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Florida Shatters U.S. Record For Coronavirus Cases In A Single Day; DeVos Won't Say If Schools Should Follow CDC Guidelines; WHO Team In China To Investigate COVID-19 Origins. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired July 13, 2020 - 05:30   ET




BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: The road to recovery nowhere in sight in Florida. A new record case count as hospitals get close to reaching capacity. But a city that did take early action reaching a much better milestone.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: The White House taking aim at the nation's top infectious disease doctor. Why the president is going after --

SANCHEZ: Plus, the White House taking aim --

ROMANS: -- Dr. Anthony Fauci despite his own major missteps.

Good morning, this is EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

SANCHEZ: Good morning, I'm Boris Sanchez in for Laura Jarrett. It appears we're having some technical difficulties.

ROMANS: I guess so.

SANCHEZ: Can you hear me, Christine?

ROMANS: I can hear you now. How are you? Good morning.

All right, it's Monday, July 13th. Let's begin this morning with more record highs and a landmark low.

Florida shattering the record for U.S. coronavirus cases in a single day -- at least 15,299 reported Sunday. That's the highest single-day number in any state and reporting is typically lower on weekends. That 15,000 number is more than Greece and Australia have totaled combined for the entire pandemic.

The rate of positive tests in Florida, which can indicate how fast that virus is spreading, still hovering near 20 percent. ICU beds in Miami-Dade County are nearing capacity.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MAYOR CARLOS GIMENEZ (R), MIAMI-DADE COUNTY: We definitely had a sharp increase in the number of people going to the hospital, the number of people that are in ICU, and the number of people on our ventilators.


GIMENEZ: We still have capacity but it does cause me a lot of concern.

MAYOR DAN GELBER (D), MIAMI BEACH: We're going to have to start moving regular beds into ICU beds. So we're clearly being strained at this point and there's obviously an impact on non-COVID cases, which also need to be taken care of. So this is really straining our health care system dramatically.


ROMANS: But a very different story in New York. No confirmed or probable COVID-19 deaths reported in New York City Saturday, the first time that's happened since March 11th. Twenty-two thousand of 135,000 deaths in the U.S. are in New York City. Saturday's data is preliminary -- it could change, still.

New York's numbers keep coming down after its slow reopening, while Florida is spiking after months of lax restrictions.

Other states facing big trouble. Texas reported its most cases in a single day this weekend -- over 10,000. Texas setting another new record for hospitalizations.

The governor is warning of another lockdown if Texans don't follow his mask mandate. The mayor of Houston says the time has come.


MAYOR SYLVESTER TURNER (D), HOUSTON: I strongly recommend that for the next two weeks that if our -- the governor would just bring things down -- shut things down for the next couple of weeks to take the energy away from this virus.


ROMANS: Arizona had the highest number of cases per capita in the entire country last week. The state began reopening May eighth and since then, daily new cases are up almost 900 percent. Phoenix is setting records in usage of breathing machines.


DR. MURTAZA AKHTER, EMERGENCY ROOM PHYSICIAN: It almost feels like the new normal, which is not a good new normal to have. Remember, the sickest people don't get sick until a week or two after they get diagnosed with coronavirus and that's why we're concerned. If it's already bad, what's it going to look like in a week or two? That's really concerning to us. (END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: (Audio gap) have been asking for a mask mandate. The surgeon general, wearing a mask, says things can improve, and quickly, if people comply.


DR. JEROME ADAMS, U.S. SURGEON GENERAL: We can turn this thing around in two to three weeks if we can get a critical mass of people wearing face coverings, practicing at least six feet of social distancing, and doing the things that we know are effective.

And it's important for the American people to understand when we're talking about the fall, we have the ability to turn this around --


ADAMS: -- very quickly if people will do the right thing.


ROMANS: Adams says a mask mandate would work best at the state and local level.

President Trump wore a mask this weekend while visiting Walter Reed Hospital, after months of refusing to wear a mask in public.

SANCHEZ: With the country in the grip of a pandemic, the president and the nation's top infectious disease doctor are not on speaking terms. And now, the White House is trying to discredit Dr. Anthony Fauci, pointing out mistakes early in the outbreak while conveniently forgetting moments like these.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's one person coming in from China and we have it under control.

We have it very much under control in this country. Very interestingly, we've had no deaths.


You know, in April, supposedly, it dies with the hotter weather and that's a beautiful day to look forward to.

People are getting better -- they're all getting better.

We're going down, not up. We're going very substantially down, not up. And again, when you have 15 people and the 15, within a couple of days, it's going to be down to close to zero, that's a pretty good job we've done.

It's going to disappear one day. It's like a miracle -- it will disappear. (END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: We are still waiting on that miracle.

Dr. Anthony Fauci has frequently clashed and contradicted the president on an array of things -- testing, masks, the rate of the development of a vaccine, and the overall U.S. response.

He was kept off television, once again, on Sunday even though -- take a look -- polls show Americans trust him much more than the president.

CNN's Kristen Holmes is at the White House.


KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it would be extraordinary to see this sort of broadsiding of one of the top health officials by the White House in any situation, but it's particularly striking given that it's happening during a pandemic. We have seen this tension between Dr. Fauci and President Trump really start to boil up in public.

Now, in an official statement from a White House official, when asked about this relationship between the two -- between the White House and this leader health expert, they said -- a White House official saying, "Several White House officials are concerned about the number of times Dr. Fauci has been wrong on things."

And then they presented a list here that looks almost like opposition research that we would get if they were talking about someone like Joe Biden or a political opponent, listing out early comments that Dr. Fauci made when talking about the pandemic -- that you didn't need to wear a mask or that the epidemic is not driven by asymptomatic carriers. Things that we heard not just from Dr. Fauci but from many medical experts early on when we were still figuring out what was going on with the pandemic.

But the striking thing, again, is the fact that in the middle of this pandemic you are seeing this attempt to actively discredit Dr. Fauci, a leading voice -- say, a top health expert here in the country -- another broadsided attempt to discredit one of the nation's leading health experts at a time when this country is in a health crisis -- Christine and Boris.


SANCHEZ: Kristen Holmes, thank you for that.

Education Sec. Betsy DeVos refusing to say whether schools should follow CDC guidelines on reopening safely. Those guidelines include keep desks six feet apart, face coverings, and closing communal areas. DeVos, though, noncommittal, at best.


BASH: Should schools in the United States follow the CDC recommendations or not?

BETSY DEVOS, SECRETARY OF EDUCATION: Dr. Redfield has clearly said these are recommendations and every situation is going to look slightly different. And the key for education leaders -- and these are smart people who can figure things out -- the CDC guidelines are just that, meant to be flexible and meant to be applied as appropriate for the situation.

BASH: You're asking students to go back, so why do you not have guidance on what a school should do just weeks before you want those schools to reopen? And what happens if it faces an outbreak?

DEVOS: You know, there's really good examples that have been utilized in the private sector and elsewhere -- also, with frontline workers and hospitals. And all of that data and all of that information and all of those examples can be referenced by school leaders who have -- who have the opportunity --

BASH: I'm not -- OK, but I'm not hearing a plan put out by the Department of Education. Do you have a plan --

DEVOS: But --

BASH: -- for what students in school should do?

DEVOS: The plan -- and so -- schools should do what's right on the ground at that time for their students and for their situation.


ROMANS: The message is go back to school full-time. There is no how in there, however.

Several cities and states are now pushing back start dates over safety concerns. The White House is in a full-court press to reopen schools this fall despite warnings the coronavirus will make it difficult for them to do so safely for students and for teachers who will be in those classrooms.

All right, a grim outlook for companies around the world as they deal with the coronavirus recession. Reuters examines numbers from firm Janus Henderson and finds companies will take on as much as $1 trillion of new corporate debt this year because of the coronavirus. That would bring total global corporate debt above $9 trillion.

Janus Henderson's corporate debt index show companies already owe 40 percent more than they did in 2014. A portfolio manager for the firm says now, companies are focused on saving money.

On top of mounting debt, companies are dealing with the jobs crisis. The coronavirus lockdown wiped out jobs at lightning speed. Now, companies are transitioning from the flash fallout to the slower but longer fallout.

First-time unemployment claims are still stuck in the millions each week even as businesses start to reopen. The sad reality, economists say millions of these jobs may not be coming back, Boris.


SANCHEZ: Christine, we're nearly 40 minutes past the hour and we're tracking a story out of the western part of the country. A naval ship still burning at a base in San Diego. It could burn all the way to the water.

And a programming note to share with you. From the farms of Oklahoma to the beaches of Miami, W. Kamau Bell is taking on injustice and inequality. An all-new season of "UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA" starting Sunday night at 10:00 eastern, only on CNN.


SANCHEZ: A team of experts from the World Health Organization is now in China to investigate the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.

Let's bring in CNN's Kristie Lu Stout who is live for us in Hong Kong. Kristie, very serious questions about how much access these experts are going to be allowed. Are there indications that China is perhaps leaning toward more transparency?


KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No indications as of yet. This is what we do know as of right now at this hour.

We know that the World Health Organization sent this two-person advanced team to China to open up and to start a probe looking into the origins of the novel coronavirus. We've reached out to the WHO today. They didn't give us much information but they did confirm that the team is, indeed, inside China but didn't specify where.

Now, this is what we also know. This team consists of two individuals -- one, an expert in animal health; the other, an epidemiologist. This is, again, an advanced team so they're being sent to determine the agenda and the scope of the broader investigation. So this is clearly, still very much early on in the process.

And according to the WHO, they are inside trying to ask and trying to find the answer to two key questions.

Number one, we know that the virus is found in bats, but is there an intermediate species? Did it go through another animal host? And the second question, how did it make that jump? How did it leap from animals to humans?

Now we know that the World Health Organization has been under fire for its relationship with China. This team inside China is under a lot of pressure to number one, get access to files, data, samples from Chinese officials and scientists. And number two, answers to find out what happened -- the origin of this pandemic that has claimed the lives of, as of today, over 560,000 people around the world -- Boris.

SANCHEZ: Yes, very important questions to answer from Hong Kong. Kristie Lu Stout, thank you for that.

And staying focused on the global impact of coronavirus, India's most populous state is imposing a lockdown, and South Africa hopes that closing bars will contain a surge there.

CNN reporters are covering the pandemic around the world. Take a look.


OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Oren Liebermann in Jerusalem where some of the major numbers here are going in the wrong direction. Coronavirus cases are surging with more than 1,000 new cases most days over the past week.

Meanwhile, unemployment is also rising, hitting 21 percent this week, according to the Israel Employment Service. And perhaps because of that, the protests are growing. Thousands turned out in Tel Aviv for a protest against the government's handling of the coronavirus crisis and the economic fallout. Some people holding signs that said "Economic War" and "Free the Money."

One number that is falling, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's approval rating for handling of the coronavirus crisis. It stood in the mid-70s in mid-May; it's now below 50 percent and appears to be on pace to keep falling.

Meanwhile, the situation not much better in the West Bank where the Palestinian Authority has extended closures on some of the major cities there to try to keep COVID-19 under control.


More than 35,000 U.S. Marines and their family members station on the Japanese island of Okinawa are now under virtual lockdown after at least 94 U.S. personnel tested positive for coronavirus. Now, Okinawa hadn't seen any confirmed cases for more than two months.

The Japanese governor of the island says he's shocked. He's expressing doubt about the infection prevention measures that the U.S. has adopted against the pandemic until now.

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm David McKenzie in Johannesburg.

South Africa's president says the country is in the storm of the COVID-19 pandemic. He said that there are some 12,000 cases every day. That's some 500 cases per hour.

To try and free up hospital beds the country is reinstating its blanket alcohol ban, as well as a curfew running from 9:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m.

The country has managed, according to the government, to keep its fatality rate low with COVID-19, but the president says the very worst is still ahead. VEDIKA SUD, CNN PRODUCER: I'm Vedika Sud in New Delhi.

According to India's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, over 800,000 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in India, of which over 300,000 cases remain active. India has also recorded its biggest single-day jump in COVID-19 numbers with over 28,700 new infections being reported on Sunday.

Bollywood superstar, Amitabh Bachchan, along with his actor son, has been hospitalized after being tested positive for COVID-19. Bachchan's daughter-in-law, actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, and her 8-year-old daughter have also been infected.


ROMANS: All right, thank you for those reports.

New overnight, Poland's populist incumbent president and a Trump ally said to be reelected.

CNN's Frederik Pleitgen is live for us in Warsaw with the latest. What can you tell us about this election, Fred?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well certainly, Christine, it was an extremely tight election and also, of course, one that was very much under the auspices of the coronavirus pandemic. And there were some who actually were saying that this election shouldn't have been held at all because it was so difficult because of the coronavirus situation here in this country.


There were some here who certainly weren't very happy with the populist president's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, even though the death toll here still remains far -- quite low.

One of the things that has happened, however, Christine, is that Andrzej Duda had a very hard time being reelected. You can tell that this country is extremely divided with mostly younger people voting for the liberal opponent that he had, while older people voted for Mr. Duda. Also, a big difference between rural areas and city areas.

The big campaign by Andrzej Duda was essentially Poland's version of "America First." Poland looking inward, very critical of the European Union.

Of course, as you mentioned, one of the biggest allies of Andrzej Duda is President Trump, who also made Andrzej Duda the only head of state who was able to visit the White House -- or the first head of state who was able to visit the White House during the coronavirus pandemic. There's a lot of folks here who felt that President Trump was giving Andrzej Duda a boost.

And, of course, he just barely managed to eke out that victory here in Poland, which could have massive repercussions for Europe, as well, Christine. ROMANS: A tight race but it looks like a victory for him.

All right, Fred Pleitgen in Warsaw. Thanks, Fred.

SANCHEZ: A fire has been burning nearly 24 hours after an explosion on a naval ship in San Diego. Seventeen sailors and four civilians were treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

The fire is said to have started in a lower vehicle storage area of the ship. It could, apparently, burn all the way down to the water.

Navy officials say all of the crew of the USS Bonhomme Richard evacuated and are accounted for. The cause of the explosion is still under investigation.

ROMANS: A fire has destroyed a 249-year-old church in California. Firefighters did manage to save some historical artifacts and artwork from the San Gabriel Mission. No one was injured. No official cause, but the church was undergoing renovations to mark its upcoming 250th- anniversary celebration.

SANCHEZ: The U.S. Navy celebrating the first black female tactical fighter pilot in its 110-year history. The chief of Naval Air Training congratulating Lt. (junior grade) Madeline Swegle on completing the service's tactical airstrike training program. She'll receive her wings of gold later this month.

And later today, the NFL's Washington team is expected to announce a name change. According to reports, the new name will be unveiled at a later date as trademark issues are worked out. Head coach Ron Rivera tells "The Washington Post" he is working with the team's owner, Dan Synder, on a name that will honor both the military and Native Americans.

ROMANS: All right, taking a look at markets around the world this Monday morning. After a pretty good week, last week, European shares and Asian shares -- Asian shares should be closed by now. European shares open.

And on Wall Street -- there you go -- you can see green arrows across- the-board. And on Wall Street, futures, right now, also moving higher.

Stocks ended the week higher after drugmaker Gilead said new data supports the effectiveness of Remdesivir as a coronavirus treatment. The Dow closed up 369 points. The Nasdaq hit another record high, the fourth of the week.

Wall Street, though bracing for the worst earnings season since the Great Recession. Profits for the S&P 500 are expected to decline by nearly 44 percent, the biggest drop since the fourth quarter of 2008.

Big banks are the first to report. Banks likely to show significant loan losses despite fees from the Paycheck Protection Program.

Pepsi, Delta, and Netflix will also report their earnings this week. Netflix has benefited from the stay-at-home economy. Shares there up more than 50 percent this year for Netflix.

Workers around the country are planning a nationwide strike for Black Lives, putting pressure on major companies to raise wages and allow their workers to form unions. Labor groups are fighting for union rights in sectors where black workers are disproportionately represented.

Black Americans make up about 13 percent of the U.S. population, but nearly 20 percent of workers in the nation's food preparation and services sector. African-Americans also make up more than 26 percent of warehouse work -- the warehouse workforce at Amazon.

The walkout is expected to take place July 20th, Boris.

SANCHEZ: Christine, a rare unopened copy of one of your favorites. The classic videogame Super Mario Brothers just sold at an auction to an anonymous buyer for a record -- get this -- $114,000. The game cartridge was originally released back in 1985 for the popular Nintendo entertainment system console. The winning bid broke the record for the most money ever paid for a video game.

ROMANS: Yes, lost productivity in my household -- all right.

Health care workers on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic are saying yes to the dress. The nonprofit group Brides Across America is providing them with free wedding gowns. So far, they've donated dresses to more than 150 health care workers. The group has been gifting wedding dresses and, in some cases, weddings to members of the military and first responders for more than a decade.

But health care workers, right there -- the new heroes, right, in this day and age. Yes to the dress.



ROMANS: Thanks for joining us, everybody. I'm Christine Romans.

SANCHEZ: And I'm Boris Sanchez. "NEW DAY" is next.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Florida continues to grapple with skyrocketing daily COVID numbers and hospitalizations.

GIMENEZ: Ventilator usage has gone up also. We still have capacity, but it does cause me a lot of concern.

ADM. BRETT GIROIR, WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS TESTING CZAR: We are all very concerned about the rise in cases, but we are in a much better place. This is not out of control.

MAYOR KATE GALLEGO (D), PHOENIX: We continue to have a real challenge with testing. We are setting records of the type you don't want to set.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Educators across the country are trying to find a way to get students back in classrooms safely.

DEVOS: There is nothing in the data that would suggest that kids being back in school is dangerous to them.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): We all want our children to go back to school, but they must go back.