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Virus Cases Rise in 37 States as Americans Celebrate July 4th; As Much of the U.S. Scales Back Celebrations, Trump Holds Large Gathering Despite Rise in Virus Cases; Sparse Crowd on D.C. Mall Ahead of Tonight's Fireworks Show; President Hosting Celebration With Music, Flyovers, Fireworks. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired July 4, 2020 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: --right here on CNN. I want to bring our panel back with us now. We have Lieutenant General Mark Hertling as well as Dr. Patrice Harris, Doug Brinkley and Kate Andersen Brower.
Lieutenant General Mark Hertling, let me just start with you. You were so valuable in walking us through the Golden Knights parachute team as they were coming down. And we know there are going to be a parade of many, many aircraft that will be flying over shortly from the World War II era, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and many others. What do you expect to see?
LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, first, Ana, I would like to have a shout out a little bit for the Army and the Marine Corps and the bands that are also there. I mean, this is a great number of people. You have the Golden Knights parachute team. They are very impressive.
When you saw the photos on the White House lawn, you also saw cannon in the background. That's the - that's the artillery unit out of the third infantry from Fort Myer, Virginia. That's the old guard. So they will provide the cannon salute, the 21-gun salute. You also have bands from every services. Again, army, navy, air force, and marine, I'm sure, are all there. And these are some pretty quality folks.
The thing I'd like to point out, though, that these parachutists out of the Golden Knights and also the artillery men and the old guard, most of them are also combat veterans. So these - while they're specialists in Washington, D.C. doing this performance, this show, they are also individuals who have probably seen action in either Afghanistan, Iraq, or other places. So you have to keep that in mind.
When we're starting to see the flyovers, which will occur in a few minutes, you'll see mostly re-enactors, individuals who have taken aircraft from our past wars, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and they are actually going to be flying privately-owned aircraft that participated in those conflicts.
These are clubs. They pay their own way. They love to do these kind of things on national holidays. But then, later on in the program, you're going to see active aircraft from the U.S. Air Force, the Marine Corps, from the Army, the helicopters, the airplanes, the Ospreys, the tilt-rotor marine aircraft.
All of those things are coming at a time when, as Professor Brinkley said, President Trump is trying to showcase the military on a national holiday. You can say that's good or bad. I have my own view on that. I think the Fourth of July holiday, personally, should be a time for little kids to get candy off of fire trucks and have little hometown parades. But that's what the President has decided to do, and that's what we're seeing in this showcase in Washington, D.C.
CABRERA: He had his remarks last night in Mount Rushmore amidst a packed crowd there, hardly even mentioned the coronavirus. Today, here on the National Mall, much different image, where people are not close together, there is social distancing and really just aren't very many people, which makes you think that clearly Americans realize that this coronavirus pandemic is still happening.
And in fact, we've been talking about the surge in cases all across the U.S., particularly in places like Texas and Florida and California and Arizona. We've heard of people lining up to get tested. We've heard of hospitalizations being up, and ICU beds running low in some places or running out in some places even. And now we're learning today that there are major labs experiencing a surge in demand for testing, and delays are happening for getting test results.
How concerning is that to you, Dr. Harris?
DR. PATRICE HARRIS, FORMER PRESIDENT, AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION: Ana, today, I have spent in sober reflection of this holiday in the context of full history. And of course, the symbolism of today is important, but I can't think of a better way for us to put that symbolism and the importance of the symbolism of the holiday today into action by doing all that we can to limit the spread of COVID-19.
As you mentioned, we are getting to the point where in certain parts of this country the medical system is near or about to be or there are worries that it will be overwhelmed. We see the number of cases increase, and not just because of testing. And so I think that we should think about the symbolism of today, but move forward in true American spirit, which is to do all that we can to wear a mask, to maintain our distance, to avoid crowds to limit the spread, so we can move forward in this country.
CABRERA: Kate, you spoke about the legacy that this President wants when you sat down with him for your book. He struggled recently to articulate what his potential second term would focus on. What does that signal to you?
KATE ANDERSEN BROWER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I mean, I asked him where he'd have his Presidential library, and he said he hadn't thought much about it. So I think h really lives moment-to-moment.
I did ask him about the founding fathers during our interview and about Thomas Jefferson and John Adams particularly and this rivalry they had for many years and then their friendship and that they both died 50 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
I asked Trump if he could see befriending on the other former presidents in that same way. And he said, maybe Bill Clinton, anything is possible. But I think that just goes to show that he does like to see himself in this long line. He's got "45" monogrammed on his shirt sleeves. I mean, he clearly loves the power of the Presidency.
But to your question, I don't think that he has thought through much past the next 24 hours. I think it's so chaotic. Every day is different.
CABRERA: Doug, we are waiting to hear what the President says this evening, but his speech at Mount Rushmore last night was incredibly divisive. What does that tell you about his re-election strategy? Does this type of divisiveness tend to work for incumbent presidents seeking re-election?
DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: No, I don't think it's a very smart strategy. What he's trying to do, instead of uniting the country in the age of COVID-19 and make us one, he's playing division and chaos games. I thought the problem with the Mount Rushmore speech - the one good thing was, it wasn't great, but it was smaller than Tulsa. I mean, trying to hold a smaller event, but not having people wear masks was visible.
But for some reason, President Trump is under this idea that if he just throws out names from the history, the Wright Brothers or Neil Armstrong or Martin Luther King Jr., Frederick Douglas, they're all great and I'm great and I'm the protector of them, his view is that I'm protecting the famous people in the past that are the names everybody knows.
Well, Barack Obama was President. And what Obama did, said, let's open up our history narrative. So Obama was able to save a site for Buffalo Soldiers, Charles Young in Ohio, African-Americans who fought in the military. And Obama was able to create sites for Harriet Tubman and for Native Americans down in Bears Ears, Utah that would be administered by native tribes.
A president this late in the 21st century, 2020, you want to open the inclusion of American history and the women. This is the 100th anniversary of women getting the right to vote, but it was only white women, not African-Americans. But he had an opportunity, I think, to have a different tone. Instead, what he's doing is using the monuments, I'm a defender of Mount Rushmore, they're not going to rip it down, over my dead body, and kind of giving a - just a strange, let's say, view and interpretation of America's past, but it's just to get his base going.
And I thought it was unfortunate to be doing these buildups on our 4th, the day of national unity. People did not die at D-day or (inaudible) saying I'm a Republican, I'm a Democrat, I'm Trumpian, I'm for Biden. We die as Americans, and he needed to unify us, and he's doing the opposite.
CABRERA: Everyone, please stay with me. I want to bring in a couple of our colleagues who will be joining us at the top of the hour for our special Fourth of July programming coverage. And so you can just stay right there tonight. We've got to cover for the stars and the music and the amazing patriotic show that's going to take place. But Dana Bash and Don Lemon are with me now.
And guys, I want to talk about what's to be expected in your show in just a little bit. But first, Dana, let me just ask you a little bit more about what we've seen from the President this weekend on a day that is such an important day for all Americans and yet the President has still continued to really only speak to his base, not to all Americans this holiday weekend.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: --which has been the through line of his entire first term. And that is who he was when he rode down that escalator about five years ago and announced his campaign. And there was a question when he raised his hand and took the oath of office, whether or not he was going to change and whether he was going to use the capital that he genuinely had with his base and work across party lines. And for the most part, the answer has been no.
And the fact that now, as he is on the precipice of his voters going to the polls and deciding whether or not he deserves a second term, he has made a decision that he is going to double, triple, quadruple down on that strategy.
And you know what? For the most part, it's because that's who he is. He follows his gut. He follows what he thinks is the right thing to do. And right now, that is continuing to play hard to the base.
The one thing I will say is that his emphasis on destroying monuments and taking down things that have a special place in American history, there is a hope in the Trump campaign that that does reach beyond the base and that reaches to some independent voters who think that this movement is going too far.
CABRERA: And Don, as we've been looking at images, they're on the National Mall. Crowds are rather sparse, at least at this point, but I know tonight you guys have a rocking program that we can expect, should be pretty extraordinary.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR, CNN TONIGHT: We're very happy about it. Listen, we've been focusing a lot on the President and how he's handling this coronavirus, this pandemic. And listen, that is important because he's not doing it very well.
I think what is important right now is that we as Americans are coming together to celebrate the rich tapestry of America. We are all Americans right now. It's not Republicans, it's not Democrats. We're all Americans. We're celebrating the rich history and the rich diversity of the people who made the United States of America, and we're also celebrating our independence from England, which is important. And I think people right now need a little bit of something to
celebrate. They need to smile. But they also need to, as we had been doing, socially - staying socially distant, they need to wear their masks. They need to follow the directions of people who told them to either socially distance or stay at home, like the Mayor of Washington, D.C.
You can see there aren't a lot of people out on the mall. So I think people can have a good time. It's about the same crowd that was at the President's inauguration. So he should be happy about that. So I think people should follow the directions of their local people, their local leaders, and stay socially distant. And watch CNN.
We have an amazing show coming up for you, for artists, musicians, who really were eager to put on these performances because they had been sitting at home, they haven't been able to perform live. So you're going to see it all on CNN tonight. And here's what you should do.
What I used to do before I was working on Independence Day on the Fourth of July, I would watch the fireworks from my balcony and I'd have CNN or whoever had the fireworks on in the background. And I think that's what everyone should do. Stay socially distant, be safe, but have a great time tonight.
CABRERA: Dana, give us some of the lineup on what we can expect.
BASH: Yes. And Ana - well, it's a great lineup, but I will just add to what Don just said. I have lived here in D.C. my adult life - my whole adult life. I went to college here. And there is nothing like the fireworks here in D.C. And we're going to be able to show our viewers that tonight, here on CNN.
I've seen it in person and you are going to see it from cameras that you wouldn't even expect. We've got cameras on the Potomac, we've got cameras across - across the Potomac in Arlington, on the top of the Washington monument. And you are just going to be able to sit back and enjoy it. And not just that, you're going to be able to enjoy the music that you sometimes go and listen to in person, here on CNN.
We have the President's own United States Marine Band, the United States Navy Band, the Army Field Band, the New York Philharmonic, and it goes on and on and on. That's during the fireworks.
Then we have amazing acts like Barry Manilow, Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo, we have Jewel, we have Billy Ray Cyrus. We have the O'Jays, and much, much more. It's really--
LEMON: O'Jays, the temptations. We have a special performance by Aretha Franklin.
BASH: There you go.
LEMON: We have - we've got--
BASH: And that's--
CABRERA: Something for all musical tastes.
LEMON: --we've got CeCe Winans. And look. Look. Manhattan! There's New York City, the greatest city on earth, behind us. And we're going to see the fireworks from there. And we're going to see fireworks above the Empire State building. It's going to be amazing. I'm telling you. You want to tune in for this. Grab a cocktail. Grab a drink. Grab your kids. Get in front of the TV and watch this. You will enjoy it. It's going to be amazing.
CABRERA: That's what I told the--
LEMON: And I get to work with the best - Dana Bash.
CABRERA: And I can't wait to tune in.
BASH: This is--
CABRERA: I told my husband - I said, I'm going to race home and I'm off-air, and you better have the TV ready, because I don't want to miss the fireworks.
BASH: I don't like to speak in hyperbole, I really don't, but this - I just celebrated my 27th year at CNN last week, and this is one of the things I am most excited to do.
LEMON: Oh, my God!
BASH: I mean, I've done some pretty cool things, but this is going to be really awesome, for so many reasons, not just the acts and the pomp and circumstance, but because I hope that we're going to provide some entertainment and some feel-good moments for people who are hopefully going to be watching at home safely.
CABRERA: Yes. It's been such a painful time for--
CABRERA: --many of us in this country. You're right.
CABRERA: We all need a moment to breathe and appreciate where we are.
Dana Bash, Don Lemon, I can't wait to see you both here in about 45 minutes--
BASH: Thanks, Ana.
CABRERA: --at the top of the hour.
LEMON: Thanks, Ana.
CABRERA: Thank you for joining me for just a moment there to share together.
Again, it's the "Fourth of July in America" hosted by Don Lemon and Dana Bash. It starts at 8 o'clock Eastern here on CNN. Again, less than an hour from now. And another flyover in D.C. is just moments away. Stay right there.
CABRERA: Welcome back. And tonight, the White House is hosting a large Fourth of July party, as we give you these live pictures, despite the warnings from the President's own medical experts that large groups should be avoided.
I want to bring back Doug Brinkley, Kate Andersen Brower, and Dr. Patrice Harris. And also with us, I want to welcome Derrick Johnson, the President of the NAACP.
And guys, I want to play something we've just heard from the President. Oh, before that, I don't want to forget and leave out Lieutenant General Mark Hertling, who's also back with us right now.
OK. Now, to what the President just said moments ago to the crowd gathered on the White House lawn. And now, actually, we have a live look at a flyover that is happening. Thank you all for bearing with me. What we are seeing at this moment is a formation of World War II planes from the Atlantic Theater of the war. I'm told these include the B-17, B-25 bombers. We'll also see the C-47 cargo plane and P-51 Mustangs.
And Lieutenant General Mark Hertling, what more can you tell us about these aircraft?
HERTLING: Well, I'm - I'm looking at it on the screen now, Ana. I'm not sure - I can't tell from my vantage point. Those look like C-47 Dakotas. Those are the transport airplanes. What you're going to see there - and they've worked in both - I think that's what they are. They worked in both the Atlantic and the Pacific Theater. Those were called the workhorses. Yes, that's what they are.
They also delivered parachutist, supplies. They were used in the Berlin air lift. So you're talking about an aircraft that not only saw combat action but also contributed significantly to post-war activities for a very long time. They are great air-crane (ph) and they worked in both the Atlantic and the Pacific and post-war as well.
You're seeing various aircraft. Again, as I mentioned before, these are ones that are flown usually by clubs who have purchased these airplanes, renovated them, and used them all over the country for these kinds of parades and displays. So you (inaudible) into the true military aircraft yet.
CABRERA: And again, those were World War II Atlantic Theater aircraft where you're expecting World War II Pacific Theater, Korean War, Vietnam War, Desert Storm aircraft to follow in here. The flyover continues. What are we seeing here?
HERTLING: Yes. You're seeing, I think, right there is a B-29 super fortress as well as a couple of P-51 Mustangs. Again, the big one in the middle is a bomber from the Pacific and also worked in the Atlantic Theater. But the smaller aircraft are the Mustangs. These were the fighter aircraft of World War II.
And the thing that I'd like to mention, Ana, which is linked to today, all of those were really formed by the act that said let's produce a lot of stuff very quickly. At the start of World War II, we had very few of these types of aircraft and really a Presidential decision to turn factories like Ford and GM into producing plants that could quickly give these aircraft not only to us as an American force but also sold them to some of our allies that was critically important for the coalition and the allies to win World War II.
CABRERA: And as we stand by and await the next flyover, I do want to bring in CNN White House Correspondent Jeremy Diamond who was listening in to the President's remarks moments ago. And je just finished speaking.
Jeremy, what did he say?
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Ana, this was a very similar speech to what we heard from the President yesterday. The President is here clearly deciding on his re-election strategy, tripling down on these culture wars and stoking division, as he so often does. We heard the President once again painting the left wing as some kind of a boogie man that is trying to indoctrinate your children, trying to end America as we know it.
Listen to a few of the President's remarks.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We will never allow an angry mob to tear down our statues, erase our history, indoctrinate our children, or trample on our freedoms.
TRUMP: We will safeguard our values, traditions, customs, and beliefs. We will teach our children to cherish and adore their country so that they can build its future.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DIAMOND: Ana, and in one really notable addition to the President's speech tonight, the President compared the fight against Nazis, against communists, against terrorists to the current fight that he is waging against the radical left Marxists and looters. The President comparing the fight in World War II to defeat the Nazis to his fight currently, his political fight, against fellow Americans, a really, really remarkable remarks there from the President.
And Ana, the President did also add this to his speech, where he said that no matter every race, color or creed, we are one America. And he then criticized others for trying to divide citizens by race or backgrounds, Ana. I think you know that there is perhaps no other president in modern American history who has sought to divide Americans by race and by background so much as this President.
Remember, this is the President who launched his campaign by talking about Mexican immigrants as rapists. He called for a ban on all Muslims entering the United States. And he talked about a gathering of white supremacists saying that there had been very fine people there refusing to unequivocally condemn that gathering.
And we are continuing to see these appeals by the President, these dog-whistles appeals to racism in America. And certainly it is troubling and it is jarring (ph) to hear the President make these remarks, particularly on the Fourth of July when you typically hear American presidents make appeals to unity in the country. And at a time of such division, at a time of this reckoning on racism in America, this President has chosen not to do that. Ana?
CABRERA: OK. Jeremy Diamond, thank you for that report.
Derrick Johnson is the President of the NAACP. I just want to get your reaction to what we heard from Jeremy and the words specifically we heard from the President.
DERRICK JOHNSON, PRESIDENT, NAACP: Well, it's clear this President lacked any real knowledge of history. You cannot tell one end of the removal of the confederate statues, particularly those that individuals who took up arm against this nation and tried to say that's a cultural war against this nation and then equate it to Naziism.
We would take down Nazi symbols the same way that we need to take down confederate symbols. Those two things are consistent with one another. But what this President is saying is inconsistent. It tells me that he's being very intentional to incite a base and hope that that base can grow large enough to win his re-election because it's clearly not founded in any historical truth or fact whatsoever.
CABRERA: OK. Everyone, please stay with me. I need to squeeze in another quick break. Much more here in the CNN NEWSROOM when we come back.
[19:31:32] CABRERA: Welcome back. Now, this moment, war planes from the Korean
War are flying over Washington. These include the F-4 Phantom 3 jet. The F-86 saber fighter jet and the A-26 invader bomber.
Now earlier, the Golden Knights parachuted in. We also heard from the President, and he had a similarly divisive message as what we heard from him in front of Mount Rushmore last night.
I am going to bring back all of our guests. And Kate, this is the Fourth of July. We're used to hearing a much different tone and message from the President of the United States on this date, right? Okay, I think we're having --
KATE ANDERSEN BROWER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, we're used to hearing a unifying --
CABRERA: I think we have you now. Please continue.
BROWER: Hello? Can you hear me, Ana?
CABRERA: Please continue, yes. Thank you, Kate. Go ahead.
BROWER: We're used to hearing a unifying message from the President. And you know, Harry Truman said when you get to be president, you have to remember the 21-gun salutes and all of the pomp and ceremony is not about you.
This President feels more comfortable calling up strong men autocrats like Putin and Erdogan than he does calling his most immediate predecessors, Barack Obama, George W. Bush asking them for advice.
I think that it's dangerous for the country, really, when we're facing this unprecedented pandemic that he is dividing and not seeking to unify. It's also kind of baffling that he really has this sense of patriotism and like I said before, he hugs the flag, and he has so many flags in the Oval Office, but yet he has real disdain for the four living men who came before him.
There is this President's Club, his fraternity of people who know what this position is like. And it's important. JFK reached out to all three living predecessors during the Cuban missile crisis. At a time of great peril in our country, it would be helpful if Donald Trump was more patriotic and did reach out to the men who came before him.
CABRERA: Doug, what will historians say about the moment that we're in in this presidency?
DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Ana, this July 4th, Donald Trump is showing us how Joe McCarthy would have acted if he had become President. McCarthy was obviously just a Senator from Wisconsin but who raised havoc with his anti-communist crusade.
Here you have a President of the United States on July 4th, in the middle of a ceremony on the National Mall, TV cameras around the world using the opportunity to divide our nation, to call his opponents radicals, and good for nothing anarchists and the like. This is appalling.
I mean, it's been wonderful to be with General Hertling on this show. He knows very well that that's not how George Marshall would have acted or Dwight Eisenhower, let alone Ulysses S. Grant or George Washington. This is a day to fortify the morale of all Americans and to really try to build the community that is the United States of America.
And one may have thought of Mount Rushmore, he was doing it as a Friday night speech, maybe a weird one-off from the campaign trail, but to come back down and double on it today, it deludes from the majesty we're seeing from the aerial show and the wonderful aircraft that saved our democracy in Korea and the Berlin air lift in World War II and the like because Trump's message is about himself and it's about dividing the nation.
BRINKLEY: He has zero sense of history. I once got to talk to Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago. He told me he never read any books on American history. He told me he never read a book on Lincoln or Washington, not even a kid's book, he told me.
He said he is a visual guy and he gets it from the gut and he kind of knew about Nixon and Kennedy just from watching TV clips on it. This is not the way a President should be behaving at a time of a pandemic when we need to be pulling our country together and using oratory in the way Jack Kennedy or Ronald Regan would to talk about the greatness of America, our comeback story and there will be fourth of Julys to come when we can take to the public squares and have a good time, and celebrate and hug each other.
Baseball parks will be filled. Kids can go to amusement parks. Beaches will be packed. It's just not the summer of 2020. The patriotic duty now is to wear a mask, social distance and make sure that we all have a blessed Fourth of July.
CABRERA: General, I want to get your reaction to the President's message on this Fourth of July with the military as a backdrop.
LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING (RET), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: You know, Ana, it's a great question and I'm going to refer back to what dr. Harris said earlier. Really for the first time in my life, the Fourth of July has been more than just celebrating. It's really taken for me and my family, we have taken some time to reflect on the kinds of things that our nation should be and I think that's based on what we've seen over the last year.
The selfless service to a unified country. How we contribute to one another. The social contract we have to make the country better instead of dividing it. Dr. Harris mentioned that she has reflected on this, and so as many others.
And I think, you know, there is often too many times where we take the Fourth of July just as a day of celebration, it's a birthday party. It should have pageantry and pomp. But this year, more than any other, we're being faced with some real
complex challenges and we really have to as a nation come together -- versus union. Be united to address the common issues that we have from not only the pandemic but race, conflict overseas, our national security, our jobless rate and our economy.
All of those things are really things we should be reflecting on and trying to solve as opposed to just celebrating with military hardware.
Don't get me wrong, I'm all right with military hardware. It's great. It's the way I spent my career. But really, for a nation as Professor Brinkley said, you really have to understand the history and the foibles that we have and how do we move forward and fix the many challenges and problems that we also face.
CABRERA: Thank you all for those thoughts. Please stand by. Don't go anywhere. I want to continue our conversation.
I do want to let our viewers know we're looking at Blackhawk helicopters from Desert Storm, at least that era is where these helicopters come from. Quick break. We're back after this.
CABRERA: Welcome back, and while Washington celebrates the Fourth; in Florida, a very different as that state is reporting an alarming increase in coronavirus cases. More than 11,400 new infections in a single day, an unfortunate new record in daily cases.
So with that in mind, many Florida beaches are closed this holiday weekend, but not all. CNN's Boris Sanchez is at Clearwater Beach, Florida. Boris, what are you hearing from people there when you talk to them about coming out today?
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, most of them have told me that they've taken precautions that they are trying to socially distance, that they've brought hand sanitizer. Not very many people wearing masks, of course here in Pinellas County, there is a mask mandate. That is for public buildings, not exactly for outdoor areas like the beach.
There are rules set up out here. There is a sign not far from where I am asking people to maintain six feet of social distance from anyone who doesn't live in their household. They're asking folks not to congregate in large groups and to keep groups smaller than ten people.
Of course I've seen groups much larger than ten people enjoying their time on the beach, so enforcement is an open question. There are some folks who simply are not worried about coronavirus. In fact, we heard from a young man named Connor who told us earlier who said he believed that he already got coronavirus, that he got over it and that nothing was going to stop him from enjoying the Fourth of July out here on the water. Listen to more of what he shared with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CONNOR GOURLEY, BEACHGOER: I'm not necessarily concerned, more or less. I believe in our immune systems and the natural way that the human body works and that's how it's gone for generations so, as far as I'm concerned, I think we'll be all right.
Well, it's not more about the partying, it's about celebrating America and our Independence Day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: Of course, again, the majority of people that we spoke to did not have that sort of cavalier disposition. They were worried about coronavirus, but they still wanted to come here to the beach.
And to be fair, what we heard from several locals here is that the beach was not quite as packed as usual during the Fourth of July weekend. It appears a lot of the visitors that come to this area during the holiday decided to stay home -- Ana.
CABRERA: Okay, Boris Sanchez in clearwater Beach, Florida. Thank you. And my panel is back with me. Dr. Harris, if we're going to see a surge in cases from this holiday weekend, when will we see it?
DR. PATRICE HARRIS, FORMER PRESIDENT, AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION: Well, you know, it usually takes anywhere from 10 to 14 days before we might see an increase in infections and then even a longer lag time for hospitalizations and unfortunately tragically, death.
I mean, we all saw that probably a part of the surge we're seeing right now is related to Memorial Day.
HARRIS: You know, Ana, I'm thinking about all of my colleagues, my physician colleagues and all the other health professionals and everyone who is working in hospitals today who didn't have a day off and they are working to save the lives of patients and patients are fighting for their lives.
So, it's a little bit disheartening when everyone does not take seriously the need for mask wearing and physical distancing, but, you know, as was said, most people are taking this seriously.
So we'll just have to, you know, continue to get the message out of what people need to do so we can prevent the spread of COVID-19.
CABRERA: Everyone, please stand by. I want to remind our viewers, we are just 15 minutes away now from the top of the hour, and our special with Dana Bash and Don Lemon who will be bringing you a whole bunch of musical entertainment.
Of course, we'll also be helping to walk you through when we have the grand fireworks demonstration tonight there in D.C. The musical lineup, by the way, includes people like Jewel and Barry Manilow, and CeCe Winans and Don McLean. And there are so many more. That is Don Lemon and Dana Bash hosting CNN's "Fourth of July in America" live tonight starting at 8:00 Eastern. We're back right after this.
CABRERA: Happy July 4th. Another live look at the Lincoln Memorial in D.C., where people are gathering, preparing for the celebration there. They're enjoying these flyovers ahead of tonight's fireworks show. And my panel is back with us now, and Derrick Johnson, as we celebrate freedom today, liberty and justice for all, you know, this nation is in the middle of a collective reckoning on race and the darkest parts of this country's history. How does the celebration of July 4th fit into that reckoning?
DERRICK JOHNSON, President, NAACP: You know, Langston Hughes, one of this nation's greatest poet, wrote a poem in 1925, "I Too Sing America." That poem really lays out the yearning to be treated with equality, and yet disprove this nation that we're not patriots.
We have pardoned every ward this nation entered into. It's been a legacy for us. Whether it was Generals Benjamin O. Davis Senior and Junior, Chappie James and then Colin Powell, Tuskegee Airmen. We sacrificed most for this nation's freedoms. Oftentimes, fighting for freedoms we did not appreciate at home.
For World War II veterans, they came home. Many returned to the south, only for them to leave. For there were a group of World War II veterans who stayed in the south and they fought and they built the Civil Rights Movement as we know it. We fight for this nation, for freedom, and we are still fighting in this nation for the freedoms that we fought for abroad.
CABRERA: And Kate Anderson Brower, you've spoken with this family. You know them. Will the President be happy with tonight?
BROWER: I think that, you know, he is obviously -- he is obviously reaching for his base and that is always what he's done over the past three and a half years in office. He's not interested in talking to the rest of the country. I think the problem is that he doesn't read history as Doug said earlier and that he doesn't have a sense of his history that I think would better ground him in what's happening today.
CABRERA: Dr. Harris, quickly, if you will, what do you think July 4th, 2021 will look like?
HARRIS: Well, it's certainly difficult to predict the future, but we can all be hopeful. We can be hopeful that we came together to address this current pandemic and that we also came together to address other issues that this pandemic has brought into stark reality such as structural racism and health inequities and police violence against black and brown communities.
So I am hopeful that next year, although we have to make sure that we act on that hope. But that we have made progress on all of that. CABRERA: General Hertling, we continue to see the images of the pomp
and circumstance, the pageantry. What is this celebration going to mean for our troops?
HERTLING: It's interesting you ask that, Ana, because most of the military aircraft that you're seeing, the bands, the people we just saw carrying the flag, those are all active duty military members. They're used to working on holidays. They're used to being in parades and these kinds of things, as others celebrate the nation.
But again, as I've said so many times before on CNN, the military makes up less than one percent of the entire American population. And that's okay, because we have a professional force. But the fact is that we're not into parades as much as others might be. We're really into action and helping the nation move along to better and glorious things.
CABRERA: Okay. All of you, thank you so much. Doug Brinkley, Lieutenant General Mark Hertling, Derrick Johnson, Kate Anderson Brower, and Dr. Harris.
CABRERA: I really appreciate it. That is going to do it for me this evening. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. I really appreciate you spending part of your Fourth of July with me. Our CNN special "Fourth of July in America" starts live after a quick break.