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California Dramatically Rolls Back Reopening as Cases Surge; CNN: President Trump Has No Plans to Fire or Remove Dr. Fauci; Study: COVID-19 Immunity From Antibodies May Last Only Months; Russell Westbrook Tests Positive for Coronavirus. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired July 14, 2020 - 05:00   ET




GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D), CALIFORNIA: Effective today requiring all counties to close their indoor activities.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Shutdown part two. California reimposing harsh restrictions to slow coronavirus. Will other states follow and when?

Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Boris Sanchez in for Laura Jarrett. It is Tuesday, July 14th, 5:00 a.m. on the East Coast.

Christine, only 16 weeks to Election Day.

ROMANS: All right. This morning, the surest signs yet the pandemic that altered life as we know it will mean big changes well into the fall. Three Western states are reinstating restrictions put in place early in the pandemic. Most notable is California where every county will have to shut down bars, indoor dining and other indoor activities.

Thirty counties with about 80 percent of California's population, that's 32 million people face additional closures. Those counties include Los Angeles which faces a hard lockdown.


MAYOR ERIC GARCETTI (D), LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: While the city of Los Angeles's COVID-19 threat level remains at orange, we are on the border of going to red. Red is when it's -- everything shuts down again, everything, to our strictest level. And so, I do want to warn people that we're close to that.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SANCHEZ: Look, the move leads a lot of uncertainty to millions of people. A 72-year-old catering business survived wars, recessions, and even the owner's heart transplant but since no one is holding catered events, they cannot survive the pandemic.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As I kept going, you see the writing on the wall.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is no light at the end of the tunnel. There is no time line, if you will. You don't know how long it's going to last.


SANCHEZ: Yeah, especially as there is a resurgence in cases. Take a look. In the past two weeks, coronavirus cases have increased 47 percent in California. Hospitalizations have almost doubled since the middle of June, even though the rate of positive cases is down.

ROMANS: Well, California's two largest school districts will be entirely online when the new school year starts next month. Now, this could have a domino effect among school officials still deciding what to do next fall, even as the Trump administration aggressively pushes schools to return to in-person learning.

Our coverage begins with CNN's Nick Watt in Los Angeles.


NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christine and Boris, massive news out of California. The governor always said he would do this if the numbers got worse. He has made good on his promise. Could be a political risk, we will see.

But he has now closed every bar in California. He has also closed indoor dining in restaurants and movie theaters and zoos and museums. Also, if you live in one of the counties in this state, such as Los Angeles that is on the governor's watch list because the numbers are particularly bad, then these things are also now closed down again.

NEWSOM: Fitness centers, places of worship, offices for non-critical sectors, personal care services, that includes hair salons, barber shops and indoor malls. So, again, these are sectors to close indoor operations.

WATT: Also a huge announcement from the Los Angeles school district, the second biggest district in the country, more than 600,000 students. They say when students return at the end of August, it will not be to classrooms. It will be online only.

San Diego school district has said exactly the same thing. They both say they will watch the numbers and when the public health situation allows it, then and only then will kids be back in classrooms.

And, listen, as Governor Newsom of California said, this virus is not going away any time soon.

Christine and Boris, back to you.


ROMANS: All right. Nick, thank you for that.

You know, money plays a big role in the decision to keep schools shut. San Diego faced a $90 million expense for masks and disinfecting. Some schools like New York are looking at hybrid model with students rotating between in person and online classes.


GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: Everybody wants to reopen schools. I want to reopen the schools. Everybody wants to reopen the schools.

It's not do we reopen or not? You reopen if it is safe to reopen. How do you know if it's safe? You look at the data.

We're not going to use our children as the litmus test and we're not going to put our children in a place where their health is in danger.



SANCHEZ: Now, CNN has learned the White House wants to tie any new stimulus money for schools to their reopening. The administration has been told it cannot withhold existing funding to schools to bully them into reopening their classrooms.

Big cities like Atlanta, Nashville, Las Vegas ,they're already delaying the school year or starting virtually. Cities like Chicago, Seattle, Miami still weighing their options. And speaking of Miami, hospitals there are over 90 percent capacity. The positivity rate in Miami-Dade County, over 25 percent, all the major medical indicators heading in the wrong direction.


LILIAN ABBO, INFECTIOUS DISEASE EXPERT, JACKSON HEALTH SYSTEM: Miami's now the epicenter of the pandemic. What we were seeing in Wuhan six months ago, five months ago, now we are there. So we really need your help.


ROMANS: There were more than 58,000 new cases reported in the U.S. Monday. A leading lab, Quest Diagnostics, says the surge is causing a delay, as long as seven days now turning around test results. That's a critical problem because people can be unknowingly spreading the virus while they're waiting for results. Testing is up in the U.S. in the last month, but cases are up much more.

SANCHEZ: Yes, the virus surge in the south and west part of the country reviving one of the biggest concerns early on in the pandemic, a lack of personal protective equipment for health care workers. A CNN investigation finds nearly four months after invoking the Defense Production Act to compel businesses to manufacture equipment, the White House has made sparing use of it.

The Department of Health and Human Services listed 19 companies that received contracts, but experts say it's not enough and the efforts started far too late. Get this, only about half of the masks ordered will be delivered before the end of the year.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They want you to reuse that mask multiple times and they send it for cleaning.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's something we were talking about four months ago.


SANCHEZ: Now, the White House has been reluctant to take too active a role in managing supply production and distribution. It is putting the onus on the states instead.

ROMANS: The White House is walking back criticism of Dr. Anthony Fauci. You know, there was a coordinated effort to attack his credibility this weekend, nothing what a White House called Fauci's mistakes.

Of course, the president himself has made several bad mistakes, and misjudgments, and false claims about this virus, and now, a senior administration official admits the frustration, it doesn't stem from a lack of confidence in Dr. Fauci. That official says it's just the White House tired of getting questioned about their relationship with Saint Anthony.

SANCHEZ: A bit of passive aggressive remark there.

Now, CNN is told the president does not plan to fire Dr. Fauci. The White House has concluded that he probably can't directly fire him even if he wanted to.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I have a very good relationship with Dr. Fauci. I've had for a long time, right from the beginning. I find him to be a very nice person. I don't always agree with him. I get along with him very well. I like him personally.


SANCHEZ: Dr. Fauci has been finding ways to be heard even as the White House keeps him off of TV.

At a webinar with the Stanford School of Medicine, he said the U.S. is seeing surges because it failed to entirely shut down. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: All you needed to do was look at the films on TV of people in some states who went from shutdown to complete throwing caution to the wind. This is a really serious problem. It is truly historic. We haven't even begun to see the end of it yet.


SANCHEZ: Dr. Fauci also says there is no good answer to the question of whether the states or the federal government should lead the way on the pandemic response.

ROMANS: All right. The coronavirus has cratered tax revenue and sparked record government stimulus to save the economy. The result, an exploding budget deficit, $864 billion in June alone, $3 trillion in the last 12 months. The government spent hundreds of billions of dollars to support businesses and unemployed workers.

As a share of the economy, this deficit is now the biggest since World War II, and more stimulus may be coming. Former White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney says new stimulus must target the virus, the research, testing is still inadequate, he says. He endorses a payroll tax cut and tying capital gains to inflation. But Mulvaney warned there are real -- very real risks, including inflation and under delivering to voters ahead of the election.

Also, the last time in a rush to get checks out, stimulus money was sent to people who had died. Now the IRS says those checks have been canceled rather than forcing families to return the payments.

This really caused a lot of people to be pretty upset about the idea that the stimulus checks were going to people in prison, and people who are dead. It shows you the rush to get money out the door, just how serious this coronavirus crisis is.

SANCHEZ: Yeah. And Mulvaney making clear that it may not be something popular to talk about among Republicans, just the idea that testing is inadequate across the country.


ROMANS: Right.

SANCHEZ: We're just about ten minutes past the hour.

Antibodies that protect you from coronavirus may not last very long. We're going to break down what that means for long term and short-term treatments.

We'll be right back.


SANCHEZ: Welcome back. New York has a warning for visitors from high risk states and another

big sporting event bites the dust.

CNN reporters are covering the pandemic from coast to coast. Take a look.


DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Dianne Gallagher in Atlanta where Georgia Governor Brian Kemp reactivated COVID-19 overflow hospital inside of Georgia World Congress Center here on Friday. That's the same day that the state hit a record number of new cases, with nearly 4,500.


Now, his relationship with Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has seemingly worsened, after calling her mask mandate unenforceable. But the mayor is getting some support from a governor. New York's Andrew Cuomo just today offered some support to Atlanta, saying that since New York is in a more stable place right now, New York could offer testing, tracing, and strategy resources to the mayor as numbers continue to rise here in Atlanta.

ERICA HILL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Erica Hill in New York where Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced an emergency health order to enforce the mandatory 14-day quarantine in New York state for travelers coming from 19 states that have a positivity rate of 10 percent or higher. When arriving at any airport in New York state, travelers will now be given a form. They'll be required to provide local contact information so officials could follow up to make sure they're following the quarantine. And if anybody leaves the airport without filling out that form, without providing the information, they're subject to a summons and immediate fine of $2,000.

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: I'm Pete Muntean in Washington. Major airlines are pulling for an air travel recovery, but they've seen growing demand now level off. Seats will stay empty on same airlines.

JetBlue is blocking middle seats now through Labor Day. Its policy was set to expire at the end of this month. Delta and Southwest are also keeping some seats empty while American and United are selling every seat.

RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Ryan Young in Chicago where COVID-19 continues to have a lasting impact. The Chicago marathon has been canceled for the first time in more than 40 years. And when you think about the impact of this, more than 45,000 runners showed up for this race just last year.

All 50 states were represented and more than 100 countries. This race has a big economic impact, especially in the downtown area of Chicago. More than a million people came to spectate. But with all of the COVID-19 worries and concerns going on, organizers thought it would be safe not to have it this year. (END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS: All right. Thanks to all of our reporters here.

Two experimental coronavirus vaccines have been given fast track status by the Food & Drug Administration, both are being jointly developed by the German biotech firm, BioNTech, and U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer. Now, if the ongoing trials are successful and a vaccine candidate receives a regulatory approval, the companies say they expect to make up to 100 million doses by the end of this year and potentially more than 1.2 billion doses by the end of next year.

SANCHEZ: New research suggests immunity to coronavirus from antibodies could be brief and that could have a significant ramification for vaccine research.

Here's CNN health reporter Jacqueline Howard.


JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH REPORTER: Christine and Boris, this study out of the U.K. does suggest that natural immunity from having COVID could decline within months. Now, this study hasn't been peer- reviewed yet and it was done on only 65 patients and 31 health care workers who got antibody tests done regularly. It found that antibody responses started to wane about a month after symptoms first emerged.

Now this has implications for vaccine development. It could mean that a vaccine has to trigger an antibody response that's stronger than what we might see naturally. It could mean we need boosters since antibody responses might diminish. Or it could mean that we might need a vaccine each year, kind of like flu shots.

And the study also suggests that there could be challenges with natural herd immunity. So, this is all new and emerging data that certainly needs more study -- Christine, Boris.


SANCHEZ: Jacqueline Howard, thank you for that.

It did not take long for the bubble to burst for the NBA relaunch in Florida. How a food delivery led one player into quarantine.



SANCHEZ: Houston Rockets superstar Russell Westbrook delaying his return to the NBA after testing positive for coronavirus.

Andy Scholes has more in this morning's "Bleacher Report".

Andy, Brody announcing the news on Instagram. ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, that's right, Boris.

You know, when the rockets headed to Orlando last week to enter the NBA bubble, Russell Westbrook and James Hardin both were not account team. Westbrook confirming the reason he did not make the trip was because he tested positive for COVID-19.

And the all-star guard confirming that on social media saying he's feeling well and looking forward to joining husband teammates as soon as possible. He also asked people to take the virus seriously, be safe and wear a mask.

Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni said on Sunday Westbrook and Harden were not with the team because they were dealing with some things and he hoped to have them in the bubble in the next three to four days.

Now, in the meantime, the NBA says two players inside the bubble have tested positive but those players were still in that initial 48-hour quarantine period since arriving. Those players have left the campus to isolate at home or are in isolation housing.

Now, in the last two weeks, 19 NBA players have tested positive before heading to Orlando.

Now, two other players are under quarantine after accidentally breaking the bubble protocols. Richaun Holmes of the Kings crossed the campus line to pick up a food order and Rockets player Bruno Caboclo meanwhile also broke the rules when he inadvertently left his room during that initial quarantine period. Now, both of those players have to self-isolate for eight more days before they can rejoin their teams.


All right. In the meantime, reigning WNBA MVP Elena Della Donne's request to medically opt out the upcoming season has been denied. The 30-year-old has battled Lyme disease since high school. She says her doctor advised her that she's at high risk for contracting and having complications from COVID-19, but a panel of independent doctors approved by the league and union decided she's not at high risk.

Della Done says she's now weighing whether to play when the WNBA season tips off on July 25th.

All right. Finally, NFL players could be wearing a new mouth shield when they hit the field this season. The sports equipment maker Oakley designed the guard with the help of doctors and engineers from the NFL and the players association. They're going to be sent to all teams over the next week.

For now the league is just encouraging using this but not mandating it yet. The biggest concern for players right now are visibility and breathability.

You know, Christine, J.J. Watt of the Texans, he told pro football talk he once tried to wear a shield over his eyes because he thought it looked cool but even that, he count breathe out there playing in the heat in the field. So, he couldn't wear it. He says he's not a fan of any kind of shield.

ROMANS: Interesting.

SCHOLES: Yes. So, it's going to be interesting to see if these players are welcoming to this kind of shield if it becomes mandated.

ROMANS: Yes, all this MacGyvering, you know, trying to get sports back out there, right, and keep people safe. It's just been, what an undertaking.

All right. Nice to see you, thank you.

SCHOLES: All right.

ROMANS: All right. The first shutdown was not enough. Now California is closing down again. Indoor businesses face an uncertain future as the state tries to slow coronavirus.