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Atlanta Turns Convention Center Into Overflow Hospital; Sailors Injured In Explosion On Board Navy Ship In San Diego; DeVos Refuses To Give Clear Guidance On How To Reopen Schools Safely; Black Lives Matter Targets L.A.'s First Black District Attorney. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired July 12, 2020 - 14:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[14:00:18]

ERICA HILL, CNN HOST: Hello and thanks for joining us on this Sunday. I'm Erica Hill, in for Fredricka Whitfield.

And we do begin this hour with breaking news. A record spike in coronavirus cases worldwide. The World Heath Organization reporting more than 230,000 cases globally in just the last 24 hours.

This, as we're also seeing staggering new numbers from one of the nation's worst coronavirus hot spots. Florida today reporting more than 15,000 new cases. That is a new single-day high and it's not just a record in the state of Florida, this is the highest daily report from any state thus far in the pandemic, and that includes New York at the height of its outbreak.

33 states are now seeing an increase in new cases over the past week. The country itself adding an average of more than 60,000 a day. The surgeon general, though, says we can turn it around, and quickly.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. JEROME ADAMS, U.S. SURGEON GENERAL If we can get a critical mass of people wearing face coverings, practicing at least six feet of social distancing, doing the things that we know are effective. And it's important for the American people to understand, when we're talking about the fall, we have the ability to turn this around.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HILL: Meantime, there is a fierce debate when you hear the fall under way over when and how schools should resume in-person classes. The White House, as you know, has been making an aggressive case for all schools to reopen this fall.

Here's Education Secretary Betsy DeVos earlier today on CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION".

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BETSY DEVOS, U.S. EDUCATION SECURITY: There is no -- nothing in the data that would suggest that kids being back in school is -- is dangerous to them. And, in fact, it's more a matter of their health and well-being that they be back in school.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HILL: We will have more of Secretary DeVos' comments in just a moment. But we do want to begin in the southeast, and Natasha Chen is in Atlanta at the Georgia World Congress Center. That is now being turned into a makeshift field hospital to deal with an expected overflow of COVID patients.

So Natasha, walk us through not just what's happening in Georgia, but the staggering numbers that we're just seeing out of Florida today.

NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. So, this was announced by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp as a possible makeshift hospital because he's seeing the rising numbers, he's seeing hospitalizations, especially among young people, and that's a trend that we've also seen out of Florida where Governor DeSantis has talked about the spread among young people.

Let's take a look at a map about where these cases are. You mentioned that this record-setting more than 15,000 cases in a single day. So we can look at the more populated areas.

You have Miami-Dade County there with 64,000 cases, more than that. Broward County with more than 30,000 cases. Hillsborough County more than 19,000 cases. Palm Beach County, more than 21,000 cases. And Orange County more than 18,000 cases. And, of course, Orange County is also where Walt Disney World reopened two of its theme parks this weekend.

So while people are talking about very stringent procedures for the Disney property and how they are trying to keep guests safe and away from each other and all covered, the people I've spoken to have discussed that, you know, once you leave property, they feel a little bit less in control of that COVID situation.

So, again, not just the case numbers, but also the hospitalization numbers are very serious, and the previous high for the daily COVID record in Florida was July 4th 11,434 cases according to John Hopkins' data. And so, you know, seeing that number cross the 15,000 threshold today is quite disturbing.

HILL: Yes, it certainly is. A sobering number, that's for sure. Natasha, thank you.

As the pandemic continues to worsen, schools and parents across the country are really grappling with the questions, the how, the when, and in some of these cases, even if kids should return to the classroom.

In an interview with CNN this morning, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos downplayed the dangers of in-person learning. Instead, she kept stressing kids need to go back to school in the fall.

Most people would agree with that. But the Secretary didn't offer any guidance on what schools should do if the case count is dangerously high in their areas or if there was an outbreak at some point. Secretary DeVos also repeatedly refused to say if schools should follow CDC guidelines on reopening.

CNN's Dana Bash asked the Secretary to weigh in on school districts who are coming up with contingency plans.

[14:04:50]

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DANA BASH, CNN HOST: Let's get specific. Let's talk about one area, one leader you have singled out who is trying to do just that. Fairfax County, Virginia -- the school district that you called a disaster and you really criticized when it comes to their back to school plan.

I went there on Friday. They are saying that it's -- they're going to -- the parents, the students are going to have a choice. Two days a week in school. The rest virtual learning or complete virtual learning.

I want you to listen to what the Fairfax County superintendent told me about what it would take for every student to go back to school following CDC guidelines.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCOTT BRABRAND, SUPERINTENDENT, FAIRFAX BOUNTY VIRGINIA SCHOOLS: Our default on a normal school day in Fairfax County is 18 inches. Not six feet. Not three feet. 18 inches.

We're the size of five Pentagons. You would need another five Pentagons of space to be able to safely accommodate all of the students in Fairfax County public schools.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BASH: So what he's saying, Madam Secretary, is it's not feasible to bring everybody back and follow the very guidelines from your federal government, CDC guidelines; that you're making demands that is -- they're just not possible.

DEVOS: Well, I'm glad you brought up Fairfax County because I think it's a very important contrast to, for example, the plans that Miami- Dade County has in place. And I understand you're having leaders from both of those districts on your program today.

The contrast between the two is stark. In Miami-Dade County they have a continuity of instruction plan that has been robust -- I mean, they -- granted, they had this plan or they've been working on this plan because they often experience hurricane damage.

BASH: Can we just stick -- can we stick on Fairfax Country, Ma'am and not Miami-Dade? Because this is something that you have --

DEVOS: Yes. I'm going to contrast it.

BASH: That you have brought up.

DEVOS: But I'm going to contrast it because it's a multiplicity of platforms. It's a wide variety of approaches but with the expectation that if you have to move to a remote instruction situation that you have full-time learning going on for all students at all times.

BASH: Ok. I spent time in Fairfax County. I don't want to get too much into this.

(CROSSTALK)

DEVOS: The Fairfax County plan is not -- it is not a full-time learning plan.

BASH: But they do have full-time virtual learning.

DEVOS: The Fairfax County plan is not -- no, four days a week -- either four days a week online -- online and, you know, the fifth day not, and -- or two days a week in-person. These are not valid options and choices for families. And it's not full-time instruction.

BASH: Ok. What -- what -- what you are saying is you want kids back in school. What he is saying is because they have almost 200,000 children in their school district, they would have to build the size of five Pentagons in order to accommodate what you are asking for.

They're a wealthy district, but even with money, it's just not feasible. So what is your recommendation given that reality?

DEVOS: My recommendation is he take up the offer to meet with my team and some of the folks from the CDC and the task force to talk about ways that they can look at this freshly and differently on behalf of the students they're serving.

I have (INAUDIBLE) on my team --

BASH: Should they follow the CDC guidelines?

DEVOS: The CDC guidelines are just that -- meant to be flexible and meant to be applied as appropriate for the situation. And so --

BASH: But you understand how confusing it is --

(CROSSTALK)

DEVOS: -- I would look forward to working with him to -- can I finish my statement?

BASH: -- to have CDC guidelines on one hand.

Sure. Go ahead. DEVOS: I was just going to say, I would look forward to meeting with

him, along with some of the folks from the task force and talking about how this can practically happen. I think we're all on the same page. We want kids to get back to school. We want them to be learning full-time. Full-time.

BASH: What --

DEVOS: Not just a part-time, not just an episodic situation. But kids have got to be learning full-time.

BASH: Ok --

DEVOS: And have the expectation that the next school year is going to give them at least a school year's worth of learning if not more --

BASH: Let's move on.

DEVOS: -- because so many of them fell behind.

BASH: Let's move on to what happens if there's an outbreak. What are experts telling you about the appropriate level of transmission for a school before it has to shut down?

DEVOS: Well, I know that that's an area that the CDC is helping to provide further insight into. I can't, as a nonphysician or a nonmedical expert, tell you precisely what to do in the case of one child in a classroom or five child -- children in a classroom. But the key is every school should have plans for that situation --

BASH: Right.

DEVOS: -- to be able to pivot and ensure that kids can continue learning at a distance if they have to for a short period of time.

[14:09:52]

BASH: But you're the secretary of Education. You're asking students to go back. So why do you not have guidance on what a school should do just weeks before you want those schools to reopen on what happens if it faces an outbreak?

DEVOS: You know, there's really good examples that have been utilized in the private sector and in -- and elsewhere. Also with front line workers and hospitals. And all of that data and all of that information and all of those examples can be referenced by school leaders who have --

BASH: Ok, but I'm not hearing a plan from the Department of Education. Do you have a plan for what students and what schools should do--

DEVOS: Schools should do what's right on the ground at that time for their students and for their situation. There is no one uniform approach that we can take -- or should take nationwide.

BASH: But can I just ask you -- DEVOS: Because you need the school and the city of Detroit are very --

in my home state, in the city of Detroit would be very different than that of a school in the upper peninsula of Michigan.

BASH: Exactly, and that's the point. That's completely understandable. But you are arguing over and over that they should handle this on a local level.

But at the same time as the secretary of Education you are trying to push them to do one-size-fits-all approach which is go back and reopen schools. You can't have it both ways

DEVOS: I am urging all schools to be -- to open and to be providing their students a full-time education. We all acknowledge that that could and may well look different in a certain area that has a flare up of the virus. But the -- but the go-to should be that schools are opening and fully functional and operational and giving --

(CROSSTALK)

DEVOS: -- parents and families the flexibility that's necessary, so if there is a situation where a child--

BASH: So just to be clear --

DEVOS: -- has a vulnerable, you know, underlying condition that the parents could have a choice to be able to --

BASH: So, just to be clear, are you saying in areas where there is a flare up --

(CROSSTALK)

BASH: That schools should revert to remote learning?

DEVOS: I'm saying that schools should have plans like Miami-Dade County has. They should have plans and the parents and families should know what their options are --

(CROSSTALK)

BASH: I'm asking you Ma'am as secretary of Education if there is a flare up should schools revert to remote learning. You're very aggressive about saying reopen. And I just -- the next question, the obvious question is what happens if they feel that they can't? Are you comfortable with remote learning if they can't?

DEVOS: I think the go-to needs to be kids in school, in-person, in the classroom because we know for most kids that's the best environment for them.

BASH: I understand that. But what if they can't?

DEVOS: And we have to also -- what if they can't what?

BASH: What if the school district feels that they can't safely go into the school because there is a flare up in that district? Remote learning, are you ok with it in that situation?

DEVOS: If there is a -- if there is a short-term flare up for a few days, that's a different situation than planning for an entire school year in anticipation of something that hasn't happened. That's a very different thing.

BASH: Ok.

DEVOS: Kids have got to be back in school. They've got to be back in the classroom. And working families have to have their children in school.

BASH: Ok.

DEVOS: And knowing that they're continuing to advance and --

BASH: Again, I know you keep saying that kids should be back in school. Nobody is disagreeing with that because of schools, because of childcare, everything, we know the reasons for that.

I want to ask you about teachers. A new Kaiser study this week found that almost 1.5 million teachers, one in four nationwide, are at high risk of serious illness from coronavirus because of age or underlying conditions.

And we just learned this morning that three teachers in Arizona contracted COVID and one of them died. So if teachers don't feel comfortable going into the classroom, should they go in or stay home?

DEVOS: Well, first of all, I can -- I can -- I feel for a teacher that has a vulnerability or an underlying condition and know that -- that this is something that is concerning. But the reality is that there are ways for those teachers to be able to continue to do what they do. And every district, every state has the real opportunity to work with and figure out the best scenario for those teachers.

Maybe younger teachers are in the classroom and --

(CROSSTALK)

BASH: Should those teachers go in if they don't feel comfortable?

DEVOS: -- older teacher -- that's something for them to work out with their local district. But it -- again, that's the exception not the rule. The rule needs to be schools need to get opened. Kids need to go back to school. They need to be learning. Teachers want to be there.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[14:14:52]

HILL: Well, that conversation on schools is, of course, far from over. Just ahead, we'll get reaction, family reaction, if you will. Sisters, one a doctor, one a school principal in the hard-hit state of Texas. They will both weigh in on the realities of what this means for teachers, staff, and students. And later --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm the first African-American woman to hold this job in 150 years. And here I get in here and the most vocal group who wants to take me out is a group known as Black Lives Matter.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HILL: Details on this battle brewing in Los Angeles. It's a CNN exclusive, coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[14:19:40]

HILL: Some breaking news just coming into CNN, an explosion on board the USS Bonhomme Richard ship has left several sailors injured at a U.S. naval base in San Diego. Now, this is according to the San Diego Fire Department. Obviously these are some of the pictures from the scene there.

Several sailors we're told are currently being treated for a variety of injuries. At this time not clear what started that fire, but we are going to continue to monitor this and we'll bring you more of those details as they come into us here at CNN.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos providing no real clarity today on how schools can safely reopen this fall. On CNN this morning, she danced around the question repeatedly after being asked directly repeatedly and refused to say whether schools should follow CDC guidelines.

The secretary is insisting children must return to the classroom, even though we are seeing a majority of states with cases skyrocketing.

Joining me now to talk about how to navigate all of this, Dr. Celine Gounder, infectious disease specialist, and her sister Stephanie Gounder, who's the principal of a charter school in Houston. You guys are the perfect pairing this morning -- this afternoon. So it works out well.

So starting off -- listen, we know that this is -- this is personal for so many people around this country. People want kids to go back to school. I want my kids back in school. They want to go back to school.

Based on what we know right now, Dr. Gounder, do you see a way that schools can safely reopen without following CDC guidelines? Because the secretary wasn't clear that that should be part of the plan.

DR. CELINE GOUNDER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Erica, I think the CDC guidelines are the bare minimum, and I'll say that again, minimum, that school districts should be following as they plan to reopen. And there are actually some major gaps in even those guidelines.

I mean, just as one example, if staff or faculty or a student is found to be positive, what's the plan? You know, is my sister, sitting next to you on screen, is she supposed to now coordinate the testing, the contact tracing?

And we know parents have a really hard time juggling jobs and caregiving. You know that some parents will bring their kids to school when they have symptoms because they really have no other plan for childcare.

HILL: Well, and even if they don't have symptoms, right? I mean we know people are asymptomatic for some time. And as we're learning more about children, too, we're learning more about that part of it.

Before we get to the medical aspect though, Stephanie, I just want to ask you, you know, as a principal, you are making these very difficult decisions, not just for the children in your school but for your staff, for the adults who are involved. So where are you getting your guidance?

STEPHANIE GOUNDER, CHARTER SCHOOL PRINCIPAL: Yes, I mean, Erica, first of all, want to echo your sentiment. We all want kids back in school. We miss it. There is nothing like the buzz of a school building.

What I'm hearing right now just is a blanket mandate coming from Secretary DeVos, a blanket mandate without the resources and the supports needed to keep students and staff safe. We're looking for guidance. You know, we would love to be in a situation where we can follow the CDC guidance.

But right now in making decisions for my campus, we simply just don't have the space, the flexibility, the time, the funding to be able to make that a reality and to be able to put our staff and students' safety at the forefront of our decisions.

HILL: So this is everything that you're facing. And there is also, of course, the medical, the scientific component of if.

So we heard from the secretary that the data isn't there to show that this is a real concern for children. But of course they're not the only people in a school building. There are adults there who range in age, as we know.

I was also really interested, another infectious disease expert who was on our air on CNN on Friday morning was talking about studies and talking about the way the virus sort of behaves and lives in children. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. AILEEN MARTY, PROFESSOR OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES, FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY: The viral loads in children are equivalent to that in adults. What does that mean? That means that they can transmit the virus equally well to other people whether or not they show symptoms.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HILL: So if children can transmit the virus equally well, Dr. Gounder, how does that now figure into the equation of how we reopen safely?

DR. GOUNDER: Sure. I mean I think there is a little bit more nuance to it than that. Not all children are the same. And if you look at the lab science, the clinical, so patient-level science and then the population epidemiologic science, what we're seeing is that children under the age of 10 are clearly different than children over the age of 10.

So in the under 10s, there does seem to be much less risk of transmission from a child to an adult, versus in the kids over 10 that risk is very real. So I think that does need to factor in to how do you decide which children to prioritize to go back to school in- person? Maybe it's the under 10s, the elementary school kids. Whereas older kids, you know, really prioritize virtual schooling.

And all of that is, frankly, a nonstarter so long as you have widespread community transmission. So that's really only in places that at least have this under control in their community.

HILL: The Houston area, as we know, it is not under control at the moment, Stephanie. What are you hearing from your staff? What are you hearing from your teachers? What is their concern?

I don't think we've talked enough about the adults who are involved in this equation at schools.

S. GOUNDER: Yes, I mean, adults are scared. You know, they want -- they want to be back in school. They miss the kids. And they're also really nervous on are we going to be equipped in what it takes to protect our kids on a day to day basis and to protect our own health on a day to day basis?

[14:24:56]

S. GOUNDER: You know, I lead a five-story build, about a thousand kids, two stairwells, two elevators. And they're asking questions like what are going to be the procedures in place depending on how many kids choose to return and how we're going to get kids up and down the stairwells.

How are we going to take temperature in the parent pickup line and still be able start school on time? What's going to happen if I call in sick? You know, so many questions around how are going to make sure we maintain social distancing in our classrooms, depending on how many kids return given the limited space that we have in our building.

I think there's a lot of questions around how are we going to do this, how are we going to do this when teachers return in three weeks and kids return in five weeks where we have a lot of smart people working on the problem, but we simply don't have the resources, the funding and the time to be able to do this and to be able to follow CDC guidelines in the way we'd like.

HILL: Still so much, so much that needs to be done. And as you point out, so many questions. It seems like every time you answer one, ten more pop up. Dr. Celine Gounder, Stephanie Gounder -- really appreciate you both joining us today. Thank you.

DR. GOUNDER: Thank you.

HILL: More breaking news this hour. The new cases reported in a single day out of the state of Florida topping 15,000. That is not just a state record, that is a nationwide single-day high.

This as the Trump administration continues to push for students in districts across the country to return to school.

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee joins me live to discuss next.

Stay with us. You're watching CNN.

[14:26:14]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[14:30:00]

HILL: Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is refusing to say whether schools should follow CDC guidance on how to safely reopen. Here is what she told CNN's Dana Bash about those guidelines this morning.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BETSY DEVOS, EDUCATION SECRETARY: There is no -- nothing in the data that would suggest that kids being back in school is -- is dangerous to them. And, in fact, it's more a matter of their health and well- being that they be back in school.

We've seen this in countries -- other countries in Europe and elsewhere in the world where students have gone back to school and have done so very successfully. That should be the goal.

Dr. Redfield has clearly said these are recommendations, and every situation is going to look slightly different.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HILL: Joining me now to discuss, Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, a Democrat from Texas. She also sits on the House Judiciary Committee. Congresswoman, great to have you with us this afternoon.

I'm just curious your response to what you heard from Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos today.

REP. SHEILA JACKSON LEE (D-TX): Well, Erica, first of all, let me thank all the hardworking health professionals, first responders down here in the Houston-Harris County area. As you well know, we're suffering and we're long overdue for a stay-at-home order.

I believe the words of the secretary of education and the president are an abuse of power. They're abusing educators, parents and children because they're not giving them the opportunity to design what would be best for each individual district and community and state based upon science and medicine.

And, frankly, it is not theirs to abuse federal guidance and to suggest that educators who need these dollars are not going to get their dollars. Congress has the power of the purse strings, not the president of the United States and not Secretary DeVos. And, frankly, I think this is a conspiracy to move the educational system toward charter schools.

What we need to do is to let superintendents and educators, parents design what is most effective. I believe social interaction for our children is important. But I also know that we've seen examples where, in Arizona, for example, three teachers shared a classroom. All three got coronavirus and one died.

This is very, very serious. The numbers in Harris County in Houston are stark. People are dying. We don't have enough medical professionals. And we can't get an order to stay at home. We must have a structure of education that is responsive to our children, our parents and our educators, and it must be a safe one for them to learn.

HILL: Just to follow up on that. You want local districts to make their own decisions, which the secretary has alluded to. She's okay with in certain cases despite this blanket directive that everyone needs to go back to school.

When it comes to the CDC guidelines, which as you heard, we couldn't get a direct answer, Dana tried very hard multiple times, do you believe, though, in looking at those CDC guidelines, are those a good starting point for districts?

LEE: I do. Let me tell you why it's a good starting point, but also the HEROES Act that is languishing, being blocked by the United States Senate, has billions of dollars, $175 billion to get out to our school districts for sanitizing and other support systems for children, parents, teachers to be able to work a school program out.

But I want to say this that really needs to be said. There are upwards of 137,000 people who have died. Their loved ones are mourning because they've died. We in the community are mourning because they've died, various heroes and leaders and others and regular people, Americans who have families who love them.

I tell you that the reason why they lost their life is that we did not have the predominant numbers, if you will, did not have a strategic plan to be able to fight COVID-19. It was a mask or no mask. It was a stay at home or not stay at home. No singular voice came to provide the American people with a road map to save lives.

What Secretary DeVos and the president are doing, they are doing the same thing for our educators. You can't out of one side say, I'll look at the CDC provisions and guidelines and then make a blanket announcement, abusive announcement, abuse of power that we're going to cut your funds and then not be supportive of passing the $3 trillion- plus HEROES bill that provides all of these support systems for these children's parents, provide more testing.

[14:35:09]

Here in Texas, Erica, people are fighting to get testing. They are going places and can't get testing in the South Texas, even in areas like Houston and Harris County where our leaders, our mayor and our county judge are working very hard, we've got to fight the federal government leaving, leaving and not providing testing.

So my belief is the CDC guidelines are important one that can be utilized. They've been effective before. They just haven't been adhered to. Our state didn't adhere to them. And then we can put a plan forward. My point is, don't condemn the school districts and families before you hear their plan.

HILL: I do want to get your take on -- just moving on really quickly because I know we're tight on time -- on Roger Stone. So, Speaker Pelosi, earlier this morning, called this staggering corruption. She said it's a threat -- the president communicating his sentence is a threat to national security. She also talked about her plan for legislation to make sure that a president could not commute or pardon or offer clemency to, in her words, anybody who commits a crime.

The reality of this, though, which was acknowledged by Adam Schiff earlier today as well, is that legislation has a little chance of passing with a Republican-controlled Senate. So, realistically, what are your options here?

LEE: Erica, I think the American people are crying out for members of the United States Congress to take a stand. We understand the, how should I say, the failures of the legislative process right before the election, but they want us to take a stand.

Here is an individual that flaunted, flaunted the Trump justice system. That's what we have now. He (INAUDIBLE) justice system and he walked into the Trump justice system, broke in the Trump justice system that he conspicuously flaunted Congress (INAUDIBLE) his innocence. He said he demanded to be free. He lied to Congress. This is certainly not the standards of a democracy and equal justice for all.

I believe the legislation that Speaker Pelosi speaks of, she will have all of us joining it. It will be legislation that will either come straight to the floor or go through the Judiciary Committee. We support that legislation. I also believe there should be extensive congressional investigations. We can do that. And we also need to address the question of the president's abuse of power.

Unfortunately, we lost in the Senate because people did not have the strength of their own character and as well their own conscience. I think that is a better approach, conscience, to adhere to the Constitution. But the American people want to know that there is a justice that speaks to everyone not being above the law.

What Mr. Stone did was blatantly abusive of the system. He called on the Trump justice system, the broken system, to allow him to walk out without any penalty, and now allegedly to prove he is innocent. You can't prove you're innocent when it was already proven that you lied to the United States Congress, which is breaching the law.

And I believe that people should have a right to justice but it should be a system where it is the same justice for every single American.

HILL: Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, I appreciate you taking the time to join us today. Thank you.

LEE: Thank you for having me.

HILL: We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[14:40:00]

HILL: The Black Lives Matter movement has what may sound like a surprising target, the first black district attorney of Los Angeles. The activists argue Jackie Lacey, who is now up to reelection, has failed to prosecutor police officers who kill civilians.

CNN's Stephanie Elam has more with this in-depth report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As the nation grapples with changing how law enforcement treats black people, more protests are honing in on elected leadership and who is policing the police.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jackie Lacey must go.

ELAM: In Los Angeles, Black Lives Matter has been demonstrating for two and a half years. Their target, a black woman, Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey.

MELINA ABDULLAH, CO-FOUNDER, BLACK LIVES MATTER L.A.: As a black woman, I would rather be celebrating other black woman and I do. It's not a matter of emotion. It's a matter of struggling for justice for our people.

ELAM: Protesters recasting the November D.A.'s race, calling frontrunner, incumbent Lacey for what they see as an unwillingness to prosecute police officers for deadly shootings.

ELAM: How does it feel to hear Black Lives Matter target you?

JACKIE LACEY, LOS ANGELES COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: It's surreal. They're treating me like I'm the man. But if they only knew that I'm the girl from the neighborhood, I'm the first African-American woman to hold this job in 150 years. And here, I get in here, and the most vocal group who wants to take me out is a group known as Black Lives Matter.

ELAM: Now in her second term, Lacey is up for reelection in November, a seat she nearly won outright in the primary, gaining just shy of 50 percent of the vote.

But that vote was before George Floyd's death, before the nation, even amid the pandemic, turned its attention to the checkered relationship between the law and people of

color.

In June, Congressman Adam Schiff, pulling his support, saying in a tweet that he feels his endorsement a year ago of the district attorney no longer has the same meaning.

LACEY: I don't know a lot about why he pulled his support. But I do know and I have heard from electors (ph) that they're being threatened, the emails.

ELAM: With a list of what they call Jackie Lacey's Seven Deadly Sins, BLM Los Angeles argues Lacey cares more about her law enforcement ties and the old guard establishment than she does about people of color.

[14:45:04]

Lacey counters that she is led by the law and says only a fraction of police shooting cases brought to her since she took office involve unarmed individuals.

LACEY: You may look at a shooting by an officer and say, they could have shot them in the leg, that's not the test under California law. The test is, was somebody's life in danger.

ELAM: The division between Lacey and Black Lives Matter reaching a boiling point in March.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let's invite her out to the community meeting that she committed to.

ELAM: Protesters showed up at Lacey's home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good morning.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get off of my porch. I will shoot you. Get off of my porch.

ELAM: That's Lacey's husband pointing a gun at protesters on the front porch of their house.

The district attorney did apologize for her husband's actions. But that wasn't enough for Black Lives Matter.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it also speaks volumes that David Lacey was not charged in that act.

LACEY: I especially don't agree that you ought to be able to come on their property. I think that crosses a line.

ELAM: For your husband, was that crossing the line for him?

LACEY: I think so. It was just the two of us in there. And it was a scary event.

ELAM: Ironically, Lacey's opponent is former LAPD Officer George Gascon, who, more recently, was San Francisco's D.A.

Black Lives Matter doesn't make endorsements but promises to take whoever wins to task.

ABDULLAH: No matter who occupies the office, there is going to be a problem with the office itself. And so we're going to have to hold accountable whoever occupies the office.

ELAM: If you were to win your third term, does it look differently than where you are now?

LACEY: My next term will be my last term. I want to continue to use the bully pulpit of the district attorney's office to push for change. So I don't want it to end like this, right, that, as the first African-American to hold this job and protesters ran around, that doesn't seem like a just ending.

ELAM: Stephanie Elam, CNN, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HILL: Much more ahead in the Newsroom. But, first, here is this week's Staying Well.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If this is a gym that you've known for a long time that's reopening, you still want to call them and find out are they doing temperature checks, how many people are allowed in the gym, can you social distance.

So, you've got to think about the group of fungal infections, plantar warts, athlete's foot. You've got to think about MRSA infections or just staph infections. And, of course, you can't forget about how ubiquitous viruses are. So, really important that any areas where you've got the skin contact, you want to definitely make sure that you wipe it down nicely.

Those wipes should have alcohol in them because alcohol is going to kill the fungus. Alcohol will kill the virus. And alcohol will kill the bacteria. Those are organisms that you worry about a lot in a gym setting where there are tons of people sharing the same contact surfaces.

Any time you're in the gym, you also want to make sure you adequately protect your feet. Sweaty surfaces, those are environments where fungus, bacteria and viruses love to grow.

You really need to have your flip-flops available if you're going to walk from the swimming pool to the wet area, take your sanitizers, take your own towels.

If you're sick, don't go to the gym. And for all the infections that we talked about, remember, they're also going to be minimized if you take care of yourself and wipe down surfaces.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[14:50:00]

HILL: Breaking news just into CNN out of San Diego. What you are looking at is the aftermath of an explosion on board this USS Bonhomme Richard. It's left several sailors injured at the U.S. Naval Base there in San Diego. That's according to the San Diego Fire Department. We know several sailors are currently being treated for what we're told as a variety of injuries.

CNN's Paul Vercammen is following this story for us.

So, Paul, I know you just got some new information. What more are you learning?

PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, as you pointed out, they say that several sailors have been injured in this explosion, which happened just before 9:00 local time on the Bonhomme Richard.

Let's tell you a lot more about this ship so you can get a sense for what could be burning here. This is an amphibious assault vehicle. I actually have toured the Bonhomme Richard. It's fascinating because on the deck it can launch helicopters and aircraft, and then from below, it launches what are called LCACs. These are those transportation carriers that you can put a tank on our personnel carriers, anything that adds up to six. I don't know if it's burning in that area of the ship. It also has a field hospital. The Bonhomme Richard can treat patients.

And that name you might be wondering, where did it come from, it comes from Benjamin Franklin, the French had called him Good Man Richard or Bonhomme Richard.

This has been a useful vessel for the Navy. It played a big role in Iraqi Freedom. You might also recall that it was a big part of the rescue, the air and sea effort when the ferry capsized off South Korea.

The Bonhomme Richard on fire, we need to hear more from officials about how many sailors injured, but the only thing that we heard or so was a tweet that said several being treated. Back to you now, Erica.

HILL: All right, Paul. We know you'll continue to follow this and update us as we learn more.

[14:55:01]

We appreciate it. Thank you.

Still to come in the Newsroom, three teachers who shared a summer classroom at an Arizona school all contracting the coronavirus. One of them died. What her colleagues are now saying about her death.

Plus, she waited 114 days to see him. Why a Florida woman took a job as a dishwasher in a nursing home so she could spend time with her husband.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[15:00:00]

HILL: A good Sunday afternoon to you