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New York, New Jersey, Connecticut Announce 14-Day Quarantine for Some Travelers; Palm Beach County Makes Masks Mandatory; California Reports Highest Single-Day New Coronavirus Cases. Aired 2- 2:30p ET

Aired June 24, 2020 - 14:00   ET



BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: And I want to welcome viewers here in the United States and around the world.

We are beginning with a dramatic new effort to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. Governors of the tristate area are announcing new travel restrictions there, in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, for all travelers coming from states with spikes in coronavirus cases. Starting at midnight, the region will ban travelers from nine states that are showing spikes in coronavirus.

CNN's Erica Hill is joining us now with more on this.

Tell us how this will work, Erica.

ERICA HILL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, as you said, it goes into effect at midnight. And perhaps most shocking to a lot of people is that this 14-day quarantine has some pretty hefty fines that come along with it. Your first offense, $2,000. And they go up from there.

The goal, though, is to keep this virus from spreading int he area where they have worked so hard to contain it and to flatten that curve.


HILL (voice-over): Major changes for summer travel.

GOV. ANDREW CUMO (D-NY): People coming in from states that have a high infection rate must quarantine for 14 days.

HILL (voice-over): New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, where new cases are trending down, want to keep it that way.

GOV. PHIL MURPHY (D), NEW JERSEY: It's time for personal responsibility. If you've been in a state that has a high infection rate, do the right thing.

HILL (voice-over): As of today, nine states subject to the new tristate measure.

Nationwide, more than half of U.S. states, reporting an increase in new cases over the past week.

PETER HOTEZ, PROFESSOR AND DEAN OF TROPICAL MEDICINE, BAYLOR COLLEGE OF MEDICINE: It's not just the increase in the number of cases, it's the slope, the way it's accelerating. It's almost vertical.

HILL (voice-over): Among the most concerning? Arizona, Florida and Texas, states posting new daily records for infections and hospitalizations.

In South Florida, Jackson Health System has seen the number of COVID- 19 patients jump more than 100 percent in the last two weeks. As of Tuesday, just 12 percent of ICU beds in Arizona were available.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to go into surge capacity mode probably by Fourth of July, so that -- so the most urgent thing, I think, is to get the hospital systems ready, to get staffed up, to get those emergency plans in place.

HILL (voice-over): The stay-at-home order in Texas expired April 30th, Governor Greg Abbott, reluctant to impose statewide mandates, now warning restrictions could come back.

HOTEZ: If it were up to me, we would do exactly what we did towards the end of March, which is implement a full lockdown and social distancing. That's the only way that I see that we're going to start to bring those numbers down.

HILL (voice-over): As the average age of infection drops, there's also a focus on young people.

MELISSA MCKINLAY, PALM BEACH COUNTY COMMISSIONER: We're seeing the highest increase in the ages between 18 and 34. They sometimes think they're invincible. This virus is showing that they're not.

HILL (voice-over): The New York City Marathon, which tracks more than 50,000 runners and nearly a million spectators every fall, cancelled over coronavirus fears.

Major League Baseball, however, will take the field this summer, 60 games starting in late July. Coinciding with that news, more positive cases among the Phillies.


HILL: Something else to keep in mind with this new 14-day quarantine that was just announced by the governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, both the New York Yankees and the New York Mets, issuing a statement saying that their teams have been in touch with Governor Cuomo.

Because of course, with baseball starting, they're supposed to report to their cities on July 1st. He says they're talking with the governor about how to get their players back from Florida to deal with this -- Brianna.

KEILAR: Yes, it's a very good point. Erica Hill, thank you so much, live for us from New York.

The jump in Florida that we're seeing in cases there is coming as Disney workers sign a petition asking Disney to delay reopening its Florida theme parks until after this surge passes. CNN's Cristina Alesci is joining us on this story.

I wonder if the petition drive is gaining any traction. Is this going to make a difference, Cristina?

CRISTINA ALESCI, CNN POLITICS AND BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: It may make a difference. We're going to have to see how this plays out, but this is just one example of how the rise in cases in Florida is really coming to life and complicating the reopening there.

This is 7,000 people, Brianna, and you asked a question about is it going to make a difference. to put this into context, that Disney World has about 70,000 employees in that park, so it's not an overwhelming amount of people just yet. But we are seeing the numbers rise on that petition, and they're urging the company to put safety ahead of profit.

The company's defending itself, telling me today that it's going to put precautions in place to protect visitors and employees like temperature checks, like requiring a mask.

But here's the problem, Brianna. Businesses had clear guidance or some guidance on reopening. They don't have any guidance when it comes to what to do in a situation like Florida has right now, where you're seeing a real rise in cases that presents a public health risk. And the question is, who's in charge?


So I did reach out and, just before I got to studio, I reached out to the mayor's office, who signed off on the reopening to begin with. And I said, Hey, are you guys reconsidering given what's happening in the state? And I got response and it says, "Orange County continues to monitor the health data for the county with the rise in cases. At this time, there are no plans to revisit the reopening plans. That decision rests with Disney officials and the governor."

So this is going to be a story that continues to play out, Brianna, but you know, President Trump likes to say the economy is going to recover in a V shape or a rocket ship, he said most recently. This is clear evidence that there is going to be complications along the way. So far, investors have believed the V-shaped recovery story. I don't know how long that's going to hold up -- Brianna.

KEILAR: Yes, maybe not too much longer. Cristina Alesci, thank you so much for that report, that update.

At a commissioner's meeting in Florida's Palm Beach County, anger erupted after a unanimous vote to make masks mandatory. This turned downright ugly. Here was the scene.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You literally cannot mandate somebody to wear a mask, knowing that that mask is killing people, it literally is killing people. And my -- the people, We the People are waking up and we know what citizen's arrest is because citizen's arrests are already happening, OK? And every single one of you that are obeying the devil's laws are going to be arrested. And you, Doctor, are going to be arrested for crimes against humanity.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Problem with humanity today is ignorance, arrogance and apathy. Keep taking the road of least resistance, keep listening to the TV brainwashing you from birth.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And they want to throw God's wonderful breathing system out the door. You're all turning your backs on it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I really have many question marks about your degrees and what you really know. I'm sorry, ma'am, but I don't think that you are worthy of your credentials, and I would ask suggestively that you go back to school and get educated.


KEILAR: OK, so masks are one of the best ways to stop the spread of coronavirus, that is proven. But this explosive meeting shows just how politicized they have become.

Dr. Sam Fahmy is the chief medical officer at Boca Raton Regional Hospital, and Boca Raton is part of Palm Beach County. Doctor, I mean, just tell us what you make of the clip that we just played, the vitriol, and then also the -- I guess the content of what you heard about masks that people were saying at this meeting.

SAM FAHMY, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, BOCA RATON REGIONAL HOSPITAL: Yes, thank you for having me on to talk about this important topic. It's really unfortunate, the response that we got for such a common-sense mandate that happened in Palm Beach County. We know scientifically that masks are proven to prevent infection, transmission from one person who is sick to another. And the fact that people are fighting this hard against wearing masks is really -- is disheartening.

Wearing a mask doesn't only protect you, it protects those around you. Even if you're not concerned about your own health, you're concerned about elderly grandparents, immune-compromised friends or family, it really is an act of kindness to those around you and it's quite unfortunate to see this much anger and resentment against a policy that really is common sense and protects to many in the community.

KEILAR: I want to listen to something that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said, last month, about the state's coronavirus cases. Here's what he said.


GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): Any insinuation otherwise is just typical partisan narrative trying to be spun. And part of the reason is that, because you've got a lot of people in your profession who wax poetically for weeks and weeks about how Florida was going to be just like New York. Wait two weeks, Florida's going to be next. Just like Italy, wait two weeks.

Well, hell, we're eight weeks away from that and it hasn't happened. Not only do we have a lower death rate -- well, we have way lower deaths generally -- we have a lower death rate than the Acela corridor, D.C., everyone up there. We have a lower death rate than the Midwest, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio.

But even in our region -- Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia -- Florida has the lower death rate. And I was the number-one landing spot for tens of thousands of people leaving the number-one hot zone in the world to come to my state.

So we succeeded, and I think that people just don't want to recognize it because it challenges their narrative, it challenges their assumption so they've got to try to find a bogeyman.


KEILAR: And, Doctor, we now know that reality is challenging that narrative, right? You're in Florida, we're just getting word that California set a new record with 7,000 cases in one day. The previous record was set the day before, with 5,000. Florida has had an incredible single-day total.


Do you think that states need to issue travel restrictions?

FAHMY: You know, that's a very difficult question. And the issue of testing and how many positives are a result of increased testing versus increased prevalence in the community, is also one that is not completely figured out.

What we're seeing on the ground is that there are increased number of patients being diagnosed, there is no doubt about that. We're seeing them here in our units and in our ICUs, that's a trend that we've noticed over the last couple of weeks. And it's hitting the Miami-Dade County area a bit more than the Palm Beach County area.

But even up here in Palm Beach County, our patients that we're diagnosing are younger. And that's good and bad. It's good because these younger patients are less likely to get too sick from the disease, but it's bad because we know younger patients are less likely to be careful when they go out, less likely to be compliant with mask policies and with social distancing.

So what -- when talking about travel and the risks associated with going -- with traveling to other areas and coming back, it is a difficult question to answer because I don't think as a nation we figured out the true prevalence of the disease in various areas because there are various testing rates in different areas and it's not quite clear yet.

Hopefully that becomes apparent as testing is even more available. Anybody implying that we should reduce the amount of testing is clearly way off the mark. We need to continue testing, we need to continue contact tracing. That's the only way we're going to get a hold of this pandemic. And then we can make some real policies related to, you know, safety of travel.

I don't think we're quite there yet, I don't think we have the full information yet. We know there's grave risks with the numbers going up. But what it truly means and how that translates into travel policy, I think we need more information before making that decision.

KEILAR: All right, Dr. Sam Fahmy, thank you so much, joining us from Florida.

And we have some breaking news coming to us from the Hill, Senate Democrats, rejecting the Republicans' police reform bill.

Also, the National Guard in D.C. and Wisconsin is on standby to protect statues and monuments from protestors.

And I'll be speaking live with one of the leaders of Seattle's no- police zone as the mayor there says it's time for police to retake the area.



KEILAR: This just in, Senate Democrats have blocked debate on the Republicans' police reform bill despite Leader McConnell's plea for them to vote in favor of the procedure.

Senate Democrats say the GOP measure was an inadequate response to police misconduct and racial injustice. There were three senators -- Alabama's Doug Jones, West Virginia's Joe Manchin and Maine's Angus King who crossed party lines to vote with Republicans.

Now, the fate of any kind of police reform in the wake of national unrest, following the killing of George Floyd, is in question. Tomorrow, House Democrats are planning to bring their own policing proposal to a vote.

The president is making it clear that he is using lies and racism to help win re-election. We're going to discuss his strategy.

Plus, a student at the president's rally told the crowd that Aunt Jemima is the American dream. Well, the man who started the petition to remove the image will respond to that, next.

And I'll speak live with one of the leaders of Seattle's no-police zone as the mayor says it's time for police to retake the area.


TEXT: What to Watch... 3:00 p.m. Eastern, California Gov. Gavin Newsom briefing; 3:30 p.m. Eastern, Trump news conference with Polish president; 5:00 p.m. Eastern, KY Governor Beshear briefing (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


KEILAR: We have more on our breaking news. California just reported that they have more 7,000 new coronavirus cases in one day. This breaks the previous day's record of 5,000. I want to bring in Stephanie Elam for details on this.

This is a huge number, Stephanie, especially for a state that really, you know, took really, I guess, precautionary measures from the jump.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: For sure. We were the first state to go into lockdown mode or stay-at-home -- go under a stay-at-home order that was statewide, and so a lot of people felt like California was ahead of the curve on how they were responding here.

But just looking at these numbers, and we can see now that 7,149 new cases. And this, just in one day. And the previous record for one day was the day before that, which was over 5,000. So you can see, this is a massive jump here.

We can also tell you that there's been an 18 percent increase in ICU admissions in the last 14 days as well, so they're talking about 12,068 admissions in that period. Also, looking at hospitalizations over the last two weeks, a 29 percent increase here.

Now, the governor, who is still currently holding his press conference about this right now, Governor Gavin Newsom, saying that a lot of this does point to the fact that they did expect to see these numbers to increase as the state has been reopening, county by county, and also because you've seen people out there protesting as well, and also he pointed to Memorial Day.

And also, saying that this is why he says that everyone in the state needs to wear a mask all the time to stop this transmission, that we are not out of the thick of this and this is still very much an issue.

But obviously, there are a lot of questions here about what else needs to be done as these numbers continue to ramp up. This is not the direction anyone wants to see these numbers going -- Brianna.

KEILAR: No, it just feels like as soon as you, you know, let your foot off the gas, right? When it's these precautions that states are taking, we're seeing these numbers pop right back up. It's very frustrating, I know, for all of these states, California included. Stephanie, thank you.


Now, we still don't know how exactly the Aunt Jemima brand is going to be revamped. But last night, a student at President Trump's rally in Phoenix took issue with the rebrand as a whole, calling this the latest example of Cancel Culture.


REAGAN ESCUDE, STUDENT AT TRUMP ARIZONA RALLY: Aunt Jemima was cancelled. And if you didn't know, Nancy Green, the original first Aunt Jemima, she was a picture of the American dream. She was a freed slave who went on to be the face of the pancake syrup that we love and have in our pantries today. She fought for equality. And now, the leftist mob is trying to erase her legacy.

And might I mention how privileged we are as a nation if our biggest concern is a bottle of pancake syrup.


KEILAR: I don't think that is the biggest concern, I'll put that aside as I bring in Dan Gasby here to talk about this. Dan, you started the petition drive in 2017 to get rid of the Aunt Jemima branding. You're also the cofounder of B. Smith Enterprises, which, among other things, operates a chain of restaurants.

And I just -- what's your reaction, Dan, when you hear someone saying that Aunt Jemima is the American dream?

DAN GASBY, STARTED AUNT JEMIMA REMOVAL PETITION IN 2017: Well, it could be the American dream or the American understanding for someone who doesn't understand what it's like to be an African-American or to have witnessed people call someone Aunt Jemima, and the derogatory way in which it's used.

It's a slur, it has been a slur to women of color, black women in particular. I have had that situation happen in my restaurant, and I've had people, both black and white, understood what it meant and escorted people who were making that derogatory comment about one of the people who happened to have worked for me.

And so understanding that, understanding that we (ph) felt very strongly, when we were in the business of looking at the opportunities that might happen with opening a supermarket and doing some research, finding a young lady who was actually buying the product and she didn't know who and what she was.

And it bothered me because being (ph) understood what Aunt Jemima represented, as most African-American women do, and as I've said in the past and I'll say it again, there are very few if any African- American women that want their children to be called Aunt Jemima or want to be called Aunt Jemima themselves.

So for that young lady in that rally to sit there and talk about that? She's never had anyone call her the N-word, she's never had the weight of 400-plus years of oppression, she's never had to deal with, as I say, you pay for the paint job, you know, being a person of color.

And so it's easy for her, from 30,000 feet -- from a nice, warm perspective -- to see that as something that warms the cockles of her heart and her history. But that history, like Robert E. Lee or like Calhoun or like Jefferson Davis, has not been one that has been for all people, and certainly not for people of African descent in America.

KEILAR: Dan, thank you so much for coming on and discussing this. Dan Gasby, I really appreciate your perspective on this.

GASBY: Thank you so much for having me, Brianna.

KEILAR: Seattle's police-free zone, set up by protestors following the death of George Floyd, is set to be dismantled. The city's mayor is now calling on protestors to voluntarily leave the so-called Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, or CHAZ. It's a six-block area in the heart of the city.

And I'm joined now by hip-hop artist and activist Raz Simone. Raz, thank you so much for being with us.


KEILAR: So you've become a de factor leader of this autonomous zone. I know some people have -- some media outlets have described you as a warlord, which I know you take issues with that description. I wonder if you can talk to us about, after what we saw last weekend -- there were some shootings -- and now the mayor is saying it's time for people to go home.

I wonder, Raz, as you know, someone who's very involved, is a leader if not the leader of this zone, how is that going to play out? Are people going to leave?

SIMONE: I think a lot of people are going to leave. A lot of people already left. You know, I haven't been in there, I just have eyes on the ground and people that are trying to make sure that people are safe.

It's one of those things that's frustrating because that area is already a hotspot for (ph) issues (ph). There have been multiple shootings in that area on that block already, you know, just in the history of, you know, in the last decade or whatever, so that's already a place of activity, that's where all the bars, everyone like leaves the bars and congregates in this area.