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NEW DAY SATURDAY
Health Experts Urge Caution As Nation Celebrates July 4th Weekend; 50,000-Plus New COVID-19 Cases In U.S. For Third Straight Day; Florida Leads Nation In Average Number Of Daily New COVID-19 Cases; Trump Jr.'s Girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle Tests Positive For Virus; 1.4 Million Americans File For Unemployment Benefits Last Week; WAPO: New Data Reveals That Poor Americans Were Deprived Of $500 Stimulus Payment For Their Kids. Aired 8-9a ET
Aired July 4, 2020 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Thank you for letting us meet you. Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My pleasure.
TUCHMAN: Gary Tuchman, CNN Nashua, New Hampshire.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: What a lovely lady. Hey, the next hour of NEW DAY starts right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: With new cases rising in at least 36 states, hospitals in some of the hardest hit areas are struggling to keep up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They set up a perfect storm.
GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R-TX): If people gather on 4th of July, the same way they did in Memorial Day, it could lead once again to an increase in the number of people who lose their lives.
MAYOR DAN GELBER (D), MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA: There's nothing more American than making a sacrifice by staying home, and to keep a family member safe, a neighbor safe, or a stranger safe.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is an administration that can't seem to come up with the plan.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The virus has breached the President's inner circle, Kimberly Guilfoyle, the girlfriend of Donald Trump, Jr. and the top fundraiser for the reelection campaign tests positive in South Dakota.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: I want to wish you a good morning on this 4th of July, on this Saturday. We are always grateful that you make time for us. I'm Christi Paul.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR: Martin Savidge in today for Victor Blackwell.
PAUL: And it's good to have you, Marty. So the nation is celebrating an Independence Day, obviously, you all are, in a way that we haven't before because this is very different. We're in the middle of a pandemic and health experts say we can't let our guard down this holiday weekend. They're concerned, of course, these big gatherings that we're used to, the barbecues, the beaches, the fireworks, it could increase the infection rate even more.
SAVIDGE: States are adding to their safety measures, including enforcing rules at beaches from coast to coast, with some places unfortunately closing them entirely like, say, Southern California.
The U.S. enters the holiday weekend after reporting more than 50,00 new cases for a third straight day. 37 states are seeing an increased trend of new cases. Only one state, Vermont, is seeing a decline.
PAUL: When I go to Coney Island right now in New York. CNN's Polo Sandoval is there where it's usually packed on the 4th of July. Polo, happy 4th to you for one. Secondly, what are you seeing there?
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Happy 4th to you as well, Christi. The crowds are still fairly small at this point. Of course, authorities are hoping we don't see any of those massive crowds. Although, just a few people out for the morning stroll on that famous Coney Island Boardwalk.
Later today, though, we certainly do expect perhaps families to stop by the beach later today. But, of course, authority stressing that that social distancing is a must. Because when you look at those numbers, they are certainly not looking good across the country. And authority is saying that in order to try to keep a bad situation from getting worse, it's going to be about self-control this weekend.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDOVAL (voice-over): A coronavirus perfect storm could be looming this Independence Day. Several factors are at play, including more people traveling, states reopening, and for some, repeated disregard of mask and social distancing guidelines as people gathered to celebrate this July 4th.
DR. JOSHUA BAROCAS, INFECTIOUS DISEASE PHYSICIAN, BOSTON MEDICAL CENTER: Avoiding places like pools, beaches, and even playgrounds, especially this weekend, that's going to be high density traffic outside are very important measures that we can take.
SANDOVAL (voice-over): U.S. COVID related deaths exceeded 129,000 this week. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicting that we could see another 20,000 people lose their lives to the virus by the end of the month.
Florida surpassed its previous record for new COVID cases reported in one day. The pressure now on younger people to help lower infection rates in that state. You see the vast majority of Florida COVID cases affecting those in their mid-30s.
Some Florida beaches are open today, though, that won't be the case in Miami Beach, the mayor they're implementing the curfew and made masks mandatory.
MAYOR DAN GELBER (D), MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA: There's nothing more American than making a sacrifice by staying home, and to keep a family member safe, a neighbor safe, or a stranger safe.
SANDOVAL (voice-over): Texas continues buckling under the surge and size highest single day increase this week. Hoping to reverse the trend Governor Greg Abbott is requiring face coverings in most Texas counties. Though, many of Abbott's fellow Republican leaders have resisted similar mask mandates, President among them.
GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R-TX): Anyone who thinks COVID-19 is not dangerous, the numbers are glaring warning signs that this is dangerous, but everybody has the capability of making sure they do not get COVID-19.
SANDOVAL (voice-over): Out west Arizona and California continue shattering their own records. Arizona state health data showing hospitals are seeing an unprecedented spike in COVID patient admissions and only 9 percent of ICU beds were available by the end of this week.
California reimplementing early restrictions to contain their outbreak. Temporary closure signs are back up at beaches. Singing and chanting at religious gatherings are temporarily banned. And some cities are taking an aggressive approach in enforcing mass policies with the threat of hefty fines.
As the nation celebrates together, health officials are hoping they'll do it from home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANDOVAL: Back out here in New York and Coney Island, some of the folks who do stop by will expect even though the beaches and the boardwalk are open, those famous attractions along the shoreline, those will be closed, Christi.
Also, of course, that yearly tradition on this 4th of July, which is the famous Nathan's Hot Dog Eating contest that is actually going to be held somewhere else. It will be televised. And one more quick fun fact for you. It's actually going to be legal to actually bet on that event this year.
PAUL: Really. I wonder how much that - you're making a bet on now?
SAVIDGE: What do you bet on?
PAUL: I guess how many hotdogs they can put down, I don't know. Polo Sandoval there for us. Thank you, Polo.
So President Trump is back to the White House this morning, we know that. He delivered this speech during an Independence Day celebration at Mount Rushmore. Many people saying it didn't feel very unifying. We're covering this story from every angle.
SAVIDGE: So let's begin at the White House with CNN Sarah Westwood, and what more are you learning there, Sarah?
SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, Martin and Christi, last night, what we heard from the President was a dark tone, a very somber message in that Independence Day speech. And it was a message of preservation of American history. The President warning against a merciless campaign, that was his words, that he said was trying to erase history.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values and indoctrinate our children. 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 that were villains.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WESTWOOD: And the President also railed against "cancel culture." It's a message that's certain to resonate with his base and with people who are perhaps concerned about the waves of change they see rippling through society at a time when many Americans are trying to grapple with the darker sides of American history right now.
Last night, the President also signed an Executive Order establishing, what he said, would be called the National garden of American Heroes. He said that would be an outdoor park that would have monuments to various figures from American history. The location of that, though, was not specified. So the President last night arguing for more statues, not less, Martin and Christi.
PAUL: Alrighty. I want to ask you about COVID, and it kind of reaching into the President's orbit here with Kimberly Guilfoyle, a top Trump campaign official and the girlfriend of the president's son Donald Trump Jr. She stayed behind in South Dakota, we understand, because she tested positive for coronavirus. What do you know about that this morning, Sarah?
WESTWOOD: Well, Christi, everyone who's going to come into contact with President Trump is tested for coronavirus. So as part of that last night at the event, Kimberly Guilfoyle received a COVID test and she did test positive, so now she is self-isolating. A spokesmen said that she is asymptomatic and she will be tested again.
Donald Trump, Jr, the president's son, her boyfriend, luckily has tested negative. But despite that, and the fact that coronavirus cases are surging in states across this country, President Trump barely mentioned the virus in his speech last night. Although, he did take a moment to thank first responders.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Let us also send our deepest thanks to our wonderful veterans, law enforcement, first responders and the doctors, nurses and scientists working tirelessly to create kill the virus. They're working hard.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WESTWOOD: Now the President is here at the White House, and all of this comes as the nation's capital DC prepares for a July 4th celebration, a public one, that the President encouraged, but that city officials did not want because of the risk of spreading the virus, Martin and Christi.
PAUL: Alrighty. Sarah Westwood, thank you so much.
SAVIDGE: All right. Let's bring it now CNN Chief Media Correspondent Brian Stelter in.
Brian, the President had a chance to deliver one of those unifying messages, especially ahead of Independence Day, but instead, he chose to go on the attack. Do you think that was the right strategy and why?
BRIAN STELTER, CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: It sounded like a Stephen Miller speech, and that is something that appeals to the parts of the President's base that he really focuses on. This is war time conservativism. This belief that conservatives are at war, trying to protect the country from change.
That message, I know it resonates well with the Hannity base. But I don't think this speech made any sense unless you would watch hundreds of hours of Fox News, and you would read all of Newt Gingrich's books. You have to be fully plugged in to the narrative that the Right Wing is selling on radio, TV and online, which is about statues, which is about monuments.
You know, when the President says something like he said last night, he said the schools are teaching students to hate their own country. That makes no sense unless you are plugged into the Hannity universe, and then it makes a lot of sense.
So this was clearly only for that audience. It was, of course, carried live on Fox News. But it was in such contrast to what is the biggest cultural event - entertainment event this weekend, right? What's the biggest moment this weekend? It's the release of Hamilton on Disney Plus, the streaming service.
You know, people have been waiting for this for a year, a great American company, Disney puts out a great American play Hamilton, which is all about celebrating our founding fathers, understanding their flaws, but understanding their heroism. And I think it's such an interesting contrast that at the same time the President is at Mount Rushmore delivering a speech for Fox about trying to protect statues. You actually have millions of people, likely millions of people streaming this extraordinary Broadway play. It really is quite a contrast. And I noticed a bunch of people pointing this out on social media overnight.
Also route Ron Brownstein, one of our colleagues, a CNN analyst. He put it this way about the culture war. He said, "The President of Red America uses this holiday that most connotes national unity and shared heritage to advance his culture of war." I know it makes sense for the President politically, like I said it's a Stephen Miller speech, but it wouldn't make sense at any other time for any other President.
PAUL: Brian, what do you make of this news of Kimberly Guilfoyle being - you know, testing positive? I would think that people are going to be watching very closely what they do with her, considering that this is a President who doesn't focus so much on the seriousness, it seems, of the virus?
SAVIDGE: It is - yes, it's very worrisome. Look, Kimberly Guilfoyle was essentially a member of the Trump family, because she's been dating Don Jr. for years. They are so close. They do everything together. They campaign together. This is very worrisome for the Trump family, given how close she is.
Now, look, last weekend, Don Jr. and Kimberly were out at a party in the Hamptons. New York Post reported that nobody was wearing masks to this party. I saw pictures of it on Instagram that people were just acting like it was a normal time out at a luxury million-dollar mansion in the Hamptons.
You know, you have to start to reevaluate those choices when you start to hear about people like Kim Guilfoyle getting sick. Although, they say she's asymptomatic, so they're going to take another test, make sure it actually is positive. It's good that she's not feeling sick. Hopefully, this will be a quick thing that passes very quickly for her.
But I think it absolutely has to be worrisome to the Trump family and to the Trump campaign, because when you look at the Mount Rushmore event, that was officially a White House event funded by taxpayers. But it looked like a campaign event. That's why Kim and Don Jr. were there for the campaign.
The President keeps going to these events, creating these made for TV, made for campaign video moments where he's seen at Mount Rushmore. They are very effective for his campaign among his base. But the question becomes, amid the pandemic, at what cost, at what risk is the President and his family members making or taking - at what risk are they going out there in public, creating these campaign videos in amidst of a pandemic?
SAVIDGE: Right. Yes. And to your point, we wish Ms. Guilfoyle well, in what comes next.
SAVIDGE: Thanks, Brian. Good to see you this morning.
SAVIDGE: Georgia's governor says you don't need a mandate for people to do the right thing. But the mayor of one town isn't taking any chances. We'll talk to him next.
PAUL: And tonight, don't miss CNN's, The Fourth in America, an evening of fireworks and an all-star musical lineup beginning at 8:00 pm Eastern, right here on CNN.
PAUL: So Georgia is just one of the Southern states seeing a disturbing rise in infection rates of COVID. Despite that, the governor says he's not going to order face coverings to be mandatory in public.
SAVIDGE: This week the popular tourist town of Savannah, it's absolutely one of my favorite cities, and if you never been, you need to go. But if you do go these days, you better be packing a mask. They're now mandated. We are joined now by Savannah's Mayor Van Johnson to explain why that is. Morning to you mayor.
MAYOR VAN JOHNSON (D), SAVANNAH, GEORGIA: Good morning, and thank you for your kind comments about Savannah.
SAVIDGE: No, it's a wonderful place. So tell us what brought you to the point of mandating masks?
JOHNSON: Well, in Savannah, since this pandemic had begun, we had resolved that we were going to keep the faith, but follow the science. And it was clear that the science has indicated that we need to do something more drastic. We were hitting new daily records, new weekly records, a new monthly record.
Our rolling average is for seven and 14 days, those we were breaking records there. And, of course, with the huge holiday weekend coming up with our beautiful weather and people coming from all over the country, it was really necessary for us to take more drastic action to protect our city.
PAUL: So Mr. Mayor, I read that police are enforcing the masks. There could be an up to $500 fine if somebody refuses to wear one. And the police are actually even handing masks out. How expensive is the resistance to mandated masks where you are? Are people complying if they're confronted by police?
JOHNSON: They are actually. I think people really want to do the right thing. Of course, there are some people, who, for whatever reason, are trying to choose not to. The goal of this emergency order was not to be punitive. That's why we're offering masks before we cite anyone. It's really important for us to have compliance, not for us to be able to punish people. Well, I think most people get it.
SAVIDGE: The Governor of Texas, mayor, as you probably know, mandated masks as well for an entire state and I'm wondering, do you think that Governor Kemp of Georgia should do something similar?
JOHNSON: To be honest with you, I've tried really hard to kind of stay in my lane. Governor Kemp has to consider the circumstances of the entire state of Georgia. I'm responsible for Savannah and Savannah only.
So I think that given our local statistics was happening here and our propensity to be able to have an explosion of more cases, that it was the right thing to do here in Savannah. The Governor has been around the state over the last couple of days, encouraging people to wear masks. The Surgeon General of the United States was with him. And, again, I just think that's the right science and that's the right thing to do.
PAUL: OK. Let's take a look together here at some of the pictures that we've gotten in overnight from the crowds at President Trump's rally in South Dakota last night. There has been a lot of talk of the fact that they were all close together. We didn't see a lot of masks. Does seeing a crowd like this concern you for your community?
JOHNSON: Absolutely. Again, we're living in some very critical times, and I think it's very clear that the way out of this is to be able to slow the spread as best we can. We know absent a vaccine. We know that it is wearing a mask or face coverings, we know that it's hand washing, we now that's social distancing. And in areas where this clearly is not occurring, I really am praying for those folks because they are setting themselves up for some real dangerous situations.
SAVIDGE: Mayor, let me ask you before we let you go. Not long after the 4th of July comes a new school year and I'm wondering what are your thoughts looking forward to that in times of a pandemic? Should children go back to school? How do you handle it?
JOHNSON: Well, here in Georgia, we have the Savannah-Chatham Public School District, which is an independent body. I trust that they will make the best decision. I know that it's really difficult to be able to social distance. But I know that they have been practicing that here to kind of see what that would look like.
It will probably be a mixture of that answer and some virtual schooling. We have to face it. Our game has changed forever in this community and across the nation, and we're going to have to find new and creative ways to do things differently. And I trust that our school board will do just that.
SAVIDGE: Mayor Van Johnson, we love Savannah, and we appreciate you joining us this morning. Happy 4th of July. JOHNSON: Thank you. And please come see us again when it's safe to do so.
SAVIDGE: We'll do.
PAUL: We so will. Thank you, Mr. Mayor.
JOHNSON: Thank you.
SAVIDGE: Still to Come. Restaurants and bars are being forced to close again. So there's no one inside for the effects of the pandemic. Now lawmakers are battling over extending the extra $600 in unemployment benefit for Americans. A lot more than that in the moment.
PAUL: So U.S. economy created 4.8 million jobs last month and the unemployment rate fell to 11.1 percent.
SAVIDGE: But don't let those numbers fool you. 1.4 million Americans still filed for first time unemployment benefits last week. Alison Kosik has more for us.
ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christi and Martin. The data on the labor market in June came in far better than expected, the unemployment rate fell to 11.1 percent. Although, the government noted in the report, the unemployment rate should be more like 12.3 percent because of a misclassification error, and a record 4.8 million jobs were added to the economy.
But that's not the entire story. America is dealing with a severe joblessness crisis and millions of people are relying on government aid to make ends meet. The Labor Department also reported that 1.4 million workers, more than expected, filed for first time unemployment benefits, and a total of 31.5 million Americans were collecting unemployment checks in the middle of the month.
And now Americans are facing more uncertainty even as the economy is reopening. The jobs data was compiled in the middle of June, and according to The Wall Street Journal, the economy has shown signs of sputtering in the past two weeks.
So real-time economic indicators on job listing, credit card spending and retail foot traffic suggest the economy is weakening again, that's as states across the country reimpose restrictions as cases of Coronavirus spike and recovery from the coronavirus recession could last through the better part of the next decade.
The Congressional Budget Office now estimates a 10-year unemployment rate will be 6.1 percent. And even though the forecast is riddled with uncertainty because of the virus itself, it's becoming clear the U.S. economy has a rocky road ahead. Christi and Martin.
SAVIDGE: All right, Alison, thank you very much for that. The extra $600 per week unemployment benefit that has helped people make ends meet during the pandemic is set to expire at the end of this month, that's if Congress doesn't extend it soon and so far, GOP leaders don't appear to be in any rush to renew it.
PAUL: So joining us now, "The Color of Money Finance Columnist for The Washington Post, Michelle Singletary. Michelle, it is good to see you this morning. Happy Fourth, by the way.
MICHELLE SINGLETARY, FINANCE COLUMNIST, WASHINGTON POST: OK. To you as well. Always good to be here.
PAUL: Thank you. We love having you. So I wanted to read to you what Senator Bill Cassidy, a Republican of Louisiana said regarding the potential stimulus. He said, "If it turns out the economy is recovering, that's a good thing, and direct stimulus checks may not be necessary." Do you get the sense that the economy is recovering? And that these checks will not be needed?
SINGLETARY: No, I do not get the sense that the economy is recovering. I mean, we see now with the cases increasing, businesses have to close down again. And also people are panicked, so they're staying home, because they don't want to be out there and catch it.
So this idea that this aid is still not needed, that we're you know, all happy now, it's just not true. It's a false narrative, and it's going to help or hurt a lot of people in this country.
SAVIDGE: Let me ask you this. One big battle between Democrats and Republicans is over the reason unemployment has remained high. And GOP lawmakers argue that, the enhanced jobless benefits were just - they were too generous. And that for many laid off workers in low income Americans, it only made things worse in the sense of that it keeps them home and keeps them away from actually going to work. Do you buy that theory?
SINGLETARY: No, and I was thinking of the right word to say that wouldn't get me in trouble with my pastor. So I'm just going to say that that's idiotic, and it just enrages me, if I can say. I know we must be all happy because it's the Fourth.
But the idea that people would not go to work because of this short, temporary boost in their income is ridiculous. And it shows that they had never actually talked to real unemployed folks. I have. I work with people through it my church. I know what it's like for them to talk about what it means to be unemployed.
And the idea that people who say, you know what, I'm just going to sit home and collect this money and not work, is ridiculous. And they're listening to business owners who are afraid that may happen.
Now, maybe people don't want to return to work because they are scared of catching the virus. The more you go to work, the more you're exposed to people who may be asymptomatic, who's bringing it in. We've got people who are not wearing masks, perhaps that's why they're not returning to work. And we are not through this crisis yet.
And for them to say that people are not - it's going to be a disincentive to work and they used the reasoning that they're going to be making more than when they made before the pandemic. Well, why don't we look at the minimum wage for the federal government and that's why they're making more.
So, again, false narrative. Oh, they're making more. Well, they weren't making a whole lot before. And so maybe we need to increase the federal minimum wage, pay people a living wage, so then they will be happy to go back even if it is going to maybe risk themselves.
PAUL: And I just want to point out you wrote an article for "The Washington Post." It really brought us into the lives of these families who are economically fragile right now, and I highly recommend reading that to get a better feel for what it does to people in that specific situation.
But there was also, this recent report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office that found that IRS made $1.4 billion in stimulus payments to dead people. And that from April 10th to May 17th, some stimulus payment calculations didn't include the additional money - that $500 for children that they're supposed to get, even though, the required information had been submitted correctly.
Now, we know IRS Commissioner Charles Reddick says that - he asserts these families are going to see this money by the end of the month. How plausible do you think that is? And what is happening that this can't be fixed and doled out correctly?
SINGLETARY: Well, two things are happening. And I give credit to the IRS employees who had been working through this pandemic to get out an amazing amount of money to people. But there were a lot of glitches, which we've been covering in "The Washington Post" very, I think over this whole time. And so there were glitches because they were quickly trying to send out money.
So there are really two groups of people, those who were able to use the non-tool - non-filer tool to get in their information, to get that $500. And there weren't many people who couldn't use it, didn't know how to use it, didn't even know it existed.
And so the IRS is saying, and Treasury, really because it's coming from them and which is - it means it's coming from the administration. That you know what, forget you guys, you can't use it too bad. You're going to have to wait till next year to get your money, and that's just tragic there.
You know, I talked to a grandfather in Philadelphia who's raising his two grandchildren who just couldn't use the tool. He doesn't have the capacity. He doesn't have a computer. And so they're saying to this grandfather, too bad just wait till next year during the most crazy economic issues that we're having right now. And so I hope that they reverse that decision. That they get money to the neediest parts of our population right now. And they're trying their best, but they got to do better. PAUL: Michelle Singletary. I got one laugh out of you. And we usually get several, and you are always a joy. Thank you so much. Really important conversation to have. Glad we had it with you.
SAVIDGE: Yes, thank you.
SINGLETARY: Me too. I hope everybody just realizes that we're all in this together.
SINGLETARY: And I hope that the administration looks at the people who need this money and not make a political play to their base to not help the neediest Americans, especially on the 4th of July.
PAUL: Yes. And again, her article in "The Washington Post" really highlights some of what these people are living right now in this pandemic. So thanks again.
SINGLETARY: You're welcome.
SAVIDGE: Can you can you believe it? They're celebrating the 4th of July in Great Britain. But it's not for the reasons that we celebrate for over here. It's because the pubs are open. And Prince William was just one of the many who went up for a pint. Up next, to look at how other parts of the world are starting to open up after months of being locked down.
SAVIDGE: Around the world there are now more than 11 million cases of coronavirus. Some countries are able to begin using restrictions as they've been able to flatten the curve.
PAUL: Yes. But in other countries the situation seems to be going from bad to worse. Want to give you a look at some of the headlines from around the world.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN'S HAVANA-BASED CORRESPONDENT: I'm Patrick Oppmann in Havana. Well, for the first time in over three months, businesses like restaurants, public transportation, even the beach have all begun to reopen. You can feel life slowly returning to the city. Even though people are still required to wear face masks, are still required to maintain social distancing, Cuban officials say that Cubans have managed to flatten the curve of new cases.
One problem though, remains the economy. Most of this island, including Havana, remains off limits to international tourists are no flights coming in and out of Havana at least for the moment. Probably for the immediate future. So while the city is reopening, it remains cut off from the outside world.
MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I am Matt Rivers in Mexico City. For months, people here in Mexico watched as this pandemic tore through countries in Europe, and now it appears that those roles have been reversed.
Countries in Europe are on the mend, while the outbreak here in Mexico only appears to be getting worse by the day. And the numbers, while they bear that out, over the last few days we saw Mexico's death toll surpassed that of Spain's. It will likely surpass France as soon as tomorrow. And for the first time on Friday evening, given the new numbers reported by Mexican health officials, the overall case total here in Mexico has topped Italy's for the first time.
SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN FIELD PRODUCER: I'm Salma Abdelaziz in London where restaurant pubs and hair salons are opening for the first time in almost three months. And if you know anything about British culture, the pub is the cornerstone. It's one of the most beloved institutions in this country and everyone is very excited to be able to go down to their local and grab a pint.
But it's not going to be the same as it was before locked down. Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday morning everyone to follow the rules, otherwise the country could risk a second spike in the virus. Those new measures are of course to maintain social distance, that's been reduced from six feet to three feet, keep washing your hands and at every restaurant and bar you go to you must leave contact details for track and trace purposes.
But this is a gamble. The U.K.'s hospitality industry is one of the largest employers in the country, some 3 million jobs there, and questions are being asked as to whether or not businesses can reopen under this new reality and still be profitable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Experts expect unemployment across London won't fully recover from the pandemic fallout until the year 2022. So Matt, Patrick and Salma, we want to thank you.
There are fast moving developments. Today, in the NFL, the Washington Redskins now say they'll do a thorough review of the team's controversial name.
SAVIDGE: Facing public and financial pressure, the Washington Redskins take a step that they say may pave the way towards a new name.
PAUL: Yes, the team says it will conduct a "thorough review" now of the controversial nickname. It dates back to 1933. Team owner Daniel Snyder, who's been strongly against the name change in the past, now says he wants input from other people. While taking into account the tradition and the history of the franchise. The NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell released a statement saying he's supportive of this important step as well.
SAVIDGE: This comes after investment groups, worth the combined $620 billion, reportedly threatened to end their relationships with Redskins sponsors, they include PepsiCo, FedEx and Nike, that is if the team didn't change its name.
PAUL: Baseball's Cleveland Indians says it will review their long debated nickname, which has been in place for 105 years. Two years ago, the team did make a notable change by removing a cartoon caricature as its logo, which has long been criticized as offensive to Native Americans.
SAVIDGE: Well as the Major Leagues grapple with those big questions, and elite youth baseball facility in Georgia has made a very big decision.
PAUL: Nick Valencia went to Emerson, Georgia to see what travel league baseball looks like during a global pandemic.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Back baseball is back. Weeks before Major League Baseball announced plans for this season, youth travel ball is up and running in Georgia.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get under it.
VALENCIA (voice-over): About 30 miles north of Atlanta, Lake point sports a premier stage for elite teen athletes has opened its doors to the rest of the country. A key economic driver. This campus generates nearly $100 million annually and sees more than 30 sports year round, including basketball, volleyball, soccer, gymnastics, lacrosse, and America's national pastime, baseball.
At first glance, you might think things were back to normal. Some of the kids playing here are certainly acting that way.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maybe we could beat the boys.
VALENCIA (voice-over): This team traveled from Charlotte, North Carolina to play in an invite only tournament on one of the complexes eight major league size fields.
VALENCIA (on camera): And what are you guys kind of thoughts before coming down here?
VICTOR LOPEZ, SBA BASEBALL PLAYER: It sucks to take a long break from baseball, but - and I wish the best everyone's family members who are going through it and--
VALENCIA (on camera): But you're more worried about baseball than the coronavirus?
MARK O'BRIEN, LAKEPOINT SPORTS PRESIDENT AND CEO: Our number one priority is to provide a safe environment for the athletes, the coaches, the scouts, family members and the community.
VALENCIA (voice-over): Mark O'Brien is the President and CEO of LakePoint sports. He says he worked with the Georgia Governor's Task Force using 50 different data points to create an in-depth playbook, including hundreds of standards for a phased reopening.
O'BRIEN: We're taking a crawl, walk, run approach, to be very thoughtful and educated on what and how we operate.
VALENCIA (voice-over): It includes what he calls common sense measures like not sharing equipment, checking temperatures and fans sitting with their own families.
O'BRIEN: We've also, you know, encourage everyone to practice safe distancing and proper hygiene, and then ask everybody to do their part as well.
VALENCIA (voice-over): They're counting on posted signage reminds spectators and coaches to wear face masks, but it's clear not everyone does.
VALENCIA (on camera): So is there any concern about safety?
PARENTS OF BASEBALL PLAYER: Well, you know, we over - you know, it's still some - we are skeptical still because it's so soon, but we are here for support our kids.
VALENCIA (voice-over): Support is one thing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just missed it.
VALENCIA (voice-over): And so is the demand for baseball. More than 10 teams traveled across state lines to get back in the swing of it.
O'BRIEN: We got a full slate of events scheduled for this summer. We're sold out in our tournaments.
VALENCIA (voice-over): But doing it safely in the age of COVID-19 is another.
MYLES PEARL, SBA BASEBALL COACH: I haven't had that sense of danger with them. If I felt that and our team felt about that, I doubt that we'll be here.
VALENCIA (on camera): Do you think when we look back in this in a couple weeks from now, that there's going to be any regret that there's going to be any spike in cases?
O'BRIEN: It's an ever changing daily process that we go through. No matter the sport, safety is our top priority.
VALENCIA (voice-over): Nick Valencia, CNN, Emerson, Georgia. (END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Tonight, CNN is celebrating the 4th of July, an evening of fireworks and an all-star musical lineup hosted by Dana Bash and Don Lemon. The Fourth in America begins at 8:00 pm. Eastern right here on CNN. We hope you'll be with us.
PAUL: 53 minutes past the hour right now. In 1852, African-American author an abolitionist, Frederick Douglass gave a famous speech called, what is - "What to the slave is the 4th of July?" And in it he explored the tension between the oppression of slavery and the ideals of freedom.
SAVIDGE: Well, today the attention lives on, but in different forums, and for some, it's still cast a shadow over Independence Day. Here's CNN's Leyla Santiago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Fireworks, raids, ceremonies, the celebration of U.S. independence, once declared by Founding Fathers that wrote, "All men are created equal. that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
But the very rights being celebrated on Independence Day are the same rights that millions of Americans say they and their ancestors have not been allowed to enjoy.
SANTIAGO (on camera): What does Independence Day mean to you?
JESSE HOLLAND, AUTHOR, "THE INVISIBLES": I will always be a proud American. But that doesn't mean I don't realize the faults and the flaws that this country has.
SANTIAGO (voice-over): For historian and author Jesse Holland that includes the injustice that has led to unrest across the country, the inequalities and communities of color highlighted by a pandemic.
HOLLAND: I think it's fair to sometimes question whether America loves African-Americans, as much as we love it.
OPAL LEE, ACTIVIST: We can solve these problems if we just do it together.
SANTIAGO (voice-over): For 93-year-old Opal Lee independence must commemorate the freedom of all including Juneteenth, the day enslaved people in Texas learned that all those enslaved in Confederate states had been freed.
LEE: And I'm advocating that we have Juneteenth from the 19th to the 4th of July, you know slaves weren't free on the 4th of July. SANTIAGO (voice-over): As Americans face a reckoning over racism, past
and present, there's no message of healing from the White House. Instead, President Trump is calling a Black Lives Matter street mural, a symbol of hate, after New York City announced it would be painted in front of Trump Tower. He's also demanding protection for symbols of the Confederacy at campaign rallies.
TRUMP: the unhinged left wing mob is trying to vandalize our history, desecrate our monuments, our beautiful monuments.
SANTIAGO (voice-over): During diplomatic visits--
TRUMP: Not going to happen, not as long as I'm here.
SANTIAGO (voice-over): Even on Twitter. And he's refusing to sign anything changing the name of military bases named after Confederate leaders.
HOLLAND: I am hopeful that we will, as a country, decide that the Confederacy is something to be studied, not something to be glorified. And we're to actually celebrate who we are when we celebrate Independence Day.
SANTIAGO (on camera): And President Trump kicked off the Independence Day weekend standing at Mount Rushmore, in front of a monument of two slave owners and on land that was wrestled away from Native Americans for the National Park. Leyla Santiago, CNN, Washington, DC.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Leyla, thank you. We are with you for the duration today. CNN NEWSROOM is up in just two minutes and stay with us, because we have a real interesting conversation with a couple of faith leaders who are trying to figure out how to balance all of this that we are seeing and celebrate equality and the 4th of July, that's coming up in the next couple of hours. Stay close.