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Trump restricts travel from Brazil to U.S.; Honoring Fallen Heroes on Memorial Day; Police Clash with Protesters in Hong Kong; Ledges face off in Charity Golf Match. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired May 25, 2020 - 06:30   ET




ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Brazil has seen an explosion of coronavirus cases and deaths. And now the U.S. is banning travel from that country. Brazil has seen a record increase in just the past 24 hours, as you can see on your screen. They now have the second highest number of virus cases in the world behind only the United States.

CNN's Nick Paton Walsh is live in Brazil with more.

What's the situation this morning, Nick?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: Now 22,000 dead. And that number, 362,000 cases isn't the full picture because testing is a lot harder to come by, by the world leader, the United States, in comparison.

We're in the worst place in Brazil. Manaus is the worst hit city in the middle of the Amazon. And it was extraordinary yesterday to see pictures of President Jair Bolsonaro wading into another crowd of supporters, at times wearing a mask, but at times not wearing a mask. He has consistently played down the threat of the virus. And on that day, too, perhaps the seriousness of the infections in this country was recognized by the United States banning travel from Brazil to the U.S., or from anybody who'd been in Brazil 14 days prior to their arrival in the United States. It seems to be indefinitely.

But here in Manaus, they've been hit exceptionally hard here. At one point digging mass graves to get the bodies in the ground fast enough. In fact, Jair Bolsonaro, in a cabinet recording that was released by the supreme court, referred to the mayor of this city in very offensive terms because of the message he was taking to protect his population.

Now, I caught up with the major of this city and put those offensive comments from the Brazilian president, remember, criticizing somebody for looking after their own population.


Here's what the major of Manaus had to say in response about Brazil's president.


WALSH: When you heard the president call you a piece of (EXPLETIVE DELETED) --


WALSH: Why did he do that?

NETO: His dream is to be a dictatorship. He's stupid.

WALSH: You blame his words for the outbreak here because people were too busy going about their daily lives?

NETO: I'll tell you, he has complicity with those deaths of corona in Brazil. I think that he is co-responsible.

WALSH: Seeing what's around here, the number of people who are sick in Manaus, if you had a message for President Bolsonaro, what would it be?

NETO: Mr. President Bolsonaro, please shut up and stay home. Resign. Resign. Resign.


NETO: Because he doesn't govern Brazil.


WALSH: Now, extraordinary, in a country like this, seeing the peak possibly in a week or two weeks away and its main city, Sao Paulo, spreading further elsewhere, that they are still battling the controversial message of their own president, appearing in a crowd without a mask. He's more talking about the disease as something they have to fight in a war at the moment, but his early messaging calling it a little flu. It's something people heard in the previous weeks and admit they didn't take the social distancing measures that everybody needed to do.

Yes, masks now mandatory where I am here, but this is rising exceptionally fast across the nation and here in this city. It's extraordinary how hard they've been hit and the anger often directed towards their president.

Back to you.

CAMEROTA: Yes, absolutely. And hearing that response to the president was extraordinary as well.

Nick Paton Walsh, thank you very much for all of that reporting.

So this Memorial Day will look a lot different than years past. Up next we honor the Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice for this country. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: Today, of course, is Memorial Day, a day to honor fallen service members who gave their lives for their country. This Memorial Day, however, will be very different because of the global pandemic.

Joining us now, CNN military analyst and retired Lieutenant General Mark Hertling. He served 37 years, including commanding force in Iraq.

General, always good to speak with you.

You have experienced loss in wartime, more than many, most you might even say, and you have a way of honoring soldiers who gave their lives. Tell -- tell us what that is.

LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Yes, Jim, and good morning to you.

The thing we do, a couple of us do, we -- three of us have a box, General Dempsey, General Scaparati (ph) and I, from our time together in 2003 and '04 in Iraq. It's a small wooden box. Here it is right here. It says "make it matter" on the front. And it's -- it's a box that contains the pictures of soldiers that were under our command that we lost in combat.

My box, after several tours in Iraq, unfortunately, contains 253 cards with soldiers' pictures and some details of their families and their names. And every day I pick a few cards out, not just on Memorial Day but every day and reflect on those individuals who gave the last full measure of devotion to the country and sacrificed for our way of life.

So every Memorial Day I sometimes come on CNN and talk about an individual and today that happens to be a guy by the name of Lenny Cowherd (ph). He was 23 when he was killed. A second lieutenant, class of 2003 from West Point. I actually met him before combat at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, when he was a history major and was taking a staff right here with our youngest son, who was also a cadet at West Point at the time.

He was killed by a sniper's bullet when he was 23 years old. That was in 2004. And thinking about him today, he would have been 38 years old today. That intervening time that those, those 16 years, you don't really know what may have happened in his life. He's left behind a young wife, Sara. They could have had children. They -- they could -- he could be a lieutenant colonel in the Army now commanding a battalion. But those are the kinds of things I think about of things that were lost given the circumstances.

SCIUTTO: It makes such a difference to see the faces of them, doesn't it, because, you know, it takes away any sense that it's just a number. These are people with lives and years lost and memories lost as a result. You know, this year typically on a Memorial Day folks could go out,

they could go to parades, they could visit cemeteries, et cetera, but those parades are off. There are restrictions at cemeteries, like Arlington here outside of D.C.

So how do you recommend Americans pay tribute to folks like Lieutenant Cowherd?

HERTLING: Well, what I've said before, Jim, is, many of us take a specific time today on Memorial Day and we reflect. We stop. We stop everything and go through a couple of minutes of silence and reflect on these individuals. For me it's 3:00 this afternoon. I'll toast them with a glass of bourbon. And you can do that still on a Memorial Day weekend, like this weekend. But I'd also suggest that it's what you do beyond just taking that moment of reflection. How you contribute to society. How you serve others. That's -- that's what service is all about and it's something we can do every day, not just on this day in May that's reserved for the memory of our soldiers.

SCIUTTO: There's, of course -- everybody likes to talk about soldiers and kind of wrap themselves in the banner. In the midst of a crisis like this country is experiencing right now, where are you seeing good leadership in responding to it and bringing Americans together rather than dividing them?

HERTLING: Yes, well, I -- I happen, Jim, since I retired in 2013, I've had the honor and privilege of working with a hospital and teaching physicians and nurses and administrators a little bit about leadership.


And, in fact, we developed a leadership course. And one of the things we do is take those health care providers to Gettysburg. We have them portray a civil war general, not for the button collector history, but to see how leadership is applied in a time of crisis. I've been doing that for about five years now. And during this pandemic, I've watched the 500 or so leaders that we've put through that leadership course step to the forefront. Not only have the science and medicine as their skill and savvy, but also understanding the art of engagement in long- term planning in crisis response.

And it's been fascinating to see our health care providers. And -- and one of the things I tell them in the course is, they're part of a profession, just like the profession of arms with soldiers. And medicine and the military are the only two professions that deal in life and death. So they've really got to get things right.

And what I'm seeing today, in a new career, in a new job, is the phenomenal work of health care providers serving not only their patients but serving the nation, community health, taking things forward and being the experts in their field and understanding how to react in a crisis response scenario. And it's fascinating to see the similarities between soldiers in combat and the health care providers in this particular pandemic that we're experiencing right now. SCIUTTO: Yes, and putting their lives on the line, too, aren't they,

their lives and their health. And, sadly, many of them giving their lives in the response to this, health care workers.

Well, General Hertling, it's always good to have you on and it's great to have that reminder today of what -- what this holiday is about. And we all should take a chance, whether it's raising bourbon, which I -- which I might do as well, or other ways to pay tribute.

General, thanks so much.

HERTLING: Yes, I'm going to do it twice today -- I'll do it twice today, Jim. One -- one toast to the soldiers that I served with and had the honor of serving for, and the second one is for all those health care providers. So I'll -- I may have two -- two toasts today with a little glass of Makers Mark.

SCIUTTO: Good advice. We won't fault you for that, General Hertling. Thanks so much.

HERTLING: OK. Thanks, Jim.

SCIUTTO: Well, overseas, anger in Hong Kong is boiling over. These are protesters clashing with police over China imposing a national security law in the territory there. Are U.S. sanctions against China as a result on the horizon? We're going to have a live report, next.



CAMEROTA: Now to this developing story.

Protesters in Hong Kong clashing with police over China's plan to impose tough, new security laws designed to quash these protests.

CNN's Ivan Watson is live in Hong Kong with the latest.

What are you seeing, Ivan?


Hong Kong police say they arrested at least 180 people in these clashes and protests on Sunday. They're accusing them of rioting and of vandalism.

Now, this is as the Chinese government has announced that it is going to impose this new security law on Hong Kong, which is the -- basically the freest corner of modern-day China through a number of international treaties, from the handover of British rule to Chinese rule. It's supposed to have a multiparty system of democratic freedoms in place until 2047. There are real fears from critics that this new law could help China establish secret police headquarters here in Hong Kong and take away some of those freedoms.

China's top diplomat here in Hong Kong tried to reassure diplomats today. Take a listen.


XIE FENG, CHINA'S FOREIGN MINISTRY COMMISSIONER TO HONG KONG: There's absolutely no need to panic. A worry that you may be unfavorably impacted. Do not be intimidated or even misled and exploited by those with ulterior motives. And in particular, do not be a rumor monger yourself or join the anti-China forces in stigmatizing and demonizing the legislation. Do (INAUDIBLE) mettle, obstruct it or provoke confrontation.


WATSON: Now, Beijing argues that six months of protests increasingly violent here in Hong Kong pose a threat to all of China's national security. It's been describing all of the opposition here as basically terrorist and separatist. It has not taken into account the loyal opposition, moderates who have not engaged in violence, and that's where a lot of the real concern is here that they could be wrapped up under the same umbrella as a kind of policed state culture could be imposed on this place. That could end its days at the center of international trade as international companies may not feel safe to have their employees here.


CAMEROTA: Ivan Watson from Hong Kong for us. Thank you very much.

On a lighter note, the legends of golf and football competing for charity. Who won the match and how much did they raise? The "Bleacher Report" tells us, next.



SCIUTTO: Sports legends battle it out on the golf course, raising millions of dollars for coronavirus relief.

Andy Scholes has more in the "Bleacher Report."



Yes, it's so great to have a big, live sporting event back this weekend to watch. And this was so much fun. The match Champions for Charity, it pitted Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning against Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady. And, in typical 2020 fashion, I mean it was just pouring rain for much of the event.

But, I'll tell you what, Tom Brady, he was out there just making all of us mortals feel just great about our golf game. I mean he was struggling badly early on. He just could not find the fairways. Charles Barkley, who's a notoriously bad golfer, was telling Brady he could even beat him. Well, then Brady went out and did this.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my goodness.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, you made it.



TOM BRADY: Take a second act (ph), Chuck. Shut your mouth, Chuck.


BRADY: Take a little of that medicine.


SCHOLES: Yes, shot of the day. Brady earning $100,000 for charity with that shot. He also split his pants in the process, which was just great.

In the end it would be Tiger and Peyton winning by one hole, but no losers here. These four and our parent company, Warner Media, helping raise more than $20 million for Covid-19 relief efforts.

And I tell you what, Jim, it was a lot of fun watching these four out there going through 18 holes, just giving each other -- you know, ribbing at each other as they made some bad shots.


Not many people can make fun of Tom Brady. Tiger Woods is one of them.