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Trump Floats Delaying The Election, Attacks Mail-In Voting; New Cases Declining In Hard-Hit Florida And Texas; Biden Narrows VP List As Final Decision Looms; Coronavirus Crisis Spotlights The Inequalities In American Education; Doubts Hang Over MLB's Shortened 60-Game Season. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired August 2, 2020 - 08:00   ET




JOHN KING, CNN HOST (voice-over): The president floats delaying the election. And more.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Mail-in ballots will lead to the greatest fraud. This election will be the most rigged election in history.

KING: Three former presidents offer a contrast and one adds a warning.

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT: When those in power who are attacking our voting rights with surgical precision.

KING: Plus, the coronavirus summer surge craters the economy and crashes back to school plans.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: We need to put out all the stops to get it down to baseline, and to keep it there.

KING: And it's V.P. decision time.

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I'm going to have a choice in the first week in August. And I promise to let you know when I do.


KING: And welcome to INSIDE POLITICS. I'm John King. To our viewers in the United States and around the world, thank you so much for sharing your Sunday.

The week just behind us is full of stop in your track moments. Here is a few, July ended with an average of 1,000 plus U.S. coronavirus deaths a day. That is double what it was when the month began.

California reported a record death toll on July's final day, that in the very same week its coronavirus case count passed 500,000. The federal government reported the largest economic collapse in history just last week.

Emergency unemployment benefits for those thrown out of work by COVID- 19 expired. And the nation said farewell to John Lewis, the congressman, and the civil rights legend.

Three former presidents were part of the moving Lewis sendoff, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

Presidents Bush and Clinton implicitly questioned the current president's commitment to democracy and to debate. President Obama was much more direct.


OBAMA: George Wallace may be gone, but we can witness our federal government sending agents to use tear gas and batons against peaceful demonstrators. And attacking our voting rights with surgical precision, even undermining the Postal Service in the run-up to an election, that's going to be dependent on mail-in ballots.


KING: Of the many startling things the incumbent president said and tweeted last week, the most startling came the morning of that Lewis farewell, Thursday, mail-in voting cannot be trusted, the president tweeted, then raising the idea to, quote, delay the election until people can properly, securely and safely vote.

For once, most of his fellow Republicans told the president, no. Never. So the president dropped the delay part, but then returned quickly to a line of attack that raises questions about whether he will accept the results if he loses.


TRUMP: It will be fixed. It will be rigged. People ought to get smart.

This is going to be the greatest election disaster in history. You do universal mail-ins with millions and millions of ballots, you never are going to know what the real -- the real result of an election is.


KING: With us this Sunday to share their insights, the former Utah Congresswoman Mia Love, and former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.

Thank you both for being here.

I wanted the two of you here, you're both proud partisans but you're reasonable partisans.

And, Congresswoman, I want to start with you as the Republican. Are you among the Republicans who think he's joking, he's just losing and he's pouting, or do you believe that this president is seriously trying to undermine the integrity of the election in a way that if he loses, he might say I don't accept?

MIA LOVE (R), FORMER UTAH CONGRESSWOMAN: Well, first of all, I think that it is important to know that for any Republican it is very difficult to disagree. It is not the most comfortable place to disagree with the president. But delaying an election is -- it's just insane. And it doesn't -- the power doesn't lie with him, it lies with Congress and also the states are doing some things to make sure that they got their elections in order.

This is not Haiti. This is not some other third world country that can't get their elections in order. And Utah has done a good job. They ironed out the kinks, they worked hard to get all mail-in voting.

So I just -- to delay an election and to actually go out and say it is going to be -- it is going to be fraudulent, it's not going to work, I think that the president should really work on just getting the economy back in order. I mean, he could actually do a good job for himself and set a good message saying, I am going to focus on the things that Americans need right now instead of saying this is already going to be corrupt, and it's not going to work.


Do the job you're supposed to do, don't worry about the election.

KING: You're not first Republican to raise the focus question for the president of the United States.

But, Governor Patrick, he's at it again this morning, the president up early this morning, started retweeting at 5:30 a.m. this morning, including retweeting a tweet by a Nevada Republican who has every right to wage the debate, but Nevada Republican Adam Laxalt, suggesting that the Democrats there who do plan a special session to deal with mail-in votings, the president there, the Republican in Nevada saying Democrats trying to ram this through. We'll let them debate that in the legislature in Nevada and the voters can decide in Nevada what they think.

But you see the president there, must be met with immediate litigation.

Are you worried, Governor Patrick, this election, because so many states are going through this, might come down to who has the better lawyers, not who has the most votes?

DEVAL PATRICK (D), FORMER MASSACHUSETTS GOVERNOR: Well, I hope not. But, you know, if this election is fixed, and rigged as the president says it will be because the president fixed it and rigged it. The party at the national level has had vote suppression as a central part of its strategy. And we see this in these amped up voter ID laws, purging processes and initiatives. They've even got a poll tax in Florida right now.

Mail-in voting, first of all, is something the president, his family, his cabinet members doo routinely. It can be done. It has been done routinely in states like Utah where the congresswoman is from. And in other states, if they prepare, it can be done. And frankly it

should be done in the interest of the safety of voters.

Look, Joe Biden wants a fair fight. He believes in democracy, unlike the current president and we believe that our ideas can compete in a fair fight. And fair this time means making mail-in balloting available widely to people around -- around the country and individuals should have a plan around how they will vote in the cycle.

KING: It is our most sacred right, Congresswoman, no one should be afraid of anyone debating, right? Whether you oppose mail-in ballot, come forward, present your ideas, make the case, let legislatures vote.

But I want you listen here -- this is one of the top advisers on Fox News the other day, sometimes we have to pull back the curtain to see what they really mean, sometimes they're quite clear.


STEPHEN MILLER, WHITE HOUSE SENIOR ADVISER: Nobody who mails in a ballot has their identity confirmed. Nobody checks to see if they're even a U.S. citizen. Think about that. It's a simple principle. One citizen, one vote -- emphasis on the word citizen.

Universal mail-in ballots are an attempt to dilute the vote of your viewers.


KING: Dilute the vote of your viewers? I think I know what he's trying to say, do you?

LOVE: Well, again, if you really think there are some problems there, work on fixing problems. I mean, don't work on trying to get certain Americans not to vote, don't work on getting people not to vote.

And, again, he's neglecting the biggest message, the greatest message he has, that is I am going to get the economy going again. I can do it. I did it before, I can do it again. I'm going to do it before November hits so you guys know I can do the job.

So he's neglecting everything that he's got going for him, and kind of poisoning the well so to speak to say, look, this is already rigged. I don't know if he's scared that he's going to lose, but it is not sending a good message, not sending a message of confidence out there to America.

KING: I think he certainly is worried he's going to lose, even though he likes to say the polls are fake. We can look at state by state polls, dismal for the president now. Sometimes I like to look at other indicators because they take more of the partisanship out of it and just get the mood of the voters.

Governor Patrick, here's where we are now, if you go back to February, this is NBC/"Wall Street Journal" polling, 40 percent of Americans say the country was on the right track in February, 55 percent wrong direction. That's not great back in February.

But an incumbent can win if you're at 40 or above. That's what history teaches us. Now only 19 percent say the country is on the right track.

Now, why is that significant? Let's go back in history. In 1980, it was at 20 percent. Ronald Reagan beats Jumpy Carter. In 1992, at 16 percent, Bill Clinton beats George H.W. Bush. Those are the last times we have one-term presidents.

In 2020, the asterisk, that's now -- not Election Day, but the numbers today tell you this incumbent president is likely to have one term unless he can turn it around.

PATRICK: I'll tell you what, John, I'm very -- I'm very nervous always about relying on polls. You are the master of them and history of them.

I think we have a lot of work to do and we're taking nothing for granted in the case of Joe Biden or the candidates for the Senate, or for the House. But I think the important thing here, back to a point the congresswoman made is restoring and strengthening the economy.


And as Joe Biden wants to do, make it more fair, is a critical job of president. What this president doesn't understand is the connection between mastering the virus and getting the economy back going again.

And his unwillingness to give us a national plan and to encourage fealty to that and real discipline is the reason the economy is on its back right now. And it is something he simply does not appreciate or has refused to accept.

He's been trying to deal with this by denial. And it is another indication of his leaderlessness that he doesn't have the qualities necessary to be a fit and effective president and why I think Joe Biden has got to win in November, and all of us have to rally together regardless of party to make sure that happens.

KING: Congresswoman, you've been in the room with the fellow Republicans in good times and bad. What happens in those rooms? We did see some, I'm not going to overblow it, we saw some Republicans willing to stand up to the president this week on the question of delaying the election.

We have seen some Republicans stand up to him on withdrawing troops from Germany. But those are very rare occasions.

What is it like in the room of Republicans when you see the polls like they are now, you see that wrong track number, right track, wrong track number and you know the history. The House probably not in play, but if the election were today, Republicans would lose the Senate.

What is it like to be in the room with colleagues when you know you're so tied to the incumbent president and at the moment he's flailing? LOVE: Well, there's a lot that goes on. First of all, I would say damage control. What do we do? I have been in the room where we have been discussing not even during an election time, how is the president going to handle this, how are we going to handle what the president is doing.

And you're trying to do damage control. You're trying to go out there and see what you can do, what your constituents will attach themselves to, what they like, what they don't like, and what I would say that has that -- that should work, whether it is election time or not, whether you're worried about it or not, you should always remember who you represent. And that is the people.

Your job is not to stand behind the president, your job is to stand behind the people that have elected you to be in office. And I think that at least if you do that, you can sleep well at night.

KING: Congresswoman Mia Love, Governor Deval Patrick, appreciate your insights on this Sunday morning. We will see when this plays out. We've got three months to go.

LOVE: Thank you, John.

KING: It is going to be more than interesting to say the least.

PATRICK: Thank you.

KING: Thank you both. We'll have you back.

Up next, the summer surge, the overall map looks better. But there are new warning signs and, still, still frustrations with coronavirus testing.



KING: Our state by state look at coronavirus trends is more encouraging this Sunday. Yet the numbers remain stubbornly high and there are warning signs of brewing trouble. Let's start with the map.

And, again, you see a lot of beige on the map, a good amount of green. That's better than last Sunday and better than two Sundays ago. Twelve states heading in the wrong direction, more cases now than last week, 12 of them. Oklahoma, dark red, New Jersey, dark red, Rhode Island, dark red. That means the case count is going up significantly.

Look at all the beige. Those are 27 states holding steady now, including California and Arizona, two states that have been driving the summer surge. Eleven states going down, including Florida and Texas, two more states that have been a big factor in the summer surge.

So, the map looks better today. In a moment, we'll get to some warning signs, want to go back and look, even if you're a bit more encouraged here is the issue, right? We got down about 17,000 cases a day at the beginning of June, July was just a horrible month for the coronavirus in the United States.

As we move into August, the question is, is this a plateau here? Is it starting to come down a little bit?

That would be great. That's still a high baseline, 60,000 cases a day or more. And this has been the big debate, Dr. Fauci on Capitol Hill, this just the other day saying he wishes, you see the 17,000 here, he wishes the United States had been able to push this down lower, pushed it down lower, makes the case, this might not have happened.


FAUCI: When they shut down, they shut down to the tune of about 95 percent, getting their baseline down to tens or hundreds of cases per day.


FAUCI: When we did it, we got it down, but unfortunately, our baseline was 20,000 a day.


KING: With us this Sunday to share their expertise, Dr. Ashish Jha. He's the director of Harvard's Global Health Institute. Dr. Megan Ranney, an emergency room physician and a researcher at Brown University.

Dr. Jha, let me start with you. Dr. Fauci was making the point that the European Union was much more successful at shutting the baseline down, the United States never really got lower than 17,000 or 18,000 cases a day. The president just yesterday tweeting Dr. Fauci is wrong.

I suspect you believe he is correct?

DR. ASHISH JHA, DIRECTOR, HARVARD GLOBAL HEALTH INSTITUTE: Yes, Dr. Fauci is correct, John, and, again, thank you for having me on to discuss this. Dr. Fauci has been right about this pretty much all along. We opened up way too early.

And part of it is when you open up with 17,000, 18,000 cases, you have much less room for error. And then we opened up bars and restaurants, we saw what we saw in July.


So, I think we really set us up -- ourselves up for failure and what we saw was tens of thousands of people getting sick and, unfortunately now, more than a thousand Americans dying every day.

KING: And the numbers are sad, the question is will they get better.

Dr. Ranney, I want to follow up on that point, I want to use more graphics to show you. This is Florida, driving the summer surge. And you see the reopening back here in May, you see the 50 percent capacity for bars here, and then lag time, right? You drop the restrictions, wait a couple of weeks. And you see the cases coming up here, our bars shut down again here, still kept going up in Florida, starting to maybe come down a little bit, but still a 10,000 baseline.

Let's move over to Texas, you see the same thing. Reopening begins, bars reopen, starts to go up, bars shut again, still going up, a new mask mandate in some counties in Texas, still takes a couple of weeks, beginning to maybe plateau.

Any doubt in your mind, Dr. Ranney, that when you close the bars again, or you add a mask mandate, then wait two weeks, case comes down. Pretty clear, right?

DR. MEGAN RANNEY, EMERGENCY PHYSICIAN, LIFESPAN/BROWN UNIVERSITY: It is absolutely clear. All the data, both just from watching what happens in individual states, as well as from larger studies points to the fact that when we put these very basic public health measures in place, we decreased transmission of the virus. If people are wearing masks, they don't pass it to each other as quickly or easily. And if people are not in bars or social situations, they're likely to pass it.

An event at a youth camp include places where people are close together, singing, yelling, maybe drinking, without masks. And you're right, we do see about a 2 or 3 week lag time between putting the measures in place and seeing decrease in counts. We can't expect to see a change overnight. But when you say we're in a better place today because we're in green, our levels are still too high.

We need those masks, we need those large social gatherings, honestly, shut down for the time being until our country can come up with a comprehensive national strategy to get this virus under control.

KING: Right, and to be clear, to echo you, when I say we're in a better place, we're in a better place compared to a week or two ago. That does not mean we're in a good place by any means, and here -- here's another sign of that. And you mentioned the lag time that's what worries when we look at this.

If you look at the positivity rate in the country right now, each state is conducting testing, it reports as positivity rate, if you look here, the beige states, where the positivity rate is under 5 percent. That's what we want to be, you would like to be at zero percent or 1 percent.

All right. Then you get to states, the yellowish orange here, between 5 and 10 percent, you see a fair amount of red here on the map as well. This is the state of play today, the problem for me, Dr. Jha, is when you look at the trend. This is the state by state right now. But if you look at positivity in terms of up from a week ago, look at all this red.

The overwhelming majority of the states are reporting a higher positivity rate this week than last week. Which tells you, count 14 days, that case count goes up, not just in Californias and Texas,but in your MIssouris, and your Indianas and your Ohios, right? JHA: Absolutely, John. And there are two things that are going on

there. One is the level of underlying infection is rising, which is what we're most concerned about. But in about 18, 20 states, the number of tests being done is actually falling and it's falling because our testing system is under such strain that we just can't even deliver the test today that we were doing two weeks ago. That's very concerning because when cases are rising, and your number of tests are falling, that's a recipe for disaster.

So, I'm very worried about a lot of the states in the days and weeks ahead, we're going to see a lot -- a lot more suffering and, unfortunately, a lot more hospitalizations and deaths.

KING: And to your point about testing, there was that hearing, you saw Dr. Fauci, we played that sound earlier, Dr. Redfield was there as well. So was Admiral Giroir. You talked so repeatedly here on Sundays about the importance of testing.

I was listening to the admiral, let's play it here, having a sad sense of deja vu.


ADM. BRETT GIROIR, HHS OFFICIAL OVERSEEING CORONAVIRUS TESTING: Right now in America, anybody who needs a test can get a test in America with the numbers we have.

I think we're really on track right now. It looks very good.

In the ideal world, everybody would have a test result right when they got it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would it be possible for our nation to have results for all COVID tests completed and returned within 48 and 72 hours?

GIROIR: It is not a possible benchmark we can achieve today given the supply and demand. It is absolutely a benchmark we can achieve moving forward.


KING: Dr. Ranney, you heard from him in May, in June, in early July, and just the other day in late July, we keep hearing work not there now, we'll get there, we're not there now, we'll get there. What is the issue?

RANNEY: The issue is a lack of planning, honestly. It is -- it feels -- for those of us on the front line, it feels like Groundhog Day. This is an achievable goal, he's correct. We have not pushed to make it happen.

We need to activate the Defense Production Act. We need to get swabs and reagents out, and I'm going to remind us that if we think testing is bad now, wait until we have kids back in school and kids back on college campuses in a few weeks.


Our testing needs are going to skyrocket. And we need to be planning now. Heck, we needed to be planning two or three months ago for this.

We can do it, but it is going to take political will, which so far we have been lacking.

KING: And, Dr. Jha, circle and finish the conversation on that point, when Dr. Ranney mentions kids back in school, we'll see how many, you see kids back on college campuses and when you see right now, the positivity change increasing almost everywhere from a week ago, what is the challenge around the corner?

JHA: Yeah, so I think our testing system the way -- the one we have built is just starting to really collapse here. I think we need a shift. We need a shift to totally different modalities, because we just didn't build the testing system, we have been talking about it for months, to deliver for the American people. It's sad to hear Admiral Giroir still saying anybody who wants a test can get one. We know that's not correct.

We just we need to do this differently, John, and I'm worried we're not going to get the leadership from the feds. And so, we're going to have states really take leadership to deliver the kind of testing that the American people need.

KING: Trying to do it at a time back to school, back to campus and the like. We shall see how it plays out, more discussion next Sunday I suspect.

Dr. Jha, Dr. Ranney, thanks again. I'm grateful for your time on this Sunday to help us go through the facts, if you will.

When we come back, some politics. Joe Biden closing on his V.P. pick, and those at the top the list taking some shots from their critics.



KING: Joe Biden promised to announce his running mate this week. However, the safe bet is the announcement will slip to next week. Still, the maneuvering is fierce, both publicly and privately. One contender, Senator Kamala Harris, had words for her critics on Friday.


SENATOR KAMALA HARRIS (D), CALIFORNIA: Nobody like you has done it before. They're not ready for you. And I did not listen, there will be a resistance to your ambitions. There will be people who say to you, you are out of your lane because they are -- they are burdened by only having the capacity to see what has always been, instead of what can be.

(END VIDEO CLIP) KING: She played the inside game too. Harris' allies secured a meeting with Biden campaign officials after a number of reports indicating some top Biden advisers were sour on the California senator in that VP role.

California Congresswoman Karen Bass is also working to keep her name high on the list. "The Daily Caller" unearthed this video you see right there, this is Congresswoman Bass at a Church of Scientology ribbon-cutting a decade ago when she was in the California legislature. At that event, she praised the church and its controversial founder.

In a tweet Saturday, Bass says said allegations of wrongdoing by the church surfaced well after that event and that her main goal anyway was just to foster respect.

Let's discuss the big stakes here with David Axelrod, chief strategist for the 2008 and 2012 Obama campaigns, and Angela Rye, the former executive director and counsel for the Congressional Black Caucus.

Axe, I want to start with you because you have been on the inside of this process. Back when then-Senator Obama was picking Joe Biden as his running mate. Was it like this? You had Hillary Clinton on your list as well, I believe. You had Evan Bayh in your final list as well. Tim Kaine might have been on the final list as well. Were you getting incoming publicly and privately from people trashing everybody?

DAVID AXELROD, CNN HOST: Yes, you know, listen this is the biggest part of the game in Washington -- seasonal parlor game in Washington, right? The VP pick. And it's particularly important this time because Biden is by many years going to be the oldest candidate to run for president. He's 78. There's a supposition that this person be the nominee in 2024 and may God forbid be called into service before then. So there is elevated interest in this pick.

But yes, there was a lot of jockeying. I'm not sure that it was as quite as public as this. And, you know, I suspect that some candidates are behind some of the salvos against other candidates and so on. But this is pretty intense. This is pretty intense right now.

KING: And so, Angela, Joe Biden will break some glass, right. He has already said he's going to pick a woman as his running mate. There's a possibility he will pick a woman of color as his running mate. He might crack the glass ceiling twice here.

When you see this -- the competition, the candidates have every right to do events and to try to say hey, look at me, Joe Biden. And then you see the attacks as David said, some of them most likely coming from their "friends", rivals at the moment. What do you make of it?

ANGELA RYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, several things. I think that anytime you have a race that has ended the way in which this particular presidential race has, you're going to have this. And I think the most important thing is you have a situation where I can't think of an election in my lifetime where a vice presidential pick, a running mate, was more serious, was more important. And so I think that, you know, at the end of the day, yes, people are going to lobby for the position especially when it seems like there is openings.

The vet committee has yet to make any decision. I believe, they initially said that this pick would be done by August 1st. And I think that the country needs to see who is going to be standing shoulder to shoulder with Joe Biden because there is still so much doubt.


RYE: I don't think it's just age. I think there are a number of policy concerns that the Democratic Party is divided around and I think Joe Biden, given the fact that he's been fairly moderate throughout his legislative career, it may have been a little different with you, Axe, in the White House.

But I think the reality of it is Joe Biden has been seen as a moderate. He needs to demonstrate not just diversity with a woman of color on his ticket, a black woman as our op-ed called for in May. But also someone who can see policy a little bit different, particularly around criminal justice reform.

I know a lot of the women who are said to be in the last few spots and I can't see them showing these kind of, you know -- playing this type of dirty politics. They never have and I don't they'll start now.

KING: But remember, sometimes politicians have staff, Angela. You know that very well. Sometimes --

RYE: I don't think the staff -- I know the staff even better. Talking to staff --


KING: Ok. We'll see how that one plays out. There are grudges and rivalries. One of the most interesting things right here, is you have the Republicans getting involved as well. There was a conference call yesterday with some Florida Republicans, you know, sometimes Cuba politics, Castro politics plays among Cuban-Americans in Florida.

Listen to this, David. this is Marco Rubio attacking Congresswoman Karen Bass who has in the past said some favorable things about the Castros.


SENATOR MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: We're talking about someone that as early as the 1970s was involved in this brigade of sympathizers, radical pro-Castro Venceremos Brigade in the 1970s. If God forbid Joe Biden is elected president and Congresswoman Bass becomes vice president, she'll be the highest ranking Castro sympathizer in the history of the United States government.

(END VIDEO CLIP) KING: The Republican National Committee put out a press release yesterday calling her Communist Karen. This is an effort by the Republicans, number one to attack Congresswoman Bass. But number two, to suggest that Joe Biden is being tugged so far left, that he's out of mainstream. Do you remember the Republicans trying to get involved in the selection process of the other party, if you will?

AXELROD: You know, not to this degree. I think this does reflects that Karen Bass, congresswoman from California and the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, has moved up the list here and is being very seriously considered, the Republicans glean that and they're desperately looking for a way in to define Biden as the way you suggest.

Bass, the truth of it is that Bass was the speaker of the California assembly and she's known on the Hill as someone who has been very skillful at working across party lines.

But you know, it's interesting to me, John. She booked herself this morning on "Meet the Press", on "Fox News Sunday". She knows she's going to get these questions. And I suspect that she -- she's going on there for the purpose of answering them because she knows there'll be people watching, including the former vice president, who are going to pay a lot of attention to how she handles it.

KING: And to that point, Angela, Joe Biden said he would have it done by today. Now he says this week. We're told by his staff probably next week. Do you worry about that? Is it the longer on the vine, the more these people can be attacked? Or is it the longer on the vine, we learn more about them anyway and that's helpful?

RYE: Well, a few things. We know that the general election, everything is fair game. So it's interesting that people would be so concerned about people being attacked and people digging through old baggage and all of that. I think that's fascinating to me.

We want all of these things to come out so we know what the Republican attacks are. As you said, Marco Rubio has already played in that. That is only good for Karen Bass.

And I think that the most important thing is going back to the idea of staff, you know, Karen Bass did not book herself on these Sunday shows. Perhaps she had the help of staff.

But I'm confident that the Sunday shows wanted to talk to her about these positions and others. If she did and her staff did, that's good ambitious work. And I want my VP contenders to have all of the ABCs. John, I told I will give them to you -- ambitious, bold and courageous. I want all of my black women vps to have that.

KING: ABCs on Sunday morning are a good thing.

Angela Rye, David Axelrod --

RYE: Absolutely. KING: -- appreciate your coming in. We've got several days if not another week of this. Maybe we'll be having this conversation again next Sunday on the verge. We shall see.

Thank you both for getting up early for us.

Up next, the coronavirus is punishing communities of color including when it comes to the back to school debate.



KING: Barron Trump will begin his school year at home despite repeated calls by his father, the President of the United States, for schools to reopen. That is just one reminder that local officials make most school decisions despite what you might hear in Washington.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think that schools should safely reopen this fall with in-person learning?

DR. ROBERT REDFIELD, DIRECTOR, CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION: Yes, I think it is important to realize that it is in the public health's best interest for K through 12 students to get back in o face to face learning. There is really very significant public health consequences of the school closure.


KING: Now, there are 13,000 school districts in the United States, 50 million children attend public schools. So the answers depend on where you live. Of the 1010 largest school districts, 60 already plan to begin the new academic year all online; 17 right now give parents a choice, all online or all in person; 18 others have some form of a hybrid plan with a mix of online and in-person; and 6 are still undecided including New York City, the largest school district in the country.

The disparities of remote learning are crystal clear, poorer children are less likely to have the technology and Internet access vital to learning at home. And here's an example. In Los Angeles this past school year, black and Latino middle school students had a lower participation rate in virtual learning.

With us to share her expertise this Sunday is Elisha Smith Arrillaga. She's the executive director of The Education Trust-West.

Thank you so much for being here this morning. My biggest question is, did educators, school districts learn lessons from what happened on the back end of last school year when we do know participation was down among especially communities of color, low income families. When we do know you have these technological disparities.

[08:45:00] KING: Have the lessons been learned so that things will be better come

late August-September this year?


And there definitely have been some lessons learned and we have a ways to go because there is so much disparity in how this is playing out this fall.

What we heard from parents across California is that, you know, students are still lacking access to Internet and access to devices. And that parents really want schools to partner with them (INAUDIBLE) this fall and we look to what the fall looks like.

And so there are some places that are doing a really great job of thinking about that and other places that have a long ways to go.

KING: And as we go through this debate and again, 13,000 school districts. This depends on where you live in the country. Is the uncertainty -- does the uncertainty add to the problem? Meaning if you're a parent and you still don't know is your school district going to be all remote learning? Is the current plan go back to the classroom but they could pull the plug on that if the case count goes up? How much does the uncertainty complicate the already disparity issues?

ARRILLAGA: We know that, John, it is not helpful to the disparities that existed way before the coronavirus came to our shores. We know that in schools that have been able to work with teacher and planned diligently for what their distance learning plans look like, that they are going to be much more set up for success.

We also know that schools are going to need to really be able to need to connect with students on a social, emotional level and figure out where students are so testing them not in (INAUDIBLE) ways but informative ways to figure out how to take students from where they are now to where they need to be is going to be really simple (ph) for equity. And right now, we see a lot of disparity in how that's happening as well.

KING: And have you seen a surge in the necessary resources, whether it is getting meals to low income students who otherwise would get them at school. Maybe they're home now. Or whether it's getting some kind of mentorship, whether it's help with emotional issues, whether it's help with dealing with the technology issues. Is there a surge force in place, I don't know if that's the right term, to help people with these issues?

ARRILLAGA: You know, we definitely need more support from the federal government and states. One thing we know is that to do school in ways that look completely different and have a new start to this school year, the schools need more resources to do that.

And so an infusion of federal dollars in the education systems at the state level across the country is going to be pivotal to the schools being able to make sure that teachers have their professional development that they need and the students have the resources they need this fall as well.

KING: Elicia Smith Arrillaga, appreciate your insights today. Let's continue this conversation as we work through August and more and more of these decisions are made. Grateful for your help today especially grateful for your work trying to help these students and their parents get through these challenging times. Thank you so much.

ARRILLAGA: Thanks so much for having me.

KING: No, thank you.

Up next for us, more positive tests, more games postponed. Can Major League Baseball keep its already shortened season on track?



KING: There are more postponements and a high profile opt-out as Major League Baseball tries to keep its coronavirus-shortened season on track. The planned weekend series between the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals now cancelled.

That on the heels of several scheduled disruptions caused by positive coronavirus tests in the Miami Marlins organization. It was enough for the Brewers star Lorenzo Cain to opt out of the rest of the season. Cain said he decided it was just best to be at home with his family.

The commissioner Rob Manfred said he is determined to keep the season on track but just ten days in, the plans for a 60-game season, there are some doubts.

CNN's Coy Wire is here with the latest. So that is the big question, Coy. Are these just blips or do they have a problem?

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes. John, I told you how I talked to a player earlier this week who said I don't know if we are going to make it. We're depending on so many people. There are so many moving parts. These games are being shuffled. Teams are having to fill roster spots. But the league pushes on.

Commissioner Rob Manfred told ESPN Karl Ravitch quote, "The players need to be better but I am not quitter in general and there is no reason to quit now. We have had to be fluid but it is manageable," end quote.

Now, MLB postponing that Cardinals and Brewers game yesterday just hours before first pitch and then postponing the double-header today after three Cardinals players and three staffers have tested positive and three players deciding yesterday that they aren't going to play the rest of this season including as you mentioned that Gold Glove outfielder for the Brewers Lorenzo Cain.

He was hitting at Miller's Park just two days ago. Yesterday he says I'm done. He has a wife, three young kids, his teammate Ryan Braun said earlier this week that there's real fear and anxiety for all of us players, he said.

Now Cain was reportedly set to make the nearly $5 million pro-rated salary in this shortened 60-game season but he chose to walk away instead. Marlin's second baseman Isan Diaz, Red Sox pitcher, for your Sox there John, Eduardo Rodriguez suffers from a heart issue. He also chose to opt-out of the season.

But some good news. The Miami Marlins, who have had 21 cases, reported no new positives for the first time since last weekend. And MLB also says that the two Phillies staffers who initially tested positive had false positives. So the league trying to get things under control.

But remember, MLB to bolster its safety protocols even further this past week after the outbreak within the Marlins even adding a COVID compliance officer to each team to make sure people are following rules.

John, the bubble could be the answer for these sports leagues. The National Women's Soccer League already successfully completed a month- long tournament. MLS, WNBA, NBA -- all have had success. The NHL in its Edmonton and Toronto bubbles reported zero positive tests out of 800 players this past week. As for MLB and football just around the corner, John, being in a bubble -- not in a bubble could wreak havoc on their scheduling.

KING: I think we are going to be doing this day-by-day-by-day-by-day.


KING: Coy Wire, appreciate the latest there. We will see if they can keep this on track. Coy, thanks so much.

And that's it for INSIDE POLITICS. Hope you can catch us weekdays as well. We're at 11:00 a.m. and noon eastern.

Up next, a very busy "STATE OF THE UNION". Dana Bash is in for Jake Tapper. Her guests include the White House coronavirus response coordinator, Dr. Deborah Birx, Congressman Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, the Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and the former Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.

Thanks again for sharing your Sunday. Have a good day. Stay safe.



DANA BASH, CNN HOST: New hot spots. Troubling signs in more states as coronavirus cases rise in the Midwest and new data raise alarm bells about how children are affected.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Give back by wearing a mask.