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Trump Campaign Moves Forward with Tulsa Rally Despite Health Concerns; States Weigh Mandatory Mask Rules; COVID-19 Hotspots Emerge Across Africa; U.S. Attorney General Tries to Oust Powerful New York Attorney; COVID-19 Diverting Resources for Refugees. Aired 2-2:30a ET

Aired June 20, 2020 - 02:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


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MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hello and welcome to CNN NEWSROOM, I'm Michael Holmes.

In Tulsa, Oklahoma, right now, the crowds are lining up, the anticipation among the faithful is growing and the public health warnings, being ignored. In less than 24 hours, the president of the United States will hold his first campaign rally since the pandemic began.

Here's the thing, the pandemic is still raging full bore. People have been lined up for days now and will be packed shoulder to shoulder, for hours on end. The one thing the nation's top infectious disease doctor said, they should not be doing.

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DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: The best way to protect yourself and to prevent acquisition of and spread of infection, is to avoid crowds.

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HOLMES: All of this, coming as the state of Oklahoma sees a massive spike in new cases and its largest single day increase of new cases since the pandemic began. CNN's Ryan Nobles reports from Tulsa.

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RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: President Donald Trump's rally here in Tulsa, set to take place on Saturday. This, despite a lot of concerns from public health officials here and of course, the overtones of the racial strife going on across the country.

We are here in Greenwood, which is the neighborhood where the 1921 Black Wall Street massacre took place. A lot of the folks, here on Saturday, celebrating the Juneteenth holiday.

The tone could be a little different on Saturday. There are protests expected, people coming to protest the president's appearance here and of course, we expect thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, of supporters of the president to show up at the BOK Center where this will take place.

The campaign says more than 1 million people have RSVP'd for the event, perhaps 100,000 could show up. Only 20,000 can fit inside of the event itself, so, there is expected to be a big overflow crowd outside, the president expects to speak to that group.

But the concern is inside that arena. That is where 19,000 people will be packed in. Yes, they will get hand sanitizer, they will get a mask, all temperatures will be checked but there will be very little, to no, social distancing, at all.

That is what has many public health officials, even here in Tulsa concerned. But the president is committed to moving ahead with the rally, seeing this as the restart of his campaign, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

They want to demonstrate that if they can pull this off safely, it is a sign that the country is ready to reopen and that will go a long way to helping his reelection chances --Ryan Nobles, CNN, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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HOLMES: Oklahoma not the only state with a new influx of coronavirus cases in this record breaking week. Erica Hill takes a look at what is happening across the country.

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DR. ALI KHAN, UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA MEDICAL CENTER: We are in the midst of the greatest public health failure in American history and, if we're going to continue to open up and not open up safely, we're going to continue to see increased cases.

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Eight states, now seeing their highest seven-day averages of new cases since the virus first hit. Arizona and Florida, hitting single day highs for new cases again.

CAITLIN RIVERS, INFECTIOUS DISEASE EXPERT: Florida's headed in the wrong direction and what we don't want is to recreate the conditions of March and April, when health systems were under threat.

HILL (voice-over): On Thursday, just 25 percent of Florida's ICU beds were available but, on Friday, the governor said, there was nothing to worry about.

GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): The total number of COVID patients statewide has always been a small fraction of the total hospital beds. There is plenty, plenty of capacity here in the state of Florida.

HILL (voice-over): Florida's aging population remains a concern. Nationwide, 80 percent of deaths are people over 65. Of states that reported a breakdown, 40 percent had been in nursing homes though young people are getting infected and they can spread it.

In Mississippi, a cluster has been linked to fraternity parties.

DR. THOMAS DOBBS, MISSISSIPPI STATE HEALTH OFFICER: I do implore the young folks in Oxford, you know, to please, demonstrate a modicum of restraint, because we're all going to pay for it if you don't.

HILL (voice-over): One of the most effective ways to prevent the spread, wearing a mask, North Carolina, considering a statewide mandate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The number of people wearing masks has decreased.

HILL (voice-over): In Dallas County, Texas, they are now required for businesses. Ignore it and risk a 500 dollar fine.

DR. ASHISH JHA, HARVARD GLOBAL HEALTH INSTITUTE: I believe in mask mandates as a way to maintain public health. What I am worried about, is we are ignoring, it and hoping the virus goes away by itself, which we know it won't.

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HILL (voice-over): Friday, as New York City, an early epicenter, prepared to enter phase 2, the governor gave his last daily update.

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): It's clear that over the past three months, we have done the impossible. We have done a full 180, from worst, to first.

HILL: The goal now, to keep it that way -- Erica Hill, CNN, New York.

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HOLMES: Hawaii is another state that has had a huge surge in new cases over the last few days. Emergency medicine specialist Dr. Darragh O'Carroll joining me now, live, from Honolulu.

Thank you for doing this, Doctor. Alarming figures in a number of states, Florida, Arizona, notably, Florida breaking its one-day record. Arizona, more alarming than most, the numbers there, going up 29 percent, higher than the day before.

What do these trends say to you?

What are you seeing in your own state?

DR. DARRAGH O'CARROLL, EMERGENCY MEDICINE SPECIALIST: What it says, is that I think we are all experiencing a little bit of a pandemic or isolation fatigue. You can expect a bit of that. We're all humans, we're all social beings and we are all going a little zany at home and wanting to interact with each other.

But we have to remember there is still a pandemic out, there the virus is still out there. And the more we interact, the more we give the opportunity for the virus to do what it does. And that is to transfer from person to person. And we know this is a very, very, contagious disease. The more that we

open up our economies too quickly, it might be a testament to one of our greatest strengths of this nation, as 50 independent states come together and make this great country.

But it could be one of our greatest weaknesses when it comes to a pandemic, that every, state and every municipality, has its own way and own opinions, on opening up.

HOLMES: Indeed. I have to ask you about the president's rally on Saturday. Our own Dr. Sanjay Gupta pointed out that in Oklahoma, COVID cases are more than double the previous week. Yet, there will be 20,000 people in an enclosed arena, chanting, cheering and in close quarters, breaking every single guideline issued by the Trump administration.

Some people say 100,000 people could turn up.

What do you make of what could happen and the decision itself to hold this?

O'CARROLL: It's curious. If we rewind to the last large upper respiratory illness pandemic, the Spanish flu of 1918, we went through the exact same issues we're experiencing now. People recommended masks, people protested against masks, saying it's against their liberties.

So it's a repeat of history and it is showing that if we look back to even the beginning of this pandemic, when South Korea had a huge outbreak that stemmed from a religious gathering, that was the beginning of their big wave.

So this could be another huge case burden for not only Tulsa but however many people come to Tulsa from across the country and I wouldn't say internationally but across the country and they could have higher rates than Tulsa does.

It's a bit late comparing apples and oranges when the Trump administration and President Trump's press secretary's pointing to, hey, we have lots of rallies and demonstrations already for Black Lives Matter movement.

Those were all outdoors and they were all in response to something extremely tragic. It is completely different when you put it indoors. We know that the major transmission points of this virus are when there is a lack of ventilation, air recirculating and that happens indoors.

So it's extremely frightening, for me, as an emergency physician, who could later see the acute cases of suffocating, blue and dying patients, coming at my doors, as a direct result of this. It's frightening, to be quite honest.

HOLMES: I can't imagine. I think people are not confronted with that. And if they don't know someone who's had one, it is easy to say it's all overblown, when it's not. One thing, an area of particular concern, the high risk age group has

always been or at least earlier on, 60 and above. And in many places, that is changing. There was a news conference with the Florida governor, where he said that the median age range now, over the past few weeks, it's 37.

What does that suggest to you?

O'CARROLL: That suggests it is likely the younger persons, in the younger age groups, who are moving about and contracting the virus the most.

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O'CARROLL: We have always seen that the highest number of cases are in that middle age group. But it is not taking away that your highest risk of death from this disease or having very serious consequences from it are still in the older age groups.

That is really because your immune system reacts a little slower but also you have higher rates in comorbidities as you age -- diabetes, blood pressure, possibly obesity. So it's a reflection on that. Those haven't changed but the predominant people who are moving, around and contracting this illness, may be on the younger, skewing slightly.

HOLMES: Dr. Darragh O'Carroll, thank you so much, I really appreciate your time there in Hawaii, thank you for all you do.

O'CARROLL: Thank you, Michael, take care.

HOLMES: Brazil is now reporting more than 1 million cases of COVID-19. Experts warn, it could become the most affected country worldwide. That is because, so, far the curve of infections is showing no signs of flattening there. CNN's Matt Rivers looks at the reason why.

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MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The number of dead keep climbing, newly confirmed cases, the highest in the world but as Brazil marks its 1 millionth case of the virus, it is important to remember, this, the sickness, the death, the burials, was not inevitable.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just want to put my mom there and finish this. We don't need this, my family doesn't need this.

RIVERS (voice-over): Brazil reported its first case February 26th and, at first, the outbreak was largely under control. The federal government all but shut down entry into the country, quarantine measures in big cities helped and many chose to stay home. But one of the country's most powerful voices did not.

President Jair Bolsonaro criticized prevention measures from the start, calling the virus a, quote, "little flu," playing up a tough guy persona at political rallies, packed with thousands of people. The real threat, he argued, was to the economy. JAIR BOLSONARO, BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Are some

people going to die?

Yes, they're going to die. I'm sorry, I'm sorry. That's life, that's reality.

RIVERS (voice-over): As the outbreak worsened, Brazil's health minister urged the president to back stronger social distancing measures. Bolsonaro fired him April 16th. More than 5,000 people would be dead by the end of the month.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The president needs to understand that the people are enduring one of the most difficult moments in its history. Thousands are dead, families are mourning, unemployment.

RIVERS (voice-over): But Bolsonaro routinely dismisses concerns like that.

BOLSONARO (through translator): So what?

I'm sorry but what do you want me to do?

RIVERS (voice-over): Experts say the Bolsonaro administration's inaction played a significant role in the severity of this outbreak, along, with an overmatched health care system and a lack of stringent quarantine measures.

It was a perfect recipe for an exponential explosion. From reporting its first case, it took Brazil 67 days to reach 100,000 confirmed cases on May 3rd. But it took just 47 days for that number to increase tenfold, now with 1 million cases and counting, with a rising death toll.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think we will pass the United States. I think we will be a major victim of the COVID. And this is directly linked to the fact that we don't have an actual plan.

RIVERS (voice-over): Massive economic fallout has resulted in pressure on many state and local governments to begin to reopen their economies. But the risk of doing so is high. A University of Washington model predicts that, by August 1st, Brazil's death toll will overtake the United States -- Matt Rivers, CNN.

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HOLMES: Thousands of new coronavirus cases reported across the African continent, with Egypt and South Africa the hardest hit so far. The World Health Organization has been urging African leaders not to be caught off guard and warning that COVID-19 patients could quickly overwhelm their hospitals. CNN's Farai Sevenzo is standing by Nairobi.

It's fascinating what has gone on in the last few months in Africa. It's a huge continent and you can't just treat it as one. But across the breadth of that continent, hundreds of millions of people, what are the big fears? FARAI SEVENZO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The big fears, Michael, as you say, it's a massive continent. Remember, what the WHO has been saying is that Africa only accounts for 3 percent of the global coronavirus infections. But it is accelerating and that's always been the greatest fear.

They do say there will be bodies on the streets but that hasn't actually happened. So both sides of the coin. Yes, cases are accelerating. We understand that Kenya reached high amounts of people with coronavirus. South Africa is in big trouble with tens of thousands infected.

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SEVENZO: At the same time today, it's World Refugee Day and we have places in Western Uganda that look after Burundian and DRC refugees. There were 2 cases back in March, now, as we head towards the end of June, has gone up by 42.

The only mitigating factor is that African governments were quick off their back. They put in lockdowns over place, Kenya's economy is only waking up. We're still at dawn to dusk curfew, moved from 9 o'clock in the evening to 5 o'clock in the morning.

So without this, this could've been very serious. Remember, the coronavirus did not really begin here. It began with travelers, tourists, people who had come over. Now it is very much in the community.

That is the biggest fear, that people cannot take off their masks, they must keep social distancing and, at the moment, we need to see whether the curve will happen or not.

HOLMES: Farai, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

Taking a quick break, coming up on CNN NEWSROOM, the U.S. attorney general trying to fire the New York prosecutor responsible for, yes, investigating several Trump associates. Why that attorney says he's not going anywhere just yet. We will be right back.

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HOLMES: The U.S. attorney general, William Barr, tried to make a late night shakeup, attempting to oust Geoffrey Berman, the powerful U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.

But Berman is refusing to step down. Berman has investigated a number of President Trump's associates, including Michael Cohen and Rudy Giuliani. "The New York Times" reports that the person familiar with the matter says that President Trump, himself, has discussed ways of removing Berman. CNN's Evan Perez with some details for us.

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EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Manhattan U.S. attorney Geoffrey Berman is refusing to resign. The attorney general, Bill Barr, met with Berman in New York on Friday and asked him to step down.

But Berman says he's not going anywhere. Hours after the Justice Department announced that Berman was indeed leaving his office, Berman released a statement saying, in part, quote, "I learned in a press release from the attorney general tonight that I was stepping down as United States attorney.

"I have not resigned and I have no intention of resigning. My position, to which I was appointed by the judges of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

"I will step down when a presidential appointed nominee is confirmed by the Senate."

The Justice Department says that the president intends to nominate Jay Clayton, the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, to take over the office in the Manhattan U.S. attorney.

Berman's office has been overseeing a number of sensitive cases, including the investigation into the president's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani.

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PEREZ: Evan Perez, CNN, Washington.

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HOLMES: Around the world, protesters demand more police accountability. This following, of course, the release of that graphic video showing the arrest and killing, of George Floyd, who told police, at least 16 times, I can't breathe.

Well, now officials in the U.K. are investigating an arrest last year, in which a black man says those very same words. CNN's Salma Abdelaziz reports from London.

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SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN PRODUCER: Cell phone video recently emerged of a black man yelling, I can't breathe, as British police arrested him last year, has been referred to a government watchdog.

The family of 35-year-old Simeon Francis provided the footage to CNN, of the July 2019 arrest in the British seaside town of Torquay. The nearly 19-minute clip shows Francis being handled by at least 10 police officers.

Several of them are pinning him to the ground, he is heard shouting, "Get them off me, racists." After about 13 minutes still yelling, he is lifted by the officers and

carried into a police van. It is unclear if Francis needed medical attention, why he was being arrested or what led up to this incident, according to a family representative.

And Devon and Cornwall police have not responded to CNN's request for comment, citing an ongoing investigation. But the family believes this video shows police used excessive force during this incident.

Francis was eventually released after the July arrest of last year, according to the family. But 10 months later, in the early hours of May 20th of this year, Francis was arrested again in Torquay by Devon and Cornwall police. Later that evening of May 20th, police said he was found unresponsive in his police cell.

The independent Office for Police Conduct, a government watchdog, is investigating the case of Francis' death in police custody. A preliminary postmortem investigation did not identify a cause of death for Francis, according to the watchdog.

The watchdog, also, confirmed receiving the video footage that was recently made available. In our assessing the complaints made by the Francis family, at this point, the video of the July 2019 incident does not appear to be related to the circumstances of his death in May of this year. However, in a time when conduct is being closely scrutinized in the U.K. and across the world, it's a case that's sure to gain attention -- Salma Abdelaziz, CNN, London.

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HOLMES: Now this time of anti-racism protests around the world, CNN has conducted an extensive poll on attitudes about racism in the U.K. We will have the results and analysis for, you starting Monday. CNN NEWSROOM, back in a moment.

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HOLMES: The coronavirus pandemic is putting a strain on more kinds of resources around the world. But for Syrian refugees, a hardship, particularly acute; as more aid gets diverted into fighting the virus, less help is available to support those suffering the scars of psychological trauma. CNN's Arwa Damon explains.

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ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Yimama's voice does not hint at the depths of her pain, a pain she fights to hide from her children.

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DAMON (voice-over): "I'm afraid to have my children sleep next to me, because of the nightmares I have," she tells us.

"I wake up and find fingernail marks on my skin, because of the fear I experience in my dreams."

Yimama (ph) says she was in prison in Syria for over a year.

DAMON: She was sentenced to death and they only got her out by basically selling their home, selling belongings and paying a bribe.

DAMON (voice-over): When Yimama (ph) emerged, she was scared of everything: a door slamming, a car hulking.

Her mother, Basma (ph), went to prison four separate times, endured beatings.

DAMON: She can't raise that arm.

DAMON (voice-over): Her ex-husband, Yimama's father, died behind bars. The Syrian government accused all of them to supporting the armed groups fighting the regime, the family says. They were arbitrarily detained.

When the family arrived in Turkey, both women received counseling from an NGO. That ended with the arrival of the pandemic. The walls started to close in. A family of 11, confined to just two rooms. There is no more work for Yimama's (ph) husband, the sole provider for the family.

DAMON: She says it's been three months, the landlord is coming, asking for rent but they have no idea where they are get the right money from.

DAMON (voice-over): They can't even afford baby formula for the twins and have to beg neighbors for diapers. The weight they carried from Syria, just grew heavier in Turkey.

For Yimama (ph), the stresses brought on by COVID-19 pushed her to a breaking point. She says, lately, I've been thinking a lot about killing myself. Her husband has hidden all sharp objects, he will not let her stay in a room alone.

The only support she can get is from the NGO therapist on the phone. Basma (ph) doesn't know how to help her daughter, she can barely help herself. She says she feels like a solitary planet, that is just spinning in endless pain -- Arwa Damon, CNN, Istanbul.

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HOLMES: We will return to Oklahoma in just a moment, as the White House thumbs its nose at the advice of medical experts and puts the health of thousands in the crosshairs. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. We will be right back.

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HOLMES: The United States is going through at least two crises at the moment, the virus of racism and, of course, the coronavirus pandemic.

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HOLMES: Those two deadly matters intersect this weekend in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

While the country has been going through unprecedented racial upheaval, the thought of having thousands of people at President Trump's campaign rally during a pandemic and ignoring the advice of scientists around the world has public health experts on edge. CNN's Abby Phillip reporting from Tulsa.

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ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tulsa's Black Wall Street now emblazoned with the words Black Lives Matter.

NICOLE OGUNDARE, AUTHOR: This is the kind of hope and resilience. This is saying that we're here to stay. And we're going to have to come together, because that's the only way we will survive.

PHILLIP: A city on edge bracing for tens of thousands of pro- and anti-Trump supporters to converge here this weekend.

OGUNDARE: I'm just tense about everything.

PHILLIP: In Tulsa's Greenwood district, thousands expected to celebrate Juneteenth, a holiday marking when some black slaves first learned that they had been emancipated. And a few blocks away, supporters of President Trump camped out for the first mass gathering of its kind in the country since the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

Tulsa's mayor putting in place a curfew for the next two days, anticipating more than 100,000 people arriving in the city for both events. But amid these large gatherings inside and out, the coronavirus pandemic looms.

DR. BRUCE DART, DIRECTOR, TULSA HEALTH DEPARTMENT: Let me be clear. Anyone planning to attend a large-scale gathering will face an increased risk of becoming infected with COVID-19.

PHILLIP: Oklahoma one of eight states in the country seeing their highest seven-day averages of new cases, averaging 247 new cases per day in the last week, Tulsa County, the location of Trump's rally, leading that increase and outpacing more populous parts of the state.

The Trump campaign planning to hand out masks to the 19,000 people who will be packed into the BOK arena for his rally on Saturday but won't force rally-goers to wear them. White House officials at odds about whether they would wear masks.

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: It's a personal choice. I won't be wearing a mask.

KEVIN HASSETT, CHAIRMAN, COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVISERS: If I were at the rally, I would wear a mask.

PHILLIP: Dr. Anthony Fauci more clear, telling CBS News simply, avoid crowds and wear a mask.

The officials in charge of the BOK Center still on edge about safety, now asking the Trump campaign to provide a written safety plan explaining how they will enforce social distancing.

But the president appears more concerned about what will be happening outside, tweeting, "Any protesters, anarchists, agitators, looters or lowlifes who are going to Oklahoma please understand, you will not be treated like you have been in New York, Seattle, or Minneapolis. It will be a much different scene!"

DR. MARGARET STRIPLING, FAMILY PHYSICIAN: I don't know what he means by that. Some people who wanted to come out and be peaceful protesters maybe -- may have second thoughts about coming out.

PHILLIP: The White House defending Trump's tweet, claiming the president was not talking about peaceful protesters.

But that tweet just the kind of provocation that appears to have prompted a high-ranking State Department official, Mary Elizabeth Taylor, to call it quits over Trump's handling of race relations and recent protests and Tulsa residents dismiss the president's overtures on issues of race.

REGINA GOODWIN (D-OK), STATE REPRESENTATIVE: I'm not going to go to an arsonist to put out a fire.

PHILLIP: A lawsuit filed by Tulsa residents earlier this week, seeking to stop the Trump rally from moving forward, went all the way to the state's supreme court but that court ruled that they would reject that bid to stop the rally. And it looks like, for now, things will be moving forward as planned -- Abby Phillip, CNN, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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HOLMES: Stephen Collinson is a CNN Politics White House reporter, joining me now from Washington.

Always good to see you, Stephen. Let's start with the Tulsa rally, 20,000 people in a closed area, breaking every one of the Trump administration's guidelines.

The thing is, it's not some random group deciding on this, it's the doing of the president of the United States.

What does this say about his decision making -- and I hesitate to use the word -- his strategy?

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I think what it says about his decision-making, Michael, is that the most important thing in Donald Trump's presidency, is Donald Trump.

As you say, this rally breaks every single CDC top health -- public health official's rationale for what people should not do. You should not go into a big crowd. You should not stand together with people for a long time. You should not go somewhere where people are not wearing masks.

All of that will happen in the rally. What is going on here, the president is in trouble in the polls, most polls show him, up to double figures, down on the Democratic presumptive nominee, Joe Biden. He needs to get his campaign running.

He wants to show Americans that it is time to get the economy moving again, it's time to get out there. But the fact that in the last two weeks it has become clear that it possibly is not time.

We are having spikes of cases, all over the country, in places where the economy was very quick to open up, places like Florida, Arizona and even in Oklahoma, where the president will be, cases are rising quickly because of coronavirus.

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COLLINSON: So this is something, clearly, the president wants to do for himself and for his own political prospects, even, though it, seems to be absolute madness to get 20,000 people together in a stadium.

Bear in mind, U.S. sports leagues are still not playing, probably won't be playing for a month. When they do play, they'll be coming back without fans. Donald Trump is going to pack that arena, perhaps the biggest indoor event, anywhere, in the, world for months.

HOLMES: That's true, not thought of it that way. I wanted to get your take on the impact of John Bolton's book. Full of allegations, any one of which may have brought down another president.

The big things, asking China for reelection help but also odd things like seemingly not knowing Britain is a nuclear power or Finland is not part of Russia and apparently was inclined to invade Venezuela.

What does the book say not just about his knowledge or brazenness, but about his character and how he governs?

COLLINSON: I think the shocking thing, and you put your finger on that there, it's not that shocking to anyone who's ever watched Donald Trump and his conduct on the world stage over the last 3.5 years. We knew has a very rudimentary knowledge of world affairs.

We know he prioritizes his own interests over U.S. national interests. That, after all, was what impeachment was about, his attempt to get Ukraine to investigate Vice President Joe Biden, his opponent in November.

And we've seen him trash U.S. intelligence agencies on stage, in Helsinki, with Russian president Vladimir Putin. So in terms of is this surprising, what Bolton has come out with, no, really, it basically stands up what many other former officials who served alongside the president and his administration say and what we've seen with our own eyes.

As to the political impact, the cake is really baked with Donald Trump. There aren't many voters who have not made up their mind about him. So individually, I don't think the John Bolton revelations going to have a huge political impact.

But they swell this terrible week and terrible few weeks that the president has been having. The virus is coming back in many states. These revelations from Bolton, his military leaders, separating themselves from the president over that notorious photo op in a church in Washington.

So they would have cascading crises that have broken over the president, not to mention the way that he was behind the whole reckoning over race in the United States. So it's just another thing, another crisis that is battering the White House.

And it gets to the question, is the president fit to lead, which is to be one of the big questions of the election.

HOLMES: You touch on the president's poll numbers, they're not good in a lot of, them but it was interesting. You write on cnn.com, you had a piece out overnight, which is excellent as always.

And you said this, quote, "If he were any other president at any other time, Donald Trump's reelection hopes would probably already be doomed."

The fact is, even though it has moved a little bit, the base has not shifted much, despite the stream of controversy.

Why is that?

COLLINSON: I think Donald Trump still speaks to a great number of conservatives in the American heartland. They still see his behavior, which many people on the East Coast, in the media, in the political establishment, think is beyond the pale.

And they say that's where we sent this guy, to Washington in the first place. He is a disruptor. He speaks for us. He says things that we say. The president is -- has often used race and social divisions in the United States to drive a wedge between people.

He hits on these cultural issues. If you are a voter in the middle of America, you find your own culture threatened by the increasing diversity of the United States. Donald Trump is hitting on that all the time. So that's one of the reasons he speaks for many Republicans, who distrust all the institutions, the media, politics, the judiciary, everything really all apart from the military.

So he is still speaking for these people. And if you've got 38 percent, 40 percent of the country, you at least have a platform where you can try and get the other 8 percent of voters you need in the electoral college system to win the presidency.

So although the president is in deep trouble and he is, incidentally, in trouble in a lot of battleground states that will decide this election, he has not gone down to 20 percent like someone like George W. Bush did in his second term. So he's still a viable political candidate.

Whether he can get himself out of this mess that he's in is another thing entirely.

[02:40:00]

HOLMES: Yes, and throughout it all, another remarkable thing, Republicans staying with him throughout. Sam Vinograd was on last night. She said they will continue to play the ignorance is bliss card.

Stephen, I have to leave it there, unfortunately, my friend. Thank you so much. Great piece on cnn.com.

COLLINSON: Thanks.

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(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PATRICK SNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We are now four games into the resumed English Premier League season, a campaign that brings with it a whole series of powerful, poignant images, that continue to resonate globally.

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SNELL (voice-over): On Friday, Tottenham and Manchester United met in North London, in one highly moving moment, Spurs honoring the memory of a number of their season ticket holders, lives lost in recent months to COVID-19.

Both sets of players, also uniting in their support of the Black Lives Matter movement, falling, taking a knee, in tribute to the life of George Floyd, who died in police custody last, month in Minneapolis, United striker Marcus Rashford raising his fist.

This is seen ahead of Friday's earlier game, Southampton's 3-0 victory at Norwich. The buildup to the Spurs-United match was rightly centered on that man and how fitting it would have been for the 22 year-old who managed to convince the U.K. government into a U-turn over free school meals for children from low income families this summer.

He opened the scoring, just past the 20 minute mark. The Spurs making the Red Devils pay, Dutch youngster The Spurs making the Red Devils pay, Dutch fizzy (ph) one past David de Gea (ph), who really should have done a whole lot better.

But fit again, French superstar, Paul Pogba in his first game for United since last December, with a quick impact after coming out of as a sub, winning the penalty which was then coolly converted by Portuguese teammate Bruno Fernandes to ensure a 1-1 draw.

The Premier League continues with a full batch of fixtures as attention shifts to Liverpool and their quest for a first-ever Premier League crown and a first top flight title in 30 years.

The table topping Reds could get the job done as early as Monday, without even playing, if they can beat local rivals Everton on Sunday and outgoing champions Manchester City lose at home to Burnley a day later -- Patrick Snell, CNN, Atlanta.

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HOLMES: Thank you for your company, spending due time with, us I'm Michael Holmes, stay tuned for "MARKETPLACE AFRICA." I will see you in 20 minutes with more news.