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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; Grim Coronavirus Statistics in Latin America; Egypt Optimistic about Tourism; Gerri Schappals, 102 Year-Old Survivor, Always Feels Lucky. Aired 1-2a ET
Aired July 5, 2020 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ROBYN CURNOW, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hi, welcome to our viewers joining us here in the United States and from all around the world. I'm Robyn Curnow.
It was the usual pomp and ceremony at the White House on Saturday evening but in a marked departure from the norm, President Trump's message to Americans was especially divisive.
And coronavirus cases in the U.S. continue to surge. Florida recorded another daily record but that didn't stop sun worshippers from taking to the beaches there and elsewhere.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GERRI SCHAPPALS, 102-YEAR-OLD SURVIVOR: I never had any real problem in my life. Everything seemed to fall into place.
CURNOW (voice-over): Meet an extraordinary lady whose idea of never having problems is surviving two pandemics and beating cancer twice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Live from CNN Center, this is CNN NEWSROOM, with Robyn Curnow.
CURNOW: Great to have you along.
So parades, cookouts and parties. That's what America usually sees this weekend to celebrate the 4th of July. But this year, people faced the decision on whether to celebrate together and risk the coronavirus or stay at home.
So the traditional fireworks displays filled the skies over the National Mall in Washington just a few hours ago. And elsewhere, rising coronavirus cases, though, did not keep everyone off the beaches in Florida. This beach, although it doesn't look like it here, was packed further along.
Florida is one of the nation's hotspots, reporting the most cases in a single day so far on Saturday. Now in fact, most U.S. cases you can see from this map are experiencing spikes. Only one state is seeing a drop in cases.
While some went to the beach, others took to the streets. There were protests in a number of cities, including here in Atlanta, Georgia. Earlier people stood shoulder to shoulder for President Trump's speech, where he blasted the protesters who want offensive monuments removed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We will never allow an angry mob 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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: So with the pandemic raging out of control here in the U.S., the president said the real threat is what he calls the radical left and that's not all. Jeremy Diamond has more -- 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.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
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.
The Marxists, the anarchists, the agitators, the looters and people who, in many instances, have absolutely no clue what they are doing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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.
DIAMOND: 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: Thanks, Jeremy, for that.
So dividing the country, smearing opponents and building up himself. A prominent historian tells CNN, America has seen those tactics before. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DOUG BRINKLEY, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN(?): Donald Trump is showing us how Joe McCarthy would have acted if he had become president. McCarthy was obviously just a senator from Wisconsin but who raised havoc with his anti-Communist crusade.
And here you have a President of the United States on July 4th, in the middle of a ceremony on the National Mall, TV cameras around the world, using the opportunity to divide our nation, to call his opponents "radicals" and "good for nothing anarchists" and the like.
This is appalling. This is the day to fortify the morale of all Americans and to really try to really try to build the community that is the United States of America.
And one may have thought at Mt. Rushmore he was doing it as a Friday night speech, maybe a weird one-offer from the campaign trail.
But to come back and double down on it today, it deludes (sic) from the majesty we're seeing with the aerial show and the wonderful aircraft that saved our democracy in Korea and the Berlin, you know, airlift in World War II and the like, because Trump's message is about himself.
And it's about dividing the nation. He has zero sense of history.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: So statues of Christopher Columbus have often been targeted during antiracist protests in the U.S. and we now have video of demonstrators tearing one down in Baltimore, Maryland.
Saturday, witnesses say, about 300 people gathered in the downtown area before marching to the statue. They say the statue broke into pieces when it was toppled and then protesters dragged them to the harbor. The statue had stood in the Little Italy area for more than 30 years. The city council president said he had previously suggested it should be removed.
Meanwhile, Florida is one of the biggest U.S. hotspots right now, reporting thousands of new cases of coronavirus on Saturday. But that's not stopping some people from celebrating the 4th of July holiday the way they always used to do, by hitting the beach. Here's Boris Sanchez with more on 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.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) 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?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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 Erin Bromage, a professor of biology at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth and a CNN contributor.
Good to see you, Erin, thanks for joining us. We see this spike in cases across the U.S.
Can it all be accounted for by increased testing as some have suggested?
DR. ERIN BROMAGE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Absolutely not. Increased testing is part of it. But if we increase the testing, we would expect the number of tests that come back positive to start to decrease as those tests ramp up.
And that's not what we're seeing in many states. We're seeing the numbers of tests going up and the test positivity going up. And that's two really concerning measures of spread of the infection in the community.
CURNOW: And we also understand, I mean, just break down the data for us. There are not as many deaths perhaps. But there are many more younger people getting it and that perhaps explains the disconnect between the death rate in some areas.
Are you concerned that that will change?
BROMAGE: Certainly, I am concerned. We know, while younger people are getting infected, that they do have better outcomes than people with age and co-morbidity. But at some stage, those young people with infections intersect with those people that are not so fortunate with their health or a little bit older. And so it only becomes a matter of time before those two populations
join together and we start to see more deaths in the older populations. But we also need to point out that it's not a free pass for people that are under the age of 40 to get to this disease.
We're seeing one in 25, one in 28 people under the age of 40 end up in hospital and 5 percent of those people, if you're in Florida, 5 percent of those people die. So it's not a free pass for young people.
CURNOW: We've heard the president say 99 percent of coronavirus cases are, you know, are harmless.
Can you explain that biologically and unpack that statement?
BROMAGE: I don't think there is an explanation biologically or any other way for that other way for that particular number that he's pulled out.
What is harmless, a lung transplant?
Yes, they survive but their life is completely altered. We know the lung damage people have. We are seeing this already. We're starting to understand the damage to the heart and to the kidneys, the neurological damage. These are the things we don't know yet.
So this death rate is one thing but this long-term problems that comes from infection, we really have no idea just how bad it's going to be. That number is just completely fictitious.
CURNOW: You talk about the wide range of symptoms here, the spectrum of symptoms, the way this virus can affect a body, whether it's from your toes to your heart to your lungs.
Does that confuse you still as a biologist?
We still have a lot of questions about that. As a biologist, as somebody who analyzes the way viruses attack bodies, human bodies.
BROMAGE: The way that this virus can just get through into so many different tissues, we're finding it in the intestine, they're seeing in the heart, they're finding it in the epithelial cells of the lung, in the brain. It seems to have no bounds in where it can go.
And its tentacles get into the blood and we're seeing clotting like, it's insane. So just from a biologist point of view, not from a medical scientist, it is both intriguing and frightening at the same time.
CURNOW: We've heard that there was a slight mutation.
Does that also concern you?
Explain that to us. Apparently a mutation that makes it potentially more infectious?
BROMAGE: So there is a mutation that has arisen that seems to have taken over the number, most of the positive cases that we're seeing in the United States and Europe. And it's just one small change.
But it's in the receptor binding domain of that spike protein, what it needs to get hold of the ACE-2 receptor on our cells. So it certainly has become dominant. Whether that actually translates into being more infective or more virulent, more dangerous, we don't know at this stage.
There are a lot of things that could be driving this happening. But we're not certain that this is more concerning at this stage.
CURNOW: OK. Still more unanswered questions.
So we've been seeing folks celebrating Independence Day, Independence Weekend here in the States. We also know this weekend pubs are opening in the U.K. You speak a lot about wearing masks and how, if you go into a pub, wear a mask.
CURNOW: But still, the face-to-face conversation you might have over a much-needed long pull beer in a pub in London is potentially life changing.
BROMAGE: Right. So we know masks work. The highest risk of transmission is those face-to-face interactions with people, where you're talking with them for an extended period of time. It could be a few minutes, 10 minutes, 30 minutes. That is risky.
But also just breathing and talking puts out a lot of respiratory droplets that hang in the air for an extended period of time. If we can stop those droplets from ever leaving the front of your face, from your mouth, and capture them in a mask, we can stop them getting in the air, which stops other people being infected.
The number of infections we're seeing at bars in the southern half of the United States, now that they're open, is just staggering. People are in there. They're having a good time. They're talking. They're getting close to each other. They're yelling because of the music.
And it's leading to enhanced transmission of this virus. Masks aren't reasonable inside a bar. If you go into a bar, you're there to socialize and have a drink. So those two don't work together. There is no safe way to run a bar and stop transmission.
If you've got something like this, be a brewery and be outside, that way you can create physical space. The virus doesn't build up in the air. And when you're moving in amongst a group of people, you put a mask on to stop it.
CURNOW: Dr. Erin Bromage, professor of biology at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, thanks so much for sharing your expertise.
BROMAGE: Thank you, Robyn.
CURNOW: So Iraq's battered health care system is struggling with a huge spike in coronavirus cases and deaths. Saturday officials reported more than 2,000 cases, bringing the total to more than 58,000. And the death toll rose by more than 100, standing around 2,300. The pandemic is sweeping the whole country but it's certainly hitting the capital of Baghdad especially hard. Arwa Damon explains.
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 --
DAMON (voice-over): -- Arwa Damon, CNN, Istanbul.
CURNOW: Welcome back. I'm Robyn Curnow here at the CNN Center here in Atlanta.
The Australian Medical Association is calling for an pause in easing coronavirus restrictions there. Australia's currently seeing new spikes in cases. There were 108 new cases on Friday, which led to new stay-at-home orders for the area.
The Australian Medical Association says it's a reality check of how rapidly things can change, especially if people don't follow guidelines.
Meanwhile, pubs and other businesses in England are open once again. And for all those who waited in line to get their first pints, Super Saturday couldn't come fast enough. After more than three months of lockdowns, pub doors in Northern Ireland were also thrown open again on Friday. But those in Scotland and Wales will have to wait a little longer. Anna Stewart is in London.
ANNA STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Super Saturday in England saw pubs, restaurants, cinemas and hair salons able to reopen after over three months of lockdown.
STEWART: 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. 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 line and for the 72nd anniversary of the National Health Service, the NHS for short, the U.K. is certainly pulling out all the stops.
London landmarks have lit up in blue, including here at 10 Downing Street, also a nationwide clap is scheduled for Sunday. Salma Abdelaziz shows us more tributes in London.
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.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
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?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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, the U.S. capital has fireworks, flyovers and music. But this Independence Day in America is anything but normal.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [01:30:00]
CURNOW: Welcome back to CNN. I'm Robyn Curnow.
So the United States observed its 244th birthday on Saturday. The nation's capital pulled out all the stops to celebrate the 4th of July, take a look.
But as we all know, this Independence Day is like none other. The coronavirus pandemic forced much of the country to cancel or cut back traditional public celebrations.
We also know that the president, Donald Trump, and the first lady, still held a large gathering outside the White House, with few masks and little evidence, as you can see here, of social distancing.
Meanwhile, in Florida, people hit the beaches that were open. The state is reporting an alarming increase in new coronavirus cases. More than 11,000 in a single day.
And holiday celebrations were overshadowed in some places by demands for social justice and protests against racism. Here in Atlanta, people marched in support of reparations for slavery.
And in Baltimore, protesters tore down a statue of Christopher Columbus and threw it in the harbor.
As you saw in Washington, D.C., always ahead with a huge fireworks show, the crowds this year were certainly smaller, thanks to the pandemic. Alex Marquardt is there -- Alex.
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.
MARQUARDT: 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: Not everyone in America sees Independence Day the same way. CNN Hero Harry Grammer is working to empower incarcerated youth in Los Angeles. Here's his take on American Independence Day.
HARRY GRAMMER, CNN HERO: On July 4th, 1776, 13 colonies claimed their independence from England.
My ancestors never lived in England. In a 4th of July keynote address, Frederick Douglass wrote, "The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity and independence bequeathed by your fathers is shared by you, not by me.
"The sunlight that has brought light and healing to you has brought stripes and death to me. This 4th of July is yours, not mine. I must mourn, you may rejoice."
Back then, black Americans were seen as unfit for the fruits of freedom. Nearly 250 years later, the scales are still tipped to one side making it hard for us to subscribe to something that Dr. King would still call a dream.
It's not until we balance the criminal justice system, root out systemic racism and provide equal freedom to all that we become a truly free country, and maybe then we'll have a day we can all celebrate.
CURNOW: For more information go to cnnheroes.com.
We're going to stay in California. The state's having a hard time 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.
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.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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: So 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 how Uruguay has fared.
Plus international flights to Egypt are happening again. The major tourist attractions are open.
But is it enough to bring back tourists to a country that is so, so dependent on it?
(MUSIC PLAYING) CURNOW: So health officials are painting a grim picture of the
coronavirus in Latin America. The WHO said 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 that office left in less than a month following criticism from President Bolsonaro. Meanwhile, the country has confirmed more than 1.5 million infections.
Officials in Mexico are also adding additional checkpoints to its border with Arizona as that state reels from a surge in new cases. They're conducting health checks and stopping all non-essential travel.
And beginning next week, Venezuela will reimpose lockdown measures. The country will alternative 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.
So while the coronavirus rages across Latin America, Uruguay is standing out as a success story. It's seen fewer infections and a much smaller death toll than many of its South American neighbors. Patrick Oppmann takes a look at what the country is doing right.
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.
OPPMANN: 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: Egypt is hoping to put its tourism industry back on track. It's been severely affected by coronavirus restrictions and the country started to let international travelers back in again this week. We know several tourist sites have reopened. Here's Michael Holmes.
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Desperate to get its tourism sector back on track, Egypt has reopened some historic attractions and museums. The famed Giza pyramids among several sites now welcoming visitors after more than three months of being closed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We have also resumed tourism activities in three governorates of South Sinai, the Red Sea and Mersa Matruh. And it is with great pleasure that I announce that two planes arrived in South Sinai and the Red Sea, bringing two tourist groups from the Ukraine.
HOLMES (voice-over): Egypt is hoping that this will be the beginning of the recovery of its tourism industry, which has been badly hurt by the lockdown to control the coronavirus pandemic.
A country with several historic sites, Egypt attracts millions of visitors each year. The tourism sector accounts for roughly 5 percent of the country's GDP and employs about 3 million people.
But even as it begins the slow process of trying to rebuild the industry, the coronavirus still casts a shadow here. There are strict precautions. A sign at the entrance to the pyramid complex reminds visitors to wear masks. Hand sanitizers are placed at strategic locations and staff take visitor temperatures before entering.
Egypt has the second highest number of positive coronavirus cases in Africa, nearly 73,000. But that did not deter some of the first tourists at the reopened sites.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are not afraid of the virus or we are not coping to the mechanisms of (INAUDIBLE).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): It has almost never happened that the pyramids are closed and no one enters. So this is our opportunity to be among the first people to visit the pyramids after they were reopened to the public.
HOLMES (voice-over): For now, Egypt hoping that, with these attractions back in business, more tourists will begin to show up -- Michael Holmes, CNN.
CURNOW: You're watching CNN. A 102-year-old woman from New Hampshire who beat coronavirus is really, really inspiring. You'll want to meet her. And wait until you hear the odds they gave her of surviving the flu in 1918. Her story is next.
CURNOW: So Washington Redskins coach Ron Rivera says he is working with the team's owner on ideas for a new name for the team. Rivera is the son of a U.S. Army officer and told "The Washington Post" the new name should be a tribute to the United States military and reflect the tradition of Native American service in the armed forces.
Now amid all the tragedy the coronavirus is causing around the world, there are some uplifting stories as well. Yes, we promise. So now we've got to hear from a 102-year-old woman who surely can be called a survivor.
She beat the 1918 flu pandemic. She has beaten cancer twice and now has beaten the coronavirus. And as Gary Tuchman found out this week, she has also managed to stay in pretty good spirits along the way.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We headed to New Hampshire to meet this remarkable woman who just recovered from the coronavirus.
Do you feel lucky today?
G. SCHAPPALS: I always feel lucky. I never had any real problems in my life. Everything just seemed to fall into place.
TUCHMAN: An incredible attitude, considering all that has happened in the life of 102 year old, Gerri Schappals.
Julia Schappals is her daughter. When her mother was a baby, a little over 101 years ago --
JULIA SCHAPPALS, DAUGHTER OF GERRI SCHAPPALS: She had this, what we called the Spanish flu which was a huge pandemic during the First World War.
TUCHMAN: That's, right Gerry Schappals' family said she survived the influenza pandemic in the early 20th century. And the coronavirus in the early 21st century. Back in 1918, little Gerri and her mother were both seriously ill.
J. SCHAPPALS: And the doctor told her father, they are both going to die, prepare yourself. But that's my medical opinion.
TUCHMAN: But daughter and mother survived. Gerri went to college, got a bachelors and masters. Became a teacher and got married right after World War II. Her husband died almost four decades ago, but they had two children.
TUCHMAN: And there are now three grandchildren and six great grandchildren. After Gerri retired, she had breast cancer and colon cancer and she beat both.
Can I call you Gerri?
G. SCHAPPALS: Delighted.
TUCHMAN: It's delightful to meet you.
G. SCHAPPALS: Thank you.
TUCHMAN: How are you feeling?
G. SCHAPPALS: Wonderful.
TUCHMAN: You're an amazing woman.
G. SCHAPPALS: Why?
TUCHMAN: I'm going to tell you why. You are modest, but you had coronavirus and 101 years ago, you had Spanish flu. And you survived it twice. You are an amazing woman.
G. SCHAPPALS: I am.
TUCHMAN: Gerri as a resident of the senior living community in Nashua for seven years now. On this day, her daughter came to pay a visit. Social distancing and masks still required.
J. SCHAPPALS: So, how are you doing?
G. SCHAPPALS: You have to keep the mask on.
J. SCHAPPALS: Yes, we have to keep the mask on.
Do you recognize the top?
You should, I stole it from you. Don't think of getting it back.
TUCHMAN: The employees of her senior community were upset and saddened when Gerri tested positive for the coronavirus, but when they told her the diagnosis --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She had an incredible attitude. And she, you know, took every day and said, I guess I'm sick. They told me I am sick, but I'm not sick.
TUCHMAN: But like the Spanish flu and the two bouts of cancer, 102 year old Gerri Schappals managed to fend off the coronavirus as well.
Thank you for letting us meet you. Thank you.
G. SCHAPPALS: My pleasure.
TUCHMAN: Gary Tuchman, CNN, Nashua, New Hampshire.
CURNOW: She is fabulous, isn't she?
Well, thanks for joining me. I'm Robyn Curnow. I will be back with another hour of news here on CNN right after this quick break.