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WH Denies Reality That Trump has Reversed Course on Virus as U.S. on Track for Topping 1,000 Daily Deaths for 4th Day; Dr. Fauci Says He and His Family have Received "Serious Threats"; California, Oregon Set New Highs for Deaths in a Single Day as Multiple States Report Record Highs for Daily Cases; Dallas County, Texas Says 5-Year- Old boy Died from Coronavirus; Washington Places New Restrictions on Businesses As Confirmed Coronavirus Cases and Deaths Increase; FAA Orders Airlines to Inspect Boeing 737 Jets That Have Been in Storage After Engine Failure Incidents. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired July 24, 2020 - 19:00   ET



WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Thanks very much for watching. I'll be back here for a special edition of THE SITUATION ROOM tomorrow night 7 pm Eastern.

Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, the U.S. on track for more than 1,000 deaths for the fourth day running and the White House still in denial, claiming Trump has never minimized coronavirus.

Plus, a record number of cases in several states tonight and an alarming story from one doctor who says one of his patients recovered from the virus months ago just tested positive again recently and died.

And two young children in one family ill with coronavirus. I'm going to speak to their parents about their ordeal. Let's go OUTFRONT.

Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, team Trump denying reality. The White House claiming today that President Trump hasn't drastically changed his tone on the virus as the death toll mounts. As of tonight, more than 4 million Americans have been diagnosed with the virus, 145,261 have died. The death toll has now surpassed 1,000 a day for three days in a row and we are on track for today to be the fourth.

Twenty-eight states now seeing a rise in deaths over the past week. The virus is spreading and the death toll once imaginable, unimaginable, is now climbing by 1,000 people a day. A grim reality that President Trump only seems to have acknowledged begrudgingly and occasionally over the past few days.

But the White House saying today don't believe what you heard him say for five and a half months. No, no, no, no, they say the President has never downplayed the virus, never changed his tone. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: He hasn't changed, in fact, and just speaking on COVID generally. The way I've heard him talk privately in the Oval Office is the way he's talking out here.


BURNETT: Perhaps she has been hearing something the rest of the country hasn't when the President has opened his mouth, because here is what he has said publicly for five and a half months every time he's opened his mouth.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have it so well under control. I mean, we really have I've done a very good job.

We're prepared and we're doing a great job with it and it will go away, just stay calm. It will go away.

It's going to go. It's going to leave. It's going to be gone.

The numbers are very miniscule compared to what it was. It's dying out.


BURNETT: And now.


TRUMP: We ask all Americans to exercise vigilance, practice social distancing, wear a mask, do whatever is necessary so we get rid of this horrible situation, this horrible disease.


BURNETT: Now, the Press Secretary also said that President Trump has not changed his tone on this crucial thing. You just heard him mention it there, this crucial thing about wearing a mask.


MCENANY: The President has been consistent on this. He wore a mask back at the Ford facility. He carries around in his pocket.


BURNETT: The President did wear a mask, that one time, after he had refused to do so for months.


TRUMP: I think 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.

I didn't want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it.


BURNETT: So he refused to wear a mask because it wasn't for him. He didn't want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it. He told us how we felt about it and we saw it every day because he absolutely never worn one, except for that one time where he didn't want us to see it.

But it never should have been about the press. It should have been about setting a good example for the public and saving lives. So all of a sudden this week, after being told this by even his closest allies for months, the President has done a complete about face.


TRUMP: I have the mask right here and I carried and I will use it gladly, no problem. I'm getting used to the mask and the reason is I think about patriotism.


BURNETT: Wait a minute, if it's about patriotism why wouldn't he wear one? Why did he scorn them? He scored them for months and now it's about patriotism? OK. Look, he is right. It's about helping other human beings, but his sudden verbal conversion is rich.

And, of course, there's the Republican convention in Jacksonville, which the President finally canceled yesterday, which was a major flip for the President. A change in tone and a retreat, because before moving the convention to Jacksonville, it was going to all be in Charlotte.

And the President spent weeks berating the Governor of North Carolina for suggesting that the convention could not take place safely without mask and social distancing because of the virus.


TRUMP: The people want it and we'll have to see whether or not the Governor, now, he's a Democrat and a lot of the Democrats for political reasons don't want to open up their states. He's been acting very, very slowly and very suspiciously.

The Governor is a little backward there. He's a little bit behind. And unfortunately, we're going to probably be having no choice but to move the Republican convention to another location.

That's too bad for North Carolina and then we went to Florida.


BURNETT: OK. Well, now totally different.


Right now suddenly the President recognizes the risk and he's canceling the convention in a virus hotspot of Florida.


TRUMP: I looked at my team and I said the timing for this event is not right. It's just not right with what's happened. Recently, the flare up in Florida to have a big convention is not the right time.


BURNETT: So now the President has not been consistent on anything when it comes to this virus. Well, actually, he was for five and a half months, until this week when things changed. So what his Press Secretary said today is just false. He's changed his tone. He has backed down.

Now, all of which, frankly, is a good thing. It should be applauded. I mean, although, I don't know, it's hard to say that. This is something that should have been done right months, and months and months ago. So I don't know why we're applauding it, but it's good that it's happening.

If he actually sticks with it, if he actually wears a mask, because when the President was denying the strength of the virus and the importance of wearing a mask, he was doing a great deal of damage. A lot of people, our reporters talk to them, they said, well, if he doesn't have to wear one, I don't need to wear one. My body, my rights, look at him.

More than 144,000 Americans died while the President didn't wear a mask and said we have it under control, it's going to go away. The numbers are miniscule. With things on this virus, if you had wanted the truth from someone in Washington, you could not go to the White House for five and a half months. You had to go to Dr. Fauci.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: I think what's happening is you're seeing an evolution of a realization of the reality of what's going on and I believe he's adjusting to that right now and acting accordingly.


BURNETT: Because at the very least, we have to hope he continues to act accordingly.

Kaitlan Collins is OUTFRONT at the White House. So Kaitlan, obviously, for Kayleigh McEnany, the Press Secretary to say that the President hasn't changed his tone is absurd. It's absurd. It defies reality and something that any American who has watched even a snippet of news would know. Why the shift now and why are they denying something so blatant? KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's not clear

why they're denying it. I mean, you just played sound bite after sound bite of what the President has been saying since January and since February of this. And Erin, some of those moments are still happening this week like when the President said he believed that testing was overrated or when he claimed without citing any evidence or studies that mask can cause problems too.

Those moments are still happening, even as the President is reversing course and trying to shift his stance on this in several other instances. And probably what's the most notable is his decision to cancel the convention and even that's a decision that came about pretty quickly this week even though we've been seeing these numbers out of Florida, these very disturbing numbers.

That decision probably came together in about 24 hours, we were told by sources. And it was so closely held, so few people knew about it, because aides really weren't sure if the President was going to change his mind. So that really gives you an indication of how the White House has tried to portray that as a decision of leadership.

Really it was about the poll numbers that the President has been looking at this week and there was that one out of Florida, 62 percent of people do not think it's a good idea to hold a convention there in August in the middle of this pandemic. But also, Erin, this larger picture of poll after poll showing that a lot of voters think that Joe Biden would do a better job handling coronavirus than what President Trump has done so far and those numbers finally seem to get through to the President.

And, of course, Florida is going to be a big concern for him. So it was all of those things really culminating together that led to this. And aides are certainly happy the President has changed his tone. That's why they keep pointing to those very few instances where he's actually worn a mask, because they know that they don't have a lot to work with when it comes to that.

The question like you've hinted out earlier is ultimately whether or not this is something the President sticks with and whether or not it's too late for voters to think that he's actually changing his tone.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Kaitlan. Yes, I mean, the mask thing is just amazing. He's on Twitter mocking people for wearing them. I mean, you can't pretend that you didn't do all of these things when everybody heard and saw and you can replay it.

OUTFRONT now, Dr. Jonathan Reiner, Director of Cardiac Cath Lab at GW, who advised the White House under President George W. Bush and Dr. Ashish Jha, Director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, the testing expert.

Dr. Reiner, so the President goes from I'm not going to let anyone see me in a mask and give them the pleasure and wouldn't wear one to now everyone needs to wear a mask. He went from we have it so well under control, it's going away, it's miniscule, it's gone, it's leaving to it's a terrible disease.

He's said the former comments on these things for five and a half months and he's now saying the latter for a few days. The Press Secretary says there's been no change in tone. What does that do to public trust?

JONATHAN REINER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Well, it erodes it. Words matter and the words of a president matter a lot. Erin, when I see a patient after a heart attack, when I see them in clinic, I weight my words very carefully because I know they're listening. And if I need the patient to lose weight and get their blood pressure under control and stop smoking, I say it explicitly.

But for the first four to five months of this pandemic, the President said that testing was overrated, that masks weren't for him, that the virus was a hoax, it was going to go away.


He felt it appropriate to hold rallies in pandemic hotspots. His words and actions resonated through the country and that's why the virus is raging through large sections of the south and west. The words of the President matter.

We need an unequivocal voice from the President of the United States that says the following, every American needs to wear a mask, we need a president who gives cover to governors to close down if the virus is out of control in their states. We need a president who says we will not open schools if it's not safe to do so for the children, the teachers and the parents. We need an unequivocal voice from a leader in Washington and if the President is going to do that, I'll stand up and applaud him.

BURNETT: So Dr. Jha, how much on the example even this week he's still trying to say that the only reason there's more cases is that there's more testing. And, obviously, the math does not show that as testing has increased and by the way, not enough, and you get to wait 10 days to get your results in some places, so that's a whole separate issue.

But the number of cases, obviously, dramatically exceeds that. So where how much further do we need to go and what could he do now to fix it?

DR. ASHISH JHA, DIRECTOR, HARVARD GLOBAL HEALTH INSTITUTE: Well, we're really in a very difficult spot right now. So we have a long way to go both on testing and just getting the disease under control in general. I think it's worth understanding that we are the global hotspot right now that much of the Southern United States is generating a large proportion of the cases around the world.

So we have a lot to do. I am deeply worried about our testing infrastructure. It is hitting the wall and it is starting to crumble and we're seeing that in delays in returns. We're seeing that in machines starting to break down. We're seeing that in how hard it is for people to start getting tested.

So we need to reboot, Erin, and we really need the President. The words are very important and I'm happy to hear them.


JHA: But we want to see that followed with actions from the White House to create a true national testing strategy, so that Americans when they get sick and get tested and get results quickly and that'll be an important part of bringing this disease under control.

BURNETT: So Dr. Reiner, I want to play something that Dr. Fauci told David Axelrod about his own safety. It's a pretty stunning kind of exchange. So let me just play it for you in full.


FAUCI: Back in the day of HIV when I was being criticized with some hate mail, it was more, people calling me a gay-lover and 'what the hell are you wasting a lot of time on that.' I mean things that you would just push aside as being stupid people saying stupid things. It's really a magnitude different now because the amount of anger, I mean, as much as people inappropriately, I think, make me somewhat of a hero, which I'm not a hero, I'm just doing my job. There are people who get really angry at thinking that I'm interfering with their life because I'm pushing a public health agenda. I mean, the kind of not only hate mail, but actually serious threats against me are not good. I don't really see how society does that.


FAUCI: It's tough. I mean, it's tough. I mean, serious threats against me. I mean, against my family and my daughters, my wife. I mean, really, is this the United States of America? But it's real. It really is real.

AXELROD: Yes. Have you had to take on security measures and so on?

FAUCI: Yes, yes, yes, I've been given security.


BURNETT: I mean, Dr. Reiner, he says, "Is this the United States of America? But it is. But it's real." What do you think when you hear that?

REINER: It makes me both angry and really said. Tony Fauci is a scientist. He's devoted his life to science. He's devoted his life to trying to cure the most dreaded diseases of our time. But he's been demonized because he hasn't hewed closely to the orthodoxy of this administration. He's simply tried to tell the truth.

During an interview that the President had today, the President said that Tony Fauci wants to keep states close for two years. Tony Fauci's never said that. But when the President parrots that kind of nonsense, it resonates through the lunatic fringe and that's what generates this kind of hate and danger to a patriot like Tony Fauci. This kind of anti-science message is very destructive. Look, I'm

worried that once we succeed in creating a vaccine or vaccines that we're going to have to go a long way to convince large parts of the country, the same parts of the country that generate hate mail to Tony Fauci.


We're going to have to convince them to actually take the vaccine.

BURNETT: Which is terrifying.

I mean, Dr. Jha, there's something else that Dr. Fauci said today about this challenge to science, to people who are out there right now trying to save lives, public health officials. Here's what he said.


FAUCI: Often, the evidence and the facts are not readily acceptable by some people who push back against it. You just have to stick by your guns, don't get involved in any ideology. We are not politicians. We are public health officials.


BURNETT: So Dr. Jha, what are the repercussions for the country when someone like Dr. Fauci is getting death threats and pushback like this, that he has to try to tell the people for him to don't let the politicians do this to you, just do your job.

JHA: So, Erin, I think this is possibly the biggest problem facing America right now. The reason we have we have almost 1,200 Americans died today. The reason we are in such deep trouble is because of a campaign of misinformation, largely through social media like Facebook, but propagated by political leaders and basically it confuses large chunks of the American people.

And the point of leadership is to clarify that and to suppress and push back against misinformation and talk the truth to the American people and that has not happened from any of our political leaders. And so it has been left up to people like Dr. Fauci and I'm sure Dr. Reiner has felt this. I have felt this. We've spent enormous amounts of time fighting misinformation instead of fighting the virus and (inaudible) us much worse off as a country and as a people.

BURNETT: Yes. It's caused us many, many lives. Thank you both very much.

And next, growing questions over immunity whether you can get reinfected. I'm going to speak with a doctor who treated a man who recovered from the virus months ago and just died after testing positive again.

Plus, children with coronavirus. A Texas family with a warning as their two young sons struggle with the virus. We're going to speak to their parents. And more than 20 states grappling tonight with a surge in deaths, one

of them Washington State, which was early, then seem to have a handle on the virus, not anymore.


BRANDY WILTERMUTH, NURSE PRACTITIONER, YAKIMA COUNTY: The virus is going to do whatever it's going to do and all it needs is a little bit of help to kind of go crazy.



BURNETT: New tonight, for the second day in a row, California hitting a new high four deaths report ordered in a single day from coronavirus, Oregon also reporting its highest number of single day deaths. This is Hawaii, Indiana and Oklahoma, three states in very different parts of the country, obviously, are now all reporting new records for positive cases in the single day. Athena Jones is OUTFRONT.



DR. LARRY BRILLIANT, EPIDEMIOLOGIST: School calendar is not the calendar.


ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A new front in the back to school debate. The CDC is out with long-awaited guidelines making the case schools should reopen in some cases, arguing children suffer in a remote learning environment.


DR. ROBERT REDFIELD, DIRECTOR, CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION: There really are have been substantial public health negative consequences for children not being in school.


JONES(voice-over): And stressing they appear to be at lower risk for serious complications from COVID-19 and are less likely to spread the virus than adults. But the science on that still isn't settled.


DR. DEBORAH BIRX, WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE COORDINATOR: What I can't tell you for sure, despite the South Korea study is whether children under 10 in the United States don't spread the virus is the same as children over 10.

(END VIDEO CLIP) JONES(voice-over): One reason there's so much concern, particularly in

hotspots like Florida's Miami-Dade County.


MAYOR FRANCIS SUAREZ (R-FL), MIAMI: You're talking about 350,000 students plus another 40,000 teachers. So you're putting a tremendous amount of people back into the economy in a way that could end up being a super spreader event.


JONES(voice-over): Exactly what doctors at overwhelmed hospitals there are worried about.


DR. AILEEN MARTY, INFECTIOUS DISEASE EXPERT, FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY: It is way too dangerous here right now to have face-to- face schools and we're drowning. We're absolutely drowning here.


JONES (voice-over): The CDC also advising local authorities to take into account the level of virus transmission in the community before resuming in person classes.


REDFIELD: When you look at the hotspots, I think most of us right now are looking where the percent positivity rate within the community is greater than 5 percent.


JONES (voice-over): Many of the nation's school districts pressured to make a decision before the CDC guidance came down. Some deciding to hold online only classes in the fall, others postponing the start of the school year. And after new daily deaths nationwide past 1,000 for the third straight day, signs new infections may be leveling off in some of the hardest hit places like Florida, Arizona, Texas and California.

Still, seems like this one, a maskless crowd of hundreds that in Northern California worship service are worrying. Meanwhile, more than 150 medical experts and others in an open letter urging political leaders to shut down the entire country again and start over this. Time following the kinds of public health guidelines that helped dozens of other countries get the virus under control.

Dr. Anthony Fauci only partly agrees.


FAUCI: I'm not so sure you need to all of a sudden everybody go back to a complete lockdown. It could come to that. You always got leave it on the table.



JONES: Now, one of the public health measures that doctors like Anthony Fauci and other experts support is of course wearing masks. Now, McDonald's and Chipotle are joining a long list of companies that will require customers to wear face masks. The rules are already in effect at Chipotle and will start August 1st for McDonald's, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Athena, thank you very much.

And I want to go now to Dr. David Thrasher, Critical Care Doctor for Montgomery Pulmonary Consultants in Alabama. And Dr. Thrasher, well, I'm glad to talk to you. I'm sorry to have you on again under these circumstances. I want to ask you about a specific story of one of your patients. I know you had a patient who tested positive for the virus all the way back in February.

So, obviously, we're talking more than five months ago who recovered. Then tested positive again last month, June, and died of the virus. Now, I know you're limited due to privacy laws and the details here, but obviously this opens the door to something hugely significant which is either the virus lying dormant in somebody for months or someone recovering, getting it again a second time. What else can you tell us about this?

DR. DAVID THRASHER, CRITICAL CARE DOCTOR, MONTGOMERY PULMONARY CONSULTANTS: Well, as you know I am limited (inaudible) from the HIPAA regulations, but this patient contracted the virus before he was in America, contracted over in Europe.


He said he was pretty sick, pretty much in bed for a week, felt horrible, did not go the hospital but then totally recovered and went back to his normal way of life.

Then, in mid-June, he contracted the illness again at an area of restaurant that had some positive COVID employees a couple of days later it shut down. He got sick and first he went home thinking it's going to be kind of like the first episode he had in Europe. He got sick and sicker I think he's in a rural hospital. They did not have the capability of what we call high-flow oxygen, so we air evac (ph) him to Montgomery, where we started treating him.

We test him again with a PCR, the gold standard. So we did diagnosed him having COVID-19 the second time, not a relapse. He had antibodies showing that he had some previous immunity. This patient went on about six days later and died of the illness.

Now the point this brings to is we've always been told that there is some limited immunity. The recent studies came out and said it may only last 30 to 40 days. We don't know exactly. We do know that it's not a get out of jail free card. As I tell people don't get fat and happy just because you've had it, you can have it again. You still need to wear a mask and protect yourself because you can not only get it again but unfortunately you can die.

BURNETT: I mean, it's pretty incredible what you're saying so that he had the antibodies, but he did contract it again and he died. I mean, this is, I think, is something people need to hear because there is a lot of assumption out there. We hear from Sen. Rand Paul and others that you get immunity of some sort, people think it. But from what you're saying, it could possibly be incredibly brief.

Yesterday, where you are, Dr. Thrasher, you hit a new high for cases in a single day and I know it's been incredibly difficult for you over the past month and a half that you and I've been talking. You've been a doctor since 1983, have you ever seen anything like what you're seeing now?

THRASHER: No. I have been acute pulmonary doctor since 1983. I served as county coroner for 13 years and I've seen a lot of deaths. I probably seen more people die than any doctor in Montgomery because of those two jobs. We saw the H1n1, swine flu pandemic, nothing like this. Now, why is this different?

Well, the patients linger a lot longer before they die, but the worst thing is the patients cannot communicate with their families very well. The families cannot communicate with their sick relatives nor can the doctors communicate. We do this by phone and that's not a way to conduct medicine.

It's terribly traumatic. Our brave nurses and rescue therapies, they are the bridge to these people's world. They're with them the day and night and they're the true heroes out there. And that's the communication that these patients have with the world. It is tough. I've not seen anything like this nor is any other doctor.

BURNETT: All right. Well, Dr. Thrasher, I appreciate your time. Again, thank you, sir.


BURNETT: And next, two young children in the same family infected. How are their parents managing this terrifying ordeal? They're OUTFRONT.

And the State of Washington, it was a model for coronavirus containment, that they got it, they got through it and it was better. But now things have changed and there's a deeply troubling trend in that state.



BURNETT: New tonight, Dallas County, Texas, announcing a 5-year-old boy has died from coronavirus, the country's first -- or the county's, I'm sorry, first pre-teen death.

Now, we don't know yet if the child had underlying issues. But the county has announced 1,450 children under the age of 18 have tested positive for coronavirus this month.

And this comes as parents across this country are preparing to make big decisions on whether to send their kids to school this fall. And right now, two children in one family in nearby Arlington, Texas, is battling the virus.

This is 11-year-old Scotty Carlton. He has fought underlying health conditions since his birth. He was hospitalized earlier this month and tested positive for coronavirus.

One day later, his nine-year-old brother Jeffrey also tested positive. He did not have to be hospitalized. Luckily, Scotty has since been released from the hospital.

OUTFRONT now, their parents Jeff and Catherine.

And I really appreciate your time and both of you, you're talking to all of us. I know it's got to be hard, as a parent myself, for you to do this.

But, you know, Jeff, let me start with you. We know that out of the hospital and back home, how are Scotty and Jeffrey both doing today?

JEFF CARLTON, FATHER OF TWO COVID-POSITIVE SONS: They're definitely better. Thank you for asking. There are still complications, right, to deal with (AUDIO GAP)

But the big factors that we're concerned about like fever, for example, we're not seeing that anymore. But they still have some complications. There are still some sick kids here.

BURNETT: And complications like you mentioned things like headaches and things like that, Jeff?

J. CARLTON: Yeah, Scotty has been -- this is how it started. He's the oldest. Jeffrey was feverish and fatigued for the first few days of this thing, and now, he's having kind of mysterious, debilitating headaches that come on quickly, they -- for 10 or 15 minutes and they tend to go away. And so, that's new and it's obviously concerning.

BURNETT: Of course, of course.

I mean, Catherine, I know you are both really worried about this virus. From the beginning you were cautious because of Scotty, because he has the underlying conditions and you did everything you were told to do. You did everything right.

So, when you first learned that he and then Jeffrey tested positive, I mean, you know, as a mother, how terrifying was that for you?


CATHERINE CARLTON, MOTHER OF TWO COVID-POSITIVE SONS: It was crushing. Since March when we first heard about the virus, you know, we started making our plans and following guidance of how do we -- how do we protect Scotty. And we did what we thought and could do as best we could and it still happened to us, you know, four months in.

And that first call was crushing. He was in the hospital and really thought if he got this, it would be a death sentence. So, we are in disbelief that he got it. We're in disbelief that Jeffrey got it. We're in disbelief then given his underlying conditions that he was able to come home and he's doing well.

But I'm still worried. We're still worried because they still have symptoms. So, short term, we have concerns. I wish them both having it meant we didn't have to worry about them getting it. And we don't know the long-term effects of this virus on them, let alone that we have a third kiddo here that we have tried our best to keep safe. And so far, no symptoms for the three of us, and just the concern as a mom of, hey, I wish I could take it from them and have it myself and then be -- how do we care for them if we both get it.

It's so complicated. Let alone quarantining within the house and keeping three kids separate to try and prevent the spread in our house.

BURNETT: So, let me ask you about a couple of things you mentioned. I mean, Jeff, you know, you have not shown any symptoms of the virus and obviously, Catherine, you have tested negative. Your daughter, you mentioned your other child, your daughter is negative.

So, do you think that this is because of a result of all the things you've done? I see these pictures of your boys wearing masks and all these precautions that you've taken, or do you think that this is possibly because it is hard for kids to spread it? I mean, you're in the midst of this. Nobody knows the answer to that. What do you think?

J. CARLTON: You know, I think one of the more concerning things about this is that we just don't know. We don't know the answers to some of those questions. When we were leaving the hospital with Scotty, they told me to sort of presume that I was positive.

They've also said that even though Catherine and our daughter tested negative initially they could, you know, be a false negative. They could test positive a few days later. There's an awful lot of unknowns with this illness.

BURNETT: All right. Well, I appreciate both of your time very much. I hope they keep getting better. I know you've got to be so worried with those continuing symptoms. But I really, as a parent myself, appreciate you're sharing all this with us. Thank you so much.

C. CARLTON: Thank you.

J. CARLTON: Thank you.

BURNETT: And next, going backward, Washington state seemed to have a grip on COVID-19 early in the pandemic. Tonight though, deaths are on the rise and at alarming rate. So, what happened?

And a major university announcing it is going to have thousands of students back in class in weeks. I'm going to ask the president of the University of Arizona who is also a medical doctor why he made this decision.



BURNETT: Tonight, Washington state seeing a 50 percent increase in coronavirus deaths in the past week, this after the state appeared to have the virus under control. So, what happened?

Dan Simon is OUTFRONT.


ROBERT CORDOVA, ENTIRE FAMILY DIAGNOSED WITH COVID-19: They came and picked her up and they put here in the ambulance.

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Seventeen-year-old Robert Cordova called 911, when his mom's coronavirus symptoms became severe.

CORDOVA: We didn't know if that was the last time we're going to see her.

SIMON: The single mother was hospitalized in Yakima, Washington, for nearly a month on a ventilator.

CORDOVA: When she was in the coma, we didn't know what to do.

SIMON: Now home, Bertha Cordova believes she contracted COVID-19 while working at a fruit packaging plant. All three of her children and her mother were diagnosed with more mild cases. They're among the nearly 50,000 Washingtonians to get COVID-19 since the state's first outbreak in January.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: The first case of deadly coronavirus has reached the U.S. It's in Washington state.

SIMON: Washington was the country's original epicenter. Governor Jay Inslee's stay-at-home order seemed to bring things under control, and like other current hot spots, it began to re-open in May.

GOV. JAY INSLEE (D), WASHINGTON: Three months to the day after we declare a state of emergency, we're successfully moving forward.

SIMON: But despite its head start, crowded working conditions, opposition to masks and general quarantine fatigue had helped set the state back, with confirmed cases rising since early June. The seven- day rolling average of confirmed cases is currently four times greater than it was two months ago.

BRANDY WILTERMUTH, NURSE PRACTITIONER, YAKIMA COUNTY: The virus is going to do whatever it's going to do and all it needs is a little bit of help to kind of go crazy.

SIMON: Brandy Wiltermuth is a nurse-practitioner using this makeshift medical tent to serve a food distribution center in Yakima County. Agricultural workers here like Bertha are considered essential. CORDOVA: They're only separated with a plastic screen with them and

masks and gloves.

SIMON: Rural Yakima County now has the second highest number of cases in Washington.

Yet state-mandated mask wearing has been slow to catch on.

WILTERMUTH: It would be different if everybody did everything that they possibly could, but we haven't seen that.

INSLEE: Our suppression of this virus is not where it needs to be.

SIMON: Governor Inslee is now reinstating restrictions on social gatherings, hitting already struggling businesses hard.

GRANT HARRINGTON, MANAGING PARTNER, SNOHOMISH RUNNING COMPANY: You can only go through this so many times before people just throw up their hands and they're like, what's the use?

SIMON: Special events promoter Grant Harrington says he lost up to $400,000 in revenue this year.

HARRINGTON: There's a lack of morale. There's a lack of like motivation. And I think that we've got find ways to be proactive in safely opening businesses so we can have time to prepare, so we can do it safer.


SIMON: And the mother you saw there in the piece, Bertha, she has a message for anyone willing to listen, Erin, and that is to wear a mask.


And as we saw, Washington is really one of those states they thought they had things under control. Now health officials are worried that it could become the next California or the next Florida.

That's why Governor Inslee instituted these new social restrictions and he also updated the mask policy. Bottom line, if you leave the house, you have to wear a mask. The question now, Erin, is one of compliance.

Back to you.

BURNETT: Yes, it certainly is. It's certainly a cautionary tale, right? Everyone thought they got it first and got through it. Now, here it is back again.

All right. Next, many colleges and universities are online only, right? But the University of Arizona is announcing students will be back on campus in a matter of weeks. Right now, currently, that state is in the epicenter.

The school's president is a medical doctor. He's going to talk about how he's making this decision. He's next.

And a major warning about the safety of planes after reports of engine failure in the air. Why coronavirus is likely to blame.


BURNETT: Tonight, the University of Arizona announcing it will begin the fall semester one month from now with a mix of in person and remote learning.


So, there will be in person classes. It comes as cases continue increasing in the state, hospitalizations are high. They are showing some decline but, obviously, you've seen E.R. doctors on this program talking about the dire situation they're seeing there.

OUTFRONT now, Dr. Robert Robbins. He is the president of the University of Arizona, also a cardiac surgeon.

And, Dr. Robbins, I really appreciate your time and I know you and I spoke in April when we were the epicenter, now your state has been going through that. You know, so how -- where are you now? A month ago, I know you said if you had to make the decision on that day, you wouldn't have in-person classes, but now, you're trying to have, you know, a significant portion of in person classes.

How have you come to this decision now?

DR. ROBERT C. ROBBINS, PRESIDENT, UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA CARDIAC SURGEON: Well, we're very fortunate, Erin, thank you for having me on your program again and doing this reporting. We're fortunate to have an incident command task force lead by Dr. Richard Carmona, who's a distinguished professor at the University of Arizona, was the 17th surgeon general of the United States.

And Rich and his team, we look at the data every day and as you point out, we went through a bad spell in Arizona and we're starting to see a decrease, just in Pima County where we are here in Tucson. We're seeing over the last week, a definite decrease. And we got about a month to go.

So, we're hopeful that as our students come back and as we test them before they go in the dorms, we'll be able to find those asymptomatic positive cases and to be able to isolate them up front, and have very strict protocols that we'll ask everyone to have face coverings at all time and follow strict rules if they want to stay at the university.

BURNETT: So what -- what are these in person classes look like? I mean, I would imagine you're not go to do a giant whatever, econ 101 class with 150 kids in it.


BURNETT: Right? So, there are colleges across this country and universities that are completely struggling on this. How -- what's your model look like?

ROBBINS: Yeah, we'll have about no more than half the capacity of any lecture hall but we're purposefully limiting the number of students and adequately, physically distancing them in the classrooms. We'll have plexiglass guards for professors, and about half of our classes will have some in person contact but no more than that.

BURNETT: But let me just say, it's a pretty incredible thing that you're able to do that, right? You're in a state where you were an accept epicenter now, you're starting to see some decline in hospitalizations but, you know, you got schools like Harvard where they're saying all online, you know, and they are a place where everything is declining.

So, what do you say to them? What are they missing?

ROBBINS: Well, I don't know that they are missing anything. I think, you know, it's a -- it's a risky proposition and a bold endeavor that we're taking, but we think we've got the team and the testing, tracing and isolation protocols in place that we can provide the safeguards to protect our faculty, staff and students.

We're encouraging anybody that has any high risk or just is afraid to come back, stay away. But if you're going to come back to campus, you're going to have to follow the rules and it going to be very strict protocols. The concern I have as I was saying to you before we came on about University of Miami and Dr. Frank, who is a leading international public health expert and president of the University of Miami, he is absolutely in the epicenter of the world right now and he's planning to open the University of Miami and we've talked and collaborated about how we're going to do this and we're going to have to be very, very strict.

Both of us are concerned what happens off campus. For those students that live in our dorms, we have some control but off campus is where we think there's a high risk of not following the rules. That's why we're working with our mayor and our county to coordinate our efforts.

BURNETT: Yes. And, obviously, a big question we saw what happened at the University of Washington there as well.

All right. Thank you very much, Dr. Robbins. I appreciate having you back.

And next, engine failures and passenger jets. The warning tonight about air travel is connected to the coronavirus.



BURNETT: Tonight, the FAA warning of engine failures in Boeing 737.

Pete Muntean is OUTFRONT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) PETE MUNTEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They were parked by the pandemic but federal regulators say that is causing problems in the air, 2,000 Boeing 737s are now subject to an emergency action by the FAA.

In a just released directive, regulators say both of the plane's engines could fail in flight after inactivity due to COVID-19.

Regulators are making a rare warning that the 75-ton airplane could become a glider forced to land when no airport is nearby.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We did have an engine failure after all.

MUNTEAN: Last week, the crew of an Alaska Airlines flight made an emergency landing at an airport after a problem in one engine. The airline says that incident was most likely one of four. The FAA says it spurred its emergency action.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It should be fine. It should be a normal landing.

MUNTEAN: The new directive calls for inspections of any 737 parked for longer than a week. Federal regulators say a critical valve can corrode and get stuck causing engine failure. Airliners have been sitting idle from Atlanta to Arizona where Scott Butler's business has been booming.

SCOTT BUTLER, ASCENT AVIATION SERVICES: We're under 30 percent humidity across the year. Low salinity, so no salt water, not near oceans, salt is deadly to aircraft. Deadly to metals, you get corrosion everywhere.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have to stay on top of what is happening with the airplanes. We have to maintain the airplanes as if they were flying.

MUNTEAN: Last month, Brian Ker (ph) showed me United Airlines' 737s and dozens of other airplanes in storage at Dallas International Airport in Virginia. United crews were restarting planes regularly in hopes of avoiding problems.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have a set maintenance program for them. What we do is on a daily basis, we may go out and we run the engines. We'll check them. Make sure that the oils are up to snuff.

MUNTEAN: United, Alaska and all major operators of the 737 insist to CNN that they take maintenance seriously and will comply with newly mandated inspections. But, it's a new bump in what airlines hope would be a smooth recovery.

Pete Muntean, CNN, Washington.


BURNETT: All right. Thank you for joining us.

Anderson starts now.