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Congress Demand Trump Administration Explain Russia Bounty Intel; Intelligence On Bounties Was In Daily Briefings; U.S. Supreme Court Blocks Controversial Abortion Law; India Bans TikTok And 58 Other Mobile Apps Amid Tensions With China; More Major Companies Join Facebook Ad Boycott; South Africa Turns Recreational Center Into Field Hospital; Coronavirus Pandemic; U.K. City Of Leicester Faces Tough New Restrictions; Covid-19 Fight In South Africa Is A Marathon; Israel Expected To Move Forward With Plans To Annex Parts Of The West Bank; States Pause Their Re-Opening Due to Spike in Coronavirus; GOP on Board for Wearing a Mask; E.U. Released its List of 15 Countries Allowed to Enter Their Border; China's Parliament Passed Controversial Law. Aired 3-4a ET
Aired June 30, 2020 - 03:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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, in a rare break from President Trump, some top Republicans endorsed the wearing of face masks as COVID-19 cases rise across the United States.
And a divided Supreme Court strikes down a controversial law in Louisiana. What this could mean for abortion rights.
Plus, what did the president know? Details are emerging of an allege Russian plot to kill U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan and how aware of it Mr. Trump actually was.
Good to have you with us.
Mixed messages, U-turns, and a warning. With the July 4th weekend looming, COVID-19 isn't taking a holiday. A top doctor tells CNN the country is in a worse place today than it was on Memorial Day when the disease appeared to be on the decline. In fact, the U.S. continues to lead the world in the pandemic. Accounting for about one quarter of the 10 million cases. And also, a quarter of the more than half a million lives lost.
Infections are rising in 31 U.S. states. And 17 of them are now pausing, or rolling back their re-openings. Among them Florida, which is center stage right now for its dramatic spike in infections. Just this weekend, in California, Los Angeles is shutting down its beaches for the holiday weekend after coronavirus cases top 100,000. And officials say they are keeping a close watch on hospital capacity.
More now on the spike in cases of Florida where local officials are being forced to make tough decisions regarding face masks, and beach closures.
Randi Kaye brings us the details.
RANDI KAYE, CNN INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: The numbers here in the state of Florida for coronavirus cases continue to spike. More than 5,200 cases in a single day for this day. That's off the high from Saturday which was a record high in the state of Florida of more than 9,500 cases.
The governor here is saying that it's mostly young people, age 25 to 34 who are testing positive for the virus. That's why he has closed bars in the state. But he certainly hasn't closed all the beaches. Though many of the local communities have decided to do that on their own. Here in Palm Beach County where I am, they have closed the beaches for the July 4th holiday weekend.
They've also done that in Miami-Dade and in Broward County. Those are the three hardest hit counties in southern Florida. sixty percent of the coronavirus cases coming out of there. Also, some counties and areas around the state are deciding to mandate that people have to wear face masks including Jacksonville, Florida where the Republican National Convention is supposed to take place on August 24th to August 27th.
The mayor there now mandating masks. But the governor once again saying he is not sure if masks will be required at the convention yet. He is hoping that things will be fine he says, in a couple of months. And there won't be masks required at that convention. We will have to see what happens. Back to you.
CHURCH: Thanks for that. And we just heard what's happening in Florida. Texas and Arizona are also among the U.S. states suffering from COVID complications. Despite a surge in infections, some bar owners in Texas are getting legal, suing the governor over an emergency order shutting down their businesses.
And Arizona is back under a partial shutdown. It's also closing bars along with gyms and movie theaters for a second time. In the U.S., more than two and a half million cases, and more than 126,000 deaths later.
A growing number of leading Republicans are finally embracing wearing face masks to slow down the coronavirus. A majority of states have some type of mask requirement in place. With officials saying that face coverings are not a political statement but the only way to keep loved ones healthy and keep the country open for business.
And the top U.S. Senate Republican Mitch McConnell agrees.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MAJORITY LEADER: We must have no stigma, none, about wearing masks. When we leave our homes and come near other people. Wearing simple face coverings is not about protecting ourselves, it is about protecting everyone we encounter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Now Texas doesn't have a statewide face mask requirement. But nine cities, including Dallas and Houston, require face coverings in public. Houston's mayor says the city has had a surge in COVID-19 cases where the positivity right there has gone from 3 percent in April and May to 13 percent now. And hospitals are struggling to keep up with the rising number of patients.
CNN's Miguel Marquez has more.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Houston, Texas, now home to a major coronavirus outbreak. A procedure all too common when treating the most seriously ill with the virus. This patient on a ventilator, the breathing tube being replaced to improve oxygen flow to the lungs.
The tube pulled out. Caked with dried secretions from the lungs rife with the coronavirus. The new tube immediately improves oxygen flow.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is the first one for today.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So that was --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We had to change a tube. Somebody that has no oxygen he could have died. His tube (Inaudible) function. It has a little balloon at the end. There was a rupture so he was not getting enough oxygen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUEZ: United Memorial Center a 117-bed hospital serving a mostly working-class community in north Houston.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSEPH VARON, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, UNITED MEMORIAL MEDICAL CENTER: The last three weeks I've seen more admissions and sicker patients than in the previous 10 weeks. So, it's been an exponential increase on the severity of illness and the number of cases.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUEZ: Its COVID unit expanding way beyond its intensive care unit by turning whole sections of the hospital into temporary airtight chambers. Creating negative pressure zones to keep the airborne virus moving up and out.
Protective gear now so abundant that everyone triples up. Some employees are getting through eight sets or more of PPE in a single shift. In the hundred days they have been treating patients with coronavirus, only one nurse has developed the sickness. She is now being treated by her own colleagues.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUEZ: You are the frontline worker in the battle against COVID, and you now have it.
TANNA INGRAHAM, ICU NURSE, UNITED MEMORIAL MEDICAL CENTER: Yes, and I wouldn't wish on my enemy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUEZ: The isolation of the disease is difficult to deal with, even for someone who knows what to expect. Her thoughts now are with her 9 and 10-year-old daughters.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUEZ: What would you to Madelaine (Ph) and Abigail (Ph) right now?
INGRAHAM: Baby, mommy loves you and misses you. I hope you are having a great time in California. OK, I'm done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUEZ: Dr. Varon, who has now worked for more than 100 days without stop, has become a sort of coronavirus specialist.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VARON: So, we have two types of patients. Those that have COVID, and those who will get COVID. My concern as a health care provider is that when they get sick, they don't all come to me at the same time which is what's happening at the present time. And that's what's going to kill patients because we won't have enough resources.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUEZ: This is something that worries healthcare workers, that surge of patients seeking care. The coronavirus can make people sick, it can kill people, but if you have enough people pushing in and trying to get care all at the same time, that could overwhelm systems in Texas and in other states. And that could lead to many more deaths.
Back to you.
CHURCH: CNN medical analyst Dr. Saju Matthew joins me now. He is a primary care physician and a public health specialist. Good to have you with us.
SAJU MATTHEW, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Nice to be with you, Rosemary. CHURCH: So, the World Health Organization says the pandemic is not even close to being over. And that is exactly what we are seeing in America with 46 states have either increased or a flattening of cases, only four states are seeing declines in cases.
And this map shows the situation is worse now than it was back on May 25th, on Memorial Day. So how is that even possible when other nations across the globe are getting back to normal? What is going on here?
MATTHEW: Yes. You know, it's a good question, Rosemary. As a public health specialist, I'm telling you, I'm just really disappointed. The other day I mentioned on air how upset I am. I always used to say I don't want to be alarmist. But guess what. We are in a public health crisis. A public health disaster, and I think it really boils down to this one thing.
We opened too early. We didn't follow the task force metrics of two weeks of cases that have to go down, dwindle to such a small number that we can actually do contact tracing and isolation. At this point, what the numbers surging in a few states it's going to be really difficult to do it. And we just didn't follow the metrics, in my opinion.
CHURCH: And doctor, health Secretary Alex Azar says the window is closing to get a handle on this to control the virus. But the one thing that could do that is the wearing of masks. And while the vice president is now telling people to just that, the president is not. And he is not wearing one. He is not taking the lead on this.
So, there is mixed messaging that are confusing people. What is your advice to everyone when it comes to mask? And why can't some people understand this?
MATTHEW: You know, I hope, Rosemary. that people are finally getting it. At least, you know, this few days ago, Dr. Birx mentioned how the masks not only protects other people from me as the mask wearer, it also protects me as well.
And I'm really hoping, and I tweeted this the other day, that I'm hoping that finally with that message people will understand that OK, if I want to protect you, at least hey, I can protect myself. And we've gone over the numbers. A deep base in 50 percent of transmission, Rosemary, when you wear the mask.
And as you and I talked about the last time, if 95 percent of Americans wear the mask, by October we can cut down deaths by 40,000. I don't know how else to say it. It's really simple. And people should just do it to save lives.
CHURCH: yes. Not sure why that message isn't getting through. But infectious diseases expert Dr. Anthony Fauci warns that a vaccine will only be about 75 percent effective. And his concern is that about a third of Americans say they won't even take the vaccine when and if it becomes available. What could that mean for this country in terms of herd immunity and living a normal life? MATTHEW: I am a primary care doctor. And I'm telling you, I already
read the fall when we are going to have both flu like illness or influenza combined with COVID-19. I have difficulty as it is convincing my patients to get a flu vaccine. It's going to be really difficult to convince Americans now to get a brand-new vaccine.
And I'm encouraging viewers listening all over the world to start talking to your doctors about your concerns regarding not wanting a vaccination. I understand a lot of the concerns. you don't know about the safety, will it work? But ultimately, the only way out of this pandemic, other than good antiviral medication, Rosemary, is a vaccine.
CHURCH: Yes, and only 45 percent of adult Americans take the flu shot. So that is a concern to. Just very quickly, how ready is this country for more hospitalizations? And will there be enough personal protective equipment for medical staff this time around?
MATTHEW: I worry about that a lot. I worry about the states in Florida, in California, in Texas right now, where there are surges. I've actually talked to quite a few E.R. physicians in Georgia and in couple of other states in the south and the big worry is while the government is saying that we are send this to you, will they have it right now as the need arises?
And the bottom line is, it depends on which hospital you are talking to. If you are talking to places like in Georgia, where we don't see the cases, yes. A lot of the hospitals are ready. But if you talk to hospitals in Texas, in Florida, they are concerned.
They're really upset not really sure if they will actually have the equipment ready to go as the patients come in.
CHURCH: It is a real worry. But we thank you, doctor, for all you do. Dr. Mathew, thanks for talking with us.
MATTHEW: Thank you, Rosemary.
CHURCH: In the next few hours, the E.U. is set to announce a new list of who exactly will be allowed to travel to Europe, and Americans are not expected to be on it. That is according to two E.U. diplomats speaking to CNN.
So, who will be allowed to get in? Well, here is a proposed list of 15 countries right now. Some you might expect to see like New Zealand. But others might surprise you like China, where the virus originated.
So, let's go to Frederik Pleitgen, he joins us from Brussels with the very latest. Good to see you, Fred. So, what is the latest on this? And what's the justification for including China on the list?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Well, first of all, we do expect the next about two and a half hours, Rosemary, that this list will be officially published by the European Union. And then it's going to actually be enacted tomorrow on July 1st when the folks from the countries that are mentioned there on that list are going to be coming back to, or are able to come back to the European Union.
And of course, with the United States, you are absolutely right. From everything we are hearing, U.S. travelers are not going to be allowed back here in Europe. And in the end, the European Union has time and again said all of this is simply down to medical criteria. It comes down to the virus situation in the countries of origin of folks who want to come here to the European Union.
But obviously, European health officials and political officials have deemed that folks from those 15 countries are going to be able to come here while the situation in the United States simply isn't at a point where they are going to be able to let Americans back into European Union countries for all the reasons that were just discussed in the last segment.
Because of all the surges, all the outbreaks that are currently going on right now. There are a lot of officials in European countries who are extremely concerned about the situation of the coronavirus in the United States.
I've spoken to some German officials who also say that it's not just the fact that the virus is surging itself, but also the whole political debate that's going on around wearing masks, going on around social distancing, going on around the lockdowns that really has a lot of European officials concerned as well.
And for China, China is actually an interesting outlier on that list. Because if you look at some of it, they say, look, 14 countries are being allowed back in, and then China. But China only also if it allows travelers from Europe to come back to China.
Clearly, the European Union believes that the Chinese have beaten the virus back that the situation in most places there is under control once again. But at the same time, they also do want something from the Chinese back. They want Europeans to be able to go back to China as well if they are going to allow Chinese travelers in.
So that's going to be -- it's a bit of an outlier. But you are absolutely right. They are allowing the Chinese back in despite the fact that of course that's where the virus originated. But they do believe that by and large, Chine -- the Chinese authorities have the situation there under control at the moment, Rosemary.
CHURCH: All right, many thanks to our Fred Pleitgen joining us live from Brussels. I appreciate it.
And still ahead, Beijing reportedly passes a controversial security law for Hong Kong. Now its people wait to see how sweeping the law will be.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. We are tracking some major developments out of Hong Kong where local media reports China's parliament has passed a controversial national security law for the city. State media in the mainland has said the law would criminalize acts against the central government, like what it calls secession and terrorism.
Critics say the law attacks political freedoms. And protesters march through Hong Kong over the weekend to make sure officials were aware. The law's potential reach is still unknown since official details haven't been released.
While at the same time the U.S. is ending exports of defense equipment to Hong Kong. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made the announcement saying it's necessary to protect national security as tensions with China keep rising.
Pompeo added, that if Beijing is treating Hong Kong as one country, one system, so must the United States.
And for more, I'm joined by CNN's Will Ripley. Standing by outside the China liaison office in Hong Kong, and our Steven Jiang who joins us live from Beijing. Good to see you both.
So, Will, let's go to first. And we don't yet know the details of this new law, but what's been the reaction in Hong Kong so far to this?
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We could be learning some of those details, Rosemary, in the coming minutes as you mentioned. We're outside the China liaison office which is where there are face to face meetings that we believe are happening and have been happening for the last 20 minutes or so between Hong Kong officials and Chinese government officials. Perhaps shedding some light on what exactly is contained inside this national security law.
It has been kept a secret from the Hong Kong government. It was very telling earlier when the chief executive of Hong Kong, Carrie Lam wasn't able to answer any questions after reports that the law had unanimously passed in Beijing by China's ruling body. Because Hong Kong was bypassed completely.
This was drafted in secret. It was voted upon in Beijing. But it will possibly forever change life for some people here in Hong Kong, certainly for pro-democracy activists. We know that things like terrorism, secession, subversion, and colluding with foreign forces will now be outlawed. And if they are enforced here, like they are in the mainland, it could effectively silence any voices of opposition that the central government in Beijing deems to be offensive.
You can see they're sitting up the microphones right now for a press conference, we will be out here monitoring for that as well. You can also see there are police officers who are out here, you know, standing outside of these barricades which surround this office.
Most police stations and government offices here in Hong Kong after so many months of unrest last year. And yet, there has not been a single substantial protest that we have been aware of today, Rosemary.
In fact, I was at a location earlier that I remember last year would regularly be shut down by protesters. Almost nobody turned out. So it seems as if this is already having some kind of a chilling effect because the penalties for protesting, for spray painting slogans like what we saw when the legislative council building was occupied for several hours one year ago tomorrow, painting things on the wall like Hong Kong is not China, or destroy the communist party, well, there are fears that that could land protesters potentially in prison for life under this new law. But we'll wait to hear the details, Rosemary.
CHURCH: And we'll come to you as soon as we hear those details. Will Ripley joining us from Hong Kong. Many thanks. And, Steven, let's go to you now in Beijing. How is this being reported across China? And how big a win is this for President Xi Jinping.
STEVEN JIANG, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER: Well, Rosemary, as Will mentioned, officially, they have made the announcement of the passage of this law, so we are expecting just as he is to hear more details in the coming hours.
But of course, from Beijing's perspective this is long overdue. Almost 23 years after Hong Kong's sovereignty return to Hong Kong. Remember, the Hong Kong local authorities for years just unable to pass a similar law. The last time they tried in 2003, it triggered huge protests on the street.
Now since then, of course we have seen many more such protests and demonstrations on the streets of Hong Kong against Beijing. And really, especially including this latest protest movement that began last year that really shook the Beijing leadership. Reinforcing this notion in their mind that Hong Kong had become this passion of anti- China sentiment, and anti-China activities.
Not only they are seeing this growing movement about democracy or pro- democracy causes but also a pro-Hong Kong independence movement. And again, the way Beijing see it instigated and supported by hostile foreign powers especially from Washington.
That's why they think the law, this law is not only highly necessary but also increasingly urgent to defend China's core national interest in Hong Kong. That is their sovereignty and security. That's why Beijing decided to take this matter into this their own hands bypassing the Hong Kong legislature and with the 161 members of the NPC standing committee behind closed doors discussing, and now apparently, voted for this law. Rosemary?
CHURCH: Al right. Steven Jiang, many thanks for bringing that live report from Beijing.
Well the U.S. Supreme Court has blocked a controversial abortion law from going into effect. Rights groups are cheering the ruling but the decision could open the door to future cases. And we will have details next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Well, Congress is demanding the Trump administration explain what it knew about reports U.S. Intelligence warned that Russia offered bounties to Taliban fighters to kill American troops. A U.S. Official tells CNN that intelligence report was included in one of the president's daily briefings sometime in the spring of this year.
Both the president and the White House maintain the president was not personally briefed on the alleged bounty threat. The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee tells our Jim Acosta this raises more questions.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): We can't rely on anything the president says or anything the president's people say about him and certainly can't rely on the press secretary to give the honest truth about something. So, we just don't know. But it's really, I think a problem either way, or that is the agency's either told him and he's denying it or they didn't tell him and, you know, we'd like to find out why.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: CNN's Kaitlan Collins has the latest now from the White House.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: The White House adamant today that President Trump was never briefed on intelligence reports that Russia was secretly offering to pay Taliban linked militants to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: He was not personally briefed on the matter.
COLLINS: But the press secretary struggled to explain why Trump wasn't told about the stunning intelligence or what he'll do in response.
MCENANY: I won't speculate on whether this intelligence is verified or not verified. And I won't get ahead of the president on further actions. But I would just point out that --
COLLINS: Not disputing it, it's not true?
MCENANY: There are dissenting opinions within the intelligence community and I can confirm with you right now that there's no consensus within the intelligence community on these allegations. COLLINS: There doesn't have to be a consensus among the intelligence
community to brief the commander in chief. Matt Thornberry, the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee said he's concerned that Trump wasn't briefed on anything with a hint of credibility that would endanger our service members much less put a bounty on their lives.
A Congressional briefing was hastily thrown together today after lawmakers, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, called on the administration to tell Congress what they know.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), U.S. HOUSE SPEAKER: I don't know what the Russians have on the president politically, personally, financially or whatever it is, but he wants to ignore. Something is wrong with this picture.
COLLINS: The press secretary says Pelosi is playing politics but the calls for more information have been partisan. Liz Cheney, the third highest ranking Republican in the House also said the White House must explain what's being done in response to hold Vladimir Putin accountable if the intelligence is accurate. Today the White House did not say what its response would be or whether there will be one at all.
You don't think this report is true?
MCENANY: I'm telling you this that there's no consensus in the intelligence community and that the dissenting opinions from some of the intelligence community exist.
COLLINS: The intelligence was first reported by The New York Times and has been confirmed by several outlets including CNN and the Washington Post is now citing intelligence assessments that say those bounties resulted in the deaths of several U.S. troops.
Now, we should note CNN has not confirmed that report from the Washington Post. Eight Republican lawmakers have been briefed on these intelligence assessments. They were briefed by the national security advisor, the Director of national intelligence and the chief of staff. And we are told that Democrats are up next and they are going to give their briefing Tuesday morning at 8 a.m.
And so, the question will be, you know, do Democrats come out of this satisfied? Do they get the answers they wanted to know about this? Some Republicans said that they did get those answers that they wanted. Some Republicans still said they had a lot more questions about what was going on. So, that will be the question of the day on Tuesday and whether or not the administration is going to schedule a briefing for all members of Congress instead of just these select few that they did over the last few days. Kaitlan Collins, CNN, the White House.
[03:35:00] CHURCH: Well, now to a big win for abortion rights advocates in the
U.S. The Supreme Court has struck down a Louisiana law meant to make obtaining abortions more difficult if not impossible. The law barred doctors from performing the procedure unless they had admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. Critics say that would have closed nearly every clinic in the state, but the top court declared the law unconstitutional in a 5-4 ruling.
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Abortion rights advocates have Chief Justice Roberts to thank. He was the deciding vote. It's interesting and important here because before this vote, Chief Justice Roberts had actually never voted to block an abortion restriction but this morning he did exactly that. And in a sense the chief justice saying that his hands were tied in this case.
That's because in 2016 the Supreme Court struck down a nearly identical Texas law. So the chief justice saying he had no choice in this case but to strike it down. The challengers here said if this law had gone forward, that it would have only left one doctor in the entire state of Louisiana able to perform abortions. It would have shuttered two out of the three remaining abortion clinics in the United States.
They said that this law had no valid medical purpose, no valid state interest as well. And Justice Breyer actually took this a step further in a majority opinion. He said that the evidence showed in this case that even those doctors who tried to get admitting privileges at hospitals were often blocked because the hospitals or the hospital officials were anti-abortion.
Now the White House sort of sniping at the chief justice along with those liberal justices in the 5-4 decision. The press secretary Kayleigh Mcenany releasing this statement saying instead of valuing fundamental Democratic principles, unelected justices have intruded on the southern prerogatives of state governments by imposing their own policy preference in favor of abortion to override legitimate abortion's safety regulations.
But in fact, what's notable here is that Chief Justice John Roberts, he did leave the door open somewhat to other states that might try to pass similar restrictions. He said that in different circumstances it's possible that restrictions like this could pass muster.
CHURCH: Jessica Schneider reporting there.
The NARAL pro-choice America group is celebrating the win but warns it doesn't change the simple fact that reproductive freedom in the U.S. remains on the line thanks to anti-choice extremists who have shown time and again that they will stop at nothing to advance their dangerous ideological agenda.
Anti-choice politicians be warned, the 77 percent of Americans who support the legal right to abortion care won't forget what you did and you'll be answering to us this November.
Well, India has banned 59 mobile apps including popular social media platforms like TikTok and WeChat. The country said the apps activity are prejudicial to the sovereignty, integrity and defense of India. Most of the apps included in the ban are Chinese. This move comes amid tensions between India and China following border clashes earlier this month.
And we are watching more and more companies pull the plug on advertising on Facebook. In just the last few hours, huge spenders like Pfizer, Puma, Adidas, HP and Ford have joined the already long list of major players boycotting the site of what they see as its failure to stop hate speech. To break this all down we want to go to CNN's John Defterios. Good to see you, John. SO, with this much momentum in the stop the hate campaign, is it fair to say it may seem odd if companies don't sign on now?
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Yes. Perfect way to put it, Rosemary. Because the consumers, the customers of all these big companies are going to say, why not? Why have you not joined here? And I think we're at that tipping point, especially in the last five days with the companies that you've talked about here and the focus is primarily on the Fortune 500 companies. The big players in the United States and for that matter around the world.
And what we have here is two very distinct camps. Like for example, you've mentioned Ford and Pfizer. They've committed for only one month, the month of July which may be another question as we go forward if this is building even more momentum. And then you have others like Microsoft has said, look, we started this in May, we may carry onto the end of the year. Clorox, the big consumer goods products maker for household goods has said it is going to carry it out through the end of 2020. No doubt about it.
And this may be extended beyond Facebook to Instagram, a company it owns. And even other social media platform. And then we're getting to the point, Rosemary, we touch upon this yesterday. Is Facebook too big to manage? With 2.6 billion monthly users. I mean, crazy numbers, $70 billion in revenues. Can it tackle hate on its own?
Common Sense Media, which is partially behind this campaign is suggesting, they may go to the European regulators in Europe at the European Union in Brussels and say isn't it time if you have TV, radio, print that is monitored, that is regulated, isn't it time we do the same in social media? Or are we too late to do so because of the span and the reach of Facebook here and the advertisers that are now on that platform, 70 billion in revenues is extraordinary as you know.
CHURCH: Yes. Absolutely. John Defterios, joining us live from Abu Dhabi. Many thanks.
Well, the hardest hit country in Africa has turned a giant recreation center into a covid-19 field hospital. We will take you inside Cape Town's newest effort to fight the virus. We'll be back with that in just a moment.
CHURCH: Pubs, restaurants and hair salons will be reopening across England this weekend but not in the city of Leicester. A surge in coronavirus cases there has forced the health secretary to order all nonessential businesses to close starting today and schools will shut down on Thursday. People are also being told to stay home. The government plans to review these restrictions in about two weeks.
So let's get to CNN's Phil Black who is in Leicester joining us now live. So, Phil, as most of England prepares to slowly reopen, that is not the case in Leicester. What's behind the surge in cases?
PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Rosemary, so the government is worried about the statistics, the markers here because they're all traveling in the wrong direction. It says that 10 percent of recent infections, positive tests in England were recorded here in Leicester. Well, what that means is that 6 to 10 percent of people presenting in hospital every day yet instead of just one in other areas.
Now the key question why, they don't really know the answer to that. But they're trying to get to the bottom of it. This is a diversity with a large black and ethnic minority population. That is a concern because there's been plenty of information which points to the fact that those are people who had been disproportionately impacted throughout the pandemic.
In addition to that, the government notes somewhat speculatively that there are food processing plants nearby and they have been to be a source of clusters and outbreaks globally really. But the important point, the key goal now is to get the infection rate down. And s for that reason they are rolling this one city deeper back into lockdown even as the rest of the U.K. is emerging from covid-19 restrictions.
So, as you touch on what that means from today, non-essential shops and retail, they had to close again. People are being advised once again to stay home. People are being told to stay away from Leicester if you don't have to come here. And you're right, schools from Thursday, to the degree that they were reopening, must now largely close again.
That's interesting because the government concedes that they're concerned about the positive tests being recorded among children, not that children are suffering severe symptoms of covid-19, but because the numbers of them attested -- that are testing positive are so high. Well that could be a source of further spread.
It's all important because it's a big test case for the U.K. in terms of understanding why these outbreaks happen, but also how to deal with them. And it is the U.K.'s first local lockdown. But likely not the last as the British economy opens while this virus is still in circulation, Rosemary.
CHURCH: Yes, it is a real concern. Phil Black reporting live from Leicester. Many thanks.
We'll take a short break here. Still to come as Israel looks to press forward with annexation of parts of the west bank this week, we will look at what's at stake. A live report from Jerusalem. That's next.
CHURCH: South Africa by far the hardest hit country on the African continent has converted a huge recreational center in Cape Town into a covid-19 field hospital. South Africa has recorded more than 144,000 cases of coronavirus and 2,500 deaths. CNN's David McKenzie joins us now live from Cape Town. So, David, how well equipped is that field hospital? And how are medical staff there coping with all of the infected patients coming in?
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Rosemary, if you look behind me, I'm here in (inaudible), one of the largest townships and formal settlements in South Africa. This looks like a normal day, hustle and bustle, but it's anything but normal here in South Africa. They are reaching the surge of the pandemic right now says the health minister. We are in a makeshift field hospital that was built rapidly as the surge was starting to come up and is now peaking.
They say, this will be a test case for not only South Africa but the rest of the continent of how they manage this virus as it hits some of the most difficult, most challenging areas to deal with covid-19.
MCKENZIE: People were predicting catastrophe in places like the Cape (inaudible) in (inaudible). Has it happened and at this stage will it happen?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Even our best models weren't able to predict what we're seeing now. And we are definitely have a lower peak than what we had expected but it looks like it will go on for longer.
MCKENZIE: So this is a marathon?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a marathon. And I think people need to get a reality check and accept that this is here and that it's not going to go away any time soon. We've used the time well and we're always going to question ourselves did we use it enough? Did we do enough with the time we were given during lockdown, during -- when the epidemic slowed? And every death is heavy on a health care workers that (inaudible).
MCKENZIE: And I can tell you, every recovery for those patients is a huge moment of triumph for those doctors, some of them volunteers. Right now the next few weeks will be the key test in South Africa to hope they can replicate this model in the rest of the continent.
CHURCH: Absolutely. It has tested every nation on this planet. David McKenzie joining us live from Cape Town, many thanks.
Well, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to press forward with plans to annex parts of the West Bank as early as Wednesday. Mr. Netanyahu, who campaigned on a promise to extend the reach of Israeli sovereignty into parts of the West Bank. CNN's Oren Lieberman has more details now from Jerusalem.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORESPONDENT: What began as a campaign promise has turned into a political mission. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is poised to press forward with Israeli annexation of parts of the West Bank.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: Applying Israeli law to areas of (inaudible). That we remain part of Israel in any future peace deal, it will not set back because of this, it will advance peace.
LIEBERMANN: In September, Netanyahu vowed to annex the Jordan Valley. More recently he's talk about annexing Jewish settlements. Something he hasn't seriously pursued in his previous 12 years in office. At the time he was looking to win over right wing votes, but he won over the White House, too. The Trump administration's plan for Middle East peace, a departure from decades of U.S. policy.
NETANYAHU: Israel will not miss this opportunity.
LIEBERMANN: But few if any conditions on unilateral Israeli annexation. Palestinians remain defiant refusing to even consider the White House's plan.
SAEB ERAKAT, SECRETARY GENERAL, PLO: President Trump, that win is, that nations either born to be a stronghold to find strong nations to protect them. The jungle has laws. Chaos has order but this doctrine is the mother of failed chaos and law is this.
LIEBERMANN: In the midst of a global pandemic and an economic meltdown, Israel is plowing ahead. Meanwhile, the international consensus has crystalized. The European Union is weighing measures against Israel with more countries considering recognizing state of Palestine. Arab states have warn of protest and a freeze of thawing relations.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All of the progress that you've seen and exchanges and openings could be undermined by one simple step.
LIEBERMANN: And the U.N. has reiterated that applying sovereignty over occupied territory is a violation of international law capable of triggering another wave of violence.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Another explosion. Another war that would happen here would be a terrible, terrible tragedy, not just a human tragedy but a failure of leadership on all sides. LIEBERMANN: Israeli protests against annexation have grown backed by
the peace camp and by many of Israel's (inaudible) military commanders. The risk is too great, they warn. The reward too small.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Peacefully will not forgive us if we are going to endanger our national security by opening so many fronts, political, strategic, international law. The United States maybe in three months. The E.U. The whole world.
LIEBERMANN: Arab anger over the Trump administration recognizing Jerusalem is the capital of Israel or moving the embassy was somewhat muted. Proponents of annexation say it will be again. But those are only changes of U.S. foreign policy. Annexation is unprecedented Israeli move, a game changer in the situation that doesn't respond well to major changes. Oren Liebermann, CNN, Jerusalem.
CHURCH: And thanks so much for joining us. I'm Rosemary Church. I will be back with another hour of news after this short break. Do stay with us.