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CNN NEWSROOM

Federal Judge's Family Shot; GOP Congressional Leaders Meet with Trump to Discuss COVID-19 Stimulus Today; Russia Announces Vaccine is Nearing Perfection. Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired July 20, 2020 - 10:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[10:30:00]

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Can you hear me? OK, good, sorry about that.

MAYOR KNOX WHITE (R), GREENVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINA: I can hear you fine, thank you --

(CROSSTALK)

HARLOW: This happens --

WHITE: -- that happens.

HARLOW: -- these days. I was just going to ask you, would it be helpful -- and have you called the governor to ask him to issue a statewide mask mandate?

WHITE: Well, I think the way we feel is that obviously, we believe in a mask rule because that's what we've done here in the city of Greenville.

But our governor has been very strong in terms of being in favor of masks, he's affirmed that many times. He wears a mask. And he's also spoken out, time and time again, to encourage local governments to do what they think is right. So I have no problem with that.

HARLOW: OK. Although it does help, sometimes, when it comes from the top as a mandate.

As you know, Texas has taken some big changes and rolled some things back. And as I understand it, you believe that may be what -- and what you're recommending, a similar plan is what the state of South Carolina should do. Is that right, and what would that look like?

WHITE: I think -- yes, Texas, I think they focused on the counties where there were particular spikes, and that seems like a pretty good idea. And I have -- that's been my recommendation to the governor.

But he's (ph) stating --

(CROSSTALK)

HARLOW: In mandating there, OK. And then --

WHITE: -- mandating, yes (ph).

HARLOW: -- final question, if I could, to you, sir, on police reform. Because you came out and you were very vocal in early June, in the weeks following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. And you talked about police reform. And you said, quote, "We are taking decisive action." You talked about things such as banning chokeholds, et cetera.

Has anything fundamentally changed yet in your city when it comes to police reform?

WHITE: Well, we actually addressed this issue very forthrightly in 2016, when some of these same issues arose. And I'm glad we did. We banned chokeholds in 2016, we reinstituted an oversight commission for our police department. And this was all done with a lot of cooperation from law enforcement.

So a lot of what we did, we did in 2016. Now, what we're doing now is taking a second look, if you will, with a new citizens' task force to make sure we're still on track and may see (ph) perhaps want to change a few things.

HARLOW: It sounds --

WHITE: But these are not new --

(CROSSTALK)

HARLOW: It's --

WHITE: -- a lot of these are not new issues, they (ph) people had just been kind of asleep at the switch for too long.

HARLOW: Asleep at the switch. Mayor White, thank you and good luck on both fronts. We appreciate it very much.

WHITE: You're very welcome.

HARLOW: Breaking overnight, a manhunt under way this morning after a gunman opened fire last night on a federal judge's home. That gunman killed her son and injured her husband. It happened in New Jersey. Our national correspondent Brynn Gingras joins me in North Brunswick, New Jersey this morning.

It is tragic. And do they have any leads at this point or motives?

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's one of the big questions, Poppy. What was the motive, who was this gunman and who was the intended target inside this house behind me, which you could still see the crime scene tape up.

Let me explain what sources are telling us. Preliminary with this investigation is that last night, someone came to the door of this home, of this judge, Esther Salas, and basically when the son opened the door, the gunman, wearing a FedEx uniform -- it's unclear if he actually worked for FedEx or was in a disguise -- just opened fire, killing her son, 20 years old, Daniel Anderl. And her husband, Mark, was seriously wounded. He's at the hospital.

But why this happened is still very much unclear. We know that judge was inside the house, but she was unharmed.

Now, as far the judge -- she's handled some pretty high-profile cases. let me go through a few of them. One of them was the sentencing of Joe and Teresa Giudice from the "Real Housewives." And then a couple years ago, this judge was also involved in the sentencing of a very notorious gang member from Newark.

And then just even more recent to that -- really, a few days ago -- she was assigned to a civil case with Deutsche Bank, basically, you know, questioning their internal looking at high risk clients, including sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

So she has a lot of case history here that are high-profile. But also, her husband is a criminal defense attorney, so that's something else investigators are going to have to look into, are the case histories of both of these people.

But as far as this community, we have been talking to so many neighbors who say that they've actually gotten very close because of COVID, because they come outside, they walk their dogs, they talk to each other. Everyone is just in disbelief that this happened to them, a very loving family now losing their only son, who we learned wanted -- is in college, wanted to go and be a lawyer just like his two parents, and now killed in this horrific, horrific incident that's still very much under investigation -- Poppy.

HARLOW: To lose their only child. Brynn, thank you for the reporting. Obviously so many outstanding questions this morning.

[10:34:43]

Well, Los Angeles is close to being back to square one -- if you can believe it -- in the battle over COVID-19. Coming up, why the mayor of Los Angeles says he's considering a new stay-at-home order.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HARLOW: Welcome back. The mayor of Los Angeles says the city is on the brink right now of potentially needing a new stay-at-home order. This, as cases surge across the county and hospitalizations hit a record high there over the weekend. Let's get back to our Stephanie Elam, she joins me in L.A. with more.

So maybe a complete shutdown, stay-at-home order again. What's driving the spike?

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that could totally happen here in Los Angeles County. And the governor wants to make sure that people understand that this is real across the state, as well as the mayor here. He said, We know that there are over 2,200 hospitalizations announced in one day. Over the last week or so, we've had five days with more than 2,100 new hospitalizations announced. Obviously, things are going in the wrong direction here.

[10:40:14]

And everyone wants to know what is going wrong when so many people thought it was going right, here in California. Mayor Eric Garcetti from Los Angeles was on CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION." Take a listen to what he says is behind this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAYOR ERIC GARCETTI (D), LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: We've seen no national leadership. We've had to stand up testing centers on our own, we've had to do so much that is outside of our lane because of the lack of national leadership. But also, I think that there are people who are just exhausted. They were sold a bill of goods, they said this was under control, they said this would be over soon. And I think when leaders say that, people react and they do the wrong things.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ELAM: And so you're seeing a sense of complacency here, especially since we went into that stay-at-home order before any other state. Los Angeles here as well, he's saying we are on the brink of going back into that state here in Los Angeles.

And here's the other thing to keep in mind too, looking at Los Angeles. Of those new cases that were announced, more than 53 percent were people under the age of 41. It is changing, and this is why they want young people to stay home and make sure that they do not take this lightly, that they could be spreading the virus and that could be deadly for people that they do love -- Poppy.

HARLOW: Wow, 53 percent. And it does severely injure and can kill young people. And I think everyone needs to remember that, Stephanie. Thank you for the reporting.

Meantime, Republican congressional leaders are at the White House today, negotiating the next round of stimulus funding and what it will look like. There is immense pressure to get something done. Those $600 a week increased unemployment benefits that have been such a lifeline for millions of Americans, they end at the end of this week. Let's go to our senior congressional correspondent Manu Raju, he joins me on the Hill.

The White House and Senate Republicans, not exactly on the same page, not to mention, you know, Democrats, on exactly what this stimulus is going to look like. And as you heard from the president in that "Fox News" interview, there are some things that he's saying are a must to get him to sign it.

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And this has been a problem for the Republicans for several weeks now. Behind the scenes, there have been discussions that have been going on for probably the past two months or so, about exactly what kind of proposal to get behind.

But Republicans have been divided over exactly what that next proposal will be. But the Senate Republican leadership does plan to put out its own proposal later this week, and they hope to have the White House support, which is why this meeting this morning is key.

The Republican leadership, Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader as well as the House minority leader, Kevin McCarthy, are meeting right now with the president. Mitch McConnell arrived at the White House just moments ago, earlier this morning. They're meeting also with the Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin, and Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff.

Among the things that they still are trying to sort out is exactly how to deal with additional money for testing and tracing. The Republicans have wanted to provide an additional $25 billion for the states to move forward on testing and contact tracing. The White House has pushed back internally, and we're told they believe that the CDC has enough money to move forward with contact tracing and testing. That's something that they're going to have to sort out.

Also, the president made very clear, he wants to sign another bill that includes a payroll tax cut. He's suggested that, what could be a red line for him. Republicans on the Hill are divided about that. A lot of them say there's really no need to do that.

A range of other issues they have to sort out. You mentioned the $600 a week, jobless benefits that expire at the end of this week, as well as money for state and local governments as Democrats are demanding. So, Poppy, the process begins today but how this ends up is anybody's guess.

HARLOW: Yes, for sure. Manu, thanks for the reporting. Let's see what happens at that meeting today.

Tonight on CNN, join our colleague Fareed Zakaria. He investigates why the president believes in so many conspiracy theories. It is a new CNN special report, "DONALD TRUMP'S CONSPIRACY THEORIES," 9:00 Eastern, tonight, right here on CNN.

[10:44:09]

Well, days after Russian hackers were accused of stealing COVID vaccine research, a Moscow lab says it's close to -- they say -- perfecting a vaccine. And we have exclusive footage inside the lab. You'll see it, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HARLOW: Welcome back. Well, we now have an exclusive look inside of a Moscow lab where researchers say they're on the brink of perfecting a COVID vaccine. This comes after the U.S., U.K. and Canada accused Russian cyber actors of targeting organizations that have been involved in vaccine development. Let's go to our Matthew Chance.

Matthew, you got footage -- right? -- from inside the lab, as I understand it. I don't think they let you guys film it, but they provided it?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right. We've been lobbying hard to get inside that massive effort that the Russians have been making to try and be first with a coronavirus vaccine. They plowed huge amounts of state resources into what many people are characterizing as sort of Putin project, as something that's prestigious for Vladimir Putin. He wants to get there first. And so there's a lot of effort been put into it.

It's very secretive. It's controlled by the central government. We weren't allowed through the doors, as you mentioned, but we were given that video handout -- just to us, by the way. And also a sort of recorded message from the -- you know, the director of the institute, it's called the Gamaleya Institute. Now, he's sort of an interesting figure because he's known to have injected himself with the experimental vaccine, and members of this staff, before human trials even began.

[10:50:10]

And so, you know, it's a sign of all these questions that have been hanging over the Russian effort. That, together with the spying allegations and, you know, of course, the fact that military personnel, soldiers, were used in the first phase of human testing. And so the whole process has not been peer reviewed yet. But again, Russia's priority is to get there first. And it says it's making enormous progress towards that end -- Poppy.

HARLOW: Let's hope so. Whoever can get there, right? To help the world. Matthew Chance, that's fascinating. Thank you for bringing us that exclusive video and reporting.

Well, in hard-hit Brazil, the country's president, who as you know has contracted COVID-19, went out to greet a crowd of supporters near his resident. Our correspondent Shasta Darlington joins me from Sao Paolo this morning.

Pretty striking images of him, as the country reports more than 23,000 new cases yesterday alone.

SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Poppy. Bolsonaro met these supporters who were gathering outside the presidential residence, where he's been in semi-isolation after testing positive earlier this month.

Now, as you can see, he repeatedly lowered his mask, he did not always maintain social distancing. At one point, a couple of supporters crossed the water canal separating him from them. At another point, some supporters tossed a yellow Brazilian soccer jersey. and even, at another point, Bolsonaro raised what appeared to be a small box of medicine.

Now, Bolsonaro has repeatedly and publicly announced he is taking the controversial malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, claiming it has helped him avoid more serious symptoms as he recovers from the virus. Meanwhile, Brazil has reported more than 2.1 million COVID-19

infections, as the virus continues to spread south and inland. And of course, thousands of deaths -- Poppy.

HARLOW: Thousands and thousands. Shasta, we appreciate the reporting very much.

Some of football's most prominent stars are raising safety concerns about reporting to camp. What does this mean for the season ahead, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:56:58]

HARLOW: All right, so just as NFL trainings camps are set to open, some of the league's biggest stars have launched a social media blitz, raising big concerns about safety measures during the pandemic. Carolyn Manno has more reporting in this morning's "Bleacher Report."

Good morning, Carolyn. I -- is it a question now if pro football actually kicks the season off?

CAROLYN MANNO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Poppy. It's sounding that way. I mean, if you go by what these players are saying publicly, they're not going to play unless there's a clear-cut plan for how to ensure their safety.

You've got start players using their social platforms to send a clear message to the league -- which, by the way, has to negotiate a laundry list of really significant items with the players' union before the regular season kicks off. Training camp is right around the corner, and you're seeing stars getting on Twitter, using the hashtag #WeWanttoPlay. But they have a number of things in mind first before that's going to happen.

You know, the first thing is that they really want time to get into football shape. And the Joint Medical Committee recommended a 21-day period for that, which then was shortened by the NFL to accommodate preseason games. The union is saying, We don't want preseason games, those should be cancelled. Give our players more time.

You've got Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson writing, "I'm concerned. My wife is pregnant. NFL training camp is about to start. There is no plan on player health and family safety."

Browns defensive Myles Garrett, putting it really quite bluntly. "If the NFL doesn't do their part to keep players healthy there is no football in 2020. It's that simple."

Now, a league source did tell CNN that the discussions between the league and the union will continue today. There's a league meeting that's set for 2:00 p.m. Eastern to hammer out the rest of these details.

In the meantime, Poppy, we're also getting our first look at baseball's new reality in the coronavirus era, teams playing exhibition games in modified empty stadiums ahead of Thursday's season opener.

The Blue Jays, still looking for a stadium to call their home. The Canadian federal government has denied the team's request to play in Toronto. They are citing safety concerns there. They don't want players traveling to and from the United States.

So the team, looking at the stadium of its minor league affiliate in Buffalo, it's looking at its spring training facility in Florida. One of the team players, pitcher Anthony Bass, also throwing out the idea, Poppy, of the Jays potentially using another Major League team's ballpark if the schedule permits. So a lot of question marks with the Toronto Blue Jays as Major League Baseball looks to continue.

and the bottom line, the main takeaway here is that everybody is running out of time. We desperately want to see sports coming back, but there are a lot of issues at stake before that happens, particularly with the NFL season right around the corner.

HARLOW: The WNBA, Carolyn, about to launch, you know, kick off this weekend. And of course, the WNBA and NBA are all condensed, playing in a single place. What went into the decision-making to not do that with baseball for example?

MANNO: Well, it's a much larger undertaking, I think, with the NFL and also Major League Baseball, Poppy. I mean, you're talking about much larger rosters, NFL is spending a lot of money, they've picked up their season, you know, right towards the end, they're just trying to make it through the playoffs.

So with some of these other leagues that are looking at the potential for a full season, it becomes a lot more expensive and a lot more difficult --

HARLOW: Sure.

MANNO: -- to execute.

HARLOW: All right, we'll see what happens. Carolyn, great reporting. Thanks so much.

[11:00:00]