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EARLY START

The Son of a Federal Judge Gunned Down at the Family Home in New Jersey; FDA Authorizes Pooled Testing to Speed Up Results; Local Leaders Clash with Feds Over Portland Protests. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired July 20, 2020 - 05:00   ET

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


[05:00:00]

LAURA JARRETT, CO-ANCHOR, EARLY START: Breaking this morning, the son of a federal judge gunned down at the family home. The FBI now investigating why this family was targeted.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CO-ANCHOR, EARLY START: Coronavirus death rates are up, case rates are up, more people are in the hospital. Instead of directing his government to alleviate the disaster, the president says he'll be right eventually. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is EARLY START, I'm Christine Romans.

JARRETT: And I'm Laura Jarrett, it's Monday, July 20th, 5:00 a.m. here in New York.

ROMANS: All right, breaking overnight, the FBI investigating after a gunman opens fire at the home of a federal judge in New Jersey, killing her son and injuring her husband. Judge Esther Salas was home at the time, but unhurt. Early law enforcement reports say her husband, Mark Anderl, was standing behind their 20-year-old son, Daniel, who opened the door to a hail of gunfire.

The shooter was wearing what looked like a FedEx uniform. It's unclear whether the gunman was a FedEx employee or posing as one. Neighbors and friends say they are devastated.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE MAURO, NEIGHBOR & CHILDHOOD FRIEND OF DANIEL ANDERL: We grew together, went to the same school and everything. Played baseball, sad to see him go. I mean, he was a decent kid like, you know, he was going to be a lawyer just like his dad did. His father is also a lawyer.

MARION COSTANZA, NEIGHBOR: This is an absolute shock. Just very good, natured, wonderful people. So, hopefully they'll be OK. And that said, we love them very much.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JARRETT: A source tells CNN, law enforcement is unaware of any threats against the judge. Her husband is a defense attorney, so investigators don't know yet whether -- what the motive was or who was the intended target. Back in 2011, Salas became the first Latino woman to serve as a U.S. District court judge in New Jersey. We will bring you more updates on this as we get them.

ROMANS: All right, turning to coronavirus this morning. A national problem is escalating with no national solution in sight. The number of deaths per day is up more than 60 percent in the last two weeks. The U.S. at or near 60,000 cases for 13 straight days. In Florida, Sunday was the fourth day this month with more than 12,000 cases. The rate of positive tests has been hovering around 20 percent for weeks. There are no ICU beds available at 49 hospitals across the state, and ICUs in Miami-Dade County are at 127 percent of typical capacity.

JARRETT: Other states are also sliding into real trouble now. Hospitalizations in Nevada which had been declining for weeks now rising sharply for the first time. And Louisiana is spiking a second time after peaking in April. Governor John Bel Edwards says, coronavirus is more rampant in Louisiana now than it ever has been. President Trump who's minimized the pandemic from the beginning is still not changing course.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I will be right eventually. You know, I said, it's going to disappear. I'll say it again. It's going to disappear.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But does that just -- does that discredit you?

TRUMP: And I'll be right. I don't think so.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.

TRUMP: I don't think so. You know why it hasn't yet because I've been right probably more than anybody else.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JARRETT: The president still blaming more testing for more COVID cases. And that is still nonsense. Hospitalizations and the positive test rates are soaring. Cases are up 194 percent, testing is up only 37 percent. And a lot of test results are delayed, that's a big concern for health officials.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FRANCIS COLLINS, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH: The average test delay is too long. You're absolutely right. It averages around the country, it's about three days, but in some places, it's as long as a week. And that really undercuts the value of the testing because you do the testing to find out who is carrying the virus and then quickly get them isolated so they don't spread it around. And it's very hard to make that work when there's a long delay built in.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: So in Texas, the number of coronavirus patients hospitalized has stayed above 10,000 for a week. The ICU at Texas Medical Center in Houston was at 104 percent of capacity this weekend.

JARRETT: Arizona with a record high death count. Georgia and North Carolina reporting record numbers of new cases. Notice the trend here, metrics are bad and getting worse for the president in states he won in 2016. Meanwhile, New York City is set to enter phase four today, allowing zoos to reopen, movie and TV production can restart as well. Indoor activities however remain on hold.

The New York State has now reached a new low for COVID-19 hospitalizations since the outbreak began.

ROMANS: All right, a troubling sign for the push to reopen schools. A large new study from South Korea finds children between the ages of 10 and 19 can spread coronavirus just as much as adults. Researchers also found children younger than 10 transmits the virus at the home at much lower rates, but the risk is not zero. And there are concerns young children can transmit the virus to older relatives and teachers.

[05:05:00]

JARRETT: The FDA is authorizing pooled coronavirus testing to speed up the process. The agency says pooling, mixing samples together can turn around four test results at one time. That means fewer resources are needed, and backlogs caused by a spike in infections will hopefully be eased. If a pool sample comes back negative, all patients are presumed healthy. If a pool test is positive, each sample must be tested individually.

ROMANS: All right, one of the biggest questions in the coronavirus recession is what shape the recovery will take. There is an alphabet soup of possibilities, the V-shape, the U-shape or the dreaded L-shape recovery. I spoke to hedge fund billionaire Leon Cooperman who told me the recovery will look more like the square root symbol.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LEON COOPERMAN, HEDGE FUND BILLIONAIRE: If you go back to school days, you know, you had a sharp movement down, you'll have a bounce back, but because of the need to service the debt, the growth rate in the economy going forward will be less than people think.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: For now, more stimulus is needed, and he says Congress and the Fed are doing the right things to rescue the economy. White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows says negotiations on the next stimulus package will start in earnest today. There's a critical window here, this is the last week for a key life line for millions of Americans. The extra $600 a week in enhanced unemployment benefits, both JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank now say that extra money was effectively a stimulus. It did go into the economy. Still looking ahead, Cooperman worries about the ballooning debt.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COOPERMAN: I'm focused on something the market is not focusing on at the present time. And that is who pays for the party when the party is over. That's a growth rate, well in excess of the growth rate of the economy. To me, that means more of our nation's income will have to be devoted to debt service which will retard economic growth in the long term.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: The recent surge in cases across the country will likely mean more layoffs, furloughs and hardships. Data from the Census Bureau shows half of adults in the U.S. live in households that lost income during the pandemic.

JARRETT: Well, overnight, another night of demonstrations in Portland, Oregon. Protesters being disbursed with gas there. City has been dealing with weeks of escalating unrest. A police union building was set on fire this weekend. Military units now patrolling the streets, hauling protesters away in unmarked vans.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What are you doing?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JARRETT: This is not overseas, but right here in the United States. At least some of these agents belong to the Department of Homeland Security. An internal Homeland Security memo obtained by "The New York Times" says tactical teams, quote, "do not specifically have training in riot control or masked demonstrations."

ROMANS: Yes, and these unmarked vans just coming in and detaining people. When it comes to coronavirus, President Trump has said that solution should be left to the state. Said here, an aggressive federal response to subdue protesters, the officers there to purportedly assist local law enforcement at the president's direction, but get this, city and state leaders, they want the Feds out.

Oregon's attorney general has now filed a lawsuit, accusing federal officers of violating civil rights.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ELLEN ROSENBLUM, ATTORNEY GENERAL, OREGON: Every American needs to be concerned about what's happening here in Portland. You know, these federal agencies are operating with no transparency and against the will of just about every leader in our state.

MAYOR TED WHEELER, PORTLAND, OREGON: And what they're doing is they're sharply escalating the situation. Their presence here is actually leading to more violence and more vandalism, and it's not helping the situation at all.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Multiple Democratic house committee chairs now demanding a watchdog investigation into actions by federal officers -- federal officers in Portland and in Washington D.C., in response to those protests spurred by the death of George Floyd and police brutality.

JARRETT: Well, this morning, the nation is remembering the life and legacy of civil rights icon John Lewis. Church bells rang at Saint Luke's Episcopal Church in Atlanta where a mural of the revered long- time Congressman towers over downtown. Lewis died of pancreatic cancer Friday night at the age of 80. As a young man, he had his skull broken by police in Alabama during a peaceful protests on bloody Sunday in 1965. A life of public service followed, stirring up what he called "good trouble". Lewis never stopped inspiring.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN LEWIS, LATE CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST & FORMER CONGRESSMAN: Never give up! Never give in! Stand up! Speak up! When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have a moral obligation to do something, to say something and not be quiet.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[05:10:00]

JARRETT: The late congressman's family talked about the loss and their love for a relative who was also a national figure.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HENRY GRANT LEWIS, BROTHER OF JOHN LEWIS: While we grieve the loss of this legend, we are blessed to know that he touched so many people on every corner of the globe. He fought until the very end. That was my big brother. He was a fighter with a tenacious spirit, but he was also gracious and kind-hearted.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Lewis' long-time friend and colleague, Congressman James Clyburn of South Carolina wants to pass a bill in his name that restores part of the Voters Rights Act.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JAMES CLYBURN (D-SC): Let's go to work and pass that bill because it's laid out the way the Supreme Court asked us to lay it out, and that the president were to sign that, then I think that's what we would do to honor John.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Voting rights are under attack in several states. And now President Trump is refusing to accepting the election results. For months, he's been spreading falsehoods about vote by mail with no proof of fraud, and several states used mail-in ballots and the president himself has voted by mail. As for -- judge's 5th district, seven local Democratic leaders on a committee will review applications of Georgians who are interested, 131 candidates had applied by the deadline last night. JARRETT: Well, still ahead, days after Russia was accused of stealing

COVID vaccine research, a Moscow lab says it's close to a vaccine. CNN exclusively takes you inside.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:15:00]

JARRETT: A CNN exclusive now inside Moscow's Gamalei Institute. Researchers claim they're on the brink of a coronavirus vaccine. If it's true, how do they do it so quickly especially after being accused of trying to steal western research. CNN's Matthew Chance reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For Russia, the search for a coronavirus vaccine is a global race. And it's at this research lab in Moscow that hopes to win. Access to the Gamalei Institute is tightly controlled. No CNN cameras were allowed through these doors. But they did give us exclusive footage of the sensitive scientific work taking place inside a unique glimpse of Russia's rapid push for a coronavirus vaccine.

They even sent recorded comments from their director who controversially injected himself before human trials officially began.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It has become a task of unprecedented complexity. In a very short time, we have to create a vaccine against this disease.

CHANCE: But that need for speed in Russia means corners may have been cut. Russian soldiers, all volunteers according to the Defense Ministry were used in the first phase of human trials. And now allegations denied by the Kremlin that Russian spies have been hacking U.S., British and Canadian labs to steal their coronavirus secrets. Allegations also rejected by the head of the organization funding much of Russia's coronavirus research.

(on camera): Russia desperately needs to develop and wants to develop a vaccine. Isn't that one reason why the Kremlin would try and get ahead by stealing other nation's vaccine secrets.

KIRILL DMITRIEV, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, RUSSIAN DIRECT INVESTMENT FUND: Well, first of all, Matthew, we are very surprised by the timing of this because basically it happens the next day, actively months, that we expect approval of our vaccine in August.

CHANCE: Sure, but how do you explain that extraordinary speed? I mean, other countries are working flat out. Why would Russia be so far ahead. I mean, there are allegations, there are concerns that this country has been cutting corners when it comes to its research.

DMITRIEV: Our vaccine is based on a proven vaccine platform. It was a vaccine against Ebola. It was a vaccine against MERS, and now scientists just substituted Ebola and MERS codes with the spike of the coronavirus. CHANCE: Adjusting an old vaccine to work with the new coronavirus

instead. Details remains sketchy that it's that clinical strategy, not hacking, officials say, giving this Russian lab the edge. Matthew Chance, CNN, Moscow.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS: All right, some prominent NFL stars with big concerns about reporting to training camp, about plans to keeping safe.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:20:00]

ROMANS: And NFL players launch a social media blitz over pandemic safety concerns just as training camps are set to open. Carolyn Manno has more in this morning's "BLEACHER REPORT". Nice to see you, Carolyn.

CAROLYN MANNO, CNN SPORTS REPORTER: You too, good morning Christine. All rookies are expected to report tomorrow, but there are still major details here that need to be ironed out between the NFL and the its players union. And now you have some of the sport's biggest stars saying that they're still waiting for a plan to address things like frequency of testing and social distancing. Saints quarterback Drew Brees tweeting "we need football! We need sports! We need hope!

If the NFL doesn't do their part to keep players healthy, there is no football in 2020. It's that simple. Get it done, NFL." Russell Wilson adding, "I'm concerned. My wife is pregnant. NFL training camp is about to start and there is still no clear plan on player health and family safety. The common theme among players this year is the hash tag, we want to play. Players say they need time to get into football shape.

The Joint Medical Committee recommended a 21-day acclamation period for that, which was shortened to accommodate pre-season games. The union says those games should be canceled, regular season still scheduled to begin Thursday, September 10th. In the meantime, we're getting our first glimpse at baseball's new reality teams playing exhibition games in empty stadiums ahead of Thursday's season opener.

The Blue Jays are still searching for a stadium to call home. The Canadian federal government denying the team's request to play in Toronto, citing safety concerns. Those players traveling to and from the United States -- the team is looking at minor league stadiums or perhaps their Spring training homes down in Florida. Clock is certainly ticking their low at the team's first home game set for July 29th.

So, some geopolitical complications associated with coronavirus in Major League Baseball as the Blue Jays look to play somewhere in the next couple of days.

JARRETT: Somewhere, anywhere. I'm sure that's how all of those fans feel in Toronto. All right, good to see you, Carolyn. Thanks. Who and why attacked the family home of a federal judge, killing her 20-year- old son?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:25:00]

ROMANS: Breaking this morning. The son of a federal judge gunned down at the family home. The FBI now investigating why the family was targeted.

JARRETT: Coronavirus death rates are up. Case rates are up. More people are in the hospital. The president, instead of directing his government to alleviate the disaster, says he will be right eventually. Good morning, this is EARLY START, I'm Laura Jarrett.

ROMANS: Nice to see you this Monday morning everyone, I'm Christine Romans, it is 30 minutes past the hour.

JARRETT: And we begin with breaking news overnight. The FBI is investigating after a gunman opened fire at the home of a federal judge in New Jersey killing her son and injuring her husband. Judge Esther Salas was home at the time but not hurt in the shooting.