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Trump's Niece Set to Release Tell-All Book; Trump Demands Schools Reopen; President of Brazil Tests Positive for COVID-19. Aired 3-3:30p ET
Aired July 7, 2020 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: Hi there. I'm Brooke Baldwin. You're watching CNN. Thank you so much for being with me today.
Cases of COVID-19 re accelerating worldwide. That is according to the World Health Organization, which says about 200,000 new cases are reported each and every day.
Here in the United States, the latest daily tally is just under 45,000, with only four states -- let me say that again -- four showing declines in new infections.
Dr. Deborah Birx with the Coronavirus Task Force telling governors on a call today that they are worried about an uptick in cases in Louisiana, North Carolina, Nevada, and Tennessee, Arizona reporting its highest number of deaths in a single day, while seven states posted record hospitalizations.
One expert working on a vaccine tells CNN that the spread is happening so fast that contact tracing is likely no longer possible across the South and the Southwest.
You can see here that the South is outpacing all other regions in the U.S. by a huge margin. But, despite all of that, the Trump administration officially today informed Congress that the U.S. is pulling out of the World Health Organization, making good on the threat the president made back in May.
And the White House is also moving forward with a goal of reopening schools, even as cases surge. The president, Vice President Pence and others are set to participate in a roundtable discussion this hour.
But Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who, by the way, announced she had tested positive for COVID-19, says, not so fast.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS (D), MAYOR OF ATLANTA, GEORGIA: With the way our numbers are going up, I don't know how it could possibly be safe to send kids back into school, for the sake of our teachers.
The kids may be OK, but our teachers certainly will be at risk.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: So let's start in Florida this afternoon, a state seeing one of the worst outbreaks in the country right now.
Today, Florida reported another 7,300 new positive coronavirus cases. But that's not all. Hospitalizations are also surging. Many of the state's intensive care units are reaching capacity.
Yet, in spite of all of that, today, the state ordered schools to reopen for in-person classes next month.
CNN's Rosa Flores is outside Panamerican Hospital in Miami.
And so, Rosa, what are state officials saying, as we see all of this?
ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, I was just at a very heated press conference with Governor Ron DeSantis, where reporters were asking very tough questions, and the governor was dodging them, first of all, on contact tracing.
Brooke, we all know this. We are in the middle of a pandemic, and yet, here in the state of Florida, only Florida the Department of Health can contact trace. And Miami-Dade County, the epicenter of this crisis, accounting for 24 percent of the more than 200,000 cases, is not allowed to contact trace.
So I asked the governor why that was the case. And I pushed him on it. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FLORES: Governor, Miami-Dade has said that only Florida can contact trace and that Miami-Dade County cannot. Can you please explain why Miami-Dade County cannot -- cannot contract trace?
GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): He has hired contact trace -- he's -- he's...
FLORES: He announced on May 14 that he going to hire between 800 and 1,000 contact tracers, and he has not been able to hire them.
And we asked them. And they gave us a statement saying that, in Florida, only the Florida Department of Health can contact trace. Can you explain why during a pandemic?
DESANTIS: Well, I don't think that that -- I'm not sure that's correct. I mean, we want the county health departments to be involved in this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FLORES: And the answer there was no.
I followed up with the mayor of this county, who was sitting just about two feet from the governor, if he walked out of that press conference thinking that he could go out and hire contact tracers, so he could stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus here in his county.
And the governor said no.
Brooke, the other question that the governor dodged was about releasing the number of patients that are hospitalized in the state of Florida. The state of Florida does not release that number on a day- to-day basis.
And so I pushed the governor on that point too. He also dodged that question -- Brooke.
BALDWIN: Sitting here talking to you about similar things yesterday.
And I get Instagram D.M.s as I do the show, and I have heard from people in Florida who have been sick who want to offer up people they have been in touch with, and it just seems like it goes nowhere.
Rosa Flores, keep asking those tough questions. Thank you so much.
Turning our attention now to Texas, where the spike in severe cases is getting so bad that the U.S. military is now sending medical personnel to help, that state also dealing with a rapid rate of infections and hospitalizations.
CNN's Ed Lavandera is live in San Antonio this afternoon.
And, Ed, I'm just wondering, has a decision by the military to do this been a wakeup call for Texans?
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that remains to be seen.
Like, there are hospitals here in Texas that are already seeing an influx of support staff, nurses, respiratory specialists that have already been flown in to handle the increased demand of coronavirus patients here.
But this new layer of military specialists being flown in is new, and especially here to the San Antonio area, where medical specialists, about 50 in all, at some point will be flown in here. We're outside of University Hospital in San Antonio, Brooke, where we are told that about 10 of those military personnel will be here helping out the already overwhelmed staff.
Here in San Antonio, Bexar County, about 15,000 coronavirus cases, 3,000 of those, more than 3,000 of those, have been seen in just the last week. So that's an increase of 25 percent in just one week.
We spoke just a little while ago with one nurse, Jeff Chappell from Tucson, Arizona, who's already one of the 250 -- nearly 250 support staff that have been flown in here to help this particular hospital in San Antonio. And I asked him if he thought people around here outside of the hospital are taking the pandemic seriously enough. And this is what he told us:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEFF CHAPPELL, REGISTERED NURSE: I don't think they are, I mean, because they don't come to the hospital to see patients sick as we do, how fast they decline. They just don't see it. They don't believe it. They don't see it, don't touch it, they're not going to believe you.
And I can only say it so many times. Just wear your mask. Wash your hands. Take care of yourself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAVANDERA: And, Brooke, that's what he told us. He said, from young and old, he's seen people here who've been admitted to the hospital in the last week since he arrived just quickly deteriorating after being diagnosed with coronavirus.
So, the push to help a lot of these hospitals on the front lines continues, as many state and local and health -- local health officials are saying that many hospitals in cities like San Antonio, Austin, Houston are running out of capacity, as the numbers continue to increase here in Texas -- Brooke.
BALDWIN: That has to be so frustrating for nurses like Jeff. You see how sick people can get. Just follow the guidelines. Wear the masks.
Ed, thank you in San Antonio for that.
The president of Brazil has now tested positive for COVID-19, after months of his dismissing just the seriousness of this global pandemic. A statement from the Brazilian government reads: "The results of the COVID-19 test carried out by our president, Jair Bolsonaro, on Monday night and made available this morning showed a positive diagnosis. The president maintains a good state of health," adding that the 65-year- old leader is now at the presidential residence in Brasilia.
Joining me now from Sao Paulo is our CNN correspondent Bill Weir.
And, Bill, I mean, for months and months, President Bolsonaro has downplayed the pandemic, ignored social distancing measures, any kind of medical expert advice. What does he have to say today?
BILL WEIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: If your folks were looking for humble change, President Bolsonaro (AUDIO GAP) get that today. He came out, after having enough symptoms and a big enough fever last night to go to a military hospital, get an MRI on his lung, get the COVID test at the same time, and then he came out and made this announcement.
Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAIR BOLSONARO, BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): If I hadn't taken the exam, I wouldn't have known, of course, the result. And it just turned positive. It was positive. It was positive.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WEIR: He went on to say that he felt great because he had taken two doses of hydroxychloroquine. This is the very controversial anti- malarial drug that President Trump was touting months back.
President Bolsonaro is crazy about this stuff. He stockpiled millions of doses. He wants to distribute it to people all across Brazil, which he believes would allow them to keep the economy open and go back to work.
And so he also said that people under 40 have essentially -- quote -- "zero chance" of ill effects. We know that's not true. And so he's really sort of doubling down. He's using his own diagnosis, Brooke, to double down on his argument that hydroxychloroquine and going back to work are the answers to this pandemic, even as Brazil, as you can see the infection rates.
And most striking is we're here at Vila Formosa Cemetery, the biggest in Latin America, where they cannot dig graves fast enough. They're filling this place at a rate 2.5 to three times normal. And they have dug at thousand graves, bracing for the impact of this pandemic -- Brooke.
BALDWIN: What's the sense, Bill?
I mean, I'm watching all your live shots from now a cemetery. Yesterday, I saw you in the hustle-bustle of -- in the middle of Sao Paulo. And despite having a leader in a country who is dismissing all of the things that we're told to do, are the people where you're seeing, are they heeding the warnings? Are they wearing the masks, or no?
WEIR: Yes. Yes, they are.
And this is -- it's sort of -- just like the United States, Brazil's a massive country, 200 million people-plus, 212 million. And the states vary by their attitudes, their politics, their media they consume, very similar to the U.S.
But here yesterday in Sao Paulo, I would say 85 percent of the people on the streets are wearing masks. Sometimes, they're sort of over the nose and half-mast, and certainly the social distancing isn't there, by any stretch.
But, yes, and this -- Brazil has a pretty robust health system. They have been through HIV. They have been through Zika. There's tens of thousands of really qualified doctors working in this country who are trying to spread the message that hydroxychloroquine or anti-worm parasite medicines and pseudoscience that they call -- that they say the president is calling for, is not the answer.
The answer, the one thing that's proven is masks and social distancing. But President Bolsonaro is hell-bent on getting people back to work in this country as fast as they can.
BALDWIN: Listen, here's hoping he doesn't have those symptoms and he's healthy. I know, when I got smacked with coronavirus, first two days, I was pretty OK. And then, day three, forget it.
Bill Weir in Sao Paulo -- Bill, thank you very much.
The president of the United States says schools must reopen in the fall, and now Florida is following suit, ordering all schools to reopen in August. Is that safe? Let's talk about it.
And the president failed to block its release, and now the brutal tell-all book written by his niece is coming out early -- what CNN is learning from an advanced copy ahead.
And why is the president falsely claiming that the United States has the lowest coronavirus mortality rate?
You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin. We will be right back.
BALDWIN: We're back. You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin.
The president drawing the bottom line: Schools must reopen in the fall. This hour at the White House, the president is holding this event focused on getting kids back in the classroom.
And look at this with me. You can see it's basically a hodgepodge of coronavirus protocols. Some people are wearing masks. Some are not. And if you look around these tables, that is not socially distanced, not at all.
The event follows an earlier call between Vice President Pence and the nation's governors on the very same subject. And you would think Florida would take a wait-and-see approach. Cases out there are out of control. But Florida's Republican governor intends to follow the president's lead and is committing his schools to reopen without exceptions come next month.
And school officials on the ground say that is a very, very bad idea.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALBERTO CARVALHO, SUPERINTENDENT, MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, PUBLIC SCHOOLS: I will not reopen our school system August 24 if the conditions are what they are today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Joining me now, Fedrick Ingram. He is the president of the Florida Education Association.
So, Fedrick, thank you so much for being with me today. Welcome. FEDRICK INGRAM, PRESIDENT, FLORIDA EDUCATION ASSOCIATION: And thank
you for having me, Brooke.
BALDWIN: We just heard from the education secretary, Betsy DeVos, just a bit ago delivering this message to the nation's governors.
And I quote: "It is not a matter of if schools need to reopen. It is a matter of how. Schools must fully open and must be fully operational."
When you hear that, what do you think?
INGRAM: So, right now, it's irresponsible to talk about how -- if schools will reopen in the fall for Florida.
Right now, we need to be talking about how we get this virus under control. How do we keep schools in our communities safe? How do we ensure that our teachers and our educational support professionals who are going back to school who love these kids, who, in fact, miss these kids more than anybody else in this state -- they want to be in school, but we need to be ensured that we have a plan that is robust, that is comprehensive, that is led by the science and that is led by health and safety of everyone in concern in our schools.
BALDWIN: I hear you say led by science. Do you think science is guiding your state's governor on all of this here?
INGRAM: So, I can only hope so.
But what I will tell you this, is that 2.8 million children here in Florida are counting on us to get this right.
There are 200,000 teachers in the state of Florida that are counting on us to get this right. This is life or death. Florida has seen an uptick in the virus count every day for the last 20 days. Today, we added to our death count 63 deaths. We also added to our new cases 3,841 new cases today.
And so that under no circumstance is under control. That under no circumstance gives us the foundation that we need to move forward in opening our schools.
BALDWIN: Fedrick, doesn't it make you wonder, then, are they guided by science? As you point out, those numbers of cases and deaths. Then why force young people to go back to school?
Let me move to the teachers, because I know you say educators are scared. So what specific steps do you want to see the governor take to reassure your teachers that they can go back into a classroom? And what do you want no matter what for them just so they feel safe?
INGRAM: Sure. There are a lot of unanswered questions, but I will give you just a few of them.
We want to know what's going to happen with our teachers that are over the age of 60. Our teachers, our educational support professionals that come into classrooms with preexisting conditions, or if they're a healthy person, what happens if they go home, and they're treating their elderly parents or their sick child?
Those things, we need to talk about and figure out a way that we can frame how we teach and learn here in the state of Florida and, in fact, throughout the country. It's unfortunate that our governor has tied himself, in fact, tethered himself to the president, where we have gotten a lack of leadership and a lack of guidance as it relates to reopening our schools.
We need to be left with grace and compassion, not by politically expedient mistakes, and because no child, no child should be under a decision that we have made in the state of Florida under a mistake.
BALDWIN: Your first word out of the gate, irresponsible.
Fedrick Ingram, let's stay in contact, as this is going to be just become a bigger and bigger story, as the calendar will be August in a blink.
Thank you, sir, very much in the meantime.
INGRAM: Thank you. Thank you very much.
BALDWIN: You got it.
A book by President Trump's niece is now set for an early release, and it paints this brutal picture of the commander in chief, calling him an insecure man who has cheated his way through life.
CNN has an advance copy of the book. We have those new details coming up for you.
And we will tell you what's true, after the president's false claim about the U.S. having the world's lowest coronavirus mortality rate.
We will be right back.
BALDWIN: A new book says the president has lied, cheated and stolen his way through life.
And the author is someone who would know, his niece. It's called "Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man" by Mary Trump. It is due out next week. CNN just obtained a copy.
Mary Trump is a clinical psychologist, and her assessment of her uncle -- and I quote -- "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."
CNN Sara Murray is live with even more details of this book.
And so, wow, what else does Mary Trump say about her uncle?
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brooke, it is a scathing portrait, and it's certainly not news to you that there's plenty of bad blood that goes way back in this family. And she is really airing the family's dirty laundry in this book.
She essentially calls Donald Trump a sociopath. She recounts a number of unflattering fights in their family over the years, and also recounts a number of potentially embarrassing moments in Donald Trump's life.
One of these moments that is sticking out is a time when Donald Trump was younger and apparently paid a classmate, she says, to take his SATs for him. This is what the book says. It's talking about Donald Trump's sister here, Maryanne.
"So, unfortunately, even though Maryanne has been doing his homework for him, she couldn't take his tests. And Donald worried that his grade-point average, which put him far from the top of his class, would scuttle his efforts to get accepted. To hedge his bets, he enlisted Joe Shapiro, a smart kid with a reputation for being a good test-taker, to take his SATs for him. That was much easier to pull off in the days before photo I.D.s and computerized records. Donald, who never lacked for funds, paid his buddy well."
And, Brooke, of course, you have heard Donald Trump brag about getting into the University of Pennsylvania. That gives you a little hint potentially of how he may have gotten there.
She goes on to talk about, as you said, Donald Trump as a liar, as a cheater. She also talks about the things that he did to try to get himself ahead. In one instance, she recounts in the book him working with his sister Maryanne Trump Barry to try to get her a position as a federal judge.
Apparently, at the time, Donald thought it might be useful to have a close relative on the bench in a state in which he planned to do a lot of business.
You can see why the president tried to block the release of this book. There are plenty of unflattering portraits of him in there. Ultimately, the efforts to try to block this release which were led by Donald Trump's brother failed. Still, Mary Trump is not here on television talking about this book, because she is still under a temporary restraining order.
BALDWIN: The book coming out early, though. Comes out next week.
Sara Murray, thank you for the preview. Appreciate it.
Kanye West has a new song out and a new album on the way, so most consider his tweet about running for president as a way to boost album sales. Most may not include the president.
President Trump says in a new interview today that he takes a potential presidential run by the "Jesus Is King" rapper seriously, calling it -- quote -- "very interesting." Trump suggests the run may be a trial balloon for 2024 bid.
The president cannot seem to stop lying about the coronavirus. He's now making false claims about the mortality rate in the United States. We will have a fact-check for you on that.
And major labs now warning that it is now taking twice as long to get results for a COVID test.