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U.S. Shatters Record Again for New Coronavirus Cases; Trump on Why Blacks Are Killed by Police: 'So Are White People'; White House Resumes Attacks Against Top Infectious Disease Doctor; Mary Trump: My Uncle is 'Utterly Incapable of Leading the Country'. Aired 6-6:30a ET

Aired July 15, 2020 - 06:00   ET



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do think the fall and the winter are going to be probably one of the most difficult times that we've experienced in American public health.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: More people were reported dead from COVID in the past 24 hours in Florida than ever before.

GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): You swab, and then you get the results back in seven days. That's not ideal.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: The first U.S.-made vaccine. They found, they did seem to produce these antibodies. What we don't know still is just how much that's going to protect somebody.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're seeing 224,000 deaths by November 1, being driven by the big upsurge.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This has gone past becoming a public health issue. This is a homeland security issue. People don't feel safe.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It is Wednesday, July 15, now. I have to look at that. It is 6 a.m. here in New York. And we are waking up this morning to a pile of news in the coronavirus pandemic, and also, frankly, a pile of nonsense on the political front that won't save a single life. We will try to separate the two this morning.

First, the news. More than 67,000 new cases of coronavirus reported overnight. That is a record. We're pouring through the new data, which just came in. At least 11 states are reporting record hospitalizations this morning.

Now, Florida is not on that map, you will notice, because they just began reporting hospitalizations, but its largest health system has seen a 226 percent increase in hospitalizations in just one month.

Florida is also reporting the most deaths -- deaths that they've seen in a single day since the pandemic began. Across the country, 900 new deaths reported just yesterday.

The director of the CDC is warning that this fall and winter will be one of the most difficult times we have ever experienced in American public health.

There is some hopeful news as we wake up this morning, encouraging results from a highly-anticipated vaccine trial that did produce some immune response among the 45 people tested. This drug now moves to a much larger test and advances to the next crucial stage.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: So John, President Trump did not share any of that news that you just highlighted. Nor did he discuss the importance of masks or social distancing. This was during a rambling campaign speech that he gave in the Rose Garden on the taxpayers' dime.

More than 136,000 Americans are dead, but the president spent the majority of his time here boasting about how great things are and airing his grievances about Joe Biden.

There's another troubling development to tell you about this morning. The daily reports from hospitals on how many patients they are treating and how many are on ventilators will no longer be sent to the CDC. The Trump administration now wants that info sent to them, and it will no longer be open to the public.

This could affect the work of scores of researchers and modelers, as well as the info that we report to you every morning.

More on that in a minute, but we begin with our top story and Rosa Flores, who is again in Miami for us with the situation there.

Rosa, what are you seeing on the ground?


The United States breaking yet another record, reporting more than 67,000 cases in just one day. And Florida also breaking its record for the most deaths reported within a 24-hour period.

As for hospitalizations across the country, nearly a dozen states reporting that they are breaking their hospitalizations this morning. This as top experts across the country warn that, if these trends continue, the worst is yet to come.


FLORES (voice-over): As the coronavirus sends many states into crisis mode, the director of the CDC warns the worst could be on the horizon.

DR. ROBERT REDFIELD, DIRECTOR, CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION: I do think the fall and the winter of 2020 and 2021 are going to be probably one of the most difficult times that we've experienced in American public health. Keeping the healthcare system from being overstretched, I think, is really going to be important.

FLORES: With at least 38 states experiencing a rise in new cases over the past week, many hospitals are already overstretched.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We just had some requests for refrigerated trucks to come into our state to house dead bodies, because our morgues are beginning to run out of space. We could end up in a position where we're going to have to start making decisions like who gets a ventilator and who doesn't.

FLORES: Florida experienced a grim new milestone in coronavirus- related deaths and added over 9,200 new infections over the past day. Nearly a quarter of the Sunshine State's cases are in Miami-Dade County, now considered by one expert to be the epicenter of the pandemic.

MAYOR FRANCIS X. SUAREZ (R), MIAMI: The situation is dire, as you mentioned. Our hospitalizations are at an all-time high. Our ICU beds are double what they were in April. But if things don't improve dramatically over the next week, we could be forced to take very dramatic measures like reinstituting a stay-at-home order.

FLORES: In a meeting with Miami area leaders, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis noting an uptick in positive tests in young people.


DESANTIS: Right now in Florida, the No. 1 demographic by far that has tested positive is 25 to 34. Now, obviously, that demographic is just less risk. But at the same time, you know, it spreads quickly there, and then it can spread to other people.

FLORES: But Dr. Anthony Fauci says the increase in infections within that age group could be attributed to Florida's quick reopening. The CDC director disagrees, instead pointing to travel to southern states during the Memorial Day week.

REDFIELD: I don't think the reopening is what's driving the current southern expansion right now. So independent of whether you reopened, didn't reopen, you know, when you reopened. So we're of the view that there was something else that was the driver.

FLORES: Either way, Fauci says if trends continue, the lives lost could be tremendous.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: If you look at the magnitude of the 1918 pandemic, where anywhere from 50 to 75 to 100 million people globally died, I mean, that was, you know, 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 being, you know, approaching that in seriousness.

(END VIDEOTAPE) FLORES: Here's the reality on the ground here in Miami-Dade County this morning. Jackson Health reporting that, in the past month, they've seen a 226 percent increase in the number of COVID-19 patients.

When it comes to the positivity rate, according to Miami-Dade County, that was 31 percent yesterday. In the past 13 days, the number of ICU units has increased by 92 percent.

Alisyn, you and I were talking about this -- about this very topic yesterday. I just checked again. The number of hospitals across the state that are at capacity, ICU hospitals, there's 54 of them. Ten of them now this morning are right here in Miami-Dade County -- Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: It's not getting better, Rosa. Every day that we talk to you, it's getting worse. And we're going to talk to the head of one of those hospital systems about how they are coping with all of this this morning. Rosa, thank you very much.

So as the pandemic worsens, President Trump did not want to talk about that or the medical crisis that is facing this country. He instead focused on the divisive rhetoric that he has relied on. He's downplaying police violence against black people, and he's comparing the Confederate flag to Black Lives Matter.

It's a lot to wrap your head around, but CNN's Joe Johns is going to try. He is live at the White House with more.

Good morning, Joe.


The president continuing to stoke racial divisions, defending the Confederate battle flag on free speech grounds, even though the president has often gone against people who are protesting, using their First Amendment rights, against racial injustice.

The president also dismissing concerns about excessive use of force by police against African-Americans. Listen to this interview yesterday.


CATHERINE HERRIDGE, CBS NEWS: Would you be comfortable with your supporters displaying the Confederate battle flag at political events?

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You know, it depends on what your definition is, but I am comfortable with freedom of speech. It's very simple.

HERRIDGE: Well, you understand why the flag is a painful symbol for many people, because it's a reminder of slavery?

TRUMP: Well, people love it. And I don't view -- I know people that like the Confederate flag, and they're not thinking about slavery. I look at NASCAR. You go to NASCAR, you had those flags all over the place. They stopped it. I just think it's freedom of speech. Whether it's Confederate flags,

or Black Lives Matter, or anything else you want to talk about, it's freedom of speech.

HERRIDGE: Let's talk about George Floyd. You said George Floyd's death was a terrible thing.

TRUMP: Terrible.

HERRIDGE: Why are African-Americans still dying at the hands of law enforcement in this country.

TRUMP: And 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.


JOHNS: OK, so that's misleading. It is true that more white people than black people are killed by police, but it's the frequency that's the issue when you account for population. Two point five percent of blacks are killed more often than whites in the United States.

This is all rhetoric the president has used before, quite frankly. And it goes all the way back to the 2016 election. The kind of language that the president thinks appeals to his base.

Alisyn, back to you.

CAMEROTA: Joe Johns, thank you very much.

Well, the White House war of words against Dr. Fauci is apparently back on. That's next.


BERMAN: The United States set a new record overnight, reporting more than 67,000 new coronavirus cases, 900 new deaths.

At least 11 states -- you can see them right there -- reporting record hospitalizations. Florida not on that list because they just began reporting hospitalizations, although they most certainly are seeing records.

Fifty-four hospitals in Florida have reached ICU capacity. They have no more beds.

So despite this, despite the clear public health crisis, what did the White House do overnight? They seemed to sanction a letter from a senior White House adviser to the "USA Today" newspaper, attacking Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease doctor.

Joining us now, Dr. Peter Hotez. He's the dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

Dr. Hotez, listen, thank you for being with us this morning. We woke up to this op-ed from Peter Navarro. Clearly, he has personal issues with Dr. Fauci.

But the bigger picture here, on the day where we set a record for the number of new cases, the overnight response from the White House, because they clearly sanctioned this letter from Peter Navarro, is to attack the nation's leading infectious disease doctor.

What does this tell you? What's the impact?

DR. PETER HOTEZ, DEAN, NATIONAL SCHOOL OF TROPICAL MEDICINE, BAYLOR COLLEGE OF MEDICINE: Well, thanks, John. It's even more than that, right? I mean, you've got a new record being set every other day in terms of new numbers of cases. This massive resurgence across the south.

Right now, the southern U.S. accounts for about a quarter of the world's cases of COVID-19. Think about that. Just the southern half of the U.S. now accounts for a quarter of the world's cases.

And no end in sight. Numbers rising dramatically. The Institute for Health Metrics now says 224,000 deaths by the end of October, so we're talking roughly about 300,000 deaths, maybe, by the end of the year. That's about almost half the number of people killed in the 1918 flu pandemic that lasted from 1918 to 1920, 1921.

So we are in a dire public health crisis. And what do we get from the Rose Garden? You know, King Lear is out ranting about China and the World Health Organization, and Peter Navarro writes this outrageous bad piece (UNINTELLIGIBLE) attacking Anthony Fauci.

It sends a clear message that -- that the White House is not going to engage. They are not going to exercise leadership, and instead, they are just going to deny and deflect; and now they're going to attack scientists. This is very troubling.

And last night, I said, you know, this -- the White House has managed to turn a public health crisis now into a full-blown homeland security issue, because nobody feels safe anymore. And -- and I'm very worried for the nation.

CAMEROTA: In terms of the substance of what Peter Navarro was also arguing in this op-ed, it's also intellectually dishonest. One of the things that he claims he fought Dr. Fauci on was that Dr. Fauci didn't believe in wearing masks at the beginning.

Dr. Fauci knew that there was a shortage of masks at the beginning. And so he didn't want to take the needed resources away from hospital workers, because there was such a shortage of masks, because we weren't prepared.

That's one of the things that Peter Navarro in this hit piece is now trying to claim, that somehow Dr. Fauci wasn't a believer in masks. I mean, they're really going after Fauci, and I mean, as John has pointed out, how is this helping the crisis? The deadly crisis that we're all confronting?

HOTEZ: Yes, there's no substance to the op-ed. I'm not even going to address the points.

The bottom line is there -- there is no interest in really taking on COVID-19. We have an absent government. The lights are on in the White House, but no one's home. And they just can't get their arms around this epidemic.

And then the question really comes, if -- if -- if we basically decapitated the leadership of the government in order to run COVID-19 response, who can step up? Can the CDC do it? So far, they've not seemed to express that willingness, although we really don't know what's going on between the White House and the CDC.

You know, we may have to ask Congress to say, there are things that they can do to demand some type of leadership coming out of the federal government. Because otherwise, we're going to continue to spiral.

You know, 67,000 cases last night. We'll easily be over 70,000 going to 100,000, and the deaths are increasing.

I mean, there are some things happening in the U.S. government. There are some -- you know, there's FEMA support. Secretary Azar is sending PPE and the hospital workers, things like that. But it's this very fragmented state-led response that clearly is not working.

We have the worst COVID epidemic in the world right now, the southern half of the United States, and this is just the beginning. As -- as Bob Redfield said, we're going to just wait until the fall comes when we have influenza around. And I think he's right.

So I think the big question for this morning is, given the fact that we don't have leadership coming out of Washington, D.C., who steps up, and how do -- how do we make that happen?

BERMAN: Yes. And we are going to talk about a major development in vaccines in about ten minutes on the broadcast, but I want to focus in on something you said before.

You said, who knows what the White House relationship is with the CDC? Well, we sort of do know. It's not good. It's quite bad, in fact. And there is a change, a major potential change reported overnight in "The New York Times," reporting that the White House has demanded, or the administration has demanded that hospitalization data, including things like ventilator use, ICU beds, that that data no longer go to the CDC. It's going to go to HHS. It's going to go closer to the White House itself. What does that mean?

Well, "The New York Times" reports the Health and Human Services database that will receive new information is not open to the public, which could affect the work of scores of researchers, modelers and health officials who rely on CDC data to make predictions and crucial decisions.


Again, Dr. Hotez, what does this tell you? HOTEZ: I mean -- well, you know, what -- Officially, what they're

saying is this will streamline reporting out, and -- and this will improve efficiencies.

But given everything we've seen, you know, in the last 24 hours, with what -- the terrible scene in the Rose Garden and then Peter Navarro just spending time and effort attacking Dr. Fauci, you start to wonder, you know, are there other reasons behind this?

So at the very -- at the very least, the optics are horrible. So I'm not happy about that.

And -- and again, this lack of federal leadership and response, it's all kind of coming together that there's going to be -- from now over the next few weeks and months, there's going to be continued denial that there's even a public health crisis, and deflections with China and the World Health Organization. And now a specific targeting of scientists.

This -- the American people are already troubled by the absence of response. This is only -- this is only going to get worse.

BERMAN: A hundred and thirty-six thousand Americans have died. Nine hundred newly-reported deaths in the last 24 hours. That's the reality.

Dr. Peter Hotez, we appreciate you being with us this morning. Thanks so much.

HOTEZ: Thanks so much.

BERMAN: So President Trump's niece has one word of advice for her uncle. Resign. We're getting new details from Mary Trump's first interview about her new tell-all book. That's next.



CAMEROTA: Developing overnight, President Trump's niece, Mary Trump, breaking her silence about her new tell-all book. She insists her uncle is, quote, "utterly incapable" of leading the country.

CNN's Sara Murray is live in Washington with more. What else did she say, Sara?

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we are finally hearing directly from Mary Trump. She did her first television interview. Part of it aired last night. And in it, she does not hold back, just going straight ahead and saying her uncle is not fit for office.


MARY TRUMP, DONALD TRUMP'S NIECE: And I just remember thinking, he seems tired. He seems like this is not what he signed up for, if he even knows what he signed up for. And I thought his response is actually more enlightening than -- than my statement. And he said, They won't get me. And so far, looks like he's right.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS: And if you're in the Oval Office today, what would you say to him?

M. TRUMP: Resign.


MURRAY: Now, the Trump administration did not want this book to get out, but it was actually Donald Trump's brother, Robert Trump, who took Mary to court, tried to block the book from being released at all, tried to block Mary Trump from being able to talk about her own book. Ultimately, he lost those cases.

And you can see why the Trump family did not want this book out. It is a devastating portrait, not just of President Trump, but also of a number of other members of the -- of the Trump family, including the patriarch of the family, Fred Trump.

But when it comes to the president, Mary Trump essentially describes Donald Trump as a sociopath. She compares him -- because she's a clinical psychologist, she compares him to how he was at a child and essentially says Donald Trump never learned how to moderate his emotions. He never evolved, and he never learned to synthesize information.

So all in all, a damning portrait of the president from someone in his own family.

Back to you, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: OK, Sara, thank you very much for all of that.

Joining us now is CNN political commentator Errol Louis. He is a political anchor at Spectrum News in New York.

That's interesting, Errol. It's always interesting to have these tell- all books, particularly from a family member. Do you think that this moves the needle somehow?

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think it provides an important piece of information for people who may have been wavering or on the fence.

I hope Mary Trump, by the way, is prepared for what's about to happen to her. The Trump style is to go all-out. And I believe they will probably attack everything bad that they can find that she's ever done. And if she hasn't done enough bad things, they'll make up some stuff. You know, she's really put herself right in the middle of the crosshairs.

But no, I think for -- for people who know how to process information and, you know, they're hearing from somebody who has a certain amount of credibility and insight into what might be going on inside the White House, it becomes one more piece of valuable information that voters can take into the voting booth. BERMAN: Yes. Remember, the White House and the president, they don't

want her talking. And now she is. And we'll hear more from her shortly.

Errol, we did hear more from the president. And he was talking about the Confederate flag in ways -- you know, he responded almost as if this was a trick question, yet it was incredibly straightforward. I want you to listen to it.


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

TRUMP: Well, you know, it depends on what your definition is, but I am comfortable with freedom of speech. It's very simple.

HERRIDGE: You understand why the flag is a painful symbol for many people, because it's a reminder of slavery.

TRUMP: Well, people love it. And I don't view -- I know people that like the Confederate flag, and they're not thinking about slavery. I look at NASCAR. You go to NASCAR, you had those flags all over the place. They stopped it.

I just think it's freedom of speech. Whether it's Confederate flags or Black Lives Matter, or anything else you want to talk about, it's freedom of speech.


BERMAN: Errol, the president did not express one ounce of discomfort or disapproval for the Confederate battle flag.

LOUIS: Not only no discomfort, but not really even understanding of the question. He had his talking points. His talking points were freedom of speech. He said it three times in about, you know, 30 seconds right there. And that's what he's going to stick with.

That enables him to say something that is kind of positive.