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U.S. Sets Fresh Single-Day Record with 63,000+ New Cases; California, Texas, Florida See Record Daily Deaths; 19 Percent of People Tested in Florida are Infected; Silent Spreaders Pose Unseen Dangers; Brazil Surpasses 1.7 Million COVID-19 Infections; Hong Kong Reports New Surge in Locally-Transmitted Cases; Scientists Warn of Potential Brain Damage From Virus; Inside An Overwhelmed U.S.-Mexico Border Hospital. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired July 10, 2020 - 04:00   ET



NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: The United States sets yet another grim record. The most new cases of coronavirus in a single day. Also this hour --


KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Is it crazy to you that you are a physician working in a tent in America?

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


ALLEN: CNN gets access to a hospital on the California/Mexico border where patients are being treated in tents in triple digit desert heat.

And the Supreme Court rules on Donald Trump's financial records. We'll have the details and what it means.

Live from CNN world headquarters here in Atlanta, welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. I'm Natalie Allen and this is CNN NEWSROOM.

Thank you for joining us.

Once again, the U.S. sets a record for new coronavirus infections in a single day. According to Johns Hopkins University, more than 63,000 new cases were reported Thursday. The U.S. has hit record highs a half a dozen times in just over two weeks. New cases are surging across 2/3 of the country, California, Texas and Florida all set new records for single day deaths Thursday. Dr. Anthony Fauci did not mince words when discussing the country's performance.


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

You'd have to make the assumption that if there wasn't such decisiveness that we would have a more coordinated approach.


ALLEN: U.S. state and local governments are staggering under the weight of this pandemic. CNN's Martin Savidge has that and more coronavirus headlines from around the country.


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

REP. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): I know we've had different, you know, blips, and now we're on a higher blip than where we were in May and in the beginning of June.

SAVIDGE: The almost daily record setting surge implored to triggering long lines of people waiting to be tested and causing officials to question the state's aggressive plan to reopen schools.

ALBERTO CARVALHO, SUPERINTENDENT, MIAMI-DADE COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS: 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: Despite such concerns, Disney World opened 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 and hot spots like Florida, Texas and Arizona, officials say are in danger of being overwhelmed with personal protective equipment again in short supply. 10,000 people are hospitalized in Texas with the state's Republican governor calling it a massive spike.

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

SAVIDGE: Arizona is reporting a record high spiking 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. (on camera): Getting back to the state of Florida, the Governor seems

to be backing off somewhat on his hard charging effort to have brick and mortar schools reopen. He did say that if parents where concerned and wanted to keep their students at home and study online, that should be an option to them.


He also seemed to support the Republican National Convention, which is going to be in Florida in Jacksonville, that they might hold it at an outdoor venue, such as a football stadium.

Martin Savidge, CNN, Atlanta.


ALLEN: Health experts have warned from early in this pandemic that some people infected show no symptoms but can still infect others. Here's CNN's Brian Todd.


JASON HARTELIUS, RECOVERED CORONAVIRUS PATIENT: I've had oxygen coming in and out my nose, coming out of the wall.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Before he was admitted to a hospital in Pennsylvania this spring, TV sports producer Jason Hartelius believes he carried the coronavirus in his system while he moved around and his work for about a week. A danger that Hartelius warned about as he was recovering.

HARTELIUS: You may say you're fine, you may say your low risk. You know what, you might get it, not know it. Go back to work thinking you're fine never have any symptoms. You could give it to people you work with who could get very sick or die.

TODD: That danger of silent unknown transmission of coronavirus is coming into greater focus. A new study published by the National Academy of Sciences says people who are so called silent spreaders could be responsible for about half of all coronavirus cases.

ALISON GALVANI, DIRECTOR, YALE UNIV. CENTER FOR INFECTIOUS DISEASE MODELING AND ANALYSIS: And this makes control of COVID-19 particularly challenging. With COVID-19, people are infectious before any symptoms. So most people who are transmitting the virus are doing so inadvertently without even realizing that they are sick.

TODD: Study author Alison Galvani says that means the silent spreaders are mostly people who are going through those few days just before symptoms show themselves or who are completely asymptomatic. And she says younger, seemingly healthy people are disproportionately responsible for silent transmissions.

A key question now, given this new study, how do we combat silence spreading? Experts say it means doubling down on the basics. JENNIFER NUZZO, EPIDEMIOLOGIST, JOHNS HOPKINS BLOOMBERG SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH: First thing is distance. Second thing is if you do have to go out, you know, try to physically separate yourself from others. And try to avoid those crowded indoor spaces, and wear masks reduce the chances that you could transmit your virus to others if you have it and don't know about it.

TODD: And experts say this new information on silent transmission does not mean we should panic when we venture out or think that everyone we see, is a silent spreader of coronavirus.

NUZZO: We still very much think that this virus is spread by close prolonged contact. So we shouldn't take from this that if you're just out in the streets or in the grocery store, and you're maintaining distance from people that this puts you at even greater risk than we may have thought otherwise.

TODD (on camera): Still, tracking silent spreaders of coronavirus is going to be a huge challenge in the months and years ahead. This new study says more than 1/3 of silent infections would need to be identified and isolated in order to suppress any future outbreaks. And the author of the study says, we are not there yet. Pointing out there's not enough contact tracing available and not enough tests for people who have symptoms let alone people who are asymptomatic.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


ALLEN: Bolivia's interim president Jeanine Anez has become the third Latin American head of state to test positive for coronavirus after the Presidents of Brazil and Honduras. You see her on the far right of the screen there. She announced it Thursday on Twitter saying she feels strong and will self-quarantine for 14 days. Brazil's President Bolsonaro on the far left was also among the world leaders who have tested positive, he was diagnosed earlier this week.

Brazil is reporting tens of thousands of new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours bringing its total infections to more than 1.7 million and the death toll to almost 70,000. Brazil has the second highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the world behind the U.S.

CNN's Bill Weir has more for us from Brazil.


BILL WEIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It has been another grim week here in Brazil and another day brought another at least 40,000 COVID-19 confirmed cases and another 1,100 or so confirmed fatalities as that number reaches close to 70,000 now. And President Bolsonaro, of course, the most famous COVID-19 patient in Brazil, continues with his self-prescribed remedy, that is hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malarial and other vitamins. And has continued to encourages his countrymen and women to get back to work, especially those under the age of 40. Telling them their chances of a severe result are close to zero, quote, unquote.

Other news, the Congress behind me, they're working remotely but they tried to pass new legislation that would protect the somewhere 900,000 indigenous Brazilians, tribes from the Amazon and beyond. Tried to guarantee hospital beds, disinfectant and clean water for these tribes. President Bolsonaro vetoed most of those efforts.


And Facebook and Instagram took down dozens of accounts they say were spreading misinformation about Brazilian politics and the COVID-19 pandemic. And many of them they say were tied back to Bolsonaro supporters and his two sons. Yet another similar shade of the politics between Brazil and the United States in the middle of this pandemic.

Bill Weir, CNN, Brasilia, Brazil.


ALLEN: Hong Kong is tightening coronavirus restrictions as it deals with what may be a third wave of infections and it's closing all city schools as of Monday. Health officials reported at least 42 new cases on Thursday. They say the overwhelming majority are locally transmitted. CNN's Will Ripley has more from Hong Kong.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: During this pandemic Hong Kong has really felt almost like a safe zone. They took action very early on to close the borders, test everyone coming into the city for COVID-19, mandatory 14-day quarantine for incoming travelers. And so they pretty much have effectively been able to prevent the virus from coming in from the outside.

But what they have not been able to get a handle on now are locally transmitted cases. In fact, a record daily high in the number of locally transmitted COVID-19 cases here in Hong Kong and the numbers are going up every day. They're still relatively small by comparison. I mean, keep in mind this is a city densely populated, 7 million people live here. Fewer than 1,400 coronavirus cases so far and only seven deaths.

But if these numbers keep going up and if this virus start spreading in the community, if people are walking around and they don't know they have it, health experts know those numbers could shoot up exponentially and that could be very bad for Hong Kong.

They have been able to identify three clusters of infection, in restaurants and bars, in taxies and in senior care centers. So in each of those areas they're now taking steps to test more people. They are imposing more restrictive social distancing measures that begin this weekend. So in restaurants only eight people can sit at a table together and at bars and nightclubs, only four people can sit at a table together. People are supposed to wear masks at all times if they're not eating or drinking. They're trying to trace, you know, who has been writing in taxis with

drivers who may have been infected -- although that's tough here in Hong Kong because a lot of people pay cash, don't get a receipt. You have no idea who's coming in and out of the taxi.

And that senior centers, they need to test more people. They need to test more of the workers at those centers so that they can try to find out who has this virus and get them isolated as quickly as possible so that more people don't continue to walk around Hong Kong, perhaps unknowingly spreading this virus and making this third wave a whole lot bigger than even the two previous waves.

Will Ripley, CNN, Hong Kong.


ALLEN: Japan is reporting a spike in new cases with 357 just on Thursday and Tokyo had 243 cases on Friday. The capital's largest single day increase in infections since this outbreak began. Tokyo's governor blamed the spike on increasing testing and he expects the trend to continue. Japan has more than 21,000 cases and almost 1,000 deaths.

The Australian state of Queensland started blocking visitors from entering just a few hours ago. The Northeastern state and the neighboring state of Victoria are trying to stamp out coronavirus by isolating the Southeastern state of Victoria where cases are flaring up. Millions of people in the Victorian capital of Melbourne are in lockdown again for the next six weeks.

California broke a daily record for coronavirus cases. We go inside one hospital coming up here to see how desperate things can get.



ALLEN: A serious warning from scientists in London. Coronavirus could lead to a wave of brain damage. A study by researchers at University College London details how COVID-19 can cause neurological complications. Among them, stroke, nerve damage, and potentially fatal brain inflammation. Some patients in the study experienced what's described as temporary brain dysfunction, but the virus does not appear to directly attack the brain. The findings suggest an indirect link, possibly triggered by the body's immune response.

Here to discuss this is Dr. Hadi Manji. He's with the U.K.'s National Hospital for neurology and neurosurgery and is one of the studies co- authors. Doctor, thank you so much for coming on and good morning.


ALLEN: This is certainly a very troubling development. What can you tell us? How much is known about it? MANJI: So we knew there was a potential for coronavirus to cause brain

damage from SARS in 2003 and MERS in 2012, but the numbers were small. And then when the first papers came out from Wuhan in early January, they suggested about 36 percent of patients in their group had neurological symptoms. But what is not clear was whether these neurological symptoms would be a cause of low oxygen levels, or the patients are very sick with sepsis or was there actual brain damage in the patients.

And so, our study, which was set up to look at these complications, found that some patients presented with inflammation of the brain. And as we intimated, this may be due to over stimulation of the nervous system. These are sort of conditions we've seen before particularly in children after virus infections. A larger number of strokes than expected and although some of these patients were elderly, they had vascular risk factors like high blood pressure, diabetes or irregular heartbeats. A number had no real risk factors.


And it seems that in COVID-19 patients the blood is much thicker and stickier than you would expect and it may be that the virus actually affects the lining of blood vessels so there's a double whammy risk of causing strokes. And then these patients with delirium, which means confusion or disorientation and, in these patients,, scans are normal and what it is, is really software malfunctions to the brain either due to low oxygen levels or sepsis or again, maybe a combination of all of these things including the immune system.

The final group we had was the patients with Guillain-Barre syndrome, which is again a well-recognized neurological condition after virus infections where you get weakness in the legs following up to the arms. But I would say that, you know, the numbers are small and this was a very highly selected group of patients that we were studying.

ALLEN: And I want to ask you too -- it sounds so terribly disturbing. But these cases that you're seeing, is it in the very sick who have coronavirus?

MANJI: No, so some of the very sick ones in intensive care units only had these. But we had a number of patients where the respiratory infection was relatively benign or mild really, and so I think the message is that in any patients now presenting with these sort of neurological syndromes, one must think about COVID-19 as being a potential risk factor and one must check the patients for these.

ALLEN: Yes, because I was going to ask you, how does this complicate the care that doctors and hospitals provide? And what will they necessarily have to look out for now determining any brain issues?

MANJI: Yes, no, I mean, I think obviously apart from keeping aware of these neurological complications, the other problems are practical ones. So if you have somebody who's on intensive care unit on a ventilator, getting a MRI scan can be difficult because not all hospitals will have the facilities to do scans and ventilate the patients. And then you got the problems of cross infection, you know, transferring patients from one place in the hospital to another is risky.

So there are practical difficulties. But I think if doctors and physicians are aware, then they can look out for these complications which makes looking after these patients very difficult. And that's why I think we need more research, more studies looking at the underlying mechanisms so we can actually develop treatment, rationale with treatment for these complications.

ALLEN: And because this disease, doctor, has only been around for a few months, how long could it take to determine the long-term damage that this may cause with brain function?

MANJI: Yes, no, I mean, this has been explosive. Look, I was a junior doctor when the AIDS epidemic started in the early '80s which came on gradually. This has been explosive. But I must say that our knowledge and expertise and cooperation in the last 3 to 4 months has been phenomenal. So you know, I think there are a lot of publications coming through of people's experience that I think one will develop rationale treatment and some protocols for this very complicated group of patients.

ALLEN: Well, we thank you very much for your time and your expertise on this troubling development as it is. Dr. Hadi Manji in London. Thank you very much, sir.

MANJI: Thank you very much.

ALLEN: we learn more about the effects of COVID-19, pathologists have found blood clots in almost every organ during autopsies of coronavirus patients.


DR. AMY RAPKIEWICZ, NYU LANGONE MEDICAL CENTER: I think one of the important things that we recognized with COVID very early on, both clinically as well as in the autopsies, was 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 at 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.


ALLEN: Researchers say they've been able to examine the organs of many COVID-19 victims, an opportunity that was not available during the SARS and H1N1epidemics.

U.S. health authorities are sticking with their guidelines for reopening schools. Next, what the President had to say.



ALLEN: Welcome back to our viewers here in the U.S. and around the world. I'm Natalie Allen and this is CNN NEWSROOM.

The U.S. set a fresh record for new coronavirus infections Thursday. More than 63,000 in just one day. That according to Johns Hopkins University. New U.S. case numbers have reached highs many times in recent days. New highs also Thursday. Three states set new records for coronavirus deaths in a single day. California, Texas, and Florida.

Nevertheless, President Trump is headed to Florida in the coming hours. He has several events scheduled including a private fundraiser.

We're going to take a closer look at the situation in California. CNN's Kyung Lah has an exclusive look inside a hospital bordering Mexico that is exploding beyond its walls with new cases.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She 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 CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The front-line in this battlefield.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just craziness still.

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


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

I have seen this then, actually deployed with me when we were in Bilad, 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. Th it sits at the US-Mexico border. This rule 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 position working in a tent in America?

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