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U.S. Breaks Single Day Record with 67,000+ New Cases; Moderna Vaccine Promising, But More Research Needed; Trump Takes Aim at China Over Hong Kong; Jeff Sessions Loses to Trump-Backed Opponent in Alabama; Trump Downplays Police Violence Against Black Americans; Gun Violence and Murders Spiking in U.S. Cities. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired July 15, 2020 - 04:00   ET



JOHN AYALA, GRANDFATHER OF DAVON MCNEAL: But we've got find out what the problem. The other thing is, we have to start teaching young people from preschool all the way through the 12th grade and college. Finally they are with problems, problem solving skills. Because if we can teach them how to solve the problems at a young age, hopefully they'll learn how to solve a problem when they are engaged in some kind of activity that is aggressive to them in the community. That they would have to pick up a handgun or machine gun and use that.

Because right now young people don't know how to solve a problem. They think the only way of solving it is picking up that firearm and using it. So we have to start teaching them at a very young age, how do you solve a problems when you have them. And once we can do that at a young age, I'm quite sure we're going to have less people picking up firearms.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Well, John Ayala, I want to thank you. Kirsten Foy, I want to thank you. We learned so much. I really appreciate your comments. The NYPD -- members of the NYPD, we're so grateful that you're here, John Miller and Jeffrey Maddrey. I want to thank Dr. Brian Williams as well for joining us, for helping us understand what happens in the hospital and the real trauma of this. And of course, Chief Ramsey, we have you on all the time and you always speak with such authority. Thank you so much.

And of course, my colleague, Sara Sidner who is out there on the streets almost daily covering these stories, we appreciate you joining us as well. This is a tough conversation that we should all continue to have without castigation, without judging each other, without concern of saying or doing the wrong thing. That is the only way we're going to get this issue under control. So we have had a productive conversation. And I hope that we could build on it for the future. So thanks to all of my guests.

Thanks to you for listening and thank you for watching as well. I'm Don Lemon. Our coverage continues.

ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us here in the United States and all around the world. You are watching CNN NEWSROOM and I'm Rosemary Church.

Just ahead -- the U.S. hits another single day high in new coronavirus cases as some hospitals and intensive care units around the country buckle under the immense pressure infections are putting on the system. This as a potential vaccine shows early promise. Researchers say it produced antibodies to the coronavirus and all patients tested in a trial.

And a bitter defeat for Jeff Sessions. He's lost his Alabama Senate bid after his former boss U.S. President Donald Trump campaigned against him.

Good to have you with us. The daily spike in coronavirus cases in the U.S. is at a record high. More than 67,000 new cases were reported on Tuesday alone. That is according to Johns Hopkins University. And given the current surge a new model predicts 224,000 people will die in the U.S. from COVID-19 by November 1st. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now officially requesting people wear masks to help prevent transmission and top U.S. infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci is telling Americans to trust medical authorities and avoid political nonsense.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: I believe, for the most part, you can trust respected medical authorities. You know, I believe I'm one of them so I think you can trust me. But I would stick with respected medical authorities who have a track record of telling the truth. I would say that's the safest bet.


CHURCH: And there is some hope a vaccine being developed by the biotechnology company Moderna. It is showing early promise in a phase one study. A much bigger phase three trial is planned for later this month. CNN's Nick Watt has more on how U.S. states are coping with the surge in coronavirus cases.


NICK WATT, CNN 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, U.S. VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Because of the unprecedented national response marshalled by our President we have more resources today to deal with this pandemic than ever before.


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

GOV. RON DESANTIS (R) FLORIDA: Some of the metrics have risen.

WATT: 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: The governor continues to downplay the seriousness of what is happening here in the state of Florida. Quite frankly we've seen little to no low leadership from Governor DeSanctis.

WATT: North Carolina just announced it's pausing on phase 2 for another three weeks. Chicago just cancelled its marathon. Philly just canceled all big events for six months. In California, every bar and indoor restaurant just closed again. Los Angeles currently threat level orange.

ERIC GARCETTI, LOS ANGELES MAYOR: We're on the border of going to red. A red is when everything shuts down again. Everything. To our strictest level.

WATT: We hoped warmth would bring respite.

DR. ROBERT REDFIELD, DIRECTOR, CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION: I was really one of the individuals who thought we would get a little break in July and August.

WATT: It didn't, so the director of CDC says he's now reluctant to make predictions. But --

REDFIELD: I do think fall and the winter of 2020 and 2021 are going to be probably one of the most difficult times that we have experienced in American public health.

WATT (on camera): Here in California, a record number of people in the hospital. A record number of people in the ICU which is why restaurants like this one behind me are no longer allowed to serve anybody inside.

Nick Watt, CNN, Santa Monica.


Dr. Shoshana Ungerleider joins me now. She is an internal medicine physician at California Pacific Medical Center. Thank you so much for being with us and for all that you do.


CHURCH: I do want to start with the first published results of phase one of the human trials of the Moderna vaccine. We know it produced immune responses in all participants. So evidence of antibodies being produced with no overall safety concerns identified but more research is needed, of course. The critical question is will this protect people from COVID-19? How encouraged do you buy any of this?

UNGERLEIDER: Well, Rosemary, you're asking the big question here. So these are phase one results. Where a small group of people received the trial vaccine. So in this case it was 45 healthy adults. And this showed that the vaccine worked to trigger an immune response with really mild side effects. But at this stage we still don't know whether the levels of immunity that we're seeing from this vaccine would actually protect against the infection. This is a small step. I would say in the right direction. But if we look at history, you know, lots of vaccines have looked good out of phase one. Unfortunately don't turn out to be good products so we still have a long road ahead before we have a safe effective vaccine available.

CHURCH: Yes, it's hard not to try to get excited each time we see some sort of positive move here. But, of course, the safety of this vaccine, if it turns out to be one that's made available will be critical because we know that about 1/3 of Americans are vowing not to take any COVID-19 vaccine that's made available citing safety concerns. How do you convince people when a vaccine is rushed to production because for this to work the majority of any population needs to be vaccinated. Doesn't it?

UNGERLEIDER: That's right. In order to reach herd immunity, you know, we would need a good proportion of the population to be willing to take it. I mean, these are extraordinary times that we're in. There's so much fear and uncertainty, you know, going forward about what the future holds and having a rushed vaccine, I think adds to that fear. I think what it comes down to is really straightforward consistent evidence-based public health messaging which we have not seen at all throughout this pandemic in America. But the hope is that when, if and when a vaccine is available that we will get aligned in terms of at the federal level, from the top down this accurate, concise and consistent public health messaging that will be needed in order for more people to trust this process and be vaccinated.

CHURCH: And doctor, the U.S. is averaging 60,000 COVID-19 cases a day. California is setting new records for hospitalizations and ICU admissions. Florida broke its record with 142 deaths in the past 24 hours. Texas reports a new daily record of 10,745 cases. And 37 states are currently showing an increase in cases.


Can this be turned around if most people wear masks or has it gone beyond that?

UNGERLEIDER: Yes, that's a great question, Rosemary. You know, this country is in a very concerning place. As you mentioned we have several states seeing these large increases in numbers every single day. ICU beds, I hear from my colleagues filling up with very sick patients. And all the while, you know, many people far too many are disregarding science and sound medical advice to wear masks and distance away from others. We're absolutely without a doubt going in the wrong direction. You know, states I fear opened far too early and then haven't followed guidelines to roll back their reopening plans.

I think the one thing that we can do right now is recognize that wearing a mask, you know, paying attention our behavior at all times, distancing away from others, avoiding crowded indoor spaces, doing everything we can to slow the spread will absolutely have an impact on things like returning to work and to school safely in the coming months. So it's on all of us to do our part.

CHURCH: We'll end it there. Dr. Ungerleider, thank you so much for talking with us.

UNGERLEIDER: Thank you so much for having me, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Well, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Baden Ginsburg is back in the hospital but doctors don't seem to be alarmed. The 87-year-old judge was admitted to Johns Hopkins Hospital for treatment of an infection. Doctors say she's being given antibiotics and they hope her stay lasts only a few days. Ginsburg has battled cancer and a gallbladder condition in recent years.

Well, President Trump is taking aim at China announcing new sanctions on businesses and individuals who helped Beijing restrict Hong Kong's autonomy. And that's not all. Hong Kong will no longer enjoy its special trade status with the U.S. The U.S. President ended that with a stroke of a pen Tuesday.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Hong Kong will now be treated the same as mainland China. No special privileges, no special economic treatment and no export of sensitive technologies. In addition to that as you know, we're placing massive tariffs and have placed very large tariffs on China. First time that's ever happened to China.


CHURCH: And CNN's Kristie Lu Stout joins me now from Hong Kong. Good to see you, Kristie. So how is Beijing responding to President Trump taking aim at China with sanctions and the removing Hong Kong's special trade status.

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Rosemary, Beijing says it's going to retaliate. That it's going to take necessary measures and impose sanctions on relevant U.S. entities and personnel after President Trump did what we were expecting him to do, sign that executive order to end Hong Kong's special trade status.

So what impact will this have on Hong Kong? Well, the United States can treat Hong Kong the same as mainland China for both trade and commerce. This will jeopardize tens of billions of dollars worth of trade between Hong Kong and the United States. In fact, according to one economist who we spoke earlier this morning. He said that this will shave off some 10 percent of Hong Kong's exports for the year which is a really significant number. It will also cause a lot of uncertainties and headaches for over 1,300

American companies who operate here, from major American law firms, to accounting firms as well. It will also tarnish Hong Kong's image as an international financial center. And you know, in the end, it going to hurt China. Because for China Hong Kong is this valuable glittering conduit between the East and between the West for international finance as well as international trade. A number of multinational companies have their international headquarters here as well as mainland Chinese companies as well. Now to get another picture of the economic fallout as a result of this latest move by Donald Trump, spoke earlier with Simon Lee. He is a professor of business at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.


SIMON LEE, SENIOR LECTURER OF BUSINESS, CHINESE UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG: If Hong Kong lost its privilege as a special economy under the U.S. law, and then we see that there's no big difference between Hong Kong and other major cities in mainland China such as Shanghai and Beijing. Then foreign companies will think whether they need to maintain their existing scale of operation in Hong Kong. They may downsize the scale and some employment opportunity will be lost.


STOUT: And results they say ending Hong Kong's special trade status is also a self-defeating move for the United States because the United States has really been enjoying the favorable business conditions here in Hong Kong and profiting from it ever since the pact was put in place since 1992 -- Rosemary.

CHURCH: All right, many thanks to our Kristie Lu Stout joining us from Hong Kong.


Well, President Donald Trump scored a big political victory in the U.S. state of Alabama. A Republican Senate candidate he supported in Tuesday's primary beat his former ally and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. CNN's Jeff Zeleny reports.


JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions falling to defeat in Alabama. Former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville never ran for public office before defeating Sessions in the Republican runoff for the Senate race tonight.

President Trump weighed in heavily on this race, endorsing Tuberville. Of course, has never forgiven or forgotten Jeff Sessions. His handpicked Attorney General who recused himself in the Russia investigation which President Trump said was the biggest mistake of his presidency appointing him to that position. Well Sessions went back to Alabama after being dismissed of his job and tried to get his old job back. He has run for this seat four times before usually without opposition. But this time had a tough competition with Tommy Tuberville and President Trump also campaigned against him. Sessions conceding his race saying this.

JEFF SESSIONS, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: I want to congratulate Tommy Tuberville. He ran a really firm solid race. I was extraordinarily proud of the accomplishments we had as Attorney General. On recusing, I followed the law. I did the right thing. And I saved the President's bacon in the process. Any other action to try to squelch an investigation in that environment would not have worked. It would have been a catastrophe. I'm so glad it finally ended after a prolonged time and the President has been cleared.

ZELENY: Shortly after this race was called, President Trump reached out to Tuberville. Called him as well, congratulating him for his win. Also taking a bit of credit for this himself. This was seen as a test of President Trump's strength in this race. Of course, deep red Alabama is Trump country. But there is no question about this. Now going forward, the state now is represented by a Democratic Senator Doug Jones. He is the most endangered Democratic incumbent Senator. He'll now face Tommy Tuberville in November.

Jeff Zeleny, CNN, Washington.


CHURCH: And still to come, President Trump downplays police violence against black Americans with some misleading claims. We'll explain.



CHURCH: Well, President Trump is downplaying police violence against black Americans. During an interview he claimed that more white people are dying at the hands of law enforcement than black people. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why are African-Americans still dying at the hands of law enforcement in this country?

TRUMP: 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.


CHURCH: But a federal study on deaths between 2009 and 2012 found a disproportionate number of people killed by police are black. With a fatality right 2.8 times higher. The study also found black victims are more likely to be unarmed.

Well, the U.S. isn't just grappling with the impact and legacy of racism and a deadly pandemic, now American cities are seeing huge spikes in violent crime. Families in communities are being torn apart. Brynn Gingras has details on the crime wave and


BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): 14 shootings in 24 hours on New York City streets Monday, including the killing of a teenager shot in the head.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are not going for this (BEEP). So I'm talking to the streets. You know who's killing who.

GINGRAS: A community outraged after a one year old, while sitting in his stroller was killed in a Brooklyn Park. More gun violence is being felt in cities big and small from coast to coast. In Seattle --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are working very hard to reduce the number of shootings here in Seattle.

GINGRAS: Chicago, Charleston, Philadelphia, Atlanta.

MAYOR KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS (D), ATLANTA, GEORGIA: I hate to use the word a perfect storm, but it's where we are in this country right now.

GINGRAS: In New York.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There has to be a price for carrying a legal firearm in New York City, and right now the price isn't high enough

GINGRAS: The NYPD points to new recidivism data showing so far this year, police re-arresting 1,452 individuals for major felonies. An offender who police say would otherwise likely be held in jail, but due to state bail reform laws which went into effect this year were released. That's 771 more arrests of the same group than this time last year.

On top of that, courts in New York and many states, have not been fully operational because of coronavirus restrictions. Meaning cases are not being prosecuted quickly, grand juries are not being convened, and there are limited jury selection procedures.

LUCY LANG, JOHN JAY COLLEGE OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE: In the absence of courts operating, and when people aren't coming through the courts, we're not seeing the same level of debriefings that are traditionally part of the kind of police work that we rely on to be able to respond to violent crime and often it involves prevention.

GINGRAS: A spokesperson for the Brooklyn district attorney office, the burrow which saw most of the shootings Monday told CNN, quote --

For us, the biggest issue is that there are no grand juries, so we can't indict felony cases.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: More charge, not just for police brutality, do this for this black on black, it can be your child.

GINGRAS: In the wake of George Floyd's murder in Minneapolis, protesters cried out coast to coast for changes in policing. And the defunding of departments, the demands met with swift reform. On Tuesday, Pennsylvania following in New York's footsteps, the Governor signing two measures into law, which address the hiring of officers and increases their training, including for implicit bias.

JOSH SHAPIRO, PENNSYLVANIA ATTORNEY GENERAL: Let me say this very clearly. Black lives matter. I'll say it again, black lives matter. But saying it, that's just not enough. We must listen, and we must take action.


GINGRAS: Across America, the continuous criticism and reform measures said to be weighing on the rank and file.

CHIEF TERENCE MONAHAN, NYPD CHIEF OF DEPARTMENT: If you're out on the streets, and every time you turn on television, they're saying how much they hate you and how much they don't need you and how unimportant you are to the safety of your citizens, it does a lot for their morale.

GINGRAS: Over a one-week period at the beginning of this month, NYPD retirements soared, more than 400 percent compared to the same week last year. A detective who is considering retirement told CNN --

Every day the pension section sends out a notice of who went that day and filed. It used to be a page, maybe two at the most, the other day it was six pages.

Meanwhile, departments are striving to do better, knowing how vital it is to build relationships with the communities they serve. The NYPD instituting changes within, including a signing a new head to community affairs with the task of reimagining community policing.

CHIEF JEFFREY MADDREY, NYPD CHIEF OF COMMUNITY AFFAIRS: When people start talking about issues of systemic racism and police brutality, these are the hard conversations that I'm prepared to take on. That I will take on it.

GINGRAS: But in the end, experts say it needs to be all hands-on deck to turn this alarming trend around, from police, to courts, to communities.

Brynn Gingras, CNN, New York.


CHURCH: A U.S. federal judge has denied bail for Ghislaine Maxwell, the former confidant and alleged co-conspirator of sex trafficker and pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. The court ruled Maxwell will not be released because the risk of her fleeing is simply too great. She will remain in jail until her trial next year. The judge cited the British socialite's significant financial resources, international ties, and a quote extraordinary capacity to avoid detection. Maxwell pleaded not guilty to charges that she helped Epstein recruit and sexually abuse minors as young as 14. And still to come on CNN, a dire message from one of America's top

health officials about the months ahead as the U.S. breaks another COVID-19 record.

And with less than stellar reviews for handling the pandemic, President Trump's poll numbers are falling in a key state. We'll explain.