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Trump Stokes Division at Mount Rushmore; COVID-19 Reaches Trump's Inner Circle; Florida Leads Nation in Average Number of Daily New Cases; Pubs Reopen across England; How Canada Crushed the COVID-19 Curve; Aurora, Colorado, Police Officers Fired over Mocking Elijah McClain's Death; Hong Kong Activist Flees City Fearing Retribution from China; Mexico Surpasses Italy in COVID-19 Cases; Coronavirus Cases in Cuba Stabilize; NFL's Washington Redskins to Review Name. Aired 4-5a ET
Aired July 4, 2020 - 04:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Division in the U.S., this Independence Day, as Donald Trump condemns what he calls a merciless campaign to wipe out our history.
The president trying to focus attention away from skyrocketing coronavirus cases forcing a rethink about reopening the country.
But in England, pubs are opening their doors cautiously to one at least famous taker. The pubs have been closed for three months.
Welcome to our viewers here in the United States and around the world. I'm Natalie Allen. This is CNN NEWSROOM.
ALLEN: It is just after 4:00 am on the U.S. East Coast. Thank you for joining us.
President Donald Trump is on his way back to the White House now. He touched down outside Washington, just a short time ago, after doing exactly what public health experts say shouldn't happen during a worsening pandemic.
Mr. Trump courted a large crowd at Mt. Rushmore that pointedly ignored all of the health precautions about social distancing and face masks. Perhaps they weren't aware the U.S. has confirmed more than 150,000 COVID-19 cases in just the past three days.
The president barely mentioned the pandemic. But he did stoke his audience with a familiar and unfulfilled promise from 2016.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We know that the American family is the bedrock of American life. We recognize the solemn right and moral duty of every nation to secure its borders. And we are building the wall.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Mr. Trump said he will sign an executive order to establish a new monument to the giants of our past. More on that from CNN's Joe Johns at Mt. Rushmore.
JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: This visit by the president to South Dakota featured a fireworks display, the first fireworks display over historic Mt. Rushmore in 11 years. It also featured music as well as military flyovers and a speech by the president himself.
Now you might have expected the president to talk extensively about coronavirus, which is ravaging the United States right now. He only mentioned it once at the very beginning of the speech and he never came back to it.
But one of the themes he chose to hit hardest in this speech was what the president sees as attacks on historic statues all over the country by people who see them as symbols of oppression.
The president said he's not going to let the statues be destroyed. He even said he wants to create some type of garden of heroes with statues in the United States. But he's not going to let Americans destroy the statues that now exist. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Those who seek to erase our heritage want Americans to forget our pride and our great dignity. So that we can no longer understand ourselves or America's destiny. They would tear down the beliefs, culture and identity that have made America the most vibrant and tolerant society in the history of the Earth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNS: The president will be back in Washington, D.C., on Saturday for yet another celebration of the July 4th holiday though it will be scaled down, compared to the celebration he had there this time last year -- traveling with the president in Keystone, South Dakota, I'm Joe Johns, CNN.
ALLEN: Donald Trump Jr.'s girlfriend, also a Trump campaign fundraiser, has tested positive for the coronavirus. Kimberly Guilfoyle was isolated after she tested positive in South Dakota before the president's event. Donald Trump Jr. tested negative but is self-isolating.
And at least eight more Secret Service agents have been infected as well. They had been preparing for a visit by the vice president.
ALLEN: Senior White House correspondent Pamela Brown reported the details earlier.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Agents have been there on the ground in South Dakota for several days preparing for the president's trip there. And they're also preparing for what appears to be the inevitability of one or more agents contracting the coronavirus.
When you look at what's happened so far in the Secret Service, we've learned at least eight Secret Service agents are in quarantine in a hotel in Phoenix. They tested positive for coronavirus before vice president Pence's trip there.
They are experiencing flu-like symptoms, in addition to 15 agents who tested positive for coronavirus, after the president's Tulsa, Oklahoma, rally, about two weeks ago. There's a couple dozen Secret Service agents who have already tested positive, that we know of.
One source within the agency spoke to Jamie Gangel and said there is a sense of frustration among some agents that this is an unnecessary risk going on these trips with the president, campaign rallies, for what some sources say is just meant to boost the president's mood. They think it's an unnecessary risk for exposure and just not worth it.
The Secret Service gives masks -- has given protective gear to all of the agents. A White House spokesman said that the president takes the health and safety of those traveling for him seriously. And the Secret Service says the health and safety of the agents and of their families and their protectees are of the utmost importance.
ALLEN: Health officials are criticizing President Trump for holding a large event as the U.S. sees a surge in coronavirus cases. The president was not wearing a mask and guests were not required to wear them, either. As for social distancing, that was nonexistent. One doctor calling it beyond irresponsible.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a man who said he could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and he would never lose voters. Now he's asking essentially people to shoot themselves. This is on par with the Jonestown massacre but on a national scale.
He is essentially asking supporters to drink the Kool-aid and jump off the cliff in a way that's very dangerous except this is something that can spread to others.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN (voice-over): (INAUDIBLE) Mt. Rushmore, an iconic American symbol there. Another pointed out, even politicians can get sick.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just look at the rocks and look at Mt. Rushmore. Two of the four faces, Washington and Jefferson, on Mt. Rushmore, got smallpox. It's a reminder that even the great and the near great, that our presidents are vulnerable to this disease.
In the great influenza of 1918, President Woodrow Wilson got the Spanish flu, the great influenza. No one is immune to a novel virus, which has never hit us before, for which we don't have an antiviral or a vaccine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: As we mentioned, the U.S. has reported more than 50,000 new cases for the third straight day. Now the country is closing in on 2.8 million cases and nearly 130,000 deaths. The 4th of July weekend isn't going to make things any better. Nick Watt shows us where the virus is hitting hardest.
NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Florida now leading the nation in new cases every day, as the U.S. heads into the holiday weekend.
DR. JEROME ADAMS, SURGEON GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES: The most important thing I would say to people is, if you do go out to a gathering or in public, please wear a face covering.
WATT: Beaches will be open again in New York City for the Fourth, but closing down and again in parts of Texas, across much of Southern California, the Bay Area and South Florida, off-limits in Miami Beach.
And the mayor's message?
MAYOR DAN GELBER (D-FL), MIAMI BEACH: The hardest thing to deal with are these mixed messages coming from the state and the federal government and from the president. We're telling people that there's nothing more American than making a sacrifice by staying home.
WATT: Wednesday, more than 50,000 new cases across this country for the first time. Yesterday, it happened again.
The president says it's just more testing news. It's not. So, what is it?
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, NIAID DIRECTOR: Well, it's very difficult to say that this particular demonstration or that particular rally or that particular holiday at a beach did it, but something happened to make the spike go way up like that. WATT: And different states, different stories. In Arizona, more people are now being killed by COVID-19 than ever before. Vermont hasn't had a COVID-19 patient in the ICU for nearly six weeks.
WATT: While, in parts of Texas, we're told there are now waiting lists for ICU beds.
GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R-TX): If people gather on the 4th of July the same way they did in Memorial Day, it is going to lead to a massive increase in the number of people testing positive. And it could lead, once again, to an increase in the number of people who lose their lives.
WATT: He's finally mandated masks for most Texans.
DR. JOSEPH VARON, UNITED MEMORIAL MEDICAL CENTER: Unfortunately, I think that the cow is out of the barn. I think we are a little too late. I mean, this is a measure that should have been instituted months ago.
WATT: Still, Texas making that move might be a watershed moment.
ANDY SLAVITT, FORMER ACTING ADMINISTRATOR, CENTERS FOR MEDICARE AND MEDICAID SERVICES: I hope that every government, every state takes notice and says, in one of the most conservative, freedom-loving states that would be the last place you would expect can do it, then it's really OK to say, let's put public health first.
WATT: And here in California, for the holiday weekend, a lot of the beaches are closed. You can no longer sing in church or any house of worship and some cities around here say that they will now start fining people who don't wear masks when they're out and about.
West Hollywood, first offense, 300 bucks. A lot of people doing whatever they can to make sure that we do not see in the United States a spike after Independence Day like we saw a spike after Memorial Day -- Nick Watt, CNN, Manhattan Beach, California.
ALLEN: Joining me is Dr. Richard Dawood, the medical director of Fleet Street Clinic in London.
Good morning to you, Doctor.
DR. RICHARD DAWOOD, FLEET STREET CLINIC: Good morning. Happy 4th of July.
ALLEN: Thank you, appreciate it. We'll see if the 4th holiday causes more spikes.
As we heard, cases hit record breaking highs in the U.S. this week. What do you make of these numbers, 50,000 new cases for a third
straight day; deaths are down from April but cases are up.
As you see, why does the United States have it so bad?
DAWOOD: Well, these numbers are obviously very alarming. I think they reflect the non-uniform situation in the U.S. New York is done with the worst of it and cases there are in decline where they're rising elsewhere.
It's quite easy to predict the behavior of the virus. What is much harder to do is to predict the behavior of people. That's what's going to dictate spread from now on. And it is the individual and public health precautions that we follow that is really pronounced (ph).
We have a vaccine or any other kind of magic bullet, that's the only way that the spread can be controlled. It really is going to take some very determined action to reduce person-to-person spread before this can be brought under control.
And I appreciate the frustration everybody feels. We have the same thing in the U.K. Everybody feels they have had enough of this. They've had enough of lockdown. They want to get out and do what they want to do and not let anything get in their way. But the consequence of that behavior is going to be to facilitate spread.
And you can see even bigger, in some parts of the country, cases are rising pretty exponentially. We're going to see some really big numbers, unless drastic measures are taken in the places where the cases are rising to intervene and stop person-to-person spread.
ALLEN: Donald Trump Jr.'s girlfriend has tested positive for COVID before the president's South Dakota speech. Thousands packed that event, Doctor. Many, without masks sitting side-by-side. Even the seats were ziptied together per fire code.
What are the risks of these types of events, people clustered together like this, that the president is holding?
DAWOOD: It's highly risky and dangerous. Broader, outdoor events are safer than indoor. There's much less shared space.
But when you put people together in very close contact like that and when you consider at how people arrive, what they do before, during, after, that boils down to a pretty risky environment.
Especially when people are being encouraged to thumb their noses at the risk, told it's OK not to take any measures to prevent spread. I'm not sure how much hand sanitizing there is or buy-in to social distancing.
DAWOOD: This is a disease that spreads efficiently and effectively, from person-to-person, either by airborne spread or by contamination. And this is really, potentially, a hotbed of transmission. It's alarming, it's alarming to anybody with any public health insight and anybody that cares about the United States.
ALLEN: We have a minute left. I want to ask you about Britain, bracing to reopen today after three months. They will see lockdown restrictions eased.
Is the U.K. ready for this?
What are the risks here?
DAWOOD: We've seen cases rise in some parts of the country. That might be the way we measure cases. I think it's hard to predict. Some people are timid and anxious after lockdown and are not going to be emerging willingly just because the restrictions are lifted.
And there's other people who are desperate to get out and resume some semblance of normality. Hopefully, a lot of the pubs can be well- spaced and outdoors and gives a chance for people to resume gradually to normality, under carefully monitored conditions so this can be reversed, if needed.
ALLEN: We hope it goes well. Thank you so much. Appreciate your expertise, Dr. Richard Dawood. Thank you, sir.
DAWOOD: Thank you for having me..
ALLEN: Next, we'll have more on the U.K. opening up. A live report from London. What the prime minister is saying about drinking responsibly.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wear it for myself and others. It protects themselves from me and me from them. Just it's respectable to be respectful to other people.
ALLEN (voice-over): How classic Canadian politeness may be helping that country in the fight against coronavirus.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Call it a perq of being a royal. Prince William got early access to a pub, where he talked with the owner about new preventive measures. He had a pint of cider to mark the occasion.
Pubs and restaurants are reopening for the first time since coronavirus forced them to close in March. But the British prime minister still cautions people to follow social distancing guidelines and warns that restrictions will be put back in place if the numbers spike.
CNN's Salma Abdelaziz joins me live from London.
Salma, this will be an important test for the country.
SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN PRODUCER: It's absolutely a crucial test now. If you know anything about British culture, you know that pubs are an institution. People are very excited to go down to the local and grab a pint.
But it will not be the same as it was before lockdown. All of the businesses have to follow news rules and regulations. Listen to what Boris Johnson said yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS JOHNSON, U.K. PRIME MINISTER: I do want people to feel that it's safe to go and enjoy themselves, to enjoy hospitality. But it's got to be done in a responsible way. The heads of parties, got to give their name contact to everybody behind the bar or in the restaurant or whatever. It's got to be done. Got to observe social distancing. Wash hands. And this will be a success.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ABDELAZIZ: You can hear the new restrictions there. Wash the hands and maintain the social distance. That's reduced from two meters to one. And reveal your contact details for track purposes.
In pubs like the one behind me here, usually in the summertime, they're packed. You're shoulder-to-shoulder. Customers are pouring out into the street. So British culture is going to have to relearn the art of going out.
ALLEN: Yes. We know it's been a challenge for bars here in the United States as well. All right. We'll wait and see. Salma Abdelaziz, thanks so much.
Canada's fight against the coronavirus pandemic looks much different than that of its neighbor here to the south. The country has reported just more than 100,000 cases. That's compared to 2.7 million cases here in the United States. Paula Newton explains why.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For Canada, it's been a hallmark of the pandemic: empty hospitals. The feared wave of COVID patients never happened.
Canada started out much like the United States. But as the COVID curve climbed, Canada crushed it, now seeing, on average, just a few hundred new positive cases a day. That means right now, the U.S. is reporting more than 10 times more positive cases per capita than Canada. And yet no one here is declaring mission accomplished. JUSTIN TRUDEAU, CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER: What the situation we're seeing in the United States and elsewhere highlights for us is that, even as our economy is reopening, we need to make sure we're continuing to remain vigilant, individually and collectively.
NEWTON: Vigilance has been the watchword. Early and widespread testing, a free healthcare system still building surge capacity, longer shutdowns, slower reopenings, social distancing. And there is no controversy over wearing masks. Most see it as their duty.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wear it for myself and others. It protects them from me and me from them. It's just respectable to be respectable to other people.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right from the top down, they're leading by example in terms of their use of masks.
NEWTON: British Columbia's top doctor acted as the country's early warning system, successfully managing the very first outbreaks and proving it could be done.
DR. BONNIE HENRY,BRITISH COLUMBIA PROVINCIAL HEALTH OFFICER: A lot of it comes down to cohesiveness, being able to provide the information that people needed to do what we needed them to do.
And that has held up as we have gone into opening up things again. People still are adhering to the basics to try and ensure that we still keep each other safe.
NEWTON: Dr. Henry points to something else that was critical, keeping politics out of the response.
Here is a conservative leader praising the liberal deputy prime minister.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chrystia Freeland, what can I say? She's an absolutely champion.
NEWTON: It would be like a Democratic governor calling Vice President Mike Pence their hero.
HENRY: In general, we were all coming together. We have the same basic information for people. And the politicians made the right decisions based on advice and that helped us.
NEWTON: Also critically important, the U.S.-Canada border remains closed to all but essential travel. And anyone entering Canada right now must quarantine for 14 days. And the E.U. has deemed Canadians as safe for entry, unlike Americans.
And yet, here too, missteps have had tragic consequences. More than 8,500 people have died. The vast majority of the deaths linked to crowded and poorly staffed seniors homes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Seeing a lot of bad stuff happen, but I don't remember anything with this level of sadness.
NEWTON: Prime Minister Trudeau admits it has been a national shame. And in that contrition, Canadians see a willingness to recalibrate the country's response to the virus based on an unwavering deference to science -- Paula Newton, CNN.
ALLEN: On this July 4th holiday weekend, in front of Mt. Rushmore, President Trump takes aim, firing up his base and targeting opponents. We'll have more from that Independence Day speech coming next.
And a prominent pro-democracy activist in Hong Kong has fled his home. Nathan Law says he fears for his safety. We'll tell you what he said from an undisclosed location.
ALLEN: Welcome back to our viewers here in the U.S. and all around the world. I'm Natalie Allen. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.
As the COVID-19 pandemic rages in the U.S., President Trump attracted a large holiday crowd at Mt. Rushmore on Friday. There was no social distancing and face masks were rare. The president barely mentioned the coronavirus but he railed against what he called "a merciless campaign" to erase U.S. history.
Let's get more perspective from Thomas Gift, a lecturer in political science at University College London.
Thank you for coming on.
THOMAS GIFT, UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON: Thank you, Natalie.
ALLEN: The president's speech was divisive. He spoke from the same playbook. Let's listen to one quote.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Our children are taught in school to hate their own country and to believe that the men and women who built it were not heroes but were villains. The radical view of American history. It's a web of lies.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: That was one quote. You hardly heard anything about unity in his speech. And a former ambassador to Russia said it was perhaps the most un-American speech given by a president on the 4th of July. What do you think of his message which was centered on protecting
controversial monuments. And he had harsh words for people who want to take them down.
GIFT: I think last night was a harbinger of what we will see from Trump until November. He is continuing to stoke division, painting Democrats as far left and depicting Joe Biden as beholden to some of the more progressive elements of the party.
It was (INAUDIBLE) speech as you said on July 4th. The terminology he used, phrases like new far left fascism and referring to his opponents as angry mobs. It's a tone we can expect from him going forward.
Almost absent from the speech was a discussion of the increase in COVID-19 cases, that suggests that the president is trying to change the narrative going on here. And it shows that Trump is doubling down on his strategy, not focusing on swing voters but activating his base.
ALLEN: Right. He had one mention of the coronavirus pandemic in that speech. This is a tactic he has decided to stay on.
Will he stay the course on this with the U.S. seeing incredible spikes in cases?
GIFT: I don't think Trump is looking away from the coronavirus necessarily. But he's looking for opportunities to deflect from the number of cases that has soared. We saw 50,000 new cases reaching the first time a few days ago.
I think it's early to say if Trump can bounce back from that. His re- election team is cognizant that the status quo isn't working. So I would expect Trump to continue to go on offense and try to change the conversation as much as possible and distract from the handling of the coronavirus.
That's what he did at Mt. Rushmore last night. It was a divisive speech. This is a tactic he will take between now and the election.
ALLEN: He has touted new jobs created in June. That is a bright spot for many Americans who are hurting right now.
However, the presumed Democratic candidate, Joe Biden, stressed that we are still in a deep, deep job hole.
How much of an issue do you think the economy and jobs will be for this president?
GIFT: It's certainly the case that the economy will be central in the 2020 election. It's good news that the U.S. labor market added jobs in June. But it's important to keep in mind that unemployment is still over 11 percent. That's higher than it was at its worst peak of the Great Recession.
GIFT: And the economy has lost 15 million jobs compared to February. Also the June jobs figures were on surveys from the end of last month. So with infections ticking up in recent days and more localities reimposing restrictions on businesses, it's hard to see the jobs figures improving going forward in the short term.
That's especially the case because the spike in COVID cases will depress spending, as businesses struggle to continue to remain open.
ALLEN: We'll see what he does in the next few months to catch up according in poles. Looks like he's far behind. Thomas Gift, thank you so much.
GIFT: Thank you, Natalie.
ALLEN: In other news now, three Aurora, Colorado, police officers were fired Friday over a photo, a disturbing photo mocking the death of Elijah McClain, who died after police put him in a chokehold. The photo shows officers smiling and recreating a chokehold.
McClain lost consciousness and later died and paramedics injected him with a sedative. Several investigates are looking into what happened. The interim police chief did not mince words about what she thought of the photos.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: While the allegations of this internal affairs case are not criminal, it is a crime against humanity and decency to even think about doing such a thing is beyond -- is beyond comprehension and it's reprehensible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Thousands of protesters marched on the precinct Friday night. Police in riot gear stood near the building as demonstrators chanted, "Why are you in riot gear?"
And McClain's family made a strong statement. Here's a quote.
"APD's conduct is no different than that of white supremacists at the height of the Jim Crow South, who snapped smiling pictures of themselves at the scenes of brutal, lethal lynchings of black men, keeping the images of torture as souvenirs or even turning them into postcards to send to friends."
A former Hong Kong lawmaker and activist says he will continue to fight for democracy but he can no longer do it at his home. Nathan Law has fled Hong Kong for his own safety. He spoke from an undisclosed location to CNN's Kristie Lu Stout.
KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN ANCHOR: Nathan, you are a high profile activist. Here in Hong Kong, you were a lawmaker. You were elected into the legislature here. What do you say to your activists?
To your peers?
To people who feel you abandoned them?
NATHAN LAW, ACTIVIST AND FORMERHONG KONG LAWMAKER: All the activists will understand that is a need for the international community, that we need to have somebody to speak up for Hong Kong, internationally. So I think this is one of the fronts of commitment (ph). And a lot of people involved in the movement understand that.
STOUT: Can you disclose where you are right now?
LAW: My personal information and whereabouts would create uncertainties or potentially endanger my safety. So I prefer not to disclose it.
STOUT: Is the pro-democracy movement over?
LAW: That is a strong (INAUDIBLE) and perseverance (ph) laid behind the Hong Kong movement. And we have to stand in different fronts. Maybe we're (INAUDIBLE) or even (INAUDIBLE) ways of protesting. I don't think Hong Kong people are giving up now.
STOUT: Chinese officials say their determination in promoting this law is unwavering. China's not going to budge.
So why fight China?
LAW: We understand that fighting for democracy takes decades. We have a long way to go and I think Hong Kong people will hang on.
STOUT: But can you hang on when this law is hanging over your head?
You're in an undisclosed location. You're too afraid to tell us where you are.
LAW: Well, it's not only about my personal safety but also, concerns over the others. So I think, yes, indeed, these laws, especially those who are exposed or high-profile (INAUDIBLE) activists, it will definitely target them.
LAW: But I think for ordinary citizens and millions of people in support of democracy in Hong Kong, we could still have room for protesting, even though in this darker time.
STOUT: How difficult -- and this is a personal question.
How difficult was it for you to leave Hong Kong?
LAW: It is definitely very painful to leave somewhere that you spent most of your life. And you will lose the connection with your family or even the two cats in my home. I miss them very much. STOUT: And when you were on that plane and you were looking down on
the Hong Kong skyline for the last time, what was going through your head?
LAW: Well, I actually don't know if that will be the last time. I hope that, no matter what, I could come back to Hong Kong for any circumstance. But for now, I have a larger mission than my own desire and willingness.
STOUT: So you believe you can return to Hong Kong one day?
LAW: There will be democracy and freedom in Hong Kong one day. That belief is driving the momentum of every individual in Hong Kong's commitment.
STOUT: Nathan Law, thank you very much.
ALLEN: Next here on NEWSROOM, we check in on Latin America's coronavirus fight. Mexico is in a downward spiral, with the death toll passing hardhit Europeans countries now. But Cuba has kept control and Havana looks for tourists to return.
ALLEN: Mexico is now reporting more COVID-19 cases than Italy, one of the hardest hit countries early on, you will recall. And it has almost as many deaths as France, which is now fifth worldwide.
ALLEN: Health officials say it could be weeks before the spread reaches its peak in Mexico. But that's not stopping businesses in the capital from reopening. Matt Rivers is in Mexico City for us.
MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: For months, people here in Mexico watched as the pandemic tore through countries throughout Europe. Now the roles have been reversed.
We see countries in Europe on the mend while the outbreak in Mexico seemingly gets worse by the day. And the numbers bear that out. Consider over the last few days, we saw Mexico's death toll surpass Spain's.
In the next day or two, we expect the death toll to be greater than what we've seen in France. When it comes to confirmed cases, the new numbers by Mexican health
officials on Friday put the total case number here in Mexico higher than the case number in Italy. When the WHO says that Latin America is the new epicenter of this pandemic, there's reasons they're saying it.
In the northwestern state of Sonora, which sits on the border with Arizona, health officials this weekend are putting in more border checkpoints. They are concerned that people coming south from the U.S. could be bringing the virus with them because of the rise in cases we've seen in Arizona recently.
The U.S. and Mexico jointly agreed to close their common border, the land border, to all nonessential travel. But health officials say, over the last several weeks, they've seen increasing violations. That's why they're putting in place the additional checkpoints -- Matt Rivers, CNN, Mexico City.
ALLEN: In Brazil, inspectors in Rio de Janeiro are slapping fines on dozens of businesses for violating coronavirus precautions. About half are bars and restaurants, where patrons crowd together without masks.
They have been allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity since they reopened Thursday. That's despite Brazil reporting 1.5 million cases. That's the second highest total in the world.
Cuba presents a stark contrast to many of its Latin America neighbors, Unlike Mexico and Brazil, coronavirus cases there are stabilizing. Life on the island is becoming a slow return to normal. CNN's Patrick Oppmann is in Havana.
PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: For one of the first times since the outbreak of coronavirus in Cuba, health officials are lifting some of the restrictions here in Havana.
They say they have managed to not only flatten but crush the curve of new cases here in the Cuban capital. There's only about 50 active cases on the entire island. And for the first time, restaurants and bars are beginning to reopen.
Here in Old Havana, an area usually packed with tourists, there's almost nobody. Some restaurants are open for the first time in three months. But you don't see people in them. That's because there's no tourism right now.
The island is still shut down to tourism for the most part. There's some hotels that have opened up. But those are on islands off of the coast of Cuba. So it's surreal to look around in a place where, usually, it's one of the biggest tourism draws on the island. In other places, you see life returning to normal. People out doing the activities that they used to do. Going to the beach for the first time in months. The ocean has been closed until now. So life is returning to normal.
But it's impossible to come to Havana if you are a tourist. A lot of people want to open up the businesses for the time being.
Even though some of the restrictions are being lifted here, life has not returned to normal and it may be some time before it does -- Patrick Oppmann, CNN, Havana.
ALLEN: Next, what's in a name?
For critics of the Washington Redskins, insult and insensitivity. Why the NFL team might finally be listening to renewed calls to rebrand.
ALLEN: The Washington Redskins football team is reviewing its name in response to demands from major sponsors. The name has long been criticized as racist and offensive to Native Americans. As Carolyn Manno reports, calls to drop it are gaining new momentum.
CAROLYN MANNO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: The Washington Redskins released a statement, saying they've been having internal discussions over the last couple of weeks and plan to conduct a thorough review as to whether or not a change needs to be made to the team's name.
The term "Redskins" has been affiliated with the team since back in 1933 but is viewed as racially charged. The team owner Dan Snyder has said for years he has no plans to change the name of the team.
But in a recent statement he said something else, saying, "This process allows the team to take into account not only the proud tradition and history of the franchise but also input from our alumni, the organization, sponsors, the NFL and the local community it is proud to represent on and off the field."
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell quickly added his support to the team's announcement also, saying in a statement, "In the last few weeks we have had ongoing discussions with Dan and we're supportive of this important step."
The mention of sponsors in Snyder's statement is important here, as we've seen Snyder pressured in the past.
MANNO: But this comes after "Adweek" reported investment firms totaling more than $600 billion who were concerned about brands not aligning with their stance on diversity and inclusion. And that's a very loud alarm bell for an owner, particularly in a climate surrounding a global pandemic.
ALLEN: The Washington football team is not the only U.S. sports franchise that has faced pressure to change its name; the Cleveland Indians and the Atlanta Braves baseball teams. CNN Sports reached out to both franchises to ask about the names.
The Indians said this, "We are committed to engaging our community and appropriate stakeholders to determine the best path forward with regard to our team name."
The Atlanta Braves didn't directly address the issue of a name change.
Their response said, quote, "The Atlanta Braves have a meaningful commitment to honor the Native American community. We have much work to do on and off the field. But the Atlanta Braves are ready to meet the challenge of these times."
Thank you for watching this hour. I'm Natalie Allen. Stay with us. I'll have another hour of CNN NEWSROOM right after this.