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Cuomo Prime Time

President Biden Marks 100 Years Since Tulsa Race Massacre; Flynn Claims He Didn't Endorse Myanmar-Style Coup Despite Saying On Video, 'It Should Happen Here'; Naomi Osaka Pulls Out Of French Open, Reveals Struggles With Mental Health. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired June 01, 2021 - 21:00   ET




ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Programming note. Shortly before tonight's broadcast, I sat down with former president Obama, here in Chicago, for a wide-ranging interview, about his post-presidential life, and just being a dad.

It's all part of a 360 Special Report, airing next Monday, in this hour. The former president discusses Fatherhood, Leadership, and his Legacy. Again, it's next Monday night, 8 P.M. Eastern Time, here on CNN.

The news continues. Want to hand it over to Chris for "CUOMO PRIME TIME." Chris?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: All right, Coop. That's going to be awesome! What a great that - what a great time to have the former president, and that kind of focus. Good for you. Good for us.

All right, I am Chris Cuomo, and welcome to PRIME TIME.

Is America getting better? The answer is yes, but only when we see past wrongs and work to write them.

And so, here we are, on the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa race massacre, the deadliest attack on Black Americans on U.S. soil, when as many as 300 in the thriving Black Wall Street District, were slaughtered by a White mob. That's the story. Any mitigation of that is not the truth.

And, at the same time, that we condemn this, as obscene, as a reminder of what is wrong, we see in real-time, today, one of the greatest assaults on democracy underway, once again, targeting minorities. The Party of Trump, intensifying its efforts to strip people of color, of their rights to vote, the boldest attempt since the era of Jim Crow.

President Biden drew a through-line in Tulsa today.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: 100 years ago, at this hour, on this first day of June, smoke darkened the Tulsa sky.

This was not a riot. This was a massacre.

I come here to help fill the silence, because in silence wounds deepen.

What happened in Greenwood was an act of hate and domestic terrorism, with a through-line that exists today, still.


CUOMO: A through-line, a through-line of hate. Through-line means that just because there's not another Tulsa massacre, doesn't mean the efforts are not equally unholy and un-American, those efforts that we've seen recently.

And President referenced Charlottesville, Neo-Nazis brandishing torches, a century later, hate crimes against Asian and Jewish Americans, reminders that White Supremacism, White Terror, is the most lethal threat to our homeland today.

What really should scare us all is that never in the modern era, have we seen what should be relegated to the fringes. You know they're Neo- Nazis. You know they're white supremacists. But they've always been kept in the modern era, on the fringes of society.

"Stay where you're supposed to be, in the shadows. You deserve nothing else. You have the right to speak, but what you say is not right. And we will not regard it as such. Abject bigotry."

Now, it is at worst embraced and at least minimized by an entire political party. And we know where this coddling gets us. We witnessed White Terror, in real-time, at the Capitol, on January 6th, fueled by Trump's big lie. And the effort to capitalize on that lie has put our democracy in peril, according to the current president.

We know the numbers. Since November, 48 states have introduced laws that they say are about voting integrity, to right what they saw as allegations of fraud in this election. They have backed up none. The only thing that is clear is that these measures would restrict voting rights. 14 states have passed them already.

Remember, this was the most secure election in American history, according to Republican officials, Trump's own federal officials. Do you see this as not a question of fact? It is not a good faith debate.

The President now sees this new attempt by Texas as the continuation of a cancer, calling it part of an assault that is disproportionately targeting Black and Brown Americans.

Texas State Democrats derailed a restrictive voting bill, in dramatic fashion, this weekend, by walking out of the state's legislature. So what did that mean? So there was no quorum, so you couldn't hold the vote. If they held the vote, they would have lost. The Democrats don't have enough numbers.


Now, Re-Trump-lican Governor Greg Abbott is threatening to withhold pay from lawmakers. Well, punishment, make it harder, OK? Why? Because he wants to make it harder for Texans to vote.

And again, the guys, "We got to, you know, got to undo alleged voter fraud." I say, guys, because not only did Texas find no major fraud in the election, but this same governor, Abbott, who now is selling the big lie, did not buy it, back in March.

Here's the proof.


GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R-TX): Right now, I don't know how many, or if any, elections, in the State of Texas, in 2020, were altered because of voter fraud.


CUOMO: He doesn't know "How many, or if any," so you are going to endorse a restrictive remedy, when you're not sure there was a wrong?

Look, there is no shame in their game. And that's what it is. It is a game. It is a game of addition, by subtraction. The Party of Trump will add to its chances to win elections by reducing the number of minorities, and poor, who can vote, because they don't vote for Trump and his minions.

This bill in Texas makes mail-in voting more difficult, bans after- hours and drive-through voting that helped Black and Latino voters in the Houston area cast their ballots in 2020.

It prohibits early voting on Sundays. Look, we know what this is about. You know about "Souls to Polls" events that are held predominantly by Black churches, on Sundays. That's what that is about.

Texas also wants to make it easier to overturn an election. Look, to win out, at the state level, you could do that. There is going to be a constitutional argument about who's right it is here, at some point. And elections have predominantly been run by the states.

But if you take on this many laws, in this many states, as a function of litigation, it will take years, and absolutely multiple election cycles, to kick out even the most egregious and obvious examples.

And so, only Congress can hold back the latest wave - the wave of Jim Crow. The "For the People Act" and "The John Lewis Voting Rights Act," they would go a long way. They're not going to fix everything.

But here's the bigger problem. Biden has no path to passing either. He is in a Senate that is split. And there seems to be no indication that you will have the filibuster get removed. So, what option does that leave? Are we just going to watch another mass attack on minorities unfold? Better minds, we have one of the participants of that Democrat congressional walkout, in Texas, State Representative Nicole Collier, and also, former Republican U.S. Congressman, Charlie Dent.

It's good to have you with us, Nicole Collier. Thank you very much. The argument of this is about remedying integrity lapses, and fraud opportunities.

We'll put up on the screen what's in your states bill, Senate Bill 7.

When you look at these provisions, they say makes mail-in voting more difficult. "No, no, no. It makes it safer by limiting the window, and who can collect them. And not having you vote after 9 makes it safer, because there's not as much opportunity, when staff falls off."

Drive-through voting, again, "Fewer opportunities for fraud, the least - the less ways that people can vote." Early voting on Sundays, "Oh, that's about extra staffing." Makes it easier to overturn election, "Well, we have to be able to have the state level be able to police the local levels."

Those are the arguments. How do you see it?

STATE REP. NICOLE COLLIER (D-TX): Well, thanks, Chris. You did a great recap of what things have been going - what's been going on in Texas. And it is a big lie.

I heard - we heard directly from the former Secretary of State, who was in charge, at the time of the 2020 election, say that our elections, this last 2020 election, were safe, secure and successful. They won.

What else do they want? Well, they want your vote. Just like you said, they're whittling away at every right that people have, by putting on these onerous requirements, just to participate in their constitutional right to vote.

So, they put measures that they - they basically criminalize innocent mistakes that people may make, and they make it easier for you to file a civil lawsuit, and find out how someone voted.

So yes, we need to have these measures passed.


I was so proud to see our President, at the site of the Tulsa race massacre today, where he laid out that voting - protecting the right to vote is a priority. And he called on the U.S. Senate to end the filibuster, and to get that measure to his desk, get the "John Lewis Act" to his desk, get the vote - "For the People - For the People Act," to his desk, so he can sign it.

CUOMO: Charlie, are you hearing from any of your former colleagues, who are saying "Hold on, Charlie. The media is painting these things all wrong. Here is why we don't want to pass this federal legislation and override the states." What are the best arguments they give you?

CHARLIE DENT, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, (R) FORMER U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, FORMER CHAIRMAN, HOUSE ETHICS COMMITTEE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ASPEN INSTITUTE CONGRESSIONAL PROGRAM: Well, the best argument they give me, to oppose the "For the People Act" is that there would be public financing of congressional campaigns, redistricting, and that would be all done by independent commissions.

And by the way, I supported an independent commission, in my own state. I was part of a commission to set up one. But should that decision be made by Congress or by the states? I mean, so there are some legitimate federalism questions to be raised in opposition.

There are many good provisions in the "For the People Act." But I think they've overshot. They don't need to get into public financing of campaigns. I don't think they need to set up requiring states to set up independent redistricting commissions. And there are other provisions in there too, that I think are an overreach.

CUOMO: You think if they strip those out, you'd have enough Republican votes in the Senate to pass it?

DENT: I don't know. But I think it would certainly help. I mean, I heard Jon Tester comment about that. I know that all Democrats support it right now, about the - about the campaign finance provisions.

But like I said, I think they should focus their efforts more right now on "The John Lewis Voting Rights Act" to reauthorize it. I mean, I supported reauthorization back in 2006. We passed it overwhelmingly.

I think they should be able to at least start there, because I think there's plenty of opportunity there, to find a compromise, on the pre- clearance issues that the court had struck down, several years ago.

CUOMO: Just to remind you guys at home, what happened was the Supreme Court said that the Voting Rights Act of 1965 had been overbroad, and you can't make states pre-clear, on the basis of existing law, its own election laws in a state through the federal government.

It's the state's domain, unless there is superseding legislation. That's what "The John Lewis Act" would be.

So, Representative Collier, the idea of getting "The John Lewis Act," is that the more important one, in your mind, in terms of having some layer of protection, from the laws that you are fighting, and losing battle against, in Texas right now?

COLLIER: Absolutely. The numbers don't lie. We don't have a strong - the Republicans have a stronghold in the Texas Legislature.

If we don't get the "John Lewis Act" or measures like that, we're going to see cameras in the polling location, poll watchers, following - filming people, at the polling location. We're going to see "Show me your papers," for people before they can vote. We're going to see harmful measures that reduce polling locations, in districts like mine, where people of color vote. So, if we don't get action, by Congress, we will see continued efforts to reduce our voice at the ballot box.

CUOMO: You don't see a lot of Republican support, Charlie, for reinstating the '65 provision - forget about the 1965 Act. You don't see any support from the Republicans, right now, vocally at least, for having any kind of pre-clearance mechanism, at the federal level. That has nothing to do with financing.

DENT: That's right. I think one of the big challenges for the Republican Party, right now, is it has overreacted to the 2020 election, and Donald Trump's calling it a stolen election, which is of course false. That's been the problem.

They know that this is all premised on a lie that Donald Trump lost the election, but the same Republican congressmen, and state legislators, did very well. They all won their elections.

If the Democrats were going to steal an election for president, well, they would have stolen everything else, I would think. But they didn't. Because there was no - there was no steal here.

And the truth is, in a state like mine, in Pennsylvania, there is certainly room for some reforms to our election laws. There were administrative inconsistencies between counties as to how votes were disqualified or counted.

CUOMO: But that's nothing new. That's nothing new, Charlie.

DENT: That needs to be cleaned up.

CUOMO: We had the same--

DENT: That's right.

CUOMO: --we had the same dialog with--

DENT: That's right.

CUOMO: --the boxes in reverse, when the Democrats lost close races last time.

DENT: Yes. Yes.

CUOMO: Only difference is they didn't decide to--

DENT: We--

CUOMO: --lie about it on a national scheme level.

DENT: Yes. And--

CUOMO: We don't have to look any farther than Governor Abbott.

DENT: And it didn't make it.

CUOMO: Go ahead. Get last word to you.

DENT: And it didn't - it didn't make any difference. It didn't make it - it didn't make any difference, by the way--

CUOMO: Right.

DENT: --in the outcome of the elections. But they needed to clean it up.

CUOMO: Well look, some elections, maybe it does. You go case-by-case.

But, to Representative Collier's point, we'll end on this, you don't have to look past her own Governor. Her, own Governor, said in March, there is no proof that any of the elections were wrongful by a measure of fraud.

And now, he's backing a remedy?

DENT: Sure.

CUOMO: For something that he didn't see as a wrong?

Nicole Collier, we'll be monitoring your situation, Representative, good luck.

Charlie Dent, appreciate you, as always.

COLLIER: Thank you.


CUOMO: Look, I'm telling you, it's a game, OK? It's a game. It's about talking ugly talk, to motivate ugly actions. You say it's a big lie that the election has gone, and then people want you to do something about what you just lied to them about.

Restricting rights is the response to the call for revolt. Like what? Like saying it was stolen, more pernicious, like advocating for a military coup to overturn a democratic election?

Who would do that? Trump's former National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn. He says "No, no, no, you got me wrong." I have the tape. You hear it. And you'll also see where we are headed. Next.








CUOMO: You know the name Michael Flynn, former president Trump's first National Security Advisor. He is now walking back claims that he called for a Myanmar-style coup.


A message, posted to a Parler account, used by Flynn, says, quote, "There is no reason for any coup in America. And I do not have - and I do not and have not, at any time, called for any action of that sort."

OK. This is the situation it refers to. He's at this Symposium. And he takes a question from the audience. You will hear what the audience member says. And you will hear his response.

Go ahead.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to know why what happened in Myanmar can't happen here.

MICHAEL FLYNN, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR UNDER PRESIDENT TRUMP: No reason, I mean it should happen here. No reason but, that's right.



CUOMO: Now, "Oh, he's just playing to the crowd. And that's how it is. He wanted people to cheer," wasn't the first time.

Right after the 2020 election, he met with Trump, about imposing martial law, and said this.


FLYNN: He could order the, within the swing states, if he wanted to, he could take military capabilities, and he could place them in those states, and basically re-run an election in each of those states.


CUOMO: That's not even true. But again, this is a game. And it's about talking this ugly obnoxious talk of insurrection, and opening people's minds to the possibility that follow. So what does this mean?

Andrew McCabe led the FBI's investigation into Flynn in 2017.

Welcome back to PRIME TIME. I hope you had a meaningful weekend for you and the family. What do you make of this?

ANDREW MCCABE, FORMER DEPUTY DIRECTOR, FBI, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Thanks, Chris. Chris, I mean, maybe the better question would be why are we

surprised? Mike Flynn has a history of saying things that are provably false, things that contradict his own statements that have been recorded.

In 2017, Mike Flynn lied to two FBI agents, about his conversations with the Russians, only an hour after telling me, on the phone that he thought that we had his conversations recorded.

So, I can't tell you why Mike Flynn lies about these things. But I can tell you that he frequently says things that are unhinged from reality. And that his lies about this sort of stuff are persistent.

CUOMO: Some context.

MCCABE: That it's - I think it's--

CUOMO: Some context for folks about why--

MCCABE: Yes, I mean I--

CUOMO: --why you would be concerned about this. Here is an example of where this can lead. Here it is.


"BETH," TRUMP SUPPORTER: Biden is just - he's like a puppet president. The military is in charge. It's going to be like Myanmar, what's happening in Myanmar. The military is doing their own investigation. And, at the right time, they're going to be restoring the Republic with Trump as president.

LEIANNE JENKINS FORTMYER, TRUMP SUPPORTER: What's going on in Myanmar right now?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In different country.

FORTMYER: The government took over, and they're redoing the election? Correct? That could possibly happen here, possibly.


DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Would you like to see it happen?

FORTMYER: Absolutely.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would like to see it happen.



FORTMYER: You know why? Because the election was stolen from us.


CUOMO: Go ahead.

MCCABE: So yes, Chris, so when you're investigated, to determine whether or not you can qualify, for a top secret security clearance, one of the questions they ask you, and they ask all of your friends, and neighbors, and colleagues, is whether or not you have ever advocated for the overthrow of the United States government.

When I first heard that question, many years ago, I thought it seemed kind of absurd, like who would do that? Well, I guess now we know who would do that.

Mike Flynn is not only saying these things. He's saying them to groups of people who embrace unhinged conspiracy theories, and who we saw on January 6th, took that very deeply held belief, in these conspiracy theories, and used it to attack the Capitol, to try to prohibit the certification of our presidential election.

So, he should know, he does know that this is dangerous, that he's stoking a fire that could be incredibly destructive to this country. And yet he does it anyway.

CUOMO: So, my understanding is that this is the conflation of the mainstream political dialog, and the conspiracy, you know, if you want to use QAnon, fine, that a lot of the craziness of QAnon is now in the rearview mirror. And the idea of an election being stolen, and what can be done, and how people can get power back is what their main recruiting tool is.

So then you get into how do you combat it? I keep hearing people formulate theories about whether or not Flynn could be prosecuted under the Military Code of Justice. He's retired. Wouldn't this be a civilian matter?

MCCABE: It seems like it would be. I have to say, I'm not an expert on the - on the UCMJ, the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

CUOMO: Right.

MCCABE: And it also seems like to embark on an endeavor like that, which would be problematic to prosecute--


CUOMO: Sedition would be the law. And it's not easy. It's not easy. It's a planning crime.


MCCABE: It's not - it's not easy. And it might also be used, by that same group of people, as a rallying cry for "Look at how they're persecuting poor Mike Flynn for simply saying the truth, and trying to defend the former president." So, I'm not sure that it accomplishes very much.

CUOMO: Right.

MCCABE: And it may actually make things worse.

CUOMO: And well let's end on this, the idea that "Andy and I are playing with people, who are on the fringe, and we're not being fair," look at the poll.

Republicans, OK? This is an Ipsos/Reuters Poll, "Do you think the 2020 election was legitimate and accurate," 25 percent. Look how many Republicans, not QAnon kooks, not fringe people, not people they just found in some Trump rally.

MCCABE: That's right.

CUOMO: 56 percent. That's why he's saying what he said.

MCCABE: That's right.

CUOMO: Andrew McCabe, be well. I'll talk to you soon.

MCCABE: Thanks, Chris.

CUOMO: So, this is a big story in tennis. And it is not about tennis. It's about our society, and how we see people, and how we help or hurt them.

The world's number two, in women's tennis, pulled herself out of the French Open. Why? Well, she was fined for not talking to the press. But it's about more than that.

Naomi Osaka is shining a bright light on mental health in her withdrawal. So, is she in good faith doing this? Does it rise to the level that has been made? And will anything change as a result?

I have a legend coming on this show, not just in tennis, but someone I know, and I trust, who understands the issues, and knows Osaka. Chris Evert, there is no one better, next.









CUOMO: You've probably heard about this situation. The tennis world is stunned. But I bring you this story now because it's a situation that is way bigger than tennis, potentially. Naomi Osaka, number two ranked woman, exits the French Open, one of

the coveted big four Grand Slams. But why? That's what this is about. Organizers fined her $15,000, threatened to suspend her, for declining to speak to the media. But the question becomes, why did she decline?

Osaka opened up about why, tweeting in part, "The truth is I have long suffered - I've suffered long bouts of depression since the U.S. Open in 2018, and I have had a really hard time coping with that." She adds she gets waves of anxiety when speaking to the world's media, and that it could be debilitating in a tournament situation.

Now, the move is sparking questions about tournaments, press availability, but also athletes' mental health, and whether we give a damn about that.

Let's get some perspective from tennis legend, Chris Evert, who to me is about a lot more than tennis. I know Chris. We spend time talking about where our world is headed. And this issue puts us right in the crosshairs.

So first of all, legend and champion, thank you for making the time to do this. Appreciate you.

CHRIS EVERT, FORMER WORLD #1 TENNIS PLAYER: Hi, glad to be here. Thanks, Chris.

CUOMO: So, what is your take about whether or not Osaka knew what this move was going to mean, when she first started down the road of "You guys put too many - you put too many restrictions on us about that. I don't want to do it anymore." What do you think?

EVERT: Well, I don't think she had any idea that it would cause this much fuss in not only the tennis world, the sporting world, per se.

And I think she just thought, "OK, I'm not playing well, on the clay. I've been asked a lot of negative questions. It doesn't make me feel good. And I'm not going to go to the press conferences at the French Open. I'm going to totally concentrate on my tennis and feel good about myself. And I'll pay the fines," which is $15,000, every time she misses a press conference.

Those are the rules. And I think she thought, "Fine, I'll make that announcement, and it'll be over in a day." Little did we know it would -- it would just be overwhelming. And it's that the talk of the French Open right now.

CUOMO: So, one step sideways, is Osaka doesn't -- she's great champion. She's young career. She's already won Grand Slams. Not known as a clay-killer. And there had been talk that she may not do well, here. There was talk from her own team that she may not do well, here. What is the relevance of that to this situation for you?

EVERT: Well, I think it's relevant to her. I think - let's go back. I think the role of press conferences after a tennis match is crucial.

I think it's always been the responsibility of the player, just to go in there for 20, minutes, 30 minutes, talk about the match, dissect the match, tell them how you feel. And that's just been a part of the deal of being a tennis professional.

No one has ever done what Naomi has done. Yes, players sometimes skip press conferences, if they've had a devastating loss, or for whatever reason. OK, they pay the fine. But I think the reason why this is blown up is no one's ever done this before a whole tournament.

And I think Naomi - I love the girl. I just I adore her. And I think that she is very shy. She's very self-conscious. She's very vulnerable. And she's very sensitive. And she, when she plays her best, she has to feel good about herself. And she has to draw that sort of positivity.

And I think she feels the last six weeks on the clay, "You know, I'm not doing well, and I'm not playing well, and I'm not winning, and the press are really harping on me," because they expect her to win. She's number two in the world. And I think - I think it really just - just got to her. And that's it.

CUOMO: So you know why it's interesting to me, because as a lover of sport, and a huge admirer, I'm terrible tennis player, but I really respect great tennis.


And you, in your career, which I followed very carefully, my entire life, you had them coming at you from all angles.

You were one of the - you were one of the first transcendent icons in culture within women's tennis. And they were on you when you won, and they were on you when you lost. So, you know that pressure. You know how that works both ways.

But now, as life has taught you, there is another category, which is where--


CUOMO: --"Oh, no, this kid has depression." This is actual mental health issue.


CUOMO: This is actually an anxiety issue. Do you think the sport has to make a recognition of where it's not just nerves, it's not just about performance? It's about addressing a particular vulnerability of people within their ranks, great tennis player, but also battles from dot, dot, dot, and maybe there has to be a different rule.

EVERT: Well, I definitely think I would like to throw everybody in a room because I'm tired of these e-mails, and these, the Instagrams, and the letters, going back and forth. It's like, this is a big issue. Naomi, and other players, and the four Grand Slams, have to get into another room, and hash this out to, to find an answer to this. And I think that one thing that could change would be the press, the whole dynamics of the press going in after a match. Time it. Have it a 15-minute or a 20-minute press conference. Have a moderator. Field the questions. If there's any inappropriate questions, they can take care of that.

And also, I think, look at the credentials of the press. I mean, some of the press is not tennis press. They're tabloid press, or they're bloggers, or, they have nothing to do with tennis. They just want to talk about other things besides tennis. And I think it should be primarily after a match should be about your tennis.

And I think that somehow they - everybody has to talk about a solution to make this a healthy environment, for the players, to go into, in a comfortable environment, because we're all in this together, to promote the sport.

The other thing that we have to remember is Coco Gauff, 17-years-old, a lot of the stars now are teenagers. A lot of the great players are in their early 20s. This isn't - this isn't football. This isn't golf. This isn't racecar driving.

We're not talking 35-year-old, 40-year-old, 45-year-old, men, or women. We're talking youngsters. So, I think the press have to take a stand, have to kind of go up another level, and have some respect.

CUOMO: Here's another reason I wanted to get a heavyweight, like you, in here, to deal with this, as tennis as a culture, because how it transcends our overall culture.

Roland-Garros, that is the organization for the French Open, tweeted out a photo of other athletes doing media hits, with the caption, "They understood the assignment." Now, this was a problem for me, and actually turned the corner for me on doing this story.

The assignment is not to do press. That is what drives money, and ratings, and significance for the tournament. I get it. But they're there to play, and to win. And it was interesting to me about whether or not the organizers understand the needs, especially of the young people.

Look, you set the standard for this. You were so young, and you came into it so strong, and it gave a projection, "Oh, I guess - I guess kids can play at this level, against adults, and win."

But do you think we've turned a blind eye to the vulnerabilities that are either health-related or age-related?

EVERT: I think so. And when I say that I went to press conferences, I mean, there are times, in my life, when I lost a final to Virginia Wade, and at Wimbledon, and I went into my hotel room, and didn't leave my hotel room for three days, and just ate and just was in my robe, and I was totally depressed.

There is a time in 1976, when I won Wimbledon, and I went back to a hotel room, and I laid down the ground. I couldn't get up, because I felt so lonely and so isolated. I took four months off in the middle of my career, because I burned out.

So, it needs to be addressed. You're absolutely right.

CUOMO: Chris Evert, you are a legend, and you are a friend. And I appreciate you taking this on, because I believe--

EVERT: Thank you.

CUOMO: --it's way bigger than tennis. We have turned a blind eye to this for so long.

EVERT: It is.

CUOMO: We don't deal with mental health. We see it as a weakness, and not as an aspect of somebody's life.

EVERT: Can I just - can I just add one more thing? Naomi Osaka.

CUOMO: Last word to you, of course. You're Chrissie Evert!

EVERT: Yes. Just fame - fame and fortune at a young age. And thank God, the Women's Tennis Association has resources, mental health resources, media, training resources. I mean, there's help out there for these kids.


But when you come from a very close-knit family, and very modest upbringing, and then all of a sudden, you're the most famous athlete in the world, and you're the highest winner of money and trophies in the world, your life changes. And it's quite - it can be quite devastating also.

CUOMO: Chris Evert, thank you very much. I'll talk to you soon. We'll be right back.

EVERT: Thanks, Chris. Thank you.








CUOMO: All right, now we are going to see the reality. Mark your calendar. Set a reminder on your phone. Two weeks from today is June 15th. That's when we will know where we really are in this pandemic. This was the first big holiday weekend, out of the pandemic, back to normal.

Let's bring in Dr. Leana Wen, on what we'll be looking for.

It's good to see you, Doc. I hope you had a meaningful weekend with the family.

Am I right that this will be the demarcation that when we see the cases and hospitalizations, two weeks from now, we will have a truly full picture of where we stand?


DR. LEANA WEN, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST, FORMER BALTIMORE HEALTH COMMISSIONER, ER PHYSICIAN, PUBLIC HEALTH PROFESSOR, GWU: Maybe. I think you could be right, because in some ways this was the first big stress test. We have restrictions lifted en masse, people going about their normal lives.

We know that in the past, after major holidays, and an increase in travel, that we then had a substantial uptick, in the rate of infections. And so, maybe we will see an increase.

But actually I think that there are two other things that are more likely. One is that we see a plateauing. So right now, we have an exponential decline in the number of cases. If we get a plateau, at a pretty high level still, that's worrisome. I also think--

CUOMO: Wait a minute.

WEN: --that the cases could still continue to drop.

CUOMO: Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Wait. Let's go one at a time, Leana, because you think much faster than I do.

The first one is, if we see a plateauing, OK, then my counter would be, "Well, cases are still going down, you know? The rate may not be getting better and better. But at least they're still going down, and everything was open. So that's good enough." Agree or disagree?

WEN: I don't know, I think, is the answer, because we just don't know what's going to happen next.

The other scenario, which I think is relevant here, is even if you see a continuing decline, but if it starts to taper off, what I would be concerned about is that there are parts of the country, with very low vaccination rates.

You've got some counties that where 70 percent, 80 percent of the people are vaccinated, other places where 1 percent or well less than 10 percent are fully vaccinated. And so, I really worry about the unvaccinated people in those areas, spreading Coronavirus to one another.

And especially as the weather gets warmer, and people start going indoors, seeking air conditioning, I do think that there's the possibility of a surge, later on, in the summer, even if we don't see one in two weeks' time.

CUOMO: I was told by one of the government big-shots, the major variable in my concern will be geography, that just as we saw with how the virus spread, people who are doing it right, lose to people who are doing it wrong.

And that you will see, within the vaccination rates, but also geographical differences of observance, that they could create a cascade effect that in some places is good, other places, it's really bad. And then everywhere is going to go wrong, because bad beats good in this kind of situation.

Is that another big maybe?

WEN: I think it's certainly possible. Another variable is going to be the variants, and what's happening in other parts of the world, if there are variants that emerge that are more transmissible, more virulent, that may also evade the protection of the vaccines.

And I think the other part is, we just don't know about this virus. I mean, I think the best thing that we have in our favor is to get as many people vaccinated as possible.

But one of the concerns that I have that you, and I have talked about before, is maybe the summer is going to be great, which is something to celebrate, for sure. But I also think that further removes the urgency for people to get vaccinated. People might be thinking, "Well, I was going to do it. But now I don't think it's that big of a deal."

We could be fine for the summer. But then come the fall, we could have another resurgence.


WEN: So all this is to say, we are certainly in a much better place than before. But we're not in the clear, not by a long shot.

CUOMO: And as Dr. Wen has said many, many times, it's no longer to look at the nation. It's no longer to look state-by-state. You got to go community-by-community, because that's how we're going to beat this, ultimately. We'll see.

Dr. Wen, thank you very much.

All right, back to our top story, the war over voting rights. We know there was no mass fraud. We know Republicans, who judged the close elections say that. So, there is no justification for the extreme actions that Re-Trump-licans are taking to suppress the vote. Remember, it's addition by subtraction.

So, let's do this. Let's let the facts tell the story. Numbers don't lie. And the Wizard of Odds has the numbers.








CUOMO: Be on the lookout, it's not just Texas. This year, 14 states have enacted 22 laws, restricting access to vote. It's not enough to call this the next Jim Crow. We need to dig into the arguments.

The man with the numbers is Harry Enten, the Wizard of Odds.

It's good to see you. Let's start with this.

We have to cut early voting hours because the U.S. Election Assistance Commission found two-thirds of jurisdictions had a hard time recruiting enough poll workers, so this is about safety.

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL WRITER AND ANALYST: I mean, let's look at the numbers. And I don't think it's about safety.

What I think it's about is that they know that the folks who have the hardest time of getting off to vote are Democrats, right? This is a Marist College poll. 22 percent of Democrats say they ever had a problem with voting because they can't get off of work, just - versus just 14 percent of Republicans.

We know it disproportionately affects minorities. We know it disproportionately affects younger voters. And if you know anything about politics, you know younger voters and minorities tend to vote more Democratic, which shows up in the numbers right there.

CUOMO: All right, voter ID, here's the argument for it.

People feel more confident in the results. You know who it is, when they come to vote, if they have an ID. Polls show that voters support it. In April CNN poll, 64 percent say photo ID would make elections more fair.

ENTEN: I mean, it's true, voters do say that. But who are the folks who oftentimes lack the voter ID? It's oftentimes Democrats.

We see this again here, ever a problem with voting, lacking the correct ID, a 11 percent of Democrats versus 3 percent of Republicans. It's oftentimes minorities, who have the problems with voter ID. It's them, who don't necessarily have the driver's licenses.

So again, with all of this, what we're seeing is yes, Republicans say this, and yes, voters may support it. But the facts on the ground tell us that the people, who would be disproportionately affected, are the ones who often cast votes for Democrats.

CUOMO: And also 36 states have voter ID laws on the books already. Some of the toughest are in the states, where they're pushing the hardest, claiming not enough confidence in the results, Georgia, Texas and Arizona. So, I guess voter ID is not a panacea.

All right, let's skip to the last one. Reducing vote by mail, here's the argument for.

Less control, more chance for bad behavior. If you limit the window, and limit the places, and limit who can gather them, it'll be safer.


ENTEN: There's no proof of this. There is nothing. And I didn't hear these complaints about vote by mail, when Republicans are winning it.

Look at this in the 2020 election though. Biden won the vote by mail nationally by 31 points, just as his four - versus just a 4-point win nationally.

What all this is about is a reaction to the last election, where Republicans lost, and they want to try and limit the ways that Democrats generally tend to vote, or at least voted in 2020.

And to be honest with you, I am not sure that this will necessarily work, because I think Democrats will try, and basically work around it, but they are making it more difficult for Democrats to vote. And that is what the numbers just say.

These are numbers. These are facts. This isn't my opinion. These are numbers. These are facts.

CUOMO: And there was an extra - there was an extension, of early voting, for COVID. But Republicans traditionally used early voting--

ENTEN: Right.

CUOMO: --more. And it was only when Trump demonized it. So, if you're looking for somebody who showed why you lost, in early voting, look at the man who's pushing the big lie.

Harry Enten, Wizard of Odds, thank you.

ENTEN: Thank you, sir.

CUOMO: We'll be right back.








CUOMO: Appreciate you watching. I hope you had a meaningful weekend, with people who matter to you, remembering the right things about us, and who we want to be.

All right, that's all for me. It's time for the big show now, "DON LEMON TONIGHT," with its star, Don Lemon.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: I got to hang out with some people I like, over the Memorial weekend.