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Food Banks see Record Numbers; June Employment Report; Safely Celebrating the 4th of July. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired July 2, 2020 - 08:30   ET



VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: John, while many Americans are getting back to work, like at this coffee shop just behind me, that is simply not the reality for tens of millions of Americans. And there's a growing concern for our nation's most vulnerable. Immigrants, low income families, and undocumented workers who were not previously able to access benefits before and now need that help more than ever.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, (INAUDIBLE) we've got milk.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, this is beautiful.

YURKEVICH (voice over): It's not even 8:00 a.m. and Mohammad Razvi is in a frenzy.


Put it right under. Put it right under.

YURKEVICH: He's coordinating 400,000 pounds of food this week alone.

RAZVI: This is exactly what we're doing, right?

YURKEVICH: For hungry New Yorkers.

RAZVI: We were previously servicing about 200 people a week. At the moment, we're servicing almost 15,000 people.

Look at the shopping carts.

YURKEVICH: Razvi estimates the majority of people in this line for food in Brooklyn are unemployed. Americans out of work are turning to food pantries in record numbers. In response, his group, Council of the Peoples Organization turned its daycare centers and senior center into warehouses for food.

YURKEVICH (on camera): The need is growing?

RAZVI: It's growing. What's happening is many people did not receive their unemployment checks. Many people are not eligible. So they're the ones who are actually really struggling.

YURKEVICH (voice over): The struggle is greatest in low-income communities where minorities are unemployed in higher numbers.

Eighty-four-year-old Esme Roberts is getting her weekly delivery from COPO. She wouldn't be able to afford food otherwise. That's because her son was laid off. But he's undocumented and ineligible for unemployment.

ESME ROBERTS, RELIES ON MEAL DELIVERY: He used to pay all the light -- light bills and the gas bill and the TV. That's why I have to take off the cable and all of that. He was paying for all of that.

YURKEVICH: The estimated 7.6 million undocumented workers in the U.S., many who are out of a job, have no access to government assistance. That has a ripple effect on the entire U.S. economy.

HEIDI SHIERHOTZ, SENIOR ECONOMIST, ECONOMIC POLICY INSTITUTE: You have those folks not being able to spend and the -- the money that they are no longer spending because they don't have it in terms of income means other people lose their jobs and we have that vicious cycle.

YURKEVICH: Razvi sees that cycle playing out firsthand. The lines of the unemployed waiting for food here are only getting longer.

YURKEVICH (on camera): Do you think that number is going to go down or up?

RAZVI: I'm hoping it goes down, but it doesn't look like it at the moment.


YURKEVICH: Another growing concern is that at the end of this month, the extra $600 that Americans are receiving is set to expire. We know that there was a bill that passed in the House to extend that. It stalled in the Senate. The big question, John and Erica, is there the will to provide and extend these benefits for Americans in need? We know that the need is there. It's just whether or not it's going to be -- it's going to get to them in time.

John and Erica.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news, the Labor Department just releasing the jobs report for the month of June.

CNN chief business correspondent Christine Romans is here with the breaking details.

So what are the numbers?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: You know, big hiring, 4.8 million jobs hired in June. Those are people going back to work in retail, in leisure and hospitality, also hospital services, nursing homes, dentist offices, people getting back to work as you're starting to see some of these phase one reopenings here. That meant the unemployment rate fell to 11.1 percent. That's an improvement from over 13 percent in May.

Improvement is really important to put into context here. This is still an unemployment rate higher than it ever was in the great recession and higher than it ever was during the very worst of the recession of the 1980s. So, still, a very difficult situation for millions of people who are out of work.

And also, as you see, the coronavirus cases rise again and states start to roll back their reopenings. Unclear if that will stall some of this progress here.

A note -- a number here I wanted to bring out, 10.6 million people who are out of work right now say those are temporary layoffs. They are expecting to go back to work. If that pans out, that could be good for the recovery, Erica.

HILL: Yes, absolutely could. So, as you point out, how could the soaring coronavirus infections and reopening rollbacks impact unemployment? We're going to take a closer look at that and much more just ahead.

Stay with us.



HILL: We are following breaking news, and just learning the U.S. economy created 4.8 million jobs last month. The unemployment rate fell to about 11 percent, just over 11 percent.

Back with us now, CNN chief business correspondent Christine Romans. We also want to bring in CNN anchor and correspondent Julia Chatterley, and CNN White House correspondent John Harwood.

So we've got both the weekly and the monthly numbers, Christine.

ROMANS: Right.

HILL: What are we seeing?

ROMANS: So, hiring, 4.8 million jobs in June. Those were retail, hospitality, hotel jobs. Those are the people who were laid off at the very, very beginning, 4.8 million of those coming back. Also doctor's offices, dentist offices as, you know, elective procedures started again with the phase one and beginning of phase two reopenings there.

And the unemployment rate fell to 11.1 percent. That's down from 13.3 percent. That's a good improvement. I mean you want to see that, it's the right direction, but a reminder, that's still higher than it ever was in the great recession or even in those terrible day of the 1980s when we had a crushing recession there. So these are still difficult, painful numbers, but finally moving in the right direction. For those jobless claims, right, so the -- in the most recent week

almost 1 -- 1.4 -- 1.427 million people filed for unemployment benefits for the very first time. That number is still very, very high. So what it shows you, on the one hand, people are going back to work in some of these sectors that shut down first. On the other hand, a lot of people are still filing for the first time for unemployment benefits. It just shows you how -- how rocky this recovery is going to be.


HILL: It's rocky. And, Julia, it's also -- it's also tough to gauge. I know even for economists, as you're looking at this, and, you know, there are always these estimates coming out ahead of -- ahead of the jobs reports. But looking forward, the country has never been through this kind of forced shutdown before. And that's having an impact on planning moving forward.

JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: It's such a great point and we do this every week, we make a prediction and we have to assume we're going to be wrong, and we generally always are. This is going to be stop/start.

What the data here says as well is that its' an unemployment rate of just over 11 percent, but actually it would be one percentage point higher than that, so over 12 percent if people again were still saying that they were unemployed rather than just absent from the workplace.

And on this continuing claims number, we have to keep looking at this. This is how many people in this country are currently getting benefits. There was a revision to what we got in last week's data, too, so that held steady. We should be seeing this number coming down if we're adding more than 4.5 million people to the workforce in a month. This number has all the good news of reopening in it. It has none of the challenges of the back half of June where we saw cases rising. We've now got half of America -- in fact, over half of America pausing on reopening, some of them winding back. This number could be negative next month because we've had to pause because cases are rising quite dramatically.

HILL: Yes, really the great unknown moving forward.

As we look at this number, though, that we do have today, stock futures are up on the news.

John, I would imagine this is something that the White House will happily seize on because it is good news.

JOHN HARWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: There's no question they will seize on it, and they should seize on it. It is unequivocally good news that 4.8 million Americans return to work, that the unemployment rate has gone down, even if it's, as Christine indicated, or -- sorry, Julia indicated, it's actually 12 instead of 11 because of the misclassification issue.

But the challenge is that this number was derived in mid-June. We -- that was before we saw the resurgence of the virus that is now burning across the sunbelt. Many states are now reversing their reordering. And, in fact, 3.6 million of the 4.8 million jobs were in leisure and hospitality, drinking, bars, restaurants, that kind of things. Those are precisely the kind of things that are now pulling back. So this is good news to be celebrated. It will accelerate the debate within the White House about how much to focus publicly on the virus versus focus on the economic recovery, which the president thinks is the critical element for his re-election. But this good news has its limits and we're going to see in the next month's report just how much the reversal that we're seeing in states changes this picture.

HILL: Yes, and to your point, it is hospitality, it's tourism, it could also be retail, as we're seeing more and more pullback across the country, Christine. I mean where should we really be watching?

ROMANS: Well, I'm concerned that in those industries you could have people filing again for unemployment benefits. They could be laid off again. I mean that's my real concern. If you -- if you open too quickly and you don't have the public confidence that the -- the virus, the pandemic is under control, that there's a national strategy for that, I think longer term you could hurt those sectors even worse. So that's my big concern.

You know, and I'm also going to be watching wages very closely here because, you know, wages have been pretty stagnant for this entire recovery before this recession. And you want to see people be able to be paid well. This has been a recession that has really hurt low wage workers, women, Hispanics, black workers. And so the unevenness of the recovery will be important to watch.

HILL: It's -- real quickly, Julia, as we talk about, you know, what the White House will look at and this battle within the White House between going with the economy, talking about the coronavirus, we know we have this report from Goldman Sachs early in the week about how wearing a mask could benefit the overall GDP, could benefit the economy. There is a way to tie the two together, Julia.

CHATTERLEY: Absolutely. And Goldman Sachs did it. They said, look, you could save growth, save the economy by not going into lockdown simply by wearing a mask here. So these two things are very tied.

Also, if you look at where cases are popping up, 72 percent of fresh cases are happening in red states. So the question is whether the conversation over what stimulus, what support comes next is changed and the Republicans who are more conservative here have softened in their stance as they look at the health risks here too and the risks to economic recovery and jobs. Another big question coming up very quickly.

HILL: Yes, that's for sure.

Julia, Christine, John, thank you all. Appreciate it.

As we look forward to the holiday weekend, 4th of July, two days away now, we'll talk about the where and how you can celebrate safely during a global pandemic. That's next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: This will be a 4th of July like no other. Coronavirus cases surging across the country. So, how can we both celebrate the holiday and stay safe?

Let's bring in Erin Bromage, CNN contributor and biology professor at UMass Dartmouth.

Professor, we can tell by your accent just how important American Independence Day is to you. As always, we think you for being with us.

Look, we need guidance on how we can celebrate safely this weekend. So we just want to go through some of the common ways to celebrate to see how we can do it better.

So, 4th of July barbecues, what do we need to know?

ERIN BROMAGE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: So the key to any activities this weekend, or going forward right throughout summer, is limiting the number of people that you are actually mixing with. When we start putting together 20, 30, 40, 50 people, we are setting ourself up for somebody to be there that is infected and to infect a lot of people. Limit it to the number of people that your state is saying, for example, Massachusetts, that's ten people.


HILL: Limit it and also keep it outside, right? Even if -- if it rains, do we send everybody home?

BROMAGE: That would be the preferred thing. We're seeing when people get together and have these parties where they bring a lot of people together and it ends up indoors, we have these super spreading events. We've got one in New York right now. It's things like that, that we need to avoid, lots of people indoors. Keep it outside.

BERMAN: How much of a free pass is just being outdoors though?

BROMAGE: It's not a free pass, it's just that you can lower the overall risk. Being outdoors lowers the risk about 20 fold than being inside. So if you had the same number of people inside and the same number of people outside, the risk is 20 times-ish lower. So that is -- that's a big margin of difference. That's why it's important to do these things outside.

But we can't forget the physical distancing. We still need to have that six feet when we're outside, especially when we're socializing because we're not going to have masks on if you're eating and you're drinking and that allows those droplets from your mouth to land on somebody else and potentially infect someone else. So we need that six feet too.

HILL: Speaking of being outside, beaches and pools, yay or nay? BROMAGE: So, beaches, I can go by locally. We're doing really well

here in being able to physically distancing between different parties. The town actually opened up an extra lifeguard stand to actually spread people out even further in the patrol area. They're fantastic things. You've just got to look at what the situation is and if people are jammed in, then it's no. If there's place to spread and be by yourself, then it's yes.

Swimming pools can be safe, but we still need that physical distance between groups. You can't have people close together even when they're in the pool with water spraying out of their mouth and with hugging and playing Marco Polo and those games. You can be in the pool, you've just got to do it safely.

BERMAN: Yes, six feet is harder than you think in a pool when you're talking about crowding at the ladder or trying to get in or out or the diving board. You really need to pay attention if you're going to be in the pool.

Fireworks. What do you think of fireworks? You know, it's not the sky that's the issue here, it's people getting into crowds to watch them.

BROMAGE: Right. And as people start congregating together to watch them, if there's a narrow viewing point, then that becomes problematic. We are outdoors. It can be done. But, again, we have to do this safely. So if we're jammed into a small backyard watching all of these fireworks because that's the only viewing, you know, window that we have, then it's not a great idea. But if you can actually spread out and create distance between your family and other families, then you can do this safely.

HILL: And so -- so, overall, right, we hear so much about spreading out. But, overall, I'm guessing on your list too for a safe 4th of July would be the easy thing, wear a mask. What else do we need to do or not do?

BROMAGE: Well, I get a little bit afraid that there's not a lot of moderation in the U.S. public right now. It's sort of people locking themselves away or going out and having parties like they did six months ago. We need moderation. We need to have -- be aware that there is still a threat out there and if we let our guard down, even for just one night, we go into the situation that we're seeing in Texas, that we're seeing in Arizona. We need to be vigilant with what we're doing.

So, keep your distance, keep it outside, wash your hands often, wear a mask when you can't distance.

BERMAN: I don't know if you can see this, but we're going to put a chart up so people can see the daily case rate over the last two months. People can see that about three weeks after Memorial Day, the case rate started to rise. So we're -- for the 4th of July, the question is, how responsible is or was people going out on Memorial Day for the rise we're seeing now? Obviously, we need to -- we need to see clearly that a lot of the protests and people going out on the streets happened after Memorial Day as well. BROMAGE: Yes, I -- Memorial Day will be part of the problem. But it's

not the only thing that has resulted in this rise. We also had the phased reopening of many, many states at that time and many of them didn't meet the gating criteria that was set out by the federal government for going into that phase. They just said, let's do it. So as soon as you have more mobility, as soon as you have more people interacting, you're going to get more transmission and that's what we see four, six weeks later in the numbers that we're looking at now. The states that did it responsibly, the states that used the data to open their economies are now looking much better than those that just jumped in and went without the data.

BERMAN: Professor, thank you so much for being with us. We wish you the best of holiday weekends.

BROMAGE: Thank you. And you too.

HILL: Time now for "The Good Stuff."


This is Tony Hudjle (ph). He's five years old. He's a double amputee. He just walked six miles to raise money for the London Children's Hospital that saved his life. He lost both of his legs as a newborn and, in fact, he actually raised more than a million dollars for the hospital. He only recently learned to walk on crutches, yet this week he completed this remarkable month long challenge. He was cheered on by supporters, as you can imagine, including his adoptive family in southeast England.

And if that is not a little bit of joy to send you on your way at the end of the hour, I mean, we need a little bit more Tony.

BERMAN: Tony rules. We need it.

HILL: He does.

BERMAN: Way to go, Tony. Gosh, what an inspiration. What an inspiration there. I love, Tony, tossing down those crutches.

HILL: There we go.

BERMAN: I'm sitting down now no matter what.

Oh, thank you for that.

Great to have you with us today, Erica. I really appreciate it.

CNN's coverage continues next with a record number of new coronavirus cases in the U.S. and the new jobs report.

Stay with us.