Return to Transcripts main page
Trump Defends Handling Of Crisis As Cases Surge; Hong Kong Tightens Measures After Record Number Of Cases; UAE's Hope Probe Successfully Launches From Japan. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired July 20, 2020 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ROBYN CURNOW, CNN HOST: Hi and welcome to our viewers here in the U.S. and around the world. I'm Robyn Curnow. So coming up on the show, alternative facts, U.S. president Donald Trump denies the reality of the coronavirus epidemic ravaging America and much of the world.
That, as several U.S. states reports another day of surging numbers and record highs. Many hospitals in Florida have no vacancies in their ICUs. And, --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I see the price paid in terms of lives lost has been too high.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: While the rest of the world went into lockdown, Sweden stayed open and tried to achieve herd immunity. Unfortunately, the strategy backfired resulting in a heavy, heavy death toll. That, and much more, "Newsroom" starts right now.
Great to have you with me this hour. So the U.S. president is once again downplaying the severity of the coronavirus pandemic after yet another record-breaking weekend. You can see here the steep climb in the 7-day average of new cases since June.
But Donald Trump blames the spike on increased testing, a tactic consistently debunked by health experts. During an interview with Fox News, he falsely suggested the U.S. had the lowest mortality rate anywhere in the world.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When you talk about mortality risk, I think it's the opposite. I think we have one of the most lowest mortality rates.
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS HOST: That's not true, sir.
TRUMP: Well, we're going to take a look.
WALLACE: We have 900 deaths on a single day this week.
TRUMP: We will take a look. Ready?
WALLACE: You can check it out.
TRUMP: Can you please get me the mortality rate? Kayleigh is right here. I heard we have one of the lowest, maybe the lowest mortality rate anywhere in the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: Well, now President Trump did admit making some mistakes in the virus response, a rare acknowledgment on his part, but suggested that history would be on his side.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I will be right, eventually. You know, I said, it's going to disappear. I'll say it again. It's going to disappear.
WALLACE: But does that discredit you?
TRUMP: And I'll be right. I don't think so.
TRUMP: I don't think so. You know why it doesn't discredit me? Because I've been right probably more than anybody else.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: Meanwhile, Arizona suffered its highest daily death toll since the pandemic began. Georgia, and North Carolina, hit new highs in their single day case counts. And in dozens of Florida hospitals, there are no ICU beds left. Yet, the U.S. president claims no country has done a better job with testing. Jeremy Diamond now picks up the story. Jeremy?
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, coronavirus cases have been surging once again in the United States over the last month, to 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.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) WALLACE: Do you still talk about it as, "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 a day.
TRUMP: Cases. 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 the old peak.
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: No, no, 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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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 the United States more favorably to what is 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. Fauci, even as he insisted that there is no campaign to undermine Fauci.
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. CURNOW: Thanks Jeremy. So, the U.S. President did push for governors
to reopen. Well now, at least 27 states have halted or rolled back their reopening plans to slow the spread of the virus. We have CNN correspondents in two major hotspots right now mentioned by Jeremy, Florida and Arizona. We'll start with Randi Kaye in West Palm Beach. Randi?
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 5,000 deaths across the state. Also, this is the 4th day this month that we have 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 trouble 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.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Arizona is at a real crossroads right now. Over the weekend, they saw the highest number of deaths in a single day, a 147. On that same day, Saturday, they also saw one of the highest rates of positivity. The rates at which one is testing positive or people across the state are testing positive, 39 percent, just over 39 percent.
Just staggering numbers. The 7-day average for positivity rates across the state lead the country at about 24-1/2 percent. So there is a lot of virus out there. All that said, there is some good news here. Hospitalizations across the state are down slightly. The retransmission rate is down slightly.
Those are leading to somewhat better conditions in hospitals, at least, but everyone we speak to in hospitals right now say that they are working like mad, trying to keep people alive and having a very difficult time dealing with the caseload that they have right now.
A couple of things coming up. In August, schools are supposed to restart. This is also a state and a city where people come back in August and into the fall. Those are the times when the hospitals here start to fill up with everything from the flu to broken arms and everything else.
Right now, hospitals are not in such great demand so they have the room for some of those COVID patients. Going forward, they won't have as much room. That's one thing weighing on officials here. They are bringing in morgue trailers because they think in the weeks ahead, the city morgues and the hospital morgues will be overwhelmed with bodies.
And school starting, it's supposed to start here on August 1st. The governor has now pushed that back to an aspirational date of August 17th, but many are pushing to either cancel it for half the term or for the entire semester at this point. They say it's just too dangerous. That is going to be a very, very difficult decision for the lawmakers here to make.
There are three tranches basically of where this virus comes from. Community spread, which we are seeing now, bars and restaurants and passing it on to parents and grandparents at home.
The bars and restaurants have been closed. Work -- work is also a big place where one can pick it up, whether you work in a manufacturing plant or in an office, and schools. Schools is the big one. That is the third sort of big element that could be a vector for this virus. That is now the big decision against everything that Arizona is seeing right now.
One quick statistic, when the governor shut down the state in March, there were 1,000 cases a week. Last week, there were 26,000 cases of coronavirus. Back to you.
CURNOW: Thanks Miguel for that. So, as the pandemic surges, Brian Kemp, the governor of Georgia where CNN center is, has started a legal battle against Keisha Lance Bottoms. You know here, she's Atlanta's mayor. Well, it's because Lance Bottoms has issued mask mandate in the city and Governor Kemp doesn't want her to.
Well, now, she said he is trying to keep her from speaking out. She tweeted a little bit earlier, "Governor Kemp asked for an emergency injunction to restrain me from issuing press statements and speaking to the press."
It's a political fight over a virus that's killed more than 3,000 people from Georgia so far. Well, Natasha Chen talks more about how the battle is affecting businesses for the worst.
NATASHA CHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The politics of how to fight COVID-19 has played out at all levels of government, from the White House, to state houses, to county commissions and city halls. But now in Georgia, a high-stakes battle between the statehouse and Atlanta city hall has turned into something of a food fight, at least for some Atlanta restaurants.
BRIAN KEMP, GOVERNOR OF GEORGIA: Mayor Bottoms mask mandate cannot be enforced, but her decision to shut her businesses and undermine economic growth is devastating.
CHEN (voice-over): Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has sued Atlanta's mayor and city council over its rollback to phase one, which he says is unenforceable, while the mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms, has instituted a mask mandate and is calling on the city's restaurants to return to curbside pickup and delivery only as cases of COVID-19 soar.
KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS (D), MAYOR OF ATLANTA, GA: It is a complete waste of time and money to file suit against the capital city of the state in which he's supposed to lead.
CHEN (voice-over): Kemp says no local mandate can be more or less restrictive than statewide executive orders. He said he filed the suit on behalf the struggling Atlanta businesses. But if his lawsuit is a dish best served cold, some Atlanta restaurant owners say it's just feeding the fire.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Grow up. Be adults.
CHEN (voice-over): Kevin Clark and his partner Lisa Spooner own Home Grown, an Atlanta restaurant that was cited in Kemp's lawsuit as an example of a business suffering from the mayor's actions.
LISA SPOONER, ATLANTA RESTAURANT OWNER: We would benefit more if they came together and made a universal decision together on their own as adults working together to help this community, not a lawsuit that to me just makes it further apart as opposed to closer together.
CHEN (voice-over): They decided to close Home Grown again since they said they would operate at a loss doing only takeout. But without concrete guidance from local and state leaders, others have stayed open.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's just the Wild West. You know, a lot of people, you know, it's like the Wild West. You do what you want, like build a patio, you close, you're open.
CHEN (voice-over): Chef Zeb Stevenson of the Atlanta restaurant Redbird said just the act of shutting down and reopening again costs thousands of dollars.
ZEB STEVENSON, CHEF AT REDBIRD: We feel like a child in between two parents who are going through a divorce right now. When I say we, as normal people and business people, one of them is saying this and one of them is saying that, and we're not sure that either one of them is sending the message because they think it's what's best for us. We kind of feel like they're sending the message because they feel like it's what's best for their political career.
CHEN (voice-over): Stevenson has kept Redbird open for now with strict protocols to protect people's health because he said his customers have demanded the experience of sitting down inside. He also had some customers calling to cancel reservations after the mayor's rollback. But either way, there's no winning.
STEVENSON: It feels very unsafe to make statements right now because the population is so divided about the best way that anybody should be doing anything.
CHEN (voice-over): Natasha Chen, CNN, Atlanta.
CURNOW: So let's talk more about this with Dr. Darragh O'Carroll, emergency room physician who joins me now from Hawaii. Doctor, great to see you. Thanks so much for joining us. I want to just talk about the president's view, that interview that he did with Fox News.
I mean, it's quite startling and quite stark that his view is not necessarily in line with what emergency doctors like you are directly experiencing right now in America.
DARRAGH O'CARROLL, EMERGENCY ROOM PHYSICIAN: That's true and it's not just emergency physicians, it's our top public health officials. And that's, you know, a more meaningful status to follow, the case positivity rate and your previous segment said that perfectly. That Arizona is seeing the highest positivity rate, you know, up to 32 higher percent over the weekend.
And, you know, we may be testing more, but more of those tests are coming back positive. So that's a very true sign that this disease is doing what it does best, it spreads. I mean, there is a lot of talk before that this being somewhat similar to flu and it spread and that, you know, the warmer weather and humidity were going to decrease the (inaudible) and we're going to see less spread, but we can't make those assumptions.
And that's what we always try and do in medicine. You can't assume because then you'll be caught red-handed and that's what is happening. This virus is spreading and it's spreading rapidly, and the more that we delay having a national mask mandate that we know proves to work, the more that we're going to see this virus do what it does best, spread.
CURNOW: And it is certainly spreading in places like Florida and Arizona as our reporters explained. I mean, just give us an understanding of what the implications are of having 47 hospitals not having any space in their ICUs for new, very sick patients in Florida alone.
O'CARROLL: That is going to be every medical system at every cities, medical system and emergency medical system kind of specific, but if you were to take Hawaii in general, like it's all of our hospitals were up to full capacity, that means everybody who comes with other emergencies --we're still having strokes and heart attacks - so just going to be completely inundated.
We're not going to have the bandwidth or capacity to deal with that many patients. And so, we're going to blow through our health care capacity and it's really taking a toll on our health care workers. And we are seeing that in New York as well, the stress of being in the pandemic for that long is really taking a psychological toll on some of the heroes up there.
CURNOW: Also, when we talk about -- I want to talk about that in just a moment, but also the sense of spread. It means so much conflicting information, but we are getting a pretty important study out of South Korea now on how children can transmit the virus and particularly older children. I wonder if you could just break that down for us.
O'CARROLL: Sure. Yes, there was a terrifically well done study out of South Korea, was about in total, you know, over 5,000 positive patients, plus over 50, almost 60,000 other contacts. And what it really broke it down to is what age groups are capable of transmitting this virus.
And we do know that children are not being severely affected as much as our older adults who have higher comorbidities. But what it showed is that the age group from 10 to 19 is transmitting it nearly just as well if not more than adults.
But thankfully, the age group below 10 is transmitting it much less, but not zero. So, that kind of brings a lot of data points to the discussion of do we open schools in hot zones.
And I think it's important that we do open schools as that should be the de facto answer, but the caveat being is that you need to take into consideration what is the virus prevalence in your area so the hot spots that are experiencing, you know, that are about to open schools.
August is coming up soon. They got to really consider and each department of health has to consider this new data. And that's just a common theme that we are seeing, is that we don't have all the data, so we have to make -- can't make assumptions or you'll get caught red- handed.
CURNOW: Okay, doctor, always good to speak to you. Thank you so much. Darragh O'Carroll there.
Just still ahead here on "CNN Newsroom," why millions of Americans could be plunged into financial disaster if Congress doesn't reach a deal soon.
CURNOW: Welcome back. I am Robyn Curnow live from CNN center. Its 20 minutes past the hour. So more than 51 million Americans have filed new unemployment claims since the pandemic started. And for many, the government's coronavirus unemployment benefits have provided some stability in a time of uncertainty, but those benefits will soon expire as Vanessa Yurkevich now reports.
VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS AND POLITICS CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): Delena Sanders took a leap of faith. She quit her job, picked up her life, and moved to Atlanta in January. She wanted to make a difference.
DELENA SANDERS, UNEMPLOYED DOULA: The reason I became a doula is because I really wanted to make a difference in the black community as far as the birth disparities and I figured this would be a good area to do that. It's a celebration of pregnancy.
YURKEVICH (voice-over): Her hopes of getting her business off the ground, gone. She is one of millions of Americans now without a job, on unemployment.
SANDERS: COVID seems to be getting worse and not better, so at least here in the city of Atlanta, we are in the process it seems like we're going back to phase one. So, I may not be able to go into the delivery rooms anytime soon.
YURKEVICH (voice-over): And it's about to get worse. In two weeks, the extra $600 a week in unemployment that has helped Americans like Sanders to pay bills, put food on the table, and stay in their homes, will expire.
REBECCA DIXON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NELP: It's going to be a total economic devastation. The unemployment insurance program is the lifeline for workers in this public health crisis.
YURKEVICH (voice-over): This lifeline is disappearing, just as some states rollback their re-openings, forcing many workers back on unemployment. Up to 23 million Americans could be evicted from their homes by the end of September.
SANDERS: When they take the $600 away, that would reduce me down to about $300 a week, which is for me not really feasible as far as covering my bills.
YURKEVICH (voice-over): Cara Steele has been waiting 17 weeks for unemployment. She is making some drastic decisions.
CARA STEELE, UNEMPLOYED BARTENDER: What's most important that day? You know, am I going to go out and buy something to eat or am I going to purchase a medication or am I going to save my funds to go to a doctor or put gas in my car?
YURKEVICH (voice-over): She is a bartender in New Jersey where indoor bars and dining remain closed. The back pay she's owed from unemployment will go straight to her bells, piling up for months.
STEELE: When is everything going to reopen because if I'm getting the $120 a week without this extra $600, what happens if I am not getting back until October, November, and December or until there is a vaccine?
YURKEVICH (voice-over): The unknown is leaving many Americans paralyzed, and with Congress unlikely to pass an extension of the extra unemployment benefits by July 31st, Sanders faces a stark reality, giving up. SANDERS: I would feel very setback. I mean, it took a lot of self-
encouragement for me to even decide to leave my job and move to another city to kind of chase after a dream. So, if it gets shut down, I kind of feel like I did all of this for nothing.
YURKEVICH (voice-over): Vanessa Yurkevich, CNN, New York.
CURNOW: And CNN's John Defterios joins me now live from Abu Dhabi. I mean, it's just heartbreaking, but it's the reality for so many millions of Americans. And they're certainly going to be impacted if the unemployment benefits are cut or not renewed. So what can we expect then from the White House and from the Senate on this stimulus package that they're hoping to put through before the summer?
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN BUSINESS EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Yes, you always have that gap of reality, right, Robyn, what is happening for people and citizens on the ground and then what is happening in Washington, D.C. We can call this package the top up because it's $1 trillion dollars with a big top up on top of the $3 trillion that was passed during the heat of the pandemic right now.
The president has his priorities. He keeps on repeating this about a payroll tax cut, trying to encourage major companies to rehire the employees that have been laid off. And as Vanessa was suggesting, better than 50 million have asked for unemployment benefits.
Then the kind of the hard work here. He wants to get more companies to move from overseas back to American soil. That will not help him during the November election of course because it just won't happen in time. So, what's the shape of the unemployment benefits? Can they get it done by the end of July?
The chief of staff of the president said they're going to fine-tune this starting today. So you're going to have Mitch McConnell meeting with President Trump and his treasury secretary, Steve Mnuchin.
A couple of other sticking points here, the state funding for COVID-19 support for the hospitals because the cases are surging right now, so that's a priority. And the president has another one of his personal priorities, and that's about $70 billion for school funding to make them more secure, but he wants people to go into classes, students, and start that in the autumn.
And this is of course a huge issue when it comes to health and safety of the children and college students in the United States.
CURNOW: And then how does all of this square with the house package then?
DEFTERIOS: Yes, I am glad you asked because remember, Nancy Pelosi was driving this as the speaker of the house. That's $3 trillion, much more generous on the unemployment benefits and the paychecks to households that Vanessa was talking about that in her report there, about $1,200 per citizen. We have a huge gap again, Robyn -- $1 trillion versus $3 trillion, and
can they get this done by the end of July before the benefits run out and then you have a congressional recess. That's what everybody is looking for. And the man and woman on the street is begging for it because of the crisis we see now and the cases surging.
CURNOW: Okay, Thanks so much for that update, John Defterios. Thank you. So here is a story we want to update you. U.S. Marshals and the FBI are searching for a gunmen who opened fire at the home of a U.S. federal judge. Investigators say the gunman wore what appeared to be a Fedex uniform as he approached Judge Esther Salas' home in New Jersey.
The judge's son and husband were shot when they opened the door. The son who was 20 was killed. Law enforcement officers said they don't know the motive and they aren't aware of any threats against the judge, who was unharmed.
And still ahead here on CNN, Hong Kong says its coronavirus outbreak is far from contained. Now, officials are imposing stricter measures to slow down the spread there. We'll be live in Hong Kong with more details on that.
Plus, the high price Sweden is paying for staying open while the rest of Europe is shut down.
CURNOW: Welcome back. I'm Robyn Curnow here in Atlanta. So, U.S. President Donald Trump is once again downplaying the severity of the pandemic even as states continue to record infection numbers and hospitals are being stretched to the limit.
According to Johns Hopkins University, the U.S. has confirmed nearly 3.8 million cases so far. Still, Mr. Trump insists the crisis has been blown out of proportion and falsely suggests the U.S. has the lowest mortality rate in the world. During an interview with Fox News, he again blamed the high infection numbers on increased in testing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: But we have more tests by far than any country in the world.
CHRIS WALLACE, ANCHOR, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: But sir, testing is up 37 percent?
TRUMP: Well, that's good.
WALLACE: I understand. Cases are up 194 percent. It isn't just the testing has gone up, it's that the virus has spread. The positivity rate has increased. The virus is worse than it was.
TRUMP: Many of those cases -- many of those cases young people that would heal in a day. Cases are up because we have the best testing in the world.
CURNOW: In New York, once the epicenter of virus in the U.S., COVID-19 hospitalization in the state continues to go down. New York City is starting its final phase of reopening on Monday, but it is doing so with caution. Here's Polo Sandoval with more from New York.
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: New York City will be reaching this major milestone this week with its face 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 low risk outdoor 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 T.V. production also expect to resume.
So you'll see New York City look a little 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 the face for New York City looks very different from face four 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 VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: And Hong Kong says it will further tighten its Coronavirus restrictions as the outbreak there keeps on getting worse. Officials on Sunday reported 108 new infections, the most in a single day. Chief Executive If Carrie Lam says the government will now expand the mandatory use of face masks and will require all non-essential civil servants to work from home.
For more on that, let's go to Will Ripley. Will joins me from Hong Kong live. Well, hi, good to see you. So, talk us through these new measures.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Robin. These are the most significant social distancing measures that Hong Kong has seen in this pandemic. You have civil servants, as you mentioned, who are working from home, at least this week, it could be extended further. That also means a reduction in the services that are available for Hong Kong residents.
A number of offices are starting to reduce their hours, some are encouraging their employees to work from home, and you have to wear a mask when you step outside of your home. Walking through most businesses, apartment buildings, certainly on public transportation and any indoor public space where you're going to be around other people, you're expected to wear a mask. And you could be fined in some instances if you don't.
Hong Kong taking this very seriously even though the numbers which just over the weekend, for the first time in the pandemic cracked over 100 cases per day, they're still, you know, great numbers when you compare it to most other places around the world. But here in Hong Kong, this is not good news and the chief executive Carrie Lam explained why earlier.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARRIE LAM, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, HONG KONG (through translator): The situation is really critical, and there's no sign the situation is being brought under control. That's why this morning, I've 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: And if you talk to people who live here in Hong Kong, particularly those who survive the SARS outbreak, they are worried because they remember those awful months when hundreds of people in Hong Kong died, a lot of them at one particular apartment complex. So when you have health authorities talking about clusters at various apartment complexes are amongst taxi drivers or bars and restaurants. People are adhering to the social distancing guidelines.
But that hasn't been enough to slow the number of cases at least not yet. And even with the existing numbers as they are, about 75 percent of Hong Kong's COVID-19 hospital beds are in use right now. That doesn't leave a whole lot of wiggle room, if more people start to get sick and need hospitalization, which is why they're also upping the amount of tests per day.
In recent days, the city's been averaging around 10,000 COVID tests every single day. That's including tests that they conduct when people fly in at the airport. But also, for example, today they're offering free COVID tests for taxi drivers. One of the clusters that was identified, Robyn, the hope is that they can find as many of the people who might have the virus as possible and get them out of circulation before they pass the virus to others in this densely populated city.
CURNOW: OK, Will Ripley there live in Hong Kong. Thanks, Will. Meanwhile, we're just learning that pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong says he's running for a seat on Hong Kong's Legislative Council in September. Wong told reporters on Monday, he hoped to send a message that Hong Kong residents will not surrender.
His announcement comes after Beijing recently passed a sweeping national security law for the city. Wong has been banned from running in previous polls, but he won in primaries organized by the pro- democracy camp by more than 31,000 votes last week.
Now, when Coronavirus erupted in Europe, Sweden went against the tide of shutdowns. The country opted to not impose restrictions and let life go on as usual. Well, as Phil Black now report, Sweden seems to be paying the price for its approach now.
PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: 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.
HJALMAR LITZEN, DIRECTOR, FIORE RESTAURANTS: 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's 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 HALLDEN, 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 on selling stuff to people in other countries. So even when 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 hurt is obviously U.S. The U.S. is our second largest market.
BLACK: And Swedish manufacturers were also cut off from international supply chains. Carmaker 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 five percent with hundreds of thousands losing jobs.
IBRAHIM BAYLAN, MINISTER FOR ENTERPRISE, SWEDEN: 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 desktop, more than five and a half thousand in a small country of just 10 million. So, some Swedes are now asking, were staying open worth it. LARS CALMFORS, PROFESSOR, STOCKHOLM UNIVERSITY: I think the price paid
in terms of life's loss has been too high. That's of course a valid judgment, but I think it's a rather sensible valid 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: The very important part of our strategy to try to create an awareness within the population and to have it over a longer term because I think that's more viable than trying to shut down.
BLACK: Sweden's self-touch 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.
CURNOW: Thanks, Phil, for that. So just ahead here at CNN, America's top diplomat is heading to the U.K. and into the heart of controversy over one of China's biggest cell phone makers.
CURNOW: There you have it. The United Arab Emirates says it successfully launched a space probe headed for Mars on Sunday. It's the first time any Arab or Muslim majority country is set up 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 possible.
And U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is traveling to the U.K. in the coming hours. He'll meet with Boris Johnson and his British counterpart, Dominic Raab. Coronavirus, trade, and China are all expected to be on the agenda. This all comes just days after Chinese phone manufacturer Huawei was banned from Britain's 5G network, and many Chinese officials believe that decision was the result of U.S. influence.
MILENA VESELINOVIC, CNN PRODUCER: China's ambassador to Britain said the U.K. dance to the tune of Americans when it banned Huawei from its 5G network reversing an earlier decision to allow the company a limited role in the infrastructure. China is still evaluating the consequences. The ambassador told the BBC that the ban was not just a dark day for Huawei, but also a dark day for China-U.K. relations, he added.
Now these relations have been carefully forged over the last 20 years by successive British governments resulting in multibillion-dollar trade and investment ties, ties that are now at risk. Now Chinese Ambassador says that Britain was wrong to discriminate against the Chinese company because of pressure coming from the U.S.
Now, U.S. President Donald Trump has been pushing his allies to exclude Huawei from their 5G networks alleging that the company posed a security risk. Now, the ambassador push back against that, saying that there was no hard evidence to prove it, and that Huawei has already been operating in Britain for the last 20 years.
And he was also asked if China will now retaliate against British businesses there, and he said that the country didn't want to politicize the economy, as he put it, but some backlash seems inevitable. And this is because this ban has hit China hard as other European nations who use Huawei technology might now reconsider after the updated risk assessment from the U.K. Milena Veselinovic, CNN, London.
CURNOW: The family of late civil rights icon and U.S. Congressman John Lewis is honoring his memory. Here was his brother Henry Grant Lewis speaking on Sunday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HENRY GRANT LEWIS, BROTHER OF JOHN LEWIS: He fought until the very end, that was my big brother. He was a fighter with a tenacious spirit, but he was also gracious and kind-hearted, a great man and public servant.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: From facing a violent beating in the civil rights march later dubbed Bloody Sunday, to being a congressman for more than three decades. Lewis worked most of his life to ensure that every American enjoyed the rights and freedoms promised in the Constitution. He died on Friday at the age of 80 after battling pancreatic cancer. We'll be right back.
CURNOW: So golf legend Jack Nicklaus revealed on Sunday that his wife Barbara and he both tested positive for coronavirus back in March. The 18-time major champion known of course as the Golden Bear said he had a sore throat and a cough and his wife was asymptomatic. A couple of have since tested negative and recovered. That's good news.
So I want to stick with sports, sort of, and switch gears a bit though and check in with the weekend sport. We know that Lewis Hamilton is on a roll, the FA Cup Final is set, and there is a new world number one in men's golf. Patrick Snell has all the details.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) PATRICK SNELL, CNN WORLD SPORT: A record equal in weekend for Formula One 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.
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 driver's anti-racism demonstration before the race. Taking 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 Semi Final action where Manchester united and Chelsea players showed their support for the Black Lives Matter Movement. The Blues later booking vast part in the final against Arsenal after a really poor goalkeeping display from United David de Gea.
Olivier Giroud with the first for Chelsea, and then a right shocker from the Spaniard. Mason Mount's harmless-looking shots somehow finding its way into the back of the net. Chelsea three-one, winners.
While elsewhere and England's capital city Sunday, Tottenham giving Leicester City plenty to think about if the Fox are to seal Champions League football for next season. Star striker Harry Kane putting spurs two-nil up in this Premier League fixture. The second was just brilliant, a superb curler as the London is winning 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 number one golfer in the world after winning the prestigious Memorial tournament in Ohio on Sunday. Rahm just the second Spaniard to top men's rankings since legendary compatriots Seve Ballesteros.
CURNOW: So seniors living in care homes are among those most vulnerable to coronavirus. We know that. So to protect them, many states and facilities in the U.S. and around the world restrict visitors from seeing their loved ones. Well, Mary Daniel wasn't going to let that stop her from visiting her husband who suffers from Alzheimer's.
After being separated for more than 100 days, she actually took a job as a dishwasher at her husband's care facility so she could see him. She told CNN Fredricka Whitfield how she came up with the idea.
MARY DANIEL, HUSBAND LIVES IN MEMORY CARE HOME: I had originally asked in the beginning of March, March 10th, to be exact, I actually called the Memory Care Center and I said, what can I do? There's got to be a way for me to get in. Can I volunteer? Can I get a job? And they sort of said, let's kind of see what's happening here. We're all kind of hopeful this isn't going to last very long.
And as I started, time going by, and I started getting a little bit more vocal about we need to do something, this is a really, really horrible situation. Out of the blue they called me. So I'm incredibly blessed to have Rose Castle be supportive and actually say would you like to have a job. We've got a part time job available.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Oh, that's fantastic. Congratulations on your perseverance on that. And then give me an idea of you know that the kind of attention and care you felt like your, you know, husband would be missing out on by you not being there to visit him. Why it was so important for you to take this job so that you can, you know, be inside the walls to see him?
DANIEL: Dementia, patients need touch. They need emotional care, they need connection. And if they don't have that connection, then their brain just really slowly dies. And actually, slowly isn't the right word. That's what normally happens when they're in this situation. It rapidly increases the speed of that.
And so, my concern was that he's not getting touched, he's not getting hugged, he's not getting the connections, which is really the reason that I placed him there was for the social aspect of it. Steve was always incredibly social and he needs to be around people and he needs to have that connection. And when it's not there, it's going to kill these patients including him.
CURNOW: An update, Mary Daniel says her husband is doing well in his care home, and she set up a Facebook page called Caregivers for Compromise where she advocates for safe visitation. So thanks for watching. This has been CNN. I'm Robyn Curnow. Rosemary Church will be here with another hour of CNN NEWSROOM right after the break. Enjoy.