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CNN NEWSROOM

Trump Compares Virus To "Sniffles" As Death Toll Tops 140,000; Mother Mourns After Losing Two Children To COVID-19 Within 11 Days; Federal Agents In Portland Beat Navy Vet With Batons, Douse Him With Pepper Spray. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired July 20, 2020 - 14:30   ET

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


[14:30:00]

DAVID LAT, COVID-19 SURVIVOR WHO SPENT DAYS ON VENTILATOR: My husband never had to go to the hospital but serious severe symptoms for more than a week.

So, I think it's ridiculous and really troubling to just call it the sniffles.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: Look, it's great to see you David. I think it's telling when you talk about how you're doing. Essentially, you say, I'm pretty well and go on to talk about how you can't go running and you can't workout right now. This has taken a toll.

And we appreciate you coming on and talking about your personal experience with it.

LAT: Thanks for having me, Brianna.

KEILAR: Thank you, David.

For thousands of families, the coronavirus has had devastating consequences. When we come back, we'll speak to one mother who lost two of her children in a span of 11 days.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KEILAR: A Florida mom is dealing with the unimaginable. Monete Hick's son and daughter both died suddenly of the coronavirus within days of each other.

Byron Francis was just 20 years old. His sister was only 23. And they both became very ill very quickly. They didn't know they had coronavirus. They were hospitalized but their conditions worsened. And doctors could not save them.

[14:35:09]

Now their message -- their family, I should say, has a message for all of us.

Monete Hicks is joining us now. And joining her is her niece, Darisha Scott, who is mourning her cousins. I want to thank you both for being with me. I'm sorry you're here just

doesn't even come close, but I'm very appreciative you're here to talk to us about your kids.

Monete, to you first.

I think our viewers are going to enjoy this. Tell us about Byron Frances and Mychaela. They seem like lights of your life.

MONETE HICKS, MOTHER WHO LOST SON & DAUGHTER IN 11 DAYS TO COVID-19: Yes, they are. Those are my hearts and will always be my hearts.

All I can say is take this virus serious because it's real. It's out there. Wear your mask. It's serious. And if you do have medical issues -- because my babies were fine. They were fine. They had issues, health issues, yes.

But I honestly can't say where they got this virus from because they were basically homebound. We went to Orlando for a vacation and, all the sudden, they came home sick.

And it's strange. And it's -- they were not out -- they were outgoing, but they were -- I mean, I don't know. It's serious. Just take it serious.

(CROSSTALK)

HICKS: I'm sorry.

KEILAR: No, pardon me for interrupting you.

You were saying they're very outgoing young people.

HICKS: Correct, correct.

KEILAR: So, Byron Frances was the first to fall ill. Tell us what happened next. What symptoms was he showing?

HICKS: He Sunday -- Saturday morning, he woke up. He was having trouble breathing. And it just sounded so weird the way he was breathing that we knew something wasn't right.

So, Mychaela jumped out of her bed and she was like something's wrong with Byron. He's not breathing good. And I got a call. So, I jumped out. She came running in the room to tell me.

And I came out and he was breathing kind of funny. We were trying to make him say something, anything. And it was just so hard for him. He was all choked up.

So, I immediately called the paramedics. I called the paramedics and they rushed him to Florida Medical. And that was around 9:00-ish, 10:00-ish. I lost my baby due to cardiac arrest.

KEILAR: And it was not too much longer -- Mychaela, who it sounds like was feeling fine at that time, she developed symptoMs. Is that correct?

HICKS: Correct. Probably -- OK. That was Saturday for Byron. That Tuesday night -- because Mychaela, after Byron, she wouldn't come out the room. She was in her room. She wouldn't really come out.

And Tuesday night -- I had a little company here and it was about Byron. And she came out her room. And she was like mommy, my head hurt. I don't feel good. Turn on the fan, I'm hot. And I'm like it's not hot. You're OK.

And just praying and hoping she would say she didn't want to go to the hospital. I'm like, baby, you want to go to the hospital and she said yes. She doesn't like hospitals. I completely kept asking the question until she was like, mom, crank up the car and let's go.

I took her to Broward General Medical Center. Got her inside. We're waiting for the triage. Once they triaged her, she never came back out. They end up admitting her.

Every day, it was something -- every day it was something different. Something different. Because she went in with a headache, fever. It went from her breathing got worse. She lost a kidney. Her liver began to fail.

[14:49:13]

And it just went one after another, one after another. She started slowly losing everything.

KEILAR: Darisha -- Monete, it's -- I hope that, Darisha, that you can tell us about your cousins.

I want to concentrate on -- we see these numbers and I know this is part of the reason you're joining us today. These aren't just numbers. These are special people. Can you tell me about your cousins?

DARISHA SCOTT, LOST HER TWO COUSINS TO COVID-19: Byron was a gamer. He loved his game. He loved his family. Very funny. Very goofy. Just was the goof ball of the family.

Mychaela was very loving. Would give you her last. You'll call her and say, Kayla, I don't have a ride and she would come.

She loved kids. Her and my daughter had a real special bond. Kayla was the light of the family. Her smile could light up the room. Her joking just -- they were real special people in this world.

KEILAR: And, Monete, I know you miss them dearly. What do you want people to know? What do you want them to take away from? It's an unimaginable loss for so many people.

HICKS: It is. If you've been in contacted with the virus, stay away from people. Wear your mask. Stay sanitized. I mean, just stay home. Stay home.

SCOTT: And take it serious. It's not a joke. It's not a game. It's not something the government done made up. It's not a political -- it's not nothing that has to do with Democrat or Republican.

It's for all of us, to be safe, for your loved ones to be safe. Nobody wants this. Nobody should have to feel the pain. My auntie shouldn't have to feel this pain. But it is what it is.

We want them to know it's real, it's very serious. Hug your loved ones but be smart about it. Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Six feet social distancing. Don't come out unless you really, really got to. Especially in Florida, don't come out unless you really, really got to.

KEILAR: I want to thank you both for being with us. Darisha Scott, Monete Hicks, my heart is going out to you. I'm going to say some prayers for both of you and your family tonight.

Thank you so much for joining us.

HICKS: Thank you.

SCOTT: Thank you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KEILAR: We're back in just a moment.

[14:48:05]

KEILAR: Chaos in Portland over the weekend as social justice protesters clash with federal agents deployed by the Trump administration.

And now CNN has learned the president is are getting ready to send federal agents to Chicago.

The U.S. attorney in Oregon wants an investigation in Portland after videos surfaced showing unidentified camouflaged agents arresting protesters and putting them in unmarked cars. This incident was tweeted out by Oregon's Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley.

City and state leaders accuse the agents of escalating the situation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TED WHEELER, (D), PORTLAND MAYOR: The president has a complete misunderstanding of cause and effect. What's happening is we have dozens, if not hundreds of federal troops descending upon our city.

And what they are doing is sharply escalating the situation. Their presence is actually leading to more violence and more vandalism and it's not helping the situation at all.

They're not wanted here. We haven't asked for them here. In fact, we want them to leave.

(END VIDEO CLIP) KEILAR: And this disturbing video shows them beating a Navy veteran with batons and dousing him with pepper spray when he says that he was trying to engage them in a civil conversation.

That Navy veteran, Chris David, is joining me now.

Chris, thank you so much for being with us.

Just walk us through what happened that night as you were there, I guess, trying to speak to the what officers

CHRIS DAVID, NAVY VETERAN BEATEN & PEPPER SPRAYED BY FEDERAL AGENTS: Well, yes, that was actually the primary reason that I went down there to this protest. This is my first one.

I wanted to see if I could have a civil discussion with these federal agents, officers, and ask them why they felt that it was OK what they were doing, that I thought they were violating the oath to the Constitution.

[14:50:06]

So what I did in preparation for that, I put on my naval academy sweatshirt, my Navy wrestling hat and my backpack with all of my -- under the presumption they would respect that and maybe talk to me instead of treat me as another protester. That didn't work out at all.

KEILAR: No, that did not work out. And we see the video of what then happened. You just turned away. You had a signal for them as you turned away but you walked away from them as they were beating you.

Tell us, what is the damage here.

DAVID: Just a bunch of bruises. Otherwise, they did pretty much smash my hand up quite a bit with batons. I have a couple of fractures in this hand and one of them is serious and I'll have to have surgery.

KEILAR: So I know that part of this for you was going down there wearing your sweatshirt, wearing your hat. And thinking that perhaps you might get further in a civil discussion than someone who was not showing, you know, that they have -- I think serving in the military, it is sort of your ability to say, look, I love my country and I've shown that, right.

So as a veteran, you were trying to communicate that.

How do you feel about the president sending in federal troops as a veteran?

DAVID: I'm 100 percent against it. I think it is a move -- it is a unilateral move being made in order to generate chaos and create division. I don't see any point in what they're doing because, every night, they do the same thing, the same results occur and the protests only get bigger.

KEILAR: I know one of the things you're trying to -- I think you want veterans to -- you have a message for veterans. What is your message for veterans?

DAVID: My message for veterans is remember your oath to the Constitution. I take almost all of us -- think almost all of us do. Or pretty much all of us. We understand the meaning of those words.

And I was hoping that some of the federal agents were veterans and maybe they would remember the oath of office they took when they were in the military.

KEILAR: I want to listen now, Chris, to how the Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli described what happened to you.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KEN CUCCINELLI, HOMELAND SECURITY DEPUTY SECRETARY: What you have Marshal Service folks. You don't have DHS officers.

I'm familiar with the video you're talking about and all I have is a video that I've seen. I haven't seen either the audio or the reports of officers of what was going on.

(CROSSTALK)

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: Based on what you see -- based on what you see --

(CROSSTALK)

STEPHANOPOULOS: -- based on what you see --

(CROSSTALK)

STEPHANOPOULOS: -- based on what you see --

(CROSSTALK)

CUCCINELLI: No, no, no. I don't base things on one -- the reason we came there wasn't because of some future video. The reason we advanced other DHS law enforcement officers is because there was intelligence locally generated that there were going to be threats to federal facilities.

Maintaining an appropriate response is an ongoing obligation. I grant you that. And that's for all of us. But at the same time, the threat to those federal facilities and officers did materialize.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KEILAR: What is your response to Cuccinelli?

DAVID: Oh, that is a difficult one. Ken Cuccinelli could not see what is obvious to millions of other people.

KEILAR: Which is?

DAVID: And, well, that I was standing there peacefully and then they beat me for pretty much no reason.

Now I understand the pickle that he is in. He cannot say, yes, that was inappropriate. Almost everybody else in the United States can. But he can't.

And he didn't answer the question: Was that appropriate behavior for somebody who is standing there peacefully?

KEILAR: Yes, it is almost a rhetorical question, Chris. I think it is a rhetorical question. We know the answer.

And look, thanks for joining us.

(CROSSTALK)

KEILAR: And good luck. Because you do have surgery ahead of you since your hand was smashed and you have various fractures.

Thank you for being with us from Portland.

DAVID: Thank you. It is my pleasure. Thank you for having me on.

[14:54:33]

KEILAR: Next, are Russia's wealthy and powerful getting a secret coronavirus vaccine test?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KEILAR: Just in, Democratic leaders are voicing concerns about Congress being targeted by a foreign disinformation campaign.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi writing a letter to the FBI saying, quote, "We're gravely concerned, in particular, that Congress appears to be the target of a concerted foreign interference campaign, which seeks to launder and amplify disinformation in order to influence congressional activity, public debate, and the presidential election in November.

The letter was sent to FBI Director Christopher Wray last Monday requesting an all-member briefing.

And our special coverage will continue now with Brooke Baldwin.

[15:00:05]

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: Hi, there. I'm Brooke Baldwin. And you're watching CNN. Thank you for being with me.