tv The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN July 28, 2020 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
all right. it's the top of the hour. we want to welcome our viewers here in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer in t"the situation room" and we're following the breaking news. the president using his coronavirus briefing to once again tout hydroxychloroquine for treatment despite fda caution. the virus takes a growing toll in the united states. the number of deaths now approaching 150,000. 150,000 americans dead in the last five months alone. the nation once again reporting 1,000 deaths in a single day. that was yesterday. another thousands americans died yesterday. the infection rate is rising right now in 22 states as the total number of cases rises above 4.3 million confirmed cases.
er erica is tracking the spread of this virus. russia, by the way, is now claiming its on the brink of a major development. update us on that. >> reporter: that's right. they are calling this a sputnik moment. russia adviser to approval a coronavirus vaccine in less than two weeks. the defense minister saying that soldiers have been used as voluntarily in human trials. here is what's important to point out. we haven't seen any of the scientific data. it hasn't been released and not been able to verify these claims on safety or effectiveness. this is the claim that's coming from russia. here in the united states, more stats are now under a microscope as the virus continues to move and surge with no respect to state lines. >> huwan, china had 707,000
cases. we're having one in the united states. that is just an out of control epidemic. >> reporter: 80% of infections linked to social gathers young rising in pennsylvania and maryland as cases tick up in 22 states and puerto rico over the past week. concern growing for the middle of the country. >> we can see the virus moving north. we could see theest test positivity rate rising in virginia. >> i don't want to be state where a doctor has to look at ten young people knowing they have three ventilators with who lives and who dies. >> reporter: resisting calling from dr. birx to do the same. >> i've said there's nothing off
the table. i've also said we're not going to close the economy back down and we're not going to. >> reporter: since reopening began on may 4th, florida's 7-day moving average has skyrocketed. up more than 1500%. the 7-day average positivity rate, just over 19%. >> we just can't afford another surge. wefr g we have to get back to a prudent advance from one stage. >> reporter: daily reported deaths hit a new high on tuesday. >> people need to have a sense of urgency that this is important. when they hear the governor and the president saying don't worry, they believe that maybe this is a green light to do whatever you want. >> reporter: at least 27 states have now paused or rolled back reopening plans. less than a week into its shortened season baseball is facing set backs. the mlb postponing multiple games out of an abundance of caution after several marlins
tested positive. the nfl cancelling its pre-season games and more players opting out all together. >> reporter: the governor added three more states to the mandatory quarantine list. all five have now been added to that list very a mandatory day quarantine. >> certainly does. all right. erica hill reporting. let's get more on the breaking news out of president trump's briefing a few months ago. jeremy, the president started off on script. read very carefully written script with a bunch of issues including domestic production of
pharmaceutical products but many the q and a he went off the scripts and he started saying some extraordinary and potentially dangerous things, specifically promoting hydroxycloroquine. >> we have seen the president tear apart the script that white house aides prepared for him to show americans that he is taking the pandemic seriously. it was today when he was asked about the nine tweets he issued last night touting hydroxycloroquine that the president said again. he said it's effective despite the body of evidence shows it's not effective as a treatment for coronavirus. despite the fact that the fda itself has revoked that e emergency use authorization that it put forward for early in this
pandemic. it's not the experts within his own administration. instead, the president seems to be looking to these doctors who made these outlandish claims yesterday including one who said it's a cure for coronavirus and said that masks are no longer needed. wolf, when the president was pressed about that doctor's credentials, some claims she has made about alien dna being used and vaccines being created to make people no longer religious. the president said i thought her voice was important but i know nothing about her. the president there taking no responsibility for the fact he's amplifying to millions and millions of people these dangerous misinformation claims about coronavirus. there was another issue where the president also seemed to distance himself what he said. that's on his criticism of dr. anthony fauci. he criticized dr. fauci in a
retweet saying he's mislead the country. the president was pressed on that today. it was a very revealing answer. he talked about the fact that dr. fauci has high rer approval ratings and the president seemed jealous. >> it's curious. man works with us very closely, dr. fauci and dr. birx and they are highly thought of but nobody likes me. it can only be my personality. that's all. >> reporter: very telling. some very interesting insiegts into the president's thinking as we have seen him interact with dr. fauci whether it's treating these criticisms or last week when he announced he was going to be throwing out a pitch after a ceremonial first pitch after dr. fauci was scheduled to do the same thing. it seems the polls are not approval ratings but it's a question that has been asked in many polls which is who do you trust more to tell you the truth, to tell you the facts
about coronavirus. americans have overwhelmingly pick dr. pausfauci over preside trump. >> those polls are consistent. overwhelmingly americans trust dr. fauci when it comes to dealing with coronavirus, not the president of the united states. standby. we'll get back to you. the president promoting this drug use saying it's very effective based on everything you seen, let me get your analysis. your the former surgeon general of the united states. is it effective in treating early stages of coronavirus and the president said if you take it with zinc. >> it's good to be with you
again. i'm sorry and disappointed that we have to be talking about hydroxycloroquine. we keep talking about it because we keep seeing claims it's effective for covid 1. we do not have evidence that's the case. the clinical trials have not shown this medication to be effective at treating covid-19. there are two big problems here. one is the fact that when ever the president or anyone in leadership repeats false claims leek th like this, there is a segment of people listening that will take that to heart. ploo believe that leader is speaking with accurate knowledge and in case that's not the case.
all the time we have to end up dispelling these myths is time we're not spend iing on workingo solve the problem in front of us. the government is not spending shu in suring up our testing capaci capacity. give attention and time to issues that do not matter. the more that we're going to find this covid-19 pandemic prolongs and the more the pain is going to continue. >> he says it may be effective in dealing with malaria with lupus. it may be very effective for those diseases but he says the overwhelming prevailing clinical trials that have looked at the efficacy have indicated it's not
effective in coronavirus disease. you would think he would defer to the fda, his fda who put out statement saying it's not effective shs don't use it and could have very serious heart related side effects. >> you would think but he can't let it go. it's vintage donald trump that he can't let it go. he started talking about this months ago. he insisted that it was something that could help despite the fact he has been told no, that's not right by, as you mentioned, his own fda head and so many other scientists. he continues to look for people who support him and that's why he retweeted that. it's a video with doctors that were claiming this drug was effective that was taken down by
all the social media platforms because it was misleading. the reason the president and his team wanted to restart the briefings was to have a political course correction. not a policy course correction though the two should go hand in hand but a police course correction because he was convinced he cannot win re-election by pretending this virus doesn't exist and wishing it to go away. the other thing, this is the politics of it. the other thing he was trying to do was try to somehow deflect from his this being a complete and total referendum on his leadership and start to talk a bit about joe biden in way ta people would pay attention to. the more the president does what he did today in talking about
hydroxychloroquine and he is sad that anthony fauci's poll numbers are higher than his. the more we're talking about donald trump and less about joe biden in the way the trump campaign wants to define him and i can tell you in texting with sources, they are pulling their hair out because it's not helping the way they hoped. >> he has a high approval rating referring to dr. fauci. why don't i? he said and at one point he said nobody likes me. he's obviously very, very sensitive to the approval rating that dr. fauci understandably has given fact he's worked in this field for 40 or 50 years. i want both of you to stand by. we have a lot more of our special coverage coming up. florida sees a new one day record for coronavirus deaths. we'll talk to the mayor of mi i miami. more players test positive for the coronavirus.
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we're following the breaking news on the coronavirus pandemic as the u.s. death toll is nearing 150,000 tonight. 150,000 americans. 150,000 have died from coronavirus in the past five months in march, april, may and june and now july. more than 1,000 americans died only yesterday. let ee let's get an update from florida. mayor thanks so much for joining us. you just heard the president is promote i promoting the unproven drug.
what's the mess this sends for the people in miami beach who are so worried about this disease. the fda says it's not effective. what's the impact on real people, for example, in your city? >> until we have a vaccine, commune occasion our vaccine. how to get around it? what do wear? how to comport yourself? what to do. when you give out false information it's like deteriorating the one vanguard we have against the spread. you'll hear stories about people taking it when they shouldn't. i think they are worried it's almost the opposite of what they should do at this point chrwhics shame. he has a real opportunity to lead now. >> the food and drug
administration, from april, put out a statement that it could cause abnormal heart rhythms. on july 1st, it includes serious heart rhythm problems and other safety includes including blood and lymph system problems. you think the president would be listening to his own fda. he's tweeting these glorious things about hydroxychloroquine. he said he took it for 14 days and i'm doing just fine. a new record today. the governor is calling it a positive development. is that how you characterize florida's fight against
coronavirus right now? >> our incredible increase is clowing down. if we end up hovering, we're hovering at a level that bring 20 to 30 people every day to their deaths because 100 to 250 people will go into the hospital every single day. you know, we can't, there's this impulse from the governor and president trump to try to down play the impact because they think, i guess, it reflects poorly on them. i think it's time that they just started telling people what they need to hear. not what they think they want to hear. we have 6,000, over 6,000 deaths in florida. we had 1425 deaths in my county alone and based on the projections, i think we'll have 20 to 30 or more deaths every single day ongoing just in my county, which is, as i think a lot of us fear, we're beginning to normalize something that should never be normalized.
down playing it statewide or nationally makes people think it's not urgent and it's just fine and business as usual. >> damngerous situation in florida. one of the real hot spots. major league baseball is now postponing multiple, multiple games after, at least, centu7 t members tested positive. is the baseball season, the abrooe abbreviate ed baseball season i serious jeopardy? save hundreds on your wireless bill
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pose poening multiple games after at least 17 players and coaches on the miami marlins tested positive for the coronavirus. this latest outbreak is raising a lot of new fsh sports can be played safely in the midst of this pandemic. >> reporter: they are agast at how major league baseball and the miami marlins have seemingly
shown a jarring lack of discipline. a stunning decision just a few games into the new and bizarre season. major league baseball announces several upcoming games. many of them involving the miami marlins will be postponed after what medical experts call a team outbreak, at least 17 player and staffers testing positive for coronavirus, according to espn. the league tonight most people are in isolation and are quote, receiving care. >> this is exploding. this is a huge problem for major league baseball and it's happening so soon. i think that's what's making headline here. the real surprise is how soon this has unravelled. >> reporter: a collective decision in a group text even though the team knew a few players tested positive. they acknowledged the group chat
and asked if the players considered not playing? >> that was never our mentality. we knew this could happen at some point. we came to the ballpark and ready to play. >> reporter: some marlin players were observed not distancing during the games this past weekend. >> the marlins handled this horribly. there's no other way to describe it. >> reporter: marlins ceo said in statement today the team is taking this entire situation, quote, very seriously. it was the league's decision to postpone games forced by one of the marlins upcoming opponents. according to unnamed source, the washington nationals voted as a team not to travel to miami for a veeseries this coming weekend. nationals manager who has been treated for heart condition was blunt about the general climate. >> i'll be honest with you. i'm scared. you don't know because of my heart condition, what happens to me if i do get it. >> reporter: tonight, health experts are skewering major
league baseball for not playing its season in a bubble. >> i think it's absolutely in explicable that baseball is traveling in middle of a play. you have outbreaks in many of the areas where teams are located, miami, phoenix, southern california, texas that are out of control. this plan that baseball has come up with makes no sense. >> reporter: baseball's breakdown comes as the nfl has announced its cancelling all pre-season games ahead of the 2020 stop sign the football, like baseball not planning to play in bubble. >> i think if you're a bubble, you have a good shot of finishing. if you're not in a bubble, it will show us difficult to finish the season and may be difficult to start a season.
>> reporter: major league baseball is a 10 billion dollar a year industry. it tests and treats players constantly. so far this experiment has not worked for them. experts are worried about us bringing back schools in sessions in school systems that don't have anywhere near those resources. >> it's a really, really potentially very dangerous situation that's unfolding in the world of sports. thanks very much for that. let's get some more on the significant announcement from major league baseball. we're joined by hall of fame broadcaster bob costa. only a few games. what do you think the chances are the league will actually be able to play the rest of this abbreviated 60-game season? >> in fairness i want to give them credit for meticulous protocols but you can't expect
everybody to abide by them outside a bubble. i think they had the best possible intentions but i see this as an on going game of whack a mole. you get the marlins situation under control if they can. something else is going to pop up somewhere else and as bryan todd's report pointed out, there are franchises located in cities and states where the virus is surging. also in fairness to baseball, if they were going to try to have even an abbreviated regular season, it doesn't make much sense to do that in a bubble which we're trying to finish the seasons they already started a and go right into the playoffs. outside a bubble, it's just impossible to believe that you can thread every one of these needles all the way through to the end of october without another circumstance. i'd like to believe that the marlins are one off. common sense tells me that's not likely. >> just to differentiate, the
nba in a bubble, every one is in the same place. they are playing the games. no fans. clearly nhl same thing. baseball, they are traveling. they are flying to different cities. they are going home spending time at home with their families, friends. it's a potentially very risky operation, right? >> by the way, if and when the marlins resume their season, where do they play? in south florida. one of the hot beds which is why the nationals balked at heading down there. the canadian government says we don't want any other teams coming in here. we're not going to run that rust risk. they might have to find a new temporary home for marlins. i sympathize with what baseball is trying to do. it seems like they are just swatting at locusts. there's too many things in different directions.
>> how would you assess what major league baseball has done right because it's really worrisome. i worry about these players and i totally can understand my washington nationals, the team voting, they're not going to wam right now. this is too dangerous. >> in fairness, out of the other 29 teams, there's been no positive tests and the rate of positives was very, very low, less than 1% going back to what they gathered with the summer camp through the first few game of the resumption of the season. do you have an out break. there were four marlins on sunday. there's 17, 48 hours later. this is now a cliche. you can plan all you want but the virus has other plans. >> yeah. baseball players don't want to go to miami right now, which is totally understandable especially in the midst of pandemic unfolding there. it's a hot spot but also the play against the marlins could
be potentially dangerous. bob costas, thank you very much for joining us. >> thanks. just ahead, a testy showdown on capitol hill as democratic lawmakers accuse the attorney general of the united states of doing president trump's bidding and we'll have an exclusive report from moscow on russia's new claim that it's on the brink of a coronavirus vaccine breakthrough. plap
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for you right now. the attorney general of the united states bill barr, wrapped up very heated testimony up on capitol hill a little while ago. he spent much of the day, five hours or so, sparring with democrats over accusations that he has tilted justice in president trump's favor. our justice correspondent is joining us. barr was very aggressive to try to defend himself and the trump administration. >> he was. this contentious clash was ride ranging with the attorney general punching back amid criticism he's only working for the president. bill barr has said that he is always acted independently. democrats digging in and airing their numerous grievances against the ag. >> reporter: bill barr standing his ground. >> president has not attempted to interfere in these decisions. >> reporter: in the long awaited showdown between the attorney general and house democrats, holding firm he's not using his position to do the president's
bidding. >> on the contrary. he has told me from the start that he expects me to exercise my independent judgment to make whatever call i think is right and that is precisely what i have done. >> reporter: democrats laid into him. >> shame on you mr. barr. >> reporter: accusing him of politicizing protests around the country by setting in federal agents, i appropriately stepping to investigate the origins of russia probe and protecting the president's allies like michael flynn and roger stone. bar pushed back. >> you say i helped the president's friends. cases that are sided, the stone case and flynn case are where i determined that some intervention was necessary to rectify the rule of law and make sure people are treated the same. i agree the president's friends don't deserve special breaks. they also don't deserve to be treated more harshly than other people. >> reporter: barr also repeatedly defended the presence of federal officers in portland,
oregon. >> we're trying to protect federal functions and federal buildings. if the state would come in and keep peace on the streets in front of the courthouse, we wouldn't need additional people at the courthouse. >> the economy chair brushed off barr's explanations. >> the president wants footage and you appeared to be serving it up to him as ordered. >> reporter: referencing the killing of george floyd, congresswoman con fronted him and said the doj failed to pursue cases. >> i don't agree there's systemic racism. >> that's what we need us to join us on and recognize that institutional racism does exist and until we accept that, we will not finish our job and reach the goals and a spi rat n rations. >> reporter: republicans went on the attack accusing democrats of targeting the attorney general because he's ordered a probe
into the origins of the russia investigation and the ag's prooefrs assertion the trump campaign was spied on. >> spying on a political campaign is a big deal. it sure is. since that day, since that day, when you had the courage to state the truth, they attack you. they have been attacking you ever since. >> reporter: bill barr was asked repeatedly about the upcoming election. he says he doesn't believe it will be rigged but he did repeat the false claim that there could be widespread discrepancy with soc some of those mail in votes. >> thanks very much. lee let's get some analysis. jeffrey toobin is with us. he's the author of new book true crimes and misdemeanors. we'll discuss the book. was this a performance by the
attorney general for an audience of one, namely the president of the united states? what did you see? >> in a way it was. i don't think bill barr was performing. i think this is what he actually believes. i think this is why he was chosen as attorney general. donald trump didn't have to tell bill barr to help his friends to assert there is no such thing as systemic racism in police work because those are beliefs that barr has held for years. he believes in an extremely expansive view of executive power. yes, this was a pleasing performance for the president but this is who william barr is and he didn't have to manufacture favorable views for the president because he already held them. >> there were several really powerful exchanges he had with the democrats, republican members and they took a very
different stance. the attorney general, at one point, and you heard it couldn't recall a single other case where he intervened in the sentencing recommendation like he did with president trump's long time friend roger stone. you've done extense ifr reporting, what did you make of bar's defense of his intervention in that specific case? >> i thought that was one of the democrats most effective moments. the congressman from rhode island raised this issue. why out of all the federal prosecutions in the country, why did you feel this one prosecution of roger stone was an excessive sentence. is it possible out of all the thousands of others there were no exsensitive sentences. i thought they made a very effective case in was a special case of justice.
a special case of privilege for someone who was a friend of the president as roger stone is and the idea that he intervened simply because this was an excessive sentence was hard to credit when you consider it was the only one he's ever intervened in during his tenure as attorney general. >> barr said the 7 year, 8 year sentence for a 67-year-old with no record at all was too much and he recommended what they cut it in half maybe three or four years. barr was grilled in the crackdown on protesters outside the white house last month. the use of federal agent, did you hear a sound legal justification for those actions? >> this is an example of, again, why the president chose william
barr in first place. he is someone who doesn't approve of any sort of aggressive protesting. he did not -- he did not acknowledge this was interference with peaceful protesters. one of the real core con flifli that came out is that the attorney general does not believe in the premise of the black lives matter movement. he does not believe, as president trump does not believe that there is systemic racism. that police, as a general matter treat black people worse than they treat white people. this is a core difference between the democratic party and the republican party, between joe biden and between donald trump. all you heard today was william barrreally representing the view that there is no systemic racism in the united states. we'll see how the voters decide that question in november.
just ahead, a cnn exclusive, we'll go live to moscow of russia's claim of a coronaviru vaccine breakthrough. much more right after this. and here we have another burst pipe in denmark. if you look close... jamie, are there any interesting photos from your trip? ouch, okay. huh, boring, boring, you don't need to see that. oh, here we go. can you believe my client steig had never heard of a home and auto bundle or that renters could bundle? wait, you're a lawyer? only licensed in stockholm. what is happening? jamie: anyway, game show, kumite, cinderella story. you know karate? no, alan, i practice muay thai, completely different skillset.
world's first coronavirus vaccine in less than two weeks. matthew chance is in moscow for us with this exclusive report. what are you learning, matthew? >> reporter: well, wolf, the russians are calling it a sputnik moment, a reference to that successful unexpected satellite launch by the soviet union in the 1950s that surprised everyone. this time though, it's a coronavirus vaccine that russian scientists are launching into the global pandemic. it's been in the pipeline for quite a while, but tonight we've got the first and clearest indication of when that vaccine will be set for approval for the russian public. we've been given a date by russian officials on the 10th of august or even earlier which is of course extraordinarily quick. russian officials say that the technology they've used has been used in the past. they're simply adjusting an old virus to be relevant to the coronavirus and they're doing that with data they've already got, so they've managed to do it much quicker.
but they've also set aside the conventions, the human testing, and this is a vaccine that the scientists injected into themselves. and we've also learned tonight that the phase three crucial human trials will take place as the vaccine is made publicly available. >> who would be the first, matthew, to receive this vaccine? >> reporter: well, the russian health ministry saying that's going to be frontline health wo workers followed shortly after by other vulnerable categories. i've just been given other figures as well, saying by the end of the year they expect to manufacture 200 million doses of this. there's a great deal of skepticism around the world about the claims of the effectiveness and safetiness of this virus. >> matthew chance in moscow. thank you. we're going to have much more news right after this. the course structure the university of phoenix offers-
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seriously. his son's bar mitzvah just months before he passed was the happiest day of his life. may they rest in peace and may their memories be a blessing. "erin burnett outfront" starts right now. "outfront" next, breaking news, the u.s. on the verge of 150,000 deaths, the president back to misleading americans about hydroxychloroquine and masks. what happened to the new tone, you know, about wearing a mask? plus a world renowned doctor known for his groundbreaking work on hiv and aids says there's one thing the united states can do right now to get this fixed. what is it? that doctor is "outfront." and even republicans don't want it. 1 and 3/4 fbi building in the coronavirus bill. does the trump hotel stand to gain? our report coming up. let's go "outfront."