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California Sets New Record For Most Single-Day Cases; Border Closing Between Victoria And NSW In Australia; Goldman Sachs Cuts Third Quarter U.S. Growth Forecast; Rise of New Coronavirus Cases Across the U.S.; Group of Mayors Blaming Trump on Dangerous Message Regarding Masks; Second Lockdown Ordered in Spain; Large Crowd Gather as Pubs and Restaurant Opens in England; Coronavirus Dangerous Small Droplets in the Air; Atlanta Against Gun Violence; First Person Charged on Hong Kong's New Security Law. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired July 6, 2020 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ROBYN CURNOW, CNN HOST: Welcome to our viewers joining us here in the United States and all around the world. You're watching CNN. I'm Robyn Curnow. So just ahead on the show, health officials would describe it as a coronavirus nightmare. Crowds of people flocking to beaches and pools for the holiday weekend as Florida surpasses New York's daily case record.
Plus, America's youth become the latest victims of gun violence, one city's mayor is saying enough is enough. And then later, top economists lower their predictions for U.S. economic growth. What they suggest can be done to reset and prevent another slump.
Great to have you along. Thanks for joining me. So we are learning more about how coronavirus has spread and the dangers of doing something as simple as talking or sneezing.
A group of health experts warn that even tiny droplets from your mouth or nose can linger in the air and penetrate more deeply into your lungs. They say this underscores why it's just so important to wear a mask.
And the U.S. fired (ph) away, as you can see, has the most cases in the world. New cases are still on the rise across much of the country. They are several months into this pandemic and only three states are seeing fewer cases day today. A member of the president's corona task force talked with Dana Bash about how to get numbers down.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHEN HAHN, FDA COMMISSIONER: So we know that cases are surging in the country. We've all seen the graphs associated with that and it's just too early and I'm not going to speculate on what the causation is there. What I can tell you is the way out of this, Dana, the way out of this for all Americans is to follow the CDC and the White House Task Force guidelines.
Social distance, wear a mask if you find yourself in a situation where you cannot social distance, good hand hygiene, all of the things I would tell my patients, and if you're near someone who's vulnerable and you think you've been exposed, please take care and avoid exposing that person who is vulnerable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CORNYN: Apparently, not too concerned about contracting the virus, this Instagram video shows a huge group of people on Saturday at a Fourth of July party on Diamond Lake in southwest Michigan. No masks, as you can see. No social distancing. We're told this was a party for the residents of a county who have celebrated the Fourth of July this way for 30 years.
And then on Sunday, at Noah's Arc Water Park in Wisconsin, take a look at this. A large gathering of people there, disregarding vital social distancing guidelines as well.
And Florida is seeing more coronavirus infections than ever. Officials there say things will likely to get worse before they get better. I want you to take a look at the state now that has now more than 200,000 confirmed cases on Saturday.
Florida broke New York's record for the highest number of new cases in a single day. We are still waiting to see all from the fallout from a very busy, and very dangerous Fourth of July weekend as Boris Sanchez now reports.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We saw a record breaking Fourth 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 lineup 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 is why we are seeing the surges that we are. We spoke with the mayor of Miami Beach, Dan Gelber, who shared his concerns with us. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAN GELBER, MAYOR OF MIAMI BEACH FLORIDA: How do you tell somebody they have to wear a mask and be socially distant when the president doesn't and host a rally where they're almost celebrating the lack of those simple countermeasures?
So, really, we are not on the same page. There is not unity in the, you know, in our community or any community right now. And I really feel like that's the greatest challenge of people listened and did what made sense and what was healthy, we would get through this this much better.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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 growing 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.
CORNYN: So another so-called Sun Belt State struggling with surges is Texas. It's approaching 200,000 cases. The areas you see in red are the hardest hit. And that includes Harris County where Houston is located. The city's hospitals are under heavy, heavy strain. The Texas governor has issued an executive order making face coverings mandatory for most people across the state.
Now, the resurgence of infections is certainly pitting mayors of hotspot cities against their governors. A prime example is Arizona. Cases there are skyrocketing. The mayor of phoenix criticized the governor for initially not allowing local leaders to impose face mask requirements. She says Arizona had no business reopening as quickly as it did.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KATE GALLEGO, MAYOR OF PHOENIX: We opened the way too early in Arizona. We were one of the last states to go to stay-at-home and one of the first to re-emerge and we re-emerged from zero to 60. We had crowded nightclubs handing out free champagne, no masks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CORNYN: She went on to say that it still takes too long to get tested and that large gatherings remain a problem. Evan McMorris-Santoro reports now from a lake near Phoenix.
EVAN MCMORRIS-SANTORO: Over the past seven days, Arizona had the highest average per capita infection rate of anywhere in the United States. Thousands of new cases are being reported every day. ICU beds are hovering around 90 percent capacity for the past few days.
It's with that background that the governor and public health officials urged the Arizonans to mark this holiday weekend with social distancing and refraining from large gatherings. But here at the Saguaro Lake federal recreation area, masks were few and far between. People gathered in groups on the water, socially distant, and they
gathered in groups on beaches, socially distant. But in public gathering spaces, they were close together, with few masks to be seen. The exact kind of situation that public health officials were hoping to avoid. Evan McMorris-Santoro, CNN, Saguaro Lake, Arizona.
CORNYN: So Spain has ordered its second lockdown in two days after another outbreak of the virus there. Some 70,000 people along the northwest coast will be locked down for five days. That is after nearly 100 people who visited local bars tested positive.
Officials have ordered bars to limit themselves to 50 percent capacity and to close early. On Saturday, Catalonia announced the lockdown affecting 200,000 people.
And officials in England also keeping a close eye on pubs and restaurants, which reopened over the weekend. Thousands filled the public spaces on Saturday and Sunday. These people clearly not wearing face masks.
Police say it was crystal clear that drunk people were unable to practice social distancing. The country hopes to avoid another national lockdown. The government instead said it will focus on local closures if needed.
Well, for more on all of this, I'm joined by Dr. Ron Daniels. He's an intensive care doctor with the NHS in the U.K. Doctor, good to speak to you again. We've spoken a few times over the past few months. So I want to get your perspective.
You're an ICU doctor. You've been treating very, very sick patients. You've had COVID yourself. What were your feelings when you saw folks lining up and squashing together in pubs in the U.K. over the weekend?
RON DANIELS, NHS INTENSIVE CARE DOCTOR: Well, mixed feelings really. I mean, there is obviously -- there is disbelief. There is shock. There is astonishment that people could be so irresponsible. But of course, we've had these small tests.
We've had large gatherings. We had a heat wave back in May in the U.K. We've had the black lives matter protests. We've had lots of people congregating before, and thus far, we've not seen a national second wave as a consequence. So, I think those feelings of shock and astonishment are also tempered by and understanding that people have been warned about the second wave and it has not yet happened.
CORNYN: Okay. That's interesting. So, I also want to get your take as a doctor and just because you've really been at the front line of all of this. There is some new research scientists saying that even the smallest of these airborne particles can be dangerous.
It's not just the big cough or the sneeze, but these smaller ones can penetrate deeper into the lungs. How important is droplet size in terms of people who get really sick?
DANIELS: Well, it's critically important. People will read in the newspapers about the difference between a droplet and an aerosol, and the principle is that aerosols, the virus particles can carry in smaller particles and can carry a much further distance, four meters, eight meters even.
Which would mean social distancing would be almost unworkable and economic recovery would be prolonged being further. This is not an exact science. A particle doesn't suddenly decide to be less than 5 microns large and go, hey, I'm an aerosol.
There are droplets of various sizes and the reality is, that this is - it's about pragmatics. It's about understanding that a majority of transfer is droplet. We've always known that a small minority would be aerosol.
Understanding that it's very difficult to contain aerosol base spread particularly in confined spaces that aren't well ventilated. And yes, if the droplets get further into a patients lungs, it's more likely they are going to be sick of it longer.
CORNYN: Of all the patients that you've treated over the past few months, what - I mean, have you been able to get anecdotal evidence of how they got infected? Is there something that you've seen or spoken to them or their families in terms of warnings for people who haven't had to go through the experience of being in the ICU on this?
DANIELS: Well, in a culturally diverse city such as Birmingham where I work, there are lots of different responses the government calls to lockdown. The sort of the white middle class and certain other sectors have behaved largely, reasonably, appropriately, and followed guidelines well.
Some other cultures within our city tend to exist in larger family units, they tend to have multiple generations of the same family living in one property, and there are certain sectors of the population from some countries who have not really socially distanced very well.
So this is about cultural behavior rather than simply saying to another person from my own sector of society, you need to behave in this way. But the reality is a lot more people, I believe, have been exposed to this virus already than we currently think.
We have seen evidence arising recently out of Scandinavia, suggesting that actually twice as many people have been affected and are immune through the (inaudible) response than we previously thought. So, we're seeing now these hotspots rising in areas that haven't previously been heavily exposed, but as I said before, what we haven't seen is large national scale second waves occurring.
CORNYN: Yes. And just talk us through what you are seeing. I know, as I mentioned, I think, you and a number of your fellow ICU doctors have had COVID. How are you guys managing? And particularly I want to talk about the physical and psychological recovery afterwards. Just the fact that it takes so long for many people. DANIELS: Yes. And we've seen on social media the term long COVID
coined. And this shouldn't be a surprise to intensive care clinicians. We've seen this with the most severely ill people in intensive care for many years. We have an entity known as post sepsis syndrome for example.
So, it's unsurprising the recovery be prolonged, but among the health professions, this is going to hit hard. I mean, I was in a hand over the other night and I was just starting a night shift. There were six doctors in the hand over.
Four of us had had COVID and each person had been off sick for at least a week and one person for 50 days. Now, the physical aftereffects mean that people have fatigue easily, they cannot exercises as readily, but there is also the cognitive and psychological.
People can't concentrate as well as they've used to. Their judgment might be impaired and stress. Mental health issues are going to be a big problem in the health professions. Not especially for the health professions, that mindful that health professions have been really hard hit by this illness.
CORNYN: Yes. Certainly. And as you look back, I mean, we're only halfway through 2020. Sadly, we've got another, you know, another six months to go. What are the lessons as a front line doctor, as you look at all this new research coming in, as you look at all of what we know? What are the main lessons you've learned in terms of treating COVID patients? What will you take through the next few months?
DANIELS: Well, I mean, the biggest sort of top level lesson I've learned is that it's important for health professionals, it's important for medical societies to acknowledge that there is a lot we don't know about a lot of stuff.
And I think that's come through with this pandemic. It has been okay for doctors to be speaking on national, and international television, and saying look, we don't understand this yet.
We've learned that it is great to share so, we had early data coming in from Wuhan, from Italy, from Spain, experiences from colleagues saying yes, hey, I don't really know what we're doing with this virus, but here are some of the early lessons we've learned. And so it's good to share, and it's good to listen.
I think we have noticed, particularly my experience in the NHS, but in many countries that we can build surge capacity very quickly, and actually our health systems are largely pretty resilient and good at that, and that is important.
But in terms of the lower level stuff, we ventilated people too quickly early on. We did tracheostomies too early. We got excited about magic bullet therapies and the reality is, they didn't work.
[02:14:01] We've heard about dexamethasone recently, but we have to be conscious that the studies are not the usual level of evidence. So it might be that the effect of dexamethasone is slightly smaller than we thought. So, there is a lot we still don't know.
I think we are learning to wait a bit longer before we start ventilating patients, to look at their symptoms rather than their numbers, and I think we are managing people a lot better now than we were early on. And indeed mortality figures seem to bear that out.
CORNYN: Okay, always good to speak to you. Thanks so much. Dr. Ron Daniels there. Appreciate it. Have a lovely day.
Okay, so you are watching "CNN Newsroom." Still to come, it has been a deadly weekend in the U.S., and not just because of the coronavirus. How city leaders are begging communities to fight gun violence that's killing children.
Also, he was the first Hong Kong resident to be charged under a new security law. Now, 23-year-old protesters preparing to make his first court appearance. We'll be live from Hong Kong with the details.
CORNYN: It wasn't just a holiday weekend in the U.S. It was also a weekend of devastating, devastating gun violence, and many of the victims were children.
Here in Atlanta, four people were killed including 8-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 communities to do more than that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS, MAYOR OF ATLANTA: We've talked a lot about what we are demanding from our officers and our communities. We've protested. We've demonstrated. We've been angry. We've cried. We've demanded action.
Well, now we are 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.
(END VIDEO CLIP) CORNYN: An 11-year-old boy was killed Saturday night in Washington
D.C. Devon McNeal were shot in the head outside of his aunt's house. His grandfather says the family was supposed to be out of town, but they canceled the trip because of the pandemic, only for Devon to be killed right in their own backyard.
And then, in Chicago, a 7-year-old girl visiting her grandmother was fatally shot on Saturday while playing with a group of friends. She is among 67 people who were shot over the weekend in a city, that's according to CNN affiliate, WLS, 13 people died including a 14-year- old.
Chicago mayor, Lori Ligthfoot, tweeted this about the 7-year-old, saying, "She joined a list of teenagers and, children whose hopes and dreams were ended by the barrel of a gun."
And turning now to Hong Kong, the first person to be charged under a new national security law is expected to appear in court at any moment now. Police say the 23-year-old man violated the new law at a protest on Wednesday.
He is accused of injuring officers, and carrying a flag that said "Liberate Hong Kong." China enacted a law last week to crack down on what it considers subversion and terrorism. Well, Anna Coren is live now outside of the court where the man is expected to appear. Anna, tell us what's happening?
ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Robyn, the suspect has just arrived here in court and as you can, see it's a bit of a media frenzy. We don't know which vehicle he is in. But as you can see, photographers trying to get a glimpse of Tong Ying-Kit. He is a 23-year-old man. He has been charged under this new national security law.
He is one of 10 people who were arrested on the 1st of July when he rode his motorcycle with a flag saying "Liberate Hong Kong. Revolution About Time." You can see the security coming out and as photographers try to get a glimpse of these men who has been arrested.
23-year-old Tong Ying-Kit, he had a flag on the back of his motorcycle, on the 1st of July. Oh my goodness, seriously, wow. Crossing the red tape. This orange side, this famous red tape that they put up at these demonstrations you cross, and this photographer, the police officer just raised his gun at him.
I mean, these are interesting times, Robyn, I tell you here in Hong Kong. This new national security law is supposed to restore civility to the streets here that have been roiled with protest for over a year. But, there is a great deal of fear as to what these new laws mean.
They are cracking down, obviously, on secession, subversion, terrorism, and colluding with foreign forces. People now cannot chant slogans like liberate Hong Kong, revolution in our time, the flag that this men was waving.
He crashed into police as he was going around the corner. Many believed it was an accident that he basically spun out of control as he was going around this corner. The police are saying that he injured police officers and that this was a terrorist activity.
But as I said, he's one of 10 people who arrested on the 1st of July. The other nine were released on bail. He is the only one who has been charged under this new national security law -- 370 people in total were arrested on that day when people, thousands of people turned out to the streets protesting against that new national security law. Robyn?
CORNYN: Let's just talk about that law because I want to ask what kind of punishment what this young man might face if he's found guilty? Bearing in mind that there were warnings from foreign governments saying that even in Hong Kong where you are now, you could break the law without even knowing that you are breaking it and this might have been what happened with this young man.
COREN: Well, that's right. I mean, people were flying around that flag for over a year, and then suddenly on the 1st of July, it suddenly became illegal to possess it. You talk about the sentence, well the maximum sentence for breaking this law is life in prison.
In exceptional cases, people can be taken to mainland China and have their cases heard, tried, on the mainland, and these people spend their sentence in a mainland prison. I mean, you know, make no mistake about it, Robyn, they are going to make an example of this man.
The idea of this law is to create fear, is to intimidate, and they are already doing that. People are extremely concerned about what they can say, what they can have on a pamphlet. In saying that, protesters are coming out with new and creative ideas of still chanting slogans, but without using those specific words.
Still singing glory to Hong Kong, that anthem that the protesters adopted, but changing the words. People here in Hong Kong determined to continue to voice their opposition to this new security law, which, really is worse than what anybody actually anticipated.
When this protest movement began over a year ago, people fighting for democracy, fighting for greater freedoms in Hong Kong, no one would ever have envision that this would've taken place where words like liberate and revolution you cannot say here in Hong Kong.
There is concern over what this is going to mean for schools, for universities, obviously, for the press. Carrie Lam, the city's chief executive has come out and said that freedom of the press, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly that is not going to be affected.
But if what we have witnessed since the 1st of July is any indication as to how it's going to play out here in Hong Kong, you can only gather in the street if the police give you a permit.
So, anyone protesting this national security law will not be allowed to protest. I mean, that is the end of the story. This isn't just about protecting national security, Robyn. This is about protecting the CCP, protecting the communist party. Back to you.
CORNYN: Okay. Thanks so much. We'll come back to you for any more developments. Anna Coren there on the ground in Hong Kong. Thanks Anna.
So you're watching CNN. Still to come, on Independence Day, President Trump practically ignores the pandemic that killed nearly 130,000 Americans. We'll tell you how one of his experts responded to the president's dangerous message.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATE: Now we have tested almost 40 million people. In so doing, we show cases, 99 percent of which are totally harmless.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBYN CURNOW, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: In the coming hours, the U.S. death toll from Coronavirus will hit 130,000 people. The country fast approaching three million infections, the most in the world by far. You can see it's been a strong and steady climb since late March. The hardest-hit states are two of America's most famous and populous.
New York was hammered by the pandemic early on, but this week it's taking another step towards reopening, whereas parts of California are re-imposing restrictions out of fear they were lifted just too soon. And then just minutes ago we learned California has set the new record for the highest single-day Coronavirus cases. Nearly 12,000 people were reported on Sunday of this fourth of July weekend. Paul Vercammen is in Santa Monica, California with all of that.
PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: If you look, they took the extraordinary step of closing down all beaches in LA 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 talk 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.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I do think too quickly, perhaps. I'm going to say young people, and perhaps 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 coming up, so I think, you know, as long as we can protect those that are the elderly, and those with the underlying conditions, that's what we're doing it for. And so, if we keep that in mind, we'll enjoy the 2021 Fourth of July.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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're not that concerned about the mask wearing. They really want to see the economy hum again. Reporting from Santa Monica, Paul Vercammen, now back to you.
CURNOW: Thanks, Paul, for that. Now, U.S. President Donald Trump plans to hold a rally this Saturday in New Hampshire. It'll be at the Portsmouth International Airport. Some of the attendees will be indoors. They'll be asked but not required to wear masks. New Hampshire is one of the few states where Coronavirus cases are actually dropping.
But just like with the Tulsa rally last month, attendees are once again required to disagree -- to agree to a liability waiver when signing up for tickets through a campaign Web site. That's despite the president once again downplaying the severity of the virus over the holiday weekend. Jeremy Diamond has more on the President's latest misleading statement.
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 surging 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. Stephen Hahn, a top member of the Coronavirus Task Force who is also the FDA Commissioner, he was pressed about President Trump's claim by our colleague, Dana Bash. Listen to how he responded.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) STEPHEN HAHN, COMMISSIONER, FDA: So, I'm not going to get into who's right and who's wrong. What I'm going to say, Dana, is what I've said before, which is that it's a serious problem that we have. We've seen this 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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAHN: 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 surges, 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: Thanks, Jeremy, for that. So, with Coronavirus cases spiking in Australia's Victoria state and Melbourne in particular, officials will be closing the border between Victoria and New South Wales starting on Tuesday, effectively cutting 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, let's discuss this more with Angus Watson joining us from Sydney. So certainly, a lot of dramatic closures taking place.
ANGUS WATSON, JOURNALIST: It is dramatic, Robyn. This is not something that's happened for 100 years, the border being closed between Victoria and New South Wales, Australia's two most populous state. But what this is a big fear from a country that thought it was on top of Coronavirus and New South Wales was previously the worst-hit state, but now Victoria is spiking again with 127 confirmed cases on Sunday as you mentioned and double-digit rises for over a week now. Australia wants to isolate that in Victoria and not let it spread, Robyn.
CURNOW: OK, Angus there in Sydney. Angus Watson, thank you. Beautiful sunset behind you. Thanks for joining us. So you're watching CNN NEWSROOM. Still to come, rapidly rising virus cases in the U.S. have financial analyst worried. How the recent surge has Goldman Sachs rethinking its growth forecasts.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) CURNOW: We know the Coronavirus is taking a devastating toll on Latin America. Several countries in the region are in the global top 10 of the most COVID-19 cases. Brazil leads all of them with more than 1.6 million total infections. But despite this, Sao Paulo, Brazil's most populous state is letting bars, restaurants, beauty salons and barbershops opened their doors on Monday with safety guidelines in place.
Meanwhile, Mexico surpassed France's death toll over the weekend, now with more than 30,000 people dead, also reported thousands more cases just days after more parts of the country began to reopen.
And the pandemic we know is also wreaking havoc on air travel. And for airlines in Latin America, the pain is particularly acute as the virus devastates the region. Travel bans have for several major carriers to file for bankruptcy and others may follow. Stefano Pozzibon takes a look at how it's affecting workers in the industry Stefano.
STEFANO POZZEBON, CNN JOURNALIST: Leeslie Barragan is folding her uniform for the last time. Like hundreds of other Colombian workers in the flight industry, she lost her job because of COVID-19.
LEESLIE BARRAGAN, FORMER FLIGHT ASSISTANT (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 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 stopped traveling for work and for pleasure. Latam, Avianca, and Aero Mexico, three of Latin America's major carriers having filed for bankruptcy since May. Normally one of the biggest hubs in the region, Bogota airport is all by closed. This vending machine used to sell snacks. It has now been required to sell face masks, but there is nobody here to buy them.
You can almost feel an eerie atmosphere walking around these holes 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 (through translator): Both my mother and my daughter depend on me. Mine was our only salary. We have no other income. And 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 lay off, 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.
JULIAN PINZON, PILOT, AVIANCA (through translator): Our proposal is simple. Don't fire anyone. We supplement our own wages. And when you'll need pilots, they already are part of the company and train.
POZZEBON: While Captain Pinzon waits for Avianca his 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: So Goldman Sachs is lowering its growth forecast for the U.S. economy this quarter citing "dramatic resurgence of Coronavirus cases." The bank originally estimated GDP growth to rebound by 33 percent by the end of September. Now, it thinks the economy will only grow by 25 percent. Well, let's talk about all of this with John Defterios. John?
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN BUSINESS EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Thanks very much, Robyn. Yes, in fact, this is quite an alarming number. This is certainly not a set of numbers we'll probably ever see in our lifetime again, Robyn. The downgrade from 33 percent, something I hadn't seen in my 30 years of coverage down to 25 percent, he would say, why is that a worry is because the second quarter was so awful, and it fell off of the first quarter which was a recession.
And this will be very dependent on the velocity, of course, of that second wave. It will impact all the different numbers that have been calculated. Now the scorecard for Goldman Sachs by the end of the year is negative 4.6 percent, vis-a-vis a negative 4.2 percent. That again, is about a 10 percent shift alone.
And then the unemployment rate, if we take a look at the expectations for Goldman Sachs, is to come down to nine percent. By the way, that's more positive than what we see other banks or even the Federal Reserve worried about at this stage. We're hovering at 11.1 percent. But if that second wave again is very strong, Robyn, we could remain In the unemployment range of better than double digits above 10 percent by the close of the year as companies start to scale down for the new demand that we see, which is going to be lower than what we saw in 2019, obviously.
CURNOW: Yes. It's still such uncertain times. Let's just switch from the U.S. to India. We've seen a real huge surge in cases in India. It's a country with high poverty rates. What does that mean for the country? DEFTERIOS: Well, you know, we found out just in the last couple of hours here that India moved to the number three slot in terms of the overall cases, something they'd never wanted to see, of course. U.S. number one, Brazil number two, and India number three. This will have a profound impact.
If you take a look at the projections just a month ago, we were looking at a positive two percent. Now, we're looking at a negative 4.5 percent for India. This would be the first time the country which is a huge emerging market of 1.3 billion people would be in recession since 1979. So this is alarming for Prime Minister Narendra Modi who back in a couple years ago was growing eight to nine percent. That was his pride going into the elections. That's no longer the case.
Now, we see trade at the major ports dropping by 20 percent in the latest quarter. And the chairman of the ratings agency, Modi is suggesting you cannot grow unless you remove the fear factor. People don't want to go back to their factories right now because they're so uncertain about the situation right now as the case of spike above 25,000 per day over the weekend, Robyn.
CURNOW: Wow. OK, John Defterios, thanks so much, live there in Abu Dhabi. So you're watching CNN. Still to come, Cuba is sending medical personnel to help other countries battle the Coronavirus, but the Trump administration is calling it exploitation. We'll explain why when we return.
CURNOW: So we know that Major League Baseball games are scheduled to start later on this month even as a number as the number of players who have tested positive for COVID-19 increases. Sunday, the Chicago White Sox announced two of their players have the virus. Both have been asymptomatic and are now in quarantine.
And then on Saturday, we learned that four Atlanta Braves players have also been infected. They're just some of the 31 players across the league confirmed to have tested positive. One of those is Freddie Freeman, the Braves 30-year -- 30-year-old first baseman. And his wife is warning people how dangerous Coronavirus can be.
She wrote on Instagram, "He has had body aches, headaches, chills, and a high fever since Thursday. He is someone who literally never gets sick and this virus has hit him like a ton of bricks."
And unlike many Latin American countries, Cuba is crushing the Coronavirus curve. But even before that success, the island nation was sending health care workers to help countries devastated by the virus yet the program is not without its controversy, as Patrick Oppmann now explains from Havana.
PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Cuban healthcare 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're traveling to countries where the pandemic still rages out of control or lack healthcare resources. Dr. Viviano Kovak-Mesa 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'm 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 in 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're 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, an American general on the Cuban side in the war for independence from Spain. But its 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, SECRETARY OF STATE, UNITED STATES: 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 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're 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. 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 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. Great piece there. Thanks for all of your company. Let's help our medical workers by wearing a mask and social distancing. I'm Robyn Curnow. The news continues with my colleague Rosemary. You're watching CNN.
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us here in the United States and all around the world. You are watching CNN NEWSROOM and I'm Rosemary Church. Just ahead, partying like it's 2019 when it's actually 2020 is not recommended. Coronavirus infections spiking in 34 states across America over the Fourth of July weekend.