tv CNN Tonight with Don Lemon CNN July 21, 2020 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT
million confirmed cases of coronavirus since the pandemic broke out earlier this year. nearly 142,000 americans have died from the disease. today the daily death toll topping 1,000 for the first time in two weeks. earlier, president trump holding his first public briefing about the coronavirus since april, admitting that things will likely get worse. >> it will unfortunately get worse before it gets better. something i don't like saying about things but that's the way it. >> the president reversing himself and encouraging americans to wear masks, saying that masks may have an impact and when people can't socially distance they should put on a face covering, however he was not wearing a mask at the briefing and it was noticeable that trump was not joined at the podium by any of the task force doctors. dr. fauci telling cnn this afternoon that he expected to be invited to attend the briefing but in the end he was not.
joining me now is cnn's white house correspondent john hardwood and dr. jonathan reiner. dr. reiner and the director of the cardiac catheterization prom. i'm sure you saw that briefing today, so let's talk. more than 141,000 american haves died from this virus. months later, the president finally acknowledging the problem. how long do you think this scripted, more realistic trump will last? >> well, you wouldn't bet on it lasting a whole long time, because as he said in that bite that you played, that's something i don't like saying, that things are getting worse before they get better. but i do think we have toe acknowledge that whatever his motivation, the fact that the president adopted a more realistic tone, the fact that he encouraged people to wear masks, the fact that he girded people for the challenge ahead in getting on top of this resurgent virus, that is a step forward.
that is positive from a public health perspective william a know that the reason he did it is because his poll numbers were cratering. he had two polls last week that showed him down in double digits to joe biden. he's getting terrible marks for handling the coronavirus. most americans don't believe what the president says. so he was pushed into doing this. we will see, first of all, whether we get control of the pandemic and he can say more positive things. not clear how long his attention will remain focused in this particular direction, but the longer it is, the better it is. >> i think most people can agree with that. dr. reiner, i want to you take a listen to what the president said earlier. here it is. >> we're instead asking ameri n americans to use masks, socially distance and employ vigorous hygiene, washing your hands while sheltering high risk populations. we are imploring young americans
to avoid packed bars and other indoor gatherings. stay safe and stay smart. >> this is what you have been calling for, but is it enough to get this virus under control? >> well, not anymore. i'm glad he said it. we have been begging for this, for a statement, stated just like this for four months. the cdc recommended that americans wear face masks on april 3rd. that's 109 days ago. there were a little over 7,000 deaths in the united states on april 3rd. now there are 141,000. there were about 281,000 cases and now there are 3.8 million cases. so imagine the impact that that statement would have had the first week in april. but we didn't get it, okay, so since we can't go back, we need to go forward. so he needs to amplify that every day. but the hard work now really is going to be putting the virus down in places where it's really
out of control and wearing a face mask is not going to be enough in places like texas and florida. and let's see if he has enough smarts at this point to urge d and -- the governors of those states and give them the political cover to shut down place where is the virus is out of control. that's how you get control of this, and we'll see what happens going forward. wearing masks now is a very important step, and i'm glad he did it, but there are harder things to come. with of to deal with how to open schools, whether to open schools in places, and we need to president now to be honest about this. you know, has this been a come to jesus moment for him? maybe maybe. we'll see tomorrow. >> john, we're hearing that the white house and gop deeply divide over the coronavirus spending plan. what do you know? >> well, what we know is that both from the trump administration and the republican congress, the republican party is not very
good at governing in the 21st century. they are deeply anti-government. they're anti-tax. they don't believe in most of the functions of domestic government, and so they come along very reluctantly to things that have to be done. the house of representatives passed a $3 trillion bill. lots of said for governments, schools, testing and tracing all those sorts of things. the senate republicans weren't convinced they needed to do anything else so they dragged their feet until now. now that the pandemic has gotten a lot worse than it was when the house passed their bill, the republicans have gotten on to the fact and the trump white house has gotten on to the fact that they need to do something. but they're in disarray. the priorities are all over the place. you've got some republicans who go along with the idea of more money for testing and tracing, more extension of unemployment benefits which are due to run out in a few days and that's
been a major support for the economy. they've got a very limited time to get their act together. steve mnuchin, the treasury secretary is motivated by the idea of trying to keep the economy from cratering again, so he's likely to be the force for more action, more spending, and a negotiator with nancy pelosi. but they have a much less coherent position on the republican side than the democrats do. >> sounds like that's what happens when you don't have a backbone and you just go along with whatever the president says, because then you end up having -- you say it's a hoax and it's not real and you have to give all this money to your constituents and they're sitting the at home -- hang on, i'll finish my statement. then you say, okay, face masks. then you open your states back up or your district back up or whatever it is and then the president says, maybe you should wear a face mask. how do you know what to do unless you do what is at your
core instead of just listening to the president and going along with him because of for political reasons. you understand what i'm saying, john. >> i do, and that's certainly a problem, but i think this is more of a republican party issue than simply a president trump issue. president trump doesn't have any ideological beliefs. he could careless. he's looking at any given moment to do what advances his cause. if he believes spending a whole bunch of money is going to help him win re-election, help him keep the economy going, he'd gladly do it. the challenge is when you have so many people within the republican party -- even his white house chief of staff mark meadows, part of the freedom caucus in the house, deeply anti-government. they were the ones taking a hammer to government when barack obama was president. pushing us toward debt crises, that sort of thing. it is hard with a party that has such a hard right anti-government to then mobilize
the government to deal with a pandemic of the kind that we're facing right now. >> hmm. vice president pence spoke with south carolina affiliate wis tv today about the white house's handling of the pandemic. take a listen to this. >> are there one or two specific things you wish yourself and the whole administration would have done at the start of this pandemic reaching the united states? >> well, i must tell you that the fact that before there was a single case of community transmission in this country, the fact that president trump suspended all travel from china was of enormous importance to our national response. >> so you wouldn't have changed a thing? >> i must tell you that i'm very proud of our administration's response. the early action, suspending all travel from china -- >> so not one thing would be changed, just to clarify -- if you could, not one thing would
be changed? >> my focus is completely on today and going forward. >> doctor, it is astounding. so pence is following the trump marching orders never to admit a mistake, and you know as a doctor, there were plenty of things that they could change in order to mitigate this disaster. >> yeah, i would have changed a few things. so it took 51 days from the time the first case was identified in the united states for the u.s. to test 21,000 cases. took 51 days. we didn't recommend wearing face masks until april 3rd. we had no ppe for health-care workers. we've barely invoked the defense production act, you know, to fix those problems. en you know, we had really no masks, no ventilators, no swabs. still we're not testing nearly
enough. if you look at really thoughtful people like the rockefeller foundation, they feel strongly -- these are people like michael osterhome and the nobel prize winner, paul woemer, they feel to get around this pandemic we need to test 30 million people a week. right now we're testing 5 million to 6 million people a week. so there's plenty that we should have done much differently, and it's really astounding to me that the vice president can't simply identify a simple mistake like our total fail your to test for weeks and weeks and weeks. that's when the virus gained a foothold in this country. >> i just, i think that confirms my question for john about going with what is at your core instead of just going along with this president. i have to run.
i have to get to daniel dale. thank you, i appreciate it. now i want to get to our resident fact checker, daniel dale. you're not the right person to ask, but i wanted to ask them, what happens to his supporters now? are they going to start wearing masks because he did? i digress. that's a good one. trump claims states have what they need. take a listen. >> my administration has currently zero unfulfilled requests for equipment or anything else that they need from the governors. no governor needs anything right now. >> truth, daniel. >> this was not true when i checked in with governors, at least a couple of weeks ago. i didn't check today. the office of the governor of washington said they want the government to use the defense product production act to get more ppe made.
colorado said they need help with ppe and testing supplies, and the government of michigan said they want help with testing supplies and other financial support some some governors might be fine, but it's certainly not the case that every single governor is. >> here's what the president said, daniel, about supplies. >> we have tremendous supplies and a great supply chain, whether it's ventilators or gowns or just about anything they need. so that's a big difference from inheriting very, very empty cup boards. >> give me the facts, daniel. >> two things. again, first of all, there are shortages of supplies like gown in parts of the country, again. second of all, again, president trump did not inherit empty cup boards of ventilators from the obama administration. in fact, a spokesperson for his own administration's department of the health told me that the obama administration left them about 19,000 ventilators in the
national stockpile. that is significantly more than the trump administration distributed june 23rd. that was less than 11,000. trump could have argued they could have left more, but it was far from nothing. >> the president continues to claim the u.s. is doing better than other countries when it comes to this virus, but that's not what the numbers show, right, daniel? >> it's certainly not. the metric the president cites most often is the number of tests the country is conducting. as sanjay gupta said on cnn earlier today, the reason the u.s. has to test so much is because the outbreak is so out of control in the u.s. compared to elsewhere. in germany or south korea, in australia, people aren't demanding as many tests because they're not getting infected. this metric the president is using as evidence of success is actually, i think, you can make a better argument, evidence of the u.s.'s failure here. >> daniel dale, appreciate it.
thank you so much. coronavirus cases soaring in texas. a record number of texans hospitalized. one doctor calling it overwhelming. we'll go there, next. just rewaf for spending a perfectly reasonable amount of time on the couch with tacos from grubhub? grubhub's gonna reward you for that with a $5 off perk. (doorbell rings) - [crowd] grubhub! (fireworks exploding)
coronavirus cases continuing to rise in texas. the state recording a record number of hospitalizations with 11,000 coronavirus patients overwhelming hospitals. as cases continue to rise, one of the hardest hit counties is clearing a shelter in place order. >> reporter: this is the daily routine for this doctor, a critical care pull monoologist. when he gets dressed it looks like he's getting ready to be launched into another world. that's what it's like to work in a covid-19 unit of a hospital. >> it's a tsunami. >> reporter: coronavirus patients filled the hospital where he works.
on most days he says he's treating about 70 different patient s. four to five times he usually sees in a day. >> i have never had to sign as many death certificates as i have been signing in the last few weeks. it's very difficult. >> reporter: did you describe the suffer something. >> this is the thingdisease tha affects the lungs. they have trouble with breathing and when it happens it's heartbreaking. it's so difficult to watch them saying good-bye to relatives, picking up the phone and saying, i'm having more trouble. i see nurses crying all the time. i see doctors breaking down all the time. that is what we do. >> reporter: it's the hot spot inside the texas hot spot. officials are warning hospital bed and icu space are running out. nursing and doctor teams are stretched to the limit.
>> do you feel when you walk into these covid units it's a parallel universe? %-p. if they only knew what lurked behind those walls. if they could only have x-ray vision and see the pain and suffering. dr. ivan mendez is the hidalgo county health authority in texas. he says the covid units are filled with the sound of patients gasping for air. many need ventilators and difficult conversations. >> you have people telling you, doc, don't put me on that. you struggle because that's what they need, and finally they give up and say, go ahead, but you know, you may be the last person i talk to. please tell my family, my parents, my kids, that i love them and i fought hard. >> it's a necklace with his ashes. >> jessica ortiz says her twin brother fought the virus for almost two weeks. the 27-year-old worked as a
security guard in a jewelry store. >> it hurts. >> reporter: he died on july 3rd. at the funeral, friends and family paid respects through a plastic shield over the casket. there was a fear his body might still be contagious. >> he meant the world. i just wish it wasn't him. i wish i had him with me. >> reporter: jessica is left with this last imof her brother, a screen recording of one of their last conversations. jamal ortiz waving good-bye. >> one of the hardest hit places in south texas is cameron county, where hospitals are quickly becoming overwhelmed the cameron county judge joins me next. my bladder leak pad?
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to stream the entertainment you love. xfinity. the future of awesome. here's what texas is reporting tonight, close to 11,000 coronavirus cases. coronavirus hospitalizations, i should say, and the rising numbers are overwhelming in many of the states counties. let's talk with the judge of cameron county. thank you for joining me this evening. i know you're very busy what what's going on. what is happening inside the hospitals? it is heartbreaking. your downty reported over 6,200 cases of coronavirus and 111 deaths. but you say the death toll is actually much higher. >> unfortunately, we have to say it is much higher. we were at 1,500 cases about a
month ago and we had 6,500 earlier this evening. we're reporting 111 deaths -- i'm sorry, 126, because we got 15 more today, but our health authority and talking to the administrators at the hospital, emergency management team, we know we're probably anywhere from 200 to 300 plus cases behind. we're two to four weeks behind. it's a very, very sad and fragile situation. i feel for the families who want to make sure that their individuals, the family members and loved ones they lost to the terrible virus are recognized. we're trying to do anything we can to catch up with the terrible admission to know that we're way behind on reporting the fatalities. >> well, you pleaded with people to take the virus seriously. listen to this. >> it's not slowing down because of the heat. it's not slowing down because there's a presidential election at the end of the year.
it's slowing down because it doesn't care that our hospitals are at and beyond capacity. it's not slowing down because our hospitals and health professionals are working 24/7. it's not slowing down because our essential workers continue to extend themselves to do what's necessary to provide for us. the virus doesn't care. do you? do you care? >> judge, what do you think it will take for people to really understand how serious this is and that it requires a change of behavior. >> you know, don, when all this first started back in march and we had your first case in mid march, and the cases started to slowly and steadily increase i was trying to stress and ask for everybody's health. i remember saying, what's it going to take? is it going take someone to die in cameron county? here we are four months later and we're talking about 200,
300, 400 people who died because of the virus and you see people acting as if there's nothing going on, going about their lives like any other day. it's frightening and disheartening and disappointing. i know this country is capable of so much more. we'll stick together and do the right thing, and we care about one another, but unfortunately we have seen a lot of evidence where people are concerned about themselves and their personal rights as opposed to doing what's right. >> amen. at your press conference on monday, you showed the video, i have up on the screen now, of dozens of people up on a boat, not following the mask mandate and partying like everything is normal. the tour company manager telling cnn, i quote here, we have remained open to accommodate tourists and employees and follow certain guidelines such as requiring face masks, sanitizer stations in several places, monitoring the health of our employees.
we are operating all vessels at 50% capacity and following other recommendations. they say other companies are also operating like this, and they feel singled out. the person who actually shot that video tells cnn he saw at least five other party boats. why was this video so concerning to you, and can you do anything about it? >> well, first of all, that's the first time that i had been made aware that the party boats were not exercising and enforcing social distancing and masks. they want to say that the individuals themselves are the ones that -- they can ask them to do it but can't enforce it on the boat. if that's 50% occupancy, we should be thankful, because that didn't look like 50% occupancy. any way, it goes back -- the business owner haves a right and responsibility, the people on the boat have a right and responsibility. what i'm having a very difficult time understanding is why people want to or feel the need to go out and party like it's 1999 at
new year's eve and yet people are dying. i know those people know somebody who has been infected. if they're waiting for a family member to get sick, get on the rhett prater and get sick and dying, it shouldn't take that. it's disheartening. we're looking at all options and we're going to be in enforcement mode in a much different fashion going forward. we're not going allow this to continue. >> judge, thank you so much. be safe. come back and update us, please. >> thank you, don. god bless you. appreciate it. >> you as well. dozens of federal arrests in portland after weeks of protests, and the standoff between demonstrators and the feds showing no signs of stopping. we are on the ground in portland next. find your keys. find your get-up-and-go. find pants that aren't sweats. find your friends. find your sense of wander. find the world is new, again.
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there are protests going on in portland, oregon, for over 50 days now. tear gas deployed again last night by federal officers outside the federal without hours. joining us now, former fbi supervisor federal agent. josh, hello to you. i see you're at a protest now. i see the noise and here you. you're on the ground in portland. what is the situation like now. >> reporter: don, it's very
peaceful. we are at the epicenter of protests around the federal billing. there's already a crowd that's gathered. they're demonstrating in support of racial justice. they want to see an end to police violence and they want to see this influx of officers sent in by the trump administration to leave. again, this is the daytime hours. this crowd very peaceful. this man talking to them is discouraging them from conducting any violence against the building behind us. i have to point out, though, when the sun goes down, this turns differently. we have seen peaceful protesters but there are a number of agitators, rioter who is will try to deface the building, get into the building itself. that's one subset. there have been protesters in here, a group of walled moms. these are the moms that have come out to support this cause. we saw them last night. part of this crowd, over 1,000 people out here, a wall of moms that were, again, protesting in
support of racial justice against violence, against police excessive use of force. i know you're going to talk to one of them in just a bit. a diverse crowd. we'll see when the sun goes down if we see the same types of escalation by rioters and authorities. >> talk to me more about the crowds. josh, you have been out since friday in portland. the crowds are growing, right, and you mentioned -- you said that there's a -- what did you call, a mother's -- who's out there protesting? >> yeah, a very diverse group that's out here. the numbers come in waves throughout the day. there are a lo of people in day, at night. several hundred. last night there were over 1,000 people that came out here. again, you see people from black lives matter. there are local residents here. so many local residents who just want to see peace in their city. they want to see law enforcement, in their words held
accountable. just a very diverse set of people here that are coming out. they seem to be united. each has different causes but their unity is they want to see racial justice. they're coming out here to have their voice heard. there's been a lot of concern over this incident. we'll put it up for the viewers officers who refused to identify themselves detain an individual. as a former fbi agent, you have specific things to say about this, specific reasons why this concerns you. walk me through them. >> reporter: yeah, don. you know, so much of this anger that we heard about from these protesters, especially the rioters, has stemmed from that video, fueling outrage, where you see these two federal agents in tactical uniforms, wearing police insignia. they take a man, put him in an unmarked vehicle and drive him away. the criticism is they were asked by some of the bystanders who
are you? what are you doing? they didn't say a word. there's a question of whether or not they have to identify themselves. by policy they actually don't. if you're conducting an investigation, you can go do what you need to do. they said they felt in danger. they wanted to move the man away from additional questioning. but perception is the issue. they didn't have to talk to the crowd. they could have said, we're federal agents. move back. they were silent. finally, don, we heard today from the acting secretary of the department of the homeland security. we heard from the acting director of customs and border protection where, those agents worked and he blasted protesters and members of the media who have been calling this orwellian, saying it's offensive to say his officers were acting outside of policy. we talk to law enforcement officers all the time. we cover their actions when they do good things. i think in this instance it was a fail your of leadership at cvp
to get leadership out. i personally reached out to them after they we saw that voo video trying to get information about the circumstances, trying to identify the officers. hours and hours went by. no one knew who these people were. there was no information. so i think if there's criticism of what was taking place, i think cvp leadership needs to do some soul searching. because i don't know -- we have heard from other journalists as well -- the rank and file weren't represented by this lack of information, by saying nothing that continues to fuel the narrative that something was going wrong, that being the narrative that fueled so much of the anger in this crowd. >> thank you so much, josh. we're going to talk to one of the walled mom organizers shortly. joining me now, cnn senior analyst, lisa. thank you for joining me. i hope you're safe and your family is safe as well. >> thanks very much, don.
same to you. >> acting deputy homeland security ken cuccinelli said about the criticism that the presence of feds is leading to increased violence. watch this. >> they're operating under legal federal authority, protecting federal facilities and the people at those facilities as best they can, and they have been there for about two weeks. you have seen the violence every night from portland, but it was there every single night. they have had violence for 35 or 40 nights before we had expanded our presence there, so the idea that somehow the federal government caused this, which mayor wheeler there as occasionally asserted is just belied by the facts. >> what do you think, lisa? part of the problem or the slur solution, are they? >> i think there's got to be real concern. you just had the report from josh campbell on the ground saying a lot of what is happening where he is is a
response to the presence of unmarked, unidentified federal agents who are not necessarily only operating to protect federal buildings. let's get a few things out on the table, don. look, there can be a legal authority and there certainly is and it is the right of the federal government to protect federal property. that's fine. but the question arises, is this actually about law and order or is it about creating disorder and more chaos? if these agents, even if they have the authority to be there for a certain mission, which is to protect federal buildings, well, then the question is why are they out performing what seems to be policing functions, which are the responsibility first and foremost of state and local law enforcement? aye got a few concerns about this, don. i spent -- you referenced i was the homeland security for the
president, that's that's right. but i was a prosecutor as an official in the fbi and justice department. i can tell you i've worked on issues when there were real crises, when state and local officials actually were overwhelmed, did need help from the federal government, and it was always a question of -- and a situation where there was cooperation. they were invited in. there was -- the mantra was, the federal law enforcement is acting as a partner with state and local law enforcement, and that's what you want to have happen. why? because if you're not in that posture, you really risk sewing distrust and fear in the populous that you're there to seemingly protect. the other thing is, don, accountability. so why is it that these agents are not identified? why are they not wearing uniforms? i know there's been some questions about, well, it's for officer safety, and that may be the case in the investigation stage, but once you've detained
someone, once you've taken their liberty away from them, i don't understand as a former federal prosecutor, why there isn't an explanation from those agents and their leadership as to under what authority and what is the reason people are being detained, and what are the charges if any? so i think there's a number of questions that raise, for me, whether or not the impact here is not actually law and order, but really does contribute to chaos and mistrust in that community. >> you mentioned liberty. this is the administration that cares so much about liberty, not wanting to wear masks, you're taking away liberty. we have heard so much of that. the acting dhs secretary chad wolf says he is ready to pull his officers out if the violence stops but it doesn't seem like the protests will stop as long as the feds are there. are we looking at a game of chicken between the feds and protesters, lisa? >> when you have statements -- i've heard the acting secretary
also say thinkings like, i don't need to be invited in to perform my job. that's not the type of rhetoric that is one that says, we're willing to work with or want to work cooperatively with the state and local officials. and we should point out, don, this isn't a situation where it is a partisan question, right? where it's democratic state and local officials against a republican administration. the u.s. attorney, the trump administration u.s. attorney in portland has asked to call for an investigation into the actions of dhs so, there's real fundamental concern on the ground of law enforcement across the board, it seems like locally there about the presence of these agents and what in fact they're doing, under what authority, and why? why are they there, what is the mission, and what's the impact? >> lisa man monaco, thanks so much for your time. we'll be right back. monaco, tha much for your time. we'll be right back. monaco, thah for your time. we'll be right back. monaco, tha
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the violence we have seen in portland is very disturbing. but i want to you take a look at the momentum, listen to what happened and last night's protest. so that is the sound of a group of moms standing between federal officers and the protestors. the organizer of the group, the wall of moms, is bev barnham, she joins me now. thank you so much for joining
us. tell me about that moment when everyone was singing? >> it was perfect. that is what we want. that is what we expect from a nonviolent protest. and we had the opportunity to do it. for about four hours. it does absolutely great. >> i know you are standing there now, the reason you're on the phone is because you're getting ready to go back out, and you're excited about it. you started this group just four days ago on facebook, and you already -- you have over 8,000 members. that is quite a response. how do did you come up with a wall of moms ideas? >> i was a video, it was military officers carrying away a protestor in a mom van, and i was confused about it. i didn't understand. so i googled it, and was like, who are these people? and i realize they are federal officers, and the more i dug,
the more my stomach hurt. and i put out a call to action and they delivered. they said they could come with me, even though they know what eye doing, and they don't know what i'm doing and here we are. >> what are you doing? >> we are protecting human rights. specifically black human rights. they have been traveled upon the last 50 days, in ways that incite nightmares. you see war-torn countries are flash bangs are you and we experienced that. so yeah. sorry. >> yeah, you experienced it on saturday night. that was the group's first demonstration and you guys were tear gassed by the federal agents. talk to me about that. what is that like? >> it didn't expect it.
the protestors, they were like, oh, mom, you shouldn't be here. you're going to get hurt. they're going to hurt you and i look at them and i go, they're not going to hurt us. they are peaceful. we're not going to throw things al them. it's going to be great. we're here to help you and i was so strong. the officers exited the justice building on the sides, and we didn't see them. they were walking slowly. i was disarmed. i thought, they are not going to shoot us and within seconds, flash bangs, bean bag rounds and the gas, the gas that burns your eyes and makes you run away and puke. >> the pepper balls, ow, thank you m be safe. thank you. >> you too. >> i appreciate you coming on, and thanks for watching, everyone. our coverage continues. do i use a toothpaste that whitens my teeth?
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goompbding, everyone, john berman here in for anderson. with coronavirus deaths near i 132,000 and cases approaching 4 million, you will hear people say there was a change in tone from donald chump today. his mouth had different sounds and words. a change. but whether we have a change in policy, a change in action that remains to be seen. still, for one moment, the president said things he rarely does. >> some areas of the country are very well. and it will probably unfortunately get worse before it gets better. something i
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