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U.S. Shatters Record Again For New Coronavirus Cases; Florida Sets New Record For Most Deaths In A Day; Trump On Why Blacks Are Killed By Police, So Are White People. Aired 7-7:30a ET

Aired July 15, 2020 - 07:00   ET



ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN NEW DAY: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is New Day.

Another record-breaking day with coronavirus, 67,000 new cases in the United States yesterday, at least 11 states this morning are reporting record hospitalizations. Florida had the most deaths in a single day since this pandemic began.

Across the country, 900 new deaths reported overnight. The director of the CDC warns that this fall and winter will be, quote, one of the most difficult times we've experienced in American public health.

Despite those warnings, the White House is, again, openly attacking Dr. Anthony Fauci.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN NEW DAY: Yes, think about that. 136,000 dead Americans, rising hospitalizations, and the White House response is to attack the scientists that Americans trust most on this subject.

There was some promising vaccine news overnight, a highly anticipated vaccine trial. I did produce certain immune response. This drug from Moderna will now advance to the next crucial stage of testing.

the president really not focused on any of this in this bizarre, rambling rose garden news conference. This was, in fact, a campaign event in the rose garden, focused mostly about his grievances with Joe Biden.

Another development overnight, The New York Times reporting the Trump administration is ordering hospitals to bypass this CDC and send all patient information to HHS instead. This cuts out the CDC and may make this data much harder to access for the medical community.

Joining us now, CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Sanjay, we woke up to an op-ed from Trade Adviser Peter Navarro in USA Today. And Peter Navarro goes after Dr. Anthony Fauci point by point. We're not going to go into the substance of it, because I'm not sure that's what's most important here.

What's important is you have a White House official, clearly sanctioned by the White House, attacking the nation's leading infectious disease doctor and given right now, the only questions we should be asking is, does it save American lives or cost American lives? How do you see that action this morning?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, I'm the medical correspondent for this network. This is no longer a medical story. I mean, this is a political story.

I read the op-ed. It seems unseemly and dangerous, frankly. Not to mention, taking a step further, much of it is just wrong. I know you don't want to go through it point by point, but you just make accusations that are wrong, you put it in an op-ed. I mean, it's not fact checked. They say that Fauci was against a travel ban from China, not true.

Peter Navarro still talking about hydroxychloroquine based on observational studies that were done after level one evidence has already been presented, prompting the U.K., the NIH to stop their trials, prompting the World Health Organization to stop their trials, prompting the FDA to rescind an emergency use authorization. You write all of this stuff, it's not true, and it's designed to basically undermine the trust that people have in the guy who knows this stuff better than anybody.

I think the one thing that complicates this is that nobody knew everything at the very start about this novel coronavirus. It's a novel coronavirus. So the idea that you know every single thing about it from the very beginning, nobody knew that, nobody in the world, nobody on the planet. I almost wish they didn't name it coronavirus, because this is almost something completely different in some ways. So that part is true.

But the idea of undermining someone like Fauci or undermining the faith in public health, overall, at this point, is ridiculous.

This is not new. There has been this long battle against science, I think, that's been going on for some time. But the urgency of the matter right now, people look at the numbers on the right side of the screen and see what's happening, politically, purely politically, it's not a medical story, I think, is really dangerous.

CAMEROTA: Hey, Sanjay, we need to get your take on something else that is a development this morning that seems alarming, and that is that the Trump administration no longer wants hospitals to give their data of how many patients they have, of how many hospital beds, of the ventilators, how many patients are on them to the CDC.


They want that information to go to them at the HHS, so HHS, within the Trump administration.

And that data, which is now public through the CDC, would not be public via HHS. And that means that the information the modelers use, the information that I assume you use, the information that we report, the information that allows us to see all of that on our screen, on the side of our screen, this feels like something bad, a shift that is for less transparency. How do you see it?

GUPTA: Yes, I think it's going to lead to more opaqueness. I mean, I can tell you from the beginning, what we were doing as journalists, I'm talking early days, January, February, as we would go literally on a whiteboard and we had every Department of Health listed on that whiteboard and we were changing the numbers every day by ourselves. At some point, we were told, look, all of this information is now going to go via CDC.

Frankly, that transition took a little longer than we would have liked to actually have the numbers now coming from a single organization. Many times, we'll still go to DOH, Department of Health information in various states, like Florida, like Texas, like Arizona, California, just to validate these numbers, there are independent trackers like Johns Hopkins has been doing a lot of that.

But why? That's the big question. What logic does this have, other -- to take away the data from the epidemiologists that are the best in the world looking at this data, making sense of it, translating it for people versus giving it to HHS. You know, I don't know what the justification for that is, but we do have the world's best agency actually handling this data that is now seemingly going to be out of the loop.

It may force us journalists to go straight to the Departments of Health, again, as we had had to do in the past, it's a laborious task, but it's adding another layer of opacity to the whole thing.

BERMAN: We talk about the developments overnight in terms of the spread of the virus. People can see the daily death count, 136 deaths total, 900 new deaths, 11 states showing record hospitalizations.

And, Sanjay, you were just talking about the models and the ability to model. The IMHE model, which is the model that most people have been looking at, they came out with a new forecast overnight, suggesting, I think I have this right, 220,000 deaths that we can expect by November at this point, which is a big jump in their modeling. Why?

GUPTA: Yes. I mean, this is -- for all the reasons you guys have been talking about on the program for some time, there's significant surges in several states, you know, Florida, Texas, Arizona, and California. But as we look at the model, there's a longer list of states that are being affected as well, Louisiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah.

I mean, you know, I think it was probably a few weeks ago we said, if you look at the map overall of the country, there really is no place that you could say is no longer vulnerable here. So, you know, we're paying attention to several states that have had the most significant surge. These are large states. But smaller states that I think, you know, have sort of been wondering if they dodged a lot of this, they're now starting to get affected. And the modeling is starting to reflect that. Overall, I mean, obviously, you look at the map, it does not look good.

And as you measure this week-to-week, really, because it's a rolling average, it's -- I think it doesn't even reflect how significant the situation has become, because you may have a significant surge one week and a slight drop and it looks like you're improving. But, overall, the trends have really been going up just about everywhere.

CAMEROTA: In terms of the positive news, Sanjay, let's talk about how Moderna is moving into phase three of its vaccine trials, which means that it will now be tested on 60,000 -- 30,000 adults rather than 600, so a much bigger testing pool.

We just talked to Professor Haseltine about this and he gives it a five on the scale of optimism, between one and ten. So are you anywhere higher or lower than the five of optimism?

GUPTA: Well, five is good for Haseltine. He's a very good skeptics on this. For decades, he has been for all sorts of vaccines. And I appreciate, by the way, you letting me finish with a little bit of good news, because I think this is some good news.

I mean, first of all, it's the first time we've seen some real data on the U.S.-based vaccine. I've been reporting on this for some time, and you guys ask me these questions, and we're basing it on press releases and pre-prints. So to actually have some data is positive.

It's early data though. 45 adults, all healthy, between the ages of 15 and 55, they got two shots, separated by about a month. And the thing they're looking for is to see if they have these antibodies, specifically, neutralizing antibodies.

There's two types of antibodies. There are binding antibodies, which just bind anywhere on the virus. That may or may not help. Neutralizing antibodies are the ones that bind to the virus in a such a way that prevents it from entering human cells.


And there were those neutralizing antibodies.

Big questions remain, still, is it going to work? You know, if it works in a lab, is it actually going to work when you give it to, as you mentioned, tens of thousands of people? You give it to tens of thousands of people here, tens of thousands of people over here don't get it, do these people have a lower chance of getting the infection? It's really as simple as that, but it takes a while to sort of make sure that you can show that, you can demonstrate that. And those are the trials that will start at the end of this month.

CAMEROTA: You sound like you're a five, at best.

GUPTA: It's early days. It's a tough thing to game out. But, no, I'm optimistic. I would give it higher than a five. I would go to seven, maybe even eight. Because if these neutralizing antibodies -- there's no reason to suspect that they won't provide that benefit.

I have a little bit of concern about the side effects of this vaccine. You know, if you look at -- they gave escalating doses, 25 micrograms, 100 micrograms and 250. Everybody in this 100 microgram and the 250 microgram dose got some sort of side effect. I mean, you can take a look at the list there. They were transient, you know, they didn't last very long, but pretty significant side effects.

And it wasn't significant enough to stop the trial, but these were healthy people. So as you give it to older people, people with pre- existing conditions, younger people, we've got to make sure that the side effect profile does not become, you know, a rate-limiting step here.

But, you know, seven still in terms of the scale, in terms of optimism.

BERMAN: I don't know why Alisyn is going after you on this at all. The minute the word, vaccine, came out, you smiled. It was -- there it is again. So, first time we've seen your teeth in like a month. So I think this is an important development. You can see the potential here, Sanjay. Thanks so much for being with us this morning.

GUPTA: You got it. Thank you.

BERMAN: We're talking about record deaths reported in a single day in Florida. And our next guest says the reason the pandemic is taking such a toll in that state is because the governor is acting like a spoiled child. This mayor joins us next.



BERMAN: Florida setting a new record overnight with its highest single-day death toll since the pandemic began. And this morning, 54 hospitals in the state are reporting they are at ICU capacity, no beds left.

Several South Florida mayors met with the governor yesterday, but one of them was blocked from attending.

Joining me now is that mayor, Carlos Hernandez of Hialeah, Florida, in Miami-Dade County. Mr. Mayor, thank you so much for being with us this morning.

You said, after being blocked from this meeting with Governor DeSantis, quote, the reason why this pandemic is taking and destroying the lives of our residents is because our governor acts like a spoiled child. What do you mean?

MAYOR CARLOS HERNANDEZ, HIALEAH, FLORIDA: Yes. I mean, this is not time to play politics. This is a time to lead. And we've had so many mixed messages from the governor where there's been confusion at the state level, at the county level, the cities where it's been necessary for many of our large cities.

And, by the way, and I'm the sixth largest city in the State of Florida, the second largest city in Miami-Dade County, and one most affected by the coronavirus that these large cities have had to try to unite to try to make decisions. So there's been a lot of miscommunication.

And, yes, there was a perfect example where I don't for what political reasons, because you have to think about is that I have been critical of some of the things that have happened because of the coronavirus and the lack of some of the things that the state has not been able to do in time was to not invite me -- no, not to invite me. And when I showed up, because it was a very important meeting, to have somebody from his office come down and say, Mayor, this is only by invitation only and you're not invited.

So, again, I'm one of the largest cities in the state, one of the city's most affected by coronavirus and for the governor of a state to be playing political games or be upset with me for something that I've criticized him on correctly, it's a shame because these are serious things. Our state is in a serious position right now, critical stage right now.

BERMAN: The governor claims he didn't make the guest list and the governor's office said they offered to set up a meeting for after. Your response?

HERNANDEZ: I have not heard from anybody. And, again, this was done intentionally, because when I walked through that building, which is a Miami-Dade County government building, I was met by somebody from Miami-Dade County who said, Mr. Mayor, hold on, somebody from the governor's office is going to come down. This is a governor meeting and a few minutes later, somebody from his office came down and introduced herself and said, Mayor Hernandez, this is by invitation only and you're not invited.

And at that point, I said, well, that's pretty embarrassing, but the sixth largest in the state and the second largest city in the county is not invited to this kind of meeting. So it shows me the leadership that we have in Tallahassee.

BERMAN: How often have you spoken with Governor DeSantis during the pandemic?

HERNANDEZ: That's one of my criticisms. He has never spoken to me, never come to the city. So I've never had any conversations with him, and that's a fact. Also another fact that he was very, very late in setting up testing sites here in this area of Miami-Dade County.

And the other criticism was, you know, with the unemployment and the economic problems. The state had big issues in sending out checks and people were without checks for weeks and months because there was a backlog at the state. And those were criticisms that were facts. And I guess he doesn't like criticism and behaved like a spoiled child. And I have no words to say because it's embarrassing.

BERMAN: What would you have told him?


Had you been invited to the meeting, if you had a chance to talk to Governor DeSantis and tell him about the situation in Hialeah, what would you say?

HERNANDEZ: Well, again, I would have listened. First of all, I like to listen. And second of all, I think the most important thing was, hey, listen, we've all got to work together. We have this serious issue here. And the message should be one united message. We should all lead more often and, again, work together.

This is no time for politics or if you don't like it personally or not. I mean, we have to look after our citizens in these very difficult times. That would have been my message. I would have wanted to be part of that meeting and, again, be part of the solution. And, again, it was so embarrassing, not only to me, but to the 250,000 citizens of this great city, not to really be going in there.

BERMAN: 10,000 infections, we understand, so far in Hialeah. What's the current situation in your city? We understand in Miami-Dade County as a whole, there are ten ICU hospitals that have reached capacity, no beds left, the positivity rate is at 30 percent, which is astronomical. But what's the situation in Hialeah?

HERNANDEZ: Very close. I mean, very similar. We have about three hospitals here, almost capacity. And if this continues the next couple of weeks, we're going to find ourselves in a very, very critical situation. So that meeting was so important for me to be part of it.

And, again, I'm the second city most affected by this coronavirus. For the governor to make that decision, again, I was in shock. And not because of anything political or personal or anything like that, because I haven't talked to this man in years, this is serious business. And I thought, yes, it was a childish behavior on behalf of the governor of the State of Florida. That's a shame.

BERMAN: We've spoken to Dan Gelber, mayor of Miami Beach, Francis Suarez, mayor of Miami, the city. They both have told us that within the next couple of weeks, if the situation doesn't improve and the hospitals fill up, they will have to consider stay-at-home orders. What would need to happen and how soon would it need to happen in Hialeah for you to consider imposing new stay-at-home orders?

HERNANDEZ: That's a great question. Listen, that's why we have to work together. And I've been working together with the mayor of Miami Beach, the mayor of Miami, Miami Gardens, which are large cities and a big county. Because one city cannot do something and the other one doesn't. One county cannot do something and then the other does it, because this virus doesn't know where Miami ends and Hialeah starts, when Hialeah starts and Miami Beach ends.

I mean, we're all interrelated. The state is interrelated. We're very interrelated with Miami-Dade County and Broward County. I mean, we went ahead and closed our restaurants this past week. And you know what happened this weekend? Most people from Miami-Dade went to Broward County, which is the next county up for dinner.

So that's the message that I wanted to send and that's the message that I want the governor, that this is all interrelated, what one city does affect another, what one county does affect another. So we don't have to work united from Tallahassee all the way down. And I think that's the only way we're going to solve this problem.

And that's something we as mayors are actually (INAUDIBLE) work together, because, again, some parts, we have not being in agreement with the county government.

BERMAN: Mayor Carlos Hernandez, just so you know and just so our audience knows, we have invited Governor Ron DeSantis. We invite governor Ron DeSantis to come on CNN almost every day. And he has regularly declined. So we appreciate you being with us this morning. We wish you the best of luck. Please keep us posted.

HERNANDEZ: Thank you very much for this opportunity.

BERMAN: Alisyn?

CAMEROTA: John, we want to take time right now to remember some of the more than 136,000 Americans lost to coronavirus. Ana Carter was just 13 years old. She's the youngest person to die from coronavirus in Oklahoma. She suffered from an autoimmune disorder.

Ana's mom call her a pure soul, funny and outgoing in everything she did. Her mom says Ana danced instead of walked most times.

Chuck Williams was a senior officer in the Corpus Christi, Texas Police Department. He served the community for 35 years. His colleagues say chuck was a great coworker and friend and there are few words to express the pain of their loss.

45-year-old Samantha Hickey was a mother of four and a longtime nurse practitioner at St. Luke's Children's Hospital in Boise, Idaho. She was compassionate and dedicated to the children in her care. The hospital says her death is heartbreaking for the staff.

We'll be right back.




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

DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: 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.


CAMEROTA: President Trump really didn't like that question. He is dismissing the outrage over the police killings of black people after, of course, weeks of these protests we've seen across the country against racist systems.

Joining us now is CNN Political Analyst David Gregory and CNN Political Commentator Bakari Sellers.

Bakari, what was that? How do you -- well, let me just first talk about your book, please. He's the Author of the book, My Vanishing Country. It's a great book.

What was that? What was that response? He was very angry about even getting the question.

BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, no, the response was a lie, that's what it was. What we do know and what statistics show us is that African-Americans are three-and-a-half more times more likely to die from use of force than white people in this country. They're more likely to incur use of force than white people in this country. And we have a serious problem.

I can honestly tell you if George Floyd was white, he would probably still be alive today. I have not seen an image of a knee on the back of the neck of a white person in this country for eight minutes and 46 seconds.

And so I'm not going to say that police brutality does not happen to white people. I would never dare say that. I would just say there has become a high incidence and occurrence of this towards people of color that results in death and fatality.


Now, the problem with the president's statement is that he always falls down on the wrong side of history. It seems like you and I are having this conversation often, Alisyn.