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Major League Soccer Preparing to Resume; Disney World Set to Reopen. Aired 3-3:30p ET

Aired July 10, 2020 - 15:00   ET

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


[15:00:02]

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: Our special coverage continues now with Brooke Baldwin.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: Brianna, thank you.

Hi there. I'm Brooke Baldwin. And thank you for being with me on this Friday afternoon. You're watching CNN.

Let's dive right in.

Dr. Fauci said he hasn't been briefed -- hasn't briefed President Trump on the COVID-19 pandemic in nearly two months. And the nation's top infectious disease expert says the last time he saw the president was June 2.

And since then, look at what has happened, the number of new cases per day breaking records day after day. In fact, new records have been set in two of the last three days, ending with more than 63,000 cases on Thursday.

We are also seeing several states setting new records every day for hospitalizations and deaths. So, when President Trump throws out this number, you have to wonder where it comes from.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We show cases, 99 percent of which are totally harmless.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: So, guess who else wonders where that number comes from?

Yes, Dr. Anthony Fauci. This is what he said today -- and I quote -- "I'm trying to figure out where the president got that number. What I think happened is that someone told him that the general mortality is about 1 percent. And he interpreted, therefore, that 99 percent is not a problem, when that is obviously not the case" -- end quote.

So, just so we're all on the same page here, so, the president of the United States is not understanding the numbers, this while he is in Florida right now, an epicenter of the spiking number of cases.

So what is the president talking about there? Drug trafficking, Joe Biden and his random claim that nobody but him remembers that Abraham Lincoln was a Republican.

Oh, and when he arrived in South Florida, an area where masks are mandatory, the president did not have one. You see there the local officials who greeted him, faces covered.

And as we all watch this and watch states struggling with spiking numbers of cases and watch hospitals fill to capacity, this word from the World Health Organization, an official today saying -- quote -- "In our current situation, it is very unlikely that we can eradicate or eliminate this virus" -- end quote.

Let's begin in Florida, now one of the most troubling epicenters in the entire country. Today, the state reported more than 11,000 new infections and at least 93 deaths. That is just shy of the single-day record in cases reported late last week, and an increase of more than 1200 percent since the state's may four reopening.

Rosa Flores is live outside Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.

And, Rosa, let's start with the positivity rate. What's the latest on that today?

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Miami-Dade County just released it, Brooke, and it's down slightly but there's no good news here. It's down to 28 percent from 33.5 percent.

But here's the thing. The goal for the county is not to exceed 10 percent. Well, they have been over 18 percent for the past 14 days. Like I said, there is no good news here.

And the hospitals are getting tested. The infrastructure is getting tested. Miami-Dade County also just released the hospitalization numbers of COVID-19 patients. And, according to Miami-Dade County, the number of COVID-19 patients has increased in the past 14 days by 74 percent, ICUs by 88 percent, and ventilators by 123 percent.

Now, I want to -- want you to take a look at your screen and take a look at this curve, and then listen to Governor Ron DeSantis describing the curve here in Florida.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): When you have a flatter curve, which Florida has, you can look at kind of Northeast. They went boom. Florida, Texas, I mean, we're just much flatter. It means it goes on longer.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FLORES: And, Brooke, if we could show that curve just one more time--

BALDWIN: Not so flat. FLORES: -- the governor there describing it as flatter. Not so flat. Exactly right.

BALDWIN: Not so flat.

Rosa Flores, thank you so much for being there and for reporting on all of this day in and day out, out of Florida.

Let me bring in CNN medical analyst Dr. Celine Gounder.

And, Dr. Gounder, when you hear Rosa, when you hear the update from her just on what's happening in Florida, not such a flat curve, when Dr. Fauci specifically calls out Florida for reopening too quickly, just, short of a statewide shutdown, what can be done to stop the surge?

DR. CELINE GOUNDER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Well, honestly, Brooke, I don't think there's much option other than a statewide shutdown.

The measures that we would normally use, things like testing, contact tracing isolation, those work best when you have at least suppressed community transmission to a more controllable level. But this is completely out of control.

You have widespread community transmission. And I really don't see any other way right now.

BALDWIN: You have a governor, let's just be frank, who is in denial of the curve.

[15:05:02]

GOUNDER: I think that's right.

And I think, unfortunately, now, we're starting to see an increase in deaths, subsequent to the increase in infections. And this is going to hit Florida, with an aged population, really hard.

BALDWIN: We will be talking to a Disney World employee in Florida in just a couple of minutes. Do you think Disney should be reopening tomorrow?

GOUNDER: I find that really concerning that they are planning to do that. You're going to have people not just from Florida, but from all over the country.

This is a little bit like those spring break beach scenes that we saw earlier this year, where the kind of mixing you have of people from everywhere, then taking that back with them, the coronavirus back with them, could be very dangerous, not just for Florida, but for other parts of the country.

BALDWIN: Let me -- let me play you something, just on another topic. Dr. Fauci said this morning at an AIDS conference. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, NIAID DIRECTOR: Importantly -- and this has evolved over the months, because it was not clear early on, and it's changed the way we think about transmission and control -- in that about 40 to 45 percent of individuals infected are asymptomatic.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Dr. Gounder, that's -- I want to ask you about the 40 to 45 percent of individuals infected, they're not showing symptoms. How then do you screen people by temperature before coming into work or into school, should they reopen in the fall? How do you do that?

GOUNDER: I mean, it's not really possible. You're going to end up missing about half of people by using those temperature screens and symptom screens. And that's assuming people don't self-medicate with ibuprofen or acetaminophen, Tylenol, and that they're honest about reporting their symptoms.

So I think you're going to miss a huge number of people who are potentially infectious with that kind of approach.

BALDWIN: Is that -- are you surprised by that, 40 to 45 people infected, but not showing symptoms? I mean, I know it's still sort of Wild West when it comes to coronavirus, but it's a lot of people not showing symptoms.

GOUNDER: I mean, that's sort of the ballpark. We were thinking around somewhere between 30 and 50 percent earlier on. So, I mean, that's smack in the middle of that. I think we're just sort of honing in on what that range is.

But I think -- I think this is one reason scaling up testing is really important, because that's going to be more sensitive and accurate than the symptom screening alone.

BALDWIN: There are deaths rising in 10 states, including in states we have been talking about, like Florida, like Texas, but also in Mississippi and places like Nevada. What hot spots are you watching really closely?

GOUNDER: Well, I think, in addition to what's happening in those really hard-hit states, one thing I am concerned about, because this is going to matter for actually every state long run, is, what does this mean for parts of the country in the Northeast that were hit hard before that have instituted many of the public health measures we have been talking about, the testing, contact tracing, isolation?

It's only a matter of time until somebody with coronavirus travels to those places, if they haven't already, and reintroduces the virus into the community. And so then the question is, those measures we have put in place, are those enough to protect us?

Because that's really going to be predictive for what's going to happen in the rest of the country, too.

BALDWIN: Let me just stay on that for a second. So you're saying -- let's use New York City as an example. It was the epicenter many months ago. Now we're talking about hospitals at zero COVID patients.

And so you're saying the fear would be, if somebody comes back who is infected, it could just create the issue all over. Is that what you're saying?

GOUNDER: Right. Right. That's exactly what I'm saying.

So are the public health measures we have put in place enough to protect us from another big spike or not? And that remains to be seen. We're not sure yet.

BALDWIN: What about the health systems? I know that you have worries about health systems being overwhelmed across the country, and not only now, but fall into winter.

Is that also because it'll be a bit of a double whammy with the flu season?

GOUNDER: Well, we're definitely going to have, at least in New York, a second spike, whereas the rest of the country may just be on their first wave of this.

But, regardless, you're going to see an overlapping of coronavirus and flu. And it's going to be impossible to distinguish who's who, especially when people first come into the hospital. So you have to treat everybody as if they have COVID.

And that's all of the personal protective equipment, how we put them in different rooms, the staffing, all of that. Before, when we had this really big spike in New York City, we could bring in traveling nurses from Texas, some of whom are still there, even though Texas is now being hit really hard.

But if the entire country is dealing with those kinds of numbers all at once, we're going to have real shortages of everything, the PPE, the people, the ventilators, everything.

BALDWIN: So, last quick question just on flu vs. coronavirus, because having had coronavirus and having had the flu, in the beginning, I mean, I was lucky I didn't end up in the hospital with real issues with my lungs, but it was nasty.

And I can understand, at first, you may be confused, is it the flu, is it coronavirus? And if somebody is admitted to the hospital and you put a flu patient who's actually a coronavirus patient in with some flu patients, then you have an issue.

[15:10:01]

GOUNDER: Yes, that's right.

So, I mean, that's why we basically have to put each of these patients in their own room, at least in the beginning, until we can sort out who has coronavirus, who has the flu, and who has both.

So, that's a really big logistical nightmare. BALDWIN: Dr. Celine Gounder, I'll leave it. Thank you very much for

all your answers. There are just so many questions I have over all of this. I appreciate it.

We have talked so much about Florida, the deteriorating situation in Florida, not stopping Disney World reopening tomorrow. How do the workers feel about that? Let's ask one next.

And a second team drops out of Major League Soccer's season-restarting tournament at Disney after nine players test positive. I'll talk to a player who's there.

And President Trump says he is looking at potentially pardoning his longtime friend and convicted criminal Roger Stone. We have those details ahead.

You are watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[15:15:13]

BALDWIN: As cases surge in Florida, Disney World is welcoming back visitors.

Two of its Florida theme parks will reopen to the general public tomorrow, amid the coronavirus pandemic ravaging much of the state. And while Disney is reopening in phases and implementing several new health and safety measures, which include show cancellations and no selfies with Mickey or Minnie, visiting theme parks, according to the Texas Medical Association, is one of the highest-risk activities you could do right now.

So let's go straight there.

Joining me, an employee of Disney's Animal Kingdom, Jessica Lella.

So, Jessica, thank you so much for joining me. Welcome.

JESSICA LELLA, DISNEY WORLD EMPLOYEE: No, thank you. It's amazing.

(LAUGHTER)

BALDWIN: Listen, we know the story in Florida. You know the story of Florida, cases surging. I know you have been back at work and training for the last couple of weeks.

Tomorrow, you officially go back on the job. Do you feel safe, first question?

LELLA: Honestly, I do.

There's a lot of procedures that Disney has added. And I honestly feel safer going to Disney than I do going to the grocery store.

BALDWIN: That's interesting. And, as we talk, I want to show some pictures, to your point, of what

it looks like now in Animal Kingdom. And check this out. We can see Plexiglas installed just to help separate people waiting. I know there are signs like this one all over the park, even Disney masks being sold.

Talk us through how your job has changed, just to keep you safe and all the guests.

LELLA: So, a lot has changed honestly.

So, the guests -- as you know, the guests at all times should be wearing masks, unless they are sitting down eating or drinking. And the same applies for the cast members.

So, even if a guest doesn't see me, I'm still wearing my mask. We have extensive cleaning procedures. It's a lot of procedures. I--

BALDWIN: How do you know that? Because you have seen them with your own two eyes? You know how thorough this is?

LELLA: So, I work in the attractions areas. So the vehicles are tiptop shape. They -- we have chemicals that we -- we wipe down all the seats.

Yes, I know some areas, they have added Plexiglas onto the physical vehicles to at least add that extra barrier, as well as having a mask. They have the relaxing stations, where guests are able to sit down and socially distance and have their masks removed.

That way, it helps with the heat and everything like that. If they want to have a little nibble and eat, they're more than welcome to.

BALDWIN: Let me jump in. Let me jump in and ask you. You're giving all these great examples.

So, for people who love Disney, want to go no matter what, other than not getting the selfie with Mickey, what do you think is the biggest change that you just want to brace people for?

LELLA: The biggest change is, honestly, just knowing that you have to wear a mask at all times, honestly.

The lines are going to be a lot shorter, in the sense of, there's not going to be as many guests physically going into the park. So, just the mask, just getting used to wearing a mask all the time, I think, is going to be the biggest change.

BALDWIN: Yes. No, I hear you, from Disney World, mask not optional.

Jessica Lella, thank you so much. Enjoy. Stay healthy. Good to have you on.

Coming up next, I will talk to a Major League Soccer player who is at Disney for the league's big season-restarting tournament. Two teams have already dropped out due to positive COVID cases. Does he feel safe? Let's ask him.

And President Trump's handling of the pandemic getting its lowest approval rating to date. We have those details ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[15:24:14]

BALDWIN: Major League Soccer is back on the pitch with a tournament in Orlando, Florida. All of the teams were supposed to be there taking part, but two of them, Nashville and Dallas, withdrew because of numerous players testing positive with COVID.

With me now from Orlando is Earl Edwards Jr. He's a goalie for D.C. United.

So, Earl, welcome. Great to have you on.

EARL EDWARDS JR., MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER PLAYER: Thank you. Thank you for having me.

BALDWIN: I know you were supposed to be playing today. Your game was moved to Sunday because the team you were playing delayed their arrival to Orlando because of COVID.

Just how are you handling all the challenges, all the uncertainty?

EDWARDS: Yes, there's a lot of uncertainty. And I think that just comes with the territory of a global pandemic.

But, as a team, we have discussed there's going to be hiccups in the road, and be able to roll with the punches. And when the time comes to play, we will be ready.

[15:25:03]

BALDWIN: I appreciate the confidence. This is one mighty hiccup.

I mean, how is the league doing on this? Do you feel safe?

EDWARDS: Yes, it's a pretty unprecedented time.

So I think the league's doing their best to put in protocols and protect our health. And, for me, there's always a little bit of fear involved. Like I said, being a global pandemic, things are difficult. But I do feel safe and I'm prepared to play.

BALDWIN: Right on.

And I want to ask you about the fight for social justice. And, as I do, I see part of your shirt, it says black -- what does it say, your T-shirt?

EDWARDS: It says "Black and Proud."

I'll sit up a little bit. You could see it-- (CROSSTALK)

BALDWIN: Right on. OK, thank you. I got it. I see it.

And here you are. You're on the front lines, as a founding member of Black Players for Change. You and the players made quite a statement before the opening game of this MLS tournament. Just talk to me about that. Why did you do it? And what is the message you want to send?

EDWARDS: Yes, so I think it was important for us to use our vehicle through soccer, to use our platform to make a statement in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

And the point of it for us was to continue the fight for social justice and racial equality, and to be able to use our platform in the manner, to organize over 170 black players in a short period of time, along with organizing our group as a whole and creating our organization, it was cool to see that come to fruition.

BALDWIN: We saw the coach of Montreal, Thierry Henry, a soccer legend from France. Here he is taking a knee for eight minutes, 46 seconds at the start of his game yesterday. What did you think of that?

EDWARDS: That was really powerful for me. So, obviously, he's from France, and he has had experiences here in America since he came over as a player and now as a coach, and he's gotten to share some of those things with our organization as well.

And I think he's been exposed to the black experience in America. And for him to understand what it is that we go through and to participate in the -- in some type of protest and acknowledgement, I think, is a very powerful statement from someone with such a global reach.

BALDWIN: Earl Edwards Jr., thank you for using your voice and your platform. Good to have you on.

EDWARDS: Thank you.

BALDWIN: You got it.

More Americans than ever before say they do not approve of the president's response to the pandemic. And while he won't talk to Dr. Fauci, he says he is looking at a pardon for his longtime friend Roger Stone.

Let's talk about that with Michael Smerconish next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)