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Senate GOP And White House Agree On Key Parts Of Stimulus Bill; U.S. Announces Historic $1.95 Billion Vaccine Deal With Pfizer; Boris Johnson Directs Military To Prepare For Quadruple Crisis. Aired 5:30- 6a ET

Aired July 23, 2020 - 05:30   ET



CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: And, $25 billion in funds for testing, something the White House was objecting to.

Now, these talks come at a critical moment. That extra $600 a week in enhanced unemployment benefits expires at the end of the month. The White House raised the possibility of a short-term extension but Senate Republican leadership rejected it.

Now, locking in fund levels marks a step forward in the GOP's $1 trillion proposal, which will include another round of stimulus checks likely targeted to lower-income families and another round of Paycheck Protection Program loans for small business.

Senate Republicans will have to start negotiations with House Democrats. Now, the House Democrats passed their own $3 trillion proposal back in May.

LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: While all of that is being worked out there were more than 1,000 deaths from coronavirus reported in the U.S. again on Wednesday. It's the first time that has happened two days in a row since late-May.

The governors of Ohio, Indiana, and Minnesota have now added or expanded face mask orders. There are similar mandates in at least 40 states.

In California, the number of people hospitalized keeps rising, compounding the problem that forced the state to put the brakes on reopening recently. Gov. Gavin Newsom says he's working to secure more personal protective equipment.

In Los Angeles, COVID has now become one of the leading causes of death, killing more people than Alzheimer's, strokes, and other diseases.

ROMANS: White House staffers are being urged not to panic after a new COVID case was found there. A cafeteria worker in the White House complex has tested positive.

Meantime, President Trump is still downplaying the need for testing despite weeks of data showing the rise in coronavirus cases far outpacing the growth in testing.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Every time you test you find a case, and it gets reported in the news we've found more cases. If instead of 50 we did 25, we'd have half the number of cases. So I personally think it's overrated but I am totally willing to keep doing it.


JARRETT: OK, so he says it's overrated. But, again, the new stimulus plan calls for $25 billion for testing, and that's including the billions that remain unused.

The president has been trying to say that more testing is behind rising case numbers but in reality, the percentage of people testing positive has climbed since Memorial Day.

And one of the White House's own top doctors on the Coronavirus Task Force, Deborah Birx, confirmed yesterday that the best indicator of how well a state is doing in this pandemic is the rate of positive tests.

ROMANS: No doctor in the house for President Trump's second press briefing this week. Here's his explanation why.


TRUMP: They are briefing me. I am meeting them. I just spoke to Dr. Fauci. Dr. Birx is right outside.

And they're giving me all of -- everything they know as of -- as of this point in time, and I'm giving the information to you. And I think it's probably a very concise way of doing it. It seems to be working out very well.


ROMANS: Most Americans would trade concise for factual.

The president touched on a number of topics but still offered no plan for combating a pandemic that has now killed 143,000 in the U.S. And according to Dr. Fauci, even after all the hardship, this crisis is not close to being over.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES, NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH: We are certainly not at the end of the game. I'm not even sure we're halfway through. And we are, right now, in a situation where we do not see any particular end in sight.


JARRETT: Meanwhile, the education dominos keep falling as well.

Schools in Palm Beach County, in Florida, will open three weeks late. Florida's governor now says parents should have a choice of what to do after pushing hard to reopen initially.

Clark County, in Nevada, is reversing course from a hybrid model to now all distance learning. Seattle schools plan to start remotely as well. And, the additional guidance that the CDC had promised on reopening schools is still not released.

We have CNN reporters covering the pandemic from coast-to-coast.



The Kansas State Board of Education voted to reject Gov. Laura Kelly's executive order to delay the start of the school year across the state. Kelly's order would have pushed back the beginning of the school year from August 10th to after Labor Day in September.

The vote means school districts will be able to decide when they want to start school, including as originally planned.

Kelly said in a statement that cases of COVID-19 in Kansas are at an all-time high and said this vote puts students, faculty, and their families, and the state's economy at risk.


Citing a worrisome spike of COVID-19 cases among young people, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis is requiring bars and restaurants, as of today, to stop serving alcohol past 10:00 p.m. He says getting drunk in public isn't conducive to social distancing.

Bar and restaurant owners say that the last call mandate will, quote, "destroy an already suffering industry." A coalition is now planning to file suit to stop the mandate.



The governor of Ohio has issued a travel advisory recommending that anyone who travels to Ohio from a state with a COVID-19 positivity rate of 15 percent or higher self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Right now, that list includes nine states and Puerto Rico.

Gov. Mike DeWine also announced that starting today at 6:00 p.m., masks will be required for people 10 years old and older when in public and when in an indoor location other than a residence, and outdoors when unable to keep six feet away from others, or when riding taxis, rideshares, or public transportation. MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Miguel Marquez in Phoenix, Arizona where protesters here and across the state are mounting motor marches.

Essentially, parents getting together in their cars, signs across them, honking throughout their school districts, telling the governor here that they are concerned about the level of COVID cases in the state and they are afraid that if the governor was meant to make his decision soon if he opens schools, even part for in-person and part for online, that that will drive the number of COVID cases up throughout the state.


Gov. Jim Justice is announcing that there is an active COVID-19 outbreak in churches across eight counties in West Virginia. Even though the state's positivity rate is actually down, due in part to the mask mandate, he says that there are 85 positive cases in this outbreak and is telling everyone in West Virginia -- those that are going to church -- to be sure to sit a pew apart and wear your facial covering in your house of worship.


ROMANS: All right, thanks for all those reports.

A major agreement reached between the federal government and Pfizer. The U.S. has agreed to pay the drugmaker nearly $2 billion to produce 100 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine in the United States. The deal also allows the government to acquire an additional 500 million doses. That is only if Pfizer's vaccine proves safe and effective in trials.


ALEX AZAR, SECRETARY, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES: We now have five major investments in vaccine portfolios and we're going to keep looking for additional ones if need be. But this Pfizer one is really historic, as Meg described it.


ROMANS: Health and Human Services Sec. Alex Azar says vaccines sponsored by the government will be free or affordable. The administration still faces thorny questions like deciding who is first in line for a vaccination, how to secure millions of glass vials and syringes, and then this -- convincing Americans to get the shot once it's available.

JARRETT: Well, overnight, the Portland City Council voting to end cooperation between local police and federal authorities. The White House has ordered federal agents to tamp down the protests in that city.

Last night, tensions flared again with Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler -- you can see there -- joining the demonstrators in the streets. He was teargassed along with everyone else. But the reaction to his presence was mixed after he told protesters to go home earlier this week.

ROMANS: President Trump announced yesterday he plans to surge federal law enforcement officers to Chicago and other American cities in an effort to portray Democrats as weak on crime ahead of the November election.


TRUMP: My first duty as president is to protect the American people and today, I'm taking action to fulfill that sacred obligation.


ROMANS: The federal intervention is drawing a broad backlash. Listen to a former Republican secretary of Homeland Security.


TOM RIDGE, FORMER SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY: Well, I'm disappointed in my president because it seems like it's a reality T.V. approach toward dealing with a very, very serious problem.

I doubt if there's a Republican or Democrat today, mayor or governor, that wouldn't contest the unilateral incursion of federal agents without coordination with state and local law enforcement officials.


JARRETT: Meanwhile, the president and Chicago's mayor spoke last night.


MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT (D), CHICAGO: Sending in unknown, unmarked DHS forces in fatigues to drag people off our streets -- we don't want that.


JARRETT: It's important to note, however, that violence in many of these cities, just like Chicago, was rising well before George Floyd's death in Minneapolis.

ROMANS: All right, to money now.

How's that for a blank check? Billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman has raised a record $4 billion via an IPO for a Special Purpose Acquisition Company. SPACs are publicly-traded shell companies designed to acquire other companies -- also called blank-check enterprises.

Ackman told me he's looking for mature unicorns to buy. SPAC is a hotspot in the IPO market and the overall uncertain environment for public offerings, and that's not likely to change anytime soon.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BILL ACKMAN, HEDGE FUND MANAGER: Regardless of who our next president is, whether it's President Trump or Biden, there's going to be uncertainty and uncertainty from a business point of view. And uncertainty is the enemy of the IPO process.



ROMANS: He told me the economy won't get back to normal until mid- 2021.

Of course, one of the biggest questions in money is the shape of the recovery from the coronavirus recession. I asked him whether the recovery will be a V-shape, a U-shape, or something else.


ACKMAN: I think it's a -- I think it's a bit like the ocean, OK? I think we're going to have some waves between sort of now and with the general trend up. But we're going to certainly see some ups and downs as important parts of the country's economy have to be throttled back because of the emergence of the virus.


ROMANS: He called the initial shutdown in the economy sloppy, and that's why the recovery will be sloppy, he says.

Wednesday, Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon said the path back to a healthy economy will be bumpy. Even though parts of the economy have improved, Solomon warned the rebound could fizzle out in the months ahead.

JARRETT: That was a really interesting interview, Christine.

A quick programming note for you. Join Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta with special guest Bill Gates, who will answer your questions about this pandemic. A new global town hall, "CORONAVIRUS: FACTS AND FEARS" begins tonight at 8:00 eastern only on CNN.

We'll be right back.



JARRETT: Welcome back.

Overnight, CNN learned that China is harboring a fugitive scientist at its consulate in San Francisco. Prosecutors say she lied about her connection to the Chinese military to get into the U.S.

At the same time, China could soon announce retaliation against the U.S. for its decision to close the Chinese consulate in Houston, Texas. The U.S. has five consulates and an embassy in China. The Trump administration has accused Beijing of spying. And the

eviction at that Houston consulate that led to document burning follows a series of contentious disputes between the two countries.


MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: And your point that this has been going on for a long time makes our point. President Trump has said enough.


JARRETT: The U.S. and China have been at odds over several issues recently, including Huawei, Hong Kong, trade, and territorial claims in the South China Sea.

ROMANS: Prime Minister Boris Johnson is directing Britain's military to prepare for a quadruple crisis this winter -- the possibility of a second coronavirus spike, a seasonal flu outbreak, flooding, and disruptions caused by the U.K.'s transition out of the European Union. That transition could have enormous ramifications as Scottish leaders consider their own movement for independence.

Nic Robertson joins us live from Edinburgh, Scotland where Prime Minister Johnson is visiting today. Hi there, Nic.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, hi, Christine. The prime minister is coming up here because he wants to save the union, and that's where -- that's the way that it's being seen -- save the union of the United Kingdom.

Why is he doing this right now? Well, quite simply, coronavirus is throwing up big differences between how England and Scotland are handling the pandemic. The prime minister is coming off very badly.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is doing very well, surging in the polls. And for the first time in generations here, there is a sustained majority of people in Scotland who now support independence.

So the prime minister has come up here with a message that London -- the government in London does help the Scots. They're helping pay for all the furloughs for hundreds of thousands of jobs up here. But the message is going to -- is going to fall, perhaps, on quite deaf ears here, in part because we don't even know yet precisely where the prime minister is going in Scotland. He is not popular here as his poll numbers here are tanking.

And for the -- for the Scottish National Party here that runs the government in Scotland -- that has these devolved powers that the British government gave to the regions about 20 years ago for health, for transport, for education -- handling the coronavirus pandemic has really shown the people of Scotland how they can be more cautious and have a more focused message.

For example, to go into a Scottish shop here you have to wear a face mask. Scotland two weeks ahead of England on that and on many other points. So the Scots here feel they're government is handling it better, boosting the desire for independence.

And that worries Boris Johnson. He doesn't want to be the British prime minister that sees the union of the United Kingdom break up -- Christine.

ROMANS: All right, Nic Robertson for us in Edinburgh. Thank you, Nic.

JARRETT: All right.

Twitter says the hackers who took over 130 accounts, including those of Joe Biden, Barack Obama, and Elon Musk -- well, they accessed the direct messages of 36 users. One of them is a Dutch-elected official.

The hack appears to be a bitcoin scam but the relative ease with which they did is driving concerns that hackers with more malicious goals could wreak major havoc.

ROMANS: All right.

The FBI has linked the self-described anti-feminist lawyer who shot a federal judge's family in New Jersey Sunday to the murder of a rival men's rights activist in California. Witnesses in both cases say the gunman appeared to be wearing a FedEx uniform. A source says Den Hollander had a list of possible targets that included several judges.

Den Hollander apparently killed himself Monday after shooting Judge Esther Salas' husband and son. The son died in that attack.

JARRETT: Well, this morning, America is mourning the death of another civil rights icon. Charles Evers died yesterday in Mississippi.

He was thrust into the national spotlight when his younger brother, Medgar Evers, was assassinated back in 1963. Charles Evers made history when he was elected the first African-American mayor in the state of Mississippi.

Charles Evers was 97.


ROMANS: The FBI exhuming the body of Alonzo Brooks in Kansas after his death was featured in the Netflix series, "UNSOLVED MYSTERIES." Brooks was 23 when he died under mysterious circumstances.

An autopsy did not determine a cause of death but last year, the Justice Department reopened its investigation. The FBI is now offering a reward of up to $100,000 for information about Brooks' death.

JARRETT: Prosecutors say a Long Island man faked his death to avoid prison but a typo got him busted.

Twenty-five-year-old Robert Berger pleaded guilty last year to crimes including attempted grand larceny. But at his sentencing, his former attorney told the judge that he had died by suicide. But upon further investigation, the D.A.'s office noticed that the word "registry" was misspelled on the death certificate. Berger now faces an additional four years behind bars.

ROMANS: All right.

First, toilet paper; then, coins. Now there's a shortage of aluminum cans in America and beer fans are finding some of their favorite brews out of stock. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, beer that would have been served in tap -- or on tap, rather, in restaurants and bars was instead sold in retail stores and online, often in multipacks, leaving cans in short supply as a result.

JARRETT: A major thunderstorm rolling across the northeast last night and still posing a severe threat today.

Here is meteorologist Pedram Javaheri.



Yes, it was a wild Wednesday across the U.S., especially around the northeast with the severe weather. We saw some 150-plus severe wind reports across portions of the northeast. Winds as high as 50-plus miles per hour in that region.

And another round of severe weather in place, you'll notice, across parts of, really, the eastern portion of the U.S. -- eastern third of the U.S. on into portions of the Northern Plains. That's where the best bet is for severe weather. The numbers, though, dropping from about 60 million in risk there yesterday to 30 million today. So again, strong winds and large hail become the predominant threats.

Now, look at what's happening across portions of the Gulf of Mexico. This is tropical depression eight. It is poised to become a tropical storm, but will it have enough time here to really get its act together? We don't think so.

It could become Tropical Storm Hanna. That would be sometime early Friday morning. But shortly after that on Saturday morning, it approaches the coast of Texas and really becomes a rainmaker across this region. And notice the rainfall at times could be heavy, especially along the Gulf Coast. And again, landfall sometime Saturday into Sunday into portions of eastern Texas -- guys.


ROMANS: All right, that's your weather. Here's your money.

Taking a look at markets around the world, global markets -- in Asia, they closed mixed and European shares have opened higher here.

On Wall Street, futures at this hour also moving higher. Stocks closed up Wednesday. The Dow finished 165 points higher. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq also edged up.

A few big stocks are driving the overall market. In the past month, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Google all scored record highs. Together, these five stocks now account for 22 percent of the S&P's market cap.

American and Southwest Airlines report second-quarter results today. We'll also get a look at the latest unemployment claims. Another million Americans are expected to have filed for first-time benefits.

Tesla has defied the pandemic shutdown, reporting its fourth-straight quarterly profit -- net income of $104 million despite closing its manufacturing plant in California for nearly half of the quarter. CEO Elon Musk now says Tesla will build its next factory outside Austin, Texas.

Tesla's stock has more than tripled this year making it the most valuable automaker in the world. Its deliveries dropped five percent in the quarter. That's far less than the dips of 30 percent or more reported by other automakers.

Record-low mortgage rates and pent-up demand are driving people into real estate. Data from the National Association of Realtors shows existing home sales jumped 20.7 percent in June, the biggest monthly increase on record. Economists say renters looking for more space and younger families moving to the suburbs are driving these sales.

But the supply of homes is still low because potential sellers are cautious about having open houses in the middle of a pandemic.

JARRETT: Well, a Kansas City community is giving back to a woman who gave her lottery winnings to a wounded police officer.

Shetara Sims had $7.00 to her name when she found a lucky dollar bill. She bought a scratch-off lottery ticket, winning $100. Sims' 12-year- old daughter said they should donate it to the family of a wounded Kansas City police officer.

The girl's sister was killed back in 2012.


SHETARA SIMS, DONATED LOTTERY WINNINGS TO WOUNDED POLICE OFFICER: Detectives were really there for us. They (sic) was there for us more than anyone I can imagine. They did things they didn't have to do.

SGT. JAKE BECCHINA, KANSAS CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT: To hear her call and just express thanks for no reason other than she's thankful, it's really impactful to us and it really -- it's really touching to us.


JARRETT: So the officers started a GoFundMe page for Shetara. The goal was $10,000. Well, as of this morning, it's raised more than $87,000.


It just shows you if you give back you never know what will happen. ROMANS: There's a lot of bad stuff in this world. But I'm telling

you, people, at their core, are generous and care about their neighbors, right?

JARRETT: So true.

ROMANS: All right, thanks for joining us this morning. I'm Christine Romans.

JARRETT: I'm Laura Jarrett. "NEW DAY" is next.



DR. BARBARA FERRER, LOS ANGELES COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTOR: COVID- 19 is on track to claim more lives in L.A. County than any disease, except coronary heart disease.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: California setting a new record, adding more than 12,800 new cases in one day.

TRUMP: I think most governors want these schools to open. I would like to see the schools open.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Parents are terrified about sending their kids to school with really no clear guidance.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look at Germany, the E.U. They had some tough times, as we did, but they came out of them.