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White House Refuses to Denounce Confederate Flag; Government Awards $1.6 for Vaccine Development; Coronavirus Update from Around the Country; Philadelphia Flooding Leads to Rescues; Violence Rose over Holiday Weekend. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired July 7, 2020 - 06:30   ET



ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Now, here's something curious, Abby. In 2015, Donald Trump felt differently about this. A reporter asked him whether -- basically whether the confederate flag should be retired. And let me just play you how he felt in 2015.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're the lone Republican presidential candidate who has yet to weigh in on whether or not you think the confederate flag should be flying above the statehouse in South Carolina. Do you think it needs to go?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (June 23, 2015): I think it probably does, and I think they should put it in the museum. Let it go. Respect whatever it is that you have to respect because it was a point in time and put it in a museum. But I would take it down, yes.


CAMEROTA: Sorry, I didn't realize the audio was kind of lousy.

Basically he says he thinks it should go from the statehouse.


CAMEROTA: He thinks it should be retired to a museum. He thinks it's time to let it go.

So, five years later, when the country has advanced from that position, why is he reverting to something so much more archaic?

PHILLIP: Yes. You know, it's interesting, because I -- yesterday, I actually went back and I was trying to find out -- because Kayleigh McEnany had said something interesting at the briefing. She said that people had asked about confederate flags being flown at the president's rallies. She said that, you know, non-campaign merchandise isn't allowed to be flown at his rallies.

So I went back to go see, because I have seen confederate flags at the president's rallies. And they were actually fairly commonplace back in 2016 and 2015 when he was first running for president. This is something that the president's supporters tend to pull out. When I was in Tulsa just a couple of weeks ago, there were confederate flags all over the place in the crowd of people waiting to get into the president's rallies.

So I think -- I do think one of the things that has changed, perhaps, is that the president is trying to respond to where he thinks his supporters are. And there are some people among his supporters who do want to be able to fly the confederate battle flag. They bring it to his rallies. It's a point of pride for them. And the president always wants to seem to be responding to that.

But I also think, this is a political moment where the president and his campaign believes it's advantageous to make an argument that they are for preserving some version of history that is represented by the confederate flag and that, you know, the anarchists and the far left wing activities are for taking it down. That is an expedient argument, but it's also not one that even five years ago President Trump himself believed in, apparently.

BERMAN: It's also -- it undercuts all the work that the White House and his political team try to do over the weekend. They desperately wanted this to be about Mt. Rushmore and George Washington and Thomas Jefferson because they think that's a -- a cleaner fight. And the president just undercut that.

Let me just read a tweet quickly from Rich Lowry. He said, step one, deliver an excellent speech. Step two, step all over it with a stupid and indefensible tweet. Repeat as necessary.

So, he cut his own legs out from under him, no question about it.

All right, Abby, thanks so much.

CAMEROTA: Thanks, Abby.

PHILLIP: Thanks, guys.

CAMEROTA: All right, developing right now, the U.S. government awarding its biggest contract to develop a coronavirus vaccine. We have the breaking details for you, next.



BERMAN: We have breaking news in the race to develop a coronavirus vaccine. The U.S. government has just awarded its largest contract to date for vaccine development to the Maryland biotech firm Novavax.

CNN's Elizabeth Cohen spoke with the company's CEO. She joins us now with the breaking details.


ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: John, good morning. This is a $1.6 billion -- that's billion with a "b" -- contract to Novavax. It's the largest of any of the contracts that Operation Warp Speed or the federal government have done for a Covid-19 vaccine. Now, they think that they could have this vaccine -- Novavax thinks it could have this vaccine on the market by the first quarter of next year if all goes well.

Now, they're currently doing preliminary trials in just 131 patients. They need to move on to large, phase three clinical trials of 30,000 people.

I sat down with the CEO of Novavax, Stanley Erck, and asked him, when will you be starting these phase three trials?


COHEN: When do you expect to begin your large-scale phase three trials?

STANLEY ERCK, CEO, NOVAVAX: I think in the fourth quarter. We don't have a date set yet, but hopefully as early in the fourth quarter as possible. Maybe, if we're -- if we're lucky, we could start phase three in -- in late third quarter.


COHEN: Now, there are three other companies that have gotten money from the federal government. The first of those, Moderna, expects to start their phase three trials during -- in sometime this month, at the end of this month. And they say that they could have a vaccine on the market by the end of this year or the beginning of next year.


BERMAN: All right, Elizabeth Cohen, exciting -- potentially exciting news this morning. Thanks so much for being with us.

A new study finds that President Trump's rhetoric about coronavirus is having an effect on hate crimes against Asian-Americans. We have new details, next.



CAMEROTA: This morning, 31 states are seeing coronavirus cases spike, including Arizona, where higher numbers of young people are infected. In West Virginia, masks are now mandatory.

CNN has reporters across the country covering all the latest headlines.


EVAN MCMORRIS SANTORO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Evan McMorris Santoro in Phoenix. Arizona passed a grim milestone Monday as authorities reported that

for the first time since this pandemic began, the total number of cases here crossed 100,000. Over half of those infected are between the ages of 20 and 44, a number the Phoenix mayor worries could be due to early reopening that saw bars and gathering places crowded with young people before being closed down again last week. On Monday, another 3,300 cases were reported as the pandemic continues to grow here.

NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Nick Watt in Santa Monica, California.

Now, since the beginning of this Covid-19 pandemic, there has, apparently, been a huge spike in anti-Asian racial incidents here in California. A group called the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council has logged 800 such cases. Among them, 81 physical assaults.

Now, they say that they want the governor to create a racial bias strike team. They say they've given him the tactics. Now they want concrete action.


West Virginia is now the latest state with a statewide policy on wearing some sort of a face covering. The executive order went into effect at midnight. Going forward, all people age nine and older are required to wear a face covering in places indoors where social distancing is not possible. The order does not apply to anyone who has trouble breathing or cannot remove a face mask covering without assistance. That according to Governor Jim Justice, who announced the executive order on Monday. Penalties were not specified for those who do not follow the order. Governor Justice saying, quote, I know it's not the popular thing to do. He went on to say, it's the only thing we can do and it's the smart thing we can do.



Harvard and Princeton will welcome students back to campus this fall the universities announced Monday. Harvard plans to bring up to 40 percent of undergraduates back to campus for the fall semester, including all first-year students. Seniors would then return for the spring semester while first-years would return home and learn remotely in the spring. However, classes will still be conducted entirely online, including for those students living on campus. Those living on campus will also be subjected to Covid-19 testing once they arrive, followed by subsequent testing every three days. Princeton also announced a 10 percent reduction in undergraduate tuition for the school year. Harvard said that they would not be adjusting their tuition rates.


BERMAN: So, flash flooding in the Philadelphia area leading to at least 26 water rescues overnight. It comes as a severe storm threat is issued across the north-central U.S.

CNN meteorologist Chad Myers with the forecast.


CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: John, over 150 severe wind reports yesterday. Some large hail. One tornado, but that was in Wyoming. No more weather for the northeast today. That's the good news.

This weather's brought to you by Tractor Supply Company, providing pet food, animal feed, and gardening supplies.

So, let's get to it.

Here's what happened yesterday. Storms rolled across New York City, rolled across Philadelphia, D.C. as well, (INAUDIBLE) there, especially to your west, over six inches of rainfall with these storms as they fired from the northwest and rolled to the southeast. That's where the flooding happened, Philadelphia and also down south of D.C.

Now, today, the weather will be Wyoming, Montana, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, will see weather up here again. This is what the radar is going to look like, very big weather today. Big cells. If you're flying across the country, you're not going to fly over these storms. They're going to be 55,000 feet tall. Your plane's not going to go that high.

Across the rest of the country, though, temperatures are going to be in the 70s-80s, about where we should be. 91 Kansas City. Feels a whole lot better than where you've been. Even Oklahoma City only in the upper 80s to lower 90s. Nowhere near approaching that 100-degree index -- that heat index that we've seen all weekend long. It was so brutal out there. Better today.


BERMAN: We need it. It was too hot.

All right, Chad, thank you very much.

MYERS: You bet.

BERMAN: So, Georgia's governor deploying the National Guard after this big uptick in murders and violent crimes. What's behind the spikes that we're seeing in cities across the country? That's next.



CAMEROTA: Developing overnight, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp declaring a state of emergency and activating as many as 1,000 members of the National Guard following a spike in violence in Atlanta. A number of major cities in the U.S. saw a wave of violence over the holiday weekend. What is causing this?

Joining us now is CNN law enforcement analyst Charles Ramsey. He's the former Philadelphia police commissioner and former D.C. police chief.

Commissioner Ramsey, it's great to have you here. So, murders are up in something like 25 major cities, some more significant than others. According to "The New York Times," in New York it's been nearly a quarter century since New York City experienced as much gun violence in the month of June as it has seen this year. And as we just said, in Atlanta, the homicides and gun violence have gone up so much that the governor has just declared a state of emergency.

What do you think is causing this?

CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, first of all, it is very troubling. I mean New York had two decades of steady declines in homicides, and now all of a sudden they're starting to see a spike. Many cities started to see spikes last year in shootings and homicides.

I don't know if there's any one thing that's really driving it. You'd have to do a pretty careful analysis. It could be gangs. It could be drugs. It could be early release of prisoners. I mean it could be a variety of things. Or just simply arguments that are taking place.

As far as Georgia goes, my understanding is the National Guard's going to back-fill positions to free up state police officers to assist with patrol in the city of Atlanta.

But this is very, very disturbing to see this trend start to occur, especially at this point in time where we're already dealing with Covid-19.

The thing to me, though, that's equally disappointing is the fact that I don't see the outrage that we should see in these communities around these murders, children being slain by stray bullets. I mean we've just gone through weeks and weeks of protests. And, rightfully so. Absolutely, rightfully so. The same level of outrage needs to be shown with these murders taking place in the community. Community members and community members killing one another. Until we get that level of outrage, it's not going to change. It's going to continue. Every year, 15,000 homicides in the United States. It's ridiculous.

CAMEROTA: Sometimes I hear people say, well, it's -- it's just gang violence. You know, it's a tick up in gang violence. As though that matters. I mean look at the victims just from this weekend.


CAMEROTA: Look at the children who were killed just this weekend. In Chicago, a seven-year-old girl playing with other children on the street. In Atlanta, an eight-year-old riding in a car with her mom. In Washington, D.C., an 11-year-old boy who had left his car to run into his relatives' house for a phone charger. I could go on and on.

RAMSEY: Right.

CAMEROTA: I mean if kids are being caught in the crossfire, what -- you know, sometimes people say, it's just gang violence, as though, well, it doesn't affect, you know, regular people. Yes, it does!

RAMSEY: It does. And, I mean, bullets don't have eyes. They'll strike anything in its path. And these kids are being struck down by stray bullets. You never know what's going to happen, where, when, and who's going to be impacted by it. Violence is violence. All lives matter when it comes to this sort of thing. You can't just say that, well, this shooting here that took place is wrong, so, you know, I'm going to be outraged and we're going to petition city hall and so forth.


We need the same level of outrage with the homicides that are taking place every single day in cities across America. And until that happens, it is not going to go away. Whether it's gang violence, drugs, it doesn't matter the motive, people are dying, needlessly dying on the streets of our city. And we need to do something about it. And it's got to be more than just what you hear people, they want to just kind of deflect it and say, well, we just need jobs or whatever.

We need short-term strategies. We need long-term strategies. We need to get serious about this. It's not going to fix itself.


What are those short-term strategies? I mean, what would you, as police commissioner, do?

RAMSEY: Well, first thing I'd do is I would have a meeting not only with my own people to find out how we're deploying our own resources and what information we have about what's going on with these homicides. If you have someone in group "a" shoot someone from group "b," it doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out you're going to have retaliation. So who in group "b" is most likely to do that particular act? Not every kid in the gang, for an example, is violent, but some are very violent. Who are they? Where can we reach out and touch them to make sure that they're not going to go out there and do something stupid? Because every time you lose one life, you're actually losing two, the person that was murdered and the person that did the crime is going to spend the rest of their lives in jail.

Grab the community people, the leaders within the community, and sit down and talk about ways in which we can do things together in order to be able to identify the people causing harm out here in these communities. They're not coming from mars. These are folks that live right in the same neighborhood. People know who they are. We need to be able to build cases and get the violent criminals off the street. And until we do that -- and it's going to take cooperation of the community -- it's not going to change. And people think it's something magical that's going to happen. Oh, just throw some more jobs or just better education. We've got to do something now. All those things are important, but you need a short-term strategy to go along with it because people are dying every hour of every day in streets across America, and it doesn't make any sense.

CAMEROTA: Do you think that this is somehow related to the tension that has -- that we've all seen with the police since George Floyd's murder? Do you think that the police have somehow backed off?


CAMEROTA: Do you think that there's any connection?

RAMSEY: I think there's a possibility. I mean, listen, I mean I spent my entire adult life as a police officer. And I know what it takes to be out there on the street. You know, you're making a stop here and there with reasonable suspicion, trying to get guns off the street. You know, people don't want no police, they want constitutional policing, which is -- which is what they ought to have, irrespective of what may have gone on with those other cases that you particularly mentioned.

But police officers right now are a little reluctant, I think, to an extent, to be proactive in terms of being able to deal with this. They're going back to that wait for the 911 call and then respond to the scene. Not every officer, but some officers. And so I think that's part of the problem.

But, still, it's not just a police issue. This is a community issue. And only the community can really solve it if they want to do something about it. I mean you have to look at this thing from a variety of angles. It's not just about police. Are they being proactive? Are they not being proactive or whatever? What are the community members doing? We need to do it together. Everyone has a responsibility to stop the carnage that's taking place on the streets of our city.

And until that happens and we stop taking swings at one another, you know, defund the police, deband the police, and replace them with what? Who's going to go after these guys out here doing all these murders and shootings out here on the streets of our city? We need one another, but we've got to be able to sit down and come up with solutions. Police need to behave in a way in which is respectful toward a community. We need to have constitutional policing, can't violate people's rights for the sake of fighting crime. But community members have a responsibility, too, and our elected leaders have responsibility as well.


RAMSEY: And so far, I think everybody's falling short.

CAMEROTA: Commissioner Charles Ramsey, thank you very much for all of your expertise with this.

RAMSEY: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: NEW DAY continues right now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Coronavirus cases surging. In Florida, a record for the most coronavirus cases in a single day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're starting to roll the carpet back up. It's pretty clear we have this real problem.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think you can discount the possibility of having to potentially reimpose a stay-at-home order.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A series of circumstances associated with various states and cities trying to open has led to a situation where we now have record-breaking cases.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Almost everything the president says about the coronavirus pandemic has been wrong.

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): He is enabling the virus! How did this become a political statement? This is common sense.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.


CAMEROTA: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY.

And a blunt warning from Dr. Anthony Fauci.