Return to Transcripts main page


Fire And Fury Spread Across U.S. In Fifth Night Of Protests; National Guard Deployed To Los Angeles; NYPD: 120 Arrests And Counting; Protesters Beg Looters And Vandals To Stop Violence; Philly: Officers Injured, Dozens Arrested; Almost 25,000 New U.S. Coronavirus Cases In 24 Hours; England Removes Restrictions On "Extremely Vulnerable"; SpaceX-NASA Launch. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired May 31, 2020 - 02:00   ET




UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is CNN breaking news.

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hello and welcome to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. I'm Michael Holmes. This is CNN NEWSROOM.

An invisible virus has kept the U.S. under lockdown for months. Well, right now, though, millions of Americans are under orders to stay home for a very different reason, a very visible and seemingly contagious violence.

At least 25 cities across the country are under curfew right now and several states have called in the National Guard after nationwide protests against the death of another unarmed black man again descended into chaos, with arrests, injuries, vandalism, arson and looting.

In Washington, protesters gathered a few blocks from the White House while fires burned nearby, including a big one behind a historic hotel. You can see the video there.

In Los Angeles, the mayor has asked for the National Guard's help as violence and looting get worse there overnight. A CNN crew saw looters take items from this shoe store.

And in Minneapolis, where George Floyd's death last week in police custody ignited the outrage, protesters trying to cross a bridge were met with tear gas. Police tweeting a large group was throwing objects at officers.

And we are seeing scenes like this in city after city. We're keeping a close eye on the volatile situation as America endures another uneasy night.

CNN's Kyung Lah is in Los Angeles, that city is now one of those under curfew. What you are reporting in the last few hours, you're talking about the

looting of some of the most iconic retail spaces and addresses in Los Angeles.

What's been happening?

KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR U.S. CORRESPONDENT: Well, the area I'm standing in is an iconic spot. It's Melrose Avenue, an area known for fashion- forward stores and a lot of shoe stores. And that's what's burning right behind me.

This is a shoe store that has caught on fire. It's adjacent to a nail salon. And this is a fire that we saw start while we were looking at a fire just half a block away.

So there have been multiple fires here on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. The timing has been, that, according to a police officer I spoke with, that it's followed looting. So there have been a number of stores looted in this area and then these fires happen.

So as far as what's happening right now, they're trying to take this fire down. But I want you to walk with me over this way. There's still people on the streets and we're seeing skirmishes between whoever may be out here and the law enforcement that remains.

So we've seen a mix of the sheriff's department, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and what you're seeing over there in the dark uniforms, that is the Los Angeles Police Department.

There was a much more sizable police presence that just suddenly, in the last couple of minutes or so, suddenly advanced up about one block. And what's been happening is that, as there have been these skirmishes, law enforcement has been trying to crowd them out, try to quell them and then get them basically to peacefully be arrested.

All of this, the violence we've been focusing on, these clashes with law enforcement, it is happening amid this nationwide protest of the death of a black man in police custody. And if you look -- we need to walk a little bit further this way. The graffiti here reminds us, even though we're in Los Angeles, what this graffiti says is, "'I can't breathe,' George Floyd." This is about the death of a black man in police custody.

So there is this rage that is in some ways, Michael, being lost amid all of this looting because I was standing at the store, where people were running in and grabbing items through smashed glass, clothing, shoes.

And there was a young black woman, who was screaming at the looters, saying, why are you doing this?

So it has been a very difficult night in the city of Los Angeles, the city under a mandatory curfew.


LAH: The National Guard coming in to try to bring some peace and order onto these streets.

HOLMES: Yes, have you seen any evidence of the National Guard?

What has been the police presence?

And is that curfew being adhered to?

It looks pretty quiet where you are.

LAH: Right. Where we are, it does appear to be quiet but then suddenly there'll be these instances, where you see law enforcement trying to clear out some of these streets. So it is calming down as far as the crowds. We aren't seeing the large number of crowds that we saw earlier.

But there are still people out and about as they still try to clear the streets here-- Michael.

HOLMES: Kyung Lah, great reporting.

Police out enforcing many places, including Minneapolis this night, after several nights of fires and looting. CNN's Miguel Marquez is there, filed this report just moments ago.


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So we've had to retreat back to downtown Minneapolis. And I want to show you sort of how police have prepared for what they think might be coming.

This is the 1st Precinct, which is the biggest precinct in Minneapolis. These are barricades along the street here, on both sides.

But the precinct itself, it's that building right in the middle of the street with the American flag. They have four levels of cement blocks, 2,000 pounds each, surrounding the entire building to protect it.

We were with protesters earlier today. Police successfully sort of broke them up, which is what they seem to want to do. They weren't arresting people, weren't certainly trying to arrest people.

But they did fire lots of tear gas to break them up. I spoke with one young protester. It was a peaceful protest. And he explained why it was so important for him to be out there.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is what I got to say to the people who are destroying things. If you really feel like you have to take an opportunity, like if you're going to be opportunistic, something is wrong with you.

If you cannot stand up and fight the good fight and you want to be a cheater and go ahead and take what we're trying to do, something is wrong with you. Because what we're trying to do is stand up for the basic right of humanity. That's what we're trying to do and we're trying to do it in a peaceful way.

We do not want to go through this anymore, OK?

I want to be able to go in a white neighborhood and feel safe. I want to be able, when a cop is driving behind me, I don't have to clench and be tense, OK?

I want to be able, just to be free and not have to think about every step I take. Because at the end of the day, being black is a crime. At the end of the day, being born black is a crime to them. And I don't understand why because we're all humans. And that's sickening.


MARQUEZ: This is downtown Minneapolis and this is what a lot of the city looks like right now, just completely shut down, which is the promise that the mayor and the governor made today.

There are enormous numbers of National Guard troops. They are ramping up to about 10,000-11,000 Minnesota National Guard troops for Minneapolis. We were in neighborhoods after the protesters we were with were broken up.

And it's disturbing to be in those neighborhoods because residents now, home owners have blocked off their neighborhoods, put up barriers along the streets, put up bright lights at the end of the neighborhoods.

And along each block, you have people who are holding clubs, golf clubs, bats, protecting their property, protecting their homes. The same thing with businesses.

Not only are businesses boarded up but you have people in their trucks and their cars, parked around the business and sitting at the business, trying to protect their business from any looting.

They don't want anything else to burn. That may be the one bright spot tonight for all the difficulty that the police and the authorities have had in getting these protests under control. So far tonight, nothing has burned. Back to you.


HOLMES: Miguel Marquez reporting there.

Now an official at the New York Police Department tells us more than 100 people have been arrested after protests in that city. People leaving Union Square hours ago were seen attacking a police van. CNN's Shimon Prokupecz shows us what the scene is like now.


SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE PRODUCER: This is some of the aftermath we're seeing from the day of protests here in Manhattan. From Times Square, now in Union Square, where protesters took to the streets. It was mostly a peaceful day. There was pockets of violence, certainly

violence like this. There was vandalism, windows broken from banks, graffiti spray painted along Fifth Avenue. But for the most part there were nonviolent protests.


PROKUPECZ: People who police allowed to march on the streets and on the sidewalks and chanting and getting together.

But there would be points where it would devolve into violence, into people attacking the police, throwing bottles at the police and then police having to move in and arrest them.

And then scenes like this. Several police vans, police vehicles burned across Manhattan. There were at least three others that we saw, which were either vandalized or burned. Police here out through the night.

And we'll see, you know, as the days go on, how protesters take to the streets and how they handle things going forward -- Shimon Prokupecz, CNN, New York.


HOLMES: And now we want to show you some video that has been going around on social media. We do warn you, you might find it graphic.

What it shows is a New York City police vehicle apparently pushing up against a barrier blocking protesters. One vehicle comes up, goes around the side, another police car. And then the one going around the side there. And the one up against the barricade, you'll see it, suddenly pushes through into the barrier, knocking over protesters. Unclear if there were any injuries. Don't have reports on that.

The New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told a CNN affiliate that he wishes the officers had not done that while noting the crowd was attacking the vehicle, as he put it. There were some water bottles and other light objects thrown at the car.

De Blasio said, quote, "They were in a situation where it was getting more and more dangerous and they had to get out of there."

The mayor said the incident is being investigated.

Now here in Atlanta, police arrested 51 people during Saturday night protests. Windows broken out at a downtown police precinct very near, where Friday night, a huge crowd of police were embroiled in a standoff right here at CNN World Headquarters. CNN's Martin Savidge with the latest.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is the damage that was done to CNN Center on Friday. By Saturday night, the building had been pretty much spared but the city of Atlanta wasn't. It was still another night of tension, tear gas and protests. One of

the most serious events, though, is when a police officer (INAUDIBLE) ATV, that kind of four-wheel motorcycle. Police officer's condition is unknown.

But the person driving the ATV has been taken into custody. It was a very different atmosphere here tonight, mainly because of two things. You had a curfew that went into effect in the city of Atlanta at 9:00 pm. And you had a much heavier and much stronger police presence.

Take a look, this is still what is left over from that presence tonight. You had not just police officers but officers that came in from surrounding counties and areas. And then on top of that, of course, you had the Georgia National Guard that was here as well.

There have been at least 50 arrests made tonight. The most serious moment came when that curfew went into effect at 9 o'clock. Police, with a strong show of force, firing tear gas, pushing away a smaller crowd of protesters and eventually it turned into skirmishes throughout the city throughout the evening.

That curfew remains in effect until daylight. Meanwhile, a state of emergency has been declared throughout all of Georgia by the governor. Many are wondering what Sunday will bring -- Martin Savidge, CNN, Atlanta.


HOLMES: Well, joining us now from Los Angeles is CNN legal analyst and civil rights attorney, Areva Martin.

Good to see you and thanks for your time. I wonder what you make of whether the justifiable grievances of the vast majority of these protesters we're seeing, their cry to be heard, is drowned out by the actions of a few. I wanted your take on that.

AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I don't think so, Michael. Whenever you have large protests like this -- and I've seen this happen. I have vivid memories of talking to anchors on CNN about Michael Brown and all of the protests we saw in Ferguson, Missouri, after Michael Brown was killed by the police.

So typically you're going to have peaceful protesters that are, you know, marching because they want justice, that they are fed up with the police brutality that has happened for decades, not new but decades in this country.

And then you have some detractors, people who come who are opportunistic. But I think the message of these protesters is definitely getting through and it's loud and clear people are fed up. They're tired of not being able to trust the police, of having this contentious relationship with police.

African American men feeling like they're haunted by the police and that they're not safe, even in their own communities. So I think that message is ringing through. [02:15:00]

HOLMES: What do you think -- going back to the origins of this what do you think about the charges against the former officer, Chauvin?

Do you think it's sufficient, given what were clearly deliberate actions, even as people pleaded with him to stop?

Is it enough?

MARTIN: No, I don't think so at all, Michael. I was very disappointed in the district attorney. I think he took the coward's way out. Third degree murder is insufficient, given the acts we all witnessed on that videotape. In my opinion, this definitely should have been charged as a second degree murder case.

Second degree murder in the state of Minnesota doesn't require premeditation. It does, though, require intent. And we saw intent. I think there's enough evidence in that videotape and from the eyewitnesses that were there to establish probable cause for a second degree murder charge.

Just the time involved, a knee on the neck of Mr. Floyd for almost nine minutes. There was about a three-minute period where Mr. Floyd was -- didn't register a pulse and this ex-police officer kept his knee on Mr. Floyd's neck.

So I think when you look at the fact that, as you indicated, Mr. Floyd was pleading, saying, I can't breathe, I can't breathe, I'm going to die. Witnesses were pleading with this police officer, three other officers standing around. Now there's videotape to suggest at least three of them kneeled on Mr. Floyd's body.

I think there's sufficient evidence there that would have supported a second degree murder charge. And there's still the question as to why those other three officers have not been arrested --


MARTIN: -- because they were fired.

HOLMES: That was my next question. In many ways, it's not the most specific but certainly a very disturbing aspect of this, was the inaction -- participation, too, but inaction of the other officers.

What sort of -- you know, sort of sense of solidarity makes an officer look on and do nothing?

Or as one did suggest rolling him over but then not follow up when the suggestion was rejected?

It's complicity, not solidarity.

What makes that happen?

MARTIN: It's the culture. It's a culture that devalues African Americans' lives, Michael. We just have to call it out for what it is. In America, unfortunately, even to this day, African American men in particular are seen as criminals and suspects rather than citizens.

And in this case, I would even go further and say they're seen as inhumane. They're not even given the status which you give an animal. And when you look at that and you saw those three other officers standing around, the ex-officer with his knee on Mr. Floyd's neck had his hand in his pocket, such a cavalier stance.

The others standing there, knowing that they're being videotaped, knowing that there are witnesses that are pleading for all of them to save Mr. Floyd's life and they did nothing.

And what's so galling is, police have a job to do and that job is to protect and serve. And that man, Mr. Floyd, in that moment, needed those police to take their obligation and their commitment and their mandate serious to the point where someone should have intervened.

They should have stopped the heinous act that was occurring. No one tried to give him CPR. They did nothing to try to save Mr. Floyd's life. And for that, they all should be held accountable.

HOLMES: CNN legal Analyst Areva Martin in Los Angeles, appreciate it. Thank you so much.

MARTIN: Thank you, Michael.

HOLMES: And our coverage of the protests across America continues after the break. You're watching CNN.





HOLMES: Welcome back.

The U.S. gripped by looting, vandalism and fires breaking out in cities across the nation tonight. But among all the chaos, our reporters tell us that groups of protesters have also been trying to stop the destruction and get their real message across.

In Minneapolis and Los Angeles, protesters have been urging looters to stop what they're doing and go home, asking, what are they gaining by committing violence?

Meanwhile, many cities have curfews. Police are arresting looters and protesters alike.

Now for many Americans, what's happening right now on the streets is truly shocking. For others, it's familiar. Joining me now is Brian Stelter, CNN chief media correspondent. HOLMES: Good to see you, Brian. These protests and disturbances right

across the nation. Put it in some kind of historical context what it is we're seeing.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: This is certainly more widespread than what we've seen in the wake of Michael Brown's killing in Ferguson, Missouri, about six years ago.

This is more widespread than we've seen in the United States in decades. Historians go back to 1968 to say it's not been as severe since 1968.

Just a few examples, Michael, certainly we've seen this looting in Lower Manhattan tonight, fires in Los Angeles, looting in Dallas, Texas. But it's beyond those big cities. We are talking from coast to coast, smaller cities as well.

I'm going to read a short list I put together here. Vandalism in Buffalo, New York. Damage to businesses in Scottsdale, Arizona. Police in Indianapolis say there's been multiple shootings. Police in Pittsburgh say there's been extensive vandalism.

Bottles being thrown in Omaha, tear gas being fired in Las Vegas. Dumpsters on fire in Wilmington, Delaware.

Now not all these cases are affecting entire neighborhoods or cities. I'm here in New York City. I went out for a walk in my neighborhood just to have a sense this is not widespread in New York City. There are certain neighborhoods where there has been vandalism. Most other neighborhoods have been untouched.

Keep in mind, even though the context is important here, we are talking about objects thrown at officers in Santa Ana, California.


STELTER: Famous bars in Nashville being broken into tonight. Chaos and looting in Tampa. There are scattered reports of looting in Austin, Texas. There's extensive damage in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The list goes on and on.

And the point here is while every neighborhood, every city, every state is being affected differently, this is very much a local story for people as well as a national story that is focused in Minneapolis.

HOLMES: Such a good point, to broaden it out and look at it that way. You've been checking a lot of the local news sites as well across the U.S.

What do you see is the tone of the reporting overall?

STELTER: Well, it's mostly from the perspective of police and from the perspective of reporters being protected by police. We talk about windows being shattered, graffiti being tagged on buildings, fires being set in garbage cans. Property damage is a problem and there's a lot of cleanup to do in dozens of cities in the morning. However, the human toll is very different. The death of black men,

black women in the United States is a tragedy. And no property damage can compare to those deaths. I think it's important to recognize also that what protesters say is happening is they are experiencing violence from police officers.

And there are a number of disturbing videos in the past few hours spreading on social media, showing police officers firing into crowds, using vehicles against crowds. The officers may justify all this, they may say it's necessary and appropriate.

But those videos spread on social media, go viral and cause the protests to get even bigger the next day. That's one of the, I think, dynamics we're seeing here. When protesters are feeling they are being abused by police, they show up in even larger numbers the next day, Michael.

HOLMES: It's very true. I've seen a lot of those videos out there and you're right, they fan the flames when there are videos of police, perhaps doing inappropriate things as well. Brian Stelter, CNN's chief media correspondent, always good to see you. Thanks, Brian.

STELTER: You, too, thanks.

HOLMES: Perspective from Van Jones coming up next as violent protests across America continue. You're watching CNN.





HOLMES: Welcome back to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. I'm Michael Holmes. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.

One person is dead, three others have been shot after protests turned violent in the Midwestern city of Indianapolis. The city's police chief warning residents that downtown is not safe, advising them to avoid the area altogether. He added that no officers had fired shots during those protests.

And in Ferguson, Missouri, the city's police department damaged during protests and all nonessential personnel evacuated. As Brian Stelter noted earlier on this program, Ferguson saw waves of unrest after a white police officer fatally shot a black teenager back in 2014.

Police in Philadelphia say they have arrested at least 38 people so far, most of them on charges of looting and burglary. That city under a curfew until at least Monday morning now as police try to maintain order. But the scene anything but orderly. Brian Todd is there.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is the scene in downtown Philadelphia tonight, Walnut and 17th Streets in downtown Philly, the Center City area of the city, a scene of absolute carnage on Saturday afternoon and evening.

Widespread looting in this area of Center City. Stores, other facilities and other businesses broken into, looted, burned. Firefighters here battling a three-alarm fire in this building right here.

You can see some of the water being deployed. There's a hose right there, going into this building. Actually, these three buildings seem to have caught fire. This is a three-alarm fire that required about 120 firefighters to respond to (INAUDIBLE). But this is emblematic of the situation that unfolded all afternoon and evening in Philadelphia.

We are told that more than three dozen people have been arrested. That number will certainly go up. More than a dozen law enforcement officers have been injured, a few of them with chemical burns to the face.

Law enforcement was really up against it in Philadelphia earlier and they responded forcefully. They had a curfew in effect until about 6:00 am Sunday morning. There will be another curfew in effect from Sunday evening from 8:00 pm to 6:00 a.m. Eastern time.

Philadelphia police determined to get their arms around this because the scenes earlier today were of absolute carnage, burning, looting, fires, arrests, injuries and it's not over yet. Philadelphia still a very, very tense scene here in the Center City area of Philadelphia -- Brian Todd, CNN, Philadelphia.


HOLMES: Joining me now is CNN political commentator and a former Obama administration official, Van Jones.

Van, great to have your voice, particularly right now. A lot of talk about how the message of peaceful protesters has been overwhelmed by the noise of clashes, looting and so on.

What do you see when you look at the country tonight?

Is that noise, in some ways, necessary, as some people say?

VAN JONES, CNN HOST: Here's what I see. There's 40 million African Americans in the United States. All of us are heartbroken. All of us are disgusted, many of us depressed in ways we've never been.

This is the first time that you literally, you cannot tell your children how they are supposed to survive that kind of brutality. You always have this imagination, somehow you'd say, well, speak properly, don't run, don't have drugs, don't have weapons, pull your pants up.

This was a complete disaster. And so every African American in the country, 40 million, heartbroken. And there's some tiny, minuscule number of people, who are out there breaking windows and doing stuff. Some of them may well be provocateurs.

So I think it's important for us to have perspective here. The big question of lawlessness is when you have law enforcement not obeying the law. That is the big threat to a democratic republic.

And then the secondary threat is when you have citizens not obeying the law. But the primary threat and the reason you've got people out in the streets tonight is because you have law enforcement now from coast to coast all too often not obeying the law and paying no price. And we should not forget that.


JONES: And the 49 million African Americans who are showing restraint should get more attention than the few who are not.

HOLMES: Does it -- you know, it shouldn't be a time of politics but the president has been singling out Democratic mayors and governors, what he calls left-wing radicals and making what appeared to be many calls to his supporters.

He was tweeting out at one point, you know, I understand tonight is MAGA night at the White House and so on. This is not a president prone to calming, empathetic and unifying words.

What would you like to hear from him?

JONES: Well, listen. We are -- there are two pathways here. The negative pathway is we could have major unrest, not little riots, little disturbances of the peace downtown, but major civil unrest in 20 cities in the U.S. We're about one videotape away from that. One more videotape and you'll have 20 cities on fire.

Or we go the other way and you could have bipartisan police reform for the first time ever. You could have these cops disciplined (INAUDIBLE) and then appropriately charged in jail.

And there could be a real commitment to break the economic chokehold on black America if corporations and other folks, who say they care, step up and begin to make investments.

There's no middle ground. You're either going to have a summer of riots and rebellion and blood and fire or you're going to have a summer of hope and investment and coming together.

The president has to make a decision, which is he rooting for?

And right now it's not clear to me.

HOLMES: You know, also I mean, yes, he said other things that stuck out, of course. He also said -- it was a remarkable quote, really. He said, MAGA, make America great -- he said MAGA loves the black people, which is just such an awkward phrase.

But above everything else, saying MAGA loves the black people, he's saying that MAGA is white. JONES: You know, I'll tell you I rather him say that than MAGA hates

the black people. I don't try to beat him up for everything he does. And I will say, too, the Department of Justice has leaned in on this and they're doing a good job.

The problem with President Trump is that sometimes he does the right thing and then he erases it by tweeting the wrong thing. But listen, I'd rather him say MAGA loves the black people than MAGA hates the black people. So I'll take what I can get tonight.

HOLMES: You're a good one to raise this with. We were discussing the fact, almost like school shootings, we have these same conversations over and over. It's got to change. And yet here we are.

You partnered with Jay Z, Meek Mill and others to form the REFORM Alliance for criminal justice reform.

Have you accomplished anything tangible that gives you hope?

JONES: Yes, we have.

First of all, we've introduced legislation in about half a dozen states to reform the probation and parole systems there. Everyone talks about mass incarceration, two million people locked up in the U.S.

Huge number of shame, the most incarcerated number country in the world. But there's 4 million people caught up on probation and parole, twice as many people. So we've got legislation to address that.

Also the REFORM Alliance has been able to work on a bipartisan basis in the middle of this pandemic to get about 40,000 people out of harm's way, out of jails, out of prisons, safely home and working with the White House and others.

So we're only 18 months old. It's a new effort but I'm very proud of the fact that we also are getting masks into every jail and prison, thanks to Jack Dorsey's contribution. So the REFORM Alliance I think shows what can happen when Right and Left get together to solve problems.

We're going to have to take that same approach to police reform now and that's going to be the next leg of the journey.

HOLMES: Good luck and congratulations, Van, good to see you, Van Jones. Thank you.

JONES: Thank you.

And a new CNN special examines race relations and police brutality in America. "I Can't Breathe: Black Men Living and Dying in America." It airs Sunday at 8:00 in New York. That's Monday, 8:00 am in Hong Kong, only here on CNN.

We're going to take a quick break. Coming up next, the coronavirus pandemic, some of the hardest hit areas reopening even though the risk isn't gone. See what strategies they're using. That's when we come back.





HOLMES: Welcome back.

The turmoil gripping the U.S. after George Floyd's death, of course, is happening in the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic. Yet that's still going on.

Johns Hopkins University reporting more than 20,000 new cases compared to Friday in the U.S. The second hardest hit country, Brazil, far behind the U.S. even as it reports about 33,000 new cases in just 24 hours and almost 1,000 deaths.

Now that means Brazil now has more COVID-19 deaths than France, which was fourth worldwide. Now you wouldn't be able to tell this from looking at President Bolsonaro, who went for a helicopter ride, no mask, clearly no social distancing.

And the U.K., the hardest hit country in Europe, is relaxing a number of lockdown rules on Monday but a top medical official urging caution.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe and I think you'll recall I was at the podium when the disease activity was very high in the U.K. and I said it's a very dangerous moment. I believe this is also a very dangerous moment. We have to get this right.


HOLMES: In the U.S., New York City was once the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic with some 200,000 cases. And while other parts of the state already had begun to reopen, New York City is only now poised to do that in just over a week. Polo Sandoval shows us how different places in America are reopening at their own pace.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's amazing. It feels great but it's also -- it's weird.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The new normal, as cities across the country start to reopen in different phases. In Pennsylvania, 17 counties moved into the green phase of reopening Friday. That's the phase with the fewest restrictions in that state.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Plastic ware, plastic cups. Takeout is really going to be -- containers are going to be used as much as they can just to limit touching things other people have touched. SANDOVAL (voice-over): The entire state of Illinois now in phase 3 of

its reopening plan except for Chicago, which will begin reopening on June 3rd.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking Spanish).


SANDOVAL (voice-over): The owner of this barbershop says he's booked solid with customers but he's still taking precautions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can't come in without an appointment, can't come in without a mask, can't wait in here unless it's absolutely necessary.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): Washington, D.C.'s, phase 1 reopening plan kicked in on Friday, allowing barbershops and salons to reopen by appointment only and restaurants to resume outdoor dining with some rules.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You must wear a mask, obviously not while you're eating or drinking but while you're approaching or if you enter the restaurant to use the restroom or any of those things. While you can wear a mask, you should wear a mask.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): Parts of New York, once the epicenter of the outbreak, now entering phase two of its reopening plan, something governor Andrew Cuomo says has to be done the right way.

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): You have to be smart. And we've seen what has happened painfully when cities and states and countries reopen too quickly. They wound up closing again, which is the worst situation. So be smart.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): New York City also moving ahead with reopening plans, set to enter phase 1 on June 8th. Mayor Bill de Blasio says facial coverings will be a necessity for employees and customers.

MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D), NEW YORK CITY, NY: Everyone understands that for business to work, people have to get into some kind of proximity. We need those face coverings.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): And those precautions are needed as more states move to reopen. New CDC modeling suggesting COVID-19 could kill around 20,000 more Americans in just the next three weeks.

California and Washington State, two of the states that saw the first cases, are now seeing cases climb. California governor Gavin Newsom is saying that's partly due to the fact they are now testing so many more people.

GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): What is so important, as we test exponentially more, 20, 30 fold more than we were just eight weeks ago, you're going to have more positive tests.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): And as the U.S. this week reached a grim milestone of 100,000 deaths, President Trump now making good on a threat he's made many times throughout the pandemic, severing U.S. ties with the World Health Organization.

TRUMP: We will be today terminating our relationship with the World Health Organization and redirecting those funds to other worldwide and deserving urgent, global public health needs.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): The president claiming the WHO was pressured by China to mislead the world when it came to their reporting of information about the virus -- Polo Sandoval, CNN, New York.


HOLMES: Well, people in England who are extremely vulnerable to coronavirus will be able to go outside beginning Monday after 10 weeks of being urged to stay inside. This comes, as we just reported, as scientific advisers of the government warned premature easing of the lockdown could lead to significant numbers of new cases and deaths. CNN's Hadas Gold joins us now.

Good to see you. Yes, those advisers, even the Lord Mayor of London pretty concerned about the reopening causing a resurgence.

HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right, this week will be really the first week of sort of the lifting of lockdown here. As you noted, just over 2 million people in England who were deemed extremely vulnerable, who were told at the beginning of the lockdown to not even leave their house for any reason whatsoever, that the government would help them get food to their house, are now being told they can actually leave their homes for exercise, leave their homes for a little bit but not do much else.

Otherwise, though, outdoor food markets are opening and some grades of schools are starting to go back. And in two weeks, if the numbers continue to be at a level the government is comfortable with, then nonessential shops will be opening for the first time since March.

But not everyone is on board with this plan. As I've heard one advisor said, they said if the incidence rate is still as high as it is and we still have a certain percentage of those people dying, that's an unacceptable level of death.

The government need and get and want to get the economy back up and going. They want to get people out and slightly back to their normal lives at the same time trying to balance the health of everybody and trying to keep everybody on the same track.

But lots of resistance. As you noted, the mayor of London, has pushed against this saying they're not necessarily as comfortable. But the government seems to be pushing ahead, saying they believe this is the best path forward.

HOLMES: Yes, a delicate balance indeed.

I want to ask you, too, the plan for sports in the U.K., the hugely popular Premier League and so on, is that in the equation?

GOLD: Right, so actually yesterday it was announced that professional sports will be allowed to resume behind closed doors. They're pretty much leaving up to sports leagues to figure out exactly how this will work. So there will be no fans at any of these events.


GOLD: But as we all know football is very popular here in the United Kingdom. That league will be returning, not in the same way people are used to and also the government has asked for some of the football games, other soccer games in the United States, to be aired on free television for the first time the BBC will be airing some of these Premier League matches, which is a big change for the government and they see this as a huge morale booster for people who've been under lockdown for so many months.

HOLMES: Absolutely. Good to see you.

We'll take a quick break. When we come back, a brief, uplifting moment during a weekend of chaos. Ahead, we'll explain how America is make being history with its return to space.




HOLMES: Amid the social unrest and the coronavirus pandemic, a moment to lift America's spirits on Saturday.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Two, one, zero, ignition, liftoff, as the Falcon Nine (INAUDIBLE), go, NASA; go, SpaceX. Godspeed.

HOLMES: SpaceX Falcon Nine got off the ground, launching two astronauts to the International Space Station. They're still on the way.


HOLMES: This is the first time in nearly a decade that the U.S. has launched astronauts into space from its own soil. It's also the first time a commercial aerospace company has carried humans into orbit.

As quickly as chaos can take hold, residents are coming together in city after city to pick up the pieces and repair the damage.


HOLMES (voice-over): Have a look what happened in Minneapolis after a night of protests. A group of volunteers showed up with brooms, shovels, plastic bags to clean up the mess.

Images on social media showing people sweeping up glass and gathering trash. They say they want to do whatever they can to help their city. And the cleanup right here at the CNN Center in Atlanta began on

Saturday after vandals at Friday's violent protests left scattered glass all over the entranceways and inside and out and covered the huge CNN sign in graffiti. Workers pressure washed the building, cleaned up the sign, swept the debris away. A lot of volunteers helping out there as well.


HOLMES: Some of George Floyd's dying words are echoing across the world. A street artist in Belgium painting the side of a train with the phrase, "Please, I can't breathe."

Floyd made that plea as he lay dying on the ground, his neck pinned under a police officer's knee.

That will do it for this hour. I'm Michael Holmes. This has been CNN NEWSROOM. Do stay with us. I'll be back with more in just a moment.