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tv   CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield  CNN  July 19, 2020 11:00am-12:00pm PDT

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hello, everyone. thank you so much for joining me this sunday. i'm fredericka whitfield. we begin with a n escalating battle. there are more than 600,000 coronavirus deaths globally. a new grim milestone. 140,000 of those happening right here in the united states. the startling spikes happening in two states in particular that have become the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic. yet the president is downplaying the extent of the crisis. here are the facts. first, florida reporting another 12,478 new cases today. this as the state says
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hospitalizations have risen dramatically in recent days. more than 9,000 are now being treated. in texas, new cases and deaths have seen a dramatic rise. the capital of austin says a third of the city's coronavirus deaths have happened in just the last two weeks. the u.s. navy is now going to south texas to help fight the spread of the disease prochlt jexs from the cdc say 150,000 americans will have died from the virus by august 8th. even as cases and deaths continue to rise, president trump is downplaying the data, arguing in an interview on fox new this is morning that the numbers are being skewed, citing european cdc models rather than official data from johns hopkins university. >> we have the seventh highest mortality rate in the world. our mortality rate is higher than brazil, than russia and the
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european union has us on a travel ban. >> i think what we'll do, we have a travel ban, too. i closed them off. if you remember i did the european union very early. i think it's opposite. i think we have one of the lowest mortality rates. >> that's not true. we had 900 deaths in a single day. >> ready? >> you check it out. >> get me the mortality rate. i heard we have one of the lowest, maybe the lowest mortality rate anywhere in the world. do you have the numbers please? i heard we have the best mortality rate. [ inaudible ] >> dr. birx points out and this is -- >> number one low mortality rate. it shows what fake news is all about. >> okay. i don't think i'm fake news. >> there you are. you said the worst mortality rate in the world and we have the best. >> i said -- >> we have reporters covering all the coronavirus hotspots across the country and we have
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repons to all of that. let's talk about the president's questionable claims on the pandemic from that contentious interview. jamie diamond at the white house. dr. yjasmine is an analyst and david sirlic for "the washington post." good the see all of you. there's a lot there. jeremy, you first. the president continuing to downplay steep rise in cases and disputing the numbers. do we know the source that he is citing? >> reporter: as you say, as we see the surging numbers of cases of coronavirus in the united states we can see in the interview what the president is focused on and it is bringing all of us who live in the real world into his reality, his version of the facts as he sees them as it relates to coronavirus in the united states and the president focused on defending the handling the coronavirus and deflecting blame to others. we saw him falsely suggesting
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once again that rising coronavirus rates are due to increased testing something that's repeatedly debunked and in that interview by chris wallace and the president going on to blame china and notably we heard the president continue to downplay what we are seeing across the country which is a startling rise in coronavirus cases. in particular we heard the president once again referring to this as embers. watch. >> do you still talk about it as quote burning embers but i want to put up a chart that shows where we are over the last four months. as you can see we hit a peak here in april. 36,000 cases. >> cases. >> a day. >> cases. >> and then it went down and now since june it has gone up more than doubled. one day this week, 75,000 new cases. more than double. >> that's because we have the best testing in the world. if we didn't test, you couldn't show that chart. if we tested half as much, the
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numbers would be down. >> this is a forest fire. >> i say flames, we'll put out the flames and in some cases just burning embers. we have embers and we do have flames. >> reporter: the president presented in that interview with the fact that yes while testing has risen in the united states, the number of cases has risen much faster than testing which contradicts the notion that the president is trying to put forward that this is a one to one ratio where testing rises and cases rise and what's notable is you see the president focus on not just spinning reality but defending his administration's handling of this situation and trying to put a positive spin on the situation rather than doing what public health experts are doing which is urging americans to take the serious mitigation efforts to try to get the case numbers down across the united states. >> all right. let's talk further.
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doctor, the president claiming the surge in cases just embers, that the u.s. has it under control. this nation has been setting daily records this past week. when the president says the number of cases is as a result of more testing, why is he not looking at it as there are more cases because of the spread of the virus? >> absolutely, fredericka. there's there's two things at least misleading about the statement. the u.s. is not first in the world for testing. in fact, right now we do an average of 715,000 tests a day in america. that's less than half the national minimum target which should be 2 million tests done every day. speak the texans, arizonans, people lining up in intense heat for up to 11 hours and turned away and not getting a test and because of the surge in cases and the increased demand for testing people are not waiting a
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day or two to get the covid-19 test results back. they're waiting more than a week, eight to nine days so first off let's just get that straight. testing is not where it needs to be at in america. >> right. >> second thing here -- >> go ahead. >> what we should be seeing is a ton of testing and then low rates of positive tests coming back because that would say to us we have this under control. we see the exact opposite in america. the positivity rate and the number of positive tests as double what the world health organization says it should be so across the u.s. about 9% to 10% of all our covid-19 tests are coming back positive. they should be less than 5% if we were to have this under control and just lastly in places like arizona, the positivity rate is 27%. so that is an indication that this is out of control. we do not have this handled at all. >> right. i want to jump on the point saying if it's eight days until
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you finally get the results of your test and if you are positive, you have had eight days of feeling rotten potentially which means there's been a huge delay in any kind of treatment you may have gotten before finally getting the results of that test? >> absolutely. it is frustrating and i have talked to people of nine, ten, 11 days before they got their result back and wondering what they should be doing. it makes it so hard to know, do i need to wear ppe for this patient in what treatment to give the patient? from a public health perspective, anything beyond a three-day turnaround is a massive lag with an idea of where the country's at, what the magnitude of this crisis and the numbers are bad. astonishingly awful metrics but they could be worse and the future looks very uncertain and like it could be going in the wrong direction, too. >> wow. david, the president was also confronted in that interview about the administration's
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efforts to discredit dr. anthony fauci. listen to what was said. >> dr. fauci's made some mistakes but i have a very good -- i spoke to him yesterday at length. i have a very good relationship with dr. fauci. >> sir, this week, this weekend your white house put out a series of statements, so-called mistakes that dr. fauci had made. a closest aide, a right-hand man, put out this -- have you seen this? >> well, look. >> dr. faucet, a leaker and an alarmist. >> i don't know that he's a leaker. he is a little bit of an alarmist. that's okay. >> a little bit? >> little bit of an alarmist. >> david, you know, the president says, you know, he has a good relationship with fauci. you know? you say he's blaming others as being an alarmist. he has been trying to throw dr. fauci under the bus for a while now but dr. fauci has been digging in. you know? backed by the science.
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>> yeah. good afternoon, fred. dr. fauci has the reputation allowing him to dig in. isn't it good there's someone there who is a little bit of an alarmist when as you just reported we're pushing toward 150,000 deaths from coronavirus in the united states? the president there did this little switcheroo where he said we're not trying to discredit drmp dr. fauci and then went through the talking points that were in that peter navarro op-ed in "usa today" running dr. fauci to the ground so you have the white house trying to at the same time suggest it is not the president who's been making the mistakes and giving the bad guidance when he is speaking in public, that it is some of the advisers who are wrong and up to and including dr. fauci and trying not to act like they have actively tried to discredit him
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even though there's been reporting this week in "the post," "the times," cnn elsewhere, that white house aides are doing this. >> intentionally and also trying to place blame, jeremy, on states by refusing to have a national plan that some of the reporting and dreeferring to th states and then criticizing them for what they have and haven't done. >> reporter: that's right. it wasn't just dr. fauci who the president was going after and discrediting. perhaps he did so most vocally with dr. fauci and also looked to discredit coming out of the cdc. you know? the president was presented with dr. redfield's statement that if all americans wore masks for the next four to eight weeks the united states could get a serious handle on the pandemic and the president rejected that idea and continuing to try to downplay the effectiveness of masks and as it relates to cdc
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talking about this notion that coronavirus is worse in the fall in particular because you're also going to see seasonal influenza colliding with coronavirus. and the president again saying, oh, i don't know if it's going to be worse in the fall so this all falls under the broad category of the president trying to downplay or discredit the science and did so repeatedly with dr. fauci and it is broader than that. >> not letting up. thank you to all of you. good to see you this sunday. thank you. still ahead, cases on the rise and hospitals overflowing. we take you to the new epicenters of the coronavirus outbreak. mostly in florida. and a legal battle over masks in georgia, the governor sues the atlanta mayor after she makes masks mandatory. why she says she is being targeted over other mayors in this state.
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this just in to cnn. arizona is now reporting its highest death rate since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. the state says on saturday 147 people died from this disease. this as the positivity rate for new infections in the state remains incredibly high. 39% of those tested for coronavirus on saturday were infected despite all of that arizona officials say hospitals are reporting slightly lower case counts. florida's coronavirus problem is growing more dire by the day. the state reporting today another 12,478 new cases bringing the total to over 350,000 infections. but it's not just the new cases, hospitals are quickly running out of room. the state says more than 9,500 people are now hospitalized, surging drastically over the last week. cnn's randi kaye is in west palm
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beach this afternoon. what is the state saying about handling this all of this? >> reporter: they're doing their best, fred, to try to control this. the governor certainly say that is the positivity rate in the state stabilize, continues to say that and also spreading the good news that 30,000 vials of remdesivir are on the way to hospitals here in the state of florida but as you mentioned more than 12,000 new cases in last 24 hours, that is the fourth time since the pandemic started that we have seen the daily case count above 12,000 and all of those days have been in the month of july. that's up from 10,300 new cases as of yesterday and 89 new deaths and 4,982 deaths in the state of florida. the state is seeing a positivity rate of 18.2%. and 9,300 hospitalized at last check. in miami-dade, fred, that is the county having the worst problems here in the state, the most
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southern county. icu count at 127% capacity so they're out of icu beds and if you look at the numbers they have 507 covid patients needing beds and they have 398 beds so they're converting regular hospital rooms to those icu beds. the governor said 20% of hospital beds left in the state, more than in march and could be news for miami-dade county and no mask mandate from the governor despite the troubles that certain the southern counties are seeing here in the state of florida and some counties taking action on their own like broward county. broward now has an overnight curfew 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., everybody off the streets and sidewalks for two weeks, fred. >> thank you so much in west palm. in georgia, atlanta mayor keisha lance bottoms is doubling down as she faces governor kemp's lawsuit over her city's
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mask mandate. bottoms questioning the true motivations of kemp's lawsuit as cases continue to spike across the state. >> there were other cities in our state who instituted mask mandates and he did not push back against them. i don't know if it's because perhaps they were led by men or if it's perhaps because of the demographic in the city of atlanta. i don't know what the answers are. but what i do know is that the science is on our side. >> cnn's natasha chen joining me now from atlanta and i talked to the mayor of athens, georgia, yesterday who has a mask mandate in place and he, too, wondered why isn't he being sued by the georgia governor. what are you learning? >> reporter: fred, right. this lawsuit is more than just about masks, this is about the atlanta mayor and city council trying to roll back to phase one and of course statewide that is not the case.
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talking to atlanta businesses about this, the disagreement has really created a situation where each restaurant owner, each business owner to make a decision here. the politics of how to fight covid-19 have played out on all levels of government, from the white house to state houses to county commissions and city halls and now in georgia a high-stakes battle between the state house and atlanta city hall has turned into something of a food fight. at least for some atlanta restaurants. >> mayor bottoms' mask mandate cannot be enforced but her decision to shutter businesses is devastating. >> reporter: georgia governor brian kemp sued atlanta's mayor and city council over the roll back to phase one which he says is unenforceable and the mayor is calling on the city's restaurants to return to curbside pickup and delivery only as cases of covid-19 soar. >> it is a complete waste of
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time and money to file suit against a capital city of this state in which he is supposed to lead. >> reporter: kemp says nolo call mandate can be more or less restrictive than statewide executive orders. he said he filed the suit on behalf of struggling atlanta businesses but if the lawsuit is a dish best served cold some atlanta restaurant owners say it is feeding the fire. >> grow up. be adults. >> reporter: kevin clark and his partner own home grown cited in kemp's lawsuit as an example of a business suffering from the mayor's actions. >> we would benefit more if they came together and made a universal decision together on their own as adults working together to help this community, not a lawsuit that to me just makes it further apart opposed to closer together. >> reporter: they decided to close again since they said it would be a loss doing only takeout but without concrete guidance from leaders others
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have stayed open. >> it is a wild west is what a lot of people say. you do what you want. like build a patio. your close. you are open. >> reporter: chef steven of red bird said the act of shutting down and reopening again costs thousands of dollars. >> we feel like a child in between two parents who are going through a divorce right now. i say we as normal people and business people. one of them saying this. one of them saying that. we are not sure that either one is sending the mess and because it's best for us but sending the message because they feel like it's what's best for their political career. >> reporter: red bird is open because he said the customers have demanded the experience of sitting down inside. he had some customers calling to cancel reservations after the mayor's roll back but either way there's no winning.
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>> it is feeling unsafe to make statements because the population is so guided about the best way that anybody should be doing anything. >> reporter: and the escalation just continues. mayor bottoms just today tweeted citing a part of the lawsuit she says is stopping her from speaking publicly to the press. when we asked the governor's office about that, the spokesperson said this is mayor bottoms mischaracterizing the truth and about her not confusing the public about the restrictions and rules in place, fred. >> all right. gloves are off. natasha chen, thank you so much. a number of false claims by the president of the united states today as he denies and distracts from the coronavirus pandemic. a former senior adviser to president obama responds, next. in a highly-connected lexus vehicle at the golden opportunity sales event. lease the 2020 es 350 for $359 a month
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as the coronavirus pandemic worsens, the president today claimed the u.s. has one of the lowest mortality rates in the world which according to johns hopkins university data is not true and the president went on to call dr. anthony fauci an alarmist. >> one of your closest aides, a right-hand man, put out this. have you seen this? >> well, look. >> dr. faucet. shows him as a leaker and alarmist. >> i don't know that he's a leaker. he is a little bit of an ala alarmist. that's all right. >> joining me is valerie
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jarrett. good to see you. even if it's a little bit of an alarmist, is that appropriate? should the president ever downplay a crisis and to undermine the country's leading scientist dr. fauci in so doing? >> well, of course not, fredericka. we expect the president to follow the science and i know dr. fauci very well. he helped us through a series of crisis. we averted the threat of ebola. h1n1, zika. he is world renowned and i would hope that the president would follow his wise counsel and not have people within his administration mocking somebody who has a credentials and doesn't mean that scientists have it always exactly right but what he does do is evaluate the information available and if it changes then he was going to change his advice and counsel but mocking him is actually
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quite irresponsible and it continues to erode the confidence that the american people have that the federal government is working for them and that's the least to expect from the president and his entire administration. >> clearly, this is not going away overnight but we have another four months before election day so what does all of this and the president's handling look like over the next four months? because when asked about, you know, the election of 2020, the president, you know, wouldn't say in the end to accept the results in november. >> that's what he did last time. >> are you a good loser? >> i'm not a good loser. i don't like to lose. i don't lose too often. >> are you gracious? >> you don't know until you see. it depends. i think mail-in voting is going to rig the election. i really do. >> are you suggesting you might
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not accept the asresults? >> i don't know. >> what is your response? >> there's no evidence, no evidence that there is vote fraud from mail-in ballots and done historically in several states, the military have always done it and it also shows that the evidence that it shows that it doesn't favor one party over the other and he is using a same playbook with hillary clinton. when he thinks he is falling behind he calls into question the integrity of the election and what he and the federal government should be doing, secretaries of states, across the country is getting the house in order so we don't have what we saw in several of the primaries where people were standing in line for hours, putting their health in jeopardy when they should have been able to vote in a safe and fair way. we should expand early vote. we should increase the safety of vote by mail and allowing people
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to register to vote online and the challenges that we have to undertake in order to have our house in order by november are great and that's really where the focus should be, not calling into question the integrity of a tried and true way of voting in our country. >> the president had a lot to say about a cognitive test that he claims to have aced and in that interview he's calling for joe biden to take one, as well. take a listen. >> let's take a test. let's take a test right now. let's go down. joe and i. let him take the same test that i took. >> incidentally, i took the test, too. >> how did you do? >> it is not the hardest test. >> no. >> it's an elephant. >> no. see? that's all misrepresentation. >> that's on the web. >> all misrepresentation because yes the first few questions are easy but i bet you you couldn't answer the last five questions. they get very hard the last five questions.
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>> count back from 100 by 7. >> you couldn't answer -- you couldn't answer -- >> all right. what is the question? >> i get you the test. i'd like to give it. joe biden could not answer those questions. >> oh boy. why is this a barometer of presidential fitness? >> oh my goodness, look. this is the same playbook of questioning whether president obama was born in the country, asking for transcripts from college and from law school. it is just nonsense and it is a distraction and when we are in the middle of a global pandemic, when we are dealing with both our lives and our livelihood being at risk, when we are grappling with the racial tensions boiling up in the country for a very long time, and when we are trying to figure out how to bring our economy back and make sure everybody's healthy, we need a president who's going to pull us together and that person i believe is vice president biden. he's smart, experienced, he
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wante wants to reengage the americans to find what pulls us together and he's demonstrated his ability to lead under challenging circumstances and that's where the focus should be, not nonsense challenges like some -- about some intellectual test. that is just a waste of our time and not where i think the president's focus should be right now where so many americans are suffering, people are dying in our country on his watch and that's where his focus should be. >> this weekend, you know, hearts have been really heavy with the passing of two civil rights rights icons. particularly on congressman john lewis. you know, what are your thoughts on his towering legacy and how closely he worked to get president obama in the white house and how they continued to
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work together? >> fredericka, both men were iconic leaders of the civil rights movement. i had the honor of knowing both very well. president obama bestowed both the highest honor of civilian, i have a photograph where both and c.t. vivian saying to president obama how important the presidency was to the country and to him personally and i remember fighting back the tears while c.t. vivian was talking and i looked over and congressman lewis was sitting next to me and crying openly and i thought why am i holding back the emotion? >> let it all hang out! if he can do that -- >> so yeah. it is his endorsement, support of president obama's candidacy was important. >> we lost the signal!
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so sorry. i'm so glad we got your thoughts in that time that we could. the author of an incredible book talking about some of those experiences and beyond in the ag eight years in the obama white house. masks, face shields and cardboard fans? the bizarre new normal for baseball next. a quick programming note, in an all new "shades of america," how language is shaped to this day. here's a preview. >> united shades of america has always been a space for difficult conversations. this season it's more important than ever. >> what would you say to the people in power about your situation and how to fix it? >> we need to dismantle the system. work outside of the system. >> slave labor laid the groundwork for the american success and i benefit from that
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success. >> racism makes you illogical. >> we have to be more logical about white supremacist. >> the last plantation. >> what does it mean a zip code tells you more where a child ends up. >> i never owned slaves. you didn't have to. >> this system is not just built for us. it is built against us. >> it is not broken. >> you got to build a people's movement that's so powerful you shake the roots of america.
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but things at the texas motor speedway are far from normal. among the restrictions, only allowing a maximum of 50% capacity. in the stands there. cnn's ed lavandera joins me. so are you seeing fans show up? how prepared are they? what's going on? >> reporter: good afternoon, fredericka. we are about 20 minutes away from the beginning of this nascar race here just north of ft. worth, texas. this is a venue that on a normal day in the grandstands and in the infield of the racetrack normally fits 130,000 spectators. we are going to see a fraction of that today. already speedway officials say that the track would be limited in capacity to 50% of the grandstand so at most saying that only 50,000 people would be allowed in here but it is not clear at this point whether that -- even that number of fans
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will be showing up here today. we have spoken with people here approaching the speedway here in ft. worth and asked them if they're concerned about spending the afternoon inside this speedway with perhaps thousands of others. >> it is real. but i think the hype is overblown. i'm not worried about it. it is probably to me just i'm not used to big crowds and just the crowd itself probably makes me more nervous than coronavirus. >> secure and safe. i think everything is good. i won't stop my might have. we'll do what we have to. >> i'm excited and nervous about what the crowd's going to be like. but i'm excited to be able to see it again. >> reporter: and fredericka, state health officials on friday urged people to stay indoors as much possible throughout the week. this is the first major sporting e haven't with spectators in
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texas since the pandemic started and that's why there's so much interest on this day. >> thank you so much. meantime, major league baseball didn't have any fans in the stands for its first exhibition games, at least not real fans. while players wore masks and bandannas and umpires wore face shields, the stands, look at that, cardboard cutouts of fans in the seats. everybody a puppy bog there. carolyn mano is with me now and learning more about braves first baseman freeman's battle with coronavirus so there's a lot there. help us out. >> reporter: good afternoon, fred. freeman really detailed a harrowing couple of days the beginning of july contracting covid-19. it was a stark reminder just how random the virus is. h his wife contracted it.
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in baseball where you don't have the luxury of being inside the bubble. as many people know, freddie freeman is a very healthy guy. 30 years old. four-time all-star and fell victim to this and spiked a fever and then felt fine waking up july 3rd but by 2:00 p.m. the symptoms hit him like a ton of bricks he said and got worse from there. >> friday night that was a scariest night for me. i spiked to 104.5 fever. i said a prayer that night because i have never been that hot before and my body was really, really hot and said please don't take me. i wasn't ready. >> reporter: freeman said after losing a taste of sense and taste for four days he is symptom free. he had additional testing but said there's carryover soreness from that and hopes to play when the season opens up but wearing a mask and said he'll do
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everything he can to protect his teammates and everybody in the clubhouse after a scary experience. >> wow. so powerful to hear that detail and hits home. people need to know the variation of experiences that come with the variation of conditions of people. carolyn manno, thank you so much. more straight ahead but first hiere's this week's stayig well. >> sunscreens have come a long way. so i'm a skincare blogger. a lot of viewers ask me about mineral sunscreens because they have a reputation of being less problematic. >> applied and stays on top of the skin and floeats on top. a mineral sunscreen works to diverse sun where is a chemical sunscreen absorbs the rays,
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russia is among the many countries racing to develop a coronavirus vaccine but while russia touts the pace of the program it also faces okay sa accusations of stealing research. matthew chance has more on that. >> reporter: for russia, the search for a coronavirus vaccine is a global race. it's at this research lab in moscow where it hopes to win. access to thegamma layer institute is tightly controlled but they did give us footage of
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the sensitive scientific work taking place inside. a unique glimpse of russia's rapid push for a coronavirus vaccine. they even sent recorded comments from their director who controversially injected himself before human trials officially began. >> translator: it's a task of complexity in a very short time we have to create a vaccine against this disease. >> reporter: but that need for speed in russia means corners may have cut. russian soldiers all volunteers according to the defense ministry used in the first phase of human trials and now allegations denied by the kremlin that russian spies have been hacking u.s., british and canadian labs to steal their coronavirus secrets. allegations also rejected by the head of the organization funding much of russia's coronavirus research. russia desperately needs to develop and wants a vaccine.
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isn't that one reason why the kremlin would try to get ahead by stealing other nation's vaccine secrets? >> first of all, matthew, we are surprised by timing of this because it happens the next day after we announced that we expect approval of our vaccine in august. >> reporter: how do you explain that extraordinary speed? other countries are working flat out. why would russia be so far ahead? there are allegations or concerns that this country is cutting corners coming to its research. >> our vaccine based on a proven vaccine platform, a vaccine against ebola, against mers and now scientists just substituted ebola and mers codes with the current virus. >> reporter: adjusting an old vaccine to work with the new coronavirus instead. details remain sketchy but it is that clinical strategy not hacking officials say giving this russian lab the edge. matthew chance, cnn, moscow. still ahead, the coronavirus
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