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No End in Sight: Coronavirus Spikes to New Records; Trump Turns Rose Garden News Conference Into Campaign Event; Germany Study: Teens Have Low Virus Infection Rate; NFL, Players Union at Odds Over Return to Play Plan. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired July 15, 2020 - 05:00   ET



LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: When is enough enough? New coronavirus case records, more people sick than ever. So why is the hospital data going to the Trump administration before the CDC?

We will tell you that and more.

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


I'm Christine Romans. It is Wednesday, July 15th, Tax Day. It's 5:00 a.m. in New York.

So, how long can America keep accepting new coronavirus records without changing course? Breaking overnight, another new single day record for cases in the U.S. More than 67,000 reported Tuesday. Lagging indicators are starting to catch up now. At least 11 states reporting record hospitalizations. More than 50,000 people admitted.

Florida, after weeks of record highs, reporting the highest number of deaths to date, 132 deaths in a single day. More than 30 percent of tests came back positive yesterday in Miami-Dade County. More than 30 percent for the death rate nationally is ticking up since the start of July. The head of the Centers for Disease Control is worried about what's ahead.


DR. ROBERT REDFIELD, DIRECTOR, CDC: I do think that fall and winter of 2020 and 2021 will be one of the most difficult times that we've experienced in American public health.


JARRETT: Also concerns about the integrity of the data used to track the virus.

CNN has confirmed that the hospital data will now being re-routed to the Trump administration first instead of going to the CDC. Critics fear the system could be open to political distortion of that data. The model, meanwhile being used by the White House now projects that 224,000 coronavirus deaths by November. That's up from 16,000 from just last week.


DR. CHRIS MURRAY, DIRECTOR, INSTITUTE FOR HEALTH METRICS AND EVALUATION, UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON: Two weeks ago, you know, deaths didn't seem to be tracking the big surge of cases but now we know for sure that both hospitalizations which are not affected by the number of tests so that really tells us it's not testing and now we know deaths are surging. In a place like Florida, we've seen this big increase in deaths. So it's very worrisome.


JARRETT: Thirty-seven states are headed in the wrong direction still. Yet just 27 have rolled back their re-openings. So, do the math. This virus is simply not contained.

Texas and Arizona are getting refrigerated morgue trucks to keep up with the body count.


DR. QUINN SNYDER, EMERGENCY ROOM PHYSICIAN IN ARIZONA: We find ourselves with our backs up against the wall and we could end up in a position where we have to make decisions who gets a ventilator and who doesn't.


ROMANS: California is grappling with a (AUDIO GAP). Now, a change in testing guidelines will prioritize patients showing symptoms of the virus. That may risk further spread from people who are asymptomatic, even as California sees record ICU admissions.

There are constant reminders of young people spreading this virus to more vulnerable people. In one Florida family, a 21-year-old son went to a friend's house and brought COVID home with him. The father is now on a ventilator. The mother spoke to CNN.


MICHELLE ZYMET, DIAGNOSED WITH CORONAVIRUS: You're not invincible. This is not a joke. This is a deadly, devastating disease that's affecting millions of people across the world. You let your guard just one time, that's all it takes and look, you come home and you infect the entire house.

You know, we're five people all infected with the virus and we're the lucky ones that didn't get affected the way my husband John is. But he's fighting for his life, literally every single minute in that hospital.

(END VIDEO CLIP) JARRETT: President Trump is still downplaying the pandemic and it could cost him his job. In four states the president won in 2016 and needs to win again, rates of positive tests hover around 20 percent right now. Recent polls show him trailing or tied with Joe Biden in all four of those states.

Multiple reports now say Republicans are planning to move several nights of their convention from an indoor arena in Jacksonville, Florida to an outdoor venue.

With his re-election prospects at greater risk by the day, President Trump used Tuesday's Rose Garden event billed as a news conference to switch to campaign mode. He only mentioned the coronavirus pandemic in passing, with comments on testing that didn't match reality.

And in a CBS interview earlier, the president provided another example of his failure to understand racial discrimination.


REPORTER: Would you be comfortable with your supporters displaying the Confederate battle flag at political events?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, you know, it depends on what your definition is. But I am comfortable with freedom of speech. It's very simple. Whether it's Confederate flags or Black Lives Matter or anything else you want to talk about, it's freedom of speech.


REPORTER: 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.


BURNETT: So at least one recent study found more white people are killed by police overall, but that's not surprising since white people make up a larger portion of the population.

But the president failed to mention, however, is that those killed by lethal force are disproportionately black. Black men are more than twice as likely to be killed over their lifetime by police than white men.

JARRETT: Now to some promising results in an effort to develop a coronavirus vaccine. More research is needed, but the Moderna vaccine developed in partnership with the National Institutes of Health boosted the immune system in all, all of the volunteers who received it in a phase one study. More than half had some mild or moderate side effects such as fatigue, chills, headache and muscle pain, but there were no safety concerns significant enough to stop the trial. A large phase three trial is the next step. That's expected to begin later this month.

ROMANS: Yes, certainly, optimism around that Moderna vaccine.

Now, the contrast between the pain on Main Street and rally on Wall Street has been stark. Stocks finished higher Tuesday even as big banks warned recovery from the pandemic will be choppy.

Look at this, the Dow climbed 556 points. The S&P and Nasdaq also finished higher.

Now, the big test is earning season and banks kicked off what's expected to be a really rough one, the worse since the great recession. JP Morgan chase reported a 51 percent plunge for the second quarter profit. CEO Jamie Dimon was cautious saying, quote, we still face much uncertainty regarding the future path of the economy.

Wells Fargo suffered a loss of 2.4 billion, its first loss since the height of the Great Recession.

Uncertainty about economic recovery has forced banks to prepare for a wave of coronavirus defaults. JPMorgan, Wells Fargo and Citigroup have all stock piled $28 billion all together to brace for loans that may go bust in the months ahead.

And Delta Airlines reported the worst quarter in more than a decade. It's burning through $43 million a day. Its CEO warned it will be more than two years before the industry recovers and it is cutting flights again.

Goldman Sachs reports its earnings, Laura, in just a few hours.

JARRETT: Well, a big primary night for two candidates backed by President Trump.

In Alabama, CNN projects former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville has defeated former Attorney General Jeff Sessions who faced fierce opposition from President Trump. Tuberville, I should say, he won. It was not a close race.

Tuberville will face incumbent Doug Jones widely viewed as the most vulnerable Senate Democrat this fall.

Another Trump candidate president backed, the president's former physician, Ronny Jackson. He also won a GOP runoff for a Texas congressional seat.

And in Maine, Democrats picked their candidate to take on Senator Susan Collins in November. The speaker of Maine's House of Representatives, Sara Gideon, winning last night's primary, Christine.

ROMANS: All right. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is waking up in the hospital this morning as she recovers from a possible infection. Justice Ginsburg had an endoscopic procedure yesterday to clean a bile duct stent after experiencing chills and a fever. The court's spokeswoman released a statement saying Ginsberg will stay in the hospital for a few days, for further treatment, and is now resting comfortably.

We certainly all wish her well as she battles this infection.

JARRETT: Of course. Wish her the best.

Still ahead, the board of ed in one California county votes to send kids and teachers back to school with no masks. The school districts are refusing to go along with the plan.



JARRETT: Coronavirus cancelations now stretching to 2021. In Philadelphia, all large public events have been cancelled until February. The marathon and two of the city's most iconic events, Thanksgiving and Mummers parades are among those now off the schedule.

CNN has reporters all over the newest developments on the pandemic.



Nearly 3,400 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded in Georgia on Tuesday. Hospitalizations are high. That's part of the reason why the governor reactivated this overflow hospital inside the Georgia World Congress Center.

The governor still as this is happening looks to let his final executive order, the one that prevents large gatherings and places restrictions on businesses and the medically fragile population, well, that expires at midnight on Wednesday. And at this point, it does not look like the governor is going to extend it.


The Trump administration has now rescinded a policy that would require international students to take an online-only course load due to the coronavirus pandemic to leave the country. The move which was announced by a federal judge in Boston comes a little over a week after Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced the new policy which sent students scrambling to plan for the fall semester just weeks away and prompted colleges like Harvard and some 18 states and the District of Columbia to file lawsuits challenging the change in policy.

PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Paula Newton in Ottawa, where Canadian officials tell CNN that the U.S. and Canada border is likely to remain closed until at least August 21st. It has been closed since March. It is only open for essential traffic, that means health care workers, truck drivers, flight crews.

[05:15:00] But also significant is that Canadian public health officials tell CNN that they will be putting extra personnel at those border crossings to make sure that anybody going back is COVID-19 symptom free and that they are abiding by a very strict 14-day quarantine when coming into Canada.

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Pete Muntean in Washington.

No mask, no service is the new word from the governor of Virginia. Ralph Northam says cases are spiking near Virginia Beach, especially among 20-somethings. Now, state agencies will start dropping in on restaurants, bars and stores. Inspectors will be looking for social distancing and masks. The governor says businesses are doing a bad job could lose licenses and permits and businesses have the right to boot customers from their establishments if they refuse to wear a mask.


Walmart CEO is now floating the idea of a national mask mandate for all of its stores in the U.S. Right now, the company only requires masks in the 3,700 locations where state and local governments mandate them. So, the change is enacted. It would apply to additional stores in the U.S.

Of course, the U.S. does not have a federal mask policy. So, that is forcing businesses to decide between doing what's right for employees and customers and wading into the highly politicized issue.


ROMANS: All right. Thank you for all of those reports.

The political divide still sowing confuse on schools reopening this fall. Some of the largest school districts in Orange County, California, say they will not, not follow recommendations by the board of ed to open schools without face masks or social distancing. In fact, none of the districts CNN spoke with planned on following those recommendations.

Schools in Austin, Texas, now suspending in-person classes for the start of the year. North Carolina schools will be open for both in- person and remote learning. Several other cities and states are still deciding. In Detroit, protests erupting over schools opening for in person summer classes. The superintendent claims there's a desperate demand for face-to-face learning.

JARRETT: Well, while American schools struggle with decisions on reopening this fall, one German state now plans to open as usual after a surprising study.

CNN's Fred Pleitgen is live in Berlin for us.

Fred, what do we know about this study?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it really is a surprising study. What they found out is they surveyed 2,000 both students and faculty at several schools across the state. And they found that of those around 2,000, only 12 actually had coronavirus antibodies. And they say that those 12 actually in those schools, because they were in the schools, didn't actually infect anyone else.

And that led the lead scientist to come up with a bold statement where he said he believes perhaps small children actually put the brakes on coronavirus being transmitted rather than transmitting it even faster.

Now, one of the things we have to keep in mind is that while this district, while the state says it is going to reopen all of the schools, this state, by German standards has an extremely low rate of coronavirus infections. I looked at the statistics. They had three yesterday.

And one of the things that they say is you still have to be very, very careful at opening those schools. And, of course, we have to juxtapose that with other places, like for instance Israel which is currently seeing a surge in coronavirus cases and in part is holding responsible opening schools fast and possibly opening schools also not with the right amount of anti-coronavirus measures.

So, essentially what these German scientists are saying that, yes, it is possible to open schools. Yes, that's what they are going to do. But, of course, the safety measures, the physical distancing, the masks are certainly things that need to be in place, guys.

JARRETT: This is really interesting research, but obviously more is needed on this. And Germany has a very specific circumstance.

All right. Fred, thanks so much.

ROMANS: Yes, it sure does.

All right. Eighteen months past the hour.

Tiger Woods thrives with the crowd, but it turns out, he prefers the fans at home.



ROMANS: All right. NFL training camps are less than two weeks away, but the league and its players union still don't have an agreement to return to play.

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

Hey, Andy.


So, the two sides negotiated over the phone for the past two days, but they still have not been able to come to terms for return to play for this upcoming season. One of the sticking points continues to be how to handle players' safety.

Now, the players say they want to be tested for COVID-19 every day and they don't want any preseason games at all. The league, meanwhile, according to ESPN wants testing less frequently and still hold two preseason games, which they have already cut the preseason down to.

Now, yesterday, the players association tweeted a quote from their president and Browns center JC Tretter saying, I don't think players safety and making sure guys come back healthy and don't get hurt in training camp should be just a union issue that we care about. Teams should care for the exact same reason.

Players are also reportedly asking for financial backing in case they decide to sit out or if the season gets shutdown. No further talks are planned for today.

All right. Houston Rockets superstar James Harden is finally in the NBA's bubble, five days after his team flew to Orlando. So, the team did not say why it took so long to check-in. Harden must quarantine for 48 hours and have two negative tests before he's allowed to start practicing.


Now, Russell Westbrook, Houston's other all-star guard, announced Monday that he tested positive for COVID-19 before the team had departed. The Rockets hopes that Westbrook will be able to travel at some point this week.

All right. Tiger Woods back on the tour for the first time in five months. He is set to tee off tomorrow at the memorial in Dublin, Ohio. The 15-time major champion says it's certainly going to be a different experience playing without fans.


TIGER WOODS, 15-TIME MAJOR CHAMPION: I'm used to having so many people around me, or even touch me, you know, going from green to tee. That's something that I looked at and said, well, I'm not really quite comfortable with that. And that whole idea to see how it plays out first.

Let's see how the tour started. I started and feel like I'm comfortable enough to come back out and play again. I'm excited to do it.


SCHOLES: All right. In basketball, Shaquille O'Neal making another assist off the court. The former Lakers star and champion stopped to help a driver after her tire blew out on the Florida interstate. Shaq made sure the woman was okay and stayed at the median until law enforcement arrived.

A fun fact for you. Shaq was named auxiliary sheriff's deputy in Broward County, Florida, last year. He was always interested in law enforcement, Laura.

Can you imagine you're having a bad day, you get a nail in your tire and blow it out or something? You think, oh, man, and then Shaq is here to help you to help to turn that day around.

JARRETT: Yes. Hopefully, and at least provided them a little bit of a distraction while they were waiting for the police to show up there. I didn't see him changing the tire, though.


JARRETT: All right. Good to see you, Andy. Thanks so much.

SCHOLES: All right.

JARRETT: All right. New coronavirus records and it is not just cases any more. Hospitalizations hitting records. The death rate is ticking up as well. The CDC chief is concerned about what's coming.