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tv   CNN Newsroom With Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto  CNN  March 26, 2021 6:00am-7:00am PDT

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good friday morning. i'm poppy harlow. so glad you're with me. jim sciutto is off this week. it's a move that cuts to the core of our democracy. republican state lawmakers in georgia just rushed through a law that, simply put, makes it harder for a lot of people to vote. and critics say it disproportionately targets minority voters. the law limits the use of ballot drop boxes, mandating they be inside early voting locations and only open during voting hours. that's not really the point of a drop box, by the way. it makes it a crime to give voters food and water just as they wait in line to vote. it allows for unlimited challenges to voter registration and eligibility. it grants state officials the ability to replace local election officials and it imposed new voter i.d. requirements for absentee voting. it's called senate bill 202, and it was signed by the governor
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behind closed doors last night. when georgia state representative park cannon knocked on the governor's door repeatedly, calling for transparency, she was arrested are in just doing that. watch. >> why are you all arresting her? >> why are you arresting her? >> why are you arresting her? can you cite the code? why are you all arresting her? why are you all arresting her? >> this morning, she faces two felony charges. two felony charges for that. the fight, though is not over. a lawsuit has already been filed on behalf of three civil rights groups. the bill in georgia matters a lot for the people of georgia, but it is just one of many efforts across the country to restrict voting after the nation saw record turnout in the november election. so let's begin with dianne gallagher. she joins us in atlanta, georgia, this morning. good morning, diane. for people who don't fully understand what this law does, i just want to start by running through a few scenarios with you
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if that's okay. and you tell us what this means. first of all, if i am a voter in georgia, can i hand out food and water to people waiting in line to vote, like a coffee or soda. is that okay? >> no, that's a misdemeanor now. >> a misdemeanor. okay. what if i'm a voter and don't want to wait in line. i could drop off a ballot in an outdoor ballot box just the way governor kemp voted last year, right? >> no, no more. ballot drop boxes now are only located inside early voting polling locations and they are only able to be accessed during voting hours. >> so i can't vote the way the governor of georgia voted. okay. can i swing by after a long day of work, drop off a ballot after business hours. is that okay? >> no. only during operating hours and most of those close at 5:00 p.m. during early voting. >> but if i work until
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5:00 p.m., then i don't have a choice. what if the election is in ten days. can i request an absentee ballot then? >> no, not anymore. and this is one of the parts of this bill that a lot of activists have said is -- it's frustrating for them because it does limit options. and the whole point of making it easier to vote is often to increase options. to make things convenient for people. but i'll say that some election experts don't have a problem with this particular measure because they say that, look, there have been a lot of problems. the usps has been crumbling and they did run into people who requested their absentee ballots too close to the election and they just never got them. so in some cases, they do view this as a bit of a safeguard. but a lot of activists say they're rolling back so many other conveniences that, overall, they are just making it harder to vote. >> okay. is there anything in this bill, dianne, that makes it easier for
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people to vote. >> i think it depends on who is doing the voting, right? there are a lot of elements of this bill that aren't getting as much coverage because some of them are mundane changes. but take for example a lot of headlines about this bill, poppy, that said they were getting rid of sunday early voting. souls to the polls when black church goes after church and vote together. they eliminated that part of the bill and instead they doubled the number of required early voting saturdays from one to two, and added two optional sundays. but they also added required operational hours on those weekend votings from 7:00 to 7:00. used to be up to the county. so for the vast majority of counties in georgia, especially the smaller and whiter counties, they did expand access to early weekend voting. for counties here that have been using that early weekend voting for so many of their residents, it's likely they're going to lose some of their early voting
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hours, even though the bill as a whole does expand access on paper. if that makes any sense. >> it does make sense. before you go there's one more provision in here about the power that the secretary of state would have, raffensberger, for example, a republican. that changed. can you explain why it matters that it changed? >> oh, yeah. so to begin with, look, i don't think that anybody has forgotten about the problems between the former president president trump and brad raffensberger. president trump was very outspoken about his disdain for the fact that the secretary of state kind of wouldn't do his bidding, it seems. so this bill removed the secretary of state as the chair of the state board of elections. instead, makes it somebody that they appoint. of course, republicans control both the house and senate here in the state of georgia as well as the governorship. so basically what they've done
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is, in addition to that, they have increased their broad power over local election management to the point that their appointees can replace local election officials, poppy. this is the part of the bill that most concerns activists because they say, if this had been in place in 2020, we may have seen very different result s here in georgia. >> very important point. dianne, thank you for that reporting. let me bring in the vice dean of usc law school and an expert on all things election law. so stacey abrams calls this blatantly unconstitutional. these voting rights groups have already filed first amendment lawsuits. what do you think happens in the courts on this? >> actually, it depends. so my view it is unconstitutional. i agree with stacey abrams. it makes voting more difficult without justification to uphold
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these particular restrictions. for example, and this is the irony here. the republicans are using the president's lies about voter fraud in order to make voting more difficult. the problem, and my concern, is that courts have been deferential to state legislatures in this state. and they don't require actual evidence of fraud. but these restrictions might go too far. in addition to the voter i.d. requirements for absentee voting, and in a situation where 1.3 million georgians voted absentee, you have these other restrictions that also may make voting too difficult for a court to countenance these restrictions. so it just depends. it really depends on how the courts defer to the state legislature here. >> okay. so if it stands up to scrutiny in the courts, the only thing that could overturn this law in georgia then would be federal law. like hr-1 or sb-1, which doesn't appear to be going anywhere, given the vote requirement and the existence of the filibuster,
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right? >> yes. and hr-1 only applies to federal elections. this applies to federal and state elections. so we have a situation where even federal law is somewhat limited. let's not forget that the supreme court gutted a portion of the voting rights act in 2013 which would have prevented many provisions of this law. and so it's -- i'm not optimistic, but i applaud the groups who decided to file lawsuits because you still have to try. >> you're talking about the supreme court case shelby v. holder. the current chief justice, john roberts, wrote the majority opinion in that. i suppose a case could be brought up to the court, if the supreme court accepted another case. could that even potentially overturn some of shelby v. holder on the voting rights front? >> no, unfortunately, shelby county versus holder gutted a provision that congress would have to reauthorize. there are currently bills pending, but this -- if this
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case works its way up to the supreme court, you have a 6-3 conservative supreme court majority who has been deferential to state legislatures. so over the last year, with the litigation around covid and voting restrictions and such, the court basically let state legislatures do whatever they wanted to do, so this is why i'm somewhat worried here. but i do think that, you know, these groups might see some decisions -- some favorable decisions in a lower court. that's possible. >> thank you for your wise legal mind in explaining all of it to us. >> all right. thank you. this morning, despite crises on multiple fronts facing the biden administration, president biden is not letting it derail his big plans for the economy. he'll travel to pittsburgh next week and unveil there a multitrillion-dollar infrastructure plan. our chief business correspondent christine romans is with me. also nia kumar, assistant editor for politico.
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another multitrillion-dollar plan, christine. can you explain what the vision of the biden administration is here and how they'll get republicans on board? >> well, there's the vision and whether they can get republicans on board. the vision is big. it's building stuff. a lot of stuff. investing in roads, bridges, railways. ports. electronic -- electric vehicle charging stations. 5g. the cellular network. including domestic manufacturing in the u.s. as well. things that people will feel and that will put people back to work at higher paying jobs. that's the infrastructure part. clean energy in there as well. the second part is that domestic economic agenda. the caring economy as some are calling it, or the quality of living really agenda here for low-income workers and working families to make the child tax credit permanent, to offer maybe free community college.
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so the kinds of things to shore up the human part of the economy as you're shoring up the hard part of the economy. >> as christine points out, this is labeled an infrastructure plan or infrastructure bill but there are a whole lot of democratic wish list things that aren't exactly infrastructure in there. and congressional republicans warned transportation secretary pete buttigieg about that on the hill yesterday. >> that's exactly right. they are looking at two different things they oppose. they oppose some of these issues. these things that are not the bricks and mortar. they're not roads and bridges. but they also oppose the tax increases and how this is going to be paid for. and they are saying this is not what they had in mind. they support infrastructure, but they don't support the expansion, and they don't support how it's being paid for. and as you mentioned at the top here, they've just pushed through this bill, this almost $2 trillion bill for coronavirus
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relief. and they feel like this is just too much spending at this time. so it remains to be seen if they'll support any of this or if the democrats will try to find another way through this. or if they don't get republican support. >> i guess the only way through that would be you eliminate the filibuster, which the white house is saying you aren't going to do and then you'd need every democrat. the other way would be through reconciliation, but then they have to prove to the senate parliamentarian that it's budget related, which i guess they could try to do. can they? >> i don't know the -- i don't know the maneuvers on that front, but i can tell you this is really big. there's a lot in here. you'll hear republicans complain there are progressive wish -- you know, wish lists in here. but what this administration has been saying, even on the campaign trail, they've been saying we can put 5 million people to work on infrastructure. bring all the people back who lost their jobs in the pandemic when we spend this money
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smartly. this is not spending in their view. this is investment. and you look at how low interest rates are. republicans have been on board with infrastructure before. so far this is still one big huge pie that i think the white house is going to deliver. will they cut it into pieces? that's the question of how you get it through. >> they could try to make the argument, anita, made by bernie sanders and others trying to get the $15 through reconciliation saying if you put more people to work and pay them a living wage, then it's less of an impact on the budget on government spending for their wages on the other side of it. but at the middle of all of this is the filibuster. i wonder what you think about president biden's comments and kaitlan collins', our colleague's great questioning about the filibuster yesterday in the press conference. let's listen to this from biden. >> i'm going to say something outrageous. if we have to, if there's
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complete lockdown and chaos as a consequence of the filibuster, then we'll have to go beyond what i'm talking about. >> the white house has been firm, i guess, until yesterday, saying we're not budging on the filibuster other than maybe a talking filibuster. did that change with biden's commends? >> i feel like those were his strongest comments to date. it's so interesting to look back at the last two months. at the beginning of the mr administration, he was opposed to any changes and his language and the white house's language has gradually changed. and you talked about how he said and they've said that they would -- wants it to get back to a talking filibuster. yesterday we saw him saying, look, if my agenda can't go through, we'll look at other ways to get this through. so i do think they are moving in that direction. president biden is really adamant he wants these two packages in. the one he got, with no republican support, and the infrastructure package. he feels that he was elected to deal with these two issues, right? getting the coronavirus under
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control and bringing back the economy. thought it was also telling in that press conference that he called other issues that were asked about. immigration, firearms, voting rights, long-term issues. so it's clear that this is his focus right now. >> anita kumar, christine romans, always good to have you. still to come -- dominion voting systems, you remember that name because it was attacked repeatedly by former president trump and conservative news outlets during and after the 2020 election. that company is now suing fox news for $1.6 billion. we'll tell you why. and then there's this. former president trump making blatant false claims about the january 6th capitol insurrection. he just said in an interview there was, quote, zero threat that day. even said that some of the insurrectionists were, quote, hugging and kissing police officers.
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this just in. dominion voting systems, the target of baseless conspiracy theories about election fraud, it's now suing fox news. the company just filed a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against fox arguing the media outlet falsely claimed it had rigged the 2020 election. remember dominion was at the center of attacks spread by president trump and his allies following his loss to president biden. let's go to my colleague brian stelter, our chief media correspondent, host of "reliable sources." explain why this matters so much here. and i wonder if fox news is saying anything, what their defense could be in this. >> the network has just
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responded. i'll share that in just a moment. this is a really remarkable lawsuit. you don't see these every day or every week or every month. what we're seeing are these technology companies trying to punish the murdochs, where it hurts in their bank accounts. in their wallets. to the tune of billions of dollars. smartmatic sued first. now it's dominion. these two companies were both alleged to be in cahoots with one another to rig the election. of course, that was nonsense. it was debunked thousands of times. yet it was promoted on fox in november and december by guests and by hosts. the new lawsuit this morning alleges this was done for profit. here's part of the quote from the lawsuit saying the truth matters. lies have consequences. fox sold a false story of election fraud in order to serve its own commercial purposes. meaning to boost the ratings. and dominion alleges severe injury to its reputation as a result. it may be hard to get $1.6 billion as a result. figuring out the damages will be a complicated process. but proving injury, proving damage may end up being easier
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because of how dominion's reputation was affected. fox in a statement, they are saying the same thing they said about smartmatic. they were proud of their 2020 election coverage. they believe it stands in the highest tradition of american journalist and they say they will vigorously defend against this lawsuit in court. their argument is, you know, if the president of the united states is out there claiming he was, you know, cheated out of an election, we need to cover that story. we need to take it seriously. that's been fox's claim, but i don't -- look. you and i went to journalism school. we didn't learn in journalism school you are both to take both sides and treat them the same, even if one side is lying and making stuff up. >> no, you're supposed to check -- fact check what people in power say. before you go, though. this connects to the bigger issue that we led the show with, which is voting rights and what happened in georgia overnight. >> yeah, that's what i was thinking. this big lie from last fall promoted by pro-trump propaganda
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networks is now the cover, is now the excuse for these attempts at voter suppression. we have to see this as a one in the same. a connection between the lies last year and now the fallout. and some of the fallout, poppy, will be in court due to these lawsuits. >> it is. brian, thank you. more than 100 capitol police officers were injured in the violent insurrection on the u.s. capitol on january the 6th. five people died. those are the facts. but what you are about to hear is a lie from former president trump. >> there was zero threat. look, they went in. they shouldn't have done it. some of them went in, and they are hugging and kissing the police and the guards. you know, they had great relationships. a lot of the people were waved in, and then they walked in, and they walked out. >> does this look like a great relationship?
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an officer crushed in a door as the mob pushes to get inside. how about what capitol police officer harry dunn told our don lemon about that day. >> once i had time to sit down and put it all together, it was just so overwhelming that here we are giving so much and putting our lives on the line to protect democracy and keep it. and we're being called racial slurs, traitors and any just weapon that these people could use because they were upset. we had officers that took their life because of the stress that they endured from that day. that is what happened. i don't know how you can word it any different than what exactly happened. >> yeah. or what about this? new video released just this week shows officer brian
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sicknick who died. sprayed with that bear spray. does that look like zero threat? and to you, former president trump, have you forgotten the memorial held in his honor in the very building your supporters mobbed? here with me, former fbi director, andy mccabe. you worked in the administration before you were fired by the president. when you listen to those words and see everything that we just showed our viewers, what do you think? >> you know, poppy, it's -- we tend to listen to trump's lies and just kind of throw them in the same bag of nonsense that we've been listening to for years and years and years. it's hard to find a new low. but this really might be it. he is now denying the very reality that every single one of us, conservative, liberal, whatever, saw on television. has seen and experienced over and over, endless loops like the one you just showed.
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he's just absolutely denying a reality. and to do it in a way that is so directly insults and sullys the memories of those law enforcement officers who lost their lives, two of whom killed themselves in the days following that event after having experienced that brutal attack. it's just such a brutal and heartless level of disrespect for the men and women who put themselves in great, great danger to protect our country. it's just absolutely horrendous. i think it's hit a new low. >> it will be, i think, very important to listen to what his fellow republican lawmakers choose to say or not say about this. but one who is speaking out, andy, is sitting republican congressman adam kinzinger. he tweeted this. he, about the former president, is an utter failure. no remorse.
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no regret. it is sick and disgusting. what is the impact of it? i just think about the impact on security for our elected officials. if the president was saying that was zero threat, isn't that something that just emboldens people to do it again? >> sure. the president is basically saying, you know, that was hugging and kissing. beating police officers with ax handles and their own shields or flag poles or poles ripped from the scaffolding around the capitol, that's perfectly acceptable to the president. so that's the message that his most violent and extreme supporters get. we know they came to the capitol on that day because he told them, come to d.c., quote, it's going to be wild. we saw that in the text messages of kelly meggs, the oath keeper leader from florida. those text messages having been released just a few days ago. so what he says, as absurd and offensive as it is, it resonates
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with this community. and it signals them to take future action. so i think this is definitely not helping the current threat level that we're experiencing from domestic violent extremists. >> and remember what prompted that insurrection was the big lie at the president perpetrated. the big lie about the result of the election and that brings me to ask you about dominion, the voting company, the voting system company now suing fox news for $1.6 billion. beyond the money amount, the facts that they are standing up and saying, you helped perpetrate this lie about us, vis-a-vis the election. your thoughts? >> well, i mean, my first thought was, good for them. they are going right to the source of, you know, the amplification of this falsehood, this false grievance that's driven us to such an extreme place in this country. but i think it's going to be fascinating to watch. we saw earlier this week in the
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filings by sidney powell in a similar lawsuit where she was finally pushed to the point that she had to basically give in and say, oh, essentially, you know, everything i said about the stealing the election, nobody could possibly have taken it seriously. i.e., it was just my opinion. let's see if fox news gets pushed to that point where they have to admit they didn't conduct themselves to the standards of any normal journalism. they chenged n checked nothing to amplify these messages of false grievance for their own profit and their own ratings. >> that's a really important point. andy mccabe, thank you very much. >> thank you. next, we have new details on how coronavirus may, infect your mouth, saliva. how does this correlate to the loss of taste, and what does it mean, next.
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welcome back. president biden setting a new goal in the race to vaccinate america during his first official press conference yesterday. biden committed to reaching 200 million shots in arms. the president called it ambitious. let me bring in michael osterholm, the center for infectious disease research and policy at the university of minnesota. good morning. good to have you. >> good to be back. >> it's nice to exceed prior goals. that's a good thing, i think, for everyone. let's talk about other people getting vaccinated. there's news that pfizer now
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says their vaccine should be through the trial process on younger teenagers and kids aged 12 to 15 by the beginning of the upcoming school year. when they release that data on that trial on 12 to 15-year-olds, what will you be looking for specifically in there? >> just take a step back and remember that we want everyone in the united states, for that matter, around the world, to be vaccinated. very important. up until now, the challenge we've had has been getting enough doses of vaccine to people who want it. i think the real challenge we're going to have going forward it, we'll soon hit a time where we're going to have more vaccine than there are people willing to take it. and i think our big challenge was going to be getting people convinced that they must, in order to protect themselves, get vaccinated. this will be true for children also. and i am looking forward to the day for which we can actually vaccinate our kids. but i think we're a long ways from out of the woods on this issue in terms of vaccine in
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this country because we have such a large segment of our population who said they're just not going to get vaccinated. that's going to be a real challenge. >> that's a really interesting point. and if those adults feel that way and are vocalizing it, michael, what does that portend for their children? it's going to be the parents that are making the decision about vaccinating their children, for the most part, up to a certain age at least. >> and i think you've hit it on the head right there. we have to do a much better job of explaining to the public what these vaccines are, what they can do, how safe they are and why it's so important not just to get yourself vaccinated but when we vaccinate our entire community, that's when we actually reduce the transmission of the virus through our communities. this is going to be true on a global basis. our job right now is to continue to keep the doses of vaccine coming forward. and i give the administration great credit for that. they've done a remarkable job of moving vaccine out. but we're in a transition team. pretty soon it's going to be you and me trying to tell people out
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there what these vaccines are all about and a way to get them vaccinated. if we don't do that we'll see continued transmission in our communities at a high level. >> can you help me understand why ihme, which is the gold standard model for projecting deaths from covid, now says that at least 600,000 people in the u.s. will die from covid by july 1st. that's 4,000 more than they were projecting just a week ago. but it's coming when 2.5 million people in america a day are getting vaccinated. why would their projection get more dire even when more people are getting vaccinated? >> well, again, let's take a step back and look at the numbers. while it's 2.5 million people a day getting vaccinated, it's really only half of that. we're giving two doses to people. and, therefore, it really is how many new people are being vaccinated every day. when you look at the numbers, as of this morning, still about 17 million americans, 65 years of age and older have not had a drop of vaccine yet.
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at the same time we're seeing this b.1.1.7. virus surge in the united states. just three weeks ago, only 14 states had increasing cases over a seven-day period. today it's 33 states have that same situation. right here in minnesota, the upper midwest, is really turning in to a picture of what we saw last november just before we had the big surge. in the northeast today, you're seeing the very same thing there. so we still have over 55% of the u.s. population that is still vulnerable to this virus. and vulnerable to a surge in activity. so while the vaccines are coming, they're not coming nearly fast enough, right now, to really curtail this surge of cases. that's why i keep coming back and asking the question over and over again, why are we loosening up all of our recommendations and requirements for the public to protect themselves? i mean, poppy, with honesty, who wants to be the person to die three days before they're scheduled to get their vaccine? what we're doing right now is really leading to that very kind of scenario. >> michael osterholm, thank you
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for being with us. >> thank you. deadly storms ripped through the south overnight. 23 possible tornadoes? we are live in a town hit so hard by them, next. what if you could have the perspective to see more? at morgan stanley, a global collective of thought leaders offers investors a broader view. ♪ we see companies protecting the bottom line by putting people first. we see a bright future, still hungry for the ingenuity of those ready for the next challenge. today, we are translating decades of experience into strategies for the road ahead. we are morgan stanley.
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with benefits like dental, vision and hearing. and telehealth. that's the aetna medicare advantage. call today to learn more or to be connected to a local agent in your community and we'll send you a $10 visa reward card with no obligation to enroll. this morning, the death toll is climbing after a tornado outbreak strikes the south. officials in georgia confirmed one person died, five other people died in alabama. so you've got six total there. and now so many communities are reeling and cleaning up after the absolute devastation. it looks like 23 possible tornadoes in all reported. two men capturing this dramatic
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video. look at that. from inside one of their cars. they are driving home. surreal images. meteorologist derek van dam is in eagle point, alabama. good morning to you. five deaths across the state. wow. >> yeah, heartbreaking morning for residents here just outside of birmingham. we're in the eagle point community where first light within the past hour or two revealing some of the damage behind me talking to local residents who were shaking, reliving an account of their terrifying tornado last evening. they said that the trees that you see behind me aren't even part of their property. so they were uplifted and deposited on their front lawn here. i want to give you a perspective, an idea of what kind of damage we're seeing. a lot of loose leaf shrapnel, but complete roofs have been torn off of homes here as well. lots of tree damage. as a meteorologist, we're able to determine, unofficially, how
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powerful these winds were by a scale called the enhanced fujita scale. just looking at the considerable damage that we see behind us, roofs torn off of buildings, trees uprooted. this is along the lines of what is called an ef-2 tornado with winds of upwards of around 135 miles per hour. it really was a devastating night for people. we actually saw mobile homes completely ripped off of their foundations. we went to an animal rescue center last night. and there was complete chaos because all the animals, up to 50 horses, several goats and sheep that were just roaming around. and there were residents there trying to come together and corral these animals and get them into safe shelter. i want to point this out behind you here. you see that x on that door there? that's because the sheriffs within the county that were located at eagle point around this area, they had to do search and rescue operations for all the damaged homes around this area. when they do that, they have to
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clear these homes before they can move on to the next house to make sure that there's no one trapped inside. there were injuries within this community. they've been sent to local area hospitals. and it is going to be a long and difficult cleanup process for this community without a doubt. >> for sure. derek, thank you for being with us. ahead -- this story. hundreds of adopted children in china were all ready to meet their new families. then covid hit. now they're stuck in limbo waiting for a chance to finally be united. we'll speak to one family struggling with their 7-year-old daughter overseas. >> every time i go into her room and just see her pink bed there that's no one has slept in, it's just a heartbreaking reality. helping to prevent gum disease and bad breath. never settle for 25%. always go for 100. bring out the bold™
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for hundreds of children living in china right now, it was the best news of their lives. they would finally be adopted. many packed their bags and said good-bye to their friends and got ready to meet their new families. but then covid-19 struck. a year later, the children are still stuck in china leaving hundreds of adoptive families in america stuck in limbo. separated. and now the families are pleading with officials in china and the u.s. to help them to let them finally be reunited with their children. here is the story of the welch family. >> reporter: the welch family is full of energy. all five kids making the most of extra time at home this year.
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but the cheerful laughs belie a deep sadness. one person is missing, their 7-year-old adopted sister from china. >> we were ready to go get her last spring. covid-19 struck and travel was shut down. and now here we are a year later. >> reporter: amy and stephen welch adopted grace almost four years earlier, also from china. >> can you tell me about penelope? >> she is still in china. >> grace couldn't wait to share her room with penelope. >> every time i go into her room and see her pink bed there, no one slept in. it's just a heartbreaking reality. >> she knows we're coming. she draws pictures of our house and with mommy and daddy written on it. >> reporter: the five other children are still processing the past year without their expected new sister. are you so excited to meet penelope? >> yes. and some people are sick. >> reporter: some people are sick.
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>> yeah. and we can't go and play. >> not yet. >> missing out on that time with her has been disappointing. >> makes me sad sometimes. i feel powerless. >> reporter: the welches are one of what the state department says are 400 american families whose adoptions of churn in ch children in china were put on hold because of covid-19 and for some, that means devastating consequences. >> the china doadoption programs a special needs adoption program and many people that are in touch with them have deteriorating conditions or need urgent surgeries or therapies they just can't get until they are home. >> reporter: in february, the welches received a letter from the chinese government saying that adoptions remain suspended due to covid-19 safety concerns. cnn requested a comment from the chinese government adoption agency, the ccwa, but did not receive a response. the u.s. state department tells cnn they're committed to working with china to find a solution.
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are you worried that clear public deterioration of u.s.-china relations will delay your ability to hug penelope and bring her home? >> whatever the differences are, this is uniting children with loving families. that's something that everyone is behind. >> reporter: in the meantime, the relwe will am family separa by an ocean are making the most of the time waiting. penelope is taking english lessons. while 10-year-old caleb is learning mandarin. a family imbrembracing cultures anti-asian hate surges in the united states. >> we're committed to being a chinese-american family. >> we're a trans racial family. >> reporter: do you have any doubts, stephen, that penelope is coming at some point? >> i don't have any doubt. >> reporter: once the wait is over, little grace knows exactly how she'll get to her new big sister. >> i hug her and play with her
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and the plane goes over the water. >> our thanks to the welch family for letting us share their story. emblematic of what hundred dridz of families are going through and hundreds of children now. each day that goes by, they hold on to hope that they might get their daughter penelope home before her 8th birthday this fall. the battle over voting, georgia is the latest to restrict voting with new laws that will impact minority voters. the sweeping changes explained ahead. hello i'm an idaho potato farmer. you know a lot of folks think of a potato, even an idaho potato as a side dish. but does this look like a side dish to you? ...or this? ...or these? does a side dish have a dog like this? ...or a truck like this? or a good-looking, charismatic, spokesfarmer like me? i think we both know the answer to that. always look for the grown in idaho seal. side dish?
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top of the hour. good morning, everyone. i'm poppy harlow. jim sciutto has the week off. the state of georgia has just overnight passed a new law that really attacks a key tenant of american democracy, that is
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the right to vote for everyone, equally. critics say a series of new voting restrictions just passed into law and signed by the governor in the battleground state are a clear attempt, they say, to suppress ballot access. republicans say otherwise. here is what it does. it limits the use of ballot drop boxes to only being inside early voting locations and only there and open during voting hours. it imposes new voter id requirements. it grants state officials ability to replace local election officials. it makes it a crime to just give someone waiting in line to vote anything to drink, any water or any food. now a lawsuit has already been filed on behalf of three civil rights groups over it arguing it violates the first amendment. but this bill was signed into law by the governor behind closed doors last night. state lawmaker is now facing two felony charges after she

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