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Health Experts Express Concern Public Gatherings for Independence Day Celebrations may Cause Increase Coronavirus Spread; Coronavirus Cases Rise Rapidly in Florida, California, and Arizona; President Trump Speaks at Independence Day Celebration at Mount Rushmore; Doctor Discusses Evolution of Treatment for Severe Cases of Coronavirus; Little Rock, Arkansas, Mayor Frank Scott, Jr., Interviewed on Executive Order Requiring Face Masks in Public Spaces; Washington Redskins Announces Review of Possible Team Name Change after Threats from Sponsors and Investors. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired July 4, 2020 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: So again, guys, the good news is here not everybody is going to be a wash out, but we will have a couple of spots that may need to take an umbrella with them.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: All right, appreciate Allison Chinchar, thank you.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR: The next hour of CNN Newsroom starts right now.
PAUL: Happy Fourth of July. Thank you for spending part of your Saturday morning with us. We always appreciate you. I'm Christi Paul.
SAVIDGE: And I'm Martin Savidge in for Victor Blackwell. You are in the CNN Newsroom.
PAUL: Good to have you here, Marty.
PAUL: So we're all celebrating, I know, Independence Day in a way that is very different from anything we have seen before because we're doing so the middle of a pandemic. And health experts say do not let your guard down this holiday weekend.
SAVIDGE: Yes. The concern is the big gatherings at barbecues, beaches, and of course to watch fireworks. That could increase the infection rate even more. So states are adding to their safety measures, including enforcing rules at beaches from coast to coast with some places closing them entirely, like southern California. And then in New Hampshire, the beach is open. Here is a live look at Hampton Beach coast, where plenty of people are already spread out on the sand, as you can see.
PAUL: The U.S. entering this holiday weekend, too, after reporting more than 50,000 new cases for a third straight day, 37 states seeing an increasing trend of new cases now. Only one, Vermont, is seeing a decline. We're covering all these angles with reporters around the country. CNN's Boris Sanchez is standing by in Florida, Evan McMorris- Santoro is in Arizona, and Sarah Westwood is at the White House.
SAVIDGE: Let's start with Polo Sandoval. He's at New York's Coney Island. Polo, it's usually packed there on the Fourth of July, so what are you seeing now?
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Martin. The beach is open, so is the boardwalk. The music is playing, but it certainly is still a very different Fourth of July. The crowds much thinner than what we're used to seeing, particularly on Fourth of July. Look, the reality here is that health officials not just here in New York but across the country have been providing advice to families very similar to what we heard during Memorial Day, if families are going to celebrate this weekend, do so responsibly or even do so at home.
SANDOVAL: A coronavirus perfect storm could be looming this Independence Day. Several factors are at play, including more people traveling, states reopening, and for some, repeated disregard of mask and social distancing guidelines as people gather to celebrate this July 4th.
DR. JOSHUA BAROCAS, INFECTIOUS DISEASE PHYSICIAN, BOSTON MEDICAL CENTER: Avoiding places like pools, beaches, and even playgrounds, especially this weekend that's going to be high density traffic outside, are very important measures that we can take.
SANDOVAL: U.S. COVID-related deaths exceeded 129,000 this week, and Centers for Disease Control and prevention predicting that we could see another 20,000 people lose their lives to the virus by the end of the month. Florida surpassed its previous record for new COVID cases reported in one day. The pressure now on younger people to help lower infection rates in that state. You see the vast majority of Florida COVID cases affecting those in their mid-30s.
Some Florida beaches are open today, though that won't be the case in Miami Beach. The mayor there implementing a curfew and made masks mandatory.
MAYOR DAN GELBER, MIAMI BEACH: There's nothing more American than making a sacrifice by staying home to keep a family member safe, a neighbor safe, or a stranger safe.
SANDOVAL: Texas continues buckling under the surge and sites its highest single daily increase this week. Hoping to reverse the trend, Governor Greg Abbott is requiring face coverings in most Texas counties, though many of Abbott's fellow Republican leaders have resisted similar mask mandates, the president among them.
GOV. GREG ABBOTT, (R) TEXAS: Anyone who thinks COVID-19 is not dangerous, the numbers are glaring warning signs that this is dangerous. But everybody has the capability of making sure they do not get COVID-19. SANDOVAL: Out west, Arizona and California continue shattering their
own records. Arizona's state health data showing hospitals are seeing unprecedented spike in COVID patient admissions, and only nine percent of ICU beds were available by the end of this week. California reimplementing earlier restrictions to contain their outbreak, temporary closure signs are back up at beaches, singing and chanting at religious gatherings are temporarily banned, and some cities are taking an aggressive approach in enforcing mask policies with the threat of hefty fines. As the nation celebrates together, health officials are hoping they'll do it from home.
SANDOVAL: That could be another reason why we're seeing thinner crowds, particularly here at New York beaches, as Governor Cuomo announced this week that people traveling in for about 16 COVID hot spots states from across the country, people traveling into New York, would have to self-quarantine for at least two weeks, Martin and Christi.
This is one of those efforts that we're seeing by authorities in the New York tristate area to try to keep that progress, or to make sure that progress is not reversed.
PAUL: Good point. Polo Sandoval, thank you so much. Happy Fourth to you.
Polo talked about Florida a little bit. Beaches still are open, despite Florida topping the list of states with the most new cases. Just yesterday nearly 9,500 new infections reported there. CNN's Boris Sanchez is with us from Clearwater, Florida. Boris, good morning to you. You're getting the sunshine. How many other people are out there with you? Is it busy?
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey there, Christi. We're actually seeing smaller crowds than usual. In fact, at this time when we were here yesterday, there were far more people on Clearwater Beach than there are now. Yesterday we heard from a local who told us that he thinks it has to a lot to do with coronavirus because a lot of people who come to this beach are visiting from different areas.
And you're right, the numbers in Florida are absolutely staggering. In the last 48 hours, nearly 20,000 new coronavirus cases in the sunshine state. Florida now leading the nation for the average number of new daily cases reported. I spoke to a mom who drove from about 120 miles away with her family, who said that she wanted to enjoy Independence Day on the beach, though she is taking precautions and chides people who are not. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We came a few weeks ago and we felt pretty safe. As long as we stay our distance, I think we're fine. We have our masks. We have our hand sanitizers. There's a real pandemic, and if we don't do our part, it's going to continue to spread.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: So, she is among quite a few people who have brought their families out here. Again, less than usual. You'll notice there are signs up stating very clearly that there are beach rules about social distancing. They're asking folks who do not live in the same household to stay at least six feet apart. They don't want large groups to congregate. In fact, they are keeping groups limited to about 10 people per group.
The question, though, is how well is that being enforced? We haven't really seen police or health officials around to keep those rules in place. In fact, I have seen some groups that are well over 10 people. The numbers again, the major concern. We saw a big surge after Memorial Day weekend when we saw people ignoring the social distancing guidelines. We could potentially see a big surge again two weeks from now. We are expecting to get new numbers from the Florida department of health in just over an hour. Of course, we'll keep you posted. Martin?
SAVIDGE: Yes, we'll wait to get those numbers, Boris. Thank you very much.
Turning out of the southwest in Arizona, cases there taking a dangerous turn for the worse. And the number of people requiring hospital treatment continues to climb as hospitals are getting exceedingly close to capacity.
CNN's Evan McMorris-Santoro joins me now live. And Evan, just how close are they to being full at the hospitals these days?
EVAN MCMORRIS-SANTORO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, they're actually getting pretty close. Good morning from Scottsdale, where it's still pretty early. And as you can see, on this Saturday, people are not yet out at this strip mall and mall complex here.
But when it comes to the hospital number, it's just another indication of how dire the situation is getting here. Hospitals are reported at 91 percent capacity in their intensive care unit beds. Just 156 of those beds left. It's numbers like that that that are getting the governor of this state, Doug Ducey, to try to get people to not gather in places like this. But he's facing stiff resistance.
Here in this complex where I am is one of the locations of Mountainside Fitness, which is an 18-gym chain here in the area that has been at war with this governor. Last week the governor declared gyms closed again for a month, saying it was not safe to have them gather as the pandemic started to grow here in Arizona. But as you can see here on the door at this gym that had remained open, kind of a letter full of legalese from Mountainside Gym saying, look, we've read what the governor had to say. Our lawyers think it's safe. We're open. Come on if you want to.
This has been an ongoing problem for public health officials here in Arizona. Yesterday, I was about 100 miles away from here in Prescott, Arizona, where they were having their big Fourth of July festivities that include a rodeo and a craft fair. And we tried to bring our CNN camera into the rodeo. They wouldn't let us in, they wouldn't talk about their pandemic plans. But what they've made people do is sign a waiver saying I understand that the pandemic is happening and I'm going to come to the rodeo anyway. And some of the footage that we were able to get from inside the rodeo showed large numbers of people in the crowd not wearing masks.
And this is the kind of thing that the governor of the state, the Republican governor of the state, has been asking his constituents not to do. But he's left a lot of those decisions up to local municipalities to make decisions about how to enforce that stuff.
So here in Arizona, rising numbers, and also rising and stiff resistance to some of the countermeasures that officials want.
PAUL: All right, Evan, thank you so much. Appreciate it. Boy, look at those numbers.
So President Trump is set to celebrate Independence Day in Washington today. He rallied before our nation's forefathers at Mount Rushmore. You see him there last night. Thousands of people were there to hear the president speak in South Dakota. There were very few people wearing face coverings, it seems. Social distancing guidelines, they weren't enforced. Masks were not required. But what you're seeing there is a picture of a lot of the big chunk of the crowd there. And that was pretty much what it looked like all the way around.
SAVIDGE: CNN's Sarah Westwood joins us now from the White House. And Sarah, what more are you learning about the speech, about the crowds, about the president this morning?
SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, Martin, one of the biggest headlines of the night was actually written before it really got under way. And that was the fact that Kimberly Guilfoyle, the girlfriend of the president's son and a member of the Trumps inner circle, tested positive for coronavirus before the president arrived in South Dakota, because remember, everyone who is going to come into contact with the president has to get a COVID test before they do so. So she was getting screened as part of that process. She's asymptomatic and is self-isolating. Donald Trump Jr., luckily, tested negative for the virus.
But despite that and despite the surge of cases that we're seeing in states across the country, the president barely mentioned the virus in that speech. Instead, he chose to use the occasion to really wade into the culture war. And he had a relatively dark message, a stark warning, about what would happen, in his words, if the merciless campaign of people he claimed are trying to erase American history are successful.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values and indoctrinate our children.
Our children are taught in school to hate their own country and to believe that the men and women who built it were not heroes but that were villains.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WESTWOOD: So far from a unifying tone there at that Independence Day event, the president also signed an executive order that would create what he said would be the National Garden of American Heroes, basically an outdoor park that would have monuments to various figures throughout American history. The location of that park was not specified, but the president last night arguing for more statues, not less, against this backdrop of unrest in this country, Martin and Christi.
SAVIDGE: Sarah Westwood at the White House. Thanks very much.
PAUL: Breaking news right now. President Trump signed an extension of the Paycheck Protection Program into law this morning. The House unanimously passed the extension less than 24 hours after the program ended this week. Now Congress created that program, remember, to help small businesses keep employees on their payrolls during nationwide closures because of the coronavirus pandemic.
SAVIDGE: Applications for the funds can be submitted through August 8th. There was more than $130 billion remaining when the program closed, and that was Tuesday night.
PAUL: So coming up, in the early days of epidemic, you know we have been talking about this, ventilators appeared to be key to helping COVID-19 patients survive. Now doctors are changing their approach when it comes to using them. We're talking to a doctor next about the risk of ventilators.
SAVIDGE: Plus, after facing mounting pressure, the Washington Redskins could be one step closer to changing their controversial name. We'll have more on that right after the break.
SAVIDGE: Let's take you to Hampton Beach, New Hampshire, at least via video anyway, where the beach is open and people are starting to gather. The town, unfortunately, cancelled its fireworks display as did nearby Portsmouth and Manchester, New Hampshire. There are several key coronavirus trends that health experts are going to watch closely this holiday weekend. Across and south and west the big story remains the constant climb in new cases. The northeast, which struggled very early on in the pandemic, you'll remember, is now actually keeping their case curve heading in the right direction, while the south and west, represented here in pink and yellow respectively, trend to new highs.
PAUL: States across those regions are also reporting an increase in hospitalizations and in the percent of tests that come back positive, Arizona illustrates this rise really clearly, as you could see a steady climb in people hospitalized there. The percentage of new tests that are coming back positive in Arizona is hovering between 25 and 30 percent in recent days. Now, those data points contribute to a national picture that ranks the U.S. response as one of the worst in the world.
Compare the situation here in the U.S. with our neighbors to the north. Canada's seven day moving average of new cases lining up nearly perfectly with the bottom of this chart compared to the U.S. And compared to a single U.S. state with similar population, Canada's curve still looks better. Here it's actually matched with California. Now, by contrast the state of New York lines up much more closely to Canada now. No longer the epicenter of this pandemic here in the U.S.
SAVIDGE: At the beginning of this crisis there was, you'll remember, a lot of talk about ventilators and how important they are to severely ill COVID-19 patients who find it difficult, maybe even impossible, to breathe on their own. The problem is ventilators can cause other problems for people who need them, including infection, lung damage, delirium, and a decline in physical and cognitive function.
PAUL: Well, Dr. Paul Mayo is with us now. He's a professor at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra and a pulmonary disease, critical care, and internal medicine physician with Northwell Health. Thank you so much, doctor, for being with us. We're glad to have you here.
DR. PAUL MAYO, PROFESSOR, ZUCKER SCHOOL OF MEDICINE AT HOFSTRA/NORTHWELL: Glad to be here.
PAUL: Thank you.
So, I understand that you had COVID two months ago. You tested negative for antibodies. Do you know what that means for your immunity to future infection, because this is something a lot of people are talking about when it comes to herd immunity, getting the virus, recovering, and therefore believing themselves to be immune?
MAYO: Yes. So actually I would be more optimistic that I'm actually antibody positive. What happened is early --
PAUL: OK, good.
MAYO: Unfortunate. Early in the pandemic we were unaware that the disease was transmitted through aerosol. We all thought it was transmitted through droplet, cough and sneezing. So, I was wearing a lightweight surgical mask as per instruction, and in early March I got infected. I was out of work for about three weeks. When I came back, it was absolutely extraordinary how many cases we had who were really critically ill. And then by good luck I tested antibody positive.
Now, one of the questions is, what does that mean? And there is some speculation that it's not protective. But if you talk to or read real serious immunologists, it's very clear that for at least several months at a minimum I am fully protected by it from reinfection. The immunity will probably last one to two years. So naturally I'll get a vaccine when it's available to re-augment my immunity. And therefore, when I'm in the hospital, I consider myself totally protected, as do my colleagues who happen to have the infection, and they're antibody positive.
At the same time, I have to, I must conform to standard protective measures with masks and face shield because I'm part of a team and I can't just pretend, oh, I'm different than them. So I still go through the ritual of putting on the N95, the mask. But in fact I'm protected, and everyone should have the same attitude until proven otherwise. And that's not yet been proven.
SAVIDGE: Doctor, we started off this conversation talking about ventilators. And it's been fascinating to watch how the treatment of this disease has developed over time. And that most especially includes ventilators, once looked upon as lifesavers and now there's a different regard for them. Were they used too soon? Or have our attitudes towards them been perhaps too hopeful?
MAYO: Yes. As with all things related to COVID-19 where the person becomes critically ill, there's been a lot of evolution of how to approach the disease. Early on when a patient would come to the hospital and there'd be decision made that they were sick enough to come into the hospital, generally that would always be associated with a very low oxygen level in their blood. And by standard operating procedure, the thought was we should intubate, meaning place a tube in the person's windpipe and attach them to a full ventilator.
We thought that was the best thing to do for two reasons. One is that that's what we had been doing for the last 20 or 30 years, but also there was great concern that if we used what's known as high flow oxygen or smaller, non-invasive ventilators, that this would somehow spread the disease into the general population in the hospital or to the care providers. So, early on we were using ventilators quite aggressively.
Now, the thing to remember about the big ventilators, persons fully intubated through the windpipe, is when a person goes on a ventilator, they have a new disease. It's called, they're on a ventilator. Because ventilators, although they are lifesaving, they don't really cure the person. They support the person. And during the support period, the person is very vulnerable to a variety of complications that derive from being on a ventilator.
So there's no doubt that when appropriately used the ventilator will support the person. We hope then they'll slowly recover. But at the same time, the ventilator can cause a lot of different complications. For example, there's an entity called ventilator-induced lung injury. This sounds like a crazy idea, that you put a person on a ventilator hoping to save them, but the ventilator through pressure affect can produce a lot of stress on the lung tissue and will actually perpetuate the lung injury.
[10:25:07] Then people become vulnerable to developing pneumonias related to being on ventilator. They generally have to be heavily sedated. Then they're not moving for a few weeks, and they decondition profoundly. There's an association with prolonged ventilator use and cognitive effect that can be prolonged. So ventilators should never, ever be used just as a routine measure. Instead the field is moving towards being very aggressive about maintaining oxygen levels with what are curbed high flow systems or noninvasive ventilation. And the belief now is when the staff is properly protected, the risk of acquiring infection with these systems is actually very low. And if in addition to staff protection, the room is placed under negative pressure, that also reduces risk. So compared to the first few weeks when I got back at work, we saw a lot of cases, hundreds of hundreds of cases of severe COVID pneumonia. We're now trying to avoid the use of ventilator. If we have to, we must. But we try to avoid using them.
PAUL: OK. So, Dr. Mayo, I wanted to ask you about the long-term effects of COVID because we talk so much about trying to avoid getting -- becoming infected and how to mitigate that. But, when we talk about the long-term health consequences, some of the things we do know about this, what has been kind of a mysterious virus up to this point, the ongoing fatigue, the lung damage, the blood clotting, the heart damage, the kidney damage -- what do you see is most consistent in terms of long-term health consequences for the virus? And have you personally experienced any of them?
MAYO: On a personal level, I developed the virus. And the most prominent affect that I noticed was a period of extraordinary weakness, that I think about standing up, for example, and as soon as I try to stand up I just say, forget this. And I just spent a lot of time sitting on a sofa, literally. My oxygen level went down to a moderate extent. I had some lung involvement. But the weakness phenomena and this sense of lightheadedness went on for a good three weeks. So it was rather like having a very severe influenza infection, which most of us had some time in our life, but it was really, really prolonged. And all of my partners who also -- a number of my partners developed COVID infection, they describe exactly the same issue.
And then there's a period where there's inappropriate tachycardia, a very rapid heart rate with minimal exercise. But if you can get through all this, then where I'm recovered and immune at least for some period of time, the question is, if it had gone the other way, and again, we have seen hundreds of these cases, if the person gets really, really sick, fighting to keep them off ventilator, now we're using a variety of medications up front which we hope will attenuate risk of regression, then the person ends up on ventilator.
And what we've seen is this terrible progression to what we call a New York cement lung. The lung becomes profoundly and irreversibly injured, scarred down. It becomes stiff. It's literally a rock almost. And then we lose those patients as we fight forward. Another group, they develop lung injury of the type where there's some recovery. And then after weeks in the ICU, if they're very, very lucky they come directly off the ventilator, but a lot of these people end up with tracheostomy, where we make a little hole here in the trachea, put the tube there. They're on a ventilator. They have got a feeding tube. PAUL: Sure.
MAYO: And then we transfer to a rehab facility. And the prolonged course of rehabilitation is just we're starting to understand that now.
MAYO: The person is extraordinarily weak, deconditioned. They often have cognitive failure. They have lung injury. And some of those people are permanently impaired. And some will fully recover full function.
PAUL: Well, Dr. Paul --
MAYO: So we're learning a lot as the weeks go by.
PAUL: Dr. Paul Mayo, we appreciate your expertise and sharing your experience with this with us. Best of luck to you. Take good care.
MAYO: All right, thanks a lot.
SAVIDGE: Still to come, Arkansas reported the most cases in the state in a single day since the pandemic began. Little Rock's mayor joins us on the protective measures he's taking.
PAUL: Well, three months ago Arkansas was one of a handful of states that did not issue stay-at-home orders to slow the spread of coronavirus because at the time Governor Asa Hutchinson said the order wasn't needed, he said because of its low population density. Well, today Arkansas is considered a hot spot state. In fact, on Thursday the state reported 878 cases. That is the most the state has seen in a single day since the pandemic began.
SAVIDGE: Just last week the mayor of Little Rock, Arkansas, signed an executive order requiring face masks in public spaces. Joining us now is Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott, Jr. Good morning to you, mayor.
MAYOR FRANK SCOTT, JR., LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS: Good morning. How are you doing today, Martin and Christi?
SAVIDGE: Doing well, sir. How is this measure going as far as mandating masks?
SCOTT: Actually, it's going very well since we issued our executive order on June the 25th. We saw great uptick all our residents, visitors, and businesses really abiding by the order. So we are grateful that they took the time and the attention to not only protect themselves and their loved ones but the residents of Little Rock.
PAUL: What is their concern about the economic -- the economic consequences of all of this?
SCOTT: Well, we really firmly believe not wearing a mask is an economic consequence, because when you continue to see the number of individuals that are having cases and having to shut down various organizations because of those COVID-19 cases to have protective measures, we really believe this is an economic argument to wear a mask.
SAVIDGE: What was it that brought you to this point? As we had explained, the governor early on had said it wasn't necessary. So why did you decide as the mayor of your city to take it upon yourself to introduce this? And how do you enforce it?
SCOTT: Well, first and foremost, as a mayor, we sign and take an oath of office to protect and serve the public health safety and welfare of all of our residents. And as we continue to see the number of cases continue to increase across the state, and Little Rock being the state's capital city and the most populated, we have been early and aggressive and assertive in all of our protective measures to protect the public health and safety and welfare of Little Rock residents. This was yet another portion of our COVID-19 health care task force which we initiated early on as we are guided by data and health care experts on any measure that we take place.
PAUL: So I want to listen, if we can, to Georgia Governor Kemp. He was on a two-day six-city tour in his state encouraging people to wear masks, so he's not making it mandatory in his state, but he did criticize some leaders who were giving mask mandates out, calling it a political distraction. Here is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. BRIAN KEMP, (R) GEORGIA: The whole mask issue right now in my opinion is being over-politicized. And that's not what we should be doing. We don't have time for politics right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: So, what do you -- what is your response to that allegation that it is political?
SCOTT: Well, first and foremost, again, wearing a mask is an economic argument. It's a public health argument. And it's just good common sense. It is not a political statement as whether you wear a mask or not. It's a public health safety measure. And we have to take the politics out of public health and continue to understand that when we are instituting these type of ordnances and orders to protect the public health safety and welfare of all residents, whether you're in the city of Little Rock or across this nation, it's to help someone's life. And anything that we do, if we just save one life, we've done our job.
SAVIDGE: Is it just masks, or are there other measures that you implemented here to try to keep people healthy?
SCOTT: Since the city of Little Rock instituted its state of emergency here in the capital city, we've done a myriad of things from instituting a keep cover, keep your distance campaign, instituting a stay in and tell a friend campaign, all in the effort to educate and engage our residents to understand that we have to follow the CDC guidelines as well as the Arkansas Department of Health guidelines. We also were the first in the state to move towards takeout delivery and curbside service for our restaurants. We instituted curfews to create a modified shelter in place policy. And we continue to lead by example by listening to the data as well as our health care experts when we instituted a COVID-19 health care task force with many of the state's top health experts because Little Rock is the health care mecca here in the state of Arkansas.
PAUL: How do you reach everyone to try to explain that mindset? Because at the end of the day, there are different groups of people who see this as a different intention. Some see it as a health issue. Some see it as a political issue. Is there any scenario where you can look at what you're dealing with and know how to get everyone on the same page and change that mindset?
SCOTT: Well, we continue to lead by sharing the data and the facts and focusing on the truth. We don't engage in the politics as it relates to public health because that's a safety measure that we have to do to ensure that the city of Little Rock has economic recovery in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
And so we are very focused on our communications. As a millennial mayor, we're on all modes of medium with social media, digital, online, and we're making certain we do whatever we can no matter who you are here in the city of Little Rock that you're going to receive this information.
We've also focused a lot on ensuring that health care disparities that have arisen throughout this process, that we have purchased 20,000 masks for underrepresented communities here in the city of Little Rock with a great partnership with Kroger and Edwards Food Giant. And so we're going to continue to let the data, which is clear, to lead us as we make our decisions moving forward.
And again, being someone that actually got a test as well, I can't tell you the number of times when you wait those two or three days, waiting on your COVID-19 test, when you think about any type of time where you may have inadvertently forgotten your mask or failed to put it on, it really hits home to you. And that's more imperative that we've got to continue to move forward, wear our mask, wash our hands, keep covered, and know our distance.
PAUL: Mr. Mayor, I understand. My daughter has had to take the test three times. And I know that it is not pleasant. But you're right. That waiting period --
SCOTT: Not at all. PAUL: That waiting period is just as hard as well. She's negative, by
the way, all three times. Just in case anybody cares. Mayor Frank Scott, Jr. --
SCOTT: That's a blessing.
PAUL: Yes, it is. We appreciate you. Thank you for taking the time to talk with us, especially on the Fourth of July here. Happy Fourth.
SAVIDGE: Thank you, Mayor.
SCOTT: Thank you so much. Happy --
PAUL: Thank you.
SAVIDGE: And still to come, the calls to change the name of the Washington Redskins. They have grown louder, and now the team says that change may be on the way. Former Redskins' player and wide receiver for the NFL Donte Stallworth joins us next.
PAUL: We have this just in into the newsroom. A police officer in Toledo, Ohio, was killed overnight in a Home Depot parking lot. CNN affiliate WNWO reporting Officer Anthony Dia was responding to a disturbance call. This was just after midnight, when a shot him in the chest and then ran into the woods.
SAVIDGE: According to investigators the man was found a short time later with a gunshot wound to the head. Investigators are looking into what may have been the possible motivation or causes behind that shooting.
In the face of mounting pressure from both fans and investors, the Washington Redskins say they may be paving a way towards a new name.
PAUL: Yes. The team says it's conducting a thorough review of the controversial nickname. And this is coming after a major threat from investment groups worth more than $600 billion, saying that they'd end their relationships with Redskins sponsors if the team didn't change its name. So now team owner Daniel Snyder, who has been against a name change in the past, says he wants input from others now. And NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell released a statement saying he is supportive of this important step.
SAVIDGE: With us now, former Redskins player and wide receiver for the NFL Donte Stallworth. And good morning to you. Thanks very much. Great to have you with us, especially on this issue. And I want to start by asking, what is your reaction to this news that the team is reviewing the name? What is there really to review?
DONTE STALLWORTH, FORMER NFL WIDE RECEIVER: That's a good question. There's been this review for a very long time. People have been discussing this issue throughout the country for a very long time, for years. And speaking of years, seven years ago the team owner, Daniel Snyder, said that he would never change the team's name. And so here we are today where two weeks ago the team has removed George Marshall Preston from -- I'm sorry George Preston Marshall from the team's ring of honor. George Preston Marshall was the last team owner to integrate in 1962 the NFL with black players on his team. And he did it begrudgingly. And also they took down a statue a George Preston a couple weeks ago at the RFK Stadium.
So there is this reckoning that is going around throughout the country that we've seen since the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Memorial Day. People are starting to come to grips with our history, our settler, colonial history, and George Preston Marshall is a part of that by naming his team a racial slur that no one in the indigenous community sees that to be something that they take pride in.
Now, there have been polls that have shown earlier this decade, or earlier last decade in the early 2010s where you saw a majority of native people's did not mind the name or didn't care about the name. But as we've seen with this recent study and research from the University of California Berkeley, they have shown that more than half today after February, which was the Super Bowl with the Kansas City Chiefs, there was a showing that showed more than -- a study that showed more than half of those people, the native people, the indigenous folks, who are the ones that are living under this name, they are the ones that are now saying, more than half of them do not agree with any moniker or any racial slur as the team's name is today.
PAUL: So, we talk about the financial impact of this, and we talked about this more than $620 billion that could be lost if investors pull out. Why do you think it had to come to money before we might see a change here? And how big of deciding factor do you think that was to getting to the point we're seeing this morning?
STALLWORTH: I think it was the only factor, if we're being honest about everything.
Seven years ago, team owner Daniel Snyder said, who grew up a Washington football team fan, he grew up as a big fan of the team, later purchased it. That is -- that's beyond anyone's wildest dream to be able to purchase your favorite team as a child. And he did that. So this team has a deep connection with him. But in the same time, we have seen, again, where Nike has come out and said that they are pleased to see the team try to make progress, take the first steps to make progress. Nike pulled all Washington football team Redskins merchandise from their website. They did this a couple days ago.
And as you noticed, there was $620 billion, a group of I believe 67 or 87 investment firms, that have been urging for FedEx Corporation, Fred Smith, CEO, who is also a minority owner with the team, to pressure them into changing the team's name.
And so, here we are today where it's the perfect climate that we are discussing this with. You have the financial pressure and you have the social change pressure. If the name doesn't change now, it will never change. But it shouldn't have had to come to this, but it has unfortunately. And I think it's time, as everyone else has noted. Everyone else who is empathetic with our indigenous brothers and sisters say it's time to change the name now.
SAVIDGE: Donte Stallworth, we really do appreciate your insights, and thank you, especially for joining us today to talk about it.
PAUL: Thank you, sir.
STALLWORTH: Thank you.
PAUL: We'll be right back.
PAUL: We're so grateful to have you here as always for our news marathon this morning. We hope you make good memories today.
SAVIDGE: And don't forget to watch the CNN special later, "The Fourth in America." An evening of fireworks and an all-star musical lineup. That will begin at 8:00 p.m. eastern, of course, right here on CNN.
PAUL: Much more ahead in the next hour of CNN's Newsroom. Fredricka Whitfield is with you next. Stay close.