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NHL and NFL Set to Reopen with Extended Championship Playoffs; Interview with CareerBuilder CEO Irina Novoselsky; Interview with Former Astronaut Leroy Chiao. Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired May 27, 2020 - 10:30   ET


OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For several long minutes, George Floyd told the officer he couldn't breathe, as bystanders pleaded with officers that Floyd was struggling.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Man (ph) can't breathe, (INAUDIBLE).

TEXT: "Please, I can't breathe. The knee on my neck. I can't breathe, officer. They gonna kill me." -- George Floyd

JIMENEZ (voice-over): And protesters echoed Floyd's words in the pouring rain last night.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody in the world need to be watching this. The world, please watch this.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): The officers say they were responding to an alleged forgery in progress and were initially told the suspect was sitting on a car, seemingly under the influence. Police said Floyd physically resisted, and they placed him under arrest.

GEORGE FLOYD, MAN KILLED BY POLICE: My stomach hurts. My neck hurts. Everything hurts.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, supporting the decision to fire the officers.

MAYOR JACOB FREY (D), MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA: For five minutes. When you hear someone calling for help, you are supposed to help. This officer failed in the most basic human sense.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): CNN has obtained new surveillance video from a nearby restaurant that shows two police officers crossing the street and approaching the car at 8:33 p.m. Monday night. The officers are talking to the passengers in the car for a few minutes, before two passengers emerge from the car.

George is then taken from the car by one of the officers, and is handcuffed. Floyd is sitting against the exterior of the building on the sidewalk, while another police car arrives. Eventually, two cops pull George up from the ground and walk back across the street, Floyd's family saying they want the officers charged with murder.

PHILONESE FLOYD, GEORGE FLOYD'S BROTHER: He screamed, Mama, Mama, I can't breathe, I can't breathe. (INAUDIBLE) killed. They treated him worse than they treat animals, and I was (INAUDIBLE) like this.

They took a life, now they deserve life. I don't feel sorry for them. They hurt me, they hurt my family.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, calling on an outside investigation to be conducted to explore possible criminal charges against the officers.

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN): This was not a sudden mistake or a procedure gone bad. This was over a period of time. You've got to look at all the evidence. But to me, this evidence is just crying out for some kind of a charge.


JIMENEZ: And we are still waiting to see how these investigations play out, to determine if any criminal charges are filed. And regards to the protests, while they did get violent at times, I think it just highlights the anger -- the real anger -- that is in this community, not just here but of course playing out as we are seeing across the country as well -- Jim.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, and the precedent is that it's difficult to charge police officers in incidents like this, but we will watch it closely. Omar Jimenez, thanks very much.


Could you get paid to come back to work? The White House could be open to that proposal. We'll have more.


POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Jim, I know you want an answer to this one --


HARLOW: -- and I do, too, I do, too --


HARLOW: -- will there be professional sports, college sports? People dying for answers.

SCIUTTO: For sure. We're still waiting on baseball, but the NHL has unveiled its plans for an expanded Stanley Cup playoff tournament instead of restarting the regular season. Coy Wire joins us now with more.

So, really, an interesting plan here. They're going to right to the playoffs, but a really big playoff here.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Yes, no doubt. Good morning to you, Jim and Poppy. The regular season officially over and the top 12 teams from each conference as of March 12th, when the league stopped play due to the pandemic, they would compete for the Stanley Cup in two hub cities, yet to be determined.

Commissioner Gary Bettman said yesterday that they're not able to set a date just yet. But still, as Jim mentioned, the NHL, taking a big step with at least a commitment to a plan to play. Here's Bettman.


GARY BETTMAN, NHL COMMISSIONER: As we seek some return to normalcy, this is an important day, particularly for NHL fans. I know I join sports fans everywhere when we say we cannot wait for our players to hit the ice again.


WIRE: So 24 teams instead of the normal 16, set to take part; seven teams, not making the cut. This, all dependent on COVID-19 conditions, testing capabilities and government regulations. The commissioner says that, Jim and Poppy, they could use 25,000 to 30,000 tests during the tournament. He also said that a positive result would not necessarily mean that the tournament would shut down.

Now, in the NBA, there are several ideas reportedly on the table, including a World Cup-style playoff being played at the Disney Sports Complex in Florida. According to the ringer (ph), the top 20 teams would be put in five tiers, divided into groups. They'd play each other twice, with the top two teams in each group advancing to a round featuring best-of-seven-game series.

Now, when asked about the proposal, the NBA, telling CNN there is, quote, "nothing we are sharing publicly at this point," unquote.

Meanwhile, the future of the baseball season remains in limbo over money. The Players Association, telling CNN it's not happy with the league's latest economic proposal, made yesterday. According to multiple reports, instead of revenue-sharing, the owners are now suggesting that the highest salaried players take steeper pay cuts than the players who make less. As an example, the highest earners would get approximately 25 percent of their salary for the year, while the lowest earners would get approximately 50 percent.

CNN reached out to MLB for comment, has not heard a response. Now, I talked to one current player who said that the players feel slighted because back in March, they agreed to a pay cut in the form of a prorated salary; owners went back to the negotiating table with steeper pay cuts when it was determined games would be played without fans.


Now, the player tells me they feel the owners knew this would all play out, Jim, in the court of public opinion and that the players will look like the bad guys if they don't accept.

HARLOW: Wow. All right, Coy, thank you for all of those updates on all the leagues. Appreciate it. SCIUTTO: Well this morning, Marriott says that the financial impact

of this pandemic is worse than 9/11 and the 2008 financial crisis, combined. Imagine that. The company warns it could see a significant number of layoffs later this year. This, as we're learning the White House is not ruling out a back-to-work bonus to get folks back on the job.

CareerBuilder CEO Irina Novoselsky says it's been hard for some retailers and restaurants to hire back workers as they're making more -- some of them -- in unemployment than in their jobs. She joins me now.

So good to have you on. Tell us how often you're seeing this. Because, you know, this unemployment insurance, necessary. So many Americans -- more than 35 million of them -- without work. How often are you seeing folks say, better for me to stay on that for now than look for a job now?

IRINA NOVOSELSKY, CEO, CAREERBUILDER: It depends really on the type of job that they had pre-COVID. We're seeing that be the very normal response right now for most of the frontline COVID-impacted jobs, so a lot of hourly jobs that were in the hospitality, restaurant or food areas.

We're seeing those workers deciding that their health and safety -- and from a financial perspective, they're actually making more by staying on unemployment right now. And those companies, especially the small businesses, are really having a tough time finding talent to fill those jobs. However, there's a big group of college grads that are coming into the workforce, that are going to hopefully help some of that SMB population.

SCIUTTO: And there is a sunset on those benefits, so it doesn't go forever. But there is discussion now for a back-to-work bonus. Does -- is that something that you think, from your perspective, would help bridge the gap here and make it financially smart for folks to leave unemployment insurance and go back to the job market?

NOVOSELSKY: Yes. Well, to your point, the financial benefits really start running out in a month and a half or so. And so we're going to see some of that naturally start to get addressed.

One of the things that we're actually seeing, it's the second week in a row in the U.S. where, across almost all the states except five, we've started to see positive job posting, which we haven't seen since the start of COVID in March. We're also seeing it globally. It's the second week globally that we've moved (ph) now five percent, which is two positive steps in the right direction, as companies are starting to rethink bringing workers back.

SCIUTTO: So you heard me mention how Marriott is looking at this. I mean, worse economically -- in terms of economic damage -- than 9/11 and the 2008 financial crisis combined. As you look at the job market, a big burning question has been, will all these jobs necessarily come back? I mean, you've seen some retailers, for instance, go bankrupt as a

result of this. They were already in dire straits, now -- you know, now they're -- some of them -- you know, going bankrupt. Do many, most of these jobs come back?

NOVOSELSKY: Yes. One of the things that we talked about pre-COVID, is that there was really this hollowing out that was happening, of the middle class, where the high-end jobs were going to continue to grow, the lower-end jobs were also going to grow and that middle was going to really be in trouble.

And one of the things that are only getting exacerbated with COVID is really that re-skilling and that initiative, is going to have an impact. So it won't be the same 40 or so million jobs that come back, it'll be different variations of it. Which is why it's so important, on the candidate side, to be highlighting your skillset and not necessarily the experience that you had. Because to your point, that exact job might not be available in the future.

SCIUTTO: Right. So a lot of folks watching, sadly, are in this boat, right? They may be temporarily furloughed, or they may have been laid off entirely. What advice would you give them? What areas are you seeing surprising demand for workers now, that folks might not think of?

NOVOSELSKY: Right. So it's really the same industries that we've been seeing that have stayed pretty constant during COVID. It's, in certain health care areas, software developers in the I.T. space are really hiring. We're seeing continued stability in some aspects of financial services such as loan and mortgage offices, and then really a focus around customer service representatives, as more and more companies are moving to a work-from-home model or really trying to support a lot of the client outbound.

But I would say, CareerBuilder's been advising a lot of our candidates on what to do. There's really three main things that the unemployed should look at, in how to get back into the workforce. It's a high anxiety-filled time.


One is be where recruiters are looking. And most of our recruiters are really going to be going and starting with the job boards. So make sure you're utilizing a job board and getting your resume out there so it's searchable.

And then, two, really attend as many virtual hiring events as you can. We're seeing a lot of our clients use virtual hiring as a way to build their pipeline. Not even (ph) hire today, but really for the future, and making sure that they have a way to interact and share their culture --


NOVOSELSKY: -- and that's something that's going to stay post-COVID. SCIUTTO: It's good advice. And it's so good to have you on. I know

people are -- they're eager for advice now because they want to get back into the workforce, many do. Irina Novoselsky, thanks very much.

NOVOSELSKY: Thank you.

SCIUTTO: Well, tomorrow night, a new coronavirus town hall with Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta. "CORONAVIRUS: FACTS AND FEARS," live. That's Thursday night, 8:00 Eastern time, only here on CNN.

HARLOW: Hours from now, for the first time in nine years, a manned spacecraft will launch from the United States, when a private rocket lifts off. A big moment, ahead.



SCIUTTO: Well, this is nice to hear. For the first time in nearly nine years, NASA astronauts will launch into space again from here in the U.S. Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken are set to pilot a SpaceX mission to the International Space Station this afternoon.

HARLOW: It is the first manned test flight of the company's Dragon capsule, which NASA administrators say is the safest spacecraft ever built.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In theory, this is the safest spacecraft NASA has ever had. It has to be proven, we haven't proven it yet. That's why we're doing this test flight.


SCIUTTO: Well, weather could play a major role today. Right now, there is a 60 percent chance of takeoff.

Here with us now, former astronaut, commander of International Space Station Leroy Chiao. Four space missions, commander of ISS from '04 to '05. Leroy, great to have you on this morning.


SCIUTTO: So one thing that's unique about this is the involvement of a private company here, SpaceX, having built the vehicle. I mean, is that a model for NASA, going forward?

CHIAO: Yes. This is definitely something very new. We have, of course -- the two big things about today's launch, of course, the first time in nine years that we've launched U.S. astronauts into orbit from American soil. Number two, on a commercial vehicle. This is the very first time we will launch astronauts into orbit on a commercial vehicle. And this is a huge deal. NASA was involved, very much, for most of the

development of the Dragon spacecraft and so they're very comfortable with the design and the way things were implemented and, you know, the problems that were solved and taken care of.

I would -- had a chance to speak with both Doug and Bob, just a couple of months ago, and they're very confident, very happy with the transparency that SpaceX has given them and NASA, and so I think we're ready to go.

HARLOW: Can you talk about what a big moment this is for the country? I mean, you flew on four space missions, you were on the ISS, of course. What is -- I mean, my mom just texted me -- she's 74 years old -- in the commercial break, so excited about this afternoon. I mean, it -- just it's such a moment for this country, especially right now.

CHIAO: Oh, it really is, and for all the reasons we've been discussing. It's a huge deal, it's a huge deal for SpaceX. I mean, this is the biggest milestone for SpaceX, actually launching astronauts into orbit. You know, of course, Elon Musk with SpaceX, he's made it very clear that he intends to go and send humans to Mars and even put colonies on Mars. And so this is a big step towards that goal, actually getting humans into space.


CHIAO: And so it's a big deal for the country, of course for national prestige. But it -- you know, back to your original question, yes, this is a new model for how things can be done, and perhaps NASA and SpaceX can work together to explore Mars together.

SCIUTTO: You know, Leroy, an odd fact of this nine-year pause has been that the U.S. -- U.S. astronauts have been depending on Russia to launch them --


SCIUTTO: -- into space. And given the tensions between the two countries, which are very real, although that cooperation has continued -- I mean, is it launching from the U.S. again important here from a national security perspective?

CHIAO: I don't know if it's important from a national security perspective, but it's important from a redundancy perspective in that, you know, it's bad to only have one way to do something. And we -- for many years, we've only had one way to get to the Space Station, and that's been aboard a Russian Soyuz.

Soyuz is a fine spacecraft, a fine rocket but in 2014, we had a rocket failure of a Soyuz cargo ship, and that nearly grounded the fleet. And so the Russians were able to get the problem taken care of, we put fixes in in time to continue that rotation of crew.

As far as tensions between the two countries, of course, there is tension today. But I would argue that without this cooperation on this very visible civil project called the International Space Station, things would be worse.

And I'll tell you what, at the working level, the Russians and the Americans cooperate very well, very good friends. Certainly the cosmonauts and the astronauts and all the specialists, we all know each other very well.

Even when I was training there, the -- there were still some people, you know, who were there during the Apollo days. And even the Russians said, you know what, when you Americans, when you landed on the moon, we were so happy for humankind, we were so happy that (inaudible), you know. So it's -- the cooperation is very--



SCIUTTO: Yes. It's good there's still that brotherhood. Leroy Chiao, we wish you the best of luck. It's great to have you on the program this morning.

CHIAO: Thank you for having me.

SCIUTTO: A plea from one of the nation's top experts on coronavirus. Dr. Anthony Fauci says that wearing a mask in public is what you should do, even as the president repeatedly refuses to.