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Biden Speech Highlights Empathy to Promote Wearing Masks; Some Northeast States Now Requiring 14-Day Quarantine from 16 States' Travelers; Anthony Fauci Predicts U.S. Cases Could Increase by 100,000 Per Day. Aired 2-2:30p ET

Aired June 30, 2020 - 14:00   ET



BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: But he's been a-OK health-wise so far. He talked about the veepstakes, how they're now in the hard vet process of black women, Latina women, Asian women -- should have an answer for everyone as far as who they select, sometime early August. And may even put out a short list of potential Supreme Court justices, African-American women justices.

Let's talk about all of what we've just heard. David Chalian, M.J. Lee both are with me.

And, David Chalian, first and foremost, what did you think? How did he do?

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Yes. I mean, this was a blistering critique of the president's management or, as Joe Biden would say, sort of lack thereof when it comes to battling coronavirus.

And, you know, we know, we've heard Joe Biden for the best part of a year, Brooke, say thematically that his campaign, the rationale for his candidacy is this battle for the soul of the nation? I think what you heard today was sort of the specific of coronavirus, and the presidential leadership around battling COVID is the thing that Joe Biden is putting front and center in this campaign, what this campaign is about.

And he went through a whole take of the tape (ph), about what he proposed versus what the president was doing. He then went through some things that he would be doing right now.

But, significantly, he said that the commander in chief, who said he should be considered a wartime president in this, is in retreat, is surrendering, is waving the white flag. This was Joe Biden saying, Mr. President, you may try to tweet about things and distract and program conversation elsewhere, but I, Joe Biden, I'm going to make this campaign about this huge pandemic the country is facing and right now is getting worse, and I'm blaming your leadership and he's putting forth himself as the alternative.

BALDWIN: And there he was, a couple of times, M.J., you know, holding up his mask -- we know that the president, despite all of the guidelines, refuses to wear a mask. I mean, the behavior between these two men, just as far as COVID is concerned, could not be more different.

M.J. LEE, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Brooke. I mean, what we are seeing right now are two presidential candidates, visually campaigning so differently. And we saw that perfectly today with Biden.

You know, we've not seen him out on the campaign trail in person every single day, in large part because of COVID. But in the recent events that we have attended, we have seen both Biden the candidate and Biden's campaign and his aides, really making a point to try to demonstrate that they are trying to follow, to a T, the advice that is being given from public health officials and doctors and experts.

We saw him, as we said, waving that mask a couple times, practically begging people to please put on a mask, this is what will help contain the virus. We saw in that press conference that he had, every reporter sitting in a little circled area that was marked off to make sure that they were distanced from other reporters.

You know, last week, when I was with the Biden campaign, covering him in Pennsylvania, it was noteworthy that when he came out of the event, there were a group of supporters outside yelling across the lawn at him. And he shouted back at them, I'm going to come back when I can shake your hand, the clear message being, it is not a safe time right now for me to mingle with you and to shake your hand.

And all of this is just in such stark contrast to the president and his behavior, who frankly has not been setting a good example, has been setting a bad example, refusing to wear a mask, the lack of social distancing that we are seeing from him and some of his closest aides.

And of course, we can't forget this indoor rally that he held just days ago, where the president himself and may of the thousands of attendees were simply not masked.

Unfortunately, we of course know that politics is colliding with public health right now. He addressed -- Biden today -- the issue of the fact that, you know, even the simple idea of putting on a mask has become politicized.

I think so many people are wondering right now, if the president were taking some of these precautions himself, if he were going out in public and putting on a mask, would that convince a lot of other people who are on the fence, to put on a mask themselves? He is, after all, the president of the United States.

BALDWIN: Certainly (inaudible) sending --

CHALIAN: Brooke, can I just make one other point that I think --

BALDWIN: -- a message. Yes, David, go ahead.

CHALIAN: -- that I think Joe Biden was trying to do here. And I think you see it reflected in the polls, this notion of empathy. He tied the science and the mask-wearing to not about protecting yourself, but actually trying to keep others safe: your coworkers, your family members, your friends, people in your community. And that it is a communal response that is required.

And he constantly was contrasting that with trying to portray the president as acting selfishly and refusing to take responsibility for the larger collective health of the American people. And it is this issue -- you just see it when you ask people, you know, Who do you think sort of represents -- cares more about people like you? That empathy factor.


What Joe Biden was trying to portray here, in addition to the specifics and the science, was also just the difference in value judgement there between these two candidates.

BALDWIN: Stand by, both of you. We've just gotten Arlette Saenz up. Arlette, I know I heard both your questions. We're talking so far -- we have a lot to get through -- we're talking so far just on how the vice president really drew this contrast and also, you know, to David's note, his point on just empathy, and how it's not all about me, me, me, it's about us and the greater good and appealing to our better angels, just in terms of, you know, being safer and wearing masks.

You know, you asked him and then he said to you he hadn't been tested for coronavirus, that he's been pretty healthy. As far as any of the coronavirus headlines, what did you think of Joe Biden?

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think Biden here was very clearly trying to draw that contrast with the president. He outlined steps that he believes that the president needs to take as far as providing PPE for people as they return to the workplace, also ramping up testing and vaccines.

And also setting some economic guidelines so that these states, which right now are doing a state-by-state approach, he thinks that perhaps there needs to be some broader economic guidelines given to a lot of these states.

But you also heard Biden outlining where he thinks President Trump has gone wrong and failed with his leadership, starting back to the start of the coronavirus pandemic. And Biden said that he doesn't believe that right now we need a cheerleader. He said that the country needs a president.

And take a listen to what else he had to say about President Trump, saying that he is surrendering to the coronavirus.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's almost July, and it seems like our wartime president has surrendered, waved the white flag and left the battlefield. Today, we're facing a serious threat and we have to meet it. We have to meet it as one country. But the president gives no direction.

We can't continue like this, half recovery and half getting worse. We can't continue, half wearing masks and half rejecting science. We can't continue, half with a plan and half just hoping for the best.


SAENZ: So Biden there, stressing that he thinks President Trump needs to take a stronger approach in addressing the coronavirus pandemic.

And as you mentioned, I asked Biden if he himself has been tested for COVID-19, given the fact that he has been out in public, holding these small campaign events for the past month. And he said that he has not been tested yet. One, because he hasn't experienced any symptoms. And, two, he doesn't want to take tests away from people who may need them.

But did say that he will be tested relatively soon, and he noted that the Secret Service, even his own daughter, was tested for coronavirus before coming to see him. So that is where that currently stands with the former vice president.

But it's very clear that Biden is trying to present this contrast in leadership style, and also a management plan as coronavirus has really become a central issue of this campaign so far.

BALDWIN: Well, you know where else he's really -- where he contrasted himself and the current president, when it comes to Russia, right? I mean, the reporting is that it was Russia who, you know, basically bribed the Taliban militants to kill coalition forces, that would be Americans, that would be British.

And so many, many of the questions were to Biden, who he was able to say, I was vice president, I've spoken to Putin a number of times, this is how I would have handled it. I mean, David, to your point about, you know, empathy, bringing up Beau if his -- if his late son Beau Biden had instead been in Afghanistan than Iraq, you know, just thinking of these families with their loved ones in harm's way.

It just would have been -- he basically is saying, again, I would handle this totally differently.

CHALIAN: Yes. I mean, he called it a dereliction of duty, is what he called the president, for either not getting briefed on it or getting briefed and taking no action.

So the White House has said that the president has not been briefed on this issue, Brooke, but what Joe Biden called it today was a dereliction of duty because one of either scenario, that he didn't get briefed, didn't sit down all sort of the intelligence chiefs and says, Let's get to the bottom of this. Or he did get briefed and he took no action, didn't gather his Joint Chiefs and say, How are we going to protect the forces and.

So this was also just a dramatic critique from Joe Biden on this one issue, should this reporting bear out and be true. As he said, it's an evolving situation. BALDWIN: A dereliction of duty, and he also called it a betrayal.

M.J., on the veepstakes, who might the Biden campaign choose as a running mate? He said that they are in the hard vet. I know you've been following following him, so talk to me about what you know. He said that they're in the hard vet with Latina women, Asian women and black women. And when might they make up their minds?

LEE: Well, you know, the selection of a vice presidential nominee, as you know, Brooke, is one of the most closely guarded political processes that you see in a presidential election year. We do know, of course, some of the names that have been out there.

CNN has reported on how this moment of national reckoning over race, the protests that we have seen over the last few weeks, all of that has contributed to those close to Biden and Biden himself, the campaign feeling like it is a moment that deserves that kind of recognition. It could potentially affect whether or not Biden himself feels the kind of pressure to choose a person of color, and particularly a black woman as his running mate.

We didn't expect Biden, in a press conference, to make any kind of news or sort of show his cards in any way about who he might choose. I did think it was noteworthy that when he was asked whether the previously stated timeline of August 1st is still what they were thinking -- because, remember, he has said in the past, I hope to have someone decided by around August 1st.

He said, Well, I don't know if I can guarantee the August 1st timeline, but it will be sometime before the Democratic convention.

So, again, we didn't make -- expect him to make any news on this, this is not something that they are wanting to discuss publicly. But clearly, he is trying to emphasize that the pool of people and candidates that he's looking at right now, they are diverse.

And he also said even if the person did not necessarily have a lot of foreign policy experience -- he was discussing this in the context of the whole Russia question -- he said what is really important is that the person have a certain kind of intellectual capacity. Obviously you assume that anybody that the campaign is looking at seriously would meet that standard -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: And to your point about, you know, the reckoning on race in this country, Arlette, my final question to you. You know, your first question to the former vice president was about what's been going on with regard to monuments all around the country -- right? -- being taken down. And your question about, you know, is that the right approach to respecting our nation's history. What was his response and what did you make of it?

SAENZ: Well, Biden really was trying to make a distinction here in this debate when it comes to some of these monuments. He's saying that those monuments to Confederate generals or Confederate soldiers, that those belong in museums. But then he drew that distinction when it came to George Washington or

Thomas Jefferson, people who were slaveowners. And he said that those need to be handled differently. In some respects, need to be protected by the government.

So Biden, in this debate, trying to draw that distinction between those two different groups of monuments and memorials.

And I also think it's worth noting, in addition to all of this, this was the first time that Biden took questions from reporters since early April. This was the first time that many of us had access to him in an event, and you heard the line of questioning running across many topics. And this is hopefully something that we'll continue to see from the former vice president, heading -- as we get closer to the general election.

BALDWIN: Well, I'll end (ph) with this. You know, one of the questions was about is he preparing for debates with President Trump. And his answer, I can hardly wait," with that -- flashing that Joe Biden smile.

We'll leave it there, Arlette, David and M.J., thank you so much. And here we are, just about to July, four months away from Election Day.

Still ahead here on CNN, a new warning from Dr. Anthony Fauci as coronavirus cases are on the rise. He says he wouldn't be surprised if we reach 100,000 cases a day.

And it is official, the European Union is banning travelers from the United States from visiting. We have those new details.

And lawmakers say they need more answers after a White House briefing on the intelligence that Russia put bounties on the heads of American troops in Afghanistan.


You are watching CNN, I'm Brooke Baldwin. We'll be right back.


BALDWIN: We are back. You're watching CNN, I'm Brooke Baldwin. You know, there is a serious warning from the nation's top infectious disease expert as the U.S. is effectively unflattening the coronavirus curve.


ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: I can't make an accurate prediction, but it is going to be very disturbing, I will guarantee you that. Because when you have an outbreak in one part of the country, even though in other parts of the country they're doing well, they are vulnerable. I made that point very clearly last week at a press conference. We can't just focus on those areas that are having this surge, it puts the entire country at risk. We are now having 40-plus-thousand new cases a day. I would not be

surprised if we go up to 100,000 a day if this does not turn around.

BALDWIN: And the numbers show the time to turn this around is now. At least 36 states are seeing a rise in cases, 17 states are trying to reverse course, rolling back their plans to reopen. Massachusetts and New Jersey are now joining the tristate area in asking individuals traveling from hotspot states to quarantine upon entry.

Jason Carroll is live in New York, where the governor has put those new travel restrictions in place. So, Jason, what exactly are they asking folks to do?

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, the list just keeps growing, doesn't it, Brooke? I mean, now you have New Jersey, you've got Connecticut, you've got New York. They've all decided to band together and to basically double the number of states that they're asking people to come in and quarantine from.


It used to be eight states, now it's 16 including California, Georgia, and Nevada. So if you come in from any of those 16 states and you're coming to a place like New York, you are now going to have to quarantine for 14 days.


FAUCI: Clearly, we are not in total control right now.

CARROLL (voice-over): Coronavirus Task Force member Dr. Anthony Fauci and CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield, testifying before a Senate committee on what needs to be done to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

ROBERT REDFIELD, DIRECTOR, CENTERS OF DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION: It is critical that we all take the personal responsibility to slow the transmission of COVID-19, and embrace the universal use of face coverings.

FAUCI: We recommend masks for everyone on the outside.

CARROLL (voice-over): In the face of a nationwide crisis, the country's top infectious disease expert says no guarantee a vaccine will come by the end of the year.

FAUCI: Hopefully there will be doses available by the beginning of next year.

CARROLL (voice-over): Their testimony comes as 36 states are seeing an increase in new cases, so much so, more than a dozen states have paused or rolled back on their reopening plans.

Late yesterday, Arizona's governor, who was quick to reopen some businesses, ordered bars, movie theaters, gyms and pools closed for the next 30 days. This, after state health officials reported an alarming number of cases in Arizona, now almost 75,000 reported infections, up from more than 46,000 cases 10 days ago.

GOV. DOUG DUCEY (R-AZ): Our expectation is that next week, our numbers will be worse.

CARROLL (voice-over): Ahead of the Fourth of July holiday weekend, bars and beaches closed from coast to coast. In Florida and California.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is time for us to have a collective course correction.

CARROLL (voice-over): A course correction in Florida as well, where bars are closed for the second time and beaches off-limits in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't have a lot of tools left in the kit right now. So, you know, we're trying everything we can to stop this spread and reverse what is a very enormous spike in our community and in our state.

CARROLL (voice-over): Doctors in some of the surge states say they're now seeing COVID-19 in younger patients than earlier in the pandemic, and sicker patients as well.

DAVID DE LA ZERDA, ICU MEDICAL DIRECTOR AND PULMONOLOGIST, JACKSON HEALTH SYSTEM: They need much more mechanical ventilation, to be on the breathing machine. They need medications to keep their blood pressure high. So the resources that we're spending from the ICU perspective are much more than the last time.

CARROLL (voice-over): Doctors in hard-hit Texas, fighting the same battle.

JOSEPH VARON, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, UNITED MEMORIAL MEDICAL CENTER: Patients are coming in 10 times sicker than when they were, let's say, eight weeks ago, 10 times sicker. People are waiting a little too long to come into a hospital. And by the time they come to me, they are near death.

CARROLL (voice-over): Reopening in Texas, put on hold. Bars in the state, closed to help stop the spread with young people. A group of bar owners, now suing the Texas governor, arguing that the order of closing their businesses is unconstitutional.

States such as New York and New Jersey have gotten past the worst of it. Even so, New Jersey's governor, not moving forward with indoor dining this week after seeing images of what he called knucklehead behavior by patrons not social distancing.

GOV. PHIL MURPHY (D-NJ): We've cracked the back of this virus, unlike any other state. I can't fathom -- we can't fathom going through that again. And again, we know that indoors, this thing is a lot more lethal than it is outdoors.


CARROLL: Very serious message there.

And, Brooke, as for that Senate hearing, the director of the CDC, during that hearing, also blasting American Airlines for the airline's decision not to block out their middle seat, so -- thereby potentially preventing folks who are traveling on their planes from practicing social distancing.

Dr. Redfield said he was disappointed by that decision, and said that it basically sends the wrong message -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: And we learned, it was just this past weekend that was the busiest weekend --


BALDWIN: -- since, you know, this whole pandemic began. Jason, thank you, good to see you.

With me now, Dr. Jorge Rodriguez, an internal medicine and viral specialist. So, Dr. Rodriguez, it's always a pleasure.


BALDWIN: You know, we are now seeing 17 states -- 17 -- reverse course on reopening. Is it too late, can you put the toothpaste back in the tube here?

RODRIGUEZ: I don't think you can put much of the toothpaste back in the tube. And seriously, that's what people need to realize. It's almost as if this were some sort of game to a lot of people. You keep trying to, you know, sort of press and extend the boundaries as to what you can get away with. The virus doesn't care.

You know, the virus is -- we are two weeks behind the virus, so things that already happened two weeks ago, you really can't undo those. And I agree completely with Dr. Tony Fauci in the fact that we will reach 100,000 cases per day. This virus, one person on the average infects three people and we're already at 40,000.


And it isn't just that we're testing more. As you can tell by all the reports you just gave, the hospitals are again becoming completely full in the ICUs. So we need to start drastic action now, as a lot of states are doing.

BALDWIN: Well, I'm -- you brought up ICU beds and a death of beds, I just heard the sound bite from that doctor in Houston, where they're really having issues. I know in Harris County, when it comes to ICU beds. And he said, there was a clip of him saying, I'm seeing patients, they're coming in to me in the hospital and they are 10 times sicker.

And I think he was saying that people are waiting and waiting and waiting until the last minute to have to come in. Is that why they would be sicker? RODRIGUEZ: Probably a couple of reasons. One is people are probably waiting more. Hopefully this is not some change in the virus that is making it more virulent or just creating disease that's a lot stronger.

I also think -- and I don't know any of the statistics, but -- we need to stop the myth that this disease, this infection is just for older people. So perhaps people that didn't think that they were going to get that sick, that their immune system was, quote-unquote, "that strong," younger people, maybe they're waiting and not really seeking medical care.

This disease does not see any boundaries, it has no biases. Over 50 percent of the people that are getting infected and are getting sick now are under the age of 50. It affects everybody.

BALDWIN: Totally. Dr. Fauci was just testifying about that today, saying, you know, Everyone wear masks, and I'm talking to you, know, Gen Z and Millennials, because I know that --

RODRIGUEZ: Here's mine.

BALDWIN: Exactly, exactly.

It is apparent that this patchwork of state-by-state guidance that the White House seems to be deferring to isn't working. Obviously, federal guidelines would help, but that doesn't seem to be happening, Dr. Rodriguez. So what is the next-best thing?

RODRIGUEZ: I've become a little bit more militant about this, Brooke, in the fact that we now need to start putting teeth behind these requirements. I actually don't think they should be requirements, I think they should be mandates. I mean, it's time to take this seriously.

And listening and seeing Joe Biden, it gave me a certain amount of hope. Because what we have been lacking is a clear, concise and consistent message from the leadership of this country. We are 50 different states, but this is something where everybody needs to do the same thing at the same time.

And perhaps it's time for the federal government to start requiring -- not just recommending, but requiring -- what states need to do. And if that means that the -- you know, the federal government needs to get on its bully pulpit and maybe sort of sway lack of federal funding to certain states if they don't comply, then so be it.

We are --


BALDWIN: But that's coming from -- you know, you're asking for something from a president who doesn't even wear a mask.

RODRIGUEZ: Well, correct, and that's exactly what the problem is. Listen, the fish rots from the head down and if you don't see that, people that don't want to do it are going to use that as a reason not to, which is why, you know, it's fine, we have requirements and it's softie-softie.

It's not joke, I really do think that the federal government needs to start applying mandates to all the states, and we all need to be acting the same way, whether we're in Connecticut or New York or California or Arizona. Because the states have no borders, planes are flying everywhere. To think that one state can be different from the other one is not only foolish, it is dangerous.

BALDWIN: It's about the greater good, it's about everyone else. Dr. Rodriguez --

RODRIGUEZ: Absolutely.

BALDWIN: -- always a pleasure, thank you very much. Thank you.

RODRIGUEZ: Thank you, Brooke.

BALDWIN: Coming up next, former intelligence officials, telling CNN that it is quote-unquote "absurd" to think that President Trump would not have been briefed on a Russian plot to basically bribe Taliban militants to kill U.S. troops, so we'll talk live to the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, next.