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Virus Spreads Like A Wildfire; Health Experts Tirelessly Warns People; President Trump Drives War Culture; WAPO: Trump Is Increasingly Preoccupied With Defending His Physical And Mental Health; Novak Djokovic Has Tested Positive For Coronavirus Following An Exhibition Event He Organized In Croatia; Indian Restaurant In Santa Fe Vandalized With Racist Slurs. Aired 11p-12a ET
Aired June 23, 2020 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: The director of the CDC saying this about COVID- 19 to a congressional committee.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT REDFIELD, DIRECTOR, CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION: We've all done the best that we can do to tackle this virus. And the reality is it brought this nation to its knees.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Tonight, the total number of cases in the U.S. has surpassed 2.3 million, and more than 121,000 Americans have died from complications of the disease. Dr. Anthony Fauci is telling Congress, quote, "we're now seeing a disturbing surge of infections. And if the nation doesn't get the coronavirus pandemic under control by the fall, then we are essentially chasing after a forest fire.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: The next couple of weeks is are going to be critical in our ability to address those surgings that we're seeing in Florida, in Texas, in Arizona and in other states. They're not the only ones that are having a difficulty.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: And despite the president claiming that he wants to see a slowdown in testing, fauci telling the committee just the opposite. That the U.S. will see an increase in testing going forward, not less of it.
So, joining me now is CNN's White House Correspondent, John Harwood, and our political commentator, Bakari Sellers. He is author of the new memoir, "My Vanishing Country." Harwood and Sellers Tuesday nights on CNN.
JOHN HARWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It sounds like a band. LEMON: I know. I know. It's a Tuesday night, it's like a body cop movie, I love it, Harwood and Sellers or Sellers and Harwood, you guys fight about that.
So, good evening, gentlemen. Thank you so much. Tonight, John, the president said that we're hopefully at the end of the pandemic, the same day his top infectious disease expert -- it's something like, you know, he started sounding the alarm. What kind of message does this send to the American people?
HARWOOD: The message it sends, Don, is that the public health authorities have their eyes open and the President of the United States by his words and his actions is detached from reality. The public health authority see the same things that the European Union sees, that the governors of Texas and Florida, and Arizona, and California now see, that thousands of people, his own supporters in Tulsa last weekend saw, which is that we've got a real problem and we've got to do something about it.
But the president is so desperate to avoid blame and responsibility as he runs for reelection that he's insisting that this is in the past, he is making these dumber than a fifth grader statements about testing. And testing is why we have more cases, which of course cause the public health authorities as you just said at the top, to say, well, of course, that's not the case. We want more testing. Causes his campaign officials to say he was just joking.
And then he comes out today and says well, actually no, I wasn't joking. And what he made clear by his statement today was that he knows that facts and reality are not his friend in this situation. What he doesn't like about testing is that it reveals the extent of the cases, not that it creates cases. And he does not want that reality revealed.
LEMON: Bakari, there's something else the president said about the pandemic. I'll play it and then we'll talk.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: It's got all different names. Wuhan. Wuhan was catching on. Coronavirus. Right?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kung flu.
TRUMP: Kung flu. Yes.
TRUMP: Kung flu.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, Bakari, he knows exactly what he's doing. Because the White House has been told several times that this is a racist slur but Trump keep saying it. Part of that racism, is that part of the strategy here?
BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It's always part of the strategy. I mean, to delve into culture wars. The problem is that people have to vote in November because their life truly depends on it. I'm not sure we've been able to say that in a presidential election ever or at least in my lifetime, I haven't been around here that long.
But this is a life of death election and you cannot -- you cannot say that without the full weight of that statement. The President of the United States saying kung flu. That's a racist slur. The President of the United States is racist. We've been here before. We've been calling them such and calling him out.
And I believe that statement to have veracity and truth since before he ran for president of the United States. That's not my biggest problem. The scariest thing about that entire clip was all of those his choir that yelled back at him that was anticipating him calling it and then cheer him on.
LEMON: Cheer him.
SELLERS: I mean, that's at least scary. But the fact remains this president, as Harwood said, he's my lead singer in this duo said, that this president is ill-equipped to handle this pandemic.
And in my household, we watch CNN and we watch these clips all the time and we just have WWFD, what would Fauci do. Because that is who we're looking for, for guidance. We have to follow the expert. Because the fact remains that this president of the United States because of his failures early on has cost many more lives.
And my fear is that he's going to cost more through his ignorance and through his blatant racism.
LEMON: We're joined now by CNN senior political analyst Ron Brownstein. Ron, thanks for joining us here. Question for you right out of the gate, the president called the protesters who tried to pull down the statue of Andrew Jackson last night bad people who don't love our country. Why do you think he has latched on to this new culture war?
RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, from Bakari's point, I mean, you know, when all you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail. Every time the president is under pressure politically, he turns back to cultural division and racial division aimed at mobilizing his base.
His problem is that, you know, everyone else hears what he is saying. And the only way to understand his remarks about the statues is to put them into context of the extraordinary spasm at that Tulsa event of racial signaling and racial (Inaudible) MS-13 animals.
Describing the cities as kind of apocalyptic hell holes, attacking Democratic women of color in the House, and of course, using kung flu there as well.
So, it's clearly his vision is that the way he wins is by mobilizing even more turnout among the portions, primarily non-urban portions of the electorate that are open to that kind of messaging. The problem he's got, Don, is, I think each time he does this he reinforces the doubts among the white-collar voters who traditionally voted Republican who have moved away from the GOP since his election.
LEMON: Well, Ron, you could give him points, I guess, for consistency had he said there were very fine people on both sides. Why not with this one?
BROWNSTEIN: Well, I mean, it is. I mean, look, it is, you know, he describes -- he describes the in Michigan when you had the kind of the right protest, with people with confederate flags and assault weapons. You know, he told on Gretchen Whitmer to make a deal and then he describes the protesters and the black lives matter movement as thugs.
I mean, he draws a line in the electorate between those who are mobilize by fear of how America is changing and those who welcome how America is changing. And that is the hill that he wants to fight on.
The problem is, I think, are you're now if you -- if that is the hill you're going to fight on, you're at somewhere around 42 or 43 percent of the electorate. And at least with only real path for re-election. It's very hard for him to kind of persuade anybody who isn't already in his camp with these kinds of arguments.
The only path he's got is to massively increase turnout of kind of non-voting, non-college whites, rural whites, whites, and so forth. But again, the problem is, the kinds of extreme things you do to do that everybody else hears it and you get an offsetting turnout and I think pretty clearly on the other side.
LEMON: Well, he has said, John, some positive things about the confederacy in the past, also saying that, you know, this is our history. meaning -- he is saying this is our history. This is sheer ignorance about our country's history, isn't it?
HARWOOD: Well, yes. And you know, the president is no more of a historian than he is a public policy expert. And you know, one of the things he has said is recently is, well, why couldn't they just work it out and avoid the civil war. He's answering that question right --
LEMON: John, hold on one second. hang on one second. Hang on one second. I screwed up here.
LEMON: Let me play the sound from this then I want to get your response Stand by.
LEMON: Go ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: They want to take down Ulysses S. Grant. Well, he is the one that stopped the confederates. Right? So, you know, he was a great general. He turned -- nobody stock what higher than his stock over the last 10 or 15 years.
But I think I have done more for the black community than any other president. And let's take a pass on Abraham Lincoln because he did good, although it's always questionable, you know. In other words, the end result --
Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who has done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more, I notice.
Our first Republican president Abraham Lincoln. Great president. Most people don't even know he was a Republican. Right. Does anyone know? A lot of people don't know that. We have to build that up a little bit more.
Well, Andrew Jackson had a great history.
Andrew Jackson was a military hero and genius.
I mean, had Andrew Jackson been a little bit later, you wouldn't have had the Civil War. He saw what was happening with regard to the Civil War. He said there is no reason for this. People don't realize, you know, civil war --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
TRUMP: If you think about it. Why? People don't ask that question. But why was there the Civil War? Why could -- why could that one have not been worked out?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: OK. But John, listen, I know that --
HARWOOD: Don, I don't think the --
LEMON: Let me just get this in. Because he may have a point about Ulysses S. Grant, but he calls Ulysses when it comes to what he did for black people in this country.
But the criticism of Grant is that his policy towards Native Americans could easily be describe as cultural genocide. And I think that's the issues that people have with Grant.
Listen, none of our forefathers are perfect. They -- most of them did owned slaves. Owned human beings but there were some people who did fight on the right side at least when it came to freeing the slaves. But they have other issues as well.
But this again, as I said, this is ignorance on his part about these confederate monuments.
HARWOOD: Right. I don't think Shelby Foote has anything to fear from Donald Trump's scholarship on the Civil War. But I think the question I was referring to before was the one he posed at the end. Why couldn't they avoid Civil War?
LEMON: Civil War.
HARWOOD: Well, he's answering the question right now. America's original sin was racism. He is actively appealing to racism to win votes in his election campaign right now.
He is attempting to frighten white Americans and alarm white Americans about black and brown and other non-white Americans with the kung flu, with the tough hombre, with the MS-13, with the antifa, with tweeting out videos of black guys punching out white guys.
That's what it's all about. That's why Jim Mattis, his former defense secretary came out the other day and said he is not even pretending to try to bring the country together. He is the only president in our lifetime who actively tries to divide it.
And the problem, as Ron has indicated a moment ago, is that portion of people, the group of people who respond to that message is shrinking. That's a message that's worked in the past, but it's on the down slope of history and the aftermath of the George Floyd killing and these protests is accelerating its decline and that's a huge problem for the president.
LEMON: Brownstein -- Brownstein, Harwood, and Sellers. It's alphabetical, so.
LEMON: I don't want to get anybody upset. Bakari, you look like you ran over straight from the barber shop. Because that is one sharp cut you got right there, that line in the front, man, heads you up good. Thank you all.
BROWNSTEIN: Bakari has the cleanup hair in that analysis.
LEMON: Thank you, all. I appreciate it. Have a good night.
The director of the CDC saying that coronavirus -- that coronavirus brought America to its knees. But with cases on the rise, is it too late to turn this around?
[23:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Coronavirus cases rising in half of all the states. The death toll in this country now topping 121,000 people and the new model is predicting that that number could reach more than 201,000 by October 1.
Joining me now the man behind that model, and that's Dr. Chris Murray. He is the director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.
Dr. Murray, thank you, sir. Again, as I've been telling everyone this is quite frightening. It is so alarming to watch this case numbers and the death tolls rise and rise and rise. And to know that it did -- it didn't have to be this way. Could so much of this have been prevented and what would it take to turn all of this around? Is it too late?
CHRISTOPHER MURRAY, DIRECTOR, INSTITUTE FOR HEALTH METRICS AND EVALUATION: no, I don't think it's too late at all, Don. I think we are starting to look really carefully at one of the simplest and one of most powerful strategies available to us all and that's getting essentially everybody wearing a mask in public.
We know that mask protect individuals, you know, a third or half reduction in transmission. But at community level we think that that could really avoid and most of those extra deaths that we're seeing out to October 1. If we don't do that then we got to count on testing, you know, tracing and isolation is the other critical strategy.
LEMON: Yes. There's one big problem with that whole mask wearing thing. Is that one person doesn't wear it and says that people who wear masks are out to get him, and the people he is supposed to represent.
MURRAY: Well, I think the thing about masks is if enough people start wearing them, then it makes it easier for everybody who wants to wear a mask --
MURRAY: -- to not feel awkward. But I do think for it to really have its full impact we have to see what happened in Washington today where governors put a mask mandate in place. That's a better strategy. It worked in other countries. And it can get people up to 90 to 95 percent wearing masks. And that's when you see a really big impact on the cases and deaths.
LEMON: Dr. Fauci was on Capitol Hill today. Here is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FAUCI: Plan a, don't go into a crowd. Plan b, if you do, make sure you wear a mask.
(END VIDEO CLIP) LEMON: And I want you to check out this video. It's from the
president's event in Arizona today, a big crowd, only a handful of people are wearing masks. It is the opposite of what experts are calling for.
Listen, I know that you are a doctor, you're not a politician, but people get cues from their leader. When you look at what happened in this crowd, what do you think?
MURRAY: Look, I think the best way -- the best tool that we all have in our control is to avoid close contact just like Dr. Fauci said, keep six feet apart. But wearing a mask is, you know, a really simple strategy. We now are getting really strong evidence that not only does it work for individuals, but it will work for the community as well. And I think that holds out some strategies for us to, you know, at least until late fall when we know that it's going to come back. But at least until then we can really bring the death toll down.
LEMON: Well, let's broaden this out using that as an example. How would you -- would you advice people to go to big events where people are in close contact with each other?
MURRAY: No, I definitely would avoid big events where people are in close contact.
MURRAY: You just can't control the risk. And you know, you could either spread it yourself or you can get infected, infect your family and infect your friends.
LEMON: Thank you, Dr. Murray. I appreciate you joining us. Be safe.
So, Florida is reporting nearly 3,300 new coronavirus cases today. I want to bring in the Miami Mayor, Francis Suarez now. Mayor, thank you so much. I appreciate it. You know what this is like. You have gone through having coronavirus, COVID-19. So, you know from experience.
Cases are spiking in Florida, Miami included. The city has now mandated masks. What else do you do to try to get this under control?
MAYOR FRANCIS SUAREZ (R), MIAMI, FLORIDA: Well, like you said, this week we met with the health care officials in the Department of health. We look at the data and we saw something very troubling which is that we had 900 new cases on June 20. That's twice the high-water mark that we had when we mandated a stay-at-home order.
So, we required mask in public. It's the first time that we required that as a means of avoiding people from continuing the spread of this virus that we know is in order to be affecting, particularly the young people right now in the 18 to 35-year- old range.
LEMON: Mayor, the Jackson health system in Miami is reporting an 88 percent increase in coronavirus cases. I want you to listen to a head ICE physician how he describes or they describe what it's like. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDREW PASTEWSKI, HEAD ICU PHYSICIAN, JACKSON SOUTH MEDICAL CENTER: A week ago we had eight patients, none on a ventilator. We're now have at over 40 plus patients, four on ventilators. We had to find a second COVID unit and now we're looking for a third COVID unit right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So how important is it for people to understand that this spike is not just due to more testing?
SUAREZ; Well, it's definitely not due to more testing. We've been tracking a variety of different factors that can lead to the increased cases. The first of which is after we opened restaurants, we had Memorial Day weekend where people were going out obviously to eat.
We also had, you know, protests for two solid weeks in the city of Miami including the weekends where we had thousands of people on our streets and we've had a variety of different circumstances that could, you know, cause and lead to continued spread of COVID-19.
So, it's definitely not due to increase testing. In fact, our percent positive, which is a percentage of people that test positive has gone up significantly, almost doubled in the last week.
LEMON: OK. Considering what you just said, you know, Florida is facing a lot of backlash for how it reopened. Did the state ease up on those restrictions too soon?
SUAREZ: You know, I don't know what the metric were for the state's decision. I can tell you that the city of Miami was the last, literally the last city and the last part of the state that opened. I was criticized for taking so long to open including waiting after the county to decide to open restaurants about 10 days after the county.
But even having waited as long as we have, we've seen that immediately after opening the cases start spiking again. So, you know, it's a tremendous concern that's why we decided to do the mask in public as a means to hopefully try to stem the tide of this -- of this spike.
LEMON: Mayor, there's a bar in Orlando had its liquor license suspended after 13 employees and dozens of customers tested positive. Last week we learned about 16 friends who tested positive after going to a bar near Jacksonville. Will you crackdown on restaurants and other business where -- businesses where people don't socially distance or wear masks?
SUAREZ: We are and we have. We've -- we closed down three this week. Two other establishments that have -- there were soccer fields, urban soccer fields that had -- that were violating social distancing rules. And we are investigating several and we'll continue to do so particularly as we head into the July 4 weekend where there are all kinds of possibilities of people breaking these rules. LEMON: Yes. Really quickly. I want to let you go here, but what do you
going to do if -- what happens to people who don't wear masks because they're mandatory now?
SUAREZ: Well, what happens to them is they are a violation of our emergency order. And then can, technically, they can be fined up to $500. And actually, it's even -- technically, it's a misdemeanor and you could be put in jail up to 60 days as well.
LEMON: Well, OK. And you are going -- you're going to do that. You're going to uphold that if that happens if you see people.
SUAREZ: We're going to be enforcing it for sure.
LEMON: Thank you very much, Mayor Suarez. I appreciate it. Be safe. Thank you so much.
SUAREZ: Thank you, Don.
LEMON: I want to get now to CNN's Erica Hill with the latest on the new coronavirus hotspots in the U.S.
ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR & CORRESPONDENT: As more Americans leave strict shutdown measures behind, a stark warning that this freedom may be short-lived.
FAUCI: The next couple of weeks are going to be critical in our ability to address those surging that we are seeing in Florida, in Texas, in Arizona, and in other states.
HILL: A new daily hike in Texas, cases topping 5,000 for the first time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because the spread is so rampant right now, there is never a reason for you to have to leave your home.
HILL: Hospitalizations also spiking up 177 percent in the last three weeks in Harris County. More than a third of all cases in California have come in just the past two weeks.
Arizona announcing another daily high, nearly 3,600 new cases added on Tuesday. Florida not far behind.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're really in a worst place now than we were before.
HILL: Twenty-five states trending in the wrong direction over the past week, nearly the entire western half of the country.
REDFIELD: We've all done the best that we can do to tackle this virus. And the reality is it brought this nation to its knees. HILL: More cities now mandating face coverings, but enforcing those rules and keeping people apart is proving difficult in some areas especially among young people.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't be the knuckle head that ruins it for everyone else.
HILL: twenty-two percent of the cases in New Jersey are in 18 to 29- year-olds, that's up 10 percent since April.
The testing is increasing but the percentage of those people who are positive is actually going much higher. So, it clearly is being transmitted at a high level in a number of places.
HILL: The University of Michigan scrapping plans to host a presidential debate this fall. Middlebury College will require students to quarantine at home for two weeks before arriving on campus.
And the E.U. is considering a possible ban on travelers from the U.S. because we don't have the virus under control.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If they are trying to prevent the infections coming into their countries America is going to be one of the top places that other countries are going to look to block in order to keep themselves safe.
HILL: Erica Hill, CNN, New York.
LEMON: So, we have some breaking news to report to you tonight. Breaking election news. Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez has won her primary challenge in New York's 14th congressional district which includes part of the Bronx and Queens.
Next, with coronavirus surging across the country, the president has got a lot to say about his own health. Why he keeps bringing attention to not just his physical health but his mental health.
LEMON: President Trump is trying to distract from the spread of coronavirus. He is certainly bringing a lot of attention to his own health. The president is devoting nearly 15 minutes of his Tulsa rally to ranting about his delicate walk down a ramp after his West Point speech.
That's after he tweeted about it and brought it up in a Wall Street Journal interview. The Washington Post has reported that the president is increasingly preoccupied with defending his physical and mental health.
So, let's talk about it now. CNN medical analyst Dr. Jonathan Reiner is the director of Cardiac Catheterization Program at George Washington University Hospital. He joins us now. Sir, thank you.
So, doctor, the Post is reporting on an early June cabinet meeting saying this. "Trump had taken a cognitive screening test as part of his 2018 physical, and now, more than two years later, he brought up the 10-minute exam. He waxed on about how he dazzled the doctors with his stellar performance, according to two people familiar with his comments. He walked the room of about two dozen White House and reelection officials. Through some of his questions, he said he aced, such as being able to repeat five words in order."
So, we actually have a copy of this test. You say it is very simple and it looks for signs of dementia. Talk to us about that.
JONATHAN REINER, DIRECTOR OF CARDIAC CATHETERIZATION PROGRAM, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL: Yes. So, the Montreal cognitive assessment is really a very basic test, which is often used in people with suspected dementia. And I am glad the president passed it, he carries the nuclear launch codes in his pocket.
But the test includes -- there are pictures of a camel and a rhino and a lion. You have to label that. And there is a dot-to-dot to connect and you have to draw basically a cube. It's a, you know, pretty basic exam. So it's a pretty basis assessment. I am thrilled that the president was able to ace that. But that's a pretty low bar.
LEMON: Sometimes, I don't know what day it is. I don't know what that says about me.
REINER: It's Sunday. Today is Sunday.
LEMON: Today is Tuesday. I do know that. So listen, doctor, you say this is all a projection. What do you mean by that?
REINER: You know, the president has a habit of -- projection is the psychological phrase for when a person basically accuses somebody else of something that really applies to them. It would be akin to this president saying that Biden is a liar.
So, the president does this over and over again. It appears when he is, you know, concerned about something. He did this a little bit with Secretary Clinton in the last election, when he basically questioned her health.
But, you know, we know very little about this president's health. I want to remind you that in 2015, his private doctor in New York submitted a letter attesting to the president's fitness for office, which everyone suspected and then was later confirmed to have been written by the patient himself. The patient himself wrote his own medical clearance.
[23:35:00] REINER: Who does that? So we know very little about the president's health. And then there have been some concerning episodes recently. So everyone saw his walk down the ramp. But I will remind you that in November, on a Saturday afternoon, the president's physician took him unannounced essentially to Walter Reed for an evaluation.
There is something also interesting which was he rode with him in the car, which is never done by the president's physician. He wasn't seen in public for a few days. And then he went to Texas a few days later and entered Air Force One via the lower cargo hatch rather than going up the usual longer flight of stairs.
So something happened in November and the White House is simply not telling the public, you know, what that was or what the results of the testing included.
LEMON: Yeah. Dr. Reiner, we will continue to follow. Thank you very much. We appreciate your expertise.
REINER: My pleasure.
LEMON: An update tonight on the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor. A Louisville, Kentucky police officer involved in her death has been fired. Breonna Taylor is a 26-year-old black EMT who was shot to death in March when police broke down the door to her apartment in an attempted drug sting and shot her eight times.
The chief terminating Detective Brett Hankison, saying he violated standard procedure and showed extreme indifference to the value of human life. We will follow.
Next, tennis star Novak Djokovic testing positive for coronavirus after he organized and played in a tournament where a lot of social distancing rules were ignored. He is not the only person at that tournament to test positive. Patrick McEnroe weighs in, next.
LEMON: The coronavirus is having a serious impact on professional and college sports. Now we are learning that Novak Djokovic, the number one tennis star, has tested positive for COVID-19 following a tournament he organized in Croatia with social distancing guidelines mostly ignored.
Let's bring in now Patrick McEnroe, the former professional tennis player who is now on ESPN commentator. By the way, Mr. McEnroe, Coach McEnroe, as we said, tested positive for coronavirus early on in the pandemic, but he has recovered and is doing well. We are happy for you. Thank you for joining us. We appreciate it.
PATRICK MCENROE, ESPN COMMENTATOR, FORMER PROFESSIONAL TENNIS PLAYER: Thank you, Don. We need to get you out on the court soon. It is good for your health, you know, to get out there and run around, get some exercise. That's what kept me strong during the virus.
LEMON: I do need it. You're exactly right. I could use a little bit more physical activity considering what's going on in the world. So listen. So let's talk about Djokovic. He admits that he was wrong and this charity tournament was too soon.
Here is what he said. I quote here. He says, "I can't express enough how sorry I am for this and every case of infection. If you attended the Adria Tour or were around any attendees, please get tested and practice social distancing."
It is nice that he is talking about social distancing now when it should have happened when this tour was going on.
MCENROE: Well, that's for sure. I mean, I was shocked when I turned on the TV a couple weeks ago, Don, and I saw a packed stadium, about four and a half thousand people, nobody wearing a mask, ball kids, lines of people, the players hugging after the match, nobody wearing gloves, nothing of that sort that we have all heard and learned is necessary as we are working our way back into some sense of normalcy in the sports world, in the world in general.
So, I am not surprised in what happened. You got players coming from all over the world, coming into a place where they hadn't had -- they have not had that many infections there in Serbia and Croatia, as well. But clearly, they skipped a few steps, Don, on the road back to coming back to professional tennis.
I think Djokovic was trying to do something positive. He is a huge figure in Europe and that part of the world, the Balkans. He is a national hero there. You can put a little blame on him certainly for organizing it and putting it out there.
But how about a little blame on the Serbian officials in government that allowed this to happen and allowed that many people to gather in one place? That was just really shocking to see, not shocking to see the result.
LEMON: It's particularly mind-boggling to us, especially in New York, which is the epicenter for so long. And now, we are doing better than most places in the United States. But just to -- you know, just to see what happened there and it's just again, mind-boggling. Listen --
MCENROE: You know, tennis, Don, tennis is a perfect sport for social distancing. Your opponent is on the other side. It's very easy to do. Professionally, obviously, it's different, because you got so many different players from all over the world.
The USTA -- and USTA and U.S. Open have tried to do the right thing, I think, in planning out to have the U.S. Open with no fans, with all the right protocols, et cetera. But clearly, they didn't do that over there in Europe for this particular event. They are certainly paying the price in the tennis world, throwing the U.S. Open in some sense into some question. I still think though it should and it will go forward.
LEMON: OK. So Patrick, another player called the decision to host the tour bone-headed. There is also social media video out there seemingly showing Djokovic and others out partying. I mean, they did not take this threat seriously at all.
MCENROE: Well, that was the most disconcerting part of this whole thing, Don. It was not what was going on in the court, on the tennis court. It was disconcerting to see the fans, you know, packed together with no masks. But the players hugging, that was disconcerting.
But then you saw the players playing soccer, playing basketball with each other, sitting there at a table at a press conference close together, bunch of reporters close together. I guess we have seen that in some areas of our life. Haven't we done a little bit too much?
And then to top it all off, as you're pointing out, you saw the players basically partying at a club with their shirts off, partying up and down in this bar. For a second, I thought I was looking at a scene out of Jacksonville, Florida. But no, this was in Serbia. Not surprisingly, four players tested positive, numerous parts of the entourages of these players.
Not to mention Novak Djokovic's wife. Ironically, it was Djokovic she has been talking about. His lack of clarity in the USTA, talking about the U.S. Open, and not happy with some of the protocols, meaning he likes to bring his full entourage of people.
Maybe this year, don't bring 10, 20 people. Maybe one or two, you could bring with you. So he has some issues about that. This whole thing has unfolded in the last week or two. That was what he was complaining about.
LEMON: Yeah. Listen, he is also on record, by the way, of saying that he is opposed to vaccination. He said that he would have to think about whether he would take a coronavirus vaccine in the future if it became mandatory to travel.
So, he has got a lot of work. I think maybe -- hopefully, he has learned his lesson with this. I got to than you here, Patrick McEnroe, and let you go. I got to move on. Thank you so much. I appreciate it. It is good to see you.
MCENROE: Thank you, Don.
LEMON: Thank you.
LEMON: An Indian restaurant in Santa Fe vandalized and covered with racist messages. The owner of that restaurant joins me, next.
[23:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Tonight, the India Palace Restaurant in Santa Fe, New Mexico sits smashed and destroyed by vandals who are suspected of being white supremacists. After thrashing the place, they scribbled graffiti all over the walls with messages of hate such as "white power," the N- word, and "go back."
I want to bring in now John Singh, whose family owns the restaurant, Cameron Brown, as well, an assistant there. Gentlemen, thank you so much. I really appreciate you joining us.
John, we're going to put up the pictures. They're just shocking. The destruction, the hate slurs, all over the place. A statue of a goddess was beheaded, pictures gone, tables broken, two big holes in the wall, the kitchen is wrecked.
Give us -- I mean, listen, this is your family's restaurant here. What did you think when you saw this?
JOHN SINGH, FAMILY OWNS RESTAURANT THAT WAS VANDALIZED: (INAUDIBLE) my best Cameron had to push me out of the restaurant. I couldn't even last two minutes in there.
LEMON: It's just so hateful and ugly. And heartbreaking, I'm sure.
SINGH: It was wrong. And to me, I just felt disgusted. It was wrong.
LEMON: Cameron, you say John's father, the owner of India Palace, is like your father. He called you right away after he had walked into the restaurant. What did you think when you got there and you saw this hateful attack? Cameron, you said you had to push him out of the restaurant.
CAMERON BROWN, RESTAURANT ASSISTANT AND FAMILY FRIEND: (INAUDIBLE).
LEMON: Cameron, I'm having real trouble hearing you. Is there any way you can get closer to the microphone? I'm not sure if that's it or not.
BROWN: Can you hear me now?
LEMON: Yes, I can.
BROWN: OK. I'm sorry about that.
LEMON: That's OK.
BROWN: Once I got into the restaurant, it was heartbreaking to see something that they built for eight years -- I'd been with them ever since they owned the restaurant -- just almost torn down and gone. To watch my best friend cry and to watch someone who is like my father cry, it was just really hard to see for me. And it's still hard to walk into that restaurant and see it because we were there earlier today. And I just -- I just want whoever did this caught.
LEMON: We're looking at "white power," "Trump 2020," "go back," and on and on. John, your father worked at this restaurant starting in the '90s. He then bought it. Your family has never experienced this kind of racism. Number one, do you know what brought this on? And are you worried about your safety?
LEMON: I can't hear you, John. Close to the microphone, if you can.
SINGH: Can you hear me now?
LEMON: Yeah, I can hear you. Go on.
SINGH: (INAUDIBLE). Hello?
LEMON: Yeah. Cameron, you're going to have to do the talking because I can't hear John.
LEMON: I'm sure they're worried about their safety. What do you think brought this on because they have never experienced this before?
BROWN: I'm not sure what has been bringing this on. Maybe it is a whole protest downtown in Santa Fe that we've been having. Maybe an incident that had led to something on Thursday, I'm not sure. Maybe an old owner -- not even an owner, old manager, (INAUDIBLE), who I've never met, could have probably had a problem with something. I don't know what has been going on. But we're hoping to get to the bottom of this.
LEMON: Yeah. Well, listen, we don't know. We don't know who had anything -- if the person you mentioned had anything to do with it. And we certainly don't want to put anyone's name out there if they didn't have anything to do with it.
So, listen, we apologize for the technical difficulties. We are really sorry that this happened to you and your business. You guys be strong, take care, and try not to let this get you down. Keep going, OK? Thank you for joining us.
BROWN: OK. Thank you.
LEMON: We really appreciate it.
SINGH: Thank you.
LEMON: Thank you so much. And thank you, everyone, for watching. I'm Don Lemon. Our coverage continues.