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Arizona Hospitals Reaching Capacity Due to COVID-19 Pandemic; Daily Reports from Hospitals on Patient Loads and Ventilator Capacity to be Sent to Trump Administration before CDC; 54 Florida Hospitals at ICU Capacity as Pandemic Worsens; Trump's Niece Stands By Claim President Paid Someone to Take SAT Exam. Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired July 15, 2020 - 08:00   ET



JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: This is NEW DAY. And this morning once again we ask, what is the plan? More than 67,000 new cases of coronavirus reported overnight. That is a record. So what's the plan to fight it? At least 11 states are reporting record hospitalizations. Florida reporting its most deaths in a single day since the pandemic began. So what's the plan? The director of the CDC is warning this fall and winter will be one of the most difficult times we have experienced in American public health. What's the plan, because now would be a good time to articulate one.

What we got from the White House overnight was an op-ed from trade adviser Peter Navarro going after the nation's leading infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci. How is that a plan? How does that address the 136,000 lives lost?

Now, this morning, there are encouraging results from a highly anticipated vaccine trial. This trial did produce some immune response in a limited number of patients tested. This drug will now advance to the next crucial stage of testing.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump did not share that positive news or the importance of wearing a mask during a rambling campaign speech in the Rose Garden. Instead, he bragged about how great things are, and he aired his grievances about Joe Biden.

There's another troubling development this morning. The daily reports from hospitals on patient loads and ventilator capacity will no longer be sent to the CDC. The Trump administration now wants that info sent to them first. And that means it will no longer be open to the public.

BERMAN: -- chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta and Will Humble, he's the director of the Arizona Public Health Association and the former director of Arizona's Department of Health Services. Will, let me start with you, because I haven't had a chance to speak with you for a while. Arizona has been pushed almost to the limit in terms of its capacity over the last several weeks, and we have seen that rise in cases. Give us a sense of the situation there now this morning.

WILL HUMBLE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ARIZONA PUBLIC HEALTH ASSOCIATION: No, our ICU, our intensive care beds are really at their capacity as is our regular hospital beds. And it's interesting that we're getting the peak of this epidemic, the big run-up in cases happened in June and July. Those are the two months of the year where we typically have the lowest number of admissions across the system. A lot of people leave town, et cetera. So as we transition into August, a lot of people return to town, and that removes some of the safety margin or that buffer that we had within June or July. So the system is really at the breaking point. In fact, the state health director and the governor authorized what's called crisis standards of care in Arizona, essentially a triage system that you might use when, or you would use when the resources are outstripped by the demand for health care.

CAMEROTA: Sanjay, the system is at the breaking point. It's not just Mr. Humble that's talking about that. We hear that around the country. It was another record-breaking day yesterday across the country and in so many states. What's this next week going to look like?

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, one thing that we're seeing in Arizona as well as several other states is this very predictable lag time, right? I think you have the increase in the number of diagnosed cases, diagnosed infections, and then a couple of weeks after that is when you start to see the increase in hospitalizations. I think sometimes, unfortunately, a lot of times people will say the cases have gone up, but we haven't seen the corresponding increase in hospitalizations. We're OK. But you've got to wait. You have got to have some patience to see what actually happens over the next several weeks.

So Alisyn, it's the same story in some cases that we have been talking about since March. We follow these things day to day or even week to week. But you have got to widen the aperture a bit in how you look at this and anticipate in a place like Arizona that they are going to have been an increase in hospitalizations as a result of the increase in cases. They obviously already are, as Mr. Humble just pointed out.

I should point out as well, we talk about testing quite a bit. One of the things that we're seeing in Arizona, Mr. Humble can correct me if I'm wrong, but it's taking a really long time to get test results back, 10 to 11 day we saw at some of the state's biggest testing facilities if they can even process them at all. That's a huge problem. The scenario is, and I hear this all the time, someone goes and gets tested because they're worried they have symptoms. Well, if it takes that long for the test results to come back, what is the person doing in the interim? Unless they're being really diligent about isolating themselves, the possibility is that they continue to spread the virus. And this amplifies the problem even if testing is in place. The results have to come back quickly.


HUMBLE: Well, yes, and it's worse than that, actually, because the contact tracing, which is a real critical component of this whole response, becomes essentially worthless if the response time is that slow because the county health departments get the data back on these cases seven, eight, nine, as you mentioned, up to 12 days later.


By then you can't do a case -- well, you can do a case investigation, but it's not going to do any good because the person has already infected their roommate, coworkers, family members, et cetera. So you have got to have a fast turnaround time if the contact tracing is going to work, which is, after masks, the second most important return on investment intervention that we have.

CAMEROTA: We are a broken record, gentlemen. Sanjay, you just alluded to this. We talk about this every day, that testing is broken, that contact tracing doesn't exist, certainty on any kind of national level. Who can fix this, Sanjay? Is this, again, a swab problem? Because, as you know, Peter Navarro just wrote this op-ed going after Dr. Fauci, and Peter Navarro took credit for churning up the wheels of manufacturing in terms of the things we need. We don't have, I guess, the ingredients for tests?

GUPTA: Well, yes. I think that that's part of the issue. Part of the issue is that we just have a lot of people now who have become infected and a lot of testing needs to be done as a result. The broken record, go back to the original gating criteria. They say, look, we need a 14-day downward trend and adequate testing in place to basically satisfy the demands after that 14-day downward trajectory is met.

There are two things baked in there. If you see a 14-day downward trend, you probably have a much more manageable level of virus in your community and you can actually do the adequate testing. In Arizona, again, and I'm not picking on Arizona just because Dr. Humble is here, but look, you had the governor basically saying even local ordinances that wanted to have mask orders and various things in place, he was overturning those things. They thought they were going to get a break in the summer. They didn't abide by the criteria, the gating criteria for opening at a local or at a state level. And therefore, the amount of testing that is now necessary is enormous. So it's very difficult to meet the demands.

Arizona, 80 percent, I believe, of testing is done by one or two labs. They were supposed to have adequate testing infrastructure in place. They did not. It's as simple as that.

BERMAN: Will, let me ask you sideways question here, which is that you're reporting that Arizona is at a breaking point. We're seeing record hospitalizations in 11 states. We're seeing record case number across the country, 900 new deaths. What's the plan from the White House? Well, overnight trade adviser Peter Navarro writes a scathing op-ed in "USA Today" criticizing the nation's leading infectious disease doctor, Anthony Fauci. How does that help? How does that help you in Arizona now with your hospitals at the breaking point?

HUMBLE: Well, that's certainly not helpful. But I'm going to take a different tack on this. To be honest, the things that I have seen in Arizona that have put us in a position that we're in are really local issues. They're decisions that have been made by our governor around how to transition out of our stay-at-home order. We had a very good stay-at-home order. It worked. But when we emerged out of it, we didn't use the gating criteria. We went from zero to 60 in four seconds. Nightclubs were open on the 15th of May, there was no transition. And so as a result, we had this huge, really exponential growth in cases.

And once you're in that position, the testing, as we were just talking about, is that you can't catch up, because the community spread has outstripped your ability to run tests, and so now we're seeing far more people that want tests than can get them. And then the labs can't keep up with the tests that are coming in. And part of it is the instrumentation and the reagents. But our neighboring states have done a good job. New Mexico and Colorado have been very responsible about this. And so I think this is a case study in 50 different states, 50 different decisions that are being made by elected officials, and we are seeing the results of those policy decisions state by state.

CAMEROTA: That's really helpful insight for us to understand. And Sanjay, then there's this. We wake up to the news that the White House -- the Trump administration no longer wants hospitals to release the data about the number of patients, about their hospital beds, about how many patients are on ventilators to the CDC. They now want it to go into the Trump administration under the umbrella of HHS. That could sound like a bureaucratic change or it could signify something more significant. What is that?

GUPTA: I think they're making it more challenging for us to get the data. We have been reporting on this from the start, Alisyn. Originally, we were going to the various departments of health and getting the data directly. Then we were told the departments of health would provide all of the data to the CDC. Frankly that transition took a while longer than we would have liked. We still had to go to a lot of these states ourselves.


And now, who knows? Is the HHS, Department of Health and Human Services going to give us the data directly. Is this going to -- are they going to provide only segments of the data? Thankfully there's people like Will Humble around that hopefully I can call and say, hey, look, I need to get the data directly from Arizona because it's becoming increasingly challenging to get.

What I can tell is it will make the job tougher, I think, for journalists, for people like me. But we'll still keep doing it. We'll still try and get the best data available because we need to see what's going on to really understand what's happening in these states. The data doesn't lie. So we need to really be seeing that.

BERMAN: Less transparency is the opposite of what we need right now. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Will Humble, a pleasure to have you both here. You guys can exchange numbers during the break.


Dozens of Florida hospitals now report that they don't have a single ICU bed left as they treat a surge in coronavirus patients. The head of the state's largest hospital group joins us next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CAMEROTA: Fifty-four Florida hospitals are at ICU full capacity this morning. This is according to data from the state. Florida's largest hospital group, Jackson Health System, has seen a 226 percent increase in coronavirus patients in the past month. One-third of all of their patients at the moment are coronavirus patients.

Let's get more from Carlos Migoya, he is the president and CEO of Jackson Health System in Miami-Dade.


Mr. Migoya, thank you very much for being here.

A 226 percent increase in COVID patients in just the past month? On June 14th, you had 129 patients. On July 14th, you have 420.

Did you see that spike coming? Were you able to anticipate that?

CARLOS MIGOYA, PRESIDENT & CEO, JACKSON HEALTH SYSTEM: We -- we did not see any of that coming, but to be truthful, the growth of our county perspective over the last 14 -- for 30 days actually has grown by 70 -- 700 patients, that's 50 a day that we've been growing, which actually has been a real fast growth for us.

But it's been a challenging time. We -- everything that we have done here recently, the curfews and now shutting down the restaurants, and so forth, we believe is going to really help us. But at the end of the day, it's the behavioral issues in the community. Ever since we open the community back in May, the challenges that we had is that the people have not been masking or being socially distant, especially the younger people. And that's been the challenge in our community.

CAMEROTA: So, today, if I were to walk around in Miami-Dade County in South Beach, people are wearing masks or they're not?

MIGOYA: Well, we had a roundtable yesterday with a lot of the mayors about Miami-Dade County, and the Miami Beach mayor was specifically talking about the Ocean Drive and the challenge that we have there -- specifically not so much with Miami Beach residents that people that come to visit the beach and a lot of them are not being compliant. And that's one of the big challenges today.

CAMEROTA: I mean, how can that be happening? What's going wrong with the messaging there that all you are having to pay the price for?

MIGOYA: I think the biggest issue is that we have a lot of aggressive noncompliant people, people that just do not believe that masking is the right thing to do, they don't believe in it. And, frankly, a lot of the young people are saying, so what if I get it? If I get it, it doesn't mean anything.

The challenges we have in Miami like other places, is we are a very diverse community and we have multigenerational families, whether the young person that gets it, if they don't have anybody at home, that's fine. But their friend may have someone at home and they will infect their mother and grandmother. And that's what we've seen today.

We saw a huge influx of young people coming in. Now, those young people are still coming in, but we're getting older people in and those with acuity issues, and some are actually the morbidities that are happening with those people as well.

CAMEROTA: I mean, it's just shameful. If those young people were forced to take a tour of one of your hospitals, one of the ICUs, what would they see today?

MIGOYA: I think -- I think they'd have a rude awakening, but I will tell you that we're also seeing some of them, they see their family members being infected because of them, and then they're saying, oh, my God, it's my fault. But it's too late at that point in time. But that's what we need to be a lot more proactive in our community, and we need to make sure that everybody understands that.

And one of the issues that we have today is the lack of credibility. People don't believe that we're -- what the message we're telling and there's -- I don't understand it, but that's exactly what's happening.

CAMEROTA: This is obviously having a really bad effect on your hospital staff. How many people are out sick right now?

MIGOYA: So, today, we only -- we have 153 employees out, of which 37 are nurses. Let me put that in perspective. That's 153 of 13,000 employees, and 37 nurses of 4,000 employees. So, on a percentage basis, it's not that many of them.

One of the big challenges we have is making sure that everyone is protected. We've been at this thing and we're in our fifth month of going through this environment.

Our employees are very good at protecting themselves with PPE in the hospital, but sometimes when they go home, they relax because they forget about the environment and even our own employees are relaxing themselves and then bringing that infection back in. So, that's part of the enforcement that we're doing and we're doing better at it.

So, we saw a slight increase of employees that have symptoms that are testing positive, and we're working on that at this point because obviously, we need those people to stay healthy and be able to work in the environment, which is actually quite challenging.

CAMEROTA: I mean, very quickly, 153 employees down. Do -- can you function without them or do you need to import other nurses, et cetera, from elsewhere?

MIGOYA: So we have 37 nurses that are down. We have now have gotten the state -- Governor DeSantis has been able to provide us from the contract perspective 150 additional nurses. Obviously, not more than enough to replace the 37, but we need those additional nurses also by the increment.

So, you mentioned that we have a third of our COVID positive -- of our entire census being COVID positive. As we wean out some of those elective surgeries, that percentage will grow and we see the number growing here for the next couple of weeks. We don't believe that the actions that we have seen in the community will -- obviously, as you know, it takes a while.

So, we believe it will take a couple of weeks to wean ourselves out of it. So we're preparing for even more patients over the next couple of weeks, so we think that percentage will grow and we'll have more COVID patients.


The only way to do that is to wean ourselves out of the non-COVID patients, and be able to have a higher percentage of COVID patients in our center.

CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh, you are in a very frightening cycle right now, and we wish you all the best going forward with what's happening in Miami-Dade.

Carlos Migoya, thank you very much for the status report this morning.

MIGOYA: Thank you for the invite.

President Trump's own niece Mary Trump is speaking out this morning. What she is saying in her tell-all book, that's next.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: This morning, we're hearing from President Trump's niece, Mary Trump, for the first time tied to the release of her new tell-all book. She's standing by the allegation that her uncle paid someone named Joe Shapiro to take the SATs for him back in the 1960s, despite not having any back -- documentation to back it up.

Let's watch.


GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: You do have one potentially explosive allegation in the book, at least one.


STEPHANOPOULOS: And you write that when the president was trying to transfer from Fordham to Penn --


M. TRUMP: Uh-huh.

STEPHANOPOULOS: -- he had someone else, a man named Joe Shapiro --

M. TRUMP: Uh-huh.


M. TRUMP: Yes.

STEPHANOPOULOS: This was 1964. How do you know that?

M. TRUMP: I've been told this by people in my family. I am absolutely confident that it's true. I'm happy to finally to be able to speak about it. I also know that it was not the Joe Shapiro people have been focusing on.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So, it's -- to be clear, it's not Pam Shriver.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Pam Shriver, the widow of Joe Shapiro, has come out publicly and said --

M. TRUMP: Right.

STEPHANOPOULOS: -- he didn't meet Donald Trump until Penn, there's no way this is true.

M. TRUMP: Yes, I feel terrible she has been subjected to this, honestly. I wish I could have said something sooner, and I think the only people other than me who can address it are other people in my family and I look forward to hearing their response to that question.

STEPHANOPOULOS: How do you know it's true?

M. TRUMP: I trust my sources.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Is Joe Shapiro still alive?

M. TRUMP: That I don't know. I have no idea.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Have you ever met Joe Shapiro?

M. TRUMP: I have not.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So, your -- you believe in your sources.

M. TRUMP: Uh-huh.

STEPHANOPOULOS: How do your sources know?

M. TRUMP: They were alive at the time, so they have firsthand knowledge of this.


BERMAN: All right. Joining us now is CNN White House correspondent John Harwood, and Michael D'Antonio, CNN contributor and author of "The Truth About Trump".

Michael, I want to start with you because we've heard bits and pieces now coming out for Mary Trump, describing in some ways the psychology of Donald Trump and the Trump family.

Based on your years of research into someone who's, you know, dove into this on your own, how does it match up with your knowledge?

MICHAEL D'ANTONIO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I hear when Mary Trump struggles to answer that question, somebody who's sort of walking on this sticky spider web of lies that surrounds the president. So his entire life, we're talking about 50 years of adult life, has been devoted to creating this myth that he is all powerful, super intelligent, very stable genius, and the minute you try to penetrate that, you can get stuck on the various strands of misinformation.

So I suspect that she's got good sources and that this is a true story because it's consistent with the president's life long laziness and his addiction to cheating. You know, I sometimes think if this guy put as much effort into doing his job as he's put into trying to deceive people, we'd be doing quite well as a country. So what she says is consistent with what I know, but more importantly consistent with a pattern of the president's life.

CAMEROTA: John Harwood, President Trump is not going to like this. He often talks about his brain, he points to his brain. He talks about his good brain.

Even at political -- I mean, current, modern day political campaign rallies that he goes to, he talks about how he went to a top school and how that makes him elite. And so, the idea that she's putting out there that he cheated to get in, I can only imagine the ire that it will create with him.

JOHN HARWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, exactly, Alisyn. You know, we have seen President Trump throughout his administration demonstrate psychological frailty and he continues to do so.

The -- I think the important thing to remember about Mary Trump's book is it is -- it is one piece, but it is entirely consistent with the other pieces that we've seen, with people like Jim Mattis and John Bolton who come out and describe his behavior, the way he takes in or doesn't take in information, the -- his addiction to division and not telling the truth, unfitness for office as John Bolton said. It all paints a common picture.

It reminds me, five years ago, I interviewed Donald Trump and -- at the Trump Tower when he was the candidate. It was apparent at the time that he was saying a whole bunch of ridiculous things in his campaign that couldn't possibly be true. I asked him at the time, what are you going to do when you're president of the United States and America pulls back the curtain and sees that you're not the Wizard of Oz and you claim to be able to deliver? He said, I'm not going to let those people down.

When you take everything into consideration, what we're hearing from these tell-alls, what we can see with our eyes in the pandemic, the curtain is all the way back on Donald Trump now. A lot of people are dead and are sick and their livelihoods have been wrecked, and the real-world consequences of his incapacity have created a situation where it's going to be exceedingly difficult for him to win re- election.

BERMAN: Let's be the clear, the White House did not want this book published. Now it's out there and people can see for themselves.

I want to play more sound of Mary Trump for you, Michael, which actually gets to something John was talking about there which is the president's mind.