tv The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN July 11, 2020 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT
this is cnn breaking news. >> welcome to our viewers here in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer in washington. this is a special edition of "the situation room." we begin tonight with an image many people believe we should have been seeing much more of for weeks, even months. this is the president of the united states last hour at the walter reed national military medical center here in washington, d.c. he's actually wearing a mask. finally. it's only the second time we've seen him do so. and following the repeated guidance of his own top health officials who say this is crucial in not only saving lives but ending the pandemic in our country. this comes on a day that seems symbolic of just how bad this pandemic has become here in the united states. tonight the national death toll
in the united states from the coronavirus stands at nearly 135,000. that follows four straight days where the death toll in the u.s. was over 800 each day. if you need another sign of how bad this has become, texas today broke its all-time record for new cases in a single day. and all of this is happening on a day when the president is trying to defend a decision that has absolutely nothing to do with the virus, his move to commute the sentence of his former adviser roger stone. let's get straight to kristen homes at the white house for us. kristen, the president telling reporters a little while ago there was a time and place to wear a mask. today he finally wore one. what else did he have to say? >> reporter: he made it clear, wolf, that this might be the only time we'll see him in a mask. to take a few steps back here, as you said, president trump has not worn a mask in almost any scenario. we have one picture of him that
was not a public photo. it was taken by someone in a factory behind closed doored and leaked to the media. this is the first time he's done any sort of photo op with a mask on. he said, there is a time and place. i'm not against -- i want you to listen to what he said was appropriate about this time. >> well, i'll probably have a mask if you must know. i mean, i'll probably have a mask. i think when you're in a hospital, especially in that particular setting where you're talking to a lot of soldiers and people that in some cases just got off the operating tables, i think it's a great thing to wear a mask. i've never been against masks, but i do believe they have a time and a place. >> so, he says he's never been against masks, but we know he said he didn't think meeting with presidents or dictators or anyone in the white house, that it wouldn't be for him. we know at another point behind closed doors he was telling his aides and staffers he thought that wearing a mask would send the wrong idea as he was trying
to move away from the pandemic. so, lots of questions here as to whether or not this actually sends the message that these aides were hoping it would. remember we have reporting from earlier in the week that staffers and advisers around him begged him to do this photo op, to be seen publicly in a mask. as we know, as we have been reporting on, wearing a mask has somehow become political and much to the chagrin of his top medical advisers who have come out day after day saying there is nothing controversial about wearing a mask, that you should do so. president trump making it clear that in this very limited setting it was appropriate to wear a mask, not sure if that really sends the message these aides they were hoping it would with him as a champion or endorsing masks as we've seen other leaders, both democrats and republicans, do in the last several weeks. >> kristen, another sensitive issue, we're also hearing for the first time from robert
mueller who prosecuted roger stone talking about the decision to offer kmclemency to roger stone. >> reporter: this is in a "washington post" op said that came out moments ago and it's fascinating. mueller is not a public figure. this is the first time we are hearing from him publicly about his investigation since he testified in front of congress last july. and he says that he felt he needed to issue this op-ed because he wanted to respond to broad claims that the investigation, the russia investigation, was illegitimate and their motives were improper and that roger stone was a victim of their office. he lays out here very clearly, he says, stone was prosecuted and convicted because he committed federal crimes. he remains a convicted felon and rightly strong. then he walks you there a strong defense of the russia investigation. keep in mind, there are many who see the granting of clemency as
an effort of president trump to undermine the investigation that has plagued president trump for his entire tenure here. i want to point out he talks about the case directly as it related to roger stone, why they focused the in on him, talks about the jury finding roger stone guilty. he said the jury determined he lied repeatedly to members of congress. he says he lied about his intermediary to wikileaks, lied about the existence of written communications with the intermediary, lied by denying he communicated with trump campaign about the timing of the wikileaks releases. it goes on here. i think the most powerful part of this entire op-ed is this. i'm not sure, we might have it as a full screen here. we made every decision in stone's case as in all our cases based solely on the facts and the law and in accordance with the rule of law. in accordance with the rule of law. the women and men who conducted
these investigations and prosecutions acted with the highest integrity, claims to the contrary are false. wolf. >> and we're going to get a lot more on this coming up on the roger stone decision. the president as he was leaving the white house earlier, he said roger stone was treated horribly. roger stone was treated very unfairly. i went back and checked with the attorney general, said earlier in the week in an interview with abc news, the attorney general bill barr said i think the prosecution was righteous and i think the sentence the judge ultimately gave was fair. a lot more on this coming up. kristen, thank you very much. don't go too far away. as we mentioned earlier cases across many states are surging this week. florida reported 10,000 new cases in one single day. the state is being seen as the epicenter of the virus in the united states and that isn't stopping one of the top tourist attractions anywhere. we're talking about disney world in orlando -- from opening up today. natasha chen has been following the reopening for us.
natasha, what precautions have been taken? i assume a lot. >> reporter: absolutely. there is so much that will be new for anyone who steps foot on disney property, wolf. that includes even before you get there. if you have a ticket you have to make an advanced reservation to go into the parks. does knee wants to know what day you're coming so they can keep the numbers low and operate at reduced capacity. we saw a little bit of that with the annual pass holder presue in the past couple of days. so, people were able to do their favorite rides multiple times, but there are more people today for the public reopening of magic kingdom and animal kingdom. everyone must go through a temperature check. 100.4 degree fever and above and you're asked to come back later when you feel better. and people need to wear face masks for kids 2 and up. so, the type of face mask that goes around your ears with a loop, not just the gator or bandana type masks. also there's social distancing
markers everywhere. in fact one pass holder told me that she stepped off of her circle just to take a photo and someone immediately came and asked her to please step back into her circle. they're vigilant about this, loding rides, keeping separate from the next. hand washing and stations everywhere. in speaking to a pass holder who went back today for public reopening, she said that for the most part everything had gone so well, but today she found herself in a very crowded walkway all of a sudden with a line that formed that was not expected and she felt so uncomfortable she turned around and left. here's what she told me about that situation. >> every procedure they laid out for the most part works extremely well. it's everything in between that. and once you start putting a group of people in the parks, those issues start popping up like what i saw today and a few other things. it's just that when there's lines, people stand in them and it's working incredibly well. it's working at universal
orlando well. it's the type of thing where there's a line you don't expect like today, we don't know what to do because all of us haven't been in this situation. the employees, the guests, everyone where. >> and she did say that when she was leaving she knew there were some employees taking care of that situation. so, things pop up and we will continue to observe how this go. their other two parks, epcot and hollywood studios will open on july 15th, wolf. >> thank you very much. the mayor of orange county, florida, the home of walt disney world, jerry demings, thank you so much for joining us. i know you've said you're, quote, fairly comfortable with the decision that disney has made to reopen. tell us what you mean by fairly comfortable. are you still feeling that way given the huge numbers exploding in florida right now? >> well, that's really what i mean by that. we have seen our numbers increase within the metropolitan
orlando area. i must say the one thing that is in our favor, we have not seen in the numbers exceed capacity within our local hospitals and that's something we place close attention to. so, the criticality of the patients or the individuals testing positive now is well-within hand. and i must say if there's one place on planet earth that can get it right, it's walt disney world. so, i have the utmost confidence after reviewing their plans with health officials here within the area that disney will be able to pull this off. none of us have gone through this experience before, so it is much like a living lab. but as this virus continues to live amongst us, we have to figure out how to live with the virus. so, i believe this is an opportunity as we reopen commerce here in our area to be able to do just that, to get it right, to figure out how to live with the virus. >> i know you trust disney.
the authorities there, all the workers there, and you've work ld with them for a long time. but so many people are coming in from out of orlando from all around the country, they want to go back to disney. with coronavirus are of those - asymptomatic right now. now worried are you? and if there are infections at disney world, would you want to see it shut down? >> unfortunately before disney opened up, some of the other theme parks in the area have done a test run and we have not been able to track any type of outbreak to any of the other theme parks as they have opened up. some of them have been open for a month now. and so i'm highly confident that we won't have that type of situation occur here. if we do, certainly we will have to make some adjustments. but given all of the different sanitary measures that have been put in place, we should be able to conclude that we now see the willingness of most of the
people who come here to the area, who live here, willing to wear masks. so, what medical science is telling us, and that is one of the major things that we must all do is wear a mask. and then make certain that we're continuously washing our hands and doing all of those things that the cdc has talked about for an extended period of time. we also have the mba that nba t starting to play its games here at the disney wide world of sports at the espn complex there. so, we're highly optimistic about that. in fact, the players who are going to be playing there will not have spectators watching the games, at least not live. but what they will be is put in this bubble, the this very isolated environment. and i believe that that environment will be far more safe than in the general community at large because the players will be screened on a regular basis and tested for the
virus. and it's a very secluded area that they will be in. so, all of that gives disney and gives us in the metropolitan orlando area to show case what we can do as we endeavor to live with the virus. >> we all love the nba and all love disney, let's hope it works out. you've also warned about gyms as potential places the virus could spread. are you going to close down gyms to prevent that like some other areas have done? >> we won't volunteer in compliance. this week, just a couple of days ago, we gave a staunch warning to gyms that have not been complying with doing all of the things that the cdc guidelines have put in place. what i say to them is they control their destiny. if we don't see compliance as we begin to do spot checks and inspections of the gyms to make certain they're compliant, then we have to make adjustments
there as well. >> you've got a lot going on. mayor jerry demings, thanks so much for coming on. doctors and medical experts for months now have been urging americans to do something very, very simple, simply wear a mask in public. and for months the president has totally resisted calls for him and those around him actually to do so. now as new cases are surging across the united states, the president is relenting at least today when he was at the walter reed hospital. but what about the general public? we have new information and we'll update you when we come back. to provide complete, balanced nutrition for strength and energy. whoo-hoo! great tasting ensure with 9 grams of protein, 27 vitamins and minerals, and nutrients to support immune health. a(vo)you start with america's verizmost awarded network, to build unlimited right. the one with unbeatable reliability 13 times in a row. this network is one less thing i have to worry about.
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harris, the immediate past president of the american medical association and dr. jeremy faust. dr. faust, yes the president wore a mask on camera today. we've all seen the picture now. what do you make of him saying it made sense in a hospital setting to do so, not that it makes sense necessarily whenever you're around people because whenever he's around a lot of people we never see him wearing a mask? >> good evening. when i see the images of the president wearing a mask, i welcome it. that's the first thing. better late than never. what he does ripples down. people see that, people in his coalition say if the president is doing so, i need to do so. we need to make wearing masks patriotic. let's make america safe. that's good leadership and i'm glad to see it. hopefully it'll spread to other activities as well. no one is um immune from that
virus. we've gambled. when you gamble against this house, you don't win. >> thousands of americans, dr. harris, will live over the next few months if everyone in the country starts wearing a mask right now which unfortunately is not happening, right? >> there is no question about that, wolf. we are six months into this pandemic in this country and we are absolutely headed in the wrong direction with the recent surge in cases. we see long lines to even get tests. and then you can't get your results for days. and we also see a worry about the ability to get ppe now. this is something that we were talking about four months ago. so, we know that the one tool we have in our tool box that we know works is wearing masks, in addition to making sure we are staying six feet apart from one another. so, it is so important that everyone wears a mask. >> you know, it's so interesting dr. faust because you're an emergency room physician, you
work at a hospital. we see these hospitals across the country right now in the midst of a huge crisis. health care workers under enormous strain. what worries you, dr. faust, the most? >> i worry that we have not learned the enough from the past several months. it's one thing to say we didn't know what we were dealing with and trying to make changes in real time. but we just haven't seem to have picked up what matters. we keep hoping for some savior, maybe hydroxychloroquine, maybe remdesivir, maybe the weather. all of these things have been shown to not matter in a real systemic way in keeping us from having success. we really need to acknowledge that our behavior is the savior. what we do matters. so, do hear doctors saying what do we do. i'm seeing a lot of people reaching out saying how do you handle this virus? those of us that have dealt with it are sharing as much as we can. i am concerned that people continue to believe that just because it happens somewhere else it won't happen to us.
we need to stop thinking that way. we need to start realizing that we are all at risk. >> we used to have one huge epicenter, talking about the new york city area. now we're talking about multiple hotspots all around the country. how does that complicate the national response? >> well, certainly this virus, as dr. faust said, knows no boundaries. it doesn't respect seasons. we have known all along that it was possible and likely that this virus would spread from the initial epicenters. and that's why it's so important to be proactive and to plan, to make sure we have enough supplies. but the one thing that cannot be produced immediately are physicians and other health staff. so, we need to make sure that we do all that we can to be proactive. we are late in the game when we are in the midst of a surge. so, even though we have a lot of states where we are seeing
increased cases, i also want the states and the regions that don't have the surge right now to still know that they can become affected as well. >> and dr. faust, let me ask you about florida right now, specifically disney world reopening today. what's your reaction to that? >> i think it's another example of how we have -- people think that opening the economy or opening the schools, that those are policies. those aren't policies. those are goals. and the way you achieve those goals is through hard work. i diagnose patients with heart attacks. they say, doc, this is a wake up call. i'm going to make those changes. i'm going to make myself a healthier person. i look at cases getting out of control and i think they're not that patient. they're not saying you know what, doc, today is the day i'm going to make the changes that will make my life healthier. when i see that i worry that it's not hitting home as a whole community that we really control
this and we can help make it better. >> and dr. harris, is there one thing you wish everyone would be doing right now in terms of the leadership from the president on down? >> you know, it's so important to have consistent messaging. so, i, like dr. faust, am glad the president wore a mask today. clearly he was in the hospital, so that was certainly critical. but now that message needs to be sustained and not just the president, really any elected official. so, elected officials should be listening to their public health officials, should be listening to their health professionals. that's where we need to drive policy and change based on the facts and the evidence. and so i hope all elected officials wear masks, first of all, model the behavior they expect of others and then let and allow the science to lead policy tactics and strategy. >> let's not forget hundreds -- hundreds -- of americans are dying every single day as a
result of this pandemic. dr. harris, dr. faust, thanks to both of you for joining us. >> thank you, wolf. >> thanks wolf. the results of a new cdc study as we've been reporting show, get this, 40% of the people infected with coronavirus here in the united states don't show any symptoms. we'll take a closer look at the role that that is having in spreading this deadly disease. the tempur-pedic breeze° makes sleep...feel...cool. because the tempur-breeze° transfers heat away from your body. so you feel cool... night after night. during the tempur-pedic summer of sleep, save $500 on all tempur-breeze mattresses. the first and only full prescription strength non-steroidal anti-inflammatory gel available over-the-counter. new voltaren is powerful arthritis pain relief in a gel. voltaren. the joy of movement. (burke)voltaren is powerful at farmers, we know a thing or. twe've seen a thing or two. like how nice it is to save on your auto policy.
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estimates that 40% of the people infected with the virus here in the united states don't have any symptoms at all. and while they may not show any symptoms, health experts warn they could be spreading it to a whole lot of other people. cnn's brian todd has a new study on these so-called silent spreaders. >> i've had oxygen coming in up my nose, coming out of the wall. >> before he was admitted to a hospital in pennsylvania this spring, tv sports producer jason har teal yus believes he carried the coronavirus in his system while he moved around at his work for about a week, a danger he warned about as he was recovering. >> you may say you're fine. you may say you're low risk. you might get it, not know it, go back to work thinking you're fine, never have symptoms, you could give it to people you work with who could get very sick or die. >> that danger of silent unknown transmission of coronavirus is coming into greater focus. a new study published by the
national academy of sciences say people who are so-called silent spreaders could be responsible for about half of all coronavirus cases. >> this makes control of covid-19 particularly challenging. with covid-19 people are infectious before any symptoms, so most people who are transmitting the virus are doing so inadvertently without even realizing that they are sick. >> study author alison says that means the silent spreaders are mostly people who are going through those few days just before symptoms show themselves or who are completely asymptomatic. and she says younger seemingly healthy people are disproportionately responsible for silent transmissions. a key question now, given this new study, how do we combat silent spreading? experts say it means doubling down on the basics. >> first thing is distance. if you have to go out, try to physically separate yourself from others. and try to avoid those crowded
indoor spaces and wear a mask to reduce the chance that you transmit the virus if you have it and don't know about it. >> and this new information on silent transmission does not mean we should panic when we venture out or think that everyone we see is a silent spreader of coronavirus. >> we still very much think this virus is spread by close prolonged contact. we shouldn't take from this if you're just out in the streets or the grocery store and maintaining people that this puts you at even greater risk than we may have thought otherwise. >> still, tracking silent spreaders of coronavirus is going to be a huge challenge in the months and years ahead. this new study says more than 1/3 of silent infections would need to be identified and isolated in order to suppress any future outbreaks. and the author of the study says we're not there yet, pointing out there's not enough contact tracing available and not even enough tests for people who have symptoms, let alone people who are asymptomatic. brian todd, cnn, washington. >> brian todd, thank you very
much. we'll have more on the coronavirus and the huge numbers unfolding in the united states ahead. but also today the president forcefully defending his decision to intervene in the case of his former aide. and now the former special counsel robert mueller is making a very rare public statement against what the president has done. details on that coming up. listerine® cleans virtually 100%. helping to prevent gum disease and bad breath. never settle for 25%. always go for 100. bring out the bold™
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unfairly. roger stone was brought into this witch hunt, this whole political witch hunt, and the mueller scam -- it's a scam because it's been proven false -- and he was treated very unfairly. what i did -- what i did, i will tell you this, people are extremely happy because in this country they want justice. and roger stone was not treated properly. >> well, as you know, the stone case was prosecuted while i was attorney general and i supported it. i think it was established he was convicted of obstructing congress and witness tampering and i thought that was a righteous prosecution. and i was happy that he was convicted. >> the white house's friday night bombshell came days after the long time trump ally was to begin serving 40 months behind bars for several felony, lies that prosecutors said were meant
to protect president trump himself. i'm joined by cnn political commentator david axelrod and jeffrey toobin. jeffrey, moments ago robert mueller made a very rare public statement in an op-ed reacting to all this writing in the "washington post." he says this, quote, i feel compelled to respond both to broad claims that our investigation was illegitimate and our motives were improper and to specific claims that roger stone was a victim of our office. the russian investigation was of paramount sporns. stone was prosecuted and convicted because he committed crimes. he remains a convicted felon, and rightly so. jeffrey, what's your reaction to this? >> the whole stone comation feels like the emperor's new clothes. it's egregiously wrong.
it's not just cronyism, the president reaching down to one friend of his who was convicted of crimes, all the people convicted of crimes in the country, the one person who gets a commutation is his friend. it's not just that. it's corruption because he refused to cooperate with mueller's investigation of donald trump. so, he's not just rewarding a friend. he's keeping a witness away from an investigation of himself. it's just egregiously inappropriate. and, you know, part of the legacy of the trump administration. >> david, what do you think? when you heard it friday night, what went through your mind? >> well, first of all, what went through my mind is that friday nights are going to be really eventful from now until the election because the president seems to want to bury these kind of stories every friday night. but, look, this president said, you know, very publicly as these
investigations were going on that the people who talked were rats, that the people who didn't cooperate with prosecutors were admirable. he's been signaling right along that he would do what he did today. and so -- or what he did yesterday. and, you know, stone would have gone to prison on tuesday, so he felt, i think, that he had to act to keep stone out of prison. but, he's basically taking care of someone who took care of him in this investigation. mitt romney i thought said it best today in a tweet. he said, unprecedented, historic corruption day in america. that's it in a nutshell, wolf. >> that's really significant statement from mitt romney. jeffrey, i read your article in "the new yorker" that was just posted. you make a strong case that what the president of the united states has now done, richard iksen would have never done when he was president of the united
states. thanks to a lot of problems, the roger stone case shows why trump is worse than nixon. that's the headline in your article. what's interesting is robert mueller as far as roger stone is concerned and bill barr, the attorney general, they seem to be on the same page right now as opposed to the president. >> what's so remarkable about the history here is there's this conversation on the white house tapes from march 21st, 1973 where richard nixon and his white house counsel are talking about the demands of e. howard hunt, one of the watergate burglars for a pardon for clemency. they say, you know, you can't do that. you can't give clemency to someone who might implicate you. and it's just obvious to both of them that even though they are engaged in the watergate cover up, that's just too obvious. it's too transparent. it's too wrong to give clemency to someone who might implicate
you. here, the president trump just completely ignored that wise counsel and said, well, i'm going to give -- i'm going to give clemency to someone who might implicate me. and i think it's just indicative of the degradation of standards that has gone on during the trump administration. and, you know, i don't know if anyone or the voters will care, but the standards and the difference was really striking to me. >> well, let me ask david axelrod, is anybody going to care over the next four months as we approach the presidential election in november? >> you know what i suspect, wolf, is that those who are already disinclined to vote for the president will view this as one more reason not to vote for the president and that his core constituency will buy the line of the white house that somehow the whole investigation was improper and therefore the fact that roger stone lied repeatedly to congress, tried to obstruct their investigation, witness
tampered and so on doesn't matter because the underlying investigation was corrupt n their words. i think that's a smaller group of americans. i don't think this is going to help trump. but remember he's knee deep in a pandemic that he's not handling well right now. he's poured kerosene on racial strife in this country in a way that has been really overt. there are a lot of brush fires -- not a lot of brush fires. there are a lot of raging fires around him right now and this is just one of them. and i'm not sure this is the one that's going to make the difference. >> you think, jeffrey, we're going to see more pardons and more comations as the president's first term winds down? >> look at what we've seen with michael flynn. he got his loyal attorney general to try to get rid of the case. michael flynn pleaded guilty, yet the attorney general of the united states said the case
should be dismissed. i think the person to keep your eye on now is paul manafort, the president's former campaign chairman who was convicted after trial of multiple felonies, who pleaded guilty to multiple felonies. but the president has praised him as well. so, i think it's entirely possible that the president is going to either pardon or commute the sentence of paul manafort, trying to wipe out entirely the legal legacy of the mueller investigation. he has that authority under the constitution. but the abbuse of power it woul represent would really be profound. >> we'll see if that happens. thank you. david axelrod, thanks to you as well. there's much more coming up in our special "situation room" even as coronavirus cases are spreading, the virus is spreading through latin america and the caribbean, four
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central and south america are grappling with their own surges of covid. brazil, peru, chile, mexico. they make the top ten list of countries with the most confirmed cases. caribbean nations are struggling to get the control. more than 121,000 people have died of the coronavirus in the caribbean and south america so far, but the island nation of
cuba has managed to buck the trend. about 2400 confirmed cases so far in cuba and 87 deaths. cnn's patrick oppman is joining us. yes, cuba's population is only a little more than 11 million but still has managed to flatten the curve, they say, more succe successfully than the neighbors here in the hemisphere. tell us why. >> reporter: it is a very different picture here. just today on saturday according to cuban health officials, there were only 7 cases on the island. it's a population of 11 million and one death. it's the first death related to the coronavirus in almost two weeks. so very, very different from the rest of latin america. this here is how it's worked. you have a government that has total authority to tell people to wear facemasks, which they have done. anyone getting sick is taken to the hospital. people they have been taken to the hospital are taken to the hospital as a preventive measure
and so, you know, initially there was some concern because cuba does not have the resources other countries do, it's under so many sanctions. will not be able to adequately deal with this pandemic. it has been the exact opposite. closed borders. no tourism now. that has come at a great cost to the country. it has been very difficult. they have begun reopening the economy. there are a lot of neighborhoods in havana under lockdown. businesses are reopening and beaches and when will airports begin to reopen? once you start to let tourists back in, you do run the risk of re-exposing the population to this virus. for the moment cuba is somehow beating back the coronavirus very, very different picture than so many other countries in the region. >> very interesting, indeed. patrick oppman in havana.
we have a quick programming note for our viewers. be sure to tune in for a special event. cnn presents things i wish i knew before i started talking. an entertaining and poignant look at michael smerconish's career at 10 p.m. eastern right after our special edition of "the situation room." as states across the country report record numbers of new coronavirus cases, many people are simply very anxious about simply getting on a plane, but even a road trip potentially could be hazardous. we're going to explain why when we come back. you can both adjust your comfort with your sleep number setting. so, can it help us fall asleep faster? yes, by gently warming your feet. but can it help keep us asleep? absolutely, it intelligently senses your movements and automatically adjusts to keep you both effortlessly comfortable. will it help me keep up with him? yep. so you can really promise better sleep? not promise... prove. it's our weekend special, save up to $900 on select sleep number 360 smart beds. plus 0% interest for 48 months. ends monday.
for the same medications as the vet, but up to 30 percent less with fast free shipping. visit petmeds.com today. new data shows summer road trips could be driving perhaps much of the surge of the new coronavirus cases here in the united states. after months of staying home a growing number of americans are now deciding to hit the road and it's a trend that has experts sounding the alarm. cnn's peat munteen reports. >> reporter: people are feeling a little bottled up. >> reporter: dr. david dansker thought his county was out of the woods. in a recent four-day period it recorded 100 new coronavirus cases. damsker says many of those were people who traveled to myrtle beach in south carolina now considered a hot spot. >> they're seeing about half of our new cases are people that are infected who traveled.
>> reporter: it is backed up by new findings from the university of maryland. they're using smartphone data to see where people are going. over the july 4th holiday the rate at which people traveled hit a new pandemic high nationwide. >> we expected to see more travel during the holidays but getting back to where we were before the pandemic, it was a bit surprising for us. >> reporter: so people feel essentially safe to make a road trip? >> exactly. >> reporter: the troubling trend could spread new cases from new exposure says the university's louisea franzini. >> i am concerned. so many people travel to bring the virus with them. >> reporter: she is urging states to bring travel advisories. new jersey told travelers to quarantine for 14 days. >> some states they will need to be blocked because the virus is out of control.
>> reporter: aaa forecasted that road trips would drop only 3% this summer. maryland governor larry hogan stresses now is the time for vigilance, not vacations. >> this virus kind of has a mind of its own and it's not -- it doesn't recognize borders. so people travel from one state to another, we're very much watching it. >> reporter: pete munteen, cnn, college park, maryland. this is cnn breaking news. welcome to our viewers here in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer in washington. this is a special edition of the situation room. a striking image today of the president of the united states doing what many americans have been doing for months, 1isimply wearing a mask outside of washington, d.c., in bethesda,