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U.S. Cases Surge to highest One-Day Level Since April; 26 States Seeing an Increase in Cases During Past Week; Health Experts, Officials Speak Out on Importance of Masks; EU May Consider Ban on Travelers from the U.S.; Brazil Cases Soar, Posting Record Spike; U.S. Stocks Post Sharpest Losses in Almost Two Weeks; Suspects Indicted Over Shooting Death of Ahmaud Arbery. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired June 25, 2020 - 04:00   ET



ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us here in the United States and all around the world, you are watching CNN NEWSROOM and I'm Rosemary Church.

Just ahead, the U.S. President and some Americans seem to be looking the other way as thousands test positive and die from the coronavirus. States that have started to reopen are seeing a surge in cases.

Latin America has seen its cases triple in just a month with Mexico, Brazil and Peru the hardest hit countries.

A grand jury in the U.S. has indicted three white men on murder charges in the death of a black man. We will hear from Ahmaud Arbery's father.

Good to have you with us.

Coronavirus cases are surging again in the United States, and health experts fear it may soon spiral out of control. Johns Hopkins University tracked almost 35,000 new infections among Americans in just 24 hours, a level not seen since April. California, Texas, and Florida are seeing their biggest one-day jumps in new infections. Together those states comprise more than 1/4 of the U.S. population. But three states on the U.S. East Coast, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut have contained COVID-19 to a manageable level. Now they're worried about getting re-infected. For the latest, here's CNN's Nick Watt.


ANDREW CUOMO, NEW YORK GOVERNOR: We're announcing today, a joint travel advisory, people coming in from states that have a high infection rate must quarantine for 14 days.

NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT(voice over): So from midnight, three northeastern states, one sour epicenter won't let anyone in from these nine southern and western states unless they quarantine. In Arizona, another record COVID-19 death toll. WILL HUMBLE, ARIZONA PUBLIC HEALTH ASSOC.: Within days we're going to be overcapacity in dealing with hospital crisis in my opinion.

WATT: In Florida, more new cases today than ever before. One hospital system says they're seeing more young patients.

SEEMA YASMIN, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: And if they're spreading the infection to older people, people with chronic diseases right now, we'll see an increase in deaths potentially two weeks from now.

WATT: Another new record case count today in Texas.

GREG ABBOTT, TEXAS GOVERNOR: There is a massive outbreak of COVID-19 across the State of Texas today. We are making sure that the rules are enforced so we are going to be able to better contain the spread of COVID-19.

WATT: And for 11 days straight, Texas has set new records for the number of COVID-19 patients admitted to the hospital. Nationwide and more than half our states new case counts just aren't going down.

DR. LEANA WEN, EMERGENCY ROOM PHYSICIAN: Basically we're back to where New York was back in March, except that this time, I don't think that there is the political will and the public support to have these shutdowns.

WATT: Dr. Anthony Fauci says we need to get past mask wearing being a political issue. The Democratic Governor of North Carolina just said he's making them mandatory and the Republican Governor of Florida just said, he won't.

DESANTIS: We advise from the beginning of May, we advised if you can't social distance, wear the mask, but ultimately, we've got to trust people to make good decisions.

WATT: And those well-known University of Washington modelers say, we would save more than 30,000 lives by the end of the summer if 95 percent of us wore masks, but right now, we aren't.

LT. ANTHONY ALMOJERA, FDNY EMERGENCY MEDICAL TECHNICIAN: We just went through hell, trying to revive and take care of people and we don't want to go through it again. Wear a mask. Just wear a mask.

WATT (on camera): Here in California they set a new record Tuesday. More than 5,000 new cases. Wednesday they obliterated that record. More than 7,000 new cases, but there are still beds in hospitals to deal with these cases according to state officials.

Nick Watt, CNN, Los Angeles.


CHURCH: Well despite the advisory in New Jersey, President Trump won't go into the mandated quarantine when he visits this weekend. The President will be visiting his golf club in Bedminster, but the White House says he is not a civilian and those close to him are tested for COVID-19. New Jersey's governor, Phil Murphy, agreed with that assessment.



GOV. PHIL MURPHY, NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR: There is a carve out for essential workers, and I think by any definition, the President of the United States is an essential worker. And I know the folks get tested around him all the time. I've been tested a couple of times when I've been with him over the past couple of months. I think the bigger point here is we want folks to really be responsible in terms of thinking about not just themselves but their families and their communities. And we've beaten this virus down to a pulp in New Jersey with an enormous loss of life. We've been through hell and we don't want to go through hell again.


CHURCH: Wear a mask, wear a mask, wear a mask. It has become a common refrain for medical experts and officials during the coronavirus pandemic. But the problem is many Americans including President Trump himself are refusing to go do so. But as cases rise in the U.S., health experts and some Republican leaders say it's absolutely imperative to have a face covering.


DR. JONATHAN REINER, CARDIOLOGIST, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY: 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 you to think about not wearing a mask in public, it's like driving drunk.

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

SEN. RICK SCOTT (R-FL): It's serious, we haven't beat it. You've got to wear a mask, you have a social distance, you've got to get more information out. We've got to tell people where there's local transmission and so people can make decisions. But we haven't beat it.

ABBOTT: It would have been one thing to talk about masks in the middle part of May when it looks like all the trends are going down. It's a different thing talking about masks in the middle part of June with all of the numbers going up. As a result, you are seeing myself both wear a mask and talk about masks more than I did in the middle part of May.


CHURCH: But despite all the dire warnings from health experts and the urging of elected officials, there are still some naysayers. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You literally cannot mandate somebody to wear a mask knowing that that mask is killing people. It literally is killing people. And my -- the people -- we, the people, are waking up and we know what citizen's arrest is.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The problem with humanity today is ignorance, arrogance and empathy. Keep taking the road of least resistance. Keep listening to the TV brainwashing you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They want to throw God's wonderful breathing system out the door. You're all turning your backs on it.


CHURCH: So let's speak to someone on the front lines of delivering medical care in this country right now. And I'm pleased to welcome Dr. Saju Mathew back on the show, a CNN medical analyst, a primary care doctor and a specialist in public health. Good to have you with us.

DR. SAJU MATHEW, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Nice to be with you, Rosemary.

CHURCH: So the U.S. is the worst hit country in the world. Doing so badly the EU is now is considering preventing U.S. travelers from entering Europe. And I want to pull up this graph because it shows 30,000 plus cases in the U.S. per day now and it's about the same number back in early April. No improvement at all, even slightly worse. It is dire and yet President Trump falsely suggested Wednesday the coronavirus is behind us, even as the death toll surpasses 121,000. He clearly doesn't have a plan right now. How can we turn this around?

MATHEW: You know, Rosemary, you mention how it doesn't seem like we ever move. You know, we're just starting all over again with this crisis. And that's what really bothers me as a public health specialist is that initial sacrifice that we made where a lot of Americans stated home, it almost seems like we've lost all of that time that we've gained. The only answer right now is to feel comfortable with hitting the pause button. And I think that that's what a lot of our leaders in these states where the cases are surging, we need to be comfortable in saying, and I'm going to say it, the three dreaded words, stay at home. And I think that we are getting to that point in states like Florida where those measures need to be taking place again. We need to ramp up testing. It's still not easy to get tested, trace and isolate people.

CHURCH: Yes. Of course, Americans don't want to hear those words, stay at home. And as new coronavirus cases in the U.S. reach their highest single day total Wednesday, the three most populous states, California Texas and Florida hit new all-time high case numbers.


What you think is going on in those states, particularly in California where the governor has been a lot tougher than most and has really taken this seriously. MATHEW: I agree. I think if you look at the two states where the

governor's been really aggressive early and stayed aggressive consistently, it would have to be New York and California. So the big question is why is California having these surges? And I think that, Rosemary, what's happening is California is a huge state with so many different counties, so many different demographics. And what comes with a state that is so heterogeneous are different rules and regulations by different county officials. And I think that that's probably what's going on here is that you don't have just this one mandate across the state like in New York with Governor Cuomo.

CHURCH: And doctor, the University of Washington model, often referred to by the White House, now predicts nearly 180,000 deaths in the U.S. by October 1. But says if 95 percent of Americans started to wear masks, that estimate would drop to 146,000 deaths. So the solution is staring us right in the face quite literally, and yet the President and some governors are not offering leadership on this even as Dr. Anthony Fauci says, forget the politics, wear a mask. So why so much resistance to the one thing that could actually turn this dire situation around? And how do you convince people to do this?

MATHEW: It's a tough question, Rosemary. You would think that it would be so straightforward when you share numbers just like you did. You can cut down the number of deaths by 40,000. And get this, 50 percent decrease in transmission rates, Rosemary, just by wearing a cotton mask over your mouth and nose. And I think really what needs to happen is good leadership.

Yes, I agree, we're not a culture that really is comfortable wearing masks like in South Korea and other parts of Asia. I get it. But this is one public health measure that's going to save a lot of lives. And I think it needs to start from the top down. I'm a physician. Can you imagine if you walk into a restaurant without a mask and the patient saw me. You know ultimately, we need to lead by setting an example. And I think that that's what's going to be key in trying to change some of this culture.

CHURCH: Dr. Saju Mathew thank you so. Appreciate it.

MATHEW: Thank you, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Well, coronavirus cases have tripled in Latin America in the past month. Here's what the director of the Pan American Health Organization is saying about it.


CARISSA ETIENNE, DIRECTOR, PAN AMERICAN HEALTH ORGANIZATION: Last month I announced here that our region had become the new epicenter of the pandemic. I am sorry to see that since then cases of COVID-19 in Latin America have now tripled from almost 690,000 on May 23rd to more than 2 million today.


CHURCH: Mexico is seeing a spike in new cases and deaths due to COVID-19. The country reported almost 5,500 new cases and almost 1,000 deaths in the past 24 hours. Peru saw almost 4,000 new cases Wednesday and the country's President is asking people not to let they're guard down until a vaccine is found. And Brazil has topped 1.1 million cases with more than 100,000 infections being reported in the past three days alone. CNN's Shasta Darlington has more now from Sao Paulo.


SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN REPORTER: 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 warns that governments are now facing pressure to ease social isolation 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 Jair 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 capital Brasilia. Bolsonaro has repeatedly downplayed the virus calling it a little flu and urging Brazilians to go back to work.

Shasta Darlington, CNN, Sao Paulo.



CHURCH: And you can follow the latest developments of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. and around the world with Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta on our "CNN GLOBAL TOWN HALL." Watch "CORONAVIRUS FACTS AND FEARS" at 8 Thursday evening in New York. That's at 8 Friday morning in Hong Kong. Only here on CNN.

Well, after a record-setting day on Tuesday, U.S. stocks made an abrupt U-turn on Wednesday posting their biggest one-day losses in almost two weeks. A surging number of COVID-19 cases across the U.S. combined with a possible new tariff on EU imports conspired to drop all three major U.S. indices more than 2 percent. And as you can see, U.S. futures for Thursday are running pretty deeply in the red right now, down 1.15 there.

And here's how it looks at this hour in Europe as the trading day gets started. You can see the FTSE 100 in London down .28 percent.

Now here in the United States we are about to find out how many Americans filed initial jobless claims last week. CNN business correspondent, Eleni Giokos joins me now live. Good to see you, Eleni. So what are the expectations of this imminent jobs report? And of course, how does that all work in with the IMF's global outlook and the depth of this recession? ELENI GIOKOS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean it's such an

important weekly number because it gives us a sense on the unemployment scenarios that are playing out in the U.S. So the latest figure we had was 1.5 million Americans filing for unemployment insurance. That number is expected to go down, which is encouraging because it shows that things are starting to get a little better. A smooth road? No. But perhaps a lot more rockier than people had anticipated.

Now you've got to keep in mind, this number has been above 1 million since the start of the pandemic and lockdown restrictions at the height of restrictions. We actually saw numbers hitting 6.8 million which is really astronomical if you compare that to what we saw during the global financial crisis. The point here is, Rosemary, that the consumer is still taking pain in the U.S.

And another important data point that will be released today within those numbers is continuous jobless claims. Those figures will be really telling about the move of people getting off of that employment role and then back into the business environment and getting their jobs back. It also shows how many people are still receiving benefits. To date, around 48 million Americans have received unemployment benefits. It is really a big number, and it points to the fact that there is still a lot of pain to work through in the U.S. economy. The latest numbers on coronavirus cases rising in the U.S. also means that there will be huge repercussions in terms of how business plans to open up. Some companies won't be able to get back to 50 percent capacity or even 100 percent capacity. That means a loss in consumers, a loss in revenue, and also a loss in appetite to get jobs back and people back into employment.

You also have to keep in mind unemployment is sitting at 13.3 percent in the U.S. The IMF is saying that we've got an even dire situation painted for the global economy this year. A contraction of 5 percent to fight the same. The U.S. is expected to contract about 8 percent in 2020. So projections are that the pain is not over yet. So it'll be interesting to see these numbers, Rosemary, that are coming through in the next few hours today.

CHURCH: Yes, certainly all very sobering. Eleni Giokos, many thanks for the live report. Appreciate it.

Well, Australia's flag carrier Qantas is slashing 6,000 jobs due to the coronavirus. The airline says it's part of a three-year plan to recover from the pandemic and save more than $10 billion in costs. Qantas already has grounded as many as 100 aircraft, 15,000 Qantas employees remain idol. Their jobs still on hold.

Well, coming up, a grand jury in Georgia has indicted the three men suspected of shooting Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed black man. And we will tell you what those charges are.

And after the only outdoor Confederate statue was torn down, the U.S. President is ordering its restoration despite it being tied to the country's racist past. We're back in a moment.



CHURCH: A grand jury in the U.S. has indicted three men on numerous charges in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia. Travis McMichael, Greg McMichael and William "Roddie" Bryan have been formally charged with felony murder, murder with malice and other offenses. They are accused of chasing down and fatally shooting Arbery, an unarmed African-American man while he was out jogging in February. CNN spoke to Mr. Arbery's father on Thursday. Here's why he wants the three men if found guilty to spend life in prison instead of getting the death penalty.


MARCUS ARBERY, AHMAUD ARBERY'S FATHER: I want them to feel what they did to my son and I want them to see it every day. I just don't want to see them on the streets again. Because my son he's gone and he is not coming back. So they need to -- they need to see what they've done and they need to see it every day they wake up and realize what wrong they did. And they got their ass under guard. Because I know they're going hell for it because God (INAUDIBLE). God don't uphold stuff like that.


CHURCH: Ahmaud Arbery was just 25 years old when he was killed.

U.S. President Donald Trump is slamming Senate Democrats for blocking a Republican drafted police reform bill, the largely party line vote denied Republicans the 60 votes they needed to begin debate on the legislation.


Democrats say the bill fell short of what was needed to meaningfully change policing tactics. Leaders on both sides blamed each other for the impasse.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): In the wake of the killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, following weeks of passion and protests from coast to coast, the Senate was supposed to officially take up police reform on the floor today. Instead, our Democratic colleagues are poised to turn this routine step into a partisan impasse.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): Who do you believe, America? Civil rights conference or Mitch McConnell? How do believe America? NAACP or the Republican caucus? Who do you believe, America? The lawyer for the Taylor and Floyd families or Donald Trump?


CHURCH: With both parties at loggerheads, the bill's future this year looks increasingly doubtful. Well, the U.S. President personally ordered that the statue of general

Albert Pike be put-back up after protesters in Washington tore it down and burned it last Friday, the night of Juneteenth. It is the only outdoor statue in Washington that commemorates a member of the Confederacy. And is among the monuments the President describes as, quote, part of the country's heritage. Mr. Trump said he would take steps to ensure these monuments aren't torn down.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think many of the people that are knocking down the statues don't even have any idea what the statue is, what it means, who it is. When they want to knock down Grant -- when they want to knock down Grant. But when they look at it, now they're looking at Jesus Christ, they're looking at George Washington, they're looking at Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson. Not going to happen.


CHURCH: Well, officials say the White House expects U.S. marshals to help protect national monuments as early as this week.

They have changed their hearts and changed their minds. Now they want to change their ink. Still ahead, how some tattoo artists are helping people get rid of racist symbols they thought they'd wear for life.

Plus, one of Donald Trump's former advisers is slamming the President's handling of the pandemic. Our interview with John Bolton, that's next.