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U.S. Sets New Single-Day Case Record: 60,021 Confirmed; Trump Says He Will Pressure Governors to Open Schools; Brazil's President Bolsonaro Confirmed Testing Positive for COVID-19; MLS is Back, Tournament Kicks Off Tonight. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired July 8, 2020 - 05:00   ET




DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think we are in a good place. I disagree with him.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump contradicts his top doctor again as the coronavirus pandemic reaches a new milestone in America.

Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Laura Jarrett. It's Wednesday, July 8th, 2020, 5:00 a.m. here in New York.

And this morning, the U.S. setting a new record, the highest single day count of new coronavirus cases so far. More than 60,000 reported Tuesday, bringing the grand total to nearly 3 million. At least 56 intensive care units in Florida hospitals now at capacity.

Hospitalizations in California have reached an all-time high and the positive test rate, how many people are actually getting the virus jumped by more than two percentage points in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, Georgia passed 100,000 total COVID cases becoming the ninth state to cross that mark.

Yet at the same time, President Trump is pushing hard for states to re-open schools across the country.


TRUMP: The schools will be opened in the fall. We hope that most schools are going to be opened. We don't want people to make political statements or do it for political reasons. I think it's going to be good for them politically so they keep the schools closed. No way. So, we're very much going to put pressure on governors and everybody else to open the schools.


JARRETT: CNN's Erica Hill begins our coverage now with more on that surge in Florida.


ERICA HILL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Forty-three hospitals in Florida report their ICU beds are now at capacity. Nearly three dozen more are close. But the governor is pushing forward with plans to open schools next month, touting his state's efforts to prepare for the long haul.

GOV. RON DESANTIS (R), FLORIDA: The whole point of the curve, flattening the curve was to make sure we had enough health care capacity. We're in a way better position today to be able to do that.

HILL: Restaurants in Miami-Dade County told to pull back as hospitalizations there surged. And that curve that the governor mentioned looking more like a steep cliff. Though it's not just Florida, Arizona now has the highest number of cases per capita in the country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Arizona, the cases are rising so rapidly that we cannot even do contact tracing. The epidemic is out of control in the southern part of the United States.

HILL: Texas just reported more than 10,000 new cases, its highest single day increase. Houston's mayor urging the state's Republican Party to cancel it's upcoming convention in his city scheduled for July 16th.

MAYOR SYLVESTER TURNER, HOUSTON: I believe cancelling the in person convention is the responsible action to take.

HILL: The Texas GOP still planning to hold the event, adding a mask requirement for attendees. Meantime, the Texas state fair cancelled for the first time since World War II. The governor now saying he allowed bars to re-open too soon.

GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R), TEXAS: You have to wonder if they should ever have been opened at all because bars really aren't made in a way that promotes social distancing.

HILL: California's state capital closed after at least five assembly members tested positive. And a new study finds so-called silent spreaders may account for as many as half of all cases.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Even states that are doing well right now should be on guard because they could be next.

HILL: Erica Hill, CNN, New York.


ROMANS: More now on Arizona where this morning, more than 5,000 people are hospitalized with COVID-19. The state has less than 10 percent of its ICU beds available.

CNN has reporters across the country to bring you the latest.


EVAN MCMORRIS-SANTORO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Evan McMorris-Santoro in Tucson, Arizona. The latest daily numbers in Arizona show a situation that's only getting worse. The highest daily recorded number of deaths and the highest number of ICU beds in use, 117 dead and nearly 167 ICU beds left in the entire state. Here in Pima County, home of Tucson, that number got as low as six as people are urged to wear masks and obey social distancing rules as this state tries to get a handle on a growing pandemic.

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Brynn Gingras in Hoboken, New Jersey, where a group of movie theaters are now suing the governor of this state for his decision not to allow them to re-open. In a suit, the group says it has a right to re-open. It takes issue with the fact that fitness centers and malls and places of worship are now open at the limited capacity. They wonder what makes them different.

Now, on Monday, the state says it doesn't have any plans to reopen anything more, even time soon considering the COVID-19 transmission rate is at a level it hasn't seen in a couple of months.


Governor Murphy had no comments on this suit.


New data from the CDC found that at least 91 workers from meat and poultry plants have died from COVID-19 through the month of May. That same data determined that more than 17,300 workers tested positive.

Now, this is not comprehensive information here. It only goes through May 31st and only comes from 23 states. But it does give us a better look at the disproportionate effect of COVID-19 in meat-packing plants on people of color. Of the 10,000 workers who tested positive and also disclosed their racial or ethnic identity, 87 percent were ethnic or racial minorities, with 56 percent of those identifying as Hispanic.

RANDI KAYE, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: I'm Randi Kaye in Palm Beach County, Florida. A few hours north of here, in Jacksonville, Florida, the mayor there, Lenny Curry, is now self-quarantining with his family. This after learning he came into contact with someone who has now tested positive for COVID-19. The mayor so far has tested negative.

Jacksonville certainly in the news because the Republican National Convention will be taking place in that city later this summer. We're about six weeks away from that. The city has also mandated masks and we will continue to watch the mayor's progress.


JARRETT: Thanks to all of our correspondents for those reports. Dr. Anthony Fauci warning against a false sense of security after the president touted the falling COVID-19 death rate in his tweet as proof the virus is under control.

Right now, younger people are making up a larger percentage of cases but the government's top COVID-19 expert cautioned against using misleading metrics.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, NIAID DIRECTOR: It's a false narrative to take comfort in a lower rate of death. There's so many other things that are very dangerous and bad about this virus. Don't get yourself into false complacency.


JARRETT: The president rejecting Dr. Fauci's assertion that the U.S. is still, quote, knee deep in the first wave of the pandemic.


TRUMP: I think we are in a good place. I disagree with him. Dr. Fauci said don't wear masks and now he says wear them. He said numerous things. Don't close off China. Don't ban China.

And I did it anyway. I sort of didn't listen to my experts and I banned China. We would have been in much worse shape.


JARRETT: Now, Fauci did concede the president's point on experts early waffling about masks.


FAUCI: We have to admit that that mixed message in the beginning, even though it was well meant to allow masks to be available to health workers, that was detrimental in getting the message across right now. No doubt about it.


JARRETT: Fauci also said Tuesday he doesn't think the federal government will mandate everyone taking an eventual vaccine. He says that will encroach on people's healthcare choices.

ROMANS: Coronavirus test results are taking longer to turn around as cases spike in the United States. Three major diagnostic companies, Quest, LabCorp and BioReference Laboratories say growing demand for tests has increased the average wait time for delivering results.

Governor Jay Inslee of Washington blames President Trump.


GOV. JAY INSLEE (D), WASHINGTON: Governors in Southern states listened to Donald Trump and they re-opened their businesses way too fast and they let thousands of people rush into bars and as a result, they got massive surges of pandemics in Texas and Florida and other states. As a result, they put pressure on the analytical labs to get all this testing done.


ROMANS: Governor Inslee also says the federal government never provided an adequate number of test kits and when they finally did arrive, many were mismatched or packaged improperly.

JARRETT: President Trump says the U.S. is not closing and will never close, and as we mentioned earlier want schools across the country back open.


TRUMP: It's very important for our country. It's very important for the wellbeing of the student and the parents. So we're going to be putting a lot of pressure on opening these schools in the fall.


JARRETT: Of course, the elephant in the room is that until we get the case count lower in the U.S., it's really hard to have a meaningful conversation about what it would look like to pressure schools to re- open and there's no strategy on a national level to do that.

ROMANS: Exactly. What we didn't hear from White House yesterday is how. We heard the president say some of these schools are closed because it's a political statement against President Trump. I don't know anybody who is keeping their kids home from school or not opening a cool because of a personal feeling about President Trump. It's about health and safety, how we get children back to school safely and teachers and support staff.

A lot of people are very concerned about the health of going back to school. Where is the national plan for what it would like? I see the pressure, the national pressure on state and local authorities to open schools but where's the plan?


JARRETT: Exactly, exactly. It's not like they don't want to do it but they are trying to figure out how to do it safely.

And CNN's Kaitlan Collins has more on this now.


KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Laura and Christine. It's been pretty clear for several weeks now that Trump does want schools opened this fall but yesterday the president was hosting a round table with several administrators and teachers, he said he is going to pressure governors to physically re-open their schools in just a matter of weeks which we know is something that health officials have voiced concerns about, about how that will work logistically, but also now that we are seeing such a surge in cases in certain parts of the country, raising concerns about putting teachers, administrators and students back in one area.

It comes as Trump has tried to push forward despite the uptick in numbers saying that the country must re-open and learn to live with coronavirus basically, but the question is, you know, how is the administration going to support these schools that need to do this? Are they going to help provide them with financial assistance or guidance do students sit six feet apart? Because we've heard that concern as well from so many school districts that financially they're just not capable of doing the social distancing measures that they believe would be necessary to safely put everyone back in school together.

Now, the president said he believes there are schools that do not re- open. He believes it's going to be a political statement and intended to clearly hurt him, though he didn't offer much reason behind that because you've seen several Democrats say they would like to see student return to school. Their question really is how do they do that?

Now this also came on a day we should note the United States formally notified they are going withdrawing from the World Health Organization, something the president has made clear for several months now that he wants to do. It came as he was commenting during that roundtable repeating a claim he's made before that we should note is not correct and isn't back up by his own health officials, that he claim that he says an increase in testing is the reason you're seeing an increase in new cases so if the country, something health officials even the ones that work here at the White House say is not the case.


ROMANS: All right. Kaitlan, thank you for that.

To business now, we're learning about who received loans from the Paycheck Protection Program, a deep dive into a slice of the 4.8 million loans. It shows 13 percent of the funds went to health care businesses with a total $67.4 billion. Smaller hospitals, primary care doctors and ambulance services received loans as large as $10 million. That's on top of $175 million that Congress appropriated to hospitals to reimburse them for coronavirus related expenses and lost revenue.

At the very same time, big banks stand to earn hundreds of millions of dollars from PPP loan fees. Analysis from SP Global shows more than 30 community banks could earn as much from the fees as they reported in net revenue for all of 2019, a windfall of taxpayer funds. JPMorgan Chase which issued the most PPP loans of any bank could make more than $800 million in fees. Again, that's taxpayer money.

The optics, well, they look a little bad, but people who support the program say America's banks have been a lifeline for businesses during this pandemic. The Fed says banks are in better shape to whether the storm unlike during the Great Recession.

JARRETT: All right. Well, Brazil leader Jair Bolsonaro used to dismiss the dangers of coronavirus. Now he can't. That's next.



ROMANS: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has tested positive for COVID-19 after dismissing the virus for months as a little flu. Bolsonaro says he started experience muscle pain, fatigue and a fever. On Sunday, he was sent to the hospital for a lung scan.

After testing positive for coronavirus, Bolsonaro said he'll stay clear from face-to-face meetings and now concedes the disease could be deadly.

We get more from CNN's Bill Weir in Sao Paulo.


BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT: Christine and Laura, good morning from Sao Paulo.

Yes, Brazil confirmed 45,305 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday and among them, the man in charge of Brazil. The president, Jair Bolsonaro, after famously or infamously pooh-poohing this pandemic admitted that he is infected but those who are expecting a changed man were disappointed.

We know last night he had enough of a fever, enough symptoms to go to a medical hospital, or military hospital in the capital and get his lung scanned with an MRI machine, also had his at least fourth COVID- 19 test, and then today, around noon time, he stepped out of the presidential palace with a mask and said yes, I have it, I have been tested for it.

But what's interesting is how he treated that announcement. If you want to know what, you know, Jair Bolsonaro is going to do during this pandemic, ask yourself what would Donald Trump do? He's done many things and then gone steps beyond and today he sort of turned it into a commercial for hydroxychloroquine, this controversial anti-malarial drug that he says is already making him feel better. He also said young people should have no problems going back to work, don't worry about it, but things in sort of conflict with health ministers and doctors around the country.

About 350 deaths were confirmed on Tuesday. Those numbers usually lag by four or five weeks behind the infection numbers as well. So the cemetery tells me they dug 8,000 graves and they have to dig more.

We'll send it back to you.


JARRETT: Bill Weir, thank you so much for that report. Major League Soccer in the U.S. gets back under way in a matter of

hours but not for all teams. "Bleacher Report" is next.



JARRETT: Major League Soccer returns to the field tonight, four months after the pandemic ground-played to a halt.

Carolyn Manno has more in this morning's "Bleacher Report" from the site near Orlando.

Hi, Carolyn.


Well, this tournament is called the MLS back tournament but that's not entirely true. Three clubs now have tested positive for coronavirus, most recently Nashville. They were set to play the second game this evening and kick the tournament off. Now their future is uncertain.

They had five players tested positive for coronavirus. They also had four players coming back with test results that were inconclusive.

So, right now, they are postponed. There are 750 players and 500 staff members who are being tested every other day in this bubble right now.


They're also going to be tested before every match. I spoke with an MLS league executive inside the bubble who told me the hope here is that the worse is behind them in terms of positive tests and that the bubble is going to get stronger over time. They've been militant here wearing masks every where, socially distancing as much as possible.

But this is going to be a real test case for what the NBA is going to see in just a couple of weeks' time. Where we're standing right now at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex is the area where NBA players are going to descend here in a few days right around the arenas and they've actually been using ballrooms as practice courts, workers around the clock doing everything they can to utilize every inch of space here.

Twenty-two NBA teams expected to check in by the end of the week. The players are being tested upon arrival.

Commissioner Adam Silver warns, though, that an outbreak inside the bubble is what could trigger another shutdown.


ADAM SILVER, NBA COMMISSIONER: We won't be surprised when they first come down to Orlando if we have some additional players who test positive. What would be most concerning is once players enter this campus and then go through our quarantine period then if they were to test positive or any positive tests we know we would have an issue.


MANNO: Training camps begin tomorrow with the regular season set to tip off on July 30th. Meantime, delays in receiving COVID-19 testing results is becoming a significant concern in Major League Baseball as well. The San Francisco Giants cancelling yesterday's work out while awaiting word from the labs. Giants are fifth team to suspend practice. CNN waiting to hear back from the league after reaching out for comment on that.

And, Christine, I'm also told by MLS executives inside the bubble that the positive cases that have been confirmed here are mild or asymptomatic. So, there isn't a severe threat of infection so far, but still, everybody very vigilant here for the number of tests available over the next couple of weeks and also the potential threat for a serious infection.

ROMANS: All right. Carolyn Manno for us in Orlando, thank you for that.

All right. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau turned down an invitation to go the White House today. More on that just ahead.