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Florida And Texas Governors Blame Spike In Cases On Increased Testing; Ex-Atlanta Officer Waives First Appearance, Won't Be In Court Today; Trump Administration Will Resubmit Enhanced Plan To Eliminate DACA. Aired 10-10:30a ET

Aired June 19, 2020 - 10:00   ET


ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Patients in just the last ten days.


Process that for just a moment.

Now, some local mayors are already taking action. In Orange County, the mayor there requiring masks to be worn and citing the fact that there is an uptick in the state for taking that measure.

Now, Governor Ron DeSantis has been digging in his heels all along saying that this is --

POPPY HARLOW, CNN NEWSROOM: Looks like we lost our Rosa Flores. We'll try to get her back.

Let's go to Scottsdale, Arizona. Our Kyung Lah is there. Kyung, same story, similar story in Arizona in terms of an increase in cases and hospitalizations?

KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. And what's really concerning the state health officials here is the records, the number of new cases and the daily record being smashed almost every day this week. So that is the big concern. There has been a general trend upward of new cases.

And I want you to look at the bar graph. Just yesterday, these are the latest figures that we have, 2,519, that is a new daily high, also concerning physicians in this case and especially E.R. doctors. The number of acute beds that are are being used, approximately 85 percent of acute beds and ICU beds currently in use.

I want you to listen to what an E.R. doctor told us what it's like inside the hospital.

So, sorry about that. He also was one of 3,000 doctors who signed a petitional letter to the governor asking that there be a statewide mandate for masks. That is something that the governor says he simply will not do and that he has pushed that decision, Poppy, to local mayors. And, of course, when you talk to physicians about this, they see this as a piecemeal approach, something that would certainly be much more effective, is a statewide mandate, something similar to what we just saw in California, Poppy. HARLOW: Yes, right, exactly. Kyung, thanks very much.

Coronavirus cases are spiking also in Oklahoma. This is key also because tomorrow, as many as 20,000 people will pack together inside an arena for the president's rally. Our Martin Savidge joins us in Tulsa.

And, Martin, the health department's director there is really concerned about this.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He has been spreading the word actually for over a week now that this city has become a spike, and as a result he said he tried to get this whole event, the Trump rally delayed, but apparently that all fell on deaf ears.

Take a look behind me. These are the supporters that began lining up last week, actually Saturday, so they really want to get inside that arena. When you talk to them and say are you concerned about the health concerns of coronavirus and all of you being in there, 20,000 strong? No. They believe that the risks are no greater than just being out on the street in their daily lives. So they aren't planning to wear face masks or take any kind of health precautions.

Security measures meanwhile have been set up in this city. There's also a curfew that goes into effect tonight and tomorrow. What's interesting is that political officials have been stressing now in the last 24 hours not the record numbers of coronavirus cases but this concern that there's going to be some kind of violence. Even the mayor was putting out information saying that they have some kind of intel that there are groups that are planning to come to this city and try to disrupt and do harm. Boarding up has begun at a number of businesses inside the security perimeter, which there's going to be National Guard and a ton of police, not to mention Secret Service.

So what I'm saying is that there's a bit of a distraction going on here in the public's mind, even though health officials keep saying this is a serious pandemic, 20,000 people inside that arena, shouting, cheering, jostling, being together. That is the perfect recipe to spread coronavirus, which they is in this community or will be brought in additionally from those coming from far away. So there really are truly new concerns.

We'll get new numbers coming out at 11:00 local time today so we'll find out what has happened in the last 24 hours. They were delayed by five hours yesterday, which is interesting because there was a meeting of the governor of Oklahoma with the president yesterday. Those record numbers didn't come out while that meeting was going on. But as soon as the meeting was over, what do you know, they suddenly appeared.

HARLOW: Well, Martin, all of that is just very concerning for the health of the people in Tulsa. I wonder, also, too, what the president's plans are, if you know, to really address what happened there 99 years ago. Today is Juneteenth. That's why he moved the rally, he says, to tomorrow, but is he going to, in depth, address the events of Greenwood and the massacre?

SAVIDGE: There's been kind of a back and forth in the community on that.


There were supposedly reports that the president planned to visit into the neighborhood where the violence occurred 99 years ago, but we have been told yesterday, no, that's actually been cancelled.

Now, that may be in part because the community itself was not keen on having the president appear. I don't know the specifics on that. And we will only really know what happens when the president actually arrives here. But definitely that's on the minds of people.

And the problem is there are now a lot of counterprotesters coming out angry at the protester over the handling of Juneteenth, so more people are being brought into the mix over the friction at the absolute worst time due to a pandemic.

HARLOW: Martin Savidge, thank you for your reporting in Tulsa this morning.

Let's talk about the COVID pandemic and where we are with our Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Good morning, Sanjay.


HARLOW: Florida, huge, sharp uptick, not only in cases but in hospitalizations. New projections suggesting it could be the next epicenter of the virus. The state was not hit as hard as New York back in March and April. What is happening in Florida now and why?

GUPTA: Well, one thing to keep and remember is that the early states that were hit were typically coastal city states that had big international airports. That's where we know the virus was coming in. So it wasn't surprising that we saw Seattle, that we saw cities in California, that we saw New York get hit earlier with this virus.

We've been keeping an eye on Florida throughout because of the concern of lots of travel back and forth. And I think there's sort of three things now that are really driving what's happening in Florida. One is that they closed late. We know that they opened early, far earlier than the gating criteria would have suggested they should have opened, and then in most cases there's no sort of mandatory masks and a lot will have people aren't wearing masks in areas in Florida. So all these basic things make a huge difference.

I mean, there's no other magic thing here, Poppy, a medicine that they had in New York that they didn't have in Florida, a vaccine or anything like that.

I think one of the biggest things now when we talk about flattening the curve is not just the number of people who are diagnosed with the infection but obviously people who get sick. My parents live in Florida, Poppy. I mean, this has been a conversation topic for the last several months. A lot more vulnerable people live in Florida. Because of age, people go there to retire, people have preexisting conditions. So that's why, you know, you see 75 percent of the ICU beds already at capacity now.

And this is sort of in a more plateau phase. So when they talk about this being the next epicenter, it's not just the number of cases, it's the toll on the hospital system that they are worried about.

HARLOW: Sure. And looking at Oklahoma, they are seeing the biggest single-day increase yesterday in the rally with the president in 20,000-plus people in this arena and no mandated masks tomorrow, I wonder if that risk is not only great to the people of Tulsa but, you know, more broadly across the nation because things are more open now. People are traveling more. It's the summer. They are driving from state to state. There's just a lot more contact.

GUPTA: Yes. There's no question that these numbers that we're seeing, this plateau in the cases which is some 20,000 to 25,000 people being infected every day, several hundred up to a thousand people dying every day, has sort of become the floor at which, you know, we're -- for whatever reason in this country, become comfortable with, because we know the numbers are going to go up as things start to reopen.

I think what has struck me, Poppy, and I spent a lot of time thinking about this, is how do you quantify this risk to people, right? So take this rally, for example. Take a situation like that, some 20,000 people. How many people are likely to show up at the rally already carrying the infection, and we can show many so of the numbers here.

And if you look at the calculations, we calculate some 100 people roughly who will already be infected when they show up. There aren't not people that get infected at the rally, but they are already infected.

Of those we know that there are about 20 people who are likely to be significantly shedding the virus. That's typically how it works. These are the quote, unquote, sort of super spreaders. You find 20 percent of the people are usually responsible for 80 percent of the infections, okay? So 20 percent of people in an environment like that, 20 people, could potentially infect 40 to 50 people each, indoors, masks aren't required, as you mentioned, lots of shouting and lots of dispersion of the virus into the environment. Do the math, 800 to 1,000 new infections now. And then to your point, Poppy, where do they go? They go home. They go to their communities and they start to spread. And what I'm describing here is the anatomy of a potential outbreak. That's how these things could potentially happen.

And I think it's just important because otherwise it becomes a nebulous sort of thing. Yes, that's a riskier thing. That's more risky than this. Well, here now, you can see how public health officials, dynamic experts in infectious diseases actually think about a problem like this.

HARLOW: Yes, absolutely. Sanjay, thank you so much, we appreciate it. Have a nice weekend.

GUPTA: Thank you. You too.

HARLOW: Still to come, the ex-officer charged with murder and the death of Rayshard Brooks just waived his first court appearance scheduled for this afternoon.


I'll have the latest on that.

And the battle over former National Security Adviser John Bolton's book is heading today to a federal courtroom. The Justice Department is suing to try to block its publication. Bolton says the White House is trying to avoid, quote, embarrassing facts.

And today marks Juneteenth, the day that commemorates the end of slavery. You're looking at live pictures marking that from Atlanta.


HARLOW: The former Atlanta police officer charged in the death of Rayshard Brooks was going to appear in court today. CNN has learned he's waived his right to appear. Garrett Rolfe is facing 11 charges, including felony murder in the fatal shooting of Brooks one week ago.


Let's go to our Dianne Gallagher for more this morning. Do we know why he waived that right? I know his lawyers will be there.

DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, his lawyers are going to be here. And, Poppy, this has kind of gone back and forth. Last night, we received an email both from the court and from his representation saying that he was going to appear, and then this morning we went inside and checked, the chief magistrate court justice's office told us that is now no longer going to appear, not in person, nor via Zoom, as many of these defendants are going to. But his representation is going to be here at this first appearance. So we're not sure why that is, but they have made this decision, it sounds, like this morning.

Now, look, he is facing those 11 counts, including the felony murder charge. The district attorney said even though it does carry a penalty up to the death penalty, that is not something that they are going to see. He was move last night, Poppy, from the Fulton County Jail to another metro Atlanta location, sources tell us, for security purposes.

So high profile and a lot of interest here, and starting around noon, we should find out more.

HARLOW: Thank you, Dianne.

Meantime, Senator Amy Klobuchar overnight removing herself from contention to potentially be Joe Biden's running mate, saying she hopes he chooses a woman of color.


SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN): This is a historic moment, and America must seize on this moment. And I truly believe, as I actually told the vice president last night when I called him, that I think this is a moment to put a woman of color on that ticket. And there are so many incredibly qualified women.


HARLOW: M.J. Lee is with us now. Were you surprised that she did that? What do you make of it?

M.J. LEE, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, Poppy, it wasn't that long ago that Amy Klobuchar was seen as somebody who had a pretty good shot at being chosen as Biden's V.P. You know, there's that personal relationship and also don't forgot it was a big deal when Klobuchar ended her own 2020 campaign back in March. She immediately sort of endorsed Biden and sort of gave him that political momentum at a moment when he really needed it.

What has changed in recent weeks is this national reckoning over race and the conversations that have happened, as you have been talking about. And as a part of that, what has happened is that Klobuchar herself has gotten a lot of scrutiny over her own criminal justice record, particularly her role as a top prosecutor in Minnesota, and was she tough enough on some of these police officers who were involved in shootings?

Now, what we are told is that the senator made her decision on Wednesday after talking to some staff and family and that there was zero pressure from the Biden campaign for her to take herself out of the running.

Now, Poppy just stepping back a little, all of this is just, you know, one more data point on the growing pressure that Biden is getting to choose a woman of color. He, of course, has already said his running mate is going to be a woman, but we don't know who that's going to be. And, of course, as far as the timing goes, he has said that he hopes to make the decision by around August 1st. Poppy?

HARLOW: Okay. M.J. Lee, thank you for that reporting.

Today is Juneteenth, the day long recognized and celebrated marking the end of slavery in the United States. Take a look at these live pictures out of Atlanta. We have them in a moment for you. The president moved his own rally set for today. He's moving it to tomorrow in Tulsa, a city with quite a history of racism and racial violence.

I'm glad to be joined now by Oklahoma State Representative Regina Goodwin. Good morning. Thank you so much for the time.


HARLOW: I hope people know at this point what happened in Greenwood 99 years ago, but if they don't, let's refresh their memory in terms of the 300 plus lives that were taken in that massacre, 35 city blocks burned to the ground and more than 10,000 African-Americans left homeless, more than 2,000 businesses destroyed. Your great grandfather survived the massacre, and no one held accountable for all of it. What are your thoughts this morning?

GOODWIN: Our thoughts are that justice has not been delivered. Our minds today are on Juneteenth. We honor the legacy of our ancestors, and we've got to keep on keeping on. We're going to continue to stay focused. We're not going to be distracted by the divisiveness of racism, the foolishness of double talk. We're going to keep on keeping on.

So we know that we have a strong lineage here and Tulsa is a very special place and we intend to keep it so. We've got a long way to go but we won't be distracted.

HARLOW: For you, I mean, not only your great grandfather surviving that massacre, you have faced systemic racism, you've faced profiling, you say you've had a gun placed in your face by police officers on three different occasions. What do you hope to hear from the president on the issue of race tomorrow?

GOODWIN: Well, what we hope to hear from the people, the people that live in America day in and day out is the truth.


You know, we need truth-tellers and we need truth listeners. So, we rely on facts from folks that are on the ground, boots on the ground, and we've got strong relationships here as it relates to how do we move along.

So our focus, quite frankly, as it relates to race is, again, I'm not going to go to an arsonist to put out a fire, so we're going to stay focused, Poppy.

HARLOW: But what do you do then? I mean, are there parts, for example, the Republican Senate's proposal on the Justice Act, it's called, on police reform led by Senator Tim Scott that make you hopeful? Do you think we're going to see compromise on this like was accomplished with criminal justice reform?

GOODWIN: Well, what I can say is that we know that's going to be a tough battle when it has to go over to the Senate with Mitch McConnell, but also what we can do, Poppy, we certainly -- it's a step forward. The fact that we are having the conversation here in Tulsa quite frankly. I've authored three bills as it relates to excessive force, as it relates to hate crimes, as it relates to body cams and none of those were heard in the House floor here in Oklahoma.

So all politics are local. We appreciate that initial effort there at the federal level. So the conversation around the world is where it should be, and, again, you know, Washington, D.C., exactly what's going to happen when it gets to the Senate side. I know there's a pretty big gap there. But what can we do here in Tulsa, Oklahoma is really important. And I tell you what, we've got good folks here that have been putting forth good measures. We've just got to get the right horse to push it forward.

HARLOW: Oklahoma State Representative Regina Goodwin, thank you for joining us on such an important day. I appreciate your perspective.

GOODWIN: Poppy, I want to thank you, and we're going to stay focused. We're not going to be distracted again, and we thank you. We're going to carry on. We've got a rich legacy here. Thank you.

HARLOW: Of course. Thanks.

The president now says that he is fighting the Supreme Court decision to allow DACA to stand. What does that actually mean? We'll go to the White House.



HARLOW: Welcome back.

The president says his administration will try to end protections for DACA recipients, this is after his efforts to do so were blocked yesterday by the Supreme Court. They ruled the administration didn't do it the right way, did not provide an adequate reason to end the Obama-era program.

Let's go to the White House. John Harwood is there.

So the president says nothing won here, nothing lost. We just have to do it over. Is that accurate?

JOHN HARWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, it is accurate. Of course, it's a complete shift from what he said yesterday. Yesterday, the president railed against the Supreme Court, said they must not like me in the wake of both the decision on job discrimination against gays that went against him earlier in the week, and the DACA decision. He suggested that we need new justices on the court even though he's appointed two justices in that conservative majority.

And I think what happened was the president figured out that if you're raging against -- if you're a conservative president raging against a conservative court that you helped to build, it makes you look impotent. So today, what he's saying instead is, well, they actually didn't rule against me. They invited me to do it properly. That is true, and in a legal matter that is true, and now I will try to do it properly again. It's a complete shift from the president's tone.

HARLOW: Sure, all right.

The former national security adviser, whom the president chose as well, John Bolton, is asking a federal judge to throw out the lawsuit that the Justice Department has brought forward that's trying to halt his book. I mean, the book comes out Monday, right, John?

HARWOOD: Well, the book is already out for practical purposes.

HARLOW: Right.

HARWOOD: It's been reviewed. Its contents have been aired. This is really about really whether John Bolton gets to keep the money, the $2 million that he has gotten from this book. Courts look askance at prior restraints so it's not likely that the president's side is going to prevail. John Bolton's chances are really good.

But the most important thing about this book, Poppy, is that John Bolton has now joined other senior officials, John Mattis, John Kelly, who worked in top jobs, joined Republican opponents from 2016, joined Hillary Clinton in affirming their common judgment that the president of the United States is dishonest, amoral, unfit for office.

And I've got to say that the president affirmed that judgment last night by sending out a tweet that took a heartwarming video of two toddlers on a street in New York, black and white, greeting, embracing one another, and digitally altered it to make it look like it had been the subject of a CNN report about fake racism.

This is -- it was a grotesque fabrication, so much so that Twitter labeled it manipulated media. And so the president, by his conduct, is affirming the underlying message of John Bolton and various other officials who have called out his character.


HARLOW: Yes. John Harwood, thank you for that reporting.

On the same week that the president says coronavirus is, quote, dying out, those were his.