Return to Transcripts main page


Poll Shows Nearly 70 Percent Disapprove Of Trump's Response, A New High; Florida Lawyers Sue Jacksonville Over Hosting Convention In Pandemic; Former Lady Antebellum Trio Suing Singer Lady A Over Name Change. Aired 1:30-2p ET

Aired July 10, 2020 - 13:30   ET



COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: One state title game played in Dallas last season had 47,000 fans, more than two-thirds of all college ball games last season. The University Interscholastic League, which governs high school sports in Texas pushed back on Hinojosa's comments, telling local media that, at this time, football go on.

Just yesterday, New Mexico has announced that it has already postponed its full contact sports. We'll see if Texas is forced to follow suit.


BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN RIGHT NOW: A big thank you to Kyung, Evan and Coy for those reports.

And the president said, doctors were surprised how well he did on a cognitive test. Why were they so surprised? What were they expecting?

Plus, I'll talk to the lawyers suing the City of Jacksonville over hosting the Republican National Convention, why they are warning it could be a medical catastrophe.



KEILAR: President Trump arrived in Florida today as cases in that state continue to surge and polls show an overwhelming majority of Americans don't approve of how the president is handling the outbreak. Only a third of Americans do approve, down eight points in the last month.

And this comes as he's more and more at odds with one of the nation's top infectious disease experts. Here is a sampling of how Dr. Anthony Fauci contradicted the president's misinformation over the past few months.


DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: You know, our mortality rate is right now at a level people don't talk about but it's down tenfold. So you look at deaths are way down.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: It's a false narrative to take comfort in a lower rate of death. There're so many other things that are very dangerous and bad about this virus. Don't get yourself into false complacency.

TRUMP: Testing is going very smooth. If you go to the right agency, if you go to the area, you get the test.

FAUCI: The idea of anybody getting it easily the way people in other countries are doing it, we are not set up for that.

It is a failing. Let's admit it.

TRUMP: We have to open our schools. Young people are very little affected by this.

FAUCI: I think we better be careful if we are not cavalier in thinking that children are completely immune to the deleterious effects.


KEILAR: Now, Dr. Fauci has said he has not asked to brief the president directly in weeks, but I want to bring in White House Correspondent Kaitlan Collins, because, Kaitlan, we did see Fauci at the White House today. Tell us about this.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, he was here but that was after the president had already left the White House, Brianna, to go to Florida. He got here an hour, I believe, after the president had already taken off on Marine One and was headed for Florida. And you see him there on the executive -- you could see him right there to the left, Dr. Fauci.

And so he still is here, he's still coming to these task force meetings. But the issue and the reason he has not seen the president since June in person is because they're basically like ships in the night. The president does not attend these task force meetings, he hasn't attended one since April based on our latest reporting.

And so it's just notable to see the president go to a coronavirus hotspot where the positivity rate is hitting 33 percent today but it's not to talk about the pandemic. It's instead where this drug trafficking briefing, a fundraiser later on, and it really just shows the discrepancy in the message the president is portraying and the one that Dr. Fauci is. Because you're seeing the president saying this is something we're going to have to live with, he thinks it's nonsense to keep schools closed, while Dr. Fauci is saying, we are still very much knee-deep in the first wave. We are not even worried about a second wave yet because we're still dealing with the first one.

And they've had these mixed messages all along and Dr. Fauci has not been hesitant to break with the president or to criticize him. But for him to say that he has not seen the president in person over a month and not briefed him in two months is just really striking given that he is one of the nation's top health officials and we are still very much in the middle of the pandemic.

KEILAR: Yes. And it is stunning that the president is where he is, Kaitlan. You wouldn't see a president going to, say, a place that had been stricken by a tornado or a hurricane and lost a lot of lives and had people who are suffering and then not even go and address that topic. So it's a big deal.

Kaitlan, thank you so much live for us from the White House.

The Republican National Convention is just over six weeks away in Jacksonville, Florida and President Trump is expecting thousands of people to attend. That is despite Florida right now, as we told you, being the global epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, more than 11,000 new cases in just the past 24 hours.

The White House insists it is still moving forward with the convention in Jacksonville and says it will be a safe event.

Jacksonville Attorney W.C. Gentry is with us now. He has filed a lawsuit against their city over the RNC plans there and he joins me now from Jacksonville. W.C., you were the lead counsel. Tell us about the complaint that you filed and why you decided that you were going to take this action.

W.C. GENTRY, LEAD COUNSEL, FILED LAWSUIT AGAINST JACKSONVILLE OVER HOSTING OF RNC: Well, we have to take the action because if the Republican National Convention comes to Jacksonville and conducts itself the way it did in Tulsa, we will have a catastrophic super spreader again in the city that will cause immeasurable sickness and death to our community.


Under Florida law, Chapter 60 Statute that was passed back in 1917, a citizen of the State of Florida and the county can bring a cause of action to enjoin a public nuisance, which is something that will injure the public, and this clearly will injure the public, and so we sought to have it enjoined.

KEILAR: And o what you are asking for -- just to explain this to us. You are asking for attendees or for convention organizers to follow CDC guidelines. Walk us through what all you're asking for.

GENTRY: That is correct. I mean, obviously it is foolish to have any convention, Republican, Democratic, Tupperware in the midst of a pandemic. But the convention is coming. There will be a convention here.

And what we are asking is that the rules be followed set down by the CDC and recognized worldwide that will greatly minimize the risk of harm which is, one, best not to have it indoors, two, if you have it outdoors, that people be distanced at least six feet apart and that they wear mask. In fact, the Jaguars just released today that they are returning tickets and they're going to only play before a 25 percent capacity crowd, which will be required to wear mask, which is a sort of thing that must occur with this convention.

KEILAR: Okay. So, in effect, I'm asking you to think if you had -- this were an outdoor convention in late August, right, in Jacksonville, is that something that you think is actually feasible? Are you effectively asking them to stop having the convention or do you really think that those types of conditions are feasible in the middle of August in Jacksonville, Florida?

GENTRY: If they want to have a convention and not cause a lot of the attendees to become sick and die and our community to be severely damaged, they have to do it either outdoors or if they do it indoors and with very small number of people, with social distancing, with mask.

And they made it clear they want to come here, they want to have their convention. And so we're saying, if you're going to do it, you have to do it safely to protect our community. And there obviously have got be protocols established to vet people before they get here. There's number of things that need to be done. If they talk to the scientists and to the doctors, they can tell them how to do this in the safest way possible.

There still will be risk bringing people in from out of state. This is the number one CDC highest risk for a super spreader, people from out of state congregating together in a closed space.

KEILAR: All right. Well, look, we are going to be watching your efforts. It's worth mentioning that the mayor of Jacksonville, Lenny Curry is defending convention plans and, of course, Governor DeSantis offered to hold the convention there in Florida. So you are up against certainly some leadership odds but we'll see what the courts say.

W.C. thanks for being with us.

GENTRY: Thank you.

KEILAR: The unexpected spike in coronavirus cases in Texas has gotten so bad in one community that the medical examiner's office says they cannot take in anymore bodies of those who have died from COVID-19. We're going to talk to that medical examiner.

Plus, country group Lady A, who changed their name from Lady Antebellum because of its connection to slavery, is suing a black blues singer who says she has been known as Lady A for years, and Lady A, the original, will join me next.



KEILAR: The country trio formerly known as Lady Antebellum apologized to fans last month for, quote, blind spots they say they didn't know existed. They announced that they were changing their name to Lady A in an effort to remove any association with slavery, but that name is actually already in use by this artist.

Anita White is 61-year-old blues singer. She has released multiple albums under the name Lady A. The singer and the country trio were holding talks. They were trying but they ultimately failed to come to an agreement on how they might both use the name.

The group writing, we are sad to share that the sincere hope to join together with Anita White in unity and common purpose has ended. She and her team have demanded a $10 million payment, so reluctantly we have come to the conclusion that we need to ask a court to affirm our right to continue to use the name Lady A, a trademark we have held for many years.

I am joined now by Lady A and drummer vocalist and producer John Oliver III.

And, Lady A, walk us through this, because it is true that the band, I guess, formerly known as Lady Antebellum has the trademark on Lady A, but you have been performing -- you are Lady A. You have been Lady A performing as such since 1987, I believe, which is when Hillary Scott, the lead singer of the band formerly known as Lady Antebellum was only 1 years old.

So tell us about -- just tell us about this -- how when they decided to change their name to Lady A, you were having this discussion with them and what happened?


LADY A, SINGER, SONGWRITER AND PRODUCER: Well, I was blindsided by it, because I got a phone call from my sister. I work during the day, so my sister called and said, have you looked at Facebook? And I said, no. And when I got on Facebook, not ten minutes later, Rolling Stone Magazine called me to ask me about the story. And I had to call them back because I was taken aback by the whole thing.

And then after that, I was just in shock. I didn't know what to do, and I was just trying to figure out what I was going to do. And, ultimately, I had the first lawyer that I had came on to just be on the call to talk with them. And after that, Hillary reached out to me and explained about how sorry she was, that they didn't mean any ill will, and I explained that I understood that and they talked about coexistence and I said then I don't know how that's going to work.

But even on the call with the lawyers, I kept asking the question, what does coexistence look like, because we can't both be Lady A. Well, I would Google search myself before, Lady Antebellum was at the top, and Lady A, myself, was under them. You could find my music. You could find me everywhere without a problem.

Now, they have erased me, which while we were doing all these talking and trying to negotiate, how this was going to work, because, as I said, I kept asking the question, what does that look like? The first agreement came back, they would give their best efforts to ensure that I was not erased. The second agreement came back --

KEILAR: Sorry, go on, the second agreement.

LADY A: The second agreement came back, they would give their best efforts to see that I was not erased. But their best efforts erased me without a thought. No matter they said, they were not true to their word. And so --

KEILAR: And so -- I Googled you, Lady A, and I know what you mean, because now what comes up when you search is not you and your music, it's this disagreement that you are in with the band formerly known as Lady Antebellum that says they're now Lady A.

And wonder -- I want to talk a little bit more about kind of the discussion you had before it led to this breakdown. But I wonder, you know, John, maybe you can shed some light as a member of this band and of this group, what does this signify for you all when you are having a disagreement with the band?

JOHN OLIVER III, DRUMMER AND PRODUCER FOR LADY A: Well, what it signifies is it kind of boils down to an independent artist, Lady A, versus Lady Antebellum, which is a machine, a corporation and an artist. And as artists, we try our best to collaborate and network. That's how we maintain our consistency in the industry.

And so this is unfortunate because, long-term, what we wanted to do is have transparent conversations with Lady Antebellum, but also to make sure that Lady A remains relevant. And so what they have done is, like Lady A said, they tried to erase her, which is not going to happen, which cannot happen.

KEILAR: And, Lady A, I think a lot of people have written about this. They have looked at what you are going through, and they say, wait, what is this group doing if they say they say they are trying to be anti-racists and now they're in this struggle for identity with a black performer, as they say, they are actually trying to be more an ally of the black community? What do you think?

LADY A: I don't think that that was true from the beginning. I think it was a P.R. stunt on their part. And the only reason why I say that, and I could be wrong, but, you know, actions speak louder than words, and their actions have shown that since the day they changed their name, their machine was already erasing me because it happened slowly at first, because I kept checking every day, because the conversations we were having, I was asking, how is this going to work if we co- exist? I never wanted to co-exist but no one was listening to me.

And part of being an ally because I work in racial and social justice is that you listen, you learn and you put your words into action. And they have -- their action benefited them. It had nothing to do with benefiting a black person or an indigenous person of this land or a person of color. So their trying to be anti-racists is a P.R. stunt, because why are you trying to take the name?

[13:55:05] The name, Lady Antebellum, he said, it has a racist connotation, and you shorten it to Lady A, and does that change what it means? That doesn't change what it means, not to you nor your fans.

And I have worked hard to -- as an independent artist to be where I am. I will not be erased. I was willing -- I mean, we came up with suggestions for them as to how to co-exists, how that might -- what that possibly could look like. I mean, we really did try. Myself, my Mississippi producer, Dexter Allen, John, my producer here in Seattle, we gave them ideas and suggestions. They never once gave us a suggestion on what co-existing looked like.

KEILAR: I will say, Lady A, this is -- you know, we're going to be watching this. We are very curious to see how this turns out, as you are in this fight really for your identity. So we will extend an invitation to the band formerly known as Lady Antebellum to see if they would want to come on to the show as well.

But thank you so much, Lady A, thank you, John Oliver III. We really appreciate the discussion.

LADY A; Thank you. God bless you.

KEILAR: Is it ethical for athletes to be getting these rapid result tests while Americans are waiting for days, weeks in some cases? We'll discuss that.

And the daughter who lost her dad to coronavirus calls out leaders for their response in his obituary. She'll join me live.


KEILAR: Today on Home Front, we are bringing you the incredible story of the first female Green Beret.


The Army National Guard soldier graduated yesterday in from Army Special Force Training in North Carolina.