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Hundreds of Protesters Clash with Police over Death of George Floyd at Hands of Police; Reporting Indicates Nearly Half of Antibody Tests for Coronavirus Inaccurate; Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden Criticizes President Trump for Refusal to Wear a Mask in Public; Biden: Trump is An "Absolute Fool" for Mocking Masks; Tropical Storm Bertha Forms Off South Carolina Coast. Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired May 27, 2020 - 08:00   ET



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Think it's going to go away, because it's not.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: We want to welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It is Wednesday, May 27th, 8:00 now in the east.

President Trump's war on face masks is triggering a war of words with Joe Biden. After President Trump mocked the former vice president for wearing a mask, Biden responded by calling Mr. Trump, quote, a fool. He also questioned the president's mental capacity to hold office.


JOE BIDEN, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Talk about a guy who is missing a step. He's missing something. All this stuff about Biden's hiding -- you know, the fact of the matter is, it's working pretty well so far doing the rules. He's behind in almost every state.


CAMEROTA: We have much more of CNN's exclusive interview with the presumptive Democratic nominee in just a moment. Plus, the CDC announcing that those antibody tests in this country are wrong up to 50 percent of the time. So where does that leave us?

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Also breaking overnight, calls for justice in Minneapolis. Hundreds of protesters clashing with police over the death of George Floyd. Video shows Floyd pleading over and over again that he couldn't breathe as a police officer pins him to the ground with a knee to his neck for several minutes. Floyd died. The four officers involved have been fired. This morning, we have new video of the interaction between Floyd and police that was at the beginning of this encounter. And we will speak to Floyd's sister later this hour. We begin, though, with the pandemic. Joining us now, CNN chief medical

correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Dr. Ashish Jha, he's the Director of the Harvard Global Health Institute. And Sanjay, we are nearing 100,000 confirmed deaths in the United States. And I'm getting my first look at a study out of Washington which looks at the daily number of expected deaths in the United States, and it has found over these months, 10 percent more people are dying every day across the country than what we normally see on average. And in places like New York, it is double the number of daily expected deaths. That is a staggering impact.

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, there is no question. The way they do these studies and it is tough to talk about, because we're talking about people who have died probably that otherwise wouldn't have, preventable deaths for the most part. But between 2014 and 2019, you get an idea in this country of how many people died within certain months, certain weeks of the year, and you start to average that. And one of the things that they are looking at this year then is seeing how does this year compare to years past on average?

And as you point out, it varies a bit, if you look at the trends from week to week, but on whole, it is about 10 percent higher. So when you start to sort of extrapolate that to larger portions of the year, you see just the impact that this coronavirus is making. Obviously you can't attribute it all to the coronavirus, but certainly that's the biggest difference this year as compared to the last five years.

BERMAN: Ten percent is a lot, it really is.

Dr. Jha, I want to put the map up on the screen so people can see where the virus and the pandemic is trending in the United States. You can see in red, in orange, the 14 states where the case number, the daily new cases are trending up, beige where it's steady, and green where it is decreasing. It is notable that in the areas that have been hardest hit, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, it is trending downward, and some of the areas where it is trending up in the south, particularly Alabama and Arkansas, more than 50 percent of the number of daily new cases.

It is interesting to me, Dr. Jha, that the prime modeler out of University of Washington overnight decreased its projections for the number of deaths. I'm not as interested in what is going to happen as what they say is happening right now. They say that the increased mobility as the stay-at-home orders have been relaxed, the increased mobility has not led to as much of an increase in daily new cases as they thought. That's interesting. And I'm wondering why you think that's happening.

DR. ASHISH JHA, DIRECTOR, HARVARD GLOBAL HEALTH INSTITUTE: Yes, so, good morning. Look, what we're seeing across the country is a lot of variation in how different states are handling the increased mobility. So people are getting out across the country, but in some states people are managing to continue to do social distancing, wearing masks, those states have, a lot of states have good testing and tracing infrastructure. And so in those places increased mobility should not lead to a big spike in cases.

And then other states, and we saw some videos and pictures over the weekend, other states are being less careful. People aren't wearing masks. People are getting super -- into super-packed areas, and there the increased mobility will really make a big difference, and we will likely see a big spike in cases. So I think there is some of that calibration that is happening. But every model says we're going to see more cases over the summer, and unfortunately, a lot more deaths.


BERMAN: But if we can move around safely, if we can increase our mobility without seeing a huge spike in cases, that would be good news, Dr. Jha, correct?

JHA: Absolutely. And that's what we all want. Nobody wants to be locked up at home for the next 12 months of this pandemic. We all want to get out. We want to get as much of our lives back. We're not going to go back to normal, but we can get a lot of our lives back, but we have to do certain things -- maintain social distancing, wear the mask, and have a great testing infrastructure. If we did all of that, yes, absolutely, we could get a lot of our lives back.

BERMAN: Testing, there is diagnostic testing, which basically tests whether you have coronavirus right now, and, Sanjay, the antibody tests, which are supposed to tell you more or less whether you have had it in the past, whether your body has developed the antibodies. Now, the CDC is saying, what, that those antibody tests are 50 percent accurate? That doesn't sound like enough, Sanjay.

GUPTA: Right. It's not enough. It's a little bit of a nuanced point, John. Part of it is that there are some bad tests out there. There was a lot of tests that were rushed to market because there was, understandably, this huge demand for testing. Some of those tests, I think dozens were not validated and did not end up being good tests.

But the other issue is when you don't have a lot of people with antibodies in the population, it becomes harder to find. So in some ways you have a lower, what's called positive predictive value. Essentially you're powering up the tests so much to try and find these antibodies that you end up getting a lot of false positives, which is a real problem with these sorts of tests because if you get false positives, people might think I have the antibodies, I'm good to go, I'm protected. Truth is they probably do have some protection, but as you know, we've talked about a lot, we still don't know how long that protection lasts or how strong that protection is.

So I think that these antibody tests are going to be a useful tool at some point. Maybe not yet. Maybe for kids, you know, as we talked about, John, these kids with these multisystem inflammatory syndromes, knowing if they had been exposed in the past would be a good idea. But we've got to make sure that whatever tests it is, it gives us a fairly reliable result.

BERMAN: In terms, though, of using these antibody tests, Dr. Jha, as a tool for creating policy, which is what I know that public officials want to be able to do, how useful are they today given that this success rate -- and, again, I understand why, it really is interesting as a physical model they're only 50 percent effective because there is not enough of it out there, but how useful of a tool is it right now?

JHA: So, based on what Dr. Gupta said, I would say no, they're not super useful right now. So people like to believe, well, maybe we can use immunity passports and tell people that they're immune and can get back to work. We're just not there yet. The tests are not reliable enough, and not enough people have been infected in the population for policy to be really made based on these antibodies. So I agree these are going to be very useful tests in lots of ways. But for policymaking, not yet.

BERMAN: Sanjay, the CDC overnight did put out some new guidelines. We're always looking to see what the CDC says. And what the CDC is now talking about is instructions for how to commute, how to get around once you start moving again. And among the things that it does suggest is if you get in the car, open the windows, increase ventilation, limit touching, frequently touched surfaces. That's so hard, Sanjay, if you're riding a subway. How do you not hold on? How do you not sit in the bench? How do you swipe your card? These things are the challenges that people are going to face in public transit.

GUPTA: Yes, you're absolutely right. And we keep a close eye on these guidelines as well. Some of it just is logical. You're trying to decrease your exposure.

I think one way to look at this, and I was thinking about this over the weekend talking to some of my friends who helped craft some of these guidelines, it is not perfect, right. But this idea that you can start to significantly decrease the spread within a community makes a difference. And, again, we're seeing that. If these models, some of these models hold up and the numbers are actually coming down, that would obviously be a good thing, like Ashish was saying.

But I think we expect a certain amount of certainty with these types of guidelines. You will not get the virus if you do this. And chances are you're going to greatly reduce your risk, but I think to your point, John, it is not perfect. So it's going to be that balance. How much do we return to life knowing that risk is still out there, and also learning that the physical distancing, the mask wearing, and stuff like that does make a difference. We suspect that it would. But now there is better evidence to show that it's, in fact, true.

BERMAN: And wash your hands after you ride the subway or get in the car, wash your hands after everything. Dr. Jha, Sanjay, thanks so much for being with us.


So this morning, Joe Biden is responding to President Trump's refusal to wear a face mask in public and his mocking of people for wearing them.


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


BERMAN: So how would Joe Biden handle the pandemic as president? CNN's exclusive interview with the former vice president next.


CAMEROTA: President Trump is waging a war on face masks. He refuses to wear one in public despite the fact that his surgeon general says we all should. Now President Trump is mocking Joe Biden for trying to protect those around him during a Memorial Day event. The former vice president says President Trump is, quote, an absolute fool.

Dana Bash sat down for an exclusive interview with the presumptive Democratic nominee and she joins us live from Washington. Dana, this is rare that Joe Biden sits down for a lengthy interview like this. Tell us about it.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Its' the first time that he has sat down for an in-person interview in two-and-a-half months since the pandemic upended the 2020 campaign. I went to his home in Delaware, we sat socially distant, 12 feet apart actually. And I asked him about the fact that this interview combined with his first public outing you just showed on Monday, Memorial Day, if that means that he is going to be more traditionally campaigning in the near future.



JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Answer is, yes. But I think you got a freshness push to lead by example. And, and I watched, I watched the president yesterday, wearing now mask, you know, and, and so I'm 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. And one of the things our governors said he wants to make keep social distancing stay at home has been the order until June 1 of this year.

And -- and so, I think it's important that, look, 100,000 deaths, 100,000 deaths, at least 35,000 to 50,000 were avoidable. But for lack of attention and ego I think and just.

So -- and you know me, I'm usually the last one to leave an event. I like interacting with people, but I hope to be able to do more, but we're going to do it by the numbers, because I think it's important because this is not over.

BASH: You mentioned the mask that you wear a mask yesterday, President Trump went to a Memorial Day service he did not wear a mask, such as some people making fun of you. He did --


BASH: -- he did it on Twitter. He retweeted a photo of you wearing it. He's trying to belittle you for wearing a mask, making it seem like it's a sign of weakness is it?

BIDEN: He's a fool, an absolute fool to talk that way. I mean, every leading doc in the world is saying we 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. I know we're 12 feet apart, I get that. But I'm just absolutely this macho stuff for a guy. I shouldn't get going.

But it just is -- it's cost people's lives. It's costing people's lives and like I said, we're almost 100,000 dead today, 100,000 people. Columbia studies showing that we could have, if you just started a week earlier would have saved thousands of lives. I mean, these are these this is a tragedy.

BASH: But wearing a mask has become a cultural and political flashpoint and the president is involved in that even stoking that.

BIDEN: Sure he is and look and stoking deaths, it's not going to increase the likelihood of people are going to be better off.

BASH: So do you think wearing a mask projects strength or weakness?

BIDEN: Leadership, where it presents and projects his leadership. Presidents are supposed to lead, not engage in folly, and be falsely masculine. Reminds me the guys that I grew up with playing ball, they walk around with a ball in their hand, but they didn't like to hit very much.

BASH: Let's talk about the fact that nearly 100,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus. If you were president right now, what would you do differently? How would you balance people's well being medically and in terms of their health versus their economic wellbeing?

BIDEN: I don't know how you separate the two. I don't how you're separate -- if you're dead, you have no economic well, being your family has no economic wellbeing. So first of all, I'd listen to the scientist. I tell the truth. Tell the truth.

There are ways to reopen certain areas and rationally, with distancing, wearing masks, making sure that you don't congregate with too many people in one spot, making sure you're in a situation where you don't spread, you, in fact, inhibit the prospect of a spreading of this disease. This is ubiquitous disease.

And the president doesn't seem to me to be prepared, we should be testing and tracing, before we can fully open. We should be in a position where we're able to make sure that people have all the protective gear that are needed, the first responders don't have -- they still don't have all that.

We should be in a position where we're able to make sure that people are -- we -- if he cares about people reopening, start lending the money to small businesses, not one more penny to a major corporation, put people in a position where they don't have to risk their lives to be able to make a living. BASH: Speaking of making a living, if you win, you could be inheriting some real estate severe economic challenges.

President Trump's senior economic adviser told me on Sunday that the unemployment rate could be at in double digits in November. And I realized that when you were vice president, you had to deal with the financial collapse. This is different, though.

How will you address that?

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, two ways. It depends on how irresponsible he remains between now and November, if and when we win, because things could get worse or they could get marginally better, number one.


Number two, if he, in fact, has prepared the nation for a rebound of this disease, this COVID-19, then in fact we may be in a position where we're able to handle.

BASH: I want to ask you about the remark you made last week on "The Breakfast Club."


BASH: You said, if you have a problem figuring out whether you're for me or for Trump, you ain't black.

BIDEN: Well --

BASH: Now you've since said that you shouldn't have been so cavalier. But during the same interview you said, the NAACP has endorsed me every time I've run, which isn't true.

So my question for you is about what some supporters say they're worried about, which is that all of this could end up hurting the enthusiasm that you really need to win among black voters.

BIDEN: Well, first of all, you know, I -- it was a mistake, number one. And I was smiling when he asked me the question I was -- you know, I shouldn't have been such a wise guy. He was being a wise guy, and I responded in kind. I shouldn't have done that. It was a mistake.

I've never taken the African-American community for granted, never, never, never once. And I've had overwhelming support in my state and overwhelming support from the African-American community in my whole career.

But I've never taken it for granted. I work like the devil for it and I have to earn it every single time. Nobody's votes should be taken for granted. That's what it conveyed my response, and I've never done that.

And if you notice, you know, this -- all the time we're talking about in the primary, well, Biden can't win because look what he did, he didn't -- he came in 99th or something in Iowa and, you know, in New Hampshire. And I said, wait until we get to a representative state. I've had overwhelming support from the African-American community in my whole career.

BASH: And they're going to be out there for you in the same numbers or more?

BIDEN: Well, no, only if I earn. I've got to make it clear why I think I deserve their look, why I deserve a look. And not just in comparison to him, but in comparison to anybody else -- anybody else running, anybody that would be running. And I've had -- look, the state you're sitting in here has over, you know, is the eighth largest black population in America, some percent of vote, of population.

And I've got overwhelming support every time I run, but I work like hell because I work in the East Side, I work in all the things I care about. I work about the African-American agenda, dealing with everything from making sure their houses are as valuable as the same white person's house in a white neighborhood. I'm making sure that they -- we're working on education. I've been arguing for years that it's not fair. So I, you know, have to earn it.

BASH: You did make an effort to clean up that comment pretty quickly. It's still got a lot of attention.

President Trump says offensive things, he never apologizes for it.

Is there a double standard here, and if so, is there a lesson for you in how to compete with him?

BIDEN: No, I'm never going to stoop to where he is. I'm not going to do what he does. He says so many outrageous things. And to usually divide, separate the things he's said about African-Americans and women and across the board, Asians, across the board, you know, and he says so many of them that -- I was talking to a friend of mine today, a leader in the African-American community.

And I said, why is he going after Barack? He said, because it stirs up his base, Barack is a black man.

I don't know what that's read, but all of a sudden, Barack, the most popular guy out there, and he's attacking Barack, what's that all about?

BASH: Well, you know, I'm sure you've seen, some Democrats have said, Mr. Vice President, stop apologizing. You're going to say dumb things. Don't apologize because that's not world we're living in.

BIDEN: Well, no. When I say something that is understandably, in retrospect, offensive to someone, and legitimately offensive, making it look like I'm taking granted, I should apologize. I don't apologize for every mistake I make because a lot of them don't have any consequences, just, you know, beat up by.

Well, Joe said there were three rungs on that fence. Well, another two rungs in that fence. I'm not going to apologize for that. (END VIDEOTAPE)

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Dana, really interesting to hear his thinking on all of this.

BASH: Yes.

CAMEROTA: So, what's next for him? Is he going to sit for more of these interviews? Is he going to be able to campaign in any sort of traditional way?

BASH: Well, the campaigning is really fascinating because he has decided, he alluded to this at the top of the interview, he decided as a resident of Delaware, he is going to follow the laws of his state and the governor still has a stay-at-home order there. So, he is not going to leave until that is lifted to do any kind of traditional campaigning in states that really matter in 2020 and Delaware is pretty safely in Democratic hands.

So the answer is not quite yet, but he hopes soon. It's very clear and it was, you know, the minute I saw him, that he is as you can imagine chomping at the bit to get out, that would be true for any politician, never mind somebody who is finally has a chance as a Democratic nominee to go head to head with the president.


And also somebody like Joe Biden who is such a tactile person, and the kind of politician who really gets oxygen from being out and about with the people. And the fact that he can't is obviously frustrating. But he also alluded to the fact that in most of the polls, that it hasn't hurt him to be in his basement all these months.

CAMEROTA: Dana, great job. Thank you very much for getting that interview and sharing it with us.

BASH: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: All right. Meanwhile, protests turning violent in Minneapolis after the death of George Lloyd in police custody.

The four officers involved have been fired, but there are still no charges. George Floyd's sister joins us next.


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news, the National Hurricane Center says that tropical storm Bertha has just formed off the South Carolina coast. It organized very quickly overnight, and will make landfall in just hours.