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Pence Says The U.S. Is Opening "Safely And Responsibly" Even As Cases Surge In Many States; E.U. "Unlikely" To Allow U.S. Travelers In As Cases Spike; Florida Reports Nearly 9,000 New Cases, A New Single- Day High; Polls: Trump Losing To Biden In Key 2020 Battlegrounds; Saharan Dust Cloud Blankets Parts Of The U.S. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired June 27, 2020 - 07:00   ET




ANTHONY FAUCI, MEMBER OF THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION CORONAVIRUS TASK FORCE: If we don't extinguish the outbreak, sooner or later, even ones that have doing well are going to be vulnerable to the spread.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not only are things bad, they're as bad as they been right now, with regard to daily new infections.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The number of hospital admissions is increasing, the number of people requiring ICU is increasing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are advising and counseling them to move forward and reinstitute the stay at home order.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And for anybody who thinks this is over, I would just ask them to take a look at the data.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a sad moment. I never -- in all the modeling that we did and all the projecting that we never modeled the federal government that didn't take charge.


VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: A sober start to the day. Good to have you this Saturday. I'm Victor Blackwell. It is Saturday, June 27th.

BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Bianna Golodryga. Christy Paul is off. It's great to be with you this morning.

BLACKWELL: Good to have you this morning. Our national leaders are pushing this this upbeat message of where the U.S. stands in the fight against the coronavirus. But look at the data. It's a mess and it's just not matching up. Vice President Mike Pence says that all 50 states and territories are opening up safely and responsibly. But 11 states have now paused or even rolled back their reopening plans.

GOLODRYGA: And the Vice President also claims that the curve has been flattened. It has not. Yesterday, the U.S. saw the highest single day of new COVID-19 cases and 125,000 Americans have lost their lives. In a sign of how the world views those numbers, the European Union is reportedly close to finalizing an agreement to block American travelers.

BLACKWELL: In the U.S., the debate over public safety versus personal privacy leads now to major airlines, being told they can go ahead with devising a plan to contact trace passengers.

GOLODRYGA: No shortage of headlines this morning, as you can see. So, let's bring in CNN's Polo Sandoval who is following all of the latest for us. And Polo, what's the reality of what we're seeing in the majority of states across the U.S. since we don't seem to be getting the answer to that question from our leaders?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Bianna, the story is in the numbers, especially when you consider these spikes that we've seen in recent days throughout multiple states. And the result has been, the U.S. now surpassing its daily number of COVID cases, yesterday seen over 40,000 in just one day.

And at that first task force, Coronavirus Task Force briefing and in over two months, we heard Vice President say that that increase in numbers is a reflection of "success in expanding testing." But yet that promising picture painted by the vice president doing little to comedy concerns in many states that are choosing to either stop or reverse some of the reopening.


MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We did slow the spread, we flattened the curve.

SANDOVAL: A rosy national picture painted by the Vice President as several regions experienced a new pandemic peak. On Friday, more than 30 states reported seeing increases in New COVID cases, Florida among them. Sunshine State reported nearly 9,000 more COVID cases on Friday, a new single day record that as well as the rising number of positive COVID tests now fueling fears that Florida may be a new U.S. epicenter of the outbreak. Still, this Trump's supporting Florida residents says he's not alarmed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Frankly, I think the inconvenience to the general public and the economy is much worse than the disease itself. In Texas, Governor Greg Abbott hit the brakes on reopening and shifted into reverse ahead of the weekend, or during the closure of bars and a reduction in dining capacity at restaurants. In Houston, the Mayor shared harrowing data about the infection rates now three times higher than they were three months ago.

MAYOR SYLVESTER TURNER (D), HOUSTON, TX: The number of hospital admissions is increasing the number of people requiring ICU is increasing. The number of young people being affected is increasing. So, it is real.

SANDOVAL: And while the president is often seen without a mask, more regions are starting to require them, including some counties in Alabama, Utah and Palm Beach, Florida. Then, there's this from the houses, number three Republican Liz Cheney, a photo of her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney and the hashtag, #RealMenWearMasks. But the nation's current V.P. remain bear face that yesterday's briefing even as medical experts by aside we're covering up. One of them was Dr. Anthony Fauci with a warning that even states going in the right direction, aren't immune to a spike.

FAUCI: If we don't extinguish the outbreak, sooner or later, even ones that have doing well are going to be vulnerable to the spread.

SANDOVAL: Some U.S. travelers may soon face international travel restrictions. European Union officials plan to ban anyone traveling from countries still struggling to control the outbreak, among them, the United States.


SANDOVAL: And this week, those members of Coronavirus Whitehouse Task Force began discussions into this new approach on testing so called pool or batch testing. Bianna and Victor, we've heard about it already, this would essentially combine multiple samples into one test. We greatly reduced the number of tests but greatly increased the number of people being tested. But yesterday, when we heard from that task force, Bianna and Victor, we didn't hear an update on that.


BLACKWELL: We did not. Polo Sandoval, in New York, thank you. The White House next, and Sarah Westwood. Sarah, good morning to you. The signals from the President and Vice President clearly at odds with health professionals like Dr. Anthony Fauci.

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Good morning, Victor and Bianna, and we did see confusing signals yesterday from the task force during its first briefing in nearly two months. We had some members of that task force, the Vice President including, included applauding what they characterized as progress in the fight against pandemic and you had others on that task force warning about the dangers of what may lie ahead for people COVID-19.

And this is all coming as some Americans are experiencing whiplash as some states are eyeing the pause button on some of their reopening amid spikes in cases in places like Texas, for example where that state is hitting the pause button on in person bar service. But nonetheless, Vice President Pence yesterday at that task briefing touted the fact that states are reopening. Take a listen.


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


WESTWOOD: Now, Pence and House Secretary Alex Azar had more of a celebratory tone at that briefing yesterday. They were touting progress, and President and Vice President Pence was defending his decision, the President's decision, to return to the campaign trail for political events, some of them in hotspots, like this week's event in Arizona, despite the pandemic and despite the risks that they pose to the public when they ask people to gather in those large groups.

And you also heard public health experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci, having more of a cautionary tone and warning people to accept what he described as their societal responsibility to wear their masks and also warning that contact tracing has not been nearly as effective as scientists and experts had hoped it would be. I want you to take a listen to the opposing messages that we heard yesterday.


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

FAUCI: You have an individual responsibility to yourself, but you have a societal responsibility, because if we want to end this outbreak really ended and then hopefully when a vaccine comes and puts the nail in the coffin, we've got to realize that we are part of the process.


WESTWOOD: Now, all of this coming as the U.S. hit its single day record for new coronavirus cases. So Bianna and Victor, the curve there, very much not flattened, though the task force claimed otherwise.

GOLODRYGA: Yes, it was a surreal presser, to say the least. We also know that now a third White House staffer has tested positive for COVID-19, and at the White House is stepping up efforts to protect the president. Obviously, he's not wearing a mask but what else can you tell us about this?

WESTWOOD: Well, Bianna, CNN has learned that a senior economic official did test positive for coronavirus. This is someone that has been in the vicinity of President Trump including, for example, earlier this month appearing at a rose garden event with the president for privacy reasons. CNN is not naming that person, but like the fact that more than a half dozen campaign aides tested positive at President Trump's rally last weekend.

This is just another reminder that the danger to the general public but also to the President himself and the vice president remains very real and it's a reminder of what public health experts like CDC Director Robert Redfield have been warning about that taking measures to protect yourself and others can slow the spread of the virus. I want you to take a listen to his warning.


ROBERT REDFIELD, CDC DIRECTOR: I want to stress and thank all Americans to embrace the importance of social distancing recommendations, to slow the spread of COVID. It's our collective responsibility to recommit ourselves to put them into routine practice, again, to stay six feet apart from each other as much as possible, to wear face coverings when we're in public, and to practice vigorous hand hygiene.


WESTWOOD: And although as you mentioned Bianna, the President has not personally been wearing a mask when he appears in public. The White House is still taking measures to protect them, for example, they are continuing to test the people who will be around the president regularly, so they are working to keep the president from catching coronavirus even as he strives to move on from the pandemic and turn his focus to his reelection race.

GOLODRYGA: Even as the virus is in the house that he resides in and he still won't wear a mask and send him powerful message to the American public. Sarah Westwood, thank you.


For more on this, let's bring in CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Saju Mathew, he is also a Public Health Specialist, and Primary Care Physician in Atlanta. Dr. Mathew, I want to you to hear what Texas Governor Greg Abbott now says about opening bars in the state.


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 it's the coronavirus spread in the bar setting. And in you know how a bar setting in reality just doesn't work with a pandemic.


BIANNA: You know, I remember reading just last month that some of the state's most popular restaurants were booked -- you couldn't get a reservation into those hotspots. What is your reaction now to this realization coming to the governor?

DR. SAJU MATHEW, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Good morning, Bianna. We are in a public health crisis. We are in a public health storm at this point and justice You know, the governor had mentioned and I'm glad he admitted it. A lot of states Bianna opened too early. We didn't follow the metrics, the simple metric that the White House Task Force had put forward, of a downward trend of two weeks of cases was the minimum that we have to follow to open up.

I live in Atlanta in Georgia, and we opened too early with the bars, with the salons with the bowling alleys. And it's a no brainer. You open up, you get into gatherings and tight spaces, give it about four to six weeks. And this is what what's happening. And we're right there in Georgia, even though Texas and Florida are leading at this point.

BLACKWELL: So, bars are closing in Texas and in Florida. The increase we're seeing is that our bars responsible for that? I mean, I guess essentially the question is, is this enough to reverse the trend that we're seeing in at least Texas in Florida?

MATHEW: Yes, not at all, Victor. I think like I tweeted the other day, it's not enough to, to pause, we have to stop. And yes, I'm going to use the dreaded three words which is Stay at Home. The stay at home orders have to be reenacted.

Listen, the whole thing of contact tracing the Dr. Fauci mentioned, it's not going to work because this pandemic is out of control. The numbers are so high Victor, that the only way to even try to wrap your arms around this virus is to really pull back and to actually go to extreme measures at this point. So, it's not just the bars opening, it's a combination of everything that opened to early.

GOLODRYGA: Saju, can we go back to masks a Vice President Biden, a Democratic nominee, says that he would make it a presidential power -- he would use presidential power to require masks in public. Do you support that? Do you agree?

MATHEW: 100 percent, Bianna. I think math should be mandatory. I know, I know this morning. I'm sounding like an alarm, as I've always said on air that I don't want to be an alarmist, I am an alarmist. This is a dire situation.

And listen to this by wearing masks if 95 percent of Americans were mask, we can cut down the projected deaths in October from 180 thousand to 140 thousand that's 40,000 less people or less Americans that could potentially die. And you cut the risk of transmission by 50 percent, by wearing a simple mask around your nose and your mouth.

So yes, I'm in favor of making it mandatory. So, the numbers show us that a large portion of the new positive cases are younger people under the age of 35. We know that historically, the deaths from COVID have skewed older, so are you expecting I know you don't have a crystal ball, but expecting a commensurate increase in the number of younger people who will succumb to the disease, or will you expect that there will continue to be this divergence between the the age of the people who are now being diagnosed and those who are dying from, from the virus, I should say.

MATHEW: Yes, so Victor if you look at the numbers, you know, again 80 percent, I want to be able to mention both sides of the story. 80% of people will have mild to moderate disease and, and we'll be fine. But once again, you've got to look at the high-risk populations, the immunocompromised people, patients who are older, uncontrolled diabetes, cancer.

These are the patients that continue to be at higher risk. However, the other day, I was talking to an ICU friend of mine who is really worried about young patients that are admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 that might have long term lung complications, compromised lung complications, even after they recover.

And get this Victor, we're also talking about chronic fatigue syndrome in some of these young patients, which can really affect your quality of life. For the rest of the time that you're alive. So, I want to make it clear to our viewers that nobody is immune to COVID-19 and especially young people who are testing more, they're more mobile, Victor, they're moving around, and they can infect middle aged parents and older people as well. So, we really need to make sure that people realize everybody can be affected by this deadly virus.


BLACKWELL: Yes, there's a study out in The Lancet Medical Journal that shows just how dramatic and severe some of the, the impact of the virus can be even those who survive it. Dr. Saju Mathew, always good to have you, sir.

GOLODRYGA: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Thank you, Victor. All right. Up next, why key witness in the Russia investigation and formal advisor to the President's foreign policy team. He is going to prison for a decade.

GOLODRYINA: Plus, as teachers, parents and children anxiously wait for schools to reopen. The biggest questions on everyone's mind are: when and how can that happen safely? We'll look at how one state is preparing to get kids back to class.



BLACKWELL: George Nader who was a key witness in the Russia investigation and informally advised President Trump's foreign policy team has been sentenced to 10 years in prison. Earlier this year, Nader pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography and admitted bringing an underage boy to the U.S. for sex. These crimes occurred years before the 2016 election. Nader has already been in jail for more than a year and could apply for compassionate release because of the pandemic after he's transferred to a federal prison.

GOLODRYGA: Well, school districts across the country are weighing if and how students will return to class this fall and many parents have mixed feelings about returning as well.

BLACKWELL: CNN's Evan McMorris-Santoro has the story.


MARY MEKEEL, ENGLISH TEACHER: So, go sign into class.

EVAN MCMORRIS-SANTORO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The last week of school is usually a time for fun and celebration. But this year, at the Greenburgh Center School District just outside New York City, the end of the school year just brings big questions about the next one.

MEKEEL: We left in March thinking we would be back in two weeks. And here it's June, and we're packing up and do I set up for fall, cleanup and setup? I don't know.

SANTORO: Teachers like Mary Mekeel were allowed back inside their classrooms for the first time since the pandemic started.

MEKEEL: When I first came in, came in this morning I had winter stuff out still because it was cold. So, I put snowman away.

SANTORO: Cleaning out a time capsule of the day students left back in March.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To sort of leave things the way there was a little bit of a science fiction movie.

SANTORO: These days, going into a school building means temperature checks, and frequent disinfecting, where people go and what rooms they enter is closely monitored. And it's still not enough.

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order in early June, allowing schools to open for in-person instruction of special education students on July 6th. After scrambling to make it work, Greenburgh had to take a pass.

TAHIRA DUPREE-CHASE, GREENBURGH CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT SUPERINTENDENT: One of the reasons, I don't have enough stuff. The next reason, I don't have the therapists to provide the services that these children need.

SANTORO: Superintendent Tahira Dupree-Chase is now focused on planning for the fall. But that's also with challenge when nothing is certain.

CHASE: We're in the phase of making sure that we have multiple plans in preparation for whatever's going to happen in September. But planning is key. What I believe it's going to look like in September, if it does reopen is that we're going to have to have a hybrid model.

SANTOR: Under consideration, our plans for students to be in class half the day and online at home half the day. But that's not finalized yet. In fact, nothing is New York schools are still waiting for guidance from the state. The next school year is getting closer by the day.

How long do you have to make a decision about the number like when you got to make that call?

CHASE: Like now, but really like now. Actually, we don't have that much time because there has to be a point of planning, there has to be a point of then communicating that plan, because we do have parents who are apprehensive.

SANTORO: With that apprehension in mind, Greenburgh is developing a plan to let students who don't want their kids at school before there's a vaccine to send them to class completely online.

JOLAOLUWA HUSSEY, PARENT OF GREENBURGH STUDENT: I feel that we would have to wait until possibly February.

MONTA TIPPIT, PARENT OF GREENBURGH STUDENT: I think we should stay home until February when all of this virus is away so that everyone can be safe. SANTORO: Evan McMorris-Santoro, CNN, New York.


GOLODRYGA: So, Victor, it's clear, there's no teacher syllabus as to how to handle a pandemic, right. And no one knows what school is going to look like in the fall. You have schools in certain parts of the country that are expected to start in just a little over a month.

I have to say, I'm on a group chat with a bunch of moms from my school and every day we have conflicting messages. What do you do? Do we send them back? We want them in school. We're not doing a good job teaching them. We want them to be healthy as well. And that's the that's the predicament so many parents across the country are facing right now.

BLACKWELL: Yes. So, my community where I live in Georgia, they just kind of announced what they're going to do and giving parents an option. But it seems too early to give that option when we really don't have all the details about what school will look like if you send them back into the building at the start of the new academic year.

GOLODRYGA: That's right. It's when you're seeing more flare ups, right?

BLACKWELL: Yes, especially now.

GOLODRYGA: Yes. So, you -- I think, I think this hybrid model is what we're going to be seeing, but we're going to be talking to Arnie Duncan, the Former Secretary of Education in the Obama administration, later this morning just on this topic, and he says now is really the right time to transform K through 12 education for good, we're going to ask him why. That's going to be at 10:00 am right here on CNN.


BLACKWELL: All right, looking forward to that. Up next, don't make any plans to visit Europe this summer because the E.U. is setting up to ban U.S. travelers next week over the surge in the coronavirus cases in the US. We're going to take you live to London


BLACKWELL: Vice President Mike Pence reached a deal with airline executives yesterday over contact tracing. Until now, airlines have been opposed to keeping detailed information on passengers on who may have come in contact with coronavirus. They said, it would overwhelm their computer systems.

GOLODRYGA: But yesterday they came to a compromise, and instead they'll use a third-party app and Web site where passengers can put in the information themselves. Also discussed in that meeting was the fallout of a potential travel ban for Americans heading to Europe. Diplomats from the E.U. say, U.S. travelers are "unlikely to be allowed in once E.U. fully reopens in July." BLACKWELL: So, the ban would also include Russia and Brazil, countries

that have been deemed unable to curb the coronavirus. Let's bring in our CNN International Diplomatic Editor Nic Robertson, who is in London this morning. And Nic, everyone will remember that it was the U.S. who first kept out Most travelers from the E.U. and now tables of journey.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, that was the middle of March, wasn't it? And now, it looks like it's going to be more likely citizens from Canada or on Australia, or on South Korea. The countries that have kept COVID infection rates lowed the ones that the European Union will allow in.

And that's very simply because they're applying a criteria that compares the infection rates in the E.U., which are about 15 per 100,000 people with those in the other countries. In the United States, is many times over that level at the moment.

Well, and of course, one concern for the E.U. is they don't want to be buying figures, if you will -- face value from just any country around the world. They are looking at the quality of testing. They are looking at the quality of reporting on that testing.

And clearly, the United States measures up to the -- to the high standards that you would expect. The testing is done rigorously, the testing is done well, the numbers are reported accurately.

Just unfortunately, those numbers are going to preclude the United States -- citizens from the United States coming to the E.U. There's another criteria as well, and that's the reciprocity. And you mentioned at the beginning, you know, with E.U. citizens banned from going to the United States, that is also a criteria for the E.U., they want -- they want this two-way traffic. So, there's a couple of hurdles here.

GOLODRYGA: Well, however, you look at it, Nic, it's not great company to be in with Russia and Brazil here. But like you said, they're looking at the numbers, so, they had no other choice. But let me ask you, is this a blanket ban? Just a simple yes or no decision for all Americans, or will there be some exceptions?

ROBERTSON: Yes, I know. I think the E.U. is very conscious of the messaging. And the relationship with the United States at the moment, you know, possible if you have another trade war brewing, they don't want to exacerbate the situation.

So, it may be that it isn't just a binary situation, a simple yes, no. There may be some categories of citizens. Let's say, citizens who've got family inside -- living in Europe. That they have specific needs and reasons that they need to visit them. There may be exceptions like that for key workers and for some other areas. So, we may see some openings like that.

But it's not clear, these decisions really the E.U. is taking to protect, you know, half a billion people here protect their health.

GOLODRYGA: That's right. And the E.U. says they will revisit this, this rule every few weeks. So, this isn't an indefinite ban for now. But it's still quite a shock for Americans. Nic Robertson, thank you.

BLACKWELL: Up next, as coronavirus cases surged, President Trump's polling numbers are dropping.



BLACKWELL: So, I've got a little more than four months until the 2020 election. And the president's reelection bid appears to be in some serious trouble. Let's check the polls. The New York Times Siena College poll released this week has President Trump 14 points behind the former Vice President Joe Biden nationally.

New swing state data from the time shows the president losing by double digits in Michigan and Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Mid-single digits in North Carolina and Arizona and Florida, all states that helped him win in 2016.

The Fox News poll out of the South shows the president behind in Georgia, and North Carolina, and Texas.

Let's talk now with CNN Political Analyst Margaret Talev. She's also the politics and White House editor for Axios. Good morning, Margaret.


BLACKWELL: So, when numbers are this bad, for this long, this close to an election, there's usually some type of shake up. Either the message or the management, you know, the message from the White House, the management of the campaign.

Is there any indication that either is on the horizon?

TALEV: Yes. I mean, Victor, it's a great question and this really -- the Trump for the president is that it appears that so much of this is going to his personal response when it comes to the corona virus and to the killing of George Floyd and the protests that have ensued.

And so, there has been scrutiny on his campaign manager Brad Parscale, as he getting good advice from the people on the campaign, from the people on the White House. But we're seeing mostly his instincts playing out here with everything from messaging on face masks to whether to hold large rallies and to how to deal with sort of these major social issues that are straining and testing the nation right now. And, and you can't really see this in some of the numbers when you go a little bit deeper.

The president seems to have a problem among his base on just a question of competency and the ability to manage such a massive crisis like this. We've really seen an erosion in his support among white college-educated men. And that is a real potential problem for the president.

BLACKWELL: So, there was this moment that I'm really surprised, isn't a bigger deal, where he was asked during this Town Hall on Fox News just a basic question of what do you want to do? What's your priority for the second term?

If you have not seen this, take a moment focus and watch what the president's response was, and see if you hear a priority.


SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS CHANNEL HOST: A priority items for a second term.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, 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. But the word experience is a very important word, it's an -- a very important meaning.


TRUMP: I never did this before. I never slept over in Washington. I was in Washington, I think, 17 times. Do you make some mistakes, like, you know, an idiot like Bolton, all he want to do is drop bombs on everybody? You don't have to drop bombs on everybody. You don't have to kill people.


BLACKWELL: And that's really the not an answer, Margaret.

TALEV: Right. If you were watching that, and you were trying to figure out what the takeaway is, it said he didn't answer the question. He did answer at length a different question in that interview with Sean Hannity, you know, talking about what did he think was his biggest accomplishment in the first term.

And actually, if you were to playback, that it would be confusing also, because he ended up saying like 15 different things, but he focused on a couple of things in that answer. He talked about judicial nominees; he talked about an attention he played to the U.S. military.

But one of second question, what would you do in the next four years? He really didn't have an answer. And I think, both for he and for Joe Biden, who, of course has been a vice president before, and he's going to be asked about would he try to duplicate another Obama administration? Or would he try change things?

Both for Trump and for Biden, it's going to be a central for them to have answers to this question. If you were elected, what would you do to take us out of a massive, massive crisis.

BLACKWELL: Yes, several crises, at the same time. So, we put up at the start into this -- intro to you, Margaret, the state polls that the president is down in Michigan, in Wisconsin, in Pennsylvania, and Florida, Arizona, North Carolina, and Georgia, and Texas.

What does this mean for the House and Senate Republicans? Are we starting to see some of -- some of them squirm?

TALEV: It obviously could have massive down take an implications, but we're really not seeing -- by any standard measure, we're not seeing like the abandonment of the president or anything like that. It is June. It's like June, but it's still June.

If the election were held next week, this would be a terrible problem for the president, and for all Republicans. The election is still quite a ways away. And so, I think the president is going to try to spend the summer, figuring out how he can get the attention back on July, and then pummeled him, in a hope that that's enough to reverse fortunes.

But when you see on the margins, races where Biden technically may have been winning, in places like Texas or Georgia, that's a real problem for the president. I mean, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Florida, are states that he must hold. He can't lose Arizona.

When you -- if those are sustained gaps that last more than a month or two, he will have a real problem if his numbers are there at Labor Day. And I think we'll see if the campaigning respond accordingly.

BLACKWELL: Yes, that's the -- management or the message that we discussed at the top.

Margaret Talev, always good to have you. Enjoy the weekend.

TALEV: You too. Thanks, Victor.

GOLODRYGA: Well, we can tell you what the president is thinking with these days, and of course, that has to do with monuments. He has signed an executive order to protect them. The president characterized recent attempts to remove racist or problematic monuments as an attack on American heritage.

There are already federal laws protecting monuments, but this new executive order, directs the Justice Department to prioritize, investigating, and prosecuting anyone charge with vandalism.

BLACKWELL: A police body cam video from Richmond, Virginia shows launching fireworks at a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. A police say that protesters fired paintballs, and threw some other things in officers.

One officer's helmet was hit. He was taken to a hospital. Six people were arrested.

GOLODRYGA: And coming up, the global race to find a viable coronavirus vaccine. We'll hear from the leader of the vaccine team at Imperial College London, as their human trials get under way.



BLACKWELL: -- as Fuel". Let's talk about it. CNN Health Contributor Lisa Drayer, explains how, what you eat can ease some of the symptoms of severe headaches and migraines.

LISA DRAYER, CNN HEALTH CONTRIBUTOR: A common cause for headaches is dehydration. But one way to combat that is to consume more fluids. You should aim to drink eight glasses of water a day and be sure to add water rich fruits and vegetables to your diet, like watermelon, radishes, and cucumbers.

Another way to fight headaches is with magnesium. Research shows some people who experience migraine headaches have lower magnesium levels than those who don't. Foods that can boost your magnesium levels include spinach, pumpkin seeds, almonds, tuna fish, beans, and whole grains.

To help reduce the frequency of migraines, you may consider adding a vitamin B to supplement, also known as riboflavin to your diet. You can also eat more riboflavin rich foods, like yogurt, milk, fortified breakfast cereals, lean meats, eggs and Portobello mushrooms.


GOLODRYGA: There's some promising news to tell you about in the race for a coronavirus vaccine. Human trials are underway for a vaccine in the U.K. It was created by a clinical team at Imperial College London, and it's based on new technology called, self-amplifying RNA.

BLACKWELL: Now, according to researchers, the vaccine has produced encouraging results after undergoing rigorous safety testing. It is one of many trials that are taking place across the world right now. And earlier, we spoke to Professor Robin Shattock, he's leading the human trial.

ROBIN SHATTOCK, HEAD, MUCOSAL INFECTION AND IMMUNITY, IMPERIAL COLLEGE LONDON: We can make the equivalent to 2 million doses in a liters worth of reaction. Typically, other vaccines might need a thousand or 10,000.

So, the scalability is really promising for this approach. And given that there are 7 billion people that are going to need a vaccine; we need as many different approaches that may work to be able to rapidly make vaccines available for those who need it.


BLACKWELL: Professor Shattock, I mean, this may be a silly question, but I'm not a scientist. So, help me out here.

In reading about your first volunteer who now this has -- this sample, this test, that this is a healthy volunteer, you're going to need 300 healthy volunteers. Am I to read that as that these person -- these persons do not have the coronavirus and it would -- at what point in this process do you administer this to people who are COVID positive? SHATTOCK: So, these are -- these are all screened show they haven't been infected with the virus before. Because obviously, we need to prevent them from future infection, but we will be looking at whether this vaccine boosts immune response.

In people that have had the virus, because we know that the type of immune response they elicit may not be strong enough to prevent reinfection for prolonged periods of time. So, we'll be looking at that as well in pretty short order.

GOLODRYGA: And in terms of when we can see a global vaccine available, we know that typically vaccines take years to hit the market. Obviously, you've got a lot of researchers and a lot of money going at COVID-19 right now.

Doctor Fauci, expressed some optimism and well -- as well said that we could possibly see a vaccine hit the market by the end of this year or next year. Do you share that optimism?

SHATTOCK: I think that's certainly possible. I think probably, beginning of next year is more realistic. Of course, we don't know with any of these candidates that are being developed, whether they'll be successful. And that's why it's really important that we have quite a few candidates now in clinical testing, so that we reduce the risk of any single one not making the grade.

BLACKWELL: So, a little more from Professor Shattock about that first volunteer who received the trial -- the vaccine last week, it could be a months before researchers know if it is effective.

GOLODRYGA: Nonetheless, it is very promising.


GOLODRYGA: Well, the Justice Department is warning people about cards distributed on Facebook that discourage people from wearing masks.

BLACKWELL: So, maybe you've seen this. The cards are designed to look legitimate. There's an eagle. The words, face mask exempt card, bold letters there across the top. Also references the Department of Justice, and you see the American with Disabilities Act, if you look closely referenced.

The group distributing the cards is accused of spreading this information like the falsehood that masked wearing dangerously limits oxygen.

GOLODRYGA: So, viewers should be aware. Well, coming up, a huge Saharan dust cloud has hit the U.S. But if you can cope with the allergies it brings, you could be in store for some vivid sunsets and sunrises. We're trying to bring you any kind of good news we can.

BLACKWELL: A little bit.

GOLODRYGA: We'll tell you where it's headed next.



GOLODRYGA: Well, from a global pandemic, to murder hornets, Victor, you may be wondering what else 2020 could possibly have in store.

BLACKWELL: When I heard about the murder hornets, and in the locust in Africa, and -- well, listen.

GOLODRYGA: Biblical.

BLACKWELL: And we've got something else for you now, a giant dust storm. All the way from Africa, officially landing now in the U.S.

GOLODRYGA: Well, CNN Meteorologist, Allison Chinchar is with us. Allison, what in the world is going on here?

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: And I feel like I'm always the one to bring the good news here to the show that yes, they're not so much news today.

So, yes. So, let's take a look. Because we've now started to see some really impressive photos and video starting to come in from all across areas of the southeastern U.S. This video that you're seeing here, again, showing from an airplane view. So, looking down, but again, it just --- it looks very hazy, very smoky out there, but that is the Saharan dust that you're taking a look at.

In addition to that, here is an interesting before and after picture. This is from Flagler Beach, Florida. This is before. Beautiful blue skies. This is now what it looked like on Thursday. Again, the before picture and the after picture.

Again, just going to show you how hazy that air has become just because of having some of that Saharan dust move into the general vicinity. To show you how long it has tracked -- again, this is a very interesting graphic. Again, showing where it's come from, Africa seen from space sliding into areas into the southeast.

So, it's made quite a long journey to get here and it's also very dense, and that's been the key thing. Dust coming off of the Sahara Desert into areas of the United States is not uncommon. But this has been particularly dense, which is why you have such very cloudy and obscured skies.

Here is a look at where we expect it to go over the next couple of days. Keep in mind, some of the main concerns; it's going to limit visibility obviously, but also poor air quality. So, if you suffer from asthma or you tend to have breathing problems, please try to limit your exposure outside during this time because of that.

One perk, however, is that it will make for beautiful sunrises and sunsets just like the one you see here. And again, this time-lapse, same thing showing a lot of those bright orange, red, and even yellow colors beyond and Victor. So, at least, there is one positive aspect to this, which is you will have some beautiful sunrise and sunsets. BLACKWELL: Well, thank you because there's no positive aspect of murder hornets and locusts. So, this is good. Thank you, Allison.

GOLODRYGA: Thanks, Allison.

BLACKWELL: Next hour starts now.



PENCE: We slowed the spread, we flattened the curve, we saved lives.