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tv   The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  July 16, 2020 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT

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138,000. we want to remember one them, a veteran. started a food delivery project during the pandemic. he contracted coronavirus in june. he died 12 days later. may his memory be a blessing. our coverage on cnn continues right now. this is cnn breaking news. welcome to our viewers here in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer in the situation room. 500,000 additional cases in a week. the death toll has passed 138,000. cases are on the rise in 39 states. the crisis is especially dire in
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florida, a global hot spot which set a record of 136,000 deaths. and president trump talked ede anthony fauci yesterday, the first time in a month, during which thousands of americans were killed by the coronavirus. let's get to nick joining us from los angeles. nick, new infections, hospitalizations, deaths, they are climbi ining through so muc this country. >> reporter: you know, wolf, there are only two states in this entire union where nobody has died of covid-19 in the past week. they are alaska and vermont. here in california, in that same time, we've lost over 600. same in florida. texas yesterday reported its highest ever daily death toll. we're waiting for texas to report today's number. and just hoping that it's falling.
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>> reporter: this is texas, now, six months into this pandemic, refrigerated trailers deployed to store the dead. in dallas, san antonio and down near the border, morgues are filling up. >> i'm pleading with everybody, here in our neck of the woods, in our community, i need everybody to help and do their part. >> reporter: the hotel in laredo is being converted into a makeshift hospital and in corpus christi -- >> we were doing fantastic at the end of may. we have just absolutely skyrocketed after memorial day. >> reporter: mid-may, the county was logging maybe a handful of new cases every day. yesterday, more than 1,000. a similar situation over in miami where hospitals are now at 95% capacity. >> we're at the highest level of ventilators that we've seen through the pandemic which obviously is worse because that's an indication of the death rate that will increase, most likely, over the next couple of weeks. >> reporter: 39 states are now
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heading in the wrong direction. with average case counts rising. and only delaware and maine are those numbers falling. and those two states, home to less than 1% of the u.s. population. today, target and cvs joined the growing list of retailers that will require masks in stores nationwide. arkansas' governor just reversed course, now requiring masks in public. and tulsa's mayor just signed a mask order, dutifully, wearing one himself. mask mandates in at least 39 states but not georgia, where the governor recently returned from a wear a mask tour of his state, just banned local municipalities from making them mandatory. savannah's mayor tweeted governor kemp does not give a damn about us. >> the fact that we're arguing about masking, i don't understand that in the middle of a pandemic. >> reporter: example, the utah
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county commission meeting about masks in schools. >> we're supposed to be physically distancing wearing masks and so -- >> reporter: the president kind of agrees with those boos. he wants schools open before the election. >> and we're going to be putting a lot of pressure on open your schools in the fall. >> reporter: not one of the 20 largest districts in the country has committed to in-person teaching. but the state of florida says they're ready to open, even as miami's mayor pleads for federal guidance to manage the outbreak in what is arguably now our nation's epicenter. >> there was guidance in terms of reopening, in terms of the criteria, but there wasn't any gi guidance in terms of a second spike like we're seeing now, how do you go backwards, what are the metrics? and so we're struggling. >> reporter: you know, something else that the miami mayor said struck me, he said one reason he
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thinks new york is now doing pretty well is they saw how in the spring, they actually saw 123,000 people die in new york city. they saw and are scared of a spike so they're acting accordingly. down in miami, they didn't get hit so hard in the spring. so it's harder to convince people just how bad this can be and to do the right thing, wolf. >> nick, thank you, nick watt reporting. president trump's lack of leadership of the pandemic is clearly drawing a lot of criticism even from some republicans. let's go to our chief white house correspondent jim acosta. jim, the president just doesn't want to talk about this national crisis that's getting worse and worse every single day. and now has killed more than 138,000 americans in only the past four or five months. >> that's right, wolf, president trump is holding yet another campaign-style event on the south lawn of the white house. it's another sign he's turned away from the coronavirus and concentrating on reopening the country and winning re-election.
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sources tell us the president finally spoke with dr. anthony fauci yesterday. their first conversation in weeks. and white house officials are firing back at a top republican critic of president trump's response to the coronavirus. maryland's governor, larry hogan said, quote, it was hopeless waiting around for the president to come up with a plan to the pandemic. but aides may have ignited a new covid controversy after the white house press secretary first said the science should not stand in the way of reopening the nation's schools. while claiming later on that science was on their side. >> reporter: standing in between pickup trucks on the south lawn of the white house, president trump staged yet another photo opportunity that was unrelated to the coronavirus that included only a brief mention of his response to covid-19. >> my administration is also eliminated massive regulatory barriers, in our battle against the china virus. >> reporter: some of the president's fellow republicans say that's been the problem all along. in a scathing op-ed in "the washington post," maryland's gop
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governor larry hogan laid into mr. trump's handling of the virus writing, eventually it was clear that waiting around for the president to run the nation's response is hopeless. if we waited around longer, we'd be condemning our citizens to suffer their own death which is white united states went their own way. the white house fired back accusing hoag hoon had covid-19 tests shipped into his state from south korea of being two-faced. >> this is history of governor hogan and it stands in stark contrast to what he said on march 19th when he praised the great communication that the president has had with governors. >> reporter: the press secretary defended the president's opinion on the pandemic as well as the president's drive to reopen schools with a jaw-dropping explanation that science didn't get in the way. >> he says open, he mean open and full, kids attending eve and every day. science does not stand in the way of it. >> reporter: though she claims
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trump's position is based on the science. >> the science is on our side. >> reporter: pointing to social media, democrats say it's just the opposite. >> observing the hate here, i have concluded that he is like the man who refuses to ask for directions. all of the answers are there. the scientists have the answers. >> reporter: on wednesday, the president finally spoke with dr. anthony fauci, and their first conversation, according to the public health expert in weeks. fauci conceded his straight talk has rankled white house officials telling instyle magazine, sometimes that changes week to week and month to month. the latest poll saying rejecting trump on the virus with joe biden in the lead saying they don't trust the president on covid-19. but they do believe the information coming from
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dr. fauci who seems to get that. >> i believe for the most part, you can trust respected medical authorities. you know, i believe i'm one of them, so, i think you can trust me. >> reporter: the trump administration briefly removed covid-19 data from coming into hospitals that's accessible on the website for the centers for disease control. data that included hospital bed occupancy, staffing and personal protective equipment supply figures. while the data was later restored, the white house denied it's hiding anything. >> no one is taking access to data from the cdc. this is all about getting more data out there, not less data. ensuring in particular that our doctors get that daily data. >> reporter: the president responded to the turmoil by demoting campaign manager brad parscale and replacing him with bill stepien. parscale found himself in hot water after thousands of seats went empty in oklahoma. >> i said to my people, slow the testing down, please. >> reporter: as for dr. fauci,
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some trump advisers appear to be getting the message that the infectious disease expert is more trusted than the president. some saying, quote, i think when over 60% of public trusts fauci on covid-19 that should be into consideration. and wolf, as for the president secretary's comments sending kids back to school, we should note she was trying to cite an article in the american journal of medical association that suggests that kids could go back with a low risk of contracting covid-19. but the white house has avoided this issue of whether children going back to school can infect their parents, teachers and other employees at their schools. wolf. >> yeah, let's not forget hundreds of americans, almost 1,000 just yesterday died from coronavirus. jim acosta reporting. thank you. let's get to all of this with our chief medical correspondent sanjay gupta with us. sanjay, just look at the number of hospitalizations in the
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united states right now. how big of an indicator is that of things heading in the wrong direction? >> well, you know, the first thing you sort of realize when you look at that, wolf, is this whole idea that testing more is leading to more cases. that obviously is not the case. but when you look at the hospitalizations, also going up, more testing wouldn't lead to more hospitalizations. but you can see, a clear graph here, in terms of what's happening. so, this is a real concern, wolf. it's a predictable sort of thing. you have a certain period of time after you start to see an increase in the number of infections, you are going to see an increase in the number of hospitalizations. and sadly, you know, wolf, a couple weeks from now, we'll also see an increase in the number of deaths which, you know, it's tough to sort of acknowledge that, this far into the pandemic, that we're still going in the wrong direction there. one thing, wolf, that's worth pointing out as we talk about hospital resources, we talk about hospital beds and ventilators and things like that, i think one of the biggest challenges is the staff.
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respiratory therapists, for example, who actually using those breathing machines to help the patients, help staff the icus, all of that. if there's too large of a surge, it can be tough on the staff, if staff gets sick, that can reduce the capacity as well. so, all of these things together, wolf, are pretty concerning. >> very concerning. some areas in texas, arizona, they're actually starting to run out of room in their morgues. are these places heading where new york was just a few months ago? >> yeah, wolf, i mean, those are, again, very tough things to sort of, you know, talk about. the idea that they're now bringing in more trucks because they're anticipating what's going to happen over the next couple of weeks. and i really feel for those people living in those communities. so many communities, wolf, really, around the country. you know, wolf, yeah, it was new york a few months ago. but we had indicators of this all along. we saw what happened in china. we saw what happened in italy. wolf, i remember being on your
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program talking about northern italy at the time. them talking about the fact that they had run out of hospital beds and there were people dying from preventible deaths. it's not the situation we want to be in. it's not the situation we need to be in. we missed very clear warning, i think, from places all over the world. >> you know, sanjay, several countries have reported zero coronavirus deaths over the days. clearly the situation was not inevitable. so what have the countries been doing that we are not doing? i know you've been looking into it. >> yeah, wolf, you should look at these numbers on the screen i think, at one, be a little horrified with what's happening in the united states but also, i think, be inspired. because there are places around the world without any kind of magical, you know, therapeutic or vaccine, have been able to have no deaths for significant periods of time. i mean, may 27th in new zealand. june 2nd in thailand.
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yes, these are smaller countries. different countries, different culture, dirt governmefferent g. the thing they share in common, wolf from your question, i think in the beginning they took this very seriously. and that meant having adequate testing in place and then tracing people. that's it, it's bread and butter public health. again, there was no specific medicine that is leading to benefit here in terms of hospitalizations or deaths. it's really the tried and true measures of public health. and taking it seriously. wolf, i mean, i was having people call me last night who were still telling me that they're waiting up to two weeks to get their test results back, even if they can get a test. unless you're isolating yourself during that time, wolf, you could be continuing to spread this, that makes the problem worse. we're still not testing enough. we're still not getting the results of those tests quickly enough. i think a lot of that is because we're minimizing the gravity of the situation here. >> that's
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sanjay, thank you very much. to our viewers an important note, dr. sanjay gupta and anderson cooper pour for a cnn town hall with their guest dr. tom frieden here at 8:00 p.m. up next, republic governor slams president trump's plan. and another slamming local governments for mandating that masks be worn in public. we'll be right back. last night's sleep, interrupted by pain?
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tonight, silence it with new zzzquil night pain. because pain should never get in the way of a restful night's sleep. new zzzquil night pain. silence pain, sleep soundly. we have more breaking news coming into the situation room right now. texas just reported 129 people died of the coronavirus in the past day. that's a new one-day record. but president trump has very
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little to say about the pandemic. let's discuss the political and the medical fallout with cnn white house correspondent john harwood and biology professor aaron brohmich who teaches at the university of massachusetts dartmouth. john, hospitals are becoming overwhelmed right now. morgues are actually running out of rooms. portable coolers have to be brought in. is the president in denial about the dire situation the country is in right now? >> hard to tell, wolf, whether he's actually in denial, or whether privately he recognizes how bad the situation is but he's clearly made a strategic decision how to approach it. the first thing is to cross your fingers and hope for rapid progress on a vaccine and on therapeutics. hope that comes much sooner than people are suggesting this fall. and in the meantime, do everything you can to try to talk up the economy and push states to reopen, get their schools going. get economic activity up and running.
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so he has the event this afternoon at the white house, on rolling back economic regulations. the flaw in that strategy is, economic regulations are not what's holding back the economy right now. he can do a lot more to advance the cause in the medium term of getting the economy going by getting his arms around the virus, because fears of the virus is what's holding back workers and average citizens and businesses alike. he's just not willing to pay the short-term costs needed to try to do that. >> yeah, more than 1 million americans applied for the first time for unemployment just last week. another 1 million americans. professor, exactly a month ago, the vice president mike pence wrote there isn't a coronavirus second wave. how has that held up? >> well, if we want to take it technically, it's not a second wave. we're still going with the first. we never got our hands around this first one. and pushed it into the ground and crushed it like they did in other countries. so what we're seeing is this first roll come through. and it's just now moved to
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different regions of the country. and it's building on top of that first wave that we have. we really have not looked after this response at all. it's just been one big mismanaged pandemic response effort. >> yeah, it's really, really awful. you snow, john, house speaker nancy pelosi described the president as the man who refuses to ask for directions. what do you make of that comparison? >> reporter: well, we know that the president has fixed ideas and tends not to alter them in the face of evidence. we've seen that in testing, suggesting that testing creates more cases, when in fact is reveals the cases you already have and lets you figure out a strategy with dealing with them. or on masks, he's laid back and saying, well, it's a personal choice, i don't think it looks good on me. only unextreme duress from his white house aides that he put on a mask the other day. so this is somebody, he's 74
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years old. he is not terribly agile in terms of adjusting to new information. and that's what pelosi is walking about, and it's a valid point. >> you know, it's interesting, professor, not only is the president not asking for directions from the scientists, doctors. he's also actively undermining them. how much harder does that make it for public health experts to do their job and stop them from getting the disease and stop people, obviously from dying? >> yeah, so we've seen this from the start, that without consistent messaging starting from the top, working right through our state leaders and local leaders, we end up with mixed messages and it confuses the public. we don't know which way to turn with regards to the response. you think we get the efforts more coordinated by now. we'll just keep dealing with the mix-up of what they're saying, what they're doing, who we should trust and who we should not. every time you undercut your own
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agencies, your own niad, your own krtscdc, to put it your own political stage, it makes it worse for everyone working terribly harder. >> john, with the campaign manager, clearly, it's not brad parscale who failed to respond to the virus, is it? >> reporter: no, i was talking to a member of the romney campaign, he said that he's the strategist, he's the campaign manager. changing out bill stepien for brad parscale may make differences in the internal process of the campaign. that's not fundamentally the issue here and why joe biden has got a lead in the polls, the issue is donald trump and his
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performance. >> thank you, john harwood. thanks to you as well. there's more breaking news coming into the "situation room." a record number of deaths, and in florida, a growing number of hospitals are reaching capacity and intensive care. i'll talk about florida's worsening crisis with the mayor of miami standing by live. we'll discuss when we come back. did you know prilosec otc can stop frequent heartburn
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on the breaking stories we're following, miami's police department has just announced 68 of its officers have now tested positive for coronavirus. and all 140 employees including police officers and civilian employees are in isolation or self-quarantine due to possible exposures to covid-19. we're joined now by the mayor of miami, francis suarez. mayor suarez, thank you so much for joining us. let me first get your reaction to what's going on with the miami police department. can you update our viewers? >> yeah, wolf. yeah, those numbers are accurate. what we're seeing here in miami-dade county is first responders and people in health care industry are two of the professional categories that
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have the highest risk of exposure. health care workers and even patients in medical facilities are some of the people who are getting sick the most. and, of course, our first responders as well. firefighters and police officers. police officers, obviously, having to interact in a very intimate way with our residents. and that is definitely what's driving these numbers. >> florida, as you know, has now just reported its highest number of coronavirus deaths today, 156. what's stopping you, mayor, from enacting a new stay-at-home order for all of the folks in miami right now, potentially that could save lives? >> we are very, very close to that point. we're consulting with, of course, our hospital administrators, to determine what kind of hospital capacity we have. we're consulting every other day with epidemiologists and our bio statistician, which is how we make a lot of these decisions and we're consulting with the business community understanding that we're not at full
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employment like in march. there's no safety net like there was. and there is very little, if any federal and state guidance on what metric to use to close so we're developing all of that on our own. and we're faced with making these tough decisions in the next few days if things don't improve radically. >> it's critical. i've been following the situation of miami for a while. i love miami. florida had states, fewer than 100 deaths. i asked question, why not, in daily new cases are nearly double that number? >> yeah in the case of florida, they have about twice the rate of increased of infection than we do. at the highest moment back then, they had 1300 cases. i think yesterday reported 13,000 cases, that's a 10 to 1 ratio. we had 532 cases. we're up to 3,000 yesterday. that's a 6 to 1 ratio.
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we're actually in a worse position than we are in miami-dade county. we have taken a variety of prophylactic measures to mitigate the spread. and we're seeing whether those me measures will work the next couple of days and working with hospital administrators to make sure we have capacity. but the situation is dire. i don't want to sugarcoat it or downplay it in any way. our hospitalizations are at the highest level. our icus are double than what they were back then and the vents, double, and the death rate will go up. if we don't do measures. >> why not do a stay-at-home order right now. we're going to dramatically do that soon. >> we're talking the next few days, is that possible? >> somewhere in the next few days, potentially within the next week. >> good luck, mayor suarez. i know you've got a lot going
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on. we're always grateful for you spending some time updating our viewers. we're watching what's going on in miami very, very carefully. florida the epicenter. not just here in the united states, but a global epicenter of this coronavirus. thank you for joining us. >> thank you, wolf. there's also breaking news in texas where shorts just reported 129 people died of the coronavirus in the past day alone. that's a new one-day record. let's go to cnn's ed lavandera in dallas. tell us more about this dire situation in texas, ed. >> reporter: well shg, wolf, yo exactly right, those numbers coming out in a day. the state officials here in texas saying the numbers were goes to be worse than last. that number gets to the heart. 129 deaths reported today. that is more than 20 than the highest previous day record that we have seen since the pandemic started. and the number of new coronavirus cases also being reported is now topping 10,000
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for the third day in a row. so, a stunning number here. and again, that infection rate always around 17%. that continues to be an area of great concern. and the death toll has put so much stress on hospital systems and county morgues across the state that refrigeration strucks have been brought in, in to some of these areas, to relieve the pressure. the morgues are full at some of these hospitals. in san antonio, we saw one at a hospital here in the dallas here area as well. so it speaks to the morbid and the dire situation that many of these hospitals are dealing with as another record-breaking day of coronavirus statistics emerging once again here in texas. wolf. >> ed lavandera on the scene in texas as he always is. thank you very much. up next, in the daily wrap-up of coronavirus stories from around the world, security officials now accuse russian hackers of cyber attacks on vaccine research centers here it's in u.s.
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that's why our advisors are always here for you. learn more at in global coronavirus headlines, u.s., british and canadian authorities are accusing russianian-affiliated hackers of cyber attacks on research centers working on coronavirus vaccines. cnn's nic robertson has been monitoring it in london. what are the russians up to, nic? >> reporter: wolf, essentially
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the most valuable data at this time, the information about vaccines to combat coronavirus. what the british national cyber security center is saying along with homeland security department, along with the nsa with you in the united states, and across the border in canada, they're all saying that this was a group of russian hackers that they believe are part of a russian intelligence operation. working in a group called apt29. we also know them as cozy bear and the dukes. and that they're using spear-phishing and carefully manufactured malware. custom made malware, to penetrate these coronavirus vaccine development and research centers. what the russians are trying to do is get the knowledge that the united states, britain and canada have, that hopefully can help save the planet. what does that tell us? does that tell us that russia is woefully short of all of the expertise that we all have or
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use this information against us in the future? that's the concern of these intelligence agencies. and that's what will we've been hearing today, wolf. >> very disturbing indeed. nic robertson in london. hong kong is shutting down businesses because of a new outbreak. the most of what's called a third wave of the virus. let's get the latest from cnn's will lripley. >> reporter: wolf, things in hong kong are not looking good. dozens of new cases every day in covid-19. and in many cases the contact tracing isn't allowing them to pinpoint where the information came from. that means that people walking around might have the illness, might not know it and inadvertently get people sick. and that's why the city is now shutting places back down. a lot of places are closed or shut down, with regard to social
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distancing measures. if you're caught not wearing a mask, you could face a fine of a couple hundred dollars. this is a last-ditch attempt by hong conto figure out the numbers and get contained before it skyrockets. wolf. >> thank you, will. coronavirus cases are surging in south africa. it now ranks sixth worldwide in total case let's go to david mckenzie. >> reporter: wolf, south africa has crossed the threshold of cases surging where i am in johannesburg, the commercial center. now, doctors say that the pressure point in the next few weeks will be expanding the availability of beds with high-flow oxygen for treatment. just in the last few days, south africa has reinstated a lick ban to try and free up emergency beds. they've also put in a occcurfew. and the wearing of masks is
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mandatory, in fact, enforced by the law. despite the surge in cases, public officials say the number of deaths, death rates, still lower than some of the worst-hit areas. they say this is mirrored across africa but that the next few weeks will be key. wolf. >> david mckenzie reporting. france is joining the list of countries making mask wearing mandatory. cnn's international reporter r cyril vanier is in paris. >> reporter: wolf, the french government is now mandating that everybody wear face masks in all public spaces. the french are to implement it immediately. the french have done a complete u-turn on face coverings. back in march when there was a shortage of masks here, the government's official position was don't wear one if you don't have coronavirus symptoms but
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the government's advisory council are worrying that people aren't following social distancing and mitigation measures as closely as they did. here the virus is still considered to be under control, but in recent weeks, indicators have started to trend in the wrong direction. wolf. >> cyril vanier, on the scene. coming up, texas has just reported a record number of single day deaths from the coronavirus as the pandemic spreads across the state. plus, the very disturbing national security implications of a massive hack targeting some of twitter's most famous users. s to mix and match at a price built for everyone. with $700 off our best phones when you switch. because everyone deserves the best. this is unlimited built right.
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we're still fighting with dedication and devotion. california law gives survivors a chance to take legal action, but only for a limited time. if you were sexually abused by a priest, scout leader, coach or teacher contact us confidentially today. it's time. a really huge hacking attack on some of twitter's most famous accounts is raising questions about national security. brian, as bad as this attack was, the next one could be potentially worse. >> reporter: future attacks like this could be a lot worse, wolf. it's one thing to solicit money with a fake tweet but it's another to get into the account
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of a political leader and put out fake and dangerous information. joe biden today assured his supporters he'll never ask them to send in bitcoin currency for donations, after biden's verified twitter account and those of many other famous people were compromised by hackers in a devastating attack. they got to the accounts of former president obama, bill gates, elon musk, other celebrities like kim kardashian west and kanye west, and companies like apple and uber. and they did it, twitter says, by doing what's called social engineering. >> what actually seemed to happen is that a twitter employee was hacked. and that twitter employee had master access, access to the master controls that can control or take over a lot of these accounts. >> reporter: a fake tweet from bill gates said, i am doubling any payments sent to my bitcoin account for 30 minutes. the other famous accounts had
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almost identical inducements. today the fbi is leading an investigation. two u.s. intelligence officials tell cnn it's too early to tell if the attack is by a lone wolf hacker or someone working for a nation-state. but cyber experts tonight are calling this nightmarish for what could happen in the future. president trump's twitter account does not appear to have been targeted in this hack but the president makes many of his announcements and dictates policy sometimes over twitter. what if? >> you can imagine how deeply damaging it could be if you saw a tweet from a compromised account, whether it's the president or somebody else in a senior position, saying, you know, that we have launched some sort of attack on north korea. and north korea might not know whether or not that is true. >> reporter: experts say america's enemies could send the financial markets into a spiral by seizing a verified twitter account and putting out false information. and the fact that biden's account was compromised in the midst of election season is very
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concerning, because of fake tweets the hackers could have sent from his account. >> it certainly seems like they may have been able, technically speaking, to make him say things he never would say that could indeed be quite damaging to him. >> reporter: and, analysts say, hackers could grab twitter accounts, send dangerous information and spark dangerous confusion on election day itself. say you had a lot of accounts that suddenly started tweeting allegations of fraud or that something was rigged or that there was foreign interference and that people can't trust the outcome. you can also imagine people having significant doubts about the outcome of the election even if there was none of that kind of activity that had happened. >> reporter: and there's concern tonight about how this hack might have prevented legitimate important information in getting out. yesterday after the hack was discovered, twitter had to temporarily shut down much of its network of verified twitter accounts including the twitter
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account of the national weather service which then could not issue warnings on twitter about possible tornados, several possible tornadoes then hitting the midwest during a period yesterday afternoon, wolf. >> what a horrendous situation. how much pressure, brian, is twitter under right now to investigate how exactly this was done? >> reporter: enormous pressure, wolf. our analyst donie o'sullivan told me this is the worst attack in twitter's history. he said the company is devastated by this, they have to get to the bottom of this. it really creates a lot of doubt about their security systems there and how hackers might have been able to get into it. it could actually compromise the very future of the company and people's trust in twitter and the information that comes from famous accounts. >> this was really, really bad. brian, did you very, very much. more breaking news here in the situation room. two coronavirus hospital spots, florida and texas, now reporting their highest numbers yet of deaths as the pandemic rages across so much of the united states. when you shop for your home at wayfair,
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this is cnn breaking news. >> welcome to our viewers here in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." we're following breaking news. as of this hour more than 3.5 million people in this country have been infected with coronavirus, that's a half million more cases than reported just last week, the u.s. death toll now a staggering 138,000 plus and counting. new cases are rising in 39
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states. the sea of red on our trend map gets bigger and bigger every day. in texas, refrigerated trailers are arriving to handle the overflow in morgues. florida set a new record of deaths in a single day. there is no shortage of statistics to prove this pandemic is exploding here in the united states. but president trump appears determined to publicly ignore those facts and often ignore the advice of his own health experts. amid tension with dr. anthony fauci, we're told the president finally spoke with him yesterday for the first time in over a month. let's go to our national correspondent erica hill. erica, several states are reporting record deaths today. >> reporter: yes, and we know, wolf, those numbers don't lie. and they're not just numbers. each one of those is a person, is a loved one who has lost their life to this virus.


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