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Experts Say, Varied, Confusing Mask Rules Could Be Lethal; U.S. Case Count Rises By 45,000, Highest Single-Day Total To Date; Disneyland Workers Protest Against Park Reopening; Pence Pressed On Wisdom Of Holding Campaign Events As Cases Surge; Trump Unable To Name Second-Term Priorities During Fox Interview; New Polls: Biden Building Lead In Swing States Trump Won In 2016; E.U. Considers Ban On American Visitors. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired June 27, 2020 - 15:00   ET



ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: Hello. Thanks for being with me. I am Ana Cabrera in New York. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM.

And we begin this hour with troubling new numbers. As coronavirus cases continue to spike across the country, more than 45,000 new infections reported nationwide on Friday alone, setting a new record for the third straight day. And over half of the country is now seeing cases surge. And at least five states also hit new peaks, including Florida, which shattered its daily record again today, reporting more than 9,500 new cases. Florida has been eyed as the next epicenter of this pandemic.

That hasn't changed Governor Ron DeSantis's mind when it comes to masks. He is doubling down on his decision not to implement a statewide mandatory mask order, saying he trusts people to make good decisions.

In California, we have just learned that state saw a single daily increase of nearly 6,000 cases, as a public health expert in Los Angeles County warns hospital system could be overwhelmed without immediate action to slow the spread of the virus.

And listen to this. In Michigan, patrons of just one bar in East Lansing are being asked to self-quarantine after at least 85 people who visited that establishment earlier this month tested positive.

The State of Texas is also in trouble, surpassing 5,000 hospitalized coronavirus patients for the first time Friday, as the governor, Greg Abbott, acknowledged he may have allowed bars in that state to reopen too soon.

Let's just focus on Florida for a moment and its growing number of cases, positive tests skyrocketing. Consider this, Florida's peak number of new daily cases far surpasses Italy's when that country was considered the epicenter of the pandemic back in March. Dr. Anthony Fauci says what happens in Florida over the next couple of weeks will be critical. CNN's Natasha Chen is standing by in Pensacola. But, first, our Randi Kaye joins us from Riviera Beach, Florida. And, Randi, what do you see in there?

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, we are seeing, despite the numbers, 9,585 new cases in the last 24 hours reported today. The party still goes on. I'm sure you can pick up a little bit of the scene here behind me and hear some of that music. People are out and about, celebrating, going to the restaurants, having cocktails, celebrating happy hour. It's as if the pandemic doesn't exist in some areas of the state.

The governor is blaming testing on the increased numbers. He says the state has increased from about 24,000 a day to 45,000 a day. He says nothing here has really changed, but we are seeing higher levels of positive cases, certainly among the younger people, 33-35 years old. They are asymptomatic. But they are out and about.

I just was on my way here, this live shot, and I saw a whole bunch of young people coming out of a store not wearing a mask even though they just mandated here in Palm Beach County, where I am, that you have to wear a mask in public places. So it's not being enforced in some cases.

But I can tell you that the young people, because they're out and about and they're at bars, the governor has decided to take some action and actually closed all of the state bars to try and keep the young people from congregating. As you said, he's against a state mandate for masks, a mandatory mandate. We saw a lot of people here without masks today. We talked to some of them about the spike in numbers and about the lack of mask mandate and here is what one of them told me.


CARMINE GIALANELLA: It's because people that don't wear a mask, those cases will increase and that's why we're onboard with that, I guess. I do a radio show myself, so it's like we're all about people who wear masks. Because, what's the worst case, you've got to wear pants in a restaurant, you were a seat belt when you drive, so why not wear a mask, a piece of fabric, in front of your face while you go in and out of a store for a couple of minutes.

Like I said, I'm not wearing a mask right now, but it's because we're literally living from the beach.

KAYE: So you are supposed to be wearing a mask when you're out in public. That is the mandate, unless you're exercising or you can safely social distance, which he said he was doing as he was making his way back to the beach.

But, Ana, I can tell you a lot of people told us my mask is in my car or it's in my bag or it's in my knapsack. We're hearing a lot of that. And there is a fine in Miami, $500, up to $500 if you're caught without a mask. And here in Palm Beach County you get a warning first and then the fines will begin. And one other note, in Miami-Dade, it's getting so serious that the mayor has decided to close the beaches coming up for the July 4th holiday weekend, from July 3rd to July 7th. That could be extended, but he doesn't want to see, as he put it, a spike on top of a spike, Ana.

CABRERA: But, obviously, beaches are still open there this weekend, and it sure does sound like a party where you are. Randi Kaye, thank you.

Natasha, let's check in with you there in Pensacola. What's the scene?

NATASHA CHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, we're talking to a couple of bar owners in this stretch right here. In fact, the one behind us, they're having a good time at the moment, but they just set up that tent and the outdoor table and stools because yesterday, of course, the state shut down all standalone bars.


They can no longer serve alcohol inside on premises, so that's why they have been permitted by the people who own the pavement part of the parking lot to actually set up this little bit outside, because that is actually no longer their property.

So that is the only thing they can do at this point. They are going to do to-go orders, which is where they were near the beginning of the pandemic, near the beginning of the quarantine. They were just allowed to open June 1st, announced a couple of weeks later, they're back to square one.

Here is the owner of the bar right there expressing his frustration.


DAVID KELLY, OWNER OF BEACH BREAK BAR: The fact that our governor was so progressive with reopening was very -- I don't know, we stood behind him and we were very happy about that. And at this point, it feels like he's turned around and now he's singling out standalone bars, whereas restaurants, retail stores, all these other venues are open for business.


CHEN: And we should mention that there are restaurants with bars in them and they are perfectly allowed to remain open and operational. We saw that happen last night when we were out to dinner, lots of people going into those spaces ordering drinks.

And there are some establishments, we've noticed, that have voluntarily scaled back a little bit because of what they've heard with the rising numbers. There were some restaurants saying they're voluntarily closing their dining rooms or others saying they're canceling their large events, their college nights in order to prevent a large crowd from gathering, Ana. CABRERA: Smart moves. This is no joke. Last weekend we, were reporting 4,000 cases in Florida. It was breaking news. Today, 9,500-plus new infections, just daily numbers coming in out of Florida, and, Natasha Chen, the trajectory there is not good. Thank you for your reporting.

She State of Texas is now rolling back its reopening plan because of soaring coronavirus cases in that state. For the first time, the State of Texas surpassed 5,000 hospitalizations. Texas Governor Greg Abbott has issued an new executive order limiting certain businesses and services, ordering bars to shut down there again.

Listen to what Abbott said about possible regrets in that state's initial reopening.


GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R-TX): If I could go back and redo anything, it probably would have been to slow down the opening of bars. Now seeing in the aftermath of how quickly the coronavirus spread in the bar setting, and have a bar setting just doesn't work with a pandemic.


CABRERA: CNN's Alexandra Field joins us now from Houston. Alexandra, the mayor there says hospitalizations are up, ICU numbers are up. What more can you tell us?

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Ana. We are outside of Texas Medical Center. It is billed as the largest medical center in the world. And this week, they said that they reached 100 percent capacity on the ICU beds. What we're seeing now across Houston is hospitals moving to their surge capacity plans. Of course, this is the place that nobody wanted to get to just a couple of months ago when Texas thought that they were beating this virus.

Look, Governor Greg Abbott was quick to reopen. He may be reversing course now. But local officials are saying he needs to do more than targeting bars and restaurants with new restrictions. We've heard from some local officials who say that nothing short of an all-out stay-at- home order will work to effectively curb the kind of increase that we're seeing. We know that this is a virus that isn't just spreading at bars and restaurants, where it might most prone to spread. It's also happening in other offices.

We've just heard from the Texas Rangers that they had a couple of COVID cases in their offices. They say those employees have been sent home, along with anyone else who had contact with them. They won't be allowed back on the premises until they test negative. On top of that, the Rangers say that they are implementing all pandemic protocols at their facilities in order to prevent the spread of this virus.

But, look, you've got a situation here in Texas where people are saying you've got to find a way to put the genie back in the bottle. And, Ana, don't forget, this is a state that has still not mandated masks -- the governor has not mandated across the state. Instead, it's been left to local governments to order businesses to require their customers to wear masks.

So there's certainly people who are saying a lot more can be done now that they've reached this crisis level.

CABRERA: And as you were reporting there, we were looking at video from what looked like a potential bar or restaurant establishment in which most of the customers in the video we were seeing, they were outdoors but they weren't wearing masks. They were piling around. Alexandra Field, thank you.

Joining us now in CNN Medical Analyst and former Assistant Commissioner of New York City's Department of Health, Dr. Celine Gounder.

Dr. Gounder, how troubled are you when you see that Florida, for example, a state that doesn't mandate masks, is reporting nearly 10,000 new cases in a single day?

DR. CELINE GOUNDER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Well, Ana, I would disagree with Governor DeSantis in terms of whether you need regulations, mandates for wearing a mask.


Do we have laws against drunk driving? Yes, we do, because you can't always trust people to do the right thing, especially with something like masks which have, frankly, become politicized. They've become political symbols, if you wear one, you belong to one political party. If you don't, you belong to the other political party. And it's not a rational decision that's being made.

So I really do think that that needs to be rethought, whether that's in Florida or Texas or some of these other states where we're seeing massive surges.

CABRERA: If that state had required wearing masks in public, how different might these numbers look today?

GOUNDER: Well, it's not a cure-all, but we think that masks probably reduce transmission by something like half potentially, so that's a big difference still. And from the point of view of somebody who works in a hospital, half as many patients in the ICU with COVID, that makes a huge difference. That's the difference between we're completely overrun and we have no capacity and we're in danger of infection, to we actually can manage the situation.

So that intervention in and of itself can make a huge difference for everybody.

CABRERA: And we saw the modeling earlier this week in which the experts were saying if 95 percent of people wear masks, that may save tens of thousands of lives in the weeks ahead.

Let's take a listen to Vice President Pence yesterday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We would just encourage every American to follow the guidelines for all the phases, continue to practice good hygiene, wash your hands, avoid touching your face, disinfect frequently, people who feel sick should stay home, and when it comes to businesses, social distancing, protective equipment, temperature checks, testing and isolation.


CABRERA: So I was noticing he was reading off a list, and it stood out to me what he didn't say. Did anything seem like it was missing to you?

GOUNDER: Well, wearing a mask, for sure. And I think, again, this goes back to what I was saying earlier, this has unfortunately become a political symbol, whether it's that or large gatherings, such as the kind that we see at a Trump rally. I think these have become political symbols. And so it's sort of like we'll do the right thing, unless it's on behalf of your political party.

And this is precisely why we should not -- whether it's Governor Cuomo or President Trump or Vice President Pence, these are responses that really need to be led by public health officials, scientists who are apolitical, who are really just focused on protecting the public.

CABRERA: I just don't understand how it can benefit anybody politically by not being honest about the importance of wearing a mask, if it comes down to saving lives. I just don't understand that. But because we've only now heard from this coronavirus task force one time in the last couple of months, I want to play another clip from what we heard yesterday at that task force briefing with the vice president.


PENCE: All 50 states and territories across this territory are opening up safely and responsibly.

We slowed the spread. We flattened the curve.

The reality is we're in a much better place.


CABRERA: Those statements simply are not true. Can the U.S. get its arms around this crisis if leaders aren't being honest?

GOUNDER: Well, that's exactly where we need to start with. We need to start with the facts, we need to start with the science. Gaslighting is the last thing we need in this moment. And I think Vice President Pence, again, this really should be led by people like Deborah Birx and Dr. Fauci and Dr. Redfield, who are all physicians and scientists, who are not approaching this from a political lens. It's not about enabling their political campaigns to function as normal, it's really about doing what's in the public health benefit and interest. And I do hope that that can change. Australia, for example, their prime minister really stepped back and let the scientists and public health officials take the lead. That's what needs to happen here.

CABRERA: All right. Dr. Celine Gounder, thank you for providing your perspective and expertise.

It is not the happiest place on earth, at least for Disneyland employees. We'll tell you why when we return. You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.



CABRERA: Welcome back.

We just talked a lot about what's happening in the southeast. Now, I want to take you out west and the new numbers coming out of California are not good either, more than 206,000 confirmed cases total. That's almost 6,000 more than the previous day and these numbers are having an impact.

Today, workers at the happiest place on earth are expressing their unhappiness with plans to reopen Disneyland in California.

Let's get out to CNN's Paul Vercammen in Anaheim, where one union is protesting. Paul, what is their main concern?

PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, their main concern is that Disneyland will open too soon and there will not be enough testing. In just a short time ago, we'll look at some of the video. They circled this theme park. These are mainly hotel workers in this union, some 3,000 of them.

And they were honking their horns and trying to draw attention to what they say is absolutely petrifying them, and that is the possible that Disneyland will reopen. You may have heard that Disneyland has put off opening on July 17th, and there won't be enough safety protocols that they want. They want, among other things, routine and constant testing of the workers here.

And don't forget for a second, there's 31,000 employees of Disneyland. It's an economic engine in this part of Orange County and you can hear somebody honking who was part of that protest. I'm going to bring in the city manager of Anaheim to get an interesting perspective on all of this.

You're in a tough situation.


You want to open safely, you want to protect people's health, and yet the life blood of your economy in Anaheim is shut down. So what do you do going forward? MICHAEL LYSTER, CHIEF COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER, CITY OF ANAHEIM: Well, we think there is a safe middle path going forward. There are economic consequences from shutdown and, of course, there are very legitimate public health concerns. We have seen Disney's plans for reopening and we believe that they can do so safely and responsibly.

There will be health checks for employees, for visitors, masks will be required of everyone. There will be teams that roam the park and ensure social distancing.

Now, all of this is gleaned from the reopening of Shanghai. Now, think about that. Shanghai, really the epicenter, just west of Wuhan, China. We will benefit from the best experiences. And as California looks to gradually reopen, we know a shutdown is not sustainable over the long- term. We know what Disney has laid out will certainly speak to what California expects, not only to keep employees safe, but visitors as well.

VERCAMMEN: OK, we appreciate your sentiments, Michael Lyster.

And you might know in all of this, the governor of California had praised Disneyland for putting back its opening and now all of this needs to be hashed out. This is important here in California, because Disneyland attracts some 21 million visitors a year, Ana.

CABRERA: OK. Paul Vercammen in Anaheim, thank you.

Joining us now is Entertainment Reporter for the L.A. Times, Todd Martens. So, Todd, Disney has been spreading this message, that when Disneyland reopens, it won't just be the happiest place on earth, it will be the most sanitary.

A lot of the safety procedures have already been tested in Shanghai Disneyland, temperature screenings, mandatory masks for everyone over two, ground markings and physical barriers to ensure social distancing, also enhanced cleaning procedures, as well as plenty of access to hand sanitizer. And you weren't even allowed to hug Mickey Mouse. And yet the union reps in California you spoke to in California weren't convinced. Why?

TODD MARTENS, LOS ANGELES TIMES ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER: Well, they had a couple -- two major concerns out here, out west. The two concerns were they wanted more rapid testing of COVID, especially because a lot of the Disney cast are the retail, they're food service, they're putting people in rides, making sure people's seat belts are buttoned up, all that sort of stuff. So they are in close contact with guests.

So the main thing they wanted was assurance that they could be COVID tested every couple of days. They also asked for cast members who requested face masks to be able to have those. I've been told that Disney has largely agreed to the face masks. But they also want to make sure that if somebody tests positive, they will have extended time off benefits.

CABRERA: Disneyland now says the State of California won't issue theme park reopening guidelines until sometime after July 4th. The park itself has been closed since mid-March. And there is big money at stake here. A study by Cal State Fullerton late last year found Disneyland generated $8.5 billion for the economy in Southern California and created 78,000 jobs. Additionally, visitors spent $2.5 billion that local businesses outside the theme park.

So how much pressure is there to get it back open?

MARTENS: Well, I mean, I think for Disney, there's certainly a lot of pressure aside from everything that's happening on the state and national level. This is a company that's been hit hard by the virus. Their entire business is -- all facets of their business, whether it's sports, ESPN, or theme parks or movies, are based on people gathering and getting together and you're looking at, I think, the number was for the first half of the year, their earnings plunged more than 60 percent.

So this is a company that, yes, they have -- they were able to secure some debt refinancing. They're not in any danger of going anywhere, but it is a company that is hit severely hard by what is happening.

CABRERA: And Disney is not just grappling with the coronavirus but also this whole national conversation happening on racism. And on that point, the company plans to completely reimagine one of its most popular rides, Splash Mountain, because of the racial stereo types from the film it's based upon.

First, just give us the background on this controversy.

MARTENS: Yes. So, obviously, with what's happening right now, it's sort of this cultural reassessment, looking at representation, multiple companies, multiple sort of entertainment facilities. You know, Splash Mountain was brought up in the wake of the protests, protests over George Floyd sort of instance.

So Splash Mountain was brought up because it is connected to a terrifically racist film, a totally. So it was brought up. And even though the ride itself sort of tries to pivot from the source material, its connection to what is one of Disney's most questionable texts (ph) ever made is hard to overlook.


So there was a social media campaign started by a Disney cast member actually, who was calling for Disney to re-theme Splash Mountain to Princess and the Frog. And about a week later, Disney came out and said that's what they're doing.

CABRERA: Okay. Todd Martens, I appreciate the conversation. Thanks so much for being here.

MARTENS: Sure. Thank you.

CABRERA: It has gone from a health issue to a contentious political issue. Ahead, we'll talk more about the mixed message on masks.

You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM. Don't go anywhere. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


CABRERA: Medical experts say universal mask wearing could significantly slow the spread of the coronavirus. But as we've been discussing, not every state requires people to cover their faces in public. And some governors have even blocked local officials from enforcing rules of their own.

CNN's Brian Todd takes a closer look.



BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Across America, protests and pushback to requirements for people to wear face masks in public.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We believe that it is our body, our choice.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Violation my (EXPLETIVE DELETED)! It's my constitutional rights and my civil rights!

TODD: In Florida, the state where that outburst occurred at a grocery store in May, masks are not required for everyone to wear in public. Some counties and cities in Florida have mandated it. Personal care employees have to wear them. Businesses are encouraged to require them.

But the governor says it wouldn't be a good use of state resources to try to enforce a rule for everyone to wear them.

GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): Ultimately, we've got to trust people to make good decisions.

DR. JONATHAN REINER, DIRECTOR, CARDIAC CATHERIZATION LABORATORY & PROFESSOR OF MEDICINE, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL: What he should have said to the people of Florida is, I put you before anything else. Everyone who goes out in public must wear a mask.

TODD: But Governor DeSantis isn't alone. According to CNN research, 31 states do not have requirements for everyone to wear masks in public all the time. Nineteen states and Washington, D.C. do require them for everyone.

In states that don't, the rules go all over the place. Restaurant, retail and personal services employees have to wear masks. But other people don't.

In Texas, where there's no statewide requirement, Dallas County makes businesses require customers and employees to wear masks or be fined $500.

Experts say these varied, confusing rules could be lethal. DR. THOMAS INGLESBY, DIRECTOR, JOHNS HOPKINS CENTER FOR HEALTH SECURITY: Certainly is likely that absence of face coverings is contributing to disease spread in this country. It makes no sense that the policy is so inconsistent around the country.

TODD: In three states, which don't require everyone to wear masks in public all the time, Arizona, Texas and Florida, there are massive spikes in new coronavirus cases.

California, which is also experiencing a huge spike, made them mandatory in public a week ago.

Experts say it's time for mask wearing to be mandated across the country, for it to be normalized, and for that message to come from the president, who has resisted it.

DR. WILLIAM SCHAFFNER, PROFESSOR OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES, VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER: We're not getting clear communication and clear modeling from the highest office. And that's really something that we need.

TODD: But what about the argument many Americans make that it's their constitutional right not to wear a mask in public?

INGLESBY: It's not your right to drive 100 miles per hour on a local road where school kids are crossing the street.

REINER: Going out in public without a mask is like driving drunk. Even if you don't get hurt, you might kill somebody else.

TODD: (on camera) Medical experts acknowledge much of the overall information on this virus has been confusing and the information often changes.

But most of them agree the pure health information on masks is clear, they'll save lives during this pandemic.

And they say it's not just on the president and the governors to put that message out. Church leaders, principals, school presidents, and other community leaders, all have to get in on this.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


CABRERA: Still ahead, face of denial. Why the president lives by different rules in the time of coronavirus.

You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.



[15:37:31] UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: In Tulsa, you defied local health officials to have an event that, even though you say didn't result in a spike, dozens of Secret Service agents, dozens of campaign staffers are quarantined after positive tests.

And in Arizona, one of the hardest hit states, you packed a church with young people who weren't wearing masks.

So, how can you say that the campaign is not part of the problem that Dr. Fauci laid out?

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I want to remind you, again, that freedom of speech and the right to peaceably assemble is enshrined in the Constitution of the United States. And even in a health crisis, the American people don't forfeit our constitutional rights.


CABRERA: There you hear from Vice President Pence explaining why the Trump campaign doesn't have to follow CDC guidelines. At the same time, his Coronavirus Task Force is begging people to stay away from big crowds and to wear a mask.

Joining us now is CNN's Senior Political Analyst and "USA Today" columnist, Kirsten Powers, and CNN Political Commentator and Senior Columnist for "The Daily Beast," Matt Lewis.

Kirsten, our own Dana Bash said Pence's comments were bumping up against 5:00 folly territory, as in Vietnam-era press briefings when the government tries to tell people something totally at odds with what they're seeing with their own eyes.

Why is it so hard for this administration to say, there's a problem, it's a pandemic, and we need everyone's help?

KIRSTEN POWERS, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I don't know. That's a great question because it seems pretty obvious.

The idea that there's this free speech violation in requiring people to wear masks, this is ridiculous. The First Amendment has limits to it when it involves other people's safety.

For example, you cannot use language that incites violence. You can't yell "fire" in a crowded room or movie theatre. So there are limitations to it.

I think, if you look at the states, like take D.C., for example, where people have been required to wear masks in public since mid-May, compared to places where they haven't been required to, you can see an obvious difference.

So they've turned this into this political issue, this sort of partisan issue when it's just basic common sense and it's been shown to actually protect people's lives. CABRERA: Matt, at the very time that briefing was happening, the

president was tweeting about Confederate statues. We know he hasn't talked to his public health advisers in weeks.

And one White House official tells CNN, "He will never change on the mask. He doesn't want that picture. He knows masks are important. But he doesn't want that image or to admit he is wrong."


He is supposed to be the master brander, the guy who can sell anything. Why not harness that power and that talent in this area to sell everyone on wearing a mask?

MATT LEWIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: He could. He could have been more like Winston Churchill, someone who took this opportunity to summon us, to call us to, you know, our better angels, essentially.

And there's a side of him that did that for a little while. He at least dipped his toes in that. But then the devil on his shoulder always comes back.

I think that Donald Trump has this short attention span. He thinks wearing a mask actually makes him look weak and he wants to look tough.

And I think he just loves being out there. He thinks that his way of winning the election is doing rallies. And anything that's going to stop him from doing it, he views as the enemy.

So really, I think part of Donald Trump's problem is he's been very conflicted. Sometimes he says the right thing and then completely undermines that by his behavior.

CABRERA: It's interesting, though, how he answers other questions in which he's given an opportunity to change the conversation and change the subject.

I want you to listen to the president's answer when he asked by Fox's Sean Hannity this week what he would like to accomplish in a second term.


SEAN HANNITY, FOX HOST, "HANNITY": What are your top priority items for a second term?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: One of the things that will be really great -- you know, the word "experience" is still good. I always say talent is more important than experience. I've always said that.

I didn't know very many people in Washington. It wasn't my thing. I was from Manhattan, from New York. Now I know everybody. And I have great people in the administration.

You make some mistakes, like an idiot like Bolton.


CABRERA: So, Kirsten, what is his platform? What are his priorities?

POWERS: He doesn't seem to have any.

And I do think on the issue of the masks, it seems like what Donald Trump, his main agenda item is to keep his base happy and create division. And so around the mask issue, that is basically what he has done.

And he has portrayed it early on as some sort of attempt, as FOX News was doing until they finally started to change their tune a little bit, as people who were concerned about the coronavirus or wanting people to wear masks were only doing it to harm Donald Trump.

So everything kind of comes back around to being about Donald Trump, right, rather than the fact that there's a pandemic happening.

And by the way, was Italy in on it? None of it makes sense. It's a global pandemic. It has nothing to do with Donald Trump.

Yet, you still had Vice President Pence saying that we're in great shape right now.

We're not in great shape at all. We're seeing record cases in states like Arizona and California and Florida.

CABRERA: Right. And the curve that we have for the national averages did start to go over a peak and then it plateaued and now it's going back up again in a significant way.

And what we're seeing from this administration, what we're hearing from this administration isn't working politically either for this president. We're seeing his poll numbers continue to falter.

Matt, you wrote a piece titled, "Make No Mistake, Trump Can Still Win This Thing". You said, "The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he doesn't exist. The second greatest trick might be convincing America that Donald Trump is toast."

What's your main argument?

LEWIS: First of all, I'm old enough to remember October of 2016 when the "Access Hollywood" tape came out and nobody felt that Donald Trump had a chance to win, and he did. So I think we're all a little chastened and humbled by that.

But, look, we've still got four months to go. We've got big events that have to happen. There are probably going to be three debates. They're going to be a vice presidential pick by Joe Biden. There's maybe going to be some sort of a convention. There's a lot of ball game left to play.

And we've also seen in the past people lose polling advantages, like when George H.W. Bush was down by 14 or 15 points in July of 1988 to Michael Dukakis. And, of course, George came back.

And I think the last point would be, do we trust the polls. I'm not trying to be a poll truther. But it depends on what your expectations are of turnout.

And we've seen them now -- I will say one thing is that the polls are so -- there's so many states in play now that you have to be a little creative to imagine that the polls are all wrong.

But I do think we should be a little bit cautious based on what happened last time around.

CABRERA: Maybe put the polls aside and you just look at the issues. If he's running on a strong economy, and you have all these states hitting a pause on reopening, at least 11 that have taken action at this point, some starting to roll back and tighten the reigns a little bit, how do you see that impacting things, Matt?


LEWIS: Well, I mean, if I'm betting today, I'm with conventional wisdom. I would bet on Joe Biden. But never count Donald Trump out. We've got four months.

Now, if the economy starts to rebound -- because what makes this different than normal recessions, I think, is that Donald Trump's own government essentially put this economy on ice, which suggests that it could thaw more rapidly than a lot of recessions.

And again, just never count out Donald Trump.

There have been articles about Democratic strategists who were worried about a potential for, even if the trajectory is going in the right direction for Donald Trump, come November, you know, if the election were today - and I think a lot of Democrats wish it were today -- I certainly think Biden would win.

CABRERA: OK, got to leave it there.

Matt Lewis, Kirsten Powers, thank you both.

Quick programming note. Be sure to join CNN's Jake Tapper for a new CNN special report, "TRUMP AND THE LAW, AFTER IMPEACHMENT." It airs tomorrow night at 10:00 Eastern here on CNN.

The coronavirus numbers in Europe are down and they want it to stay that way. You may need to change your European vacation plans.

You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.



CABRERA: If you had travel plans to go to Europe this summer, you might be forced to reschedule. Diplomats from the E.U. say travelers from the U.S. and other

countries with severe coronavirus outbreaks are, quote, "unlikely to be allowed in" when it opens its borders on July 1st.

Let's bring in CNN International Diplomatic Editor, Nic Robertson.

Nic, do we know how they're assessing which countries meet their health standards?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, they've set a threshold of about 50 infections per 100,000 people, average, over 14 days. Currently, the United States is double that. The European Union is only about a third of that. So by that margin, the United States is over the threshold.

What the E.U. is doing, you know, they get together all 27 nations, the ambassadors all in one room, to work out these criteria. And then those become advice with a list for all the sort of member nations.

But I think, you know, one caveat worth remembering here is that this is only advice for those member nations. It is up to the individual countries whether or not they follow the E.U.'s advice,

So you know, it's not impossible that a couple of countries in Europe could choose to open their doors to U.S. citizens.

I mean, take Portugal, for example. Brazil currently has an even higher COVID infection rate than the United States. Portugal is allowing Brazilian citizens, because of the history between the two countries, allowing those citizens into Portugal.

But I think the view across the European Union, what the E.U. ambassadors are trying to do is, to get this comprehensive set of criteria that everyone will stick to.

Because they recognize, once they've opened the internal borders, anyone from the United States could travel more easily all around Europe. And their bottom line is the health of the half billion E.U. citizens.

So if U.S. citizens were allowed, say, for example, into France because France said they would come, that would have a knock-on effect across the rest of Europe.

So even though the nations have the choice to make up their own minds, there's going to be a lot of internal pressure in the E.U. to stick to those criteria, which, as it stands right now, the U.S. doesn't look like it will match.

CABRERA: So is this a hard-and-fast decision applying to every U.S. traveler or would there be some exceptions?

ROBERTSON: Sure. I think there's a couple ways to look at this. One is that the E.U. is going to revise and adjust every few weeks or so. They've said that this list of countries, of citizens that could come to the European Union, they hope that that list will grow. So there's an opportunity there for the infection rates in the United

States to come down, other mitigating factors to come down.

And also, we're hearing that this might not be a binary yes/no decision, that there perhaps might be some category of citizens in the United States, who have close family, relatives, and for special reasons they need to come to Europe.

So there could be caveats like that that get built in as well.

CABRERA: Nic Robertson, we know you're going to stay on it for us. Thank you.

COVID-19 has taken a devastating toll on the world. And now, after the traumatic death of George Floyd, emotions are running even higher. Experts say the sense of loss and anxiety we're feeling is at least, in part, grief.

Two "CNN Heroes," Mary Robinson and Annette March-Grier, have dedicated their lives to helping people learn to cope with loss. And this week, they are sharing their thoughts about what we are experiencing and how to get through it.


UNIDENTIFIED CNN HERO: Grieving is what we do when we lose someone or something we value. It's not just when someone dies.

There's a pandemic of grief right now. We're grieving the loss of our daily life, of all of our connections, of jobs. We have no control over it.


UNIDENTIFIED CNN HERO: And now, we're facing what has happened to George Floyd but we can use this traumatic experience as a growth opportunity.


The more we're able to act in a constructive way makes more meaning for us so that we can move forward.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's what it's all about.


CABRERA: About how you can deal with loss, go to

We're back right after this.


[16:00:03] CABRERA: Hello, again. You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera, in New York.

We begin with staggering new numbers as coronavirus cases surge in over half the United States.