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CNN NEWSROOM

Fauci Issues A Warning To The World; Coronavirus Cases In U.S. Rising To Record Levels; Brazilian President Touting Controversial Drug; Violent Anti-Government Protests Rock Belgrade; Melbourne Enters Second Round Lockdown; How Countries Around The World Have Responded To COVID-19; International Students May Be Forced To Leave U.S.; Bosnia Marks 25 Years Since Srebrenica Massacre; Poland Votes In Presidential Runoff Election. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired July 12, 2020 - 03:00   ET

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


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NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Surging cases of coronavirus from coast to coast. The uptick in the U.S. comes as we learn more people may be asymptomatic than we originally thought.

People around the world have been doing it for months. Donald Trump finally wears a mask in public.

Also, blindsided and in limbo. We look at the plight of international students here in the United States.

Coming to you live from CNN World Headquarters here in Atlanta. I'm Natalie Allen. This is CNN NEWSROOM.

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ALLEN: And thank you for joining us.

The numbers are a bit overwhelming but consider this to get a sense of how many people in the U.S. right now are infected with the coronavirus. According to Johns Hopkins University, the total stands at more than 3.2 million. That is more than the individual populations of 21 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

The number of new cases and hospitalizations just keeps going up. Only a handful of states are seeing decreases. The states there in green, they're mostly in the Northeast. More than half are seeing numbers climb.

One of those states, Florida, where more than 7,000 people are in hospitals because of this virus. Also, Texas, Wisconsin, North Carolina all broke single day case records Saturday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said at least 40 percent of those infected do not show any symptoms. The concern there is that asymptomatic people may not take precautions but can still pass the virus to others. Concern about the unchecked spread of the virus prompted the nation's

top infectious disease expert to issue a warning. Our Polo Sandoval has more.

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DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: People are infecting other people.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The nation's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, telling the world that the U.S. is at a historic point in the COVID pandemic.

FAUCI: As you can see from the slide here, my own country , the United States, as I'm sure we will be able to discuss a little bit more, is in the middle right now even as we speak in a very serious problem.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): The doctor issued the blunt new warning during this year's international AIDS conference that the coronavirus crisis rages on amid ongoing reopenings.

Florida continues to grapple with skyrocketing daily COVID numbers and hospitalizations. In hot zone Miami-Dade County, the test positivity rate surpassed 33 percent this week.

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MAYOR DAN GELBER (D-FL), MIAMI BEACH: We have, 1800 people, COVID patients now, that is the highest by many multiples. We have almost 400 people in intensive care and we're about to hit an all-time high in ventilators.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANDOVAL (voice-over): Despite the apparent height in Florida's pandemic...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We look forward to seeing you soon.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): -- two Disneyland parks are open again this weekend amid criticism from one employee union. Aggressive testing happening in parts of Texas, some regions working with the military to keep up with demand.

In another sign that the pandemic is tightening its grip on the Lone Star State, some hospitals are turning to tents and other spaces to treat the overflow of COVID patients.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Conference rooms, cell spaces, currently we have ICU patients that patients that are on medical surgical floors. Honestly, we really need closer monitoring. We need equipment. But those are things we simply do not have at this time. Everyone is exhausted and the patients here are very sick.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): California also taking steps to relieve the pressure from record COVID-19 numbers. The state's Department of Corrections plans to release at least 8000 prisoners from across the state. The movement to allow for more social distancing behind bars.

As death tolls climb, a troubling new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about how COVID is disproportionately killing black and brown Americans. The fresh CDC data showing on average those minority groups are dying from the virus at a younger age when compared to white patients.

One likely factor, many of them filling essential and service jobs allowing little room for social distancing or for staying at home.

DR. UCHE BLACKSTOCK, CEO, ADVANCING HEALTH EQUITY: What we need right now in the short term are an equitable allocation of resources to black and brown communities.

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BLACKSTOCK: So targeting, testing, contact tracing, PPE and ensuring that the health care institutions in those communities are adequately resourced.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): Staying fully stocked has been a big challenge for some hospitals across the country with the virus showing no signs of slowing down -- Polo Sandoval, CNN, New York.

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ALLEN: For months U.S. president Trump has refused to wear a mask despite medical guidance that say they prevent spread of the virus. But on Saturday Mr. Trump was seen in public with a mask for the first time. He wore it while meeting with wounded military members. Mr. Trump said he never opposed wearing a mask.

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TRUMP: Well, I will probably have a mask if you must know. I mean, I'll probably have a mask. I think when you're in a hospital especially in that particular setting, where you're talking to a lot of soldiers and people that in some cases just got off the operating tables, I think it's a great thing to wear a mask. I've never been against masks but I do believe they have a time and a place.

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ALLEN: Masks have become a political flashpoint in the United States. Opponents say the requirement or suggestion to wear them infringes on their civil liberties. Let's talk about the latest developments with Sterghios Moschos, a virologist joining me from England. Thank you for coming on.

STERGHIOS MOSCHOS, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, NORTHUMBRIA UNIVERSITY: Good morning, Natalie.

ALLEN: First up, it is hopefully a good sign the president has donned a mask as far as masks go.

Do you think part of this enormous surge we're seeing in the U.S. was due to people not wearing them and congregating in close quarters after states reopened, many of them, earlier than guidelines suggested?

MOSCHOS: Yes. Many in the epidemiology world could almost see the virus dancing, so to speak, between the people in various pieces of footage that came from the United States. I distinctly recall seeing -- I believe it was the opening of casinos, showing people milling around.

These people are in such close proximity in such an enclosed environment, if there is somebody who is infected among them, they will get the virus. Here we are.

ALLEN: Here we are. Here's an example of here we are from a health expert, warning that if the U.S. continues on its current path it will reach, quote, "one of the most unstable times in the history of our country," meaning hospitals can be overrun and there wouldn't be enough manpower to care for the sick.

How challenging will it be now for the U.S. to pull out of this?

MOSCHOS: We know exactly what we need to do. It's a simple, straightforward thing people can do on their own. It's not difficult. It's not infringing on anyone's civil liberties. It's what you need to do. Just wear a mask or facial covering.

That is something that you have at least three layers in front of your face when you're in an enclosed environment. If you're exercising, it's a good idea you wear one as well. We've known this since 1919, since the first flu pandemic happened. Respiratory viruses will escape through breath. Do it for the good of the people, for our own good.

ALLEN: Absolutely. Someone pointed out recently, a common sign at restaurants in the United States is no shirt, no shoes, no service. People don't have a problem following along with that one. But suddenly masks becomes political.

I want to talk to you about Florida specifically. In Miami-Dade County, the use of ventilators is now soaring by 123 percent. It's not just hospitals overwhelmed; testing is too. There are six states hit with a surge of deaths by 50 percent.

What does this say to you about how out of control this is especially in this one area?

MOSCHOS: To me it says that Florida, at least, possibly Texas as well, in a matter of days will be like Italy, where the hospitals were totally overwhelmed and people were dying at home without any help.

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MOSCHOS: It means that conditions of COVID-19 will be impossible to treat. People that need chemotherapy won't be able to get it. It means quite likely you will end up needing to go into lockdown in the middle of the summer.

Everybody was saying in the beginning of the year, oh, yes, hopefully the sun will turn out and the virus will go away. Here we are.

ALLEN: Absolutely. Even in South Carolina they're calling in the National Guard to help support hospitals, that's how bad it is there.

We've had this new development from the CDC. which estimates 40 percent of people who are infected do not have symptoms.

How does that complicate the situation?

MOSCHOS: When they don't feel ill, it means they think they are invincible. In this particular instance, it reinforces what we need is to be thinking about others in society, not about ourselves. It shows if you're well, put a piece of cloth in front of your face so that you look after those that you think the civil liberties could be compromised.

ALLEN: If it doesn't happen, we'll be months and months into this thing. Researchers have said this is not just a respiratory disease. A substantial number are facing kidney, heart, brain damage.

So physicians need to think of COVID-19 as a multi-system disease?

MOSCHOS: So for those people that end up in hospital, what appears to be happening is that the virus ends up circulating around the body. There's enough evidence to suggest it's a blood vessel thing.

Because they're not working well, we see the COVID toe and things like kidney failure, strokes, heart failure. It's got nothing to do with the background. Obviously if you have kidney disease, heart disease exacerbated over the years, suddenly with this spike of damage, the system gives up.

ALLEN: Then they're in it for weeks if not longer.

MOSCHOS: Yes.

ALLEN: And in very critical condition.

MOSCHOS: There are many, many cases of patients that are in hospital two or three months in some instances. Even those who come out early, they find themselves they have weakened significantly, significantly, not just because of the sedation of being on a ventilator but because the virus has damaged the body so much, they can't get about and do their normal daily activities.

When clinicians say somebody's made a full recovery, that doesn't mean they've gotten 100 percent to where they were before. It doesn't mean you're able to stand. That's how damaging the virus can be. You are left recovering for months.

Those of us -- fortunately I'm not one of them. But those of us in society that have suffered this virus, there's a large proportion known as long haulers. So people are getting research into the symptoms because the damage is so diverse, it takes a long time to recover, if you can recover. ALLEN: Certainly sobering news there. Sterghios Moschos, virologist,

joining us now from England. Thank you so much. We really appreciate your expertise and your time.

MOSCHOS: You're very welcome.

ALLEN: Of course, the coronavirus also raging through Latin America and the Caribbean. Brazil is the second worst affected country in the world after the United States. It reported more than 39,000 new cases Saturday, bringing the total past 1.8 million.

And the country's most high profile patient, president Jair Bolsonaro, is touting a controversial drug. CNN's Bill Weir is in Brazil.

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BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT: Here in Brazil, that COVID-19 curve continues to go completely in the wrong direction, averaging over 1,000 deaths a day, now over 1.8 million confirmed cases but with a lack of testing all across this vast country.

A lot of experts believe that number is off by at least a factor of 5- 10. Meanwhile president Jair Bolsonaro, the most favorite COVID-19 patient in Brazil, continues to promote his prescription of chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, the anti malarial drugs that he is so fond of.

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WEIR: And I'm in the center of Brazil today, in the geographic center, a big agricultural region where I met a doctor who spent 10 days in intensive care. Now his, boss the supervisor it is, hospital is in intensive care.

I asked him about Bolsonaro's prescription. He said he took those antimalarial drugs and they did not work at all for, him and yet he prescribes them because he has no other choice, they are cheap, they are available, he says, otherwise, what do I give my patients, water?

He also says that for a lot of the patients in this rural agricultural area, the other choice to infection is poverty or starvation. And so it does not take much encouragement from the man in charge for people to get back to work, for people to heed that call.

So that comes down to the only way to protect themselves and to try to flatten this curve here is mask wearing, social distancing, quarantines. We know the president is not fond of that and the president, even though he was ordered to wear a mask by a judge back in June, defied that time and time again through the other states.

Would wade into crowds with hugs and handshakes. We have seen him wear the mask although he took it off the day he announced he had it. It will be interesting to see if he comes through, hopefully he comes through this, whether it will change his mind about those other precautions. His wife and daughters tested negative for COVID-19, the Bolsonaros.

But right now it is just places are bracing for what may be another wave that never really went down as more and more cases become evident all around this country -- I'm Bill Weir, CNN, Brazil.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: Serbia pushed ahead with elections despite the pandemic and that move could have a major fallout for its president. We'll have the latest on the violent protests there that are not abating.

Also, the head of the Russia investigation makes a rare public statement about President Trump commuting the sentence of his close friend, Roger Stone. Former special counsel Robert Mueller speaks out next.

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ALLEN: Antigovernment protests, you're looking at right here, have swept across Serbia for a fifth straight night. This was the scene Friday as violence erupted again in the capital, Belgrade.

Protesters are furious over the handling of the government's handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the president's curfew he has rescinded. Some 19 people were injured. A photo journalist suffered a fractured skull.

Hundreds gathered again in Belgrade on Saturday for a fifth night. CNN's Milena Veselinovic is tracking the latest developments for us. She's live in London.

Good morning to you, Milena.

What do we know about how the demonstrations went Saturday after the violence on Friday?

MILENA VESELINOVIC, CNN PRODUCER: Good morning, Natalie. Saturday's gathering was a largely peaceful in contrast to the violence seen on previous rallies. This started on Tuesday when the president announced plans for a curfew in order to curb a dramatic surge of coronavirus.

That immediately surrounded parliament in central Belgrade. A number of protesters were allowed to continue and now they've morphed. What many protesters allege is the reason why the virus is currently surging in the country is because the president lifted the lockdown restrictions too early, early May, allowing for large gatherings to happen, allowing spectators at football matches.

And this happened because he wanted to call a national election in June. Now president Vucic denied all of the accusations. He has blamed political opponents and foreign agencies for staging the protests.

The rallies have turned very violent. They are not led by a specific group. People who are attending protesters the past few days accuse members of the far right, parties and movement that have infiltrated them to cause violence in order to discredit the movement.

ALLEN: All right. The story we will continue to follow closely. Thank you, Milena Veselinovic in London.

Australia's second largest city is back under lockdown. The return to strict restrictions in Melbourne comes amid a surge of new cases there and in the rest of Victoria; 216 new cases were reported across the state Saturday and health care workers are among the infected. Michael Holmes has the latest.

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MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Weekend number one of a stay-at-home lockdown that the city of Melbourne is being ordered to repeat. Officials say it is the only way to extinguish a new rash of coronavirus cases that have been reported in record numbers across the state of Victoria.

On Saturday, the army manned checkpoints to make sure that the only people on the streets were out for essential reasons and the rest were staying at home.

DANIEL ANDREWS, VICTORIA PREMIER: It is the simple stuff. The common sense. Just doing the right thing, the smart thing, that is how we will get to the other side of this. This is not an ordinary weekend. It is anything but that.

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HOLMES (voice-over): Earlier in the week, authorities closed the border between Victoria and New South Wales hoping to reduce community spread of the virus and fend off a second wave of the outbreak. But they warned, even if people follow the guidelines, the numbers will get worse before they get better.

BRETT SUTTON, VICTORIA STATE CHIEF HEALTH OFFICER: There is absolutely reassurance in the level of testing that we are doing. Because infighting those cases, they can be identified and they will isolate but it is an indication of the transmission that was occurring a week, ago that is showing up in the numbers.

HOLMES: Health officials in other states are taking extra precautions; in Sydney, they set up a pop-up testing center near places where people have been infected, though some people complain it is not an easy process.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can find this last night and we go to the top of the hill, the information hill.

HOLMES: Meanwhile, in Melbourne it's just the beginning of round 2, the fight against the virus that just won't quit. (END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: In another story that we are following, former U.S. special counsel Robert Mueller is defending the prosecution of Roger Stone. The president commuted Stone's sentence days before he was supposed to go to prison. Mr. Trump is doubling down on his action.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Roger Stone was treated horribly. Roger Stone was treated very unfairly. Roger Stone was brought into this whole political witch hunt and a scam, it's a scam because it's been proven false and he was treated unfairly.

What I did -- what I did, I will tell you this, people are extremely happy because in this country they want justice and Roger Stone was not treated properly.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: Robert Mueller made a rare public statement reacting to this. In "The Washington Post" he writes, "I feel compelled to respond both to broad claims that our investigation was illegitimate and our motives were improper. The Russia investigation was of paramount importance.

"Stone was prosecuted and convicted because he committed federal crimes. He remains a convicted felon and rightly so."

Next here, comparing coronavirus strategies among countries. Who's getting it wrong. Who's getting it right.

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ALLEN: Welcome back to our viewers here in the U.S. and around the world. I'm Natalie Allen and this is CNN NEWSROOM.

Our top story this hour, U.S. president Donald Trump wore a face mask as he visited wounded troops at Walter Reed Military Hospital. This comes after he has refused for months to wear a mask in public. He made wearing one a political issue as the U.S. became the worst hit country in the world for coronavirus.

And America remains a case study of how not to handle a pandemic. There have been more than 3.2 million infections here, which is more people than the population of Chicago.

And states like South Carolina, Texas, Georgia are reporting their highest number of daily cases yet. This comes as there is a new estimate of how many people may have coronavirus while showing no symptoms at all. The CDC says it could be as much as 40 percent.

Around the world many countries have successfully managed the virus or avoided it altogether. CNN's Max Foster looks at how they got it right.

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TRUMP: They need help, because this horrible virus has hit 188 countries.

MAX FOSTER, CNN LONDON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Trump is fond of reminding us that plenty of others have struggled with COVID- 19. But here's the reality: for every 100,000 Americans, at least 40 are dead. And the number of new cases is soaring.

Meanwhile, many parts of the world have either recovered or avoided the brunt of the pandemic altogether.

FOSTER: No two strategies were the same but public health experts tell us that around the world, there was some commonality to the places that got it right. They took the virus seriously and they acted quickly.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: When we shut down as a nation, in reality only about 50 percent of the nation is shut down, with regard to other things that were allowed. In many of the European countries, 90-95 percent of all activities were shut down.

FOSTER: One strategy, quick and total lockdown.

FOSTER (voice-over): There is a lot we don't know about when COVID-19 first surfaced. The Chinese government suppressed the earliest reports of the virus, silencing whistleblowers, like Dr. Li Wenliang, who would eventually succumb to the disease.

But when the scale became clear, China led the way with a lockdown strategy. They ordered Wuhan's 11 million residents to stay home. Then, more and more, 62 million by early February.

There was a high toll at the epicenter but the official nationwide death rate per 100,00. is less than one. Its curve of new coronavirus cases way down.

New Zealand was one of the first democracies to shut down. Just 2 weeks after their first case was discovered at the end of February, prime minister Jacinda Ardern announced mandatory quarantine for anyone entering the country.

That was followed by a ban on almost all non citizens and residents entering at all. After that, total lockdown. The government reports that just over 20 people total have died, less than one per 100,000. It's curved, down.

Italy was the first European country to be hit hard by the coronavirus and proof that COVID-19 would not stay in East Asia. Infections and deaths spiraled, cemeteries filled and Italy's hospitals, especially in the heart of Lombardy region, were overwhelmed and overrun.

More than 100 doctors died in less than 2 months of the initial outbreak there. But the government knew when to change tack, eventually locking down the entire country.

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FOSTER (voice-over): The reported death toll in Italy was high, 58 per 100,000, higher than the U.S.

But it is not climbing much anymore, the COVID curve, is now down. Denmark also adopted the early, lockdown the second European country after, Italy before it had a single confirmed death. Its strategy stood in stark contrast to Sweden, which refused to lock down to pursue herd immunity.

Masks have never been widely adopted in Denmark. Mass testing is only just taking off. But extreme social distancing allowed Denmark to become one of the first European countries to reopen. It's reported 10 deaths per 100,000. Their curve, way down.

TRUMP: When do you do testing to that extent, you're going to find more people, you're going to find more cases. So I said to my people, slow the testing down, please.

FOSTER: Another common technique, mass testing for the virus and tracing its spread.

FOSTER (voice-over): Vietnam had the potential to be a COVID 19 hotspot but they knew a lot about fighting disease. They also had an aggressive and innovative communication strategy.

The government says not a single person has died from COVID-19 there. Their curve, down. South Korea also made its own tests. Just weeks after Chinese scientists published the virus' RNA sequence. They haven't even had a single confirmed case at the time, just the genetic code. They quickly ramped up testing, setting up drive-through testing way before it would become commonplace around the world. South Korea has a reported total confirmed death rate of one per 100,000. And their curve is down.

Iceland, I saw firsthand last month, it's home to one of the leading genetics labs in the world. They used that scientific knowhow to trace the contacts of anyone who had COVID-19. I met this woman who was told to quarantine, not to be in contact with the waiter, who had COVID-19.

Days later, quarantined at home, she also got sick. The government reports 3 per 100,000 have died, Iceland's curve is down.

TRUMP: No, I just wouldn't want to wear one myself. It's a recommendation, they recommend it.

FOSTER: It took months for President Trump to say he was all for masks. But for many places around the world, they simply weren't controversial. Whilst the West endlessly debated face coverings, East Asia drew on

years of standard practice. Japan long declined to lock down but masks, already popular, became near universal. Official death rate, one; the COVID curve is now down.

America's northern neighbor has had its struggle with coronavirus, especially in elderly care homes. But the Canadian government was able to keep its response free of political bickering. Masks aren't controversial in Canada.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's just respectful to other people.

FOSTER (voice-over): Canada has a reported 24 deaths per 100,000. Its curve, down.

Turkey may not have had the mask culture of East Asia but face coverings became mandatory in public places way back in April. Just 6 people per 100,000 are reported to have died there and their curve is down.

FOSTER: American doctors know this as well as their counterparts abroad, COVID-19 is new and it requires innovation. Here at the University of Oxford, for example, scientists have discovered the power of the steroid dexamethasone, at least according to preliminary results.

FOSTER (voice-over): Germany helped avoid the worst of the epidemic, in part by massively increasing its ICU capacity. They had so many extra beds, the patients were flown in from strapped hospitals in France and Italy.

Like the U.S., Germany is a federal system but Chancellor Angela Merkel avoided the pitfalls of political infighting; 11 per 100,000 are reported to have died there. Their curve, way down.

FOSTER: Here in the U.K., the government's come under heavy criticism for its response to the, virus particularly how it didn't go into an immediate lockdown. Attention now is focused on places like the University of Oxford, which is leading the way in vaccine development.

Above all, the most successful countries empowered the public health experts from the very beginning.

The Icelandic prime minister told me why she stepped out of the way.

KATRIN JAKOBSDOTTIR, ICELAND'S PRIME MINISTER: We listen very closely to the experts, that was actually a very conscious decision, now we are going to follow their guidelines and not put up a show around it.

TRUMP: And I think we're going to be very good with the coronavirus. I think that at some point that's going to sort of just disappear, I hope.

QUESTION: You still believe so?

(CROSSTALK) TRUMP: I do. I do. Yes, sure, at some point.

FOSTER: The American president is hoping for the best but scientists will tell you, there is still no end in sight to this pandemic --

[03:40:00]

FOSTER: -- Max Foster, CNN, Oxford, England.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: International students in the United States are in a bind. How a new U.S. government policy could force them to leave. We'll have that story right after this.

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ALLEN: A new U.S. immigration policy will force international students to leave the country or risk deportation if their universities switch to online only classes. That could impact thousands of people as many schools go virtual due to the COVID pandemic.

But some schools seem to have found a loophole to keep the students. The University of Southern California is adding an in person class the students can take for free. International students are big contributors to the U.S. economy.

International students pumped nearly $41 billion into the U.S. economy in the 2018-19 academic year. That means for every seven international students, three U.S. jobs are created.

A Fukushima Daiichi film student in Los Angeles who's originally from Peru is one of those students. Robyn Curnow introduces us to him and looks at the plight he and thousands of others now face.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROBYN CURNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's already been an uncertain year but now over 1 million students in the U.S. from all over the world were blindsided this week by a surprise announcement by the Trump administration.

The message, if colleges and university decided to only give courses online this upcoming semester, then international students would have to go home.

[03:45:00]

CURNOW (voice-over): Salvador Moratillo is one of those whose life is suddenly in limbo, facing the threat of his student visa being canceled. And if he doesn't leave voluntarily, being deported.

CURNOW: Do you feel like this is unfair, that you are being unfairly targeted here?

SALVADOR MORATILLO, INTERNATIONAL STUDENT: It is. It's either forcing us to take in-person classes while corona cases are surging, especially here in the U.S. or taking or forcing students to travel back to their home country.

CURNOW (voice-over): Salvador is studying audio production and hopes to be a sound engineer. He is supposed to be going into his second year at the Los Angeles Film School in California. But instead, the 19-year-old Peruvian is worrying about his options, because going home is complicated.

MORATILLO: And so my parents actually live in China but we kind of like crossed out the chance of me going back to China to see them. So it would most likely be me going back to Peru, where my grandparents are at.

CURNOW (voice-over): More than 8,000 colleges and universities in the United States who accept foreign students are impacted by the sudden decision.

KEN CUCCINELLI, ACTING DIRECTOR, CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES: They're not going to be a student or if they're going to be 100 percent online, then they don't have a basis to be here.

CURNOW (voice-over): The Trump administration says they're looking at providing as much flexibility as possible, because over a quarter of some schools' budgets come from international students.

But universities and colleges aren't putting much faith in that. Harvard and MIT have filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration. In this lawsuit they alleged that the effect and perhaps even the overall goal is to cause as much chaos for international students and universities as possible.

Higher education in the U.S. is a huge money spender for universities. In 2018, just the students from China, India and South Korea contributed more than $44 billion to the U.S. economy.

MORATILLO: I feel like we deserve to be here. We're -- international students are also supporting the economy. So we're paying tuition, our apartments, our housing.

CURNOW (voice-over): For, now Salvador will have to pay his rent up front as he waits for a court decision and his college on how they will teach classes next semester.

MORATILLO: I decided to be here in L.A., to be surrounded by these professionals. It's been a real (INAUDIBLE) to learn from them stuff that I wouldn't be able to obtain if I was in my country or back in China.

CURNOW (voice-over): After so much hard work, so many are caught up in politics they want no part of -- Robyn Curnow, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE) ALLEN: Voters in Poland are casting ballots right now in a very tight presidential race. Why observers say this could be the country's most consequential election in decades. We'll have a live report from Poland next.

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ALLEN: Beautiful music there for a somber occasion. Bosnia's marking the 25th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre with prayer, tears, music and fresh burials. The genocide that happened there is considered Europe's worst atrocity since World War II.

It was during the Bosnian war in July of 1995 that Bosnian Serb forces murdered more than 7,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica. Nine newly identified victims were buried at the site on Saturday. Some 1,000 others remain missing.

Many world leaders and others spoke up during a virtual commemoration Saturday, including U.N. special envoy Angelina Jolie.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANGELINA JOLIE, ACTOR AND ACTIVIST: You might wonder what it has to do with you but the kind of hatred that led to Srebrenica exists still as you well know. It lives on wherever people find excuses to single out others and deny them their rights as equal human beings.

Srebrenica was a crime that did not happen overnight. It could have been prevented, even down to the last few hours. It started with prejudice and discrimination, with hate speech that demonized a whole people and treated them less than human.

It was spread by leaders who used lies to manufacture fear, to condition people to accept violence. These tendencies still exist in our world and are as dangerous as they've ever been.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: And now we turn to what's happening in Poland. Voters there casting ballots right now in a runoff race for president in what could be the country's most consequential election in decades. The populist president faces a challenge from the more liberal mayor of Warsaw. CNN's Frederik Pleitgen is at a polling place.

Hello, Fred.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's probably one of the most important elections and one of the most difficult elections for the folks who are organizing it. We're wearing masks. A vote during the coronavirus pandemic is something that needs to be conducted very carefully.

You can see, when folks come in, they have to socially distance. They have to wear masks as well. The staff is wearing visors. If you work in one of these polling stations, it is difficult to breathe with one of these masks on.

You can see safety is something that's taken extremely seriously. People register here. They come over here and make their X.

[03:55:00]

PLEITGEN: All you do is put it back there into that box over there. And as you mentioned, that could make this one of the most consequential elections in recent Polish history.

It's a very simple choice, two candidates. Obviously so far the races have been extremely close in this election. Certainly over the past couple of days we could feel from the people they understand how important this vote is for their standing inside of Europe and for Poland's role in the world, Natalie.

ALLEN: How important is this election for Europe, Fred?

PLEITGEN: I think it's a really important election. I think it's key for Europe as well. You can feel European leaders feel that as well. They want to see where Poland stands within the European Union and the world.

Poland is an extremely important country in Central Europe, very important inside the European Union. The economy is doing well and growing. Poland has been becoming an ever more important player within the union. Also very much so within NATO as well.

One of the things we've seen in the past couple of -- 10 years, Poland has become more important in NATO and especially as a part of the United States. Of course, Duda was the first foreign head of state to visit the White House a couple of weeks ago.

ALLEN: Much at stake. We'll be watching it. Fred Pleitgen in Warsaw. Thank you, Fred.

Thank you for watching this hour of CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Natalie Allen. Please stay with me, I have another two hours to go. Our top stories right after this.