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Washington Redskins Changing Name; Harvard Researcher Wants Reimposed Shutdowns; Schools and Daycares Struggle with Reopening; Coronavirus Update from around the Country. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired July 13, 2020 - 06:30   ET



MITCH LANDRIEU, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Of what he weirdly perceives to be in his best political interest. But I don't think he's doing the right thing and I think most of the American people understand that.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Mitch Landrieu, we really appreciate your perspective. Thank you very much.

LANDRIEU: Right. Thank you -- thank you for being -- thank you.

CAMEROTA: All right, the name the Washington Redskins is about to be history. The team is changing its name and logo after years of debating this. We have all the breaking details for you next in the "Bleacher Report."


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, breaking this morning, the Washington football team reportedly plans to announce today that they are dropping their controversial name.

Andy Scholes with all the details in the "Bleacher Report."

A long time coming, Andy.


ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Certainly a long time coming, John. Good morning to you.

And, you know, Washington's head coach, Ron Rivera, had said it would be awesome to get a new name in place for this upcoming season. And it actually looks like that's going to happen. According to multiple reports, the team is set to announce that they are going to change the name, but a new name not expected to be announced later today. That's because of trademark issues according to "Sports Business Daily."

Now, Rivera has said he's been working with owner Daniel Snyder on a new name and that it would be respectful this Native Americans and honor the military. Now, Snyder had once said, you can print it in all caps, I'm never

changing the name. But after growing pressure from sponsors, Snyder has decided it's time to finally make the move. The nickname red tails has been gaining steam on social media. The red tails were Tuskegee airmen, a group of African-American fighter pilots back in World War II.

All right, baseball's opening day, less than two weeks away, and the Toronto Blue Jays still don't know where they will be playing their home game this season. The team and Major League Baseball still waiting for the Canadian government to decide whether to grant an exception that would allow the Blue Jays and other teams to avoid the country's strict 14-day quarantine after traveling in. The plan to play in Toronto has the Jays and other teams staying at the hotel that's connected to the stadium and then going only to and from the ballpark. Toronto's mayor told CNN yesterday he's optimistic things will get figured out and games are going to be able to be played in his city. But if not, Alisyn, the Blue Jays looking at possibly playing in their minor league team's ballpark there in Buffalo, but apparently lighting is an issue there. So still plenty of things to be worked out, but not a lot of time to do it.

CAMEROTA: OK. Thank you very much, Andy.

All right, so developing overnight in San Diego, a fire onboard a U.S. amphibious assault ship is still not contained. You can still see the smoke there even at this hour. Two helicopters were brought in to try to battle the flames. This is from this hour, right now the darker screen. Officials say the fire started in a lower vehicle storage area, but the cause is unclear. Twenty-one people were hurt, 17 sailors and four civilians, all, we are told, with non-life- threatening injuries.

BERMAN: All right, breaking overnight, we learned of the death of actress Kelly Preston after a battle with breast cancer. Preston's husband, John Travolta, posted a tribute to his wife of 28 years on Instagram, writing, quote, she fought a courageous fight with the love and support of so many. Kelly's love and life will always be remembered. Kelly Preston was just 57 years old.

CAMEROTA: That's horrible, and such a surprise to so many people.

And, meanwhile, more sad news, the grandson of Rock 'n' Roll Legend Elvis Presley has died. Benjamin Keough died Sunday in Calabasas, California. A representative for his mother, Lisa Marie Presley, says she is, quote, entirely heartbroken, inconsolable, and beyond devastated. Keough rarely appeared in public, but the few photos of him do show a resemblance to his grandfather. He was 27 years old.

Well, Harvard researchers say eight states need to immediately reimpose stay-at-home orders today. We will speak with one of those researchers, next.


[06:42:08] BERMAN: This morning, Harvard researchers calling for eight states to immediately reimpose stay-at-home orders due to the severe outbreaks there. I think we have a map we can show you of these eight states. Here they are, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida, also Idaho.

Joining us now is Dr. Tom Tsai, he's an assistant professor at Harvard University and a surgeon at Brigham Women's Hospital in Boston.

Dr. Tsai, it's great to have you back on the show. Thanks so much for being with us.

Let's put this map back up so people can see it. What is it about these states that has you so concerned and what needs to happen there?

DR. THOMAS TSAI, HEALTH POLICY RESEARCHER, HARVARD T.H. CHAN SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH: Thank you, John. Great to be with you and Alisyn this morning.

The concerning feature of this map is that in these red states, they are in what we call the tipping zone, in the hot spot areas where they are growing by more than 25 new cases per 100,000 individuals. When we released a map two weeks ago, there were approximately three states. We've seen that grow to four or five, six, seven, eight states over the weekend. That is deeply concerning that the number of cases are accelerating out of control and the hospitals are becoming more crowded. What we need to do is reinstitute measures to flatten the curve until we can get control of the pandemic once again in these states.

BERMAN: Now you said, we started off with a peak, we settle for a plateau, and we ended up with a mountain range.

What do you mean?

TSAI: That's right. I think we were all anticipating that after the peak of cases that we saw in the northeast, in New York and Boston in April, that there would be a period of respite as cases came down. But instead of that peak, we ended up seeing a plateau of cases over May and June, and now we're seeing an even larger peak in a lot of these southern states. And in some ways the first rise in cases in April and May are just foothills to this current outbreak that we're seeing.

We flattened down the curve. We stayed at home in March and April to buy time for hospitals to catch up, for our test capacity to be ramped up. Similarly, for a lot of these states, you need to do the same. But now it's not one national peak, one national narrative. We have 50 different states. It's important to really target these measures right where they're needed the most.

BERMAN: And you note that at the time of its greatest peak, we are seeing the greatest absence of the federal government.

How so?

TSAI: That's deeply concerning. We've had a lack of consistent federal messaging around public health measures, about the importance for testing. We no longer have a testing czar position. And in this vacuum of federal leadership, especially with 50 different state curves, this is a vacuum that needs to be filled by our state and local leaders.

And what's happened is that our local municipal leaders, our mayors, they understand what's going on. Lots of cities across the south have instituted localized measures around mask wearing and social distancing.


And what we need is that concerted, coordinated efforts across cities, across counties in a lot of these tipping point states. And that's where the governors can play an important role.

And one way forward is to have interstate compacts where governors can work together regionally to develop testing capacity and implement a shared strategy around social distancing.

BERMAN: One of the things you note, as these states need to address this, and you call for stay-at-home orders, but you note that we've lost the collective energy somehow to battle this.

What do you mean? And if we don't have that same energy that we had, how, then do you stop these mountains in this graph?

TSAI: Yes, John, I'm deeply worried by that. In March and April, the country came together to support New York and Boston. We had volunteers and supplies pouring in from all over the country. And I'm -- I'm worried that we're not seeing that now.

It's not about winning or losing against a pandemic. It's only about various degrees of loss in terms of lives and livelihoods. And Houston is the new New York and we need to refocus our collective action, not just in Texas and in these southern states, but across the country and bring all of our resources to bear. And I think that's what's needed.

You know, the optimistic view for folks living in some of these eight red states in the south is that we can beat this. We've beaten this in New York, we've beaten this in Massachusetts. There is a way forward, it just requires will in order to execute this game plan.

BERMAN: Yes, look, we had no deaths reported yesterday in New York City. No deaths in New York City from Covid yesterday. That's astounding given where we were. So this can be fixed.

Look at South Korea. I mean South Korea has had fewer cases reported in six months than Florida reported just yesterday alone. So this can be fixed.

One other thing you note, and I want to get your take on this, you say that the testing paradigm has changed. And I think this is important. It was that you would get tested and then sit at home with the doors shut until you got the results back in. Now, people are waiting five, six, seven days, but they're not sitting at home. TSAI: Yes, and that's absolutely right. In some ways, people were

guilty until proven innocent because they wanted to wait for the test to come back and stay at home and not risk infecting others back in March, April, and May. Now in some ways it's the opposite of innocent until proven guilty. That works for criminal justice. That doesn't work for pandemics.

Individuals need to stay home and minimize their social contacts and wear masks, even while waiting the tests are coming back. And this is incredibly important because the turnaround time for tests is only increasing, averaging over six to eight days in a lot of these tipping point states. That's why we need to measure the key performance indicators of testing and contact tracing and our supply chain around tests. I feel like we're just repeating the conversations, unfortunately, that we had in March, but we need to reinvigorate these conversations and make sure we have enough tests to gain control of the infection. And if we can't test widely enough and people aren't staying home then we have to reinforce social distancing.

BERMAN: Dr. Thomas Tsai at the Brigham, we really appreciate your time this morning. Thank you so much for being with us.

TSAI: Great. Thank you, John.

BERMAN: So how safe is it at this point given the course of this pandemic to reopen schools? Three teachers who shared a classroom this summer, they all got coronavirus and one of them died. We have details, next.



CAMEROTA: Education Secretary Betsey DeVos refuses to say whether schools should follow CDC guidelines for reopening. Experts and officials agree the economy cannot fully function until kids are back in school or daycare. But with cases surging across the country, school districts are still struggling how to figure out to do that safely.

CNN's Bianna Golodryga joins us now with more.

Where are we with this, Bianna?

BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN SENIOR GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, Alisyn, I have to say, as a mother and as a journalist covering this beat, that interview with Secretary DeVos was really frustrating to watch.

Now, according to the University of Chicago, 50 million Americans must factor in child care before they can fully return to work. Fifteen million of those parents have children under the age of six and are thus relying on daycare centers as opposed to just primary schools. And one thing has become clear throughout this pandemic, the burden for the most part has fallen on mothers, on women, and we have spoken to two of them.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's up, dude? You want to come over here.

GOLODRYGA (voice over): Eve Johnston, in theory, is one of the lucky ones. Unlike some 40 million out of work Americans, the Massachusetts mother of two has a full-time job as a nurse. But with her local daycare closed since March due to Covid-19, she's had to cut back her hours and shifts.

EVE JOHNSTON, MOTHER, NURSE: So my husband's worked nights, I've tried to work weekends, so that one of us is available. I've worked nights. More nights than I have previously.

GOLODRYGA: With the rate of coronavirus cases in Massachusetts trending down, the state has started to lift some restrictions for day care facilities. Welcome news for Johnston, but also a reminder that she's not alone, telling us the influx of parents desperate for child care has made it hard to find an available program.

GOLODRYGA (on camera): How are you holding up? And how sustainable is this?

JOHNSTON: That's the thing, it's not sustainable. We are hoping that there will be a world with school and daycare at some point. But, in the meantime, I accepted a position where I work that I'll work every Saturday and Sunday night from 7:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.

CHERYL LEKOUSI, TINY HEARTS PLAYGROUP AND CHILDCARE: This is a brand- new floor. It's a -- I had the carpet ripped out. I put in a vinyl floor.

GOLODRYGA: Nearby, Cheryl Lekousi recently reopened her home daycare after receiving state approval. Among the guidelines, she says, is limiting the number of children under her care, providing proper personal protective equipment, and implementing strict hygiene.

LEKOUSI: All I did was I turned it so that the doorway is out here. There's windows that they can talk to each other, but they're just by the shape of the play space, I'm separating them.

GOLODRYGA: At 61, she worries about her own family's health and whether she can sustain a mandated smaller client base.


LEKOUSI: My husband and I did have a serious discussion of, do I need to retire, which would mean downsizing the house. What would it look like? And I really didn't want this to put me into retirement.

GOLODRYGA: As parents of school-aged children anxiously await decisions on whether in-person classes will resume in the fall, those with younger children face an equally daunting dilemma. According to one study, the pandemic could ultimately lead to the loss of nearly 4.5 million child care slots. The combined result would leave 17.5 million Americans, or 11 percent of the workforce, caring for their children themselves and thus unlikely to return to full-time work until schools and daycares fully reopen.

SEN. PATTY MURRAY (D-WA): We all want our economy to open. I assure everyone, if people can't get child care, they cannot go back to work.

GOLODRYGA: Congress has so far allocated $3.5 billion in child care aid as part of the CARES Act. Democrats have recently introduced a new measure that would increase funding to $50 billion.


GOLODRYGA: Meredith Smith is a front line health care worker in Jacksonville, Florida. She and her husband currently plan on sending their six and seven-year-old sons back to school next month.

SMITH: Our children go to a small enough school with classroom sizes that would be within less than ten in most classes, or -- and they have the facilities that are outdoors and open enough that they can accommodate and make accommodations.

GOLODRYGA: But she acknowledges that the recent surge in cases in the state could impact their thinking.

SMITH: I feel mixed about everything. I think that's the -- the nature of this crisis, right? We're minute to minute, hearing different things about the virus itself, and whether or not schools will be open and how they will be reopening.


GOLODRYGA: So, Alisyn, let's reiterate, we all want the same things. We all want our kids to go back to school. Mine are in the other room. I'm afraid I'm going to wake them up because they're still asleep. This is not sustainable going forward.

At the same time, it really is a life or death dilemma. And here's a real life story. There were three teachers in Arizona teaching summer school class, sharing a classroom. They were doing all the right things. They were wearing PPE -- PPP -- they were wearing masks, they were using hand sanitizer, they were socially distant. And, guess what? They contracted coronavirus and one of them, unfortunately, at the age of 61 has passed away. So these are the consideration that teachers, that parents, that families all must make. And, unfortunately, we're still not getting a concrete answer as to what the plan is going forward.

BERMAN: Yes, just saying "do it" is not a strategy.


BERMAN: How to do it, that's a strategy.


BERMAN: Bianna Golodryga, a terrific report. I'll whisper so I don't wake the kids.

GOLODRYGA: Thank you, John. Shhh.

BERMAN: All right, the mayor of Atlanta rolling back that city's reopening, while Louisiana is scrambling to control its surge by closing down bars. We have reporters all over the country covering these developments.


POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Polo Sandoval in New York, where health officials are closely observing three people who recently tested positive for the coronavirus. What's concerning is that these three individuals, according to authorities, had traveled on a Delta flight from Atlanta to Albany back on July 6th. Now, those passengers were not symptomatic at the time and health officials working with the airline right now are trying to do that contact tracing to make sure that nobody was actually exposed.

Separately, Governor Cuomo, over the weekend, also saying that there's been a recent uptick in Covid cases in upstate New York, though it's still unclear whether or not that has been directly tied to that Delta flight. What we do know is this comes after health officials have expressed concern about people leaving the New York state area, that is really doing fairly well in terms of Covid numbers, getting sick, and then returning back to the region.

PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN REPORTER: I'm Paul Vercammen in Los Angeles, where officials are reporting that the Covid-19 numbers are headed in the wrong direction. In Los Angeles County, more than 3,300 new cases and hospitalizations are way up, 2,093 at last count and about 25 percent of those people are in intensive care units.

Throughout the state, similar numbers that are not encouraging. We're seeing both a rise in hospitalizations and positivity. And, now, more than 7,000 people have died in California since the outbreak of coronavirus.


Louisiana has become the latest state to limit business at bars. Governor John Bel Edwards announced Saturday bars would be closed for on-site consumption and that goes into effect on Monday.

In South Carolina, Governor Henry McMaster has said that restaurants and bars would be banned from selling alcohol after 11:00 p.m. every night. He said that is to stem the spread of the virus among young people.


Florida had reopened its bars in early June, only to shut them down again a few weeks later after health officials traced a few clusters of cases of coronavirus to people visiting bars.