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CNN NEWSROOM

U.S. Cities Prepare for 18th Straight Day of Protests; President Trump Talks of Dominating the Streets; U.S. Joint Chief's Chairman Regrets Role in Photo Op; Trump Threatens to Move Military into Seattle; Health Experts Warning Pandemic Far From Over; Recent Spikes Reported in More than a Dozen U.S. States; U.S. Stocks Plunge Amid Fears of Second COVID-19 Wave; U.K. Airlines Launch Legal Challenge to Quarantine Rules. Aired 4:00-4:30a ET

Aired June 12, 2020 - 04:00   ET

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


[04:00:00]

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. I'm Michael Holmes and CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.

The message Black Lives Matter now heading into its 18th straight day of protests in the U.S. all in the name of justice for George Floyd.

A short time ago this scene of protesters and police squaring off in Portland, Oregon. Police declared it an unlawful assembly and had been threatening to use force if necessary. In Seattle, Washington, demonstrators have taken over several city blocks after police temporarily withdrew from a local precinct. The mayor said the area resembles a block party and poses no threat to public safety.

Earlier demonstrators in New York City briefly blocked access to the Holland tunnel, one of the main arteries between Manhattan and New Jersey.

And in Dallas Texas where President Trump spent much of Thursday, protesters chanting, no justice, no peace, as police officers looked on.

President Trump in Dallas Texas on Thursday speaking of, quote, dominating the streets with passion. He was there for a roundtable discussion with faith leaders and law enforcement representatives but three of the top figures in the area, all black, were not even invited. They include the city of Dallas's police chief, the Dallas County district attorney and Dallas County Sheriff, Marian Brown who spoke bluntly about the slight.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHERIFF MARIAN BROWN, DALLAS COUNTY, TEXAS: When you initiate a conversation and you purport that conversation to be about racism and policing in America and you failed to include the top three wall enforcement officials in an area where you are speaking. I think that that says a lot and that causes one to raise the brow.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOLMES: That all amid the nationwide protests after the killing of George Floyd, Mr. Trump lauded police describing the ones using excessive force as bad apples. And instead of addressing racism he focused on officers being targeted in the line of duty. He also warned against labeling, quote, tens of millions of decent Americans as racists or bigots and described using force to clear protesters as, quote, like a knife cutting butter.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They went in and it was like a knife cutting butter. Right through, boom. There was some teargas and probably some other things and the crowd dispersed and they went through. By the end of that evening -- and it was a short evening -- everything was fine. But if you're going to have to really do a job that somebody is really bad, you're going to have to do it with real strength, real power. I said we have to dominate the streets.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOLMES: A top military official in the U.S. is apologizing for his role in that infamous presidential photo op last week near the White House and he in fact, joins a growing list of officials at odds with Mr. Trump's handling of protesters. CNN's Jim Acosta with that.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is a no apology tour for President Trump who's still standing by his administration's response to the protest following the police killing of George Floyd.

TRUMP: have to have to have law and order.

ACOSTA: At church in Dallas the President took time to voice his concerns about officers who are targeted in the line of duty as much of the nation's focus has been on police brutality.

TRUMP: They get shot for no reason whatsoever other than their wearing blue. They get knifed. You saw that the other night. It was a horrible thing.

ACOSTA: Contrast that with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, who's expressing regret for his part in the President's tour of Lafayette Square where protesters were gassed and pummeled for Mr. Trump's photo op at St. John's Episcopal Church. Milley who was dressed in combat, fatigues that day, told graduates from National Defense University he crossed the line.

GEN. MARK MILLEY, U.S. JOINT CHIEFS CHAIRMAN: 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've learned from. And I sincerely hope we all can learn from it.

[04:05:00]

ACOSTA: Don't tell the President who's boasting it was a big success tweeting, our great National Guard troops who took care of the area around the White House could hardly believe how easy it was, a walk in the park, one said. The protesters, agitators, anarchists, Antifa and others were handled very easily. Milley doesn't sound like he's on the same page.

MILLEY: The freedoms guaranteed to us in the Constitution, allow people to demand change, just as the peaceful protesters are doing all across the country. That is why we serve in the military.

ACOSTA: But the President is warning of more harsh tactics for protesters in Seattle. Tweeting, radical left Governor Jay Inslee and the mayor of Seattle are being taunted and played. Take back your city now. If you don't do it, I will. This is not a game. He's ugly anarchists must be stooped immediately.

Inslee noted the President's typo of firing back -- a man who was totally incapable of governing should stay out of Washington State's business. Stoop tweeting.

And the mayor tweeted to Mr. Trump, go back to your bunker.

The President risks' further and flaming tensions with his plans to hold a rally next week in Oklahoma set for Tulsa, the scene of one of the worst massacres of African Americans in U.S. history. The date of the rally June 19, also known as Juneteenth. The day slaves in Texas were read the Emancipation Proclamation after the Civil War. The White House as Mr. Trump is well aware of that.

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The African American community is very near and dear to his heart. He's working on rectifying injustices, injustices that go back to the very beginning of this country's history. So it's a meaningful day to him.

ACOSTA: But the President is not budging on whether to rename U.S. military base. Honoring defeated Confederate generals even as some top Republicans sound open to the idea.

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): It could be appropriate to change some.

JOE BIDEN, DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He decided that he was going to pit us against one another based on race.

ACOSTA: Former Vice President Joe Biden, who's blasting the President's handling of race relations says he has an even bigger worry about Mr. Trump.

BIDEN: It's my greatest concern. My single greatest concern. This President is going to try to steal this election. This is the guy who said that all mail in ballots are fraudulent. Direct voting by mail while he sits behind the desk in Oval Office and writes his mail in ballot to vote in the primary. The President's upcoming trip to Tulsa is raising fears about spreading the coronavirus and administration health official said the president's rally will pose a risk for Trump supporters at the event. Trump supporters are being told they can enter the rally at their own risk.

Jim Acosta, CNN, White House.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOLMES: Now Jim mentioned there how President Trump is promising to take back the city of Seattle from protesters who have occupied some streets in front of a police precinct. The protesters call it an autonomous zone. And Mr. Trump says he'll use force if he has to.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We're not going to let this happen in Seattle. If we have to go in, we're going to go in. The governor isn't going to do it. Let the governor do it. He's got great National Guard troops. He can to it. But one way or the other it's going to get done. Those people are not going to occupy a major portion of a great city.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOLMES: Seattle's mayor who said the President should go back to his bunker, spoke to Chris Cuomo about why the President's aggressive approach is wrong.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JENNY DURKAN, SEATTLE WASHINGTON MAYOR: It shows a complete lack of understanding and why people are in the street. They're in the street fighting a system of domination. And he doesn't understand that.

And his response is always one that's bellicose and militaristic. But he doesn't honor the military in that way either as you've seen from the line of generals that have disputed him. So I think he says dominate because he totally does not understand what is happening in America and he is desperately trying to start the old fights and the old division that put him in power in the first place.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOLMES: Now the U.S. has only about 4 percent of the world's population but it has more than 25 percent of the world's coronavirus cases and deaths. The number of new cases in the U.S. has risen in 20 different states. In five of those states number spiked by 50 percent or more.

Still many state and local leaders continue reopening. Florida has just reported 1,000 new cases a day for the past week. And on Thursday saw its greatest number of new cases yet. And the same day, the governor unveiled a plan to reopen schools in autumn. As Erica Hill reports, it all has health experts very worried.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ERICA HILL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As Americans embrace summer, health experts are focused on disturbing new data trends.

DR. ASHISH JHA, DIRECTOR, HARVARD GLOBAL HEALTH INSTITUTE: Somehow as a country, we have decided that hundreds of thousands of Americans dying from this virus is OK, and that is unbelievable to me.

HILL: New modeling forecast nearly 170,000 COVID-19 related deaths in the U.S. by October 1st.

[04:10:00]

STEVE ADLER, AUSTIN, TEXAS MAYOR: We have a huge spike in hospitalizations in our city yesterday.

HILL: Texas, one of at least a dozen states seeing a spike in coronavirus -related hospitalizations.

KATE GALLEGO, PHOENIX, ARIZONA MAYOR: We opened too much too early and so our hospitals are really struggling.

HILL: Nearly 80 percent of Arizona's ICU beds are now in use.

DR. JAY VARKEY, INFECTIOUS DISEASES PHYSICIAN: Yes, I think that a critical shortage of ICU beds is absolutely the nightmare scenario. That was the whole reason we were emphasizing about flattening the curve.

HILL: In some of first states to reopen, the curve is not flattening. Florida is still posting more than 1,000 new cases a day. In South Carolina, daily counts have been rising over the past two weeks.

DR. LINDA BELL, SOUTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL: I am more concerned about COVID-19 in South Carolina than I have ever been before.

HILL: Much of the west and south also reporting an uptick. Nashville is now delaying its next phase of reopening in a response to a rise in new cases.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: If we handle them well, we could be OK. If not, then we really have a significant problem.

HILL: Iowa's iconic state fair has been postponed for the first time since World War II. No butter cows and no campaigning. The Coachella and stagecoach festivals in Southern California canceled for 2020. New research from the U.K. boosting the case for wearing a mask. Noting widespread use could help avoid a second wave.

ANDY SLAVITT, FORMER ACTING ADMINISTRATOR, CENTERS FOR MEDICARE AND MEDICAID SERVICES: And it's consistent with several other studies which essentially show that if you got the majority of people wearing masks, the virus really has no place to go. HILL: In Missouri, to hairstylists who worked with 140 clients while symptomatic, did not infect them. Everyone wore masks. Health officials now taking a closer look.

And in Chicago, a successful double lung transplant for a woman in her 20s whose who spent six weeks on a ventilator battling the virus.

DR. ANKIT BHARAT, CHIEF OF THORACIC SURGERY, NORTHWESTERN MEDICINE: Yesterday, she smiled and told me just one sentence. She said, doc, thank you for not giving up on me.

HILL: A bit of hope in uncertain times.

Erica Hill, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOLMES: Joining me is a Dr. Rob Davidson. He's an emergency room physician and the executive director of the Committee to Protect Medicare. Great to see you again, doctor. First of all, I wanted to ask what you make of about what seem to be some pretty alarming spikes of the virus in a number of states. What do you make of that?

DR. ROB DAVIDSON, EMERGENCY ROOM PHYSICIAN: Well, I think it's emblematic of the fact that we are still in the first wave of coronavirus in this country and we still have a President who has refused to accept responsibility to ensure that we have enough testing.

We're still testing less than half or less of the number of patients we need to test every day. So we can adequately test and trace and isolate individuals. To try to put out hotspots. And we're seeing now States that didn't previously have significant numbers are showing up with significant numbers as this country is reopening, you know, under the guise of a President who just hasn't taken ownership of this crisis.

HOLMES: Yes, and part of that is what we'll talk about now. Quite apart from the racial imagery of the Trump rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Quite apart from that, what do you think about a rally at all now and to your point you are just making, Tulsa's own seven-day infection curve is soaring right now.

DAVIDSON: Yes, I think these -- you know this President is very concerned about his standing in political polls. And I think he is tired of dealing with the coronavirus, tired of the fallout from his lack of meaningful response to the protests over racial injustice. And so I think he just wants to get back out on the road and stroke his own ego. And I think that the, you know, the consequences of that could be disastrous.

HOLMES: I was going to say, I mean, you seen these rallies on television. Would you want to be anywhere near one?

DAVIDSON: No. I mean simply I've been at several of the Black Lives Matter protests and everybody was wearing masks and we're outside. These are going to be indoor rallies. The President himself will not wear a mask. I doubt that wearing masks will be mandatory or even recommended at these rallies. I guess we'll have to see.

And I think it could just be a breeding ground. And again, Black Lives Matter protests are about racial inequity and a public health crisis in and of itself. These are simply political rallies to stoke the ego of a president who is worried about his chances in November.

HOLMES: Yes, political rather than medical in the narrative. I wanted to ask you about -- some of the modeling designers are suggesting that, you know, even giving these spikes, there are still at the moment an aspect of what they call I think seasonal protection in effect until perhaps August. But once that goes away the risk of exponential growth returns. You agree with that?

DAVIDSON: Yes, I think there's likely something to it. In the case of droplet spread of the virus, and we know when it's more humid those droplets end up being bigger and perhaps, they don't spread quite as far.

[04:15:02]

Perhaps three feet instead of 6 feet. The other aspect is that more people are outside rather than inside. And we know that the virus can potentially aerosolize and indoors could be a mode of transmission, whereby outdoors one would be relatively protected. But again, this President having these indoor rallies is highly concerning.

HOLMES: Are you seeing just generally a sense of complacency around the country? I mean there are a lot of people wearing masks and taking care. But you know, I know in my own life seeing and interacting with people who seem to have become numb to this whole -- you know, they feel the danger is perhaps overblown that it has somehow gone away. And there's still a thousand people a day dying. Are you seeing that sort of complacency?

DAVIDSON: Yes, when I go to a grocery store it sure seems like less than half the people are wearing masks. We see people gathering in parks. We see people gathering pretty much everywhere in this country. And I think a lot of that is because of all the hard work we did as Americans staying at home, socially distancing. We didn't see these massive spikes in places outside of New York, outside of Detroit and New Orleans. And so, I think people think it was perhaps over blown.

But what they don't recognize is that because of the staying at home, because of the social distancing, that is why we were able to flatten that curve and not see hospital systems overwhelmed in many places. But you know, we're seeing it now in Arizona and Florida and Texas. You said in Tulsa these numbers are starting to go up and I worry we're going to see more of these spikes coming online soon.

HOLMES: Yes, and just quickly, one thing I know that you're concerned about, too, and it certainly bothers me. There's been studies as well. Showing that people who are uninsured or underinsured are less likely to seek out treatment and so suffer from COVID a lot worse than others. And so, they're less likely to seek treatment. They're more likely to

have to have underlying factors because of lack of access to good medical practice as well. How does lack of insurance play into what we're seeing as well?

DAVIDSON: As a 20-year emergency physician, I see that play out every single day when it comes to people having chest pain or stroke symptoms. And certainly with coronavirus we see people who haven't been able to afford their insulin or their blood pressure medications are afford to see their doctor, have these underlying conditions putting them at much higher risk.

We also know that COVID-19 is a disease where you can feel fine one day and within 24 hours, you could be severely hypoxic and possibly requiring a ventilator. We don't know how many people stay home and ignore their symptoms and end up being just another statistic of someone who died, you know, without a known cause. That is a huge concern for me in this country.

NOBILO: Dr. Rob Davidson, always great to have you on and your expertise. And thanks for the work you're doing. Appreciate it.

DAVIDSON: Thank you.

HOLMES: We're going to take a quick break. When we come back on CNN NEWSROOM, fears of that second wave of coronavirus sent the U.S. stocks tumbling on Thursday. We've got the latest market news for you when we come back.

[04:20:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEVE MNUCHIN, U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY: We can't shut down the economy again. I think we've learned that if you shut down the economy, you're going to create more damage and not just economic damage. But there are other areas and we talked about this of medical problems and everything else that get put on hold.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOLMES: The U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin there telling CNBC the country can't shut down again despite rising virus numbers in several states.

And there was some stunning news out of London a short time ago economically. The U.K.'s gross domestic product fell more than 20 percent in April alone. The largest monthly fall on record.

Now U.S. stocks, they tumbled on Thursday. The Dow sinking more than 1,800 points. Its worst day since March. All of this coming amid a dire outlook from the U.S. Federal Reserve. The chairman says the economic future is highly uncertain and warns of a long road to recovery. NN's John Defterios is live for us in Abu Dhabi. John, before we get

going, I wanted to play a little bit of what Larry Kudlow said about a second coronavirus threat in the U.S. Let's listen to that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LARRY KUDLOW, NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL DIRECTOR: There's talk in the market today about a second jump in the pandemic. Well look, I can't -- go talk to Deborah Birx about that. She doesn't seem to think so. Mind you, we are testing much more, OK. So that's one point. So you may find a little pickup in cases. Secondly, hospitalizations have increased a bit more.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOLMES: Yes, you know, if this selloff is unique to the U.S. in that the U.S. has the biggest coronavirus numbers by far. What you make of it?

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN BUSINESS EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: You know, that wasn't the most convincing argument I've heard from --

HOLMES: No, it wasn't.

DEFTERIOS: -- Larry Kudlow in a long, long time. He was trying to play down the second wave. He says speak to the medical advisor on the White House team and this was just a bad market day. 2 million cases is alarming. It's a threshold that everybody will remember. Michael, and the death toll as you're suggesting has been a huge challenge.

Jerome Powell, the Federal Reserve Board chairman, said we have a contraction of 6.5 percent this year. We're at an unemployment rate of 13 percent now. It remains stubbornly high above 9 percent. And those calculations could change depending on the velocity of the second wave.

Now, if we take a look at the U.S. futures, we come off of the highest for the day but they're remaining stable. So what does this tell us? That we had high valuations on Wall Street. We are overdue for a correction. And clearly there are some doubts about the second wave going forward.

If you look at Europe, we lost 4 percent right across the board yesterday. But the major European markets which are down at the beginning. They saw the recovery in the U.S. futures and now are above the line across the board.

But I'd like to go back to 1996 and the former Fed Reserve Board chairman, Alan Greenspan. When the markets got ahead of themselves, he said this is irrational exuberance.

[04:25:03]

Michael, we up 44 percent on the S&P 500 from the trough in March until last week until we saw the selloff today. We were probably saying it's all clear sailing with the opening of the U.S. economy. We're finding out that's just not the reality.

HOLMES: Yes, like I said, I read something earlier that just said, somebody just told Wall Street the world kind of sucks at the moment. Speaking of which, the U.K. -- this GDP drop, wow, I think in two months they've lost 18 years of growth. What is the takeaway both for the U.S. and Britain? Yes, because they were both slow to respond and are paying the biggest price. What's your Takeaway?

DEFTERIOS: Well, I think you're absolutely correct. These are two big open economies that are in denial about the threat of the COVID virus. And are learning now from the research on the medical side that the first two to four weeks of that threat need to be taken extremely seriously.

I was in the U.K. the first couple of weeks of March and they were pretending like this was knocking to be something that would hit a city the size of London of 9 million people.

They are completely wrong. Now this pressure on Boris Johnson as a result. Michael, we've lost 26 percent of GDP between March and April. And there is no kind of promising sector here. The restaurant business, the retail sector, the education sector, exports are at the worst level they've ever seen on a monthly basis. And this is the tally going back to 1997.

Then we find out at the last hour that the three major airlines in the U.K., BA, EasyJet and Ryanair are filing a case against the U.K. government because they find that the quarantine rules are unreasonable. It's asking tourism visitors to self-isolate for two weeks. That is just not realistic. And they're being challenged now by the airline sector itself.

And finally, people are not focused on it right now, but they should. The European Union and the U.K. are having negotiations about Brexit in 2021. It is just around the corner. The talks are not going well. And you have a market of better than 460 million consumers, vis-a-vis the U.K. at 60 million. And the U.K. is going to have to realize that the day of reckoning is coming soon and they're still going to be trying to recover from today's challenge which is the pandemic.

HOLMES: Oh, yes, Brexit, forgot about that. John Defterios in Abu Dhabi, appreciate it my friend. Is 2020 done yet? No. Appreciate it, thanks man. We'll take a short break here on CNN NEWSROOM.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a long overdue movement against hate and racism in this country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOLMES: Confederate symbols falling across the U.S. And there is growing debate over removing Civil War remnants in the South. We'll have that and more when we come back.