Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Continued Solidarity Worldwide For George Floyd; Floyd Buried Beside His Mother In Houston; Calls For Police Reform Broaden; Coronavirus Rates Climb In The U.S. As States Ease Lockdown; Asymptomatic Spread Of The Virus; Protect Yourself If You Protest; Airline Industry Losses, Bailouts And Solutions; Wall Street V. Main Street Disconnect; George Floyd Laid to Rest after Emotional Memorial; Trump Pushes Baseless Smear of 75-Year-Old Protester; Family Seeks Answers after Son Dies during Arrest; Americas are Home to Almost Half of Global Cases; China's Power Moves as World Grapples with Pandemic; Strict Measures in Cuba are Curbing Virus Spread; Yemen could Suffer One of the Worst Outbreaks; Senate Confirms First Black Military Chief in U.S. History; Young Americans Share What it's Like to Grow up Black. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired June 10, 2020 - 01:00   ET

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


[01:00:00]

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right now, I want justice for my brother, my big brother. That's Big Floyd. Everybody knows who big Floyd is now.

ROBYN CURNOW, CNN ANCHOR: George Floyd laid to rest, one family's grief shared with the rest of the world as his death resonates around the globe.

And the WHO walks back an unexpected comment about the spread of the coronavirus, but there's still more confusion than clarity as more parts of the world get back to business.

Meanwhile, some countries are facing more cases. In Yemen, the pandemic exacerbates a long-running humanitarian crisis and civil war.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Live from CNN center, this is CNN newsroom with Robyn Curnow.

CURNOW: George Floyd has been laid to rest, 15 days after being pinned beneath the knee of a white police officer.

But the movement ignited by his death shows no sign of weakening. Huge crowds filled the streets of New York on Tuesday to rally against police brutality.

And the Black Lives Matter message is echoing in many corners of the world. A show of solidarity from all of these people demanding racial equality.

And back in Houston, George Floyd was buried beside his mother.

Sara Sidner shows us the final farewell. Sara.

SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A fourth and final farewell for George Floyd, a man whose death has sparked new life into a movement.

His family members breaking down in front of his casket just before his body was sealed inside forever.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let justice run down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I love you. And I thank God for giving me my own personal superman.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He will take care of you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These laws need to be changed. No more hate crimes, please. Someone said make America great again, but when has America ever been great?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REV. AL SHARPTON, NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK : We must commit to this family, all of these families, all five of his children, grandchildren and all. That until these people paid for what they did, that we're going to be there with them. Because lives like George will not matter until somebody pays the cost for taking their lives.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN, FRM. VICE PRESIDENT AND PRESUMPTIVE DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: (INAUDIBLE) most, you must grieve in public, and it is a burden. A burden that it is now your purpose to change the world for the better. In the name of George Floyd.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SIDNER: Among the 500 family and friends of Floyd inside the Fountain of Praise Church in Houston, the black American families who know their pain all too well, their children killed by police too. The families of Ferguson's Michael Brown, New York's Eric Garner, and Dallas's Bothom Jean attended the services, offering their support.

Protests around the country pushing cities around the nation to consider police reform after two weeks of nationwide demonstrations. The Houston police chief himself demanding reform from the inside out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ART ACEVEDO, POLICE CHIEF, HOUSTON: The community recognizes bad policing when they see it, and there's still too many instances where bad policing is tolerated. So we need to just say no.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SIDNER: The Houston mayor going further, announcing at Floyd's funeral an executive order to ban chokeholds among other reforms.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAYOR SYLVESTER TURNER, HOUSTON: In this city, we will ban chokeholds and strangleholds. In this city, we will require de-escalation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SIDNER: In Minneapolis, a judge approved a restraining order to stop police there from using neck restraints and chokeholds. In Los Angeles, official announcing a moratorium on one type of chokehold. In New York, a promise by the mayor to cut some police funds and move them to youth and social services.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Though the storms keep on raging...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SIDNER: Back in Texas, a procession following Floyd's casket to its final resting place. His body to be laid to rest next to his mother, whom he cried out for in his final moments.

Sara Sidner, CNN, Houston.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CURNOW: So during the past two weeks of protests over George Floyd's death, we've been hearing more and more about demands to defund the police.

What does that mean? Well, here's Brian Todd with a closer look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CROWD: Defund (inaudible), defund (inaudible).

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's been a rallying cry since the police killing of George Floyd. Protesters, activists and some city officials calling for police departments across the U.S. to be defunded. It's painted in huge block letters on city streets from Washington to Wisconsin, but how would it work?

Some who support the idea want to strip all police funding and dissolve entire departments.

[01:05:00]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don't want no more police.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TODD: But other advocates want to reallocate some but not all money away from police departments and funnel some of it to training civilians to do some of the jobs police have always done.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LISA BENDER, CITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT, MINNEAPOLIS: We've done an analysis of all the people call 9-1-1, and I've looked at ways we could shift the response away from armed police officers into a more appropriate response for mental health calls, for some domestic violence calls, for health-related issues.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TODD: The cities of Eugene and Springfield, Oregon, have a service which does just that. It is called CAHOOTS. In some instances, instead of police, dispatchers in Eugene and Springfield send out CAHOOTS teams -- two civilians in each, a medic and a trained crisis worker. To respond to what they call non-criminal calls.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

EBONY MORGAN, CRISIS INTERVENTION WORKER, CAHOOTS: We can respond for welfare checks, we can check on folks who maybe need some mediation. If there's an argument, we can de-escalate. If someone is in a neighborhood kind of just acting odd, we can just check on them and make sure they don't need anything.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TODD: Ebony Morgan says CAHOOTS helped more than 20,000 people in those situations last year alone with their non-combative, unarmed approach.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: I've seen police presence agitate some folks and they get a little more intense for whatever their experience has been. When they see us, they know that we're just there to talk. And if they tell us to leave, we'll leave.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TODD: Some police advocates say that approach simply doesn't work when you're walking up to a potentially dangerous domestic dispute.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAMES GAGLIANO, FORMER SUPERVISORY SPECIAL AGENT, FBI: You think that you're going to send an unarmed therapist or social worker to the scene of a domestic dispute where somebody has beating up their partner, shot their partner or committed some act of violence against them -- and you think that you're going to send somebody there without the required equipment to protect themselves and the innocent person that they are responding to help? That's folly.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TODD: Advocates for defunding police say that money can be used to pay for schools, hospitals, housing, and mental health services in poor, marginalized communities. All of which, they say, helps increase safety.

But one police chief is worried about what could suffer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ART ACEVEDO, POLICE CHIEF, HOUSTON: The first thing that will go will be training and all the things we need to make sure that we have the properly trained and professional police that our communities deserve.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TODD: As for the calls to completely dissolve some police departments, there's been one American city which did try that approach. Camden, New Jersey.

Notorious for violence and police corruption completely disbanded its police department in 2012, but it wasn't replaced with no police department at all. Camden started a new police department from scratch and that did work to cut down violence and corruption.

Still, no city the size of Minneapolis has ever tried it.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.

CURNOW: Well, George Floyd's funeral was observed around the world.

In Rome, demonstrators stood quietly holding candles before kneeling. Take a look here.

Activists in Paris knelt for eight minutes in silence while holding signs calling for justice.

And protesters chanted, "Black lives matter" as they marched outside the U.S. embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. One demonstrator said she came to the protest to be part of a global effort to make a difference for black lives. And they're all part of protests that have been going on in cities globally since George Floyd's death.

In Bristol, protesters pulled down a statue of the 17th Century slave trader, Edward Colston, and threw it in the harbor.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CURNOW: And despite being a revered philanthropist in London, there have been growing demands to remove the controversial landmark. Colston was an active member of the Royal African Company which traded slaves.

And hundreds of protesters in Oxford took to the streets demanding the statue of imperialist Cecil John Rhodes be removed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MULTIPLE VOICES: Take it down, take it down, take it down.

CURNOW: Rhodes was a businessman and colonialist who pushed for the British Empire to seize control over large areas of Southern Africa in the 19th Century.

At these protests, demonstrators stood in silence for nearly nine minutes to honor George Floyd as they echoed the message of solidarity for racial equality.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MORATEGI KALE, STUDENT, OXFORD, U.K.: Rhodes represents such a violent legacy of colonialism, imperialism, slavery -- particularly in Southern Africa.

And the values that he represents are not the values that we stand by, are not the values that we think should be should be celebrated in this community in Oxford.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN FORD, RESIDENT, OXFORD, U.K.: I think that you should take it down, but not destroy it. And you put it somewhere where it stands for the fact that we don't agree with the things that he said, but the fact that it was once there at some time -- like it's 2020, it should not be there. And it's important that we know that it is.

So it should be kept but not there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[01:10:00]

JEEVAN RAVINDRAN, STUDENT, OXFORD, U.K.: The statue symbolizes that the university still hasn't shown a clear commitment to engaging with issues that black students face, and to de-colonizing.

And for black and brown students and people of color to have to walk around this university and see these symbols of slavery and colonization is frankly, quite abhorrent, I think.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CURNOW: Well, monuments to Cecil Rhodes have a history of controversy.

Back in 2015, a statue was removed from the University of Cape Town after weeks of protests there at UCT. Students had created a "Rhodes Must Fall" campaign, saying his legacy was tainted with racism.

Well, let's go to Farai Sevenzo now, as Farai joins us from Nairobi, Kenya.

And as we saw the images there, people in Kenya coming out in solidarity as well to this global reaction.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FARAI SEVENZO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Robyn.

I mean, the whole issue of George Floyd has simply refocused all of Africa's attention on what is a terrible legacy.

After all, even when you talk about the United States, these are people that were taken from this continent to go over there to be slaves. And at the moment, things like Cecil John Rhodes and all the statues and all the legacy of colonialism are under inspection by Africans who feel enough is enough.

I mean, after all, even here in Kenya, there are places that historians called the "White Highlands" where people just grabbed land.

So it is absolutely crucial at the moment. This widespread, global reaction to the death of one man who had a knee on his neck is really about, where are we as a people?

Why do we keep these monuments? Why do we keep these statues? And it's a thing that's going to on for quite a while, Robyn.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CURNOW: OK. Faria Sevenzo there in Nairobi, Kenya. Thanks, Farai.

So you're watching CNN newsroom.

Still to come. A growing number of U.S. states are easing their coronavirus restrictions, even as some places continue to report high infection rates.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) CURNOW: So in the U.S., the number of confirmed coronavirus

infections is quickly approaching two million. That's by far the most in the world.

But there is growing concern some states could be under-reporting their cases by not following guidelines from the CDC. Now despite all the uncertainty, more and more places are gradually reopening.

As Nick Watt now reports.

NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: New York City is coming back to life, but the mayor is cautious.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAYOR BILL DI BLASIO, N.Y.: I don't want people to have undue expectations. We're trying to do something so difficult in these next few weeks, bring back hundreds of thousands of workers.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATT: And months into this pandemic, there is still a lot of confusion around how it spreads.

[01:15:00]

Yesterday, a WHO official said this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. MARIA VAN KERKHOVE, TECHNICAL LEAD, WHO: It still appears to be rare that an asymptomatic individual actually transmits onward.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATT: Raised some eyebrows. Today, she clarified.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. VAN KERKHOVE: What I was referring to yesterday in the press conference were a very few studies. We do know that some people who are asymptomatic or people who don't have symptoms can transmit the virus on.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATT: There's even more we still don't know.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY &

INFECTIOUS DISEASES: What about people who recover? What are they going to be like six months from now? Well, we don't know that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATT: And nationwide, we are still averaging over 20, 000 new cases every day. And that could be an undercount.

Despite CDC guidelines, more than half of states, including California, new York, and Texas, aren't counting probable cases and deaths, only those that are confirmed.

In 24 states, the new daily case counts are going down, but climbing in 19.

In Vermont, bars and restaurants reopened Monday, while officials investigate 62 cases possibly tied to one social network of families.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is an outbreak.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATT: In Florida, cases also climbing. Still, Miami-Dade will reopen beaches tomorrow.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm concerned that there is such a lack of respect in regards to social distancing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATT: Now U.S. officials first learned of a virus spreading in China in January.

But it might have started spreading as early as last August, according to researchers who say satellite images of Wuhan show a sharp increase in the number of cars in hospital parking lots, as well as an uptick in online searches of symptoms.

Human trials just began in China of one possible antibody therapy. The hope such drugs might prevent infection and treat the disease.

And a vaccine?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FAUCI: There's going to be more than one, I'll guarantee it. There's going to be more than one winner in the vaccine field, because we are going to need vaccines for the entire world. Billions and billions of doses.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATTS: It is too early to tell if those protests sparked by George Floyd's death have really spread this virus here in the U.S.

But the National Guard in Washington, D.C., they were deployed at those protests. They have confirmed that a number of their members have now tested positive.

Nick Watt, CNN, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CURNOW: Thanks, Nick, for that. So Dr. Shoshana Ungerleider is an internal medicine physician at the California-Pacific Medical Center and she joins me now from San Francisco.

Doctor, great to see you. Talk me through this WHO walk back. I mean, mixed messaging, dangerous, silly. Or is there something in it?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DR. SHOSHANA UNGERLEIDER, PHYSICIAN, CALIFORNIA-PACIFIC MEDICAL CENTER: It's a little bit tricky. I think the most important thing, Robyn, it's important to note that the data are still very much coming together.

There's still a whole lot that we don't know about the virus, including how often asymptomatic people, in fact, pass it on. We know that they do spread the virus.

The tricky part, actually, is how we're categorizing people. So there is a pre-symptomatic phase, meaning before symptoms start, and this is difficult to distinguish from being asymptomatic, meaning no symptoms. And it's categorized differently.

So this is really a matter of which words that we're using -- and quite confusing, right, for the public. But, again, the take away here is that this virus is still out there.

It's in every state across the U.S., it's across the world. It's very infectious. Wearing masks, limiting social contact as much as possible with people outside of your home. And for states, continuing to ramp up contact tracing and testing is really critical right now.

CURNOW: Yes, it certainly is. And as you say, there's just so much we don't know.

We know that there has been a ship where 1,000 people, I think, tested positive on it and 60 percent of them have antibodies. What kind of clues does that potentially give us?

UNGERLEIDER: Well, we hope that these findings have important implications for our understanding of how immunity against COVID actually works, possible treatment and the development of vaccines.

But there's still, again, a whole lot that we don't know. I think the most important takeaway, Robyn, is that these sailors aboard this ship who were infected were younger. And as we might expect, mostly reported mild or no symptoms at all.

And those who took preventive measures such as wearing face masks, avoiding those common areas on the ship and social distancing were less likely to become infected.

And this is really the advice that everyone should continue to follow right now.

CURNOW: Yes. I mean, Nick Watt mentioned it in his piece just before we came to you but with many of these protests, people feel like they need to be there.

There is something that they need to make a stand about, that there is a greater message, that they have to be there.

How do you advise people, as these protests continue, to keep themselves safe?

[01:20:00]

UNGERLEIDER: Yes. So Robyn, I think as states reopen -- and we've seen, as you've said, so many people take to the streets to protest police brutality.

Coronavirus cases are, in fact, on the rise, across much of the U.S. So I think that we need to be talking about how people can stay safe.

That's wearing masks. That's avoiding places like bars, nightclubs, gyms, sporting events, places of worship, amusement parks, buffets. Places that are indoors and that are crowded and where people are breathing hard, singing or yelling. All increase the spread significantly.

And if you are going to go out and protest, protest peacefully. Wear a mask. Stick to small groups, be sure to wash your hands often. And when you return home, be really careful about how you're taking off your protective gear. Be sure to wash your clothes and, of course, your hands very, very carefully.

CURNOW: As you -- thank you, that's really valuable advice. As you look at the symptoms, particularly how this virus attacks our bodies -- as you said at the beginning, there's still so many unanswered questions. What's the one question you would very much like to get the answer to right now?

UNGERLEIDER: Oh, goodness. I think there's so many. And data is coming out, all day, every day.

I would love to see a more robust reporting of information, and really figure out how can we ramp up testing in every state, how can we ramp up contact tracing and then share this information?

So that as we head into the summer and into fall when were inevitably going to hit our flu season and very likely an increase in the number of COVID cases, we can take care of people in the most effective way as possible.

CURNOW: With as much information as possible. Doctor, thank you very much for joining us. Great to speak to you.

UNGERLEIDER: Thank you.

(END VIDEOTAPE) CURNOW: So following the latest developments of the coronavirus

pandemic in the U.S. and around the globe. Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta host another CNN GLOBAL TOWN HALL, "Coronavirus: Facts and Fears."

That's 8:00 pm on Thursday in New York, 8:00 am Friday in Hong Kong. Only here on CNN.

So the airline industry, we know, is especially hard hit during this pandemic.

The International Air Transport Association predicts carriers will lose $84 billion in 2020, making this the worst year in the industry's history.

And the group says it will get even worse next year. France has pledged nearly $17 billion to support Airbus, Air France and the wider aviation industry. The economy minister says the bail out will secure 100,000 jobs over the next six months.

So let's go over to John Defterios now with more for us from Abu Dhabi.

John, hi. Good to see you. Those numbers are pretty big and these grim predictions are an indication that it's not over, that next year's going to be worse.

I mean, what are airlines trying to do here?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Well, there's no way to put a nice gloss on this one, Robyn.

CURNOW: No.

DEFTERIOS: The losses that we're seeing this year are two and a half times bigger than the global financial crisis just over 10 years ago when it started in 2008 and '09.

If you look at the revenues, it tells a really bleak story, if you will. Over $800 billion dollars in 2019 and then this huge drop in 2020. And, as you're suggesting, we're still going to have a gaping hole in 2021 with revenues below $600 billion.

So what IATA, the trade body, was suggesting -- we're looking at losses of $100 billion over a two-year window. So this is going to be the worst year, but it's going to be added on next year because passenger traffic will be slow to come back.

Here in the Middle East, we have the major Gulf carriers. Of course, the biggest is Emirates. It has this large fleet of A380s, 115 of them.

We know they had some staff layoffs for both pilots and cabin crew for those big super jets that are not going to be needed in the future. Some are going to be parked, probably forever.

And as you noted, Air France -- and I think the added twist to the announcement from the government was we want to protect 100,000 jobs by giving half of that to Air France, or close to that amount. But they don't want the U.S. and China to dominate the sector in the future.

They see this as a fight for survival for the European Union and we know that France has a big base there for Airbus in Toulouse, in the manufacturing sector.

So the bailouts are indeed coming.

CURNOW: Yes, they most certainly do. So we're seeing some real uncertainties across industries. This is not being seen, though, in Wall Street. I mean, the NASDAQ has just hit a new record. Why is there such enthusiasm, such a disconnect?

[01:25:00]

DEFTERIOS: Well, I think the best way to put it is a tale of two realities. There's the Wall Street reality and then the one on Main Street, where we've had 43 million people in the United States file for unemployment claims.

We saw the jobs report last week that brought the unemployment rate to 13.3 percent, but does it really justify all this money going into Wall Street?

We know that the tech companies benefit from COVID-19, for the efficiencies in e-commerce and companies like Amazon, but we almost finished at 10,000 to this new record here.

And there's $3 trillion of surplus and very low interest rates, Robyn, so the only place you can park your money and make higher returns is the bet by the bankers to go into equities. And that's been the case.

We're going to hear from Jerome Powell, the chairman of the Federal Reserve. They have the Fed meeting taking place today. And about 12 hours from now, we're going to hear from him.

He had great concerns that the unemployment rate was going to rise to 20 percent, perhaps even 25 percent. So we'll be eager to see what he says about this drop down to 13 percent, the job report that came out Friday.

And very importantly, the spike up in Black unemployment. It went from under 6 percent in February to above 16 percent in the latest report.

And what he thinks needs to be done to stimulate the economy for African Americans going forward.

Robyn.

CURNOW: OK. John Defterios there. Thanks so much. So you're watching CNN newsroom. Still to come.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't look at my son as just a big black guy, that his life doesn't matter.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CURNOW: Another family is seeking answers and justice after their son's life ends at the hands of police.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

REV. MARY WHITE, HOUSTON: We thank you for the life of George Floyd, oh, God. That at a moment when he called out for his mother, we believe that the ears of mothers across this nation reared up. That the ears of mothers across this world heard him cry -- even though for one mother, all mothers began to wail.

We began to wail for our children, we began to wail for our grandchildren. We wail for men across this world because of one mother's call. God, thank you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[01:29:04]

ROBYN CURNOW, CNN ANCHOR: The Reverend Mary White there addressing mourners at Tuesday's funeral service for George Floyd in Houston, Texas. As White mentioned there, Floyd cried out for his mother as a white police officer pressed his knee into his neck for nearly nine minutes.

Following the service, a horse-drawn carriage took Floyd's body to the cemetery, where he was laid to rest next to his mother.

There was one person who did not mention George Floyd on the day of his funeral, at least not publicly. And that was the U.S. President. Instead Donald Trump spent his morning tweeting a baseless smear of a 75-year-old protester who was injured last week by police and is still in hospital.

When asked about the President's taunting tweet, congressional Republicans dodged the question. Senator Marco Rubio told CNN, "I didn't see it. You're telling me about it. I don't read Twitter; I only write on it."

And while most of Rubio's Republican colleagues played the same game thing, there was one notable exception.

More now from Kaitlan Collins.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: As 75-year-old Martin Gugino remains in the hospital after being shoved to the ground by a Buffalo police officer, President Trump promoted a conspiracy theory about him today.

He tweeted that "Gugino could be an Antifa provocateur and was pushed away after appearing to scan police communications in order to blackout equipment. I watched, he fell harder than he was pushed, was aiming scanner. Could be a set up?

The President had been watching a segment on One America News, a far- right pro-Trump network. He included zero evidence to back up his claim that the elderly man could be a member of the far left activist group. Nor did he provide any for his claim that Gugino was trying to interfere with police communications by holding up a cell phone.

Five days ago, video shows Gugino being pushed and staggering backwards before landing on the pavement, where blood pooled around his head. Two officers have since been charged with second degree assault.

Gugino's attorneys responded to the President by saying, "He has always been a peaceful protester. No one from law enforcement has even suggested otherwise. We are at a loss to understand why the President of the United States would make such a dark, dangerous and untrue accusation."

The White House refused to comment. The President stayed behind closed doors today and most Republicans ignored or dodged questions about his tweet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What about the President's tweet though? Was that appropriate?

SENATOR MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: As I said, we are discussing in the Senate Republican conference, what response we think is appropriate to the events of the last two weeks.

SENATOR KEVIN CRAMER (R), NORTH DAKOT: I just saw the tweet. And I know nothing of the episode, so I don't know. I am not as fixated, I guess, as some people.

COLLINS: At least one Republican senator, Mitt Romney, criticized it.

SENATOR MITT ROMNEY (R), UTAH: I saw the tweet. It was a shocking thing to say, and I won't dignify it with any further comment.

COLLINS: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called on the President to apologize.

GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: You think the blood coming out of his head was staged? Is that what you are saying? You saw his head hit the pavement. You see blood on the pavement. How reckless. How irresponsible. How mean. How crude.

I mean if there was ever a reprehensible dumb comment and from the President of the United States.

COLLINS: And I spoke with a friend of Martin Gugino earlier, Keith Giles, who said he has known him for about 13 years. He said he wanted people to remember that there is a person behind this conspiracy theory that the President is pushing, not some faceless figure or member of the deep state as the President has said before, but a real person with a real name who is being affected by what the President is saying.

Kaitlan Collins, CNN -- the White House.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CURNOW: So while people all around the world have seen the video of George Floyd's arrest that led to his death and the protest around the globe, one American mother cannot bear to watch it. Her son also died while being arrested by police. And like Floyd, he told officers "I can't breathe".

Ed Lavandera has that story, but we must warn you, it is disturbing.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Body camera of a police officer captured the final moments of Javier Ambler's life and his parents can't bring themselves to watch. It sounds too similar to the way George Floyd died.

So when you saw the George Floyd video -- you saw your son?

MARIZA AMBLER, MOTHER: When I saw it -- I saw my son. I saw. I just thought -- I said that's exactly and most likely what my son went through.

LAVANDERA: Mariza and Javier Ambler sat down with CNN for an extensive interview the day after the horrific video was released that showed the death of their son. The couple is angered that it's taken more than 15 months to learn the most basic details of how their son died. They were stunned that it all happened because Javier Ambler allegedly failed to dim the headlights of his car.

[01:34:41]

JAVIER AMBLER, FATHER: It could've been prevented. It could've been avoided if the officers were to just use common judgment. And don't look at my son as just a big black guy that his life does not matter.

LAVANDERA: It was just after 1:00 a.m. on March 28th of last year when according to a Williamson County Sheriff's Department incident report, a deputy started pursuing Ambler for failing to dim his headlights as he approached oncoming traffic.

For unknown reasons, that triggered a 22-minute pursuit that ended in the city of Austin when Ambler crashed his car. The incident report says Ambler stepped out of his car with his hands up and was unarmed. The report says Ambler failed to follow verbal commands of laying down on the ground.

Within moments, several deputies were on top of Ambler, who suffered from cardiovascular disease and congested heart failure. Officers tased him.

M. AMBER: I just want some justice. I want these people to suffer exactly, you know. Go to jail, you know. Be responsible for what you -- you know, your actions.

They used their badge. They used their gun. They use their position to try to overcome people. And it's not right.

LAVANDERAS: Ambler's death was ruled a justifiable homicide. The Williamson County Sheriff's Office of Professional Standards determined the deputies acted properly and used reasonable force. Those deputies are still patrolling the streets according to local prosecutors.

Riding alongside the lead sheriff's deputy that night was a film crew with the A&E network show called "Live PD". Their cameras are rolling. But prosecutors say they have not been able to get their hands on it.

Mariza Ambler believes the pursuit of her son was entertainment. She hasn't seen the videos but has strong opinions about it.

M. AMBLER: That's exactly what it was. They were just putting on a show to show that he has the power. and he didn't care who got hurt. He didn't care what was the consequence.

LAVANDERA: The sheriff's office is refusing to comment on the case. But in a statement A&E says investigators never asked for the video captured by the show's producers and they no longer have it available. The footage was deleted as part of the show's policy to avoid having the footage used by police against private citizens.

After Javier Ambler lost consciousness, deputies administered CPR until medics arrived on the scene, but it was too late. Javier Ambler has two children. His mother carries her son's ashes in a locket around her neck. His father called him a gentle giant.

J. AMBLER: (INAUDIBLE) I'm sorry. I'm not as tough as his mom. Everything has changed since he was taken from us.

LAVANDERA: Several commissioners in Williamson County are calling on Sheriff Richard Chody to resign. But the sheriff says he will not back down and he says any criticism is partisan and cynical.

The sheriff is also responding to allegations for prosecutors here in Austin that are investigating the death of Javier Ambler saying that the sheriff's department there in Williamson County has stymied the investigation by not providing video evidence.

The sheriffs say that is false and that they are ready and willing to participate in this investigation.

Meanwhile, as these agencies go back and forth, Mariza and Javier Ambler continue to wait for answers more than 15 months after their son's death.

Ed Lavandera, CNN -- Austin, Texas.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CURNOW: Powerful piece. Thanks to Ed for that.

You're watching CNN. Still to come, we check back in at the original coronavirus epicenter. How China is flexing its military might. That is next.

[01:38:34]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CURNOW: Welcome back. I'm Robyn Curnow here in Atlanta.

So the coronavirus is continuing to aggressively spread through Latin America, with Brazil, Chile, and Peru facing the brunt of infections as you can see from this map. In Mexico, cases are continuing to spike.

However, the WHO is now saying the country is nearing its peak.

Shasta Darlington has the latest from the region -- Shasta.

SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Americas are now home to nearly half of all COVID-19 cases with more than 3.3 million infections according to the Pan-American Health Organization.

Data shows a surging of the virus in countries that have not been heavily affected before like Panama and Costa Rica. They said it continues to spread aggressively in Peru, Chile and Brazil.

On Tuesday, coronavirus infections and deaths in Brazil shot up -- more than 32,000 new cases and 1,200 deaths in the last 24 hours.

Meanwhile, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro lashed out at the WHO in a tweet after one of its officials suggested the spread of COVID-19 by asymptomatic people was rare. "Millions were locked up at home, lost their jobs," he tweeted. He also threatened to cut funds to the WHO just like President Trump did.

Shasta Darlington, CNN-- Sao Paulo.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CURNOW: So as much of the world continue to grapple with the coronavirus, the original epicenter China is apparently taking advantage of the global distraction.

David Culver now explains.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Touting what it is calling a success in containing the novel coronavirus outbreak, China is now shifting its focus to military preparedness, making what some U.S. military experts perceived to be power moves on multiple fronts.

JOHN KIRBY, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: The American military in the Pacific is approaching this as a very significant, growing security threat to our interest in the region. And with good reason.

CULVER: A Chinese military expert is even warning that a direct conflict is possible between China and the U.S.

WU SHICUN, CHINESE MILITARY ANALYST: The two sides, if not managed well, there could be accidental fire. Such confrontation might lead to spiraling tension or lead to the age of a full-fledged confrontation.

CULVER: China is flexing its military muscle, trialing its new aircraft carrier at sea a few weeks ago and last year, parading some of its latest missile technology through Beijing.

President Xi Jinping addressed China's National Peoples Congress last month. Saying China should comprehensively strengthen the training of troops and combat preparedness.

In recent weeks, Chinese troops were sent to China's border with India. The two countries disputing territorial claims. Government controlled media releasing these images of China's military in action. And last year, Chinese paramilitary troops mobilizing to the border with Hong Kong, a not-so-veiled threat against the city months after pro-democracy protests, which led to Beijing imposing new national security laws for the semi-autonomous territory.

But among the areas most concerning for the U.S. and its allies, the South China Sea. China claims these waters as sovereign territory within a designated boundary which an international tribunal has dismissed as without legal basis.

Nevertheless China has built up its naval presence here. It's constructed islands where recent satellite images appear to show more permanent military bases. Some Southeast Asian nations have alleged China has even harassed foreign vessels carrying out oil exploration and fishing.

What has happened out there in recent months is most alarming to the U.S., its allies and other Asian countries. They see it as China using this moment, when other countries are distracted with their own coronavirus outbreaks to become increasingly aggressive.

To counter the Chinese claims, the U.S. Navy has conducted multiple freedom of navigation exercises in the sea in recent months as well as sailing through the Taiwan strait. Wu Shicun says those exercises show it is the U.S. provoking China.

SHICUN: The United States is a troublemaker to the South China Sea.

[01:44:57]

CULVER: Wu suggests that while China has no desire for conflict, the Chinese will protect its sovereignty at all costs.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you very much.

CULVER: Especially as President Donald Trump tries to win reelection.

WU: The Trump administration would use the South China Sea issue to convince U.S. people, the United States has a hardline stance towards China.

TRUMP: China has also unlawfully claimed territory in the Pacific Ocean, threatening freedom of navigation and international trade.

CULVER: Experts are now calling for a channel for negotiations to ease the tensions between the two sides but that seems increasingly unlikely.

KIRBY: The U.S.-China relationship is without question the most critical, the most important bilateral relationship that we have in the world. And right now it is broken.

CULVER: A complete severing could set the two world powers on a collision course at sea.

David Culver, CNN -- Hainan Island, China.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CURNOW: So the coronavirus is continuing to aggressively spread through Latin America. However, Cuba has seemingly managed to curb its outbreak. The country has reported no coronavirus deaths for 10 consecutive days now.

Well, Patrick Oppmann looks at how they've done it from Havana -- Patrick?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Cuban officials say that they will keep their borders shut, at least until August 1st and that is in spite of the fact that they say they are winning the battle against the coronavirus.

They need more time though to eradicate the virus and then announce a plan for reopening. So for about another month and a half both all regular air and sea travel on this island will remain closed, essentially cutting off everyone who's here from the outside world, as we have been now for more than two months.

Officials said that there has not been a death as of Tuesday in Cuba because of the coronavirus for 10 days. And that on Tuesday, they said that in the previous 24 hours, there had only been fives cases of the coronavirus.

So we are seeing the numbers drop here. Officials say that the nationwide plan of isolating everybody who is sick in hospitals, doing extensive contact tracing, requiring everyone who is in public to wear a mask, and can actually go to jail here if police find that you routinely do not wear a mask.

These measures, while very strict are working. Most businesses have been shut down here. The airports have been shut down. The island restricts anybody coming back in on a humanitarian flight. Cubans mainly coming in from abroad go through a two-week quarantine at an isolation facility.

They say that these measures, while very strict, are paying off in Cuba, unlike pretty much the rest of Latin America that continues to see numbers drop. All the same though, Cuban officials say they need more time to study how to reopen since originally, the coronavirus was brought in in March by tourists.

On Monday, as well, Cubans celebrated as doctors who have been fighting the coronavirus, part of these medical missions, Cuban medical missions abroad returned to the island. They got a hero's welcome but they as well are being sent to quarantine for two weeks.

Although these doctors and nurses are being celebrated across the island for what they did to help Italy combat the coronavirus, Cuba says that even towards national heroes, they cannot take any chances.

Patrick Oppmann, CNN -- Havana.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CURNOW: So for years now, the U.N. has called Yemen's humanitarian crisis the worst in the world, but now experts fear the situation could get even tougher as the country deals with the growing outbreak of coronavirus.

Sam Kiley now looks at the mounting struggles in Yemen.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SAM KILEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Delivery of the dead by pick up truck. No mourners, just medics in hazmat suits and other suspected coronavirus victims have a lonely burial. No one knows the real scale of the pandemic in Yemen. But here in Aden, authorities are recording a death rate three times higher than normal.

LISE GRANDE, U.N. HUMANITARIAN COORDINATOR IN YEMEN: The U.N. has been warning for months now that the virus is likely to spread faster, more widely and with deadlier consequences in Yemen than almost anywhere else. There's no question that there are hundreds, probably thousands, maybe even now tens of thousands of people who have been impacted by COVID.

KILEY: Cholera is endemic here. The U.N. feeds 12 million people, half the country. Five years of war has forced hundreds of thousands from their homes into camps -- hotbed for infection.

He said, "Cholera and the wars are one thing, and corona is something else. But with corona, no matter where you go, you find it."

[01:49:59] KILEY: Blasted by war, Yemen's health services were already near

collapse when the virus struck.

Dr. Sabeil (ph) told CNN, "Doctors are hiding from their places of work and staying at home in fear of the virus and the scarcity of occupational safety capabilities that has caused a huge crisis.

Anwar's (ph) brother-in-law died of what is suspected to have been COVID-19. He says the three hospitals turned them away.

"Who should we complain to? We are tired of this life. We live to survive. Every morning we wake up to hear of 10 or 15 people who have died," he said.

And now, the U.N. is warning that its operations in Yemen are facing massive cuts after a one billion dollar shortfall in international donations.

GRANDE: You know, a week before, the first COVID case was confirmed in Yemen. We ran out of money and had to stop allowances for 10,000 frontline health workers all across the country in the middle of COVID. It's devastating.

KILEY: For a nation already on life support, COVID-19 is a blow that could be fatal for a vast number of Yemenis.

Sam Kiley, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CURNOW: And as Sam mentioned there the U.N. was seeking $2.4 billion in donations for Yemen but only received half of that amount.

Here's what that will mean for the country. The head of the U.N.'s humanitarian operations in Yemen told CNN that in about three weeks general health services in half of the country's hospitals will close. Water and sanitation for about 8.5 million people including three million children will be shut off in eight to ten weeks. And nutrition support for 2.5 million malnourished children will start to close. Taken together, that would spell disaster for Yemen's coronavirus outbreak.

So you're watching CNN. We'll be back after a short break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CURNOW: So as protests over racial injustice grip the U.S., the Senate has confirmed the first African-American to be chief of a military service. General Charles Brown Jr. was named the next Air Force chief of staff in a unanimous vote on Tuesday. The historic vote comes just days after he described his own encounters with racism.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GENERAL CHARLES BROWN JR., NEW U.S. AIR FORCE CHIEF OF STAFF: I'm thinking about full I am with emotion, not just for George Floyd, but the many African-Americans that have suffered the same fate as George Floyd. And thinking about a history of racial issues and my own experiences that did not always sing of liberty and equality.

I'm thinking about my Air Force career, where I was often the only African-American in my squadron, or as a senior officer, the only African-American in the room.

I'm thinking about wearing the same flight suit with the same wings on my chest as my peers and then being questioned by another military member -- are you a pilot?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[01:55:00]

CURNOW: Well, young people across the U.S. have also been sharing their own experiences with racism. Here's how they describe what it feels like to grow up in America.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Growing up black in America is painful and oppressive. Everyday I feel as if things are just not changing. I constantly see people who look like me being murdered solely for the fact that they have melanin in their skin. And that is just crazy to me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I wish my black life mattered. I'm exhausted that I'm constantly fighting to prove my worth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm scared, because not only do I have to worry about a global pandemic, I have to worry whether I'll be able to return home from a job. You know, at first it was gangs and that kind of die down. But now the biggest gang is the police.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Eric Garner, Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd -- I have this constant fear that one day, my name will be added to that list.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Growing up black in America is to be exhausted, outraged and constantly defending my identity and my purpose.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It means having to explain uncomfortable, constant experiences of myself to white people in my predominantly white school.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm grateful to live through this history because I know that things can only go up from here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I realize that my hair and my skin complexion make me who I am is what makes me beautiful. I refuse to let anybody define who I am. Being black in America means to empower yourself regardless of how much is being done action (ph). You always have to be brave because you have to know you have the community standing behind you. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Growing up black in America is being aware that

even in our times of bewilderment and adversity, that we dig deep down and find our strength and resiliency for those things are rooted in the pain, the cries and the prayers of our ancestors. We are their wildest dreams.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CURNOW: You're watching CNN. I'm Robyn Curnow. Thank you for joining me.

CNN continues with John Vause. Stay with us.

[01:57:30]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

END