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CA Gov. Orders Almost 75 Percent Of State Back To Near Shutdown; U.S. Death Toll Nears 128,000 As Cases Surge In 37 States; Nineteen States Pause Or Roll Back Reopening; GA Gov. Says Wearing Mask "The Right Thing To Do" But Won't Issue Statewide Mandate; FL Gov.: Coronavirus "Doesn't Like Sunshine, Heat, Humidity"; Trump: "All For Masks," Don't Need To Be Mandatory; Mexico City Slowly Starting To Reopen Despite Cases Rising. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired July 1, 2020 - 17:00   ET



JIM ACOSTA, CNN HOST: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. Wolf Blitzer is off today. I'm Jim Acosta in THE SITUATION ROOM and we're following breaking news.

The coronavirus death toll in the U.S. now nearing 128,000 people as cases rise in 37 states prompting at least 19 of them to pause or rollback reopening.

The crisis in California is so bad that the governor there has just ordered almost 75 percent of the state back to near shut down. All indoor activities in 19 counties closed for at least the next three weeks. That includes museums, theaters and dining restaurants.

California joins Georgia and Arizona all setting another one day record number of new cases in the last 24 hours.

All of this apparently last on President Trump who claimed a short time ago that his administration, "did it all right" when it comes to the pandemic, and that the virus will, "sort of just disappear."

We begin with CNN National Correspondent Jason Carroll in New York.

Jason, disturbing developments in some of the country's largest states tonight.

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and despite what the President says, Jim, you know more than anyone, this virus is not going away. It is not disappearing. In fact, it's getting worse in some parts of the country.

California's governor forced to close businesses to try to get a handle on it.


CARROLL (voice-over): California's Governor Gavin Newsom announcing new statewide restrictions this afternoon, halting all indoor activities in businesses such as restaurants, museums, zoos, and movie theaters in 19 counties, which represents 72 percent of the state's population.

GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM, (D) CALIFORNIA: We are now requiring they closed their indoor operations due to the spread of the virus.

CARROLL: Thirty-seven states seeing a surge over the past week. And now results of a new study say the U.S. death count might be higher than the official numbers show.

Research published in the medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine says the number of U.S. deaths from March to May was 28 percent higher than what was attributed to COVID-19.

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO, (D) NEW YORK: Or storm clouds on the horizon.

CARROLL: The alarming rise in cases nationwide, prompting New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to stop restaurants in New York City from opening indoor dining next week. Cuomo warned if people do not comply, the state which has seen its numbers moving in the right direction could end up where it started.

CUOMO: We're back to the mountain. That is what is going to happen.

CARROLL: Troubling numbers continue coming in from Texas, Arizona and Florida, where that state's Department of Health reported more than 6500 additional COVID cases today. The governor continues to push back on critics who say he reopened to soon and should by now have had a state mandate to wear a mask.

In Texas, 6975 new cases that tops the previous single day record by more than 1000. In the face of those numbers, the state's lieutenant governor says he will stop listening to recommendations from the nation's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, who cautions States against skipping over CDC guidelines when reopening.

LT. GOV. DAN PATRICK (R), TEXAS: He doesn't know what he's talking about. We haven't skipped over anything. The only thing I'm skipping over is listening to him.


CARROLL: And Jim, this number just coming into us, Texas now reporting 8076 new COVID cases. This is the state's highest number of cases in a single day. Again, another sign this virus is not just disappearing, not just going away. Jim.

ACOSTA: We are seeing a resurgence no question about it. CNN's Jason Carroll, thank you very much.

Let's get more now on the breaking news out of California. CNN's Dan Simon is working the story for us.

Dan, this near lockdown is a dramatic reversal for California. This must just be stunning to residents in that state. How extensive are the closings?

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you're right, Jim, this does mark a major reversal. We're talking about a shutdown of indoor operations across a whole bunch of sectors for 19 counties.

Let's just take through some of the things we're talking about. No indoor operations for restaurants, bars, wineries, museums, zoos, movie theaters, and family entertainment. Now these 19 counties represent 72 percent of the population. So, this is going to have a significant economic impact for people who work across those industries. But the governor saying that this is absolutely the right call to stem this surging tide.

Now, in terms of what we're expecting over the weekend, Governor Newsom also saying that state beaches, the parking lots for state beaches will be close. Obviously they're trying to prevent large gatherings from taking place.

The beaches themselves will remain open, but without accessibility, the crowds should be a bit lower.


You can see this beach behind me a moderate crowd today, but of course, a lot of people are expected to come to the beaches this weekend. Jim.

ACOSTA: It will be a very different scene this week. And I assume, Dan, in the meantime, do we know exactly why we're seeing the surge in California right now? What went wrong? Can we put our finger on one thing here?

SIMON: Oh, Jim, there seems to be a broad consensus among health experts and elected leaders that once the economy began to reopen around Memorial Day, people sort of went back to that pre-pandemic mentality. People weren't as diligent about wearing their mask, particularly young people, not as much social distancing. And that seems to at least contribute to the problem. Jim.

ACOSTA: All right, that is bad news, indeed. Dan Simon, thank you very much.

Let's get more on all of this with CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Dr. Chris Murray, he leads a team of Coronavirus modelers at the University of Washington, very important organization out there.

Doctors, thanks to both of you.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, let's start with you first. California was seen as one of the early leaders in combating this virus. Everybody was looking at California, and saying what a great job they're doing. And now it looks like they're almost back to square one. What happened out there?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, well, you know, first of all, you know, the data, you got to trust the numbers, you know, the virus doesn't lie in this regard. So sometimes people go back and they say, well, the numbers don't fit, therefore, something didn't happen. You know, that they had a sudden surge of cases. That is true.

Why it happened, I think is sometimes a little bit more challenging to figure out. I think one of the things Governor Newsom has sort of pointed to is, is the fact that private gatherings may have been contributing to this more. You know, those are harder to regulate, even if you close down the public institutions, gym, large private gatherings and neighborhoods or extended family, people possibly spreading the infection to lots of people at those events, and then people then scattering back to their communities. That could be part of the problem.

We don't know but you know, you just remind people it can go into very rapid growth quickly, Jim. It's like that old thing when you're a kid. You want a penny today, two pennies tomorrow, four pennies the next day and so forth for a month, or do you want a million dollars. Most people take the million dollars. But if you did the pennies, it'd be worth closer to $5 million.

Point is, when it starts to double rapidly, the numbers grow.

ACOSTA: Absolutely. And Dr. Chris Murray, what lessons can we learn, you know, from California's reopening and this rollback, it's not a success story anymore in California.

DR. CHRISTOPHER MURRAY, DIRECTOR. INSTITUTE FOR HEALTH METRICS AND EVALUATION: Now, if this surge, you know, cases in California have been rising actually for about six to seven weeks, unfortunately death in follow and now we're seeing hospitalizations going up with growth with a very worrisome time.

You know, back to the message that we were talking about previously, that is some of this could be avoided if everybody was diligent, wore a mask and avoided physical contact or have six feet or less. So, quite a bit of this is in people's control.

ACOSTA: And Sanjay, one expert is warning that small incremental health measures aren't going to be effective when cases of the virus are out of control. When you look at the situation now compared to a month ago, do you think it's time for more drastic measures? And what could they be?

GUPTA: Yes, I mean, unfortunately, you know, I don't get any joy in saying that. I think one of our contributors, Aaron Broman (ph) just talked about, you know, when you have smaller numbers, you can sort of do more incremental adjustments like a dimmer switch. But when you have large numbers like this of newly infected people, it's more a hammer that you need.

And you know, some of it may be what Governor Newsom is talking about, you know, these stay at home orders are very disruptive, we know that. And it can be very disruptive for communities, for the state as a whole.

But in order to get this under control and get back to the point where you say OK, we're looking again for that 14 day downward trend. Get that under control and then open up the right way, I think is maybe something that's necessary. Nobody wants that I realized Jim, but we may -- decision may get -- made for people after a while.

ACOSTA: Right and Dr. Murray, in Georgia Governor Kemp went around on a tour of the state today encouraging people to wear masks. But he still won't issue a statewide mandate on them. Does that water down the message?

Would mandates help if we had mandates for mass across this country? Would we be seeing a very different picture right now?

MURRAY: I think we would. You know, people's behavior it's great to appeal to individuals to protect themselves, their family, their community, for people to listen to mandate. And I think if we look in other countries where mandates are being put in place, where it's not a recommendation, but a requirement that's led to higher mass use, and so that would be a beneficial thing.

You probably saw that Goldman Sachs came out saying that mask use would save five percentage points of GDP in the U.S. So there's both a health reason and there's an economic reason to have these mask mandates in place.


ACOSTA: And you've got to wonder if they're talking about that metric around the White House. That would be a fascinating conversation to listen in on.

And Sanjay, Governor DeSantis of Florida says he's less worried about Fourth of July barbecues this weekend because he says, "The science is pretty clear that outdoor activities are safer." I suppose there is some truth to that.

But do you worry that that sends the wrong message going into the holiday weekend? That everybody can just start congregating at barbecues in many cases, I suppose without mask? Obviously, we want people to wear masks, but there are so many people who just resist doing so.

GUPTA: Yes. I mean, you know, people like to think of these things in just binary terms. You know, either you can do it totally the normal way that used to or you can't.

And I do think the truth lies in there somewhere in between. You know, it is true, that outdoor events are much safer, I think, even according to some of Dr. Murray's modeling, you know, 15, 18 times safer in terms of decreased likelihood of transmission. But, keep in mind now, you're dealing with a state where there's a lot of people who are carrying the virus.

So, you know, if I came back to you and said after that barbecue, you were in close contact with somebody who is carrying the coronavirus, and now you have to be part of the contact tracing, possibly after quarantine. That's more likely to happen now, given how much virus is circulating there. So you have to keep that in mind.

And also, Jim, as you say, it's not just the area where you are inside versus outside or even just the distance, but the duration. If you're next to somebody for a long period of time, even if you're outside that increases the risk as well.

ACOSTA: OK, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Dr. Chris Murray, fascinating discussion, great information, unfortunately just a sad predicament that the whole country seems to be in right now. Thank you very much for all of that. We appreciate it.

Up next, increasingly isolated on mask, President Trump appears to change his stance. Just a touch of it. Will he set an example for the nation by wearing a mask himself?

Plus the crisis deepens as states including Arizona and California report record numbers of new coronavirus cases.



ACOSTA: More breaking news, we're following President Trump speaking out about the coronavirus pandemic a short time ago and making some stunning claims.

CNN White house Correspondent Jeremy Diamond has details.

Jeremy, the President seems unaware of how this crisis is escalating.

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jim, you know, amid this alarming surge in coronavirus cases we really haven't heard much from the Presidents. Over the last five days, the President has been out of sight. But today he is breaking that streak making some movement on this question of masks, but where he's not changing is on this notion that the coronavirus is somehow simply going to disappear.

The President's saying today that he believes at some point coronavirus will just disappear.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think we're going to be very good with the coronavirus. I think that at some point that's going to sort of just disappear. I hope

DIAMOND (voice-over): Tonight, President Trump is betting on wishful thinking to stop the alarming surge of coronavirus across the country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You still believe so disappear?

TRUMP: I do. I do. Yes, sure, at some point.

DIAMOND: With coronavirus cases trending upward in 37 states and his own public health experts calling for swift action, Trump who once called himself a "wartime president" in the face of a pandemic, now appears to be taking a backseat.

He hasn't appeared at a briefing alongside health experts in weeks and he undermined CDC guidelines by rallying thousands of people at an indoor arena last month.

But today --

TRUMP: I'm all for masks. I think masks are good.

DIAMOND: The President, who has found himself increasingly isolated over the issue of wearing masks now saying this --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You would wear one?

TRUMP: Oh, I would. I would. Oh, I have.

I mean, people have seen me wearing one. If I'm in a group of people where we're not, you know, 10 feet away, and -- but usually I'm not in that position, and everyone's tested.

Actually, I had a mask on. I said, I like the way I looked. OK. I looked like the Lone Ranger.

DIAMOND: But the President is still resisting calls for a national mandate.

TRUMP: Well, I don't know if you need mandatory because you have many places in the country. People feel good about it, they should do it.

DIAMOND: Trump's comments coming after a slew of Republicans have stepped up their calls for Americans to wear masks while also resisting instituting a requirement.

GOV. BRIAN KEMP, (R) GEORGIA: We shouldn't have to require a mandate for people to wear a mask. It's the right thing to do. I trust people that they're going to do that if we ask them.

DIAMOND: Vice President Mike Pence also stepping up his calls for mask wearing if local officials agree.

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

DIAMOND: The President's campaign, meanwhile, finding a fall guy for the President's Tulsa campaign rally. Reassigning its chief operating officer to a new role after Trump privately fumes, not about the lack of health precautions, but because the arena wasn't packed to the brim.

And then there's the culture wars, Trump keeping up his defense of monuments to the Confederacy and threatening to veto a military funding bill because he would strike the names of Confederate generals from military bases.

He is also attacking New York's Mayor for plans to paint Black Lives Matter in front of Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue, calling the slogan a symbol of hate and suggesting police officers should block the painting. Amid mounting evidence that Russia tried to pay Taliban fighters to kill U.S. troops, the President stepping up his attacks on those reports discrediting the intelligence as just another hoax even as his administration prepares to brief the country. President stepping up his attacks on those reports discrediting the intelligence as just another hoax, even as his administration prepares to brief the congressional Gang of Eight on the issue tomorrow.


TRUMP: This didn't rise to the occasion. And from what I hear, and I hear pretty good, the intelligence people didn't even -- many of them didn't believe it happened at all. I think it's a hoax. I think it's a hoax by the newspapers and the Democrats.


DIAMOND: And Jim, the White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, she had a briefing a few moments ago where she defended the President's comments about the virus simply disappearing at some point, saying that it's the President having confidence in the team that he's put together.

But what's clear, Jim, is that this is a White House that doesn't want to make this latest surge look like that first surge. They don't want this to look like the national emergency style briefings that we saw during that early part of the Coronavirus pandemic when cases were surging and hospitals were reaching capacity. Instead they want this look very different because they want Americans to be less alarmed.

Of course, Jim, the President's reelection is just around the corner. And that's a big part of this. They do not want Americans to feel like this surge is us going back to square one. Jim.

ACOSTA: All right. Jeremy, people are alarmed because this emergency is not disappearing.

CNN's Jeremy Diamond, thank you very much.

Let's bring in CNN White House Correspondent John Harwood and CNN Political Correspondent Abby Phillip.

John, let me go to you first, the President now says he's all for masks, but so far, he hasn't really taken any steps to reflect that. How can he say something like that right now?

JOHN HARDWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, he's backing into it under extreme pressure from a whole range of Republicans. And what you have to ask yourself is given the scale of the crisis, given the scale -- the fact that very large states are now throwing reopening into reverse because of the threat of coronavirus in their states is backing into it good enough.

In that clip that Jeremy just played a moment ago, Brian Kemp, the governor of Georgia said, well, you don't have to have a mandate. If you ask them, people will wear it. Well, the President isn't really asking people to wear a masks. He's saying, oh, it's OK. If they want to do it. That's fine. That is not leading on this issue.

And you've got entire range of people -- I was at a briefing yesterday where the Surgeon General was pleading with Americans to wear a mask. And so were other members of the administration. That's a message that the President has a unique ability to deliver much better than anyone else in the country. He's not doing it. He sounds disconnected with reality about the scale of the crisis.

ACOSTA: That's right. He has the bully pulpit.

And Abby Philip. President Trump says he likes how he looks in a mask, but this isn't about looks. It's about saving lives. What do you make of that comment?

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it really just gives you a window into how the President is approaching this and has been approaching this from day one.

One of the things you have to remember is he has used masks as a political weapon against Vice President Biden because he has said that Biden looks weak.

His campaign has used images of Biden wearing a mask in a campaign attack ads. So, it's not surprising that the President would be first and foremost concerned about the way that he looks and wanting to change that narrative before he changes his behavior on the subject of whether he will wear masks.

But you know, I also think that this is a sign of how the President has had trouble with this part of the presidency, which is the way in which he has to demonstrate the kind of behavior that he wants the public to actually exhibit.

The argument that the White House makes is that the President is tested regularly, and so they do not believe or they think if there's a very good reason for them to believe that he does not have the coronavirus and therefore doesn't have to wear a mask.

But at the same time, the way in which he demonstrates leadership on this subject is what you're hearing from a lot of mayors and governors and people who are leading cities and struggling to get their populations to listen to government officials, they want the President to demonstrate that to his supporters. And he's always had a very difficult time with that part.

It's usually do as I say, not as I do. And in this case, that's just not sufficient, given the level of crisis we're facing.

ACOSTA: Yes. And John Harwood, it took a new peak of infections, and many Republicans breaking from him on mass to get to this point. Is the President leading here or is he being led.

HARWOOD: He's quite plainly being led, and what was governing his behavior lately is the same thing that was governing at the beginning of this crisis. That is the idea that he doesn't want to disturb the psychology of the country around the state of the economy.

In the beginning, it was to protect a strong economy that we began this reelection year. And now it's to try to protect the recovery. But it is quite obvious that the worse the coronavirus situation is, the worse the economy is going to be.

And what the President doesn't get in this reelection calculation is one of the reasons. Why he's in deep, deep trouble for reelection is that people don't think he's taking the coronavirus seriously. So if he continues to not take it seriously in hopes of not disturbing the psychology, he's digging a deeper hole.


ACOSTA: And Abby, today the President repeated this line that the virus will disappear at some point. We've heard this before. Let's watch a compilation of when he said this before.


TRUMP: By April, you know, in theory, when it gets a little warmer, it miraculously goes away.

When you have 15 people and the 15, within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero.

It's going to disappear one day, it's like a miracle, it will disappear.

This is going to go away without a vaccine. It's going to go away. And it's -- we're not going to see it again. Hopefully.


ACOSTA: Abby, as Ronald Reagan once said, there he goes again.

PHILLIP: Yes, I mean, it's basically magical thinking on the President's part, that somehow if you just ignore the virus, it's going to just disappear. That is obviously not how this works.

And the problem for President Trump is that the American public understands that. They by and large, want the government to do more to protect them from this virus. They understand that their lives and their livelihoods are on the line here.

You know, a couple months ago when this whole thing started the President's own aides, were telling me that he understood that he had to get control of the virus in order to have the best shot at reelection. But day after day, the President seems to have given up on that hoping that this thing will all just go away.

But we could be facing really a worse public health situation than we faced a few months ago given the way that the cases are rising. And then if there is an economic fallback, where we're going backwards in terms of economic progress, I think the American public are not going to look at that very positively and the President could be in an even deeper hole when it comes to his political situation.

ACOSTA: Seems to be shaping up that way. John Harwood and Abby Phillip, thank you very much.

This breaking news is just coming from new data from the Pentagon showing the number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. military has more than doubled since June 10. As of today, there are almost 65 Hundred service members testing positive for COVID-19. That is up just over 2800 three weeks ago.

Defense officials say the rise in cases is happening largely in hotspot states, including California, Arizona, Texas and Florida. We're going to keep our eyes on that, as our service members need to stay safe in the middle of this COVID 19 pandemic like the rest of us.

And coming up Massachusetts requires visitors from all but seven states to self-quarantine for two weeks. Will it stop the virus from spreading? I'll ask the mayor of Boston later.

Multiple states are ordering bars to close again. Is there any way to keep them open and safe?



ACOSTA: With the fourth of July holiday weekend just around the corner, Massachusetts now is allowing people from only seven New England states to avoid a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine when they come to visit. With us now is the mayor of Boston, Marty Walsh. Mayor, thanks so much for joining us. We appreciate it.

One of the states on that list is New York, where Governor Cuomo is warning of new problems in New York City has there been progress for you to feel safe welcoming visitors from these seven states. I know you're trying to be cautious about it, but are you being cautious enough?

MAYOR MARTY WALSH (D), BOSTON, MA: I think we are right now. And I know the governor has expressed some concern over the last couple of days. We're watching -- we obviously monitored very closely these other states and other cities around the northeast part of the country. Even in (INAUDIBLE) we're at a 1.9 percent positive test rate for COVID. So we're tracking this number literally on a daily basis and tracking these trends on a daily basis here as we move forward.

COSTA: And in New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio wants the names of people flying into the city in order to make sure they're getting what they need while quarantining, is that something you would consider in Boston, is that maybe being a little too invasive, do you think?

WALSH: Yes, I don't think we'd do that something like that here in Boston. I think that we're asking people that come from outside of the state of Massachusetts to our city other than those seven states, the northern states, plus New Jersey and New York to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Obviously, one of the concerns I have coming up here in the fall or late summer, early fall is the schools and colleges, a lot of our colleges here in Boston want to open up. And my concern is seeing these spiking case around the country, many of the kids that are going to be coming from those states right now that are seeing these incredible surges that we're all witnessing over the last seven days.

ACOSTA: And how do you police this? Just very quickly, are you checking license plates? How do you monitor this?

WALSH: No, it's not -- we're not doing license plates. I think really, we're asking people to kind of self-quarantine. We've done it pretty much the whole time in Boston and in Massachusetts. We've made recommendations for wearing masks and keeping physical social distancing. And, you know, quite honestly, I think a lot of our numbers being so low is due to the fact that people are paying attention.

I think what people are seeing now around the country, adds another layer of concern to them, and seeing that people. And what, quite honestly is really alarming to me in Florida, and place like that, is that the folks that are testing positive are younger people that ages 30, 40, somethings. And, you know, that's something that in the very beginning here, we're having some concern.


I was having personal concerns with that people weren't wearing face coverings. But now, I think we understand the importance of wearing them. I think as we watch what's happening around the country, all these states shut down, all these states reopened and they put these rules out the window.

We didn't reopen until it was appropriate. We're still not fully reopened. The governor is going to announce another phase in the next couple days here in Massachusetts, and we are taking it very cautiously.

ACOSTA: And President Trump today repeated his claim that the virus will eventually disappear. I'm sure you saw that in our report from Jeremy Diamond a few moments ago. What goes through your mind when you hear the President say that the virus is going to disappear?

WALSH: Yes, I mean, there's no hope of that. I think that we were told in the very beginning of this, if I remember correctly, in February, March, that the virus would have a lifespan and by the summer we die out and while we're in the summer and we've had -- we haven't had a heat wave in Boston, but we've just had seven or eight very warm days and the virus is very much alive, not just here in Boston, but throughout the country.

And, unfortunately, until a scientist or doctor tells me that the virus -- when the virus might end its cycle, I'll believe that. And unfortunately, we keep hearing from everyone, every expert, is that we're in desperate need of having a vaccine here to combat this virus. ACOSTA: And one expert at Boston Medical Center warns this weekend could be the perfect storm for a spike in new cases. People are going to be out, they're going to be barbecuing, they're going to -- some will be tempted to go to parties and watch fireworks and so on. What is your message to Bostonians as your great city has into this Fourth of July holiday?

WALSH: You know, we've done a lot of work here. When I say we not just, myself and elected officials, but the community has done a lot of great work here in keeping our rates down, our cases down. And I'm asking you as this weekend comes on, comes and goes, do the same, social distance, physical this, wear mask, no large gatherings. No -- this year is not here for cookouts.

This year is the year for intimate, small family gatherings. Why would we want to risk all of what we're doing here and potentially have to shut down the economy again, by people being irresponsible in some cases to their own health? So I'm asking people to be responsible for your own health, be responsible for your family, and be responsible for your neighbors.

ACOSTA: That's very good advice. OK, Mayor Marty Walsh, thank you very much for joining us. I hope you stay safe as well. We appreciate it.

Coming up --

WALSH: Thanks, Jim.

ACOSTA: -- something President Trump and Russia Vladimir Putin seem to have in common. No mask.

Later, is there any way to make bars safer other than closing them down to prevent the coronavirus from spreading?



ACOSTA: And coronavirus headlines from around the globe, President Trump is not the only leader who's reluctant to wear a mask in public. Vladimir Putin was conspicuously unmasked today when he cast an important vote in Russia. CNN's Matthew Chance is monitoring developments from London, tell us more.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jim, a big day in Russia as voters decide on changes that could see Vladimir Putin remain in power for another 16 years. State television showing him casting his own vote and he appears to be the only person there not wearing a face mask. Everyone else, election officials, security, journalists, they've all got their masks on sensible in a country where coronavirus is still raging.

Of course another leader who prefers not to wear a face mask is President Trump, who suggested that some Americans wear masks not to protect against coronavirus but to signal disapproval of him. I don't think it's taken on that kind of political symbolism in Russia. And Putin has on at least one occasion, appeared wearing a full head-to- toe hazmat suit. But what Putin has been doing in the run up to this national vote in Russia, he's saying the battle against coronavirus is all but one, and perhaps wearing a mask wouldn't project the right kind of confidence, Jim.

ACOSTA: All right, Matthew Chance. Thank you very much. Brazil is second to the U.S. in the number of coronavirus cases. And experts say cases likely won't peak until mid-July to mid-August. Despite that, Rio de Janeiro is starting to reopen.

Let's go to CNN's Shasta Darlington. Shasta, what are you seeing?

SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jim, Rio de Janeiro is preparing to reopen bars, restaurants and gyms all starting tomorrow and private schools next week. Even though the number of new COVID-19 infections in the state has not slowed, and the rate of contagion has actually gone up since it allowed shopping malls and offices to reopen earlier this month. In fact, the Pan American Health Organization warned that countries such as Brazil, Argentina and Peru aren't likely to peak until mid-August.

The group's director also said the death toll in Latin America and the Caribbean could nearly quadrupled to more than 438,000 by October. At this point, Brazil has reported more than 1.4 million infections and nearly 60,000 deaths. Jim?

ACOSTA: Shasta Darlington, thank you. Mexico City is finally starting to reopen even though coronavirus cases are rising at an alarming rate there. CNN's Matt Rivers is there right now for us. Tell us more, Matt.

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jim, of all the tests that Mexico has reported over the last seven days, more than 43 percent of them have come back positive for COVID-19. This is Mexico regularly has one of the highest testing positivity rates of any country around the world.


And the reason for that is simple. It is Mexican government policy to only test people who have strong symptoms of this virus, which means that they have only tested less than 600,000 people overall since this outbreak began. Now Mexico's government argues that they don't need to engage in mask testing to get a handle on this outbreak. But that goes against what many public health experts would tell you that mask testing is crucial to understanding the true nature of any given outbreak.

Meanwhile, more news out of the presidential office today here in Mexico City with an announcement that Mexican President Lopez Obrador will be traveling to Washington on July 8th, for a bilateral meeting with President Trump. Jim?

ACOSTA: Matt Rivers, thank you very much.

Coming up, California shatters its one day record for new coronavirus cases as the governor orders thousands of businesses to close again. Plus, multiple states order bars closed as cases surge. Is there any way for them to operate safely during the pandemic?



ACOSTA: The worsening pandemic is prompting some states to, once again, order bars closed. CNN's Brian Todd is working in that part of the story for us. Brian, bar seem to account for at least part of the increasingly rapid spread of the coronavirus. It's getting scary.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is, Jim. It is inescapable that crowded bars recently have accounted for at least part of those spikes. Not all of them but experts say the atmosphere, the dynamic in bars make them potential super spreaders.


TODD (voice-over): A carefree crowd at a bar in Austin, Texas, many inside not wearing face masks. In Jersey City, this bar was cited twice in one weekend for overcrowding. Police say hundreds of people were inside not wearing masks or social distancing.

At this club in Houston, an owner says they required patrons to show they had a mask in order to get in and had the tables spaced out. But he says customers ignore the rules.

BRET HIGHTOWER, CO-OWNER, SPIRE NIGHTCLUB, HOUSTON: As much as distance is we try to put everyone based on the guidelines, it's not the facility, it's the people.

TODD (voice-over): These scenes from recent days have prompted America's top voice on the coronavirus outbreak to issue a stern warning about bars.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY & INFECTIOUS DISEASES: Bars really not good. Really not good. Congregation at a bar inside is bad news. We really got to stop that.

TODD (voice-over): In Texas where a coronavirus spike has surged to alarmingly dangerous levels, Governor Greg Abbott admitted he made a mistake with his states reopening.

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

TODD (voice-over): But Abbott and his state are certainly not alone. Tonight, Texas is among seven states, some of them experiencing massive spikes in cases which have either shut down bars completely or have partially shut them or paused reopening. Experts say crowded bars alone don't account for the recent spikes. But they say the natural social atmosphere in bars is especially dangerous.

DR. JOHN SWARTZBERG, PROFESSOR OF MEDICINE, U.C. BERKELEY SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH: Bars are places where people are not wearing masks, places where people aren't social distancing. And after some drinks, of course, you lose your inhibitions and you even are less conscious.

TODD (voice-over): The doctors we spoke to say there's almost no way to make an indoor bar setting safe during this pandemic. Indoors, they say, especially if there's loud music playing at a bar, it's like a petri dish for the spread the virus.

SWARTZBERG: Inside in the bar if it's noisy, if there's music playing, the ambient noise is going to make you talk louder. When you talk louder, you expel more droplets from your mouth. Those droplets, of course, can contain the virus and infect other people.

TODD (voice-over): Another part of this so-called perfect storm of infection, experts, say is the average age of many people who go to bars

DR. JAMES PHILLIPS, PROF OF EMERGENCY MEDICINE, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL: They feel invincible because they're young. And, quite frankly, throughout the beginning of this pandemic, it's mostly been messaging about older folks and people with pre-existing health conditions as being vulnerable.


TODD: So has this pandemic killed the bar scene completely? The medical experts we spoke to don't believe it has. They believe that traditional crowded bars will make a comeback but they say that can't be until we have proven vaccines and what they call herd immunity. And Jim they say that may not happen for maybe another year or so.

ACOSTA: And the video of those crowded bars just downright stunning. CNN's Brian Todd, thanks for focusing on that. We appreciate it.

Coming up. California's dramatically roll back reopening as the state post a record number of new coronavirus cases. Details of which businesses the governor is ordering closed again, that's coming up.



ACOSTA: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. Wolf Blitzer is off today. I'm Jim Acosta in THE SITUATION ROOM. The breaking news tonight, the coronavirus death toll in the United States now approaching 128,000 as new cases skyrocket in at least 22 states pause or reverse plans to reopen. Georgia, Arizona and California, as well as Texas, all reported record new cases in the last 24 hours.

The surge is prompting California Governor Gavin Newsom to order 72 percent of residents into a near lockdown, shuttering indoor activities like bars, restaurants, museums and movie theaters. But President Trump is still in denial, claiming his administration did it all right on the virus.