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CNN NEWSROOM

New 2020 Poll Numbers; Rise in New Coronavirus Cases; New Focus on Racial Injustice. Aired 9:30-10a

Aired June 8, 2020 - 09:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


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[09:33:24]

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back.

A new poll from CNN out this morning shows the president's approval rating has dropped seven points in the last month. This as protests continue and coronavirus has just gripped the nation.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: CNN's senior political writer and analyst Harry Enten joins us now.

Harry, you've been following the numbers for some time. I suppose I'm most curious, is this a moment in time or is this part of a trend line for the president?

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL WRITER AND ANALYST: You know, I honestly think it's part of a trend. And, you know, let's take a look at the president's numbers right now. You know, his approval rating, as sort of has been mentioned, 38 percent, his disapproval rating, 57 percent. and that, to me, is a huge, huge number. And we have seen that across a number of polls where the president's approval rating has been dropping off. So it's not just this one.

But take a look at the racial breakdown in the polls, which, to me, is so interesting. Look at this. Among whites, 45 percent approval, his disapproval rating, 52 percent. And we've seen this across a number of polls as well. It's not just minorities but it's white voters who have been falling away from the president.

And put this in an historical context, this is so important, looking at all the presidents going back, what we see is the president's approval rating, compared to all these folks, look at those he's near, Carter and Bush. Those are two presidents who lost re-election and the other one, 45, also lost re-election. So he's with the group that lost re-election, not the ones who were re-elected.

HARLOW: That was striking to me, too, reading through it this morning, the historical perspective.

What about how the president is viewed by voters in both parties in terms of his response to the nationwide protests? ENTEN: Yes, I think this is so important. So, you know, if we talk

about the protests and you look at them, this is one of the first sort of measures of whether or not people are agreeing with these protests or not.

[08:35:06]

And what we see is that they overwhelmingly are agreeing with the protests, 84 percent say that they are justified, these peaceful protests, versus, take a look at how they're viewing President Trump's response to the protests. This is so important. Trump's response, 65 percent say they've been harmful. So the folks are with the protesters, not with Trump on this.

And, you know, there's been all this talk about sending in the military, whether or not they should put down the protests. Our poll found overwhelmingly that folks were against that. Only 36 percent say it would be appropriate.

SCIUTTO: OK. So disapproval of the sitting president. Is this translating into support for his opponent in November, Joe Biden?

ENTEN: It overwhelmingly is. Take a look at this matchup that we have that's just -- it's unbelievable to me. And 55 percent of voters right now say that they would vote for Joe Biden, 41 percent -- only 41 percent say they'd vote for the president. And that 55 percent is so important because it means that Biden's over 50 percent.

I went back, I looked at the polls back in 2016. From this point onward, Hillary Clinton never reached this level. She never got there. She never got above 50 percent. So this means, especially looking at the other polling, that the president will have to take back some of Biden's supporters if, in fact, he wants to win.

And take a look here at the issues that are so important to voters, right? I think this is so key. Look at this. On race relations and the coronavirus, the two major issues of the day, Biden is better -- more voters say Biden would better hand it than Trump.

The economy, which Trump is trying to emphasize, you get why here with 51 percent saying they trust him over Biden. But I would also argue that, in fact, that would indicate that even if the economy got better, Trump already has the economy on his side. I'm not quite sure that the economy going better would necessarily help him.

And one last thing that I'll sort of point out, just the trend line, you know, you were pointing out, Jim. Take a look here. Look at this. This is a top number for -- for Biden, right? But in all of these polls, what do we see? We see Biden above 50 percent. That's such a key number. And in the average of polls, what we see is Biden also doing better. So this CNN poll, not an outlier.

SCIUTTO: All right, Harry, we know you'll keep on top of the numbers. Thanks very much.

ENTEN: It's all I have to do. SCIUTTO: A new -- it is, and do you it well.

ENTEN: Thank you.

HARLOW: And we're glad you're back.

SCIUTTO: Other story --

ENTEN: Thank you! Hey!

HARLOW: It's been a while.

SCIUTTO: Other story we're following, of course, the outbreak. A new study shows that shutdown efforts, stay-at-home orders, have prevented tens of millions of coronavirus infections here in the U.S. So, of course, the question is, how will reopening and those massive protests affect the number of infections?

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[09:42:01]

SCIUTTO: A new study from researchers at UC Berkeley shows that shutdown measures may have prevented some 60 million coronavirus infections here in the U.S., just through early April. We're learning this as scenes like this one played out over the weekend. You've seen these pictures. Thousands of people gathered, often in large crowds, close together.

Joining me now is Dr. Carlos Del Rio, an infectious disease specialist and executive associate dean at Emery University School of Medicine.

Dr. Del Rio, good to have you on this morning.

DR. CARLOS DEL RIO, INFECTIOUS DISEASE SPECIALIST: Good to be with you.

SCIUTTO: So we look at these numbers. They inform the decision to have the stay-at-home orders, say that a lot of -- millions of -- tens of millions of infections were prevented.

As you see states reopening across the country, but also these highly attended protests, are you concerned that that progress can be reversed?

DEL RIO: Well, I think what we're going to see is we're going to see more transmission. And it's not just because of a protest. It also is because we are opening the economy and, therefore, as people are start sort of going back to this, you know, sort of this normal, or this new reality, I think that we will see more infections.

But I think what's really important is that we remind people that the virus is still around and I think, you know, we learn a lot about how this virus is transmitted and what we can do to prevent it. And I think wearing masks when you're in public is really, really important. And I think if you're going to go protest, if you're going to go to

work, if you're going to go out to the grocery store, you should wear a mask. If you're to be in public, you should wear a mask. You should wash your hands. You should practice social distancing. Whatever you can do to prevent getting infected.

And it's not just speak to the protests. It's really anything else we do. I mean I went to the grocery store yesterday and I made sure that I did exactly that.

SCIUTTO: Makes sense. And we know that that reduces the chances of transmission. But as you look at that map there, more states than not are seeing an increase in cases. And, in fact, as you can wear a mass to a protest and that reduces but it doesn't eliminate your risk. I just wonder -- wonder how much of a risk and is it unacceptable when you see people going out in the streets in such numbers, an unacceptable risk?

DEL RIO: Well, again, you know, risk is something individual, right? I mean what are you going to do. If people -- I think we -- you know, we have seen more people die as a consequence of racism and other issues. So I think people have the right to protest.

What -- the question is, how can do you things safely? I mean driving down the highway may be an unacceptable risk. You just need to learn how to do it safely. I -- as I said, I think we're going to see an increase in cases and, you know, it's not just protests. We're all going to go back to work. Restaurants are opening. You know, shopping malls are opening. But we have to remember, this virus is still around and we have to do it in a responsible and safe way.

We are going to see infections and we need to be careful. Will I go to a protest? Will I recommend a 75-year-old to go to a protest? I think that would be an unacceptable risk. But maybe a 30-year-old is fine.

SCIUTTO: Let me ask you about treatments. A health department official tells CNN that the last shipment of the U.S. government's current supply of Remdesivir, one of the few drugs proven to shave four days off a hospital stay to help in recovery, that they may end up -- may run out at the end of the month.

[09:45:11]

How concerning is that and is there a solution to get those supplies up again?

DEL RIO: It's very concerning and I'm aware that Gilead is really ramping up production of the drug because, indeed, as you said, it's not one of the few, it is the only drug that has proven to be effective in treatment of Covid. And it's only in those people that have, you know, fairly significant disease that are in the hospital receiving oxygen.

Those are the people that have shown benefits. So I think there are a couple of things here. We still need research to show something that could be effective in the outpatient setting, in people who don't need to be in the hospital so we can actually prevent them from going to the hospital. That's a critically important research finding and a lot of research is happening.

But Remdesivir, today, if I was going to be admitted to the hospital with Covid, if I have shortness of breath, if my oxygen saturation is low and I need admission to the hospital, I would like to get Remdesivir or I would like to get on a study that is using Remdesivir. There's a study currently being conducted called ACT-2 in which all participants are getting Remdesivir in addition to another experimental drug called (INAUDIBLE).

SCIUTTO: Right.

Dr. Carlos del Rio, always good to have you on. Thanks very much.

DEL RIO: Take care.

HARLOW: All right, as the Minneapolis city council pushes and votes actually with a veto proof majority to dismantle their police department, we're learning more about the economic disparity that black people in Minneapolis, in the twin cities, have faced for generations. We're going to have a deep look at the number with the NAACP, next.

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[09:51:04]

HARLOW: Well, the death of George Floyd is not just highlighting once again the injustices of police brutality, it is highlighting the economic disparity for black families across the country, but particularly in Minneapolis, a city where Floyd was killed.

A 2019 report by the NAACP found, quote, decades of economic discrimination and has resulted in an environment of hopelessness.

With me now to talk about the root causes here and solutions, Marvin Owens, the NAACP senior director for economic programs.

Thank you so, so much.

And, you know, I've -- as someone who grew up in the city of Minneapolis, I saw this for my entire life. And you guys wrote about this and warned about this in your report last year.

The numbers are so unbelievable. Black people in Minneapolis, five times more likely to live in poverty than whites. Unemployed at 2.5 times the rate of whites. The income gap is among the largest in the nation. The median family income was $36,000 for blacks in the twin cities in 2018 versus 83,000 for a white family.

What is at the root of this, Marvin, in that city?

MARVIN OWENS, SENIOR DIRECTOR FOR ECONOMIC PROGRAMS, NAACP: Well, the root is decades of economic discrimination based in poor public policy. You had decades and decades of discriminatory practices from lending institutions, from government agencies. You go down the list.

And so what we're seeing now is really evidence of that discrimination come -- come to the fore. And I think what we're really also communicating is the fact that while the nation is really focused in on the conversation around law enforcement and community, the larger narrative should include a conversation around economic disparities as well because all of this sort of impacts black folks on the ground in Minneapolis and St. Paul as well.

HARLOW: You know, I'm -- I'm embarrassed to say it, but it's true, I had no idea about the disparity in terms of black and white homeownership, as you guys highlight, 77 percent of whites in Minneapolis own homes versus 26 percent of blacks.

And when I looked into more -- to find out why, look at the deeds written for some of these homes in some of the neighborhoods back in the '30s and the '40s and they actually said, quote, premises should not be sold, mortgaged or leased or occupied by any person or persons other than members of the Caucasian race.

And, yes, you know, it has been unenforceable for the last 70 years to actually apply that legally. The history of that, that doesn't go away. I mean that -- it has just -- it has continued and we're seeing it play out today.

OWENS: That's right. And, actually, Minneapolis is not unique. I mean, those sort of covenants existed in many cities around the country. And I think what we're seeing also is the impact, the long-term impact of those sort of practices being played out that you -- the result was segregated -- economically segregated communities that were designed, quite frankly, because of these sort of covenants.

HARLOW: What is your strongest argument in terms of solutions that could start now to help? For example, when they built I-94 right through certain neighborhoods, that wiped out a number of black-owned businesses. It wiped out one in eight homes in Minneapolis owned by African-Americans.

What can be done now to try to help the most in those areas?

OWENS: Yes, I think -- I think that, you know, David Brooks had a great article in "The New York Times" that talked about some of the solutions. And one of them has to do with ensuring the fact that the solutions are coming from the communities themselves, that the residents and neighborhoods are folks -- where folks know the issues, know what's happening, need to be at the table to communicate what the needs are and what the solutions are.

One of the problems we've been hearing and facing with -- faced with is that there's an attempt to try to sort of dictate solutions from Washington or from state capitols. Neighborhood solutions are the most -- most important and the most -- and the most viable in terms of addressing some of these issues.

[09:55:05]

But you also have the issues around public policy.

HARLOW: Yes.

OWENS: Living wage laws. A number of things that can impact -- can impact the life of people on the ground in these cities.

HARLOW: I was so struck by David Brooks' piece. It was last week. and it was basically saying, here's the right way to do reparations. And he argues that essentially giving out checks to descendants of slaves isn't going to help the most. Do you agree with his premise that giving that money to community organizations will have the broadest impact?

OWENS: I think that -- I think it's important that David has raised a question about reparations in this way. Remember, reparations -- the reparations conversation was not a popular one for a long time.

And the fact that he's raising it in this sort of public forum in this way, I think it says a lot about the fact that America needs to come to grips with our history around how black people have been treated in this country for -- for -- for hundreds of years. It's important that we raise it. Now, whether we -- whether we work on how that -- what that looks like and the way it's implemented, but I think the fact that he's raised it is key.

HARLOW: Marvin Owens, I appreciate your time, senior director for economic programs at the NAACP. Come back soon. Thank you.

OWENS: Thank you. Good (INAUDIBLE).

HARLOW: We'll be right back.

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