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Trump Falsely Claims 'Large Portions' of U.S. Coronavirus-Free; Biden Says He Will Choose His Running Mate Next Week; U.S. Sees Deadliest Day This Summer; Potential Tropical Storm Poses Threat to Florida This Weekend; Barr Clashes with Democrats on Various Issues. Aired 6-6:30a ET
Aired July 29, 2020 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Trump touting hydroxychloroquine as a cure for coronavirus.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It doesn't cause problems. I had no problem. I had absolutely no problem.
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: The overwhelming prevailing clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine have indicated that it is not effective.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bill Barr standing his ground, holding firm that he is not using his position to do the president's bidding.
WILLIAM BARR, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: I agree the president's friends don't deserve special breaks, but they also don't deserve to be treated more harshly than other people.
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It's Wednesday, July 29. It's 6 a.m. here in New York.
And breaking this morning, the deadliest day of the summer so far. More than 1,200 Americans killed by coronavirus in one day. And in the next few hours, we will pass 150,000 dead total.
At this moment, fatalities are rising in 29 states. This is serious. Deadly serious. Nothing could be more serious. So this morning, what is in the president's tool box? Demonic seed.
Don't laugh. This is serious. Deadly serious. Nothing could be more serious, but to his 84 million social media followers and everyone watching on TV, the president is promoting a doctor who says you don't have to wear a mask and that there's a cure for coronavirus. No. That's a lie.
What's more, this doctor, whom the president praised in front of the American people, her website is full of references to demonic seed. Demon sperm, you might hear it called. She says medicine is being made by using alien DNA. She believes women are being seduced by witches in their dreams.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. STELLA IMMANUEL, HOUSTON BASED PHYSICIAN: It's what we call astral sex. That means this person is not really a demon or a Nephilim, it's a human that's a witch. And they astral project and sleep with people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: So don't laugh. This is serious. Deadly serious. Nothing could be more serious. And that's the doctor the president is leaning on for medical inspiration. Twelve-hundred people dead yesterday, 150,000 by today.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: OK, so that's the message President Trump is trying to get out. Dr. Deborah Birx of the coronavirus task force has a very different message. She's sounding the alarm about the rise in cases in the states that you see in yellow on this map. And there's a lot of them.
All of this as presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden, says he will choose his running mate next week. And there's this piece of paper that could hold a big clue. These were his notes yesterday, caught on camera during a speech in Wilmington. They feature Kamala Harris' name at the top there.
OK, let's begin our coverage with CNN's Joe Johns. He is live at the White House with our top story.
Good morning, Joe.
JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Alisyn.
It was just last week that the president appeared to be adopting a more responsible approach to the way he talks about the pandemic, but then in his latest briefing, he returned to the old, flawed, misleading themes that have undermined his credibility, as well as the administration's attempts to get out a clear and consistent message on COVID-19.
JOHNS: As the United States moves even closer to losing 150,000 people to the deadly disease, President Trump used Tuesday's coronavirus briefing to spread more misinformation and his own grievances.
TRUMP: You can look at large portions of our country. It's -- it's corona-free.
JOHNS: The president even complained about the popularity of two of the nation's top health officials leading the coronavirus task force.
TRUMP: So it sort of is curious a man works for us, with us, very closely, Dr. Fauci, and Dr. Birx, also highly thought of. And yet they're highly thought of, but nobody likes me. It can only be my personality.
JOHNS: Trump once again endorsed the use of the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine as a COVID-19 treatment, despite no proof that it works and potentially harmful side effects.
TRUMP: The recommendations of many of the people, including doctors. Many doctors think it is extremely successful.
JOHNS: One of those doctors is in this video, retweeted by the president Monday, showing a group in white coats pushing false claims about COVID-19. It has since been deleted by Twitter and other social media platforms.
IMMANUEL: Nobody needs to get sick. This virus has a cure. It is called hydroxychloroquine, zinc and Zithromax. I know you people want to talk about masks. Hello, you don't need masks.
TRUMP: I think they're very respected doctors. There was a woman who was spectacular in her statements about it.
JOHNS: That woman, a Houston-based doctor who promotes bizarre conspiracy theories online. CNN's Kaitlan Collins pressing President Trump on why he shared the clip.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: She's also made videos saying that doctors make medicine using DNA from aliens and that they're trying to make a vaccine to make you immune from becoming religious.
TRUMP: Well maybe -- She was on-air, along with many other doctors. They were big fans of hydroxychloroquine. And I thought she was very impressive, in the sense. But I know nothing about her.
COLLINS: She said masks don't work.
TRUMP: Go ahead.
COLLINS: And last week you said masks -- real quick, last week you said masks, Mr. President --
TRUMP: Thank you very much, everybody. Thank you.
JOHNS: To be clear, medical experts and the FDA say hydroxychloroquine is not a cure for the virus.
FAUCI: The overwhelming, prevailing clinical trials that have looked at the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine have indicated that it is not effective in coronavirus disease.
JOHNS: The president is hitting the road again today. He heads out to west Texas, where he's expected to attend a fundraiser, as well as visit an oil rig. He's expected to highlight a couple of his favorite themes. That's energy dependence -- independence, as well as regulation reform.
John, back to you.
BERMAN: All right. Joe Johns at the White House for us this morning. Joe, thank you very much.
I just want people to get a full understanding of this doctor that is being promoted by the president of the United States. Not just on Twitter, to 84 million followers, but you heard it at the podium yesterday. The president called Dr. Stella Immanuel "spectacular." Well, this is one of her views on medicine or something involving alien DNA. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
IMMANUEL: They use all kinds of DNA, even alien DNA to treat people, mixing human beings with demons. Nephilims exist these days.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: Nephilimism, by the way, the offspring of angels and demons. But alien DNA, she says, is making medicine.
And make no mistake about it. The president sent her message out to tens of millions of people and then made it crystal-clear that he thought she was spectacular to Kaitlan Collins yesterday. This as 150,000 Americans will be dead by the end of today.
CAMEROTA: But just to be clear, John, we're not supposed to have sex with demons while we're asleep? Is that -- Does she think that's bad? I get lost.
BERMAN: Here's the thing, is you know no one loves a demon sperm joke more than I do, but this isn't funny. It really isn't. I mean, it's -- it's -- it's -- it would be laughable, except for the fact that so many people are dying, and this is what the president chooses to lean into. It's fundamentally unserious, and it's representative of his response to a pandemic which is killing more and more people every day.
CAMEROTA: He called her a great doctor and thought she was very impressive. All right. We have more on this throughout the show. Thank you very much.
Developing this morning also, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden, says he will choose his running mate next week, but do his notes, caught on camera, offer a clue for who he might pick? Look there. Right now.
All right, we're 97 days away from the November election, and CNN's Arlette Saenz live in Washington with more. So tell us what we saw on his notes.
ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, those notes were certainly interesting, but it appears that Joe Biden's pick for his running mate is just around the corner.
Yesterday, Biden said that he would have his choice by the first week of August, which happens to be next week. Now, Biden was unusually tight-lipped about the search process yesterday, but here's what we know.
Biden recently said that he is vetting and considering four black women. On that list are Kamala Harris, Karen Bass, Val Demings, also Susan Rice.
We also know that Elizabeth Warren and Tammy Duckworth are among the possible contenders, as well as others.
Now, while Biden didn't offer any clues yesterday, there was one possible contender at the top of the list, and that was Joe Biden's notes. As you saw there, Kamala Harris was right at the top of Joe Biden's notes yesterday, along with the words, "Don't hold grudges." That's a reference to that heated debate moment between Biden and Harris back in the debate last summer.
And while right now, we don't have any specific idea for why Biden had her at the top of that list, this is certainly one of those tea leaves that we're going to be reading heading into next week -- Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: Maybe, Arlette. Or maybe he just thought he was going to get a question --
SAENZ: Question, yes.
CAMEROTA: -- about her. Who knows! But, yes, we are going to parse those notes closely. Arlette, thank you very much.
CAMEROTA: So an alarming rise in coronavirus cases in dozens of now yellow states. Is the central U.S. about to become the nation's new hot spot?
BERMAN: New this morning, Dr. Deborah Birx sounding the alarm about the growing number of coronavirus cases in a number of the states shown on this map in yellow.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIRX (via phone): Talking about increase in mitigation efforts now, because if you wait until you see increased hospitalizations, it is really way too late, because what we're experiencing now is very different than March and April. It's very different from the outbreaks in May that was quickly contained.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: All right. Dr. Birx says that four of the red zone states -- those are the states seeing the highest number of cases and problems -- Florida, California, Texas, and Arizona -- are showing some improvement, but that other red states need to impose stronger restrictions.
And what you just heard there was concern about the states in yellow, where she thinks she is seeing signs that cases are starting to rise at a dangerous rate.
Joining us now is William Haseltine. He's the chair and president of Access Health International and former professor at Harvard Medical School.
Professor Haseltine, always a pleasure to have you with us. What would it take or what will it take to keep those yellow states and cities -- I mean, these are big cities. Columbus, Ohio, I'm going to have the mayor on in a short period of time. What will it take from them to keep from getting to red, to keep from getting to be in a crisis situation?
WILLIAM HASELTINE, CHAIR AND PRESIDENT, ACCESS HEALTH INTERNATIONAL: Well, the first thing to say is it is approaching a crisis. That if you look at the numbers -- and I check them very often -- you can see that -- let's take Tennessee, for example.
Two months ago, there were about 400 people infected on a daily basis. A month ago, it was about 1,400. This month, at this time of the month, it's about 2,500. And it's continuing to rise. That's emblematic of what's happening in that region.
What can we do? There are a few things that can be done right away. Leadership in that state can insist upon mask wearing, can close bars, can make sure that people don't congregate in large numbers. And that's the first thing they can do.
Second thing they can do is there are now options to speed testing by using antigen tests in conjunction with PCR tests. And what that can do is identify almost all of the people or half the people who are infected right away and help them stop spreading the virus, by recommending and, in some cases, making sure that they self-isolate.
Those are things that can be done right now to help control what could get very, very serious.
CAMEROTA: But, Professor, some of those states in yellow on that map are states like the northeast, the tristate area. So Connecticut, New York, you see there. Only Vermont is spared. And so they're already doing the things that you're talking about. So why are their numbers going back up?
HASELTINE: Well, one of the reasons that numbers are going up is people aren't following all of this advice.
If you look around at beaches, if you look in the evening at what's happening, people are getting together.
There's multiple types of epidemics, first of all, let me say. There's the epidemic of young people. They get together. They aren't taking precautions. They can change that behavior, and it's willful neglect.
On the other hand, there are people who must go to work to keep their families fed. And that's a very different group. There, that requires government intervention to help those people keep themselves and their families safe. They need economic support.
So there's at least two different kinds of epidemics going on, all over the country. It's not just Connecticut or New York or Tennessee. There are different kinds.
And then, of course, there's institutions including our elder care facilities, our correctional facilities. All of those need special attention.
And we have to understand, it's not a simple infection. It's not everybody doing the same thing. It's the aggregation of what is happening that is most serious at this point.
BERMAN: Professor Haseltine, you heard the president once again leaning into the idea of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for coronavirus. Dr. Anthony Fauci yesterday made clear that the overwhelming clinical evidence is that it is not an effective treatment for COVID-19. What is your view?
HASELTINE: It's not a question of view, it's a question of facts. Dr. Fauci was correct. Why anybody, at this point, knowing what the studies show, would suggest that hydroxychloroquine could be a cure or help, it doesn't, in any study that it's been done -- and they're carefully controlled studies -- it shows that it has no effect on people at the early stage, middle stage, or late stage. And in fact, can be harmful, especially to people in the late stage of the disease.
So it's, in my opinion, totally irresponsible to push that drug. There are ways to treat people at late stage, which are now effective. There are drugs that are coming, I would say, relatively soon, that will treat people in the earlier stages. Those are the monoclonal antibodies. Those are some of the newer antiviral drugs that are making their way forward. Those will make a difference, but they're not quite here yet.
BERMAN: Professor Haseltine, thanks so much for getting up for us this morning. Really appreciate it.
HASELTINE: That's my pleasure. Thank you.
BERMAN: A tropical system posing a threat to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands this morning. It could become a tropical storm in hours and then takes aim at Florida. The forecast, next.
CAMEROTA: The National Hurricane Center issuing tropical storm warnings for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. And this storm poses a threat to Florida this weekend.
CNN meteorologist Chad Myers is tracking it all for us. So what's the status?
CHAD MYERS, METEOROLOGIST: It still doesn't have a name. Isaias will be the name. It starts with an "I." Looks like "Isaiah," kind of, but it's Isaias. So the storm doesn't have a circulation center. This is kind of a tropical football. It's not a tropical baseball. When it becomes a baseball in a big circle, that's when it will get a name. That likely will happen later on today.
Look, it goes all the way from Venezuela, all the way north of the Virgin Islands. That's how wide the storm is. It's not a circle yet.
When it gets there, it's going to move toward the Dominican Republic first. Just south of Puerto Rico, but an awful lot of rain for Puerto Rico. I mean, you could see six to 10 inches, in places that really need it. There are water restrictions and rationings going on the island there. So they'll take the rainfall, just not all at once.
And then toward the D.R. and then toward the United States. But because this is going to interact with Haiti, the D.R., and even Cuba, that's why the storm may not be as big of a potential for the U.S. It's going to have to interact with those very high mountains in those places.
Models are a little bit more toward the Gulf of Mexico and today, compared to yesterday, John, the models kind of lining up with the Hurricane Center forecast, a little farther to the left. We'll keep watching.
All right. Bears watching closely, given where it is. All right. Chad Myers for us, thanks very much.
BERMAN: Attorney General William Barr grilled for hours by Democratic lawmakers. They didn't really hold back. Barr defended the federal response to protests in cities including Portland.
CNN's Jessica Schneider, live in Washington with the latest on this. This was something, Jessica.
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: It was, John. A contentious clash, with the attorney general punching back amid those criticisms that he is working only for the president and repeated questions about his handling of those controversial cases involving Michael Flynn and Roger Stone. But Bill Barr, he asserted that he has always acted independently.
Democrats, though, dug in. They detailed their many grievances against the A.G.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will you raise your right hand, please?
SCHNEIDER (voice-over): House Democrats clashing with Attorney General Bill Barr on Capitol Hill. In his first ever appearance before the House Judiciary Committee, Barr was on defense, as Chairman Nadler accused him of working only for the president.
REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY): You have aided and abetted the worst failings of the president.
SCHNEIDER: Barr defended the Justice Department's actions against peaceful protesters across the nation, including deploying federal officers to Portland, where protests outside the courthouse have been going on for two months.
BARR: We are concerned about this problem metastasizing around the country. And so, we feel that we have to, in a place like Portland, even where we don't have the support of the -- the state -- the local government, we have to take a stand and defend this federal property.
SCHNEIDER: Washington Congressman Pramila Jayapal pointing out the differences in how the government handled people in Michigan, armed with guns, protesting the state's coronavirus lockdown.
REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA): There is a real discrepancy in how you react as the attorney general, the top cop in this country. When white men with swastikas storm a government building with guns, there is no need for the president to, quote, "activate you," because they're getting the president's personal agenda done.
SCHNEIDER: Barr also delivered a staunch defense of law enforcement agencies throughout the country.
BARR: And we don't agree that there's systemic racism in the police department.
REP. SHEILA JACKSON LEE (D-TX): That's what we need you to join us on, Mr. Attorney General, and to recognize that institutional racism does exist.
SCHNEIDER: Democrats accused Barr of intervening in the Roger Stone and Michael Flynn cases for President Trump. Barr's response?
BARR: I agree the president's friends don't deserve special breaks, but they also don't deserve to be treated more harshly than other people.
SCHNEIDER: On Stone, Barr argued that he was treated too harshly, even though Justice Department sentencing guidelines were followed in the initial recommendation. BARR: This is a 67-year-old man, first-time offender, no violence, and
they were trying to put him in jail for seven to nine years. And I wasn't going to advocate that, because that is not the rule of law.
SCHNEIDER: The looming election, also a topic of concern for Democrats. Barr echoing a false claim by the president that mail-in voting could lead to voter fraud.
BARR: If you have wholesale mail-in voting, it substantially increases the risk of fraud.
SCHNEIDER: Now, the attorney general did say, though, that he has no reason to believe that the upcoming election could be rigged, as the president has often claimed. Bill Barr, though, not directly answering when pressed by Democrats, whether Trump has the power to actually move the date of the election, something that Democrats fear he might try to do.
And John, Bill Barr also not directly answering when asked what would happen if Trump loses the election but refuses to leave office -- John.
BERMAN: Yes. So Jessica Schneider, terrific report. What exactly did we learn from the attorney general in his answers and non-answers? We'll discuss, next.