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New Cases Soar in 37 States as Pandemic Spills Out of Control; Biden Slams Trump: 'Our Wartime President Has Surrendered'. Aired 6- 6:30a ET
Aired July 1, 2020 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASE: I'm not satisfied with what's going on. We're going in the wrong direction. Clearly, we are not in total control right now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dr. Fauci and others from the coronavirus task force advising the American public to do what the president won't. Wear a mask.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Embrace the universal use of face coverings. Those that are listening, spread the word.
GOV. KRISTI NOEM (R-SD): We will have a large event at July 3. We will be giving out free face masks, if they choose to wear one.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): We must have no stigma, none, about wearing masks.
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: That mask is not so much to protect me. It's to protect other people. It's called patriotism.
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It's Wednesday, July 1. July. Six o'clock here in New York. Alisyn is off. Erica Hill with me this morning.
Great to have you here.
ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Always good to be here.
BERMAN: So I'm really glad you're here, because I have a question. Maybe someone can answer this question. And here it is. What's the plan? Seriously, what's the plan?
The U.S. is hovering near an all-time high in coronavirus cases. More than 44,000 new cases just yesterday. Dr. Anthony Fauci is warning that number could reach 100,000 if we don't take action. So, where is that federal action? What's the plan?
This morning, infections are up in 37 states. All the states you see there in red. Now look at this. Look at what's happened in just the last month. All the states in deep red, well over half the country, those states have seen jumps of more than 50 percent in cases since June 1. What a month.
So, what's the plan? The president has said next to nothing about this. He's not even acknowledged this huge jump in cases. Overnight, he vowed to protect the legacy of Robert E. Lee, who is at no risk of catching coronavirus. So he has a plan for Robert E. Lee, but what about the pandemic?
We are seeing states take new action. New travel restrictions announced in the northeast. And we're waiting to hear an announcement from California on new restrictions, which could include some new stay-at-home orders.
HILL: Meantime, as this situation grows increasingly dire, more Republicans and even members of the conservative media are now encouraging all Americans to wear masks. One senator directly calling on the president to do so, but Mr. Trump continues to ignore those calls. And he also continues to ignore the science.
He is heading to South Dakota on Friday for the Independence Day fireworks at Mt. Rushmore. Now, the governor there says social distancing will not be enforced at the event and, while masks will be provided, they will not be required.
CNN's Randi Kaye is live in Palm Beach County, Florida, with our top story.
Randi, good morning.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Erica.
This morning, at least 19 states are pausing or changing their reopening plans because of the worsening outbreak. But here in the state of Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis says there is no way he's going to shut down Florida again.
Still, as the numbers rise, the nation's top health experts are sounding the alarm.
KAYE (voice-over): On Capitol Hill, the nation's top infectious disease expert giving this disturbing prediction.
FAUCI: 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. And so I am very concerned.
KAYE: Dr. Anthony Fauci telling the Senate Health Committee that no section of the country is safe from the coronavirus.
FAUCI: We're going in the wrong direction. If you look at the curves of the new cases, clearly, we are not in total control right now.
KAYE: And with new weekly confirmed cases increasing in at least 37 states this morning, Fauci says --
FAUCI: I'm very concerned about what's going on right now, particularly in the four states that are accounting for about 50 percent of the new infections.
KAYE: Two of them are Florida and California, where the governors are taking different approaches on handling the drastic rise in cases within their borders.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is still resisting taking more aggressive measures statewide to help slow the spread. As the Sunshine State added nearly 6,100 new reported cases to its tally on Tuesday.
GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): We're not going back, closing things. I don't think that that really is -- is what's driving it. We're open. We know who we need to protect.
KAYE: Meantime, in California, nearly 6,400 new infections reported. Governor Gavin Newsom sending this warning, saying tighter restrictions may be on the table as soon as today.
GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): The framework for us is this. If you're not going to stay home, and you're not going to wear masks in public, we have to enforce, and we will.
KAYE: Masks are mandatory in all of California, and Newsom says it's up to local leaders to make sure residents are wearing them.
NEWSOM: We'll be doing more to focus on enforcement in this state. Primarily, local enforcement.
KAYE: But in Florida, facial covering rules are up to cities and counties.
MAYOR CARLOS GIMENEZ (R), MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA: All leadership should set the example. I set the example here in Miami-Dade. I wear the mask, because I want to protect you.
KAYE: The CDC director telling lawmakers this very same message, asking young people to take the leap.
DR. ROBERT REDFIELD, CDC DIRECTOR: 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.
KAYE: And despite repeated warnings against large gatherings, President Trump will attend an early Independence Day event in South Dakota Friday. Masks will not be required.
NOEM: Those who want to come and join us, we'll be giving out free face masks if they choose to wear one, but we won't be social distancing.
KAYE: So Florida's governor has been quick to criticize the media for the media suggesting that Florida could be like New York.
I caught up with the governor yesterday, and I asked him, given the spike in numbers here in Florida, was he wrong to criticize the media? He said absolutely not. When I tried to follow up, his handler shut me down.
But the governor did say yesterday that the positivity rate here in Florida is 10 to 15 percent, and that is just flat wrong. In Miami- Dade County, just yesterday, they had a positivity rate of more than 22 percent. And in the last week, Miami-Dade County has seen nearly 50,000 new cases.
And John, they only have 175 contact tracers, so as the numbers rise, how on earth are they going to get a handle on this virus?
BERMAN: You can't contact trace with the numbers such as they are. That's what Dr. Anthony Fauci says. That's the situation we're in.
Randi Kaye, thank you for being there. Thank you for asking the tough questions to the governor.
So this country has gone from bad to worse in just the last few weeks. So, what's the plan? We have one of the nation's leading infectious disease experts to give us his ideas for moving forward, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FAUCI: 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.
I think it's important to tell you and the American public that I'm very concerned, because it could get very bad.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: What a warning from Dr. Anthony Fauci, telling Congress and the American people that this pandemic could get much worse if state and local leaders, not to mention the federal government, does not reverse course.
Joining us now, Dr. Peter Hotez. He's the dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine of Baylor College in Houston and co-director of the Texas Children's Hospital Center for Vaccine Development. And Dr. Hotez, I just want to put up on the screen so people can see
what has happened in this country. This is the number of cases in the previous week. We know this.
Let's look at June, though. Let's look at what has happened in June. All the states in deep red have seen a more than 50 percent increase in new cases of coronavirus. This happened. There's no argument over this anymore. At this point, the rearview mirror isn't that helpful. What we need to know is what's the plan? How do we fix this, Doctor?
DR. PETER HOTEZ, DEAN, NATIONAL SCHOOL OF TROPICAL MEDICINE, BAYLOR COLLEGE OF MEDICINE: Well, first, let's articulate the full extent of this problem. There's not a dark enough color on that map to accommodate what's to come. Dr. Fauci says we're headed towards 100,000 cases per day. If you extrapolate that times the populations of some of the states, we're just about there already in Texas.
So Texas, if 100,000 cases a day would be equivalent to 10,000 cases a day in Texas, where it's 7,000 yesterday, though numbers -- those numbers are rapidly accelerating there. I think it's probably about the same in Florida and Arizona. So we are in this very steep acceleration with no end in sight.
And clearly, business as usual is not going to be adequate.
And what needs to be done? Well, when we -- last week when we listened to the White House coronavirus task force, there was no plan articulated. And that led me to believe maybe there really isn't a plan. The -- there's pieces of a plan. There's let the states be in charge, make the decisions and we'll provide the PPE and FEMA support and maybe some CDC advice. But not really an overarching road map, and this is what needs to be implemented.
And I think we have to face the reality that the White House coronavirus task force was a cool idea and a good concept, but it's just not effective in operationalizing things. And maybe we need to take this out of Washington.
I've recommended now bringing it to Atlanta. Put the CDC in charge. This is what the taxpayers are paying for, $11 billion a year. They -- they are the experts. They know how to do it. Yes, they've made some missteps this year, but so has everybody else. Put them in charge, and let's have a plan where CDC is out in front and not this business of we're just going to provide advice to the states.
HILL: So Doctor, let's say this did happen. Let's say the CDC was given control of a coordinated national response. In your mind, what does that response need to include?
HOTEZ: Well, what the response needs to include is, first of all, creating a road map. We don't even know what direction this is going on. We -- we have -- we -- they can tap good epidemiologic models to explain to the governors, Look, this is where we're heading. This is why all of your ICUs will soon get overwhelmed. This is what you're doing so far to control it. And mostly, it's sort of these -- we talked about this before, sort of
surgical strike interventions to keep the economy open, such as closing bars and -- and a few other -- a few other measures, recommending masks.
This is what the impact will be. And I'm guessing from looking at the models that the impact will be modest. Maybe 5 percent, 10 percent, maybe 20 percent impact.
Here's what you're going to need to do. And be out there in front, leading every day. You know, it may not have to be Dr. Redfield. Maybe he wants to lead that. Maybe one of his deputies wants to lead that. But explaining every day to the public, this is what needs to be done until it gets done.
I don't believe in this defeatist attitude: let's just do nothing, let it rip. That's unacceptable. Too many deaths.
And remember who's getting affected. It's those people in low-income neighborhoods, overwhelmingly. We are talking about thousands and thousands of African-American, Hispanic, Latinx, Native American deaths. And it's not just deaths. We're now learning about the full extent of the chronic illnesses that -- that come with this, massive disability and permanent lung injury, heart injury, vascular injury, neurologic injury.
Yes, we're getting better at ICU care. We're getting smarter about it. So we are getting people out of the ICUs, but these are very disabled populations, as well. That full extent needs to be brought to bear. No-holds-barred, and we just have to do it.
BERMAN: Thank you for reminding us about the people being affected here. The 2.6 million people with coronavirus or who have had it in the United States and the 127,000 deaths.
The numbers up on the screen, people can see it, but I think people need to feel it. They need to know that this is affecting mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters. Sons and daughters in so many cases.
Professor Hotez, I appreciate you talking about the road map, the macro level of what needs to happen. But specifically, what needs to happen today? You're in Houston. Hospitals there filled -- the hospitalization rate, we can put up on the screen here so people can see. We're not just talking about more tests. We're talking about more people in the hospital in Texas than ever before. What needs to happen today to try to stem this tide?
HOTEZ: So what you're looking at on that map there is the face of the entire country within a few weeks. Because every state is going to look like this.
And -- and the point is the people are piling into the ICUs, the emergency rooms are full. Our -- all of my former students, many of my former students are now residents and fellows and young attending physicians in our massive Texas Medical Center. They're worried -- they're also worried about themselves and their families.
We need to take more aggressive action. Because, remember, whatever action we take, let's say today, in terms of increasing our social distancing, beginning to really shut things down in Houston, Texas, which is what I think needs to happen, is not going to have an immediate effect. We are still going to see that acceleration for another two weeks after that. And so that's why I think we have to move towards that.
Now, the problem is, there's not a lot of political will. In part, again, it's not that the governors are bad guys or are bad people. It's just that they're not getting that guidance. They're not getting that help. They're not getting anybody saying to them, Look, this is this is what you have to do. They're left to kind of figure it out on their own.
And the states are not set up for that. The state just don't have the horsepower to do this.
HILL: Well -- well, hopefully, some of those governors are at least listening to you on a daily basis and what you're saying to offer some guidance, because clearly, as you said, something needs to change.
Dr. Hotez, thank you, as always.
Joe Biden --
HOTEZ: Thanks so much.
HILL: Joe Biden says President Trump has surrendered in the war against coronavirus. We'll take a look at the politics of this pandemic, next.
HILL: Joe Biden slamming President Trump in a blistering speech over his handling -- the president's handling -- of the pandemic. The presumptive Democratic nominee says the president has failed to protect the American people. CNN's Arlette Saenz is live in Washington this morning with more.
Arlette, good morning.
ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Erica.
Well, Joe Biden's overarching message was that President Trump has failed when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic. He implored the president to do more while also releasing his own updated plan with how to tackle this crisis.
And as Biden has returned to public he past few -- over the past month, his events have been limited to small, invite-only events. But as he took questions from his press corps, for the first time in the past nearly three months, Biden took aim at his general election opponent, saying he can hardly wait to debate Trump this fall.
BIDEN: And it seems like our wartime president has surrendered, waved the white flag -- the white flag, and left the battlefield.
SAENZ (voice-over): Joe Biden issuing a harsh assessment of President Trump's response to the coronavirus pandemic.
BIDEN: Month after month, as other leaders in other countries took the necessary steps to get the virus under control. Donald Trump failed us.
SAENZ: In a blistering speech in Wilmington, Delaware, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee blamed Trump, saying the country is hardly better off than it was in March.
BIDEN: How are we this many months into this, and still -- still -- don't have what we need?
You know, the steps you've taken so far haven't gotten the job done, Mr. President. Fix the shortage of PPE for our healthcare workers before you tee off another round of golf.
SAENZ: In contrast to Trump downplaying the need for testing --
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If we didn't test, we wouldn't have cases.
SAENZ: -- the former vice president called for an increase and contact tracing. And on masks --
BIDEN: We absolutely need a clear message, from the very top of our federal government, that everyone needs to wear a mask in public. It's if I have an undiagnosed, I have it. It's to protect you against me. It's to protect other people. And it's called patriotism.
SAENZ: Adding he will not hold any rallies as coronavirus cases spike in much of the country, despite the president defying his own medical experts, holding multiple events where attendees were not wearing masks or social distancing.
BIDEN: This is the most unusual campaign, I think, in modern history.
SAENZ: For the first time in months, Biden took questions from the press, addressing recent reports that, despite White House denials, Trump was briefed on an alleged Russian plot to pay bounties to the Taliban to kill American soldiers.
BIDEN: So the idea that somehow, he didn't know or isn't being briefed, it is a dereliction of duty, if that's the case.
SAENZ: As election season takes hold, a key pillar of Trump's campaign seems to be calling Biden's age and cognitive abilities into question.
TRUMP: Here's a guy doesn't talk. Nobody hears him. Whenever he does talk, he can't put two sentences together.
SAENZ: Biden trying to turn the tables on Trump.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you been tested for some degree of cognitive decline?
BIDEN: I've been testing, and I'm constantly testing. Look, all you -- all you've got to do is watch me, and I can hardly wait to compare my cognitive capability to the cognitive capability of the man I'm running against.
SAENZ: Now, I was there in Wilmington, Delaware, yesterday, and I asked the former vice president whether he has been tested for coronavirus -- coronavirus, given the fact that he's traveling more and meeting with people. He says he has not taken a test yet, but believes he will do so relatively soon.
And I also asked him to weigh in on this debate over Confederate monuments. Biden said he believes that Confederate monuments belong in a museum, but then he drew a distinction when it came to those memorials to our Founding Fathers who owned slaves, but were not Confederates. He said memorials to George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and even Christopher Columbus should be protected by the government -- Erica.
HILL: Arlette, great to see you this morning. Thank you.
HILL: How will Biden's new lines of attack play into the 2020 race, with election day now just four months away?
Joining us, CNN political correspondent Abby Phillip.
Abby, good morning. I mean, we see what Joe Biden is trying to set up there, right? As this is what your choices are. And he's really making this about leadership, saying that the president has surrendered after wanting to be a wartime president.
The big question, of course, is how effective is that moving forward? Is there a sense that it's -- it's taking hold, Abby?
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the -- the contrast that Biden is setting up is about how he would govern, compared to how Trump has governed.
And one thing that you do hear from Biden aides is that the big difference in 2020, compared to 2016, when Donald Trump ran the last time, is that now Americans have actually experienced what he's like as president of the United States.
And the Biden campaign thinks that this coronavirus pandemic is the case study for how the president's leadership style is, in this case, inadequate, and has not resulted in the government really getting a handle on this pandemic and saving lives, but also saving the economy.
So in many ways, you know, Biden is just trying to be the sort of steady ship here. And what Donald Trump is doing is, he is, in many ways, making, in the Biden campaign's view, the case against himself for president for another four years.
They are happy, in some ways, to just let Trump be Trump in this moment. And they think that that has worked very well for Joe Biden up until this point.
BERMAN: What strikes me, and it's been so interesting, is how much space Donald Trump is creating for Joe Biden. He's created so much space for Biden to enter so easily on so many different subjects.
Take the cognitive issue right there. All Joe Biden has to do is go and hold an event and speak in complete sentences for a few minutes, and he's already surpassed the bar that Donald Trump has set.
On the issue of statues, Joe Biden has a giant middle ground to take there, because the president has come out and defended every Confederate statue in the country.
And then on the issues of masks, again, this is the lowest --
BERMAN: -- of low-hanging fruit, the space that it's created for Joe Biden. And now it's space being occupied by people, key people, leaders in his own party. I just want to listen to some Republicans and what they've said about masks the last few days.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: I think they work. And I said, especially if I wear a mask and it opens up baseball, concerts, NFL football, I'd rather wear the mask and go to the game to protect Grandma, Grandpa, Mom and Dad.
MCCONNELL: We must have no stigma, none, about wearing masks.
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): Wearing the mask is the best opportunity for us to keep this economy open.
STEVE DOOCY, HOST, FOX NEWS CHANNEL'S "FOX & FRIENDS": MAGA should now stand for "Masks Are Great Again."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: So Biden, Hannity, Doocy, McCarthy, McConnell, but not Trump here.
PHILLIP: Yes, I can't -- I don't think you would have necessarily imagined Biden and Hannity being in the same sentence about -- about what kind of advice they are giving to President Trump. But -- but, yes, I mean, I think that the sort of FOX News sphere,
which is incredibly influential in President Trump's world, is probably the most significant development over the last several days in terms of the kinds of pressure the president is facing.
Virtually everyone at this point -- I think we can say that. Virtually everyone agrees wearing a mask should not be a political issue, except for President Trump.
And so, yes, you're right. For Biden, you know, he really doesn't have to do a whole lot. He has tried to tack to the middle as much as possible, which was, you know, maybe a little bit more difficult in the Democratic primary. But with the president in the general election tacking so far to the right on these culture war issues, making, you know, in a tweet last night issues of whether or not fair housing laws ought to be repealed, making that the core of his campaign.