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Interview with Phoenix, Arizona Mayor Kate Gallego (D); Live Coverage of President Trump; Interview with Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff. Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired May 5, 2020 - 10:30   ET




JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: Any moment now, President Trump will depart the White House to go to Phoenix, Arizona to tour a Honeywell mask production facility. Arizona, one of the states beginning to reopen. Of course, it's a key swing state in the November election. Some retail stores can open today, though the statewide stay-at-home order is in effect through May 15th.

With me now is the mayor of Phoenix, Kate Gallego. Mayor, thanks so much for taking the time this morning. I wonder, in your view, is this the time for the president to visit Phoenix, in light of the fact that the statewide stay-at-home order remains in place?

MAYOR KATE GALLEGO (D), PHOENIX, AZ: I am not sure I would be traveling now. I am glad that we still have a stay-at-home order in place. We have seen an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases here in Arizona, although we do have some good news, we have hospital capacity.

As a city, we are thrilled that we are going to have more protective equipment because that continues to be a challenge for us in Arizona.

SCIUTTO: Is the president setting a good example for the people of Arizona by -- by carrying out, in effect, nonessential travel, which violates the White House's own guidelines in the midst of the pandemic?

GALLEGO: I'm not sure that I would be traveling, but I do think it is important to celebrate the workers who are powering this economy. We have just worked with Honeywell to hire 500 new individuals to make this protective equipment. I am grateful to them, and I am glad that others are celebrating their important work.

SCIUTTO: You, last week, along with the mayors of Flagstaff and Tucson, released a statement, saying, you would like to see a 14-day decline in COVID cases before reopening the state. Have you seen that yet? And do you still stand by that standard?

GALLEGO: I do think it is valuable to follow the Centers for Disease Control guidelines, often called the White House gating guidelines. I believe that when we reopen the economy, we need to have the confidence of our residents. People not only need to feel safe when they go out and do business, but they need to actually be safe.

The CDC guidelines, to me, were not overly aggressive, they were responsible and I would like to see all of us follow them.

SCIUTTO: OK. If there is an uptick in cases, as reopening begins -- and trust me, I know these are difficult decisions for every elected official across the country, whether at the state level, the city level county level -- but if there is an uptick, and that is what the modeling predicts, just kind of a fact of the way viruses spread, whose responsibility would that uptick in cases be? Who is that on, in effect, if we see an uptick after relaxing these restrictions?

GALLEGO: We do know that as we re-enter the economy, we will see more cases. I would ask that we all do our part to practice common-sense safety. We should be wearing masks, we should be following that advice we've heard so often, but I think is still very important, about washing your hands and common-sense precautions.

You, very shortly, will be able to get your nails done here in Arizona, that's not something I would do or advise my family to do. So I would encourage people, if you can still stay home, please do so. But we know people are out there, are suffering and that there's a lot of different situations. So if you do need to go out, we need the most safety precautions that you can implement.


SCIUTTO: You've got to admit, it's confusing for people, is it not? Must be confusing for the people of Phoenix because they hear one thing from the CDC guidelines, they hear one thing from the state governor, they hear another thing from the mayor. I mean, who are people supposed to listen to? Are you saying it's basically up to people themselves to do what they feel comfortable with?

GALLEGO: I think when there's conflicting advice, that each person watching knows the best about their individual situation. If there are people you are fighting to protect -- whether it be someone in your family who has cancer or your grandmother -- then you may have a different situation.

We know that we've seen issues such as increases in domestic violence, so certainly if you're in an unsafe situation at home, I do want to remind people that you have options.

I hope that people will err on the side of putting public health first, but I understand that there's enormous pressure on Americans right now.

SCIUTTO: Final question, there's been a lot of talk about baseball season, when and how it might come back. One of the early plans involved Arizona because there are a lot of spring training facilities there, where the teams might play there, live there. Have you heard any updates on that? Is that still a viable plan from the perspective of Major League Baseball?

GALLEGO: When I spoke with individuals in the Major League Baseball world, I said that public health has to come first. We don't want any stresses. If we still don't have adequate testing, then it doesn't make sense for baseball to be launching in a state like Arizona.

But, look, I miss the great American pastime, and I would join so many other Americans in relishing the thought of bringing back that important part of our summer. But public health has to come first.

SCIUTTO: Mayor Kate Gallego, we wish you and the people of Phoenix the best of luck, going forward.

GALLEGO: Thank you.

SCIUTTO: And we'll be right back.



POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: The president took some questions as he walked out onto the South Lawn there. He, of course, is headed to Arizona. Let's listen to the president, moments ago.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Hello, everybody. So I'm leaving for Arizona. We're going to be at the Honeywell plant, which is doing great work for us.

And it'll be, I think, a great day. I love Arizona.

Go ahead, please.

QUESTION: What happened in Venezuela, sir? Apparently a couple of Americans were detained.

TRUMP: I just got information. Nothing to do with our government, but I just got information on that.

QUESTION: What happened?

TRUMP: Well, we'll find out. We just heard about it. But whatever it is, we'll let you know. But it has nothing to do with our government.


QUESTION: Why won't you let Fauci testify in the House? Dr. Fauci.

TRUMP: Because the House is a setup. The House is a bunch of Trump haters. They put every Trump hater on the committee. The same old stuff. They, frankly, want our situation to be unsuccessful, which means death. Which means death. And our situation is going to be very successful. The House has put on a committee, an oversight committee, of Maxine Waters and Maloney and the same people. And it's just a setup.

But Dr. Fauci will be testifying in front of the Senate, and he looks forward to doing that.

QUESTION: But they do control appropriations. Don't they have leverage?

TRUMP: But the House -- I will tell you, the House, they should be ashamed of themselves. And, frankly, the Democrats should be ashamed because they don't want us to succeed. They want us to fail so they can win an election, which they're not going to win.

But they want us -- think of it: They do everything they can to make things as bad as possible. And, right now, the stock market is way up. Everybody is excited. They're going back to work safely, but they're going back to work. We're opening up our country again. And this is what we're doing. And I'll tell you, the whole world is excited watching us because we're leading the world.

And what happened should never, ever have happened. China should have informed us that they had a problem.

QUESTION: Have you spoken to Xi Jinping at all?

TRUMP: Say it?

QUESTION: Have you spoken to President Xi about your frustrations with China?

TRUMP: I have not spoken to him. No, I have not spoken to him.

QUESTION: Do you plan on talking to him?

TRUMP: I might. But I haven't spoken to President Xi. I have not.

Yes, Jennifer.

QUESTION: Mr. President, if the New York Times numbers about the virus increasing are wrong, what are you current (inaudible)?

TRUMP: Well, it's a report. And that's a report with no mitigation. So based on no mitigation, but we're doing a lot of mitigation. And, frankly, when the people report back, they're going to be social distancing and they're going to be washing their hands, and they're going to be doing the things that you're supposed to do. We won't be going into stadiums full bore yet, you know, for events and soccer and football and all of the different events -- baseball. I hope baseball can get going.

But they won't be going in full bore yet. At some point, hopefully in the not-too-distant future. But that report is a no-mitigation report, and we are mitigating.

QUESTION: Have you heard a definitive answer as to where the virus came from? Have you heard a definitive answer?

TRUMP: Well, we're -- yeah, I think we do. But I'm going to -- we'll be reporting on it over the next period of time, Steve. We'll be reporting. There'll be plenty of people ask me that question, and we will be reporting very definitively over a period of time.

QUESTION: Sir, do you have any concerns about all the people who are going to be traveling with you today and their potential to be exposed to the virus as they go back and forth?

TRUMP: No, I don't have any. Everybody traveling has been tested. We have great testing. And literally, they've been tested over the last hour. And the test result comes back in five minutes, and we have great testing. Or they wouldn't be allowed to travel with me. I mean, would -- it's not my choice; it's a very strong group of people that want to make sure they are tested, including Secret Service.

So they're all tested, everybody traveling on the plane. The only question I can't answer: Has the press been tested? And I suspect, maybe -- has the press been tested?


TRUMP: Steve, have you been tested?

QUESTION: Not today, but the group --

TRUMP: Well, I trust you.

QUESTION: -- the group traveling with you --

TRUMP: I trust you.

QUESTION: Are planning to wear a mask, sir?

TRUMP: Say it?

QUESTION: Are you planning to wear a mask, sir?

TRUMP: It's a -- I think it's a mask facility, right?

QUESTION: Are you going to wear a mask?

TRUMP: If it's a mask facility, I will. Yeah. I don't know if it's a mask facility. But Honey- -- we're going to see Honeywell. They have done an incredible job on many fronts. And so I'm going to pay my respects to a great company and a great state: the state of Arizona.

QUESTION: They do make N95 masks.

TRUMP: They make N95. And they do -- and they make them good. They don't make the ones that don't work, like we got sent from certain other countries. No, no -- like other people got sent from other countries.

We're making massive numbers of masks. We're making our ventilators. We have the best testing anywhere in the world -- not even close. The antibody test, you see what's going on with that. That's going to be something that I don't even -- look, we have so much testing. I don't think you need that kind of testing or that much testing, but some people disagree with me and some people agree with me. But we have the greatest testing in the world and we have the most testing in the world.

QUESTION: Mr. President, many of the states that are beginning to reopen, they're not following your criteria in terms of having two weeks of reduced cases.

TRUMP: Well, the governors have --

QUESTION: Why do you think that is?

TRUMP: It's a fair question. The governors have -- I have given them great discretion. I respect the governors. And I've given them great discretion. If, however, I see somebody doing something that's egregious or wrong, I will stop it in two seconds. Many of the governors have called me up and asked my opinion. But -- and, really, a lot of them have. And the relationship is very good.

But, you know, the governors are given -- like on a story like that, where they're going down and they're going down rapidly, but maybe it's short of the 14 days -- they're given a certain amount of discretion. If I see something wrong though, we will stop it.

QUESTION: Mr. President, on the IHME model, which is now showing 134,000 deaths by August, doubling its previous prediction, are you concerned that that's happening because some of these states are relaxing guidelines too early?

TRUMP: No. No, I'm not, because that -- that assumes no mitigation.

QUESTION: Assumes less?

TRUMP: And we're going to have mitigation. No, we're letting people out. But the fact that we're letting people go and go to their jobs -- they have to do it.

You know, if they held people any longer with the shutdowns, you're going to lose people that way too. And you already have, I'm sure. But between drug abuse and -- I mean, they say suicide, a lot of different things.

There's no win -- just so you know, there's no great win one way or the other, but I'll tell you where there is a win: We're going to build a country -- I did it once. Two months ago, we had the greatest economy in the history of the world, the best employment numbers we've ever had in history, all right? I mean everybody agrees. Even CNN agrees with that one.

But I will say this: We're going to do it again. And that's what we're starting. And I view these last couple of days as the beginning. We're going to build the greatest economy in the world again, and it's going to happen pretty fast.

QUESTION: Do you believe the death toll numbers? Do you believe them?

QUESTION: If the model is correct, sir, is it acceptable to have several tens of thousands --

TRUMP: Well, that's with no mitigation. We're doing mitigation. We have a lot of mitigation. The fact that they're out -- they're mitigating. They're social distancing. They all know that. They're washing their hands a lot. But we have to get our country open. We have to open our country.

So you have all reports -- look, models that have been very inaccurate. I've seen models that are very inaccurate. But, you know, one model that's very important is that if we did this a different way, we would have lost more -- much more than 2 million people. And we did it the right way. We did everything right. But now it's time to go back to work.

So I'm going to Arizona. I will see you there. Thank you. Thank you.

QUESTION: So one question, sir?

TRUMP: Thank you.

QUESTION: So what do you want China to do now? What is your expectations from China now?

TRUMP: We want them to be transparent. We want to find out what happened so it never happens again, OK?


SCIUTTO: President Trump there, on his way to Arizona, making a number of claims. We have our Dana Bash here. First of all, he said, just in the last minute there, Dana, We did everything right, talking about the country's response.

But just on one issue, because the White House's own model now for an increase in cases and deaths, a study that it has relied on throughout, predicts a doubling of deaths per day. He says that's based on no mitigation, in other words, if you have the relaxing of social distancing but no steps like washing your hands, et cetera. Is that true?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, I was actually just looking that up as he was answering that question. I don't know if that is true. It's hard for me to believe that the CDC would put out a report that doesn't have a caveat in there, but we're going to look into that and get that information, that's a critical fact to check --


BASH: -- and it struck me, just like it struck you.

But regardless, the notion of what the CDC is predicting, Jim, is dire. And it definitely is in concert with -- and it comes out at a time, as we've been talking about since we first saw "The New York Times" break it about this time yesterday -- states reopening. States reopening even earlier than the federal guidelines, the very CDC that put out that -- made that report, says that they should reopen.

One other thing I just want to really touch on, that the president mentioned at the beginning, which may seem like kind of Washington stuff, but it is so important and it helps to answer that very question you just asked me, which is, congressional oversight. The fact that the president is so flagrant and open in the notion that

he is not allowing anybody from the administration to testify before the House because the House is run by Democrats --


BASH: -- is ridiculous and it flies in the face of the Constitution, what is required --


BASH: -- of Congress. Yes, Fauci is going to go before the Republican-controlled Senate next week, and that committee is run by a very fair-minded Republican, Lamar Alexander.

But the idea that even now, the president just doesn't care about basic checks and balances in the Constitution is remarkable. Elections have consequences --

SCIUTTO: Yes, well, he's choosing --

BASH: -- Democrats took control of the House --

SCIUTTO: -- he's choosing his --

BASH: -- period.

SCIUTTO: He's choosing his oversight. He's saying I'll allow the oversight from the Republican-controlled Senate, but not the Democratic-controlled House --

BASH: Yes, exactly. Exactly.

SCIUTTO: And by the way, he did make quite a charge there. He said, Democrats -- House Democrats specifically, I believe -- want the U.S. response to the coronavirus to be unsuccessful, which he said means death. That's quite a charge, is it not, to level at House Democrats?


BASH: Of course it is, and it's ridiculous. It's absolutely ridiculous and reprehensible, that he's doing that. And he's doing it as he is -- we should note -- getting on his helicopter and his plane and going to Arizona, a very important battleground state for his re- election, the first time he is doing this in a very long time, and taking a risk in doing so. But he has been very clear, he's done with staying at the White House.

We'll see if this -- if this is just the beginning of other changes, and if the rallies in some way, shape or form, that he loves, will start again.

SCIUTTO: Yes. He did say that if it's a facility that requires masks, that he would wear a mask, unlike --

BASH: He did. SCIUTTO: -- Vice President Pence, as he went to the Mayo Clinic last


Dana Bash, always good to have you on. Thanks so much.

BASH: Thanks, Jim.

SCIUTTO: And we'll be right back.



HARLOW: More and more states opening their economies, but businesses face a really difficult decision and a balancing act, right? How do you get people back to work and keep all your employees safe?

Tech giant Salesforce, the biggest single employer in all of San Francisco, is thinking a lot about that. They have a new tool, To talk about this and a lot more big picture, Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, is with me.

So, Marc, let's just start there, and thank you for your time. What is What does this mean for businesses?

MARC BENIOFF, CHAIRMAN AND CEO, SALESFORCE: Well, Poppy, this has been such a challenging time for us -- I mean, all of our employees are still at home. And we really view this in three phases. And in this first phase that we bid in in the last 90 days, you know, we've been mostly working on how do we work at home, how do we be productive from our home office?

And also we've been acquiring PPE. In fact, we've bought almost 60 million pieces of PPE and distributed to 200 hospitals in the country.

And we've done a third really interesting thing as we've worked with quite a few organizations, about 6,000, including a number of estates, to figure out how to do not just testing, but what we call contact tracing, which is deploying information technology to mitigate the spread of the virus.

And what that taught us, Poppy, is that we can actually deploy technology to companies that are going to help them do the same thing, reduce the spread when they get back into their offices. And that's what is.

HARLOW: Marc, we just had Kevin Hassett on from the White House, senior economic advisor to the president. He just told me that Friday's jobs report could show 20 percent unemployment already, 20 percent. I mean, I know you at Salesforce have committed to no layoffs for 90 days, but so many of your peers have already furloughed and laid off so many. What is your big-picture look at the economy, going forward?

BENIOFF: Well, what we see going forward is that companies are getting ready to get back to work, but they have to get back to work safely. And that means they're going to incorporate a lot of the things that we've been seeing, you know, in hospitals: PPE, they're going to be having their temperature taken, they're also going to be using social distancing and they're also going to be using, as I mentioned, this information technology to know if someone -- one of their employees that they've been with has also been infected by the virus.

Now, this is -- this has to be cast against the point that the virus is still out there. We have not been vaccinated yet, so we are in a work environment where there is still an active virus.

Now, you're right, we're in a recessionary environment, perhaps we're in a depressionary environment. This is going to be a tough economic environment. Every CEO is going to have to ask themself one question, What am I doing with my company to be relevant and important and be successful at a time like this? And to do that both, I think, commercially and philanthropically. I think you have to do both.

Our country needs everyone to do something and this is a time when that needs to happen.

HARLOW: Look, you told me just last year, capitalism is dead, right? So if capitalism were dead back then -- you thought it wasn't working for enough people outside of shareholders -- then -- then what now?

I mean, that was before this and if we're facing a potentially depressionary scenario, should companies be taking excess losses despite their fiduciary responsibility to the shareholders, to keep people working? What do you do if you're the head of a public company like yours?

BENIOFF: Well, you're right, Poppy. I so strongly believe in stakeholder capitalism, the idea that business is the greatest platform for change. And that especially at times like this, businesses have to focus not only on their employees and their customers, but also their communities. And they need to be part of the solution, not just part of the problem.

So what companies need to do is, they need to look and say, what can I do for my employees -- keeping them safe -- for my customers -- helping them to be successful during times like this -- and also for their communities -- what can they do for their hospitals and others?

Companies have a critical role to play right now. They have to be part of what we're going to use as a way to revitalize our economy, but they're going to have to do more than just build products. They're going to have to basically deploy the stakeholder capitalism model.

HARLOW: I have 20 seconds left. Fourth round of stimulus, you see a lot of economic data points. Do we need it and does it need to include a lot of money for states?

BENIOFF: Well, absolutely. And I think the way to think about it is, we are in three phases of the virus. The first phase, this 90-day crisis, we're coming to a close there, we've all been in our homes. The second phase, which is probably an 18-month phase of, really,

recovery. And during that phase, you know, we're going to be going back to work safely, and then a new normal, you know, a year and a half from now.


In each phase, we have to do things ourselves as companies -