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"Reality Check": Still Awaiting Health Care Plan Trump Promised Two Weeks Ago; An Entire Family Infected With COVID, Including Newborn Baby; NJ Federal Judge Speaks Out About Deadly Attack; East Coast Braces For Tropical Storm Isaias. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired August 3, 2020 - 11:30   ET



KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Good to see you, Graham. Thank you very much. Really appreciate it.


BOLDUAN: So speaking of somewhat bold and questionable claims made by President Trump, two weeks and one day ago, the president made a very direct promise that he would be signing, not just announcing, signing a health care plan within two weeks, "a full and complete health care plan." That's a direct quote. That was two weeks ago. And that has not happened.

But when you make a pledge like that you -- as he has before, you really should be held to your word.

Here's John Avlon.



SCOTT PELLEY, CBS NEWS ANCHOR: Universal health care?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm going to take care of everybody.

Far less expensive and far better.

We are going to be submitting in a couple of weeks a great health care plan.

AVLON: That was candidate and freshly minted President Trump vowing to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a miracle health care plan in his magic cup.

TRUMP: -- couple of weeks.

AVLON: Well, here we are three years into a Trump presidency and six months into a pandemic and here's the plan:


AVLON: But in fairness to the president, he has managed to get something done, dismantling key provisions of Obamacare in the courts, namely the individual mandate.

And now he's marshalling his Justice Department to try to kill the whole thing, just as America is suffering through a pandemic that's killed more than 150,000 of our fellow Americans and infected millions more.

Although the second-quarter GDP number was the worst on record, nearly 33 percent in the red if it were extended to the whole year.

So no wonder the president keeps promising that his mission to kill the Affordable Care Act will actually get rid of one of the things that people really like about it.

TRUMP: Pre-existing conditions will be totally protected. Pre-existing conditions --


AVLON: That claim received the coveted bottomless Pinocchio Award from the "Washington Post,' because covering pre-existing conditions is something Obamacare does right now, a provision that polls really strong, even among Republicans because it turns out that having a pre- existing health condition occurs across partisan lines.

Not to mention President Trump has no answer for the fact that since the Affordable Care Act was passed upwards of 20 million Americans who weren't insured before now are.

So this is the old arsonist as a firefighter routine with possibly your live on the line.

But wait. Now we're in an election year so you might have heard something like this.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, SENIOR ADVISER TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: This health care president is the one that is governing. This health care president started out with transparency. That's what we're focused on that the health care president continue to deliver for America.

AVLON: But remember that Kellyanne Conway is the person who famously said you don't take the oath to tell the truth before you go on TV.

But where's the plan that had alleged health care president told Chris Wallace would be released again within the magical --

TRUMP: Two weeks, a full and complete health care plan.

AVLON: We've heard all this before. And even if there were a plan there's virtually no chance it would get put into place before Election Day.

Look, good people can disagree over the details of health care, it's complicated, whether it be ACA, the public option, Medicare For All, or a more free-market plan that has some evidence that it might lower costs.

But we can't ignore the fact that a decade after Obamacare's passage and endless demonization by the GOP, there still isn't a serious Republican plan for replacement. It's all repeal, all the time, even in a pandemic.

No matter how many people might get hurt, all for short-term political gain, all bolstered by apparent ignorance.

TRUMP: Nobody knew that health care could be so complicated.

AVLON: Yes, Mr. President, we pretty much all did.

But at a time when so many people are suffering, it would be nice if you remembered the Hippocratic oath: First, do no harm.

And that's your "REALITY CHECK."


BOLDUAN: John, thank you, very much. Very comprehensive and complete. What is it with him and two weeks anyway?


Coming up for us, an entire family infected with COVID, including a newborn baby. How now a mother's warning about the dangerous spread of the virus and the lessons that she's learned. She joins me next.


BOLDUAN: Imagine you or your spouse goes to the hospital to give birth to your third child, and when you all come home, the entire family is exposed to the coronavirus, the entire family gets COVID. And your days old newborn then becomes the youngest suspected case of COVID in your county.

That's exactly what happened to one family in North Carolina.

Molly Grantham is the mother who is living through this nightmare in real time. She's so wonderful to be joining me. She also is an anchor and investigative reporter with WBTV in Charlotte.

Molly, you wrote this -- and it is so true -- that you wrote that you could not have script what had you have been through if you had tried.

How are you all doing?

MOLLY GRANTHAM, MOTHER WHOSE ENTIRE FAMILY HAS COVID-19: We are good. I'm the only one that's still kind of tired with no energy. But the kids are fine, which is the only reason that my husband and I -- the only reason that I truly felt like it was right and safe to write about because I didn't want to cause unnecessary alarm if you're in the throes of it. But I -- I am a little tired, but I'm OK. And I think I'd be tired

anyway with a newborn.


BOLDUAN: That's what you would say. You have a 20-day-old newborn and you, by definition, are required to be exhausted.


BOLDUAN: I cannot imagine, Molly.

So from hospital to home, first symptoms, a drive-through COVID test that turns into a hospital visit and a pneumonia diagnosis for you. How did this happen?

GRANTHAM: Well, when I went in to have our third baby, my husband and I went into the hospital and there's a lot of restrictions of COVID and having one guest. And you have to be COVID tested before you go in.

So the morning I went into labor, we went to the hospital and I got a test and it was negative. Ad that means that they assume that the guest you're bringing with you was negative so we thought we were fine.

My husband's parents and in-laws had driven in from out-of-state to watch the other kids. He got tested before they left their home state and were very, very cautious and drove into town. And we thought they were fine.

But when we got back from the hospital -- we don't know if my mother- in-law was exposed. We really don't know. You just don't know. Is it airborne? Did she get it at a gas station? Did my husband pick it up in the cafeteria at the hospital? We don't know. But my 9-year-old daughter got it first.

We were home, and Hoby (ph) -- that's his name -- he was 4 days old or three days old at the time, and my daughter started experiencing allergy-like symptoms and didn't think about it.

Except I left the hospital and I was paranoid about it because they have a lot of warnings there. And it was. And at that point, we were all here and kissing on the baby and all got it.

BOLDUAN: Molly, we were talking in the break. I have two little ones. In reading your account, I'm trying to put myself in your shoes and I cannot imagine. Having a newborn at home, especially with other kids around, is already an exhausting experience,

But then dealing with what is a life-and-death disease, it -- you have an amazing outlook on it. And as you said you all are doing well. But it really must have been terrifying at times.

GRANTHAM: It was at times, Kate. But I think because we're all OK, you can kind of have bad twisted how humor about it in some way. Oh, of course, we all got it.

But it's only because the kids are OK. And any parent would sort of understand that. It's only because the kids are OK.

I did not think that I had it. I thought I was like going to be fine from it. Everyone else had it. I was taking care of them. I didn't think that my exhaustion or body aches was anything more than postpartum or having a baby.

And when they said I had pneumonia and they had the chest X-rays and saw nodules. They said, you have to go sleep, you have to get better or the household doesn't really work.

That to me was like, oh, you know women aren't immune to you. I'm not immune to it. Kids aren't immune to it. But because the kids are OK I feel better.

It was scary. It was scary some nights watching a newborn breathe, watching his rib cage sort of rise and fall, and not even knowing if that meant -- I was just like what am I looking for? Is this breath different than that breath?

BOLDUAN: Exactly.

GRANTHAM: But he is fine. And that is the key in all this. He's fine.

But you don't hear a lot of stories. I wrote it because I like to write. But I don't hear a lot of stories of "it happens to me," unless it becomes deadly. And COVID is deadly. But it's impacting a lot of people that don't die.

And I thought maybe this could be educational. It's, you know, a public health issue.

GRANTHAM: Well, and that's -- I think that's an important part of it.

And what's also striking is your story goes against some of the assumptions that we've been told, you know, getting reassurance that -- that children really don't get it. And if they do get it, they don't really spread it. That -- we know that there's so much unknown about this virus.

What do you think -- I mean, look, you're a reporter. You're an anchor. I would go about it the same way I'm sure that you are.

But what are the lessons that you've learned from this and your message to everyone?

GRANTHAM: I think my message is that kids can get it and that it is a public health issue, that it is, in some ways, being politicized all over the place. But it's a public health issue at the core of it.

And you can have an opinion about how it should be handled. But fact is it's impacting everybody and it is very real.

And I didn't expect it. We were exceptionally careful. Me and my in- laws were tested before they came. We were tested in the hospital.



GRANTHAM: You can get it anywhere really.

My pediatrician was so comforting saying, Molly, the cat's out of the bag. Like, people are getting this everywhere and most people we see aren't even aware.

BOLDUAN: Can you just describe for a me some of the moments. You described there were not only difficult moments but kind of a comedy of errors in certain situations.


BOLDUAN: I can only imagine what the household was like in the midst of this.

GRANTHAM: Right. You know, with you were going to have help come in. My step-mom was going to come up. And all of that was out of the window.

And my husband is still working remotely in the house and I have the kids. And I finally realized I have it. And I get on an antibiotic for the pneumonia.


And I got allergic to the antibiotic so I broke out in hives everywhere. This visual-like connect-the-dots big-red face and itching and scratching.

And the antibiotic was really, really strong. So we had to switch the newborn's diet to all formula.

Everything, like one thing after another. And it wasn't just the illness and the kids.

And then they have cabin fever. I mean, 9 and 5. And nobody wants to sit in the house all day every day with just their mom sort of telling them not to do anything, looking out the windows at all their friends playing.

So it was just like, oh, the hives and the stuff.


BOLDUAN: Honestly, Hoby's (ph) like birth story and scrapbook is going to be something to be rivaled.


BOLDUAN: Thankfully, everyone is doing well.

It's wonderful to meet you, Molly. Thank you so much for coming on. I really appreciate it.

GRANTHAM: Thank you, Kate.

BOLDUAN: All right. Take care. I mean, everyone says this. Get as much rest as possible, but, I mean, we all know when you've got kids at home good luck with that. Thank you.

GRANTHAM: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Coming up for us, her son was shot and killed by a gunman posing as a FedEx worker. Now a federal judge is speaking out for the first time with her last words with her son and now her call for protection.



BOLDUAN: This morning, a federal judge is now preparing to bury her only son and is now speaking out for the first time.

U.S. District Judge, Esther Salas, was at the home in New Jersey with family when a gunman, dressed like a FedEx worker, came to the door and opened fire. Her son was killed. Her husband is still recovering in the hospital.

CNN's Alexandra Field joins us with more on this.

Alex, the judge is speaking out, making an emotional plea, understandably so. What is she saying?

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: She is a federal judge but now a mother who lost her only son, only child. She is on a mission to protect families from like hers from the unbelievable pane unbelievable pain she is in.

It's been just two weeks since she lost her son. She is talking about the final moments with him. And she is making a desperate plea to lawmakers.


ESTHER SALAS, U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE: As the afternoon progressed, it was time to clean up from the weekend festivities. Daniel and I went downstairs to the basement and we were chatting as we always do.

And Daniel said, "Mom, let's keep talking. I love talking to you, Mom." And it was at that exact moment that the doorbell rang and Daniel looked at me and said, "Who is that."

And before I could say a word, he sprinted upstairs. Within seconds, I heard the sound of bullets and someone screaming, "No!"

I later learned that this monster who had a FedEx package in his hand opened fire. Daniel, being Daniel, protected his father. And he took the shooter's first bullet directly to the chest. We are living every parent's worst nightmare. Making preparations to

bury our only child, Daniel.

My family has experienced a pain that no one should ever have to endure. And I am here asking everyone to help me ensure that no one ever has to experience this kind of pain.


FIELD: Truly gut wrenching to hear that in chilling detail.

But Judge Salas is saying that she believes her family was targeted because she is a federal judge.

She says that information for judges is readily available on the Internet and she is asking lawmakers to step in and to stop that in order to protect families from becoming targets.

The suspected shooter in her son's death also died by a single gunshot wound, a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was an attorney who had argued a case in her courtroom -- Kate?

BOLDUAN: Just horrific. Amazing her strength to hear her speak out at this point. It's just horrific.

Alex, thank you.

Still ahead for us, states along the east coast are bracing for a tropical storm that could become a hurricane. The latest on the track next.



BOLDUAN: Hurricane warnings for North and South Carolina right now at Tropical Storm Isaias is on track to strengthen today.

Let's go to CNN meteorologist, Chad Myers, who is closely watching the track for all of us.

Chad, what is the latest here?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: The latest is right now, Kate, the storm did not strengthen for the 11:00 advisory. So that's some good news. But it's still forecast to get to that 75-, 74-mile-per-hour hold threshold.

But the thing I want to see here is it is a very small hurricane warning but it's a very large tropical storm warning. There will be tropical storm-force winds from Georgia to Massachusetts.

And think about that for your power lines and the tree and for your power in your restaurant, the power in your grocery store, in your pharmacy. Get prepared to live without power in those zones for some days. There's the storm. It's still trying to get its act together. But it's

still not an eye. It can't get a round eye with too much wind pushing it from the southwest, kind of breaking that eye apart any time it tries.

Now there's rain coming up all the way into the Carolinas. And we expect that tomorrow the norm, six probably of rain.

But it'll be a storm surge from Myrtle Beach all the way up into coastal North Carolina. That could be about three to five feet.

And 75 miles per hour, making landfall tonight, somewhere around 8:00 tonight. If it goes a little bit to the left, that's a short hypotenuse. If it goes a little bit to the right, that's a longer hypotenuse. It'll take 12 hours to get there instead of eight hours to get there.

But it's still going to be a 60-mile-per-hour storm right over big trees. Lots of ran, lots of flooding, lots of power outages -- Kate?


BOLDUAN: And just look at that track all the way up.