Return to Transcripts main page
U.S. Experiences Its Most Hospitalizations Since Late April; White House Official Slams Fauci After Administration Denies Effort To Attack Him; CDC Chief: If We All Wore Masks, Transmission Would Stop; CNN Views Body Camera Footage Of George Floyd Arrest; Moderna: Promising Results In Phase One Vaccine Trial. Aired 12-12:30p ET
Aired July 15, 2020 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The big week for corporate profits continues this week with Bank of America, Johnson & Johnson and Netflix. John?
JOHN KING, CNN HOST: Christine Romans thanks so much for that update and don't forget for latest stock market news and strategy for your portfolio check out "Markets Now" streaming live at 12:45 pm eastern only at CNN Business.
Top of the hour. I want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm John King in Washington. Thank you so much for sharing your day with us. A familiar pattern today dire warnings another daily case counts record.
And the President again tells you listen to him not the scientific experts. Look at the numbers and they are troubling. Another 60,000 plus new confirm coronavirus cases but now runs the American total up to 3,43,100 infections and counting.
The death number the President keeps saying is low is again starting to rise. Florida reporting a single day high for deaths yesterday as did Alabama, Oregon and Utah. 14 states also reported record hospitalizations which sadly almost always then since the death count up even more.
Reminder today the virus does not care who you are? Oklahoma's Republican Governor announcing just last hour he has tested positive for COVID-19 and that he is now quarantined at home.
The nation's top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci says this current pandemic may match the horror of 1918 flu epidemic. As another top administration official says Fauci is just about always wrong and that you should not listen to his advice.
The President too telling you to disregard the soaring summer case count and any hesitation about re opening schools. The President insists if you simply cut testing the pandemic will disappear think about that it is nonsensical. Listen to the experts. We are closer to the beginning then to the end.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. ASHISH JHA, DIRECTOR, HAVARD GLOBAL HEALTH INSTITUE: We still are early in this pandemic. We have a long way to go. And if we distract ourselves with stories like northern vacationers are going to Arizona in June and setting off a large outbreaks. We're not going to get through this very well. Like we got to get to the facts. We got to do good analysis and we got to act on that. And I'm just frustrated by the destruction.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: When you look state by state in your group into a national map the summer surge numbers in the image it projects are quite troubling. Well, let's take a look at the latest. First just the trend map you do not want to be orange and red. Our map is full of orange and red.
5 states reporting 50 percent rate of cases this week compared to last week up by 50 percent. 33 states up between 10 and 50 percent. 38 of the 50 states, 38 of the 50 states reporting more coronavirus cases this week than last week.
9 states that's the yellow base color, 9 states are holding steady which I guess is a victory. But if you look at this map in today's circumstances only 3 states heading down in their coronavirus case count. This is a summer surge across America and it is everywhere.
Now the top 5 states when it comes to positivity the President says we're getting these tests, we're getting more cases because we have more testing. Well it's true we have more testing, the goal of more testing is to prove that you are flattening the curve that you are stopping the community spread.
If you have 90 percent positivity you are not stopping the spread. 18 percent positivity in South Carolina, 17 percent Alabama, 17 percent in Texas and 25 percent just shy of that in Arizona that means you have a community spread problem. It is not one cluster here or one cluster there.
The hospitalization trend back in April well, many of us thought we were at the top of the hill. We did start to come down but hospitalizations now going up very close to the peak. What we thought was the Peak 59,381 in April we are getting dangerously close to passing that and setting a new record in the current summer surge.
Hospitalizations 14 states just yesterday, 14 saying they have set a new record for the number of residents hospitalized for coronavirus cases. And again how are we doing compared to the world? Well, let's just look at the European Union.
United States and the European Union, the United States is green went up the hill about the same time European Union a little bit ahead of us. Both started to come down this is where it changes. When you get through May, June and into July that's where you want to be low case count a flat line.
This is the United States going up, going up. So the coronavirus Task Force at the White House meets next hour behind closed doors. Right there that's part of the concerned right? And a big fight among administration officials over who and what to believe?
Let's get straight to CNN's Kaitlan Collins. Kaitlan, the President had stopped going to these meetings. Now the President has stopped talking to the experts. Now what are we looking for out of this meeting today?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, the President hasn't attended a Task Force Meeting since the month of April. And it's not clear if he plans to do so anytime soon. But even if the President is not there we are seeing these own feuds break out between the President's top adviser.
Especially with this remarkable and since that happened last night were Peter Navarro who is the President's top Trade Adviser published an op-ed in "USA Today" that said he does not trust what Dr. Anthony Fauci says.
He said "Anthony Fauci has been wrong about everything I've interacted with him on" And he says when you ask me whether I listen to his advice my answer is only with skepticism and caution. Now that is a remarkable instance not only because we already know that Navarro does not like Dr. Fauci.
They butted heads over the last several months but for him to publish that in "USA Today" in this op-ed was really remarkable. And then another instance this morning where the White House said that they did not clear that op-ed.
COLLINS: That Peter Navarro did not go through the normal channels were typically these op-ed go through the press shop, they're edited, they're approved before they are published online. But of course the sentiment is still there that Navarro's putting this out saying he doesn't trust Dr. Fauci.
After that very same press shop, just spent the weekend anonymously criticizing Dr. Fauci. And so the question is where does the President stand on all of this? And John he was just asked that in the Oval Office and the reporter - I'm going to read you exactly what the reporter said to the President and what he replied?
They said are you okay with the op-ed Peter Navarro wrote on Dr. Fauci? The President responded I get along very well with Dr. Fauci. They asked again are you okay with the op-ed that Peter Navarro wrote?
And Trump said that's Peter Navarro but I've a very good relationship with Dr. Fauci. So he is not condemning that op-ed that was written by Peter Navarro. As we have seen the White House try to insist there is no issue going on with Dr. Fauci and President Trump although we know behind the scenes the President has been critical of him.
He has not wanted to see him on television as often as we did in the previous days. And he has complained about the fact that Dr. Anthony Fauci has gotten high approval ratings.
KING: Kaitlan Collins, who is covering the White House for us. Non responsive I think is the legal term to describe the President's answer there Kaitlan. I appreciate the live reporting. Let's get some insights now, important insights from Dr. Michael Mina.
He is an Infectious Disease Expert from the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Mina it's good to see you again. I wish we could be having a more optimistic conversation. When you look at the trend lines 60,000 plus new cases today pretty much routine in recent days. 14 states reporting record hospitalizations. Now the death counts in many states starting to go back up where are we?
DR. MICHAEL MINA, INFECTIOUS DISEASE EXPERT, HARVARD, T.H. CHAN SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH: Well, it is a bit like a deja vu unfortunately. In many ways we're back where we were months ago. Tests were seen - tests are being delayed. Cases are going out and you know now we're unfortunately seeing the ramifications of those increased cases which have increased tests.
And so we're not in a good spot nationally at the moment. And I think we're really - I thought we were in crisis mode back in April and I think we're even in greater crisis mode at the moment.
KING: Greater crisis mode is not something anybody wants to hear but the facts are certainly support you when you look at 38 states reporting more cases this week than last week. And so the question is when you're in a crisis is you know how long the tunnel is or how deep is the ditch, pick your metaphor?
Listen to Dr. Redfield here, who at least has been candid. We get a lot of mixed messages even from Dr. Redfield sometimes but as Americans, can my kids go back to school? What's the economic situation is going to be like? Listen to Dr. Redfield describe the length of the tunnel we're in?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. ROBERT REDFIELD, CDC DIRECTOR: I do think the fall in the winter of 2020 and 2021 are going to be the probably one of the most difficult times that we experienced in American public health. I have to go through 2 or 3 years of wrestling with this virus.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: What does it tell you and you agree 2 or 3 - A, the toughest winter, a tough public health winter in sometime and then B, 2 or 3 years wrestling with this?
DR. MINA: Yes, I think certainly by all accounts we are hoping to have this virus in our country you know really under control before the fall hit and the winter hit because we know that these are likely times when transmission is going to be greatest.
We may have seen you know it's very little of what - what's to come if we - once the fall hits and we really get into the coronavirus season if you will. And we might see cases just start soaring if we don't get it under control beforehand.
And so I think it is going to be a very, very difficult winter. There was a lot of excitement potentially of reopening getting things back in order to go to schools to open up, companies to get back into the swing of things. And I think we may find ourselves in a very difficult position this winter.
And you know if cases continue to get out of control there's very little - we haven't shown a great ability to get this under control and that doesn't bode well for 2021 as well.
KING: And so I want to listen a little bit more from Dr. Redfield. So you just mentioned we're at a crisis point and I'm grateful for your time over the past several months. When we were talking you know in March and into April we were going up we thought maybe - have we finally reached the top of the hill? What we started to come down now we're going up again and Dr. Redfield says the key to fixing the current crisis of the moment is this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. REDFIELD: These face coverings, simple face coverings really do work in interrupting this transmission. If we all wore face coverings for the next 4, 6, 8 or 12 weeks - the nation is virus transmission stop.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Number one do you agree that if we all wear face coverings that in 4, 6, 8, 10 or 12 weeks will be in a much better position that's question number one?
KING: Question two is if they're so effective would we be where we are now? If Dr. Redfield, the Present of United States and other people on team Trump had said that wear a mask damn it 4, 6, 8, 10 or 12 weeks ago.
DR. MINA: Yes, I think certainly masks are extremely effective. If everyone can wear a mask I completely agree, I think that we would get cases down. It's one of the simplest things we can do there's no harm in wearing a mask. And it can be very effective.
I do think there's a lot of frustration early on myself and others with the initial reports that were in the initial suggestion was not to wear and that was generally to preserve the masks available early on for health care workers.
But it also led to a lot of confusion. I think that message needs to be made very clear at the moment. And it's getting there which is masks work. They will stop transmission for the you know if everyone starts wearing them. We will start to see cases decline.
KING: One of the - it's hard the silver lining I'm going to call it. I don't know I can never find the right words here. But one of the things at this time of crisis at this time of 60,000 plus case counts. One silver lining if you want to call it that that many people have cited is that a lot of the new cases are among younger people who to recover, maybe they have two horrible weeks or so but they tend to recover.
But I watch and listen here to this health expert in Florida saying well yes, it's not as bad today and tomorrow if it's young people not vulnerably are infected but.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARLOS MIGOYA, PRESIDENT & CEO, JACKSON HEALTH SYSTEM: We are very diverse community and we have a lot of multi generational families whether they're young person that gets it if they don't have anybody at home that's fine. But there's a friend may have someone at home and they will affect their mother and grandmother and that's what we're seeing today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: That is what we're seeing today. Despite pretty consistent message from people like yourself in recent months that everybody has to think about this not just in terms of themselves. But that you come in contact with other people especially as we've learned more about the asymptomatic correct?
DR. MINA: That's exactly right. So that there have been you know that was sort of made - the point was made that okay a lot of younger people are getting ill. But what we have - we learned anything about this epidemic is we don't know - we don't know how to keep more vulnerable populations safe from it?
So if people are getting sick, younger people they will - they will transmit it to older people and so it might take a little bit more time before we see the signature at the population level in terms of increased hospitalizations and deaths.
But it's exactly what's happening now and there is a little bit more - maybe it there at the transmission events not to occur. But unfortunately we see that young people transmit to older people which results in hospitalization and death. And there's no way to really get around that.
KING: Yes, no way sadly to get around that. Dr. Mina its always grateful for your expertise and your insights and your time today sir thank you.
DR. MINA: Absolutely, thanks.
KING: Coming up for us some very important raking news. Less than two months after George Ford's death the police body camera video is released.
[12:15:00] KING: Breaking news, it is important breaking news. Now getting first look at the new police body cam footage of the moments leading up to George Floyd's death. These are critical moments giving us more context as to how he died in Minneapolis? Remember his final words I can't breathe.
CNN's Omar Jimenez is live in Minneapolis. He just viewed that footage. Omar, tell us what you saw?
OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John, for starters the court is allowing the judge presiding over the four cases against these officers. It has been allowing members of the media to go in and view the footage though they have not released the footage publicly.
Now we had already had the transcript of body camera videos from former officer Thomas Lane and former officer J Alexander King for example. And the video offers basically contacting clues that aren't included in the transcript mainly the emotion of it and the speed with which this happens?
Remember these officers responded to a call over a fake bill being used within 36 seconds of them speaking to the store owner. That last words of the store owner they now had a gun pointed in George Floyd's face saying let me see your - hands after initially knocking on the window with a flashlight.
And then throughout that interaction George Floyd is sobbing throughout as he is pleading with officers asking what he did? Eventually coming down to the point where he seems to be complying in the struggle ensues. Then it's minutes after that another struggle trying to get him into a police car.
And this is part of why viewing the video as opposed to just the transcript is so important. The last words listed in at least a transcript for former officer Thomas Lane, lists those words as please. But then as you watch the actual video you actually see a little bit later there's another please and then man I can't breathe.
And those were the final moments the last I personally heard George Floyd's voice on former officer Thomas Lane's body camera. And of course we saw former officer Derek Chauvin's knee on the neck of Floyd.
Well, one detail that we didn't see from cell phone video that's been released and we didn't get from the transcript is there does seem to be a moment already restrained or Chauvin appears to increase pressure on the neck of George Floyd going essentially from his torso straight up with his knee on his neck into a more curled down motion there John.
KING: So let let's take a few moments and go through this, not to be gratuitous because the man is dead obviously. But because this is incredibly important evidence and it has set up a national conversation. You mentioned you could hear - I mean obviously we saw the cell phone video earlier.
But to see on - I assume a closer up image George Floyd saying man, I can't breathe. Take us inside that moment?
JIMENEZ: Well, it was harrowing. I mean to actually see let's remember and for a lot of this interaction George Floyd was either in a vehicle are being pushed into the vehicle. So from the vantage point of the officer's body camera, the body cameras essentially right in front of George Floyd's face.
You get almost every single emotion that he was feeling and every detail of these moments. Now critically, I mentioned there were two different struggles that happened. The first one what is the initial response the car that he was in with two other people and trying to get him out of that car.
The more significant trouble or at least the bigger one at least for my eyes came from when they were trying to put Floyd in the police vehicle. This was mainly done by officer King and Lane. They both were pushing him on one side and then eventually Lane goes around to the other side opens that other door and tries to pull him in as King is pushing him in.
This is actually the first time we hear those words I can't breathe and it seems to come over garbled breath like maybe as some saliva in there or something. And then he falls out of the car on the side that's being pulled and he goes down to the ground in that familiar spot that we see on the cell phone video.
It's at that point that the other officers arrived, but only Chauvin, King and Lane are the ones that appear to restrain him. And at one point, let's remember why this video was even filed in the first place? This came from a motion to dismiss the case filed by the attorney for former officer Thomas Lane.
And part of what he point to and the motion which we saw on camera was that Lane asked if Floyd should be moved to his side to which Chauvin responded no he's staying put where we've got and to which Lane says I'm just worried about excited delirium.
And it is in those moments right after that Floyd is still pleading please, please, please. Right before that it is listen the transcript this part the pleases seem to get weaker with each please and then eventually this isn't listed in the transcript as it was before man I can't breathe.
And throughout this time the officers are speaking pretty matter of fact we while there is someone which if you remember watching the cell phone video is screaming at them saying they get off his neck, get off his neck as both the witness and Lane seem to acknowledge he is passing out.
And I should also note as well the attorney for Derrick Chauvin has responded to our request for comment and officially has no comment.
KING: Just listening to you is harrowing. I can't imagine actually watching this video. I just - you made some very important point about context early on about how you can read the transcripts?
But then you see the video and it's just a different perspective. Just - I want to just follow up on that point the people watching around the country in the world so they can get your perspective because you got on top of this in the very beginning.
What is different right now Omar Jimenez, someone who has tracked this reported broken a lot of news about this from the very beginning. What do you what do you know now? What do you see now that you didn't know before you watch this video?
JIMENEZ: Well, what I know now that is different than before when I watch this video is one how much time actually you know Floyd was under the need of Derek Chauvin? I mean, we see it from the cell phone video we have the under 8 minutes or so officially but seeing it from up close from the vantage point of Lane.
Seeing the struggle of trying to get him in the police car. At one point he was actually in the squad car but then falls out on the other side. And to see the chaos of how quickly things unfolded?
Let's remember this all happen from being in the store to being on the ground with a knee on his neck in a time span of about 11 minutes or so. And then when you talk about the amount of time it took for the ambulance or paramedics to arrive after George Floyd had already been on the ground it's a little bit over 9 minutes or so.
After he had already been coughed for 8 minutes and that's another note that I think people miss in this. He was cuffed very early on 3 minutes into this video over the course of over an hour video that I was able to see between the body cameras of former officer Thomas Lane and the body cameras former officer Alex King.
KING: Incredibly important perspective and reporting Omar Jimenez, grateful to have you there on the scene for us from the beginning and now to this important day today. Omar thanks so much. Up next back to the coronavirus crisis and perhaps some encouraging results from a U. S. government funded vaccine trial.
KING: The Biotech Firm Moderna marking what it sees as clear progress in the race for a coronavirus vaccine. In a phase one study the Moderna vaccine induced immune response in all of the volunteers who received it. There were some mild to moderate side effects but overall no big overriding safety concerns.
The vaccine on track now for larger phase three trial beginning later this month. Moderna says that if regulators approve it that the company could deliver up to 500 million doses per year maybe up to 1 billion doses per year beginning in 2021 the company says.
But it is always important to be cautious about a company's optimism about its own product. Dr. Paul Offit here to help us with some context. He is a Pediatrics Professor Specializing in Infectious Diseases and Director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
Dr. Offit, it's good to see you again. So now we've talked about this before but in this particular case it was peer reviewed and it's in the New England Journal of Medicine. What is your take on where Moderna is?