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New Day Sunday
Robert Trump, The President's Younger Brother, Dies At 71; Trump To Speak Near Biden's Hometown On The Night Biden Is Expected To Accept The Democratic Nomination; FDA Grants Emergency Use Authorization To Quick, Inexpensive Saliva-Based COVID-19 Diagnostic Test; Georgia State Patrol Charged With Murder After Killing A Black Man; Face To Face With Sharks, The Ocean's Greatest Predators. Aired 7-8a ET
Aired August 16, 2020 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have a wonderful brother. We've had a great relationship, for a long time, from day one.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The FDA has approved the use of a new saliva test that the NBA actually funded.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is a possible real breakthrough, better testing has to happen for us to know where we are in this marathon.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Democrats are considering cutting short the August recess to deal with the postal service funding standoff.
SEN. JIM CLYBURN (D-SC): We could easily have absentee voting much more widespread than we currently have and we can do that without using the post office.
TRUMP: Usually at the end of the evening, they say, Donald Trump has won the election. You're not going to know this for months or for years because the ballots are going to be lost, they're all going to be gone.
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY WEEKEND with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: And the sun coming up there in D.C. at the Capitol. We hope it's coming up, wherever you happen to be at the moment. Thank you for being with us.
We do have breaking news from overnight. Robert Trump, the younger brother of President Trump, died in a New York hospital. He was 71 years old.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: This week, President Trump will try to upstage the 2020 Democratic National Convention. The president is scheduled to speak near Joe Biden's home town on the night that Biden is expected to accept the Democratic nomination.
PAUL: And then, yes, we're talking about this. Shark sightings, they're on the rise. There is one expert, though, who said we don't need to be afraid of sharks. He's going to show us how he made friends with a tiger shark. This is part of the video but there is so much more of this that is fascinating. So stick with us.
BLACKWELL: We begin with the death of Robert Donald Trump, the younger brother of Donald Trump. He died at a hospital in New York yesterday.
PAUL: Yeah, a person familiar with the situation told CNN that Robert had a been sick and he'd been sick for months, in fact, but details of illness haven't been released yet.
BLACKWELL: Now, the president visited his brother at New York Presbyterian hospital in Manhattan on Friday. And he told reporters that he was having a tough time.
PAUL: Robert Trump was an executive vice president of the Trump Organization. It included overseeing the organization's Atlantic City casinos.
BLACKWELL: He was born in 1948, one of four siblings to the president, including Fred Trump Jr., Maryanne Trump Berry, Elizabeth Trump Grau, in this flamboyant family, he led a mostly quiet life. Earlier this year, he married Ann Marie Pallan. And before that, he was married to the socialite Blaine Trump.
PAUL: Now, in 2016, Robert Trump said he supported his brother's presidential run and according to "Town and Country", he hosted events and fundraisers for his brother and other Republicans.
BLACKWELL: In June, he filed a temporary restraining order in an attempt to block the publication of an unflattering book by Mary Trump, Fred Trump Jr.'s daughter. In a statement to "The New York Times" at the time, Robert Trump said he was deeply disappointing in Mary Trump's decision to publish the book, which included details about the president's family, his childhood and upbringing.
PAUL: Mary Trump said in an interview this week that Robert Trump had been sick and hospitalized, quote, a couple of times in the last three months. Again, he was 71 years old.
There was a statement released by the president as well that said in part: It is with heavy heart I share that my wonderful brother Robert peacefully passed away tonight. He was not just my brother, he was my best friend. He will be greatly missed but we will meet again. His memory will live on in my heart forever. Robert, I love you. Rest in peace.
BLACKWELL: We spoke with CNN contributor Michael D'Antonio.
PAUL: He's a Donald Trump biographer and author of "The Truth About Trump". Here is what he had to say. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL D'ANTONIO, AUTHOR, "THE TRUTH ABOUT TRUMP": This a man, Donald Trump, who valued loyalty, valued trust within the small core that was the Trump administration and Robert, because he was family, I think held a special place for the president. They're going to be asked to talk about him, I think, in greater detail.
We may learn more about the Trump family in the coming days than we've known for years because I think certainly truths will come out, I think it will actually expose some of the warmer side of the Trumps and perhaps would get to know them a little better.
You know, Robert is a person who knew more than almost anybody and he held the things close that the president didn't want revealed and I think that that's going to be a significant loss for Donald Trump.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Now, thanks to Michael.
Let's turn to the campaign for president. Democrats, their convention starts this week but the president is trying to upstage the DNC with his own speeches, one near Joe Biden's home town just a few hours before Biden accepts the Democratic nomination.
PAUL: Yeah, this is a strategy that he used often but conventions and the pandemic and the first nomination of a woman of color to a major party ticket, tomorrow, we're going to be witnessing history.
Jessica Dean has more.
JESSICA DEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Victor and Christi.
Final preparations are now underway for the 2020 Democratic National Convention. Typically when we're getting ready for one of the political conventions we know what to expect and an arena jammed full of delegates, cheering, balloon drops, that's where the thing. But we are not seeing any of that during this unconventional convention. This is really unprecedented what's happening this year with the DNC.
It is entirely moving online. So what can we expect? Well, typically you have four hours of prime time programming with really long speeches by a number of people.
This year, they have shortened the program. So, it's going to be two hours Monday through Thursday coming up this week. The speeches are also going to be shorter.
We're told they're going to be much more concise, that we should expect to also see more people from all across the country being featured in this year's convention because now it's online, it's gone virtual, they can beam people in all across the country, which is what we're being told to expect to see. Now, we're also going to see the big names that you would expect to see at a Democratic National Convention this year.
Of course, the nominees Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as well as Jill Biden, Barack and Michelle Obama, Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez, Bill and Hillary Clinton, all of those people are expected to speak. Also, a number of the 2020 Democratic candidates who ran against Joe Biden are also expected to be speaking over the next week. So a lot of familiar faces that you're going to see.
Also, they're anticipating performances from people like The Chicks, Billie Eilish, John Legend. So, they're going to mix all of this together again in a shorter time frame and it's going to be entirely online so people will be beamed in from different places all across the country. Now what we also know is that Biden and Harris will be giving their nomination acceptance speeches here from here in Wilmington. There are crews dotted all around the area where they're expected to give the speeches. But we're going to be hearing from everyone else from kind of all over the place.
So it will certainly be unprecedented as the Democrats really seek to raise party unity and really fire up voters and make the case for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris -- Victor and Christi.
BLACKWELL: Jessica Dean, thanks so much.
So, the president's plan to distract from the Democrats this week involves trying to make his message really hard to miss and that includes digital investment. His campaign said in the millions of dollars, high seven figures, for primary real estate on home pages of news sites and YouTube, plans to roll campaign ads on platforms like Hulu.
So let's bring in CNN's chief media correspondent and anchor of "RELIABLE SOURCES", Brian Stelter.
Stelter, good morning.
BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Hey, good morning. How are you?
BLACKWELL: I'm doing well, thanks.
So, the Biden/Harris campaign said this is a stunt. Is it that simple?
STELTER: It may be a very successful stunt for the Trump campaign because they're going to spend $10 million running commercials on YouTube and on Hulu, all over news websites. So, the idea here is to counter the DNC, with a message from the Trump campaign ahead of the GOP convention later in the month.
I think the bigger question then becomes what is the message that the Trump campaign is trying to say. You can spend $8 million or $9 million on digital ads and, you know, make a lot of noise but what are you saying with those ads? It seems that the message is that Biden is a radical leftist, which isn't true based on his record.
And more importantly, all week long at the DNC, we're going to see a message from the candidate and a campaign and a party that wants to be seen as very much in the mainstream of American life, back to normal kind of calm politics after four years of Trump chaos. That's going to be the DNC's message. So, it will be intriguing to see how Trump counters it, and ultimately, we'll see later if it's worth spending all of the money on digital ads.
The last person that did something like this, taking over the home page of YouTube, Victor, it was Michael Bloomberg back in February and it didn't work out that well for Michael Bloomberg.
BLACKWELL: American Samoa, he did win the primary there.
STELTER: That's right, he did win American Samoa.
BLACKWELL: He did win American Samoa.
Let me come to -- and you talked about the candidate this is week and their narrative. We're not seeing the big extended interviews, especially for Vice President Biden, not many for Senator Harris.
STELTER: No, we're not.
BLACKWELL: And that's a bit concern they're not doing the Q&As.
STELTER: I think this is increasingly becoming an issue among the president corps and among political insiders, and it's an issue that Trump campaign officials are using against Biden, saying that he's not willing to sit down for extended interviews.
He has certainly been in a quieter period lately. I think now that we're entering the fourth inning of this very, very long game, this presidential campaign, I certainly hope that Biden is more accessible to the press but there is a false equivalence between Biden mostly holding speeches and not having press conferences, versus Trump, who, yes, is very accessible who does give interviews and less conferences but then lies his way through the events every single time.
So both things are troubling, one thing is worse, the president lying through his teeth is worse than Biden being relatively secluded.
And, by the way, you mentioned Kamala Harris is doing a few interviews. She's given three interviews this week, all to reporters of color, all to websites and outlets that focus on women and people of color. It's a pointed kind of statement or a framing by the campaign trying to make sure that, you know, these kind of news outlets that might not always get an interview with a presidential candidate are being taken seriously and respected.
I think that is important to see from the Biden/Harris campaign. And think about digital rollouts. How is the Biden campaign doing on digital. They're not spending $10 million on YouTube ads but they did roll out Harris announcement through text messaging and through their website. So they do seem to have a strong digital operation.
BLACKWELL: All right. Stelter, this will be a unique DNC. You know, we're all still where we are. I'm in Atlanta and you're in New York and we'll see how this rolls out.
Brian Stelter, thanks so much.
BLACKWELL: All right. Remember to watch RELIABLE SOURCES here on CNN today and every Sunday at 11:00 Eastern.
And you can see the live coverage of this year's all digital Democratic National Convention here on CNN starts tomorrow at 8:00 p.m. Eastern, and in Monday, August 24th, we'll, of course, cover the Republican National Convention.
PAUL: There is a groundbreaking new coronavirus test developed at Yale. It was just approved by the FDA. It is less invasive, less expensive compared to the nasal swab screenings you may be familiar with. We're going to discuss what it means for America's testing capabilities and some other things, next.
PAUL: So it is first used by the NBA to test asymptomatic players inside that bubble for COVID-19. Now, the FDA has approved this new saliva-based coronavirus screening test for the general public, yes for all of us. It's inexpensive and it gets our results back more quickly.
BLACKWELL: Let's go to CNN's Brynn Gingras for more.
Is this new test expected to drastically improve as we need the country's testing capabilities?
BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. Victor and Christi, good morning.
It should help get the tests to more people because in some cases, it's an at-home test with a prescription. It also should help with the fact of the backlog we're seeing with testing, in some cases because labs are running out of important test components like re-agents. So, hopefully, this saliva-based tests and there are five of them that the FDA has given emergency use authorization to will help provide promising news when it comes to testing which you guys remember just 24 hours ago, we are talking about how the country needs to ramp that up in order to get a handle on the coronavirus, according to health officials really across this country.
This, though, meanwhile, we're learning that there are more cases of COVID among college students right now and also among children.
GINGRAS (voice-over): This weekend, a grim milestone. The total number of American lives lost since the start of the pandemic approaching 170,000 nationwide. Cases are trending down in many states, but California is still the hardest hit state with more than 12,000 new cases including backlogs.
And in Florida, health officials announced 6,000 new cases.
MAYOR DAN GELBER (D), MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA: I think in the next three, four days, the state will surpass 10,000 people who have died and we're thinking about the death rate going down and we're hoping it's just a few dozen, just think about what we're normalizing, we're literally normalizing dozens and dozens of 50 or more people dying every single day. That's something that's unmanageable at any other time.
GINGRAS: And just days into the beginning of the semester, the University of North Carolina is reporting the third cluster of cases. This time tied to a fraternity. The State of Alabama reporting that more than 7,000 children there have tested positive.
This is as the CDC said cases are steadily rising among children and as many as 45 percent of those cases may be asymptomatic. A sobering reminder from Georgia, a 15-year-old boy in the Atlanta area has died from coronavirus complications. The news coming as parents and educators face a difficult decision -- how to start school.
DR. MEGAN RANNEY, EMERGENCY PHYSICIAN, LIFESPAN/BROWN UNIVERSITY: If you are into a community with high rates of COVID-19, even with masks on, it is likely not safe to put kids in an indoor school building with other teachers and staff who may be high risk themselves. Listen, we don't want kids bringing the virus home to their parents or their grandparents. That's a burden that kids shouldn't have to live with.
GINGRAS: Late Saturday, Georgia's governor reversing course, signing an executive order allowing cities to enforce their own mask mandate but exempting businesses from being forced to comply.
And some potentially promising news on testing. The FDA announcing it has granted emergency use authorization to a new method that tests a person's saliva.
DR. ABDUL EL-SAYED, EPIDEMIOLOGIST AND PUBLIC HEALTH EXPERT: This test which would require a small bit of saliva, it doesn't need the same re-agents and swabs that have been able to create testing at scale in this country.
It really could be a game-changer if we could deploy it.
(END VIDEOTAPE) GINGRAS: Back here live in New York, a 9/11 tribute here in New York was canceled because of the concerns for the staff that had to put on that tribute. But we learned from the governor's office that state officials are going to provide some resources so that 9/11 tribute and lights could happen next month, which, of course, you could imagine the significance of that, especially here in the city, very important and very good that that's happening -- Victor.
BLACKWELL: Absolutely, absolutely. Brynn Gingras from New York, thanks so much.
PAUL: So we want to bring in David Vlahov. He is a professor of nursing at Yale school of nursing.
David, it is so good to have you with us. Thank you.
So, I want to ask you first of all about the saliva-based COVID test that Brynn was just talking about. We know it was developed at Yale. The fact that the FDA granted this emergency use authorization seemingly at least for the public it seems quick. What kind of validation does that give this test?
DALE VLAHOV, ASSOCIATE DEAN FOR RESEARCH, YALE SCHOOL OF NURSING: Well, it gives the development of the FDA requiring a number of tests to be done and data to be presented to show that it is sensitive in picking up the positives and doesn't make a mistake and picking up negatives. So it passed those tests. It went through a series of them.
So it performs well based on that testing.
PAUL: So --
VLAHOV: And the FDA recognized it as an emergency, you know, that as people have been saying earlier here, is we need to get more testing out there and we need to get over the obstacles that are in the way to be able to do that large scale. And this test helps in that way.
PAUL: Is there any concern about people administering this test to themselves at home and if that could affect the accuracy of the test or is this going to be pretty simple?
VLAHOV: Well, you know, there are saliva tests for other infections such as HIV that has been done at home. I think what they're doing here, to have it supervised, right, and so, you know, going through and typing up the protocol to make sure that it's good.
So the opportunity there for the testing is there is no nasal apparent swab, you're putting saliva into the container, and it's easily transportable and the testing is very straightforward. So, it certainly lends itself to that.
PAUL: Would you consider this then a game-changer in the fight here?
VLAHOV: Completely a game-changer. This is where people don't like having swabs put up their nose, having health care workers and people who are infected and puts them at risk. So, that takes care of this element. It doesn't require expensive processing. You know, it's pretty straightforward in that way. So that cuts a lot of cost, makes the supply chain a little bit earlier. The testing here is flexible.
You know, it is not just you have to have one machine, it is been tested to be able to look at different kinds of equipment and re- agents so the idea is to make it most widely available based on what equipment people already have in their facilities.
PAUL: And real quickly, we only have a couple of seconds left, but the American Heart Association says that COVID related heart damage is worse than originally thought. That just came out in the last couple of days.
What is your assessment of that? What does it mean that the heart damage is worse than they thought it would be? What kind of damage are they talking about?
VLAHOV: Well, in terms of COVID, we think of it as initially like the flu, the respiratory, and as they've been following patients they see people do present with heart issues. The enzymes go up and the bio markers go up as if the person had a heart attack. So that is a serious concern.
And the damage is not just during the hospitalization which 20 to 40 percent of people who are hospitalized have evidence of heart damage, but this could last beyond the recovery of the acute infection itself. We don't know if it is temporary or permanent. But it is certainly a concern.
PAUL: Yeah, we're certainly -- there is so much about it that we don't know. But we appreciate you taking the time to be with us today.
Professor Vlahov, thank you so much for your time this morning and your expertise.
VLAHOV: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: President Trump continues to attack voting by mail without offering any evidence to back up his claims.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Absentee voting is great. You request -- I'm an absentee voter because I requested, I got, and then I sent in my vote. So that works out very well. That's what we've had.
But now they want to send in millions and millions of ballots, and you see what's happening. They're being lost. They're being discarded. They're finding them in piles. It's going to be a catastrophe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Well, yesterday, the president also stood by his new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and he denied they are trying to slow down delivery of the mail ahead of the election. Postal Service warned that some states will not be able to get the ballots in on time to be counted.
House Democrats are now considering recalling members to Washington to hold hearings on the changes.
House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn said the changes endanger the election and hurt people who rely on the Postal Service for medicine and other supplies.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JIM CLYBURN (D-SC): We ought not be crippling the post office and for the president to admit that he's doing this in order to gum up the works when it comes to the elections, he is actually signing a death warrant for a lot of people that he ought not be doing this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: We're in the middle of unprecedented nationwide protests for civil rights in a battle against the global pandemic. The National Urban League has released its annual report on the state of black America. Next, we're talking to president and CEO Marc Morial about where African-Americans stand in this country.
PAUL: Thirty minutes past the hour right now.
And a Georgia Bureau of Investigation announced a state patrol trooper has been arrested and charged with felony murder. Twenty-seven-year- old Jacob Gordon Thompson was arrested Friday. He was fired after shooting Julian Roosevelt Lewis, a black man. This happened during an attempted traffic stop.
BLACKWELL: This happened on August 7th. And on Friday, Lewis's widow spoke during a vigil.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BETTY LEWIS, JULIAN LEWIS WIDOW: My soul mate was gone. And I wish that on nobody. Nobody. That nobody feel the loneliness, won't be loved, you can't -- I couldn't cuddle with me. Not this one. It will not be swept under the rug. Not this one.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Well, the National Urban League has released the annual report on African-Americans and this year, listen, there is a global pandemic that's disproportionately affecting black people and nationwide protests calling for criminal and social justice reform. The state of black America 2020 unmasked says this in part, our reporting reveals that common denominator in the alarming and disproportionate ratio of black people left gasping for air in emergency rooms and at the hands of law enforcement centuries of systemic racism.
Joining me now to talk about the report is president and CEO of the National Urban League, Marc Morial.
Marc, welcome back.
MARC MORIAL, CEO, NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE: Good morning, Victor. Thank you for having me.
BLACKWELL: So let me start here. You know, there is an old adage that outdates you and me that when white folks catch a cold black people get pneumonia and now we have a pandemic. And we know it was disproportionate and the impact and the pending recovery, I think what you reveal in this report is really striking.
MORIAL: Well, before COVID, our index showed that the status of African-Americans was 73 percent that of white. Post-COVID, in the COVID environment, we're dealing with three tsunamis. The tsunami of the COVID disease, the tsunami of the economy decline, and the tsunami of racial justice.
This is what we're facing, and this is -- and this is what our report reveals. These declined are deep, as many as 40 percent of black businesses may not make it through this economic crisis. The black unemployment rate now, victor, is as high as it was during the Reagan recession. So it hasn't been this high since a Reagan recession of the early 1980s and if tips just a few points higher, we'll be at great depression levels.
And what need I say to racial justice. You just reported on yet another shooting in Georgia of an unarmed black man. This is a crisis of significant dimensions and our report doesn't want to candy coat it or varnish it but call it out. We're facing a deep crisis, yes, as a nation and black Americans candidly are catching hell.
BLACKWELL: Let me bring you in on this conversation we've been having this morning about the postal service and the removal of boxes and what Democrats are accusing the president of interfering or at least trying to. What will be, what is expected to be the impact on those urban communities, black voters and Latino voters, let's say include them in the conversation?
MORIAL: Let's say this, Victor, the crisis we see with the post office is a manmade crisis, a crisis perhaps orchestrated by a single man, the president of the United States, to undermine, this is unprecedented in American history, it is so wrong that there is not a single or a scintilla of justification for what occurred. It is going to affect anyone across the board but the especially vulnerable for health and safety reasons, transportation reasons, reasons that they have to work on Election Day want to avail themselves of voting by mail, it could be devastating.
Congress should step in. The courts should step in. And American democracy is on the line. The American people are not going to tolerate an election that is rigged because their access to the ballot box has been thwarted by candidate, the president of the United States, this is extremely outrageous.
The other thing I would add, the good men and women of the postal service, the letter carriers, the postal workers who are hard working, they are delivering medicine, they're delivering credit cards, they're delivering checks, with few, few errors every day, should not have credibility undermined by these baseless and evidence-less attacks.
BLACKWELL: Yeah, you know, the virtue of the post office is that it touches everyone. They'll go to the far out rural location just as in the dense areas in the city.
Marc Morial, president/CEO of the National Urban League, thanks so much for your time.
MORIAL: Thanks for having me.
BLACKWELL: And I want to tweet out because I want people to read this thread that said the threat of racism is actually a national security issue. I think people should look into that and it is in the report.
Marc Morial, good to have you.
MORIAL: The reports at NUL.org.
BLACKWELL: All right. Thank you, sir.
PAUL: Definitely checking that out.
So let me post this to you. If you like to swim in the ocean, our next guest says are you afraid to sharks because you don't need to be. That he parentally, he said, could be just like a family pet.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In fact, it's very much like your dog swimming up to give you a kiss. It's the same kind of creature.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: People, you've got to convince me. We'll talk about it.
BLACKWELL: So there is a warning for people headed to beaches in New York. After a record number of shark sightings.
PAUL: Yeah, officials on Long Island say there have been 19 shark sightings so far this season -- 19. They say no attacks have resulted from the sightings. But a woman is recovery and beaches are closed after a shark attack in New South Wales. That, of course, in Australia. The woman's boyfriend repeatedly punched a juvenile great white shark on the nose until it released her.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES TURNHAM, LIFE GUARD SUPERVISOR: Yeah, when I arrived that is what some of the surfers were saying, the shark bit the girl and wasn't letting go and the boyfriend jumped off his board and physically getting the shark off of her.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: And with us now, conservationist, photographer and filmmaker, Jim Abernethy.
Jim, good morning to you.
We've been watching some of your video. I think for two days now we've been watching you with sharks.
Let me start with the story that Christi just read. You suggest what a shark bites a person we should not call it an attack, why?
JIM ABERNETHY, CONSERVATIONIST: Well, it's quite simply a mistake. The proof is in what happens. The shark lets go of the person. It was an attack, no predator that big could do anything other than drag the prey farther out into the ocean and finish the meal and that quite simply isn't happening.
But it is sad that many of the sharks are so big that the victim actually dies from blood loss. But it's not an attack. And the proof is in the statistics.
PAUL: OK --
ABERNETHY: (INAUDIBLE) go into the water, and only 75 people on average are bitten. Go ahead.
PAUL: I'm sorry. So this Australian man punched the shark, is that what we do in a situation like that?
ABERNETHY: Well, I can't actually speak for that specific situation. For some reason the shark stayed biting, which is very, very unusual. I would back it up and say don't go into the water if they're fishing anywhere around you. Be more pro-active rather than reactive and avoid the whole situation altogether because fishing, when the struggling fish is surviving for its life, that's what puts shark into a panic that they have to get to the male before all of the other sharks.
So that is my word of advice, is more proactive rather than reactive.
BLACKWELL: So we're watching video of you play with Hannah, a tiger shark. Before we move on to this video and shark week, but along Long Island, do you have any idea why we're seeing more sharks? ABERNETHY: Well, I believe we have more of what they eat and they're
coming closer to shore. In addition, we have fish stocks collapsing all over the world. And if you look at what we do as a species, we put bait in the water, and basically everywhere there is water.
So we're essentially baiting all of the animals closer to shore despite the fact that the numbers are greatly reduced, most of the sharks bite by 90 percent and a lot of fish stocks like the cod in New England have that population already collapsed. So they're all struggling trying to stay alive is what you're seeing.
PAUL: So the video we're watching is you petting this shark, essentially. I mean, to some people think it looks like, well, this could be my dog the way that we are interacting with this shark right now.
You have said that sharks have an affectionate side and that they're really -- they're not -- they're not looking to attack all of the time as they have been portrayed in movies and what-not. So how long does that affectionate side lasts? I mean, have you ever had a moment where, maybe a shark said, I didn't like that much?
ABERNETHY: In four-plus decades, I've never seen an aggressive shark toward me. However I'm swimming in crystal clear water. The longest amount of time that I have not seen a shark was two years. And that shark, Tarantino, chases me around to get her head rubbed despite the fact there are fish in the water she could go for.
Sharks, like dogs, prefer affection to fish, and I use affection -- love and affection to teach my guests how to make friends with sharks on every single trip successfully to the new shark follows them around in order to get their head rubbed.
BLACKWELL: So, Shark Week is wrapping up tonight on Discovery Channel. Do you think that the promos are action-packed and now they've got Mike Tyson, but do you think they do a good job of dispelling the myths and accurately characterizing and showing sharks?
ABERNETHY: No. Absolutely not. In fact, they're whole mode is to keep the misconception that they're a mindless man-eating monsters alive and that is why you want to watch it.
The truth, like what you're seeing in front of you, they're not interested at all. You have to go up a couple of notches, BBC Wildlife and National Geographic in order to see proper, true nature, the true behavior of sharks.
I have yet to see a show on there that was not sensationalized in some way. In fact, the last one that I did for them, my dive, which was really wonderful, turned into a near death situation. And I filmed it. So I know it wasn't. So it's very, very sad. Because as Jacques Cousteau said we only protect what we love and very few people love monsters and everybody believes they're monsters and the truth is just the opposite. BLACKWELL: Well, it's -- fantastic video that you sent us. And again
we showed it yesterday, teasing this conversation because we knew when people saw you stroking that shark, that they would stick around for it.
Jim Abernethy, thank you so much and thanks for sharing the video.
ABERNETHY: Thank you very much for having me. It's a pleasure to be here. Have a nice day.
BLACKWELL: All right. We'll be right back.
BLACKWELL: So, there's a group in Miami that's getting volunteers to work out together, help the environment.
In today's staying well, how they're cleaning the water and clearing their minds at the same time.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Clean This Beach Up is an organization that focuses on educating the community through weekly beach cleanups and educational programs as well as wellness activities.
We decided to start cleaning up our waterways, manly because we can social distance on the water, with our kayaks or paddleboards. So, today, we're go to be out here cleaning up the alliance in Miami Beach. You come out with us, you clean the beach, you get on a little bit of a workout, you go home, and you're feeling way better because you're giving back.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you combine doing something good with exercise, it can affect positively your mind, body and soul and you're combining a lot of activities really at the same time. There have been a lot of studies that have shown doing something good, altruistic activities, actually has a linkage to the brain where it releases the hormones that makes you feel better about yourself and also a sense of fulfillment in your life.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today, we were able to collect 80 pounds of trash in only 45 minutes from the islands. We're actually saving marine life, so when you're picking up the trash from the water. It makes me feel really good afterwards, makes me feel happy. It is exhausting, but it is always worth it.
PAUL: CNN's series "Represented" celebrates the suffragettes' period by highlight modern change makers.
Here's pilot Jessica Cox.
JESSICA COX, PILOT: Knowing I'm doing this in an unmodified airplane, just flying with my feet, it is the most incredible sense of freedom. It is still a mystery as to why I was born without arms. As a child, I found myself very frustrated because everyone was telling me, you can't do that because you don't have arms. You have a disability.
I have had some wonderful opportunities. I'm a scuba diver. I surfed. I have a fourth degree black belt in American taekwondo.
The summer after my college graduation, I remember being approached by fighter pilot. He asked me if I wanted to go flying. Losing contact with the ground was a terrifying thought to me. I made the commitment after that first flight that I would do everything it takes to become a pilot.
Preparing for flying is as critical as flying the airplane itself. You check the oil, you check the fuel quantities, once you're in the sky, you don't have any other choice but to fly that plane.
Clear for takeoff.
It is a tremendous deal for me to be the first woman to fly an airplane with just her feet and to be certified to do so.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very smooth.
COX: It has given me a vehicle to inspire people with disabilities.
PAUL: Oh, she's just amazing. Watch CNN's special report, "Women Represented: The 100 Year Battle for Equality," that's Saturday at 10:00 p.m. Eastern.
BLACKWELL: Well, thank you so much for starting your morning with us.
PAUL: Yeah. "INSIDE POLITICS" is up next. Make good memories this weekend.