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Fauci Warns Coronavirus Could Be As Serious As 1918 Flu, Which Killed 50 Million People; Texas Reports Record High 10,745 Cases In One Day As Florida Reports Highest Number Of Deaths; Trump Administration Reversing Policy, Won't Deny International Students Visas If Classes Are Online; Trump Claims Children, Parents Dying By Keeping Schools Closed; Trump: More White People Are Killed By Police Than Black People; Trump's Niece Speaks Out For First Time About Tell- All Book. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired July 14, 2020 - 19:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: May they rest in peace and may their memories be a blessing.

"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, Dr. Anthony Fauci warns coronavirus could eclipse the 1918 flu which killed more than 50 million people as the President holds an hour long press conference attacking Joe Biden.

Plus, how should school lunches be handled? How can you keep masks on young kids for whole school day? We got a lot of questions about going back to school and two of the nation's experts are here to answer them.

And the President says flying the confederate flag is a freedom of speech. He says more white people are dying at the hands of law enforcement than African-Americans. That is a wildly misleading statements. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms is my guest. Let's go OUTFRONT.

Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight the breaking news, a chilling warning from the nation's infectious disease experts, Dr. Anthony Fauci, who warns the coronavirus pandemic has the potential to be as serious as the 1918 flu, which the CDC estimates killed 50 million people.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: That was the mother of all pandemics and truly historic. I hope we don't even approach that with this, but it does have the makings of the possibility of being approaching that in seriousness.


BURNETT: OK. To state what you are just thinking after hearing that is what, this is alarming, this is upsetting, this is incomprehensible, it's terrifying. After all, the current global death toll is a fraction of what it was in 1918. Today 575,000 people are known to have died from coronavirus.

So 50 million people in 1918 Just so you know is the equivalent of 211 million people dying from coronavirus now. Fauci is opening the door to something, frankly, well beyond unnerving. And as the pandemic escalates in this country, Fauci with a message for the nation, trust the doctors, the truth tellers.


FAUCI: I would stick with respected medical authorities who have a track record of telling the truth. I would say that's the safest bet.


BURNETT: OK. This is not even a thinly veiled swipe of the President of the United States who essentially just held a campaign rally in the Rose Garden for an hour barely mentioned in coronavirus. Fauci says trust the medical experts who have a track record of truth.

OK. He didn't just randomly say those words. He isn't talking about people generally. He's talking about someone specifically. He's talking specifically about the person who has been peddling false statements.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I think we are in a good place.

FAUCI: We're facing a serious problem now.

TRUMP: And we're almost up to 40 million in testing and 40 million people which is unheard of.

FAUCI: I think what we do need is better screening, broader screening in the country to get a feel for really what the penetrance of this infection is.

TRUMP: If you look at the chart of deaths, deaths are way down.

FAUCI: It's a false narrative to take comfort in a lower rate of death.

TRUMP: So we were able to close our country, save millions of lives, open and now the trajectory is great.

FAUCI: Some states who went from shut down to complete throwing caution to the wind.


BURNETT: OK. So there's the person making false statements and the truth teller. And now the American people are making their own decision on who to trust. Let's take what President Trump said today on schools.


CATHERINE HERRIDGE, CORRESPONDENT, CBS: What do you tell parents and teachers who feel that it's unsafe to go back?

TRUMP: I would tell parents and teachers that you should find yourself a new person, whoever is in charge of that decision because it's a terrible decision. Because children and parents are dying from that trauma too. They're dying because they can't do what they're doing. Mothers can't go to work because all of a sudden they have to stay home and watch their child and fathers.


BURNETT: Trump wants kids back to school. And in fact, he's gone so far as to threaten to withhold funds from districts that don't open up. But he hasn't offered to help make the changes required for this to happen safely. Zero action, a lot of talk.

And Americans right now don't believe him, 71 percent of parents in a new poll say it's moderately too highly risk to send their kids back to school. This includes 53 percent of Republicans. Major school districts also saying no deal. North Carolina and the nation's largest school district here in New York City will split time between in person and online learning this fall. In Los Angeles class is online.

Americans also don't believe what Trump is selling when it comes to reopening our economy.


TRUMP: We're working to safely and responsibly reopen our country.

We're safely reopening our country.

Our country is now in the next stage of the battle, a very safe phased and gradual reopening.



BURNETT: Except the next stage in 27 states is a step back halting reopening or going back into lockdown. And tonight even Trump's closest allies don't believe what he has been saying for months when it comes to testing.


TRUMP: We have the best and certainly the biggest, by far, the biggest testing program anywhere in the world.

Our testing is far superior to anybody. We have great testing, the best in the world.


BURNETT: Well, it's not true and now Florida's Governor, Ron DeSantis, close ally of the President, Lindsey Graham, another close ally of the President beg to differ. They say the administration must do better.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): We just don't have enough testing in real time for the population as a whole.

GOV. RON DESANTIS (R) FLORIDA: We also understand there's a need for faster results. They are backed up.


BURNETT: OK. They are backed up. They can take a week to get results which as we all know renders them useless. Even Trump's own former chief of staff wrote about how unacceptable it is. So there's all of that and then finally masks.

Just about everyone stopped believing President Trump's example of not wearing one, 24 states and Washington, D.C. now require people to wear masks in public, even the people Trump considers his allies, corporate America, are now saying and stepping up where Trump's federal government has been painfully silent.

Best Buy today requiring all customers wear masks and the CEO of the largest retailer in America, Wal-Mart, a man Trump has tried hard to win over now saying a mandate requiring all customers to wear masks inside Wal-Mart is on his mind.

At a time when 37 states are seeing an increase in cases and the number of deaths in this country has topped 136,000 people, this country needs someone to lead and someone we can trust. Not somebody who keeps saying false things at best to make people feel better or at worse to hide the truth and help his own reelection and that is why Fauci is not being nuanced or vague anymore.


FAUCI: I would stick with respected medical authorities who I have a track record of telling the truth. I would say that's the safest bet.


BURNETT: You can see by how he tightens his lips and his jaw about how he feels.

Kaitlan Collins is OUTFRONT live outside the White House. Kaitlan, more than an hour in the Rose Garden today from the President of the United States. The focus was not on coronavirus though at all. What's going on? KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: No. The focus was on a

lot of different topics actually, Erin. It was supposed to be on China and Hong Kong, but the President quickly got off of script there and instead started hitting Joe Biden after you saw all three cable networks carried the former Vice President's remarks live earlier.

And not only hitting him on China but also infrastructure asking where Joe Biden's son was, did not answer any questions on coronavirus, I should note, and he only barely brought up the pandemic that's sweeping the nation to repeat his false claim that we have fact checked many times on this program about whether or not the more testing that has been done in the United States is what's leading to more cases.

He did not address how there are people waiting in lines to get tested for hours on end and then being told that those places are out of test or the fact that getting a test is still taking so long. And he only briefly mentioned Dr. Anthony Fauci as we are seeing the fallout from that continue, because we're now hearing from people even inside the White House who are questioning just how wise it was for the press job to anonymously circulate that memo hitting Dr. Fauci, questioning his judgment.

Because really the question is not just whether or not the President is dealing with the pandemic, but also what he's doing politically, because he's just over a little over a hundred days from the election, Erin. And this is what exactly some of the worst fears that we've been hearing from the President's allies, which is that this is a directionless White House and the President is not really campaigning on anything and now is instead picking arguments with a 79-year-old scientist inside his own administration.

And so you heard Fauci there, we're not expecting him to leave the taskforce or anything like that. The White House is actually trying to recalibrate that criticism of Fauci from yesterday. But it is raising a lot of questions among the President's own allies about what exactly it is that he's trying to achieve here.

BURNETT: All right. Kaitlan, thank you very much and I want to go now to Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Dr. Jonathan Reiner, who advised the White House for eight years, White House medical team and, of course, is at the Cardiac Cath Lab at GW, Gloria Borger is also with me, our Chief Political Analyst.

So Sanjay, the administration continuing to attack Dr. Fauci who fought back today. One senior administration official though just tweeted out late last night, a cartoon mocking Fauci is spewing ridiculousness and so Fauci today finally responded. You can trust respected medical authorities, I believe I'm one of them, so I think you can trust me.

I mean, you saw his jaw, you saw his mouth, this is not even veiled. You know him as a fellow doctor. What goes through your head when you hear him say that at this point?

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think it's been very dispiriting for Dr. Fauci and I talked to him on a regular basis.


He still takes calls. He's still trying to be out there trying to get this knowledge and this information across, but it's tough. I mean, Erin, I think there's two things that really strike me. One is that the idea of not trusting public health figures is not totally new.

I remember even during when I was covering Ebola back in 2014, there was some of this. There was even an article in the New England Journal of Medicine about what the trust levels were in public health officials.

And I think about a third of the country said it was very high. There was probably more than it is now overall, but not spectacular numbers even back then. I think what really strikes me about this is that eventually all of these states and these communities are going to have to do the thing that needs to be done in terms of trying to curb the transmission of this virus.

I think what Dr. Fauci and others have been trying to say is, look, this is a less painful way to get there if you follow these guidelines and these evidence-based recommendations. We're trying to give you the power to make these decisions because ultimately the virus will make the decision for people. Hospitals will become too full. They won't be able to take care of patients and the decisions will become obvious at that point what needs to be done.


GUPTA: So in the end the same outcome is going to happen. It's just going to be a lot more painful, I think, if people aren't listening to people like Fauci.

BURNETT: So Dr. Reiner, Dr. Redfield, obviously, Chair of the CDC made a pretty stunning admission today. Let me play it for you.


DR. ROBERT REDFIELD, DIRECTOR, CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION: In March and April and May, we probably actually had 20 million infections in the United States, even though we only diagnosed 2 million.


BURNETT: So Dr. Reiter, how do you see that? Is that a massive testing failure or is that - or also, I suppose, is that a sign that this again is much less deadly than we have believed?

DR. JONATHAN REINER, DIRECTOR OF CARDIAC CATHETERIZATION LABORATORY, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL: Well, both. We certainly had a massive testing failure. We tested, I think today was the second highest number of tests, we tested about 760,000 people today. That's about 30,000 people an hour on a 24 hour basis. But it took us an excruciating long period of time to ramp up. So first patient tested positive January 20th, we didn't test a total

of 20,000 people for 51 days. That's seven weeks. We test that in less than an hour now. But during that 51 days, that's when the virus rode the railroads and the airplanes and the subways of New York City. That's how the virus got embedded in the soil of this country, in the soul of this country and that was a critical error. One of our two major mistakes that we made.

BURNETT: And, of course, we've also now got studies saying that just because you had it, you could get it again even within weeks. We don't know. But I mean, there's all these question marks now about what even having had it even means.

I mean, Gloria, the President had an opportunity today to talk about coronavirus, which is, as Dr. Reiner said, currently embedded in the soul of this country and in the minds of everyone. He did not take that opportunity. He spent an hour in the Rose Garden giving a press conference and attacking Joe Biden. What's his strategy here? Is there any strategy?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: No. There's no strategy. Look, we are in the middle, as Tony Fauci says, of a pandemic of historic proportion. Tony Fauci's words. And what does the President do? He goes into the Rose Garden, decides, of course, that he misses his campaign rallies and has a new venue.

The venue is the Rose Garden, by the way, owned by all of the taxpayers, goes out there and delivers a campaign speech using journalists effectively as props, although they're not sitting and applauding, like Trump supporters would applaud for a president they support.

And he goes out there and instead of starting out by talking about those who have been lost, he talks about the stock market. He did say that there were advances being made on therapeutics and vaccines. But what we saw was a president focused on himself full of grievance, not only grievance about Joe Biden but grievance about COVID and it's almost as if he's lost because this is a president who really likes to deliver the first punch.

And what we're finding with COVID is that this president doesn't know how to fight back and it's put him on the ropes. He wants to reopen schools, there are problems with reopening schools. Battleground states, Florida, for example, Arizona, for example, two-thirds of the people in those states believe that the virus has not been handled well and most of them blame the President for it. So what we saw today was a president who doesn't know anything else other than trying to punch, that's what he was trying to do. But to do that from the Rose Garden was really disgraceful.


BURNETT: So Sanjay, Gloria mentioned vaccines and there is some new information from Moderna, there are several in progress and I know they're ramping up, so there's hundreds of millions of doses ready if they even work. But we did get information tonight from one of them. What do we need to know?

GUPTA: Yes. A potential bright spot here, Erin, very early still, but I think the cautiously optimistic tone we've had toward vaccines remains based on now what is the first peer reviewed study on a U.S.- made vaccine. Again, very early, 45 people between the ages of 18 and 55, healthy people, they got this vaccine, they got two shots separated by about a month and what they found was that they did seem to produce these antibodies, both neutralizing antibodies and what are known as binding antibodies. That's good.

What we don't know still is just how much that's going to protect somebody. I mean, the ultimate question we're trying to ask you give someone the vaccine, does it inoculate them, protect them from getting infected. And despite what this study has shown, that doesn't answer that question precisely. We need more phases of the study.

And there are also some side effects, Erin, in the sort of middle dose, which is probably going to be the dose that is used, people did get some, what we call systemic side effects; muscle pain, fever, headaches, things like that. But they were short duration and not limiting in terms of having the trial go forward.

So this is good news, Erin. I mean, this is probably the bright spot in this, at least when it comes to vaccines and therapeutics, still need more data. It doesn't mean that the vaccine is a guarantee by any means, but the trial moves forward, for sure.

BURNETT: Well, we'll take that good news as a bright spot when you're looking at the possibility of the 1918 comparisons coming out of Dr. Fauci.

GUPTA: That's right.

BURNETT: We'll take that bright spot no matter how small it may be at this time. Thank you all three very much.

And next, Florida reporting a record number of deaths as one government official there says the Governor has now lost control of the pandemic.

Plus, the Mayor of Atlanta is my guest. What does she think about the President's answer to a question about police violence against African-Americans?


TRUMP: What a terrible question to ask, so are white people, more white people by the way, more white people.


BURNETT: And the President's niece, Mary Trump, speaking publicly for the first time about what she wants the country to know about Donald Trump.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MARY TRUMP, DONALD TRUMP'S NIECE: He's utterly incapable of leading

this country and it's dangerous to allow him to do so.




BURNETT: Breaking news, Texas reporting a record high daily number of more than 10,000 new coronavirus cases as Florida reports its highest number of deaths, with dozens of hospitals out of ICU beds currently across the state of Florida. Nick Watt is OUTFRONT.


NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT(voice over): More than 50,000 Americans are right now in the hospital suffering with this virus. We're nearing the numbers from those dark days of April. The Vice President was in Louisiana today where the average daily case count already eclipsed April.


MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Because of the unprecedented national response marshal by our President, we have more resources today to deal with this pandemic than ever before.

MAYOR DAN GELBER (D), MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA: You can't keep telling people that everything is just fine and not worry because this is not a virus that responds to political speaking points.


WATT(voice over): At least 27 states have now paused or rolled back reopening, but case rates are climbing in 37.

More people were reported dead from COVID in the past 24 hours in Florida than ever before.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some of the metrics have risen.


WATT(voice over): But the Governor didn't specifically mention the deaths. A member of Florida's cabinet says he's lost control.


NIKKI FRIED, FLORIDA COMMISSIONER OF AGRICULTURE AND CONSUMER SERVICES: Governor continues to downplay the seriousness of what is happening here in the State of Florida. Quite frankly we have seen very little to no leadership from Gov. DeSantis.


WATT(voice over): North Carolina just announced its pausing on phase two for another three weeks, Chicago just canceled its marathon, Philly just canceled all big events for six months and California, every bar and indoor restaurant just closed again. Los Angeles currently threat level orange.


MAYOR ERIC GARCETTI (D) LOS ANGELES: We're on the border of going to red. Red is when it's everything shuts down again, everything, to our strictest level.


WATT(voice over): We hoped warmth would bring respite.


REDFIELD: I was really one of the individuals who thought we would get a little break in July and August.


WATT(voice over): It didn't. So the Director of the CDC says he's now reluctant to make predictions, but ...


REDFIELD: I do think the fall and the winter of 2020 and 2021 are going to be the probably one of the most difficult times that we've experienced in American Public Health.


BURNETT: So Nick, the Trump administration today on the back of that rescinding its policy. They had a policy that basically said if you're an international student, you have to leave, your visa expires unless you have an in-person class, widely seen as a move to force schools to open up. But they've rescinded that, those students can stay even if online only. What can you now tell us about it?

WATT: Yes. I mean, listen, the rationale was simple that if the classes are online, why do these people need to be in the country, more than a million of these students. Of course that was ignoring the fact that these people have built lives here and may also have been stuck here for months during this pandemic. A bunch of states and colleges filed suit.

One college president called it cruel, people inside the White House, inside the West Wing apparently were saying that it was ill conceived, so now about a week after it was announced, it has been rolled back. Unclear what happens from here.

Some suggestions that the Trump administration might now try and make this rule to stop any new students coming into the country to enroll in colleges that are going to be online, but no comment from the White House, so we'll see where it goes, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. It certainly makes a big difference for those students and for the schools. Thank you very much, Nick.

WATT: Yes.

BURNETT: OUTFRONT next, socially distancing at school lunches. I mean, we all have a lot of questions about how this is going to work because you can't have an economy without it and people want their kids safe. Tonight, answers.


Plus, the President defending flying the confederate flag.


TRUMP: All I say is freedom of speech. It's very simple. My attitude is freedom of speech.




BURNETT: Tonight, Dr. Anthony Fauci weighing in as the President pushes to reopen schools.


FAUCI: So as a principle, we should try as the default to get the kids to stay in school. However, that's going to vary from where you are in the country and what the dynamics of the outbreak are in your particular region.


BURNETT: OUTFRONT now, Robin Cogan, a school nurse for 20 years in Camden, New Jersey. She serves on the state's committee on reopening schools and Professor Joseph Allen, his group at Harvard has a 60-page plan on how to reopen schools safely. And of course, he said on this show now twice that he would send his own kids back to school.

So Robin, I want to start with you because when you were quoted it really caught my attention. I'm a mother, as well with kids, trying to make this decision. You said you feel like we're playing Russian roulette with our kids safety by reopening schools.


But today we heard President Trump say parents and children are dying by keeping schools closed. What do you say to him?

ROBIN COGAN, SCHOOL NURSE, CAMDEN, NJ SCHOOL DISTRICT: Well, what I say -- what I heard before you asked me about President Trump is what Doctor Fauci said, and we have to be safe.

We can do this. We absolutely can do this, and I am an absolute proponent of kids going back to school, what I am saying is in this moment, in these circumstances that we're in, are we safe? Do we have exactly what we need to make sure that we're making the decision that will keep our students and staff safe, is safety at the center of everything that we are looking at?

That's why I said what I said, because I don't believe we're there yet. I do believe we can get there, and certainly, there are lots of amazing strategies in the book that was put out, you know, by Harvard Public Health -- School of Public Health that I believe in but the things that we don't have in place like testing, tracing and isolating, they're not there. Even the infrastructure isn't there.


COGAN: So, that's just one example of why I think we're quite not there yet.

BURNETT: You know, Professor Allen, the point she makes, you know, I'm not going far out on a limb to say the whole country is not going to be at the point it needs to be in terms of testing and tracing and isolation by the time kids go back to, school if ever, right? It's just not.

So do you think that needs to be in place fully, you know? And when I say testing in this capacity I'm saying testing that people can get immediate results whenever they want them, not some tests that you get the results back in seven days.

JOSEPH ALLEN, WROTE OP-ED TITLED "YES KIDS SHOULD BE GOING BACK IN THE FALL": Yes. So, thanks for having me on, Erin, and I really appreciate what the school nurses are doing, and I agree we're all aligned here. We want kids to get back and we want to get them safely, we have to follow the science here. Fauci had it exactly right.

A condition precedent is that we have to have cases under control in the country. You know, I wrote about this in early April with colleagues. There was a plan to save lives and the economy. We have grossly failed in this country to put those plans in place. Now we find ourselves in a position in July with cases increasing in many states, knowing that kids, we're trying to get kids back to school.

So, first and foremost, we absolutely have to control the spread of these cases, so that we can get the kids back to school, which should be a national priority.

BURNETT: So, let me ask you, Robin, you know, as a parent and anyone who's a parent out there has some of these questions. So we asked viewers for their questions and we got several of them, you know, again and again and again. One of them, Tony Williams asked us, how can you keep the room sanitized after each class?

And this is a crucial question. In some cases, Robin, they're saying, you know, kids won't change classrooms at all, but how do you do this -- the sanitizing, in a way where it doesn't just become cursory and partially done?

COGAN: And that's a really good point. So, this takes a collective effort, right? This is -- so what if our community is not well, our school is not well. We need to get the community involved in what happens in school so that everybody feels that it's a sense of safety and security for parents to say, wait, my school has a plan, I know every step of the plan. I know if A, B, if A happens, then B is going to happen.

And when you talk about things like sanitizing, there's a difference between disinfecting and sanitizing and cleaning. We need to understand that what's needed for each of those steps, who is going to do it? Where are the supplies?

And I just have to say this in terms of school nursing, I want you to understand that 25 percent of schools in this country have no school nurse at all. There is no public health nurse in 25 percent of our schools. And 35 percent of our schools, there are only a part-time school nurse.

So, 60 percent of our schools with 57 million children across the country have either no school nurse or a very part-time school nurse. And then the 40 percent were there all school nurses, they may have multiple business buildings, they may have a huge caseload.

So we need additional staff. We want to take care of our students, we miss them.


COGAN: We want to be part of the school community.

BURNETT: And, look, what you're saying, of course, you know, this is where you need -- you need a lot of federal government wise and otherwise, right? I mean, we're going to see a cut in funding in schools of someone does not do some can change it, right, because those are the economics that we're in right now, just as you're saying more is desperately needed.

Professor Allen, what do you say to those out there, parents and teachers who look at what happened in Arizona and are afraid, where there's teachers who share one classroom in summer school and at the end of June, one of them dies of coronavirus, the other two get it.

They say they were social distancing and wearing masks the whole time. You know, look, a lot of people tried to do that and they forget the moment they slip up, we don't know how it happened but it's a terrifying tale. Does he give you pause, Professor?

ALLEN: Look, it all gives me pause. The goal here is, of course, zero cases, zero deaths. And so, what we need to do is be sure that all the controls we put in place that we know can be effective are actually in place.

[19:35:03] And I actually look to what's happening in health care where they're doing a lot of things to reduce the risk of health care workers, in a high risk like hand washing and the mask wearing, of course, but also healthy building strategies, right? They can't even physically distance in a hospital.

I mention healthy building strategies last night on your show and ventilation, but I want to put color on that a little bit even more, because I don't know what was happening in that building where those people got sick, if in fact that is where they got sick. But as we scale up and have more people in a building, the ventilation standards are also set to scale by person, so the standards should be 15 liters per second per person, liters is the amount of air, overtime, per second per person. So, it scales up the more people and adults and kids you have in a room. We need to bring in more outdoor air.

The problem is, just like we've under invested in school nurses and people, we've under invested in the physical environment. If you look at Betsy DeVos' comments just two years ago, she said we need to invest in students, not school buildings. That tells you need to know about where our priorities have been in terms of the school building, which we know influences health.

BURNETT: All right. Well, I thank you very much and I speak for many parents. I mean, you know, we all have kids in schools that are, you know, stultifyingly hot one, you know, random air conditioner, far from what is needed. And these are in some of the best public schools.

Thank you both very much.

And next, the president complains that more white people are killed by police when asked about violence against black people. The mayor of Atlanta, Keisha Lance Bottoms, responds.

And breaking news, Mary Trump, the president's niece, breaking her silence, speaking for the first time since the gag order is lifted and her book is released


GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: If you're in the Oval Office today, what would you say to him?





BURNETT: Breaking news, President Trump defending the Confederate flag while using the Black Lives Matter movement to try to make his point.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: All I say is freedom of speech. It's very simple. My attitude is freedom of speech, whether it's Confederate flags or Black Lives Matter or anything else you want to talk about, it's freedom of speech.


BURNETT: OUTFRONT now, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.

And, Mayor, I appreciate your time.

So, what's your reaction to the president, you know, putting on equal footing Black Lives Matter and the Confederate flag, saying the Confederate flag is a -- just like Black Lives Matter, a form of free speech.

MAYOR KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS (D), ATLANTA, GEORGIA: This president, unfortunately, never surprises me. And he lacks simple empathy.

He doesn't have the empathy that allows him to lead the people of America, and I think it was President Obama who said it's a lack of empathy that leads us into wars. It leads us to ignore the homeless on our street.

And in this case, with our president, it leads him to ignore the reality of where we are in America right now. To compare Black Lives Matter with the Confederate flag is simply despicable and out of touch.

BURNETT: So, then, he was also asked in this same interview, Mayor, why black people in America are dying at the hands of police. And I want to play for you exactly how he answered that question.


TRUMP: And so are white people. So are white people. What a terrible question to ask. So are white people. More white people, by the way. More white people.


BURNETT: OK. I just want to be clear here for anybody who's confused by that. Washington did an analysis here. Since 2015, 2,499 white people were shot and killed by police. More than 1,301 black people shot and killed by police, right? So, that's where he's getting at.

But it is completely and utterly misleading because when you adjust it for population, black Americans are about 2.5 times more likely to be shot and killed by police as white people.

And the president of the United States, Mayor, certainly knows this. Why would he answer the way he did?

BOTTOMS: My trying to figure out why he answers the way he does is really like me trying to figure out why he's even the president of the United States. He's incapable of leading. He is completely missing the moment that we are in in America.

It's a moment that calls for empathy. It calls for understanding. It calls for an acknowledgment that there is a crisis in our country right now. And he simply can't lead.

And for us to expect anymore of him in this moment really is insanity. And it makes me angry. It -- I have so many emotions watching him say this. And the only thing, quite frankly, that's going through my mind right now is that I hope my children didn't hear him speak today.

BURNETT: Well, you know, I want to ask you about your children. I know one of them has been sick with coronavirus. You, yourself, you know, have been battling the virus. I know your husband was very sick.

How is everyone in your family doing right now?

BOTTOMS: Thankfully, we're doing better. My husband's doing a lot better. He walked to the mailbox which was progress.

But it -- we really are an example of how easily this virus is spread and simply why we can't get to the other side of it. We had an asymptomatic child in our house for eight days before we realized -- before we were all tested again and realized that we were all positive.

And my husband doesn't have underlying health conditions, and this virus has literally knocked him to his knees.

So, there have been so many failures of this president, including leadership on the coronavirus, including matters as it relates to race and just added to the long list of failures of his presidency.

BURNETT: So, you know, he's coming to your state tomorrow, UPS facility, just where you are, Metro Atlanta. He's talking about infrastructure, not coronavirus, even as daily cases in Georgia this past week have increased more than 300 percent, more than 300 percent, compared to just one month ago.


And he's coming as he has now done to Florida and Oklahoma and Arizona for completely unrelated things.

What would you like to hear from him tomorrow? You know, if he came, what would you like to hear?

BOTTOMS: Well, he says he's going to speak about infrastructure. I'll be shocked if that's what he actually speaks about. But what I -- what I would say to him is that we have a mask mandate in this city. We own and operate the world's busiest airport, and we have now mandated that people wear masks in the airport.

That is what we need across this country. We need some federal guidelines as it relates to COVID-19. There is a patchwork of policies in place. In Georgia, our numbers are as high as I've seen them since April. And when you look at other countries, you look at what was done to get

to the other side of this pandemic, and it was through leadership. We are lacking leadership now. And what I would say to President Trump is please allow the experts to speak, to give us sound information without you countering their information and allow this country an opportunity to get to the other side.

We want our children to go back to school in the fall. We want economic recovery.


BOTTOMS: But we will not get there without leadership.

BURNETT: No, and not without masks either. My goodness, I second it as a mother like you. We all want our kids back in schools, just get it done right.

Thank you so much, Mayor. I appreciate your time.

BOTTOMS: Thank you for having me.

BURNETT: And next, voters heading to the polls in Texas tonight. There are growing signs that the president's base, some of them, may be losing faith.

Plus, President Trump's niece in her first interview, why she is calling for her uncle to resign?


M. TRUMP: He is utterly incapable of leading this country.




BURNETT: As voters head to the polls in Texas, Joe Biden launches his first general election ad in the state. He seems to believe that Texas where coronavirus raging could be in play.

Ed Lavandera is OUTFRONT.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The quaint downtown square of McKinney, Texas, promises historic good times. But the good vibes have been smothered by the historic coronavirus. The pandemic is casting a long shadow of the 2020 presidential election.

MARGIE SCHRAER, TRUMP SUPPORTER: I think the whole COVID thing is a tool used to division us as a country instead of coming together which I think is really sad for our country.

LAVANDERA: Margie Schraer and Kelly Tallo both support President Trump and say he's done an honest job of handling the pandemic.

KELLY TALLO, TRUMP SUPPORTER: I think he's probably doing the best he can right now. I mean, there is so much mixed information out there and trying to decipher what's fact and what's fiction and where it's coming from, it's tough. I wouldn't want to be in his position.

SCHRAER: Although, I don't always like his decisions, I think his intentions are always good. In his own, he gathers the information and he makes the decision for our country and not for an ulterior motive, or personal gain.

LAVANDERA: McKinney, Texas, is one of the historically conservative big city suburb where political analysts say Trump is vulnerable and it's the kind of area Joe Biden is now targeting with a new television ad.

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: This virus is tough but Texas is tougher.

LAVANDERA: Recent polls show Trump and Biden locked in a tight race in Texas. Of course, the idea of a Democrat winning Texas is still viewed with high skepticism, but there is a strong wave of anger toward President Trump among some Texas voters.

(on camera): How do you think President Trump handled this pandemic?

GREG EVANS, BIDEN SUPPORTER: Failure. Total failure. His actions and lack of actions have exacerbated the effects of the pandemic on all Americans.

WANDA PHILLIPS, BIDEN SUPPORTER: He's not taking responsibility of anything he does. He always blames someone else.

AMIR HADAD, BIDEN SUPPORTER: He said there's no danger at all, nobody has died, it's just going to go away by itself. And those are the things, you know, which really bothers me as a citizen that he really takes it very lightly.

LAVANDERA: For some Trump supporters, the president is a victim of unfair criticism, politically motivated in an election year.

CECILIA LEVINGS, TRUMP SUPPORTER: He had to hit the ground running in all of the unknowns and I feel like he's been second guessed for the majority of it. It's easy now to become an armchair quarterback and to criticize what he's done.

LAVANDERA: Ed Lavandera, CNN, McKinney, Texas.


BURNETT: Thanks to Ed.

And OUTFRONT next, Mary Trump speaking out revealing what her uncle told her months after being elected.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: And he said they won't get me.




BURNETT: Breaking news -- Mary Trump, Donald Trump's niece, is speaking out for the first time about her tell-all book and she has a message for her uncle.


STEPHANOPOULOS: April 2017, I'm going to end where I began.

M. TRUMP: Sure.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You go -- you see the president in the Oval Office and you said you tell him, don't let them get you down. Did you mean that?

M. TRUMP: I did, actually. He -- that was four months in. He already seemed very strained by the pressures.

You know, he had never been in a situation before where he wasn't entirely protected from criticism or accountability or things like that, and I just remember thinking he seems tired. He seems like this is not what he signed up for if he even knows what he signed up for.

And I thought his response was actually more enlightening than my statement. And he said they won't get me. And so far looks like he's right.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And if you're in the Oval Office today, what would you say to him?

M. TRUMP: Resign.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Boil it down. What's the single most important thing you think the country needs to know about your uncle?

M. TRUMP: He's utterly incapable of leading this country. And it's dangerous to allow him to do so.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Based on what you see now or what you saw then?

M. TRUMP: Based on what I've seen my entire adult life.


BURNETT: Well, the gag order lifted on her and that book is out today.

Thank you so much for joining us.

"AC360" with Anderson starts now.