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Dr. Anthony Fauci: Covid-19 Cases Are Surging Back Up; Hong Kong Leader Tries To Quell Fears Over Security Law; Bolsonaro Tests For Covid-19 Again After Downplaying Virus. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired July 7, 2020 - 05:30   ET







CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Dr. Anthony Fauci not holding back on the state of coronavirus in America and why it is surging right now.

Good morning, this is EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Laura Jarrett. Thirty-one minutes past the hour here on the east.

And this morning, a dire new assessment from the country's top infectious disease expert. Dr. Anthony Fauci laying bare the reality about the rapid rise in coronavirus cases.


FAUCI: We are still knee-deep in the first wave of this. We went up, never came down to baseline, and now we're surging back up. So it's a serious situation that we have to address immediately.

Now, a series of circumstances associated with various states and cities trying to open up in the sense of getting back to some form of normality has led to a situation where we now have record-breaking cases.


JARRETT: Right now, 31 states are headed in the wrong direction. You can see all that orange on the map with case numbers up from last week. Nearly half the states are now rolling back or pausing plans for reopening. Yet, here's what the White House says.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) KAYLEIGH MCENANY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I think the world is looking at us as a leader in Covid-19. Because the chart I showed you where you have mortality rate in Italy and U.K. up here and across Europe, and you have the United States on at a low case mortality rate, it's because of the extraordinary work that we've done on therapeutics, on getting PPE, and leading on ventilators and having excess ventilators that we were able to deploy around the world and help other countries.


JARRETT: OK, here's a look at new cases in the U.S. compared to some of its allies -- you can see that line -- and this is where the U.S. stands globally on infections. The U.S. has only four percent of the world's population, but about 25 percent of all the world's coronavirus deaths.

ROMANS: All right.

The city of Melbourne is reversing course on its reopening, reimposing a stage-three lockdown for the next six weeks. In Australia, people will only be allowed to leave their homes to buy food, go to work, exercise, and receive or give care.

Anna Coren tracking the latest developments -- troubling here.

ANNA COREN, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Christine, this is deja vu for more than five million residents of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. They went through lockdown at the height of the pandemic -- at the very start, back in March and April. Now they are going through lockdown again.

The reason for that, there has been a surge in cases -- 191 new cases recorded today. I know that might sound small compared to what you're experiencing in the United States but Australia's been extremely aggressive in tackling the pandemic to the point where they thought they had this under control. This surge in cases an indication that they don't have it under control.

And the premier saying that they had to take these drastic actions of a six-week lockdown to try and contain this virus. He said we're on the cusp of something very, very bad unless action is taken.


Now, nine Housing Commission towers -- they were on hard lockdown on the weekend -- 3,000 residents inside those. I spoke to one of those residents who said he felt like a sitting duck just waiting to get the pandemic.

I should also mention, Christine, that the border between Victoria and New South Wales has been closed -- this is the first time this century that they've done this -- to try and stop the spread of the pandemic, Christine.

ROMANS: First time in a century, wow. All right, Anna Coren for us in Hong Kong covering that for us. Thank you.

JARRETT: We move now to Israel, which is slamming the brakes on its reopening plan. The Israeli cabinet scrambling to shut down bars, clubs, and gyms because of a dangerous surge in coronavirus cases. Health experts warn the outbreak could spiral out of control.

Let's go live to Jerusalem and bring in CNN's Oren Liebermann. Oren, what more do we know about what the government is doing to try to contain the spike in cases?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Laura, the government is reinstituting a number of the strict closures we saw when the -- when the pandemic was at its height here about two months ago or three months ago, and the cases now resurging very quickly.

In fact, we're seeing a 40- or 50-fold increase from about mid-May when there were only about 20 new cases a day. Now, Israel is seeing more than a thousand new cases a day and this is not going in the right direction.

The government has reinstituted closures of gyms, pools, public halls, and reinstituted a number of restrictions on, for example, restaurants and houses of worship, strictly limiting the number of people who are allowed inside.

And it's because of this sudden resurgence in cases we've seen with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warning we're not that far away from a general lockdown -- the kind we saw at the height of the cases here back in what's now being referred to as the first wave in February or March. Israel very much in a second wave, health officials are warning.

And as the cases surge here, we're seeing a corresponding drop in the approval rating of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose handling of the coronavirus (audio gap).

JARRETT: All right, Oren, thank you so much. Nice to see you.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the U.S. is considering banning Chinese social media apps, including the extremely popular TikTok.


MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: We're taking this very seriously. We're certainly looking at it.

We've worked on this very issue for a long time, whether it was the problems of having Huawei technology in your infrastructure. We've gone all over the world and we're making real progress getting that out. We have declared ZTE a danger to American national security.

We've done all these things. With the respect to Chinese apps on people's cell phones, I can assure you the United States will get this one right, too.

(END VIDEO CLIP) JARRETT: Tensions between the U.S. and China are high and have spilled over into trade and technology.

TikTok, being owned by Beijing-based start-up ByteDance, has been repeatedly criticized by U.S. lawmakers as being a threat to national security because of its ties to China. TikTok says U.S. user data is stored in the United States with backups in Singapore. It says it operates completely separate from ByteDance.

Well, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam is trying to calm fear over China's highly controversial new national security law. Speaking at a press conference, Lam called the law, quote, "relatively mild," rejecting claims it will stifle civil liberties. But many Hong Kong citizens are concerned that specifics of the law were kept secret until the moment it was imposed just a week ago.

CNN's Will Ripley is live in Hong Kong with more. Will, it seems like she's saying on the one hand, nothing to see here. But on the other, this is an extremely serious law with huge implications in terms of imprisonment.

WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is. You know, Laura, I think that Carrie Lam is speaking on behalf of the segment of the Hong Kong population that identifies with the position of the mainland government in China that wants the city to have businesses open and traffic flowing. They don't want major disruption and protests and whatnot.

But we're also seeing that kind of hidden other result of this law happening right now because libraries and university campuses are basically being told that they have to remove books that are deemed to be improper by the Communist Party in China.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called it Orwellian censorship happening because now you can't possess political banners, you can't chant certain slogans. You can't even read or possess certain books without being considered a national security threat.

Hong Kong police have been given an extraordinary range of new powers. They can enter your house now without a search warrant. And instead of police having to go to a judge, the police commissioner can give authorization to that.

Also, people who are under investigation for violating the national security law can be banned from leaving Hong Kong. They can be forced to stay here during what could be a very time consuming and lengthy investigation.

So all of these things are making companies uneasy.

You mentioned TikTok in the last story. They've announced that they're exiting Hong Kong.

Facebook, WhatsApp, and other social media platforms have been putting out statements saying that they're going to put a pause on information requests from the Hong Kong law enforcement authorities who are under the direction of a national security office that the mainland set up.


They need to talk to their lawyers and figure it out because what police are doing when they arrest people, Laura, they seize their phones and they go through all their social media history. Now, social media companies are questioning whether they have to comply with that.

JARRETT: Yes. It will be interesting to see which companies decide not to cooperate with that.

All right, Will, nice to see you. Thank you.

ROMANS: OK, 40 minutes past the hour.

Amid pandemic pain, Wall Street is on a winning streak. Stocks rallied to start the week after the long holiday weekend. The Dow finished up 460 points. The tech-heavy Nasdaq closed up 2.2 percent. That's a record high.

Deep-pocketed tech companies have been thriving during the pandemic. Amazon stock topped $3,000 for the first time ever. It's now worth -- the company -- more than $1.5 trillion.

Monday's rally once again shows investors are ignoring rising coronavirus cases across the country, fueled instead by record fiscal stimulus and support from the Fed.

Now, the number of dead from coronavirus now tops 130,000 in the U.S. But the number the president highlighted is the Nasdaq record high. The stock market had hopes for a v-shaped recovery in the economy. They are central to the president's reelection playbook.

Last week, the president exaggerated the better-than-expected jobs report, including figures on black employment.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: African-American workers made historic gains, the likes of which we've never had before, with 404,000 new jobs in June. That's a record and that's the highest number ever.


ROMANS: Now, that 404,000 job gain was not a record. The actual record was in February 2018.

An important context here. Even with those jobs gains, the African- American unemployment rate is 15.4 percent in June, more than five percentage points higher than the rate of white Americans.

And, Laura, it's interesting, as well. A lot of studies have been done about ownership in the stock market. About 31 percent of African- American families own stocks in one way, shape, or form. That compares with 61 percent of white families. So the rally in the stock market actually just cements the inequality you see in the American economy.

JARRETT: Yes, not at all helping, as you suggested.

All right.

Well, President Donald Trump and Brazil's President Bolsonaro are two of a kind when it comes to coronavirus. We'll explain, next.



ROMANS: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro telling supporters he has taken a fourth coronavirus test and undergone a lung screening after showing some symptoms of the virus. His results are expected today.

The populist president sometimes known as "Tropical Trump" has dismissed Covid-19 since the beginning of the outbreak, calling it just a little flu. Meanwhile, cases in his country are soaring.

Our Bill Weir has more.


BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the age of Covid-19, Presidents Trump and Bolsonaro are two of a kind. Both love Twitter and by all appearances, hate wearing masks. Both are openly at odds with their nation's top doctors --


WEIR (voice-over): -- and rely, instead, on the support of fans as they dismiss the pandemic as a little flu and a lot of hype.

WEIR (on camera): So you don't believe Covid-19 exists at all? It's an -- it's a hoax?

SCHWARTZMANN: Yes, it's just a problem (ph).

WEIR (voice-over): It could exist, this pro-Bolsonaro YouTuber tells me. But if it exists, it is weak.

WEIR (on camera): It's not that deadly?


WEIR (voice-over): He sounds just like his president, who when asked about his nation passing China in fatalities said, "So what? I mourn, but what do you want me to do? I can't work miracles."

But the pot and pan protests that now ring out every time he goes on T.V. are just one side of a nation at odds with itself.

Testing is still hard to come by. And as they dig mass graves from Amazonia to Rio, some experts believe the official 1.6 million infections reported could be 12 to 16 times higher.

And yet, the big cities are opening up just as Bolsonaro uses his veto power to water down new laws to protect the public -- ones that would make mask-wearing mandatory in churches, schools, shops, and prisons.

NATALIA PASTERNAK, MICROBIOLOGIST AND PRESIDENT, QUESTION OF SCIENCE INSTITUTE: It's crazy, it's crazy. Science is being ignored in this government as it has never been before.

WEIR (voice-over): Natalia Pasternak is a microbiologist who lobbies for more science in government policy and is among the many who were horrified when Bolsonaro fired his respected health minister for advancing quarantines. A loyal general with no health care experience is now running the nation's pandemic response.

PASTERNAK: Are we going to be able to care for these people? I mean, will there be hospitals for everyone? Will there be ventilators for everyone?

We never reached the situation that they reached in Italy where the doctor is forced to choose the person that gets the ventilator. I hope we never come to that but I'm afraid we might.

WEIR (voice-over): Bill Weir, CNN, Sao Paulo, Brazil.


JARRETT: All right. Thank you, Bill.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms says she has tested positive for coronavirus. Bottoms is considered one of the front-runners to be Joe Biden's running mate.

Last night she told CNN's Chris Cuomo her husband has also tested positive and they have no idea how they got it.


MAYOR KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS (D), ATLANTA: This is scary. We've done all the things that we thought that we should do and for us to still test positive I think really speaks to how easily this virus is spread. And obviously, none of us are immune from it.



JARRETT: One of the mayor's four children has also tested positive. All four of her children have asthma, an underlying condition the CDC says may worsen Covid-19 symptoms.

ROMANS: Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa says he will skip the Republican National Convention. At 86, Grassley is the oldest member of the Senate. He says coronavirus concerns will keep him home.

Grassley is the Senate's longest-serving Republican and is president pro-tem, which makes him third in line for the presidency after the vice president and the House speaker.

JARRETT: Biotech company Regeneron entering phase-three clinical trials for a drug that could potentially treat and prevent Covid-19.

CNN's Elizabeth Cohen has more now.


ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Laura, Christine, the pharmaceutical company Regeneron announcing phase three trials for its antibody cocktail. The antibody cocktail takes antibodies -- that's what we produce after we've been infected -- and culls out the most powerful ones and turns it into a drug.

Now, these phase-three trials -- those are the large-scale clinical trials that happen right before drug approval -- they're going to be done on three different groups.

The first group will be hospitalized patients -- those patients who are pretty sick. Also, patients with Covid who have not been hospitalized, so they're not as sick.

Now, the third group isn't treatment, it's prevention. They're going to be giving the drug to people who live with Covid patients to see if the drug can prevent infection.

All told, they'll be testing on 4,900 study subjects by the time these trials are done.

Also, news that more than 200 scientists have written a letter to the World Health Organization about airborne transmission of Covid-19. They note that studies have shown that small particles of Covid-19 can float in the air and that's a way that it can spread.

Now, this has been known for some time but these scientists want the WHO to talk about it. On their Web site, they talk about slightly different ways that people can get Covid. They don't really emphasize this airborne transmission.

In the U.S., one of the hardest-hit states is Florida. The Florida Department of Health says that they do contact tracing on every single case. That means calling the case -- calling the person, asking who they've been in contact with over a certain period of time, and then calling those contacts to make sure they stay quarantined.

But a CNN investigation calls that into question. We asked 27 Floridians who'd been diagnosed with Covid, did you get a contact tracing call from a local health authority? Only five of them had.

Experts say this is a problem. Contact tracing is a pillar of how to contain an outbreak, but it's becoming more and more difficult in cases like Florida that have such high case numbers -- Laura, Christine.


ROMANS: All right, Elizabeth Cohen. Thank you, Elizabeth.

Let's get a check now on CNN Business this Tuesday morning. Taking a look at markets around the world, you can see a mixed close for Asian shares, and Europe has opened down.

On Wall Street, futures, at the moment, are also pointing down -- a retreat after what has been a very strong run for the stock market. Stocks rallied to start the week. The Dow closed 460 points higher. The Nasdaq hit a record high, boosted by tech stocks like Amazon, which also hit a record high, above $3,000 a share -- wow.

Monday's rally showed, once again, that disconnect between Wall Street and Main Street. Investors focusing on record fiscal stimulus and record support from the Fed, not on the rising number of coronavirus cases.

Target has pulled merchandise for the Washington football team from its online stores as the NFL faces renewed pressure over the team's name. Last week, the team said it will review the name after 100 investment groups wrote letters to Nike, Pepsi, and FedEx asking them to end their relationship with the team if won't change its name.

Walmart and Nike have also pulled the team's merchandise from their online stores.

Many black Americans are planning to show their economic strength by not spending any money today in the Blackout Day 2020 campaign. Instead, people are encouraged to spend their money on black-owned businesses if they need to shop.

The campaign's objective is to force the business world and politicians to end institutionally-racist policies and practices. Data shows black Americans spent more than a trillion on consumer goods in 2018, showing the power of the purse, Laura.

JARRETT: Yes, all about trying to get companies to take this seriously and show that --

ROMANS: yes.

JARRETT: -- it's more than just a statement.

All right, thanks for joining us today. I'm Laura Jarrett.

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans. "NEW DAY" is next.




FAUCI: We are still knee-deep in the first wave of this, so it's a serious situation that we have to address immediately.

DR. PETER HOTEZ, DEAN, NATIONAL SCHOOL OF TROPICAL MEDICINE, BAYLOR COLLEGE OF MEDICINE: Clearly, our current approach, if you call it that, is not working.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Miami-Dade County rolling back some of its opening plans.

GOV. RON DESANTIS (R), FLORIDA: There's no need to really be fearful about it.

MAYOR FRANCIS SUAREZ (R), MIAMI: I am looking at the statistics and the statistics are very grave. Every single metric is up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There cannot continue to be mixed messages. On the one hand, this is concerning and on the other hand, it's not. The numbers tell the story about it.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It's Tuesday, July seventh, 6:00 here in New York.

And we are in it knee-deep. A blunt warning from Dr. Anthony Fauci that the U.S. is in serious trouble with coronavirus and the situation, he says, needs to be addressed immediately.

Thirty-one states -- you can see them all there in red -- are seeing a rise in new cases.