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U.K. Report Says More Cases, Deaths Likely This Winter; CDC Director Says Masks Are Key for Reopening Schools; 43 New Cases Linked to One Michigan House Party; Polls Show Trump Vulnerable in Texas; U.S.-Canada Border Closure Extended; U.K. Bans Huawei Form Its 5G Telecom Network; Large Parts of U.S. Dealing with Record Heat; Trump's Niece Says He's Incapable of Leading This Country. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired July 15, 2020 - 04:30   ET




ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back, everyone. Well, the U.S. is seeing a dramatic surge in coronavirus cases. There were more than 67,000 new cases across the country Tuesday. In Florida, 48 hospitals have reached their ICU capacity. Texas reported more than 10,000 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday. And California's Los Angeles County had more than 4,200 new cases. All this according to data from local health officials.

The top U.S. infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci. Is again weighing in. He says other countries were more effective at managing the pandemic because unlike the U.S. they shut down almost entirely during the initial outbreak.

Well meantime, the head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is issuing a dire warning about the pandemic. Dr. Robert Redfield said this autumn and winter could be one of the most difficult times for the U.S. as the flu season is expected to further overwhelm health systems.

In the U.K., a similar warning. Last hour I spoke to Dr. Stephen Holgate about his projections for COVID-19 and the flu. His team believes coronavirus deaths could reach nearly 120,000 by next summer.


DR. STEPHEN HOLGATE, MEDICAL RESEARCH COUNCIL: It was based really on looking at the additional factors over the winter that would accelerate the transmission of this virus between people. We have really a perfect storm in some respects and that the virus obviously likes colder weather. It lives longer. People become more closed in their environments, in their homes and offices and other spaces are less ventilated to keep down -- to keep the temperature up.

And the other thing that is important here is that people themselves tend not to go out as much during the winter and are much closer to each other. I'm working then the same with the sort of other factors that are coming along, as you rightly mentioned, the Influenza, but also the backlog we have of all those surgical and medical problems that are accumulating in the health service that need attention.

And also difficulties that we have had to create, in some respects, to cope with the COVID in our hospitals such that the staff and the wards and the various other parts of the hospitals aren't really fit or to be able to cope with the normal NHS, National Health Service functions has led to obviously, us being a little bit pessimistic in our view.

CHURCH: Yes. Understood. And it is, indeed, an incredible concern. And perhaps there have been suggestions, if there could be a push to get more people across the globe to take the flu shot that would at least remove that element of it. Here in the United States, only 45 percent of American adults actually take the flu shot. That may change this time because of COVID-19. What is the situation in the U.K. when it comes to the flu shot?

HOLGATE: Well, of course, we don't have a COVID-19 vaccine yet, which is unfortunate, but it's coming along, we all hope. Yes, flu is the big issue here, and our figures of vaccinations I think is fairly similar to those in the United States, about 45 percent to 50 percent. So, it really got to push hard here to get the flu vaccine to the people who most need it. Those who have got conditions that predisposed them to influenza, the children, the elderly and of course the health workers, because we don't want them to get sick during a critical time when they meant to be coping with this extra resurgence.


CHURCH: And thanks again to Dr. Stephen Holgate with the University of Southampton.

Well, the director of CDC says masks are key if schools are to reopen safely in the coming months. The U.S. is still debating the best way to do that. One doctors believes teachers should have access to same protection as health care workers. Listen.


DR. DIMITRI CHRISTAKIS, PEDIATRICIAN: Staff and teachers should be provided medical grade PPE. We should treat them as essential workers and we should give them all of the safety equipment they need in order to be safe.


CHURCH: The CDC says face-to-face interactions are the goal for the new school year.


But many teachers and administrators oppose to going back to classrooms before it's safe.

Well, the Trump administration is resending its controversial policy barring international students who take only online courses from staying in the U.S. A number of states and universities filed lawsuits over the plan. Some major schools planned to move all courses online during the coronavirus pandemic, meaning the Trump administration's policy would have impacted many of the more than 1 million foreign students studying here in the United States.

Well, what do you get when you take a large gathering of young people, loud music and partying, and a very highly contagious virus. Well in the U.S. you get a pandemic spike. One recent party in Michigan led to dozens of new cases which then spread across state lines as CNN's Tom Foreman reports.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Fourth of July holiday fall out is landing hard in Michigan, where officials say a single house party in the town of Saline has exploded into at least 43 confirmed cases of COVID.

SUSAN RINGLER-CERNIGLIA, WASHTENAW COUNTY, MICHIGAN HEALTH DEPARTMENT: It sounds like, from our investigation that there were some folks at the initial event with some mild illness and that's probably one of the reasons that we've seen it spread so quickly.

FOREMAN: Indeed, authorities say the party goers carried the virus to stores, restaurants, other businesses, a canoe rental place, camps, even connecting with athletic teams and a retirement community, triggering confirmed infections in all of those locations, some even went to other states.

RINGLER-CERNIGLIA: The case count does continue to go up.

FOREMAN: Most of those infections hit people between the ages of 15 to 25, raising new concern about that huge lake party on the northern end of the state, where health officials say people are also turning up with COVID, but Michigan is far from alone.

In state after state, the warnings are stepping up from young people who have contracted the virus.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Take this seriously, it is not a joke.

FOREMAN: And officials who worry about environments that attract the young, tired of being locked down. Parties, bars and concerts.

JOHN BEL EDWARDS, LOUISIANA GOVERNOR: There's just nothing about that environment that is conducive to slowing the spread of COVID-19.

MICHELLE ZYMET, ENTIRE FAMILY CONTRACTED CORONAVIRUS: He went to a, you know, someone's home, there was a few people there, and I'm sure they were eating, drinking.

FOREMAN: Michelle Zymet's 21-year-old son went to a gathering of friends, came home, now her whole family is COVID positive. Her husband, John on a ventilator.

ZYMET: And it is scary that he's there, all alone fighting for his life. And you let your guard down, just one time, that's all it takes. And look, you come home and you infect the entire house.

FOREMAN (on camera): This is precisely what health officials have worried about all along. People make a decision to do what they want to do and go where they want to go, and that potentially affects hundreds of other people, who did not make that choice.

Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.


CHURCH: National polls show that if the November U.S. election were held today President Donald Trump would lose to Joe Biden. CNN's Ed Lavandera visited a traditionally conservative city in Texas to hear how voters think Mr. Trump is handling the big issues.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The quaint downtown square of McKinney, Texas promises historic good times. But the good vibes have been smothered by the historic coronavirus. The pandemic is casting a long shadow over the 2020 presidential election.

MARGIE SCHRAER, TRUMP SUPPORTER: The whole COVID thing is being used as a tool to divide us as a country instead of us coming together. Which I think is really sad for our country

LAVANDERA: Margie Schraer and Kelly Tallo both support President Trump and say he's done an honest job of handling the pandemic.

KELLY TALLO, TRUMP SUPPORTER: I think he's probably doing the best that he can right now. I mean, there's so much mixed information out there and trying to decipher what's fact and what's fiction and where it's coming from. I wouldn't don't be in his position.

SCHRAER: Although I don't always like his decisions, I think his intentions are always good. And his own, I think he gathers the information and he makes the decision for our country and not for an ulterior motive of personal gain.

LAVANDERA: McKinney, Texas is one of the historically conservative big city suburbs where political analysts say Trump is vulnerable. And it's the kind of area Joe Biden is now targeting with a new television ad.


LAVANDERA: Recent polls show Trump and Biden locked in a tight race in Texas. Of course, the idea of a Democrat winning Texas is still viewed with high skepticism. But there is a strong wave of anger towards President Trump among some Texas voters.

(on camera): How do you think President Trump has handled this pandemic?

GREG EVANS, BIDEN SUPPORTER: Failure. Total failure. His actions and lack of actions has exacerbated the effects of the pandemic on all Americans.


WANDA PHILLIPS, BIDEN SUPPORTER: He's not taken responsibility for anything that he does. He always blames someone else.

AMIR HADAD, BIDEN SUPPORTER: He said, you know what, there's no boundary at all, nobody has died. It's just going to going to go away by itself. But those are things, you know, which really bothers me as a citizen that he really takes it very lightly.

LAVANDERA: For some Trump supporters the President is a victim of unfair criticism, politically motivated in an election year.

CECILIA LEVINGS, TRUMP SUPPORTER: He had to hit the ground running in all of the unknowns. And I feel like he's been second guessed for the majority of it. It's easy now to become an armchair quarterback and to criticize what he's done.

LAVANDERA: Ed Lavandera, CNN, McKinney, Texas.


CHURCH: And still to come -- the U.K. makes a big decision on a tech giant delighting Washington and angering Beijing. We'll explain.


CHURCH: Americans thinking about a trip down to Mexico this summer will have to wait a while longer. Mexico's government has extended border restrictions for at least another month. The measures ban all non-essential travel between Mexico and the U.S. The move comes days after Mexico's President said the pandemic in his country is losing intensity.

And it looks like the northern border will also remain shut to most Americans for now at least. Sources tells CNN Canadian officials will announce an extension similar to Mexico's. Polls show most Canadians support that move as the coronavirus surges south of the border. Here's CNN's Paula Newton.



PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Canadian officials tells CNN that the U.S.-Canada border will likely remain closed until at least August 21st. More than that, though the Canadian government, public health officials say they are stepping up surveillance at those land border crossings. Now right now essential workers are allowed to cross. So health care workers, essential employees for business, truck drivers, flight crews but they want more surveillance on those boards to make sure no one is coming across with COVID symptoms and that people are abiding by a very strict 14-day quarantine.

As public health officials have said here in Canada, we have managed to flatten the curve here they say and we want to continue to monitor that situation in the United States carefully.

You know, no one has more at stake in terms of the surge in U.S. cases than Canada. They have a close economic relationship, and a close personal relationship with so many people going back and forth. But I think a lot of people here and polls show it that a majority of Canadians do not want to see that border reopened. And in the words of Ontario Premier, Doug Ford, he saying, look, I love Americans I just don't want to see them up here right now.

He characterized some of the reopenings in the United States as reckless and Canadians are also showing basically, you know, some apprehension about the reopenings even going on in Canada. Even though there are only a few hundred of new cases of COVID every day in Canada. They see what's happened in the United States and do not want to have to go through a resurgence of the virus.

Paula Newton, CNN, Ottawa.


CHURCH: Britain is banning Chinese tech giant Huawei from having access to its high-speed wireless network. Britain had said in January Huawei equipment could be used in its 5G network on a limited basis but reversed course Tuesday. President Trump claimed he was personally responsible for that decision but that was refuted last hour by Britain's health secretary who said it was a technical decision and quote, we all know Donald Trump, don't we.

Well CNN's Nic Robertson is live this hour in London. He joins us now. Good to see you, Nic. So what is behind this sudden ban and how's China likely to retaliate?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, it's very interesting because the Health Secretary was pushed on that issue. What did he mean by we all know Donald Trump don't we. And he said, I've said all I'm going to say on that in just pointed everybody in the direction of the statement made in the House of Commons yesterday.

Which said very simply that Britain had re-evaluated through its national cyber security center. The situation with Huawei given that the new U.S. sanctions in May this year and those sanctions had meant that China would no longer be using some U.S. manufactured chips in its Huawei 5G equipment and therefore that crossed the threshold for the British government and the national cyber security center. And for that reason this ban has been put in place. No more buying Huawei equipment. That there might be (INAUDIBLE) at the end of this year. But by 2027 all the existing Huawei 5G equipment must be removed.

CHURCH: All right. Nic Robertson joining us live from London. Many thanks.

And this is CNN NEWSROOM. Still to come large parts of the United States are dealing with stifling heat. We'll explain what's causing it. Back in a moment.


CHURCH: Millions of Americans remain under heat warnings as large parts of the country experience record high temperatures. Our meteorologist Pedram Javaheri explains.


PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Good morning, Rosemary. Yes, the record heat really not just for the United States but really when you look at it globally as well. So far in the first 14 days in the month of July record highs are out pacing record lows by about three to one, 2,200 record highs to about 800 record lows. And in Death Valley, of course peaks all of them, with a 128-degree afternoon. That was on Sunday. Coming in with a morning low temperature of 100 degrees. All of this, again, warmest weather seen anywhere in the world since 2017.

Phoenix, of course, not very far away from there, also coming in with an incredible run of heat. In fact, 11 consecutive days temperatures that exceeded 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Seven consecutive mornings they failed to fall below 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

And you can thank this massive area of high pressure that's parked over portions of the Southwest, essentially acts as a lid, causes the air to sink. When you cause air to sink, you compress it, you warm it up. Think about pumping a bicycle tire and you feel that pump begin to warm up. Precisely what's happening in the upper levels of the atmosphere and allowing these temperatures to warm up across this region.

And all of that warmth is expanding a little further towards the East. So places such as Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas among the large areas of the U.S. dealing with extensive heat. In fact, about half of the United States with ambient temperatures, meaning temperatures that are in the shade that are above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. When you factor in again the heat of the season what it feels like, 105 to 107 not out of the question.

And unfortunately, Rosemary, this is an incredible pattern here that could continue for another several weeks across a large area of the United States. Send it back to you.


CHURCH: Unbelievable temperatures there. Thanks Pedram.

Well Donald Trump's niece says her uncle is dangerous and should not be leading America. Mary Trump's book about the President was released on Tuesday and instantly became a best seller. Thanks to a Monday court ruling she is allowed to promote the book in the media and she did just that telling ABC News that her uncle is unfit for office.


GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS: Boiling it down, what's the single most important thing you think the country needs to know about your uncle?

MARY TRUMP, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S NIECE: He's utterly incapable of leading this country. And it's dangerous to allow him to do so.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Based on what you see now or what you saw then?

M. TRUMP: Based on what I've seen my entire adult life.


CHURCH: And Mary Trump says if she had one piece of advice for her uncle it would be resign.

Well the like U.S. Democratic presidential nominee is laying out how he would boost the battered economy if he wins the White House.


And he says a big piece of that is fighting climate change. In a televised speech Tuesday Joe Biden announced a $2 trillion plan part of his build back better agenda. He called for spending the money over four years on clean energy projects in the transportation, electricity and building industry.

And he took aim at the man he hopes to replace.


BIDEN: When Donald Trump thinks about climate change, the only word he can muster is hoax. When I think about climate change, the word I think of is jobs.


CHURCH: The former U.S. Vice President also slammed President Trump's handling of the pandemic and the administration's rush to reopen U.S. schools and the economy, saying it endangers the nation's recovery.

Well a routine flat tire turned into a brush with greatness in north Florida. Former NBA superstar Shaquille O'Neal pulled over to help a woman whose tire blew out on the interstate. Shaq stuck around until a police officer arrived. The basketball star has always been fascinated with police work and was made an auxiliary police deputy in Broward County, Florida last year. Favorite story of the day there.

Thanks for your company, I'm Rosemary Church. "EARLY START" is up next. You're watching CNN. Have a great day.