tv CNN Newsroom With Christi Paul and Boris Sanchez CNN September 4, 2021 6:00am-7:00am PDT
happening now in the newsroom, a major cleanup following hurricane ida. people from the gulf coast to the northeast, picking up the pieces. >> it's real hard. i just pray to god that all of us can get back to life. >> reporter: adding to the misery, a sweltering heat index soaring into the triple digits, as hundreds of thousands remain without power. booster confusion. >> it does lead you to ask, who's really running the show here. >> top health officials urging the white house to slow down its booster shot rollout. what's behind the mixed
messages? a restrictive abortion ban and limits on how teachers talk about race. the outcry following a flurry of new laws in texas. >> what is the worst-case scenario for you? >> being evicted with my child. >> a race against time for families facing eviction. the effort to get much-needed federal help before they're kicked out. in 22 years of doing this, i've never seen fire conditions like we're seeing now. >> the caldor fire, ripping through parts of california, destroying anything in its path. the latest on the struggle to contain the fire. newsroom starts right now. 9:01 is the time. good morning to you on this saturday, september 4th. i'm christi paul. >> and i'm boris sanchez. you are live in the "cnn newsroom." good morning, christi? >> good morning to you as well, boris. we have to talk about it. the gas shortages, the long
lines for food and water and zero electricity. this is what people are facing in the gulf region right now, after hurricane ida blew through. that storm is blamed for at least 13 deaths now in louisiana and mississippi. >> and louisiana residents are dealing with sweltering heat and no air-conditioning. right now, more than 700,000 customers still are without electricity in that state. >> president joe biden did get a firsthand look at the destruction during a visit to the area. he promised federal help for those people who are really struggling to recover right now. >> i know y'all are frustrated about how long it takes to restore power. it's dangerous work, we have deployed more federal resources, including hundreds of generators and there's more to come to restore power as fast as we possibly can, faster than anything happened during katrina. >> ida's path stretches all the way to the northeast.
at least 50 people now have died from that storm that triggered flash flooding, it swept away homes and cars and spawned tornadoes across that region. we do want to get an update on conditions, though, in louisiana, first. >> yeah, cnn correspondent adrian broaddus joins us now live from new orleans. adrienne, you've been standing at that gas station all morning. the expectation is that it would open right around this time. will it have to be delayed again or are people able to get gas right now? >> people are not getting gas right now, but there are signs of relief. take a look. utility trucks, rolling through a short time ago. we saw a caravan of them and the employees that were on the inside of the truck, some of them had pillows propped up on the window. another crew that rolled by waved to the people over here and you could see some folks smiling. that is a sign that help is on the way, help is here, and that's what they need. they're struggling.
people have been waiting in line for about three hours to get gasoline. i'm just going to spin our camera around here, and we can show you some folks have stepped outside of their car to cool off, because they don't want to keep the vehicles running, because they need the gasoline. the car has been relief for many of these folks. and as you mentioned across the state, still nearly 700,000 power outages across the state. and in some areas, it could be a few days or weeks before power is restored. at least that's the estimation from one utility company. and it's tough times for many people who stuck around and said they wanted to wait and ride out the storm. listen in. >> i'm just wondering where the help is, you know? i'm wondering where the help is. you know, i don't have air-conditioning, no lights. i had covid last year. i was in icu for 14 days and i'm
oxygen and i don't have no electricity. >> reporter: earlier in the week, boris, the gas station was opening at 7:30. it's 8:00 local time. and the doors are not open, but people are walking up, physically with their gas cans and waiting in line. meanwhile, tensions have been high here. about less than ten miles away from we are right now, police say one man who was trying to get gasoline was killed and this morning, investigators are still searching for the suspect. back to you. >> yeah, sad to see the desperation escalate into crime. adrienne broaddus reporting from new orleans. thank you so much. that sweltering heat in louisiana is not just uncomfortable, it could be dangerous and even deadly. >> meteorologist tyler malden is with us now, because i know this hot weather in louisiana, as
boris said, it's downright dangerous. how bad is it going to be today? >> it's extremely dangerous. it's 8:00 in the morning in new orleans and the temperature is currently 82 degrees. we all know the gulf moisture just makes it really humid along those gulf coast states. so you factor in the humidity with this 82-degree temperature, and it's feeling like it's in the mid- to upper 80s, nearly 90 degrees. and again, it's only 8:00 in the morning. we're only going to go up from here. we have a heat advisory in effect for all of southeast louisiana. and you can see here that temperatures are going to be right around average. that's what it's going to say on your thermometer. but when you add in the humidity, it's going to make it feel like it's close to 100 degrees, not just in new orleans, but also baton rouge and it's not confined to southeast louisiana. this goes into biloxi, as well, where biloxi, you're going to see temperatures feel like they're close to 100 degrees. this isn't just for today, it's for tomorrow and also for monday, too. there's not much in the way of
rain coming our way over the next 72 hours, so that's not going to help give us any relief from the heat over the next 72 hours. it's going to be sunny, it's going to be hot. not a good recipe. in new orleans, we are eventually going to see some showers and thunderstorms come to the area, but notice that your overnight lows stay close to 80 degrees. when your overnight lows are near 80 degrees, when they're that warm, your body doesn't have the opportunity to cool off. so when you start off that warm, it's not good, even though your temperatures in the afternoon come next week will be below average, it's still not a good recipe. and when you add in the fact that so many are still without electricity, it makes the situation even dire. in terms of -- when you look at the research, weather-related fatalities, or the leading weather-related fatality is heat-related deaths, 138 per year on the 30-year average from
1990 to 2020. as we've mentioned, there are hundreds of thousands still without power, so a lot of you will be using your generator to help keep you cool. make sure you read that owner's manual and keep your generator away from any doors and windows. guys? >> tyler malden, we appreciate it so much. thank you. as adrienne said, too, they're also using their cars, which is why they're lined up for gas, because the cars may have the air-conditioning they need. we need to go to the northeast for you, too, because the devastation after ida, it expanse six states. in fact, i want to share some -- look at this new video. this is from new jersey. this is how intense and fast the flooding struck. look at this! this is someone's basement where a wall collapsed. and look at how quickly it's rising, the couches were tossed there like toys. the water hit the ceiling, we're told, in seconds, boris. >> that person is lucky they weren't in that room when that happened. let's get over to cnn's evan's
mcmotorist santoro. he's live in paterson, new jersey. evan, half of the deaths in the northeast actually happened in new jersey, and as of last check, six people still remain missing. bring us up to date on the rescue or recovery effort. do we have any updates? >> that's right, boris and christi. as you mentioned, those updates -- those recoveries are still underway in passaic, new jersey, where two young people believed to have been sucked into a storm drain. authority don't know. they're still actively looking for them. a very sad story, an ongoing story. and as christi mentioned, the fact that we're talking about the aftermath of this storm down in new orleans and up here in new jersey, where i am, just shows how big and historic this storm truly was. this is paterson, new jersey, where the pa sake river is the lifeblood of the town. this is the river, it's three days after the storm. and as you can see, the water level is still so high. this bridge being hit by wood
and debris as it comes down, the bridge farther down, you can see, is also at the really, really high water level. this water is really important to the town of paterson, new jersey. their logo is the falls that this water causes, but right now, this water is causing a lot of damage. first, it came through and had those horrible floodwaters. a lot of rescues here in this town. and now even afterwards, it's still causing damage to the water supply. residents in this area are being told to boil their water until at least wednesday. that's how much recovery still has to be done from this storm here in new jersey. and as you mentioned, those tragic tales of people being lost and dying here, 25 of them so far in new jersey, are also still ongoing. this is still a very, very active event here in new jersey and all over the country, where ida came through. boris and christi? >> evan mcmorris santoro reporting from paterson, new
jersey. thank you so much, evan. >> for more information on how you can help victims of ida, click on cnn.com/sp cnn.com/specials/impactyourworld and thank you for doing so. the white house may have to scale back their plans to rollout covid-19 booster shots later this month, limiting the booster only to those who have received the pfizer vaccine. >> according to those familiar with the internal discussions, the fda is concerned about overall approval of a third dose for all adults at this point. here's cnn's elizabeth cohen. >> reporter: several weeks ago when the biden administration announced that there would be a booster rollout starting september 20th for the covid-19 vaccines, that left many people scratching their heads. you can't have a booster rollout until the fda and the cdc review the data and weigh in. and that has not happened. there have been no announcements for any of the three covid-19 vaccines. so here's the issue. it is possible that pfizer could have a booster rollout starting
the week of september 20th and here's why. they have submitted their data. they have a date, september 17th, to speak to the fda's advisers, so they could have a rollout on september 20th. but not everybody got pfizer. let's take a look at these numbers. as you can see among vaccinated people in the u.s., 54% got pfizer. 38% got moderna and 8% got johnson & johnson. so here's the bottom line for people who are vaccinated. there is an excellent chance, no matter what vaccine you got, that you will be told to get a booster some time in the coming months. we don't know exactly when, but it really is very, very likely that you will be getting a booster some time in the coming months. the concern here is really for the folks who are unvaccinated. the concern is that all of this back and forth over boosters is going to make this group even more mistrustful of the government. these are folks that are not listening to health authorities, they're not getting vaccinated,
and the concern is this could make it worse. let's take a look at this number. more than one in four eligible americans have not gotten even a single shot of the covid-19 vaccine. again, the concern is that this back and forth will make them even more reluctant to get a vaccine. the concern here is that the biden administration need to work on its messaging. back to you. >> elizabeth, thank you. so families in need of federal rental assistance are pretty anxious this morning. they're waiting and wondering if the money will come in time to keep them in their homes. their stories are next. ♪ ayy, ayy, ayy ♪ ♪ yeah, we fancy like applebee's on a date night ♪ ♪ got that bourbon street steak with the oreo shake ♪ ♪ get some whipped cream on the top too ♪ ♪ two straws, one check, girl, i got you ♪ ♪ bougie like natty in the styrofoam ♪ ♪ squeak-squeakin' in the truck bed all the way home ♪ ♪ some alabama-jamma, she my dixieland delight ♪ ♪ ayy, that's how we do, ♪ ♪ how we do, fancy like, oh ♪
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700,000 that economists were expecting. august was the slowest job growth since january. the sectors that had driven much of the job gains this year stalled as covid infections increased. hiring and leisure and hospitality was flat and there were job losses in retail stores and bars and restaurants. because of the economic upheaval of the pandemic, millions of americans are now behind on rent. >> and they're at risk of getting kicked out of their homes, now that the federal eviction moratorium ended. there's financial help out there, but state and local agencies have been struggling to get that money out fast enough. cnn's vanessa ewyuksavich has t story. >> reporter: it's a race against time for kristina toscano. she's being evicted while waiting for relief funds that would save her from that fate.
>> i was up at 7:00 in the morning -- >> reporter: toscano, a receptionist out of a job for more than a year applied to the emergency rental assistance program three months ago. >> it's just taking so long. >> reporter: new york state received 1.3 billion. so far, it's only paid out about 300 million. in fact, state and local governments have distributed just 11% of the $46 billion in federal funds. >> the money is getting out much too slowly and it may not reach many of these families in time. >> reporter: camden county, new jersey, has $15 million for renters, but it took six months to even begin accepting applications. >> it is a long time. unfort unfortunately, it wasn't something that we as a county were prepared to implement. >> how much money have you guys been able to give out to residents so far? >> we will be distributing nearly $6 million come this friday. >> but to date -- >> to date, zero. >> to date, zero? >> it's been a long process.
>> reporter: without available staff, the county outsourced the work to a third party processor. 30 people are now reviewing applications. >> it really has been a frustrating process, because we would have liked to have these funds on the street a lot more quickly. >> reporter: new york and new jersey are two of just six states in d.c. with some statewide eviction protections. but those expire in a few months. pennsylvania, like most states, lost all eviction protections when the supreme court struck down the nationwide cdc moratorium late last month. >> every day, there's more pressure. >> reporter: philadelphia county has distributed nearly 79% of its rental relief. last year, it started its own program, giving the county a leg up when the emergency funding became available this year. >> do you think you would be processing as quickly -- >> it would have been a lot tougher. definitely, the infrastructure that we had and the experience
was invaluable. the challenge is that we're are upping out of money very quickly. >> reporter: the county has received more than 50,000 applications, but says more than half won't get funded. >> we're hoping there's a way we'll be able to get additional funds from the federal government. >> reporter: whether it's time or money running out, there's no freedom from anxiety for toscano, especially when thinking about the future for her 9-year-old son. >> what is the worst-case scenario for you? >> being evicted with my child. not having anywhere to go. i just think about my son, what am i going to tell him? >> reporter: vanessa yurkevich, cnn, new york. just ahead, the other big weather headline we're following for you is the western wildfires. a massive fire is threatening california's lake tahoe community. we'll get an update on a situation there with a director from cal fire, next. t touch,
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firefights are, as you can imagine, so exhausted as they continue to battle that devastating wildfire in california. the whole season, in fact. the state's massive caldor fire that you're looking at here, this has been terrorizing the state for nearly three weeks at this point. it's threatening the popular tourist city lake tahoe for days now and so far, has scorched at least 212,000 acres. it's currently 29% contained. just 29%. cooler temperatures, light winds expected to assist the firefight, we hope. tourists, though, are being qui advised, just postpone your travel there. >> professionals are making some headway, but we're not out of this yet. winds can come up at any time and we have to just be prepared for what may happen.
so we know people love tahoe. we feel your love from up here. but now is just not the time to come. >> assistant deputy director for cal fire daniel berlantz is with me now and chief of fire engineering and investigations. good morning to you, sir. we so appreciate you being here. can you talk to us about what the situation is like there right now, what the conditions are? >> well, fortunately, the weather conditions have been a lot more cooperative than what we've seen over the last several weeks. in fact, the winds have died down significantly. we've seen cooler temperatures at night, even higher humidity. all of that has really allowed our firefighters to make good progress and headway on this fire. while we've really slowed the spread of the fire, there's still a lot of active hot spots in and around the tahoe region. firefighters have been working day and night to get those hot spots out, because we want to get residents back in their
homes as quickly as possible. >> so this year alone, i can understand, 7,000 wildfires in california have burned 1.9 million acres. what do you portend the landscape is going to look like when this is over? >> well, that is a great question in the fact that we have just continued to see more and more severe fires causing more destruction. last year for us in california was a record-setting year. we had more acres burned than ever before in modern history. and unfortunately, we're on that same exact trajectory. we continue to continue our sourcing, but also looking at shifting our strategy and really focusing in the earlier months in the spring the winter months towards resiliency and community hardening, making sure to adapt ourselves to these wildfires. unfortunately, the trend of these large, destructive fires,
not going to go away anytime soon. >> how are your firefighters holding up? >> they are tired. without a doubt, they are fired. the major fire in california is the dixie fire. it's burned over 800,000 acres. a massive fire, the second largest fire in our state's history. that fire started in july, here we are if september, almost two months later, still fighting that fire. and there's 14 other fires burning all at the same time. here's the kicker. we're only just now getting into the peak of fire season. historically in california, it's september and october when we would experience our largest and our most damaging wildfires. so unfortunately, our firefighters, we train for this. we prepare for this, we were ready for this. but it is definitely a long race to say the least. >> the pictures are really quite frankly just eerie. and covid forces us to be
outside if we are going to gather. >> labor day weekend is always a busy week for many people. for some, it's the celebration of somewhat of the last holiday of the summer. with how dry conditions are in california, we are urging all californians and any visitors that are visiting our state right now to be extra cautious. it doesn't take much. a simple spark, an open flame with dry conditions like this. that fire is going to just explode in size, so we're asking everyone to do their part. unless spark means once less wildfire. >> daniel berlant, we appreciate you and your firefighters and everyone that's working so hard to keep everyone safe. thank you so much. god speed to all of you there. we'll be right back.
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specifically in this legislation. it does limit what social studies teachers discuss in class, but some argue that it's vague and making educators wonder if some parents might argue that a standard lesson about slavery violates the law. joining us now to discuss is alejandra lopez. she's the president of the san antonio alliance, the san antonio teacher's union. alejandra, thank you so much for spending part of your weekend with us. i want to know what you're hearing from the members of your union. are they worried about how this law might impact what they teach? >> yes, we all want well-informed, well-read, engaged members of society. and let's remember that when it comes to classrooms, it's teachers who are on the front line of this. every day, day in and day out, we are working with our students, ensuring that they have the skills necessary to see if severely limit what they can
teach in their classrooms. >> and there are uncomfortable truths about the history of this country, specifically when it comes to race. i think arguably, the best place to have those conversations and to hear different perspectives is in a classroom. how do you think students might stand to lose if teaches potentially avoid these conversations? >> let's be clear. teaching the truth is not radical or wrong. what is wrong is limiting teachers' ability to do that, punishing teaches, threatening teachers who do that and distorting the truth. it is in the classroom like mine that students learn the skills they need to grapple with the injustices that exist in our country. and it's our responsibility as educators to not only help them with that, but to empower them to fight for a better future for
themselves. >> and it's also where you can hear from someone who has different experience than you and understand that context in your own life. the law doesn't actually state ow teachers will be punished if they're found to be breaking the l law. what have you heard about that? >> this bill does not contain a lot of specifics. it's meant to have a chilling effect on some other programs. i grew up in san antonio, as a student in the public school education. i can speak firsthand to the effects of what happens when you feel like your community is not reflected back at you and when you don't learn the history of your community. luckily in education, we've been moving towards a more diverse and inclusiveagogypedagogy.
and bills like this undermine that. >> what have you heard from parents? >> i think parents want their children to be taught the critical thinking skills necessary for today's society and overwhelmingly, they want to be taught the truth about history. so parents understand and recognize the importance of teething the truth in an inclusive way that confirms the diverse communities that our students come from. >> alejandra lopez, we have to leave the conversation there. thank you so much for the time. >> thank you. >> of course. stay with cnn. we'll be right back. rapid wrinkle repair® smooths the look of fine lines in 1-week, deep wrinkles in 4. so you can kiss wrinkles goodbye! neutrogena®
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emergency planning for kids. we can't predict when an emergency will happen. so that's why it's important to make a plan with your parents. here are a few tips to stay safe. know how to get in touch with your family. write down phone numbers for your parents, siblings and neighbors. pick a place to meet your family if you are not together and can't go home. remind your parents to pack an emergency supply kit. making a plan might feel like homework, but it will help you and your family stay safe during an emergency.
the pandemic undoubtedly forced a lot of people to put off plans, but make some really tough decisions. one example, fertility health care. shady grove fertility tells cnn that so far this year, their new patient egg freezing has nearly doubled compared to last year. >> sarah jacobs, the freshman congressman from california is one of those women who have decided to freeze her eggs. she recently shared her story with cnn's capitol hill reporter, daniella diaz. and daniella is here now. what did she say about what prompted her to do this, daniella? >> this beginnings of the fact that her career was progressing and she decided to make this decision as a freshman democrat her first year in office, which is really notable, because you don't really hear what a lot
about what women in congress are doing, especially when you have an image of who is in congress. you tend to think men and older. but here is a freshman democrat doing it her first year in office. and she sat down with me and had a very candid conversation about why she's doing this and part of the decision to destigmatize the conversation behind why she's freezing her eggs and any sort of conversation that comes with talking about fertility, you know, she's part of a growing number of women who are ascending to positions of power and she's a lawmaker who has the power to shape reproductive technology. this empowerment has come for many ways for women and in her case it's the ability to delay a decision to have a family and in this case, it's freezing her eggs. there have been a lot of lawmakers, female lawmakers breaking barriers, you know, one that comes to mind is senator tammy duckworth, who became the first sitting senator to give birth while in office.
another example of someone more recently is congresswoman elise stefanick, the gop conference chair who replaced congresswoman liz cheney. she recently gave birth to her first child. these are becoming newer and more usual cases for women to be able to build their families while they're in office. take a listen to why she thinks it's important to destigmatize this conversation. she explains it best in her own words. >> congress and most workplaces were designed for a time when it was the white man working who had a wife at home who dealt with everything else. and so, part of it is that we immediate to make sure that our workplaces and our institutions actually reflect what life looks like now. and that they are accommodating for people who have various kinds of domestic situations. i heard a male democratic politician once say that we need
to stop talking about wedge issues that divide people. and instead, focus on the things that affect people's everyday lives. and then he went on to say, we need to stop talking about things like abortion. we need to stop talking about things like racism. and we need to focus on things like infrastructure and health care. as if reproductive health care isn't the predominant health care that me and most women and most people with, you know, trans men and others are dealing with right now, you know, i think it's important that we include it fully in whatever health care reforms, health care overhauls we end up doing. >> you know, she sat down with me in a long conversation, really sharing all of her decision making behind this. you know, she decided to share her story with me, as i said, earlier, because she wants to destigmatize the conversation behind fertility. she wants to make women feel more comfortable to speak about this issue. and of course, there's more in
the digital story, published to cnn.com. but this is why she decided to share her story for this very reason. christi, boris? >> yeah, fertility, childbearing, child rearing, a normal part of everyday life. long overdue that this now becomes common in the halls of congress. daniella diaz, an important story. thank you so much. >> thank you, daniella. so, up next, a closer look at wisconsin senator ron johnson, who in recent weeks has pushed some wild conspiracy theories. the new questions now about what his next move may be. 's the #1 d used most by dermatologists? it's neutrogena® rapid wrinkle repair® smooths the look of fine lines in 1-week, deep wrinkles in 4. so you can kiss wrinkles goodbye! neutrogena® ♪i got it, you got it♪ ♪i want it, you want it♪ ♪when i want it, you've got it♪ ♪when you want it, i got it, i got it, yeah♪ ♪when they want it♪ ♪we got it, yeah♪
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are you a christian author with a book that you're ready to share with the world? get published now, call for your free publisher kit today! it's not clear if wisconsin senator ron johnson plans to run for a third term, but what is clear is the republican has changed a lot since first oi rivaling in d.c. >> from tea party insurgent to a peddler of conspiracy theories, senator johnson has a lot of people asking, what happened? here is cnn's sarah murray. >> reporter: as senator johnson toys with running for a third term, there seems to be no controversy the republican won't wade into. whether it is vaccines. >> strokes, it's a cornucopia of problems that people certainly believe are associated with the
vaccine. >> reporter: dismissing the climate crisis as b.s. >> i think climate change is, as was said -- >> reporter: or suggesting the fbi had inside knowledge of the january 6th insurrection but didn't thwart it. >> you think -- >> reporter: his apparent willingness to deny facts and spread conspiracies left some wondering, what happened to ron johnson? >> he was our guy. >> reporter: mark becker, former head of the county gop went to campaigning against him in a few short years. >> everything he has done since donald trump, it's been so devoid of reality. >> reporter: still becker called up johnson to air his frustration over republicans peddling unfounded claims. when johnson surprisingly returned the call. >> i said, biden won the
election. he said, 1.5 million people voted for trump. i'm not going to piss them off. >> reporter: did you hear from him at all after you wrote an editorial about the call? >> i sure did. you know i did. >> reporter: what happened? >> so, yeah, crazy. so i got a text on january 7th. so this was the day after the insur insurrection. mark, it is my sincere hope to never have to see or speak to a low-life weasel such as yourself again. please stop trying to contact me. they're still picking up glass on the floor of the capitol, and that's what his concern is. >> reporter: johnson declined an interview, but becker called him under false pretenses, he said, and he expected the call to be private. months later, he went public with what he claims the conversation was about and what i said. anyone who would do that is a low-life weasel and nothing they say should be given credence. this week, johnson was admitting
again that trump lost wisconsin. >> only reason trump lost wisconsin is republican voters didn't vote for him. nothing obviously skewed about the results. >> reporter: in a statement, johnson says the remarks are consistent with the 2020 election, and pointed to interviews where he admits biden won. he continued to raise unfounded claims of election irreg irregularities. to michelle, johnson the guy he first brought to a tea party event in 2019. >> he has always been a frank talker. he doesn't skirt around issues. he is not looking to make friends necessarily all the time. >> reporter: she says he won over the crowd with a personal story about his daughter's heart defect and his concerns about government-run health care. >> when ron spoke, you could have heard a pin drop. >> reporter: she was skeptical when he wanted to challenge the incumbent in the race. >> i said, i don't think you
really want to do that. he wasn't from politics. he ran a business. i was like, a campaign is county fairs, dairy breakfasts, seven days a week, 24-hours a week. >> reporter: she helped him make in roads with talk radio hosts. combined with his buzzy ads highlighting his back gunshot wound -- background, he won, ousting finegold in a gop election. >> we need to restore stability to the nation. >> reporter: democrats ran feingold again in 2016. >> reporter: and johnson notched another victory, this time alongside donald trump. what do you say when people are like, what happened to ron johnson? >> i get two questions. one is what happened to ron johnson, and the other is why is he saying all this stuff? why is he doing all this stuff? >> reporter: craig gilbert has been covering politics since the 1980s and following johnson since he was elected in 2010.
>> unusual to have a member of the senate from a 50/50 state, as conservative as johnson is, it is not great general election politics to be kind of where ron johnson has been on some of these issues. >> reporter: those issues include questioning safe and effective vaccines. >> should you be exposing yourself or should a parent expose their child to a vaccine that we don't know the long-term safety effect of these. >> reporter: while touting covid-19 treatments that health officials found ineffective, or as the fda warned, dangerous. >> it is not just hydroxychloroquine. there are other things we just complete ignored. >> reporter: johnson's spokeswoman said he is opposed to vaccine mandate, but like everyone, he wants the pandemic to end and hopes the vaccine will play a key role in ending it. johnson is also an advocate for early covid treatment. he is agnostic concerning which drugs would be effective. he wants them all researched. shimming insists his frankness
appears to voters. >> he is telling it as he sees it. there's a lot of voters who say that's what they want. >> reporter: as the senator grapples with whether to backtrack on his 2016 campaign pledge to seek only two terms -- >> i'm going to serve one more term. that's it. two terms. more than enough time. 12 years. feingold was there for 18 years. >> reporter: controversial comments like saying black lives matter protesters are threatening while insurrectionists are those, those are resurfacing. >> they would never do anything to break a law. i was concerned. had the tables been turned and president trump won the election and those were tens of thousands of black lives matter antifa protesters, i might have been a little concerned. >> reporter: johnson's spokeswoman says he condemns the violence but respects those who protested legally. his remarks are inrvigorating democratic hopefuls. >> he is a guy who is going to say the racist part out loud,
you know. we're talking real archie bunker on top of the conspiracy theories. >> reporter: with candidates like medela barns using his words against him. >> he speaks his truth and, unfortunately, he is delusional. welcome to the weekend. we are so glad to see you on this saturday, september 4th. i'm christi paul. >> good morning, christi. i'm boris sanchez. you are live in the cnn newsroom. we begin this morning with a massive cleanup that's under way right now from the deadly remnants of hurricane ida. of course, the dire conditions that people still struggling to face the recovery process are facing. the storm killed at least 50 people in the northeast. hurricane ida triggering flash flooding that washed away cars and hopes. >> that was in the north. in the south, louisiana, at least 13 people have died because of that storm. more than 700,000 homes and businesses do no
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