Return to Transcripts main page


Sara Nelson, Association Of Flight Attendants International President, Discusses Airlines Acknowledging Mask Policies May Be Difficult To Enforce; Update On Coronavirus Responses Across The Country; Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA), Discusses His Telling President Trump Not To Come To His State Tomorrow; Dr. Pablo Rodriguez, Medical Director, CARE, New England, Discusses Rhode Island Hispanic Community On Edge Over Coronavirus. Aired 1:30-2p ET

Aired May 13, 2020 - 13:30   ET



BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: You've asked the trump administration for giciance, for the Trump administration to come out. You wrote a letter to two cabinet members, including Elaine Chao, the transportation sectary asking for this guidance making makes wearing masks mandatory. Have you gotten a response or feedback on that?

SARA NELSON, INTERNATIONAL PRESIDENT, FLIGHT ATTENDANTS INTERNATIONAL: We've had some engagement with the administration and we have been talking to them throughout this process.

We really need them to pull together a task that would normally be put together in a situation like this to put in place emergency procedures so we can all be safe in air travel.

The fact of the matter is that air travel is essential. It helps to fight the virus. But what we want to make sure is that we're not adding to the spread of the coronavirus through air travel.

And that we are also using this time to put safety policies in place so that when we start to reopen up our economy again, even before we have a vaccine, people understand what to expect and they understand the steps that we're going to take in aviation to keep people safe.

KEILAR: Do you think, as you had engagement with the Trump administration, that they're inclined to answer your call, or are you facing resistance?

NELSON: Look, I think that the biggest problem that we have here is inconsistent information coming from the administration and coming from the president himself. And that has led to the conflicts that we're seeing.

So, what we know, in any situation where you're facing an emergency is that you have to have very clear commands. In fact, flight attendants go to training, retraining, every single year to practice our commands, to practice the steps in an emergency. And it has to be clear and consistent in order to be orderly and make sure that everyone stays safe. So we need clear and consistent information coming from our leadership

with the guidance of health care authorities in order to keep all of us safe.

The inconsistencies that we're seeing is what's leading to these conflicts. And we're really asking that for the safety of flight attendants and for the safety of air travel and for the financial health of our entire country, please give us some leadership here.

And let's be consistent. Let's listen to the health care authorities and let's be very clear with the American public/

Because the public really wants to know, what can we do to help in this emergency situation? What can we do to make things better? So let's make sure that they know so that we can all participate.

KEILAR: Sara Nelson, with the Association of Flight Attendants, thank you so much.

NELSON: Thank you.

KEILAR: New Orleans instituting a surreal way to keep track of people, especially customers at restaurants. We'll tell you about that.

Plus, grocery prices seeing the largest spike in nearly five decades. No, you are not imagining that.

And he's one of the most trusted voices to emerge in this pandemic,. And now FOX hosts are targeting Dr. Fauci for his warnings.



KEILAR: Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson plans to shut down a Travis McCreedy concert that is set for this Friday. The country star was set to take the stage three days before indoor venues could officially open in the state.

And here's some more virus headlines we are following across the country.


JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR & CORRESPONDENT: I'm Julia Chatterley, in New York. A sober warning and a call to action from fed chair Jay Powell this morning. He says that the burden of this crisis is falling most on those least able to bear it.

He mentioned a survey where 40 percent of Households earning less than $40,000 a year saw someone lose their job in March. He said that while the Federal Reserve stands ready to act, Congress may need to do more to help offset the worst crisis since World War II.

DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Diana Gallagher, in Atlanta. It's not your imagination. You paid more for food last month. According to the Labor Department, grocery prices went up 2.6 percent on average in April. That is the largest one-month spike since 1974, nearly 50 years.

Now, we're talking across-the-board food groups here -- fruits and vegetables, cereal, meat, which we've talked a lot about, but eggs had the largest increase, 16 percent.

AMARA WALKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Amara Walker, in Atlanta. The city of New Orleans will begin a phased reopening of the city beginning on Saturday at 6:00 a.m. AND I will be focusing on contact tracing as an important tool against the coronavirus, requiring all restaurants with table service to collect the names and phone numbers of every customer entering their establishment, and the data will have to be kept on file for 21 days.

Now, Mayor Latoya Cantrell made this announcement on a live radio town hall Wednesday. She said that the city has been seeing a downward trend of COVID-19 cases for more than 21 days. Amongst some of the businesses that will be allowed to reopen are retail stores, churches, hair and nail salons, and gyms.

RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Ryan Young, in Columbus, Ohio. And the impact from COVID-19 has been felt throughout this state. In fact, over 1,300 people have lost their lives to the virus. The impact has also been felt on an economic scale here.


When you take a look from above, you see this popular area that would normally be crushed with customers. But we started to see signs of reopening. The governor allowed some of these businesses to open for the first time. Managers were happy to supply their employee some sort of income.

The impact is still ongoing. On Friday, more businesses will be allowed we know on Friday, more businesses will be allowed to reopen.


KEILAR: Thank you so much to everyone for those reports.

And as some demand schools reopen, the CDC set to warn doctors to be on the lookout for a mysterious syndrome that is impacting children as new cases pop up in more and more states.

Plus, why the president's former campaign chair was just released early from prison.

Also, I'll be speaking live with a Pennsylvania Congressman who's telling President Trump to not come to his state tomorrow.



KEILAR: Just as the nation's top infectious disease experts warn against returning to work or school too quickly, President Trump is pushing for businesses to reopen in several battleground states. Tomorrow. he plans to visit the medical supply company in Pennsylvania.

But my next guest is demanding that the president cancel his visit with this message: Go back to the White House and start doing your job.

Let's bring in Congressman Brendan Boyle. He represents Philadelphia area, and he's joining me now.

Congressman, tell us, what's your biggest concern here about the president heading to your state, which we should mention, this is outside of your district, but what's your concern?

REP. BRENDON BOYLE (D-PA): Yes, thanks for having me.

He will be apparently just about an hour away from where I am here in Philadelphia. This is a thinly veiled campaign stop to one of the most important battleground states come November. This is not a time for campaigning. There will be plenty of time for that, the summer and the fall.

The focus of a president right now should be solving this problem. In the United States, we have more cases than every major European country combined. This has been an unmitigated disaster from this White House and a real absence of leadership.

So I'm calling on the president, cancel the visit tomorrow. Don't put other people at risk, given how many people are involved in any presidential visit. And instead, stay at home, do your job, get us closer to solving this unbelievable crisis.

KEILAR: The president tweeted this on Monday. He said, "The great people of Pennsylvania want their freedom now, and they are fully aware of what that entails. The Democrats are moving slowly all over the U.S. for political purposes. They would wait until November 3rd if it were up to them. Don't play politics. Be safe, move quickly!"

What's your reaction to that?

BOYLE: I can't for the life of me figure out what exactly the White House message is, because you'll have responsible figures like Dr. Fauci at these press conferences give guidance that we shouldn't reopen or we should do it in a very careful, kind of a staged way going from red to yellow, yellow to green, which is what we're doing here in Pennsylvania.

And then you'll have the president, who is ostensibly the head of the White House, going on Twitter saying the exact opposite things, tweeting "liberate Michigan," liberate various other states, calling on Pennsylvania to reopen, even though the guidance his own White House has released would argue the exact opposite.

So, the mixed messages from this White House only add to the level of confusion that is out there. KEILAR: Dr. Fauci, who you mentioned, testified in front of a Senate

committee yesterday, the health committee, and he largely warned about cases spiking again.

There were some FOX News hosts who were critical of his testimony. Let's listen to that.


TUCKER CARSON, FOX NEWS HOST, "TUCKER CARSON TONIGHT": Is this guy you want to chart the future of the country? Maybe not. This is a very serious matter. The decisions we're making right now. Tony Fauci has not been elected to anything.

Some people seem to think he should be dictator for the duration of this crisis. That's insanity!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fauci, to be very blunt, is the face of this failed administrative state, I think we've got to question the entire premise of this.


TUCKER: The chief buffoon -

SEAN HANNITY, FOX HOST, "SEAN HANNITY": Dr. Anthony Fauci also seems to favor what the Democrats want, and that is massive restrictions with no end in sight.

All due respect to Dr. Fauci's expertise, no one elected him to anything.


KEILAR: I do want to mention that these are actually hosts who downplayed coronavirus initially and changed their tune to that.

But as you look at this kind of concerted effort on right-wing media to target Dr. Fauci, what do you make of that?

BOYLE: Yes, well, first, let's just be clear, Dr. Fauci is not a partisan figure. He's worked for six different presidents, beginning with President Reagan, I believe.

And only now, suddenly, recently on the far right do you have this effort to paint him as somehow some partisan democrat. He clearly isn't.

You know, I think that for the folks that watch FOX News and maybe in March and even early April didn't take this seriously.

And then behaved accordingly and went on to contract this awful virus, let's stop and really think about just how irresponsible that is and how some figures on FOX News and other areas in the far right ended up breathing out rhetoric and spewing out rhetoric with disastrous consequences. There's a reason we are by far the leader in the category of --


KEILAR: Congressman, Brendan Boyle, thank you for joining us.

BOYLE: All right, thank you.

KEILAR: We'll have some more on our breaking news. The ousted vaccine chief is set to warn Congress that the Trump administration was unprepared and the window is closing to prevent, quote, unprecedented death.

Plus, a father and son buried together after the coronavirus spread through their family.

And one state in particular seeing an alarming surge in cases in the Latino community. We'll tell you why.



KEILAR: A young man sat bedside saying good-bye to his dad who died of coronavirus. And 16 days later, they were buried together.

Miguel Moran, an immigrant from El Salvador, washed trucks to provide for his family. And after he fell ill and was sent to the hospital, doctors warned him he did not have much time.

After he passed, his only son, Daniel, with four other family members were allowed into the hospital to say good-bye.

We're told that Daniel prayed by his father's bedside and he cried and he told his father that, one day, he'd join him in Heaven.

He later told his sister, since many of the victims are Hispanic and African-Americans, he vowed not to end up intubated like his dad.

But days later, the entire family tested positive. And Daniel never made it to the hospital alive. He was pronounced dead in the very place that he told his dad good-bye.

The Latino community in Rhode Island, in particular, is on edge and growing concern as new coronavirus concern show they represent half of the state's cases. Latinos make up 16 percent of the Rhode Island's population. The numbers show they account for 44 percent of coronavirus cases.

I want to talk to Dr. Pablo Rodriguez. He is the medical director of community affairs at CARE, New England, A young man sat bedside saying good-bye to his dad who died of coronavirus.

Doctor, thanks for joins us.

DR. PABLO RODRIGUEZ, MEDICAL DIRECTOR, CARE, NEW ENGLAND: Thank you for bringing attention to this issue, Brianna.

KEILAR: Of course. I wonder, what has been the reaction there of the Latino community in Rhode Island when they're starting to realize what these statistics mean for them.

RODRIGUEZ: This is very, very scary for most Latinos here and for the entire community, we are part of this community. And to see numbers that are dwarfing those in the Bronx, in New York City, in the city of Hispanics, 70 percent Latinos, is very, very scary.

We have places now where 35 percent of the tests are turning out positive. I am convinced that the people most at risk are actually not coming forward because they are afraid of coming forward because of their status as undocumented or just afraid of losing their jobs.

These people need to work in order to support their families, and they find it very, very scary to return to conditions that put them at risk.

KEILAR: Why is there this disparity in infection rates?

RODRIGUEZ: Well, it's pretty clear. The social parts of health are pointed to right here in this epidemic. These are people that have low educational opportunities, economic opportunities, They have to go out to work. These can't work from home.

hey also live in cramped conditions. So you work under cramped conditions and then you go home and infect the rest of the family.

So this epidemic has not abated at all in immigrants and Latino communities, especially here in Rhode Island.

And I am very, very concerned. We are very concerned, a lot of leaders of the community are very concerned about opening the economy prematurely without the supports that we need. People need to be supported during this time. We can't just be testing people, telling them they're positive and

then sending them back to the conditions that made them in the first place. We need to provide for supportive quarantine.

We need to provide for financial support, if they need, and this has to be done at the level of the town.

KEILAR: I wondered, yesterday, we listened to Senator Rand Paul and he was saying that public schools should reopen because the mortality rate for children who get COVID is low. He was also saying school is essential, of course, for students who are lower society or Latino.

But they have multigenerational homes, They're more likely to have that. Does that worry you when you're talking about sending kids back to school and they're going home where grandma or grandpa might be?