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oronavirus Rebound: Restrictions Return to the U.S; Latin America Surpasses Two Million Coronavirus Infections; India Brace for a Tsunami of Coronavirus Cases; Stocks Plunge Wednesday in Dismal Wall Street Closing; California Reports Record 7,000+ New Cases; Bolton: Trump Turned Blind Eye at Onset of Pandemic; Trump Says He Considered Not Shutting Down Economy; NYT Poll Shows Double-Digit Lead for Biden over Trump. Australian Airline Qantas Cutting 6,000 Jobs; New Video of Palestinian Driver Killed at Israeli Checkpoint; Eiffel Tower Reopens after Longest Closure since WWII. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired June 25, 2020 - 01:00   ET


JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, welcome to our viewers joining us from around the world. I'm John Vause. Great to have your company.

Coming up on CNN NEWSROOM.

Back to the future. Restrictions back in place in some parts of the U.S. because of the surging number of coronavirus cases.

Also, financial turbulence. Australia's national carrier cutting thousands of jobs because of the economic impact from the pandemic.

And the man who knew too much but kept it all for his book now lecturing Democrats on how they blew the impeachment of Donald Trump.

There is new data which shows the United States reaching its third highest one-day number of new coronavirus cases since the pandemic began.

More than 34,000 new cases were reported on Tuesday. California, Texas, and Florida all reported record increases.

Public health officials are warning hospitals could soon reach capacity, could be just days.

New York, New Jersey, Connecticut are ordering a 14-day quarantine for visitors from eight states with high infection rates.

And while wearing masks has become a political issue, the nation's top infectious disease expert is emphasizing it's a public health issue.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: There's no secret formula for that except to say, "Get past it." It should not be a political issue, it is purely a public health issue. Forget the politics, look at the data.


VAUSE: State officials are also echoing what Dr. Fauci is saying to wear masks, that's as 26 states see a rise in cases just over the past week.

Here's CNN's Erica Hill.

ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: California, the first state to issue a stay-at-home order shattering a daily high set only two days ago, adding more than 7,000 new cases on Tuesday.


GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CALIF.): It is our behaviors that are leading to these numbers, and we are putting peoples' lives at risk.


HILL: COVID-related hospitalizations and ICU admissions also at an all-time high.

The numbers in Arizona, Florida, and Texas also surging.


DR. PETER HOTEZ, BAYLOR COLLEGE OF MEDICINE: It's not just the increase in the number of cases, it's the slope, the way it's accelerating. It's almost vertical.


HILL: One South Florida health system seeing a more than 100 percent increase in the number of COVID-19 patients in the last two weeks.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: we're not where we need to be.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you don't like wearing mask, you're not going to like wearing a ventilator.


HILL: As of Tuesday, just 12 percent of Arizona's ICU beds were available.


WILL HUMBLE, DIRECTOR, ARIZONA PUBLIC HEALTH ASSOCIATION: We're going to go into surge capacity mode probably by Fourth of July. So the most urgent, I think, is to get the hospital systems ready.


HILL: Nationwide, more than half of U.S. states reporting an increase in new cases over the past week.

New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, where cases are trending down, want to keep it that way.


GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-N.Y.): People coming in from states that have a high infection rate must quarantine for 14 days.


HILL: As of Wednesday night, eight states subject to the new order which comes with hefty fines in New York State starting at $2,000.


GOV. PHIL MURPHY, (D-N.J.): It's time for personal responsibility.


HILL: The New York City Marathon which attracts more than 50,000 runners and nearly a million spectators every fall canceled over coronavirus fears.

Major league baseball, however, will take the field this summer. Sixty games starting in late July. Coinciding with that news, more positive cases among the Phillies and reports of infection for the Rockies too.

North Carolina's governor just the latest to announce a statewide mandate for face coverings.

And in the state of Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis doubling down saying he will not put a statewide measure in effect though he's encouraging people to wear a mask.

He says, though, enforcing a statewide mandate would just not be an effective use of resources.

Dr. Anthony Fauci once again talking about the importance of face coverings on Wednesday telling people to just look at the data.

For anybody who thinks it's a political issue, he says, this is clearly a public health issue and they should just get past it.

Back to you.


VAUSE: Erica, thank you. Well, the coronavirus claimed almost a thousand lives in Mexico on Wednesday, the country's second highest daily death toll since the pandemic began. New infections have continued to rise at the rate of around 5,000 a day for the past two weeks bringing the overall total to close to 200,000, one of the worst outbreaks in Latin America.

Brazil and Peru, though, have been hit hardest. Over the past two weeks both countries have recorded more than 100 -- more cases per 100,000 people than the United States.

Details from CNN's Shasta Darlington.



SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: COVID-19 cases in Latin America have tripled in the last month surpassing two million infections. That's according to the Pan-American Health Organization.

The group's director warned that governments are now facing pressure to ease measures due to economic and political pressure even though transmission is still increasing.

Brazil alone has registered well over a million cases, and on Wednesday the health ministry reported more than 42,000 new infections. The second highest daily increase on record.

Meanwhile, a judge has ordered Brazilian president Bolsonaro to wear a mask in public or face a fine worth about $380 a day. The coronavirus skeptic rarely puts on a mask for public events or when he joins his supporters in rallies shaking hands and embracing crowds.

The government is seeking to overturn the ruling which applies to public appearances in the country's capitol Brasilia.

Bolsanaro has repeatedly down-played the virus calling it a little flu and urging Brazilians to go back to work.

Shasta Darlington, CNN, Sao Paolo.


VAUSE: Dr. Jorge Rodriguez is an internal medicine and viral specialist. He joins us this hour from Los Angeles. Dr. Rodriguez, it's been a while so thanks for taking the time. Good to see you.


VAUSE: Well, the difference in the course of this virus in the United States compared to Italy, Spain and Germany is staggering.

And here it is in a graphic. The blue line at the very top which dipped a little and then started going back up, that's confirmed cases in the United States.

Those three other lines at the bottom which first plateaued and then began to fall, that's those three European countries where the virus did what it was expected to do because those countries followed the advice of health experts and scientists. So I'm wondering. Is the U.S. fast approaching the moment when all

the pain of the shutdowns, the lock downs, the economic losses and everything else would have been almost for nothing?

DR. RODRIGUEZ: I'm afraid so. Really, it's very disheartening. If you look at that graph, the last few days of it or weeks of it, it's completely going up onward.

And I actually posted on social media that graphic and said, listen, we are the land of the free and the home of the selfish in a way. Because once opening we just had -- it appears that we've lost the will to follow recommendations.

I have good friends in Italy, and when they first were hit by this horrible amount of death they were very diligent in staying home. But the government was a lot more organized than here in the United States.

I mean, if you felt bad they brought you food, if you had to go out you had to have proof that you were going to the grocery store.

It seemed very rigid but at the end of the day it worked. And they were able to open in a safe way then they're probably going to be able to stay open.

Unlike here in the United States.

VAUSE: Well, these numbers are sort of just as bad as they were back in April. And President Trump talked about the decision and the advice he was given at the time on whether or not to issue guidelines for sheltering in place and to social distancing.

This is what he said.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I mean, we had a lot of -- people were saying maybe we shouldn't do anything, just ride it, they say ride it like a cowboy.

Just ride it, ride that sucker right through.


VAUSE: Putting the potential death toll of two million people to one side, if you can, there are a lot of people out there who think that's still a good plan.

Even though there's a lot we don't know about the virus, we don't know who's vulnerable, who gets immunity, we don't know the long-term prognosis. But there seems to be a feeling just let it out, just let it go.

DR. RODRIGUEZ: Well, listen. First of all, saying something like that as the leader of a country is just ludicrous.

But the great experiment of herd immunity in Sweden, for example, is failing.

In order to have herd immunity a population needs at least 60 to 70 percent of the people to have antibodies so that it probably doesn't spread as rapidly or is as lethal.

Sweden expected to have by May approximately 40 percent of the people in their capital are to have antibodies. It's only up to 6 percent.

And now we're finding that antibodies, with this virus, may not last more than two months. So we don't know everything about this at all.

And listen, even if herd immunity worked let's put it this way, quick numbers.

America has 30 million people, 70 percent get infected, that's 200 million people, more or less, that are infected. Let's say we have a death rate of one percent.

That's two million people that will die with herd immunity. I don't think it's worth that.

VAUSE: What we do know, though, is that wearing a face mask makes a significant difference. And one of the best arguments I've heard for wearing a mask is this. Listen to this.



DR. JONATHAN REINER, CARDIOLOGIST, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL: Going out in public without a mask is like driving drunk. Even if you don't get hurt, you might kill somebody else.

That's why I want people to think about not wearing a mask in public, it's like driving drunk.


VAUSE: So --

DR. RODRIGUEZ: That's beautiful.

VAUSE: Yes. Maybe we'll start shaming non-mask wearers like drunk drivers have been shamed. And that'll change attitudes again.

DR. RODRIGUEZ: Well, listen. I was driving today and I really did feel like rolling down my window here in Los Angeles to people that I didn't see -- and yelling out, "Where's your mask?"

But my receptionist today gave a beautiful answer. We had a patient that came in -- and we have a sign that says you have to come in with a mask. And this person said, "You know what, I assure you, you don't trust me, I am not positive." Right?

And my receptionist said, "Well, how do you know that I'm not?" Right. So the point is we don't know if the person next to us is positive or

not or if we are, so we really do need to protect each other.

We can't drive drunk. Great, great example.

VAUSE: Many of the states which are now seeing this explosion in the number of infections were, relatively speaking at least, sort of untouched a few months ago.

I want you to listen to the governor of Florida. He's talking last month and he was chewing out reporters.

Listen to this.


GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FLA): We have a lower death rate than the Acela corridor, D.C., everyone up there.

We have a lower death rate than the Midwest, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio. But even in our region, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida has the lower death rate.

And I was the number one landing spot from tens of thousands of people leaving the number one hot zone in the world to come to my state.

So we've succeeded. And I think that people just don't want to recognize it because it challenges their narrative, it challenges their assumption. So they got to try to find a boogeyman.


VAUSE: That's a good reminder of two things. First, pride comes before a fall. But also with this virus everything is okay until something is not.

Infections explode and everything is about as far away from OK as they can be.

RODRIGUEZ: Absolutely. Listen, John, I'm from Florida, I grew up in Miami and I still have family there. And it is definitely exploding.

And I think now if you were to say that you would have to say the past tense "had."

And you're very right about the hubris of that, especially when it comes to human lives.

And I make a joke of it. There's a reason they call it "Flori-duh," because sometimes they're just not very smart. And politics takes over common sense.

Remember, Florida was the first one that opened up the beaches even before Memorial Day so that they wouldn't lose a few bucks with spring break.

It's a shame that DeSantis is putting human lives second to political gain or political expediency. It's criminal.

VAUSE: Yes. And we should never forget, they're not numbers when we look at this death toll. They're dead people.

And that's one thing which, in all of this, was just a tragedy. Dr. Jorge Rodriguez, as always, thank you. Good to see you.

RODRIGUEZ: Thank you. Have a good night.

VAUSE: India has recorded its highest daily number of new infections. That was Wednesday. Almost 16,000 bringing the total to more than 450,000.

Delhi's hospitals are bracing for a tsunami of cases.

But, as CNN's Vedika Sud reports, the country's health system was already struggling long before this pandemic.


VEDIKA SUD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lagit Singh (ph) loved to spend time with his family, especially his grandchildren. The 68-year-old ran the family business which has been selling tires for nearly 40 years. In early June, Singh tested positive for coronavirus.

His family says they failed to get any medical advice even taking to Twitter to appeal for help.

Son-in-law, Mandeep Singh (ph) says they struggled to get him admitted to a hospital even when he collapsed outside one.


MANDEEP SINGH, SON-IN-LAW: So my father-in-law had fainted in the car and so my brother-in-law along with a passerby and a cousin then finally put him on the stretcher.


SUD: The family said the hospital told them to take him to the hospital where he had his initial COVID-19 test.


SINGH: He nevertheless took him inside the ward and he started calling out the doctor, "Doctor, can you please help, something is happening to my father, can you please do something?"


SUD: The son tried to give his father CPR but soon after he was gone.

In a statement, Lok Nayak Hospital denied he was refused access to the hospital saying he was examined by a doctor and registered as dead on arrival. The Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal, this week acknowledged

there had been shortages of hospital beds but says that the problem has been resolved with around 7,000 available beds, the live government website and app showing the same.

But a local politician in Delhi says his niece died after she was turned away from hospitals that he says showed beds available online.

Public hospitals in India have a policy of not turning anyone away.



SHAHID SIDDIQUI, UNCLE: The whole day, she was moving from hospital to hospital. Five hospitals she was taken to, she was not provided any help whatsoever. The app was showing that they had available beds.


SUD: Siddiqui says she was finally admitted to Safdarjung Hospital.


SIDDIQUI: There was no -- nobody to look after her, no medicines were provided, no tests were done. And the next day about nearly 24 hours Monday (ph) in the evening she went to the toilet. Then she collapsed.


SUD: Siddiqui's niece, Shahana Chandakinpunta (ph) died at just 34. He says that even in death there was no dignity for his niece.


SIDDIQUI: When she died, the brother was asked to put her in a bag, sew it up, carry her to the morgue.


SUD: Safdarjung Hospital told CNN it would not address that allegation but said it was too late to save her by the time she got there. And added that she did not have coronavirus but had other underlying conditions.


DR. BALWINDER SINGH ARORA, MEDICAL SUPERINTENDENT, SAFDARJUNG HOSPITAL: If they had come to us right in the beginning (inaudible), we could have definitely saved this patient.


SUD: According to the Delhi government, the capital city could witness over half a million cases of COVID-19 by the end of July.

For a health care system that's already overloaded, these numbers could be extremely worrying.


SINGH ARORA: A tsunami of corona cases will come in July. And definitely there will be a lot of shortage of beds, ventilators.


SUD: Officials are scrambling to prepare for the onslaught building a giant temporary hospital facility in a former spiritual center which officials say will house 10,000 beds.

They're also converting 500 train coaches into temporary isolation facilities, and they're ramping up testing in the city.

But a senior chest surgeon in Delhi says the system simply can't cope.


DR. ARVIND KUMAR, CHAIRMAN, CENTER FOR CHEST SURGERY, GANGARAM HOSPITAL: The current scenario is frightening. There is no way under the sun that you can double up the infrastructure and have the help, manpower, to look after 80,000 indoor patients in Delhi.


SUD: As India's capital struggles to deal with this crisis and prepare for the next, it looks like things are going to get worse before they get better.

Vedika Sud, CNN, New Delhi.


VAUSE: Well, the failure of the U.S. to contain the pandemic could see American tourists denied entry from the E.U.

But now the White House might be looking at a compromise with the Europeans. Maybe lift an earlier ban imposed on Europeans traveling to the United States. That was imposed by the president.

More on that in a moment.

Also, another blow to the airline industry. Qantas, the latest airline to scrap thousands of jobs.


VAUSE: Well, it's looking increasingly likely that travelers from the United States will be denied entry to the E.U. when those European borders are reopened next month.

[01:20:00] Lack of American tourists, though, will mean a big blow for Europe's

tourism industry.

Here's CNN's Nic Robertson reporting from London.


MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: We've been working with countries all across the world including our friends in Europe.



NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo with his first public reaction to Europe's plan to possibly ban Americans from traveling there because of coronavirus.


POMPEO: We certainly don't want to reopen a play (ph) that jeopardizes the United States from people traveling here and we certainly don't want to cause problems anyplace else.


ROBERTSON: Last, E.U. leaders sent a letter to Pompeo urging the U.S. to lift its ban on European travelers imposed in the early days of the pandemic.


TRUMP: We made a life-saving move with early action on China. now we must take the same action with Europe.


ROBERTSON: Now with American infections spiking across the country, the E.U. is considering returning the favor though an E.U. official tells CNN their decision isn't political.

Their plan, though, seems to hurt America the most.


YIVA JOHANSSON, EUROPEAN COMMISSIONER: This criteria should be, of course, first epidemiological situation in the (inaudible) country. Second is the containment measures while traveling.


ROBERTSON: And a third, reciprocity.


JOHANSSON: If we open up from traveling into the E.U., we expect that this country should open for the traveling from our countries to that country.


ROBERTSON: Currently, the U.S. fails two out of those three criteria.

E.U. citizens are banned from the U.S., so no reciprocity.

Europe has less COVID-19 than the USA. E.U. countries have an average of 15 cases of COVID-19 per hundred thousand people. The U.S. has 106.7 per hundred thousand. And is unlikely to make the threshold currently set at 50 cases per hundred thousand.

E.U. officials are, quote, working around the clock ahead of a July 1st deadline when the E.U.'s internal borders are mostly opened up.

Agreeing among themselves is the biggest challenge. Consensus among the E.U.'s 27 nations is never easy.

Even so it doesn't look good for Americans. In what's become a growing political rift between the U.S. and European countries since Trump took office.


Trump: Europe has been treating us very badly.


ROBERTSON: But -- and there is a but here -- whatever guidance and lists the E.U. comes up with, it's still up to the 27 individual member nations to decide whom they allow into their own countries.

Take Portugal, for example, allowing Brazilian travelers in at the moment. And right now brazil's COVID-19 infection rate is almost double that in the United States.

So perhaps that American dream of a summer vacation in Europe this year isn't quite over yet.

Nic Robertson, CNN, London.


VAUSE: A surging number of new viral infections across the U.S. combined with a possible new tariff on E.U. imports saw stocks plunge on Wednesday. In fact, it was the worst closing in almost two weeks for all three major indexes.

U.S. futures have been mostly in the red, as you can see right now.

CNN's Eleni Giokos is live this hour in Johannesburg.

So, Eleni, looking at stocks which tumbled on Wednesday, futures in the red. So what are the key concerns at this moment for investors as opposed to the bigger picture, I guess? ELENI GIOKOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Look, daily news is so

important and especially when you have the International Monetary Fund saying that the global economic recession is going to be far deeper and dire than initially anticipated. And of course, saying that 2021 isn't going to be any better.

And then you hit the nail on the head with regards to new additional tariffs that are going to be imposed on the likes of Germany, the U.K., and Spain as well as France by the U.S.

And this of course creating more trade tensions in the middle of a pandemic. We're talking about $3.1 billion worth of additional tariffs. That definitely spooking the markets.

But importantly here, you have a rise of coronavirus cases in the United States in key states like California and Florida where you've got one of the largest daily spikes seen on record.

And then, importantly, you have Houston saying, well, ICU beds are reaching near full capacity. You also have new quarantine rules that are coming into force.

All of this is pointing to a weaker economic environment and perhaps that the recovery then United States is not going to be as smooth as initially anticipated, that it's still a rocky road ahead.

You have the Dow Jones losing 700 points, you have S&P and the likes of the Nasdaq deep in the red. And that, of course, sentiment then being echoed in Europe and in Asia this morning.


But, John, at the end of the day it's about jobs, it is about the recovery of the consumer. And that is going to be so telling about where we're going from here.

And of course that hinges on whether we can actually see a drop in coronavirus cases and a return to normalcy.

VAUSE: Well, when it comes to jobs, the U.S. jobs report will be out today. What are we expecting in that, will we see these record-high numbers still up there but decreasing, is that the expectation?

GIOKOS: I mean, initial jobless claims have been such a good barometer and litmus test in understanding what the U.S. consumer is going through. These are people that are filing for insurance claims in the United States.

Now, remember, it's been over a million people that have filed for insurance over the past 13 weeks.

And it's incredible to see the number coming down from around 6.8 million to around 1.5 million last week. It's expected to drop even further this week but it's still going to be above that one million mark. Now what it basically means is that we're in the right direction in

terms of dropping these numbers but, again, very far away from the averages that we saw pre-COVID which were around 200,000 jobless claims on a weekly basis.

So it basically speaks to the fact that the consumer hasn't recovered, that people are holding onto money, that there is a fear of more job losses in the U.S., which of course they say that that could increase dramatically over the next few months.

And what we saw in yesterday's session with coronavirus cases increasing and the fear of a second wave coming to the fore, coupled with the IMF saying, hey, we're definitely not out of this -- that means more economic pain.

And, John, if you don't have the consumer spending money, you cannot have corporate America making any money. So earnings are going to be depressed regardless of how stimulus you put into the market.

That is going to result in hot money and yes, stock prices might rise but you actually need to see the return of a strong economy and stability there.

And that of course hinges on what we see with regards to the pandemic.

VAUSE: Yes. If people aren't out spending there's nothing to stimulate, I guess.


VAUSE: Eleni, thanks so much. Good to see you. Appreciate it.

GIOKOS: Thank you. Cheers.

VAUSE: California seeing a record spike in coronavirus cases . So did the state reopen too soon or could they be blaming protesters for this? More on that in a moment.

Also ahead Donald Trump's former national security advisor tells CNN just what he thinks about the president's handling of this pandemic. It's not flattering.

VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. An update now on the surge in coronavirus cases in the United States.

More than 34,000 new infections were reported Tuesday, the third highest number in one day since the pandemic began.

California saw more than 7,000 new cases on Tuesday.

Officials predict hospitals in Arizona and Texas will soon reach capacity. Almost 90 percent of Arizona's intensive care beds are already in use because of this.

The nation's infectious diseases expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, is now urging national stock and state stockpiles to be rebuilt after they were used earlier this year.

The surge in California's numbers were behind Walt Disney Company's delaying the re-opening of its theme parks and resort hotels. Disney originally planned for a July 17th reopening.

But Kyung Lah reports on the state's setbacks.


KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Summer in Los Angeles, packed patios and high anxiety.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not seeing too many people keeping their social distancing measures and I'm a little worried. To be honest.



KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: FEMALE: Doctors say he should worry. California reported more than 7,000 COVID-19 infections today, another new record. After weeks of keeping the spread largely in check new infections have shot up shattering records on multiple days. California Governor Gavin Newsom is sounding the alarm.

GOVERNOR GAVIN NEWSOM (D), CALIFORNIA: We cannot continue to do what we have done over the last number of weeks.

LAH: This is a major setback (ph) for a state that attacked the virus aggressively. California was the first state to shutdown. After about two months of closures, numbers stabilized but unemployment shot up. Protests grew angry and the state moved forward in phases to restart the economy.

ANNE RIMOIN, UCLA FIELDING SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH: Just because we had flattened the curve here in California early on does not mean we are out of the woods.

LAH: COVID never disappeared says epidemiologist Anne Rimoin. Infections in nursing homes and the prison population continued but the main drivers says Rimoin, the reopening of California -- people fed up with social distancing and masks.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This mask mandate is ridiculous.

LAH: The governor and county health officials say days of protesters over the death of George Floyd --

CROWD: George Floyd.

LAH: -- where we saw masks but little social distancing may have been a factor. California's governor with the help of previous governors is now urging on multiple platforms for people to wear masks, a statewide mandate he's already put into place. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, FORMER GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA: Do your part.

NEWSOM: Don't let COVID win. Wear a mask.


RIMOIN: We are not safer today than we were before. In fact, we were safer when everybody was home. Now we are reaching a point where we are much less safe and we need to be even more careful.

LAH: This is Dodgers Stadium which is now a drive-up testing site for coronavirus. California's governor says testing is indeed up but so is the percentage of people who are testing positive. And this county, Los Angeles County now has more people who have test positive than any other county in the entire country.

Kyung Lah, CNN -- Los Angeles.


JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Donald Trump's former national security advisor has no confidence in the President and his dealing with the pandemic. Admittedly John Bolton is on a book tour of sorts promoting his tell-all account about his time at the White House and he told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that Trump turned a blind eye at the start of the outbreak.


JOHN BOLTON, FORMER WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: I am afraid that the erratic nature of the policies as they've evolved since January when the experts really began to sense that this problem might be out there has characterized our response throughout. And I'm worried that it continues to be the pattern that the President follows. It's not part of a comprehensive strategy.

I think there was an empty chair in the Oval Office because the President did not want to hear bad news about Xi Jinping, his friend. He did not want to hear bad news about the cover-up of the virus in China or its potential effect on the China trade deal that he wants so much. And he didn't want to hear about the potential impact of a pandemic on the American economy and its effect on his re-election.

Turning a blind eye to all these early signs I think hampered the country's ability to deal with this and continues to do so.


VAUSE: Bolton also tried to explain why he did not testify during the impeachment inquiry even though in the book he writes that impeachable offense is beyond the Ukraine scandal.


BOLTON: The Democrats in the House by determining right from the get- go that they were going to focus only the Ukraine situation and they were going to ram it through as fast as they could so it didn't affect the Democratic presidential nomination process drove House Republicans who might have been open to a broader consideration, a less partisan consideration. It drove those Republicans into their partisan corner, and it had the same effect in the Senate.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: But should you have had the guts to do what John Dean did and testify before Congress? Any second thoughts?

BOLTON: No, I think the circumstances were completely different. That's why I think the Democrats were guilty of impeachment malpractice. They took this issue and drove it straight into a ditch. And that's the problem.

And I would say on the Democratic criticism, I'm sure they're unhappy. They failed. And not only did they fail they misunderstood the impact and the consequences of their decisions.

The idea that the impeachment but failure to convict the President would inhibit the President was exactly the opposite of the effect it had. By taking this to trial in the Senate and seeing him acquitted they empowered the President.


VAUSE: President Trump said John Bolton is a wacko and his book is full of lies.

In Donald Trump's world COVID-19, the pandemic, all of it just part of history. He tried that one again while hosting Poland's president at the White House, the first foreign visitor there since the lockdown started in the U.S. And when Trump mentioned the coronavirus it was to downplay the threat.



DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I mean we had a lot of -- people were saying maybe you shouldn't do anything. Just ride it. They say ride it like a cowboy. Just ride it. Ride that sucker right through.


VAUSE: With the U.S. presidential election four months away a new national poll has the presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden significantly ahead. Jessica Dean takes a closer look at the numbers.


JESSICA DEAN, CNN Washington CORRESPONDENT: Some new polling out on Wednesday gives us a good snapshot of where the Presidential race stands in the middle of June.

Let's start first with a national poll put out by "The New York Times". This one showing Vice President Joe Biden leading President Trump 50 percent to 36 percent. This mirrors a CNN poll that came out earlier this month. And it also shows Biden growing his support among women, among non-white voters and he's up double digits with independent voters.

Now, when you look at a couple of battleground states, we also got some information out of there. Start first with Wisconsin in the Marquette University Law School poll there that shows Biden up 49 percent to Trump's 41 percent, representing an 8-point lead there in Wisconsin, widening his lead since the last time we got polling out of Wisconsin.

And then also Ohio, if you take a look there I know Quinnipiac poll shows Biden at 46 percent, Trump at 45 percent. So very, very close there. What's important to know about Ohio, of course Wisconsin and Ohio both states that President Trump won in 2016, but Ohio has been considered reliably Republican so to see Vice President Biden making a run in Ohio noteworthy there. We'll see how things develop as the summer goes on.

Jessica Dean, CNN -- Washington.


VAUSE: We head to Los Angeles now and CNN's senior political analyst and the senior editor for "The Atlantic" Ron Brownstein. Good to see you again -- Ron.

Ok. So right now this pandemic in the U.S., it seems to be a red state problem as in Republican states. It was initially worse in the northeast with the three blue states including New York, but it's under control there now. And the three (ph) state governors now require 14 days of self-isolation for the people coming in from Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Utah -- all Republican controlled.

I mention this because at the same time Donald Trump's poll numbers have tanked and Republicans are becoming increasingly concerned about his total failure to deal with the pandemic.

But then on Wednesday Donald Trump predicted yet again that salvation was nigh. Here he is.


TRUMP: As far as the -- joining with us on the vaccines and therapeutics, by the way, because the therapeutics to me if you gave me a choice right now probably therapeutically maybe I'd like that even better. But we're working very well on both. I think we're coming up with some great answers.

I think you're going to have a big surprise, a beautiful surprise sooner than anybody would think.


VAUSE: You know, that sort of (INAUDIBLE) and sort of inane statement based on nothing but wishful thinking doesn't do the President a lot of favors right now.

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, you know, we are in a scenario I think that no model predicted at the outset. I mean there was talk of a second wave in the fall. But the idea that we would have a second spike in the first wave in which today we set the record for the most cases in one day in the U.S. were Texas and Florida combined for 11,000 cases in one day, and where Arizona is burning with the virus as well as California and North Carolina.

I mean, this is worse than the worst-case scenario. Remember, Jared Kushner was saying in April the country would be rocking by July. It's more that it's reeling by July at this point.

VAUSE: Yes. You know, what's interesting, though is how, you know, Donald Trump continues to hold these campaign rallies. There's another one coming for Wyoming later in the week. Six campaign workers who were the advance crew heading up to Oklahoma, they tested positive for COVID-19. So too, two Secret Service members.

We still don't know what's happened after Phoenix. But the "Washington Post" is now reporting about Joe Biden's campaign is taking a very different approach --


VAUSE: -- to this year's convention. Democrats asking the nearly 5,000 voting delegates to participate in Biden's nomination from home, removing the core audience from the convention hall. All the official business of the convention, including votes on the party's platform and the nominees, will be handled remotely.

You know, so for Biden at least it kind of seems like everything is coming together and they really are making a stark contrast to Donald Trump.

BROWNSTEIN: It could not be more a stark contrast in every way. You know, the interesting thing is that, you know, this is actually very revealing of the President's vision of how he wins. Because you know, by going out and holding these rallies over the objection of public health officials, he is kind of, you know, returning to his identity of someone who doesn't follow the rules, who breaks, you know, breaks windows in order to defend the interests of his voters.

But he is compounding his core problem. I mean he is running weaker than any modern Republican nominee among white collar, white suburbanites.


BROWNSTEIN: Today in that "New York Times" poll that you cited earlier, he's down almost 30 points among college-educated whites, which is an almost unimaginable number.

And one of the biggest problems he has with those voters throughout but especially during the coronavirus is the sense that he disregards expertise. That he kind of makes things up as he goes, and he trusts his own judgment over those of the experts.

And each time he holds one of these rallies over the objections of local public health officials, when he doesn't wear a mask, when don't require masks, he is confirming those doubts and putting himself in a position where he simply has no other path to win but to turn out an unprecedented number of his voters who haven't voted before.

VAUSE: And with Donald Trump, the wheels falling off his campaign to an extent, you know, the Biden campaign brought out the big guns and that would be Barack Obama for a virtual fund-raiser. Here's part of it.


BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I am here to say that help is on the way if we do the work because there's nobody that I trust more to be able to heal this country and get it back on track than my dear friend Joe Biden.


VAUSE: All of this is putting Biden well in front. You know, we mentioned the polls. Much like Hillary Clinton was in front of Donald Trump back in 2016 by a pretty wide margin and then -- or back to 1988, Michael Dukakis had a big lead over George H.W. Bush as well. There was never a President Dukakis.

It would seem there is still time and opportunity for Biden to blow it and for the President to make a comeback but that gets harder each day, right.

BROWNSTEIN: Well, yes. Obviously right. I mean, you know. There is not a precedent I think for an incumbent president to be this far behind, this late in the process and come back and win. That doesn't mean Donald Trump can. I think there's almost no chance that he's going to win the popular vote. It's another question whether he can get close enough in the popular vote that he can squeeze out another electoral college victory probably by holding Wisconsin, Arizona and Florida by very narrow margins.

But what you saw today is that swing states are not immune to the national trends. And in fact, if you look at polling that says Joe Biden is up 1 in Ohio, a state that Trump won by eight points last time and Joe Biden is up eight in Wisconsin, a state that Trump won by a few thousand votes last time -- both are those -- results are consistent with a national number that is somewhere about ten points or more of an advantage for Joe Biden.

And you're seeing the same groups move -- John, in all of these states. In underperformance for Trump relative to '16 among (INAUDIBLE), blue collar white women and underperformance relative to 2016 among white seniors and then that big erosion that we saw in 2018 in the white collar suburbs. And it just leaves him with a very narrow path at this point.

As you point out things can change. But right now it feels a little bit like the cement is starting to harden.

VAUSE: I want to finish off with the attorney general, because there was an extraordinary revolt which was on display within the Department of Justice and, this was before Congress on Wednesday.

The lead prosecutor in the Roger Stone case testified. There was pressure to go easier on Stone for his role in the Russian election meddling because he was a friend of Donald Trump. But what was really telling was the testimony from the former deputy attorney general, this is Donald Ayer. It was jaw-dropping. Listen to this.


DONALD AYER, FORMER DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL: I was privileged to serve in the Department of Justice under two Republican and one Democratic president. And I am here because I believe that William Barr poses the greatest threat in my lifetime to our rule of law and to public trust in it.

That is because he does not believe in its core principle that no person is above the law. Instead since taking office he has worked to advance his lifelong conviction that the President should hold virtually autocratic powers. That includes immunity from nearly all checks and balances and being able to court special treatment to himself and his friends.

The system that Barr is working to tear down was put in place in the aftermath of the Watergate scandal.


VAUSE: These allegations are incredible. That basically the Attorney General punished the President's enemies and rewarded his friends. What happens now?

BROWNSTEIN: Yes. Well, the evidence is pretty overwhelming. Jerry Nadler -- look, I think in a different point of this presidency, the House probably would move to impeach Bill Barr based on the things that were alleged today and other activities that he has undertaken.

Obviously at this point in the presidency I don't think they're going to do that. I have two observations about this testimony. One is it underscores the extent to which there's likely to be a broad range of Republicans particularly from previous administrations but some from this administration who are going to come out explicitly against Donald Trump's reelection on the grounds not so much of policy but that they view him as a threat to the constitutional order.

I mean you could imagine John Bolton has already said he's voting for Joe Biden. And James Mattis and I suspect we will hear from Cindy McCain, the widow of John McCain, before the election. And this testimony today I think was an indication how broad that might be.

The other point, you know, if you look at the way Barr has behaved in the last few months, you have to agree with John Bolton. That Donald Trump took from the vote of the Senate Republicans not to convict him or even to penalize him or sanction in any way over his open extortion of the government of Ukraine as a kind of get out of jail free card.


BROWNSTEIN: And you know, when Susan Collins famously said after the impeachment that Donald Trump had learned his lesson, in fact he did. The lesson he learned though was the opposite of what she said. It was that whatever he did, whatever window he breaks Senate Republicans will obediently sweep up the glass and as a result, you've seen Barr go further and further in the direction that is ominous to these former officials.

VAUSE: Yes. It's incredible what we heard in the testimony there in Congress.

But Ron -- as always, thank you. Good to see you.

BROWNSTEIN: Thanks -- John.

VAUSE: At least 6,000 jobs will go at Australia's national carrier Qantas because of the economic fallout from this pandemic. Another 15,000 workers will be furloughed for the next 12 months.

With the big fall in passengers, the airline will ground 100 planes for the next three years, cost saving around $10 billion.

Journalist Kaori Enjoji is live in Tokyo. You know, Qantas obviously not the only airline which is doing it tough (ph) these days, but it seems to be maybe a little better shape than some of the others.

KAORI ENJOJI, JOURNALIST: Yes. And I think the problems are compounding because people are banking on these travel bubbles that were supposed to come in play. But with the virus cases rising in Australia and New Zealand and is not COVID-free anymore either.

The prospect of these travel bubbles seems to be waning and that's why the CEO says that he has to cut 20 percent of the workforce. That includes 1050 cabin crew, 220 pilots, many other jobs are set to go, and he says it's going to get 10 years for revenues to recover. And he says it is going to take a three-year restructure plan.

He's going to try and tap the capital market to raise up to $1.3 billion in an equity, but as you know, this is an environment that's tough for everyone. Not just them.

Qantas now joins the likes of BA, Lufthansa and all announced restructuring measures, and it has to adjusts to new reality. And they are doing so by not taking new delivery of planes, of retiring some of the fleets like the 787much earlier, six months earlier than they had initially planned. So this is really quite a way to spend 100 year in business for Qantas Airways -- John.

VAUSE: Yes, a flying kangaroo doing it tough, I guess and so many others out there. Kaori -- thank you. Appreciate it.

When we come back, a mystery in a Mexican hospital. A premature triplets all diagnosed with COVID-19 at birth. How they ended up getting it could help us understand more about the virus.


VAUSE: In Mexico, doctors are facing yet another coronavirus mystery after newborn triplets were diagnosed with COVID-19. Health officials say it's unprecedented for a contagion to be detected in multiple birth and experts are investigating if the disease may have passed through the mother's placenta during pregnancy.

CNN's Matt Rivers reports from Mexico City.


MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, there is still so much that science does not know about this coronavirus. And we are really getting a stark example of that this week here in Mexico.

In one particular state, the state of San Luis Potosi, doctors said that earlier this week, a set of triplets born prematurely all tested positive for COVID-19. The unprecedented part, according to doctors, is that neither of the triplet's parents have tested positive for the disease.


RIVERS: The doctors say they aren't sure how the triplets contracted the virus. They are exploring different possible paths of contagion but they say they simply do not know how the situation came about. Thankfully, all three triplets are in stable condition, but it's just further proof that science has a lot more to learn about this virus.

What is not in question, though, is how bad things are in Latin America and the Caribbean. During a press briefing on Wednesday, the director of the Pan American Health Organization told reporters that in just the last month or so alone, the number of cases in this region's 33 countries have gone from under 700,000 to now more than two million cases. And there are now more than 100,000 recorded deaths in this region for the first time.

And health officials are saying this could be around for a while. The directors of the Pan American Health Organization told reporters that she thinks that absent a widely available vaccine, there could be outbreaks in this part of the world for the next two years.

In fact, she went on to say quote, "We must be realistic about the future. All of us must adjust to a new way of life and redefine our sense of normal."

There's a lot left to be learned about the coronavirus, but the fact of the matter is that right now, Latin America and the Caribbean is going through the worst stage of this outbreak so far.

Matt Rivers, CNN, Mexico City.


VAUSE: Let's take a look at other global headlines right now.

Polls are open in Russia for early voting on changing the constitution to allow Vladimir Putin two more terms as president. Lawmakers and the Supreme Court have approved the amendment which effectively resets Putin's term count from four to zero. Opponents called it a coup. But the measure is expected to pass, voting ends the first of next month.

North Korea's threat of military action against the South is apparently back on. Pyongyang issued the warning earlier this week, suspended it on Wednesday, but when South Korea's defense minister said the suspension wasn't good enough, the North hit back and says that untimely a slip of the tongue like that could lead to a greater crisis on the peninsula.

A Palestinian man was shot dead by Israeli police at a checkpoint in the West Bank. Police say it was a car ramming attack but Palestinian officials as well as the man's family dispute that.

This is against the backdrop of a massive uncertainty in the West Bank as CNN's Oren Liebermann reports


OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This all happens on Tuesday afternoon at a checkpoint east of Jerusalem in the West Bank, when Israel police say a Palestinian driver, 28 year old Ahmad Erekat approached the checkpoint and carried out a ramming attacks against Israeli security forces there.

Video from security cameras at the scene released by Israel police appears to show the driver in line waiting to cross the checkpoint. As it's his turn to go through the checkpoint, he appears to accelerate rapidly and veer his car into an Israeli border policewoman at the scene.

As he gets out of his car, he is shot and killed by security forces. The border policewoman was slightly injured.

Palestinian officials and his Erekat's relatives dispute this account of what happened, saying he was in a rush because he was on his way to his sister's wedding that very day, and he was running errands for her.

PLO Secretary-General, Saeb Erekat, a relative of Ahmad Erekat, says this was a quote "execution in cold blood". Palestinian officials also question why Erekat was left on the ground bleeding instead of getting immediate medical attention.

Now, there's already a debate and a dispute about the narrative here. What were Erekat's intentions here? And what was the response of the Israeli Security Forces on the scene?

But regardless, this comes at a very sensitive time. On top of a pandemic, on top of an economic hardship that we are seeing on both sides here, there is Palestinian worry about the Israeli intent or promise to annex parts of the West Bank and Israeli Security Forces and security officials I warning of a potential increase in violence because of that very reason.

Oren Liebermann, CNN -- Jerusalem.


VAUSE: Well, still ahead on CNN NEWSROOM, we'll head to Paris and the Eiffel Tower is reopening, but you'll have to really, really, really, really want those views.



VAUSE: Well, the pandemic COVID-19 has caused the longest closure of the Eiffel Tower since World War II. But now it's reopening but everything will not be back to normal. Think no pain, no gain.

Here's CNN's Cyril Vanier.


CYRIL VANIER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: During the worst days of the coronavirus crisis, Paris' Iron Lady still played her part with a simple message to health care workers from a grateful nation, "Thank you".

The Eiffel Tower visited by almost seven million tourists a year shut down three months, one week and four days ago.

I haven't been back to the Eiffel Tower in many years, and my first impression is at the ground level right here is an underrated vantage point of the tower itself, just look up. This feels pretty special.

The first level -- a reminder that the Eiffel Tower experience is now COVID compatible. Distancing, signage, face masks, and hand gel -- the new normal.

The tower keen to show it's even going a step further, regularly checking that surfaces are well and truly disinfected. For now, the lifts are closed because of distancing rules, so if you want the view, well, you have to earn it. It's also more fun this way.

745 steps to the 2nd level, that's a 15-minute climb for an estimated 4,000 to 5,000 visitors expected on day one.

PATRICK BRANCO RUIVO, CEO, EIFFEL TOWER: This is for me, the best view that we can have from Paris. That's why they give us big emotions when you come here.

VANIER: Notre Dame, the Louvre, the Cyclical (ph), the Arc de Triomphe -- all there if you know where to look.

At the risk of sounding cliche, the view here truly is amazing. You feel like you're floating above the city, and you have a direct line of sight to all the landmarks.

Cyril Vanier, CNN -- Paris.


VAUSE: Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta host a "CNN GLOBAL TOWN HALL, CORONAVIRUS FACTS AND FEARS". That's 8 p.m. Thursday in New York City, 8:00 a.m. Friday in Hong Kong. It will air again, 7:00 a.m. Friday in London, 2:00 p.m. in Hong Kong. Set your DVR.

You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause.

Stay with us. Anna Coren takes over for me after a short break.

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