Return to Transcripts main page
Florida Shatters Daily Record with 3,200+ Virus Cases; Officer Charged with Murdering Brooks to Appear in Court; Trump Goes Forward with Rally as Oklahoma Sets Virus Record. Aired 6-6:30a ET
Aired June 19, 2020 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Record single-day highs for new cases. More than 3,200 reported in Florida.
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): Florida imposed a quarantine on New Yorkers. Now we're afraid they're bringing the virus to our state.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not really so much a second wave. It's we've never finished the first wave.
RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Both responding officers charged in the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks have surrendered. Officer Devin Brosnan has since been released on a signature bond.
DON SAMUEL, DEVIN BROSNAN'S ATTORNEY: He's disappointed in the system, to be honest with you.
PAUL HOWARD, FULTON COUNTY D.A.: This is nothing new. We charged it based upon the facts.
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It is Friday, June 19, Juneteenth, a day marking the end of slavery in America.
John Berman is off. Jim Sciutto joins me in a very handsome tie this morning.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: Good to be here.
CAMEROTA: Great to have you.
President Trump's campaign rally is scheduled to happen in Tulsa tomorrow, despite many red flags concerning coronavirus. Oklahoma just reported its largest single-day increase in COVID-19 infections since the start of the pandemic.
But at tomorrow's rally, social distancing will not be enforced, and masks will not be required.
But the Trump campaign is clearly worried about spreading the virus, since they're making the nearly 20,000 people attending sign a waiver, saying that they will not sue Donald Trump if they get infected. And arena officials are asking the Trump campaign for a health and safety plan in advance of this rally.
It's possible that city officials or the state Supreme Court could pull the plug before tomorrow, but that would disappoint the scores of supporters who have been lining up outside that arena for days now.
SCIUTTO: Well, let's look at the numbers. Overnight, the CDC releasing a grim new forecast projecting 135,000 virus deaths just by next month. The death toll now already more than 118,000 Americans.
Florida set another daily record. Look at the graphs there. Record high with more than 3,000 new cases. Seventy-five percent of ICU beds in the state are now occupied. Florida, one of 23 states seeing increases in coronavirus cases this week.
Meanwhile, Dr. Anthony Fauci warns that an anti-science bias could fuel the further spread of the virus.
Let's begin our coverage with CNN's Rosa Flores, live in Miami.
You hear from the governor a lot of explanations as to why the cases are rising in the state, but still no change to how the state is responding.
ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You're absolutely right, and he hasn't had a press conference in a few days.
Look, Jim, experts have warned from the get-go that if states reopen too quickly, more people would die. And now according to the latest forecasts by the CDC, more than 135,000 people could die by July 11.
And Florida is one of ten states recording an uptick this week. And don't forget: not too long ago, Florida was being lauded for getting it right.
FLORES (voice-over): Florida could be the next coronavirus epicenter in the United States, reporting 3,207 new cases Thursday, the largest single-day count since the start of the pandemic. And hospital intensive care beds for adults here are filling up, with less than 25 percent available, according to a state agency.
DR. DAVID RUBIN, DIRECTOR, POLICYLAB AT CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL OF PHILADELPHIA: 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. With the numbers they're now seeing, it's very easy to start doubling and lose control of the epidemic.
FLORES: Miami's mayor warning stricter measures could be enforced if numbers keep rising.
MAYOR FRANCIS SUAREZ (R), MIAMI: Everything has to be on the table. It would be very regrettable and very unfortunate, because, obviously, you know, this has had catastrophic effects on our economy.
FLORES: Floridians looking to visit New York could face a mandatory 14-day quarantine, courtesy of Governor Andrew Cuomo.
CUOMO: Now the tide -- the tables have turned 180 degrees, and we're considering it for New York. We worked very hard to get the infection rate down. I don't want to see it going back up.
FLORES: As New York City gets ready to enter phase two of reopening Monday, bringing back some retail shopping, playgrounds, and outdoor dining, San Diego County is pausing its reopening plan. Officials there reporting eight community outbreaks in the past week.
DR. WILMA WOOTEN, SAN DIEGO COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICER: People are gathering and not using facial coverings. The way that COVID-19 is spread is primarily through person-to-person contact, and it's spread through droplet transmission.
FLORES: California is one of 23 states experiencing an increase in coronavirus cases. Governor Gavin Newsom issuing a statewide order requiring face coverings in most public settings.
But Texas Governor Greg Abbott is refusing to make masks mandatory across the state, instead, allowing local governments to decide whether businesses can require their employees and customers to use them.
MAYOR SYLVESTER TURNER (D), HOUSTON: We're seeing the number of hospitalizations start to go up. So we need to get on top of it.
FLORES: In Oklahoma, daily confirmed coronavirus cases increased about 110 percent since last week. And people have been lining up for days outside this Tulsa arena, waiting for President Trump's campaign rally Saturday. Masks will not be required at the event.
DR. ASHISH JHA, DIRECTOR, HARVARD GLOBAL HEALTH INSTITUTE: There are three things that really make mass gatherings dangerous. Being indoors, not wearing masks, and having people close together for long periods of time. So this is pretty much the least safe way to get people together.
FLORES: According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, another contributing factor to the rise in cases is that people simply do not believe in science.
And Jim, process this with me for a moment, because where we're talking about Florida being the potential next epicenter, here in Miami-Dade where I am, at Jackson Health, they are reporting a 46 percent increase in the number of COVID-19 patients in just the last ten days -- Jim.
SCIUTTO: That's remarkable in a short period of time. Rosa Flores in Miami. Thanks very much.
In just hours, the fired Atlanta police officer now facing a felony murder charge in the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks will appear in court for the first time. The Fulton County district attorney says he will not seek the death penalty.
CNN's Dianne Gallagher is live in Atlanta with more. Also hearing for the first time from the other officer charged here.
Tell us what's going to happen today.
DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Jim.
Well, so both of the officers charged in the killing of Rayshard Brooks turned themselves into the Fulton County jail yesterday.
Officer Garrett Rolfe, who is charged with shooting and killing Rayshard Brooks, he has been moved to a different location, according to sources here in Atlanta, for security purposes.
Now, he's facing 11 counts. And one of those charges is that felony murder charge. There's been criticism of the district attorney that that was potentially overcharging in this case, which could lead to a more difficult conviction.
The district attorney talked to our Don Lemon last night. Here's what he said about that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HOWARD: We had an opportunity to speak with three eyewitnesses. We also had a chance to talk with seven other witnesses who were present at the scene of the incident. But we also had eight videotapes, and the tapes were of really good quality.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: You don't feel that was an overcharge? You think it was based on what you saw, the evidence that you see on those tapes and from witnesses?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GALLAGHER: Now, the district attorney is also standing by the statement he made at his initial press conference that the other officer, Devin Brosnan, is going to be state's witness in this case.
So it's something that his attorneys have refuted, saying that right now he's a defendant and that he's not going to be a state's witness, especially if, in their words, they continue to bring false charges against him.
Now, Devin Brosnan did bond out on a signature bond yesterday, and he spoke with MSNBC. Here's what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OFFICER DEVIN BROSNAN, ATLANTA POLICE: I have full faith in the criminal justice system.
I think this is a tragic event, and it's totally -- a total tragedy that a man had to lose his life that night.
I felt he was friendly. He was respectful. I felt like, you know, he seemed like someone who potentially needed my help, and I was really just there to see what I could do to make sure that he was safe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GALLAGHER: Now, the district attorney continues to say that he believes Brosnan will be state's witness.
The other former Officer Rolfe, well, Jim, he's going to appear in court right here behind me in about six hours. He's still being held without bond, but it will be the first time that we potentially see or hear from him with this case.
SCIUTTO: Yes, his answers on being state witness were a bit confusing. His lawyer saying --
GALLAGHER: Yes, very.
SCIUTTO: -- in the end, he's going to be a witness. We'll see how it plays out.
SCIUTTO: Dianne Gallagher, thanks very much.
One of the main contenders to be Joe Biden's running mate has now dropped out of contention. We're going to tell you who that is and why, next.
CAMEROTA: Final preparations are underway to pack tens of thousands of people into an arena in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for President Trump's first campaign rally since the pandemic.
New coronavirus cases in Oklahoma have spiked 110 percent since last week. This rally also comes as the president suffers several setbacks.
Joining us now, CNN political commentator Bakari Sellers; and CNN political correspondent Abby Phillip. She is live in Tulsa.
Abby, I want to start with you. The irony of this, of the president saying that everybody should come out to this rally and masks not required, is that President Trump has clearly been worried about coronavirus. He took hydroxychloroquine prophylactically for a couple of weeks. And they're making everyone who goes to the rally sign this legal liability waiver that they're not going to sue if and when they get sick.
So they are, it sounds like, personally concerned, but I mean, wouldn't a mask mandate just be simple and solve some of those things?
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean, in addition to -- to what you just pointed out, Alisyn, the president in an interview with "The Wall Street Journal" acknowledged that it was possible that people would get sick at this rally. He said a small number of people might get sick if they attended.
Now, I mean, if this were a common cold, you know, perhaps you could sort of see the attitude of, if you come, you come at your own risk. But this is a deadly virus for many people. It's also a virus that makes people very, very ill.
And the president and his campaign have effectively taken the position that, if you choose to come to this rally and you get sick, that's on you. They're going to give you masks. They're not going to require you to wear them at the rally. They're not even going to encourage you to wear them at the rally.
And so the other, I think, part of this that's critical is how the president has made mask wearing a part of his political campaign. He's used it as a weapon against his political opponents, Joe Biden.
And so when you see his supporters -- we saw them lined up outside of the BOK Arena yesterday -- the lack of mask wearing is part of the experience of being at this -- this rally. And I expect that you'll see a lot of people tomorrow night choosing not to wear a mask, because that's the message that they're getting from the president.
SCIUTTO: You get the anti-science bias that Dr. Fauci is talking about.
Bakari Sellers, you have the president ignoring, flouting the genuine threat of COVID. You also have the president holding this rally the day after Juneteenth. Of course, he moved it one day out of respect. He claims that he's going to draw some sort of positive attention to the importance of this. I wonder if you believe that?
And tell me about that side of this. The insensitivity to that holiday, its meaning, particularly in the larger context of today, when you really have a national movement underway for racial equality.
BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I -- my level of expectation, again, for the president of the United States tomorrow is extremely low. I'm proud and happy that he didn't have it today, but Jim, one of the things I also wanted to point out, and it's something that Abby knows extremely well, is where he is having this.
It's not just that he wanted to have this event on Juneteenth. It's that he wanted to have in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and we're 99 years since Black Wall Street and since one of the -- the most grave acts of racial violence in the history of the United States of America. And so he's going to be on hallowed ground, as well.
The president of the United States and his ignorance of American history is stunning. You know, I believe it was his campaign manager who said he wasn't even cognizant of this Juneteenth holiday. And then the president in the same "Wall Street Journal" article that was quoted earlier was stating that he is the reason that people now know about Juneteenth.
You know, we have a saying down here, Jim, when people say things that are a bit wayward and out there, we just shake our head and say, "Bless your heart."
CAMEROTA: Let us move on, Abby, and talk about Joe Biden's vice- presidential pick. So it seemed, after what happened with George Floyd in Minneapolis, that it would be a challenge to pick Amy Klobuchar, and yesterday she decided to take herself out of the running.
So let's listen to what she said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
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. But if you want to heal this nation right now, my party, yes, but our nation, this is sure a hell of a way to do it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: Abby, what is the thinking about that, in terms of is that -- would that -- obviously, that would be a symbolic move that would send a message.
But if Joe Biden doesn't have the best chemistry with a woman of color and has better chemistry with a different woman, which is the right way for him to go?
PHILLIP: Yes. I mean, this is something I've talked to a lot of Biden advisers and friends about, and they're pretty clear. Vice President Joe Biden has been through this process before, on the other side of this, being chosen as a vice president. He went through eight years of becoming very personally close to President Obama. And that is one of the most important criteria to him.
Yes, he has, himself said that he will choose a woman, but the thinking among Biden advisers and the vice president has made this clear himself is that he wants to choose someone who's ready for the job and who he has a personal rapport with, who he believes can help him govern.
So a lot of this conversation about what -- who his vice president should be, whether it should be a black woman, is something that is happening within the campaign, outside of the campaign. It's incredibly important to activists, who have made the point that this is a key way to mobilize the African-American base of the Democratic Party.
But at the same time, it's been pretty clear, from what I've heard from Biden advisers, that there's a process that they're going to go forward with, and ultimately, that decision is going to be his; and it's going to be based on who he thinks he can govern with for at least four years, if not longer.
SCIUTTO: Bakari Sellers, help us put the finger on the pulse of where this race stands. The president's support is certainly dropping. It's in the polls across the board nationally, but also more importantly, in key swing states.
A big portion of that, of course, is Trump's mishandling of various crises. But I wonder, on the flip side, do you see increased enthusiasm about Joe Biden, including among African-American voters, or is this mostly about Trump falling?
SELLERS: Let me just be extremely clear that everyone probably needs to take a deep breath and throw most of the polls out of the window. Donald Trump is going to be very, very difficult to beat. As we know, incumbents for president of the United States historically have been very, very difficult to beat, and Donald Trump will not be any different.
I was one of the many people who decided I was going to be a prognosticator back in 2016, and I just flat-out got proven wrong.
And let me just also say that, while Joe Biden attempts to be showing some momentum right now, there are certain things that Joe Biden still has to do to shore up the base and make sure that that base is energized.
This race, I know that people will come on and probably say something vastly different. They'll say that it's about flyover country or they'll say that it's about the Obama/Trump voters. I disagree with that.
This race comes down to the 4 million voters who voted for Barack Obama in 2012, who did not show up for Hillary Clinton in 2016. Of those 4 million, over a third of those voters are African-American. And so that energy, you're right, has to be built up by Vice President Biden.
CAMEROTA: Bakari Sellers, Abby Phillip, thank you both very much. Both of your hair looks fantastic. I just didn't want to end this segment without mentioning it.
SELLERS: My Juneteenth haircut. It's my Juneteenth haircut.
CAMEROTA: I was wondering what you were celebrating. It looks -- it looks -- it looks great. Thank you both very much.
Seventh-five percent of Florida's ICU beds are occupied, and the state continues to break records in new cases, so what is being done to contain the outbreak there? That's next.
SCIUTTO: This is new overnight. A grim forecast just released from the CDC now projects that the coronavirus death toll will reach 135,000 by July 11. That's nearly 20,000 more deaths in just the next three weeks. It seems to be accelerating here.
This morning, 23 states are reporting increases in coronavirus cases. Several states, including Florida, Arizona, California, South Carolina, and Texas are all setting records for single-day new cases.
Joining us now is Dr. Ali Khan. He's the dean of the College of Public Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and the former director of the Office of Public Health Preparedness at the CDC. In other words, he knows what he's talking about.
So let's ask a couple questions here. When you look at Florida and Texas, when you look at the numbers -- let's show Florida, for instance, really jumping there.
Now, the Florida governor claims, he says, this is all about migrant families, construction workers, day laborers, who he says are overwhelmingly Hispanic. You go to Texas, and he says the only reason they're seeing a rise there is really because they have increased testing. What's your answer to those explanations?
DR. ALI KHAN, DEAN, COLLEGE OF PUBLIC HEALTH, UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA MEDICAL CENTER: So my -- good morning. So my answer is that the fundamental biology of this disease hasn't changed the outbreak.
Over 90 percent of Americans are still susceptible. This is still a significant disease. And 30 percent of Americans are at high risk. So we're in the midst of the greatest public health failure in American history, and if we're going to continue to open up and not open up safely, we're going to continue to see increased cases.
CAMEROTA: And so do you reject the idea, Dr. Khan, that this -- that the, you know, politicians in Florida know exactly who's bringing this or where it's coming from? I mean, do you think that people across the board are getting sick?
KHAN: So there's no doubt there's widespread community transmission going on in Florida and a number of these other states where they're seeing increased cases. And we -- and we do also know that this is disproportionately amongst people of color that get infected and, disproportionately, people of color die. So for example, blacks are 2.3 times more likely to die.
As far as the testing question, Alisyn, goes, we know that this is not just increased testing, because there's also increased people showing up in hospitals. So this is disproportionately more cases.
SCIUTTO: I want to ask you, Dr. Khan, I mean, to hear you say, describing in those terms, just a gross failure in terms of public health, let's compare the U.S. to Europe.
And of course, Europe was hit before the U.S., so we could have looked to their experience in Italy and Spain and learned from it. But the U.S. is plateauing in cases. You see on the left-hand side of the screen, Europe, dipping off like a ski slope there. What did they do that the U.S. is not doing right now?
KHAN: So I think you're very kind in using the word "plateauing." The word I use is "stalled" in terms of the number of cases in the United States. And actually, from about 22,000 every day, I think yesterday's count was 27,000 cases. So we're not just stalled. We're going back up.
And it's not just Europe. It's the initial countries in the first phase, in East Asia. It's Oceana. They all figured out. It's simple: no vaccine, no treatment. Right? All you need is test and trace. So good public health. Combine it with good personal responsibility. Masks, social distancing, hand washing. Put the two together, and you can become New Zealand and go to zero cases in this country.
CAMEROTA: Hey, Dr. Khan, what the heck is going on in your state of Nebraska? Let me just read what the governor has said.
So Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts told county governments they will not receive federal coronavirus relief funds if they require people to wear masks while going inside state courthouses.