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Teenager Charged With Twitter Hack; NBA Returns; Kids and Coronavirus; Hurricane Targets Florida; Interview With Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Mayor Dean Trantalis. Aired 3-3:30p ET

Aired July 31, 2020 - 15:00   ET



BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: Even more troubling, more than 1,200 Americans were killed by the virus yesterday alone, as the daily death toll exceeded 1,000 for the eighth consecutive day.

Eight states, including several in the South, reported record hospitalizations yesterday.

But let's talk about Florida, because Florida is facing another major issue, in addition to the coronavirus. Hurricane Isaias is barreling toward the state, forcing Florida to shut down some COVID testing sites. This comes as the state again added more than 9,000 new cases in the span of day.

It is also breaking its daily death toll record for a fourth consecutive day.

Now, President Trump is scheduled to land in Florida this hour. He is holding a couple of campaign events, in addition to talking -- excuse me -- taking part in a roundtable on COVID and storm preps.

So, let's start with Randi Kaye. She is live in Palm Beach County, Florida.

Beautiful day so far. We know how quickly all of that can change.

How are people in Florida preparing for a hurricane in the midst of this pandemic?

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They are bracing themselves, Brooke, because they're still watching the numbers from the coronavirus, another 257 dead here in the state of Florida. That's more than 6,800 Floridians so far, and 8,400 are still hospitalized.

But they are preparing, of course. They have taken down the -- a lot of the state-run testing sites here in the state. That's because they're made of these tents and poles, and they're just temporary settings. So they have removed those not from the west coast, because the track changed, but certainly here from the East Coast.

So, in the hardest-hit counties, they have had to dismantle 33 of those testing sites. We asked the Division of Emergency Management about shelters as well just in case. They haven't set up any shelters yet, but we do know that they have given guidance to the shelters and to the counties, no more than 50 people, ideally, in the shelters.

They want to check the people's temperatures as they're coming into the shelters as well. And, ideally, they want 60 square feet between every person in that shelter area -- for every person, I should say.

Meanwhile, the governor held a presser earlier today, a press conference, to give us an idea of how many supplies the state has in terms of PPE. Here we are expecting a hurricane in the midst of a pandemic. And he said: We have 20 million masks, 22 million gloves, 1.6 million face shields, 20,000 thermometers, 9.4 million bottles of water, and 2.6 million meals ready to go.

He also talked about the care that they are taking to protect the people in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. Listen to what he said.


GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): The Agency for Health Care Administration has ensured that 100 percent of our nursing homes and 100 percent of our assisted living facilities in the state of Florida have working generators on site.


KAYE: This is really critical, Brooke, because you may remember, back in 2017, during Hurricane Irma, 14 people died in a nursing home here in South Florida; 12 of them were ruled by the medical examiner to have died from heat exposure after the air conditioning went out.

So those generators, Brooke, are certainly key.

BALDWIN: No, and back to your point about shelters and a pandemic close quarters, I have got the mayor of Fort Lauderdale waiting in the wings. We will ask him about that.

Randi, thank you.

There is still some uncertainty about where exactly Hurricane Isaias is headed and whether it will be a direct hit to Florida or just a glancing blow.

So, let's go straight to CNN meteorologist Jennifer Gray.

Jennifer, where is the storm headed?

JENNIFER GRAY, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, Brooke, it is headed straight to the Bahamas right now, with all eyes set on Florida.

Now, this will have an impact on the Sunshine State. At what magnitude, that is still a little bit uncertain. But, right now, this is a Category 1 storm, with winds of 75 miles per hour, gusts of 90, moving to the northwest at 16 miles per hour. That is a fairly fast pace for these storms. Now, it's headed to the

northwest through the Bahamas. You can see the hurricane warnings in place. We have tropical storm warnings and watches in place for Florida, as well as hurricane watches.

Now, on the current track, you can see a Category 1 storm, either a landfall or a very close encounter with Florida early Sunday morning, and then heads straight up the East Coast, possibly a landfall or very close to South Carolina, North Carolina, the Outer Banks, of course, in this, and then impacting all of the Northeast.

Now, if we look past the last couple of days, you can see the difference in where the track was. Here's July 28, shifted much farther to the west on the 29th, back to the east on July 30, and then now we have a better handle of where exactly this is going to go, but still a lot of uncertainty even being only a day-and-a-half away.

You can see the American model on the left and then the European model on the right, and we see that it is possibly going to make a landfall or very close encounter with Florida. But you can see the European model has this much farther to the South. And then, of course, the American model has right over Melbourne.


So, we are going to be watching this closely. Here are the latest forecast tracks. And still, Brooke, you can see the uncertainty with them here. Some of them keep them offshore, but about half of them have this making a landfall in Florida.

So, here are the forecast wind gusts, depending on how close this gets to the state. Depends on how high the winds are going to be. Hurricane-force winds extend about 35 miles from the center, but tropical-storm-force winds extend about 200 miles from the center.

So we are going to feel the winds well away from the center of the storm. Here goes Monday at 2:00 p.m., you can see around the Carolinas and then quickly pushing off the Northeast.

So, something to watch, Brooke, still a little bit uncertainty even with it being so close. But this will most definitely have an impact on Florida and all of the East Coast.

BALDWIN: We know you will keep your eyes peeled for us. And, of course, everyone can just go to for all the updated tracks and models.

Jennifer Gray, thank you so much for now.

But this whole combination of a hurricane and the pandemic present quite a daunting challenge to city leaders throughout the state of Florida.

So, joining me now, Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis.

And, Mr. Mayor, welcome back to the show. Thank you so much for coming on.

And, before, we talked COVID. Now you have this -- essentially this double whammy. How are you, how is Fort Lauderdale preparing for this?

Mayor Trantalis, you're on TV. Can you hear me?




BALDWIN: Go ahead. Go ahead. How are you preparing?

TRANTALIS: First of all, thank you for inviting me back on the show.

And I think it's important to get the message out that, while we have been preparing for hurricanes, it's a regular thing that we do here every year, this COVID-19 aspect of it is making it much more challenging.

But I think that, as long as we keep the message moving forward that we maintained distances, that we try to make sure that we have face coverings wherever we are within group settings, we need to just keep that message moving forward.

Now, here we are in a hurricane -- potentially hurricane situation, and people are going to be staying at home. So, when you're staying at home, it doesn't mean partying. It doesn't mean having hurricane parties. It means making sure that you're safe, you stay within the family unit, and that you maintain these CDC protocols in order to ensure that this doesn't create another spike in infections that we saw a month ago.

BALDWIN: To your point--


TRANTALIS: So, we're moving forward.


BALDWIN: If I can just jump in, to your point about making sure people are wearing their masks, it's my understanding the shelters haven't yet been activated.

But if this storm does hit South Florida, if you do have to activate them, that is close quarters for people. How will you make sure people are wearing masks? How will you make sure people are social distancing, as they are also reeling from the storm?

TRANTALIS: You make a very good point.

And we are working with the county, who are -- who manage these shelters, to ensure that anyone in close proximity is going to be protected from any kind of contagion that this virus would put at risk.

We understand that the shelters are going to be -- they're on standby right now. And we're hoping not to have to open the shelters. But I can tell you that, based on the predictions that we're now hearing, that even a tropical storm is going to be threatening to any human life. And we are going to have to open these shelters. We're going to have to ensure that we take temperatures, ensure that people are not sick.

Anyone that is sick will have to be quarantined. And where we have been -- we have got a good a pretty good track record so far at making sure that we separate the folks that are sick vs. the ones that are well, and I'm hoping that we will be able to coordinate this effort successfully.

But keep in mind that the COVID-19 crisis is with us today, and will pass by only until we make sure that we are successful at the measures that we are able to undertake going forward.


BALDWIN: Speaking of successful full measures, I mean, you think about all the testing centers, those pop-up tent testing sites all around Florida.

I know that, as a result of this incoming storm, that you all -- that the state of Florida has really had to close a lot of those in preparation for this. Once the storm, though, does pass through, how does Fort Lauderdale play catchup?

TRANTALIS: Fort Lauderdale is well poised to handle the situation.

Our staff, the folks that we have been working with for months now have really done a great job in trying to ensure that people are remaining safe.

In terms of our protocols and the businesses that we have allowed to open, in terms of trying to ensure that people maintain their distances and wear face masks when they're in close proximity, we have done a pretty good job at this. And we're hopeful we will be able to continue this effort once the storm passes.


But the storm just exacerbates the conditions. What it does is, it forces people to remain in close quarters. And this is the -- this is where we need to get that message out that people need to make sure that those protocols are not sacrificed, that they understand how important it is to wear face masks.

I recently crisscrossed through the state last week. The message isn't clear. The message is not consistent. People were not wearing masks everywhere I went. People were just ignoring the idea of keeping distances from one another.

But here in Fort Lauderdale, I have to say that the folks hear got the message. They're doing a really good job. And we had a briefing just an hour ago with our medical team here in the area, who've told us that the infection rate is starting to do a downward trajectory, and that the capacity in hospitals is starting to open up.

BALDWIN: That's good. That's good. That's good.

TRANTALIS: It's all good stuff.

BALDWIN: That is the correct direction.

But, I mean, this is -- when you have to deal with -- when we -- listen, everyone is feeling for everyone in South Florida right now. Just want you to stay healthy and well and everyone who may be forced to end up in a shelter, just be safe and wear those masks, as per all the guidance we have been hearing for months and months.

For now, Mayor Trantalis, thank you so much, sir. Good luck.

TRANTALIS: Thank you.

BALDWIN: A new report has just been released, could answer some questions about how kids spread coronavirus.

And President Trump's threat against Oregon, stop the protests or he will send in the National Guard. We will talk to the state's governor. We will get her response.

And powerful words, stunning images, the historic NBA tribute to the Black Lives Matter movement.

You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin. We will be right back.



BALDWIN: We are back. You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin.

A new study from the CDC today is offering a warning to parents and teachers, as we are weeks away from the start of the school year. The study found that kids at an overnight camp in Georgia not only contracted the coronavirus, but appeared capable of spreading it, especially when the camp didn't follow all of the CDC's recommendations to mitigate the virus, like requiring campers to wear cloth face masks.

This comes as a direct contradiction to the misinformation coming in from the president, who is incorrectly suggesting that kids are immune to COVID. And so we now know that is not the case.

Let me bring in Anne Rimoin, professor in the Department of Epidemiology at UCLA and director of UCLA's Center for Global and Immigrant Health.

OK, so here's the deal. We know what the issue is now with kids. What's your reaction to this? DR. ANNE RIMOIN, UCLA EPIDEMIOLOGIST: It's not surprising.

We have had several studies come out this week telling us a lot about kids and infection. Number one, we have had a study come out actually last week about Korea, where we know that kids, at least kids over the age of 10, are likely to transmit as well as adults.

We had another study out of Korea that is also suggesting that kids are able to transmit this in households as well. We have had the study that came out of Chicago that told us that kids have at least as much virus, if not more, as adults in their nasopharynx, which does not mean that it's transmitting, but it is suggestive of that fact.

And now we're having this study that is showing us, documenting very clearly that kids can spread the virus. So I think the -- if we're going to let science talk, which I recommend highly, the science is telling us, kids can transmit the virus, they are susceptible to it.

And the rates of hospitalization going up in many states of children is also something to keep an eye on. And this is very important information as we are coming into this big issue of schools.

BALDWIN: I know, initially, when we didn't know anything about coronavirus, everyone sort of thought, all right, well, kids are immune. And so it's just nice -- knowledge is power. It's nice, some months in, we're getting a bit more on what's going on with kids.

Let me ask you about this. Members of the Coronavirus Task Force, they were up on Capitol Hill. They testified. And Congressman Jamie Raskin asked Dr. Fauci to clear a few things up. Watch this.


REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): Are children almost immune to the disease?

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, NIAID DIRECTOR: We have to -- OK, be a little more precise. You mean almost immune -- do children get infected? Yes, they do.

RASKIN: Have hundreds of thousands of children been infected?


RASKIN: Hundreds of thousands of children infected. So children are not almost immune to the disease?

Is COVID-19 going to magically disappear, Dr. Fauci?

FAUCI: I do not believe it would disappear, because it's such a highly transmissible virus. It is unlikely that it's going to disappear.

RASKIN: Does wearing a mask give people COVID-19?

FAUCI: Does wearing a mask just give it? No.


FAUCI: Not to my knowledge.


BALDWIN: Why was Jamie Raskin doing this, the congressman?

I mean, this week alone, Anne, there has been so much misinformation coming from, not only the White House, but a number of Republicans. So does that clear everything up?


RIMOIN: Well, I think what we can say is -- something that we can point to when it gets very -- when the message gets very confusing, we should look to science.

I know I have said this before. I'm going to say it again. We need to let science lead the discussion, lead the decisions, and lead the day here.

We know so much more about this virus than we did at the beginning. Sure, there were things that we were unclear about. We needed to have information. We needed data. Well, we have data now. We need to act upon it.

And cherry-picking information isn't helpful. Using political rhetoric to be able to describe data isn't helpful. We need straight talk from scientists and from the top about what we know and how we're going to use it.


BALDWIN: Anne Rimoin, good to see you. Thank you so much.

RIMOIN: My pleasure.

BALDWIN: Just in to us here at CNN, a teenager charged with hacking Twitter and targeting some very powerful individuals, including former Vice President Joe Biden and Bill Gates.

We have news on what is going on there next.



BALDWIN: Just in, there has been an arrest in connection with a major hacking of Twitter.

The suspect, 17 years of age, is accused of scamming people across America, including some incredibly famous names.

CNN's Donie O'Sullivan has been following this one for us.

And so, Donie, all right, so, 17-year-old, what else do we know about him or her and the charges they are facing?


Incredible, really, the biggest hack in Twitter's history, the accounts taken over former President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Elon Musk, Bill Gates and others. And we're finding out just in the past hour that, in Florida, in Tampa this morning, a 17-year-old male, a teenager, arrested for his -- the part that he allegedly played in this hack.

What we're being told by prosecutors in Florida is that this teenager is going to be charged by state prosecutors, rather than federal prosecutors, because laws in Florida make it easier for the state to charge minors as adults there in financial fraud cases like this.

But just in case folks don't remember, this hack, of course, happened two weeks ago, when we started seeing these tweets telling people to give money to Bitcoin addresses, with the false claim that they would get double the money back.

Prosecutors alleging that about $100,000 was made as part of this scam. It's just really incredible, obviously, that a teenager could be involved in something that could pull this off and, really, I guess, raises questions about Twitter security and the integrity of its platform.

But, at the other side, I think Twitter and a lot of folks will be have a great sense of relief that this wasn't, at least right now, based on what we know, the work of a nation state. Remember, there was a lot of concern whether maybe Biden or other politicians or celebrities' private messages might have been accessed -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: Sure, but the fact that a 17-year-old was able to try to pull this off, noteworthy.

Donie, thank you very much, Donie O'Sullivan.

The NBA is back for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic forced the league to suspend its season more than four months ago. The first games were held last night in the so-called protective bubble at Disney World in Florida.

But with so much happening in our country since the league shut down in March, the players made it very clear that they have more than basketball on their minds.

Every NBA player kneeled during the national anthem. Social justice messages were embroidered on the backs of players' jerseys, and you see the words "Black Lives Matter" were printed in big lettering near center court.

After the game, LeBron James said he hopes the NBA's efforts to address social issues, social justice issues will make Colin Kaepernick proud.


LEBRON JAMES, LOS ANGELES LAKERS: I hope we make Kap proud. I we continue to make Kap proud every single day.

I hope I make him proud on how I live my life, not only out on the basketball floor, but off the floor. We just thank him for sacrificing everything that he did to put us in a position today and even years later to be able to have that moment like we had tonight.


BALDWIN: Jared Greenberg is with me, "NBA on TNT" reporter.

You scored the big LeBron James interview. The video was played in full last night. I want to get to that in a second.

But first, Jared, just what was it like to be in that arena last night?

JARED GREENBERG, "NBA ON TNT" REPORTER: Brooke, thanks for having me.

It was a surreal experience. This is something, as a reporter, you really would die to have the opportunity to cover. You wish that something like -- it would never come to this. But when the opportunity presents itself, you want to be in the midst of it.

And it took seven days of quarantine. When they say health and safety is at the forefront here, it absolutely is. I had to do a seven-day quarantine where I really couldn't leave my room, except for once a day. And it was a two-minute-and-46 second walk -- I got to time it every day -- to go get tested for COVID-19.

I returned seven negative tests, and I got to enter the bubble. And then our first game was last night. So I was only out of my quarantine for 33 hours.

I come here to the arena and get ready for the biggest matchup of the year between the top two teams in the Western Conference, LeBron James and the Lakers against Kawhi Leonard of the Clippers. And it was different. There's no question.

There's no fans. There was no crowd noise in the building. You heard it on TV, but they tried to make it as homey as possible. And it was really cool, too, because right behind me here in this area, a lot of other players came to watch as well, the likes of Damian Lillard and Carmelo Anthony, DeMar DeRozan.

They all came out to support the Lakers and Clippers last night.

BALDWIN: Incredible.

What did LeBron James say to you?