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Coronavirus Resurgence Moving into Midwestern States; Federal Judge Speaks out After Attack; Pandemic Pods for Kids Learning; MLB Season in Doubt; Coronavirus Pandemic Update from around the Country. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired August 3, 2020 - 08:30   ET



DR. ANDREW THOMAS, CHIEF CLINICAL OFFICER, OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY WEXNER MEDICAL CENTER: Now, the good news is, the governor's put in some new orders around face masking. We've developed a new public health advisory system that's county based, which gives warnings to people in local communities about what the risk is in their community.

And what we've seen over the last two to three weeks is a slow decrease to the point where our seven day rolling average of positivity is back down to under 5 percent. So we think this is something that the citizens of Ohio can handle. We've handled it before. We've bent the curve back in the spring and we think they can do it again if they just pay attention to those key things, wearing a mask, keeping your social distance, washing your hands and washing high-touch surfaces.

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Dr. Porter, you were saying you've seen an increase in people wearing masks while you're out and about. Dr. Birx also mentioned though in her interview yesterday on state of the union that in some multigenerational households, people who are living with other young people, people with comorbidities, she was suggesting that perhaps wearing a mask inside the home may need to start happening.

Dr. Porter, do you think that that is realistic? Do you think that is a guidance that people would follow?

DR. JAMES PORTER, PRESIDENT, DEACONESS HEALTH SYSTEM: Well, it's going to be a tough one to follow, but she certainly makes a good point that we've seen the most new cases in that 19 to 44 age group. And within that age group, it's really that sort of 20 to 30-year-old age group where we've seen the greatest increase.

So those folks that are out and about the most do run the risk of bringing it then back into a home where there perhaps are older people or people with more risk factors. And that was consistent with what we saw with hospitalizations. As we initially saw the rate of positivity rise, probably due to more travel, due to just people being out and about more, and perhaps a little corona fatigue, people just not wanting to continue to do all the things that we need to do, we weren't seeing a lot of hospitalizations. But now we've seen more older, more vulnerable people start to get

infected as a result of the higher rates in the younger population, and that is now resulting in more hospitalizations and more intensive care unit stays. So I think, to her point, there is risk of younger people taking it to older people that they live with or that they spend time with that are in their family.

HILL: Really quickly, before I let you go, Dr. Thomas, your hospitalizations also up. You say they're manageable. But I was struck that you're -- you said there's an issue with testing reagents. That there have been some -- some folks in the supply chain have said suppliers said they have to shift the supply to meet the demand in other areas.

So are you concerned you're not going to be able to get effective testing when you need it in the coming weeks?

THOMAS: I agree that is a big concern. We've had an agreement with one of the testing vendors since back in April, which is secured for those hospitals and labs that have that one technology, we've secured a supply of reagent because the state signed a large agreement with them. But a number of other testing vendors have told us point blank that they are sending reagent to Florida, Texas, Arizona, California, wherever the outbreaks are more severe. And we have a number of hospitals that are describing getting either partial shipments or no shipments, which is making for -- for a big concern in terms of our ability to continue testing over 20,000 to 25,000 individuals per day.

So we're working together collaboratively with the state and multiple hospitals are partnering together to try and make sure that everyone can get tested who is symptomatic and who needs testing. But I do think, as we move into the school year, this testing reagent supply is going to be a major concern for all the hospitals and testing labs in the state.

HILL: Yes. Dr. Andrew Thomas, Dr. James Porter, really appreciate you both joining us this morning. Thank you.

THOMAS: Thank you.

HILL: Breaking news, a federal judge speaking out for the first time after a gunman murdered her son and wounded her husband. Her emotional words, next.



HILL: Breaking news.

We are hearing for the first time from a federal judge whose son was killed and her husband wounded when a gunman posing as a FedEx driver opened fire at her New Jersey home two weeks earlier.

Alexandra Field is following all of these breaking details for us and joining us now. This is just heartbreaking.

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is gut-wrenching, the painful words of a mother very much in pain following the death of her 20- year-old son. She describes the glorious weekend that she had celebrating her son's 20th birthday just before he was killed. She talks about hearing the doorbell ring, her son sprinting to get it, taking a bullet in the chest that killed him, his father just behind him shot three times, still recovering. Now Federal Judge Esther Salas is imploring lawmakers to enact greater protections, more privacy for federal judges who might be at risk.


JUDGE ESTHER SALAS, U.S. DISTRICT COURT, NEW JERSEY: 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.

We may not be able to stop something like this from happening again, but we can make it hard for those who target us to track us down.

My son's death cannot be in vain, which is why I am begging those in power to do something to help my brothers and sisters on the bench. Now, more than ever, we need to identify a solution that keeps the lives of federal judges private.


FIELD: The words of a heartbroken mother clearly with a new mission.

The shooting suspect was identified as Roy Dan Hollander. He was later found to have died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was a men's rights activist and attorney who had argued a case in front of Judge Salas. Authorities have linked him to the shooting death of another men's rights activist in California. Authorities are also saying he had a list of possible targets that included several other judges.

Erica. John.

HILL: That is just awful.

Alexandra Field with the latest for us there. Thank you.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, I mean that pain, so real, so raw. Our heart goes out to that family. It's just heartbreaking.


All right, other news this morning.

August means that children are supposed to be going back to school, but some parents worried about safety are forming what they are calling pandemic pods. These are private classes with parents paying for tutors or retired teachers -- it's really an option only for those who can afford it. CNN's Laura Jarrett with the latest.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The first think that you need to do is get out your homework.

LAURA JARRETT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): With coronavirus resurging across the country and so much uncertainly about what school looks like this fall, many parents are now taking matters into their own hands.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right now people are in panic mode.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're going to check each other.

JARRETT: Marney Weinstein (ph), an education consultant in Washington, D.C., says parents are reaching out desperate for other options.

JARRETT (on camera): How many parents would you say have reached out to you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My e-mails are overflowing. My text messages are overflowing.

JARRETT (voice over): She's helping parents form what they're calling "learning pods," small groups of young children paired with a single teacher in a home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It could be a basement. It could be a room upstairs. Just as long as the teacher can set it up to feel like a classroom.

JARRETT: This pod, in the suburb of Atlanta, has 12 families and 28 kids, from kindergarten through fifth grade.

MEREDITH COPLEY, MOM/LEARNING POD ORGANIZER: We've talked about consistency and routine. Whoever is hosting the group of kids, my kids are going to get their backpack, laptop in their backpack, their water bottle and a snack, and they're going to take it to that -- whatever house they're going to. We're hopefully going to stay pretty consistent with that.

ANDREA LABOUCHERE, MOM/LEARNING POD ORGANIZER: I envision a one-room school house. We wanted to create an environment where our kids could work together, be together and have that social part of school that's so important for their development.

JARRETT: And their kids like this option, too.

ADDY LABOUCHERE, 5TH GRADER: I'd rather be in a pod with my friends than be at home just working on school by myself.

JARRETT: From San Francisco to Toledo, Ohio, to Tampa, Florida, pandemic pods or micro school groups are popping up all over social media, each with their own set of rules. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are going to say that we can go to the grocery

store but always wear masks and wash our hands.

JARRETT: But in-person instruction doesn't come cheap with some parents guaranteeing a teacher their full salary or more even if their child ends up back in a classroom at some point this year.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So a lot of the teachers, they'll tell me they're not sure they want to sign on. And a lot of them are coming back because they can get the same amount of money or more working half day, staying safe.

JARRETT: A lucrative deal for teachers, but yet another way Covid has highlighted how a good education often depends on what your parents can afford.

A more cost-effective option, families who plan to follow their school's virtual learning plan.

LABOUCHERE: We're not homeschooling them. There's a difference.

JARRETT: They're forming their own pods and hiring a tutor to help with all the digital homework and check-ins.

HELEN ARCHER, MOM/LEARNING POD ORGANIZER: Once they're done with the digital learning, then they take a break and that's where the tutor will come and facilitate and make sure that they stay on track with that curriculum.

JARRETT: In many cases the details are still being ironed out, but parents who have kids with a pre-existing condition or special needs say the pod model is the safest for their families as the pandemic continues.

NIKKI COHEN, MOTHER: I think it's a fantastic option because you can -- you can kind of tailor your education needs to whatever your family needs.

ARCHER: When the kids look back, they're going to -- they're going to remember a fun community time that they had during these few months because it's not going to be forever.

JARRETT: Laura Jarrett, CNN, New York.


BERMAN: You know, it's interesting, but it will not solve the issues for the vast majority of children in this country.

There are now coronavirus outbreaks on two major league baseball teams. So what does that mean for the season? Will it reach its conclusion? That's next.


[08:48:01] BERMAN: New questions this morning about Major League Baseball's 2020 season after at least two St. Louis Cardinals players tested positive for coronavirus. St. Louis is now the second team dealing with an outbreak in a season that's barely a week old.

Joining me now is Zachary Binney. He's an epidemiologist who specializes in sports.

Professor, thanks so much for being with us.

We know about two Cardinals so far. I know there's some other testing we're waiting to hear back from.

But how concerned should we be, now what we've seen with the Marlins and now the Cardinals? How concerned should we be that baseball just doesn't have this under control?

ZACHARY BINNEY, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF QUANTITATIVE THEORY, OXFORD COLLEGE AT EMORY UNIVERSITY: Yes, so it's a little confusing exactly what's happening on the Cardinals, but I think we have enough information from various reports to conclude that they have a big, ongoing outbreak and that you have to assume that anybody in their traveling party could be infected. And so they really shouldn't be playing right now, which is what you're seeing.

In terms of how concerned we should be, I mean we've seen two large outbreaks now on the Marlins and the Cardinals. So, you know, one could be a fluke, but two is a pattern. So you'd have to be worried that this could happen again and again. Major League Baseball is currently investigating what exactly happened on the Marlins to lead to such a big outbreak. And, you know, they're going to try to figure out if that's something that can be fixed moving forward to avoid continued outbreaks or not. And we're just going to have to see.

But I am worried because Major League Baseball is the first real big league that tried to come back outside of a bubble. We've seen several leagues, the National Women's Soccer League, Major League Soccer, the NBA, WNBA and NHL, all come back successfully in bubbles. We've seen non-bubble plans work in other countries where the virus is more out of control. But when you try to come back outside of a bubble here with people living at home with their families, in their communities, contacting people who may be viral cases, you see it leaking in and causing outbreaks, I'm sorry to say.

BERMAN: Yes, other countries, soccer in Europe, for instance, they did go back and play with no bubbles.


But the big difference there was that the cases overall in the community were way lower. So when baseball is trying to do it here, it's a completely different situation.

Now bubble versus non-bubble. Obviously a lot of basketball and hockey fans out there watching those sports right now, they are in a bubble. That seems a lot safer to you? BINNEY: Yes, based on the pattern that we've seen so far, bubble plans

seem to be working here. Non-bubble plans work OK in Europe and Asia. But non-bubble plans, when you try to run them here, lead to, as we've seen in Major League Baseball, large outbreaks on the Marlins and the Cardinals and maybe more to come. We'll have to see.

And also, in Major League Soccer, just before teams entered the bubble, you saw large outbreaks on Dallas and Nashville when players were living at home with their families. And if you're living in a community with a lot of viral cases, odds are you're going to get some cases leaking into the league. And then if you're not very careful and spending a lot of time indoors together in, say, hotels, clubhouses, dugouts, we've seen that the virus can move through quite rapidly.

BERMAN: Of course people should know that the NFL, they're going to hit training camp soon. They're not in a bubble either. So you have a lot of players in an NFL team, they'll be playing, no bubble. A little different than baseball in that there's only one game a week so, in theory, maybe they can be more controlled than baseball players are.

But my question, as a parent of two young soccer players, you know, my wife keeps on asking me, she sees what's happening in baseball. She says, these guys are under strict controls in the Marlins and Cardinals and who knows what the next team is are still coming down with it. How come it's OK for us to send our kids to soccer practice? What should I be telling her?

BINNEY: John, that's a fabulous question. So, first of all, let me say, on the NFL front, you would have to be worried because they're essentially trying to run Major League Baseball's playbook but with more people, meaning more chances for the virus to get into the league and more contact, meaning more chances for it to spread around.

On the youth side, we've seen outbreaks trace back to, say, summer football workouts at several places around the country and in college teams as well. So that's a concern.

But to all the parents out there trying to decide how to get your kids back into youth sports, let me give you some really concrete advice. Look for lower risk rather than higher risk options. And that really applies to anything in life right now. But here are three dimensions you can use to identify safer sporting activities for your kids.

Number one, is it indoors or outdoors? Outdoors is better. Number two, how many people are involved? Fewer is better. Number three, how much contact is there? Less is better. So great options would be like golf, tennis, track, cross country, great options.

Some more intermediate risk options might be like soccer and baseball and softball. Some of the higher risk options would be basketball and tackle football. Maybe instead of tackle football you could go to flag football, which would be lower risk because of the less contact and maybe work on some fundamentals and skills this year. If that's something you're open to, it's definitely something I would consider.

BERMAN: I've got to let you go. I have time for one yes or no question here. Baseball, will it finish the season?

BINNEY: We don't know.

BERMAN: It ultimately may not be a medical decision, which is concerning in and of itself.

Look, Zach Binney, Professor, thanks so much for being with us.

BINNEY: Absolutely. My pleasure. Thank you.

BERMAN: Erica.

HILL: So many American's are now dealing with the painful economic reality of this pandemic.

CNN has reporters across the country covering the latest.


PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN REPORTER: I'm Paul Vercammen in southern California.

Tension on the streets as people worry about how to make ends meet. The government's $600 supplemental paycheck has gone away. Then there's fear of evictions. And outside the church -- the Unitarian Church in Koreatown, you can see a line, 1,500 people walked up to get a box of food, 500 boxes went out to other people in the community. The event's organizer called it just surreal and said this is an example of failed government.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Polo Sandoval in New York where we are monitoring increasing Covid numbers in the state of Arkansas, now seeing a 10 percent positivity rate for new cases. This weekend Governor Asa Hutchinson told CNN that he has no plans to shut down bars or restaurants even after his state surpassed 43,000 total cases. The governor defended current mandates, including mask wearing and limited capacity in certain establishments. He also told CNN that they have not seen any correlation between the recent increase and the recent lifting of restrictions.

KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Kyung Lah in Los Angeles, where the Department of Public Health is investigating this indoor party at a Hollywood bar held, says the bar, for first responders. Now, CNN observed dozens of people there with no masks, no social distancing observed.


Now, California's bars, if they are serving indoors, have been ordered closed in order to try to contain the Covid crisis in the state. In a statement, L.A.'s public health department says that there are no exceptions to this indoor ban usage ban and that this is, quote, exactly the situation that puts our entire community at unnecessary risk.

(END VIDEOTAPE) BERMAN: Our thanks to all our reporters.

I have to say, what -- like the definition of bizarre irony.

HILL: Meaning that it was a first responders' party?

BERMAN: Yes, an indoor (INAUDIBLE) first responders.

HILL: I had the same thought. Yes. Yes.

BERMAN: I mean at least they're there, I suppose, for when there's a need --

HILL: And, listen, we should celebrate all the hard work that they are doing, especially in the midst of a pandemic, but a party, a large gathering, probably not the best plan right now.

BERMAN: All right. Well, our thanks to them for what they have been doing. Maybe they ought to think twice about the party.

Erica Hill, thank you so much for coming in today.

HILL: Always a pleasure.

BERMAN: A pleasure to see you.

The White House coronavirus coordinator says we are now in a new phase of the pandemic. What does that mean? CNN's coverage continues, next.