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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Trump Claims U.S. Doing Very Well With COVID-19 As U.S. Deaths Top 155,0000 and 4.7 Cases; President Trump Blasts Main-In Voting At His Press Conference. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired August 3, 2020 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Hard to watch. And thank you for joining us. Anderson starts now.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, ANDERSON COOPER 360: Good evening. While the country may be in a new phase in this pandemic, President Trump certainly is not. There's no new phase, no new tone. There are, as there always have been serious medical experts offering the best information they know at the time they see it.
People like Dr. Anthony Fauci today explaining that this new phase that Dr. Deborah Birx mentioned on Sunday is about the increase in community spread. It's not just the largest cities or closed areas, like meatpacking plants or prisons.
No, it is bars, it is restaurants. It is people who are spreading it who have no symptoms at all. And that Dr. Fauci says makes it more difficult, more insidious to use his words.
But not according to the President who talked about how wonderful this new phase is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The virus is receding. In hotspots across the south and west, we must focus on new flare ups in the states with the case numbers have risen, including Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Missouri. And I think you'll find that they're soon going to be very much under control.
I think that we have done as well as any nation, if you really look, if you take a look at what's going on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: We're doing as well as any country, he said. Well, there was no mention of a national strategy or the 155,000 who have so far died or that most days, we are adding new cases across the country in the low to mid 60,000. No reason according to the President to change habits at all. As if to emphasize his lack of interest in the pandemic, at 9:07 a.m.
Sunday morning, the President arrived at Trump National Golf Course in Sterling, Virginia yet again to play golf exactly what he so condemned President Obama for doing.
Exactly one hour later, he teed off. In between, there were two interviews with two of his top health officials offering some rather sober commentary, commentary the President might have benefited from hearing.
One interview was with Admiral Giroir, a doctor and a member of the Coronavirus Taskforce. He did not have positive things to say about hydroxychloroquine.
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ADMIRAL BRETT GIROIR, H.H.S. ASSISTANT SECRETARY: At this point in time, there's been five randomized controlled placebo controlled trials that do not show any benefit to hydroxychloroquine.
So at this point in time, we don't recommend that as a treatment. There's no evidence to show that it is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: The second interview was with Dr. Birx. In that one, she talked about what she called the new phase of the virus.
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DR. DEBORAH BIRX, WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE COORDINATOR: But I want to be very clear, what we're seeing today is different from March in April. It is extraordinarily widespread. It's into the rural as equal urban areas.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Now, we don't know specifically which part of the interview the President saw or even if he did ultimately see it. Maybe someone showed it to him sometime later after his golf match or golf playing.
All we know is that a day later or after a report of House Speaker Pelosi criticizing Dr. Birx behind closed doors, the President tweeted this this morning, quote, "So Crazy Nancy Pelosi said horrible things about Dr. Deborah Birx going after her because she was too positive on the very good job we are doing on combating the China virus, including vaccines and therapeutics. In order to counter Nancy, Deborah took the bait and hit us. Pathetic."
He is saying she quote, "hit us," meaning she talked seriously about what this country is facing. The President sees that as hitting us, his administration.
He called Dr. Birx or the whole story, the whole thing, pathetic. Now if it was Dr. Birx, he was including as pathetic, he clearly doesn't care that She has gone out of her way, time and time again, perhaps to the detriment of her own credibility, to ignore the President's own statements undermining the work of the Taskforce, and frankly, just embarrassing himself.
There was that awkward time the President suggested injecting people with disinfectants to study what would happen. Dr. Birx looking pained as the President mused out loud if there was a way that injecting disinfectants could help, and perhaps that should be studied, or that Rose Garden news conference in March when she held up that chart about a Google website that would involve quick testing and drive-thru options and results in under 36 hours. Oh, that didn't happen. None of that was true.
Or when she said to the President, quote, "He's been so attentive to the scientific literature, and the details and the data." She has done a lot to bolster this President. But as Jeff Sessions can tell you, a lot with this President is never enough.
It's also ironic because less than 24 hours before the President's tweet, it was his White House who said you should not attack Dr. Birx. Dr. Fauci apparently, that's okay. That's an okay target according to this White House, but not Dr. Birx.
This from one of the top figures in their Communications Department quote, "It is deeply irresponsible of Speaker Pelosi to repeatedly try to undermine and create public distrust in Dr. Birx, the top public health professional on the Coronavirus Taskforce. It's also just wrong. Period. Hard stop."
Do not quote, "undermine and create public distrust in Dr. Birx," period. Hard stop, Mr. President.
So no, there is no new phase for the President; for the country, yes. Higher case counts, almost 231,000 dead predicted now by November. But the President apparently, things seem to be going well, he thinks.
Just like many health officials, like this emergency physician California, screaming for something to be done.
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DR. DESMOND CARSON, EMERGENCY ROOM PHYSICIAN: A hundred thirty four thousand people died in this country, but there was no response to try to stem that. The stemming should come, our rights are going to kill us. Our rights do not wear a mask. Our rights -- that bullshit is going to kill us.
South Korea had four -- one, two, three, four cases. They shut the whole damn country down. Shut it down. We're on your plan. This is going to get bad. When flu season comes, how am I going to differentiate flu from corona? How am I going to do that?
So we're at the point I believe right now, if we don't get serious, ashes, ashes, we all fall down.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, that doctor is Dr. Desmond Carson and he joins me just now.
Dr. Carson, thanks so much for being with us. What was it in particular? You're an emergency medicine physician in California. We heard of some what you said last Friday. I am wondering, what is it about what you're seeing and what you're experiencing as a doctor on the frontlines that has you so concerned?
CARSON: Well, last week, we had a peak in our county. I'm in Northern California in Contra Costa County. We had a peak on a Thursday whereby seven people succumb to COVID, and the next day, in the morning after they had asked me to speak to that, it was three other people had succumbed to COVID.
So that, for us, that was a spike. We had pretty much flattened the curve, and we were on the winning side of trying to get rid of it completely. So that's what spiked the whole interest of me speaking.
COOPER: When you see -- you know, I've talked to a lot of doctors who talk about this kind of this strange experience of what they're seeing every day at work in the hospitals and then they go outside and you see people out on the streets without masks or you see video of people on boats, at bars, having a good time, you know, acting like we're not in the middle of a pandemic, what do you -- what is that like?
CARSON: It pisses me off. It's disrespectful to the people who are working day in and day out from my clinic, to the multiple emergency departments, to the people who are going to fight this uni-strand virus in New York, Texas, Alabama, Miami, the people who put their lives on the line to make this work.
And as I said, we know that we're in a war. We are in a true battle. I was just noticing the other day that 600,000 people died in the Great War of World War II and that was in six years. We're at 150,000 and we are at six months.
People are very selfish and very self-centered that they cannot wear just a mask. That's all I'm asking. They just have to wear a mask, wash your hands, and practice social distancing.
I mean, when I walk in the house, my wife makes me drop my clothes. When I go in the kitchen and try to start eating, she stops, right there, wash your hands, and I get pissed off, but she is right. So I do what's the right thing. And if we do what's right, maybe we can stop this.
Remember in Korea, it was four cases -- uno, dos, tres, quatro -- four cases. They shut the whole damn country down and they got rid of it. Why can we not be respectful of this disease and just rid ourselves of it? The least we have to deal with herd immunity. We don't all want to have to deal with that.
COOPER: One of the things you said is our rights are going to kill us. You're talking about, you know, people saying, well, look it is my right not to wear a mask. What I don't understand, people wear seatbelts. People didn't like it when seatbelts were made part of the law, but -- they didn't like it, but it saved a lot of lives and people do it now and it seems normal now. You really feel that that our rights are going to kill us?
CARSON: Absolutely. They are absolutely doing it right now. You look at the outbreaks that occurred after Memorial Day, the outbreaks heartbreaks occurred after July 4th, people are partying and hanging out, doing their thing, drinking and dancing. Of course, I know what it's like to be young. I did that love that, blah, blah, blah.
But now is the time that we have to get serious about this infection called COVID-19. We need to be more respectful, respectful of our seniors. I've seen a young boy who is, you know, 19 to 20 years old with muscles rippling, he is arguing with a 67-year-old woman who is trying to check him at the cashier.
CARSON: That's just damn disrespectful, man. You know, it's disrespectful for us to walk around, as I said, and not respect the work that all people did in Seattle and New York.
These physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, they have to go home to their families. So they go to work to deal with this disease that's killing a hundred and -- where we at now -- 163,000? And killed 160,000 people and people are playing like this is a joke. This is not the fucking sniffles.
COOPER: No, you mentioned disrespectful, I'm always stunned, if I'm in a place and you know it has a sign on the door that says you know, "You must wear a mask." Somebody comes in and doesn't wear a mask, it seems so disrespectful to the cashiers, to the people who are taking their orders.
And it's also disrespectful that we expect those people who are not being paid enough to do this in this pandemic, to be the ones policing masks, that we're leaving it up to cashiers to face the brunt of this anger. It's infuriating.
CARSON: Ditto. That's exactly what I'm saying. I mean, an old lady should not have to argue with no young boy who is swelling up on her because he is talking about his damn rights.
He should just be respectful of that senior citizen who probably went through WWII, ain't no telling what this lady have been through, to be respectful of these people.
I mean, we're also disrespecting the people who are abroad, who are trying to protect our borders and our interests abroad when their families are here and they think that we're taking care of them and we're not. We're not taking care of these people's families. It is disrespectful.
So, if nothing else, these young people need to be a little bit more humble and just abide to the regulations of those who are intelligent; i.e., the people in public health.
One thing we definitely noted through this outbreak is that when we have a separation of church and state, there damn well needs to be a separation of health and state. We should follow the rules and guidelines of the public health officials who went to the best colleges, the best medical schools, went through residency for. That's 12 years of study, and then went to public health, just to make sure when outbreaks like this occur, that they can be the ones who give guidelines.
The C.D.C., they give guidelines, but we have people who are business people telling us what to do. If we respect the guidelines, we can be done with this and then move on to our economy. Because as I said the other day, winter is right around the corner. What am I going to do at the front door when somebody is coughing and gagging? Do I know they have the flu? Or do they have COVID? Or do they have as 45 said, the sniffles and a cold.
We won't know.
COOPER: Yes. Dr. Desmond Carson, I appreciate all you're doing and appreciate you speaking out. Thank you for being with us.
CARSON: Thank you.
COOPER: All right, you take care and be careful.
More perspective now from our chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta and public health expert and former Harvard Professor, William Haseltine. He now chairs Access Health International. He is the author of "A Family Guide to COVID: Questions and Answers for Parents, Grandparents, and Children."
Sanjay, the President is saying we're doing very well the day after his own top health expert, Dr. Birx, who he seems to at least until recently listened to as opposed to Dr. Fauci.
Dr. Birx, saying the pandemic has reached a new phase and is extraordinarily widespread, and yet, still no coordinated Federal plan for the virus. No change, no new phase for this President.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: No, it boggles the mind at this point. I mean, you know, the idea that Deborah Birx is coming out and saying, look, this is widespread, based on the numbers that we all see. It's probably under counting just how widespread this is. You know, it could be 10-fold worse than what we even know because we're still not even doing testing.
The problem is bad, it's getting worse and we're not doing anything really about it. Occasionally, we'll hold low pressure on a wound somewhere on the body, but that's really about it. So it's -- we're in the middle of the worst public health disaster of our lifetime as Dr. Carson was just saying, it really does boggle the mind that not only we're not doing anything about it, we're continuing to minimize it.
COOPER: Professor Haseltine, I want to play something else that the President said about the -- at the press briefing about lockdowns.
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TRUMP: Lockdowns do not prevent infection in the future. They just don't. It comes back, many times, it comes back. The purpose of a lockdown is to buy time to build capacity, especially as it respects to -- with respect to hospitals, learn more about the disease and develop effective treatments as we did in the United States.
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COOPER: Professor Haseltine, is that true about lockdowns?
DR. WILLIAM HASELTINE, CHAIR AND PRESIDENT, ACCESS HEALTH INTERNATIONAL: It's certainly not true. Lockdowns do work. I'll just give you a number to think about.
We had over 47,000 cases yesterday in the United States. In China, they had 43. Forty three and 47,000.
COOPER: Forty three. Period. Not 43,000.
HASELTINE: Forty three. Period. That's all the cases they had. Right? And that has been going on day after day. When we're at 60,000, they are 35 for the country of 1.4 billion people. Lockdowns work. Quarantine works. Isolation works. Wearing masks work. Contact tracing works. These things work and we're not doing them.
And I agree with Sanjay, it is extremely frustrating for anybody in health to see an epidemic like this go unchecked with what we see disaster ahead.
It isn't only Dr. Birx. It is anybody who looks at the situation. All you have to do is look at the numbers, look at where the infection is, look at who is getting infected, and then think what happens when we add 50 million more young people to the mix as schools reopen? It's a terrifying prospect.
COOPER: Sanjay, there are two new studies now showing that testing and contact tracing are key for reopening schools. When I saw that, you know, I mean, honestly, I thought, dear God, that's not good because the two things we are not doing well enough is testing and contact tracing.
We've talked to the mayor, you know, around Miami who was saying that, you know, their contact racers don't even in some cases, get about 17 percent of contacts. That's failure.
GUPTA: No, and we've been talking about this for months. I mean, you know, as Dr. Haseltine was just saying, if you get 50,000 new infections a day, admittedly, it would be a very laborious task to contact trace everybody.
You've got to bring the numbers down and the way that you bring the numbers down is through all the basic public health measures, all of these countries, and the places that Dr. Haseltine is talking about, they don't have a vaccine. They don't have anything that we don't have. They brought these numbers down using basic public health strategies.
When you bring the numbers down, then you can start to contact trace very effectively.
The two studies you're talking about, Anderson in "The Lancet," one was basically a modeling study in the U.K., saying if you were testing at least 75 percent of symptomatic people, you would start to bring the numbers down to a point where you could adequately contact trace and reopen schools safely.
In Australia, in New South Wales between late January and April, they kept schools open with aggressive testing, aggressive contact tracing and did not see any significant sort of, you know upticks in the community of new infections.
It is possible, but we just have so much virus out there right now. It's just such a large amount that we first have got to -- if it was a large tumor, we've got to shrink the tumor first before we can adequately treat it. It's just gotten too big.
COOPER: And Professor Haseltine, I mean, so many parents obviously worry about sending kids back to school. You've talked about a simple rule of thumb thinking about coronavirus, like the weather. Can you just explain that?
HASELTINE: Right. Well, everybody understands that you've got to look to see what your situation is. If there's a hurricane, you go to the basement with your children. That would be Miami. That would be Houston. That would be parts of Los Angeles. You just don't go -- you stay in the basement.
If it's a thunderstorm, you stay inside. You don't go outside, you might get hit by a lightning bolt. If it's a heavy rain, you go out with equipment.
Now each one of these corresponds to what we're calling red, orange, yellow or green. If it's a light rain, that would be yellow, you go out with equipment. If you're going to send your kid to a party, you find out that he is going to be protected.
It's only when it's nice and sunny that means less than one in a million people in your area is infected that you feel totally confident. We have to be very careful and people just have to use commonsense.
You know, there's nothing unusual about this virus. It's kind of like a cold virus, except it kills. If you think of this as transmission and how you would protect yourself from a cold virus, you'll have it pretty much right -- situational awareness. What's happening around you is really key to survival for you.
COOPER: Professor Haseltine, as always, thank you. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, as well. Thank you very much.
President Trump also bashing mail-in voting at the end of his briefing today, David Axelrod and Dana Bash will discuss if that's a sign of campaign turmoil, what the strategy is behind that. It's pretty clear.
We'll also have a live update on a hurricane that's expected to be making landfall in the Carolinas in the next few hours.
COOPER: President Trump spent the final few minutes of his news conference, thanks to an assist from a friendly reporter, yet again, blasting mail-in voting.
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TRUMP: They're using COVID to try and get the mail-in ballots. Now, absentee ballots are great. Absentee ballots, you have to request them. They go through a process. They get them. But the universal mail-in ballots have turned out to be a disaster.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: They all say, the Post Office is not prepared for the avalanche of mail-in ballots. Earlier today, responding to a previous complaint about them, the Post Office said, it has, quote, "Ample capacity to meet the projected mail volume."
Joining me, our chief political correspondent, Dana Bash, and David Axelrod, a CNN senior political commentator and former senior adviser to President Obama.
David, these -- I mean, these baseless voting conspiracies that the President keeps spreading. It's so obvious what he is trying to do here. And so doubt about, you know, in advance of this election, and it's married to his previous attack on the U.S. Postal Service.
DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, that's true. Well, first of all, to put this in context, remember, the President lost the last election by three million votes in the popular vote, and after the fact, tried to spin it as massive fraud and appointed a national commission that was run by his political cronies, and they could find no evidence of this fraud and there's really no evidence to support the idea that mail-in voting leads to fraud.
AXELROD: There are five states that rely on it almost entirely right now, and there's an infinitesimal fraud that the U.S. military has been relying on mail-in votes for years through war and peace with no problem, but I think what the President is setting up here is his post-election spin.
And you know what, an interesting nuance on this, Anderson, is the people who are responding to his arguments about mail-in voting are Republicans who now are less likely to use mail-in ballots than Democrats.
So you may have a situation where a lot of Democrats concerned about the virus vote in larger numbers through the mail. Republicans show up in larger numbers at the polling places, so on election night, the numbers may favor the President, ballots will come in after Election Day and he will claim fraud, which is a very dangerous thing for our democracy.
COOPER: Dana, I I don't think the President really cares about the dangers to democracy.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, or potentially the long term effect of his own vote. I mean, if he really is that concerned about fraud, and if he really is that concerned, more realistically about his own viability, then he should listen to the very worried Republicans David was alluding to who I'm talking to also, who are saying every time he opens his mouth and says fraud, fraud, fraud, mail-in voting doesn't work, and please don't do it. It depresses his own vote. That's a very, very real concern.
Despite the fact that we have to underscore this again, there is no evidence in the states that rely exclusively on mail-in voting. It's only three, but there have been a lot of studies that there is any fraud. It's just not the way it is.
COOPER: And David, the President has now, I mean, threatened to sue, which is just such a ridiculous thing, the State of Nevada, over what he calls an illegal late night coup for moving to automatically send mail-in ballots to voters.
He is also not closing the door to issuing some sort of an Executive Order. I'm wondering, what do you make of that?
AXELROD: Oh, well, first of all, the President sues everybody for everything. That's been his habit.
COOPER: He also actually -- he actually just threatens to sue usually. And then, you know sling shots later.
AXELROD: Right. That's true.
COOPER: But go ahead.
AXELROD: That's true. But you know, I mean, he also -- he apparently is intent on denying the fact that we're in the middle of an epic pandemic, the likes of which we haven't seen in a century. And there are a lot of people who are terrified about going to polling places.
Election authorities are saying they're having trouble getting election judges to sign up to man the polling places, which means there will be fewer polling places and what supporters of mail-in voting are saying is give people the option if they do not want to go to the polling place, and this is what the President is trying to prevent. And it's really part and parcel with his denial of the situation that
we're in, and it's not likely to get better between now and November. So he is so in chaos.
If the President wants to be helpful, if he is worried about the integrity of the election, then help states fund their operations to deal with the added volume of ballots they're going to get and don't try and undermine the Postal Service, which is what he's about the business of doing now to slow down the delivery of ballots and that's a big concern.
The Biden campaign is actually emphasizing early vote, not vote by mail, but early vote because they are concerned not about fraud, but whether the Postal Service will deliver the ballots on time so that they can be counted.
COOPER: And Dana, can you break down absentee ballots versus mail-in balance in layman's terms, because the President is contending that a wide scale mail-in voting would be impossible and likely fraudulent, but absentee ballots are fine with him.
BASH: It's a distinction without a difference. There are some places where you can physically bring in an absentee ballot if you're going to be gone on Election Day, to someplace other than the Postal Service.
But by and large, anybody who has voted absentee, including the President of the United States, knows that you fill out your absentee ballot and you put it in the mail and that is generally what happens.
Now, his argument is that you have to request an absentee ballot, and some of these places with mail-in voting, everybody who is a registered voter gets a ballot, and if you want to send it in, great.
Now, the other thing that we should say, that is a big part of what the President is doing is, you know, there is concern that among -- really his concern and it is starting with him and it is trickling down to all of his people he is ordering to allegedly file lawsuits that all of these Democrats are potential Biden voters out there are going to enter to open up their mailbox and get a ballot in the mail and they can just send it back.
And they are more likely to do that than the Republicans are and so that is another big reason. He is worried that mail-in voting is just a recipe for him to lose. Never mind the fact that as President of the United States advocating an easier way to conduct your most important democratic act should be what any President wants, whether you're a Republican or Democrat.
COOPER: Yes. Dana Bash, David Axelrod, thank you very much. Appreciate it.
Coming up, more on the new studies, just in testing and contact tracing is key for reopening schools. Plus what advice Dr. Anthony Fauci has for students, when we continue.
COOPER: There's more breaking news tonight as some classrooms begin to open in the US, Dr. Anthony Fauci said today that schools should proceed with caution and make safety a priority. Now, he also said that students need the psychological and nutritional benefits of attending in-person classes, although he acknowledges that parents may have to quote dramatically modified their work schedule. This as we touched on earlier, two new studies suggesting scaled up testing and contact tracing of those who test positive being key factors in any school reopening.
Joining me now, two professionals who are facing these issues in different dates. Becky Stone is the director of Alcoa City Schools in Tennessee and Brian Woods, the superintendent of the Northside Independent School District in San Antonio, Texas. I appreciate both of you for being here tonight.
Becky, the first day back to school in your area Tennessee was July 22nd, a week and a half ago. I know you've had four confirmed coronavirus cases. Do you expect so many so soon? And how have you responded? How is that change thing?
BECKY STONE, DIRECTOR OF SCHOOLS, ALCOA CITY OF SCHOOLS: Yes, sir. You know, I think when we decided that we were going to open, we knew that we would have cases. We unfortunately didn't go into it thinking that, you know, we no one was going to get sick, because life still goes on. Those folks are going to get sick if they're in school or not. But the first one we had was just right after we open school, and we met together as a team, we did our contact tracing. And because I felt like we had some really good protocols in place. We really didn't. The exposure was very limited. And the second time it happened was last week. And again, I feel like because of the protocols we have in place and the safeguards, there was very little exposure.
COOPER: That's interesting that you're doing your own contact tracing as a school. That's obviously a smart thing to do given the problems we're seeing with contract tracing on kind of a, you know, on the large scale.
Brian in Texas, you're facing a different timeline. Schools haven't open data in your district, but once they do, they'll be required to have full in-person learning after the first eight weeks. I -- correct me if I'm wrong on that. Do you think that timeline will allow you to keep your students and teachers safe?
BRIAN WOODS, SUPERINTENDENT, NORTHSIDE INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT: You know, it's a good question, and it's one that I hope we don't have to contemplate. Obviously, our preference is not to have a set timeline, but rather to allow local school leaders and elected boards of trustees to make decisions about what's safe for their students and their staff. So it is concerning to us that we have kind of an arbitrary timeline of eight weeks and then whoever wants to be back in the building can be.
COOPER: Becky, I know your district did a staggered start with students coming in for in-person classes, I think only one day a week, which means I think you'd only have about 20% occupancy at any given time? How is that working out? What are the difficulties and that that you're finding just for other educators who are out there?
STONE: And that's true. We have about -- we're a small district, we only have about 2,200 students system wide. The good part, we're all on one campus, we have four schools on one campus. We did decide different option. Our students could also choose to do all online and to do virtual learning. So when we say we brought in 20%, it's actually a little bit less than that.
STONE: Because of those virtual learning students who are already online, but we did, we stagger, so students are in school one day a week and then they do digital learning the next four days until they come back to their in-person day. And it's worked out very well for us. I can say I've got lots of great feedback from parents, from teachers, from other from administrators. It does create some difficulty and you touched on that a second ago, you know, parents, it creates a difficulty for parents. And I understand that and we want to be sensitive to that. But at the same time, we thought why, with the pressure to open, this is the only way that we could open safely. And that was our first priority.
COOPER: And if -- I know, with contact tracing if a classroom, you know, if a student test positive, what happens in terms of quarantining? You know, do -- does the teacher they were in touch with, does that person have to then leave school? Does the classroom what happens?
STONE: Well, again, because we open with such small numbers, it's very easy for our classes to social distance. And so, all of our staff are required to wear a mask at all times. Our students are not required they -- six through 12, we have strongly suggested that they were and then pre K through five, we have suggested that they were if they're going to be in close groups.
However, it's been good because most all students are wearing masks as well. But again in a classroom if a student test positive there may only be for their students in that class right and they've been distance. And so when you do the contact tracing what we have found is that very few of them have been in close contact for 10 minutes or more within six feet of one another. And so the exposure has been very limited. And most of the time both have on mask.
COOPER: So they can continue coming to school and the teachers continue coming to school even though they've been in the area of a student but not for a long time.
STONE: That's correct. Now the student that tests positive obviously would quarantine for 14 days.
STONE: And then anyone else that we find that may have been in close contact with that person and may have some exposure, they would also quarantine for the 14 days.
COOPER: And Brian, the guidance for best practices for schools it has obviously been a moving target both federal state levels. Texas has been a hotspot for the virus in recent weeks. How has that changed your plans and preparations to that?
WOODS: Yes, it's changed dramatically. When we surveyed our families in early June, we had about three quarters who indicated they wanted to come back for in-person learning. Then we sent the same survey out in mid July that was down to more like a third. So it has altered plans dramatically. And unfortunately, in Texas, we've had constantly shifting state guidance as well. And so, I don't honestly know which version of the plan we're on at this point. I lost track a long time ago, but the prevalence of the virus has definitely shifted our plans. But I feel good that we've got a good plan, a nimble plan going forward and we'll be able to serve families, either in the building or in distance learning well.
COOPER: Brian Woods and Becky Stone, I appreciate. I can't imagine how difficult it is to be an educator right now and I appreciate all you do Thank you very much.
STONE: Thank you.
WOODS: Thank you (INAUDIBLE).
COOPER: Got more breaking news ahead that tropical storm the brush Florida, is once again a hurricane. The latest on its path and where it's expected to make landfall in the next hours.
COOPER: More breaking news. That tropical storm that brushed by parts of eastern Florida has once again turned into a hurricane Tom Sater at CNN Weather Center. So Tom, when and where is this going to make landfall?
TOM SATER, AMS METEROLOGIST: Well, probably around the midnight hour, Myrtle Beach or just to the east. Again, you know every one of these storms that we've talked about in the last several years are all a little bit different. This has been a name storm for five days. So it's bringing with it a lot of energy and it's going to be known for its heavy rain and strong winds not just at landfall later on tonight, but tomorrow for the big cities.
Finally the rain is wrapped around it, the pressure drop the winds picked up doesn't matter if it's a hurricane or tropical storm what was an hour ago, it's going to bring with it the devastating effects. Tornado watch till two in the morning. We've already had two tornadoes spin up the Brunswick County into areas of North Carolina that's going to be the story. Already we're seeing around Myrtle Beach a good surge about three almost four feet above the normal tide. Notice all the rainfall, south in North Carolina been inundated this year. The rivers are already high and they're going to see about four to eight. But all this rain out to the west is a cold front, Anderson. And as that makes its way toward the east coast, Isaias in this cold front, a good emerge and really create a problem once we get into the bigger cities, but it begins overnight. My fear really is that some of the heavy rainfall could lead to evacuations overnight and even some water rescues.
We had for the first time since 1960, watches and warnings from Florida to Canada that hasn't happened since Hurricane Donna in 1960. But the heavy rainfall even picks up around areas of Virginia and toward Washington D.C. Six, seven, eight, 10 inches of rain in areas and then it picks up. So again this is going to be the concern later on tomorrow afternoon.
COOPER: Isaias, I mean just expected to move up the northeast coast I'm not sure how long you know what it will become and how quickly. What should the major metro areas anticipate in the coming days?
SATER: Well, let's break it down like this. The good news is the -- as far as the surge goes up in areas in Long Island and coastal Rhode Island. This has got a hit about time of low tide cycles only one to three. That's great news. The problem are the winds as that cold front comes in from the Ohio Valley. The rain comes in to the Chesapeake, the tidal Potomac on that surge, I mean into areas of the Delaware Bay. But then these winds kick up tomorrow. Early afternoon, Philadelphia, we're talking 20 or 60 to 65 mile per hour winds. And in New York City Anderson, 65 to 70 mile per hour winds are possible. The strongest wind event for New York City since Superstorm Sandy. We could have massive power outages. So this is a multi day event. It's just characteristics of the environment playing along with this hurricane.
COOPER: We'll be following it. Tom Sater, thanks very much.
Now the potential legal storm surrounding the President, New York prosecutors have asked a federal judge to dismiss the President's lawsuit, challenging a subpoena for his financial records, arguing his legal team's claims had been rejected by other courts and sharing that they're investigating other transactions that extend beyond hush money payments to two women during the 2016 presidential campaign who alleged affairs with Trump.
The President has denied the affairs, we don't know what quote transactions they might be looking at. But prosecutors note in their filing that there are quote, public allegations are possible criminal activity. The plaintiffs New York County based Trump organizations dating back a decade.
Our chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin has been digging into present Trump's legal fights and focuses on his impeachment in his new book True Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Investigation of Donald Trump goes on sale tomorrow. I'm looking forward to reading that Jeff.
I want to talk about the book in a moment. But just first, the investigation to the Trump Organization that we learned about today this point. Is this a question of when not if prosecutors in New York get their hands on President Trump's financial records?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: That's exactly it. I mean, if you read the Supreme Court's opinion in this case, they left no doubt that Cyrus Vance, the New York County District Attorney and his grand jury have the right to get these financial records and I think they're likely to get a ruling sooner rather than later, probably in the next month or so that is a final, final ruling.
The important thing to remember though, is that this is a grand jury investigation and that it's secret. So these documents including the tax returns will be turned over only to the grand jury and not publicly disclosed unless there's a trial which is probably many months down the road if it happens at all.
So yes, the prosecutors will get these documents, but it's not like the congressional investigation where there is a good chance the documents would then become (INAUDIBLE).
COOPER: We heard today from the federal judge whose son was shot and killed last month by gunmen at their house. Her husband was also shot. He survived. The guy was posing as a FedEx Delivery Man, the judges' husband, as I said, survived. I just want to play a little bit of what Judge Esther Salas said today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ESTER SALAS, JUDGE: Daniel and I went downstairs to the basement. And we were chatting as we always do. And Daniel said, mom, let's keep talking. I love talking to you mom. And it was at that exact moment that the doorbell rang. Daniel looked at me and said, who is that and before I could say a word, he sprinted upstairs. Within seconds I heard the sound of the bullets. And someone screaming no. I later learned that this monster who had a FedEx package in his hand, open fire. But Daniel being Daniel protected his father, and he took this (INAUDIBLE) first bullet directly to the chest.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Jeff, you worked in the federal courts, your former prosecutor, the judges calling those in power to make it harder to find federal judges personal information? I mean, do you think that lawmakers will actually enact that protection? Is it even possible?
TOOBIN: Well, it is possible they that they could enact those protections. But I mean, as we all know, it's very hard to keep addresses secret in the age of the internet. I mean, there just is a lot of this information floating around. And, you know, it's rare when federal judges have protections. Sometimes they do in particularly high profile cases, or when there's been threats. There have been several cases where judges have had protection for a long time. But, you know, they judges are here in the world and they are not. They don't have bodyguards, and they are lawyers. They previously lawyers in private practice, a lot of people know where they live in and they are at risk as our prosecutors. It happens very rarely, but it's hard to imagine a horrific circumstance.
COOPER: I want to talk to you about your books, because I've read every one of your books. I mean, the O.J. Simpson trial, people remember the two books on the Supreme Court, the Patty Hearst book, which I loved. Your -- so your new book, True Crimes and Misdemeanors. It's about the President Trump in the Mueller investigation. You actually started working on this as soon as Mueller was appointed. What was your biggest (INAUDIBLE)?
TOOBIN: I was and I thought it was going to be just a Mueller book. And, you know, the what really intrigued me about the story was, this was a genuinely secret investigation. There were no leaks out of this office. No one really knew how they did their investigation. Fortunately, I was able eventually to get access to them. And as everyone knows, the story evolved from Russia to Ukraine, and they're turned into this in this next investigation of Ukraine. One of the things I pointed out in the book is just how similar the two investigations are. But, you know, as you know, I mean, I was certainly talking about talking about it around the office for a long time. I was working on a Mueller book from the beginning, but it certainly evolved into something more than that.
COOPER: I mean, the idea that the President, you know, was trying to get foreign dirt on his rivals is now up for reelection against the very same rival I mean, it's an extraordinary, you know, a series of events here.
TOOBIN: It's extraordinary and what's -- what was striking to me in looking at the big picture here was how similar the Russia story and the Ukraine story are. It's not just that the President's behavior is similar. It's a very similar cast of characters. You know, President Trump really learned to dislike Ukraine from Paul Manafort, who was his campaign chairman, deeply involved in corrupt activities in Ukraine. And when President Zelensky took office, in July of 2019, or when they first spoke in July of 2019, you could see that hostility coming through and the desire to use foreign leaders for personal political gain, not in the national interest. And then to lie about it and obstruct justice about it, it's really two versions of the same story just involving two different countries.
COOPER: The book is out tomorrow. I cannot wait to read it. Jeff Toobin, thank you so much.
TOOBIN: All righty Anderson.
COOPER: Up next, we remember more of the victims of the pandemic, including a nurse and a Texas security guard.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: Tonight, we remember more of the lives have been lost during this pandemic.
Joshua Obra was known as a miracle baby because he was born premature. As a kid he loved Disney movies and begged for a little sister, who was then named Jasmine. He worked as a registered nurse in the convalescent home and his little sister worked alongside him as a nursing student. They both came down with the coronavirus. His dedication to his work was inspiring to his family and especially to a sister who considered him her hero. Joshua Obra was 29 years old.
George Longoria was a security guard in Houston who loved the city he, where he worked and where he lived. He worked some of the most popular venues in Houston including Minute Maid Park and Toyota Center. He was known as a warm and peaceful presence. His daughter says he was always a hard worker who worked two jobs to support his family. That's how dedicated he was. George Longoria was 50 years old.
The news continues. Want to hand over Chris for "CUOMO PRIMETIME". Chris.