tv CNN Newsroom CNN August 26, 2020 10:00am-11:00am PDT
2016. watch how that plays out. thanks for joining us today. hope to see you tore. special convention coverage tonight. anderson cooper picks up our coverage right now. have a great day. >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. i'm anderson cooper. welcome in the united states and around the world. the president suggested slowing down testing in america. it appear as reality. cnn learns the administration pressured the cdc to abruptly change its guidelines who should be tested for coronavirus. to give you a sense how much things have suddenly changed, look at this comparison the cdc website then and now. previously the agency recommended tests for, i quote, all close contacts of persons with sars, co-v2. a vulnerable individual advised to get one by a health care
provider or public health official. cnn in washington with more. can you tell us how and why this hooped? startling about this is we all know the high numbers, high percentage of people who are positive and asymptomatic. >> absolutely. we know how important testing and testing of those individuals has been for efforts like contact tracing and heard public health officials talk how this is so important to be able to get the virus under control. to be able to test. to be able to do contact tracing. this seems contradictory guidance we're getting from the cdc. my colleague nick valencia and others this is a directive coming from the top down. not getting a lot of explanation what exactly that means or why this change has been made. the cdc is not answering questions why it changed its own policy. in fact, kicking inquiries over to health and human services. we asked them, what's going on? a statement said this --
the guidance updated to reflect current evidence and best public health practices and to further emphasize using cdc approved prevention strategies to protect yourselves, your family and in the most vulnerable of all ages and doesn't say what this main evidence would be suggesting this new change and testing strategy. tell you, hearing it on the air. public health experts i talked to are baffled by this and do not see how this helps get the virus under control whatsoever. we're expecting a media briefing later this afternoon. answering more questions about this. including a number of questions about whether there was political pressure. what kind of political pressure and why you would do something like this essentially overnight without talking to states about it. tell you, anderson, talking to health officials in the states, perplexed why the change was made. some say they will keep going forward the way they were anyway and testing asymptomatic individuals because they believe that's the right move for them to get the virus under control.
>> last i checked, the cdc said 40% of people who are infected are, in fact, asymptomatic. if suddenly you're not testing people who don't show symptoms, that's a huge -- a huge percentage of infected people. sara murray, thank you for the reporting. a cnn medical analyst and former baltimore health commissioner. your reaction to this reversal of testing on cdc. does it make sense? and according to a senior official, pressure came from the, in that person's word, the top down. >> hey, anderson. doesn't make sense to me at all doesn't even pass a common sense sniff test. exposed to a co-worker at work you want to make sure you get tested to don't come back and infect people in your own family. we also know that testing is key to containing coronavirus along with wearing masks along with social distancing. testing is the reason why we then have contact tracing and
quarantining and isolation. this is really not the path for us to go. i am also worried why it hooped. inexplicable why the guidance changed. no science we're aware of, no press briefing announcing rationale bea lined it. talking political pressure? i want to know more. what's the reasoning? ju justify why we don't have more tests? never get more tests and why this was done? i want another reason. >> suspicious beyond on face of it seems to contradict everything that we have all been told and assured is true, is that it does favor the president's line about too much -- there's too much testing going on and that the more you test the more cases you find and, therefore, the numbers go up and i guess he feels that looks bad for him. it's not as if this is -- i
mean, this -- it would make sense, pressure came from the top, because this goes -- this is now making science go in exactly the direction that the administration wants it, which is, oh, we don't need to test, you know, 40% of the people who are asymptomatic. >> right. and public health we know that's exactly the opposite. that when you have 40% to 50% of spread it's because of asymptomatic individuals when many of the superspreader events occurred because of somebody asymptomatic. we need to find those individuals. we need far more testing. not less. i question the decision-making here and would hope we get answers, because otherwise we are further eroding public trust, which is essential to containing this virus. >> also the admiral -- again, not a navy admiral. a public health official, gets 9 title admiral and gets to wear a
uniform. he says that the update, it was updated to, and using his words would, reflect current evidence. which makes it sound as if, they learned new things, new studies out. peer review studies and just adjusted. are you aware of any sudden, new evidence? >> no. i'm not. i am aware that we don't have enough testing in this country. and all along we've heard admiral gerard and others justify why it is we don't have more tests. i suspect in the press conference later we'll hear justification all the things that haven't been done and yes, have increased testing capacity a lot but not nearly enough. he already said in a statement testing is to prioritize those who really need it. it's true. need to prioritize older individuals, those in nursing homes, those with symptoms but why don't we have enough tests
for everybody else? stop justifies why we don't have tests and start actually getting them. >> i remember several weeks ago, and this off the top of my head, not in front of me. i interviewed a professor from yale who had done a study and found -- and i'll double check this, but they had found that people who are asymptomatic actually when -- early on in their infection is when they spread a lot of the virus. that's when they're most capable of spreading the virus. if that is the case, and then, again, you're not testing asymptomatic people, it's alarming. >> that's right. and there has r have been a number of modeling and other studies looking at this. it you're symptomatic, you could be infecting those at home, but you should stay home. the spread we're most concerned about in society is actually the asymptomatic individuals because
even if not as infectious as symptomatic people, because they are around a lot more individuals. people who may stay asymptomatic or may be pre-symptomatic. maybe haven't developed symptoms yet and don't know it and are unknowingly infected others. important to get tested before you go to school, work, that surveillance testing. the federal government appears to say not only let's not do surveillance testing let's not even test those exposed to individuals who know that they have covid-19. this, again, flies in the face of science and public health. really hampering our efforts to fight this disease. >> doctor, thank you very much. liina wen. turn to a monster storm. hurricane laura strengthening in the gulf of mexico bearing down on the gulf coast. warm water in the gulf now providing more fuel and speed for a storm the nsational
hurricane centerble says will be catastrophic. their words. residents fleeing trying to get out before it's too late. you see flooding already along the coast. and the latest from the national hurricane center warning of "an unsurvivable storm surge." and where is the storm now from our weather center and what are you expecting? the words they're using are very drastic. >> they are, but very true. a very different storm than we looked at yesterday. a major storm category 3. could gk a category 4 before it makes landfall and, again, i want to reiterate. it's not like a harvey sitting on top of one area for days and days. so the biggest deal with this storm will be the rain. this is going to be the wind and even more so the storm surge that's going to be so deadly with this storm, because it's hitting an area of the gulf coast that is so low lying. southwest louisiana is very low-lying. you could have water all the way up to i-10 easily in areas in
southwest louisiana, and even southeast texas, beaumont, for example. needs to pay close attention to this as well. 125 mile-per-hour winds right now. gusts's 155. more strengthening will occur before this storm makes landfall. moving to the northwest at 16 miles per hour. here is the storm surge threat. 15 to 20 feet in southwest louisiana. 10 to 15 on either side of that. even up into galveston bay, twos to four feet of storm surge. what does that look like? all areas shaded in red. that is the water inundation when talking about a storm surge that high. reaching i-10 in some places. you can see cameron, la la all t -- louisiana, all under water. the forecast as of now. it can change. we know storms this big can wobble east and west. we are waiting on that turn. that turn to the north is what
is going to protect places like houston. this storm has not turned yet. so through the afternoon, the storm is expected to turn to the north and that's going to put it on the east side of houston, splitting the texas/louisiana border. still a significant storm by the timemakes it up to the arklatex and places like shreveport. the current track. category 4 cpotentially making landfall. 145 mile-per-hour winds. could see winds higher and then dropping down, of course, once it reaches inland. but we are still worried about the wind, the storm surge. mo importantly makes landfall, goes inland. rain, tornado potential and another set of issues in the coming days. >> really grown. jennifer gray, thank you. we'll keep in touch. threat from hurricane laura isn't just on the coast but far inland. storm surge expected to reach as far in as laying charles, some 40 miles from the coast.
gary tuchman is waiting. louisiana's governor john bel edwards saying wherever you are right now is where you will ride out the storm. what are you seeing there? are people heeding warnings? >> reporter: anderson, you know this is a hurricane-prone area. you and i were both ins they region exactly 15 years ago when hurricane rita came through. people are taking heed that it is complicated. because of covid-19. a lot of people are scared to be with many other people. let me set the scene. this is a river here in beautiful lake charles, louisiana. you see the bridges of interstate 210 over there. over here the oil refineries. you see a city that will look a lot different a few hours from now. how different? remains to be seen. you heard jennifer talk about interstate 10. that overpass down there is interstate 10. that's to our north. that's where the surges could go to that could cause great catastrophe for the people who live here and for the residents.
there's a lot of concern. a mandatory evacuation order is in effect. however, like most orders, you're not arrested if you don't go, particularly now, because of covid-19. basically, what the sheriff of this parish has said we recommend the mandatory evacuation order. sounds like a contradiction. either way they want people to take care. a lot of people decided to stay in their homes. busesprovided throughout this parish yesterday and about 195,000 people who live here in this parish and buses taking them away from the worst of the flooding to go into hotels and motels housing people who want to get away from this particular hurricane-prone area. anderson, back to you. >> oh. literally the calm before the storm, gary. thank you for being there. appreciate it. more breaking news. protesters and more vigilantes clashing in kenosha, wisconsin after the police shooting of an unarmed black man. we'll speak to a witness. and how police are silent why an officer shot jacob blake and what happened in the moments before.
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in kenosha, wisconsin violent unrest following the police shooting of jacob blake turning deadly overnight. >> hey -- [ gunfire ] >> [ bleep ]! shot that guy in the stomach! snmp [ screaming ] [ gunfire ] >> get shot all around us. people getting shot everywhere, guys! >> shots ringing out. two people shot and killed. one person remains in the hospital with serious injuries.
now police are searching for a man seen in videos carrying a long gun and say the investigation is active and ongoing. when it comes to the shooting of jacob blake, silence. no clarity from the police department why mr. blake, a m k black man was shot repeatedly in the back in front of his three young children. a witness from last night's shooting. brendan, can you describe what it was like on the ground? obviously the video is chaotic. what did you see? >> it was just a very, very tense and a very dark scene out there. a lot of people walk around with baseball bats or metal poles. many people that were armed. for the most part people were just kind of walking past each other, commingling without issue, despite all of these open weapons, but at a certain point, something turned. i don't know what the precise altercation was, but fights started breaking outside and before we knew if shots were
being fired. >> so you said people with bats. is this a mix of both protesters and -- i mean, who's out there? >> it starts out -- like, when you look at the crowds around 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., even going into like 9:00 p.m. a very much largely peaceful protest. people out there in the streets. you can see some kids around. as the night goes on, and as things start to get more agitated between the police lines and the protest side, you start to see some of those, like, more of the families and the kids go away . they go home and it's more of a different crowd. some people had been coming in from other states. i had seen people from illinois. from michigan out here. so there's some of that happening as well. yeah. just basically converge overnight really after 9:00 p.m. when everything starts to heat up with that, and then the --
you were standing, i understand, about 15 feet away from one person who was shot. can you walk us through what you saw? >> so i had initially heard gunshots about a block away, and i had been going to different protests and stuff to cover this and, you know, get original video on the scene there. so i ran towards it to see what was going on. as i approached i saw a man lying on the ground, and there was another man that started running. people were immediately dell admit saying, get him! grab him! he just shot somebody! so he's running with this gun. wrab about where i started recording and taking down the street after several are following him trying to chase him, tackle him down. i don't know if the attempt was to get the gun or subdue him specifically, but regardless, chasing after him and at a certain point he tripped and fell. the man with the gun.
and so then as people started to close in on him and surround him he started firing off. i saw at least two people get shot from those firings. thereone, some of the shots appeared to fire off in a distance direction and the shooter basically just got up and proceeded to walk were towards the line of police that were there in the bearcat and a couple vehicles, and he basically just walked right up to them with the gun still out in front of them, and -- spoke with them for a few seconds. i couldn't make out what he said. i know that after a few seconds, the cops were not happy with him. he was literally right outside of the cop car, which prior to that the past two hours leading up to that it, anybody that got that close was getting fired at with tear gas, pepper bullets or something like that.
and he just basically talked to them. they told him to step away from the vehicle. and he continued walking. took off, basically. and then about two minutes later more police arrived. actually like a crime scene and doing an investigation. >> did you see any of these reported vigilantes that the kenosha county sheriff says were kind of patrolling the area prior to this shooting? >> oh, absolutely. yeah. probably about a dozen that i saw. all open carrying, all with rifles or various different weapons, firearms, and -- the weird thing about it. they had actually been out even yesterday as well. this wasn't the first time that i saw them, but they were commingling with protesters. when people asked who are they? what group are you with? what are you out here with? they said we're not anybody's friend. we're just here to protect the city. basically, not necessarily picking a side of protesters or
police. just out there basically armed and ready to protect against property there. so they had taken up positions in front of various different gas stations, and they were kind of mobilized as the main protest group moved through the city, and taking up positions at different businesses. i was really confused who exactly they were and, like, what the specific business was they were protecting because they kept moving from place to place and eventually this, you know, at some point one of those individuals was about a block away from the main gas station, they were patrolling. ended up in a confrontation and that's when it all descended into a mess. >> the person with the long gun who got away and who shot, you believe it was one of these vigilantes or self-sometimes militia or whoever they may be? >> yeah. i mean i don't know if he himself was saying i'm a vigilante, but i do know that i saw him throughout the night walking with this group of
roughly a dozen, i would say, of these militia-style individuals carrying rifles or you know, like i said, various other weapons, open carrying. had bullet-proof -- >> brendan, appreciate your time and appreciate you talking about what you saw. thank you very much. >> sure. chaos erupting, and the coronavirus crowds showing up without masks. plus a former trump official speaks out saying the president's mismanagement almost led the war into twice. she joins me live. and the rnc, several participants are considered bringing controversy. more on that ahead. the audi a6. get exceptional offers at your local audi dealer.
tonight marks the third night of the republican national convention. counsellor to the president kellyanne conway will speak. she announced she'ding leaving the white house to spend more time with her family. and vice president pence scheduled to address the convention as well. vice president mike pence closes out the evening. expected to attack biden and
formally accept the parties's nomination and do it from fort mchenry in baltimore. the site of the war on 1812 and prompted the writing of "the star-spangled banner." throughout this week at the republican national convention the president himself used the white house as a backdrop like none other. a tape aired during the convention showing trump in the white house's great hall along with acting homeland security secretary chad wolf and others. a years -- long attack on the nation's immigration system. department of homeland authority endorsing joe biden for president now. i wonder what is your reaction to the naturalization ceremony we saw last night? >> thanks for having me, anderson. you know, i didn't really watch the convention last night.
i experienced three years of the circus that is, that the cult of trump, but i did see some of those clips, and i -- it seemed like another stunt that they tend to do to -- for political gain. the reality is that policies, the actions, the behavior of the rhetoric of this president continues to be anti-immigrant and borderline racist. >> i think you said the cult of trump. what did you see when you were there? how was it different than prior administrations? democrat or republican? >> sure. i served in the bush administration. i served for a little bit around the obama administration. worked with many of those officials. most people that come, especially from a national security, homeland security angle view it through the lens of keeping our country safe. it's considered a bipartisan issue. almost apolitical in nature. in fact, the rules governor what
you can do as a dhs official or department of defense or department of state official are stricter in terms of political activities. stricter for these than other branches of government recognizing being able to do security work requires an appearance of being apolitical. this administration, there's been kind of an inversion of that. because the president does have a top priority of building a wall, reducing immigration, which as the duly elected president has a right to those policies, but it became very politicized in the way he went after those policies. just in my experience, i found that you would have people that chose to come in for the right reasons to serve their country, to try to help the president, to secure the country and you had
those who came in because they were all about only the president's agenda and forgot the public servant aspect of this. >> i want to ask about the situation in kenosha. two people killed. one person seriously injured after shooting the gas station after last night's protests. police described it as a vigilante group, connected with a vigilante or militia group that descended upon the city. still a lot to be learned. you personally tried to get the white house to pay attention to the threat of domestic extremists. how receptive was the trump white house? >> so tragic, what happened in kenosha, listening to a previous segment, it's gut-wrenching to watch that tape. the challenge we see play out across the country, however, we've been tracking this three or four years now. we recognized that the threat had shifted a bit in 2017. keeping tabs on it, how much was
it shifting? certainly by the time we got to charlottesville or the following year, the activities in pittsburgh, the shooting at the synagogue, and then it exploded with what happened's in christ church and you started to see this is not an american problem. it's a globalized effort, a globalized white supremacy movement that is calling for a race war. they're calling for their adherence to commit acts of violence and the ideology is perverse and it's getting mixed and confused and it's very hard to kind of pinpoint what might cause somebody to mobilize to violence, and while when you're a government official you have to be very careful. anybody, i mean, in the united states, able to hold weird ideologists, and we do have first amendment protections. the concern we have from counterterrorism perspective,
some ideologists motivate people to violence particularly violence against people. what we saw, white supremacist movement, anti-government movement, did have that common practice motivating people to violence for decades. more people have been killed in the united states by white supremacists than in recent years than islam is e!!ist jihadist threat and the other ideologists combined. particularly challenging is in the last few months instead of recognizing that those voices which we have been watching three years, may take advantage of some of these peaceful protests. that's a pretty normal tactic to use. people use this as cover to do violent activities. harder for us to track them other to know that they're planning an attack. instead of carving that out, they've been pointing out as their -- making it more political focusing on antifa,
which i have to tell you, for three years i received intelligence briefings and never once did i get told antifa is the greatest threat because they're going to carry out attacks on people. they do have a tendency to cause disruption, civil unrest, crimes against property. all of which are serious and need to be treated appropriately by law enforcement, but -- it's not the same as what happened in el paso or poway, or at christ church. we have a growing threat in this country and it is not antifa. it is this white supremacist anti-government ideology, and i -- i will let the law enforcement personnel investigate what happened last night, but on the surface it looks like more of that type of threat. >> there's been a lot of folks on qanon lately and i wonder, the fbi said it has potential of sparking acts of domestic terrorism. is that something that is being
taken seriously? because the head of, the acting head of homeland security didn't seem to -- he said he had no reason to disagree with the fbi's assessment but it wasn't -- i don't want to put words in his mouth. he didn't seem to think it was a top priority? >> yeah. he -- really fascinating and scary. fascinating in that, initially, even if you were to ask me this question maybe six months ago it would have been the thing we're keeping our eye on but not seeing violent tendencies. the biggest danger was that it causes a mistrust of authority. kind of a distraction. right? but what we have seen in recent months is that people are taking matters into their own hands. they become radicalized by this qanon ideology and it's really hard to put a finger on what that ideology is and almost daily has more to do with
believing that you can't trust anybody, and the problem with that type of ideology, historically to win and individual that thinks they're the only last hope. they're the only thing that's going to stand between evil winning, those types of ideologists do tend to cause individuals especially if they're perhaps, they have stressors in their life or are mentally unwell it does cause people towards violence, to violent tendencies and we've had instances in the last few months 0 two individuals acting out based on these threats. i think there's been a total of five criminal cases in the last four years but two in the last couple of months. i do think it's a growing threat and neediy s to the addressing >> and like the man showing up at a pizza parlor and it's all a
lie. thinking their drinking blood and worshipping satan. he's now in priteprison's as yo said, more incidents in the last tub of months. appreciate it. >> thanks. and just ahead, how looking to take advantage of the unrest in wisconsin. plus more on breaking news. the trump administration pressuring the cdc to soften its coronavirus guidelines baffling doctors. and different trials on different age groups. ♪ come on in, we're open. ♪ all we do is hand you the bag. simple. done. we adapt and we change. you know, you just figure it out. we've just been finding a way to keep on pushing. ♪
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facebook investigating whether an event with more than 2,600 responses to linked to the violence in kenosha, wisconsin. two killed one injured. following this for us what are you learning about this? >> reporter: anderson, right. the company is investigating online activity around last night's violence in kenosha. they say they shut down a facebook group called kenosha guard, and the group was promoting a facebook event due to take place last night -- citizens to protect our lives and property. now, the event got some traction on facebook as you mentioned. about 2,600 people responded to
the event and at least 1 right-wing conspiracy website also wrote about the event yesterday. facebook says that it has taken down both the page for kenosha guard and the event for breaking its policies on militia, but, of course, we can see that they seemed to catch this page and this event pretty late. it is unclear. we do not know right now and it's important to say if the violence was actually linked to this facebook event, but, again, anderson, it's another example of facebook here being behind the curve on what is happening out on the streets and its potential role that the company could be playing in stoking violence in the u.s. >> interesting. just reading a local media report about this group, or groups of residents who decided to arm and go down and what they were saying, protect property. again, unclear. the person who shot the two people, wounded the other, is
one of those people, but remains to be seen. donie o'sullivan, thanks. the president announcing he is sending in the feds and the national guard to kenosha tonight. expecting to hear from police soon and an update on hurricane laura at any moment. the storm forecasted to be a category 4 hitting the u.s. tonight. i like liberty mutual.
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it's not going away. covid-19. more than ever, california needs rapid coronavirus testing. robust contact tracing. support for community health clinics. masks and ppe for those saving lives... for teachers and school personnel educating students. these heroes are doing their jobs. now government must do theirs. keep working through a special session to combat this crisis right now and provide the revenues to solve the problems we know are coming. president trump says he'll send federal law enforcement into wisconsin to restore law and order. that's a quote. racial tension has rocked the
city since the police shooting. why are we seeing so many protesters with guns? >> i think you can track this back to charlottesville when ex-military body guards began protecting white nationalists like richard spencer. there's been an increase of both left and right-wing protesters, which is legal in many states. but it's also very provocative. so, after charlottesville, saw more leftist protesters carrying guns and those images prompted more right-wing protesters to also carry weapons in public. some of them are libertarian or just antianarchists and then there's qanon conspiracy theorists who believe they're protecting sex trafficked children. >> why are we seeing this escalation at these protests? >> well, the short answer is the internet. when you're on social media
you're watched with extremists messages over and over again. so, what you once thought was a joke, becomes something you believe sincerely. further a lot of the protesters are very young, some as young as high school students. and there's a term called larking. basically it means enacting an online identity in real life. and this is often applied to people who show up in full military kit at rallies, when really their only experience is playing call of duty or other games. i talked to a protester in seattle who wondered whether they really have the military experience they claim or whether they're just alking out a video game fantasy. >> a lot of people armed on the streets. two major stories we're following right now. the cdc was pressured by the white house to abruptly change its guidelines on testing.
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just about the top of the hour. i'm anderson cooper. a monster hurricane, laura is now a category four hurricane. landfall is expected tonight with winds well over 125 miles per hour in 10 to 20-feet of storm surge. some of the flooding is already starting on the coast but it is just beginning. evacuations have been ordered as they brace for more severe flooding and possible tornados. so, let's talk about where we are now, and what is coming with this storm? >> this storm, category four, 2:00 p.m. this could strengthen even more. in fact, it's expected to strengthen even more. it has time to strengthen to a strong category 4 or possibly a 5 before making landfall. this is a monster storm and one that shouldby taken seriously. this is going to make landfall
tonight on the louisiana/texas coast tonight. twegs is -- moving to the northwest at 16 miles per hour. we're waiting on that turn to the north because that's the national hurricane center is banking on to make the landfall at the boarder. if it does not make that turn, it's going to make landfall farther west and put places like houston more in this than it will be if it makes landfall to the east. the hurricane hunters are out there. of course winds higher than that with it being a cap 4 within the storm. and you can see inouter bands already starting to make it on shore. south louisiana, southeast texas coast. we have tornado potential there. consider this pregame because the actual storm or the meat of the storm will make it on shore later tonight. so, here we go. there's the current storm surge about two feet, almost two feet. ice and we're looking at 1