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Trump Defends Confederate Flag; Justice Ginsburg Hospitalized; Coronavirus Pandemic Update from across the Country; Vaccine Shows Early Promise; Heat Wave Hits Two States. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired July 15, 2020 - 06:30   ET



ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: 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. Americans tend to think that freedom of speech is a good thing. And, at the same time, signal to his supremacist supporters that he's kind of, you know, he's kind of with them. This is vintage Trump. He's kind of never really disavowed the kind of ugly sentiments that lay behind certain displays of the confederate battle flag. You know, not even the history of it. You know, it's not so much about what happened in the Civil War. Those flags became a symbol of resistance to the desegregation efforts. It became a symbol of resistance in the civil rights movement. Everyone knows that. Donald Trump knows that everyone knows that. But you're not going to get any clear talk from him because he has decided politically to align himself with those who were always opposed to all of the civil rights movement from the 1960s forward.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Errol, there was something else that came out -- there were many things that came out of this interview that he did with Catherine Herridge yesterday, and one of them is, he really bristled when she asked him about the deadly force that we have seen police use against black men.

So watch this exchange.


CATHERINE HERRIDGE, CBS NEWS: Why are African-Americans still dying at the hands of law enforcement in this country?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And so are white people. So are white people. What a terrible question to ask. So are white people.

HERRIDGE: Well, that's a --

TRUMP: More white people, by the way. More white people.


CAMEROTA: He is really bad at math, Errol. He -- I mean this is just -- this is the same confusion that he has over testing where it -- he doesn't talk about the proportion, which we all know. Black men die 2.8 times more than white men at the hands of police. But, again, President Trump just likes to talk about the overall number and thinks that that somehow, you know, dispenses with the argument.

LOUIS: Yes, I -- I don't know if it's accurate to say that he's not good at math. I think it's more like he's kind of hiding behind the math. There again he says "white people" about, you know, five times in about ten seconds. It is clear what he is doing. This is not about -- look, let's take him at his own word. What if it is mostly white people? What if it is more white people? What if he actually cared about that? If he actually cared, he would have said something about what the president of the United States can do to deal with the fact that there are a lot of encounters between police and unarmed civilians that have resulted in death. But there's a serious, serious problem that has led to one of the largest outpourings of mass demonstrations in the history of the country. He could have said something like that. Instead he said "white people" over and over and over again. This is all politics all the time. This is the talking points, the buzz words. This is a president who's behind in the polls and wants to get re-elected and he's -- he's never very subtle about it. He's letting everybody know, you, me, the whole wide world, what it is he's trying to do to stay in power.

CAMEROTA: Errol Louis, thank you very much. It's always really interesting to get your take on these things.

LOUIS: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is in the hospital this morning. What we know about her condition. That's next.



JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, breaking overnight, the former attorney general, Jeff Sessions, lost his bid for his old Senate seat. Sessions was defeated by former Auburn University football coach, Tommy Tuberville, after facing fierce opposition from President Trump. President Trump turned on Jeff Sessions after Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation. Remember, though, Sessions was one of President Trump's earliest supporters in his bid for the presidency. Tuberville, for his part, will now face incumbent Senator Doug Jones in November.

CAMEROTA: And in Texas, former White House Doctor Ronny Jackson won his Republican House runoff. Jackson staked his candidacy on his relationship with President Trump and is all but certain to win in November in a very conservative district. Jackson withdrew from consideration as VA secretary, you'll remember, in 2018, over allegations that he was abusive towards colleagues and loosely handled prescription pain medication. Jackson denied those allegations.

BERMAN: And in Maine, Democrats have chosen the state's house speaker, Sara Gideon, to take on Republican Senator Susan Collins in November. Democrats have made Collins a top target in their efforts to try to take back the Senate majority in 2020. Collins is considered one of the more vulnerable Senate Republicans.

CAMEROTA: And developing this morning, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is in the hospital receiving treatment for a possible infection. The 87-year-old is expected to be hospitalized for days.

CNN's Joan Biskupic is live in Washington with details.

What do we know about her condition or what her symptoms were?


It sounds like the incident itself wasn't that serious, but it's part of a pattern that can been very concerning for what Ruth Bader Ginsburg represents to America and to the court.

She was taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital yesterday up in Baltimore to be treated for this possible infection arising from a stent that she had put in -- had -- had put in last year as part of a pancreatic cancer occurrence. The stent apparently needed cleaning out. It was a bile duct stent. And now she's being treated with antibiotics.

It doesn't sound like it's all that serious. She's apparently resting comfortably and in the hospital only to continue with the antibiotic treatment.

But, as you know, this follows on -- after an incident in May, a gallbladder condition. And, you know, she's -- she's a four-time cancer survivor. She has these periodic episodes of going into the hospital. But she's -- she's incredibly vigilant about her health. She constantly gets checked. And we've seen how resilient she is. In fact, during the May incident for the gallbladder condition, she still participated in oral arguments, telephonic oral arguments. So she's -- she is still going strong, it appears, but we never know for sure.


Let me mention one other thing about why it's so important. Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the leader of the liberal wing on this closely divided court. A court divided 5-4 with the conservatives in control right now. But if she were -- she's been able to lure certain conservatives over to her side of the bench in the recently completed term, you know, on gay rights, immigrant rights, and abortion rights. So if she were to feel the need to step down, it could be -- it would give Donald Trump a third appointee and a possibility of really tipping this court in a lopsided direction.


CAMEROTA: Yes. I mean she is just incredible on various levels. Four- time cancer survivor is remarkable.

Joan, thank you very much.

BISKUPIC: Thank you. CAMEROTA: Please keep us posted when you get any update on her condition.

BISKUPIC: We'll do. Thank you.

CAMEROTA: Coming up, we have news about a potential coronavirus vaccine. What you need to know this morning, next.



BERMAN: This morning, the Trump administration is backtracking on a plan that would have required international students to attend in- person classes in order to stay in the United States.

Meanwhile, Walmart is now considering a national mask mandate.

Our reporters are all across the country covering the major developments.



The Trump administration has now rescinded a policy that would have required international students who 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 foreign 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.

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 that 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's 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, if enacted, would apply to a thousand additional stores in the U.S. Of course, the U.S. still 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 a highly politicized issue.


BERMAN: All right, this morning, promising news about a potential coronavirus vaccine. Biotech company Moderna has published its phase one results, which show that the vaccine did induce an immune response against coronavirus with only mild side effects. The final phase of Moderna's study begins later this month. This is the first vaccine candidate to publish results in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

Joining us now is William Haseltine. He's a former professor at Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health.

Professor, we are thrilled to have you on this morning to talk to you about this because this is really right in your wheelhouse. And I think you've been appropriately skeptical, as always, about development over time.

When you see the results, the peer-reviewed data now, which is wonderful to get, what's your reaction?

WILLIAM HASELTINE, FORMER PROFESSOR, HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL: Well, the first thing is, it's good to see that a new technology is having the effect that you hoped it would have, which is inducing antibodies to the antigen which is being introduced, in this case the Covid virus.

Secondly, there were some neutralizing antibodies that were elicited. That was good too. Whether those are protective or not, we'll have to see.

I have to challenge or comment a little bit about the side effects. There were some very severe side effects at the high dose. Enough to send one young man to the hospital. And there were three out of 15 in the high dose that received severe adverse events. That caused them to reduce the dose of the vaccine in the second bigger trial. So it isn't -- they're not out of the woods on the safety issue. And the most important thing --

BERMAN: Yes, that's a good point.

HASELTINE: Yes, go ahead.

BERMAN: I'm sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt. That's a great point and I'm glad you brought that up.

The side effects were mild enough to continue with the trials. They weren't so severe that they had to halt the trials. That's an important distinction.

HASELTINE: That's right.

BERMAN: But I've listened to you also explain why making sure that there are no side effects is so important, because you're talking about administering this on an enormous scale. Maybe over a billion people will get this.

HASELTINE: That's right. And vaccines are different from drugs, where you can tolerate some effect if you're already sick. These are healthy people. And in America we're talking about vaccinating 300 million people. In the world, perhaps 3 billion to 5 billion people. And a small side effect shows up as an enormous number of people injured. That's why we have to be so careful. Most people are most concerned about the safety of a vaccine and are willing to put up with some weakness on the efficacy side.

I think in this case, for this virus, we have to be very careful to look at safety and then efficacy because this is a tricky virus. You get the virus, your body begins to clear it, and then it forgets it ever had it and the virus can sneak back in, apparently year after year, with these kinds of viruses. So it's a trickier thing than the other viruses we've been successful with, like Polio and Measles and Mumps, et cetera.


But that doesn't mean it's not going to work.

I think this is a good and hopeful sign and it's great to see it in the literature.

CAMEROTA: But, Professor Haseltine, I mean everywhere I go people say, what's the latest with the vaccine? What's happening with the vaccine? What do we need to know?


CAMEROTA: And so, this morning, I mean scale of one to 10, how optimistic should we be about this one as it heads into phase three?



HASELTINE: About a 50/50 chance.

CAMEROTA: Yes, that's --


But, you know, the good thing is, there's many other vaccines also. This is one of a whole bunch and we have our entire medical community, we have the National Institutes of Health, we have everybody pushing the pharmaceutical industry as hard as they can, not only in this country but around the world. And I look all around the world to look at the vaccines. The Chinese are doing a good job. The Indians are doing an interesting job. French. All sorts of people. In Singapore, they're doing a good job. We're -- if -- if you can make a vaccine against this disease, we're going to have one.

BERMAN: When we say there is evidence or when they say there is evidence it has produced neutralizing antibodies, what exactly does that mean? And how much do we know about whether this vaccine can prevent people from getting the virus?

HASELTINE: The answer to the last question is, we don't know that yet because you have to wait until you actually see people who are out there getting infected and look at the difference between those that have the vaccine and those that don't.

In terms of what neutralizing antibodies make -- means, it means that if you take a little bit of the blood from these patients, purify it away from the cells, it can stop the virus from infecting another cell. That's what it means. You put the virus in with cells, you puts some of the serum in, and it stops it, at some delusion.

Now, what they found is the ratio between antibodies that stick to the virus and antibodies that stop the virus is about a thousand to one. That itself is a little bit worrying, but not enough to stop any trial. There's a lot of binding antibodies and a few neutralizing antibodies, about a ratio as they say of 1,000 to one. I know we're getting into the weeds a little bit, but it's important when you're trying to see if you can stop the virus with those neutralize antibodies and not cause some other effect with all the binding antibodies.

So it's an interesting, positive development. I'm very encouraged by the fact that this is a brand-new technology for vaccines. It seems to do what other, older technologies do. And that's good news.

CAMEROTA: Professor, you have an op-ed on CNN that says, we're wasting time talking about herd immunity. Why is that?

HASELTINE: Well, there are two reasons. First of all, herd immunity in the United States, if we were ever to achieve -- go for it, would cost about 5 million lives. Five million dead people. Not 5 million infected, 5 million dead. That's because you'd have to infect 60 percent of the population. And we know what the death rate is from this virus. Nobody wants to do that.

Secondly, a coronavirus, as I referred to very -- just a little bit ago, are more complicated. They don't go in and your body remembers that they've seen it forever. These viruses have the habit of going in and your body forgetting it. We weren't quite sure that was true of this coronavirus until three different studies, China, England, and Spain, showed that over time antibodies begin to fade in people herd infected.

And if that weren't enough, this virus has a way, when it goes in, of turning off exactly the response you need. A vaccine isn't a shield. A vaccine is an early warning system that allows your body to react in days, not weeks, to what you've infected and the virus can turn that down.

So this is a sneaky virus that can get back in after you've cleared it. So there is no such thing as herd immunity.

BERMAN: Professor William Haseltine, always a pleasure to have you on. Thanks so much for helping us understand this.

HASELTINE: And thanks for letting me talk about details, the usual. Thanks a lot.


BERMAN: Look, it's important.

Thank you.


BERMAN: So 11 states reporting record hospitalizations. And, until now, that information was sent directly to the CDC. But now the Trump administration wants to see it all first. Why?



CAMEROTA: Heat advisories are in effect for 11 million Americans this morning. A dangerous heat wave is breaking records.

CNN meteorologist Chad Myers has our forecast.

Where's this happening, Chad?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, through the southwest, all the way across the deep south, and even by Saturday it gets back into New York, even though Chicago, New York, Cleveland, all pretty decent days for the next couple. Yes, a lot of people over 90 degrees today for sure.

This weather is brought to you by the Shark VacMop, a complete all-in- one disposable pad.

So a couple other things going on too in the heat. Big, severe weather possible across parts of the Midwest. Kansas City, you're seeing an awful lot of lightning, especially to your north. It does get toward Chicago later on this afternoon and evening with the potential for some wind damage and even some hail. Rolls south of Des Moines, just north of St. Louis, and then on up towards Chicagoland. That will be a little bit of a break in the heat when the rain does get there, but it will be a very, very severe day today across parts of the Midwest.

We'll also see the heat here for Nashville, Atlanta, all the way to Montgomery. Heat indexes right around 100 degrees. So, a couple hot days in a row for just about everyone, even for you, Alisyn, in New York by Saturday.

CAMEROTA: OK. I mean I like heat, but that is a lot of red on your map there.

So, thank you very much, Chad.

All right, NEW DAY continues right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NIAID: The 1918 pandemic, where anywhere from 50 to 75 to 100 million people died, it does have the makings of the possibility of approaching that in seriousness.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Florida is reporting the highest number of deaths to date, 132 deaths in a single day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Between March and April and May, we probably actually had 20.