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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Fauci Says U.S. Needs to Push "Reset Button" as U.S. Hits New Highs in Cases & 14 States Report Record Hospitalizations; U.S. Hits Record High for New Cases in a Single Day With 67,417 Cases, Nearly Doubling Numbers During April Peak; Trump Admin Sidelines CDC in Controlling Crucial Covid-19 Data; Texas Reports Record High for Single-Day Cases and Deaths. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired July 15, 2020 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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 warning the U.S. may need to hit the reset button as cases surge. This as the nation's top infectious disease expert fights back tonight against the Trump White House.
Plus, a doctor contracts the virus in a meeting about how to prevent its spread. He spends more than a month in the hospital, unconscious, on a ventilator. Tonight, he's our guest.
And new police body cam video from George Floyd's arrest revealing a man who is terrified and sobbing, asking what he did wrong. That video has not been released but our reporter saw it. Let's go OUTFRONT.
And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.
OUTFRONT tonight, back to square one. On the day when the U.S. death toll topped 137,000 people, the nation's top infectious disease expert was asked what can be done to get the United States to somewhat of a better place. His answer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: I believe we need to almost push the reset button.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Reset. Definition, start all over. The situation in the United States is getting worse, 14 states now reporting record hospitalizations tonight and deaths have been following. Death tolls are trending up in 23 states, according to The New York Times tally today. We didn't learn from what happened in March and April. This is why we need to reset otherwise known to start all over.
I mean, because July is looking a lot like March and April, surging cases, long lines for tests, not enough PPE and Trump also doing exactly what he did in March and April, which is to minimize and not wear a mask.
Today in Atlanta, an emerging hotspot, if you only saw Trump, you'd think summer 2020 was just like any other. He emerged not wearing a mask, even though there's a law now requiring them given the surge in cases in Atlanta, so it was a - actually broke the law.
He barely talked about the virus. He visited UPS and talk transportation, because he wants to project this image of normalcy, even though we all know at this point that that isn't going to happen anytime soon. We all know this and the President's top advisors are doing the dirty work for him now of discrediting Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Peter Navarro, a top economic adviser, in an op-ed today writing quote, "He has been wrong about everything I've interacted with him on. So when you asked me whether I listened to Dr. Fauci's advice, my answer is: only with skepticism and caution."
Now, obviously, I don't need to say that Navarro is not a doctor. He has no expertise when it comes to infectious diseases. He has absolutely zero standing to say what he said. And it was so out of line that Trump himself was forced to disown it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He made a statement representing himself. He shouldn't be doing that. No, I have a very good relationship with Anthony.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OK. But that's sort of disowning doesn't add up, because what Peter Navarro did, of course, was simply to push forward the same narrative as Trump's advisors who put out bullet points lacking context of things the White House says Fauci got wrong, pushing the same narrative is Trump's top social media advisor who retweeted a cartoon mocking Fauci as a toilet. The same narrative that Stephen Moore, an informal advisor to the President is pushing.
Moore telling The Daily Beast that he's working on a memo about Fauci detailing everything he's gotten incorrect called 'Doctor Wrong'. In fact, it's the same narrative as President Donald Trump has pushed himself.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Dr. Fauci is a nice man, but he's made a lot of mistakes.
I disagree with him.
(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: Nice guy, but wrong. It's one of the message which is sort
of don't trust him. So when Trump says Navarro shouldn't have put an op-ed slamming Fauci in USA Today, Trump is not being forthright, right? Navarro was just doing what everybody else was doing and Fauci has finally had it. Today hitting back at the White House for repeatedly trying to undermine him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FAUCI: You know, it is a bit bizarre. I don't really fully understand it.
I cannot figure out in my wildest dreams why they would want to do that, but I mean I think they realize now that that was not a prudent thing to do because it's only reflecting negatively on them. I can't explain Peter Navarro. He's in a world by himself. So I don't even want to go there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: So 137,000 Americans have died from coronavirus, cases arising in 38 states and team Trump has been trying to take down the doctor who has repeatedly told Americans that this is serious, we must act because people will die.
Well, Fauci has been right. People have been dying, 137,000 of it. He is an expert on infectious disease. He has spent his lifetime on this. He isn't guessing. He isn't trying to protect his presidency. He's trying to protect living people and Americans know it.
A new poll shows 65 percent of voters trust the information they're hearing from Dr. Fauci. When it comes to the President, only 30 percent of voters trust what they're hearing from him. The only thing to be said about this is that the numbers should actually be even higher for Fauci. Perhaps the only reason they aren't is because the President has tried to say that the virus will go away and question Fauci.
Maybe that 30-year-old man in Texas who said he thought it was all a hoax and didn't realize how wrong he was until it was too late. Listen to the President or watched him refuse to wear a mask. We'll actually never know all those details because he died of coronavirus.
Kaitlan Collins is OUTFRONT live outside the White House tonight. And Kaitlan, the President is certainly noticing those poll numbers, 30 percent trust him, 65 percent for Dr. Fauci.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. He's paid close attention to those numbers, Erin. Even previously remarked to aides that he thought Dr. Fauci was doing too much television. But nothing like what we are seeing this week. These obvious blatant attacks on Dr. Fauci from the President's top trade adviser who he speaks with often, of course, that anonymous memo coming from the White House press shop, which they'll try to distance themselves from it later on after it seemed to backfire in the media and got a pretty negative reaction.
And now tonight flying back from Atlanta on Air Force One, the Chief of Staff Mark Meadows came back and spoke with reporters saying that people did not endorse that op-ed by Peter Navarro that they were not standing by it and that it did not go through those well-established protocols he said, that there are questions about whether or not Navarro has always tried to go through those protocols.
But now you're seeing Dr. Fauci push back in this unprecedented way where he's always spoken candidly, but today he was saying he doesn't go directly to the president with this information. Instead, he goes indirectly to the Vice President for things he has to talk about, and they still have not spoken in over six weeks.
So while the President is insisting they have a good relationship, it's important to keep in mind that it's really unlikely White House officials would feel this comfortable, blatantly criticizing Dr. Fauci if they had not heard the President also do so himself.
BURNETT: All right. Kaitlan, thank you very much and it's a really great point. I mean, Mark Meadows, sure, I'm sure he means what he said. But the reality of it is Peter Navarro put that out there because it was completely consistent with everything that people were saying fully sanctioned around the President. He just happened to be a little (inaudible) face about it.
OUTFRONT now Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Dr. Jonathan Reiner, Director of the Cardiac Cath Lab at GW and also advised the White House under President George W. Bush, the medical team.
So Sanjay, reset, how is that possible at this point with 137,000 people already dead?
SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the status quo is not working, but a reset means I think by Dr. Fauci is not necessarily saying we need to go into strict lockdown mode across the country again, although there may be places around the country where that needs to happen. I think there was originally these criteria that were put out there, Erin, you'll remember in terms of when states could move to these different phases.
In some ways, I think it's maybe going back in just saying, you got to meet these criteria, these gating criteria that were laid out. If you haven't gone down 14 days in a row, you can't move to the next phase and by the way, if you go up five days in a row, you have to go back to the previous phase.
I think a reset means we need to hear from the medical team, the current virus taskforce, the scientists on the task force every day. There needs to be a tsunami of activity around testing, still don't have a national testing strategy. And if you heard Dr. Redfield last week and he said, maybe it's time we develop a national testing strategy, middle of July.
So I think a reset is to basically in some ways do the things that we were supposed to have done that we agreed to do that the coronavirus task force laid out for us. I think that that's basically what it is.
BURNETT: And instead of all that happening, you have this fight going on, Dr. Reiner, where people around the President are slamming Dr. Fauci after the President did himself and now Dr. Fauci being forced to respond. Dr. Fauci today call that White House effort to discredit him bizarre. He went on to say this specifically about his relationship with President Trump. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FAUCI: My input to the President is now a bit indirect. It goes through the Vice President. But clearly the Vice President, literally every day, is listening to what we have to say. There's no doubt about that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: So, look, Pence runs the coronavirus task force or at least he did, that was - he sits in those meetings, Dr. Reiner. But it is the President of the United States out there making decisions not wearing a mask, saying that this was going to go away. Is it a problem that there is not direct contact between Fauci and Trump?
JONATHAN REINER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Oh, you bet it is. So this is July. This is the beginning of the academic year in medicine, so we have new residents and fellows that come in. And one of the first things I tell new fellow is that when I ask you a question, particularly during a procedure, I want you to tell me what you think not what you think I want you say.
And you'd want the President to have advisors around him who are willing to tell him, maybe things he doesn't want to hear. But by keeping Tony Fauci out of direct contact with the President, you're keeping the most influential, most knowledgeable leader of this coronavirus fight away from telling the President directly what the President needs to hear.
And frankly, I don't have a lot of confidence that Vice President Pence is the person to tell the President what he doesn't want to hear and so that's exactly what we need now. We need frank discussions with the President over and over and over again and pushing Tony Fauci out gets in the way of that.
BURNETT: So Sanjay, you spoke to Dr. Fauci today and I know you do frequently, which gives you a sense of what he's really thinking. He did clarify something important that he said yesterday and let me just play that for you. Here's what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FAUCI: Well, if you look at the magnitude of the 1918 pandemic, we're anywhere from 50 million to 75 million to a hundred million people globally died. I mean, 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 approaching that in seriousness.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Obviously, the math on that, on death would be 220 million or more deaths on this planet. What did he mean when he said that though?
GUPTA: I think what he was really trying to refer to was that we do have a new virus that is circumnavigating the globe, it is very contagious. It is more lethal than the seasonal flu. And in that regard, it is similar to the 1918 flu pandemic.
I think what he told me today and I think what he wanted to clarify, frankly, was that I don't think he wanted to imply that it was going to lead to a proportionate number of deaths a hundred years later as to what the population of the world was a hundred years ago. And keep in mind that we are a different world, we do have critical care, we do have ventilators to the extent that they are helpful. We are racing toward a vaccine, hopefully, and there are various therapeutics.
So I think it take some solace in that. I mean, this is a terrible situation that we're in and I don't want to sugarcoat it. I know that he doesn't either, but I think we don't want to overstate it either in terms of this is going to be this huge thing that causes hundreds of millions of deaths.
BURNETT: So Dr. Reiner, President Trump's former chief physician, Dr. Ronny Jackson, today won the GOP primary runoff for Texas congressional seat. Jackson was, of course, the one we know he gave Trump his physical a couple years ago, proclaimed Trump has incredible genes. Trump endorsed Jackson, obviously.
Here's what Jackson who again I want to say right, he was the doctor who was taking care of the President giving this physicals. Here's what he said about wearing a mask.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. RONNY JACKSON, FMR. WHITE HOUSE PHYSICIAN: I think that wearing a mask is a personal choice and I don't particularly want my government telling me that I have to wear a mask. I encourage people if they want to wear a mask to wear a mask, but I don't wear a mask all that often to be honest with you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: He's a doctor. He was responsible for the health of the President. What do you say to that, that you're shocked he doesn't wear a mask all that often to be honest.
REINER: How disgraceful. He's running for the 13th congressional seat in Texas. Texas is a state that had twice the number of coronavirus cases today as the entire European Union and he doesn't want to tell people they should wear a mask. He has a habit of trying to (inaudible) in order to gain personal gain. As you said, he told the public that the President's genes were so
great, he could live to be 200. In May of this year, he called his former commander in chief, the man who promoted him to flag rank, essentially a deep state traitor, really outrageous.
And now, he basically perpetuates a myth that will lead to death. By telling people that they don't need to wear a mask, what he's telling them is that it's not so bad. You don't need to protect your neighbor and this is in the state where the virus is runaway, really disgraceful performance from a former physician.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you both very much.
And next, the White House making a major move to sideline the CDC when it comes to data. So what do we know about the virus? Why are they doing that?
Plus, one California county that oversees nearly half a million students voting to open schools full-time, no masks, no social distancing required. One superintendent in that county says no. He's OUTFRONT.
And Oklahoma's Governor who happened to be at the Trump rally weeks ago, becoming the first governor to contract the virus. How did he get it?
BURNETT: Tonight, sidelining the CDC during a pandemic, the Trump administration ordering hospitals to bypass the CDC and send data directly to the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, which is raising alarm bells about a lack of transparency, because the CDC data was open to the public. So the data that now goes to the HHS will not be open to the public according to The New York Times report.
OUTFRONT now, Dr. Richard Besser, former CDC Acting Director under President Obama. So Dr. Besser, look, when you hear about it this way, look, the CDC was slow in some ways, but their data was all out there. You could see all of it. Now, we're apparently not going to see it. If you say this is a step backwards, how consequential is the move?
DR. RICHARD BESSER, FORMER ACTING CDC DIRECTOR UNDER OBAMA: Well, I see this, Erin, as another sign of CDC being sidelined. CDC is the nation's public health agency. There are thousands of scientists there, epidemiologist who understand data and what it can teach you. And the idea that data would not go to the CDC, but would go directly to Washington, to the Department of Health and Human Services, it doesn't make a lot of sense when you think about how response should be taking place.
BURNETT: So Dr. Fauci today made some headlines in terms of his role in this. He actually said, the headline was that he wasn't even involved in the decision. Here's the exchange.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you have what is arguably the world's greatest public health agency at your disposal, why sideline them?
FAUCI: You know, I don't know, Ed. I have not been involved in that. I'd like to give you a reasonable explanation. But I've just been removed from that aspect of the outbreak.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OK. So he has been sidelined from even being involved in that decision, even though he's the top infectious disease expert in the country. What does that say?
BESSER: Well, typically in a response, what you would be seeing, you would see CDC out front leading and you would see Dr. Fauci standing right next to the director of CDC or the person from CDC who is leading the response, because Dr. Fauci is one of the world's leading experts in infectious diseases, in vaccines, in viruses.
And CDC as an agency is the world's expert in how do you respond to a public health crisis to a pandemic to an emergency, and they work hand in hand. So not having Dr. Fauci as part of that decision, I can understand it, not having CDC driving the decision and how do you manage this data the best that I see is problematic.
BURNETT: So the Health and Human Services spokesman Michael Caputo defended the movement and here's how he defended it, Dr. Besser, in part. He said, "Today, the CDC has at least a week lag in reporting hospital data. America requires it in real time. The new faster and complete data system is what our nation needs to defeat the coronavirus."
Is it possible than any of that actually adds up, that there's going to be a new faster data system that's totally separate from the one that exists that is somehow real time and then gets through this hurdle, which I just said which is currently the CDC is public and this other thing isn't but then would become public. I mean, is it possible that what he says all adds up?
BESSER: Well, I think we'd need to do more to strengthen the data systems at CDC in its state and local public health departments. It represents decades of underinvestment. But this is not going to be solved by doing this. It's going to be solved by the nation coming together and following the blueprint, the roadmap that public health is leading out.
As long as we see political leaders undercutting what public health says, needs to take place to get this under control, we're not going to get there and we're going to see hospitals that are continued to be overwhelmed by COVID patients, ICUs that are full, patients with other medical problems who can't be treated.
This is a real crisis in America right now and it needs to be led by public health.
BURNETT: All right. Dr. Besser, thank you so much. I appreciate your time.
BESSER: Thank you, Erin.
BURNETT: And next, Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer announcing it will require all customers wear masks, the biggest employer in the country stepping up where the government failed.
Plus, the Oklahoma Governor who rarely wear masks in public, guess what, shocker, he's now got coronavirus.
BURNETT: Breaking news, across the country a grim picture tonight with Texas reporting a record number of deaths, a second straight day with more than 10,000 new cases diagnosed and it comes as 14 states including Florida report record high hospitalizations. Erica Hill is OUTFRONT.
ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR AND NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT(voice over): Confirmed cases in Florida have now topped 300,000. In Miami-Dade County where the positivity rate just hit 31 percent, the number of COVID-19 patients in one hospital system has jumped 226 percent in the last month.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARLOS MIGOYA, PRES. & CEO, JACKSON MEMORIAL HEALTH: We're preparing for even more patients over the next couple of weeks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HILL(voice over): Florida is one of 14 states reporting record hospitalizations. 11 of those states are also seeing a rise in new cases over the past week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. BARBARA FERRER, LA COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH: These alarming trends reflect behaviors from three weeks ago and it will take several weeks to see if our behavior now including the rollback of previously opened sectors slows the spread of the virus.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HILL(voice over): Texas reporting a record number of deaths and new cases on Wednesday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DR. ASHISH JHA, DIRECTOR, HARVARD GLOBAL HEALTH INSTITUTE: Hundreds
and thousands of people are dying in America today because we are distracted by issues that are not the central ones to controlling this virus. We got to get our act together.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HILL(voice over): At least 36 states now require a face covering in public, the latest to add a mandate, Alabama. Nationwide, customers at Wal-Mart and Kohl's can't shop without one starting Monday. In Charleston, bars and restaurants can now refuse service to anyone without a face covering.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR JOHN TECKLENBURG (D) CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA: We've got to take this seriously. It matters to all of our citizens and it matters to our economy going forward.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HILL(voice over): Increasing concern about summer travel fueling the spread and it's not just the Northeast requiring visitors to quarantine, Chicago has a 14-day quarantine in place for travelers from 17 states. Canada will keep the border close through late August.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We do not have a handle on this outbreak.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HILL(voice over): A new school year is just weeks away. One district in Arizona using these misters to disinfect classrooms. Philadelphia will use a hybrid model this fall. San Francisco will begin the year online. Houston schools will too.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've had many sleepless nights even up until this moon wrestling with this decision. Given the threat of COVID-19, we will not put the health and safety of our students and staff at risk.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HILL(voice over): Local decisions gaining national attention as uncertainty grows about just what lies ahead.
HILL: Now, there could be some further guidance for school reopening coming as soon as Friday. A senior official at the CDC telling CNN that that new guidance could be out Friday. In terms of the CDC guidance, it will have the most up to date science, we're told. It'll be focused on safely reopening, but that official says in areas of high transmission, it just may not be feasible. There could also be a second set of guidelines from a White House work group that was requested by Dr. Birx. That includes officials from HHS, the Domestic Policy Council and also the Department of Education and we're told that guidance, Erin, will be geared toward parents.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Erica.
And the big question that we continue to ask here is back to school, is it worth the risks, right? Every parent is asking this and every teacher. The Board of Education in Orange County, California, responsible for nearly half a million students, 500,000 kids, voting to reopen schools and advising against face masks and social distancing.
OUTFRONT now, Jerry Almendarez. He's Superintendent for the Santa Ana Unified School District, which is the second largest district in the county. And Superintendent, I appreciate your time. So I know that you chose to go against the guidelines that the Board voted on and that you're going to continue with online learning. How come you made that choice?
JERRY ALMENDAREZ, SUPERINTENDENT, SANTA ANA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT: Well, I think we made that choice because we have to take into consideration the COVID rates within our city and our district and we have to make the best decision that's in the best interest of the safety of our staff, student on our community.
BURNETT: So I want to just read something from the guidelines here to you. They say on social distancing, specifically, K-12 children represent the lowest risk cohort for COVID-19. Because of that fact, social distancing of children and reduced census classrooms is not necessary and therefore not recommended. So, that's social distancing.
And then on mass superintendent, they say, quote, returning children -- requiring -- I'm sorry -- children to wear masks during school is not only difficult. It is not impossible to implement, but not based on science. It may even be harmful and is therefore not recommended.
OK. The science part is factually incorrect. What about the point that kids won't actually do it and that the kids are low risk and it's better to have them all in class? Do they have a point?
JERRY ALMENDAREZ, SUPERINTENDENT, SANTA ANA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT: Well, you know, I think the kids may be at low risk based on the information that we have right now. However, there is a high risk of them potentially carrying this virus back to their families and I think that's a big concern.
There's also risk in them possibly infecting our staff as well. And if our staff and our parents are infected, then it really becomes extremely difficult to educate the kid when is families have other things that they have to worry about.
BURNETT: So, these recommendations came on the same day that Los Angeles and San Diego which are the two biggest districts in your state said they're going to do online learning as you've also chosen to do.
My question is why is Orange County which neighbors both of those counties L.A. and San Diego such an outlier, not only saying do it in person but do it in person with optional masks and no social distancing.
ALMENDAREZ: You know, I have a hard time trying to comprehend that as well. All I can say is I think it's just reflective of the national conversation that's happening across the country. Unfortunately, it's pitting family members against family members or cities against cities. And it's just -- you know, the last thing we need to worry about, we're more focused on getting kids healthy, getting them back into the classroom and educating our students like we need to as soon as possible.
BURNETT: So, you know, the board also called distance learning an utter failure and they said, quote, the move has revealed huge class- based disparities and access to technology, produced irregular attendance by children and teachers simply, generally through no lack of effort unable to manage distracted children in multiple locations.
Look, I have -- I have kids in school. Distance learning was really hard, especially for young kids, right? I don't think anybody would pick it if they didn't think it was really the only option they had.
Do they have a point there about distance learning failing, or do you think that's too strong?
ALMENDAREZ: I think it's too strong. I don't think it's failing. I think there are a lot of good opportunities out there, a lot of good instruction going on with staff, teachers of distance learning. I have a 9-year-old grandson and he participated as well.
I think, you know, it brings its challenges because everything happens so quickly. We learned a lot since March and since we went off. And we have a lot of staff members that I'm completely confident that are going to engage the students in very meaningful ways this coming fall.
BURNETT: All right. Well, Superintendent, I appreciate your time. Thank you.
ALMENDAREZ: Thank you.
BURNETT: And next, Oklahoma's governor who has shunned medical advice on coronavirus, aggressively pushed to reopen, not wear a mask, has now tested positive for coronavirus. He is the first governor in the country to test positive.
And a doctor contracts COVID at a meeting about fighting the virus. This doctor knew all about it. He then spent more than a month of his life in the hospital. He nearly died.
And tonight, he has a message about the rest of his life, what it's going to look like for those not taking this seriously. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BURNETT: Tonight, a blessing the and a curse, that's how my next guest describes his experience as a doctor in an ICU battling coronavirus because he understood what was happening to him, but then he also knew how very wrong things could go. He ended up spending more than a month in the hospital. He nearly died. But he is now home and looking at a long road to recovery.
He is, though, OUTFRONT now.
Dr. Daniel Lewis, chief medical officer at Greenville Community Hospital in Greenville, Tennessee.
And I really appreciate your time, Doctor.
You know, you actually sort of hard to believe how this happened, but you were at a meeting on preventing the spread of coronavirus in the hospital. It was at that hospital where you work and where you think you got the virus. Two days later, two days after your test came back positive, I know you got -- you got quite sick. You checked into a local hospital.
Obviously, you knew. You knew that was the right thing to do. So, then tell me what happened.
DR. DANIEL LEWIS, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER AT TENNESSEE'S GREENEVILLE COMMUNITY HOSPITAL: Yes, ma'am. After I went home for a few days, after I took my confirmed test, I did begin to get a little bit worse, occasional shortness of breath. I knew that would indicate I had issues with my lungs, so I chose to go to the hospital. I presented to the local hospital and they took great care of me on stabilizing. I did well.
Then I was transferred to the medical system with a dedicated unit for COVID patients. So, I was transferred there and that's where the journey began really.
BURNETT: So, at that point, you knew the shortness of breath was not a good thing. You went in. But then when that happened you knew things had taken a turn for the worse. You knew you were going to be sedated and put on a ventilator.
You know what that means. How traumatic. How disruptive.
I mean, what was it like when you realized that was going to happen to you?
LEWIS: Well, certainly it was a daunting time and it was a scary time. Thankfully my faith allowed me to be strong during that time. But when you're messages with your wife about the fact you're going to be put on a ventilator and at that point, again, knowing the complications that can occur there, knowing the current rate of recovery for COVID patients that were ventilated at the time, it was quite a scary time and it was a time that we knew that if we did come off the ventilator, could there be a long road of recovery from that. So, it was quite scary.
BURNETT: Look, you're young, right? You're 42, I believe.
LEWIS: Yes, ma'am.
BURNETT: You're really young, OK? So, you're not someone you would have thought when you get this, statistically, you would have been in the "it's not going to be a big deal". I talked to a lot of people in that category who got it and got really sick.
And they are months after having it, months -- almost five months after having it, still experiencing some really severe symptoms, some neurological, some of them frankly terrifying in terms of memory and process information and be the same people they were before. I know you've said your recovery from this may be lifelong. This is you on the other side of the screen leaving the hospital in a wheelchair more than two months ago.
I mean, what are the challenges you're still facing, Doctor?
LEWIS: So, I've been blessed of apparently complete recovery at this point, although we don't know what the long-term effects may be. I've noticed some of the blood clotting issues that occur while I was in the hospital relative to the infection, and having to deal with, you know, being anticoagulants or medications to thin my blood for that. I've got a degree of asthma now that I previously did not have and will continue to be followed up, the pulmonology and continue to have follow up testing for lungs for at least several years if not for a lifetime.
But I'm very blessed in that I've not had a lot of neurological issues that others have had or suffered from. And I feel like I've got a great shot at full recovery but we don't know what the future might held completely in general.
BURNETT: Now -- yeah, no, we don't. Your attitude on this is quite inspirational. But, I mean, the truth is if you have something now that's lifelong possibly with the asthma and that's a change in your life and that could be significant.
And as you point out, you're not even in the category of people who -- some of them are saying they struggle to do their job. Months later, they still can't go back to work. You're obviously back at work.
You got the virus in March and here we are in July. As I pointed out, right, you have the testing lines and all the same problems again. People are having COVID parties still. Some people are still simply not taking this seriously. What is your message to them after the experience you went through as a 42-year-old doctor?
LEWIS: Well, yeah, I think that really is what I would like to make is that, yeah, I was not in a category you would consider high risk at the time this occurred. I was at high risk to contract the disease but when I did contract the disease, I wasn't thought to be in a category that would have poor outcomes from that.
But I spent six week of my life in medical care and had to go through a week of rehabilitation to return to my family. So, I just want to pass on the message that this virus is indeed real. It can strike populations. And we're seeing a large percentage of our patients in the 30 to 50-year-old age range maybe because of the fact that they're exposed and out in social situations so much.
But again, you know, this can happen to anyone, it happened to me. It's a very real virus. My family and I dealt with side effects and continue to do so going forward. So, I'll just urge everyone to take it as serious as they can, wear a mask, and social distance as much as possible.
BURNETT: I sure hope they heed that when they see you, six weeks in the hospital, a week of rehab and you are now back.
Dr. Lewis, thank you.
LEWIS: Yes, thank you very much, ma'am. Have a great night.
BURNETT: You too.
And next, Oklahoma's governor repeatedly resisted the recommendations from public health officials. You just heard what the doctor say, social distance and a mask.
He didn't wear masks ever and now tested positive for coronavirus. Well, the guy didn't either ever and now announces he has tested positive for coronavirus.
Plus new details about the moments before George Floyd's arrest. It's all in a new video that our reporter Omar Jimenez privately viewed and Omar has the story, ahead.
BURNETT: Tonight, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt became the first governor to announce he has contracted coronavirus.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. KEVIN STITT (R), OKLAHOMA: I got tested yesterday for COVID-19 and the results came back positive. I want to use my story to remind Oklahomans that if you aren't feeling well, we want you to get tested.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: His announcement coming on the same day Oklahoma records its highest daily case count ever.
OUTFRONT now, Carmen Forman, a reporter at "The Oklahoman" who covers the state capitol and Governor Stitt.
And I appreciate your time.
So, I know you were on the Zoom call with the governor when he made that announcement. I just played clip. You're obviously in the whole thing.
So, what more do you know about how he may have gotten the virus?
CARMEN FORMAN, CAPITOL REPORTER, THE OKLAHOMAN: Yeah, the governor and state health professionals don't really know how or when he got the virus. They assume it's sometime in the past few days. What they did say and what a lot of reporters asked was, is it possible that Governor Stitt picked this virus up at President Trump's campaign rally in Tulsa which was on June 20th, and they adamantly said no, that was too far ago, that there was no way he could have picked it up there.
BURNETT: All right. So, I guess they're saying it wasn't that although they obviously don't know what it was.
But in recent weeks, the governor started to say publicly that people should wear masks as the number rose. But he himself obviously rarely seen wearing one publicly as we're showing in all the pictures on the screen. You're familiar with this. You cover him every day.
What have you seen?
FORMAN: Yeah, I would think for the first few months of the coronavirus pandemic, I mean, the governor was rarely ever seen wearing a mask. And he gives these periodic press conferences to update the state on COVID-19 and where the state is at, and he would never wear one for those press conferences. Up until a couple of weeks ago, he was given a lot a pressure to be more encouraging about masks, so he did wear one to a press conference. He did not wear one to President Trump's rally, and he was -- he's been seen a couple of times since not wearing a mask as well.
BURNETT: So, you know, obviously, perhaps he really has learned something from this and we hope he doesn't get seriously sick. In mid- March as this whole country was learning how serious this virus was, the governor tweeted and later deleted a picture of himself and children in a crowded restaurant.
We have this for a segment. I remember this picture.
And his comment was it's packed tonight, #supportlocal. You know, the sort of thing was stopped with the shutdown, right, go back with your life and support the economy.
Overall from your reporting, how are Oklahomans reacted to his handling of the crisis?
FORMAN: Yeah, I mean, Oklahoma is a very conservative state. We like our Republican governors generally. But as you've seen in a lot of states, I think there is mixed feelings on both sides because you have the group of Oklahoma people that are adamant they don't want to wear a mask, they don't want to be forced into wearing a mask, and so, Governor Stitt really, you know, gets that part of Oklahoma.
But then you have the group that has seen the numbers of cases rise. They are seeing hospitalizations rise and they are calling on the governor to do more and more and he's not responding in the way they would like.
BURNETT: All right. Well, Carmen, appreciate your time. Thank you very much and obviously, we'll see Governor Stitt -- what actually happens.
One thing I wanted to ask because he did originally push for a quick reopening. Where is that right now in Oklahoma? Because you just mentioned the cases, a record number of cases today.
FORMAN: Yeah, so we were one of the first states to completely reopen, which I think played into why president Trump had his rally here. We started reopening on May 1, so they say we're in phase three of reopening but really, it's just back to business as usual or what the governor calls our new normal.
BURNETT: All right. Well, I appreciate your time. Carmen, thank you so much.
FORMAN: No problem.
BURNETT: All right. Next, police body camera video of George Floyd's arrest not yet public but our Omar Jimenez has viewed it. So, what does it show?
Omar is next.
BURNETT: Tonight, we are learning much more about how fearful and how distraught George Floyd was before he was killed. There is new body cam footage that reveals how desperate the situation was for him. This comes as Floyd's family files a civil lawsuit against Minneapolis and the officers involved.
Omar Jimenez is OUTFRONT.
OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): New body camera video shown to CNN but not shared with the general public is providing critical new context into the moments leading up to George Floyd's death. The call for officers began over a fake bill being used at a store in Minneapolis. Less than 40 seconds after finishing conversation with the store employee, the officers are at the door of this car Floyd was in.
Officer Thomas Lane with his gun drawn yelling to put your F-ing hands up following an initial knock on a window with a flashlight.
BENJAMIN CRUMP, FLOYD FAMILY ATTORNEY: This is a crisis in black America, a public health crisis.
JIMENEZ: After repeated asks to get out of the car, Floyd is seen on Lane's body camera sobbing with his head on the steering wheel at one point, saying he's sorry, according to video reviewed by CNN.
Please don't shoot me, Mr. Officer. Please don't shoot me, man. Please? Can you not shoot me, man?
Lane: Step out and face away. I'm not shooting. Step out and face away.
It's at that point Floyd is forcefully pulled from the car as both Officer Lane and Officer j. Alexander Keung struggle to handcuff him. Shortly after, a big struggle to get Floyd into the squad car as Floyd says he's claustrophobic and refuses to get in.
At this point, according to video reviewed by CNN, Floyd is being pushed into the police vehicle from one side by Keung and pulled in from the other by Lane. I can't breathe, I can't breathe, Floyd says, all the while flailing in cuffs as both officers are on top of him. Get him on the ground, Lane says. Let go of me, man. I can't breathe. I can't breathe.
At one point, Floyd just letting out a desperate scream for at least three seconds straight according to video reviewed by CNN. About 30 seconds later, the other officers, Tao and Derek Chauvin are inside of Lane's body camera and everybody falls to the infamously familiar position seen this cell phone video with Derek Chauvin's knee on Floyd's neck, an already restrained Floyd calls out for his mom.
GEORGE FLOYD: Mama, mama.
JIMENEZ: As Chauvin appears to increase pressure on Floyd's neck, curling down on this initial upright position according to body camera video reviewed by CNN.
About four minutes later still coughed and under the knee of Chauvin, Floyd says, please, please, please, each plea is seemingly weaker than the one before according to video reviewed. Lane says, should we roll him on his side? Chauvin, no, he's staying put where we got him.
Those were the last words listed in the transcript but audio heard by CNN shows that seconds later, Floyd says.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're stopping his breathing right there, bro.
FLOYD: I can't breathe.
JIMENEZ: Those would be his final words.
JIMENEZ: Now, the officers charged in the death of George Floyd are continuing to await trial on charges as high as second-degree murder for Derek Chauvin whose attorney declined to comment today.
Now, as for why this video hasn't been released publicly, well, so far, that's what the judge in these cases has agreed to, to only let certain people at certain times to view that actually video. Though, I should mention CNN and other outlet haves filed a motion to publicly release this video, though we haven't seen that decision come just yet -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Omar, thank you. Really hard to hear that, even as Omar reads it.
And before we go, as coronavirus cases are spiking across the country, don't miss our CNN global town hall on the coronavirus tomorrow night. Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Anderson talk to the former CDC director, Dr. Tom Frieden. "CORONAVIRUS: FACTS AND FEARS" live tomorrow night at 8:00 Eastern. We'll see you back here tomorrow.
Thanks for joining us. And as always, you can watch our show anywhere and anytime on CNN Go.
"AC360" with Anderson starts now.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening.
We begin tonight with what a self-proclaimed war-time president looks like with 137,000 American lives lost in the war. And we should point out, what you're about to see is how he wants to look.