Return to Transcripts main page


Polar Cave Ice Cream Parlor Owner, Mark Lawrence, Discusses Irate Customers Marring Shop's Reopening; Three Children Die, Dozens Sick By Mysterious Syndrome Possibly Linked To COVID-19; Update On Coronavirus Response Across The Country. Aired 1:30-2p ET

Aired May 11, 2020 - 13:30   ET




BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: Frustration over social distancing is reaching a boiling point in some parts of the country. An ice cream shop owner in Massachusetts closed one day after reopening because angry customers were not following safety guidelines and many of then began harassing employees.

At one point, things got so bad at the Polar Cave Ice Cream Parlor in Massachusetts on Friday that an employee quit that same day. The owner describing the insults that were lobbed at his employees, some of them as young as 17 years old, as vulgar, locker-room language. Some of these things we cannot repeat on air.

That owner, Mark Lawrence, is joining me now.

Mark, tell us about this. You planned to reopen to kick off Mother's Day weekend and served ice cream while trying to maintain social distancing and safety standards so your customers and employees could remain safe. And in the end, this was ruined for you and it was not what you expected to go. What happened?

MARK LAWRENCE, OWNER, POLAR CAVE ICE CREAM PARLOR: We had everything we had was planned and I worked closely with our local board of health and what they would ideally want me to do I worked closely with the National Restaurant Association on protocols from different shops. I talked to different owners of ice cream shops around the world in our Facebook group.

I pretty much took all the best precautions to see if maybe I could do it. I thought I had a pretty good plan and everything was going well and people were ordering online at least an hour ahead.

But by 5:00, the general public would be driving down the street, and say, Polar Cave is open, so they pull in. And in a space of about 40 minutes, my 50-spot parking lot was full and we were only expecting 20 orders for that particular time. So we said we'd do what we can for you.

So we were basically -- the wheels fall off the bus because we could not produce that much product to get out the door in a timely enough fashion. People started to get very agitated.

We only did curbside pickup so you had to sit in your car. And some people would get out of their car and tell me what to do and like, no, get back in your car, we don't have ice cream.

We are supposed to close at 8:00. The last customer got served at 9:30. And the young lady, after cleaning up. After she went home, about 20 minutes later, I got a test from the young lady saying she's resigning because of what happened and how people were talking to her.

I called and said, what's happened. The language, you can't broadcast their language.


LAWRENCE: Bad language was flying like snowflakes. You don't call a young lady -- you should not call anybody some of the words that's being used, directed at a 17-year-old. I apologize. Why didn't you tell me the first time somebody told you to do this? She says, I didn't want to disappoint you or our regular customers.


KEILAR: I know that you said, Mark, one of your employees was called the C-word. We can use our imagination that this is inappropriate language. You are talking about kids.


LAWRENCE: Yes. To a kid, yes.


KEILAR: Yes. And this is the lowest feelings that I know you ever had. I know people would not social distance. They were not having patience. Where do you go from here?

LAWRENCE: I posted on the page that we closed. This is not working. Pretty much I got my daughter created an online form and tweaked the form that we had so we had time slots and we cut up certain time. It works really well.

I made a whole new Facebook page of a hidden group and sent the invitations out to see how we'll do on Saturday. Saturday was a whole new ball game. It was wonderful. People ordered and they came when they are supposed to come. They went. And some people came and didn't and they drive by. People were understanding. By now, they see that things are different. They were like, oh my goodness, we've got -- (INAUDIBLE).

But the - it was like you let caged animals out of their cage after being in it for seven to eight weeks and then they took it on the easiest pray. They took it all out on this 17-year-old girl.

And I talk to the other -- there were two older ladies. One was a customer who popped out of the car, put a mask on, said, what can I do for you. So she did.

I said to them, you know, were people nasty to you, too. And they're like, oh, yes, we got everything thrown at us. I'm like - they like, we just told them, looked to them like, what, like, don't talk to me like that.

But 17-year-old young girl, she's like, OK, I will go to the next. This young girl, she's the kind of kid that does not want to be at the center of attention. I talked to her once or twice a day or to her mom. She's like finished. Don't make this -- (INAUDIBLE). That's how it is.

KEILAR: You know, Mark, I think that you're sort of a test case for a lot of places of what they are going through and we're seeing the frustration.

We really you tell us what happened at your store. We really appreciate it. And we wish you the best of luck as you move forward.

LAWRENCE: Thank you.

KEILAR: Thanks, Mark.

LAWRENCE: Thank you.

KEILAR: A top meat packing union says at least 30 plant workers died from coronavirus. More than 10,000 are infected. We'll hear what they are demanding of President Trump.

Plus, a standoff underway between a state and two Native American tribes that have put up checkpoints to control the spread of the coronavirus.

Also, I will speak live with the 12-year-old who survived the mysterious syndrome that's affecting some children that's possibly linked to the coronavirus.



KEILAR: We are learning the coronavirus is much more severe for some children than initially thought. Governor Andrew Cuomo says two children and a teenager in New York have died from an inflammatory illness that may be linked to the virus.

Dozens more have been hospitalized because of this. Some have suffered life-threatening complications, including inflammation that affects blood vessels going to the heart.

And 12-year-old Juliet Daly, of Louisiana, went from being healthy to facing death from an illness that doctors think was triggered by the coronavirus. Juliet had to be air lifted to the hospital suffering heart failure. And thankfully she's OK now.

She's joining us now to talk with us, along with her dad, Sean Daly, and the doctor that treated Juliet, Dr. Jake Kleinmahon.

Thank you so much for all of you for joining us of what a happy ending to no doubt a very scary story.

Juliet, I am so glad to see you are doing well.

Can you tell us what it was like when you realized you were not feeling well? What was it like?

JULIET DALY, SURVIVED MYSTERIOUS SYNDROME POSSIBLY CONNECTED TO CORONAVIRUS: It was not a common cold or flu. It felt like I could not breathe and do anything because I was a lot of pain. It all started early in the morning so you can kinds of imagine how hard it is to get up.


KEILAR: What was it like for you, Sean. What was it like for you, Dad?

SEAN DALY, FATHER OF JULIET DALY: Well, it was scary. I we thought we thought she may have had the flu or something. It progressed into another day. It was something abnormal. She had blue lips and her extremities were cold. So there was something very off, that's why we decided to take her into the doctor.

KEILAR: So you go into the doctor, Sean, and then what happens from there?


S. DALY: We took her into a pediatrician and he thought something was off as well so he went to the emergency room across the street. Once they hooked her up, they noticed she had low heart rate. That's when they begin to diagnose it was a heart condition or it affected her heart.

KEILAR: Dr. Kleinmahon, you treated Juliet. And when you saw her, what did you think? And tell us what, at the end, did all this attribute to?

DR. JAKE KLEINMAHON, PEDIATRIC CARDIOLOGIST, OCHSNER MEDICAL CENTER: When we first saw Juliet, we recognized she was quite sick. The electricity in her heart was not beating correctly so the top chamber of her heart was not communicating with the bottom chamber of her heart.

Fortunately, we had one of our Ochsner Hospital for Children pediatric intensivist who was able to help with intubation and she needed CPR after that. She was air lifted to us and we were able to get her stabilized quite quickly.

KEILAR: So, Juliet, you needed CPR. Did you remember much about being in the hospital?

J. DALY: No, because I was sedated the whole day and I would remember being in the hospital for three days. The fourth day is when I started to remember everything and my mom told me about everything and what was happening. It was hard to comprehend a lot.

KEILAR: Julia, it is amazing to see you take this in such stride.

I am sure in a patient, Doctor, that was something helpful for you.

But when you look at Juliet's case, you notice some other kids had been suffering problems, trigger like this from the coronavirus. What do you want patients to know? Sean made the right call and he got her to the pediatrician. Other parents need to know what to do.

KLEINMAHON: What we are seeing is an inflammatory syndrome that seems to be related to coronavirus, which is what Juliet had. The virus response is basically overreacting to the virus they currently have or, in some cases, we are seeing kids had the virus previously and they did not know it and they have this hyper-immune response to the virus.

So I think for parents it's important to know that kids can be affected by this. If your child seems sicker than ordinarily would, they should talk to their doctors or seek medical attention.

KEILAR: Juliet, we are so happy for you.

Sean, we are so happy for you and your family.

It's wonderful to see you both there doing so well.

Doctor, thank you so much for taking care of Juliet and for joining us today.

Thank you all.

KLEINMAHON: Thanks for having me.

S. DALY: Thank you.

J. DALY: Thank you.

KEILAR: There's one border town that's seen businesses closed on one side of the street and stores across the street reopening. We'll take you there.

Plus, a tribe in South Dakota set up checkpoints to control the spread of the virus but the governor gave them 48 hours to remove them. The time is up now. We'll see what's happening.

An what Amtrak is requiring of passengers starting today?



KEILAR: As travel across the U.S. picks up, Amtrak is now requiring all passengers to wear face masks or facial coverings. Passengers must bring their own masks. But the coverings can be removed while eating in designated areas or if a passenger is sitting alone or with a companion in a pair of seats.

Now here's of the other coronavirus headlines that we are following.


NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Natasha Chen, in Bristol, Tennessee. But actually now I'm in Bristol, Virginia, across the state line, where there's a very different set of rules.

On that side of the street, the governor of Tennessee has allowed restaurants to accept customers dining inside. But on this side of the street in Virginia, phase one of reopening may not start until Friday when restaurants can do outdoor dining.

This has created confusion and frustration for one community split across two states and now experiencing two different economies.

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Rosa Flores, in Miami, where officials in Miami Beach are reopening South Point Park, a week after closing the park due to social distancing concerns.

The city there said it had issued hundreds of warnings to park goers for not wearing masks or not social distancing.

Palm Beach County joining Florida's 64 other counties in phase one of the reopening plan, which means restaurants and retail stores will be able to reopen at 25 percent capacity. And barber shops able to open there today.

Two counties in Florida still under full restrictions, and that is Broward and Miami-Dade.

SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Sara Sidner, in this Cheyenne River Sioux reservation, where two tribes are in a pitched battle with the governors of South Dakota. They are battling over checkpoints.

The tribe says they absolutely need these checkpoints for the safety of their people. They are simply checking to see if people are coming in from hot spots that have lots of COVID cases or whether or not they have symptoms.


What are they doing here? Asking questions, getting contact information, trying to contact trace anyone who is allowed to come onto their reservation land.

The governor says these are illegal and wants them removed. She's demanded they be removed within 48 hours but they are still here. The tribe says they are not going anywhere.

While the governor says, if that is the case, she is going to take them to federal court, saying that these are state and federal roads that cannot be impeded.


KEILAR: Thank you so much to our reporters for that.

The West Wing on edge as staffers test positive. But some officials are refusing to quarantine.

Plus, new details on why stroke and heart problem hospitalization numbers are way down since this pandemic began.