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THE SITUATION ROOM
Atlanta Mayor Announces Police Reforms; 21st Day Of Protests All Across America; Trump To Sign Executive Order On Police Reform; Supreme Court Rules LGBTQ Job Protections; Trump Rally In Tulsa To Push Through; U.S. Coronavirus Death Toll Surpasses 116,000; NFL Network: Several Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans Players Test Positive For Coronavirus. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired June 15, 2020 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: And our thanks to Matthew Chance in Russia for that report. Our coverage on CNN continues right now.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Welcome to our viewers here in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM. We're following breaking news.
The Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has just announced she signed orders on police use of force following the death of another black man at the hands of an officer.
The shooting of Rayshard Brooks is fueling a 21st day of protest here in the United States demanding police reform. Brooks was shot twice in the back Friday night in what his widow is now calling a murder as the family makes a very emotional appeal for change.
Also breaking, President Trump says he will sign an executive order on police reform tomorrow. He says he sought input on it from law enforcement groups, but didn't say whether any civil rights groups were involved. First, now let's hear what the Atlanta mayor said just a few moments ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS (D), ATLANTA: They will include addressing APD's officers' response to resistance generally and specifically regarding the use of deadly force in accordance with the principle that officers should use only the amount of objectively reasonable force necessary to successfully protect themselves or others to effect an arrest or to bring an incident under control.
I'm also requiring de-escalation generally and specifically prior to the use of deadly force in accordance with the principle that officers should use de-escalation techniques to gain voluntary compliance and avoid or minimize the use of physical force.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: CNN's Martin Savidge is in Atlanta for us. Martin, another city reeling after a deadly police shooting and yet another African- American man. Update our viewers on the very latest.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You're exactly right, Wolf. This is the scene, really the Wendy's restaurant where the shooting took place on Friday night.
It is also the same restaurant that was burned to the ground in the aftermath of the anger and frustration over all of this, as you say, another death of another person of color at the hands of police.
It was here at the evening of Friday around 10:00 to 11:00 at night that two white police officers were called when it was reported that Rayshard Brooks' car seemed to be stopped in the drive-thru lane of the restaurant.
There is body camera video that was very quickly released by the Atlanta Police Department that shows the interaction of the two white police officers with Brooks. And for 20 minutes, much of that exchange seems normal, actually cordial.
Then at one point it appears that the officers suspect he may have been drinking. They ask him to take a breathalyzer test, which he fails. And as they start to take him into custody, that's when the altercation breaks out.
There's a struggle by the two officers, and in that struggle it appears that Brooks is able to get one of the officers' tasers and then he breaks away and begins to run. He's being chased by Officer Garrett Rolfe in the video.
And at one point Brooks seems to look over his shoulder, point the taser, and fire. And it's just after that that you hear three shots fired. It is believed to come from one of the police officers, Garrett Rolfe, most especially, and then of course Brooks dies.
He was shot twice in the back. The determination by the medical examiner was that it was homicide. Now, here is the wife. This is Tomika Miller as she responds to the death of her husband and one more tragedy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOMIKA MILLER, RAYSHARD BROOKS' WIDOW: Even though I can't bring my husband back, I know he's down smiling because his name will forever be remembered. There's no justice that can ever make me feel happy about what's been done.
I can never get my husband back. I can never get my best friend. I can never tell my daughter, oh, he's coming to take you skating or swimming lessons.
So, this is going to be a long time before I heal. It's going to be a long time before this family heals. Like I said, I'm just thankful for everything that everyone is out there doing.
[17:04:59] And I just ask that if you could just keep it as a peaceful protests that will be wonderful because we want to keep his name positive and great.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: In addition to the protests that have been going on in this city ever since, Wolf, a number of changes have occurred. The chief of police, Erika Shields, has resigned.
And on top of that, the one officer has been terminated, fired from his job. The other has been assigned desk duty. And we're waiting to hear from District Attorney Paul Howard whether or not there will be criminal charges. Wolf?
BLITZER: Martin Savidge in Atlanta for us. Thank you. Let's go to the White House right now. Our chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta is there for us. Jim, we are getting more information about the executive order on police reform that the president says he will sign tomorrow. What are you hearing?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right Wolf, President Trump and he just offered some comments on the death of Rayshard Brooks calling the case disturbing. The president as you said is expected to sign an executive order tomorrow aimed at cleaning up police practices in the U.S. in response to the killing of George Floyd.
The White House is leading much of the heavy lifting though on police misconduct to Congress as the president continues to hammer a law and order message. Mr. Trump, in the meantime, is gearing up for a rally in Tulsa where there are worries the event could lead to an outbreak of the coronavirus.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is no longer reasonable --
ACOSTA (voice-over): Facing a growing backlash to his handling of the protests after the death of George Floyd, President Trump told reporters he was disturbed by the police shooting death of Rayshard Brooks that led to a weekend of unrest in Atlanta.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I thought it was a terrible situation. Very disturbing.
ACOSTA (voice-over): On police reform, the president is trying to have it both ways, insisting he will curb officer misconduct while stressing a law and order message.
TRUMP: And the overall goal is we want law and order. It's about justice also and it's about safety.
ACOSTA (voice-over): On Tuesday, the president is expected to sign an executive order making incremental changes like creating a database to track police misconduct and adding more mental health professionals to law enforcement agencies.
JA'RON SMITH, DEPUTY ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT: There are many communities that are violent and we want to quell those violence, and we also want to allow for safe and peaceful atmosphere, and the only way you can do that is to bring the police and the community together.
ACOSTA (voice-over): It's unclear whether the president will support a nationwide ban on police chokeholds, something his fellow Republicans are pushing.
SEN TIM SCOTT (R-SC): There are other aspects that we can be more clear on like the chokehold. This is a policy whose time has come and gone.
ACOSTA (voice-over): Two weeks after the administration violently cleared out Lafayette square for the president's church photo op, Mr. Trump is still tearing into the protesters tweeting, "Many Democrats want to de-fund and abolish police departments. How crazy."
The administration appears to be following the president's lead, taking down a Black Lives Matter banner and even a Pride flag at the U.S. embassy in South Korea. Democratic leaders say the president is twisting their positions.
REP. JAMES CLYBURN (D-SC): I will simply say what I have always said. Nobody is going to de-fund the police. We can restructure the police forces. Restructure, re-imagine policing. That is what we are going to do. The fact of the matter is that police have a role to play.
ACOSTA (voice-over): The president is eager to get back on the road looking ahead to his rally this weekend in Oklahoma, firing back at critics who say the event could cause an outbreak of the coronavirus tweeting, "The media which had no COVID problem with the rioters and looters destroying Democrat-run cities is trying to COVID shame us on our big rallies. Won't work."
The "Tulsa World" newspaper ran an editorial calling on the president to scrap it adding, "The public health concern would apply whether it were Donald Trump, Joe Biden or anyone else. This is the wrong time." White House officials say attendees should follow administration guidelines like wearing masks even though the president doesn't use them.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, WHITE HOUSE COUNSELOR: We certainly hope that the people in Oklahoma will adhere to all the reasonable guidelines.
ACOSTA (voice-over): The president is pushing back on any concerns about his own health after he gingerly walked down a ramp and carefully took a sip of water at the West Point commencement over the weekend tweeting, "The ramp was very long and steep, had no hand rail and, most importantly, was very slippery." Mr. Trump has made questions about his health fair game given his comments about Democrat Joe Biden.
TRUMP: Look, Joe's not all there. Everybody knows it. And it's sad when you look at it and you see it. You should see it for yourself. He's created his own sanctuary city in the basement of wherever he is and he doesn't come out.
ACOSTA (on camera): The president is weighing in on the rising number of coronavirus cases just telling reporters a few moments ago that they're all due to increased testing saying, "if we stop testing right now, we'd have very few cases, if any."
But that's not true. Administration health experts have told us that the new cases are in part due to testing, but there are spikes in infections as well, Wolf?
BLITZER: Another important issue came up. There was a landmark ruling today by the U.S. Supreme Court, Jim, as you know, the gay/lesbian/transgender workers are protected by workplace discrimination by federal civil rights laws.
Any reaction tonight first of all from the president?
ACOSTA: That's right, Wolf. In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that employers cannot fire people because they are gay or transgender. The landmark ruling was a defeat for the Trump administration, but the president said just a few moments ago that his administration will live with this decision.
It is worth noting, Wolf, that Mr. Trump's first Supreme Court pick, Neil Gorsuch, wrote the opinion for the majority.
BLITZER: He certainly did, 6-3 decision. All right, Jim Acosta at the White House, thank you very much. Joining us now, the president and CEO of the NAACP, Derek Johnson. Derek, thank you so much for joining us.
Rayshard Brooks was shot and killed less than what, three weeks after George Floyd's death. What is this latest police killing, this one in Atlanta, say about where we are right now in this national movement?
DERRICK JOHNSON, PRESIDENT AND CEO, NAACP: It's a continuation. We must change the culture of policing. It is not acceptable to continue to see individuals being murdered by police. Would anyone have preferred Mr. Brooks to drunk-drive or stop where he was and sleep?
The altercation was not violent prior to the second officer getting there. There was a conversation that the officer should've called Uber and made sure he got in the car to go home.
The culture that we are witnessing is something that's been long overdue. The messages we are getting from the White House is not only reckless. It's not providing any leadership. And we have to hobble to November to make the change. The culture of policing must change.
BLITZER: Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina says the killing of Rayshard Brooks in, his words, is far less clear than that of George Floyd. How do you respond to that? JOHNSON: Well, any time you have law enforcement officers resort to
killing someone as opposed to seeking ways to de-escalate, we have a problem.
He was not posing any threat. They had his driver's license. They had his car. They knew who he was. They had already patted him down. He was not a threat to anyone. Did he comply with all of the requests of the officers? No.
However, was he an imminent threat to the officers or anyone else? No. We have to change the culture of policing. There is no excuse whatsoever to murder a man, shoot him twice in the back as he was running away. It's not acceptable under any circumstance.
BLITZER: In light of the killings of Rayshard Brooks, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, so many others, what do you think justice looks like?
JOHNSON: Well, justice in the case of how we police is one in which many of the officers actually live or come from the communities in which they are patrolling. There is a level of respect and familiarity with those citizens that they are sworn to protect and serve.
There are reallocations of funding to ensure that the money goes to where the need is, whether it's mental health, preventive measures or education around drunk driving. We need to de-emphasize building up military arms for police and emphasize presentive (ph) measures in ways we can strengthen community-police relationships.
BLITZER: The president as you know, Derek, is expected to sign an executive order on policing tomorrow. It is unclear if it will include a ban on chokeholds. What's your reaction?
JOHNSON: Well, you know, with this president, words fall short of action. So, it'll be interesting to see what's actually in the executive order, whether or not he has authority to implement the executive order he will be signing before there can be any true reactions.
He has not been one that -- he lacks voracity in the things he says. So until we see what's actually in the document and whether or not he has the actual authority to do anything, we will all have to reserve comment.
BLITZER: Derrick Johnson of the NAACP. Derrick, thank you so much for joining us. We will continue these conversations.
JOHNSON: Thank you.
BLITZER: Up next, more on the fresh grief and outrage of the death of yet another black man, Rayshard Brooks, at the hands of police. Will his family get justice?
Plus, President Trump doubles down on his upcoming rally in Tulsa despite deep concerns about gatherings of thousands of people together indoors right in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BLITZER: These are some live pictures coming in from New York. Protests continuing in New York City right now, day 21, following the killing of - yes, you know, it's a sad, sad development that we're watching right now.
The protests continuing and we're trying to be very, very precise in all of the news, 21 days it continues. And there's more breaking news we are following this hour.
Atlanta's mayor signing new orders on the police use of force following the fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks Friday night. A death that has now been ruled a homicide. CNN's Gloria Borger and Bakari Sellers are joining us right now.
Bakari is the author of a new book entitled "My Vanishing Country: A Memoir." Bakari, when you listen to the national conversation around the police killing of Rayshard Brooks Friday night, what does it say to you about this moment we're all in right now?
BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I mean, here we go again. And Wolf, to quote Fannie Lou Hamer who I quote often, I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired. You know, I heard Tim Scott who is a good friend of mine and who I appreciate and I'm glad he's in a room for police reform.
And I heard how he said that this one is not as clear. And, you know, I just disagree with him. I mean, it's another black man dead in the streets. And so this is as clear as you can get. I mean, he was murdered, period, point blank period.
I think the autopsy called it homicide. And I watch people bend over backwards and they're going to bend over backwards after this segment on social media, et cetera, and say well, you know, he shouldn't have struggled with the police.
He shouldn't have been drinking while driving. He shouldn't have run. He even fired the taser back at the police. Well, you know, Wolf, none of those are death (inaudible) crimes. And so here we are again. And I just tell you how difficult this is because of George and now in Atlanta.
You just think about these men who were fathers as we enter this Father's Day weekend. I mean, you have more children who are going to have to grow up without their fathers.
So this isn't just some poor conservative talking point or anything else. This is real life for many black folk in this country. And, again, we're here in this cycle and it's another Monday, another tragedy, Wolf. BLITZER: It certainly is. You know, Gloria, the president commented on
this latest police shooting to say it was a terrible situation, very disturbing in his words. He is planning to sign an executive order on policing tomorrow. But does he really have an appetite for major reforms?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: No, I don't think he does. I think what he wants to do is do something cosmetic, and our reporting shows that he's going to encourage in this executive order some kind of modest directives to encourage police reform.
But he's going to leave it up to the cities to do that themselves largely or to the Congress to pass any kind of legislation. We are told he hasn't been really involved in the writing of any kind of legislation, although he has met with Senator Scott, as Bakari knows.
This is a president who's not comfortable in talking about police reform. He is comfortable in talking about law and order. And very often those two things don't go together in his mind. And so I think he sits back. He said today that what he saw was terrible, et cetera, and he has said the same thing about the murder of George Floyd.
But when it comes to talking about race, this isn't anywhere the president is comfortable going. And he's unwilling to do it, quite honestly.
BLITZER: You know, Bakari, you can see the crowds gathering in New York. And folks are walking right now. As a lawyer, do you feel that the families of Rayshard Brooks, George Floyd, others will be able, eventually, to get justice?
SELLERS: No. I mean, and that's unfortunate so let me not qualify or be as stern in that no we won't ever get justice phase. But, again, we just don't have any reason to believe. I mean, again, I am someone who believes in Tim Scott.
But when he goes on national TV on Sunday morning talk shows and says that qualified immunity is a red pill that destroys this piece of legislation, that's patently absurd. We have to limit qualified immunity.
Right now as a lawyer I can sue a police department, but I can't sue an individual police officer who shoots somebody in the back two times? I mean, get out of here. I mean, that doesn't make any sense. There's no deterrent there.
And so, yes, and we have to lower the standard where we can charge people with federal civil rights violations. This is absurd. And, you know, I know that we want to ban chokeholds and I know that people like Kevin McCarthy and Joe Biden agree on that.
And my response is, you know, when Eric Garner was killed by a chokehold in New York City, it was already outlawed. So that's a great idea, but we have to be more imaginative. Let's re-imagine the way that we police in this country because that didn't stop them from killing Eric Garner. And so, will they get justice? I sure hope so. But I can't sit here
and honestly say, yes, they will. And I think that's the tragedy of the place that we're in with the leadership that we have.
BLITZER: You know, Gloria, we might -- some folks out there might forget that we're still very much in the middle of a pandemic right now, but President Trump is boasting that he'll have a record-setting crowd in his first political rally in months. That's coming up this coming weekend in Tulsa. How worrying is all of this?
BORGER: Well, I think it's very worrying for the people of Tulsa, for the elected officials of Tulsa who don't want to see a huge spike in COVID cases there.
This is a president who has tweeted about COVID shame. So -- and that implies, of course, that, you know, don't shame us not to have rallies because of COVID.
And what he also said today, which was kind of stunning. He said, look, you know, we've never had an empty seat in our rally, saying how excited he was about having this huge rally in the middle of a pandemic.
In the middle of a pandemic, you're supposed to have empty seats between you. You're supposed to wear masks. And that is not what the president wants to see.
BLITZER: Yes. He was very precise on that earlier in the day. All right, Gloria, Bakari, guys, thank you very much. There is more breaking news that's coming up. The coronavirus pandemic growing deadlier in the United States as the number of cases climbs.
Plus, details emerging right now with new cases just diagnosed among some NFL players on at least two teams.
BLITZER: More than 116,000 Americans have now died from the coronavirus and with new cases rising at least 18 states. Many officials are wondering if new restrictions could become necessary.
CNN's Erica Hill is joining us with more on that and all the latest coronavirus developments. Update our viewers, Erica, what are you hearing?
ERICA HILL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, there are concerns from some officials that whether measures will need to be added here in New York State. I can tell you the governor saying today we've climbed the highest mountain scaled it, add that it was difficult. Parts of the state will move into phase 3. But he also has some stern warnings for any businesses that are not following the rules.
MAYOR DAN GELBER (D), MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA: People really got to take this seriously. It's not -- this is not an all clear where people can do whatever they want.
HILL (voice-over): The mayor of Miami Beach not ruling out new mandates for his city, one of the last in Florida to reopen as cases across the state continue to rise. More than 2,500 new cases added on Saturday, a third straight day of record high numbers. They're up in Texas, too. And it's not just because there's more testing.
DR. UMAIR SHAH, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, HARRIS COUNTY, TEXAS, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH: The question I'm getting asked a lot is, you know, did reopening or did other events have something to do this? And some saying no, it didn't and the answer is absolutely it did. The hard part is to know how much.
HILL (voice-over): Across the country, 18 states seeing the number of new cases trend up over the past week. In Oklahoma, also deep orange on the map, Tulsa recorded its highest daily increase in cases on Friday. President Trump is scheduled to hold a campaign rally there this weekend. The county health director telling a local paper he wishes it could be postponed to a time when the virus isn't as large a concern.
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: Well I made a few phone calls and said to restaurant owners, bar owners, what are you doing? People are violating everything. Everything. No masks, no social distancing.
HILL (voice-over): In New York State, more than 25,000 complaints about businesses and patrons breaking the rules. Governor Andrew Cuomo tweeting this video of packed streets and few face coverings.
CUOMO: There are a lot of conscientious people who paid a very high price did the right thing. And they don't want other people ruining it for them.
HILL (voice-over): The surgeon general encouraging Americans to wear a mask tweeting, face covering bring more freedom. Dr. Anthony Fauci in a new interview with "The Telegraph", urging people to keep them on when chanting and screaming at demonstrations, estimating real normality likely won't return until at least next year.
The CDC now recommending all close contacts of confirmed cases should be tested, not just quarantined and monitored. The NFL Network reporting several cowboys in Texans players have tested positive for COVID-19.
IAN RAPOPORT, NFL NETWORK: They expect there to be positive tests. It's really just about following the protocol, limiting the spread, and making sure that really is not something that gets out of control.
HILL (voice-over): The Cowboys telling CNN in a statement, privacy laws prevent the team from commenting on any cases. And the FDA revoking emergency use authorization for hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine based on new evidence that they may not be effective to treat COVID-19 and could have adverse health effects
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Hydroxychloroquine, try it.
HILL (voice-over): President Trump repeatedly touted the drug without evidence.
HILL: The President a short time ago also talk about why he chose Oklahoma saying that the state's relatively low infection numbers. As we pointed out on that map, Oklahoma is one of 18 states trending up over the past seven days. And Tulsa's Director of Public Health specifically addressed the rally, Wolf, and said I'm concerned about our ability to protect anyone who attends a large indoor event. He wants to say he's worried about the ability to ensure the President stay safe as, Wolf.
BLITZER: Erica Hill, reporting for us, thank you.
Let's get some more of the coronavirus outbreak in Texas which has now reportedly had several members of two NFL teams. CNN's Ed Lavandera is joining us from Dallas with details. What are you learning, Ed?
ED LAVANDERA, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Wolf. We don't know exactly the names of the players that have been infected with coronavirus or just how widespread it is within the members of that organization.
But the Houston Texans and the Dallas Cowboys both releasing statements saying that they cannot talk about which players are infected because of privacy laws, but they say they are following the guidelines that have been put in place by the National Football League. It was just a few weeks ago that the NFL announced that coaches and up to 100 employees of each team could return to the team's training facilities if the city and state -- city laws and local laws allowed for that to happen.
So NFL has been in the midst of all this as far as the Cowboys are concerned, you know, several of its players got into a little bit of trouble, if you will, back in early April, for hosting some get- togethers and some practices. That has been a source of some mild controversy based on the lack of social distancing that some of these players were seeing engaging in these videos. So this is a thing that is continuing develop here as we move toward the beginning of the football season the next few months. Wolf?
BLITZER: Yes, a serious development indeed. Ed Lavandera, thank you.
Coming up, President Trump's unsteady appearance at West Point graduation ceremony over the weekend is raising some new questions about his health. Plus, a growing number of police resignations as scrutiny of law enforcement across the United States intensifies.
BLITZER: More now in the breaking coronavirus news. The U.S. death toll for the pandemic has now surpassed 116,000 people. Our Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta is joining us right now. Sanjay, how concerning are these uptakes that we're seeing in several states? Are we seeing this around the country? Is this part of what's called a second wave?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, Wolf, I've looked at these numbers pretty closely. And I think that this might still be a spike within the first wave. You know, we are seeing increased testing, obviously, in some areas that accounts for some of this. But if you really look at the graph and look at what these waves what I think some of the public health experts expected, it sort of seems like this is a sort of uptick within the wave itself.
Now, you know, we don't know how big the picture is that we're looking at. Are we looking at the entire picture or just a small chunk of the picture right now? As we see more of that and, you know, over the next few weeks, we'll have a better idea. We'll get a sense if we're actually entering into a second wave or if this is still the end of the first wave.
You know, what you've heard from a lot of people when they make these predictions and the predictions are hard to make, is that a second wave, if there is one, and it does look like there's going, to some extent, be a second wave is likely to start more at the beginning of fall. You know, August, September sort of timeframe.
BLITZER: There are a lot of people out there around the country in New York City of protest, not wearing masks. But the threat is far from over right now, isn't it?
GUPTA: Yes. You know, I think, you know, there's a lot we don't know about this. It's clear the virus is still out there. We do know that. I think one of the things that we're starting to learn is, you know, the risk involved with certain situations and how you best lessen or mitigate that risk. So being outdoors, for example, is going to be a lot better because the virus just has a much bigger space to disperse.
I think what's interesting, Wolf, because there's been so much back and forth on masks to your question is just how effective they can be. We show you some of the numbers. This is early evidence, but looking at people who are wearing masks in situations versus not wearing masks in situations. The likelihood that if you have the virus that you would transmit it to somebody. What is the likelihood of that happening?
And they say it's around, you know, 17.5 percent or so, without a face mask on. If you wear a face mask, Wolf, look at that, it drops you know, nearly six fold there to 3 percent. So it makes a difference and it makes a big difference.
Now, if you're in indoor setting, you know, there's going to be added risk versus outdoor setting. But wearing a mask, and this is why people are making such a big deal about it, is to prevent you from spreading the virus and you can see how it can decrease that risk nearly six fold.
BLITZER: Several NFL players you just heard have tested positive for coronavirus. How risky is it, Sanjay, for the NFL to go ahead with their season in the fall?
GUPTA: It's risky, Wolf. I mean, I hate saying it. You're a football fan, I'm a football fan. I mean, you know, physical distancing and playing football are just not compatible things, right? I mean, I think people generally get that.
I'm not surprised at the fact that players are testing positive. We're hearing this at the NFL, we're hearing this at the college football level, people are coming back to training camp, they're getting tested. We know the virus is out there, we know that there are a lot of people who can carry the virus and have no symptoms. So it's not at all surprising that we're seeing people test positive. My guess is we're going to see people test positive for antibodies as well, meaning that they were exposed to the virus at some point in the past.
I think the challenge now is what's going to happen to these players. They test positive, they're young and healthy. We know they're not likely to get sick. But if they go out into the community, they go back to their homes, could they get people in their own family or their community sick infected, that's a possibility. Our players going to be kept in a bubble, so that can happen. I think that's going to be very hard to do.
I also think, Wolf, what is the trigger, like how many players need to test positive before a team decides, OK, that's it. We can't play anymore. We can't train anymore. We haven't heard about those triggers yet either, Wolf.
BLITZER: A separate subject while I have you, Sanjay, there's some new concerns about the President's health after an appearance at West Point over the weekend. He was seen walking slowly and cautiously down the ramp and also holding a glass of water with two hands. What did you think when you saw the video?
GUPTA: Yes. You know, Wolf, I get so many calls from other folks in the neuroscience field over the weekend about this and people raising concerns, pointing to certain clues, like he's looking down at his feet as he walks down. Is he having troubles with balance? Is he having some numbness in his feet?
Here's the bottom line, Wolf. I mean, you can't make any conclusions I think based on that. It's 20 seconds worth of video there. It would just -- I think it would be very hard for anybody to make any kind of conclusion there. I think that the doctors around him, the medical professionals around him, they obviously have released these reports saying he was healthy. They have no concerns, but if they do, he should get a, you know, a full neurological workup. That's what I would recommend to any patient if there's any concern like this.
Again, looking at 20 seconds of video is tough to make that kind of conclusion. Keep in mind, Wolf, this is in the backdrop of knowing that there have been doctors in the past who were not independent in terms of how they evaluated the President. They have letters dictated to them on behalf of the President. We know that there was this unannounced visit in November to Walter Reed, we still don't know what that visit was all about.
I mean, there's so many things that can be done at the White House. Why on a Saturday, unannounced, they need to go to Walter Reed Hospital. That's what makes this a bit concerning. We just don't know enough about the President's health.
BLITZER: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thank you very much. Always important to hear what you have to say
Coming up, police officers are resigning from departments across the United States. We're going to take a closer look at a growing law enforcement exodus.
BLITZER: There's more breaking news. We're following a growing number of police resignations, including from the Atlanta Police Department. The latest for us to come under scrutiny following the fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks Friday night.
CNN's Security Correspondent Josh Campbell is working the story for us. Josh, I understand you're getting some new information.
JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Wolf, some breaking news into "The Situation Room". We are learning that over the last 10 days, 19 police officers in Atlanta have resigned. Now this, of course, following a number of controversial incidents at that department including the arrest of police officers following encounters with demonstrators, as well as of course the killing of Rayshard Brooks last week. Now these latest resignations are part of a wave that we are seeing in certain departments as police agencies continue to come under scrutiny.
CAMPBELL (voice-over): Tonight, the city of Minneapolis confirming to CNN that at least seven police officers have now left the departments since the death of George Floyd last month. And more than half a dozen are now in the process of leaving, departing for unknown reasons.
And it's not just Minneapolis, other departments around the country are seeing police officers head for the exits, either publicly resigning from tactical teams or leaving their departments all together. From Buffalo, where two officers were suspended earlier this month after shoving an elderly protester, 57 officers resigned from the department's emergency response team. UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKERS (in unison): Get your knee.
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKERS (in unison): Off my neck.
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKERS (in unison): Get your knee.
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKERS (in unison): Off my neck.
CAMPBELL (voice-over): To Florida, where the Hallandale Beach SWAT team saw 10 resignations after city officials including the police chief took a knee with protesters. Officers there say they feel minimally equipped, under trained and restrained by politics.
To Atlanta, where six officers were charged and arrested earlier this month for excessive use of force against demonstrators. That incident followed on Friday by the police shooting of Rayshard Brooks, an African-American man killed after officers attempted to arrest him for a suspected DUI. Brooks had taken one of the officer's tasers in a scuffle and fired at a police as he ran away.
The Atlanta police chief abruptly resigned. The district attorney there says possible charges against the officer who shot Brooks could include felony murder. A police union official warns this climate will lead to more departures.
VINCE CHAMPION, INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF POLICE OFFICERS: What we're suffering within Atlanta, I believe, is we are playing politics. We are bowing down, if you will, to try to appease the rioters. If he gets charged without the due process and everything, I think you're going to find those officers who are senior who have the time in to get their retirement and leave, they're going to start leaving. I think you're going to start seeing officers trying to find another place to go.
CAMPBELL (voice-over): Other law enforcement experts say Brooks killing appears unjustified. And as a nation remains on edge, have a message for those considering dramatic mass resignations.
CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: I understand the internal workings of a police department, the emotion and all that sort of thing. Well, you've got a job to do and we're in the middle of a crisis across the country. This is not the time to quit. And so I don't have very much tolerance for that sort of thing.
CAMPBELL: Now, Wolf, there remain three hotly contested issues regarding policing.
People want to see bad cops disciplined. Police unions want to ensure that those accused of wrongdoing have due process. And in some cities from Atlanta to here in Minneapolis, elected officials appear to be at heeding the calls of protesters and their demands for immediate reform. That's something we'll continue to watch. Finally, Wolf, I'm going to give you one more piece of breaking news we're just getting in the last hour. CNN has obtained new audio from a 911 dispatcher surrounding that incident here involving George Floyd. On this audio, what it appears to depict is someone who is so concerned by what she saw.
Again, this was a dispatcher who appeared to have some insight into video perhaps in the patrol car or on the officer's body camera that she was concerned about these officers sitting on George Floyd. She wanted to ensure that this made it to the attention of supervisors.
You know, think about all the hours and hours of video footage that a major police department in just on a given day. Again, this one dispatcher saying she didn't want to be in her words a snitch, but she was so concerned about what she saw. She wanted to make sure that the bosses at this police department saw it. Wolf?
BLITZER: All right, Josh Campbell reporting for us, thank you.
Breaking news next, the Atlanta mayor orders immediate police reforms as the fatal shooting of a black man there by a white police officer fuels a 21st day of protest, demanding justice and change.