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Health Experts: Breakthrough Infections May Be Contagious, But Spread Mostly Driven By Unvaccinated; CDC: Pace Of New Vaccinations Highest It's Been Since July 5th; One-Hundred-Plus Students In Quarantine After Infections At Atlanta School; Retailers Rethinking Mask Policies After New CDC Guidance; Fourteen Forest Fires Burning Along Mediterranean In Turkey; Justice Department: IRS Must Turn Trump's Taxes Over To Congress; Rep. Bush Sleeps Outside Of Capitol Over Eviction Moratorium Lapse. Aired 9-10a ET

Aired July 31, 2021 - 09:00   ET




CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR (Voice over): Happening now in the NEWSROOM ...

ROCHELLE WALENSKY, DIRECTOR OF THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL: The science continues to change and while that is neither simple nor easy to convey, it's my responsibility.

PAUL (Voice over): The CDC issuing new mask guidance after what it calls a pivotal discovery on the Delta variant, the findings leading health experts to recommend that millions of vaccinated people resume wearing masks indoors. Those new guidelines reigniting debate over masking and pitting state and local officials against one another.

The federal moratorium on eviction ends tonight after the Supreme Court rules the CDC does not have the power to extend it. What that means for people who are struggling to pay rent amid this pandemic.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (Voice over): The lid is off, the Pandora's box is open and investigations will now follow the facts where they lead.

PAUL (Voice over): The Justice Department rules the IRS must turn over former President Trump's tax returns to Congress. What investigators and the public could learn from those documents.

No mask, no card, no service. Amid the spike in coronavirus infections, more and more business owners say their doors are only open to those who can prove they're vaccinated. NEWSROOM starts right now.


BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. It is Saturday, July 31st. I'm Boris Sanchez.

PAUL: And I'm Christi Paul. We are so happy to have you here in the CNN NEWSROOM and we want to begin this morning with the race to get more people vaccinated against COVID. As the highly transmissible Delta variant is spreading across the country, it's leading to really an alarming surge of new cases in certain spots.

SANCHEZ: Yes. The United States now averaging more than 77,000 new cases per day. Listen to this. That's more than five times where we were at the start of the month. Five times as many as there were on the Fourth of July. The number of people sick enough to need hospital care is also increasing. The country averaging nearly 1,800 new hospitalizations every day.

More than 80 percent of the U.S. population, about 274 million people, live in a county considered to have high or substantial COVID transmission.

PAUL: Those numbers are all startling, I know, after this internal CDC document revealed the Delta strain is now as contagious as the chickenpox, likely causes more severe illness than any of the variants, previous variants, but they also stress this -- getting vaccinated is still your best defense against the virus and that vaccines present more than 90 percent of severe diseases if you do get the vaccine. In other words, you're 90 percent more likely to get a less severe illness.

SANCHEZ: Yes. It appears, fortunately, that more Americans are getting vaccinated, the CDC reporting that the pace of vaccinations now at its highest level since July 5th. So we want to start in Georgia right now. The case rate there has more than tripled over the last 14 days.

CNN's Natasha Chen is live with us. We know DeKalb County is one of a lot of places in Georgia where experts are encouraging people, look, roll up your sleeves, get vaccinated and they are -- they're pulling out some of their own incentives to do this. Any indication it's working this morning, Natasha?

NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Christi, the incentive is definitely working. They're giving out $50 prepaid debit cards and there was a line before this even started and so you can see all the folks behind me.

They're getting good numbers here and that is a good sign. It's kind of tracking with what we're seeing across the country, that vaccination rates are on the steady rise, especially a sharp increase in some southern states that had been lagging in vaccinations. This is definitely a race against time, a race against that Delta variant.


CHEN (Voice over): America is waking up to a new day of increased COVID restrictions and President Biden says we're likely to see more as cases of the highly contagious Delta variant continue to rise.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In all probability. By the way, we had a good day yesterday. Almost 1 million people got vaccinated, so I'm hopeful that people are beginning to realize how essential it is. [09:05:03]

CHEN (Voice over): CDC data shows the rate of new vaccinations is the highest it's been in weeks, but just under half the U.S. population is fully vaccinated. The FDA says it's pulling in extra help to get COVID-19 vaccines fully approved as quickly as possible to ease the minds of those worried about vaccine safety. This comes as we're learning more from the CDC about just how dangerous the Delta variant really is.

The agency now says 74 percent of COVID cases in one Massachusetts county came from fully vaccinated people, though it is important to note that there were few hospitalizations there and no deaths. The CDC maintains that vaccination and masking remain critical in the fight to slow the virus and we're learning more about how far COVID can spread, with research showing that respiratory droplets in the air can carry the virus as easily as the smoke from a cigarette.

MICHAEL OSTERHOLM, DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR INFECTIOUS DISEASE RESEARCH & POLICY, UNIV. OF MN: Just think of somebody smoking. If you can smell the smoke from their cigarette, that's the very same as if you are breathing in the air that they exhale out that has the virus in it.

CHEN (Voice over): Many medical experts now say the risk of transmission outdoors is much higher than previously thought.

All of this as students are heading back to class for what they'd hoped would be a normal school year, but more than 100 students at one Atlanta school that does require masks are now being told to quarantine after at least nine students and five staff members tested positive for COVID. Only one of the staff members had been vaccinated and the school's eighth grade class is now back at home doing virtual school. One parent says he's not surprised.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We had the Delta virus and then the numbers started going up and I thought -- I felt real uncomfortable with it. I was like I don't think this is a good idea because we've seen on the news a lot this is picking up, so I'm not sure. It really didn't make sense right now with everybody not being vaccinated to go back to school and take that risk.

CHEN (Voice over): Meanwhile, some parents are fighting hard to keep their children from having to mask up in class.

SHERI MITCHELL, PARENT: I feel like it's our right to be able to have a choice to either mask or unmask our children just like you have a choice to vaccinate.

CHEN (Voice over): All together, eight U.S. states are taking steps to ban mask mandates in schools, but some areas of the country are taking the opposite tack as numbers rise. New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell has reinstituted a mask mandate in her city after cases more than doubled in one week.

MAYOR LATOYA CANTRELL, (D) NEW ORLEANS: The COVID pandemic is once again rating out of control. CHEN (Voice over): And medical experts warn that we are far from done with COVID.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The virus we're seeing today, as bad as it is, is not as bad as it can get.


CHEN: And a deep concern right now is the start of the school year. In many places, that's happening earlier to try to make up for lost instruction time during the shutdown last year.

So here in DeKalb County, school starts on Monday and there are some discussions, like at the charter school that you saw in Atlanta with the quarantine issues, discussions now about whether to require vaccinations for employees since teachers will be interacting with a lot of young students who are not yet eligible for the shot, Christi and Boris.

SANCHEZ: Let's get more from an official from that school now. Natasha, thank you so much. With us now is Peter McKnight. He's the head of the Drew School, the Atlanta charter school that Natasha was just talking about. Two days into the start of the school year, you've got more than 100 students in quarantine. Did something go wrong? I assume that you anticipated this would be a risk, right, Peter?

PETER MCKNIGHT, HEAD OF SCHOOL, DREW CHARTER SCHOOL: Absolutely and we've put in a lot of measures to protect us in starting the school year. We tested around 1,900 students and staff prior to the start of the school year. We have really strong mitigation strategies in place, mask mandate, social distancing, disinfecting, temperature checks and so forth and so, again, we felt really well prepared for this, but we have certainly been surprised by what we have seen.

SANCHEZ: One of the things that stands out to me in the reporting is that only one of five staff members that tested positive had actually been vaccinated. I mean, this was preventable. Do you feel like there was more that you could have done to get these people vaccinated?

MCKNIGHT: So I'm pretty -- I'm proud of our vaccination rate as a school. As a school, we have 75 percent of our staff vaccinated and that's almost double what the rate is in our community. We actually offered a vaccine clinic for our staff when it first became available for staff back in March and when educators were first eligible.

So they had dedicated opportunities and appointments, but we recognize that there is still some hesitancy and so we're going to continue to work on that so that we can get as many of our staff vaccinated as possible.

SANCHEZ: Well, now up for discussion is the possibility of a -- of a vaccine mandate for staff. I'm curious if you've heard any resistance from that 25 percent of folks that have not gotten vaccinated.

MCKNIGHT: Certainly there are -- there are folks who are concerned and have, you know, medical and historical and cultural concerns around vaccines and so we have heard that from our staff.

[06:10:09] We recognize that vaccines are our single best tool that we have to keep ourselves and those around us safe, particularly those who can't get vaccinated and so we recognize that it's a -- it's a really important tool and a -- and a high priority for us, but yes, absolutely.

SANCHEZ: It sounds like you are in favor of a vaccine mandate for staff.

MCKNIGHT: So I think -- I think it is a complicated issue. I don't think -- because of the cultural and historical context for it, I don't think it is as straightforward as it may seem, but I recognize that it is an incredibly important tool that we have. So to my knowledge, we have not had public schools or public school systems who have mandated a vaccine yet. It's certainly something that needs to be on the table as we consider how to keep folks safe.

SANCHEZ: Peter, take me into those conversations. When you talk about social and cultural considerations, how do you try to persuade someone who is hesitant?

MCKNIGHT: I think what the research has shown is that, you know, the best strategies for this are ensuring that folks can connect with individuals that they trust who have really good information. Also personal relationships -- I mean, personal relationships are key here and so as we approach it, we want to have folks available to talk with our staff and with our community who, again, they trust and can give them really good information considering there's a lot of misinformation that's swirling out there.

It's also helpful to have dedicated opportunities like that. So we have a dose set aside for you that you can take advantage of. We think those are the strategies that are going to work best.

SANCHEZ: And have you heard from the parents of these 100 plus quarantined kids? I imagine many of them must be frustrated. They thought, you know, that remote learning was a thing from 2020 and that they likely wouldn't have to face it this fall.

MCKNIGHT: Absolutely. I mean, this is certainly not what we expected for the start of the school year and I know it's not what our families expected either. You know, it is a -- at this point, is a temporary transition to virtual learning. We've done virtual learning really, really well over the course of the past year and so we know that we can pivot effectively and provide really high quality virtual learning, but we recognize that it's both an inconvenience and a concern for families. Absolutely.

SANCHEZ: Yours is an important story to get out there because it sounds like you took a certain amount of precautions and you had 75 percent of staff vaccinated and yet two days into the school year, more than 100 kids in quarantine. It does not bode well for other parts of the country with low vaccination rates like Georgia right now. Peter McKnight, that's all the time we have for the conversation. We appreciate your time. Thank you. MCKNIGHT: Thanks for having me.

SANCHEZ: Of course. Without a doubt, people who work in grocery stores are essential employees. So how are they able to stay safe while on the job? The president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union joins us to discuss after a quick break.

PAUL: Also, a House committee has been waiting more than two years to see Donald Trump's tax returns. Well, now the Justice Department is stepping -- says that they must be released. That is still ahead.




PAUL: Well, stores are re-evaluating their policies now after the CDC updated guidance to recommend that everyone, including the fully vaccinated, wear masks indoors in areas with high transmission of COVID-19. Now, the guidance, it led to some confusion and frustration among some customers who see this as a step backward, as you can imagine. I mean, you're probably sitting there thinking the same thing.

A union representing more than 1 million front line workers, though, are concerned about what it will mean for its members. According to the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, nearly 500 frontline workers have died from COVID-19 this year alone and at least 96,000 have been infected or exposed.

So Marc Perrone, President of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, is with us right now. Marc, it is so good to have you back with us. Thank you. First of all, what are you hearing from your workers right now about all of this?

MARC PERRONE, PRESIDENT UNITED FOOD AND COMMERCIAL WORKERS INTERNATIONAL UNION: Well, first of all, Christi, thank you for having us. You know, my members are, in fact, extremely concerned about this Delta variant. It is highly transmissible, as we all know, much like the common cold or chickenpox.

They are very concerned and even after the CDC changed the guidelines to allow a more relaxed position on masking, we did, in fact, voice our opinion strenuously to the CDC that we thought it was a dangerous precedence to pull back so quickly when we did not have enough information on Delta in the field. Now we're seeing that they're having to reverse their position.

We think that that, you know, was very unfortunate because, as we now know, this Delta variant is, in fact, difficult with vaccines, it doesn't respond well as far as the transmission purposes. It may keep you out of the hospital and it may keep you from having, you know, severe disease, but it still is transmissible. So I think it's a two- pronged approach. We need to be very aggressive on vaccines and we need to be very aggressive on the masking policy because that, as we know, will help prevent transmission.

PAUL: So we know that Apple says that it's going to require everyone, employees and customers, to wear a mask in their stores. There are other retailers that have yet to make their announcements, but, you know, if you could set your own list of what needs to happen, what would be on it?


PERRONE: Well, the first thing that I would hope that would take place is is that the retail operations in this country, regardless of who they are or where they are, ultimately decide to do the right thing for the -- for public health and that is tell people coming in and out of the stores that they should be wearing their masks.

Secondarily, I think the Biden administration has done a good job as it relates to the vaccines and the vaccination policies and getting that vaccine out. We definitely need to move that more aggressively to make sure that we've got people that are vaccinated and not transmitting the disease through a mask policy.

PAUL: Are you getting any pushback from employees who maybe don't want to get the vaccine for whatever reason?

PERRONE: Yes. We are and I've got members that are nervous about the vaccine. You know, I think that as soon as the FDA approves the vaccine instead of a emergency use and makes it more standardized, I think that we'll have a much better result. We've had about 80 percent, 90 percent of our packing and food processing members that have already been vaccinated and our -- and it has really reduced the amount of transmission of disease in those packing houses and food processing facilities.

So we have some basis of information and some statistics that would indicate that that vaccine does, in fact, you know, highly restrict the transmission of the disease, at least to where it's going to be killing people and we don't want that to happen.

PAUL: Yes. I know that there are -- there are retailers who are weighing the possibility of vaccine mandates for employees. What are -- where do you stand on that?

PERRONE: Well, you know, at this point in time, I think that if the vaccine is not FDA approved under standard conditions, I think that they're going to be hard-pressed to mandate that, at least at this point in time because I think people do have real fears about that, but we're going to work with our employers in order to educate the membership or at least communicate with them about the pros and cons of the vaccine.

And if, in fact, they're not willing to take the vaccine until it's permanently placed on the approved list, I think that what we'll do is we'll start talking about more aggressive testing so that we can ultimately make sure that people that go inside the stores are not necessarily carrying the virus that could possibly infect, you know, customers or other fellow workers. PAUL: No, it's a delicate dance that you have, Marc.


PAUL: Marc Perrone, we appreciate you taking time to explain to us what you're up against and hoping that everybody stays safe. Thank you so much.

PERRONE: Well, Christi, have a nice day (ph) and we certainly do appreciate it and stay safe, please.

PAUL: You as well. Be well. Thank you.

SANCHEZ: Still ahead, the Justice Department says the IRS must turn over former President Trump's tax returns to Congress. Does that mean the public could someday see them?

Plus, instead of going on recess like her fellow lawmakers, Congresswoman Cori Bush is staying on Capitol Hill. Why she spent the night outside the steps of Congress just ahead.




PAUL: Coming up on 28 minutes past the hour right now. Want to give you some of the top stories we're following. First of all, Cuba's foreign minister is responding to the latest sanctions issued by the U.S. right now. In a tweet, he wrote this, "These arbitrary measures are added to the misinformation and aggression used to justify the inhumane blockade against Cuba."

This is happening after President Biden of course met with members of the Cuban American community and key members of Congress yesterday to outline several efforts related to its Cuba policy, including new sanctions targeting Cuba's National Revolutionary Police and assistance to Cuban dissidents.

The United States is not the only country dealing with devastating wildfires, we should point out. Look what's happening in Turkey. Fourteen forest fires are burning at 1,100 different points along the Mediterranean. Authorities say at least four people have died and in the Middle East, wildfires are spreading in Lebanon. Officials are calling it an environmental disaster.

SANCHEZ: Back here in the United States, two of the largest colleges in Michigan have joined a growing list of universities that will now require all students and staff to get vaccinated before returning to campus for the fall semester. On Friday, Michigan State University and the University of Michigan both announcing the new changes to their policies because of the rising number of cases on campus because of the highly infectious Delta variant.

Both universities also have mask mandates in place requiring that masks be worn indoors at all campus buildings and facilities.

Meantime, in Hollywood, one of "Marvel"'s biggest stars is suing "Disney." Actress Scarlett Johansson says "Disney" breached her contract when they released the film "Black Widow on its streaming service, "Disney+," and in theaters at the same time. The actress claims she was promised a theatrical release. "Disney" claims they fully complied with the contract. They say there is, quote, "No merit whatsoever to this filing.


And that it's, quote, "Distressing in its callous disregard for the COVID-19 pandemic."

PAUL: Since the blow to ex-President Trump and the battle over his tax returns, the Justice Department has told the Treasury Department it must turn them over to the House Ways and Means committee.

SANCHEZ: That's been a multiyear process for this to happen. CNN's crime and justice reporter Katelyn Polantz joins us now to discuss. Katelyn, the Biden Justice Department reversing course saying that Congress must get the tax returns. The Trump Justice Department sang a different tone. What does this decision mean and what happens next?

KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Well, after six months we're finally getting an answer here now from the Biden administration about what they're going to do about Donald Trump's tax returns. So, there are various House committees and various Democratic leaders in the House who have been seeking the tax returns from President Trump, now ex-President Trump, in multiple different ways and all of those essentially ended up in court over the past two years.

There's one particular case, this case from the House Ways and Means committee, where it was a bit of a sleeper case, it was one we weren't really paying that close attention to because it was essentially on hold for the last two years. Because the Trump administration had said -- when the House Ways and Means committee said, we would like the tax returns from the IRS, from the Treasury Department directly under a specific code statute that believed that they could get them, the Trump administration said, no, we're going to block that.

Now, the Biden administration has now reviewed that and is reversing course. They're saying that the Trump administration had not properly assessed what the House was saying the reason was for wanting the tax returns. The House wanted the tax returns in this particular committee to look at possible legislation, especially reviewing how the IRS does audits.

Now, in this particular case it's now alive again. We are seeing this reversal from the Biden administration, where they're saying that the Treasury Department receiving this request must hand these tax returns over now. Now that they're being asked by the House Ways and Means committee it is a major shift, but that doesn't mean that we're at the end of this court battle. Like these court battles often goes, everybody gets to have a say. Right now, Donald Trump isn't a party in this lawsuit but is going to be able to talk to the judge, put out some arguments. There's going to be more, what they call, briefing in court. So, there's going to be more arguments being made. The judge is going to review it.

We're supposed to get another set of filings next week. And there is a hold for three days that means that the tax returns just can't get turned over, so we don't know when there will be a resolution to this. It is a continuing case, but this is a big shift in how this administration is approaching Congress. Boris and Christi.

PAUL: Katelyn, so glad you're on it. Thank you so much.

SANCHEZ: So, a pizza shop in northern California is just one of many restaurants nationwide that's now asking customers to prove they've been vaccinated to eat indoors. After a quick break, the owners are going to tell me why they decided it was the right move.



PAUL: Well, a federal ban on evictions put in place during the pandemic expires at midnight tonight. And that leaves millions of renters at risk of being kicked out of their homes, obviously. So the House failed to pass legislation extending that moratorium.

To draw attention to the issue Congresswoman Cori Bush slept outside at the Capitol last night. She's calling on the House to reconvene, to extend that moratorium, or for the Senate to take action.


REP. CORI BUSH (D-MO): Either our president and the CDC extend the moratorium without any lapses, or the U.S. Senate take it up and get it done. Or the House reconvenes, we come back, come off of vacation and come back and get this done because I just don't understand how we go on vacation knowing that people's lives are at stake.


PAUL: And she's talking about a lot of lives. Eleven million people currently behind on their rent in this pandemic. And next hour, we're talking to someone who knows what that's like. She fears that she's at risk of losing her home without any action by Congress. We'll talk more about that at 10:00.

SANCHEZ: More and more businesses are beginning to require proof of vaccination status from staff and their customers. It's a topic that's getting a lot of mixed reviews from residents in the Bay Area. At one restaurant in San Jose, California, the owners of Tony and Alba's Pizza and Pasta say their priority is doing whatever they can do to make sure everyone is safe. So, they made the decision to mandate both masks and proof of vaccination inside their store.


AL VALLORZ, OWNER, TONY AND ALBA'S PIZZA AND PASTA: The numbers are rising, people are not telling us and not telling us the truth about they're vaccinated or not. And we want to make our community, our customers, our place and ourselves safe.


SANCHEZ: Joining us now are the owners of Tony and Alba's Pizza and Pasta, Al Vallorz and Diana Salciccia-Vallorz.


Thank you both so much for joining us. Good morning. We appreciate having you --

VALLORZ: Good morning.

SANCHEZ: Yes. So, as I understand you both battled COVID and now you're trying to prevent others from going through what you went through. And, Diana, in your case, what you're still going through. You got sick in January. I read that you're still feeling some of the effects. Help our viewers understand what this has been like for you.

DIANA SALCICCIA-VALLORZ, OWNER, TONY AND ALBA'S PIZZA AND PASTA: Well, it's been really tough. So at end of January, I took my mother to get her vaccine and then four days later I started developing symptoms. And, luckily, I was wearing two masks at the time. But we're not sure exactly how I got it. But Al tested -- about a week later, he tested positive. And we think that I probably got it from him because he never developed any symptoms.

VALLORZ: Yes, I was asymptomatic. And so, we really just couldn't figure out the last part of the tracing.

SALCICCIA-VALLORZ: So, I started getting lower back and leg pains. That was my first symptom and dizziness. And my husband just thought that maybe I just, you know, strained my back. And then it just kept getting worse.

So, the next morning I called the doctor. And she said to go down and get tested it might be early stages. I didn't have a fever yet or a cough. I didn't get my results until two days later. But I isolated.

The pain was extreme. So, I asked the doctor after I found out that I did have COVID, "Is back pain a symptom?" And she said, "Yes, it's so new. They don't know all the symptoms."

After I got better, then I had a fever for a couple weeks, the cough for a month, the pain never really subsided. So, then it got a little better but then it will come back. So, I suffer from I'll be perfectly fine and then a couple days later all of the sudden I can't walk. I can't even go up the stairs. I can't lift my legs. I have extreme fatigue. It just hits me all at once.

I might be fine in the morning and then all of a sudden in the afternoon I'm in excruciating pain. So, there's nothing they can do. My doctor is trying to get me into a clinic over at Kaiser. They have a long haulers clinic.

And I have inflammation. I've been taking the anti-inflammatory diet for a couple months. That helped a little bit but not really. So, I'm not sure what we can do. I just take Advil all the time.

SANCHEZ: Diana, I hate that you have to deal with that. And it speaks to how great you are to your community, that you're now trying to keep people from going through what you went through.

And, Al, the state of California actually lifted capacity restrictions and other business restrictions a month and a half or so ago. You have kept them on, and now you're mandating vaccines among staff and the customers who eat inside the restaurant. Has keeping these restrictions on hurt your business? Are you concerned about staying profitable?

VALLORZ: You know what? I don't believe it has hurt our business because you got to do the right thing right all the time. And by doing that, you know, we've given out bonuses. And now for our employees that got the shots. We have a few employees that were given bonuses to get the shots. We got to do what we got to do.

So, when the state opened up, we both said we thought it was a mistake, you know, with the masks -- opening up, the masking. Because everybody heard, nobody can wear a mask. That's not what they said, but that's what everybody heard.

And then we delayed our dine-in for a while and then when the numbers started ticking up, we said, "Hey, we've got to do this." And it hasn't hurt -- you know, our positive has been 99 percent -- we have people drive by and thank us. We had families come in and say, "Hey, we feel that we can come in and eat," because it can get warm here at night.

We have beautiful nights in San Jose so not everybody wants to dine outside. And we have a lot of positives. So, it doesn't hurt us in the long run, time will tell but I don't think so.

SALCICCIA-VALLORZ: We also felt like we have to keep our employees safe. And we do have a few employees that have not got vaccinated. One is adamant about not, but we're trying to protect them by checking all of the customers before they come in, make sure everybody is vaccinated. If not, they have to keep their mask on until they order and they can dine outside or get it to go. A few people have complained.

SANCHEZ: Yes. I'm curious, before we talk about the complaints from the community, about those employees that are hesitant to get vaccinated, what are those conversations like if you're now mandating the vaccine?

SALCICCIA-VALLORZ: Well, our employees that have gotten vaccinated are a little irritated with the ones that haven't gotten the vaccine yet. For some reason, they're afraid. A couple of them are on the fence and ready to do it. But they're good employees. They're reliable. They're good workers.


But they're just afraid about getting the vaccine and so they have to keep their mask on all the time, and we keep our mask on to protect them. Some of the employees in the front that don't want to wear a mask, they're fully vaccinated, we told them we're just going to have to keep doing that because of the numbers rising. We want to keep all the employees safe.

VALLORZ: Yes, our employees have been great, but you see a lot of pressure -- they feel a lot of pressure now. You know, this is a restaurant. People are coming in and out. Our employees have been incredible for the last year and a half. But now you're starting to see people getting anxious a little just because of the haves and the have nots kind of thing, you know, with the masks and stuff.

But I think -- I think in the long run, everybody will get the vaccine. We know some of them are going to next week get -- finishing up the vaccination program.

SALCICCIA-VALLORZ: We had one customer that has walked in without a mask. A lot of them just think that it's OK not to wear a mask anymore. So, I stopped them and said, "You have to have a mask." And he said, "I don't have one." I said, "Step outside. I'll give you a mask."

I asked him if he was vaccinated, and he wasn't. So, I said, "Stay out. I'll get you a mask and then we'll get your order." So, that one person -- before we started checking I don't know how many people might have come in that were not vaccinated.


SANCHEZ: Al and Diana, thank you so much for the time. We really appreciate it. It sorts of underscores what we will likely to see more of in the future, the frustration that you're having among your employees. Those that are vaccinated looking at those that are unvaccinated, wondering what it's going to take to get them across that line.

Thank you, again. We appreciate your time.

VALLORZ: Thank you.

SALCICCIA-VALLORZ: You're welcome.

VALLORZ: Have a slice day.

SANCHEZ: Thanks. You too.


PAUL: We caught that, didn't we? "Have a slice day," very nice.

So, Simone Biles pulls out of more Olympic events. Are we going to see her again at these games? A lot of people are asking. And the fastest woman in the world has just been crowned. Coy Wire tells us who it is and a live report from Tokyo next.

Also, we want to let you know be sure to join CNN this August for this once in a lifetime concert event. "We Love New York City, the Homecoming Concert," airs Saturday, August 21st, exclusively on CNN.



PAUL: So, team USA is flexing their muscles at the Tokyo Olympics particularly in the pool. Superstars Caeleb Dressel and Katie Ledecky now have five gold medals between them after putting on one heck of a dazzling display overnight.

SANCHEZ: Let's get out to Tokyo and CNN's Coy Wire. Coy, some folks thought that swimming for the United States wouldn't be the same without Michael Phelps, but the dominance from the United States Olympians has not declined one bit.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, 26 of the USA's 46 medals have come in the pool. I talked to Caeleb Dressel's trainer today and he said that this was the day, the reason, why Caeleb hit the weight room so hard, a gauntlet of three events in just 80 minutes time including one of his signature events, the 100-meter butterfly. Dressel exploded off the block for the lead, never looked back.

The 24-year-old, from Florida, breaking his own world record as he picked up his third gold medal here in Tokyo. He now holds eight of the top 10 times in the world in this event.

And check out his family back home in Florida. Mom is in the middle. She can barely watch. She falls on to the couch with his Caeleb's wife Meghan -- the emotion. We'll have two more chances to see if Caeleb can pick up even more medals in the last day of swimming.

And Katie Ledecky gets redemption. The 24-year-old beat her rival from Australia, Ariarne Titmus, in the 800-meter free, further proving she's still the most dominant female swimmer of all time, is the 6th individual Olympic gold of her career more than any woman in history.

Joining Michael Phelps as the -- only the second American ever to win three straight Olympic golds in the same event. All the sacrifice, dedication in the last five years, Katie leaves Tokyo with four more medals to her name. Now, she can't wait to just be back with her family.


KATIE LEDECKY, 7-TIME OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST: I just haven't been able to think beyond this. This is kind of an end point to a whole long process. I haven't been home since before the pandemic, and so it was kind of just like, all right, let's get to Tokyo, and I want to go home. At then at that point, you know, as I said, I'm just going to let this sit and soak it in. (END VIDEO CLIP)

WIRE: Congratulations, Katie. And the race to become the fastest woman in the world is complete -- the 100-meter dash. America's superstar Sha'Carri Richardson not racing, serving that ban for marijuana. And in her absence, Boris and Christi, Jamaica, yes, man, complete in the -- sweep with the field, one, two and three. Defending Olympic champ Elaine Thompson-Herah breaking Florence Griffith Joyner's Olympic record that stood for 33 years by 1-100th of a second at 10.61 seconds.

It is the second fastest 100-meter time by any woman ever. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce who claimed gold in '08 and 2012, taking silver. Shericka Jackson gets the bronze. And Simone Biles was the athlete that everyone wanted to see at these Olympic Games, but she has now taken herself out of Sunday's individual finals in both the vault and uneven bars.

This comes after posting videos of her struggling at Friday's practice session here in Tokyo. Biles said she -- quote -- "Literally cannot tell up from down. What's even scarier is since I have no idea where I am in the air I also have no idea how I'm going to land or what I'm going to land on" -- unquote. The 24-year-old said that when she's had the twisties, as called them in the past, it has taken two weeks or more for them to go away.


Biles still has two more events in which she could potentially compete. The women's floor final is Monday, The beam finals Tuesday. But USA Gymnastics says Biles will be evaluated on a daily basis to see if she will compete.

This is likely the last time we'll ever get to see the greatest of all time competing in an Olympic Games, Boris and Christi. The world is waiting to see if Simone Biles will feel well enough to compete again here in Tokyo.

PAUL: Yes, fingers crossed. Coy Wire, thank you so much.

SANCHEZ: We still have plenty of news to get to. And in the next hour of NEWSROOM, we'll explain exactly why the CDC is asking everyone, even those who have been vaccinated, to mask up again indoors. We'll be right back.