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Isaias Pounds East Coast with Powerful Winds and Downpours; Trump Claims U.S. is Doing Better than Other Countries despite Rising Death Toll; Leaked Video Reveals New Details of George Floyd's Fatal Arrest. Aired 7-7:30a ET

Aired August 4, 2020 - 07:00   ET




JOHN BERMAN, CNN NEW DAY: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is New Day. And we do begin with breaking news.

Tropical Storm Isaias hitting the mid-Atlantic as it pushes its way up the east coast, more than half a million people without power. That number will rise, and perhaps, rise substantially. Isaias could bring the strongest winds to New York since Super Storm Sandy, and we all remember what that did. Tropical storm warnings now extend as far north as Maine.

The storm hit North Carolina as a category one hurricane overnight, and then it weakened slightly to a tropical storm. It has caused widespread flooding and fires. We'll have a live report and a look at the latest trend, coming up.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN NEW DAY: Also breaking overnight, a new interview with President Trump. He was asked about the shocking death toll from coronavirus in the U.S. His answer, it is what it is. You'll hear why he thinks he's powerless to do anything.

Also overnight, the president, again, demanding that schools reopen in person. Dr. Anthony Fauci says that should be the default position if the safety, health and welfare of children can be assured. More on how to do that in a moment.

But we begin with the latest on Tropical Storm Isaias. And, CNN Meteorologist Chad Myers, what's the track say now, Chad?

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: The track says that it's still moving very, very quickly, Alisyn, and that's why it's not losing a lot of power, still 70 miles per hour right now around the center of circulation in some of those gusts, also the potential for tornadoes today, even for you, D.C., in not that long. I want you to be paying attention, maybe 7:30.

There are some storms to your southeast that I don't like the look of. But by 3:00 this afternoon, that's when it's affecting New York City. And by later on tonight, it's actually into Canada. That's how quickly it's moving. That's why it's not losing its power.

And we had tropical storm warnings, which means tropical storm-force winds for New York City likely. There is the storm here, already seeing a little bit of rain moving all the way up into the Delaware Valley.

There are the tornado warnings, not that far from Salisbury, Maryland, also to the southeast of D.C. moving toward you, D.C. Maybe now is not the time to get in the car to drive to work. Give it a few minutes. Let it go. Let this storm go by, because some of these storms are certainly rotating at this hour, and they should continue to rotate for a while.

When the whole hurricane is rotating, you can certainly get one or two of these bigger cells to rotate as well. We'll get an awful lot of heavy rainfall, four to six inches of rain, and also with that wind.

And something else to keep in mind for you, John and Alisyn. The wind is going to be coming from the opposite direction of a nor'easter. It's actually going to be coming from the west and then the east, and then all of a sudden, these trees that haven't had a lot of east wind because a nor'easter has wind going the other way most of the time, will actually see some significant blow-down.

And so, I think we're going to see trees that haven't really experienced this type of wind for a while, maybe come down because the roots just aren't prepared for this type of direction. Certainly, power outages likely in the New York City area, in the D.C. area, Philadelphia as well, all the way up, as the storm goes.

BERMAN: And we all need to be very careful this afternoon and this evening in the northeast, Chad. Thanks so much for being with us.

Breaking overnight, a new interview where the president is pushed on the rising death toll from coronavirus in the United States, his answer, insofar as you can piece it together, portrays a staggering lack of understanding about the pandemic, or maybe a lack of honesty, or quite probably, both. I want you to listen to this exchange with Reporter Jonathan Swan from Axios.


JONATHAN SWAN, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, AXIOS: The figure I look at is death, and death is going up now.


SWAN: And it's 1,000 a day.

TRUMP: If you look at death --

SWAN: Yes, it's going up again, daily death.

TRUMP: Take a look at some of these charts.

SWAN: I'd love to. TRUMP: Okay? We're going to look.

SWAN: Let's look.

TRUMP: And if you look at death --

SWAN: Yes, it started to go up again.

TRUMP: Here's one. Well, right here, United States is lowest in numerous categories. We're lower than the world --

SWAN: Lower than the world?

TRUMP: We're lower than Europe --


SWAN: In what?

TRUMP: Take a look, right here. Here is case death.

SWAN: Oh, you're doing death as a proportion of cases. I'm talking about death as a proportion of population. That's where the U.S. is really bad, much worse than South Korea, Germany, et cetera.

TRUMP: You can't do that. You have to --

SWAN: Why can't I do that?

TRUMP: You have to go by where -- look, here is the United States. You have to go by the cases. The cases of death --

SWAN: Why not as a proportion of population?

TRUMP: When we have somebody -- what it says is, when you have somebody that has, where there's a case --

SWAN: Oh, okay.

TRUMP: -- the people that live from those cases.

SWAN: It's surely a relevant statistic to say if the U.S. has X population and X percentage of death of that population versus South Korea --

TRUMP: No, you have to go by the cases.

SWAN: Well, look at South Korea, for example, 51 million population, 300 deaths. It's like, it's crazy compared to --

TRUMP: You don't know that.

SWAN: I do. It's on -- you think they're faking their statistics, South Korea, an advanced country?

(END VIDEOTAPE) BERMAN: Honestly, it's just staggering.

Joining us now, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN Chief Medical Correspondent. Hard to watch, Sanjay, for many reasons. First of all, denying, saying South Korea is cooking its books. Number two, refusing to accept the number of deaths in the United States, it's really interesting to see how his mind works, either ignorance or deception. I'm not sure which one.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And if you don't have an acknowledgment of how significant the problem is here, I think what's frightening, frustrating, scary, even, is that how are you going to solve the problem if you're not defining it?

I mean, just look at the right side of the screen. We are not even 5 percent of the world's population, and we are 20 to 25 percent of the world's infections, 20 to 25 percent of the world's deaths. I'm not exactly sure what they were driving at. Regardless of how you measure it, the United States is doing really poorly. And frankly, we don't even have a good measure in this country, right, because we're still not doing enough testing.

As you know, there have been some projections saying, hey, if you look at the numbers in terms of overall cases in the United States, it could be ten times higher than that. We have missed so many cases, especially in those early weeks when it really started to spread, basically unchecked. So, they were going back and forth about, do you do it as a percentage of cases? Do you do it as a percentage of the country overall? It doesn't really matter. I mean, the absolute numbers are really awful in this country. And, again, we're not even 5 percent of the world's population.

CAMEROTA: Sanjay, I was truly expecting him to hold up a graph that showed there -- that was upside down, which showed like the numbers going down, but he was holding it upside down. That was the level of spinning that I thought that he was about to show us, because, clearly, he's cherry picking his numbers. I mean, he and the people around him are saying, okay, we'll use this metric, because this metric, if you compare it to cases, looks better.

GUPTA: Right.

CAMEROTA: And, you know, there was another part where Jonathan Swan brought up the deaths, and he said, well, it is what it is. I mean, the level of impotence and powerlessness that he talks about, he truly thinks, I guess, that his administration can't do anything about this.

GUPTA: Yes, I mean, that's the thing, is that in every step along the way, there have been opportunities to have significant impact on this. Had we actually started go into some sort of stay-at-home or at least face mask mandate earlier, there would have been significant reduction, 60 to 80 percent fewer cases at this point, if we had just started some of these measures one to two weeks earlier, and we didn't, so the numbers continue to grow.

So, here we are at this point now, beginning of August. Schools are about to start. What are we doing about it? We're still arguing about hydroxychloroquine. We're showing graphs that don't seem to have a connection to reality. And we're not coming up with a national plan. We need this. I mean, you know, we are in the biggest public health crisis of our lifetime. We all know this, I think, at this point. Anybody who's been watching this program certainly does. So, what are we going to do about it?

The thing is that, for the next three weeks -- forget about what the leaders are telling you -- for the next three weeks, if people wore face masks, if they physically distanced, if they avoided private indoor gatherings, if they washed their hands a lot, avoided large gatherings in particular, within three weeks, if we just did that as a country, we'd be looking at the back side of the curve. But we're still not even doing that, let alone all of the other things we should be doing.

BERMAN: So, overnight, Sanjay, the president tweeted out three words, open the schools, with no real guidelines on how to do it. Alisyn has been talking about and was impressed by a couple studies out of Europe and Australia that say if you have sufficient testing and tracing, you can --

CAMEROTA: Of the school, not the whole country, of the school.

BERMAN: And I was just going to present your case objectively, keep my opinions to myself. Because, obviously, if you have testing and tracing, you can make schools work to an extent. We don't have it in the numbers we can here.


But, Sanjay, how would that help? In the perfect world that doesn't exist here in the United States, how would testing and tracing make the difference for opening schools?

GUPTA: Yes, this is a -- it's a bit of a no-brainer, right? I mean, we've been talking about this since February, really, about testing and tracing. How it would work -- I mean, what would it look like? It could look like a child -- children who are going to school maybe every few days are getting tested, possibly at the school, possibly even at home beforehand, like a strep test or something like that, you know. We do those sorts of tests at home. And then you know whether or not your child has the coronavirus.

And it's documented, somehow, if the child has been at school already, they could start tracing immediately. But the whole point of testing and tracing is not just to tell somebody, hey, you're positive. The whole point is to ultimately, from a public health standpoint, bring the numbers down, by quickly isolating that person, quickly quarantining their contacts, and possibly testing them as well.

It's what we've been doing for generations in terms of public health. It's how we've eradicated certain diseases like smallpox from the planet. But it's not being done here. The studies that came in The Lancet, the British one, was a modeling study. Basically said, if you test 75 percent of children who are symptomatic -- not even just doing surveillance testing, just 75 percent of symptomatic -- and then trace close to 70 percent of their contacts, you can open schools safely, is what they said.

In Australia, they made the case that they never shut down schools. So, from January through March, the schools were still open. January through April, schools were still open. They were able to quickly identify newly infected people. You've got to quickly do it. It's got to be accurate.

CAMEROTA: Right. And so, Sanjay, you're telling us this morning, and I know we haven't done this successfully yet, but that we do not have enough tests in this country to be able to do that at schools?

GUPTA: That is correct. I mean, Alisyn, we do not have enough tests to do that at schools. We do not even have enough tests still to do this in certain hospitals, in certain nursing homes, among populations that are vulnerable.

We've been talking about having some major testing breakthroughs for months now. I wait every night, every morning to see what these breakthroughs are going to be. I don't understand why we haven't had the significant sort of development within tests, because this is the largest sort of problem that we continue to face.

What would that look like? It would be a rapid turnaround test. So, you'd really have to -- the technology is you have to figure out how to basically test for this virus itself, proteins on the virus, or test for the genetic material of the virus quickly and have it come back as an accurate rapid test. That's it. That's the challenge.

We've done it for other infections. We've had six, seven months now to try and do it for this, and we're still not. I worry that there's been a deliberate sort of minimizing of testing in this country. And how has it manifested? Doing fewer tests and not investing heavily in the development of these rapid turnaround tests.

I'd love to be able to have a test that I could look at like a weather app. Is it safe to go outside today? Do I need my umbrella? People have been talking about that for months. It's not a pipe dream. They're getting to that point in other countries. In the U.K., they announced a 90-minute turnaround test now that they're going to have point of location. That's what's going to help them open up schools.

BERMAN: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, we have you back twice more in the show. We have a lot more to discuss with you, so don't go far.

Overnight, new body cam video leaked of George Floyd's death. What it reveals about the investigation, next.



BERMAN: Developing this morning, leaked police body cam video revealing new details of George Floyd's final moments. We do want to warn you that some of this footage is disturbing. CNN's Omar Jimenez live in Chicago. Now, Omar, you've actually viewed the whole video as part of a media deal with police. You looked at it. You couldn't take it with you, but this was video that was leaked, and now the public has a chance to see part of it.

OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, John. Now, at this point, it's unclear how exactly Daily Mail obtained this footage, but nonetheless, it has been published. And it's a combination of footage, much similar to what I saw, coming from the body cameras of now former officers Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng, during what became some of George Floyd's final moments. And, again, a warning, some of what you're about to see may be considered graphic.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Put your hand up there. Put your hand up there. Keep your hands on the wheel. Keep your hands on the wheel.


JIMENEZ: This partial body camera video obtained by the Daily Mail, showing former Officer Thomas Lane pointing a gun at George Floyd within 25 seconds of he and former Officer J. Alexander Kueng knocking on the window of the car Floyd was in. They were responding to a call over a fraudulent $20 bill being used at the store across the street. Officers next seen here trying to get Floyd out of the vehicle.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Step out and face away.

FLOYD: Please don't shoot me, police officer. Please, don't shoot me, man.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Step out and face away.

FLOYD: You're not going to shoot me, man?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not going to shoot you.

JIMENEZ: He's eventually pulled from the car and cuffed.

FLOYD: Oh, man.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stop resisting, man.

FLOYD: I'm not.

JIMENEZ: Based on CNN's viewing of the complete body camera footage, this is the first of two struggles, the second much more forceful, as officers try to get Floyd into the police squad car. Floyd says he's claustrophobic. Soon, he's being pushed in on one side by Keung and pulled in on the other by Lane, seen in video obtained by the Daily Mail.

FLOYD: I can't choke. I can't breathe, officer. Please. Please.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're fine. FLOYD: My wrist. My wrist, man. Please. I want to lay on the ground. I want to lay on the ground.

JIMENEZ: This is first time George Floyd says I can't breathe, based on CNN's previous viewing of the video.


They fall out on Lane's side and go to the ground to what's now become an infamously familiar position, Floyd's neck under the knee of Chauvin.

FLOYD: I can't breathe, officer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Then stop talking. Stop yelling.

FLOYD: They'll kill me. They will kill me, man.

JIMENEZ: This is from the perspective of Keung's camera, where not long after, Lane asks if Floyd should be moved.

FLOYD: Please. Please. Please.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Should we roll him on his side?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, he's staying put where we got him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just worry about the excited delirium or whatever.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is why we have the ambulance coming.


JIMENEZ: Floyd loses consciousness shortly after and is pronounced dead at the hospital. Chauvin now charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter. Lane, Keung, Tou Thao are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. None of the officers have entered a plea, though Thou and Lane have asked for their cases to be dismissed and Keung's attorney says he plans to plead not guilty.

Attorneys for the four officers either declined comment or did not respond.


JIMENEZ: Now, the attorney for the George Floyd family, Ben Crump, released a statement in response, saying, the more evidence you see, the more unjustifiable George Floyd's torture and death at the hands of police becomes.

Now, remember, this video came about as a result of a leak. The judge in this case has yet to rule on a motion filed by CNN and other media organizations to fully and publicly release this video, John.

BERMAN: All right, Omar, stick around. I want to bring in Charles Ramsey, CNN Law Enforcement Analyst, and former Philadelphia Police Commissioner. Commissioner, thanks so much for being with us.

That is really disturbing to watch, much more disturbing than I even realized it was reading about it. And the most striking feature still is the length of time that George Floyd is on the ground with a knee on his neck. Beyond that, what's your takeaway?

CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, the first thing I noticed, the approach to the vehicle, the one officer had his gun drawn, pointed directly at Mr. Floyd. That escalated things immediately. And most departments pointing a gun at a person is prohibited, unless the possibility of deadly force is necessary. In other words, you've got a real serious situation where that would be called for.

The second part that I notice, it's not easy to get a person, especially somebody George Floyd's size, into the back of a patrol car. Now, I don't know if they have patrol vans or transport vans, rather, or wagons, as we call them, in Minneapolis. I assume they do. But it makes it a lot easier to get a person in.

The third part, which we already knew, keeping an individual in a prone position for that length of time, having pressure on the back -- neck, in this case -- positionalized asphyxia is a problem. They could have easily had him either standing or sitting waiting for the ambulance to arrive on the scene.

So, when you look at that video, there are a lot of things that went wrong during the course of that arrest, but the most egregious part of it is, obviously, having him in a prone position, face down, knee to the neck, for that extended period of time, and people are pleading and telling him, hey, listen, the guy is not breathing, he's not moving. Even one of the officers even mentioned, you know, should we move him?

And I didn't realize it until I saw the video that Chauvin was not the original arresting officer. And so, the other two guys were the arresting officers. So you don't allow some third party to come in and take control of your prisoner. I mean, that just should not happen.

BERMAN: Commissioner, you brought up the gun being pointed, saying it's only done if the person is considered a threat. Past that point, I was struck by, at least, to me, there was never a point where George Floyd seemed like he was any threat. There may have been some difficulty in putting the handcuffs on him, but it didn't seem like he was threatening the officers in any way. Did you see anything in any of that video which indicated a threat?

RAMSEY: No, I didn't see any of that. I mean, listen, the guy is doing a little minor resisting. You could call it resisting. It's not unusual to have someone stiffen up a bit when you're getting ready to put cuffs on him, or even stiffen up when you're getting ready to put him in the back of a patrol car. That is just not unusual, and you deal with it.

But it's not a threat. It's certainly not a threat that would justify the use of deadly force. He was already handcuffed, so putting him down on the ground in a prone position, you're not trying to restrain him. He's already restrained. And if they called for an ambulance, which Chauvin says they got an ambulance on the way, he could sit, he could stand.

There are a lot of things you could do, other than having him in a prone position, face down, pressure on his back, positional asphyxia, which is taught in every academy that I know of is something that is definitely not done for any extended period of time.


You get a person under control. You sit them up, make sure they're breathing and take them into custody.

BERMAN: Omar, you are one of the few people in the country, frankly, who's seen the entire police cam, the body cam footage. How does what you have seen match with this bit that has been released now?

JIMENEZ: Well, obviously, it's not everything. There's a little over an hour of footage in total that we were able to see, and it's a little over 25 minutes or so that's actually been leaked. But one of the more notable moments that actually you're not able to see on this camera came -- I looked at my original notes -- about 11 minutes and 53 seconds into Thomas Lane's body camera footage.

This is after they have Floyd on the ground, after, of course, he is already restrained. And right after Derek Chauvin's knee first goes on Floyd's neck, you actually see what appears to be Chauvin increasing the pressure of his knee, just based on his body language going from straight up into a more curled down position. His attorney didn't have a comment for that at the time, which I assume still stands at this moment.

And then also, you never see the paramedics eventually arrive. By my original account, it was a little over nine minutes after the knee first went on the neck, and then maybe the image that sticks in my mind more than any of what I have seen over the course of this comes at the very end of Thomas Lane's body camera footage, when you see George Floyd's limp body at that point being rolled over to be loaded into an ambulance. You see his face pass by Lane's body camera. You see, of course, the stillness. And it is a reminder of the gravity of what that situation became.

The fact that this started, of course, with a man, as people may say, resisting arrest or not being compliant. But at the end of the day, this is a man who lost his life for a call that began over a fraudulent $20 bill. And you're reminded of that by seeing his lifeless body loaded into the ambulance from up close. And you didn't get that from the leak.

And I think that's part of why it's so important to try and get this video out there so everybody understands the gravity of the situation.

BERMAN: I agree. Omar Jimenez, thank you for your reporting. Thank you for bearing witness. Charles Ramsey, thank you for your expertise this morning. I really appreciate it.

RAMSEY: Quite all right.

BERMAN: All right, President Trump with this new, stunning take on the coronavirus death toll in this country. He says, quote, it is what it is. A remarkable new interview released overnight. You have to listen to how the president answers questions. The man who did this interview, Reporter Jonathan Swan, joins us next.