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Breonna Taylor Investigation Continues; Atlanta Police Charged; President Trump Set to Hold Large Indoor Rally. Aired 3-3:30p ET
Aired June 18, 2020 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: Hi there. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you so much for being with me.
Let's get right to it. Right this very moment, President Trump is meeting with governors at the White House, talking about reopening even more small businesses across the country. And that is happening as the president isn't just ignoring, but outright denying the realities of this coronavirus pandemic, pushing ahead with that huge campaign rally in Tulsa this weekend, despite a massive spike in cases in Oklahoma and states across the country.
In fact, Oklahoma's governor is in that meeting at the White House with President Trump right now. So we will watch to see what comes from that.
But the president's denials are coming at a dangerous time; 23 states across the country are seeing an upward trend in cases; 10 states even set new record highs in just the last week. And yet President Trump says the numbers are, his word, minuscule.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If you look, the numbers are very minuscule compared to what it was. It's dying out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: He also just told "The Wall Street Journal" that testing is overrated, and that he believes some people are wearing masks as a political statement just to spite him.
The president of the United States is literally denying the facts, is ignoring science, which Dr. Anthony Fauci says is problematic for all of us.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, NIAID DIRECTOR: One of the problems we face in the United States is that, unfortunately, there is a combination of an anti-science bias, that people are, for reasons that sometimes are inconceivable and not understandable, they just don't believe science, and they don't believe authority. It's amazing sometimes the denial there is. It's the same thing that
gets people who are anti-vaxxers who don't want people to get vaccinated. even though the data clearly indicate the safety of vaccines. That's really a problem.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
BALDWIN: But despite the president's denials, the virus is anything but a problem of the past. The numbers are climbing. Fact. States are hitting record highs. Fact. And experts warn, a new epicenter may be brewing in Florida.
So, we're covering this from all angles.
CNN's Martin Savidge is in Tulsa ahead of the president's rally this weekend.
But, Rosa Flores, I want to start with you there in Miami. And I know Florida just set a new record, right, for the most reported cases in a single day?
ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You're absolutely right, 3,207.
And, Brooke, the reason why experts are concerned is not just because there's one day with a spike in cases. We have been following this. Last week, we were talking about 1,000 cases a day, and experts were alarmed, then more than 2,000, and out now 3,207 in just one day.
Governor Ron DeSantis here in the state of Florida digging in his heels, though, saying that all of this is due to aggressive testing in communities with outbreaks, like prisons, long-term care facilities, nursing homes, agricultural communities.
We asked the experts at FIU, Dr. Aileen Marty, an infectious disease experts. She says that she's been looking not the numbers, that that is not the case, that it is not just because of increased testing, that there is an actual increase.
And she's also monitoring hospitalizations. She's seeing an uptick in hospitalizations. Now, right now, according to the state of Florida, 22 percent of ICU beds are available and 25 percent of regular beds are available.
Now, I'm in Miami-Dade County. This is the epicenter for this crisis in the state of Florida, accounting for about 30 percent of the more than 85,000 cases in this state. And, Brooke, the mayor of this county saying that there is an uptick, that there is an uptick in hospitalizations, that he's worried about it, so much so, he's sending a message to business owners who might think that this is not their concern, that they might not be worried about social distancing and wearing masks.
He's sending police officers to police this. And he says that, for businesses that don't follow the rules, they're going to be shut down by police -- Brooke.
BALDWIN: So, serious ramifications there.
Rosa, thank you.
And just on top of all of what Rosa just laid out, a new model just released is painting a dire picture for Florida, revealing the state has all of the markings of the next large epicenter of coronavirus transmission, with the risk being the worst it has ever been.
That's a quote. Texas, Arizona and the Carolinas have also been flagged as areas of concern for widespread community transmission. That model was put together by a team of scientists at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
And Dr. David Rubin led that team. He is with me now.
Dr. Rubin, good to see you again.
Tell me, how did you come to this conclusion with this model with regard to Florida specifically?
DR. DAVID RUBIN, CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL OF PHILADELPHIA: Florida's reopening fairly closely, and watching week to week, we know that Florida didn't have the same intensity of infections early on, like New York City did, for example.
And we have seen the risk bouncing around. But over the last few weeks, particularly since Memorial Day, and, as traffic resumed, first, we saw a very clear signal coming out of the Tampa Bay area that there was not -- there were increased cases and increased forecasts for a worsening of the epidemic in the entire west coast there, right down to Fort Myers and below.
And when we follow the model out for a couple more weeks, we have now very quickly seen the epidemic get significantly worse on the east coast of Florida and through the center of the state. So, now we're seeing sort of very consistent and converging epidemic-type curves, not just in our predictions, but also in the actual cases, confirmed by increasing hospitalizations from Tampa to Orlando to Miami-Dade and up that east coast and west coast of Florida.
So, to me, that makes me very worried, because at the numbers they're now seeing, it's very easy to start doubling and lose control of the epidemic.
BALDWIN: All right, so you're worried, which is significant.
One -- the thing that we have been hearing from the CDC all along, wear a mask, right? And there's this whole debate nationwide. It's really become this cultural flash point. Do I wear a mask? What is that message that it's sending? Are they effective?
Can you just settle that debate for us? If every American were to wear a mask for let's just say the next month, what could happen with coronavirus in this country? RUBIN: Well, first, I'd say I understand the fatigue that's out
there. And I understand that people are questioning, when do I wear a mask?
And I think it's about recognizing what I have heard other commentators say is the moments of transmission. I think places like Colorado have messaged that extremely well, and they have safely reopened to date.
But, for me, it's not about what you're doing outside as much. We did not see, for example, the demonstrations raise risk in areas that have been doing pretty well with declining cases like the Northeast and the Midwest.
It's about these moments of transmission in indoor environments. And there's a component of travel going on here in Florida that's unique. If we all just committed to carry that mask with each other when we went into the store, or we went into the grocery store, or we went into the convenience store or at the gas station, that protects each other.
It also protects the people behind the cash register, who don't have that choice about whether to protect themselves when customers come in. And, finally, for the travelers that are coming through, it protects both them, but certainly the community that they're passing through.
And I think, if we just committed to that, we'd make a significant difference.
BALDWIN: I got you.
Dr. Rubin, it's less about maybe when we're outdoors, but indoors, and especially for, what, the 40,000, 20,000 to 40,000 people going to this Trump rally this week. And I want to get to that next.
Dr. David Rubin, thank you very much.
Let's talk Tulsa, where, despite this disturbing spike in cases and concerns from nearly everyone, the president has planned this campaign rally to go on ahead this weekend.
CNN correspondent Martin Savidge is there in Tulsa.
And I know this has caused a whole kerfuffle. What are folks saying about this?
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, let me just show you.
It isn't the president that is just looking forward to the rally here. Take a look at that. His supporters began lining up here in Tulsa outside of the BOK Center, which is the arena that holds up a little over 19,000 people, where the president will be. They started lining up last Saturday.
The event is not until this Saturday, I remind you. I have spoken to a number of them. They are sick and tired of being asked the question of, are they worried about their safety from coronavirus? They will all tell you that they don't feel any more danger being inside than they do being outside in their daily lives.
Many haven't decided if they're going to wear a mask, but I would say most are not going to. And for the most part here, they said, look, we wouldn't be in line trying to be the first in the building if we were worried.
But the Health Department here is extremely worried, because, right now, Tulsa is in the middle of a spike, a coronavirus spike. For instance, Monday, they set a new record for all-time first-day coronavirus reports, in a single day, 89.
Then, on Wednesday, they beat that record. They went to 96. Today, we would normally already have the numbers, but, suddenly, there's a technical difficulty in the system. And we don't have them for today. So we're still trying to investigate, but, right now, grave concern that this could become a super-spreader event -- Brooke.
BALDWIN: Martin, thank you. And officials there in Tulsa, they're raising concerns and growing increasingly worried ahead of that rally.
The city's county commissioner going so far as to say -- quote -- "There is nothing good about this."
Tulsa County Commissioner Karen Keith is with me now.
And, Karen, I mean, you just heard Marty talking to some of those Trump supporters, who -- understand the enthusiasm, ready to be there next weekend...
KAREN KEITH, TULSA COUNTY, OKLAHOMA, COMMISSIONER: Oh, yes.
BALDWIN: ... saying that they are, though, probably not going to wear masks.
To that, you say what?
KEITH: Well, I have been down visiting with them. I always have my mask on right here.
But it's just not -- the masks aren't their thing, but COVID could be end up being their thing. And, Brooke, I wanted to say, while we talk about 20,000 in the BOK, that's not what we're preparing for.
We have got -- we're expecting 100,000. So ,between the BOK Center, that's 19,000, 45,000 on the street clustered together, and then the rest in our Convention Center.
Now, that's like the population of our suburb Broken Arrow all converging right here in like a three-to-four-block area. So it's not just about those 20,000 people. This is far, far bigger than that.
BALDWIN: I got you.
KEITH: And, as we're finding out, these are folks who really don't believe in wearing masks.
So, while they are going to give them out -- and I'm grateful that the campaign has acquiesced, and is going to give them hand sanitizer and masks, hopefully, they're branded, so that they kind of get excited about wearing them, I'm hoping.
Still, it's just a terrible situation.
BALDWIN: What's your biggest concern, top of mind?
KEITH: Well, just that we -- so, in two weeks from now, we have this huge spike.
Right now, our hospitals are doing great. We shut down early. Our mayor did that. But now he has allowed this event to go forward, at great peril. So our businesses, like everywhere else, suffered greatly. And so now, if we have this huge spike, I don't know how in the world we can shut them down again.
I just don't -- I just -- I don't know how they could tolerate that. But we have really put ourselves at risk. And I'm thinking about all of our employees at the BOK Center. I'm concerned about their health. I'm concerned about the Tulsa Police Department, our sheriff's department, the highway patrol, the National Guard.
All these folks will be here to make sure that everybody's as safe as possible. But they're putting themselves at risk.
BALDWIN: Of course they are. No, and I'm so glad you made...
KEITH: It's just not a good situation.
BALDWIN: I hear you. And I'm glad you're making the point that it is 100,000. And it's the...
BALDWIN: Right. It's contagious. It's the domino effect. You just heard the doctor talking about, especially when you're indoors and community spread.
KEITH: Oh, yes. Yes.
BALDWIN: Let me get your -- let me get your reaction, Karen, to what -- the president did this interview with "The Wall Street Journal."
And so the quote is that Mr. Trump said that some attendees at this rally there may catch the virus, adding that -- quote -- "It is a very small percentage."
That's what the president's saying. What would you say to that? KEITH: Well, I think, if you look at the science and the age group
that's down there, I mean, they're my age. And they're not in the best age group for surviving this.
And if we get a huge spike, and everybody fills our hospitals, you and I both know that, when somebody goes into the hospital, it's usually very bad situation. And the vast majority of them don't walk out. They never come out.
And, I mean, that's just my big fear. I mean, Tulsa is such a welcoming city. I mean, I would love to take this president on a tour of our levee system. It almost failed last year in the flooding. I was with Vice President Pence as he toured our flooded neighborhoods.
But this is just the wrong time to be in our community. And I'm just so -- I just can't fathom . We have had some businesses already board up. I mean, when these things take place, you have elements coming into your city that you can't control.
And I have been down there on the street talking with those folks since they got here. And they're really -- they're so enthusiastic, I'm almost feeling like I'm at some kind of NASCAR event or something. And they're excited to be here. They love each other. They call themselves the Trump family.
But they're -- the folks I have met with were from Indiana, Ohio. They were from New York City, from Michigan, just all over. And, of course, our folks are going to be here. I met some folks from Broken Arrow, in fact.
And they're so excited about all this happening, but they are going to be screaming and yelling, which we know, science tells us, that the more loud you are, the more you spread...
BALDWIN: Right. No, listen, I appreciate the enthusiasm of them. And I'm glad you talked to them.
Hopefully, from just a science perspective, they're just screaming and yelling with masks on.
Karen Keith, thank you very much.
KEITH: Yes. Thank you.
BALDWIN: Good luck this weekend. Wishing you all the best health, everyone in that BOK Center all the best health.
The coronavirus pandemic is not over yet. Join Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta for the latest on how to stay safe, "Coronavirus: Facts and Fears" live tonight at 8:00.
Now to this. The fired Atlanta police officer who shot and killed Rayshard Brooks has under three hours now, fewer than three hours to turn himself in. His former partner surrendered this morning and is now out on bond. We have the latest for you there.
Also, the president's just very bad week keeps getting worse, the U.S. Supreme Court blocking the administration's efforts to end DACA. That's a program that protects immigrant children from deportation.
And the former National Security Adviser over at the White House John Bolton just joined the growing list of former White House officials who says, President Trump is unfit for office. And the damning claims do not stop there.
So much more to talk about. You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin. We will be right back.
BALDWIN: We're back. You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin.
One of two Atlanta police officers charged in the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks turned himself into authorities ahead of a 6:00 p.m. deadline today. He is officer Devin Brosnan. He surrendered this morning. He is now out on bond.
And this comes less than 24 hours after Fulton County prosecutors charged this now former officer with aggravated assault and two counts of violating his oath of office. But that second man, now fired Officer Garrett Rolfe, has yet to surrender. And he faces far more serious charges.
Prosecutors charged him with 11 charges, including felony murder, for fatally shooting Brooks.
And this is all happening today as CNN obtained this exclusive video of an interview with Rayshard Brooks maybe just four months before he was killed. And in this video, he speaks about his struggles to turn his life around after being incarcerated.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RAYSHARD BROOKS, SHOT BY ATLANTA POLICE: I just feel like some of the system could, you know, look at us as individuals. We do have lives.
It was just a mistake we made, and not just do us as if we are animals, lock us away.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Rayshard Brooks there just back in February.
Here is Ryan Young. He is live in Atlanta.
And back to that officer, the -- Brosnan, who had surrendered and is now out on bond, you talked to his attorney today. What did he share with you?
RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we did.
One of the things about this, he knew that he had to sign a signature bond, so he was going to get out very quickly. We know Officer Rolfe, who hasn't arrived here just yet, he will face more serious charges and will not leave. So it makes sense for his attorney to turn him in as late as possible.
Also, they used the back sally port area, so more than likely we won't see him going on the inside.
But let's talk about Officer Brosnan. As he stepped out here, we surrounded him and followed him to his car to try to ask him a few questions as he walked there. But his attorney was pretty clear here. He thinks there's too many charges going toward this officer.
He said, look, his client was just trying to do the best he could as an officer that night. In fact, Brooke, let's take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DON SAMUEL, ATTORNEY FOR DEVIN BROSNAN: They say he never should have put his foot on his arm, Brooks' arm, which he did just for literally a matter of seconds to stabilize, make sure there was no weapon nearby. He came upon a very chaotic scene.
That was not an assault. It was not an aggravated assault. He wasn't trying to hurt him. He didn't hurt him. He was just trying to make sure there was no weapon within reach.
The other charges deal with failure to render aid fast enough. We are literally talking about seconds, seconds. While Officer Rolfe runs back and gets his first aid kit, puts gloves on, comes running back, there are other policemen there standing there, other policemen standing there, and they charge my guy, who has a concussion and who's injured, and is trying to figure out what's going on, that he didn't render aid fast enough.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
YOUNG: Brooke, if you want to talk about this, these charges sent a shockwave through the metro Atlanta area.
I can tell you law enforcement agencies across this area all responding to this, sort of shocked that the charges were so heavy, and, in fact, some of the mutual aid partners that work for the city of Atlanta don't even want to send their officers into this area to help, because they're not sure how their officers will be judged.
So, honestly, we're starting to see some of the fallout from these charges already.
BALDWIN: Well, on the fallout in terms of Atlanta P.D., you have got new information just these officers who are calling out sick in the wake of these charges. What are you hearing?
YOUNG: Well, absolutely.
Brooke, we have been talking to dozens and dozens of officers about this. They were already stressed because they were working so many hours. You got to think about COVID-19. Then you had these demonstrations.
And then you had those six officers that were fired about a week-and- a-half ago, when they arrested those two college kids. Well, this has compounded this. Now you have these two officers in trouble.
And so they want to know what the standard practices and procedures will be moving forward. But let's talk about some of the officers and how stressed they are. In fact, at Zone 6 last night, there were so few officers there, they were worried about protesters being able to take over that zone.
We're told they cleaned out the critical equipment and actually moved it to another zone, because they had to vacate it. There were other places where officers just didn't show up, or they turned in their keys, or they sat in their cars.
And there have been massive amounts of calls that have been showing on the call list. Lieutenants and higher-ranking officials have been getting in their cars to answer the calls in the city.
So far, they have been able to hold steady. But, of course, everyone's worried about the weekend and what's going to happen moving forward.
BALDWIN: We will watch it right along with you.
Ryan Young, thank you in Atlanta.
And from Georgia to Kentucky, the calls for justice for Breonna have been coming in. The special prosecutor in Kentucky is holding a news conference, promising transparency in the investigation of Breonna Taylor's killing. She was the EMT who was shot to death in her own home as police executed a warrant in search of another person.
So, with me now is an attorney for Breonna Taylor's family, Lonita Baker.
Lonita, thank you so much for joining me.
LONITA BAKER, ATTORNEY FOR FAMILY OF BREONNA TAYLOR: Thank you for having me, Brooke.
BALDWIN: I know you have been listening to the Kentucky attorney general giving this news conference. It's happening right this moment.
What's your reaction to what you have heard thus far? And do you, does the family have any more confidence in the integrity of this investigation?
BAKER: Well, it is -- it's what we expected to hear from the attorney general today.
His office has been in contact with his office, as well as the FBI. And we are aware that there is a full investigation under way, and it is an independent investigation. So, while justice may not come as quick as we would like it, we are encouraged that they are doing their own independent investigation, because, thus far, just even the information we have received from the Public Integrity Unit of local Metro Police Department, it's been insufficient.
We saw -- last week, we saw an investigative report that said that Breonna Taylor had no injuries, when we know she was shot eight times. So we definitely would not want the prosecuting authority to rely on that investigation.
And so, while disappointed that it will take longer, we are encouraged by the independent investigation.
BALDWIN: And let me ask you also something else about the investigation, Lonita.
We know that the DA in and the Rayshard Brooks case in Atlanta made clear how critical the role of video, right, police body cam, dashboard, eyewitness cell phone was really in bringing those charges.
And so, in Breonna Taylor's case, there is not a lick of video, right? Those officers were not wearing body cameras. And I know that's changing, thanks to Breonna's Law that just passed. But where do you think your case would be right now if those police officers had body cameras that were rolling?
BAKER: Body camera would definitely be helpful.
However, in our case, I still think we have sufficient evidence to move forward for these officers to be charged, for additional officers who were not involved to be charged as well, and for them to be terminated.
Let's not forget that we have the postal inspector that denied the information contained in the search warrant for Breonna's apartment. Let's not forget that we have multiple neighbors over 10 days indicating that the officers did not announce themselves.
Let's not forget that we have Kenneth Walker, Breonna's boyfriend's 911 call, where you do not hear any officers in the background, and where he clearly says he does not know who broke into their door and shot his girlfriend.
So I think that when you get down and you really talk to the witnesses, those witnesses that are independent and not a part of local Metro Police Department, there's enough evidence, and the ballistics report, the forensics.
I have been in -- I have been in Breonna's department, so I know what how those officers fired recklessly into her apartment and two of her neighbor's apartments.
So, once you look at that evidence, there's sufficient evidence. And I'm confident that the FBI, the attorney general will find that these officers should be charged.
BALDWIN: You are also accusing the Louisville Police Department and the mayor of withholding records. The coroner's office in Louisville told CNN -- quote -- "This was not going to be released until all the investigations had been complete. All the requests have gone to state attorney general's office. Due to the COVID-19, most lawyers have been working from home until recently, and an extension was requested."
So the state attorney general had no comment, Lonita. Could this just be a delay?
BAKER: It is, because one thing that I want to make clear is that we subpoenaed these documents.
It is not from open records report -- open records request. We subpoenaed them under the Kentucky rules of civil procedure, because we do have this ongoing civil case. So, they were duly authorized. They were sent out. They were given notice. They did not file an objection to the subpoenas.
So, we were well within our right to ask for that information. And we were well within our right to get that information. Instead of turning them over to us, they turned them over to the county attorney's office, which is against the rules of civil procedure.
They should have been handed directly to us, who requested them. In our conversations with the attorney general's office, they do not object to us receiving this information. So, yes, I think it's a delay tactic. And I think it lacks in transparency.
Our mayor keeps saying he wants to be transparent. However, it's actions like this that show us that he does not have any intent to be transparent.