Return to Transcripts main page


Pence Deletes Tweet of Staff; Coronavirus Pandemic Update from Around the World; Nascar Bans Confederate Flags; Trump Campaign Demands Apology over Poll; Remnants of Storm Drench Great Lakes. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired June 11, 2020 - 06:30   ET



DR. AMESH A. ADALJA, INFECTIOUS DISEASE SPECIALIST, JOHNS HOPKINS BLOOMBERG SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH: I think we're seeing mass gatherings with the protests with political rallies. But add to the level of mass gatherings versus one year ago is much less. We don't have professional sports. We don't have rock concerts all over the country. That will have some impact, positive, on the number of cases.

But it is important to remember as we go forward that mass gatherings have to be taken very seriously because the number of contacts that you can have in one of those events, because there's likely to be an exposure, just because of the -- such a prevalence of this disease in the -- in the country is going to overwhelm health department contact tracers. And these could lead to undetected change of transmission that could spill into hospitals. So we have to be very careful with mass gatherings. And they shouldn't be the norm. And many places are still not going to want to have that many people congregating together. That's why we've heard about, for example, the RNC canceling its -- moving from North Carolina because of the restrictions on how many people can be there. And I think that's going to be important, that we really have to worry about these places where super spreading events could occur, where multiple people could get infected and contact tracers really become overwhelmed.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Also note that the vice president is in charge of the Coronavirus Task Force. So in terms of a picture that sends a message, wow.

Dr. Adalja, in terms of where we are right now, and as you think about things going forward, the number of daily deaths continues to drop slowly, but we're still in the 800 to 900 range a day. And, you know, if that plateaus, that's a lot of new deaths. That is just a lot of new deaths. And I know that -- again -- and, frankly, the models don't interest me as much as they seem to interest other people, but the number of deaths could increase in the fall as well if things don't go well. But even if they don't increase, even if they stay where they are, that's a lot of death.

ADALJA: Yes, I do think we have to drill down into those deaths and understand where they're occurring. So, in many places, we're seeing 50 percent or maybe two-thirds happening in nursing homes. And that's been the real tragedy of this pandemic. We know that this virus is really deadly to those in the elderly age group. So we to actually enhance our protection of nursing home, assisted living centers, places where this virus can run rampant and really try and understand why this is still continuing to spread in those situations and why there's still a number of deaths from there.

There have been recommendations to do universal testing there, to increase infection control in nursing homes, but I really think we have to, as we move into the next phase and the deaths are to a lower number, really try and prevent those deaths by -- by figuring out epidemiologically what's causing these people to become infected and try and protect the more vulnerable populations that are more likely to end up in the hospital and die from this.

BERMAN: All right, Dr. Adalja, great to have you on this morning. Thanks so much for helping us understand this. You know, not just the United States, where this is a major issue this morning, coronavirus is spreading in Latin America, now even where places so far the pandemic had been contained.

CNN has reporters all around the world covering this for you.



Latin America and the Caribbean have passed a grim new milestone in this outbreak with the region reporting more than 70,000 deaths combined for the first time since this outbreak began. We continue to see large numbers of newly confirmed cases and deaths in the hardest- hit countries, like Brazil, Mexico, Chile, and Peru. But perhaps just as concerning is that the WHO says it is seeing spikes in new cases in countries like Costa Rica and Panama, place that have been lauded for their Covid-19 responses. Perhaps that is the reason why the director of the Pan American Health Organization now says, quote, the Covid-19 pandemic has pushed our region to the limit.

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Scott McLean in London, where a leading epidemiologist says that the U.K.'s coronavirus death toll, which now stands at more than 50,000, could have been cut in half if the country had gone into lockdown just one week sooner. The U.K. implemented a nationwide stay-at-home order in March, more than a week after similar measures were taken in Spain and more than two weeks after they were taken in Italy.

The British prime minister was asked whether he regrets not going into lockdown sooner. He said, it's too soon to cast judgment, but that decisions were made based on the scientific advice at the time.


By now, public health officials have warned that Africa would be facing a catastrophic Covid-19 pandemic, but it hasn't happened. New science from a group of African scientists suggests why. Their modeling says because of the relative youth of the continent, other factors and also the lack of comorbidities, like hypertension, diabetes and obesity could mean that Africa might be spared the worst of this outbreak. They suggest there will be a smoldering outbreak over a longer period of time with fewer deaths, but they do warn that there could be hot spots. One is developing right here in South Africa and that we are still in a very early stage of the pandemic on the continent.


BERMAN: Our thanks to our reporters all around the world.

One of the four fired Minneapolis police officers charged in George Floyd's death released overnight.


We'll have the details, next.


ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: One of the fired Minneapolis police officers charged in George Floyd's death is out on bail. Thomas Lane was freed from the Hennepin County Jail last night after posting a $750,000 bond. He will be monitored. He cannot carry a gun or take part in any law enforcement activities.

Video from the day that Floyd died shows Lane crouching beside him. Lane's next hearing is scheduled for June 29th. His attorney plans to file a motion to dismiss the charges.

BERMAN: So much is changing before our eyes as this country reckons with racism, despite President Trump, in some, cases siding on the side of confederate heritage.

Joining us now is LZ Granderson. He's a sports and culture columnist for "The Los Angeles Times" and he's the co-host of the morning show for ESPN Radio in Los Angeles.

LZ, it's always great to see you.

You know, as someone who covers sports and someone who covers culture and as someone who is a citizen of planet earth, when Nascar bans the confederate flag, it's a big deal.


LZ, you were frozen there for a moment. I was just talking about Nascar banning the confederate flag. I mean I know there were no fans at the track last night, and that's a different thing. Still, the symbolism of that just can't be lost.

LZ GRANDERSON, SPORTS AND CULTURE COLUMNIST, "LOS ANGELES TIMES": No, it should not be lost because out of all of the athletes that I've thought about speaking out on behalf of race equality, in terms of, you know, addressing criminal justice reform, Bubba Wallace is in a sport that let's just say has the greatest image in terms of being racist. A lot of people (INAUDIBLE) a lot of the fan base are racist. And so for him to ask for the confederate flag, which is a huge symbol of racism, to be removed from all races, he was really stepping out there on the ledge as far as I'm concerned. And I was shocked that he actually followed through, at least to this point. As you said earlier, I mean, there are no fans, there's no way to enforce it as of right now. But simply making that statement is hugely symbolic.

CAMEROTA: And, LZ, what was your reaction when you heard that Nascar was going to ban the confederate flags?

GRANDERSON: So I have to tell you, I'm a big country music fan. Anyone who knows me knows that I -- I used to go to concerts all the time. I say used to because we're in a pandemic. But I love country music. And I've always felt as if the music spoke to me. But when you look around and you see the confederate flag in the audience from time to time, you're reminded of some of the ugliness that's connected to that culture and that music and some of the people. And so when I saw that -- that -- that announcement that Nascar was going to this flag, I got a little emotional to be quite honest with you because that, to me, is really taking, once again, a huge step.

When we were talking about this on my radio show yesterday, I said, before the announcement, I said the CEO of Nascar has a choice to either, you know, make -- send out a statement but then continue to hold up some of these racist values or become the CEO of racism, you know? Those are like the choices. And he decided he didn't want to be the CEO of racism. And I applaud that.

BERMAN: So, LZ, I know we haven't snapped our fingers and made everything perfect, but it does strike me that a lot of things have changed and a lot of decisions have been made over just the last few days, whether it was Nascar, whether it's A&E pulling "Live PD" off the air, "Cops" being canceled, "CrossFit," you know, pushing its CEO out or stepping down.

What does this tell you and what's the significance?

GRANDERSON: Well, as I've been saying, you know, for the better part of two weeks, the small little island that people thought was safe where you can characterize yourself as non-racist is disappearing and that this groundswell of change is gobbling it up. And there's going to be two sides. You're either antiracist or you're just complicit with racism. And what you're seeing are our companies, our leagues, our institutions are looking at itself in the mirror and taking a hard, long look and asking, what is my role in all of this? Am I helping the situation? Am I fighting racism or am I helping to keep it alive, keeping certain stereotypical ideas live even directly or inadvertently?

And I applaud all of these companies that are taking a chance, shout- out to Jeff Bezos for putting that woman on blast (ph) because e that's what's needed. You can't just sit back and go, well, I'm not racist and I don't agree, then keep it moving. No, that's why we're still here. You have to fight it. And I've been happy to see these companies and these institutions fight it. CAMEROTA: LZ, what do you say to people who say, but we -- you know, I

think President Trump would fall into this category -- but you can't erase and you shouldn't erase our country's history. And I think of our cousin company, HBO Max, that's taking "Gone with the Wind" out of its catalog of options right now until they say they can provide some historical context. That's, obviously, or has always been considered an important movie in this country.

So what's the response to that?

GRANDERSON: Well, first of all, if you feel as if your history is being erased out of pop culture, well, welcome to our world. Our history has been erased. Erased to the point of which we had to beg for a month to celebrate our history. And then, when that happened, it's the shortest month of the year. So, if you have any complaints about history being erased, get in line.

With that being said, the history that has been said about slavery, the antebellum south, the confederate flag, the statues, let's just say it's been whitewashed and sanitized anyway. So I actually don't think you necessarily need to take down confederate statues, because I do think it's important that you have the history, but let's tell the truth, that these people that you're honoring rebelled against this country, fought to keep slavery in place, and didn't give a damned about people that looked like me.


If you want to put that on your monument, then do that and then you can keep it. but let's not pretend as if these are great Americans because they actually fought to leave America.

BERMAN: LZ, great to have you with us this morning. Thanks so much for getting up early on the West Coast.

GRANDERSON: Anything for you guys.

CAMEROTA: Thank you.

OK, a new CNN poll prompting an outrageous demand from the Trump campaign. Our network responds to the president's campaign. We have all of the details for you, and you're going to want to hear them, next.



BERMAN: The Trump campaign is taking the unprecedented step of demanding an apology and retraction from CNN for our national poll that shows the president trailing Joe Biden.

CNN's legal team has responded.

CNN's Ryan Nobles live at the White House with the latest on this.


RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, there are two things that aren't surprising about these developments. The first is that the president often will threaten legal action against someone who he sees a perceived grievance from. He did this even before he became president. And the other is that the president often takes issue with polls, particularly polls that don't necessarily see him doing very well.

The difference here is combining those two things and threatening legal action because he didn't like the results of this poll. And when you look at the poll, you can understand why the president is taking some issue with it.

First of all, let's look at his approval/disapproval rating in this CNN poll. It says 57 percent of Americans disapprove of the president's job performance and only 38 percent approve. And then when you look at the head-to-head between he and former Vice President Joe Biden, you see Biden with a big lead there, 58/41 percent. And we should point out, John, that this poll is right in line with many of the other polls that have been commissioned by various news outlets over the past several weeks. So it's not really an outlier in any sense or fashion, but that hasn't stopped the Trump campaign from threatening this legal action.

And this is what the Trump campaign lawyer sent to CNN asking them to pull the poll down. It said, quote, the CNN poll is designed to mislead American voters through a biased questionnaire and skewed sampling. And that comes from Jenna Ellis, who's the senior legal adviser to the Trump campaign, and Michael Glassner, who is their COO.

But I should say, John, that CNN has no plans to take that poll down.

BERMAN: That's because it's laughable. I mean the concept is laughable from a legal and a political sense, Ryan.

And CNN's general counsel, David Vigilante, sent a letter back to the Trump campaign in response. What exactly does it say?

NOBLES: Yes, that's right, John, let me read the entire letter to you. And it reads as -- like this. Dear Miss Ellis, this letter responds to your letter dated on June 9, 2020. To my knowledge, this is the first time in its 40-year history that CNN has been threatened with legal action because of an American politician or campaign did not like CNN's polling results. To the extent that that have received legal threats from political leaders in the past, they've typically come from countries like Venezuela or other regimes where there is little or no respect for a free and independent media.

CNN is well aware of the reputation of John McLaughlin and McLaughlin and Associates. In 2014, his firm famously reported that Eric Cantor was leading his primary challenger David Brat by 34 points, only to lose by 11 points, a 45-point swing. The firm currently has a C/D rating from 538.

In any event, McLaughlin was able to evaluate and criticize CNN's most recent poll because CNN is transparent and publishes its methodology along with its polling results. Because of this, McLaughlin was free to publish its own critique of CNN's analysis and share his criticisms across the U.S. media landscape. That's how free speech works. It's the American way. Your letter is factually and legally baseless. It is yet another bad faith attempt by the campaign to threaten litigation to muzzle speech it does not want voters to read or hear. Your allegations and demands are rejected in their entirety. Very truly yours, David C. Vigilante.

So, as you can see, John, CNN not backing down in any way, shape, or form from the results of these polls.

BERMAN: Yes, that 45 percent error in the Eric Cantor race, outside the margin of error, 45 percent, in case you're wondering.

Ryan Nobles at the White House, thanks so much for that report.


CAMEROTA: OK, John, an historic weather event. The remnants of a tropical storm are drenching the Great Lakes.

CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar has our forecast.

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, all of that moisture is making its way from the Great Lakes into the northeast today. So you're going to see some very heavy rain, and even some strong thunderstorms across that region as we go through the day.

Now, this forecast is brought to you by Boost, the nutrition you need, the taste you deserve.

Here's a look at what we're talking about. Again, you've got that low pressure system that's now moved into Canada and that cold front sliding off into the east bringing with it that very intense moisture. And, again, even the potential for some stronger thunderstorms. Lots of lightning, damaging winds, and, yes, even the potential for some heavy rain. Cities like New York, Philadelphia, and even around Boston.

Notice throughout the afternoon, all of those cities, even stretching down to Raleigh, looking at the chance for some heavy rain. But notice this afternoon, you have once again another round of showers and thunderstorms firing up across states like Wisconsin, Minnesota, and even portions of Michigan as we head through the evening.

But, Alisyn, I will say, we do promise some cooler temperatures are in store. Chicago going from 82 today down to only 65 on Saturday. Boston, very similar, 81 on Friday, down to only 65 on Sunday

CAMEROTA: I don't want cooler temperatures. I like summer. But thank you very much, Allison.


So, alarming new forecasts about the coronavirus pandemic here in the U.S. Details on how quickly a resurgence is now forecast to happen this fall.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: White House officials are now drafting an executive order. President Trump is still silent about what kinds of reforms he will support.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It baffles me that the president of the United States can't take a deep dive into this legislation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's do this and let's get with the president and the Senate and make a difference.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Donald Trump is sending signals that say that confederate statues named after confederate heroes should remain on military bases?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have Nascar banning confederate flags.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was a huge, pivotal moment for the sport. It creates doors that allows the community to come together as one.


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

BERMAN: All right, welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world.


This is NEW DAY.

So this morning, what history should we venerate? What history should we honor? What historical legacies should we change?