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U.S. Death Toll Could Reach 300,000 by December; Economic Stimulus Discussions on Brink of Collapse; Trump Issues Exec Order Banning TikTok in 45 Days Unless Sold; Ohio Governor Tests Positive, Then Negative for COVID-19. Aired 6-6:30a ET

Aired August 7, 2020 - 06:00   ET



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Researchers projecting that the U.S. death toll could reach nearly 300,000 by December 1.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Consistent mask wearing, starting today, could save about 70,000 lives.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: If we pay attention to the fundamental tenets of infection control, we could be way down in November.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Lawmakers continue to spar over another stimulus package.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Nothing for housing in terms of rentals. A moratorium that's nice, but it's not money, for rent.

MARK MEADOWS, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: Perhaps some of our Democrats are not serious about compromise and are not serious about trying to meet the needs of the American people.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It's Friday, August 7, 6 a.m. here in New York. Alisyn is off. Erica Hill in on this Friday morning.

Good morning to you.


BERMAN: So this morning, genuinely alarming new predictions that predict just how devastating the coronavirus pandemic could become. An influential model from the University of Washington now predicts deaths could hit nearly 300,000 by December. That's nearly double where we are today. And it's worth noting that this model projects that the number could

be lowered by 70,000 if everybody wore a mask.

So where we are this morning, the nationwide death toll surpassed 160,000 overnight, 1,200 new deaths reported. That's another day with more than 1,000 deaths. Think about that.

HILL: And as the pandemic surges, the economic pain is growing. Talks between the White House and Democrats over the next round of stimulus relief are on the brink of collapse. A three-hour meeting ending with both sides very far apart. At this point, it's unclear if negotiations will even continue today.

All of this as we will get an indication on just what the U.S. economic recovery looks like, coming up in our 8 a.m. hour. That's from the July jobs report is due out.

President Trump has said he'll use executive action if an agreement cannot be reached.

One thing he's already taking action on is TikTok. Mr. Trump signing an executive order overnight that would ban the popular app in the U.S. in 45 days, if it is not sold by its Chinese parent company. We're going to have more on that in just a moment, but first let's begin with Omar Jimenez, who is live in Chicago. That's one of many very big cities seeing a troubling spike in coronavirus cases.

Omar, good morning.


Now, officials here in Chicago tell me things remain broadly in control, but also that, at the moment, the numbers are not trending in the right direction.

And when you look countrywide, more than 160,000 Americans have died as a new model is now projecting the number could be close to double by the time we get to December.


JIMENEZ (voice-over): Before Ohio Governor Mike DeWine could greet President Trump on the tarmac ahead of the factory tour, he became one of the latest Americans to test positive for the coronavirus.

GOV. MIKE DEWINE (R-OH): I had no symptoms. You know, I had no indication that -- no reason to think I had COVID-19. Obviously, it's a rapid test. They got the results back right away.

JIMENEZ: DeWine later tweeted that a second test was negative.

DR. LARRY BRILLIANT, EPIDEMIOLOGIST: Well, there's always a trade-off between speed and accuracy, but it is common that these rapid antigen tests have false results.

JIMENEZ: Meanwhile, nine U.S. cities and California's Central Valley are drawing concern, Dr. Deborah Birx warning places like Kansas City are seeing higher test positivity rates.

DR. REX ARCHER, DIRECTOR OF HEALTH FOR KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI: We're in a -- really, a triple threat. You could call it the perfect storm, that the cases are going up, our hospitalizations are going up, and our deaths are going up. And I'm afraid that the death projections are way under.

JIMENEZ: Chicago also making the list. And Illinois had its highest single-day report since May 24, adding nearly 2,000 new cases Thursday.

In Texas, the Department of Health Services reporting a 17 percent positivity rate, even with a decline in hospitalizations for the third day in a row and a two-day drop in new cases.

GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R), TEXAS: We are not at all anywhere close to being in a safe situation in COVID-19. Just because COVID-19 numbers improving in this region does not mean that COVID-19 has suddenly left.

JIMENEZ: In Tampa, Florida, Hillsborough County public schools announced they will begin the school year virtually, despite Gov. Ron DeSantis pushing for students to be back in classroom and even participate in high school sports.

GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): Just understand that there's a -- that there's a risk out there. What I would not do is, just if one person gets ill and they're isolated and they test, to then shut down everything else. I mean, I think if everyone else is fine, you've got to just keep going.

JIMENEZ: One updated model projects the U.S. death toll could reach nearly 300,000 by December 1, but indicates about 70,000 lives could be saved if more people consistently wear masks.

DR. CHRIS MURRAY, DIRECTOR, INSTITUTE FOR HEALTH METRICS AND EVALUATION: It's an extraordinary opportunity. It's rare that you see something so simple, so inexpensive, so easy for everybody to participate in, can have such an extraordinary impact in the U.S., but also all over the world, actually.


JIMENEZ: Now, here in Illinois, we're seeing case numbers we haven't seen since late May, but it's also worth noting, testing is at among the highest levels we have seen, as well.

There's a new study out of South Korea that shows why testing and contact tracing are so important at keeping this under control. Researchers there found that those without symptoms could carry just as much virus as those with symptoms and for just as long -- John.

BERMAN: Omar Jimenez in Chicago. Omar, thanks so much for being there. Yes, Dr. Fauci told us yesterday that, as the positivity rate goes up in these cities, that's a predictor, a warning sign that these cities like Chicago have to be very careful. So please keep us posted. [06:05:07]

All right. Breaking overnight, economic rescue talks on the brink of collapse. The White House and Democrats are so far apart this morning, it's not clear whether they're even negotiating anymore.

Let's bring in Joe Johns, live at the White House. Joe, what's the latest?

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Right, John. Still divided, still far apart. There was a three-hour meeting last night with no breakthroughs.

Now, the president has floated the idea of signing off on some type of executive action to extend a couple of the most critical benefits that have already expired. The White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, and the speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, emerged from that meeting last night, each blaming the other for the lack of progress. Listen.


MEADOWS: The president is right to be frustrated with Congress. He's coming to the realization that perhaps some of our Democrats, both in the House and the Senate, are not serious about compromise and are not serious about trying to meet the needs of the American people.

PELOSI: I couldn't help but thinking when we were at the table that what they were offering us was Sophie's choice. Not enough money for food, not enough -- nothing for housing, in terms of rentals. When they said a skinny proposal, it was anorexic.


JOHNS: So what are they talking about here? The speaker of the House wants to go big. She says she wants a $3.4 trillion package.

The White House says, not so fast. They'd like to see it closer to $1 trillion on the price tag.

Democrats want substantially more money for state and local governments. That is one of the big sticking point. The president says he does not want bailouts, especially bailouts for cities which he claims have been mismanaged.

Democrats also want to extend that $600 unemployment benefit for Americans who are out of work. Republicans are trying to trim it down somewhat.

Now, the question, of course, is whether those two sides are even going to meet today. We don't know whether that's going to happen. The president for his part is not even here at the White House. He's up at his golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey. He's expected to attend a fund-raiser in the Hamptons over the weekend.

Erica, back to you.

HILL: All right, Joe, thank you.

Breaking overnight, President Trump making good on his threat to crack down on a pair of Chinese social media apps, issuing an executive order that would ban TikTok and WeChat within 45 days, unless their parent companies sell them.

CNN's Donie O'Sullivan joining us now with details. So what more do we know about this plan, this executive order?

DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Erica. Yes, a tit-for-tat over TikTok. This story is about so much more than just one or two Chinese apps. This is really a story about the future of the Internet and services all of us use, either directly or indirectly in our everyday lives.

And Trump last night signing, really, an unprecedented pair of executive orders that would ban, in 45 days, the Chinese apps TikTok and WeChat.

Here's what some of -- one of those orders said. It said TikTok "threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans' personal and proprietary information, potentially allowing China to track the locations of federal employees and contractors, build dossiers of personal information for blackmail, and conduct corporate espionage."

Now, like a lot of things that this president does, of course, it's unclear if -- if he will follow true, exactly, on this or if this is all a tactic to speed up the sale of TikTok.

Trump has said that he wants TikTok sold to an American companion. Microsoft is in front in the running for that purchase and has spoken directly to the president about this.

All of this, of course, as you can see from the executive order there, being cloaked in a national security debate, that these apps are a danger to American interests and to American national security.

But, of course, these are extremely popular apps. TikTok says it has 100 million users in the United States, and many of them, of course, are up in arms about this potential ban -- Erica.

HILL: Perhaps not surprisingly, Donie, we are -- Donie, we're hearing from both China and TikTok, who are pushing back on the president.

O'SULLIVAN: Yes. And I mean, you know, don't get me wrong. China does not have the moral high ground here. A lot of American social media companies and platforms are banned in China under Beijing's strict censorship laws.

But overnight, of course, China responding, and here is what a spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs had to say. They said, "The U.S. is using national security as an excuse and using state power to oppress non-American businesses. We urge the U.S. to listen to the rationale [SIC] voice -- to the rational voice, correct this mistake, stop politicizing economic issues or oppressing certain companies, and provide an open, fair, and nondiscriminatory environment for business."


TikTok, on the other hand, which has, you know, denied all along that it is a piece of Chinese spyware, as the American government alleges, also hit back overnight, saying, "We will pursue all remedies available to us in order to ensure that the rule of law is not discarded and that our company and our users are treated fairly, if not by the administration, then by the U.S. courts."

TikTok also dangling a lot of jobs in the U.S.; 10,000 jobs they say they'll create here in the U.S. And creating a $1 billion fund for TikTok creators, for the users of TikTok.

So this is going to be, you know, just an incredible, I guess, 45 days, which is the deadline or about a month from now that the Trump administration has set for the possible sale of TikTok to an American company. A very important month for the future of the Internet -- Erica.

HILL: Yes, that's for sure. We know you'll be watching it closely and keeping us up to date. Donie, thank you.

A new study finds that people without coronavirus symptoms may be just as contagious as though who do show symptoms. So how could that impact the strategy to stop the spread? That's next.


BERMAN: This morning, a new model predicts nearly 300,000 people could be dead from coronavirus by December.

Joining us now is Dr. Benjamin Klausing. He's an infectious disease specialist at Baptist Health in Louisville, Kentucky. And Dr. Richard Webby, the infectious disease doctor at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.

Dr. Webby's shot keeps going down there.

Dr. Klausing, I'm going to go to you first. That number, 300,000 deaths by December, is striking. It is alarming. It really hits you, when you wake up on a Friday morning. What do you think of it?

DR. BENJAMIN KLAUSING, INFECTIOUS DISEASE SPECIALIST, BAPTIST HEALTH IN LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY: Yes, it's a gut punch. That's really just an absolutely breathtaking number. To think that we're right now at about 160,000 deaths, and we're going to nearly double that in just four months, should be a wake-up call to everybody.

The good news is that this is just a prediction. It's just a model. It's not a guarantee, and it doesn't have to come true. There's good things that we can do to help prevent that many fatalities in the United States.

We're not in the same situation that we were in March. We have good evidence now, good practices that we know that can prevent the spread and acquisition of COVID-19. Namely, to social distance, to avoid crowds, and to wear masks.

HILL: -- wearing of masks, and we just put up that prediction. Each time we get this new projection, it comes with the caveat that, if 95 percent of people in this country did wear a mask, the number would be dramatically different.

While there has been a push for masks in your state, do you think the message is being followed widely enough to really bring that number down?

KLAUSING: Well, we, in Kentucky, at least, were -- started to relax some of our social restrictions at the end of May and June. We started to see a steady peak in the number of cases that we were having.

Our governor around July 9 mandated that everybody in the state wear a mask. Now, with that aggressive intervention, as well as closing some of the bars, we've seen our numbers peak, come down some, and they're leveled out at still a pretty high number. But we're not seeing the exponential growth that we see in some of the other states surrounding us and other parts of the country.

So we are seeing masks make a difference, but as you point out, the more people that wear a mask, the harder it is to spread the infection. So we encourage everybody to wear a mask as a good, basic tenet of infection control.

BERMAN: We have this shot up on the screen right there of people hospitalized in Kentucky just so people can see. That number rose substantially, leveled off, and it's still very high. The reason that concerns me, obviously, is if we're still at a very high level of hospitalizations. That is perhaps the most accurate predictor of deaths that will come. And it bothers me that we're plateaued at this high rate of death over 1,000.

I do want to change subjects, Dr. Klausing. Mike DeWine, the governor of Ohio yesterday, earlier in the day tested positive for coronavirus, with an antigen test, which is the very speedy kind of test.

Later in the day, he took another test, tested negative, and that is what he's assuming he is right now.

Now, people can look at this and say, Oh, my God, the testing is unreliable. I'm not sure that's what the message is here. I'm not sure this is necessarily an example of things going wildly awry. It might be an example more of these rapid tests may help us out, but they need to be checked.

KLAUSING: Well, I think that as we think about testing, it can get very nuanced very quickly, and that's been difficult to get a consistent message out to the public.

The thing with the antigen test is that those are generally fairly accurate tests if they're positive. We don't see high rates of false positives on those tests. We do know that people, especially late in the course of infection, can intermittently, what we say, shed the virus. So that is, that they excrete parts of the virus. And so it's not uncommon for people to -- especially late in the course of their infection, to test positive on one day, negative on one day, and then positive again the next day.

So it can be a very tricky thing to try to deduce, especially with Governor DeWine saying that he doesn't have any symptoms. So for somebody in that situation, we don't know if he was infected two weeks ago, two days ago, or where he is in his course of infection. That makes it particularly challenging.


So I'm not sure what the governor is going to do with regard to quarantine or if he is at all, but these are one of the many challenges that we face on a routine basis in trying to control patients and isolate them.

HILL: Asymptomatic spread has been a concern, you know, as we've learned more about it, Dr. Webby, the CDC estimating as many as 40 percent, right, are asymptomatic spreaders.

There's this new study out of South Korea, though, that also found that people who have the virus but aren't showing symptoms still have basically the same viral load, just as much virus in them as people who are exhibiting symptoms.

How does that change the equation on how we should be approaching things, Dr. Webby?

DR. RICHARD WEBBY, INFECTIOUS DISEASE DOCTOR, ST. JUDE CHILDREN'S RESEARCH HOSPITAL: I mean, it's a great study, and I think it shows what some of us had been fearing, that these asymptomatic and symptomatic people have the same amount of virus.

I think one thing we've got to keep it a little bit in mind with that study is they didn't actually show that both of these two groups of people were infectious for others. So we've got to be thinking, those people with symptoms, they might be coughing or sneezing perhaps a little bit more, and all of those actions gets a little bit more of that virus out from the nose into the environment.

But having said that, this is something we know happens with infectious diseases. It's not a surprise at all. Happens with influenza every year. There is this good percentage of people who get the virus, get the bacteria, and have no symptoms. And it's something we really don't have a good handle on why, but it's something that happens.

BERMAN: Dr. Webby, while we have your connection up here, let me ask you specifically about Tennessee. And we can put up on the screen so people can see the hospitalizations in Tennessee, which also rose substantially and have leveled off a bit, albeit at a very high place.

How do you see things in your state? And again, look at that! Look at the steep increase in hospitalizations there. And yes, it isn't rising anymore exponentially, but it's still high, high enough that you have to be concerned about what will happen with deaths in the coming weeks.

WEBBY: Yes, that's exactly right. Tennessee is a little bit of a mixed bag right now. And I think a lot of that sort of leveling off is driven by some of the big metro areas, Nashville and Memphis, where we have seen, you know, if you're an optimist, and I think we've got to be, right? A little bit of leveling off of activities.

I think the big unknown for me in the next couple of weeks is schools, some schools are starting to head back here, probably next week, so keeping an eye on which way those trends tend to go.

BERMAN: All right. Doctors Klausing and Webby, thank you very much for being with us this morning, and thank you very much for the work that both of you are doing in your states.

WEBBY: Thank you.

BERMAN: All right. Breaking overnight, the talks for new economic stimulus may be falling apart. We'll give you the very latest on that.

Plus, we'll take a special trip to the famed nation of "Thighland." Don't go far.



HILL: Developing this morning, talks on the brink of collapse now between Congress and the White House for a stimulus deal that could provide economic relief for millions of Americans.

Let's bring in CNN political correspondent, Abby Philly [SIC] -- Abby Phillips. Sorry, Abby.

The headline out of Friday morning is, this doesn't look very good.

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, no. It -- nothing looks good out of Washington right now. And it seems like they are -- both sides are resigned to this really not getting resolved in the next few days.

The sticking point right now is aid to state and local governments, and it seems like the administration is just waiting for Democrats to collapse, but it really doesn't seem like the politics is on their side there.

I think the American public are impatient for a deal, and nobody is going to come away from this looking good, if both sides go home without extending unemployment benefits, without extending PPP benefits, all of these things that are a lifeline to so many Americans because of this pandemic.

BERMAN: The -- the idea that this could fall apart is stunning.

PHILLIP: Yes. BERMAN: It's stunning. And we're going to see a jobs report two hours from now, get a sense of where the economic situation in the world is. There are millions of people suffering, and they can't get it together. These talks may fall apart.

Abby, a lot of news in the political world and the campaign world. A lot of things that have been said over the last 24 hours that raise eyebrows and raise questions. In Ohio, the president lands there, and he accuses Joe Biden of something -- well, let's watch.


TRUMP: He's going to do things that nobody ever, would ever think even possible, because he's following the radical left agenda. Take away your guns, destroy your Second Amendment, no religion, no anything, hurt the bible, hurt God. He's against God.


BERMAN: He's going to hurt God. He's against God. Now, it's possible that that was the product of a limited vocabulary, but beyond that, it's just a really, really stunning claim.

PHILLIP: I think over the last few weeks, you've seen the president and -- and the Trump campaign just in general, it's like taking, you know, a 2-by-4 and hitting voters over the head with it. There is absolutely no subtlety left in the political messaging these days.

The president is speaking to his base. He is trying everything that he can to make sure that he energizes and keep his base of conservatives, but particularly, white evangelical Christians, with him. That's what this is all about.

But I mean, the reality is -- and I don't have to tell you, John, or Erica this -- the president -- you know, those who believe the president is a devout man, they are already with him. Those who believe that Joe Biden is -- is not, they're probably not voting for Joe Biden.