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Trump to Address Mass Shootings This Morning; Trauma Doctors Treat Dayton Patients; Walmart Faces Calls to End Firearm Sales; Soccer Star Calls out Congress. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired August 5, 2019 - 06:30   ET



[06:33:51] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: White supremacist terror. Those are words the president has yet to use to describe the attack in El Paso over the weekend that killed 20 people. An Anglo man, as the sheriff in El Paso said, who drove 10 hours to kill Hispanics. The president has used the words neither "white supremacist" nor "terror." What is the impact?

Joining me now is Jonathan Greenblatt. He is the CEO of the Anti- Defamation League.

And, Jonathan, it's very nice to have you on this morning. As I was saying as you were walking on, some day we'll get to talk in a different situation where it isn't quite so painful.

What do you think the president has to say this morning? Do you think he needs to call this attack "white supremacist terror"?

JONATHAN GREENBLATT, CEO, ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE: Yes, I think there are a few things, John, we need to think about today.

First and foremost, our hearts ache for the victims in El Paso, as well as those in Dayton. So we need to keep those people centered in front of our minds.

I think, secondly, as we talk about the president, keep in mind that today is the anniversary of the 2012 attack in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, where a man -- a white supremacist burst into a Sikh temple and murdered six worshipers, right? So white nationalism, violent -- this brand of violent extremism, it existed before President Trump and yet words have consequences.

[06:35:09] And so it's not even what he says today at 10:00, although there's something he needs to say, that white supremacy is a global terror threat, but it's what he says afterwards. It's, does he reinforced in message in an authentic way because for far too long the language that he's used, "invaders," describing people as "rapists" and "murderers," talking about open borders, these are literally staples of white supremacist rhetoric. And the idea that they're coming from our commander in chief is shocking.

BERMAN: I remember back after Charlottesville, David Duke sent out a message thanking President Trump for the language he chose to use and chose not to use.


BERMAN: So my question this morning is, it's been two days --


BERMAN: Since this white supremacist terror attack in Texas.


BERMAN: If you're a white nationalist, what do you read from the president's reticence to use those words?

GREENBLATT: Well, we know at ADL, because we've been tracking hate for a long time, that extremists feel emboldened in this moment because literally, as you said, the president's silence actually speaks volumes. So it's what he said and how he sort of vacillated after Charlottesville. It's when after Christchurch, when questioned about white supremacy he said he didn't think it was really a problem.

And we've seen this pattern repeat itself. Last week, after the killings in Gilroy, right, which another person motivated by white supremacist ideology, one of the most prominent extremists, he wrote on his website, this is the white nationalism we elected the president for. He said that after Gilroy and after the president's comments about the four congresswomen.

So the president, by not saying something, is sending a message. He can clear that up today. But, again, today is just the beginning. Unfortunately, I think it's a little bit too late because the message he's been sending for the last few years are the reason why these people feel so emboldened.

BERMAN: So 8chan, which is something that you've written about extensively --


BERMAN: Have spoken about extensively --


BERMAN: Which his this website that has served as the host for so many of these hateful, terroristic thoughts. Cloudflare, which is the security apparatus that was hosting the site --


BERMAN: They stopped working for 8chan this morning.


BERMAN: So, at least for now, you can't get on. Is that enough?

GREENBLATT: Well, it's a start. So let's keep in mind what 8chan is. I would sort of -- we often use services like FaceBook and Twitter and YouTube, right. 8chan is sort of the septic tank of the Internet. It's a cesspool for some of the worst elements in our society to talk about things like child pornography and violent extremism and the ideology around it.

But there's a whole value chain that makes services like 8chan work. So Cloudflare's done something really important because by refusing to provide online security, the service is actually down this morning. And there's other things that could be done. The banks and the financial institutions, which allow dollars to flow into these services, they should shut them down. The hosting companies that put them up online should shut them down.

You know, at the ADL, we really see that the fact -- that the, sorry, the front line in fighting hate is really the Internet. All of us can take steps to stop it.

BERMAN: I know at the ADL, I don't have to tell you, that hate existed before the Internet. Hate will exist after the Internet, but you don't have to make it easier.

GREENBLATT: That's exactly correct. Yes, there has always been intolerance. That isn't new.

What's new is that it's just a few clicks away. And that's something we can prevent.

BERMAN: All right, Jonathan Greenblatt, thank you for coming in this morning, helping us understand the impact of words. Unfortunately, again, as you said to me as you were coming in, this wasn't unpredictable.

GREENBLATT: No, not at all. And, in fact, in its predictability is what's the problem. Why I hope the president today and other leaders across the spectrum speak out.

BERMAN: All right, Jonathan, thank you very much.

GREENBLATT: Thank you.

BERMAN: Let's go back to Erica in El Paso.

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: John, a rush of shooting victims coming into an emergency room on a Saturday night. We'll talk to doctors in Dayton about how they handled that and saved lives. That's next.


[06:42:55] HILL: This morning we are learning more about the victims whose lives were tragically cut short when a gunman opened fire in Dayton, Ohio. And we are also learning more about the heroic actions that saved lives.

Joining me now is Dr. Peter Ekeh, he's a trauma doctor and medical director for Miami Valley Hospital's trauma program, and also Dr. Randy Marriott, an emergency physician at Miami Valley Hospital. Doctors, we appreciate you both joining us this morning.

Doctor Ekeh, when you got word of what had happened and the patients that were coming your way, what was your initial thought?

DR. PETER EKEH, MEDICAL DOCTOR, MIAMI VALLEY HOSPITAL TRAUMA PROGRAM : Well, I was called in. I was not actually on call. One of my colleagues was here, along with the rest of the trauma team. So I was at home. And as a level one trauma center, we do have a system of backups. So I had to come in from home. I was here within a few minutes.

HILL: Able to be there witness a few minutes.

I know, Dr. Marriott, as I understand it, you've -- you've been with Miami Valley Hospital for some 25 years nearly.


HILL: Has there been a shooting event like this in recent memory in Dayton, or that you've had to deal with in the past?

MARRIOTT: No. No, no. This -- this number is unprecedented.

HILL: And in terms of preparation, obviously as a level one trauma center, there's a certain level of training that's always happening. But to prepare for something like this, how often are you going through those trainings, especially as we're seeing more shootings throughout the country?

MARRIOTT: Right. Well, there's been a concerted regional effort to have training for active shooter response. We have a medical -- metropolitan medical response system, an MMRS here in the Dayton area, and that has brought together the first responders, including fire and EMS, law enforcement, public health, hospitals, et cetera.

And we've all trained together over several years. We've had a number of active duty -- active shooter exercises, most recently of which was last fall, which actually had a number of live brutalized (ph) victims coming into our hospital under similar circumstances. So I think we're fairly well rehearsed.

[06:45:07] In addition to that, as a level one trauma center, we see a number of simultaneous incidents and at times will have four, five, six victims at one -- at one time coming in within a short period of time. So that experience lends itself to being able to respond to what happened early Sunday morning.

HILL: That being said, there must still be -- you're in there, you're doing your job, as we know, Dr. Ekeh, but there must be a moment, especially as you calling in and then came in from home, was there a moment where you thought to yourself, I just watched coverage of something else or read about this in Texas and now here I am, at my own hospital in Dayton, and this is what's happening? Did that go through your mind, Dr. Ekeh? EKEH: Yes, certainly. You don't know what to expect. But I came into

the emergency department and saw the whole team ready to go. And it was clear that all the months and even years of drills really came into play because the staff acted very professionally and very effectively early that morning to deal with the patients that came in.

HILL: Dr. Marriott, you were talking about some of the training that you'd even had recently and training that overlaps with first responders. There's also an emotional component to this, though, for first responders, for physicians who are in these emergency room situations.

How do you handle that with your staff on the heels of an event like this?

MARRIOTT: Well, I -- first of all I'd like to say the first responders acted just extraordinarily. The police were able to neutralize this shooter in very, very rapid fashion. The fire and EMS folks came in very quickly behind them. They were able to get the victims out of that hot zone and get them rapidly transported.

Our staff acted admirably. By the time I got there, most everyone had been taken care of. And that was 14 victims. And at that point, probably in a span of less than 15 minutes. So, again, everyone acted to the highest standard.

As far as the aftermath, there's certainly going to be some emotional issues afterward as we find out more about who these individuals were in their place and roots in our community it's going to become harder. I think we can rely on each other, first and foremost. I think peer support is what is most called for here. And we're doing our best to give support to one another, to the first responders, the police officers. And I think as a community, that's where we -- that's where we get our most support and how we heal the best.

HILL: Dr. Randy Marriott, Dr. Peter Ekeh, I appreciate you both joining us this morning. Thank you.

MARRIOTT: Thank you.

EKEH: Thank you.

HILL: The shooting in El Paso happened at the Walmart that is right behind me. A superstore, which also sells guns. And this morning there are questions about whether that may change on the heels of this shooting. That's next.


[06:52:15] BERMAN: Walmart is one of the biggest sellers of legal firearms in the United States. It's also one of the latest scenes of deadly gun violence, home to the massacre in El Paso.

In the wake of the shooting, some critics are demanding Walmart take all guns off its shelves for good.

Our business correspondent Alison Kosik joins us.



You know, as the country's biggest retailer, Walmart remains a major seller of firearms. But if you look at what happened in the past week, it's actually been the scene of two shootings. Twenty killed inside a Walmart in El Paso, but also last Tuesday two employees killed in a shooting in Walmart in Mississippi. Walmart has shifted its gun sales policies in response to high-profile shootings, You look at what happened after the Parkland shooting. It stopped selling assault rifles and high-capacity magazines and it raised its minimum gun purchasing age from 18 to 21. It also requires background checks and it no longer sells toys that resemble assault rifles.

But the company still offers shotguns, bb guns and pellet guns, pistols and air rifles. Well, now the company is facing hundreds of calls on social media to stop selling guns altogether, especially if you see what's been happening on Twitter. Actress Alyssa Milano called for Walmart to take action, saying, it would be a true leadership position. Venture capitalist and entrepreneur Chris Sacca had a different -- a similar response on Twitter as well.

Now, for now, Walmart's policies remain the same, saying in a statement, their focus is supporting our associates, our customers, and the El Paso community. But the retailer has become part of a larger conversation of holding corporate America responsible for addressing social issues, especially, John, since our lawmakers don't seem to be doing enough.


BERMAN: All right, Alison Kosik, thank you very much.

You want to see how far this discussion has spread over the last two days about what this country needs to do to fight the epidemic of hate and the epidemic of gun violence? Wait until you see what a member of the U.S. national soccer team did seconds after he scored a goal. That's next.


[06:58:30] BERMAN: A really dramatic moment overnight in a major league soccer game. Alejandra Bedoya, who has played on the U.S. national team, took a moment to speak out in the middle of a game on gun violence.

Andy Scholes has it in this morning's "Bleacher Report."



You know, we often see athletes use their platform to speak out about social issues off the field. But Philadelphia Union star and U.S. national team star Alejandra Bedoya, he let his voice be heard loud and clear on the field. After scoring the opening goal against D.C. United yesterday, Bedoya, he went and celebrated with his teammates, then he grabbed a field microphone, which is used to capture natural sound at the game, and he used it to send a message to lawmakers on Capitol Hill.


ALEJANDRA BEDOYA, PHILADELPHIA UNION PLAYER: Hey, Congress, do something now! End gun violence! Let's go!


SCHOLES: Yes, Bedoya has been outspoken about gun issues. He's from Weston, Florida, about 15 minutes from Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, where 17 students and faculty were killed in a mass shooting last year. And before the game, Bedoya tweeted, seeing more thoughts and prayers BS. Words without actions are just worthless. America, it seems, is becoming a dystopian society. Do something. Enough.

Bedoya also said he'll never just stick to sports. John, he has to take a stand and everyone should.

BERMAN: Didn't even wait until the end of the game. Did it during the game, Andy Scholes. It shows the urgency that at least a soccer player has on this issue.

Andy, thank you very much for being with us this morning.

SCHOLES: All right.

BERMAN: The question is, America, what are you going to do about it? Mr. President, what are you going to do about it? No more questions. No more search for answers. How about solutions?

[07:00:07] NEW DAY continues right now.