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Major 7.2 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Haiti; Children's Hospitals In U.S. Overwhelmed, Unable To Handle Rise In Cases; Taliban Seizes 21 Afghan Provincial Capitals; U.S. Deploying 3,000 Troops To Evacuate Embassy Personnel; Schwarzenegger On Mask, Vaccine Debates: Screw Your Freedom; Respiratory Therapist Calls On Schools To Keep Children Safe; New DHS Terrorism Bulletin Warns Of Potential Violence Ahead Of 9/11, Religious Holidays, But Also Alarming Amount Of Online Extremist Rhetoric. Aired 1-2p ET

Aired August 14, 2021 - 13:00   ET




BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Lamberth describing the attack as a "disgrace to our country".

HARRY LITMAN, FORMER UNITED STATES DEPUTY ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL: I think they are pissed away. Citizens are pissed and they're speaking partly for themselves and partly for the community.

TODD: The exasperation captured by Federal Judge Reggie Walton, who recently said of January 6th, "It's an embarrassment to me. It should be an embarrassment to every American."

TIMOTHY NAFTALI, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN (on camera): We should be listening to them, especially when these voices come from people appointed by different presidents of different parties.

In a sense, it's a wake-up call that the issues at stake in the investigation of January 6th, lie at the core of who we are.


TODD (on camera): Historian Tim Naftali points out not every politician in Washington is dropping the ball when it comes to speaking the truth about January 6th. He says Republicans like Representatives Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, and Democrats like President Biden do come out and talk about it. But unfortunately, he says they're often attacked when they do.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST (on camera): Hello again, everyone. Thank you so much for joining me. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

All right, we're following breaking news out of Haiti where authorities responding to a major earthquake this morning. Officials say there could be significant casualties and serious damage. The Haitian prime minister sending condolences to those who lost loved ones in this 7.2 magnitude quake. But at this point, we don't know how many people may have been killed.

This video showing the extent of the damage in some areas, streets buried in debris, buildings reduced to rubble. This disaster couldn't come at a much worse time as the country struggles with a political crisis following the assassination of its president last month. And we have named storms in the region.

Joining us right now, Patrick, Oppmann in Havana, Cuba. And Allison Chinchar in the CNN Weather Center. Patrick, you first. What are you hearing about the impact?

PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Well, we're -- didn't hear rising death toll, but of course, any numbers that we get at this moment are just going to be preliminary because officials have not been able to go into so many of the affected areas to remove injured and dead from the rubble.

We're seeing images of people being treated in the open air because, of course, there is a concern of aftershocks. There have been reports of aftershocks and that's when buildings that were damaged by the initial quake could come tumbling down. So, this remains a very dangerous, very fluid situation.

Haiti's Prime Minister Ariel Henry is saying that all of his government's resources will go into trying to save people who may still be trapped, trying to recover those dead bodies, and help people who are now left homeless. He says that he will be traveling to this region in the coming hours.

But, of course, as you mentioned, Fred, Haiti is just reeling. Of course, the -- I will never fully recovered -- the country never fully recovered from the 2010 earthquake. Haiti's president assassinated just last month. You have a new prime minister, this is his first major crisis. And a-groups are saying they are trying to help to make up for the difference, but of course, so much desperation, so much help is needed right now.

WHITFIELD: Indeed. Patrick, thank you so much.

Allison, with these storms circulating in the area, what is the potential impact?

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST (on camera): Yes, especially from Grace because Grace is the track, at least, brings it towards the island of Hispaniola over the next several days.

So, this is the location of where that 7.2 magnitude quake was. Here is the city of Port-au-Prince, you can see it was just off to the west. A lot of comparisons being made to that quake that happened in 2010. This one being a little bit stronger, but a little bit farther away from that very populated city.

One thing to note too is the amount of people that felt this particular quake. When you look at the population of it, half a million people felt very strong or severe shaking, 5 million people felt that moderate shaking.

Again, starting to see a lot of those damage pictures and videos coming in, one thing to note about the damage is a lot of these buildings are now structurally compromised because of that initial quake.

So, any subsequent aftershocks that you get could contribute to additional damage. Even if the buildings looking at them, for now, don't appear to be damaged. They could have that underlying damage. We've already had at least one 5.2 aftershock, several in the 4.0 range, and more of them are expected not only today but in the coming days. This is not something that just goes away right after.

A big concern is going to be Tropical Storm Grace, right now just east of the Leeward Islands, but the track does take it directly over the island of Hispaniola, including Dominican Republic and Haiti.

So, Haiti, a lot of these folks that are out there doing cleanup, trying to do recovery efforts, they are going to have to contend with gusty winds of very heavy rainfall at times, especially as we go into the day Monday and into Tuesday.

We could be looking at two to four inches of rain on top of this area as they're continuing to do the cleanup process.


CHINCHAR: Another concern going forward that's still going to be a risk is liquefaction. The bulk of the risk for liquefaction is going to be on that southwest corner. This is Port-au-Prince right here, the epicenter.

That liquefaction is really going to be closest to where that epicenter is. For folks who don't know what that is. Basically, what happens is when you have the initial quake, it destabilizes that soil directly underneath and mixes with the groundwater, effectively making the ground liquefy. It basically just becomes liquid.

And that's going to be a concern too, Fred, because not only did this happen because of the quake, but now you're going to be adding rainfall from the tropical storm on top of it.

WHITFIELD: Oh, my gosh, that's a mess, and potentially even more tragic.

All right, thank you so much to both of you. Appreciate it, Allison and Patrick.

All right, Susan Hoff is a seismologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. Susan's with us now. So, what does the data tell you about this quake?


HOUGH: So, you've already covered a lot of the basic information, it was a slightly larger earthquake than 2010. But significantly farther west than that earthquake. And so, that's made all the difference for Port-au-Prince. The shaking was a lot, most severe. There, it appears that there wasn't too much damage in the capital city.

It was the same fault system of the complicated fault system as the 2010 event. The -- so we're looking at the data to understand exactly how the fault kind of thing, the indications are that the earthquake broke to the west, the rupture actually moved on the pope to the west, which would have been helpful in this case, because it would have concentrated the strongest shaking in that direction. And the tip of the peninsula is relatively sparsely populated.

WHITFIELD: So, the difference in the quake from 2010 apparently, these -- you know, these areas are a little bit more than 100 kilometers, you know, apart. But some of your colleagues and in a lot less populated in this seaport town.

But some of your colleagues at the USGS are estimating that this quake could have a substantial impact on the populace and could lead to the deaths of thousands of people. So, based on what data are those estimates being made?

HOUGH: So, we can estimate the shaking severity from the earthquake. And then, from that, there are ways to estimate the impact on people, including loss of life. That's not a very precise science, because it depends on a lot of things that we can't estimate in advance.

The largest town, city that experienced strong shaking is Les Cayes on the southern peninsula. It has a lot of vulnerable concrete construction. And so, the question is, was shaking as strong as we expect, on average in that one location? Was it may be slightly lower than average for various reasons?

And so, the estimates of fatalities are often very, very wide. But yes, no, this was big enough. There are enough people in the area, there's so much vulnerable construction that were braced for the losses. Not on the part of 2010. That was a much more direct hit on capital cities.

WHITFIELD: So, tell me more about the differences or comparisons you're able to make to 2010? Yes, you've established the population differences of the area's hit. But what have you learned about the way in which this earthquake occurred?

You said it is generally the same fault line from 2010. But what other comparisons or contrasts are you able to make?

HOUGH: Well, so, was centered farther west. It was farther away from Port-au-Prince. And then it appears to have ruptured towards the west, and that sends the energy of -- it focuses in the direction that the fault is actually breaking. And so, that would have put Port-au-Prince behind the earthquake, if you will. Though, the shaking in Port-au-Prince was significantly lower. And that's the -- that's the big difference.

WHITFIELD: All right. We are, of course, all bracing and hoping for the best possible outcome for the people there. Susan Hough at the USGS, thank you so much for your time and expertise. Appreciate it.

HOUGH: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: All right, coming up, the Taliban, it's gaining more ground in Afghanistan with each passing hour. Another provincial capital falling today.


WHITFIELD: Plus, 94,000 cases in just one week. The number of children fighting coronavirus is growing and doctors worry the school mask debate will only land more children in hospitals.


WHITFIELD: Hospitals across the country are reaching critical mass as the coronavirus fueled by the Delta variant and the unvaccinated spirals out of control.

In a terrifying case of deja vu, some hospitals are being forced to build overflow facilities just as they did at the height of the pandemic last year. Take a look at these contrasting images which really are very similar.

In fact, they are nearly identical. Beds lining makeshift medical facilities. ICUs overflowing, doctors and nurses overwhelmed. Eight states now account for half of all U.S. hospitalizations.

And right now, the number of children hospitalized with COVID is skyrocketing in places like Louisiana, with one of the highest case rates in the country. The thought of reopening schools has hospitals bracing for the worst.

Here is CNN's Nick Valencia.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When you think of people infected with COVID-19, think of Nelson Alexis. The 17-year-old with Down's syndrome has been in the pediatric ICU at the Children's Hospital of New Orleans for a week. Every breath he takes is a struggle.


VALENCIA: It's hard to breathe. Is that helping that oxygen helping you?

A little more than a week ago, Nelson's parents knew something was wrong when he stopped eating. His mother says things got so bad. They thought he was about to die. When they brought him into the hospital, he was immediately placed in the ICU. His parents say he since lost 20 pounds.




ANTOINE BENNETT, 17-YEAR-OLD SON BATTLING COVID-19: And he was -- he was vomiting.

EDWARDS: He can't do anything. Yes.

BENNETT: He vomit a lot, he is sweating more.

EDWARDS: Oh, yes.

BENNETT: He expressed his discomfort more which is new.

VALENCIA: It's been a widely held belief throughout the COVID-19 pandemic that the virus doesn't get kids as sick as adults. But with the emergence of the Delta variant, that may be changing, especially here.

VALENCIA (on camera): The ICU is packed here with COVID patients. This small girl behind me isn't even 2 years old.

VALENCIA (voice-over): There are 18 children being treated for COVID here, six are in the pediatric ICU.

Kendall Jaffe is one of the ICU nurses. She's worked here throughout the pandemic and says it's never been this bad.

KENDALL JAFFE, ICU NURSE, CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL, NEW ORLEANS: Over the last year, we haven't seen as many kids get acute COVID lung disease as much as we're seeing now. That Delta variant is definitely hitting them a lot harder, a lot faster than we had seen in the past.

VALENCIA: It's a game-changer.

JAFFE: It is. The kids are definitely sicker than they have been.

VALENCIA: The surge across the country of COVID-19 cases among children is alarming. The American Academy of Pediatrics says there's been almost 94,000 reported cases counted in kids, and the week ending August 5th, calling it a substantial increase from a week before.

Chief Physician Dr. Mark Kline says it's disorienting and unnecessary to see so many children suffering from the virus.

DR. MARK KLINE, PHYSICIAN-IN-CHIEF, CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL, NEW ORLEANS: Our ticket out of this is vaccination, vaccination of every eligible adult, of every eligible adolescent.

VALENCIA (on camera): You know your mom and dad are really worried about you. The doctors here are helping you out a lot. VALENCIA (voice-over): For Nelson and his parents, his diagnosis has made the family reconsider getting vaccinated. Until now, they said they didn't want to get the shot because they weren't sick. Although he is on the road to recovery, they say. Seeing their son fight for his life has been rethinking their decisions.

EDWARDS: That would heed everyone to take precaution because it is serious. It's serious, and no one wants to sit out here and watch their child fight for their life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to go home.

EDWARDS: You want to go home. I know, we're getting there. We're getting there.


VALENCIA: (on camera): We know those images are difficult to see, especially for parents. But this is the sad reality of COVID in this country today. Inside the Children's Hospital, we saw babies some of them just a few weeks old, struggling to fill their tiny lungs with air.

And what's even more troubling is what doctors say here, they expect to happen is with the school year starting back up that we're nowhere near as bad as it will ultimately get. Nick Valencia, CNN, New Orleans.

WHITFIELD: All right, let's talk about all this now. I'm joining us right now with Dr. Sally Goza, who is a pediatrician and a former president of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

So good to see you, Dr. Goza.

DR. SALLY GOZA, FORMER PRESIDENT, AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS: Thank you for having me today about this important topic.

WHITFIELD: It really is important, I just wonder what your thoughts are about what is going through the minds of anyone who objects to say mask-wearing for young people, especially when you look at the pictures of young people who are suffering, who are fighting COVID.

GOZA: You know, this is not last year's COVID. This one is worse, and our children are the ones that are going to be affected by it the most. And what the American Academy of Pediatrics has said all along, is that we have to have layers of protection for our children, especially as I go back to school, which is so important, and we want them in school. But we have to have good hand washing, we have to have physical distancing, and we need universal masking in our schools to keep our children safe.

WHITFIELD: So, we've now seen, you know, the devastating effects of this Delta variant in children. What role are you playing to help convey the importance of mask-wearing, but then, you do have parents, adults, you know, saying they object to their kids wearing masks in school for a litany of reasons. GOZA: You know, we are just getting out there and trying to say this is such a simple way, a simple way to protect our children. It's like we're being in a car seat or a seatbelt. Or wearing a bicycle helmet. It's such a simple way to protect our children.

We know mask work. We were in the hospital during -- with respiratory patients all the time. And we know from what we've seen over the last year that masks work, there are multiple studies that show that masks work.

WHITFIELD: And then what do you say to parents, you know, who are, at this point, rather frightened about sending their unvaccinated kids in schools because there are a number of teachers who don't have to be vaccinated, and because perhaps masks are not being required in their schools.


GOZA: What we know is that vaccines work and that we are encouraging everyone that is eligible to get a vaccine. That is our number one way to protect everybody is to get as many people as we can vaccinated.

And for those that can't be vaccinated, we need to do the things I just said, we need universal mask-wearing indoors when they're in school, we need physical distancing, and we need good hand washing and good ventilation.

Those are the things we know worked last year when children were in school, and they'll work this year, we just need to have those in place.

WHITFIELD: The FDA still has not granted access, you know, to the vaccine for children under 12. In your view, is it taking too long?

GOZA: You know, we are encouraging them to get the vaccines approved for that age group as fast as they can. With the scientific data on COVID-19 vaccines as well as the 70 years of vaccinology knowledge in children, the age truly believes the clinical trials in children can be safely conducted with the two months safety follow-up in the participants.

And we're encouraging the FDA with what's going on with this Delta variant to move as quickly as they can to get the vaccine approve.


WHITFIELD: So, what do you believe the holdup is?

GOZA: You know, I think it's a caution. They want to be as safe as they can. But with what our infectious disease doctors who do clinical trials in vaccines will tell you is that a two-month safety follow-up is really fairly is adequate for this. And so, we're just going to keep pushing and trying to encourage them to get it approved as quickly as they can.

WHITFIELD: And you know, we've seen at least a couple of state governors, like in Florida and Texas ban mask mandates in schools. And that's being challenged in the courts too. But as we see more children end up in the hospital, should those state leaders in your view, or what will it take for those state leaders, I should say, to rethink these positions.

GOZA: I think we need parents who believe that they -- to -- they want to protect their children as much as they can, and who believe in mask to get out there and tell their leaders, their local leaders that they believe that children should be wearing masks in school.

We need an uprising of the people who believe in keeping our children safe. And with all the layers that we can have. It's like a Swiss cheese. With all of those things in place, the virus is going to be caught in many places, but with only a few. With all the layers, we won't have that protection. And so we just need to keep telling our leaders that we need children to be wearing masks in school.

WHITFIELD: And Dr. Goza, I imagined this has to be a really confusing time for our kids. Because, you know, a lot of our kids, I mean, mine include are willingly wearing the mask to school, whether required or not.

But then outside of schools, we're seeing parents or at least adults who are holding up placards, who are saying unmask our kids, who are protesting vociferously, loudly outside of, you know, the kid's schools. It has to be really frightening.

What do we tell our young people when parents might be telling them to do one thing, but then there is this public animus saying another

GOZA: I think we have to be very honest with our children and that some people can disagree and it's OK to disagree, and they're being very vocal about it. That what you want to do for your child is give them every protection they can -- you can give them against this virus.

And just let them know that you're doing everything you can to protect them and just be honest with them about what's going on in the -- with the protesting.

WHITFIELD: All right, Dr. Sally Goza, thank you so much. Thanks for what you do. Appreciate it.

GOZA: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: All right, straight ahead. The climate crisis is hitting consumers in their wallets how the extreme weather could impact your next trip to the grocery store? Coming up.



WHITFIELD: The Taliban today continuing its surge across Afghanistan, seizing control of more provincial capitals. The militant group now controls 21 of the country's 34 capitals and you can see just how much territory has been captured by the militant group.

3,000 U.S. troops are arriving in the capital of Kabul this weekend. And they are there to help protect the U.S. Embassy as it prepares to start drawing down personnel.

Embassy staff, also being told to destroy sensitive documents before they go. CNN White House reporter Natasha Bertrand joining us now.

So, Natasha, full evacuation of the embassy is not being called for at this point?

NATASHA BERTRAND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER (on camera): Not quite yet Fred, but the situation is coming down to the wire. As you said, U.S. embassy staff, they are being told to destroy any sensitive records and to remove anything that could be used as propaganda. Something like American flags, for example, if the Taliban were to overrun the city and in turn overrun the embassy.

So, right now, what we're waiting to see is whether U.S. officials start to determine that a full evacuation of the city is going to be necessary. They are not ruling that out in private conversations. They are saying that, that could be possible, and perhaps not by the end of this month, but certainly in the near term.

Now, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said yesterday that the U.S. does not believe that the fall of Kabul is imminent. So, take a listen.


REAR ADM. JOHN KIRBY (RET.), PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY: The city itself, as you and I speak, is not under an imminent threat of collapse at this point. But obviously, we're watching this closely. We wouldn't have made this decision to send in another 3,000 troops if we weren't mindful of the deteriorating security situation there.



BERTRAND: So 3,000 troops is obviously a heavy lift, heavy presence there to help with the evacuation of embassy personnel.

There's going to be core diplomatic presence that remains, but whether or not they, too, are evacuated remains to be seen.

I think there's an acknowledgement here by U.S. officials, by the White House that there may need to be a broader evacuation, which is why there's a contingency plan in the works to move the embassy out of Kabul and to the Kabul airport to facilitate a quicker evacuation of all U.S. personnel if necessary -- Fred?

WHITFIELD: All right. Natasha Bertrand, in Washington, thank you so much for that.

Still ahead, Arnold Schwarzenegger fights back against anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers. His powerful message coming up.

Plus, I'll talk live with a respiratory therapist who is pleading with schools to keep children safe.



WHITFIELD: Welcome back.

Former governor and actor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, has a frank message for those arguing against masks and COVID vaccines. Listen.


ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, FORMER CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR & FORMER ACTOR: Screw your freedom because with freedom comes obligations and responsibilities.

It is like no different than the traffic light. You put the light at the intersection so someone doesn't kill someone else by accident.


WHITFIELD: The former California governor followed up his sentiments with an op-ed he penned this week in "The Atlantic, saying, quote, "Don't be a schmuck. Wear a mask."

Writing in part, "I'll admit calling people schmucks and saying screw your freedom was a little much, even if I stand by the sentiment. But there's nothing I am more passionate about than keeping America great and it is the only subject that can make me lose my temper."

New Mexico is warning people that they will be prosecuted if they forge vaccination cards. It has been a problem all around the country as people try to get around vaccine requirements.

The governor laid her message out in plain terms saying state authorities are, quote, "poised to trace that behavior with the full weight of the law," end quote.

At least 14 states will require K-12 students to wear masks in schools this year. While officials in seven states have taken steps to prevent local school districts from requiring masks.

Current CDC guidance calls for anyone not vaccinated to wear masks in schools. But face coverings in schools continues to provoke outrage in some corners.

In fact, a school board meeting in Tennessee devolved into chaos earlier this week after officials approved a temporary mask requirement for local elementary schools inside the meeting.

One parent shared this message.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CALITA PERKINS, RESPIRATORY THERAPIST & PARENT: Our local children's hospital is on the verge right now and we're just within the first week of school.

Yes, no more masks sounds good until it effects your family personally.

It's out duty to protect our children. And we don't have time to wait for others to get vaccinated.

What we can do is agree masks will slow the spread. It is the best defense right now to keep some type of normality in our community.

So let's join arms to protect our children during these unprecedented times while we have the chance.


Joining me now to discuss is that Tennessee parent, Calita Perkins. She's also a respiratory therapist, who is joining us from work.

Calita, we saw you in the school board meeting. We're so glad you could be with us so we can hear more about your sentiment.

Is it your feeling that people just don't have a clear understanding of how much worse it would be to be intubated, for kids to be intubated, rather than whatever discomfort may come from wearing a mask?

PERKINS: As a medical professional, it is a different world from reality.

And as a parent, as a health care provider, I'm trying to stand in the gap to inform these people that this virus is killing folks. It is really, really serious.

Yes. Most of our patients get intubated. Once intubated, you're not going back to work.

It is common for patients to get tracheostomies, tracheotomies, and have dialysis regularly. The virus is causing kidney failure, liver disease, strokes.

So no, you're not going back home, you're not going back to work anytime soon, if you make it off the COVID unit.

And if you make it off the COVID unit, you may be going home with supplemental oxygen because you're still having a hard time breathing.

So I wish I could take a small camera in the units and really show these people.

If I wasn't in the health care industry, I would so appreciate another mother or health care advocate to, you know, guide me, tell me what I should do, what's the best thing to do to help my family and the community? [13:40:09]

WHITFIELD: Yes. I mean, I hear you loud and clear.


WHITFIELD: If you're lucky enough to survive COVID, you are still not going to be able to resume the life that you once knew before COVID because of lasting repercussions.

But Tennessee remains one of a handful of states where the number of children hospitalized with COVID more than doubled over the last week alone.

And new data from the CDC is showing children now account for a larger share of hospitalizations across the nation than they did in January.

One would think that would be enough to convince parents to do everything possible to keep their children safe and not be amongst ranks that you felt during the school board meeting, contesting the idea of mask wearing.

I mean, how do you explain this outrage and the threats? Where is all this coming from in your view?

PERKINS: It is fine to be parent choice when it is just your child but it can't be parent choice if it effects every child.

It's a mask. It's free. It's air. It's light.

If your mask gets soiled, there are disposable masks at the schools to change into. They are free. They cost nothing.

This is what I have to go to work in for 13 hours a day. This is hard to breathe in. We get sores across the nose.

No, we don't get facial rashes or have any type of respiratory distress or pneumonia or anything.

But I have goggles, I have so much gear on me. And it gets hot in those rooms. Takes time to go in and get dressed and come out.

And I just wish parents would get it. I don't know what else to --


WHITFIELD: What will it take for the parents that don't get it now to get it? I remember hearing from one of the women in a school board meeting that said these masks keep my child from breathing.

PERKINS: When we went to school last year, there was a mask mandate. If you wanted your child in school, you had to wear the mask.

If you want to go to the grocery store, if there's a mask mandate, you have to wear the mask.

If you want to go to any other facility, you have to wear the mask. You will comply.

These kids are resilient. It is the parents that have the problem with the kids wearing the masks because they want to have control I guess.

They're making it political. It is not political.

We're just trying to protect you and your family. And if you don't heed to it now, it is not a matter of if you'll get it, you're going to get it.

You can't taste it, you can't touch it, you can't feel it, but it's there, and it's going to get you one way or the other.

I think a lot of parents tend to look at their little bubble -- are you there? I'm sorry.

WHITFIELD: I'm listening.

PERKINS: OK. I think they're enclosed in their own bubble.

And they may have known someone who had COVID but they didn't get as sick, they didn't show signs or symptoms or anything. And they don't see what we see.

Maybe they do. I don't know. I would think if they saw or had a loved one that had gotten sick or ill -- as many people died in this world, I would think everybody knows someone that died from COVID or have gotten severely disabled due to the COVID disease.

So I don't know. I guess everybody is in denial, scared to go back down to shutdown. I don't know.

WHITFIELD: I got you. And I hear your frustration. I don't know what more you or anybody really can say to help underscore how dangerous, how life-and-death these decisions are.

And you talk about our children now, too. The most responsible thing we as adults can do but live by example, do the right thing, help keep them safe.

Calita Perkins, thank you so much for taking a stand, as you have, and continuing to be on the front line to help and protect our children. Appreciate it.

PERKINS: Thank you.


WHITFIELD: And we'll be right back.


WHITFIELD: A just-released national terrorism advisory bulletin is warning of potential for violence surrounding the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, as well as upcoming religious holidays. This comes as the intelligence chief at Homeland Security is warning

of an alarming amount of online chatter right now from domestic extremists.

For more, let's bring in Marshall Cohen.

Marshall, good to see you.

What more can you tell us about these warnings?

MARSHALL COHEN, CNN REPORTER: Hey, Fred. The incredible part about this warning is it's warning Americans about dangers from other Americans.

A lot is fueled by conspiracy theories, disinformation, a lot of it about COVID.


But also a lot of it is about 2020 election and the lies and just ridiculous stuff that's still being flung around in our political discourse, including claims it was rigged, some claims that President Trump might also be reinstates.

And as you mentioned, the intelligent chief from DHS told our colleague that a lot it is reminiscent of the run-up to January 6th.

So it's a very alarming report -- Fred?

WHITFIELD: So you also have some reporting on judges becoming more outspoken as capital riot suspects remain defiant over their actions. What can you tell us about that?

COHEN: Yes. It's all part of the same situation. Because some people are not letting go of what they think happened on January 6th. They've got their side of the story and some of the rioters are sticking to it.

And they're getting rebuked by judges who sit in a courtroom, Fred, literally down the street from the capitol, so they know exactly what happened. They saw a lot of it with their own eyes.

Let me give you a quote from one of these judges, Federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson, as she was sentencing one of the rioters.

Speaking directly to the rioter, she said, quote, "You call yourself and everyone else patriots but that's not patriotism. Patriotism is loyalty to country, loyalty to the Constitution, not loyalty to a head of state. That is the tyranny we rejected on July 4th."

So she is bringing up the themes of the American Revolution, what was fought against, the tyranny, and trying to make sure we have a democracy in this country.

And she said you are not standing up for democracy, but we will.

WHITFIELD: Marshall Cohen, thank you so much, in Washington.

All right, up next, sticker shock at the grocery store. How the extreme weather is impacting prices.

But first, Zion National Park was the third most visited national park last year. Here's how you can see its grandeur and avoid its grand crowds in this week's "OFF THE BEATEN PATH."


AMANDA ROWLAND, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER, ZION NATIONAL PARK: Zion National Park is one of the most visited national parks in the country.


ROWLAND: However, if you want to come up the scenic drive, you need to take our shuttle.

We do have e-bikes that are in town and available for rent.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Four is going to be your most peddle assist. It tops out at about 20 miles per hour.

ROWLAND: The bicycle experience at Zion National Park is really unique. As you're pedaling, the canyon is kind of growing around you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With this, it makes it unbelievably easy and cool and fun.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And the nice thing is you can stop whenever you want to. You get to see so much more of the park.

MARK WADE, DIRECTOR OF MARKETING, EAST ZION ADVENTURES: All right, it looks like we're all geared up. So let's start our canyoneering.

So welcome to the east side of Zion National Park. We're actually outside the park boundaries. And we're in a place called the Slot Canyon.

We're repelling off of high cliffs into narrow spaces. We actually walk down through these convoluted curvy walls enjoying the reflected light we see down in there and repel down into a deeper spot in the canyon.


WADE: As you go down through there, you're touching your hands against grains of sand of these sandstone cliffs.


As the light from the sun is bouncing off the high canyon walls and down into the ethereal basement of the Slot Canyon, it almost feels like you're in this different world.




WHITFIELD: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association said July was the hottest month ever recorded.

And not only is the extreme weather hurting our planet but also ruining crops around the world.

According to the U.N.'s Food and Agricultural Organization, food prices are up 31 percent over the past year.

CNN's Matt Egan tells us what's more expensive at the grocery stores.

MATT EGAN, CNN BUSINESS LEAD WRITER: Fred, here's yet another reason to care about the climate crisis. It's making your food more expensive.

From devastating droughts to crippling frost, extreme weather is becoming more common. And that is creating nightmares for farmers.

Let me give you just a few examples.

Severe frost in Brazil is damaging coffee crops. Dry weather in much of North America is hurting sugar crops. And historic droughts in the west, that's crushing wheat.

In Washington State, a staggering 93 percent of the spring wheat crop is in poor or very poor condition because of droughts.

And all of this, as you would imagine, is impacting pricing. Wheat futures up more than 40 percent over the last year. Coffee and sugar up more than 50 percent.

It may take time for these price spikes to trickle down to what you're paying at the store but, eventually, these costs will get passed on to consumers.

And this is a global problem. World food prices have soared by 31 percent over the past year.

We also just learned that last month was the hottest month ever. That's based on records going back to 1880.

Of course, extreme weather is not the only reason why food prices are going up. There are other factors at play.

Beyond droughts, there's worker shortages, including the agricultural sector.