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GOP Governor Ron DeSantis Bans Mask Mandates in Florida Schools; Delta Variant Complicates Back-to-School Plans in Georgia; Simone Biles Withdraws from Another Olympic Event; After The White House; Mass Shooting In Queens Leaves 10 Wounded; Coronavirus Pandemic. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired August 1, 2021 - 16:00   ET



JESSICA DEAN, CNN HOST: You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Jessica Dean in Washington. Jim Acosta is off today.

The numbers speak for themselves. COVID-19 vaccines have prevented hospitalizations and deaths for more than 99.99 percent of people who got the shots. That's according to CDC data. And you don't have to be a math wiz to interpret that. It means the vaccines work and they work very well.

We've just learned that on Saturday more than 816,000 COVID vaccine doses were administered. This is now the fifth straight day recording more than 700,000 shots in arms. And that is very good news. Yet with just under half of the U.S. population fully vaccinated, the need for more protection is urgent.

The Delta variant is so transmissible one former health official warns if you are not vaccinated or protected by previous infection, you will probably get COVID. And while new mask mandates are popping up across the United States, with New York City set to consider new mask rules tomorrow, not every COVID hot spot is playing by the rules.

In Florida, coronavirus cases there out of control. Closing in on January's record high average for new cases. Florida now accounts for nearly 1 in 5 new COVID cases in the country, and yet, Florida's governor Ron DeSantis is dismissing the CDC recommendation on masking in schools, making a show of it by issuing an executive order preventing school mask mandates.

CNN's Randi Kaye joins me now from Riviera Beach, Florida, with more on this.

Randi, no mask mandate there for children in schools. What else is being done in Florida as these cases spike?

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jessica, a lot of the local municipalities are trying to take it into their own hands. They would like to request a mask mandate. They're suggesting people wear masks but it's very difficult for them to mandate here because the governor, Ron DeSantis, is very strongly against any type of statewide mask mandate. He doesn't want people who might violate any type of mask mandate on the local level to be fined. So it's very difficult.

All of this happening as we're seeing this surge, more than 110,000 cases here in Florida in the last week. The daily average, 15,818 cases. And just yesterday, Jessica, we set a record for the most cases in a single day since the pandemic began. 21,683 cases here in the state of Florida. Right now if you look at cases across the U.S., 19.2 percent of all of those cases are right here in the state of Florida. Mostly here in South Florida.

We are certainly edging closer to the highest average that we saw of cases in January. And not even half of the population here in the state of Florida is vaccinated. Just 49 percent. So still trying to get those numbers up here in the state.

I visited a COVID ward recently in Jacksonville at Baptist Medical Center where 99 percent of the patients in the hospital are unvaccinated. I spoke with a few of them. This is what one woman told me.



KAYE: Bad?

FRANCISCA: Yes. I cannot breathe good. I have shortness of breath. I feel sorry about not getting a vaccine.

KAYE: You're sorry you didn't get the vaccine. Do you think you would be here if you had gotten the vaccine?



KAYE: And that woman also told me that her entire family has COVID. None of them were vaccinated. She plans to get everyone vaccinated when she gets out of the hospital. Another concern is children, schools are reopening any day now. And we're looking at 10,585 cases in the past week for children under 12. They're too young to be eligible for the vaccine right now but their positivity rate in that age group is 18.1 percent. So certainly that is a concern. The statewide positivity rate is 18.2 percent.

And as you mentioned at the top, the governor is -- he's issued this executive order saying that schools cannot require masks for children as they return to school. He thinks it's all about the freedom of parents to decide. He says that anyone who defies this executive order, they could lose funding. They might not be eligible for grants as well so he is all about just not doing anything about restricting these students going back to school, restrictions around the state and also making sure that nobody is required to wear a mask in the state of Florida -- Jessica.

DEAN: Wow. This with an 18 percent positivity rate for kids under the age of 12. KAYE: Absolutely.

DEAN: Randi Kaye, thanks so much. We appreciate it.


And joining me now is Dr. Bernard Ashby, he is a cardiologist based in Miami.

Dr. Ashby, great to see you. Thanks for being with us. We know, as Randi just laid out, you're at the center of it there in Florida. First, tell us what you're seeing.

DR. BERNARD ASHBY, CARDIOLOGIST: So Florida is now the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States. Currently our hospitals are actually overwhelmed. We are seeing some of the highest numbers that we've ever seen at any point in the pandemic. My hospital in particular has basically switched to emergency status, which basically incorporates a number of measures that prevents people from coming to visit the patients.

Also includes an increase in our ICU capacity because our ICUs are filling up. And now we no longer do elective cases as a result of the surge. And so this is having a huge impact on our life and our ability to practice medicine.

DEAN: Absolutely. On you all's life and also the health systems. If somebody has a heart attack or needs other treatment. It sounds very limited in terms of where they can go.

Your governor, Ron DeSantis, is digging in on masks and also on restrictions that would clearly save lives. Let's listen to his take on masks in schools.


GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): I have young kids. My wife and I are not going to do the masks with the kids. We never have. We won't -- I want to see my kids smiling. I want them having fun.


DESANTIS: And I don't know. I mean, look, my kids are a little younger, but I can tell you, whatever you think of masks, you've got to wear it properly. My kids ain't going to wear that thing properly. We know that.



DEAN: Dr. Ashby, in your medical opinion, how much risk is the governor's stance posing for Florida's students and teachers right now?

ASHBY: I am at a loss for words. Governor DeSantis thinks this is a joke. This is not a joke. Florida is number one in the hospitalization of children in the whole entire country. School hasn't even started yet. The positivity rate, as you mentioned, under 12 is 18-plus percent. We have yet not even reached our peak yet.

We had our highest infection rate to date again in the entire pandemic, not just this year, the entire pandemic recently. And school is starting in August 10th, more or less, in the entire state of Florida. We are still in the midst of our surge. This is going to get worse. And the fact that he's over here making fun of masks, completely ignoring the science, is reckless and frankly inhumane.

I don't know what to say. I don't think he cares about children. I mean, I'm sure his kids are probably fine but as far as my child is concerned and everyone that I know, this isn't right. And it's reckless, seriously.

DEAN: Yes. And really, as we've talked about, children under the age of 12 who aren't eligible for the vaccine are really at the mercy of the adults making decisions for them right now and the status and health of the others around them.

Some parents are saying, well, children are at a lesser risk of getting COVID or there are other reasons they're giving for being hesitant to get that vaccine. What are you hearing from parents about why people are hesitant to get the vaccine if they're eligible because kids who are 12 and older can get the vaccine.

ASHBY: So before I get to that, one thing I must mention is that the equation has changed. The Delta variant is different from all of the previous iterations of the coronavirus. This virus produces a viral load 1,000 times higher than previous versions. Therefore, when you're exposed to the Delta variant, you're getting a lot more virus and more people are getting sick.

We have quite a few studies, some of which were mentioned in the CDC- leaked documents that indicated that these -- this particular variant actually has a higher mortality rate. That's important to know. And when it comes to kids, you don't experiment with your children. We know that masks work. We know that it's an important mitigation measure.

And the fact that he's talking about seeing his kids smile, I would rather see my kids alive, I'd rather see my kid without a tube down their neck. I'd rather see my kids out of the hospital. That's what I would rather see. So they can smile for the rest of their lives. And so the fact that he's, again, making fun of masks is ridiculous.

Now in terms of hesitancy, I mean, parents have real concerns. I mean, it's one thing when you take a vaccine for yourself, but when you are talking about your children, it's an entirely different, you know, equation. And so what I would like to tell parents out there is that the vaccines have been studied in the demographic of 12 to 16-year- olds. They have been proven to be safe. There is no issues in terms of increasing clots and whatnot that people have put out there.

[16:10:02] The rate of complications is relatively low. And the fact that people are perpetuating misinformation/disinformation is actually leading to more people being hurt and harmed by this virus.

DEAN: And I think your point underscoring just how different things are now is so important. As another expert told me earlier today, Delta is different. So thank you for clarifying all of that. Thank you for your expertise. Stay healthy. Stay safe down there.

We appreciate it, Dr. Bernard Ashby.

ASHBY: Thank you so much.

DEAN: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is set to announce new guidelines on masks tomorrow. New daily COVID cases in the city are trending up. The daily average of new infections over the last seven days there is more than double what it was just two weeks ago. Mayor de Blasio says his main focus is still getting everyone eligible vaccinated. New York City is offering incentives to get people to go for their vaccine shots including sporting event tickets, $100 and also $100 digital debit card.

Now Georgia is also seeing a spike in COVID cases as kids are heading back to the classroom for their new school year there. The Peach State was among the top five in the country in new COVID infections last week as a percentage of all new U.S. COVID cases. And just over 38 percent of Georgia residents are fully vaccinated.

CNN's Natasha Chen is in DeKalb County, Georgia, one of the biggest school districts in the state there.

Natasha, schools set to start tomorrow. What are you hearing from the community, from parents, from students?

NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jessica, throughout the larger metro Atlanta area, there is a lot of division among parents and educators about masks, about vaccines that makes it very challenging to go forward, bringing students back in class safely. There are different policies at different districts. Their masks are required in some and it's still being discussed in others.

So right now, that is something everyone is talking about as we approach the first day of class. Here in DeKalb, it's tomorrow in Atlanta public schools, in Fulton County schools it's later on. So I think we're already seeing how this issue is playing out, though, at one charter school in Atlanta, Drew Charter school, that started the earliest, last Tuesday.

And they did test about 1900 employees and students before the first day of class. But within a couple of days, they had detected a number of positive cases resulting in more than 100 students in quarantine. This prompted the conversation about whether to mandate vaccines among employees, even though the head of school told CNN that about three quarters of staff are already vaccinated.

Here is the head of school of Drew Charter School talking about that issue of mandating a vaccine.


PETER MCKNIGHT, DREW CHARTER SCHOOL'S HEAD OF SCHOOL: To my knowledge, we have not had public schools nor 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.


CHEN: Meanwhile, in Gwinnett County nearby, parents protested Friday evening, protesting against a possible mask requirement. So that's just an example of the many different voices at play here, Jessica.

DEAN: All right. Natasha Chen, we will see how that plays out in the coming days. Thanks so much.

Coming up, gymnastics superstar Simone Biles pulls out of another Olympic event as she battles the twisties. Will she make the decision to compete before the games are over?

Plus, reaction from someone who knows a lot about the pressures of the Olympic stage. Dominique Moceanu, a member of the 1996 Magnificent Seven U.S. Women's Gymnastics Team, joins us live next.


DEAN: Gymnastics icon Simone Biles has pulled out of Monday's floor final at the Olympics leaving her just one more chance to compete at Tokyo 2020. U.S. Gymnastics announced her withdrawal saying she will, quote, "make a decision on beam later this week," adding, quote, "Either way, we're all behind you, Simone."

Biles previously pulled out of the all-around and team finals as well as the event finals for the vault and uneven bars citing mental health concerns. She says she's suffering from the twisties. It's a mental block that causes a gymnast to become disoriented midair.

Joining us now, Olympic gold medalist Dominique Moceanu. In 1996 she was on the U.S. Women's Gymnastics Team dubbed the Magnificent Seven that won the first ever gold medal for the U.S. in the women's team competition.

Dominique, so glad to have you. So many of us remember cheering you guys on in 1996, so it's wonderful to have you here. I want to first get your reaction to this news that Simone Biles has withdrawn from another event. What did you think about that?

DOMINIQUE MOCEANU, 1996 U.S. WOMEN'S OLYMPIC GYMNASTICS TEAM GOLD MEDALIST: Well, I think she has to put her health and safety first and foremost. For far too long, gymnasts have not placed their health as a priority. And so this is really an important step in her taking back her power and owning the fact that she has a voice. And it's also very unsafe for her to pursue any competition until she has gotten a hold of the twisties that she's going through right now. DEAN: Absolutely, because reading about this, I am not an Olympic

gymnast, clearly, but just reading about it, it sounds so terrifying to not know where you are midair.

MOCEANU: You can get disoriented, and it can be very scary, and especially because you're not on soft mats during competition. You have a hard mat setting. So any landing that is not appropriate can tweak a knee, can land on your head, you can hurt your neck. There are catastrophic consequences if you lose your orientation and it can become very, very frightening.

DEAN: I'm sure. I'm sure. And this has all put a spotlight on the incredible and sometimes truly unfair pressure that athletes face, and you tweeted something.


You said, "I was 14 years old with a tibial stress fracture left alone with no cervical spine exam after this fall. I competed in the Olympic floor final minutes later. Simone Biles' decision demonstrates that we have a say in our own health. A say I never felt that I had as an Olympian." And you I believe had the video there of the beam, when you fell on the beam.

Take us back to that moment and what that was like for you and why you think this is progress that she's able to say I'm pulling myself out of this.

MOCEANU: Well, my foot slipped during the event finals on balance beam and I landed straight on my head. And as you see, my coach turned her back on me at that time and didn't even ask if I was OK. And it just shows the inappropriate behavior of our coaches in that generation and the abusive methodologies that took place that I have been such an advocate for, for so many years to speak up and say, hey, our athletes' safety and well-being needs to be a priority because these things are important and they have long-lasting effects.

So when I landed on my head it was a moment to show the world and help explain what dire consequences can happen when things like this can occur. Now there's a completely different situation, but also it draws a parallel to nobody was there for health and safety, and now Simone can have that voice, and she's taking ownership in that power.

And that's very important for our athletes moving forward in this generation. And that's a great thing for Simone to be a leader to have a voice and say, hey, something is not right. Rather than go out there and have a catastrophic fall or injury. Nobody wants to see that. We want to see her at her best. Healthy. And we're all behind her. And so I think that video just resonated with a lot of people. How far we've come but also how little attention and care we got during that time.

DEAN: Yes, there's no question about it. And the fact also, too, that you were 14 at the time. I mean, Simone is older than that obviously but you were -- I mean, 14 is so young. So you were really left on your own in that moment. Do you -- what more do you think can be done to support athletes? As this tide starts to shift, what more would you like to see done?

MOCEANU: I think we're starting to see some of those changes. I think the work is going to continue to need to be done, obviously. We need to always make sure that health and safety is a priority. That athletes' voices continue to be heard. That if something doesn't feel right, they have comfort and they have a liaison to help them get the medical care they need. The psychological care they need. The physical care they need. So, in all categories, we are Olympic level athletes. They should get Olympic level care.

DEAN: That' so -- yes, such a great way to say it. And it's still unclear if Simone Biles will be able to compete in the individual competition for balance beam. She is 24 years old. We don't know if this will be her last Olympics. I'm curious, though, if you were in Tokyo, if you could talk to her or if you have talked to her, what advice would you give her?

MOCEANU: Well, I have been chatting with her via text, and the most important thing right now is that she's getting an outpouring of support. She knows that I'm with her every day. I check in on her to see how she's doing. Most importantly she has to do what's right for her and she has to make sure she feels comfortable mounting that balance beam.

One thing my husband and I were talking about is that if she does balance beam to do a lighter dismount. Something that doesn't involve twisting in the air and perhaps if she can get a hold of that dismount that's a little less difficult, she can be in the event finals if she can get a hold of it and feel comfortable and safe.

And that's the most important thing. If she can get a hold of it and feel comfortable, feel safe, you know, she can be, obviously, atop that podium and it's all going to remain to be seen here in just a little bit if she can get a grasp on the balance beam. And I hope she does, but no matter what, she's already a champion. Has multiple medals, world and Olympic. She doesn't have anything to prove.

DEAN: Yes.

MOCEANU: So she can go out there and just do anything that is going to serve her best for self-compassion and self-care.

DEAN: Yes. That's so true. All right, Dominique Moceanu, thank you so much for talking with us. We sure do appreciate it.

MOCEANU: Thank you.

DEAN: Just say the election was corrupt. The new documents revealing Donald Trump's pressure campaign to overturn the results of the 2020 race he lost.



DEAN: Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows making a bizarre comment in a new interview and sounding a lot like he thinks Donald Trump is still president. Take a listen.


MARK MEADOWS, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF FOR TRUMP: Wanted to join you to talk about really a president that is fully engaged, highly focused and remaining on task.

STEVE CORTES, NEWSMAX: Chief, do you want to break any news from your meetings with President Trump?

MEADOWS: Well, we've met with some of our Cabinet members tonight. We actually had a follow-up member meeting with some of our Cabinet members and as we were looking into that, we're looking at what does come next. I am not authorized to speak on behalf of the president.


MEADOWS: But I can tell you this, Steve. We wouldn't be meeting tonight if we weren't making plans to move forward in a real way with President Trump at the head of that ticket.



DEAN: Now add to that interview this detail. Donald Trump's political organization entered July with nearly $102 million in cash reserves. That is an unprecedented figure at this stage in an election cycle for a former president.

And joining me now, editor-at-large for "The Bulwark" and director of Defending Democracy Together, Bill Kristol, and former assistant special Watergate prosecutor Nick Akerman.

Welcome to you both.


Thanks for being here.

Bill, let's start with you. What exactly is this reference to a meeting of Trump's cabinet? Does it sound like he's still talking about Trump like he's president?

BILL KRISTOL, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, THE BULWARK: Well, I think it's now sort of Republican talking point, right, to call Trump the President not the former president and to pretend that he's kind of still -- they still refer to him as if he were president, right?

And so I suppose that plays into that. I mean, he's in charge of the Republican Party, most of it right now, which is pretty amazing given that we've, after January 6, and after we've learned more and more about what he did between November 3rd and January 6th. I think that's why that justice department, those notes are so important as part of a record that's going to get larger. People haven't really focused on and can talk about this. I mean, we have a committee with the power to, you know, depose people and get documents and so forth. And you have a bunch of notetakers probably throughout the federal government who are keeping track of things. You have White House phone logs. We can learn an awful lot about what Donald Trump did to try to usurp power as we November 3rd and January 6th.

DEAN: And you're talking about that House Select Committee and what they're going to be doing in the next several months, right?


DEAN: Yes. And Nick, to that point, we got to see handwritten notes of a phone call between then President Trump and the acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen. And then Trump is quoted as saying, just say that the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the R congressmen. Does that just scream kind of here I am on the phone trying to overturn the election as president?

NICK AKERMAN, FORMER ASSISTANT SPECIAL WATERGATE PROSECUTOR: Absolutely. It's the exact same thing he tried to do in Georgia with the Secretary of State. It's the exact same thing he did straight through right up until January 6.

Keep in mind, this is part of a pattern that was perpetrated by Donald Trump starting at least in July of 2019, where he came up with a plan to cheat on this election, in order to get a second term. He started with President Zelensky trying to get the Ukrainians to come up with a bogus investigation into Joe Biden. When that didn't work, he had his minions in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan set the votes so that the absentee ballots couldn't be counted before Election Day so he could later claim that he actually won. You even see references in those notes to all of these votes that just showed up.

All these with the absentee ballot votes that were counted later because Donald Trump had it set up that way so he could claim that there was some kind of fraud. He then went instituted 60 some of bogus lawsuits. All of this led up to January 6.

DEAN: Yes. And really laying out that pattern there. Bill, one of the members of the January 6 Select House Committee, Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger, said that he expects quote, a significant number of subpoenas for a lot of people, but he signaled he'd be hesitant to call Trump himself, we can listen to a clip of that.


REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R-IL) SELECT COMMITTEE TO INVESTIGATE JAN. 6 CAPITOL RIOT: We may not even have to talk to Donald Trump to get the information. There were tons of people around him. There were tons of people involved in the things that led up to January 6, obviously, if you talk to the President, the former president that's going to have a whole new set of kind of like, you know, everything associated with it. So when I look at that, I'm like, maybe, but I know that we're going to get to the information. If he has unique information, that's one thing. But I think there's a lot of people around him that knew some things.


DEAN: And Bill, what do you think about that? And politically, what do you think could or would happen if the Democrats ended up trying to call Trump?

KRISTOL: I think they'll be wary of that just because it would be such a circus. Now, maybe necessary if things come out of documents and notes. And Trump says it's not true for someone just taking a note of Trump ordering something. Trump puts out, you know, one of his statements that says that's not the case, it's legitimate for the congressional committee to say, Well, why don't you come in and explain that under oath and explain in more detail what you did say on that phone call.

But I think Adam Kinzinger's point is key. In Watergate, Nixon never testified before the Watergate committee. But people around him did, people in the justice department did, people in CIA and elsewhere. We learned an awful lot about his interactions with people elsewhere on the garment (ph).

For me, that's very -- that this where people are under estimating the importance of having a select committee, with, as I say, the power to compel testimony. And, you know, a lot of people scattered around who I think will testify truthful if testings were around the government between November 3rd and January 6th, that incidentally, state and local governments and elsewhere who will testify truthfully.

Think of Ukraine, I mean, that was -- we -- a lot of people testified truthfully once called, were at the State Department at the National Security Council and so forth.


So we can learn more. People have sort of assumed this committee is just going to kind of rehash the same old stuff. But look at that testimony this week from the police officers that was so moving and gripping, but in a way that I think the more important, fundamentally maybe more important testimony is still to come from people elsewhere in the federal government.

DEAN: That were adjacent and involved with all of this watching it happen. Nick, what do you think? Do you think the investigation can get by without President Trump's testimony? And if so, if you were participating, what witnesses are you looking at? Who would you be wanting to call in?

AKERMAN: Well, I think you'd want to call everybody that had any contact with Donald Trump during this period of time. I mean, right from the beginning, where he was fixed -- trying to fix an excuse for this election with this red mirage that he used. You get the people that were around them, all of his advisors. They do not have the right to claim executive privilege. Now, executive privilege belongs to the executive. Here at the executive has waived that privilege. Just like in Watergate with U.S. v. Nixon, with the Supreme Court said that you cannot use executive privilege to hide behind criminal activities and acts in furtherance of a crime. That is what's happening here.

All of these people are going to have to testify unless they take their own personal privilege, which is the 5th Amendment privilege and refuse to answer questions based on the ground that a truthful answer would tend to incriminate them.

What I would do is get all of that testimony down. Take every single fact you can, every moment that Donald Trump was dealing with this issue, get those people down on record, and then I would bring Donald Trump in and examine him on all of those facts. I think it's really important that the American people hear what Trump has to say, based on real facts, real evidence was gathered from the people that he spoke to.

DEAN: Well, and we know that that committee is working now to figure out who they're going to subpoena and maybe coming back from August recess to do some more work on it. Nick Akerman and Bill Kristol, as always, we appreciate your thoughts and your insight. Thanks for being with us.

KRISTOL: Thanks.

AKERMAN: Thank you.

DEAN: Well, they did the right thing. And now they're angry. The vaccinated Americans frustrated that the joy they felt just weeks ago now seems to be slipping away.



DEAN: In New York City, 10 people were hurt and a manhunt is underway after a mass shooting last night. Surveillance video capturing the moment just before the gunfire erupted. You see two people draw their guns before they walk out of view. They then followed by two more individuals on scooters.

Police say the two with guns fired numerous shots into a crowd before jumping onto the scooters and fleeing. All of the victims suffered non-life threatening injuries and are expected to be okay.

As stricter COVID rules and mandates return frustration is building especially among those who did their part and got vaccinated. And now they feel like they're being punished for the inaction of others. CNN's Dan Simon has that story.


MICHAEL BURNS, EDUCATIONAL SHOW HOST: The stakes of this seems so different to different people.

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): 36-year-old Michael Burns is angry, not because it contracted COVID but how and why he got it.

BURNS: Right before we get into it, we --

SIMON: The Los Angeles YouTube post lives in a state with one of the highest vaccination rates in the country. At least 75 percent of Californians have had a single dose, but like much of the country health officials say vaccine holdouts are causing a spike here with the highly transmissible Delta variant. And that has led to widespread frustration among those who have gotten their shots.

BURNS: You know, there are people who have been flaunting not being vaccinated or not wanting to be vaccinated in both Los Angeles and Southern California more generally, and it's extremely frustrating.

SIMON: Michael says he'd been cautious during the whole pandemic. In April he got the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. But two weeks ago, he had at least three friends came down with the virus after attending a crowded maskless concert which became a super spreader event.

(on camera): We're thinking I got vaccinated I can go everywhere without a mask things are fine.

BURNS: It was kind of our first big, you know, social outing since we'd all been vaccinated. First concert, you know, any of us had been through and a year and a half. And definitely the point where I think we were all feeling like things were getting slightly more safe and normal.

SIMON (voice-over): A few days later, he came down with minor symptoms first testing negative then the symptoms worsened and got tested again with the positive result. He's now recovered.

GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): California is open again.

SIMON: Last month with a confetti flying, California Governor Gavin Newsom heralded a new day for the state's 39 million population. Six weeks later, the state along with much of the nation finds itself in a different spot.

Last month, California hit a low of around 1,200 hospitalizations. Today there are nearly 4,000. And state health officials say more than 90 percent of California's population are living in an area with substantial or high levels of transmission.

MAYOR ERIC GARCETTI (D), LOS ANGELES: Right now over 90 percent of the people who are currently hospitalized with COVID over 90 percent are unvaccinated. And more than that 97 percent of the people dying from COVID are unvaccinated. As I've said many times before, you'll either get the vaccine or COVID. And I'll tell you which one of those can kill you.


ANN RODARTE, LOS ANGELES COUNTY RESIDENT: There's no joy. I'm not joyous anymore.

SIMON: The euphoria fell just weeks ago is evaporating.

RODARTE: I do you think it's disappointment, because it was a time for people to come together. And they're not.

PAULA STEWART, LOS ANGELES COUNTY RESIDENT: Angry and just disappointed and scared. You know, this is not going away.

SIMON: The case is causing worrying about school and office reopenings and many of the vaccinated fearing for their children who are too young to get the shot.

BURNS: I feel like there's been enough time for everyone to learn the stakes of the pandemic and I find it frustrating to see that people aren't thinking of themselves getting vaccinated as something that's responsible to do as a member of a community and to approach health in a community way. They're just thinking about it as a you know, you're really selfish terms.


DEAN: That was incredible. While after her case grabbed the world's attention, Amanda Knox is speaking out again blasting a new movie starring Matt Damon. We're going to tell you why, that's next.



DEAN: Amanda Knox is blasting a new movie starring Matt Damon claiming it's profiting off her life story and murder conviction, a conviction that was later overturned. You might -- you may recall Knox was convicted twice and eventually exonerated in Italy in the 2007 killing of her British roommate.

In the movie Stillwater, Matt Damon plays the Midwestern father of a college student being held in a European prison for murder. The director, Tom McCarthy, is acknowledged he used Knox's case as a loose inspiration for the film. But Knox says she never gave her consent and that the film makes her look guilty.

She wrote in The Atlantic, quote, by fictionalizing away my innocence, by erasing the role of the authorities in my wrongful conviction, McCarthy reinforces an image of me as guilty. And with Damon's star power, both are sure to profit handsomely off this imagined version of the Amanda Knox saga. That will leave plenty of viewers wondering maybe the real life Amanda was involved somehow, and Googling whether the film story is true. Knox spent four years in Italian prison before she was fully exonerated.

3,000 years, three major fates, one city in order to understand the conflict in the Middle East today, you have to know the complex story of Jerusalem's past. And tonight's only episode of the CNN Original Series, "Jerusalem, City of Faith and Fury" looks at the bloody conflict known as the Third Crusade. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Muslim leaders rule Jerusalem from 638 until the First Crusade and 1099 AD.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jerusalem is the focal point of the First Crusade. The aim is to recover Christ city from the hands of the Muslims.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jerusalem fell from nighty night. And the Crusaders were able to control a huge part of Syria and Palestine and they established the Kingdom of Jerusalem. And essentially, the ban the Muslims from living in the city.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because of the Muslims of the region wanted to throw out the Westerners.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And so this is what prompted the rise of Saladin to take back Jerusalem from the Christians who had taken it from the Muslims.


DEAN: You can watch "Jerusalem, City of Faith and Fury" tonight at 10:00 right here on CNN.

It might be the most expensive cake you will never eat, that is if you want a little slice of royalty/ A piece of cake from Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding 40 years ago is now up for auction and it's expected to go for nearly $300.

It features a coat of arms colored and gold, red, blue and silver. The slices from one of the 23 cakes made for the Royal Wedding but that's not all, also up for bidding printed ceremonial and order of service programs for the wedding. As well as Memorial Royal Wedding breakfast program. That auction will take place on August 11th.

Two CNN Heroes, doctors Jim Withers and Wendy Ross are going the extra mile to make sure the people they serve don't miss out on these life saving measures. CNNs Anderson Cooper has more.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): In Pittsburgh, Dr. Jim Withers brings medical care and now vaccines to those experiencing homelessness.

DR. JIM WITHERS, PEDIATRICIAN: Can I take a listen? I really have to go to where someone is and cut down those barriers.

If I had a lollipop, I'd give it to you.

When you provide something that can save a life and the lives of people that they come in contact with, it's a really unique and powerful feeling.

DR. WENDY ROSS, PEDIATRICIAN: Anthony. I just want to say hi. COOPER: In Philadelphia Dr. Wendy Ross's low stress sensory friendly vaccination clinic for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities like autism is a game changer.

ROSS: There's less waiting online and we provide tools like fidgets. All of our vaccinators are educated to be sensitive and have strategies for vaccinating this population.

Getting the vaccine to this population absolutely is saving lives. I just feel that everyone matters and has value and that everyone should be included.


DEAN: To learn more about the work Dr. Withers and Ross are doing, go to And that is going to do it for me. I'm Jessica Dean. Phil Mattingly picks up our live coverage after a quick break. Have a great night.