Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Critics Question New Law in Hong Kong; President Trump's Own Analysis of the Pandemic; Australia Push for a Tough Action on COVID; Goldman Sachs Seeing a Decline in Growth; States Crumbling to Contain COVID Spread; Local Leaders Calling on President Trump; Natanz Nuclear Facility Found to Have Significant Damage; Violence on the Fourth of July Killed Innocent Children. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired July 6, 2020 - 03:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[03:00:00]

ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Is not recommended. Coronavirus infections spiking in 34 states across America over the Fourth of July weekend.

A COVID-19 related border closing in Australia. The entire state of Victoria effectively cut off from the rest of the country as cases rise.

And the crackdown in Hong Kong has begun. The first person charged under China's new national security law in court this hour.

Good to have you with us.

Well as dozens of U.S. states struggle to control rising coronavirus cases, there is new concern a post-holiday spike could be on the horizon after Americans headed out over the 4th of July weekend, and scenes like these are only heightening those fears as many beaches, pools and parks across the U.S. were open and packed with people.

Right now, this is what the trend looks like compared to one week ago. Just three states are seeing a decline. While a total of 34 states are seeing their cases go up. That includes California where just hours ago the state set a new all-time record for the most cases reported in a single day, with more than 11,000. That's according to Johns Hopkins University.

Among other states, only Florida and New York have seen a single day case total above 10,000. And the news out of Florida at this hour is not good. It now has more than 200,000 confirmed infections. One possible factor, a CNN investigation finds Florida authorities often failed to do contact tracing, seen as a key tool to slowing the spread.

Meanwhile, the mayor of Miami Beach says President Donald Trump needs to set a better example.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MAYOR DAN GELBER (D), MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA: We are telling people to make sacrifices, to put on masks, to socially distance themselves from people they love, to make sacrifices for others. And then I saw, you know, Friday night, the president hosting this huge event where none of those kinds of measures were being followed.

So how do we tell people to swallow very difficult medicine when the president by his act and words is telling them they don't have to?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: And another state seeing a big increase in cases is Texas, more than 8,200 new cases were reported Sunday, marking the second highest daily increase just this month.

Well, the total case count nearly 195,000, and right now, hospitals in at least two counties have hit their maximum capacities. Among the hardest hit areas, Harris County where Houston is located. And in Austin, the mayor says he is pleased the governor has finally issued a mandate on face coverings that says more action may be needed as hospital beds quickly pill up.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAYOR STEVE ADLER (D) AUSTIN, TEXAS: We are on a trajectory right now that we could be inundating our intensive care units here within the next week to 10 days. We are watching the number on a daily basis. We may have to take more drastic action. Then, we've laid that out and it's something that we are discussing publicly in the community right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: In Arizona, a record number of ICU beds are now in use as the state deals with the surge of cases. On Sunday, there were more than 3,500 new cases reported. The mayor of phoenix is criticizing the governor for initially not allowing local leaders to impose face masks requirements. And she says Arizona had no business reopening as quickly as it did

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAYOR KATE GALLEGO (D), PHOENIX, ARIZONA: We opened way too early in Arizona. We were one of the last states to go to stay at home and one of the first to reemerge and we reemerge at zero to 60. We had crowded nightclubs handing out free champagne, no masks.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: And she went on to say large family gatherings remain a problem, and in some places, people continue to face long lines to get tested.

And in the state of Washington, news of a large and localized spike in positive COVID-19 test results, 121 students all of whom attend the University of Washington in Seattle are now infected with the coronavirus. That is according to the university and public health officials.

Almost all of these newly infected people live in the university's fraternity houses.

Well, a group of 239 scientists say the coronavirus can be spread through tiny droplets in the air, and that authorities should be honest about it. The group is publishing an open letter calling on health agencies to talk more about airborne transmission.

[03:05:07]

They say researchers have known for months that COVID-19 can survive in the tiny droplets we emit while talking. Rather than fall, these droplets float in the air and can be can be inhaled deeply into the lungs.

Joining me now is Dr. Saju Matthew, he is a public health specialist, a primary care physician and a CNN medical analyst. Always good to talk with you, doctor.

SAJU MATTHEW, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Same here, Rosemary.

CHURCH: So, a group of health experts plans to ask the WHO, the CDC, and other health agencies in the coming hours to do a better job of telling people that the coronavirus can float in air droplets and is likely transmitted that way.

Well, certainly my understanding that that has been out there for some time. It has been discussed publicly before, so what is the significance of this new pushed do you think?

MATTHEW: Yes, I think. Rosemary, the main reason for that just like as you mentioned, is to push the notion that wearing a cloth mask is really going to try to help us contain this pandemic. We already know that it's transmitted in the air droplets when you talk, when you breathe.

There's actually been a lot of simulations to talk about how far the air droplets can spread. Depending on if you're whispering, if you're talking, if you're shouting or screaming. So, I think it's just a push by the WHO to make sure that we all understand the importance of wearing a mask.

CHURCH: Yes, we can't be label that point enough, of course. And doctor, President Trump tried to downplay the severity of COVID-19 over the weekend by falsely claiming that 99 percent of cases are harmless, totally harmless, he said.

The FDA commissioner refused to defend or deny Trump's claim. What's your medical response to the president's claim and of course the FDA's chief's refusal to disputed? Where does that leave trust in this issue?

MATTHEW: You know, with due respect to our president, there is nothing that's 99 percent harmless, Rosemary about COVID-19. Here is some quick stats. Five out of 100 people can potentially be hospitalized, greater than 50 percent of patients with COVID-19 will have severe symptoms requiring mechanical ventilation or oxygen therapy.

Get this, the mortality rate is 3 to 5 percent. Compare that to influenza, the common flu, which is 0.1 percent. And Rosemary, I know of patients that are dying from blood clots to the brain and the lungs. There is nothing that's 99 percent harmless unfortunately, about COVID-19.

CHURCH: Yes, the facts are very sobering, aren't they? And of course, the U.S. just saw 45,000 plus new cases in one day as 34 states reported spikes including 121 students at the University of Washington in Seattle, testing positive for COVID-19. And we've seen large crowds of party goers across the country for July 4th holiday at lakes, water parks, beaches, bars. People not social distancing. Not wearing masks.

Clearly, this message is not getting through. What needs to be done right now to contain this and what do the hospitals need to be doing to respond to the increased hospitalizations?

MATTHEW: Yes. So, Rosemary, I see that as, if you will, like two arms to that question. The first thing is we need to deal with the surges that are already occurring. There is an article in one of the Houston magazines the other say that is saying that 2,000 new COVID-19 patients could potentially show up at the hospital every single day.

We need to really be concerned about taking care of the healthcare workers, make sure that they have the PPE equipment, the face masks, and also the psychological health that they are going to need to deal with the surge.

And then secondly, Rosemary, we have to attack the community. We have to make sure that the community is aggressive about making sure that they are staying at home if they can, work from home, and I have to go out on a limb and say, Rosemary, that the governors needs to issue a stay at home order in states where the surges are more than, you know, so many cases every single day, for five days in a row.

So, if the cases are going up every single day for five days or a week, those states need to really issue a stay at home order, otherwise we are going to be playing in this vicious cycle where we can't ever get out of that circle. And that's the only way in my opinion at this point to take care of these surges.

CHURCH: Sadly, there is a reluctance to do that at the top, isn't there? And as we have seen, some U.S. citizens still refusing to wear masks along with their president. How much of this resistance is due to the initial message from the surgeon general, the WHO and other medical experts at the very start of this who said not to wear masks because medical workers needed them.

[03:10:06]

But they didn't explain that properly. Should people have been told back then to make their own masks and wear them in public, and what difference could that have made if they had done that? MATTHEW: Yes, of course, Rosemary. You know, hindsight 2020,

obviously, it's tough to look back and really in some way decide, my God, if we had really become aggressive with wearing masks way back in February or March, could we have prevented a lot of hospitalizations and maybe even fatalities?

If you look at countries like South Korea and Singapore, these are masks wearing cultures and yes, you have to also realize that these countries have dealt with pandemics before. This is really our first experience in the U.S. after such a long time.

But, you know, moving forward I think we need to really make sure we clearly message the fact that wearing a mask can decrease the transmission for as much as 50 percent of this virus.

CHURCH: Right, of course that mix the message from the start, so we are still working hard on that one. Just finally and just very quickly, we are now learning that a new mutation in the virus makes it more contagious but less lethal, so how will that mutation likely impact the vaccines currently being developed?

MATTHEW: So, there is some good news, believe it or not, with that mutation. We know that this virus replicates so rapidly like a cancer cell. The big question is in the replication process are we affecting those spike proteins through which this vaccine will be developed?

The good news is that so far researchers are saying that even though there are more spikes in this mutated form it's not going to affect the development of a vaccine. And as you mentioned, Rosemary, I want to make it clear to our viewers that even though it's mutated, yes, it's more transmissibility, it's more contagious but it's not any more lethal or virulent.

CHURCH: That is a little bit of good news there. We'll end on that for sure. Dr. Saju Matthew, always a pleasure.

MATTHEW: Thank you Rosemary.

CHURCH: And amid a blue COVID-19 outbreak, lockdowns are being ordered for some 270,000 people in northern Spain. The two new lockdowns affect parts of Galicia and Catalonia. They are Spain's first confinement measures since a state of emergency was lifted in June.

So, let's get the details from Al Goodman who joins us live from Madrid. Good to see you, Al. So, what prompted these new lockdowns?

AL GOODMAN, JOURNALIST: Hi, Rosemary. The largest one is in the northeastern region of Catalonia where there are lots of seasonal farm workers, many of the migrants from African living in very close quarters, working in close workers to pick peaches and pears and other fruit on the farms there. This is about a two-hour drive from Barcelona in northeastern Spain.

So, the authorities on Saturday, the Catalan authorities locked down the perimeter of an entire county of 200,000 people including a provincial capital whose hospital, whose main reference hospital is now reports are saying it's feeling pressure and that of course is a concern.

I'm outside one of the main hospitals here in Madrid that was hard hit by the coronavirus, many, many patients, there was a field hospital outside this facility. So, they're in the area of Catalonia where the outbreak is a smaller regional hospitals don't want to get into that kind of situation.

The other situation had to do with bars. People going out into bars according to authorities up in Galicia, that's in northwestern Spain. A series of small towns along the Atlantic coast. And the authorities there that's about 70,000 people. On sundae the authorities there decided to seal that off.

So, movement in and out of those areas is now restricted, they are asking people to stay home, of course, to wear masks. And in their hoping that in a matter of days they can try to bring this down. But they say that if they don't, they will have to keep the measures in place a while longer. Rosemary?

CHURCH: Yes, those masks critical. And what else is the government doing about this resurgence?

GOODMAN: Well, the Spanish prime minister on Sunday speaking about these two outbreaks and the confinement by the regional authorities because now it's the regions, the 17 regions of Spain that have control over these. He says that the prime minister says that the quick contact tracing and the preparedness of the hospital and the health systems is much better now than it was in March when the pandemic came over.

But clearly, they are trying to beef up that contact tracing, there is a whole almost army of contact tracers now who are jumping on these kinds of events to be able to contact trace in the case of the seasonal farm workers or in the case of the people in the bars to keep them down. But clearly, the authorities thought the time was not to lockdown those two different regions. Rosemary?

[03:15:01]

CHURCH: Yes, most nations getting better at dealing with this, as of course we learn more about it. Al Goodman, many thanks. Joining us live from Madrid. I appreciate it

Well, the holiday weekend in the U.S. turned deadly with shootings in several cities around the country. Some of the victims just children. And we will take a look at America's gun violence crisis. That is next.

And you're looking at pictures of an Iranian nuclear site badly damaged by an unexplained fire. What and even who could have caused that? We will take a look.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) CHURCH: Well, this hour, Iran claims it knows what caused a mysterious fire at a key facility in its nuclear program, but won't yet reveal it. Take a look at the significant damage the blaze caused here. And you can see the roof is badly damaged, the doors broken and many windows appear blown out.

This images from Iranian state media and authorities say that no one was killed in the incident but the blaze did cause, quote, "significant financial losses."

So, let's go to CNN's international security editor, Nick Paton Walsh, to help us get a sense of what's happening here. Good to see you nick. So, what more are we learning about this?

[03:20:06]

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: Well, it's been an incident that is puzzling I think many observers for a number of days. Natanz where this occurred was itself struck in 2010 by cyberattacks, whose name is Stuxnet, affected many computers around the world.

Now at this point, there are no overt public statements by Iranian officials that they believe sabotage is behind this. There have been some anonymous statements suggesting that may or not be the case, and of course, if you look at the precise building here where it is and the fact that Natanz is being involved in Iran's enrichment in the past, it is possible to think this may necessarily have just been a random accident.

Now, moving on, it's important to point out that the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran spokesperson, Behrouz Kamalvandi, said that while there were no casualties significant damage had in fact occurred there.

He suggested that in the future it was likely this was going to be used to create advanced centrifuges and that Iran's commitments to the JCPOA, the nuclear deal as it's known, had slow that down. Saying in fact, that what was in it what they referred to as a, quote, "are shed at this point were advanced measuring machines."

Now, clearly, if you look at those statements, it's possible that from the outside Iran's opponents may have derive in this to be a target of some significance. We simply don't know what cause this. What's important is that Iran says it does know what caused this, and more importantly, it will reveal that at an appropriate time.

Now we've seen them kind of pause a bit before pointing the finger in previous occasions, where they tried to deflate tensions in the gulf as well here. It's clear that the United States and the IAEA briefly pointed towards Iran over the last month or so, saying they hadn't been adequately transparent in their nuclear program here.

But also, it's clear that Iran since the United States wholeheartedly withdrew from the nuclear deal but again putting sanctions back on has said that it won't abide by its commitments to stick just 3 percent enrichment, it would go up to 5 percent, and possibly even higher as well.

Iran's opponents in the region and the U.S. too, adamant that it will never make a nuclear weapon, and so, there is of course history here of Israel in the past having been behind attacks on parts of its nuclear program.

I should repeat, we don't really know what happened here but in this instance at Natanz was one of a number of suspicious accidents or fires at sites across the country over the past week or so.

Yes, it is a hot time of year, there are possible reasons why this may have occurred, but many, I think are wondering quite why this instance has gained so much prominence. It's because of where it frankly happened, and that of course leads many to conclude that maybe something more than this done in accident in Iran has been forced to publicly talk about this, although not provide its own conclusions that it says it reached itself as to what was behind this. Rosemary?

CHURCH: Nick Paton Walsh, our international security editor, thank you so much for your expertise. I appreciate it.

Well, now to a wave of gun violence across America. Four cities are mourning victims today. Here in Atlanta, the holiday weekend turned deadly. The Atlanta journal Constitution reports multiple shootings killed four people and wounded at least 20 others. Two of the shootings happened in the same area where Rayshard Brooks was shot and killed by police three weeks ago which spark mass protests.

One of the victims was this 8-year-old girl, Secoriea Turner, she is riding in a vehicle with her mother and another person when someone opened fire on their vehicle. Atlanta's mayor is pleading for people to have the same passion towards ending community gun violence that they have for police reform.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAYOR KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS (D-GA): We have 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 others who were shot and killed last night and several others. Enough is enough.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: In Washington, D.C., gun violence has also claimed the life of this child, 11-year-old Davon McNeal was killed Saturday night just moments after he and his mother stopped in a neighborhood.

[03:25:00] His grandfather says that the boy wanted to get a phone charger from his aunt's house when a group of young man began shooting. McNeal was shot in the head and later pronounced dead at the hospital. Officials say they don't yet have any suspects or know the reason for the shooting. And they are offering a $25,000 reward for information.

And in Chicago, a 7-year-old girl, visiting her grandmother was fatally shot Saturday while playing with a group of children. She is among 67 people who were shot this weekend in the city. That is according to CNN affiliate WLS.

Thirteen people died including a 14-year- old. Chicago Mayor, Lori Lightfoot 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 police in Alabama have arrested a suspect in the shooting death of an 8-year-old over the weekend. The suspect a 22-year-old man is being held on four charges including murder. Police say he got into an argument with a group of men at a mall on Friday and they exchanged gunfire.

Authorities believe the child victim and three others who were wounded were innocent bystanders caught in the cross fire. Police are seeking anyone else who may have been involved.

Well, coming up, a 23-year-old protester is facing plenty of pressure and a court appearance. He is the first person to be charged under a controversial new law in Hong Kong. And we will take you there live.

Dangerous messaging from the U.S. president. He minimized the outbreak at a holiday event Saturday despite surging cases across the country. More on that straight ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[03:30:00]

ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers here in the United States and of course all around the world. You are watching CNN Newsroom. And I'm Rosemary Church.

In Hong Kong, the first person charged under a new and controversial national security law has just arrived for his first court appearance. 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 the law last week to crack down on what it considers subversion and terrorism.

And CNN's Anna Coren joins us now live from outside the court. Good to see you, Anna. So, this man has arrived at the courthouse, what more are you learning about him and of course his likely future?

ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Rosemary, 23-year-old Ying-kit Tong he appeared here at west Kowloon magistrates court about half an hour ago. He is still in the courtroom as his defense lawyer and the prosecution argue the final points. The prosecution as you say have charged him with incitement to secession and terrorist activities.

Now, on the 1st of July which was when thousands of people took to the streets protesting that new controversial sweeping national security law, Ying-kit Tong drove his motorcycle from Wan Chai to Causeway Bay through several police blockades. And he had a flag as you say "liberate Hong Kong, revolution for our time." Well that flag is now illegal.

As he was driving, the crowds who were out were cheering, and it was because they were cheering that they have charged him with incitement to secession. Now shortly after, he crashed into police from the video that we have seen, it looks like it was an accident. He didn't mean to crash into police. But he did injure three police officers. Prosecutors say that they were seriously injured.

Now he is facing years in prison. Obviously, the maximum sentence of this new national security law is life in prison. The prosecution says that bail should be rejected because of the seriousness of this crime. Obviously, we have to wait for the judge, but those deliberations are taking place at the moment.

The courtroom itself is pretty sparse, not many people are inside. He was pushed into the courtroom in a wheelchair because he has just been discharged from hospital. He was injured in that accident as well. But he was flanked by five police officers. The majority of the media are outside the courtroom watching this all play out onto TV screens.

But obviously, Rosemary, this is a new law that has created so much fear here in Hong Kong, people are not sure what they can say, what they can sing whether, you know, waiving certain particular flags with slogans whether that is now in breach of the national security law.

It is still incredibly ambiguous, but on a separate note, Joshua Wong, who I must add, his books those are being taken out of Hong Kong public libraries as of the weekend, he also appeared in court in a separate court in relation to protests last year.

He was facing three charges including inciting and organizing unlawful assembly. He pleaded not guilty, but he was wearing a black t-shirt, Rosemary, that said they cannot kill us all. So, a lot happening here in Hong Kong today.

CHURCH: Yes. Unnerving times for people living in Hong Kong. Anna Coren, joining us live from Hong Kong, many thanks.

Well, U.S. President Donald Trump will hold an in-person campaign rally next Saturday. It will be in New Hampshire, one of the few states where the virus is under control. But Mr. Trump downplayed the pandemic at an Independence Day celebration at the White House Saturday despite surge in cases across the country. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Now we have

tested almost 40 million people. By so doing we showcases 99 percent of which are totally harmless.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: And that is not true. According to Johns Hopkins University there are nearly 2.9 million coronavirus cases in the U.S., with nearly 130,000 deaths.

Jeremy Diamond has more.

[03:34:57]

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 1 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's 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, FOOD AND DRUGS ADMINISTRATION: 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 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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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 claimed 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.

CHURCH: Joining me now is Julian Zelizer, he is a historian, a professor at Princeton University and a CNN political analyst. He is also the author of new book "Burning Down the House: Newt Gingrich the Fall of the Speaker and the Rise of the New Republican Party." Good to have you with us.

JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Thanks for having me.

CHURCH: So, in his Fourth of July speech not only did the president falsely claimed that 99 percent of COVID-19 cases are totally harmless, and that the increase in daily cases was due to increased testing but he also stoked racial divisions. How comfortable are his fellow Republicans with a leader who does this and makes dangerous claims?

ZELIZER: Well, they might not be comfortable privately but at least from the record since 2017, they are not going to react very vigorously. I think they are comfortable and familiar enough with the president doing this, and in the end, they think that their best bet is to stand by the president to allow him to make these kinds of remarks and to play on the politics of backlash even if privately they might find it distasteful or dangerous.

CHURCH: President Trump also claimed that his administration has learned how to put out the flames of the coronavirus and the U.S. response was moving along well. Clearly, with more than 45,000 cases a day and a death toll of nearly 130,000 people the U.S. is not putting out the flame.

How does Mr. Trump get away with lying like this so blatantly? And has there ever been a U.S. president who has done this?

ZELIZER: Not to this extent. Other presidents during times of war have often tried to downplay how bad the situation was. You saw that in the 1960s when Lyndon Johnson would claim that Vietnam, we were almost at a point to victory when we never were.

But this is a whole different matter. This is a president who is not only making optimistic claims but he is not telling the truth about the facts on the ground about what is happening in states like Texas and Florida. And he is the president totally at odds with his own public health experts. Defying what they are saying, defying what they are telling Americans to do. So, this is a very fraught situation for the country.

CHURCH: And on the issue stoking racial divisions, Mr. Trump compared protesters who took confederate statues to Nazis and terrorists as he paid tribute to the military and police. What impact does that have on a nation that is in the midst of a health crisis that's pretty much out of hand?

ZELIZER: Well, when you social division to a pandemic, it's a pretty explosive mix. And what you hope is that the president confined points of commonality, points of unity and try to bridge divisions so that we can deal with the pandemic but we've seen the opposite.

[03:40:02]

We've seen President Trump being President Trump and furthering the division over these kinds of issues which is what he's doing with the monuments, which is what he's doing with attacks on what he calls the radical left.

So, it makes it that much harder for fault lines are even greater as we are in the middle of a pandemic, it's that much harder to reach consensus over the steps that we need to take to cure ourselves.

CHURCH: And his Democratic presidential rival Joe Biden is about 10 points ahead of Donald Trump. In most polls, but we have seen this before, haven't we? How reliable are any of those poll numbers at this junction?

ZELIZER: Well, they are reliable but they are not necessarily stable. I do think we have a pretty good read where the electorate is right now, President Trump is not doing well. A lot of the public does prefer Joe Biden for different reasons. But we are in early July and we've seen in many campaigns, not just President Trump, that these poll numbers can change dramatically come September and October.

And I think many Democratic operatives know that and the campaign hasn't really started. Now you are going to watch President Trump really unleash on Joe Biden in the months ahead. So, Democrats have a lot of work if they want to keep these numbers stable going into the fall campaign.

CHURCH: And just finally, the president plans to host another rally in New Hampshire next Saturday. This even after a number of his staff members got infected with COVID-19 in Tulsa and in Phoenix. What are the optics of a president who disregards the medical advice and continues to put others at risk, his own staff members, those people who gather at these rallies? What does that tell everyone?

ZELIZER: It's the worst message possible. Not only does he use the rallies to challenge what public health experts are telling people to do, he often mocks the use of masks and questions social distancing. But the rallies themselves are done in such a way that they defy all those requirements. And the stories from Tulsa are people becoming ill, and here he goes again.

So, presidents lead by example, and these rallies are the wrong example and that's why many people who are on the frontlines fighting the disease are urging him to take a different path forward.

CHURCH: All right, Julian Zelizer, many thanks to you for joining us and for your analysis. We appreciate it.

ZELIZER: Thanks for having.

CHURCH: And this is CNN Newsroom. Coming up, Australia has been desperately fighting a new spike in coronavirus cases in one of its biggest cities. Now it's taking a big new step. We'll tell you what that is. That's next.

[03:45:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well, Australia is taking some pretty serious measures to prevent the coronavirus outbreak from spreading. Beginning late on Tuesday, the state of Victoria will close its border with New South Wales, cutting it off from the rest of the country.

Now it comes as the state struggles to contain outbreaks in the city of Melbourne. Mass testing identified 127 new cases across the state Sunday.

So, let's get more on this with Angus Watson who joins me live from Sydney. Good to see you, Angus. So, I mean, it has to be said, Australia has shown it takes this virus very seriously, but what has been the reaction to this lockdown of nine public housing towers and this plan to shut off the state of Victoria from the nation on Tuesday, and what's the latest on all of it?

ANGUS WATSON, JOURNALIST: Well, Rosemary, the decision to lock down 3,000 people across nine public housing towers in Melbourne was very drastic one made on Saturday night by the government there in Victoria. These people aren't allowed to leave their homes for any reason on these public housing states.

They're just finishing up their second day now of complete lockdown under police guard, with the Victorian government putting together a massive logistics operation to keep them --

CHURCH: It looks like we have lost Angus Watson. We will actually have an opportunity to talk to him next hour, so we will have to leave it there for now unfortunately. But you are watching CNN Newsroom.

Still to come, rapidly rising virus cases in the U.S. have financial analysts worried. How the recent surge has Goldman Sachs rethinking its growth forecast.

[03:50:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHURCH: You have heard it many times. The composer of that iconic theme and many others has died. Two-time Oscar winning film composer Ennio Morricone was famous for scoring spaghetti westerns, particularly his collaborations with director Sergio Leone, including "The Good, The bad, and The ugly."

In later years he won an Academy Award for his score on Quentin Tarantino's "The Hateful Eight." Morricone's lawyer says the composer died following complications from a fall. Ennio Morricone was 91.

Well, one of the profound sorrows of the pandemic is losing someone you love. And friends and fans today are mourning the loss of Broadway actor Nick Cordero. He died Sunday after battling complications from COVID-19 for months after his announcing his death in a post online.

Cordero's wife, Amanda, wrote this.

He was surrounded and loved by his family, singing and praying as he gently left this earth. God has another angel in heaven now.

Goldman Sachs is lowering its growth forecast for the U.S. economy this quarter citing a 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.

And CNN's John Defterios joins me now live from Abu Dhabi to talk more about this. Good to see you, John. So, the third quarter is an important one of course for resetting the U.S. economy. So, does this cutting Goldman Sachs growth forecast put that in doubt in anyway?

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN BUSINESS EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Well, there is some doubts about the strength of this rebound in the strength in the third quarter because of the return of the COVID virus here in the second wave.

I have to say, Rosemary, these are extraordinary numbers that we seeing right now. We are used to a half, to 1 percent swings in a quarter, and we were looking at 33 percent down to 25 percent. But the second quarter was awful and there was a sharp downturn as you know the tail end of the first quarter. So, this kind in a sense it is the new normal.

This will affect the overall output number for all of 2020. Goldman Sachs is now suggesting the contraction will be a negative 4.6 percent, extraordinary in itself, but from the level of 4.2 percent.

And Goldman Sachs is a little bit more optimistic, though, Rosemary. The subject you and I have talked about a great deal over the last few months and that is the unemployment rate. They are suggesting it will come down to 9 percent from where we are today which is 11.3 percent.

You know, peaked out at 14.7 percent and there is still some in the market that believe we'll stay in the double-digit range because of this return of the virus and trying to live with it. And whether Americans choose to be more cautious with the mask, for example, and social distancing. Can you live in that environment, and then you see rehiring, and then that jobless rate will come down by the end of the year according to Goldman Sachs.

[03:55:01]

CHURCH: Interesting. And John, we are also witnessing an alarming surge in COVID-19 cases in India, and that of course, is a country with high poverty rates. How is this undermining their efforts?

DEFTERIOS: I have to say, Rosemary, this is an alarming number that we saw over the weekend with the cases spiking above 25,000. Then we learned this morning that as a result India has now moved into the number three position, which I'm sure it never wanted to have after the United States and Brazil, for the number of cases.

So, this is an alarming number and it does filter into the forecast for India. Just a few weeks ago, the resistance was a good one for the growth numbers at 2 percent. That was a projection for the International Monetary Fund. They are now suggesting that short window of time, we're looking at a contraction of 4.5 percent.

One of the other alarming signals in the market right now, trade in the major ports is down 20 percent in India. So that's going to be hurting jobs. People are so alarmed about going back to work. The factory outlook obviously is going to drop.

The Moody's chairman, the rating agency was suggesting unless you flatten the curve in India with this level of population and the poverty rates that you were talking about, people will not go back to work. So, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is going to have to kick into a higher gear here to try to flatten that curve. They're used to 8, 9 percent growth before the election. It started to dip. Now we're looking at a recession for the first time since 1979. Rosemary.

CHURCH: All right. John Defterios bringing us the latest from his vantage point there in Abu Dhabi. Many thanks.

And thank you for joining us. I'm Rosemary Church. I'll have another hour of news in just a moment. Do stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

END