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California, Texas And Florida Set Records For New Infections; Dozens Of Secret Service Agents Quarantining After Tulsa Rally; House Democrats Set To Pass Policing Reform Bill. Aired 10-10:30a ET

Aired June 25, 2020 - 10:00   ET




And, Jim and Poppy, Governor Ron DeSantis on that very day had a press conference and he said he is not going to require masks statewide. Jim and Poppy?

POPPY HARLOW, CNN NEWSROOM: Okay. Thank you, Rosa.

Let's go to our Correspondent, Stephanie Elam. She joins us in Los Angeles.

California, Steph, imposed a very important stay-at-home order but just saw a record plus 7,000-plus new cases in a single day?

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. That number definitely alarming to so many people, Poppy, when you look at that. 7,149 new cases in one day, just obliterating the previous record of number of new cases in a day, which was the day before, about 5,000. We're also seeing hospitalizations increase, about up 29 percent in the state. All of this alarming, especially since so many people thought that California was ahead of the curve with its stay-at-home order, the first state to do that, and then you're starting to see these numbers creep back up.

I asked Governor Newsom about that. He said that this is all what they expected because they did not see a giant spike. And the reason for that, he says, is because people actually stayed home early and that allowed the state to prepare. He's saying that the surge hospitals are up now. They have PPE that is there and available and that this curve was crushed. That's the word that he used. They crushed the curve and flattened it out.

He also said that this number was expected to rise because of the fact that you're starting to see businesses come back online, people are out and about, especially as the weather gets warmer, and also he pointed to Memorial Day. And then also saying that a few weeks after the protesting that we've seen across the state that we might see the numbers go up.

I can tell you, as I was out covering them, but most people out there do have their masks on but it's not 100 percent. You also see people with masks below their nose or maybe their masks are below their chin, keeping their chins nice and protected but not really doing anything for them.

So he made the big point that having your mask and wearing it all the time when you're out and about away from the people that you're home with really does make a difference. He also, when I asked him about the president's refusal to wear a mask and to really support the idea of how masks could help people here. I asked him if he thought that that was playing to why some people are not wearing a mask, and his answer to that, Jim and Poppy, was to point to Dr. Fauci say, follow his lead which, of course, would mean wear your mask.

HARLOW: Yes. Stephanie, thank you very much.

Let's go to our Correspondent, Lucy Kafanov. She joins us live in Dallas, where they are just seeing an explosion of cases.

LUCY KAFANOV, CNN CORRESPONDENT: An absolute explosion to the point where the Texas governor is now warning about a third consecutive day of record-breaking numbers, both in terms of new cases and hospitalizations.

And the numbers are staggering. Texas now approaching over 128,000 confirmed cases, more than 2,000 deaths. Hospital officials increasingly worried about capacity to the point where here in Dallas, local officials are now talking begun turning the Dallas Convention Center into a pop-up field hospital over in Harris County, which includes Houston, that city very hard hit, to the point where a children's hospital now admitting adult COVID patients.

We also heard -- CNN heard from the mayor of Austin, who is talking about if these trends continue, his hospitals could run out of room by mid-July and all of this, of course, with the upcoming 4th of July holiday, a major, major concern.

Now, the Republican governor was one of the first to push for an aggressive economic reopening of the state. We have seen that continue. There aren't plans to scale that back in any kind of major way. Local officials say that one of the reasons these numbers are rising is because folks are out in the streets. They are gathering, even though bars, for example, and restaurants are supposed to put into place social distancing measures, those aren't always being listened to.

The local authorities here cracking down, taking away alcohol licenses for at least 17 bars over the past week because of these overcapacity, folks walking around without masks getting drunk. And there are, again, growing drunk that as people come out for 4th of July, as they tend to, those numbers could go up again. Guys?

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN NEWSROOM: We saw it on Memorial Day. We'll be watching this coming week. Lucy Kafanov, thanks very much.

Let's go back to Florida. Carlos Migoya, he is the President and CEO of Miami-Dade County's Jackson Health System. Thanks so much for coming on. So I want to ask you a question, because you have this argument out here, out there, propagated by the president and others that cases are really only rising because you're testing more.

Now, let's look at Miami, Miami-Dade, 27 percent positivity rate, that means that the rate of people who were infect being detected by these tests is rising. But Jackson Health System, 108 percent increase in coronavirus patients in the past 16 days, so people getting hospitalized. Can I ask you, just as a health expert, to respond to this false claim that cases are only going up because there are more tests?

CARLOS MIGOYA, PRESIDENT AND CEO, JACKSON HEALTH SYSTEM: There are definitely more tests, that the cases are going up on a percentage basis. Right now, that 27 percent number for the last couple of days, the county has been doing a lot of mobile testing in a lot of the at- risk areas.


We've been able to identify six specific zip codes in the county that have a higher percentage of infected people, and therefore, we're sending out more mobile units in that area.

But even -- and that's not the entire reason for that 27 percent, but, definitely, the percentage is up. And we have seen an increase. We saw an increase for ten days where we doubled the number. The last five days, we've seen the numbers kind of flatten out here.

My concern, obviously, is we're operationally making sure that we can do everything we can within the hospital to make sure that we can keep those people out there compliant.

And so what we're working on from a community standpoint with the county and the City of Miami is making sure that we have a lot of people enforcing the masks and social distancing and the education of it. Those zip codes that we're finding are lower income neighborhoods. What that means you have a lot of unemployed people and a lot of workers that are daytime workers that only get paid when they work, so, therefore, they need to be out there. They were at home for six weeks not getting any money.

And that's part of the challenge we have. These people are out there getting jobs. A lot of these people are just looking for ways to make some money to be able to feed their families. And those are the ones that we need to educate and make sure they are complying with the social distancing and masks, which they are not doing today.

HARLOW: Sure. You also need to have a way to incentivize them to stay home. And you have said that you're having a number of people testing positive for coronavirus that are then not telling their employers and going to work. Instead, getting more people sick and the White House chief economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, has said they are talking about a potential financial incentive for people to go back to work.

Wouldn't that just mean more sick people? MIGOYA: I think the issue continues to be is we've got to figure out a way on how to keep these people from being socially distant and masking. There's ways for them to stay safe, whether they stay home or whatever they are doing, but they need to make sure they stay safe.

We're also finding, by the way, in the numbers of hospitalized beds that we're seeing here, 40 percent of those COVID-positive patients are here for other reasons. As people are out on the streets, there's more car accidents, there're all kinds of other issues and there's also gallstone issues and kidney stones, and, therefore, people are coming here. So 40 percent of our patients are either asymptomatic or mild symptomatic, that should not be in the hospital for COVID but they're here for other reason, which actually increases the number as well.

SCIUTTO: I'm just amazed that we are where we are, because none of the responses, the necessary steps are new. We've seen other countries do them. They have been able to keep things under wraps, also contain the economic damage, testing, contact, tracing, et cetera. Why didn't we know this already? Why don't we know, even on a level of where you are in this one community, that this is what we're going to have to do when folks now test positive, when is it comes back? It seems, as a country, we're flailing about when the solutions have been written in stone for ages.

MIGOYA: Listen, when it comes to this kind of a specific COVID-19, this is a new disease, and we really don't know a whole lot about it. People -- when you talk about projections, projections go back to a historical fact. We only had this disease for six or seven months, so we don't have enough facts. So I don't rely a whole lot on projections. I'm just looking at where the infections are --

SCIUTTO: But we know what to do when there's an infection, right? I mean, you test for it, you contact trace. I mean, yes, the disease, there are specific factors about that. But you know -- public health officials know how to respond to this kind of thing. Why are we still flailing about for solutions still months into it?

MIGOYA: I will tell you here in Dade County, we are doing a lot of testing and we're going to continue to do aggressively more testing. Because, you're right, we need to understand more about where people are, and then once they find out they need to quarantine themselves and to prevent this disease from spreading.

HARLOW: Yes. Well, for sure, it's so much about the latter part of that, what do you do after someone tests positive. Carlos Migoya, thanks. We wish you guys luck.

MIGOYA: Thank you.

HARLOW: New fallout from the president's rally in Tulsa, dozens of his own Secret Service agents are now being told to self-quarantine.

SCIUTTO: House Democrats are now set to pass their version of a police reform bill, this after Democrats in the Senate blocked a Republican proposal there. Can there still be a compromise? We're going to speak to one GOP senator who presented a compromise about his attempt to bridge that divide.



HARLOW: Well, this morning, dozens of Secret Service agents are in quarantine. The decision to isolate comes after working president's rally in Tulsa last weekend. The event, you'll recall, took place in an indoor arena.

SCIUTTO: CNN White House Correspondent John Harwood joins us now. So, John, this is not the only precaution being taken. Is this about protecting the president or the Secret Service agents or both?

JOHN HARWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I think it's both, Jim. In addition to the quarantine, we know that the Secret Service is now requiring that agents for the next couple of weeks, at least, the agents who go on presidential trips have to be tested for the coronavirus 24 to 48 hours before leaving.

Obviously, their health and safety is a concern, and we saw at the Tulsa event two Secret Service agents were diagnosed with COVID.


Eight advanced staffers were diagnosed with COVID. That was an indoor rally, not a packed arena, 19,000 capacity, only a third filled, but people were generally not wearing masks, even though the Trump campaign said it was giving out masks.

Then a couple days later, the president went to Phoenix and had a packed auditorium with people, again, not wearing masks. So, clearly, at a time when public health officials are discouraging large indoor gatherings, the president is defying that, and the people who are charged with keeping him safe are paying a price for it, and it's not beyond the pale to think that the president might eventually pay a price for it.

Remember, a couple of White House aides, one close aide to Mike Pence and one of the valets serving the president earlier this spring were diagnosed with COVID, so it has been around and it's a concern for the White House and everyone who works there.

HARLOW: So, John, the president goes to Wisconsin today and Marco Rubio says just wear a damn mask. Is the president going to wear a mask?

HARWOOD: I doubt it. We haven't seen him wear a mask in public before. He has expressed concern about how it looks and about the effectiveness, about whether or not people -- mask-wearing is a sign of disapproval of his leadership. But it is clear from public health officials, the recommendation is that wearing masks both protects other people from you and they are wearing masks protects you from transmitting the virus via droplets.

The University of Washington says that 95 percent of the American people wear masks, 33,000 fewer Americans would die by October 1st. President Trump, in a pretty self-defeating move, has declined to embrace the mark of message and we're seeing seen the consequences play out.

HARLOW: We are. John, thanks for reporting from the White House.

As more than half of the country, half of the states in the country are seeing a spike in COVID cases, what needs to be done to actually slow the infection rate?

SCIUTTO: Let's speak to Dr. Larry Brilliant, CNN Medical Analyst and Epidemiologist. Dr. Brilliant, great to have you on.

I'm kind of amazed as others are that this is where we are, months into a pandemic where health experts know exactly what to do, right, to prevent the spread and when it does spread, what to do. We were speaking to someone from Miami just a couple of minutes ago. They are doing their best there, but it seems like they are still debating what you do when you find people with positive tests now this deep into it.

How did we get here, right, and can we get out of this? Because, clearly, the numbers are going up, clearly, the country is not doing what's necessary to get this under wraps.

DR. LARRY BRILLIANT, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Well, good morning. It's a complex question how we got here. You know, one of the factors is that today is exactly one month after Memorial Day. We all knew that Memorial Day plus three weeks, we'd see an increased spike in cases, and Memorial Day plus four or five weeks, we'll see an increased spike in deaths, and we're certainly seeing it.

Today's case count is back to the highs that we had in April and our deaths are beginning to increase almost doubling since yesterday. These are -- these are just numbers, but they -- they show our inability to deal with the seasonality, the summer. I fear we'll have the same situation when we have 4th of July plus three weeks, Labor Day plus three weeks.

You know, epidemiologists saw this come. Every one of us said it's not a question of, it's a question of when. The thing we did not see coming was not the virus. We didn't not see the total absence of the federal government leadership that we have become accustomed to in every other outbreak.

We know what to do. You find every case, you do contact tracing and testing. Those cases that you find from contact tracing, you treat or you isolate. You do that while you're doing face masks and social distancing.

I just want to call attention to one thing, which is that today, South Korea has had 325 deaths. That's cumulative since the beginning of the outbreak. We've had double that number of deaths in one day that South Korea has had in the history of the outbreak. And, Jim, you should know, Poppy, that the outbreak began on the same day in South Korea and the United States. This is shameful.

HARLOW: Yes, January 20th.

Look, there's no reason, and correct me if I'm wrong, Dr. Brilliant, that the U.S. could not have done what Iceland did, right? Our Max Foster went there and brought us the remarkable story of Iceland, where they are living like normal now because of what they did on the front end of this, right?


I mean, other than sort of political ineptitude, there's no reason that a bigger country couldn't do the same, right?

BRILLIANT: Iceland, Germany, South Korea, Taiwan, I mean, some of these are island republics with women leadership, which are two really important factors. We can't monitor either of those just yet. But, you know, clearly, we could have done what South Korea did. In fact, what we should do right now is to follow the playbook of those countries that have been successful and take from them the best lessons in a spirit of humility because, honestly, we have a lot to be humble about in our response.

SCIUTTO: Dr. Brilliant you talk about a lack of presidential leadership, right, lack of federal leadership here. In fact, and this is just the way that's playing out, you have a president deliberately fighting the science here, right? He says it's going away, it's not. The numbers don't lie. He says cases are rising only because of increased testing. That's also not true because the positivity rate is going up, and he won't wear a mask and he creates events where people aren't required to wear masks, which is the simplest, you know, confirmed way of stopping the spread.

By doing that, is he endangering lives?

BRILLIANT: Well, you just -- you just heard Chris Murray say that if everybody wore a mask, the death count in the United States would be 33,000 cases less in a month. That's almost 1,000 deaths a day. That's more deaths in total than we have right now. So maybe he should listen to Marco Rubio. I believe I just heard you say that the senator told him, wear a damn mask.

And I don't know any (INAUDIBLE) advice. He has to model best behavior, first of all.

HARLOW: Yes. I think Marco Rubio was talking to everyone, but the president is included in that. Dr. Larry Brilliant, we always appreciate having you. Thanks a lot.

Well, Bill Gates warned about a pandemic like this a long time ago, years ago. Now, he weighs in on the rising number of cases and what can be done at this point to actually change things. He joins Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta tonight for a CNN global town hall, Coronavirus, Facts and Fears, live at 8:00 Eastern right here on CNN.

SCIUTTO: So Democrats in the House, they are set to pass their policing reform bill later today, but this after Democrats in the Senate, they blocked a GOP version. Republican Senator Mike Braun was trying to bring both sides together with something of a compromise. It didn't work yet. He joins us ahead. We'll see where this all stands.



SCIUTTO: Well, the House is set to pass the Democrats' police reform bill today. That proposal expected to pass largely along party lines. This, of course, comes a day after the Democrats in the Senate blocked a competing GOP bill there.

Republican Senator Mike Braun of Indiana proposed, he proposed a bill to try to find a middle ground and he joins us now. Senator Braun, good to have you on the broadcast this morning.

SEN. MIKE BRAUN (R-IN): Hey, good to be on.

SCIUTTO: So, credit to you for giving it the old college try in those final moments there. Senator Lindsey Graham told my colleague, Lauren Fox, this morning that he thinks that at this point the differences are so wide that there won't be any legislation before November. I wonder if you agree. Has the moment passed?

BRAUN: I agree with Lindsey, but I think it's more of a political gap than it is a substance gap other and on qualified immunity. And I could sense that early. I've been here a year-and-a-half and have weighed in more vocally than any Republican senator on reforming healthcare. I think it's a broken industry. Most of us here defend it, same dynamic.

Police reform is different in the sense that it does such a generally good job, but I think with these horrific cases we've had, something needs to give. And Tim Scott's bill actually had a lot of overlap with the Democrats' bill, but they wanted to eliminate qualified immunity. They wanted to eliminate no-knock entries and chokeholds and kneeholds.

That last category, I think there would have been more movement on it, but it, early on, was going to boil down to qualified immunity.

I wanted to reform, it hit a sweet spot where it helps police out, hold the bad apples accountable. We didn't want to go there. But I think the process in place was going to allow for amendments. I think Democrats then said, hey, let's stew on it, maybe take it politically into the election. So, yes, it's on the backburner unless somebody else would start pushing it.

SCIUTTO: So you don't see -- there's no movement, there're no discussions going on now, for instance, on your proposal for qualified immunity to find a middle ground? You're saying dead on arrival at this point?

BRAUN: Yes. You know, maybe the White House could pick it up. They said a non-starter, deal-breaker on eliminating qualified immunity. I would feel the same way. No one was talking about tweaking it or reforming it to where it would benefit law enforcement to take this stigma off of their shoulders and give redress to these individuals. END