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Trump Claims U.S. is "Corona-Free" on Deadliest Day in Months; Marlins Games Postponed Until Monday Amid Outbreak; CNN Exclusive: Russia Plans to Approve First Vaccine. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired July 29, 2020 - 05:00   ET






LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: In the president's world, corona-free equates to the deadliest day of the summer, and now, he's pushing a coronavirus advice from a doctor who thinks alien DNA is used to make your medicine.

Yes, that's where we are, folks, on this Wednesday morning.

Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is EARLY START. I'm Laura Jarrett.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Boris Sanchez, in for Christine Romans. It is Wednesday, July 29th, 5:00 a.m. in New York. Just 97 days until the election.

And, Laura, this alien DNA story would be comical if the news about coronavirus were not so dire.

JARRETT: So deadly serious, Boris. This morning, thousands are dying, hundreds of thousands are sick, and facing long-term health damage. Millions are wondering if they have coronavirus, some waiting weeks for their test results. And yet, this is what the president thinks.


TRUMP: You can look at large portions of our country, it's corona free.


JARRETT: No, it's not. Deaths are increasing now in 29 states, the rate of new deaths keeps climbing. Twelve hundred people died yesterday alone. That's the most since May 27th.

Cases are still increasing in 22 states as well. The president, though, not hiding his main concern. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I was curious. A man works for us, with us, very closely, Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx so highly thought of. Yet they are highly thought of but nobody likes me. It can only be my personality. That's all.


SANCHEZ: The president very concerned about taking credit and deciding to peddle advice from another doctor, this woman, one of several he endorsed in a tweet storm on Monday night.


TRUMP: She said that she's had tremendous success with hundreds of different patients. And I thought her voice was an important voice.


SANCHEZ: So, who is this important voice? Who is this doctor? Stella Immanuel is a Houston pediatrician and preacher known for touting highly unconventional and unscientific theories involving aliens, demons, witches, reptilian, illuminati-linked beings running our society, and the unproven drug hydroxychloroquine.


DR. STELLA IMMANUEL, PEDIATRICIAN AND PREACHER: This virus has a cure. It is called hydroxychloroquine, zinc and Zithromax. I know you want to talk about masks. Hello, you don't need masks.


SANCHEZ: Yes. So, she will endorse treatments that the president wants endorsed. She's also reportedly asked for a meeting with Trump. No response there just yet.

But when CNN's Kaitlan Collins tried to follow up --


TRUMP: And I thought her voice was an important voice but I know nothing about her.


KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Last week, you said masks, last week --


TRUMP: OK, thank you very much, everybody.


JARRETT: As for actual medical news, Dr. Anthony Fauci says there are signs the recent surges may be peaking in Texas and Florida, but other states could be on the verge of more outbreaks. So how is this different from what happened back in March and April?

Well, Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House COVID response coordinator points to the large scale community spread among young people.


DR. DEBORAH BIRX, WHITE HOUSE COVID RESPONSE COORDINATOR: Talking about increasing mitigation efforts now because if you wait until you see increased hospitalizations, it is really way too late because what we're experiencing now is very different than March and April. It's very different from the outbreaks of May that was quickly contained.


JARRETT: Dr. Birx notes the majority of young people are asymptomatic. So by the time hospitalizations start climbing like right now in Mississippi, Alabama and the Carolinas, community spread has escalated incredibly quickly.

SANCHEZ: Meantime, the clock is in ticking for re-opening schools. Of the largest 101 districts in the United States, 53 are starting the year completely online.

In Philadelphia, the superintendent there back tracking from a hybrid re-opening, now proposing online learning only at least until November.

Dr. Anthony Fauci acknowledging that students are in a tough spot.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: In many respects, unfortunately, though this may sound a little scary and harsh, I don't mean it to be that way, is that you're going to be actually part of the experiment of the learning curve of what we need to know.


JARRETT: He's saying that because it's not clear how quickly younger children can spread this virus.


And studies show kids that are 10 to 19 years old can spread it just as easily as adults and health experts are concerned if students do return to classrooms, there could be outbreaks like the one that put the Miami Marlin season on hold.


WILLIAM HASELTIME, CHAIR AND PRESIDENT, ACCESS HEALTH INTERNATIONAL: There's very little difference between the way the virus spread in young baseball players, many who are just barely into their 20s and how it's going to spread in high schools. It's attacking Florida right now. It may not get infected at the same right but at the moment they are all in school together, they're going to get infected. They will infect their families, their families will infect others and we're bound to have a disaster on top of a disaster.


SANCHEZ: Look, in many ways, sports is now a testing ground for re- opening procedures at schools and workplaces. Major League Baseball deciding to pause the Marlins games until Monday until more players tested positive for coronavirus.

Andy Scholes has more.

Andy, thank you so much for joining us this morning.

This is not the news that Marlins fans like myself or baseball fans wanted to hear.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: I mean, Boris, it's certainly making all sports fans uneasy about the prospects of completing seasons. You know, just a weekend into the baseball season, we already have a team that's unable to compete because of the virus. Four more Marlins players testing positive, according to multiple reports.

That brings the total of positive tests on the team to 17. Major League Baseball announcing it was postponing the team's games through Sunday in order for the Marlins focus on providing care for their player. Officials say everyone who tested positive is currently in isolation.

Marlins CEO Derek Jeter also announced the team has now moved to a daily testing schedule. He said in a statement we continue to take this entire situation very seriously. All of our players, coaches and staff are understandably having a difficult time enduring this experience.

The Marlins are next scheduled to play on Monday against the Philadelphia Phillies in Miami. Now the Phillies were the team that Miami was playing against when the outbreak hit. No one on that team tested positive but MLB postponed their games until Friday just to be safe.

And since the already shortened schedule was becoming a mess in order to add flexibility down the line, the Yankees who were supposed to play the Phillies will travel to play the Orioles who were supposed to play the Marlins. Those games are going to happen today and tomorrow.

Now, Major League Baseball did make note this outbreak right now is strictly a Marlins problem. Over 6,400 tests conducted since Friday there have been zero new positive tests of on field personnel from the other 29 clubs.

Now, in the meantime, NFL training camps are now open. The union announcing yesterday a 21 players have tested positive since they started reporting to camp last week. After arriving at training camp, players must have two negative tests before they are allowed to enter facility.

Players, they do have the option to opt-out of the 2020 season and we've seen more players doing just that. Patriots linebacker Dont'a Hightower becoming the highest paid player not play this season. He announced the decision yesterday. He had his first child earlier this month. He was scheduled to make $8 million this season.

Five members of the Patriots will be sitting out this season because of coronavirus concerns.

And, Boris, you know, the NFL, it's doing a slow ramp up to training camp. The players, they are not going to be getting on the field until Monday. Of course, like I mentioned, they have to have two negative tests before they are allowed to enter the building.

SANCHEZ: Yes, if this is an indication of how things are going to go, not just for sports but at schools and workplaces. It's not a good sign.

Andy Scholes, great to see you this morning, my friend.

JARRETT: Well, Joe Biden says he'll choose his running mate next week. Biden has said he will pick a woman for vice president and faced some pressure within the Democratic Party to choose a woman of color. It turns out you don't have to look far for clues of who is on his mind.

On Tuesday, Biden was photographed holding some talking points with Senator Kamala Harris' name at the top, including a note possibly to himself, quote, do not hold grudges. And on Capitol Hill Monday, Biden was seen, coincidentally or not, with California Congresswoman Karen Bass.

SANCHEZ: Four of the world's most powerful CEOs are set to appear on Capitol Hill this afternoon. Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Sundar Pichai of Google, Tim Cook of Apple and Jeff Bezos of Amazon, all appearing virtually before the House Judiciary Committee's antitrust panel.

Each of the companies has pushed back against claims of antitrust. Some stress the competition they face from each other and the Chinese. Big tech is under more scrutiny in an election year, especially after the recent hack of verified Twitter accounts. We should note no twitter executive is set to appear at today's hearing.


JARRETT: Well, still ahead a positive sign for a COVID vaccine in monkeys. We'll tell you more, next.


SANCHEZ: There's a positive sign for Moderna's experimental coronavirus vaccine. It apparently protects monkeys from the virus. According to a new study, the vaccine induced a robust immune response. The National Institutes of Health which co-developed the vaccine says it is the first time a COVID-19 vaccine tested in nonhuman primates has produced rapid control of the virus. The real test, of course, will be the outcome of human trials with to some 30,000 volunteers.

JARRETT: Also, new evidence this morning that coronavirus can do long lasting damage to the heart. Two studies from Germany determined that the damage may go undetected in patients who think they've recovered because the virus can linger in the heart for months without producing symptoms.


One study involved 100 patients who had MRIs two to three months after they were diagnosed. Sixty of them had signs of ongoing inflammation of the heart muscle.

SANCHEZ: Looking across the country, food suppliers in California taking another big hit. And a twist of irony, a major electronic show forced to go all-digital.

CNN reporters are covering the pandemic from coast to coast. Take a look.



A COVID-19 outbreak has been linked to a health care facility in Massachusetts after health officials say one of the employees returned from a coronavirus hot spot while other employees gathered in break rooms not practicing social distancing or wearing masks. Officials from Bay State Health in Springfield say so far, 13 patients and 23 employees have tested positive for COVID-19. A spokesman for Bay State says the facility has reached out to patients that received care unit from July 15th through the 23rd. Spokesman went on to say they are committed to an ongoing review of their safety practices.

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Dan Simon in San Francisco.

Food companies continue to be among the most vulnerable for coronavirus outbreaks given how close workers are to one another. In plants and in factories, the latest example of this is in Los Angeles where we learned three food companies have been ordered to temporarily shut down. These companies are S and S Foods in Azusa, California, 58 cases, Golden State Foods in Industry, California, 43 cases, and the Mission Food Facility in Commerce, California, 40 cases.

Earlier in the month, we saw an even worse outbreak at an apparel company in Los Angeles, with more than 300 confirmed cases. It also has temporarily shut down.


The city of New Orleans announced on Tuesday that film production will resume next week and Amazon Prime Series will be the first to shoot in the city since the coronavirus shutdown. But productions will have to ad mere to strict health and safety guidelines. Among them, reduced crews, regular COVID-19 testing, PPE and sanitizing stations, as well as an on set health and safety supervisor. Several other major studios are expected to start shooting in the coming months.


The Consumer Electronic Show known for showing up full gadgets and innovations is going all-digital. The annual event which usually draws tens of thousands of people to Las Vegas will be online this time around, happening in early January next year. The Consumer Technology Association says participants will still be able to explore products and services through live demos. The plan is for an in person show in 2022.


JARRETT: Thanks so much to all of our reporters for those updates. Still ahead for you, the Russians claim the first coronavirus vaccine is coming soon. But will it work and is it safe? A CNN exclusive live from Moscow.



JARRETT: Now to a CNN exclusive. Russia is preparing for what officials call a Sputnik moment, becoming the first country to approve a coronavirus vaccine. But there are major questions about its effectiveness and whether corners were cut on safety.

CNN's Matthew Chance is live for us in Moscow.

Matthew, how did the Russians get so far out ahead of everybody else when all of these trials are still going on around the country?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it's a good question and the Russians have attempted to answer it by saying that, look, first of all, the technology that we're using here in Russia to create this virus, sorry this vaccine, is technology which used in the past successfully to create vaccines against other diseases like Ebola. They've simply taken that sort of platform and adjusted it to work against the coronavirus. That's what they say.

But, of course, the other factor is that, you know, the normal procedures for human trials you get in other countries, simply have been put to one side in this country. I mean, for instance, the scientists who first, who have been developing this vaccine in Russia they injected the vaccine into themselves before human trials even began. They tested the trial -- the vaccine on volunteers, we're told from the Russia military, on soldiers, in other words, and now, it's emerged and this has come to me from Russian officials that the crucial third phase of human trials for this vaccine will to be done in parallel to them actually approving the vaccine and to administer it to front line medical staff. And so, they cut a lot of corners like that. It's incredibly risky, of

course. But what the Russians say is that, look, we got a country which has the fourth highest number of coronavirus cases in the world, more than 800,000. It's a risk at this stage that we're ready to take.

JARRETT: It's going to be interesting to see how comfortable people actually feel getting the vaccine given that it is going as you mentioned in parallel with these trials.

All right. Matthew, nice to see you. Thanks so much.

All right. Well, another major storm is brewing in the Atlantic, warnings already issued and it could make a big mess for Florida this weekend.



TRUMP: You can look at large portions of our country. It's -- it's corona-free.


SANCHEZ: In the president's own words, coronavirus free equates to the deadliest day of the summer, and now, he's pushing coronavirus advice from a doctor who thinks alien DNA is used to make your medicine.

JARRETT: We're not making this up. Good morning. This is EARLY START. I'm Laura Jarrett.

SANCHEZ: And I'm Boris Sanchez, in for Christine Romans. We are just about 30 minutes past the hour.

Great to see you this morning, Laura.

JARRETT: Always great to have you, Boris.

And this morning, thousands are dying, hundreds of thousands are sick.