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4th Of July Weekend: Americans Throw Caution To The Wind; Trump: 99 Percent Of Coronavirus Cases Are Harmless; Australia Locks Down And Seals Off Victoria; Widespread Weekend Shootings In Chicago, Atlanta And D.C.; China's New Law Shutters Peaceful Protests In Hong Kong; 166 People Die In Civil Unrest In Ethiopia; Many Southern California Beaches Closed over Weekend; COVID-19 Travel Bans Devastating Latin American Airline; Cuba Sending Medical Teams Abroad to Help Fight COVID-19; Goldman Sachs Cuts Third Quarter Growth Forecast IMF Predicts India's Economy to be Worst Hit by Virus; Elite Youth Baseball Up and Running in Georgia. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired July 6, 2020 - 01:00   ET



ROBYN CURNOW, CNN ANCHOR: Hello to our viewers in the U.S. and all around the world. Thanks for joining me.

This is CNN NEWSROOM, I'm Robyn Curnow.

So you wouldn't know by looking at these beaches in the U.S. that we're in the middle of a pandemic.

But as millions partied over the holiday weekend, a surge in coronavirus cases in at least 34 states with record numbers being set by the day.

Plus, the U.S. isn't the only place seeing spikes of the virus. Parts of Australia will soon be shut off from the rest of the country with cases there rising.

And with sports around the world trying to get back to some sense of normalcy, children are returning to the ball fields with their safety on everyone's minds.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Live from CNN Center, this is CNN NEWSROOM. With Robyn Curnow.

CURNOW: The U.S. is wrapping up a holiday weekend and while some people heeded calls to social distance, not everyone paid attention.

Some beaches were packed over 4th of July leading to fears of more spikes in coronavirus. The concern is that partiers could pick up the virus and take it back to family, friends and coworkers.

The U.S. by far continues to lead the world in cases and in deaths, and cases are still rising in most states.

Hospitals in states like Arizona and Texas are filling up and could soon be overwhelmed.

It's a dangerous time to be in Florida. The state has reported just shy of 10,000 new infections just on Sunday. And on Saturday, Florida broke New York's record of most reported cases in a single day.

Now local officials say things are likely to get worse before they get better.

As Boris Sanchez now reports.


BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We saw a record-breaking 4th of July holiday weekend for the state of Florida.

More than 40,000 new coronavirus cases in only the first four days of July for the Sunshine State.

Keep in mind, last month in June they saw 100,000 new cases, roughly, the entire month.

The concern is real and so is the demand for testing.

Outside the Miami Beach Convention Center this weekend, we saw sizeable crowds line up both on foot and in their vehicles. Some 1,200 tests were administered and they actually had to close early because they ran out of tests.

Now local officials are concerned that folks may not be following the social distancing guidelines and that's why we're seeing the surges that we are.

We spoke with the mayor of Miami Beach, Dan Gelber. He shared his concerns with us.

Listen to this.


MAYOR DAN GELBER, MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA: How do you tell somebody they have to wear a mask and be socially distanced when the president doesn't. And hosts a rally where they're almost celebrating the lack of those simple countermeasures.

So really, we're not on the same page. There's not unity in our community or any community right now. And I really feel like that's the biggest challenge.

If people listened and did what made sense and what was healthy, we would get through this much better.


SANCHEZ: The big open question is what happens next? Two weeks from now specifically, with the COVID-19 numbers? Remember, coronavirus carries that 14-day incubation period. And

after another holiday weekend, in previous months, Memorial Day weekend, we saw a surge in cases nationwide because people were ignoring social distancing.

So what happens in two weeks? Will we wind up seeing even bigger numbers than the record-breaking ones we saw this weekend?

Boris Sanchez, CNN, Miami Beach.


CURNOW: Now the State of New York was hard hit by the pandemic very early on. Until recently, it was a global COVID-19 epicenter.

But this week, officials in new York city are taking another step towards reopening.

As Polo Sandoval now explains.


POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's going to be another round of reopenings in New York City as it enters phase three of this reopening plan by the state.

There be no indoor dining, however; Governor Andrew Cuomo saying over the weekend he has seen that lead to some complications in the past. So he certainly doesn't want to see the state take a step back here.

What will reopen? Things like nail salons, tattoo parlors, massage parlors. They can welcome customers back for the first time in months as long as they can adhere to strict cleaning protocols, limit capacity, and also continue to require masks be worn in their businesses.

One of the reasons why we're seeing more businesses open in what was the epicenter of the U.S. portion of the pandemic is because the numbers are trending fairly well.

For example, on Saturday, about 46,000 people were tested for COVID, less than one percent tested positive.

So that's one of the reasons why this weekend we saw it was very active. A lot of people went out to celebrate 4th of July.

They did so with a little more confidence, but authorities still reminding them to continue to exercise caution, continue to social distance and continue to wear those masks as well.

Polo Sandoval, CNN, New York.


[01:05:00] CURNOW: And U.S. President Donald Trump plans to hold a rally this

Saturday in New Hampshire, one of the few states where coronavirus cases are dropping.

As cases explode almost everywhere else, he has downplayed the virus during his Independence Day speech with yet another misleading statement.

Jeremy Diamond explains.


JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: President Trump this weekend claiming that 99 percent of coronavirus cases are totally harmless.

That claim, not only evidence-free, but defying reality.

And it also goes against what every public health expert in the United States is trying to do right now, which is to get the American public to take this virus and the surge in cases that we are seeing across the country much more seriously.

Now while the World Health Organization has estimated that, globally, the mortality rate of this virus is less than one percent, they also estimate that about 20 percent of people diagnosed with the virus require oxygen or hospitalization. So certainly not harmless cases.

And of course, we know that this virus is extremely contagious.

Now Dr. Steven Hahn, a top member of the coronavirus task force who's also the FDA commissioner, he was pressed about President Trump's claim by our colleague, Dena Bash.

Listen to how he responded.


DR. STEPHEN HAHN, FDA COMMISSIONER: So I'm not going to get into who's right and who's wrong. What I'm going to say, Dena, is what I've said before.

Which is that it's a serious problem that we have, we've seen the surge in cases. We must do something to stem the tide.

And we have this in our power to do it by following the guidance from the White House task force and the CDC.


DIAMOND: Now, as you can see there, Dr. Hahn not wanting to directly contradict President Trump, but at the same time making clear that this is a very serious situation.

And that is the message that we have been hearing from public health experts over the last week who have been encouraging Americans to take the social distancing, the mask wearing, all of these steps, to try and flatten this newly-rising curve.

President Trump also falsely claims, once again there, that testing is responsible for the rise in cases across the country. That is just not true and completely contradicted by the facts.

Several of the states that are seeing the biggest surge, in fact, are seeing either testing steady or declining while the percentage of people testing positive in those tests is going up.

Which shows that this is not simply about an increase in testing.

Jeremy Diamond, CNN, the White House.


CURNOW: So we also have new insight into how the coronavirus is spread.

Even the tiniest of droplets we make when we talk or cough or sneeze can be dangerous. In fact, a group of experts say these small droplets stay in the air longer and they can be inhaled more deeply into the lungs.

So to talk about this and other matters around coronavirus, I'm joined by Dr. Jorge Rodriguez, a viral specialist.

Doctor, good to see you. Thanks for joining us.


CURNOW: I want to ask you about this latest report -- and I know there's still so many unanswered questions about COVID.

But group of scientists are saying that even these small, small airborne particles can be dangerous and possibly penetrate deeper into the lungs.

How important is droplet size in terms of the spread?

RODRIGUEZ: Well, obviously that's very important. We've known for a while that the droplets, the wet droplets, that we excrete when we sneeze, when we talk, when we sing, are primarily the ones that carry the live virus.

Depending on the atmosphere where we are, depending on the closeness of a room, they can hang out in the room for a longer period of time than, for example, if you are outside.

That's not to say that being outside is not without harm.

And that maybe why we're seeing that a lot of the transmissions that are occurring are occurring in closer quarters with family members or parties, et cetera.

So is it something, for example, as bad as Legionnaires where it is in the air ducts and things like that? We don't think so or we think there'd be a larger number of cases.

But obviously, close communication and droplets definitely spread the infection.

CURNOW: Yes. I wanted to kind of get a practical situational example from you.

So we've been getting all these pictures of people partying on beaches and in pubs over the weekend, jammed together in their swimming trunks. And then -- so that's the easiest way to get COVID?

Or are we also saying you can just step into an elevator or a taxi after someone has left it, and still be infected by their cough or breath? Can you help us in terms of these situations.

RODRIGUEZ: Well, I don't think that's absolutely clear yet.


RODRIGUEZ: Is it theoretical that you could step into an elevator and somebody has coughed and that's still going to be hanging around for a minute or two? Yes, it's possible. Thus, the reason to wear a mask.

But the most dangerous thing is being within a certain feet of people, they say six is the magic number. And doing what I'm doing, let's say that you are right here, which is speaking in close proximity. That is the most dangerous.


I personally believe that if it were airborne than we know then we would have much greater number of cases.

But again, that still needs to be investigated a lot more closely.

CURNOW: Yes. As I've said, there's still so many unanswered questions.

We know that a lot of scientists are pushing the CDC and the WHO to be more verbal, to sort of be more outspoken about the possibility of airborne risks.

Why is that, what are the politics around that?

RODRIGUEZ: Well, you hit the word.

CURNOW: Politics.

RODRIGUEZ: Which is politics. And that is so unfortunate. When today Dr. Hahn couldn't say that the president was wrong, to me that's all politics.

I'm saying it. The president is wrong in saying that 99 percent of the people that get this disease, there's nothing to it.

And that is what is the great crime that is being committed, is the fact that we are completely politicizing a virus that has no allegiance to any one political party or another.

People are not wearing masks as a sign of their belief as opposed to wearing masks, not only to protect themselves, but for the kindness of protecting other people. It's really very disheartening.

CURNOW: It's disheartening and, as you say, extremely dangerous.


CURNOW: Here in America, we look at the curve, and it's shooting upwards. We're seeing what happened over Memorial Day weekend.

How concerned are you as a doctor -- and where is America going here? This is almost devastating, in terms of what potentially the outcome could be.

RODRIGUEZ: Yes. I mean, wow. You hit sort of my feeling for the whole weekend. Seriously.

It hasn't been a very positive weekend. Because we see all these photos and we see all of these people that are almost just belligerently going against advice.

Almost like a scared child sort of whistling in the dark as if nothing were going to happen.

Where is it going to go? Potentially and very probably in two to three weeks, we're going to see a larger spike.

And people bring up the fact that, hey, maybe death rates -- I think death rates are going down.

You know, New York had 700 deaths a few days ago. One of the still -- compared to where it was, it's nothing now. But it is still there.

And what we're seeing is many different little New Yorks throughout the country. It's now Miami, it's a little New York, Houston is a little New York, Phoenix is a little new York. So we are seeing multiple epicenters.

And there are going to be more in two to three weeks. No doubt about it.

CURNOW: Dr. Jorge Rodriguez, thanks for joining us with that sober warning. Thank you.

RODRIGUEZ: Thank you.

CURNOW: So with coronaviruses case spiking in Australia's Victoria state, in Melbourne in particular, officials will be closing the border between Victoria and New South Wales starting on Tuesday, effectively Victoria off from the rest of the country.

127 new cases were reported in Victoria on Sunday and officials have locked down several public housing towers, not allowing residents to leave. Well, here to discuss more of all of this is Angus Watson. He joins

us from Sydney.

So tell us more about this pretty radical decision.


ANGUS WATSON, JOURNALIST: Radical is a very good word for it, Robyn. This is not something that's been done in Australia throughout the length of the pandemic, all year.

3,000 (inaudible) residents (ph) in the city unable to leave their homes for any reason.

Unlike twelve other post codes in Melbourne who are on lockdown but are allowed to go out for exercise or buy food, or to give care to someone who needs it, these people, at least 3,000 people in these nine public housing units, can't go out for anything.

There are police there guarding them, armed police, making sure that they don't leave.

And there's this huge logistics effort on by the Victorian state government to try to feed them and keep them going through this period which could last five days, it could last 14, or longer.

Now each one of them are going to be tested. 53 people in those -- of those 3,000 have come up so far out of 400 tests positive for the disease.

And the authorities are just terrified that COVID-19 could rip through these communities, these very densely populated communities which share a lot of the homes, they share a lot of amenities between each other.

They're just terrified that this could rip through and really do some damage to people that the state government acknowledges already having many underlying health issues, Robyn.

CURNOW: So there's that very localized response. But then also the sort of shutting down or closing off of Victoria. What's the public reaction?

WATSON: That's not something that's happened before in Australia for 100 years, Robyn. And the last time that the borders between Australia's two most populous states was closed was 100 years ago for the Spanish flu. So that's an interesting notion to draw.


This is something that Australians are looking to -- the outbreak in Melbourne, as something that's very concerning for them.

10 people were found to have COVID-19 in New South Wales yesterday. That's the only -- they was the only other positive testing in Australia. So Australia's a place that's been doing very well in the fight

against coronavirus. But then there's Victoria where this outbreak is getting worse, Robyn.


CURNOW: OK. Thanks for that update. Keep us posted. Angus Watson there, in Sydney.

So friends families and fans are mourning the loss of Broadway actor, Nick Cordero, who died on Sunday after complications from COVID-19.

His wife, Amanda, has been updating fans on his status since he became sick back in March. Complications included multiple strokes, a medically-induced coma and a leg amputation.

Actor and family friend, Zach Braff, says he has "never met a kinder human being" -- "so grateful for the time we had."

Nick Cordero was 41 years old.


CURNOW: So this holiday weekend was a deadly one in the U.S., not just because of coronavirus but also because of gun violence.


In Chicago, we know at least 67 people were shot, 13 people died. Two of the youngest victims were children. One was a seven-year-old girl who was visiting her grandmother. She was killed while playing with a group of friends.

Chicago mayor, Lori Lightfoot, tweeted about her saying:


"She joined a list of teenagers and children whose hopes and dreams were ended by the barrel of a gun."


CURNOW: And then here in Atlanta, four people were killed, including eight-year-old Secoriea Turner. She died just across the street from where Rayshard Brooks was killed by police weeks ago and where widespread protests broke out.

Atlanta's mayor says it's not enough to protest against police violence, she wants the community to do more than that.


MAYOR KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS, ATLANTA, GEORGIA: We've talked a lot about what we are demanding from our officers in our communities.

We've protested, we've demonstrated. We've been angry, we've cried. We have demanded action.

Well, now we're demanding action for Secoriea Turner. And for all of the other people who were shot in Atlanta last night and over the past few weeks, because the reality is this.

These aren't police officers shooting people on the streets of Atlanta, these are members of the community shooting each other. And in this case, it is the worst possible outcome.

And there were two other people who were actually shot and killed last night and several others. Enough is enough.


CURNOW: And then in Washington D.C., an 11-year-old boy was killed on Saturday night.

Davon McNeal was shot in the head outside his aunt's house. His grandfather says the family was supposed to be out of town, they canceled the trip because of the pandemic. Only for Davon to be killed right in their own backyard.

And then in Hong Kong, the first person to be charging under a new security national law is expected to appear in court in the next hour.

The man is accused of injuring officers and inciting secession at a protest against a new law which broadens China's power to crack down on dissent.

Anna Coren is live in Hong Kong with more details on that. Anna, hi.

ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Robyn. Ying-kit Tong [sic] will appear in West Kowloon magistrate's court in just over an hour.

He was riding a motorcycle on the 1st of July when thousands of people took to the streets protesting against this new national security law.

And he was flying a flag that said "Liberate Hong Kong, Revolution of our time." That, of course, has been the protests slogan we have seen on the streets of Hong Kong over the past year.

That is now banned. That is now deemed a threat to China's national security.

He also drove into police. We don't know if it was deliberate or accidental, he ended up in a hospital. He'll be discharged from hospital so that he can appear in court.

But, as you say, he's been charged with incitement to secession and terrorist activities.

Under this new sweeping law sedition, secession, subversion, terrorism, collusion with foreign forces are all deemed to be in breach of this national security law. Which China says is to restore peace, restore calm to the streets of

Hong Kong. It's -- not denying that the streets have been roiled for at least the last year, due to the protests. This pro-democracy movement, people fighting for greater freedoms.

But this new law that came into place on the 1st of July has changed Hong Kong.

People now extremely fearful of what they say, what books they possess. We know that shops have removed stickers with slogans on them, pro-democracy slogans.

Lennon walls sort of popped up all over Hong Kong, and stores that showed support for protesters had these Lennon walls there. They have now removed them. Other paraphernalia has also been removed.

Ten people on the 1st of July were charged under this new national security law. They were among the 370 who were arrested, many of them for unlawful assembly.

But from what I witnessed, Robyn, they were peaceful protests, majority of them were peaceful protests. But that is now deemed to be illegal.

If you are calling for dissent, if you are calling for opposition against the Chinese Communist Party then that is now considered a threat to the national security, Robyn.

CURNOW: Yes. It's certainly very chilling, these events and this law.

Anna Coren there in Hong Kong. Thanks for joining us. Good to see you. Thank you.


So then in Ethiopia, the death toll from last week's anti-government protests has reportedly doubled.

Officials told Reuters more than 166 people were killed in that unrest, most them civilians.

The demonstrations erupted on Monday after the shooting death of a popular musician who advocated for the rights of Ethiopia's largest ethnic group.

The deadly protests lasted for two days and the situation now, though, appears to be under control.

Authorities have been patrolling the streets, trying to prevent further unrest.

Meanwhile, coming up on CNN.

Cuba is sending medical personnel to help other countries battle the coronavirus. But the Trump Administration claims it's exploitation. We'll explain why. That's next.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As the effects of COVID-19 continue to be felt worldwide, companies are stepping up to protect those hardest hit.

Providing shelter to those in need, Spanish telecommunication company, Telefonica, is offering quarantine spaces for the homeless. In partnership with the Red Cross, the firm has donated over half a million dollars to support the vulnerable.

Meanwhile, as the demand for emergency food surges, U.K. supermarket giant, Tesco, has donated almost $19 million of food to be distributed by charities over a 12-week period.

This comes as part of the brand's wider $38 million support package for local communities.

Also ramping up relief efforts is Santander, Argentina, which has promised more than $1 million toward medical research to charities on the front line and vulnerable businesses in the country.

Worldwide, the bank has mobilized $100 million to combat the pandemic.

For more stories of the people making a difference and to find out how you can impact your world, go to




I'm Robyn Curnow. Live from CNN Center here in Atlanta.

So in the coming hours, the U.S. death toll from coronavirus will hit 130,000. And those who refused to social distance during the 4th of July holiday weekend could end up driving that figure even higher.

These are the 34 states where infections were already increasing, some by more than 50 percent. All that orange and maroon marking the states with the most serious outbreaks.

But President Trump is downplaying concerns, telling a crowd over the weekend that 99 percent of cases are totally harmless, which is a baseless claim. He's also planning to hold another campaign rally next Saturday in New Hampshire.

Well, California is one of the states with soaring case counts but that has put extra precautions in place.

Paul Vercammen shows us now the situation near Los Angeles -- Paul.

PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT; No new numbers out of Los Angeles County on this July 4th weekend. That is because they are revamping the data collection. They say it will be much improved.

But if you look, they took the extraordinary step of closing down all beaches in L.A. County, Santa Barbara County, Ventura County, almost all of Orange County -- all of it to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Many people feeling, including state officials, that the state reopened too soon in populous counties. And they also sort of pointed to bars, saying a lot of young people had gone out to those bars. They were letting down their guard. Not wearing their masks. Not staying away from each other by six feet. And that when they talked loudly, they were projecting and that could send the virus out airborne.

So we spoke to some people here about what they think possibly could have happened.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I do think too quickly perhaps. I'm going to say young people and perhaps some the marches and protests and so forth I think increased the number of COVID cases. People probably were not wearing masks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. There's going to be many more Fourth of July's coming up, so I think, you know, as long as we can protect those that are the elderly and those with underlying conditions, that is what we are doing it for. And so if we keep that in mind, we can enjoy 2021 Fourth of July.


VERCAMMEN: And we need to also point out, there are very many other people who think California needs to get its economy back in full gear. The tourism business, for example, needs to get going again here in Santa Monica. And they are not that concerned about the mask wearing. They really want to see the economy come again.

Reporting from Santa Monica, I'm Paul Vercammen. Now back to you.

CURNOW: Thanks, Paul, for that.

So Spain has ordered its second lockdown in two days after another outbreak of the virus. Some 70,000 people along the northwest coast will be locked down for five days. That's after nearly 100 people, who visited local bars there, tested positive. Officials have ordered bars to limit themselves to 50 percent capacity and close early. On Saturday, Catalonia announced a lockdown affecting 200,000 people.

And the pandemic is wreaking havoc on air travel and for airlines in Latin America the pain is particularly acute. The virus devastated the region, travel bans have forced several major carriers to file for bankruptcy, and others may follow.

Well, Stefano Pozzebon takes a look at how it's affecting workers in the industry.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) STEFANO POZZEBON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Leeslie Barragan (ph) is folding her uniform for the last time. Like hundreds of Colombian workers in the flight industry, she lost her job because of COVID-19.

LEESLIE BARRAGAN, FORMER FLIGHT ASSISTIANT (through translator): It's been my whole life's dream to be a flight attendant for Avianca. And now, I have to say goodbye to that dream not because I didn't do my job but because of coronavirus.

POZZEBON: The future is frightening for the single mother and her family who are moving because they can no longer afford their flat.

Leeslie's story is not York unique, across Latin America businesses are scaling down as the International Monetary Fund predicts this pandemic will trigger the harshest economic recession in decades.

Airlines, in particular, are taking a hit as people stop traveling for work and for pleasure. LatAm, Avianca, and Aeromexico -- three of Latin America's major carriers having filed for bankruptcy since May.

Normally one of the biggest hubs in the region, Bogota's airport is all but closed. This vending machine used to sell snacks. It has now been reequipped to sell face masks. But there's nobody here to buy them.

You can almost feel an eerie atmosphere walking around these halls that are now completely empty. This airport is working hard to provide increased safety measures for when the flights will finally resume.

The International Air Transport Association thinks the air industry won't recover until 2023. So the impact on jobs, like Leeslie's, could be long-standing.

BARRAGAN: Both my mother and my daughter depend on me. Mine was our only salary. We have no other income. We have to pay rent, food and school fees now.

POZZEBON: In a statement to CNN, Avianca said dismissals like Leeslie's case reflect that post COVID operations will be much more reduced, once we will be allowed to fly again.

With limited road infrastructure, traveling by air is often the only way of connecting cities and businesses. To avoid further layoffs, some workers are coming up with preventative solutions.

The Colombian pilots' union say they have proposed a voluntary pay cut across the board as long as Avianca doesn't release a single pilot in the next two years.


CAPT. JULIAN PINZON, AVIANCA PILOT (through translator): proposal is simple. Don't fire anyone, we supplement our own wages, and when you need pilots, they already are part of the company and trained.

POZZEBON: While Capt. Pinzon waits for Avianca's response to the offer, he and thousands of other flight crew members are flying blind, searching for hope on the horizon.

Stefano Pozzebon, CNN -- Bogota.


CURNOW: Thanks, Stefano, for that.

So unlike many Latin American countries, Cuba is certainly crushing the coronavirus curve but even before that success, the island nation was sending health care workers to help in countries devastated by the virus.

Yet the program is not without controversy as Patrick Oppmann now explains from Havana.


PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Cuban health care workers make ready to go fight on the front lines of the coronavirus outbreak. These doctors and nurses won't be treating patients in Cuba though. Here the number of new daily cases of the virus has dropped down to the single digits.

They are traveling to countries where the pandemic still rages out of control or lack health care resources. Dr. Viviano Kovak-Mesa (ph) is headed to Martinique, his second international mission.

"We fought ebola in West Africa too," he tells me. "That was a high- risk situation. You never get used to it, but you become experienced. I feel I am prepared."

Cuba has now sent doctors and nurses to fight coronavirus in 30 countries. In all likelihood, Cuban doctors have battled the outbreak in more countries than anyone else.

The first Cuban medical brigade to leave the island to confront the coronavirus received a standing ovation at the Havana airport when they left Cuba for Italy. And more than two months later, received a hero's welcome when they came home.

And they are being cheered on as they drive through the streets of Havana, and they're heading to an isolation center where they will spend the next two weeks in quarantine to make sure they did not bring the virus back home with them.

Fidel Castro first started sending medical assistance to show solidarity to other developing nations and earn some positive headlines for his upstart revolution. He named the international medical brigades for Henry Reeve (ph), an American general on the human side, in the war for independence from Spain.

But it's the U.S. government, Cuba's old Cold War foe, that is now urging other countries to refuse Cuba's help. According to the Trump administration, these doctors aren't heroes, they are victims.

MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Up to 50,000 Cuban doctors have been forced by the Castro regime into human trafficking situations in more than 60 countries around the globe. They are the regime's number one source of income.

OPPMANN: The U.S. says the Cuban health professionals are not given their full salaries, that the host countries pay the Cuban government for their services, and that they are forced to work in hazardous conditions. Accusations of mistreatment angrily rejected by the doctors and nurses we spoke to.

"The majority of Cuban medical professionals choose to step forward," Dr. Kovak-Mesa says. We are not forced or obligated to do our work. Not inside the country or outside the country. It's part of our preparation."

Cuba says these brigades are an example of medical solidarity. The U.S. claims they are a business to keep Cuba's communist leaders in power. Cold War era grievances will have to wait for another day as this Cuban doctor heads to the airport to combat an outbreak that does not recognize borders or ideologies or political differences.

Patrick Oppmann, CNN -- Havana.


CURNOW: Thanks to Patrick for that fantastic piece.

Still to come here on CNN, India is sparing no expense when it comes to fighting the coronavirus. We'll take you inside what's been called the world's largest COVID hospital after the break.



CURNOW: So we know that a dramatic resurgence of cases in the U.S. has prompted Goldman Sachs to lower its growth forecast for this quarter. With the number of cases still rising in the U.S. a rebounding economy will take longer to see.

We also know that cases are up in India as well with the country reporting the most infections in the single day since the beginning of the pandemic. And the IMF expects India's economy to be the worst hit by the virus, contracting by 4.5 percent.

Let's talk about all of this with John Defterios. John joins me from Abu Dhabi, live.

Hi John, good to see you. The current quarter we know is an important one for resetting the U.S. economy. So does this from Goldman Sachs bring that into doubt?

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: It does. It's not an alarming drop, Robyn but after that other collapse that we saw in the second quarter, that period between April and June, having to downgrade what many were hoping for a snap back higher would be the normal course. It's not that case. These are extraordinary numbers. Let's bring them up to the screen because Robyn, you'll never see them again, right. They were expecting a rise of 33 percent in this third quarter as the economy started to open up. They are suggesting now, it will be about 25 percent.

And as a result of that the overall number for the year, because that quarter is so important, the one we're in right now, we are looking at a contraction of about 4.6 percent, that's about 10 percent worse than we were expecting before at 4.2 percent.

You know, we've talked about the unemployment rate, which is hovering around 11.1 percent now. Goldman Sachs believes though that the rehiring will take place at a faster pace. So they're suggesting by the end of the year, that could go down to 9 percent. Their original forecast was for 9.5 percent.

But I have to say, that is quite surprising to me, because you still see major companies trying to slim down for what is the new normal, if you will. What is demand for the future?

And then again, if the second wave deepens here in the third quarter, I think that number is going to be up for grabs and probably will remain in the double digits.

Goldman Sachs is kind of on its own thinking that it could drop to that level at least at this stage, although they have a very good track record.

CURNOW: They certainly do and certainly uncertain times.

Let's look at India, this alarming surge in cases, a country of course that has high poverty rates. How is all of this undermining their efforts there?


DEFTERIOS: Well, unfortunately for India, we saw this caseload go up to better than 25,000 per day over the weekend. And we just saw the news cross that it now ranks number three in the world behind the United States and Brazil. That's certainly not something that the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi wanted to see.

And as a result, it's the biggest swing, Robyn, from the plus side to the negative side of any G20 or large economy in the world. So what we're looking at here is just less than a month ago, a positive growth rate of 2 percent going down, as you suggested in your lead, into negative 4.5 percent.

By the way, this will be the first recession in this fast growing economy since 1979, and the reason that Prime Minister Modi will be extremely concerned here. And Modi is the chairman of the company was suggesting as we saw trade in the major ports drop by one-fifth in the second quarter. Again, an alarming number that they have to flatten the curve

There is no way, according to the ratings agency you can grow again and rebuilt confidence if workers don't feel secure enough to go back to their jobs, particularly in major factories where you have the crowded nature of that process.

And as you suggested at the lead-in Robyn, with the high poverty rate, it is very difficult to get a handle on a country that's got 1.3 billion people. And that is what we're seeing right now.

CURNOW: Ok. John Defterios there in Abu Dhabi. Thanks so much for joining us.

And as John just mentioned there, we've just learned that India has now surpassed Russia in overall coronavirus cases to become the third most impacted country in the world only behind the U.S. and Brazil.

Well, India has been sparing no expense trying to fight this virus even opening one of the world's largest COVID field hospitals. It is an incredible undertaking.

CNN Vedika Sud joins us now from New Delhi.


VEDIKA SUD, CNN PRODUCERS: Hundreds of columns of biodegradable cardboard beds propped with mattresses and pillows set up at a socially safe distance from each other with chairs by the bedside. That is what officials claim is the biggest COVID care center in the world.

Located in India's capital, this facility is the size of 22 football fields. Delhi has been witnessing an exponential rise in COVID-19 cases with the Delhi government predicting over half a million infections within the next 60 days, preparations are on a war footing to complete the ambitious project of 10,000 beds.

DR. DEEPAK TEMPE, MEMBER OF ADVISORY COMMITTEES, DELHI GOVERNMENT: The number of total positive cases goes up then there's a large population who will be requiring COVID care center and health centers. So this particular center is going to be of immense benefit.

SUD: From manual cleaning of the ground to covering the earthen floors with carpet, installing 18,000 tons of air conditioning, and preparing 800 washrooms, at least 1,500 people including volunteers have been working tirelessly to meet the deadline. The facility will then be handed over to paramilitary forces.

At a time when Delhi's health care system is already over-burdened, a hospital of this magnitude with 10,000 beds would need a huge workforce of medical staff and security.

B.M. MISHRA, DISTRICT MAGISTRATE, SOUTH DELHI: Each cubicle will be managed by the (INAUDIBLE) ratio of one is to five. One medic, one doctor and five staff nurses, medics and other people. So in that sense, they need to only look after that particular 100 bed or 110 bed facility. They need not to worry about the whole 10,000.

SUD: While smaller COVID facilities are being prepared to counter rising COVID-19 cases, over 500 old railway coaches have been converted into isolation centers. These coaches will help increased Delhi's capacity by 8,000 beds.

The Indian Army and medics have been roped into operating these isolation centers housing patients with mild symptoms.

"Our priority is that patients get the right treatment, good facilities and proper food. Doctors should attend to them properly," says Ravi Chaudhry, general manager of Northern Indian Railways.

While the Delhi government scrambles to ready multiple facilities, its chief minister claims the situation, at least for now, is under control.

But the real test will be in the coming weeks when Delhi's health care system will be put under enormous strain on the predicted onslaught of cases.

Vedika Sud, CNN -- New Delhi.


CURNOW: And still ahead on CNN NEWSROOM, their lives were interrupted. Now these young athletes are returning to the field of play, but is it safe? We'll take a look at the risks they face.



CURNOW: So, it's certainly is a struggle for parents to keep their kids entertained with everything closed down especially if kids are involved in something demanding like elite level youth sports. So some are a bit relieved but also a bit nervous that youth baseball in the U.S. state of Georgia where we are here is up and running for traveling teams again.

Nick Valencia now reports.


NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Baseball is back. Weeks before Major League Baseball announced plans for this season, Youth Travel Ball is up and running in Georgia.

About 30 miles north of Atlanta, LakePoint Sports, a premiere 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 Americas 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.

This team traveled from Charlotte, North Carolina to play in an invite only tournament on one of the complex's eight major league sized fields.

What were you guys, kind of thoughts before coming down here?

VICTOR LOPEZ, SBA BASEBALL PLAYER: It sucks we have taken a long break from baseball. And I wish the best of everyone's family members who are going through it.

VALENCIA: Your more worried about baseball than the coronavirus?

MARK O'BRIEN, PRESIDENT AND CEO, LAKEPOINT SPORTS: Yes. Our number one priority is to provide a safe environment for the athletes, scouts, the family members and the community.


VALENCIA: Mark O'Brien is the president and CEO of LakePoint Sports. He says he worked for 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: 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, encouraged everyone that, you know, to practice safe distancing and proper hygiene. And then ask everybody to do their part as well.

VALENCIA: They're counting on it. Posted signage remind spectators and coaches to wear face masks. But it is clear not everyone does.

Is there any concern about safety?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, you know -- we are skeptical still because it's so soon. But we're here for support, you know, our kids.

VALENCIA: Support is one thing --

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've got a full slate of event scheduled for this summer. We are sold out in our tournaments.

VALENCIA: But doing it safely in the age of COVID-19 is another.

MILES PEARL, SBA BASEBALL COACH: I have not had that sense of danger with them. If I felt that and our team felt that I doubt that we would be here.

VALENCIA: Do you think when we look back on this in a couple of 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 ever-changing, daily process that we go through. And no

matter the sports, safety is our top priority.

VALENCIA: Nick Valencia, CNN -- Emerson, Georgia.


CURNOW: Thanks for watching.

I'm Robyn Curnow here in Atlanta.

I will be back with another hour of CNN NEWSROOM after the break.

So stick around.