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Don Lemon Tonight

U.S. Economic Crisis: Inflation And Ukraine; Is Putin's War Backfiring On Him?; Key Vote To Protect Access To Abortion Falls In The Senate; Historically Black College's Women's Lacrosse Team Accuses Police Of Racial Profiling; First MLB Postponement Of 2022 Season Due To Positive COVID-19 Tests. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired May 11, 2022 - 23:00   ET




DON LEMON, CNN HOST: This is DON LEMON TONIGHT. President Biden says the U.S. economy is getting hit on what he calls two fronts.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: At home, it's inflation and rising prices. Abroad, it's helping Ukrainians defend their democracy and feeding those who are left hungry around the world because Russian atrocities exist.


LEMON: Ukrainian forces pushing Russian troops back near Kharkiv in the northeast. But a new warning tonight from the mayor of Kyiv.


VITALI KLITSCHKO, MAYOR OF KYIV, UKRAINE: The main city, the capital, still main target from Russia.


LEMON: And check out this story. The women's lacrosse team at Delaware State University, a historically Black college, accusing Georgia police of racially profiling during what the school calls the pre-text of a minor traffic stop of their team bus. More on that in just a moment.

I want to get right now to President Biden and the economic crisis facing Americans. CNN White House correspondent John Harwood is here along with CNN economics commentator Catherine Rampell. Thank you both for joining. Good evening.

So, John, let's start with you. Biden framing the inflation crisis as a war at home. He is pinning some of the bad economic news on the war in Ukraine. And he is slamming Republicans for not helping. There's truth in both of those things, but is that the best message?

JOHN HARWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Don, the problem is there really isn't a good message when you got a systemic problem like inflation as significant as this one is right now.

As Dan Pfeiffer, a former top aide to President Obama, told me, you can't talk voters out of a bad mood if they're feeling unhappy with the state of the economy, unhappy with their own personal circumstances, and you're going to have to take a bit of a hit.

Now, what the president is trying to do is mitigate that a little bit by referring to the impact of the Ukraine war on things like energy prices. There is some impact there but, of course, the inflation surge predated the war in Ukraine. He can try to draw a contrast with Republicans, which he increasingly has to do going into midterm elections.

So, he's trying to make the best of it, but it's a difficult political situation. He's been stuck in the low 40s for quite a long time and no sign that he's going to get out of it any time soon, particularly as long as inflation is staying at the levels that it is right now.

LEMON: Let's give people the realty, Catherine, because we've got a lot else going on. There's the war. There is a huge change potentially about to happen, rolling back what has been a constitutional right to abortion. But the economy affects every single voter. What is your outlook on -- what do you think the outlook is on inflation? Have we seen the worst of it yet? Can you make a projection on where it might end up?

CATHERINE RAMPELL, CNN ECONOMICS COMMENTATOR: Oh, projections. Forecasts are always very dangerous, especially about the future as the saying goes. Right now, it looks like inflation has been decelerating, right?

So, we saw the numbers for April, come out today. They were a little bit better than those for March. But they're still uncomfortably high. And it still looks like the months ahead are going to be uncomfortably high for food prices, for energy prices, for rent and housing.

So, all of those things are going to be really unfortunate for people's pocketbooks and, of course, for Democrats' political fortunes given that Americans appear to angry about these price increases. And rightly or wrongly, they are blaming the Democrats, right? The Democrats have unified control of government.

As I've said many times, the president does not control prices, but I do think that Democrats and President Biden have made choices that on the margin have probably made inflation a little bit worse.

It was going to be bad no matter what. I mean, it's bad in Germany, it's bad in the U.K., it's bad all over the developed world. It's worse here in part because of some choices that they've made.


And, you know, beyond that, I think voters are going to say the buck stops with them, you know. They believe the president can control gas prices even if he can't. So --

LEMON: Yeah. You said angry. Angry and anxious. People are --

RAMPELLL: Yes, both of those.

LEMON: Yeah. When you get that bill for filling up the car, it's like -- Americans are making a choice to put some things back, right, or not buying things because --

RAMPELL: Or they're not finding the items that they want on the shelves, right?

LEMON: Right on.

RAMPELL: Infant formula among other things.

LEMON: I've been waiting for furniture for a long time.

John, can you compare what is going on now with the economy to what happened in other administrations? And what did it mean for their political prospects? Catherine is saying, look, this is not good news. You said there's really nothing to sell. There's no good news to sell for the president as well.

HARWOOD: Well, the last president who dealt with very high inflation rates throughout his term was Jimmy Carter. Of course, he was not re- elected to a second term.

Ronald Reagan who defeated him, of course, suffered a serious recession or the economy suffered a serious recession as part of the effort to wring inflation out of the economy. He took a hit in his first midterm election, though by the time he ran for re-election, the economy was in much better shape and he won easily.

Barack Obama after the great recession in 2010 suffered a very large defeat, lost control of the House because even though the actions that President Obama and the democratic Congress took helped bring the U.S. into recovery and out of that recession, as long as voters were feeling as bad as they were, that was little solace for them and they took it out on the Democrats.

Now, President Trump in 2018 proved that you can lose a midterm election even with a strong economy. That was for other reasons.

So, the economy is a dominant factor. As Bill Clinton said when he beat George H.W. Bush, who had a slow and difficult economy, recession during his term, it's the economy, stupid. It's not only the economy, but that's a significant determinant of how presidents do.

LEMON: Catherine, let's talk more about gas prices. I keep mentioning it, but I mean, that's really the thing that's getting people. Gas prices are up again. But there is a point that the administration has been making that they think it deserves -- I think it deserves an answer. They know that gas prices shoot up when all prices go up. But when oil prices go down, guess what? Gas prices stay high. Are gas companies exploiting, you think, this crisis?

RAMPELL: Oh, man. I mean, this has been the case for decades. There is published economic research about this phenomenon called "rockets and feathers," the idea that prices shoot up much faster than they fall down. They filter down like a feather.

This is not some great conspiracy. This is how these markets are known to have worked. It's frustrating, it's annoying, especially if you are a politician right now.

LEMON: Right.

RAMPELL: But yeah, we will eventually see gas prices follow what happens in crude or oil markets. There's just a lag. And I just find it really unhelpful for the president to be -- president and other Democrats, frankly. I saw Adam Schiff tweeting about this earlier today -- to be complaining about this phenomenon.

It's like yelling about gravity. You know, there's nothing they can do about it. It is not a grand conspiracy. This is how these markets work. This is how most markets that are structured with like the sort of fragmented wholesale-to-retail structure, so not just energy but especially energy, that's how they work.

I get that they think it's a valuable populist talking point, shake their fist at the evil energy companies, but, you know, there's nothing new happening here. They just -- they need to be able to complain about something.

LEMON: There you go, getting all wonky all knowing what you're talking about.

HARWOOD: Well, Don --


LEMON: Go ahead.

HARWOOD: Don, if I could just add to Catherine's point, we're all playing our parts in a --

LEMON: Right.

HARWOOD: -- game that is played around, issues like inflation. Republicans blame it on Biden whether or not it's Biden's principal fault that we have inflation. As Catherine said, some of the choices they made probably did contribute to inflation.

But that's not the entirety of the problem. Those of us in the press will talk to the president and say what are you going to do about inflation, even though we know that there isn't all that much that a president can do. And so, then a president got to come up with an answer to those questions, and all those have a bit of phoniness to them.

That's sort of the way politics works when you got a big problem in the country that is sitting there and nobody can do all that much about it. Now, the Federal Reserve is trying to do something about it. If they can do it skillfully without causing a recession, that will be the outcome that everybody wants.

But in the meantime, we're all, you know, yelling at clouds right now and that's the situation with inflation.


RAMPELL: My feeling is both parties are so eager to find a villain to blame for inflation that they forgot to actually figure out what's causing inflation and, therefore, what can be done to solve it, or at least what can be done on the margin to make it a little bit better.

You know, this kind of ranting about "rockets and feathers" or whatever or corporate greed, I think at best is a distraction from the tools that are available.

LEMON: It doesn't mean it's not true. I got to run.

RAMPELL: All right.

LEMON: I understand what you're saying. But, come on, corporations can be very, very greedy.

RAMPELL: They're greedy all the time.

LEMON: Yeah. Exactly. That's my point. Thank you both. I appreciate it.

So, I want to bring in now CNN senior political analyst Mr. David Gergen. He is the author of new book, "Hearts Touched with Fire: How Great Leaders are Made." We are so happy to have him. I've got so much to talk to you about, David. Thanks for joining us. What do you think about this? You advised -- what is it? Four presidents --


LEMON: -- of different political stripes?


LEMON: Different ideologies? What do you think? What would -- do you think the president has that much to do with inflation and the economy and what have you? What would you be advising Joe Biden to do now?

GERGEN: Well, I think the president does have something to do with it. There are other forces such as the supply problems, such as Ukraine, which obviously has great impact as well. But remember, there were big arguments about some passage of some of his legislation earlier.

And an economist like Lawrence Summers, who was treasury secretary in a democratic administration, was urging people not to go as far or as fast as they were on the spending side because he said it was going to cause inflation. Lo and behold, here we are. So, I do think -- I think that the human beings do have some role in it, but we don't want to overemphasize it. I do think the critical thing is whether they have a role or not, the American people think their president can control prices.

When they're getting gas at $4.36 a gallon, you know, they put the blame out there for it and the president just has to suffer through. I do think, Don, that we learned in the past through the Federal Reserve, if you stick to -- Paul Volcker represents this school of thought. He was appointed by Democrat Jimmy Carter as head of the Federal Reserve. Stayed on. Reagan reappointed him. He served both parties.

And he took on the inflationary bear. He went after (INAUDIBLE) Reagan to his great credit. Supported Volcker and raised the interest rates. Unemployment went to 10%. The misery index was very high.

So, there are times when presidential decisions do matter.

LEMON: So, speaking of that, Catherine talked about the rhetoric. This is rhetoric about something different.


LEMON: But President Biden escalating his attack on Republicans and going after the former president --


LEMON: -- in what he calls the MAGA agenda. Listen to this.


BIDEN: Under my predecessor, the great MAGA king, the deficit increased every single year he was president. They don't want to solve inflation by lowering the costs. They want to solve it by raising taxes and lowering your income.


LEMON: So, I am sure that Donald Trump and the MAGA movement will take that as a compliment. What do you think when you hear that?

GERGEN: Well, I think it's buck passing in terms of -- President Biden wants to obviously find some other villains in this story. I don't think most Americans will buy it, you know, because it feels like it's a manufactured argument in many ways in order to cast blame on somebody else.

But, look, I think if Joe Biden can see his way through this, if the prices do come down, if inflation is under better control, he'll be in much stronger shape if he does decide to run for president in 2024. But I think that's what a good president does. He decides whether the Federal Reserve has the right policy, whether he can get on board with the Federal Reserve, and then he encourages the Federal Reserve. Reagan held -- a lot of people in his party didn't want him to appoint Paul Volcker. He had the courage, frankly, of doing that. That is what presidents should do. They should figure out what's the Federal Reserve up to? How do we work together?

Instead, we had this sort of confusion because on one hand we got the fed putting on the brakes. On the other hand, the administration frequently talks as if they're trying to pour on the gas --

LEMON: Yeah.

GERGEN: -- to make the car go faster.

LEMON: Yeah. David, I got to ask you.


LEMON: I have all these monitors in my office. You know, you came on, so I turned the volume up, watching you and Anderson. I was really astounded last night when you told Anderson that neither Biden nor Trump should run in 2024 quite frankly, you said, because they're too old.


LEMON: I don't know that either will take your advice, but why do you think they should consider it?

GERGEN: Well, Don, if you look at most major institutions like corporations in America, big corporations, they don't have their CEOs stay and work until they're 80s, not even the 70s.


Board members frequently on corporations, if you're 70 or 65, your time is done. And I do think presidency is the most powerful position in the world. It's the most influential. It's most important for protecting America. I think it's really important that the person who is elected have not only full command of their faculties but the promise of continuing command of their faculties.

What we know -- I just turned 80 and I can just tell you, your body changes, your mind changes. A lot of things change for you. You're not quite as effective. It doesn't mean you're a bad person. It means you're getting older.

And I just think that as a matter of social responsibility, civic responsibility, I believe that people running for president should be in their 60s or 70s or 50s. There are lot of people in gen X who can run, for example.

But as a general proposition, I would argue that president of the United States -- this doesn't apply to every leadership position, but president of the United States, it does apply to, and that is you're taking on a heavy responsibility. You know, you're the leader of the free world and you want a person with real vigor, with energy to do that. You want a person with vision. And you want a person with good judgment.

You know, the decisions that come to a president are usually 51-49 kind of decisions, hard decisions to make. You want the best mind you can in that office to make those decisions.

LEMON: Are you saying -- do you not believe the president is sharp or that Donald Trump is sharp? Listen, the pushback to what you're saying is -- listen, both of those men ran and both of them won.


LEMON: The younger people up on the stage with them or in the arena with them, nobody voted for them. And there is no --

GERGEN: Correct.

LEMON: Yeah.

GERGEN: I think that's right. But if you knew that you had a condition that might incapacitate you while you are president, would you run for president in good faith? We had that issue with Paul Tsongas some years ago when he was --

LEMON: We had an issue with Ronald Reagan.

GERGEN: Yeah, we had an issue with Ronald Reagan. Reagan is now younger -- went out younger than some of these people coming in. I think this is not a game and it's not an assessment of who will make a better president the first year, but it is an assessment that if you're in your mid-80s and your vulnerabilities go way up and your capacity -- you're just not as sharp usually, there are exceptions, but it's taking a risk.

Is that what we should ask the country to do, to take a risk because you believe you're the best person for the job when there are 330 million people in our country with a lot of people who could be good presidents? I just think it's a matter of social responsibility.

LEMON: I think you're pretty sharp, David, regardless if you're 80 or not.

GERGEN: You're very kind. Thank you.

LEMON: You don't look a day over 59.


LEMON: So. listen, your new book is all about leadership. Tell me more about your book.

GERGEN: Oh, thank you. Well, it's a call and it's very consistent with what we've just been talking about. It's a call to the younger generation, young emerging generations to prepare themselves for lives of service and of leadership, public leadership.

You know, I believe one of the best ways that we're going to get out of this mess is through having stronger, more effective leaders than we've been having. We had a series of leadership failures in recent years. It doesn't take a genius to do this. It takes somebody with the kind of capacity and the charm and, I think, the bravery of Zelenskyy. The question we ought to be asking ourself is, where are our American Zelenskyy? Where are our leaders who can mobilize people than the way it is?

LEMON: I can tell you where they are. They are drowned out by the extremes.

GERGEN: That's right. Zelenskyy, when he came in, they had extremes on both sides. He wasn't a very well-respected person when he came in. But when trouble struck, when lightning hit, he stepped up to it. You want people in your organization who can do that. We need to prepare them.

And I think the best -- in the short term, I think we ought to be asking generation X to play a larger role. They're merely the age -- some of them are in their mid-50s. I think they still have all their (INAUDIBLE) and they're strong. We want some of them. Over time --

LEMON: I got to tell you --

GERGEN: -- for the long haul, we ought to be turning to the millennials and generation Z. They are the long-term future.

LEMON: I find myself searching for words all the time. I will say, what is that? What is the name? Because, you know, still, and I'm only 28.


LEMON: I know you'll have a laugh there. Thank you, David. The book is called "Hearts Touched with Fire." Let us put it back up again. David Gergen, we really appreciate that.

GERGEN: Thank you so much.

LEMON: New book, new book. There we go.


"Hearts Touched with Fire." There it is.

GERGEN: There is it. Okay.

LEMON: See you later, David.

GERGEN: Okay. Take care.

LEMON: Vladimir Putin thought his forces would just roll right over Ukraine. Didn't happen. So, what will happen next?


LEMON: The first Russian civilian killed in Vladimir Putin' war just miles from the border with Ukraine. The Kremlin says the attack happened in the Belgorod region, an area that's reportedly seen multiple explosions recently. Ukraine has not commented on the death yet.

Joining me now, the former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, William Taylor. Ambassador, thank you. Good evening to you. You know, Ukraine is making significant gains on the battlefield, taking back territory near Kharkiv.


We were all waiting to see what Putin would do on victory day. There were no surprises. Do you think this war is at a stalemate or is this a new phase? How do you see it?

WILLIAM TAYLOR, VICE PRESIDENT FOR RUSSIA AND EUROPE AT U.S. INSTITUTE OF PEACE, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO UKRAINE: Well, it's certainly in a new phase, Don. They lost the first phase. The Russians lost the first phase. The Ukrainians won the first phase. And now, they're moving around to the east and they're amounting an effort. They've got bombardments going up and down the line in Donbas.

As you say, the Ukrainians are now pushing back around Kharkiv just like they did around Kyiv. So, they've got some momentum going. The Russians are pushing some places and the Ukrainians are pushing others. So, we are in a new phase.

LEMON: Yeah. So, the first Russian civilian killed inside Russia, Ukraine has not confirmed or denied being responsible, but what kind of impact can this have on the war?

TAYLOR: So, the Ukrainians have been careful not to gloat, not to make any comments about some of these events that have taken place inside the Russian territory. We remember a couple of weeks ago that there were a couple of helicopters apparently that shot some missiles and blew up a fuel depot. And again, Ukrainians were very careful. They did not confirm nor deny. That's a wise thing.

It is kind of like our boast about using and providing intelligence. Probably not a good idea. The Ukrainians probably have a better way to do it of just not confirming or denying.

LEMON: Erin Burnett spoke to the mayor of Kyiv earlier. He is convinced that Putin's main target is still the Ukrainian capital. What do you see as Putin's endgame here?

TAYLOR: Don, I think Putin's endgame is controlling Ukraine one way or the other. Mayor Klitschko, who I know well, is right to stay vigilant. Who knows what the Russians are going to try to do? But we do know that their ultimate goal is to control Ukraine. President Putin's ultimate goal is to be the Russian leader, the Russian czar, the Russian emperor who brings back Ukraine, the jewel and the crown of the empire.

So, he wants to do that one way or the other. He's been trying to do that as we know, Don, since 2014 when he invaded. Probably before that, he was trying to do that. That attempt failed. So, he tried Kyiv, got pushed by the Kyiv. Now, he's looking for another way to do it.

But the mayor is right to be careful. Putin -- depending on what happens in this next phase, Ukrainians may win this next phase again. But even if they do, they have to be careful and ready because Putin will not stop.

LEMON: Ambassador Taylor, President Zelenskyy is warning that Ukraine is losing their willingness to negotiate with the Kremlin. Take a listen to this.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE (through translator): From each Bucha, from each Mariupol was each step where we have a lot of grave masses. With each and every step, there are less possibilities and desire to solve this issue by the diplomatic way.


LEMON: So, my question is, do you think diplomacy is still a real option or will this war need to be won or lost on the battlefield?

TAYLOR: Don, I think in the first instance, the battlefield is going to be win or loss because until both sides figure out that they are not going to win on the battlefield, it is not going to be a negotiation.

However, if the Ukrainians continue to do well and if the Russians continue to commit these atrocities, then it's going to be very hard for Ukrainians, President Zelenskyy, his negotiating team, to sit down with people who are killing their citizens in cold blood. Sit down with these people who tried to negotiate -- you could see how that would be. That would be really hard.

That said, there may be some negotiates on a ceasefire. That can certainly be the case. Ceasefire or humanitarian corridors out of Mariupol or other cities where they're being sieged.

LEMON: That would definitely be difficult, as you said, with the death, destruction, heartache, you know. Just random killing that Russia has leveled upon with the Ukrainian people.

Thank you so much, ambassador. I appreciate it.

TAYLOR: Don, it is good to be here.

LEMON: "Politico" reporting the Supreme Court supreme will meet tomorrow for the first time since the leaked draft opinion on the future of Roe v. Wade. That's next.




LEMON: Tonight, "Politico" is reporting that the Alito draft that would overturn Roe v. Wade is the only one that has been circulated inside the court, and the justices will meet tomorrow for the first time since the leak.

Joining me now to discuss, CNN chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin. Jeffrey, hello.


LEMON: This is big stuff. "Politico" reporting that none of the conservative justices have switched their votes.


And this draft remains the only draft to go around. What is likely happening inside the court right now?

TOOBIN: Well, let me just say for starters, you know, the real news here is what this decision means for American women, not, you know, about the internal -- the internal dynamics of the Supreme Court. However, the internal dynamics of the Supreme Court are deeply weird right now.

When we are in an area where we have never been before, where "Politico" is essentially reporting in real time about what's going on in the Supreme Court, and I assure you they are freaking out because they prize their secrecy like nobody's business and they have never been in a situation where an opinion has leaked and where there is now updated information about how the proceedings regarding the case are going. It's never happened before.

LEMON: In your new article titled "Clarence Thomas Has Waited Over 30 Years for this Moment," you explained how after decades on the Supreme Court Thomas may soon have his way on a host of issues from abortion to gun control. Is this now Clarence Thomas's court?

TOOBIN: Absolutely. You know, fundamentally, the Supreme Court is about arithmetic. It's how you get to five votes. When Clarence Thomas joined the court in 1991, he didn't have five votes. He didn't have three votes in many cases. Now, there are five hard-core conservatives on that court. Chief Justice Roberts often joins that group.

And Thomas has brought issues to the court that were seen as fringe ideas back in the early '90s, like overturning Roe v. Wade, like extensive individual rights under the Second Amendment to have guns, like broader opportunities to execute people in the most painful possible ways.

Thomas has advocated all of these positions, but the court has come to him. It's not really about how good Thomas' ideas are or how bad they are. It's about five justices now agreeing with him.

And as the senior associate justice on the court, the longest tenured member on the court, he gets to assign the opinions like this Dobbs case where he's the senior justice in the majority when the chief justice is not in the majority. It's a position of enormous power and Thomas has got it and he's using it.

LEMON: Jeffrey Toobin, always a pleasure. Thank you, sir.

TOOBIN: All right, my friend. See you.

LEMON: Allegations of racial profiling over a traffic stop involving a women's lacrosse team. That story, next.




LEMON: Delaware State University says their women's lacrosse team was subjected to racial profiling when their bus was stopped by sheriff's deputies in Liberty County, Georgia for a minor traffic violation. During the stop, officers searched the students' suitcases for drugs. But the county sheriff insists that the women were not racially profiled.

So, joining me now, Sydney Anderson, a member of the team. Hi, Sydney. Thanks for joining us.


LEMON: I appreciate it. You're good?


LEMON: Yes. It is her first time on television. We are going to make her as comfortable as possible. So, your coach, Pamella Jenkins, said earlier that she felt violated for herself and her team. How did you feel about this?

ANDERSON: Yes. Like my coach, Pamella Jenkins, I also felt violated. In the moment, I felt very inferior. I felt like there was nothing we could have said or done to change their actions. As Delaware State women's lacrosse, we are compliant to their needs. They said they were going to search our bags. We didn't give them any hard time. We just let them do as they did. They took their K9 and they started going through our personal luggage and our personal belongings.

LEMON: Well, Sheriff William Bowman says that the personal items on the bus were not searched, but the bodycam video contradicts that.


LEMON: What exactly did these officers tell you they were looking for?

ANDERSON: Narcotics, any drugs. They thought we had drugs on us, but we do not. But it seems like they were determined to find some in the luggage.

LEMON: There should be some probable cause for that. There was no probable cause and no --

ANDERSON: There is no, yes.

LEMON: It was odd.

ANDERSON: There is correlation between a traffic violation and them checking our luggage.

LEMON: The sheriff denies that there was racial profiling by his deputies. He also says this. Watch this.


WILLIAM BOWMAN, SHERIFF, LIBERTY COUNTY: More than anything, we want feedback from the passengers of the Delaware University lacrosse team. On the communication approaches, we can consider that we simply do not -- that we are simply not aware of.


LEMON: So, would you and your teammates be open to this conversation with the sheriff? And do you think your team was racially profiled?

ANDERSON: Yes, I do believe we were racially profiled. Like I said before, if we were stopped for a traffic law violation of a bus being in the left lane, then why were they checking our luggage?

LEMON: Yeah. They said that they stopped the bus because the bus's driver was driving in the left lane, which is -- I did not know that there was --

ANDERSON: Two officers came on the bus and told us that they were going to check our luggage. They didn't ask. They informed us on what they were going to do.

LEMON: Yeah. It would seem that if it wasn't racial profiling that it was -- your rights, in some way, were restricted or trampled upon just for them going through your things without probable cause.


ANDERSON: Yes. It was definitely a violation of our Fourth Amendment rights.

LEMON: Uh-hmm.

ANDERSON: Because I believe if we were fully Caucasian teen, this would not have happened. LEMON: The Delaware attorney general has requested a review of this incident by the U.S. Justice Department. What would you like to see? What would you like to see come out of this?

ANDERSON: First, I would like a formal apology from the Liberty County police. Next, I would like the officers to be fired for their unlawful actions and them to be hold accountable. Lastly, I would like the university to sue for emotional distress and violation of our Fourth Amendment rights.

LEMON: How is your team doing?

ANDERSON: Yeah, we're managing, but for a lot of us, this was our first time being racially profiled, so it hit us all differently.

LEMON: Yeah.

ANDERSON: And experiencing racism for the first hand, it's one thing to read about it and to see it on the news, but to experience, it definitely is a traumatic -- it is very traumatic on your mental health and it takes a toll on you.

LEMON: Thank you. I appreciate you joining us. By the way, she did her own reporting on this, Sydney Anderson. So, thank you very much. I appreciate you.

ANDERSON: Thank you so much for having me here.

LEMON: We really appreciate it. Be well. Keep us updated.

A series of positive COVID tests have caused the first postponement of any game in the 2022 MLB season due to COVID. Feeling like it is 2020 all over again? Dr. Reiner is here. He's next.




LEMON: Multiple positive COVID tests on the Cleveland Guardians forcing the team to postpone today's game with the Chicago White Sox. This is the first postponement of any MLB game in the 2022 season due to COVID, and it comes as cases are on the rise again.

So, let's get right to CNN's medical analyst Dr. Jonathan Reiner. Hey, doctor.


LEMON: I said it's 2020 all over again. That's what it feels like. Cases are going up. Cancellations like this. In a way, it feels like we've been here before because we have. But is this what living with endemic COVID is going to be like, not epidemic, but endemic?

REINER: Well, first of all, we're still in pandemic COVID. COVID cases are rising significantly in the U.S. They're up over 50% in the last two weeks. Hospitalizations are up 20%. And now, sadly, deaths are starting to rise as well.

And baseball is microcosm of what's going on in the country right now. We're living in this sort of, you know, cognitive dissonance where on the one hand, everyone sort of understands that we're still in a pandemic, yet many people are trying to live as if there's no such thing as a pandemic.

So, baseball has no mask policy anymore. There's no routine testing anymore. And in the midst of a pandemic, you're going to see players test positive -- or actually get sick, you know, contracts the virus because there's no mask policy, there's no routine testing, and yet there's a lot of viruses around. Since the beginning of the season, 50 players have tested positive, and we'll continue to see this.

LEMON: So, you have been looking at the maps that the CDC is putting out and this one is particularly not sitting well with you. Tell us about why.

REINER: Yeah. So, in February, overnight, the CDC changed their metric for alerting the public as to what their community level was, the level of virus in their community. And instead of relying solely on the number of cases in the community, the CDC added a metric which looked at how much hospital capacity a community had. And overnight, the map turned from orange and red to magically green. So, it was greenwashed, heavily weighed by the fact that a hospital capacity was improving.

So, what we have right now is a situation where virus is rising in almost every state in the country. I think 46 out of 50 states have rapidly rising case numbers. Yet the map of the country still looks green because we still have hospital capacity.

But if you want to understand what your risk is of contracting COVID when you go to the store, you don't care about how many ventilators your hospital has available, you care how much virus there is in the supermarket that you're going to visit. That's the only thing you care about, but that data is hidden from you.

The CDC has a separate map which they label for use for health care facilities only, which does show community transmission levels and almost the entire country is red or orange. And that's the map that really should matter to individuals. The only word that comes to mind when I think about this is gaslighting. We've been gaslit.

LEMON: Let's see. How do you -- I think everyone has -- I shouldn't say everyone. Doctor, a lot of people have the attitude, well, so many people have it, this person has it, everybody's going to get it, it's just inevitable. What do you say to that?

REINER: I say that there is a lot of viruses around, a lot of people have gotten sick, but it doesn't affect all of us in an equal way. So, in other words, if you are immunocompromised or if you have a job that won't pay you if you have to be out of work for 10 days, or if you don't have health insurance, or if you don't have a doctor on speed dial who can instantly prescribe Paxlovid, getting infected matters in a much different way to you.


So, this notion of sort of, you know, just take care of yourself, don't worry about anyone else, doesn't wash with me. You know, this country has had a dismal record in protecting the most vulnerable. And now in this stage of the pandemic, that becomes really magnified.

People are continuing to die and the people who are continuing to die are the most vulnerable, and we've largely been ignoring them. The wealthy and the well-connected and the healthy are basically turning their backs on the people who are continuing to get sick and die from this virus, and it doesn't have to be that way.

LEMON: Doctor, thank you so much. I appreciate it.

And thank you for watching, everyone. Our coverage continues.