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CNN NEWSROOM

U.S. COVID-19 Deaths Top 1,000 For Fourth Consecutive Day; New CDC Guidelines Strongly Favor Opening Schools; Legendary TV Host Regis Philbin Dies At 88; Poll: 23 Percent Of Americans Would Not Try COVID- 19 Vaccine; Former CDC Director: Important To Be Honest About Vaccine Risks; Mayor & Governor Battle Over Georgia's COVID-19 Response; Georgia Sets Single-Day Record With 4,813 New Cases; Georgia Senate Candidate Awaits Results After Wife Tests Positive For Virus. Aired 4- 5p ET

Aired July 25, 2020 - 16:00   ET

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


[16:00:14]

BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN HOST: You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Bianna Golodryga, in for Ana Cabrera.

And we've been following some very sad news. The death of legendary TV host Regis Philbin at the age of 88. More on his legacy coming up.

But, first, we're also following the growing coronavirus crisis. The case count in the United States tops 4.1 million, more than 1,000 people dying daily for the last four days.

In Florida, 50 hospitals statewide have been hit -- have hit ICU capacity. The state reporting an additional 12,000 cases on Friday alone.

And the state with the most cases, California, also reporting its highest number of COVID-related deaths in a single day, 159 people gone.

Meanwhile, parts of Texas already grappling with a surge in cases are bracing for hurricane Hanna as it prepares to make landfall.

And right now, as we watch cases and deaths spike nationwide, we're also seeing a massive push to get kids back into the classrooms come fall. The new -- CDC out with new guidelines coming down hard in favor of reopening schools.

CNN's Kristen Holmes joins me now.

Kristen, first, walk us through this new guidance because it does appear to be a bit more lax than the original guidance.

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right, Bianna. It's also suggestions on how to get children back in school. And much of it is spent, as you said, really coming down hard on this idea of children being in the classroom. They spend a lot of time explaining why that is important. First, they say that children are less likely to spread coronavirus

than adults, which we know is still being examined. Dr. Birx said this week that they are still looking into the spread of children under ten years old. They go into great detail about how much children suffer not being in school. They cite how many children get their meals at school. They get mental health services.

And as a former elementary schoolteacher, I think you would be hard pressed to find any educator who doesn't agree with that, that children get much more than just academics from being in the classroom. But the question is how to do that safely?

Now, the CDC does give some encouragement. They're saying the hand hygiene is something they encourage as well as wearing masks. They say that administrators should try to possibly have class outdoors or have class in pods or cohorts to limit the spread. And they say that administrators should have a plan for in case children or teachers come down with coronavirus. But they don't give details as to what exactly that plan should look like.

Now, the fact they are stressing this reopening is not really a surprise. President Trump originally lashed out at the CDC for those guidelines we saw months ago, saying they were too harsh, they were too expensive, too tough. That's when you started hearing Robert Redfield, the director of the CDC, saying that they were coming out with this additional guidance.

No surprise, again, though, that this is saying that they want to reopen schools. It's clear that the director was going to be encouraged by the president there. So, interesting to see how this plays out. The question is not whether or not kids should be in school but it's how to put them in school safely -- Bianna.

GOLODRYGA: And also raises the question of whether the CDC was being politicized at this point with new guidance that appears more lax coming at a time when we've seen a spike in cases.

Kristen Holmes, great to have you on, especially your perspective as a teacher. We appreciate it.

And while the president may still be pushing for schools to reopen in the fall, my next guests know firsthand what the virus can do. Jena Martinez and Angela Skillings both contracted coronavirus while teaching over the summer. Their other colleague, Kimberly Byrd, also got infected and tragically lost her fight against the virus one month ago. All three teachers wore masks, they wore gloves, and they used hand sanitizer. They also social distanced and yet they still fell victim.

Jena Martinez and Angela Skillings join me now.

And, ladies, I want to begin by expressing my condolences for the loss of your colleague and friend, Kimberly.

Jena, what's the guidance for your school district come this fall? JENA MARTINEZ, FIRST GRADE TEACHER, HAYDEN-WINKELMAN UNIFIED SCHOOL

DISTRICT: Our guidance is we are still looking at how to go about first right now protecting staff as we're going to begin before students do. We're looking at how are we going to handle the professional development that's coming. We won't be starting until September 7th.

So, right now, it's how do we proceed in setting up for remote learning, getting hotspots, iPads, communicating to our students and communicating with our community, our parents, our grandparents, everyone involved and doing all of that safely.

[16:05:00]

That's where we're at right now.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, you've got a busy month ahead of you because, you said, come September is when you're hoping to restart.

Angela, the CDC has just released, as you heard, new guidelines that push hard for reopening schools on time. As someone who's contracted the virus yourself, what is your message to teachers and other adult staff around the country who are really wrestling with this decision about whether or not they can return to the classroom?

ANGELA SKILLINGS, SECOND GRADE TEACHER, HAYDEN-WINKELMAN UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT: Well, first off, I know all of us want to be with our students. That's the number one thing, you know? We didn't go into this to not be around children.

My main thing is just be diligent. If you end up back with students, follow everything that you can and just really watch them. If you are in a classroom with just adults, again, you have to be very careful.

Make sure you follow the CDC guidelines. But I would go back to the beginning. The masks, the sanitizing, hand washing, social distancing as much as possible. I would try to maybe even go a little bit more, find something else. If you can wear the -- put up the plexiglass screens, or whatever, to protect yourself, that would be even better.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, we all know how difficult it really is for kids to keep their masks on all day. But that's some really good advice there. I want to ask you about the president's reaction here and his involvement because he's continued to push for schools to reopen. But he did seem to make a bit of a caveat yesterday.

Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In cities or states that are current hotspots -- and you'll see that in the map behind me, districts may need to delay reopening for a few weeks. But every district should be actively making preparations to open.

(END VIDEO CLIP) GOLODRYGA: So, offering a caveat for areas across the country where there is a spike in cases. Jena, given that, how would you rate how the president, his administration, have handled this issue altogether?

MARTINEZ: Well, honestly, it's how long has it taken for him to actually get to this point to make that kind of a statement in support of recognizing the fact that communities -- this is so -- the disease is so -- the virus is so widespread, and we do not have a handle. We've been saying that, as educators, that has been our main concern.

It has been uncontrollable spread of COVID-19. Not enough is known. Everything we learn is hindsight. We, from the get-go, knew that as soon as they said, oh, kids can't contract it, then it moved to kids aren't spreaders.

We can tell you that they are little human beings. And I know our focus has been on the adults. First, started with the sick, the, you know, immuno-compromised, underlying conditions. And now, it's travelled down to younger adults. And now, we're seeing and getting and hearing reports that now it's affecting children.

We just knew that eventually as time went on, this was highly likely because the school was around the corner. And we were going to have to make decisions that were first and foremost to protect our students. It's not what we were happening from the top. We were being strong armed and threatened.

And that was not the approach to take. You know, attitudes reflect leadership. And what we were getting was not in support of maintaining our kids' health because that affects their home. That affects their community.

And it becomes this vicious cycle that obviously if we could control it, we wouldn't be having the problem in our state right now, in the United States.

GOLODRYGA: Well, and everyone should be supporting. We all support our teachers and want what's best for them as our children do go back to school. We all want them to be together, but we want them to be safe as well.

Angela, it has been reported -- and again, this is a novel virus, so it's hard to be definitive about it given that it's only seven months old and we're still learning more about it. But it has been reported that the children under the age of 10 are not as likely to catch and spread the virus. You teach second graders where students are typically 7 to 8 years old.

Does that move the needle for you?

SKILLINGS: You know, to me, they have been protected. We took them out of schools in March when this was really new. So, where is the data that these kids have been around other people or even around each other to know for sure that they don't contract it or they don't spread it the way that we're being told?

[16:10:07]

To me, our kids have been sheltered, especially in our community. I know our students have been sheltered. So, we don't know for sure if they cannot contract it or they cannot spread it.

We are going to put them into a classroom. And to me, it's essentially a Petri dish. We're just now going to put them all together and say, now, let's find out if you really do spread it. Let's see how you contract it.

And to me, that's not fair to children because my 7 and 8-year-old share everything. There's not one germ that's not shared amongst three or four of them. So, a virus isn't going to be any different.

GOLODRYGA: As a mother of an 8-year-old, I've seen it first hand. And I can sense the trepidation in both of your voices. So, many questions left unanswered with school just around the corner.

Jena Martinez and Angela Skillings, thank you so much for joining us. Once again our condolences for the loss of your friend and colleague.

SKILLINGS: Yes.

MARTINEZ: Thank you.

GOLODRYGA: We're going to get to the breaking news. Regis Philbin has died at the age of 88. A look back at his legendary career from "Live" to "Who Wants to be a Millionaire." That's coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:15:19]

GOLODRYGA: And we are back with our breaking news. Legendary TV host Regis Philbin has died at the age of 88 of natural causes. Philbin spent 23 years hosting the ABC show "Live" first with Kathie Lee, then Kelly Ripa. He also spent years hosting the wildly popular game show "Who Wants to be a Millionaire."

CNN's Richard Roth takes a look back at his career.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KATHIE LEE, TV HOST: Reg --

REGIS PHILBIN, TV HOST: Yes?

LEE: Your lipped are chapped.

PHILBIN: That's all right, Frank. Take the tie close up.

RICHARD ROTH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Blessed with the gift of gab, Regis Philbin spent his career in the spotlight. He co-hosted TV's long running "Live with Regis and Kathie Lee" and later, "Live with Regis and Kelly."

PHILBIN: I won one Emmy best host -- daytime host when I was in between co-hosts ironically enough.

We have a malfunction here.

KELLY RIPA, TV HOST: We're having a wardrobe malfunction.

PHILBIN: And it's fun. I'm enjoying it.

ROTH: His quit wit and spontaneous adlibs charmed audiences for decades, a talent he credited to his Irish-Italian upbringing.

PHILBIN: My mother had a lot of sisters and brothers and nephews and nieces and they would converge on our home in the Bronx. I think that gave me whatever talking ability I had because if you didn't talk with them, you weren't going to get a word in edgewise.

ROTH: Philbin was born August 25th, 1931. Despite his parent's large extended family, Regis Francis Xavier Philbin was an only child until he was in college when his parents had another son. He graduated from Notre Dame with a sociology degree, then served in the U.S. Navy.

JOEY BISHOP, COMEDIAN: That's wild to wear it like that.

PHILBIN: What does it mean, Sam? Got any special significance?

BISHOP: No, it's like a thing, man. That's his thing.

PHILBIN: Well, I'm glad he finally got one.

ROTH: The Bronx native eventually landed a spot as comedian Joey Bishop's side kick. The gig gave him access to the Rat Pack, Hollywood's royalty in the late '60s.

More co-hosting jobs and other television roles came along. He even shared the spotlight with his second wife, Joy, who often filled in on his "Live" show.

Philbin wracked up huge camera time morning and night. In 2011, he broke his own world record for the most on-camera hours on U.S. TV.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you give us a record, 16,746 and a half hours.

ROTH: He proved he could charm nighttime audiences, hosting ABC's quiz show "Who Wants to be a Millionaire."

PHILBIN: Let's play "Millionaire" right now.

ROTH: Philbin was a frequent guest on "The Late Show with David Letterman," even filling in for him when the late night host underwent quintuple bypass surgery.

PHILBIN: You start at number 10 and work to one, right?

DAVID LETTERMAN, COMEDIAN: What do you think Einstein?

PHILBIN: Excuse me. The guy called this morning --

(LAUGHTER)

PHILBIN: It'll be co-host. It'll be something new. Please, please, Regis!

ROTH: Philbin often said it was his work, the exchanges with his numerous co-hosts and guests that gave him lasting satisfaction. For a man with so many questions, he spent his life sharing the answers with us all.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GOLODRYGA: And that laugh of his was infectious and had so many others laughing alongside him.

Well, tributes are pouring in. Broadcast journalist and NBC morning show co-host Hoda Kotb reacted to the news, tweeting a picture of Regis and Kathie Lee, saying, heartbroken. We will miss you, Regis.

Comedian Jimmy Kimmel tweeted: Regis was a great broadcaster, a good friend and a tremendous amount of fun. He leaves behind a beautiful family and a TV legacy that will likely go unmatched. Regis, I hope our friend Rickles met you at the pearly gates with the open arms and a slew of the insults you loved so much.

And for more on his legacy, I want to bring in CNN chief media correspondent Brian Stelter.

And, Brian, there was something about Regis that everyone related to, that everyone looked up to, that everyone loved to laugh with him about.

What was it? What was that magic that he had that connected so many Americans to him?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: You know, he was both a celebrity but the every man. He came across as someone who could relate to anybody and who could make anyone laugh and anyone smile.

[16:20:03]

And it's that combination of abilities, both to be a star, to be someone who was out on the town, who was friends with lots of other celebs like David Letterman who we just saw, but also be able to relate to the viewers at home. That is what made him so special and for so many years.

I was thinking, Bianna, "Live with Kathie Lee and Regis", "Live with Regis and Kathie Lee," let's get the name right, Regis left that program many years ago, but I still sometimes turn on the TV and think I'm going to see him on the show. He was that vital, that integral to the 9:00 a.m. hour there on ABC for many years.

The president has just weighed in as well, President Trump, who has a long history with Regis. He said: One of the greats in the history of television, Regis Philbin, has passed on to even greater air waves, the president calling Regis a fantastic person and my friend. He said he kept telling me to run for president, and then president Trump noting that Regis holds the record for the Guinness book records of the most hours of U.S. television.

For me, it was "Millionaire." I loved seeing Regis on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire." When that program debuted, that game show premiered right around the turn of the century, it was a sensation like nothing else in television. It felt like the whole country was watching "Millionaire", thanks in part to his style, his charm and his wit.

Bianna, you used to be at ABC. Do you have any memories of Regis yourself?

GOLODRYGA: You know, I never met him. If I did, it was in passing. I felt as though I knew him by watching the show all the time.

STELTER: Yeah.

GOLODRYGA: You think it's hard enough to get a hit show when you have one duo. But when Kathie Lee left and they brought in Kelly Ripa, a star on her own, super talented, look what she's done with the show ever since. But you had to wonder where they going to make it again? And lo and behold, they did.

He brought the same chemistry with a new co-host and it was the "Seinfeld" of morning television. I tuned in to hear about their mundane dinners the night before or their exchanges with family members, how he talked about his grandson, Mr. Trouble, he called him.

You really felt as though you were invited into their families for that one hour. That's what made that show so special and what made his qualities so special. But he also was an industry legend. He started off as an NBC page.

STELTER: Yes. That's right. It was even Los Angeles in his formative years as a talk show host there before making it to the national stage. You know, I feel like, Bianna, we live in this Instagram age where everybody is trying to share their lives and be authentic and be themselves on social media. Regis was doing that decades ago.

As we said earlier, he pioneered that idea of sharing your life and making people want to know, making people actually interested in what was going on, what was going to happen next. And that was partly because of his charm and his likability.

He also -- you know, you mentioned both Kathie Lee Gifford and Kelly Ripa, he had a way of making his co-hosts seem like stars as well. That is a real gift not only in television but in life. Think about any time you're at a party and someone works others into the conversation, Regis was the ultimate conversationalist.

And I think there are generations of television hosts out there who have looked up to him and will continue to look up to him for that reason.

GOLODRYGA: And our thoughts, of course, this afternoon are with his television family, his fans, and most importantly his wife Joy and her family. We will be talking about him and his contributions that he's made, his legacy, throughout the rest of the day today.

Brian Stelter, thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it.

And we'll be back in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:28:06]

GOLODRYGA: Doctors and researchers have all been very clear about their hopes for a vaccine. It doesn't exist yet, and the best scenario is still that it's months away. Well, now, a new fear that many Americans will have access to the vaccine but won't get it.

Here's CNN's Brian Todd.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's what millions of us have been hanging our hopes on to get past this crushing pandemic, to return to work, to school, to go back to our favorite restaurants and bars, to work out at the gym, a deployable vaccine for coronavirus, which experts say could arrive late this year or early next. But experts are now worried that when it comes, many Americans will reject the vaccine.

DR. VIVEK MURTHY, FORMER U.S. SURGEON GENERAL: Already, surveys are showing us that nearly half of people are not inclined to take a COVID-19 vaccine, even if it was available today. That's a shocking number and it's deeply concerning.

TODD: In May, one poll from "The Associated Press" and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research showed only about half of Americans said they'd get the vaccine. Twenty percent said they wouldn't. Thirty-one percent weren't sure. Other polls from CNN and "The Washington Post" and ABC news showed about 2/3 of Americans said they would get the vaccine.

Still, experts are worried about any significant numbers of people rejecting the vaccine.

DR. PAUL OFFIT, VACCINE EDUCATION CENTER, CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL OF PHILADELPHIA: If a large percentage chose not to get vaccinated, then we would never get herd immunity.

TODD: Experts say there are several reasons people don't trust a potential coronavirus vaccine.

ED YONG, SCIENCE WRITER, THE ATLANTIC: A lot of people are going to resist the very idea of getting it because they've been told for months, years now, not to trust experts.

TODD: Until recently, President Trump went against the advice of his own task force experts and rejected mask wearing. And during the pandemic, he's questioned the guidance of America's top scientists on reopening the country. [16:30:00]

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Dr. Fauci has made some mistakes.

A little bit of an alarmist.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): But the mistrust of a vaccine cannot just be placed only at the president's feet. Experts say the very name of the project to push the vaccine through fuels skepticism.

DR. PAUL OFFIT, VACCINE EDUCATION CENTER, CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL OF PHILADELPHIA: I think when people hear the term, Warp Speed, they assume that steps are being skipped. They assume that there are corners that are being cut. And therefore, this may be a vaccine, because it's being made so quickly, it's less than optimal, that may have poor safety qualities or poor effectiveness qualities.

TODD: Doctors acknowledge the vaccine likely won't be a magic bullet for coronavirus, that even after it comes out, it could be several months before we know how effective it is.

But they have a simple stark message tonight for those who are rejecting it.

OFFIT: The choice not to get a vaccine is the choice of taking the real and very serious risk of being infected by this virus and being asked to suffer or be hospitalized or die from this virus.

TODD (on camera): Dr. Paul Offit says a crucial part of this vaccine program is for the president, the task force, any leader involved in this to be as transparent as possible with the public about the vaccine even before it rolls out.

And that means being honest with the Americans about what our leaders know and don't know about the vaccine every step of the way.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GOLODRYGA: Joining me now, CNN medical analyst, Dr. Jonathan Reiner. He is also professor of medicine at George Washington University.

Dr. Reiner, thank you so much for joining us.

With at least one poll showing that more than 30 percent of Americans don't trust a vaccine, is that enough, in your opinion, to tank efforts to beat this virus once a vaccine becomes available?

JONATHAN REINER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: I think it's a big concern. You know, one would think that with the toll that the virus has taken on our society, that once a vaccine is available, people would line up like they do when a new iPhone is released. But I'm not sure that's going to happen. I asked a patient in clinic this week if he would get the vaccine when

it was released, and he shook his head and said no. When I asked him why, he said he's worried about the safety. So, we do need a frank conversation about safety.

I agree with Brian Todd's report. Just the name "Warp Speed" is concerning for a lot of people. We have a saying in medicine that, in an emergency, we move quickly but we don't rush. So, Warp Speed does have a little bit of a taint of being rushed.

But even in the best year with the flu vaccine, only 45 percent of adults get the vaccine. We have a cancer vaccine, that's the HPV vaccine. Only 48 percent of adolescents are vaccinated for cancer.

So, we have a substantial way to go to get 60 percent to 70 percent of the country to accept this vaccine.

GOLODRYGA: Trust is a key element here.

It's interesting you talk about the name Operation Warp Speed. I was listening to an interview with epidemiologist, Michael Osterhom, this week. He says he wishes that's not the name it was given. He thinks it's done damage as far as conveying trust when you have a name like Warp Speed because people think they don't give enough attention in researching it.

I want you to listen to this from former CDC director, Thomas Frieden.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

THOMAS FRIEDEN, FORMER CDC DIRECTOR: There's already too much suspicion and hesitancy about vaccines. And the way to address that is to just say it like it is and be sure what we're doing, when we're doing it, what we're learning when we're learning it.

This is the first time we've had an anti-vaccine movement before we've had the vaccine.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GOLODRYGA: So, for now, we've spent a lot of time talking about internal politics here as it relates to coronavirus. The anti-vax movement is worldwide and growing over the past decade.

Can people who oppose vaccines be reached through the transparency Dr. Frieden describes there?

REINER: I hope so. This is why we need, going forward, the scientists and the truth tellers to be briefing the public on a periodic basis. You know, we need Doctors Birx and Fauci and Peter Hotez, who you'll speak to in a few minutes --

GOLODRYGA: Yes.

REINER: -- to continuously brief the public. We need them to decipher the studies as they come out. And I think if we do that, you know, we'll desensitize, so to speak, a

lot of the doubters, get them to understand that we won't release a vaccine if it's not safe. We won't release a vaccine if it's not efficacious.

And if we do that over the next several months, then we'll have more people accept this.

I also want a public program to get more and more people to accept the flu vaccine this fall. In no year has it been more important for Americans to get vaccinated for the flu. And we need to do that.

GOLODRYGA: This is something Dr. Redfield, the CDC director, has brought up as well.

I'm glad you brought up the need to hear more from the medical community. And given that we are seeing the president, once again, come out with these task force briefings, one thing is missing, and that is the medical experts.

[16:35:11]

He said that Dr. Birx is out in the hallway somewhere. We know that Dr. Fauci hasn't been invited.

What is your take on that? Because there's one part of the country that says it's important that we hear from the president. But obviously, we don't hear from the medical experts who are on this task force with him.

REINER: Well, if you have somebody like Dr. Fauci at a briefing and he follows the president, he's going to act like a real-time fact- checker. And that's troublesome for this administration.

And if the president says something like the virus is just going to go away or cast doubt on masks or other therapeutic -- or promotes an unproven therapeutic, and you have someone like Tony Fauci there, he's going to tell the truth. And that is problematic.

I would say favor briefings with only the scientists. I would have no politicians, no administration officials other than scientists, physicians, NIH officials at these briefings. Let the public hear unvarnished from people whose own job is to put down the pandemic.

GOLODRYGA: Hopefully, if the president is watching, he will take that into consideration. I think that's really important you just flagged that for us.

Dr. Jonathan Reiner, thank you so much. We appreciate it.

REINER: My pleasure.

GOLODRYGA: Coming up, new coronavirus records in South Carolina and in Georgia, where a U.S. Senate candidate is now awaiting results from his test after his wife was infected. Plus, W. Kamau Bell digs into the truth on farming in America on a

brand-new episode of "UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA," airing tomorrow on CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:40:57]

GOLODRYGA: In South Carolina, coronavirus deaths have reaching an all- time high. Today the state recorded its highest single day spike in COVID-19 related deaths.

It comes as states across the south struggle to contain the virus, Like in Georgia. Friday reported more than 4,800 new cases. That's a new single-day record for the state.

CNN's Natasha Chen is in Atlanta.

Natasha, what more can you tell us?

NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, the good news is the Georgia Department of Public Health released new numbers for Saturday. Those numbers show more than 3,700 new COVID cases across the state within the last 24 hours. That is down from Friday's record that you just mentioned.

But the overall trend is disturbing. It has gone steadily upward over the last few weeks.

Today, we heard from Jon Ossoff. He's a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate here in Georgia. He tweeted today his wife, an OB/GYN at a hospital here, tested positive for coronavirus yesterday after feeling some symptoms earlier in the week. He also said he personally felt symptoms too and is awaiting test results.

The campaign said he had not held or participated in any in-person events in at least a month. And he and his wife would be in isolation until cleared by doctors.

He's not the only high-profile poll situation here who's tested positive for COVID. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms tested positive for COVID-19 along with her husband and one of their children. Last Wednesday, she tweeted, however, that she is out of quarantine and they're feeling much better.

And she is, however, still facing a different battle against the Georgia governor, Brian Kemp, who has sued her and the Atlanta city council over local restrictions that are more stringent than the statewide executive order. She had recommended a roll back to phase one and they have a mask mandate here in the city.

But a judge has asked Bottoms and Kemp to sit down with mediation before Tuesday. So, there's hope that they can work something out.

Bottoms has said, even as late as Thursday, that she is trying to iron out the differences between her and the governor, that they had a good phone call, a good conversation last week, and that she said both she and the governor agree masks do save lives -- Bianna?

GOLODRYGA: That is a step in the right direction and a productive phone call.

Natasha Chen, thank you so much.

A quick programming note. Jon Ossoff will join Wolf Blitzer in "THE SITUATION ROOM" tonight.

[16:43:34]

Coming up, flash bangs and tear gas. After nearly 60 days, the unrest in Portland shows no signs of slowing down as protesters face off yet again with federal agents.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:48:27]

GOLODRYGA: Another night of tension, another night of violence as protesters and police face off in Portland.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(CHANTING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GOLODRYGA: This massive crowd of protesters chanting Black Lives Matter in downtown Portland Friday night.

Two things different about this demonstration. The crowd much larger than in days past. And the law enforcement efforts to keep control more forceful. At one point, Federal agents fired tear gas into the crowd.

CNN's Lucy Kafanov is in Portland right now.

Lucy, it's still early in the day but you say the crowds tend to grow as the afternoon goes on. Are police expecting a repeat of the chaos that you saw there last night?

LUCY KAFANOV, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Bianna, the protests for racial justice are now entering their 60th consecutive day here in Portland, that showing no sign of letting up.

The federal presence around here largely concentrated on the U.S. federal courthouse building behind me. That's showing no sign of ramping down.

As this continues, both sides are likely to stand their ground. This is something we saw very much play out last night. Thousands of people gathering here to chant, to protest peacefully in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

We saw the now-famous so-called wall of mums, mothers wearing yellow shirts, linking arms, using their bodies to protect the demonstrators from what they describe as the excessive use of force, things like tear gas, rubber bullets, non-lethal weapons to try to disperse the crowd.

[16:50:06]

We're seeing fathers coming out with leaf blowers in an attempt to push back the tear gas towards the federal agents away from the crowd.

Another human wall, this time military veterans joining the protest movement to try to protect the demonstrators.

Now, the protesters yesterday suffering two setbacks. A federal judge denied the state's attempt to get an injunction to block these federal policing actions, things like whisking protesters in unmarked vans, detaining people with probable cause. That effort was denied.

Also the U.S. attorney here announcing federal criminal charges against 18 people. Those charges including assaulting federal officers.

But what you hear from demonstrators on the street, from black leaders here, they don't want this to become a spectacle. They want the message to stay on point, that Black Lives Matter. They want to see racial reform in the United States -- Bianna?

GOLODRYGA: It's interesting to see we've now seen former military and armed services officials there joining the protesters as well. Of course, the whole world is watching what's transpiring there in Portland.

Thank you so much, Lucy. We appreciate it.

CNN legal analyst, Elie Honig, joins me now for "CROSS EXAM" to answer your questions.

Ellie, it's been so long. It's nice to see you, my friend.

One viewer wants to know: Is it legal for the federal government to send law enforcement agents into any city for any purpose, or are there limits on what federal agents can do?

ELIE HONIG, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: So, Bianna, there certainly are limitations and we're seeing them seriously tested right now.

Now, we have dozens of federal agencies in this country, FBI, Homeland Security, on down the line. Their job is to investigate and charge federal crimes. There's no such thing as generalized police force. That's why feds aren't doing safety patrols in the neighborhood, responding to 911 calls.

The 10th Amendment to the Constitution and the Supreme Court have told us it is a state power not federal power to police the general safety and welfare.

We are seeing misuse of federal resources. The president said he would redeploy up to 75,000 federal agents. We only have 100,000 federal agents total in this country. We're going to tell three-fourths of all federal agents, stop what you're doing, stop investigating real federal crimes, cybercrime, corruption, terrorism and hit the streets.

The feds cannot arrest for state crimes. We need to keep a close eye on Portland.

Yes, the feds have the right to enforce federal law, but Portland, we've seen it go well beyond. You have unidentified federal agencies in some cases using excessive force, in some cases making arrests without probable cause. That's against the law.

Much depends on how the agents are deployed, but Portland is showing us, I think a really dangerous use of federal power.

GOLODRYGA: It is hard to see how more agents deployed there will do anything to de-escalate the tensions we're seeing, which is obviously the ultimate goal.

Let me get to the next question because it involves the president's former personal attorney. This viewer asks: How common or uncommon is it for a person being released from prison, like Michael Cohen, to have to agree not to speak to the media?

HONING: Well, Bianna, not only is it uncommon, I've never seen this before in 14 years as a prosecutor. Whenever a person gets released from prison, on bail, on parole, on supervised release, it's common to give that person conditions, a curfew, ankle bracelet, drug testing.

But this idea you can't talk to the press certainly looks like it was invented just for Michael Cohen.

A federal judge, of course, this week found that that was a First Amendment violation. It's really remarkable. We have the federal government locking somebody up, throwing them in jail because he would not give up his First Amendment right. That is not the stuff of an American democracy.

There could be more litigation ahead. Cohen could sue the government for wrongful imprisonment. How high up did this decision go? Where did it start from?

GOLODRYGA: The federal judge said they've never seen anything like this as well.

Last question, relating to COVID-19. The viewer asks: Does the president have the legal power to impose a mandatory order requiring people to wear face masks in public?

HONIG: Short answer, yes. The president, through HHS, can issue regulations to prevent the spread of disease. That includes extreme measures such as inspection, disinfection, even destruction of goods. Requiring face masks in public is way less extreme than that.

It's well within the president's discretion. He has the legal power but has chosen not to use it. [16:55:00]

GOLODRYGA: Let's see if he does in the days and weeks ahead.

Elie, great to see you. Have a wonderful weekend.

HONIG: Thank you, Bianna.

GOLODRYGA: Thank you so much.

HONIG: Thanks.

GOLODRYGA: Quick break. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GOLODRYGA: You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Bianna Golodryga, in for Ana Cabrera.

[16:59:58]

Across the country, the coronavirus pandemic is shattering records for the number of people infected and dying. Today, for the fourth straight day, more than 1,000 people reported dead in just 24 hours.