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U.S. Sees Deadliest Day This Summer, Deaths Rising in 29 States; Russia Claims it is on Track to Approve Coronavirus Vaccine Soon; Berlin Battles "Disturbing" Rise in Coronavirus Cases. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired July 29, 2020 - 07:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[07:30:00]

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Ohio, the capital of Columbus, there was a fight over what time bars should be closed. Joining me now is the mayor of Columbus Andrew Ginther. Mr. Mayor, thanks so much for being with us this morning. Let me just put up on the screen so people can see the situation in Ohio right now. This is hospitalizations, right? You can't argue with this. This is hospitalizations, the number of people in the hospital. It is at an all-time high in the state of Ohio now. It's a "V", the wrong kind of "V" here. In Columbus, how close do yo think you are to a crisis?

MAYOR ANDREW GINTHER, COLUMBUS, OHIO: Well, Dr. Deborah Birx visited us just this Saturday with our health commissioner and our governor to warn us of this crisis and encourage us. She praised the mask orders that both the governor and we put in place on a local level, but encouraged more aggressive action, and quite honestly, she encouraged closing bars down altogether.

Based on all the information and research out there, we know that bars, particularly later in the evening with compliance -- want compliance with facial coverings and masks and social distancing drop are driving this. And so, that's something that we took action on, on a Monday night, had unanimous support from home city council to close bars at 10:00 p.m. because our local health officials saw compliance drop dramatically after 10:00 and before bars closed.

BERMAN: OK, so the fight right now is over closing bars at 10:00. The City Council moved to do it, you want to do it. A court jumped in and said no, you can't do it. So what's the status of that particular fight? Then we'll get into whether bars should be open at all? But what's the status of the court battle?

GINTHER: So, the judge yesterday issued a temporary restraining order, so that act will not go into effect for 14 days. Obviously, we're encouraging the governor to take action as well, and believe that, that would send a powerful message. You know, Dr. Birx was very clear with us that, you know, we needed to take more aggressive action. As you know, we've seen a 66 percent increase in cases just over the last seven days and during the last six weeks, a 220 percent increase in cases. We've invested in one of the most robust community testing efforts and

contact-tracing investigations that you'll find anywhere in America. But we know that in addition to that, in the facial coverings and masks requirements, more aggressive action is necessary, Dr. Birx encouraged it --

BERMAN: So --

GINTHER: When she was here on Saturday.

BERMAN: So when Dr. Birx comes and warns you that you could be in serious trouble, why open bars at all? I mean, I understand that maybe compliance gets worse after 10 O'clock, you know, I'm no doctor, it seems to me if you're sitting some -- close to someone in a bar at 6:30 at night, it's just as dangerous as 11:30 at night.

GINTHER: Absolutely. And it's something that we seriously considered. We thought the greatest threat and where the most immediate action needed to take place is where we saw the complete lack of falloff and compliance. And so that's why we decided to go the route of closing bars and restaurants at 10:00 p.m.

BERMAN: So when you are a mayor of a city, a terrific city like Columbus, and you look south, right? You look at Miami, you look at Houston, what are your concerns?

GINTHER: Well, obviously, we have to continue with this very aggressive community testing and contact tracing and investigation efforts, so that we know more about how this -- this is community spread. This is completely within our control and power at this point. And one of the things we announced just yesterday when we decided that Columbus City schools, the largest school district in the state of Ohio would go back to no in-person learning, but all virtual for the first grading period of this coming school year.

Is that we really have a choice. We can step up if we believe that children belong in classrooms and --

BERMAN: Yes --

GINTHER: And we believe that that's the best opportunity for them to grow and learn, and we have to take personal responsibility to commit to facial coverings, social distancing and avoiding these large gatherings.

BERMAN: There's something incongruous to that though, isn't there, Mr. Mayor? Where you are delaying in-person schooling for months, but bars are still open?

GINTHER: Well, that's -- you know, based on research and evidence and guidance from our public health officials, we think that, that is the best thing for us to do. Until we see our cases, number of cases go down over the next four weeks, then we'll contemplate, you know, in- person education -- they're training later on in the school year, but continuing to take steps. And believe me, this was just the first step. We were very clear that

if we didn't see the slow of the spread, this community spread, that additional actions may be taken. And that's why we're working closely with the governor on that, around bars and around restaurants and other things that we know are driving the community spread.

BERMAN: All right, Mayor Ginther, we appreciate you being with us, thanks very much.

GINTHER: You bet, thank you.

BERMAN: Alisyn?

[07:35:00]

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: OK, John. Russia claims it will soon announce approval of a coronavirus vaccine which would make it the first country to do so. Can that be trusted? CNN has reporters all around the world bringing you the latest developments.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Matthew Chance in Moscow. And Russian officials are calling it a Sputnik moment, a technological leap, like the launch into space of the first satellite. Now Russian officials tell CNN they intend to approve the first coronavirus vaccine by August the 10th. So soon. Partly because scientists here say they used tried and tested technology, but also because conventions on human trials in Russia have been bypassed. It's risky of course, fueling skepticism about the effectiveness and the safety of this vaccine.

But given the acute coronavirus problem in Russia which has the fourth highest number of infections in the world, it's a risk the authorities here are willing to take.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Fred Pleitgen in Berlin, where the German government continues to grapple with the rise in coronavirus infections. And one of the things that really has the Merkel government concerned is they say that these infections are not large isolated incidents, but are happening in broad parts of the country. There's more and more districts in this country where the number of coronavirus infections are on the rise.

The German government says that makes it more and more difficult to actually contact-trace where these infections are coming from. The government says that some people here in this country may have become a little bit lax in enforcing the rules for trying to stop the pandemic, and they're calling on people to urgently start sanitizing, start physical distancing, of course, wearing masks as well.

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong, and we are following a significant jump in the number of COVID-19 cases in China. On Monday, China reported 68 new cases of the coronavirus. On Tuesday, 101. This is the highest single- day increase in China since early April. And of the 101 new cases, 89 were reported in Xinjiang. All of Xinjiang's new cases are in its capital Urumqi.

The cases are believed to be the result of a gathering activity, and officials say all those infected did not travel abroad this year. Now, a week ago, the government in Urumqi declared a war-time state to battle the virus. In this community of about 3.5 million people, there's been a lockdown on residential compounds, bus service, subway service have been suspended, a city-wide testing campaign is underway.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN: Our thanks to our reporters all around the world. Now, we want to remember some of the nearly 150,000 Americans lost to coronavirus. Twenty nine-year-old Samantha Diaz was a medical assistant in West Palm Beach. She was concerned her job would expose her family to coronavirus, tragically, she was right to worry. Diaz and two of her three children fell ill. The little ones, ages 1 and 2 both recovered. Samantha did not, leaving her mother to raise her children.

Noah Martinez Dominguez(ph) moved with his family from Mexico to Dallas in 1990. He worked in several restaurants, but his passion was auto mechanics. His daughter says he took a home course and worked on an engine right in the living room. The daughter says her mother was livid, but his three kids did learn all about cars in the process. South Florida police officer Corey Pendergrass died Sunday of coronavirus complications.

He served in the Lauderhill Police Department for 23 years. The chief called Pendergrass a gentle giant, praised his positive attitude and unique way of helping members of the public. Our thoughts with all of their families. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:40:00]

CAMEROTA: We are 97 days away from the presidential election. The perfect time for another NEW DAY voter panel. This morning, we bring you part 2 of our conversation with six voters from Texas and Florida, all of whom voted for President Trump in 2016. We wanted to know how they feel about President Trump's leadership today. As you're about to hear, three of them, the three in the bottom row now regret their vote. Here is our pulse of the people.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CAMEROTA: Tommy, you are a life-long Republican. You say you come from a die-hard Republican family, your mom, your dad is a cop, your brother. So tell us how you've reached this opinion that you don't want to vote for him again?

TOMMY STALLINGS, REGRETS VOTING FOR TRUMP: He's an embarrassment. I mean, you know, I voted for Ted Cruz in the primary, and I did vote for Donald Trump in 2016. Man, it started -- it started way before then, but I think Helsinki was probably the breaking point for me. And you look at all the serious people around him, that after walking away from this administration has completely obliterated any idea that Donald Trump is this, you know, statesman-like president.

DANIEL TURNER, REGRETS VOTING FOR TRUMP: That if I can add, the rest of the Republican Party, people like Yoho and Williams and Gaetz, these guys are making me nauseous to be a Republican, and I've been one since I'm 18 years old. I'll be 60 this year. And it's nauseating to me the way this party behaves. I can't understand why the party hasn't said, we need a better solution than the man we have right now.

MONICA HAFT, REGRETS VOTING FOR TRUMP: You know, I'm first generation American. My dad is Cuban, my mom is Colombian. And I'm completely pro-life from womb to opposing the death penalty. I mean, there are conservative values that still don't fit with everything. My point is, you can't wholeheartedly bring people to the table and have them discuss policy when your rhetoric, your own tone, your own words are divisive and unhelpful.

[07:45:00]

ELLIE BERNSTEIN, TRUMP SUPPORTER: So we have a choice. It's either -- I feel as a conservative, I either stay home or I vote for Donald Trump. And while I do not like his divisive rhetoric, I knew that in 2016. I saw him when he was on a stage with other conservatives debating, how he demeaned them, I don't like that, but policy was more important to me than the rhetoric.

STALLINGS: I don't think a lot of conservatives or Republicans know Joe Biden that well. He was the head of the Judiciary Committee when Clarence Thomas was confirmed for the Supreme Court. Of all of the Democrats, that are running, Joe Biden is center of left more than anyone else.

CAMEROTA: And so are you saying, Tommy, that you are getting comfortable with voting for Joe Biden?

STALLINGS: Absolutely, I am absolutely. He's a decent man. He's an honorable statesman, he has a live story --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You'd rather vote -- you'd rather --

DAMANI BRYANT FELDER, TRUMP SUPPORTER: We're talking about Joe Biden right now. Joe Biden is the same one who said he didn't want his kids growing up in a racial jungle.

We're talking about Joe Biden who said, you can't go to a 7-Eleven or Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. You're talking about a Joe Biden who has a history of aligning himself with people like Robert Byrd who was an actual -- four of them with the KKK. So people call him a decent man, that's actually a slap in the face to any minority-thinking person.

CAMEROTA: What about there are good people on both sides at a KKK rally in Charlottesville. Why doesn't that one bother you as much?

FELDER: Well, President Trump said that there were good people on both sides. What he meant by that is there are obviously going to be extremists on both sides of the aisle. Nothing is more evidenced to that than what we've seen recently with far-left people and far-right people. I think my support for him has strengthened when he's willing to call out people like the rioters and protesters out with BLM right now.

What we're seeing right now is opportunity that a lot of people have taken to exercise their displeasure with the results of the 2016 presidential election, and they could not let that go? So some of the things that I am proud of the president for is standing up and saying, we're not going to allow this lawlessness to go unchecked. There will be consequences.

HAFT: Oh, and in terms of the riots going on, I agree. There is -- I mean, that is an opportunity for all kinds of idiots and anarchists to go out and wreak destruction. But the main thing is, it's not Republican values to send a national response to a local problem. It's federalization. He's not allowing local governments to deal with their issues.

BERNSTEIN: It is the duty of the federal government to protect federal landmarks and buildings. And they need to do that. I agree that they are not -- they can -- they do not have the power to go in and affect local change. And they should not be doing local policing, but they can't just desert the city and desert all the federal buildings.

BIANCA GRACIA, PRESIDENT, LATINOS FOR TRUMP: Leaders do not instill fear. They instill courage and boldness. We need someone with courage and boldness to lead us, not people who are going to tell us to fear, to hide away, to hide under a rock.

CAMEROTA: How many of you, show of hands, are worried that something will taint the 2020 presidential elections, that you somehow won't be able to trust it? Show of hands? OK, so four of you are worried about the actual election results. Damani, let me start with you, what worries you?

FELDER: If we do have people who are going to mail-in vote, we do -- we have that instances where there has been some tamper, even at -- you know, smaller local levels, if you will. So I do think that having mail-in voting instead of actually going to the polls could actually lead to a disastrous result.

HAFT: My concern is that now we have a president who just simply won't leave. And so when this election occurs and if it's not -- the result isn't in his favor, I don't think the man's going to leave and that scares me. Because the peaceful transfer of power is a bedrock of this country. And when we see that, I mean, literally, I think all hell is going to break loose.

CAMEROTA: Show of hands, how many people think that President Trump may not accept the election results. Three hands went up, three have not.

BERNSTEIN: He'll definitely -- I don't think that he'll ever refuse to leave the office. What worries me is the mail-in voting, if that's on a massive scale. I'm not saying it would be the Democrats that would do it, that would cheat more than Republicans. I'm just saying the actual integrity because with each fake vote that takes away a real voter's vote.

STALLINGS: Let's be real. If mail-in ballots are allowed and Donald Trump wins, he's not going to cry a rigged election. When he says rigged elections, he means if he loses, it's rigged.

GRACIA: He's going to win. He's going to win regardless of what tactic or what agenda the left and some of our fellow Republicans here that don't want to go vote, he's still going to win. Because people like me in a minority group who are the majority minority, we loved that President Trump is in office. We're going to continue to support him. We're going to turn out to vote.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Again, and these continue to be so interesting because they give voice to things that we often see in the numbers. And one of the outstanding questions I've had for months, if not years, is what's the real-time impact of this Project Lincoln type thing?

[07:50:00]

These never-Trumpers, people like Jim Mattis, who is, you know, not in Project Lincoln, when they come out and say something, does it have any impact on Trump voters, and all these people voted for Donald Trump. But you saw Monica and Tommy and Daniel indicate that when people like Mattis or others come forward, it does have an impact over time.

CAMEROTA: That's true --

BERMAN: That spoke to me --

CAMEROTA: I'm interested in that as well, and the other thing that I hear is that we've always heard the great passion from really dedicated Trump supporters like you heard Bianca there in the middle and Damani, and now you're starting to hear, I think for the first time that same level of passion from the people who voted for him in 2016, but now regrets it.

So all of the people in that lower row could match Bianca's passion, and that was just new for us. So thank you. Thank you to everyone for watching and for weighing in with all of your comments.

All right, meanwhile, Justice Brett Kavanaugh is the newest member of the U.S. Supreme Court after those controversial confirmation hearings you'll remember. So an inside look next at the Supreme Court in a CNN exclusive series.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:55:00]

CAMEROTA: This week in a CNN exclusive series, we get an inside look at the U.S. Supreme Court in this historic year. CNN's Supreme Court analyst Joan Biskupic joins us to talk about the court's newest Justice, Brett Kavanaugh. So, Joan, great to see you, and of course, after his heated confirmation hearing that gripped the country, what has Kavanaugh's time on the bench been like?

JOAN BISKUPIC, CNN SUPREME COURT ANALYST: Good morning, Alisyn. You're right that those 2018 hearings remain fresh in the minds of the public, other justices and Brett Kavanaugh himself. So he's adopted a couple of strategies, first of all, with his colleagues, he's trying to be more deferential, not defiant. A posture of conciliation. And then for the parties that come to cases, we've noticed that he's, you know, trying to offer something to each side at least in terms of tone and rhetoric.

And then finally, we've been able to document a couple of times where he actually proposed solutions that would avoid having to cast votes on very thorny dilemmas. And one of those, Alisyn, would be abortion. As you remember, abortion rights played a major role in his confirmation hearings. Susan Collins cast a very pivotal vote, saying that he would vote to affirm Roe v. Wade; the 1973 landmark that made abortion legal nationwide and Brett Kavanaugh was succeeding Anthony Kennedy, the justice who was a pivotal vote on abortion.

So this term, Alisyn, when a major abortion rights case came before the justices, Brett Kavanaugh proposed an off-ramp. This Louisiana physician regulation he said might not have to be resolved now.

He suggested to his colleagues in a series of memos that we know about, that he wanted the case sent back for more fact-finding. In the end, there were no takers for his idea and the court ruled 5-4 with Chief Justice John Roberts, a fellow conservative swinging over to the left to ensure that this tough Louisiana abortion statute was not revived and become law.

CAMEROTA: Really interesting. Now, what about the cases that involved the president's financial records?

BISKUPIC: Sure. That was another one, Alisyn, where he looked for an off-ramp. That's the case that began after the U.S. House led by Democrats was trying to seek various documents from the Trump banks and accountants, and Brett Kavanaugh suggested again behind the scenes in memos and conversations with his colleagues that maybe the case was just too political for the court to resolve.

There's a theory called the political question doctrine that says that judges might not be able to offer workable solutions here, and any kind of dilemma that pits one branch against the other should be left to the struggles between those two branches.

For example, you know, the power of appropriations and confirmation, maybe that would put leverage on the White House. So, what he did though, Alisyn, is he suggested to his colleagues that they ask for supplemental briefing on whether the court could even hear this case. And all the public knew was in late April, suddenly there was this order that said, yes, parties to this case tell us whether you think we really have the authority to hear it or it might just be too political? And we didn't know who had initiated that. It turned out it was Justice Kavanaugh and then the party said no, you must hear this case. You have the ability to hear it and indeed the responsibility to hear it. And Kavanaugh's fellow justices agreed in the end, he dropped his interest in that line of argument and voted with the majority, 7-2, giving something both to the U.S. house and something a little bit more to President Trump who did not want those documents turned over to the house.

CAMEROTA: Joan, it is so fascinating and rare to get an inside view into the Supreme Court. So thank you very much for all of that reporting and sharing it with us. You can read more --

BISKUPIC: Thank you --

CAMEROTA: Of Joan's entire series at cnn.com. All right, up next, we have a live interview with one of President Trump's top advisors, and NEW DAY continues right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Trump touting hydroxychloroquine as a cure for coronavirus.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It doesn't cause problems. I had no problem. I had absolutely no problem.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The overwhelming prevailing clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine have indicated that it is not effective.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bill Barr standing his ground, holding firm that he's not using his position to do the president's bidding.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I agree the president's friends don't deserve special breaks.