tv CNN Newsroom With Alisyn Camerota and Victor Blackwell CNN August 10, 2021 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
making a plan might feel like homework, but it will help you and your family stay safe during an emergency. this is "cnn breaking news". welcome to newsroom. i'm victor blackwell. alisyn is off today. we are beginning with breaking news. new york governor andrew cuomo has announced he is resigning. >> and i love new york and i love you, and everything i have ever done has been motivated by that love. i would never want to be unhelpful in any way. i think that given the circumstances, the best way i can help now some if i step
aside and let government get back to governing. >> his resignation takes effect in 14 days. that announcement comes exactly a week after the new york attorney general released her report that alleges he sexually harassed 11 women. the governor though is still defiant. he says the most serious allegations have no credible factual basis in that report, and we're getting some reactions now as you would expect. the white house says that the governor's resignation is what president biden has called and advocated for, and new york mayor big de blasio issued a statement. here is part of it. make no mistake, this is the result of survivors bravely telling their stories. it was past time for andrew cuomo to resign, and it is good for -- it is for the good of all of new york. and the state's two senators say that governor cuomo made the right decision to step down. cnn's jim bringrass is here with
me now. we understand you are getting reaction from some of the accuser's attorneys. what are you hearing? >> reporter: yeah, you know, listen, there is a sense of relief from many of the accusers. we expect to hear more as the day goes on and as they try to get their emotions in check and figure out how they feel about it. we are getting a few so far from two women. these are two of the women named in the report, alyssa mcgrath and then another woman who was new to the report, ms. leonides. in the statement it says my clients feel vindicated and relieved that cuomo will no longer be in a position of power over anymore. they remain grateful that their voices were heard and substantiated by the a.g.'s investigators and feel solidarity with all women who continue to be abused by all men in power. at least today one has faced consequences. so a very strong statement coming from the attorney for those two women. look, victor, like you pointed out with the white house statement and also the reaction we got from the mayor, it is all
levels of government are reacting to this. both sort of mentioning the women and how they were so brave to come forward, and this is a result of that and also saying that it was time. you know, let's remember that sources were telling cnn that they were telling the governor, his closest aides, that this was time. there was really no path forward, no way to get out of this, even though the governor even said himself today that he is a fighter. so while it has happened and it is not so much a surprise to many people, it was shocking that it happened today because, again, the governor has said himself that he is a fighter, he is a man who is known to govern with an iron fist and stand his ground, so that certainly was a shock. but it was a very tearful in some ways, or i should say emotional it seemed for him when he finally did decide that he was going to resign. he did it after a very long statement, first apologizing to some of these women, but also saying that many of his actions were generational in some ways.
but certainly this is still somewhat shocking that this happened today, a week after that scathing report from the attorney general's office. victor. >> yeah, one week exactly. let me read a little more reaction. this coming from the lieutenant governor, kathy hochul, who will be the governor of new york, first female governor, in two weeks time. she tweeted, i agree with governor cuomo's decision to step down. it is the right thing to do and in the best interest of new yorkers. she says she is prepared. what do we know about kathy hochul. >> reporter: yeah, like you said she is prepared? she has been preparing we're told by sources ever since that report came out last week, talking to her staff, talking to people who have served in this position before trying to figure out what staff she may keep, what staff may need to go, how she is going to continue governing this state that was hit so hard during the pandemic, is still going through the pandemic. so this is something that she has really been doing her studying on, at least within the last week or so. but she has been by the governor's side as the
lieutenant governor since 2014, and she, we're told, has really been a lawmaker who has been at every level of government from the local level to now being the highest office in the state of new york. so there is a lot of welcoming presence for a woman especially to be the first woman to lead this state, but i also want to point out, victor, something my colleague pointed out. this will now be three women with major leading roles in the state of new york once she takes office in 14 days. we have kathy hochul being the governor and the lieutenant governor will be andrea stewart and then letitia james who released the statement last week. this is significant in terms of where the state is headed after the departure of governor cuomo. >> it certainly is. stay with us. i want to bring in alex bern, also erica hill, national correspondent who has been following this story. erica, let me start with you. i think i'm going to just
belabor this analogy that has been used, the political winds that have been blowing here. were they the sustained winds that ends this or was it one gust? was there something, to catalyst that ended it for the governor? >> i will say the reaction we saw in the wake of the report on tuesday was pretty swift, right. you had a fair amount of folks in the state especially coming out pretty quickly and saying that they thought the governor should resign after seeing that report. it really snowballed from there. then, of course, you had the president later in the week. when jay jacobs came out, chair of the state democratic party, for a lot of people that was the moment where they just took their breath and said, you know, this is a big deal, between that and carl heastie, the speaker in the assembly, saying it is time, this is not a good look, you cannot cover with this. there's been back and forth in reporting from a number of our colleagues here at cnn has been that the governor was really dug in here, even through the weekend despite the efforts. but clearly something changed. was it -- was it things that he was hearing perhaps out of that
meeting yesterday with the judiciary committee, more talk about impeachment? it is unclear, but definitely, you know, there was some surprise that it happened today, although i think most people that you talk to believe that at some point this was inevitable because impeachment was going to be tough. >> yeah. alex, to you. the investigations that are still ongoing in albany, let me put the question. what does this mean for those investigations moving forward? because there are several. >> there sure are. and they cover issues that go well beyond the governor's conduct with women on his staff. there are issues related to his leadership during the coronavirus pandemic, there are issues related to his $5 million book deal about his leadership during the pandemic and his alleged abuse of state resources to pitch and produce that book. so, victor, these are terribly
serious issues related to the integrity of government and to the governor's personally ethics. it is going to be a real test of the legislature to see whether they have the appetite and the focus and the energy to get answers on all of this even after andrew cuomo leaves office. you can certainly see a scenario where the governor makes the case that, look, i'm paying the ultimate price as i think any politician would see it. now it is time for all of us to move on, and you can see there being plenty of people in the legislature, people who were his allies as recently as two weeks ago, finding that a persuasive line of argument. so i don't know exactly what will happen next, but, you know, i think to erica's point about sort of why this all happened quite so suddenly, the field of issues at play here is so vast, and for the governor to be able to stage manage this exit now
where for basically an hour he and his attorney lambast the women who have come forward to level allegations here, or at least to attack the integrity of the report examining those allegations, and then leave as though there's nothing else on the table feels like an awfully neat political trick. >> yeah. let's talk about the political future of the governor in just a moment, but i want to hear, bryn, to you. i want to hear what the governor said about why he was stepping down, saying this was a generational shift, the framework he offered. let's listen. >> i take full responsibilities for my actions. i have been too familiar with people. in my mind i have never crossed the line with anyone, but i didn't realize the extent to which the line has been redrawn.
there are generational and cultural shifts that i just didn't fully appreciate, and i should have. no excuses. >> so he says that, i take full responsibility for my actions, i should have no excuses, although there were plenty of excuses during that resignation remark and what we heard from rita glavin. he did a lot of blaming as well, bryn. >> yeah, really you can't forget that, victor, that before we heard him actually say the words that he was going to, you know, step aside and let government continue to govern, there was like a good hour and 15 minutes or so of his lawyer and him defending his honor, defending his case. his lawyer really pinpointing each accuser, going through that attorney general's report and showing the flaws that they believe exist in that report. so he has said it has been a
generational thing for him for a very long time. in response to that some of the accusers have told me, well, then, go get counseling, learn new things, talk to more people. so i don't think it is going to fly with these accusers, and they certainly are not hearing an apology and certainly not hearing it on a day that he decides to finally leave office. it is more of a relief for them i think, but, yeah, it was interesting that he waited to say his outcome after defending his case for an hour and 15 minutes, which they tried to make a strong case. >> erica, what about that? the governor says, i take full responsibility, but it is only after his attorney spends 35, 45 minutes blaming the media, cast gating others? >> yeah, and, look, this we have heard before. the press conference on friday afternoon with her, which seems like a lifetime ago but was only a couple of days ago, was a lot of the same. shelves in many ways going through this position statement, this 26-page position statement she put out tuesday night in the wake of the attorney general's
report where she took issue with a number of the accusers. not every single incident in that position paper, but a number of them. today felt like a continuation of that. so as we were all sitting there and watching her 40, 45-minute presentation ahead of the governor as bryn pointed out, it was interesting she was once again saying where she finds, where she takes issue with the report, with the investigators, really questioning once again their independence, their methods, what she thinks should have been done as an attorney, and then turning it over. it was an interesting way to lay things out. >> yeah. alex, to the last year of governor cuomo, i just remember at the worst of the pandemic for this city of new york that people across the country were watching those news conferences every day and juxtaposed to the leadership we saw or did not see from president trump, and now today he's out of office.
>> it is a staggering reversal, victor. i do think that today we can really count as one more moment in the end of the trump era. that it is very, very hard to imagine this kind of accountability moment for a man like andrew cuomo in a scenario where donald trump was still the president, both because you would still have, i think, a much stronger well of democratic admiration and affection for governor cuomo based on his leadership in the pandemic and also because, let's be frank, when donald trump was in the white house the appetite among democrats for confronting misbehavior by men on their own side was pretty limited in some respects. i think we all recognize and remember the deep bitterness among democrats about al franken's resignation, the sense that why do our people keep quitting when donald trump is the trump. well, donald trump is not the
president anymore, and you can't just sort of use that as a pretext for hand waving away obviously egregious behavior on your own side. >> alex burns, erica hill, bryn jengrass, thank you. any moment we expect to hear from president biden. he is marking a major victory, the senate passage of a $1 trillion infrastructure package. also, the battle over masks in schools. parents in florida are getting in each other's faces today as covid cases among children continue to rise. ive. because we only serve those who honorably served. all ranks, all branches, and their families. are we still exclusive? absolutely. and that's exactly why you should join.
listen to this. johns hopkins university is reporting more than 174,000 covid cases and 645 additional deaths in just the past 24 hours. it is becoming apparent children are also becoming the true victims of this politicized pandemic. the american academy of pediatrics says almost 94,000 kids were infected with covid in just the past week, and while most of those did not end up in the hospital one orlando physician says pediatric hospitals are, quote, preparing for the unimaginable as children begin returning to school. cnn's nick watt has more from los angeles. >> reporter: we are in a major surge now as we are going into the fall, into the school season. ? so should districts mandate vaccines for teachers? >> i'm going to upset some people on this but i think we should. >> they don't do anything. >> reporter: and masks? in florida, the current hot spot -- >> ultimately, my view is it is
a parent's decision. >> reporter: governor ron desantis is threatening to withhold salaries from officials who mandate masks. some florida districts did it anyway. >> as an elected officially think i have the responsibility of providing a safe learning and work environment for our students and staff. >> reporter: school mask mandates are not allowed in these seven states, some texas districts also defying their governor mandating them anyway. >> i felt it was time to step in even though i'm going to get in trouble. >> reporter: kids can get covid. in just the past week nearly 94,000 confirmed cases among children nationwide. >> with the delta wave we need to do everything possible to protect those that are not vaccinated, and those that are not vaccinated get protected two ways, by those eligible for vaccination getting vaccinated and by wearing a mask. it is as simple as that. >> reporter: big picture, we are averaging well over 100,000 new cases a day, up 37% in just a
week. just over half of americans are fully vaccinated. >> you're taking a hell of a risk if you are not vaccinated. that's all there is to it. >> reporter: and you're pretty darn safe if you are. more than 99.99% of the vaccinated have not suffered a severe case according to our analysis of cdc data. from texas, young and healthy, did not get vaccinated, nearly died. now regrets it. >> do it for your kids, do it for your family, do it for yourself. >> reporter: arkansas has just eight icu beds unfilled. in mississippi. >> there are going to be children, children in my own community that are orphans, and it could have been prevented. >> reporter: many hospitals now feeling the strain, particularly in states with low vaccination rates. >> there's outbreaks following the unvaccinated strategy all over the place with hospitals
just about to tip over. the moral equation has to shift. stop protecting the unvaccinated. they're selfish, they're greedy, they're not doing the right thing by their neighbors. >> reporter: now, the dallas county judge clay jenkins just summed up their situation in pretty stark terms. he says in the dallas area there are just two pediatric icu beds available. he wants everybody to be wearing masks all the time indoors, and this is a direct quote. masks suck, but it is a small sacrifice to save lives. victor. >> indeed. nick watt, thank you so much. the mask debate is also growing more furious and contentious in florida where governor ron desantis has threatened to revoke the pay of superintendents who enforce mask mandates at schools. today protesters gathered outside a broward county school board meeting where officials heard from parents and teachers.
one preschool teacher took to the podium with this defense of masking. >> my 3-year-old students who came back had no problem wearing their mask. if it slips, i touched my nose, they put it back up. they went home every day happy. they come every day happy. a mask did not interfere with their education. actually, it helps them. they didn't get sick all year. the option for them is not to vaccinate. they're too little. we need your support. i need your support. i don't want my children to go home and infect other people. >> we're seeing something similar in texas, school districts in dallas and austin are also defying their governor, greg abbott, by mandating masks anyway. dr. seth kaplan is a pediatrician and president of the texas pediatric society. doctor, thanks for your time. we heard from nick watt, the dallas county judge, that says just two pediatric beds are left
there in the icus. we know that 11 month old had to be airlifted 150 miles because there was no room for her. give us some context, the situation there for children. >> sir, yeah, it is getting to be a truly scary situation. we -- our hospitals were already hit hard over the summer by the resurgence of other respiratory viruses, particularly rsv, and now with covid cases amongst kids on the rise they're being hit even harder, meaning they don't necessarily have the capacity to take care of all of the children that they're going to need to take care of as children come together more. >> let's focus on this debate over masks. next door in arkansas the governor there says that he now regrets that he signed the legislation several months ago when cases were low and dropping and that legislation that banned mask mandates. that is what you are looking for, as i understand it, from texas governor greg abbott, an
admission, an understanding that the situation has changed, am i right? >> that's exactly right. the rules of the game are different now. we are in a different situation than we were just a month ago, and we need all of the public health tools that are at our disposal to be used to get through this current surge, and we don't want to take away the ability for there to be local control over school districts deciding whether they should enforce mask mandates or not. schools need to decide this in conjunction with their local health departments and in conjunction with their parents and families that attend those schools. >> we also know that from the texas education association that they are not requiring contact tracing once a positive case is discovered. i know you are especially passionate about this. what is lost by eliminating that degree of mitigation? >> well, that's a huge
transparency issue that needs to change. we have been in touch with the department of state health services and encouraged them to include contact tracing for covid as part of the protocols. it is included for other diseases such as measles so there's precedence for doing so. you know, if parents need to be informed if their children have potentially been exposed at school, because if they're not informed then they may have a sniffle or something, still send their kid to school, not know that they've been exposed and just continue the transmission much further than it may have gone if they had been contact traced and can make appropriate decisions about the right care for their kids. >> yeah, and clearly we're not testing nearly enough. let me ask you about vaccines now and if we would be having a different conversation if there were vaccine approvals or authorizations for children under 12, because the latest
numbers i have seen is that those 12 to 15 are very low, the number that's fully vaccinated. 16 and 17, low as well. would we be having a different conversation considering how few teenagers, adolescents are vaccinated, a conversation about masks? >> right now i think we would still be having the same conversation due to the circumstances around the delta variant and how contagious it is, but certainly the larger number of eligible kids who get vaccinated, the better. the less of a reservoir of illness, the better. we're going to see less formation of new variants if it can't spread as easily, and really in order to get out of this we need as many eligible kids to get vaccinated as possible as soon as possible. >> randi weingarten over the weekend, the head of the second largest teachers union, came out
in favor of vaccine mandates for teachers. is that something that you think should happen in texas, that would protect those children? do you support that? >> it would certainly protect our children. i think there's still a little bit of difficulty when a vaccine is approved under emergency use authorization to consider that as a mandate. so we hope that the fda moves ahead with full approval of these vaccines in as expeditious and safe a manner as possible, in which case, yes, mandates would be very helpful. >> all right. dr. seth kaplan in texas for us there. thank you. >> thank you for having me today. >> all right. again, we're waiting for president biden to address the nation after the senate's passage of his historic infrastructure bill. what will it take to get the deal finished, get it through the house? we'll talk about that next.
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governor cuomo has announced he is stepping down, but he still faces criminal investigations and it is unclear if new york state's assembly will move forward with its impeachment hearings. the judiciary committee is scheduled to meet again next week. shimon prokupecz is here. let' let's talk about the legal things ahead. >> albany is probably the one that will cause the most
problems. the d.a. said they're conduconducting a criminal investigation there. when you talk to people close to the governor or people in his orbit they expect it is potentially highly likely he could be charged in that case. low-level misdemeanor. this is for groping. so they are definitely most worried about the albany case right now. there are other investigations. there is the federal investigation here in brooklyn out of the eastern district of new york. that's a doj probe relating to there's been reports about his book and, of course, some of the covid numbers in the nursing homes and whether or not there was an effort to hide some of that. so there's that investigation. but the albany one certainly is the one that's going to cause them probably the most concern. there are also other d.a.s looking at some of the other complainants and some of the other information they've asked from the attorney general's office. they're waiting to get all of that information. what happens with that? who knows? but it seems like albany right now is the one that is the most
significant for the governor. >> yeah, the a.g. said that what happened today, the resignation ends a sad chapter. we know that there are still other chapters to be written as these investigations continue. shimon prokupecz, thank you. a reaction from new york state legislators has been swift, and they have heartily welcomed the governor's resignation. elijah melnick is a democratic state senator from new york. state senator attorney -- should go to what i just discussed with shimon here, that this closes a sad chapter for all of new york. does it? >> i think that it does, and it is a sad chapter for new york and, of course, a very sad chapter for the governor, but i think he saw the writing on the wall and he did the right thing for new york at this time and resigned his office effective two weeks from now. i think that there was no other alternative for him. he had lost the confidence of the legislature, had lost the confidence of the people of new york, and from democrats from president joe biden on down
telling him it was time to go and he saw that writing and it looks like he will be going. >> so we've discussed already the investigations from d.a.s across the state. what about the investigations that are happening in albany, what next for them? >> well, i think certainly those investigations should continue and the facts should come out in a criminal context or in a civil context. i know at least one of the women he harassed is pursuing civil litigation against him. him resigning i think closes one chapter but as the attorney general said, there may still be other chapters of his book to be written. i will tell you that he has lost the one thing that he loved the most, and that's being the governor of new york state. so for him i know this has got to be a very, very bitter pill to swallow, but i am glad that he did the right thing. i'm relieved that he did the right thing and spared new york state a lengthy months-long battle over impeachment and conviction in the senate, because that's where this was heading. >> so you said that he lost the thing that he loved most, being governor of new york. did you hear though in that
resignation statement today, i can't really call it a news conference because he didn't take questions, a man who believes that he has a future in new york politics? >> i don't know what he believes, but he does not have a future in new york politics. the voters of this state are not going to turn to somebody at any point in the future who has been a governor who has resigned in disgrace after being credibly accused and found credible by the attorney general of sexual assault by 11 separate women. so i don't know what he believes, but i do not think he has a future in this state politics >> all right. in the next 14 days the state of new york will have a new governor, currently the lieutenant governor, kathy hochul. what do you know about the preparations? there's a lot to face when she takes that oath. what is happening now to prepare her for that role and your degree of confidence? >> so i'm very confident in lieutenant governor kathy hochul's ability to step up. she is a qualified, competent and experienced public official. she has served as lieutenant
governor now for a decade and served in congress and at the local level in erie county out in buffalo. so i think she has done an excellent job as lieutenant governor and made a point to visit all over new york state to get to know the issues and to get to know people. she has been in my district a couple of times just in the first six months i have been in the state senate, and so i appreciate that attention locally. i have to say that she faces a lot of tough issues. we obviously have the delta variant that is running wild here just like it is everywhere else and we have major issues with trying to get the federal rent relief money out to tenants and landlords, trying to get over a billion dollars in small business grants out to small businesses in the state, and schools still need guidance on what they should be doing when it comes to masking and letting kids come back to school, which the state department of health has not been providing. we need strong leadership in the executive branch that is not distracted by scandals. i think the lieutenant governor when she steps up in two weeks will be the one to provide it.
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there's money for roads and rail and air travel, broadband, water infrastructure. this is a major accomplishment, but we've now got to go to the house. cnn's senior white house correspondent phil mattingly and cnn congressional correspondent lauren foxx are with us now. lauren, let's start with this battle that's ahead in the house for this legislation. walk us through it. >> reporter: well, look, victor, i mean this is the obstacle and it has been all along, that in the house of representatives you still need to get the votes to pass this bipartisan infrastructure package and you are going to have to wait because the house is on recess and house speaker nancy pelosi has made it clear she wants to make sure that this package is paired with that broader democratic package that really would reimagine the social safety net. there's a lot of steps ahead before democrats in the senate can pass that piece of legislation. they are starting that process today in the u.s. senate. you saw them vote just a few minutes ago to pass that budget resolution. that allows them to start
writing that broader democratic infrastructure package, but there's a long way to go. like i said, the house is on recess. so the president isn't going to be able to sign this bipartisan infrastructure any time soon, victor. >> yeah. 19 republican votes, phil, for this legislation. boost for the biden agenda. what do we expect to hear from the president in a few minutes? >> reporter: boost for the biden agenda and i think boobsst for e president's theory of the case that bipartisanship was possible and it is now here in one chamber. you will hear the president focus on what is in the bill and why it is important. why in the past decade they haven't been able to get a sweeping infrastructure bill done, and today the president took a major step to being the firns first to get it done. hundreds of billions of dollars into roads and innovation, trying to shift to clean energy for the country as well. i think the president will make
clear as lauren noted there's a second piece for this proposal and the white house is keenly aware those have to go together. the progressives are excited about the second half of the bill. the president is not going to weigh in on legislative sequencing. he has done it before, won't happy again. i think the white house is clear that it is a process that will be arduous in the weeks ahead, but there's an overwhelming sense with officials i speak to that they feel the momentum here matters and the opportunity to do something big matters. at the end of the day that will carry the day. however, very aware they have a lot of work ahead. >> phil mattingly at the white house, lauren foxx on capitol hill. kicked off twitter again. the latest in the battle against misinformation on social media, up next.
one of the leading proponents of vaccine misinformation has been suspended from twitter again. republican congresswoman marge ree ta lo green saying the fda should not approve the vaccines because there's been too many reports of breakthrough case and falsely claim that vaccine and mask do not prevent the spread of the virus. the cdc says studies show vaccines are 99.99% effective at preventing disease. oliver darcy is cnn media reporter. this is the third time for marjorie taylor greene being suspended. >> it's the third time.
she's opinion suspended for one week by twitter. twitter rules say as the amount of violations grows, the suspensions grow as well. by the fifth time, she with be banned permanently from the platform. she's been booted for a week. >> i said she's one of the major spreaders of misinformation about covid and the vaines. there's so many though that are being fought. >> there are. there's this story out in the new york times today that showed that vaccine misinformation did plunge as cases plunged earlier this year but now that delta is spiking, so is the vaccine misinformation. it's coming from a lot of places. fox news, social media platforms like facebook and youtube and twitter. it's really difficult for these platforms, it seems like, to get the arms around this problem. they have been trying to
implement different policies but it doesn't seem to be enough to really curve the spread of this misinformation. >> let's turn to the big lie. not omnly on social media but right wing tv news as well. this lawsuit from dominion voting going after this. >> dominion has sued fox, sydney powell and rudy giuliani. they are targeting oan and m musemax. they are targeting with 1.6 billion lawsuits saying they created in this disinformation campaign that has harmed the business and caused the employees a lot of issues with threats coming into them and really hurting the reputation of the business. they are asking for a lot of money. we'll see if they get it. dominion has -- newsmax has come out with statement. it says that while news max has not reviewed the filing as of
today, it is in its coverage of the 2020 presidential election, newsmax reported on allegations made by well known figure, include the president, his advisers and members of congress. it says doe minion action is to undermine reporting. oam has not responded to us. >> all right. thank you. pushing forward on the breaking news. major announcement from new york governor andrew cuomo that he will step down over sexual harassment scandal. stay with us.
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top of the hour. thank you for staying with us. for the first time ever, new york state will have woman governor. andrew cuomo announced this afternoon he is resigning. announcement comes a week after the new york attorney general's report found he sexually harassed 11 women. >> i love new york. i love you. everything i have ever done has
been motivated by that love. i would never want to be unhelpful in any way. i think that given the circumstances, the best way i can help you is if i step aside and let government get back to governing. >> cuomo is leaving office isolated. the white house, new york's two democratic senator, the new york city mayor all saying he made the right decision to step down. two members of the new york state senate judiciary committee they are looking into whether impeachment is still possible. the woman who will replace governor tweets she's ready and prepared to take the helm.
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