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tv   The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  May 31, 2020 10:00am-11:00am PDT

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a book that you're ready to share with the world? get published now, call for your free publisher kit today! this is cnn breaking news. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer and this is is a special edition of "the situation room." happening now. a nation under siege on two fronts. protests and a pandemic. today silence from the white house as mayors survey the damage in the cities and plead for calm and order. the demonstrations erupting overnight across the united
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states. started with protests in cities both large and small and then turned violent at times. 13 states activated the national guard as curfews were ordered. the outrage boiling over following the death of george floyd at the hands of minneapolis police officers. >> i want to be able to go into a white neighborhood and feel safe. i want to be able, when a cop is driving behind me, i don't want to clench and be tense. i want to be able to be free and not think about every step i take. at the end of the day, being black is a crime. at the end of the day, being born black is is a crime to them and i don't understand why. we're all humans. >> protesters and police face backlash from the growing violence of these demonstrations. the nypd is investigating after this video showed a police suv ramming into a crowd of protesters after they threw objects at the vehicle. all of this as we're seeing new video of the moments leading up
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to george floyd's death. the clip taken from a security camera appears to show police struggling with something in their cruiser. you never see floyd directly. these developments playing out amid the mounting economic frustration in the united states. more than 40 million americans facing unemployment because of the coronavirus pandemic. the disease has taken the lives of more than 103,000 americans already. thousands more likely in the days, weeks, and months ahead. it's just the latest issue disproportionately affecting the african-american community, as well. today chicago is announcing strict new precautionary measures following a violent night of protests. the city saying it is shutting down the central business district and initiating a curfew. protesters smash windows, vandalize store fronts on saturday. the mayor lori lightfoot responded to the protests only moments ago.
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>> i'm also hurt and angry and those who decided to try to hijack this moment and use it as an opportunity to wreck havoc, to loot, and to destroy. you should be ashamed of yourselves. what you have done is to dishonor yourself, your family, and our city. >> cnn's ryan young is in chicago for us. he's joining us on the phone right now. ryan, very dramatic developments unfolding in chicago. what more do we know about these new safety measures the city is imposing. give us a deeper sense of what happened there over the past several hours? >> caller: well, it was a scary situation last night. one person was killed during the melee that took place last night. there was other shootings and, of course, we saw massive amounts of looting throughout the evening. one thing i will tell you,
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though, the protests started early in the day and for at least five hours they were very peaceful and people were using their right to walk through the streets to protest. they held up signs. they wanted to talk about police violence and the systemic changes they wanted to see. as i was alluded to yesterday, an element changed at some point and we saw people who were arriving who seem prepared to do damage to the city. they had hammers, they had other sort of sharp objects to break windows, and we started seeing people breaking windows and encouraging others to join in. police officers, for the most part, tried to keep a perimeter, at one point, trying to stop protesters from moving toward trump plaza. we saw police cars set on fire. we saw the police department would try to raise the bridge from trying to stop people from going to michigan avenue. the protesters moved around lake shore drive and went down michigan avenue setting several police cars on fire and started throwing fireworks toward the police officers. there was a response from the
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police. they used pepper spray on several protesters and tried to disperse them. through the night we saw things ratchet up another level. people started setting trash bins on fire. moving them into the street and massive sense of looting was there. we saw people in the street trying to confront some of the violent protesters. i said this yesterday, there was some protesters there who were angry with another set who was trying to take over the protest. at one point, it got so violent, you saw police try to set another perimeter to block people off from the city. now it's difficult for us to get back into town because they have blocked off the entire inner downtown district. they have made it difficult to drive a car into the area. they shut down the bus terminals. they shut down the cta, and they're using transportation trucks to block off the routes into the city at this point. and the national guard has been activated. they're bringing in close to 300 national guard members to supplement the police department. >> and as people violate the
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curfew tonight, are they arre arrested? >> caller: i think so. we saw police officers chasing people doing violent acts. we saw protesters getting hit with rocks thrown by other protesters. when police officers stepped in, sometimes that's when they were attacked. it's one of those situations it seemed like they were outmanned and in terms of being massive amounts of people coming downtown. you saw another few thousand people moving through the city with the state police, the chicago police, and now the national guard. i believe they'll be able to set a better perimeter. it did get dicey at last night, wolf, when people were screaming and yelling. many people thought they were gunshots and realized they were fireworks. one person was killed last night. six other shootings. it's something that just really hurts your heart when you see sort turned out with what happened last night. >> it does. ryan young, be careful there on
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the streets of chicago. we'll check back with you, of course. the mayor of philadelphia is ordering yet another city wide curfew later tonight starting at 8:00 p.m. protests turning violent late saturday with cars and businesses set on fire and some looting, as well. 13 police officers were injured. philadelphia police say at least 38 people were arrested. cnn's brian todd was in the middle of those protests last night. he's joining us right now. so what is the latest, brian? what is the plan for tonight? what are you seeing and what are you hearing? >> reporter: well, a tense atmosphere here in philadelphia. we're in the chestnut street area. a lot of high-end shops here. in is where some of the primary looting took place. some of the worst looting and chaos. you have police officers here guarding the entrance to a store. we can show you there's debris throughout there. the store completely ransacked last night and police officers here inside and outside guarding the entrance to this place. and i can walk you down here a
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little bit and show you there's a police presence in front of the foot locker over there. they're guarding the entrance to that, as well. you've got police officers kind of, you know, roaming the beat here. it's pretty calm now but they may be anticipating further protests in anticipation of that. city officials restricted access to this area, the center city area of philadelphia. they're restricting access to this throughout the day. there's going to be a cur few later on tonight. at the same time, you've got, you know, the police presence here at these entrances and a little bit of tension on the streets. you've also got volunteers. there are people here cleaning up. you saw a church group volunteering down the street and scrubbing graffiti off the side of the building. a lot of people wanting to get things cleaned up here. we have an updated figure for you. 140 some arrests last night. many for looting. some from violating cur fefew. you mentioned 13 police officers were harmed last night. one hospitalized because he was
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struck by a vehicle. we can give you the updated number on injuries and arrests. >> smashing the windows in and going into the stores and looting. it's an awful situation. brian, thank you. be careful later today, as well. to the epicenter of this outrage here in the united states. we're talking about minneapolis. as protests continue there, we're seeing video of the moments leading up to george floyd's death. cnn's josh campbell is on the scene for us. josh, we have the new video of the events that lead to the death of george floyd. so give us the latest, first of all, on the investigation. >> yeah, wolf, every new piece of information we seem to learn in this case causes more questions. including this new video we saw which appears to show officers struggling with someone in the back of a vehicle, which we assume was george floyd. you cannot see him in that video. but, you know, i can tell you when you're trying to seat belt a suspect in, it's often could be a dangerous moment if the person tries to struggle. what we could be seeing there is floyd struggling with the
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officers and then the video ends. but we talked to law enforcement experts who tell us regardless of what happened in the car, the critical moment here for this investigation is when he's on the ground. when the knee is on his neck, which would be unrelated to what happened in the back of the vehicle. many more questions here, wolf, as this continues. as you said, it's the epicenter. let me tell you here. we're outside the fifth precinct in police department. they have erected razor wire and fencing throughout the police department. we know one police department was torched. they didn't want the same thing to happen here. up on the roof here, you can see the officers have set up different barriers. last night they were out here in full force behind these barriers. you can see off to the left there, overturned table they were using as concealment. there were dozens and dozens of protesters out here. some of them turning very violent. officers launching projectiles into the crowd. these were from the streets. before the clean up began, the street was littered with these nerve gas. you have a rubber bullet which
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were fired into the crowd trying to get them to disperse and out of this area. of course, those images, wolf, are similar what we saw across the country with some protests turning violent. yet to be seen if we'll see more of that tonight, wolf. >> josh, the president tweeted about designating antifa, far left group here in the united states, a terrorist organization. he tweeted this saying the united states of america will be designating antifa as a terrorist organization. so tell us specifically what does it mean as far as the justice department here in washington and the fbi are concerned designating antifa as a terrorist organization. we know the president and the attorney general of the united states both blame antifa for a lot of violence that erupted in these major u.s. cities. >> reporter: yeah. it's so unclear. the president's tweet, as you mentioned, said he intends to designate antifa as a terrorist organization. we heard attorney barr saying
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that it was right wing supremacists potentially involved in this, as well. with the president and the justice department looking at designating this group as a terrorist organization, it is still unclear what that means. that designation is typically reserved for foreign terrorist organizations. in fact, under federal law, wolf, it says that it has to be foreign. a foreign nexus, there's no clear indication that an ftifa and point out there's no domestic terrorism statute in the united states. yet to be seen whether it's bluster or the president trifeding to putrying to push for a new law or policy. it doesn't seem to fit squarely under federal code as it fits now. we'll wait to see whether the attorney general wants to move it forward as it relates to now looking at domestic terrorists and using the justice department to go after them, wolf. >> all right, good explanation, josh campbell. be careful in minneapolis, as well. thank you. joining us now to discuss all of this and more the mayor of salt lake city, erin
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mendenhall. i know it's tough in your cities, as well. mayor hancock is joining us, as well. what is your reaction to the nationwide demonstrations we've seen in the united states over the last few days? >> thank you for having me, wolf. glad to be here with my counter part mayor men denhall. i've been in conversation with mayors from all over the country. there's about a dozen of us on the stream text. what we were talking about is what is happening in our city. and it's the same pattern. we have peaceful, successful demonstrations during the daytime. they disperse or as they're dispersing we see as the night begins to fall, the crowd changes over. it's a much more aggressive, much more intentional group that is carrying weapons. they're coming in with the intent of provoking our law
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enforcement. and creating damage. we have seen this now for 72 hours, four days, and i'm glad to see the president is finally catching up and joining. we have been receiving intel for several days now we knew there was an organized effort using peaceful protesters as shields to promote their own agenda. >> i want to get to more of that. mayor in salt lake. you released a letter acknowledging that systemic racism does still exist in your city and it affects your residents every day. so what concrete steps need to be taken in salt lake city and around the country to address this injustice? >> we need to look at this as an opportunity. i know right now we're looking at the violence and the destruction that is happening but the opening of america to be able to be willing to unpack the unpack the underbelly of racism visible to us from the devices
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we carry in our pockets every day is an opportunity for us as a nation, for local communities, to unpack and rebuild. it's not really about a broken system. it's about a system that has been broken from the beginning. and we're going to have to rebuild this together. so it's with hope that we move forward and, fortunately, right now the streets of salt lake city are quiet and calm as we have a curfew in place. >> let's hope it stays that way. you mentioned outside agitators are involved, mayor hand cospb handcock. the president is blaming a far left group antifa saying he wants to designate the group as a terrorist organization. >> i wouldn't be surprised if antifa is behind it. we don't have the specific information they're directly engaged but we have intel we have watched and intercepted, frankly, groups coming into denver. we have confiscated weapons including assault weapons that were heading to the
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demonstrations. you don't show up at peaceful demonstrations with assault weapons, handguns, baseball bats, golf ball, and flashbang bottles with the intent of being peaceful. we know that these individuals we've arrested now, we have begun to identify who they are, they're not from denver. they're coming in. and that's not all of them. we know that, unfortunately, some of the peaceful demonstrators, a few of them decide to stick around to see what happens and they get caught up in the cross fire and the provocation of our law enforcement. many of them have been victim of the tear gas that have been deployed by the law enforcement, but it's unfortunate because we all stand in unity with the message that we're trying to elevate. as the mayor mentioned, and the reality, though, is that we have people who are using these protesters as a way to promote an agenda that has nothing to do with george floyd or the values
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or the message we're trying to get across but to promote damage and violence in our cities. >> have you seen that, mayor, in salt lake city, as well? outside agitators far right or far left coming in and this kind of protests? >> our protests started at 11:00 a.m. yesterday and 4:00 p.m. they turned violent. it wasn't a dramatic separation of peaceful protesters coming home and violent protests coming out. there was lot of mixing in the beginning and throughout. it was by about midnight our streets were quieted down and the majority of arrests had taken place and the curfew, as i said, have been in place since then and hold it until monday morning. we have yet to unpack of the arrests we made who the instigators are and their locations. we're anxious to find out. >> it's sad, mayor hancock, we've seen videos like the video of george floyd before -- similar kind of videos. protests getting violent. what do you think needs to
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happen in our country to prevent the next death? >> you know, the reality is that as mayor pointed out, this is a long-term systemic challenge that we as a nation must be fearless in moving forward to address. we must be vulnerable. we must be willing to be bold, to confront what we know is a long standing, deeply embedded challenge in our nation. racism. an innate bias and fear between police officers and african-american men, in particular, and other people of color as well as what goes the other way. you know, we must recognize those things. pull back the israeveil and hav hard conversations. it must be backed up by action. we have to change policies, willing to hold each other accountable. we have to have collaborative conversation between community and law enforcement.
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we must be vulnerable. it starts with leadership. and we cannot have tweets that go counter to the progress and notion that we got to call everyone to the table and say now is the time for the conversations and the construction of plans and agendas that allow us to move forward adds a nation. this is not going to be done overnight. this is going to take generations. it took generations to create. >> thank you so much for joining us. good luck. i know the next several hours will be tense in your cities, indeed, other cities around the united states, as well. thank you so much to both of you for joining us. >> thank you. >> thank you. all right. still ahead an investigation being called after a new york city police vehicle hits the gas, driving through a crowd of protesters. plus, a white house apparently divided as protesters target the nation's capitol. sources telling cnn that president trump and his aids appear to be split over how to address these protests.
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in new york city, more than 340 people were arrested and dozens of police officers injured during a very, very chaotic night of demonstrations across the five boroughs. at least three people are facing
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charges in connection with molotov cocktails against the nypd. cnn's polo sandoval is joining us from new york now. polo, what are you seeing? >> reporter: well, wolf, you know, when we spoke yesterday authorities had told us they had multiple individuals detained and there was a suspect throwing the molotov cocktails. we know the individuals will be charged in the attack. this is really just the latest in a string of these investigations that we've seen on behalf of authorities looking into these incidents but at the same time we're also learning of other investigations that are happening now. looking into the actions of nypd officers, specifically one of them, the video we learned about it yesterday. about an incident in brooklyn and in the video you can see an nypd vehicle essentially plow through a crowd of individuals in brooklyn, new york. we heard from the nypd
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commissioner a short while ago. the commissioner saying there are protests and there are mobs. and the commissioner saying that what we saw there was more closer to a mob and it was possibly carrying out an ambush. we also hear from mayor bill de blasio saying he'll look into the incident. >> it has to be investigated systemically. everything needs to be looked at. i don't want to get into they have done this or that because i wasn't there. i know what happened. i don't want to see a police officer do period. ever. period. ever. but i also know that there was extremely dangerous situation and the one thing they couldn't do was stay there. so rather than me theorize, let's get you the facts of both the police investigation and the independent investigation. >> now we're also learning more about what happened. according to one official,
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telling cnn that the police officer on board noticed there were bottles being thrown at the vehicle. there was a brick and eventually a flaming bag. when he saw the flames, that's when he hit the gas and, of course, you saw what went down there. and what we're seeing here, wolf, is obviously, two different kinds of demonstrators, as we've heard from authorities from across the country. there are peaceful demonstrators trying to get their message across and then also those who are instigating violence and targeting officers. >> yeah. it's a very, very tense and serious situation in new york city. we'll see what happens in the coming hours, as well. thank you. still ahead, cnn is learning president trump and the white house appear to be split on how to respond to all of these protests around the united states. this is a top white house advisor now claims there's no systemic racism in the nation's police forces. so what can be done to calm the country right now? more of our special coverage right here in "the situation room." ur-pedic mattress.
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the mayor here in washington, d.c., the nation's capital, is urging calm after protests turned very violent last night. fire erupted behind the historic hay-adams hotel. one block away from the white house. even as protesters and police clashed over pennsylvania avenue, there is silence from the white house on the nationwide unrest. sources telling cnn there's a serious divide among president trump's own top advisors over how to address this. cnn's sara westwood is at the white house for us now. sara, the president's response
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to the crisis, particularly his tweets over the past few days, has come under a lot of criticism. first of all, do you know if the has any plans to address the nation formally from the oval office any time soon? >> well, there are certainly people in his circle that want him to do that. some of his aids and allies have been pushing him to address the unrest that we've seen in a more formal setting. perhaps even in the oval office that would allow him to call for calm, encourage unity. you have a group of advisors who are pushing the president to more forcefully condemn the looting and more destructive acts we've seen when the protests have spiralled out of control. these people think the president should be more aggressive in calling out some of the destruction we've seen from some of the protesters and they even worry if the president fails to do so, he might risk alienating some of the demographic groups that will be vital for his re-election in november and underpinning this is the fear if
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the president were to address the unrest in a more formal setting and adopt a more measured tone, that any effects of that could be undone pretty quickly if he reverts to the inflame or inflame -- inflammatory tweets. take a listen to an interview with jake tapper earlier. >> i don't think there's systemic racism. i think 99.9% of our law enforcement officers are not racist. they're working in the toughest neighborhoods. they have the hardest jobs in this country. i think they're amazing great americans and they're my heros. there are some bad apples and bad cops that are racist and cops that are, you know, maybe you don't have the right training and some that are bad
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cops. and they need to be rooted out because there's a few bad apples that are giving law enforcement a terrible name. >> reporter: wolf, we should note that what is driving the protests is not just a reaction to what happened to george floyd, which is obviously horrifying, but the pattern of mistreatment that the communities of color have experienced from law enforcement over many years. so his comment runs the risk of being misinterpreted by some as a fundment tal misunderstanding of what the protests are about. >> sara, thank you. joining us now to discuss this is cornell william brooks,. also, joining us is the former homeland security secretary under president george w. bush. to both of you, thank you for joining us. mr. secretary, what is your reaction to hearing the president's national security advisor saying that systemic racism does not exist within the
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u.s. police force? >> look, any racial incident or instance of unprovoked violence that we saw with respect to george floyd is unacceptable. it's not to be tolerated. i worked with many fine officers but soing and investigating officers who were not fair and committed acts as heinous as we saw with respect to mr. floyd. so the answer is zero tolerance for police misbehavior and police racism. >> cornell, i want to play a clip from professor cornell west, a man you know. here is what he told our anderson cooper about the past administration. we're talking about the obama administration and how it may have failed african-americans in our country. listen to this. >> the black lives matter
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movement emerged under a black president and they couldn't deliver. you see. so when you're talking about the masses of black people, the precious poor and working class black people, poor and working class brown, red, yellow, whatever color, they're the ones who were left out and they feel so thoroughly powerless, helpless, hopeless then you get rebellion. >> what is your reaction to that? >> my reaction to this, to my colleague professor cornell west, it's quite simply this. the inspiration, the tragic history that gave rise to the black lives matter movement predated the administration of president obama. so let's be clear here, the disparities in arrests. the disparities in punishment, the disparities in police-involved homicides
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predate the obama administration. the era of mass incarceration began well before president obama. so the point being here is the duty to which black people's bodies are being brutalized as we speak is not a matter of one administration or one president. that's simply the historical record. to go to the security advisor's observations about there not being systemic racism in the ranks of the police, i'm not sure what planet in which universe you come to such a conclusion. the reality when black men literally have as a leading cause of death police homicide. you have 1 in 1,000 chance of being killed by the police in your lifetime. where jails and prisons are literally filled with black and brown bodies. not based upon disproportionate
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criminality but disproportionate sentencing and treatment. let's not be naive. we're dealing in a long standing problem that is grounded in america's problem. it manifested as systemic racism. that's the issue here. let's not -- let's not be naive. it's not president obama's fault. >> all right. let me bring back the form secretary of m secretary of homeland security. there seems to be several different so-called mixed messages coming out on who is tomenting the violent acts during the protests in major american cities. local officials in minneapolis said it's white supremacy. the trump administration is blaming the radical left, antifa, specifically, the president tweeted today is a terrorist organization. what do you think? >> well, i have spoke tonn to a number of people. let me begin by saying the vast minority demonstrating are doing
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that out of a sincere desire to protest what they understandably hear as real misbehavior by the police. that's appropriate. it appears there's some people coming from outside. some of them armed with semiautomatic weapons, driving around in automobiles without license plates who are seizing on these events to try to create a violent reaction. in some cases, for example, in washington, they actually encouraged people to stay around essentially to be like a mask or a shield while carrying out acts of violence. some are white supremacists. some are far left agitators. what they share in common is a desire to have some kind of a outbreak which would achieve their ideological -- and frankly whether they're the extreme right or left, it shouldn't be tolerated. people are being arrested. we also need to take a careful
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look at what the country may be involved in. there are people fanning the flames to try to create -- >> all right. let me get cornell to weigh in. go ahead. >> let's be clear about this, having marching and demonstrations around the country, including in minneapolis, after jamar clarke was killed. it appeared then and it appears now that we have people coming from outside the community looking to stoke chaos, anarchy and violence. the issue is not left or right but right and wrong. it's wrong to burn, loot, commit acts of arson in other people's communities or any community. and i want to be clear about
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this, wolf, in minneapolis, on a street corner where i stood, literally two white nationalists came in from outside, shot five people within 24 hours while standing there. this is a real issue. let's be clear about this, let's not tar the whole and the many peaceful protesters with terms like terrorists. the fact of the matter is the americans who are hitting the streets who are standing up for george floyd and other victims of police brutality stand with martin luther king and rosa parks. so they're doing what the constitution allows them to do and their conscience compels them to do. there may be outside provocker tos. they should be focussed upon, arrested, and prosecuted. the majority of americans are trying to bring about justice. they should be protected, honored, and supported. >> cornell william brooks,
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michael, thank you very joining us on this tense day here in the united states. so what does -- why does this all keep on happening here in the united states? and when will this end? join cnn's don lemon for an important conversation "i can't believe: black men living and dying in america" tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern.
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thousands and thousands of protesters are filling the streets of cities across the united states. there's deep concern right now that this could also fuel the spread of the coronavirus and black americans already disproproportion nately affected by the pandemic find themselves at risk. andrew cuomo urging protesters to wear a mask for everyone's safety. but so many of the demonstrators aren't wearing masks. they're certainly not social
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distancing. a doctor is joining us now. the former u.s. surgeon general. the author of the book "together" there you can see the book jacket there. doctor, we heard governor cuomo say people have the right to protest, of course, but don't have the right to infect others. how do we find a balance? because there's serious concern right now that two, three, four weeks from now there could be a spike in coronavirus cases as a result of what is going on on the streets now >>well, thank you, wolf. it's good to be with you. it's such a terribly sad time for our nation. i think if you are black and in america now, you are seeing insult added to injury from covid-19 we already saw it was affecting minority communities to a disproportionate extent for minorities to be tested and more
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likely to be infected and die from the virus. on top of that, to duothrougo t the tragic experience and death and murder of george flid adds insult to the injury. it's not a surprise people are demonstrating, that they're protesting the streets. i worry about the risk of infection spreading. that is hard to keep social distance, to keep masks on during a protest. we should try to do that. but i think it's also worth keeping in mind that there's a deeper impact here of what is going on. both with covid and with the aftermath of george floyd, which is that the trauma being visited upon our country by both these pandemics is profound and will have implications fror our mentl health. wh we know that depression, anxiety, ptsd, and loneliness rise often after wards. we'll see the consequences here,
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too. we have to remember that the ko consequences behalf is happening in america is not just the physical health. they're the emotional health, the mental health, and heavy price, unfortunately to pay. >> as you point out, correctly communities of color are being affected by the coronavirus outbreak. this will take a while to change that imbalance. right? >> it will. it will take some time but this is where it's important to ask, what it's at the root of these concerns and how do we move forward? there's no question that we need serious policy changes in our country to help address this structural factors that make communities of color to be so much worse off when it comes to their fundamental health outcomes. no question about the need to ensure great iracceer access foh cure communities and make sure people get the same quality of care everyone else gets, but also we have to realize in
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moments like this, relationships matter as well and that when we've seen -- we've seen when our relationship the fray with each other, when our social relationships are weakened over time, that turns out has profound impact on our health and impacts or performance in the workplace and school, and impacts our ability to dialogue with each other and contributes to strife and polarization. if there was ever a time to focus and rebuild, it is right now. without doing that we don't change hearts and minds. without that we can't support the institutional policy change we need in this country. that means we need more leadership in america and something we're sorely lacking. >> dr. murthy, thanks for your expertise. we really appreciate it especially during this very, very difficult times. >> thank you, wolf. a truly remarkable moment in our country's history happening in the midst of all of this high
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above our planet. two astronauts stepping into the international space station. a giant leap for our country's effort to explore space is ahead and also much more on the late-breaking developments's we'll be right back. stuff like foot-long bills and fees from nowhere. time-wasting stores, misleading ads, unhelpful help centers. and saved the stuff that was working. like verizon's 4g lte network. plus unlimited data, messages, and minutes. it's a simple system. trim the bad... make the good better... and way cheaper. meet visible. unlimited data on verizon's 4g lte network. just $25 for your first month. join us at visible.com. sprinting past every leak in our softest, smoothest fabric. she's confident, protected, her strength respected. depend. the only thing stronger than us, is you.
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much more on the protests around the united states coming up. we've been witnessing now the past few days, but right now i want to take a moment to show awe extraordinary moment. the senate space station. moments ago the spacex drew "dragon capsule" opened its hatch with the space station and the astronauts welcomed to the space station, they'll call home one to three months. a historic time for our country's space program and spacex. here e here's what he had to sap at the welcoming ceremony.
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>> obviously our honor to be a small part of in is. we have to give credit to spacex, the commercial crew program and of course nasa. it's great to get the united states back in the crew launch business, and we're just really glad to be onboard this magnificent complex. >> well, we have some v.i.p.'s with us here and i'm sure have questions to ask, but i have one of my own before i turn it over. i just wanted to find out if you guys got any sleep on your way up there the last, i'd say, i guess 19 hours? did you get any sleep? >> yeah. i think a lot of folks in hawthorne asked the same question, sir, but we did get probably a good seven hours or so, opportunity for sleep, and i did succeed at sleep and doug did as well. so -- the first night is always a little bit of a challenge, but
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the "dragon" was a slick vehicle, and we had the air flow. so we had an excellent, excellent evening, and just excited to be back in lower earth orbit again. >> amazing. well, one of the people that is here with us today is senator ted cruz and, of course, he's a huge advocate of america's space program, and he's been, you know, somebody who has helped us so much as we transition from one administration to the next administration, and the reason missions like this can have success is because of continuity of purpose, and senator ted cruz was a leader on the bill called the -- the nasa transition authorization act, and because of that, we have had a lot of political support and we're very grateful for his leadership. senator cruz, would you like to say a few words? >> well, congratulations,
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gentlemen. the eyes of the world are upon you, and everyone is proud of you. all of america is watching you and today and yesterday represent big, big days. we're looking at decades since we've had american astronauts launch an american ship from american soil, and i can tell you, i sat with my wife and kids in our living room watching on tv yesterday and i suspect we did just about what everyone did watching did, including both of you, held our breath as it took off. and we're glad to see you've landed safely. we're glad to see you docked, and so let me ask you. that "dragon" it's an amazing vehicle. how did she handle? >> it -- flew just like it was supposed to. >> as you know, the first time a
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commercial spacecraft has taken an astronaut to the international space station. yesterday's launch was the first time eave had launch on american soil in nearly a decade. a thrilling moment in space history and the possible dawn of a new age of space travel. >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. we want to welcome our viewers here in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer in washington and this is a special edition of "the situation room." happening now a nation under siege on two fronts. protests and a pandemic. today silence from the white house as mayors survey the damage in the cities and the plea for calm and order. the demonstrations eruptions overnight across america started with protests in cities both large and small, and then turned violent at times. 13 states act viivating the national guard and curfews to

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