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Key Model Projects Over 200,000 Americans Will Die By October; Dr. Craig Spencer Discusses Pence Refusing To Wear Mask During Diner Visit & Mask Use Needed; Black Cop Fired In 2006 After Stopping White Colleague's Chokehold. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired June 16, 2020 - 14:30   ET




BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: A closely watched model projects there will be 200,000 coronavirus deaths by October 1st. That's a projection and it has the potential to be changed.

A recent study found wearing masks is one of the most effective measures to cut down on transmission. Yet, this was a scene at a White House event only two hours ago. Members of the president's cabinet not wearing masks, not socially distancing. The president also not wearing a mask, not social distancing.

When the administration refuses to practice the safety measures that its own Coronavirus Task Force recommends, obviously, it muddles the message for Americans. Some would think, why do I have to wear a mask.

Senior national correspondent, Erica Hill, is in New York.

Erica, it's forcing businesses to make hard decisions. Tell us about this.

ERICA HILL, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it is, It's forcing businesses to make decisions. And we're hearing from some governors saying I may have to think about making this mandatory if more people are flaunting the idea of wearing a mask. It's become so political.

As we know from so many experts, it's not something that should be political. This is about science.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, saying again today, Brianna, masks are what are going to help here. He said, we're nowhere near herd immunity. So to protect yourself and to protect others, it's time to wear a mask.



DR. ROCHELLE WALENSKY, CHIEF, DIVISION OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES, MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSPITAL: States are not opening gently. They're opening with lots of crowds, opening with lack of face masks. And when that happens, you don't need too many infections for cases to soar.

HILL (voice-over): It's those behaviors that could lead to 200,000 coronavirus-related deaths in the U.S. by October, according to a key model. Science now tells us why the use of face coverings could help slow the spread.

Airlines taking note. United warning, refusal to wear one could land you on a restricted travel list.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi might make them mandatory on the House floor.

North Carolina weighing new rules for the entire state.

ROY COOPER, (D), NORTH CAROLINA GOVERNOR: We want people voluntarily to do this. But we are looking at additional rules to potentially make these mandatory.

HILL: NASCAR pulling its all-star 2020 race out of Charlotte, citing a new spike in cases.

Eighteen states reporting an uptick in the last week. Florida, one of eight in deep red. Numbers there up more than 50 percent.

CARLOS GIMENEZ, (R), MIAMI-DADE COUNTY GOVERNOR: We're not going back to closing our economy because numbers inch up a couple of days.

HILL: New numbers from the CDC confirm those most impacted are older Americans, people of color, and those with pre-existing conditions, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic lung disease.

People 80 and over had the highest rate of infection. Children nine and younger the lowest.

A separate study estimates people under 20 are half as susceptible to the virus as those 21 and over. What could that mean for getting kids back to school?

DR. LEANA WEN, FORMER BALTIMORE CITY HEALTH COMMISSIONER: Younger people are less likely to become symptomatic, but young people could still get it, could still become very ill. Even if they are asymptomatic, they could still transmit COVID-19 to other people, too.

HILL: Some states, including Rhode Island and Vermont, have said K through 12 students will be in the classroom this fall. Though no details on how often or how many kids at a time.

UCLA's nearly 45,000 students will take most of their classes online this fall. Dorms will limit residents. And some will be designated for quarantined.

Athletes at Ohio State and Indiana University must sign a health pledge as hope dims for a return of Major League Baseball.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's just a disaster for our game.

HILL: The league and the players union still at odds. Meantime, "USA Today" reporting several players and staff have tested


Washington Nationals pitcher, Sean Doolittle, tweeting in response, "The timing of this leak is suspicious and gross."


HILL: Brianna, some more news in the sports world. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announcing a short time ago, that the U.S. Open tennis championship will, in fact, be played as it is every year at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, in Queens.

As you might expect, there will not be spectators but the governor saying you can watch it on TV. There should be an official announcement with more details coming tomorrow -- Brianna?

KEILAR: Erica Hill, thank you for the report.

Moments ago, Vice President Pence once again ignoring guidelines and skipping the mask as he stopped in at an Iowa diner the first day it reopened since the pandemic began. I'll be joined live by an emergency room doctor to talk about that.

And the backlash that he's been getting about telling the truth about what's happening on the front lines.



KEILAR: We just saw Vice President Pence make a stop in a newly open diner in Iowa without the mask that experts recommend. Of course, he is in charge of the Coronavirus Task Force. He heads it up, right?

This comes as we learn new details about what he's saying about the virus behind closed doors. The "New York Times" obtained audio of a private call with governors in which the vice president asked them to toe the White House line, that people should not worry about the spike in coronavirus cases.

He said this, quote, "I would just encourage you all, as we talk about these things, to make sure and continue to explain to your citizens the magnitude of increase in testing. And that, in most of the cases where we are seeing some marginal rise in number, that's more a result of the extraordinary work you're doing.

Dr. Craig Spencer is the director of global health in emergency medicine at Columbia University Medical Center.

Doctor, first, what's your reaction to that guidance to governors?

DR. CRAIG SPENCER, DIRECTOR OF GLOBAL HEALTH IN EMERGENCY MEDICINE, NEW YORK-PRESBYTERIAN/COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER: I think that it's, frankly, just not completely correct. Look, you're going to have more cases, if you do more testing. That is correct. But does the increase in testing account for the increase in the amount of transmission, the amount of cases we're seeing? I don't think so.

We're doing around 450,000 to 470,000 cases on average, per day. We've been doing for the past week. It's pretty similar to the week before. Yes, increased testing means you'll find more cases. But we also are finding that there are just more cases. There's increase in transmission.

We know this because in some places the positive percentage, to the likelihood that a swab is coming back positive is growing, which means there's greater community spread. That is what I'm concerned about. That is why cases are going up in some cases.

And we need to be thinking about that as opposed to trying to just say, hey, it's great. We're doing more tests. That means we're finding more. That's not the complete reality here.

KEILAR: I want to show our viewers some pictures from the White House event a short time ago. This was in the Rose Garden outside. But in these pictures you can see that many of the president's cabinet and the president himself, they're not wearing masks. They're certainly not social distancing. I mean, they're talking to each other and they're all well within the spray zone.

Tell us what kind of dangerous precedent this sets.

SPENCER: Well, right now, what we need is public health leadership. We need people like Dr. Fauci and the CDC talking to Americans nearly every single day, giving us an idea of what's happening.


In the absence of that, people are going to look to politicians for guidance. What they're seeing right now is the head of the Coronavirus Task Force and the head of the country refusing to wear a mask, even when the CDC and other public health officials are saying we're in the middle of a pandemic. One of the few things we know to help decrease transmission is wearing a mask.

What this is, it's lulling people into the sense of complacency. This idea that 20,000 new cases a day and nearly 1,000 deaths a day is going to be our new normal and that's something we'll get used to. We're just going to go back to living our life as we did before, without wearing masks or doing things that not only protect us but protect other people.

That's the message it sends and I think it's extremely dangerous.

KEILAR: And we're probably going to see how dangerous here as we move into the fall.

Dr. Spencer, thank you so much. We appreciate you coming on. Joining us from New Hampshire.

The city of Buffalo, New York, is asking the state to reinvestigate the firing of a police officer who lost her job for intervening when her colleague used a chokehold on a suspect. She's going to join us live, next.



KEILAR: George Floyd's death has put a spotlight on police brutality and raised questions about when police officers should stop being bystanders and step in.

But back in 2006, in Buffalo, New York, a black police officer did that. Officer Cariol Horne stopped a white colleague from choking a suspect during an arrest and she got fired for it. Officials at the tie claim that Officer Horne put her fellow officers at risk, including the white police officer whose chokehold she stopped.

Well, now, more than a decade later, the Buffalo city council has voted to ask the state attorney general, Letitia James, to reinvestigate Horne's firing.

Cariol Horne is joining me now.

Thank you so much for being with us today.


KEILAR: Because now you have a decade later, what a different view, right? I want to know what you thought as you watched the video of George Floyd.

CARIOL HORNE, FIRED IN 2006 FOR STOPPING ANOTHER OFFICER'S CHOKEHOLD: It was heartbreaking. Because I know that he did not have to die. Had one of those officers stepped in and intervened.

And from my situation, I understand that I did stop the choke hold and he does live. So for me, it was really heartbreaking and I cried for two days trying to understand why no one would listen to me. Because police brutality is the problem.

And I've figured out the solution, which would be Cariol's Law. I should not have lost my pension for doing what was right.

KEILAR: You had served 19 years, right. You were one year shy of your pension.

And I see your shirt there. It says, "George Floyd needed Cariol Horne." But you watched the video and there was no one stepping in.

And I wonder if you could tell us what it was like for you in that moment to make that decision, what was your thought process when you decided to step in?

HORNE: Well, I knelt to him, and I said, Craig, you're choking him. Thinking that whatever happened in the house, that he would come back to reality and stop doing what he was doing and he didn't stop. So I grabbed his arm from around Neal Mack's neck. And they fabricated a story. But I never jumped on his back like they

said. I simply grabbed his arm from around Neal Mack's neck because Neal Mack was already handcuffed so there was enough officers there to control the situation.

KEILAR: So what do you think, Cariol, should be done to -- or happen to officers who do not intervene?

HORNE: Well, like I said, under Cariol's Law, they would be prosecuted because you have the duty to intervene. You could not stand around and watch someone kill someone, watch someone die. You would have to intervene.

And it would be a registry so you couldn't go from department to department with a history of abuse.

KEILAR: So that there's a way to track folks as they move from one area to another?

HORNE: Exactly.

KEILAR: I wonder, for you -- you're here, you made a decision at -- at considerable personal penalty to make sure you save the life of somebody and you watch that in Minneapolis not happen.

I wonder what you think the message, though, was sent -- I'm sure police officers beyond where you work heard about you, right? What message was sent to police officers when you were fired for intervening?

HORNE: The message was sent that you don't cross that blue line. And so some officers -- many officers don't.

KEILAR: Do you think it has changed, Cariol?

HORNE: I think that it is changing. I think that I'm here to help change it. So that is why I thought of Cariol's Law. Because I want to be the change. I don't want any officer to go through what I have gone through to save someone's life. I lost everything. I had five children and I lost everything.


But Neal Mack did not lose his life. So if I have nothing else to live for in life, at least I can know that I did the right thing and that Neal Mack still breathes.

KEILAR: Could I ask you, quickly, Cariol, are you feeling good about the chance that your good name could be restored and you might be able to receive your pension?

HORNE: Yes. I hope that the mayor does the right thing because, like I said, no officer should go through what I've gone through for doing the right thing.

KEILAR: Cariol Horne, thank you so much for joining us from Buffalo. HORNE: Thank you.

KEILAR: We have some breaking news. We're learning about the arrest of a suspected member of an anti-government extremist group accused of murdering two police officers. The FBI said he was trying to hide among Black Lives Matter protesters and that a ghost gun was used.


BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: Hi, there. I'm Brooke Baldwin. You're watching CNN. Thank you for being with me.


The president, who champions law and order, today signing an executive order that he says will help reform police departments as Americas nationwide demand change. He was standing there today, flanked by lawmakers, Attorney General Bill Barr, police officers. And there he was, President Trump, signing the measure during an event in the Rose Garden.