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U.S. Reports 64,000-Plus New Cases, 1,000 Deaths In One Day; WHO Says COVID Will Spread To Schools In Infected Communities; Trump's U.S. City Chaos Ad Uses Photos Of Ukraine In 2014. Aired 1-1:30p ET

Aired July 22, 2020 - 13:00   ET



JOHN KING, CNN HOST: Brianna Keilar picks up our coverage right now. Have a great day.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: I'm Brianna Keilar, and I want to welcome our viewers here in the United States and around the world.

We begin with breaking developments in the U.S. fight against the coronavirus, the latest modeling projecting fewer deaths because more Americans are wearing masks. You'll be hearing from one of the lead researchers on that in just a moment.

And some promising news, the president finally acknowledging the pandemic will get worse before it gets better. Several hotspots seeing new case numbers while still high are on the decline, and the U.S. announcing a major deal promising free or cheap vaccines when they're ready.

But the American pandemic continues to experience serious setbacks. In a single day, the coronavirus killed more than 1,000 people, and that's the death toll that has not been seen for weeks. Once again as well, new cases in a single day surpassing 60,000, 64,534 new infections reported Tuesday. And a new CDC study says actual case numbers are anywhere from 6 to 24 times higher than the official count.

Also today, American labs are warning they will not be able to cope with testing during flu season. The nation's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, couching the current crisis this way.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: We are certainly not at the end of the game. I'm not even sure we're halfway through. I mean, obviously, and if you want to do a score, I don't want to get too cute about it, certainly we are not winning the game right now. We are not leading it.


KEILAR: Now to the new and lower death projection in the U.S. pandemic, it actually comes from a source often cited by the White House. That's the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

Ali Mokdad is a Professor of Health Metrics Sciences at the Institute. Professor, thanks for joining us to give us your very important perspective on this.

IHME now predicting by November, there will be 219,000 deaths. That is so high, right? But it's also about 5,000 fewer deaths than your projection a week ago. Tell us what led to the change.

ALI MOKDAD, PROFESSOR OF HEALTH METRICS SCIENCE, INSTITUTE FOR HEALTH METRICS AND EVALUATION: Thank you for having me. What we are seeing right now is an increase in mask use, especially in states that have been hit by COVID-19, Texas, California, Florida, Arizona, and we are seeing also reduction in mobility in these states. So this is helping us with our projections.

KEILAR: Okay. What is the percentage of Americans at this point who are wearing masks when they leave home? Do we know?

MOKDAD: Yes. We have data at the state level. It varies between states and it goes from somewhere around 20 percent to about 80 percent. The highest is in the northeast, states that have been affected early on with COVID-19 are now wearing more masks than ever before.

KEILAR: Okay. And besides having more states that are cracking down, that are mandating when it comes to masks, have you seen any other improvements in the U.S. pandemic?

MOKDAD: The improvement has been much higher in states where a mandate has been put in place. And we are seeing an increase in almost every state in the U.S. but a sharper increase in states with a mandate. So a mandate is very important and it's helping and a national mandate, of course, would do much better.

KEILAR: The president recently called mask wearing patriotic. Is that something that weighs into your research?

MOKDAD: We hope everybody assumes it's patriotic and will follow suit. So, yes, that's very important. If people wear a mask in our studies, about 30 percent of the reduction and transmission will occur in the United States. And if all of us wear a mask when we go out, about 95 percent of us, we can control this pandemic and don't have to go back to a lockdown, which is very important. So you save lives and you save the economy as well.

KEILAR: If 95 percent wore masks. Thank you so much for sharing your data and walking us through it. We appreciate it. Ali Mokdad, thanks for coming on.

MOKDAD: Thank you.

KEILAR: Months into the pandemic, testing is still falling very short of where it needs to be. On average, results can now take four to six days, but then in some states, like Arizona, this can be up to three weeks. But the White House is sitting on up to $8 billion in unused funding, specifically aimed at ramping up coronavirus testing. Now, as lawmakers consider additional assistance, they're asking why that money still has not been spent.

CNN's Lauren Fox is joining us now from Capitol Hill on this story. And, Lauren, Congress allocated the funds but they're not being used. Tell us how lawmakers are taking this news?

LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, essentially, Democrats and Republicans very concerned, asking questions, Brianna, about why this money is still sitting in this account.


Let me just back up for a second and explain where this funding came from.

Back in April, Congress appropriated $25 billion for testing and contact tracing. $11 billion quickly went out to the states through the CDC, but the remaining amount of money was still at HHS. And, essentially, what I'm told is that there were questions about whether or not this is just a logistical issue, an issue with bureaucracy.

But as one Republican told me, Senator John Cornyn, yesterday, it really doesn't matter. It's a problem and something to be concerned about regardless of what the explanation. But it really matters, because lawmakers are trying to decide how much money to give to testing in the next round of stimulus.

And one of the talking points that they've heard from the White House behind closed doors is the fact there is still money sitting in this account. Republicans arguing why do you need more money if this money is already there?

So, essentially, where that leaves us today is we know that the White House is moving closer to supporting the full amount of money that Republicans initially asked for for testing and contact tracing. That's about $25 billion in the next round of stimulus, Brianna.

But, of course, still questions about why this money hasn't gone out, still questions about why there's so much money left from the past stimulus bills, whether it comes from PPE, whether it comes to the hospital stabilization fund, there's billions of dollars that remain unspent that appropriated months ago, Brianna.

KEILAR: All right. Lauren Fox on Capitol Hill, thank you.

Let's go to South Texas now where significant loss of life has become reality for many. The pandemic nightmare has touched nearly everyone there. Healthcare workers describe holding up phones so that patients can say goodbye to their loved ones. And then there are the family members on the other end of the line, like Jessica Ortiz. She tells CNN about her final farewell with her twin brother who fought the virus for two weeks.


JESSICA ORTIZ, LOST TWIN BROTHER TO COVID: I did a last video with him when he was like -- when he had the mask on, he was still talking -- well, not talking but doing like hand gestures, and that was the last video about him. It hurts. (INAUDIBLE) for someone (INAUDIBLE) for him.

Sorry. He meant the world. I just wish it wasn't him. I wish I (INAUDIBLE) because he didn't live his life yet.


KEILAR: it's heartbreaking, right? It's happening to so many people.

Dr. Ivan Melendez is on frontlines of the fight in Hidalgo County, Texas. And, sir, you tested positive for coronavirus at the end of last month. Can you tell us -- I want to talk to you about the fact that what we just heard is not unique, but I want to talk about you and your health. How are you feeling right now?

DR. IVAN MELENDEZ, HIDALGO COUNTY HEALTH AUTHORITY: Thank you so much for asking. I've been extremely fortunate that my symptoms, I would consider, moderate and certainly do not approach the level of hospitalization. I was in the fortunate, approximately 9 percent of folks that do not require being in the hospital.

I'm still exhausted. It's been approximately a month. I've been treated for several weeks. And, of course, like everyone else, I am fatigued and with lots of work to do.

KEILAR: So, when you say you've been treated for several weeks, I mean, what are the residual symptoms that you are dealing with now? What could you do before having COVID that you cannot do now?

MELENDEZ: I'm upstairs right now recording this with you. I've had to send my 11-year-old daughter downstairs several times to pick up charts or graphs, statistics, a comb for my hair. Before, of course, going up and down the stairs wasn't an issue. So I'm still exhausted when I physically exert myself.

KEILAR: Okay. I mean, you're a young man, and going up and down the stairs is now tough, which says -- I'm just saying that says something several weeks later, when that was something that was obviously easy for you. You took it for granted.

And tell us about -- look, we just heard the story of a woman who lost her twin brother and she lost him remotely because she can't see that. This is what's you're dealing with there on the ground. One doctor said it was like a tsunami of patients coming through the hospital doors.

So, can you just describe for us what's happening?

MELENDEZ: Absolutely. You know, we had yesterday another record day with fatalities. We had 49 people who died yesterday. It took us three months to get to 12 people after we opened up, and stopped social distancing, now we have 49 in one day, while it took three months to get 12. So even though 12 people is too much, and even though if we had 12 people die a day, it'd still be heart breaking, like Jessica's story, and the Dr. Vallejo's tsunami comments yesterday. [13:10:00]

Still, 12 people, three months, 49 yesterday.

We're the seventh largest county, 1.2 million people in Texas. We have medical schools, a sophisticated area, 12 hospitals, and yet we have the highest death rate. Right now, we have 42 people dying out of every 100,000 population as compared to the second county in the state, which is Tarrant County, where Dallas is at. They have 20 people. We have 42 per 100,000 dying from COVID.

And so our numbers down on the border area in this particular county have been dramatic. And, indeed, these are just numbers. Everyone is fatigued with the COVID numbers.

But behind every number, there is a tragic story, as the one you just played. I have many tragic stories daily. Yesterday, I went to examine a patient who looked extremely ill. When I took off his apparatus and BiPAP, it was a nurse that I've known 25 years I couldn't recognize. Last week, went to put someone on life support, to intubate someone who was sixth grade school teacher, days before, with my mom's best friend and next door neighbor.

So we're a population of 1.3 million, and yet I can tell you tragedies and tragedies and tragedies, while the doctors that are providing care and the nurses, our cell phone has become almost as important as our stethoscope in order to provide holistic care for these poor and unfortunate folks.

And important to note, almost 90 percent of our people that are placed on ventilators perish, and I have not seen yet any of our patients in five months that have been both on ventilator and our hemodialysis machine that has survived. I'm going to say it 100 percent.

So when the other physicians and experts certain much more knowledgeable with the global system report that the death rate is less, that the treatments are better, that we have some good news with the outcomes, we're not seeing that in Hidalgo County. We're seeing every week continues to be worse.

KEILAR: Wow. I just have to say, my heart hurts as I hear you describing what you're dealing with day to day. And you're doing it with such strength. It's such important work, and we thank you for talking to us about it. We'll be thinking of you. We know you're very much in the middle of this right now. Thank you.

MELENDEZ: We appreciate attention to our area, and thank you for getting the word out. It's a pleasure to be with you.

KEILAR: So as more companies are requiring customers to wearing a masks, hear why Lowe's will not do so.

Plus, just in, the World Health Organization says the coronavirus will spread to schools if there's community transmission. Their warning is next.

And why House Republicans confronted Liz Cheney in a closed-door meeting over her support of Dr. Anthony Fauci.



KEILAR: New this afternoon, a World Health Organization official is offering up a grim prediction on coronavirus and the coming school year. Dr. Mike Ryan, Executive Director of the organization's Health Emergencies Program saying just moments ago that COVID-19 will spread to schools if there is widespread transmission of the virus happening within a community.

More now from my CNN colleagues all across the country.


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Miguel Marquez in Phoenix, Arizona, where the fight over schools' reopening is starting to heat up. Several teacher groups have started to organize protests throughout the state starting today. These are motor marches, as they call them.

They'll gather in different school districts around the state and then they will drive through that district trying to look for support to put on the governor to keep schools from opening until there's a certain standard set for how they reopen.

We also spoke to a doctor here who says he's organized a letter to the governor of over 100 doctors now. What they want are some sort of standards. They want that level of positivity down to a certain level. They want the rate of transmission at a certain level and stable. They want certain metrics met before they even consider opening those schools.

JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH REPORTER: I'm Jacqueline Howard in Atlanta. The FDA says it has identified thousands of fraudulent websites, fake products and medical devices peddling unproven cures for COVID-19.

In the past months, the agency has been tracking these activities. Some dating back to March, and some of these unauthorized record are masquerading as personal protective equipment, diagnostic tests or vaccines, and include dietary supplements and certain foods.

So far, the agency says well over100 online listings for products and websites domains have been taken down.

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: I'm Pete Muntean in Washington. United Airlines is now expanding its mask requirement for passengers. The airline now says face covering will be required in all 360 airports that it serves, from check-in to baggage claim. Before, the policy was that passengers only had to wear a mask onboard a flight.

This news comes as United recorded a $1.6 billion loss in the second quarter of this year, its worse loss in its nearly 100-year history. ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: I'm Alison Kosik in New York. Lowe's Home Improvement says it will not require its employees to enforce a customer mask mandate at its stores across the country. In a statement to CNN, Lowe's said its associates are not expected to put their safety at risk by confronting customers about wearing masks.


The home improvement chain says they've added signs at its stores requesting that customers wear masks for the safety of everyone. They're also providing free masks to customers who need them.

Without a federal mask mandate, corporate America has had to step in and make its own rules. CVS, Walgreens, Walmart and Home Depot are among the many companies not asking employees to enforce their mask- wearing policies.


KEILAR: Thank you so much to our reporters across the nation.

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is rejecting an apology from a Republican colleague who reportedly referred to her as a effing B word, it was not abbreviated when he said it, after a tense exchange at the Capitol. See what happened.

Plus, the Trump campaign ads are getting darker and more dishonest. We're going to fact check them.

And as American mayors warn the president not to send federal troops into cities, 15 people shot outside a funeral home in Chicago. We'll take you there.



KEILAR: A new Trump campaign ad warns of chaos and violence in American cities and it features this image of a police officer being attacked by protesters. But you know the saying that a picture paints 1,000 words? Well, this one is telling lies here.

CNN Reporter and fact checker Daniel Dale joins me now. Daniel, tell us about this new ad and specifically this image that we just showed viewers, because I guess you could say it's un-American, as in, truly, it's not American?

DANIEL DALE, CNN REPORTER: It is not American. It is from Ukraine in 2014 when they were protests against the pro-Russia president, Viktor Yanukovych. This is not the first time the Trump campaign has used a foreign image as part of this social media ad campaign but they also vowed to protect a statue in Brazil at one point. So there is work to do on the campaign end, Brianna.

KEILAR: All right. Interesting choice from Ukraine as well, sort of, I guess, unironically done there. Another Trump campaign ad released Monday suggested a Biden presidency would result in folks calling 911 and then there's just no one on the other end of the line to pick up the call. Just fact-check that for us.

DALE: It's nonsense. It's pure fear mongering. Joe Biden has not proposed anything that would result in 911 dispatch centers going unmanned or unstaffed as the ad suggests. Biden has explicitly, repeatedly opposed the idea of defunding the police, much less, abolishing the police, as Trump claims he wants. Biden has proposed a $300 million increase to federal funding for community policing.

Now, the Trump campaign has seized on a single comment Biden made to a progressive activist, in which Biden said he is, quote, absolutely open to reallocating some funding to things like affordable housing and mental house counseling.

But even if you interpret that comment most charitably to the Trump campaign, Biden is not suggesting the kind of drastic policing cuts that will result in a woman calling 911 for a home invasion and no one answering the phone, as this ad depicts happening in what they says is, quote, Biden's America.

KEILAR: Yes, no. And Trump himself proposed has reallocating local law enforcement funds. He has talked about putting law enforcement funds towards mental health himself. He does not mention that very often.

Daniel Dale, thank you so much, live for us from Washington.

KEILAR: And this just in, CNN has learned that President Trump is set to announce this afternoon the deployment of federal law enforcement agents to Chicago. And this is happening despite strong opposition from the mayor who says under no circumstances will she allow troops into the city.

Chicago is certainly experiencing a surge in gun violence, which the city's top police officer says is linked to gangs.

CNN's Omar Jimenez has been following this very important story for us. And this is coming after a tragic shooting. Tell us more, Omar.

OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It really is, Brianna. Well, for starters, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot says, at this point, based on the information she has, she does not expect a Portland-style deployment, as she's described it, of unmarked vehicles and/or federal agents.

What she says she is expecting is additional federal resources that plug into partnerships they already have with some of these agencies to try and suppress violence, violence that has been especially deadly in Chicago this year, in part for reasons that we've known about for years, but also in part for reasons that are unique to this year.


SUPERINTENDENT DAVID BROWN, CHICAGO POLICE: This cycle of violence in Chicago needs to end. JIMENEZ: They're the latest, grim headlines in what's been a grim year

for gun violence in the City of Chicago. At least 60 shell casings left behind as 15 people were shot at a funeral home on the city's south side. And then not long after, in a separate shooting, a three- year-old was shot while she was in the car with her parents, but at this point, are not cooperating with police.

MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT (D), CHICAGO, IL: Violence is a symptom, a symptom of communities that are crying out, young men who don't believe that they have a future other than being part of one of these gangs or factions.


JIMENEZ: The superintendent of the Chicago Police Department points to gang violence and at least this latest mass shooting.