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Many States Pause Reopening Plans As Virus Cases Explode; Miami Beach Makes Face Coverings Mandatory In Public Spaces. Aired 7-7:30a ET

Aired June 30, 2020 - 07:00   ET

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


[07:00:00]

JOHN BERMAN, CNN NEW DAY: Sixteen states now pausing or changing their reopening plans with more than 41,000 new cases reported yesterday alone.

This morning, this is map that use up such great concern. 36 states, all the states you are seeing in red, an increase in new cases there. The states in deep red, an increase of 50 percent. Only the states in green, and there are just two of them, are seeing a decrease in cases this morning.

ERICA HILL, CNN NEW DAY: There are also new developments this morning on the intelligence involving Russia offering bounties for killing U.S. troops. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are now demanding more information. 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. Separately, CNN has exclusive, new reporting on how President Trump was so woefully unprepared for conversations with world leaders that he was actually considered a national security threat by his own senior staffers.

BERMAN: Well, Florida is one of the states that's seen an increase in coronavirus cases, a steep increase. CNN's Randi Kaye, live in Palm Beach with that. Good morning, Randi.

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John. And we're in Palm Beach County here. And certainly, too much of the virus in the state of Florida is what we are hearing from folks. Yesterday we learned that there were more than 5,200 new cases of the coronavirus here in the state of Florida. That is down from the record high on Saturday of more than 9,500 cases, but certainly not a number that anybody wants to see.

And that explains why a lot of the counties have taken it upon themselves to close the beaches for the upcoming July 4th holiday weekend. You have Palm Beach County, where I am, closing it. You also have Miami-Dade County, Broward County and now Monroe County, where the Florida Keys are, also closing their beaches for the holiday weekend.

And also, there's one area of the state -- in fact, it's Orange County where Orlando is -- they've decided to shutdown the fireworks displays and the parades, because according to The Orlando Sentinel, they had more than 80 percent of their cases following the Memorial Day holiday weekend. They do not want another Memorial Day weekend like they're seeing now. So, that's why they're taking all the precautions for July 4th.

But thinking ahead to later in the summer, we're looking at the RNC convention, the Republican National Convention coming up in late August. The City of Jacksonville has mandated masks as of yesterday. The governor's communications director saying that the governor is focused on state business, he's not giving any thought yet to whether or not he would override that mask mandate in the City of Jacksonville. He would certainly have some explaining to do to the president since we know that he certainly does not like to wear a mask in public.

The governor has said that he does think it will be fine by that point because it is two months away. Back to you.

BERMAN: Randi Kaye for us in Palm Beach County. Randi, thank you very much.

Joining us now is CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta. And, Sanjay, I want to put up on the screen again so people can see the 16 states. 16 states have announced they are pausing or hitting the brakes on reopening plans to different degrees. In most of these states though, its measures like closing bars, we're seeing that in a lot of places, not opening beaches on Memorial Day -- July 4th weekend, I should say, Sanjay. Now, these seem like reasonable decisions, but how far will they go? Is this enough?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Well, I mean, under the current situation, we see how the numbers are changing. We see how they're growing. And this virus, once it starts to really get enough steam, you know, it's present enough in the environment, it's going to move faster and faster. That's that exponential growth that we've been talking about.

So, it does make the case that something more may need to be done. And, you know, I think that we are dealing with a situation now where we may need to actually go down into shutdown sort of mode in some of these places again to really try and break the cycle of transmission. Something needs to be done.

I mean, the idea that we're still having a conversation about masks, these basic public health measures I think is going to seem very silly, you know, a few weeks from now. It's whether or not they do it now or they do it later, it's going to have to be done. I mean, when Dr. Anne Schuchat is talking about the fact that things are starting to spiral out of control, that's what she is sort of referring to.

One thing I'll like to mention as well. Obviously, indoor sort gatherings, where you have a lot of people indoors together, unmasked, that is a breeding ground for this virus. I think most people realize that by now. So, crowded indoor restaurants, crowded indoor bars, definitely.

But I would also add to that list, as we've done some of our reporting around the country, that large, private gatherings inside people's homes, you know, those are harder to monitor, obviously, harder to enforce, but that's got to be key. And I think people really have to rise to that, because a lot of people are doing these gatherings inside their homes.

[07:05:01]

And we're starting to follow to the extent that it can be followed, trace those people back to their own homes and further spread.

HILL: And that's where we're looking forward, Sanjay. Obviously, we've got a long road ahead. We know that. But there's this new reporting, the BBC talking about a new flu strain in China found in pigs but that has pandemic potential. We're already worried about the regular flu season coinciding with coronavirus this fall. What do you make of this?

GUPTA: Well, this is something we've been keeping an eye on. This is called the G-4 strain of H1N1. So, this is a descendant of the H1N1 swine flu that people may remember from 2009, 11 years ago. What happens in these situations, they've been doing surveillance in pigs for some time, really, since 2011. And for the most part, they have not been finding any kind of strain of flu or some virus that was concerning. But there's this one particular virus, the G-4 virus, which kept showing up over and over again in pigs. And then they started to look at the workers, the pig workers, humans, and they found that it actually was present in a certain small, like around 10 percent of workers as well. So, that's sort of where we are.

What they haven't seen as of yet is any evidence of human-to-human transmission. So, that would obviously be critical. And if it doesn't ever spread human to human, I think this is not something that we're going to have to worry about, but this is real. I mean, this is what virus-hunters do. They keep an eye on things like this. And there's all these sorts of surveillance programs going on around the world. Most of them, we don't talk about much because we don't want to freak people out. But this is one that we're definitely keeping an eye on.

BERMAN: Yes, on top of everything else, obviously.

GUPTA: On top of everything else.

BERMAN: We don't need one more thing to watch. Sanjay, I want you to address something, because people who watch the pandemic closely have noted that the mortality rate, the number of new deaths every day has consistently gone down. It's at a low ebb right now.

Now, obviously, it's a trailing indicator, as these cases go up, up, up and up, it might rise again. However, if there are younger people making up this group of people who are coming up with the new infections, what questions do we have about the mortality rate going forward?

GUPTA: Well, I don't think we still have a clear vision on exactly what the mortality rate of this virus is because it's always been influenced by so many other factors. But I think there's three points here. One is that this trailing indicator.

So, I think, without question, there will be some impact from all these younger people who are getting the infection and subsequently spreading it. We've been doing a lot of metaphors on this program lately, but they would sort of be the kindling, if you will, for this fire that we're talking about, so, not directly setting the fire but maybe enabling taking a little bit more.

Two is that, you know, we have learned a few things over the past few months. We haven't learned as much as we would like, but we have learned a few things. Patients on ventilators maybe don't do as well as we thought, so ventilators weren't as critical to the care for a lot of these patients as we initially thought they might be. And there's a few therapeutics, remdesivir, dexamethasone, these are things that are being used that could have an impact. We've learned to better manage these patients.

But I think the biggest thing is this idea that even if people aren't dying, if they're still in the hospital and the hospitals become overwhelmed, what ultimately is really driving these fatality rates is preventable deaths. People in Italy, what we saw -- and it was really awful -- I was talking to a lot of sources there at the time -- was that people just simply couldn't get care. They'd be calling the doctor, calling the ambulance, and they'd be told, look, we're full. There's nothing we can do for you at this point. And so, that drives up mortality rate as well, over 10 percent for a while in Northern Italy. That wasn't because the virus had changed. That was because the hospital systems were too overwhelmed.

So, you know, these three things in combination have to sort of be managed. The last one, obviously, the most important, flattening that curve. But, ultimately, we hopefully will continue to learn more in the form of convalescent serum and other things to really help take care of these patients.

HILL: There's been a real focus on young people as we're seeing the average age of infection trend down, but we're also hearing from governors around the country that they're concerned about how young people are spreading it, that they are perhaps a little bit more cavalier in their actions.

There's a bar in East Lansing, Michigan. A 107 cases have now been linked to that, all between the ages of 19 and 23, which begs the question not only of how much it's spreading but also how concerned we should be about younger people getting sick because, as we heard, from a doctor in Miami this morning, he's seeing younger patients, but they're sicker.

GUPTA: Yes. So, you know, overall, if you look at the percentages, I think the data that's held up is true, that younger people are less likely to become critically ill. But the problem is, I think to your point, Erica, is that as more and more young people get sick.

[07:10:01]

The absolute number of young people who develop some devastating illnesses is going to grow, because there are just more people who actually have the virus.

I think, you know, what we're seeing is the message to vulnerable people, older people. My parents live in Florida, they're in their late 70s, they get the message that they're really trying to be careful. So -- and people who have pre-existing diseases for the most part are trying to be careful. But I think for other people, as they become more cavalier, it could have been expected that this very contagious virus would start to affect them more.

I think the big question as we go into fall, as we go into winter, is how much of that spread is then going to go back from younger people, inadvertently, admittedly, from younger people back to these vulnerable populations? I'm fearful that that's going to happen, that, you know, there's going to be people who have been doing the right thing. They have been managing themselves at home as much as possible, just going out for essential things, who are inadvertently going to become infected because the virus -- the amount of virus in the environment just becomes too high.

BERMAN: All right, Sanjay. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thank you so much for being with us. You'll be back again at the top of the 8:00 hour to talk about the new developments then. Thanks so much.

GUPTA: You got it. Thank you.

ERICA: A group of House Democratic lawmakers heading to the White House in the next hour where they'll be briefed on intelligence that Russia placed a bounty on American troops in Afghanistan. President Trump claims he was never briefed on that intel, but a U.S. official tells CNN it was included in one of the president's daily briefings earlier this year.

CNN's Barbara Starr is live for us at the Pentagon with more. Barbara, good morning.

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Erica. Two U.S. officials now telling CNN, indeed, that this intelligence was included in the president's daily intelligence book earlier this year, that the White House making the case, still, that the president was never briefed on it.

And in fact, Representative Mike McCaul talked to my colleague, Bryan Brown, he was at the White House briefing yesterday. Congressman McCaul says he was told it wasn't included in part because there was dissent in the intelligence community that it wasn't briefed to the president because there was dissent in the intelligence community about what the intelligence really meant.

But consider this, there couldn't have been that much dissent, because the National Security Council staff had a meeting to discuss options, response options to the Russians, if it came to that. The intelligence included communications intercepts, interrogations of detainees and they did continue to develop it. Not everybody agreed, but measures were actually taken inside Afghanistan to protect U.S. troops given that this plot was believed to be there.

So, there was some understanding of it all. And, in fact, the Pentagon put out a statement late last night, hinting at all of this, saying in part, 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.

So, again, measures were taken to try and protect U.S. troops because there was intelligence that this threat was out there. While the intelligence community continues to try and verify and corroborate it all, unanswered is why President Trump hasn't come out and talked about this, why he has not asked his top officials where this all stands. And perhaps most importantly, any U.S. military families who are wondering if their loved ones may have perished in Afghanistan because of this Russian plot. Erica?

HILL: Important, Barbara Starr, appreciate it. Thank you.

More communities are adjusting their coronavirus responses as cases soar. Up next, I'll speak with the mayor of Miami Beach about the new mask order in his city.

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[07:15:00]

HILL: Face coverings now mandatory in the City of Miami Beach as coronavirus cases surge across the State of Florida and in many parts of the rest of the country.

I'm joined now by the Mayor of Miami Beach, Dan Gelber. Mr. Mayor, good to have you with us this morning.

So, you have a mandate for masks, but you're also putting into place civil penalties for people who don't wear them. What's going to happen?

MAYOR DAN GELBER (D-MIAMI BEACH COUNTY, FL): Well, the problem has been, you know, compliance, obviously. There hasn't been a unity of purpose in the community, I think, and we get about hundreds of thousands of visitors still almost every day. So, really, we have to let folks know that they've got to do this, and we need an enforcement mechanism that would work. If you violate an emergency order, you can be arrested, but we didn't really want to arrest people for failure to wear masks.

HILL: So you're starting here. In terms of violations, there is limited indoor dining in Miami Beach. But as I understand it, you've had to crack down on some restaurants there. What happened and what measures are you taking? GELBER: Well, I mean, look, this is -- we love our hospitality industry, and they have been racked by this obviously shutdown. But there has to be a sense that you can't -- you've got to have masks inside, you've got to, you know, there's got to be all these rules we've set up. So, we've asked about a half a dozen -- and we've already shut down for at least a day or two. And hopefully, that will create more compliance within the industry.

HILL: Do they just have too many people inside? What was the issue?

GELBER: Sometimes it's capacity. Sometimes it's service people not wearing masks.

HILL: Okay.

GELBER: It can be a lot of different things. There's a lot of countermeasures, because with we want to open up our economy, but we have to do it safely. And there's such a pressure to get people in there that we have to really fight back. Most places are doing it the right way though.

HILL: Where is that pressure coming from?

GELBER: Well, look, a lot of these are small businesses. They haven't had any revenue for months. And now, all of a sudden, they're allowed to. And the real -- you know, to me, the problem has been that while local mayors like myself are asking folks to do things.

[07:20:01]

You're getting these signals from Washington that, you know, hey, wear a mask, you don't have to wear a mask, you don't have to do this. So, it really has been a problem in getting people, not just restaurant personnel, but even the public, to buy into this concept that this is what they have to do. It's really a problem.

HILL: You talk about the message from Washington. What about the message from your own governor, Governor DeSantis? As we know, he has said it would be impractical to do a statewide order. He said it would be too tough to enforce, leaving it up to local authorities.

GELBER: Look, my view is when you made seat belt usage mandatory, immediately, a huge cohort of people began to comply because we all know people who follow the rules. There are people who won't. And you have to do other measures for them. But there are a whole group of people who will comply when you make it mandatory. It should be mandatory, frankly, because it lets people know that this is something that's important for them to do.

Right now, too many people are fighting. Seniors are not. They know they have issues they should be concerned about. Then there are people who think it's like a political statement to wear a mask, and it's like an insult to the family and they're fighting us about it, and I can't imagine why that has become something right now, other than that, you know, the president has made it something. HILL: And we should point out, as we do a lot, the science is clear, masks do help. You know, we even have numbers on it, if you wear a mask, the difference of wearing a mask and not wearing a mask in terms of the chance of transmission, as you see right there.

You know, there's been a lot of talk about the beaches being shutdown. Yours will close, I believe, on Thursday for the holiday weekend. We talk so much about concern of spread indoors, but not as much outside. What is it about beaches in particular that has you worried so much so that you want them closed through the holiday weekend?

GELBER: The problem, it's not just the beaches, it's the crowds that they bring attending to the beaches. We have a beautiful strip, famous Ocean Drive, we have all these areas. And when you have this attraction, like this 7.5 miles of beaches that we have, you get an enormous throng of people, and that group, you just cannot reasonably control to get them to exercise social distancing wherever they go, in the city or elsewhere. The beaches themselves become also dangerous in that sense.

I mean, look, this is -- 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 the spread and reverse what is a very enormous spike in our community and in our state. And, you know, we don't want to go back to sheltering in place because of the impact that has. So, we are at a point where we have more than heightened and understandable concern and anxiety.

HILL: Really, quickly, we should point out your positivity rate, 17.4 percent in the county. We know the goal is to keep it below 10 percent. Obviously, you are not there. But we spoke earlier today with a doctor from Jackson Memorial, the ICU medical director there, who said it's been too little, too late, and in his words, he's seeing more young people, they're having more oxygen issues. He says this is worse than what he saw last time around.

GELBER: Yes, we fear that it is. And it is -- you know, I have two college-age daughters in my house, and I have this discussion with them every single day. And I'm the Mayor and I'm trying to keep them home. So, I just -- you know, I'm imagining what's happening, and I know what's happening. It's really terrible, because, honestly, if we all just got on the same page, everybody, we would be able to deal with this, but we're not.

HILL: Mr. Mayor, appreciate you joining us this morning. We'll continue to stay on top of things there in Miami Beach. Thank you. John?

BERMAN: All right, thanks, Erica. Mexico moving ahead with plans to reopen its economy despite a sharp rise in coronavirus cases. CNN has reporters all around the world bring you the latest developments.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Matt Rivers in Mexico City, where health officials are now reporting more than 220,000 confirmed cases of the virus countrywide, along with more than 27,000 deaths.

Mexico City has been the region hardest hit in Mexico throughout this outbreak, accounting for more than 21 percent of all confirmed cases. And yet, this week, during some of the worst days of this outbreak so far, officials are moving forward with plans to reopen large sections of the economy.

So later this week, we will be seeing places like restaurants, hotels, gyms, and even shopping malls reopen, albeit with limited capacity.

PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Phil Black, in Leicester. This city in Central England must now lock down again, even as the rest of the U.K. is emerging from COVID-19 restrictions. So from today, non-essential shops have to stay closed. People are being advised to stay home or stay away entirely. Travel here isn't essential.

The reason, a spike in transmission. The government says 10 percent of all recent positive tests were recorded here. It's the U.K.'s first local lockdown but likely not the last, as the British economy opens up while the virus is still in circulation.

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm David McKenzie in Khayelitsha, a large township in Cape Town.

[07:25:00]

Now, this is the epicenter of the outbreak in South Africa, which is the epicenter of the African continent. Cases are rapidly accelerating.

We visited a field hospital here run by doctors without borders. They say, despite us being in the peak here, they are managing to learn from other countries and have success in treatment of COVID-19, but they do warn that though the peak might be slightly lower than they expected, it could last a lot longer.

And the true test here will be the upcoming weeks, and they hope they can replicate what they're doing in these field hospitals in Cape Town across the continent.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN: Our thanks to our reporters all around the world.

So, a group of House Democrats about to get a briefing on intelligence regarding Russian bounties to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan. So, the president says he was never verbally told about this. How is that possible? The former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee joins us next.

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BERMAN: Later this morning, a group of House Democrats will be briefed at the White House on intelligence that suggests Russia was offering bounty money to target U.S. troops in Afghanistan. [07:30:00]

Joining me now, CNN National Security Commentator Mike Rogers. He's the former House Intelligence Chair. Mr. Chairman, thank you so much for being with us.

END