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Hospitalizations High in California; Hospitals Strained in Arizona; Roberts Briefly Hospitalized After Fall; Louisville Sees Uptick in Crime; Soccer's Comeback Kicks off Tonight. Aired 9:30-10a ET

Aired July 8, 2020 - 09:30   ET

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


[09:30:00]

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: California. At the same time, supply shortages are forcing several community testing sites there to shut down.

Let's go to my colleague Sara Sidner. She joins us from a hospital in Burbank.

I think, you know, even when I heard the headlines about California, Sara, I was surprised just given how early the state moved on so much of this.

SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: But I think health officials are saying we should not be surprised because people just simply did not follow all of the guidelines --

HARLOW: Yes.

SIDNER: Wearing the masks, not getting too close to each other. And so this is the thing that everybody had feared that once you start to reopen and people start to relax, and they start doing things like they did before coronavirus hit, you're now seeing this explosion. We're talking about 6,000 people who have been hospitalized. That is a jump of more than 3 percent of people who have tested positive for Covid-19, who are in hospitals. An alarming jump.

And, also, there's an alarming jump in the positivity rate. Here in L.A. County, the most populous county of the -- of the state, it's at about 11 percent. so 11 percent of the people that go to get those tests test positive for coronavirus. And that is very stark.

And, at the same time, in Sacramento County, that has the state's capital, they are closing down five community testing sites because they say they simply can't get the reagent. They can't get the testing supplies that they need to be able to test folks in areas where they are seeing spikes in cases. And so that's a disturbing development there because it's very hard to track and trace and try to figure out how to slow down the spread of the virus if you don't know who has it because the tests aren't available.

The lieutenant governor of California was on NEW DAY this morning and she talked, though, about overall testing in the state, saying that it has been actually pretty good.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LT. GOV. ELENI KOUNALAKIS (D-CA): Testing in California has been actually a very big success. We test about 100,000 people every day. There is an issue with some of the labs in Sacramento that didn't have reagents, didn't have enough of those supplies. But other testing sites do have plenty.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SIDNER: So she was talking about Sacramento County.

Now, I want to jump to Riverside County that's having a different kind of problem. They say that there are hundreds of contact tracers that they have, trying to contact and trace people who have Covid, that people who have Covid-19 and are called are not giving the information. They are failing to cooperate when they call and try to figure out who they've come into contact with. And that could be a real problem there. You could see a larger spread of the virus.

Poppy (ph).

HARLOW: Sara, thank you very much.

Let's go to our Evan McMorris-Santoro in Tucson, Arizona, another state that has just seen this explosion. Some doctors there keep saying, Evan, they're losing hope that they can really get a handle on this.

EVAN MCMORRIS-SANTORO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Poppy, the situation really is pretty dire in Arizona. Let's start out with a couple of graphics. Let me show you this one first which shows that Arizona still is leading the country in the average per capita of new cases per day, if you look over the last seven days. And that's more than 3,600 new cases reported yesterday in the latest figures. You can see that on the screen as well. Those hospitalization numbers rising.

These latest figures, they show a record number of coronavirus related deaths and a record -- that was a daily number. And a record number of ICU beds in use. There are only 167 ICU beds left in all of Arizona. And in Pima County, where I'm standing, Tucson's the largest city, that number's gotten as low as six. And, still, it's not hard to find people in Arizona who are strongly resistant to all of the social distancing measures and the mask requirements, and all the other conversations that public health officials are trying to have.

In fact, every day I have been here, I've run into more than one Arizonian who thinks that a lot of this stuff is just basically ridiculous. I asked the Pima County health director yesterday in an interview just what is going on in Arizona when it comes to this resistance?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

THERESA CULLEN, PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTOR, PIMA COUNTY, ARIZONA: Well, we're historically independent (INAUDIBLE). About 25 years ago I worked with American Indians, Alaska natives, and a wonderful older Cherokee woman said to me, when I said, oh, the patients won't do what I want to say -- and what I tell them to do, and she said, well, it's your job to figure out how to educate people enough so that they will change their behavior.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: So, as you heard from that quote, public health officials are trying to figure out how to meet Arizonians where they are to get a lot of them fired up and accepting of what a crisis this is. Now, some localities have mask requirements. Some don't. There's no statewide rule about masks. And there's no statewide requirement that outdoor dining -- or indoor dining is closed, which the mayor of Phoenix, who I talked to yesterday, she would like the power to close down indoor dining.

You know, it just speaks to some of the challenges these public health officials have here in Arizona as this crisis continues, Poppy.

[09:35:06]

HARLOW: Right. Absolutely. And the mayor will be joining us later next hour.

Evan, thanks very much for that reporting.

So the Supreme Court today is set to deliver opinions. We've also learned something really significant overnight that the chief justice, John Roberts, was briefly hospitalized a few weeks ago after a fall, but why didn't the public know about it when it happened? Next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HARLOW: We have learned that the Supreme Court chief justice, John Roberts, was briefly hospitalized last month after he fell during a walk near his home. A source tells CNN that Roberts was taken to a suburban hospital, treated for a head injury.

[09:40:03]

The news comes as the Supreme Court is set to deliver opinions today.

Let's go to our Supreme Court analyst, Joan Biskupic, who, as I always say, literally wrote the book on the chief justice.

You know, I -- why didn't we know about this right when it happened? Everyone's glad he's OK, but it's surprising to find out weeks later.

JOAN BISKUPIC, CNN SUPREME COURT ANALYST: It is, Poppy, and it's troubling.

The Supreme Court says that the fall was not the result of a seizure, that it was more that he was out walking, got dehydrated and fell.

Now, it's concerning though that he was hospitalized overnight in this era of Covid-19 where people are trying to get out of the hospital quickly and also because he has this history of seizures.

HARLOW: Yes.

BISKUPIC: We know that he had one in 1993. We know he had one in 2007. And so it raises more questions and concern. Here's somebody who plays a very significant role on the Supreme Court. He is the swing vote, not just the chief. He's at the ideological center of this court. What he says is usually the law of the land. We saw that most recently, Poppy, in abortion rights cases and in a case involving undocumented immigrants. So the health and well-being of all nine justices matters and it really matters with the chief justice.

HARLOW: Yes. It certainly -- it certainly, certainly does.

Joan, thank you very much for that.

We know we're on standby for some major decisions to come in just a few minutes.

We turn now to the ongoing cry for racial justice. The movement for black lives, an organization of 150 different groups, is now pushing a sweeping legislative proposal to reform policing. This as major cities across America see an uptick in violence.

In Louisville, recent shootings now on track to break a city record there. Louisville has been, of course, in the national spotlight ever since 26-year-old EMT Breonna Taylor was killed by police in March. She was sleeping when three undercover officers entered her apartment with a no-knock warrant. After months of unrest, one of the officers involved in her killing has been fired. The other two have not and no charges have been filed.

With me now is the mayor of Louisville, Mayor Greg Fischer.

Mayor, thank you for the time.

MAYOR GREG FISCHER (D), LOUISVILLE, KY: Good morning, Poppy.

HARLOW: Let's begin with where the city is right now on all of this.

The police department there in Louisville has demanded your resignation. Police reform protesters have also, on the other side of this, called for your resignation. There are at least three petitions now circulating for you to be resigned. But you say I'm staying and I can change things. Tell me why. How can you affect change when neither side seems to trust you?

FISCHER: Well, what you're reporting, Poppy, is not being reported here locally. So it sounds like you know more than I do.

But when you take an oath for office like this, you stick through it with difficult times and times that are not so easy as well.

But the important thing regardless of what the time is, is that truth comes out in these issues, and that's what I've been requiring and insisting on all along with Breonna's tragedy that's taken place here in our city where -- and I do want to correct what you said there at the beginning --

HARLOW: Sure.

FISCHER: That Breonna's death is a tragedy, but she was not killed in her bed. There's been a massive amount of misreporting on this case, but I do not want to minimize the tragedy of this situation. But I think correct reporting is -- is important.

But this is a major time for transformation in our country, when you put together the pandemic, the recession, the marches for racial justice that are taking place. And Louisville is one of those cities where it's going to take place.

HARLOW: She was killed when those undercover officers with a no-knock warrant came in to her apartment, where her boyfriend was as well, thought they were intruders. Gunfire was exchanged. And this was at night, correct, Mayor?

FISCHER: Yes.

HARLOW: OK.

FISCHER: There's a dispute on whether or not the police announced themselves, that Kenneth Walker, Breonna's boyfriend, said we definitely heard somebody at the door. They came through the door. Kenneth shot at the police officers. One of the police officers went down, returned fire and, tragically, Brianna was dead at the end of the hallway.

HARLOW: So when it comes to -- to where things stand right now, the lawsuit from Breonna Taylor's family argues that there was no cause for the raid, as you know, and they also point to and argue that the Louisville Police called off a warrant, a search warrant, for the apartment after a drug suspect was located elsewhere. And they also mentioned that she lived for another five or six minutes after she was shot, but an ambulance was not on the scene.

What is your reaction to those claims from her family as they seek justice?

FISCHER: They are claims. And, first off, when we talk about any of this, I want to say, this is a tragedy for the city and the country.

[09:45:01]

But the -- the five or six minutes that's been cleared up by the coroner already that was reported the other day. So that's not the case.

But what happened was a tragedy. And what took place is something that we can't get back. The problem with this is, is that there's no body camera evidence. Our undercover narcotics officers are not required to have those. I've since changed that with the passing of Breonna's Laws, which bans no-knock warrants --

HARLOW: Yes. FISCHER: And requires the use of body cameras on anybody that's executing a warrant, so that we actually know what's going on. The case right now, per Kentucky state law, is with the attorney general, Daniel Cameron. So he can indicate on whether or not any criminal charges will be filed. One of the officers involved has already been terminated.

HARLOW: One of the officers has been terminated. The others haven't. And there are no charges yet. In an interview last week, you said there's a lot that you can't say about this case, pointing to a law in Kentucky -- we looked it up, KRS 67-C -- that you say precludes you from commenting further on the officers' actions. But reading the law, Mayor, and correct me if I'm wrong here, but reading it a few times, here's what the law I think you're referring to actually says. Quote, when a police officer has been charged with a violation of department rules or regulations, no public statement shall be made concerning the alleged violation by any person or persons of the consolidated local government.

Is that what you're referring to because that is only if officers have been charged, and these officers have not been charged?

FISCHER: Yes, that pertains to Officer Hankison, who is charged. On the other officers, what I've said is, the facts need to come out in this case and that's why I've asked the FBI, the attorney general, the U.S. attorney to get involved so that we know what the facts are. Everybody should agree that they want the facts to come out. They might disagree on what the outcomes are, but we should all agree on what the facts are.

HARLOW: You -- but that law is something that you would like to see go away, is that correct?

FISCHER: Absolutely. Yes. I mean the frustration, and you see this all around the country, is the amount of time that it takes for people to get justice.

HARLOW: Right.

FISCHER: The lack of ability to oftentimes talk about cases while they're in process, while the attorney on the other side has free rein to do so. So these are things that cause immense frustration for people and the inability to often times have swift justice.

HARLOW: You know, not only is your role leading Louisville so important, especially in this moment, but you have recently been named the head of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

FISCHER: Right.

HARLOW: And you said something that was striking to me about a week ago. You said, sanctity of life, de-escalation, building trust are three of the biggest things that need to be addressed when it comes to police reform.

FISCHER: Right. HARLOW: How do you -- how do you teach an officer sanctity of life?

FISCHER: Well, first, it's the selection process of who becomes an officer. Then it's obviously training. And then it's the culture of a department. It's also then reinforced by other people in the department for -- you have the duty to intervene, for instance, when you see the George Floyd tragedy, for instance, that not taking place there. So it has to become the culture of the department where peacemaking is the -- is the goal and the -- and the guide. And that's why the U.S. Conference of Mayors, with our police reform and racial justice work group, as led by Mayor Lightfoot of Chicago, Mayor Cranley of Cincinnati, Mayor Castor of Tampa, have that as one of our major initiatives working forward to build on the world of the 21st century police -- force -- task force with President Obama was to bring that up to speed with even more best practices.

HARLOW: Let me ask you about the movement for black lives. As you know, over the last day they have released a really sweeping proposal, a proposed legislative changes on a -- on a national level to policing reform in America. I'm going to list some of them. This is not all of them, but these are some of the key things. They're pushing to abolish the DEA and ICE, ban the use of facial recognition technologies, which you know can have bias built into them, abolish mandatory minimum sentences and life sentences, close federal prisons and immigration detention centers and also establish a commission to study reparations. I know there's a lot there --

FISCHER: Yes.

HARLOW: But looking at it I wonder, given your position and what your city is going through right now, if there are elements of it that you agree with?

FISCHER: Well, there's no question we need significant reform. The reparations you mentioned, one of the first things I did, as the president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, was to pass the resolution supporting Congress' commission to study and prepare or develop a reparations proposals for African-Americans because, Poppy, what's at the root of so much of this is poverty, right? And poverty that's been with black Americans for over 400 years right now. So that really is the issue where we need reparation, we need to go from a minimum wage to a living wage. If you eliminate poverty, or (INAUDIBLE) eliminate most of it, much of the crime in our country will go away.

[09:50:00]

HARLOW: But your supportive, it sounds like, of reparations?

FISCHER: Well, we've -- yes, we passed a resolution as a conference of mayors. It was my first act to do so.

The wealth gap between black Americans and white Americans cannot be explained away. The average white family has ten times the wealth of a black family.

HARLOW: Yes, you're -- FISCHER: Those roots are in history. All the way through red lining and through today. And that needs to be addressed.

HARLOW: You're completely right. It does.

Mayor, I appreciate your time very much this morning. You're welcome back any time. Thank you so much.

FISCHER: Thank you, Poppy.

HARLOW: We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HARLOW: Major League Soccer makes its comeback starting tonight in Florida, even though 16 players have tested positive for coronavirus so far.

[09:55:06]

Carolyn Manno has more from the site near Orlando where one of today's games has already been postponed.

I mean when they were planning for Florida, you know, for the NBA, for soccer, et cetera, things looked a lot different in that state.

CAROLYN MANNO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, this is the center of the sports world. Eight weeks ago, a much different picture was painted. And now leagues, the MLS and also the NBA, are just trying to do damage control here and hopefully have these bubbles become more secure. I mean this tournament is called the MLS is Back Tournament but that's not really the case when you have three different clubs with players who have tested positive for this virus out of a possible 26 clubs and the tournament hasn't even begun yet.

I was able to speak with a league executive who told me that all of the players who have tested positive for the virus are either asymptomatic or have mild symptoms. But this is still a real cause for concern down here as this tournament gets underway and will continue for weeks to come.

Nashville is the latest team who had five players test positive. There are also a couple of additional players who have to have further testing. They were scheduled to play later tonight in a game that has since been postponed. This after Dallas' club was forced to withdraw from the tournament after ten players came back positive earlier in the week.

There are 750 players and 500 staff members inside this bubble. They're being tested every other day right now. I am told that that number actually includes the teams with positive tests as the league tries to figure out a plan for how to transition those players who will not be playing back home safely.

The inside of this bubble has been described to me, Poppy, as eerily quiet, even militant. Players socially distant, not talking to each other. They want to try -- they hope, at least, that the worst of this is behind them and the bubble continues to get stronger from here. And that's also a concern, Poppy, that the NBA will share as they prepare to descend upon this space as well.

HARLOW: OK. Yes. Carolyn, thank you for all of that. We wish them luck.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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