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Fauci: "I Don't Think You Can Say We're Doing Great ... We're Just Not"; Trump: "We've Done a Great Job"; Florida Reports Record High in Single-Day Deaths; Fauci: State Opened Too Soon, "Jumped" Checkpoints; FL Reports Daily Record for Deaths, a Day Before Trump Visit; Supreme Court Blocks Congress Seeing Trump Taxes; Interview with Pete Buttigieg. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired July 9, 2020 - 19:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: She hopes to get a tattoo soon to honor him. May they rest in peace and may their memories be a blessing.

Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: And thank you, Wolf.

OUTFRONT next, the U.S. going in the wrong direction, cases are up, states hitting a record number of deaths. Why is America failing?

Plus, inside a hospital turned upside down by the pandemic. Doctors treating patients intense in the sweltering heat with no relief in sight. It's a story you'll see only OUTFRONT.

And should Joe Biden demand Trump release his taxes in exchange for participating in a presidential debate? Biden backer, Mayor Pete Buttigieg is my guest. Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, going in the wrong direction. U.S. coronavirus death toll right now tonight is on the verge of topping 133,000 people dead and Dr. Anthony Fauci tonight telling it like it is.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: As a country when you compare us to other countries, I don't think you can say we're doing great. I mean, we're just not.


BURNETT: We're just not. It is a far cry from what we're hearing from the President of the United States.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We've done a great job, whether it's ventilators or anything you want to look at. Testing, we test so many people that we have more cases.


BURNETT: More to his testing point in just a moment, because it's factually inaccurate, the point he's making. The truth is no matter how great Trump says the United States is doing, the numbers don't lie. So take a look at this, we're going to show you the numbers.

In just four weeks in the United States of America, we have gone from 2 million to 3 million coronavirus cases. We are now at our highest seven-day average of cases since the beginning of the pandemic and the crucial way to look at this is also the rate of positive infections that has also gone up. So for every group of people you test, what percent of them are positive, that's an indication of how widely and quickly the virus is spreading.

Accordingly to that seven-day average, we are now at 8.2 percent positivity. It has doubled, up from 4.4 percent just one month ago. WHO says you need to be south of five. We have doubled to more than eight. And as the number of cases rise so too is the amount of time people are waiting to get tested, so people still can't get the tests.

Remember these images back in March? People waiting hours to get tested across this country. We're again now seeing long lines outside testing places. In some place is people are waiting four to five hours and on the front lines, once again the same crisis that we saw when this hit the northeast, now a shortage of masks, gowns, face shields and gloves.

And in Houston, doctors at one hospital reportedly being told to reuse single use N95 masks for up to 15 days as they treat coronavirus patients. And the nation's largest organization of registered nurses found in late June that 85 percent of its members had been forced to reuse disposable N95 masks while treating coronavirus patient.

I sound frustrated because I am. I mean, this is deja vu. We've been there before. This wasn't supposed to happen again. And these images mirror what we saw months ago at the height of the pandemic in New York City. Patients being treated in tents because hospitals were overflowing.

And when it comes to hospitalizations, by the way, the White House is trying to say, don't worry about those numbers going up. There's no there there. Here's the argument.


PETER ALEXANDER(?): Hospitalizations in the country are up 50 percent since mid-June. How can the President say that the country is in 'good shape' right now?

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: So, I would note, with hospitalizations, in a lot of these hospitals - I spoke with Dr. Birx this morning - about 10 percent to 40 percent in the hospitals reaching high capacity are COVID, so a lot of hospitalizations aren't pertaining to COVID. What I would also note, and I'm glad ...

ALEXANDER(?): So the growth in hospitalizations is not because of COVID?

MCENANY: Well, a lot of it is elective surgeries and other surgeries that have opened up.


BURNETT: So elective surgeries, that is the line from the White House. It is not true. So let's just take the numbers again. We'll show you Texas which had a record in deaths in a single day today. Look at the spike in COVID hospitalizations, COVID, coronavirus, not elective surgery, less than 2,000 in early April, nearly 10,000 now. That is not elective surgery.

Hospitals are strained in many places and states are being told they may need to shut down again. And yet the President says he disagrees with Dr. Fauci when Dr. Fauci says the United States is knee-deep in the crisis.

I actually talked to the doctor who helped eradicate smallpox and he told me that Fauci who we all know is very conservative didn't even go far enough on this one.


LARRY BRILLIANT, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: We're not knee-deep, we're hip- deep and if we don't do something dramatically, we'll soon be neck- deep.


BURNETT: The President just denies that. He wants you to think and you heard him at the beginning, right, I said I was going to get back to this, that the whole reason that we're seeing this increase in cases is because we are testing more people. He keeps saying that. So for those of you who are tempted to believe him, let me explain why this is wrong.


So first of all, he said today, "For the 100th time, the reason we show so many cases compared to other countries that haven't done nearly as well as we have is that our testing is much bigger and better."

Well, for the 100th time, this is false. It is not because of testing. Here are the numbers, nationwide testing in the United States of America up by 7 percent over the past week. Cases over that time up by 24 percent. So that's nationwide, OK? He's wrong.

How about states with the highest cases? Well, let me show you Arizona. Back on June 7th, Arizona tested 14,100 people. The number of positive tests were just over 1,500. Today, they tested 12,000 people, the number of positive tests 3,500. In English, fewer tests, more cases.

Kaitlan Collins is OUTFRONT live at the White House tonight. Kaitlan, Dr. Fauci again painting a very different picture of the situation than the President and the President, what he says simply does not align with the facts.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And the President not only is trying to portray this optimistic portrait of what is going on, he wants to tell you things that aren't actually happening like how he is with the testing numbers and saying that if we tested half of the people, we'd have half of the cases. But also on so many other things and that's why you've seen the President often be at odds with Dr. Fauci who not only is not only focusing on just the optimistic stuff, he's giving people this realistic view of actually what's going on in the country.

And so the question is how is the President breaking with one medical expert, but it's also several others as well, Erin, including the CDC Director, Robert Redfield who we're still having all of this confusion about what their guidance is going to be on reopening schools and we're just weeks away from some teachers actually going back to schools.

You saw Dr. Redfield this morning in an interview saying they're actually not going to be changing that CDC guidance after there was confusion yesterday about whether or not they were. He now says they're only going to issue additional information. And so the question of how that's square with the President complaining about the CDC guidance as it was, was explained by the White House today by saying, well, they don't have to subscribe to everything that's in the guidance these schools because it's just that, guidance.

But Erin, Erin, the problem with that is and the President saying, well, you have to all reopen is they are basically telling these schools, it's up to you to decide how to reopen and how to socially distance your children and your students but we're going to tell you when to reopen and they say that has to be now and they want everyone back in the classrooms not just a staggered schedule or some of these limited classrooms like we've seen suggested.

BURNETT: All right. Kaitlan, thank you very much. I want to go now to Dr. Sanjay Gupta, our Chief Medical Correspondent and Dr. Ashish Jha, the Director of the Harvard Global Health Institute.

So, Sanjay, for the 100th time the President says that the increase in cases is due to the United States doing better than any other country in testing. So for the 100th time, the facts, of course, do not show that, right? Cases are going up more quickly than tests and in fact in some of the hotspots testing has gone down as cases have gone up.

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: And hospitalizations have gone up as well, right? So even if you say, hey, look, the testing is - if you buy into that narrative, which is absolutely not true for all the reasons you mentioned, you're also seeing an increase in hospitalizations. If you look at the trend map here, I think this is instructive. See

sort of what's happened since the beginning of this pandemic here in the United States. You'll see that the numbers sort of - they came to their lowest point, I think, right around June 1st. And at that point, we had some 17,000 people who became infected on that day and then really since then, for the last, what, six weeks now, five and a half weeks, the numbers have been going up and they've obviously surpassed the highest point from before.

So things are clearly going in the wrong direction and this idea that hey, it's because we're testing more not acknowledging the problem as a result, I'm worried we're not going to be able to fix it. How do we fix a problem that we're not even acknowledging.

BURNETT: Right. Well, and the President does - far from acknowledging it, Dr. Jha, right? So first they're trying to say there's no hospital issue because people are going back for elective surgeries, which just completely ignores the point that COVID hospitalizations have been surging for COVID not for elective surgeries. And yet time and time again, we hear the President giving a different reality. Here's just a few examples.


TRUMP: We understand the disease. We've learned.

The virus is abating.

And the crisis is being handled. We're putting out the fires.

We did it right. We saved millions of lives by what we did.


BURNETT: So what do you say, Dr. Jha, when the President of the United States says the numbers are only going up today because of testing?

DR. ASHISH JHA, DIRECTOR, HARVARD GLOBAL HEALTH INSTITUTE: Yes. It's sort of like we're in the middle of a hurricane and our political leaders are saying it's sunny and warm outside and it's not raining. It's sort of hard to know where to begin, so let's just do a few fact checks.


We have not done more testing than anybody else in the world. China has done much more testing than us. On a per capita basis, lots of countries have done more tests. Russia has done more tests per capita than we have.

This is just silliness. This is not about testing. Every doctor, every public health person understands that what we have is large outbreaks of this disease happening in large parts of our country. Hospitalizations are going up and in those states, deaths are going up. People are dying of this disease. There are more people dying of this disease now than they were two

weeks ago and four weeks ago in the hotspot states. This is incontrovertible. The debate and discussion we need to be having is what do we do about it, how do we protect lives, how do we open up our economy and not the stuff about are we doing more testing than anybody else. We're just not.

BURNETT: So those are the facts and Sanjay in all of this you now have schools. And schools have become the new the new lightning point, right? They just have become that and obviously you can't have an economy open without schools, so we all know that.

Dr. Redfield today says of the CDC says he wants the schools to open which fits with what Trump said. However, he said he's not going to revise the CDC guidelines, right, which Mike Pence came out and said, we're too tough and needed to be revised. And President Trump said he didn't like them and that they were tough and expensive and I'll be meeting with them. Sort of like a threat.

So I know you're going to be talking to Dr. Redfield in just a few minutes on the CNN Town Hall. Do you think the CDC will be able to walk this line, stand up to the President, not back off their regulations to get the schools open?

GUPTA: I don't know. I mean, because from a scientific perspective, I think the answer would be yes. But, obviously, Erin, as I think you're alluding to, there's a lot of other factors at play here which are unfortunate. I think for most people and I put my parent hat on here even more than Dr. Journalist hat on, you want to get you want your kids to go back to the safest possible environment, right?

I know it's harder for some schools and others, but I think anybody who's followed the story now for the last couple of months knows six feet away, masks, have plenty of hand hygiene stations, make sure kids don't congregate in certain areas. Those things all make sense. They should make sense to anybody who's followed this along, why those would be considered too strict or too stringent, I don't know.

I think one of the questions really here still is kids, obviously, I think it's pretty clear don't get as sick from this disease, COVID. I think an unanswered question still is just what is the transmissibility, like how likely are they to transmit the virus still.

Keep in mind, Erin, my kids and I'm sure kids as well, pretty much been home since March, right? I mean, older people have gone out, older kids, college kids, they've gone out more. Younger kids have largely, mostly stayed at home. So I don't think we have enough data really yet around the transmissibility.

We got to be very cautious going back to school. I like my kids to go back to school. But without the basic public health safety measures in place, nobody would want to do that.

BURNETT: So there's that, as you point out, that's going to be a real political issue which shouldn't be but it is because everything is now.

And Dr. Jha, I want to replay again that exchange, Peter Alexander (ph) asked the question about coronavirus hospitalizations and how they're up 50 percent since mid June. I wanted to play again how the press secretary answered the question.


ALEXANDER(?): Hospitalizations in the country are up 50 percent since mid-June. How can the President say that the country is in 'good shape' right now?

MCENANY: So, I would note, with hospitalizations, in a lot of these hospitals - I spoke with Dr. Birx this morning - about 10 percent to 40 percent in the hospitals reaching high capacity are COVID, so a lot of hospitalizations aren't pertaining to COVID.

What I would also note, and I'm glad ...

ALEXANDER(?): So the growth in hospitalizations is not because of COVID?

MCENANY: Well, a lot of it is elective surgeries and other surgeries that have opened up.


BURNETT: Of course, the reality again, Dr. Jha, is that COVID hospitalizations have surged so the point about elective surgeries is completely separate. It's not at all what he asked, so what do you say to this?

JHA: Yes. The bottom line here is more people are getting sick from COVID, more people are getting hospitalized from COVID, more people are dying from COVID. And elective surgery has nothing to do with that and in places are actually starting to cancel elective surgeries again because they're running out of room.

Look, we should have robust debates about how best to manage this disease. What are the strategies we should use to bring these things under control and get our economy going? We shouldn't have robust debates about facts where everybody knows what the data are and this is kind of questioning the basic premise of why people are getting hospitalized with COVID. People with COVID are not getting hospitalized for elective surgery.

It's a distraction and I would like for us as a country to confront this.

BURNETT: Yes. I agree. It's frustrating to have to come out here. I mean, it's ridiculously easy to do these fact checks. But the reality of it is people aren't always sitting at home doing fact checks and we sit here and have to have these conversation and these fact checks again and again. Thank you both.

[19:15:02] And make sure that you watch Sanjay, that's coming up, as I said Dr.

Redfield will be with him in the town hall starting in about 45 minutes. It's going to be really important to watch.

And next, President Trump heading to Florida, which just recorded its highest single day death toll from the coronavirus. But he is not going there to do anything about coronavirus. It's a fundraiser and another reason and we'll tell you about it.

Plus, what ground rules should Joe Biden lay down about debates, right? Should there be any? Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Biden backer is OUTFRONT.

And the story you'll see only here tonight, coronavirus patients in California now being treated intense in the desert and the temperatures are north of 100 degrees.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Crazy to you that you are positioned working in a tent in America?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. It's incredible, isn't it? Yes.




BURNETT: Tonight, Florida recording its highest single day death toll from coronavirus, 48 Hospital ICUs in the state are now completely full. It comes as President Trump will visit the epicenter of that state's surge tomorrow, South Florida. But he is not going because of the emergency to discuss coronavirus. He is actually going to talk about drug trafficking and raise funds for his reelection. Martin Savidge is OUTFRONT.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT(voice over): Three states set new grim records for number of deaths in a 24-hour period due to coronavirus; California 149, Texas 105 and Florida with 120.


Also in Florida, the Department of Health reporting today an additional 8,935 new cases as well as their highest positivity rate for coronavirus testing in weeks.


GOV. RON DESANTIS (R) FLORIDA: I know we've had different blips and now in a higher blip than where we were in May and beginning of June.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SAVIDGE(voice over): The almost daily record setting surging in

Florida triggering long lines of people waiting to be tested and causing officials to question the state's aggressive plan to reopen schools.


ALBERTO CARVALHO, MIAMI-DADE CO. PUBLIC SCHOOLS SUPERINTENDENT: At a time when quite frankly restaurants have been emptied out, shuttered, it is counterintuitive to mandate students to return to school at full capacity.


SAVIDGE(voice over): Despite such concerns, Disney World open today for pass holders. The President plans to visit Florida himself tomorrow not to talk corona concerns, but instead traveling to Doral to talk about drug trafficking.

Meanwhile, hospitals in hotspots like Florida, Texas and Arizona officials say are in danger of being overwhelmed with personal protective equipment again in short supply. Ten thousand people are hospitalized in Texas, with the state's Republican Governor calling it a massive spike.


GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R) TEXAS: When you look at the number of people who have been hospitalized over just the past couple of weeks, you can see that there may be more fatalities coming.


SAVIDGE(voice over): Arizona is reporting a record high spike coronavirus' emergency room admissions, on top of the shortage of ICU beds. All three Republican-led states opened early despite the advice of medical experts to go slow. But it's not the only way politics is encouraging COVID spread.

This weekend, President Trump plans to hold a rally in New Hampshire, triggering fears that the state could end up like Oklahoma where health experts are reporting a recent jump in Coronavirus cases following the President's rally in Tulsa last month where supporters ignored advice to wear masks and socially distance.


SAVIDGE: Getting back to Florida, Gov. DeSantis seemed to back off a bit from his hard charging demand the brick and mortar schools reopen. He said that if parents wanted to keep their students at home and have them study online, that should be an option for them. He also seemed to support the idea of the RNC in Jacksonville, having their meeting at an outdoor venue, perhaps something like the Jacksonville stadium. So there you have that, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Marty, thank you very much. And I want to bring in Dr. Aileen Marty, an Advisor to Miami-Dade

County Mayor Carlos Jimenez and an Infectious Disease Professor at Florida International University. I'm glad to have you back. Obviously, not under these circumstances though. You have the single highest death toll in the state of Florida that you've had so far, Doctor, in Miami-Dade where the President is coming. Your ICU bed use up 84 percent, ventilator use is more than doubled 116 percent. But the President is coming, fundraiser and to talk about drug trafficking. What do you say to that?

AILEEN MARTY, PROFESSOR INFECTIOUS DISEASE, FIU: I say that the President, his entourage better social distance and wear masks because our testing rate today showed a 33.5 percent positivity. That means one out of every three people who came for testing was positive. And over the last two weeks, we are averaging 24.29 percent positive. So I hope that they're very, very careful.

BURNETT: I mean, you also have the reality that a presidential visit, of course, requires a lot of resources, extensive medical preparation, coordination with local officials, you always have a primary hospital designated in case of emergency. Its medical capabilities evaluated by the President's team in advance in case of emergency, which obviously is going to tax a very, very exhausted healthcare system in Miami- Dade. Does this worry you at all just from the resources going in?

MARTY: There's so much going on in our community right now and it's so dangerous. And one of the other things that I'm worried about, in addition to what you've spoken about is people coming to either support or protest the President. And because we really don't need additional people getting close together in situations where they're likely to get infected, our hospital systems are very, very stressed right now.

Our doctors and our nurses are exhausted. Several admissions that I was involved with today, people are extremely ill. So we really need to get the message to the community to use the tools that we have at hand to protect ourselves.

BURNETT: Before we go, we just mentioned Disney World, I'm sorry, reopened to pass holders today. General public starts this Saturday even amidst this. This is obviously the biggest asset for Disney, they're very serious company, right? They evaluated the risks. Do you have any concern about this? Do you think they're seeing anything that's allowing them to move forward with this plan?


MARTY: Here's the situation, we are a lot worse today than we were before the previous lockdown. Our situation is quite serious throughout Florida. One difference and one advantage that Disney has today from then is that they've had time to evaluate and change their entire system so that it can be a little bit safer for people going in.

I haven't had an opportunity to review the details of their plans, but I do hope that it involves also personal responsibility for every single person who comes to Disney World and that Disney is providing them with the tools to help those people stay safe while they're in the park.

BURNETT: Dr. Marty, I really appreciate your time.

MARTY: Thank you. Pleasure.

BURNETT: And next, Biden going after Trump on leadership.


JOE BIDEN (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Trump has simply given up. He's waved the white flag.


BURNETT: Biden backer, Pete Buttigieg is OUTFRONT.

And a dire situation unfolding in one southern California hospital. Patients right now being treated intense, temperatures are over 100 degrees and we're going to go there next.



BURNETT: Tonight, the White House declaring victory as the Supreme Court rules President Trump has to give his tax returns to the Manhattan D.A., you say, wait, so how is that a victory? But not to Congress. So, that's what they're trying to spin as a victory.

Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany making this familiar promise.


KAYLEIGH MCENANY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: His taxes are under audit and when they're no longer under audit, he will release them.


BURNETT: Wow, years and years and years.

OK. Important to note, an audit, by the way, has nothing to do with whether you can release your tax returns. The White House calling this ruling a win for the president but his tweets suggest otherwise. The president saying, quote: This is all a political prosecution, political witch hunt.

OUTFRONT now, former Democratic presidential candidate and former South Bend mayor, Pete Buttigieg.

And thank you so much. Good to see you, Mayor Buttigieg.

So, the Supreme Court ruling -- I guess this is how they see the victory, right? It cements the fact that voters won't see Trump's tax returns before the election. And so, the White House is spinning this as a big victory.

I mean, are they right because of that basic reality which is the voters won't see them?

PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE AND SOUTH BEND MAYOR: Only the Trump White House could view keeping information away from the American people as a victory. Remember, we're only here because he is the first president in my entire lifetime not to just put out his tax returns. Not even presidents, but candidates are expected to do this. I did mine, not that there's much to see there. But it was a basic step that you take in the name of transparency.

We're also here -- let's not forget -- partly because the president was caught directing hush money payments to an adult film actress. So, nothing about this reflects well on the president, least of all the fact that they went all the way to the Supreme Court trying to say you couldn't get records from him because he's the president. That argument was more or less laughed out of the Supreme Court, and it goes back to the lower court to work its way through.

Nothing about this is a victory, and everything about this reminds us why we so urgently need a new and different president in Joe Biden come November.

BURNETT: So, you know, I thought Tom Friedman's column was really interesting. I'm sure you saw it yesterday, when he had a solution to get Trump's tax returns. His argument was -- let me quote the column -- Biden should declare he will take part in a debate only if Trump releases his tax returns for 2016 through 2018.

Debates always have ground rules. Why can't telling the truth and equal transparency on taxes be conditions for this one?

What do you say to this? Is this something that Joe Biden should seriously consider, to say I won't debate unless you return the tax returns, I mean, I'm sorry, unless you release the tax returns, and if you don't, then so be it, no debates?

BUTTIGIEG: I guess it's up to the vice president. But to my way of thinking, there ought to be debate and the tax returns ought to be released.

And again, this is supposed to be table sticks. You know, with this president, part of what's exhausting for all of us, whether you're a Democrat or not, what's exhausting for all of us is living with all of this drama, drama -- all of this chaos, and it doesn't have to be this way.

It's one of the reasons why I think even in conservative states and certainly in swing states, more and more Americans are turning their back on the Trump administration and saying they want change.

Now, of course, it's our job make sure that all of us supporting Vice President Biden stick together, continue getting that message out, take nothing for granted and keep pushing across the next four months. BURNETT: So, obviously, the economy is going to be central here. And

when it comes to economy and jobs, you know, for anyone who thought this would be temporary and people would be rehired, that was -- that was wrong. And today, Joe Biden unveiled his economic agenda, his plan to deal with it.

Here's apart of what he said Mayor Pete.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: This is our part to imagine and build a new American economy for our families and for our communities, an economy where every American, every American has a chance to get a fair return for the work they put in.


BURNETT: All right. So, that's what he said. Obviously, the context here, Mayor Buttigieg, is 50 million Americans have filed more unemployment since the pandemic really hit in the middle of March. I mean, these are stunning numbers, right? So -- and now, you have major companies who haven't done layoffs who are saying that they will.

Bed Bath & Beyond is closing 200 stores. American Airlines says -- I mean, I'm sorry, United Airlines says 45 percent of their work force could go. And I'm just cherry-picking, right? You and I both know it.


BURNETT: Is Vice President Biden thinking big enough to tackle what could be a very great depression?

BUTTIGIEG: Yes. His plan understands that not only do we need to build, but as he calls it Build Back Better because there's no going back to the economy we had before. And we don't have to accept the same weaknesses that the economy used to have.


We can build something that's going to be enduring for a generation. But that means being serious about putting workers first. When the president talks about the economy, he's usually talking about the best op (ph), the bulk of the tax cuts he pushed through. That's the world he comes from.

The world Joe Biden comes from is Scranton, Pennsylvania, a place not terribly different from South Bend, Indiana. And I'll tell you, you know, even before this pandemic hit, manufacturing was in a recession in this country.

Now, the economy is in shambles and it's just not going to do to have this president pretend it's not even a problem. It's going to take real serious action like the steps that Joe Biden put forward today that are about investing the in American products, investing in American workers, investing in American innovation. We can be and ought to be the most competitive economy in the world.

But it's not going to happen unless we make those investments. He sees that and his presidency will deliver that as we go on this long and difficult road coming out of this pandemic.

BURNETT: All right. Mayor Pete Buttigieg, good to talk to you again. I appreciate your time.

BUTTIGIEG: Same here. Good being with you.

BURNETT: All right. And next, a story you'll see only OUTFRONT. We're going to take you inside a hospital along the U.S./Mexico border, cases are surging and it's 100 degrees.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're inundated. Everybody is really tired and nobody -- you can see in my face, I'm -- you know, we're frustrated.


BURNETT: Plus, doctors learning things they never knew about the virus now, things like blood clotting and how that affects your body. I'm going to talk to a pathologist about these mysteries of coronavirus from those who have not survived.



BURNETT: Tonight, California reporting the most COVID deaths the in a single day since the pandemic began. We take you inside a California hospital bordering Mexico which is exploding beyond its walls with new cases.

Kyung Lah takes us inside for an exclusive look.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can't even get out of bed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When folks say, hey, it's a war zone, well, a war zone of what? A war zone of us trying to combat the COVID-19.

KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The front line in this battlefield --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just craziness still.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Anybody else sick at home?

LAH: Southern California's El Central Regional Medical Center.


LAH: CEO Adolphe Edward is a former Air Force officer and Iraq war vet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have seen this tent actually deployed with me when we were Balad, when we were in Iraq.

LAH: Now he's built them on American soil to handle a crush of COVID cases his hospital no longer has room for. Air-conditioned tents in the triple digit desert heat to handle patient after patient.

El Centro is in Imperial County. It sits at the U.S.-Mexico border. This rural community is 85 percent Latino. One in four live in poverty.

Per capita, it has three times as many COVID cases as Los Angeles, and the death rate is the highest in California.

(on camera): Is it crazy to you that you are a physician working in a tent in America?

DR. JORGE ROBLES, EL CENTRO REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER: Yeah, it's incredible, isn't it? Yeah, we'll make it through.

LAH (voice-over): Inside the hospital --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is exhausting.

LAH: -- we visit the sickest patients in the ICU. Every single patient in this 12-bed ICU has COVID, 11 of them survive with ventilators.

(on camera): Can you explain what you're wearing?

AMBER MAREZ, NURSE, EL CENTRO REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER: Well, it's a device that helps keep everything kind of closed so we're not exposed to anything.

LAH (voice-over): It's what nurse Amber Marez needs to wear to stay safe while helping her 40-year-old patient.

(on camera): How sick is he?

MAREZ: He's really sick and he's really young so we're trying to do everything we can before intubating him.

LAH: What does that suggest to you as a nurse that the age is dropping?

MAREZ: I think a lot of people aren't honoring like the stay-at-home. You know, a lot of people aren't doing the social -- aren't doing the social distancing.

LAH: That's what the El Centro Fire Department sees on the street. The battalion chief says in this town of 50,000 people, every single hour it is this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a possible COVID patient on scene. So, at this point, our personnel are gearing up for the COVID patient. LAH: In a full hazmat suit, Captain Chad Whitlock (ph) revives an

unconscious patient. It's a stifling 110 degrees.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have to (INAUDIBLE) all the equipment, and remove all your uniforms, and take a shower and put on a different uniform for the rest of the day.

LAH (on camera): You're dripping.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, ma'am. We're inundated. Everybody's really tired. And nobody's -- you can see it in my face. I'm -- you know, we're frustrated.

LAH (voice-over): That patient Captain Whitlock saved arrives at Central Medical's emergency room.

ANDREW LAFREE, MEDICAL DIRECTOR OF EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT, EL CENTRO REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER: We've hit capacity. We've transferred out two or three times the normal amount of patients that we're sending out. I think in the last two months, we sent out something like 500 patients.

LAH: Some to nearby San Diego, others as far away as northern California. This helicopter is here to pick up another patient.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're here for him.

LAH: ER doctors and nurses intubate under this blue drape to limit particle exposure. Stabilized, the patient heads out.

(on camera): Why is it happening so badly here in imperial county?

LAFREE: There are a lot of U.S. nationals that live in Mexicali. They had a really bad outbreak there. There's a lot of people that cross the border here for work that live in Mexicali and come to work here.

LAH (voice-over): The fields in Imperial County sent produce across the country. And even in a pandemic, some 20,000 Mexican day workers enter legally every morning to provide the labor.

No work, no money for food, says 65-year-old farm worker Jacinto Moreno. Four of his fellow farm workers have died of COVID, he says.

LUIS OLMEDO, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, COMITE CIVICO DEL VALLE, INC.: We cannot win a war on COVID in the emergency room.


Look at the big picture. We need to fight the war on COVID where it's breeding, and that's our neighborhoods.

LAH: In this binational county, COVID is not the disease. It's the symptom.

OLMEDO: They experienced social determinants of health like putting food on the table, like having to work in dangerous conditions, like not having the mask. We are the poster of those inequities, and the reason why we're not able to control COVID.

LAH: The hospital here is bracing for what's yet to come. This empty tent is the future COVID ward.

(on camera): Is this tent a sign that this pandemic is here to stay?

ADOLPHE EDWARD, CEO, EL CENTRO REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER: Yes, so, I keep telling folks, look, now it's a pandemic. Eventually, it's going to be an endemic. So, is this really how we want to take care of our communities? And the answer is no.


BURNETT: So, Kyung, you know, you see the images of that tent. You know, will it be enough? And, frankly, when you see the situation, when you see the heat, the exhaustion, the sweat on their faces, how long can they keep doing this?

LAH: That's a matter of resources. And regarding the tent, the tent that's over here, it is already not enough. That's why the hospital CEO wrote a letter to California Senators Feinstein and Harris asking for resources. This is something that he needs.

Here's his list for federal funding, 28 ICU nurses, 14 respiratory therapists, and 20 ventilators just by next week in order to cope with the crisis that's happening right now. So, one other thing, Erin, this community says, do not look away from rural communities. Do not look away from communities of color or lower income communities because you have to take care of COVID everywhere or it will continue to spread.


All right. Kyung, thank you very much. Incredible detail in that piece.

And next, cells that are often found in bones and lungs now discovered in the heart of people suffering from coronavirus. How do they know this? Because they are studying people who have died to find out all of these things that we still don't understand about the virus.

Plus, the hospital that was at the heart of the coronavirus outbreak in Italy. Tonight, wow, a different scene. We'll show you.



BURNETT: Tonight, Dr. Anthony Fauci calling the virus a perfect storm and a nightmare, because of how easily it spreads. But there's still so much we don't know about the virus. And some scientists are trying to learn more about studying those who didn't survive.

OUTFRONT now, Dr. Amy Rapkiewicz. She is the autopsy director at NYU Langone's department of pathology.

Dr. Rapkiewicz, I appreciate your time. You know, because every time we learn more about this, you know, Nick Cordero, the Broadway star, we hear about an amputation. We hear about all sorts of things, neurological and otherwise that happened to people. And people say, how can this happen from one virus?

And I know that you have seen something in the patients that you have looked at, that you have called remarkable. And I understand it's a special cells that help with blood clotting and you're finding them in places you would never find them, including the heart. You know, these cells that could cause blood clots.

Please tell me what you're seeing.

DR. AMY RAPKIEWICZ, AUTOPSY DIRECTOR, DEPARTMENT OF PATHOLOGY, NYU LANGONE: Sure, thank you. I think one of the important things we recognized with COVID very early on, both clinically as well as in the autopsies, is that there definitely is a propensity for clotting. And the clinicians at the bedside recognize clotting in lines and in various large vessels.

What we saw in autopsy was sort of an extension of that. The clotting was not only in the large vessels but also in the smaller vessels. And this was dramatic, because although we might have just expected it in the lungs, we found it in almost every organ that we looked at in our autopsy study, which we also found (INAUDIBLE) as well.

BURNETT: And I just -- I'm amazed, because I know you call that remarkable. I mean, how -- how unusual is that and what are the implications of such a thing, that you would see this sort of clotting in every single organ all over the body?

RAPKIEWICZ: Sure. So I think one of the issues is that in prior pandemics such as H1N1 or SARS 1, there wasn't that many autopsy studies that were done. They did find some degree of clotting in the lungs, but there wasn't a delineation of other organs it may have affected. So one of the opportunities, if there is one, to count in this virus is that we have had a chance to look at many, many organs through my study, as well as other studies, and really investigate what is the extent of some of this disease process.

So for example, as you mentioned, the mega carrier sites for the bone marrow cells, they normally don't normally circulate outside of the bone marrow and the lungs. And we found them in the heart, the kidneys, the liver and other organs.

But notably in the heart, mega carrier sites produce platelets, which are intimately involved in blood clotting. So I think one of the things what will happen in the future is, as we studies this, is really trying to recognize what's the association between these cells and how it influences sort of that small vessel clotting in COVID.

BURNETT: And certainly, this leads towards, you know, obviously potential treatments and understanding exactly what's happening, because if you don't know that, you can't treat. I know you also said one of the things that surprised you the most is something that you did not find. What was that? RAPKIEWICZ: Correct. So I think one of the things that was thought

early in the disease, because it provokes an inflammatory reaction, is that this inflammatory reaction involved the heart in a process called myocarditis. And both in my study as well as other studies and subsequent autopsies that I've done recently, we have not found myocarditis in the heart.


So, I think it's important to note some of the things that we did not find that we expected to find and other processes that are happening in COVID.

BURNETT: Well, I appreciate your time, Dr. Rapkiewicz. Thanks so much.

RAPKIEWICZ: Thank you.

BURNETT: And next, the surgeon general once warned the United States doesn't want to be like Italy. Wow, what we wouldn't do now to be just a little more like Italy.


BURNETT: Tonight, a glimmer of hope.

The main hospital in the city of Bergamo, Italy, which is at the heart of coronavirus outbreak in Italy has had its first day of zero COVID patients since the pandemic started. You remember some of these scenes at Papa Giovanni Hospital in April, just as Italy extended its lockdown days after the nation recorded its highest daily jump in deaths. Oxygen tanks lined up, medical staff and head to toe PPE, patients video calling family members.

Back then, the U.S. surgeon general was warning, quote, there's every chance we could be Italy. Well, if only. A hundred and thirty-seven days after Papa Giovanni's first COVID patient, the ICU staff today celebrating that their unit is COVID free.

Italy's curve as of right now is flat, that's on the bottom. You can see ours, it's green. We surely right now could only hope we would be a little more like Italy.

Thank you so much for joining us. Our global town hall, "CORONAVIRUS: FACTS AND FEARS", Dr. Redfield, Sanjay and Anderson starts right now.