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New Records And Warnings As Crisis Expands; House Dems And Senate GOP In Standoff Over Stimulus Bill; Trump Withdrawing Troops From Germany Slammed As "Gift To Putin." Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired July 30, 2020 - 05:30   ET




LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: Renewed urgency for millions of Americans seeing unemployment help expire and a death toll climbing by the thousands.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: And fallout on Capitol Hill after a congressman who was supposed to travel with the president is diagnosed with coronavirus just hours before boarding Air Force One.

JARRETT: 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: Great to have you, Boris.

SANCHEZ: Thank you.

JARRETT: This morning, the human toll from coronavirus, it's mounting -- but answers for the sick and the unemployed remain elusive. With 1,400 deaths reported in the U.S. yesterday, that's more than two months in a troubling upward trend. The country has now topped 150,000 people dead. That's almost a quarter of the deaths in the world from coronavirus.

And yesterday, Florida set a new COVID death record for the second- straight day. So did California; both among the 30 states where the death rate is climbing.

There's also a notable increase in the Midwest.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES, NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH: When the southern states that have already been hit -- Florida, Texas, Arizona, Southern California -- when you look back on you saw an increase in the percent positives of the tests that were done. That's a surefire indication that you are in a process where you're heading towards a resurgence. We're starting to see that in some of the states now -- Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, and other -- Indiana and other of those -- of those states.


SANCHEZ: Meantime, a leading medical group now says deaths in the United States could skyrocket well into the hundreds of thousands. The Association of American Medical Colleges released a roadmap to contain the disease. It calls for fixing supply shortages, more testing, reopening schools safely, and expanding health insurance.


DR. ROSS MCKINNEY, CHIEF SCIENTIFIC OFFICER, ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN MEDICAL COLLEGES: We have a lot of states where the epidemic is currently out of control. It's really important for us to organize as a country to try and control this infection before the number of cases goes up higher, before the number of deaths goes higher, because we're not on a good path at present.


JARRETT: The group is also calling for a plan to distribute a vaccine as soon as it's ready. Overnight, the FDA said it could issue an emergency authorization in just a matter of weeks once a vaccine is proven effective.

Meantime, a new study ties statewide school closures to significantly fewer cases and deaths early in the pandemic. Researchers from the Cincinnati Children's Hospital say closures may have led to about 1.4 million fewer cases and 40,000 fewer deaths in those early weeks.

SANCHEZ: And more school districts are taking precautions. Denver schools announcing they will be the latest to start remote -- to start classes via remote learning through at least October. But that leaves parents with some very difficult, hard choices.

One single working mom says that remote learning will ultimately mean choosing between her child and her job.


TINA CARROLL, PARENT SUPPORTING PARTIAL REOPENING OF SCHOOLS: I am an essential employee. I must go to work every single day for my livelihood.

I enjoy getting up and going to work every day. I enjoy seeing my child go to school and really develop and grow. And I think right now I'm being asked to pick between the two. I'm being torn.


SANCHEZ: And you hear the emotion in her voice there.

Miami-Dade County also announcing its students there will begin this fall with remote learning despite pressure from Gov. Ron DeSantis to hold in-person classes.

Forty-seven hospital ICUs are currently at capacity in Florida. That's actually down from 54 yesterday.

JARRETT: And the president didn't have much to say about the pandemic on a trip to Texas, going maskless in one of the hardest-hit states. And he's not backing away from support for junk science and those who fuel it.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I just saw her on -- you know, making a statement with very respected doctors. She was not alone. She was making a statement about hydroxychloroquine with other doctors that swear by it. They think it's great.


JARRETT: This all began Tuesday when President Trump promoted advice from a doctor whose bizarre views are detached from sound medicine and reality, at best and dangerous, at worst. In fact, hydroxychloroquine -- the drug that she touts is so useless -- the Ohio Board of Pharmacy now prohibits it from being used for COVID patients.

But the misinformation being peddled by the president didn't just show up on Twitter; it made it inside the White House. That group of doctors actually met with Vice President Mike Pence, the head of the Coronavirus Task Force.


SANCHEZ: Look, according to his own words dating back to 2014 amid an Ebola outbreak, Donald Trump believes the president is responsible for navigating the United States through a pandemic.

But just look at who, now, President Trump is taking advice from, Dr. Harold Bornstein, who says the president dictated a letter that Bornstein signed in 2015 claiming that Trump would be the healthiest person ever in the Oval Office.

He's also listened to former White House doctor, Ronny Jackson, who is now running for Congress. He was with the president yesterday not social distancing in Texas -- a hotspot -- maskless. He also calls wearing masks a personal choice.

The president also willing to take plenty of advice from trade adviser Peter Navarro, who is not a medical doctor but has spent months trying to undermine the physician leading the U.S. response, Dr. Anthony Fauci.

JARRETT: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi now mandating face coverings will be worn in the House chamber. She's making the change after Texas Republican Louis Gohmert tested positive for coronavirus. Gohmert often seen walking the Halls of Congress not wearing a mask.

The congressman would not have known he was positive if he hadn't planned to travel with the president on Wednesday. And now, he's actually blaming his mask for giving him the virus.


REP. LOUIS GOHMERT (R-TX): I know moving the mask around and getting it just right are bound to put some virus on the mask that I've sucked in. That's most likely what happened.


JARRETT: Shaken up by Gohmert's case, a handful of lawmakers are calling for more robust testing on Capitol Hill, evidently feeling the same frustration as the people they serve.


REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): Someone will catch COVID. We want to be able to trace it, put them out. And just as Congressman COVID says -- Congressman Louie Gohmert says that he doesn't have any symptoms, there could be other people like that, too.


SANCHEZ: Congressman COVID.

Just as a point of fact, given what we know about COVID-19, it is incredibly unlikely that Congressman Gohmert became infected by wearing a mask. This virus is transmitted predominantly by a wide margin via person-to-person transmission. And that's the whole of point of wearing a mask -- to protect others, not yourself.

It's also incredibly unlikely that the congressman can actually figure out how he got infected, not without rigorous contact tracing and the kind of testing that simply is not taking place on Capitol Hill.

Remember, Gohmert was part of a committee hearing Tuesday, alongside many other lawmakers and the attorney general, Bill Barr, who he walks past in this video. Many attending that hearing not wearing masks. The DOJ says that Barr has tested negative for the virus.

JARRETT: Well, after three meetings in three days, no sign of progress between House Democrats and Senate Republicans on a stimulus bill. The $600 extra unemployment benefit expires tomorrow and economists fear without it, the recovery will simply stall.

Democrats are rejecting the White House option of a short-term extension. White House chief of staff Mark Meadows admits he doesn't know if the two sides can break the logjam. They are far apart on stimulus checks and state and local funding right now. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell says about 20 Republican senators think they've already done enough to add to the national debt.

SANCHEZ: Federal agents will begin leaving Portland today. That's according to Oregon's Democratic governor who announced that she'd reached an agreement with the Trump administration following weeks of violent confrontations between protesters and law enforcement. Yet, Homeland Security officials say they will maintain a presence in that city until federal locations are secure.

President Trump has been taking aim at cities with Democratic mayors, casting them as overrun with crime, all part of his reelection campaign.

The Justice Department confirmed Wednesday it is sending additional federal agents to Cleveland, Detroit, and Milwaukee to help local officials tackle violent crime.

JARRETT: The most powerful CEOs in tech, from Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google, grilled virtually on Capitol Hill about competitive tactics during a high-profile antitrust hearing. In a nutshell, antitrust laws are supposed to protect consumers by stopping mergers and business practices that limit competition.

And in his first appearance before Congress, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos surprisingly could not rule out that Amazon may have exploited data from third-party sellers to boost its own products.


JEFF BEZOS, CEO, AMAZON: We have a policy against using seller- specific data to aid our private label business, but I can't guarantee you that the policy has never been violated.

REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA): You have access to the entirety of sellers' pricing and inventory information, past, present, and future, and you dictate the participation of third-party sellers on your platform. So you can set the rules of the game for your competitors but not actually follow those same rules for yourself.

Do you think that's fair to the mom and pop third-party businesses who are trying to sell on your platform?


BEZOS: I am very proud of what we've done for third-party sellers on this platform.


SANCHEZ: Some of the toughest questioning of the day was reserved for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg regarding 2012 e-mails about buying Instagram. One lawmaker brought up an e-mail in which Zuckerberg wrote, quote, "You can likely buy any competitive startups, but it'll be a while before we can buy Google." He says he was just joking.

JARRETT: Well, this morning, new numbers are expected to show the worst economic quarter in U.S. history. Businesses new and old are struggling to keep their doors open.

CNN's Vanessa Yurkevich has more for us.


VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS AND POLITICS CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): This is what a casualty of the pandemic looks like. Gem Spa, a corner store in New York's East Village here for a century, gone in just months.

PARUL PATEL, OWNER, GEM SPA: And I just couldn't look at it (ph).

YURKEVICH (on camera): It's too much?

PATEL: It's the people (ph).

YURKEVICH (voice-over): Parul Patel's family owned this place for 34 years. It's been an iconic part of New York City's music and art scene for decades.

PATEL: This pandemic was something that was just not something that we could overcome.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): More than 100,000 small businesses in the U.S. closed by April because of COVID-19, laying off thousands of employees. A new stimulus bill is being negotiated in the Senate but for Patel, it's too late.

PATEL: One thing the government could have done to prevent somebody like us from closing, and other businesses, is a rent freeze. That would have been very, very powerful.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): In Harlem, the owner of Safari restaurant says revenue is down 90 percent. Mona Birjeeb says the only reason her restaurant is still open is because her landlord has not evicted her.

MONA BIRJEEB, OWNER, SAFARI RESTAURANT: I will stay open until my landlord comes to me and tells me hey, either you have to pay me or you have to leave. Until then, I'll do anything I can do to stay. This is my dream, and this is my life, and this is my community.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): Forty-one percent of black business owners shuttered during the pandemic, the most of any group. And more than a third of immigrant business owners closed, too.

Birjeeb has applied for several loans but says she's only received one for $5,000. That doesn't even cover one month's rent.

BIRJEEB: Being a black and immigrant is even harder. Like, the resources is very limited. So it's a real struggle just not being just -- it's more business and being black. On top of that, you are an immigrant and you are a woman on top of that. So it's not easy.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): The iconic Sylvia's is one of Harlem's largest minority employers. Dining at the neighborhood institution is a rite of passage for celebrities and presidents. To date, the owner says only 30 of their 117 employees are back on the job.

TRE'NESS WOODS-BLACK, OWNER, SYLVIA'S: When the nation bleeds, Harlem hemorrhages. Everything impacts us. So if we're in a community that has a large number of unemployed, then where is the spending coming from? YURKEVICH (voice-over): Pre-pandemic, half of Americans in the U.S. private sector were employed by small businesses. Since then, the hospitality industry has taken the brunt of the economic pain.

WOODS-BLACK: I don't know what's in the stimulus package, but if it doesn't include a specific amount -- large amount for the restaurant industry, then shame on America.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): Vanessa Yurkevich, CNN, New York.


SANCHEZ: And thanks for that, Vanessa.

Stay with us. We'll be right back.



SANCHEZ: There is bipartisan condemnation of President Trump's decision to pull nearly 12,000 U.S. troops out of Germany. Their concern is the move is going to hurt America's national security, cost U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars, and undermine relationships, all while delivering a gift to Vladimir Putin.

CNN's Frederik Pleitgen is live in Berlin. Fred, great to have you this morning.

President Trump says that this is all related to Germany's spending on NATO, but these troops are headed to Italy and Belgium. Both of those countries spend far less -- both in raw numbers and as percentages of their GDP on NATO -- than Germany does. So what are the Germans saying about this?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the Germans, Boris, certainly aren't very happy about this at all. You're absolutely right -- the Germans are saying the countries these troops are supposed to move to spend even less on defense than the Germans do.

The president also saying in a tweet late last night that he's angry at Germany for buying Russian gas. However, Russia is actually the largest gas supplier to a lot of European countries and certainly, to the European Union.

So the Germans don't really see the reasoning behind all of this. And German politicians from, really, all political factions are coming out and saying this is going to be very detrimental to German-American relations. This is going to be detrimental to Europe's security, to America's security, and to NATO as well.

I want to read you a comment from the head of the Foreign Affairs Committee of German Parliament. Keep in mind this man is someone who had always advocated for very strong German-American relations. He says, quote, "In withdrawing 12,000 soldiers from Germany, the USA achieve the exact opposite from what Esper outlined. Instead of strengthening NATO it is going to weaken the alliance. The U.S.' military clout will not increase, but decrease in relation to Russia and the Near and Middle East."

So, the Germans certainly very critical of all of this. They are saying that this is obviously not going to hurt Germany financially very much, having those troops come out of here.

But the Germans do say that they are going to miss the American troops. One thing we always have to point out, American soldiers extremely popular here in Germany. And, Germany's economic minister came out and said whatever happens, he wants to thank the hundreds of thousands of American soldiers who served here in this country -- guys.

SANCHEZ: Yes, their service appreciated across the globe.


Fred Pleitgen in Berlin. Thank you so much.

JARRETT: Well, former president, Barack Obama, will deliver the eulogy at Congressman John Lewis' funeral today. And former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush will also participate in the ceremony.

Public viewing for Lewis went late into the night at Georgia's State Capitol. And earlier, the casket of the civil rights icon went for a final journey past the Martin Luther King Jr. historic district and the John Lewis "Hero" mural.

SANCHEZ: Well, a record-breaking tropical storm is headed toward the U.S. This is the ninth named storm of the season, the earliest I-named storm ever. It is forecast to make landfall over the Dominican Republic this morning, then reach Florida over the weekend. State- supported COVID testing sites are actually being forced to close later today.

Here's meteorologist Derek Van Dam.


DEREK VAN DAM, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning, Boris and Laura.

The tropics are brewing once again. We have officially, as of 11:00 p.m. last night, Tropical Storm Isaias that's formed across the Caribbean.

Look at the shower and thunderstorm activity impacting Puerto Rico right now. They have hoisted tropical storm warnings as well as watches from Puerto Rico right through the Bahamas -- not quite at the mainland of the U.S. just yet, but we are going to monitor that for some updates going forward through the course of the day today.

Here is the official forecast track and intensity of Isaias as it skirts the east coast of the U.S., particularly into the Florida Peninsula come Saturday and Sunday. One thing's for sure, a lot of hefty rainfall potentially bringing life-threatening flash flooding across some of the islands across the Bahamas and into the Lesser Antilles.

Let's talk about the U.S. The eastern half of the country expecting hot and humid conditions today but there is relief in sight with chances of showers and storms later this afternoon as a cold front settles in. For New York City, your temperature will drop a good 10 degrees from today into tomorrow.

Back to you.


SANCHEZ: Derek Van Dam, thank you for that.

Take a look at what one witness called a scene from hell -- a train derailment and fire in Tempe, Arizona. Officials say eight to 10 cars carrying lumber caught fire in the crash.

Tankers carrying hazardous chemicals tumbled to the ground under the rail bridge. Fortunately, it did not leak or catch fire. One person, though was treated for smoke inhalation.

JARRETT: All right, taking a look at markets around the world, they're down across the board today. On Wall Street, futures sharply down ahead of the release of the second-quarter GDP. Economists predict the U.S. economy shrank a historic 35 percent due to the pandemic.

U.S. stocks closed higher Wednesday following a busy day of earnings and the Fed's monthly meeting. The central bank warned of a slowdown in the economic recovery, directly tying it to the slowing of the pandemic, but hinted more stimulus could be on the way.

SANCHEZ: T-minus just two hours for NASA's Perseverance rover. The mission to Mars launches at 7:50 eastern this morning. The rover scheduled to arrive on Mars on February 18th. It's one of three missions to Mars this summer.

China and the United Arab Emirates have launched as well.

JARRETT: A double-amputee from Vermont reunited with his prosthetic leg that he lost while skydiving and making a friend along the way.

The leg cost $20,000 and Chris Marckres was worried that his insurance company -- they wouldn't pay to replace it, so he decided to ask for help on Facebook. Lucky for him, a farmer named Joe Marszalkowski noticed the post, went on a hunt for the leg through a 110-acre soybean field, and discovered it slightly scratched but otherwise undamaged.

SANCHEZ: Two of America's favorite game shows are set to resume filming safely. Sony Pictures Television tells CNN that "JEOPARDY!" and "WHEEL OF FORTUNE" are returning to the studio to film episodes for their new seasons.

Alex Trebek and Pat Sajak both dealing with health issues. Protocols will be in place to protect the contestants, the crew, and the talent from coronavirus.

JARRETT: All right, an incredible road to recovery from -- for a woman from New York. Eighty-year-old Judith Hunt went to the hospital in January after falling and breaking her hip and femur. Her accident wound up revealing other life-threatening issues such as an aneurysm and the need for abdominal and heart surgeries -- and eventually, coronavirus.


JUDITH HUNT, 80-YEAR-OLD COVID SURVIVOR: And then I got sepsis. At this point, I wasn't worried about anything. It had gotten to the point where it was funny. I mean, it was like when is the rain of frogs and the river of blood -- you know, leprosy? What's coming next?


JARRETT: Well, after four months of rehab, Hunt finally walked out of the hospital on her own. It's just amazing what some people can come back from, Boris.

SANCHEZ: Incredible. Judith Hunt is made of iron.


SANCHEZ: Great to see you. Thank you so much for joining us this morning. I'm Boris Sanchez.

JARRETT: I'm Laura Jarrett. "NEW DAY" is next.




NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The U.S. just suffered the deadliest day of the summer.

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR AND NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Masks, social distancing -- the tools are there but the virus just keeps spreading.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A Republican congressman who has repeatedly refused to wear a mask now testing positive for coronavirus.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Members will be required to wear masks at all times in the hall of the House.

GOHMERT: I can't help but think that if I hadn't been wearing a mask, I really wonder if I would have gotten it.

MCCARTHY: I think members should wear their mask. I also think we should have testing here.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It is Thursday, July 30th, 6:00 here in New York.