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Trump Goes Forward With Rally As Oklahoma Sets Virus Record; Several States Set Record-High New Coronavirus Cases; John Bolton Makes Bombshell Allegations Against Trump. Aired 7-7:30a ET

Aired June 19, 2020 - 07:00   ET



JIM SCIUTTO, CNN NEW DAY: And New Day continues right now.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN NEW DAY: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is New Day.

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 coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic. But at the rally, social distancing will not be enforced and masks will not be required.

But the Trump campaign is clearly worried about the virus spreading, since they're making the more than 20,000 people expected there to sign a waiver, saying they will not sue the campaign if they get infected. And arena officials are now asking the president's 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 be a major disappointment for the scores of Trump supporters who have been lining up outside for nearly a week, Jim.

SCIUTTO: Overnight, the CDC has released a grim new forecast, projecting that 135,000 virus deaths will take place in this country by just next month. The death toll, already more than 118,000 Americans. Florida set another daily record high with more than 3,000 new cases. Look at the graph there rising on the right. It is one of 23 states seeing increases in coronavirus cases this week.

Meanwhile, Dr. Anthony Fauci warns that an anti-science bias could further fuel the spread of the virus. People just don't want to hear the facts.

Let's begin with CNN's Abby Phillip. She is live in Tulsa, the arena there. It's going to be an issue, is it not, for the people who attend this rally?

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it's going to be an issue. I mean, it's already causing a lot of confusing here in Tulsa, as we're hearing officials going back and forth about what exactly is the plan for tomorrow night. Already, we have, you know, a couple dozen people lined up outside the BOK Arena. They've been there for about 48 hours before this rally is supposed to be held. And we are also hearing a little bit more from the arena managers about what they want from the Trump campaign.

We already know folks are going to be handed hand sanitizer, they're going to be given masks. Their temperatures are going to be checked. But just yesterday, the arena said to the Trump campaign, we want to see a written plan for how you guys are going to enforce public safety, especially social distancing.

Now, Jim and Alisyn, we are expecting about 19,000 people to be in that arena. It is going to be virtually impossible for there to be social distancing within the arena. And in an interview with The Wall Street Journal this week, President Trump seemed to acknowledge that there is a real possibility that people could get sick if they come to his rally. He was asked by The Journal's Mike Bender, what happens if your supporters get sick at one of these rallies. and the president said, well, people have to know that. Yes, you do, but it's tiny. It's a very small percentage.

So the president seems to be acknowledging, people could get sick. He says it's a small percentage, so implying there that it's not as big of a deal. But here in Tulsa, officials are concerned about it. There was a board meeting for the BOK Arena yesterday in which there was a lot of discussion about this. One of the officials for that arena said their employees would be making people wear masks as they walked in, but could not force them to keep those masks on during the event. And then the Oklahoma health commissioner also made it clear that this event could not be stopped. They are just going to have to figure out how to contain whatever fallout there may be.

And one last note, Jim, on that Oklahoma State Supreme Court case. We are expecting some kind of ruling in that case today. Alisyn?

CAMEROTA: That will be very interesting, to see how the supreme court rules. Abby, thank you very much.

So the director of Tulsa's health department is worried about tomorrow's rally, recommending that it be postponed until a safer date.


DR. BRUCE DART, DIRECTOR, TULSA HEALTH DEPARTMENT: Let me be clear. Anyone planning to attend a large scale gathering will face an increased risk of becoming infected with COVID-19.

I recommend that it be postponed until it's safer, until the data tells us that it's not as large a concern to have people indoors and in enclosed spaces with the threat of COVID-19 transmission. So if we could push it back to when it's safer, that's my recommendation. That's what I would personally like to see happen. It's here, so let's focus on staying safe while it's here.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CAMEROTA: Joining us now is Oklahoma State Senator Kevin Matthews. He is the chairman of the Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission. Senator, thanks so much for being here.

So let's just start there.


I mean, let's just start with -- it appears that President Trump is going to have this rally of more than 20,000 people tomorrow there in Tulsa. And so, if people -- look, it's possible that everybody will wear a mask. It's possible that, miraculously, nobody will get sick. But if they do, are Tulsa area hospitals ready to handle this, given the spike you're seeing, are they at capacity? Could they handle more of whatever happens in the next couple of weeks?

STATE SEN. KEVIN MATTHEWS (D-OK): Well, our Tulsa County Health Department has warned against it. He's very, very concerned and has said that the rally should be delayed because we think that it is going to stretch our hospitals and our healthcare system thin.

I don't know how many people could get sick, and I don't know how many people from other areas will be here afterwards that could go to our hospitals, but our healthcare professionals are saying that this is not a good time to have it. We've had our highest spikes ever. And the healthcare professionals are saying it should be delayed.

CAMEROTA: Do you think it's possible that the state supreme court is going to postpone this?

MATTHEWS: I have no idea what the state supreme court is going to do. I just -- you know, I'm a retired firefighter and life safety and healthcare is very important to me. I believe in listening to healthcare professionals and science. Some don't.

CAMEROTA: President Trump -- well, let me just ask you that, I mean, since that's dangling out there, is it your impression that the Trump campaign does not believe in healthcare and science?

MATTHEWS: I don't know. I just know that if they were listening, that this rally would be delayed.

CAMEROTA: President Trump and his campaign manager, Brad Parscale, have basically -- the reporting is that they didn't know that today was Juneteenth. They didn't know when they planned this rally, the significance of this date. But President Trump -- so President Trump moved it a day, until tomorrow, but he now thinks that the upside of this is that even though he wasn't aware of it, he's brought awareness.

So here is what he has said. Quote, I did something good. I made it famous. I made Juneteenth very famous. It's actually an important event. It's an important time. But nobody had heard of it. Very few people have heard of it.

What's your response, Senator? MATTHEWS: Well, I first want to say that any person coming to an area that has a position of this magnitude, the president of the United States, or any elected official would know these types of things, if they had diversity around them. I would be surprised if the president or anyone that didn't know about Juneteenth that was planning such an event in this area, I would -- I mean, it's my assumption that they don't have people that look like me around them, giving them that information.

That's why diversity is important. That's why if you represent the country, if you represent an area, it's my opinion that you should have a diverse group around you and you should, at the very least, we have Oklahoma legislative black caucus members here. I'm one of them. Our chair lives here in Tulsa. There's three Oklahoma legislative black caucus members here in Tulsa.

And this is my area, on Greenwood. It would seem that someone would consult us if we were going to come to the area. We had heard something may have been planned on Greenwood. I was not consulted until after those discussions happened. and those types of decisions are uninformed decisions.

CAMEROTA: Former Congressman J.C. Watts of Oklahoma has said that the people in the area, as a result of all of this, it's been stinging because of the lack of awareness of some of this important history. He said, they're stinging from it. They're reeling from it. Juneteenth was on the schedule before any rally was. People are reeling from it. Are you hearing and seeing the same thing?

MATTHEWS: I'm hearing exactly the same thing. And I talked to him on the phone a couple of days ago, he's a friend.


That is very, very true.

CAMEROTA: Can you give us an example? I mean, what are you hearing people say about all of this?

MATTHEWS: Well, I'm just hearing that -- it's just a shame that right here on Greenwood, we just had an event, the 99th year since one of the worst massacres of Americans upon Americans happened right here on Greenwood, the once Black Wall Street of America. And this area was burned down. People were killed. This is a state where 168 people lost their lives in Oklahoma City bombing. And we have a federal memorial. But yet here in Greenwood, where some say at least twice as many black people were killed and murdered and we can't even find tombstones or graves.

And so this is a sacred area for black people and this is a sacred time. This is -- when we talk about Juneteenth, June 19th was the day that many southern black people found out about the emancipation proclamation. And that's when we were supposed to be free. But we're not free if we don't have the opportunity to, in this state, vote for state question 802, which is the opportunity to expand Medicaid. I think that some of these things that are to divert us from that, our legislature did not expand Medicaid. And now we have an initiative petition that we can vote on at the end of the month that will allow that.

I think that some of these issues are to divert from that. Some of these issues are to divert from us looking at more people being to vote, not only from the COVID, but to have absentee balloting in our state and have more people voting and to address these police inequities that happen in our community. We don't want to be emotional, we want to be intentional. And we don't want to divert from that.

And often we see across our country, some people trying diversion tactics. And those are things that are emotional. We want to be intentional. We want to stay focused on filling out the census so that we have more opportunity for people to --

CAMEROTA: Understood. And I'm sorry to interrupt, we're running out of time. But I want to let people know that they should go to to see all the things that you are planning next year in important to commemorate all of these important historical moments.

Kevin Mathews, thank you very much. We really appreciate talking to you this morning.

MATTHEWS: Thank you for having me.


SCIUTTO: Well, in just hours, the fired Atlanta police officer facing a felony murder charge now in the death, the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks, will make his first court appearance. Today, the Fulton County prosecutor clarifies. He says he is not seeking the death penalty in this case.

CNN's Dianne Gallagher live in Atlanta with more. So what happens today not only with him but the other officer charged?

DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So, Jim, both of those officers turned themselves into Fulton County Jail yesterday. Now, fired Officer Garrett Rolfe, who lost his job after shooting and killing Rayshard Brooks one week ago today, he was actually transferred overnight to a different jail, sources tell us, for security purposes.

He's facing 11 counts, including a felony murder charge, which has prompted a discussion around here about whether or not the district attorney overcharged in this situation, which could make it more difficult to obtain a conviction. He addressed that last night with our Don Lemon.


PAUL HOWARD, FULTON COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: 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 a 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?

HOWARD: Absolutely.


GALLAGHER: Now, the district attorney is also standing by his original statement from his initial press conference on Wednesday that the other officer, Devin Brosnan, is a state witness in this case. Now, the attorneys for Brosnan came out immediately afterwards saying, no, he's not, that he is simply a witness who has told his story honestly and openly during interviews, and plans to do the same next week with the Georgia Bureau of Investigations.

He says that he's not cooperating against somebody, he is simply cooperating to tell the story, and notes that in this case, he's actually a defendant, because he is facing three charges, as well, including aggravated assault.


Brosnan spoke after being released on a signature bond yesterday with MSNBC.


DEVIN BROSNAN, ATLANTA POLICE OFFICER: I have full faith in the criminal justice system.

I think this is a tragic event and it's a total tragedy that a man had to lose his life that night.

I felt he was friendly, he was respectful. I felt like he seemed like someone who potentially needed my help and I was really just there to see what I could do for him and make sure he was safe.


GALLAGHER: Now, that fired officer, Garrett Rolfe, is going to have his first court appearance in a courtroom in the building behind me here at noon Eastern Time. His attorneys have said that they do believe that the shooting was justified and that he will be vindicated. We should hear more from them today.

And, Jim, Rayshard Brooke will be laid to rest on Tuesday in a private ceremony at the iconic and important Ebenezer Baptist Church here in Atlanta. There will be a public viewing on Monday at that same church.

SCIUTTO: So much history there, quite a setting. Dianne Gallagher, thanks very much.

Well, 75 percent of Florida's ICU beds are now occupied and the state continues to break records in new infections. What can be done to contain the outbreak? Crucially, will it be done? We're going to discuss that, next.



CAMEROTA: Overnight, we got brand-new projections from the CDC. They expect 20,000 more Americans to die from coronavirus in the next three weeks. The number of cases in the United States remains stubbornly high, as you can see on the left side of your screen, whereas in the European Union, the chart on the right, cases have dramatically declined.

Joining us now is Dr. Ashish Jha. He's the Director of the Harvard Global Health Institute. So, Dr. Jha, what is it that Europe has been able to do and get their arms around that the U.S. hasn't been able to?


You know, what Europe did, they initially were really slow, as we were, but what Europe did differently is they stayed locked down a bit longer, a bit more uniformly, not all European countries, we're talking about places like Italy and Spain, and really brought their case number way down before they opened back up again.

There are parts of America where that didn't happen and that's why we're seeing a very different picture here.

CAMEROTA: Let's look at that picture. Let's get a status report right now. Here's where the coronavirus cases are in the United States as of this morning. 23, which you see in the orange and the red, states there are seeing upticks somewhere between 10 percent and 50 percent. Then you can see those states in beige, which are holding steady, 12 of them. And then you see 15 states in the green that have come down.

And, you know, obviously, New York City -- well, not just the city, New York State and the city were the epicenter for a long time of coronavirus. And what the governor and mayor decided to do was shut down the city, shut down the state. And then New York went from red to green.

Now, experts believe that Florida may be the epicenter of coronavirus and the governor there has no intention of shutting down and, in fact, says that that he really will resist and won't do that. And so how will the virus run its course in Florida if there is no shutdown?

JHA: Yes. So I think we all want to avoid a shutdown. And shutdown is the most extreme version of what you need to do. And so what many of us in the public health community have been advocating is that let's do everything to prevent the shutdown.

So what are things we can do? Let's make sure that large gatherings, especially indoors, where people aren't wearing masks, let's not do that. Let's actually encourage and I believe in mask mandates, as a way to maintain public health. Let's ramp up testing and tracing and isolation, so we can identify cases and isolation folks.

If we do all of that, we can curtail the virus and not have to shut down. What I'm worried about is that we're ignoring it and hoping that the virus goes away by itself, which we know it won't.

CAMEROTA: Yesterday, President Trump gave an interview to The Wall Street Journal, in which he shared his thoughts about testing. I'll read it to you.

He says, I personally think testing is overrated, even though I created the greatest testing machine in history, Mr. Trump said, adding that more testing in the U.S. led to an increase in confirmed cases. That, quote, in many ways makes us look bad.

What's your response to that logic?

JHA: Yes, this has been an ongoing challenge. We know that testing doesn't cause cases. The virus causes cases. And what testing lets you do is identify them and isolate people who are positive, so they don't infect others. In fact, our testing has been among the worst of high- income countries until very recently, and we're still by no means the best.

So, unfortunately, I think we've not had enough testing, not enough focus on testing, as opposed to the president's assessment that it's been too much.

CAMEROTA: Very quickly, Dr. Fauci seems frustrated. He hasn't met with the president, he says, for a couple of weeks. And here is what he shared yesterday about his frustration.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: Unfortunately, there is a combination of an anti-science bias that people are, for reasons that sometimes are inconceivable and don't understandable, they just don't believe science and they don't believe authority. And that's unfortunate, because, you know, science is truth.


CAMEROTA: Are you seeing an anti-science bias as well?

JHA: Yes, you know, there are definitely elements of politicization of science, of people not wanting to believe science. Science at the end of the day doesn't care if you believe it or not. The truth is that the virus is here and it's growing in large parts of the country, and we've got to respond to it scientifically.


And I agree with Dr. Fauci, too many people are trying to look away and deny the science that's front of us.

CAMEROTA: Dr. Ashish Jha, we always appreciate having you on. Thank you very much.

JHA: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: A hearing today in federal court as the Trump administration tries to block the release of John Bolton's new book. So we will ask the president's former chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, his thoughts on this book, next.


SCIUTTO: Welcome back.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has accused former National Security Adviser John Bolton of being a trader and spreading lies in a forceful rebuke of Bolton's new book.

Joining me now to discuss this and other issues, former acting Chief of Staff for President Trump, Mick Mulvaney. Mr. Mulvaney, thanks very much for taking the time this morning.

MICK MULVANEY, FORMER ACTING WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: Good morning, Jim. Thanks very much for having me.

SCIUTTO: So first, I want to begin big picture, because Pompeo and the president have said this book is a lie, in effect. But at the same time, the president and the White House are attempting to block its publication, saying it is full of classified information. So which is it? Are the accounts in this book classified or false?


MULVANEY: Well, they could easily be both. You could have some things that are false.