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Biden Shifts Tone On Pandemic As Delta Variant Rages Country; Interview With Miami Mayor Francis Suarez (R); Interview With Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan (R); Expiring Eviction Ban Leaves Millions Of Renters In Limbo; Rep. Cori Bush Slept On U.S. Capitol Steps In Last- Ditch Effort To Get Colleagues To Vote To Extend Moratorium; My Pillow CEO Pulls Ads From Once-Friendly Fox News; Lollapalooza Underway In Chicago With Large Crowds Amid Delta Variant Spread. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired July 31, 2021 - 15:00   ET



BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN HOST: Buenas tardes. Good afternoon, you're live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Boris Sanchez in for Jim Acosta.

Restrictions are back as the Delta variant fuels a rise in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations. The president of the United States warning that Americans should soon expect new guidelines and limitations. And even though the Biden administration says we are not headed back into lockdowns, the CDC's new mask guidance has triggered mask mandates in New Orleans, Washington, D.C., even Broadway theaters, and it's now under consideration in San Francisco and New York.

The need for a full-court press against the virus is evident, and a brand-new report released by the CDC, it shows how the Delta variant is targeting the unvaccinated, estimating that vaccines reduce the risk of severe disease or death tenfold or more. The report also shows that vaccinated people can still spread the virus even though that's within the 0.1 percent range of likelihood. To be clear, the bulk of the spread is driven by the unvaccinated.

And Delta is spreading rapidly. One expert saying it travels just like smoke from a cigarette. Officials expect this surge to worsen as long as big portions of the country remain unvaccinated. One infectious disease expert last night telling CNN's Don Lemon where this could be headed.


DR. WILLIAM HASELTINE, INFECTIOUS DISEASE EXPERT: We've been behind the eight ball for far too long. We've got to catch up, and we've got to use every tool at our disposal because the virus we're seeing today, as bad as it is, is not as bad as it can get.


SANCHEZ: Let's get over to the White House and CNN senior Washington correspondent Joe Johns who joins us now.

Joe, the Delta variant quickly changing the war, as the CDC put it, against coronavirus. How is the White House responding?

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, Boris, there's been this real advance and retreat on messaging out of the entire administration, quite frankly, over the last few days. On the one hand as you reported with the Centers for Disease Control really sounding the alarm about the situation the country is in. But in the briefing room that we hear, there's not going to be at least currently contemplated any type of a mandate for vaccinations.

The one thing we do know, not just from COVID, not just from Delta, but from multiple health care crises over the years that the message coming out of government needs to be consistent or people get confused.

But the other problem that it's pretty clear from the reporting of colleagues here at the White House is the president is very concerned about doing anything that could be counterproductive in the sort of polarized political environment over COVID. Concerned obviously that if he does the wrong thing, he could lead people away from getting the vaccine instead of getting the shot. So into all of this, the president himself weighed in on departure to Camp David. Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Mr. President, can Americans expect more guidelines coming out, more restrictions because of COVID?

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In all probability. By the way, we had a good day yesterday. Almost a million people got vaccinated.


JOHNS: So it's also clear, pretty clear at least that the president is frustrated with the current events, especially because he feels his agenda for other things is getting obscured by what's happening with the Delta variant right now in the United States.

And I must add, Boris, as you well know, there is that deadline coming up this evening on evictions. And that, too, just adds more worries in this whole COVID hyper climate if you will. Back to you.

SANCHEZ: Yes. No question. It also overshadows a potential accomplishment on the horizon with that bipartisan infrastructure package that they've been debating about for so long.

Joe Johns from the White House, thank you so much.

Let's get straight to an expert. CNN medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen joins us now. She's the author of "Lifelines: A Doctor's Journey in the Fight for Public Health."


Dr. Wen, always appreciate your expertise. This CDC report is causing a lot of confusion and frustration, reportedly even in the White House because we now know that vaccinated people can spread that highly infectious Delta variant, though breakthrough cases are still extremely rare. Help us understand the numbers. Put that report into context for us.

DR. LEANA WEN, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Well, Boris, the two things that you said just now, that's exactly right. So there are two things that are true at the same time. One is we do know now that the vaccines that we have protect extremely well against severe illness, severe enough to cause hospitalization and death. They also protect well against infection. Although some people will have these breakthrough infections, they could still transmit the Delta variant to others. So that is true.

And what that means is for some individuals like myself who live at home with unvaccinated children or with elderly immunocompromised individuals, we should take additional precautions. For example, we should make sure that if we are indoors in public places, we should be masking so that we don't bring back the virus to our family members. But at the same time, we know that the vast majority of the spread is still by unvaccinated people.

And I think that that is the part that's been lost in the messaging from the CDC, that I think the White House is now trying to clean up, frankly, which is that the problem is not with the vaccinated. The problem remains with the unvaccinated. And the way that we can get out of this pandemic is to increase vaccination rates.

SANCHEZ: No question. Many Americans are confused by that shifting CDC guidance. Even the CDC's internal documents reflect some of that frustration and the challenges the CDC has had in communicating effectively during the surge.

How can they now try to fix this messaging issue? What should the message from the CDC be right now?

WEN: I think the CDC should take a step back and say, you know what, we changed this guidance not because of this new research but because of the mistake that we made back in May. Back in May when the CDC first issued their guidance about what vaccinated people can be doing, that was misunderstood as this is what everybody should be able to do. And so the unvaccinated started behaving as if they were vaccinated.

They took off their masks, they began resuming pre-pandemic activities. And that's the reason why we have the surges that we're now seeing. So the CDC should actually be saying, look, the reason we're doing indoor mandates is because the unvaccinated cannot be trusted to put on masks. And so that's why the vaccinated also have to be putting on masks, as well.

I really think that that would clarify things because ultimately the issue is the unvaccinated. They really need to prevent this idea from taking over that somehow the vaccines don't work because that's exactly the opposite of what the CDC data are showing. But somehow that's getting misunderstood because of their own poor messaging.

SANCHEZ: Dr. Wen, I appreciate you putting this into context for us. I do want to ask about something that I've heard from some doctors that I've spoken with who think that it's possible that breakthrough cases are underreported, that the CDC has to collect more information, for instance, on whether people who are vaccinated and do get COVID can spread the virus even while asymptomatic.

I'm curious as to what other data you would want to see from the CDC before they issue any further new guidance.

WEN: Yes, that's a key point, and actually many public health experts including myself have been calling on the CDC to get more data. I mean, I wrote a paper along with David Holtgrave and Sten Vermund for JAMA, the "Journal of the American Medical Association," exactly pointing out this point that we are blind without data. This happened during the Trump administration and we called out the Trump administration for it.

Just because you're not testing doesn't mean that the cases don't exist. It just means that you don't know about it. And so I think it was a major mistake for the CDC back in April and May when they stopped collecting information on breakthrough infections. I do think that that's really important. We need to understand for breakthrough infections how common they are, who is getting breakthrough infections.

Is it people of a certain age? Is it -- does it tend to be people with underlying medical conditions? That's really important. How long after vaccination are they getting breakthrough infections, because that also shows, is immunity waning in some way?

Then we also need more information about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. There are a lot of people including myself who got the J&J one-dose vaccine. We also need to know, is there a higher chance of breakthrough infections with the J&J vaccine and therefore might we need boosters sooner.

Third, do people with breakthrough infections, do they have long-haul COVID or not? And then the fourth is the question that you're pointing out. We do know that if you have a breakthrough infection and you're symptomatic, you could transmit COVID-19 to others. But if you're asymptomatic, are you still able to transmit COVID-19? That's the critical question I think for many people who live at home with vulnerable family members.

The CDC always has that data. I really don't understand at this point how Israel, the U.K., they are so far ahead of us in data collection.


The CDC is supposed to be the premiere public health institution of the world. Where are their data?

SANCHEZ: Yes, hopefully we get some answers soon. I think the underlying message to get out there is that one way to help accelerate the end of this pandemic is simply just to get vaccinated, and Dr. Leana Wen, we appreciate you spreading that message. Thanks for the time. WEN: Thank you.

SANCHEZ: Of course.

Now to the coronavirus crisis in Florida. The state seeing a more than 144 percent jump in new infections in the last two weeks. Despite the surge, Governor Ron DeSantis has said there will be no lockdowns, no school closures, no restrictions, nor mandates in the state. In addition, he just signed an executive order that will let parents rather than schools decide whether their kids need to wear masks in the classroom. Listen.


GOV. RON DESANTIS (R), FLORIDA: I have young kids. My wife and I are not going 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 got to wear it properly. My kids ain't going to wear that thing properly, you know that.



SANCHEZ: Joining us now is the Republican mayor of Miami, Francis Suarez.

Mayor, appreciate you making some time for us this weekend. Cases have been trending in the wrong direction in Miami-Dade County. We just learned the new case positivity rate for 12 to 19-year-olds is up 22 percent from the previous week, and that's an important group especially as we consider the way that this virus spreads to more vulnerable populations.

So, Mayor, what's your message to Governor Ron DeSantis given his hands-off approach?

MAYOR FRANCIS SUAREZ (R), MIAMI, FLORIDA: Well, I mean, my position has always been the same, you know, throughout this pandemic which is that the local governments should be the ones that have the ability to make these decisions. That's -- you know, a principle (INAUDIBLE) subsidiary, that's a principle that should be sort of a Republican principle, sort of a federalist principle where, you know, the governments that are closest to the people should be making these decisions.

You know, every city in Florida is different. There's a lot of cities in Florida, there are many areas that are suburban, many areas that are rural, you know, many areas that are dense cities like ours. And so, you know, at the beginning of this pandemic, the governor did allow all cities to essentially make their own rules and was working very closely with them.

At some point he pivoted away from that. But I think that's the better posture. And that's -- that's what allows every city to tailor the -- you know, their regulations to what's happening on the ground.

SANCHEZ: So you would counsel him to move away from this sort of blanket anti-mandate approach?

SUAREZ: Yes. My position with him, and I've spoken to him about it multiple occasions, has been always the same, which is look, give the cities, every city's different, our city's probably the most dense, the most populous city in the whole entire state of Florida, give them each the ability to make their own set of rules. We had that, he gave us that for a very long time actually, for I would say the vast majority of the time that we were in this pandemic.

At some point he pivoted away from that. And I think that that's something that all cities should be able to do because we're the ones that understand. And like you said, how fluid and dynamic the situation is day to day, and we can make decisions that are tailor- made that only affect us and don't affect everyone else.

SANCHEZ: Now, Mayor, the state of Florida reported more than 110,000 new COVID cases this past week. That's up by more than 37,000 cases from the week before. I wonder when you talk to people in Miami that might be hesitant to get vaccinated, I know quite a few, I'm actually from that area, what are their main concerns when you talk to them, and what do you tell them to try to convince them, as someone who's had COVID?

SUAREZ: Sure. Well, look, the numbers speak for themselves. I think the numbers are that 99 percent of people that are vaccinated, at least according to what the former Department of Emergency Management told me yesterday, do not get serious complications.

So if you're vaccinated, it doesn't mean you're not going to potentially get COVID again, people have gotten COVID that are already vaccinated, but it diminishes the chance that you could have a serious complication as a result of getting COVID.

We have -- we've done actually I think better than many expected. We have 74 percent of our population has received at least one dose. I think it's 99 percent of our elderly population has received at least one dose. That's 99 percent. So I think that, you know, we focused a lot on that population for obvious reasons, they're the ones that are the most vulnerable, they're the ones where we've seen the death rate the highest.

And so we're going to continue to push that message because the numbers are very clear. If you're vaccinated, you have a very good chance of not getting COVID because you're vaccinated, and you have a very good chance if you do get COVID that it's a much milder case.


SANCHEZ: Mayor, I want to play for you an interaction that my colleague, CNN's Randi Kaye, had with a nurse in Florida about what she had been witnessing. Listen to this.


TAMMY DANIEL, CHIEF NURSING OFFICER, BAPTIST HEALTH: We're getting ready to intubate the patient in the ICU, which means putting them on a ventilator. And they said, if I get the vaccine now, could I not go on the ventilator? So, I mean, they're begging for it. They're desperate because they're gasping for air. They can't breathe. They are scared. They feel like they're going to pass away.


SANCHEZ: We hear anecdote after anecdote just like that. What goes through your mind when you hear that?

SUAREZ: You know, it's so sad. I mean, I lost an uncle who was in a place where the vaccine at that point was not readily available and -- it was readily available two weeks later. Had he received the vaccine, he may still be here with us. So it's incredibly heart-wrenching to hear stories like that. You know, so many people have been lost to this virus. Many of which could have been prevented had people been vaccinated appropriately.

So it's just -- it's heartbreaking. And you know how many families have been affected by this, so many of them. People in -- the other part is people have not been able to say good-bye to a lot of their loved ones because of this pandemic. And I think that's been another part of the pandemic that is -- doesn't get spoken about enough.

SANCHEZ: Mayor, we're sorry for your loss. And I do want to ask you a question -- I want to pivot quickly and get in a question about Cuba, an issue that I think is important to both of us.

SUAREZ: Yes. Sure.

SANCHEZ: You remain one of the only public figures who's come out in support of the Biden administration potentially intervening on behalf of protesters on the island with military force. Should the United States Military launch an intervention in Cuba? Do you think that's what the dissidents on the island want?

SUAREZ: Oh, I think there's no doubt that the dissidents on the island want the U.S. to intervene and to help them. They have absolutely no way to defend themselves. If you see the images of what's happening in Cuba, they are being beaten with sticks.

They're screaming for liberty, but they have no way of effectuating that. So my position, which you're right, I'm the only one that's said it, and I stand by it because the United States of America throughout the history of humanity has always been a force for good.

And I remember, you know, I think it was Colin Powell where he said the only land that the United States has ever acquired as a result of our intervention has been enough to bury our soldiers. But that's something we've done throughout the course of humanity and history. And so taking that off the table, I don't think it's a good idea. I don't think it's a good idea not only to reference Cuba, I think it

sends the wrong message to bad actors like China and Russia who have been infiltrating this region in South America and in Central America more and more, and who have territorial ambitions in their own hemisphere with the China sea, with Taiwan, and with what we're seeing in Syria and in the former Soviet bloc countries.

So I just -- I think that, you know, at the end of the day the United States has to make a decision, what is the end goal? Is the end goal to free the people, help the people of Cuba free themselves, or is the end goal to just do a few things that are going to help us make us feel better about ourselves and what we're trying to do and to say, hey, you guys are on your own? And if they're on their own, it's going to be very, very difficult given the fact that they can't defend themselves.

SANCHEZ: Some would argue that military intervention by the United States for 50 years is ultimately what led to Fidel Castro. So there's a counterpoint there. A conversation unfortunately that we have to leave for another day.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, appreciate the time. Muchas gracias. We'll be in touch.

SUAREZ: And I love to have it. Any time.

SANCHEZ: Thanks.

Coming up, coronavirus cases in Georgia up more than 200 percent in the last two weeks. And now the capital city of Atlanta is at odds with the governor over mask mandates. We'll get reaction from the state's lieutenant governor after a quick break. Stay with us.



SANCHEZ: The coronavirus surge in Georgia is reaching levels not seen since before COVID vaccines became widely available. Deaths are up 18 percent as new cases spike 230 percent, 230 percent in the past two weeks. That's reaching the highest total since mid-February. It could unfortunately get worse since less than 40 percent of Georgians are fully vaccinated.

Earlier today hundreds showed up to a vaccine drive in DeKalb County where each person received a shot and 50 bucks.

CNN caught up with Vincent, one of these newly vaccinated Georgians. Here's some of what he shared with us.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: If are you unvaccinated, you're 25 times more likely to end up in the hospital or die from COVID.

VINCENT JAY, VACCINE RECIPIENT: Right. Right. That too. UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: So, I mean, that's an incentive --

JAY: Yes. I've been listening to all of that. But really -- like I said, the money is what got me here. You know, the bottom line. But I know eventually they're going to have to go up because some people are only going to come for an incentive. You know, they just don't care or are scared of the vaccine or whatever. But you throw an incentive behind it, and you know, people will do it. It's like some things people wouldn't do because it's dangerous, but if you pay them enough money, they'll -- you know, they'll do it.


SANCHEZ: Bottom line. I'm joined now by Georgia's lieutenant governor, Jeff Duncan.

Lieutenant Governor, great to have you on. Elected officials right now are split on whether to offer vaccine payouts to boost rates. We've heard that the White House is considering up to $100 to get people vaccinated. Is this something that you and Governor Kemp would consider statewide?

LT. GOV. GEOFF DUNCAN (R), GEORGIA: Well, certainly if you look at the data, we're in the midst of a pretty significant wave that's beginning.


And you know, I look back to the lessons learned from the early parts of this pandemic, and you know, those lessons learned were, you know, that -- try to leave the partisan battles to the side to go make good decisions. And you know, for me the majority of folks I talk to that are not vaccinated just have a couple of questions. They have some concerns.

And you know, somebody last night at dinner told me, they said, you know, I keep being told to go talk to my health care provider. How do I call my doctor and ask him a question about the vaccine? There really is no vehicle for it. So kind of the push I'm making is that we try to flood the zone with information.

We try put hotlines and PSAs and all that we can do, get athletes, let's make the biggest push we can across this country, way outside partisan lines. Let's work together to inform folks and answer the questions because ultimately the tool we have now that we didn't have when this first started is the vaccine. The stats show that everything points to if you're vaccinated you are significantly less likely to be negatively affected. To me that's where this -- that's where this conversation needs to sit.

SANCHEZ: Lieutenant Governor, you made a really good point that I hadn't heard before because we keep hearing that some of the most persuasive voices when it comes to the vaccine hesitant are doctors, personal care physicians. So it may not be necessarily access to the vaccine that's preventing people from getting vaccinated but actual access to doctors and to health care. Your governor, Governor Kemp, has vowed no new mask mandates or

lockdowns. But if these trends continue in your state, especially the numbers of hospitalizations and deaths, can that plan change?

DUNCAN: Well, I think, you know, initially when the whole pandemic kicked off and certainly none of us had really ever experienced in a governing capacity what a pandemic was like, the number one concern was to make sure that the virus was not going to spread in such a fast rate that it overwhelmed our health care system. And we worked hard to make sure we had hospital beds and ventilators and specialists and all of that.

And certainly that was a very difficult period of time for us, but we were able to make sure that happened. And certainly that's the environment we need to be in now. To me, this whole notion of a mask mandate, it's a shiny object that everybody wants to argue about, but it's not going to do anything if we're arguing about it in partisan corners to really solve the real challenges.

I'm going to spend this week significantly focusing on ways to get information out to hard-working Georgians all across our state as to answering their questions. I'm going to try to figure out ways that we can maybe get some ad buys with the private sector, we can get some of the pharmaceutical companies to help us, we can maybe get some professional athletes and movie stars.

We need to get this information out because I think a few folks -- millions of folks are just a couple of questions being answered away from being vaccinated, and that's ultimately the answer to this pandemic is getting as many people vaccinated as we possibly can.

SANCHEZ: And every little bit counts. You did mention the debate about masks. I want to play for you a video from a Republican House candidate in your state tweeting out a mask burning. Let's watch.


MIKE COLLINS (R), CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: Hey, folks. Mike Collins, pro-Trump, America First candidate, here in Georgia's Tenth District. Well, today the Biden administration decided that our kids are going to have to wear masks this fall. But you know what I got to say to that? No way.

We are sick and tired of our kids being used as pawns for the administration and for the CDC's dishonesty.


SANCHEZ: Slow children at play indeed. Lieutenant Governor, what's your reaction to that video?

DUNCAN: Yes, it's hard to listen to that. I mean, it's complete nonsense. It's somebody running to win a primary and trying to use a pandemic as a backdrop.

Look, we need to do better as -- in politics, but I'll talk to my party. We need do better as a Republican Party. You know, you've probably heard me talk about a GOP 2.0. And we need to once again be a party that talks about solutions for real problems. You know, it's just -- it's time.

I've got a book coming out in September where I try to tackle it, and it's not a popular opinion yet, but I've got an overwhelming sense that this is going to be the pathway to the future. We need on to come up with commonsense solutions. We need to stop trying to pick fights, and start solving problems. And certainly a message like that from a candidate trying to win a primary isn't helpful.

SANCHEZ: Yes. It's a message that I think will resonate with a minority, as you noted, but potentially one that can grow in the future especially as we potentially move away from the Trump era.

What we're talking about the former president, though, we just learned that he'd been pushing top DOJ officials to baselessly declare that the 2020 election was corrupt to help him in his crusade to overturn his loss. He similarly tried to influence officials in your state.

As a Republican, what's your reaction to hearing what the president told the attorney general, quote, "Just say that the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the R congressmen"?


DUNCAN: Well, it's certainly not -- it wasn't the right thing to do. I've been very vocal about it.

And certainly, we got beat in the election. It was unfortunate. The person I voted for didn't win.

But this is a catalyst moment for us and our party. It's a catalyst moment for us to double down and remind folks of the policies that we stand for that work and do it with a better tone.

And I think if we do that, we'll have a pathway to success for our party.

Look, you know, I'm grateful for Donald Trump's conservative leadership for four years. But I'm not grateful for the antics that he's put on display post-election. It's hurt the state.

We've lost two U.S. Senate races here because he directly impacted it by telling folks that their votes wouldn't count. And as a result, 400,000 Republicans stayed home on the runoff date. Gosh, that's hard to swallow, but that's reality.

It's time to move on. And certainly I hope he moves on. And I hope our party moves on so that we can go ahead and begin to get back in the fold here.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN HOST: All right. Georgia Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan, thanks for sharing part of your weekend with us. We appreciate it.

DUNCAN: Thank you.

SANCHEZ: Coming up, millions of Americans at risk of losing their homes because Congress didn't move fast enough. We'll explain in the CNN NEWSROOM.



SANCHEZ: Millions of Americans could potentially be homeless within days after the House failed to reach a deal to extend a ban on eviction evictions.

The CDC order, which prevents landlords from evicting renters for failing to pay their rent, expires later tonight.

In a last-ditch effort to get her colleagues to vote to extend the moratorium, Congresswoman Cori Bush, a Missouri Democrat, slept on the steps of the U.S. capitol last night.

CNN's Suzanne Malveaux joins us live from Capitol Hill.

Suzanne, this eviction moratorium has been extended four times since the start of the pandemic. Why didn't it happen this time?

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Boris, it is such a tragedy really when you think about it. So many Americans who are facing potentially eviction notices here.

It really depends on who you ask who's at fault. There's a lot of finger pointing and a lot of debate over who would actually be able to extend this. Would it be the administration, the CDC, or members of Congress themselves?

Nevertheless, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did try. It was late in the week that she got heads-up from the administration asking her to try to push through the emergency legislation and to extend this at least for a couple of months.

Ultimately, they ran out of time. It was not enough time, which bumped up against the seven-week recess.

She was not able to rally and get the troops enough of those votes to actually go through a vote and have this pass.

And that is, of course, a tragic situation. And perhaps there are some other avenues to extend this moratorium.

One of the Congressmen, Representative Cori Bush, of Missouri, she is -- she doesn't want her colleagues to forget. She wants them to come back. She wants to force the speaker to get them to come back from their recess.

It is unconscionable to her that they would leave for this period of time knowing that this moratorium is going to expire. And she knows firsthand. She is somebody who has been homeless before, who's lived in a car with her two children, who's faced eviction on three different occasions.

It is not something that she is ashamed of. It is something that she's trying to draw attention to.

And she has been on the steps of the capitol ever since asking people to come back.

Take a listen.


REP. CORI BUSH (D-MO): When you sleep outside on the ground, you are open and vulnerable to all the elements. However -- whatever those elements are.

It was cold last night and now it's super hot. We've still been here. I have on the same clothes I had on last night. I'm dirty. I'm -- I'm dirty. I'm sticky. I'm sweaty.

I have on what I had on last night. This is how people will have to live if we don't do something.

Seven million people, six million, 11 million, how many ever it is, they deserve their human dignity.

And they deserve for the people paid to represent them to do the teamwork make sure that they -- the work to make sure that they have their basic needs met today.


MALVEAUX: She says that she will stay until something gets done.

One thing that House Speaker Pelosi and others are emphasizing, they said it was $46 billion in this rental assistance, only 7 percent or $3 billion has actually been spent and allocated through state and local municipalities.

And therefore, they're really trying to make sure that those local governments get that aid to the people as quickly as possible. The money is there -- Boris?

SANCHEZ: Impassioned message from Congresswoman Cori Bush.

Suzanne Malveaux, from Capitol Hill, thank you.

Coming up, My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell was once a FOX News regular, and now he's at war with the network. We'll explain why.


And don't forget to join CNN for "We Love New York City," the homecoming concert. This is a once-in-a-lifetime concert event Saturday night, August 21st, exclusively on CNN.


SANCHEZ: It's all good. That's what actor, Bob Odenkirk, is saying to fans after collapsing on set earlier this week. The star of "Better Call Saul" tweeted that he suffered, quote, "a small heart attack" while filming the hit show's final season.

The health scare prompted an outpouring of support from fans and friends alike, including "Breaking Bad" co-stars, Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul.

Odenkirk said he did not have to undergo surgery, but he's going to be taking some time to recover. And we wish him a speedy recovery.

My Pillow CEO and election conspiracy promoter, Mike Lindell, is pulling his ads from once-friendly FOX News, all because the Trump ally is not getting his way with the network.

CNN's chief media correspondent, Brian Stelter, explains.



BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT & CNN HOST, "RELIABLE SOURCES" (voice-over): My Pillow is more like a source of nightmares due to CEO Mike Lindell's delusions that threaten democracy.


MIKE LINDELL, CEO, MY PILLOW: This was the biggest fraud and the biggest crime I believe against humanity.

STELTER: Lindell's pillows have been propping up Fox News for years.

LINDELL: I want you to get the best night's sleep of your life.

STELTER: With Lindell spending tens of millions of dollars on ads to pitch towels, sheets, and, yes, pillows.

But now, Fox is rejecting one of the pillow guy's promos and he is pulling all of his other ads in response.

LINDELL: Fox isn't doing their job.

STELTER: His frustration with Fox has been palpable for months.

LINDELL: Is Fox here?

STELTER: As he has descended into a dangerous voter fraud fantasyland --

LINDELL: The election was hacked.

STELTER: -- even Fox has tuned him out. Now, Lindell is promising a big August reveal.

LINDELL: Then we're going to bring it as (INAUDIBLE) to the Supreme Court. It's going to be nine, zero. They are going to take the election down.

And, yes, Donald Trump will be your president -- he is your president now -- and get this country back where it should be.

STELTER: So he wanted to run an ad on Fox touting these theories, promoting a live stream event, and Fox said no.

Networks are well within their rights to reject ads like that, but it could cost Fox a small fortune.

Last year, according to "The Wall Street Journal", My Pillow paid nearly $50 million for Fox airtime --


STELTER: -- boosting shows like "Tucker Carlson Tonight," that other advertisers avoid.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have never seen so many ads for so long.

STELTER: Donald Trump says he is a fan.

TRUMP: I actually use them, believe it or not.

STELTER: And he leaned on Lindell for help pushing the Big Lie last winter.

But stores dropped My Pillow. Business has shriveled up due to Lindell's election fictions. And he could be in deep legal trouble.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mike Lindell is begging to be sued.

STELTER: Sure enough, Dominion Voting Systems now is suing for defamation and he is counter-suing.

But Fox, facing multibillion-dollar lawsuits of its own, is having second thoughts about sharing a bed with the My Pillow guy.



Thanks to Brian for that report.

A quick Olympic update. Novak Djokovic will not be taking home any Olympic medals from the Tokyo games. The world's top-ranked men's tennis player losing in the bronze medal match to Spain.

At one point during the match, Djokovic threw his racket into the empty stands. Then he smashed another racket into the net and tossed it into the photographers pit.

Djokovic later pulled out of the mixed doubles bronze medal match because of a shoulder injury.

Coming up, the pandemic protocols in Chicago. As thousands of fans head to Lollapalooza, can they keep people safe at such a huge event?



SANCHEZ: One of the largest music festivals in the world, Lollapalooza, is underway in Chicago. This year's event has new rules and big concerns as the Delta variant continues to spread.

CNN's Omar Jimenez reports.

OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Boris, day three of Lollapalooza and day three of worrying about the spread of COVID-19.

There are mitigation strategies in place. You have to show proof of a negative COVID test within 72 hours of walking through the gates. You have to show proof of full vaccination status, if you have it.

But new today, you now have to wear a mask in all indoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status inside this festival.

That new rule is tied directly to the rate of spread here in the Chicago area.

Much like a lot of the country, seeing a rise in COVID-19, in part, driven by the Delta variant.

For context, in late June, the positivity rate here in Chicago was 0.4 percent. Two weeks ago, 1 percent. Now we're a bit over 3 percent.

While that's now high overall, it's not the direction officials want to see things headed, especially not at the rate with which we have seen this increase.

One of the most significant metrics is we're over 200 cases a day. The reason that's significant is because that's the threshold Mayor Lori Lightfoot said they would reconsider reinstating a mask mandate.

Things that many people here, like across the country, thought we were past this as these vaccinations began to roll out. But we're seeing a repeat of these decision points we've seen at many points during the pandemic.

For now, Lollapalooza continues on at full capacity. By the time it's over, ones these hundreds of thousands of people have come through, they're hoping they're remembered just for the music and not as a super-spreader event -- Boris?

SANCHEZ: Thanks, Omar. Two "CNN Heroes," Dr. Jim Withers and Wendy Ross, are going the extra

mile to make sure the people they serve don't miss out on crucial live-saving measures.

CNN's Anderson Cooper has their story.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, "A.C. 360" (voice-over): In Pittsburgh, Dr. Jim Withers brings medical care and now vaccines to those experiencing homelessness.

DR. JIM WITHERS, CNN HERO: Can I take a listen?

We have to go to where someone is and cut down the barriers.



WITHERS: We 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, CNN HERO: Anthony, I just want to say high.


COOPER: In Philadelphia, Dr. Wendy Ross's low-stress, sensory-friendly vaccination clinic for those 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 to have strategies for vaccinating this population.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All done. All done.


ROSS: Good job!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: High-five. High five.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Awesome, awesome.

ROSS: Getting the vaccine to this population is absolutely saving lives.

I just feel that everyone matters and has value, and that everyone should be included.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SANCHEZ: Some incredible work. You can learn more about it at

So that does it for me. I'm Boris Sanchez. Thanks so much for joining us,

Phil Mattingly picks up our live coverage after a quick break.