Return to Transcripts main page
U.S. Hits Record 60,000+ New Cases In One Day As Virus Spreads; COVID-19 Tests At 33 Percent Positivity Rate In Arizona; Ohio Governor Mandates Masks In 12 Counties As Cases Spike. Aired 10-10:30a ET
Aired July 10, 2020 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN NEWSROOM: Handling of this pandemic.
That's an all-time record-low for the president with 33 percent only who approve.
Let's go to Miami. Our Rosa Flores joins us again there this hour. You've got new cases and hospitalizations for them soaring again in Florida this morning.
ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Again, Poppy, we keep on having this conversation. Here is the reality in Miami-Dade County. The positivity rate is 33.5 percent. The goal for the county is not to exceed 10 percent, and they've exceeded 18 percent for the past 14 days.
Now, when it comes to hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients, those increased 76 percent in the past 13 days, 86 percent when it comes to ICU units and 124 percent when it comes to ventilators.
Look, Miami-Dade County is the epicenter of this crisis here in this state but there are other hotspots around the Sunshine State. When you look at the statewide positivity rate, it's 18 percent. And just yesterday, nearly 9,000 new coronavirus cases were reported and 120 deaths. That was a record. That is 120 families who this morning are mourning the loss of their loved ones.
Governor Ron DeSantis yesterday acknowledging that there is a lag, a delay in testing. So, to fix the problem, he says that next week, we're going to start seeing designated lanes at testing sites for symptomatic people. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): You're seeing turnaround time, it's just taking a lot longer. Tests get backlog, they're going every which way.
And we're going to start having dedicated lanes for symptomatic people and what we're going to do is we're going to contract with some of the companies who do the self-swab, send it in and then get a quicker turnaround time.
(END VIDEO CLIP) FLORES: And, Poppy, on schools, he said that if fast food and Walmart and Home Depot are essential, then education are essential. You and I have been reporting on this, Poppy. The State of Florida requiring schools to open up this fall for in-person instruction. Poppy?
HARLOW: Yes, he is not backing down from that. That's very clear. Rosa, thank you for your reporting for us this morning.
You just heard just how dire it is in South Florida. The president just left the White House. He is traveling to that area right now.
On this trip, he's hosting a fundraising event just about an hour north of Miami. Joe Johns we're joins us at the White House with more.
What else will he be doing there?
JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, let's see. He's got to go down there and do a fundraiser. That's the one thing we didn't know too much about until more recently. He's also got a visit to Ft. Lauderdale. And as a matter of fact, he's going to Southern Command to talk about drug interdiction and a roundtable with Venezuelan dissidents, which essentially is an outreach to the Hispanic vote in Southern Florida, which is very important for the president's re-election bid.
So these are the things the president is doing. The problem with this is that a lot of people say the timing is really bad. It's bad because of the situation with the healthcare community in South Florida. Whenever a president travels to a place like this, the healthcare community gets dragged into the contingency plans and, of course, this is not a time to be dragging people in the healthcare community in South Florida into the contingency plans because of the surging situation with coronavirus.
Back to you, Poppy.
HARLOW: Okay. Joe Johns, thank you.
Moments ago, that is the president about to -- getting off of Marine One and back to board to Air Force One and head down to Florida.
Well, hospitals in Texas are in crisis mode right now. Ed Lavendera joins us in Dallas. And, Ed, I mean, the crisis, not even the worst of it, if you ask the governor, Greg Abbott.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. We'll get to that in a second here, because the statement that's coming from Governor Greg Abbott here in Texas is
quite a change from the tone we've heard here in this state for the last few months. But as you mentioned, hospitals feeling the punch.
We've reported earlier this week of military medical teams being brought in to help hospitals in San Antonio. Here in Dallas, the largest public hospital, Parkland, has federal disaster medical teams, are being brought in to assist with the overwhelmed staff in the hospital here. This as city officials and local officials across the state in many areas have been warning that hospital bed space and ICU bed space will become an issue over the course of the next few weeks.
And yesterday here in Texas, health officials reported the deaths of 105 people. It's a record single-day high, the first time that the fatality number has topped the 100 mark since this pandemic started. In the course of the last three days, nearly 30,000 new coronavirus cases have been reported. And listen to the way the governor is talking about what we could see next week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R-TX): I think the numbers are going to look worse as we go into next week. And we need to make sure that there's plenty of hospital beds available in the Houston area.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAVANDERA: And this is a governor battling from every side here in Texas. Conservatives arguing that the governor has gone too far in terms of mask mandate, you have the big city leaders across the state saying that he hasn't done enough. It is a wide range of opinions and intense thoughts about how all of this should unfold, which just adds to the confusion, I think, probably as we've reported in many circles, because here, the numbers just continue to suggest a very dire situation in virtually every corner of this state. Poppy?
HARLOW: Very dire. Ed, thanks a lot.
Also, on top of the shocking numbers in Florida and Texas, just startling numbers out of Arizona, where this morning, 33 percent, that's one in three, COVID-19 tests are coming back with positive results. That's according to the COVID tracking project. And there are fewer than 150 ICU beds available across the entire state.
Listen to how one ICU nurse there described what she is facing to my colleague, Chris Cuomo.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LAUREN LEANDER, ICU NURSE IN PHOENIX: We're stretched so thin. We're at the point of compromising patient safety. We're working with ventilators left with single digits of ventilators left. We have triple patient assignments now. We have three COVID ICUs that are completely full.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: Let's bring in Wendy Smith-Reeve. She is the former Director of the Arizona Department of Emergency Management. Thank you for being here.
I can only imagine being a resident, being someone who served dealing with all of this what it must be like for you when you look at these numbers. Why did this happen?
We lost our audio. Should we take a break?
All right, we'll take one more check. Wendy, can you hear me?
Okay. We're going to take a quick break. We will try to get back to her.
Also joining us ahead, the governor of Ohio talking about the situation in his state getting worse and masks are mandatory in 12 counties. Will he make it mandatory statewide? That's ahead for us this hour.
Also, why one vaccine maker thinks it will take a decade before the world's population gets immunity from coronavirus.
And while schools struggle to get a clear answer on how to reopen safely, the president is, again, threatening to pull funding from schools that don't reopen physically this fall.
HARLOW: Okay, we can hear her now. So let's bring back Wendy Smith- Reeve. She is the former Director of the Arizona Department of Emergency Management. Thank you for being here.
I was asking you before the break, as someone who has dedicated so much of her life to doing this to see these numbers, one in three tests coming back positive in the State of Arizona, what's it like for you?
WENDY SMITH-REEVE, FORMER DIRECTOR, ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT: It's pretty scary to watch those numbers continue to rise. That's for sure. And to your previous question how did we get here, I think some have said that we went to the stay-at-home order too late and we reemerged too early, especially right before a holiday weekend.
And you see the images in Arizona where you see a lot of crowded bars and nightclubs and, you know, just these large congregate settings that are people are placing themselves in and then come to find that they had contracted the virus just within days.
HARLOW: Okay. So when you talk about lessons learned, right, it's one thing to look back and I get that we can't change the past, but we can change the future for the people of Arizona. The governor did something that should help and that is reducing in-person dining to 50 percent. But what else needs to be done, right? There is no statewide mask mandate, for example, in Arizona. Should there be?
SMITH-REEVE: Right. So he did finally give that authority back to the local jurisdictions to make those decisions for their communities. And there is a lot of encouragement for masking even for those communities that do not have an order in place.
So reducing dining to 50 percent, putting that in the executive order, took it from a recommendation to a requirement, so now it's enforceable.
But I think that with what we've seen with the activities that give you a high probability of contracting the virus and avoiding those types of activities are something that people can do.
HARLOW: Why did you step down from your role?
SMITH-REEVE: I felt that my role was being addressed by others in the governor's office and I felt that my role was duplicative and it was better, I thought, for the team to have just one person providing guidance.
HARLOW: Were people listening to your recommendations, Wendy?
SMITH-REEVE: My team was doing a fantastic job on doing the best that they know to do. We execute our state emergency response and recovery plan multiple times a year. We implement it whenever there are disasters in Arizona. And so deviating from that standard protocol was difficult for the team and very confusing.
HARLOW: When you hear this about schools, because I know you have kids, they're out of school now, but so many -- you know as a parent how important it is to have children in school. At the same time, you know how important it is to have healthy people in your city and your state and across the country.
Listen to this from the CDC director yesterday, Robert Redfield.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. ROBERT REDFIELD, CDC DIRECTOR: I can't not overstate how important I think it is now to get our schools in this nation reopened. And the reason I push it is because I truly believe it's for the public health benefit of these kids.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: is it a greater public health benefit in your assessment in the state of Arizona to have schools open or closed?
SMITH-REEVE: So I think that there is benefit for having schools open, but going to those online opportunities and remote learning might be better for the health of the healthcare system and for the health of everyone's family.
So you need to take a look at what is going on within each family. So if there are co-morbidities within the family, home-schooling or remote learning might be a better option for that family. But also you have families with two parents that are working. And so having school there to support the child is definitely something that they require.
So it's an independent need. It's really based on family dynamics.
HARLOW: So, really having choice for families, for students, but I think also for teachers, that's important too, right?
HARLOW: Wendy, thank you very much for being with me this morning.
SMITH-REEVE: Thank you.
HARLOW: Well, coronavirus cases in Ohio have been on the rise as controversy over when and how to reopen schools is growing nationwide, right? Also growing the controversy over whether or not wearing a mask should be required.
Ohio's governor is now making those decision county by county. It's now up to 12 counties where they are mandating masks.
Governor Mike DeWine of Ohio joins me. Governor, it's really nice to have you.
GOV. MIKE DEWINE (R-OH): Good to be back. Thank you.
HARLOW: Look, you've been a leader on this really from the beginning. Everyone knows that. And I want to talk about, you have 12 counties where you're mandating masks across Ohio, because the numbers are going up. I mean, you've got level 3 or red categories on all those counties.
What about a statewide mask mandate? Are we at that point of necessity in Ohio?
DEWINE: No, I don't think we are. The message I've got from Ohioans has been, if we have a problem in our county, we should deal with it. But I may live in a small rural county and the spread is not really great.
Now, we have spread in every county and we strongly recommend that everybody who goes out in public, no matter what county they're in, in Ohio, that they should have a mask on. But mandating it takes it to that next level.
Now, we've done that, as you've told our viewers, with 12 of our counties. Most of them are pretty big counties. So it's a lot of population in the state. And the message is, look, we have a serious, serious problem in your county. We've got growth that is going like that. And we need to try to slow this thing down. So that's our message. But we hope that everyone will wear a mask out in public.
And, you know, frankly, we don't have to have everybody. But if we could get 80 percent of all Ohioans to wear a mask out in public, keep the social distance, we'll knock this thing down. We really will.
HARLOW: Well, I hear you. But I also know people drive a long way for their jobs oftentimes or they're going to visit a family and they go from county to county. So at this point, why would a statewide mask mandate hurt, right? What would be the downside of that?
DEWINE: It certainly would not hurt. We started several months ago. We had a business group that helped us, business groups, people and health folks who put together the orders for business going back. So every business, all the employees are wearing masks today in the State of Ohio unless there's an exception or reason they can't do it.
That group also did recommend that all customers who go into a store should wear a mask. We've put that out and it was abundantly clear particularly in our rural counties that people were not accepting that at all. And, frankly, we had to make a judgment, what would people tolerate, what would they do.
But now, we're seeing -- we're able to get data by county, we can show people what the red counties are, we can show them counties that are trending in that direction, and so it's informing people.
And by putting a mandatory on in those counties, we're saying, hey, we got to be really careful in these counties, but we're also signaling to everybody else, look, we're trending this way, our numbers are not good, we're 1,200 or so cases per day, it's going up. And we have a problem and we better deal with the problem.
HARLOW: When it comes to counties where masks are mandated, I know my colleague, Chris Cuomo, played this sound for you as well. But for viewers who may have missed that, my colleague and friend, Brianna Keilar did a really interesting interview this week with the sheriff of Butler County in Ohio.
DEWINE: Nr. Jones, Sheriff Jones.
HARLOW: Yes. And I know he's your friend, Governor, but here is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHERIFF RICHARD JONES, BUTLER COUNTY, OHIO: I am not the mask police. I am not going to enforce any mask wearing. That is not my responsibility. That is not my job. People should be able to make those choices themselves.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: Did you call your friend to have a conversation about the role of mandating masks in counties where you deem it's necessary?
DEWINE: No. The sheriff and I disagree on this issue. And, look, the evidence is abundantly clear. Wearing a mask is one of the things that we can do that matters a lot. Social distancing and a mask, you put those two things together and we will make a big difference.
I think what the sheriff may be missing is that for us to keep businesses open, for us to allow people to go to work every day, wearing a mask is going to allow this to continue in the State of Ohio if we can keep this virus down. If this virus spikes up and people are scared, it isn't going to matter what I order or what I don't order as far as businesses are closing or not, people aren't going to those businesses.
So these two are tied directly together.
HARLOW: That's true.
I want to use the remainder of our time if we could to talk about schools, because you were among the first in the nation. You had five cases only, I believe, in the State of Ohio, and you decided to close the schools, as you did earlier, than here in New York City, for example. But where is your head on opening schools in a matter of weeks? Are Ohio schools ready to be open? And if they are, will teachers be mandated to be there in person or risk losing their jobs?
DEWINE: We have over 630 school districts in the State of Ohio. In Ohio, we are very local control of education. So I've asked the superintendents, the school boards, the teachers to put a plan together for each one of their districts. And they have alternatives. If things start getting bad, if we have a huge there's an uptick, they need to be prepared to do what they have to do.
But it's really up to them. We've said, I said that, look, I would love to see every kid back in school, in the classroom. You saw last week when the American Academy of Pediatrics came out with what they said. And they said, look, there's a downside to kids not going to school too. So you've got to balance these things.
HARLOW: We do. I don't envy the job you have and the decision you have to make and I'm a parent who wants my kids in school but I want their teachers to be safe and healthy. And I guess what I'm trying to get at is, parents are going to have a choice. They can send their kids to school or not and online. But should teachers have that choice?
And just to make that point not from me but from a teacher in your state, listen to this from Karen Lloyd. She teaches first grade in Wintersville, Ohio.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAREN LLOYD, FIRST GRADE TEACHER IN WINTERSVILLE, OHIO: We are in old school buildings. We are in the foothills Appalachia. We have no air conditioning, which will make it impossible in the fall to wear face coverings in the heat. They're small rooms with 25 students, kids coming in off of buses. They're on buses for 45 minutes because of the routes. And I don't see how the children can social distance from each other. It just doesn't seem reasonable, the requirements that the governor has set out for us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: Will Karen lose her job if she doesn't go teach?
DEWINE: Well, I understand where she's coming from. You know, every school is different. We're allowing, as we always have in Ohio, schools to try to sort this out. And we've given them some very strong guidelines. We've said that every employee at school needs to wear a mask. We have said we highly recommend that every student from third grade up wear a mask and we've also said that, look, many schools will require kids in kindergarten to wear a mask. there's a particularly challenge, as we pointed out, with people on buses when kids are riding buses, and that they've got to be particularly careful.
So, look, there's no one answer to this. Part of what I continue to say to Ohioans -- I said yesterday at a conference press -- is what we do in the fall, whether we'll be able to go back to school in classrooms, whether we'll be able to have Friday night football, whatever you like to do in the fall is going to depend to a great extent what we do in the next 30 days, because we've got to slow this spread down. And if we don't slow this spread down. It's just not good. It's not good. And we've got to get control.
But we have it within our power. Social distancing, the mask, we have this collectively in our power. If we get 80 percent of Ohioans to do this, it will make a big difference.
HARLOW: What are you willing to sacrifice in the short-term for the long-term gains of everyone? You're right. Governor, good luck. Thank you so much.
DEWINE: Thank you. Thank you very much.
HARLOW: Coronavirus cases surged in the weeks after Memorial Day. So, now, we're just past the 4th of July. Are we going to see the same thing? Dr. Sanjay Gupta is back and joins me next on it.