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Mary Trump's Tall-All Book is Out; Coronavirus Update from around the World; Nurses Speak out about Coronavirus. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired July 15, 2020 - 08:30   ET



JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Published. Now it's out there. People can see for themselves. I want to play a little more sound from Mary Trump for you, Michael, which actually gets to something John was talking about there, which is the president's mindset.


MARY TRUMP, NIECE OF PRESIDENT TRUMP: He already seemed very strained by the pressures. You know, he'd never been in a situation before where he wasn't entirely protected from criticism or accountability or things like that.

And I just remember thinking, he seemed tired. He seems like this is not what he signed up for, if he even knows what he signed up for.


BERMAN: Interesting to hear that, Michael. She's suggesting that he didn't know what he was getting himself in to.

Your thoughts?

MICHAEL D'ANTONIO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, throughout her book you hear a person writing with remarkable empathy and compassion for the president, even as she's appalled and afraid. So she considers him a dangerous person, but she recognizes he's a person.

And I think throughout his life the president has been running from the idea of being caught. You know, John's comment about this exchange he had with the president, then candidate Trump, about what's going to happen when the curtain gets pulled back is quite sensitive to his reality. You know, this is a man who's been running from the truth, running from being revealed as a fraud his whole life.

The sad thing is that when people express empathy for him, and I've had exchanges like this with him as well, he warms to it for a moment and then he runs away. So he never quite learns what's going on even around him and prefers this fantasy of perfection that no person could satisfy.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Really interesting to get these insights from people who know him so well.

Michael D'Antonio, John Harwood, thank you both very much.

D'ANTONIO: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: So one key question as we talk about whether to send kids back to school next month is how easily can they spread the virus? Dr. Sanjay Gupta explores this question, next.



CAMEROTA: Hong Kong is battling a third wave of coronavirus and Brazil's president still in isolation after a second Covid test.

CNN has reporters around the globe covering these developments for you.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Will Ripley in Hong Kong, where infectious disease experts are telling me this third wave of Covid-19 could be even more severe than the first and second wave. They say that's in part because the virus is mutating, which makes it more efficient and could possibly make it more contagious. And they attribute this latest spike in cases to the lifting of social distancing measures, which is why the city has now reimposed and, in some cases, strengthened measures that we saw earlier this year. A lot of places that had been open are closed again, like Hong Kong Disneyland, schools, restaurants at dinner time, bars and gyms. The kind of places where people take off their masks, have close conversations and could potentially spread the virus to others in this densely populated city.

NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN EUROPE EDITOR: I'm Nina Dos Santos in London, where doctors behind me are testing this, a potential vaccine against coronavirus. What's different about what's happening in this hospital bed behind me is that the patient hasn't received a full copy of the virus, albeit it a weakened one. Instead, she's just been given a tiny fragment of its genetic material. The hope is that now that she's had that, her body will be prompted to produce antibodies, thereby conferring immunity.

What's also important about this revolutionary new technology is that it can be scaled up very quickly. Meaning, that it has the potential to produce tens of millions of doses perhaps by the middle of next year.

BILL WEIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Bill Weir in the Brazilian capital, where new numbers out push the death total in this country to 75,000 and close to 2 million confirmed cases. President Jair Bolsonaro continues to be in semi isolation in the presidential palace and says he took his second Covid-19 test in the last week because he feels good and is anxious to get back to work.


BERMAN: That mask not covering the nose, President Bolsonaro.

All right, one of the most pressing unanswered questions this morning as we face decisions about reopening schools, how do children get and spread coronavirus and to what degree? CNN's chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta looked for some answers.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: So it's going to feel and look different for the kids when they get back here.


GUPTA (voice over): When it comes to reopening the country, there's probably no single issue that is more controversial right now than schools.

GUPTA (on camera): So you -- you're looking forward to the first day of school?

EVANS: I am. We have a group of students out there that are eager to get back, to see one another.

GUPTA (voice over): I don't relish the decisions that head masters like Keith Evans have to make about his 535 faculty and staff members and nearly 1,900 students at this school which includes my three daughters.

GUPTA (on camera): The cafeteria is going to feel very, very different as well.

EVANS: The cafeteria is going to absolutely feel different. And this will be -- students will come in and they'll grab lunch and go and eat in their classrooms and that kind of thing where we can maintain distance.

GUPTA (voice over): No surprise, physical distancing a key part of the CDC guidance. Also recommended, wearing masks, teaching good hand hygiene, and not sharing supplies, like books and pencils.

GUPTA (on camera): If you could have anything you wanted that you don't have right now, what would it be? What would you like to have?

EVANS: We are really blessed with some great buildings and square footage here. That is -- that is the constraining factor, I think, in every school space. If you can -- if you can get the social distancing right and fit your program into it, it feels more normal and it -- and it works better. But -- but no school was designed to have students six feet apart, you know, anywhere.

GUPTA: Right.

[08:40:03] GUPTA (voice over): Many other schools don't have that kind of space. And, truth is, that problem alone in classrooms, hallways, on buses, may prove too much for some schools to open this fall. But perhaps even more vexing is that more than six months after the first U.S. cases of coronavirus, we still can't definitively say what role do kids play in transition. One study found children carry just as much virus as adults and may be just as infectious.

But others have found differently. In one French study, a nine-year- old boy with symptoms of Covid-19 exposed over 80 classmates at three schools and none of those children contracted it. In New South Wales, nine infected students and nine staff across 15 schools exposed a total of 735 students and 128 staff to Covid-19. Only two secondary infections resulted. One possibly transmitted by an adult to a child.

DR. BENJAMIN LEE, PEDIATRIC INFECTIOUS DISEASE, UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT: With this virus, we now have lots of evidence that suggests that children are not drivers of the pandemic. They are far less susceptible to getting infected with the virus. And when they are infected, they're less likely to pass it along.

GUPTA: Enough evidence to persuade pediatric infectious disease specialist Dr. Benjamin Lee to co-author this commentary in the journal "Pediatrics."

LEE: The likelihood of children spreading the virus or transmitting it are still relatively low. However, in areas where there is a lot of transmission in the community, that could potentially increase the likelihood that an infected adult could step into the school setting.

GUPTA: Exposure from wherever is a concern for many teachers. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis, nearly a quarter of all teachers in the United States have health conditions that make them more vulnerable to the coronavirus.

EVANS: We're planning for all of that as opposed to staying focused on students who have a more narrow band of risk in this. And so what it has meant was that from the very beginning we maximized kind of the safety protocols. We said, we're going to -- we're going to do the absolute limit of distancing, masking, sanitizing and so forth.

GUPTA: There are plenty of examples around the world where schools appear to have reopened safely, Germany, Norway. But there's also reminders that when social distancing restrictions were lifted early, like in Israel, large outbreaks followed the return to class.

In the end, it is a balance. No doubt closing schools can help curb this pandemic. How much? One model said closing schools would reduce Covid related deaths by 2 percent to 4 percent in the U.K. That's a lot or a little depending on how much virus is already in the community.

LEE: We need to move the conversation not towards whether schools should open or not, but towards how can we open the schools to ensure that they can open and remain open.

GUPTA: How to do that is a challenge.

EVANS: We are planning. And we're moving toward a particular end, but we're also eyes wide open, ears wide open, understanding how this is evolving and we understand the -- you know, next week everything could change.


GUPTA: Even after I talked to Keith Evans, that you see there, the Atlanta Public School System announced they are going to go to virtual learning, online learning, for at least the first nine weeks. So things -- things are changing, as Keith pointed out, day to day I think in the systems all over the country.

As a general rule, John, they say if your community has had a five-day increase sustained trend of Covid cases, it is probably not time to open up the schools. You've got to go back to the phase -- earlier phase, wait for that 14-day downward trajectory and then think about opening schools after that.

BERMAN: Sanjay, that was such a helpful piece. It was such a helpful look at what the questions are and how to have a sensible, sober discussion about this. You can't just say, do it, don't do it. Figure out what is safe and how to do things safely.

GUPTA: That's right.

BERMAN: Really appreciate you doing the work for us, Sanjay.

GUPTA: All right.

BERMAN: So some nurses who have seen the worst of this pandemic on the front lines say they still cannot convince people to take coronavirus seriously. Two of them tell their story, next.



BERMAN: Medical professionals from all over the country answered the call and came here to New York to treat coronavirus patients in the city, yet some of them returned home to find skepticism about the virus in their hometowns.

Joining us now, two nurses who travelled here to help treat patients. Olumide "Peter" Kolade from California and Courtney Sudduth from Oklahoma.

Courtney, I want to start with you.

You came here to New York from Oklahoma and you said in four months here you saw more death, more people die than in four years prior.

What does that do to you?

COURTNEY SUDDUTH, OKLAHOMA NURSE WHO TREATED CORONAVIRUS PATIENTS IN NEW YORK: It's definitely emotionally challenging. It's been something that I've had to learn how to deal with. It was hard being there in New York and being away from my family and everyone that I'm used to being around and then dealing with that for sure.

BERMAN: And then on top of that, dealing with people you know from home who didn't believe it. Who really didn't believe the severity of what was going on. Your own brother, you said, didn't believe it until he caught coronavirus himself. So what was that like?

SUDDUTH: He did. Yes. I mean there are several members of my family that kind of didn't really take it seriously. And then my younger brother, he actually contracted Covid while I was in New York.


And that kind of changed his mind about things.

BERMAN: And, Peter, to you. While you were here treating people, you say you would get videos from friends in Texas and other places out partying together, out having a great time. You'd also get videos of just outrageous conspiracy theories. How did that make you feel?

OLUMIDE "PETER" KOLADE, CALIFORNIA NURSE WHO TREATED CORONAVIRUS PATIENTS IN NEW YORK: It made me feel terrible because at that point I was scared for my own life just being out there on the front lines providing care for my patients and also just living day to day because we were all nervous being medical professionals. So I had to educate my friends and let them know that this virus is real and they have to stop doing what they were doing.

BERMAN: Peter, why do you think -- I'm going to use the word "ignorance" in a literal sense here, ignorant to the reality of the dangers of coronavirus, why do you think there was and perhaps still is that ignorance out there?

KOLADE: Well, people will believe the conspiracies that they believe in because it's only not going to stop them from leading their daily life and what they're believing, rather than believing the virus is real. So just talking to them and just sending me these videos about, oh, yes, this virus is not real, it's a 5G network and all that stuff, I have to do some research myself and I'm from Nigeria. I grew up in Nigeria before I came to the states and we don't even have 5G out there and there are confirmed cases of coronavirus out there and people are dying.

So when they tell me that, I'm like, guys, there's no 5G where I'm from and people are dying out there. So we need to stop all of this and just listen to medical professionals, wash our hands, social distance and just let us look out for each other because right now we don't have a cure for this virus.

BERMAN: Courtney, how do you get the truth out there? How do you communicate what you've seen with your own eyes?

SUDDUTH: Just educating. I mean, you know, like he said, wash your hands, social distance. I know it's hard because we live in a society where we're used to continuously being able to have that, you know, social interaction, but right now this is very important because it's not just the elderly that this is affecting anymore. I'm 30 years old and I'm going to work every day and I'm talking care of patients in Covid units that are my age, that are critically ill on ventilators. So we're just as susceptible as everyone else. This -- you know, it doesn't just pick and choose the older people.

BERMAN: Courtney, when you left New York after the months that you were here, after seeing everything you saw, did you ever expect that you would see the rise in cases that we're seeing now? Did you think you'd have as much work to do as you have to do now fighting it in other places?

SUDDUTH: I didn't. I remember leaving New York and the day my flight took off I kind of had like a sigh of relief that I felt like I was putting that behind me and I was going to get to go home and things were going to be different. But then when I came back here, there weren't people taking any precautions and people weren't social distancing. And now, for two weeks, we've had daily record number cases of new -- you know, Covid positives and our hospitals are being overrun. Our ICUs are full.

BERMAN: Peter, what's your message to people? What do they need to know? Maybe even your friends, what do they need to know, young people need to know about coronavirus?

KOLADE: Well, at this point right now we -- we have to be the change we're looking for. Start with us individually. And this coronavirus is out there. It's killing people. So we have to be selfless. We have to look out for our friends, families, our next door neighbor. We have to wash our hands. We have to forget about all the conspiracies that we're thinking about. And whatever truth you're trying to pass out there right now, it doesn't matter. Right now we just have to take care of each other. We have to wash our hands. We have to wear our mask. We have to keep social distancing. And we just have to do what we have to do because right now, at this point, this virus, this spike is going up, and there's really no cure. And it's just simple, wash your hands, social distance and wear your mask. And masks save life. It helped me in New York while I was out there helping my colleagues while they were out there. So it does save lives.

BERMAN: We've got to believe in each other. We have to count on each other. And we count on people like the both of you.

Thank you both so much for the work that you have done here in New York, that you are continuing to do now. You are truly saving lives. Thanks for being so brave.

Courtney, Peter, thank you.

SUDDUTH: Thank you so much.

KOLADE: Thank you for having us.

BERMAN: Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: What a great message to end on.

All right, it's time now for "The Good Stuff."

Two Massachusetts doctors were ready to tie the knot on a Cape Cod beach when suddenly their reverend canceled. So the mother of the bride ran around the beach looking for help. She found the mayor of Everett, Massachusetts, Carlo DeMaria. He was nearby, but he did not have the authority to officiate. So the mayor called the governor to get it.


MAYOR CARLO DEMARIA, EVERETT, MASSACHUSETTS: We want to make it official, legal.



DEMARIA: They had a -- it was a great -- very easy. It was right on the cell phone. I was able to just scroll through.


CAMEROTA: OK. Once the wedding was official, the governor and the lieutenant governor called the happy couple to congratulate them. That is beautiful.

BERMAN: Well, this is a very important wedding. I mean this wedding clearly needed to happen and it had the help of the most important officials in the state, so we're very glad it worked out for them. And we hope they have the best of luck going forward.

We have one bit of breaking news --

CAMEROTA: All right.

BERMAN: I want to get to just to make sure people know. The White House is now claiming -- so people know -- that Peter Navarro did not go through the normal processes to get his op-ed criticizing Dr. Anthony Fauci cleared. They claim that it's his voice, his alone, they did not approve it. I wonder if that means no one saw it, no one knew he was doing it? What did the president know? Those questions remain unanswered.

CAMEROTA: Hard to know how to interpret some of these messages coming out about Dr. Fauci.

Thank you very much for that breaking news, John.

CNN's coverage continues right after this quick break.