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EARLY START

Dire New Warnings as Coronavirus Cases Spike After Muted Holiday; Scientists: Coronavirus Can Float Through the Air; Goldman Sachs Cuts Growth Forecast. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired July 6, 2020 - 05:00   ET

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


[05:00:00]

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LINA HIDALGO, HARRIS COUNTY, TEXAS: What we're seeing is that wishful thinking is neither good economic policy nor good public health policy.

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LAURA JARRETT, CO-ANCHOR, EARLY START: Local officials with dire warnings as they struggle to block the record surge of coronavirus. The list of victims now includes a Broadway star after a three-month battle.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CO-ANCHOR, EARLY START: And gun violence mars the holiday weekend in cities nationwide. Several children dead by gun violence across the country. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world, this is EARLY START, I'm Christine Romans.

JARRETT: And I'm Laura Jarrett, it's Monday, July 6th, 5:00 a.m. here in New York. We begin this week with the U.S. facing a bad situation. Americans are left to hope it does not get worse. Many celebrations of this 4th of July were muted. But that didn't stop some from packing beaches, parks and pools without a lot of distance. Even in the Ozarks, remember those scenes from Memorial Day, well, it seems lessons there hadn't been learned.

Overnight, Florida hit a new all-time record for the highest case -- California, I should say hit a highest case count for a single day, almost 12,000.

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(SINGING)

NICK CORDERO, LATE SINGER: Yes, this swine could be one of the great ones.

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ROMANS: One of COVID-19's latest victims was known to millions. Tony- nominated Broadway actor Nick Cordero died after a three-month battle with the coronavirus. He was just 41 years old. His wife Amanda Kloots says God has another angel in heaven now. Cordero also leaves behind a 1-year-old son.

JARRETT: Nationally, the moving average of new cases has grown for 27-straight days. New cases are up 85 percent in the last two weeks alone. Florida surpassed 200,000 total cases on Sunday, doubling in less than two weeks. The state reported its highest single day total on July 4th. A national record that stood for exactly one day.

And CNN has learned the state often fails to do contact-tracing, a key tool for containing an outbreak. Local officials blame the lack of national leadership.

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MAYOR DAN GELBER, MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA: How do you tell somebody they have to wear a mask and be socially distanced when the president doesn't, and hosts a rally where they're almost celebrating the lack of those simple counter measures? So, really we're not on the same page. There's not unity in the -- in our community or any community right now. And I really feel like that's the greatest challenge.

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ROMANS: In Texas, the hospitals are in Serious trouble. The ICU at Texas Medical Center in Houston is at 98 percent capacity. The hospital projects it will officially reach unsustainable levels next week. In Starr and Hidalgo Counties, officials are urging residents to shelter in place.

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HIDALGO: At this point our hospitals here in Harris County, Houston, and 33 other cities, they are crossing, they're into surge capacities. What we're seeing is that wishful thinking is neither good economic policy nor good public health policy. As long as we're doing as little as possible and hoping for the best, we're always going to be chasing this thing.

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JARRETT: Hospitalizations in Arizona are also near crisis levels. The state's percentage of positive tests, that true marker of the virus' prevalence, steadily increased over the last month, climbing above 20 percent every day for the last two weeks.

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MAYOR KATE GALLEGO, PHOENIX, ARIZONA: We opened way too early in Arizona. We were one of the last states to go to stay-at-home and one of the first to re-emerge, and we re-emerged at 0 to 60.

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ROMANS: Thirty two states are still headed in the wrong direction. One of those states, Georgia, was among the first to reopen. Now Georgia Tech is saying, it will not require students to wear masks on campus and professors are not happy. More than 800 faculty members have signed a letter saying the plan ignores scientific consensus. The plan puts lives at risk. Any plan to reopen college campuses will of course require a full complement of healthy older professors.

JARRETT: Well, coronavirus can float through the air, and 239 scientists from around the world say it's likely the virus is being transmitted that way. They're publishing an open letter to the World Health Organization and other health agencies, asking them to be more forthright and transparent with the public about how this virus spreads. If they're right about airborne transmission, that would mean major changes are needed in an effort to contain the virus.

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ROMANS: All right, this resurgence is causing a lot of consternation among economists. And Goldman Sachs now have lowered its growth forecast for the third quarter, citing the dramatic resurgence of coronavirus cases. The bank had expected GDP growth to rebound by 33 percent by the end of September. Now, it sees a 25 percent rebound, it still expects GDP to crash 39 percent in the second quarter before that rebound, that rebound that it is now trimming.

And Goldman says its revision reflects what it thinks will be a pause in consumer services sectors in July and August. We'll see how much damage the pandemic actually caused in the economy in the second quarter when the government releases that GDP report on July 30th.

JARRETT: Well, President Trump is planning to hold a campaign rally on Saturday in New Hampshire, one of the few states reporting a decline in coronavirus cases. The event will be held at an airplane hangar at the Portsmouth International Airport. The campaign says facemasks are strongly encouraged and everyone will be given one. Some of the crowd will be inside the hanger though. You'll remember following a poorly attended Trump rally in Tulsa last month, multiple staffers and Secret Service agents tested positive for the virus.

ROMANS: President Trump kept trying to downplay the significance of coronavirus at his 4th of July celebration.

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DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Now we have tested almost 40 million people. By so doing, we show cases, 99 percent of which are totally harmless.

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ROMANS: No, how exactly he arrived at that claim of 99 percent, unclear. But look at your screen, almost 130,000 people have died, this virus is surging. This is not harmless.

JARRETT: The mortality rate no doubt is in flux. There's just a lot we don't know. But what we do know is even if the virus is harmless to some, asymptomatic spreads means you could be harming others without knowing it. The president's own health experts don't back him up on some of these facts, but at times, he also won't give a straight answer leaving Americans searching for concrete guidance. CNN's Jeremy Diamond is at the White House for us.

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christine and Laura, that claim by the president that 99 percent of coronavirus cases are totally harmless, defying reality. And it also goes against what every major public health expert is saying right now which is trying to get Americans to take this virus more seriously as we are seeing surging numbers of cases across the country.

Now the World Health Organization estimates that the mortality rate for this virus is less than 1 percent, but that doesn't mean it's harmless. The World Health Organization also believes that about 20 percent of individuals diagnosed with this virus require oxygen or some form of hospitalization. Now as the president is making these claims and trying to downplay the virus, that puts his own public health experts in a tricky position.

Listen to how Dr. Steven Hahn; the FDA Commissioner and a member of the coronavirus taskforce responded when our colleague, Dana Bash asked him about the president's claim.

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STEVEN HAHN, COMMISSIONER, FDA: So, I'm not going to get into who's right and who's wrong. What I'm going to say, Dana, is what I've said before. Which is that it's a serious problem that we have. We've seen the surge in cases. We must do something to stem the tide, and we have this in our power to do it by following the guidance from the White House taskforce and the CDC.

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DIAMOND: Now, as you can see there, Dr. Hahn trying to avoid directly contradicting the president while at the same time underscoring that this is a very serious situation. And that has been the delicate dance that many of the president's public health experts have had to do as the president tries repeatedly to downplay this increasing threat of this coronavirus pandemic. Christine, Laura?

ROMANS: All right, Jeremy, thank you so much for that. Deadly violence in several big cities over the July 4th weekend with children paying the price. Four killed and at least 20 injured in Atlanta. An 8-year-old girl was shot Saturday night while riding in a vehicle with her mother. The city's mayor says after protests against police, communities also have to look within.

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MAYOR KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS, ATLANTA, GEORGIA: We've talked a lot about what we are demanding from our officers and our communities. We've protested. We've demonstrated. We've been angry. We've cried. We've demanded action. Because these aren't police officers shooting people on the streets of Atlanta. These are members of the community shooting each other. And in this case, it is the worst possible outcome.

And there were two other people who were actually shot and killed last night and several others. Enough is enough.

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JARRETT: And a bloody holiday weekend in Chicago. Seventy five people shot, 14 fatally, including a 7-year-old girl who was shot in the head while at a party at her grandmother's house. It's the third weekend in a row a child has been killed in Chicago.

[05:10:00]

Mayor Lori Lightfoot spoke with CNN's Omar Jimenez about the spike in violence.

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MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS: The ecosystem of public safety that isn't just law enforcement, but is local community based, they, too, have really been hit hard by COVID, and are now just kind of coming back online and getting their footing.

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ROMANS: In Washington D.C., another child lost, 11-year-old Davon McNeal shot in the head and killed at an anti-violence cookout when he was caught in the crossfire. Another young life lost, eight-year-old Royta De'Marco Giles shot and killed at an Alabama mall. And CNN has just learned San Francisco police are looking for information about the shooting death of a six-year-old boy on Saturday.

In New York City, at least 44 shootings and more than 60 victims over the July 4th weekend. And in South Carolina, two people killed and eight other injured -- eight others injured in a shooting at a Greenville club. It's awful.

JARRETT: It's really tough out there. All right, the world's second most populous country trying to slow coronavirus with a field hospital. More than 20 football fields long. CNN takes you inside.

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ROMANS: The world's second most populous nation, India seeing a big spike in coronavirus. Delhi's hospitals are struggling now to cope. The country is now fighting the virus with one of the largest field hospitals on earth. CNN's Vedika Sud takes you inside.

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VEDIKA SUD, CNN FIELD PRODUCER (voice-over): Hundreds of columns of bio-degradable cardboard beds topped with mattresses and pillows set up at a socially safe distance from each other with chairs by the bedside. That's what officials claim is the biggest COVID care center in the world. Located in India's capital, this facility is the size of 22 football fields.

Delhi has been witnessing an exponential rise in COVID-19 cases. With the Delhi government predicting over half a million infections within the next 60 days, preparations are on a war footing to complete the ambitious project of 10,000 beds.

DEEPAK TEMPE, MEMBER OF ADVISORY COMMITTEES, DELHI GOVERNMENT: If the number of total cases, positive cases go up, then there's a large population who will be requiring COVID care center and health centers. So it is to address these beds that this particular center is going to be of immense benefit.

SUD: From manual cleaning of the ground to covering the ardent floors with carpets, installing 18,000 tons of air conditioning and preparing 800 washrooms, at least 1,500 people including volunteers have been working tirelessly to meet the deadline. The facility will then be handed over to paramilitary forces.

(on camera): At a time when Delhi's healthcare system is already over-burdened, a hospital of this magnitude with 10,000 beds would need a huge workforce of medical staff and security.

BM MISHRA, DISTRICT MAGISTRATE, SOUTH DELHI: Each cubical will be managed by the personnel in a ratio of one is to five. One medic -- one doctor and five staff nurses, medics and other people. So, in that sense, they need to only look after that particular 100-bed or 110-bed facility. They need not to worry about the whole 10,000.

SUD: Once smaller COVID facilities are being prepared to counter rising COVID-19 cases, over 500 old railway coaches have been converted into isolation centers. These coaches will help increase Delhi's capacity by 8,000 beds. The dinami(ph) and its medics have been grouped into operating isolation centers, housing patients with mild symptoms.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our priority is that patients get the right treatment, good facilities and proper food. Doctors should attend to them properly, says Rajesh Tiwari; general manager of Northern Indian Railways.

SUD: While the Delhi government scrambles at already marked-over facilities, its chief minister claims the situation, at least for now, is under control. But the real tests will be in the coming weeks when Delhi's healthcare system will be put under enormous strain amid the predicted onslaught of cases. Vedika Sud, CNN, New Delhi.

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JARRETT: Vedika, thank you so much for that. Well, Academy Award- winning film composer Ennio Morricone has died.

That's the Oscar-winning score for Quentin Tarantino's "The Hateful 8". The Italian composer scored more than 500 films. He's best known for his work on Sergio Leone's "Spaghetti Western", most notably, "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly". Morricone died in Rome following complications from a fall last week. He was 91 years old. ROMANS: All right, just about 19 minutes past the hour. Not one, but two major sports franchises look like they're on the verge of changing their names. "THE BLEACHER REPORT" is next.

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ROMANS: All right, so after 105 years of the Cleveland Indians, they're going to change their name. Their manager says it's time. Andy Scholes has more in this morning's "BLEACHER REPORT", hey Andy.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS REPORTER: Yes, good morning, Christine. You know, like the Redskins in the NFL, the Indians' mascot name has been controversial for years. And yesterday, the team's manager Terry Francona says, you know, he thinks it's come time for the team to think about changing the name.

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TERRY FRANCONA, MANAGER, CLEVELAND INDIANS: I know that we're never trying to be disrespectful, and I still feel that way. But I don't think that's a good enough answer today. I think it's time to move forward. I'm glad that we're going to be open to listening because I think that's probably the most important thing right now is being willing to listen, not necessarily just talk.

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SCHOLES: Yes, and the team said in a statement Friday, they are committed to engaging our community and appropriate stakeholders to determine the best path forward with regard to our team name. Now, two years ago, the Indians made a notable change by removing Chief Wahoo as its logo. It had long been criticized as offensive to native Americans. All right, and coronavirus continues to hamper teams across the country as they prepare to return to action.

[05:25:00]

The Milwaukee Bucks confirming their facility was shut down yesterday after receiving positive results from a recent round of COVID-19 tests. It's going to remain shut down until they leave for Orlando on Thursday. Multiple reports also say the Sacramento Kings facility was shut down as well. They're set to leave for Orlando, Wednesday. Six teams have now had to shut down their practice facilities before heading to the NBA Bubble.

Now, this comes as four Major League Baseball teams, the Nationals, Cardinals, Pirates and White Sox reported new COVID-19 cases yesterday. Multiple reports say Major League Baseball is planning to release its regular season's schedule later on today. All right, Yankee's pitcher Masihiro Tanaka meanwhile back at practice after a frightening moment on Saturday.

Jim Carlos stand, hitting a line-drive right off Tanaka's head. Tanaka laid on the ground for several minutes. He was eventually able to walk off with some help. Doctors said it was only a mild concussion which is pretty amazing since teammate James Paxton said the ball often -- Carlos stands back at an exit velocity of 112 miles per hour. All right, finally, a scary moment for a pit crew member during yesterday's NASCAR race at Indianapolis.

Zachary Price, a tire changer for driver Ryan Blaney got hit up between two cars on a pile up in pit road early in the race. They did give a thumbs up as he was being taken away on a stretcher. Price was taken to the hospital, since has been discharged, but, man, Laura, scary, the last two stories, back-to-back scary moments that both turned out OK, both could obviously have had much different outcomes. Good to see both of those guys doing well.

JARRETT: Yes, absolutely. I was glad to see him give that thumbs up, and definitely glad that they're both OK. All right --

SCHOLES: Yes --

JARRETT: Andy, good to see you as always. The human toll of coronavirus is growing. Overnight, a Broadway star known to millions lost his battle to COVID-19. It's a constant struggle to get the pandemic under control, and seems like this will not help. Is the U.S. in for another big spike after another big beach holiday?

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