Return to Transcripts main page


New Poll Finds 67 Percent Disapprove of His Handling of Pandemic; COVID Hits Black and Latino Communities at Staggering Rates. Aired 4:30-5p ET

Aired July 10, 2020 - 16:30   ET



DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: These are some of the most alarming poll numbers that the president has seen. He has not been seeing great poll numbers in these last several weeks.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN HOST: And what's interesting is that like the president's strategy seems to be right now -- you know, look, there's nothing to see here, things are getting better with coronavirus. But if you look at these poll numbers, that messaging doesn't appear to be working in his favor, particularly as you point out among Republicans.

And where are Americans as a whole on the pace of re-openings in the U.S.?

CHALIAN: Again, this is one poll, this ABC news will look to see as other polls come out. But right now, 59 percent of Americans say that re-opening the economy is happening too quickly. Only 15 percent say it's too slowly. About a quarter say it's the right pace.

But you're talking about nearly six in ten Americans. It's a pretty healthy majority in a divided universe that we live in that says the re-opening is happening too quickly.

BROWN: All right. Thank you so much, David Chalian. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, I appreciate it.


BROWN: And coming up, the population more at risk of being infected by coronavirus is also not getting tested as much.

Stay with us. We'll be right back.



BROWN: So when it comes to the communities hit hardest by this pandemic, "Politico" may have summed it up best. The story of COVID- 19's trajectory isn't blue to red. It's black and brown.

"The New York Times" reports black and Latino Americans are three times more likely to get this virus than white Americans, with a hospitalization rate nearly five times that of white Americans according to CDC data.

And as CNN's Abby Phillip reports, there is no report of relief in sight.


ABBY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. has shifted from the north to the south and west. But one thing has remained the same. In Arizona, Mississippi, and in Florida, black, Hispanic, and Native Americans are still being disproportionately infected, hospitalized, and killed by the virus.

And the problem is likely to get worse. The 23 states in the south and west with growing coronavirus outbreaks are home to 71 percent of all Hispanics, and nearly two-thirds of all people of color in the United States, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Yes, most of these are red states. In some cases, the states that resisted stay-at-home orders and mask-wearing, moving quickly to reopen with the support of the Trump administration.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's time to stay open, and we will put out the fires as they come up.

PHILLIP: But black and brown communities are paying the price.

KRISTIN URQUIZA, LOST HER FATHER TO COVID-19: My father, I believe, was robbed of life. My father was Mexican-American. For the majority of the stay at home ordinance, he was working until he was furloughed.

PHILLIP: Kristin Urquiza lost her father to COVID-19 in June. Her family, including this criticism in his obituary.

URQUIZA: His death is due to the carelessness of the politicians who continue to jeopardize the health of brown bodies through clear lack of leadership.

PHILLIP: According to CDC data where race is known, non-white groups represent a majority of coronavirus cases, and about half of deaths.

Add to that, how to pay for treatment. According to the CDC, Hispanics and Native Americans are three times more likely to be uninsured than non-Hispanic whites. And non-Hispanic black Americans are nearly two times more likely to be uninsured than non-Hispanic white Americans.

As cases rise in Republican-led states that have not expanded Medicaid, that problem could get worse.

DR. OLUWADAMILOLA FAYANJU, SURGEON & BREAST CANCER SPECIALIST, DUKE UNIVERSITY MEDICINE: That means there are a number of individuals for whom the healthcare exchange through the Affordable Care Act is unattainable.

PHILLIP: Then there's testing. Racial disparities also continue to be a problem there, experts say.

DR. KEVIN THOMAS, CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE SPECIALIST, DUKE UNIVERSITY MEDICINE: The populations who are most at risk, that's our Latino and African-American communities. There's not many testing opportunities for those folks.

PHILLIP: And when and if a vaccine arrives, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, warning that a lack of trust in health care institutions could hamper efforts to protect those groups. Fauci telling the "Financial Times" today, we've got to do some serious reaching out.


PHILLIP: Now, Kristin Urquiza shared her family's heartbreaking story, in part, because she wanted to urge policymakers about the need for a national strategy, a mask mandate that is also national. Her father lived in Arizona, a state where that state's governor has resisted a statewide mask order.

However, as cases rose in Arizona, he has allowed localities in cities to institute their own mask mandates -- Pam.

BROWN: Yes, Arizona is one of the places we are seeing COVID surge as of late.

All right. Abby, thank you so much for sharing that important story.

And I want to discuss this more with the founder and CEO of Advancing Health Equity, Dr. Uche Blackstock. She has been treating COVID patients at her clinic and is an expert on racial health inequalities.

Dr. Blackstock, thanks for coming on.

Abby laid it out really well about what's going on with the disproportionate impact on black and brown Americans. What are you seeing from your personal experience? And why are we seeing this?

DR. UCHE BLACKSTOCK, EMERGENCY MEDICINE PHYSICIAN: You know, it's such a great question. I work in several urgent care centers in Brooklyn. And over the last few months, we saw our patient population shift from pretty racially and economically diverse to mostly black and brown patients.

Many of them were essential workers and service workers. So they were essentially in public facing jobs that put them at risk for being infected.


Many of them also lived in overcrowded housing as well and took public transportation. So, again, these are many factors that place these sort of communities at risk.

BROWN: Yeah. I mean, you really laid it out there. There are several issues at play here. And then you look at the health care system as a whole. Racial disparity in the health care field has been a problem for a long time before this pandemic.

Just how deeply engrained is this issue in our health care system?

BLACKSTOCK: Well, it's very engrained. And it goes back centuries. You know, we have a pretty horrible history of the health care system and the government exploiting and abusing black and brown communities in this country. I'm thinking about the Tuskegee syphilis study which enrolled black men in the South with little to no education, and they had syphilis and there was a known treatment but they weren't treated for the disease and they went on to infect their partners and even had children with congenital syphilis.

So, this is a very, very deep history that needs to be reconciled and addressed. And it's not going to be easy.

BROWN: So, that's the next question. I know it's not going to be a black and white answer, or something really simple. But how do state and federal officials even begin to start correcting this?

BLACKSTOCK: That's a great question. I testified in front of the U.S. house subcommittee on coronavirus in June on racial and health inequities. What we need right now in the short term are an equitable allocation of resources to black and brown communities. So targeting testing, contact tracing, PPE, ensuring that the health care institutions in those communities are adequately resourced.

And in the long term we really need investment and funding in these communities around housing, around employment and education, which are the social determinants of health and are very critical to the health of these communities.

BROWN: And then there's also, of course, you know, the messaging. You've talked about how crucial messaging is about this virus, how important it is to black Americans to prevent further spread.

What does that need to look like?

BLACKSTOCK: So, what that needs to look like, it needs to be very nuanced. It can't just be Dr. Fauci telling people to wash your hands. It's got to be about engaging community-based organizations, using community health workers who are trusted individuals who work and live in the community. And it's going to be about a special type of outreach to these communities to ensure that they are protected, because this pandemic is here with us at least for about a year or two.

And we need to make sure that we don't see any other devastating losses to these communities.

BROWN: Yeah, at the least, unfortunately. We still have a long way to go, it appears.

All right, Dr. Blackstock, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

BLACKSTOCK: Thank you for having me. BROWN: Well, you might wait around a week for the results of a

coronavirus test, but not if you have a world-class jump shot. We'll explain up next.



BROWN: All right, turning now to our sports lead: college football's comeback looking dicey.


KEVIN WARREN, COMMISSIONER, BIG TEN CONFERENCE: One thing we have to realize that this is not a fait accompli that we're going to have sports in the fall. We may not have sports in the fall. We may not have a college football season in the Big Ten.


BROWN: Imagine that, the Big Ten canceled, all non-conference games, over safety concerns. The Ivy League canceled fall sports altogether, and the ACC delayed its season until at least September.

Joining me now is CNN sports analyst Christine Brennan.

Great to see you, Christine.

So, for those watching who are huge college football fans, how likely is it that there will be no college football this fall?

CHRISTINE BRENNAN, CNN SPORTS ANALYST: Pamela, college football is in big trouble, as are all college sports in the fall. That's -- there's no way to say it any other way. We may not know the final fate of college football and all fall sports for another few weeks, maybe even a couple -- another month or so.

But these -- the last 24 to 48 hours have been devastating for those who are hoping for the games to be played this fall. The Ivy League is not a big -- one of the big Power 5 conferences.

As you know, the Ivy League has set the tone, just as they did in March, when they canceled and the rest of the country followed. The Ivy League (AUDIO GAP) did is going to now be watched by all of these conferences and the college presidents, who care so much about what the Ivy League is doing.

BROWN: Yes, it wouldn't be surprising if they followed in the Ivy League's suit.

And you wrote in your story: "There are no good options for playing a sport that is the antithesis of social distancing in the middle of a pandemic."

And, as we know, Christine, the numbers are not moving in the right direction right now in a lot of states, but most professional and college leaves are still looking for ways to play. What are the driving factors here?

BRENNAN: Economics cannot be ignored, Pamela.

BROWN: Yes. Surprise, surprise.

BRENNAN: When you consider the money that is -- yes, exactly.

When you consider the money that's coming in with college football, the television money, it's extraordinary. And colleges will be devastate if they don't have -- economically, if they don't have that money coming in. That's a fact.

So that's the big concern. But when you have the Big Ten saying, as they did yesterday (AUDIO GAP) may not even be able to play at all, they're aware of that. When you have got the Ohio State athletic director telling people to wear masks, basically, and let these kids have a chance to play, talking about the trajectory in the country, you now see the magnitude of it, even with the money, that pot of gold that is so important to college sports, health and welfare of these student athletes is even -- well, certainly is more important.

It has to be more important. And you're also going to have the governors of these states and the mayors in these cities making -- helping to make decisions for these universities themselves.


BROWN: So, we will have to wait and see on that front. Meantime, the NBA is under pressure to explain why its players in Florida are getting rapid coronavirus tests, while members of the public, as we know, wait in long lines that we have seen, and some of the videos, and waiting for hours to get a test, and then up for a -- up to a week for results.

The league says its tests do not divert from public resources. But, at the very least, this could be an optics problem, right?

BRENNAN: Oh, without a doubt, absolutely, no question. It's a terrible optics problem, especially because the NBA chose to go to Florida.

And when they made the decision, Florida had not exploded with COVID again, but now it has. And so being in that state, Pamela, at this time is the worst possible scenario for the NBA. Major League Baseball is having trouble with its testing. And there are questions in Utah, where Major League Baseball's testing is, questions about if that is -- if that lab could be used for others.

And we're going to see more of this as these -- as baseball, as the NBA, as even the NFL starts getting going, major questions as we continue...


BRENNAN: ... (AUDIO GAP) the rise of the disease, and the fact that what is going on with the testing and these sports (AUDIO GAP) BROWN: All right, Christine Brennan, thank you so much for laying it

all out for us.

BRENNAN: Thank you, Pamela.

BROWN: Well, many schools still don't know if they will reopen for the fall.

And the uncertainty might be causing you and your children some stress.

We're going to talk to a psychologist about managing that up next.



BROWN: Well, parents are understandably stressed about what to do with their children's return to school.

The president, as we know, is pushing for schools to hold in-person classes. But, today, the Los Angeles teachers union recommended schools remain closed. And the nation's largest school district, New York City, will split time between in-person and online learning.

Clinical psychologist and author of the new book "Detox Your Thoughts" Andrea Bonior joins me now to discuss all of this.

Great to see you, Andrea.



BROWN: So, as a parent, I mean, how do you deal with the stress and the anxiety that comes along with the unknown like this, making such a big decision for your child?

BONIOR: Yes, it's so hard.

But I think it really comes down to creating a sense of community where we can and asking for help, because I think that's what we feel like we're missing. We're not together. The kids aren't with each other.

But if we can lean on each other in this time, and come up with some creative solutions, like, maybe one parent volunteers, hey, for two hours, I will teach your kid online some card tricks, or maybe, in the fall, our kids can get into a homework club together, where at least, for an hour, they meet and help each other study if they're older.

I think it's really a time to be not afraid to ask for help, and to be talking about what we're really afraid of, so that we can help each other out in that. BROWN: I do think talking about it really helps, just demystifying it and saying, look, I'm having anxiety about this. What should we do? How can we work together for solutions?

And as parents are coming to these decisions, making decisions like this, how do you counsel them to help them make decisions that they feel really good about?

BONIOR: Yes, part of it is remembering your values.

Everything seems so overwhelming. There's no perfect path here. Every single possibility seems to have so many drawbacks. But I think it's a matter of prioritizing values as a family. What's important to us? How can we say each day, OK, kindness is important, empathy is important, communication is important?

And then, even when we fall short or even when we think that school is not going perfectly, we can still make sure that we're feeling like we're prioritizing what's important to us and what's going to matter years from now, when we look back at this experience.

BROWN: Yes, it kind of gives you a sense of control, I imagine.

BONIOR: It does.

BROWN: Like, OK, so much is out of our control, but what is within our control is living with our values.

And when it comes to parents explaining all of this to their children, how do you recommend, how would you guide them to do that, to have this discussion with their kids?

BONIOR: Yes, I think, by now, kids are really getting frustrated, right?

And so I think it's a matter of really talking about that it's OK for them to have frustrated feelings. But also, too, I think one thing that's been really helpful that I have seen is for parents to focus on why we're doing what we're doing.

A kid is frustrated, well, my friends are having playdates, and I'm still not allowed. OK, it's not just about what you're not allowed to do, but why are we doing this? What are we doing? We're not just not having playdates. We are trying to protect each other. We are taking a stand. We are following science.

We are doing something that's going to help your grandmother's health. We're doing something that's going to help our neighbors stay safe. And to focus on feeling that sense of purpose, it's not just what we're going without, but it is the goal that we're making for all of us to actually end this sooner and to protect lives.

And I think even young kids can get on board with that.

BROWN: Yes, I think that's important. As someone who deals with anxiety sometimes, like just reframing it in your head of, OK, well, here's the good that will come from this, like, let's not lose sight of the bigger goal, is great.

BONIOR: Exactly.

BROWN: Well, Andrea Bonior, thank you so much.

As a mother myself, I will be sure to use some of those tips. Appreciate it.

BONIOR: Yes, thanks so much, Pamela.

BROWN: And speaking of the back-to-school dilemma, tune in to CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION" this Sunday. The guests include Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, as well as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. It's at 9:00 a.m. and noon Eastern on Sunday.

And I'm Pamela Brown, in for Jake Tapper.

Our coverage on CNN continues right now.