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CNN NEWSROOM

A 29-Year-Old Tests Positive For Coronavirus Twice In Three Months; Teachers Caught In Middle Over Reopening Schools As Cases Surge; Remembering Civil Rights Leader Rep. John Lewis. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired July 20, 2020 - 15:30   ET

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


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[15:33:24]

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: It is nothing short of a nightmare scenario. Getting coronavirus not just once, but twice. And having your doctor say, hey, you may even get it a third time. Can you imagine? Experts are racing to understand the complexities of this virus but what we know right now is that some people are testing positive for the virus more than once. Sometimes only months apart.

And my next guest is a young perfectly healthy adult who contracted coronavirus first back in April. Jordan Josey, he had high temperature, suffered a partially collapsed lung but then got better. He tested positive for antibodies. He even donated his plasma to help others. But just three months later, Jordan's symptoms came back, and he tested positive for the again.

So, Jordan is with me now. And Jordan, I could not believe this when I read your story. First of all, just thank you for taking a minute with me. I know you may not be feeling so hot. So how are you feeling today and how can this happen to you twice?

JORDAN JOSEY, TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19 TWICE: Well, first, I'd like to thank you for letting me on the show, Brooke. You know, it's kind of hard to describe the feeling when I found out I had it again. And I think shock was one, worry. And it's kind of been slow going. That was about three weeks ago. A little bit more now. But I tested positive again for both the active antibody and the inactive. I guess showing that I had the virus, I get flare back up.

Now my doctor doesn't really know whether I contracted it again or whether it never left me the first time and it flared back up.

[15:35:02]

But ultimately, I'm dealing with some of the same stuff that I did the first time around. But what I keep telling myself on round two is that at least I'm not suffocating this time. I can breathe. I can breathe a little better.

BALDWIN: Let's just stop and -- just sit on that for a second. At least I can breathe this time. And at least I'm not suffocating. Just - I mean I appreciate you in the glass half full approach. I'm the same kind of gal but my goodness.

And you know when I was reading about you, you know, I think one of the things people think, including myself, is OK, I've had COVID, like you I've tested positive for the antibodies. I did my civic duty. I donated my plasma, I'm pretty safe. But you and your doctor say not so fast. School me.

JOSEY: Well, and that was something that not to say I had like a false sense of security, but there was a period when I had first recovered, probably in about mid-April I was fully symptom-free and there was a period of time slowly as the world you know and local economy kind of opened back up out of the shutdown, I felt like I'm on the other side of this and I can be one of the ones to go out and kind of contribute to the stimulation of the local economy.

So, my wife and I just started to go back out to some of our favorite local restaurants here in Macon, where we live. We were wearing masks going out you know. I think it is that kind of thing where nobody knows what I had been there when they see me on the street. I kind of wanted to almost wish you could wear a banner around your neck that says I've already had it.

BALDWIN: I've had it. Right.

JOSEY: I'm not the problem. But I think we had kind of resumed some normalcy out. I felt like my normal self. I was playing tennis again. I was walking my dogs again with my wife. I was feeling like I built my stamina back up.

You know the first time around COVID will just totally take away all your lung stamina and standing up out of a chair will just debilitate you. I mean it is really unlike any illness that I've ever had in my entire life. It is truly awful. And it was a really bad experience the first time around. And I felt really fortunate to kind of be on the other side of it.

And I was kind of finally mentally getting back to where I was feeling OK and, you know, there are times with COVID when you deal with like the prolonged shortness of breath and the chest pain and everything. Mentally it is really hard to put that behind you because you're thinking if you have like anything flare-up, you think oh, no it is happening again.

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BALDWIN: And then it actually - and then it actually happened again -

JOSEY: And then it actually did.

BALDWIN: Jordan, I've got to go but I so appreciate you coming on national TV, sharing yourself, sharing your story. I'm - going to think about you, I'm telling you, every single day from here on out nobody is superman or superwoman with this thing. And listen, I wish you only the best health. Get through this. You've done it once before, do it again and let's just stay in contact. I want to know when you're healthy. All right. Jordan Josey be well.

JOSEY: Thanks Brooke.

BALDWIN: Thank you. Thank you.

JOSEY: I appreciate it. Thank you.

BALDWIN: Can you imagine.

Coming up next, teachers caught in the middle as schools are trying to reopen. I'll talk to one who said she will be forced to quit the job she loves if she's forced to go back to classroom.

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[15:43:17]

BALDWIN: The debate over when schools should reopen is happening nationwide and now just weeks away from the traditional start of classes. Many teachers are weighing in. And my next guest is a former nurse turned teacher in Washington state who recently wrote this powerful op-ed for "The New York Times." She called it, "I won't return to the classroom and you shouldn't ask me to."

So here with me now, Rebecca Martinson. Rebecca, thank you so much for being with me. And my mom is literally texting me right now and she was a teacher. So, I would be remiss in not saying love teachers. Thank you for all of your -- you know, your years dedicated to these kids in the classroom.

And I just want to read for people, this line really struck me, what you wrote. You wrote, "Every day when I walk into work as a public- school teacher, I am prepared to take a bullet to save a child. In the age of school shootings, that's what the job requires. But asking me to return to the classroom amid a pandemic and expose myself and my family to COVID-19 is like asking me to take that bullet home to my own family."

I mean, wow. And I know you miss your students. But tell me why this is where you draw the line.

REBECCA MARTINSON, WROTE NYT OP-ED ON QUITTING IF FORCED TO RETURN TO CLASSROOM: Well, exactly what you just said, Brooke. I've been involved in several lockdowns. And they've been fine. We've got out of it OK. But I spent three hours locked in a very small room with 18 children. That's too dangerous. In the face of a global pandemic, that is dangerous for my own child for me to do that.

BALDWIN: I know you wrote about how you know remote learning has in the end you know gone pretty well for you. But if you just play it forward, you know, what would your school need to do to provide to make you feel comfortable if you did go back to teach?

[15:45:02] MARTINSON: Right. So, um, thanks for asking that. We -- when we rolled out remote learning in an emergency situation that sprang, it was kind of miserable. Our first priority as a district was to feed children, to keep the children of first responders, give them free childcare and to make sure that we have equitable access. Beyond that, we just tried to get through the end of the year. The summer, however, I set some new parameters with my students and online learning went shockingly well.

BALDWIN: I hear you on online learning going shockingly well. But if you were to go back to the classroom this fall, just really final question, what would it take? What would make you feel secure and healthy and safe around all of those kids?

MARTINSON: So, Governor Newsom in California set up some guidelines for 14 declining days of new infection. For his state. I agree with that. I think that is a great start. I will say in my county we have many weeks of declining infections with a recent surge after the fourth of July holiday.

That is worse than when we closed. So, I don't know how I would be comfortable going back. Unless our public health experts are really guiding us and we're really tamping down this infection, the community spread.

BALDWIN: Thank you for being a teacher and for caring. Rebecca Martinson, appreciate you. Quick break. We'll be right back.

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[15:51:00]

BALDWIN: Congress paid tribute today to civil rights icon John Lewis with a moment of silence for the late congressman. He passed away Friday at the age of 80 from pancreatic cancer. Congressman Lewis was 80 years of age. And Speaker Nancy Pelosi said plans for a larger service to honor him will be announced later this week.

And our next guest forged a lasting friendship with Lewis after delivering an apology that was witnessed all around the world. Seven years ago, Chief Deputy Kevin Murphy apologized to the late congressman for the failure of the Montgomery, Alabama, police to protect Lewis and other freedom writers, way back in 1961. And in this touching moment, Murphy removed his police badge and offered it to Lewis as a symbol, which the Georgia congressman carried around for years afterwards.

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KEVIN MURPHY, CHIEF DEPUTY, MONTGOMERY COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: I want you to know that you have friends in the Montgomery Police Department. That we're for you, we're with you. We want to respect the law and adhere to the law, which is what you are trying to do all along. This symbol of authority, which used to be a symbol of oppression, needs to be a symbol of reconciliation.

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BALDWIN: Kevin Murphy, now the chief deputy of the Montgomery County Sheriff's Department, joins me now. So, sir, it's an honor to have you on. And my goodness, what a moment. We wanted to pull that at the archives. So, we could all see that ourselves.

Can you just take me back to the day that you spoke that apology on behalf of Montgomery police? And it's my understanding you could have heard a pin drop in that room after you said what you did. Why'd you do it?

MURPHY: It needed to be done. Many, many years, decades have gone on. And in my opinion there hadn't been any true reconciliation for that injustice. And it's something I've been thinking about for a long time. And even as a young officer if I thought if I were to become the police chief, I'm going to make a difference and right that wrong. And I was fortunate to have that opportunity.

BALDWIN: Good on you, sir. Good on you. And there's been so much, you know, traditional media and also on social media about some of his quotes, right? And there's one of these quotes from Congressman Lewis that's been passed around. And I just want to read this for everyone because he had tweeted this out a couple of years back.

"Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble."

Chief, you -- you were fortunate enough to know the man, to have traveled with him. How can people watching today honor the late congressman in action by getting in good trouble?

MURPHY: Well, Congressman Lewis spoke to me many times about good trouble. And he was a strong advocate for nonviolence. Congressman Lewis abhorred war or any type of killing or violence. And I think good trouble was fighting even the unjust laws that existed back in the '50s and '60s with segregation, and to stand up for what was right.

And you know law enforcement officers back then were tasked with enforcing those unjust laws. And I think that created a division that we even see creating difficulty in the law enforcement community with the public that we serve even today. But Congressman Lewis felt that it was incumbent upon all of us to speak up and to stand for injustice. And he dedicated his whole life to that.

BALDWIN: So, may we all use our voices in his honor, you know, to stand up for what is right and what we believe in. Chief, I appreciate you Kevin Murphy there in Montgomery, Alabama. What an extraordinary opportunity and that apology some years ago. Thank you for coming on.

[15:55:06]

MURPHY: Thank you Brooke.

BALDWIN: Coming up next, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez joins CNN as his state reported more than 10,000 new cases today.

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