Return to Transcripts main page


New Polls in 2020 Race; Portland Protests Continue; U.S. Leaves Consulate in Chengdu; Hurricane Douglas Bears Down on Hawaiian Islands; Coronavirus Vaccine in Brazil; Marlins Delay Trip over Coronavirus. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired July 27, 2020 - 06:30   ET



DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Take a look at what -- why we say right now this race is shaping up to be a referendum on Donald Trump more than a choice between the candidates, which, of course, the Trump campaign is trying to change that dynamic.

Look at his overall approval rating in all three states. You see 40 percent approval in Arizona. That is a -- you know, a reliably red state in the past and demographically trending, but 40 percent approval, 44 percent approval in Florida, 39 percent approval in Michigan. You see a majority disapproval in each of those states.

Look at the economy. It is still the issue. You can see here why Donald Trump wants to lean into it. His approval on the economy is a strong suit. In Arizona, he has the majority approval, 52 percent, Florida, same, 52 percent. Even in Michigan, where he's down 12 points to Joe Biden, here, on the economy, he's only down -- underwater by two points in terms of approval/disapproval. So the economy is where we're going to see the president continue to sort of lean into.

But it is all things coronavirus that's defining this election, guys. Look at his approval on the handling of the virus in these states. It is substantially lower than even his overall approval. In Arizona, 35 percent approval of his handling of the virus, 39 percent in Florida. 36 percent in Michigan. And this is the issue of the election. This is why -- these numbers show you why he's down in all three of these states and why his path to re-election is so difficult at the moment.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: David, tell us how he's doing with women.

CHALIAN: Oh, man, Alisyn, women not a good group overrule for Donald Trump. But, remember, he won white women in 2016 nationally against Hillary Clinton. But look at white women in these three states here and I think you see why these contests are where they are. In Arizona, Biden's winning white women 50 percent to 46 percent. Now, in Florida, white women still a strength for Donald Trump.

By the way, these are the targeted voters for that whole law and order messaging when he talks about the suburbs. It's -- it is working for him in Florida with this group, though obviously not overall. And in Michigan, 57 percent of white women go to Biden, 36 percent to Donald Trump. This demographic is something to pay attention to from now for the next 99 days because it is where a lot of the focus of the Trump campaign is going to be.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: To reiterate, he won among white women. He beat Hillary Clinton among white women in 2016. If he is down, and he may be down by a fair amount right now, that's a problem. That's a steep hill for him to climb.

David Chalian, thank you very, very much.

CHALIAN: Thanks, guys.

BERMAN: So a tense night on the streets of Portland, Oregon. The police detained two suspects after a reported shooting nearly the federal courthouse that has been the site of confrontations between protesters and federal law enforcement officers. Police also say they found loaded gun magazines and Molotov cocktails in a bag.

CNN's Lucy Kafanov live in Portland with the very latest.

Lucy, what'd you see?


Well, this is something that we affectionately refer to as the witching hour here where the protests take on a very different tone and nature than they tend to during the early hours of the evening. I'm standing in front of that federal courthouse, that's become so much the focus of the demonstrations here.

The night unfolding with some tension, some standoffs between the federal paramilitary forces behind the fence and demonstrators who had come out to protest. We saw some small groups of demonstrators lobbing fireworks over the fence at the -- the building where the agents are inside. That sometimes prompts a response from the agents. They emerge from the building. They disperse tear gas and flash bang regrades to try to get the crowd to leave. They do for a while. They come back and sort of this game of cat and mouse ensues.

But I want to emphasize something, there are almost two different types of protest moving -- movements happening here night after night. This is now nearly two months since George Floyd lost his lives at the hands of Minneapolis police officers. In the early hours of the evening, day after day, you see large crowds of Portland residents coming out to really highlight the Black Lives Matter movement, to protest against racial inequality, to demand racial justice and police reform.

Later in the evening, the protest tends to shift in mood, where the focal point really becomes federal presence on the streets of Portland. It's something that's very much enflamed tensions here. And we've seen protests in solidarity with the Portland demonstrators on the streets of Seattle and in other parts of America. In Austin, in fact, there was also a demonstration where one man lost his life.

Guys. CAMEROTA: Lucy, thank you very much for all that reporting. Be careful. We will check back you.

Civil rights icon and 17-term Congressman John Lewis will lie in state today at the U.S. Capitol. Former Vice President Joe Biden will be among the leaders to pay tribute. Lewis will lie in state tonight and tomorrow, then he will be taken to Georgia for his burial.

Lewis was honored at multiple stops in his home state of Alabama over the weekend, including this poignant, finally journey across the Edmond Pettis Bridge in Selma.


Well, America has vacated one of its consulates in China after the U.S. ordered China to leave their consulate in Houston. We have a live report from the scene in China for you next with what this means.


BERMAN: Breaking news, Chinese officials have combed through the U.S. consulate in Chengdu after it was shut down for retaliation of the U.S. order of the closure of China's consulate in Houston. The American flag lowered at dawn there.

CNN's David Culver is live outside the U.S. consulate in Chengdu.

David, what are you seeing?

DAVID CULVER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: John, this is just the latest in the back and forth between the U.S. and China as tensions are continuing to rise. Behind me, this is now the former U.S. consulate here in Chengdu, China. It opened in 1985. Thirty-five years later, I want to show you what happened here just a few hours ago. The flag being lowered for the last time. The American flag coming down inside the consulate complex.


And shortly thereafter, we have video of this, too, you can see Chinese officials going inside. This happened after 10:00 local time. They essentially gave the diplomats 72 hours to get out, since they announced it on Friday, and then that happened on Monday. The reason they gave that timeline, it was the same amount of time that U.S. officials gave Chinese diplomats in Houston to get out of that consulate. So it's trying to equate the two.

And, of course, they're saying that the reason they're kicking the U.S. out of this is because they say U.S. personnel, John, were inside engaging in activities that were harmful to China's national security interests. If it sounds familiar, it's similar who what the U.S. said about the Chinese diplomats, saying that they were essentially conducting illegal spying from that consulate.

But now those diplomats who normally are here are headed back to Beijing, to the U.S. embassy, John. BERMAN: David, it is terrific to have you there as our eyes and ears.

What have the crowds been like outside the consulate? I hear people there.

CULVER: There are a lot of people here. This has become a tourist attraction, of sorts. And there are a lot of crowds move through.

And, Justin, I don't know, are you able -- Justin, are you able just to pan here? I want to just show you this. To give you an idea as to what we're seeing here, I mean people are now starting to move along. But you've got folks who are building in here. And I want to show you what we were dealing with a little bit earlier, because this is pretty close access wise and it's pretty unusual here in China to be able to report on a street like this and not be stopped or moved along.

Well, this morning, it was a very different situation. In fact, you can see in some of this video that we were stopped at a barrier, police barricade, that was several blocks away. And the reason was, it was rather intentional. They didn't want, during that handover at 10:00 in the morning local time, there to be any commotion, anything that would distract from it being seamless. And so they were able to control it in that manner. And the only images, Alisyn, are provided by state media. So the government-controlled media was the one that disseminated the images of the flag cull down, the plaques being covered, and this finally being turned over to China. This behind me is now Chinese property.

CAMEROTA: Really interesting, David. And interesting to have your perspective and your camera show us what the scene is on the ground of it having become a bit of a tourist attraction there.


CAMEROTA: Thank you very much. We'll check back for developments.

So back here in the U.S. this morning, Hurricane Douglas bearing down on the Hawaiian Islands. The state's governor is urging residents to shelter in place.

CNN meteorologist Chad Myers is tracking it.

How bad is this one, Chad?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Alisyn, it's still a 90-mile-per-hour storm. So this thing really hasn't lost a lot of intensity. Now, for a while, it was a category three. But it's moved to the north of the islands. The high pressure that was north of it allowed it to move up a little bit and so that moved it away from the islands proper. Now, there's still a lot of rain. There's tremendous surf on the north- facing islands and north-facing shores. But, really, this has now moved away from the true main threat for Kauai, which would have been those 90-mile-per-hour winds. That's just not going to happen. An awful lot of rain for the Napoli (Ph) coast, all the way down toward Princeville (ph), and even some rain showers as far south as Honolulu coming in from the other direction, on the other side of the storm. Let's turn our attention to what Hanna did over the weekend. Twenty

inches of rainfall not that far from Brownsville, Texas, over the weekend. Over three solid days of rainfall. We still have flood advisories going on down here. There were flash flood warnings for a while, flood emergencies.

Farther out to the east from here, into the Atlantic, Isaias will be the next named storms. That's the "I" storm. And there it is. It's not yet, but it is forecast to become that over the next five days and move very close to the Bahamas by Friday into Saturday. We'll keep watching it. That's still a thousand miles from nowhere, as the song goes. But we will see what happens with this next storm.


CAMEROTA: OK, Chad, thank you very much.

MYERS: You got it.

CAMEROTA: So as the pandemic rages in Brazil, that country may give us the first clue on hopes for a viable vaccine. We explain in a live report from Brazil, next.



BERMAN: This morning, Brazil has now topped 2.4 million cases of coronavirus. It is truly one of the world's hot spots. Maybe the other hot spot besides the United States. So after two positive tests, Brazil's president says he tested negative for the virus.

In the meantime, a union representing more than a million health care workers accuses him of crimes against humanity for refusing to take the necessary measures to protect the people.

CNN's Nick Paton Walsh is live in Brazil for us this morning.

And, Nick, that's a backdrop to something else crucial to the entire world that's happening in Brazil, which is that it's a central player in the race for a vaccine.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely. Everybody wants a vaccine as quickly as possible. The Trump administration launching Operation Warp Speed to get one as quickly as possible, pumping billions into it. But the Chinese are also in on the game with their version and the front-runner seems to be something made, in fact, by the United Kingdom's Oxford University.

But that brings them all to here, to Brazil, because they're essentially all in countries where the disease, with the exception, sadly, recently, of the United States, where the disease has begun to thin out in the population. And they need a place where they can find enough infection around and enough front line people potentially at high risk that they can trial the vaccine in to see if it's effective. And that has brought them to Sao Paulo, probably one of the worst hit cities on earth, the biggest mega city in Brazil. And that's where we saw where the first people have been given this essential vaccine trial.


WALSH: There's an extra bit of bravery here you can't see. Denis (ph) is a dentist, doing for five months of coronavirus in Sao Paulo, the not to pretty job of cleaning infected mouths. Like everyone here, living away from her family, death around her daily. But she's a first. The first Brazilian to be given a trial vaccine from Oxford University, carrying the hopes of pretty much all of us, that this front-runner vaccine works.


Being a volunteer is an act of love, she says, donating a little bit of yourself.

WALSH (on camera): All the staff here have been offered if they want to take part in the Oxford vaccine trial, putting them on another front line, the world's urgent hunt for immunity from this disease.

WALSH (voice over): Denis was subject one and her boss, Flavia, was roughly subject 1,000. In their hearts, the memory of a fellow doctor.

FLAVIA MACHADO, PROFESSOR OF INTENSIVE CARE MEDICINE, UNIFIES: I lost my friend for 23 years. He works -- he worked here for 23 years.

WALSH (on camera): I'm so sorry for that.

MACHADO: Yes, it was -- it was quite -- quite bad (ph).

WALSH (voice over): Their eyes betray exhaustion, yet here, they still give what they have left.

The vaccine trial needs more people like us at high risk of contamination. Being away from the people you love is very difficult.

Across Sao Paolo, there's a race between powers raging in one of the worst-hit cities on earth over who can prove first that their vaccine works. China, last week, sent its Samovar vaccine for trial here among the city's frontline workers, but its rollout was met by an angry fringe, railing on what they call, quote, the Chinese virus, and so also railing at the China vaccine.

WALSH (on camera): Are there concerns amongst your staff here for the safety of people who participate in this because of that right-wing rhetoric?

ESPIER KALLUS, HEAD OF SINOVAC VACCINE TRIAL IN BRAZIL: This is the number one concern. Some people may react oddly in these days to a volunteer who participated in a - in a vaccine that was conceptualized in a Chinese company.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She is with my mom. WALSH (voice over): Dr. Stephanie Texieira Porto is the only Chinese trial subject to go public yet, and this is the easy bit of her painful pandemic.


WALSH: While she's not had any threats since she had the jab here, she says she'd been warned by the trial to be careful.

PORTO: They told me to not expose it too much and to try not to tell everybody how this study is going to be.

WALSH (on camera): Yes. Isn't that strange that --

PORTO: Yes, it's a -- it's very strange. All of -- all of that. I don't understand why they hate China.

WALSH (voice over): As if this wasn't enough, the Americans are coming. Pharma giant Pfizer looking to test its vaccine, which the U.S. has paid $1.9 billion for in Brazil's mega-city hot spot, too. All hoping to be first, all finding Brazil wants access to their vaccine in return, and all feeling the heat and anguish of the months ahead.

WALSH (on camera): Fundamentally, I think for Brazilians, the question is whether or not them putting their essential frontline workers in this position to trial the vaccine for success will actually benefit the nation. There are schemes to be sure that the idea behind the Chinese vaccine is shared, that even the Oxford vaccine may get produced here, too. Unclear what the Pfizer American-backed vaccine will be giving back to Brazil, though Brazil would like some doses.

But just remember here, the bravery of these people, startling that they would take onboard in their bodies a vaccine which is said to be safe, but could have some side effects potentially in many different guys guises. And (INAUDIBLE) it seems in some cases strange xenophobia against the Chinese invention here. And at the same time, every day, put themselves in such high-risk situations dealing with the ongoing surge of cases here, that last week, for three days in a row, saw over 50,000 new cases nationwide. And those are just the ones we know about, because you need a lot of bad symptoms here to get a positive test. Their braver just startling, John.

BERMAN: Life-and-death calculations being made in so many places all around the world.

Nick Paton Walsh, thanks so much for being with us.

So, just days into the baseball season, two teams concerned about coronavirus outbreaks in the clubhouse. The "Bleacher Report," next.



CAMEROTA: The Miami Marlins delaying their trip back to south Florida amid reports of a coronavirus outbreak on the team.

Andy Scholes has more in this morning's "Bleacher Report."

Hi, Andy.


You know, we're only a weekend into the baseball season and we already have teams struggling with the virus. And, remember, baseball is the first league that's trying to travel city to city and stay in hotels in order to play their games. And according to ESPN, four players for the Marlins have tested positive for the virus. The team was in Atlanta for an exhibition before playing in Philadelphia over the weekend. And because of those positive tests, the team is delaying its trip back to south Florida until later today. The team is still scheduled to play tonight against the Baltimore Orioles. Manager Don Mattingly says that the team needs to be flexible and patient while dealing with the virus.

All right, President Trump, meanwhile, says he won't be throwing out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium on August 15th after all. The president tweeted that he's focusing on coronavirus meetings and the economy and can't be there that day, but he added he's going to try to make it later this season. Every commander in chief dating back to President Taft in 1910 has thrown out a first pitch while in office, except for President Trump.

All right, and, finally, you know, everything looks much different this season in baseball. Even the ejections. Pirates pitcher Derek Holland was thrown out yesterday from heckling from the stands. That led to manager Derek Shelton coming out of the dugout to have a few words with the umpire.


But, look, see the umpire has to put on a mask, Shelton's got a mask, they have to stay socially distanced.