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THE SITUATION ROOM

President Trump Under Fire Over Russia Bounty Intelligence; Biden Slams Trump Over Coronavirus Response; Coronavirus Cases Surging; Florida Governor: We're Not Going Back, Closing Things, Despite Surge In New Coronavirus Cases; European Union Bars U.S. Travelers Over Virus Concerns; Mississippi Governor Signs Bill Removing Confederate Emblem From State Flag; Former Officer Who Shot Rayshard Brooks Granted $500,000 Bond. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired June 30, 2020 - 18:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[18:00:00]

JIM ACOSTA, CNN HOST: They will join 17 other states pausing or rolling back plans to reopen.

And an urgent warning from Dr. Anthony Fauci today: The U.S. could see 100,000 new cases per day if we can't turn this thing around. CDC Director Robert Redfield singled out younger Americans, urging them to take personal responsibility for slowing the spread by wearing a mask.

Let's begin with CNN's Jason Carroll in New York.

Jason, we're hearing that California Governor Gavin Newsom is preparing new restrictions for his state. What's the latest on that front?

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That is correct, Jim.

And that announcement should come sometime tomorrow, this as California continues to see a surge of cases in that state. Now, at this point, nearly 6,000 people have died.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, NIAID DIRECTOR: Clearly, we are not in total control right now.

CARROLL (voice-over): The nation's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, delivering a stark prediction on Capitol Hill, if the U.S. cannot control the surge in coronavirus cases.

FAUCI: We are now having 40-plus-thousand new cases a day. I would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 a day if this does not turn around. And so I am very concerned.

CARROLL: Fifteen states now seeing their highest seven-day averages for new cases. More than half do not require masks statewide. Dr. Fauci and others from the Coronavirus Task Force advising the American public to do what the president won't, wear a mask. DR. ROBERT REDFIELD, CDC DIRECTOR: It is critical that we all take the

personal responsibility to slow the transmission of COVID-19 and embrace the universal use of face coverings.

FAUCI: We recommend masks for everyone on the outside.

CARROLL: Ahead of the Fourth of July holiday weekend, 17 states have paused or rolled back reopening plans, bars and beaches closed from coast to coast in California and Florida, where more than 6,000 new cases were announced today.

DAN GELBER (D), MAYOR OF MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA: We don't have a lot of tools left in the kit right now. So we're trying everything we can to stop this spread and reverse what is a very enormous spike in our community and in our state.

CARROLL: In Arizona, concerns over the death rate ticking up, doctors worried they cannot handle the influx of patients.

DR. BRANDON BIKOWSKI, INTERNAL MEDICINE PHYSICIAN: It's something that we don't know how to deal with as medical professionals. I think people should probably be as scared as I am.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That is discrimination.

CARROLL: In Texas, bar owners protesting the governor's decision to force them to re-close, some of them now suing the governor and state alcohol regulators.

Meanwhile, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, which have all emerged from the worst of the pandemic, have added eight more states, including California and Georgia, to a quarantine list. Come from one of those states, and these states want you to quarantine.

Face coverings are required in public places in all three states, a reminder of that in Manhattan, where, outside "The New York Times" public library, the iconic lion statues, aptly named Patience and Fortitude, are daunting masks themselves.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CARROLL: And, Jim, despite seeing a surge in cases in Florida, that state's governor has come out today basically saying that that state is not going back to closing businesses.

And as for all the young people in that state who health experts say are gathering in large numbers and helping to spread the disease there, the governor said this. He said, a lot of that is just -- quote -- "social interactions" -- Jim.

ACOSTA: All right, Jason Carroll.

We're just hearing from the state of Colorado. That governor there has just ordered bars and nightclubs to close once again in that state because of the surge in cases around the country. We know you're on top of it, Jason Carroll. Thank you very much. Texas just reported nearly 7,000 new cases of the virus, a single-day

record.

For more on the growing crisis there, let's go to CNN Lucy Kafanov in Houston.

Lucy, what's the latest where you are?

LUCY KAFANOV, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Jim, 6,975 new cases in Texas. The state keeps shattering records, both in terms of new cases and hospitalizations.

Harris County, home to Houston, where we are, really hit the hardest, with nearly 20,000 -- 18,000 -- pardon me -- active cases. That's more than double than the other counties like Dallas.

Now, the governor here, Governor Greg Abbott, was one of the first to push for this aggressive economic reopening. We have seen the fallout from that with the cases surging. He has rolled back some of these reopening measures, for example, slashing restaurant capacity from 75 percent to 50 percent, restricting public gatherings of 100 people or more, and shutting down bars as of last Friday.

We see now there's been pushback, at least a dozen bars suing the governor and state regulators over that, saying it violates their constitutional rights. They say, if places like gyms could be open, why not them?

This as health officials say that going to bars, going to restaurants, sitting for prolonged period of -- periods of time in enclosed spaces helps spread this disease here.

[18:05:10]

Here in Harris County, in Houston, we saw the mayor speaking out yesterday, saying that, while the mortality rate remains stable, the number of people affected by this disease is growing by exponential rates.

We're seeing younger people affected, people in their 20s, 30s and 40s. Growing concern about asymptomatic spread. And then, of course, there's the issue of hospitals. Across the state of Texas, coronavirus patients account for about 10 percent of hospital beds.

Their capacity at this moment, 80 percent of all available beds are now full. Of course, this varies county to county, but this is a major concern, because once those ICU capacities fill up, it's difficult to get service to people. That's when you start seeing mortality rates go up.

So this is a very worrying trend. I will say, there's no statewide mandate for masks at the moment. But here in Harris County, they have extended the national -- pardon me -- the county emergency. So, through August, businesses and patrons will have to wear masks inside businesses, but, again, no statewide mandate, Jim.

ACOSTA: OK. A grim situation down in Texas.

Lucy Kafanov, thank you very much.

Let's get more analysis from Dr. Chris Murray. He leads a team of coronavirus modelers at the University of Washington.

We know the White House pays close attention to the information coming out of your organization.

Dr. Murray, Dr. Fauci earlier today says, we could see 100,000 cases of coronavirus a day if current trends continue. You're forecasting about 65,000 daily infections by October.

Does that estimate from Dr. Fauci make you want to revisit your estimates? Might your estimates go higher now because of this surge in cases we're seeing?

DR. CHRISTOPHER MURRAY, DIRECTOR OF HEALTH METRICS, UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON: Well, certainly the big surge, particularly in young people, in Texas, Florida, California, somewhat Mississippi, are very, very concerning.

We think that some of that transmission can be interrupted if everybody starts wearing a mask and if every state adopts a universal mask mandate. That's going to help a lot.

ACOSTA: But that's not likely to happen, as you know, Doctor.

And in your most recent model, you have slightly lowered the projection of how many Americans are likely to die by October. You now project about 175,000 people will die. That's down from your projection of 179,000 deaths in last week's forecast.

What led that to change, and might things change again for your model?

MURRAY: Well, the interesting thing that's happening is, we're seeing this huge surge of cases. Look at Florida. It's really quite remarkable. Yet the number of hospitalizations are only increasing a small amount so far, almost tenfold for cases, about 25 percent increase in hospitalizations.

And we're not yet seeing the surge in deaths that match the cases at all. So that's sort of good news in terms of death. We think that's because a lot of the transmission is in younger people, who are much less likely to die.

But the big worry is that there could be a ripple effect of this young people transmission into people who are at risk. We're certainly going to be watching that. But we hope that older people and people who have comorbidities are sheltering themselves and avoiding contact. And that may keep the death rate down.

But we will just have to see the next two weeks how they play out.

ACOSTA: Right. And, Dr. Murray, your model project some 25,000 lives could be spared if most Americans would simply wear a mask when in public. That number should be reason enough for all of us to wear face coverings. Why is that not happening?

MURRAY: Well, not only can we save a lot of American lives by wearing a mask -- and that's just to October -- if we go later in the year, that number is going to be even bigger, we believe, because of seasonality.

But if people are worried about business, getting back to work, one way to think about this is, wear a mask and save the economy as well,because the one thing that we know is going to happen if people can't help contribute to reducing transmission is, the mandates will come back, and that's not going to be good for the country.

ACOSTA: And as you make projections about the fall, what factors are you most closely monitoring at this point, a change in weather, schools reopening, something else entirely? Perhaps it's this persistent stubbornness among some Americans to not wear masks.

What can you put your finger on?

MURRAY: The big three factors for the fall are first that we strongly believe that there's a seasonal component, so that we're actually -- even though things are going badly, we're -- quote -- "in the good period," and things will get worse again in the fall, as winter comes in.

[18:10:00]

Secondly, schools opening, people going back to school, all the social interaction that goes with school, not just kids in school, but all the parent interactions around school.

And then the third is the worry that people will be overly complacent in some states where things aren't as bad as Texas and Florida and California, and that will contribute to too much social interaction when things start to turn worse in the fall.

ACOSTA: OK, I'm sure you will be keeping your eyes on it.

Dr. Chris Murray, we appreciate your expertise and your cautions. Thank you very much. We appreciate it.

Just ahead: Top Republicans, including Vice President Pence, are breaking with President Trump on masks. Will he ever come around?

Plus, Joe Biden slams the president for ignoring the surge in coronavirus cases, accusing him of -- quote -- "waving the white flag" in the fight against the virus.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:15:13]

ACOSTA: Tonight, Vice President Mike Pence is once again urging Americans to wear a mask to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Several top Republicans are now saying the same thing, leaving President Trump increasingly isolated on the mask issue.

CNN's Kaitlan Collins has the latest.

Kaitlan, tell us more.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Jim, lately, we are seeing the president be increasingly the only one who is not wearing a mask and not urging people to do so.

Even the vice president was wearing one today and said that he believed people should, as more and more Republicans are coming out and saying that the president should just wear a mask. The White House is defending that he's not wearing one, saying he is the most tested man in America, according to Kayleigh McEnany.

But, Jim, this comes as Joe Biden is hitting the president for not wearing a mask, saying he has a moral obligation to do so.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS (voice-over): With the nation's top health officials warning the U.S. could now see 100,000 new coronavirus cases a day, President Trump remained behind closed doors as former Vice President Joe Biden opened a new round of attacks on his response.

JOSEPH BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Month after month, as many of us urged him to step up and do his job, he failed us.

COLLINS: In Delaware, Biden ripped Trump for attempting to put the raging pandemic behind him and accused the self-described wartime president of being in retreat.

BIDEN: Fix the shortage of PPE for our health care workers before you tee off for another round of golf. It's almost July, and it seems like our wartime president has surrendered.

COLLINS: Biden has made few public appearances since coronavirus restrictions were put in place months ago. He says he won't hold any rallies for now, unlike Trump, who recently addressed thousands of his supporters indoors in Tulsa.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you, Oklahoma.

COLLINS: But as state officials voice concern about large gatherings with cases skyrocketing, CNN has learned that may have been Trump's first and last rally for some time.

The Trump campaign has scrapped plans to hold one in Alabama next weekend and has no others on the horizon. Trump will travel to Mount Rushmore for a fireworks show this Friday, where South Dakota's governor says there won't be social distancing.

GOV. KRISTI NOEM (R-SD): We told those folks that have concerns that they can stay home, but we won't be social distancing.

COLLINS: Governor Kristi Noem said they will pass out face masks, but won't require them.

Trump has continued to refuse to wear one, leaving him almost completely isolated from his own allies.

SEN. LAMAR ALEXANDER (R-TN): Occasionally, the president might want to wear a mask just to signal to people that he thinks it's important.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: MAGA should now stand for masks are grant again.

COLLINS: As the administration downplays intelligence assessments that Russia was offering to pay the Taliban to kill U.S. troops, the press secretary did confirm Trump has finally been briefed on it.

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president does read. This president, I will tell you, is the most informed person on planet Earth when it comes to the threats that we face.

COLLINS: That information was included months ago in a written intelligence report that Trump gets on a daily basis, but rarely reads.

BIDEN: The presidential daily brief is something I read every single day as vice president. The president read it every day. I was briefed every morning before I got to the White House and then again. So the idea that somehow he didn't know or isn't being briefed, it is a dereliction of duty, if that's the case.

COLLINS: Democrats were briefed by Trump's national security adviser and director of national intelligence this morning and emerged with what they said were more questions.

REP. STENY HOYER (D-MD): The president called this a hoax publicly. Nothing in the briefing that we have just received led me to believe it is a hoax.

COLLINS: Adam Schiff, the House intelligence chairman, who attended the briefing, criticized the White House defense.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), CALIFORNIA: I find it inexplicable, in light of these very public allegations, that the president hasn't come before the country and assured the American people that he will get to the bottom of whether Russians are putting a bounty on the heads of American troops.

COLLINS: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Russia should absolutely not be invited to the G7, like Trump suggested this fall.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): I can't verify the current rumors that all of you are writing about. But would I be surprised if the Russians were doing something like this? Absolutely not.

(END VIDEOTAPE) COLLINS: Now, Jim, CNN has learned that these threats and these intelligence assessments about potential Russian bounties to the Taliban for U.S. troops was showing up in intelligence reports that were provided to the National Security Council as long as over a year ago.

Now, it wasn't clear at that time which Russian-linked group was offering these bounties or whether the Taliban had accepted them, but it does give you an indication of just how long this has been on the radar of intelligence officials in this administration.

[18:20:08]

Yet the White House says the president himself was not briefed on it until as recently as the last 24 hours or so.

ACOSTA: That is remarkable.

All right, Kaitlan Collins, thank you very much.

Let's turn to our medical and political experts for some more analysis.

Getting back to the coronavirus, David Axelrod, for some reason or another, masks have become a political issue, I suppose in large part because the president has made one -- made it one, but it's not really split along party lines as much as it used to be.

Let's listen to some of the top Republicans out there and conservative allies of the president who are essentially almost begging him to wear a mask. Let's listen to that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: I think they work. And I said especially if I wear a mask and it opens up baseball, concerts, NFL football, I'd rather wear the mask and go to the game to protect grandma, grandpa, mom and dad.

MCCONNELL: We must have no stigma, none about wearing masks.

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): Well, for my home state, I do believe in wearing masks. Wearing the mask is the best opportunity for us to keep this economy open.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think that, if the president wore one, it would just set a good example. He'd be a good role model. MAGA should now stand for masks are great again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ACOSTA: David, you think the president will change his mind on this? And if he did, might there be an upside for him?

DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, look, Jim, him probably better than anyone. And he doesn't really have an R on his gearshift. He tends to go

straight ahead. So it'd be surprising, but, if he did, he would put himself on the right side of public opinion. There was a poll last week, "The New York Times"/Siena poll; 54 percent of people said they wore a mask all the time when they went out.

Another 22 percent said they wore a mask most of the time. And so you know that's not just Democrats. That's Democrats, independents and Republicans. And now, as the virus has really kicked up in those states that are the president's base, those numbers are going to climb as well.

But will he turn around? Yes, there'd be benefit to it. There'd be benefit, frankly, for him to stop minimizing the virus, which he's been doing for several weeks now. It'd be good to recognize how serious it is. And it would help him.

Do I expect him to do it? Boy, backing up is sort of out of character for him.

ACOSTA: Yes.

Kaitlan, if there's one rule in Trump world, it is admit no mistakes. And the White House press secretary was asked about the president's take on masks today. She did not exactly give a straight answer, did she?

COLLINS: No. She said he doesn't have a problem with other people wearing them. He just doesn't want to wear one.

And this is a move that has confused his allies, his friends, the people that are looking at this polling that David's talking about that shows that Americans have no problems with people wearing a mask. But the president himself is the one refusing to do so here. He has fought against this time and time again.

He said he doesn't think it looks presidential. And it's even caused disagreements inside the White House before he's going to events where it's required to wear a mask, because the president is that adamant about not wearing one.

So, if he does change one, it would be remarkable. But if you talk to people close to him, they do not think that that is something that's expected.

ACOSTA: And, Sanjay, regardless of the politics of this, when it comes to choosing which type of face covering we're going to wear, I guess, first of all, the best face covering is at least some face covering.

But how is it that you can best protect yourself in terms of these facial coverings that we see out there?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Right, right.

I think your point, though, that some kind of face covering does make a difference. And we can show you there's all sorts of studies that have been coming out looking at what tends to work best in terms of decreasing transmission.

First of all, just sort of understanding how far a cough would travel, we know that, even if someone's talking or whatever, they can also expel the virus. But you can see there, if you're wearing this two- layer -- these are cloth masks -- a two-layer mask, the virus is only likely to travel about 2.5 inches, vs., if you were nothing, about eight feet.

Another thing is, Jim, there's just lots of evidence that they work overall. I was struck by something that we saw out of New York City, the study that came out of New York City this past Thursday, that said health care workers actually have lower rates of infection than the general population.

Health care workers, who come in contact with lots of people with COVID, have lower rates of infection. Why would that be? Because of what you're seeing on the screen there, because they wear masks. So masks can be very protective, even in people who are known to have these exposures.

And we have seen how beneficial they can be in countries all over the world.

ACOSTA: Yes.

And, David Axelrod, Joe Biden offered a scathing response to the president today, saying, our wartime president, our -- quote, unquote -- "wartime president, has surrendered, waved the white flag and left the battlefield."

[18:25:03]

How did that strike you today to see the vice president out there? And he was at a public event, taking questions from reporters, not hiding in his basement, as the Trump campaign has been accusing him of doing.

AXELROD: Yes, well, he knows that he's on offense right now, and the president is on defense, and that this issue is the issue for the country right now. This virus is consuming us.

And the president seems to be the one in hiding. And the most dangerous thing for him here is that the thing that he's always projected is his strength. You hear supporters say, well, I don't like the tweeting, I don't like some of the ways he behaves, but he's strong.

Well, he's not looking particularly strong right now. And Biden turned the tables on them today with that military reference.

But Kaitlan said earlier that the president doesn't think it looks presidential to wear a mask. He should try acting presidential. That would help him a lot and would help the country. Be a good example. Wear the mask. Urge others to wear a mask.

But, Jim, wearing a mask is all about making sure that you don't infect other people. And the president is very consumed about doing things for himself. And his philosophy is, you do what is good for you.

But this requires us to do something that's good for other people, for the community. And it would be great to have a president who urged people to follow that precept.

ACOSTA: Right. And personalities on FOX and Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy, they can say to people, wear a mask. It's not going to be as effective as the president leading by example.

AXELROD: Absolutely.

ACOSTA: Kaitlan, let me ask you.

The former vice president also slammed the president today for not reading the presidential daily brief. The White House has offered conflicting information about his awareness of this intelligence. They finally said he has been briefed on this.

But what is the latest on that? We know he doesn't consume information from these PDBs, as they're called, the way his predecessors did.

COLLINS: Yes, the White House has had some difficulty navigating this defense of why the president did not find out about this until he was recently briefed. Their response yesterday was that, basically, it didn't rise to the level that they believe the president should have been briefed on it, saying that there were -- there was not an agreement on what the intelligence showed.

There were some dissenting opinions. They didn't believe it was verified.

But, Jim, that doesn't explain then why it showed up in the written daily document that the president gets, this intelligence document he gets on a daily basis, that Joe Biden said both he and President Barack Obama read on a daily basis.

So, clearly, it was important enough to show up in that written briefing that the president doesn't read, but they didn't believe it rose to the level to where he should be told about it when he does get briefed by those intelligence officials orally several times a week, about two or three times a week.

So, now we know that it was turning up in this document months ago, but the president himself has only found out about it and gotten a full read on the intelligence in recent days because of these news reports about what was in the president's own intelligence document.

ACOSTA: And we know that the president prefers to have a more graphics-driven and more oral-driven presidential daily brief vs. the way presidents have consumed this vital information in the past in the written form.

We could talk about that all evening.

But, Kaitlan Collins, Sanjay Gupta, David Axelrod, we will have to leave it there. Thank you very much. Just ahead: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis says he won't close down the state, despite a surge in new cases. I will speak with the mayor of Miami-Dade County right after the break.

And the European Union says it will continue to bar Americans from entering that part of the world, despite preparing to open its borders to other countries.

We will have the details.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:30:00]

ACOSTA: Dr. Anthony Fauci says he's very concerned about the growing coronavirus pandemic in Florida but the governor says he's not going to close down the state anytime soon. Let's get more with the Mayor of Miami-Dade County, Carlos Gimenez. Mayor, thanks very much for joining us. We appreciate it.

Despite an alarming rise in cases in your state, Governor DeSantis remains defiant, saying he won't roll back the reopening efforts. What's your response to his approach at this point?

MAYOR CARLOS GIMENEZ (R), MIAMI-DADE, FL: Well, we're trying to do is same thing. We find that we need to do now is tweak what we have done and hope to open the economy. I'll be issuing orders later today to close restaurants at 12:00. We've seen some restaurants taking advantage of that order and basically turn themselves into a nightclub after 12:00. And so we're going to stop that. We closed beaches.

ACOSTA: Do you mean 12:00 midnight? I just want to go back to what you were just saying, at 12:00 midnight.

GIMENEZ: Yes, 12:00 midnight. What was happening is that they were converting themselves into nightclubs after 12:00. And we've seen a sharp rise in the number of young people. The rise that we've seen is actually young people, 18 to 34, 35 to 45-year-old people. That's where the sharp rise is. And then they take it back to their parent and they take it back to their grandparents, and so we've seen a rise also in hospitalizations.

And so what we want to do is we want to alter behavior, and that is whenever you're indoors, you have to wear a mask. Whenever you're outdoors, you have to wear a mask when you can't maintain social distancing. You need to wash your hands. You need to keep your hands away from your face. And that everybody has to comply with it. So we're going to reiterate that.

ACOSTA: And at these restaurants stay open past midnight and try to run as nightclubs and bars, what do you do? Do you issue them a ticket?

[18:35:01]

Do you shut them down? What kind of penalties are they looking at? GIMENEZ: They're looking at -- it's a second degree misdemeanor. It's a $500 fine. And also you could spend up to 180 days in jail. And we're going to be very tough with that. They cannot, and if we find them open, believe me, we're going to be very tough.

We -- today, we did 7,000 inspections on businesses to make sure that they were complying. The vast majority of the businesses are complying. But, again, we think it's more of a problem with the young people. They're not complying. Look, it's one thing that they do too. They may be going into private homes, having parties, getting together with their friends. That's really tough to try to crack down on.

And so it's the messaging, it is enforcement, it's new regulations, new rules, trying not to go back to closing down because I don't think it's something we want to see is close down the economy. That's going to hurt a lot of people too. And so it's tough to thread the needle. We're trying to do it. We -- there is no book to follow here. We're writing the book as we're going along.

ACOSTA: And let me ask you, Mayor, have you -- you stressed the importance of wearing masks to try to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Would it be easier for you, people in the community, getting a handle on this if the president were to set the example and wear a mask himself?

GIMENEZ: Yes, all leaders should set the example. I set the example here in Miami-Dade. I wear the mask because I want to protect you. Look, the mask is more important for me to wear if I'm infected. And since I don't know if I'm infected because the majority of the people that have COVID-19 don't have any symptoms and now u we know that they're spreading virus two to three days prior to having symptoms, really, the mask is here -- is really my way of saying that I want to protect you.

Our motto here is I protect you, you protect me. We need to wear those masks, we need to keep social distancing, we need to wash our hands. And if we just do that, we're good citizens. And by doing that --

ACOSTA: Would you like to see the president wear a mask? Would you like to see that?

GIMENEZ: I think I would like to see the president wear a mask when it's appropriate for him to wear a mask. And so, you know, if he were down here, it would be appropriate for him to wear a mask if he weren't maintaining social distancing when he's outside. And so abide whatever rules are in place where ever you are.

As the Mayor of Miami-Dade County, I do that. The governor does that when he comes to Miami-Dade County. The rules are a little bit different here in Miami-Dade. And so just abide by the local rules. They're there for a reason. And the reason is to protect one another from getting infected.

ACOSTA: All right, Mayor Carlos Gimenez, good luck down there at Miami-Dade County, we appreciate you coming on. Thank you very much, sir. GIMENEZ: Thank you very much.

ACOSTA: All right. Just ahead, the European Union announcing today it will not allow summer tourists from the United States as cases rise in 36 states.

Plus, the former Atlanta police officer charged with the murder of Rayshard Brooks appeared in court today, seeking bail. Stand by for the latest on that.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:40:00]

ACOSTA: With new coronavirus cases spiking across the country, the European Union is announcing it will bar travelers from the United States when it opens its borders tomorrow. CNN Senior International Correspondent Frederik Pleitgen joins us from Brussels where the E.U. is headquartered.

Fred, this is a dramatic decision. Americans not being allowed to travel to Europe. I never thought I would see this day.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you're absolutely right, Jim. And it's a dry run decisional (ph) because, of course, the European Union desperately wants American tourists to come back here to Europe, because, obviously, Americans spend a lot of money here, as tourist in Europe. But they simply believe that right now with the coronavirus situation in the U.S. the way it is, that it would be a public health risk to allow Americans to come back.

And the Europeans put out a list today of 15 countries whose citizens are going to be allowed to come back. You have countries like China on there, Jim, but you also have a lot of countries that are significantly less wealthy than the U.S. and certainly whose healthcare systems also are significantly less funded that than of the U.S. You look at countries for instance like al Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, even Rwanda is on that list. That means the European Union is deeming those countries to be significantly more efficient at dealing with the coronavirus pandemic than the Trump administration has been so far.

And the E.U. is saying, look, all this comes down to science. They say all this is a reflection of the coronavirus situation in these countries. They say they need to see a significant decline in new coronavirus infections.

But if you look at the graph or the trajectory of the coronavirus infections in E.U. and in the United States, they are going in very different directions, with the U.S. going significantly up while the E.U. is going significantly down. So the E.U. right now is saying it would be too big a risk to allow Americans to come back in. And that means for the time being that Americans are essentially lumped in with, for instance, travelers from Russia and Brazil and in the meantime are not going to be allowed to come back here to the European Union, Jim.

ACOSTA: And Fred, what has to happen in the U.S. for the E.U. to reverse this decision? Is that even possible at this point?

PLEITGEN: Well, it certainly is impossible for July 1st, which obviously is just a couple of hours here in Europe, but they say that this decision is going to be revisited every two weeks. So then they're going to take a look at the data and see what's going on there. But, again, with the trajectory right now, with the amount of infections going on in the United States, very difficult to see that the E.U. is going to come to a different decision the next time around.

Obviously, once again, we always have to point out, European officials want American tourists to come back here.

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The European economy is certainly ailing at this point in time. American tourists very welcome here, but they say, right now, the risk is simply too high, but they are going to evaluate that every two weeks -- Jim.

ACOSTA: All right. The Europeans obviously don't want an outbreak to occur because of Americans traveling into the E.U.

Fred Pleitgen, with that very important information. Thank you very much.

Just ahead, as the company -- country grapples with protests, calling for racial injustice, Mississippi is making a historic change to its state flag.

Plus, bond of the Atlanta police officer who fatally shot Rayshard Brooks.

Stay with us.

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ACOSTA: Breaking news tonight, amid the nationwide protests and calls for racial justice, Mississippi's Republican governor has just signed a bill removing a Confederate emblem from the state flag.

CNN's Martin Savidge is following this for us.

Martin, Mississippi is the only remaining state to feature a Confederate symbol, so this is a major move. There's no question about it.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Oh, yes, it's a key moment in history, Jim. I mean, that flag has flown over the state of Mississippi for 126 years until today, of course. And the way this all led up -- now, there have been attempts over the

decades to change this flag and none of them have worked. But in the aftermath of the protests that came following the death of George Floyd and the callout against racial injustice, there was also a renewed focus on all the Confederate imagery and emblems continued to fly, including the big one on the Mississippi state flag.

So, last week, there was a lot of pleasure internally coming from business leaders, coming from education leaders, religious leaders, even from the world of sports. You had the SEC and the NCAA both saying that Mississippi was not going to have a championship event if it had that flag.

So, as the debate finally grew, the big change was in the governor himself, Tate Reeves, who tweeted out and said, look, if you pass legislation about this flag, he would then endorse and sign it and bring about that change, which was a significant change on his part. He always said it would be up to the voters. Now he said it would be up to the legislature.

Within two days, he had that bill signed, 1796. And then he signed, of course, that bill today which means the flag will be retired, Jim.

ACOSTA: Remarkable how quickly this is happening. And what do you know about the plans for the new flag, Martin?

SAVIDGE: Right. So, what happens is there's going to be a commission. It's got nine members. By September, they've got to basically come up with designs that will be submitted. They will take those designs, whittle them down to one, and they will submit that to the voters who will vote in November to choose the next flag of the state of Mississippi.

But in the time between now and then, there is no state flag until the voters select a new one -- Jim.

ACOSTA: An end to an era.

CNN's Martin Savidge, thank you very much.

The former police officer who fatally shot Rayshard Brooks has been granted $500,000 bond.

CNN national correspondent Dianne Gallagher is working that story for us.

Diane, a decided that the former officer, Garrett Rolfe, is not a danger to the community or a flight risk. What is reaction to that release?

DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right, Jim. And there are conditions on that bond once he is released, something we do expect to happen tonight.

Look, the community in Atlanta, the people who live here, Rayshard Brooks' widow begged for the judge not to set this bond. She said that she would fear for her own life and also her sanity knowing that that officer was out on the streets. But, look, his attorneys argued that he's not a flight risk and that he needs the time to work on his case with his attorneys.

There were actually people who were at the jail where he's being held. It's a different location for security purposes -- who were standing on the parking lot hoping they could be there to show their support for the officer -- former officer, excuse me. He was fired after the shooting. Once he is released.

But I can tell you, there were some protesters outside who were keenly watching through it being broadcast what's going on, Jim. They say you can expect more protests in Atlanta. This is not the outcome they wanted.

ACOSTA: And we're learning that Rolfe has refused to turn over the passcode for his cell phone. What are prosecutors saying about that?

GALLAGHER: Yes, this was really an interesting thing, especially to hear during a bond hearing. So, the prosecutors say they have evidence that at the scene in the minutes after the shooting that the fired officer, Garrett Rolfe, texted at least four other Atlanta police officers in those minutes after the shooting. And they want to see what those text messages said. But they said that Rolfe has not given them the passcode to his phone.

Now, they say they have executed a search warrant. But, of course, without that pass code, it's kind of worthless to them right now. The judge said, look, that's for a different day to decide because the prosecution, Jim, wanted that to be one of the conditions of his release on this bond.

She said, hey, that's a different hearing, and the attorneys for that fired officer said, look, we feel like he should be allowed to invoke his Fifth Amendment right when it comes to the passcode on his phone.

ACOSTA: OK. Fascinating development.

CNN's Dianne Gallagher, thank you very much.

And more news just ahead.

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ACOSTA: Finally, our nightly tribute to some of the lives cut short by the coronavirus.

Siew Eng Tan (ph) of New York was 83 years old. Her granddaughter Justine (ph) says her food and smile brought joy to everyone and she was always there to support family and friends. We're told she enjoyed volunteering at a senior citizen center every month where she sang and dance with the residents.

Lillie Mae Mitchell of New Jersey was 89. She was a mother of 5 children. Her daughter Christine says she had a wonderful spirit and had a passion for dancing and gardening. Lillie was nicknamed sweet lips due to her smile and infectious laugh.

May they rest in peace, and may their memories be a blessing.

I'm Jim Acosta. Thanks very much for watching.

"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.

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