Skip to main content

tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  May 21, 2020 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT

1:00 pm
the president will not say. he did seem to back off, yesterday, he told us he didn't think it was necessary to withhold funding. he claims he didn't say it. i was in the room when he said it. he is now, once again, putting those threats out there. jake, we should note those studies from the disease modelers at colombia university. he was asked that at the white house earlier and he disputed it and dismissed it and said this about it. >> colombia is an institution that's a very liberal. it's a -- i think it's just a political hit job if you want to know the truth. >> reporter: so, of course, as you noted, it doesn't mention the president. it's interesting to see him dismiss it and reference his travel ban on china. jake, we know from reporting actually while the president was in india on his last big foreign trip before the pandemic, back here at the white house, top hhs officials were meeting and
1:01 pm
talking about social distancing. they actually had a meeting to talk about putting them in place. that meeting got canceled, as the president was flying back on air force one was when the cdc doctor said people need to get ready to an abrupt change to the way we were living. that sent a jolt tow the stockmarket. the president was upset about that they cancelled that meeting, where the officials were going to talk about social distancing when the president and that was when, of course, he put the vice president in charge. it was several weeks before they moved forward with those social distancing measures. >> yeah. and, obviously, the colombia document, the study is not a political document at 5u8. in fact, if it's a political hit job, it's a political hit job against mayor deblasio and governor cuomo as well because it specifically goes into how many lives in new york city could have been saved if social distancing measures and other measures could have been tan one week earlier.
1:02 pm
it. has nothing to do with politics. it's a look at the effect of social distancing and other measures, how it saved lives, which is a point president trump just made about the fact that they did take these steps saved lives, which i don't think anybody can dispute. so i don't understand saying with scientific data if you had taken those steps one week earlier, you also could have saved lives. let's also talk about, caitlin, the fact that president trump was j you going after the attempt by officials in michigan to allow people to vote by an septembereeism by mail and to expand absentee without a need to do so there are lots of states that do this. oregon has been doing it for years. republicans states, utah has been doing it for a long time, in fact, there was a significant vote by mail effort in that
1:03 pm
california congressional district that a republican just one. again, this doesn't seem to be based on facts and they seem to be in states democrats are polling well in when it comes to his re-election effort. >> reporter: he is not citing evidence when he talks about this massive fraud he believes happens when there is mail-in voting. historically, republicans have been against something like this. this is changing underneath this because of the pandemic and people are concerned about going to vote. you saw what happened in wisconsin when people went to vote and there was an outbreak, of course, of coronavirus in some of those places. so that itself the concern. it's not just democrats moving in this direction. you are seeing several republicans of state do this as well we heard from rodney mcdaniel, the rnc chair woman,
1:04 pm
she said she doesn't have a problem sending those applications for the mail-in votes for the fact when you apply for one, that ensures are you who you say you are. the president is continuing to go against this despite it causing a pretty big headache for his political aids. of course, michigan is a battleground state and he ties this to what he believes will happen in november, jake. >> one wonders, if he is saying this right now so as to cast doubt about the november election if it doesn't go the way he wants. otherwise, it doesn't make any sense why he is only attacking the vote by mail or absentee ballot efforts in michigan and nevada as opposed to everywhere including states he will definitely win and including the congressional district that just flipped from democrat to republican. congresswoman katie hill's old district thanks so much. joining me now cnn medical chief
1:05 pm
correspondent dr. sanjay gupta. one of the questions we are wondering about is ford has made it very clear that everybody at the plant needs to wear a mask. they made this known publicly. president trump for whatever reason has thus far refused to wear a mask publicly. as we know it's an effective tool in preventing people from getting any germs that you might have. it's really about protecting people from you if are you asymptomatic. there are a lot of people who think it's important. a lot of people in the health world, who thinks it is important president trump sets an example and if he is at a place where masks are required, he should wear a mask. >> yeah. there is no question. it's worth pointing out as well if there is good data now, jake, on the effectiveness of these masks. if you look at the models, the numbers have moved all over the place. in areas they prompted a little more downward, it's because despite mobility of people as they move around, masks seem to
1:06 pm
be making a difference. also, jake, it's worth pointing out. it seems like the president, the white house doctors are concerned about the exposure president trump had to start him on this drug that has not been proven, hydroxychloroquine. so there is a concern there, you have a concern now that you may be harboring the virus even more reason to wear a mask. i realize he is getting tested on a regular basis. the test can have a false negative. it may test negative one day and positive the next day. the best way to give confidence to the people around you, you will not inadvertently infect them is to wear a mask. we are learning as we go along. that's clear and it's one of the ways we can start to slow down the spread of this and everyone need to do it. >> and one of the things you and i have been talking about places where some health advocates worry there would be a spike in new cases, whether florida or georgia or colorado and the data
1:07 pm
is in different places for different states. it's fair to say there hasn't been an eruption some people worry about. one of the reasons i heard individuals in those states give people even as they try to go back to semi normal, people are adhering to some of these distancing guidelines, staying 6 feet away from each other, wearing masks in public, not packing restaurants or bars. so as you note, we are learning more about this virus as we go, that does seem to at least anecdotally be effective. >> yeah. i think that we tend to think of this as open or closed in terms of these states and, you know, it's the nuance in between. it's that grey area in between where everything lies right now, jake. even if the state's opened, people are still going out trying to do a better job at maintaining physical distance, wearing masks. obviously, we see images of people not adhering to that at all. but i think the larger story may be that people as a general rule
1:08 pm
you know are thinking about it much more than they used to. frankly, they didn't think about it at all before. just basic sort of virus protections in terms of decreasing -- it wasn't something we considered or thought about much in the united states five, six months ago. the fact that we are thinking about it makes a difference. the models reflect that. you look at the projections based on reopenings, they are going to go up. i don't think that's a surprise at all and the data that we're getting, it's not clear how good some of this data is. i don't want to harp on that too much, i don't know how good it is or bad it is, frankly, it should be funneled through the cdc and one national database looking at that data and reporting it out. we don't have that. it makes it challengesting as journalists. i think we can show these projected spikes, in palm beach, the current is 102 people becoming infected every day. in four weeks it will be 383
1:09 pm
people per day. that's in palm beach. you are seeing some of the numbers based on when we may have actually implemented the stay-at-home orders. my point, jake, is the numbers are going to go up. it's a question of how much. >> so, sanjay, some pictures are coming in right now from ypsilanti, michigan. off see president trump standing probably about 6 feet away from a couple individuals giving a tour of him at the ford plant there. but the president is clearly not wearing a mask. it doesn't appear the other two are either. so for what it's worth, the president seems to be practicing distancing but not wearing a mask. >> i think people attach to hard and fast rules. if you stand 6 feet away. one person wearing a mask, looks like, maybe both the gentleman are wearing masks, you can't even tell. regardless, the president is not. >> actually it looks likes, sanjay to interrupting i'm
1:10 pm
sorry, there are four people in the shot other than president trump, all four of them are wearing masks. and president trump is not. go ahead, i'm sorry. >> i think this is a mistake, jake. i don't want to -- i just don't know what to make of this. i guess i know what to make of it, it's dangerous. it's not about protecting the president at this point. it's about in some ways protecting the people around him. the gentleman that are wearing masks around him are doing so to help protect those around them. you wear it so you don't put the virus into the environment. the president should be thinking protecting the people aroundle. i realize he gets tested, which is important, an important factor here. but the test dos have false negatives. i think we have got son stuck, if you stay 6 feet away you definitely will be fine. the point is, there is a contagious virus out there. you want to do everything you can to mitigate the spread. even with the mask you should stay 6 feet away is my point.
1:11 pm
we are trying to spread the ways of this virus. this is the ways you do it. it's a bad example and i can see here people inching in closer and closer. it worries me. i think it worries most people who are public health people. because they imagine the virus circulating in certain circumstances like this. >> you know, it's unusual. let me write kaitlan collins back, president trump is very eager as are we all to reopen the country. testing is not where it needs to be in order for all of us to have a clear idea of how many people around us might be carriers, whether or not there are, if there is anyone we should stay away from. it's great at the white house, by the way, if you work at the white house, testing is fantastic. other than that, it's not up to speed for the rest of us, for people at meat pack plants, for people on the front lines who work in grocery stores, emts,
1:12 pm
police, healthcare workers, testing is not where it needs to be. but president trump, do you have any idea why he's so reluctant to wear a mask? i remember reading in the post or the "time's" within the white house there was an individual on the national security council who wore a mask around he was derided for doing so almost as if it was a sign of weakness. it's not a sign of weakness, obviously, you don't wear a mask to protect yourself. you wear a mask to protect other people. >> it's also just so easy to wear a mask is the other thing that people have noted. so this has ban pretty big fight inside the white house because of the optics here. everyone saw what happened when the vice president went to the mayo clinic, despite it being their policy. there was this weird back and forth, the president saying he didn't picture himself wearing one. you see him thereic spooing with reporters. >> who are you with?
1:13 pm
>> i'm carol king with cbs. >> good, good, very good. >> my question to you is this. because of all the ventilators being made here and your own efforts to manufacture hydroxychloroquine, we now know we have enough manufacturing going on for the time being as far as ventilators goes. you said we think we have enough to share with other countries. >> yes. >> my question to you, sir, looking six months from now, a year from now, how many more, how much do we need to. [ inaudible ] >> we were just talking about it. we have a very big stockpile right now. we're building it bigger and we're helping a lot of other countries. nigeria, we just sent a thousand. we have various countries, france, spain, we have a lot going to italy. we have a lot going to a different probably 15, 18 countries, they're calling us. we had the capacity to do this, nobody else did. so every state now has more than they need and our stockpile is
1:14 pm
totally full. we have a tremendous amount. so now we're really helping other countries, we're losing a lot of people because they don't have ventilators. ventilators are hard to do. i want to say that ford and general electric have done an incredible job working together and also the companies that worked with you. they really did, they did a great job. they do a great car and they do -- they really did a great job on the ventilator. i hear the quality of the ventilator has been really top of the line. >> thank you. >> so we really appreciate it, fellows. >> thank you. mr. president there was a lot of interest whether you would end up wearing a mask today. could you just take us through your thought process why you decided? >> well, i did wear. i had one on before in this back area. but i didn't want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it. no, i had it in the back area i did put a mask on. >> did you have the goggles on, too, sir? >> yes, i did. here's another one.
1:15 pm
here. because in this area. not necessary here. everybody has been tested and i have been tested. in fact, i was tested this morning. so it's not necessary. >> [ inaudible question ]. >> well, that's your choice. i was given a choice. and i had one on in an area where they preferred it. so i put it on and it was very nice. it looks very nice. but they said not necessary here. yeah, please. >> reporter: what about the example that 2w0u8d send to other americans. >> all right. we will cut out there. president trump ripping on the floor of the ford plant in ypsilanti, michigan. i want to go back to sanjay gupta if he's there and just one more time, the president was asked why he wasn't wearing a mask. he said he was tested, he does not need to wear a mask. first of all we know people have caught and contracted coronavirus, the novel kroefl at the white house, so as you note, there are also false negatives. as you note, who knows what he
1:16 pm
encountered on his way from the airport to that plant and as you note, we're trying to reopen. the country is trying to reopen and get back to some semblance of normal. health officials feel masks need to be a part of that. sanjay. >> we have increasing everyday, some of it good. i think there are these things that are more hope. in that masks do seem to make a difference and people even as they open are i think you know you look at some of the data around the country, it obviously differs in different places. more people are wearing masks than not, which is a good thing. again we have that evidence. i think the other concern, obviously, if the president that he was worried about this exposure it sounds like he had, which prompted the taking of this medication, which does not have any evidence that it works. so, if you are worried enough about that, wear a mask. because if are you worried you may have the virus, then wear a mask so that you don't spread it
1:17 pm
to others. that's the point. and i think people fundamentally get that at this point. people think well i'm willing to take the risk. are you familiar not the one taking the risk. you are giving risks to other people as a result of fought wearing the masks. so when we do this we do this for other people not for ourselves, largely speaking. unless it's one of the fitted n-95-type masks, which will do a better job fill straighting out the viral particles. you are wearing it to protect others, jake. >> kaitlan collins, your thoughts on president trump not wearing a mask, i guess it was anticipated he was not going to. but still health officials, including many in his administration were hoping that he would set the example. your thoughts. >> and you see there, he is showing a mask to the reporters after claiming he wore one backstage. you know when the cameras weren't around, the president says, because he said he didn't want to give the press the pleasure of seeing him wear a mask. it really goes to show it's not about a health thing. he said he wore one backstage
1:18 pm
with goggles. he basically does not want to be seen on camera wearing a mask. that's what he told reporters there. that has been a fight inside the administration. some aids argue it's easier if he wears one. the talk to michigan is this reemergence of the manufacturing plant and not whether or not the president wore a mask. now he says he wore one backstage where there are no cameras. he did not wear one in front of reporters, he didn't want reporters to see him wearing a mask. that will be an emerging headline that comes out of this aids did not expect him to wear one in front of the cameras because of that and, of course, he did not. >> it seems an odd thing to worry about given the fact that reporters have been relaying that health officials think it would be a great idea for all leaders to wear them in public. i do not know why he would not want that image out there. thank you so much. appreciate it. coming up, or actually right
1:19 pm
now in our national lead, a cry for help from the mayor of montgomery, alabama. the mayor says the city's healthcare system has been quote maxed out. mayor steven reed is warning people who need an icu intensive care unit bed they may not be able to get one because patients from rural areas have overwhelmed city hospitals. here's the mayor on cnn earlier today. >> it's really alarming. we started getting calls probably a week and a half ago from hospital administrators explaining to us the number of covid patients they were seeing was not only increasing but people were coming in, in worse shape. so we thought we needed to remind our community this pandemic is not over. >> that's cnn erica hill reports for us now. this is one reason why there are serious concerns how to deal with the virus as states begin to reopen and summer rolls around. >> as a parent, until i know how
1:20 pm
widespread this is, i would not send my children to day camp. >> reporter: as summer looms, day camp is on hold in new york state where 150 possible cases in children, the rare illness that may be linked to covid-19 are being investigated. there is also new research about why children may be less prone to the virus, itself. researchers say the receptors in the nose used by the virus to enter cells appear to be less common in kid, in alabama, more signs that life is different. >> i absolutely felt safe. >> reporter: graduates spaced 6 feet apart, the stadium at half capacity. while an hour south, hospitals are maxed out. >> right now, if are you from montgomery and you need an icu bed, you are in trouble. >> reporter: the looming crisis in montgomery, alabama's hospitals comes as the total number of case there is has more than doubled since the beginning of the month. it's just one of several areas that could see a rapid increase
1:21 pm
in new cases according to a new model from a team at the children's hospital of philadelphia and the university of pennsylvania. their finding shows states that opened early, like alabama, are at particular risk. >> i think the value of our forecast is that there is still time to modify behavior. >> campground, in-person dining and a few additions across the country today. michigan, which has grabbed national headlines for its tough stay-at-home measures, announcing in person retail and gatherings of ten or less can return tuesday. orlando theme parks offering a glimpse of what's to come. >> we will ramp up slowly in terms of making sure all the procedures and practices we are putting in place actually works. >> reporter: florida is one of 17 states reporting an increase in new cases over the past week. >> the scientific every day clearly indicates that physical separation has worked but not
1:22 pm
completely. if you look at the curves in our country, it isn't like everything is dramatically going down. now is not the time to tempt fate and pull back completely. >> reporter: i just want to update you on what's happening with universal orlando. they presented their plan for a phased reopening. that was approved this afternoon by the orange county on task force. it know goes onto the mayor. just to give you a sense of that phased reopening looks like, we have a target date of jup 5th for the public. masks will be mandatory, temperature checks for visitors and employees. they will get rid of single riders. they've will have virtual lines and make food as contactless as possible in terms of payment and using mobile pilot as well. they said they will have staggered parking, interactive play areas will be closed and also universal characters will not be out and about mingling with guests. >> all right. hope for the best there erica hill, thank you so much. for the ninth week in a row,
1:23 pm
millions of americans file for unemployment and now some small businesses who could use loan money to help save jobs are getting it back. we'll explain why next. plus, is latin america the next coronavirus epicenter? we are live on the ground in mexico and brazil with startling new data. stay with us. life isn't a straight line.
1:24 pm
and sometimes, you can find yourself heading in a new direction. but when you're with fidelity, a partner who makes sure every step is clear, there's nothing to stop you from moving forward. athat liberty mutualsure customizes your insurance,, i just love hitting the open road and telling people so you only pay for what you need! [squawks] only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
1:25 pm
everything has changed. our work, how we eat, breathe, even stand. but we can't stand for this. to protect our health and our right to vote... with vote by mail, and safe options for voting in person, we must act now. but mitch mcconnell refuses to let the senate vote. join us. tell mitch: protect our health and our vote.
1:26 pm
why's mitch so afraid of our voices being heard? let america vote pac is responsible for the content of this ad. you're on it. exercising often and eating healthy? yup, on it there too. you may think you're doing all you can to manage type 2 diabetes and heart disease... ...but could your medication do more to lower your heart risk? jardiance can reduce the risk of cardiovascular death for adults who also have known heart disease. so, it could help save your life from a heart attack or stroke. and it lowers a1c. jardiance can cause serious side effects including dehydration, genital yeast or urinary tract infections, and sudden kidney problems. ketoacidosis is a serious side effect that may be fatal. a rare, but life-threatening bacterial infection in the skin of the perineum could occur. stop taking jardiance and call your doctor right away if you have symptoms of this bacterial infection, ketoacidosis, or an allergic reaction and don't take it if you're on dialysis or have severe kidney problems. taking jardiance with a sulfonylurea or insulin may cause low blood sugar. lower a1c and lower risk of a fatal heart attack?
1:27 pm
on it with jardiance. ask your doctor about jardiance. sleep number 360 smart bed. memorial day sale on the can it help keep me asleep? absolutely, it senses your movements and automatically adjusts to keep you both comfortable. save $1,000 on the sleep number 360® special edition smart bed. plus 0% interest for 36 months & free delivery when you add a base. . our money lead another 2.4 million americans have filed for first time unemployment benefits. that now makes 38.6 million people in the u.s. in just the last nine weeks or nearly one in four american workers who have now filed for unemployment. today the u.s. senate is expected to change the rules for a program the payroll protection
1:28 pm
program. cnn's phil mattingly says some own owners desperately need the money but can't take the chance with the program's confusing rules. >> the moment our bank said it's time, you can start filling out an application, i jumped right open it. and i didn't have a long time to analyze anything. >> cold springs is not a public company, being family owned is far from large. the company's treasurer chose to give the loan back to his bank. >> it's a classic bait and switch. the concept completely changed. >> reporter: cold springs construction is one of small businesses in the crossfire on a crackdown on companies that took the emergency payroll money. >> we'll go after them
1:29 pm
seriously, yeah. >> trumps words were designed to force them to reverse course. >> if any companies that loans they weren't supposed to, we'll go after them. >> reporter: it provided to companies like shake shack, ruth's chris and auto nation, the trump team shifted over weeks and struck fear for what may be coming. >> not only did we have a tidal wave, now we had a slippery slope of changing the rules on the fly. >> the penalty kept shifting. while the backlash was directed at the small businesses designed to help faced with an impossible choice. >> we have had a number of
1:30 pm
instances, anecdotes as well, where folks declined to take the money. unfortunately, they had [ inaudible ] which is the exact opposite i think of what you'd want to hear as a program design called paycheck protection program. >> reporter: by the time it provided safe ha bore for loans under $2 million and removed the threat of prosecution was released on may 13th, for the family he started in 1911 was too little too late. the decision had been made. >> are we doing the right thing returning this money or be in the position six months from now, where i wish i hasn't done that. i don't know. >> reporter: and, jake, i think the issue when you talk with small business owners, there is no right or black or white answer. there have been a number that have given their money back. as it currently stands, according to sec filings, more than 40 with can'tizations over 100 million have kept that money. what's right? what's wrong?
1:31 pm
who is supposed to give back? who is not to. it's questions that led to real problems with business owners that need very real help, jake. >> phil mattingly, thank you so much. there is another piece to reopening the economy. how do parents go back to school if schools are still not opened? i will talk about the future of education. that's next. a bath fitter bath is installed quickly,
1:32 pm
safely, and beautifully, with a lifetime warranty. the beautiful bath you've always wanted, done right, installed by one expert technician all in one day. book your free virtual or in-home design consultation. to deliver your mail and packages and the peace of mind of knowing that essentials like prescriptions are on their way. every day, all across america, we deliver for you. and we always will.
1:33 pm
from anyone else. so why accept it from your allergy pills? flonase relieves your worst symptoms which most pills don't. get all-in-one allergy relief for 24 hours, with flonase. it won't wait for a convenient time. which most pills don't. or for hospitals to get back to normal again. that's why, at cancer treatment centers of america, we aren't waiting. we're right here, still focused on the only thing we do, providing world-class cancer care, all under one roof. because cancer isn't just what we do, it's all we do. cancer treatment centers of america. call now for an appointment. truly transformative sleep. so, no more tossing and turning. because only tempur-pedic adapts and responds to your body... ...so you get deep, uninterrupted sleep. during the tempur-pedic summer of sleep, all tempur-pedic mattresses are on sale!
1:34 pm
right now, there are over a million walmart associates doing their best to keep our nation going. because despite everything that's changed, one thing hasn't and that's our devotion to you and our communities. our priority will always be to keep you and our associates safe, while making sure you can still get the essentials you need. ♪
1:35 pm
1:36 pm
in our national lead, it was one of the first states to shut down all its schools as the pandemic threat grew, now virginia is launching a task force pushing students back to class. >> as we can safely get our students back into the classroom, we will do that. i am hopeful that our students will be back in the classroom this fall. >> that was virginia governor northam, joining me to talk about this is the school superintendent on the governor's task force. mr. lane, first question as a parent how are you going to be able to ensure that this virus
1:37 pm
won't get into schools when you open up and infect kid, faculty members, and spread the virus even more? >> well, jake, first, thanks, for having me on your program to talk about the great work that our educators do here in the commonwealth and virginia and our teachers all over the nation. we obviously are not going to make any decisions about students returning to school until our health officials, the cdc guidance and all of the data shows it's safe for students to return to 62. as you heard from governor northam, we will make this decision not based on a time line but what we know it is safe to keep children stave i safe in our schools. >> so i guess one way would be theoretically on the first day of school or the day before to test every student, every teacher, every faculty member and make sure there is no one
1:38 pm
there who has the virus and then you know retake the test maybe every few weeks or every month or so, that obviously wouldn't keep it out, but it will give you a baseline, will you have enough tests to be able to do something like that? >> we have been looking at guidance from other countries that have already started the process of opening schools. we've looked at that time cdc guidance and our virginia department of health. we definitely think there will be a health screening component for students to return to school. the details of how that will look exactly, we're continuing to evolve and hope to have a plan on that public in the next couple of weeks. >> a health screening component can be a temperature check or seeing if anybody has a fever. we know so many children can be carriers and so many people can be asymptomatic.
1:39 pm
so that doesn't answer my question about testing. should i assume you will not have enough tests to do a widespread testing in schools by september? >> well, testing is, obviously, a matter that will be determined by the virginia department of health. our focus at the virginia department of education is on what structures need to be in place in our schools. ultimately, we will follow our guidance. if they tell us we have to do a certain type of screening or testing. if they've tell us we will do a certain type of temperature check, we will follow that in virginia in our school divisions. we will do what it takes to keep our students safe. >> are you trying, is the governor trying to get d that many tests so the schools can reopen? is there a request to get the skrabs, the reagents. the labs and lab employees so
1:40 pm
this can be done so as to ploy a baseline and some reassurance for parents and, quite frankly, faculty member who's will be the most at risk that this will be at least watched and the most due diligence done before opening the schools? >> yeah, i think as we talk to the virginia department of health, they're focused on the trend data in virginia and making sure before we bring students back into the building, that we've had a significant trend of declining cases for a significant amount of time before we would actually bring students into the building. as we think about opening schools, i have to imagine as other countries have done this, our governors have been talking about this, it's going to have to be done in phases. the first reopening of our schools may require we remain pre doll nantly remote at that time, like i said, i don't think
1:41 pm
that the virginia department of health is going to require a level of testing that we don't have the capacity to do when we open it. so i think you will see a much greater focus on, the cdc guidance as well, a focus on screenings, quick checks because i don't think that the current guidance we are seeing out there is pushing for exactly what you are asking about. >> okay. thank you so much. best of loo luck to you and the educators and students. mike pompeo on scrutiny after firing the watchdog investigating him, the latest in what appears to be a pattern with security claiming they were uber eats with guns. stay with us.
1:42 pm
1:43 pm
1:44 pm
1:45 pm
1:46 pm
. in our politics lead today, a group of top house democrats is demanding that secretary of state mike pompeo reinstate the inspector general he fired. the group accuses him of noting corruption, state department ig steve linick was ousted in the midst of investigating pompeo on two fronts. as cnn reports, pompeo continues to insist those inquiries had nothing to do with his decision. >> good morning, everyone. >> reporter: secretary of state mike pompeo stand behind his recommendation to fire the inspector general of the state department. >> i recommended to the president that steve linick be terminated. i frankly should have done it some time ago.
1:47 pm
>> reporter: the top diplomat refuses to explain why. >> we'll share with the appropriate people. >> reporter: cnn learned pompeo used a political appointee for personal tasks such as dog walking and linick had also been finishing another investigation, into pompeo's move to expedite a $8 billion arms sale to saudi arabia last year. by ordered state department officials to figure out how to justify an emergency declaration. sources say pompeo called reports he could have fired linick because of the investigations he didn't like crazy. >> it's patonly false. i have no sense of what investigations were taking place inside the inspector general's office. >> reporter: the firing is raising questions on a lack of transparency on a broad range of issues. >> he has a long history of the job of eschewing, holding himself to account ability to
1:48 pm
thinking that he and his decisions are somehow above scrutiny. >> reporter: pompeo has previously come under fire for the administration's dealings in the middle east. earlier this year after the u.s. killed a top general in a drone strike, pompeo claimed it was done to head off an imminent attack from iran. >> we had specific information on an imminent threat and those threats included attacks on u.s. embassies. period, full stop. >> reporter: but he repeatedly declined to give evidence. diplomatic security officials at the state department told cnn they were not aware of any imminent threats. >> any time a decision makes a statement of this magnitude there are multiple things that come before it. >> reporter: pompeo faced transpartcy questions about the pandemic. going from seeing enormous everyday it leaked accidentally from a chinese government i fillated lab. >> i can tell you there is a
1:49 pm
significant amount of evidence this came from that laboratory in wuhan. >> reporter: to pulling back and saying he couldn't be certain. >> we know it began in wuhan, but we don't know where or from whom. >> reporter: he never cited the specific evidence hef claimed to have seen. pompeo has often dodged questions from the press on key issues, at tames ditching the reporters traveling with him on diplomatic trips and at one point a trip to london. that wasn't on his schedule, fueling questions about whether his frequent taxpayer funded from independence to his home state of kansas in 2019, which were build as promoting diplomacy in the heartland, were serving his personal political ambition at a time when he had been considering running for the open senate seat in his home state. a move he ultimately decided against. >> given the swirl of speculation about mr. pompeo's potential run for senate, which existed over the last several months, given that public discussion and debate, i think
1:50 pm
it was more incumbent upon him to be even more forthcoming about why he was traveling domestically, what what the purpose was and what he was trying to get out of it. >> reporter: further questions about his travel have come to the forefront, including a visit a week ago to meet with prime minister bengals then netanyahu. department employees questioned why it was a top priority visit. one saying he went for a lovefest. those allegations, jake, follow a similar pattern. yeah, last year, congressional democrats opened an investigation into allegations that secretary pompeo was using diplomatic security for personal airing, picking up chinese food and diplomatic security agents complained they were uber eats with guns. the state department has not replied to our comments surrounding transparency. >> thank you so much. in other cabinet news today,
1:51 pm
texas republican john ratcliffe is expected to be sworn in as the next director of national intelligence on tuesday. a fierce defender and loyalist to president trump. ratcliffe was confirmed by the u.s. senate in a 49-24 party lean vote. the first time that's happened for the top intelligence job. in the past there were never more than a dozen senators who voted against a nominee. there are more coronavirus cases reported in latin america than anywhere else in the world. we will go leave on the grounds to brazil next. stay with us.
1:52 pm
1:53 pm
1:54 pm
1:55 pm
. in our worldly today, latin america is quickly becoming a new coronavirus hot spot as cases surge and are surpassing the u.s. for weekly number of reported cases, brazil has seen its largest increase reporting
1:56 pm
20,000 cases on wednesday, bringing the total to more than 48,000 nationwide, cnn's nick peyton walsh joins me and the brazilian government has authorized the use of hydroxychloroquine for all patients experiencing coronavirus symptoms. this despite health warnings that it might not do anything. >> absolutely. and it's a part of the generally conflicting advice that many brazil unions are getting not the least from boll ssonaro the president. the push by his government to make sure the hydroxychloroquine is a part of the approved medication here. that push seems to contribute to the resignation of one of his health ministers just recently. now it appears to be fully a part of the recommended medication, even for people who don't have severe coronavirus. i should repeat, it is not approved by the usfda, there are some suggestions that it may in
1:57 pm
fact be bad with health conditions too and there are no medical facts saying it does impede the coronavirus. president trump said he is recently taking it. with brazil experiencing extraordinary numbers, not into the entire picture. testing isn't as widespread as they would like here. nearly 20,000 on wednesday, 888 dead that day. it's not what we are seeing in sao paulo where the hot spot is, jake. it's emblematic of the country's response because they are now wearing masks. their shops are shut. it has many concerned where it wasn't taken as seriously across the country, we were at a grave yard, it was staggering to see on the hills of sao paulo. thousands of fresh holes, they expect it to hit in a week possibly two weeks and those holes certainly to be filled. when we were there, there was a funeral every ten minutes. >> those images are just awful.
1:58 pm
the president of brazil has been highly criticized for his handling of the virus as you photoed, nick, is he still promoting the protests against the stay-at-home orders? >> it's the whole balance between health and wealth. i mean, there is clearly here in brazil a slight change in people's attitudes, including the government. because they're seeing the extent of the damage to the population already. as recently as about a week ago, he was quite clearly saying the economy will potentially result in many lives lost as well if he wasn't allowed to continue. so here in sao paulo, the local governments are clear in the measures they need to take, frankly that they can see the impact of the virus around them. i should stress, the rest of the world is possibly seeing its peak now and certainly the u.s. and europe, that peak is just coming. we were at an icu, one of the better ones the biggest ones.
1:59 pm
they said to us they are already full. now, that is a stark indication of what's the next week or two when the doctors there said they think they'll start to see the peak here in sao paulo, brazil, biggest city. they simply won't have the beds and so for them to be full before that moment is deeply troubling here for anyone here, jake. >> nick peyton walsh in sao paulo, stay safe, finally we want to remember a retired butler who worked for 11 u.s. presidents. he is one of the latest victims. he started as a cleaner at the white house in 1957 under president eisenhower when the kennedys moved in first lady jackie kennedy promoted him to butler. a title he served with pride. he had five children, 12 grandchildren, 18 grandchildren. he tried to retire in 1987, he missed the white house too much. so he returned to the white
2:00 pm
house in 2003 as part-time doorman. his family says he left the white house a second time in 2012 as matere d. may his memory be a blessing. the u.s. is about to reach a grim milestone, 100 deaths from coronavirus, it's particularly devastating because right took the ability to say good-bye. we will try to fill it noon eastern, cnn will host a we remember memorial service for those lost. join us, our coverage on cnn continues right now. [ music playing ] this is cnn breaking news. >> welcome to our viewers here in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer in the "situation room." we are following breaking n