these two other people, Banks and Jordan, on there, it would be like trying to get like the Watergate break-in criminals into the Watergate committee. It just doesn't happen. That's not how you get an even investigation. That's certainly not how we get to the bottom of what happened and what led up to January 6th.
BROWN: And the others also voted to decertify the election results. But she just chose those two. Pelosi rejected Jim Banks for a number of reasons and the other Jim Jordan as well. Today, Jim Banks told FOX News that Pelosi only wants committee members who will stick to her narrative.
What do you think about that? I mean, couldn't the panel gain more credibility by including a Republican who isn't a Donald Trump critic?
GALLEGO: Look, I think there actually was an approach to this. You know, Speaker Pelosi accepted three other members that also voted to decertify the election who, you know, were, you know, very good Republicans in standing. What she didn't want to add is two Republicans that were just going to be distractions. So just bring the clowns to the clown show. And, you know, that's what we need right now.
We truly need a real investigation that's going to get down to the truth of what happened on January 6th. Kevin McCarthy purposely did this on purpose. He put two of the most controversial Republicans on the committee to basically much up what's happening, instead of treating this like a real investigation.
He had the option prior to this, by the way, he had another option where he would have equal opportunity to actually appoint people and they refused to compromise on that so this is just another distraction. Another, you know, game the Republicans are playing really to appease Trump at the end of the day.
BROWN: I want to switch gears because this actually does tie in in a way that this, quote-unquote, audit happening in your state right now is all about questioning the legitimacy of the presidential election results. Even after what we saw there on January 6th, this effort to cast doubt on the election results continues in your state. Are you concerned that this has the potential to incite more violence?
GALLEGO: I certainly do. I mean, what happened on January 6th was built up, starting on election night. And you hear, you know, General Flynn talking about violence right now against people in Washington, D.C. You've seen the rhetoric increase about how this was an election that was stolen all the way leading up to January 6th and even beyond that.
And this so-called audit, we call it a fraud-it here in Arizona, a sham audit, to be clear, is designed to basically give more excuses to the Republican wing -- sorry, the Trump party, essentially to be able to come up with excuses for them to continue their lies, to continue basically to fundraise off people.
Donald Trump has raised $75 million. $75 million, supposedly to audit the election. He has spent zero dollars in Arizona to help this audit. As a matter of fact, taxpayers have now picked up more than $6 million of cost because of this sham audit.
So, you know, this is just going to be continuing to basically do two things. Number one, create more chaos and potentially more violence. And number two, just put more money into the coffers of, you know, people like Donald Trump and other Republican grifters that are using this as a way to raise money.
BROWN: All right. Congressman Ruben Gallego, thank you for coming on, sharing your perspective.
GALLEGO: Thank you, Pamela.
BROWN: And be sure to join Wolf Blitzer for our special coverage of the January 6th Select Committee's first hearing. That begins Tuesday morning at 9:00 Eastern right here on CNN.
Well, there is another notable conservative who has now come out in full throated support of vaccinations. Sarah Sanders, the former Trump White House press secretary. In theory, that sounds like a step in the right direction. It is a step in the right direction, but there is a catch. In an op-ed for the "Arkansas Gazette," Sanders says she had a hard time making the decision to get vaccinated, and she thinks she knows why others are vaccine hesitant, too.
She's blaming, wait for it, Dr. Anthony Fauci and other scientists. The media, President Joe Biden, and Vice President Kamala Harris. She says they all painted Operation Warp Speed as unsafe. And by the time the vaccines came out, the damage was done.
She writes, quote, "If President Biden, Vice President Harris and others on the left truly care about increasing the vaccination rate and saving lives, they should admit they were wrong to cast doubt on Operation Warp Speed and give President Trump and his team the credit they are due for the development of a safe and effective vaccine in record time."
Now, there has been criticism, that is fair, against President Biden, or critics have said, look, they should have been more forthcoming to give credit to Operation Warp Speed. But the first part of her op-ed puts the blame elsewhere. Puts it on Dr. Fauci, scientists, President Biden. And this certainly takes us back to the days of her gaslighting in the White House briefing room when she would actually show up at the podium.
For the record, then President Trump was the COVID downplayer-in- chief. Let's not forget that. And if we were to follow his logic that was often on display to his own supporters, why should anyone get a vaccine when the virus really isn't that bad, as he tried to say all the time? That same logic continues to be pushed today via right-wing media and politicians.
So blasting people on the left for low vaccination rates amounts to a convenient excuse as to why she was following lead of Trump and other Republicans, staying largely silent about the simple fact that these vaccines work and they save lives.
Sarah Sanders has had months and months to push the vaccine but she hasn't. A search of her Twitter account yields exactly one result containing the word vaccine. It's just a link to her op-ed. And she's writing this now as she's running for governor of Arkansas where only 36 percent of the state is fully vaccinated. And it's becoming a big problem she can no longer ignore.
Arkansas's spike in new cases is rising to levels not seen since the winter surge. It now has the highest rate of growth in new cases per capita in the nation. It's worth noting that Sanders says she got her shot a few months ago. It does make you wonder where Arkansas could be if she had chosen to speak up then.
BROWN: It has been a month since the shocking collapse of the Champlain Towers South building in Surfside, Florida. Tonight, the community is focused on honoring those who perished and consoling those who mourn them.
CNN's Boris Sanchez is at a special concert right near Surfside. So Boris, tell me what's happening right now.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Pam, the Memorial here near Surfside wrapped up just a few moments ago. We are only a few blocks away from where Champlain Towers South came crashing down roughly a month ago and we're actually facing the skyline where that building once stood prominently, and now, it is no longer here.
A very emotional and solemn night. I saw tears in the crowd as the names of the 97 people that have been confirmed dead were read aloud. There were hymns. There was music. There were speeches.
As this community takes an early step in the process of reflecting on what happened and seeking closure and to help us reflect is someone who has been here from Day One and someone who has, I imagine, gotten very little rest since Champlain Towers South collapsed.
With us is Charles Burkett, the Mayor of Surfside.
Mayor, we appreciate you sharing some time with us.
MAYOR CHARLES BURKETT, SURFSIDE, FLORIDA: Sure.
SANCHEZ: First, I would ask that you help us reflect on the significance of this evening and what it means to see the community come together like this.
BURKETT: Well, we're trying to normalize. We're trying to get back to some sense of normalcy with our residents, our people. The families were here. There is no normal for them. They're not normalizing.
BURKETT: This is unfolding, and we need to just focus on being there for them. As I said, from the beginning, our number one priority was to pull people out. And the second priority was to support the families, and that is not going to stop at all. That's actually going to intensify now. SANCHEZ: And you were telling me just a few moments before we went
live that that is a process that is still ongoing. There are still families waiting for answers. There are currently investigators looking at the debris searching for remains. And there are still people who are displaced because of this.
Bring us up to speed on that process of getting everyone back to a relative kind of normal.
BURKETT: Well, you know, with respect to the investigation, we've removed all the debris, most of the debris, 99 percent of it over to a secure site.
BURKETT: That is being gone through with a fine tooth comb now. You know, we've got people's lives in that debris. I mean, things as small as diamond rings. I was just talking to a family member who told me, her daughter who was just married in January had two rings and described the rings in great detail. So, all of those things have to be found.
These people have no closure yet. This is a long process. It's painful.
They asked about the psychological support, we have psychological teams here. We're just getting started, really.
SANCHEZ: Yes, and Mayor, part of that process is also getting answers about how this could have happened. I understand that there are some questions about the direction of the investigation. What's the latest on that?
BURKETT: Well, the latest is we are now trying to determine how that investigation is going to proceed. You know, N.I.S.T. is here. They work in terms of years. We don't have the luxury of that time. We've got to work in terms of days and weeks.
We've got a building right now that was built by the same developer with the same plan substantially, probably with the same contractor, probably with the same materials, and is identical in most respects.
Now, that's a problem, and we need to find out why that building fell down like today. Okay? It has got to be all hands on deck and that is what we're working towards. I spoke to Mayor Cava today about that.
You know, we have a couple of competing interests here because obviously, we need to preserve the evidence. But we've also got to get into that site, dig in, and find out why that building fell down.
So, that's kind of where we're going right now and that's the focus and I think we're making good progress on that.
SANCHEZ: Mayor, again, it's unfortunate that we met under these circumstances, but we appreciate your time and your perspective. And if there's anything we can do to help the community, please don't hesitate to reach out.
BURKETT: Appreciate your prayers. Thank you very much.
SANCHEZ: Mayor Charles Burkett, thank you so much.
And Pam, I just want to leave you quickly with the lyrics from the last song that was sung tonight. It's called "Heal Us Now." It was sung in both Hebrew and an English. Surfside, of course, being an area with a large Jewish community and some of those lyrics, "We pray for healing of the soul. We pray to once again be whole." -- Pam.
BROWN: That is so powerful. Boris Sanchez, thank you so much.
And we have some sad news to share with you tonight. Legendary Civil Rights figure, Bob Moses has died, these words today from the head of the NAACP. "Bob Moses was a giant, a strategist at the core of the Civil Rights movement. Through his life's work, he bent the arc of the moral universe towards justice making our world a better place. He fought for our right to vote, our most sacred right."
Moses organized Civil Rights campaigns in the face of racist violence in the 1960s and was the architect of the landmark voter registration campaign called the Freedom Summer. Family sources say he died earlier today in Florida. Bob Moses was 86 years old.
We'll be right back.
BROWN: Day Three of the Olympics is underway in Tokyo. The American swim team looking to extend its medal streak after a dominant performance yesterday put the U.S. in meal contention with China. But the coronavirus continues to cast a shadow. Today, two of the world's top golfers were forced to exit after testing positive for the virus.
Organizers say the total number of cases related to the Games is now around 147.
CNN's Will Ripley joins me now from Tokyo. I mean, for one of those golfers, Jon Rahm, this is his second positive COVID test in a matter of months. I remember he was taken off the green about a few months ago at a tournament and now again, there at the Olympics he tested positive.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It was the Memorial Tournament back in June when he tested positive and he thought that coming into the Olympics, he was in good shape with antibodies, but we're seeing Olympians who are vaccinated and Olympians who might have COVID-19 antibodies can still catch this highly contagious delta variant, although probably a more mild case.
But the numbers, Pamela, is still pretty low when you think about the factors, more than 11,000 athletes here. So, you have a few dozen positive cases. They are testing every day trying to keep this under control, even as the numbers in greater Japan continue to get bigger and bigger.
BROWN: And I understand there was some confusion in the women's cycling race yesterday. What happened?
RIPLEY: Oh, you know how you just have those really awkward cringe worthy moments where you're just like, oh. Well that's what happened to Dutch cyclist, Annemiek Van Vleuten. So, she is crossing the finish line, she doesn't realize that the actual winner is so far ahead of her that she didn't see her.
RIPLEY: So, when she crosses, she thinks she won gold and she's just like, throwing her hands in the air. She is celebrating like a champion would do. And then somebody had to come over and like, tapped her on the shoulder and say, actually, you're the silver medalist. Congratulations.
The real gold medal winner was from Austria, their first actual ever cycling gold medal since 1986, Anna Kiesenhofer. So she was so far ahead of her that she, the silver medalist thought that she won the gold.
I mean --
BROWN: Oh, man.
BROWN: That's rough. But you know what, the silver is still pretty good. Like, that's still worth celebrating over, right?
RIPLEY: I mean, you're still a silver medalist, absolutely. There's a silver lining literally in this case. Yes.
BROWN: There you go, Will. Good one. All right, thanks so much.
RIPLEY: I've got puns for you all night, Pam.
BROWN: Oh, you do. All right. Well, some of the best American TV shows are all about the workplace. It's the focus of the next part of the CNN original series "History of the Sitcom." The executive editor of "Entertainment Weekly," Patrick Gomez joins me next to talk about the best ones.
BROWN: Since the beginning of television, sitcoms have kept generations of Americans smiling and laughing and helped navigate an ever changing cultural landscape. Well, now the new CNN Original Series, "The History of the Sitcom" brings us a behind the scenes look at your favorite sitcoms from across the decades.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The unemployment rate --
LONI ANDERSON, JENNIFER MARLOWE, "WKRP IN CINCINNATI": The 70s is kind of a lost generation, and everybody was trying to find themselves.
PATRICK GOMEZ, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, AV CLUB: The economy was in the tank and you start to see the disillusionment of American workers reflected in the workplace sitcom.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Toilet stuffed up again?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's no longer a problem, Mr. Beckman, that's a tradition.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Something is wrong with your lights.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you look at the 12 Precinct, it was a decrepit place.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, well, well. The same old melting pot.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: O'Kelly, what are you doing here?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you like narcotics?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You haven't helped him a bit.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Real cops dealing with funny situations.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: Patrick Gomez is here from "Entertainment Weekly." Great to see you. So, you were in that clip. You're a big part of our special series, "History of the Sitcom." So, what happened with American sitcoms? Early on, they were all about family life, and then this shifts, more shows focused on the workplace. Why is that?
GOMEZ: I think you have to look at the history of America at the same time you look at the history of the sitcom, and we saw a shift in the way that people interact with their co-workers. You had a lot of blue- collar workers, as we still do today.
But as America started to move into more of a white-collar culture, you started to spend more time with your co-workers. You weren't in a loud factory. You weren't on a -- you know, a line of people trying to figure stuff out in a really loud environment. All of a sudden, you were able to have a conversation with a co-worker in the coffee room, able to go to lunch with them, able to talk in a cubicle next to them.
And all of a sudden, they became kind of your family. I mean, we spend more time with our co-workers than we do with our loved ones at home. So, we started to see that reflected in the sitcom.
BROWN: And if you've never worked in an office or a newsroom or a taxi company or a hospital or the White House, chances are, you can still identify with how these places are portrayed. What makes workplace sitcom so relatable?
GOMEZ: At the end of the day, sitcoms are all about relationships, and that takes place at home, that takes place amongst a group of friends, that takes place at work.
And so as long as you're able to interact with people and share the dynamics on camera, people are going to find ways to relate to that. So, you're going to find that person in your environment that you're kind of persnickety with, you're going to find that person in an environment that you have a kindred spirit with.
And that's going to be at home, at work, or in a group of friends, as I said, and so, you know, as long as these universal themes are being explored, we're going to laugh at them.
BROWN: So one of the biggest demographic shifts, the rise of women in the workforce was depicted in a number of sitcoms over the years. What did those sitcoms show us?
GOMEZ: It was -- representation is important, and so you look at something like "Mary Tyler Moore," and you know -- and I look at Mary Tyler Moore herself coming into the sitcom world. We saw her in "The Dick Van Dyke Show," and she played this American housewife, even then even wearing pants was progressive. And she went from that to being on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" being Mary Richards working -- being a working woman, being a single working woman and that was so progressive at the time.
And yet, at the end of the day, she made us laugh and that is all that mattered. And so people were able to start to see more progressive storylines be told, because it was done all through the guise of comedy.
BROWN: All right, Patrick Gomez, thank you so much. And the all-new episode of the CNN Original Series, "The History of the Sitcom" airs in just over an hour, 9:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific, right here on CNN.
Still to come --
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BROWN: A husband surprises his wife with their long lost wedding video. How he pulled it off, next.
BROWN: Husbands take notice. This guy scored some big points at home. Drew and Kayla Gottfried figured their wedding video was lost forever, believing it had been accidentally erased, but get this -- a friend found it 14 years later.
So, Drew decided to give Kayla something special. He booked out a movie theater and surprised her with a big screen showing on their anniversary.
It was the first time she had even seen the video.
Ending tonight on a happy note.
Well, thank you so much for joining me this evening. I'm Pamela Brown. I'll see you again next weekend.
The CNN Special "Where have all the Theme Songs Gone?" starts now.