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Covid Cases Hit New Records In 12 States; Blame Game In Trump Camp After Sparse Attendance At Rally; Source: U.K. Terror Suspect Identified As Libyan National. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired June 22, 2020 - 05:30   ET




ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): -- such announcements are not enough to allay the concerns of Deirdre Kurzweil.

DEIRDRE KURZWEIL, OWNER, SUNNY DAYS OF ITHACA: It's not something that I feel like I can totally depend on. I mean, this is a moving target.

JONES (voice-over): Kurzweil saw a jump in sales early in the year after she moved her gift shop to this pedestrian strip popular with tourists and townsfolk alike, only to see Covid-19 bring everything to a screeching halt.

KURZWEIL: It's really like around now that we're really starting to feel the most pain.

JONES (voice-over): All this making it hard to know what to do next here and at the ice cream shop where Lane, while optimistic, is facing similar uncertainty.

HEATHER LANE, OWNER, PURITY ICE CREAM: Worst case is I have to close and Purity Ice Cream, since 1936, is no longer, and that would suck.

JONES (voice-over): Athena Jones, CNN, Ithaca, New York.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: All right, EARLY START continues right now.

LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: The curve is bending the wrong way. Record coronavirus cases in a dozen states. The White House preparing for a second wave as the U.S. struggles to escape the first.

ROMANS: Could you fire a prosecutor who was investigating you, your former lawyer, and your current lawyer? The president did just that and no one can say why.

JARRETT: Well, this is not the record crowd the president had in mind. A half-empty house at his first rally in months. We'll tell you who aides are blaming for a dud of a campaign rally in Tulsa.

Good morning, this EARLY START. I'm Laura Jarrett.

ROMANS: It is Monday. I'm Christine Romans. It's 31 minutes past the hour. Let's get started here.

Americans desperately want to move on from coronavirus but wishing will not make this pandemic go away. New daily cases have hit records in a dozen states. Thirty-three thousand cases reported Saturday alone, the most since May first. Cases have jumped 15 percent in just -- in just the last two weeks.

All that social distancing and shutting down the economy -- remember, the point was flatten the curve. Now that curve is unmistakably rising again. Numbers dipped slightly yesterday but Sunday reporting is typically lower.

JARRETT: And now a new area of concern, young people. Officials in states across the south are warning more people in their 20s and 30s are testing positive for Covid-19.

The shift recorded in parts of Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, Texas, and other states, many of which were among the first to reopen. Officials in some of those states keep pointing to more testing as the reason for the spikes in the numbers, but the reality is more people are getting sick.

In Florida, the percentage of tests coming back positive has surged since the start of June. Parts of Miami and Miami Beach are struggling to enforce mask regulations as well.


MAYOR FRANCIS SUAREZ (R), MIAMI, FLORIDA: The great majority of the new positives are in the 18- to 35-year demographic. But, of course, those people -- people in that demographic are home, they interact with their parents, with their grandparents. And so that's a tremendous concern because they live with the vulnerable populations.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR, "THE SITUATION ROOM WITH WOLF BLITZER": Will you bring back stricter measures if the numbers continue to rise in Miami?

SUAREZ: What I've seen, Wolf, from the beginning is we cannot take that off the table.


ROMANS: In Arizona, the number of people hospitalized is up dramatically. The president delivers an address tomorrow to young Americans at a campaign event in Phoenix. The mayor has concerns.


MAYOR KATE GALLEGO (D), PHOENIX, ARIZONA: I would ask the president to talk to his advisory council -- the coronavirus advisory team -- about whether it makes sense to come to a community that has a seen a third of our Covid-19 cases in the last week. And particularly, young people are the ones that -- where we're seeing the fastest increase.


ROMANS: At a rally this weekend in Tulsa where cases are hitting records now, the president bragged about increasing testing, then made this bizarre claim.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When you do testing to that extent you're going to find more people, you're going to find more cases. So I said to my people, slow the testing down, please.


JARRETT: Slow the testing down. Presumably, he thinks it will reduce the number of cases, but the White House later said he was joking.

Remember, this is the same president who famously said the virus would miraculously just disappear. But now, with nearly 120,000 Americans dead and less than a week after the vice president said a second wave is overblown, the White House says it's preparing for the long haul.


PETER NAVARRO, WHITE HOUSE ADVISER: We are filling the stockpile in anticipation of a possible problem in the fall. We are doing everything we can beneath the surface, working as hard as we possibly can. Now, if --

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR AND CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: You're preparing for a second wave in the fall?

NAVARRO: Of course --

TAPPER: You're preparing for a second wave in the fall?

NAVARRO: You prepare -- you prepare for what can possibly happen. I'm not saying it's going to happen but, of course, you prepare.


ROMANS: Now, the former epicenter of the pandemic in the U.S. takes another big step toward normalcy today -- that's New York City. Barbershops, outdoor dining, and in-store retail all reopen today with distancing required. Also open, playgrounds, to the delight of parents citywide.

JARRETT: Well, that's for sure.


And while you were hopefully out and about enjoying the first weekend of summer, President Trump fired the man whose office put his former lawyer in prison and is investigating his current one.

Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, dismissed just months before the November election. And the biggest question of all is still unanswered this morning -- why?

After meeting with Berman on Friday, Attorney General Bill Barr said in a late-night statement that Berman has resigned and someone who has never been a prosecutor once would be nominated to lead that office. Well, that was all a surprise to Berman who said in his statement that he had not resigned and was staying.

But then, by Saturday, Barr scolded Berman for his, quote, "public spectacle," saying Trump had, in fact, fired him at Barr's request. But, Trump immediately distanced himself from the situation.


TRUMP: It's all up to the attorney general. Attorney General Barr is working on that. That's his department, not my department. But we have a very capable attorney general, so that's really up to him. I'm not involved.


JARRETT: Now, the federal prosecutor in Manhattan has a long history of political independence. And Berman leaves behind a list of long cases -- of active cases, including that of Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, as well as two of his associates, and the Trump inaugural committee.

And the president, you'll recall, was tagged as 'individual one,' essentially an indicted co-conspirator in that case that sent his former fixed, Michael Cohen, to prison.

The bottom line here is in most cases, if you and your -- or your associates are under investigation and then you fire the top prosecutor, it's going to raise some serious questions. And getting a permanent replacement for Berman confirmed, however, is not likely before the November election.

ROMANS: It may be a little early in the morning but we've got a quick math lesson for you this Monday morning. If you claim a million people ask for tickets to your event and only about 6,000 show up, that's underwhelming.

A Trump adviser tells CNN the president is very upset about the turnout at his rally in Tulsa Saturday night. Almost the whole upper bowl of the BOK Arena was empty despite this prediction a week ago.


TRUMP: And we expect to have -- you know, it's like a record-setting crowd. We've never had an empty seat and we certainly won't in Oklahoma.

(END VIDEO CLIP) JARRETT: The campaign is now blaming fear of violent protests and a lack of families and children for their relatively sparse attendance you can see there -- or maybe it shows that people actually heeded the advice of all the public health officials who said it's not safe to go. But, Saturday's rally also shows Trump might have an enthusiasm problem right now, even among his base.

Joe Biden and the Democratic Party outraised the Trump campaign operation in May, $81 million to $74 million.

ROMANS: All right, another troubling case in the U.K. A suspect known for radical views still manages to carry out a deadly attack. One victim was an American from Philadelphia.



JARRETT: Welcome back.

The Senate is preparing for a partisan showdown over police reform now. Republicans want to give states incentives to make changes and Democrats want blanket nationwide reforms. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell plans to bring the GOP bill to a vote this week.

Sen. Tim Scott, who is leading the Republican effort, says federal money could be used to induce local departments to improve data collection, use more training, and de-escalation.


SEN. TIM SCOTT (R-SC): It is important for us to use the resources that we provide to law enforcement in a way to get them to compel them towards the direction that we think is in the best interest of the nation, of the communities that they serve, and frankly, of the officers themselves.


JARRETT: Yes, lawmakers in Minnesota ended their legislative session without passing police reform in the wake of George Floyd's death.

Meanwhile, in Georgia, the funeral for Rayshard Brooks is set for tomorrow. Family members there asked Atlanta police not to help with security.

ROMANS: All right, to the U.K. now, where the suspect in a fatal terror attack Saturday has been identified. It appears he was known to authorities for his radical views, yet he was still able to carry out this attack.

Overnight, CNN affiliate KYW reported one of the victims was a young American from Philadelphia.

CNN's Nic Robertson live in Reading, England where this happened -- Nic. NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, Joe Ritchie- Bennett had been living in the U.K. for 15 years. His family in Philadelphia say that they've lost a brilliant and loving son.

He was a friend -- and sitting in the park just behind me through the archway there -- of another victim who has been identified -- a local schoolteacher, the head of a history, government and politics department, James Furlong. He's been described by colleagues and family as a kind man, a gentle man -- someone who was talented, someone who was inspirational when teaching his students.

And we're just beginning to get a sense of who the victims were.

And we're also beginning to learn more about the perpetrator of this attack. He is being -- he is being identified as someone -- all the British media reporting that he was known. Here's a main newspaper today. He was known to the -- to the British Intelligence Services. Khairi Saadallah, a 25-year-old Libyan national, still being investigated and yet to be charged.

This is an act of terrorism. And I think just to underscore the importance of this attack and what it means to the politicians in this country, the Home Sec. Priti Patel came here early morning, laid flowers, and made a few very brief comments.


But, of course, this is the third such attack -- terror attack where people have been either injured or killed by a -- by a terror suspect where the intelligence services, according to British newspapers in this case, but we know in the other cases was known to the intelligence authorities here. So this is a difficult one for the government -- Christine.

ROMANS: Nic, how was he stopped?

ROBERTSON: So, he was -- an eyewitness describes him sort of coming into the park and shouting unintelligible words and running up and stabbing people -- victims in the park who were sitting down -- social distancing, gathering after the Covid lockdown.

And as he was running -- the attacker was running away, he was spotted by a -- by a man who pointed him out to the police. The police literally, we understand, rugby-tackled him to the ground. So he was tackled in the park and caught and apprehended in the park where the attack took place.

ROMANS: Terrifying. All right, Nic Robertson for us in England -- thank you.

We'll be right back.


[05:50:16] JARRETT: Businesses that depend on warm-weather foot traffic are off to a slow start because of coronavirus. Many face the threat of closure, especially black-owned businesses. Why?

Here's CNN's Phil Mattingly.


PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): That's the sound the Jones sister weren't sure they'd hear much longer, a customer buying their ice cream. For the owners of the Southwest Soda Pop Shop, the coming summer months were the heart of this business --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have, you know, sodas, but -- you know, floats, milkshakes, ice cream, and things like that.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): -- until the pandemic brought them on the brink of failure.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Instead of the 30 customers or 50 customers that we usually have on a regular weekday, it went from maybe one or two, three or four because people were scared.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): But it wasn't a piece of the trillions in federal government assistance that kept them alive.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We just didn't qualify, initially, for those programs that were out there.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): They were shut out of the largest small business rescue program in U.S. history, the Paycheck Protection Program, running headlong into the structural issues that have hindered black-owned small businesses for decades and have only been exacerbated by the pandemic.

Forty-one percent of black-owned small businesses shuttered between February and April. Their white counterparts, less than 20 percent.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is just laying bare all of the cracks and issues that were already there in this foundation and that people of color have been experiencing every single day.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): The PPP was structured in a way to quickly kick hundreds of billions of dollars out the door. That same structure unintentionally entrenched those pervasive disadvantages and lack of bank relationships, and disincentives for banks to prioritize smaller loans, to the fact that more 95 percent of black-owned small businesses are sole proprietorships, which limited the funds they could access.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A lot of it has to do with who has a seat at the table and who we think about in terms of who are the business owners that are at risk of closing doors.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): The Small Business Administration's inspector general finding that contrary to law, there was no initial prioritization for these underserved communities. And that no demographic data was collected, making it impossible to, quote, "determine the loan volume to the intended prioritized markets."

Federal officials have recognized the shortcomings and have scrambled to address them, but that push would have been too late for the Southwest Soda Pop Shop were it not for their own inventive effort.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The GoFundMe was originally my dad's idea. So you can imagine four young, independent black women -- we're like, dad, a GoFundMe? That's kind of like begging. It took a lot of pride to the side for us to even send out the GoFundMe's.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): And this viral tweet. "With more than $25,000 raised, the business is alive -- distanced, masked, but still delicious."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is only the beginning for us.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): But it's also a window into just how acute the longstanding hurdles faced by black-owned businesses have become for a nation in crisis.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We want to save -- to save the Southwest Soda Pop Shop.

MATTINGLY (on camera): It wasn't -- it wasn't the government?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was not the government.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, it was not the government -- not the government.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was our community.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): Phil Mattingly, CNN, Washington.


ROMANS: All right, Phil, thank you for that. That was a really important report and something that everyone affiliated with the Paycheck Protection Program should look at. We need to figure out how to get help to those businesses.

Let's get a check on CNN Business this morning. Taking a look at markets around the world, you can see Asian shares closed down a little bit, but Europe has open just slightly higher. And on Wall Street, futures are up, looking at a couple of points higher on the Dow if this holds.

Stocks ended the week mixed. Cross currency (ph) here for investors, record stimulus, and the prospect for more, but rising coronavirus cases are worrisome here.

The Dow finished 208 points lower. The S&P 500 closed lower.

The Nasdaq ended flat. The Nasdaq, by the way, for the year, is up nearly 11 percent. No coronavirus problem there in the Nasdaq.

Millions of Americans have stopped paying their mortgages. New data from Black Knight shows mortgage delinquencies rose 20 percent in May -- 4.3 million homeowners overall either 30 days past due or in active foreclosure, the most since 2011.

Black Knight payment data shows a higher share of payments have been made so far now, in June, than at the same time in May. Now that could suggest the rise in delinquencies may be leveling.

Apple kicks off its Worldwide Developers Conference today and the event will be completely virtual.

One of the biggest expected announcements is a technical change. Apple plans to shift away from Intel chips in its computers to its own processor that are already used in its iPhones and iPads moving in- house. Investors will also be watching for Apple's upcoming iPhone operating system, IOS 14. No word when the next iPhone will be released because of the pandemic.


Apple's stock, by the way, is up 19 percent this year. Again, another one of those tech stocks, Laura, that has just seemed impervious to all this drama over coronavirus. Nasdaq up big this year and so is Apple.

All right, thanks for joining us this Monday morning. I'm Christine Romans.

JARRETT: I'm Laura Jarrett. "NEW DAY" is next.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Covid-19 cases are climbing and now, more young people are testing positive.

NAVARRO: We are filling the stockpile in anticipation of a possible problem in the fall.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think if we're going to continue up and not open up safely, we're going to continue to see increased cases.

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: John Bolton casting President Trump as an uninformed, erratic liar.