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THE SITUATION ROOM
Ex-Officer Who Shot Rayshard Brooks Turns Himself In; Trump in Turmoil: Denies Coronavirus on the Rise, Rebuked in Bolton Book, Suffers Big Scotus Losses; Florida Reports Record 3,000 Plus Cases In A Day As Experts Warn State Could Be The Next Epicenter. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired June 18, 2020 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: One thing also clear, Joe Biden needs to drive excitement among his voters as well. In exactly two months, he'll accept the nomination right here in Milwaukee. Jake.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: All right, Jeff Zeleny in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for us. Thank you so much. 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 fired Atlanta police officer who shot and killed Rayshard Brooks has just turned himself in. Garrett Rolfe faces felony murder and 10 other charges.
The second police officer charged with aggravated assault in the case turned in self in earlier and was released.
Also, President Trump in turmoil continuing to deny coronavirus cases in the United States are on the rise as he faces scathing rebukes from former National Security Adviser John Bolton and suffers a second major loss this week over at the U.S. Supreme Court where justices rule five to four to block him from ending the DACA or Dreamers Program.
And there's breaking news also in the coronavirus pandemic. The U.S. death toll has now topped 118,000 people as cases rise in 23 states and surge in 10 states including Florida, which is showing some signs it potentially could be the next epicenter.
Let's begin this hour in Atlanta seen as Victor Blackwell is on the scene for us.
Victor, both officers charged to the death of Rayshard Brooks have now turned themselves in.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And Wolf one of those officers will have the opportunity to sleep in his own bed tonight. The other will sleep here as the Fulton County District Attorney has requested that the officer who pulled the trigger be held without bail. But we know that both arrest have contributed to this massive deflation of morale within the Atlanta Police Department.
BLACKWELL (voice-over): Tonight the former officer who pulled the trigger killing Rayshard Brooks has turned himself in and will spend the night behind bars. Garrett Rolfe surrendered to authorities late this afternoon.
The other officer charged, Devin Brosnan, surrendered earlier today. He spent only a short time in jail before binding (ph) out. His attorney explained that Officer Brosnan will not be a witness for the state's case.
DON SAMUEL, ATTORNEY FOR DEVIN BROSNAN: He's not a witness for the state. He's not a witness for the defense. He's a witness. He's simply going to tell the truth about what happened.
BLACKWELL: On Wednesday, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard announced 11 charges including felony murder against former Officer Rolfe and three charges including aggravated assault against Officer Brosnan in Brooks' death.
PAUL HOWARD, FULTON COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Their actions really reflected every kinds of emotions.
BLACKWELL: Tonight there are growing concerns about morale and staff shortages hanging over the Atlanta Police Department. One, 24-year veteran of the department who did not want to be identified told CNN, "I've never seen this low morale, everybody is just mentally, emotionally tapped out. I think it's going to get worse with call outs."
MAYOR KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS, ATLANTA: Across the country morale is down with police departments and I think ours is down tenfold. This has been a very tough few weeks in Atlanta.
BLACKWELL: The police department acknowledges a higher than usual number of call outs with the incoming shift. But it says that it has enough resources to maintain operations and remain able to respond to incidents throughout the city.
For the first time we're hearing from key witnesses, including one man who authorities say was in a car struck by one of the officers bullets.
MICHAEL PERKINS, WITNESS: What I witnessed was really horrific and I wouldn't wish that on nobody who's trying to visit a city.
BLACKWELL: In an interview filmed four months before his death, Rayshard Brooks reflected on his experience with the criminal justice system and life after incarceration.
RAYSHARD BROOKS: Me going through that process, it harden me. It hardened me at a point, you know, to like hey, you know, I have to have my guard up because the world is cruel. You know, it took me through seeing different things and, you know, in the system, you know, it just makes you harden to a point.
And I'm not a tough person to give up, you know, and I'm going to keep going until I make it to where I want to be.
BLACKWELL: And we've learned that there will be public viewing for Rayshard Brooks on Monday from 3:00 to 7:00 Eastern at Ebenezer Baptist Church. You will recognize that as being the church where Dr. King was co-pastor until his death in 1968. His celebration of life ceremony will be on Tuesday at 1:00 Eastern.
And more on the sick outs we've understood from a union representative who's telling CNN that some officers have refused to leave the precinct at least last night unless another officer needed help. The Atlanta police foundation is responding offering $500 to each and every Atlanta police officer. They say it's just a thank you. The officers should expect to see that money by tomorrow. Wolf.
BLITZER: All right. Very interesting indeed. All right, Victor, thank you. Victor Blackwell in Atlanta for us.
Joining now the district attorney for Atlanta, Fulton County, Paul Howard.
Mr. Howard, thank you so much for joining us. I know you've got a lot going on.
As you know, obviously, you announced 11 charges against that police officer who shot and killed Ray shard Brooks including felony murder and three charges against the other officer involved. Critics say you overcharged. How do you respond to that?
HOWARD: Well, I just say that's just not true. What we did is we charged based upon the facts. When you are a prosecutor, particularly in an urban city, that's a phrase that we often hear that we overcharged. We have charged.
This is marks our 39th, I believe, that involve police misconduct. We've charged cases involving nine instances where someone has been killed as a result of police misconduct. We've charged the same offenses. And I just think that that is an untrue criticism that these offices were overcharged.
BLITZER: If that Police Officer Garrett Rolfe is convicted, he potentially could either get life in prison without the possibility of parole or the death sentence. Is that what you want?
HOWARD: Well, I think it's clear that we're not asking for the death penalty. We simply cited that because statutorily that is one of the possible sentences, but we're not seeking the death penalty. I don't think anyone rationally expected that we would ask for the death penalty in this case.
BLITZER: So you want life without the possibility of parole?
HOWARD: Well, what we want is that he would be found guilty of his conduct. And what the sentence might be, you know, we'll talk about that later on.
BLITZER: Let's talk about an important detail. You put on a still photo that shows this Officer Rolfe kicking Rayshard Brooks while he was on the ground after being shot, the union representing Atlanta police officers says it hasn't seen the video of this. Will you be releasing more context video as opposed to a still photo?
HOWARD: Let me tell me you something, I'm not really -- if you got a question for me, I'll answer it. But I'm really not answering any questions from the police union. I would prefer that maybe if you had a question, I would answer it. But I'm just not trading questions with the police union.
BLITZER: All right. I understand that. Will you be releasing -- this is my question, will you be releasing video of that incident?
HOWARD: What we're doing is we've got some ethical obligations ourselves regarding releasing that because Rolfe is still a defendant. So my staff is discussing whether or not we would release that videotape. We haven't made a decision yet. And when we do, we will certainly let the public know.
BLITZER: And there was a bit of confusion yesterday when you said that Brosnan, the other police officer has become what you call the state's witness, his lawyer later said, that's not the case. I wonder if you could clarify this for us.
HOWARD: Well, it really wasn't any confusion with me. We spoke with Officer Brosnan. We spoke with this lawyer, in fact, probably 30 or 40 minutes before we made our presentation. And I stick by what I said on yesterday.
BLITZER: The -- Don Samuel, the lawyer for Brosnan, said that Devin is not a state's witness. He is a witness. He is not a cooperating witness. He has not agreed to be a witness. He has not agreed to plead guilty. Do you want to comment on that?
HOWARD: Well, we never said he planned to plead guilty. As I said, we've got a statement from him. What I explained yesterday is what we're sticking to.
I've known Mr. Samuel, you for a long time, got a chance to speak with him in detail about what his client planned to say. In fact, the statement that we read over the -- during the presentation, Attorney Samuels helped craft that statement.
I understand because of this situation, that the officer might be under a lot of pressure to do something different than what he indicated, and I can understand that, but we're sticking to our -- what we said on yesterday.
BLITZER: The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, GBI, as it's called, they said, it wasn't informed that you would be announcing these charges yesterday. Why not inform them? Why did you decide not to wait to see the results of their investigation of this shooting.
HOWARD: Wolf, I think that people ought to understand the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and in the state of Georgia, there is no law regarding who investigates cases. So, the Georgia Bureau of Investigations is not legislatively involved with this case. They became involved because the city of Atlanta asked that they join in the investigation. So we have been talking to the agents from the GBI.
My view is if they didn't know we were going to make a statement, they would be some of the few people in the country who didn't know about it, because we certainly announced it to everybody else. In fact, I've been kind of mystified that they released a statement about us not consulting with them. I really don't see the purpose of it.
And the district attorney is the person who makes the decision as to whether or not the case goes forward. And that's what we did on yesterday.
BLITZER: You know, there are some -- people are accusing you of having political implications in all of this political ramifications, you're up for reelection. What do you say to those critics?
HOWARD: Well, we charged our first case against a police officer in 2002. And that was the same exact comment that the union made in 2002. It is the same criticism we have had in every police case, particularly no matter how important the case was, the more important or significant the case, the more the accusation was that it was political. This is nothing new. But we've charged it based upon the facts.
And I'm hoping that the people in this country will get away from the little criticisms and understand the broad picture. This is a 27 year- old man who's dead. He didn't have to die. These shootings are continuing to happen all over our country. And I think what those protesters and all over the country, they're not demonstrating, because they thought Paul Howard did something political. They're demonstrating because citizens in our country continue to die. And a high number of those citizens are African-Americans.
BLITZER: One very quick question. Mr. Howard, before I let you go, I've been told you've been getting threats, all sorts of nasty and even awful threats. Do you want to tell us about that? You want to comment at all on that?
HOWARD: Well, we've been receiving threats and I think it's important for people to understand that much of what has gone on, historically, with police shootings is definitely -- and Wolf, we've got somebody who decided to just start the construction to the courts.
BLITZER: It's all right, we can hear you.
HOWARD: I hope you can hear me now. BLITZER: Yes, we can.
Go ahead. We'll hear you.
We just want to make sure that, you know, in the face of these threats, you're going to be OK.
HOWARD: Yes. We're trying to get them to hard here (ph) for a moment, because I can't even hear you.
BLITZER: All right, I just want you to be OK in the face of these threats.
HOWARD: Yes, go ahead. Now, I think they slowed down.
BLITZER: You want to just tell us about these threats? If not, we can move on.
HOWARD: Yes. I've received some threats. The threats seem to be racially based. And what I was saying is I -- if you look historically, at the deaths that I've referred to earlier, the deaths that we've seen recently, there's certainly a racial connection. And those same -- that same connection is evident in some of the threats that I've received.
And I can say to those people who are threatening me, in my office, we won't be intimidated. We're going to continue to do what we think is right. If a police officer is involved with misconduct, we're going to go forward with it. But if the police officer is not involved in misconduct, we want to, with the same attitude, tell the community that the officers were right.
BLITZER: Paul Howard is the Fulton County District Attorney in Atlanta. Good luck over there.
Mr. Howard, thanks so much for joining us and be careful in the face specifically of these threats. We appreciate you joining us.
HOLF: And Wolf, the next time hopefully, we won't have construction going on during the conversation.
BLITZER: I know stuff happens. That's the nature of the business.
All right, thank you very, very much.
Up next, the Trump presidency in turmoil battered by the pandemic. Protests rebukes from former aides and now a second major Supreme Court loss this week.
Plus a record number of new coronavirus cases in Florida now poised possibly to become the country's next epicenter. We'll be right back.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BLITZER: President Trump facing a second major U.S. Supreme Court loss in just three days. On top of the pandemic ongoing protests and scathing rebukes by former aides.
Our Chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta is joining us.
So Jim, the President and his team they're being confronted right now by turmoil.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Wolf. The President is grappling with one of his worst weeks in office as he continues to spread falsehoods about the coronavirus and faces yet another former administration official and former National Security Adviser John Bolton, who is describing Mr. Trump as an unfit leader. Add to that another stinging loss at the Supreme Court and the President is not exactly delivering on his promise of so much winning.
ACOSTA (voice-over): What 2020 is shaping up to be a reelection nightmare, President Trump appears to be in denial when it comes to the string of crises overwhelming his administration. Take Mr. Trump's response to concerns about the coronavirus and his rally this weekend in Oklahoma.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No, because if you look the numbers are very minuscule compared to what it was. It's dying out.
ACOSTA: But that's not true as the virus is spiking in states across the south in places like Florida,
DR. JEANNE MANAZZO, DIVISION OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES, UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA AT BIRMINGHAM: The potential for the virus to take off there is very, very nerve wracking and could have catastrophic consequences.
ACOSTA: The President is even questioning the value of testing for the virus, telling the "Wall Street Journal," "I personally think testing is overrated, even though I created the greatest testing machine in history."
No wonder one of the administration's top health experts Dr. Anthony Fauci worries about an anti-science bias in the U.S.
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: 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, you know, inconceivable and not understandable. They just don't believe science and they don't believe authority.
ACOSTA: Besides the virus, Mr. Trump's presidency isn't a tailspin on a number of fronts from the unrest in U.S. cities to losses at the Supreme Court to the biting comments was on former aides like John Bolton.
After the Supreme Court ruled against his administration's plans to scrap the DACA program that shields young undocumented immigrants from being deported, Mr. Trump tweeted, "Do you get the impression that the Supreme Court doesn't like me?" Doesn't sound like the winning he promised voters and 2016
TRUMP: We're going to win so much. You're going to get so sick and tired of winning. You're going to come to me and say please, please, we can't win anymore.
ACOSTA: As for Bolton, who's just the latest ex-aide to slam the President, the former National Security Adviser is alleging in a tell all book that Mr. Trump sought China's help in the 2020 race, and even bless Chinese concentration camps for ethnic minority wiggers.
JOHN BOLTON, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: I don't think he's fit for office. I don't think he has the competence to carry out the job.
ACOSTA: The President who once said he only hired the best people told the Journal, "The only thing I liked about Bolton was that everybody thought he was crazy."
TRUMP: In terms of Bolton, he broke the law. He was a washed up guy. I gave him a chance.
ACOSTA: The President is also defending his Lafayette Square photo op where he held up a Bible after protesters were pushed back with force saying, "You have people screaming all over the place and I didn't think it was exactly the right time to pray. So I went there, stood there, held up the Bible, talk to a few people and then we left. I came back and I got bad publicity."
Incredibly the President is claiming success for raising awareness about the Juneteenth holiday, dedicated to remembering the end of slavery. As that was the original day for his Tulsa rally before he postponed it saying "I did something good. I made Juneteenth very famous."
The President insists his rally will be safe.
TRUMP: Now we'll go there. Everyone is going to be safe. They have to be safe. They want to be safe.
ACOSTA: And the President can seize there is a chance a small percentage of the people at his rally in Tulsa this weekend may contract the coronavirus.
As it turns out, the topic of his rally did not come up at the latest meeting of the Coronavirus Task Force, the one place where experts would have told aides to the President an indoor political event in the middle of a pandemic is a bad idea. Wolf.
BLITZER: Potentially a very bad idea. All right, Jim Acosta, thank you very much.
Let's get some more info on all of this. Our Chief Political Analyst, Gloria Borger is with us. And our Chief Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin has new book, by the way, look at the cover "True Crime and Misdemeanors: The Investigation of Donald Trump. Jeffrey, we'll talk about that down the road when the book comes up.
Gloria, let's start with you. You just heard Jim outline a series of losses that the President is taking in these recent days from his failures to respond to the protests, the coronavirus pandemic, the US Supreme Court losses, rebukes from insiders. Is this one of the President's worst weeks yet?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, there have been lots of bad weeks for this president. I think this may well be.
I mean, what we are looking at Wolf, if you take a step back, we're looking at a president in total denial about what is occurring in the country, not only in terms of the debate on race, but also in terms of COVID and what is going on with more and more Americans contracting the virus. And in the same week, he is also a president, whose former National Security Adviser has said that he is unfit for office and his poll numbers are tumbling.
He is bleeding support among white suburban women, which is a key constituency for him to win. More than half of independent voters now, Wolf, say that they're going to vote for Joe Biden. So if you look at this week, and say, wait a minute, this is a president who is in deep denial, and by the way, keeps making mistakes.
Lots of his wounds, Wolf, are completely self-inflicted. And so you have to wonder if he has any sense of the way the country is really feeling about this, when he keeps reaching back to the '50s and the '60s, and talking about law and order. That is not the discussion a majority of this country wants to have right now.
BLITZER: That's an important point.
You know, Jeffrey, within one week, within a few days, actually, the U.S. Supreme Court has now handed down two major blows to the Trump administration protecting Dreamers and the LGBTQ community. What did the court decide today? And just how big of a loss is this for the President?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: Well, it's a big loss for the President. But it's an even bigger win for the 700,000 Dreamers in this country. Those are the young people who were brought to this country as children illegally. But people who have no criminal record, you're not allowed to be a DACA recipient if you have a criminal record, and that's the only country the only place they've ever known and they were subject to deportation if this case went the other way.
Now, this is not a guarantee that they are safe for all time. What the Supreme Court said was, the Trump administration didn't follow the proper procedures in revoking the DACA protections that President Obama initiated, so he gave them -- Chief Justice Roberts gave the Trump administration a roadmap to do it the right way. So if the President is reelected, this is likely what's going to happen. But for the time being the 700,000 Dreamers are safe.
BLITZER: You know, Gloria, in the face of these disappointments, the President has resorted to his habit of lashing out on Twitter, including asking this, "Do you got the impression that the Supreme Court doesn't like me?" What does that tell you about his outlook as he's supposed to be steering the nation through major crises?
First of all, of course, Wolf, first, we know with President Trump, everything is always about him, number one.
And if you read anything in the John Bolton book, what he said is that everything Trump does is about securing a win in the next election.
So instead of talking about the Supreme Court, and what it decided he personalized it because that is clearly a way he believes of motivating his base to get out and vote and say, look, the Supreme Court doesn't like me. So you know what I'm going to do if I'm reelected, if somebody dies from the Supreme Court, for example, or leaves the Supreme Court, I'm going to put in justices there that like me, and that will, he believes, do what he wants.
Now, I would also offer the obvious, which is that he can't remove people from the Supreme Court. So that is his problem.
BLITZER: All right, Gloria, thank you. Jeffrey, thanks to you as well.
Hold your thought, Jeffrey. We'll get back to you down the road.
We have an important programming note for our viewers. The former National Security Adviser John Bolton will join me here in the Situation Room to discuss to talk about his new bombshell book. That will be next Wednesday in our 6:00 p.m. Eastern hour.
Coming up, or record number of new coronavirus cases in Florida is stoking fears that the state potentially could become the epicenter for the pandemic here in the United States.
Meanwhile, California Governor Gavin Newsom is responding to rising cases in his state by mandating, mandating face coverings in public.
BLITZER: New coronavirus trends in Florida raising major concerns among public health experts. CNN's Nick Watt has details.
NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For the first time, Florida just logged more than 3,000 new COVID-19 cases in a single day. MAYOR RICK KRISEMAN (D-FL), ST. PETERSBURG: In Pinellas County, our fastest growing positive test category is ages 25 to 34.
WATT (voice-over): With Florida's younger beach and bar-going crowd plus a sizable senior population.
DR. JEANNE MARRAZZO, DIVISION OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES, UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA AT BIRMINGHAM: The potential for the virus to take off there is very, very nerve-racking and could have catastrophic consequences.
WATT (voice-over): And three quarters of Florida's adult ICU beds are already occupied. Average new case counts are now climbing in nearly half our states.
DR. PETER HOTEZ, INFECTIOUS DISEASE EXPERT, BAYLOR UNIVERSITY: We didn't complete that social distancing period that we needed to do and now we're seeing this very sharp acceleration.
WATT (voice-over): But in Texas, the governor won't give mayors the power to make masks mandatory for all.
DR. SCOTT GOTTLIEB, FORMER FDA COMMISSIONER: Well down in those parts of the country, you don't see mask wearing because they just haven't experienced the same level of death and disease from COVID as parts of the Northeast.
WATT (voice-over): Florida ones made incoming New Yorkers quarantine on arrival.
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): Fast forward, 100 days now we're afraid they are bringing the virus to our state.
WATT (voice-over): New York now mulling its own quarantine order for anyone incoming. Good news, New Yorkers can very soon dine out again on the sidewalk. Bad news, White House Task Force Dr. Anthony Fauci now thinks football may not happen this year. "Make no mistake, this is no easy task", replied the NFL. "We will make adjustments as necessary to meet the public health environment as we prepare to play the 2020 season as scheduled."
Meanwhile, the man tapped to lead the White House vaccine effort now bullish about that ambitious end of year goal.
GEN. GUSTAVE PERNA, TRUMP NOMINEE TO LEAD COVID VACCINE EFFORT: What I thought was an aspirational goal 30 days ago, when I was announced by the President, I've recently come to the conclusion that it is more and more likely to occur.
WATT (voice-over): And the President himself thinks it's pretty much all over.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If you look, the numbers are very miniscule compared to what it was, it's dying out.
WATT (voice-over): That is a lie.
MARRAZZO: It's not true. It's hard to see how one could arrive at that conclusion when you look at the data that we have been talking about.
WATT (voice-over): Remember I said Florida just hit a record high for new cases in a single day? Well, in the past week, so did Texas, Oregon, Oklahoma, Alabama, Arizona, and California.
WATT: And Wolf, as of about three hours ago, masks are now mandatory for most of the 40 million people here in California whenever they are in a risky situation. That could be riding a bus or even waiting for a bus. If you're outside and six feet away from people, you can like I'm doing now, take your mask off.
If you listen to the experts, they say pretty much all of us should be doing this pretty much everywhere. But, Wolf, we're not.
BLITZER: That's a major development out in California. All right, Nick Watt, thank you very much.
Much more after a quick break, including the Miami Mayor, Francis Suarez. He's standing by live, there you see him. We'll discuss when we come back.
BLITZER: New coronavirus cases are surging right now in Florida leading some experts to worry the state might become the next epicenter of the crisis. We're joined now by the Mayor of Miami, Francis Suarez. Mayor Suarez, thanks so much for joining us. Florida reported the highest number of new cases in a single day, and many of the state's cases centered in your beautiful city of Miami. Does the data you're seeing right now confirm this fear that potentially Florida could be the next epicenter of this virus?
MAYOR FRANCIS SUAREZ, MIAMI: You know, the data is extremely concerning. I think for the last eight days, Florida has hit a record high. The high watermark when we implemented a stay-at-home order was 1,300 cases. That was a high watermark for a very long time. And we shut down our entire economy for that high watermark.
We just had 3,200 cases yesterday, so that's almost three times the high watermark. Obviously, in the city of Miami, we're extremely concerned about what we're seeing. And, you know, we're going to do everything that we can to prevent, you know, Miami from becoming an epicenter.
BLITZER: Governor DeSantis says Florida is not rolling back, his words, not rolling back on reopening but Florida did see a 65 percent increase in new cases over the last week alone. Can you really go about business as usual after seeing a spike like that? SUAREZ: It's very difficult. I came out on Monday and I had a press conference saying we're not going into phase 3, we have not met the gating criteria, which requires a reduction of cases -- of new cases, a reduction in the percentage of cases, which we saw both increase, both of those metrics increase. Thankfully, our hospitalization rate so far remain stable, but we know that that lags a couple of weeks behind new cases. So we're very concerned. We're sounding the alarm bells and we're also stepping up our enforcement to make sure that this alarming trend has not continued.
BLITZER: You haven't ruled out, I understand Mayor, implementing some of the safety measures that were previously in place. How bad will it have to get before you take action?
SUAREZ: You know, you can't rule it out, Wolf. You know, when you see spikes that are this dramatic, you can't rule it out right now. Obviously, the hospitalization rates which are so far healthy are sort of our firewall. But if those start to weaken, and if our hospitalization census numbers start going up, then everything has to be on the table. It would be very regrettable and very unfortunate because, obviously, you know, it has had catastrophic effects on our economy of 40 million people out of work in the United States. In Miami Dade County's probably about 400,000.
And those that are still working are working with a significantly lower wage than they were before. So we're trying to do everything that we can to avoid, but we need our residents help and we need businesses to cooperate as well.
BLITZER: Speaking of hospitals, Mayor, we understand that 75 percent of the state's intensive care unit beds are now occupied. Could hospital soon, we hope it's not the case, but could they soon be overwhelmed if these cases continue to rise?
SUAREZ: That for us is the main worry. If you look at all of the areas in the world and in the U.S., where the death rate goes from 3 percent to 8 percent, 12 percent, 14 percent, it's all based on, you know, hospitals being overwhelmed. And so we're closely monitoring that day in and day out to make sure that that doesn't happen in the city.
BLITZER: Well, good luck down there in Miami. Mayor Suarez, we appreciate you joining us as usual. Thank you.
SUAREZ: Thank you, Wolf.
BLITZER: And to our viewers, be sure to join Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Anderson Cooper for a new CNN Town Hall Coronavirus Facts and Fears, that's tonight 8:00 p.m. Eastern only here on CNN.
Coming up, Tulsa confronts the pain of its racist past ahead of President Trump's rally there this weekend. Plus, another blow to the Trump presidency as the U.S. Supreme Court hands him a second major defeat in just three days.
BLITZER: Tulsa Oklahoma is confronting the pain of its racing past just ahead of President Trump's rally there this weekend. CNN Political Correspondent Abby Phillip has the story from Tulsa.
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the beating heart of Tulsa's Greenwood District is still here at the historic Vernon AME Church.
The sanctuary sits atop a basement that is the last remaining structure in the once prosperous black community that was destroyed by a white mob during the bloody massacre in 1921.
REV. ROBERT RICHARD ALLEN TURNER, VERNON AME CHURCH: We're the only thing on the original Greenwood Avenue, that's still black owned. And the only thing that's still black owned in the Greenwood District.
PHILLIP (voice-over): Nearly 100 years ago, the oil boom made Tulsa a mecca for a generation of black war veterans, businessmen, doctors and lawyers.
REGINA GOODWIN (D), OKLAHOMA STATE REPRESENTATIVE: You got folks that are envious of what they call it that time little Africa.
PHILLIP (voice-over): Then on June 1st, 1921, hundreds of white Tulsa residents went on a murderous rampage after a white woman accused a black man of sexual assault
GOODWIN: You would either stay in your house and burn to death or try to run out in the street and hope not to be felled by a bullet.
PHILLIP (voice-over): Homes were looted, then burned to the ground and hundreds were killed.
TURNER: Not one person was ever charged with the crime, from the worst race mask in American history.
PHILLIP (voice-over): A history shrouded in secrecy.
TURNER: For so long, there was this intimidation of silence that the white community put upon Greenwood. That if anybody talked about it, they became miss (ph) and they were killed. They were lynched.
PHILLIP (voice-over): Now in the midst of a national reckoning on systemic racism, President Trump has offered this solution.
TRUMP: What you now see, it's been happening. It's the greatest thing that can happen. Look, race relations for the African-American community, that's what my plan is. We're going to have a strongest economy in the world.
PHILLIP (voice-over): For descendants of massacre survivors like Oklahoma State Representative Regina Goodwin, that message falls flat.
GOODWIN: You had wealthy folks in Tulsa at the time, so their wealth did not protect them from racism. Nor would anyone's wealth today.
PHILLIP (voice-over): As Tulsa seeks to move forward, it must first look back.
GOODWIN: Black folks have the story. We want white folks to begin to share the story but the accurate story.
CHIEF EGUNWALE AMUSAN, PUBLIC OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE FOR TULSA RACE MASSACRE GRAVES INVESTIGATION: Right here. Yes. June 1st, 1921. Both of them.
PHILLIP (voice-over): Here in the city cemetery, only two graves mark the dead from that massacre. And the location of most of the victims' bodies are unknown.
AMUSAN: Right here with this road, goes down the middle of Oakland cemetery. And they built a trench, they dug a trench and dumped bodies down into the trenches.
PHILLIP (voice-over): Chief Amusan's grandfather survived the massacre as an infant, then returned to Tulsa as an adult. Now, Amusan works to find those who didn't survive, soon digging to find the remains of those who were lost. Generations separated from Tulsa's darkest day, a chance to change course.
AMUSAN: So if we learn anything from this, we're getting opportunity to see whether or not man's inhumanity to man has changed at all.
PHILLIP: Now, Wolf, earlier this week, the governor of Oklahoma suggested that President Trump should go to Greenwood to learn more about this history. But one of the reasons that that is unlikely to happen is because residents here are planning a massive Juneteenth celebration that is effectively a counter rally against the rally that is happening on Saturday that President Trump will be hosting with 20,000 people.
Now we are hearing also that residents here are also unlikely to want President Trump to go down to Greenwood as well. They want him to address issues of systemic racism more seriously before he does anything that appears to be a photo op, Wolf.
BLITZER: All right, very interesting indeed. Excellent report, Abby, thank you very, very much.
The breaking news coming up next. Two Atlanta police officers turn themselves in, including the fired officer charged with murder in the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks.
[17:59:42] BLITZER: We want to welcome our viewers here in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer in "The Situation Room", with breaking news on the newest case sparking demands for racial justice here in the United States. The fired Atlanta police officer who shot and killed Rayshard Brooks turned himself in just a little while ago. The other officer facing charges is out of jail after surrendering earlier and posting bond.