Return to Transcripts main page

CUOMO PRIME TIME

George Floyd's Brother To Congress: "Stop The Pain"; Harvard Doctor: 200,000 Lives Could Be Lost By September; CNN Rejects Trump Campaign's Demand To Apologize For Poll With Biden Ahead, Calls Request "Factually & Legally Baseless". Aired 9-10p ET

Aired June 10, 2020 - 21:00   ET

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


[21:00:00]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCOTT THOMSON, RETIRED CAMDEN COUNTY, NEW JERSEY POLICE CHIEF: And we move swiftly, and with certainty, to remove them from the Force.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, since the death of George Floyd, there have been two protests here in Camden, both of them peaceful.

A week and a half ago, the first protests, at least 10 police officers participated, and one of the participants from the Police Force was the current Chief of the Camden Police. He was holding a banner in support of the cause.

And I should mention to you, Anderson that the police provided, to the demonstrators, ice cream from Mr. Softee. Anderson?

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, ANDERSON COOPER 360: Fascinating! Camden, New Jersey. Gary, thanks very much.

The news continues. Want to hand it over to Chris for CUOMO PRIME TIME. Chris?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST, CUOMO PRIME TIME: All right, Coop, thank you very much.

I am Chris Cuomo and welcome to PRIME TIME.

Tonight, one of the three officers charged with aiding and abetting the alleged murder of George Floyd has made bail. So, he is now out of jail. He is Officer - former Officer, Thomas Lane.

Now, his lawyer was on this program Monday night, and popped some eyeballs, punting blame to bystanders for not stepping in to save George Floyd.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

EARL GRAY, ATTORNEY FOR FORMER OFFICER THOMAS LANE: If all these people say why - why didn't my client intercede? Well if the public is there, and they're so in uproar about this, they didn't intercede either. And my client's down where he can't really see.

CUOMO: Well hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on. Counselor?

GRAY: So when the--

CUOMO: Counselor? Hold on. Hold on.

There's also a duty to intervene. And if you think the officer is doing something that's dangerous to a civilian, you have a duty to intervene, and he did not intervene.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: Now, just to be very clear here, civilians did come, OK? They called on police to stop hurting Floyd. Officers actually pushed one of them away.

But be very clear. It is always the officer who has a duty to stop harm, even at the hands or knee of another officer, and none of those present did their duty in that regard.

That's not coming from me. That is coming from their Chief.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MEDARIA ARRADONDO, MINNEAPOLIS POLICE CHIEF: When I helped craft the duty to intervene and duty to report, back in 2016, it does not signify if you have two days on or 20 years on.

We expect you to, whether it's verbally or physically, to call up for help and to intervene. Mr. Floyd, at the very least, was expecting that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: Philonise Floyd, George Floyd's brother, appeared before Congress to create a new expectation, at least after a killing like this, an expectation that pain, like what this family feels, will force change.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PHILONISE FLOYD, BROTHER OF GEORGE FLOYD: I'm tired. I'm tired of pain, pain you feel when you watch something like that, when you watch your big brother, who you looked up to for your whole life die, die begging for his mom. I'm here to ask you to make it stop. Stop the pain.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: The Floyds are, of course, in profound pain, and they are not the first, and likely will not be the last.

Our first guest also testified at that House Judiciary hearing, Vanita Gupta. She's the President of The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights. She's also Deputy Legal Director of the ACLU.

It's good to have you on PRIME TIME.

VANITA GUPTA, PRESIDENT & CEO, LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE FOR CIVIL & HUMAN RIGHTS, DEPUTY LEGAL DIRECTOR, AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION, FORMER HEAD OF DOJ CIVIL RIGHTS DIVISION: Good to be here.

CUOMO: Now, I'm not trying to be cynical. But there will be more George Floyds. There have been many before. There have been many after. And the question becomes why has change been so difficult?

You've spent a lot of time on the government's side, the NGO's side, the legal side. Why?

GUPTA: Well, look, I think that I was at the Department of Justice. I went in to head up President Obama's Civil Rights Division just two months after Michael Brown had been killed in Ferguson.

And at that time, Black Lives Matter, the Movement for Black Lives was - was gaining energy and focusing the country on having a reckoning around a whole host of policing issues.

President Obama started the - the Task Force on 21st Century Policing, which was actually a fairly rigorous effort to take a deep look at what was happening in policing in 2015. And there were a lot of strides that were made. But it was, again, it was not enough.

There was a lot of backsliding in this Administration along the Federal efforts to promote best practices, to force, kind of change. The Civil Rights Division's pattern and practice investigations were halted.

CUOMO: But why, Vanita?

GUPTA: This stuff happened--

CUOMO: Why? Help us understand--

GUPTA: Yes.

CUOMO: --you know, kind of past the - the conclusion, which is, "Nothing got done," it's hard to understand why, when it seems so obvious to so many people.

Now, just so you know, we had former Commissioner Ramsey on this show many times, and he was on Obama's Council. And he said that their report was all but thrown in the garbage, and it didn't amount to anything. And it was frustrating for him.

Today, you had the President's Economic Adviser say there is no systemic racism in America.

[21:05:00]

Clearly, the obstacles to change here have been difficult to surmount. Why do you think that is? GUPTA: Well I can't explain to you why anyone, right now, could say that systemic racism doesn't exist in America. I don't know what to do with folks who are continuing to talk like that.

But what I can say is that there has been change around - and back in 2015, police departments weren't talking about de-escalation. They weren't talking about use-of-force.

I was just listening to Anderson Cooper with Chief Scott Thomson in Camden. He was one of the pioneers, back in 2015, forcing a national conversation around what police departments were doing, using force, not de-escalating, approaching scenes with a warrior mentality.

And so, I can't say that nothing has happened. The problem is, though, and I think that we have to admit this. This is what's going to make this different.

Police reform alone, and all of the efforts that have been engaged, and I'm putting aside the Trump Administration's total abdication of this work, OK, so because I think there's 18,000 police departments in this country.

Policing is inherently local. But there are national - there are things that the Federal Government can do to support, to push, and the Justice Department has a very big role, and it has not been acting to use that role at this time.

But what I think is really indifferent about this moment is when I was in the protests in Washington D.C., on Saturday, legions of people on the street, multi-racial, all exclaiming "Black lives matter."

That is a very different kind of cultural experience than what we were experiencing in 2014 and 2015, when that phrase alone was considered controversial.

And you now have people saying, "It is not enough to do police reform." Yes, we have to have police accountability. We've got to work on all of the things that are in the Justice in Policing Act that I was testifying for today.

But, beyond that, we've got to actually have a big reckoning with the incredible criminalization, criminalization of homelessness, criminalization of mental health, criminalization of school discipline that is infusing, and so deeply invested, in certain communities, in this country, mainly Black, mainly of color, and coupled with the systematic - systematic disinvestment from healthcare, schools, jobs, public education.

When I would open up investigations in the Justice Department, probe on policing issues, policing issues were often the tip of the spear around major growth disinvestment decisions that our leaders had made to adopt a criminalization model that increased police-resident contact in a way that just doesn't exist in affluent communities.

CUOMO: That is true. That--

GUPTA: And so, we've got to actually have this - this conversation.

CUOMO: That is true. That's - but that's why things haven't changed, Vanita.

Your description of the prescription of change is exactly why you haven't had change. A lot of what you're asking for, today, at the hearing, sounds like the Kerner Commission in 1967, which is that poverty is the poison.

And if you look at poverty in White communities, you see a lot of the same problems, but they're even worse and magnified in minority communities.

And having policing, at once, its own illness, in certain regards, but also symptomatic, you have so many more interactions in these minority communities as you have more - you have more crime because you have more poverty.

But I wonder if you're right that this time is different because you have a different coalition of the "Willing" coming.

We'll see in November. If people aren't voted in on the basis of what they say they'll do on this, I think that the question of whether or not things change becomes harder to answer.

GUPTA: Well, I think that's - that's actually - that's totally right. But I think there's also stuff. I'm not going to let off - Congress off the hook right now.

There - there's a moment. And you're seeing conversations in Minneapolis, all over the country that are local conversations about budgets. Budgets are moral documents. They express a set of priorities. They express--

CUOMO: But that's local.

GUPTA: --you know.

CUOMO: That's local though.

GUPTA: That's local, right?

But Congress now, the reason I was testifying is that two weeks ago, The Leadership Conference, it's where a big coalition of over 200 Civil and Human Rights organizations presented Congress with a Police Accountability Framework with eight specific proposals.

They're things that should be so basic, and commonsense, that you would be surprised, your viewers should be surprised, that we don't have it.

CUOMO: That they don't exist.

GUPTA: Why don't we have - why don't we have a national use-of-force standard?

CUOMO: Right.

GUPTA: Why isn't there a ban on chokeholds? These are some of the things that we're asking for. We're asking for a National Police Misconduct Registry so that we have--

CUOMO: And you think that with the Senate in control of Trump - they won't even talk about his tweets. He won't even legitimize the pain of this family as symptomatic of injustice that is systemic in this country. He hasn't said a word.

And you think the Senate that is under his thumb is going to pass anything like that?

[21:10:00]

GUPTA: Look, I have - I am hardly Pollyanna or naive about the - what we're facing in the Senate. But this is a moral issue.

I worked on now to advance a lot of Civil Rights legislation in the last two years that has ended up in Senator Mitch McConnell's graveyard. So, I know all too well that he is sitting atop of a whole bunch of bills that frankly are stalling the business of the American people.

But, on this, I will say that we - I am not going to let Congress off the hook, or Mitch McConnell off the hook, and none of us should.

He should have to watch that video of George Floyd with Derek Chauvin's knee on his neck, for over 8 minutes and 40 seconds, and look at the American public, in the eye, and say, "Oh, yes, I'm not going to do anything."

CUOMO: He's going to say it to--

GUPTA: And it won't be enough, I'm telling you.

CUOMO: He'll say it's a State issue. "It was a one-off. It was terrible. The system works. He's getting prosecuted. Let's see what happens."

GUPTA: You know - you know what I think he's going to do?

CUOMO: "What do you want me to do? I'm a Senator."

GUPTA: I don't think he's going to do that.

He's going to try to pull some kind of mealy-mouthed, you know, proposal, maybe something on data, maybe something on training, and say, "OK, I'm getting something passed. There, I did the business." But that is not going to be the answer.

The Justice in Policing Act that was proposed by Members of the House and of the Senate is a really reasonable, really important set of proposals. And I just want to - I read you a couple, creating the national use-of-force standard, banning chokeholds, banning profiling, establishing a National Police Misconduct Registry, so officers-- CUOMO: Can't go from one to another.

GUPTA: --don't just go from department to department.

CUOMO: Yes.

GUPTA: Exactly. We need to expand the Justice Department's jurisdiction to prosecute police officers for misconduct. It is currently a too high bar. So, this - this law does that.

Prohibiting no-knock warrants for drug offenses. Breonna Taylor was killed--

CUOMO: On a no-knock warrant.

GUPTA: --when police stormed her house, OK? There are so many incidents. It's why Florida and Oregon are two states that have actually already banned no-knock warrants because of terrible incidents that have happened in our states.

CUOMO: Right.

GUPTA: It is time for a national ban, and qualified immunity.

Qualified immunity essentially is a court-created doctrine that has gutted the ability of - of people to have any kind of accountability in our civil courts, because it's basically created this total shield for police officers, and that creates impunity in and of itself.

CUOMO: Right.

GUPTA: And then lastly, ending the transfer of military equipment, so that we don't see what we saw in the streets in D.C. last week, where we've got literally the military coming in to take over. And with this, you know, and we saw this after Ferguson.

So, these are eight really significant proposals, but ones that even this Congress with Mitch McConnell, given that this is a moral issue, he should have been in that room today. I hope that he will meet with Philonise Floyd, because if you heard his testimony, and I'm glad you showed a piece of it, so incredibly powerful.

And George Floyd has changed this world, but it will only amount to something if Congress actually takes action--

CUOMO: Politicians--

GUPTA: --and does something that is meaningful and substantial.

CUOMO: I'm no cynic. I come from a family of politicians. And I have a father and brother who were in it as well.

Politicians act out of a fear of consequence more than they do out of good conscience. If you do not show that this country has put together a coalition of the "Willing" that goes just beyond minorities, they will never do anything. GUPTA: Yes.

CUOMO: I'm not being a cynic. I'm being a realist.

GUPTA: But this--

CUOMO: But Vanita, I got to go. I agree with your suggestions.

GUPTA: No, no.

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: I agree with your suggestions.

GUPTA: I am - I am, you know, I've been work - doing this work for too long to, to be, as I said, naive about this. But what I will say is look at the Washington Post, the polling today.

CUOMO: I know, but polling is not voting.

GUPTA: That says--

CUOMO: I get it.

GUPTA: That's not voting. We need to go to vote. We need to--

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: Attitudes - attitudes are changing. If you can't say, right now, with a straight face that Black lives matter - they're just asking to matter.

They're not asking to matter more than you, or more than me, or more than anybody else. They just want to matter. They want to be seen and heard and felt. It is a basic bottom standard we're talking about.

I'm sure the polls will reflect that. It will move in that direction. But will it become purposeful within our power structure?

GUPTA: That's right.

CUOMO: That's about fear of consequence. I got to jump.

GUPTA: Yes.

CUOMO: We have to promise each other to keep talking about it, because time--

GUPTA: I'd love to. Thank you.

CUOMO: --time will reduce the emotion but increase the urgency for action. I will not leave it alone.

GUPTA: Absolutely.

CUOMO: I promise you that. Vanita, be well, and thank you. GUPTA: Thank you, Chris. Thank you.

CUOMO: Look, I'm not a cynic. I want to see change. I know the polls are showing that more of you, and I, that we get it. The key is the "We." If you don't have those in power reflected, it won't happen.

All right, now, another thing for us to take on is a slice of reality. "Summer gatherings? Yes! Re-openings? Yes! Protests? Yes!" or "Meh," depending on how you feel, they all increase the chance of more Coronavirus cases in America.

[21:15:00]

I know too many eyes are starting to glaze over when you hear numbers like, "We're closing in on 2 million cases." We may hit it tonight. "More than a 100,000 dead," "Yes, I've heard it. I've heard it."

What if I told you that the death toll may double between now and the fall? How? A leading scientist says he fears that is all too likely. Why? Next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: CUOMO PRIME TIME.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: LET'S GET AFTER IT.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: 200,000 dead by September because of Coronavirus, nearly double where we are tonight. Almost impossible to believe for many, many people watching right now.

Well let's bring in Dr. Ashish Jha of the Harvard Global Health Institute, always good to see you. Justify this very frightening analysis. Is this just a guess? How'd you get there?

DR. ASHISH JHA, HARVARD GLOBAL HEALTH INSTITUTE: Yes, Chris, so thanks for having me on. It's not just a guess.

Right now, we have between 800 people and a 1,000 people dying every single day in America. And all of the models, all of the data suggests that things are going to get worse. We're going to have increases.

But even if we assume that it's going to be flat all summer that nothing is going to get worse, we're going to stay flat all summer, even if we pick that low number of 800 a day, that's 25,000 a month.

[21:20:00]

In 3.5 months, we're going to add another 87,000 people, 88,000 people, and we will hit 200,000 sometime in September. And, you know--

CUOMO: "But it's getting better. It's getting better, Doc." That's what you'll - that's the - here's the pushback.

"It's getting better. Numbers are going down. New York's doing better. Others are doing better. The states where it's going up, they don't have a lot of cases. So, we don't have the same kinds of problem we did in the beginning.

You're trying to scare us into staying home because you people on the Political Left, that's why I'm dumping you in with the rest of them, Jha, and you just want to keep us at home and scared until the election."

JHA: So, I don't want people to stay home. That's not what I'm trying to do.

And let's be very clear about where the country is. New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts are coming down. Arizona, Florida, Texas, the Carolinas are going up. And the country is pretty flat.

And I'm not trying to scare people to stay at home. What I want is for people to wear masks. I want them to do social distancing.

And what I want - what I've always wanted was for us to ramp up a testing and tracing infrastructure, so we could get back outside safely and suppress the virus. And we're not doing that.

And so, we're going to unfortunately have another 25,000 deaths a month until September. And then, it'll keep going. It's not going to magically disappear then. We've got to turn this around, Chris. This is not the future I want.

CUOMO: A data point that is very interesting for people to understand is hospitalizations.

Sorry to the people operating a camera. We're in these little flash cameras. I move around way too much for an Anchor. But they're doing a great job.

Hospitalizations matter, why? Because now you know you're dealing with really sick people, OK? It's not people who say they're sick, but they're asymptomatic, it's not that big a deal.

Hospitalizations, since Memorial Day, in at least a dozen states, moving up, they'll - some people will say "Well, you know, a dozen out of 50, not so bad." How do you see it?

JHA: Yes. So, hospitalizations really are an important measure, right? Because some people have said "Well you're seeing more cases because we're doing more testing." We are doing a little bit more testing. That's true.

But hospitalizations are not from testing. Hospitalizations were from people getting sick. The fact that they've gone up so much in the last 12 states - in 12 states, in the last couple of weeks, you know, Chris, summer was supposed to be our better months, right?

The warmer weather, people outside, a little less transmission, this is not the time I was expecting a lot more cases. We're seeing a lot more cases, especially in states like Arizona, where the numbers look really scary.

CUOMO: See, I was thinking that there'd be more cases because you have more people doing more things. So, even if they're not locked in buildings together, school, workplaces, etcetera, I thought that we'd see this.

You have more re-openings. You have less people doing restrictions. Masks are helpful, but they're not a complete prophylactic.

Why didn't we expect there to be more cases when people aren't doing the one thing that gave us a chance of not having spread, which was isolating?

JHA: Yes. Well, look, I did expect some. But, you know, the early data from Georgia was that you could be open up, and be outside, and it's not too bad, and that's what we saw in Georgia.

And I don't know. I was hopeful that maybe the summer months would give us more of a break. I think I may have been too optimistic on that. And you may have been right on this, Chris.

And - and that's what the data suggests so far. We're going to have to see what the next few weeks bring. But I think anybody who's expecting a dramatic decrease in cases is almost surely engaging in wishful thinking.

And if it stays just flat over the next three months, we're going to hit 200,000 deaths, sometime in September, and that is just awful.

CUOMO: Now, the last word is the one that we're going to have to watch most carefully, Doc, you and I together. You know why? Because awful is subjective to how people feel in terms of perspective on the number.

The concern for me has been, all along, people will get fatigue on their fear. And 200,000 people dead won't mean what it did when we were at a 115 people, and 1,000 people, 2,000 people, 5,000 people, 10,000 people.

People were scared. People were scared. "We're all going to die. We're all going to get sick." They don't feel that anymore so much so that they'll subscribe to political fantasy about this being a concoction of different types of agendas and that this is more about the election than science and health.

I wonder if people will care about the numbers. The X-Factor is what does it mean for kids, and the vulnerable in schools, in the fall? If that changes, the dynamic can change.

But we will stay on it, Dr. Ashish Jha. I will need you to do that. Thank you for being with me tonight. Scary prediction! JHA: Thanks, Chris.

CUOMO: I hope you're wrong. But I hope you're wrong because we do the right thing. Be well, my brother.

JHA: Thank you.

CUOMO: All right, guess what the President has planned next week apropos of exactly what we were just talking about? His first MAGA rally since this virus exploded.

Guess where he wants to have them? In States where COVID cases are spiking, especially. Is that a coincidence? Well he's certainly not all about to let a pandemic get in the way of his reelection bid, right? That's been the truth from the beginning. He's very worried.

[21:25:00]

People keep saying he's down in the polls so much so that he has his Campaign threatening our network with legal action to remove one of our polls because he doesn't like the numbers.

You know why I'm smiling? Because that is ridiculous. Not in America, brother! Not yet anyway! Next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: CUOMO PRIME TIME.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: LET'S GET AFTER IT.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: Here's another one for the "Can't make it up" category.

The President's Campaign demanded that CNN retract and apologize for a recent poll because it showed him well behind presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

Our network's message is this. "No, this is America. You don't control what a Free Press says. That's the free part."

The polls showed that the President is trailing the former VP by 14 points, 55-41, well outside the margin of error.

[21:30:00]

And, by the way, it's not like this is the only poll to suggest something like this. Several others released, over the past few weeks, ABC News, Washington Post, Monmouth University, Quinnipiac, even a Fox News poll have shown Biden well ahead of Trump.

It also showed his approval rating sinking to 38 percent. That's the worst since last January, roughly on par with the approval ratings of other one-term Presidents.

Now, the interesting part to me is that to push back on the CNN poll, Trump hired one of the least accurate pollsters in the industry, McLaughlin & Associates to make more incorrect and misleading claims.

CNN's Executive Vice President and General Counsel responded with this. I want to read it to you in full.

"To my knowledge, this is the first time in its 40-year history that CNN had been threatened with legal action because an American politician or campaign did not like CNN's polling results.

To the extent we've received legal threats, from political leaders in the past, they have typically come from countries like Venezuela, or other regimes, where there is little or no respect for a free and independent media.

CNN is well aware of the reputation of John McLaughlin and McLaughlin & Associates. In 2014, his firm famously reported that Eric Cantor was leading his primary challenger Dave Brat by 34 points."

He lost by 11, that's a 45-point swing.

"The firm currently has a C/D rating from FiveThirtyEight.

In any event, McLaughlin was able to evaluate and criticize CNN's most recent poll because CNN is transparent and publishes its methodology along with its results. Because of this, McLaughlin was free to publish his own critique of CNN's analysis and share his criticisms across the U.S. media landscape."

You see, that's because we, in America, embrace free speech. We don't like the analysis. We don't agree with the analysis. We don't think there's a good basis for the analysis. But you get to say it here because it's America. And we hope that you, as Americans, can discern fact from fiction.

So "Your letter is factually and legally baseless," continued the Executive VP, here at CNN.

"It's another bad faith attempt by the campaign to threaten litigation to muzzle speech it does not want voters to read or hear. Your allegations and demands are rejected in their entirety. Very Truly Yours, David C. Vigilante."

Now, if there's any doubt that the President's allegations are baseless, you just need to look at this tweet.

Can you believe that we have to have these conversations? Can you believe this? I mean literally, it would not make it through a screenplay treatment. It just wouldn't. A week ago, he called on State TV, over at Fox, they're his puppets over there at night, to put up a CNN poll. It's - why am I laughing? Because I don't want to cry on television, that's why. I don't want to cry.

It is so sick and sad and obvious. Lie, deny, defy, divide, divide, divide and conquer, that's what this President is about. And it worked for him. It got him here. Will it keep him here? That's up to you, OK? Because here's another part of it. Play with the media, make you hate the media.

A rejection of calls to rename military bases with Confederate names attached to them, why would he refuse that? Why? Did you hear his answer?

There is some big news on a related front when it comes to major sporting events attended by many in the Trump base, NASCAR, you hear what they said? We'll take you through all of it, next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: CUOMO PRIME TIME.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[21:35:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: LET'S GET AFTER IT.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: All right, sign of the times.

NASCAR announced today no more displaying of the Confederate Flag at all events and properties. Pentagon officials now considering, renaming bases that bear Confederate Commander Names.

Trump however adamantly opposed saying it's "Part of a great American heritage" and we should "Respect our Military."

The Confederate Military is not "Our Military." They fought to keep slavery. They lost, OK? That's exactly why House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is renewing a call to remove Confederate statues from display in the U.S. Capitol.

Among the 11 statues there stands Alexander Stephens, all right? Now, he was the Vice President of the Confederacy. He was later charged with treason, by the way.

Just to remind what this is about, and what kind of history we don't want to reinforce, you don't want to forget history, because then you may repeat it, but you don't want to glamorize it either, if it sends ugly messages.

Stephens said this, in his Cornerstone Speech.

"Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea (of slavery opponents). Its foundations are laid, its corner-stone rests upon the great truth that the Negro is not equal to the White man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition.

This, our new government, is the first in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth."

[21:40:00]

Now, we have come to see that in today's America as what we call "Bullshit." We don't want to be about that. We don't want to own it. We don't want to recognize. We don't want to glamorize. And that's why you take down the statues that promote that as an ideal.

And the reason I say Trump, and not President, increasingly is because I personally am trying to insulate the Presidency from some of what he says and often what he does. Because I think that that Office has to be kept uncontaminated from what he is doing. Angela Rye joins me now.

We know why this is happening. We know why he does it. There are people who support the Confederacy and the Flag and see it as a heritage symbol. And much, much more often than not, they support President Trump.

ANGELA RYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, FORMER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CONGRESSIONAL BLACK CAUCUS: Yes, Chris. We could wrap this segment up. You said everything that needs to be said on this.

The reality of it is, is Donald Trump, in so many ways, Chris, is the President of the Confederate States of America. He really is. He speaks regularly to that base. He pumps hatred on to Twitter feeds like nobody's business.

He is addicted to sending those treacherous signals over and over again. Not just to the base, and to the worst in - among us in our humanity, but he also tries to - he tries to dig up something very ugly and so many.

Like in the middle of protests, right now, where people are fighting to just ensure that Black people can breathe, Donald Trump is sending signals that say that Confederate statues named after Confederate heroes should remain on military bases, opposing the things that symbolically say that it's OK to believe that Black people are inferior.

He - he doesn't understand how oppressive the Confederate Flag is, how oppressive Confederate statues are.

Yes, they are symbols. And yes, we need to address things like our economics and disparities that exist there, things like healthcare, and the disparities that exist there, things like being able to breathe, and the issues that exist around policing and criminal justice reform. But symbols matter too.

And I think that he's woefully mistaken. If he believes that we think that Donald Trump cares about Black people that he loves the Blacks, what the hell do you have to loose, and all of the rest of that, if he continues to be a proponent of the Confederacy.

CUOMO: Two more things.

One, a point of pushback, "Well hold on, didn't you see the Black leaders, surrounding him at the table today, who were saying that he's doing a great job, and that his economy is better for African- Americans than Obama, and that he could be a transcendent leader?"

RYE: Well Chris, can I just let you in on a little secret?

CUOMO: Please.

RYE: It is politics - one of the political ugly secrets of our time, and it plagues both parties. In too many instances, we are desperate to get a base of people, you write checks. You put them in envelopes, and you slide them under the table.

I guarantee you, every one of those people have been paid off in some way. And it's disgusting, because the price of their souls should be worth a whole lot more. But I guarantee you those people got a little check. That's what that is.

CUOMO: You don't think it's good--

RYE: Got to be ashamed of themselves.

CUOMO: You don't think it's good conscience?

RYE: Conscience for - no, they don't have any consciences.

If they can back up Donald Trump in an era like this, when he has yet to say anything meaningful about George Floyd, to George Floyd, where he's lifting up conspiracy theories for people who are protesting, to ensure our ability to live, oh no, they don't have any conscience. They lost that a long time ago with their souls.

CUOMO: Give me a reason to believe this time is going to be different and that there will be progress from the positions of power on the issues that matter in terms of creating a more perfect union.

Oh! I was going to say that is the best cold face that Angela has ever given me. We lost her signal.

Do you have her back?

Let them reset it. It's worth to give her a chance to answer that because, look, Angela can be outraged, and almost always with good reason. The question is what is the point of the outrage if it doesn't find its end in purpose? We lost the signal. I'm sure she'll put it out on Twitter. She got

twice the reach that I have on this show anyway. I'll make sure that I echo it. And, of course, you know she'll be back on the show.

Let's try to end here with some good news, OK, when it comes to the Coronavirus pandemic. There was a major scare.

I'm not in the business of scaring you. I'm not about hype. I'm - look, I had the virus. I'm worried about the virus. I just want us to be safe. That's all. But I'm not going to overplay it either.

There was a really good example of how effective we can be in staving off big infection. There was something that everybody watched, everybody was worried about. The results were better than expected.

What am I talking about? Next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: CUOMO PRIME TIME.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[21:45:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: LET'S GET AFTER IT.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: All right, we've got an update on a big COVID-19 scare that CNN reported last month.

More than a 140 customers of a hair salon in Missouri were contacted by officials in order to quarantine because two of the stylists there tested positive, at least one of those stylists had symptoms while working.

Everyone exposed was offered a free Coronavirus test. 46 people took one. And now, we have the results, zero were positive.

The question is why and what does it mean. Let's bring in Jeremy Konyndyk.

Why didn't everybody get sick?

JEREMY KONYNDYK, FORMER DIRECTOR, USAID OFFICE OF FOREIGN DISASTER ASSISTANCE, SENIOR FELLOW, CENTER FOR GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT: Well, you know, we can't fully know. But one thing, you know, a couple things we do know is that both the stylists who were infected were wearing masks.

CUOMO: Ah! KONYNDYK: All the clients were wearing masks. They were doing other distancing measures in the salon. They were spacing chairs. They were staggering appointments, so they didn't have too many people in there at once.

You know, we don't know what of those things contributed. We also don't know how infectious the stylists were. You know, some people tend to spread to a lot of others, some spread to fewer. So, it could be a lot of those different things.

[21:50:00]

But I think what this is, is it's certainly another data point to suggest that masks can have a positive protective impact--

CUOMO: Why did only 46 take the test that was offered out of a 140?

KONYNDYK: Well, you know, I - I don't know. I understand it was offered to all of them. I think it was their choice whether or not to - whether or not to pursue that.

CUOMO: What do you think of Ashish Jha saying we may double the number of deaths between now and September?

KONYNDYK: I think, look, I think all scenarios are still on the table right now. One of the things that is really concerning to me is that in really just the past week, there's been a significant spike in cases, in quite a few states.

So, Texas is taking a sharp turn upwards, North Carolina. Arizona is looking very bad. Florida has taken a jump on--

CUOMO: Yes. What's going on in Arizona? Why Arizona?

KONYNDYK: Well, again, I think we don't fully know because the reporting out of the State has not been stellar, so the data's - the - you know, the data is not fantastic.

And, you know, it - when you're not doing sufficient contact tracing, which we're not doing still, in most of the country, it's hard to be certain where your cases are coming from, or where your spread is happening.

And one of the reasons why tracing is so important is not just that, you know, you identify the people who have it, and you try to stop them from spreading to others. It also helps you to understand where you spread is happening.

CUOMO: Hospitalizations rise in 12 states. That's the main metric. That's not about testing. It's actual people getting sick. That's why we want to rely on that, yes?

KONYNDYK: Yes. Hospitalizations is a, you know, it's one of those metrics that you can't, you know, it can't really be fudged.

No matter how good or bad your testing is, no matter how good or bad your other data reporting is, if people will show up in your hospitals, that tells that you've got a problem.

The challenge with that is that's a very lagging indicator. So, by the time someone's showing up in a hospital, they were infected probably weeks ago. And so, it doesn't really tell you where you are now. It tells you where you were, you know, two-ish weeks ago.

And that's a frightening thing. If you've got hospitalizations starting to go up quickly, it means you've had a problem already for several weeks.

CUOMO: You think that we have to look at the protest data, and while they were huge groups compared to political rallies that that may reflect on how we deal with the rest of the campaign. When will we know whether or not the protests were a problem?

KONYNDYK: I, you know, I would expect that if there is a signal in the data related to the protests, we would see that, you know, we'd start seeing that in about two - two weeks to three weeks or within - I'll say within two weeks to three weeks.

You know, the jury is kind of out on how - how big a spike we might see as a result of that.

I mean, you know, the protests were outside. We know that that reduces risk. All the protests that I saw, people were, almost everyone was wearing masks. So that should reduce risk.

But, you know, these were large crowds. In some instances, particularly where it was stationary protests, or sit-ins, there were a lot of people packing close together for prolonged periods. We know that that's a risk factor.

CUOMO: If teargas kills Coronavirus, we'll wind up being in pretty good shape because they were using it all over the place in the protests.

Jeremy Konyndyk?

KONYNDYK: Well I--

CUOMO: I'm kidding. We don't know anything about it. And obviously, there's been a lot of behavior going on--

KONYNDYK: Yes.

CUOMO: --in this country that is regrettable, to say the least. Hopefully it will leave--

KONYNDYK: Yes.

CUOMO: --lead to change of a much more healthy country on several levels.

Jeremy Konyndyk, thank you for interpreting the data, brother. Appreciate it. All right.

KONYNDYK: My pleasure, Chris, thanks.

CUOMO: And look, you know, these - this is a virus, right? Racism is a virus. It acts the exact same way. We are equally not immune to it. We don't have a cure for it. We don't have a vaccine for it. Not yet.

What you're about to see maybe the most sad video since Floyd was killed. A hate parade! Got to expose it, see it for what it is because it is what we are up against, next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: CUOMO PRIME TIME.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[21:55:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: LET'S GET AFTER IT.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: Here's some proof of why things have stayed the same, when it comes to the quest for justice and equality.

Protesters chanting "Black lives matter" through the streets of Franklinville, New Jersey, ran into some Trump supporters. Look at this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(PROTESTERS CHANTING GEORGE FLOYD! GEORGE FLOYD!)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Black lives matter!

(PROTESTERS CHANTING BLACK LIVES MATTER!)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: Yes, that's what you think it is.

Here's another angle at the bottom of the box. I want to be very clear about what this is, what they were doing, and why. They were yelling things like "You don't comply, that's what happens. All lives matter. And Black lives matter to no one."

See the Trump sign? Why would people with this kind of ignorance, arrogance and hatred find such an attachment to Trump? He will say nothing about them in all likelihood.

But FedEx did. Put out a statement about the video. Why? Because one of those people work for them. Not anymore. They fired him. Another works for you, on your tax dollar, as a State Corrections

Officer. His boss, Governor Phil Murphy, called the video repugnant. That Corrections Officer is now suspended. His own Union put out a statement condemning his actions.

Look, why do I show you this? Because you have to understand that this is the reality, and it's a big reason things don't change. There are a lot of people who are resistant to change.

The question is how many of you are willing to triumph against this intolerance?

How many in the majority, because that's what those guys represent, sadly, are willing to become part of a consensus of good conscience that will force people in power to make this a more perfect union?

Are there enough Ameri-CANs to drown out the Ameri-CAN'Ts, like these Trumpers?

Remember, politicians act more often out of a fear of consequence than they do out of good conscience. Don't wait for them to do the right thing. Make them do the right thing. Come together. The key is the "We."

Thank you for watching. CNN TONIGHT with D. Lemon right now.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST, CNN TONIGHT WITH DON LEMON: It's so disgusting, that photograph. I mean, really?