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Bahamas Minister of Health Duane Sands Discusses Hurricane Death Toll, CBP Stopping Evacuees from Boarding Ferry to U.S., and Bahaman Government Response; Trump Speaks at Ceremony Honoring Officers, Heroes Who Responded to El Paso & Dayton Shootings; Rescue Operation Underway off Georgia Coast after Cargo Ship Capsizes. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired September 9, 2019 - 11:30   ET



KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Minister, I was going to ask you about that. The status of the hospitals, troubling reports that, like in Grand Bahama, they can't perform surgery. They're not even equipped for that yet. The rooms that aren't flooding, the ones that are available that aren't flooded, they are completely full. What is the status of the hospital situation?

DUANE SANDS, MINISTER OF HEALTH, THE BAHAMAS (via telephone): Well, we have recognized, underwater, the operating room, the intensive care center, et cetera, even though we've managed to clean it out, it is not safe nor sanitary for use.

We have the wonderful fortune of having international NGOs from the United States, in particular, but from other countries, as well. The Dutch have created field hospitals and the Samaritans Purse Field Hospital, which will have the capacity to provide in-patient beds, ICU services. Operating room services will be open today.

There are other private facilities that are providing services and we are delivering babies and doing basic surgery. And we expect that within another 24 hours, we will have replaced the in-patient or acute care capacity and the outpatient capacity across the entire island of Grand Bahama.

When we look at Abaco, we are probably about 70 percent there. There are many of the keys and some of the northern outposts that deserve additional attention.

But for the most part, I have been very pleased with the return to normalcy at least in the provision of health services.

BOLDUAN: Well, that is -- that is --


SANDS: One challenge that we haven't addressed is the increased demand on the providence. BOLDUAN: Well, that is some good news to hear, though, that the

hospital capacity is getting back up. And as you very well know, as a doctor yourself, that is one of the key things in the aftermath of one of these things.

Minister, thank you so much for coming on. We'll check back in. I really appreciate you jumping on.

SANDS: Thank you. And have a great day. Bye-bye.

BOLDUAN: Thank you.

We'll be right back.


BOLDUAN: I'm going to take you to the White House right now. President Trump is speaking at a ceremony honoring officers and heroes who responded to the shootings in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, last month. Let's listen in.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: -- these incredible patriots responded to the worst violence and most barbaric hatred with the best of American courage, character and strength.

Faced with grave and harrowing threats, the men and women standing behind us stepped forward to save the lives of their fellow Americans. Few people could have done and even would have done what they did.

In a few moments, I will award six police officers from Dayton, Ohio, with our nation's highest public safety award, the Medal of Valor.


I will also honor five Americans from El Paso, Texas, with certificates of commendation, recognizing these civilians that displayed tremendous bravery.

The light from these souls defied the darkness and confronted the most sinister danger.

Would you all please join me in expressing our deepest gratitude and highest admiration to these unbelievably exceptional Americans? Thank you.


TRUMP: We're also joined by Senator John Cornyn and several members of my cabinet.

And I want to thank you all for being here.

John, thank you very much.

Most importantly, to the families of our heroes, you understand better than anyone the difference your loved ones have made in the lives of so many Americans. We treasure you and we really do thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Again, thank you very much. Great job.

One month ago, America witnessed horror beyond belief. On Saturday, August 3rd, at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, the soulless and bigoted monster killed 22 innocent people and wounded 27 others. Happened very quickly. It was a racist attack motivated by pure evil, hatred.

The next day, in Dayton, Ohio, a vile and wicked murderer stole nine lives and injured 34 others.

Our nation was shocked and enraged by these inhuman and sadistic acts of bloodshed. We fail to comprehend how any person could be so warped by malice and contempt.

Every heart breaks for the families who lost precious loved ones. And every American grieves for those who were so cruelly taken from us.

In the midst of such profound anguish, one memory fills us with hope. When evil showed its hideous face, Americans of all walks of life rose up. And they did. They rose up, they defied fear. They stared down death to protect the innocent. And stand tall they did just for righteous and for good.

Several days after the shootings, the first lady and I visited both cities. We met with first responders, hospital staff, survivors and families. We will never forget the unity and love we saw in those communities and at those hospitals. It was incredible.

In Ohio, I had the privilege of meeting the six Dayton police officers who, without a moment's hesitation, immediately and courageously engaged the gunman ending his attack and rescuing countless lives.

Who knew and who can even understand how many lives would have been taken if they didn't act so quickly?

Just after 1:00 a.m. on August 4th, these officers were patrolling the streets of downtown Dayton when the killer opened fire into an innocent crowd. The shooter continued firing as he ran down a sidewalk packed with people.

Sergeant William Knight was stationed in his cruiser about 150 feet away. He heard the gun fire, jumped out of his car and quickly returned fire.

Meanwhile, Officer Brian Rolfis ran directly towards the shooter and into the onslaught of incoming bullets.

Then Officers Jeremy Campbell, Vincent Carter, Ryan Nabel and David Denlinger moved in, engaging the shooter at close range, calling upon years of training in the span of an instant.

Millions of Americans saw the video footage of these officers calmly charging forward in the midst of chaos and constant fire.

Without a thought for their own safety, they stood square to the target, executed their mission and brought down the murderers with precision gun fire. It was just before that maniac was ready to enter a very crowded

restaurant and bar. Within 32 seconds of the start of the attack, these six officers ended the violent rampage and saved countless lives.


Today, it is my immense honor to award the Medal of Valor to those law enforcement heroes: Sergeant William Knight and Officers Brian Rolfis, Jeremy Campbell, Vincent Carter, Ryan Nabel and David Denlinger.

To each of you, we are in awe of your swift response, sterling professionalism, and rock-solid nerves of steel. On behalf of our entire nation, we thank you for your remarkable and heroic actions in the line of duty.

And we just want to thank you so much. What a great job you've done. Thank you very much.



TRUMP: Today, we are also honoring five Americans who risked their lives to save others during the brutal attack at the Walmart in El Paso, Texas.

Walmart store manager, Robert Evans, was outside the store entrance when he heard the gunman fire his first shot. Robert instantly alerted employees of the active shooter.

He saw the killer heading towards the store, so he raced inside and directed customers toward the nearest emergency exits helping hundreds escape to safety. Incredible.

Robert, you exemplify noble leadership and selfless service. Thank you very much, Robert. Great.


TRUMP: Thank you, Robert.


TRUMP: Walmart employee, Gilbert Serna, heard Robert's alert over the radio and immediately, without hesitation, guided dozens of shoppers to refuge through a rear exit boosting some people over a 12-foot wall and hiding others in shipping containers.

So smart to think of that. Who would think of that under these circumstances? A lot of people would just run for their lives. He cleared out the back area of the store a minute before the shooter got there.

Gilbert, your unwavering resolve inspires us all. Thank you very much, Gilbert. Great job. Thank you.


TRUMP: Marcella Luna was managing the McDonald's inside the Walmart when the murderer burst into the entrance. She quickly gathered customers from the lobby and led them to refrigerators and other hiding places, shielding them from the shooter's line of sight.

Thank you, Marcella, for racing to rescue others from grave danger. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you.


TRUMP: McDonald's supervisor, Angelica Silva, was working at another location when she got word of the active shooting. She drove straight to the scene to check on her employees. Upon arriving, Angelica saw two people in the parking lot who were very, very badly wounded. She alerted first responders and helped save the life of one of those severely injured victims.

Angelica, we thank God you were there. Thank you very much. Thank you.


TRUMP: Chris Grant was picking out snacks for his kids when he suddenly saw the murderer firing at innocent shoppers a few aisles away from him.

Chris grabbed -- listen to this -- soda bottles and anything else in front of him and began hurling them at the gunman, distracting him from the other shoppers and causing the shooter to turn toward Chris and fire at Chris.

Whereby, Chris suffered two very serious gunshot wounds but he is recovering well. And we wish him the best. His family is here.

So please thank Chris for us. Please.


TRUMP: Think of that.

In the darkness moments of danger and despair, God calls the bravest to action. These 11 individuals answered the call. They stared down evil. They put love of neighbor above life itself.


And we are blessed by their courage. We are honored by their presence. We are overwhelmed by their example. And we are forever inspired by the goodness of their hearts, the grace of their souls, and the enduring greatness of their deeds.

To every one of the heroes we recognize today, thank you and God bless you all. Thank you very much. (APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: Now I would like to ask the military aide to come forward and read the citations please.

UNIDENTIFIED MILITARY AID: The Medal of Valor is presented to the following individuals for their bravery and composure in the face of an armed assailant intent on the murder of innocent civilians in Dayton, Ohio, on August 4, 2019. Their quick actions in the face of extreme danger neutralized the gunman within seconds, protecting the lives of hundreds of people.

Sergeant William Knight.












UNIDENTIFIED MILITARY AID: Will the Medal of Valor recipients please take your seats and the certificates of commendation recipients please join the president on stage.

The certificate of commendation is presented to the following individuals who acted selflessly and fearlessly to save hundreds from a hateful gunman who opened fire at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, on August 3, 2019. Each of these courageous civilians could have escaped to safety during the massacre, but they instead put their own lives in jeopardy to help their neighbors find refuge and access desperately needed medical attention.


Mr. Robert Evans.








UNIDENTIFIED MILITARY AID: Accepting on behalf of her son, Chris Grant, Mrs. Minnie Grant.


UNIDENTIFIED MILITARY AID: Would the Medal of Valor recipients please join the president on stage for one last group photo.



ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, please remain in your seats as the president departs the East Room.

BOLDUAN: As you saw right there, President Trump honoring six officers who showed incredible bravery and courage in Dayton, Ohio, after that horrific shooting there, bringing down that gunman. Five other Americans who showed incredible bravery and courage as well in the midst of the El Paso shooting in Texas.

It's remarkable to think that happened just one month ago, 31 people in total killed in those two tragic shootings hours apart.

We'll be right back.



BOLDUAN: A desperate rescue operation is underway off the coast of Georgia after a cargo ship capsized early Sunday morning. The U.S. Coast Guard has been working all throughout the day. They were able to rescue 20 people of the people on board on board but have been really trying to reach four of the remaining crew on board.

Just in, there could be some very good news on that front.

Let's go to CNN's Natasha Chen. She is near the scene on St. Simon's Island.

Tasha, what's the latest?

NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Kate, they have made contact with people alive on board inside. Right now, we just don't know if it's all four of them or just some of them. We also don't know their conditions. This is how the U.S. Coast Guard told me it happened. If you take a

look behind us here, the Coast Guard has been outside the vessel for the last 24 hours or so. They had to stop their search on board because of a fire on the ship yesterday.

But overnight, they heard tapping noises coming from the propeller shaft area. So they decided today, when they were finally able to have a team dropped off onto the ship, when it was stable enough, they drilled a hole in that spot where they heard the tapping. And that's how they made contact with some people who are inside.

So the next step now, I'm being told, is that they're going to create a larger hole so that they can send in some water, some food, more air to these people who are inside.

And that will happen while specialists continue to figure out the best way to actually access them and get them off of this ship.

So, again, we don't know for sure if all four have been found, but certainly someone is alive in there. And they're trying to give them food and water.

This is a really incredible development considering that they have now been in there for more than 24 hours.

I talked to some of the people who were rescued at first, among the first 20 out of there. They said they don't know what happened because they were actually asleep when the ship started listing -- Kate?

BOLDUAN: Then they were going to try to begin to figure out exactly what caused the ship to tip on its side as it was bound to Baltimore.

CHEN: Right.

[12:00:01] Natasha, thank you so much. I really appreciate it.

Updates to come on that.

And thank you all for joining me on this Monday.

"INSIDE POLITICS" with John King starts right now.