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Coronavirus Cases Now Top 2 Million In The United States; Top General: Taking Part In Trump Photo Op Was A "Mistake"; President Donald Trump Texas Visit Amid Growing Calls For Police Reform; Data Shows Texas Seeing Increase In Daily New Cases; New Model Projects 170,000 Deaths By October. Aired 12-12:30p ET

Aired June 11, 2020 - 12:00   ET




KATE BOLDUAN, CNN HOST: Top of the hour with Kate Bolduan. Thank you for sticking with us everybody. This hour President Trump is heading out to the White House on his way to Dallas, Texas leaving a trail of controversy in his way quite frankly.

First the nation's top General apologizing this morning saying it was a mistake when he accompanied the President on his walk across the street from the White House last week for a photo-op in the mist of protests. General Mark Milley admitting that his presence gave the perception of the military getting involved in domestic politics.

Also, the President's facing backlash for his decision to get back out on the campaign trail with a first event in Tulsa, Oklahoma, next week. And that is not all he is facing. There is the Coronavirus pandemic, yes, still a pandemic and still a real problem, and the calls for real and concrete police reform.

On the virus, the President pushed aggressively we'll remember for states to reopen even publicly berating the states he accused of dragging their feet. But now signs that this push is coming with a high cost. Take Texas, where the President's headed today.

You can see it in the numbers a clear increase in infections in the state. And more troubling is the spike in hospitalizations in a handful of states. But the White House Task Force has been nowhere to be seen leading one top public health expert to this conclusion today.


DR. ASHISH JHA, DIRECTOR, HARVARD GLOBAL HEALTH INSTITUTE: It's clear to me from everything I can tell that the White House is more or less kind of throwing in the towel on this pandemic.


BOLDUAN: As mentioned the President is headed to Texas, he is holding discussions with church leaders and members of law enforcement expected to talk about the other challenge facing the country right now, demands for major changes in policing and public safety after the death of George Floyd.

CNN's Barbara Starr at the Pentagon joins me now also Kaitlan Collins is at the White House. Barbara, let me start with you and let's start with General Milley's apology. It was quite something coming from the current Chairman at the Joint Chiefs.

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: It was indeed Kate, because as Chairman he really is the guardian of keeping the uniformed military out of politics, partisan politics in this country.

And what he is saying is when you look at that photo, when he looks at it, he knows there is a perception that his walk into Lafayette Park next to the President of the United States created a perception he now believes was a mistake that he should not have even been there. Have a listen to what General Milley said earlier today in a recorded speech.


GEN. MARK MILLEY, JOINT CHIEFS CHAIRMAN: Many of you saw the result of the photograph of me at Lafayette Square last week. That sparked a national debate, but the role of military in civil society. I should not have been there.

My presence in that moment and in that environment created a perception of the military involved in domestic politics. As a commissioned uniformed officer, it was a mistake that I have learned from. And I sincerely hope--


STARR: And he goes on to say he hopes that everyone can learn from it. Look, this whole period of civil unrest, the Joint Chiefs of Staff from Pentagon Defense Secretary Mark Esper are well aware that there was a public perception if you will that this was a militarized operation.

It was National Guard activated by the states, activated here in Washington, D.C. but law enforcement looking like military forces in some cases, a perception by so many Americans that this was a militarized operation.

And Milley and Esper have been very adamant that they sought to try to convince President Trump. There was no need to take the next step and activate active duty military forces that the National Guard that law enforcement could handle the situation which they eventually did, of course that active duty military forces did not need to be on the streets of the country, Kate?

BOLDUAN: Barbara, thank you. So, Kaitlan, facing all of this, the President is also talking about this controversial rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. What are you hearing at the White House?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, this is his first rally that he had since they suspended them because of the pandemic. It's going to be next Friday in Tulsa, which raise some eyebrows because of course Oklahoma is a deeply red state, it's not like - it's a state that the President is fighting to win in the November election. But this is the first one for his campaign and there are two aspects of this.

One is, of course, the safety part when it comes to the Coronavirus pandemic because the President has made clear he does not want to attend some rally where there are people seated apart from each other. He went so far as to pull his convention, something that you don't really ever see a Presidential Candidate doing from North Carolina because it wasn't going to look the way that he wanted to.

So we are still expecting this rally to look like the ones that you saw before this outbreak happened in the United States, and even in the early months of it. So that's really going to be a question whether or not the President is following the guidelines that his own government has said about that.

But also the other aspect of this is that the nation is still reeling from the death of George Floyd, the President, of course, has made comments saying he doesn't want to rename military bases that are named after confederate leaders. He still maintained. He thinks that NFL players should not kneel as a form of protest of police brutality during the National Anthem.


COLLINS: And now he is going to be in Tulsa on the Anniversary of Juneteeth. Of course the anniversary the commemoration of the end of slavery, but also you have to realize that Tulsa was the place that one of the worst marks of violence of white mobs attacking blacks citizens and their businesses in 1921 almost a 100 years ago and so all of those aspects are going to be at the forefront when the President does go to Tulsa in just a little over a week from now.

BOLDUAN: Yes. Kaitlan thank you. Joining me right now for some more perspective on this is Former Republican Governor of Ohio, Former Presidential Candidate CNN's Senior Political Analyst John Kasich, Governor. It's great to see. It's been a while. I really appreciate you're coming in.

JOHN KASICH, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I love to be with you, Kate, thanks.

BOLDUAN: Thank you, thank you. What is your reaction to hearing this apology from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs? I find it striking.

KASICH: Yes, it's pretty remarkable. But he never should been there. And I'm glad he's come out with saying something. And then you take General Mattis who said the quote here is, what Trump has done instead he tries to divide us. And then you had Kelly the Former Chief of Staff supporting it. Mattis was the Secretary of Defense.

Kate, I was on the Defense Committee for 18 years. I've never seen this kind of unity when it comes to our high-ranking military officers taking an opposition to the President of the United States. And I guess Milley didn't do that, but to say that he got caught in confusing politics with his duties. Hello. I mean, this is just been crazy. And now you know the President

going to Dallas, his polls are sinking. Look, Kate, I didn't support this guy the last time, and I'm not going to support him again. He is the divider in chief.

I mean the insults that he's given to Mayors and to Governors, the idea that he tried to say that a 75-year-old pacifist basically could have been attached to ANTIFA. This ridiculous march from the White House outside of the Church and holding up a bible I mean, it's just unbelievable.

And, Kate, we need somebody who's a unifier, somebody who soothes, not somebody who stokes the fires to kind of send a signal to his base, so he can be reelected. This is shameful. And I'm sick over it. It's just outrages what's happening.

BOLDUAN: I appreciate always your candor and passion. And I do wonder then as you say this the President is heading to Dallas. He's meeting with law enforcement and faith leaders. There's all this talk of if the President should or will be giving a speech and honestly who would be writing it for him? Do you with all of that in mind and everything that you just said, do you want to hear from Donald Trump on race and unity in America right now?

KASICH: I think it would be empty. But the President has a right to go ahead and make a talk. But as one gentleman once told me, don't tell me, show me. And this all started all the way back in Charlottesville, there were good people on both sides. No, there were not.

And I think he is missing a compassion gene. One of the things you have to do, Kate, you don't have to do but one of the things that should come natural to you is your ability to mourn with people.

You think about what Reagan, his speech after the "Challenger" accident, you think about how moving it was. And George Bush standing on the rubble at 9/11, you know, being right there at the heart of it all.

You think about Bill Clinton, what happened after Oklahoma City. Or you think about Robert Kennedy on the top of a car with a bullhorn, the night of Martin Luther King's assassination, that's what we are missing today.

It's too much dividing and speaking to the base and it's - I don't know what he's going to say. What is he going to say? Question is what is he going to do? And we do need standards.

BOLDUAN: I actually--

KASICH: We have them in Ohio.

BOLDUAN: I absolutely hear you. I'm going to challenge you on one bit. I think a lot of people would take a leader with no compassion if they just got it right. I mean, by that, I only mean that get it right on Charlottesville. You don't need compassion to get that right. You need a brain. Get it right on wearing masks and being a leader in terms of showing

people what you need to do to save lives and be there for your brother and your neighbor in the middle of a pandemic when they're completely denying that masks are even important at all.

Just look at that picture that was put out and then deleted by Mike Pence at campaign headquarters I think a lot of people would even say you know what? I'll take something for short of compassion, if we just got it right and don't think when we started on the conspiracy theories, I mean then you have that.


KASICH: Yes. You're right about that. And I would also say, look. If he wants to apologize and say, you know, my attacking the 75-year-old man and these innuendos, and that I was wrong and in terms of telling these Mayors that you're incompetent. And I'll have to put my military in there, which I really think he has the power to do.

If he had - I should never have gone to that Church and I'm willing to listen. What do we're going to hear? It's like Charlie Brown and the football. I thought they were going to do something on gun control. They had all this rhetoric and nothing ever happened.

Look, the difference here, Kate is, we are beginning to see a very unified America, beginning to say from bottom up, we are going to have change and the racism. And we want to eliminate the fear that a mother of a black child when he leaves to go to the store that he can come home safely. It's taken too long. And now is the opportunity. And I'm not just so sure he gets it.

BOLDUAN: And I'm going to promote your book on this, because you wrote a book about bringing about change. And how real change and enduring change happens? And it is all about how it has to come from the ground up? And that is exactly what we are seeing right now.

But I wonder, and yes, not every Republican is the same. Look no further than how you see Republicans on Capitol Hill kind of twisting themselves up in knots to be with the President, but not on some occasions?

If Republicans can't come together on a plan with a President that I don't know what he is going to agree to or support, are you concerned what that means for the party? This is a real moment that people can't deny.

KASICH: No, you know, look. We hear about bipartisanship. We are all human beings. Why don't we forget about Republican and Democrat? Why don't we just say, we are human beings that are concerned about what the lord told us, love your neighbor as you want to be loved?

I had talked to Tim Scott this morning, Senator Scott. And he is terrific. And he is trying to put together some guidelines, some rules. I told him I would help him with that. We did it in Ohio. You cannot do this with one party. It has to be Republicans and Democrats, and it has to be street activists, and it has to be law enforcement. You get everybody together and they sit down and they draft these things. And then look like back to bottom up. You can have all the federal law dictates and everything else. But at the end, it's each police agency deciding that there are standards that police officers will understand, will be trained to and will be held accountable to. And this can be done. This absolutely can be done. We did it in our state and we can do it nationally.

BOLDUAN: Yes. Governor, thanks for coming on. It's nice to see you again.

KASICH: Kate, good to see you again and we'll have better times. I know we will have better times. God bless.

BOLDUAN: We will. And what better is at this point is quite relative. I feel like the bar has been lowered significantly. Governor, thank you.

KASICH: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Coming up for us, a dire new warning about a possible second wave of Coronavirus this fall as more than a dozen states are seeing new cases and new hospitalizations jump up.

Plus the Minneapolis Police Chief says that they're hiring a company to build an early warning system that can help weed out bad officers, officers who pose a potential danger to the public. We'll talk to the CEO of that company about how exactly this works and what exactly this means for Minneapolis.



BOLDUAN: There are now more than 2 million confirmed Coronavirus cases in the United States, 20 states are trending in the wrong direction right now. CNN's Ed Lavandera, he is in Dallas, Texas. Natasha Chen is in Greenville, South Carolina.

Let's check in with Ed. Ed, many point to the fact that states are opening up. And that there's a lot more testing that's going on in the states that are showing that's why there are more cases, why one might see an uptick in cases? Is that the case in Texas, are you seeing evidence that there's something more going on?

ED LAVANDERA, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right now if you kind of dig into the numbers that we're seeing, and this is based on an average of what has been reported here in Texas over the course of the last week, we have seen an uptick in the number of new cases being reported. We are up over on average about more than 1,700 new cases per day. We haven't seen numbers that high since this pandemic started.

The number of new tests and tests being done is slightly below that. So even though the tests are going up, the numbers of tests being done daily are going up. The number of new case has been reported is at a higher rate than the new cases are being - the new testing being done. And then if you look more closely and this is what state officials here have been pinpointing to and looking toward for the last several months is really monitoring the hospitalization situation. And that is of concern because now we're reporting more than 2,100 hospitalizations in the last 24 hours. We haven't seen those numbers since the pandemic started.

But one silver lining there is that in terms of hospital bed, hospital bed space, ICU bed space, ventilators, Texas still seems to be in good shape when it comes to all of that. We are in phase three of the reopening of the economy here in Texas and Texas was on the leading edge of reopening things here.

It was late April, early May when they're pushed to reopen the economy here started. And the governor of Texas told a local TV station in Lubbock, Texas just in the last day that their plans to continue and fully reopen the economy by July fourth. So we'll see how that plays out here in the weeks ahead, Kate.

BOLDUAN: You're kidding. So Natasha, what's the situation in South Carolina?


NATASHA CHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. So we are also seeing an upward trend in the number of daily new cases that you look at the last 14 days. We're also seeing unfortunately an upward trend in hospitalizations. Even the percentage of positive tests has been higher in the last few days compared to the month before.

So this is all going kind of in the wrong direction. Where I'm standing here in Greenville County is actually a hot spot according to the state epidemiologist. She says that several cases here have stemmed from some households with families spreading the virus among each other. Here's what she said about the recent uptick in numbers.


DR, LINDA BELL, EPIDEMIOLOGIST: I have to say that today I am more concerned about COVID-19 in South Carolina than I have ever been before. For the past two weeks, we've seen some of our highest daily numbers since the pandemic began. We need everyone's help in re- emphasizing how critical it is for every one of us every day to wear a mask in public and to stay physically distanced.


CHEN: And that's why I'm wearing a mask here out on the public street. But I would tell you there are a lot of other people who are doing the same, a lot of people we're seeing are walking around with no mask on, and that is similar to what I observed a couple of weeks ago in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, that over Memorial Day weekend.

And remember South Carolina was the first among all the states who shut down businesses to announce reopenings, Kate. BOLDUAN: Ed, Natasha, thanks guys. Joining me right now is Andy

Slavitt. He is a Former Acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Andy, it's great to have you on. So these numbers, we're seeing them in more than a dozen states that the numbers are really seeing a spike right there.

I want to kind of get your take on where you think we are with fighting this virus, because that official in South Carolina that we just heard from, it's really striking to me that she says she's more concerned about the Coronavirus now than ever. And we are three months in and a lot of people are acting like this thing is over.

ANDREW SLAVITT, FORMER ACTING ADMINISTRATOR OF THE CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES: That's a great point. And I've been on the phone with a number of different state officials today. And the thing to remind the public about is that, this is a base level, this is how viruses behave? This is how they behave, this is some level nobody's fault.

And we start I think our dialogue by saying, it's the protesters' fault or its Memorial Day fault or it's a Governor's fault or the President's fault. And yes, it's true how we react and how we respond as political leaders and as people in the community, we do control that. And there's accountability there.

But at some level, I think this denial begins by people feeling like this news is news we can sweep under the rug. And point of fact only a very small portion of the country's been infected even though we did a great job of staying home during the month of April, nothing magically happened to the virus to make it less infectious in the meantime.

So even if our Governors are telling us that the bars are open or churches are open, that doesn't mean that they're safe. And so, we need both political leaders and people in the community to understand that they have to protect their own safety from a virus that's still a risk to them.

BOLDUAN: I want to ask you about there's a new study out of the U.K. showing the very important and positive impact that wearing face masks has had and could have. And the study said that widespread use of face masks could actually prevent a second wave. I know it's a study that you were looking at closely and you've highlighted. Can you give me a take on why this study is so important?

SLAVITT: Yes. I'm glad you asked about it. It's consistent with several other studies which essentially show that if you get the majority of people wearing masks, the virus really has no place to go. I remember my mask protect you, yours protects me for both wearing masks.

The virus can travel, when the virus starts to spread at less than 1.0 and it starts to get even lower, it dies very quickly. And for proof of that, look at the Czech Republic. The Czech Republic wore masks for a very short period of time.

And now they have basically eradicated the virus at least for now, and they're able to go back to the work, go back to their jobs without masks. I have been a proponent of saying if President Trump did one thing, if he wore a mask and encouraged supporters to wear a mask for three weeks straight, he would be - we would be sitting here four weeks, about five, about six weeks from now with much of the virus behind us.

And so, that's the kind of leadership that I know he doesn't want to put forward for a variety of reasons, but if he did it would be one of the simplest things that could save a lot of lives and get the economy back.

BOLDUAN: So many thoughts. One being I've never really understood what the distaste or fear or dislike of wearing a mask is? It is really easy to do. It really doesn't do anything, it doesn't change anything.


BOLDUAN: It is strange to me that people have such a problem with mask wearing certain people. A segment of the population I guess, I could say. But on that point one thing we are definitely not seeing is, we haven't seen updated from the White House Task Force in weeks.

There is only no more information coming from the Task Force leading the way. I mean, Ashish Jha this morning, he thinks that White House has kind of washed our hands over this or thrown the towel in.

But you do see this picture that Mike Pence put out and then deleted of him visiting a campaign office and very obviously zero masks and zero social distancing happening there in that office. From a public health standpoint, Andy, what is the impact of - if you don't have leadership from the White House, when you're facing down a crisis like this?

SLAVITT: Well, to my knowledge, Dr. Birx has been asked not to speak to the press any longer. Remember, Dr. Birx was the person who put forward the gated reopening plan that the country's no longer following. The day after she put that plan out, President Trump tweeted liberate Minnesota, liberate Michigan.

So he clearly wasn't on board, clearly wants to pooh pooh the scientists, I do think there is one thing that will change that, there is only one thing that I believe will get Trump to take this seriously again. And that's the state losses in the stock market, because he does pay as we all know riveting attention to that.

As for your point on masks, if you have a face like mine, it's easy to wear mask that you don't feel like you lose I think maybe the President believes that everyone needs to see his face all the time and that's something important, special to look at and maybe that's the issue. But I think most of us can control our vanity enough to say that there's a lot of stake here.

BOLDUAN: I'd say so. Good to see you, Andy.

SLAVITT: Thank you. BOLDUAN: Thank you so much. Coming up next for us, one change promised by the Minneapolis Police Chief, an early warning system to alert the department of bad behavior by officers the role that this new technology could play in police reform that's next.