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Florida Breaks Record for Daily COVID Deaths; Hong Kong Tightens Restrictions to Fight New Outbreak; U.S. Supreme Court Rules on Trump's Financial Records; Brazil Surpasses 1.7 Million COVID Infections as Bolsonaro Fights Disease; Mexico Forges Ahead with Reopening Despite Case Surge; Australian State of Victoria Sees Surge in New Cases; Seoul Mayor Park Won-Soon Found Dead; Second MLS Team Barred from Playing after 9 Positive Tests; Former Wimbledon Finalist Describes Racism On & Off Court. Aired 12-1a ET
Aired July 10, 2020 - 00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Paula Newton.
Coming up on CNN NEWSROOM, another record-breaking day in the United States. Coronavirus cases surged to new highs amid division between the president and his health officials.
Plus, the president and his money. The Supreme Court rules Trump can't block prosecutors from seeking his financial records. But the White House says it's a victory.
And coronavirus resurgence in Asia. New cases are surfacing in both Hong Kong and Japan. We're live in both locations with the latest.
And we begin with another record-breaking day of coronavirus infections here in the United States. According to Johns Hopkins University, more than 60,600 Americans were diagnosed with the virus on Thursday, in just one 24-hour period. That's over 600 more than the previous high reached on Tuesday.
Now, almost half of all cases in the country are in just four states: California, Arizona, Texas, and Florida. And several of those states are now reporting record death tolls.
New infections are rising, meantime, in 33 U.S. States. You see them there. Only Maine, New Hampshire, and Connecticut are, at this hour, heading in the right direction.
Dr. Anthony Fauci says it's clear the country is not doing well, and some states have reopened too quickly.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: As a country, when you compare us to other countries, I don't think you can say we're doing great. I mean, we're just not.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: That's a stark contrast, of course, with President Trump who's been pushing for the past three days to get schools reopened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNTIED STATES: We've done a great job. Whether it's ventilators or anything you want to look at, testing. We test so many people that we have more cases.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: So with more than three million infections in this country, here's an important thing to remember. One million of those have come just in the past month.
And we get more of the day's headlines now from CNN's Erica Hill.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do we need contact tracing in our community?
ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): The mayor of Miami blasting the Florida Department of Health Thursday, the same day his state posted a daily high for COVID-related deaths.
MAYOR FRANCIS SUAREZ (R), MIAMI, FLORIDA: We have to be very serious and make tough decisions that affect many, many people, their livelihoods. And we can't make that in the absence of information.
HILL: According to the mayor, the health department was able to trace 92 percent of cases on June 15. By July 8, that number had plummeted to just 17 percent.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right now, I mean, this should keep people awake at night.
HILL: Two hundred fifty tracers will now be sent to Miami-Dade County. Testing also a major concern. Long lines and an even longer wait for results.
ANDY SLAVITT, FORMER ACTING ADMINISTRATOR, CENTERS FOR MEDICARE AND MEDICAID SERVICES: We likely have eight to 10 times more people getting cases every day than can get tested. So this is both a failure of containment, it's a failure to test, and of course, it's a failure to tell the truth.
HILL: The reality: cases are surging. Thirty-three states moving in the wrong direction. Arizona has added more cases per capita in the past week than any other country.
DR. ROSS GOLDBERG, PRESIDENT, ARIZONA MEDICAL ASSOCIATION: We all hoped for a flattening and a stabilization. We haven't seen it yet. HILL: And it's not just hotspots like Florida and Arizona. In
Kentucky, new cases jumped 40 percent in the last week. In Oklahoma, they're up 45 percent.
FAUCI: Any state that is having a serious problem, that state should seriously look at shutting down.
HILL: Hospitalizations rising in nearly a dozen states. Forty-eight ICUs in Florida are out of beds. Another 52 have less than 10 percent available.
Texas ordering more counties to suspend elective surgeries.
DR. OGECHIKA ALOZIE, TEXAS MEDICAL ASSOCIATION CORONAVIRUS TASK FORCE: There's no immediate fix to this. We're going to have to really put in the work to get ahead of this epidemic.
HILL: California announcing a new daily high for COVID-related deaths.
GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): The mortality rates are still front and center and should be in your consciousness.
HILL: Even in states holding steady like Maryland, officials remain cautious.
GOV. LARRY HOGAN (R-MD): Look, we're very concerned about what's happening around the country. And I don't want to take any kind of a victory lap.
HILL: Maryland seeing a spike in cases among those under 35.
Michigan reporting one in five COVID patients is between 25 and 34 years old.
In New York state, the early epicenter, less than 1 percent of tests are now positive for the virus. A sliver of hope amid grim numbers in the new hotspots. Positivity rates skyrocketing in Arizona, Texas, and Florida.
DR. ALI KHAN, FORMER DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE OF PUBLIC HEALTH PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE, CDC: This is an outbreak that's uncontained in freefall.
FAUCI: -- we're going down.
HILL: And for those who expected a dip in the summer, a blunt assessment from the nation's top infectious disease expert.
FAUCI: For the people who expected to see a sharp decline in the number of cases as the weather became warm and moist, I think we're seeing that that's absolutely not the case.
HILL (on camera): Doctor Fauci went on to single out Florida as an example that heat and humidity, neither one of those, kill the virus. He also, in a separate interview on Thursday, singled out Florida and Arizona, saying the states reopened too quickly, that they jumped over a couple of checkpoints, and that allowed the virus to come roaring back.
In New York, Erica Hill, CNN.
NEWTON: Dr. Shoshanna Ungerleider is an internal medicine physician at California Pacific Medical Center and founder of EndWellProject.org. She joins me now from San Francisco.
I really appreciate your insights on, unfortunately, what is another record-breaking day in the United States. And I have to say, I think some people find the numbers numbing. They can't really put it into perspective.
So for someone like you on the front lines of this, put it in perspective for us. What does it mean with so many days now that the United States is showing 55,000-plus cases a day?
DR. SHOSHANNA UNGERLEIDER, INTERNAL MEDICINE PHYSICIAN: Well, this country is just in a very concerning place. We have several states, as you mentioned, seeing these large increases in numbers of cases. ICU beds are filling up, you know, with very, very sick patients.
All the while, far too many people are really disregarding science and sound medical advice to wear masks and distance away from others.
We're absolutely, you know, without a doubt, going in the wrong direction. States reopen too quickly and haven't followed the CDC guidelines on rolling back their reopening plans.
And I think, you know, for me as a physician, I think the one thing that we can all do right now is recognize that our behavior matters. Distancing for mothers and avoiding crowded indoor spaces, wearing a mask, doing everything we can right now to slow the spread will have an impact on things like returning to work and to school in the coming months.
NEWTON: You know, there have been so many health experts and others preaching about this. Celebrities preaching about this for so many weeks now.
You know, Doctor Redfield, the head of the CDC, was categorical. He said wear a mask everywhere in public, and for goodness sake, stay out of crowded places like bars.
The message just isn't getting through. Why?
UNGERLEIDER: Gosh, what can I say? You know, everyone should be wearing masks at all times outside the home. You know, we know that wearing them can reduce transmission of the virus by as much as 50 percent. And by refusing to wear one, you're really putting the people you love at risk from becoming seriously ill or dying.
And similarly, with -- with behaviors like continuing to go out in crowded indoor places, we know that that increases transmission.
I think this is a failure of leadership; of accurate, consistent evidence-based public health messaging. These messages are not coming from above, and therefore, there's a lot of confusion. And -- and people just aren't adhering to the guidelines put forth. And it's -- it's so troubling to me.
NEWTON: Yes, especially when we're learning that this is a canny virus. Right? We are up against a formidable opponent here. And, you know, where you are in California, such an interesting case study. And quite frankly, frustrating for those of us looking on.
California had been quite successful. I know in some counties it still is very successful in some counties. But today, a record number of deaths, new positive cases still very high. From where you are, why do you think that's happening, even in California?
UNGERLEIDER: You know, California is an interesting case. Our governor, Gavin Newsom, as well as where I am in San Francisco, our Mayor London Breed, they were very quick to lock down the city and the states. They acted quickly and followed very evidence-based recommendations. Why it is that in certain parts of California these cases are going up, it's maybe that we reopened too quickly, too early, and then weren't quick enough to lock things back down.
But I think, you know, in the weeks to come, we'll see how -- we'll see how things go.
NEWTON: You know, the insidious nature of this virus continues to surprise. And from -- you know, we've had everything from, you know, airborne transmission, perhaps; evidence of lasting brain damage; pathologists reports indicating that clotting is going on in almost every organ when this virus takes over.
As a physician, as a practitioner, what surprised you?
UNGERLEIDER: Gosh, I mean, I think just how ill-prepared we all were for this virus. You know, like you're saying, we're learning new things about it every day. It is a novel virus. We've only really known about this particular coronavirus for a handful of months, and so we're learning, again, new scientists and new data emerging every day.
But just how devastating this illness is, not just for older adults or people with chronic medical conditions, but even for young people. Even those that aren't having a lot of symptoms, we know that there are long-term effects of this virus. And so it behooves all of us to pay close attention and take this very seriously right now.
NEWTON: What do you think is going to do it? I mean, the virus seems to be, you know, in control, really in the driver's seat in the United States. What is -- is going to do it on two counts, not just to get the public to kind of listen up, but also for you. What's happening in terms of your hospital getting ready? Things like PPE, things like the medical equipment that you need.
UNGERLEIDER: Well, you know, each institution has their own sort of way of preparing, either through ICU equipment, through personal protective gear that's so necessary.
And so there hasn't been a national concerted effort around preparation, which I think is hugely problematic. And then we're seeing in places like Florida, like Texas, like Arizona, they're running out of -- out of PPE. They don't have the equipment they need in order to take care of patients, and you know, a lot of people will die because of it.
So you know, I am -- I am happy that in -- where I work, in California they were very quick to -- to get ready for a next wave. But in other places, they haven't been doing that.
And so it's very hard when you don't have a centralized command, or your federal government really pushing hard to make sure that everywhere has -- has good access to the equipment that they need.
NEWTON: Yes. As I said, it's been breathtaking, really, what's going on in the last few months, considering we thought we'd be on the better end of it in many different places in the world.
Dr. Shoshanna Ungerleider, thank you so much for joining me. We really appreciate your time.
UNGERLEIDER: Thank you.
NEWTON: Now, meantime, Hong Kong is tightening coronavirus restrictions as it deals with a new outbreak. Restaurants, clubs, and bars are just some of the businesses affected.
Health officials are reporting another surge in cases, almost twice as many as the previous day. They say the overwhelming majority -- and this is key here -- are locally transmitted, rather than imported.
Now, there's also been a sudden spike in cases on Thursday in Japan: 357 newly-confirmed infections, and 224 of those were in Tokyo, the largest single-day increase there in -- of the outbreak that has yet to hit that city.
CNN's Will Ripley is standing by for us in Hong Kong. And Kaori Enjoji joins us from Shiba, Japan. Thank you to you both.
Will, I'll go to you first. Just 24 hours ago, right, we were discussing that the numbers weren't that high yet. And yet, Hong Kong officials must be very worried about the number of cases, and again, the character of the community transmission.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They're going up very quickly. As you see on the chart there, the numbers are still small when you think of seven million people here in Hong Kong and only, you know, just over 1,300 total cases.
But there's a lot of potential for the numbers to really shoot up here if they don't get a handle on this.
So contact tracing is helping with these locally-transmitted cases. And right now, they have identified clusters in three particular areas, restaurants being one of them. Taxis being another. And senior care centers being another.
So in all of those different, you know, businesses, steps are now being taken. Taxi drivers, for example, it's difficult here in Hong Kong, because a lot of people pay cash in a taxi, don't get a receipt. So it's hard to keep track of who is taking a taxi.
But there is a taxi app that they can use to identify passengers. So if they know that somebody has been in a taxi with a driver who tested positive, that's one way to do the contact tracing.
Also, at senior centers, they're going to be testing more the -- of the workers there. They only test a small handful right now. They're going to try to up the testing, potentially.
And restaurants are seeing restrictions that will take effect at midnight local time tonight. So starting this weekend, essentially, what's going to happen is they're going to go back to the social distancing restrictions that we saw earlier in the year.
Tables will be much smaller. You can only dine with groups of up to eight people. You have to wear a mask when you're not eating. Restaurants and nightclubs can only operate at 60 percent capacity.
The question, Paula, is will this be enough? Because remember, the contact tracing is not helping them to identify all of these clusters. They still don't know how a lot of people are getting the virus, and in a densely populated city like this, that can be very problematic.
NEWTON: Yes, absolutely. As I say, it's the community transmission that seems to be worrying them, which is why the contact tracing is so important.
Kaori, I'm wondering. Now to Japan. Obviously, what stuck out for me was -- was the increase in cases in Tokyo, really, who had been pretty much taking as many measures as they could and have been having a lot of success.
KAORI ENJOJI, JOURNALIST: Yes, that's right Paula. And this new figure from Thursday, a record number of 224 cases in Tokyo, comes just as Japan is trying to reopen its economy a step further.
I'm here at a stadium here, a baseball stadium, and this is the first day when fans will be able to go back inside the stadium, for the first time in four months.
This is a 30,000 capacity stadium, but they're going to social distance, so they're going to keep the number of people coming in tonight to 5,000. There is a whole list of rules. Everyone I see around me, preparing
for this event, is in a mask. They will not be able to shout during the game. There is no jumping up and down, even if you're excited. The list goes on and on.
So in a lot of countries, in a lot of cities, the choice has been, do you take health, or do you take the economy? But Japan has taken a different approach. They are saying, the Japanese government, and companies, are saying that, We are going to reopen. And how they're going to do that is by socially distancing and the premise that everyone is going to stick to the rules.
I mean, there are posters all around this building, highlighting the new rules. And there are, all of them around huge public spaces in Japan, as well.
And I think this is key. This is going to be a litmus test tonight. If this works -- and I talked with the baseball commissioner who's trying to organize all of these 12 leagues. If this works, this is going to be a litmus test of what sporting events could look like in the future, and looking ahead to one year on towards the Olympics.
ENJOJI: Will they be able to host it with fewer spectators and do it in a healthy fashion?
NEWTON: It's such a good point. Remembering that, of course, the Olympics were postponed. We should have been gearing up for the Olympics now, and instead, postponed for a year.
Kaori, I can guarantee you, so many people around the world will be looking to see what happens at that baseball game, two weeks from now, right, until they make sure there aren't any infections.
Will Ripley for us, again, in Hong Kong, thank you.
And of course, Kaori Enjoji there for us in Chiba, Japan. Appreciate it.
Now, the U.S. Supreme Court may have paved the way for New York prosecutors to get President Trump's tax records, but the public won't be seeing them anytime soon. You're going to be interested in this case. More on that.
And later, Mexico is forging full steam ahead with its re-opening plans, despite setting yet another daily record for coronavirus infections. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: From a certain point, satisfied. Another point, I'm not satisfied. This is a political witch hunt.
(END VIDEO CLIP) NEWTON: Donald Trump is lashing out at the Supreme Court for what he called a political prosecution after it ruled even the U.S. president is not above the law when it comes to its -- his finances.
Now, in a 7 to 2 vote, the court cleared the way for New York prosecutors to subpoena Trump's tax returns and personal financial records.
However, in a separate ruling, they blocked Congress from obtaining many of the same documents, at least for now. That case is being sent back to a lower court.
CNN's Jessica Schneider has the details from Washington.
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The bottom line from the Supreme Court: the president is not absolutely immune from criminal subpoenas while in office, and, Congress also has the right to subpoena the president for financial documents. That was a bottom line.
But the Supreme Court says there is limits, and there is a heightened standard, meaning that these cases will go back to the lower courts, and no documents, and no tax returns, will be released, likely, before the election, less than four months away.
These were two separate cases: one of them coming out of Manhattan. The district attorney there trying to subpoena eight years of the president's personal and business tax returns for a criminal investigation into those hush-money payments that Michael Cohen made to Stormy Daniels in the lead-up to the election, after she alleged an affair with Donald Trump.
The court saying that the president is not absolutely immune, but that the president does have some recourse, and that the lower courts should determine whether or not the subpoena from the Manhattan prosecutor should move forward.
Then, on the congressional side, three committees have subpoenaed the president's banks, as well as their -- his accounting firm, for financial records for a broad swath of investigations. The court, saying today that the -- that Congress needs to tailor their request, and that the lower courts need to look at four different factors to determine whether those subpoenas can move forward.
The chief justice, writing in both opinions, in a 7 to 2 decision, joined by some conservatives. And in the congressional case, the chief justice putting it this way, saying, the "burdens imposed by congressional subpoena should be carefully scrutinized, for they stem from a rival political branch that has an ongoing relationship with the president and incentives to use subpoenas for institutional advantage."
So really, they are pointing to the politics at play here, the fact that Democrats control the House, and they have been in a very adversarial position against the Trump White House throughout the administration.
So, of course, all of this remains to be seen. Will Congress, will the prosecutors in New York, see the president's tax returns, or his financial documents? That is something that lower courts will determine. The Supreme Court saying that they can, but they have to meet some heightened standards here.
Jessica Schneider, CNN, Washington.
NEWTON: CNN legal analyst Ross Garber joins me now from New Orleans, Louisiana.
And an interesting day at the court to see -- to say the least, and an interesting day politically. I mean, you've commented, but essentially, the president couldn't have hoped for more, right? The politically -- You're saying he got what he wanted?
ROSS GARBER, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, yes, what I'm saying is in the real world, the president couldn't hope for more. You know, we saw he lashed out on tweets today, because even though, realistically, he couldn't hope for more. I think there was a part of him that really, really wanted more and maybe expected more.
And by more, it meant nobody ever seeing these financial documents and the prosecutors in New York never being able to get the information. In the real world, that wasn't going to happen, but as a practical matter, he was able to slow it down almost certainly until after the election, which, in my mind, is probably about the best he can hope for.
NEWTON: Absolutely. In terms of what he could have been facing, when you think the ramifications of perhaps those documents coming out just before an election, let's say.
I want to ask you, though, from a legal perspective, between now and November, is there legal curveball? And it sits -- it would rest specifically with the district attorney there in New York. Because I don't -- I don't think congress -- the congressional case was much more clear-cut, right? It goes to lower courts.
But is there something, you know, that they'll have in their back pocket that they can make work until November?
GARBER: Yes, I think it's very, very unlikely, because what the Supreme Court did for the president was it actually spelled out for him a litigation roadmap to, essentially, delay these cases. Telling him that he can go to state court. He can go to federal court. He can litigate these issues, and as a practical matter, they're not going to get decided before the election now.
You know, could the district attorney in New York, indict his company, or people around him before the election? You know, who knows? Maybe. I just think all of that is -- is very, very unlikely, because what
the district attorney got here, was also probably about as much as he could hope for. What the Supreme Court said is the district attorney is entitled to these documents, essentially, and he's going to get them.
The president has some defenses. He could play out the clock, but they're not great defenses to having to -- to allow these documents to be turned over. To be clear, these documents are in the hands of his financial firm and his accounting firm. It's not documents coming from him personally.
NEWTON: Understood. And, you know, these -- this is a great inflection point, really, for the Supreme Court. Every single solitary discussion, so scrutinized.
When it came to this decision, in terms of deciding what you could ask of a president, what you couldn't, did the -- how did the Supreme Court ended up coming down on this, did it surprise you?
GARBER: You know, I -- I think it was pretty much what I had been predicting along, which is not to take away from the fact that it really is extraordinarily. The Supreme Court in the United States does not often mediate disputes between the president and Congress. It just just doesn't happen.
And so this was an extraordinary case. It was a very rare case, and you know, I think one of the things it showed was the power of the rule of law in our country, where the Supreme Court could come in, take a position, have it be a position that was taken by justices, who'd been appointed by presidents of both parties, including by this president himself, make the decision, have it be thoughtful, and have most people in the country accept it as -- as a legitimate decision. So it was still an extraordinary case.
NEWTON: But do you think in terms of it restoring, really -- because, the Supreme Court, and it's been said many, many times has become highly politicized.
Through this decision, is that true? Because at the end of the day, they decided no president is above the law.
GARBER: Yes, that's exactly right. They decided -- they decided, No. 1, that they were going to decide this case, because they -- they were wrestling with whether they should even decide -- they decided they were going to decide this case. And, you know, conservative justices joined liberal justices in these opinions that kind of brought both factions of the court together to say that's exactly right. The president is not above the law.
But, you know, we do have this complicated checks and balances system in the government of the United States. And the office of the president is entitled to some deference, and the president (UNINTELLIGIBLE) is entitled to some deference. So it's sort of this balancing and wait test.
NEWTON: We don't want to set up anything too controversial with the election coming, but it's happened before. I'll remind everyone. Remember the words "hanging chad."
In what could be a very pretentious election period coming up in November, how consequential is this Supreme Court? And when I say this, I mean the character of this Supreme Court: How they were appointed and by whom?
GARBER: Yes. So it's something that, I think, both parties often kind of, you know, make a case for to the members of their party, making them understand that, you know, presidents are important. They have a lot of policy decisions. But one of the things they get to do is appoint these justices -- and there are only nine of them -- for life. You know, these are lifetime appointments, and they tend to serve for decades.
And I think the Supreme Court, again in this election, is going to be consequential. The president is going to say, Look, here's some decisions that went our way. Here's some decisions that went the other way. It's critical I get reelected so I get to appoint the next justices.
Democrats are going to do the same. And there have been a bunch of controversial decisions decisions. You know, the decisions today, decisions with respect to abortion and reproductive rights, a lot of sort of consequential decisions that matter to voters. And I think we're going to expect to see both candidates make pitches to their bases for why electing them is so critical, because of the Supreme Court.
NEWTON: Yes. And with so little time now left till the election, it will be interesting to see the way both candidates really play that out in their campaigns.
Ross Garber, again, thanks so much. We appreciate it.
GARBER: Good to see you.
NEWTON: Now, meanwhile, the president's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, who as we mentioned, made those hush-money payments, is back in federal custody.
The Bureau of Prisons says Cohen refused the conditions of his home arrest, which was granted after growing concerns over COVID-19. His lawyer claims one of his conditions would have prohibiting Cohen from speaking with the media and publishing a tell-all book. Cohen is working right to release that book very soon.
New coronavirus cases surge in Brazil, meantime; tens of thousands in just one day. Just ahead, how the president is coping with his own diagnosis, and what he's telling other Brazilians to do.
Plus, more shutdowns in Australia as the country tries to keep a new outbreak of coronavirus from spreading. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
NEWTON: And a warm welcome back for our viewers from all around the world. I'm Paula Newton, and you're watching CNN NEWSROOM. We want to get you up to date on our top story.
The U.S. has broken yet another record with more than 60,600 new coronavirus infections in the past 24 hours. Almost half of all cases come from just four states: California, Arizona, Texas, and Florida.
And still, President Donald Trump seems fixated on getting kids back inside their schools in the next few months, he claimed Thursday, without evidence, that children can deal with the virus, in his words, because their immune systems are so strong.
Now, President Trump's push to reopen schools came up during CNN's town hall on the coronavirus. Here's what the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director told Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta when they asked him about this issue.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Do you agree with the president that the guidelines that were published by the CDC that are up there now are too tough? And too -- in some cases, too expensive and impractical?
DR. ROBERT REDFIELD, DIRECTOR, CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION: I think, Anderson, that's a -- sort of a mischaracterization. And the guidance are there --
COOPER: That's what the president said.
REDFIELD: And -- well, I'm saying the guidance are there and the guidance are there with a series of different strategies, which then each local jurisdiction can decide how they want to use those strategies. So we stand by our guidance. We think it's an important strategy for helping these schools reopen. But I want to come back and just be --
COOPER: Well, what about -- I don't understand.
REDFIELD: -- make it really clear.
COOPER: You say it's a mischaracterization. Do you mean a mischaracterization by the president of the United States that the guidelines are too tough?
REDFIELD: No, not by -- no, not by -- not by the president.
But I do -- I do think there are individuals that may say this needs to be done, this needs to be done, this needs to be done. In reality, what we're saying is these are guidances. These are not requirements.
And each school district is going to look at how they can incorporate those guidances to make their school in a situation where they can reopen -- reopen safely.
I just want to come back to that. But that's the purpose. To be clear, the purpose of our guidance is to help facilitate schools to reopen, and give them a variety of different strategies that we believe have an important role in limiting the ability of this virus to transmit in the school setting.
And that's where we're going to continue to work with jurisdictions. If jurisdictions do feel that there's obstacles to it, we're going to work with them, to see how we can find a common answer, because we want to get these kids back in school.
NEWTON: So you're going to want to hear more from Dr. Redfield. And you can with our global town hall, "FACTS AND FEARS" about the coronavirus. It's coming up in about an hour and a half from now. That's 7 a.m. London time, 2 p.m. in Hong Kong.
Brazil is reporting tens of thousands of new infections over the past 24 hours. That's bringing its total to more than 1.7 million. And the death toll is inching closer to 70,000.
Brazil has the second highest numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the world.
Now, this all comes as President Jair Bolsonaro is coping with his own positive diagnosis now. His press office reports he is in good health and progressing well without complications.
CNN's Bill Weir has more from the Brazilian capital.
BILL WEIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It has been another grim week here in Brazil, and another day brought another at least 40,000 COVID-19 confirmed cases and another 1,100 or so confirmed fatalities, as that number reaches close to 70,000 now.
And President Bolsonaro, of course, the most famous COVID-19 patient in Brazil, continues with his self-prescribed remedy. That is hydroxychloroquine, the antimalarial, some other vitamins, and is -- continues to encourage his countrymen and women to get back to work, especially those under the age of 40, telling them their chances of a severe result are "close to zero," quote unquote.
Other news, the Congress behind me, they're working remotely, but they tried to pass new legislation that would protect some 900,000 indigenous Brazilians, tribes from the Amazon and beyond. Tried to guarantee hospital beds, disinfectant, and clean water for these tribes.
President Bolsonaro vetoed most of those efforts. And Facebook and Instagram took down dozens of accounts they say were
spreading misinformation about Brazilian politics and the COVID-19 pandemic. And many of them, they say, were tied back to Bolsonaro supporters and his two sons.
Yet another similar shade of the politics between Brazil and the United States in the middle of this pandemic.
Bill Weir, CNN, Brasilia, Brazil.
NEWTON: Now, Mr. Bolsonaro isn't the only leader in the region personally affected by the coronavirus. Bolivia's interim president, Jeanine Anez, has become the third Latin American head of state to test positive. She announced it on Thursday on Twitter, adding that many of her cabinet members are also testing positive for the virus. She said she feels strong and will self-quarantine for the next 14 days.
The president of Honduras has also tested positive.
Mexico, meantime, is hitting new peaks in deaths and infection rates as the coronavirus rages in that country. On Thursday, the country reported its third record day of new cases in the past week alone and more than 700 deaths.
CNN's Matt Rivers has the latest from Mexico City.
MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From June 2 to July 2, Mexico City's case total jumped about 65 percent. Also on July 2, Mexico City's open-air markets, crowded and confined, reopened.
Sixty-three-year-old Alma Rosa Lara (ph) invited us to see her stall. She says she and seven family members all had COVID-19 back in April. But when the government opened markets back up, she jumped.
She says, "The people that work here live day to day, and we can't survive otherwise."
People like Isela could presumably survive, though, without shopping for clothes, but there she was. She says, "God willing, it stays open, because it's really nice to have contact with people again."
But experts say it's contact with people that's the problem, though most in this market didn't seem to care. They also didn't seem to care in other parts of the city like here in Centro (ph). Despite the government's "Sana Distancia," or healthy distance awareness campaigns, in many places, it's just not happening.
DR. MALAQUIAS LOPEZ CERVANTES, PUBLIC HEALTH EXPERT: I think it is too dangerous to try to reestablish all the social activities in Mexico.
RIVERS: And we've seen what happens when places reopen too soon, thinking, of course, of the United States.
Mexico City started reopening malls and restaurants and markets last week when new cases were still high.
This chart from Mexico City's government shows only a slight trend downwards in new cases from its peak, something health experts say could be easily reversed if scenes from markets like this continue to happen. Though the government insists they can do this safely.
He says, "It's fundamental for the economy, but we do have to be on top of everything," which it is clear they are not. Requirements like using antibacterial gel, social distancing, and temperature checks were not enforced in most places. And people knew it.
(on camera): And you know, a woman just came up to us off camera and said, Hey, stop filming, stop filming. Because when your video airs, they're going to have to close the market back down.
But the reality is that whether we're here or not, I mean, look at this. You don't need to be a public health expert to see that what is happening right now at this market is not safe.
(voice-over): Across all of Mexico, cases and deaths have roughly tripled since June 1, and they keep going up. And across all of Mexico, certain sectors of local economies are reopening like this. That is a dangerous combination.
Matt Rivers, CNN, Mexico City.
NEWTON: And to Australia now. It is also trying to stamp out coronavirus, but it's isolating the state where it's been flaring up. Two states, Queensland and New South Wales, have closed their borders with Victoria, which has seen a new surge in cases.
Australia's second largest city, Melbourne, meantime, which is in Victoria, is now in lockdown mode again. That means more than six million Australians are forced to stay home for the next six weeks.
Following it all for us is Anna Coren. She is live for us now in Hong Kong, and officials really keeping a wary eye on those numbers, right? It's not what they had hoped for.
ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, that's right. The Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, has just addressed his state, and they have a record as for the number of new cases: 288 new cases today. That is up from the record of 191 a little bit back in the week.
So it clearly shows that this spike is continuing. The number of cases are growing. And as you say, they're in day two of this 6-week lockdown. And Premier Andrews said, we are hoping that it will only be six weeks, but this could very well go for even longer. He is now requesting that Melbournians wear face masks when in public.
I know this might sound a little bit strange. We're in July. Only now is Australia talking about face masks. But for whatever reason, Paula, they've been very reluctant to do that.
I mean, obviously, here in Hong Kong, you know, where you are in the United States, people have been wearing face masks. That hasn't been a measure in Australia until now. So they are asking people, if you cannot social distance, wear a face mask in public.
We also heard from the Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, a little bit earlier. He said that international returnees, so those Australian residents living overseas who want to return to Australia, that is now going to be halved. The reason for that is because of the hotel quarantine outbreak, which they think is -- is what has caused this massive spike in Victoria, where there's been a lapse in protocol and, as of that, there have been these community transmissions, which have just spiraled out of control.
So they are now going to halve the number of flights returning to Australia. The prime minister saying that those resources need to go into testing and contact tracing.
But he assured Victorians who are, you know, facing six weeks behind closed doors at home that the nation is with you. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTT MORRISON, AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER: The whole country is with you. All of the country is are with you. The resources of the nation are there to support you at this very, very difficult time. Now, to do what is necessary, to get life as closely back to normal as we possibly can in the shortest period of time. But it will require your continued patience and your continued discipline.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COREN: Paula, I should also mention that those housing commission tower blocks in Melbourne that were shut down, placed on hard lockdown over five days ago because of the number of cases, well, eight of those nine tower blocks have now gone to state restrictions, like the rest of Melbourne. So those residents, as of midnight, were allowed to leave, go outside. They can now shop for necessities, seek medical care.
But obviously, they too, are at stay-at-home orders.
There is one tower block, however, that remains under hard lockdown. Now, the reason for this is that there have been a confirmed 53 cases. Officials think that is going to double.
We know how contagious this virus is. We know how quickly it spreads in densely-populated areas.
COREN: So that tower block is now under a lockdown for -- for a total of 14 days, Paula.
NEWTON: Yes. Well, it is all eyes on Australia now. They are taking these measures and to see if they can get it under control, especially now it's going to be six weeks.
Anna Coren for us, following the story. Appreciate it.
Coming up, Seoul's mayor has been found dead after a massive seven- hour manhunt. We'll tell you what investigators are saying about his cause of death.
Plus, Major League Soccer and NBA players are now living in a bubble to try and restart their seasons. But the coronavirus isn't the only issue players are up against. Stay with us.
NEWTON: The mayor of Seoul, South Korea, considered the second most powerful official in the entire country, was found dead Friday. His daughter had reported Park Won-Soon missing the night before. After a seven-hour search, a rescue team found him on a mountainside in the city.
Now, police say his death wasn't due to foul play.
On Wednesday, a legal complaint involving Park had been filed and submitted to police. It's now closed under South Korean law.
Ivan Watson has been following the story for us from Hong Kong. Obviously, a tragic turn of events. But a lot of intrigue here, as well. Right, Ivan?
IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, tragic and pretty shocking, because Park Won-Soon was a political star. He did not make a great secret about having potential presidential ambitions. A popular mayor, three times elected to be mayor of the South Korean capital.
And imagine that this very well-recognized official disappears for hours, triggering a manhunt of hundreds and hundreds of police and emergency workers searching in a Seoul park for him. It was a rescue dog that finally found his body shortly after midnight on Friday.
As you mentioned, police are ruling out foul play. But then Seoul city officials announcing that they found what they described as his will, a handwritten note on his desk in his official residence, which really, if you look at the translation, looks like an apparent suicide note.
He repeatedly apologizes to everyone and to his family for causing them pain, asks to have his body cremated and scattered where his parents' graves are, and says, Goodbye, everyone.
Now, journalists asked police to confirm whether or not there had been a sexual harassment complaint filed on Wednesday against the Seoul mayor. And the response did not identify the nature of the complaint but did identify, a police spokesperson said, that it was a legal complaint filed against the mayor on Wednesday.
So there will be, certainly, questions what could have prompted this apparent suicide. A popular official, a powerful official, for having taken,, apparently his own life.
And now there is some debate in the public arena about whether or not to hold an official funeral for this official.
The U.S. ambassador to South Korea has expressed his condolences on Twitter.
Certainly, a shocking political development in South Korea, which I might add, Paula, has some of the world's highest rates of suicide, according to the OECD. South Korea has a higher rate of suicide than any other of the 37 countries in that organization -- Paula.
NEWTON: Yes, and it is such a good point, just in terms of the cultural pressure. Again, as you said, shocking for South Koreans. They must be reeling from this.
Ivan Watson, thanks for following that story. We appreciate it.
Now, an African-American tennis star says he's all too familiar with racism on and off the court. What he's doing to try and make it easier for those who follow in his footsteps. That's next.
NEWTON: Major League Soccer players in the United States have started living in a bubble in Florida. It's just one of the sports slowly trying to come back to normal.
But for many players, going back to normal isn't good enough. They are calling for deep cultural change, as CNN SPORT's Carolyn Manno explains.
CAROLYN MANNO, CNN SPORT: This is a critical moment for Major League Soccer in its MLS is Back tournament, as the league has maintained so far that all of the positive coronavirus cases that we've seen from players have been outside, carry-over infections from their cities into this bubble.
And the players have trusted that. They've trusted the league's health officials when they say that, eventually, this bubble will become stronger, and those infections will be weeded out.
I spoke with one MLS veteran player who told me that, if that's not the case, and additional clubs aren't able to compete and have to withdraw in this tournament, then the players will start to feel that this is unsafe, not only because of coronavirus, but there's also the aspect of eroded competitive integrity, with 26 clubs competing in the first place. And then you start to diminish from there, and all of a sudden, there aren't that many left.
Coronavirus is just one issue on the minds of these players. The league opened this tournament with a showing of solidarity, organized by the newly-formed Black Players for Change initiative, which is a player-driven movement aimed at tackling issues of racial inequality and human rights, both in the league and also in society.
There were over 100 black players who took the field on opening night. We also saw Philadelphia's players replace their names on the back of their jerseys with the names of victims of police brutality. The words "One name too many" written on the bottom of their jerseys.
Both of these issues -- coronavirus and social justice -- will run parallel with what the NBA is trying to do as they have now descended upon this space for a resumption of their season on July 30.
On Thursday, teams are already practicing in the venues behind us as they get set. And there's a real possibility that there could be some bumps along the way in the initial round of coronavirus testing when players come into the bubble. They're also hoping that that bubble will get stronger over time.
One thing we know, as well, is that NBA players also care very deeply about issues of racial inequality. This will be a platform for them to continue to express how they feel.
I'm Carolyn Manno in Orlando.
NEWTON: So it's difficult, of course, for any tennis star to reach a Grand Slam final, no matter how much talent and skill they have. But it's even harder, of course, for black men and women.
Mal Washington spoke to our Christina Macfarlane about it and how he's trying to improve the odds for a younger generation.
GRAPHIC: MaliVai Washington holds a 24-year record in men's tennis, one he never expected.
MALIVAI WASHINGTON, TENNIS PLAYER: I'm the last, you know, black American to reach a final, and I'm a bit surprised that we don't have more Americans, period, on the men's side, but more black men.
CHRISTINA MACFARLANE, CNN SPORT: Why else do you think tennis hasn't progressed in that way in the men's game?
WASHINGTON: If you have tens of millions of young men playing football and basketball, and then you have, you know, maybe hundreds of thousands or maybe a million young men playing tennis, well, where are they going to excel? GRAPHIC: He believes the lack of diversity in tennis makes it harder
for young black players to break through.
WASHINGTON: A young black boy who's 5 years old, 10 years old, he -- he can turn on any Saturday or Sunday during the college football or pro football season, and he can see a ton of players that look a lot like him.
And guess what? That's his guy, and that's who he wants to be. That's not necessarily the case at all with tennis.
GRAPHIC: Washington says he experienced racism growing up.
WASHINGTON: There were times, you know, growing up, you know, you'd play a junior tournament, a junior tennis tournament, and I mean, multiple age groups, and you're playing at, you know, four or five clubs around the city. There were times where we just kind of knew or we were told, yes, you weren't going to play at that particular club. They didn't allow it. They didn't allow black players at that particular club.
This is something I think every black player has kind of experienced or seen on some level in their tennis career.
You'll see a draw of 32 players, let's say. And three of the players are black. And there were times where it was just kind of uncanny how two of the black players would play each other in the first round, and then if you won, you were going to play the third black person in the second round.
And you're just thinking, all right, it could have just been the luck of the draw. But then when it happens a few times, it kind of makes you wonder, OK, are they fixing the draw just to eliminate the black players from the draw?
I would argue that every black tennis player, at some point, has seen that and said, is there something foul going on here? Or is that just the luck of the draw?
GRAPHIC: After reaching the Wimbledon final, Washington started a foundation in Jacksonville, Florida.
WASHINGTON: My goal for every single person that hears this message is that they feel inspired.
You come into that ZIP code and you see our tennis courts, and you'll see a group of kids on the court playing tennis, playing competitive tennis and just getting after it.
I think it expands your mind into different possibilities.
How can we impact the life in a greater way, which is why we morphed into after-school homework assistance, and scholarships, and helping students go to college, and helping students with job skills and internships. So we want to try to create real-world opportunities for them that are going to benefit them long-term.
NEWTON: And our thanks there to Mal Washington.
And thanks you for watching. I'm Paula Newton. CNN NEWSROOM will be right back after a quick break.