Return to Transcripts main page


Dr. Fauci: "Conceivable" There Will be Tens of Thousands of More U.S. Deaths "Unless We Get Our Arms Around This"; Trump Pushes States to Reopen as U.S. Struggles to Control Virus; Trump's National Security Adviser Tests Positive for COVID; U.S. Begins Last Phase of Vaccine Trial Before Approval. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired July 27, 2020 - 19:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Really a wonderful, wonderful man. We all will miss him. John Lewis was 80 years old. May he rest in peace and may his memory be a blessing.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, the President tonight pushing states to reopen. Is that what got us here?

Plus, the virus raging in Florida where dozens of hospital ICU are at capacity yet the University of Miami opening its campus to students in a matter of weeks in person, so what is their logic? I'm going to ask the university President. He's also a doctor.

And riots in multiple cities, protesters facing off with federal police. Is this exactly what Trump wants? Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight the breaking news, Dr. Anthony Fauci just warning on CNN that it is conceivable the United States could see 10s of thousands of more deaths in the coming months. Tens of thousands more Americans dead, all of them alive tonight. And yet at the same time, President Trump seems to have forgotten the pandemic and the government's failed response with some of the things he's saying tonight speaking to reporters urging states to reopen now.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I really do believe a lot of the governors should be opening up states that they're not opening.


BURNETT: Urging governors to reopen. Heard that before, right? They sure remember that in Florida, in Georgia, in Texas. Right now, 900 Americans are dying about every day from coronavirus. Hospitalizations are near the record number set back in April and last week at least 16 states set a single day record in cases. As of tonight 22 states are heading in the wrong directions when it comes to cases and even states that had been doing significantly better. I mean significantly, like they really had smashed as a word similar to the word the Governor of New Jersey used. Well now that state is back in the red, reporting at least a 50 percent increase in new cases in the past week compared to the prior one.

Those numbers are exactly why at least 27 states have paused are now rolling back their plans to reopen, which is exactly what Trump's task force has been recommending.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: First, in the states that have been trying to open, particularly the southern states which have gotten into trouble, I would say the first thing is you don't necessarily have to go all the way back to a complete shutdown. But you certainly have to call a pause and maybe even a backing up a bit.

You can put a pause on what you're doing or even maybe take a step back.

DR. DEBORAH BIRX, WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE COORDINATOR: If you stop going to bars and indeed close the bars, we can have as bigger impact on decreasing new cases as what we had with sheltering in place.


BURNETT: Pause, back up a bit, close the bars. That's the advice from the experts. The experts that Trump claims that he's listening to.


TRUMP: They are briefing me. I'm meeting them. I just spoke to Dr. Fauci, Dr. Birx is right outside and they're giving me everything they know as of this point in time and I'm giving the information to you.


BURNETT: But that's not what he's doing tonight. He's saying the exact opposite of what his task force is recommending states do, this whole pause, close the bars, roll back, open up, he says and he's also going against his own Press Secretary.


KELLYANNE CONWAY, WHITE HOUSE COUNSELOR: Some of these states blew through our gated criteria, blew through our phases and they opened up some of the industries a little too quickly like bars.


BURNETT: All right. Kellyanne admitting the truth. Tonight though Trump wants 'a lot of governors' to be opening up states that are not opening and he's also taking it another step further. He is bragging, yet again, about testing.


TRUMP: The United States has conducted over 52 million tests. That's more than all of Europe put together times two. Nobody is even close.


BURNETT: Fifty-two million since March, sounds good. Well, it isn't. It was back in April after all that a group of Harvard researchers said the United States needs to be testing 20 million people a day in order to safely reopen. We've done 52 million in four months per day. We are at 770,000.

Even the President's point person when it comes to testing admits this.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Are you happy where testing is right now?

ADMIRAL BRETT GIROIR, ASSISTANT SECRETARY, U.S. HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES DEPARTMENT: I'm never going to be happy until we have this under control. And we're going to continue to push every single day to improve the testing.


BURNETT: Jeremy Diamond begins our coverage OUTFRONT live outside the White House. And Jeremy, speaking of testing, we learned today that the President's National Security Advisor, Robert O'Brien, tested positive. Obviously, office close to the President, highest ranking official in this administration to test positive.


What are you learning about when they found out, how they found out, when the last time he saw the President?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, we don't know exactly, Erin. And that's frankly surprising given the fact that as you said, Robert O'Brien, the National Security Advisor is the highest ranking administration official to test positive for this virus so far. He's someone who the White House Press Secretary said recently meets with the President twice a day very often.

And so the White House though is providing very few details about when O'Brien tested positive and when the last time is that he actually met with the President. Here's what the White House is saying so far in its statement about the matter, a statement that was attributed not to any official in particular, we should note, saying that O'Brien has had mild symptoms and that he's self isolating and there's no risk of exposure to the President's or to the Vice President's.

Now, we haven't seen Robert O'Brien in public with the President in over two weeks. But a source has told us that O'Brien was at the White House as recently as this past Thursday. We don't know whether or not he also met with the President during that time. But we are told that Brian left the White House quite abruptly that day.

Now, look, this isn't the first person in the President's orbit to have tested positive. We know, of course, there was that Oval Office valet, there was the Vice President's Press Secretary who is also married to the President's Senior Adviser, Stephen Miller. There was Kimberly Guilfoyle, President's top campaign official who is the girlfriend of Donald Trump, Jr., the President's son.

But this is somebody who meets with the President almost every day according to our sources and certainly someone who is in frequent contact with him. So it is notable that the White House isn't providing those details. We do know that Robert O'Brien was recently on a trip to Europe where he was meeting with his European counterparts, not wearing a mask. And then, of course, after that he returned to the United States, where we presume that he has since met with the President.

Now, as for the President himself, he did not seem concerned today. He said that he couldn't recall when O'Brien tested positive and he didn't know when the last time was that he had seen him only saying that he had not seen him recently and he planned on giving him a call today, Erin.

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

I want to go now to Dr. Jonathan Reiner, Director of the Cardiac Cath Lab at GW University Hospital who advised the medical team under President George W. Bush and Dr. Larry Brilliant, Epidemiologist and CNN Medical Analyst.

And so let me start with you, Dr. Brilliant. There's a lot to talk about here, but first this whole issue where you have Dr. Birx and Dr. Fauci saying maybe you need to pause or roll back or don't open the bars or all of these things. And the President says, the governors need to open up states that they're not opening, is that a good idea right now?

LARRY BRILLIANT, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Hi, Erin. No, it's a terrible idea. I mean, Dr. Fauci just said that we might see 10s of thousands of Americans dying. It's not if, it's just when now. The virus is everywhere in the United States. We have to stop playing whack a mole. We have to stop playing this game of ping ponging back and forth between New York is hot now and now it's the southern states, now it's going to be the middle states.

We have to have a national program, a coherent, singular national strategy and if we coordinated our activity. And all of the states didn't close down, but slowed down for four or five weeks, then we'd be in a position to just go after the individual outbreaks. But this idea of opening up now in the worst pandemic of our lifetime at the highest point of it, it just doesn't make any sense.

BURNETT: Dr. Reiner, is there any good reason for the President? And by the way, this is the president who last week was saying it was patriotic to wear a mask and had, for a very brief time, changed his tone. He's now back to contradicting his own task force and his own top experts.

JONATHAN REINER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: What we're seeing is this lack of clear cut national pathway to put the pandemic away. We don't have a national testing strategy. We had a national strategy to open states carefully in April, which was rapidly abandoned.

A strategy that included demonstrated two weeks of declining cases and adequate hospital and public health support within the states and that was rapidly abandoned with a tacit approval and urging of the White House. And what's impossible to understand is how now with witnessing what's happened in the south and southwest, how the President could once again urge states to open and argue that somehow there is a political reason that states are staying closed. It's really unimaginable.

BURNETT: Dr. Brilliant, as someone who was essential to eradicating smallpox, you have seen the scourge of these viruses can put upon society. We've now learned that the virus is one degree closer to the President tonight.


I mentioned the National Security Advisor, Mr. O'Brien, highest ranking member of the Trump administration yet to test positive. And they're saying Larry Kudlow, at least, Advisor to the President economically says he thinks O'Brien got the virus from his daughter who also tested positive recently, which opens up the thing of even the people who are closest to you, you don't know who they're coming in contact with, you simply don't know, which is pretty incredible when these people were on the President of the United States.

And yet today, there he was, without a mask, trailed by staffers and son-in-law, his Press Secretary not wearing masks. What is the risk to the President right now, Dr. Brilliant?

BRILLIANT: Well, first of all, we wish our best to Mr. O'Brien and his daughter. And it is a reminder that so much of this disease is transmitted in the house and it is true that daughters and sons transmit this disease to parents and grandparents and we shouldn't forget that. I don't know what the risk is to the President.

I do know that his repeated reliance on the number of times a day he is tested as a way of saying that he is safe is not correct. It doesn't matter how many times a day he's tested, that's not going to prevent him from getting the disease, that will allow him to find a disease, the doctors to diagnose sooner and maybe put him on a course of treatment, the best that we have right now.

But it doesn't help you to ward off the disease to be tested all of the time and therefore I would say that if he is in unprotected contact with no mask with anybody who's tested positive, it's a great concern.

BURNETT: And Dr. Reiner, what does it mean, you would think people who are going to be around the President and we don't know the last time that the National Security Advisor saw the President, but you heard Jeremy reporting, he usually can see him multiple times a day or at least daily, that they wouldn't even know in the White House all of the contacts that somebody like that is having, right? I mean, obviously, we wish him and his daughter well, but they didn't know that his daughter got it or she was out with friends or whatever and yet this person is with the President regularly.

REINER: Right. And to protect the President, you really need to create multiple circles of protection and the White House is, as Dr. Brilliant mentioned, the White House is relying primarily on testing. And tests have false negatives and a test is only as good as the day it was done. It's a snapshot in time.


REINER: If you really wanted to protect the President maximally, everyone surrounding the President would be wearing a mask and I mean everyone, including the President for large parts of his day. Masks also protects the wearer. We haven't emphasized that enough. And the President is in a higher risk of dying. He's 74 years of age and he's obese. He does not want to get this. They're not doing everything they can to protect him.

BURNETT: All right. It sounds like he's not letting them.

I mean, Dr. Brilliant, I want to ask you to the point about, we talked about Mr. O'Brien, the National Security Advisor. Well, Herman Cain, obviously, former presidential candidate now Trump supporter. He was at that Trump rally in Tulsa. There he is, unmasked. He was there along with everybody else there who didn't wear a mask. He was hospitalized less than two weeks later with coronavirus and he is still there. So we're talking now 25 days. He's 74 years old, same age as President Trump.

According to his official Twitter, he's still in the hospital. He's being treated with oxygen for his lungs. His doctor say his other organs and systems are strong, but I think people understand what I'm saying this is pretty damn serious, 25 days in the hospital, what is his prognosis?

BRILLIANT: Well, I don't know what his prognosis is because I don't know what his underlying conditions are, how big an inoculum he got, what preexistence he has, we wish him, of course, all the best. But in general, if you're 74 years old, you don't want to be in the hospital 25 days and on oxygen. You'd rather be someplace else. It's a tragedy that he got the disease in a place that the President was warned against not having a rally like that, that would really be a national tragedy.

BURNETT: Yes, it would and I want to remind everybody we have on video staffers of the President at that rally moving away the markers on the seats that would even have social distancing, because they didn't want social distancing and they didn't want masks. And the Press Secretary didn't wear a mask, Herman Cain didn't. We don't know if he got it there. He sure could have, 25 days in the hospital on oxygen. I hope that says something to everyone.

Thank you very much, Dr. Brilliant and Dr. Reiner.

BRILLIANT: My pleasure. BURNETT: And next, a major step towards a coronavirus vaccine, yet a

number of Americans in a growing number say they may not get vaccinated. One of the nation's top infectious disease experts is my guest.

Plus, professional baseball games canceled after players tested positive for the virus. Major League Baseball just started, could it already be over?

And Republicans are proposing a coronavirus relief bill that slashes a key unemployment benefit by two thirds. If there is, one and three quarter billion dollars in that same bill for a new FBI building, what's going in this thing?




BURNETT: Tonight, the race for a cure. A major step tonight in a search for a vaccine. The United States beginning the first phase three clinical trial here in the U.S. which, of course, is the final step before you will go from for approval of a potential vaccine. This one is being developed by biotech company, Moderna and National Institutes of Health.

OUTFRONT now, Dr. Ian Lipkin, Director for the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University. He contracted the virus himself back in February and has been to Wuhan trying to study the origins of it. He was also the virologist behind Contagion. Actually, Dr. Lipkin, I should say along with Dr. Brilliant, who was in our previous segment, so it's wonderful to have both of you.

So let me start by asking you about the vaccines, because I know you've studied them throughout your career and, obviously, there are various technologies now being used and hopefully more than one works and some will be more effective in some people than others. But how big of a deal is it that the United States has begun the first phase three trial here for a potential vaccine and what do you think of this one?

DR. W. IAN LIPKIN, DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR INFECTION AND IMMUNITY, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: Well, the speed at which we've gotten to this point is unprecedented. There's something like 140 vaccines that I personally know about that have been recognize and by WHO.


I'm particularly excited about the RNA-based vaccines, because they should induce immunity rapidly and it should be effective, because it presents the same way a virus does. A virus, after all, is nothing more than genetic material inside of the cell.

So by jumping straight into putting nucleic acid into a cell, you're going to look very much like the virus. Now, we don't know how well any of these vaccines are going to perform. But I would bet on this one and there's several others in the same category that I think are very encouraging.

BURNETT: All right. Well, I mean, look hearing you saying you would bet on it is a significant thing. I mean, Dr. Fauci just said a few moments ago that if enough Americans get the vaccine, it can end the pandemic. And, look, we're all aware that there are questions about whether herd immunity will work with a corona virus and I know that that would apply to a vaccine too, but obviously he had that optimistic thing to say.

But what I'm wondering about, Dr. Lipkin, is this anti-vaccine sentiment. A poll by the Associated Press, this is in late May, said more than 50 percent of people said they would not get a coronavirus vaccine or they were not sure if they would get a coronavirus vaccine. I mean, it's kind of a stunning thing and here's Sen. Rand Paul, who is a medical doctor and a sitting U.S. Senator, here he is.


SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY): So I'm kind of pro vaccine but I'm also pro freedom. There's millions of us like me now who are immune. Are they going to hold me down and stick a needle in my arm? They probably will because these people believe in the idea that they are so right and that their cause is so righteous that they can inflict it on others.


BURNETT: All right. What's your response when you hear that from a doctor, from a sitting senator and you know that that sentiment is not uncommon?

LIPKIN: It's not uncommon, but it's also not common either. I've been struggling with anti-vaccine people since the late 1990s, initially with autism. And in that case, the MMR vaccine was thought by Andrew Wakefield to cause autism. And now we have a new group with a film called Pandemic, which is making similar sorts of claims as well.

A vaccine is our best route out of this particular predicament, though during the interim, we can do a lot just by doing simple things like closing bars where people don't distance, talk loudly about music and become disinhibited and wear masks. I mean, this is really very straightforward.

I was in China in January, every place I went people were wearing masks. And you saw how rapidly that outbreak in Wuhan was brought under control. We should be doing the same sorts of things here. There will be many vaccines that will be effective. I think this will be one of them. It has one drawback, I think, globally and that is because it's an RNA based vaccine, it's not stable in high temperatures. So we need to get vaccines that we can also send worldwide.

BURNETT: So the lead virologist from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, I'm sorry, and obviously you're mentioning you were there and I know you're familiar with the institute. She's broken her silence on the origins of the coronavirus and we all know there has been a lot of suggestions that the virus originated in her lab, not that it was manufactured there but perhaps it was being studied and that it leaked out.

She told Science Magazine and I quote her, "We know from historical experience like HIV that the places where big emerging diseases first break out usually are not their place of origin. We have done bat virus surveillance in Hubei Province for many years, but have not found that bats in Wuhan or even the wider Hubei Province carry any coronaviruses that are closely related to SARS-CoV-2. I don't think the spillover from bats to humans occurred in Wuhan or in Hubei."

What's your response to that that she's saying not only did it not come from a lab, it may not have even come from Wuhan?

LIPKIN: I know her very well. She's a thoughtful, conscientious scientist. Is it possible that there was a bat virus in someone's laboratory that somehow was inadvertently released? Anything is possible. After all, it's biology.

On the other hand, the closest relationships that have been described thus far are to bats that are R-2 sequences and animals found outside of Wuhan. That doesn't mean that you couldn't have had some sequences that were associated with a bat or some other animal, but I would predict that there's going to be some intermediate host, through which this virus passed on its way to becoming more pathogenic and more transmissible in humans.


Furthermore, as I say, these are very good people and it just doesn't resonate with me somehow and I think back of all the (inaudible) where there's been a release of a virus from any laboratory that's caused major disease, I can think of a handful of instances and typically then it was restricted to one or two people. So it seems to me that's very, very unlikely. This virus naturally moved through some intermediate host and from there to humans.

BURNETT: All right. Well, Lipkin, I appreciate your time. Thank you very much and I should make sure viewers know you have been studying and focusing on where it actually came from.

And next, could the Major League Baseball season already be over?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, honestly, I'm scared. I mean, I really am. My level of concern went from about eight to a 12.


BURNETT: Plus, why is the Trump administration pushing for a new $1.75 billion FBI building in the coronavirus relief package even as unemployment checks are slashed in the bill?



BURNETT: New tonight, coronavirus cases in Florida soaring more than 1,500 percent since the state reopened in early May. The number of hospitalizations in the state has increased more than 80 percent since July 4th.

And it's not the only state with troubling signs.

Athena Jones is OUTFRONT.


ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Even as the country reported the lowest number of new cases nationwide in nearly three weeks on Sunday --

DR. WILLIAM SCHAFFNER, DIVISION OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES, VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER: We're still chasing the virus. The virus is out there still spreading largely uncontained over most of this country. We don't have a national plan.

JONES: Total hospitalizations remain at peak levels and 29 states are reporting more deaths last week than the previous week. The country averaging more than 900 deaths a day for the past seven days, the highest such numbers since the beginning of June.

SCHAFFNER: You can see many people in many parts of the country going about their daily lives unmasked, no longer concerned about six-foot distancing, relaxing into their old, normal behaviors.

JONES: With Florida surpassing New York, now second only to California in the number of COVID cases, hospitals are strained.

DR. ANDREW PASTEWSKI, ICU MEDICAL DIRECTOR, JACKSON SOUTH MEDICAL CENTER: So, we just got a bunch of nurses from the government which is very helpful. The bed situation is dicey.

JONES: The state seeing a 34 percent jump in COVID infections among children in the last eight days and the rate of positive COVID tests statewide remains high at 19 percent.

The positivity rate also ticking up in California as hospitalizations rise, 37 of the state's 58 counties with significant infection rates remain on a watch list. Meanwhile in Texas, the weather adding to the challenge as Hurricane Hanna bored down on the coast over the weekend.

GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R), TEXAS: It is sweeping through an area that is the most challenged area in the state for COVID-19.

JONES: Medical staff in hard hit Southern counties forced to battle a surge in cases in the midst of a storm.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When the storm was coming in at 1:30 in the morning I was placing a tube in someone's chest when water started coming in through the retrofitted negative pressure rooms. JONES: This as some companies begin to brace for a pandemic that

could drag well into next year. Google extending its work from home policy until at least July, 2021, a move that could prompt other businesses to follow suit.

And just days after an abbreviated baseball season began, two games set for tonight now canceled, including the Miami Marlins' home opener against the Baltimore Orioles. After several Marlins players and staff tested positive for COVID-19 while playing in Philadelphia.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll be honest with you. I'm scared. I really am. My level of concern went from about an 8 to a 12.


JONES: And one more bit of news out of Florida. The teachers union, which is already suing Governor Ron DeSantis and other officials to try to stop the reopening of schools, is calling the recent surge in COVID-19 cases among children alarming. The union's president calling on the governor and other state and local officials to start reporting how many students and staff are testing positive for the virus. The union vice president arguing parents deserve to know -- Erin.

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

And OUTFRONT now, the president of the University of Miami, Dr. Julio Frenk. He is also the former minister of health of Mexico, the former executive director of evidence and information for policy at the WHO, and the former dean of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

So, Dr. Frenk, obviously, these are all numbers you know, the number of cases up 1,500 percent since May. Hospitalizations up 80 percent since July 4th. Miami-Dade County alone, nine hospitals have hit ICU capacity. Seven others at 90 percent capacity or more.

This is a list you know very well. But you have extensive medical expertise and you've come to a different conclusion than many other schools, right? You are committing to in-person classes this fall. Tell me why.

DR. JULIO FRENK, PRESIDENT, UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI: Well, we are committed to a very, very detailed strategy that first of all gives people a choice, because there are different needs. We call this, our strategy. It's a -- it's a responsive strategy that tries to ascertain what are the needs of different people and tries to stay away from all open or all closed.

So, a number of people are going to be fully online. In fact, about close to 30 percent of undergraduate students. That gives us an opportunity to detensify.

And then we have a very, very strict protocol in place that I think if we apply the measures that I wish could be applied, generally, we will be able to have a safe -- a safe semester.

But it requires a lot of very, very micro planning with a lot of attention to detail and a lot of responsiveness to different needs of different people

BURNETT: So, I know that your students had to pick today -- I believe today was the deadline, right, for them with their -- you know, whether they're going to be in person or online. I know last year, you had about 17,800 students. So, of the students you have now, are you giving me the number that 70 percent of them are choosing in person or, you know, how many have you heard from?

FRENK: Yes. We, you know, let me again say, it's not that people will come back to what used to be the campus experience. This is a very different model. It is not a black and white.

First of all, it is mostly a hybrid model. I call it a hybrid protected model. It is hybrid because a lot of the instruction is virtual even if they're on campus. It is protected because it's implemented with a number of very clear protocols, mandatory use of face masks, a lot of peer pressure on that. We're designating a number of what we call public health ambassadors that will be around their classmates, trying to make sure that everyone is compliant. We're also designating for those students who live on campus a public health representative.

It's a little bit the same concept as a designated driver, someone who looks after his or her classmates, so that -- to prevent unhealthy behavior. All of the spaces have been engineered. We have outdoor tents. I mean, it is a very detailed model --


BURNETT: Right. Well, look, I'm sure there's a lot of students and a lot of schools around the country wish their schools were doing similar, I mean, you know, with this level of micro detail.

I do want to give a chance to respond, Dr. Frenk, to some of your own professors, though, that one of them, Scott Evans, who he says that's he is not in any risk categories, he told "The Miami Herald". And I quote him, I personally don't feel safe teaching face to face. There is so much uncertainty about this disease and its effects that I don't feel comfortable being exposed.

And another professor, Professor Martin Nesvig, told your student newspaper, it's unconscionable that U.M.'s higher administration is basically telling the faculty: Get in that classroom. Hope you don't die.

What do you say to them? Obviously, they're not buying the micro level of detail you're putting out there.

FRENK: Right. You know, our decision making is based on evidence. What happens in pandemics and this is what my training has taught me is what you are seeing today is the consequence of events that started two or three weeks ago. And about three weeks ago, the beginning of July, Miami-Dade County instituted a number of very (INAUDIBLE) measures. I wish those have not been relaxed before, but we have what we have. And those measures which include mandatory mask use, including the

possibility of people being issued citations if they do not wear a mask, closure of bars, a number of measures that we know work, those started. And that's why we're seeing now already in south Florida that the number of the daily count of cases has plateaued. Although it is still at a high level it has plateaued. We're now coming down.


FRENK: You need to have that vision.

And so, when you look at how it's expected to evolve, assuming that those measures continue to be enforced rigorously, that this is a key, then I think we can provide a safe experience. The best example is in our hospitals.


FRENK: We have (AUDIO GAP) happened throughout the pandemic, we have had very, very few of our own staff being infected. It shows that if you have the professional protective equipment and you follow that protocols, you can actually operate safely. That is the key.


BURNETT: All right.

And as I said, I know that not only your own students but many around the country who hope -- who hope this works, so they also can go back to school.

Dr. Frenk, thanks so much for your time. I appreciate it.

FRENK: Thank you.

BURNETT: And next, the extra unemployment benefit, it is -- it is running out. That's it. More than 25 million Americans were getting those checks. Negotiations happening as we speak.

And riots declared in multiple cities, protesters have been clashing with federal police. Is all of this playing into President Trump's hands?



BURNET: Breaking news, Senate Republicans' $1 trillion bid for the stimulus package cuts enhanced unemployment benefits by two-thirds, which means that more than 25 million Americans would see the extra bump in their checks cut from $600 to $200 a week.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, though, signals that this is going to be a fight.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), SENATE MINORITY LEADER: Senate Republicans have presented us with a half hearted, half baked, legislative proposal. In short, the Republican plan is too little too late.


BURNETT: So, Phil Mattingly has been covering this. He's OUTFRONT on Capitol Hill. So, Phil, this is setting the stage for a massive fight, right? I mean, they are not even close and obviously these expire this week. So, where is this headed?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, look, it's a convergence of several events that don't necessarily look good for actually getting something done within a course of one week. Democrats have their own $3 trillion proposal on unemployment. Specifically, they want to extend the $600 benefit through the end of the year. Obviously, Republicans in a very different place on that. And that's just one of a myriad of items where they are very, very far apart.

Now, the big question is, what can Democrats and the administration start to work toward some type of path on? We should find out shortly.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senator Schumer are in Pelosi's office right now meeting with the Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. This is the first real meeting they've had since the Republican proposal has been presented.

But there's no question about it, Erin. There is a lot of work to do and such little time to actually do it. Real questions right now whether there's any chance they can stop those benefits from lapsing at the end of the week.

BURNETT: And the bill doesn't have those benefits but it does have a $1.75 billion new FBI building in it. This is, would seem inappropriate to put a pork in a bill like this, but that's what we see.

MATTINGLY: Yes, this has actually been something that's been a major flash point of Republican and Republican negotiations over the course of the last several days, between the White House and Senate Republicans.


And if you want to know how Senate Republicans really feel about it, take a listen to what Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had to say.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: Well, regarding that proposal, obviously, we had to have an agreement with the administration in order to get started. And they'll have to answer the question of why they insisted on that provision.

(END VIDEO CLIP) MATTINGLY: Now, the majority leader is not very loose with his words but he has very clear intent with what he was saying there which is this is the administration's proposal. The administration tried to force this proposal into these negotiations I am told multiple times over the last several weeks.

Senator Graham, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said earlier today I just don't know why we're doing this -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Phil. Certainly seems to be even if it is something that has a lot of merit which it may, this wouldn't be the appropriate bill to put it in.

OUTFRONT next, riots declared in cities across the country including Seattle. Are the violent protests exactly what Trump wants?

Plus, Washington pauses to remember civil rights icon, Congressman John Lewis.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: John Lewis became a titan of the civil rights movement.




BURNETT: Tonight, Seattle reeling from a weekend protests that got so out of control, it was declared a riot in the city. Nearly 60 police officers injured, 47 people arrested. President Trump weighing in on the unrest tweeting: Homeland Security or federal forces are little involved in Seattle, other than we have a large stand by team in case of emergency.

OUTFRONT now, the mayor of Seattle, Democrat Jenny Durkan.

And I appreciate your time, Mayor Durkan.

You previously said you didn't want or need help from the president or federal -- or the federal government in everything that's happening. Does anything that happened this weekend make you reconsider that?

MAYOR JENNY DURKAN (D), SEATTLE; We don't need the help that the president is offering, and in fact, I think the president's actions have directly escalated and are responsible for what happened this weekend. Many people who are interviewed by media said they came to the protests because of what's happening in Portland.

The protest itself was billed as something in solidarity with Portland and so we're today, I requested the Department of Homeland security since there was no actions directed against the federal properties here to ask them to remove that stand by team that they have because I believe that it's escalated things here in Seattle. We've seen violence night after night in Portland. We don't want that

happening in Seattle.

BURNETT: So you think that stand by and the way it's handled has actually escalated things -- these things?

I mean, let me ask you, Mayor, because some of these images -- you know, they're ugly. I mean, the Starbucks destroyed in the protest, construction site for juvenile detention facility set on fire. Seattle police say officers were burned when protesters threw explosive devices at them.

And look, a lot of what is happening here, this is not peaceful. This is just violent and destructive. And the president says he thinks mayors like you are refusing his help and those stand by forces because he's the one offering it.

Does he -- does he have a point?

DURKAN: No, again, the president's actions clearly have escalated things in Seattle and across the country. I was just talking to a number of mayors throughout the country who saw a similar thing that people wanting to act out against the president and his administration coming to the streets.

I believe if you look at what happened yesterday and Sunday, again, it was peaceful. We had a number of peaceful protests, and what we've seen is every time this president promises to sow division, he's successful at it. And he is -- he's clearly targeted cities ran by Democratic mayors. He's said so himself. He's using law enforcement as a political tool.

I hate to say it, Erin, but I really believe we're seeing the dry run for martial law. This is a president that is using law enforcement and federal forces for political purposes and that should be chilling to every American.

BURNETT: So then, what do you do to stop it?

DURKAN: We will continue to do. I think, the number one thing we can do to bring peace to the streets in Seattle and across America is to bring more justice to the systems. And after the murder of George Floyd, millions of people turned out across this country demanding that we do better, that we dismantle systems of racial inequality and systemic racism, that we improve our policing and we provide more community health and education and everything in a community.

That's what we're focused on here, is how do we make broad investments in the black community and communities of color so they have access to affordable housing and health care and economic opportunity? How do we make sure and re-imagine policing so that if someone calls 911, they get the help they need.


DURKAN: Sometimes that's a police officer. Sometimes it's not. BURNETT: All right. Well, I appreciate your time, Mayor Durkan. Thank

you very much.

DURKAN: Thank you very much. Have a good evening.

BURNETT: All right. You, too.

And next, we remember an icon, Congressman John Lewis.



BURNETT: You're looking at live pictures of the casket of congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis at the U.S. Capitol tonight. Thousands of people lining up in the scorching heat to say good-bye.


SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ): I think that what makes heroes and saints great is their humanity and it was his humanity that really spoke.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is going to be a tough day today an Capitol Hill and throughout this country. As we say good-bye to John Lewis, he bridged generations from his generation to mine and to future generations, and he taught us how to stay focused and to persist.

REP. JOHN LEWIS (D-GA): Find a way to get in the way. You must find a way to get in trouble. Good trouble, necessary trouble.



PELOSI: John Lewis became a titan of the civil rights movement and then the conscience of the Congress.

REP. JIM CLYBURN (D-SC): People all over the world are mourning his loss because John introduced non-violence, we adopted non-violence. I was a tactic for us. But I don't know if all of us can absorb what he did.


BURNETT: As we said, people are coming now to leave their respects tonight. There was one notable absence, President Trump. When asked whether he would go to the capitol to honor Lewis, he said he did not have plans to do so. He did not attend honors for John McCain or President Bush, either.

Thanks so much for joining us.

"AC360" with Anderson begins right now.