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Arizona's Death Toll Hits New Daily Record; Florida Records Another 10,000-Plus Coronavirus Cases; President Donald Trump: I Don't Believe In A Nationwide Mask Mandate; Gunman Kills New Jersey Federal Judge's Son, Wounds Judge's Husband; House Holds Moment Of Silence In Memory Of Representative John Lewis. Aired 12-12:30p ET

Aired July 20, 2020 - 12:00   ET



MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You get this thing from going to work, community spread, bars, restaurants, gyms all that sort of stuffs or going to school. That's another big bucket another big possibility for how this might spread? When you have this much virus already out there how you do that, it's beyond me John?

JOHN KING, CNN HOST: A giant challenge. Miguel Marquez on the ground in Phoenix, I appreciate the live report.

At the top of the hour now, hello to our viewers in the United States and around the world I'm John King in Washington. Thank you for sharing a day with us. Possible progress today in the vaccine races we watch staggering coronavirus numbers both globally and here in the United States.

The preliminary results of two vaccines one developed by the University of Oxford, one developed by CanSino Biologics are encouraging. The Oxford trial included more than 1000 people and the results suggest that vaccine is safe and that it does induce an immune response.

I can see no trial also found its candidate produced antibodies a month after vaccination. Both research teams cautioned more study is needed not yet clear if either vaccine candidate protects people for an extended period.

And now to the numbers, the count here in the United States about to hit 3.8 million infections, the death toll past 140,000 Americans and all hands on deck moment that's the language of the White House Corona Virus Task Force official describing the challenge at this moment.

The President last hour says he will resume his daily coronavirus briefings starting tomorrow that follows a weekend interview in which the President said a fair amount about the virus but most of his words sadly we're disconnected from the reality of this summer surge.

President for example said misleading things about testing and misleading things about the death toll. Here's another, invoicing is opposition to a national mask mandate the President says everyone knows masks cause problems too. No they don't and they do slow the spread of the virus just ask the Surgeon General.


DR. JEROME ADAMS, U.S. SURGEON GENERAL: If you're going to have a mandate I think those work best at the local and state levels. I am pleading with your viewers; I'm begging you please understand that we are not trying to take away your freedoms when we say wear a face covering. We're not trying to take away your ability to go out when we say keep restaurant capacity under 50 percent. We're saying if we do these things we can actually open and stay open.


KING: Some states are adding mask requirements but not Georgia and not Florida it reported new numbers just last hour 10,347 new confirmed infections on Sunday in Florida. Let's take a look at the map now; it puts Florida on the leading edge of the summer surge.

And if you look at 50 states with 50 re opening plans and many of them problems at the moment 31 states you see the orange and the deeper red. 31 states going up that means more cases this week than last week not where we thought or we hope to be as we get into mid-July.

14 states that's the base or the yellow at home holding steady 5 states trending down including Arizona that's important they've had a tough couple weeks. We'll hope that continues. 5 down 31 up as we begin the work week here.

And let's take a closer look at positivity the President says more testing is we're getting more cases. You do want more testing but you want the positivity rate to go down that means you're stopping the spread. It did go down in early June to the middle of June now the positivity rate going back up around 8 percent that's nationally that is not what you want that means you still have more of a spread of the virus.

In Florida the hottest of the hot spots, this traces the re opening restaurants and bars at 50 percent capacity. Bars and movie theaters, bars forced to shut down here about a month ago. And you see the positivity rate when it was closed and then the very early the reopening was low.

That is not what you want, a 20 percent above 15 percent some days about 20 percent in the state of Florida in terms of positivity that means you have spread and big spread of the virus. One more new thing to look at in Florida here just the new cases the 7-day moving average again goes back here.

The reopening begins on May 1st, look how low the case count was? When Florida was pretty much shut down takes a while. This is the part that some people don't want to acknowledge, the lag time. You're flat for awhile but then as people start getting out, the bars were forced to shut down here we kept climbing again it lags to go up it lags to go down.

The question is will it start to go down now? On that question let's get straight to CNN's Randi Kaye; she's in West Palm Beach Florida. Randi the state has had a horrible couple of weeks, the question is, is there - can it turn for the better or does it keep in this bad place?

RANDI KAYE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Let's hope so John. I've been looking at the numbers to just before coming on air I looked at where we were on July 1st until now? So in the last 19 days we've jumped about 191,000 cases that certainly not what the State of Florida needs?

And now we're topping more than 5000 deaths with those new cases coming out today 5072 deaths statewide. Overall the hospitalizations more than 9400 hospitalized throughout the state. In Miami-Dade County you have more than 2000 people hospitalized, 2056 at last check that is certainly the hardest hit county here in the State of Florida and Broward another one here in South Florida 1255 people hospitalized.

In terms of the ICU beds throughout the state John, I just checked and there are 50 hospitals statewide that have 0 ICU beds left. They have hit capacity.


KAYE: I tried to get the numbers for the ICU beds from Miami-Dade County which as I said its hard hit. They usually release on their dashboard the hospitalizations, the ventilator use and the ICU beds. They are no longer releasing that. The dashboard is down, I'm told that maybe that will become available this afternoon because the state and the county are meeting to try and figure out how they can collect and report the data together?

As you know we don't even get the state hospitalizations until just a couple weeks ago. But the statewide positivity rate 18.7 percent that is up from yesterday which was just 18.2 percent. And civil fines are being issued throughout Miami-Dade County for people who just aren't wearing their masks. They're not social distancing.

115 total fines John and the individuals are fined $100 businesses as you know are fined $500 as well, back to you.

KING: We'll see if that works, if the enforcement works and so we say forces better behavior. Randi Kaye, I appreciate the update. Those numbers are still sobering from the Florida. And Randi was talking about these ICU numbers in Florida. As we know more than 80 percent right now capacity that means very little room left as both cases and numbers.

And those hospitalization numbers in Florida at the moment continue to rise. Dr. Nicholas Namias is Chief of Trauma and Surgical & Critical Care Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami Doctor, thank you so much for your time especially given the challenge that you're facing at this moment.

Watching this throughout last week and now into this new week the question was does Florida keep doing 10,000, 12000 or is there a point where whether it's the mask or something else you force this down? Are you seeing at least a stall or you still climbing?

DR. NICHOLAS NAMIAS, CHIEF OF TRAUMA AND SURGICAL CRITICAL CARE, JACKSON MEMORIAL HEALTH: I'm not seeing any stall. I mean every day we look and we see 10,000, 12,000 or 14,000 10,000. So until we see sustained lower numbers I don't think we're seeing a stall. And we're not doing anything differently so there's no reason to expect that they would be any different.

KING: And so if you look. I just want to put up hospitalizations in Florida. And if you go back to the re opening debate you know what we were told was we got this right? A lot of the Governors and the people pushing for the re opening and we have to - you can't keep an economy completely shut down?

I'm not trying to make their case but their point was you know some people get infected but we're not going to stress and strain our hospital system? You see the stretch now, Florida hospitalizations going up. There's a lag time usually takes 2 to 3 weeks on this one but there's no question at the moment you're under stress the question is how bad is that stress can you handle it?

NAMIAS: Yes, I think we can handle it. I mean what I think the administration is doing is just trying to stay one step ahead of it, not 10 steps ahead of it because all these steps ahead put great demands on personnel and resources. So we're always on the on the cusp where there's a patient needs a bed and we're making a bed.

And that's exactly where we are, there aren't 50 people in emergency room waiting for an ICU bed but there's one. You know and then you move things around and you make the one bed until you realize okay we need 20 more where are we going to do it?

So they've been - they've been working on that just trying to stay - keep pace with the disease or be one step ahead.

KING: Let's hope you can stay at least one step ahead. But one would hope that the United States of America and with some of the premier health systems in the world like yours could get to do a better job than being just one step ahead.

I want to put up on the screen because I want your expertise on this as we start to see. This is the positivity rate this is a national number here. The positivity rate which is means you're taking the test and you're seeing what percentage of them are coming back positive as more people are tested.

You see that dip in early to mid June and now we're back up nationally at around 8 percent? But you just heard Randi Kaye talking about Florida in the ballpark of 18 percent that tells you, you have a big problem and you have beyond a church or one big bar event cluster you have community spread.

NAMIAS: Correct. I mean, if there weren't spread that positivity rate would actually be gone down. It wouldn't stay the same or would go down because if the reality were that were doing more tests and that's why they're more positive? Well no, that number should go down because the extra people that we're testing are people maybe who are being tested for exposure or they're nervous. So we should be testing a lot more people who are negatives that percentage should come down. So with it being so high that's a very serious load of virus out in the community.

KING: And I think you heard our Reporter Randi Kaye saying they're starting to actually enforce the mask mandate in the Miami-Dade area giving people citations and finding them. The President of the United States says he does not believe in a national mask mandate. I want you to listen.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: You know I want people to have a certain freedom and I don't believe in that no. And I don't agree with the statement that if everybody wears a mask everything disappears. Well, all of a sudden everybody's got to wear a mask and as you know mask cause problems too. With that being said, I'm a believer in masks. I think masks are good.


KING: Again, I try to the degree I can to keep the doctors out of the politics in the sense that we have 50 states. This is a big political debate about whether there should be a national mandate whether they should be up to the Governors?


KING: Well let's leave that to others to debate that out. But to the point the President made there I don't agree with the statement that if everybody wears a mask everything disappears part one. And as you know mask cause problems too. Do mask cause problems?

NAMIAS: No, masks do not cause problems. I've spent my life in a mask and mask does not cause problems. Especially the light weight masks that we're asking the community to wear really impose no difficulty in breathing or any risk of infection.

I suppose there's some extreme case at the far end that's really has no breath left in their life, who may have trouble with it. But for essentially all the normal people it doesn't pose any kind of a problem. And for sure wearing a mask will halt the spread of disease. It's a respiratory disease it's that simple. If you can't breathe it out and you can't breathe it in it's going to help.

KING: Dr. Nicholas Namias, in the middle of it in Florida I appreciate your time and your expertise. Most importantly appreciate the work you do in every day. Thank you very much sir.

NAMIAS: Thank you.

KING: Thank you. And now let's dig a little bit deeper on word today of early promise of two major vaccine candidates. CNN's Jacqueline Howard joins us now to share this reporting. Jacqueline one trial from Oxford another from the Chinese drug maker CanSino, what have we learned?

JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH REPORTER: Yes, so it's really you know this data just came in. So this is really new preliminary data. And I can start with the Oxford trial. So that study was done on more than 1000 participants. They were healthy adults ages 18 to 55 and the study did show that the vaccine candidate in this case why is able to elicit an immune response?

So specifically here it says that that vaccine candidate was able to elicit an antibody response within 28 days and a T-cell response within 24 days. I mean sorry 14 days an antibody responses and seen the response with T-cells really shows that the candidate did elicit an immune response.

So in other words it did what we would want it to do. Now what we still have to determine is whether this is enough to help curb the pandemic? We really need to do more trials to see whether this vaccine candidate and the response that we saw here in future trials if it will show to work against the pandemic that we're facing today?

And then also again this study was done in healthy adults ages 18 to 55. We really need to see how this vaccine would work in older adults and people with underlying health conditions. And those are the two high risk groups for COVID, older adults and those with underlying conditions, that's really what we still have to learn here.

KING: So that's the challenge balance - let's have a little optimism that some progress is being made - we need to wait as this move into a bigger phase trials. So Jacqueline Howard I very much appreciate the reporting. We'll stay on top of that one as well. Up next for us law and order a federal judge's family targeted her son gunned down on their doorstep overnight, the latest on the FBI manhunts next.



KING: Manhunt now underway after a gunman brazenly opened fire at the home of the New Jersey federal judge, killing her son and wounding her husband. The judge was involved in several high profile cases but law enforcement officials say at this moment the motive still unknown.

With me now CNN's Brynn Gingras following this case Brynn, a knock at the door, the son answers gunmen opened fire, wow brazen case.

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's horrific John. And there are so many questions still with a massive investigation still going on. The motive for one who was this gunman for another and he was actually targeted inside this house here behind.

You can see the crime scene tape is still up, that's all the questions that investigators are trying to work through right now to try to get some answers as to what went down. But as far as we know from a preliminary investigation sources are telling CNN that like you said.

There was a knock on the door and that the person, the gunman was wearing a FedEx uniform. It's unclear if you actually work for FedEx or if he was in disguise. But once the door was opened by this you know federal judge Esther Salas his son named Daniel 20-years-old, the gunman opened fire killing Daniel and injuring the honors a husband who is now in the hospital.

And actually just spoke to Esther Salas' brother who essentially said that her husband Mark who is a criminal defense attorney himself. He had surgery yesterday abdominal surgery and he's going to go back for another surgery today. But he's doing okay, he's very much aware of what happened at his home and to his son who is just gut wrenching as you can imagine.

We also are learning that she's doing okay herself she was in the home although she was not harmed during what happened. But like you said John, she covers a lot of high profile cases. You can look at her resume and some of them include the sentencing of real housewives Joe and Teresa just a couple years ago.

She was involved in the sentencing of a notorious gang member from New York. And even more recently she took on a civil suit that has to do with Dutch Bank in part of that suit is how they handled their high risk clients including Jeffrey Epstein?

So there are a lot of famous names in there. And as I mentioned her husband's also a criminal defense attorney. So you can bet investigators are going to be looking for all this as they try to get some answers to what happened here just horrific?

And I can tell you this neighborhood who says that he came closer since COVID because everybody's kind of come outside and gotten to know each other. They're all just for a fight especially to hear that their son, their only son was killed in this.

KING: That is horrific. Brynn Gingras on the ground for us, the police tape says at all in that residential neighborhood. Brynn thanks so much for the reporting.

Let's get more now with the Mayor of North Brunswick, New Jersey where the judge and her family live Mayor Francis "Mac" Womack, Mr.

Mayor thank you so much for being here.

Let me start with this. I assume the Mayor would get looped in if investigators are making any progress. Have you learned anything new about motive or suspect in this day?


MAYOR FRANCIS "MAC" WOMACK (D), NORTH BRUNSWICK, NJ: I have not in the last little while we've heard media reports. But I have not heard anything from official from any of the agencies involved.

KING: And so you knew the husband at least, did you know the judge as well? Take us inside of what you know of the family?

WOMACK: Well, the important thing for me to relate is what an important part of our community marking enroll and Esther Salas Judge Salas were. She is such an important person of course is the United States District Court judge and we were so proud to have her living in our community.

But they're the kind of people you would pass him walking their dog in our community park. Since COVID you could find him sitting beside you at one of the outdoor dining facilities that's open safely distance they're just wonderful people.

And they're part of our community and it's just that makes it all of a more a tragic walks locally for us.

KING: Absolutely tragic and this 20-year-old young man at the beginning of his life, opening the door and having a gunman opened fire. Mr. Mayor, when you heard the details, I know you're the Mayor and it's your community. You just hear a knock on the door somebody in a FedEx uniform.

FedEx is working with the authorities they have no idea if this a FedEx employee or if this was part of a dupe if you will? A knock at the door, the son opens, the father standing behind him, a gunman opens fire. It's brazen and bizarre in any case for it to happen in your community have to stun you?

WOMACK: It's a stomach punch not just for me but for everybody who lives in this town. It's horrible and terrible thing and it could not happen to a nicer group of between - nicer families.

KING: Mayor Francis Mac Womack in North Brunswick, New Jersey, sir best of luck as this investigation plays out. It comes at a time of COVID and other challenges as well. Good luck sir.

WOMACK: Thank you so very much.

KING: Thank you. Up next for us, Congress is back in already at an impasse over a next round of coronavirus relief. Senate Republicans want money, more money for testing and tracing as the Republicans remember. The President says no.



KING: To the House of Representatives now, momentarily a moment of silence in honor of the Late Congressman Civil Rights Icon John Lewis right now, a tribute, let's listen.

REP. SANFORD BISHOP JR. (D-GA): Our colleague, our brother and our friend received and answered his final summons from God Almighty and at that moment transition from labor to reward. The world is a better place because John Lewis spent his life pursuing freedom, justice opportunity, love and peace for all of humanity while he is an icon in the history of America for his courage and his sacrifice in making good trouble.

His enduring humility reflected the truth timbre of his character. He inspired us as the conscience of the Congress and we have all been truly blessed to know love and share the life and legacy of this extraordinary human being.

I ask that you join my wife Vivian and me along with the members of the Georgia Delegation in extending our deepest condolences to John's family, friends, staff including his faithful and devoted Chief of Staff Michael Collins and all those around the world who mourn his loss.

John, rest in peace and lie down with pleasant dreams knowing that this current generation will continue the fight for the ultimate realization of your beloved community. Madam speaker, I now yield to my distinguished colleague from Georgia, Mr. Graves.

REP. TOM GRAVES (R-GA): Thank you Mr. Bishop. I first met John Lewis just a few feet from where we are right now in the well of the house. I was a special elect, a member to be and it was John who welcomed me down in the well. I'll never forget that day.

It was his thunderous voice that filled the chamber as he welcomed me in and introduced me to each of you. He honored me that day. Afterwards he embraced me and then he stood by me. As I put my hand up and took the oath of office.

It's truly a privilege now for me to be able to stand before you and honor him. Not far from where he honored me as we remember the life and legacy that is known as a gentle, gentle giant.