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Dire New Warnings As Coronavirus Cases Spike After Muted Holiday; July Fourth Weekend Marred By Gun Violence In Several Big Cities; Photo Shows Epstein's Alleged Accomplice On British Throne. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired July 6, 2020 - 05:30   ET





JUDGE LINA HIDALGO, HARRIS COUNTY, TEXAS: What we are seeing is that wishful thinking is neither good economic policy nor good public health policy.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Local officials with dire warnings as they struggle with the record surge of coronavirus. The list of victims now includes a Broadway star after his three-month battle.

LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: And a rash of gun violence mars the holiday weekend in cities nationwide with several children dead across the country.

Good morning, this is EARLY START. I'm Laura Jarrett.

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans. It is Monday. It is 32 minutes past the hour.

And we begin with a bad situation. Americans are left to hope it doesn't get worse.

Many celebrations this Fourth of July were muted but that didn't stop some from packing beaches, parks, and pools without a lot of social distance, even in the Ozarks. Remember those scenes from Memorial Day? It seems lessons have not been learned.

Overnight, California hit a new all-time record for highest case total in a single day -- almost 12,000.



(END VIDEO CLIP) JARRETT: One of Covid-19's latest victims was known to millions. Tony-nominated Broadway actor Nick Cordero died after a three-month battle with the virus at the age of 41. Cordero leaves behind his wife, Amanda, and a 1-year-old son.

And you can see individual states are going in very, very different directions right now. New York, which held off on reopening, keeps trending downward. But, Texas and Florida, which reopened early -- cases keep climbing.

Florida surpassed 200,000 total cases Sunday, doubling in less than two weeks. The rate of positive cases in Miami-Dade County, Sunday, an astonishing 26 percent. Local officials blame the lack of national leadership.


MAYOR DAN GELBER (D), 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 the -- you know, in our community or any community right now, and I really feel like that's the greatest challenge here.


ROMANS: In Texas, the hospitals there are in serious trouble. The ICU at Texas Medical Center, in Houston, is at 98 percent capacity. The hospital projects it will officially reach unsustainable levels next week.

Residents in Starr and Hidalgo counties urged to shelter in place.


HIDALGO: At this point, our hospitals here in Harris County, Houston, and 33 other cities, they are crossing -- they're into surge capacities. What we are seeing is that wishful thinking is neither good economic policy nor good public health policy. As long as we're doing as little as possible and hoping for the best, we're always going to be chasing this thing.


JARRETT: Thirty-two states are still headed in the wrong direction. One of those states, Georgia, was among the first to reopen.


Now, Georgia Tech is saying it will not require students to wear masks on campus and professors are not happy. More than 800 faculty members have signed a letter saying the plan ignores scientific consensus and puts lives at risk. Any plan to reopen college campuses will, of course, require a full complement of healthy, older professors. CNN has reporters covering the pandemic across the country.


POLO SANDOVAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Polo Sandoval in New York City, now entering phase three of reopening. However, there will be no indoor dining allowed in the city. Governor Cuomo saying, over the weekend, he's seen that lead to some complications in the past, so he certainly doesn't want to see that happen here.

What will be open, though, tattoo parlors, massage parlors, nail salons. They will be able to welcome customers back for the first time in months as long as they can adhere to strict cleaning protocols and also limit their capacity as well.

One of the reasons why we're seeing more businesses open, those numbers. They are trending in a fairly positive route in New York, including testing. And of 46,000 people tested on Saturday, less than one percent were positive for the virus.

PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN REPORTER: I'm Paul Vercammen in Santa Monica.

And up the west coast at the University of Washington, officials reporting that 112 members of the fraternity system have tested positive for Covid-19. And, an additional nine others also testing positive were close contacts of those fraternity members.

So, they have set up a pop-up testing site near the Greek Row. So far, 1,300 people have been tested as they try to stop a large outbreak at the University of Washington.


An overnight camp in north Georgia shutting down after campers and staff tested positive for coronavirus.

The YMCA Camp High Harbour said they learned a counselor tested positive for Covid-19 back on June 24th. They closed the campgrounds right away; the counselor immediately sent home. That's according to a statement by the president of the YMCA of Metro Atlanta. They added that the counselor actually passed mandated safety protocols and didn't show any symptoms when they showed up for work.

Parents were notified immediately so they could pick up their kids. They soon learned that there were additional positive Covid-19 cases among campers and staff -- at least 30 from local camps.

EVAN MCMORRIS-SANTORO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Evan McMorris-Santoro in Saguaro Lake, Arizona.

This state now has the highest per capita average of new cases over the past seven days in the United States.

In Phoenix, the closest major city to this recreation area, the mayor has imposed a mask requirement for everyone going out in public. But here at the lake on Sunday, masks were few and far between. I wear one when I'm off-camera. A pair of boaters saw me with it on and mocked me for it.


JARRETT: All right, thanks to all of our correspondents for those updates.

And with serious shortages of the drug Remdesivir in the U.S. right now, experts are calling for the federal government to take control of production and distribution. It's the only drug shown to work against Covid-19 right now and the FDA commissioner says the government plans to surge Remdesivir to the areas that most need it.

The FDA says the U.S. does have enough Remdesivir if the pandemic does not get worse. A little bit of cold comfort there, Christine.

ROMANS: Yes, absolutely.

All right. Lockdown measures lifted in the U.K. and it didn't take long for cooped-up Londoners to return to pre-corona normal. There are the streets, packed as crowds gathered in pubs that had just reopened.

CNN's Anna Stewart is live in London. And we saw scenes like that in the United States when there was reopening and now, here we have a surge in cases again. What's the reaction there where you are?

ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: It's really concerning, isn't it? I mean, much of England behaved responsibly on Saturday as everything reopened.

Here, I would say it wasn't back to normal. It was actually beyond normal. If you look at the crowds there it's busier than I have ever seen it and I've worked in this area for over a decade.

It felt more like a music festival or a street party. There were cues outside the (INAUDIBLE) as you can see there on the corner, which actually had to close down early. Police said they needed to close it down to try and limit how much people were drinking.

So it was incredibly busy here. Very few people wearing facial coverings, as you can see.

And actually, what was so interesting is the restaurants and bars that surround this area, they were relatively empty. They had all had to introduce new Covid-19 safety measures and limit how many people they can serve, keep social distancing. Here on the streets, that was not the case.

And it's really worrying given that in London, the transmission rate of the virus is still very high. This was limited to just two or three streets. Most of England saw people behaving responsibly.

Scenes like this are really concerning and it really speaks to the issue that governments are facing across the world. How do you kick- start an economy? How do you get people to feel safe to go out, get spending, but not lift the lid on the virus? A really difficult balance to strike across the world.


Hopefully, this was a one-off. It was the first day of the reopening. Lots of people just overexuberant, perhaps, to celebrate lockdown -- but it seems that, particularly, the businesses around here don't want to see happen again -- Christine.

ROMANS: All right, Anna Stewart. Thank you so much for that from London this morning. Thank you.

JARRETT: All right.

We turn now back to the U.S. with deadly violence in several big cities over the Fourth of July weekend with children the latest victims. Four killed and at least 20 injured in Atlanta. An 8-year-old girl was shot Saturday night while riding in a vehicle with her mother.

The city's mayor says after protests against police, communities also have to look within.


MAYOR KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS (D), ATLANTA: 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've demanded action.

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.


ROMANS: A bloody holiday weekend in Chicago. Seventy-five people shot, 14 fatally, including a 7-year-old girl who was shot in the head while at a party at her grandmother's house. It is the third weekend in a row a child has been killed in Chicago.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot spoke with CNN's Omar Jiminez about the spike in violence.


MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT (D), CHICAGO: The ecosystem of public safety that isn't just law enforcement but is local community-based -- they, too, have really been hit hard by Covid and are now just kind of coming back online and getting their footing.

(END VIDEO CLIP) JARRETT: In Washington, D.C., 11-year-old Davon McNeal shot in the head and killed at an anti-violence cookout when he got caught in the crossfire.

Another young life lost, 8-year-old Royta DeMarco Giles shot and killed at an Alabama mall.

And, CNN has learned San Francisco police are looking for information about the shooting death of a 6-year-old boy on Saturday.

Meanwhile, in New York City, at least 44 shootings and more than 60 victims.

ROMANS: Forty-two minutes past the hour this Monday morning.

Two big headlines on natural gas. Dominion and Duke Energy have canceled construction of their Atlantic coast pipeline, citing legal uncertainty even after a win for environmentalists who have opposed this conduit. The project was supposed to carry natural gas through West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina.

Also, Berkshire Hathaway is buying the natural gas assets then from Dominion Energy, increasing its footprint in that business. The deal needs regulatory approval. It's worth nearly $10 billion.

This is Berkshire Hathaway's first big deal since the pandemic started. The acquisition will grow Berkshire Hathaway's existing energy business, adding more than 7,700 miles of natural gas storage and transmission pipelines.

JARRETT: All right. Still ahead, she's been accused of luring victims to Jeffrey Epstein and also abusing them herself, so how did Ghislaine Maxwell end up on a throne at Buckingham Palace? New questions for the royal family.



JARRETT: Welcome back.

New questions this morning about Prince Andrew's connection to disgraced financier and accused sex trafficker, Jeffrey Epstein. A photo has emerged showing Epstein's alleged accomplice, Ghislaine Maxwell, posing on a throne at Buckingham Palace.

CNN's Max Foster is live in London for us. Max, what is Buckingham Palace saying about this?

MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: They're not saying anything, Laura, and neither is the private team that Prince Andrew has set up since this Epstein scandal.

Crucially, they're not denying what is a story -- a picture that first appeared in "The Telegraph." What "The Telegraph" is telling us is that that Prince Andrew was inviting Spacey and Maxwell into the Throne Room during this moment.

And this speaks to a couple of things -- the closeness of the relationship between Maxwell and Prince Andrew if, indeed, it's true. But also, the entitlement of both Maxwell and Andrew, who have been accused of, in recent months and years. And that's because the throne is a symbol of the monarch's authority. So to sit in it is seen as a sign of disrespect, frankly, of the queen -- but also the country that she heads, as well.

So this sort of thing simply isn't allowed and if Prince Andrew was in the room and condoned it, then it's a big problem for him. If it wasn't him, it's a big problem for someone else.

No one in the palace is speaking about this, which I think speaks of the fact they're embarrassed about it and also very concerned about it. You know, the queen is this revered figure and people don't like to see her disrespected in this country or, indeed, in other countries around the world.

So if we do get a response, I think it will be a problem for Prince Andrew and his relationship with Maxwell. But I suspect, Laura, we're not going to get a response because that tends to be how they handle these matters, particularly when they weren't part of any sort of formal engagement.

JARRETT: Yes. The timing on this is just sort of interesting considering Maxwell has just been charged here criminally in the U.S.

All right, Max, good to see you, as always. Thank you for that reporting.

All right. Eight people are believed to be dead after two planes collided Sunday afternoon over Coeur d'Alene in Idaho. Two bodies were recovered from the planes before they sank. The planes are now under 127 feet of water. The remaining six victims, including adults and children, are still unaccounted for.


ROMANS: All right, 49 minutes past the hour.

Let's take a look at markets around the world where there are advances in Asian shares, all closing up strongly. And, European shares have followed suit here.

On Wall Street, futures in the U.S. after the long holiday weekend are also higher. It looks like you could see 300-400 points on the Dow if this holds into the morning.

Stocks started the third quarter strong after the best quarter in decades. The Nasdaq is now up nearly 14 percent for the year, betting on a v-shaped recovery and awash in stimulus money from the Fed and Congress.

Multiple reports say Uber has agreed to buy Postmates for $2.6 billion. Uber's ride-hailing business has struggled during the pandemic.

It's expected to combine both Postmates with Uber Eats which has been, of course, growing as more people stay home. Uber posted a nearly-$3 billion loss in the first quarter but revenue for Uber Eats climbed 35 percent.

The deal could be announced as early as today.

Google Maps has launched new features to help users get around safely during the pandemic. Users will receive alerts to notify them of coronavirus checkpoints when crossing borders. And if an area has certain restrictions, like a mask mandate, they will be notified.

Users can also expect alerts on testing centers in the U.S. Users will also receive alerts when using public transportation to remind them of social distancing.

JARRETT: Well, special education classes resume today in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, which will come as a huge relief. As any parent can tell you, this pandemic has been brutal as they've had to take on the job of teacher in addition to everything else.

But these past few months have been even harder for parents of children with special needs. Many of those families saw services vanish when states shut down and schools closed, and they worry about what comes next.


JOANNE DE SIMONE, SPECIAL EDUCATOR, PARENT OF TWO CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS: I think that the general ed population gets to focus on this will be over in the near future and we can move on with our lives, even if it's a little bit different -- except our future does not look like that at all.

JARRETT (voice-over): As a mom of two kids with special needs, Joanne De Simone is no stranger to the challenges of parenting. But with schools closed, she and her husband John are now on duty around the clock.

DE SIMONE: Oh, good job.

JARRETT (voice-over): Their son, Ben, has Lissencephaly, a brain disorder that puts him at an increased risk for complications if he gets Covid-19.

DE SIMONE: Until things dramatically change or there's a vaccine, he can't go anywhere.

JARRETT (voice-over): Ben's familiar way of life now completely upended. He used to get over nine hours of school, programs, and therapy every day. With online learning, though, it's eight hours per week.

DE SIMONE: We're struggling to try to keep him engaged. I don't have physical therapist hands. I don't know what they're feeling. JARRETT (voice-over): At 21, Ben's now aging out of the educational

system with no safety net, falling off the so-called cliff.

DE SIMONE: Everyone says oh, they're falling off this cliff, right? And I'm like, Ben didn't mosey on over to the cliff, he just got shoved -- and we're falling.

JARRETT (voice-over): All this while she also tries to manage the schoolwork and progress of his younger brother Sebastian, who is on the autism spectrum.

DE SIMONE: I'm watching how long it takes him to do things. I don't know what this time is going to do to push him back.

JARRETT (voice-over): It's a sobering new reality for the over-seven million students who receive special education in the U.S. That's 14 percent of all U.S. public school students.

Kids like Beck Williers, who is visually and hearing-impaired and has been without his interpreter for weeks.

MICHELE WILLIERS, PARENT OF CHILD WITH SPECIAL NEEDS: The music teacher was trying to do a music class on Zoom. And I will tell you, my son asked not to be part of it anymore. He didn't know who to look at first. He didn't know who -- where the teacher was, where his interpreter was.

JARRETT (voice-over): His mom, Michele, still working full-time, herself, now sits by his side for therapy online, but she says he's missing the face-to-face interaction with those who understand his needs --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've missed you. I've not seen you in a long time.

JARRETT (voice-over): -- and she worries about what happens if school doesn't reopen this fall.

WILLIERS: I don't know, mentally and emotionally, if that happens, how he can continue to sustain like we are now. I think our child needs that environment.

There could be a second pandemic in our society if people don't realize the importance of bringing school back at some level.


JARRETT: With the virus now resurging across the country, Christine, parents just told me they are so desperate to get their kids back in school. And what this pandemic has shown is that virtual learning for their children is just simply not working. It's a farce.

I know a lot of parents obviously feel that way and want to get their kids back in school, but so many of these families are just crying out for help. ROMANS: Yes. Thank you so much for bringing us that story because this has been sort of just the biggest topic of conversation among so many of my friends, I know. Like, how can you work and parent your kids and teach your kids all at the same time? It's been just really troubling.


The American Academy of Pediatrics just came out and said they think school should reopen. That it's more healthy for children to be in school. Just a real challenge for everybody. Thank you for that.

JARRETT: Yes, how to do it safely. That's the big question.

ROMANS: Thanks for joining us, everybody, this Monday morning. I'm Christine Romans.

JARRETT: I'm Laura Jarrett. "NEW DAY" is next.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Health experts are warning the July Fourth holiday weekend could trigger even more spikes in coronavirus cases.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can see why health officials are certainly concerned when they see these kinds of pictures.

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

MAYOR SYLVESTER TURNER (D), HOUSTON, TEXAS: If we don't get our hands around this virus quickly, in about two weeks our hospital system could be in serious, serious trouble.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Trump claiming that 99 percent.