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CNN NEWSROOM

Trump Defends Handling of Crisis as Cases Surge; Florida Reports More Than 12,000 New Cases on Sunday; New York City to Begin Final Reopen Phase on Monday; Online Support for 'Long-Haul' COVID-19 Patients; Sweden Pays Human & Economic Price for Staying Open; Hong Kong Tightens Measures After Record Number of Cases; Peru Turns to Venezuelan Migrants to Collect the Dead; Growing Concerns Over Tokyo Olympics. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired July 20, 2020 - 00:00   ET

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


MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Michael Holmes.

[00:00:42]

And coming up here on CNN NEWSROOM. A president at war with reality. Donald Trump downplays grim pandemic data, as the number of cases increases at an alarming rate.

COVID can linger for months in some patients. We'll hear from one woman who has been sick for almost 80 days.

And in Peru, migrants are among the few willing to take on one of the pandemic's most dangerous jobs, collecting the dead.

A warm welcome, everyone. The U.S. president once again downplaying the severity of the coronavirus pandemic after yet another record- breaking weekend.

I'm going to show you a map here, and you can see the steep climb in the seven-day average of new cases since mid-June. But Donald Trump blames the soaring figure on increased testing, a tactic consistently debunked by health experts.

The latest numbers do paint a grim picture. Arizona suffering its highest daily death toll since the pandemic began. Georgia and North Carolina hitting new highs in their single-day case counts.

And in dozens of Florida hospitals, there are no ICU beds left.

In an interview with FOX News, President Trump ultimately admitted making some mistakes in the virus response, a very rare acknowledgment on his part. But suggested history would be on his side.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I will be right eventually. You know, I said, it's going to disappear. I'll say it again.

CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: But does that --

TRUMP: It's going to disappear.

WALLACE: Does that discredit you?

TRUMP: And I'll be right.

I don't think so. I don't think so. You know why it doesn't? Because I've been right probably more than anybody else.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOLMES: That's not true, of course. He went on to say that the U.S. may have the lowest mortality rate anywhere in the world. Spoiler alert, it does not. Jeremy Diamond picks up the story.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, coronavirus cases have been surging once again in the United States over the last month, month and a half.

And yet, President Trump seems to still be denying the reality of the situation. The reality that cases are, indeed, surging, that new records are being broken in terms of new case numbers every week. Sometimes, multiple times a week.

President Trump, in an interview on Sunday, instead focused much more on defending his administration, his handling of this pandemic, deflecting blame, and once again making false claims, including the repeatedly debunked claim that the rise in coronavirus cases is related to increased testing in the United States.

WALLACE: Do you still talk about it as, quote, "burning embers"? But I want to put up a chart that shows where we are with the illness over the last four months. As you can see, we hit a peak here in April, 36,000 cases --

TRUMP: Cases.

WALLACE: -- a day.

TRUMP: Yes, cases.

WALLACE: Then it went down, and now, since June, it has gone up, more than double. One day this week, 75,000 new cases, more than double.

TRUMP: Chris, that's because we have great testing. Because we have the best testing in the world. If we didn't test, you wouldn't be able to show that chart. If we tested half as much, those numbers would be down.

WALLACE: But this isn't burning embers, sir. This is a forest fire.

TRUMP: But I don't say -- I say flames, we'll put out the flames, and we'll put out, in some cases, just burning embers. We also have burning embers. We have embers, and we do have flames.

DIAMOND: Now, the reality of the situation is that, while testing has been up about 37 percent, cases of coronavirus in the United States are up 194 percent.

And the gap in those two rates of increase is even more startling when you look at some of the hotspots like Florida, and Arizona, and Texas. And yet, President Trump, it seems, continues to make this false claim.

It was just one of several from the president in this interview. He also tried to favorably compare the United States mortality rate to other countries. He also tried to compare the situation in the United States more favorably to what's happening in the European Union, which has not seen this most recent surge of coronavirus cases like the United States.

President Trump was also busy trying to downplay the advice of some of the government's foremost public health experts. The president, once again, undermining the credibility of Dr. Anthony Fauci, even as he insisted that there is no campaign to undermine Fauci.

[00:05:14]

But really, it's about something broader. Because the president was also disagreeing repeatedly with the CDC, disagreeing with the notion put forward by the CDC director, Dr. Robert Redfield, that masks, if every American wore masks for the next four to eight weeks, coronavirus could be in much better shape in the United States.

The president rejecting that advice out of hand, and, again, just the latest instance of the president butting heads with the science.

Jeremy Diamond, CNN, the White House.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOLMES: Cases of coronavirus exploding across the U.S. state of Florida, now making it the epicenter for COVID-19 in the U.S. Officials there have reported more than 12,000 new cases on Sunday. And also, a critical shortage of intensive care beds.

CNN's Randi Kaye with more from West Palm Beach.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: More trouble in terms of numbers and coronavirus here in the state of Florida in the last 24 hours. Another 12,478 new cases here in the state. Now, more than 350,000 cases statewide.

Also another 87 deaths, bringing the total now to just under 5000 deaths across the state.

Also, this is the fourth day this month that we've seen more than 12,000 cases in a single day reported of coronavirus here in the state of Florida.

Statewide, more than 9,000 people hospitalized. Those numbers do seem to be holding steady. And in Miami-Dade, in southern Florida, one of the hardest hit counties, still troubled with those ICU beds. Now, at 127 percent capacity. So they have no ICU beds left to give.

In fact, in Miami-Dade, more than 2,000 people are hospitalized with COVID-19; 507 patients in the ICU; and 286 patients on ventilators.

Also, dozens of hospitals, close to 50 hospitals across the state, are also without any ICU beds. So this is certainly a problem here in the state of Florida.

On a bright note, the governor has secured about 30,000 vials of Remdesivir, which we know is a proven treatment for COVID-19. Those should be arriving just hours from now. Those supplies will go directly to the hospital. He went to the White House seeking that supply, and apparently, it will be coming here in just the next few hours or days ahead.

All right. Back to you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOLMES: Randi Kaye, reporting there.

Arizona has had a bad weekend, as well. On Saturday, the state reporting its highest single-day number of coronavirus deaths so far, 147.

And the rate of positive tests that same day was a staggering 39 percent.

Now, currently, the state has the highest seven-day average of positive tests in the country. Dozens of doctors signing a letter urging Arizona's governor to keep schools closed until at least October.

Now, Los Angeles health officials reporting the highest number of hospitalizations in a single day, more than 2,200 on Sunday alone.

And more young people are getting infected, as well. Of the more than 2,800 new cases in Los Angeles Sunday, half are younger than 41. Across California, hospitalizations and positive test rates are ticking steadily up, and that is forcing state, city, and county leaders to consider new shutdown orders. Los Angeles, no exception.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: How much worse does it have to get in Los Angeles before you feel compelled to issue another stay-at-home order?

MAYOR ERIC GARCETTI (D), LOS ANGELES: Sure. Well, I think we're on the brink of that. But as I've told people over the last week, the discipline, I think a lot of people don't understand. Mayors often have no control over what opens up and doesn't. That's either the state or county level. And I do agree that those things happened too quickly.

But we are much smarter, Jake, about this. It's not just what's open and closed. It's also about what we do individually.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOLMES: Police in west Hollywood making sure that individuals follow state law to wear masks in public. They're patrolling the streets, handing out citations to people who do not comply.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HOLMES: CNN medical analyst Dr. Celine Gounder joins me now from New York.

Good to see you, Doctor. Let's start with, you know, Florida, and let's talk about that. The spike in terms of cases. Miami-Dade's ICU, 127 percent capacity.

What concerns you most about the virus landscape in the U.S.?

DR. CELINE GOUNDER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Well, what concerns we most, Michael, is that there continues to be head-in-the-sand kind of mentality about what's happening. We had many states, Florida included, that lifted restrictions too early that allowed people to go without masks, still don't mandate masks in many of these states, and that have allowed businesses to reopen in a way that's, frankly, really irresponsible when you have widespread community transmission in these states. That really concerns me.

[00:10:14]

HOLMES: Yes. Not surprisingly. I mean, we heard this on Sunday, the president still downplaying the data, still blaming testing for the high numbers, even though that's not true on so many levels. I think the testing has gone up about 30 percent, and the positives are up 194 percent.

But regardless, in terms of public messaging, what is that sort of statement doing?

GOUNDER: Well, it confuses the situation. And I think so much of this pandemic is also a pandemic of conspiracy theories, of mistruths. Of actual efforts to really misstate what the reality is for political gain. And that's really concerning.

It's not the first time this has happened in the case of an epidemic. We saw some of the same behavior, including by our president, at the time of the West African Ebola epidemic. And we've seen that with prior epidemics. This is what happens. It's human psychology.

HOLMES: When it comes to -- One thing that I find bewildering, when it comes to PPE, masks, gowns, and so on, it's just hard to comprehend how far we are into this pandemic, and health officials still say there are shortages. In a country like the U.S., how can that be? GOUNDER: Well, I think the problem is that there hasn't been a

national strategy to this. So when you are pitting states against one another to try to source these materials, one, it's going to drive up costs.

As Governor Cuomo in New York state has said, it's like being on a big eBay, where every state is bidding against one another.

And until now, you've only had a cluster of states that have been really heavily hit. So in the beginning, it was New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts. Now, it's the southern states.

Once we hit the fall and then the winter, it's going to be the entirety of the United States. It will come back to places in the northeast, for example. And then you'll have all 50 states bidding against one another for these scarce materials, and that's really going to be very disastrous for everybody who's on the front lines like me.

HOLMES: Right, right. And what about the president's cause for schools to reopen again on Sunday, threatening funding which he can't do, but he did it anyway. He threatened it.

You know, many school districts saying they just won't do it. The risk to students, and parents, and teachers, is too great. And, you know, social distancing, you know, pretty much impossible.

When, to you, is it going to be safe to reopen the school and crowd a bunch of kids into a classroom?

GOUNDER: Well, one -- one comment about the federal funding is that that funding goes to the lowest income schools, and schools that serve special education, disabled students.

So you're -- that's basically saying we're going to punish the communities that are already suffering the most. Now, when it comes to reopening schools, that's -- that's a nonstarter. As long as you have generalized, widespread community transmission.

Now, once you get things under control enough, so in communities like New York City, like in Massachusetts, then you can start and talk about how do you reopen. And there is data that would suggest, whether it's basic science laboratory data, patient-level data, or population- level data, especially from countries that have had school reopenings, that if you focus your in-person reopenings on the youngest of kids, so 10 and under, you're much less likely to see outbreaks, and you're much less likely to see adults be infected by the children. And that's really who, most of all, we're trying to protect in this situation.

HOLMES: Yes, yes. It's not a one-size-fits-all, that's for sure. I mean, you touched on this, and it's worth revisiting briefly. The lack of a national coordinated strategy on, you know, everything: from reopening to PPE, sourcing and distribution.

And it -- and it's really hurt the U.S. I think the president gave responsibility for pretty much everything over to the states, and -- and the politics that then comes along with that. How has all of that hurt the fight against the virus?

GOUNDER: I think that's been tremendously damaging, Michael. And I think oftentimes in the United States, we use national versus states' rights, really, as a camouflage for political agenda.

If you really wanted to turn things over to local control, for example, in Georgia, you wouldn't have the mayor of Atlanta fighting the governor of Georgia. You would have the governor of Georgia saying, You, Mayor, you need to do what's right for the city and back off, but that's not how this is playing out at all.

HOLMES: Yes. It's - You know, you've got to wonder when bungling becomes a human rights issue. Dr. Celine Gounder, appreciate it. Good to see you, as always.

GOUNDER: Take care.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOLMES: Well, a bit of positive news out of New York. COVID-19 hospitalizations in that state continue to go down. New York City, beginning its final phase of reopening on Monday, but it is doing so with great caution.

[00:15:05]

CNN's Polo Sandoval with more from New York.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: New York City will be reaching this major milestone this week, with its Phase Four reopening. It will be the latest in a series of reopening phases that we've seen started since the beginning of summer here. This will be a fairly limited reopening, which means some of the indoor spaces that were supposed to initially be open to the public again will remain closed, places like museums, malls, movie theaters, gyms, as well. Indoor dining in the city. That's also still banned.

What you can expect, however, are some of those lower spaces to reopen, like botanical gardens; zoos with limited capacity; and also indoor exhibits still closed; professional sports without fans; as well as movie, and TV production also expected to resume. So you'll see New York City look a bit more like New York.

Also, schools would potentially be given the go-ahead to reopen, though a final decision, according to the governor, won't be made until August.

The reason why in the Phase 4 in New York City looks very different from Phase 4 from other parts of the state is because it's a much more densely-populated area. So the concern by health officials is that, if you open some of these spaces, then that would allow this virus to potentially spread.

Polo Sandoval, CNN, New York. (END VIDEOTAPE)

HOLMES: Now, for some COVID patients, the virus brings serious and prolonged symptoms that even their doctors don't understand. How one long-hauler looked for support and is giving it to others.

Also, when we come back --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the price paid in terms of lives lost has been too high.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOLMES: The high cost of Sweden's sort-touch approach to the pandemic. That's when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[00:20:41]

HOLMES: Welcome back. How frequently children transmit COVID-19 is the key issue in the debate, of course, over how and when to reopen schools.

Well, now, a new study shows children between the ages of 10 and 19 can transmit COVID-19 as much as adults do. And younger children do pose a risk, as well.

Researchers in South Korea found that when the first patient in the home was under age 10, a little over 5 percent of the other people in the household tested positive.

When the initial patient was 10 to 19, that rate jumped to more than 18 and a half percent.

Now, some of the people who become ill with the virus endure symptoms for prolonged periods of time. Amy Watson is one such patient, and she founded a Facebook group for the so-called long-haul sufferers to share their experiences.

I've been following this for a while, Amy, so I'm glad we're getting to talk to you. First of all, let's just say, how are you feeling this week, today, right now?

AMY WATSON, LONG HAUL COVID FIGHTERS: It's been a rough week, honestly. But I'm still here, which is kind of what I think when I wake up every morning.

HOLMES: Wow. Your group -- correct me if I'm wrong. I read somewhere it has about 5,000 numbers, more than 70 countries, I think I read. There are similar groups out there with thousands more in similar positions.

Basically, what are your members saying about their experiences in terms of long-term impacts?

WATSON: We actually have over 5,000 in our first group, and we have over 2,000 in our second group. We are in the 7,000-plus range at this point. And we -- this group is broken up by length of symptoms. So we have people who are newer long-haulers, and those who are longer long- haulers. And they provide so much support to one another.

Because a lot of people are not getting support from their physicians, from their own families, from their spouses. It's -- it's been challenging for them.

HOLMES: Yes, I'm sure. Just -- just give us a sense. I mean, it's a long list, but just give us a truncated list of the sorts of things we're talking about. Because it is a long list. It's respiratory, it's toes. So tell us some of the things that are going on?

WATSON: Pretty much any system of the body can be affected by COVID. Where we initially were told it was a respiratory virus, that's just not the case. It seems to be more vascular in nature, and impacting pretty much every, you know, system in the body, causing -- you know, for me, I have chronic fever, 127 days running. Burning nerve pain, profuse sweating, especially night sweats. Intense fatigue, headaches, loss of appetite, pleurisy, other cardiac conditions like tachycardia. Memory issues, and brain fog, shortness of breath, like irregular -- and on and on.

HOLMES: These things go on literally for weeks and weeks and weeks. Did you say 127 days of fever?

WATSON: A hundred and twenty-seven days today, yes.

HOLMES: Goodness me. What goes through your mind when you hear the president say that, in 99 percent of cases, COVID is no big deal?

WATSON: White rage, perhaps. But you know, he's ill-informed. And he's not tuned into the reality of people, real-life people out here in the world, who are living with this. You know, it's not a matter of you either die or you recover. You know, many of us recover, but never fully recover. And we are all wondering, is this permanent? Do I now have a chronic illness?

HOLMES: Do you think you'll have it forever? Do others in the group say they fear that they will have this forever?

WATSON: Absolutely. It is a fear. There are people in our groups who have recovered, and a lot of them will say, about 95 percent. They're still having some symptoms and you know, getting better day by day. A lot of the progress is so incremental, it's almost hard to notice until you look back a month, or two months, and realize, like, OK, I can climb a flight of stairs now without having to stop and catch my breath at the top. So --

HOLMES: There was one huge study that I read. I mean, I think it was three million people or something like that, that suggested that one in 10 people who've had the virus will have these prolonged effects. That -- that is a lot. What are the longest things that you have heard people having? Your own experience, obviously, is an extreme one.

[00:25:18]

WATSON: Yes. My symptoms have been part of my illness -- the fever and the nerve pain -- for pretty much the entire time. And there are other people who, you know, have developed cardiac conditions that they're now being treated for. Pulmonary issues that they're being treated for.

HOLMES: Do you feel it's being underappreciated? Do you think that not enough attention is being paid to this? That it's under-reported, underappreciated, with everyone focused, of course, on new cases and hospitalizations? Are you feeling left out of the discussion?

WATSON: Absolutely. Thank you. Yes, we are. And it's, you know, very difficult to access care right now. Because when you want to walk into a medical facility, you're screened.

And I was just -- was told to return to my car, and call regional advice nurse the other day when I appeared at the hospital for a lumbar puncture. And I said, "But this is why I'm here. I've had a chronic fever, and you know, I'm trying to get a diagnosis, and figure out what is going on."

So accessing care is really difficult, and it's extremely difficult, when there's a lot of emphasis on testing, whether or not someone tested negative or positive. The testing, we all know, has not been the greatest. And we need to just listen to patients, and hear what they're telling their physicians about their symptoms. And not --

HOLMES: Yes, exactly. There are some doctors out there who are taking this very seriously. We spoke to one on the program a couple weeks ago. I hope you get the attention you deserve, and the Facebook group, well done for doing that. It's obviously an incredibly real problem.

Amy Watson, thanks so much.

WATSON: Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate it.

HOLMES: Well, when the coronavirus erupted in Europe, Sweden of course, went against the tide of shutting down. The country opted not to impose restrictions, letting life go on pretty much as usual. But as Phil Black reports, Sweden is now paying the price for that approach.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the image Sweden is recently famous for. Living well while much of the world is locking down. But it's deceptive. Scratch the surface and you still find great economic pain.

These boats would normally carry hundreds of people every day during summer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Enormous impact. Counting March, April, our turnover went down 93 percent. And it's still around the same.

BLACK: This restaurant opened just weeks before the virus surged here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Looking at the numbers of course, it is minus, minus, minus.

BLACK: And just like the hotels in heavily locked-down cities around the world, those in Stockholm have sat mostly empty for months.

DAVID HALLIDEN, CEO, ELITE HOTELS OF SWEDEN: We are actually bleeding, and everyone in the hospitality industry in Sweden is bleeding heavily at the moment.

BLACK: And it's many other industries, too. Nearly 50 percent of Sweden's economy is, like this designer shoe brand, largely built-in selling stuff to people in other countries. Many Swedish businesses could stay open. The global crisis destroyed international demand for their products.

LEYLA PURSHARIFI, COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR, ATP ATELIER: The biggest hit was obviously export. And the biggest hit is obviously the U.S. The U.S. is our second largest market.

BLACK: And Swedish manufacturers were also cut off from international supply chains. Car maker Volvo shut down its Swedish plants for three weeks, because it ran low on parts.

It all means Sweden's economy is predicted to contract this year by more than 5 percent, with hundreds of thousands losing jobs.

IBRAHIM BAYLAN, SWEDISH MINISTER FOR BUSINESS: We have never seen a crisis hitting this broadly within the economy or this deep within the economy.

BLACK: That's on top of a disturbing COVID-19 death toll. More than 5 and a half thousand in a small country of just 10 million. So some Swedes are now asking, was staying open worth it?

LARS CALMFORS, PROFESSOR OF INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS, STOCKHOLM UNIVERSITY: I think the price paid in terms of lives lost has been too high. That's, of course, a value judgment, but I think it's a rather sensible value judgment.

BLACK: Swedish officials have always insisted their key goals are protecting lives and the health system, with economic considerations further down the line.

BAYLAN: A very important part of our strategy to try to create an awareness within the population and to have it over longer term, because I think that's more viable than trying to shut down.

BLACK: Sweden's self-touch (ph) experiment, pushing personal responsibility and social distancing, is still being watched around the world as governments desperately try to find the right balance. But the early results suggest an obvious conclusion. There is no pain- free solution to living with COVID-19. Phil Black, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[00:30:11]

HOLMES: Hong Kong says its coronavirus outbreak is far from contained. Now officials are imposing stricter measures to slow down the spread. We'll be live with Will Ripley in Hong Kong.

Also, they lost their jobs when the coronavirus struck. Now migrants in Peru finding new opportunities on the front lines of the pandemic. The risks they are taking just to put food on the table. We'll have that and more after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HOLMES: Welcome back.

A record number of coronavirus infections were reported to the World Health Organization over the weekend. Officials counting almost 260,000 new cases on Saturday, a quarter of a million in a day. That beat the previous record that was set, yes, just one day earlier.

The biggest increases came from the U.S., of course, but also Brazil, India and South Africa. According to Johns Hopkins University, the virus has now infected more than 14.4 million people, claimed over 600,000 lives worldwide.

Now, Hong Kong says it will further tighten its coronavirus restrictions as the outbreak there keeps getting worse. On Sunday, officials reported 108 new infections, the most in a single day.

The government will now expand the mandatory use of face masks and will require all nonessential civil servants to work from home.

Also working from home is CNN's Will Ripley, who joins me now live from Hong Kong. Tell us, Will, about these new measures.

[00:35:09]

WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Michael, I'm actually not working from home for the first time that I can even remember, because we were out talking about the mask requirements here in Hong Kong that are being expanded right now.

I'll be heading back at home for the next hour, though. We're trying to minimize how much time we have outside around other people. But take a look at the streets here. This is the lunch hour here. We're in central Hong Kong, a very busy retail business district. We've been out here for more than an hour, and I haven't seen a single person not wearing a mask.

Because if you are caught without a mask, one, there's the social shaming aspect. But also, you can actually face fines. And Hong Kong expanding the types of locations where you're going to be required to wear masks as one of the measures that they're trying to tighten up this week to contain this third wave of COVID-19 that, city leaders say, isn't even close to being under control yet.

One of the clusters they detected was actually taxi drivers. You can see this is a line of taxis picking up -- picking up customers here. And hundreds of taxi drivers have already signed up for voluntary COVID testing.

But there are still many others that need to be tested here in this city. They've upped testing capacity to about 10,000 per day. But that's not even enough to test everybody when you have an outbreak like this. Community spread that has the chief executive of Hong Kong, Carrie Lam, very concerned. Listen to what she's saying right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CARRIE LAM, HONG KONG CHIEF EXECUTIVE: The situation is really critical, and there is no sign the situation is being brought under control. That's why this morning, I have called a high meeting level to consider our response.

And we know that later on today with these latest figures we've announced by the Center for Health Protection, there would be more than 100 confirmed cases. That is a single-day high since the start of the epidemic. And we believe the public will be very much concerned and worried.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RIPLEY: You know, the number of cases does seem small when you compare it to other locations, Michael, but here in Hong Kong, they're really worried about this. Because already, COVID hospital beds are at about 75 percent capacity here.

Now, they're trying to add more beds. They're working on that right now. And by the end of the week, the capacity should be increased. But you know, still, it may not be enough if the outbreak here really explodes. And we know with community transmission, if cases are not located very quickly and isolated, those numbers just continue to pop up.

And the problem in a lot of these cases, Michael, about half of them is they just can't figure out where people are getting the virus from, which means likely asymptomatic carriers walking around this city, hopefully wearing masks, and taking what precautions they can not to spread the virus.

But clearly, by the numbers and the uptick we're seeing, the virus is still spreading here, just like everywhere around the world.

HOLMES: Yes. It is amazing to see what -- what's happening in Hong Kong, in response to 100 cases compared to, you know, living here in the U.S. with the staggering numbers here.

Will Ripley, appreciate that. Not working from home this hour, but next hour. Appreciate it. Good to see you, Will. Well, with more than 50,000 cases confirmed, Peru experiencing the

sixth highest outbreak in the world. Now, as cemeteries and crematoriums become overwhelmed, the government turning to Venezuelan migrants for help.

Journalist Guillermo Galdos reports from Lima.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GUILLERMO GALDOS, JOURNALIST (voice-over): When Luis Jose (ph) left his native Venezuela to find work in Peru, he hoped to wait tables or maybe mix cocktails for tourists.

And for a while he did. But as the pandemic hit, Peru imposed a lockdown, and he lost his job.

Now Luis Jose (ph) collects the bodies of COVID victims for the local government and takes them to be cremated. He makes $500 a month.

Luis Jose (ph) and his compatriot Nestor (ph) pick up over 20 bodies a day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

GRAPHIC: We are scared that we can get infected. And take it home, where my wife, mother and children all live.

GALDOS: Few jobs carry the level of risks these men face every day.

There's little time for solace at Lima's El Angel Cemetery these days. This is the new normal, if you can afford it. The high-speed burial.

Only three family members can attend, and it lasts just 10 minutes. Others can only pay their respects virtually.

Another family consumed by grief in a country on its knees. And here is where you end up if you cannot afford a burial site. In a cardboard box at the crematorium, where the smoke of death never stops.

[00:40:08]

Most of the workers here are also from Venezuela. Orlando is one of them. He works 12 hours a day, 7 days a week to support his four children back home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

GRAPHIC: Somebody has to do it, and we need the work. The Peruvians don't do it. It's tough. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy.

GALDOS: Orlando is in charge (UNINTELLIGIBLE). He never imagined he would see so much death.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

GRAPHIC: This has collapsed. Everything is full. There are bodies that we have to keep elsewhere, because there is no space. And we cannot leave them outside.

GALDOS: By nightfall, Luis Jose (ph) and his team have already collected 15 bodies from Lima's most affected neighborhoods.

But the day is far from over. Raul Alivares (ph) was 63, and COVID killed him in three days. The family called an ambulance to take him to a hospital, but it never arrived. So they simply had to watch him die.

At 11 p.m., the men get a final call from the Villa Maria del Triunfo (ph) hospital. They have to collect 13 more bodies, because the fridges here are full.

While they wait for the paperwork, they grab their first bite to eat in hours.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

GRAPHIC: Sometimes we get home at 2 or 3 a.m. After we shower and eat, it's already 4 a.m.

GALDOS: Despite his challenges, Jose Luis (ph) has taken something positive from this experience.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

GRAPHIC: I live my life day by day, living each day as if it's the last one.

GALDOS: These men left the country in search of a better life. They still hope to find it.

Guillermo Galdos, for CNN, Lima, Peru.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOLMES: We'll take a quick break here. When we come back, the countdown underway to next year's Olympics in Tokyo. But with the coronavirus pandemic, of course, still raging in much of the world, are the games a good idea for the city? We'll have a live report.

Also, somebody new joining the space race. Why this mission to Mars is making history. We'll be right back.

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[00:45:55]

HOLMES: Almost 4 million people have been displaced by heavy flooding in northeastern India and Nepal. The government says at least 189 people have died. Many more remain missing as a result of these monsoon rains and resulting floods and also mudslides, as well.

For some, this is the fourth time they're been displaced since May in the annual rainy season. In one year, athletes from around the world should be gathering in

Tokyo for the summer Olympics. But will they? The games have already been pushed back during the corona -- due to the coronavirus, but there are questions whether next year is still too soon.

Journalist Kaori Enjoji joins us now.

What have you been hearing about this?

KAORI ENJOJI, JOURNALIST: Well, Michael, the mood is pretty somber here in Japan, even among organizers and among the general public. Even though this is one year to go ahead of the postponed Olympics. They're scheduled to start on July 23, 2021, and that is because Japan is still battling with an outbreak of coronavirus. Some would call it a second wave.

There are no public events that we know of that are scheduled to count down this event in the calendar. Instead, there's going to be a media- only event at the national stadium. And as the president of Tokyo 2020 said, this is not going to be an extravagant affair.

YOSHIRO MORI, TOKYO OLYMPICS PRESIDENT (through translator): One year to go is coming very close at hand. However, I don't think that people will have a sense of anticipation in a strong way or in a celebratory atmosphere, waiting for the one-year-to-go event.

ENJOJI: They're waiting for ways to -- they're looking for ways to cut costs, of course. All sorts of things, including the opening ceremony. So Michael, this is a completely different mood to what I saw here a year ago as Japan was trying to anticipate hosting these games.

HOLMES: Yes. Yes, exactly. I mean, I wonder, how -- how are Japanese people feeling about whether it should go ahead? I mean, a lot of excitement before all this happened. What are they thinking now?

ENJOJI: Well, there's an interesting poll that was published by Kyoto News over the weekend. And in that poll, less than 25 percent of the people that were surveyed were in support of holding the Olympics next year.

This is a pretty low figure when you -- when you think about it. Because -- and I think it shows the way the public is concerned about COVID-19. Not just the health aspect and whether they truly can bring together thousands and thousands of people into one city, but of course, the economic costs of the Olympics, as well, with a time -- at a time when Japan's economy is probably facing its direst moment since the end of World War II.

People are worried about their jobs. People are worried about when the recovery is going to take place. So the public in general, although in spirit, I think, they would like to see this go ahead, they are concerned that we are seeing record number of new cases, particularly in Tokyo, but also spreading to other parts of the country. Big metropolises like Osaka, as well.

So I think right now, according to that poll, you see other polls pointing -- painting a similar picture, as well. The public is asking the organizers and the government whether or not this money could be spent in a more efficient fashion.

HOLMES: Wow. Only 23 percent think it's a good idea. That -- that's amazing. Kaori Enjoji in Tokyo, thanks for that. Appreciate it.

And we've got a developing story from the Middle East, something we're keeping an eye on. The Saudi king is in hospital in Riyadh. The Saudi press agency says King Salman was admitted Monday for gallbladder inflammation.

The 84-year-old monarch said to be undergoing tests. We will keep an eye on that story.

Now, the Formula 1 season may have been late in getting the green light, but there is no stopping defending champion Lewis Hamilton, who continues to make an impact on and off the track.

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[00:53:55]

HOLMES: The United Arab Emirates says it has successfully launched a space probe headed for Mars on Sunday. It is the first time any Arab or Muslim-majority country has set out for the planet.

The Hope probe is expected to reach Mars by next February and study the planet's weather and atmosphere for almost two years.

The UAE's vice president says the mission will help show young people that the impossible is, indeed, possible.

All right. Let's switch gears now and check in on weekend sport, where Lewis Hamilton is on a roll. The FA Cup final is set, and there is a new world No. 1 in men's golf.

CNN "WORLD SPORT's" Patrick Snell with that.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PATRICK SNELL, WORLD SPORT: A record-equaling weekend for Formula 1 superstar Lewis Hamilton, who won the Hungarian Grand Prix for the eighth time on Sunday an achievement that now matches the legendary Michael Schumacher's single-venue mark.

(voice-over): It seems a second consecutive victory was the last thing on Hamilton's mind. But the world champion criticizing the apparently confusing and disjointed nature of the drivers' anti-racism demonstration before the race.

[00:55:05]

Taking to Instagram, he said, in part, "It is embarrassing that many teams have not made any public commitment to diversity or that we couldn't properly find time to make a symbolic gesture in support of ending racism before the race. Today felt rushed and massively lacked organization and effort, which in turn, dilutes the message and makes it seem like there was something more important."

To London next, for FA Cup semifinal action, where Manchester United and Chelsea players showed their support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

The Blues later booking their spot in the final against Arsenal after a really poor goal-keeping display from United's David de Gea.

Olivier Giroud with the first for Chelsea, and then a right shocker from the Spaniard Mason Mount's harmless-looking shot somehow finding its way into the back of the net. Chelsea, 3-1 winners.

While elsewhere in England's capital city Sunday, Tottenham giving giving Leicester City plenty to think about, if the Foxes are to seal Champions League football for next season. Star striker Harry Kane putting the Spurs two-nil up in this Premier League fixture. The second was just brilliant, a superb curler as the Londoners win it three-nil.

Leicester battling it out with Manchester United and Chelsea for that all-important top four finish.

And Spain's Jon Rahm the new No. 1 golfer in the world after winning the prestigious Memorial Tournament in Ohio on Sunday, Rahm just the second Spaniard to top the men's rankings since the legendary compatriot Seve Ballesteros.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOLMES: Patrick Snell, thanks for that.

And thank you for watching. I'm Michael Holmes. But don't go away. There will be more CNN room after a quick break. I'll see you on the other side.

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