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Dr. Tanya Altmann Discusses Harvard Expert Saying Worse to Keep Schools Closed Than Open Safely; Nevada Governor Makes Face Masks Mandatory; California A.G., Xavier Becerra, Discusses Trump Administration Filing Papers Today to Overturn Obamacare, Surges in Coronavirus Cases; Chicago Deploys Social Distancing Ambassadors; Trump Accusing Black Lives Matter Leader of Sedition; Update on Coronavirus Response Around the World. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired June 25, 2020 - 14:30   ET



BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: Then on the other hand, they're watching what feels a bit like a disaster, having their kids not being in school, right?

So, there's a Harvard environmental expert saying it's better to reopen schools, but with strict safety protocols, than to keep them closed because of the devastating health risks some children can face at home.

What do you think? What is your perspective on this?

DR. TANYA ALTMANN, ASSISTANT CLINICAL PHYSICIAN, UCLA MATTEL CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL: I do agree. I'm a mom of three school-aged kids myself. I think, in most cases, children do need to go back to school, not just for education but mental health, socialization, nutrition, physical activity.

And there's some students that receive special services at school that are challenging to deliver online. And some parents can't go back to work if their kids aren't in school.

It will depend on many factors. Where is your school located around the country? What is the rate of COVID-19? How many students are there? And what resources does your school have to help prevent illness, contract trace and test?

But I think there's a way to get kids back to school safely in most situations.

KEILAR: Dr. Altmann, thank you for joining us. We appreciate it.

ALTMANN: Thank you for having me.

KEILAR: Chicago is introducing social distancing ambassadors in public. Does this risk altercations, though?

Plus, as cases sore, what are the chances other states will implement travel restrictions like New York and New Jersey? The California attorney general will join me live.

And more on our breaking news. From the CDC, a warning that coronavirus surge has moved into younger populations.



KEILAR: With coronavirus cases surging in many U.S. states, the governor of Nevada is now making face masks mandatory. The governor's directive comes after a four-week decline in the number of confirmed cases.

CNN's Dan Simon has more on why.

DAN SIMON, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, with a spike in new cases, Nevada becomes the latest state in the country to require everyone to wear a mask.

That means if you're in Las Vegas, visiting one of the dozens of hotel casinos, you will have to wear a mask. This, after many people were seen in the city, whether by the pool or in the casino, they haven't been social distancing and haven't been wearing masks.

Governor Steve Sisolak says he hopes nobody is fined or sited but he said that everybody must take the new mandate seriously -- Brianna?

KEILAR: And little by little, the state of Illinois is reopening. The governor issued a stay-at-home order in March that was extended through May. And it appears to have worked. The number of new cases each day has dropped. Officials want it to stay that way, of course.

So, as people venture outside to exercise along the Chicago lake front, they will be greeted by social distancing ambassadors. This is part of an initiative to keep people moving.

I want to bring Colleen Lammel-Harmon. She's a social distancing ambassador and a wellness manager at the Chicago park district.

Colleen, thank you.

And we see people active behind you. They want to get out. They've been cooped up for too long.

Tell us how your spreading the world as an ambassador while standing several feet away.

COLLEEN LAMMEL-HARMON, CHICAGO SOCIAL DISTANCING AMBASSADOR & WELLNESS MANAGER: Yes, they were very excited on Monday when we opened up for physical activity and to keep it moving, which is what the parks are all about is to get people moving campaign it to keep people moving.

So, we're asking people to definitely wear the masks. There's an ordinance from the governor of Illinois to always wear your face masks, to keep six feet apart, and to make sure they know hand washing and making sure you have sanitation solution with you. KEILAR: And so these are -- you're wearing the trademark powder-blue

T-shirt. There's a uniform for ambassadors. There are many ambassadors who are along the lake front who may have had other summer jobs and instead they transitioned into this.

Tell us what the interactions are like for you. And tell us the good and the bad.

LAMMEL-HARMON: Sure. We purposed some our year around staff, recreation staff and lifeguards while the beaches are closed and the playgrounds are closed, just to be social distance ambassadors.

And then we'll be growing the programs throughout the summer when they become a lifeguard to -- and we'll look into some young adults doing this as well with the proper training.

What we've seen is we've seen a lot of masks. No everyone. So we're promoting a message or wear your mask, keep six feet apart. Keep it moving.

Then we're educating our staff deeply in training so they can educate when they approach them on it. That's an important message on how you approach them is going to be having.

Hello, thank you for choosing the park to get your physical activity. We want you hear but you do have to wear a mask. Did you know about the ordinance to wear a mask and keep six feet apart?

I'm seeing a lot of people with masks but I'm seeing some that didn't. I always go off to the people and ask them, did you know there's a mask rule right now going on right now. Many didn't know and they say thank you. They either pull their masks out or some will walk away.

The pleasant have been known. The few people that walked off. Right as they came up, they put their masks on.

So in the four days we've been on the lake front trail, it's been building up, for sure.

KEILAR: Are you having any confrontations? Are there people reacting favorably to being informed of this or instructed to put on their masks?

LAMMEL-HARMON: You know, other than a few eye rolls, and, mm, they put it on. We haven't had any confrontations. But there's not I've heard about with the 300 social distance ambassadors that have been out in the parks of Chicago.

KEILAR: Thank you, Colleen, for telling us about this. It's a fascinating effort you have going on here in Chicago. And we certainly wish you the best as you try to keep everyone healthy. Thank you.


LAMMEL-HARMON: Thank you. Stay active. And come visit the trails, safely. KEILAR: All right. Bye, Colleen.


KEILAR: Thank you.

Breaking news from the CDC, including who is at higher risk, and why there are so many more undetected cases than previously thought.

Plus, multiple Trump staffers are quarantining after his rally in Tulsa because they were exposed to other infected staffers.

And just in, the president accusing Black Lives Matters protesters of promoting treason and sedition. We'll discuss.



KEILAR: Today, the Trump administration plans to file papers with the Supreme Court to overturn Obamacare. The president moving forward with his legal effort to fully dismantle the Affordable Care Act amid a pandemic that will likely drive millions more Americans to depend on its coverage.

I'm joined by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.

Sir, thank you so much for joining us from Sacramento.

And give us your perspective on what the impact is, the tangible impact of dismantling Obamacare in the middle of a pandemic.

XAVIER BECERRA (D), CALIFORNIA ATTORNEY GENERAL: For the more than 4300 Americans that no longer have to worry about losing their health insurance or no longer qualifying for it because they have a preexisting medical condition, that would return if the Trump administration would succeed in dismantling the Affordable Care Act.

For the millions of seniors whose have got better prices for prescription drugs because of the Affordable Care Act, that disappears.

Those under 26 who still have insurance under parent's policies, that will disappear.

And every American who got insurance for the first time or was finally able to afford it as a result of the Affordable Care Act, that disappears. I could go on and on.

But clearly, at a time when we're going through this COVID-19 pandemic, this is not the time to take away people's health care.

And fortunately we have a candidate for president, Joe Biden, who says let's go the opposite direction, let's make it better.

KEILAR: You are a Biden surrogate. We should point out. And I want to talk to you about your state. Because you're seeing a

spike there right now, along with other states. I think this is something many are curious about. We recall California was the first state to really lock down. And yet you're seeing the spike happen.

What happened? What went wrong?

BECERRA: Brianna, I don't think anyone has the truly scientific answer to that, other than it looks like, when people cluster or go home or to work, they start to have contact with other people, that you see the spread.

And because California is such a large state, 43 million people, you could see clusters at beaches and parks, that could have an impact. And certainly if you start to have indoor gatherings, that could make it far worse.

KEILAR: Are you going to have to dial this back? Shut down again and take more measures?

BECERRA: That's the governor's call. We have defended every order that he has promulgated. And dozens of times, we have defended and won every case defending his executive orders.

Clearly, the public's health is at risk, lives are at stake. So, we'll continue to do what the law allows us to. And there, the governor is the final decider.

KEILAR: But I wonder if using it should be considered because we're looking at Texas where the Republican governor is pausing things, right? He's not dialing things back. We've spoken to experts who say it's not going to be enough to pause things and not open additional businesses.

And so in California, is that something that you could get behind or that you believe has, you know, you believe could be a good strategy?

BECERRA: Governor Newsom has gone way beyond where most states have gone. And I don't believe he's going to stop doing what's best for the 43 million in our state.

And in many ways, we're five or six different states. You want to take into account the differences. Rural areas are very different from urbanized areas. Transportation hits you harder than private transportation.

I think Governor Newsom has done more than most, if any, in trying to move a people forward. So, I'm fortunate we get to defend his actions. And, as I said, so far we're batting a thousand when it comes to defending the governor's orders.

KEILAR: A moment ago, President Trump accused a Black Lives Matter leader of treason, sedition and insurrection, after the activist said, and this is a quote, "If the U.S. doesn't give us what we want, then we will burn down the system and replace it." This is from Hawk Newsome, who heads the Black Lives Matter movement in New York. Said he could be speaking figuratively or literally, depending on your interpretation.

What do you think of what the president said?

BECERRA: I don't think a lot of what the president says. Period. In California, we reaction based on what is in front of us and what must be done.


As I tell folks, I don't listen to what Donald Trump says. I watch what he does. And that's why we've had to sue Donald Trump some 84 times, most of the cases succeeding.

In this case, listen, Americans have a number of ways of are saying things. And what I do know is that having heard a little about this particular matter, that that individual you mentioned has said many different things about how we need to move forward in the 21st century.

I would hate to take out of context remarks in ways he probably would disagree that he doesn't mean.

I would just say this is the playbook of Donald Trump. I'm not going to fall for that.

KEILAR: Attorney General, thank you for joining us here on CNN.

BECERRA: Thank you, Brianna.

KEILAR: The pandemic causing strife across not just this nation but the globe. One airline scrambling to raise nearly $10 billion.

Plus, iconic brands, Disney and Apple, struggling to reopen.

And dozens of Secret Service agents and campaign staffers quarantining after the president's rally in Tulsa.



KEILAR: Multiple Trump campaign staffers now quarantining after President Trump's rally in Tulsa last weekend. CNN learned those staffers were isolated after interacting with eight colleagues who tested positive for coronavirus.

Dozens of Secret Service agents are also now under quarantine. A Secret Service official said the quarantining will not impact future operations and the agency is also taking additional precautions. Agents who are involved in presidential trips must now be tested 24 to 48 hours beforehand.

A reminder that this was an event that took place inside and attendees were not required to wearing a mask and almost all of them did not.

The coronavirus continuing to hammer the global economy. Australian airline, Qantas, announced today it would cut some 6,000 jobs due to the pandemic.

First, we begin in Germany.


FRED PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Fred Pleitgen, in Berlin, where shareholders for Germany's flagship carrier, Lufthansa, was OK'ed for a more than $10 billion bailout by the German government. All this gives the German government a large stake in the company.

However, the management says it still plans to cut thousands of jobs and also drastically make its fleet smaller by about 100 planes.

Lufthansa, of course, got into a lot of trouble because fewer people are flying because of the coronavirus pandemic.

SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Shasta Darlington, in Sao Paulo.

COVID-19 in Latin America tripled in the last month, surpassing two million infections, surpassing two million infections. That's according to the Pan-American Health Organization.

The group's director warns that governments are under pressure now to ease social isolation measures due to economic and political crises, even though transmission is still increasing.

Brazil alone registered well over one million cases. And on Wednesday, the health ministry reported more than 42,000 new infections, the second highest daily increase on record. Also, more than 1,100 additional deaths.

CYRIL VANIER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Cyril Vanier, in Paris, where the Eiffel Tower just reopened to visitors after its longest shutdown since the Second World War.

The Eiffel Tower experience is slightly different. You wear a face mask, of course. And lifts aren't available to visitors for a few days, meaning no choice but to climb up the stairs if you want the view, despite the very hot weather.

The Eiffel Tower hoping for 4,000 to 5,000 visitors today. That's a far cry from the 23,00 a day they normally get this time of year.


KEILAR: Thanks to our reporters for that.

This just in. The NASCAR investigation failed to determine who tied the noose at Talladega Super Speedway. This was a picture of the noose found. The picture released by NASCAR. And the investigation hoped to uncover who made what appeared to be a

garage door pull, a rope, into a noose back in 2019. This was ultimately found in the garage stall of Bubba Wallace over the weekend. NASCAR says it checked other stalls for additional nooses but it only found this one.

NASCAR plans to install additional cameras in the garage areas at future races.

President Steve Phelps thanking Wallace for his leadership over the past three weeks. He, of course, led the charge to have Confederate symbols banned from NASCAR races.

Our coverage continues. "THE LEAD" with Jake Tapper starts right now.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Welcome to "THE LEAD." I'm Jake Tapper.

We begin today with our health lead. And we are breaking records on new coronavirus cases in states across this nation. Right now, there are nearly 2.4 million confirmed cases in the U.S.

And that number is tragically surging, with the CDC director warning this afternoon that the actual infection rate could actually be 10 times higher, because of those who show no symptoms, but have the virus and can spread it.

Infections are soaring in California, in Texas, in Florida, three states that make up more than a quarter of the U.S. population.


In Texas, Republican Governor Greg Abbott is suspending the reopening to deal with the growing crisis.