Return to Transcripts main page
Miami Beach Imposes Emergency COVID Curfew Amid Spring Break Crowds; Anti-Hate Rallies Across The U.S. After Spa Shootings; "Gran Torino" Actor On Anti-Asian Racism During COVID-19 Era; More Than 15,000 Migrant Children In Federal Custody; How Right-Wing Media Is Spreading Vaccine Skepticism; Calls For Hate Crime Charges After Atlanta-Area Spa Shooting; Royal Family May Consider Appointing Diversity Chief After Prince Harry And Meghan Markle Racism Claims. Aired 4-5p ET
Aired March 21, 2021 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: Yes.
CORNELL WILLIAM BROOKS, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, "THE PEOPLE V. THE KLAN": With respect to Emmett Till. So this is a story of courage of, yes, one woman, one mother, that is a testament to the courage of many women, many mothers, that speaks to us in this moment.
WHITFIELD: Cornell William Brooks, always good to see you. Thank you so much. I so look forward to this Original Series, "THE PEOPLE VERSUS THE KLAN." That premieres Sunday, April 11th, at 9:00 p.m.
I'm Fredricka Whitfield. Thank you so much for being with me today. Ana Cabrera next.
ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: Hello, on this Sunday. You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. Thanks for joining me. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York.
A state of emergency declared in Miami Beach, Florida, right now as city officials are calling the maskless spring break crowds there out of control because of scenes like this.
Police firing pepper balls to disperse crowds of people partying in Miami Beach. At least a dozen people were arrested overnight. That happened after an 8:00 p.m. curfew went into effect. Roads in part of Miami Beach were also closed off. The mayor told me this spring break crowds this year are, his words, more than we can handle, and he says it's typical of the spring breakers that this area usually sees.
Also this weekend, another clear sign that Americans feel comfortable enough to travel again after a year of COVID cabin fever. Yesterday was the 10th straight day that more than a million people passed through U.S. airports. This is making public health officials worried that despite millions of coronavirus vaccinations, increased travel could cause COVID cases to spike again.
Could we see a fourth wave of coronavirus infections? The former FDA commissioner today says that is unlikely. Dr. Scott Gottlieb says that growing immunity and increase in COVID-19 vaccinations are building what he calls a backstop to another major wave of cases nationwide but he warns the country is not entire out of the woods yet.
Let's go live to Miami Beach and CNN correspondent, Randi Kaye.
Randi, there is some optimistic news obviously about the pandemic. But people swarming Miami Beach for spring break have clearly overwhelmed that city against medical guidance to avoid travel. Do police expect a repeat of the chaos last night?
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There's certainly concern about that, concern enough to put in place this state of emergency and this new curfew that you mentioned. In fact city officials are meeting right now. They're talking about extending what they've already put in place until at least April 12th when spring break ends. It would be on for Thursday to Sunday nights. More details on what that is in a moment.
But take a look at some more of this video. I know you played just a bit of it there. But if you look at the video from what's been happening here on these streets in Miami Beach, you can understand why officials are concerned. They said that this is a spring break like no other. More than 1,000 people were in the street on Friday night. Then they put the curfew into place as of last night wall to wall.
The mayor here says the people were in the street. It looked like a rock concert, you could barely even see the pavement they were so wall to wall. So the state of emergency is now in place for 72 hours, but as I said could be extended. They're concerned because none of these spring breakers are really taking part in any of the businesses they said. They're just hanging out in the streets causing trouble, according to the officials at this meeting underway at this hour.
There is an 8:00 p.m. curfew now. Also they've closed the causeway from the mainland to the entertainment district here on Ocean Drive where we are and in Miami Beach. And they're also closing the streets to traffic. Only pedestrians can go in. But it's really been a situation. So we talked to some of the spring breakers here. We wanted to know what they thought of it. Mixed opinions. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GIANNI DOMOND, MIAMI BEACH RESIDENT: I feel like it's needed because, you know, coronavirus is still around. I feel like a lot of the spring breaker are just not remembers not thinking about the future and what could possibly happen if they keep coming, you know, to Miami for spring break.
SAMANA AUGUST, MIAMI BEACH RESIDENT: So they have shut down South Beach and I live closer to Fort Lauderdale. When they shut down here there was just like a flux of people coming down the Fort Lauderdale. And it's just like, since South Beach is like the most like popular one, they just trickled it down towards Fort Lauderdale. And that's my home. So I'm even more worried about Fort Lauderdale.
TAHJAI BACOTT, SPRING BREAKER FROM NEW YORK: I came out here all the way from New York to be out here to have fun. Like 8:00 is OD. 8:00? Maybe 10:30 would have been fine. I'll be OK with that. Or even 10:00. But 8:00? That's so bad.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: So bad is what she thought of this curfew. Meanwhile, just one important note, Ana. They are saying that since February 3rd, since Super Bowl weekend, they've had more than 1,000 arrests here in Miami Beach, and 50 percent of those were from people who were out of state.
So they are bringing trouble here, Miami Beach officials think, and they are very concerned about that. Back to you.
CABRERA: Some of those images clearly concerning especially when you think about COVID and the way this virus spread.
Thank you, Randi Kaye, appreciate your reporting.
Also this weekend we are witnessing an outpouring support for the Asian American community after that shooting spree in Georgia. Rallies against hater growing across the country as protesters demand justice for the victims, among them six Asian women.
CNN's Jason Carroll joins us in New York, the site of a rally today.
And, Jason, you've been speaking to people there. What are you hearing?
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, mainly what we're hearing, Ana, is from a number of folks who are saying they will not be silent anymore. And that's what we've been hearing from people who came out here today. We've seen more than 1,000 people at its peak to attend this rally, to draw attention to the issue of violence against Asian Americans. We've seen rallies like this all across the country.
But just to give you some perspective, here in New York City, the NYPD has reported an uptick in the amount of hate crimes against Asian Americans. And they say oftentimes the true scope of the problem is underestimated because they say oftentimes it's underreported. But people are speaking out here today. We've heard from community leaders. We've heard from political leaders and just everyday people who decide to come out and speak about this cause.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANGELA EUNSUNG KIM, PARTICIPANT IN RALLY AGAINST HATE CRIMES: Because I'm Asian, and I am a woman. And if I don't stand up for myself, then no one else will. So that's why I am here. And I want people to finally hear us for us, not only when we're trending.
TIFFANY WETHERELL, PARTICIPANT IN RALLY AGAINST HATE CRIMES: Yes, I'm feeling the momentum. I feel the energy. I want to come out today to support the cause. I want to raise awareness. I want everyone to know we're not your token Asian, we're not your Asian friend. We're everywhere. And it's our turn to be heard.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
CARROLL: And, Ana, the consensus that we've heard from people is that they feel as though there needs to be more of a police presence in the Asian American community, more education, and also the hope that more lawmakers will sign on to legislation, support legislation against hate crimes -- Ana.
CABRERA: All right, Jason, thank you.
And not just in New York, all across the country, Asian Americans are speaking out, calling for a reckoning about racism that they have experienced and they feel has been ignored for far too long. Actor Bee Vang is one of them. And he starred opposite Clint Eastwood in the 2008 film "Gran Torino."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEE VANG, ACTOR AD ACTIVIST, "GRAN TORINO": Grabbed me a couple of days ago, right after I got off work.
CLINT EASTWOOD, ACTOR: Cowards.
VANG: I did everything I could possibly do. But they both toying the tools. I will replace them.
EASTWOOD: Don't worry about the tools.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Vang wrote recently about the way he believes the film mainstreamed anti-Asian racism. Actor and activist Bee Vang is joining us now.
It is great to have this conversation today. Clearly you have been doing a lot of reflecting on that movie, your role in it, the message it sent and how it fits into this moment we are in. What did you conclude?
VANG: Well, thank you for having me. But first I wanted to take a moment to speak into the world the names of every individual human being that we lost to this year-long and intensified anti-Asian animus of COVID-19 pandemic. Park Suu Choung, (INAUDIBLE), Vicha Ratanapakdee, (INAUDIBLE), Juanito Falcon, Christian Hall, Angelo Pinto, E. Lee.
My op-ed on NBC was a kind of culmination of the work that I have done for 10 years now speaking out about the Asian-American experience. And also the more American experience and more. I have lectured and given presentations across the country and overseas at cultural venues and at universities, at MIT, Stanford, Berkeley, and more. And always, at every event, the question about the slurs was brought up, usually by someone who was Asian-American, always.
And what also always happened was that non-Asian others would speak up and say, can't you take a joke? Or it's just a film. Or get over it. And that really bothered me. My ideas or, a little inchoate then, but I soon came to see it for what it was, anti-Asian racism was just not taken seriously because its harm is seen as less insidious.
I have heard people continue to say get over it, it's not that serious. Oh, it's just a brief moment of anti-ness. And so I argued in my piece that that was why it came as no surprise that the world turned a blind eye to anti-Asian racism.
No one ever took anti-Asian racism seriously. And so as I wrote in my op-ed, you know, asking us why we can't take a joke was to shut us down, to reduce Asian-Americans to a punch line, to a harmless joke, and likewise to reduce our issues to non-issues. The phenomenon of laughter at the jokes achieve this effect by shutting us down and silencing us down and our issues.
CABRERA: In fact, I spoke with a couple of people yesterday who shared that very view. In fact, one of them said that making fun or joking about us as Asians almost seems like it's become more American to do that than how we are perceived. And I just thought that hit me like a pound of bricks. I can imagine the weight you feel on your shoulders.
We showed that clip of you in the movie "Gran Torino." And I wonder, you know, you say now the film mainstreamed anti-Asian racism even as it increased Asian-American representation. Did you feel that way at the time?
VANG: Yes, I did. As I started watching the film in theaters back here in my home state of Minnesota, it wasn't until I was in theaters, in complete darkness of course with other people that I really started to see the kind of consequences a film can have. Films are powerful tools of our popular culture. And so because of this, you know, I went on my speaking tour to raise these issues about just what it meant for things to be told to us that it was just a film.
And clearly, it wasn't a film because I have come to experience a lot and been a part of a lot of conversations about why it is that, you know, a film is not just a film.
CABRERA: So do you regret --
VANG: And we --
CABRERA: Do you regret being in that movie?
VANG: Oh, I do not regret anything. And apologies. I just think that that question is a little absurd because it's no different from what the question that people of color get asked, well, if you don't like it here, then why don't you go back to your country? I believe in free speech. I believe in my human agency to do and say what I want, because what I want to say matters, and what matters to me is right.
And also, as an actor and an artist, I look back at my work both positively and critically because that's how you become a master of your craft.
CABRERA: I hear you. And I am seeking to understand your perspective. Yesterday I talked with the director of "Crazy Rich Asians," Jon M. Chu, and take a listen to what he shared.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JON M. CHU, DIRECTOR, "CRAZY RICH ASIANS": These are our uncles, these are our grandmothers, these are our aunties. These are our sisters. These are our mothers. When we represent them in overly sexualized ways, or the dragon lady in media, and I put this on us as well, like that -- that's how the world knows the most important people in our lives.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: I just wonder what your thoughts are then on the representation of Asian-Americans in the film industry?
VANG: Yes, I think that stereotypes -- there are definitely stereotypes in the industry. And the stereotypes are definitely trafficked into a lot of the stories that we tell about racial minorities in this country. A lot of these stereotypes, for sure, have enabled a lot of what we're seeing today.
So when we are treated as not statistically significant enough as Daniel Dae Kim has said, we continue to face the violence of erasure and invisibility because we Asian Americans and our issues just don't warrant any kind of attention.
We are alighted, overlooked, forgotten because of this. And this is the seemingly innocuous stereotype of the model minority. And it convinced everyone that Asian Americans are just so high achieving, well-educated, affluent, non-threatening and austere. So who would have ever guessed that we have struggles of our own and that Asian Americans are also oppressed minorities?
And so this is why the racial hatred towards us was swept under the rug in the early days of COVID-19. And it's why the racial hatred towards us is so invisible and unnamable. You know, my family, for example, came to the country as refugees from America's war in Southeast Asia. Some of us are from Laos, which is a less known -- which is less known because the war in that country was secret.
And some of us who are minorities in that country are even more invisible. And so this model minority stereotype being has geopolitical consequences because in my home country there are still ongoing problems of unexplored ordinates and sicknesses and congenital malformations caused by Agent Orange contamination. And so whenever anyone thinks about Asia, they think about "Crazy Rich Asians," and not -- and seen the wealth and modernity of China and not see a Laos that is still getting over the effects of war.
CABRERA: Well, Bee Vang, thank you for sharing your perspective and your experience. And I think you raising your voice especially during this time is helping to raise awareness and hopefully making a difference. Thank you for being with us.
VANG: Thank you.
CABRERA: I hope everyone will join us tomorrow night. Anderson Cooper, Amara Walker, Victor Blackwell and I will be anchoring an in-depth discussion about the fear in America's communities of color. That CNN Special Report begins tomorrow at 9:00 Eastern right here on CNN.
It is a crisis threatening to spiral out of control. 15,000 migrant children now in federal custody after crossing the southern border alone. We will take you live to a convention center in Dallas that has been turned into a holding facility for some of these children. How are they being treated? And what happens next? We'll discuss.
You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
CABRERA: On the U.S. southern border, more than 5,000 migrant children are overwhelming U.S. Customs and Border Protection stations right now with hundreds being held for 10 days or more in what has been described as jail-like facilities. We are told some haven't been able to shower or seen sunlight for days.
Here's Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on CNN earlier today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEJANDRO MAYORKAS, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: I have said repeatedly from the very outset that a Border Patrol station is no place for a child. And that is why we are working around the clock to move those children out of the Border Patrol facilities into the care and custody of the Department of Health and Human Services.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: In addition to those 5,000-plus children in U.S. Customs and Border Protection custody more than 10,500 children are in the care of the Department of Health and Human Services.
CNN reporter Priscilla Alvarez is there in Dallas, outside the Dallas Convention Center where Health and Human Services is providing temporary shelter for some of these migrant children.
First, Priscilla, can you just explain the difference between border protection custody versus children now in the care of Health and Human Services?
PRISCILLA ALVAREZ, CNN IMMIGRATION POLITICS AND POLICY CORRESPONDENT: Ana, the difference boils down to a jail-like facility, picture that with concrete walls, concrete benches, versus a shelter that is equipped with medical services, sleeping quarters and the rest. The emergency intake site that is taking part of this Dallas Convention Center is the latter. Here the Health and Human Services Department is trying to set up
sleeping quarters, areas for entertainment where kids could play games and books, places where they can call come home, as well as work with case managers to relocate with family in the United States. This is very different from the Border Patrol facilities which as you mentioned is facing an overwhelming number of children in those facilities.
Now the reason that we're seeing this is because the Biden administration took the position to not turn away unaccompanied children who came from the U.S.-Mexico border. Different from the Trump administration which during the pandemic did expel them.
Now Dana Bash asked the Homeland Security chief whether that move happened too quickly. And here's what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYORKAS: We will not abandon our values and our principles. We will not abandon the needs of vulnerable children. But it is taking time and it is difficult, because the entire system was dismantled by the prior administration. There was a system in place in both Republican and Democratic administrations that was torn down during the Trump administration. And that is why the challenge is more acute than it ever has been before.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
ALVAREZ: Ana, this is an urgent issue for the administration. The Homeland Security chief really signaling that there again a number of children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border alone. And we are seeing that they are being kept up in Border Patrol facilities as the administration tries to deal with this bottleneck because the shelters were working under limited capacity because of the coronavirus pandemic.
So all of this coming to a head now and the administration racing to try to accommodate these kids in shelters that are suitable for then -- Ana.
CABRERA: And we know that you and other journalists have been urging the administration to let us see what they are experiencing firsthand in these shelters and in customs and border patrol. Any progress in getting inside the look firsthand? And what do we know about what's happening?
ALVAREZ: We are making those requests to go into the Border Patrol facilities as well as here into emergency intake sites. We have not been provided access as of yet. But we are asking those questions because sources do tell us that least in the Border Patrol facilities children are in overcrowded conditions.
Here in the emergency intake site is to intended to relieve that. An immigration attorney told us earlier today that there are cots set up for children so that they can rest comfortably until they can be placed with family in the United States. But, again, Ana, we are asking to see it ourselves. Have not been
granted access yet.
CABRERA: Priscilla Alvarez, thank you.
We'll be right back.
CABRERA: Welcome back. One of the sad facts of this pandemic is that getting a vaccine is suddenly a partisan issue. A CNN poll found that while 92 percent of Democrats have gotten a dose of the vaccine or plan to get one, that number drops all the way to 50 percent among Republicans.
Just take look at what happened when CNN's Gary Tuchman visited an Oklahoma town that overwhelmingly voted for Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Are you going to take the vaccine?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, sir.
TUCHMAN: Tell me why.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't trust the government and I don't trusted Biden.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just don't want to.
TUCHMAN: But why don't you want to? If you don't mind me asking.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because when I take the flu shot I usually get the flu. So --
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Joining us now is CNN senior political analyst and former advisor to four presidents, David Gergen, and CNN political analyst and White House correspondent for "The Grio" April Ryan.
Good the see both of you.
David, Gary just gave us a small snapshot there, but vaccine hesitancy is a real concern. What should the White House be doing to combat this?
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think the White House for the time being pushed really, really hard with local leaders who are more credible. For example, churches, black churches, the pastors have enormous credible with their congregations. Similarly, various clubs around, Rotary Club, clubs that people belong to.
Overall, I do think that in time we have to accept the fact that there are some rules that are good for the country but we may not like them very much. Bikers didn't want to wear helmets early on. There are a variety of things we ask of people because it is just safe and it protects everybody. You can't drive the wrong side of the road, for goodness sake.
I do think we -- as a public health, we are going to have more tests like this. It's really, really important that we draw lessons from what we've seen as we prepare for the next story.
CABRERA: And I know that we have reported that country music and NASCAR are being brought into the fold in trying to help spread messages encouraging their supporters and fans to get the vaccine when you talk about, you know, interacting with people that they trust.
April, we did get a moment where former President Trump went on Fox News this past week and recommended the vaccine briefly. But part of the problem remains that people are hearing things like this on Fox and right-wing media. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LAURA INGRAHAM, FOX NEWS HOST: Then Biden's vaccine propaganda, which he peddled against last night.
TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: How effective is this coronavirus vaccine? How necessary is it to take the vaccine? Don't dismiss those questions from anti-vaxxers. Don't kick people off social media for asking them. Answer the questions, especially now.
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: Democrats like to lecture us, say they are pro choice. Are they really pro choice? Will they respect people's decision if they choose not to get vaccinated?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: April, we know the answers especially to all the questions Tucker Carlson was listing there. Doctors have been answering these questions for months. And yet instead of giving the facts, they are planting seeds of doubt on something that could be a matter of life and death for some of their viewers.
APRIL RYAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Could be a matter of life and debt? It is a matter of life and death. Remember, Tucker Carlson should have a disclaimer on his show, the entertainer known as Tucker Carlson. He is not a newsman.
He is planting seeds of misinformation in a matter of time when we are in a life and death scenario. And this is promoting the idea, well, let me stand back and wait a while. It is promoting vaccine hesitantly that this COVID task force is fearful of. Dr. Fauci, on the COVID task force calls said he was hopeful for adult herd immunity by late summer, early fall. But when you have people planting seeds of doubt and offering misinformation it does not support a secure thought that I will take the vaccine.
And not only is it an issue of misinformation going out for Republicans. There is an issue of vaccine hesitancy in the black community because of misinformation as well. There was a recent call from Cornell Belcher from Brilliant Corners that found that vaccine hesitancy in the black community is because of a lack of information, because of a lack of misinformation.
So, for Tucker Carlson and all of those over at Fox, state one media, who want to -- used to be state one media, but misinformation media right now, who want to plant these seeds of doubt, they are creating a life and death issue. And there are many of Republicans who did have COVID whose family members died who are cursing the name of Trump right now because he didn't come out and say at the beginning how bad and deadly that was. He called it a Democratic hoax at the very beginning.
CABRERA: He sets the partisan tone. David, two months into office, now, President Biden has gotten this huge COVID relief win. He's got declining case counts, and speedy rollout of the vaccines. Why do you think his poll numbers are stuck in the low to mid 50s?
GERGEN: Well, I think what we're seeing there, it's about of 60 days into the 100, I think a lot of people are going back into their corners. Republicans are retreating back into their corners, whatever Biden does must be bad just by definition. And similarly on the left there is sense that Republicans are staunch enemies not just our rivals, and the independents.
So I think we are going to see fairly stable polls. Biden is ahead of where Trump was in the early polls by some distance.
But just about where, just a little bit ahead of where other presidents have been. But it is one thing to be judged by the polls. I think more importantly, it is what historians will see. I think they will look much more favorably upon these first 60 days.
The White House had four major crises coming in. The first was the virus. We're on our way to make things much better, much of the country getting vaccinated.
The second was jobs. We seemed to be poised, you know, Goldman Sachs and others are saying we may have 5 percent growth in the second quarter, a real burst. Climbed change, we are back into the Paris agreement. We are moving on climate change. And then race -- racial equity, racial justice. You know, the president has spoken out on that, his vice president has spoken out on that.
It is going to be a long, slow process, but at least the people who are running thing are on the right side of history. So, in all that to say, does that mean the Biden team is perfect? No. I have certain questions. I don't under how we have gotten into a public spat with China and Russia so early in the game with the danger of chasing them into each other's arms. That won't be helpful. So, we will have to see how history judges
that. But I think what we have seen in the first 60 days has been basically favorable.
CABRERA: April, President Biden will hold his first press conference this week after getting criticism for delaying it until now. What will you be watching for?
RYAN: I'll be watching for his tone. I'll be watching for the priorities, and how he is moving forward. Like David said, we are a nation dealing with colliding crises. And the American public wants to hear the way out. You have -- as you are talking about the polls, you have working class America that is hurting desperately, and that $1,400 is for some not even a drop in the bucket because they are in danger of, what are they in danger of?
Losing their homes, losing health insurance, losing their jobs. You can name it.
So the country is hurting. And the question is, will he strike the right tone in a message of moving forward? What priorities and plans in his opening statement will he offer to the American public that they can feel a sigh of relief?
I will be looking for the 46th of the United States to talk to America and we'll see what tone he strikes with America. It has to be a tone of optimism and hope.
CABRERA: OK. April Ryan, David Gergen, thank you both.
GERGEN: Thank you, Ana. Good to see you.
CABRERA: Thank you. I appreciate that. Just a few weeks now.
RYAN: Congratulations on your move.
CABRERA: Thank you. I appreciate that. Just a few weeks away now.
A quick programming note for everyone, don't miss an unprecedented event with our Dr. Sanjay Gupta when the medical leaders in the war on COVID break their silence. The special report, "COVID War: The Pandemic Doctors Speak Out," begins next Sunday at 9:00.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: Hi, Sanjay.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Doctor. How are you doing?
DR. DEBORAX BIRX, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS TASK FORCE COORDINATOR: I wanted to make sure that we stopped saying that the risk to Americans was low.
DR. ROBERT REDFIELD, FORMER CDC DIRECTOR: I finally hit a moment in life where I said enough is enough.
DR. STEPHAN HAHN, FORMER FDA DIRECTOR: That was a line in the sand for me.
FAUCI: We are in for a disaster.
REDFIELD: People are not being transparent about it. I could use the word cover up.
BIRX: I knew I was being watched. Everybody inside was waiting for me a make a misstep.
GUPTA: Were you threatened?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As bad as this was, it could be worse, and there will be another pandemic. Guaranteed.
GUPTA: We were not testing enough.
REDFIELD: Agree with you.
GUPTA: Why not?
ANNOUNCER: CNN special report, "COVID War: The Pandemic Doctors Speak Out", next Sunday at 9:00.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: FBI Director Christopher Wray says this week's horrific shooting spree in Atlanta, the murders of eight people, six of them Asian women does not appear to be racially motivated. Many others feel differently. The Asian-American community wants to see hate crime charges brought against the suspect. Local and state law enforcement saying right now nothing has been ruled out.
That brings us to our weekly cross-examine segment with CNN legal analyst and former federal and state prosecutor, Elie Honig, who is here to answer your legal questions.
Elie, one viewer asks, could we see hate crime charges brought against the defendant in the Georgia shooting spree?
ELIE HONIG, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Ana, this is the key question right now for prosecutors. Now, the shooter is already charged with eight counts of murder under Georgia state law, one for each victim. And under the Georgia state hate crime law, there could be additional pen its if the crime was committed because of victim's race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, or gender. That's actually a brand new law we just passed last year.
Now, the shooter reported told police he acted because of a sex addiction. First of all, the police absolutely must investigate beyond that. They need to look at his social media, talk to people who knew him, looking for any evidence of racial or ethnic motive.
And remember, seven of the victims here were women. If he targeted women specifically, that Georgia hate crimes law also could apply. There also is a federal hate crimes law. That could be charged separately, indefinitely from any Georgia state law crimes. It's such an important issue.
Police and prosecutors need to look at every possible angle and make sure they get this rid.
CABRERA: Jury selection for Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer on trial for the death of George Floyd will enter its third week, and this is after a judge on Friday rejected defense motions to try to postpone and relocate the trial.
One viewer wants to know, is there a legal requirement that the racial composition of the jury must be similar to the population itself?
HONIG: So, the Constitution guarantees every criminal defendant the right to a jury trial by a pool of his peers. Now, what that means is there does not have to be any specific mathematical ratio that matches up with anything else.
Your jury is going to depend first of all on your jury pool. Every state, every county has a unique racial and demographic composition. Second of all, it will depend on how the judge and attorneys exercise what we call their strikes, the ability to remove certain jurors from the pool. And the law says that the parties are not allowed to use those strikes for racial or ethnic purposes.
The bottom line here is the Chauvin jury is actually ending up to be more diverse than the population of Hennepin County itself where the case is being tried. The Hennepin County has approximately 13 percent African American population. As it stands right now, four of the 13 jurors who have been select ready black, two more self-identified as mixed race.
So, starting a week from Monday, Ana, that jury will hear this case. Ultimately, those will be the people who will decide Derek Chauvin's fate.
CABRERA: And the world will be watching.
Let's get into one more topic. We have an investigation obviously into New York Governor Andrew Cuomo heating up, multiple investigations in fact. "The New York Times" this weekend reporting that a current aide joined several other women accusing now the governor of sexual harassment.
And one viewer asked, what is the process for the investigation of Governor Andrew Cuomo, and what legal consequences could he face?
HONIG: Yeah, Ana. So, the state attorney general has appointed two outside investigators. Their investigation appears to be moving quickly. They have subpoena power. So, they can force people to testify and produce evidence.
At the end, they will produce a public report. We will all get to see that report. There could be legal implications for the governor depending on the findings and there could be political implications up to and including impeachment.
We think of impeachment, we usually think of U.S. president. But there is also state-level impeachment. He can be impeachment. In fact, New York state has impeached a governor before, Governor William Sulzer, back in 1913. In case that ever comes up on "Jeopardy".
But this investigation does seems to be moving along very quickly, and we should have more answers soon.
CABRERA: I like you throwing in that "Jeopardy" trivia for us, thank you.
Elie Honig, good to see you.
HONIG: Thanks, Ana. All right.
CABRERA: Coming up, how Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's bombshell interview with Oprah may have inspired some changes back the palace. We're live in London, next.
CABRERA: Welcome back.
Just weeks after the duke and duchess of Sussex, Harry and Meghan, lodged those damning accusations against the royal family, including there were concerns over their son Archie's skin color, CNN learned the royal family is now considering appointing someone to spearhead efforts to offer more diversity and inclusion.
CNN's Anna Stewart is at Buckingham Palace today.
Anna, what can you tell us about this potential new role within the palace?
ANNA STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it is really interesting. It is certainly an option that's on the table, although a royal source tells us they couldn't make that announcement yet. It's too early.
And this comes, as you say, less than two week since the bombshell interview. We did get a statement from the royal source. And it was really interesting. They say diversity is an issue being taken seriously across the royal household. We have the policies, procedures, and programs in place but we haven't seen the progress we would like in terms of representation and more needs to be done. We can always improve.
It really fools like a corporate line here. I think it is important to remember that the royal family is a family, it is also a big machine, an institution, a business, employing hundreds of people that need to be looked after. I think this acknowledgment and statement will go some way toward reassuring people who are concerned by the issued brought up at least in this part of this big interview with Oprah Winfrey.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MEGHAN MARKLE, DUCHESS OF SUSSEX: Concerns and conversations about how light or how dark his skin might be when he's born.
OPRAH WINFREY, TV HOST: There is a conversation -- hold up, stop right now.
MARKLE: There are several conversations.
WINFREY: There's a conversation with you --
MARKLE: With Harry.
WINFREY: -- about how dark your maybe is going to be?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEWART: Now those conversations though were with the royal family. So, it just really highlights the complex it. You have the royal family on one side. You got the institution and the employees on the other.
And then you have working members of the royal family who were Prince Harry and Meghan Markle who fault into both categories, members of the family, and employees, but working without a contract. And they didn't feel supported by either camp -- Ana.
CABRERA: Interesting development. Anna Stewart, thank you for your reporting.
Now, I want to introduce you to this week's CNN hero. David Flink was diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia at age 11. And now, as an adult, he is working to make sure that children like him don't fall through the cracks of the education system. His non-profit, Eye to Eye pairs college or high school students with learning differences with middle schoolers who have similar differences, unleashing confident successful learners in the process.
DAVID FLINK, CNN HERO: Eye to Eye provides a safe space that's constructed around what's right with kids so they can talk about their experiences.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you get scared during tests or nervous? Or no?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have anxiety. And I shake a lot.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That happens to me sometimes.
FINK: People's hearts sing when they are seen.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is my shield.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My masterpiece.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Really, like how you used the duck tape as a handle.
FINK: The moments that I am wishing for is when the problem of stigmatizing kids because they learn differently goes away. I want them to know that their brains are beautiful. I want them feeling like they know how to ask for what they need, and they can do it, and that's what we give them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, Daniel!
CABRERA: Get the full story at CNN heroes.com.
Quick break. We'll be right back.
Stay right there.
CABRERA: You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. Thanks for being with us. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York.
Police in Miami Beach, Florida, this weekend cracking down on crowds of spring breakers that they say are out of control and putting the city into a state of emergency.