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Nearly Half Of U.S. States Reporting Rise In New Virus Cases; NASCAR Investigating Noose Found In Bubba Wallace's Garage; Bolton Says He Hopes Trump Is A One-Term President. Aired 10-10:30a ET

Aired June 22, 2020 - 10:00   ET

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


[10:00:00]

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): And I just hope they don't do that. The one thing we can't take in this country with all this anger and all this division, we need a definitive result in November. We cannot have a situation where one side says, well, I didn't really lose, and I think this is a setup for that.

I'm sorry to say that, and it may sound cynical, but after watching this administration, sometimes cynicism is merited.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN NEWSROOM: Governor Andrew Cuomo, thank you very much for your time and good luck to all of New York as New York City enters phase two. We appreciate it.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN NEWSROOM: A good Monday morning to you, I'm Jim Sciutto.

HARLOW: And I'm Poppy Harlow.

It is a busy one. We're covering all of the headlines on the coronavirus. Right now, nearly half of U.S. states are reporting spikes in new cases.

SCIUTTO: What's clear, we're not out of this first wave. What isn't clear is what the White House is saying this morning about a potential second wave.

Our teams are standing by to cover every angle of this story. We begin this hour with CNN's Rosa Flores. She is in Miami.

So, Rosa, we've been watching Florida closely. Cases are spiking there, and you finally have the governor saying this is not just about increased testing, it's about spread, community spread.

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You're absolutely right, and he's also saying that young people are not social distancing. But that's something that we're seeing around the country, not just here in Florida, so let's take a look.

23 states around the country showing an upward trend in the past two weeks, 11 of those by more than 50 percent. Let's start in Arizona where President Donald Trump is scheduled to have a MAGA rally tomorrow. The cases there have doubled in the past two weeks, and they are exceeding 50,000.

Now, on to Oklahoma where every metric that you look at is on an upward trend, when you talk about cases, hospitalizations, Tulsa County has been breaking its own record. They broke it again on Sunday. Here in Florida, Florida is on track to exceed 100,000 cases today, deaths exceed 3,100.

And here, the median age of the COVID-19 patient in Florida has been plunging. It used to be 65 back in March. Now, according to Governor Ron DeSantis, most of the cases are between the ages of 18-35.

According to the governor, young people are not social distancing. They are not wearing masks, so what is the governor doing? He is publishing PSAs, and he says that he is sending inspectors to businesses across the state to make sure that they are complying with COVID-19 guidelines.

Now, here is what he is not doing. He is not shutting down the statement and he is not requiring masks statewide. He says that that is going to be up to local governments, local authorities.

Now, the other important metric, hospitalizations. Governor Ron DeSantis says that there are plenty of hospital beds across the state for this pandemic.

However, the state is not releasing a key metric, and that is COVID-19 hospitalizations by day. We are getting a sense of what those are looking like by looking at Jackson Health, Jim and Poppy. That is one of the largest health systems in the state. And they are reporting in the past two weeks a 75 percent increase in the number of COVID-19 patients.

HARLOW: Yes, incredibly troubling. Rosa, thanks a lot.

Let's go to the White House now.Our White House Correspondent, John Harwood, who joins us this morning. Good morning, John.

We have one White House adviser, both men close to the president, saying they are stockpiling supplies for a second wave, another says no, no, no, no second wave coming. Well, what does the White House actually think about a second wave of COVID?

JOHN HARWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, Poppy, eventually, reality catches up to political baloney, and that's what's happening in real-time with coronavirus. We've had mixed messages and missed messages all year long on coronavirus.

It was really brought to a head this morning. Take a listen to these two advisers, both economic advisers, Peter Navarro and Larry Kudlow. Listen to their differing assessments of what we're facing ahead in the next couple of months.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) LARRY KUDLOW, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL: There are some hot spots. We're on it. We know how to deal with this stuff now. It's come a long way since last winter.

There is no second wave coming. It's just, you know, hot spots.

PETER NAVARRO, WHITE HOUSE TRADE ADVISER: We are filling the stockpile in anticipation of a possible problem in the fall. We're doing everything we can.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Are you preparing for a second wave in the fall?

NAVARRO: Of course, you prepare for what can possibly happen.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARWOOD: Look, Larry Kudlow is my friend. We worked together at CNBC for many years. It is hard to think of a public official with less credibility on this topic than Larry Kudlow.

[10:05:03]

He's the one who said, we've got it controlled air tight several months ago.

Peter Navarro is right. Whether you call it a second wave or just a continuation of the first wave, we're not out of the first wave. In fact, more than half of -- exactly half the states now have virus reproduction rates exceeding one, meaning the epidemic is expanding. Two months ago, only six states had that.

So it has not gone away. It is not going away without a lot more stringent action, a lock on therapeutics and vaccine and all that. So, yes, of course, the White House is preparing.

But Larry Kudlow kind of reflects the message that the president wants to send, which is that we're recovering, we're reopening, we've got to get the economy going and therefore downplay the seriousness of this problem.

But you can tell, and you could tell in part by the fact that that arena in Tulsa was one-third filled over the weekend, that there is increasing recognition of reality around the country that there are certain things that are dangerous when this epidemic is still with us and getting bigger.

HARLOW: Yes.

SCIUTTO: Folks, listen to the doctors. We say it all the time. They are the ones who are telling the truth on this. John Harwood at the White House, thanks very much.

HARLOW: Joining us now to talk about all of this, Dr. Leana Wen.

SCIUTTO: She's an emergency room physician at George Washington University, as well as former Health Commissioner of the City of Baltimore. Dr. Wen, always good to have you on.

We know the administration is not telling you the truth on the severity of this, on steps you can take to protect yourself and others, like wearing masks and what's happening now. It's in the numbers. So we know they are not speaking the truth. Tell us what the health effect of that is in this country when you have politicians getting in the -- getting mixed into a health issue here and not telling folks how best they can protect themselves and others.

DR. LEANA WEN, EMERGENCY ROOM PHYSICIAN: Right, Jim. We're actually seeing the effects of this right now. We're seeing all these spikes that are happening all across the country that actually were entirely preventable. And actually even if we go back several months, everything that's happening now could have been prevented if we only had early testing.

Now, one might be able to say, well, hindsight is 2020. We didn't know back in February, maybe even early March how important that testing is, but we have now known for months that we need a national strategy around testing, contact tracing, isolation, that these are the tools that have been effective in other countries and should be effective here if we only implemented them.

SCIUTTO: Yes.

HARLOW: Could you speak to what we're seeing in Florida, and that is the -- even what the governor calls a dramatic and alarming increase in cases among young people? You've got more than half of new cases of COVID across the State of Florida in people under the age of 35.

And I understand that they are more likely to be able to cope with it and not get hospitalized because of itas much, but they go home to their parents or their elderly grandparents or work in a building or a school in the fall where you have much older people. What are the consequences of that, and why do you think so many infections are happening in young people there?

WEN: Well, these infections are happening because reopening has occurred. Reopening occurred too quickly when cases were not yet under control and when we did not have the public health infrastructure to contain the virus.

And, unfortunately, we're seeing the consequences. We're seeing young people going out to bars, to other events where they cannot keep social distancing, where masks are not required and people are clearly not wearing them, and we're seeing that young people are getting sick. Yes, they don't get as sick as older individuals, but we know that previously young healthy people in their 30s and 40s can get strokes and be debilitated for life. we've seen young people in their teens and 20s die, and, yes, they can spread it to other individuals.

And so we really need to rethink how we're going to be doing reopening carefully, and what are all the things that we each can do to reduce our risk for ourselves and those around us too.

SCIUTTO: So what happens -- and I think we have the graph of this that shows that we're not out of the first wave, you know? In fact, before we start talking about the second wave in the fall and that cases -- you look at other countries that responded aggressively, like Italy, and it looks like this. We're still of in a plateau and it's kind of rising again as we get through the summer here. What happens if there's no space between the first and second wave, right? If it is sort of one big wave and there's no letup in the middle, what does that mean?

WEN: Well, the other concern too, Jim, is that you could also have a resurgence of the flu in the fall, which is what we expect every flu season, and then we get that double whammy of COVID-19 that's on the rise and you get the flu at the same time. And that could really overwhelm our healthcare system very quickly, which is the reason why hospitals really need to be preparing for that surge right now.

[10:10:00]

They need to be preparing for the surge that could come in a few weeks time and also for what could happen in the fall.

And, again, it's long past time that we had a national strategy for things like procurement of masks and other personal protective equipment, for ventilators, for tests, because we ran out. We were close to running out first time around. And there should be absolutely no excuse for us to run out now and, in fact, tens -- more thousands of healthcare workers and not be prepared to see all of our patients.

HARLOW: Dr. Leana Wen, thank you very much.

This just into us at CNN, the senior adviser to the president on the economy, Kevin Hasset, tells me he will leave his position at the White House, quote, really soon, maybe even today. He notes there's paperwork to get done. And he tells that he told the White House when he came back three months ago that he would come back for 90 days to advise on the economy. It's been 92 days. He says this is the time to go.

He also says there is still a crisis, yes, he acknowledges that, but there are, quote, a lot of competent people in place that have better tools than we did back in March to deal with the economy.

And, Jim, I think it's notable because he is someone who answers questions candidly when you ask what is the real state of the economy and doesn't get involved in the politics of it.

SCIUTTO: I mean, look at Larry Kudlow today making comments not based in fact about the virus and its effect on the economy.

HARLOW: We wish him luck.

Still to come, a new video, this shows an NYPD officer using a chokehold to subdue a suspect. This comes after the city council banned that move in the wake of George Floyd's killing. The disturbing video, next.

SCIUTTO: Plus, NASCAR is launching an investigation, this after a noose was found in the garage of the only black driver in the sport's top circuit. We're going to have a live report just ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:15:00]

SCIUTTO: A New York City police officer is now suspended without pay after an apparent chokehold incident.

HARLOW: Watch this. It was captured on body camera video.

The struggled unfolds as officers confronted an allegedly disorderly group over the weekend. Let's got to our Shimon Prokupecz who has more on this.

Obviously, it's really concerning for a number of reasons and coming after this ban was supposed to have been put in place.

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right, and coming after the George Floyd incident and other incidents around the country. And people that I've talked to inside the NYPD, they're very troubled by this, just can't understand why this officer who is now suspended without pay would do this.

The body camera video really unprecedented by the NYPD, they release it had within hours after the incident suspending the officer, moving in internal affairs officers to investigate and really shows just how everything unfolded here.

The officer that placed this man in a chokehold appear to go in to make an arrest after these three individuals you see here were taunting them. There were threats made at the officers. Officers had responded to this location in Queens in Far Rockaway on the boardwalk after receiving a disturbance call. They went there, there was a confrontation, and then you see the officers move in to make the arrest.

What's also really interesting and the mayor has praised some of the officers in this video, because one of the officers was tapping on the back of that officer who had placed this individual in a chokehold to back him off. People on the scene there were saying, you're choking him, you're choking him and the other officer realizing this was tapping that officer on his back and it seems that after that, the officer backs off.

Of course, the lawyer for this man wants the officer criminally charged. We know that the Queen's district attorney office is investigating. And as you said, Poppy this, comes after the governor made it essentially illegal, a crime for a police officer to put someone in a chokehold. The NYPD, I think it's important to note, has banned chokeholds for years. So, obviously, there's a lot of questions as to why this officer in this incident decided to do that.

And it is troubling, it's very troubling for a lot of people inside the NYPD, and we'll hear more about this in the days to come, I'm sure.

SCIUTTO: And the state legislature just in the last couple of weeks expanding it statewide. Shimon Prokupecz, thanks very much.

HARLOW: This morning NASCAR is trying to find out who carried out an abhorrent racist act. Officials found a noose in the garage of driver Bubba Wallace.

SCIUTTO: I mean, that this happens in the year 2020 is just beyond belief. Wallace is the only black driver in NASCAR's top racing circuit. He's also been an outspoken supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement. That appears on his car in the wake of George Floyd. This comes just weeks after Wallace pushed NASCAR to ban displays of the confederate flag at events.

CNN's Andy Scholes joins us now. So, Andy, this is really shocking. You know the sport better than me, but I have to imagine that given where this took place, there are lots of cameras around there monitoring where these cars are kept, et cetera. Limited staff allowed to go there. Does this provide a path to discover who did this?

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jim, I should give NASCAR an advantage in terms of trying to figure out who did this. And NASCAR, they say they are outraged about what happened, determined to find out who did this, and they just want to eliminate them from the sport.

[10:20:06]

NASCAR put out a statement about what happened, saying that they are angry and they are outraged and cannot state strongly enough how seriously we took this heinous act.

Now, the noose was found in a very restricted area, as you mentioned, Jim. Fans and media, they're not allowed near these garages right now because of coronavirus. The area is restricted to essential personnel, which includes race teams, NASCAR officials, security and safety and health personnel, so that should make it easier for NASCAR to find out who did this.

Wallace responded to what happened on Twitter saying in part, today's despicable act of racism and hatred leaves me incredibly saddened and serves as a painful reminder of how much further we have to go as a society and how persistent we must be in the fight against racism.

This will not break me. I will not give in, nor will I back down. I will continue to proudly stand for what I believe in. And there are sports stars around the country are rallying to Bubba Wallace. LeBron James tweeting his support, saying that he stands with Bubba.

HARLOW: Andy, the race in Talladega, the first with fans since NASCAR banned the confederate flag, yesterday, you were there. The flag flown above by -- I don't who, obviously not NASCAR, but someone did this.

SCHOLES: Yes. There are certainly people out there, Poppy, trying to make a statement. The confederate flag is banned on the grounds of the NASCAR racetracks and events, but, I mean, it was definitely still around. As you mentioned, a plane was flying over the track before the storms rolled in with a huge confederate flag and the words, Defund NASCAR.

Then across the street, there were multiple gift shops selling confederate flag items. I went over there and talked to some of those gift shop owners and some fans and just asked them their thoughts right on the confederate flag ban.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a heritage thing with the southern people. I think until you bring it up, it's not a racist thing for them, most of those people, and just taking something else away from, you know?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn't let it affect me. I came here for the race and this and that, but I'm happy that they did that. It's progress and moving on.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I really didn't have a problem with the flag. It's just I feel like they are taking people's rights away.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHOLES: So the shop owners I spoke with as well said they have seen an increase in business of confederate flag items since the NASCAR ban went into place. And, Poppy and Jim, they said -- those owners said they are going to continue to go to NASCAR events and be outside of the grounds selling confederate flag items.

And, guys, I also saw multiple cars with confederate flags driving up and down the roads around the speedway. Clearly, there are out there still trying to make a statement.

HARLOW: Clearly. Andy, thank you for that reporting.

SCIUTTO: Well, as governments and institutions across the country re- examine symbols, monuments with possible racist histories, the American Museum of Natural History in New York City announced that it will remove a statue of President Theodore Roosevelt from its front steps. It's not about Roosevelt, but the statue features him on a horse with a Native American man and African-American man standing on either side of him.

HARLOW: The museum asked the city to remove it because it depicts the subjugation of blacks and indigenous people. Mayor Bill de Blasio's office approved the request. No date has been set for the remoal yet.

A quick break, we'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:25:00]

SCIUTTO: President Trump appointed John Bolton to be his national security adviser. He served there for 17 months. But Bolton says he does not want the president to keep his job.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JOHN BOLTON, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: I hope it will remember him as a one-term president who didn't plunged the country irretrievably into a downward spiral we can't recover from. We can get over one term. Two terms I'm more troubled about.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCIUTTO: I'm joined now by James Clapper. He's the former Director of National Intelligence, as well as a CNN National Security Analyst. Director Clapper, always good to have you on.

JAMES CLAPPER, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Thanks, Jim.

SCIUTTO: John Bolton served as national security adviser. He was in the room for key meetings, discussions with this president, events, meetings with other leaders. He just described there as you heard plunging the country irretrievably into a damaging future if Trump were re-elected. You served in the military, intelligence government for 50 years. Are you aware of any instance where someone who has served at such a high level describes the sitting U.S. president as a threat to his own country?

CLAPPER: No, Jim, I cannot recall an instance of this ever, certainly not -- certainly not in my experience or before that. It is truly unprecedented for someone in that position, a national security adviser, to have that rather stark appraisal of the president.

SCIUTTO: One focus of Bolton's is on president's relationships with despots, with authoritarian leaders of countries that are America's adversaries, at least whether it's Russia's Putin, North Korea's Kim Jong-un. He says that Trump gets played by them.

[10:30:01]

He says that Putin plays him like a fiddle and treats him something like an intelligence asset the way he would handle an asset.

END