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Many States Pause Reopening as Virus Cases Explode; Source: Russian Bounty Intel Included in Trump's Daily Brief; Arizona to Close Bars, Gyms, Theaters Again; Study: U.S. Does Not Have Enough Coronavirus Contact Tracers; Pediatricians: Students Should Be in Class, with Precautions; Air Passenger Numbers Hit Coronavirus-Era Record this Weekend; Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) is Interviewed about Russian Bounty. Aired 6-6:30a ET
Aired June 30, 2020 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Coronavirus cases are surging across sections of the country.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our expectation is that next week our numbers will be worse.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The hard reality is this is not even close to being over.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The White House adamant President Trump was never briefed on intelligence reports that Russia was secretly offering to pay Taliban-linked militants to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: There was not a consensus among the intelligence community. It would not be elevated to the president until it was verified.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): The question is were they afraid to approach him on the subject of Russia?
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It's Tuesday, June 30, 6 a.m. here in New York. Alisyn off, Erica Hill back with me again this morning.
Good morning to you.
ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning.
BERMAN: So this morning an alarming warning from a top CDC official. Coronavirus is spreading too quickly and too broadly for the U.S. to bring it under control. Sixteen states now pausing or changing their reopening plans. Look at that map. More than 41,000 new cases reported yesterday alone, and Mondays are supposed to be slow days. At this moment, 36 states are seeing an increase in new cases. All the states there in red. The states in deep red showing an increase of more than 50 percent. Only two states showing a decrease.
HILL: There are also new developments this morning on the intel involving Russia offering bounties for killing U.S. troops. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle demanding details.
CNN has learned the intelligence was included in the president's daily brief this past spring. President Trump claims he was never briefed.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggesting the information may have been shielded from the president over concerns he would tell Vladimir Putin.
Well, separately, CNN has exclusive new reporting on how President Trump was so woefully unprepared for conversations with world leaders that he was considered a national security threat by senior officials.
We do begin this morning, though, with the worsening coronavirus pandemic.
CNN's Randi Kaye is live in West Palm Beach, Florida, with our top story.
Randi, good morning.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Erica.
In just the past week, 36 states showing an increase in coronavirus cases, so with the July 4 holiday weekend approaching, many of these states are worried that they could see a spike on top of the spike. So many of the states are either hitting the pause button or reverse on their opening plans.
KAYE (voice-over): More South Florida beaches will be closed this Fourth of July as local leaders watch coronavirus cases surge across the Sunshine State.
MAYOR DEAN TRANTAILS (D), FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA: We decided to close our beaches this weekend mainly because holiday weekends especially are known for attracting large numbers of people.
KAYE: The Florida Department of Health reporting over 5,000 new infections Monday. Still, Governor Ron DeSantis has not made wearing masks mandatory statewide.
GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): We left it to the locals to -- to make decisions about whether they want to use coercive measures or impose any type of criminal penalties. You know, we're not going to do that statewide. KAYE: This as Jacksonville joins the list of cities now requiring them
in indoor spaces where social distancing is not possible, ahead of hosting the Republican National Convention this August.
Beaches in Los Angeles will also be closed this holiday weekend. Health officials citing nearly 3,000 new cases, the highest one-day total ever reported in L.A. County.
MAYOR ERIC GARCETTI (D), LOS ANGELES: This year we have to think about saving lives.
KAYE: California's one of at least 16 states modifying or pausing their reopening plans.
And now in Arizona, bars, gyms, movie theaters, and water parks will close for the next 30 days. Gatherings over 50 people are also prohibited. Still, Gov. Doug Ducey stopping short of issuing a statewide facial covering requirement.
GOV. DOUG DUCEY (R-AZ): Our expectation is that next week, our numbers will be worse. It will take several weeks for the mitigations that we have put in place and are putting in place to take effect, but they will take effect.
KAYE: New York and New Jersey's governors are looking to stop spikes from happening in their states yet again.
In New York city, Broadway will remain dark through the end of the year. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says he's considering slowing the city's reopening, citing some troubling signs of people not following social distancing.
Meanwhile, indoor dining in New Jersey is postponed indefinitely.
GOV. PHIL MURPHY (D-NJ): This isn't a forever and for always. We've gone through hell in New Jersey. We've lost over 13,000 people. We're trying to do everything we can to not go through hell again.
KAYE: This morning, one CDC expert warning, it may already be too late to control the spread of the disease across the United States.
DR. ANNE SCHUCHAT, PRINCIPAL DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF THE CDC: I think there was a lot of wishful thinking around the country that, hey, summer, everything's going to be fine, we're over this, and we are not even beginning to be over this. We have way too much virus across the country for that.
KAYE: The numbers really are concerning. Just consider this: In the past seven days, Miami-Dade county has seen 9,432 cases. The county says that that's about 25 percent of all the cases during this pandemic that they have recorded in all. So, that is a big number, big increase.
[06:05:13] Miami-Dade says that its goal is to have a positivity rate of about 10 percent. Meanwhile, in the last two weeks, the average positivity rate has been 17.4 percent, John. So, the numbers certainly there going in the wrong direction.
BERMAN: Absolutely going in the wrong direction and unclear if they are going to pause any time soon. Randi Kaye, thanks so much for your reporting.
So this morning, a delegation of House Democrats will be briefed by the White House on intelligence that Russia placed a bounty on U.S. troops in Afghanistan. A U.S. official says the intelligence was included in one of the president's daily briefings earlier this year.
CNN's Barbara Starr live at the Pentagon with the latest on this.
Good morning, Barbara.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John.
Two U.S. officials now telling CNN that that information about the Russian bounty, indeed, was included in the president's daily intelligence brief earlier this year. The White House claiming that the president was not briefed on it, because it was not verified or corroborated.
But we now know it was taken seriously enough that the National Security Council staff had a meeting to discuss potential response options to the Russian plot, if it came to that.
Some of the intelligence coming through -- communications intercepts, interrogation of detainees, a lot of information that underscored that this activity was going on. Fully verified, no.
But also, another indicator of how serious it was on the ground, measures were taken to protect U.S. and coalition forces, we are told.
And finally, days into this, the Pentagon finally putting out a statement just hinting at that, that troops were going to be protected. And let me read the statement to you.
It says, "To date, DOD has no corroborating evidence to validate the recent allegations found in open-source reports. Regardless, we always take the safety and security of our forces in Afghanistan -- and around the world -- most seriously, and therefore, continuously adopt measures to prevent harm from potential threats."
An indication there that it was taken seriously enough that some measures were put in place to protect U.S. troops.
And of course, one of the big unanswered questions is military families who may be worried and concerned about how their loved ones died in Afghanistan, whether they were victims of this Russian plot. And for those U.S. military families, still no answers -- John.
BERMAN: No, not at all. The White House leaning into the semantics of all this, without really addressing the substance of the reports, that Russia, according to intelligence sources, at least some, paying bounties on U.S. lives there.
Barbara Starr, so many more questions. Thank you so much --
BERMAN: -- for your reporting on this.
At least 16 states now taking steps to roll back their reopening. Some have shut down beaches ahead of Fourth of July weekend. Will this be enough to stop cases from spreading?
BERMAN: So this morning, a growing number of states slamming the brakes on reopening, due to the rapid spread of coronavirus. At least 16 states now have paused or are slowing reopening. You can see the map there. Pretty much the entire south. Arizona, Georgia, also Nevada, Rhode Island taking protractive measures in the northeast, as well.
Joining us now, Dr. David De La Zerda, ICU medical director and pulmonologist at Jackson Health System in Miami; and CNN national security analyst Juliette Kayyem. She's the former assistant secretary at the Department of Homeland Security.
Doctor, I want to start with you. You're in the middle of one of the hot zones right now. We just talked to our reporter, Randi Kaye. Miami-Dade, the number of cases there have gone up so much over the last few weeks. Just tell us what you're seeing and whether the actions being taken by officials there will be enough to slow it down.
DR. DAVID DE LA ZERDA, ICU MEDICAL DIRECTOR AND PULMONOLOGIST, JACKSON HEALTH SYSTEM: Hey, hi, good morning. Yes, the -- the increasing numbers that we've seen in the last week is really impressive. I would say that is even worse than the last time that we have this issue, the last wave. We're seeing double the numbers that we see last time, especially young people, very sick people.
The Jackson Memorial System is getting ready. We're preparing, again, all our units for COVID units. Regarding the city of Miami, as you know, they're trying to slow the opening, which I believe is too little, too late, to be honest with you.
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Yes.
HILL: Too little, too late there in Miami. Juliette, as you look at this --
HILL: I mean, listen, we can Monday-morning quarterback all we want, but at this point, we are facing a severe rise in cases and hospitalizations across the country.
So, moving forward, is there anything that you see this morning, as we mark six months since these first cases, since this pandemic began, that could be done today?
KAYYEM: Absolutely. And some good news maybe a little bit too late, as the doctor was saying. So what you're starting to see is a serious effort to start to slow down these openings, in particular, bars and restaurants. It is just clear from the data that they are semi-super- spreader places. We need to close them down. Those kinds of congregation places are just overwhelming us with the numbers.
At the same time as you're seeing, in particular, Republican governors wake up to this fact, you are now starting to hear a steady drumbeat. It could be louder, but at least it's there, with former Vice President Dick Cheney, Vice President Pence, McConnell yesterday, Sean Hannity last night, of -- of Republican leaders beginning to adopt a mask policy. Because really, that is one of the few things, one of the few tools we still have left to at least play some defense against this virus.
So, maybe the combination of closing stuff down and getting more aggressive with masking could at least begin to slow what the doctor was pointing out, which is just a massive influx of patients.
And it doesn't matter that they're younger. If they are patients, if they are taking hospital rooms, even if they're not dying, because I know people are focused on the fatality rate, even if they're not dying, they are expending resources, and goodness knows the long-term impact on that generation for having gotten it.
BERMAN: Doctor, you said you are seeing increasing numbers of young people, but you also said you're seeing increasing numbers of sicker people. What do you mean by that? What are you seeing in terms of how people are presenting?
DE LA ZERDA: You know, I work in an ICU, so what I see is the sickest of the sickest. And for some reason, these patients have more issues with the oxygen, which is the main issue with COVID-19. But in this case, it's really hard to oxygenate, to give enough oxygen to these patients.
And I have to disagree, we're seeing more patients, and I agree, it's not only the youngest, but it's the sickest. They need much more mechanical ventilation to integrate with the 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.
HILL: And that is something to take into account, because as we saw -- and there was so much concern, especially here in New York, in terms of resources -- there has been talk about making sure that there's some sort of stockpile, Juliette.
HILL: Is it your sense, even from your sources, people that you're speaking with and what you're seeing, that that stockpile is actually achieving or will achieve the level that could be needed?
KAYYEM: No. And that is -- that is clear. That basically, we are at a sort of day-to-day satisfaction of the supply chain and that there's not much give. You're hearing from individual states at this stage that they're worried they're going to run out of PPE. Texas and Arizona have said that.
But let's also remember, we're now going to start to see waves in other states, and then we may have a lull, if we're lucky, but there's almost no focus on potentially what could be a second wave, which is in October.
Ideally, you would have had -- you know, you would have had enough for this one, and you would be satisfying the stockpile for a potential second wave.
There is some good news, which is sort of ironic, because Europe and other places have, essentially, not defeated, but have sort of minimized their risk. They are unlikely to need as much PPE as we will. And therefore, the global market will be able to be -- we will be able to satisfy our market, because the global market, unlike last time, is not as demanding. It is ironic, but at least it may benefit us.
BERMAN: I want to play some sound, if I can, from a top CDC official. We played it a little earlier, but I think it bears hearing again. Basically, saying that there's just too much of this right now, that it's not going to get under control. Just listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCHUCHAT: I think there was a lot of wishful thinking around the country that, hey, summer, everything's going to be fine, we're over this, and we are not even beginning to be over this. We have way too much virus across the country for that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: And Juliette, I don't want to ruin people's breakfast here, but one of your jobs is to lay down a heavy dose of reality here.
BERMAN: And the reality you're looking at, for you and your family, also for the state, local, and national officials you advise, is bleak now. What do you say?
KAYYEM: It is bleak. So, I'm going to, you know, blinding clarity here. So, I'm writing off 2020 on a personal level. I don't see numbers that are going to satisfy, I think, most states to fully open up schools at this stage. There might be hybrid solutions, but for working parents, I think you need to start to prepare for the likelihood that your kids are at home for a good chunk of the time.
This weekend I spent changing our Thanksgiving plans. I have no intention of putting my kids on a flight over Thanksgiving, as well as Christmas.
It is grim news, but in some ways, this is our obligation to each other. We need to stay put for as long as possible, because when the CDC person says it's going to get out of control, what she means is, is that we will not -- we will essentially not be able to handle the influx of patients. People will be dying at home. People will not be able to get medical care. And then the virus just sort of, you know, whips through that household, whips through that community.
I don't want to see these numbers, but on the other hand, I know we each, who aren't sick, have an obligation. And that is essentially the bad news now, is I don't see 2020 redeeming itself in any normal fashion with the numbers we're seeing, and that doesn't even include a second wave.
BERMAN: Juliette Kayyem, Doctor, thank you both very much for being with us this morning.
And look, it's tough to hear --
BERMAN: -- but I think people need to hear what is actually happening at this point.
HILL: Absolutely. And we all need to understand that our actions are directly going to impact how things -- impact us moving forward.
There are drastic rollbacks, as we talked about, across the country. In Arizona, the governor talking about a brutal surge in coronavirus cases there. CNN is covering the developments coast to coast.
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Stephanie Elam in Arizona.
Governor Doug Ducey says that we are not going back to normal any time soon here in the state, pointing to the record number of hospitalizations and also the fact that ICU beds are filled to almost nearly 90 percent of that capacity.
With that in mind, he's putting a pause in place for some businesses and shutting them back down for at least a month and said that they will re-evaluate how the numbers look of coronavirus cases before deciding to reopen those businesses.
He also said that the first day of school will now be pushed back to August 17, and it's another date that they continue to re-evaluate.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Brian Todd in Washington. There appears to be a crisis within a crisis with the coronavirus
pandemic. A research group called Nephron Research now says that there is a woefully short supply of contact tracers in the United States. Those are the disease detectives that contact an infected person and find out everyone they've been in contact with over the past several days. That's a way they can contain the pandemic.
Experts say that each community of about 100,000 should have about 30 contact tracers, but states like Texas, Florida, and Arizona are far short of that mark. Texas only has 11. Florida and Arizona have fewer than that.
JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Jacqueline Howard in Atlanta.
Pediatricians are pushing for kids to be physically present in school this fall, but with precautions.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recently updated its back-to-school guidance. It says attending class in person would be best for children's learning and reduce their risk of any abuse or isolation at home, and schools should consider ways to minimize the spread of the coronavirus.
The guidance mentioned social distancing, disinfecting surfaces, wearing masks, temperature checks.
Now, the academy says these difficult discussions should start early, and they may vary, depending on the local dynamics of the pandemic.
PETE MUNTEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Pete Muntean in Washington.
And air travel has reached a new high point in the pandemic. More than two million people passed through security at America's airports between Thursday and Sunday, the busiest day on Sunday.
Traffic is still a fraction of what it once was, a long slog to levels from a year ago.
The most interesting thing, though, is that you now have a higher chance of being on a completely full flight. American Airlines has now joined United Airlines in saying that it will sell every seat on board its aircraft.
HILL: In just a matter of hours, a group of House Democrats will be briefed on the intelligence about Russian bounties to kill U.S. troops. So what did the president know about it? We're going to speak with one of the lawmakers heading to the White House today.
BERMAN: So this morning, a group of Democrats will be briefed on intelligence that Russia offered bounties to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
Now, the White House denies that the president was verbally briefed on this intelligence, though we are reporting that the information was in his presidential daily briefing. Whether he read it or not, who knows?
Our next guest, one of the Democrats who will be briefed today on this information, Democratic Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger. She serves on the Foreign Affairs Committee and was a former CIA operations officer.
Congresswoman, thank you so much for being with us this morning. What concerns you most about these reports? And as you head to this briefing, what questions do you have?
REP. ABIGAIL SPANBERGER (D-VA): Well, as a former CIA case officer who worked overseas collecting intelligence that flowed into intelligence reports, I have a lot of questions.
I have questions about who knew what and when. I have questions about what our next steps are.
What concerns me most about -- about these reports is that the Russian government was putting bounties on the heads of U.S. soldiers, and our government took no action. At the time when the president of the United States was still lobbying for Russia to be included in a G-7 summit, knowing that his government was responsible for the potential death of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. It's just unthinkable to me.
BERMAN: The White House response to this is basically, Well, there was conflicting intelligence. Why doesn't that satisfy you?
SPANBERGER: That doesn't satisfy me for a couple reasons. For starters, the collection of intelligence is like putting a puzzle together. You have pieces that flow in, and you -- you put together that puzzle as you pull in all of the individual pieces.
At a certain point in time, the information becomes so validated or so verified, because you have information coming from different places, that it gets pushed out.
The fact that this information was in the presidential daily brief, evidently, in February, and then on a wire report, which is a CIA publication, in May demonstrates without a shadow of a doubt that this information was sourced to enough different and validated sources that it was considered to be at some level of high credibility, that it would go into those two documents.
And there's a lot of intelligence that our intelligence community collects, particularly in the area of force protection, but the notion that this information would have flowed into the presidential daily brief is all I need to know to know that it is credible and that there was sourcing behind it that was deeply concerning and vetted to some level.
BERMAN: I'm glad you brought up the presidential daily brief, because the bar is high to get in this document -- SPANBERGER: Yes.
BERMAN: -- that gets put before the president. So it was there, but the president denies he was told about it. What does that tell you?
SPANBERGER: It's -- it's highly disappointing. The presidential daily brief is this document that is put together to ensure that the president of the United States and those in his closest circle have the information that is at the highest level of importance related to issues of national security.
There is this document. There's also the process of briefing. There's been lots of reports about how inclined towards his briefing the president.