Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Florida Reporting 9488 New Cases In Past 24 Hours; California Launches Ad Campaign Encouraging Masks, Staying Home; Masks Optional, No Social Distancing At Mount Rushmore Event; Health Experts Warn Of Growing Number of COVID-19 Cases Linked To Bar In East Lansing, Michigan; Hospitals Losing Millions Of Dollars In Fight Against Virus. Aired 12-12:30p ET

Aired July 3, 2020 - 12:00   ET

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


[12:00:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN HOST: So top of the hour everyone. Thanks for sticking with us I'm Kate Bolduan. I do sound like a broken record though. You have heard all of this before as in yesterday and the day before that. You have heard it because it is the reality unfortunately right now that the country is facing and it is a matter of life and death.

As we have learned over the past month - many months, the country though is once again hitting a new high of daily new infections of the Coronavirus more than 52,000 new cases yesterday. And heading into this holiday weekend, public health officials and doctors on the front lines are scared of what next week and the week after could then bring?

States like Arizona now reporting a record number of ICU beds in use and only a small number of remaining for future cases here you can see the hospitalization numbers. In Texas, the Governor there is now mandating masks for people in public but is that too little too late?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. JOSEPH VARON, CHIEF OF STAFF, UNITED MEMORIAL MEDICAL CENTER, HOUSTON: I have no beds. We open a new wing of the hospital where - 32 beds because we literally feel that our COVID unit it is getting bad, it is getting really bad. And now we are telling people go ahead and wear your masks and things like that and yet you know we're allowing people to go and participate in mass gatherings.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLDUAN: Florida is now the state averaging the most new Coronavirus cases each day. The state is seeing just under 9,500 new cases, Coronavirus cases. That number just released in the last hour and that was a number from just yesterday. Boris Sanchez is on Clearwater Beach in Florida joining me now. What do the numbers mean for this weekend Boris? BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDET: Yes, that's the big question for local health officials and for the Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida. We should point out as you noted 9,500 new cases, almost 9,500 new cases in the State of Florida, third biggest day they have had in new Coronavirus cases.

Just yesterday they surpassed 10,000. No other state aside from New York at the peak of Coronavirus cases in April had hit a number that size. And there's going to be very unbalanced reactions to what's going on?

The Governor effectively leaving it to local officials to enact restrictions in the municipalities and means that places like Miami- Dade County and the southeastern part of the state, their beaches are closed this holiday weekend they've enacted very strict curfews, there is a face mask mandate.

Here on the Gulf side in Clearwater Beach, the beaches are open and take a look there are families that have been pouring in since early this morning. Folks playing volleyball, enjoying drinks on the water just like any other weekend though you see there is a sign here that clearly states social distancing is required.

If you don't live with someone, don't get within six feet of them they're asking that groups not congregate and any group larger than ten people not allowed on the beach. Keep in mind the real question when you see these rules as where is the enforcement?

We really haven't seen police or health officials out here making sure that these rules are being followed. Further we should also keep in mind that as we get closer to this 4th of July weekend we may see larger crowds. I did speak to a - we did speak to one local who has spend some time in Clearwater who told us that the beach is not as packed as typically in the holiday weekend.

They may also have something to do with the weather it was raining earlier but of course just like we saw with Memorial Day weekend and people ignoring social distancing then, we could see a large surge after the 4th of July weekend if people don't heed the warnings of health officials and simply stay home, stay away from large crowds, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Thank you, Boris. So consider this possibility. Assume everyone around you is infectious. That's the warning now from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti as L.A. County saw a fifth straight day of more than 2,000 new Coronavirus infections.

There's already a face covering mandate in place there but now police in several California cities are planning to issue fines to force people to comply. Dan Simon is in Santa Monica for us he is joining me right now. Dan, what are you hearing there?

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Kate. Well, first of all we are in Santa Monica as you said and the beaches are closed in Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura County. You can see the sign that says temporary closure. Of course what authorities are looking for is voluntary compliance but they do have the right to issue citations if there is willful negligence. So in any of that here we are and of course what officials really are looking for is for people to wear masks.

And I want you to see this new PSA, powerful PSA from the State of California encouraging people to wear masks. Take a look.

[12:05:00]

SIMON: Well, this PSA comes amid surging cases in California, 1 out of 140 people are said to be infected in Los Angeles County. Mayor Eric Garcetti says that could actually go down to 1 in 70 next week and there is something else you should know, Kate.

That if you plan on attending church in the State of California this week, the Department of Public Health is actually put out an order saying that singing and chanting cannot happen anymore in churches, at least for the foreseeable future because singing of course is known to expel particles and spread the virus. Kate, will send it back to you.

BOLDUAN: Really interesting. Dan, thank you. In just a few hours President Trump plans to join thousands of people at Mt. Rushmore for an early 4th of July fireworks event and something he has been pushing and promoting for weeks.

About 7,500 people are expected to attend but this may be obvious to point out at this point but the public health crisis that is hitting the rest of the country is also hitting South Dakota. Yet there is no social distancing in place for the event and the Governor says masks are optional.

CNN White House Correspondent Jeremy Diamond is joining me right now. Jeremy, are folks at the White House at all concerned about this event tonight in the midst of this resurging outbreak?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: No. We're not picking up any concern from White House officials and certainly not from the President Kate who is forging ahead with this event much in the same way with that he forged ahead with that rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

And so we're seeing the President move forward despite what we are seeing, despite the rise in Coronavirus cases across the country. Despite the warnings from the President's own public health experts within the administration including Vice President Mike Pence who is also starting to shift in his language.

We've heard him say for weeks now that the United States has flattened the curve. Yesterday he said we will be flattening the curve. Let's look at what the President is going to be doing this evening at this event at Mount Rushmore?

There is going to be no social distancing according to South Dakota's Governor Republican Governor. 75,000 tickets have been made available. That's certainly thousands of people will be attending this event with no social distancing. Face masks will be made available but they will not be required.

Again, very similar to what we saw when the President had that campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where we saw people gathering without masks. South Dakota is not one of those states experiencing those large increases in cases but the question is how many people will be coming to that event from out of state?

And all of this, Kate, as we're learning that eight members of Vice President Mike Pence's secret service detail have tested positive for Coronavirus. It actually led to a one-day delay in Vice President Mike Pence's trip to Arizona.

He was supposed to go on Tuesday but because of these last-minute positive tests the trip was actually pushed back to Wednesday so the Coronavirus having this huge impact around the country and still impacting operations here at the White House Kate and yet the President, forging ahead with the event.

BOLDUAN: Yes, you can see the risks there in what you just reported. Jeremy, thank you. Joining me right now is CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Celine Gounder. She is a Professor of Medicine & Infectious Diseases at NYU's Grossman School of Medicine. It is good to see you again, doctor.

Taking the politics out of it and focusing in on the science and the data, if you have an event that is outdoors, 7,500 people are expected, face coverings are not required. There will be no social distancing program in place. What would your level of concern be here?

DR. CELINE GOUNDER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Well Kate, I'm highly concerned. This is beyond irresponsible. This is the behavior of a cult leader who is jumping off the cliff except he is jumping off into a safety net where he has protections around him, people around him are testing, he is tested on a regular basis.

While he asks his followers to jump off a cliff into nothing. This is extremely dangerous behavior and unfortunately this is becoming so politicized where you abide by public health and scientific recommendations on the basis of your political beliefs, not based on the science and people are going to be harmed as a result of this.

BOLDUAN: I want to ask you because the President very clearly continues to deny the reality of the data and the science that's coming in and ignore medical experts who have to assume are telling him what they say in public to him if he would ask?

I want to read you guys a tweet that the President put out overnight. He said there is a rising Coronavirus cases because our testing is so massive and so good, far bigger and better than any other country. This is great news but even better news is that death and the death rate is down and also younger people who get better much easier and faster.

HHS official who was in charge of testing, he had to fact check the President in front of Congress yesterday on that bit about the rise in cases is because of testing. We know that's not true. The morning the Surgeon General was forced to fact check what the President tweeted about the death toll and the death rate? Listen to this.

[12:10:00]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. JEROME ADAMS, U.S. SURGEON GENERAL: We know that deaths lag at least two weeks and could lag even more. Remember, in the beginning nursing homes were hit really hard and the majority of our deaths were occurring in people who were 60, 65 and older. Now the majority of cases are in people who have an average age of 35 and so those folks are going to have less co-morbidity they're going to be less likely to be in the hospital and to die.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLDUAN: That might be true that last bit which is good news but the death toll you can't celebrate it right now when you're seeing people heading into the hospital right now. No matter how many times public health officials especially like Anthony Fauci are speaking the truth what does it do, doctor, when the President continues to lie to the public in face of a public health crisis?

DR. GOUNDER: Well, this is gas lighting on an enormous scale and it means that until people eventually get sick or their family members get sick, that their communities are hit just as hard as we were hearing in New York City, they won't believe it and by then it will be too late.

The problem is there's a lag period from the time that somebody's infected then they start to develop symptoms a couple days later. We don't really see people get severely sick and need to be hospitalized and in ICUs until at least a week into disease.

So you're talking about probably one or two weeks of lag time from the time somebody's exposed at least before you start to see hospitalizations and then another couple weeks before you start to see deaths.

I still today, you know, just wrapped up a two-week block on service at the hospital. We still had patients who had been in the hospital since March or April. And while we're not seeing a lot of new patients in the hospitals in New York people are sick a very long time with this so it's not a small surge in deaths and hospitalizations. This is going to be for the long haul across the country.

BOLDUAN: Let me ask you something about Florida. Dr. Deborah Birx was there yesterday and said that she kind of like a call of action. She asked that anyone under 40 who has been in a large gathering, and she said anyone should be getting tested, even if they don't have symptoms. What is Dr. Birx getting at here with that call and that plea? What do you think?

DR. GOUNDER: Well, I think it makes a lot of sense. For example, if you went out and you had high-risk sex with a number of people you would get STD testing and HIV testing to make sure that you weren't infected and that you weren't passing it on to other people because you might not have symptoms.

And similarly here we know that probably about a third of people who have infection who are at risk for transmitting on to others may not have symptoms and it is a similar scenario. You had unsafe sex, get tested. You were out in a crowd without your mask, without abiding by the public health measures? Go get tested.

You don't want to be spreading the virus to others especially perhaps friends and family who are at higher risk for severe disease.

BOLDUAN: There was a new report from health officials in - California that was published by the CDC. They say that as many as half the residents infected with Coronavirus in long-term care facility had no symptoms. This is something that we all kind of wonder about.

How do you explain some elderly people in nursing homes get the virus but are totally fine and asymptomatic yet it very clearly is killing another person in the same age group? Even in this high-risk group, this virus is so unpredictable.

DR. GOUNDER: Well, not every elderly person has the same underlying medical conditions, not all of them have high blood pressure or obesity or diabetes and part of this is also a reflection of how your immune system is reacting to the virus?

A lot of disease is actually caused by your immune system response. And again not everybody is going to have the same response. We are not all the same. So it's - I think what's challenging is for us to predict who is really going to get sick from this?

BOLDUAN: That's right. Doctor Gounder, thank you. Coming up for us, an important follow up on a story that we first told you about earlier these local officials in Michigan scrambling to contain an outbreak that started at a single bar.

We'll bring you an update. Plus, is it safe to swim in a pool with other folks this holiday weekend? What about an outdoor barbecue? How do you get that right? How do you keep that safe? Coming up, what to do and what to avoid staying safe this July 4th weekend?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[12:15:00]

BOLDUAN: An update on a story that we brought you earlier this week. Health officials in East Lansing, Michigan, now say at least 152 cases of Coronavirus are linked to one bar that reopened for business. 24 of the cases are considered secondary meaning that those people didn't go to the bar but were infected after the fact by people who did?

Joining me right now is Linda Vail, the Health Officer for the Ingham County Health Department there. Doctor, thank you being here, on Monday when I talked to the Mayor of East Lansing when she was on the show she said the number of cases linked just over 80 cases were linked to this one bar. The last report is now 152 people in 13 different counties. Do you have a sense of how high this number could still go?

LINDA VAIL, HEALTH OFFICER, INGHAM COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT: You know I don't have a sense of how high the number could go? I do know that we have one of the best teams in the country doing the case investigation and contact tracing.

And just to update you as of 9:00 am this morning that case count is up to 158. 131 primary cases and 27 secondary's across 15 counties. That number was just two weeks ago.

BOLDUAN: So sad. I have seen that you have called the scene at this bar a perfect viral storm. How so? What can people learn from this very unfortunate situation?

[12:20:00]

VAIL: Well, bars are a very high-risk situation and in particular despite a mask mandate in the State of Michigan businesses have the option of denying entry to folks upon entry but they don't have to. And when they don't and people crowd in, you were just talking to somebody else, loud music causing shouting, loud music, shouting, crowding together, tables might have been six feet apart but people with respect at the tables.

There was a giant line outside. People were crowded together in a line outside for a long period of time. All of those things come together into just a perfect storm. In addition to, you know, drinking and drinking and becoming more and more, you know, reckless with activities.

BOLDUAN: The reason you have these solid numbers is because of the good effort of contact tracing. I interviewed a County Health Commissioner in New York yesterday who had to resort to issuing subpoenas to get young people in her community to cooperate with contact tracing after a party. Have people been cooperating with your efforts to trace this virus there?

VAIL: For the most part, yes. We do have the occasional time where somebody will not give us names of contacts. Fortunately for us that has been the exception rather than the rule and so we're doing pretty well.

BOLDUAN: The Health Department has said that the average age of the people who were infected at the bar was just over 21 but the ages of people that they went on to infect ranges from 16 to 63. That's additionally heartbreaking I mean this is exactly what health officials have been warning about all along. What do you think people - why do you think people don't seem to have gotten the message there?

VAIL: Well, you know, these bar outbreaks are spilling over into graduation parties and house parties held by young people. And so really two things are causing the nationwide increase in cases first young people, 70 percent of our new cases in the last 10 days are in their 20s.

Also general lack of respect for the virus and lack of adherence to prevention methods advised by public health experts across the world as well as blatant refusal to just expect what experts are saying.

It's really hard to contain when young people are reckless and don't think it affects them much less those high risk people around them and we politicized it causing another large group of people to brush it off as nothing more than a hoax or just nothing more than the flu.

Never in my political career would I imagine that we would politicize a virus. People need to listen to science and experts and realize these things are evidence-based and critical. We know what we're talking. I really don't care what people think about what's going on at the national level related to response?

I need them to know what's going on at the ground level and the challenges that we're facing because of recklessness and politicizing. It's real it's serious and getting through this without losing more unnecessary lives or look without more lives unnecessarily, excuse me, and facing economic shutdown means listening to public health experts.

Masks, social distancing, avoiding high-risk activities on top of other trident prevention methods, these things all matter.

BOLDUAN: If you still are questioning the reality here, look no further than what you are dealing with from the fallout of one bar. Honestly, it is really terrifying. Linda Vail, thank you very much for coming in.

VAIL: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Coming up next for us, American hospitals are needed more than ever right now do why are so many going broke?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[12:25:00]

BOLDUAN: Hospitals across the country are on the front lines of this pandemic, of course, and in many places struggling to keep up with the demand for care but it is more than being overwhelmed with an influx of patients and ICU beds running low. Some hospitals are essentially going broke losing millions and some cases billions of dollars. CNN's Sara Sidner has more.

SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The dreaded sound of an emergency seem to be the only sound filling the air in New York City for far too long.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAKE VITULLI, FIRST RESPONDENR: The beginning of this whole pandemic was very, very hectic. It was crazy, craziest of my career.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SIDNER: While hospitals were packed with Coronavirus patients here they were also losing staggering amounts of money.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL DOWLING, CEO NORTHWELL HEALTH: We'd hit out hospitals to the tune of about $1.6 billion. So it is roughly between 300 million and $400 million a month that we have been losing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SIDNER: From the largest health care system in New York that treated more than 40,000 COVID patients to the Seattle suburbs where the first known major Coronavirus outbreak hit in late February.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. JEFF TOMLIN, CEO, EVERGREEN HEALTH: Even in the first month of March we projected a $15 million loss and that's one small hospital, healthcare system.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SIDNER: To hospitals across Michigan, both rural and metropolitan.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERT CASALOU, REGIONAL PRESIDENT & CEO, TRINITY MICHIGAN SOUTHEAST REGION: Our revenue went down immediately 60 percent I mean, overnight.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SIDNER: The American Hospital Association estimates that hospitals and health systems will have losses this year of $323.1 billion.