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Trump Attacks IRS After Supreme Court Ruling On His Taxes; Inside California Hospital Battling The Worst Of The Pandemic; Is It Safe To Reopen Schools This Fall? Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired July 10, 2020 - 07:30   ET



BARBARA RES, FORMER EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, THE TRUMP ORGANIZATION, AUTHOR, "ALL ALONE ON THE 68TH FLOOR" (via Cisco Webex): So you take your SATs while you're still in high school. So that sort of made me think I don't know about this, but it's certainly possible.

Trump's approach to everything was how can I cheat, basically. Not -- you know, even if it was good news he wanted to make it better news and how could -- what could do to enhance what you heard. And, you know, and the bottom line is oftentimes it involves lying, like it did with these admission tests, if he even had them.

Certainly, no doctor would say you perform better than anyone else I've ever seen, just like no doctor would say you're more fit than any president has ever been.

It's all nonsense. This is stuff that Trump made up --


RES: -- and said just to make things better. Even if it was good, he would make it better.

CAMEROTA: Michael, as you know, yesterday there were these big Supreme Court decisions and President Trump really does not want to release his tax records to American voters to see. I mean, he has been fighting it. He has continually claimed that he's being audited, though he's never provided any evidence. He could still release them despite being audited.

In the course of your reporting, do you know why he really doesn't want the public to see those?

MICHAEL D'ANTONIO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR, AUTHOR, "THE TRUTH ABOUT TRUMP": (via Cisco Webex): Well, I think the best hints we've got are the little bits of returns that have been made public by journalists -- and in those, it seems that he doesn't pay taxes at all. And I think that's what a lot of folks are going to be curious to see, is does this president, who complains about Amazon not paying taxes and Amazon getting special breaks from the post office -- does he pay any tax at all to the U.S. Treasury. And that's what he's trying to hide.

CAMEROTA: Barbara, you had some insight into that. You think that he also has never given to charity?

RES: No, you know -- and, you know, my first (INAUDIBLE) when he said he wasn't -- or we learned he wasn't going to give us his returns was to find that he had no charitable contributions. Because in my experience, you know, the -- what he did for charity was he had me go out on and put the arm on contractors to make contributions to certain things that he would then get the credit -- I raised $50,000, I raised $100,000.

But there are so many other things that may be hidden in those tax returns like, you know, the idea of rushing (ph) money that would be coming to him and the fact that, as Michael said, he didn't make the kind of money that he says he had.

But my idea now is that he's probably trying to hide some tax evasion -- that he's made some claims for deductions that may not be legitimate. He may have underreported incomes in certain areas. I think that's the big thing.

I think it's just like that report the "Times" did -- which was startling -- in 2018 about what they did with the -- with the apartment building and maintenance crews, and things like that. That was illegal and almost, I suppose, criminal, but it was a long time ago. And I'm wondering if there's anything else like that now that would turn up and expose him to charges.

CAMEROTA: Yes, we'll never -- I mean, it seems as though we won't know before Election Day.

Barbara, very quickly -- I only have a couple of seconds. Are you writing a book?

RES: I'm trying to about my personal experiences with Trump, which is sort of like Mary's book -- you know, being on the inside. So if we can get -- meet the timelines and everything, yes, I'll have something.

CAMEROTA: I know that it's hard. It is definitely a challenge.

Barbara Res, Michael D'Antonio, thank you very much for sharing all of your personal experience with us.

RES: Thank you.

D'ANTONIO: Thank you.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Some remarkable new comments from America's top general that puts him at odds with the president over the issues surrounding the Confederacy. Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley told the House Armed Services Committee that Confederate leaders were traitors and he signals support for renaming bases.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GEN. MARK MILLEY, CHAIRMAN, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: Forty-three percent of the United States military are minorities. And in the Army, for example -- and these are Army bases you're talking about -- we're up to 20-plus percent African-American and in some units, you'll see 30 percent.

And for those young soldiers that go onto a base -- a Fort Hood or a Fort Bragg or a fort wherever named after a Confederate general -- they can be reminded that that general fought for an institution of slavery that may have enslaved one of their -- one of their ancestors.

The Confederacy -- the American Civil War was fought and it was an act of rebellion. It was an act of treason at the time against the Union, against the stars and stripes, against the U.S. Constitution. And those officers turned their back on their oath.

Now, some have a different view of that. Some of that -- some think it's heritage, others think it's hate.

The way we should do it matters as much as that we should do it.


BERMAN: Gen. Milley says he wants to set up a commission to take a hard look at bases, statues, and names in order to facilitate what he calls a rational, mature discussion.


CNN takes you to one city enduring some of the worst caseloads and death rates in the country, and it's not just hospital workers that are overwhelmed in the pandemic. That's next.


BERMAN: The stress and strain on hospitals is intensifying this morning in California. Inside a hospital at the border, doctors and nurses are working around-the-clock to keep up. One nurse says they're overwhelmed with so many sick patients.

CNN's Kyung Lah live in El Centro, Florida (sic) with this story -- Kyung.


They are so overwhelmed by COVID here at this hospital. You can see over my left shoulder, that's a tent, and there's not just one. There are multiple tents around this place and the people who work here say already, it's not enough.



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

LAH (voice-over): The frontline in this battlefield --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just craziness, still.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Anybody else sick at home?

LAH (voice-over): -- Southern California's El Centro Regional Medical Center.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you have the rest of her vital signs?

LAH (voice-over): CEO Adolph Edward is a former Air Force officer and Iraq War vet.

ADOLPHE EDWARD, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, EL CENTRO REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER: I have seen this then actually deploy with me when we were in -- at Balad, when we were in Iraq.

LAH (voice-over): Now he's built them on American soil to handle a crush of COVID cases this 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.

LAH (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: Yes, it's incredible, isn't it? Yes. We'll make it through.

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

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is exhausting.

LAH (voice-over): -- we visit the sickest patients in the ICU.

LAH (on camera): He's a new patient?

ROBLES: Yes, this will be a new patient. He's a transfer from another (INAUDIBLE).

LAH (voice-over): Every single patient in this 12-bed ICU has COVID. Eleven of them survive with ventilators.

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

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, it's a device that helps keep everything kind of like closed so we're not exposed to anything. LAH (voice-over): It's what nursing Amber Marez needs to wear to stay safe while helping her 40-year-old patient.

LAH (on camera): How sick is he?

AMBER MAREZ, NURSE, EL CENTRO REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER: He's really sick and he's really young, so we're trying to do everything we can before we intubate him.

LAH (on camera): What is that suggesting to you as a nurse that the age is dropping?

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

LAH (voice-over): That's what the El Centro Fire Department sees on the street.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: El Centro fire, come in.

LAH (voice-over): 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 (voice-over): In a full hazmat suit, Capt. Chad Whitlock revives an unconscious patient. It's a stifling 110 degrees.

CAPT. CHAD WHITLOCK, EL CENTRO FIRE DEPARTMENT: You have to decon all the equipment and remove all uniforms, and take a shower and put a different uniform on for the rest of the day.

LAH (on camera): You're dripping.

WHITLOCK: Yes, ma'am. We're inundated. Everybody's really tired and everybody's -- you can see it in my face. I'm -- you know, we're frustrated.

LAH (voice-over): That patient Capt. Whitlock saved arrives at El Centro Medical's emergency room.

DR. ANDREW LAFREE, EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT MEDICAL DIRECTOR, EL CENTRO REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER: We've hit capacity and 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've sent out something like 500 patients.

LAH (voice-over): Some to nearby San Diego, others as far away as Northern California. This helicopter is here to pick up another patient.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get started in there because they're here for him.

LAH (voice-over): E.R. doctors and nurses intubate under this blue drape to limit particle exposure. Stabilized, the patient heads out.

LAH (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 then coming to work here.

LAH (voice-over): The fields in Imperial County send produce across the country. And even in the 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 farmworker Jacinto Moreno. Four of his fellow farmworkers 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 (voice-over): In this binational county, COVID is not the disease, it's the symptom.

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

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


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

EDWARD: 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.


LAH: And this is the outside of that future COVID ward. Not only does this hospital need more beds, more space, they also need more staff. The hospital CEO says here's a partial list of what he needs. He needs 28 ICU nurses, 14 respiratory therapists, and 20 ventilators. And, John, it's something he needs next week -- John.

BERMAN: Kyung, it sounds like he needs everything and he needs it now. And this isn't even what could be --

LAH: Absolutely.

BERMAN: -- the worst of it. And what's so remarkable about your story -- and it's a really

terrific look inside -- is how this is affecting the entire area. Talk about the strain.

LAH: The strain isn't just on the emergency services, and the police, and the 911 call operators because every single hour this is happening it's also happening across this entire community.

And here's something that's really heartbreaking is they'll make a call to a house, then there will be a couple of days later another call to the very same house. And then it will be the neighbor's house. So this is a contagion that's spreading through the neighborhoods. And they all end up here and, in many cases, then get flown out because this hospital simply cannot handle it.

BERMAN: I think it's changing the way a lot of people -- some people thinking about this spread in the heat and the humidity, less dense areas.

Kyung Lah, please, you and your team stay safe. Thank you very much for your reporting.

LAH: You bet.

CAMEROTA: John, we want to remember some of the more than 133,000 Americans lost to coronavirus.

Retired Air Force Col. Leo Mike Terrill was married to his wife Carolyn for 62 years. Terrill's son tells our CNN affiliate that his dad was an avid baseball player who'd made it to the Baltimore Orioles farm league. He then joined the military and served in Korea and Vietnam.

Seventeen-year-old Carsyn Leigh Davis faced numerous medical challenges, including a childhood bout with cancer. But her mom wrote on a GoFundMe page that she never complained and never focused on herself, even as she was losing her fight with coronavirus.

Carsyn was a dedicated member of her youth church. She worked as a special needs aide at her Florida high school and volunteered for the Special Olympics.

Alice Guzman was married for 31 years. Her stepson, Texas Congressman Joaquin Castro, remembers her as a warm and loving person. He tweeted a picture of her with his daughter, writing that his family will miss her incredibly.

Joaquin's twin brother, former presidential candidate Julian Castro, replied "May she rest in peace." The brothers are natives of San Antonio, which has seen about 160 coronavirus deaths. Such losses.

We'll be right back.


[07:52:12] BERMAN: Intense focus this morning on the coming school year. Some states are planning to resume classes in weeks. Is it safe to bring kids and teachers back to school?

Joining me now is CNN contributor Erin Bromage, a biology professor at UMass Dartmouth. Professor, it's always great to have you on this morning.

We have an example from Australia, which might be instructive about some of the risks of reopening schools. What does that tell us?

ERIN BROMAGE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR, BIOLOGY PROFESSOR, UMASS DARTMOUTH (via Cisco Webex): Well, we're seeing that Australia had done a really good job on the suppression of the virus. They were down to as few as 10 cases per day in the entire country.

And then just in this past few weeks -- the schools have been open for a while, but just in these past few weeks, an infection go into a school and it's spread to more than 60 people now. It's now moved from the school into high-density housing. And now, Australia is really in the midst of their second wave of infections, especially in the state of Victoria.

BERMAN: Is it possible to tell if the virus moved within the children at the school or the teachers at the school? And, is that important when you're talking about the spread of the pandemic?

BROMAGE: Well, everything with the spread of the pandemic is important.

It appears a teacher brought it in. It appears that not only did that teacher infect students but also infected other teachers who, in turn, have infected their students. But then everybody went home and infected people in the community.

And so now we have this wave of infections going on that has started in that perfect environment of a school with lots of people for an extended period of time in close contact, and it has radiated out into the community from there.

BERMAN: So let's stipulate that I think we all want our children back in school. I do, I'm sure you do. It's something we all want to see. So the discussion should be about how to do it most safely.

And let's start with which kids -- age groups. What are the differences there?

BROMAGE: Yes. So there's a -- there seems to be a bit of a Goldilocks age between about three to four, going up to about 12 to 14 years old where they can be infected, but it seems to be harder to infect them and they have a harder time infecting others.

But it doesn't mean that they're not at risk. There are some people -- some children that do get sick in that age group and do infect others.

When we start getting up into 13, 14 to 18 years old, they behave as adults in regards to infection. So what we're looking at in our lower schools seems to be very different to what we're looking at in high schools and even middle schools with some of these.


I might point out with the Australian example, this is without any PPE, without any social distancing. So the plans that they're putting forward in the U.S. may be a little bit different. But again, remember the community transmission rates in Australia was very, very low.

So some places in the U.S. might be able to open safer, but there's a lot of places in the U.S. right now where it just -- it doesn't look so great or so smart to be reopening schools.

BERMAN: Right. There are too many cases in the community. You can just look at the map to know where that would be. It makes it more dangerous --


BERMAN: -- to talk about doing anything.

Talk about how, then, to open schools if they are going to be open. What measures you think are the most important to put in place.

BROMAGE: Well, there's been a lot of talk about healthy buildings. The team at Harvard there that developed a plan for reopening schools is a great place to start.

And one of the big ones of this is looking at the physical infrastructure. All these years of deferred maintenance of school buildings needs to be addressed as quickly as possible because if we can improve the indoor air environment we can make it much, much safer for the kids and for the teachers inside those schools. So we absolutely -- we absolutely must be investing in that physical infrastructure.

Once we get past that, there has to be systems -- there has to be workflows in place to stop the different grades from mixing. Preferably, the different classes from mixing but that's probably unreasonable. But the different grades from mixing so that you can at least have parts within the school so if there's an infection in one grade it doesn't take down the whole school. But once you have mixing, then one or two infections really will mean that that school needs to close.

BERMAN: Well, look --

BROMAGE: The other thing we need to think about is -- and it's, for me, one of the most important ones -- is how do we protect the teachers and the staff. Because it's clear not only can they be infected, but they have worse outcomes.

And it's not like we have a pot of teachers sitting there on the sideline that we can draw from at any stage. If our teachers start getting sick even if all the kids are healthy, who teaches them? It doesn't seem to be a great plan when they sit there and just say reopen schools when we know that there's going to be adverse outcomes for the teachers.

So not only do we need to invest in the infrastructure of the schools, we also need to invest in ways to make sure that the teachers stay healthy right throughout this school year.

BERMAN: We've got about 30 seconds left.

What would those ways be? Are you talking about Plexiglas in the front of the schoolroom? Are you talking about all kids facing in one direction? Half the class size?

BROMAGE: Well, it can't be -- it's got to be personal protective equipment and then lots and lots of training. Teacher-to-teacher spread is going to be important so it can't be just let your guard down once your class is done.

So we have to invest in good protective equipment. Face masks, face shields, where needed, and then education and training about how to keep themselves safe.

BERMAN: It's really important stuff, Professor Bromage. And I think people also have to understand even if kids don't spread it that often or that seriously, they're all over each other all day, every day, so the number of contacts they have is so much higher. That's one thing I know that we all have to be conscious of.

Great to have you on this morning. Wish you the best of luck.

BROMAGE: Thank you.

BERMAN: NEW DAY continues right now.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We did it right, we shut it down. Now it's time to get back to work.

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR AND NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The reality, cases are surging. States moving in the wrong direction.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES, NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH: It really is the perfect storm and an infectious disease and public health person's worst nightmare.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can speak for all the E.R.s here that a lot of us are overwhelmed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are in a much worse place than we were back in March. We have multiple epicenters all around the country.

GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D), CALIFORNIA: For those who just think that now people are getting it and no one's dying, that is very misleading. In fact, it's fundamentally untrue. (END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

CAMEROTA: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY.

And we begin with another record-breaking day in the coronavirus pandemic. The United States setting a single-day high of more than 63,000 new cases.

Researchers at Harvard say the outbreaks in five states -- Arizona, Florida, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Georgia -- are blinking red and that those states should shut down immediately.

At least three states report a record number of deaths. Nearly 1,000 Americans died from coronavirus just yesterday. Arizona, Florida, and Texas all seeing also alarmingly high positivity rates.

So today, the president heads to South Florida for a fundraiser. The positivity rate in Miami-Dade County is an alarming 33 1/2 percent.

BERMAN: So what the president is saying about the pandemic overnight really should shock you. With record hospitalizations in some states, record deaths in some states, the president says it's about testing.

So what you're about to hear, it's either a lie, as one leading doctor just told us -- a coordinated misinformation campaign.