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NASCAR Support for Bubba Wallace Heartens Crews; U.C. San Diego Prepares to Test All Students; Interview with NBA All-Star David Robinson. Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired June 23, 2020 - 10:30   ET




JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: NASCAR drivers have been coming together like never before, all in support of the lone black driver in the top tier of the sport.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: That's right, an incredible display of solidarity at Talladega Super Speedway yesterday, drivers and crew walking with Bubba Wallace's car. Wait until you see how many there are -- look at that shot. This is after someone put a noose in Wallace's garage. Federal investigators are now involved.

SCIUTTO: CNN's Dianne Gallagher, she is outside Talladega this morning. So, Dianne, first and foremost, where does the investigation stand? Because as you've described many times, that are where the noose was found was a closed area, with access only to staff.

DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. And so, you know, you would think that this should be a little bit easier to narrow down because the staff is credentialed, there are very specific, essential personnel who are allowed in that area. But at this point, we have no updates from NASCAR or the FBI in Birmingham on the investigation.

Now, we do know that the FBI was here on-site yesterday, going through interview processes, looking at video potentially. NASCAR wouldn't comment on exactly what if anything had been captured on video, but did acknowledge that there were a lot of cameras in that area, and here at the track.

So we don't have an update on the particular investigation. NASCAR has said that of course, if they get to who -- if they find the person or persons responsible, they will be banned from the sport for life. And that show of support from the drivers that you guys were just talking about there, was kind of the sport trying to say that we're not going to stand for this.

It was something that organically happened with the drivers. It kind of went down -- according to some of the drivers I've talked with -- on this group text message, where they came up with the idea to show support that way, in those pre-race ceremonies there. Of course, Richard Petty, comforting his driver, who drives the iconic

number 43, Bubba Wallace, when he became overcome with emotion there.

And Bubba spoke after the race, after he had -- going up to greet some fans who were wearing Black Lives Matter shirts themselves, much like his car from about a week ago. And this is what he had to say about these moments for him.


BUBBA WALLACE, NASCAR DRIVER: The sport is changing. The deal that happened yesterday -- sorry I'm not wearing my mask, but I wanted to show whoever it was that you're not going to take away my smile, and I'm going to keep on going.


GALLAGHER: Yes. And, look, he wants the sport to change, he says it is changing. Jim, Poppy, something important here, that noose that was found there, look, that was an affront to everybody because the pit crews, the people who were there, there are a lot of diverse members. I've seen some of them talking today about just how upset they were about that incident, and how happy they were to see the sport have their back in this moment.

SCIUTTO: Yes, just a great line, you're not going to take away my smile. Dianne Gallagher, thanks very much.


HARLOW: Schools are looking for ways to return students safely to campus in the middle of this pandemic. Now, one university in Southern California thinks they have an answer, next.


HARLOW: Well, across the country, schools are grappling with how they can bring students back to campus in the fall, even with COVID cases on the rise.

SCIUTTO: Yes, parents and students, watching this closely. Now, one school in Southern California, it has a pilot program to consistently test students for COVID-19, and the hope is that more testing will make it safer for everyone. CNN's Stephanie Elam has the details.

So, Stephanie, how do they do this, how often and what's the reaction?

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jim and Poppy, it's one of those things. When you think about college life, there's so much that you can learn in person. If you've got labs, just having those relationships with your teachers and your classmates, all the things that you learn about yourself.

But how exactly can you take college students and put them back on campus? Look at what U.C. San Diego is doing.


ELEANOR GRUDIN, STUDENT: It's just really exciting to be a part of this.

ELAM (voice-over): U.C. San Diego student Eleanor Grudin didn't prepare for this test, but it might have the greatest impact on her education next term. She's taking part in the pilot phase of the University of California at San Diego's Return to Learn program. The eventual goal? To test the university's population for COVID-19 on a consistent basis for eight months, beginning in September, potentially paving a path to return to some in-person education in the fall.

ROBERT SCHOOLEY, PROFESSOR OF MEDICINE, U.S. SAN DIEGO: We want to be able to come back in the safest way possible, and one of the key features of that is to be able to monitor for presence of the virus.

ELAM (voice-over): By following clearly posted directions, Grudin is collecting her own sample.

SCHOOLEY: We're planning on having, all around campus, a bunch of collection boxes, each of which would contain a stack of individually wrapped swabs with medium. Each swab would have, associated with it, a QR code. We'll have loaded, on the UCSD app, a barcode reader that will attach the identity of the person using the swab. They will pop the barcode, pull the swab out of the sleeve, swab their mouth, stick the swab back into a plastic sleeve and then drop it into a box.


GRUDIN: It was way better than I thought it was going to be.

ELAM (voice-over): Every two to three hours, researchers say, these boxes are taken to the Center for Advanced Laboratory medicine.

SCHOOLEY: Our goals are to try to provide results within a 24-hour time period.

ELAM: What is the most difficult aspect of adding on this layer of COVID-19 testing?

DAVID PRIDE, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, U.C. SAN DIEGO CLINICAL MOLECULAR MICROBIOLOGY LAB: It's hard to get materials to do the COVID testing, and it's hard to get enough people to do every single step of the process.

SHARON REED, DIRECTOR, U.C. SAN DIEGO CLINICAL MICROBIOLOGY AND VIROLOGY LABS: We have a couple of months to scale up to the degree we need to.

ELAM: Does the testing replace masks?



No, it's just one part of it. Until this either burns out -- which chances are is not going to happen -- or until we're pretty much immune from a vaccine, we'll have to be extra careful.

ELAM (voice-over): While the pilot program was focused on about 5,000 people who remained on campus after it shut down, at full speed, U.C. San Diego will need to regularly test its community of 65,000 students, faculty and staff.

NATASHA MARTIN, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, INFECTIOUS DISEASE MODELER, U.C. SAN DIEGO SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: The simulations indicate that if even 75 percent of the population were tested per month, we would still be able to detect an outbreak before there were, say, about 15 detectable infections on campus.

The secondary component, which is really critical, is what we do once we identify the outbreak. That's where we're going to rely heavily on measures such as contact tracing and isolation and quarantine, and social distancing interventions --

ELAM (voice-over): Test results pop up in the app. And so far, students seem game to participate --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It provided us all a sense of comfort, to know that, like, none of us were carriers.

ELAM (voice-over): -- especially if it helps get their peers back on campus.

JANIE PARK, FOURTH YEAR STUDENT, U.C. SAN DIEGO: That would be amazing. Because a lot of college is what you learn in the classroom, but so much of it is also your experience.


ELAM: And they're really saying that this data that they're able to collect about where the virus could be on campus, is something that they could respond to, be a little bit more nimble to.

One of the things that they wanted to find out was, A, was this feasible -- which they've decided it is -- and then secondly, to see where there are any issues that needed to be tinkered with. And you may have noticed that our student there, Eleanor, she did a nasal swab. Well, they found out students really didn't like that, and so now they're going to move to saliva testing.

But overall, they tested more than 1,500 students during their pilot program. No one came back positive during that time, but they do now feel like it is possible for them to do this.

One thing to note, though, as other institutions look at what U.C. San Diego was doing, there's the whole issue with cost. And it is expensive. The other thing is, U.C. San Diego has a lab, right there on their campus, that they can take these tests to to do that. Not every institution will have that at their fingertips, obviously -- Poppy and Jim.

HARLOW: That's a really good point, and a convenient thing for them to have. Stephanie, fascinating. Thanks very much. [10:43:01]

SCIUTTO: An NBA Hall of Famer says that despite all of his accomplishments both on and off the court, some people still only see the color of his skin. David Robinson, the Admiral, joins us to talk about what must be done to end racial injustice, that's next.


SCIUTTO: This afternoon, funeral services will be held for Rayshard Brooks, the man shot and killed by police outside of Wendy's in Atlanta.

HARLOW: Our Nick Valencia is live for us there this morning, and the services will take place at a church with so much history, Ebenezer Baptist Church, central to the struggle for civil rights in this country.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, and it's just within the last 10 minutes here, a very somber mood as the body of Rayshard Brooks arrived at Ebenezer Baptist Church.

Today is a moral infection point in the United States, and -- at least that's how it's being described by Raphael Warnock, the pastor who many people will be looking to as a moral compass, as he eulogizes Rayshard Brooks later this afternoon.

Rayshard Brooks was not a member of the Ebenezer Baptist Church, so I asked Pastor Warnock, How do you go about eulogizing someone who you've never met?


RAPHAEL WARNOCK, SENIOR PASTOR, EBENEZER BAPTIST CHURCH: Well, Rayshard Brooks is a part of a continuing conversation. He's a part of a larger narrative about our struggle to live up to our ideals as an American people. The ideal of equal protection under the law, e pluribus Unum -- out of many, one.

We've been struggling and stretching since the founding of this nation to get there, and I think we're in an inflection point. I think that we're in a moment where people are waking up, we have to continue to raise the issue, raise our voices. And in November, we need to raise our votes.


VALENCIA: It was earlier that I spoke to a representative for the Brooks family. I asked him how they're doing this morning. They said -- the family's, of course, goes without saying, devastated. They're not interested in the fanfare, the spokesperson said, they're just interested in laying Rayshard Brooks to rest. His funeral's expected to begin at 1:00 p.m. Eastern -- Jim, Poppy.

SCIUTTO: And his poor family. Nick Valencia, thanks very much.


Our next guest, NBA all-star David Robinson has been fighting against inequality for decades. He is a two-time NBA champ, a member of the NBA hall of fame and has two Olympic gold medals. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and a very successful businessman.

SCIUTTO: David, great to have you on --


SCIUTTO: -- this morning. Yes, we do appreciate it.


Listen, I think a lot of folks, they're familiar with your accomplishments, certainly on the court, off the court, academics, the military, professional sports, business, education. So they might be amazed to hear what you say, and that is that even today, in the year 2020, you say some people still just see you as a black man. Explain that, and your reaction to it.

DAVID ROBINSON, NBA HALL OF FAMER AND FORMER SAN ANTONIO SPUR PLAYER: Yes. I'm so glad this conversation is a national conversation now because, you know, I think we dance around it a lot. My parents grew up in segregated communities, right? My grandfather was in Little Rock, Arkansas, and so my dad grew up in the 1950s, in Little Rock. So everybody knows about, you know, Central High School. And my mother grew up in Columbia, South Carolina.

So very interesting that in two generations now, you know, I've had the opportunity that I have, my children now kind of feel like they have -- the world is open to them. So I've seen a lot of positive change.

But, you know, just systematically, there's still a lot of things. We built communities the way we have for a reason, we've kind of kept people locked in their situation through redlining, through all these different policies, gerrymandering and everything else.

And so now, we have to do a better job of reaching out and trying to make -- provide opportunity and equal education and all those things that our country is so good at promising.


HARLOW: It's striking, you used that term, "locked in," and it's really true. I mean, from childhood, you talk about redlining, but from childbirth, when you're born. I mean, black mothers in New York are 12 times as likely to die in childbirth as white mothers because of the injustices in the health care system, you've got -- so much is determined by the zip code you're born in: the schools that your kids can go to.

And you've done so much on the front of education. I mean, you've said if you are not giving us a good education, then what options do you have? Talk a little bit about IDEA Public Schools and Carver Academy. ROBINSON: Yes. IDEA Public Schools, we started Carver as a private

school, but we wanted to grow it. And so we partnered with IDEA Public Schools, 10 years ago or so, and we've been able to really grow the network.

We became their first school in San Antonio, we have 28, 26 schools this year in San Antonio, 97 schools across Texas and Louisiana, opened up schools in Tampa now and Ohio. So we're growing incredibly well, and our track record is to send 100 percent of our kids to college.

So we build our school in a low-income area, we get those kids college-ready, we get them a grade and a half above grade level, regardless of where they start. And so now they're matriculating to college.

So that's part of the solution to all of this, the issues that we have here, is education. But obviously, police reform and other things, just providing opportunities for people, I think, kind of frees them up.

SCIUTTO: Yes, education opens doors, there's so much proof of that.

As you know, athletes and former athletes have been at the forefront of spreading the message on this in this time, and that's not new, right? You go back, NBA players, they've been ahead of the game. Go back to 2012, right? Remember that image that LeBron James tweeted out, you know, the athletes wearing hoodies to show support for Trayvon Martin.

I just wonder, you know, that's already eight years ago. What's different now, from your point of view? You know, and can athletes help bring about lasting change? All of you, as you're adding your voice to this?

ROBINSON: I think that sports has taken much more of a center stage now for us in our society, the dollars involved, the eyes on the sports. I think it's wonderful, it's really increased our platform and our opportunity to make a difference.

It still doesn't matter what you say if your actions don't back it up, right? So I think Adam Silver's a fantastic commissioner, he's ahead of the game, I think, in many ways, he's really given the athletes a platform to speak. And I think some of the other leagues are trying to grow into that.

But, yes, I think it's fantastic. I love to see these guys begin to use their voices. Now, I want to see them use their resources and influence now to change their community.

HARLOW: Quickly, you've done that -- you now run a very successful private equity firm, and I wonder what your message is to corporate America. They can also use their voices, their positions, their board seats, their money to leverage and to -- you know, to help.

ROBINSON: I think that -- yes, the reason I got into business, you know, I'm not a capitalist so much by nature, but I got into business because it was a -- it's a phenomenal platform, right? It's a -- you know, getting into finance, there's not that many African-Americans in finance, so it's an opportunity to show our communities, hey, that we can do this, that we can create opportunities here for ourselves.


And now, using Admiral Capital, as you know, we've been at it for 14 days and, like you said, have had good success in the value-add private equity area and buying companies. But we've also mentored other athletes. So now, a lot of the young athletes that are coming up, we have calls with them. We're helping them think about how can you make a difference, how can you use your platform, how can you use your influence and your resources.

So it's been an amazing opportunity, not just obviously to do well, you know, financially for people, but to really create an educated group of guys who could use their resources in a positive way in our community --

HARLOW: For sure.

ROBINSON: -- people, I won't say guys, I'm sorry, people.

HARLOW: There you go. David Robinson --

ROBINSON: Yes, I'm sorry, yes.

HARLOW: -- don't -- we understand. We appreciate all your efforts. Thanks, come back soon.

SCIUTTO: Thank you.

ROBINSON: All right, thanks --


HARLOW: And thanks to everyone for joining us this hour. We'll see you back here tomorrow, top experts set to testify on the Hill in just a minute. Stay with CNN.