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President Trump Believes Coronavirus Will Just Disappear; 1.4 Million New Unemployment Claims Expected in U.S.; No Age Exemption for China's New Security Law in Hong Kong; President Putin Assured Power until 2036; Source: Trump Often Didn't Read Intel on Russia; Palestinians Rally against West Bank Annexation; Ethiopians Protest Oromo Singer's Shooting; National Security Law Tightens China's Grip on Hong Kong; Brazil Surpasses 60,000 Coronavirus Deaths; Mexico Moves to Reopen Despite Rising Death Toll; Dozens of Companies Boycott Advertising on Facebook; Watchdog Report: Boeing Kept FAA in Dark About MCAS; Lewis Hamilton Making Mark On and Off the Formula 1 Race Track. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired July 2, 2020 - 00:00   ET




PAULA NEWTON, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Paula Newton.

Coming up on CNN NEWSROOM., the U.S. president claims that coronavirus will "just disappear," even as the country hits yet another daily record, more than 50,000 new cases.

Hong Kong facing a new normal after Beijing imposes a sweeping national security law that seeks to muzzle dissent.

And Vladimir Putin victorious. Russian voters have apparently backed a law to allow the president to rule until at least 2036.


NEWTON: Just one day after the nation's leading voice in the coronavirus predicted the U.S. would hit 100,000 new cases a day, we are already halfway there. Johns Hopkins University reports a new single day record in this country, more than 50,000 new infections on Wednesday. It's the fifth record in just the last eight days.

CNN's Nick Watt begins our coverage.


NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Every state beach parking lot in Southern California and the Bay Area will now be closed for the Fourth of July weekend.

GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): A weekend that has raised a lot of concern.

WATT: Bars, dine-in restaurants and movie theaters will also now close again in 19 Californian counties for at least three weeks.

Today, a daily death toll in this state like we haven't seen since April.

NEWSOM: Do not take your guard down. Please do not believe those that somehow want to manipulate the reality.

WATT: And record numbers now hospitalized in Arizona.

MAYOR JOHN GILES (R-AZ), MESA: I'm not sure what more we can do, with -- short of a total shutdown.

WATT: Record high hospitalizations also in Texas and long lines to be tested.

MAYOR STEVE ADLER (D-TX) AUSTIN: While we opened in phases, we went from one phase to the next phase to the next phase too quickly, so we weren't able to see the data.

WATT: He is echoing Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the most respected voices on this virus, but no longer respected by all.

LT. GOV. DAN PATRICK (R-TX): 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.

WATT: Thirty-seven states are seeing their case counts climb, at least 22 of them now pausing or rolling back reopening.

New York City was due to open indoor dining Monday. Not anymore. And a warning from the governor for the complacent and the scofflaws.

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): We're back to the mountain. That is what is going to happen. And that is an inarguable fact.

WATT: And a new warning from the federal official in charge of testing. Those under 35 are driving outbreaks right now and testing alone will not be enough to stop them.

ADM. BRETT GIROIR, U.S. ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES: Testing is critical, but we cannot test our way out of the current outbreaks. We must be disciplined about our own personal behavior, especially around the July 4 holiday and especially among the young adults.

WATT: A vaccine would, of course, be the game-changer. Some promising data from Pfizer today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we have an effective vaccine that is proven on January 1, this thing does not end January 2. It's going to be another six months, nine months, could be a year before we get it distributed in enough shoulders to make a meaningful difference.

WATT: Nick Watt, CNN, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEOTAPE) NEWTON: OK, given all that now, an apparent pivot from Donald Trump. The U.S. president now says he would have no problem wearing a mask in public in certain circumstances.


TRUMP: I am all for masks. I think mask are good. If I were in a group of people and I was close...

QUESTION: You would wear one?

TRUMP: Oh, I have. People have see me wearing one. If I'm in a group of people, where we are not you know 10 feet away. But usually I'm not in that position. They get tested before they see me. If I were in a tight situation with people, I would absolutely.

QUESTION: Do you think the public will see that at some point?

TRUMP: I mean, I'd have no problem. I had a mask on. I sort of like the way I look, OK?

I thought it was OK. It was a dark, black mask and I thought I looked OK. I looked like the Lone Ranger.


NEWTON: OK, just a reminder, the Lone Ranger's mask covered his eyes, not his nose and mouth, which is now a matter of life and death. But the president didn't stop there, once again repeating this magical prediction. Listen.


TRUMP: I think we are going to be very good with the coronavirus, I think that at some point that's going to sort of just disappear, I hope.


NEWTON: Joining me now from San Francisco, Dr. Larry Brilliant, an epidemiologist and CNN medical analyst.

I've got to say, sometimes when we hear the raw data, 50,000 new cases, what does that even mean?

And I feel like it fails to really put this crisis in perspective. So help us.

What does a record setting day like this mean in this country?


DR. LARRY BRILLIANT, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Hello, Paula. Well, it's a very sad day and it means that there are more record setting days coming and it's a record that no one would want to have. But it's not just 50,000 cases. Today, we reached 980 or 990 deaths, nearly 1,000 deaths. What I think

it means is that some of the states opened early before Memorial Day, just as the president was saying then he thought that the disease would disappear magically. They opened too early and then we had Memorial Day.

We had perhaps 100 million people go out and with the exuberance of and the license to go out, many were infected. And now a month later, you are seeing the effect of that premature exuberance.

You are seeing the 50,000 cases a day and nearly 1,000 deaths. I'm afraid that Dr. Fauci is right, as he said we are on our way to 100,000 cases a day. It's hard to understand how we might not get there.

NEWTON: Yes, it's called exponential growth and it's dire really for all Americans.

Can Americans turn this around without drastic shutdowns?

Is it enough for people to wear masks, to social distance, to stay home except for the essentials? Can that work?

Or do you fear that it's too late for that?

BRILLIANT: I think it's going to take everything. It's going to take three major classes of activity.

First, yes, I think we are going to have to shut down those places that create a person to person transmission opportunity -- the bars, the hairdressers, the restaurants where you pull your mask down and you're having a delightful glass of wine with someone.

Those places must be closed down because they are the source of major transmission. But it's not enough. Every other place, we have to wear masks, we have to social distance, wash your hands as often as we can.

Even that's not enough. We have to go back to basic epidemiology, find every case, do contact tracing, do testing, find those who are contacts who might have the disease, treat them. Those who might be incubating the disease, quarantine them.

If we do that, we could quarantine about 1 percent or 2 percent of the population, leave the rest of the population free except for those highly dangerous activities. We have to do all in and we have to do it epidemiologically, not on the basis of a hope or a wish or a dream.

NEWTON: There has certainly not been the deference to science that you need. Even those who know the data and the science in terms of the prescription you are giving them, there hasn't been a good track record in the last few weeks, even about the contact tracing.

Do you think places like the CDC can still mobilize or mobilize within the states to try and get done exactly what you've indicated, to track every case? BRILLIANT: CDC has some of the finest epidemiologists, virologists and scientists in the world. It's not a question of mobilizing CDC. It's a question of letting them loose. They're like a bunch of -- there are great race horses wanting to get out there but they are being suppressed.

And they are being suppressed because the data that they have and the information that they have and the truth that they have is inconvenient. We need to have CDC back again. We need to have WHO fully funded.

America needs to be part of the global effort, which has been so successful in parts of Europe. We need to be humble and learn from what happened in South Korea and New Zealand, Taiwan. There are so many places that we can learn from if we would be humble and we understand we have got a big problem.

NEWTON: I still hear a lot of optimism in your voice, which is good.

What are you going to look for in the coming days?

BRILLIANT: I'm going to be looking to see what happens on the 4th of July. I'm afraid -- I've been optimistic so far -- I'm afraid I could be pessimistic if the 4th of July turns out to be pretty putting kerosene on the fire that's already raging.

We are hearing many good-sounding warnings from even the Southern states, warning people, this 4th of July can't be like ordinary 4ths of July. Let's see what happens. Right now, if the 4th of July is like Memorial Day and we have 100 million people out, engaging in contact, that spreads the virus, by the time we get to the third of the American summer holidays, Labor Day, I'm afraid Dr. Fauci's estimates would be correct.

NEWTON: And it might be trite but true. Patriotic thing to do on July 4th, maybe just to stay home. Dr. Larry Brilliant for us in San Francisco, thank you so much.

BRILLIANT: Thank you, Paula. Thank you for having me.

NEWTON: It is a mixed bag of news in the U.S. jobs front, the weekly jobless report is due in just a few hours from now. Nearly 1.5 (sic) more first-time claims from unemployment benefits are expected.


NEWTON: President Trump said he would meet Wednesday night to discuss extending the enhanced benefit that is now at this point set to expire. The government will also release its monthly jobs reports for June. It's predicted to show a record 3 million jobs were added. That would drop the unemployment rate to still quite high, 12.3 percent.

Moving to Hong Kong now, it's still reeling from another day of unrest on the streets. Police on Wednesday clashed with protesters who were marching against a national security law that China has just imposed. About 370 people were arrested, at least 10 were suspected of

violating the new law. Some were carrying a flag, just a flag, and a sign supporting Hong Kong independence. New legislation has broadened Beijing's power to investigate and punish alleged crimes, including secession, subversion -- and this is key here -- what it considers terrorism and that definition is quite broad.

Officials have defended the law, saying it's meant to restore stability in the city. CNN's Kristie Lu Stout joins me now from Hong Kong.

You've been following all of this and, in some ways, Kristie, I would argue it's much worse than many had expected.

It didn't take long, right?

The turnaround from the time the law passed to it being forced (sic) was barely 12 hours. What's the impact you are seeing?

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN ANCHOR: Since China's new national security law took effect, there have been a wave of arrests here in the territory. Hong Kong police have arrested 370 people on a variety of charges, ranging from unlawful assembly to possession of offensive weapons to breaching the new national security law.

Of the 370 people arrested, 10 were arrested under the new law, including a 15 year old girl. The 15 year old was arrested for waving a pro independence flag.

We are also learning about an additional arrest that took place in the early hours of this morning, involving a 24-year-old man, who was arrested on suspicion of wounding a police officer with a dagger.

The man was arrested at the Hong Kong International Airport. He was on the tarmac. He was on a Cathay Pacific flight, en route to London, when police came on board and apprehended him.

This new national security law criminalizes secession, subversion of state power, terrorism, colluding with foreign forces. It sets up a new government agency in Hong Kong, a commission for safeguarding national security, as well as a new special unit under the Hong Kong police force for handling national security cases.

People who are convicted under this law can face a maximum sentence of life in prison and anyone could be subjected to this law outside Hong Kong, even if they are not Hong Kong permanent residents.

On Wednesday, we got, if you could call it, more clarity from the leadership in Hong Kong, including Hong Kong's top leader, chief executive Carrie Lam. She spoke to reporters on Wednesday. Have a listen to what she said about the new law.


CARRIE LAM, HONG KONG CHIEF EXECUTIVE: I would rather not to be able -- not to arrest or prosecute anybody if everybody abides by the law. The purpose of this piece of legislation is not just to punish but also to deter, to deter people from committing such serious offenses as cessation (sic), subverting the state power, terrorist activities and so on so on.


STOUT: Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam there, speaking on the deterrent effect of the new national security law, the law coupled with the Hong Kong police response is doing just that. Back to you.

NEWTON: Let's be clear, what she's talking about deterring is freedom of speech. As a teenager, holding up a sign. That was told, that, yes, that was no longer allowed in Hong Kong.

Kristie Lu Stout, thanks so much for your observations there from Hong Kong as we continue to follow that story.

Now the U.S. House of Representatives, meantime, has passed legislation to sanction China over its treatment of Hong Kong. Speaker Nancy Pelosi says it's a necessary response to the passage of the national security law.

She says it threatens the one country, two systems framework. U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo, meantime, echoed her concerns.


MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: The United States is deeply concerned about the law's sweeping provisions and the safety of everyone living in the territory, including Americans.

Article 38 of the new law also purports to apply to offenses committed outside of Hong Kong by nonresidents of Hong Kong. This likely includes Americans. This is outrageous and an affront to all nations.


NEWTON: Pompeo also says the U.S. is asking companies to evaluate their supply links to China. It comes after American officials found products from that region, that they allegedly made with forced labor. They believed it perhaps involved the Uyghurs who have been persecuted in China and their incidents of forced labor there.


NEWTON: The U.S. says it will not tolerate inhumane practices from China.

Meantime, the U.K. is also blasting the Chinese government for its actions in Hong Kong. Prime minister Boris Johnson says the passage of the national security law threatens the city's freedoms and vowed offer eligible Hong Kong residents a path to British citizenship.

Russia is releasing preliminary results from its controversial vote and, yes, you guessed it, far from shocking. What it means for President Putin and why his U.S. counterpart could be boosting his popularity.

And protests turned deadly in Ethiopia. Why a singer's death is sparking mass demonstrations.




NEWTON: So to the surprise of probably no one, Russia says voters are overwhelmingly supporting changes to the constitution that could keep Vladimir Putin in power until at least 2036.

Russia's central elections commission says, with half of all ballots counted, 76 percent of voters have approved the amendments. In St. Petersburg, Our Moscow demonstrators protested the reforms, calling the vote illegitimate. A monitoring group says dozens were detained. Prominent opposition figure Alexei Navalny says many people are frustrated and that the results they just announced are fake news and a huge lie. This has nothing to do with the opinion of Russian citizens. Putin lost this vote before it began. After all he refused to hold a real referendum in accordance with all the rules and with observers present because he understood if there are rules, he will lose. He can only win where he draws numbers.

Nonetheless, the takeaway from the vote is absolutely clear. President Putin isn't going anywhere. And in a very strange way, President Trump may be at least partly be responsible. Matthew Chance explains.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: With Putin tightening his grip on the Kremlin, he could point to the U.S. president as one reason for his enduring upheaval.

"I would elect him for another 10 years," says Antonina (ph), who is voting for constitutional changes that could keep Putin in power until 2023.

When Trump won in 2016, they celebrated in Russia. Finally, the U.S. leader critical of NATO in the E.U., where they believed saw the world their way. Putin's way.

Still, a few expected him to back the Russian president over his own intelligence agencies on allegations of U.S. election meddling, even Putin looked uncomfortable with the 2018 Helsinki summit, intervening to insist President Trump had disagreed with them on something.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): President Trump's stance on Crimea is well known and he sticks to it. We have a different point of view.

CHANCE: But apparent bows to Kremlin interest didn't end.

[00:20:00] CHANCE: In 2019, President Trump announced a sudden pull out of U.S. forces from Syria, abandoning Kurdish allies, allowing Russian forces to take over deserted U.S. bases, filling the vacuum and a long- standing Kremlin goal.

U.S. officials later clarified some forces would stay to secure the oil. But in other conflicts like Ukraine, Trump also played well to the Russian audience. Threats to suspend vital military aid, fueled bitter impeachment hearings in Washington, it was music to the Kremlin's ears as their forces-backed rebels in the countries.

Now, as Russians looks set to endorse Putin for potentially another 16 years, Trump's apparent soft spot for the Kremlin's strongman amid allegations of Russian bounties to kill U.S. troops is being tested again -- Matthew Chance, CNN.


NEWTON: The White House has focused on explaining why they say President Trump wasn't briefed on intelligence about Russia offering bounties to the Taliban to kill U.S. and coalition troops.

But there hasn't been much discussion on the actual substance of the intelligence or what the response might be. "The New York Times" reports an Afghan drug smuggler now believed to be in Russia is named in the intelligence as a key middleman between the Russian spy agency, the GRU, and Taliban militants.

Raids in one of the homes turned up $0.5 million in cash. Afghan officials told "The Times" as much as $100,000 was offered for each U.S. or coalition soldier killed. In just a few hours on Capitol Hill the so-called Gang of Eight lawmakers from the House and Senate Intelligence Committees are set to be briefed.


ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): The Trump administration today scrambling to answer why the White House had the intelligence as far back as early last year that Russia was offering bounties to the Taliban to kill American forces.

But the president, they claim, wasn't told about it. That decision was made by the president's intelligence briefer, according to the official in charge of making sure that the president hears what he needs to, the national security adviser, Robert O'Brien.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She made that decision because she didn't have confidence in the intelligence that came out, knowing the facts that I know now, I stand behind that call.


MARQUARDT (voice-over): But the concern over the intelligence was serious enough that it was briefed to top officials on the National Security Council, including former national security adviser John Bolton, who declined to comment.

Then early this year, according to a U.S. official, as new intelligence surfaced, it was in the written version of the president's daily brief, which officials had told CNN the president is not known to fully or regularly read. The White House insisting, though, that the president does read his intelligence reports.


KAYLEIGH MCENANY, TRUMP CAMPAIGN SPOKESPERSON: This 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.


MARQUARDT (voice-over): The daily brief also goes to top cabinet officials, like Robert O'Brien and others across the administration, meaning they didn't bring up the Russian plot with the president, either, something that President Barack Obama's former intelligence briefer, Robert Cardillo, called "incomprehensible."

ROBERT CARDILLO, OBAMA INTELLIGENCE BRIEFER: It just was too important if and when confirmed to not give the president a heads-up.

MARQUARDT (voice-over): Secretary of state Mike Pompeo today insisted that the reports were handled correctly.

POMPEO: When the threat is sufficiently serious, the scale of the threat is of such importance that there is an action that I think that the president needs to be aware of and the information that I've seen as sufficiently credible, then we make sure that the president is aware of that.

MARQUARDT (voice-over): The president himself dismissed the stunning revelations on Twitter as just another hoax.

A U.S. official, however, told CNN that the intelligence assessment was based on several pieces of information. That information from eavesdropping, interrogation of Taliban fighters and financial transfers from Russia to the Taliban all pointed to Russian military intelligence, the GRU, wanting to see Americans killed by the Taliban.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just the substance of exceeds the threshold of what we call duty to warn, meaning lives are at risk.

MARQUARDT (voice-over): Alex Marquardt, CNN, Washington.


NEWTON: So Israel's plan to annex parts of the West Bank maybe on pause for the moment. That didn't stop thousands of people from protesting Wednesday in Gaza. Many waved Palestinian flags and signs condemning the U.S. president.

Donald Trump's administration has been working with the Israeli government on the annexation plan. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calls it extending Israeli sovereignty to Jewish settlements and the Jordan Valley.

Palestinians want the West Bank to be a central part of its future state. I will speak next hour with a former advisor to Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas about the situation.


NEWTON: To Ethiopia now, dozens of people have been killed in a protest over a shooting of a prominent singer and activist. As CNN's Eleni Giokos reports, it's renewed anti-government tensions among the country's largest ethnic group.


ELENI GIOKOS, CNNMONEY CORRESPONDENT: Protests have erupted in Ethiopia following the killing of musician and activist Hachalu Hundesa. His death has resonated deeply with Ethiopians at home and abroad who viewed Hundesa as a critical voice for the Oromo people.

It's the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia. Hundesa highlighted the historical frustrations experienced of economic as well as political marginalization. The prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, also of the Oromo people, condemned the killing of Hundesa. He also talked about the continued persecution of the group.


ABIY AHMED, ETHIOPIAN PRIME MINISTER: What our enemies want is that we don't finish the work that we've started, that the Oromo people for this reason fight, are killed, their blood is spilled, that the journey that we have started gets derailed.


GIOKOS: The target has also been was criticized for what many is a policy of reversing ethnic tensions that have plagued the country's past. This week his government cut (INAUDIBLE) in many parts of the country, a move that we hear has incited anger as well as anxiety on the ground.

Hundesa's active role during the 2015 protest action, through songs like "Maalan Jira," which means, "What Existence is Mine," helped catalyze the political reform in that country and it was during a critical time that culminated in the removal of the then president.

Now experts say the killing of Hundesa is symbol and for many also underscores the existing tensions in Ethiopia. Nearly 80 people have been killed and 35 others arrested during this week's protests, including Jawar Mohammed, a prominent figure, also of the Oromo people, and importantly a very fierce critic of the parent government.

So exacerbating frustrations in the country. It was election year, set to be held in August. Those have been postponed during the COVID- 19 pandemic. Now Hundesa's funeral is set to take place in Oromia on Thursday -- Eleni Giokos, CNN, Johannesburg.


NEWTON: The devastating fires in the Amazon that shocked the world just last year are back. You see some of the newly burned out areas of Brazil's National Institute for Space Research spotted more than 2,200 fires last month. That's up almost 20 percent from last June. It's the most Brazil has seen in the month of June since 2007.

Keep in mind, this is the area often called the lungs of the planet. Activists say illegal loggers and ranchers are taking advantage of limited government resources during the coronavirus pandemic.

Multiple countries are blasting China for its actions on Hong Kong.

But will Beijing give in to criticism or will it continue to tighten its grip?

Plus Mexico moves up the list among the world's highest coronavirus death tolls even as the country pushes forward with reopening plans.


PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: More than 300 people have been arrested in Hong Kong following protests against a new national security law. China's central government says it imposed the law to restore stability in the city.


But as Ivan Watson reports, critics say the move marks an end, really, to Hong Kong's civil liberties.


IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): July 1, 2020, may be the day Hong Kong's autonomous bubble finally burst. A controversial new law dramatically expanding the Chinese central government's powers in Hong Kong was imposed under cover of darkness, as riot police began fanning out across the city's center.

A national security law written behind closed doors in Beijing was only made public at 11 p.m. on Tuesday, the moment the law went into force. The timing, hardly a coincidence. Because hours later, officials began celebrating the 23rd anniversary of Hong Kong's hand- over from British to Chinese rule.

According to international treaties, Hong Kong was supposed to enjoy relative autonomy from communist-ruled China until the year 2047. But the new law threatens critics of China's government with possible life imprisonment.

At a press conference Wednesday, Hong Kong's top officials argued the law would be good for the city's long-term stability.

(on camera): You have repeatedly said that it will be a tiny minority of people who would be persecuted and targeted by this law. Are you anticipating dozens of people being prosecuted? Hundreds? Thousands?

CARRIE LAM, HONG KONG CHIEF EXECUTIVE: I would rather not to be able -- not to prosecute anybody if everybody abides by the rule. The purpose of this piece of legislation is not just to punish. It is also to deter. To deter people from committing such serious offenses as cessation, subverting a state power, terrorist activities.

WATSON (voice-over): For years Hong Kong offered a split-screen commemoration of the July 1 handover anniversary. Government displays of patriotism, while not far away, a pro-democracy protest march, often critical of Beijing.

But after a million-man march last year, some protesters broke into the city's legislative council building, trashing it. The city than descended into months of increasingly violent confrontations.

This year police banned the annual protest march before it even began and immediately started arresting demonstrators.

(on camera): This new national security law arguably formalizes changes that have already been taking place in Hong Kong over the last year. I mean, look at the fortifications around the government headquarters: the riot police presence, the wire mesh defending the pedestrian overpasses.

All of these are new measures responding to a portion of the population that's deeply unhappy with its own government.

(voice-over): The Chinese government power play has had an immediate chilling effect, with some opposition activists disbanding their political party offices this week.

AVERY NG, ACTIVIST: Probably in the future, we may never see a million people on the street again. Not because we are satisfied with the government. But just because we are now living in fear.

WATSON: Beijing's message is unmistakable. Hong Kong's culture of protests will no longer be tolerated.

Ivan Watson, CNN, Hong Kong.


NEWTON: CNN political analyst Josh Rogin joins me now. He is also a foreign policy columnist for "The Washington Post."

Josh, you know, this is monumental, really. I mean, I called it seismic. And I think, really, the repercussions are just starting to be felt in Hong Kong. They are incredibly severe. And something normally that would really elicit a very bold response from the United States.

JOSH ROGIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: That's right. I think you have seen some incremental measures by the Trump administration of public condemnation, some visa bans, some restrictions of exports, and an overall process to rethink the U.S.-Hong Kong relationship and eventually eviscerate Hong Kong's special status in the eyes of U.S. economic and trade policy.

Now, that's a slower process than the process of Hong Kong being squeezed by the -- China's new national security law. So it looks as if the Trump administration is moving too slowly.

But at the same time, this is a process that's not completed, and you can be sure that the things that are under consideration inside the Trump administration are much more severe than what we've seen.

The question, of course, is whether or not that will help the people of Hong Kong or not that will actually help the people of Hong Kong or hurt them and also whether or not it will have any impact a tall on Beijing's behavior.

NEWTON: Yes, and such an open question right now, especially because even when we talk about that special status, right, it means something very different to 2020 than it would have meant even in 2002, 2003, let's say.

It's not even clear that China really needs that special status from the United States, and that, really, Hong Kong would be governed, for all intents and purposes, like a Shanghai, like a Beijing.

Do you get the sense that the State Department, given where at we're right now, global pandemic, new election on -- around the corner in November, that they are ready for bolder steps?

ROGIN: Yes, I think bolder steps are coming. And I think we have a lot of time before the election. And even if Trump loses a lot of time before we get a new administration.

And I think what the thinking is behind the administration is that, you know, if Hong Kong is not going to be treated by Beijing any differently than any other Chinese city, then there's no reason it should be treated by the United States any differently.

And what that basically means is closing off the ability of the Beijing elite to raise money, to use Hong Kong as a highway of capital and investment. And that's really the squeeze. The squeeze is if Hong Kong doesn't have its special status, Beijing will no longer be able to use that special status to feed its economic growth, and to feed its national champion companies.

And I think that will have a lot of pain for Beijing. And I think the fact that the U.S. industry is pushing against that is interesting but ultimately will not stop that from happening.

And, you know, it's also remarkable that Beijing will -- could take a look at that cost, and still make the decision to go ahead with these changes. They're clearly prioritizing their political and national security interests over their economic interests.

NEWTON: Yes. Josh, as we've said so many times before, right, China is playing a long game right now, and they're not looking at even a generational horizon. It goes much longer than that. And if it's a little bit pain they might take that for what they believe is the end goal in Hong Kong. I

And in the face of all of that, I mean, do you feel that the international response has been somewhat impotent, really? And let me even go back to the Obama administration. You know, famously Michelle Obama and, you know, their daughters went over to China. It was supposed to be a charm offensive, and yet where are we now?

ROGIN: Right. If Beijing is playing the long game, then we should take a look at what that long game looks like. It looks like a Chinese government that doesn't care at all about the opinion of the international community when it comes to issues of values, human rights, freedom of speech and democracy. And also a Chinese government that is willing to break international agreements, no matter what the consequence.

Of course, the U.S. and European reactions are impotent. You know, we're all dealing with a pandemic. We're all inward looking. And the tools available in this crisis are less than what they would have been, even if the administration was willing to use all of its tools. Of course, the Chinese Communist Party is abusing that scenario in order to push this forward at the worst possible time for the international community and especially for the people of Hong Kong.

So yes, they're making a long-term play, but we shouldn't overestimate the cleverness of the Chinese Communist Party, locked into this strategy, because they can't bear, you know, backing down in the face of the pro-democracy protests. Because they know that, if those pro- democracy protests are allows to succeed, they could spread throughout China and threaten their rule.

So they're making decisions for the long term. But that long term is not necessarily a long term where Beijing emerges victorious.

NEWTON: All right. And I take your point: They're doing this from a position of weakness, not strength. Unfortunately, though, the very character of Hong Kong at stake at the moment.

Josh Rogin for us in Washington, thanks so much.

ROGIN: Thank you.

NEWTON: OK. Some of the countries -- some of the countries hit hardest by the coronavirus across Latin America are seeing their death tolls soar even further. In Brazil, the virus has now killed more than 60,000 people, and Mexico now has the sixth highest number of deaths in the world, just over 28,000.

Yet some places, including Mexico, are moving forward with easing their restrictions. CNN's Matt Rivers has more from Mexico City.



MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, two new milestones for the countries in Latin America that have reported the most deaths as a result of this outbreak so far.

Let's start in Brazil, where cases continue to rise at an alarming rate, and it was Wednesday that health officials there reported more than 1,000 newly-confirmed deaths as a result of this virus. That means the overall death toll in Brazil is now more than 60,000 for the first time.

Meanwhile, yet another governor in Brazil has contracted this virus. That means that eight of the 27 governors throughout Brazil have now contracted this coronavirus.

Meanwhile, here in Mexico, and more specifically here in Mexico City, we watched on Wednesday in one state as certain businesses like restaurants, like hotels, were allowed to reopen with limited capacity for the first time in months.

Other businesses throughout this week, places like hair salons and markets here in Mexico City will also be allowed to reopen in the coming days.

This as Mexico reported nearly 750 additional deaths on Wednesday evening. That pushes the overall death toll here to more than 28,500 for the first time, and that means that Mexico's death toll is now higher than Spain's.

Matt Rivers, CNN, Mexico City.


NEWTON: Now, Columbia is also struggling to contain the virus. The government says more than 100,000 people have been infected, with more than 4,000 new cases reported on Wednesday alone.

Columbia's economy is also taking a hit. The unemployment rate in May saw above 21 percent, almost double than what was last year.

Chile, meantime, appears to be making some progress in getting its coronavirus outbreak back under control. On Wednesday, the country reported its lowest number of new cases in more than six weeks. It comes after a partial reopening appeared to cause an explosion of cases in mid-June.

Now, after that spike, the government reimposed strict lockdown rules, and it looks like it may be working. You can see here, the daily number of new infections has been steadily dropping over the past week.

New Zealand's health minister has resigned over criticism he's faced during the pandemic. David Clark had offered to step down in April, when he admitted breaking stay-at-home orders for a trip to the beach. But Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern wouldn't accept his resignation, then fearing it could disrupt the coronavirus response.

Clark again faced pressure last month after two women visiting from Britain left quarantine early and then tested positive. That came soon after the prime minister had declared the virus eliminated. Boeing is desperate to get its troubled 737 Max back in the skies and

rebuild its brand. But a damning new report on its dealings with aviation authorities could make that quite difficult.

And Facebook executives couldn't stop the advertiser boycott. Now the CEO is set to meet with activists. We'll have details ahead.



NEWTON: The White House press secretary is defending President Trump after he called Black Lives Matter a, quote, "symbol of hate." She claims he was referring to the organization, not the cause.

Now here's what the president tweeted. "New York City is cutting the Police budget by ONE BILLION DOLLARS, and yet the mayor is going to paint a big, expensive, yellow Black Lives Matter sign on Fifth Avenue, denigrating this luxury avenue. Maybe our great police, who have been neutralized and scorned by a mayor who hates and disrespects them won't let this symbol of hate be affixed to New York's greatest street." Again, symbol of hate.

The mayor of New York says a plan to paint the words "Black Lives Matter" will go on outside of Trump Tower and will start in the coming days.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has agreed to meet with the organizers of an expanding advertiser boycott next week. Now, Reuters reports other Facebook executives held last-minute meetings with advertisers but, in fact, failed to stop the boycott, which began Wednesday.

Hundreds of companies have pulled their ads for this month, criticizing the platform for not blocking hate speech and misinformation.

Abby Phillip has more.


ABBY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The world's largest social media company now under unprecedented pressure from its advertisers to do more to stop hate speech online.

Dozens of companies pausing advertising on Facebook in protest. The debate touching the highest office in the land, with Facebook coming under fire for leaving up these recent posts where President Trump appeared to threaten looters with shooting and spread false claims and misinformation about mail-in voting.

RASHAD ROBINSON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, COLOR OF CHANGE: As we watch Donald Trump, I think, become more and more volatile with his posts, the fact that these companies have sat on their hands and allowed it means that they are complicit.

PHILLIP: Rashad Robinson of Color of Change, one of the civil rights groups that have organized the Stop Hate for Profit boycott, says for businesses, the choice is people.

ROBINSON: Do you want your ads showing up next to white nationalist organizations? Do you feel comfortable having your ads next to theirs, while you're also putting, on those same platforms, messages about why black lives matter?

PHILLIP: Civil rights advocates are pushing Facebook to do more, including removing content and groups that promote hate and disinformation; allowing outside audits of its content and advertising policy; and giving advertisers refunds if their ads run alongside content that was removed because it violated company's policies.

With more than 98 percent of all of Facebook's revenue coming from advertising, the pressure on Facebook's bottom line is only growing.

NICK CLEGG, V.P. GLOBAL AFFAIRS AND COMMUNICATIONS, FACEBOOK: At Facebook we have absolutely no incentive to tolerate hate speech. We don't like it. Our users don't like it. Advertisers understandably don't like it.

PHILLIP: Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, who's been criticized for appearing to be too close to President Trump and his campaign, saying publicly that the company will put in place new policies to flag, label, and even remove content that violates its rules, including from the president.

MARK ZUCKERBERG, FACEBOOK CEO: If we determine the content may lead to violence or deprive people of their right to vote, we're going to take that content down, no matter who says it. And similarly, there are no exceptions for politicians.

PHILLIP: Activists say Facebook is acting out of fear worried that President Trump will attempt to regulate social media companies he claims are targeting conservatives online.

ROBINSON: At every turn, Mark Zuckerberg is worried about what Donald Trump will think.

PHILLIP: Abby Phillip, CNN, Washington.


NEWTON: America's Federal Aviation Administration has finished retesting Boeing's troubled 737 Max.

Now, we're told there are no apparent issues, but flight data still must be analyzed. And other key steps remain, of course, before the FAA can recertify the jets.

They've been grounded for some 15 months now, after two deadly crashes that killed hundreds of people.

Meanwhile, an alarming new watchdog report exposes how this plane got certified in the first place. The U.S. Department of Transportation inspector general discovered Boeing kept the FAA in the dark about MCAS. That's the flight control system that was later blamed for those deadly crashes.


PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: You know, it really comes at a critical time for Boeing, as it's trying to do these recertification flights for the Boeing 737 Max out in Seattle, the third day of three consecutive flights.


This DOT IG report essentially lays out that Boeing shielded the FAA from knowing everything it possibly could about the MCAS and essentially downplayed its significance and its implications on the flying characteristics of the 737 Max.

So interesting in all of this, 500 slides that Boeing presented to the FAA over two days, and in those slides only two lines dealt with the MCAS system.

Now Boeing says it is leaning into this investigation, leaning into making significant changes when it comes to its dealings with the FAA. And also making significant changes to the MCAS system, making it impossible for it to overpower pilots, impossible for it to engage if there is a single sensor failure, which led to those two fatal accidents and the grounding of this plane since last March.

We know that lawmakers are really looking at this, though, potentially leading to an overhaul of the aircraft certification process, which could lead to more regulations for Boeing and industry-wide. This is a process that has typically been very lengthy and very expensive and something that the industry would not particularly welcome.


NEWTON: Our Pete Muntean there.

Meantime, Boeing said in a statement Wednesday that it's cooperating fully and extensively with the inspector general's office.

Its shares ended the day lower, dropping, as you can see there, 1.6 percent.

Tesla is officially replacing Toyota as the most valuable car company on earth. In fact, it's even worth more than Disney and Coca-Cola.

There are now only 19 companies in the S&P 500 worth more than the electric car company, co-founded of course, by Elon Musk.

Tesla shares hit a new record high on Wednesday at about 1,119, you can see there. That means Tesla's market cap is nearly $210 billion.

Formula 1 is back on track and its 2020 season will start this weekend. All eyes have been on superstar Lewis Hamilton, and not just because he's aiming for world championship title No. 7.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) NEWTON: Formula 1 is finally coming back, it's happening in Austria this weekend. Covid-19 will bring of course some changes. But this hasn't. Defending world champion Lewis Hamilton is still the driver to beat. Now in the past few months he's attracted a much wider audience for campaigning on social issues.

CNN Sport's Amanda Davis looks at how this could be a defining year for Hamilton, both on and off the track.


LEWIS HAMILTON, FORMULA 1 RACER: In the past years I've had racist names been called to me. The first time it happened I felt really upset. I told my mom and dad. And I felt like I needed to get revenge on them.

I grew up in a sport that has really given my life meaning. But I've actually grown up in a sport that has very little to no diversity, and I think is an issue that we're continually facing.

AMANDA DAVIS, CNN SPORT (voice-over): Since his earliest days in motorsport, Lewis Hamilton's sport as fight has been much greater than just his battles on the track.


In recent weeks, his voice has been stronger than ever, calling for change in and beyond motorsport through a string of powerful social media posts.

PHIL DUNCAN, FORMULA 1 CORRESPONDENT, PRESS ASSOCIATION: You know, it's largely a white-male-dominated world. I mean, it has been for -- since the sport started in 1950s. It's the most -- probably the most exclusive sports in many ways.

Hamilton will want to push forward change so it isn't like that for the years to come.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The winner of Texas Challenge Trans Am.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't want me in your sport and beat me.

DAVIS: Hamilton is the first and only black driver to compete in Formula 1 in the sport-s 70-year anniversary. But it could have been different. American Willie T. Ribbs, was the first black driver to test an F-1 car back in 1985. For him, the journey ended there. But in Hamilton, he sees a true pioneer.

WILLIE T. RIBBS, DRIVER: He is the leader. He is the band leader, Lewis Hamilton. And he's not afraid. He hasn't broken any laws or done anything. He hasn't embarrassed the sport. He's broadened the sport, worldwide, to people of color. He has the right to take a position and take a stand for humanity. That's what he's doing.

DAVIS: And it's not just words. Lewis has set up the Hamilton Commission, a new research partnership aimed at making motorsport more diverse and multicultural.

And Formula 1 itself has announced the We Race as One campaign, to tackle the issues of diversity and inclusion, both on and off the track. So it could prove a landmark year for both the sport and Lewis as he starts the new season looking to claim that record-equaling seventh world championship title that would take him level with Michael Schumacher.

DUNCAN: He can deal with everything off the track, but when he gets into the car, he -- he's the animal. He's the racer. He's the -- the speedy driver that he's been since he started McLaren in 2007.

And for Hamilton to, essentially, be equal to Michael was incredible, because it was a -- it was a feat that no one thought that anyone would get anyone -- anyone would get near to.

RIBBS: Canon (ph)-wise, Lewis is the greatest in the world. He's on another planet. And will be anointed as the greatest of all time in the end.

DAVIS: He's the driver who's been setting new standards on the track throughout his career, but perhaps in 2020, his impact will be felt much further afield than ever.

Amanda Davis, CNN, London.


NEWTON: Yes, for so many reasons. So much more than a race coming up.

And I want to thank you for watching. I'm Paula Newton. CNN NEWSROOM will be right back with more after a quick break.