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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Trump En Route to Mt. Rushmore Event: No Social Distancing With 7,500 Seats Lined Up Closely Together, Mask Optional; At Least 8 Secret Service Agents Stuck in Phoenix With Coronavirus After Preparing for Visit by VP Pence; Florida Now Leads U.S. in Average of New Cases Per Day; Rep. Cheney Takes Repeated Jabs at Trump, Avoids Counterpunch; Americans Denied Italy Entry Due to High U.S. Infection Rates. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired July 3, 2020 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN HOST: He was the first African American to serve as Secretary Treasurer of the United Auto Workers. May they rest in peace and may their memories be a blessing.
I'm Jim Acosta. Thanks very much for watching. Have a happy and safe Fourth of July. Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.
KATE BOLDUAN: OUTFRONT next breaking news, President Trump about to headline an event in South Dakota where there will be no social distancing and masks are optional. Why put people's health in jeopardy?
Plus, Florida and Texas, two states where cases of coronavirus are surging. Patients filling up hospitals. Just how bad is it? I'll speak to experts in both states.
And one man gets coronavirus after visiting friends. Weeks later he writes that he hopes he'll be able to survive it, but he did not. His niece with a warning tonight. Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan in for Erin Burnett. Welcome to a special edition of OUTFRONT.
And tonight, the President's disregard for public health. I don't say that lightly. But how else can you view, view it when experts say don't attend large gatherings and he's effectively hosting one tonight? Take a look at the scene at Mt. Rushmore this evening.
The President is on his way there to South Dakota right now where he'll give a speech and watch fireworks with a crowd that's expected to be up to 7,500 people. Masks are optional. Social distancing, there's no plan for it as you can see.
The President intentionally flouting his experts own guidelines that face coverings and avoiding large gatherings is absolutely necessary at this point to stop the spread of coronavirus, at a time when infection rates are at an all time high. Thirty-six states including South Dakota are seeing an increase in
infections, Alabama and North Carolina reporting a record number of cases just today. In California, hospitalization rates are at an all time high. And Arizona, the demand for ICU beds is hitting a new level.
And when the President's own infectious disease expert was asked about events and just like tonight's at Mt. Rushmore. Here's what Dr. Anthony Fauci said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: You should avoid whenever possible gathering in crowds, where people cannot maintain physical distance. If in fact the circumstances are such that that's going to happen anyway no matter what anybody says, you should wear a mask at all times.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: That's clearly not happening tonight, which can only lead one to ask is the President putting the public at risk, so he can put on a spectacle packed with a crowd? Because you know he's been advised against this, but still ...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm going to Mt. Rushmore on July 3rd. We're going to have a tremendous evening. It's going to be a fireworks display like few people have seen and then we're coming back here celebrating the Fourth of July in Washington, D.C.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: D.C.'s Mayor is actually urging residents not to go to the National Mall tomorrow for that, warning that it's just not safe at this point in the pandemic. So this isn't even do as I say not as I do territory anymore with the President and the White House's response to this very real public health crisis. It is if you're trusting the science, which you should it is now don't do as he says and don't do what he's doing.
Joe Johns is OUTFRONT live at Mt. Rushmore where the President will be arriving shortly. Joe, what are you hearing and seeing there on the ground?
JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kate, three points. First is crowd size, it always tends to be an issue as the President tries to restart the country and flies around to these big events. If you look down at the lower level here in the amphitheatre at Rushmore, it's pretty much filled up.
We've been watching it all day long and the entire amphitheatre is not filled up yet, but it looks like that could happen. As you said they're looking for 7,500 people. The second point is important, we have not seen a lot of face coverings on the people coming in here. We've been watching it all day long.
We know that face coverings are optional. We also know that the government has said they will provide face coverings for people if they come in here and don't have them. It doesn't look like a lot of people have been asking for that.
And the third issue is distancing. Now, we were told by the Governor of this State, South Dakota, that there would be no distancing at this event. What we did not know is that there would be people who could not distance that is because there are black folding chairs, filling out some of the seating in the amphitheater and they are linked together with black zip ties.
And you ask, why on earth would you create a situation like that, where the person sitting in one seat has an up close personal experience with the person sitting in another seat in the age of coronavirus. The answer is there is a code. There is a fire code that says these seats have to be linked in case there is a storm or a fire and if there is a storm and a fire and they're not linked, those chairs could block the exits and make it hard for people to get out.
The last thing, the last point is fire is a real issue here. When it gets dark there are going to be fireworks and there have been forest fires here before so concerns about that, the authorities want to keep everybody safe. Kate, back to you.
BOLDUAN: Joe, thank you.
More breaking news tonight. At least eight Secret Service agents stuck in Arizona after getting coronavirus while preparing for a visit by Vice President Mike Pence.
Pamela Brown is OUTFRONT right now. Pamela, this is also causing concern understandably among agents at tonight's rally in South Dakota.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Kate. Agents have been there on the ground in South Dakota for several days preparing for the President's trip there and they're also preparing for what appears to be the inevitability here of at least one or more agents contracting the coronavirus. When you look at what's happened thus far in the Secret Service, we have just learned today that at least eight Secret Service agents are now in quarantine at a hotel in Phoenix.
They tested positive for coronavirus before Vice President Pence's trip there and they are experiencing flu-like symptoms. A source tells my colleague Jamie Gangel, so you have that. An addition to upwards of 15 agents, Kate, who tested positive for coronavirus after the President's Tulsa Oklahoma rally as you'll recall, just about two weeks ago.
So there are a couple dozen Secret Service agents, Kate, who have already tested positive that we know of. Those are the ones that we know and one source within the agency spoke to Jamie Gangel and said that there's a sense of frustration among some agents that this is an unnecessary risk going on these trips for the President campaign rally for what some sources say is just meant to boost the President's mood. They think that it's really an unnecessary risk for exposure and just not worth it.
Now, we should note though, the Secret Service gives masks, has given protective gear to all of the agents. A White House spokesman said that the President takes the health and safety of those traveling for him seriously and the Secret Service says the health and safety of the agents of their families and of the protectees are of utmost importance, Kate.
BOLDUAN: Pamela, great reporting. Thank you and welcome back. It's good to see you.
BROWN: Thank you. Good to see you.
BOLDUAN: OUTFRONT with me are now Dr. Jonathan Reiner. He was a White House Medical Advisor under President George W. Bush and Dr. William Schaffner. He's a professor of the Division of Infectious Disease at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and a former CDC official. It's great to see both of you.
Dr. Reiner, you told me last night, President Trump was clearly flirting with disaster by continuing to hold large events like this, especially when he and others, one, are not wearing masks. And then you just hear Pamela Brown's reporting about Secret Service agents. But it's not just Secret Service agents, which is important to talk about because they're on their job, but also look at these crowd shots. People very close together, many are not wearing masks, what is at stake here tonight?
JONATHAN REINER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Well, the health of the of the public, which apparently is not much of a concern for the President and his team. Kate, would you have a get together in your home if you knew that at least some of the people coming to your home would get sick or maybe die because they're coming to your home or that others ...
BOLDUAN: Of course not, right?
REINER: ... right, or that others who came to your house will get so drunk that they would get into accidents and hurt people who weren't even in your house. That's what happens when you have a mass gathering during a pandemic and that is what all of these events that the President goes to where they promote these large numbers of attendees, that's what this does.
It's a danger to the people that support him and it's a danger to his staff. On the rock behind him, on the mountain behind is Thomas Jefferson. And Jefferson said, we act not for ourselves, but for all humankind. What we're seeing here from the President of the United States is a selfish act. An act of self-promotion, which puts the health of his staff members and the people who support him at risk, it's really unjustifiable. BOLDUAN: Dr. Schaffner, the Attorney General of South Dakota today
downplayed the concerns surrounding holding this event. Let me play this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JASON RAVNSBORG, ATTORNEY GENERAL, SOUTH DAKOTA: I think that we have done a number of things to mitigate the spread of the COVID. As you probably know, our state has not mandated these various policies that other states have and I think we're very proud of that and our numbers have remained low.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: He says they've done things to mitigate the spread of COVID. But how does not requiring masks and having no social distancing plan help mitigate the spread of COVID?
DR. WILLIAM SCHAFFNER, PROFESSOR, INFECTIOUS DISEASE DIVISION, VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER: Kate, that won't work. Let's look at it, large gathering, very few people wearing masks, no social distancing. This is not a political statement, three strikes and you're out.
To mix metaphors, this professor will mark that answer on the quiz incorrect. For sure, just statistically, COVID will attend this event tonight. It's a stealth virus. It will be there. There will be some spread and those people will take it home to others and accelerate the spread further. This is the most unwise thing to do.
BOLDUAN: That's truly unsettling, but I think that's an important way of putting it. Statistically, coronavirus is going to attend tonight. People need to think of it that way. That is really scary and that's not a guess. That's data, statistics, science, as both of you know very well.
Speaking of, Dr. Reiner, let me play for you how the Surgeon General of the United States answered a simple question about this event. One that Dr. Schaffner just answered very clearly. Would you advise someone to attend a large gathering, yes or no, he was asked. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. JEROME ADAMS, U.S. SURGEON GENERAL: It's not a yes or no. Every single person has to make up their own mind. There are going to be people going to beaches, going to barbecues, going to different environments and they have to look at their individual risk. As you mentioned, CDC says larger gatherings are a higher risk. You have to take that into account.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: Dr. Reiner, is it about individual risk assessment anymore with this virus? Is the Surgeon General doing anything other than creating more confusion?
REINER: All right. So let me answer that question, if the question is should anyone in this country be attending a mass gathering, the answer is simple, no, period. Look, this Surgeon General has gotten some very big things very wrong. On February 29th, he tweeted, seriously, people stopped buying masks. Masks will not prevent you from getting this virus.
How do you get something that big, that wrong and still hold your job? Look, when I listen to the voices of the task force, I'm listening for people who are telling me it's straight up and I listened to Tony Fauci, who tells it to a straight up which is maybe why the White House prevents him from speaking to the press and speaking to the country.
But when I hear the Surgeon General of the United States not able to answer that question, I give him no credibility. He has no credibility in my mind. To use a metaphor that the President would understand, that question was a two inch putt pot. That was a 1910 [00:03:17] and the Surgeon General whiffed on It.
BOLDUAN: Dr. Schaffner, final word on, I don't know, I'm a bit of a loss about this event tonight, it seems a no brainer of how you can protect the public when that's your job and that's not what's happening from the President, from the Governor on down here.
SCHAFFNER: Yes, it's very sad. And remember, it's not a matter of individual decision making. You put other people at risk. Remember, this is a contagious virus, so your decisions affect others. And that's why we all have to work together to reduce the spread of this virus and we all have to get with the program.
BOLDUAN: Hopefully, those not there can learn a lesson from watching this tonight, I guess. Thank you both.
OUTFRONT next, Florida now averaging more new cases per day than any other state. Some hospitals admitting a record number of patients. Do health experts expect this trend to turn around anytime soon.
Plus, a man who admits that, in his own words, stupidity led to his coronavirus infection and he died shortly thereafter. His niece has something to say to those wanting to celebrate the Fourth of July with others tonight.
And the heartbreaking physical and emotional toll that coronavirus is taking on children.
BOLDUAN: Tonight, crowds growing at some Florida beaches despite the state now reporting the highest average of new cases per day in the United States. This comes as health officials across the country grow more concerned about a busy Fourth of July weekend. Jason Carroll is OUTFRONT.
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Firework shows, parades and beach barbecues canceled from coast to coast over concerns the holiday weekend could fuel a surge in new coronavirus cases. Florida now leads the nation in the average number of new reported COVID-19 cases per day. The state announced 9,488 new cases Friday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. NICHOLAS NAMIAS, JACKSON MEMORIAL HOSPITAL, MIAMI: The numbers are going up in the hospital. The ICU beds are filling and it's requiring a lot of work and a lot of effort to move patients around to make a spot for the new patients whether they're COVID or not COVID.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARROLL (voice-over): The State's youngest victim, an 11-year-old boy from Miami-Dade County who died from COVID-19 complications. Tonight, a 10 pm curfew goes into effect county-wide to discourage holiday goers from heading out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR DAN GELBER (D-FL), MIAMI BEACH: There's nothing more American than making a sacrifice by staying home to keep a family member safe, a neighbor safe or a stranger safe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARROLL (voice-over): By early Friday, crowds had already started gathering on Florida's Gulf Coast on this beach in Clearwater. Health officials seeing record hospitalizations in California where singing and chanting in that state is now banned at houses of worship. The concerns that the virus will be transmitted through infected exhale droplets.
While in Texas, masks are mandated in more than two-thirds of the counties in the state. The Governor who critics say was slow to make the move now says ...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R-TX): If people gather on Fourth of July the same way they did in Memorial Day, it is going to lead to a massive increase in the number of people testing positive, the number of people who will be hospitalized and it could lead once again to an increase in the number of people who lose their lives.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARROLL (voice-over): Despite having once downplayed the importance of wearing a mask, the country's Surgeon General says it is imperative.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ADAMS: If you want college football in the fall, young people, please wear a face covering. If you want prom next year, please wear a face covering. It can prevent asymptomatic spread and help us overcome this virus.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARROLL: So Kate, as you heard there after the Memorial Day weekend, health officials saw a huge spike in COVID cases. They're hoping that people will learn their lessons. I mean, since then there have been a number of closures, a number of restrictions in states across the country, but ultimately health officials say what this is going to come down to is whether or not people heed the advice of health officials and practice to social distancing and wear a mask. We'll see what happens after this holiday, Kate.
BOLDUAN: Yes. Good to see you. Thank you.
As you just heard in Jason's piece, the two hotspots in the United States right now are Texas and Florida. I want to go now to experts in both of those states, Dr. Phil Keiser, the local health authority in Galveston County, Texas and Dr. James Fiorica. He's Chief Medical Officer at Sarasota Memorial Hospital in Florida. Thank you for being here.
Dr. Keiser, Texas reporting a third straight day with more than 7,000 new cases and your county is seeing a big upward trend of infections. We're showing a graph right now for people to see. How concerned are you by the situation that's playing out right now in your county?
PHIL KEISER, LOCAL HEALTH AUTHORITY, GALVESTON COUNTY, TX: I'm very worried. I'll be very honest about that. We've seen the numbers of cases simply go up, up and up. Two weeks ago, we broke a hundred case, new cases for the first time. Now, we're getting over 200 cases a day on a daily basis. On a per capita basis, we actually have more cases than they do in Harris County, which is our neighbor to the north where Houston is or Dallas or Austin or San Antonio.
With that, we're also seeing an increased rate of hospitalizations. We now have over a hundred people in hospital beds. Fortunately, the ICUs have not filled up yet. But we have started to see an increase in deaths. We reported five deaths so far this week.
BOLDUAN: Yes. And Dr. Fiorica, in Florida, it now is averaging more new cases per day than any other state. Your hospital admitted a record number of patients with coronavirus just today. Do you anticipate that trend turning around anytime soon?
DR. JAMES FIORICA, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, SARASOTA MEMORIAL HOSPITAL: No, we don't. We definitely have concerns. Right now, we have 62 COVID patients in the hospital and I heard we have four more on their way by EMS to come in just today. That will probably be there at the end of this show.
We've gone from six patients COVID positive at the beginning of June to 62. Today, so just in 30 days, you can see that climb.
BOLDUAN: You really can and it is scary what that means if things don't turn around what that climb will mean, given another couple of weeks.
We saw, Dr. Keiser, with Memorial Day, mark it and you see essentially two weeks later, the spike beginning and then the hospitalizations come after that and the deaths after that. So mark tomorrow on your calendar, two weeks from now, what do you fear it's going to look like?
KEISER: I think it's going to be worse and I think everyone in our county and in our hospital systems are resigned to that fact. We've been following this since April. And it's very clear that there's at least a two to four week lag between what we're seeing in terms of cases and people that are hospitalized and in the ICU and dying. So we expect the hospitalization numbers to continue to rise. I would not be surprised if we didn't have more deaths in the next couple of weeks.
What really concerns us is will this reset that we're having in the state and locally make a difference, because we really do need that desperately. We need people to be staying home. We need people when they're out and about wearing masks. We need people to be socially distancing and we need people who just have a sense of that this doesn't apply to them or they don't care. They need to start paying attention.
This isn't about having a prom. This isn't about having football. This is about grandma dying or your mother or father dying and we want to prevent that from happening.
BOLDUAN: Yes. And it's much more immediate than football and prom to be quite honest.
Dr. Fiorica, you're seeing more and more young people coming in with COVID. We're hearing that same thing from really across the country, short of locking people in their homes, what do you think is actually going to get through to people to help keep them out of your hospital?
FIORICA: We need to do everything we can to encourage people to distance themselves and to wear mask. I mean, if you look at the younger patients, I mean, our average age in June was 49 years old for our COVID positive patients. In March and April, that average age was over 70 years old, so you can see the trends.
So we're getting the older patients, but we're also getting the younger patients, so we're getting everybody. But the big differences is really distancing and mask. We really need to encourage everyone to take this seriously. It really is an important healthcare issue that I'm not sure that everyone understands the full extent of it. BOLDUAN: I don't know how they at least don't understand the ways to
best mitigate it right now, because it's been repeated over and over again by experts like yourselves. Thank you both very much.
OUTFRONT next, Americans traveling overseas forced to turnaround after being denied entry and it's all because of the rising cases here in the United States.
Plus, he attended a gathering, a get together with friends and he got sick. Later writing on Facebook how he regretted going within days he tragically died. His niece is our guest.
BOLDUAN: Tonight, hopefully with god's help I'll be able to tonight, hopefully with god's help I'll be able to survive this. Those words turned out to be a final message from a California man after getting coronavirus.
His name is Tommy Macias. His family said that he had been vigilant, but when his county started to reopen, he decided to go to a party hosted by friends and then he found out he was sick, and then he posted this on Facebook.
I went out a couple of weeks ago. Because of my stupidity, I put my mom and sister's and family's health in jeopardy.
This is no joke. If you have to go out, wear a mask and practice social distancing. Hopefully with God's help, I'll be able to survive this.
The next day, he rushed to the hospital and he died. He was 51 years old.
OUTFRONT now, Danielle Lopez, the niece of Tommy Macias.
Danielle, I'm so -- I'm so sorry for your loss. How are you doing? How is your mom, Tommy's sister and their mom, your grandmother?
DANIELLE LOPEZ, LOST HER UNCLE TO CORONAVIRUS: We're all still really just trying to process everything. We were just trying to take it day by day right now.
BOLDUAN: Because like so many others, you really weren't even able to say goodbye.
LOPEZ: No, we weren't. We couldn't see him. We couldn't speak with him, and then everything happened so quickly, and he was starting to get better prior to Sunday that it just, it all just happened so fast and it was just a complete shock to all of us.
BOLDUAN: Can you tell me more about how this happened?
LOPEZ: We attended that party at the beginning of June. And there was a person there who had the virus and passed it on to my uncle. And then he found out about a week or two later. That person called and let him know that he was positive, and at that point my uncle had already been feeling ill, so he decided to go get tested. He received the results on Thursday, and then he passed away on Sunday.
BOLDUAN: I mean, it's unbelievable how fast that happened. When you found out that he had gotten that positive test result back, what did you think?
LOPEZ: I -- initially, I was very upset with the person who was there with my uncle because prior to knowing that he was positive himself, he went to my parents' house where my grandmother and my mother both were. Luckily they had kept their distance from him.
It just, I'm sorry, I'm still just trying to even process that all of this is happening. It just all feels so surreal.
BOLDUAN: It has to. It must. This isn't supposed to happen. As you've told my producers, Tommy wasn't reckless about this. He had been vigilant. And then that's why it is so striking, Danielle, when he, reading his words and his feelings about getting the virus, and you can really sense his disappointment in himself.
LOPEZ: Yes, he was -- he was very hard on himself about it because he got it himself, but mostly what he was concerned about was passing it on to mainly my grandmother and my mother, but any of us in our family. He was just -- he was so concerned that he could have potentially infected one of us.
BOLDUAN: Is that -- is that in line with what you know about your Uncle Tommy, and how he -- and how he would be?
LOPEZ: Absolutely. Family meant everything to him. He put family above anything else.
BOLDUAN: I mean, I'm sure you've followed this pandemic closely, and you've heard and read some of the stories of people losing loved ones to the virus. I mean, did you ever think, Danielle, that you would be in this position on TV talking about this happening to you?
LOPEZ: No, I never would have imagined that this would have happened to my family. And it never, I mean, we were taking precautions, all of us, including him, us here in my home. All of us were being so careful.
I just, I can't believe that any of this is happening.
BOLDUAN: His funeral service is scheduled for next week. I really would like to know what you would -- what you -- I would like to know a lot of things, so much more.
What you want people to remember about your uncle, and also what your message is tonight to those who are still resistant to doing what your uncle wrote in that Facebook post, to wearing a face covering, and what lesson you want people to take from this?
LOPEZ: Well, for my uncle, out of everything, I want everybody to remember how loving and caring he was, how deeply he cared for every single person, family and friends. And that's what I would like also for everybody to take away from it. If everybody could have just a little bit more caring for all their other people, just to wear a mask. This is so easily preventable if everybody just plays their part.
BOLDUAN: Yes. I'm just so struck by his sweet smile this those pictures that we're seeing with him with your family, and I see it in your face, too, Danielle. Thank you for your strength. Thank you for being here, bless you, and I'm so sorry again.
LOPEZ: Thank you.
BOLDUAN: Too many of these stories, people. Too many.
OUTFRONT for us next, a warning for children as coronavirus accelerates and escalates, a top official and pediatrician in California is sounding the alarm.
And a Republican congresswoman takes on Trump, calling him calling him out on a number of issues. So why hasn't the president hit back?
BOLDUAN: Tonight, California reporting troubling new signs, a new record high of people sick enough with COVID that they need to be hospitalized. More than 5,500 patients admitted.
Erin spoke to the surgeon general of California, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris earlier about what needs to be done to stop the surge, and also how the pandemic will impact children long after it's over.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Dr. Burke-Harris, I appreciate your time.
You know, coronavirus cases in California and many places in this country are surging, the mayor of Los Angeles says the next two weeks are critical. We also saw Dr. Fauci saying cases in the United States could be doubling. I mean, how crucial is this moment?
DR. NADINE BURKE HARRIS, SURGEON GENERAL OF CALIFORNIA: It's absolutely critical. What we know is that our behavior is the most powerful tool we have right now against the virus. And we really need folks to, you know, step up. I know that folks are tired, but it's absolutely critically important.
BURNETT: So you are a pediatrician also, and one of the areas I know that you focus on is childhood trauma, and how it affects long-term health. Obviously, this pandemic has been hugely disruptive to children's lives around the world and around this country. What are the long-term effects on children that you are most worried
BURKE HARRIS: Well, I mean, what we know is that many kids are missing out on their normal developmental interactions, the interactions they have at school, and school isn't just a place where kids receive knowledge and learn about the three R's. It's also a place where they have contact with safe, stable and nurturing adults.
And we know that for many families, the hardships that they're experiencing right now both economic in terms of isolation and the stress of the pandemic can not only impact our -- our mood, our behavior and our mental health, but also that stress can actually affect our physical health, increasing risk for chronic disease.
BURNETT: So, you know, we've actually seen a decline in child abuse calls, and obviously we understand this not to be at all because fewer kids are being the victims of abuse. It's actually because of exactly what you just said, that kids aren't interacting with adults who would see signs of abuse, who would be able to intervene to report this, teachers, day care workers, people -- people in those roles of authority. You know, this is a pretty scary thing to imagine that this is going on behind closed doors, maybe at an elevated level, and we're hearing less about it.
I mean, how worried are you?
BURKE HARRIS: I'll tell you, this is probably the biggest thing that keeps me up at night, the fact that kids who are at risk are not coming in to contact with the safe adults who could offer help and support. And that's why it's really important for us to continue to check in on our friends, our family members, whether it's a member of our church, if you're an educator, checking in on your students, you know, seeing how they're doing. Staying in touch and maintaining our social connections is absolutely critical during this time.
BURNETT: So according to the American Public Media Research Lab, black Americans are 12 percent of the U.S. population, just over, but have suffered nearly a quarter of known coronavirus deaths, and I want to emphasize known, known coronavirus deaths, 24 percent.
So you recently wrote an essay and you were talking about racism, and how it has contributed to a disparity in health between black Americans and white Americans, and I just wanted to quote part of what you said, Dr. Burke Harris.
You said: The images of protesters wearing face masks in the street carrying signs saying Black Lives Matter pose a stark juxtaposition, against our feckless efforts to curb the sickness of racism that has infected America since its birth, and those images it's a reminder that is disproportionate death rate of black and brown people from COVID-19 is no coincidence, it's directly related to the history of racial oppression in our nation.
Those are powerful words and now that you see this playing out, do you have confidence that this moment will be a moment that causes that to change or not?
BURKE HARRIS: I have -- I certainly have a lot of hope, and honestly, it's a big part of the reason why I get out of bed every day, because this is a time for change. When I say that it's no coincidence, what I'm referring to is the fact that the science shows that experiences of trauma and adversity, the day-to-day experiences of racist injustice that black Americans experience every day has a direct biological effect on our bodies.
It affects your immune system. It affects your cardiovascular system. It affects the brain development and hormonal systems in a biological process that is now known as the toxic stress response.
That over and above what we already recognize in terms of the impacts of structural inequities that came about as a result of 20 generations of racist policy. And so when we see that that is literally leading to the deaths of black and brown Americans, I personally am outraged. I think we all should be outraged.
And it's time for us to make really concrete efforts, right, so really direct and significant efforts to change the structural inequities, but also to combat and dismantle racist policies and practices that have been part of American culture for far too long.
BURNETT: All right. Well, I really appreciate your time. Dr. Burke Harris, thank you so much.
BURKE HARRIS: Thank you. It's a pleasure to join you today.
BOLDUAN: OUTFRONT for us next, a prominent Republican taking President Trump to task and doing so publicly. Why hasn't Trump retaliated?
And not allowed in. Americans denied entry to Italy because of coronavirus infections in the U.S.
BURNETT: Tonight, it's rare for Republicans on Capitol Hill to speak out against President Trump. But one notable member of the president's party isn't keeping quiet.
Sunlen Serfaty is OUTFRONT.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Representative Liz Cheney, thanks, Liz.
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With her own style, Congresswoman Liz Cheney --
REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): I believe that the American people deserve to know what agreement has been entered into in our name.
SERFATY: -- is becoming more outspoken and emboldened, splitting with and speaking out against President Trump on a series of issues, a rare move by a senior member of the Republican leadership.
Just look at her Twitter feed. This week, she demanded to know why the president didn't know about reports about potential Russian bounties on U.S. troops.
Last week, this provocative tweet featured her father. She didn't mention Trump by name, but didn't need to. Real men wear masks, she wrote, indirectly hitting Trump who had, at that point, been unwilling to endorse wearing a mask.
In tweet after tweet, Cheney has used the president's favorite forum to push back on him, calling Trump's plans to remove U.S. troops from Germany dangerously misguided, shooting down Trump's idea to have Taliban leaders at Camp David for peace talks, saying no member of the Taliban should set foot there, ever.
When Trump claimed he had total authority to lift restrictions governors had imposed in their states during the coronavirus lockdown --
TRUMP: When somebody's the president of the United States, the authority is total and that's the way it's got to be.
SERFATY: Cheney rebutted.
When Trump called for the economy to reopen --
TRUMP: I would love to have the country opened up, and just raring to go by Easter.
SERFATY: She came out against it, saying, there will be no normally functioning economy, if hospitals are overwhelmed and thousands die.
When Trump was attacking witnesses who testified in his impeachment hearing, she defended them.
CHENEY: I think that we need to show that we are better than that, as a nation.
SERFATY: Sometimes, she's even gone out of her way to distance herself from Trump's rhetoric. On Capitol Hill last month, without even being asked, she chastised Trump's unsubstantiated claims, suggesting that former Congressman Joe Scarborough murdered a former congressional aide.
I do think the president should stop tweeting about Joe Scarborough. We're in the middle of a pandemic, she said. He's the commander-in- chief of this nation.
But unlike other Republicans who have spoken out against Trump --
TRUMP: But, you know, the Republicans stuck together, except Romney, of course. Lowlife. Lowlife.
SERFATY: -- Cheney, so far, has been immune to a counterpunch from President Trump.
TRUMP: Well, some of the -- one of the great ones. One of our really good friends. Liz, go ahead.
CHENEY: Thank you very much, Mr. President. I appreciate that.
SERFATY: Many Republicans on Capitol Hill believe this is largely because of her name recognition. She is an outsized independence based on national support.
CHENEY: We are absolutely unified as a conference, unified behind the president.
SERFATY: And that, despite her ramped up rhetoric, she's still there when the president needs her.
CHENEY: We know we're going to get the president reelected.
SERFATY: And Republican sources tell me they believe that this is her play to carve out a new lane for herself, to position herself well, in case President Trump does not win re-election, to potentially rise to House minority leader, or potentially, even speaker of the House -- Kate.
BOLDUAN: Sunlen, thank you.
OUTFRONT next. Italy refuses entry to a group of Americans because of the coronavirus crisis, here, at home.
BOLDUAN: Americans denied entry to Italy, even after they landed on Italian soil.
And as Scott McLean reports, that's not the only problem for American travelers right now.
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kate, travelers from 59 countries will soon be allowed to come to England without the mandatory two-week quarantine requirement that is currently in place. The list includes countries like Spain, Italy, and France, all of which were once coronavirus hot zones.
Noticeably absent, the United States. British transport secretary pointed out that the U.S. was quick to bar U.K. travelers from entering early on in the pandemic. And, of course, the U.K. has a sky- high infection rate that is showing no signs of slowing down. Now, that news comes as a private jet carrying five Americans was
turned away after landing in Italy. The jet flew directly from Colorado to the Mediterranean island of Sardinia.
Now, Italian authorities said that they tried to, quote, find a solution for the American travelers, but tut there was no way around the new E.U. rules, which allow travelers from more than a dozen countries but not the U.S.
That plane, instead, departed for the U.K. where, of course, everyone on board will have to quarantine for two weeks -- Kate.
BOLDUAN: Scott, thank you so much.
And thank you so much for joining us, guys.
"AC360" starts now.