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EARLY START

Trump's Sagging Polls Force Reversals On Pandemic; Spain Struggles To Find Contact Tracers To Slow Outbreak; Parliament Releases Report On Russian Election Meddling In The U.K. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired July 21, 2020 - 05:30   ET

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


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[05:30:20]

LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: With the virus surging and his poll numbers tanking, a new focus from the president, at least for the cameras.

Good morning, this is EARLY START. I'm Laura Jarrett.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, I'm Christine Romans. It's 30 minutes past the hour this Tuesday morning.

And faced with nearly 141,000 dead Americans and dwindling poll numbers, President Trump is going back to the place he is most comfortable, the microphone.

It has been three months since the president last attended a COVID briefing. He stopped after the backlash to comments like this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Supposing we hit the body with a tremendous -- whether it's ultraviolet or just very powerful light. And I think you said that hasn't been checked but you're going to test it.

And then I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in a minute -- one minute. And is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside or almost a cleaning?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JARRETT: Aides are signaling the briefings will not focus exclusively on coronavirus, even though the virus is surging. This will undoubtedly give the president a chance to freelance on other more political topics as he's done throughout his presidency.

Public health isn't the only reason he's bringing back the briefings. We're told the president, himself, noted the ratings, believing he had, quote, "a good slot."

Trump has also abruptly reversed himself on masks, now calling them patriotic and putting out a photo of himself wearing one. It was early April when the CDC gave guidance to wear one. Aides had been pleading with him to wear one, a sight he spent months trying to avoid.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: 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 wore a mask everything just disappears.

I wore one in this back area but I didn't want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it.

Wearing a face mask as I greet presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens -- I don't know, somehow, I don't see it for myself.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: And he told "The Wall Street Journal" recently that wearing a mask was people saying they don't like Trump.

Now, even with the sudden mask endorsement, he's not changing behind closed doors. At a fundraiser in D.C. last night, the president, with no mask, was greeting people.

And make no mistake, these changes, whether they last a day or longer, this is -- this is all about November. Internal polling matches the public polling. The president is watching Joe Biden build a double- digit lead and a lot of that is directly because of the president's response to coronavirus.

JARRETT: Fifty states looking for national leadership as they struggle with the pandemic on their own.

In Florida, the largest teacher's union is suing to overturn the governor's order forcing schools to reopen next month. Families are stuck in limbo right now. Several major cities have delayed a return to in-person schooling despite a push from the Trump administration.

Florida is home to five of America's 10 largest school districts and governed by an ally of President Trump.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. RON DESANTIS (R), FLORIDA: If you had been --

PROTESTERS: (INAUDIBLE).

DESANTIS: If you had been infected, then you --

PROTESTERS: (INAUDIBLE).

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Ron DeSantis heckled once again, but he's not the only governor downplaying the risk of sending kids to school.

Here's Missouri's Republican governor.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. MIKE PARSON (R), MISSOURI: These kids have got to get back to school -- they're at the lowest risk possible. And if they do get COVID 19, which they will -- and they will when they go to school -- they're not going to the hospitals. They're not going to have to sit in doctor's offices. They're going to go home and they're going to get over it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: More than 9,500 people in Florida are hospitalized with COVID-19. Fifty-three ICUs have reached capacity.

And some children do die from coronavirus. One mom lost two children in the last two weeks.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MONETE HICKS, LOST SON AND DAUGHTER TO CORONAVIRUS: I honestly can't say where they got this virus from because they basically was homebound. Wear your mask. If you don't have to come out, stay home.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JARRETT: Hospitalizations nationwide spiking right back up to where they were in April. These are not just cases that we're talking about -- which include asymptomatic people -- these are gravely ill patients.

In Hidalgo County, Texas -- one of the dark red counties at the southern tip of that map -- people have been ordered to shelter at home. Local officials say the hospitals are, quote, "really maximized."

In New York, the number of the cases is down but there's a lot of concern about young people out and about. The governor has a blunt message for them.

[05:35:00]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: I'm telling you in plain New York speak as a born and bred New Yorker, it's stupid what you're doing. It is stupid. Don't be stupid. What they're doing is stupid and reckless for themselves and for other people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: If Americans start making better choices here's what eventually awaits them. Thousands of movie theaters across China reopening after nearly six months. But for now in the U.S., more rules. Disney World tightening restrictions, ordering visitors to stay in one

place while eating and drinking. People have been wandering around the park eating with their masks off, moving around. That's not going to be allowed anymore.

Chicago is tightening restrictions on indoor activities, including bars and gyms. And in California, Friday Night Lights will remain dark this fall. High school sports of all kinds now postponed until December or January because of the pandemic.

All right, another coronavirus record in California. CNN reporters are covering developments coast-to-coast.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Nick Watt is Los Angeles where for the fourth time in seven days, L.A. County has set a new record for the number of COVID-19 patients in the hospital -- 2,232.

Meanwhile, Gov. Gavin Newsom says that for the entire state, the next few weeks are going to be critical. But one interesting loosening of restrictions. He's now allowing hair salons and barbershops outdoor only -- nothing inside.

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Randi Kaye in West Palm Beach, Florida.

We are certainly seeing a surge of cases here, but in West Virginia, they're having their share of problems. The governor there reporting there's been an outbreak of COVID-19 in seven churches in seven counties. In all, 75 cases -- about five to eight cases at each church.

The governor is warning churchgoers to be careful. He's telling them that the church setting is the ideal setting for spreading the virus.

But still, there is some good news. That state still reporting a positivity rate of just over two percent.

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Alexandra Field.

The state of Kentucky is trying to stem the spread of coronavirus by announcing new restrictions. Gov. Andy Beshear says there will be a 14-day quarantine for travelers arriving to Kentucky from states with a 15 percent or higher positivity rate.

The governor says Kentucky is seeing new clusters associated with travel, but also new clusters associated with social gatherings, like backyard barbecues. So they're reducing the limit for gatherings from 50 people back down to 10 people.

LUCY KAFANOV, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Lucy Kafanov in Denver.

In Montana, a controversy is brewing over Gov. Steve Bullock's directive for all citizens to wear masks to stop the spread of COVID- 19. Local officials in Ravalli County are disobeying the governor's order, which prompted a health officer to submit her letter of resignation, saying she's been put in a no-win situation.

Local authorities say businesses should decide whether or not to require masks. The health officer says she's reluctant to quit but doesn't want to go against local officials.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS: Yes. You know, the simple act of wearing a mask has become a flashpoint in polarized America. There are arguments, even scuffles, between customers -- defiant customers challenge frontline workers.

The president won't mandate mask-wearing, so industries and companies are left to craft their own rules to keep people safe.

On Monday, the American Bankers Association called for its members to require masks in bank branches to protect the health of bank employees and their customers.

In an op-ed for CNN Business, 21 retail CEOs urged governors to take the lead on the issue, saying "Without government leadership, a small but meaningful segment of customers will continue to disregard private-sector warnings, placing themselves and others in harm's way."

The Gap joined a growing list of retailers requiring masks inside its stores.

The American Hotel and Lodging Association now requiring guests wear masks in all indoor public spaces at these hospitality hotel venues.

And as cases surge in the south, Winn Dixie, one of the largest grocery store chains in the southeast, reversing itself in the mask debate. Customers must now wear face coverings in stores. That begins Monday.

And then there is this. A growing number of people who claim they can't wear a mask because it cuts their oxygen intake or they have breathing troubles.

Delta Airlines now says those customers -- well, they'll have to have a new health screening before they can fly. And Delta suggests if you can't wear a mask for health reasons maybe you shouldn't fly.

Laura, it's so interesting because you watch these industries and companies and some say they are encouraging mask-wearing, some say they're requiring mask-wearing. The enforcement, though, I feel, is just so unfortunate. The frontline workers, sometimes, are the ones who have to --

JARRETT: Yes.

ROMANS: -- enforce all this.

JARRETT: Yes, that's exactly right. Think about the people who are actually bearing the brunt of it. They're the people who have actually risked their lives to go out and work in a grocery store or at a restaurant to serve others. [05:40:01]

And, of course, the whole point of this was that wearing a face- covering isn't about just protecting you --

ROMANS: Right.

JARRETT: -- it's actually about protecting others. But it seems that this has just become so polarized and the lack of national leadership, of course, hasn't helped either.

ROMANS: You're absolutely right.

JARRETT: Well, as you mentioned, wearing masks on flights, after 12 consecutive weeks of growth, air travel is declining again.

The TSA says it screened nearly 4.7 million passengers last week. That's down about four percent from the previous week and about 75 percent from this time last year. The TSA had its two busiest days since the pandemic hit during the July Fourth weekend.

ROMANS: President Trump is preparing to send in more federal agents to cities run by Democratic mayors to crack down on what he says is increased crime and violence.

Law enforcement officials tell CNN the Department of Homeland Security will send more than 150 agents to Chicago to focus on illegal gun sales, gun violence, and outstanding warrants. Chicago has seen a spike in major crime. Sixty-three people were shot, 12 murdered just this past weekend. But the mayor wants the feds to stay out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT (D), CHICAGO: Our democracy is at stake and I'll be darned if I'm going to let anybody, even if their name is Mr. President, bring those kind of troops to our city and try to take off our residents. That's not going to happen in Chicago. And if they try it, I'm going to use every tool at my disposal to stop them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JARRETT: The president is also considering sending federal officers to other cities like New York and Detroit.

The federal presence in Portland, Oregon has raised major civil rights concerns with unidentified officers sweeping protesters off the streets into unmarked vans -- some not even identifying themselves.

The mayors of Seattle, Chicago, Atlanta, Portland, Washington, D.C., and Kansas City have all signed a letter to the attorney general expressing their, quote, "deep concern and objection to the deployment of federal forces in their cities."

ROMANS: An attorney found dead on Monday is the suspect in a deadly shooting at the home of a federal judge. A self-described anti- feminist lawyer who defends men's rights, Roy Den Hollander once argued a case before Judge Esther Salas.

Two law enforcement sources tell CNN he died from what is believed to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Judge Salas' son Daniel was killed and her husband Mark wounded in Sunday's attack. Family and friends say Daniel was an avid sportsman. He aspired to be an attorney, like his parents. Mark Anderl is in stable condition after surgery yesterday.

We'll be right back.

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[05:46:43]

ROMANS: Just last month, Spain advertised its beaches as the safest holiday destination in Europe. But now, three million residents are being urged to stay home to curb a new outbreak in and around Barcelona. A lack of contact tracers part of the problem here.

CNN's Atika Shubert is live in Barcelona for us. Hi, there.

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Christine.

You know, people are being urged to stay at home but it's just another day in Barcelona. The music is playing, people are out shopping, and basically, the local government has not made it mandatory to stay home. That's why people are out.

At the same time, when we pressed local officials, they told us they have less than half of the necessary staff they need to actually trace and isolate COVID-19 cases, so this is a big problem. We're looking at a large metropolitan area struggling with an outbreak.

And one epidemiologist I spoke to said she does not think these measures are enough. She thinks it could be that there will be much more forceful measures that are necessary. That is bad news for those people who were hoping Spain could somehow go back to normal.

ROMANS: Yes, these reopenings of these economies will be in fits and starts as the virus -- as the virus pops up again.

All right, Atika Shubert in Barcelona for us -- thanks.

JARRETT: Breaking moments ago, a new report from the British Parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee. It calls for new legislation to tackle the threats from Russia, calling Moscow's influence the new normal.

International security editor Nick Paton Walsh joins us live from London. And, Nick what more can you tell us about this report?

NICK PATON WALSH, INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: Long-awaited here -- nine months, some say, from when it should have been published. But let's deal with the key questions many were hoping it would answer. The first is did Russia's meddling in social media or elsewhere in Britain's electoral process change the outcome of the Brexit referendum in 2016? Well, this report says that actually, it wasn't even its task to assess that and it would have been almost impossible to assess.

But it is clear that there is a bid by Russia to try and influence the outcome of the democratic process here in the United Kingdom. It also points towards the Scottish referendum for independence in 2014 as perhaps the first time this was attempted in a western democracy.

It is critical, it seems, of the U.K.'s intelligence services saying that they have, quote -- sorry, the quote is treated Russian democratic interference as, quote, "a hot potato" -- something which the internal security service MI5, the external security service of MI6, and the electronic version GCHQ have been reluctant to fully grasp themselves.

It says, essentially, that the United Kingdom will need new laws to be able -- to let it grasp and tackle the entirety of this threat and this world, too. It is quite clear that there has been, it seems, something of a rush to enable Russian money to come into London over the past decades or so, and some of that may have been a compromise to the U.K.'s national security.

But this report really, to some degree, had become more of a story because of the length they've taken to come to the public attention. Now that we're seeing it, it doesn't answer, really, the key question. But it does certainly say Russia's influence is the new normal and that there are new laws required here so Britain's security services can deal with it.

[05:50:00]

Back to you.

JARRETT: Certainly, America facing the very same reality.

All right, Nick, thanks for breaking down those details for us.

ROMANS: All right.

A former Fox News host is accused of rape in a disturbing new lawsuit against the network. Jennifer Eckhart, a former Fox Business producer, says Ed Henry forced or pressured her to have sex three separate times. On her verified Twitter page, Eckhart says the decision to speak out was not easy but she refuses to let fear of retaliation intimidate her into silence.

JARRETT: Henry was fired back on July first after Fox said it received a complaint of sexual harassment from years ago. An attorney for Henry says his relationship with Eckhart was consensual.

The lawsuit also accuses Fox hosts, including Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, and Howard Kurtz of sexually harassing another contributor. A Fox spokesperson rejected those claims. ROMANS: Security at next month's Republican Convention is in

jeopardy. The sheriff in Jacksonville, Florida says there's not enough time, money, or officers. He says "With a growing list of challenges, be it finances, communication and timeline, I cannot say with confidence this event and our community will not be at risk."

An RNC spokesperson tells CNN the committee continues to work closely with local leadership.

JARRETT: Criminal charges have been filed against the St. Louis couple who pointed guns at protesters outside their mansion. Patricia and Mark McCloskey are charged with unlawful use of a weapon, a class E felony.

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt immediately filed a brief in the case to have it dismissed. Gov. Mike Parson calls the charge outrageous and is vowing to pardon the couple.

Well, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has fired its artistic director over allegations of sexual harassment. Troy Powell has been on leave since June when the company started investigating. At least four former students told CNN Powell abused his position, retaliating against some of them after they rebuffed his advances.

Alvin Ailey is an iconic institution in the world of black performing arts.

ROMANS: Healthy black children are more likely to die than white kids after common surgeries. A new study published in the Journal of Pediatrics finds black children were nearly 3 1/2 times more likely to die within 30 days of surgeries, such as appendix removal and orthopedic operations. The results mirror similar disparities in adults.

JARRETT: America's poor dietary habits are now considered a national security threat. According to a report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, diet-related illnesses are a growing burden on the U.S. economy and they're harming the readiness of the military and the budgets of the Pentagon and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Poor nutrition kills more than half a million Americans each year.

ROMANS: All right, let's get a check on CNN Business this Tuesday morning. Taking a look at markets around the world, you can see Asian shares closed higher. Europe has opened higher here after European Union leaders agreed on a landmark $858 billion stimulus to help Europe recover from the pandemic.

On Wall Street, U.S. futures are up less than one percent. Stocks finished higher Monday after the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca reported positive findings for their coronavirus vaccine.

The Dow grew just a little bit -- about eight points -- closing above 26,000. The Nasdaq, though -- this was the big story. It rallied 2 1/2 percent, hitting an all-time high powered by some big tech advances there. IBM's stock surged after hours after a better-than-expected second- quarter. Cloud computing, the bright spot for IBM. Sales from its Cloud and Cognitive software division rose three percent to $5.7 billion.

The pandemic has been a mixed bag for tech companies like IBM. On the one hand, businesses are relying on technology more than ever. At the same time, many have scaled back their spending on non-essential digital services as the pandemic hits their sales.

Workers across 160 cities walked off the job Monday in the Strike for Black Lives, putting pressure on major companies, like McDonald's, to raise wages and allow their workers to form unions. Protesters included home health aides, janitors, and other workers in industries where black workers are disproportionately represented.

A study found black Americans who make up a disproportionate percentage of essential workers have been more likely to die from coronavirus.

JARRETT: Kids across the country who have had dreams of lemonade stand riches this summer are crushed by the pandemic. So, maybe a few of them are wondering where's my bailout.

Well, the maker of Country Time Lemonade has an answer for them. Kraft-Heinz is offering what it calls "The Littlest Bailout" $100 stimulus check. The company will choose 1,000 kids under 14 who apply -- with parental permission, of course -- by August 12th. Country Time says it hopes to put a little juice back into the economy.

Christine, that's not my pun but I like the idea.

ROMANS: I do, too. And I think that's really a sweet idea. That is my pun, a sweet idea in a sour economy.

Thanks for joining us. I'm Christine Romans.

JARRETT: Christine Romans with the puns on a Tuesday. I'm Laura Jarrett. "NEW DAY" is next.

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[05:59:22]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WATT: Nationally, we're now seeing three times the number of new cases every day compared to mid-June.

PARSON: These kids have got to get back to school. If they do get COVID-19, which they will, they're going to get over it.

ANTHONY JENNINGS, TEACHER, BOOKER T. WASHINGTON HIGH SCHOOL, MIAMI: My concern is students who are not social distancing, wearing masks. That's sort of a double-whammy for me.

TRUMP: We had very successful briefings. I was doing them and we had a lot of people watching -- record numbers watching.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR, "NEW DAY": He's right about this. People will be watching and hundreds also will be making funeral arrangements.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): The next several weeks will need to look a lot more like March and a lot less like June.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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 Tuesday, July 21st, 6:00 here in New York.