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Princeton Valedictorian on Racial Injustice in America; Facebook CEO Defends Inaction on Trump's Posts; Coronavirus Update from Around the World; Protests Could Lead to Spike in Coronavirus. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired June 3, 2020 - 08:30   ET



NICHOLAS JOHNSON, FIRST BLACK VALEDICTORIAN IN PRINCETON UNIVERSITY'S HISTORY: And through investigation and insure that justice is ultimately upheld.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: And so given that, I mean, as you graduate, as you are on the cusp of your future, are you apprehensive or optimistic? What are your thoughts as you go out into this world?

JOHNSON: I am hopeful. I think that -- I think that being hopeful is very important because being hopeful is necessary to have the courage to continue to -- to continue to fight the important problems and to continue to strive towards change. So I'm hopeful. I'm optimistic. And I'm committed to creating a better normal.

CAMEROTA: Well, Nicholas Johnson, thank you very much for sharing this moment with us. Congratulations. What an accomplishment.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: And our congratulations to him.

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg is standing by his decision not to challenge President Trump's posts about shooting looters. The CEO tried to address employee concerns during a tense company-wide meeting Tuesday. Some Facebook workers staged a virtual walkout over the issue earlier this week.

Joining us now is Oren Frank, co-founder and CEO of Talkspace, a company that just pulled out of a six figure deal with Facebook.

Oren, thanks so much for being with us.

You were negotiating with Facebook, working on this deal that would have brought your company hundreds of thousands of dollars. You walked away. Why?

OREN FRANK, CO-FOUNDER AND CEO, TALKSPACE: I think, you know, this is the time for direct action. I think talking and voicing opinions just doesn't cut it anymore. Black Americans are being killed on the streets. You know, we're looking at unprecedented conditions in all aspects of our lives. You know, everything is great except for everything and we did not think that we can leave with, you know, the mistaken choice that Facebook has made, especially on the background that Facebook is acutely aware that this decision is going to harm their users and therefore has a basic, very, very fundamental, moral imperative not to harm them, and not to allow the (INAUDIBLE) and triggering that Donald Trump is generating with his posts.

One thing --

BERMAN: The posts -- just so people know -- just so people know what the post was. It was on Twitter and also Facebook. It said this post that said, quote, these thugs are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd and I won't let it happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control. But when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you.

So what should Facebook have done? What do you want to see them do?

FRANK: So I think your previous guest said it right, spot on, this is about basic human decency. This is not ideology and politics. And it's about preventing that harm that I mentioned. And it was actually showed them and cleared the way by Twitter, which is not a company that I admire. I think they're harming mental health of Americans just as much as Facebook does. But they have taken a stand and drew a line in saying, we're not going to let that happen.

So actually it would have made this decision far easier for Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook and they did not. And the only thing -- and, by the way, I have nothing against Facebook. Some of my best friends work for Facebook, et cetera, et cetera. They should change this decision very, very quickly before further harm is being done.

BERMAN: Well, you walked away from a deal. You say you have nothing against Facebook. You walked away from a deal because of this. You said you have friends at Facebook. What should they do? What's their social responsibility? Or what do you think the responsibility is of people who might use Facebook?

FRANK: I think it's a human responsibility and we're talking about individuals and corporations are full of individuals. And as I said in the beginning, this is the time for direction action. Words are not enough. Posting on Facebook how much you don't like, you know, the decision, and it's just not going to cut it anymore. You should go out to the streets. I fully support the demonstrations and the protests. You should do -- take responsibility and put a skin in the game. This is what we were trying to do. I think everyone should do that. And I think, you know, if enough people will do that, they will change this very mistaken decision. That's all we're asking for.

BERMAN: Do you think people should quit Facebook?

FRANK: I think people should -- you know, I'll tell you something else, I think people should consume their information and their news from journalistic organizations, just like you guys, where you content is curated, where lies and conspiracies are not allowed, where, you know, you have fact checking. And I think they should use Facebook once it fixes its way and does not allow this kind of content to be distributed through its immensely huge and powerful platform. They've been built the biggest media company in the world, but it amounts it a highway that they build and they let you drive free without red lights, without lanes, without speed limits and without cops.


That just doesn't count.

So I don't assume and I don't presume to tell anyone what to do, but, guys, this is -- I think, you know, my daughter could make the right decision in here, you don't need to be a president or a CEO of the largest media company in the world.

BERMAN: Oren Frank, we do appreciate your time. Thanks for being with us this morning.

FRANK: Thank you.

BERMAN: All right, we have a huge protest that we're watching in London at this hour. You can see the global impact of what's happening here in the United States. That's next.


CAMEROTA: Coronavirus is still surging in Latin America. Brazil now has more than 30,000 deaths after another record day. Meanwhile, in Wuhan, China, where the pandemic began, all residents have now been tested.

We have reporters around the world covering it all.


MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Matt Rivers in Mexico City, where officials have once again confirmed the largest single day increase in newly confirmed cases.


And that is part of the reason why the World Health Organization is urging countries in Latin America not to reopen their economies too quickly because some countries in this region are still experiencing surges in both cases and deaths. None more so than the country of Brazil, which confirmed nearly 30,000 new cases on Tuesday. This as a new study suggests that Brazil could record its 1 millionth case by June 20th.

DAVID CULVER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Reporter: I'm David Culver in Beijing where officials have completed the massive city wide testing effort in Wuhan, the original epicenter of the outbreak. Health officials claim that of the 9.9 million residents tested for the novel coronavirus, they did not find a single new case. Instead, officials say they found 300 asymptomatic infections and China does not count those as confirmed cases. Of course it does add to the continued skepticism over this country's transparency. The city wide testing campaign took about two weeks. Officials say it

cost $126 million. And it was sparked by new clusters of cases emerging in several parts of China.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Ben Wedeman in Rome, where the city's tourist landmarks are opening up. Monday the Coliseum opened its gates for the first time in three months. However, visitors must buy their tickets online beforehand, have their temperatures checked, and wear face masks and tour groups are strictly limited to 14 people.

Also Monday, the Vatican Museums, including the Sistine Chapel, opened up.

Wednesday, all travel restrictions within Italy will be lifted and visitors from the European Union and the U.K. welcomed again.

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Sam Kiley in Abu Dhabi. And here in the United Arab Emirates, the local authorities in Abu Dhabi itself have actually sealed this emirate off from the other six for a week over concerns that they could be seeing a second peak in virus infections. And that is something that appears to be emerging rapidly in Iran, which has recently recorded over 3,000 daily infections. That's a return to the highest of the peak back in early March. And that has been blamed by the health ministry there on what they say is a lack of citizen cooperation, too much mingling, not enough observation of the need to socially isolate.


CAMEROTA: Our thanks to all of our correspondents.

Here's what else to watch today.


ON SCREEN TEXT: 10:00 a.m. ET, DC faith leaders hold prayer vigil.

2:00 p.m. ET, White House press briefing.

5:00 p.m. ET, Former President Obama speaks.


CAMEROTA: There is a new warning from doctors about coronavirus and the weather. We have that next.



BERMAN: More than a thousand new deaths from coronavirus reported over the last 24 hours. Now that number has dropped some, but it's still so high. And add to that the new concern about the thousands and thousands of people out protesting. States trying to handle that now.

Here's CNN's Nick Watt.


NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): This country is still adding around 20,000 new coronavirus cases a day every day, while our attention is elsewhere on protests that might make this pandemic even worse.

MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D) NEW YORK CITY, NY: I'm very worried also that protest is leading to the potential of the spread of the coronavirus. And that is not a minor matter at this point. One day, two days, that's one thing. As it's continued, that danger is increasing.

WATT: Colorado now providing masks for protesters and new research published by "The Lancet" confirms they work. Exposed to this virus unmasked, the chance of infection is 17.4 percent. With a mask, it tumbles to just 3.1 percent.

DR. TOM INGLESBY, DIRECTOR, JOHNS HOPKINS CENTER FOR HEALTH SECURITY: There's no doubt at all that this is something that we should all be doing.

WATT: Some places like New York are right now doing better.

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): Number of new Covid cases walking in the door is at an all-time low.

WATT: But in those red states, daily new case counts are still climbing. The West Coast, all red. California, setting new highs this week. South Carolina, an early reopener, now deep red.

INGLESBY: When a state's numbers are going up and new cases, we need to watch it really carefully.

WATT: One of the first hot spots on American soil was a nursing home near Seattle. A grim (INAUDIBLE).

Federal data now shows around a quarter of all U.S. Covid deaths to date were nursing home residents, 26,000 people. The impact of all this will last long, emotionally and economically. The U.S. economy could take ten years to recover. Output, says the Congressional Budget Office, might fall nearly $8 trillion in the coming decade due to a virus.

WATT (on camera): Now, President Trump and others speculated hope that summer heat might kill the virus or at least slow the spread. Now that summer is here, we are told that is unlikely. The director of the National Institutes of Health says that there's just not enough immunity among us for the heat to really ever become a factor. And he says that lack of immunity will likely be the primary force helping spread this virus through the summer and into the fall.

Nick Watt, CNN, Los Angeles.



CAMEROTA: All right, let's get more information on that.

Joining us now is chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

So, Sanjay, do we now officially have enough evidence to know that the warmer weather in summer is not going to slow the virus?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, mostly we do. And part of it is that, you know, you look at places around the world where the weather has been quite humid, quite warm, and basically see how has the virus been behaving in those areas. And it still continues to spread.

There's a couple of important little nuances here. One is that the reason that's happening is because the biggest problem is that most of us don't have immunity, as Nick was just saying, as Dr. Collins from the NIH wrote yesterday. It's that native immunity that -- in later years, combined with warmer weather and humidity, might make a difference, might create sort of a seasonality. But right now we just don't have the immunity so it doesn't make a difference, this weather. If this virus sticks around for years to come, which it may, then we may start to see that ebb and flow depending on the weather.

BERMAN: So, Sanjay, Dr. Fauci said something, which I think got a lot of people's attention, because when you read it, it's a heck of a headline, where Dr. Fauci says he thinks there should be a couple hundred million doses of coronavirus vaccine by January 2021.

Is that as big of a deal as it sounds?

GUPTA: Yes, it's a -- it's a big deal. But I -- you know, one thing to keep in mind here is that the sequencing of how this is all going to play out is going to be different than typical sort of vaccines or even therapeutics. Typically you go through these various phases of trial. Once the phase three, this final phase, is done, then the decision is made to go ahead and manufacture the vaccine, put it in points of location and then think about distributing it.

Here it's going to be sort of done out of sequence. So even before the phase three trial is done, there will be a vaccine candidate, Dr. Fauci says, which they would likely have 100 million doses of that made even before they get those results back. So that's the gamble. He's been talking about this for some time.

Now, it could come back, ultimately, that that vaccine is not --not the good candidate and then you're going to have 100 million doses of vaccine candidate that's really going to -- not going to be of any value to anybody. The hope is that these things will happen then simultaneously. You'll get good results back. You'll already have the vaccine manufactured. And, by the way, you start to think about 100 million by the end of the year, another 100 million, 200 million, you're starting to talk about 60 to 70 percent of the country is really I think what they're angling for.

Again, it's all dependent on what these trials show. Everyone hopes that they're going to show good results. But we're really early days into this still.

CAMEROTA: Sanjay, in the past eight days, obviously, so much of the country's attention has turned towards George Floyd and that case and obviously we've seen protests all around the country. And so we've lost the -- if there's anything that's happened with coronavirus in the past eight days that you think is noteworthy, now would be a good time to tell us.

And I know that you're also quite concerned about the fact that, you know, hundreds of thousands of people are turning out to protest. They're not social distancing, of course. They're right next to each other. Many are wearing masks. Some aren't. Have we seen the impact that this has had yet?

GUPTA: We haven't seen the impact yet. I think it's fair to say that there's going to be an impact. We know that there have been people now that have subsequently been positive, known that they had the coronavirus, were in the midst of these protests. So I think that the question really is going to be, is this going to be, you know, dozens of people within these groups of protesters that subsequently are diagnosed, or do they then go home and do their communities, do they become more likely to become infected, their homes, their communities? We don't know. I mean that -- that is the concern, the virus is not changed as we always say. It is a contagious virus. People being outside, people wearing masks, people moving by each other more quickly may reduce the likelihood of significant exponential growth. But that's still the concern.

You know, overall, Alisyn, I'll tell you that there's still a lot of -- you know, we're still very much staying on top of things. There are a few things that I think are positive. We talk a lot about the vaccine. What we're talking about a little bit more lately are the ideas of these various therapeutics, medicines that aren't a vaccine, they're given after someone's infected, but could actually reduce the duration that someone is sick, reduce the severity that someone is sick. And even looking at these antibody therapies. The body produces antibodies, can you then use those antibodies to help treat someone else? There are -- there's some big developments that are starting to unfold. So we're certainly keeping an eye on that as well as these protests.

BERMAN: I was reading about heart treatments, Sanjay. One of the things that you've been talking about for a long time is how this might be a vascular, as well as a respiratory sickness, not just breathing, but also the heart.



BERMAN: And there's a sense now that maybe some heart drugs can help people recover.

GUPTA: Yes, it's really interesting. So part of this has to do with how these viruses actually enter the body in the first place, the types of receptors. You know, you think about the virus just gets into the body. Well, it does it in a very specific way. These types of receptors, called the ACE-2 receptors, a lot of people are starting to become familiar with these terms. If you could somehow block those receptors in a way or modify them in a way so that the virus has a harder time. A lot of the therapeutics that we talk about are focused on, once the virus is in the body, it starts to replicate, it starts to spread throughout the body. That's a problem. If you could actually do something -- it's not a vaccine. A vaccine's different. That's where you -- the body makes its own antibodies. But if you could do something different so that the virus has a harder time getting into the body in the first place, that could be a really effective therapy as well. And I'll tell you, the ingenuity around some of these ideas is really growing as it needs to around the world.

CAMEROTA: Dr. Sanjay guitar, thank you very much. Great to see you, as always.

CNN's coverage continues next.