Return to Transcripts main page


Trump Complains, Nobody Likes Me, as U.S. Nears 150,000 Dead; Democratic Lawmakers Grill Attorney General Bill Barr; U.S. Sees Deadliest Day this Summer, Deaths Rising in 29 States. Aired 7-7:30a ET

Aired July 29, 2020 - 07:00   ET


ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN NEW DAY: And other bizarre things.


The president abruptly left the briefing room when questioned about that doctor by CNN's Kaitlan Collins.

The president also claimed much of the country is corona-free. That is false.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN NEW DAY: We're nearing 150,000 deaths total. That's roughly the same number of people who live in midland, Texas, where the president will travel today. Not to discuss coronavirus, but to tour an oil rig and raise campaign money.

By the end of the day, Texas is expected to surpass New York in the total number of cases behind California and Florida. Florida endured a record number of deaths yesterday.

Now, the White House coronavirus task force is warning about this troubling rise in cases moving north from the Sun Belt. you can see so many of those states in the yellow zone. Deborah Birx believes they are on the brink of a major outbreak.

Joining us now, Andy Slavitt, former Acting Administrator of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services under President Obama.

And, Andy, you put together a string of analysis, which caught fire on the internet. You basically said, we know what to do to stop this now. And I want to explain that very briefly, because it's important, as Deborah Birx warns that those states in yellow there are on the brink of teetering into crisis.

ANDY SLAVITT, FORMER ACTING ADMINISTRATOR, CENTER OF MEDICARE AND MEDICAID SERVICES: Yes, good morning. Yes. You know, I think that we should understand that this is not a virus that we don't understand or we don't know how to beat. We know how it transmits now. We know that if you and I are in a room together and we share the air, we breathe near each other, it can transmit.

So what have they done in the rest of the world? They don't have any fancy technology. They don't any vaccines that we don't have, but in Italy and France and Spain and England and Japan, all around the world, what they've done is they've basically said, we're going to take some short-term pain, we're going throw the kitchen sink at this virus, and I can explain what that means.

And then what would happen if we did that? Well, we'll wake up in four weeks, the virus would be so dormant, we could send our kids to school safely, we could walk them there, we could vote in person very safely. We could get on airplanes again, we could travel, we could hire people, the economy would move back. It would take a period of four to five weeks where we weren't transmitting the virus.

And that would take some sacrifice, but I would argue it's a pretty short period of time. And if we do that, I think the rewards are we don't live in this sort of 75 percent economy with a thousand people dying every day and we don't know where the virus is going to turn up next.

And to boot, when we're done, we have more than enough tests, more than enough contact tracing, so we can contain cases as they come up.

CAMEROTA: You know what's so interesting, Andy, about the economy is that President Trump and so many people wanted the economy to reopen because, obviously, people are hurting. You can't go without a paycheck and have this many people unemployed. But it's not working. The reopening of the economy, it hasn't worked. More people filed for unemployment last week, I think, than the week before. And so the process hasn't unfolded the way that they have hoped.

And in terms of your kitchen sink approach, which you say the economy can get the economy back to where we want, we have a graphic. Tell us if we've got this right. You say, universal mask wearing, close bars, restaurants, churches and public transportation, prohibit travel into the country and interstate travel, set up hotels for people with symptoms at no cost and a 90 percent lockdown. Is that what you think every state should be doing right now?

SLAVITT: That is indeed what they're doing in the northeast. It's very close to what they're doing in the northeast and there are no deaths there. And so if that were done in the rest of the country, we would see that result.

Now, we can make an argument that there's much of the country that doesn't really need to go that far and throw the entire kitchen sink, but for illustration purposes, if you assume that you did, we would be -- we would have cases down as low as they were in the rest of the world.

And as for the economy, I think you're absolutely right. You know, what's going to drive the economy? It's going to be consumers spending money, it's going to be businesses hiring again, signing leases, finding equipment. And when are we going to all feel comfortable walking to a car dealer again and buying a car or getting out of an airplane and going on vacation?

It's not when we have this overhang of community spread all around us where we don't know if and when and how we're going to get the coronavirus. So we can put that behind us if we choose to.

BERMAN: So, Andy, you point out that we know what works. We also know what has been shown not to work or what the overwhelming evidence is doesn't help, and that, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, is hydroxychloroquine. The president, nevertheless, continues to lean in on this, relying on doctors whose portfolios are filled with references to demonic sperm and astral sex. We're going to get to that in a second.


With you, I want to talk about the actual evidence here. I'm not going to play the president's sound, because I don't want people to get an idea that there is this debate on this. Overwhelming evidence that it does not help, says Dr. Fauci. The FDA says it's not on the approved list. When you hear the president speak the way he does with his trained ears, what does it do to you?

SLAVITT: Well, once upon a time, John, we all lived in a world where people went from town to town selling medicines, and we had to decide based upon who we believed and who we liked, what medicine would worked and what wouldn't medicine work. We've developed a better system than that. It's called the FDA.

Now, it's not perfect, but the FDA gathers all the best scientists in the world and they make the evaluation for us. They look at something called evidence. And rather than if I'm a Trump supporter believing that a certain medicine works or if I'm a Joe Biden supporter believing a different medicine works, we have hired these people and they made a very bold statement.

They went and took hydroxychloroquine and they made it in emergency use evaluation authorization for us, which means that they made it available without any evidence. And when they did that, they collected evidence, and so far, they've found that it doesn't actually work and it actually causes some complications.

So if someone has evidence, they should bring it to the FDA and the FDA will gladly approve it. But there are people that are not meant to evaluate evidence. The president of the United States, any politician, me, you, people on the internet, people on Twitter, that is not how we should be making these decisions.

CAMEROTA: Andy, you talked about how other countries that have done this right and gotten their arms around it don't have some sort of magic bullet, but Russia says it does. Russia says that they -- you know, there's been this global vaccine race. Russia says it's about to win in a week or two, that they are going to begin having a, you know, working vaccine and vaccinating people in large swaths. This is beyond an experimental point, which is what the U.S. is at. Do you have any thoughts on that?

SLAVITT: I really don't. I think, you know, we're still at an early stage with vaccines. It's accelerating. You know, I wish that this were are globally cooperative effort instead of a Chinese effort, a WHO effort, a separate U.N. effort. I don't know where even Russia fits into all of this. This is a global good, our public health. And so we should be applauding efforts and sharing the intellectual property that helps us get there. But that's not the way it's working.

The good news is that I think that there will be vaccines, there will be treatments that are coming around the corner here in the U.S. They won't be the all-being. They will help some people, but I believe they will get here at some point next year, and I think that's good news, we have something to look forward to.

BERMAN: Andy Slavitt, always an education to speak with you. Thanks so much for being with us this morning.

SLAVITT: Thank you.

BERMAN: So you heard us mention it a moment ago. President Trump at the podium in the press briefing room yesterday called this doctor from Texas spectacular. This is a doctor who says you don't need to wear a face mask because there is a cure. She said that. The president tweeted that out to 84 million people and then promoted this doctor from the podium inside the White House.

This doctor also believes in the presence of demonic seed, astral sex, all this other kind of stuff, which you're going to hear has very -- well, should be reason for concern.

CNN's Oliver Darcy walks us through all of this. Oliver?

OLIVER DARCY, CNN SENIOR MEDIA REPORTER: Yes, John, there are a number of bizarre medical claims that this doctor, that the president called an important voice yesterday, has made. She's the founder of Firepower Ministries. So alongside her practice, she's a Houston - based physician. Alongside her practice, she's delivered these medical sermons and she's made a number of wild claims, as you've alluded to.

I think why won't we listen to some of the sound directly from her and then we can get back to that.


DR. STELLA IMMANUEL, HOUSTON-BASED PHYSICIAN: It's what we call astral sex. That means this person is not really a demon or a nephilim, it's just a human being that's a witch, and they're astral project and sleep with people.

We had a lady right here, she was sitting right there. She had been fantasizing about one of the movie stars. When she came to the deliverance ground during prayer, she started screaming. Her stomach was full, was pregnant. She started screaming. She was tearing off her clothes. She was screaming and screaming like she was in labor. And she said this thing came out of me. Her stomach deflated, right here, real life.


DARCY: Yes, John. She's also talked about how sex with tormenting demons might be problems -- causing medical problems for some people. [07:10:07]

She's talked about alien DNA being used in medicine, a number of wild claims.

This is a voice, of course, that the president chose to elevate earlier this week while he was elevating voices, attacking Dr. Anthony Fauci. He apparently thinks that people should be listening to this doctor. It's disturbing, it's absurd, obviously, but this is the voice that the White House, at a critical moment in time like this during a pandemic, is choosing to elevate, John.

BERMAN: And that's the issue. That's the issue here, which is that the president, the president's son, tweeted out videos of this woman to their millions, tens of millions of followers. They are believing this doctor who believes that medicine is filled with alien DNA, they believe what she says on hydroxychloroquine, and not Dr. Anthony Fauci.

And the president in the briefing room called this doctor spectacular. This is no small thing. This isn't side show. People will say, how come you're focusing on this rather than vaccine research, because the president of the United States is leaning into the work of this doctor, believing her and not, apparently, Dr. Anthony Fauci, who says the overwhelming clinical evidence on hydroxychloroquine is that it doesn't help?

DARCY: And, John, real quick, it's not only the president either, right? This video was the number two post on Facebook earlier this week. Celebrities have shared this video. Madonna shared it last night. So it's not just the president, but the president has obviously a responsibility to direct people to the appropriate medical authorities, people like Dr. Anthony Fauci, and he shouldn't be elevating voices who are talking about alien DNA being used in medicine and a whole bunch of other nonsense. And so, like you said, that's the issue here. That's the problem.

CAMEROTA: Oliver, I think she's also said she wants a urine sample from CNN. I am preparing one for her to send. Have you?

DARCY: She's -- she's offered, I think, to -- her exact words, actually, to deliver us from demons and cast it out of us. So she's making a number of claims. She's clearly enjoying, actually, the news cycle and the publicity she's getting. She's tweeting a whole bunch of things that, you know, people can check out.

CAMEROTA: Look, I mean, this is not the first time that we have seen President Trump be extremely susceptible to conspiracy theories. He's quite gullible when it comes to these things. And it is at everyone's detriment, to their health. I mean, not just their mental state, which it taxes, but to their health at this point, that he's following her advice and called her very impressive.

Oliver, thank you very much.

DARCY: Thank you. BERMAN: On the deadliest day of the summer, to boot. 150,000 Americans will be dead by the end of today. The demon seed woman is apparently the president's changed tone.

Coming up, this tense hearing, Democrats railing against Attorney General William Barr over the federal response to protests and his handling of criminal cases of the president's allies.

CAMEROTA: Also ahead, I talked to voters who supported President Trump in 2016. Some of them now regret their vote. So how are they feeling about November?


CAMEROTA: Show of hands, how many people think that President Trump may not accept the election results?



BERMAN: A contentious hearing to say the least. House Democrats accused Attorney General William Barr of politicizing the Justice Department and of mishandling the police response to protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing.


REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA): Do you think it's appropriate at Lafayette Park to pepper spray, tear gas and beat protesters and injure American citizens?

WILLIAM BARR, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Well, I don't accept your characterization of what happened, but as I explained, the effort there was --

JAYAPAL: Mr. Barr, I just asked for a yes or no, so let me just tell you -- I'm starting to lose my temper.

You seem to be engaging in protests in certain parts of the country. You're very aware of those. But when protesters with guns and swastikas --

BARR: I am aware of protesters and federal government --

JAYAPAL: Excuse me, Mr. Barr, this is my time and I control it.

You take an aggressive approach to Black Lives Matter protests, but not to right-wing extremists threatening to lynch a governor, if it's for the Trump's -- if it's for the president's benefit. Did I get it right, Mr. Barr?


BERMAN: All right joining us now is CNN Chief Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin and CNN Legal Analyst Laura Coates. That was representative of five hours yesterday. That encapsulates, I think, what we saw.

And, Laura, when you heard the attorney general say, I don't agree with your characterization, I think that is even more representative of the entire five hours, which is to say that William Barr was on a different planet, and I'll let you decide whether that was a good planet or bad planet, from where the Democrats in that committee were.

LAURA COATES, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It was the bad planet, spoiler alert, John. And the reason it was the bad planet is because it tried to pull the wool over the nation's eyes and the eyes have already seen it.

The idea that you could not definitively say that you should not use a chemical irritant, a tear gassing agent of some sort to try to push back peaceful protesters who are exercising their First Amendment right on one of the most iconic public forums in the entire world, the area in front of the White House, all for a ham-handed photo-op, this is telling you that he cannot help himself but to try to deflect and to try to use a monotone way of speaking to try to somehow, I don't know, make everyone believe there is credibility to what he's saying, when our eyes have already shown that his credibility has been belied by the facts.


CAMEROTA: Jeffrey, you know what -- yes.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: Well, I just wanted to say, you know, there is a substantive disagreement between Democrats and Republicans about these protests, is that Barr, the president, they don't believe that there is systemic racism in this country. They don't believe in the basic premise of the Black Lives Matter movement.

And you saw that yesterday, is that they just reject the idea that these protests are even based in any sort of reality. And I think that's really something people ought to think about, about which way this country is going to go, because that's at the core of a lot of these disagreements about the Black Lives Matters protests.

CAMEROTA: I'm glad you brought that up, Jeffrey, because William Pelham Barr weighing in on systemic racism, it's like me talking about sports. He doesn't know what he's talking about. He has no experience. How can he say there's no systemic racism? He would not have been subject to it.

And that is -- the larger point is that he engages in this sort of willful blindness, you know, in terms of well, I didn't see it. I didn't see the president's tweets about Michael Flynn or Roger Stone. I didn't know that those existed. I don't think that the National Guard used tear gas on protesters. Yes, they did.

Yesterday, we also heard from the most senior guardsmen on the scene outside of Lafayette Park, who said, yes, they did use tear gas. So, Jeffrey, Bill Barr could know those things, if he chose to look into them. But he didn't seem to have that kind of intellectual curiosity.

TOOBIN: And I thought the hearing was at its best when it was about facts, not about people yelling at each other. I thought Representative Swalwell, Representative Cicilline, they pointed out that the attorney general was very concerned about the excessive sentence to Roger Stone, the president's friends. And they asked, are there any other sentences in the entire federal system that you have intervened to try to lower? And the answer was no.

So I think that's really what was revealing, is that out of all the sentences in the United States court, the only one that the attorney general has intervened in his tenure in office was one for the president's friends. That tells you more than congressmen and attorney general yelling at each other.

BERMAN: Yes. And, look, again, that's William Barr's planet, which might be different than the planet than other people live on when they think about equal justice.

Laura Coates, Cedric Richmond, Democrat from Louisiana, to the point that you were all just making about systemic racism, had one of the moments in five hours that I think made people just sit back and go, huh, there's something to this. Listen.


REP. CEDRIC RICHMOND (D-LA): When you all came here and brought your top staff, you brought no black people. That, sir, is systematic racism.

You should -- really should keep the name of the honorable John Lewis out of the Department of Justice's mouth.


BERMAN: So, Laura, what about that point?

COATES: Well, the idea that they're pointing out, of course, is that in the ranks of the upper echelon of the Department of Justice, that you don't have anybody who is a person of color, who is walking into a room when you know you're going to be talking about issues of systemic racism, about justice in America, about criminal justice reform, about a whole host of issues that touch upon issues that are particularly relevant to communities of color, it is very telling. But it goes beyond just that.

It also goes beyond the idea that the attorney general himself, without talking about the actual data that we could see if the attorney general was accountable and transparent, we are talking about the whole millions of anecdotes and research that is out there. He, instead, shows, you know, I can legitimate size what you're experiencing, because I've spoken to Senator Tim Scott. I've spoken to an unidentified prominent black professional in the area. Well, thank God he talked to these two people. Otherwise, the experience of so many people would have never been legitimatized by this attorney general. And so you have somebody who is at the helm of a department that includes the civil rights division, and it's breaking news to them that there is not systemic racism in this world.

CAMEROTA: Laura Coates --

TOOBIN: And we just say the white house staff too. I mean, when was the last time you saw a senior White House staffer who's a person of color? The Obama administration.

CAMEROTA: Jeffrey Toobin, Laura Coates, thank you both very much.

So the mayor of Portland, Oregon, says he is in talks with the Trump administration about the presence of federal agents in his city. Protesters taking to the streets there for the 62nd night, the mayor says agents defending federal buildings is not the problem, it's the tactics they're using on protesters, like tear gas and firing projectiles.


He calls their actions abhorrent and unconstitutional.

BERMAN: Minneapolis Police say they have identified a suspected white supremacist that they believe was trying to incite the riots following the killing of George Floyd. According to the search warrant, the man is associated Aryan Cowboys, which the Anti-Defamation League lists as a white supremacist prison and street gang. CNN is not naming the suspect who has been dubbed Umbrella Man, as police say. No charges have been filed yet.

So, Russia claims it is close to having the coronavirus vaccine soon. The latest on the race for a vaccine, next.


BERMAN: All right. This morning, Dr. Deborah Birx is warning that more than 20 states are moving in a dangerous direction when it comes to coronavirus. They're in the so-called yellow zone, not the red zone like Florida, Texas, Arizona, California, where things are in a full- blown crisis, but yellow right now, but moving in a troubling way.

Ohio is one of these states. And in Ohio, the capital of Columbus, there is a fight over what time bars should be closed.