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CNN NEWSROOM

Dr. Dave Montgomery Discusses New Study Showing Protests Did Not Spark Coronavirus Outbreaks; Face Masks Required at Trump Town Hall as He Refuses Them; CDC Warning Coronavirus Has Moved to Younger Populations Across U.S. Interview with Grammy Award-Winning Singer, Richard Marx. Aired 1:30-2p ET

Aired June 25, 2020 - 13:30   ET

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


[13:30:00]

ALEXANDRIA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We know they're effective. The science bears that out.

You have the governor saying that Texans need to wear the masks. It is not something he's ever mandated for individuals across the state. But local governments have been given the right to order businesses to require their customers to wear masks.

And we're learning now that state testing sites, the state sites with the COVID tests, as of tomorrow, will be giving four masks to anyone getting that test.

So it seems the lesson is shared that people need to be masking up in public and not able to maintain social distancing -- Brianna?

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: Alex, thank you for the report.

There were fears that the protests across America would lead to the spike in cases but a new study says that they did not. We'll take a look at why.

Plus, audience members of the president's town hall tonight will be required to wear masks as we refuse to wear one.

And more on our breaking news from the CDC. A warning that the coronavirus surge has moved into younger populations.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[13:35:49]

KEILAR: Multiple Trump campaign staffers quarantining after the president's rally in Tulsa last weekend. CNN learned that those staffers were isolated after interacting with eight colleagues that tested positive for coronavirus.

Dozens of Secret Service agents are also now under quarantine. A Secret Service official said the quarantining will not impact future operations. The agency is also taking additional precautions. Agents who are involved in presidential trips must now be tested 24 to 48 hours beforehand.

And a reminder that that event did take place inside and attendees were not required to wear masks and almost all of them did not.

The first presidential trip under the testing protocols is underway right now. President Trump is in Green Bay, Wisconsin, recording a town hall as we speak.

Unlike in Oklahoma and Arizona, face masks are required for this, but it's FOX News that's requiring them. And still the president himself is refusing to wear one.

I want to bring in chief media correspondent, Brian Stelter.

Brian, this is different because the audience will be wearing masks. What does you make of that and how appearance is going to play?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Folks that attend this event had to have temperature checks at the entrance to make sure they didn't have a fever and they have to wear masks. Anybody that doesn't want to wear a face covering will be asked to leave.

This town hall taking place now. It's being taped for Sean Hannity's show tonight. This is an event in the weeks for several days. And speaks about the difference of FOX's handling and the White House's and the Trump campaign's handling of this situation.

Is it hypocritical some ways, Brianna? Yes. Because some of FOX's biggest stars downplayed the importance of masks.

But at the same time, this speaks to corporations, corporate American, even conservative corporations are taking this more seriously than the president is.

KEILAR: Yes. It is a huge liability issue, right? They're looking at what happened in Tulsa, and don't want it to play out here.

In the past week, the president tweeted dozens and dozens of times but barely mentioning about the pandemic. And his favorite channel is touting riot video from a month ago and not an accurate picture that's painted.

STELTER: The biggest way that FOX is downplaying the virus, it's not by telling viewers not to wear masks. It's never that explicit. It is much more subtle. It's about covering other stories and other issues. It is like acting like the threat has passed the same way the president acts that way.

And I think, Brianna, ultimately what the president loses this re- election in November, it is about the divorce of reality. And a biggest area divorced from reality is when it comes to this virus.

And we will see, you know, if Sean Hannity challenges him on this, if people in the town hall challenge him about the virus.

But for the most part, right wing media has tried to move. An and the president is taking the cues from those sources.

Brian, thank you so much. I'm very much enjoying the sounds there in your house as you try to concentrate so hard on work. Thank you so much.

STELTER: Not quite able to work from home like usual, Brianna. I'm looking forward to being in the studio but not until the threat is passed.

And by the way --

(CROSSTALK)

STELTER: -- since my daughter is interrupting, let me point out, it is not just CNN. It is FOX News that is working from home.

This is about the hypocrisy we are talking about. They're not back in their building either.

The president, if he really wanted to know what was going on in the country and corporate America, he would ask how Sean Hannity about how they're broadcasting. Hannity is working from home just like the rest of us.

KEILAR: No, that's very, very good point. The sounds are sweet. Hang in there!

Brian Stelter, thank you so much.

STELTER: I'll make sure the kids are OK. Thank you.

KEILAR: All right, sounds good.

The images of thousands of people marching side by side in the streets, protesting racial injustice fueled a lot of concerns of a potentially dangerous spike in coronavirus infections.

But a new study just published by the National Bureau of Economic Research said there's no proof any of these demonstrations lead to more cases.

[13:40:01]

Dr. Dave Montgomery is a preventive cardiologist at the PREventClinic.

Thank you for joining us.

This is very curious. This is not exactly what we thought would happen. It is a study that measured impact three weeks after the protests. Why are we not seeing this spike that seemed almost a guarantee?

DR. DAVE MONTGOMERY, PREVENTATIVE CARDIOLOGIST, PREVENTCLINIC, INC.: Yes. No. I think you hit it on the head. There are many in the country including myself who expected or are expecting for there to be an increase in the numbers of cases of COVID based on the thousands of people in the protests.

I will say from the study important question, I love the attempt and the approach to try to gain some ideas but it is not definitive because it's just too soon.

As you know, the incubation time of this virus can be two weeks. And so, you know, you align that with the idea that what we are actually seeing right now in a place like Texas, Brianna, the numbers are increasing precipitously. And that number made up of large percentage of people in that demographic, young people around 30 years old.

KEILAR: So this study also points out that social distancing increased in the protests not by the protesters but by the people who were trying to avoid them. Why is that noteworthy to you?

MONTGOMERY: Yes. No, it is a really important point. We are just discovering, everybody's experiencing this for the first time.

And did the fallout from having all of those thousands of people together for the people who weren't attending the protests and rallies, were those people more careful in doing the things that other countries, for example, have shown us works? Quarantining, staying inside, wearing masks.

Did data suggest there were more people quarantining themselves or staying away from large crowds because of the protests.

KEILAR: Did maybe they offset what actually happened with the protests?

Dr. Dave Montgomery, thank joining us from Atlanta.

MONTGOMERY: Thank you, Brianna.

KEILAR: White the president refused to wear a mask, Miami's mayor wants to fine people for not wearing them in public.

Plus, why Van Halen star, Sammy Hagar, said he'd rather die than not perform live.

Next, singer, Richard Marx, will join me live. He has a blunt message for people that don't wear face coverings in public, calling them, quote, "entitled and ignorant."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[13:47:00]

KEILAR: Rock singer, Sammy Hagar, said he would rather get sick and die than give up performing live in front of crowds during the coronavirus pandemic.

Hagar, the 72-year-old former front man for Van Halen and now a solo act, had this to say in an interview with "Rolling Stone" magazine, quote, "I would rather get sick and die if that's what it has to take. We have to save the country from the economic thing that will kill more people in the long run. I would rather see everyone go back to work. If we have to sacrifice on that, OK."

Joining me now is Grammy Award-winning singer, Richard Marx.

Thank you for coming on.

When you hear remarks like that, how do you respond as a performer?

RICHARD MARX, GRAMMY AWARD-WINNING SINGER: I honestly don't know where to begin to unpack a statement like that, except to say that I don't think Sammy recognizes it is not just about Sammy. It is about all the people who would come to hear him play and the risk of their health. For what?

You know? Look we all want to go back to work. My livelihood is I'm a concert performer around the world. And I have the greatest job in the world. We all want to go back to performing.

But I have no interest in even contemplating the idea of having people who like what I do gather in a space and risk their health and my own until we really have a handle on this thing.

I just don't understand the pushback. It is just common sense to me.

But at the end of the day, I just feel that a statement like Sammy's was just so puzzling to me because it's a whole lot more than just Sammy.

KEILAR: Americans right now are grappling with what their entertainment is going to look like here in the next year or so, right? Whether it's sports or music.

We spoke with Keith Urban after he had given a concert as basically a drive-in theater and not getting that reaction from the fans, right? Like lights flicking on and off at you.

But I wonder what you think of the state of concerts is going to look like over the next year. I know you are about to do a virtual one but are you going to be able to perform in front of fans in the next year, do you think?

MARX: You know, look, I have no crystal ball, nor like anybody else. I think it's a gradual thing. And we have to just like this virtual concert I'm doing and several artists are doing these kinds of things. It is a sort of next-best-thing.

I can't have people gather and play for them in a venue and next best thing is a concert atmosphere.

By the way, this virtual concert on Sunday I'm doing is going to involve a total of maybe seven or eight people. We are all going to be socially distanced. The location is mandatory PPE. It's got a fumigation decontamination system in place.

[13:50:02]

We are taking every precaution, even for the six or seven of us part of it, and we're not going to be anywhere near each other.

I think that it's just going to have to roll out as and until we start to see progress bringing the numbers down. We're sort of locked into this situation where I feel like it's just not safe in any way shape or form to have a bunch of people at concerts.

As much as I would love to go back to work, and I think that things like Keith's Drive-In Virtual Concerts, I think we're going to slowly come up with new, safer ways to sort of bridge the gap.

KEILAR: You -- and you're coming to us from California. So, you've got a surge going on right there in your state. What do you make of people who are still not wearing masks?

MARX: It's just mind boggling to me. Look, you know this. Years ago we had a psychopath try to blow up a plane with a bomb in his shoe and luckily no one was hurt. To this day, we have to take off our shoes at the airport and wear mandatory seatbelts driving our car. You know why? Because it protects the masses.

What wearing a mask and socially distancing does is protects the masses. That's the science. I just don't understand the ignorance of people who just want to dismiss that. Why wouldn't we want to put in every possibility of making people safe and driving the numbers down? It's just -- I don't get it.

KEILAR: Anecdotally, I notice sometimes, if I'm out in public, I'm wearing a mask. Someone not wearing one will walk close to me, almost as if they think that I am protected from them. They don't understand the two-way transmission.

Why do you think people are just not getting what's really a pretty basic concept when you're talking about protection?

MARX: Well, I could be wrong. But I really do feel like this whole thing has been politicized to the point where it breaks down, based upon what news you watch or who you listen to politically.

You know, the people walking around cavalierly, refusing to wear masks, tend to have a certain right-wing ideology. And the people who are like, no, let's listen to science, tend to be not those people.

So, the fact that it seems to have broken down into a political A or b is, again, mind blowing to me, that we're not just using critical thinking and commonsense.

KEILAR: Richard Marx, thank you so much. Good luck with your virtual concert. We're looking forward to that. And that's going to be a data point as we get back to enjoying our entertainment. So, thanks for talking to us about it.

MARX: Thanks, Brianna. Take care.

KEILAR: Breaking news. The CDC says, for every American diagnosed with coronavirus, 10 cases are going undiagnosed.

And new concerns for moms to be who catch the virus.

Then, just in, NASCAR released an update to their investigation into a noose found at Talladega Super Speedway.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[13:58:00]

KEILAR: An Arizona city councilman apologizing for mocking the dying words of George Floyd during a face mask protest. Scottsdale, Arizona, City councilman, Guy Phillips, a Republican, organized an anti-mask protest, following an order for residents to cover their noses and mouths in most public areas. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GUY PHILLIPS (R), SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA, CITY COUNCILMAN: I can't breathe. I can't breathe.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KEILAR: George Floyd said the words "I can't breathe" moment before he died, with a Minneapolis police officer pressing a knee on his neck. Floyd's death sparking weeks of protests in Minneapolis and across the nation.

This just in. A NASCAR investigation has failed to determine who tied a noose at the Talladega Super Speedway. This is a picture of the noose. It was released by NASCAR.

The investigation hopes to uncover who made a garage door pull rope into a noose back in 2019. It was ultimately found in the garage stall of Bubba Wallace over the weekend. NASCAR said it checked other stalls but only found the one.

NASCAR plans to install additional cameras in the garage area at future races.

And President Steve Phelps thanking Wallace for his leadership over the past three weeks.

I'm Brianna Keilar. And I want to welcome viewers in the U.S. and around the world.

The Centers for Disease Control announcing that, as the U.S. struggles with a sharp increase, the numbers may be much larger than previously thought.

For every American diagnosed with coronavirus, 10 people were missed. There have been more than two million official diagnoses. And that means more than 21 million may have been infected.

Dr. Robert Redfield went on to say that 90 percent of Americans have not been infected and are fully susceptible to the virus.

[14:00:03] And just a day after the United States posted another daily increase of new increases since the beginning of the pandemic, the Trump White House is poised to cut funding to testing sites in just a few days.