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States Looking for New Ways to Slow Coronavirus; More Conservatives Wearing Masks; Dozens Arrested in Hong Kong Protests; Baseball's Minor League Season Officially Cancelled. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired July 1, 2020 - 05:00   ET



LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: How does the United States plan to flatten this curve? After a devastating month, states are looking for answers, trying to slow a record surge of coronavirus.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: And President Trump simply refuses to lead on the most basic medical advice, wearing a mask. Now his Republican and media allies are leaving him behind.

JARRETT: We have reports this morning from Hong Kong, London, Beijing and Brussels.

Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is EARLY START. I'm Laura Jarrett.

SANCHEZ: And I'm Boris Sanchez, in for Christine Romans. It is 5:00 a.m. on the East Coast, Wednesday, July 1st.

Hard to believe, Laura, that we are now past the halfway point of this year.

JARRETT: It's true, Boris.

And there are new signs the growing resurgence of coronavirus will be harder to beat back than the initial wave. Almost 45,000 cases reported in the U.S. yesterday just shy of Friday's record. The last six days marked the six highest totals during the entire pandemic.

California, one of the states where cases and hospitalizations are at records, the governor said new restrictions are coming today.


GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D), CALIFORNIA: We bent the curve in the state of California once. We will bend the curve again. Mark my words.

We will crush this pandemic. We will annihilate it. We'll get past it. But we're going to have to be tougher and we're going to have to be smarter.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SANCHEZ: The month of June saw huge set backs in the battle against the coronavirus. Just look at this map and the amount of red on it. The entire South and West losing major ground. A lot of it driven by young people who are not social distancing.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government's COVID expert, says the pandemic is simply not under control.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: I have to say, the numbers speak for themselves. I'm very concerned and I'm not satisfied with what's going on. We are now having 40,000-plus new cases a day. I would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 a day if this does not turn around.


SANCHEZ: If you think 100,000 a day is an exaggeration, some experts think we are already there.


DR. MARK MCCLELAN, FORMER FDA COMMISSIONER: Remember, a lot of cases are going undetected because not everybody can get testing and according to CDC, the total number of cases in the U.S. may be as much as ten times as what we've actually been measuring.


SANCHEZ: The number of new cases in the U.S. shot up by 80 percent in just the past two weeks. Dr. Fauci cautions against states skipping steps on the path to re-opening.

JARRETT: Nineteen states have now rolled back plans to re-opening but Florida Governor Ron DeSantis says the state will not reinstate restrictions or close businesses to mitigate the worsening pandemic.

Remember, we talk about numbers but there are real effects on real people. Millions have lost their jobs. In Oklahoma and Kentucky, lines of people looking for work were so long, they had to be capped in some cases leaving people looking for appointments.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean they've been calling, emailing, showing up at offices and just not getting any help.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hopefully, seeing this it will be fixed, we come back in and we'll be getting it soon after that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Refresh, and my -- refresh, and 9:00 in the morning. Boom, that button was there, I hit it. I got my appointment, and here I am.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SANCHEZ: Of course, officials are still warning against big crowds especially at bars, but some bar owners are unswayed. In Texas, bar owners going to the capitol to protest even as leaders with the most populous counties pleading with the governor to issue stay-at-home orders.

And the Northeast, to New York and New Jersey and Connecticut, doubling the number of states on their high risk list. Now, people traveling from 16 states are going to have to self-quarantine when they arrive there.

JARRETT: President Trump is becoming more and more isolated in his refusal to wear a mask. With the pandemic resurging nationwide, a growing chorus of Republicans and even conservative media figures are calling for people to wear masks.


SEN. LAMAR ALEXANDER (R-TN): The president has plenty of admirers. They would follow his lead. It would help end this political debate. The stakes are too high for this political debate about pro-thump, anti-Trump mask to continue.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: 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.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): We must have no stigma, none, about wearing mask.

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Americans should wear masks whenever state and local authorities indicate that it's appropriate.



JARRETT: The vice president stands there a little bit more vague leaving it up to local officials. Some of them using his statements as room to maneuver on the issue. South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem announcing no social distancing and no mask will be required this weekend when the president heads to Mount Rushmore for Fourth of July fireworks.

SANCHEZ: And the former Vice President Joe Biden sees an opportunity here. He's ramping up his criticism of President Trump's response to the pandemic, as he tries to show voters how he would handle a public health crisis if he were in the White House.

The former VP, who has avoided in-person campaign events during the crisis, claims that president is in full retreat.


MIKE PENCE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He called himself a wartime president. What happened? Now, it's almost July. And it seems like our wartime president has surrendered, waved the right flag -- white flag and left the battlefield.


SANCHEZ: The recent national and swing state polls show Biden with a widening lead over President Trump.

JARRETT: In a surprise move, the Senate has passed an extension for the Paycheck Protection Program. The program is designed to help businesses keep their employees during this pandemic. It was set to expire overnight with more than $130 billion in unused funds. This extension would run through August 8th. But the House still has to sign on. Both chambers are set to adjourn for a two-week recess at the end of this week.

And despite a rocky rollout and shifting rules, more than $520 billion has been allocated to keep small businesses afloat. The country is obviously in a recession but Wall Street has it best quarter in decades. The Dow jumped nearly 18 percent in the second quarter. The tech-heavy Nasdaq soared 70 percent, its best performance since the last three months of 1999.

But this crisis is not over, and with tomorrow's jobs report, we could see an unemployment rate of more than 12 percent in June.

SANCHEZ: And staying on Capitol Hill, today, top congressional leaders known as the gang of eight are going to be briefed on intelligence that Russia offered bounties for attacks on U.S. troops in Afghanistan. CNN has learned that the White House was provided with intelligence in early 2019 about these bounties. More than year later, president Trump claims he was never informed about the threat. A U.S. official tells CNN the intelligence was also in the president's written daily briefing this spring.

The White House now scrambling to defend the president.


KAYLEIGH MCENANY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president does read and he also consumes intelligence verbally. This president I'll tell you is the most informed person on planet earth when it comes to the threats that we face.


JARRETT: So the administration claims that the intel didn't reach the president because there was no consensus about its credibility. Well, a former senior intelligence official called that explanation inconceivable.

And now, in a new "New York Times" op-ed, President Obama's former national security adviser Susan Rice says, quote: I would have walked straight into the Oval Office to brief the president. Contrary to the spin-masters in the White House today, I would not have waited until we had absolute certainty. Rice is said to be on a short list of potential running mates for Joe


SANCHEZ: And speaking of elections, there were some primaries in Colorado last night where another Trump-backed went down. Now, a far right conspiracy theorist is a big step closer to Congress.

Stay with us.



SANCHEZ: Breaking overnight, we told you something like this might be in the works and now, it's official. The first big shakeup for the Trump campaign after his poor showing in Tulsa a few weeks back. The official who handled president Trump's rallies has been reassigned.

A campaign spokesman says chief operating officer Michael Glassner will now deal with legal affairs for the home stretch of the campaign. Sources tell CNN that aides started planning for the change after the June 20th rally in Oklahoma where the president spoke to a bunch of empty blue seats in the unfilled BOK Center. Glassner's reassignment also coming the same day the campaign scrapped plans for a rally in Alabama next weekend.

JARRETT: And more primary night setbacks for President Trump, raising questions about how much his endorsement actually means. In western Colorado, five-term Congressman Scott Tipton lost the Republican primary to his far right challenger, Lauren Boebert. Trump had endorsed Tipton on Monday, but it was fleeting, praising Boebert minutes after the congressman conceded on Tuesday night. Boebert, a political newcomer and the owner of Shooter's Grill where servers openly carry firearms managed to position herself as the candidate more align with the president's agenda and has spoken approvingly one of his conspiracy theories about the so-called deep state, plotting against him within the U.S. government.

Meanwhile in the Colorado Senate race, John Hickenlooper won the Democratic primary, that's despite the former governor stumbling repeatedly during the campaign, including by bumbling an answer on Black Lives Matter. A Hickenlooper win against Republican incumbent Cory Gardner is considered critical to Democrats' hopes for retaking the U.S. Senate.

SANCHEZ: The former Atlanta police officer who has fatally shot Rayshard Brooks has been released from jail. The Gwinnett County sheriff's office says Garrett Rolfe was released just after midnight, a judge granting a half million dollar bond. Rolfe, of course, faces charges including felony murder.

JARRETT: New this morning, the New York City Council has voted to slash the NYPD budget by a $1 billion, that's nearly 20 percent cut. The biggest cuts include reducing its 36,000 uniformed force by nearly 1,200 officers, cutting overtime by nearly $300 million and shifting school safety officers away from the NYPD. The money will be use -- moved to youth and social service programs.

Meantime in Los Angeles, the city council has voted to develop unarmed responses for nonviolent emergencies like mental health crisis, substance abuse and neighbor disputes.


SANCHEZ: Hollywood and comedy fans around the world are saying goodbye to a true legend today. Carl Reiner, an actor, writer, producer, Reiner kept people laughing for seven decades. First on TV's "Your Show of Shows", which led to the sitcom classic, a standard bearer of television, "The Dick Van Dyke Show". His longtime friendship and partnership with Mel Brooks was legendary in itself, as was their comedy routine, "The 2000 Year Old Man".



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm interested in the origin of words. Where words come from. Simple words --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of them you pick up on the street --


SANCHEZ: Brooks paying tribute to his dear friend, saying, quote, Carl was a giant, unmatched in his contributions to entertainment whether he wrote or performed or he was just your best friend, nobody could do it better.

Carl Reiner is survived by family including his son Rob, a comedy giant in his own right who says his father was his guiding light. Carl Reiner was 98 years old.

JARRETT: Such a legend. He will be missed.

All right, still ahead -- breaking overnight, dozens of arrests as China implements a sweeping national security law in Hong Kong.

CNN is live on the ground, next.



JARRETT: Breaking overnight, China imposing a sweeping national security law in Hong Kong. Police making at least 30 arrests in the first big protest over the highly uncontroversial new restrictions.

CNN's Will Ripley is live in Hong Kong for us.

Will, what have you been seeing on the ground there today?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, it's really interesting because obviously, this time last year, you couldn't even move through these streets because there were so many protesters, this year, small pop-up of unrest and a huge police presence. This is one of the water cannons we have seen deployed today. We are a little close to it, but I'm hoping if they fire it, it would go over our heads because you don't want to get hit with the water. There's lots of nasty chemicals inside that can burn your skin for hours.

But you see, there's -- there's a whole line of police vehicles going down this road near Victoria Park, which has been the epicenter of previous protests. But this year, it's been largely empty. A lot of people are simply afraid to come out, afraid to be prosecuted under this national security law, because even possessing a sign promoting Hong Kong independence, Taiwan independence, if they find that sign in your backup, even if you're not waving it, you could be arrested and potentially put in prison for a very long time, like more than 10 years, even life in prison in some cases under this national security law.

So you have the police showing overwhelming force trying to basically stop protests before they begin. You can see there's a lot of people who are kind of curious hiding out Victoria Park behind the fence, not wanting to get sprayed and certainly not wanting to get arrested.

But this law on day one, you know, significantly has chilled the protest movement. Much smaller numbers out here. Not as many people in black. But yet, nonetheless, there still have been arrests. We saw one man arrested earlier that we know was connected to the national security law, but they've also been arrested for a whole host of other charges that tend to happen during protests like this.

One thing is clear, pro-democracy groups say their voices are being silenced. Police are going to use this kind of force, even if people are just out waving signs, because those people are now considered potentially terrorists and a threat to national security just for expressing their political views.

That is the new reality on the streets here in Hong Kong, Laura.

JARRETT: A new reality, indeed. All right. Will, thanks for your reporting as always.

SANCHEZ: And back to the States, to help travelers maintain social distancing this summer, the TSA plans to open more screening lanes, they're asking passengers to self-scan boarding passes on new machines at some airports. The agency says that so far, no decision has been made on temperature checks. They expect airport traffic to increase through the July 4th holiday, but still, well below the numbers they see in a typical summer.

JARRETT: Well, it's game over for Minor League Baseball. The season officially cancelled.

Coy Wire has more in this morning's "Bleacher Report".

Hey, Coy.


Yes, this is on the eve of Major League players and their staff reporting to their teams and this news comes. 2020 Minor League season called off due to this coronavirus pandemic. Minor League Baseball's president and CEO said in a statement, quote, these are unprecedented times for our country and our organization as this is the first time in our history that we've had a summer without Minor League Baseball played, unquote.

Now, Minor League Baseball has been around, Laura, playing every year since 1901. So, this is a devastating announcement, especially for small towns and for the players as well, hundreds won't play organized ball this year. Some will see their dream making it to the big leagues and forever. Some MLB teams have committed to paying players $400 stipends through September. But what comes after that is uncertain.

With no game day revenue, clubs will have to likely furlough or lay off employees.

Now, the GM of the Colorado Rockies says he supports Ian Desmond's decision to sit out the 2020 season. The two-time all-star explained in a moving Instagram post, how both coronavirus and Black Lives Matter movement shaped his decision. Desmond says he's going to spend time with his family the next few months and improving the youth baseball programs in his hometown of Sarasota, Florida.


JEFF BRIDICH, COLORADO ROCKIES GENERAL MANAGER: Ian is extremely thoughtful in what he does.


He's thoughtful in how he prepares as a professional athlete. He's thoughtful as a husband and a father, fully supportive of Ian and of his family and of the decision they've made. It's the right decision for them and for him.


WIRE: All right, today is the deadline for NBA teams to finalize their rosters and traveling parties before heading to Orlando to restart the season.

But as cases of coronavirus spike across the country with Florida among the worst hit states, Commissioner Adam Silver is defending the plan to play in an isolated bubble.


ADAM SILVER, NBA COMMISSIONER: You cannot run from this virus. It's -- I'm absolutely convinced it will be safer on this campus than off this campus because there aren't many other situations I'm aware where there's mass testing of asymptomatic employees. And so, in some ways, this is maybe a model of how other industries can ultimately open.


WIRE: And, Boris, it is a model that many would argue that many industries could not follow, flying employees to a contained bubble environment for months on end, the so-called happiest place on earth, in Disney in this case. And those comments just as three New Orleans Pelicans tested positive and Denver Nuggets shut down their practice facilities Boris as members of their traveling team test positive, all seven days before they're set to fly down there to Orlando.

SANCHEZ: Yes, Coy, the NBA, like so many organizations, like so many states, trying to figure this out as it goes along.

Coy Wire, thank you so much this morning.

June was just a devastating month for coronavirus, big setbacks across the country. Some states forced to take drastic measures to re-flatten the curve. Some states just refusing to budge.

We'll be right back.