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Trump Delivers Divisiveness on Independence Day; Florida Hotspots Celebrate at the Beach; Iraq Struggles with COVID-19; England's Pubs Reopen; Citizens Honor the British National Health Service; America Celebrates Its Birthday; California Hospital Beds Fill to Capacity; Holiday Travel Numbers Down Due to COVID-19; Grim Coronavirus Statistics in Latin America; Sport Deals with Racism. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired July 5, 2020 - 00:00   ET




ROBYN CURNOW, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hi, welcome to our viewers joining us here in the U.S. and from all around the world, you're watching CNN NEWSROOM. Ahead this hour --


TRUMP: We will never allow an angry mob to tear down our statues, erase our history, indoctrinate our children or trample on our freedoms.


CURNOW (voice-over): Dividing, not uniting. President Trump delivers another divisive message on Independence Day, as the pandemic surges through America.

Plus, thousands flock back to pubs in the U.K. for a proper pint after months of lockdown.

But will Super Saturday turn out to be a super spreader, as well?

Also, new daily records. Florida's coronavirus cases spike in the midst of crowded beaches and bars this holiday weekend.

Will new closures happen?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Live from CNN Center, this is CNN NEWSROOM with Robyn Curnow.

CURNOW: Great to you have along this hour.

So Americans are marking Independence Day, usually a day for patriotism and pride but this year we're seeing disunity over policies and the coronavirus pandemic. Traditional fireworks filled the sky over the National Mall in Washington just a few hours ago.

This, as the nation deals with a troubling surge in the virus. Some people were forced to stay at home. These beaches in California, as you can see, were closed. The state is struggling with a record number of people in the hospital with the virus.

Meanwhile, rising cases did not keep everyone off the beaches in Florida. This beach was packed as well as others. Florida is one of the nation's hot spots, reporting the most cases in a single day so far on Saturday.

Well, here's a look at where things stand across the U.S. Most states are experiencing spikes in daily infections. Only one state is seeing a decline. While some people went to the beach, others spent the holiday rallying for social justice and exercising their right to protest, which is at the very heart of America's democracy.

U.S. president Donald Trump, however, blasted protesters as, quote, the radical left, anarchists and agitators. He said the country's sometimes racist past must be protected.


TRUMP: We will never allow an angry man to tear down our statues, erase our history, indoctrinate our children or trample on our freedoms. We will safeguard our values, traditions, customs and beliefs. We will teach our children to cherish and adore their country so that they can build its future.


CURNOW: So again, to emphasize, this is a holiday that celebrates how Americans came together to gain independence but you wouldn't know that by the president's remarks, even at this critical time. Well, Jeremy Diamond has more on President Trump's message -- Jeremy.


JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, on 4th of July, most American presidents typically aim for unifying remarks. But President Trump this evening, for the second night in a row, focusing his Independence Day remarks on exploiting cultural divisions among Americans, particularly at this time of deep division in America, with two crises, both the coronavirus pandemic and these protests over a national reckoning on racism in America.

President Trump delivering these divisive remarks, in which he even compared his current political fight against leftists in America, radical leftists, as he called them, to the fight against Nazis in World War II.


TRUMP: American heroes defeated the Nazis, dethroned the fascists, toppled the communists, saved American values, upheld American principles and chased down the terrorists to the very ends of the Earth. We are now in the process of defeating the radical left.


TRUMP: The Marxists, the anarchists, the agitators, the looters and people who, in many instances, have absolutely no clue what they are doing.


DIAMOND: Now President Trump on Saturday also said we will not allow anyone to divide our citizens by race or background. Those remarks, fairly remarkable, coming from this president, one that started his campaign by decrying Mexican immigrants as criminals and rapists.

A president who called for a total ban on Muslims entering the United States. A president who said that a judge who was of Hispanic origin could not be impartial in a case involving him.

This president claiming on Saturday that he will not allow others to exploit people by racial divisions.

Now President Trump sought to recast himself as a protector of American history and heritage. That was a theme of his remarks on Friday at Mt. Rushmore and on Saturday at the White House.

But the president, for the last week, hasn't focused on protecting statues of founding fathers, as he has claimed in this speech. Instead, he's focused on protecting Confederate namesakes and monuments. That's been the heart of the president's focus over the last week.

Yet now, he is trying to recast that battle. But certainly, these remarks from the president, on a 4th of July where America is facing these crises, divisive and certainly not unifying for this country -- Jeremy Diamond, CNN, the White House.


CURNOW: Well, Florida is one of the biggest U.S. hot spots right now, reporting thousands of new cases on Saturday. But that's not stopping some people from celebrating the 4th of July holiday the way they always do, by hitting the beach. Well, Boris Sanchez tells us all about that.


BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yet another record-setting day for the state of Florida. More than 11,000 new coronavirus cases reported here in the last 24 hours. That means that, in the first three days of July, the state has seen over 30,000 new COVID cases.

To give you some perspective, the state of Florida saw about 100,000 new cases in the month of June alone. Local leaders, the state's governor, Ron DeSantis, leaving it up to local officials to determine what restrictions they wanted to put in place. But here on the western part of the state, just outside of Tampa at

Clearwater Beach, folks were coming all day to enjoy the waves, to play sports, to enjoy the sand and surf as well.

There are signs out that are warning people to try to stay socially distant, six feet apart from people who do not share the same household. They are also asking groups to not congregate. Groups of 10 or more are not allowed here.

Though, throughout the day, we did see groups of much larger than 10 people enjoying the beach.

Actually spoke to one woman named Kathy (ph), who told me that she moved from Alabama to Florida in the middle of the pandemic. She says that she's concerned about the risk of coronavirus but that she wanted to enjoy the holiday weekend on the beach. Here's more of what she shared with us.


KATHY (PH), NEW FLORIDA RESIDENT: I just think that we all should wear masks and protect ourselves as best as we can, you know and keep, you know, keep the social distancing going on and, you know, that's it.

If we're going to get it, we're going to get it. I'm happy to be here. I really am. I know that the numbers are going up and I hope it drops but it doesn't seem like it is, so why stop enjoying life?


SANCHEZ: Of course, the big question is, what these numbers will do two weeks from now. Remember, that, after the Memorial Day weekend, when we saw so many large crowds ignoring social distancing guidelines, soon after that, we saw a surge in coronavirus cases nationwide.

Two weeks is that incubation period for the coronavirus, so all eyes will be on the numbers, about 14 days from now -- Boris Sanchez, CNN, Clearwater Beach, Florida.


CURNOW: Joining me now is Dr. Carlos del Rio, professor of medicine at Emory University, which is right here in Atlanta.

Doctor, good to see you. Thank you for joining us. So we've been seeing a spike in cases across the United States.

Can it all be accounted for just by increased testing, as some have suggested?

DR. CARLOS DEL RIO, EMORY UNIVERSITY: No, Robyn. I think that increased cases is because there's increased transmission. Diagnosis, testing is simply telling us there's cases out there. But in fact, in some of the states that have the highest increase in testing, in cases, we actually have seen a decrease in testing, which is the case in Florida.

So unfortunately not, this is not just testing. This is really a lot of transmission and a lot of uncontrolled transmission of this virus and that's what worries all of us, because we're seeing more cases and we're seeing an increase in hospitalizations.

Here in Georgia alone, we saw over 1,600 hospitalizations today. That's only three weeks ago, in June 7th, we only had 700 patients hospitalized. So we've seen a dramatic increase in the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19.

CURNOW: Yes, that's certainly worrying.


CURNOW: Across the U.S. many of these cases, as we say, are rising but we're not seeing as many deaths.

How do you explain that?

Is it just a lag?

DEL RIO: Part of it is a lag. Part of it is also that we're seeing younger people. You know in the first phase of the epidemic, we had a lot of older people coming in and older people died a lot faster. Younger people tend to die less. Our median age in the hospital has dropped from about 62 to about 48.

So younger people are less likely to die. But the other thing is that we also have gotten better at treating this disease, not much better but we've gotten somewhat better. And finally, it's because, you know, deaths lag about two weeks with the increase in testing.

So in some states like Florida, you are seeing an increase in deaths and an increase in cases.

CURNOW: You talk about what you've learned.

What have doctors and medical professionals learned over the past few months in terms of treating COVID patients?

I know some have suggested less ventilation in some cases and, of course, still a lot of experimentation in terms of drug combinations.

DEL RIO: Well, the most important thing we've learned is the value of a drug named remdesivir. It clearly has a role in patients that are needing oxygen. It helps them decrease the number of days they need oxygen and it does have slight improvement in survival.

We've also learned from a recovery study conducted in the U.K. that the use of a drug called dexamethasone also improved survival in a dramatic way in people who are needing oxygen.

So we are learning better ways of ventilating people, we're learning about prone ventilation, we're learning about the use of anti- coagulants. So we've learned a lot of things that actually are helping decrease mortality in patients with severe COVID disease.

CURNOW: But as an epidemiologist, there's still so many questions, aren't there?

Particularly the range of symptoms that, the way this virus attacks the body. It seems to be quite wide-ranging.

Does that concern you still?

DEL RIO: Well, it's concerning but it's also fascinating from a research standpoint.

Why do some people get so sick and others don't?

How can we predict that?

Is there anything we can do to prevent disease, getting disease worse when somebody gets infected?

And we are embarking on a variety of different studies, including the use of convalescent plasma, including the use of monoclonal antibodies, some new research studies that are going to try and address some of those issues.

CURNOW: I know you worked a lot in the field of HIV/AIDS over your career, a very distinguished career.

Do you see any similarities, particularly when it comes to behavior and changing people's behavior?

DEL RIO: You know, absolutely. For many years, as you well know, we have been telling people about how to have sex with condoms, how to protect themselves and simply it just does not happen as much as we would like it to.

It makes a lot of sense; if you tell somebody, hey, wear a condom, practice safe sex. But the reality is, it's a lot harder to implement. So knowledge doesn't necessarily translate into behavior.

Well, we're seeing the same thing here with this virus and we're seeing the same thing with people being reluctant to use masks, being uncomfortable using masks.

But we also have seen something that is also very concerning, which is the politicization of certain behaviors. You know, we have never heard, for example, people saying, well, you know, I'm a liberal and therefore I wear a seat belt when I go down the freeway but you're a conservative and it's against my freedom to move in my seat to wear a seat belt so I'm not going to use a seat belt.

Or a governor telling people, well, we encourage you to use seat belts but we're not going to mandate it because we don't want to impinge on your rights. That to me is the part that has been really hard to deal with, which is the fact that we have made political and we have made partisan things that should not be, which is trying to save lives. CURNOW: And that's very much being seen in the USA. Mexico, just next

door neighbor, has been really hit hard in the last few weeks, last few days.

What do you make of the infection rates there?

DEL RIO: Well, you know, it's not surprising. Mexico has many large cities, like Mexico City, which could be another New York. Mexico City has a lot of people. A lot of people ride the subway. It's very hard to isolate if you are, you know, poor. You need to go to work every day.

So I'm not surprised that there's a lot of transmission. I think, again, Mexico has to do three things that we have been saying in the U.S. Face masking has to really go up. We need to -- Mexico has to test a lot more people. Mexico has very, very low testing rates.

And really do contact tracing, because the reality is, in this disease, one of the only tools we have -- and we're not doing very well here in the U.S., either -- is you have to test people.

And after you test people, you have to isolate them and very rapidly do contact tracing, because you need to stop transmission at its root, right there, in that person that got infected. Don't let that person transmit to other people.


DEL RIO: And something that is very important to remember, Robyn, is, if you don't do that one infected person, over the next two to five days, infects another probably 2.5 to 5 people. And those individuals that infect more people and by the end of one month, 30 days, that one infected individual leads to over 400 infections.

CURNOW: Goodness me. That's sort of sobering data and certainly a reminder that all of us need to pay attention to these warnings that doctors like you are giving us. Wear a mask, it's as simple as that.

Dr. Carlos Del Rio, thank you for joining us for all of your expertise.

DEL RIO: Good being with you.

CURNOW: Well, Iraq's battered health care system is struggling with a huge spike in coronavirus cases and deaths as well. Saturday, officials reported more than 2,000 new cases, bringing the total to more than 58,000.

And they say the death toll rose by more than 100 to around 2,300. The pandemic is sweeping the whole country. But it's really hitting the capital, Baghdad, especially hard. Arwa Damon now reports.


ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They wait to verify the names of the dead. Their sorrow is silent, much like the enemy that claimed those they love.

Yousef al-Hajami (ph) lost his parents and his sister to COVID-19, one after the other. They underestimated the virus. They did not understand how to protect themselves from the spread.

"We are terrified now. We are 100 percent convinced," he says.

The burials happen at night in Iraq's largest cemetery, when the country's brutal summer heat dips. Final prayers are carried out by strangers. Teams from the country's paramilitary force, the Hashd, initially formed to fight ISIS.

"We are getting around 70 to 80 bodies a day," (INAUDIBLE) Ibrahimi (ph) says.

And it is expected to get much worse across this country, whose medical infrastructure was already decimated by decades of sanctions, war and corruption.

Medical workers report a prevalence of the virus among hospital staff due to a lack of proper measures and PPE.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was with my family when the head manager of the hospital contacted me to inform me that the result of PCR is positive for COVID-19.

DAMON (voice-over): Dr. al-Etapani (ph) filmed the moment he told his children he was sick, promising them that he would be back, not knowing if it would be a promise he would keep.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For any person, it's a painful moment that you say goodbye to your children and your family and you do not know whether you will return back or not.

DAMON (voice-over): Luckily, he did and is now recovering.

"We were so worried about Mommy and Daddy because of corona," one of his daughters says upon his return. But the others chime in.

But al-Etapani (ph) fears for the worst for his country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With coronavirus cases now jumped due to government default in providing protection measures, the people and opening the markets and malls.

DAMON (voice-over): This video shows people scuffling over oxygen tanks outside a hospital in the south of the country, trying to secure a supply for their sick loved ones.

In the same city, health workers beg their ministry for help. Iraqis know loss on a mass scale all too well. The bitter pain of consecutive wars that bled into each other.

A member of Iraq's security forces apologizes for his inability to keep his emotions in check. It's his mother who died -- Arwa Damon, CNN, Istanbul. (END VIDEOTAPE)

CURNOW: Thanks to Arwa for that powerful report.

You're watching CNN. Up next, England's much-loved pubs have officially reopened after being closed for 15 weeks. We'll see how they're adapting -- or not -- to social distancing.





CURNOW: Pubs and other businesses in England are open again. And for all those who waited in line to get their first pints, Super Saturday couldn't come soon enough.

After more than three months of lockdown, pub doors in Northern Ireland were thrown open again on Friday as well but those in Scotland and Wales will have to wait a little bit longer. Anna Stewart is in London for us.


ANNA STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Super Saturday in England saw pubs, restaurants, cinemas and hair salons able to reopen after over three months of lockdown. These businesses have had to introduce some COVID- 19 safety measures.

Face shields for hairdressers and face coverings for their clients. Socially distanced tables at pubs with customer contact details taken on arrival for any contact tracing should there be a virus outbreak.

The Black Lion Pub here in Hammersmith have really embraced some of these new measures but not all businesses have decided to reopen yet. Some are concerned that those new measures could limit how many customers they can serve and may make them financially unviable.

And of course, there are always concerns that the consumer appetite isn't yet there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am not risking going into a pub immediately. I think having a beer outside, which we've been doing for weeks anyhow, is fine. And it's actually quieter here today than it has been, because pubs are open. Not in a rush to go to cinema. A restaurant would be nice.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wouldn't go into a pub or a restaurant myself. But takeaway, I'd do because I don't want to be around lots of drunk people, probably batting into you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Excited for a bit of brunch, a few restaurants and things, it would be really nice to get back to a little bit of normality. But obviously, we still do need to be safe and trying to keep that distance from everyone as best we can.

STEWART: The government's note of caution ahead of the reopening.

BORIS JOHNSON, U.K. PRIME MINISTER: Enjoy summer safely. I mean, I just -- 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.

STEWART: Virus outbreaks could lead to lockdown measures being reimposed.


STEWART: There were fears that there could be overcrowding and overindulging alcohol on day one of the big reopening. That has not been the case. That has been dampened down by the very gray and blustery British weather -- Anna Stewart, CNN, London.


CURNOW: So those reopenings wouldn't have been possible without health care workers on the front lines. And for the 72nd anniversary of the British National Health Service, NHS for short, the U.K. is pulling out all the stops. London landmarks have lit up in blue, including 10 Downing Street. A nationwide clap is scheduled for Sunday. Salma Abdelaziz shows us some more tributes.


SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN PRODUCER: All over the country, graffiti art like this honoring the country's public health care system, known as the NHS, has popped up.

It's one of the most beloved institutions in the U.K., made up of the doctors and nurses and front line health care workers who have been battling this pandemic for the last three months.

But it's not just graffiti art like this. There's been billboards and posters and even little crayon drawings that's been in the windows of homes, saying, "We love the NHS."

On its 72nd anniversary of this organization, the country wants to commemorate the sacrifices they have made. Key buildings will be lit up in blue. There's also a clap scheduled so that everybody can applaud and commemorate those health care workers.

I spoke to the artist who actually painted this drawing, Nathan Bowen (ph). And he told me he wanted health care workers to have something nice to look at as they made their way to the clinics and hospitals and care homes across this country.


NATHAN BOWEN (PH), ARTIST: When people pass my art, it makes them smile. I want to inspire people. I want people to look at my art and go home and feel like, yo, that artwork made my day. That made my travels in the street.

My artwork is for people that, when they're on their way to work, why should people look at, like, dull, boring buildings (ph) when they can look at artwork?


ABDELAZIZ: I want to show you yet another piece of street art dedicated to the NHS. This one says, "Stay strong," right there on the board. But there's another message here. Take a closer look. Each and every one of these faces is either brown or Black, people of color.

I spoke the artist who drew this mural and he told me it was important to acknowledge the significant role that minorities have played during this pandemic. A big portion of the health care worker population, especially here in London, are people of color.

And we do know that those of color were disproportionally impacted by coronavirus, according to the government's own data. Minorities were more likely to be exposed to the virus and more likely to become seriously ill from it.

And the artist wanted everyone to remember and acknowledge that, as they walked past this work of art.

Now dozens of health care workers have lost their lives during this pandemic. We don't yet know the final death toll. But this anniversary comes at a particularly difficult and point in time in the NHS' history. And perhaps now more than ever, this country needs its health care workers -- Salma Abdelaziz, CNN, London.


CURNOW: Coming up on CNN, sun and sand are a holiday tradition in California but not this year. We'll look at how some areas are trying to shut down coronavirus by shutting down the beaches.

And the U.S. capital forges ahead with a huge July 4th fireworks show. We'll take you to the National Mall when CNN NEWSROOM continues.





CURNOW: So welcome back to our viewers around the world, I'm Robyn Curnow. You're watching CNN.

The United States observed its 244th birthday on Saturday. The coronavirus pandemic forced much of the country to cancel, at least curtail the usual public celebrations. But Washington, D.C., went ahead with its traditional concert and fireworks show, hosted by the president and the first lady. A little slice of normalcy there in a year that's been anything but

normal. Alex Marquardt was at the National Mall in Washington all day and he has this report for us.


ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): The smoke is still settling here after what was a spectacular fireworks show here in Washington, D.C., not at all a muted celebration during this time of coronavirus and social unrest.

People gathering all along the National Mall to watch a show that was billed as one of the largest ever, 35 minutes. It included some 10,000 fireworks shot off from two main locations. The first at the Washington Monument, the second a mile long stretch between what is essentially Jefferson Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial.

People out here did have plenty of room to social distance. There were far fewer people out here than normal. The crowds were, indeed, much thinner. The National Park Service, which helped coordinate the celebration, they were bracing for large crowds. They had asked people to spread out across what is federal land here.

They had prepared some 300,000 masks to hand out. Now it's important to note that this was a celebration that was called for by the Trump administration, by the White House.

The mayor of Washington, D.C., had canceled the city's celebrations, asking people to stay at home, to celebrate in or around their homes. But of course, this celebration went forward. People came from far and wide, from as close as Virginia.

I also met families from Florida, from Georgia, from Chicago and elsewhere, as well as families from overseas, from Brazil, from Argentina, from South Africa, all of whom wanted to come see America celebrate its birthday -- Alex Marquardt, CNN, Washington.


CURNOW: Thanks, Alex, for that.

Let's cross over now to California. The state's having a hard time of it, that's for sure, with hospital beds filling up to record capacity. Paul Vercammen looks at how the virus has changed one big holiday tradition.


PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Part of the strategy to stop the spread of coronavirus: shut down beaches in southern California. This is Huntington Beach. Normally on a 4th of July weekend, people would be laying down their towels and they would be right next to each other, enjoying a day at the beach and later on a huge fireworks display.

The fireworks, canceled. They have a big 4th of July parade here, canceled. They had a smaller sort of community parade where they weaved through and by people's homes.


VERCAMMEN: The idea, again, is to have all these counties in lockstep with each other and not having the beaches open. Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles and Orange Counties shut down their beaches. San Diego did not. But as a police spokeswoman said here in Huntington Beach, important that four of those five did shut down.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're not the only one that's open, we're not the only one that's closed. So the message is there. We're closing down. Let's do it for just a few days, let's try and flatten this curve again and make sure we can stay safe.

VERCAMMEN: So good vibrations up and down the California coast.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Big time. Let's keep it chill.


VERCAMMEN: So almost an eerie sight, as this beach is shut down and some people in Southern California getting creative. I came upon a group of three sunbathers in Manhattan Beach. And what they did was, they laid their towels down on a cement walkway. They said they just needed to get in their rays.

California, at times, is a source for unique innovation -- reporting from Huntington Beach, I'm Paul Vercammen. Back to you.


CURNOW: Thank you, Paul, for that.

So from beaches now to bars. America's pubs, as many of you now, have been hit hard as many states reversed course on their opening plans. Well, Brian Todd now looks at why they pose such a big problem for officials trying to stem the spread of the virus.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A carefree crowd at a bar in Austin, Texas, many inside not wearing face masks. In Jersey City this bar was cited twice in one weekend for overcrowding. Police say hundreds of people were inside not wearing masks or social distancing. At this club in Houston an owner says they required patrons to show they had a mask in order to get in and had the tables spaced out. But he says customers ignored the rules.

BRET HIGHTOWER, CO-OWNER, SPIRE NIGHTCLUB: As much as distance we try to put everyone based on the guidelines, it's not the facility, it's the people.

TODD: These scenes from recent days have prompted America's top voice on the coronavirus outbreak to issue a stern warning about bars. DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: Bars, really not good. Really not good. Congregation at a bar inside is bad news. We've really got to stop that.

TODD: In Texas, where a coronavirus spike has surged to alarmingly dangerous levels, Governor Greg Abbott admitted he made a mistake with his state's reopening.

GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R-TX): If I could go back and redo anything, it probably would have been to slow down the opening of bars, now seeing in the aftermath of how quickly the coronavirus spread in the bar setting. And how a bar setting in reality, just doesn't work with a pandemic.

TODD: But Abbott and his state are certainly not alone. Texas is among seven states, some of them experiencing massive spikes in cases, which have either shut down bars completely or have partially shut them or paused re-openings. Experts say crowded bars alone don't account for the recent spikes, but they say the natural social atmosphere in bars is especially dangerous.

DR. JOHN SWARTZBERG, PROFESSOR OF MEDICINE, U.S. BERKELEY SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH: Bars are places where people are not wearing masks, places where people aren't social distancing and after some drinks, of course, you lose your inhibitions and you even are less cautious.

TODD: The doctors we spoke to say there's almost no way to make an indoor bar setting safe during this pandemic. Indoors, they say, especially in there's loud music playing at a bar, it's like a petri dish for the spread of the virus.

SWARTZBERG: Inside in the bar, if it's noisy, if there's music playing, the ambient noise is going to make you talk louder. When you talk louder, you expel more droplets from your mouth. Those droplets, of course, can contain the virus and infect other people.

TODD: Another part of this so-called perfect storm of infection, experts say, is the average age of many people who go to bars.

DR. JAMES PHILLIPS, PROFESSOR OF EMERGENCY MEDICINE, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL: They feel invincible because they're young. And, quite frankly, throughout the beginning of this pandemic it's mostly been messaging about older folks and people with preexisting health conditions as being vulnerable.

TODD: So has this pandemic killed the bar scene completely?

The medical experts we spoke to don't believe it has. They believe traditional crowded bars will make a comeback. But they say that can't be until we have proven vaccines and herd immunity. And they say that could take another year or so -- Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


CURNOW: Of course this would normally be one of the busiest travel weekends of the year but because of the pandemic, this holiday is looking very, very different. Our Pete Muntean has more on that.


PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This weekend, airlines are anticipating the most passengers of the pandemic but only a fraction of a year ago.

MICHAEL BARON, TRAVELER: Well, we planned this trip for approximately a year ago. And certainly, I need a vacation.

(voice-over): Fliers like Michael Baron have a higher chance of being on a full flight. American Airlines announced that is now selling every seat.


MUNTEAN: It joined United which has been selling middle seats throughout the pandemic. Major airlines are now requiring that passengers' wear masks, lawmakers are demanding social distancing on board.

JOSH EARNEST, CHIEF COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER, UNITED AIRLINES: It's very, very difficult if not impossible to socially distance to on board an aircraft. Keeping the seat next to you open is not going to make a material difference.

(voice-over): Fear of flying is one of the reasons AAA thinks road trips will drop only 3 percent this summer. Travel analytics firm, INRIX, says the distance that drivers are traveling has returned to pre pandemic levels in many states and holiday traffic could feel more like normal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: By the Bourne Bridge, it was a parking lot. I was stuck there for about 30 minutes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Each and everyone, yes, it's great, fantastic.

(voice-over): Amtrak is restarting trains that are cleaned after each trip and it's leaving every other seat empty.

KIMBERLY WOODS, AMTRAK: The summer is a peak travel season for Amtrak, but ridership is still low.

(voice-over): Regardless of how they get there, Americans are facing holiday travel that is far from the norm. A TSA checkpoint in Atlanta was shut down temporarily when a worker tested positive for coronavirus.

JOHN SELDEN, GENERAL MANAGER, HARTSFIELD-JACKSON ATLANTA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT: This is probably the most different Fourth of July travel day we've had maybe ever.

(on camera): One more difference, the TSA is opening up more lanes at security checkpoints across the country. The goal is to speed passengers through more quickly to keep exposure to employees low. The TSA says the number of its workers who have tested positive for coronavirus is now nearing 1,000 -- Pete Muntean, CNN, Reagan National Airport.


CURNOW: And just ahead here on CNN, coronavirus may be skyrocketing across Latin America but one country in the region is flattening the curve. We'll see where Uruguay has succeeded where others have failed. That's when we return.




CURNOW: Health officials are painting a grim picture of the coronavirus in Latin America.


CURNOW: The World Health Organization says in the last week of June, Latin America and the Caribbean averaged more than 2,000 COVID deaths per day. Saturday marked Brazil's 50th day without a health minister. The last person to hold the office left after a month, following criticism from president Bolsonaro.

Meanwhile, the country has confirmed more than 1.5 million infections. And beginning next week, Venezuela will reimpose lockdown measures. The country will alternate between total and relaxed lockdown over the next 21 days. The country has seen a record number of new infections and deaths in the past week.

Now while coronavirus rages across Latin America, Uruguay is standing out as a success story in the region. It's seen far fewer infections and a much smaller death toll than many of its South American neighbors. Well, Patrick Oppmann explains.


PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Elementary school students return to classes in Uruguay. It may look like an everyday scene but, in Latin America, now one of the hardest hit regions by the coronavirus, it's near miraculous.

Schools were reopened in June in Uruguay and attending classes remains voluntary. But officials say, with a few changes, it is now safe.

"We had to take everything out so they don't have a lot of contact," this teacher says.

"It doesn't look like the school we had before but we have to adapt."

With less than 1,000 confirmed cases and only 28 deaths reported, Uruguay has adapted to the peril of the coronavirus better than most countries in the region, if not the world.

The country didn't wait for the virus to hit to close schools and shut borders. People who live on the border with Brazil, where the coronavirus rages unchecked and has taken over 60,000 lives, are regularly tested.

Health workers in mobile medical units visited people at home believed to be ill with the coronavirus so they didn't need to venture out and potentially infect others. And unlike many other countries in Latin America, health officials asked people to stay home but didn't order them to. Quarantine became an act of patriotism rather than a punishment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was, at the beginning, a little bit surprised. However, the population responded properly, saying they complied with all the measures and they stayed at home without any enforcement.

OPPMANN: Uruguay has a comparatively strong public health system and less urban density than much of the rest of Latin America. In addition to those advantages, officials say the government acted quickly, with a comprehensive plan that focused on testing and contact tracing that has worked, at least so far.

"We've a tied 0-0 score," he says.

"We're pretty happy but they could still score on us."

Uruguayan officials have warned the countrypeople there could be further outbreaks and setbacks. But for the moment, surrounded by so much failure and despair, Uruguay has shown it's possible to overcome this virus -- Patrick Oppmann, CNN.


CURNOW: Thank you, Patrick.

The calls for sports teams to change what some consider racist nicknames gets louder and louder. Sponsors say they are backing out if one team doesn't change its name.





CURNOW: So 31 Major League Baseball players have tested positive for coronavirus as the league resumed training on Wednesday. "WORLD SPORT's" Carolyn Manno has more on that, plus the growing call for teams to change their names amid social justice reforms.


CAROLYN MANNO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: As Major League Baseball continues its push for the resumption of their season at the end of July, we're learning about positive coronavirus cases after an initial round of testing performed by both the league and the players association.

Four Atlanta Braves players are the latest additions to more than 30 confirmed cases and seven staff members out of a pool of just over 3,000 tests. This happening as the Braves and other teams are facing mounting pressures to address team nicknames viewed in the past as racially divisive.

The Braves did not give any indication that they are willing to consider a change to the Braves moniker but did say they will continue to support and honor the Native American community.

The team's counterpart in Cleveland, the Indians, went a step further, saying they will reconsider the nickname they have had for over 100 years. This follows steps by the Washington Redskins and the NFL on Friday, who both issued statements after it was revealed that the team is facing mounting financial pressure to change its name as well.

It's something team owner Dan Snyder said he would never consider doing in the past. But after an "Adweek" report said investment firms totaling more than $600 billion have legitimate concerns about brands not aligning with topics like inclusion and diversity, they are changing their tune.

On Friday, Snyder and the team said they are having internal discussions and will conduct a thorough review of whether or not the name is inclusive. Roger Goodell quickly adding his support of the decision as well, saying in a statement that he has had ongoing discussions with the team and that he is behind this important next step.


CURNOW: Just an update: Washington Redskins coach Ron Rivera says he is working with the team's owner on ideas for a new name. Rivera is the son of a U.S. Army officer and told "The Washington Post" the new name should be a tribute to the U.S. military and reflect the tradition of Native American service in the armed forces. We'll keep you posted on that.

Meanwhile, the return of sport got an earlier start outside of the U.S. Now athletes in Europe are taking a public stand on the issues of the day as competition kicks into high gear there. Patrick Snell has a roundup of the highlights.


CURNOW: Thanks for watching, I'm Robyn Curnow. I'll be back with another hour of CNN after the break.