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Memorial Day Weekend Draws Crowds, Health Experts Urge Caution; Arkansas Governor Defends Reopening Amid Second Peak In New Cases; Birx: "Difficult To Tell" If The Country Will Close Down Again; Houses Of Worship Reopen After Trump Deems Them "Essential"; Celebrity "All In Challenge" Raises Millions To Feed Those In Need; NBA In Talks To Resume Season In July At Disney Florida Complex; Former Bartender Helps Feed Struggling Restaurant Workers. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired May 24, 2020 - 16:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[16:00:21]

ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: Hello on this Sunday. To our viewers in the United States and around the world, I'm Ana Cabrera in New York, and this is a Memorial Day weekend unlike any that you and I have ever experienced before.

That's because in more than 100 years, we have never started the summer under the hammer of a super contagious disease that has killed just shy of 100,000 people in three months. And that's just here in the United States.

With that horrific number in mind, it's also the weekend that every state in this country has relaxed its stay-at-home restrictions to some degree, letting people cooped up for weeks go to the beach, if they do it safely. Go to public parks, if they do it safely. And finally get some fresh air, if they do it safely.

Every doctor and public health expert worth his or her salt is begging people to wear masks and pleading with people to avoid large groups of people. Instead, some people are choosing to start their summer like this.

This was yesterday at Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. The exact opposite of everything we've been told will keep ourselves and people we love safer from the deadly coronavirus. People packed together, no masks, seemingly oblivious to the words of experts who tell us that without smart social distancing, many more people will die.

In fact, people are ignoring the warnings across the country this weekend. This massive crowd in Daytona Beach, Florida. Police say hundreds of people were just partying together and blocking traffic.

This beach on the Gulf Coast of Alabama, also packed. The bars in Austin, Texas, open and busy. Nobody in a mask. The boardwalk in Ocean City, Maryland, plenty of visitors close together there, as well.

So here's what you're going to see here on CNN today. Hopefully a good explanation into what exactly is going on right now. The smartest, most highly respected medical experts in the country are all shouting the same urgent warning. Safety, prevention, social distancing, face coverings. Common sense.

And still, we see this.

The United States has more coronavirus infections than any other country in the world. We will soon see the number of people dead in the U.S. reach 100,000. And throughout this weekend, we are watching people just ignore the warnings and gamble with their lives.

CNN correspondents are all around the country right now. Natasha Chen is in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Pete Muntean on the eastern shore of Maryland, and Paul Vercammen just outside Los Angeles.

Natasha, first to you, tell me what you've seen and what has happened to you on the beach. I understand there were people who were harassing you?

NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Ana, within the last hour, you know, there was a person who was not happy with what we were covering. We've been mostly talking to people who've all been really nice, by the way. Talking to us about how they're social distancing, what they're seeing with the crowds on the beach, but this person didn't like it.

And in addition to shouting at us, you know, while I had a mask on, he said to me to get out of his country with an expletive and that I was the reason -- that I was responsible for this, referring to my ethnicity. So that wasn't nice. But for the most part, everybody else has been very open to talking to us about, you know, this very unusual Memorial Day weekend, as you mentioned.

And just to be clear, you know, if there's nobody right around me as I'm doing this live shot, I have the mask off. But I put it back on right after that, knowing that we're crossing paths with a lot of folks. And our crew seems to be, though, the only people in masks that we've seen all day. So that has been one thing we've noticed.

If you take a look around on the beach behind me, though, you can see that there are parties pretty well spaced out from each other. And that's what our interview subjects were telling us, that they have seen people relatively calm, you know, following the rules.

But keep in mind, Ana, that this is a city, Myrtle Beach, that had an executive order this past week, specifying that police could have, you know, some leeway here, some authority this weekend. An extraordinary event, they called it. Because they saw some problematic behavior last weekend with people not social distancing -- Ana.

CABRERA: OK. Natasha, we are grateful that you are there. Thank you for your reporting and do stay safe out there.

CHEN: Thank you.

[16:05:02]

CABRERA: And keep doing what you need to do in order to make sure you stay safe and sending the right message to those there. Pete Muntean, meantime, is in Ocean City, Maryland. Let's check in

with him.

What are you seeing there, Pete, and what are people telling you?

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, it is not much of a beach day here in Ocean City, Maryland. That city officials say that actually might be working against them in a way.

I want to show you the beach first. Relatively easy to maintain social distancing there, but the city feels that more people are actually piling on to the boardwalk, even though it is about 50 degrees out here, cold, and windy. The city says that more people are out here right now and it is relatively easy to maintain social distancing so long as you pay attention.

Just want to show you some of the images from yesterday, though, by contrast. An 85-degree day, warm and sunny. The city says it's doing everything it can to try and make it so that folks are out here social distancing, but also recommending that they wear masks. The city says it is relatively hard to enforce those policies.

I spoke with Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan who says the city has done its part, but now it's on people to do their part.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAYOR RICK MEEHAN, OCEAN CITY, MARYLAND: All of our messaging is recommending and encouraging people to wear masks. But if you look at all the signs and everything we do with our message boards, it's all about social distancing, you know, doing the right thing. Don't forget, just because you're in Ocean City, do the same things you did at home. And if everybody does that, it's going to help us move forward.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MUNTEAN: Ocean City, Maryland, is a destination for folks region wide, especially in the D.C. and Baltimore regions. The city says it's done everything it can to keep people safe. It's put up signs here, reminding folks to social distance. In fact, every other bench here along the boardwalk has a two by four across it so you cannot sit in every bench, trying to maintain a little bit of social distancing.

Of course, the weather here is not very good today. So this is something to watch as the weather improves and the summer goes on -- Ana.

CABRERA: Indeed. Good to see some of those folks behind you wearing their masks, as well. Thank you.

Paul Vercammen is in Playa del Rey near Los Angeles.

Paul, show us how many people are on the beach where you are.

PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's an interesting scene. They opened up the parking lots here, by the way we're right by LAX, and see this vista? It is completely clear down to the water. And what they've done also, we talked about this a lot this weekend, they opened up the bike paths. And opening up this bike way it's 22 miles long. It goes from Torrance, it goes through here, it goes through yesterday in Santa Monica, all the way to Palisades.

People are doing what they want, which is they're moving. They're not staying put. And we were chatting with Rod and Roz over here, the Parkers. Look at their beautiful bicycle built for two. And they are among the people here who are very conscientious.

And tell us about this. I mean, you take this very seriously in terms of the rules here.

ROD PARKER, BEACHGOER: Yes, I really, really do. So, first, what I would like to say is, I got my PPE so -- hey, how you doing?

VERCAMMEN: I'm doing fine. Go ahead and tell me.

ROD PARKER: I'm sorry. OK.

VERCAMMEN: I want to hear you, tell me what you told me before.

ROD PARKER: Well, first of all, I got my PPE, so back up because I'm strapped up. And I have my gloves, bandanna, my mask, and my Purell. So this is the way we have to roll in California and all over the world if we really want to help each other. We most definitely have to take care of each other by honoring that along.

If she don't have hers on, and I get in contact with her, that's a bad thing that's going to happen to everybody about getting more of this COVID. CDC has already made all the rules and regulations. It's time for us to really do what they say, get in line, use yours and then you save mine. You save my life, I save yours by wearing your PPE.

VERCAMMEN: What about for you, Roz? Are you at all concerned when you look around here? Or does this scene tell you right now with not so many people on the beach?

ROZ PARKER, BEACHGOER: All seems calm. It seems like it's nice. It's calm. I like it. As long as we're able to get out of the house. So it's nice here.

VERCAMMEN: And wear your mask.

ROZ PARKER: Yes.

ROD PARKER: Wear your mask.

ROZ PARKER: Wear your mark.

ROD PARKER: Most definitely.

ROZ PARKER: Yes, most definitely.

ROD PARKER: And wash your hands. VERCAMMEN: All right. Thank you so much.

Well, there you have it. I mean, you can see, it's such a stark contrast to what Natasha was describing. I mean, they are absolutely vigilant about all of that, packing their hand sanitizer, wearing their masks. And we're seeing that so far at this one stretch of the beach here in Southern California.

Back to you now, Ana.

CABRERA: I love what Rod had to say about taking care of each other.

Paul Vercammen, thank you. Take care, my friend.

I also want to go to Rosa Flores who's joining us from Pensacola Beach, Florida.

Rosa, it looks like a beautiful day in the Sunshine State there.

[16:10:01]

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is a beautiful day. And it's a very family-friendly day here in Pensacola. I want to show you around because here's what Pensacola is doing to social distance. You see the umbrellas are separated by more than six feet. That's for a reason, to allow people to be out here in the beach and do it safely.

We talked to the water safety chief out here. He says that they only had about 10 rescue operations yesterday. He says that depending on the year, that's usually on par. He says that he has been training his lifeguards to make sure that they can be out and about, saving lives safely. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVE GREENWOOD, WATER SAFETY CHIEF, ESCAMBIA COUNTY: Continuous hand washing, maintaining social distancing of six feet or more between people. If we have to work on a patient, the lifeguard providing care will have an N-95 mask on and also with gloves.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FLORES: And as you take another live look out here, you can see again that these tents are separated. You only see a lot of two-pieces out here, Ana, because masks are not required. They're only recommended in the case that you can't social distance -- Ana.

CABRERA: OK. Rosa Flores, two pieces, not three pieces as far as attire out there. Thank you, as well as Natasha Chen, Pete Muntean and Paul Vercammen. I really appreciate all of your reporting.

So as crowds flock to beaches this holiday weekend, very few wearing masks or practicing social distancing as we're seeing in some of those images, Dr. Deborah Birx of the White House Coronavirus Task Force says she is concerned and she is urging the public to be responsible.

CNN's Kristen Holmes is at the White House for us.

Kristen, Dr. Birx is asking people to wear masks, even as their own boss, President Trump, refuses to wear one in front of the cameras.

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, that's right. But I do want to note one thing that's very important and very different from President Trump and all of the other people we just saw on beaches across the country. President Trump and anyone who is near him for an extended period of time or is anticipated to be near him gets a COVID test beforehand. They take the quick test before they're even allowed in the vicinity of President Trump.

And that needs to be made clear that that is part of the reason that his staff believes he doesn't have to wear a mask. Now, of course, that didn't stop two aides that were close to President Trump and Vice President Pence from testing positive. But Dr. Birx said that it is not just social distancing. That these masks are imperative.

Take a listen to what one of the nation's top health experts said about this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. DEBORAH BIRX, WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE COORDINATOR: We've made it clear that there is asymptomatic spread. And that means that people are spreading the virus unknowingly. And this is unusual in the case of respiratory diseases in many cases. So you don't know who's infected. And so we really want to be clear all the time that social distancing is absolutely critical. And if you can't social distance and you're outside, you must wear a mask. These are items that are really critical to protect individuals.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOLMES: And Ana, I will note that the president also was not wearing a mask, but also didn't really seem to be social distancing. Of course, we got shots of him on the golf course, near people that he was playing with. He did drive a golf cart alone. He wasn't sitting that close to someone. But he was on the green with them.

But this seems to be an example of President Trump really doubling down on this narrative that the country is ready to reopen, that we're going to reopen with or without a vaccine. And what he said on Thursday, which was that we're not going to close the country back down if there is some kind of resurgence.

CABRERA: OK. Kristen Holmes, thank you.

I want to show you again some of the images and the pictures that are just jaw-dropping this weekend. Across the country, the unofficial start of summer temping thousands of Americans to essentially forget the past two months, ignore nearly 100,000 deaths and counting, and disregard advice about social distancing and wearing masks.

What does this signal for the weeks and months ahead? Kathleen Sebelius joins us now. She is the former governor of Kansas and former secretary of Health and Human Services in the Obama administration.

Secretary, good to have you with us. As a former health official, how do you react to seeing some of those images?

KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, FORMER HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY: Well, I think they're pretty terrifying. If you think about the fact that what we know is about 4 percent of the country is estimated to have been exposed or infected by this virus. So that means 96 percent has not. So a lot of people are still possible victims of the virus. As you say, we're very close to 100,000 deaths.

You know, the issue about President Trump not wearing a mask is he's modeling terrible behavior. It's true, people have to be tested before they see him, but wearing a mask is him protecting other people. He is refusing to do that and saying to all kinds of folks, it's OK that you don't do that. So what we need is leadership from the White House.

[16:15:01]

We need a national strategy. The CDC guidance was actually kind of muzzled and held on to until most states had opened up. It's still very muted and what you see is people saying, OK, it's back to normal.

I live in Kansas. Those folks who are in Lake of the Ozarks, many of them may come from Kansas or are nearby our state. They're going to go home to their families. They're going to go into grocery stores. They're going to go into markets. And if you think about the strategy that people get tested quickly if they have symptoms, then you do the contact tracing, which is very important to keep track of who's got the virus, and quarantine them, how in the world can you do that in a massive situation like you see in Ocean City, Maryland or in Lake of the Ozarks?

CABRERA: Right.

SEBELIUS: How can you do contact tracing at all? So this is a free for all.

CABRERA: Especially -- I was just thinking about all the people who may be visiting those areas from out of state or at least from out of that community. And this is in Ocean City, Maryland, shot from yesterday. And you just see how close together people are. And many, many people not wearing masks. And consider the CDC estimates 35 percent of people infected with coronavirus are asymptomatic. 35 percent. So even if these people feel good and feel healthy, we just can't be so sure.

So what does that mean for the spread of the virus?

SEBELIUS: Well, it means that it can spread really uncontained. Part of the issue of the lockdown that most people observed for at least a couple of week period of time, a month period of time, was to try and make sure we didn't have a huge surge of cases, overwhelming the first responders, overwhelming the hospitals, getting out ahead of the virus, that you'd slow it down and then be able to contain it, as things opened up. This is absolutely the opposite. We still have virus circulating. We

still have a slow, simmering summer with people still dying. Cases still going up. Spikes. All social gatherings like this will do is actually pour gasoline on those fires. You could have huge outbreaks. And as you say, whether it's Ocean City, Maryland, or Lake of the Ozarks or a beach in Pensacola, those folks after Memorial Day weekend go back to their home communities.

They go back into circulation in towns and can easily continue to spread that virus throughout the country. So where we don't have a cure and we don't have any kind of a treatment. hydroxychloroquine has once again been urged not to be taken. It is much more dangerous than it is safe. So we're in the same place that we were in mid-March when the lockdown occurred. And yet people are pretending it's all over.

And the president, unfortunately, is giving us that message. Everything's OK. I'm not going to wear a mask. Mike Pence isn't going to wear a mask. We'll go into closed spaces with mandated policies to wear masks and we're not going to do it.

CABRERA: Are you surprised this issue of wearing a mask has become so political?

SEBELIUS: Well, unfortunately, I think that message starts at the top. You know, epidemiologists know that it's about mitigation, it's about tracking and tracing, it's also about communication. One of the things that scientists will tell you over and over again is to have clear, concise communication, everybody on the same page with the same set of rules. We haven't had that from the beginning.

And we have had a president who wants more than anything to declare that the virus is over. And he's wanted that from day one. Denial, denial, denial, finally admission, putting false dates on, putting false dates on when we might have a vaccine available, taking a drug that is definitely not recommended to be taken and we're now seeing it in behavior where he says it's really ending. The economy is coming back and we'll never shut down again.

All of us want to get back into normal life. I miss my grandchildren desperately. I have a new 8-day-old granddaughter. I want her to be safe and secure. I want to see my friends. I want to do my business, but more than that, I'd like to live another couple of years. I want the people around me to be safe and secure. So I'm willing to do my part to keep them safe and I hope they're willing to do their part to keep me safe.

CABRERA: Right. It's about shared sacrifice that we all have to buy into right now.

SEBELIUS: You bet.

CABRERA: Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, I really appreciate your time. Thank you.

SEBELIUS: Nice to talk to you, Ana. CABRERA: Up next, we'll head live to Arkansas where the governor says

that state is already experiencing a second peak even as it moves ahead with reopening. Plus, just how risky are everyday activities like grocery shopping or dining out?

[16:20:00]

We'll ask our doctors next live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CABRERA: Arkansas saw its single biggest day increase in coronavirus cases this past week. But the governor says those cases aren't linked to lifted restrictions.

Let's get to CNN's Ed Lavandera in Little Rock.

And Ed, Arkansas reported 455 new cases of the virus on Thursday. A single-day high. And yet the governor is still defending his steps to reopen?

ED LAVANDERA, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. Clearly, the numbers that they're seeing, not enough cause for concern for the governor to backtrack on any of the reopening measures and plans that are already in place and in full swing here, in the state of Arkansas.

As you mentioned, more than 450 cases reported on Thursday. On Saturday, a little more than 160 new cases. And if you look at the graphs of all of these cases, it really is appearing as a second peak here in the state of Arkansas.

[16:25:05]

The first peak coming around April 15th to April 23rd. So just a little more than a month ago. But the governor insists that this is because of better testing that is in place and also mentioned that one of the reasons why he doesn't sound terribly concerned by this second peak is that hospitalization rates and positive test rates in his view remain relatively low.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. ASA HUTCHINSON (R), ARKANSAS: And you look at the reason for the spike and again, it's because we have greater testing. The fact that we're able to trace it and we want to build that infrastructure allows us -- we've got to think about next fall. Where are we going to be? We're not going to be cloistered in our home. That's contrary to the American spirit.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LAVANDERA: So you can get a sense there, Ana, from listening to the tail end of what the governor there was saying is that it doesn't seem terribly concerned about exactly where this is going to go in terms of wanting to change what is opened and how things are being reopened here in this state. But he did say, for example, that there was a high school pool party that was responsible for creating a cluster of coronavirus cases.

And driving through Arkansas and getting here to the town of Little Rock today, a number of places where I stopped along the way today, there were very few people wearing masks. So that is an area of concern because we do know from medical experts who have said that this can quickly spiral out of control. But we should point out that in terms of the overall number of cases and deaths, Arkansas has been on the low end of what we've seen nationwide -- Ana.

CABRERA: Thank you for laying it all out there for us and putting it into perspective.

Ed Lavandera, thank you.

With us now, infectious disease specialist Dr. Amesh Adalja and emergency room physician Dr. Jeremy Faust.

And I want to talk to both of you and our viewers about what we're seeing. We have this pool party that was happening in Osage Beach, Missouri, on Saturday. And if we show the video, you can see social distancing is not possible. No one is wearing a mask.

The bar posted that they were going to take several precautions at this party, including operating at a reduced capacity to allow for social distancing, taking the temperatures of all attendees, having bottles of hand sanitizer available for free and placing hand sanitizer stations throughout the property. Also, continually cleaning and sanitizing bathrooms and they said they would have a paramedic on staff during this entire event.

But, Dr. Faust, are those precautions enough?

DR. JEREMY FAUST, EMERGENCY ROOM PHYSICIAN: I feel like we may have gone through all this and learned very little. 100,000 Americans are dead and some people never imagine that number. Other people said it would be far worse, but nobody said that was OK. And we owe it to ourselves to look back on the past few months and say, what have we learned? And if we'd closed earlier, some say we would have saved thousands of lives, and that's probably true. If we had done better with our nursing home or situations like this.

So we owe it to ourselves, the ones who have died, the ones who have become sick, the people who have lost their livelihoods to learn from this and to move forward safely. I see this and I think that it hasn't hit home.

CABRERA: Dr. Adalja, we've been hearing from doctors about a possible second wave in the fall, but already Arkansas is reporting a second peak there. We see all these gatherings this holiday weekend throughout the nation, many not social distancing, many not wearing masks. Could the second wave we've been warned about be weeks, not months away, possibly?

DR. AMESH ADALJA, INFECTIOUS DISEASE SPECIALIST: The virus hasn't gone anywhere. It's still acting the same biologically. And the simple fact is, when people interact with each other, the virus gains an opportunity to transmit. So it's not even that we're through with the first wave yet, but we may start seeing more outbreaks occur as people start to re-socialize and the virus finds way to get from place to place.

We've seen it in Arkansas. We're hearing about it in Montgomery, Alabama. This is something we're going to have to get used to in this era of the pandemic. These outbreaks that occur sporadically across the country until we have a vaccine.

CABRERA: Dr. Faust, let's listen to what White House Coronavirus Response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said just this morning about this period of opening up.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BIRX: We're trying to understand, during this period of coming out of the closure, how do we maintain openness and safety? And I think that's what we're going to be learning through May, June, and July.

MARTHA RADDATZ, ABS NEWS ANCHOR: But you don't see the country closing down again?

BIRX: It's difficult to tell. And I really am data driven, so I'm collecting data right now about whether governors and whether states and whether communities are able to open safely and what do I mean by that? We have to do much better with proactive testing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Dr. Faust, what's running through your mind, when you hear that warning about testing and potentially shutting the country down again paired with these images of people crowded on beaches without masks?

FAUST: Shutting down is going to be very difficult for people to stomach. And in a sense, despite these videos we see, I think the economy is going to be slow to come back online, because people are scared. They know the virus is out there.

[16:30:00]

We opened up in many places even though there's over a thousand deaths per day still. That's not a really good statistic.

I think that people aren't really considering what are safe characteristics for going out. They're just saying, ok, it's been enough time now, can we go out now? So, I think that the testing capacity is nowhere near where it needs to be. I don't know -- and we've seen some really disturbing things from the CDC about mixing up tests versus antibodies.

We are nowhere near knowing enough about the ground conditions to open safely. The way we find out is when things like Montgomery happen, where there's a spike in cases and the ICUs are now at capacity. That's the only way we find out in this moment, given the tools that we have chosen to afford ourselves with at this moment. CABRERA: Well, we heard the mayor of Montgomery this week saying they had one ICU bed available and they were sending patients to Birmingham, about 90 miles away. Real quickly, I just want to go through a couple of activities people may be doing this weekend or in the week ahead and you guys tell me very briefly whether you feel they're high risk, medium risk or low risk and why. Dr. Adalja, let's start with public beaches and public pools.

DR. AMESH ADALJA, INFECTIOUS DISEASE SPECIALIST: So, whatever risk it is is actually going to depend on your behavior. A lot of activities like going to a pool can be done safely if you social distance, if you mind the common touch surfaces, if you wash your hands a lot, if you refrain from touching your face. So, that can be something that's outdoors. It's a little bit lower risk, but that all depends on whether or not there's crowding or not and the other people that may be there.

CABRERA: Dr. Adalja or rather let's go to Dr. Faust, since we just had that one with you Dr. Adalja, but what about hair salons, barbershops, and nail salons?

FAUST: Those are, right now, considered the higher risk activities, but I would also echo, we need -- there are so many situations, 330 million people and thousands of situations. There are too many what ifs. And we need to start to learn to assess what's a safe characteristic and what's an unsafe characteristics.

So, enclosed spaces, up close and personal, using the same chairs, utensils, bathrooms, these are the things we need to look for. Is it an unsafe or is it a safe thing? A lot of things are unsafe. But the pool party, like you said, the pool itself isn't the problem. The problem is the snack bar, the problem is the lounge chairs, the bathrooms.

And so, we need to start looking at not individual situations, although I think it's interesting, but actually start to learn to assess risk and that's what we're going to have to do, because that's the only tool we have right now. Science is going to give us the vaccine, but how many lives we save until that moment is really in our hands.

CABRERA: Depended on our actions. Dr. Jeremy Faust, Dr. Amesh Adalja, I appreciate both of you. Thanks for all you do and thanks for being here.

ADALJA: Thank you.

CABRERA: President Trump has pushed for houses or worship to reopen going so far as to threaten to override governors' orders even as faith leaders remain split. We will go live to St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York, next. You're live in the CNN "Newsroom."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:37:21] CABRERA: Today from coast to coast, houses of worship reopened their houses to their congregations, a move the president passionately pushed for this week. This comes as the nation's cases top 1.6 million and the death toll inches towards a grim milestone, 100,000.

CNN correspondent, Evan McMorris-Santoro joins us now from outside St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City. Evan, St. Patrick's remained closed today, but what about the rest of New York?

EVAN MCMORRIS-SANTORO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right. I mean, look. Here in New York City and New York State, there is still a restriction on big gatherings like worship services. The governor released an executive order last week saying that gatherings of ten or fewer could take place, including in places like houses of worship.

But, you know, worship services, as we're used to seeing them, they're still months away under the governor's reopening plan. And we've seen in other places, governors and worship leaders arguing about this stuff, but it's just not the case really in New York so far.

Here at St. Patrick's Cathedral, one of the highlights of the New York archdiocese, which is, you know, represents about 3 million Catholics around the New York City area, they have their own plan that they proposed that mimics the governor's plan. They're suggesting they want to do a slow reopening here, as well, where, you know, maybe at first, small funerals, small weddings, things like baptisms with small numbers of people. Then, eventually, as you go along, maybe you add more and add more. But traditional worship service is not for a long, long time.

When it comes to the future of the rest of the state, you have to think about the fact that we're in, you know, phase one in only some parts of New York and not in New York City. And phase one is of many, many phases and worship services aren't supposed to come into play until phase four.

So, that's not to say, though, that houses of worships aren't a part of this entire conversation here. You know, they've been doing good works like distributing PPE and doing testing. And here at St. Patrick's Cathedral, there was mass this morning just like there has been every Sunday of the pandemic. It just happened to be streamed online and there were no parishioners. Ana.

CABRERA: OK. Evan McMorris-Santoro, thanks for that update.

Coming up, former football and baseball star, a legend really, Bo Jackson, joins us live on his "All In Challenge", right after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:38:48]

CABRERA: The challenges facing America today are extraordinary. The politics of division from some in the public eye are not helping. But each Sunday, we have taken the time to highlight the efforts of those who are using their fame to meet the challenge of our times.

It is the brain child of Michael Rubin, creator of the "All In Challenge" and partner of the "Philadelphia 76ers". And this week, he has brought a guest who really needs no introduction to sports fans of his generation. Bo Jackson is the only athlete ever to be named an all-star in both major league baseball and the NFL. And even if you're not a sports fan, you certainly remember Nike's "Bo Knows" ad campaign. So, welcome to the show, Bo Jackson, and welcome back, Michael Rubin.

Michael, as is our tradition, let's start with you and the question of how much has been raised to date?

MICHAEL RUBIN, CREATOR, "ALL IN CHALLENGE": As of today, $48 million. We've had a great last hour or two because of your sister network, "TNT" that's airing the match. You've got Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods and Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. They're out there raising lots of money for corona relief. So, we've had a great couple of hours raising millions of dollar for "All In Challenge" and lots of charities supporting these causes.

CABRERA: Well, I'm hoping this segment helps get us over that $50 million mark for your fund-raising efforts.

RUBIN: Absolutely.

[16:45:01]

CABRERA: Bo Jackson, it is your turn. What are you offering up for this challenge?

BO JACKSON, FORMER MLB & NFL ALL-STAR PLAYER: Well, what I'm offering up -- I am an outdoorsman. I love to be outdoors. So, being locked up is very hard for me, but I'm abiding by the rules. The thing that I'm offering up is a two-day, two-night, all-exclusive bluefin tuna/bill fishing trip in the Gulf of Mexico.

I have a very good friend by the name of Matt McDonald who has a custom 71-feet Viking fishing boat that sleeps -- has four bedrooms, four and a half baths. And we are going to pull out of Orange Beach, Alabama, and go out in the Gulf out where the oil rigs are, because that's where the big fish are. And we will spend a couple of days out there testing our luck to see if we can catch a bluefin tuna. The last bluefin tuna I caught there was a year and a half ago and it weighed 611 pounds.

CABRERA: Wow!

JACKSON: So, we're looking to have a good time. We will spend the night out on the water. We will cook on the water. That's where we will stay for two days.

CABRERA: That sounds like a fantasy for so many --

JACKSON: We're going to hang out and have a great time. CABRERA: -- sports fans and outdoors people alike, and I, too, have a love of outdoors, so that really speaks to me, although I do get seasick. That challenge may not be the best for me. But I love what you're doing and the passion that you have for the outdoors.

I have to ask you, Bo, because you know what it's like to be a sports icon. You won the Heisman Trophy as a running back for Auburn, an all- star in not one, but two professional sports. You know, it's really hurt the psyche of Americans right now to be without sports.

JACKSON: Yes.

CABRERA: Can you tell us what it's been like for you?

JACKSON: Well, I'll tell you what, being from the S.E.C. and college football is bigger than life in the S.E.C. and that's hard for a lot of people. It's just mind boggling that there may not be sports this year. I hope that it is, but it's going to be rough for a lot of people, because most people in the S.E.C. and just that love college football altogether, they pattern their year around their favorite college football season. And it's going to be hard if there isn't a season.

CABRERA: We'll see.

JACKSON: Yes.

CABRERA: We'll see. Michael, you are co-owner of the "Philadelphia 76ers". NBA fans got a glimmer of hope with news that the league is in talks with Disney to resume the season near Orlando in July perhaps. How would that work to the best of your knowledge?

RUBIN: Look, I'm an optimist by nature and I actually do believe that we're going to see sports come back in July without fans. I think that's going to be the right way to start. But I do think that - you know, I spend a lot of my days talking to other owners in both the NBA and other sports, also the legal office, and I think everyone is working really hard to bring sports back as soon as we can do it safely.

It feels like there's a lot of momentum to get sports back really across the board; (INAUDIBLE), baseball, NBA, hockey, and I think, hopefully, football in time. So, I think it's going to happen. I think it's going to be without fans, but I do think it's going to happen.

I think the most important thing is, we've got to keep our players and our players' family and all of the staff associated with these teams safe, but at the same time, I think we can do it and I think it's going to happen. And I think we're going to have sports without fans.

CABRERA: 30 seconds to get your reaction there, Bo? Is this giving you hope?

JACKSON: I tell you what, that's all the hope I need. If Mike says that we are more than likely going to see sports some time in July, I'm all for it. I'm all in, period. RUBIN: Well listen, we know Bo knows. And Bo, I want to say thank you to you. Your auction is incredible. I'm now going to want to become a fisherman and bid on this auction. I mean, to go spend two days with you -- I remember wearing my "Bo Knows" t-shirt is (INAUDIBLE). I honestly try to get one off the internet and wear it on this interview today, because I'm so excited to do this with you.

JACKSON: There you go.

RUBIN: Again, I appreciate you going all in and it's an incredible auction and you've been such a help. And we need people to go to the "All In Challenge" and bid on your incredible experience and also on Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods putting --

JACKSON: Yes.

RUBIN: -- and play 18 holes with Phil auctions and experiences. So, a lot going on in "All In Challenge".

JACKSON: Well --

CABRERA: I know they're good stuff, guys.

JACKSON: Yes. CABRERA: I got to run.

JACKSON: And I'll tell you -- yes. But it's not a two-day, it's a three-day, two-night trip.

CABRERA: Three days, two nights.

RUBIN: I'm in.

JACKSON: Three days, two nights. Yes.

CABRERA: So, go big or go home! Bo Jackson, Michael Rubin, --

JACKSON: Go big or go home. There you go.

CABRERA: -- thank you so much. We'll see you back here next week. We'll be right back.

JACKSON: Thank you, guys.

RUBIN: Thanks so much.

JACKSON: Thank you.

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[16:54:17]

CABRERA: As restaurants across the country start to reopen, thousands of service industry workers are still struggling. Here's how 2009's CNN "Hero", Doc Henley, is helping them.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DOC HENLEY, CNN "HERO" 2009: On St. Patrick's Day, we got the order from the government that all restaurants had to be shut down as of 5:00 in one day. It was devastating. So, we created this program. We just wanted it to be something that doesn't just give people food to survive during this time -- fresh apples, fresh oranges -- but also give them things to help them thrive.

And it will be ready to hand out and will feed two people for an entire week.

I was terrified when this really got bad. But that sense of kind of fear and stress just immediately turned off and was just focused on, what can we do to help? I saw a single mama come in. And literally, when she opened it up, she just started crying. I really think that we, as a people, are going to come through this stronger and more together.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[16:55:14]

CABRERA: There's a lot of good out there. Anderson Cooper shares the full story of what Doc Henley is doing to help at home and globally at cnnheroes.com.

Back to our live coverage of Memorial Day weekend in a time of a global pandemic. The message from the nation's top doctors could not be more clear. Wear a mask and stay at least six feet away from others.

You're looking at live pictures here of Pensacola, Florida. Are your neighbors listening? We're live on America's beaches, next.

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