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Americans Face Scorching Heat, Snarled Travel and Soaring Prices; Biden Says Recession Isn't Inevitable Despite Economists' Warnings; Hearing to Focus on Trump's Pressure on States to Overturn Election; Millions Under Heat Alerts from the Dakotas to the Gulf Coast; Juneteenth Celebration Commemorates the End of Slavery in the U.S.; New Simulator Helps Police Train for Active Shooter Situations. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired June 19, 2022 - 14:00   ET




FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. Thank you so much for joining me this Sunday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. And Happy Father's Day.

We begin this hour with Americans inundated from all angles facing scorching heat, soaring prices and snarled travel as they try to enjoy a summer that's been a long time coming. Right now more than 15 million are under heat alerts from the Dakotas to the Gulf Coast, record breaking temperatures in the triple digits. The national average for gas is hovering around $5 a gallon. And since Friday, thousands of flights have been cancelled or delayed as the TSA reports that the Friday before Juneteenth clocked in as the most popular air travel day of 2022. And all of this as inflation hits a 40-year high.

Let's start with the travel troubles facing so many Americans right now.

CNN's Camila Bernal is at Los Angeles International Airport and Camila, already today more than 770 flights cancelled. And still, there might be more this holiday weekend. Why?

CAMILA BERNAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And it's because a lot of people are flying, first of all. TSA saying they screened about 2.5 million people on Friday. That's the highest number they've seen since the Sunday after Thanksgiving. And then the problem is that the airlines just can't keep up.

Of course, part of the reason why so many are flying this weekend is because it's a long summer weekend. A lot of people have off Monday for Juneteenth. And of course, it also coincides with Father's Day.

And then these airlines just not keeping up for a number of reasons. One being weather problems, delays and cancellations. There's also staff shortages and infrastructure challenges and all of that translates to more and more flights being cancelled. Yesterday we saw about 1,500 flights that were cancelled. Or that was on Friday -- excuse me. And then yesterday about 850 flights that were cancelled. Today we're already above that 800 number. So every time we check, there are more and more flights that are being cancelled.

And it's not just this weekend. Travelers are going to have to expect flight cancellations the entire summer. Southwest Airlines already cancelling about 20,000 flights. And they say they just cannot keep up. They need about 10,000 new employees, and they're not able to hire people. Delta Airlines also saying that they have cancelled about 100 daily flights from July 1st to August 7th. CNN speaking to one Delta pilot and a spokesperson for the Delta Pilot's Union. And here's what he said.


EVAN, BEACH, DELTA AIRLINES PILOT AND SPOKESPERSON: We've been very vocal about it for the last few months. We've been picketing at Delta bases and hubs throughout the system to send that message that our pilots are tired and we're frustrated. We're fatigued.


BERNAL: And so we do know that the administration is taking a look at all of this. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg in a private conversation with some of these airline CEOs telling them that essentially they need to review all these flight cancellations and try to soften the impact of all of these cancellations, because it is going to be a difficult summer for travelers who are going to be frustrated and who are going to have a lot of headaches dealing with those cancellations, delays and trying to figure out what to do when that happens, Fred.

WHITFIELD: Oh, my, it's only mounting. All right. Thank you so much, Camila Bernal. Appreciate it from L.A.

All right. The White House says lowering costs is a top priority. Even as the Fed raised interest rates last week, the sharpest increase in nearly 30 years.

CNN's Arlette Saenz is traveling with the president in Delaware. So Arlette, the White House is still making the case that despite many expert opinions, a recession is not inevitable.

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Fred. The White House is really trying to strike an optimistic tone about the state of the economy while also acknowledging the pain that so many Americans are feeling amid these rising prices.

And today, we heard from cabinet secretaries as well as top economic advisers who repeated that line from President Biden that they do not believe a recession is inevitable, even as some economists are warning that one is looming.

But they've also said and acknowledged the high prices that people are seeing at this moment are simply unacceptable. And Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm was on our air a bit earlier today insisting that the president is trying to do all he can to lower prices while also acknowledging that this could be a very tough summer for Americans when it comes to gas prices as they're hitting the road on summer vacations and other types of travel.



JENNIFER GRANHOLM, U.S. ENERGY SECRETARY: The president is really focused on preventing these inflationary increases to the extent he can. Inflation obviously is happening globally. A recession is not inevitable.

The president really wants to have a steady and stable recovery. But, of course, one of the biggest pieces of these inflationary increases that we're seeing is the price of fuel.

We know this is going to be a tough summer because driving season just started. And we know that there will be continued upward pull on demand.


SAENZ: Now, the White House says they are evaluating all options to try to lower prices across the board, but really, one area where Americans are seeing some sticker shock is when they head to the gas station to fill up their cars as gas this past week hit $5 a gallon for the first time in the national average.

Now, the White House has said that they are evaluating a few options. One thing that Granholm talked about this morning was the possibility of pausing the gas tax. She said that that is being evaluated but it could be difficult to do as that tax funds roads and other infrastructure projects.

Additionally the White House was considering possibly extending gas rebate cards to Americans who help them pay for fuel. But a White House official said that is unlikely because it is difficult to administer such a program and to keep tabs of whether Americans are actually spending that rebate on gas specifically.

Now, additionally, a little bit later this week Secretary Granholm is planning on holding a meeting where she's invited top executives from oil refining companies to talk about how to combat these high gas prices as the White House is trying to show Americans that they are trying to take steps to address this issue that is causing a lot of economic anxiety for so many consumers.

WHITFIELD: And Arlette, yesterday we saw the president was out biking and interacting with people there while spending the weekend in Delaware. But then took a tumble off his bike. What is the White House saying about his condition today?

SAENZ: Well Fred, the White House said the president is doing fine. He's spending this Father's Day with his family. And as he was departing church last evening, a reporter shouted asking how he was doing. And you saw the president take a few hops up and down to try to show that he was agile and feeling ok after that fall he had on the bike yesterday.

WHITFIELD: Ok. All right. There he is. Ok. A very athletic President Biden.

All right. Thank you so much. Arlette Saenz there in Delaware. Appreciate it.

All right. Let's talk again about the economy. Joining me right now some economists to talk about the road ahead. Betsey Stevenson is a professor of public policy and economics at the University of Michigan. She was also a member of President Obama's Council of Economic Advisers. And Justin Wolfers is also a professor of public policy and economics at the University of Michigan. So good to see both of you.



WHITFIELD: Wonderful. Thank you. And on this Father's Day. Justin, are you a dad?

WOLFERS: I'm a dad. I have got two little ones and I love them to bits.

WHITFIELD: Ok. All right. Well, Happy Father's Day to you.

So Betsey, you first, while the White House is saying a recession is not inevitable, do you have confidence that the Biden administration has a good plan to bring down inflation and keep a recession at bay?

STEVENSON: Well, first of all, I think it's important to realize that it's certainly the Federal Reserve's job to bring down inflation. So we can't really put that on the White House.

But I do think that it's possible to get inflation down without sparking a recession. The problem is that right now we are demanding more than the economy can produce. What we want to do is bring down demand. We don't want to bring down supply with it.

But that's tricky business, and that's why the Fed's, you know, moving a little slowly. We saw them move a little bit faster than they had originally planned. But you know, that's still a stepwise path to the higher rates they're predicting throughout this year as they try to bring inflation down in line with supply.

It's possible to get us in that Goldilocks slide where we bring demand down and we, you know, get it back to supply without seeing anybody really losing their jobs or businesses going out of business.

WHITFIELD: Well, it sounds like you're taking an optimistic approach because it certainly seems like it's going to be difficult to keep demand down when the supply has been down for so long, particularly. I mean, you know, people need what they need and they want it now.

STEVENSON: Well, supply is actually quite up. I mean, this was the miracle of this recession was just how quickly we got GDP back to where -- not only where it had been, but actually to its trendline.

So we have GDP, the sword, but what happened is after staying home and not spending for a year, people just came out and said I want to spend what I've got. They built up a lot of savings over the pandemic. Not only did the government provide a lot of financial support, but we also got support through low interest rates from the Fed, and people didn't know how to spend in 2020.


STEVENSON: So all of that led to high employment which means people have money, and high savings which means people have money. It's great that everybody can afford to spend, but unfortunately, they're trying to spend more than we can produce.

WHITFIELD: All right. Let's take a listen to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on a big recent interview. She agrees with the president that a recession is not inevitable.


JANET YELLEN, U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY: It's clear that most consumers, even lower income households, continue to have buffer stocks of savings that will enable them to maintain spending. So I don't see a drop-off in consumer spending as a likely cause of a recession in the months ahead.


WHITFIELD: All right. So Justin, do you agree? Do you think Americans will continue to spend to try to hold off any kind of recession?

WOLFERS: It's a funny bifurcation in our current debates which is if you ask people how they feel about the economy right now, they tell you miserable things and consumer sentiment is very large. They'll tell you things like they see a recession around the corner.

Then you look at what they do, and as Janet Yellen just emphasized, what people are actually doing is they're spending money as if they expect the good economic times to last. They're starting businesses pretty much at record rates as if they expect the economy to keep expanding.

And so I think there's a disjunction between what people say and what they do. Part of the resolution is when you ask people how they feel about the economy, they're miserable. When you ask them how they feel about their own personal finances, they're actually saying hey, I'm doing ok. And I think that's what drives spending and that's why I think that we're actually on a reasonable growth trajectory at the moment.

WHITFIELD: Larry Summers, a former treasury secretary said earlier there are things that Congress can do to help fight inflation.

Now Betsey, you were talking about, you know, the Federal Reserve, but what about Congress? Have a listen.


LARRY SUMMERS, FORMER U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY: If at long last we can have some kind of bipartisan budget bill with three elements. With reduction of pharmaceutical prices which will help health care and will also reduce the inflation rate. That's within our reach if we just use the government's large purchasing power through Medicare, number one.

Number two, put in place the partial repeal, not the full repeal, but the partial repeal of the Trump tax cuts which would take some demand out of the economy, increase confidence and reduce pressure on the Fed.

And number three, an all-in more energy supply approach that emphasizes freeing up fossil fuels in various ways in the short run, and making with government support the ultimate pivot to renewables.

All of that would take pressure off the Fed, would bring down the inflation rate, would operate to restore confidence.


WHITFIELD: All right. Betsey, he said a lot, but what do you think? I mean I'm just quickly and briefly try to summarize. He said large purchasing power through Medicare. I'm just going to make this clear for a lot of people. Partial repeal of Trump tax cuts and more energy supply approach.

Do you agree with any of those things?

STEVENSON: I think all of those things are right. People hate to hear the idea of wait, we're going to solve the inflation problem by raising taxes. But that is a way in which we could bring down demand.

You know, what he didn't mention is immigration. One of the things we could do is bring more people into the country and make sure that there are lots of workers out there that can meet business's demand for hiring. So immigration reform can help.

And you know, right now frankly, Americans are hurting from very high gas prices. And I mean, that is the number one thing I think that's on people's mind. And it's kind of well nauseating to see that refineries are making record profits and are not bringing back online a lot of the capacity they took offline when demand dropped during the pandemic.

And so you see Biden's on top of that, bringing them in to meet with them, because we got to do something when they're making record profits and they're not willing to increase supply.

So there's lots of room in energy policy to try to bring down energy prices.

WHITFIELD: All right. And quickly, Justin, I heard you -- I saw you nodding in agreement.

WOLFERS: Well, the thing is what we can do now is each of us can put forward all of the policies that each of us like that will reduce any price that we dislike in the economy.

I'm going to add one more. Let's get rid of the Trump tariffs. They raised the price of washing machines and dryers for the rest of us. More to the point, I want viewers to remember we're all annoyed about high prices but inflation is ongoing rises in prices.


WOLFERS: So I'm not really convinced that these congressional actions which might bring down a couple of prices are really going to prevent prices from continuing to rise. And that comes back to what's the fed's job. And also being a little patient as we start to put the worst of the pandemic economy behind us.

WHITFIELD: And when you say patient, patient for another year or two?

WOLFERS: You know, the pandemic was an enormous trauma for all of us. And we shouldn't be surprised that it was also an enormous trauma for the economy. And I have not seen an economy anywhere in the world change as much as ours has in the last two years. And so we shouldn't be surprised. It's going to be a bumpy road out.

WHITFIELD: Right. All right. Justin Wolfers, Betsey Stevenson, what a pleasure. Thank you so much. Loved having you.

WOLFERS: Thanks, Fred.

STEVENSON: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: All right. Have a great day.

Still to come, "I just want to find 11,780 votes." Remember that? Those words of president -- former president Donald Trump talking to Georgia election officials in January of 2021. What the man on the receiving end of that call is set to say at the January 6th committee hearing this week.

And in cities across the U.S. today, festivals and parades to commemorate Juneteenth. We'll take you live to the iconic Hollywood Bowl ahead of tonight's star studded celebration right here on CNN.



WHITFIELD: On Tuesday, Georgia election officials Brad Raffensperger, Gabe Sterling and Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers are expected to testify at the House Select Committee investigating the January 6th siege at the Capitol. They are expected to testify about how they refused Trump's efforts to force them to overturn Joe Biden's election win in their battle ground states.


REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): We'll show evidence of the president's involvement in this scheme. We'll also again show evidence about what his own lawyers came to think about this scheme. And we'll show courageous state officials who stood up and said they wouldn't go along with this plan to either call legislators back into session or decertify the results for Joe Biden.

The system held because a lot of state and local elections officials upheld their oath to the constitution. A lot of them Republicans as well as Democrats.


WHITFIELD: All right. Page Pate is a constitutional law attorney and a criminal defense attorney. Page, so good to see you. Happy Father's Day.


WHITFIELD: Thanks for joining us today. So how significant in your view will Tuesday's hearings be as the committee makes the case that Donald Trump tried to overturn the 2020 election results?

PATE: Well Fred, I think it's going to be very important, because now coming out of Georgia, we don't just have implications that Trump was involved in doing something that could be illegal. Trump is on tape and he specifically is asking the secretary of state here in Georgia to try to find votes that simply didn't exist.

And with some of the other evidence that we've heard play out during these committee hearings, there can be an attempt I think by Trump and his lawyers to spin that evidence to try to put it, you know, into a context hey, we weren't really serious about this. We were considering different legal options.

The difference here is there is a tape of that phone call which our secretary of state thought was a threat. And that has already been testified to in a criminal grand jury that is currently sitting in Fulton County, Georgia and I expect we're going to hear more about it in the hearing to come this week.

WHITFIELD: And then there's this new poll. Just out today showing that most Americans believe Donald Trump should face charges for his role in the Capitol riot.

According to the ABC/Ipsos poll that just came out today 58 percent of Americans believe Trump should be charged with a crime for his role in the riot. Two congressmen were on the Sunday talk shows today and also called for Trump to be held accountable. Take a listen.


REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R-IL): I certainly think the president is guilty of knowing what he did, seditious conspiracy, being involved in these kind of different segments of pressuring DOJ vice president, et cetera.

I think what we're presenting before the American people certainly would rise to a level of criminal involvement by a president and definitely failure of the oath.

REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): There needs to be accountability if you vow impunity for attempts at unconstitutional seizures of power, which is what a coup is, then you're inviting it again in the future. And to be a strong self-sustaining, self-respecting democracy, we can't allow people to decide that they are above the law.


WHITFIELD: So then ultimately it will be up to the Justice Department, right? And how much of an uphill battle could it be potentially even though there has been all of this incriminating testimony and possibly upcoming like in the Raffensperger case. There might be more evidence showing that the president may have done something criminal.

PATE: Well Fred, I think right now there are two different tracks. There's the track with the Justice Department. And we know the Justice Department is really anxious to get transcripts from all of the testimony that the January 6th committee has taken during the course of its investigation.

That's supposed to be provided to the department perhaps next month in July. They can review it all, determine if there are federal charges like seditious conspiracy that they can bring on the federal level.

Meanwhile in Georgia, a state criminal grand jury is meeting, has been meeting now for several weeks. They've had 50 witnesses expected to testify including the secretary of state, and again in Georgia, there's going to be direct evidence of Trump's personal involvement in the electoral process after the votes have been counted.


PATE: So there's potential state criminal charges, potential federal criminal charges. We'll just have to see how the evidence shakes out.

WHITFIELD: All right. And all of that, of course, again is predicated on that call, the case in Georgia is predicated on the call, and now what U.S. Congress is going to be focusing on this week is predicated on that call. Here it is.



I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have, because we won the state.


WHITFIELD: So this week involving that house committee, what will the questions be to the secretary of state Raffensperger who was on the other end of that call?

PATE: Well, Fred, there's a lot that went into that call other than that very short clip that you just played. I mean, that's really the important quote, but that was a long phone call, and the secretary of state has already said that he believes the context of that call was a threat from the former president, not saying look, I wish I had more votes -- or isn't it possible there are some uncounted votes, but I want you to find me a specific number of votes so we can overturn the election in Georgia.

So I think the committee is going to ask the secretary of state what went into that phone call. What were you thinking as the president told you these things? What actions if any did you take after the phone call? All of that context which, by the way, he's already testified to in the state criminal grand jury. We're now going to hear about it in public on TV.

WHITFIELD: Yes. And one of the show's producers reminds me that was a one-hour phone call. So in your view --

PATE: Right.

WHITFIELD: -- will the American public be hearing a lot more of the call, more than just the sound bite has, you know, been played many times.

PATE: I expect so. And one other thing, Fred, I believe the secretary of state testified for five hours in front of the Fulton County criminal grand jury. So we know it's about more than just a few seconds on the phone.

WHITFIELD: Yes. All right. Page Pate, thank you so much.

PATE: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: All right, and now talk about feeling the heat. How about this. Take a look at the map. A stunning snapshot of the extreme heat that is baking the U.S. from the Dakotas to the Gulf Coast. Next the cities where records could fall.

Plus flames engulf a 70 -foot yacht off the coast of Kittery, Maine. We'll tell you what happened.




FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Well, if you're out celebrating today, you'll want to keep cool. More than 15 million are under heat alerts from the Dakotas all the way down to the Gulf Coast with record breaking temperatures in the triple digits.

Gene Norman joins us live from the CNN Weather Center with the very latest.

Gene, wow, I mean, sweltering. It just seems coast to coast, everywhere you go, it's just really hot. You're going to sweat a lot. What's going on? Tell us -- you know, what's the difference between heat zone and heat wave?

GENE NORMAN, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Exactly right. Absolutely. Well, the heat dome is the cause and the heat wave is the effect. The dries in the jet stream is causing the temperatures to really soar across the middle of the country. Where that jet stream rises all the way up to southern Canada, it produces high pressure which allows air inside of it to sink, compress and heat up. It's like a lid on the atmosphere, so to speak.

Notice how cool it is in the northeast and the Pacific northwest. Well, that's going to change as we work through the week because the heat dome will spread, and day after day of consecutive temperatures above normal, that's a heat wave. And we're going to be seeing that as we work our way through this upcoming week. So if you're not hot now, get set because you will be in the next couple of days.

Now we're going to be looking at potentially over 100 records that could be either tied or broken. Each of these black dots represents a city that will see either a record for at least one or possibly more than one day broken or tied as we work our way to at least Thursday. And we talk about again that heat wave. It's days above normal. And you see how the above average temperatures spread all the way across the eastern half of the country over the next couple of days.

For today, the high heat is confined to the northern plains from let's say sections of Minnesota down to Nebraska, and, in fact, in and around the Minneapolis area, they're under an excessive heat warning.

Now, yesterday we had the high heat in the southeast. It's kind of backed off. But it will come back. Today looking at 105 in Fargo, the combination of the temperature and the humidity. But watch as those temperatures march to the east over the next couple of days. Chicago, you're hitting 100 by Tuesday. Hot-lanta, not hot now but it will be by the time we get to Wednesday, triple digits are in the forecast. So get ready to sweat and get ready to stay cool.

WHITFIELD: Get ready to sweat. And I'm ready to get cool. I've been sweating. It's already hot, unbearably. And I usually like the heat, but wow, this is something else. And we're not even in official summer yet. Aren't we still two days away from that?

NORMAN: Two days away.

WHITFIELD: OK. All right. Well, thank you so much. We're going to get cool one of these days. Thank you, Gene Norman. Appreciate it. All right, well, this was an unbelievable close call. Take a look

right here. This 70-foot yacht, the Elusive is what its name, on fire, in the waters off Kittery, Maine. Officials said in a press release that three people and two family dogs were on that boat and then they jumped overboard to escape the flames. They were rescued by nearby boats.

The yacht could not be saved. It sank in the Piscataqua River. No injuries are reported, and the cause of the fire still unknown. I'm so glad everybody is all right.


All right, still ahead, the manhunt continues for a shooter who opened fire at a popular Virginia mall causing chaos and fear as shoppers fled in every direction. We'll have the latest on the search.


WHITFIELD: All right. Welcome back. In just a few hours CNN will broadcast the first ever worldwide special "JUNETEENTH: A GLOBAL CELEBRATION FOR FREEDOM."


Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in this country. A star- studded lineup of artists will take part in a concert at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles tonight. They will help viewers learn about the meaning of the new federal holiday.

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee who fought to get this national holiday, this federal holiday, she shared with CNN what Juneteenth means for her.


REP. SHEILA JACKSON LEE (D-TX): For me, it is a moment of great emotion. It is a moment of passion and compassion because slavery was enormously brutal, and the discussion and information and history about slavery has not been at the center point of America's story. I thought it was extremely important to pass a federal holiday that would give America a moment to be able to reflect not just on the jubilation of freedom, but also the brutality of slavery and what it meant to human beings.


WHITFIELD: All right. Joining me right now is Thomas Wilkins. He is the principal conductor for the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra.

So good to see you. Tonight you'll be leading the Recollective Orchestra in the "GLOBAL JUNETEENTH" celebration. So ahead of that, how are you feeling right now?

THOMAS WILKINS, PRINCIPAL CONDUCTOR, HOLLYWOOD BOWL ORCHESTRA: Yes. I'm feeling excited about getting everything started. You know, we've been talking about this for a year here about figuring out a way to really celebrate Juneteenth and sure enough, here we are. We talked about how to put together an all-black orchestra, and then all of a sudden there was the Recollective Orchestra already in place.

So that part of the puzzle was there. And then we approached the Live Nation Urban and everything just went crazy from there.

WHITFIELD: Oh, my goodness. So tell me about this Recollective Orchestra that you ended up discovering, right, and ended up making sure they're central to the performance tonight.

WILKINS: Yes. Yes, they are, indeed. You know, someone asked earlier how I was going to feel about conducting an all-black orchestra. And I said, well, I'm going to feel the same as I've conducted any other orchestra, quite frankly. It just so happens that we all look alike. You know, and I know people from Detroit and I know people from Phoenix and I know people from Philadelphia.

And all of a sudden now we're together on stage, and that's just -- it's not just musically beautiful. It's just humanly poetic, I think.

WHITFIELD: So the Recollective Orchestra along with Derek Hodge, this evening this will be the first time, I mean, this makes history, the first that in the Hollywood Bowl's 100-year history that an all-black sympathy orchestra performs there.


WHITFIELD: And I wonder if you can give us a glimpse into what else people can expect this evening and how it really may be eye-opening.

WILKINS: Yes. You know, one of the coolest things is I said this to the orchestra yesterday in rehearsal is that we cross all genres on this program tonight from country to R&B to, you know, hip-hop to rap to classical. And it just demonstrates that all of this music belongs to all of us. And there, we're really trying to get rid of genre and category and just celebrate humanity around the idea of great music.

WHITFIELD: So what -- you know, you've just described, you know, what great relief, you know, and how special this feels for you. But of all the folks who have been working in the last year such as yourself to try to make this happen, what kind of emotions do you believe everyone is likely to be feeling once -- especially once, you know, the show begins?

WILKINS: Well, I think the first thing people are going to feel is a tremendous sense of pride. And I mean pride in our ability to accomplish great things. I mean, we are operating in some of the greatest achievements of human kind with this thing called music, and the fact that we have a personal, deep, honest relationship with it, that's the first thing that I think is going to happen, but also this sense of belonging to each other and believing something better about each other is something I think that we're all going to walk away from.

We always talk about the fact that one of the things that we try to create is a sense of community in the concert setting, in the concert environment. And I think tonight we're going to walk away with an even deeper commitment to each other and to belonging to each other. And I'm really looking forward to that. You know, we say at the Hollywood Bowl that you can go to a concert anywhere, but we want you to experience the Hollywood Bowl to be something that you're really glad you didn't miss.

And I think that's going to be the sensation of folks tonight. They're going to be really glad that they were part of something historic, something highly emotional and something pretty doggone profound.

WHITFIELD: It sounds like you're also saying to people, you may end up leaving, or after taking in this concert, you're going to see each other differently. Just as you have, you know, said yourself, you are a conductor.


WHITFIELD: Many people want to attach and say you are a black conductor, but perhaps this is a moment in which you're hoping, you know, correct me if I'm wrong, you're hoping that people will see each other differently.


WILKINS: Yes. Absolutely. That's well-put, which is why you're on TV.


WHITFIELD: Wow, which is why you are where you are with, you know, you are leading us all, and we are just following you blindly, but now our eyes are open and gladly following you right into this evening. Thank you so much, Thomas Wilkins. So great to see you.

WILKINS: Hey, it's great to be with you. Take care of yourself.

WHITFIELD: I'll be watching and hopefully next time I'm in L.A. see you and all of those talents in person. Thank you.

WILKINS: Thank you. I think I may know how to get you some tickets, by the way.

WHITFIELD: Oh, OK. OK. We'll work on that. All right. Thank you so much, Mr. Wilkins. Appreciate it.

WILKINS: OK. Take care. Bye-bye.

WHITFIELD: All right, and you can join some of the biggest stars as they lift their voices for "JUNETEENTH: A GLOBAL CELEBRATION FOR FREEDOM" live tonight at 8:00 Eastern only right here on CNN.



WHITFIELD: Sadley yet another weekend of gun violence right here in the U.S. Police are trying to find the gunman who opened fire at the Tyson's Corner Center Mall in Virginia yesterday prompting panicked shopped and workers to flee. Some actually hiding in changing rooms. Authorities say a fight broke out right before the shots were fired. No one was hurt by the gunfire, but three people were hospitalized for injuries they got while running away.

And in Las Vegas early this morning, chaos in a popular tourist area. One person was fatally shot and several others injured on Fremont Street. The shooting happened right outside one of Vegas's oldest casinos, the Four Queens. It's unclear if a suspect is in custody and of course we'll bring you details as we get them.

And how authorities respond to active shooters is under growing scrutiny after the deadly school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, last month. Police did not go into the classroom where a gunman was hold up at the Robb Elementary School for more than an hour. But an Oklahoma Police Department says new technology is helping to better train and prepare its officers for the unthinkable.

CNN's Gary Tuchman has more.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Thomas Duran, Enid, Oklahoma Police Department.

THOMAS DURAN, ENID, OKLAHOMA POLICE DEPARTMENT: I've been here two weeks. I've been an officer in total for almost 12 years.

TUCHMAN: A warning that what you're about to see might be very difficult to watch. Officer Duran is starting intensely realistic active shooter police training.

DURAN: Let's go, we got shots fired. Move, move.

TUCHMAN: With a high-tech simulator that this department just recently bought. The people you will see are hired actors.

CAPT. WARREN WILSON, ENID, OKLAHOMA POLICE DEPARTMENT: OK, Officer Duran. Shots fired at this -- at the school and that's all the information we have here. You're there with your two partners. And you know our policy is we go in, we don't wait.

DURAN: How many out there? Where are they?


TUCHMAN: Even though they're actors, watching the training scene unfold is traumatic.

DURAN: Where did they go?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where did they go? How many are there?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where did they go?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where are they? We're good to go.


TUCHMAN: Officer Duran's partner is shot. The gunman is then shot by Duran.

DURAN: I'm good. I'm good. We got to go. Go. Go. Go.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Captain Warren Wilson is Officer Duran's trainer.

WILSON: We know that you average about one dead person every 10 seconds of an active shooter situation. At least one victim every 10 seconds. So there's no time to wait.

TUCHMAN: The simulation continues. There are two more shooters in the school library.

DURAN: Where did he go?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He went that way. He went that way.

DURAN: That way outside? Suspect, drop it. Drop it.

TUCHMAN: After each scenario, the trainer gives his evaluation.

WILSON: Very rare is it for the new officers to get that hit right off the bat. So good job on that one. And then you immediately started scanning again every time. And here's another one that we don't very often get the first time. So you got him with your scanning. Is there any point that you felt like you couldn't cover everything?

DURAN: No, just because, like I said, maybe because of my time in the training and situations I've been in, I'm used to -- if there's one, there's more than one, you got that mindset. So I'm used to, even though you think you've dealt with threat, you do have a 360 awareness for yourself. So you do need to make sure you scan for additional always.

WILSON: Always.

DURAN: Police Department.

TUCHMAN: Officer Duran's training includes other virtual locations. Like a theater, where the strategy is the same as a school. No waiting. Go in.

DURAN: Where they at? Where they at?

TUCHMAN: Eliminate the threat. After getting shot at, Officer Duran did just that. And then, at a courthouse.

DURAN: Where they at, Your Honor? Where they at?

TUCHMAN: He once again eliminates the threat.

Captain Wilson, tells the officer his first active shooter drill with his new department is a success.

WILSON: He made good decisions. And he kept scanning for threats. He -- his marksmanship was on point. He just did very well in the scenarios. I'm proud of him.


TUCHMAN: Officer Duran is also told his elevated stress level and heart rate are to be expected with this life-like training.

(On-camera): Do you think you're a better police officer than when you walked in here?

DURAN: Absolutely, yes.

TUCHMAN: Because of this training?


TUCHMAN (voice-over): Gary Tuchman, CNN, Enid, Oklahoma.


WHITFIELD: And now an update from Philadelphia. Officials have released the name of the firefighter who was killed when a building collapsed there yesterday. Lieutenant Sean Williamson was 51 years old and a 27 -year veteran of the city's fire department. Four other firefighters and a city worker were injured in the collapse which happened after a fire at the building was put out. They were pulled from the rubble. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

We'll be right back.