Return to Transcripts main page


Fauci's Message To Those Who Won't Wear Masks: Get Past It; New Projection: More Than 30K Lives In U.S. Could Be Saved If Everyone Wears A Mask; More Than Half Of States Have Rising Case Counts As California, Arizona See Record-High Hospitalizations; President Trump Won't Follow NJ Quarantine Order This Weekend; Interview With Gov. Phil Murphy (D-NJ); Interview With Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA). Aired 7-8p ET

Aired June 24, 2020 - 19:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: We would love to know what you thought. Thanks very much for watching.

"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, get past it. Dr. Anthony Fauci's blunt message to people who are making masks political, people like the President. This is a new model projects more than 30,000 lives could be saved if everyone just wears a mask. It's the White House's own model.

Plus, turning the tables. New York, New Jersey and Connecticut imposing a 14-day quarantine for people coming from specific other states. The New Jersey Governor is OUTFRONT.

And the President saying protesters who want to remove confederate statues also want statues of Jesus Christ gone. What's he talking about? Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, get past it. That is Dr. Anthony Fauci today. An extremely blunt message on masks. He today was asked what he would say to people, who include the President, who have made wearing a mask sort of a political discussion, sort of it's my body, my right kind of thing. Here's Dr. Fauci.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: There's no secret formula for that except to say get past it. It should not be a political issue. It is purely a public health issue. Forget the politics. Look at the data.


BURNETT: Get past it, he says. Well, the President will not. He absolutely categorically has not and will not do that. He did not wear a mask today when you welcome the President of Poland to the White House and he has consistently refused to wear one, never, visits coronavirus hotspots.

He was in Arizona where they've got this surge in cases and hospitalizations. He held several events yesterday, no mask. Trump has claimed in fact that people who are wearing masks are doing so to spite him. That mask wearing is about him for people who wear them.

He mocked Joe Biden for wearing a mask in public and tonight with more than half of all American states now seeing an increase in coronavirus cases and seven record hospitalizations, according to The Washington Post. Even the President's allies are publicly breaking with him.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio who's state reported more than 5,500 cases in one day telling reporters today, "Everybody should just wear a damn mask." And listen to the Governor of Texas, a state that reported a record 5,500 cases today where the Texas Medical Center in Houston reports a 97 percent full rate for ICU beds.


GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R) TEXAS: It would have been one thing to talk about masks in the middle part of May when it looks like all of the trends are going down. It's a different thing talking about masks today in the middle part of June with all of the numbers going up. As a result you are seeing myself both wear a mask and talk about masks more than I did in the middle part of May.


BURNETT: And tonight, the model the White House so often uses now projects that if everyone wears a mask, 33,000 American lives could be saved just by wearing masks so people are still going to die. But 33,000 people might not die just if you put on a damn mask. It could make a difference between life or death.

And yet the President who can set such a powerful example here to so many people who somehow see this as an expression of personal freedom, when it isn't, he won't do it.

Boris Sanchez is OUTFRONT live near the White House. And Boris, again, today we saw the President, no mask, when it came to questions about the virus. He chose not to engage.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. That's right, Erin. The president clearly eager to turn the page away from Coronavirus. Just the fact that he's holding this event at the White House, welcoming a world leader an indication of the President wants to give the image that he's maintaining a regular schedule.

Keep in mind, he traveled to Arizona yesterday. He was in Oklahoma over the weekend. Tomorrow, he heads to Wisconsin. He wants to put out the image that the United States is ready for a reopening even when the facts on the ground dispute that.

As you noted, the President not wearing a mask when he greeted President Duda of Poland, ignoring questions about substantive increases in the number of coronavirus cases across the country and further insinuating or rather saying that he wanted Poland to get involved in developing a vaccine for coronavirus and insinuating that we were on the brink of a breakthrough saying that, "A beautiful surprise was coming."

The President clearly realizing that his reelection hopes are standing on a rebound from the coronavirus in the United States. He's also facing accusations from his former National Security Adviser John Bolton who was on CNN earlier saying that the President turned a blind eye to coronavirus and that he continues to hinder the United States' ability to respond to the virus, Erin.


BURNETT: All right. Boris, thank you. I want to go to Dr. Sanjay Gupta now and Dr. Jonathan Reiner who advised the White House medical team under President George W. Bush and currently is head at GW in the Cardiac Cath Lab and John Avlon, our Senior Political Analyst. Welcome to all.

So Sanjay, the President, as Boris said, trying to have this normal looking schedule, going to rallies, welcoming world leaders. If you just took snapshots of these things, you wouldn't know anything had changed actually in the past few months, because people didn't wear masks at the rally last night and the President didn't wear a mask today. And yet, the latest model that the White House always cites, if 95 percent of Americans started wearing a mask, they think more than 30,000 lives could be saved in just a few months.

That's what this is about. It is life or death.

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: It really is and now there's plenty of evidence just to how much of an impact masks can make. I mean, Jonathan Reiner has been talking about this for months. He's been really beating the drum on this for a long time, but I think as we got more evidence that asymptomatic transmission, that even if you don't have any symptoms, you could still spread this virus.

Once that became clear, the idea that we all have to behave like we have the virus that means wearing a mask, it became critically important and now you have some numbers to put on it. By the way, I should remind, as well, Erin, that South Korea, they never went into a lockdown mode and yet they've had fewer than 300 deaths, why, testing and masks primarily. Things that we definitely can do here as well.

You know what really strikes me as people - they say, hey, I'm not worried about getting it. I don't need to wear a mask. I'm not worried about getting it. You should be asking the question, are you worried about giving it. That's the thing about the mask, you can decrease the likelihood that you spread this to others, that's why you should wear one.

BURNETT: So Dr. Fauci today came out about mask and was really aggressive and clear and blunt. He said, "It should not be a political issue. It is purely a public health issue. Forget the politics, look at the data." His bottom line was get past it. But yet, Dr. Reiner, this is a political issue for the President. You got some Republicans pushing back, Marco Rubio, "Wear a damn mask." Thank you to Sen. Rubio.

But the Governor of his state, Ron DeSantis, is not telling people directly to wear them. Instead of just saying that directly, wear a mask, he's saying, oh, well, it'd be kind of hard to enforce it, so here he is.


GOV. RON DESANTIS (R) FLORIDA: There's an enforcement that has to follow in that and we have a lot of places in Florida, where that would not be a good use of resources. Ultimately, we've got to trust people to make good decisions.


BURNETT: What should he have said there, Dr. Reiner?

JONATHAN REINER, DIRECTOR OF CARDIAC CATHETERIZATION LABORATORY, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL: Well, he's the governor of a state that had 5,500 new cases today. He's the governor of a state that had eight times more cases than on New York State and about a seventh of all the cases in the United States.

The pandemic is raging in that state and what he should have said to the people of Florida is, I put you before anything else. Everyone who goes out in public must wear a mask.

Think of it this way, going out in public without a mask is like driving drunk. Even if you don't get hurt, you might kill somebody else. That's what I want people to think about not wearing a mask in public. It's like driving drunk.

The Governor of Florida needs to make a clear, unequivocal statement that it's dangerous to your community if you go out in public without a mask and this should really have come from the White House, except the President is laser focused on reelection and he thinks that wearing a mask will impede that somehow. It's bizarre.

BURNETT: Right. And, of course, the leadership matters. You tell people to wear a mask. All right. You can't enforce it. They don't enforce it in New York, but most people wear them most of the time and that's what matters, it's the leadership. It's the sense of public shame.

John Avlon, other allies of the President are sounding the high alarm. I mentioned Sen. Marco Rubio and here is Florida Senator Rick Scott, former governor actually. Here he is.


SEN. RICK SCOTT (R-FL): You've got to wear a mask, you've got to social distance, you got to give more information out. I hope everybody takes it seriously because we haven't beaten this.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: So wear mask social distance, OK, we know these things. But

when the President of the United States hears Rick Scott, ally, say this, does it have any impact at all?

JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: No. President Trump's not going to change. Rick Scott said he hoped he would change his message, his tone, his strategy. Donald Trump has instead doubled down in the middle of sort of a triple crises; economic, racial and COVID to try to be more divisive. And the thing is what Rick Scott and other Republicans are telling him is this isn't helping.

It's not helping the country. The numbers are rising. It's also not helping his reelection effort, which is allegedly his sole focus. His poll numbers are dismal. It's not only losing by Joe Biden the double digits. He's losing independent voters, women by more than 20 points and it's a direct result of this approach to leadership, tone comes from the top and denial is not a strategy and yet that has been the President's approach from day one.


BURNETT: Sunday, Dr. Fauci says this virus is like nothing he's dealt with in his four decade career. Does the President listen at this point to Dr. Fauci?

GUPTA: I do think he's not really listening to him. We know that he hasn't spoken with Dr. Fauci in a while. We used to have those coronavirus task force briefings on a regular basis. They sort of disappeared some time ago. We know this sort of side group has formed, they call themselves the doctors group which is Dr. Fauci, Dr. Birx, Dr. Redfield, Dr. Hahn.

They get together because they still want to be able to look at the data, look at the evidence and occasionally seems make recommendations to the vice president, so they do have a phone meeting with the Vice President from time to time. But I don't think the President is hearing from Dr. Fauci and some of my sources say Dr. Fauci is now serving as a reminder to the President of this pandemic.

That's what Dr. Fauci represents to him, so he just doesn't want to see him. He's not mad at him. He just doesn't want to see him.

BURNETT: I mean, Dr. Reiner, Sen. Lindsey Graham said that Vice President Pence who chair that coronavirus task force, so he gave Republican senators an update in the coronavirus today. He said the fatality rate is going down, PPE is in a pretty good position. So I asked you as you're in the hospital daily, you're with heart patients, many of whom I know over the past few months, have also had COVID, is what he says true?

REINER: Well, first of all, I'm not so sure that the fatality rate is going down anymore. There are over 800 deaths yesterday. There are over 700 deaths today. We seem to have plateaued between seven and 800 deaths per day. And as for PPE, every doc I know in the United States reuses an N95 mask. I had a conversation with our procurement officer about a week ago.

We're still having trouble sourcing N95 masks, so I have a big concern that should we see a nationwide surge, a true second wave, once we get out of the first wave, that we may not, again, have enough personal protective equipment.

I'd like to see an accounting of that. I'd like to know what our national strategic stockpiles are filled with right now.

BURNETT: Which is pretty scary thing, because I just want to emphasize what you're saying. As we know, this is still the first wave. And I think a lot of people think, it left some places, it went in other places, that would be inaccurate, the second wave is when it really has gone away and it comes back.

REINER: This is still the first wave.

BURNETT: John, the second highest ranking - sorry - the second highest ranking Senate Republican, John Thune, said he thinks those polls showing Biden ahead of Trump, particularly among independents, which you just mention, sends a message that there needs to be a change in strategy.

And Thune soon said, "There needs to be certainly a change in probably strategy as far as the White House messaging is concerned. Right now, Biden's getting the benefit of not being covered at all because he's not out there at all. So right now it's really Trump versus Trump, I don't think that's the choice that probably the White House wants the American people making."

Look, I think he tried to be polite there, but it's pretty plain and simple. That more Trump is not what people want right now in terms of seeing him.

AVLON: Yes. But, again, Trump's incapable of trying to be anything other than he is and I suppose there points and authenticity in that. But this is somebody whose narcissism is so powerful that he thinks people wearing masks during a pandemic is a personal insult and a political statement. It's not, it's public health.

But what I think Republicans are realizing, now that many of the primaries are over, you're even seeing Lindsey Graham start to grow a little bit of a spine against the administration. They see their own polls, they see the President is in trouble, particularly in swing states in these key demographics where the Republicans got housed in 2018, suburban voters, women voters, independent voters, and the President is reaping what he sow, his divide to conquer strategy is spectacularly ill-suited to this moment in American history.

And it's flowed through his leadership and the Republicans are starting to say, you know what, don't count Donald Trump out. He can pull a rabbit out of a hat. But everything we're seeing on the ground, if all politics speaks to real trouble and they ought to know the President is not going to change his tune or stop, it's too late.

BURNETT: John, thank you. Dr. Reiner, Dr. Gupta, thank you very much. I appreciate all of your time.

AVLON: Thank you.

BURNETT: And next, a surge across the country in young people contracting coronavirus. Is this part of the reason?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So like I should be wearing a mask, but I don't ...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have absolutely no concern whatsoever.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It just doesn't concern me at all.


BURNETT: Plus, New Jersey among three states now imposing 14-day quarantines on people traveling from specific hotspots. State's Governor is OUTFRONT.

And after calling it offensive, the President's Senior Advisor, Kellyanne Conway, changing her tune when it comes to the racist phrase Trump is now using. He's now used multiple times to describe coronavirus.



BURNETT: Tonight, California and Arizona seeing a record number of coronavirus hospitalizations. And in North Carolina, hospitalizations increased by more than 50 percent in just over a month. It comes as more than half of the United States is now seeing rising case counts over the past seven days.

Nick Watt is OUTFRONT.



GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D) NEW YORK: We're announcing today a joint travel advisory, people coming in from states that have a high infection rate must quarantine for 14 days.


NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT(voice over): So from midnight, three northeastern states, one sour epicenter won't let anyone in from these nine southern and western states unless they quarantine. In Arizona, another record COVID-19 death toll.


WILL HUMBLE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ARIZONA PUBLIC HEALTH ASSOC.: Within days we're going to be overcapacity in dealing with hospital crisis in my opinion.


WATT (voice over): In Florida, more new cases today than ever before. One hospital system says they're seeing more young patients.


SEEMA YASMIN, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: And if they're spreading the infection to older people, people with chronic diseases right now, we'll see an increase in deaths potentially two weeks from now.


WATT (voice over): Another new record case count today in Texas.


ABBOTT: There is a massive outbreak of COVID-19 across the State of Texas today. We are making sure that the rules are enforced so we are going to be able to better contain the spread of COVID-19.


WATT (voice over): And for 11 days straight, Texas has set new records for the number of COVID-19 patients admitted to the hospital.


Nationwide and more than half our states new case counts just aren't going down.


DR. LEANA WEN, EMERGENCY ROOM PHYSICIAN: Basically we're back to where New York was back in March, except that this time, I don't think that there is the political will and the public support to have these shutdowns.


WATT (voice over): Dr. Anthony Fauci says we need to get past mask wearing being a political issue. The Democratic Governor of North Carolina just said he's making them mandatory and the Republican Governor of Florida just said, he won't.


DESANTIS: We advise from the beginning of May, we advised if you can't social distance, wear the mask, but ultimately we've got to trust people to make good decisions.


WATT (voice over): And those well-known University of Washington modelers say, we would save more than 30,000 lives by the end of the summer if 95 percent of us wore masks, but right now, we aren't.


LT. ANTHONY ALMOJERA, FDNY EMT: We just went through hell, trying to revive and take care of people and we don't want to go through it again. Wear a mask. Just wear a mask.



WATT: And, Erin, I've been trying to remember what it felt like during those dark days of April when we were regularly seeing more than 30,000 new cases a day and it was scary. It felt out of control. And four of the past five days, we have, once again, seen more than 30,000 cases a day. Today's number, we're getting close to 30,000 and we're not yet done counting, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Nick, thank you very much.

And I want to go to Dr. Ashish Jha, Director of the Harvard Global Health Initiative. Dr. Jha, when you see these cases going up and, of course, we have laid this out time and time again, this is not an increase in testing. hospitalizations also, of course, show a lot in all time highs in California, Arizona rising in many states. You're at new cases that you had back in March. So how worried are you right now?

DR. ASHISH JHA, DIRECTOR, HARVARD GLOBAL HEALTH INSTITUTE: I'm pretty worried, Erin, and thank you for having me on. As I look across the country, I see a nearly half the country where the numbers are rising pretty substantially. And most importantly, I don't see a plan for how we're going to stop the spread and how we're really going to bring the viral outbreaks under control.

There's no appetite for shutting the country down again and I think rightly so, but if we keep ignoring it or taking half steps. We're going to find ourselves with very few good options.

BURNETT: We've talked with doctors about the rise of new cases and particularly this issue which people have been talking about, which is younger people getting sick. Here's what the doctors have been saying.


DR. MURTAZA AKHTER, ER DOCTOR, VALLEYWISE HEALTH MEDICAL CENTER: I'm seeing young healthy patients were coming in very sick.

MELISSA MCKINLAY, (D) PALM BEACH COUNTY COMMISSIONER: For our county, we're seeing the highest increase in the ages between 18 and 34.

DR. DAVID THRASHER, CRITICAL CARE DOCTOR, MONTGOMERY PULMONARY CONSULTANTS: Cases in Alabama, aged 25 to 50 years old, 40 percent of the cases are that.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: OK. So the young people are getting sick. Here is what some

young people have been saying to our reporters in the field.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have a family, personally, who's been lost to coronavirus, so like I should be wearing a mask, but I don't - not with my friends, no.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have absolutely no concern whatsoever.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It just doesn't concern me at all.


BURNETT: Why are they wrong when they say it just doesn't concern them?

JHA: Well, I mean, first of all, there has been a concerted effort, I think, by a lot of folks to make the claim that young people - for young people it's no big deal at all. I mean, yes, they die less often than older people, but they still die. And more important, not more importantly, but as importantly, they get very, very, very sick and we've seen young people with strokes and heart attacks. We don't know the long term effects of these things.

So the idea that it's no big deal, I get where they're getting that from, but it's just plain wrong. It is a big deal.

BURNETT: And also I know that there's a delay of weeks because that's the way this works, but as they do that amongst themselves, time passes, it then spreads to other communities. And then you start to see that jump in a lot of other vulnerable people getting sick.

Some of these young kids who maybe aren't the ones who get really sick, don't even realize that they're hurting or perhaps even causing to die.

JHA: Absolutely. So that's the other part of this. So first of all, I think they're underestimating the risk for themselves. But second, they are fueling the outbreak, they're going to then go home and spend time with their parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles or maybe friends who are immunocompromised or have chronic diseases.

And so I take no comfort in the idea that it's only young people right now. I'm very worried about what it's going to do to the broader community and the broader society.

BURNETT: All right. Dr. Jha, thank you very much.

JHA: Thank you.

BURNETT: A sobering interview, but I hope a wakeup call for some. All right. Thank you, sir.

And next, Americans who have been to coronavirus hotspots will now have to quarantine for 14 days if they step foot in Connecticut, New York, New Jersey.


One person that won't be following the new order, the President of the United States.

Plus, President Trump now claiming protesters want to pull down statues of Jesus. What is he talking about?



BURNETT: Breaking news, President Trump won't follow the new 14-day quarantine order when he visits New Jersey this weekend. The White House saying in a statement, "The President of the United States is not a civilian. Anyone who is in close proximity to him, including staff guests and press are tested for COVID-19 and confirmed to be negative."

President Trump visited Arizona this week, which is one of the states under that travel advisory right now, two Secret Service agents who were involved with that also had coronavirus.

OUTFRONT now, the Governor of New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy. And Gov. Murphy, I appreciate your time. So, look, the President does get tested every day, but he's sending a message here that he does not respect your order. He's been in Arizona, that's one of the states that is a hotspot. What's your response?

GOV. PHIL MURPHY (D-NJ): Good to be with, Erin, first of all.

Secondly, there is a carve out for essential workers and I think by any definition, the president of the United States is an essential worker and I know that folks get tested around him all the time.


I've been tested a couple of times when I've been with him over the past couple of months.

I think the bigger point here is we want folks to really be responsible in terms of thinking about not just themselves but their families and their communities, and we've beaten this virus down to a pulp in New Jersey with enormous loss of life. We've been through hell and we don't want to go through hell again. And that's the spirit that underpins what we're

BURNETT: So, it does, of course, seem a drastic measure to some. How are you actually going to enforce it?

MURPHY: Erin, largely through moral suasion. It is an advisory. We can't stop people -- any American, stay at the border of one state to another, but we can appeal to folks to do the right thing. And in New Jersey, folks have done extraordinarily well and have done the right thing over the now many months. And we'd ask New Jerseyans who are returning from other hot spot

states or folks who are visiting to again continue to do the right thing.

And, by the way, it is part of the advisory. Get tested. We've built up capacity in New Jersey. We're the number one per capita testing state in the America. Folks, go -- when in doubt, go out and get a test. We've got the capacity. Let's use it.

BURNETT: So, do you think you need any kind of fines? I mean, Governor Cuomo here in New York, he's saying $2,000 fine for the first violation someone coming from a hot spot, $5,000 for the second, $10,000 if you cause harm.

I know you're saying mostly relying on moral suasion.


BURNETT: Are you considering several penalties or not?

MURPHY: We have it as a general population matter. We did this announcement with New York and Connecticut. I want to give a shout-out to Governors Cuomo and Lamont who have been great partners.

So, the spirit is common but the actual execution is going to be done in each state. Our commissioner of health does have the ability and she will use it if need be to go specifically at someone who's willfully non-compliant.

But as a general population matter, we want folks to continue to do what they've been doing, which is overwhelmingly responsible, common sense, for the common good behavior, and let's hope it continues.

BURNETT: So, your order is for three months after the Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued a similar order, saying anyone coming from New York had to self-quarantine in New York area, including New Jersey.

Here is what he said about that.


GOV. RON DESANTIS (R), FLORIDA: That was the right decision. That was the number one landing pad. South Florida got inundated. Had we not done the quarantine, you would have had way more cases, hospitalizations, the whole nine yards. I have no doubt that that quarantine saved lives.


BURNETT: Have you spoken to him at all? Is he now supportive of you doing the same thing to him as he did to you, or do you know?

MURPHY: Yeah, I've not spoken to Governor DeSantis. So, this isn't personal specifically to Florida or to him. This is any state that's got a rolling seven-day average. And that's an important point because any state, including our own, by

the way, can have a blip up or down in any given or two or even three. But a rolling seven-day average of 10 percent or more positivity in their testing, and that's what -- that's sort of the benchmark. And it's not specific to any one state.

We think it's the right thing to do. It's the smart thing to do, and I think it's the responsible thing to ask folks to do.

BURNETT: So, you know, you just said a moment ago that beating the virus to a pulp in this interview. And you've talked about that, breaking the back of the virus. I know, though, Governor, you've expressed frustrations, pictures like this showing people in your state crowding public places not wearing masks.

That's Morristown I'm showing right now. And this is very similar, right, to what we saw when states like Texas and Florida reopened way earlier, and now, of course, we're seeing -- we're seeing them reap that, what they sow, new cases surging.

Are you worried that you could go back, that you could be, again, where Texas and Florida are now in a few weeks or a month?

MURPHY: Yes, I do worry about it, which is why those pictures concern me deeply. I have to say outdoors versus indoors, this virus is a completely different animal. It is far more lethal inside lacking ventilation, close proximity, sedentary behavior. That's a really hard environment for this virus and our exposure to it.

Yes, but we've talked very forcefully. If we have to take action against establishments, we will. We do have testing we did not have three or four months ago. We have contact tracing. We did not have isolation plans.

We have a lot more weapons at our disposal, that hopefully, we can be surgical as opposed to take the very painful, broad steps and put things in reverse, which we certainly want to avoid at all costs if we can.


BURNETT: All right. Governor Murphy, I appreciate your time. Thank you, sir.

MURPHY: Thanks for having me, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. And next, why John Bolton says he has no regrets about not testifying in President Trump's impeachment trial.


JOHN BOLTON, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: I think the Democrats were guilty of impeachment malpractice. They took this issue and drove it straight into a ditch.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: Democratic Senator Mark Warner responds.

Plus, a state senator says he was attacked while filming protesters tearing down statues in Wisconsin. Is it time for protesters to dial things back?


BURNETT: New tonight, President Trump slamming Democrats for blocking Republicans' police reform plan in the Senate, claiming they opposed the bill because it didn't do enough to weaken police.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Republicans want very much to pass a bill on police reform. We have total cooperation with many different communities, including the police community.


The Democrats don't want to do it because they want to weaken our police.


BURNETT: OUTFRONT now, the Democratic senator from Virginia and the ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mark Warner.

Senator Warner, you are among 45 senators today who blocked the GOP Senate plan on police reform. President Trump says you did so because you want to weaken our police.

What do you say to him?

SEN. MARK WARNER (D-VA): I say once again that Mr. Trump has totally got it wrong. I want to have a path to meaningful reform of our policing system so that all Americans, no matter who they are, feel the police is going to treat them fairly and appropriately in a country that's supposed to be equal under the law. And that's not the case right now.

And unfortunately the majority leader, Leader McConnell, could have taken the bill that was put forward by Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, two of my colleagues, which I was proud to co-sponsor, and said, let's start with that bill, amend it, and we could have had a meaningful debate.

Instead, there was a bill that was put up that I don't think was going to ever get us to an appropriate reform. And there was no willingness to compromise.

Now, we're going to have another chance. My hope would be that the majority leader would bring back up the earlier legislation, but if not the House will soon pass a bill very close to what I would support, and that bill will come over and I hope, again, we'll get another crack to start a bipartisan process. BURNETT: So, you know, two GOP leaders, Senators Cornyn and Blunt,

they both said police reform basically off the table if this bill today did not move forward. Senator Blunt's quote was there probably is no path forward in this Congress if they block debate tomorrow.

Do you think that possibly -- you obviously are more optimistic, but is that possible that could be what it ends up, we get nothing?

WARNER: It's possible if the majority leader wants to not have a process where we can bring together ideas, why we wouldn't have started this bill in the way a normal bill would be, take it to Judiciary Committee, let them argue it out in the committee, get input from both sides and then bring it to the floor. That's the normal process. That's the way the U.S. Senate is supposed to work.

He chose not to do that. But he's going to have another chance because the House will pass legislation I believe this week that will come over and then the majority leader will have an opportunity to bring that bill up. And remember, he's got the majority in the Senate so he can change that bill if he has the votes. But let's have a fair process.

BURNETT: So, the plan would have done some things. It would have used incentives to limit the use of chokeholds, you know, not giving funding to police departments that allow it, track that use of no- knock warrants, more body cams, national database on misconduct by police. You had all that.

The man who led the Senate GOP effort on this, Tim Scott, said this today about the Democrats blocking the bill.

Here's your colleague, Senator Scott.


SEN. TIM SCOTT (R-SC): We wouldn't be here if it were not, as Senator Purdue alluded to, the death of yet another African-American man, George Floyd. His murder is why the country has given us the opportunity to lead, to lead. And our friends on the other side just said no.


BURNETT: I want to give you a chance to respond to Senator Scott.

WARNER: Listen, I appreciate Senator Scott, you know, approach, but I would also point out that every civil rights group, the attorneys and families of George Floyd and the other victims all said do not go forward with this legislation. Make sure there is a fair path to have meaningful reform.

And we're going to have that opportunity. Either put both these bills into the Judiciary Committee, let the committee work through it, or take the bill that will come over from the House and use as a starting point. I mean, there is no reason, there is no excuse not to have meaningful reform of our policing system if the majority leader wants to have a fair process.

If they want to simply kick this aside and avoid this issue at all costs, they can choose that. But they could have chosen that regardless.

BURNETT: Senator Warner, I appreciate your time. Thank you, sir.

WARNER: Thank you, Erin.

BURNETT: And next, Trump's senior adviser now defending the president's use of a racist term to describe coronavirus after she originally called it wrong after saying who would say such a horrible thing.



BURNETT: President Trump vows to sign an executive order to prevent protesters from tearing down statues and other monuments across the country, saying now that statues of Jesus are coming down. Don't know what he's talking about there, claiming that the protesters don't know who or what they are even protesting against.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think many of the people that are knocking down these statues don't even have any idea what the statue is, what it means, who it is. When they knock down Grant, when they want to knock down Grant, but when they look at -- now they're looking at Jesus Christ. They're looking at George Washington. They're looking at Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson. Not going to happen.


BURNETT: OUTFRONT now, the former president of the NAACP, Ben Jealous, also president of the people for the American Way.

So, Ben, you heard the president. Do you think people know who or -- and what they're protesting against?

BENJAMIN JEALOUS, PRESIDENT, PEOPLE FOR THE AMERICAN WAY AND FOUNDATION: Folks are taking down confederate monuments because they stand for hatred and for slavery and it's that simple. I think he was just describing the view from the White House of the Washington Mall where you have Jefferson and Lincoln and Washington.

No one's thinking about tearing those down. But they are -- but they have torn down one monument in Washington, D.C. of a Confederate general.


Folks have targeted Robert E. Lee who's far from Jesus, and it's absolutely, absolutely the right thing to do. And the hard part, right, is that these statues, as Mayor Landrieu laid out for the world are relics of a failed propaganda campaign by the descendants of the folks that lost the war to try to convince the country that the war wasn't about slavery, and it absolutely was. These are symbols of hatred. These are symbols of slavery. It's time for them to come down.

BURNETT: You know, there were protests in Wisconsin last night. Statutes being taken down. State Senator Tim Carpenter sent us some video and he says it shows him being attacked by protesters. He collapsed. A CNN affiliate called 911 for him. He's got a sore neck now, vision issues.

He says this has to stop before someone innocent gets killed.

Do you think that some of these protests when it comes to these statues have gone too far?

JEALOUS: Look, there is no doubt there are folks out there in these crowds who want to go too far. Those of us who have been engaged in protests before know there are always provocateurs.


JEALOUS: But let's be clear. The overwhelming majority of statues that have been targeted have been relics of the old Confederacy and they need to come down.

BURNETT: So, the president last night once again repeated his use of "Kung Flu", talking about the coronavirus. In March, his counselor Kellyanne Conway was very direct. She objected to that term. She had heard a White House staffer used it, absolutely categorically horrible thing to say.

Now, the president, of course, is saying it again and again at rallies. She's singing a much different tune. Here's Kellyanne.



That's highly offensive.

My reaction is that the president has made very clear he wants everybody to understand and I think many Americans do understand that the virus originated in China and had China been more transparent and honest with the United States and the world, we wouldn't have all the death and destruction that unfortunately, we've suffered.


BURNETT: So she went from blunt of course it's wrong, that's highly offensive to --


BURNETT: -- you know, what we just heard.

What changed? The term is the same.

JEALOUS: I suspect the president made it clear to her she wants to continue to work for him, she's got to tow the line.

What's clear is he can't do the same thing with voters. What we're seeing is that older white voters who are really his bloc are trending towards Biden now. We're seeing that younger white voters are going to the left. And when you dig into it, it has to do with his mishandling of COVID and it has to do with his racist rhetoric.

The president is beginning to give up on moderates. He's doubling down on his base. The fact that he's now losing older white voters you would think would be a sign to him maybe I should moderate my tone but he's never been willing to do that on issues of race.

He made his career saying that the Central Park Five were guilty even though DNA proved -- and he make, you know -- and this is the guy who frankly ran for president by lying about president Obama. So race is always his Achilles heel, and he'll be racist until the end and it will probably end his presidency.

BURNETT: Ben Jealous, thank you.

JEALOUS: Thank you.

BURNETT: And next, California, it was praised for its handling of coronavirus cases. The state now, though, unfortunately seeing a record number of new cases. So what has gone wrong?



BURNETT: California reporting more than 7,000 new coronavirus cases tonight. A record high in a state once widely praised for its initial response. Where did things go wrong?

Kyung Lah is OUTFRONT.


KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Summer in Los Angeles, packed patios and high anxiety.

MYKI LEE, CALIFORNIA RESIDENT: Not seeing too many people keeping their social distancing measures and I'm a little worried to be honest.

LAH: Doctors say he should worry.

California reported more than 7,000 COVID-19 infections today, another new record. After weeks of keeping the spread largely in check, new infections have shot up, shattering records on multiple days.

California Governor Gavin Newsom is sounding the alarm.

GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D), CALIFORNIA: We cannot continue to do what we have done over the last number of weeks.

LAH: This is a major step back for a state that attacked the virus aggressively. California was the first state to shut down. After about two months of closures, numbers stabilized. But unemployment shot up.

Protests grew angry and the state moved forward in phases to restart the economy.

ANNE RIMOIN, UCLA FIELDING SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH: Just because we had flattened the curve here in California early on does not mean we are out of the woods.

LAH: COVID never disappeared says epidemiologist Anne Rimoin. Infections in nursing homes and the prison population continued but the main driver, says Rimoin, the reopening of California.

People fed up with social distancing and masks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This mask mandate is ridiculous.

LAH: The governor and county health official says days of protests over the death of George Floyd where we saw masks but little social distancing may have been a factor.

NEWSOM: Californians --

LAH: California's governor with the help of previous governors is now urging on multiple platforms for people to wear masks, a statewide mandate he's already put into place.


NEWSOM: Don't let COVID win. Wear a mask.


RIMOIN: We are not safer today than we were before. In fact, we were safer when everybody was home. Now, we are reaching a point where we are much less safe and we need to be even more careful.

LAH: Kyung Lah, CNN, Los Angeles.


BURNETT: And thanks to Kyung and thanks so much to all of you, as always.

Anderson starts now.