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U.S. Shatters Record Again with More Than 77,000 New Cases; Trump Ignores Pandemic, Talks about Dishwashers & Shower Heads. Aired 6-6:30a ET

Aired July 17, 2020 - 06:00   ET



DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: We do have a serious situation now. The southern states have seen surges that are really quite disturbing.


MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: The U.S. shattering another record. More than 75,000 new infections in just the past day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Government needs to do a better job testing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's just impossible to have a useful program if it takes a week for a test to come back.

NICK WATT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Mask mandates now in at least 39 states but not Georgia, where the governor just banned local municipalities from making them mandatory.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was furious. I was absolutely lost for words.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The situation is dire and the death rate will continue to go up if we don't take any more dramatic measures.


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

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It is Friday, July 17, 6 a.m. here in New York. John Berman is off this morning. Jim Sciutto joins me.

Great to have you, Jim.


CAMEROTA: We begin with breaking news. The United States again shattering its single-day record for new coronavirus cases with more than 77,000 new cases on Thursday. That is more than triple the number of cases from just one month ago, when Vice President Pence declared that they were, quote, "winning the fight against coronavirus."

America's staggering new case total is more than all of the countries in the European Union combined. In fact, it is 13 times that of the European Union.

Florida, Texas and South Carolina all reporting record deaths. Ten states and Puerto Rico reporting record hospitalizations. And "The Washington Post" has obtained an unpublished report from the White House coronavirus task force that suggests nearly 20 hard-hit states need to take immediate action such as requiring face coverings.

SCIUTTO: Will those states listen? Arkansas and Colorado are the latest states to impose mask mandates, while Georgia's governor is, if you can believe it, suing Atlanta's mayor to stop her from mandating masks in the city as new cases soar across the state.

Overnight, the CDC announced it is delaying the release of new information on how to safely reopen schools. That guidance was supposed to come out today. Why the delay?

Let's begin our coverage with CNN's Rosa Flores. She is live in Miami. Rosa, what's it looking like there today?


Well, here we are yet again. Another day in the U.S. has shattered its record for one-day coronavirus cases, reporting more than 77,000 yesterday.

Florida reporting nearly 14,000 cases and a record 156 deaths yesterday. This, as Miami-Dade County, where we know is the epicenter of the crisis here in the state, the hospital system is getting tested.


FLORES (voice-over): Miami hospitals are quickly running out of space. They're at 95 percent capacity as Florida continues to break coronavirus records.

MAYOR FRANCIS SUAREZ (R), MIAMI, FL: The situation is dire. I don't want to sugarcoat it, or I don't want to downplay it in any way. Our hospitalizations are at the highest level.

The death rate will continue to go up if -- if we don't take any more dramatic measures.

FLORES: With the higher demand of testing in the Sunshine State, there's a need for an efficient turnaround in results. Gov. Ron DeSantis blaming labs, not the Florida Department of Health, for the current backlog.

GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): Our state labs can do stuff, but I mean, they only do a limited bandwidth. We're trying to expand it.

FLORES: On Thursday, Florida reported nearly 14,000 new cases. Still, DeSantis has yet to issue a statewide mask requirement, leaving it up to local leaders.

Meantime in Georgia, Governor Brian Kemp signed an executive order banning cities and counties from enforcing facial coverings, even suing Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms over her mandate in Atlanta.

MAYOR HARDIE DAVIS, AUGUSTA, GEORGIA: What we can't do is use executive orders to divide the state of Georgia and take an apolitical public health crisis and turn it into a political football.

FLORES: Colorado's governor making masks mandatory statewide, saying it will encourage more people to cover their faces.

GOV. GARED POLIS (D-CO): The party has to end if we're going to keep our businesses open, keep our economy open and save lives.

FLORES: It's one of at least 38 states experiencing an uptick in new weekly coronavirus cases. Texas hospitals are becoming more and more overwhelmed.

And with cases skyrocketing, preparation for the worst. A refrigerated truck now spotted in Dallas, serving as a makeshift morgue.

In Washington state, the first epicenter of the virus in the U.S., the governor sending this warning to residents if new infections keep rising.

GOV. JAY INSLEE (D-WA): We cannot rule out the potential for another stay-at-home order this year and perhaps not in the too distant future.

FLORES: Dr. Anthony Fauci once again reminding young people the seriousness of the virus.

FAUCI: You can get the mindset that, well, listen, if I'm infected, I don't know I'm infected. I'm not feeling sick. Who cares? I'm not bothering anybody else. That is incorrect. Because by allowing yourself to get infected, you are propagating the pandemic.


FLORES: Now here is what Miami-Dade County looks like by the numbers this morning. This is according to data released by Miami-Dade.

The 14-day average positivity rate is 27 percent. The goal is not to exceed 10 percent.

As for the number of hospitalizations in the past two weeks, those are up 46 percent. ICU beds 54 percent and ventilators 86 percent. Now ICU's according to Miami-Dade County, those are operating at 107 percent.


Now the silver lining there is that the county does have more than 400 regular beds that they can convert into ICUs. And Jim, just yesterday Miami-Dade announcing that they're adding a

$100 fine for anyone that breaks the mask mandate here in Miami-Dade County. Jim.

SCIUTTO: Well, you can convert those beds, but it means people with other conditions aren't getting treated either. Rosa Flores there in Miami, thanks very much.

Note this story. The CDC is telling CNN overnight that they are now delaying the release of new guidance on how to safely reopen schools. That information was supposed to be released today. This follows a pattern.

CNN's Joe Johns, he's live at White House. Before -- Joe, we saw this before with guidance on reopening churches. The indications were that the White House was meddling in the doctors' recommendations here. Do we know why the delay on these school recommendations?

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: We really don't know. I mean, what we know is that there has been conflict behind the scenes on these issues. We're expecting information, at least new documents relating to reopening schools from the Centers for Disease Control by today.

And we're told it's simply not ready yet. And we're also told that information could come by the end of the month. The significance of that is that schools and administrators around the country are really on a tight deadline, trying to figure out how, when, whether they're going to go and open up the schools.

Meanwhile, the president held yet another event here at the White House, gave yet another speech about an issue that had nothing to do at all with coronavirus. That was the issue of regulatory reform out on the South Lawn.

And the president's remarks, given the moment here at the White House and around the country for millions of Americans sometimes descended right down into the absurd. Listen.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Dishwashers, you didn't have any water so you -- the people that do the dishes, you press it. And it goes again, and you do it again and again. So you might as well give them the water, because you'll end up using less water. So we made it so dishwashers now have a lot more water.


JOHNS: Now it's worth noting the president has tweeted about a number of issues all week long, as he always does, as he's retweeted things, as well. But up until last night, he really hadn't touched on the issue of coronavirus. Last night he talked a little bit about PPE in a retweet.

Jim, back to you. SCIUTTO: Yes, he also has not called out indications, intelligence

that Russia is trying to steal information on a coronavirus vaccine.

Joe Johns at the White House, thanks very much.

The Trump administration's task force says that nearly 20 states now need to take tougher action to combat the coronavirus. So why is Georgia's governor suing Atlanta's mayor about a mask mandate there?



CAMEROTA: Breaking news. The United States shattering another record, reporting more than 77,000 new coronavirus cases in a single day. That's more than triple the number of cases in the country just one month ago.

Florida is reporting a record number of deaths and hospitals there reporting a shortage of the potentially life-saving drug Remdesivir.

Joining us now is Dr. Aileen Marty. She's an infectious disease professor at Florida International University in Miami.

Dr. Marty, it just gets worse in Florida as well as the country. Florida has broken its own record many days this week. I'll just pull -- put up on the screen. Here is what the graph looks like for the new confirmed cases in Florida. You can see the steep incline.

And then here's the number of confirmed deaths in Florida. It bounces along at a high plateau, and then it spikes. What specifically is going on in Florida to make it explode like this?

DR. AILEEN MARTY, INFECTIOUS DISEASE PROFESSOR, FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY: Well, it's -- it's a perfect storm of reasons that we are where we are.

The No. 1 reason is a lack of solid coordinated belief within the community of what they have to do and how serious this virus is. That's the foremost reason that there's a problem, and that has to do with leadership and -- and guidance.

Now there are many leaders within the state of Florida who are doing everything they can to do things right. But it's not a coordinated -- it hasn't been a coordinated effort. We're trying very hard to get this coordinated.

It's also been a tremendous amount of misinformation, viral videos and people simply not following the new normal guidelines, not keeping the distance, not wearing the mask, not doing the hygiene.

SCIUTTO: The sad fact, Dr. Marty, as you know --

MARTY: But there are other reasons.

SCIUTTO: -- is that some of that disinformation comes from the very top. You know, the president questioning the data. He waited months to wear a mask once.

Let's talk just about one piece of science here. Masks work. They work in -- the science shows it. They worked in other countries that have done so aggressively that have managed to get a handle on this, a country like South Korea and elsewhere.

Just for folks watching at home, can you tell them why that makes a difference? Not just for themselves but for their communities.

MARTY: Well, fundamentally, this is a -- mostly transmitted as a respiratory problem. And so the -- the highest viral concentration is going to be whatever is coming out of our mouths and out of our noses. That's what, if you get a direct bolus of that, that's your most likely source of infection. Right?


There's many other ways, but that's the hottest, highest concentration. If you can block that, if you can keep that material from getting from one person to another, you're doing a very important job at reducing transmission of this infection.

And that's why masks are so important and absolutely there is no question that right now, in the middle of a pandemic, everyone should be using a mask whenever they are outside their homes.

CAMEROTA: Let's talk about the area where you are, Miami-Dade County. Yesterday, the county reported that it had a capacity of 440 ICU beds, and it had 472 ICU patients. In other words, it is at a deficit. It's beyond capacity.

What happens in a hospital when there are more critically-ill patients than you have beds for?

MARTY: So what we have been doing, because of exactly that problem, is a series of things. No. 1 is converting acute care bed into ICU beds so that we can -- that's how we're surging up.

In addition, there are hospitals amongst us who are transferring to other hospitals that have room, because this is a very desperate situation.

And -- and in some of our hospitals, we're actually doubling up patients into the same room, simply to try and cope with the enormous amount of individuals that we have to treat.

SCIUTTO: You know, it didn't have to be this way, because all Florida had to do was look at the experience in New York to see what happens when this thing gets out of control early on.

I want to talk about Dr. Fauci's particular attention to young people's role in this. The average age of those infected has dropped. I believe the figure is by 15 years since the start of this pandemic.

And Dr. Fauci highlighted -- we played this earlier in this broadcast -- that -- that even if you're not showing symptoms, you can be a vector of this as a young -- as a young person. Tell us -- and Florida is a case of this, I believe, where young people have -- have unfortunately, helped spread it. Explain the importance of their role and why they need to be paying attention.

MARTY: So, yes, absolutely. There's very interesting studies, viral load studies in asymptomatic people of all ages. And the studies reveal, without a question of a doubt, that the viral load, which is how much virus they have to share, in an asymptomatic person is just as high as in a symptomatic person. In multiple studies.

And in fact, in young children, when they were doing the test, they found that these asymptomatic loads were actually higher overall per unit time in -- in the asymptomatic children than by the time they entered hospital and were then tested. There may be a little bit of an artifact there for that reason. Because of when they come in and how the virus and natural history is.

But the bottom line is there is no question that these asymptomatic people can and do, at very significant quantities, spread it. Plus, because it's very invisible, since they're not manifesting symptoms, they don't realize what they're doing.

CAMEROTA: Speaking of the bottom line, Dr. Marty, how is Florida going to get out of this situation?

MARTY: At this point, I think we're stuck with the -- the real possibility of having to go back into another lockdown. But this time we have to, while we're on lockdown, convince the population of how they have to behave the second they get out of lockdown.

We'll have to have -- we'll have to have a steady decrease in the number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 or influenza-like symptoms. We have to have a continuous community viral burden that's down, based on the total number of virus-positive individuals for at least 14 days.

We have to have an increase in the ability to rapidly turn around and rapidly test anyone who merits testing. And our testing strategy has to be targeted, not random. But completely targeted towards individuals that are the most likely to be either asymptomatic carriers, pre-symptomatic carriers or people who are obviously having symptoms.

A decrease in -- in response time for the testing results is absolutely critical; and an increase in the quantity and the quality of contact tracing information, whether it's done by humans or automatically. We still need that data, and we need that to happen very rapidly.


And until those things are in place, we cannot properly open up. Because we wind up in a roller coaster ride, and that's what has been happening.

CAMEROTA: Those are all very clear solutions. You've been spelling them out. Dr. Fauci has been spelling them out. And yet, somehow it seems to be a herculean task for leaders to get there.

Dr. Marty, we feel for you, we're thinking of everybody in Florida. We'll check back with you. Thanks so much for being on.

More than 900 Americans died of coronavirus yesterday. President Trump did not talk about any of them or his plan to combat coronavirus at a White House event yesterday, but he did talk about how much he wants to fix dishwashers and shower heads. That's next.



SCIUTTO: Welcome back. This morning, and we know this data is hard to see, but it's telling a consistent picture.

Twenty-five states are now seeing an increase in coronavirus deaths. Nine hundred and forty-one people died in America yesterday. The U.S. really beginning to outpace the world here.

But President Trump made no mention of the pandemic at the White House event. Instead, the president again turned it into really a transparent campaign speech, and he complained about things that have nothing to do with this worsening crisis. Have a listen.


TRUMP: So shower heads, you take a shower, the water doesn't come out. You want to wash your hands; the water doesn't come out. So what do you do? You just stand there longer or you take your shower longer, because my hair, I don't know about you, but it has to be perfect. Perfect.


SCIUTTO: Is it a time to laugh?

Joining us now is CNN political correspondent Abby Phillip.

Abby, help us understand the disconnect here. Because we know the president does not want this virus, this outbreak to hurt his election chances. I mean, it's as simple as that. It's as transparent as that. Has it not penetrated among his senior advisers that, as the outbreak gets worse, his political fortunes get worse, as well.


I don't know how to explain the president's approach to this, because as you point out, it really defies everything that we know about how the public is viewing his -- his handling of this and -- and what that means for his reelection.

I do believe that, you know, folks in the White House are keenly aware of that. They do know that.

The question is can they get through to the president of United States, who wants to treat this like a public relations problem, simply ignoring it and changing the subject to other things?

You know, just this morning a new ABC News/"Washington Post" poll showed 52 percent of -- of Americans strongly disapprove of President Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Six in ten say they don't trust what he says about public health issues.

And overwhelming majorities of Americans say they want more safety over a rush to reopen.

So the president is so out of step with the public. He is not changing course. And I can't explain it, except that perhaps I think that he thinks that if he just simply talks about other things, this virus and this problem is going to go away for him.

CAMEROTA: Abby, on a purely political note, you know, the Trump campaign likes to seize on the moments where former Vice President Joe Biden uses non-sequiturs or says seemingly nonsensical things. Do you think that the Biden campaign is preparing ads or seizing on moments where President Trump says things like dishwashers don't use water and shower heads don't have water?

PHILLIP: Well, you know what's been interesting, Alisyn? Look at the -- the ad landscape. You see a lot of outside groups, whether it is the Lincoln Project, these sort of "never Trump" Republicans, or outside a Democratic center in support of Joe Biden, running those kinds of ads.

When you look at what the Biden campaign is actually doing, they have a pretty disciplined message that is strongly contrasting Biden with the president on the issue of -- on the coronavirus, on the issue of compassion specifically. Some of these ads have a really soft touch. You're not seeing them go strongly negative.

And I think it's because they have the ability to let other people do that kind of work for them. But I think it's because people at this point can't avoid what President Trump says or does, so they don't have to necessarily amplify that.

But what they are amplifying instead is -- is Biden as a different kind of leader. And the president makes that so easy for them, because he continues to refuse to show any sort of understanding of the crisis level of experience that so many Americans are having right now.

SCIUTTO: Abby, we've talked on this network about the sort of end of the dog whistle and the advent of the bullhorn when it comes to racial issues from this administration. And yesterday was one of those moments, when the president was talking about fair housing regulations, the end of the suburbs.

Tell us what his message was there. Because it was a deliberate racial message, was it not?

PHILLIP: Yes. I mean, these are housing regulations that are designed to combat racial segregation in housing in this country. The president has recently, for whatever reason, decided that in -- as

part of his re-election play to the suburbs, to the white suburbs, he's going to start warning that Joe Biden is going to destroy the suburbs.

But he's gotten so much more explicit than that, saying that -- that these regulations intended to desegregate the suburbs will bring crime and lower property values.