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THE SITUATION ROOM
Texas Gov. Issues Executive Order Requiring Masks in Public; U.S. Sets Record with 50,000 Plus Daily Cases; Former Presidential Candidate Herman Cain Hospitalized with Coronavirus After Attending Trump Tulsa Rally; Trump Still in Denial as Cases Hit Record, Claims the Crisis is "Being Handled"; Florida Reports 10,000 New Cases, Highest Daily Total; British Pubs, Hotels And Barber Shops To Begin Reopening; NYC Mayor Announces Schools Opening In September. Aired 5- 6p ET
Aired July 2, 2020 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And, right now, Parler is getting the most buzz, from conservatives who love it and progressives who say the app is biased against them, even with the co-founder promising an electronic town square for all.
JOHN MATZE, CEO, PARLER: Without the idea that there's somebody looking over your shoulder saying, is that a politically correct view or not? Is that the one you're supposed to have?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOREMAN: Still some progressive say they've actually booted off the site for the things they have posted, meaning if it's a town square in their view, not everybody is welcome in that town. Jake.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: All right, Tom Foreman, thank you so much. Our coverage on CNN continues right now.
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 a disturbing us record of 50,000 coronavirus cases reported in just one day as the death toll tops 128,000 people.
And there's breaking news just coming out of Texas Governor Greg Abbott has signed an executive order requiring a majority of residents to wear masks in public.
Meanwhile, Florida, setting its own one-day record of 10,000 new cases while 37 states in all are seeing cases on the rise despite all of this, President Trump remains in denial claiming, the crisis is "being handled." In stark contrast, Dr. Anthony Fauci says the current spiking cases is, "Way beyond the worst spikes that we've seen."
We begin with CNN's Nick Watt in Los Angeles right now.
Nick, mask are required in public in California and now in Texas, too. NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Jim. The governor just making that announcement saying that any county that has more than 20 cases, you've got to wear a mask. And he's doing this he says that they can stem the spread of this virus while also keeping some businesses open.
He is also working to limit the number of people who can gather together. And also to enforce social distancing whenever people do gather, Texas is dealing with a problem.
WATT (voice-over): Hospitals in Texas are filling up.
ADAM SAHYOUNI, COVID ICU NURSE MANAGER, SAN ANTONIO METHODIST HOSPITAL: I don't think I've seen anything like this ever. We aren't overrun yet, but it's overwhelming.
WATT: That San Antonio. And in Austin.
MAYOR STEVE ADLER (D-TX) AUSTIN: One thing we may have to go to is to go back to a stay at home.
WATT: With an update to ease the pain.
ADLER: Would they do it if they knew it was for 35 days?
WATT: Record death tolls in Arizona and the biggest testing site in the state struggling to cope. That's now a nationwide view.
JULIE KHANI, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN CLINICAL LABORATORY ASSOCIATION: We are seeing steady and significant increases in demand for testing. We're concerned that that demand is going to exceed our current capacity.
WATT: In California they say one in 140 Angelenos are now infected.
MAYOR ERIC GARCETTI (D-CA) LOS ANGELES: And as early as next week, as many as one in 100, or even one 70.
WATT: California, one of 23 states now pausing or rolling back reopening, but Florida is pushing forward despite more than 10,000 new cases today, a record.
GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): I think kind of some of the just easy things that you can do, I think fell down by the wayside a little bit. Now people understand this thing doesn't just go away.
WATT: Maybe not everyone.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And 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.
WATT: The U.S. is now, now seeing all time record numbers of new cases, around 50,000 a day. More than many countries have suffered during the entirety of this pandemic in a day. And it's not just more testing.
ADMIRAL BRETT GIRIOR, ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES: This is a real increase in cases.
WATT: Here's part of what we've gotten wrong so far.
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: Even in the most strict lockdown, only about 50 percent of the country locked down, that allowed the perpetuation of the outbreak that we never did get under very good control.
We've got to get that under control or we risk an even greater outbreak in the United States.
WATT: And here's a large chunk of that challenge ahead.
GIRIOR: The current outbreak is primarily due to under 30 fives with a lot of gatherings, not appropriate protection like masks.
WATT: Take Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have seen over the last few weeks parties going on in the county.
WATT: Parties to purposefully spread the virus with a cash prize one city council member says.
SONYA MCKINSTRY, TUSCALOOSA CITY COUNCIL: I just think it's senseless, I think is careless and it makes me mad as hell.
WATT: Meanwhile, in New York City, our one time Epicenter today, there is optimism.
MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D-NY), NEW YORK CITY: I understand parents want answers. Here are some answers, schools will be opening in September.
WATT: And a chilling message for -- from Dr. Deborah Birx, for anyone in Florida under the age of 40 who has been in a crowd in the past four weeks, she says, even if you don't have symptoms, you should get a test.
Listen, we're concentrating a lot on Florida, Texas, California and Arizona, but, that doesn't mean the rest of you are in the clear. Obviously to a virus, a state line is irrelevant. Jim.
ACOSTA: And a lot of states are trying to get this under control. CNN's Nick Watt, thank you very much.
Let's get more on the breaking news out of Texas. CNN's Lucy Kafanov in Houston for us.
Lucy, masks are now mandated in public, thereby the governor, he just issued the order. What more are you learning about this dramatic reversal in policy?
LUCY KAFANOV, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean, these masks save lives. We've heard that from health officials. Now it's state law here in Texas, at least if you are in the county that has 20 coronavirus cases or more.
I'm in Houston more than 22,000 cases. So a lot of the state now affected.
And also, as my colleague Nick pointed out, restricting gatherings or at least empowering local officials to limit gatherings to 10 people or more folks have to be social distance. And of course this is leading into the Fourth of July weekend.
The authorities here hoping to reverse the trend. We've seen record breaking numbers almost every single day. We just got the new numbers, Jim, for today, 7915 new coronavirus cases today in the state of Texas. That's a little bit less than yesterday, that yesterday was over 8,000, but it's still too high to keep doctors calm. I'll tell you that.
There's also 7,382 hospitalizations. And that is putting the hospitals here in the state, not at capacity yet, although in some parts of Houston, they are now redistributing coronavirus patients to other facilities because there isn't enough room to handle them. But it's certainly having doctors be concerned because these trends have been going up.
It's not clear that this new mask rule is going to reverse it in time to be able to build new capacity. And as ICU wards get overwhelmed, as doctors are more and more strained with less and less resources, that's when we start seeing mortality rates go up.
Yesterday, Texas reported the second deadliest day in terms of coronavirus deaths since this pandemic began. And I can tell you from talking to doctors, at least, at this facility, they are very worried that we might see another spike after Fourth of July, especially if folks are gathering at home where it's harder to enforce these kinds of rules, Jim.
ACOSTA: All right, CNN's Lucy Kafanov with the big news out of the Lone Star State, thank you very much.
Let's get more on all of this with CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Dr. Mark McClellan, a former FDA Commissioner.
Sanjay, some disturbing developments just in the last couple of hours, Governor Abbott of Texas has just taken some drastic action on mask. But when you look at how these cases are exploding across the state, we were just showing this graphic a few moments ago, do you think this will be an enough?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think it could definitely make a difference. But you just hate that, you know, it gets to this point before what I think are going to be obvious decisions get made. I mean, you know, this was very predictable. And I think we talked, you know, a couple weeks ago, where I said, at some point, it's not really a decision matrix for these governors anymore, the decision is sort of going to get made for them. And I think this is one of those examples.
The masks are a part of an effective strategy. They're not the only component of it, you have to have adequate testing. Adequate testing means you need to see the positivity rate going down below 10 percent. There's still a 15 percent in Texas.
The reason you do that, Jim, is that means you're getting enough tests out there in the community, where there's a lot of people who are coming back negative, that's when you start to realize that you're testing enough. Then after that, you have to trace people and start, you know, isolating and quarantining. That's how you get ahead of this.
But I think as Lucy was saying, there, I think a big test is going to be this weekend. Numbers going up, positivity rates going up, July 4 weekend, hopefully people will mind this advice heated and not have a worsening explosion of cases, Jim.
ACOSTA: And Mark, the U.S. has just hit a record high and daily new coronavirus cases, 37 states seeing an increase in cases, but President Trump says the crisis is being handled does that reflect the reality of the situation, do you think?
DR. MARK MCCLELLAN, FORMER FDA COMMISSIONER: Jim, the reality is the situation is getting worse. And unfortunately, even with these important steps, like the steps that Governor Abbott announced today about mask, about reducing the number of people who can be together. It's going to take some time for those steps to have an effect. So unfortunately, these trends that we're seeing now that are very disturbing are likely to continue for a while. And we are probably going to need to take further steps to get control of the pandemic.
ACOSTA: And, Sanjay, I want to ask you about this global study that found a new form of the coronavirus spreading here in the U.S. This may come as news to people, but this form is more infectious, but doesn't seem to make people sicker at this point, what can you tell us about it?
GUPTA: Well, we had some hints about this some time ago, Jim. They'd been looking into the mutations of these viruses. They saw that there was a type of virus that was primarily coming from Asia, one that was primarily coming from Europe into the United States. So the East Coast, the West Coast, United States, seem to have different variations of the virus.
But as you point out, Jim, it's a mutation that that seems to make this virus more infectious, more -- it replicate the virus more easily in the body, and therefore people can dispense the virus out of their mouth and nose more easily. But it does not appear to make it more lethal. And it also doesn't appear that it will impact future vaccine. Because you know, the vaccine, you're sort of making the vaccine based on the current virus that mutates a lot. That could be a problem. That doesn't seem to be the case here, Jim.
ACOSTA: And Mark, we've also learned, and this just came out earlier today, that Herman Cain, who once ran for the Republican nomination for president. We all remember Herman Cain. He's been hospitalized with coronavirus after attending President Trump's rally and Tulsa. How concerning is that?
MCCLELLAN: Well, it's just another example of how easy this virus is to spread as you just heard from Dr. Gupta, maybe becoming even easier. And that means that we all need to be taking these steps, the masks the distancing when we can, staying home when we can.
The vast majority of Americans need to take these steps for us to get the pandemic under control.
ACOSTA: OK. All right. Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Dr. Mark McClellan, thanks again for all the expertise. We appreciate it.
Up next, President Trump claims the pandemic is under control as his own top health experts sound the alarm.
Plus, more on the record surge of new coronavirus cases, including Florida's new one, one day high of more than 10,000.
ACOSTA: Breaking news this hour, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signing an executive order requiring a majority of residents in that state to wear masks in public. But the seriousness of the crisis appears last on President Trump. He claims everything is under control when it's not.
Let's go to CNN Senior White House Correspondent Pamela Brown.
Pamela, we're glad you're back, by the way, but the President seems really in denial about what the country is facing right now.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Jim. The President saying he believes COVID will just disappear. And he aim to keep the focus on the economy today even as the United States saw the biggest one day spike of COVID cases, President Trump touting the job numbers for June.
BROWN (voice-over): President Trump choosing to ignore rising Coronavirus numbers.
TRUMP: The crisis is being handled.
BROWN: Instead taking a victory lap over rising job numbers today.
TRUMP: This is not just luck of what's happening. This is a lot of talent.
BROWN: As Coronavirus cases across the country continue to surge hitting single day records in some states, Trump insists the pandemic is, "under control."
TRUMP: We're putting out the fires. But other places were long before us. And they're now -- it's a good life. It's got a life. And we're putting out that life because that's a bad life that we're talking about.
BROWN: Sources say there's a divide emerging in Trump's inner circle over whether the President should turn his attention to the virus or continue to message on the economy. Several top aides worrying about Trump's reelection chances think he should stay the course on the economy. Something Trump's showcase today.
TRUMP: You're going to have a fantastic third quarter.
The good thing is the numbers will be coming out just prior to the election so people will be able to see those numbers.
BROWN: But Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, slamming Trump over his economic celebration.
JOE BIDEN, (D) PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Make no mistake. We're still in the deep, deep job hole because Donald Trump has so badly bungled the response to coronavirus.
BROWN: The President's handling of coronavirus will be under scrutiny come November. And his delay in calling for mask wearing has helped keep the issue politically charged.
Now with top Republicans embracing masks, sources say it's adding pressure on the President to change his tone from briefly mentioning wearing a mask today as a best practice.
TRUMP: That includes face covering, social distancing, testing and personal hygiene. Wash your hands.
BROWN: The President doesn't wear a mask in public, but on Wednesday, he claimed he had no problem wearing one.
TRUMP: I thought I looked OK. I look like the Lone Ranger. But no, I have no problem with it. I think -- and if people feel good about it, they should do it.
BROWN: And while Trump has claimed the increase in coronavirus numbers is due to increase testing --
TRUMP: We test, we're going to have more cases.
BROWN: Today, top health officials in his administration testified that's not true. GIRIOR: We do believe this is a real increase in cases because the percent positivities are going up.
BROWN: Today, Vice President Pence is visiting Florida and meeting with Governor Ron DeSantis as the state reports, 10,000 new cases. A new single day record.
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The economic comeback that's underway is a demonstration that we don't have to choose between opening up America and the health of our people. We can do both. And that's the challenge that we face today across the Sunbelt.
BROWN: The President is pressing ahead with plans to travel to Mount Rushmore tomorrow, where thousands are expected to attend. But masks and social distancing will not be required.
TRUMP: It's going to be a fireworks display, like few people have seen.
BROWN: But the President is still dealing with fallout from his last trip. A campaign rally in Tulsa resulted in several staffers and Secret Service agents testing positive.
Today, we're learning that campaign surrogate, Herman Cain, who attended that Tulsa rally has been hospitalized with coronavirus, although it's not known where he contracted it.
BROWN: And the Trump campaign spokesman says that Cain did not meet with President Trump at that rally and that contact tracing was conducted for that.
But, you know, this, Jim, raises new questions, fresh questions about that rally and how safe it is for the President to return to the campaign trail, as he trails in the polls against Biden. Jim.
ACOSTA: All right, CNN's Pamela Brown, thank you very much for that.
Let's bring in CNN Political Analyst David Gregory and our Senior Political Reporter Nia-Malika Henderson.
David, let's go to you first, the President says the crisis is being handled, but clearly he stepped away from handling the crisis himself, hasn't he?
DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Denial is not a strategy, but that's the course that the President is following.
I don't begrudge him touting positive economic numbers today on jobs, that's important. It's important for all of us to hear that measure of confidence not just from him, but from the labor market, even if we understand how deep the economic hole still is. But leadership requires the President to walk us through the bad times, the reversals, good news. And he's not doing that. He's simply denying that there's an issue to save, that it's being handled is such a problem and we put this in the political context so often.
He appears incompetent. And that's bad for reelection. It's bad for the country when the President is that way, because it's bad policy.
And, you know, the government's got to be able to protect us from a global pandemic. And I think a lot of Americans are not feeling protected right now.
ACOSTA: And Nia-Malika Henderson, if you listen to the administration's health experts, Admiral Giroir says there's a real increase in cases a, "real increasing cases." The administration had been saying, no, no, the reason why we're seeing these spikes is because of more testing. That's not the case according to Admiral Giroir.
And Dr. Fauci is warning this is worse than any spikes we've previously seen. So, why aren't we hearing more from them going into this holiday weekend? They -- they're just not out in front of the cameras quite as much as we've seen during the early months of this crisis.
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Yes, I think it goes to David's point, this emphasis from this White House on the good news, and not necessarily all the bad news. It's -- obviously people are experiencing this right now. Obviously, the economic downturn and the real fear that Americans have that the virus is out there and this administration doesn't really have it under control. The President seems bored by this huge pandemic at this point.
I think what average Americans are going to have to do is looked at their state leaders. We see of course, what's happening in Texas now with the governor. They're saying there's going to be a mandate on mask on most of the counties there because of what's happening with the corona virus test cases are being more positive in a lot of those counties.
And I think that's what you're going to see all over the country, places like California, places like Georgia, the mayor's in these counties really signaling to their constituents that they really got to take precautions on going into this weekend. We'll see a counter message from this President.
He's going to be in South Dakota and not Rushmore. And the governor of that state saying listen, social distancing not really something that they're going to enforce. Maybe people will wear masks, it'll be up to them. So that is troubling. But it's consistent with the message from this White House that essentially there's nothing to see here with these cases going up and the death count going up as well.
ACOSTA: And David, what messages the President's sending with this Fourth of July weekend that he's setting up for himself, he's going out to South Dakota, as Nia just mentioned. He's going to be at Mount Rushmore, just as the governor of Texas is ordering people to wear masks and they're warning people to get tested down in Florida. The President is going to go to Mount Rushmore and not wearing mask, be around a bunch of people there not wearing masks, not social distancing. What kind of message does that send?
GREGORY: Look, it's just the wrong message. And so, you don't need me to say it. I mean, it's just so obviously the wrong message. It's the wrong thing to do.
I don't want to be in a large crowd. I will not let my children go someplace where they're going to be in a large crowd. It's not safe.
Aside from getting food at the supermarket or for our fellow citizens who have to work, who don't have the ability to work from home and who are facing that sort of risk. He doesn't have to do this.
And you know, he claims to be a wartime president, a wartime president would be on a much different footing, having consistency in the response, keeping people discipline, keeping the public health officials out front educating people.
Part of our problem is the President. Part of our problem is ourselves. We've been cooped up for a few months and a lot of Americans are saying, OK, I'm done. You know, it's summertime, I want to go out, I want to congregate and it's hard to, to not be able to do that, or try to do it smartly.
But we are in this testing phase now, meaning, this critical point of how are we going to live with this virus by reopening on a way that smart and doesn't cause us to crash again. If you look at the numbers of cases, look at Europe, the models in Europe compared to the United States, they're getting this done, we are not. And the President's got a really important job to play, as you know, using the bully pulpit to influence Americans.
ACOSTA: He says it's being handled but you can argue is being mishandled. David Gregory and Nia-Malika Henderson, thank you very much for that. We appreciate it.
Coming up, Florida sets yet another record for new Coronavirus cases in one day. I'll speak with the mayor of Miami. This police are going to start finding people he says if they're not wearing masks in public.
ACOSTA: Florida's reporting more than 10,000 new cases of the coronavirus today. It's another high mark in a state that's been setting records for new cases just about every day. Let's go to CNN's Randi Kaye. Randi, it's some startling stuff down there. Tell us more.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Jim, we're just actually getting worried of an 11-year old boy here in the state of Florida who has died from coronavirus, that is the youngest victim in the state. It's unclear how he got the disease. But that is what we're just hearing is that an 11-year old boy now dead in the state of Florida from COVID- 19.
It may explain why some of the local officials are taking such precautions. You can probably see here behind me the gating. That's because here in Palm Beach County, the beach will be closed as of tomorrow. They've already put up the barrier. Same goes for Broward County and Miami Dade. Also in Miami Dade and Broward, they are closing the restaurants starting at midnight until 6:00 a.m. through the July 4th weekend and perhaps beyond that because they say that they're turning into nightclubs after that and a breeding ground for the virus.
Also in all three counties, Palm Beach, Miami Dade and Broward, the hardest hit counties, there is a mask mandate in place in Miami Dade that's for indoors and outdoors as well. Also, Jim, something to note, Jackson Health, the largest hospital in Miami is saying that they are getting close to a shortage of remdesivir, which treats COVID-19 and they also have doubled the number of COVID patients in the last two weeks. So they are now stopping elective surgeries in that hospital so they can preserve the beds and also the drugs as well.
And one last note about masks, Jim, obviously, it's a hot topic for a lot of people. A lot of them don't like it. Here in Palm Beach County, four people are suing the county because of the mask mandate in place. They say that it interferes with their personal liberty, and it's unconstitutional. They also say that there's overwhelming scientific evidence that masks don't help stop the spread of COVID-19, which we know is not true.
I reached out to the mayor of Palm Beach County and he told me that it's the correct public policy and certainly within his authority to order that mask mandate. Jim.
ACOSTA: OK, Randi Kaye with some very disturbing news down in Florida. Thank you very much.
With us now is the Mayor of Miami, Francis Suarez. Mayor Suarez, thank you for joining us. As Randi Kaye was just mentioning, an 11-year old boy has just died from COVID-19 down in Florida. It just seems to be getting worse and worse for your state.
But I just want to call your attention to something, the Governor of Texas is now mandating masks be worn in counties that have 20 or more cases of the coronavirus. Given that Florida just set a new daily record for cases with more than 10,000, would your city be safer if you instituted a similar policy?
MAYOR FRANCIS SUAREZ (R-FL), MIAMI: I think it would. You know, I've recommended it. I have spoken -- you know, we were the first city to institute a mask in public rule. Miami Dade County just followed us yesterday after we had instituted it the Thursday before. We also instituted a set of fines for those who don't follow the rules.
You know, it's great to, you know, to implement a rule, but we have a fine structure. So the first time, you're not wearing it, you worn the second time, it's a $50 fine, then $150, then $500 fine for not wearing the mask. So --
ACOSTA: But what about the whole state? Did the whole state have it?
SUAREZ: Yes, I think it should. I mean, you're talking about, you know, the numbers from today, as you mentioned, are at or close to 10,000. And, you know, their high watermark before was 1,300. For us, the high watermark was 500. And we just hit 2,300 today, which was our new high watermark. So I absolutely think that the rest of the state should do it. That's my recommendation. And that's what I think we should do.
ACOSTA: And what's standing in the way of that, do you think?
SUAREZ: Well, I mean, it's obviously it's a governor's decision, and he has to make that decision. As you said, the Governor of Texas just did that. And I think, you know, there's more and more unanimity of thought on this issue. That, you know, the studies that I've shown -- that I've seen show that there's an 85 percent decrease in the ability for the disease to spread when you're wearing a mask.
So for me, it's no different than wearing a seatbelt. We require people to wear a seatbelt. It's not a, you know, it's not taking away their liberty. It's not -- you know, it's just a rule. And it's a rule that we impose because we think that it's going to make people safe.
If you're in a car accident, you have a much, much greater chance of walking away, you know, unharmed or alive. And the same thing with a mask, and we think it's something that is easy to do, it's doable. Is it uncomfortable? Sure. It may be uncomfortable, but it's worth doing to protect yourself and others.
ACOSTA: And we were just showing a graph of where things are going right now and Texas and in Florida, Mayor Suarez, the two states have almost identical curves right now. They're both moving in the wrong direction, the cases are skyrocketing in both states. Perhaps you've just seen the news Dr. Deborah Birx from the Coronavirus Task Force, she's asking all Floridians who have attended large gatherings in the last month to get tested for the coronavirus even if they don't have symptoms.
Are you urging Miami residents to comply with that request? And do you think people under 40 in Miami will listen to that request?
SUAREZ: I absolutely would urge them to do that. I think what happens oftentimes is we're seeing a lot anecdotally of one person getting sick and then the entire household gets sick. And part of the reason why is you don't know when you're getting sick, and then you take a test and it takes three to four days for you to get the results. By that time, you're talking about seven days that you've, you know, been positive essentially, and everybody in the house is vulnerable. So I absolutely think that that's a very wise decision for everyone to get tested. And we test people asymptomatically. You have -- you don't have to have anything to get tested in Miami Dade County, the city of Miami.
ACOSTA: And we're heading into the Fourth of July weekend as you know and the temptation together with family and friends is high. How concerned are you about what the next couple of weeks could bring if Floridians don't take precautions?
SUAREZ: I'm extremely concerned. You know, we've seen spikes during Memorial Day weekend, we saw spikes during the end of the year graduation. We're seeing from our contact tracers of -- the Health Department they're telling us that, you know, there's spread from house parties. So we're actually -- we're urging people not to congregate, we've canceled our Fourth of July fireworks show so that people are not, you know, tempted to congregate. The beaches are closed.
And so we're hoping that, you know -- and we're going to be enforcing and we're hoping that that enforcement also prevents people from congregating and, you know, and requires people to wear the masks that we know will protect them.
ACOSTA: All right, Mayor Francis Suarez, best of luck to you down in Miami. It's going to be very busy weekend for you and hopefully people will stay safe down there. We appreciate it. Thanks so much.
SUAREZ: Thank you, Jim. Thanks so much.
ACOSTA: Stay with us, we'll have more on the breaking news in Texas where the Governor now is ordering people to wear masks in public. We'll also have the latest global headlines, including a blunt warning from Britain's Prime Minister as pubs, hotels and more businesses are on the brink of reopening.
ACOSTA: In coronavirus headlines from around the world, Brazil which ranks second globally behind the U.S. and the total number of coronavirus cases is becoming a testing ground for a possible vaccine. CNN's Matt Rivers is monitoring the situation from Mexico City. Tell us more.
MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jim, the outbreak in Brazil just continues to get worse. The latest figures from health officials reported more than 1,000 newly confirmed deaths that pushes the overall death toll in Brazil past 60,000 for the first time. But there is some hope that Brazilians themselves can be a part of finding an eventual vaccine for this virus due to the numerous vaccine trials ongoing in Brazil right now.
One of them involves Oxford University, some 5,000 Brazilian volunteers. Those trials began in late June. There's another vaccine trial going on that started this week with a Chinese company in Brazil that involves some 9,000 volunteers. And the hope there, of course, is that Brazilians can be a part of finding a vaccine that not only helps Brazil but also the rest of the world.
Meanwhile, here in Mexico, the death toll continues to rise. The death toll now more than 28,500 for the first time and that death toll means that Mexico's death toll is now higher than Spain's. Jim?
ACOSTA: Matt Rivers, thank you very much. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has a blunt warning as the United Kingdom slowly reopens businesses, don't overdo it. CNN's Scott McLean is in London. What's happening there?
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jim, of course, Americans will be celebrating the Fourth this weekend and so will the British for an entire different reason though. This Saturday, hotels, barbershops, even pubs and restaurants across England will be allowed to reopen to the public months after being shuttered due to the coronavirus.
Now, last month, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that he was confident that these loosened restrictions would not lead to a second spike in infections big enough to overwhelm the country's socialized healthcare system. Today, though, he's asking people not to, quote, overdo it this weekend. In an interview with a British newspaper, he asked people not to undo the progress made in the U.K. First responders and police were also sending out a similar message.
Now, in that same interview, the Prime Minister also signaled that he may not renew a government wage subsidy program for furloughed workers saying that long term furloughs were not good for employees more of the economy either. Jim?
ACOSTA: Scott McLean, thank you very much.
And coming up, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announces schools there will be reopening in September but what will it look like?
Plus, multiple states setting disturbing records for coronavirus cases as the pandemic rages across much of the U.S.
ACOSTA: Breaking news tonight, a majority of Texas residents now under orders of the Governor to wear masks in public as that state faces a dangerous surge in coronavirus cases. Meanwhile, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that schools there will reopen in September.
Let's get more with Infectious Disease Epidemiologist Jennifer Nuzzo and Dr. Josh Sharfstein, both of Johns Hopkins University. Jennifer, let me go to you first, you've co-written this piece in "The New York Times", entitled, "We Have to Focus on Opening Schools, Not Bars", it's an important message right now, given what we're seeing across the country. As an infectious disease expert, what would you say to parents who are scared of the potential risks there and I guess we should point out some kids too? JENNIFER NUZZO, INFECTIOUS DISEASE EPIDEMIOLOGIST, JOHN HOPKINS BLOOMBERG SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH: Yes, certainly. Well, I mean, those fears are, of course, completely understandable. And we're not arguing to open schools in states where the disease numbers are climbing, but in disease in states where the disease rates are lower and they've really gotten a handle on it. You know, I think it's prudent to think about how they can open schools and to do so safely.
You know, the key for these environments is to make sure we're able to have distance and use hygiene and then a number of other, you know, measures that we could put in place to make and lower the risk in these environments and to make them safer. Obviously, nothing is zero risk, of course, but we also have to look at those risks in the context of the benefits that in school learning provides.
ACOSTA: And Dr. Sharfstein, in this article, you list some steps that schools should take. That includes making use of outdoor space, creating bubbles of students who stick together and avoiding long rides on the school bus. I guess you would set up carpools and that sort of thing. Instead of a kids on a school bus all crammed in there together. Will all of these steps combined, add up to making going to school safe for our children?
DR. JOSHUA SHARFSTEIN, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY: I think as Jennifer said, I think these steps can substantially reduce the risk. And we have to keep in mind also that there's a lot of evidence that kids are much less likely to be a source of infection in the community. For this virus compared to other viruses, they are less likely to get infected, they're less likely to pass the infection on. And most importantly, they're much less likely to get very sick.
So we're starting at a lower level of risk compared to adults. And with these steps, we can bring it to a much lower level. And you've got to weigh that against the tremendous benefits of school which are not just for learning, which is incredibly important. But for nutrition, 20 million kids rely on school breakfast and lunch, and there's a lot of child hunger out there.
For child abuse reporting, school officials report one in five cases of child abuse. There are many, many functions for the successful development of children that schools play and that's the benefit. That's why the American Academy of Pediatrics weighing the risks and benefits came down very strongly on the side of we should do everything we can to try to bring kids back to school.
ACOSTA: Yes, we don't realize how much kids need school for their safety and their health. Jennifer Nuzzo, clearly these changes put a burden on schools and teachers explain, what you want Congress to do to help. They've been asking these questions, what would you advise lawmakers to do right now?
NUZZO: Right. So we don't expect schools to be able to do this on their own. This is a hard job and it's going to take resources that are beyond the reach of individual school districts. And so as we are thinking about economic interventions to address the costs of this pandemic, and the harms that states have felt, it's really important that we allocate resources to allow schools to take the precautionary measures in order to reconvene in the fall to do so safely.
You know, a number of the strategies that we outline are straightforward, but they will require additional resources and I don't think it's fair just to sort of expect the schools to come up with this on their own. This should be a societal priority. It's important for our economy that we brings kids back to school, working parents need to have schools functioning, but also we need to educate kids who are our workforce for the future. So this should be a top priority, and particularly as we're thinking about how to address the, you know, economic challenges of this pandemic.
ACOSTA: And Josh, we've seen across the country has sort of a state by state approach to reopening our economies. We have a state by state approach in terms of how to respond to the coronavirus. Do our schools across the country need kind of a one size fits all approach to reopening schools for our kids? Can they do it in an ad hoc way, the way we've responded to this virus?
SHARFSTEIN: Well I think in general, the best situation is for the federal government to provide resources and clear guidance to the states which then the states could implement, you know, according to their unique situation. Unfortunately, with the pandemic, we've had too many examples of the federal government kind of stepping back or issuing conflicting signals, and the state's going in all different directions without really the resources that they need.
I totally agree with Jennifer, it is imperative to provide resources to schools and legislation and Congress should really provide funding not just for small businesses and others that are important to the economy, but the two children that are the bedrock of the future and the future economy. And if we can do that, with the guidance and support and direction from the federal government, I think that a lot of the details can be worked out locally.
ACOSTA: All right. Jennifer Nuzzo, Dr. Josh Sharfstein, thanks very much for joining us.
And breaking news next, masks now mandated in public for a majority of Texas residents. We'll have details on in executive order just signed by that state's Republican governor.