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Trump Campaign Moves Forward With Tulsa Rally Despite Health Concerns; States Weigh Mandatory Mask Rules; Eight U.S. States See Highest Weekly Averages Of New Coronavirus Cases; Americans Commemorate Juneteenth; Some Atlanta Police Officers Fail To Report For Work; Most COVID-19 Cases Reported To WHO In A Single Day; COVID- 19 Diverting Resources For Refugees. Aired 5-6a ET
Aired June 20, 2020 - 05:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Thousands gather in Tulsa, Oklahoma, despite warnings that a Trump rally there tonight could be a super spreader of coronavirus.
Despite President Trump's claims that the virus is going away, the number of cases in parts of the United States is rising, some at record levels.
Also ahead this hour, refusing to step down: a powerful U.S. attorney who investigated associates of the U.S. president is in a standoff with the Trump administration.
These stories are all ahead this hour, we're live at CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta. Welcome to our viewers here in the U.S. and around the world. I'm Natalie Allen. And this is CNN NEWSROOM.
ALLEN: 5:00 in the morning here in Atlanta, Georgia. We appreciate you joining us.
The BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, seats some 19,000 people. It's home to a minor league hockey team that cancelled its season in March because of the coronavirus pandemic. And among other events cancelled or postponed, concerts by KISS, Alan Jackson, Justin Bieber and Bon Jovi.
But one event is still scheduled. That's Saturday night for the president of the United States. People will be lining up for days, packed shoulder by shoulder, one thing the nation top health experts say they shouldn't do.
It comes as Oklahoma sees a massive spike in new cases and its largest single day case of new cases since the pandemic began. CNN's Ryan Nobles reports from Tulsa.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) 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.
ALLEN: President Trump's administration faces a series of crises but Mr. Trump seems preoccupied with protesters. Our Jim Acosta reports from the White House.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With Trump supporters lining up for his rally in Tulsa this weekend, the president is issuing a warning to demonstrators who may show up at the event as well, 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."
An apparent threat the president is ready to unleash the same kinds of brutal tactics used to clear out Lafayette Square earlier this month. White House officials attempted to clarify.
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: He was meaning our violent protesters, anarchists, looters, the kind of lawlessness that we saw play out before President Trump came in with the National Guard and calmed our streets with law and order.
ACOSTA (voice-over): White House officials are also trying to downplay the risks of catching the coronavirus at the rally at a time when cases are spiking in Oklahoma. Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany even said she won't be wearing a mask to the event.
ACOSTA (on camera): Will you and other White House officials be wearing masks at the rally?
MCENANY: It's a personal choice. I won't be wearing a mask. I can't speak for my colleagues. I feel that it's safe for me not to be wearing a mask. And I'm in compliance with CDC guidelines which are recommended but not required.
ACOSTA (voice-over): But members of the Trump team aren't on the same page.
KEVIN HASSETT, WHITE HOUSE ECONOMIC ADVISER: If I were at the rally, I would wear a mask.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: OK.
HASSETT: If I wondered about, I would ask my doctor for advice.
HARLOW: All right.
ACOSTA (voice-over): Even campaign manager Brad Parscale says he likely will wear one at the event.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you going to wear a mask?
BRAD PARSCALE, TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Yes. Yes, I will probably be wearing a mask.
ACOSTA (voice-over): Dr. Anthony Fauci told CBS radio, people in large crowds should wear a mask if they cannot practice social distancing.
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. Avoid crowds. If in fact, for one reason or other you feel compelled to do that which we don't recommend, then wear a mask at all times.
ACOSTA (voice-over): The White House is also defending the president's tweet exploiting video, two young toddlers hugging one another to take shots at press coverage of racism in the U.S.
In a rare rebuke of Mr. Trump, the tweet which included phony news graphics was labeled "manipulated media" by Twitter.
ACOSTA (on camera): When you share fake videos like that, doesn't that make you fake news?
MCENANY: I think the president was making a satirical point that was quite funny if you go and actually watch the video.
ACOSTA (voice-over): The White House also tried to explain what the president meant when he told the "Wall Street Journal" that he had just learned the history of Juneteenth, the day the end of slavery is celebrated in the U.S. from an African American Secret Service agent.
MCENANY: He did not just learn about Juneteenth this week. That's simply not true.
ACOSTA: As for that video tweeted out by the president of two toddlers on a sidewalk, a tweet the president was trying to use to make some sort of criticism about press coverage of racism in the U.S., Twitter has now disabled the video in that tweet, saying it violates copyright rules -- Jim Acosta, CNN, the White House.
ALLEN: Let's talk about president's Trump's upcoming rally today, I'm joined by Leslie Vinjamuri, a professor of politics at Chatham House of London.
Leslie, good morning.
LESLIE VINJAMURI, PROFESSOR OF POLITICS, CHATHAM HOUSE OF LONDON: Good to see you, Natalie.
ALLEN: So bottom line, Leslie, by all accounts, Trump supporters are eager and excited to attend this rally, they've been camped out a few days. COVID or no COVID. It's a risk, a big risk.
What does that say about his base standing behind their man?
VINJAMURI: I think for starters, people all over the world are very eager to see other people. It's a natural human desire. But we are living through an extraordinary pandemic that's hit America hardest of all.
And the signal that the president sends to people about the measures that we absolutely must take to protect and prevent the spread of the virus and the uptick in deaths of Americans is the most important signal, the most important platform.
And the president is not enforcing a decision to -- the requirement of wearing masks. It's absolutely essential. You're listening to Dr. Fauci say, wash your hands, keep your distance and wear your masks.
And we're not going to see distance-keeping or mask-wearing. Remember, Natalie, what we've been told is that superspreaders are the most dangerous cause of the spread of the infection. And events -- large events that take place indoors, that's really as dangerous as it gets, for spreading this infection.
So I think it comes at a very risky time. It sends a very bad signal to have the president -- and people are taking their lead from this president. And remember, this is also coming at a time where a national
conversation about race has been taking place for several weeks, that needs to be led with a great deal of care and respect. So people will be watching to see what the president says about race.
ALLEN: Yes, I wanted to ask you about that because he hasn't addressed directly what this country is going through at an unprecedented time in our history.
The question is, will he talk about racism?
Will he say Black Lives Matter?
Will he mention Juneteenth?
How important is this moment for him as we approach November in a few months?
VINJAMURI: Well, it's extremely important. And one has to wonder, you know, what it is that President Trump is trying to do. Remember that he's very down in the polling nationally by approximately 9 percent, if you aggregate the different polls. His base is staying with him.
So in order to bring more people in, I think it's incredibly important that the president address the question of race. The vast majority of Americans see this as a problem that needs addressing.
Regardless of whether he actually talks about Black Lives Matter directly, the fact that the president is in Tulsa, the city of the 1921 -- one of the worst massacres of black citizens in America. And the fact that he's there, the day after Juneteenth.
VINJAMURI: It's sending a very clear signal that race isn't on the agenda. And so the need for him to address it and to suggest that he respects it is absolutely essential. Remember, that the vice president has not used the phrase "Black Lives Matter."
So I think it's a very dangerous reason for health reasons, for reasons having to do with social unrest in the United States. But this is a president who thinks his ticket for re-election has everything to do with restoring the economic health of America. We've just seen 1.5 million new jobless claims. He'll be very sensitive to that.
Opening up the economy, getting Americans to get out and participate out be out and about, it's something that the president believes will drive economic productivity.
But if it leads to increased infection, it will could exactly the opposite. Unfortunately, despite numerous scientists and health advisers saying this to the president, the president is not sending a clear signal to Americans, we need him to do that. ALLEN: I want to talk to you about another story, the Trump
administration announcing the resignation of the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. That's Geoffrey Berman. But he's saying he never resigned and he is refusing to step down.
I'll get your opinion in a moment, Leslie. But first, here's CNN's Evan Perez with more details.
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 -- Evan Perez, CNN, Washington.
ALLEN: All right. So, Leslie, could be another showdown at the Justice Department. There's been no love lost, of course, between the Southern District and Washington.
Do you think this move is indicative of that?
VINJAMURI: Well, it is. The Southern District of New York is, of course, very well-known for its very tight hold on its independence. It's stood apart. It's pursued some of the most high-stakes investigations of Michael Cohen, now of Giuliani.
There's an investigation into a Turkish company that might have violated sanctions against Iran; that's come out in John Bolton's book. And so, it's perhaps not surprising that there is a call for the prosecutor to resign.
But the fact that he's holding on firmly, waiting for a legitimate -- what he sees as a legitimate process to appoint somebody new, is a disturbing, distressing and hearkens back to the early days, when people in the Trump administration learned that they were being fired by text message and other mechanisms.
ALLEN: Like the FBI Director, Mr. Comey.
VINJAMURI: That's right. So it's very disturbing, it's very unsettling but we're getting used to seeing these kinds of politics. I think it goes to the heart of the matter, which is does this president respect the independence of the different branches of the government. This is vital to the health of America's democracy.
It's deeply concerning, we're seeing this in the questions of the appointments, some of the dismantling of the leadership across the voices of America.
So time and time again, there's a question of respecting the independence of the judiciary, especially. But remember, Natalie, it's also been an extraordinary week in America, as you know. Supreme Court rulings that didn't go perhaps the way the president might have thought. So it's a mixed story but certainly one to watch.
ALLEN: We certainly will. We always appreciate your insight. Leslie Vinjamuri for us.
VINJAMURI: Thank you.
Numerous U.S. states, as we've been talking about, are posting record high counts of COVID-19, as the pandemic appears to be escalating in some regions. But Americans are divided on how to respond. We'll dig into that next.
Also, commemorating the end of slavery while seeking reform from police brutality.
ALLEN: How America's Juneteenth celebrations this year are looking to the future.
ALLEN: Well, we've talked about Oklahoma having a sudden spike in new coronavirus cases but it is not the only U.S. state seeing record- breaking numbers this week. Nick Watt has the latest.
NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Florida, Arizona, California, Oklahoma, scene of tomorrow's Trump rally, all setting records, seeing the most new cases in a day since all this began. DR. ALI KHAN, DEAN OF THE COLLEGE OF PUBLIC HEALTH, UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA MEDICAL CENTER: We're 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.
WATT: These eight states home to roughly a third of all Americans right now seeing their highest ever average new case counts. Apple now closing some stores in Arizona, the Carolinas and Florida, the Phillies just shutdown spring training in Clearwater after five players tested positive.
This is not over. Masks work. Those are facts. But they are now politicized.
WATT (voice-over): Take the governor of Nebraska, reportedly now withholding federal coronavirus emergency money from any county mandating masks and government buildings.
Dallas County, Texas, now mandating masks in the workplace, but the governor of the state won't. Orange County, Florida now mandating masks for all, but the governor won't.
KHAN: It's simple. No vaccine, no treatment, right? All you need is test and trace of good public health, combine it with good personal responsibility, masks, social distancing, hand washing. Put the two together and you can become New Zealand, go to zero cases in this country.
WATT: You heard that right. New Zealand routinely reports zero cases in a day. A small country, sure. So let's take Europe, a steep drop are now fewer than 5,000 new cases a day. Here in the U.S., nearing five times that and climbing.
DR. ASHISH JHA, DIRECTOR HARVARD GLOBAL HEALTH INSTITUTE: What Europe did differently is they stayed locked down a bit longer, a bit more uniformly.
WATT: Today, Florida started phase one reopening, there were fewer than 1,000 new cases reported in this state. Today, nearly 4,000, a new record-high.
MELISSA MCKINLAY, COMMISSIONER, PALM BEACH COUNTY, FLORIDA: I don't think we can scale back how we opened, but we can simply slow down how we move forward and put these precautions in place, like wearing a mask.
WATT: The governor thinks the spike in cases is down to more testing, so does the president. But even his own adviser disagrees.
KEVIN HASSETT, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE ECONOMIC ADVISER: There are about 18 states right now where the positivity rates are going up, which means that if the cases are going up, it's not just because you're doing more testing. WATT: But the northeast is doing well lately. So pushing ahead with reopening today was the New York governor's last daily COVID briefing.
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): Today, we are seeing the virus spreading in many places. More people will die. And it doesn't have to be that way. Forget the politics. Be smart.
WATT: And even more bad news for sports fans late Friday. The Toronto Blue Jays baseball team has also closed down their spring training facility after a player showed symptoms. The Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team also closed down after three players tested positive. And a PGA golfer has also now tested positive for COVID-19 -- Nick Watt, CNN, Los Angeles.
ALLEN: Let's talk about what is going on in the United States with Dr. Peter Drobac.
Good morning, Peter.
DR. PETER DROBAC, OXFORD UNIVERSITY: Good morning, Natalie.
ALLEN: I want to talk about the country as a whole at the moment. Let's start with Tulsa, Oklahoma.
We are just hours away from President Trump's rally. The crowd will be huge. Cases in that state are up 110 percent from last week. Masks will be handed out. But they're not mandatory.
Is that enough to protect people in a crowded indoor venue?
DROBAC: It's not. This is such a high-risk undertaking. Superspreader events have been really important drivers, whether that's a church or a pub or the Mardi Gras festival in the U.S. If you were to design a superspreader event, it would look a lot like this rally.
So I'm extremely concerned, as most in public health are, about the risks posed by getting 17,000 people into an enclosed indoor space.
ALLEN: Well, it's not just Oklahoma, as we just heard, seeing a huge rise in cases, 23 states have seen spikes in cases, compared to just last week.
What is going wrong in the U.S.
Why are we seeing this?
DROBAC: It really comes down to a total failure of leadership. At this stage of the pandemic, we knew enough about how the virus spreads, how it kills and how to stop it, that we've got a playbook that does work.
Unfortunately, that hasn't been followed in many parts of the country. What happened was, in many states, things reopened too quickly and we're now starting to see the results of that.
This is not down to increased testing. We're seeing test positivity rates go up. We're seeing hospitals start to fill up. This is an extraordinarily dangerous moment in America.
ALLEN: Why is it happening in the U.S. and not Europe?
What did they do that we're not doing?
DROBAC: A couple of things: across many parts of Europe, we saw a massive first wave that overwhelmed health systems and parts of those countries, as we did in the U.S. We also saw significant lockdowns.
I think in many European countries, save the U.K., we held onto them longer, waited to reopen. Many parts of Europe, we're seeing more mask use. We're seeing higher rates of testing and, in some cases, contact tracing programs.
Unfortunately, what happened in the U.S., after all of the weeks of people making sacrifices of sheltering in place, we took our foot off the gas too quickly.
DROBAC: Now we're paying the consequences.
ALLEN: Right. Some people thought it was over and we're still in phase one. The previous report we saw from our reporter, showed the hesitation of people to wear masks. And some leaders hesitating to mandate mask wearing, plus social distancing.
Where do you think state leaders should be on this?
DROBAC: If you look at a place like Arizona or Florida right now, we have the early phases of a raging, uncontrolled epidemic. It's already at a level, that even if there's great contact tracing in place, it's not going to be able to keep up with transmission at this level.
There's only a couple of options to slow this down. One would be to move back towards a lockdown scenario, where you slow down the reopening and get people back home. And frankly, that would be advisable.
The second thing that could be done is to make mask wearing ubiquitous when people are out in public. That can significantly reduce transmission.
The more evidence we have, the more important it is. It could be a six-fold decrease in transmission if people are wearing masks. So governors need to think about this. If they are reluctant to slow down the reopenings, the only other tool we've got is make mask wearing the norm.
ALLEN: I want to talk to you, though, about what the world is seeing, Peter. More than 150,000 new cases were reported Friday, the most in a single day so far. A month into this, months of all kinds of responses to limit the spread.
What does that tell you about this virus?
DROBAC: As we've been saying for a long time, we're still very much in the early days of this pandemic. Anyone who thought we were out of the woods, unfortunately, was wrong.
We're seeing the epidemic grow around the world as quickly as it ever has, with concerning developments in Latin America and some parts of sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere.
The flipside is, we have learned -- places like New Zealand and South Korea and China, have taught us how to suppress the virus. There is a playbook and it's not too late to go on offense against this virus and try to crush it.
It won't be easy. It will require sustained attention and investment and solidarity. But it is what we have to do before we get a vaccine. Otherwise, we will continue to see extraordinary levels of unacceptable deaths.
ALLEN: This will be a cycle. We'll have trouble getting ahead of it. Dr. Peter Drobac, always appreciate your insights. Thanks for joining us.
DROBAC: Thanks, Natalie.
ALLEN: We're staying on this topic. Thousands packed into an arena during a pandemic.
What could possibly go wrong?
Why President Trump's rally is worrying health experts and why his supporters don't seem to care. That's next.
ALLEN: Welcome back to our viewers here in the U.S. and around the world, I'm Natalie Allen. This is CNN NEWSROOM.
President Trump is set to hold his first major rally in months just hours from now in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It was officially scheduled for Juneteenth, a holiday commemorating the end of slavery.
But after massive pushback, Mr. Trump changed the date by one day. It also comes in the middle of the pandemic, where wearing face masks has become a political flashpoint. CNN's Gary Tuchman shows us why, on this issue, Tulsa is a city of contrasts.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Trump supporters started lining up for his Tulsa rally days ago.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Plus I want to be front row, front and center.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): The daily number of new COVID cases is skyrocketing in Tulsa County and the highest level yet. Thousands will be inside this arena for many hours. Masks are being given out but they're not required to be worn. And social distancing is not mandatory.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have absolutely no concern whatsoever.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It just doesn't concern me at all.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Rallygoers must agree not to hold the Trump campaign responsible if they contract COVID, which is not a red flag to anyone we talked to here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do I French kiss anybody?
No. But I can stand and when I went to a dinner house over in Nebraska and nobody had masks on and the lady said, "You want more coffee?"
I felt normal.
TUCHMAN: So you're --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Normal.
TUCHMAN: -- nothing about this concerns you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: None. Zero.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): But in this very same city...
TUCHMAN: Why did you decide to close this plant?
RODNEY THARP, NAVISTAR: Well, it's for the safety of our employees.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Rodney Tharp (ph) is the manager of the Navistar IC school bus plant in Tulsa, where about 1,400 people work.
THARP: Last year we were the number one market share of school buses in America.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Tharp shut down his plant this week. Confirmed employee COVID cases have been rapidly climbing over the last couple of weeks.
THARP: I purchased 1,400 COVID kits.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): And earlier this week, all of the employees who are still being paid were told to come in to get tested. Based on the results, the decision will be made how long the plant has to stay closed. When it's operating, nearly 300 buses are made here each week. Lots of
money is now being lost. But the plant manager says this was the responsible decision in an increasingly vulnerable city.
THARP: I got to make sure people are safe.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Roberto Pineda (ph) is one of his people, a veteran of the plant, a husband and father of three.
ROBERTO PINEDA, NAVISTAR EMPLOYEE: I think it was the right decision and for our safely, not only my safety but the safety of my family because I mean, I get to bring that home if I do get it.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Bruce Dart is the health director for the city of Tulsa and Tulsa County.
TUCHMAN: With thousands of people in this arena, many or most without masks, how worried are you about a dramatic spike in cases in this county?
DR. BRUCE DART, TULSA HEALTH DIRECTOR: In any event with people not wearing masks, we're concerned about a spike.
But with this many people, thousands of people?
DART: We're concerned. I mean, people coming together without taking precautions, is what causes the virus to transmit. It gives the virus the ability to transmit from person to person. So of course we're concerned.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because I'm not going to get it. I'm not going to give it to someone else.
TUCHMAN: How do you know?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well it's (INAUDIBLE) you get a damn cold.
TUCHMAN: One city, two completely different visions, a factory, where people are relieved not to be inside because of the health threat, and an upcoming rally, where people can't wait to get inside, despite the health threat.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): The plant manager says he is prepared for the possibility of many more of his employees testing positive.
THARP: We take it very seriously. And it will continue to drive our energies until we drive it out of this plant.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Gary Tuchman, CNN, Tulsa, Oklahoma.
ALLEN: Here's our chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta on the potential risk of the Trump campaign rally. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: If you look at the incidence of the virus in that area right now, you would expect about 100 people would roughly show up at that event, already infected. Maybe they don't know they have, it but they have it.
If you look at certain principles of public health, about 20 of those people will be significantly shedding the virus. So 20 people out of 20,000.
Here's the problem, because of the sort of environment, there those 20 people could infect 40 to 50 people each. Which means, 800 to 1,000 people could become infected as a result of this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Well, in the state of Arizona, a heated debate there has erupted over requiring masks in public places.
Friday the state reported its biggest single number of new cases; that's more than 3,200. Phoenix, the next city to host a Trump rally, is now mandating masks. But it seems Arizonans have gone back to prepandemic times. CNN's Kyung Lah shows us.
KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Pandemic? What pandemic?
(on camera): What do you see when you look at that bar?
AMANDA HAY, TEMPE RESIDENT: Obviously, they're definitely not social distancing and not wearing masks. Those are my friends over there.
HAY: If they have coronavirus, I have coronavirus. LAH (voice-over): This is the next state to host a presidential
rally, Arizona, a growing COVID-19 hot spot and home to a fight over masks. Look up and down the street and the impact of the virus is everywhere, some businesses still shut down. Bright signs warn to socially distance, one bar worker in a mask, but about many of these Tempe, Arizona, residents?
CHARLES GBEKIA, TEMPE RESIDENT: I think the masks are good, but I think they kind of act as a placebo to some extent.
DR. MURTAZA AKHTER, EMERGENCY ROOM PHYSICIAN: It angers me. And I'm trying to hold -- be calm for this interview and for the camera.
LAH: Dr. Murtaza Akhter is an emergency room doctor in Phoenix, where he's seeing a dramatic increase in COVID patients, just like the rest of the state. This is what what's happened to cases in Arizona since March. The number of new cases continues to break records nearly every day this week. Arizona was among the first states to reopen, businesses back. The gatherings followed, like the protests of police brutality. And masks in public, as we saw in Tempe, not always used.
AKHTER: To tell the whole world that basically I'm a social Darwinist, if you die, I don't care, I just want my beer and burger, is really -- I mean, even kindergartners have more empathy for other people. It's really upsetting.
LAH: Dr. Akhter is one of more than 3,000 doctors and nurses to sign this letter. The goal, to get Arizona's governor to issue a statewide mandate requiring masks, writing: "Please stand up and help educate, as well as protect those who do not understand the importance of masks."
Doug Ducey instead says he will leave those policies to each mayor.
AKHTER: The governor of our state is saying, I'm going to let the mayors decide. I mean, the mayors could potentially say, I'm going to let the neighborhoods decide.
And, as you can imagine, that breaks down pretty quickly.
LAH (on camera): So, ineffective?
AKHTER: Not as effective as it could be.
LAH (voice-over): Publicly, Governor Ducey has shifted. Last week, at his weekly news conference, he carried his mask in his pocket. This week, he arrived wearing it.
As Ducey prepares the state to host the perpetually maskless president on Tuesday for a rally at an indoor mega-church, the governor says the White House protocol will call for masks. Ducey stressed the 3,500- capacity event should go on.
GOV. DOUG DUCEY (R-AZ): We're going to protect people's rights to assemble in an election year.
LAH: The city of phoenix passed an ordinance requiring masks in public places.
So when the Trump campaign is here on Tuesday will it be subject to the ordinance?
The city says yes and notified the White House about the ordinance.
If the president isn't wearing a mask will that mean he'll get a ticket?
Technically, yes. In reality, no. The city said this ordinance is meant to be led by education. Only the worst repeat offenders will be subject to tickets and fines -- Kyung Lah, CNN, Scottsdale, Arizona.
(END VIDEOTAPE) ALLEN: The anniversary of the end of slavery in America was
commemorated on Friday. Next, we show you how Juneteenth was marked this year, as the U.S. struggles to live up to its ideals of freedoms and justice for all.
Also, after an Atlanta police officer is charged with felony murder, there's backlash within the police force. We'll tell you what's going on.
ALLEN: Marches, rallies and celebrations across the U.S. Friday to mark Juneteenth, an especially significant day this year, amid the protests for racial equality and policing reform.
Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day, celebrates the end of slavery in the United States. Across the country, thousands marched through the streets, with signs calling for unity and justice and tributes to those lost to police violence.
As the phrase "Black Lives Matter" becomes even more of a popular mantra, vice president Mike Pence could not bring himself to utter those words.
Speaking with CNN affiliate WPBI in Philadelphia, Mr. Pence called George Floyd's killing a tragedy, spoke of Juneteenth and the nation's founding, then said, and here's a quote, "And so all lives matter in a very real sense."
The interviewer asked, "Why will you not say those words?"
The vice president answered, here's a quote, "Well, I don't accept the fact that there's a segment of American society that disagrees in the preciousness and importance of every human life."
The fired Atlanta police officer charged in the death of a black man last week waived his right to a first appearance in court Friday. The county district attorney has charged Garrett Rolfe, seen here, and another officer in the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks.
Rolfe is charged with 11 crimes, including felony murder. The case has caused some backlash within the Atlanta Police Department. CNN's Ryan Young is here with the details of that.
RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's been interesting few days here in the city of Atlanta, this Atlanta police force has about 2,000 officers but what we know so far is many of them have decided to call out sick to show their protest to two officers being charged. [05:45:00]
YOUNG: Over the last month there has been a lot of action against police officers in the city. First four officers were fired, two others were suspended, now you have two other officers involved in the case of the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks.
We know about a week ago and they believed he was intoxicated. And then when they tried to arrest him, it all went wrong. And in fact there was a small struggle and then there was a chase and then there was a shooting.
After that, this city exploded. We know after the DA put charges on these two officers what we have seen is the police force basically say they are not happy, they are not showing up for work. We are even told more action could happen this weekend. It is something we will be watching and waiting for -- Ryan Young. CNN, Atlanta, Georgia.
ALLEN: With anti-racism protests around the world, CNN has conducted an extensive poll on attitudes about race in the United Kingdom. We'll have the results and analysis for you, starting Monday.
Brazil is now the second country to report more than 1 million cases of COVID-19. And experts warn it could soon have more infections than the United States. We explore the reason for that next.
ALLEN: More than 150,000 new cases of COVID-19 were reported worldwide Thursday, the most so far in a single day, that according to the World Health Organization.
This map shows where deaths are going up the most, from one week to the next. The head of the WHO says that half of the new cases are coming from the Americas. With the other half coming from South Asia and the Middle East. He also has a warning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. TEDROS ADHANOM GHEBREYESUS, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: The world is in a new and dangerous phase. Many people are understandably fed up with being at home. Countries are understandably eager to open up their societies and economies. But the virus is still spreading fast. It is still deadly. And most people are still susceptible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Brazil is reporting more than 1 million cases. And experts warn it could surpass the United States for the most cases in the world. So far, the curve of infections is showing no sign of flattening there. CNN's Matt Rivers looks at the reasons why.
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.
ALLEN: June 20th marks World Refugee Day. According to the U.N. global trends report released Thursday, nearly 80 million people were forced to leave their homes in 2019 due to war, conflict and persecution.
The coronavirus is making life even more dangerous and difficult for many of these refugees. CNN's Arwa Damon spoke with an uprooted Syrian family in Istanbul.
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.
"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.
DAMON (voice-over): 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.
ALLEN: I'm Natalie Allen. That's CNN NEWSROOM. I invite to you follow me on Twitter or Instagram. Stay with us. "NEW DAY" is coming up next.