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CNN NEWSROOM

Interview with Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Kerner; Jose Andres' Charity is Helping Restaurants Serve COVID-Vulnerable; Interview with Reverends on Tulsa Massacre. Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired June 19, 2020 - 10:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[10:30:00]

JOHN HARWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: -- called out his character.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: Yes. John Harwood, thank you for that reporting.

On the same week that the president says coronavirus is, quote, "dying out" -- those were his words -- Florida is running out of ICU beds. We'll take you there.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HARLOW: Let's talk about Florida because in that state, less than 25 percent of their ICU beds are currently available. This comes as the state recorded its highest single-day jump in coronavirus cases just yesterday. New models suggest Florida has, quote, "all the markings" to be the next epicenter of this pandemic.

[10:35:10]

But that is not stopping the state from reopening.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MELISSA MCKINLAY, PALM BEACH COUNTY COMMISSIONER: I don't think we can scale back how we've opened, but we can simply slow down how we move forward.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARLOW: Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Kerner joins me now to discuss. Mayor, it's good to have you. Thank you very, very much for being here. Let's just begin with the state of Florida, and if you agree with the analysis out of the University of Pennsylvania this week that says that it is Florida that has all the markings of being the next large epicenter of coronavirus transmissions, saying it could be worse than ever. Do you share that concern?

MAYOR DAVE KERNER (D), PALM BEACH COUNTY, FLORIDA: Well, it's hard for me as a layperson and as a county mayor to understand what those markings are. I haven't operated in a pandemic environment before, but certainly there are some red flags and concerns that we have here locally with regard to the community spread of this virus.

HARLOW: The request from your team to the governor was to allow you to move into a phase two. Now, I understand that it's a very scaled- down phase two, but it is -- it would still mean more businesses are open, there can be more human-to-human interaction. With 344 new cases just yesterday, what tells you now is the time for that?

KERNER: Well, there's a couple of different metrics we look at here, and I'm seated right now at the Emergency Operations Center here in Palm Beach County, which is where we've been operating out of for the last 90 days.

And for us, I know that you mentioned that there was a 25 percent capacity in the ICUs statewide. I can't comment on the statewide portion, but here in Palm Beach County, we have plenty of ICU space, plenty of ventilator space. Those metrics haven't really moved that much because the median age has gone down in terms of community spread.

But, again, there are things that need to be considered. I heard my colleague Melissa McKinlay, county commissioner, talk about it's hard to retract the economy. But certainly, moving into phase two in the very narrow sense that we've requested --

HARLOW: Yes.

KERNER: -- is something that (INAUDIBLE) me concerned.

HARLOW: Well, here's why I ask about Palm Beach. Maybe your numbers are more updated, and please tell us if they are, but our reporting is that Florida's Agency for Health Care Administration says that Palm Beach County is running out of ICU beds. Overall, 74 percent of your 319 ICU beds are occupied.

And at some specific hospitals -- Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center, Palms West Hospital, Wellington Regional Medical Center -- they have few or no adult ICU beds. Is that not the case?

KERNER: I'm sure that is the case. And what the CEOs of the various hospitals have tried to accomplish is making sure that the majority of COVID-infected patients in the ICU remain in certain hospitals. And that way, it's easier to treat the traumatic patients that are involved in car crashes and things of that nature in other hospitals.

But, granted, I mean, I'll be the first to admit there are concerning trends with regards to ICU space --

HARLOW: OK.

KERNER: -- and certainly (ph) our cases have gone up, day over day, in a very large amount.

HARLOW: So because of these concerning trends that have been seen in many states across the country -- California, yesterday, implemented mandatory mask-wearing for almost everywhere, outside and inside, very few exceptions. Are you a supporter of that? Should Florida do the same?

KERNER: I am a supporter of that. I think the board's going to convene on the 25th to make that decision. It's not a decision that I get to make on my own. And I think when we do convene, we'll probably end up, from a policy perspective, mandating masks.

We've also purchased 6.5 million masks here locally to subsidize and push out into the community through our Ask for the Mask Program. And finally, we're starting to transition to more of a comprehensive enforcement, education and compliance perspective because we can move into whatever phase we want or not, if there's not compliance with the governor's order, then that's really the catalyst for community spread --

HARLOW: Right.

KERNER: -- and so we're starting to focus on that.

HARLOW: Mayor, thank you for your time. I know you guys have a lot on your plate right now.

KERNER: Thank you, Poppy.

HARLOW: Have a good weekend.

COVID-19 has taken a devastating toll on the restaurant industry, but celebrity chef Jose Andres, he has done remarkable things to help, feeding those affected by COVID and helping restaurants stay in business at the same time. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RACHEL CRANE, CNN INNOVATION CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He's known for feeding people when disaster strikes --

JOSE ANDRES, CHEF: I'm here, reporting from (INAUDIBLE), look at all the people waiting here.

CRANE (voice-over): Now, celebrity chef Jose Andres is feeding people affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Andres and his nonprofit, World Central Kitchen, have started a program to feed vulnerable communities across the country.

ANDRES: We are in elderly homes, we are distributing food through Uber and Lyft, home by home, when elderly people cannot leave home and they are too ill or too scared to go out.

The mayor (ph) back there, delivering meals --

CRANE (voice-over): Andres is providing those meals by partnering with restaurants that really need the business.

[10:40:00]

ANDRES: We've been able to put more than 500 restaurants up and running because we get donations, we are able to pay per meal and every one of those restaurants that they are part of the community, they take care of whatever the needs are.

CRANE (voice-over): The Michelin-starred chef popularized tapas in the U.S., and he owns more than 30 restaurants across the country.

CRANE: You had to shut, you know, many of your restaurants and furlough the vast majority of your employees, so what has that experience been like for you?

ANDRES: For me, (INAUIDBLE) situation (ph) where I was (ph) able to pay everybody salary and benefits, took away the anxiety at the beginning.

CRANE: Do you think your business can ever recover from this?

ANDRES: I'm preparing for the worst, but I'm hoping for the best.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HARLOW: Oh, it's great. You're going to hear more from Jose Andres. Rachel Crane has a special, 2:30 p.m. Eastern, tomorrow, for the CNN Business "RISK TAKERS" special. She will talk to business leaders like Jose Andres about the challenges they're facing during this pandemic, and their solutions.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:45:42]

HARLOW: Right now, as President Trump prepares for his Tulsa rally, America is confronting its racist past and present, including what is believed to be the single worst incident of racial violence in American history, Tulsa's 1921 massacre, where white mobs attacked black residents in the Greenwood district.

These are the numbers, as many as 300 people died, 35 city blocks were burned to the ground, more than 10,000 black Americans left homeless, more than 2,000 businesses destroyed and no one was held accountable.

With me now to mark the significance and importance of this, Reverend Joey Crutcher -- his grandmother survived the massacre in Tulsa, his son Terence Crutcher was shot and killed by a white Tulsa police officer in 2016.

Also with me is Reverend Robert Turner, pastor of Vernon Chapel AME Church. The church was one of the only structures left standing after the massacre.

Gentlemen, thank you so much for being with me today.

And, Reverend Turner, let me begin with you because your church, a sanctuary that was rebuilt by survivors of the massacre, sits atop the only structure still standing since 1921 and what happened that day.

But you wrote something recently that struck me. You said, "The white mob really won because they took it out of the hands of black people -- they took Greenwood out of the hands of black people." What do you want to hear from the president tomorrow?

ROBERT TURNER, PASTOR, VERNON CHAPEL A.M.E. CHURCH: I would like for the president of these United States to actually do more than just give a speech. I would like for him to treat African-Americans, especially those here in Tulsa, as true citizens of this nation. And especially those who were killed in the 1921 race massacre.

I would like for the president to instruct his attorney general to start an investigation into the race massacre of 1921. I would like for the president to instruct his cabinet to look into starting a reparations initiative for those descendants and the few survivors that we have left.

I would like for the president of these United States to truly say simple words, Black Lives Matter. And not to just say it, but to actually do something about it.

HARLOW: Reverend Crutcher, what are your thoughts as, you know, the president comes to Tulsa?

JOEY CRUTCHER, REVEREND, GRANDMOTHER SURVIVED 1921 RACE MASSACRE: I question his reasons for choosing Tulsa. Oklahoma is a red state, and the last time the state had a Democratic president was in 1964 when Lyndon Johnson won in a landslide victory over his opponent.

I just feel that, I mean, what's the reason for coming? I think it's just Donald Trump being Donald Trump. Donald Trump hasn't shown any compassion or sympathy for the black lives that have been lost during these recent police shootings.

HARLOW: Well, speaking of the shooting -- and I obviously mentioned it at the top, but it was four years ago, September 16th, 2016, that your son, Terence Crutcher -- who everyone a picture of him, to honor his life -- was shot and killed by a white police officer, who was ultimately found not guilty.

Talk to us about your son, Reverend, and also what you think he would make of this moment in America, and the outcry in the streets of America right now.

CRUTCHER: Terence was a very compassionate young man. And Terence loved everyone. He would even go in the streets and cook meals, he loved to cook. He would cook meals and give to the homeless.

I think Terence would be very outraged at what's happening now in the United States, and especially what's happening here in Tulsa.

HARLOW: I'm so sorry for your loss. As a parent, I can't imagine it and I'm very, very sorry.

Reverend Turner, one of the ensuing tragedies of what happened in Greenwood is that the history of it was erased for so long that it was not taught in schools. That many people growing up, when they were younger, didn't even know it happened, what happened on their own streets.

[10:50:12]

As you think about this moment, where we are in this country and the importance of teaching people what has really happened, how does that all sit with you?

TURNER: It doesn't sit well at all because it is again, an example of how the history of black people is not important, and it shows that not even in our educational curriculum, that most Americans found out about this for the first time on "60 Minutes."

It shows a great tragedy, that a crime, the worst race massacre in American history, the first time airplanes (ph) were used to terrorize American souls, happened right here and most Americans know (ph) nothing about it.

But we all know about 9/11, we all know about Pearl Harbor. But hardly anyone knows about what happened here in Tulsa. And so it is sickening to still be in a country and a society where we have a president that brags about him bringing attention to (INAUDIBLE), saying that nobody knew about it.

Well, I want to correct the president on that. Black people knew about it, and black people are somebody. We are somebody and we matter whether he believes it or not.

HARLOW: Well, it's a remarkable piece of reporting, I encourage everyone to watch it and I'm glad that they're investigating and looking now into where these mass grave sites may be, for all of those lives that were lost as a result.

Reverend Crutcher, a common refrain right now among some black activists and leaders is, I'm tired. They are tired of seeing their brothers and sisters and children killed on the streets of America, they are tired of very little to no change happening.

You know, your son is on a list of so many killed at the hands of police. What is your message to those in your church, in your community who are exhausted by all of this and who may not have much hope that this time will be different?

CRUTCHER: Yes, when we see, all across America, all of the protests that are happening concerning blacks being killed by police, I'll tell you, until it happens to you, you don't know the feelings that we have. I mean, I heard every day, it's been coming up on four years. And each day brings back the memory.

And the killing of Floyd just brought back the memory of my son, when I got the message that Terence was shot and killed by a police officer, it's one of the most hurting things that's ever had to happen to me.

HARLOW: Yes, of course.

I thank you both for being here on such an important day, I really do. Thank you, Reverend Joey Crutcher, and Reverend Robert Turner.

TURNER: Thank you.

CRUTCHER: You're welcome.

[10:52:55]

HARLOW: We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HARLOW: As parts of the country begin to reopen, masks are playing a key role in helping communities emerge from lockdown. In many cases, everyday folks are using their skills to sew masks that so many of us are wearing. It is this week's #GoodJobChallenge, grateful friends and neighbors who want to say thank you.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALICIA KEYS, MUSICIAN: -- good job, you're doing a good job, a good job --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to send oodles of gratitude to the army of home economics teachers everywhere --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Julianne (ph) took pieces of her quilts and designed and handmade personal protective gear.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We also have a really talented and generous volunteer who has offered to sew face masks for the children and adults living at the largest shelter here in Baltimore County.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Leah (ph) has been producing face masks in our maker space.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Lucas (ph) used 3D printer at his office to create the types of masks that the hospital might find useful.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And those masks not only served to help slow the spread of infections, they protected our essential workers and acted as utilitarian love notes for friends and family far away.

KEYS: You're doing a good job, don't get too down. The world needs you now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARLOW: Oh, we want to know who inspires you. Record a short video. Thank someone who's helping others during this crisis, post it on Instagram with the hashtag #GoodJobChallenge. You may see it right here on CNN. Also visit CNN Heroes social media, where they're sharing the full stories.

Thank you all for being with us all week. Jim and I will see you back here on Monday. I'm Poppy Harlow. NEWSROOM with John King starts now.

JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: Hello, everybody, I'm John King in Washington. Thank you so much for sharing this day with us. It's a very important day, Juneteenth. This key historical moment in

the struggle for black freedom, playing out this year amid America's racial reckoning.

Live look here at pictures out of New York and Atlanta, where marches are under way on this day. Let's pause for a second to look at these.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- people are on the right side of history.

KING: Marchers and speeches. Juneteenth traces back to 1865,when word belatedly reached slaves in Galveston, Texas that they were free. The marches today mark that history, but also highlight the here and now, the debate over race and policing, the demand for justice for George Floyd, for Rayshard Brooks and for so many others.

[11:00:04]

Lawyers for the former Atlanta police officer who pulled the trigger in the Brooks shooting one week ago, due in court next hour.