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Trump Likens Virus Fight to War, Retired Army General Disagrees; Vegas Mayor Wants to Reopen Casinos But Offers No Plan to Figure Out How to Do It Safely; In Unprecedented Move House to Vote Tomorrow In Groups on Bill for Small Business Loans; 19 Cases In Wisconsin Linked to In-Person Voting. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired April 22, 2020 - 15:30   ET



GEN. STANLEY MCCHRYSTAL (RET), FORMER JOINT SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMANDER: Well, they can only do so much, but they can do an awful lot. We see some of the governors standing up right now very publicly and taking a leadership role. Others are more quiet about it but they're doing very strong things in their states adapted to their situation on the ground. We've been working with Mayor Marty Walsh in Boston and he's pulled together this team in an extraordinary way.

So, I think what really, we need to think of is leadership is a fabric of a number of leaders. It is not dependent upon a single leader or a small group of leaders in Washington. It has to be.

Now I think the key thing that we could do from the federal level is we could help connect all of these. We could connect all of the local leaders so that they have a much better network to pass information, to pass lessons learned, to pass the things that would allow them to be able to adapt as this COVID-19 challenge. And then the economic juggernaut that is causing us so many problems as well.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: You've called the federal response pathetic. And I wonder when you think of that specifically, what element of it is pathetic to you?

MCCHRYSTAL: Well, I'm reminded of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's first inaugural address. He got in front of the American people and he said this is going to be very difficult. He didn't minimize the problem in front of us. And then he said we are going to do a number of things and he laid out a number of pretty aggressive programs which some of which would be popular and some of which would get opposition. And he admitted that many wouldn't work.

But what he said is we are going to figure our way through this. We are committed to an outcome and he provided an inspiration to everyone. Now remember this is three years into the depression. People were pretty down at this point, 25 percent unemployment. And he provided a look in the distance that says if we pull together and do this, we can. That's what I'd like to see. KEILAR: I want to ask you while I have you hear about Captain

Crozier, the Navy Commander who was relieved of command of the aircraft carrier USS Roosevelt after he sounded the alarm about his sailors who are falling ill from coronavirus. You are someone who knows what it's like to be in command at the highest level in the military and to suffer political consequences. And so, I wonder because you have a very unique vantage point what you have thought as you watch these developments.

MCCHRYSTAL: Well, I don't know all of the specifics on the routing of his email or the letter but when I look at his intent, I have to believe that he was trying to do exactly what he felt was right. At the end of the day the person Captain Crozier has got to worry about is himself. My feeling is he can probably look himself in the mirror right now and say, I was trying to do the best for my sailors. If other people want to judge it harshly, I think he'll be OK with that in the long run. I think that's how history will get it as well.

KEILAR: General Stanley McChrystal, thank you, sir.

MCCHRYSTAL: My honor, Brianna, thank you for having me.

KEILAR: Coming up, Anderson's stunning interview with the Las Vegas mayor. What she said that left Anderson and many others shaking their heads. We'll have that next.



KEILAR: Last hour our Anderson Cooper had really an astonishing interview with the Mayor of Las Vegas, Carolyn Goodman, who is pushing for businesses in her city to reopen. This is just a portion of it. Let's listen.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR, AC 360: You're encouraging I mean hundreds of thousands of people coming there in casinos smoking, drinking and touching slot machines, breathing circulated air and then returning home to states around America and countries around the world. Doesn't that sound like a virus petri dish? I mean, how does that safe?

MAYOR CAROLYN GOODMAN, (I) LAS VEGAS: You know what it sounds like you're being an alarmist. I'm not. I've lived a long life. I grew up in the heart of Manhattan and I know what it is like to be with subways and on buses.

COOPER: I'm being an alarmist?

GOODMAN: -- and crammed into elevators. I think you are by saying what you have just said, I am the one that is --

COOPER: So, don't believe there should be any social distancing? You don't believe -- GOODMAN: Of course, I believe there should be. Of course. I'm a rational --

COOPER: How do you do that in a casino?

GOODMAN: That's up to them to figure out.

COOPER: Chinese researchers have shown how this virus spread. I just want to put up for our viewers --

GOODMAN: You are good (LAUGHS).

COOPER: I just want to point out to our viewers. This is a restaurant.

GOODMAN: Anderson, you are tough, you're back to China. This isn't China. This is Las Vegas, Nevada.

COOPER: Wow! OK. That's really ignorant. This is a restaurant and the yellow circles --

GOODMAN: That's ignorant to say where that --

COOPER: That's an ignorant, ignorant statement.


KEILAR: Oh, my goodness, Anderson. Because what happens in Vegas doesn't stay in Vegas as you mentioned in this case. And it was just remarkable that she was calling for casinos there to reopen but saying it is not up to here to figure out how to do it safely.

COOPER: Right. Yes, she actually has no authority over casinos in Las Vegas or what happens on the strip. But she is -- yes, she takes no responsibility. Also it doesn't seem like, I was surprised, I guess, that she's not really working on testing or contact tracing or doing anything it seems like other mayors are to try to ramp up the availability of testing.

I asked her multiple times about what specifically she was doing because she said she talks to Mayor Eric Garcetti in Los Angeles a lot and that he's a friend.


And I have interviewed Mayor Garcetti and he is working very hard to try to ramp up testing. She doesn't seem to view that as one of her responsibilities because obviously a lot of governors and mayors and others have talked about testing and contact tracing as being the bridge to reopening.

KEILAR: She seemed to so blase about the severity of the virus. I noticed when she was talking about the number of people who have died, I think in the state or in the city, it was almost as if she was talking about, well, that is all it is going to be. And she didn't understand that as you open things back up, you're going to have more death.

COOPER: Well she also -- yes. I think it was 163 statewide in Nevada, she says about 150 of them are in -- the deaths have been in Las Vegas itself. But she didn't seem to acknowledge or want to acknowledge that that, you know, that's a lot of people compared to a city like New York. It's a lower number of people who have died. But you could make the argument, it's because of social distancing that the casinos have been closed for a month that you didn't have a huge, huge number of people. She didn't seem to sort of make that correlation.

Because if you do believe that, then it sort of argues for, you know, keeping social distancing going until you could figure out a way to ramp up testing and ramp up contact tracing.

KEILAR: What did you make of it when you asked her a very simple question which was look, Mayor, as you are saying that people should go back on casino floors, would you be in a casino every day. Would you do that?

COOPER: Right, I mean what I asked toward the end of it -- yes, I just said if she's the one saying casinos should reopen, it's time and let the casinos figure out how to make it safe. But they should reopen. I just asked her, well, as Mayor then are you willing to go and be on the casino floors every night, you know, and as a sign of your support for the people who are working and forced to work there because they're so desperate for their jobs. She did not seem to indicate she would be willing to do that. She said she didn't like gambling, or she doesn't gamble any more.

KEILAR: Yes, it was a bizarre answer to be sure. You know, you have to wonder as you look at these local -- as you look at mayors, you look at governors and their balancing, you know, the potential economic strangulation of their state or city with the fact that people could die.

But I mean it seems like what we're hearing from doctors makes it clear that death is going to be so prevalent as you reopen quickly when you shouldn't. And I wonder, especially when you are talking to her, did you get the sense from her that she understands that dying is not good politics?

COOPER: Yes, I don't think she has that much power. I'm guessing she doesn't have that much power in Las Vegas. Perhaps the city council has sort of more power.

It seems like I've just now been looking online to see exactly, you know, what she does and it seems like she's a booster for the city and her main function seems to be, you know, booster-ism, trying to get a sports team to come and promote Vegas as a great place for conventions.

So, but even that to me as an elected official I would think that comes with the responsibility for the safety of people in the city and concern about the health of the people in the city, not just the economic health. But, yes, it was -- it surprised me. It is not how I expected really the interview to go. KEILAR: All right. Well it was -- Anderson it was something and it's

worth a re-watch. So, thanks for coming on to talk with us about it.

COOPER: Thanks, Brianna, appreciate it.

KEILAR: The House of Representatives will vote tomorrow on more economic relief but there is some new concern that the deal is not enough. Plus, the unusual way that lawmakers are voting, next.



KEILAR: All right. So, the House floor is going to look a heck of a lot different here in the coming days. Tomorrow, lawmakers are going to be voting for the first time ever on this hundreds of billions of dollars relief package, yet another one. And they're going to be doing this in small groups.

So, let's bring in Phil Mattingly to tell us about how they're going to approach this -- Phil.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Brianna, what you're going to see, all House lawmakers, or at least the majority of House lawmakers are coming back to Capitol Hill to vote. The reason why is unlike the Senate, which was able to unanimously pass this hundreds of billions of dollars -- $484 billion package to be exact. The House can't get unanimous support to do that.

So, Republicans made clear they're going to object. And so now they have to have a quorum which means they need at least 218 members of Congress in the chamber. And they are going to be taking steps, basically, to try and ensure social distancing.

Brianna, you know the House floor, the House floor is like the last place in the world where anybody is staying more than six feet away from one other. And so, they're going to be sending members in groups. They're going to trying to space out the process, ensure that people don't come too close to one another. I think the expectation is the Capitol rules are that everybody needs to be wearing masks as well.

So yes, the floor is going to look a lot different. There's no question about it. I think the process is going to look a lot different as well. But I think this is the reality, it's not just what everybody is living with back home. It's also what lawmakers are trying to deal with when they take these votes, enormously consequential votes when you look at what's going on in the economy right now.


And I think one other thing to keep in mind, this is all coming as there's growing pressure, kind of a growing movement for lawmakers in both chambers to come back full-time given the scope and scale of some of the legislation they're considering right now. So, pay attention tomorrow, tomorrow will likely be the roadmap of what happens when people start coming back to town full-time at Congress.

KEILAR: And so, there is in this relief package, there's $310 billion, and this is to go to small businesses who just plowed through -- and also, they plowed through the last chunk of change that they had but also there were some not-so-small

businesses, as you know, Phil, that also got some of that money. Are there protections in this to make sure that this really is going to small businesses? Because we've been seeing this disparity that I think some people look and they say, wait, how is that company, how is that small company not getting help?

MATTINGLY: Yes, you've seen a lot of headlines about it. You've seen lawmakers on both sides of the aisle frustrated with it. You've seen the President talk about it, the Treasury Secretary as well.

The reality is what these companies were doing, particularly hotel chains, some restaurant chains as well, was entirely within the rules, everything that they were doing was legal. But it was how the bill was drafted.

Now you asked if there are new guidelines. There aren't necessarily new guidelines in terms of who can or can't apply. What there are or what there is, is of the $310 billion that's being sent out or that will be deployed through this replenishment of that fund, $60 billion will essentially be set aside and it will be provided to institutions that are smaller banks, community lenders, banks with under $10 billion in assets as well as minority owned institutions, CDFIs.

The intent is trying to ensure that that money, if you're going to a smaller lender, likely smaller lenders have better relationships with the smaller businesses in their community. That's also the case with minority owned businesses as well. Trying to expand the pool of individuals and businesses that get access to these funds.

We'll see how it works. It's all the tension of just trying to get money out the door as quickly as possible. So more money's coming, some new set asides

but no clear changes to the guidelines -- Brianna.

KEILAR: Very interesting. All right, Phil, we know that you'll keeping your eye on that. Phil Mattingly, thank you so much, and good to see you healthy and safe there.

Across the country we're tracking a new wave of coronavirus cases in the U.S. Navy and then also in Wisconsin, there is a group of cases that are actually tied to that in-person voting which was something a lot of folks saw coming.

So, let's check in with our reporters. I want to start with Ed Lavandera who is taking a look at the clashes that are emerging in Texas over reopening that state.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Ed Lavandera in Dallas. The phased reopening of the Texas economy continues. Limited medical procedures will be allowed beginning today. And on Friday, retail stores across this state will be allowed to reopen for curbside pickup.

But there are some clashes brewing. Dallas County has extended its stay-at-home order through mid-May. But the Texas Governor is saying that he will reopen more of the Texas economy and make those announcements next Monday.

This as leaders in the biggest cities in the state are saying that coronavirus testing is still not where it needs to be.

RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And I'm Ryan Young in Chicago. And all eyes are on Wisconsin right now because of the election that was held there April 7. And what we learned from health officials, 19 people who participated in the election there on April 7 have now come down with COVID-19. They're not sure if all cases are related to it.

But you may remember, all the people who stood in line, they had to have an in-person vote. They had less polling centers because people were fearful of working at the polling centers. That meant long lines where people were standing pretty close to each other in some cases.

Now we're told the state is trying to track back all these cases. Not all the information is back just yet, only 30 percent of the health cases are back so there could be more people who have COVID-19 that may be related to that election in early April.


KEILAR: Thank you so much to our reporters around the country.

And coming up, Dr. Sanjay Gupta will join us to discuss the states that are beginning to reopen and the warning that coronavirus this winter may be even worse if the timing coincides with the seasonal flu.



ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOSTS: Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.

One month ago, at this time the death toll from coronavirus in the United States was 413. Today, at this hour, the death toll has passed 45,000. 45,950 and growing. As the model cited by the White House revised its projections upward, now predicting 66,000 deaths by August.

We're also learning the first deaths in this country from coronavirus actually occurred weeks before initially thought. Autopsies have now revealed two people in the Bay Area of California who died in February had contracted coronavirus. The first, a 57-year-old woman who died on February 6, only two weeks after officials first confirmed coronavirus was on U.S. soil. And more than three weeks before what we originally thought was the first death in Washington state. The second victim, a 69-year-old man, also in February.

The Santa Clara County Chief Medical Examiner saying these patients caught the virus presumably from community spread, saying, quote, each one of those deaths is probably the tip of an iceberg of unknown size.