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CNN NEWSROOM

Florida Governor Takes Heat Over Explosion In Cases, Hospitalizations; Brazil's President Tests Positive For Coronavirus; Arizona Dealing With Major Gaps In Testing As Cases Spike; U.S. Military Deploying Medical Personnel To Texas As Cases Soar; Dr. Pritesh Gandhi, (D), Texas Congressional Candidate, Discusses Military Being Deployed To Texas As Cases Soar; CNN Obtains Copy Of Book Written By Trump's Niece, Mary. Aired 1:30-2p ET

Aired July 7, 2020 - 13:30   ET

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


[13:30:00]

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: Superintendent, if you can -- this is something I know that administrators everywhere trying to figure out. But how do you make that work when you have parents who are going back to work or you have teachers with children who have -- they can't be in class every day, right? They have childcare considerations.

I think of the teachers with small kids and need childcare. They're the ones probably in the healthier age range --

ALBERTO CARVALHO, SUPERINTENDENT, MIAMI-DADE COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Right.

KEILAR: -- that you want back at school. And you have older teachers, right? But if they're in the late '50s, '60s, that's tough for them. They're in a more vulnerable category.

How do you make this work with all of those factors?

CARVALHO: So the solutions require a level of logistics whose complexity is really enormous. That's why, for weeks, we have been surveying our parents. We have surveyed our teachers.

We will be surveying -- we are in the process of resurveying parents for additional information and communicating to all of our workforce to understand clearly the underlying conditions that any member of our workforce may face, impediments and challenges.

And then the difficult task of actually matching those who probably are better working from home because of circumstances they face with cohorts of students whose parents opted for them to stay home, as well.

Right now, by the way, the percentages are fairly comparable. About- thirds of parents would like the children to return to school. About one-third would rather keep their children home.

About 70 percent of the teachers surveyed said that they would rather at least, understanding that the conditions would be safe enough to be able to teach their children at school or through a combination of modeling, while one quarter of the teachers declared some degree of an underlying health concern, specific to age or a real health ailment.

So that's where we are right now is that match-making process, which is a tremendous undertaking.

And I can tell you one thing. We, in Miami-Dade, I shot down schools in Miami-Dade prior to the executive order statewide of shutting down schools in Miami because we were relying on health information that told us it was the right thing to do.

I will not reopen our school system August 24th if the conditions are what they are today. Our reopening plan contemplates a phase-two reality. We are still in phase one, a phase one that has degraded since -- over the past few weeks.

KEILAR: Dr. Gounder, so you hear that amazing feat of logistics.

I can't wait to see the flowchart you come up with, Superintendent, to make this work, not to mention the fact that we'll then see people getting sick and that will be readjusted constantly.

But my question, Dr. Gounder, when you consider how abysmal contact tracing is in Florida. And the governor is not dealing with the reality of that. He is saying that young people are not cooperating with tracing. That's awful. But he also said people are asymptomatic and can't be traced. That they be true.

But we know that people that tested positive for coronavirus, the vast majority of them, have not been contacted by tracers.

DR. CELINE GOUNDER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: That is a problem. And when we do contact tracing, it is not just about identifying the individuals in those chains of transmission but identifying places that are very high risk for transmission. So that might be clubs, that might be parties, that might be weddings. You know?

And to understand what those places are is really key because, to then say we are going to shut down bars, it's very difficult to convince the public of a need for a measure like that without the data.

So that's another critical reason that that contact tracing needs to be happening right now.

KEILAR: What do you do, Dr. Gounder, about the young people problem? Right? I think everyone is seeing this anecdotally in their own community that young people, I think they feel like they are safer, certainly in a safer category.

But they feel like, if they just kind of stick to hanging out with friends and keep it all in the rather safe category, but it doesn't always work that way.

What is the solution because we didn't hear one from the governor, and maybe he is stumped, but what's the solution there? GOUNDER: I think some of us who have been on the front lines, like

myself, has seen young people -- in fact, I just wrapped up a two-week stent at Bellevue. I had a 25-year-old patient in the ICU, first hospitalized back in March, and was still in the hospital just a week ago.

So I think part of what we need to be doing is sharing the stories and saying, yes, this does actually happen.

And while younger people are at relatively lower risk, if you have obesity, if you have high blood pressure, and then probably the other thing that is we just don't know about yet, because we are still learning so much, you may be at risk.

[13:35:12]

So it's still sort of playing Russian roulette with your life in this situation where when we can't tell you for sure you won't have severe disease if you're infected.

KEILAR: I want to bring in Rosa Flores from Miami for us.

Rosa, you were inside the briefing I believe, right? You certainly listened to the briefing. Tell us what stood out to you.

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, it was a very heated briefing. Myself and a lot of the journalists were trying to get answers from the governor on various topics. We didn't get through all of our questions before the governor left the press conference.

We were pressing him on, first of all, contact tracers. Experts have told us how important it is to stop the spread for them to be able to contact trace. And there appears to be a misunderstanding or he was dodging the question.

But here's the thing. Miami-Dade County told us that only Florida, only the Florida Department of Health could contact trace.

And the governor and the mayor were sitting right next to each other. And so I was really pressing them on, why does the state not allow the mayor's office, the county of Miami-Dade, to hire contact tracers during a pandemic. And we walked out of that press conference, I kept on pressing the governor. He would not give us an answer.

At the end of the press conference, I went to the mayor, here from Miami-Dade County, and said, Mayor, as you walk out of this press conference, is your understanding that you can hire contact tracers? And he said, no.

What he said, Brianna, was that the governor said is that the state is investing $138 million at the state level and he hope that that trickles down here to Miami-Dade County, the epicenter of the COVID-19 crisis in the state of Florida -- Brianna?

KEILAR: I couldn't see you, Rosa, but I could hear you and I thought that was you asking those questions. And it was frustrating to listen to you not get your answers. But kind of trying to plug a dam that's already broken. We're keeping an eye on Florida as you are.

Rosa, thank you.

Thank you, Elizabeth.

Thank you, Dr. Gounder.

A new crisis is emerging. Test results across American are taking longer and longer. We'll talk about why that is.

Plus, downplayed the virus as a little flu and deliberately flouted social distancing advice, but the president of Brazil tests positive for coronavirus.

And a new study shows that immunity is waning in those that recovered from the virus. Very alarming.

This is CNN special live coverage.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[13:41:58]

KEILAR: Breaking news now. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro announced he's tested positive for coronavirus. Bolsonaro has repeatedly downplayed the impact of the virus. He openly disregarded guidelines for masks and social distancing and vetoed laws to improve public safety. All of this while Brazil suffered one of the world's worst outbreaks.

CNN Correspondent, Bill Weir, is in Sao Paulo.

Tell us about Bolsonaro's response here to getting a positive result on his test.

BILL WEIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, those who are hoping maybe for a changed man, a humbled man having tasted, did not see that. The press conference really was a chance to double down on two things that he has been sort of pushing. which is opening the economy because people under 40 are not that at risk.

And Hydroxychloroquine is the remedy and should be available for everyone in Brazil. This is the malarial drug pushed by Donald Trump some weeks back and then stockpiled here in Brazil by President Bolsonaro, who thinks it should be given early on and allow people to go to work.

There's a lot of folks in the medical profession who see a lot of problems with that.

Both the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration in the United States, the World Health Organization have all backed away from this Hydroxychloroquine because not only does it not help save lives for COVID patients, it can also cause heart problems. So that's a really controversial thing. And it seems that he is going to turn this moment into a commercial for policy items. But we'll see what the virus does. He is over 65 and we'll see what happens.

KEILAR: Tell us where you are right now, Bill.

WEIR: I am actually in the Vila Formosa Cemetery, the largest in Latin America. These are fresh graves. They have dug about 8,000 in anticipation of the wave of people coming in.

I talked to a gravedigger of 25 years, who said, I have never seen anything like this. They come so fast that families are limited to a 10-minute memorial service.

KEILAR: Bill, thank you so much for your report from Sao Paulo.

The number of coronavirus cases in Arizona continuing to skyrocket, now passing the 100,000 mark. Cases in that state are now climbing faster per capita than any other state.

CNN's Evan McMorris-Santoro with more on how it's pushing hospital capacity in Arizona to the breaking point.

EVAN MCMORRIS-SANTORO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, new numbers out this morning from the state show a record number of daily coronavirus- related deaths and a record number of ICU beds in use, 117 dead announced today. Only 167 beds in the ICU left in all of Arizona.

[13:45:00]

This state passed a grim milestone this week with more than 100,000 cases of coronavirus since this pandemic began. And as things stand right now, on average, per capita, Arizona has the most new cases of coronavirus of any state.

Local officials are begging for federal support to assist in testing and other things to help them mitigate a pandemic they worry is growing out of control -- Brianna?

KEILAR: Evan, thank you.

In Texas, the spread of coronavirus has gotten so bad, the military is being called in to help. and here's why. The state has hit a grim milestone with the number of cases surging above the 200,000 mark, just two and a half weeks after Texas crossed the 100,000 mark.

This uptick in cases is putting an unprecedented strain on hospitals nearing capacity. A doctor tells CNN he has worked 112 days straight since his hospital's COVID unit opened.

CNN National Correspondent, Ed Lavandera, is in San Antonio where military personnel are deploying.

And, Ed, what do we know about the size and scope of the efforts there? ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Brianna. About 50 medical

personnel, which includes critical care nurses and respiratory specialists, will be flown in from Fort Carson in Colorado here into the Texas area in San Antonio specifically to help out many of the hospitals overwhelmed by all of the cases of coronavirus that are exploding here in this state.

If you look at San Antonio, which is in Bexar County, with about 15,000 total coronavirus cases, more than 3,000 of those have been added in just the last week. That's a 25 percent increase.

Medical and local health officials here sounding the alarm about the stress that that is putting on hospitals like University Hospital here behind me. We are told by hospital officials here that they will be receiving 10 of those military personnel here at this particular hospital to help the overwhelmed staff. They have about 160 coronavirus patients here right now.

But this is a region of the state that's already been tapping into resources that are being flown into the area with other nurses and respiratory specialists to help out the already overwhelmed staffs -- Brianna?

KEILAR: Ed, thank you. Ed Lavandera, live for us from San Antonio.

I want to discuss this all now with Dr. Pritesh Gandhi. He works in primary care internal medicine in Austin. He's also a Democratic congressional candidate for Texas' 10th district.

It took nearly four months, Doctor, for Texas to hit this 100,000-case mark but then it only took two weeks after that for the milestone of 200,000. Tell us why the rise so quickly.

DR. PRITESH GANDHI, (D), TEXAS CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: Right. And on top of that, just in the last two weeks, the number of hospitalized Texans have doubled. I'm deeply concerned.

And a couple of things at play here. First off, we have a record number of folks that just aren't heeding the advice. When we look at what happened over the last weekend, photo after photo of people out at restaurants and out enjoying themselves, and that's tough. A tough situation for health care workers desperately trying to plug the dam.

And then, of course, the other challenge is that we just haven't implemented basic public health fundamentals from the get-go. And we can talk about that more in a bit.

But if we don't have a strategy to implement contact tracing and to expand our testing and to improve our turn-around time, this will get worse.

KEILAR: And so, you know, to borrow that dam analogy, it almost seems like they knew. And this isn't just Texas. This is all over that the dam was breaking. And the people in the wake not tracked down to be told to evacuate and haven' contacted. A professor said cases are rising so rapidly we can't do contact

tracing anymore. Is it pointless at this moment and is there anything that can be done?

GANDHI: It isn't pointless but we are going to have a gut check here. Right? This is no instant gratification to come. There's no app, no innovation. We like to innovate our way out of problems and there's no technology.

This is going to take the governor saying, you know what, we need to triple the number of contact tracers effective today by executive order. Put out job offers to 5,000 Texans currently unemployed and, through pen, paper and spreadsheet, we will get to work.

That sounds silly and naive but the reality is that we've got to do these basic things. And I do think it's possible. I don't think that it's too late to do contact tracing. But you got to put money behind it. You have to put time in. And you have to, more than anything else, realize this is a problem.

[13:50:17]

When you have people like Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick saying Dr. Fauci doesn't know what he's talking about, it makes it hard to believe that the administration here in Texas is taking science seriously.

KEILAR: Dr. Gandhi, thank you for joining us from Austin.

Just in, CNN has obtained a copy of Mary Trump's book in which she levels scathing criticism at her uncle, including the accusation that he paid someone to take his SATs.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KEILAR: The highly anticipated tell-all book from President Trump's niece, Mary Trump, is set to hit bookshelves on July 14, two weeks ahead of schedule. It's entitled "Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the Most Dangerous Man."

[13:55:12]

The Trump family sued to stop the publication. And now CNN has obtained a copy of the book.

CNN Political Correspondent, Sara Murray, has been reading furiously for us.

Sara, tell us what stood out to you.

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Oh, Brianna, if you want a portrait into family dysfunction, Mary Trump is serving it up for you, as well as just so much scathing criticism of President Trump, who is, of course, her uncle.

You know, she essentially says in this book that Donald Trump is a sociopath. She walks through the very fraught relationship that all the Trump kids, Donald Trump and the man who was her father, the late Fred Trump Jr, had with the patriarch of the family, Fred Trump, and how that's led to this messed up relationship among the family.

And also essentially says that this is why Donald Trump, the president, is the person he is today.

Here is one quote from the book. She says, "At a very deep level, his bragging and false bravado are not directed at the audience in front of him, but at his audience of one, his long-dead father."

She is a licensed clinical psychologist. She brings a lot of that perspective into the book as well as her role as a family member.

But there are all kinds of damning allegations against President Trump. Throughout the course of his life, including this very bizarre anecdote as Donald Trump as a student paying another student to take the SATs for him, because he had it in his head he wanted to get in eventually to the University of Pennsylvania, but he knew he wasn't going to have the grades to do it.

Examples like this are dotted throughout the book as she paints Donald Trump as someone who was a liar, a cheater, who took this idea that cruelty is the point to the next level.

And she says she wrote the book because Donald Trump ruined her father's life and she is now watching as he ruins the country.

There's a reason I'm out here talking about this book and not Mary Trump. It's what you were talking about, there's a lawsuit to try to block the publication of this book. Ultimately, the publisher was allowed to move forward, which is how we've seen these copies, but there's still a temporary restraining order against Mary Trump.

KEILAR: You covered the president and candidate Trump for so long, Sara, extensively. I wonder, as certainly we know these allegations will pierce his armor. How do you think he will respond or see this?

MURRAY: It's clear that he did not want this book to get out. He has made this very clear publicly.

It's notable that the person who sued to block the release of this book was Robert Trump, Donald Trump's brother, using an attorney that often represents President Trump.

So, you know, this is the kind of stuff that Donald Trump doesn't want to see. He doesn't want to see anyone in his family out there talking negatively about him. We've heard very little about the Trump family in general. This is a really a remarkable book from that point of view, to get into the inner workings and the dirty laundry, really, of the Trump family.

There's another quote I want to read you from this book. Mary Trump writes, "By the time this book is published, hundreds of thousands of American lives will have been sacrificed on the altar of Donald's hubris and willful ignorance. If he is afforded to a second term, it would be the end of American democracy."

These things get to the president, Brianna. That's why we've seen his family members try to block this book, the same reason we see President Trump trying to unsuccessfully block John Bolton's book. He does not like it when these tell-alls come to light.

KEILAR: No, he doesn't.

Sara, thank you very much for bringing that to us. Sara Murray.

MURRAY: Sure.

KEILAR: Hello. I'm Brianna Keilar. I want to welcome viewers in the United States and around the world.

Yet another is passing without a coordinated national plan to deal with the pandemic. As the calls from doctor after doctor grow more urgent, the crisis is getting worse.

Now the World Health Organization says worldwide coronavirus cases are, quote, "accelerating," with about 200,000 new global cases a day. That's twice the rate that we saw this spring.

A CNN analysis shows how the crisis is deepening in the U.S. There are 31 states experiencing a rise in infections.

Arizona just reported its highest numbers of deaths in a single day and its lowest number of available ICU beds.

And in Florida, cases are surging. Hospital bed availability is shrinking as well.

Moments ago, the governor revealed this detail.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): In a place like Jackson, where they have folks come in for things totally unrelated to COVID, they get into a car accident, they have heart problems, everybody who is coming in is getting swabbed and they're getting tested for COVID.

[13:59:55]

I think the rate you guys are seeing, 30 percent to 40 percent, are testing positive. They're asymptomatic. They're kind of incidental COVID positives in the hospital. They would not need to be hospitalized for COVID absent the other conditions.

(END VIDEO CLIP)