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Full transcript of "Face the Nation" on May 31, 2020

5/31: Face The Nation
5/31: Face The Nation 47:03

On this "Face the Nation" broadcast moderated by Margaret Brennan:

  • Benjamin Crump Floyd Family Attorney
  • Mayor Melvin Carter, D-St. Paul, MN
  • Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, D-Atlanta
  • Dr. Scott Gottlieb, Former FDA Commissioner  

Click here to browse full transcripts of "Face the Nation."

MARGARET BRENNAN: I'm Margaret Brennan in Washington. And this week on FACE THE NATION, the pain and anger following the death of George Floyd ignites into a firestorm of violence across the nation, still reeling from the impact of coronavirus. Tens of thousands have protested in at least seventy-five U.S. cities coast to coast in the weeks since George Floyd's death, following a knee on neck hold by a Minneapolis police officer. The shocking videotape in what some say is a slow response to charging those involved have made racial tensions in an already divided country even worse. What began as peaceful demonstrations turned violent this weekend and grew exponentially in size and intensity. But America's inability to heal its racial divisions added to the combustible mix of tense COVID-19 lockdowns, and the impact of a virus and job cuts that have hit minorities hard. It is making a dark period in America even bleaker. Conflict between Washington and local governments is adding to frustration.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: My administration will stop mob violence, and we'll stop it cold.

KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS: This is not a protest. This is not in the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. This is chaos.

MARGARET BRENNAN: We'll have reports from the mayors of Saint Paul, Minnesota, Melvin Carter, and Atlanta, Keisha Lance Bottoms. One officer has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, but what about the other three who were involved? We'll get the latest in the case from the Floyd family attorney Benjamin Crump. Then we'll take a look at those staggering numbers of COVID-19, as well as how reopening is going in the U.S. with former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb.

WOMAN: Liftoff.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Finally, a blast of hope in these troubled times as America is back in the space race in an old frontier with a new mission.

It's all just ahead on FACE THE NATION.

Welcome to FACE THE NATION. America is in crisis. Last Sunday, we could not have imagined any story being of greater importance than the then rapidly-approaching milestone of one hundred thousand Americans lost to coronavirus. But then a forty-six-year-old African-American male named George Floyd died, after a knee to neck hold was performed by one of four Minneapolis police officers. That incident sparked violence that this country has not seen in decades. At least four people have been killed. More than one thousand six hundred people in twenty-two cities have been arrested, and fifteen states, plus, the District of Columbia, have deployed the National Guard. Minneapolis, Saint Paul, saw its fifth straight night of violence. We begin there this morning with CBS News chief justice and homeland security correspondent Jeff Pegues. Jeff.

JEFF PEGUES (CBS News Chief Justice and Homeland Security Correspondent/@jeffpeguescbs): Margaret, with some demonstrators torching buildings like this furniture store, state officials told us on Saturday that they believed that they were up against a sophisticated network of urban warfare. There were some flare-ups overnight, but police may have been able to turn the corner as they tried to regain control of city blocks.

(Begin VT)

JEFF PEGUES: Overnight police in Minneapolis marched down city streets in an effort to prevent protests from getting out of control. They fired tear gas and rubber bullets--

WOMAN: Get out of the way.

JEFF PEGUES: --after demonstrators violated an 8:00 PM curfew.

It looks like law enforcement has begun the process of trying to clear this street. What we're hearing over the last minute or so, some loud bangs, and that's why you see the crowd starting to react, starting to move back. You see the smoke in the distance.

What started in Minneapolis spread to other cities. In New York, police arrested more than one hundred people as a result of violence during protests there. In Los Angeles, the mayor requested about seven hundred National Guard troops to help keep the peace. Philadelphia's police department reported that at least thirteen officers were injured in protests which included vehicles being set on fire. Indianapolis police are investigating multiple shootings during violent protests in which at least one person was killed. The violence coursing through some of the protests across the country may have a common thread--investigators believe elements of right- and left-wing extremist organizations have been trying to hijack peaceful marches. Attorney General William Barr:

WILLIAM BARR: Far-left extremist groups, using Antifa-like tactics, many of whom travel from outside the state to promote the violence.

GEORGE FLOYD (Darnella Frazier; internet video): I cannot breathe.

JEFF PEGUES: Since this cell phone video surfaced on Monday, the nation has been on edge. It shows Officer Derek Chauvin with his knee pressed into George Floyd's neck.

MAN #1 (Darnella Frazier; internet video): He's not even resisting arrest right now, bro.

WOMAN #2 (Darnella Frazier; internet video): His nose is bleeding.

JEFF PEGUES: Witnesses pleaded for the officer to ease up. Investigators would later determine that Chauvin's knee was pressed into Floyd's neck for eight minutes and forty-six seconds. For the last two minutes and fifty-three seconds of the cell phone video, Floyd was unresponsive. He would later be pronounced dead at a hospital. The four officers involved were fired. Chauvin was arrested on Friday. Investigators say they are still looking into the other three officers involved. The people who knew George Floyd described him as a gentle giant who would never have resisted arrest. In this Instagram video, he encouraged young people to give up gun violence.

GEORGE FLOYD (@shaunking; internet video): Our young generation is clearly lost, man.

(End VT)

JEFF PEGUES: Derek Chauvin will be arraigned amid tight security. In the meantime, it will take residents years to rebuild what burned in just about five days. Margaret.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Jeff Pegues in Minneapolis. Thank you and stay safe.

There was a second night of violence here in the nation's capital, just outside the White House. We go now to Nikole Killion.

(Begin VT)

NIKOLE KILLION (CBS News Correspondent/@NikolenDC): The nation's capital set ablaze as demonstrators took to the streets for a second night near the White House. Police at times, using tear gas to break up the protests. The searing images confronted President Trump following a trip to the Kennedy Space Center to view the liftoff of the first U.S. space launch in a decade, where he said he understood the pain felt by protesters.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: And we hear their pleas. But what we are now seeing on the streets of our cities has nothing to do with justice or with peace.

NIKOLE KILLION: The President blamed the violence on Antifa and radical left groups and vowed to stop it.

(End VT)

NIKOLE KILLION: CBS News has learned the idea of the President giving a national speech on the current unrest has been raised. But whether it's an address from the Oval Office or a White House podium, a top adviser says the President will continue to communicate with the American people. Margaret.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Nikole Killion at the White House. Thanks.

We turn now to the mayor of St. Paul, Minnesota, Melvin Carter. Good morning to you.

MELVIN CARTER (Mayor of St. Paul/@melvincarter3): Good morning. Thank you for having me on.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Mister Mayor, the White House says that Antifa, a far-left extremist group, has been infiltrating American cities. Is that who is instigating the violence that you're seeing?

MELVIN CARTER: Thank you for having me on and I appreciate it. We're seeing an enormous amounts of rage and frustration and anger on the ground. Much of that is totally understandable as the gruesome images of Mister George Floyd's murder has created a-- a groundswell in our community of anger and frustration. Our-- our concern is that it seems very clear that while some of our folks are out there in the streets just crying out to be heard, that they believe that George Floyd should still be alive, that all four of those officers should be held accountable for their actions and that we have deep soul-searching work to do as a nation to stop this pattern from happening over and over and over again. There also seem to be people in those crowds who are very intent on sparking violence, on breaking windows, on starting fires and on trying to convince those folks to-- to engage in unlawful behavior. We're hearing very clearly from many of our historic advocates, the folks who were on the front lines after Philando Castile was killed. The folks who've been on the front lines of the Black Lives Movement, not only do they not know the folks who are right there inciting violence, but they're seeing people jump out of those crowds to break a window and then go run back right back in and behind those crowds. It's very concerning for me.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you have any idea who those instigators are?

MELVIN CARTER: We're working to get to the bottom of that right now. Our law enforcement partners, our police department and, I know, our-- our state law enforcement partners are working very hard to get to the bottom of exactly who that is and what exact agenda is behind that. The focus for us has been on our curfew to make sure that we're able to separate the folks who are here, specifically, to start trouble from those who need to be heard. And the most disturbing, disgusting piece about all of this is the fact that, one, these folks are drowning out the voices that we need to be hearing. We need to be having a conversation right now about how we stop this from happening. We need to be having a conversation right now about how traumatic it is to our communities to see George Floyd killed in the gruesome way that he was, how critical it is that we change the culture of policing for once and for all in our country.


MELVIN CARTER: And those who are expressing that anger in a disgusting and destructive way are taking the focus away from what it should be while destroying our community institutions. That must stop.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I-- I want to-- I want to ask you about that in the case of George Floyd. According to the AP, Minneapolis city records show that there were seventeen complaints that had been filed against the now former officer who is charged with having murdered George Floyd. Sixteen complaints were closed with no discipline. How is that permitted to happen?

MELVIN CARTER: That's, I think, the-- one of the most important questions here. Right here we are totally understanding the anger and the rage that people have. Our call today and moving forward into the future is for peace, but not to be mistaken with patience. We cannot be patient. We cannot sit back and patiently wait while these things change on a slow and incremental basis. The point-- the fact that you just pointed out says we have a lot more work to do on not just how we hire officers, but how we allow chiefs to fire officers when we see across the country officers who were under investigation, officers who are proven to have acted in ways that does not befit our badges. My father is a retired St. Paul police department's, so I've heard-- St. Paul police officer, so I've heard all of my life how important it is to lift up that badge and to not-- not-- not damage it, not damage-- tarnish its reputation. And so what we've seen when officers fall far below our expectations, police chiefs, it's happened in St. Paul, it's happened in Minneapolis, it's happened across the country, who tried to remove those officers, who tried to terminate them, end up being forced to pull them back on the force through arbitration. So our request for our young folks is to take this energy which can-- which has consumed our nation this-- this-- this past week. It's a fire that could destroy us, but could bring us—


MELVIN CARTER: --together in a way that we've never been together. Use it not to destroy our neighborhoods, but to-- to tear down those laws, to tear down those legal precedents, to tear down those police union contracts that make it so difficult to hold officers accountable--


MELVIN CARTER: --for their actions.

MARGARET BRENNAN: All right. Mister Mayor, thank you and good luck.

MELVIN CARTER: Thank you very much.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Next up is Benjamin Crump. He is the attorney representing the family of George Floyd. He's in Jacksonville, Florida. Good morning to you. Before we get to this--

BENJAMIN CRUMP (Floyd Family Attorney/@AttorneyCrump): Good morning, Margaret.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Before we get to the specifics of this case, I want to ask you about what's happening on the ground in Minnesota. You said Friday that the protests should keep going. At this point, has what's happened overshadowed the purpose of these protests?

BENJAMIN CRUMP: Margaret, I'm not a politician. I'm the voice for equal justice for marginalized people in our society. And I proclaim that these riots that are erupting in cities all across America are an outward sign of righteous anger that Americans, especially black Americans, are feeling over the death of George Floyd, but not just George Floyd. He's just the latest tipping point in a string of killings of unarmed black people at the hands, or, should I say, in his case, the knee of the police and many elected officials have to understand that is not these protesters that started these fires across America. It is police brutality and a racist criminal justice system. And the only thing that can put out these fires are police accountability and equal justice. The Floyd family, nor I, agree with violence. Just like Doctor King, we don't try to justify it.


BENJAMIN CRUMP: But we know that what is happening is coming from people been unheard far too long--


BENJAMIN CRUMP: --and they're just tired. And they are saying that we are Americans, too. We want equal justice. We want the Constitution. We don't want to be policed. And then everybody else is protected and served. We, too, are Americans. That's what you're hearing and seeing all across America--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Understood. I want to ask--

BENJAMIN CRUMP: --this day.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Let me ask you about George Floyd and this particular case. The officer, Derek Chauvin, was charged with manslaughter in the second degree, murder in the third. The implication is that he didn't intend to kill George Floyd. Do you have evidence that this was premeditated?


BENJAMIN CRUMP: Well, certainly based on everything that has been presented to us. I've talked with his family ad nauseam because you can imagine after seeing the police have his knee on his neck, not for one minute, not for two minutes, not for three minutes, but for over eight minutes while George pleaded, I can't breathe, I can't breathe, called for his mother. We now have the audio from the police bodycam and we hear where one officer says he doesn't have a pulse, maybe we should turn him on his side. But, yet, Officer Chauvin says, no, we're going to keep him in this position. That's intent, Margaret. Also, the fact that Officer Chauvin kept his knee on his neck for almost three minutes after he was unconscious.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Did the two know each other?

BENJAMIN CRUMP: We don't understand how that is not first-degree murder. We don't understand-- we don't understand how all these officers have not been arrested. And, yes, his family has been notified by the owner of a club that Derek Chauvin was an off-duty police officer while George Floyd was a security guard. And so they had to overlap. And so that is going to be an interesting aspect to this case and, hopefully, upgrading these charges to first-degree murder because we believe he knew who George Floyd was.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So you do believe this was premeditated?

BENJAMIN CRUMP: We think that he had intent based on not the one minute, two minute, but over eight minutes, almost nine minutes--


BENJAMIN CRUMP: --he kept his knee in a man's neck that was begging and pleading for breath. At what point does it not be about detaining a man who's face down with handcuffs, not posing any threat to an intentional will to cause bodily harm? And if that results in death, every prosecutor in America will show that that is first-degree murder. And I have to clarify this, because we saw it in Eric Garner--


BENJAMIN CRUMP: --when they start talking about underlying health conditions and what drugs and alcohol he had in his system--


BENJAMIN CRUMP: --George Floyd died because of the knee--


BENJAMIN CRUMP: --being shoved into his neck and he could not breathe.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Understood. Thank you very much, Mister Crump. We'll be back in one minute with the Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. Stay with us.


MARGARET BRENNAN: We go now to the mayor of Atlanta, Georgia, Keisha Lance Bottoms. Good morning to you.

KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS (Mayor of Atlanta/@KeishaBottoms): Good morning.

MARGARET BRENNAN: The National Guard is now in Atlanta. Has that quelled the violence that we saw Friday night when the CNN Center was attacked?

BOTTOMS: Last night was not as bad as Friday night. I think there were several reasons for that. Of one, many people just decided to-- to heed my advice and stay home. Also, there were many more-- much more support that we had for our officers last night with the National Guard. And we also had a curfew last night, a nine-o'clock PM curfew and so that helped tremendously.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I want to ask you about something your police chief said at a press conference yesterday about some of the more violent actors that we saw on Friday. She said they were part of a highly calculated terrorist organization. Who are the groups that you think are behind this?

KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS: You know I can't say who they are. I know that it was just-- it was a very different protest than we are used to having in Atlanta. Obviously, we are the home of the Civil Rights Movement. So we-- we have a long history of protest in our city. But our organizers in Atlanta, many of whom don't agree with me quite often as mayor, were very clear that this, by and large, after things turned violent, was not an Atlanta-based protest. It looked differently racially in our city than our normal protests looked. And it was-- it was just-- it was a different group. So we don't know who they were, but many of them were not locally based. I'll say that.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But when the Justice Department when the attorney general spoke, he said something about radical left. Do you have any indication of organized groups who are plotting in your city?

KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS: No, I don't. I don't.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Okay. The President has issued a series of tweets in the past few days, as I'm sure you know, and he has said that liberal governors and mayors must get much tougher or the federal government will step in and do what has to be done and that includes using the unlimited power of our military and many arrests. Have you heard from the White House? Do you know what they're asking you to do?

KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS: No, I don't know. And this is so reminiscent of Charlottesville when President Trump just made it worse. And there are times that you should just stop. And this is-- this is one of those times. He's making it worse. This is not about using military force. This is about where we are in America. We are beyond a tipping point in this country. And his rhetoric only inflames that. And he should just sometimes stop talking.

MARGARET BRENNAN: In Georgia, you recently saw the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, the twenty-five-year-old black man who was shot by two white men. You called it an on-camera lynching. The President has said the video, he watched it. It was disturbing. The Justice Department is investigating it as a civil rights crime. Do you have faith that the Justice Department will see this through?

KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS: I don't have faith in this Justice Department, but I do have faith in America as a whole. So it is my hope that between the Justice Department, between the state of Georgia, that there will be appropriate charges that will be brought, that will be prosecuted and that there will be a conviction.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You don't have faith in the Justice Department. What is your-- what is your message then to your-- to the people of Atlanta who-- who also don't have faith, who are also very frustrated and want to go out still and protest? Since there has been this eruption of violence, should they still be on the streets?

KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS: Well, I think that there is a place in America for peaceful protest, and we know that peaceful protests have had a history of changing things in this country. But it has to be organized and it has to be for a purpose. And when you have violent eruptions like we've seen across America, then we lose sight of even what we are talking about. Yesterday, all we talked about was how our cities were erupting across America, but we weren't even talking about George Floyd and so many others who have been killed in this country. So that's my concern about what happens when we get lost in the violence. We-- we've got to be more organized in the same way that we were during the Civil Rights Movement and many other challenges that we faced in this country. I understand the frustration. The frustration is real and the anger is warranted. But the violent eruptions won't offer us any solutions right now.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Mayor Bottoms, thank you for your time. Good luck to you.


MARGARET BRENNAN: We'll be right back with a lot more FACE THE NATION. Stay with us.


MARGARET BRENNAN: Our digital network, CBSN has expanded to include ten local news streaming services, including WCCO-TV, our Minneapolis-St. Paul affiliate. To watch their live local coverage, go to or download the CBS News app or CBS All Access.


MARGARET BRENNAN: We'll be right back with more on the nationwide protests from CBS News 60 in 6 correspondent Wesley Lowery. He won a Pulitzer for his coverage of race. And then how the pandemic is hitting the country with Doctor Scott Gottlieb.


MARGARET BRENNAN: Welcome back to FACE THE NATION. We want to go now to Wesley Lowery. CBS News correspondent for 60 in 6, which is a new digital program featuring 60 MINUTES-style storytelling in just six-minute episodes on the streaming service, Quibi. He was formerly at The Washington Post as the lead reporter covering police shootings and the Black Lives Matter movement. And, as we mentioned earlier, he won the Pulitzer for his work. So, Wes, you are formidable and we are glad to have you.

WESLEY LOWERY ("60 IN 6" Correspondent/@WesleyLowery): Happy-- you know, not happy to be here. I honestly--


WESLEY LOWERY: None of us would like to be talking about this again obviously.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I think the country would agree with you right now. But I-- I know you have been on the phone and speaking with some of the activists who are in the streets and cities around the country. What are they telling you?

WESLEY LOWERY: You know, we're in this moment right now where all of us are asking of every-- of any political stripe and even those of us who are not, you know, explicitly partisan or political in any way are asking how do we stop what's happening in the streets? No one wants to live in a world where the streets are burning and no one wants to live in a world where people are killed in the streets, right?


WESLEY LOWERY: And what the activists are saying is you all haven't been listening to us. Right. For-- you, listen to the protest chants, all right. One that's very popular during these demonstrations, not just the George Floyd ones, but, historically, indict, convict, send the killer cop to jail. The whole system is guilty as hell. Right. And what the activists are saying is we have been saying the system is foundationally and fundamentally broken. And you've been giving us speeches and a-- and a body camera. You've been charging one individual officer who then, by the way, very-- might beat the charges--


WESLEY LOWERY: --or even firing an individual officer. And I've done reporting to suggest that many officers who get fired get their jobs back. There's actually a belief that many of these officers in Minneapolis may get their jobs back who are fired, right? So, again, what the activists are saying is that you all have not been listening to us, that-- that this was in so many ways inevitable, right? Again, the protest chant, right? If we don't get no justice, there will be no peace.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But is there something I wonder that's very specific to this moment, because, as you've said, this is not the first case. This is one of-- of innumerable instances of police brutality that our country has talked about in the past few decades. What exploded it now? Is there something about where we've been as a country with the economic crisis, with the pandemic? Why?

WESLEY LOWERY: I think all of those things are obvious extremely short-term factors. Certainly, isn't helpful that a bunch of people-- and by the way, black Americans, those who are storming the streets, although certainly racially diverse groups, black Americans who started this, who were more likely to get sick and die because of COVID, right?


WESLEY LOWERY: So the demographic group most likely to have spent two months without human contact in fear over their lives, right? That certainly factors in. The demographic group, the data tells us, that was among the most likely to lose their businesses and their jobs because of the economic downturn. But we also can't attribute it just to the short term. Let's think about the medium term, the era we are in--that every time we open our phones or computers, we being all of us, we watch another video like this, right? It's-- it's-- and in four years, it's been these pleas from elected officials, from policing officials, from the media, from everyone, well, if you guys just calm down, I promise we'll-- we'll fix it. We promise we'll fix it. We'll have a meeting. We'll have a town hall. Someone will give a speech. And at some point, you know, one of the examples I've heard, people have said to me, and so now I've started saying it to talk about where the activists are, Lucy can only pull the football so many times before Charlie Brown punches her in the face.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Quite the analogy. One of the things I want to ask you about because you are in touch with those on the ground is what the Justice Department, what the White House has said, which is that the protests, which you were laying out as peaceful and well intentioned, have been infiltrated by far left wing, specifically, radical groups. Antifa was mentioned by the national security adviser. What truth is there to this?

WESLEY LOWERY: You know every demonstration I have ever covered, anytime I have ever been in the streets and interviewed people. And that's not untrue of these but it's not exclusive to these. Everyone, Ferguson, Baltimore, Cleveland, Milwaukee, the list goes forever. In all of those cases, there's a mixture of people on the streets, right? There are-- there are people who show up because they want to march. They want to yell, right? But those people never have control of everyone who shows up. There is always a mixture of folks. And-- and again not just white anarchist groups or white Antifa. Black people who throw, you know, a brick at a cop or, you know, "Do The Right Thing" a trashcan through a pizza shop window, right? That the reality is, if you were to look at the mixture of people in the streets in American cities, the answer is probably all of the above.


WESLEY LOWERY: I think sometimes we get too focused on this, well, is it one specific group that's trying to-- again, the reporting will start to look at what exactly is there. But I have never—I have never once been on the streets doing one of these protests where the reporting has bar-- bared out that it was one specific group pushing, you know, in some deliberate way pushing all this. The reality is it's always a confluence of people, a confluence of anger and frustration. And it can be too easy for us to think it's just some outside agitator who, when you-- when you read the after-action reports and-- and the contemporaneous coverage of, basically, every riot that's ever happened in the last hundred years--


WESLEY LOWERY: --the local elected officials always say it's the outside agitators. It's not the people from here. We've seen in the last forty-eight hours, the officials in Minnesota claim that, and the independent reporting proved that the vast majority of people arrested were local.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, the-- the attorney general said this morning, for-- for the state that is--


MARGARET BRENNAN: --was saying that there is a lot of suspicious behavior, cars without license plates--


MARGARET BRENNAN: --things that appear to be designed to cover up the identity of the individuals involved.

WESLEY LOWERY: Certainly. Right. But, is that license plate from-- is that car without a license plate from a state over or from-- from a city over? Right?


WESLEY LOWERY: You know like the reality, the suggestion that people locally may not be upset, may not be frustrated enough to take such action, I guess, it sometimes I think misses it. It's un-- it's unquestionable, right, that there are-- that in all these protests, and, again, it's from reporting, from being there on the ground, from talking to folks, it's unquestionable that there are people who show up explicitly to create chaos.


WESLEY LOWERY: No question.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But so some of the elected officials we have been talking to at the local level say, you know, protests are good when they're organized. That's what the Atlanta mayor said, but, basically, go express yourself at the ballot box. She told people to go home when she saw the violence on Friday. And then we just spoke to-- to the mayor of St. Paul who was saying there is a real conversation that needs to be had, but that's about reforming a system.


MARGARET BRENNAN: So what exactly needs to be reformed? And when do the protests stop?

WESLEY LOWERY: What the activists would say is literally everything, right? What-- what the activists would say is that American policing, as we currently understand it, as we've currently conceptualized it, is a legacy of slavery. It was created to control and-- and in many ways abuse black Americans to keep them subservient to a white majority. What-- what the activists would argue is that a system that was constructed that way will never be able to provide equitable positions. And so, again, reforming--

MARGARET BRENNAN: So being able to fire cops more easily, as the mayor was talking about, things like that, you-- you say even if that's done, not enough.

WESLEY LOWERY: I-- it's very hard to see how that-- how piecemeal reforms like that would-- so if there is a structural and systemic issue, can you solve a structural and systemic issue with Band-Aids? And the-- again, the data all suggests there is a structural and systemic issue. And the types of reforms we've talked about are individual reforms--


WESLEY LOWERY: --firing an individual officer who does an individually bad thing, right? If there's actually a structural problem that doesn't fix it.

MARGARET BRENNAN: All right. Wesley Lowery, thank you very much--


MARGARET BRENNAN: --for your reporting and your analysis.

We'll be right back with the latest on the coronavirus pandemic.


MARGARET BRENNAN: The total number of COVID-19 cases worldwide crossed the six million mark yesterday. More than 1.7 million of those are from right here in the United States. CBS News senior foreign correspondent Elizabeth Palmer reports from London. Liz?

ELIZABETH PALMER: Margaret, at least six million people have now been infected with the coronavirus worldwide and the number is still growing especially in a handful of developing countries.

(Begin VT)

ELIZABETH PALMER: India is struggling. The infection here is steadily spreading beyond the cities in part because the country has one of the lowest testing rates on earth. A strict locked down in the worst affected areas has just been abruptly extended for one more month.

Brazil too remains an epicenter. As many people now die from COVID every day in Brazil as in America which still has the most.

By contrast Italy, which was hit so hard early on, continues to reopen. Tourist sites like the leaning tower of have rolled out the new normal, a gadget that glows red when visitors get too close.

In other countries over the worst, there's another sign of recovery.

Schools reopening from South Korea to holland where there's a new classroom normal: plexiglass pupil shields.

And in Australia, the classic Uluru camel race went ahead even though spectators had to watch online.

But this pandemic is far from over. The poor everywhere are especially vulnerable.


ELIZABETH PALMER: So there was an international dismay when Donald Trump announced he was pulling the US and its money out of the World Health Organization. So far from the WHO there's been no official reaction. But maybe a coded appeal from its chief.

DR. TEDROS ADHANOM GHEBREYESUS: Science is giving us solutions. But to make those solutions work for everyone, we need solidarity.

(End VT)

ELIZABETH PALMER: Now the issue certainly would have come up with the G7 Summit that President Trump hoped to host in June, but he's now postponed it after Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel made it clear she would not travel to the United States in the pandemic. Margaret.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Elizabeth Palmer in London. Thank you.

We go now to Westport, Connecticut, and former FDA commissioner Doctor Scott Gottlieb. Good to see you again.

SCOTT GOTTLIEB, MD (Former FDA Commissioner/@ScottGottliebMD): Thanks.

MARGARET BRENNAN: We were speaking earlier with the mayor of Atlanta who told her constituents, if you were in these protests, you need to go get yourself a COVID-19 test. When you look at this, these large-scale gatherings around the country, what is your prediction of what this will mean?

SCOTT GOTTLIEB: Well, look, there's going to be a lot of issues coming out of what's happened in the last week, but one of them is going to be that chains of transmission will have become lit from these gatherings. And Minnesota, one of the hard-hit states by the protests where you've seen large-mass gatherings, that state has been seeing an uptick in cases to begin with. Even before these protests started, we saw rising hospitalizations in that state. So this country isn't through this-- this epidemic. This is continuing to expand at-- but at a much slower rate. But it's still expanding and we still have pockets of spread in communities that aren't under good control.

MARGARET BRENNAN: It sounds like you're saying this could be an accelerant. What we know already from the data is that the black and brown Americans are disproportionately impacted by the virus itself, are also disproportionately impacted by the job cuts, but they are carrying the burden of this outbreak. Why do you think that is happening and what is the policy response?

SCOTT GOTTLIEB: That's right. Black Americans and Hispanic and Latino Americans have been disproportionately impacted by COVID. I think it's a symptom of broader racial inequities in our country that we need to work to resolve. Really, you have to look at it across two dimensions. The first, why are there higher rates of COVID among these communities? And second, when people in these communities do get COVID disease, why are they dying at a higher rate? And the first has to do with a lot of issues of socioeconomic factors, low-income issues related to overcrowded housing, where people work, the fact that they have to take crowded transportation, that they work in essential jobs, that they've had to continue to work and didn't have good PPE at work. We've seen black communities and Hispanic and Latino communities disproportionately in these kinds of circumstances. The second has to do with poor access to health care, a mistrust of the health care system, some discrimination in health care. And also back to the first factors, the-- the economic factors, you see a higher burden of chronic disease in black communities and Hispanic communities in this country, often related to income inequities. And stopping the pandemic is going to depend on our ability to take care of our most medically and socially vulnerable. We absolutely need to resolve these underlying problems to eliminate the risk of pandemic spreading of the epidemic.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, we know the federal government is leaving the testing strategy part of this up to the states and local governments. So what should be with the response? What do you tell governors to do? Is it triaging, testing for these communities?

SCOTT GOTTLIEB: That's exactly what it is. It's-- it's taking resources and trying to get it into communities that you know are being disproportionately impacted by the disease. You think of people from communities that are-- that are disadvantaged. They already lack access to health care. They lack access to testing. So they're not only at higher risk, they don't have the same health care opportunities. And so you try to bring the testing into those communities, into work sites. The other thing we need to do is make sure that COVID doesn't become punitive, that having a diagnosis of COVID disease doesn't mean you lose your job, you lose your wages. And so we need to support people through the illness. We need to-- to encourage them to get tested and self-identify. And so you really need to focus the resources on the medically-vulnerable communities where this vi-- virus is going to spread more actively. So it's not just, you know, black and-- and Hispanic communities it's also institutions like nursing homes, places where there's vulnerable Americans. But you need to be focusing the resources on those settings.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You're talking about the most vulnerable in this country. We know, Doctor Fauci, in particular, has talked about the most vulnerable around the world. I want to ask you what you think the health impact is of what President Trump announced on Friday, which is that he is pulling the United States out of the World Health Organization ahead of the-- the timeframe he had la-- laid out. That he's just full-scale cutting the U.S. off. What impact will it be?

SCOTT GOTTLIEB: Well, look, the President raises valid concerns about the WHO, but this is not the time to be pulling out the WHO. And I don't think pulling out was the right measure. We could have tried to reform the WHO from within, and we could have put pressure on China through the WHO, forcing China, for example, to admit Taiwan to the World Health Assembly. I think the net impact is going to see-- be that we're seeing now this virus become epidemic in other parts of the world, particularly the Southern Hemisphere. It hasn't reached West Africa or South Africa in-- in high numbers, yet, but I think it will. We see it epidemic in Brazil, epidemic in India. The World Health Organization is a more important entity to a lot of those countries. It is their CDC. And so pulling out of the WHO right now and pulling away resources from that organization, I think is going to contribute to some of the adversity and hardships that these countries face as they try to battle COVID disease.

MARGARET BRENNAN: And do you just mean for COVID-19 or are you talking about having other health impacts?

SCOTT GOTTLIEB: Well, there's other health impacts. A lot of the programs that the WHO runs, we're going to try to support through other organizations. But there are programs that the WHO is the only contributor to those programs, and those are the ones that are going to suffer the most. For-- so, for example, the polio eradication program, as best I can tell, the only entity funding that program is the WHO. So it's going to be hard for the United States to support that through other organizations. So you have to look at the programs where the WHO is the only funder. Those are going to be the hardest impact immediately by this.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Back in this country, the CDC did issue a new timeline this week. It-- it, basically, pieced together some of the reporting we already knew. But what it said was that community transmission likely began in late January or early February 2020 after a single importation from China, followed by multiple importations from Europe. What does that reveal to you?

SCOTT GOTTLIEB: Well, this was looking at Washington state primarily, where we-- we had a case that had come in in mid-January, and we thought that was the case that lit the spark of community spread within Washington state. What we learned was that wasn't the case. That didn't lead to sustained transmission, but there was a later case in early February that then led to a chain of transmission that ultimately resulted in the outbreak there. What it tells us is that we had an opportunity well into February to try to quell the outbreaks that ultimately led to this epidemic. And so we had a later window. So if we had gotten testing in place in early to mid-February that would have helped potentially spot some of these index cases. Also, the-- the report talked about this-- what we call syndromic surveillance, basically, that we were relying on data on how many people were coming into the emergency room with respiratory symptoms or how many people were reporting that they had the flu, but then testing negative for flu. And what we were saying was we weren't seeing a sharp uptick in that and, therefore, COVID wasn't spreading. But when you look back at that data, it wasn't flashing red, but it certainly wasn't flashing green. It was flashing yellow. It was a high end of the normal range for the last fifteen years. And, in fact, there were researchers like Marc Lipsitch and Caitlin Rivers and others who were reporting that at the time, that the data wasn't saying that there's definitely something else spreading, but what the data was saying was there seems to be a signal that something could be spreading. It was at the-- at the high end of the range that we would have expected in a normal season.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So there were war-- warning signs. Doctor Birx said on Friday that about five percent of America or so has been tested. What do you make of-- of those numbers?

SCOTT GOTTLIEB: Well, I think the operative number-- look, we've ramped testing substantially in this country. There's no question about that. We're doing about five hundred thousand tests a day using primarily PCR, and that's going to grow substantially as we get new systems into the market. I think the important statistic to watch is how many tests are being run per day, not the total number tested over the last three months. And we're testing about half a million a day, which is high. I think that that's a good number and we're going to continue to grow that. I don't think testing capacity is going to be the challenge heading into the fall. I think getting access to testing is going to be the challenge. There'll be enough machines to run the tests. What there aren't going to be are sites to go get tested very easily. And that's, again, why we need to get testing into community sites, into workplaces as well, so people can get tested easily at work, especially places where people work where they can't social distance, where they're working on, for example, a shop floor or a warehouse where they're coming in contact with a lot of other people so they face higher risks.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Doctor Scott Gottlieb, always good to talk to you.

We'll be back in a moment.

SCOTT GOTTLIEB: Thanks a lot.


MARGARET BRENNAN: Finally, that grim milestone. More than a hundred thousand Americans have now died of coronavirus. It's an enormous number and the value of those lives is immeasurable.

(Begin VT)

MARGARET BRENNAN: On a single day in 2001, America lost just under three thousand people aboard the four hijacked planes and the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. That earth-shaking day spawned the nineteen-year long war in Afghanistan. Two thousand three hundred Americans died on that battlefield; another four thousand four hundred U.S. troops were lost in the fight for Iraq. Those figures don't capture the horror or the extent of our grief, nor the impact on the rest of the world. Yet that's a fraction of the more than one hundred and three thousand lives claimed by the coronavirus on U.S. soil in the past three months. Each day nearly a thousand Americans die from it. The attack on Pearl Harbor killed two thousand four hundred Americans in less than twenty-four hours, launching a generation of Americans into the Second World War. It would take forty-three Pearl Harbors to equal all of those lost to COVID-19. But how does one write more than one hundred thousand obituaries. If these numbers seem unfathomable, consider them another way--that's the size of the entire population of South Bend, Indiana. And how do we continue to say that we're all in this together when the numbers show that we're not sharing the burden equally. Black Americans have a COVID-19 mortality rate nearly two and a half times that of white Americans. Hispanics are hospitalized at a rate approximately three and a half times that of whites. Those figures reveal the tragic consequence of income inequality, health care access, but also the fact that people of color make up the majority of frontline workers who we all rely on in this fight. The grocery workers, the police, the health care aides. We've all been warned to brace for more loss. The White House projects the death toll may climb to two hundred and forty thousand Americans, roughly four times as many dead as the number of names inscribed on the black granite of the Vietnam Memorial. The lives already lost outnumber the fallen from the wars in Vietnam, Korea, Afghanistan, and Iraq combined. The glimmer of hope that remains is the fact that the majority of those who get the virus do recover. But for those who do not, the loss is incalculable.

(End VT)

MARGARET BRENNAN: We'll be right back.


MARGARET BRENNAN: That's it for us today. We want to leave you with something uplifting; some new pictures just in from space. That's the SpaceX rocket docking successfully at the International Space Station. It launched yesterday from Cape Canaveral in Florida. CBS News will have continuing coverage of the rest of that mission. As for FACE THE NATION, we will see you next week. Stay safe. I'm Margaret Brennan.

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