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Lawmakers and White House Move Toward Police Reform; Trump Opposes Removing Confederate Names From Military Bases; Black-Owned Businesses Hope New Support Will Improve Their Lives. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired June 11, 2020 - 05:30   ET




KAYLEIGH MCENANY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: And we do believe that we will have proactive policy prescriptions, whether that means legislation or an executive order.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Some aides are looking at unveiling reform measures the president favors during today's visit to Dallas for a roundtable with faith leaders, small business owners, and law enforcement.

Putting a human face on the urgency here, George Floyd's brother gave gripping testimony and implored lawmakers to act.


PHILONISE FLOYD, BROTHER OF GEORGE FLOYD: Honor George and make the necessary changes that make law enforcement the solution and not the problem. Hold them accountable when they do something wrong. Teach them that deadly force should be used rarely and only when life is at risk.

George wasn't hurting anyone that day. He didn't deserve to die over $20.00. I am asking you, is that what a -- is that what a black man's worth -- $20.00? This is 2020.

He said he couldn't breathe. Nobody cared -- nobody. People pleaded for him. They still didn't care.

Justice has to be served. His life mattered. All our lives matter. Black lives matter.


LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: On Capitol Hill, Sen. Tim Scott is leading the Republican reform effort. He says the plan is on track for release as early as tomorrow. The biggest difference between the Democratic and Republican proposals

is who actually makes the rules. Democrats want national policies and more; Republicans want to create incentives for the states to take action.

ROMANS: Growing calls this morning to remove monuments glorifying the Confederacy. Overnight, a statue of Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy, was torn down in Richmond, Virginia. But, President Trump not on board with removing tributes to America's painful racist past.

Kaitlan Collins is at the White House.


KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Laura and Christine, when the president tweeted this, this is the second time in just over a week now that he has broken with his Pentagon chief.

It's about renaming those military bases that are named after Confederate leaders who fought to uphold slavery. The president says he is not going to consider renaming them after you saw a Pentagon official say earlier this week that actually, the Army secretary and the Defense Sec. Mark Esper were open to having a bipartisan discussion about renaming them and what they could do moving forward as you are seeing this broader reckoning happening across the nation in the wake of George Floyd's death.

The president says he's not on board with that. His press secretary invoked a defense that he used in 2017 when he pushed back on taking down any Confederate statues. They said essentially, the question is when does it end? That is what their defense is.

And the question is, you know, is that a position that the president can maintain because he's pushed back on stuff like this before. But we are seeing a moment where public opinion does seem to be changing in the wake of Floyd's death.

And we should note all of this comes as you are still seeing coronavirus happening here in the United States. Yet, the president has announced that he is holding his first rally since he suspended them initially because of the pandemic, next Friday in Tulsa, Oklahoma, though details about what kind of measures are going to be put in place as far as social distancing still have not been offered by the White House or by the campaign.


JARRETT: Kaitlan Collins from the White House. Thanks so much for that.

Well, the president won't take action on Confederate symbols but NASCAR will. Fans of the racing circuit are largely conservative Trump supporters, but Confederate flags are now banned at all events. NASCAR says the flags run contrary to its commitment to provide a welcoming and inclusive environment. The decision comes two days after the only full-time African-American driver, Bubba Wallace, called for the ban.


BUBBA WALLACE, NASCAR DRIVER: Bravo -- props to NASCAR and everybody involved, you know.


JARRETT: Last night, Bubba drove in a Black Lives Matter-themed car and finished 11th at the Martinsville Speedway in Virginia.

ROMANS: Joe Biden sharing a blunt warning about President Trump and how far he might go to limit access to the November ballot a day after major polling place issues in Georgia and after months of the president's attacks on mail-in ballots.

Now, at Comedy Central, of all places, Biden said this.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESUMPTIVE DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE: My single greatest concern, this president is going to try to steal this election. This is a guy who said that all mail-in ballots are fraudulent -- voting by mail -- while he sits behind a desk in the Oval Office and writes his mail-in ballot to vote in a primary.


ROMANS: And Biden was asked if there's a chance Trump would refuse to leave office. He pointed to several former military leaders who've spoken out against Trump and said he's convinced current leaders quote "will escort him from the White House with great dispatch."


JARRETT: Well, still ahead, a major shift for Starbucks, doing away with hundreds of its cafes. Is to-go ordering the new normal?


ROMANS: All right.

Americans are paying a higher grocery bill as meat continues to get more expensive. Beef prices rose nearly 11 percent, the largest monthly increase ever. Fresh whole chicken, up two percent. Vegetable prices also rose. Ice cream, up 2 1/2 percent.

Meat prices have been climbing as processing plants either shut down or slowed operations to protect their workers, while demand rose with more people cooking at home.


There were some bright spots for shoppers, though, especially when it comes to breakfast. Egg prices fell 4.8 percent after a big spike in April. Bread, coffee, and citrus fruit prices also fell.

JARRETT: Well, it's tough enough to start and sustain a small business in America, but it's even harder if you are a person of color. Black entrepreneurs say systemic racism, bias, and the lack of access to funding could hold them back.

CNN's Clare Sebastian asked black business owners if the current movement for racial justice will actually change things for them.


CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In 2016, an eCommerce start-up set out to fill a gap in the market, delivering hard-to-find African and Caribbean groceries to immigrant communities -- a need close to the hearts of the two Nigerian-American founders.

BOYEDE SOBITAN, CO-FOUNDER AND CEO, OJA EXPRESS: I think the most piercing feedback we got was an investor we spoke with that took a meeting with us asked us if immigrants even have money. And that was like -- when that happened -- from my -- from our purposes, the meeting was over. They didn't believe in the market.

SEBASTIAN (voice-over): It would be another four years and around $200,000 of their own money before Boyede Sobitan and Fola Dada were accepted into several accelerated programs and gained some seed funding. They're now planning to expand beyond their hometown of Chicago.

Between 2013 and 2017, only one percent of venture-backed founders in the U.S. were black, according to a study by

It's a struggle Diana Vertus knows all too well. She started her boutique events business in 2010 with just $2,500.

DIANA VERTUS, FOUNDER, CURATION AGENCY: I was extremely discouraged by one investor. I was told that I should have a Caucasian person be the base of the company and I should be the background, and that was like a way for me to get more funding. From that point on, I did not move forward with asking for funding.

SEBASTIAN (voice-over): Before Covid-19 hit she had hired a small team and was making six figures in annual revenue.

In the wake of the nationwide protests that followed the killing of George Floyd, there's been a wave of support for black entrepreneurs. SoftBank has launched a new $100 million opportunity fund intended only for people of color. And, Jason Horowitz announcing a $2.2 million fund for underserved founders.

MELISSA BRADLEY, MANAGING PARTNER, 1863 VENTURES: I am deeply concerned about the amount of money that is pouring into our community that is probably going to be controlled by the people who write the check who don't understand our reality, who don't experience the racism and challenges we have, and the desired outcomes will be unrealistic. SEBASTIAN (voice-over): Melissa Bradley, who served in the Clinton and Obama administrations, has spent several decades funding and mentoring black and minority businesses. She says this is about much more than just investor prejudice.

According to 2014 data from the Federal Reserve, 47 percent of black- owned businesses who applied for credit were fully funded, compared to 75 percent of white-owned.

BRADLEY: The inputs for those credit scores require a set of assets that oftentimes are declined to black Americans. And so, you obviously get different ratings if you rent versus you own. You obviously get different ratings if you have student loan debt versus no student loan debt.

And those are inputs that are to no fault of our own but literally because of lack of access, lack of scholarships, bias in applications. But yet, we are penalized for the rest of our lives.

SEBASTIAN (on camera): Do you think this might a moment where things change?

VERTUS: I'm optimistic that things will change, but I don't want it to be a one-time marketing campaign with these companies.

SOBITAN: We're not looking for a handout, we're not looking for charity. We're looking for the same type of access you would give a white founder who went to Harvard.

SEBASTIAN (voice-over): Clare Sebastian, CNN, New York.


JARRETT: All right, Clare. Thank you so much for that story.

We'll be right back.



JARRETT: Welcome back.

Overnight, the U.S. crossed another painful milestone -- two million confirmed coronavirus cases. Almost 113,000 people have now died and a top Harvard doctor projects that number could almost double by September.

Overnight, a new model often referenced by the White House, projects a significant second wave starting as early as September -- much earlier than previously expected.

And since Memorial Day, Covid-19 hospitalizations are up in at least a dozen states. Hospitalizations are actually a more reliable indicator of coronavirus spread than confirmed cases. ROMANS: On Tuesday, hospitalizations in Texas hit a new high more

than a month after the state's stay-at-home order ended. Sharp increases in hospitalizations are also being seen in Arkansas, South Carolina, Utah, and in Arizona, where hospitals are being told to activate their emergency plans.

And the Iowa State Fair has been canceled for the first time since World War II.

JARRETT: It gives you an indication of just how serious this is.

Well, the E.U. has some questions for China about coronavirus, and did quick action prevent a surge of cases in Africa? CNN has reporters covering all the pandemic stories around the world.



Latin America and the Caribbean have passed a grim new milestone in this outbreak with the region reporting more than 70,000 deaths combined for the first time since this outbreak began.

We continue to see large numbers of newly-confirmed cases and deaths in the hardest-hit countries like Brazil, Mexico, Chile, and Peru.

But perhaps just as concerning is that the WHO says it is seeing spikes in new cases in countries like Costa Rica and Panama -- places that have been lauded for their Covid-19 responses. Perhaps that is the reason why the director of the Pan American Health Organization now says quote, "The Covid-19 pandemic has pushed our region to the limit."



The European Union has accused Beijing of spreading disinformation about Covid-19. It is the first time that it turns to Beijing. China has responded in the shape of its mission to the E.U., denying the accusation and saying that far from being an initiator of fake news, it is a victim of it.

The European Union also calling on Facebook and Twitter social media platforms to produce a monthly report about what they are doing to combat disinformation about Covid-19.

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Scott McLean in London, where a leading epidemiologist says that the U.K.'s coronavirus death toll, which now stands are more than 50,000, could have been cut in half if the country had of gone into lockdown just one week sooner. The U.K. implemented a nationwide stay-at-home order in March, more than a week after similar measures were taken in Spain and more than two weeks after they were taken in Italy. The British prime minister was asked whether he regrets not going into lockdown sooner. He said it's too soon to pass judgment but that decisions were made based on the scientific advice at the time.


By now, public health officials had warned that Africa would be facing a catastrophic Covid-19 pandemic, but it hasn't happened. New science from a group of African scientists suggests why. Their modeling says because of the relative youth of the continent, other factors, and also the lack of comorbidities like hypertension, diabetes, and obesity could mean that Africa might be spared the worst of this outbreak.

They suggest there will be a smoldering outbreak over a longer period of time with fewer deaths. But they do warn that there could be hotspots -- one is developing right here in South Africa -- and that we are still in a very early stage of the pandemic on the continent.


JARRETT: Thanks to all of our reporters for those updates.

Personal care products marketed to black shoppers will no longer be locked up in glass cases at Walmart. The company had said the policy was to deter shoplifters but it actually resulted in years of criticism and a discrimination lawsuit against the retail giant. Walmart says about a dozen of its 4,700 stores in the U.S. still place multicultural hair and beauty products under lock and key but that will end immediately.

ROMANS: All right, 52 minutes past the hour.

Let's get a check on CNN Business this morning. A look at markets around the world right now, you can see everything leaning lower here.

On Wall Street, futures also, this morning, leaning down -- almost two percent for the Dow futures. Now, the Nasdaq finished above 10,000 for the first time ever Wednesday, logging its third-straight record high. The Dow, though, fell 282 points.

Stocks briefly rallied after the Fed's decision to keep interest rates near zero for longer but dropped after the Fed chief Jerome Powell noted the economy is still unstable and millions of people will be out of work for some time.

Starbucks is shifting away from its classic cafe model as it responds to the way customers shopped during the pandemic. Starbucks says it plans to close up to 400 stores in the U.S. and Canada and add 300 new stores that specialize in carry-out and pick-up. The chain says the new stores will better serve on-the-go customers while limiting crowd sizes in its cafes.

Grubhub is merging with Europe's Just Eat Takeaway and turning its back on Uber. The merger values Grubhub at $7.3 billion and creates a food delivery giant as demand for delivery business surges.

Uber and Grubhub had been in talks to merge for weeks but "The Wall Street Journal" reports Uber likely pulled out over antitrust issues.

The merger expected to close early next year.

Sephora has become the first major U.S. retailer to take the 15 Percent Pledge, announcing it will dedicate 15 percent of its shelf space to black-owned brands. The pledge calls on retailers to better reflect the black population of the U.S.

One major issue facing black business owners is a lack of representation and a lack of access to capital. Sephora's executive vice president said making the pledge is the right thing to do. Right now, Sephora offers just nine black-owned brands among the more than 290 it sells.

There's a lot of pressure here -- a lot of pressure for change and it's interesting to see corporate America stepping in.

JARRETT: Yes. It will be interesting to see whether other companies follow suit. You know, the group had called on stores like Whole Foods --

ROMANS: Right.

JARRETT: -- and Target to also sign that pledge.

ROMANS: All right, thanks for joining us this morning -- this Thursday morning. I'm Christine Romans.

JARRETT: I'm Laura Jarrett. "NEW DAY" is next.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Black lives do matter and the president has to expand the voices he listens to.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR AND CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: President Trump is finally going to have a discussion about race.

COLLINS: President Trump's aides are preparing to present him with legislative options, but questions remain about what he'll support.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Let us try to be bipartisan as we deal with this. The American people deserve that.

REP. MATT GAETZ (R-FL): You will be able to count on Republican cooperation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president rejecting a proposal by his Defense secretary about renaming military bases named after Confederate commanders.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It puts him at odds with his own advisers -- with members of his own cabinet.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It is Thursday, June 11th, 6:00 here in New York.

This morning, many new signs that America is at an inflection point with race and racism.

Overnight, a statue of Confederacy president Jefferson Davis was torn down by protesters in Richmond, Virginia -- and that's just the latest monument to come down in cities across the south.

NASCAR, with a fan base that's largely loyal to President Trump, banned Confederate symbols from all of its races and venues. The sport's only black competitor circling the track.