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Trump Campaign Moves Forward with Tulsa Rally Despite Health Concerns; States Weigh Mandatory Mask Rules; White House Defends Tweet of Fake Video Exploiting Toddlers; U.S. Attorney General Tries to Oust Powerful New York Attorney; Eight U.S. States See Highest Weekly Averages of New Coronavirus Cases; COVID-19 Diverting Resources for Refugees; Clemson Sports Hit Hard by Virus Infections. Aired 4-5a ET
Aired June 20, 2020 - 04:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): President Trump getting back on the campaign trail, preparing for a rally in a state where COVID-19 cases are spiking and threatening any protester trying to steal the spotlight.
While the president claims coronavirus is going away in America, the facts tell a different story, with several states setting a record for the number of daily cases.
And another apparent Friday night firing by the Trump administration. This time, one of the most important U.S. attorneys shown the door. However, he's refusing to leave.
Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Natalie Allen. CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.
ALLEN: Tulsa, Oklahoma, is bracing for tens of thousands of people on Saturday, as President Trump holds his first campaign rally since the coronavirus shut down much of the economy. His first message, "The country is back in business."
His other message, protesters, watch out, tweeting that protesters, anarchists, agitators, looters or lowlifes -- his word -- will be treated harshly, warning that Oklahoma is not like New York or Seattle.
That is the president's message, even as the country is reeling from the deaths of George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks that set off the protests he's talking about.
Meanwhile, people across the country marched on Juneteenth to commemorate the end of slavery in the 1860s, one day before the president heads to Tulsa, home to one of the bloodiest massacres of black Americans in 1921. Trump's rally comes as top medical officials are pleading with the
president to cancel the event, protect his health and the health of his supporters. Oklahoma is seeing a massive spike in new COVID cases and the largest single-day increase since the pandemic began.
People don't have to wear a mask at the rally and people have to sign a waiver that says they won't sue the Trump campaign if they catch COVID. Ryan Nobles has more from Tulsa.
RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: President Donald Trump's rally here in Tulsa, set to take place on Saturday. This, despite a lot of concerns from public health officials here and of course, the overtones of the racial strife going on across the country.
We are here in Greenwood, which is the neighborhood where the 1921 Black Wall Street massacre took place. A lot of the folks, here on Saturday, celebrating the Juneteenth holiday.
The tone could be a little different on Saturday. There are protests expected, people coming to protest the president's appearance here and of course, we expect thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, of supporters of the president to show up at the BOK Center where this will take place.
The campaign says more than 1 million people have RSVP'd for the event, perhaps 100,000 could show up. Only 20,000 can fit inside of the event itself, so, there is expected to be a big overflow crowd outside, the president expects to speak to that group. But the concern is inside that arena.
NOBLES (voice-over): That is where 19,000 people will be packed in. Yes, they will get hand sanitizer, they will get a mask, all temperatures will be checked but there will be very little, to no, social distancing, at all.
That is what has many public health officials, even here in Tulsa concerned. But the president is committed to moving ahead with the rally, seeing this as the restart of his campaign, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
They want to demonstrate that if they can pull this off safely, it is a sign that the country is ready to reopen and that will go a long way to helping his reelection chances --Ryan Nobles, CNN, Tulsa, Oklahoma.
ALLEN: The head of Tulsa's health department, Bruce Dart, is one of the concerned officials Ryan just mentioned.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. BRUCE DART, TULSA HEALTH DEPARTMENT: We need to have conversations about what it is we need to do to stay safe and not having large gatherings is probably the number one thing we need to do to stay safe until we do get a vaccine or therapy.
From a public health perspective, we are coming up on a perfect storm of disease transmission. Frankly, it's a perfect storm that Tulsa can't afford.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Tulsa County commissioner Karen Keith told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that Trump supporters who attend the campaign rally could have an impact on the health of people outside the state of Oklahoma.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAREN KEITH, TULSA COUNTY COMMISSIONER: They're milling around, they're in the community now. They're not wearing masks in our restaurants. And our restaurant workers are wearing their masks. And they're having to put up with comments by folks who think it's silly, that we're being sissies or something.
You know, the population has done such a good job and really trying to keep our numbers down. But this is going to impact us. But it will also impact all these other states from people who come here and then they go back home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: The president of Oklahoma City's NAACP, Garland Pruitt, says Mr. Trump should put the health and safety of his supporters first.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GARLAND PRUITT, OKLAHOMA CITY NAACP: When you put people's lives on the line for you to be re-elected, that's what he's actually doing. He doesn't care anything about those that are out there supporting him. He's only concerned about being reelected.
The sad -- we live in a sad situation right now when we have to lean and depend on someone like that leading the country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: President Trump's rally comes as his administration is facing a series of crises. But Mr. Trump seems preoccupied with protesters. Here's Jim Acosta at the White House.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With Trump supporters lining up for his rally in Tulsa this weekend, the president is issuing a warning to demonstrators who may show up at the event as well, tweeting, "Any protesters, anarchists, agitators, looters or lowlifes who are going to Oklahoma please understand, you will not be treated like you have been in New York, Seattle or Minneapolis. It will be a much different scene." An apparent threat the president is ready to unleash the same kinds of brutal tactics used to clear out Lafayette Square earlier this month. White House officials attempted to clarify.
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: He was meaning our violent protesters, anarchists, looters, the kind of lawlessness that we saw play out before President Trump came in with the National Guard and calmed our streets with law and order.
ACOSTA (voice-over): White House officials are also trying to downplay the risks of catching the coronavirus at the rally at a time when cases are spiking in Oklahoma. Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany even said she won't be wearing a mask to the event.
ACOSTA (on camera): Will you and other White House officials be wearing masks at the rally?
MCENANY: It's a personal choice. I won't be wearing a mask. I can't speak for my colleagues. I feel that it's safe for me not to be wearing a mask. And I'm in compliance with CDC guidelines which are recommended but not required.
ACOSTA (voice-over): But members of the Trump team aren't on the same page.
KEVIN HASSETT, WHITE HOUSE ECONOMIC ADVISER: If I were at the rally, I would wear a mask.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: OK.
HASSETT: If I wondered about, I would ask my doctor for advice.
HARLOW: All right.
ACOSTA (voice-over): Even campaign manager Brad Parscale says he likely will wear one at the event.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you going to wear a mask?
BRAD PARSCALE, TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Yes. Yes, I will probably be wearing a mask.
ACOSTA (voice-over): Dr. Anthony Fauci told CBS radio, people in large crowds should wear a mask if they cannot practice social distancing.
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: The best way to protect yourself and to prevent acquisition of and spread of infection is to avoid crowds. Avoid crowds. If in fact, for one reason or other you feel compelled to do that which we don't recommend, then wear a mask at all times.
ACOSTA (voice-over): The White House is also defending the president's tweet exploiting video, two young toddlers hugging one another to take shots at press coverage of racism in the U.S.
In a rare rebuke of Mr. Trump, the tweet which included phony news graphics was labeled "manipulated media" by Twitter.
ACOSTA (on camera): When you share fake videos like that, doesn't that make you fake news?
MCENANY: I think the president was making a satirical point that was quite funny if you go and actually watch the video.
ACOSTA (voice-over): The White House also tried to explain what the president meant when he told "The Wall Street Journal" that he had just learned the history of Juneteenth, the day the end of slavery is celebrated in the U.S., from an African American Secret Service agent.
MCENANY: He did not just learn about Juneteenth this week. That's simply not true.
ACOSTA: As for that video tweeted out by the president of two toddlers on a sidewalk, a tweet the president was trying to use to make some sort of criticism about press coverage of racism in the U.S., Twitter has now disabled the video in that tweet, saying it violates copyright rules -- Jim Acosta, CNN, the White House.
ALLEN: U.S. attorney general William Barr is trying to make a Friday night shakeup, trying to oust Geoffrey Berman. He is the powerful district for the Southern District of New York who has investigated some of President Trump's associates.
But Berman refuses to step down. "The New York Times" reports that a person familiar with the situation says that President Trump has discussed removing him for some time. CNN's Evan Perez has details.
EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Manhattan U.S. attorney Geoffrey Berman is refusing to resign. The attorney general, Bill Barr, met with Berman in New York on Friday and asked him to step down.
But Berman says he's not going anywhere. Hours after the Justice Department announced that Berman was indeed leaving his office, Berman released a statement saying, in part, quote, "I learned in a press release from the attorney general tonight that I was stepping down as United States attorney.
"I have not resigned and I have no intention of resigning. My position, to which I was appointed by the judges of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
"I will step down when a presidential appointed nominee is confirmed by the Senate."
The Justice Department says that the president intends to nominate Jay Clayton, the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, to take over the office in the Manhattan U.S. attorney.
Berman's office has been overseeing a number of sensitive cases, including the investigation into the president's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani -- Evan Perez, CNN, Washington.
ALLEN: Jennifer Rodgers is a former federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York. She is a CNN legal analyst, joining me from San Diego, California.
Thanks for coming on.
JENNIFER RODGERS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Thank you. Good to be here.
ALLEN: Another firing on a Friday night. This has happened before from this administration.
What do you make of it?
RODGERS: It's not surprising they would try to get rid of Jeff Berman in Manhattan. It's astonishing. First, he was removed without his consent. He issued his own statement, about half an hour after Bill Barr's press release, saying, I did not resign and I will not resign.
Berman is saying, until there's a Senate confirmed replacement of me, I'm not going anywhere. We have to see where that leads. That may lead to litigation in court, over who the U.S. attorney in Manhattan will be.
ALLEN: I was going to ask, who makes that decision?
That could lead to a crisis in the Justice Department, perhaps, could it?
RODGERS: It's highly unusual, because Berman was appointed by the judges of the SDNY, not confirmed by the Senate because the president didn't appoint him in time. So that makes it difficult to figure out where it goes because this so rarely happens.
There's a couple of court pieces that seem to go different ways in similar circumstances. So we have to wait and see how it plays out. But according to Bill Barr -- and this is another highly unusual situation -- the U.S. attorney of New Jersey is set to become the acting U.S. attorney in Manhattan on July third.
Normally, when the U.S. attorney is replaced and there's a nominee, the deputy U.S. attorney runs the office until the nominee is confirmed by the Senate. And there's no reason that that shouldn't happen here. The deputy in Manhattan is a very, very capable and experienced lawyer.
So that kind of really tells you a little bit about what this was about. This wasn't about Jeff Berman is isn't doing a good job. This is about investigations going on in the office and them wanting to stall them or perhaps thwart them all together. That's what's disturbing to me.
ALLEN: The president has not liked how previous investigations were carried out. Berman's office investigated Michael Cohen and is investigating Rudy Giuliani, as well.
ALLEN: What investigations are underway right now, that would not be pleasing to this president?
RODGERS: The Rudy Giuliani one is at the top of the list. His associates, Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas are going to be tried in the fall. Rudy Giuliani is tied up in that investigation. As far as we know, that's still ongoing.
And it's unclear if Rudy Giuliani will be charged. And a lot of their conduct, not what they're charged with, a lot of the conduct, came out in the course of impeachment proceedings. So this gets close to and inside of the White House, this investigation into Parnas, Fruman, Giuliani and others.
There's other things, too. There's the case involving Turkey, that Bill Barr apparently wanted to squash (sic). SDNY has jurisdiction over the Trump Organization. There's investigations there that could be going on. So there's things that we probably don't know about that could be giving the White House headaches and probably led to tonight's action.
ALLEN: We know that the attorney general says Mr. Trump plans to nominate Jay Clayton, the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission to replace Berman. But he's never been a prosecutor.
Is that an unusual nominee then?
RODGERS: It's highly unusual. SDNY, it's been decades since there was even a prosecutor nominated that wasn't an SDNY prosecutor. Jay Clayton is not only not a prosecutor, he's not even a litigator. He's never tried a case.
And Bill Barr is also not a prosecutor. So that's apparently not troubling to him. But the notion of the top prosecutor never having done the job and never even being in a courtroom, is really problematic. You need someone there who knows what he is doing. And Jay Clayton, while I'm sure is a capable corporate lawyer, is not that guy.
ALLEN: CNN legal analyst Jennifer Rodgers, we appreciate your expertise on this. Thank you.
RODGERS: Thanks very much.
ALLEN: Several U.S. states have record high case counts of COVID as the pandemic continues to rage. Americans are divided on what to do.
We'll talk about that when we return.
ALLEN: We've talked about Oklahoma having a sudden spike in new coronavirus cases. But it is not the only U.S. state seeing record breaking numbers this week. Nick Watt has the latest for us.
NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Florida, Arizona, California, Oklahoma, scene of tomorrow's Trump rally, all setting records, seeing the most new cases in a day since all this began.
DR. ALI KHAN, DEAN OF THE COLLEGE OF PUBLIC HEALTH, UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA MEDICAL CENTER: 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.
WATT: These eight states home to roughly a third of all Americans right now seeing their highest ever average new case counts. Apple now closing some stores in Arizona, the Carolinas and Florida, the Phillies just shutdown spring training in Clearwater after five players tested positive.
This is not over. Masks work. Those are facts. But they are now politicized. Take the governor of Nebraska, reportedly now withholding federal coronavirus emergency money from any county mandating masks and government buildings.
Dallas County, Texas, now mandating masks in the workplace, but the governor of the state won't. Orange County, Florida now mandating masks for all, but the governor won't.
KHAN: It's simple. No vaccine, no treatment, right? All you need is test and trace of good public health, combine it with good personal responsibility, masks, social distancing, hand washing. Put the two together and you can become New Zealand, go to zero cases in this country.
WATT: You heard that right. New Zealand routinely reports zero cases in a day. A small country, sure. So let's take Europe, a steep drop are now fewer than 5,000 new cases a day. Here in the U.S., nearing five times that and climbing.
DR. ASHISH JHA, DIRECTOR HARVARD GLOBAL HEALTH INSTITUTE: What Europe did differently is they stayed locked down a bit longer, a bit more uniformly.
WATT: Today, Florida started phase one reopening, there were fewer than 1,000 new cases reported in this state. Today, nearly 4,000, a new record-high. MELISSA MCKINLAY, COMMISSIONER, PALM BEACH COUNTY, FLORIDA: I don't think we can scale back how we opened, but we can simply slow down how we move forward and put these precautions in place, like wearing a mask.
WATT: The governor thinks the spike in cases is down to more testing, so does the president. But even his own adviser disagrees.
KEVIN HASSETT, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE ECONOMIC ADVISER: There are about 18 states right now where the positivity rates are going up, which means that if the cases are going up, it's not just because you're doing more testing.
WATT: But the northeast is doing well lately. So pushing ahead with reopening today was the New York governor's last daily COVID briefing.
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): Today, we are seeing the virus spreading in many places. More people will die. And it doesn't have to be that way. Forget the politics. Be smart.
WATT: And even more bad news for sports fans late Friday. The Toronto Blue Jays baseball team has also closed down their spring training facility after a player showed symptoms. The Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team also closed down after three players tested positive. And a PGA golfer has also now tested positive for COVID-19 -- Nick Watt, CNN, Los Angeles.
ALLEN: Let's talk about what is going on in the United States with Dr. Peter Drobac.
Good morning, Peter.
DR. PETER DROBAC, OXFORD UNIVERSITY: Good morning, Natalie.
ALLEN: I want to talk about the country as a whole at the moment. Let's start with Tulsa, Oklahoma.
ALLEN: We are just hours away from President Trump's rally. The crowd will be huge. Cases in that state are up 110 percent from last week. Masks will be handed out. But they're not mandatory.
Is that enough to protect people in a crowded indoor venue?
DROBAC: It's not. This is such a high-risk undertaking. Superspreader events have been really important drivers, whether that's a church or a pub or the Mardi Gras festival in the U.S. If you were to design a superspreader event, it would look a lot like this rally.
So I'm extremely concerned, as most in public health are, about the risks posed by getting 17,000 people into an enclosed indoor space.
ALLEN: Well, it's not just Oklahoma, as we just heard, seeing a huge rise in cases, 23 states have seen spikes in cases, compared to just last week.
What is going wrong in the U.S.
Why are we seeing this?
DROBAC: It really comes down to a total failure of leadership. At this stage of the pandemic, we knew enough about how the virus spreads, how it kills and how to stop it, that we've got a playbook that does work.
Unfortunately, that hasn't been followed in many parts of the country. What happened was, in many states, things reopened too quickly and we're now starting to see the results of that.
This is not down to increased testing. We're seeing test positivity rates go up. We're seeing hospitals start to fill up. This is an extraordinarily dangerous moment in America.
ALLEN: Why is it happening in the U.S. and not Europe?
What did they do that we're not doing?
DROBAC: A couple of things: across many parts of Europe, we saw a massive first wave that overwhelmed health systems and parts of those countries, as we did in the U.S. We also saw significant lockdowns.
I think in many European countries, save the U.K., we held onto them longer, waited to reopen. Many parts of Europe, we're seeing more mask use. We're seeing higher rates of testing and, in some cases, contact tracing programs.
Unfortunately, what happened in the U.S., after all of the weeks of people making sacrifices of sheltering in place, we took our foot off the gas too quickly. Now we're paying the consequences.
ALLEN: Right. Some people thought it was over and we're still in phase one. The previous report we saw from our reporter, showed the hesitation of people to wear masks. And some leaders hesitating to mandate mask wearing, plus social distancing.
Where do you think state leaders should be on this?
DROBAC: If you look at a place like Arizona or Florida right now, we have the early phases of a raging, uncontrolled epidemic. It's already at a level, that even if there's great contact tracing in place, it's not going to be able to keep up with transmission at this level.
There's only a couple of options to slow this down. One would be to move back towards a lockdown scenario, where you slow down the reopening and get people back home. And frankly, that would be advisable.
The second thing that could be done is to make mask wearing ubiquitous when people are out in public. That can significantly reduce transmission.
The more evidence we have, the more important it is. It could be a six-fold decrease in transmission if people are wearing masks. So governors need to think about this. If they are reluctant to slow down the reopenings, the only other tool we've got is make mask wearing the norm.
ALLEN: I want to talk to you, though, about what the world is seeing, Peter. More than 150,000 new cases were reported Friday, the most in a single day so far. A month into this, months of all kinds of responses to limit the spread.
What does that tell you about this virus?
DROBAC: As we've been saying for a long time, we're still very much in the early days of this pandemic. Anyone who thought we were out of the woods, unfortunately, was wrong.
We're seeing the epidemic grow around the world as quickly as it ever has, with concerning developments in Latin America and some parts of sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere.
The flipside is, we have learned -- places like New Zealand and South Korea and China, have taught us how to suppress the virus. There is a playbook and it's not too late to go on offense against this virus and try to crush it.
It won't be easy. It will require sustained attention and investment and solidarity. But it is what we have to do before we get a vaccine.
DROBAC: Otherwise, we will continue to see extraordinary levels of unacceptable deaths.
ALLEN: This will be a cycle. We'll have trouble getting ahead of it. Dr. Peter Drobac, always appreciate your insights. Thanks for joining us.
DROBAC: Thanks, Natalie.
ALLEN: So for many people, no face mask, no problem. Next, we go to Oklahoma and hear to some of those Trump supporters in line for Saturday night's big rally.
ALLEN: Welcome back to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. I'm Natalie Allen. You are watching CNN NEWSROOM.
Marches, rallies and celebrations across the U.S. on Friday to mark Juneteenth, extra special this year, because of the new push for racial equality and policing reform. Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day, celebrates the end of slavery in the United States. Thousands called for unity and justice in the U.S., including in
Tulsa, Oklahoma, where thousands marked the holiday at the site where one of the most deadly racial massacres in American history.
Hours from now, in Tulsa, President Trump will hold his first major rally in months. That rally in Tulsa, was originally scheduled for Friday, Juneteenth. But after massive pushback, Trump changed the date by one day.
Also it comes in the middle of a pandemic, where wearing face masks and following doctors' advice is a political flashpoint. Gary Tuchman is in Tulsa for us.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Trump supporters started lining up for his Tulsa rally days ago.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Plus I want to be front row, front and center.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): The daily number of new COVID cases is skyrocketing in Tulsa County and the highest level yet. Thousands will be inside this arena for many hours. Masks are being given out but they're not required to be worn. And social distancing is not mandatory.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have absolutely no concern whatsoever.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It just doesn't concern me at all.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Rallygoers must agree not to hold the Trump campaign responsible if they contract COVID, which is not a red flag to anyone we talked to here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do I French kiss anybody?
No. But I can stand and when I went to a dinner house over in Nebraska and nobody had masks on and the lady said, "You want more coffee?"
I felt normal.
TUCHMAN: So you're --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Normal.
TUCHMAN: -- nothing about this concerns you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: None. Zero.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): But in this very same city...
TUCHMAN: Why did you decide to close this plant?
RODNEY THARP, NAVISTAR: Well, it's for the safety of our employees. TUCHMAN (voice-over): Rodney Tharp (ph) is the manager of the Navistar
IC school bus plant in Tulsa, where about 1,400 people work.
THARP: Last year we were the number one market share of school buses in America.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Tharp shut down his plant this week. Confirmed employee COVID cases have been rapidly climbing over the last couple of weeks.
THARP: I purchased 1,400 COVID kits.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): And earlier this week, all of the employees who are still being paid were told to come in to get tested. Based on the results, the decision will be made how long the plant has to stay closed.
When it's operating, nearly 300 buses are made here each week. Lots of money is now being lost. But the plant manager says this was the responsible decision in an increasingly vulnerable city.
THARP: I got to make sure people are safe.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Roberto Pineda (ph) is one of his people, a veteran of the plant, a husband and father of three.
ROBERTO PINEDA, NAVISTAR EMPLOYEE: I think it was the right decision and for our safely, not only my safety but the safety of my family because I mean, I get to bring that home if I do get it.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Bruce Dart is the health director for the city of Tulsa and Tulsa County.
TUCHMAN: With thousands of people in this arena, many or most without masks, how worried are you about a dramatic spike in cases in this county?
DR. BRUCE DART, TULSA HEALTH DIRECTOR: In any event with people not wearing masks, we're concerned about a spike.
But with this many people, thousands of people?
DART: We're concerned. I mean, people coming together without taking precautions, is what causes the virus to transmit. It gives the virus the ability to transmit from person to person. So of course we're concerned.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because I'm not going to get it. I'm not going to give it to someone else.
TUCHMAN: How do you know?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well it's (INAUDIBLE) you get a damn cold.
TUCHMAN: One city, two completely different visions, a factory, where people are relieved not to be inside because of the health threat, and an upcoming rally, where people can't wait to get inside, despite the health threat.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): The plant manager says he is prepared for the possibility of many more of his employees testing positive.
THARP: We take it very seriously. And it will continue to drive our energies until we drive it out of this plant.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Gary Tuchman, CNN, Tulsa, Oklahoma.
ALLEN: In other news, one of the former police officers involved in the death of George Floyd has been released from jail after posting bond. He was charged with aiding and abetting second degree unintentional murder and second-degree manslaughter.
The mayor of Louisville, Kentucky, and the police chief are ready to fire a police officer involved in the fatal shooting of a 26-year-old African American woman in March. The detective is accused of blindly firing 10 rounds into the apartment of Breonna Taylor as part of a drug sting.
Taylor was killed when police broke down her apartment door and shot her eight times. No drugs were found. Taylor's family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit.
Former Atlanta police officer Garrett Rolfe waived his right to appear in court Friday. The county DA charged Rolfe and another officer in the death of Rayshard Brooks. Rolfe has been charged with 11 crimes, including felony murder.
The case has caused some upset within the police department. Law enforcement sources tell CNN a majority of Atlanta officers scheduled to work in two of the city's six police zones did not report for work Friday.
The coronavirus pandemic is compounding the suffering of millions of refugees around the world who are forced from their homelands. Coming up on this World Refugee Day, how COVID-19 is draining aid resources and giving them fewer places to find safety. We'll have a report.
ALLEN: June 20th is World Refugee Day. According to the U.N. global trends report released on Thursday, almost 80 million people were forced to leave their homes last year due to war, conflict and persecution.
The coronavirus pandemic is adding to the misery of many refugees around the world. As aid gets diverted to fighting the virus, less help is for those to support those suffering the scars of psychological trauma. Arwa Damon has one family's heartbreaking story.
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Yimama's voice does not hint at the depths of her pain, a pain she fights to hide from her children.
"I'm afraid to have my children sleep next to me, because of the nightmares I have," she tells us.
"I wake up and find fingernail marks on my skin, because of the fear I experience in my dreams."
Yimama (ph) says she was in prison in Syria for over a year.
DAMON: She was sentenced to death and they only got her out by basically selling their home, selling belongings and paying a bribe.
DAMON (voice-over): When Yimama (ph) emerged, she was scared of everything: a door slamming, a car hulking.
Her mother, Basma (ph), went to prison four separate times, endured beatings.
DAMON: She can't raise that arm.
DAMON (voice-over): Her ex-husband, Yimama's father, died behind bars. The Syrian government accused all of them to supporting the armed groups fighting the regime, the family says. They were arbitrarily detained.
When the family arrived in Turkey, both women received counseling from an NGO. That ended with the arrival of the pandemic. The walls started to close in. A family of 11, confined to just two rooms. There is no more work for Yimama's (ph) husband, the sole provider for the family.
DAMON: She says it's been three months, the landlord is coming, asking for rent.
DAMON: But they have no idea where they are get the right money from.
DAMON (voice-over): They can't even afford baby formula for the twins and have to beg neighbors for diapers. The weight they carried from Syria, just grew heavier in Turkey.
For Yimama (ph), the stresses brought on by COVID-19 pushed her to a breaking point. She says, lately, I've been thinking a lot about killing myself. Her husband has hidden all sharp objects, he will not let her stay in a room alone.
The only support she can get is from the NGO therapist on the phone. Basma (ph) doesn't know how to help her daughter, she can barely help herself. She says she feels like a solitary planet, that is just spinning in endless pain -- Arwa Damon, CNN, Istanbul. (END VIDEOTAPE)
ALLEN: Indeed, COVID-19 is having a dire impact on many of the almost 80 million people forcefully displaced worldwide and making this year's World Refugee Day particularly distressing. Joining me to talk about it is Matthew Saltmarsh, a spokesman for the U.N. Refugee Agency.
Thanks so much for coming on and good morning.
MATTHEW SALTMARSH, UNRA: Good morning.
That story was quite disturbing. And that is just one family's story. The number is staggering, almost 80 million, forcibly displaced last year.
What regions of the world are contributing to these numbers, Matthew?
SALTMARSH: As you mentioned, today is World Refugee Day. That is usually a day we would celebrate creativity and the resilience of refugees. But the numbers are enormous in forced displacement.
In the specific regions, seven in 10 of the world's refugees now come from just five countries. That's Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Myanmar. And of course, most of the world's refugees are in developing countries, like 85 percent of them.
And most of the world's refugees are in a country neighboring the country from which they came. So it is primarily an issue and a problem in the developing countries, even though in the West, we often look at it as an issue from a developed perspective.
ALLEN: With tens of millions vulnerable and in areas where access to services, such as medical care is limited, how important is it that the international countries, this world, comes together, to help the plight of these people?
SALTMARSH: It's crucial. And you mentioned the COVID situation.
SALTMARSH: COVID has layered an emergency on top of an emergency for the refugees and the displaced. There is concern about access to asylum, about borders being closed. In addition to that, there are the health concerns.
Refugees have lost their livelihoods. They are unable to work and provide for their families. That makes them yet more vulnerable to issues like health and also to potential abuse and gender-based violence and so on. So we do really have a perfect storm of problems at the moment for refugees.
ALLEN: And as you mentioned, some countries are reportedly closing their borders now, due to the pandemic. That is having an effect on the crisis as well. I want to talk about the United States' role here. The U.S. was the
largest destination for asylum seekers in 2019. But the Trump administration has said it would accept just 18,000 this year. That's the lowest ever.
So is the U.S. helping or hindering this crisis?
SALTMARSH: The U.S. has a long history of support. It's a country built on immigration and was a bridge to safety for so many over the years. The situation has changed in the U.S. and if we take resettlement, a vital pathway to safety for refugees, the numbers have declined significantly.
Overall in the world, those numbers are down to 100,000. And the U.S.' proportion is also down. So that is having a direct affect on refugees' lives.
ALLEN: It's a story we've been talking about for years and years in Syria and it's a problem with other countries, as well. Thank you for your insights.
ALLEN: We hope it works out and you get the cooperation that your organization is working for. Matthew Saltmarsh for us, thank you.
SALTMARSH: Thank you.
ALLEN: Next here, the COVID crisis is taking a toll on sports in North America. Just ahead, the impact on spring training for some baseball teams as players come down with the virus while other leagues and college teams also reporting new virus cases. We'll have the latest on that.
ALLEN: The state of Mississippi is being put on notice for having a Confederate symbol on its state flag and the sports world is reacting. The NCAA said that no university will be allowed to host a national or conference championship in the state until the Confederate symbol is removed.
And the Southeastern Conference, the SEC, says it will consider doing the same. The commissioner of the SEC put out a statement, saying, "It is past time for change to be made to the flag of the state of Mississippi. Our students deserve an opportunity to learn and compete in environments that are inclusive and welcoming to all."
ALLEN: Clemson University has a different problem. At least 28 of its athletes have tested positive for coronavirus, including 23 football players. The home of the Tigers tested more than 300 student athletes and staff and told those with the disease to isolate for 10 days.
The university says most cases are asymptomatic and no one has been hospitalized.
And the National Hockey League says 11 players have come down with COVID-19. Their names were not made public but they are self- isolating. Three of the skaters are with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Some of them have low-grade fevers.
The team says it has shut its training facilities as the league tries to figure out how or whether to resume the next season.
CNN has learned that Major League Baseball is temporarily shutting spring training facilities in Arizona and Florida to deep clean and disinfect them. This comes after several players there tested positive for coronavirus. A baseball source also told CNN, upon reopening, anyone entering will need to test negative for COVID.
The league and players have been in tough talks about having a season since everything was suspended in March.
So much up in the air. I'll be back with another hour of CNN NEWSROOM. Our top stories are after this.