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Protests in Portland As Trump Sends More Federal Officers; Senate GOP Split With White House Over Stimulus Plan; Russia Report: U.K. "Playing Catch Up" Against Russian Interference. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired July 21, 2020 - 07:30   ET



ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Protests breaking out again overnight in Downtown Portland, Oregon. Protesters facing off with local police as well as federal agents. This comes as President Trump threatens to send more federal agents to Chicago and other major cities. Joining us now is New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea. Commissioner, thanks so much for being here.


CAMEROTA: Let me start by just sharing with our viewers some troubling statistics that they may not know. So, last weekend was a violent weekend here in New York, certainly compared to last year. So, last weekend, 22 shootings, 44 victims.

A year ago, there were five shootings with five victims. Let's look at some other stats in terms of violent crime going up. This year, compared to last year at the same time, shootings are up 130 percent, murders in New York City up 30 percent, burglaries up 118 percent, auto thefts up 51 percent.

And yet, as we understand it, according to your stats, arrests are down 62 percent. So, just explain that paradox. Why are arrests down if things are getting more violent?

SHEA: Yes, so, when you -- when you look at the totality of what's happening here in New York City, it's been -- it's been no doubt, Alisyn, a tough year. Most recently, last couple of months, an incredible spike in violence. The real challenge here is what are we going to do about it? And the one thing we're not going to do about it is, you know, go backwards, if you will. The people in New York City, the people of this department, together, care too much about this city.

We'll be out there in Brooklyn tonight, at an improvised town hall, socially-distanced, working together. I can tell you that the men and women of this police department go on to my Twitter account, all over New York City, taking guns off the street this weekend. They are out there. They're not going to go backwards. There's a lot of obstacles in front of us, but I think more importantly right now is what are we going to do about it because we all care too much about the city.

CAMEROTA: Understood, but I mean, I think that some New Yorkers would choose to go backwards if it meant less crime a year ago. I mean, no one wants to return to what they remember in the 1980s, which was --

SHEA: Yes --

CAMEROTA: A feeling of danger, a feeling of not being able to walk down the street, a feeling of your car being stolen. And yet, you know, there was -- there's a recent "Financial Times" headline saying, are the battle days returning to New York? Are they?

SHEA: Yes, that's -- you bring up a great point. I was born and raised in New York. I remember that well. You know, I have about 30 years of policing here in New York City, I can reassure you that you have the best police department in the world. I've seen it all. I've seen different strategies. I've helped refine some of those strategies over the last years. Here -- you know, this is an opportunity, I think. It's certainly a tough time right now for a lot of reasons, a lot of reasons.

But coming out of that, you know, what we have to -- what I consistently think about is, how do we keep New Yorkers safe, and how do we do it in a way that we're doing it with them, not to them.


SHEA: And we've kept crime down in the past, and sometimes in a way that we looked around and we were standing there by ourselves at the podium, if you will. And so, we continue to think and revise. I mean, we have opportunities right now, but we have the best leaders in this world right here in this police department. We are going to keep New Yorkers safe.

CAMEROTA: Well, President Trump --

SHEA: I guarantee --

CAMEROTA: I mean, as you know, is threatening to send in federal agents. How would you respond to that?

SHEA: Right, Alisyn, I mean, on politics, I'm too busy with some obstacles right here in New York City right now, I'm not going to get into the politics --

CAMEROTA: But this is beyond politics, commissioner --

SHEA: We have 8.5 million -- we have --

CAMEROTA: Pardon me for the interruption, but he's doing it. I mean, this is what he did in Portland. This isn't politics. People in Portland, protesters, are seeing federal agents every night on the streets, this is for real. This is beyond -- this is policy. This is going -- I mean, he has said, this is going to happen. Would that help you in New York?


SHEA: No, I think we have the resources. I do. We have a lot of obstacles right now. People want to get the courts opened in New York City. That would help me. That would help me immeasurable. But in terms of resources, we have the resources. Together, 8.5 million people --

CAMEROTA: But what if President Trump decides to do it? I mean -- would you --

SHEA: I'm sorry?

CAMEROTA: The locals in Portland didn't want President Trump to do it, but he -- but they did it. And so, you're saying, "we have the resources". What if the federal agents show up on New York streets?

SHEA: Yes, so, we work -- we work closely with federal partners every day. I hope I'm being very clear here. We have a lot of obstacles, but we're going to get out of this NYPD, New York City residents, leaders all across New York City together. We know we have a lot in front of us. Certainly, we had an interesting year here in New York City on a lot of levels, but we are going to get out of it together. And I always thank people for lending assistance, but we have the resources here.

CAMEROTA: It doesn't sound like President Trump has as much confidence in your resources as you do. Here is what he said just yesterday. Listen to this.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're looking at New York. Look at what's going on. All run by Democrats, all run by very liberal Democrats. The governor has to do something about it. And if the governor is not going to do something about it, we'll do something about it. And then the police are afraid to do anything. I know New York very well. I know the police very well, New York's finest. And the fact is, they're restricted from doing anything.


CAMEROTA: President Trump says you are restricted from doing anything about this.

SHEA: Listen, we have a lot of obstacles, they're well chronicled. I think you know them probably as well as I do, but as important police --

CAMEROTA: But meaning what? I mean, I don't know that our viewers do know that. What are your obstacles to keeping crime down?

SHEA: Well, I mentioned one already. We need court systems open. That would certainly be a help. We can't have people getting arrested and put right back on the street. That would be a help. But my job --

CAMEROTA: I understand, but your arrests are down. So I hear you saying prosecutions are down, but your arrests are down.

SHEA: Yes, but Alisyn, you really need to understand, there's low- level arrests, there's high-level arrests. I have 2,000 gun arrests open right now, and the perpetrators are walking around on the street. They're walking around next to you when you walk to work. We have cases ready to come down that can't because we don't have grand juries operational.

So, we can -- we can have a long discussions about arrests and low- level arrests, some types of arrests we need more. We need people to have confidence in the criminal justice system that when they come forward and cooperate, it's going to have an impact, that people are going to be held in jail and not released right away.


SHEA: We also have to build trust on the police side with the police department so that they want to come forward. There's very complicated issues. But we can dwell on everything that's -- you know, an obstacle or we can roll up our sleeves, sit down with each other and say, what are we doing to get out of this? And I choose the latter. And we are going to turn the tide. The message is, if you carry a gun in New York City --


SHEA: Vigorously, we are coming after you, and we are going to do everything possible working with our partners to prosecute you and put you behind bars.


SHEA: And if you're driving a car when you do it, maybe we'll take your car, too.


SHEA: We are going to have zero tolerance for gun crime in New York City.

CAMEROTA: All right, well, Commissioner Dermot Shea, we hear your frustration and we are watching closely what happens in New York --

SHEA: Thanks, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: Thank you for your time.

SHEA: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: The White House is pushing for a payroll tax cut as part of the next round of coronavirus stimulus. How will that work? Can it even pass?


[07:40:00] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: This morning, there is a clear rift emerging between the White House and Senate Republicans on money for coronavirus testing, and what is the best way to get money to people who need it, who are suffering during this pandemic. CNN chief business correspondent Christine Romans joins me now with more. There's real differences here.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: It's fascinating, John, this rift, John. Senate Republicans are cool on the president's demand for a payroll tax cut. The White House is cool to more money for testing and tracing. Look, the president has suggested he might not sign a stimulus package without a payroll tax cut. But Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley said it would have little economic impact, and Senator John Cornyn warned it divides the party.

Now, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell indicated to GOP senators, that no decisions have been made on a payroll tax cut or on jobless benefits, the $600 extra a week for jobless Americans expires this week. Here's Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.


STEVE MNUCHIN, SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY: Now, we have said the number one issue is, we have to fix the technical fix on enhanced unemployment. We're going to make sure that we don't pay people more money to stay home than go to work.


ROMANS: Liability protection, another key Republican goal. But the White House and influential Republican senators at odds over increased funding for that, for coronavirus testing. These Republican senators right here disagree with the White House's rejection of additional money for testing and tracing. Mnuchin and the White House Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, meet with GOP senators again today. There's another gap here between the $3 trillion already passed by the house and the trillion dollars this package is expected to be, John.


BERMAN: Yes, there's a huge difference here on the policy. And I know a lot of Republicans on Capitol Hill feel like the White House is not doing them any political favors either here. Christine Romans, terrific reporting. Thanks so much for being with us. Alisyn?

CAMEROTA: Breaking news. U.K. parliament just released a long-awaited report on Russian interference. It raises new questions about whether the Kremlin meddled in the 2016 vote on Brexit. CNN's Nick Paton Walsh is live in London with the breaking details. This is quite a development, Nick.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: Certainly, Alisyn. And actually, most importantly, this report, long-awaited as you say, nine months and some say, later than it should have been released, doesn't really answer directly the question of did Russia influence the 2016 referendum held here in the U.K., that caused the United Kingdom to say it wanted to leave the European Union.

It does say, however, that there was a slowness on behalf of British security agencies, both the foreign and domestic elements of that, to recognize the Russia threat. It calls for new laws to be put in place here, that may enable the domestic security agencies to tackle whatever it refers to as the new normal of Russian influence on British society here.

It's critical of how politicians in the U.K. may have allowed Russian wealth into the country over the past decade, keen to get the benefits of that, possibly more keen than they were to protect the national security of the country from that Russian influence.

And importantly, too, it refers to how the issue of who defends Britain's democratic integrity was something of a hot potato, to quote a phrase from the report, "between various different security agencies". It says that has to be fixed. But most importantly is the absence of this key answer. It asks, really, why there wasn't a broad assessment done by U.K. security agencies of the role that Russia played in the 2016 election.

And of course, it goes on to say that had a threat assessment been done by U.K. security agencies before that referendum, it would have been, quote, "inconceivable" that they didn't recognize the threat that Russia posed and take action to stop it.

So, a wide-ranging, long-awaited report here that calls for reform in British intelligence agencies and in its law as well. But fundamentally, it doesn't give the yes or no answer many were hoping for as to whether Russia influenced that utterly key vote in 2016, that means Britain is now leaving the European Union. Back to you.

BERMAN: Look, yes, acknowledging it, the first stage, and preventing it going forward. Nick Paton Walsh, thanks so much for the reporting. Major developments on the potential for an NFL season, especially a pre-season. Carolyn Manno has more in the "BLEACHER REPORT", hey, Carolyn.

CAROLYN MANNO, CNN SPORTS REPORTER: Hey, good morning, John. This has been a big-sticking point between NFL and its players union as the season gets closer and closer. But now, it looks like a decision is going to be made, as it relates to the pre-season. A source familiar with the talks telling CNN that the league has offered the players an opportunity to play zero pre-season games. The players have been asking to use that time to get into football shape.

Our source says the union has not accepted that offer yet. The two sides have agreed on daily testing for two weeks so that training camps can begin. If the results are at or below 5 percent during those two weeks, then testing is going to shift to every other day. Meantime, San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler joined his players who took a knee during the national anthem before last night's game against the Oakland A's.

Kapler is the first big league manager to do so. He says all of his players will be supported, regardless of what each decides to do during the anthem.


GABE KAPLER, MANAGER, SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS: I wanted to demonstrate my dissatisfaction with our clear systemic racism in our country, and I wanted them to know that they've got to make their own decisions, and we would respect and support those decisions.


MANNO: Giants coach Alyssa Nakken made history in that game at first base, becoming the first woman to coach on the field during a major league game. Nakken was a four-time all-conference softball player at Sacramento State. And by the way, John, who else but Dr. Anthony Fauci getting the honor to throw out the first pitch as baseball's regular season opens on Thursday night. Nats-Yankees, we know that the doctor can dribble through a wall. Question is, will he get it over the plate?

BERMAN: I'm betting, yes, Dr. Fauci --

MANNO: Me too --

BERMAN: Is a huge baseball fan. I bet you he's going to prepare for this. I hope it doesn't take away from, you know, pandemic response, but I wish him the best of luck there. Carolyn Manno, thanks so much. A new study finds that most children may be just as likely as adults to spread coronavirus. So, how will that affect plans to reopen schools? That's next.



BERMAN: So this morning, schools across the country are facing imminent decisions on how or if to reopen for in-person study. New research about children and coronavirus raising concerns about whether it will be safe for kids, parents and teachers. Joining us now is Dr. Edith Bracho-Sanchez; she's a pediatrician and assistant professor of pediatrics at Columbia University Irving Medical Center.

And look, every school district, every parent is facing this decision over the next several weeks. And there are varying opinions. One area where there seems to be medical consensus -- you can't reopen a school in a state where cases are surging or spiking, and that includes some of the most populous states in the country, California, Florida and Texas right now.

EDITH BRACHO-SANCHEZ, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF PEDIATRICS, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY IRVING MEDICAL CENTER: That's exactly right, good morning, John. If we are going to do right by children in this country, and I think we all agree that children need school, they need structure, they need to learn, they need it for their emotional well-being in addition to so many other benefits, the first step that we are serious about getting children back to school is to truly lower the number of cases of this virus that we are seeing in this country. CAMEROTA: Here is what the Missouri governor says about getting kids

back in the classroom. Listen to this.


GOV. MIKE PARSON (R-MO): 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.


CAMEROTA: Doctor, what would you like to say to the governor?


BRACHO-SANCHEZ: Alisyn, first I'd like give you the facts and then I'll give you my opinion and a message to this governor. The facts of the matter is, children right now represent about 8 percent of COVID- 19 cases in this country, and we know that children are not being tested as much as adults are, right? That 8 percent, to you, might not seem like that much, but that represents over 241,000 children in this country.

We know that kids are not as likely to be symptomatic, they're not as likely to get hospitalized. The rate currently is about 3 percent, and the rate of dying for children with coronavirus is less than 1 percent. But as the number of kids who get COVID-19 goes up, the number which is a small percentage you might think of hospitalizations goes up and the number of children who die from COVID-19 goes up. Even if as a whole, it's a small percentage.

So worth knowing that, I'd like to say to this governor, it is frankly misleading. It is also irresponsible and it is not fair. Children deserve better than this. We need to be planning and every child is a child too many who has to be hospitalized or dies with this virus.

BERMAN: What you sound like you're saying is we need to approach this the way that perhaps we should have been doing from the beginning, which is to think about it and let science dictate it, and have a discussion about the costs and benefits, not make a blanket statement one way or the other. So how would you open a school? What are the considerations. There's a study out of South Korea which suggests that kids older than 10 can pass the virus just as much as adults, but maybe younger than 10 cannot. So do you do things differently for younger children?

BRACHO-SANCHEZ: So that's exactly right, and I think that's an excellent question. So, first, I think us the pediatricians have been watching and the public health experts, they have been watching three things, how often do kids get this virus? Which it seems to be less often than adults, how sick do they get? Which seems to be less sick than adults, and then how likely are they to transmit this virus? Which had been the missing piece and what the South Korea study is contributing. So, now we know that children older than 10 years old do seem to be as

likely as adults to transmit this virus. So now is the time to invest in the infrastructure to get kids back to school safely. We don't get to say it's too hard or the rate of transmission is too high and we can't do it. Other countries have done it. They've done it by lowering the number of cases and they've done it by actually investing in the infrastructure.

BERMAN: Dr. Sanchez-Bracho, we really appreciate you being with us, thank you so much for your time.

BRACHO-SANCHEZ: Thank you, guys.

BERMAN: NEW DAY continues right now.


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

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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My concern is the 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.

BERMAN: He's right about this. People will be watching, and hundreds also will be making funeral arrangements.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): And that's several weeks. We need to look a lot more like March and a lot less like June.


CAMEROTA: And good morning, everyone, welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world, this is NEW DAY. President Trump will restart the coronavirus briefings today, but if you're hoping for information about coronavirus, you may be disappointed. Sources tell CNN, the so-called news conferences will not actually be focused entirely on the pandemic. In fact, CNN has just learned moments ago that none of the taskforce members, including doctors Anthony Fauci or Deborah Birx will be there.

President Trump is citing TV ratings as the reason he wants to bring back these briefings. President Trump also doing an about-face on masks. Yes, that pun is well placed. He now calls wearing one patriotic. But he was not very patriotic at a fundraiser last night at the Trump Hotel in Washington. He did not wear a mask and he was within 6 feet of lots of people.

BERMAN: Yes, so it isn't about-face, it's not about face, just a face? The president --

CAMEROTA: It's double face --

BERMAN: It's just a face. The president with a face on masks. You can see his face, he's not wearing a mask there. He's also violating by the way, Washington D.C.'s reopening orders which require masks in hotels for staff and guests.

This morning, deaths rising in 19 states. At least, eight states in Puerto Rico recording record hospitalizations. Overnight, Hidalgo County, Texas issued an emergency order for people to stay at home, but the governor has removed the ability of local leaders to actually enforce those orders.

Now, the country's leading diagnostic lab says processing tests could take up to 2 weeks as the White House moves to block funding for testing and tracing in the next stimulus bill.

CAMEROTA: OK, joining us now, we have CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Dr. Michael Osterholm.