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Don Lemon Tonight

Death Toll From Coronavirus In The U.S. Now Topping 130,000 People, New Cases Surging In At Least 32 States; New Visual Evidence Showing How Effective Masks Are; Terry Crews Defends His Statement Of Uniting With Good People, Black Or White. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired July 06, 2020 - 23:00   ET




DON LEMON, CNN HOST: This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon. It's 11:00 p.m. here on the East Coast. We have new developments on the coronavirus pandemic to tell you about. Here's the death toll in the U.S., now topping 130,000 people, new cases surging in at least 32 states.

Governors are responding. At least 24 states are now pausing or rolling back their reopening plans. Dr. Anthony Fauci is warning tonight that the problem is only getting worse.


ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: The current state is really not good. We are still knee deep in the first wave of this. And I would say this would not be considered a wave. It was a surge or a resurgence of infections, super imposed upon a baseline. So it's a serious situation that we have to address immediately.


LEMON: But instead of dealing with this pandemic, President Trump is avoiding it and falsely claiming 99 percent of cases are harmless. It's a flat-out lie. Here's what we heard from his press secretary today.


KAYLEIGH MCENANY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I think the world is looking at us as a leader in COVID-19. It's because of the extraordinary work that we have done on therapeutics, on getting PPE, and leading on ventilators.


LEMON: Hmmm, sounds good, but what is she talking about? The U.S. is just four percent of the world's population but accounts for about 25 percent of the world's coronavirus deaths. That is tragic and shameful. April Ryan is here. She is a White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks. Andy Slavitt is a former acting administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Dr. Jonathan Reiner is the director of the Cardiac Catheterization Program at George Washington University Hospital.

Good evening to one and all and welcome, as well. Dr. Reiner, you first. More than 130,000 people have died from coronavirus in this country. Dr. Fauci is warning that we need immediate action. President won't even acknowledge the virus is a problem. How bad could this get?

JONATHAN REINER, DIRECTOR OF CARDIAC CATHETERIZATION PROGRAM, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL: Well, it's already pretty bad. The president today and over the weekend, by really diminishing the risks to people of the virus, by telling the country that virtually everybody who gets the virus just does fine, there's really no harm to anybody, 99 percent, basically encourages people in the country to break social distancing, to ignore face masks, encourages people to put each other and their communities in harm's way, so it can get a lot worse.

The parts of this country that have done really well, the northeast in particular, parts of the Midwest, have done so through really extensive testing. All those states that have done really well are in the top 10 in testing. Whereas the states in the southwest, places like Texas and Arizona, are in really the bottom 10 in testing.

So, we can do a lot better. We need to test more. We need to get everyone in the country to wear masks and shut down places where the virus is roaring. We can do this. This is not difficult. It just takes political will. We have the ability to do this.

LEMON: But not the leadership, obviously. So April --

REINER: But not the leadership.

LEMON: Yeah. Take a look at this chart. I want to put this up now. It's comparing the news U.S. cases to other countries. So why is the White House press secretary saying the world is looking to the U.S. as a leader of coronavirus? I mean --


LEMON: Look at the comparison. This is pure gaslighting.

APRIL RYAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT FOR AMERICAN URBAN RADIO NETWORKS: Don, she is delusional. Any time you have the E.U. banning U.S. citizens from traveling to European nations and even Mexico banning us from crossing the border -- she is delusional. The White House press secretary and this White House happened to be delusional.


RYAN: You have to think about this, Don. The leader of the free world is supposed to protect Americans from sickness. But instead, he is putting us in harm's way. And history books will not be kind to him because of his mismanagement. He will be known as the spreader in chief.

They are trying -- they are trying to change the optics of this. But the reality is here. I mean, what are we saying today? We saw today that the mayor of Atlanta, Keisha Lance Bottoms, acknowledged that she tested positive. You have entertainer D.L. Hughley and countless others who are testing positive for this disease, as other nations are seeing the numbers decline and we are skyrocketing.

LEMON: Andy, the president continues to lie to us about this virus, claiming that 99 percent of cases are totally harmless, he says. That is not true. But this administration is defending him. Watch this.


MARK MEADOWS, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: I don't know that it's a generalization. When you start to look at the stats and look at all the numbers that we have, the amount of testing that we have, the vast majority of people are safe from this.

MCENANY: The president isn't downplaying the severity of the virus.


STEPHEN HAHN, COMMISSIONER, FDA: So, I'm not going to get into who is right and who is wrong. What I'm going to say, Dana, is what I said before, which is that it's a serious problem that we have.


LEMON: I mean --


LEMON: Wow! It's astounding because we are in the middle of a deadly pandemic. The American people cannot trust what they hear from the White House, not even the FDA commissioner. Where does this leave us?

ANDY SLAVITT, FORMER ACTING ADMINISTRATOR, CENTERS FOR MEDICINE AND MEDICAID SERVICES: Well, look, I think the good news is all these people actually know how badly this is being handled. And they are doing what I think they think is their election year job, which apparently is to lie more to us.

Look, we are dealing with three types of failures on top of each other, Don, in my view. The first is a failure of moral leadership, a failure to care enough, to plan, to protect the American public. The second is the failure to adapt. We saw this -- we missed it in March and April. We had two more months to adapt to and we haven't adapted.

And the third, I hate to say this this, but I think there is a failure of imagination. When we learn that it's older people, when we learn that it's black and brown people, that it's poor people, that it's people in jails, you know, some people just start to feel safer and they start to not worry as much because they think it's not about them.

And we have to really look all three of those failures right in the eye, address them all. We are not going catch up to the rest of the world, who, by the way, I think, as your other guest said, are handling this. This is handling.

LEMON: I want to ask you about this. I usually try to just paraphrase the president's tweets, but I think it's important to put this one up.

He tweeted tonight, "The highly respected Henry Ford Health System just reported, based on a large sampling, that hydroxychloroquine cut the death rate in certain sick patients very significantly. The Dems disparaged it for political reasons, me. Disgraceful. Act now." U.S. -- OK, I don't know.

So, what is that all about, Andy?

SLAVITT: Well, this is the president doing what is not really his job. His job -- his job is not to cherry pick studies and this study is unfortunately not been given a lot of credit.

And look, I don't think there's anybody in the world that wouldn't love to see this drug and any drug work, in any combination. Nobody is rooting against it. What people are rooting against is a politician with no scientific background telling people to take a drug before it's gone through those trials.

And this paper unfortunately is not the evidence we are looking for. Maybe that evidence will come. Maybe it will come in combination with something else. In the meantime, there are other drugs that he doesn't talk about, that are on the market, that are getting approved, that are working. So, there's --

LEMON: And there are numerous studies -- there are numerous studies that showed the exact opposite of what this one study shows.

SLAVIT: There are.

LEMON: Yeah.

SLAVITT: There are.

LEMON: Yeah. OK, so, you know, Dr. Reiner, it's infuriating to see that these videos -- we are going to put up now -- packed beaches, parties without any social distancing or masks. Is this the result potentially of a White House downplaying or politicizing the virus?

REINER: Of course it is. If you brag about selling a million tickets to a rally, what are people to take from that? If the White House says that, you know, we can pack a million people and they were hoping to put overflow in to the convention center next door, what does that tell people about the seriousness of the pandemic?

Our president continues to book large mass gatherings despite the fact that not only are we not out of this yet, that the virus is accelerating in large parts of this country. [23:10:03]

REINER: Despite the fact that dozens of people that work for him, including his son's girlfriend, have gotten sick likely at one of these mass gatherings. The secret service -- somebody in the secret service was quoted last week as saying, we signed up to take a bullet for the president, but not to get needlessly sick.

LEMON: Yeah.

REINER: And there's a lot of that now in the ranks. But this all stems from failure of leadership. We have the ability to do this. We can fix this. We just need our leaders to point us in the direction.

LEMON: April, the mayor of Phoenix, Arizona told Wolf Blitzer today that people are waiting in line, eight hours for a test. We have known about this virus for months. So, nowhere near where we need to be with this testing and it's because we aren't prepared.

RYAN: There are a lot of questions about the preparedness and why are we not having enough testing kits to test people adequately without standing in lines for eight hours.

This disease, this deadly virus is still being studied and this president is still opening everything up saying, it's OK. I am going to have a rally, we are going to do this and we are going to do that, in the same time, in the same breath, that the World Health Organization is still trying to find out how it is transmitted in other ways. They are now looking at respiratory droplets in the air.

And we in this country, in the United States of America, the greatest country in the world, cannot test, adequately test or care for people who are contracting or concerned if they contracted this. This is saying something. And at the end of the day, will it translate into the polls in November? That's the big question.

LEMON: Andy, you know, you have been talking to scientists about a potential vaccine. Is there something you can tell us?

SLAVITT: Well, look, I think as bad as our leadership is in the country, we should feel good that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel. I think scientists feel that not only is the progress against the vaccine promising, but also the promise, the promise of new therapies, I think, are real.

And I think this is a really important message for the public. You are not staying home for no purpose. You are not socially distancing or wearing a mask forever. We are doing it to give scientists just enough time to get ahead of this. And the scientists, I believe, will do it.

Now, the vaccine when it comes isn't, according to the scientists I have talked to, going to change everything overnight. Vaccines will have some effectiveness and they will be part of an arsenal. We will just keep having growth in arsenal and getting better and better over time.

LEMON: Thank you all. Be safe. I appreciate it. I will see you soon. Coronavirus is surging in 32 states. What state and local officials are doing in an attempt to slow down the spread of this virus? We will talk about that.




LEMON: Coronavirus is surging in 32 states, especially across the south and the southwest. CNN's Nick Watt has the latest on what state and local officials are doing to try and stem the growing number of cases.


NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On Independence Day, Florida suffered more new cases than any state has ever. Still, the governor seems sanguine.

GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): There's no need to really be fearful about it.

WATT (voice-over): But some mayors are.

MAYOR FRANCIS SUAREZ, MIAMI, FLORIDA: What happened is what happened across the country, which is, you know, when we opened, you know, people began to socialize as if the coronavirus didn't exist.

WATT (voice-over): Miami-Dade just closed dine-in restaurants again.

MAYOR DAN GELBER, MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA: We are starting to roll the carpet back up. You know, it's pretty clear we have this real problem.

WATT (voice-over): Because a staggering 26 percent of all COVID-19 tests in the county came back positive on Sunday.


WATT (voice-over): In Texas, the number of patients in the hospital is hitting a new record high every day.

MAYOR RON NIRENBERG, SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS: If the case continues, we are a week away from running out of hospital beds and ICU capacity.

WATT (voice-over): Now, remember those Memorial Day crowds back in May? Well, three weeks later, new case counts climbed nationally, and 32 states are now going in the wrong direction. Did we learn a lesson? Well, this was Backwater Jacks and the Ozark's Memorial Day weekend in July 4th, almost indistinguishable.

There were crowds across the country this past weekend, too many drawn to water, a house party in L.A., and a beach party on Fire Island. So many are celebrating, shaking off the (INAUDIBLE), but not this virus and not even close.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are right back where we were, at the peak of the epidemic during the New York outbreak.

WATT (voice-over): And remember what New York looked like in April -- crowded hospitals, morgue, trucks outside. Today, though, is a different story.

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): The numbers have actually declined since we started reopening.

WATT (voice-over): They took it slow, mandated masks very early, and harsh words for the president for not acknowledging the danger.

CUOMO: He is facilitating the virus. He is enabling the virus. How did this become a political statement? This is common sense.

WATT (voice-over): Nick Watt, CNN, Los Angeles.


LEMON: Nick, thank you very much. Florida and Texas are being hit especially hard by the surge in cases. We are going to check with our reporters in both states. That is next.



LEMON: Coronavirus cases climbing in 32 states today. Officials in Arizona announcing the state now has more than 100,000 cases. Florida also being hit hard with more than 200,000 cases -- confirmed cases there. The state set a record-breaking number of new coronavirus cases on Saturday, more than 11,000.

So joining me now is CNN's Randi Kaye. Randi, good evening. Listen, the numbers don't lie. They are telling the story here. The cases are surging. Now, Miami-Dade County is rolling back its reopening. What is the latest there?

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Don, good evening to you. That is certainly one of the hardest hit counties, Miami-Dade County, in this state, which is why they are making some changes to business there.


KAYE: Starting on Wednesday, all Miami-Dade County restaurants will no longer be open for dining. You can only do takeout and delivery. They are also shutting down gyms, they are shutting down party venues, they are shutting down all short-term vacation rentals. It's just out of the question starting on Wednesday.

This is really all because Miami-Dade accounts for 24 percent of the more than 206,000 coronavirus cases in the state. The positivity rate in that county is 26 percent. That is well above the 10 percent threshold and the governor wants to even get that down into single digits.

And there's more warning signs, Don, for the county. If you look at the hospitalizations, they are up 88 percent. The ICU beds are up 114 percent. And the use of ventilators, Don, is up 119 percent. And Jackson Health, the largest hospital system in the Miami area is reporting an 83 percent increase in COVID patients in the last two weeks.

So those are some big numbers. Yet still, the beaches are said to open there tomorrow, Don, but if social distancing does not take place, the mayor of Miami-Dade said he is going to make some changes.

LEMON: OK, that's what the mayor is saying, but what about the governor, Ron DeSantis, what is he saying about the latest case numbers as he still hasn't mandated masks statewide?

KAYE: Right. Even though many are calling for it, still no mandatory mask mandate around the state. The governor is still playing things down. He is, you know, we have Disney World that is supposed to open later this week. He says he expects to have a safe opening there.

But if you just keep going back to the data, Don, we calculated tonight, 43 hospitals in 21 different counties now are at capacity. They have zero percent of ICU beds left. They are at capacity, 43 different hospitals. So that is concerning. That comes to us from a state agency that actually tracks the hospital capacity in the state.

But the governor is still playing it down, as I said. He blames the positivity rate, which is very high here now in many counties, on increased testing, 65,000 tests today. He said that is what it's all about. But the mayor of Miami Beach said it's about a lot more than just testing.

LEMON: Yeah. I mean, that is a good line. It does not explain all the deaths so far. I think it was you reporting. I remember reading this. CNN learned that there's limited contact tracing going on in the state. What do you know?

KAYE: Right. That is CNN health -- our CNN health team did a great investigation. They actually reached out and contacted 27 people who had COVID here in the state of Florida. They asked them, had you been contacted about contact tracing, because that's the way you would do it, you see who they had contact with, you reach out to those people and try and help prevent the spread.

Only five of them had actually been contacted of the 27. And then my colleague Rosa Flores also looked into it and of the 24 percent of the cases in Miami-Dade, that makes up 24 percent of the cases statewide, they had zero percent of those people had -- had been reached out to by contact tracers.

So, that is really concerning. So, zero contact tracers taking place or doing any activity in one of the hardest hit counties in the state.

LEMON: I was reading when I read that, Randi. It said that people who had contracted COVID, they were self-quarantining and -- or were quarantined and they were waiting for people to contact them, right? And they never -- they waited and waited and never got a phone call.

KAYE: Yep. And the county says that it's really up to the health department, that they are the only ones who can authorize the contract tracers. So, they are putting it on the health department. The health department obviously is not authorizing them. So, they sit, they wait and no contract tracing is being done.

LEMON: All right, Randi, you be safe down there. Thank you so much. I appreciate your reporting. I will see you soon. Thank you.

KAYE: Sure.

LEMON: Coronavirus is also surging in Texas where today the state passed 200,000 cases. Officials are warning that hospitals could be overwhelmed if these cases continue to soar.

Let's go down to CNN's Ryan Young. Ryan is in Houston for us this evening. Ryan, thank you so much. I'm glad that you're wearing a mask there and socially distancing, I am sure. So Texas is seeing record hospitalizations. Give us the situation where you are.

RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Don, you know the interesting conversation, especial when you fly in to a city and you see people sort of struggling with this idea of, should they wear a mask or shouldn't they wear a mask? It's kind of where we are around town today. We saw some people who were doing social distancing and then there are other people who weren't, really just abiding by that.

But the mask was the real conversation. Then there were people who were sort of half wearing the mask, kind of down on their nose, not really on their face. That's the part of what we have seen here. But just to give you an idea, just today, 963 new positive COVID cases just in Houston.

So, you can understand the pain they are experiencing here. They are telling people across this city to please be careful and to wear a mask, do the social distancing, and of course to wash their hands. They are worried about these numbers sort of rising.

There is a bit of good news here, though. Over the last two days, there haven't been any deaths. It's something that health officials pointed to as sort of one of the things you always want to report.


YOUNG: But we talked to business owners who are struggling with just the idea of being close and open, and the uncertainty about what is going to happen next. But we have to show you this graph, Don, because when you look at this graph, you can kind of see the cases and how they sort of exploded over the last few weeks.

You look back at May 1st and you see the cases and the hospitalizations, just around 2,000. But then you see that number, steadily rising, especially when bars and restaurants start to open. And then you see around Memorial Day, it fluctuates even more. But then June 3rd, when bars opened to 50 percent, you can then see that spike. That spike hasn't stopped. Of course, bars have been closed but, Don, here is the real conversation, especially as we have been out and about. People are still going out to eat. They are still not social distancing.

But the numbers continue to rise. And of course, this whole conversation about whether or not they should or shouldn't wear a mask, even though they are saying that this could help a lot of people, is a part of this conversation happening in this community, especially with the numbers continuing to rise.

LEMON: Hmm. Ryan, U.S. Military announcing that they are sending medical support and personnel to Texas. What do you know about that?

YOUNG: Yeah. Don, we know that about 50 personnel headed to San Antonio. We have seen this before. You remember when I was in Detroit a few months ago. We saw the National Guardsmen coming and sort of helped out. We saw this in New York.

So they are going to send those 50 guardsmen to the San Antonio area. We actually have a reporter headed that way, as well, so when those guardsmen arrive, we can see how they stand up an operation. Any time you bring in the U.S. Military, it's not just about their expertise, it's about the know-how, and the fact that they really get into the situation and built out some of the small hospitals.

We will have to see if they do that. But even in the hospital behind me, Don, they have 40 cases here, you know the stress of COVID is hitting, despite some people believing was going to go away, when it got hot, and I can tell you, it is hot down here.


LEMON: Ryan, thank you. Keep that mask on. Wash those hands. Thank you, Ryan. We will see you soon.

YOUNG: Yes, sir.

LEMON: You be safe, as well.

YOUNG: Absolutely.

LEMON: So, you heard Ryan saying the conversation in the community about wearing a mask, not wearing a mask, what have you. Some Americans are still refusing to wear them, ignoring the message from experts. Now, there is new visual evidence of how effective masks are. We will walk you through it. You don't want to miss this. It's next.




LEMON: Dr. Fauci giving a grim warning over the lack of mask wearing across the country, saying there's going to be a lot of hurt if things don't change. But throughout this pandemic, we have seen resistance to wearing masks. Some people are even latching out after being told to follow the rules.

Look at this. In May, two men in Los Angeles, who allegedly refused to wear masks, starting a fight with Target employees escorting them out of that store. One employee's arm was broken. In Miami Beach, a man becoming irate when he was not allowed to enter a grocery store because he wasn't wearing a mask.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's no pandemic. I have a right to buy groceries.


LEMON: That despite a clearly posted sign saying that customers must cover their noses and mouths. Police in Cedar Hill, Texas is releasing this video last month, showing a man shoving an employee in an eyeglass store, apparently happened after he was told to wait outside due to a mask policy. All of that despite increasing evidence that masks are crucially important.

Joining me now is biologist Joe Hanson, host of PBS series. It is OK to be smart. Joe, sometimes you just have to show people who they are, just don't say anything. Man.


LEMON: Yeah. I mean, I would not want to be one of those people in those videos. Thank you so much. I appreciate you joining us because I want people to see this video that you put out emphasizing just how important masks are. Special imaging is used to show how masks can limit air flow from our breathing. How effective are masks in stopping these viral particles?

HANSON: Well, like you said, these images, they are truly special. What they are showing us is something that we can't normally see. This is a special imaging technique that let us see the air and moisture that is coming out of our mouths when we're talking, coughing, just breathing, and ultimately that is what is spreading COVID-19.

And, you know, it shows us that a properly worn face mask, even the one that you make at home, can be effective at slowing the spread of diseases like COVID-19. So I set out to show why people should wear a mask. But another goal of mine was to get through people, why you should wear a mask, why everyone who sees these images and why everyone who watches that video should wear a mask.

Because that's openly what it's going to take, I think, to really slow the spread of coronavirus in this country. And, you know, it does that in a couple of ways. I think one that you heard a lot is that it protects others --

LEMON: Right. HANSON: -- more than it protects yourself.

LEMON: I want to put that, if we could put that video back up, the one that we just had, the video that emphasizes how important these masks are. Look at that, Joe.


LEMON: And people at home, I really want you to look at that, when you think that it doesn't make a difference to wear a mask. Look at the difference between wearing a mask, how far it goes, and then not wearing a mask.

More than 200 scientists are urging the World Health Organization to be more upfront about how this virus can float and transmit through air droplets, even become aerosolized. How dangerous is airborne transmission, Joe?

HANSON: Well, that is something like you mentioned that we are still learning about. This is one of the things about science that is so important to remember. That we are learning more about this virus and how it proceeds every single day. And it is important that we clearly communicate that.

And I think those scientists are doing an excellent job of that and communicate about what we don't know. And we are in the middle of an ongoing process of learning. And what we can do right now is use the evidence that we do have, which is that, again, simple measures that we can all take on our own part like wearing masks.

If it does prove to be true that that is an increased risk through this aerosolized transmission, well, we have that power to control some of part of this in our own hands, washing our hands, socially distancing, and wrapping up your mouth and nose in order to protect those around you.

LEMON: Somehow, masks, wearing a mask or not has become political. Many people are just wearing the masks over their mouths, not their noses. But the imaging shows that that is not -- it's not like wearing a mask at all, right? It's like not wearing a mask at all.

HANSON: Yeah. It was truly amazing to see that image. If you're not tucking it in, then you might as well not be wearing that mask. And I know that this can be uncomfortable. I wear glasses. They fog up on a regular basis when I'm wearing my mask --


HANSON: -- but, you know, that's -- you learn to live with it.

LEMON: Same here.

HANSON: It certainly I think probably better than living with coronavirus and many of the possible outcomes of that disease.

LEMON: Yeah. I've often wondered why I can't see. Oh, my glasses are fogged up because it's going up into the mask. So -- I mean, from the mask up into the glasses. So for people who think that they have the freedom not to wear a mask, you saw that video, my rights as an American citizen or whatever. Are that masks aren't cool, that they're uncomfortable and so on, what do you say to that?

HANSON: Well, lots of cool people wear masks. I mean, I've read comic books. We've seen the movies. There's certainly plenty of precedent for that. But it would be naive and wrong to say that science is never political, but truth and evidence doesn't have a political party.

And more than that, I don't know a scientific measure for empathy, but I think that ultimately is what we have to reach down and get in touch with because it's the personal choices. Roll it back nearly 100 years ago to the 1918 flu pandemic. There is no magical vaccine that came along to end that. It was the measures of individual people taking care of each other, taking care of themselves and their families and those around them that ended up helping stop that pandemic.

I think if we can get in touch with that attitude and look at the people around us, especially coming off of a weekend like July 4th where we should be looking to thoughts like unity, I think that we can find some common ground and remember that this -- it feels good to protect each other.

LEMON: That video, Joe Hanson, we just talked about it, if that doesn't convince you, then I don't know what will. Joe, thank you. I appreciate you joining us.

HANSON: Thanks a lot.

LEMON: Actor Terry Crews faces some backlash for saying 'Black Lives Matter' shouldn't morph into 'Black Lives are Better.' I will speak with him, next.




LEMON: All right, everybody, please listen to this segment because actor and activist Terry Crews is facing backlash for tweeting, "We must ensure 'Black Lives Matter' doesn't morph into 'black lives are better.'

Here is how he explained it. "Are all white people bad? No. Are all black people good? No. Knowing this reality, I stand on my decision to unite with good people, no matter the race, creed or ideology. I have given the number of threats against this decision. I also decide do die on this hill."

Terry Crews joins me now. Terry, man, you stepped in it.


LEMON: You say that you're willing to -- TERRY CREWS, ACTOR: Yeah.

LEMON: You say you're willing to die on this hill. You have taken a lot of heat for this. Explain what you are thinking and why it's so important that you die on this hill?

CREWS: Well, again, I wanted to bring up the fact that, you know, there are some very, very, you know, militant-type forces in Black Lives Matter. And what I was issuing was a warning. You know, it's one of those things where I have been a part of different groups, I've been a part of different things, and you see how extremes can really get, can go far and go wild.

And then when you issue a warning, and when a warning is seen as detrimental to the movement, how can you ever, ever have checks and balances? You know, in the 60s and 70s, airplanes went down all the time. And the reason they found out why they did was because the pilots could never be questioned.


CREWS: And when you have the leaders of the black lives movement, who are now talking about, you know, if we don't get our demand, we are going to burn it down.

Other black people who are talking about working with other whites and other races, being viewed as sell-outs or called Uncle Toms, it starts -- you start to understand that you are now being controlled. You're not being treated as loved. You're actually being controlled. Someone wants to control the narrative.

And I viewed it as a very, very dangerous self-righteousness that was developing, that, you know, that really viewed themselves as better. It was almost a supremacist move --

LEMON: Let me jump in.

CREWS: -- where they view that -- their black lives mattered a lot more than mine.

LEMON: OK. So, let me jump in here. There's a lot that you said. You think that Black Lives Matter is -- you said it's -- you think it's an extreme movement? Because it's now part of the --

CREWS: No. This is the thing. It's a great mantra. It's the true mantra. Black lives do matter. But, when you're talking about an organization, you're talking about the leaders. You are talking about the people who are responsible --

LEMON: OK, I got you. I got you. I got you.

CREWS: -- for putting these things together, two different things.

LEMON: Terry, you realize that even during the civil rights movement, that Dr. King was seen as extreme. That movement was seen as extreme. To people who don't want to make change, movements are seen as extreme. You can paint them easily as an extreme when they are not.

CREWS: This is very true. But also, you know, when you're talking about MLK, you're talking about Nelson Mandela, and even Malcolm X, they all realized that you had to have a non-racial component to these kind of movements or there will be resentment. There will be a get back. There will be -- one of these people will tend to say I don't want to move from one oppressor to the next. And one thing --

LEMON: Who's the next oppressor? Who is the next oppressor?

CREWS: When I -- when I describe this. When you look at the city of Chicago, there are nine children who died by gun violence, by black- on-black gun violence, with -- from June 20th all the way to today. And you talking about, even with the Atlanta child murders, there were 28 kids who died in two years. You're talking about a month and you have nine black kids. And the Black Lives Matter movement has said nothing about this kind of thing.

LEMON: What does that have to do with equality, though, Terry? I don't understand what that has to do with equality because -- listen, there's crime. There are people in those communities who -- those people aren't just being nonchalant about gun violence. I lived in Chicago. There are many people who are working in those communities to try to get rid of the gun violence. The gun culture in this country is prevalent.

But I don't understand what that has to do with a movement that's for equality for black people. It's not mutually exclusive that you care about equality for black people that somehow you are going to stop random violence or unfortunately, kids from being shot. It just seems like apples and oranges.

CREWS: You know, it's not that way. You know, this is the thing, Don. You know, black people need to hold other black people accountable. I said the same thing -- this is the black America's version of the Me Too Movement. If anything is going to change, we, ourselves, need to look at our own communities and look at each other and say, this thing cannot go down.

This is the thing, too. There are a lot of great, great people there who are held hostage, who are held hostage by people who literally are running these neighborhoods with violence, and then claiming that black lives matter.

When you look at the parents of these little kids who are mentioning and saying, hey, man, why aren't they speaking up for me, too? When I look at this whole thing about -- you know, it's about who is controlling the narrative. It's got to be all Black Lives Matter. And what's happened is that because I even challenged it, because I even questioned or -- and warned people, I became -- like, if I told you to wear a mask.

LEMON: I get it. Terry, you're a high-profile person. You're writing things out there. You know you're going to get backlash. You know people are going to respond to what you are saying on Twitter. So I don't think you should be surprised by that. You know, I have skin as tough as an armadillo because of what I do. I think maybe you should adapt that.

But here -- here's what I have to say. The Black Lives Matter movement was started because it was talking about police brutality. If you want Black Lives Matter movement that talks about gun violence in communities, including black communities, then start that movement with that name.


LEMON: But that's not what Black Lives Matter is about. It's not an all-encompassing. So if you are talking about -- if someone started a movement that said cancer matters, and then someone comes and says, why aren't you talking about HIV? It's not the same thing. We're talking about cancer.

So the Black Lives Matter movement is about police brutality and injustice in that manner, not about what is happening in black neighborhoods. There are people who are working on that issue. And if you want to start that issue, why don't you start it? Do you understand what I'm saying?

CREWS: But when you look at the organization, police brutality is not the only thing they are talking about.

LEMON: I know that. I agree. But that's not what the Black Lives Matter movement is about, Terry. Black Lives Matter is about police brutality and about criminal justice. It's not about what happens in communities when it comes to crime, black-on-black crime, people who live near each other, black people kill each other. It is same as whites. Eighty-some percent of white people are killed by white people because of proximity.

CREWS: Very true.

LEMON: It is the same thing with black people. It happens in every single neighborhood. But again, I'm not saying it's not important that those kids died, but it's a different movement.

CREWS: Listen, I understand what you're saying. I totally understand. It is about police brutality. That should never be accepted. I am not saying that that's not it. But they are -- there's more there. And when I look -- if they have more on their agenda, we need to ask them about what else is on that agenda, other than police brutality. And that's all I'm doing -- questioning, warning, and watching. And if that bothers you now, that bothers me.

LEMON: I'm over. I'm over, Terry.

CREWS: We're equal. I should be able to say something truthful.

LEMON: I got to go, Terry. I got to go. I got to go. We'll see you. Terry, thank you for coming on. I appreciate it. Thanks, everybody, for watching. I'll see you. Thank you. Our coverage continues.