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CDC Issues Warning About Antibody Tests; U.S. Approaches 100,000 Coronavirus Deaths; Interview With Gov. Ned Lamont (D-CT); Four Officers Fired After Fatal Incident Shows Officer Kneeling On Black Man's Neck; Hair Salons And Barbershops To Start Reopening In California; NHL To Restart Season With First-Of-Its-Kind Playoff Format. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired May 26, 2020 - 18:00   ET



ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: We want to welcome our viewers here in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM.

This hour, as some of the biggest states in the nation take new steps forward toward reopening, the U.S. coronavirus death toll stands as a very grim reminder of what we are all still facing, nearly 99,000 dead here in the United States in less than three months, the gut-wrenching number of 100,000 only days, maybe even only a few hours away.

Also breaking, a new warning from the CDC that antibody tests may be wrong -- get this -- about half of the time. And that makes those tests an unreliable tool to determine if people have been infected and are potentially immune from the virus, this as former Vice President Joe Biden is accusing President Trump of stoking deaths by mocking Biden for wearing a mask in public and refusing to wear one himself.

Stand by for more of Biden's first face-to-face interviews since the pandemic have ended the 2020 campaign.

Let's get some more right now from CNN's Nick Watt. He's joining us from California.

Nick, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now raising a red flag about those antibody tests.

NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, basically saying that they are no better than a coin toss, that they can be wrong about half of the time.

I mean, I'm booked to get one tomorrow morning, like many others, hoping that I have had it. But the CDC is now saying that these tests are not good enough to make any policy judgments. They're not good enough to tell if somebody should go back to work or back to college. They are, frankly, not fit for purpose.

And, anyway, we still don't know, if you have had it, if you have the antibodies, if you are immune, but this is another setback. But, meanwhile, the so-called transition to greatness, the reopening, rolls on.


WATT (voice-over): We're nearing 100,000 dead, and we're reopening, while the rate of new cases still climbs in 17 states, including California.

GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): we are walking into the unknown, the untested, literally and figuratively, and we have to be guided by the data.

WATT: Among the 20 states seeing new case numbers fall, New York.


WATT: Some traders today back on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. It's been more than two months.

JONATHAN CORPINA, MERIDIAN EQUITY PARTNERS: It's a great sign, it's a great symbol of our economy getting back into motion.

WATT: Mandatory masks, and everyone must sign a waiver stating they know the risks.

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): They wanted to get back to business, but they wanted to be smart. And they're doing it in a way that keeps people safe.

WATT: Long Island starts to open tomorrow. New Rochelle, that early New York hot spot, starts today.

NOAM BRAMSON (D), MAYOR OF NEW ROCHELLE, NEW YORK: I think the people of New Rochelle take special satisfaction in reaching this milestone. And we are cautiously optimistic.

WATT: Will there be a fallout from that now infamous Memorial Day party in the Ozarks? Well, we will find out in a week or two.

DR. SAM PAGE, ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MISSOURI, EXECUTIVE: The responsible thing to do now is to self-quarantine. Don't put others at risk. Don't put your loved ones at risk. And make better decisions moving forward.

WATT: Neighboring Arkansas, a month after reopening began, now suffering a sharp spike in cases.

KAREN LEE, ARKANSAS: I could get killed by COVID today or I could get hit by a bus or a car tomorrow.

WATT: The governor says some of us might need to learn a lesson the hard way.

GOV. ASA HUTCHINSON (R-AR): It's disappointing when we have a lack of discipline by a few outliers.

How do you remedy that? Part of it is reeducation. And part of it is experience.

WATT: Meanwhile, in Vernon, California, more than 150 workers at this meat processing plant have tested positive, outbreaks reported at eight other facilities in the city. The union wants the plant closed for cleaning.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The spikes keep coming. And it's sort of like Amity Island. There's an invisible, insidious, deadly shark out there, and it's time to get people out of the water to figure out what's going on.

WATT: CDC numbers show nearly 80 percent of COVID deaths are among the 65 and older, but, interestingly, nearly 80 percent of cases are in the under 65s.

A potential vaccine is now moving into human trials. And, today, Merck announced it's also entering the race. But an effective vaccine is still far from guaranteed.

DR. MICHAEL OSTERHOLM, DIRECTOR, UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA CENTER FOR INFECTIOUS DISEASE RESEARCH: The virus itself is going to do what it's going to do. We're not driving this tiger. We're riding it.

For all the suffering, pain, death, and so forth we have had so far, only about 5 percent of the U.S. citizens have been infected. And this virus is not going to rest at all until it gets to 60 or 70 percent.



WATT: Now, as of about three hours ago in most of California, you can get your haircut again.

I say most because the reopening here is very regional. It's county by county. And, right now, only 47 of 58 counties have met the benchmarks to progress to haircuts.

We're going to hear tomorrow about child care, school and summer school, all, of course, crucial for parents who are hoping to get back to work -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Nick Watt out in California for us, thank you.

Now to President Trump on the attack and boasting about his coronavirus response, as the nation is about to reach a very, very grim milestone.

Let's go to our Chief White House Correspondent, Jim Acosta.

Jim, the president is pushing all sorts of familiar buttons.


President Trump is unleashing a new barrage of bogus distractions just as the number of dead from the coronavirus in the U.S. nears the awful milestone of 100,000 lives lost.

The president is defending his handling of the virus, while mocking former Vice President Joe Biden for wearing a mask, something the president is refusing to do publicly.


ACOSTA (voice-over): As the U.S. approaches the grim milestone of 100,000 American lives lost to the coronavirus, President Trump is touting his handling of the pandemic as a success.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think cures are going to be in there very shortly.

ACOSTA: The U.S. will hit 100,000 deaths this week, an astounding number far higher than countries like South Korea, which does have a smaller population, but fewer than 300 deaths.

President is defending his performance, tweeting: "For all the political hacks out there, if I hadn't done my job well and early, we would have lost 1.5 to 2 million people, as opposed to the 100,000- plus that looks like we will be the number. That's 15 to 20 times more than we will lose."

But hold on. The president once predicted the virus would just disappear.

TRUMP: Looks like, by April, in theory, when it gets a little warmer, it miraculously goes away. Hope that's true.

ACOSTA: Mr. Trump is attempting to distract the public, tweeting about false conspiracy theories, calling for the opening of a cold case against MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, perpetuating a baseless accusation, and insisting, without evidence, that "There is no way, zero, that mail-in valance will be anything less than substantially fraudulent."

Mr. Trump also mocked former Vice President Joe Biden for wearing a mask to a Memorial Day service, something the president decided against, making for a split-screen campaign moment.

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany questioned why Biden isn't wearing a mask in his basement. But health experts are not recommending mass at home.

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: It's a bit peculiar, though, that in his basement right next to his wife, he's not wearing a mask, but he's wearing one on what outdoors when he's socially distanced. So I think that there was a discrepancy there.

ACOSTA: The president later claimed he wasn't criticizing Biden.

TRUMP: Biden can wear a mask. But he was standing outside with his wife, perfect conditions, perfect weather. They're inside, they don't wear masks, and so I thought it was very unusual that he had one on.

ACOSTA: The problem for the president, his own health experts, the CDC and even his former Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney recommend masks in crowded settings.

MICK MULVANEY, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: What it means is that if we are careful about social distancing and putting on masks and so forth, we should be able to go back to work sooner, rather than later.

ACOSTA: A recent Quinnipiac poll found two-thirds of Americans believe masks should be required in public. Some Trump supporters would rather face the virus without protection.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, if he's not wearing a mask, I'm not going to wear a mask. If he's not worried, I'm not worried.

QUESTION: The president?


ACOSTA: Another Trump distraction? His threat to move the upcoming GOP convention out of North Carolina, in protest of that state's reopening plans. Now other states are vying for the event.

GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): The door is open. We want to have the conversation, whether it's RNC, DNC whatever, because I think it would be good for the people of Florida.

ACOSTA: One administration official who dared question the White House response, former Health and Human Services Deputy Inspector General Christi Grimm, stood by the report issued by her office pointing to shortages of medical supplies at the start of the pandemic.

CHRISTI GRIMM, FORMER HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES DEPUTY INSPECTOR GENERAL: We are impartial in what we do. And really anything that is done that could impair independence, I think, compromises the effectiveness of oversight of programs that are there to serve the American public.


ACOSTA: And a few items to note.

First, the Trump administration is moving forward with new travel restrictions for travelers coming from Brazil. Those restrictions begin later on tonight at midnight.

And as for this threat from the president to pull the GOP Convention out of North Carolina, Mr. Trump said today he is giving the governor of that state, Roy Cooper, one week to decide whether the event can happen in Charlotte later on this summer.

And, finally, Wolf, we want to flag something that Twitter is flagging about one of the president's tweets from earlier today about mail-in balloting.

There, you see the president's tweet posted at 8:17 this morning about mail-in balloting and his false claim that it leads to voter fraud. At the bottom of the tweet, Twitter has added this: "Get the facts about mail-in ballots."


So, this is the first time we have seen this from Twitter. If you click on that link, it takes you to a page with lots of information about voting by mail-in and how it does not lead to fraudulent voting, as the president has claimed.

And so it appears to be the first time that the social media platform is flagging some of the president's false claims on Twitter. Not all of those tweets that are false have been flagged by Twitter. But, in this case, this one on mail-in balloting is being flagged as a false tweet by Twitter -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Very interesting, Jim.

And we just heard from the former Vice President Joe Biden his interview with our own Dana Bash, in which Biden -- in that interview, Biden said the president "is a fool, an absolute fool to talk that way," talking about masks.

"This macho stuff, it's costing people's lives."

I'm just curious, any reaction yet from the White House or from the president, for that matter?

ACOSTA: No reaction yet, Wolf.

I can almost guarantee that we will get one from the president in response to what the vice president, former vice president said in that interview with Dana Bash.

But it is worth noting, when he was pressed on this at this press conference over here at the White House just a short time ago, the president was trying to insist he wasn't criticizing the former vice president for wearing a mask, when, of course, that's exactly what he was doing when he retweeted that tweet mocking Joe Biden for wearing a mask, Wolf.

BLITZER: Very interesting.

All right, Jim Acosta, you get the reaction, you will let us know. Thank you very much.

Joining us now, the Governor of Connecticut, Ned Lamont.

Governor Lamont, thanks so much for joining us.

More than 3,700 Connecticut residents, as you well know, they have already died from this virus. A model by Yale, the Yale School of Public Health predicts that, if you reopen too quickly in Connecticut, the state's death toll could top 8,000 people by September.

So, how does that impact your moves towards phase two of reopening?

GOV. NED LAMONT (D-CT): We're reopening, and we are reopening very cautiously.

I reopened to give people a sense of confidence, if we do this one step at a time, you can get back and have a meal outside at a restaurant as of last week. You can go into a store as long as you're wearing a mask.

President Trump, you must wear a mask. That's our -- that's our guidance here in this state going forward. And, again, as we have talked about before, Wolf, we didn't shut down our economy. COVID tried to shut it down.

And our job is to give people confidence they can get back to work safely, and only if you follow the protocols.

BLITZER: If you got to wear a mask, he might not be showing up in Connecticut anytime soon.

Many of your beaches and parks, they are filled to capacity, Governor, over the holiday weekend. Do you need to do more to make sure people are still social distancing and being safe as we go into these next few summer months?

LAMONT: Yes, Wolf, we were not the Ozarks.

I mean, as you point out, we have lovely beaches along Long Island Sound, but we capped the number of people who could park maybe at 50 percent center the normal parking capacity. That allowed us to make sure that people were 10, 15 feet apart and maintained some distance on the beaches and inside our parks.

No question about that, a lot more people walk in our trails and our parks and there were a year ago at this time, but that's good. That's good for your mental health. If you keep the distance, it's not a bad way to spend an afternoon.

BLITZER: You're absolutely right.

In an interview with our own Dana Bash which aired here in THE SITUATION ROOM just a little while ago, the former Vice President Joe Biden reacted to President Trump seeming to mock him for wearing a mask publicly yesterday.

I want you to listen. Watch what the former vice president had to say.


JOSEPH BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He's a fool, an absolute fool to talk that way.

I mean, every leading doc in the world is saying you should wear a mask when you're in a crowd, and especially when you know you're going to be in a position where you're going to inadvertently get closer than 12 feet to somebody.


BLITZER: The former vice president also said, this macho stuff by the president is costing people's lives.

What's your reaction to that?

LAMONT: You know who agrees with Joe Biden? Dr. Deborah Birx agrees. You know agrees? Dr. Fauci agrees.

I'd say even Vice President Pence -- he'd probably phrase it a little bit differently -- knows that the safest thing he can do was wear a surgical mask.

I was fascinated, Wolf, to find out that the front-line nurses going into the ICU units in New York City and Connecticut, they had a much lower infection rate than anybody in the general population. Why? Because they wore a surgical mask.

BLITZER: And they have protective equipment as well. And we're grateful for that.

Governor Ned Lamont of Connecticut, as usual, thanks so much for joining us. Good luck to you. Good luck to everyone in Connecticut, as we head into these summer months. Appreciate you joining us.

LAMONT: Nice to see you, Wolf. Thanks.

BLITZER: Thank you.


Just ahead, we will have more on the CDC's new warning out today about the unreliability of antibody tests. Our own Dr. Sanjay Gupta, he's standing by. We will discuss that, what it could mean as the country begins to reopen.

And breaking news. Four Minneapolis police officers have just been fired after a video, a very disturbing video, showed one of them kneeling on the neck of an African-American man, who later died.

We will be right back.


BLITZER: We're following the breaking news here in THE SITUATION ROOM on a new CDC warning just out about coronavirus antibody tests and on CNN's exclusive interview with the former Vice President Joe Biden, firing back at President Trump on the issue of wearing masks.


Let's bring in our chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, along with our chief political analyst, Gloria Borger.

Gloria, here's what the former vice president said on the issue of masks in that interview with Dana Bash just a few moments ago.


BIDEN: I think you got a president that is supposed to lead by example.

And I watched -- I watched the president yesterday wearing no mask, and saw him making fun of the fact I wore a mask.

The truth of the matter is that I think you're supposed to lead by example.


BLITZER: Then he went out to say, Gloria, "and not be folly, don't engage in folly, and be falsely masculine."

So what do you make of these latest developments, what the president had to say, and now what the former vice president is saying?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: You know, I never thought I say this, but I think the issue of wearing a mask has now become a wedge issue in this campaign.

And somehow, because of the president, it has become an issue. I think he believes that people who wear masks exhibit signs of weakness if they're wearing them outside, for example, the way that the vice president did.

It is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of respect. It is a sign of respecting the people around you. And the vice president, when he went to lay that wreath, was surrounded by Secret Service, for example. And I think he wore it -- or -- and there are people who were observing him across the way. And I think he wore as a sign of respect.

For some reason, the president has decided, perhaps because of vanity, perhaps because he doesn't think it's necessary, although his own CDC believes it's necessary, has decided to make a point of not wearing a mask.

And I think we're going to hear this throughout the campaign. And let me also point out that Joe Biden's new Twitter avatar, Wolf, shows him wearing his trademark sunglasses and that mask.

BLITZER: Yes, very interesting.

Sanjay, what sort of impact does this debate over masks have on public health?

GUPTA: People may not be as likely to wear masks. I think that that's the big concern.

And there's plenty of evidence now that they can make a big difference. We keep talking about states opening vs. not opening. And we think of this in this sort of binary sort of way.

But the reality is that, even in places that are opening or opened, one of the things you see is that a lot of people seem to be getting this message about masks. They're wearing the masks more than they're not. And, as a result, I think the -- we may be having some beneficial effect on the rate of transmission. There's still significant viral transmission around there, but wearing

a mask works. It's also why health care workers didn't have the same rates of infection as we maybe expected, given that they're surrounded by the virus in hospitals and things like that. They can work.

So, I have worn a mask since I started my training nearly 30 years ago, so a mask is just part of my life. It's just -- it's weird, frankly, to see something like that become so politicized.


Gloria, we have also just seen a significant development, a major change on how Twitter treats tweets from the president of the United States. For the first time ever, Twitter's has now added an icon to a tweet from the president about mail-in ballots.

The icon says -- quote -- "Get the facts about mail-in ballots" -- end quote. And when you click onto it, it leads to a whole bunch of articles by CNN and others with more information the president's claim.

It's a pretty extraordinary development, after years of false tweets, isn't it?

BORGER: Well, it is.

It's Twitter making an effort, at least, to start fact-checking some of these things which are not true. For example, California isn't mailing ballots to every person in the state of California. It's mailing ballots to people who are actually registered voters.

This is Twitter's small step. And it's a good -- it's a very good step. The question out there, of course, is, what are they going to do about the president's calls for a murder investigation into a TV host, with unsubstantiated, just rumor conspiracy theories, whatever you want to call it? It's completely unsubstantiated.

And they have not done anything about that. They were asked to take it down. And they haven't done that yet.

But, again, Wolf, this is a small step in the right direction.

BLITZER: Sanjay, I want to turn back to where the country stands on reopening right now.

As you know, the CDC has just issued new guidance that those antibody tests that so many people have been taking may be wrong half of the time.

Are officials going to have to rely on other approaches to reopen the country safely?

GUPTA: Yes, I think that there's all these different types of tests out there.

The test that people really are talking about with regard to reopening really are more than the diagnostic test, the test that can tell you whether or not you have the virus or not. It's sort of the most relevant piece of information for anybody or people who are going to be in a group of people.


You want to know if other people around you have the virus. It is important to know, ultimately, if people have antibodies, which means they have been exposed to the virus in the past, and they may have some protection.

There's a couple of issues. One is that the -- there's a lot of tests out there that just weren't good tests. I mean, there was a rush to get tests out there. Many of them weren't validated. And we're now seeing the ramifications of that, some bad tests out there.

Two is we don't really still know what the antibodies mean. We know that it's going to offer some protection. We can be pretty sure of that. But we don't know how long that protection will last or how strong that protection will be.

We need to know these things, obviously, if we're thinking about making policy decisions based on it.

The last point, Wolf, I think is a little bit more of a nuanced point. But right now, the estimate is that there's 5 to 10 percent, maybe, of the country that has antibodies, so a really low percentage. When you have a test out there that's trying to find something with such low prevalence, you're going to have a lot of -- it's going to need to really be powered up.

And you're going to have a poor positive predictive value. That's a statistical term, but basically means that you're going to get more false positives than you otherwise would.

Health care workers in New York, for example, it might be a better test there, because there's more people who've been exposed there. So, it's just not -- it ultimately may be a valuable tool, but not yet, and not with these current tests, Wolf.

BLITZER: Sanjay, thanks, as usual. Gloria, thanks to you as well.


BLITZER: Just ahead, we're going to have a report from Minneapolis on the firing of police officers involved in a fatal incident involving an African-American man, all captured on video.

Also, I will talk to San Francisco's Mayor London Breed about concerns that California's economy right now may be in freefall, after the coronavirus shutdown.

We will be right back.



BLITZER: We will have more coronavirus pandemic coverage coming up in a few moments. But there's breaking news out of Minneapolis right now, where four police officers have been fired in the wake of an African- American man's death after a police encounter.

Part of the arrest was captured on video and it shows one officer kneeling on George Floyd's neck, on his neck. Floyd repeatedly said, and you can hear him, he repeatedly said he could not breathe. A warning to our viewers, this video you're about to see is very disturbing.


GEORGE FLOYD: I can't breathe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Boy, you got him down, man. Let him breathe at least, man.

FLOYD: I can't breathe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He can't breathe (INAUDIBLE), man. When that homie dies (INAUDIBLE).

FLOYD: I'm about to die.


FLOYD: Man, I can't breathe, my face --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you want?

FLOYD: I can't breathe. Please, the knee on my neck, I can't breathe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get up and get in the car, man.

FLOYD: I will.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, get up and get in the car.

FLOYD: I can't move.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've been waiting the whole time, man. Just get up and get in the car.

FLOYD: No more, no more.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get up and get in the car.

FLOYD: I can't.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can't get up, (INAUDIBLE) to get in, but I tell you, you can't win.

FLOYD: My neck, my neck.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can't win, man.

FLOYD: I'm through.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know you have, man, but you never listen.


BLITZER: CNNs Omar Jimenez, is joining us now live from Minneapolis. Omar, so disturbing, what are police saying now about the arrest and the disturbing video?

OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the police department acted pretty quickly here, Wolf, firing these four officers. We learned that from an announcement from the police chief earlier today. And even before that, there were protests organized against what had happened to George Floyd and, sadly, what we hey saw played out in that video. And also in support of the life that Floyd lived.

You can see some of the people that have gathered here over shoulder here, again, this is in Minneapolis. And it's not just -- these people that we're looking at particularly are more toward where this actually happened. It actually happened in this street that people are gathered in right now. And you can see the number of people here. I can just turn you along down this way, that this is a mass of people that stretches for blocks. They are in protest of what happened and in support of Floyd's life.

Now, what led to this is basically police have gotten a call about either a counterfeit or forgery situation happening at a nearby restaurant or store here. And from there, the police were given a description of the man they eventually encountered inside a car at that time. And according to police, this man physically resisted and that's what sort to began the entanglement. Again, that's the account coming from police.

We do know that there was body camera rolling throughout this encounter though we haven't seen that just yet. What we have seen is part of that video that was taken by a bystander that we saw play out and posted as part of a Facebook live, where we saw, again, in part, these officers, one, having a knee on the neck of George Floyd's, he repeatedly said I can't breathe, eerily similar to what we heard in 2014 with Eric Garner.

And then, eventually, he begins to seemingly lose consciousness, where his word began to trail off. There are many people on the sidewalk that are asking to check the pulse, though that never happened. And by the time paramedics did get there and his body began to move, it was seemingly limp. And how it was, again, handled by the paramedics.

Moving forward, I mentioned the four officers that were fired, the FBI is now investigating as well, along with state and local officials, but a very dynamic situation, Wolf, and a harrowing video.


BLITZER: Yes, very disturbing, indeed. Omar, thank you very much. Let's get some more on the breaking news right now. Joining us, the criminal defense attorney, CNN Legal Analyst Joey Jackson. Joey, the video, it's hard to watch, it's hard to hear. You can see George Floyd becoming motionless. What stands out to you from this video.

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Everything does, Wolf. What stands out is the lack of inhumanity that you see that's involved. It's disturbing, it's perturbing. And more importantly, from a legal prospective, it looks like everything was under control. Why is that relevant? If you want to use force and you're an officer, there are those instances in which you can.

Number one, you ask yourself, is there an immediate threat to you. When I look at the video, I don't see an immediate threat to anyone, much less the officer who has his knee on his neck. I don't see that.

Moving over to the other issue, which is, okay, well if there's no immediate force, is any force that you used proportionate to any threat that was posed to you. I don't see a threat being posed. I see a person detained and not in a position to move.

And then, finally, Wolf, you ask yourself the reasonability question. Well, did the officer act reasonably? And I don't see that. And, you know, we're always talking about these issues on many times rather in the context of split second decisions. I don't see even a split second decision. There is a person there, he's detained. There are bystanders who are pleading with the officer to stop. You have the person who's being detained saying, stop, I can't breathe, but yet the officers persist in their action.

And so everything about this video is just really quite disturbing, to say the least, and I think certainly the federal government, we know, is involved, the state government is involved, they should be and there should be accountability on all fronts. And that' exceeds, Wolf, the firing of the officers, that's just step one.

BLITZER: Yes. It's bad enough that that one officer was choking him, had his knee on his neck, but the other three police officers were just standing there, they could have said something, could have stopped him, right?

JACKSON: There's no question. And so the issue then becomes if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. And so you see what's happening. You see a person that's in distress, you see a person that is really fighting for their life, not fighting in the technical sense, but saying they can't breathe.

You see bystanders who are pleading with not only the officer who has the knee on the neck, but the officer who's confronting and facing the bystanders. And he does nothing. And then the other ones don't as well.

And so they are complicit in what occurred in here, and at the end of the day, everybody needs to be held accountable.

BLITZER: All right. Joey Jackson, as usual, thank you very much. Very, very disturbing development in the Minneapolis, we'll stay on top of that story.

Just ahead, will San Francisco businesses suffer as other part of California are opening up faster? I speak to the mayor, London Breed, when we come back.



BLITZER: Tonight, as California is taking new steps on reopening, the governor, Gavin Newsom, is warning that, quote, we are walking into the unknown.

Joining us now is San Francisco Mayor London Breed. Mayor Breed, thanks so much for joining us.

The former Presidential Candidate, Tom Steyer, whose leading California's economic recovery task force right now, says, your state, California, is in economic freefall. Right now, the governor estimates California unemployment rate is above 20 percent, the national unemployment rate right now, 14.7 percent. The state appears to be paying an extremely heavy economic price for locking down.

So what's going on? How are you planning on trying to recover?

MAYOR LONDON BREED (D), SAN FRANCISCO, CA: Well, it's going to be hard for us here in San Francisco, Wolf, because we rely on tourism and people aren't moving around the country or the world like they once did. I know people are anxious to do that, but it's going to be challenging for some time. We anticipate over the next two years, our budget deficit is going to be anywhere between $1.1 and $1.7 billion.

So we are going to have tough times ahead of us and we're going to have to make some smart decisions. And it's also going to depend on better investments from our federal and state government.

BLITZER: Yes, you're going to need some major federal and state help.

Under the governor's orders and, Mayor, parts of your state are reopening houses of worship, in-store shopping, hair salons, barber shops, but San Francisco is still in the beginning phase of reopening. Do you worry your residents will simply seek out those services and take a drive to other parts of the state?

BREED: We do worry about that, but the last thing we want to do is go backwards. We have been fortunate to not only flatten the curve, but we are starting to see a reduction in the curve and we have to take this thing slow, but we also realize that other counties may have different experiences than in San Francisco, so they may move ahead a little bit faster. We're doing everything we can to collaborate.

But we know that people are getting anxious. They want services, and also people are anxious about getting back to work. But we want to make sure we do so responsibly.

BLITZER: I want to put up some pictures, Mayor, from your city. This is a park, Mission Dolores Park. Your park's department painted these social distancing circles in attempt to keep people from crowding too closely together during the long weekend. Was this a success? Will this become what they call the new normal in San Francisco this summer?

BREED: Well, the fact is we are living with COVID-19 for some time.


And so, this is just one creative solution we borrowed from New York to try and figure out if there are better ways to get people in the -- get people used to what is our new normal and that is keeping their distance. We're going to see some challenges with our businesses, with out restaurants and other places.

So far, it's worked great, and we're looking at expanding it to other parks. And we're hoping that, along with the number of other things we'll be able to put into place will allow people to get back to some level of normal, of being outside, of going to restaurants, of going to the places that they enjoy.

BLITZER: It looks like a very good idea to me, those circles.

Thanks, Mayor, very much for joining us.

BREED: Thank you.

BLITZER: London Breed of San Francisco, good luck to all the folks out there.

BREED: Thank you.

BLITZER: Thank you.

Just ahead, the U.S. National Hockey League has just announced its plans for restarting the season. We're going to take a closer look at how pro-sports teams are hoping to return safely.



BLITZER: The National Hockey League just revealed a plan to restart its season with 24 teams heading straight into the playoffs for the Stanley Cup.

This comes as some pro-basketball players are resuming their workouts.

Let's go to CNN's Brian Todd.

Brian, we're getting a very early sense of how the world of sports will move forward as the U.S. reopens.


You know, the NHL is clearly being ambitious with its plans to return, as are the NBA and Major League Baseball, but the obstacles to returning, especially the health issues, are so daunting that experts are questioning whether any of this can really work.


TODD (voice-over): The Brooklyn Nets become the first New York-based major sports franchise to return to practice, but with strict limitations from the state and the league. Only four players can work out at a time, one player under each basket. Coaches can't be there.

CHRISTINE BRENNAN, CNN SPORTS ANALYST: The notion of a team practices, it's more individuals who are practices. It's a small step, but that's all it is.

TODD: The NBA is now in talks with the Walt Disney Company about resuming its season in late July, with all the teams possibly playing at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando.

BRENNAN: It's almost like you're running one season right into the next season. And for something like the NBA or the NHL, that becomes incredibly problematic, because when do the players take a break?

TODD: Earlier today, the National Hockey League announced it's going straight to a 24-team playoff tournament in two yet to be named cities.

Major League Baseball is planning is planning a return to action around the Fourth of July weekend, with the season cut in half. No fans in the stands. Baseball previously had a plan to play all its games in Arizona. Now, the plan is to play in teams' home stadiums, but only in jurisdictions where the local governments and health officials would allow it. The NFL is preparing to start its season on- time with fans, but might have to make adjustments.

The Miami Dolphins owner is optimistic.

STEPHEN ROSS, MIAMI DOLPHINS OWNER: Right now, we're planning on having fans in the stadiums.

TODD: But from a health standpoint, is it all too much too soon?

DR. ANNE RIMOIN, EPIDEMIOLOGIST, UCLA SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH: In order for teams to get back online, you would have to have excellent testing protocols, planning for what happens if somebody gets sick, how they're going to be able to manage it, will they shut down if somebody gets sick?

TODD: All considerations that the sports leagues are still trying to figure out. The dangers posed by players constantly running into each other, breathing on each other are evident enough, but even if the leagues play in only one or two locations each, what about the risk of players' interactions with people like hotel staffers who come in and out.

RIMOIN: It means they're going to have be testing all the hotel staff on a regular basis as well, and that hotel staff should be wearing masks. Everybody should be wearing masks when in common areas.

TODD: Analysts say the country has desperate for a return to sports since an NBA game was cancelled right before tipoff in early March, when a player tested positive for coronavirus.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The game tonight has been postponed.

BRENNAN: It sounds great right now to say we'll have NBA games in July and we'll have Major League Baseball games in July, maybe college football in the fall. That sounds great and it's optimistic, and it's a fun thought, but there's no way for sure to know if any of that can happen.


TODD: There are so many complicating factors to having these leagues return, health experts are telling the people who run these leagues that they have to start thinking about things that many of them are probably not thinking about right now, like whether players' family are going to be able to join them during their seasons in these isolated places. They also have to think about the health issues regarding those families -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Quickly, Brian, is there any concerns about shared equipment spreading the virus? For example, a basketball?

TODD: There's huge concern about that, Wolf. You know, basketball in a typical NBA game changes hands so many times between ten players on the court at a time, referees. They're going to maybe disinfect those basketballs.

Also, a hockey goalie's pads and other equipment. They absorb so much sweat. They've got to think about disinfecting those items as well.

BLITZER: Brian Todd reporting, thank you very much.

We'll have more news just ahead.



BLITZER: Finally tonight, our tribute to some of the men and women who have died from the coronavirus.

Francesca Porco of New Jersey was 72 years old, a loving and generous wife and mother, who loved to cook for family and friends, her son Dominic says she also loved to ballroom dance with her husband and could perform a mean tango.

Dr. Leandro Resurreccion III, he was from the Philippines. He was 57 years old. He was the first pediatric transplant surgeon in that country. His son and namesake remembers his father as a very adventurous guy who look like a rock star who had a fiery passion to care for children.

May they rest in peace, and may their memories be a blessing.

"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.