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Fauci: U.S. Could See 100,000 Cases Per Day If Surge Continues; A New Strain Of Swine Flu Uncovered; Gov. DeSantis Addresses Rise In COVID-19 Cases In Florida; Pres. Trump Continues To Stoke Racial Divisions, As Coronavirus Cases Spike; Judge Temporarily Blocks Publication Of Trump Niece Tell-All. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired June 30, 2020 - 20:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: And thank you very much, and of course, not handling over his cell phone password either. I appreciate your time and all of yours as well. Thank you for joining us. "AC360" with Anderson starts now.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening, let's get straight to it. Today, the country's most trusted official on the pandemic gave the sharpest warning yet about where things could be headed, and whether he intended it that way or not, what Dr. Anthony Fauci told a Senate Committee today was also a stark indictment of how we got here.


SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): Based on what you're seeing now, how many COVID-19 deaths and infections should America expect before this is all over?

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: I can't make an accurate prediction, but it is going to be very disturbing, I will guarantee you that. Because when you have an outbreak in one part of the country, even though in other parts of the country, they're doing well. They are vulnerable.

I made that point very clearly last week at a press conference. We can't just focus on those areas that are having the surge. It puts the entire country at risk.

We are now having 40-plus thousand new cases a day. I would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 a day if this does not turn around.

I think it's important to tell you and the American public that I'm very concerned because it could get very bad.


COOPER: A hundred thousand new cases a day. That's the equivalent of the entire population of Manchester, New Hampshire in Pompano Beach, Florida or Boulder, Colorado becoming infected with coronavirus every single day. For perspective, here is the European Union, roughly comparable to the

U.S. in population. Right now, the European Union is averaging less than 5,000 new cases a day and even at its peak, even at the worst point of the outbreak, the number stayed under 30,000. That was back in March.

Today, heading into July after months of what the Vice President likes to call a whole of government effort, Dr. Fauci is warning that we all could soon be living in a country with more than triple the worst that ever saw in Europe, and two and a half times the all-time high numbers we're seeing right now.

Forty thousand new cases a day right now. It's 10,000, a day more than before states began reopening. It's also far above the kind of containment level where experts say that contact tracing even makes sense anymore. We've blown past that.

A senior C.D.C. official telling the "Journal of the American Medical Association," I quote, "We have way too much virus across the country for that right now." Which is why this country is now a pariah state.

Starting tomorrow, European Union countries will reopen travel from 14 countries including Canada, Montenegro, Rwanda and Central Africa, but not the U.S., the world leader for decades in the study of prevention of infectious disease, the biggest economy in the world, the only country to send people to the moon and we can't even fly to Paris, because Americans are now a health hazard. So much for the so-called whole of government approach that Vice President Pence keeps going on about it.

Let's be honest, it's not been a whole of government approach, because whole of government means the Federal government. It's been a good luck you're on your own. That's the approach this administration decided to take when they left it to the states.

Remember, the President talking about this being a war against an invisible enemy? I mean, if this country was actually invaded by an enemy force, and the President left its defense up to individual states the way they do with coronavirus, that President would be forced to resign.

Things are now so bad that states in the northeast which got hit so hard and made so many sacrifices to contain the outbreak, they have now tightened restrictions on people coming in from other parts of the country, and 17 states nationwide are starting to close back up.

That too is a result of the Federal government's lack of a coherent Federal response. All of government response, please.

It's every region, every state, every locality for itself, or every individual. Absent months of nationwide federally organized testing, tracing containment, changing individual behavior in the form of mask wearing, it's now become a weapon of last resort.


PREVENTION: It is critical that we all take the personal responsibility to slow the transmission of COVID-19 and embrace the universal use of face coverings.

FAUCI: There is no doubt that wearing masks protects you and gets you to be protected.

ADMIRAL BRETT GIROIR, H.H.S. ASSISTANT SECRETARY: We need to support mask wearing. When I'm not in uniform, I wear them. They're white. They work very effective. And I think they're a great investment for the American people.

DR. JEROME ADAMS, U.S. SURGEON GENERAL: It is not an inconvenience. It is not a suppression of your freedom.

FAUCI: When you're outside and not have the capability of maintaining distance, you should wear a mask at all times.

ADAMS: This face covering actually is an instrument of freedom for Americans if we all use it.

ALEX AZAR, HUMAN AND HEALTH SERVICES SECRETARY: Wear facial coverings where social distancing is not possible.

ADAMS: Please, please, please wear a face covering when you go out in public.


COOPER: That's the Surgeon General of the United States literally begging Americans to wear a mask. That's where we are.

So, where is the President of the United States? And why isn't he leading the way on mask wearing? You can see all the officials you want pleading with people to wear a mask. The President of the United States, the most powerful person in the world, he led the way on reopening, but he has been subverting the idea of wearing masks from the moment he announced it.

I mean, remember, at the same time, as he announced the Taskforce recommendation about mask wearing, he kept pointing out it was voluntary, just a suggestion, really. And he crowed about how he wouldn't wear a mask because it was, you know, so unbecoming.

Essentially, he could protect his vanity by not wearing a mask, but an actual mask that would protect other people? No, that -- that was beyond the pale.

Here's Republican Senator, Lamar Alexander, Chairman of the Committee that heard Dr. Fauci's testimony today imploring people to take the politics out of the equation.


SEN. LAMAR ALEXANDER (R-TN): Which is why I think it's so important that we get over this pro-Trump, anti-Trump mask debate. I mean, where people say, well, if I'm for the President I'll not wear a mask; if I'm against the President, I will.

Which is why I've suggested that occasionally, the President might want to wear a mask just to signal to people that he thinks it's important.


COOPER: Wow. That's a bold statement. The President, he might want to, you know, he might want just occasionally, you know. That's not too hard, just to signal the people, you know.

Leave aside for a moment that this is a ridiculously low bar suggestion, the President occasionally might want to signal that he thinks mask wearing is important. Leave aside that in the middle of a pandemic that killed 126,000 Americans. This is the best a retiring senator can manage.

Chairman Alexander's statement does raise the right question, namely, what does the President think is important. Statues of dead people for one. Take a look. The President spent part of the weekend sending out tweet after tweet of photos of people allegedly defacing statues, one after the other, like a guy bum rushing the Post Office papering the walls with wanted posters.

Leading CNN political analysts and "New York Times" White House correspondent Maggie Haberman to post this writing, "The President's Twitter feed feels like he is producing a crime show while much of the rest of the country is having a very different conversation," a more relevant conversation to millions of Americans concerned about whether they might catch a deadly disease, or their moms might or their dads or their grandparents or their children, which any other President, Republican or Democrat would be focused intensely, if not obsessively on.

Instead, just a couple hours before Dr. Fauci gave his chilling testimony, today, the President was tweeting this, "We are tracking down the two anarchists who threw paint on the magnificent George Washington statue in Manhattan. We have them on tape. They will be prosecuted and face 10 years in prison based on the Monuments and Statues Act. Turn yourselves in now."

That is where the President's head is. On catching a pair of vandals who threw paint on a statue in New York, a couple blocks from my house, when he could be using that platform to save tens or even hundreds have thousands of lives.

The tweet might read, we are all Americans and Americans look out for each other. Please wear a mask. He might even do a Dick Cheney recently, it did include a photo of himself wearing one. He might also tell his Vice President to do the same without adding that, you know, the thing he always does about if state and local officials require it.

But keeping them honest, let's get real. Let's play you the clip that illustrates the President's vanity about mask wearing that I mentioned a moment ago, because this is what he has always believed on the subject.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I just don't want to wear one myself. It's a recommendation. They recommend it. I'm feeling good. I just don't want to be doing it. I don't know, somehow sitting in the Oval Office behind that beautiful Resolute Desk -- the great Resolute Desk -- I think wearing a facemask as I greet Presidents, Prime Ministers, dictators, Kings, Queens -- I don't know, somehow, I don't see it for myself.

I just -- I just don't. Maybe I'll change my mind. But this will pass and hopefully, it'll pass very quickly.


COOPER: He sprays a mask on his face every day for vanity, but an actual mask that would protect other people that -- that he just can't do.

Joining us now, CNN chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta; also Michael Haseltine, a preeminent researcher formerly at Harvard University and the recent author of "A Family Guide to COVID."

Sanjay, Dr. Fauci is warning today that if -- I mean, if basically, we don't do something, if we don't turn this around, if people don't start wearing their mask, the United States could see 100,000 new cases a day.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT Yes, you know, I mean, it's mind numbing to hear a number like that, right? It's really -- it's really frightening. I was not surprised at the number. I mean, we're seeing what the growth of these cases. It's like a big, you know, freight ship in the middle of the ocean. It's gaining a lot of steam and it's going to be hard to slow down. I think that's what he was referring to.

What I was surprised a little bit, Anderson was that he even gave a number. I mean, he's always so careful with these things. He typically doesn't give a number because he doesn't want to be pinned down to it. And if he does give a number, it's usually a conservative estimate, you know.

Anderson, you'll remember, it was just a couple of months ago, and we were hearing that 60,000 people were likely to die by August 4th, according to one of the models that you and I were talking about, and that was horrifying. Right? And now we're here at the end of June, and it's double that.

So, I don't know. These models, you know, it's tough to make anything of them, but I think there's no question the numbers are going in the wrong direction. Absolutely.

COOPER: Yes. Professor Haseltine, first of all, I apologize. I think I called you Michael to begin with. It's William -- William Haseltine, Professor, what's your reaction to the testimony on Capitol Hill today and the spike in cases in large parts of the U.S.?

DR. WILLIAM HASELTINE, CHAIR AND PRESIDENT, ACCESS HEALTH INTERNATIONAL: Well, we're now reaping what we've sown over the past months. That is we failed to control this epidemic in a number of our southern, western and the south part of California. We just didn't do what we needed to do.

And the moment we relaxed, there was a big base of infection that just exploded. And so those places like New York City that took it seriously, we've gone from 10,000, 11,000 people down to 500 to 600 a day. We're not where we need to be, but we're doing a lot better.

But the whole rest of the country didn't pay attention, didn't believe what everybody was telling them, and this is the result.

And now, we hope people will start behaving more responsibly. We hope that leadership will behave more responsibly, and we can begin to put this genie back in the bottle.

COOPER: Professor, do you really think that's going to happen, though? I mean, it seems like you know, the President made a decision early on, just to wash his hands of this and to, for reasons that are pretty obvious, just get people trying to reopen stuff so the economy picks up, so it reflects well on him.

I mean, it takes political courage and will to really make a change -- and do you believe it's possible to put the genie back in the bottle?

HASELTINE: I think it's maybe not possible to put our President back in a bottle, but it is possible for the American people. We're a smart people. I have great confidence in my fellow Americans, and I believe that this situation is now so grim and is getting worse by the day that everybody is going to begin to understand, it is their responsibility.

And we don't have a national leadership. We're going to have local leadership. You can already see that happening.

The local leadership in this country is saying, wait a minute, this is my state. This is my city. I've got to protect it. I don't care what the national government is telling me. I've got to protect my people.

And I'm seeing that response and I'm very heartened by that response. And I think you're going to see the mayors and the governors singing a very different tune from now on. They know it's in their backyard and it's their job to take care of it if no one else does.

COOPER: Sanjay, I mean, is it too late for contact tracing in some of these places?

GUPTA: I think it'd be very hard to do contact tracing right now. I mean, these numbers are just too big. I mean, you know, you think about contact tracing 40,000 people every day. That's an entire sector of our society that would need to be devoted to that. You're calling people, you're trying to find all of these contacts.

People don't answer the phone. You've got to go to their house or their apartment, knock on the door. I mean, it's a lot of work. That's why you want it to see the numbers come down to a manageable level.

And again, Anderson, you remember that even a couple of months ago, people like Dr. Tom Frieden were saying, we would need 300,000 contact tracers in order to do this right -- Tom Frieden, former head of the C.D.C.

That was back then. That was when the numbers were what they were back then. So, I think now would be really hard. That's why we've got to bring these numbers down.

I should say as well, I agree with Professor Haseltine. You know, I think that one thing we did see in some of these places around the country, even when places started to reopen even where I live, and things were reopening, there were groups of people who just immediately took advantage of that.

But for the most part, things -- people still stayed home for a period of time. They still wore masks in certain areas. So, if not the policies, then the people, may help lead us out of this.

COOPER: Yes, we've got to take a quick break. When I come back, we're going to talk more with both Sanjay and Professor Haseltine.

I want to ask about this new strain of the flu that's been uncovered and what that may add to the mix this fall.

We've also been trying to track down Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis for days to ask him about the rising number of cases in his state and whether he regrets opening so early. He's been difficult to find, put it mildly. Randi Kaye got to him today. We'll show you how that went -- ahead.



COOPER: We're back with Professor William Haseltine and Sanjay Gupta. We've been talking about testimony today from Anthony Fauci and others pointing to the outbreak in this country getting almost unimaginably worse in the months ahead, but if that's not enough, there could be more -- another virus that could turn ugly.

Sanjay, what are you learning about the new swine flu that the Chinese researchers discovered?

GUPTA: Well, you know, this is a part of a surveillance program where they've been looking at these pigs, swine in China and for the last several years, they basically looked to see if there's any viruses that are of concern, and mostly there haven't been there.

There may be a virus one year, it disappears the next year; but one virus sort of stayed constant over several years, they are calling it G4, that's the name of the virus, and they also found it then in the workers who are handling these pigs, about 10 percent of the workers who handle these pigs.

So this was a zoonotic virus and made the jump from animals to humans. So that was the first point of concern. What it does not appear to do and this is significant is actually move them from human to human. That's when you know, obviously as we saw with this coronavirus, things get really concerning.

But this is what you know virus hunters do, Anderson. You and I spent time with them in various parts of the world. This is the type of surveillance. Right now, this is something they're keeping an eye on, but the quote that I heard was, you know, not something to get freaked out about right now.


COOPER: Professor, in terms of what Dr. Fauci said about, you know, possibly getting up to 100,000 new cases every single day. How do we avoid that? I mean, what is -- is it just the things we now know, which is, you know, social distancing, staying at home as much as possible, mask wearing -- all the rest that we know or is there something more and new that has to be done?

HASELTINE: There is not going to be time for very much new. Time will bring drugs to bring this under control. Time may bring vaccines that will bring this under control.

But for now, there are new studies that show that what we're talking about -- wearing masks, social distancing, staying home, only doing what you really have to do can reduce transmission by twenty-fold. It can change it from a curve that goes up to a curve that goes down. That is a big change.

And I think that's what every American needs to hear. Their individual actions are going to determine what happens to this infection going forward.

If that number is going to be 100,000, and then 200,000 a day, that's because we made it so. If that number goes from 100,000 to a thousand a day, it's because we made it so by our own actions. It is time for us to understand that each action contributes to what this virus will do. We can't control it, but we have to take what people are telling us seriously.

COOPER: Yes, I mean, Professor, has there ever been, you know, a virus or disease that's been brought under control without you know, firm leadership from the place where it's in?

HASELTINE: You know, I can't answer that question. But I can tell you, I grew up during polio days, and everybody knew how to behave. We couldn't go in more than groups of three boys at a time. We couldn't go to the swimming pool. We couldn't go to theaters, and everybody did it, because everybody knew what would happen if they didn't.

And so, it wasn't so much at that time that our leaders told us. We had a cultural understanding. We have forgotten, because we've been so lucky since the war to have antibiotics and vaccines that we think we're privileged not to have disease.

Well, this is a reminder. We have to go back to some of those older patterns. It isn't that we didn't have them. It is that societies can't behave that way.

So, we've forgotten how to do it. And it's time to remember.

COOPER: Sanjay, I think it's such an interesting point. I mean, you know, the idea of citizenship, of you know, being part of a community, and that is not just, you know, me it's we, and the emphasis, you know that you have to think about the we in all of this.


HASELTINE: And there's no government there.

COOPER: Sorry. Go ahead.

HASELTINE: There is no government that can do this. No government can control a whole people. We have to do it ourselves. We have to internalize it.

COOPER: Sanjay?

GUPTA: They can't control -- I think that's true. But I will say, I think that we have suffered a little bit from the mixed messaging in this country. I mean, I think that if people were certainly clear to gradually --

COOPER: The President of the United States leading the way on example, at the very least.

GUPTA: Yes, and also just like basic things where there was these criteria that were released from the White House, you know, in terms of when state should reopen. Pretty simple criteria to follow.

I mean, you know, that's what needed to be done. And then, you know, the next day it was like, yes, but we're going to go ahead and open anyway. I wasn't sure at the time whether any state really followed the criteria. Had we done that, we'd be in a much different position now.

And it was enabled -- these criteria. I mean, there was no law enforcing it, but it was enabled to not follow the criteria. So, the question about leadership is a good question.

But I think part of the problem is that we have suffered from mixed messages. There are people who still believe this is not a problem right now, and it is.

COOPER: Yes. And frankly, with the President announcing if the Virus Taskforce policy recommendation on wearing masks at the very same moment, he does that, you know, not even out of, you know, with a silent voice, he says out loud, you know, it's only voluntary, you don't have to do it and he's not going to do it.

Sanjay, Professor Haseltine, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

More now in Florida, which reopened early and enthusiastically because as Governor Ron De Santis said at the time, Florida is not New York.


GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): You've got a lot of people in your profession who wax poetically for weeks and weeks about how Florida was going to be just like New York. Wait two weeks, Florida's going to be next, just like Italy. Wait two weeks.

Well, hell, we're eight weeks away from that and it hasn't happened.


COOPER: It took a while longer to happen, but it did. And I don't say that with any glee. Now that it has, the Governor's people have made it especially hard for anyone to ask him about it or even find him. Funny how that happens.

Today, Randi Kaye finally caught up with him. She joins us now. Randi, what happened?

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, we wanted to track the Governor down to ask him about that soundbite that you just played. And here is our exchange.


KAYE: You have criticized the media a while back saying we had a partisan narrative for saying that Florida was going to be just like New York, but don't these spiking numbers prove that you were wrong in saying that, so what went wrong in Florida and what did you do wrong?

DESANTIS: We're not even close to that. So, we went through March, April. People were predicting we'd have 400,000 people hospitalized. It never came. We had, you know, very stable numbers all through May and early June, where our best testing number is very low. Test results in terms of percent positive.

You know, obviously, you've seen a higher percentage test positive now, but just understand, some of those states were testing at 60 to 70 percent. So you know, we've been now 10 to 15. We obviously want to get that back down in the single digits.

So we're very well positioned to be able to handle what comes down the pike. But to compare us what we're doing with that, it's totally apples to oranges.

KAYE: Well, if I could just follow up -- if I could just follow up just very quickly.


COOPER: I guess, they didn't let you follow up there.

KAYE: No, Anderson, they did not. One of his handlers quickly shouted over me. We're moving on and called on another reporter. And it was so interesting because it was the handler who called on the reporter, not even the Governor.

But I was just trying to make a few points to the Governor. You heard him there say that the positivity rate in Florida is 10 to 15 percent. Anderson, that is just not true. In Lee County where Fort Myers is, they've seen a positivity rate of 20 percent. That is up from 13 percent.

And in Miami-Dade County, the positivity rate for the last two weeks has averaged more than 17 percent. The county itself says it would like to be around 10 percent, and just finally, the hospitals, he says -- he said today that the hospitals have plenty of capacity, again, Anderson not true.

The Mayor of Miami on CNN just last night saying that some hospitals in Miami are either at or close to capacity -- Anderson.

COOPER: Thanks very much. Appreciate it. Randi from Florida tonight.

Just ahead, reaction to what members the Coronavirus Taskforce said today from one of the committee members who attended the hearing.

Senator Chris Murphy on their prognosis and the President's refusal to wear a mask when we return.



COOPER: During his testimony today, Dr. Anthony Fauci could not have made it more clear quote when you're outside and do not have the capability of maintaining distance, you should wear a mask at all times period, full stop. In fact uncontested by medical experts, Democrats and many Republicans tonight and yet, as our next guests, Senator Chris Murphy explained to us become a political issue and all because the loudest voice in the room and on social media the President's is also the most conspiratorial.


SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D-CT): Well, our panelists tell us about the importance of wearing masks. The President of the United States is retweeting articles, for example, entitled, "Mandatory Masks Aren't About Safety, They're About Social Control." He retweets people that are criticizing how folks look when they wear masks. Though our panelists today are telling us about the effectiveness of social distancing, the President of United States is holding rallies all across the country in which he deliberately prevents people from distancing.

(END VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: And joining us now, Senator center Chris Murphy. You know, Senator, I mean, it is -- it's so clear that President Trump has no interest in dealing with this pandemic anymore. And his instead focus on amplifying, you know, so-called culture war issues like defending Confederate statues from being taken down, saying that everyone's trying to take Jesus off the cross.

The idea that we are in this situation now, and that the virus continues to just spread and grow. And the number say that Fauci is talking about is incredibly scary. And the President is actively subverting what is good for the health of each individual American is just stunning to me. And it just seems surreal. I just cannot believe we're sitting here in this situation.

MURPHY: You know, the President seems to think that if he doesn't talk about coronavirus, then it will go away, and people will stop caring about it. And, you know, that's proof of his ignorance. It's also proof of the bubble that exists around this White House.

The coronavirus dominates everyone's life in this country on a daily basis for the millions of Americans out of work. They can think of nothing except coronavirus, for those of us who are parents getting ready to send our kids back to school one or two days a week. We're talking every single hour about coronavirus.

And so, the President can't wish this away. He can't decide to start tweeting about statues being vandalized and everyone's going to forget about this.

And the steps he is taking to frankly undermine the kind of steps we took in Connecticut to get ahead of coronavirus like social distancing, like building a non partisan apolitical mask, wearing culture is just going to make it even more guaranteed that efforts for the President to try to distract Americans are not going to work. Because as these cases mount, Fauci saying today, maybe 100,000 a day, by the middle of the summer, there is going to be no way for any government leader to avoid what will be a crisis over the summer that may make what we went through in the spring look like child's play.


COOPER: I mean, you would just in any president, normal president in the history of this country or in frankly, any country, that president would be, you know, going to a mask factory and in the strategic stockpile and visiting hospitals, and going, you know, meeting with doctors on the front lines, and I mean, rallying the country in this Herculean effort to, you know, to save ourselves, and yet, we have gone from being on track with Europe to now falling off that track, and we're now banned from Europe.

MURPHY: Well, it makes it -- what makes it even more unforgivable, is that we now know what works right. I mentioned that in Connecticut, we were a hotspot and we now have a positive test rate of less than one percent a day, we have less than 100 people in the hospital in our entire state. And so all you have to do is copy what we did, right? You have to keep things closed until you get transmission rates under

control. You have to build that apolitical mask wearing culture, and you've got to do a pretty rigorous system of testing and tracing and quarantine. And so all the President has to do is pick up what we did in New Jersey, in New York and Connecticut, and build that same system in other parts of the country.

And by the fall, we really couldn't be as a nation on the other side of this but because he deliberately undermines the now evidence based practices to get coronavirus under control. He's guaranteeing that the price is going to be here throughout the rest of his presidency.

COOPER: I don't understand why his -- the people are going to his rallies just do not -- do not see that. I mean, I don't know if they just don't care. They think that it's not that bad that they themselves are not going to die. And maybe some old people are going to die.

And maybe they're not as concerned about that. I mean, I just don't understand the logic of, you know, it just seems like a simple thing we can do, you know, you can reopen, but wear a mask and social distance and still follow guidelines that his White House put out?

MURPHY: Well, right. And that's why it's so impossible for us to watch the experts who testified today say all the right things, and then have the President on a daily basis under mine them. It's almost as if we have two different federal governments, two parallel governments today, you've got the CDC and the NIH and HHS, you know, saying, keep your distance, keep things closed until it's safe to reopen wear masks, and then you have the President undermining them on a daily basis.

And, again, it's so unforgivable, because we have a pathway for states to reopen. We have a game plan that we have shown people in the northeast can be effective here. And, you know, ultimately, you know, this will be the President's political undoing, because Americans are not going to be distracted from the issue that dominates their lives so long as the infection rate is so high.

COOPER: Yes. Senator Chris Murphy, appreciate your time. Thank you very much.

MURPHY: Thanks.

COOPER: Up next, a new tweet from President Trump on his 2020 message defending America's "heritage". We talk about the President's definition of heritage with Representative Ayanna Pressley. Also about the racial divide the President's pushing as we near election day.


REP. AYANNA PRESSLEY (D-MA): We have been criminalized for the very way we show up in the world.



COOPER: When the President isn't ignoring the coronavirus pandemic or not reading the President's daily brief on intelligence he can be found stirring racial divisions online. Just last hour he tweeted this, "This is a battle to save the heritage history and greatness of our country #MAGA2020".

If you're at all confused by what he means by heritage, just remember that earlier this month he tweeted a defense of U.S. military installations named after Confederate soldiers as quote part of a great American heritage. Our next guest, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley recently made an impassioned speech from the House floor explaining what the true heritage of America is for many black American men and women.


PRESSLEY: Driving while black jogging while black, sleeping while black, we have been criminalized for the very way we show up in the world. Under the harsh gaze of far too many my black body is seen as a threat, always considered armed, centuries of institutionalized oppression will not be undone overnight.

For racism in America is a structural as the marble pillars of this very institution, there is a rallying cry in communities across the nation. Black Lives Matter as a mandate from the people. It's time. Pay us what you owe us. Our black skin is not a crime. It is the beautiful robe of nation builders.


COOPER: And joining me now is Congressman Ayanna Pressley. Congresswoman, thanks so much for being with us.

It's so interesting, I mean, I think what you said was so powerful. And it's a view of history that is not really taught in school books, and it's not really the way many certainly white Americans think of the history of this country, the pillars upon which it was built, and yet, undeniably going as far back in our country's history. This is our history.

PRESSLEY: Absolutely our original sin. And further, for 401 years there has then disproportionate pain legislated targeted, foisted upon black Americans, since the very inception of this country, from enslavement to unequal access to the GI Bill to Jim Crow, to the practice of redlining, which still persists to the war on drugs. And so the path forward is one where we must be very precise, and very prescriptive. We have legislated disproportionate hate, hurt and harm on to black Americans.

And now we must legislate healing and justice. There is unrest in our streets and there will be for as long as there is unrest in the life of black Americans. But I do believe this is a tipping point and a moment of reckoning.

[20:45:12] COOPER: The White House keeps trying to -- or I should say the President he was trying to I guess the White House the people around the President tried to keep, you know, excusing and reframing what the President says or does when it's obvious what he says and does we can hear it and we see it. I mean, this is what he thinks can deliver him a reelection win that that's, I mean, is that to you what the President is doing right now just focused on division in order to try to divide enough and when?

PRESSLEY: He's consistent if nothing else, Anderson, this is who he was before. He was elected to the Oval Office, you know, leading the birther movement, denying rental units to African-Americans, calling for the death penalty, a sensibly a lynching of the Central Park and now the exonerated five. And so he's consistent. Here's someone who was more upset about people throwing paint on Confederate statues, then the embedded and systemic institutionalized racism.

I don't call him the president. He's the occupant, he is simply occupying the Oval Office. He is void of the empathy, the compassion, the intellect, the strategy and the sense of responsibility.

And so yes, he does so division. And I'm encouraged that there is a movement that is emboldened in the face of that, and demanding that Congress lead and act as the conscience of this nation, in the absence of presidential leadership. Someone who, you know, I'm a woman of faith, and we often sing a spiritual I feel like a motherless child which is about the walls of the world. And I feel like an American without a president.

COOPER: Do you -- what do the next several months look like to you? I mean, it's sort of, there's so many things facing this country. There's this extraordinary outpouring in the streets which we have seen overwhelmingly peaceful, people from all different walks of life.

There's obviously COVID now to contend with, and now, you know, the election season is heating up, though in an election unlike any we've seen before, given COVID.

PRESSLEY: Well, that's right Anderson and we are managing a pandemic within a pandemic. You know, not only the coronavirus, a public health crisis, which has disproportionately impacted the black community. While also dealing with the pandemic, that the only thing that COVID- 19 could not kill, that's racism, police brutality, born out of the original sin of slavery, and also the economic hardship.

And so Congress has to act on all three of those, when it comes to the coronavirus, we need to get reoccurring us checks and relief to families, we need to cancel rent and mortgages. We need a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures. We need more aid to our small businesses.

We need aid for states and cities and we can't forget about our most vulnerable. And when I say vulnerable, that is not only those in nursing homes, that also includes our incarcerated men and women. These prisons are incubators for a virus like this to thrive. And as we've seen states open prematurely and we have sobering projections of infection rates and potential loss of life. We cannot forget about those that are incarcerated.

And so Rashida Tlaib, Representative Tlaib and I've introduced a bill to dismantle mass incarceration for public health. And that means the compassionate release of our elderly those with underlying conditions and those that are pregnant, and it provides funding so that we can offer community based alternatives. It's a death sentence.

COOPER: OK. Congresswoman --

PRESSLEY: So there's a lot of work to --

COOPER: Yes. Congresswoman Pressley, I appreciate your time. And we'll talk again, thank you very much.

PRESSLEY: Thank you Anderson.

COOPER: Coming up next, a legal victory of sorts for President Trump when it comes to another book he doesn't want published.



COOPER: President Trump's quarter rare legal victory today is in New York judge at least temporarily blocked the publication was believed to be an unflattering tell-all from the President's niece. The lawsuit was brought by the President's brother Robert, who says the book violates confidentiality agreement.

The lawyer Trump's niece, Mary Trump says the decision, quote flatly violates the First Amendment. They and the publisher plan to appeal the book Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man is scheduled for release July 28th.

Let's check in with Chris, see what he's working on for "CUOMO PRIME TIME".


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: I'll tell you what's interesting is a student of Trump is that his brother is the one advancing the lawsuit. You don't see the President and his brother together that often and probably for good reason. So that's an interesting move.

What we have tonight is a look at the urgency and what needs to be right -- done right now. They're no longer a debate about whether or not we need to do things differently. The numbers are upon us, the storm is upon us.

We also have one of the two people in a picture that has gone viral around the world. McCloskeys, who are in front of their house as a Black Lives Matter protests rolled by holding weapons and saying that they were confronted by an angry mob. What were they afraid of? Mr. McCloskey joins us tonight.

COOPER: Wow, look forward to that. Chris. That's about six minutes from now. Definitely watch. See you in a couple minutes.

An update on coronavirus survivor, how a pregnant nurse who got sick with a virus is doing now and her baby girl who was born prematurely.



COOPER: An update now on the coronavirus survivor, Sylvia LeRoy was pregnant when she got coronavirus, while working as a nurse in the Brooklyn New York hospital. She was put on a ventilator for a week, then given Remdesivir and seemed to be doing better, but then she had a heart attack. Here's what our sister surely told me back in May.


SHIRLEY LICIN, SYLVIA LEROY'S SISTER: Around 3:20 or 3:30, in the afternoon, I get a call from her attending doctor saying that Sylvia coded. When we were on the phone together, and she was saying that she was so sorry for my sister.

And I just -- I was frozen on the phone and I knew I had to call her husband. I was like, I need to get Jeff on the line. And we were listening while they were administering CPR to her. And after what I can say, the most awful number of seconds or minutes that it took. They said they the pulse and they rushed her off to the operating room to have an emergency C section.


COOPPER: Now here is Sylvia's baby girl after she was born prematurely. She left the hospital weighing five pounds three ounces. Esther now weighs eight pounds and is doing well. Beautiful baby girl. Sylvia has not been able to see her baby. She has done a video call with her son. Sylvia is still in rehab, learning to talk and swallow and many other things because their brain was starved of oxygen for up to eight minutes during that cardiac arrest.

Her sister tells us, Sylvia has made a lot of progress in rehab. Here's Sylvia with her husband just last week. Today we're told she laughed and smiled when she saw her parents on a video call. She's going to need round the clock care when he does -- when she does go home.


Her family set up a GoFundMe page, you see the info there on the on the screen. We wish Sylvia and her entire family the best in the weeks and months and years ahead.

The news continues right now. I'm going to hand it over to Chris for "CUOMO PRIME TIME".