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Cases Rise and ICU Beds Fill Up in Florida; Emotional Toll of Fighting COVID-19 on Healthcare Workers; U.S. Consulate in Western China Shutting Down; U.S. Republicans to Propose $1 Trillion Stimulus Plan; Georgia's Battle Over How to Reopen Schools; Final Journey of Congressman John Lewis; Travelers from Spain to U.K. and Norway Must Quarantine. Aired 12-1a ET
Aired July 27, 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: More than 16 million cases of the coronavirus worldwide. The U.S. alone, home to more than a quarter of them.
Also, fight or flight. When one mistake can mean their life or yours. We'll explore the stress facing doctors and nurses on the front lines in the battle against COVID-19.
And stars and stripes no more. An American consulate closes as China retaliates for the loss of one of its consulates in the U.S.
Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is CNN NEWSROOM. I am Michael Holmes.
Hello. Welcome, everyone. Coronavirus cases are climbing. The crisis is deepening, and time is running out for millions of jobless Americans. Now just days away from losing special unemployment benefits they've been relying on during this pandemic.
Senate Republicans are sent to roll out a trillion-dollar relief package on Monday, but they've been fighting for weeks over the size and scope of any new unemployment aid. And there could be a lot more wrangling before any money actually gets to the people who need it.
The U.S. has about a quarter, as we said, of the 16 million COVID-19 cases worldwide. And this week, the country could hit another mark no one wants to see, as it marches towards 150,000 lives lost to the virus.
On Sunday, Texas announced it had topped 5,000 deaths. And now parts of the state are facing yet another disaster, reeling from the aftermath of Hurricane Hanna.
Florida is the second biggest epicenter in the U.S., just behind California. For 23 days this month, the state has reported more than 9,000 new cases Sunday. No exception. Intensive care beds in the state are filling up. And despite that, officials are still looking for ways to continue to reopen. Randi Kaye tells us the state of play.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Here in the state of Florida, another 9,259 new cases and 77 deaths, bringing the total number of deaths for Floridians to more than 5,800 now. And Florida now has the second highest number of COVID deaths in the country.
Meanwhile, statewide, still about 9,000 people are hospitalized. And the -- there's about 18 percent of adult ICU beds left in the state.
Meanwhile, in Miami-Dade, one of the hardest hit counties here in southern Florida, they're looking at a daily positivity rate there of 18 percent. And the ICU beds also running low. They're at 146 percent capacity, so now they are converting regular beds to regular hospital beds to those ICU beds so they can help treat those patients with what they need.
Meanwhile, people in Miami-Dade still not paying attention to that mask mandate and social distancing. They're supposed to wear a mask when they can't safely social distance inside and outside.
Miami-Dade Police Department telling me that they've issued 115 citations for businesses. That's a $500 fine. And also, another 174 citations to individuals. That's a $100 fine.
Meanwhile, bars and breweries could soon reopen in the state. Here in Palm Beach County, the restaurants are already open. They're open to about 50 percent capacity. But the bars and the breweries were closed at the end of last month. So now the chief business regulator is saying they could open soon. He's looking for a safe and smart way to do so.
Meanwhile, the Florida Brewers Guild certainly on board with that. They say that they represent about 300 breweries. They wrote a letter to the governor and the business regulation chief saying that 100 of those will close if they don't reopen soon. And they also say that the industry gives about 10,000 jobs to the state, and a third of those jobs could be lost.
I'm Randi Kaye reporting on Singer Island, Florida. Back to you.
HOLMES: Doctors, nurses, they are all, of course, constantly reinventing the medical emergency playbook as coronavirus throws ever more challenges at them.
Now, you're about to get a look inside a hospital in Georgia that has been slammed with new COVID-19 patients and taking extreme measures to try to save lives. Here's Gary Tuchman.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) KRISTINE HABEN, REGISTERED NURSE: I'll be with you all in a second.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): She is not doing well. A female COVID patient being transferred from her room to the intensive care unit at the Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville, Georgia, a state where COVID deaths have nearly doubled since earlier this morning.
HABEN: It's exhausting. It has pushed me to my limit. It has shown me that I'm a lot stronger than I thought I was.
TUCHMAN: Kristina Haben is an RN at this hospital, which is in a part of Georgia that was a hot zone earlier on in the COVID crisis. But numbers started dropping. The state started reopening, leading experts say, to what's happening now.
HABEN: Just when you think that we might be getting ahead of this thing, it's going to come back, and we're starting all over again.
TUCHMAN: This used to be a corridor for regular hospital in-patients. It has now been transformed into an additional intensive care unit just for COVID patients. Dr. Stephen Morgan is treating many of them.
DR. STEPHEN MORGAN, NORTHEAST GEORGIA MEDICAL CENTER: Yes, I have to admit, I thought we were probably clear. You know, I think a lot of us did.
TUCHMAN: Dr. Morgan says the rising COVID numbers make the job more difficult, more fatiguing.
He checks on a middle-aged COVID patient and is gratified by his progress.
MORGAN: A real strong guy. Got started out on some Remdesivir as soon as he can to -- to the hospital.
TUCHMAN: But it's a very different feeling as registered nurse Haben walks into this room. This man is being treated in a specially- designated COVID unit. This is not the ICU, but there is worry that he might end up going there.
(on camera): This patient has been here for two days. There's a lot of concern, obviously, for anybody in the COVID unit, but particularly for this man, because he's very ill.
(voice-over): He has been given sugar water to keep his blood sugar up, as well as insulin.
HABEN: One of the hardest things is knowing that the last time that that patient's family saw them could possibly be the last time that they get to see them.
TUCHMAN: This medical center is prepared for more and more patients being admitted. This unusual-looking structure sits in a hospital parking lot. Patients will soon start getting moved inside. (on camera): This rapidly constructed hospital addition consists of 44
shipping containers piece together. There are 20 rooms for COVID patients.
BETSY ROSS, NURSE MANAGER: Everything that you would get in a traditional hospital room inside the hospital, we are capable of doing here in this unit.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Everyone we talk with here expresses pride at what we are doing, but as the numbers go up, so does the concern and, in some cases, fear.
TAMIKA JOHNSON, CHARGE NURSE: Well, I guess you know what post- traumatic stress is. That's how I feel. I mean, it's like, I feel like something that we should be able to prevent from happening. It's like we have no control over it in reality. And the patients pass away. It's almost like, we get so close to them, it's like losing a family member.
TUCHMAN: These doctors and nurses also consider each other family members. People they work with, fight this virus with, for as long as it takes.
Gary Tuchman, CNN, Gainesville, Georgia.
HOLMES: Now, that's the situation facing medical professionals in Georgia. Now a quick look at conditions in Miami, one of the worst hotspots in the U.S.
Healthcare workers out of Miami Hospital are suiting up every day like this: layer after layer of personal protective gear to keep themselves safe.
But a growing numbers of doctors and nurses say they need more than just physical protections. One doctor who had the coronavirus himself says it's the unknowns of the virus that are taking a big toll on him and his colleagues.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. MARK SUPINO, JACKSON MEMORIAL HOSPITAL: In Florida, we are used to hurricanes, right? So you've got the warning the hurricane's going to hit. The hurricane hits, and then you have the aftermath.
But a hurricane tends to be sort of a finite amount of time. And this is infinite. And so you don't have this knowledge of an aftermath, when you have no idea how long the hurricane is lasting. So that definitely makes the day-to-day difficult AS healthcare workers, is not knowing when is the end.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[00:10:10] HOLMES: More now on the mental and physical burden facing doctors and nurses, I'm joined by Dr. Dhruv Khullar. He's a physician and assistant professor of health policy at Weill Cornell Medicine.
Such an important issue. I think for those of who have never been in such situations, it's impossible to know the real level of stress and trauma that healthcare workers are dealing with. Just try to explain the visceral nature of that experience.
DR. DHRUV KHULLAR, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF HEALTH POLICY, WEILL CORNELL MEDICINE: Yes, thank you for having me on. And I think it's such an important issue to understand what healthcare workers are going through on the ground right now during this pandemic.
You know, I think it's been overwhelming in a lot of areas. At the beginning, particularly of the pandemic, a lot of folks did not have personal protective equipment. They didn't have the resources that they needed.
I think we're at a different place now, but nonetheless, seeing the number of COVID-19 patients come in, caring for them day in, day out, is a struggle for a lot of healthcare providers. And it continues to be that way.
HOLMES: You know, for many of these workers, I mean, and young doctors and nurses and therapists, and the like. They would never have seen anything like this. And by that I mean, the volume of patients, the deaths, the suffering.
And on top of that, the fear that they could contract the virus themselves. How widespread do you think post-traumatic stress issues are or might be for the frontline workers?
KHULLAR: You know, it's a great point. I think one thing to recognize is that medicine has always been a demanding profession. There's always been a lot of challenges that people have had to go through as they're caring for patients. So there is that baseline.
Those things have been exacerbated during the pandemic. It's been challenging for a lot of folks. We're seeing some studies that are coming out of China, coming out of Italy, places where the pandemic hit early and hit hard. Some of those studies are suggesting that people have symptoms of PTSD and depression, up to 50 percent of frontline clinicians.
Now, I don't think that it will continue. My hope is that some of those symptoms will improve over time and particularly as we're getting better, more experienced at caring for patients, as we have the resources that we need to do so.
My hope is that clinicians now don't have those high levels of PTSD or depressive symptoms, but it's certainly an ongoing issue that we need to be aware of and that we need to help people through.
HOLMES: And you know, I've covered a few wars and conflicts over the last 40 years. And I know with the impact can be. That sense that if you are not there, no one can understand what it is like.
Is what these brave people experience akin to a war-like -- war zone- like experience. And what help are they getting, and what do they need?
KHULLAR: Yes, you know, I think things have evolved a lot over the past few months. I think at the beginning of the pandemic, there were real fears about not having adequate PPE, about not having the number of oxygen delivery devices that folks needed.
Those things have improved, thankfully. We're doing a much better job with having testing, with having PPE, with having oxygen delivery devices and ventilators that we need.
But nonetheless, the number of patients that are coming in, particularly in hard-hit areas where this pandemic is continuing, where -- where there's not great adherence to masks and physical distancing, it still feels like a deluge of patients and challenges for healthcare workers, doctors, for nurses in some of these areas.
You know, one thing that I would say is that, you know, I worked in New York City at the height of the pandemic here in April. Nearly every single patient I cared for had COVID-19. We implemented the right public health guidance. People adhere to it. By mid-June, there were times where I had no patients who had COVID-19.
So I want to also give hope to doctors and nurses and respiratory therapists that are out there right now and struggling in some really hard-hit areas, that things will get better. That we need to continue to work on public health and communicate effectively about the importance of these issues. And my hope is that things will continue to -- or at least start to improve in the coming weeks.
HOLMES: When it comes to the stresses of the impact and I think, you know, there have been suicides among healthcare workers and even doctors and so on.
When it comes to the levels of stress and what they are up against, what would you like people to know about what is happening in these ICUs? What message do you want them to take from the conversation we've just had and the article you wrote in "The New Yorker"?
KHULLAR: I think the -- the main thing I want to communicate is if you're feeling stressed, if you're feeling anxious and depressed there's help out there. Your peers are there for you.
COVID-19, for all sorts of reasons, can be a very isolating illness, both for clinicians, doctors, nurses, as well as patients and families.
And so we need to make extra efforts at this time to stay connected with one another. That might be through facetime, through support groups, through phone calls, through text messages. Whatever it might be in your case. Given the need for physical distancing, even from one's own family in
a lot of cases, a lot of my colleagues are not staying with their families right now, to make sure that they're not passing on the virus to their loved ones. So we need to make extra efforts to stay connected with either healthcare workers, with our friends, and with our families.
HOLMES: That really is an important point. Doctor Dhruv Khullar, thank you so much. I really appreciate you doing what you do. And the article in "The New Yorker," people should check it out. Thank you.
KHULLAR: My pleasure. Thanks for having me.
HOLMES: While Brazil now has more than 2.4 million coronavirus cases. And it took only five months to get there. A coalition representing more than a million healthcare workers in the country says President Jair Bolsonaro is responsible for, quote, "crimes against humanity" for how he's responding to the epidemic.
Nick Paton Walsh is in Brazil. Here is his report.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A slight respite, perhaps, in the numbers Brazil recorded in 24 hours that ended on Sunday. Only 24,000 new cases.
I say only because in the three days previously, every 24 hours had seen over 50,000 new cases. Terrifying numbers, frankly, for a country whose president's tested positive for two weeks, despite playing down the severity of the disease, and emerged on Saturday morning on Twitter to say that he, in fact, tested negative, essentially giving himself a clear bill of health.
But brandishing like he has done over the past months, particularly during his illness, the medicine hydroxychloroquine. Now that's, according to doctors and scientists globally useless if you have coronavirus and possibly even dangerous.
Yet still, he continues to tout it, particularly here in the seats of government, the capital, Brasilia. In the day, Saturday, in which he declared himself negative, he went to a motorcycle show and talked about he wouldn't even have known that he had the coronavirus, had he not tested positive, in stark contradiction to his earlier statements that, in fact, he had felt he had a slight fever.
And has seemed more focused on an ongoing battle over freedom of speech in social media in the country, than necessarily fighting the virus that's sweeping across the country.
Stark criticism leveled against him, though, by medical professionals, who put together a 62-page document that they're sending to the Hague, to the international court there, to essentially accuse President Jair Bolsonaro of crimes against humanity, suggesting that his rhetoric playing down the disease. The failure of his government to act decisively may well have contributed to so many of the deaths still surging here in Brazil.
A slight respite to those numbers on Sunday, only 24,000. That's after a horrifying week, frankly, where most days saw 50,000 new cases. The surge still continuing here.
Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Brasilia, Brazil.
HOLMES: Well, days after the U.S. forced a Chinese consulate to shut down, Beijing retaliates by closing an American consulate. We will take you there live when we come back.
HOLMES: Welcome back. The American consulate general in the Chinese city of Chengdu is officially shutting down. Just moments ago, in fact, the American flag outside the building was lowered as U.S. diplomats prepared to leave.
Afterwards, they tweeted a farewell message from the consulate, saying, quote, "We will miss you forever."
China ordered the U.S. to close the site last week after Washington made a similar move first, forcing a Chinese consulate in Houston to cease operations. Both sides accusing each other of endangering national security.
CNN's David Culver is in Chengdu.
Good to see you there, David. What have you been able to see? And I ask you that, because you have told me it's been tough to see anything.
DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's been incredibly difficult, Michael. And it's not normal that we're doing a live cross talk with you here from a vehicle. But this is the only way that we're able to broadcast, because every time we tried to step out, and we can show you some video from earlier, to go through the police barrier, because there was a significant police presence here, quite heavy, they wouldn't let us in. They will only let in certain residents to go in and select media.
For sure, they allowed state media to go through, but we however, were kept outside. And so we've been making the rounds outside the perimeter.
Behind me, here, if you keep going farther back, you hit where the U.S. consulate was. Where it was. It no longer is here, as of 10 a.m. this morning. The minister of foreign affairs saying it is officially closed.
And as you mentioned, this was the reciprocal retaliation for what the U.S. officials did in Houston. Everything from the timing that they gave the U.S. diplomats to get out, equated to what the U.S. officials gave to the Chinese diplomats in Houston. It was 72 hours altogether.
It is very different here today, versus what we were able to experience being right in front of the consulate yesterday and Saturday. And that is very telling in itself, Michael, because at that time they wanted us to see what was happening. They allowed us to be broadcasting up close.
But as of today, they wanted to make sure it was only state media that was doing the broadcast and showing the images and seemingly being able to put out the narrative as China wanted it to be distributed, Michael.
HOLMES: Yes. Yes, interesting change there. What's been the reaction among the Chinese people? Because apparently on social media like Wevo (ph), there's been -- there's been a lot of anti-American sentiment going on.
And I'll tell you here, it's not so much anti-American that I've seen in person. I've had a few folks who would shout at us, as foreigners, Go home. Beyond that, though, it's mostly pro-China that we've seen. We've seen some people chanting, some people holding signs. But they were quickly taken down by police.
The police seemingly more focused on those who were even protesting in support of China, because they just didn't want a commotion. And that's part of the reason they've kept people so far away.
But I'll tell you, the people that I've been speaking with, they seem to be supportive of China having done this reciprocal move, this retaliation. They said it had to be done after what the U.S. did, in their mind. However, they're sad to see it coming to this between the U.S. and China. That was echoed to me several times.
HOLMES: You know, I've got to ask you, is there a sense among Chinese officials that the U.S. posture is at least part of the election campaign? Not just the consular closure, but a whole raft of things that have been happening over recent months. So the Chinese sort of factor in this is an election year, and China is -- it's a convenient bogeyman?
CULVER: There's no question. They've factored that in. It's campaign rhetoric. It comes with the election year. They know that. However, where they draw the line is action that they see as irreversible and damaging to the relationship between the U.S. and China.
So even though it may just be campaign rhetoric and action in the U.S., to shut down the Chinese consulate there, they felt like they had to retaliate, if anything, to maintain some sort of, I would say, approval in the domestic crowd. I mean, the Chinese state media was pushing for China to respond. So no longer could they simply just put out harsh words. With this instance they had to respond with action.
HOLMES: David Culver in a moving live shot in Chengdu, thanks to the Chinese security. Very -- very well done that you made it happen, David.
Good to see you. David Culver there.
CULVER: Thanks, Michael.
HOLMES: We're going to take a quick break. A key unemployment benefit expires this week in the U.S. We'll take a look at what Senate Republicans and the White House are proposing instead in their latest stimulus plan. We'll be right back.
HOLMES: Welcome back, everyone, to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Michael Holmes. Appreciate you spending part of your day with us.
The U.S. Senate Republicans are set to present their latest stimulus plan in the coming hours. The $1 trillion proposal would not extend the $600 weekly boost to unemployment benefits, which is due to expire.
Instead, it would offer 70 percent of the worker's wages, as opposed to a flat rate, which Democrats want.
The plan also includes $1,200 checks to many Americans, $105 billion for schools and another targeted round of forgivable small business loans.
Eleni Giokos is in Johannesburg with more on all of this.
Talking about another relief plan for a while, now. And it's not done yet, which really seems extraordinary, given you've got millions of unemployed Americans. They've just gotten their last enhanced benefit check.
Weekend -- this weekend, eviction protections are gone. What's been holding up the announcement of what is a crucial plan?
ELENI GIOKOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I mean, Michael, there's so much at stake. You'd think that the targets are trying to get something on the table by the end of the week would have happened. We are hoping to hear something today.
And as you say, millions of vulnerable Americans received their last enhanced benefits on Saturday. It was $600 a week in unemployment benefits in the hands of the most vulnerable in this -- in the country.
It's also really important to note that there's going to be a lapse between the benefits that we've seen that have been in place since the start of the pandemic and what we'll see going forward.
Now, they're saying that the number was way too high, that it needs to be revised. And we know the Democrats on the other hand, have been talking about extending the benefit as is until the end of the year. I want you to take a listen to what White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY KUDLOW, WHITE HOUSE ECONOMIC ADVISER: It won't stop the assistance. It's going to -- it's going to cap the assistance at a level that is consistent with people going back to work. That's what we've said from day one.
First of all, state unemployment benefits stay in place. Second of all, we will try to cap the benefits at about 70 percent of wages.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIOKOS: It's not a simple system, Michael. I mean, 70 percent of wages. You 'e basically looking at millions of Americans on a case-by- case basis.
So how do you implement this? And of course, how long is that going to take? Those are one of the big concerns coming to the fore.
We know that the Republicans are also talking about a $1 trillion dollar stimulus plan overruled. The Democrats are saying it's going to be closer to $3 trillion.
And then, of course, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi voiced her concerns about revising that figure, the $600 a week figure to 70 percent wages and the kind of issues they might encounter. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Let me just say this. The reason we had $600 was its simplicity. And figuring out 70 percent of somebody's wages -- people don't all make a salary -- maybe they do. They make wages. And they sometimes have it very. So why don't we just keep it simple? Unemployment benefits and the enhancement, which is so essential right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIOKOS: And Michael, I mean, look at the proposal of all -- look at these details. One thing that stands out is, of course, the end of the eviction protections, as well. That is going to be absolutely key. We're hearing that certain states are setting up shelters and other infrastructure so that lawyers can meet with tenants that might be facing eviction. That could be a reality for many people.
Also important to note, another proposal that we heard that might come through today is that Republicans and Democrats might actually just look at various key elements that are going to be vital in protecting the vulnerable.
We know that the Democrats in the past have said, Look, we don't want to take a piecemeal approach. Want to look at the bill (ph) as a whole and proposal as a whole. But of course, in terms of protecting people, maybe that's one way to look at it. HOLMES: Yes, those stimulus checks, there's people who applied for
those back in April and May who still haven't had them. And a lot of analysts think that these new ones won't be on anyone's hands till perhaps October, which yes, it's going to be tough days ahead for millions of Americans.
Eleni Giokos, great to see you there in Jo-burg. Thank you.
Well, members of the White House coronavirus task force insist the U.S. has enough tests for anyone who needs one. Wants one, needs one. Admiral Brett Giroir admits the U.S. can improve its testing, and he compared the amount of work and focus being put into the matter to the Manhattan Project, which led to the creation of the atomic bomb during World War Ii.
Giroir spoke with CNN's Jake Tapper.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Are you happy where testing is right now?
ADMIRAL BRETT GIROIR, WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS TASK FORCE: I'm never going to be happy until we have this under control. And we're going to continue to push every single day to improve the testing.
TAPPER: In March, President Trump said falsely, anyone who wants a test can get a test. At one point will be true, sir? That anybody who wants a test will be able to get one with a quick turnaround so as to be effective? When will that be true?
GIROIR: What is true now is that anyone who needs a test can get a test. We are not in a situation, and I want to be really clear, whether it's Mick Mulvaney or anyone else, I feel like going somewhere, so I need a test. That is not where we are.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: Well, the U.S. state of Georgia was among the first to reopen during the pandemic and recently reported a record number of new cases in a single day.
CNN's Natasha Chen looks at how some Georgia schools plan to reopen next month, despite all the new infections.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's our future! That's our future!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's our future! That's our future!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's our future! That's our future!
NATASHA CHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): During a typical summer break, children aren't usually running toward a school building, demanding to go to class, but in the midst of a pandemic, these students and parents in Gwinnett County outside of Atlanta are protesting the state's largest school district's change of heart on reopening, going all virtual instead of offering some in-class options.
KELLY WILLYARD, MOTHER OF TWO FIFTH-GRADERS: All of a sudden, two weeks before school, you know, the rug is getting pulled out from underneath us all, and we're scrambling.
CHEN: Kelly Willyard told CNN's Chris Cuomo she understands the health risks and respects parents who wish to keep their kids at home, but she and her husband also need to leave home for work during the day, creating a potential childcare problem.
WILLYARD: Dollywood is open. The grocery stores are open. The airlines are open. Corporate America is opening up. Gas stations, what have you. And then we as parents feel like we just got left in the dust. And you all just figure it out.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kids over COVID! Kids over COVID!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kids over COVID! Kids over COVID!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kids over COVID! Kids over COVID!
RUTH HARTMAN, FULTON COUNTY PARENT: Look, they can protest. And that's their right. However, there's no science behind it. So even if they decide to keep their kids, you know, make them go face to face -- that's on them. I can't back that at all.
CHEN: Ruth Hartman runs an unofficial parent Facebook group for Fulton County schools. She said the argument over in-class versus virtual and whether masks should be required has gotten political, when it should just be about the science.
DR. DEBORAH BIRX, WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS TASK FORCE COORDINATOR: What I can't tell you for sure, despite the South Korea study, is whether children under 10 in the United States don't spread the viruses the same as children over ten.
I think that is still an open question that needs to be studied in the United States. We certainly know from other studies that children under 10 do get infected. It's just unclear how rapidly they spread the virus.
CHEN: The overall data in Georgia shows a staggering rise in COVID-19 cases, with the highest number of them in the red zones, including Fulton and Gwinnett counties. In nearby Cobb County, the virus is also spreading aggressively.
CHRIS RAGSDALE, SUPERINTENDENT, COBB COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT: And we are in that high-spread or high-transmission section right now. And we, as an organization, cannot add to the transmission rate increasing.
CHEN: Parent opinions vary by ZIP code and if they can afford childcare or private tutoring.
In a June survey, 43 percent of Gwinnett County parents said they'd want all in-classroom learning, while just over half of them said they'd be uncomfortable with that.
In the urban core, parents in the south and west parts of Atlanta were more likely to strongly prefer virtual learning, compared to parents in the north. It's a preference often based on personal experience.
HARTMAN: I've actually attended two COVID-related funerals recently. I mean, it's happening. Even if it's not happening to you, it's happening. And it's terrifying.
CHEN: Natasha Chen, CNN, Atlanta.
HOLMES: It was a fitting and somber final journey for a U.S. civil rights icon. In a horse-drawn caisson, the body of Congressman John Lewis crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge one last time.
His march across that very bridge back in 1965 defined his role in the nonviolent movement for racial equality and led to a pivotal change for voting rights. His legacy is clear.
Martin Savidge reports.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There are still days more of tributes and farewells to U.S. congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis, but it's hard to imagine that any of them are going to come close when it comes to the imagery and the poignancy of Selma on Sunday.
John Lewis, his history as a civil rights leader, goes back some 55 years when he, with a group of other demonstrators that were actually protesting for voter rights, were crossing over the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, when they were set upon by Alabama State Police. They were severely beaten. In fact, John Lewis nearly died.
That actually became, eventually, a turning point of the civil rights movement in the United States.
And so now, in the aftermath of his death, going back, this was a connection, both to the terrible day which became known as Bloody Sunday, and to what has changed since that time.
The connections and similarity? His casket leaves the same church that the protesters left on that day, followed the same route that they followed that day.
But this time, when he approached the bridge, instead of an angry mob, it was a crowd of supporters saying, Thank you. Singing to him, praising him.
And when it came to crossing that bridge, this time, with his casket and a horse-drawn carriage, he did it all alone, met on the other side by his family and Alabama state troopers, this time who were there to honor him.
His body was then transported to Montgomery, Alabama, the capital of the state, where people waited in the pouring rain, long lines for the opportunity to pay their respects to a civil rights icon, to a powerful congressional leader, to a son of Alabama.
Martin Savidge, CNN, Montgomery, Alabama.
HOLMES: The two-time Academy Award winner Olivia de Havilland has passed away at the ripe old age of 104. She was best known for her role as Melanie Hamilton Wilkes in "Gone with the Wind." And for decades, she was the last surviving star of that historic film.
De Havilland played a huge role off the screen, as well, when she sued and won her case against Warner Brothers in the 1940s to help actors gain independence from the big studios and their contracts.
Olivia de Havilland died of natural causes in her apartment in Paris. Again, 104 years old.
HOLMES: Travelers making their way from Spain to the U.K. now have to self-quarantine for 14 days. And if they're going from Spain to Norway it's 10 days. That's all due to Spain's recent surge in coronavirus cases.
CNN's Simon Cullen with the details.
SIMON CULLEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: With the number of new coronavirus cases in Spain spiking to two-month highs, authorities there are reimposing new restrictions. Things like bars, restaurants, gyms, nightclubs, places that had previously been reopening, are now being forced to close again or face tighter restrictions.
In Barcelona itself, residents there are being told to stay at home unless they need to get food or critical medical supplies. Now the situation has become so bad that some other countries, most notably the U.K. and Norway, are reimposing quarantine rules on travelers arriving back from Spain.
So in the U.K.'s case, they announced the change in policy on Saturday; took effect first thing on Sunday morning. The U.K.'s foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, essentially saying he had no choice but to act.
DOMINIC RAAB, U.K. FOREIGN SECRETARY: Well, because the cases in Spain, the data we got was on the Friday. You obviously compile that through the course of the day. It showed a big jump right across mainland Spain. That was assessed yesterday afternoon, and we took the decision as swiftly as we could.
And we can't make apologies for doing so. We must be able to take swift, decisive action, particularly in relation to localized or internationally, in relation to Spain, a particular country where we see we must take action. Otherwise, we risk reinfection into the U.K.
CULLEN: Now, it's worth keeping in mind that Spain is a major holiday destination for British travelers. Millions go there every year, and right now is peak season.
So not only is this decision a major headache for people who were there or who are planning a holiday there, it's also a significant blow to the Spanish economy, which relies heavily on tourism and, like many others, has been battered by the coronavirus pandemic.
The response so far from the Spanish government has been diplomatic. The Spanish foreign ministry spokeswoman said in a statement that "The Spanish government considers the situation under control. Outbreaks are localized, isolated and controlled. Spain is a safe country," she says. "We respect the decisions taken by the United Kingdom with whose authorities we are in contact.:
So while the Spanish government tries to reassure travelers that it's safe to go, clearly, the U.K. and Norway are taking a different approach.
Simon Cullen, CNN, London.
HOLMES: Now some of those British tourists in Spain say they're baffled, if not angry, over the decision to quarantine them when they return to the U.K.
They say that the decision to take Spain off the safe travel list left them with no way to avoid a quarantine, since well, they are already there on holiday. And many say they feel safe in Spain.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If the spike here is quite big, I kind of get it, but if it's only minor, then I don't see the point, really. Because there's more measures here than in the U.K., at the moment anyway.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Been here for almost a week now. Everybody wears mask here and it's very helpful. I feel really safe.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the Spanish, they say it's OK to be here. And I'm very disappointing in our own government doing this to us while we're out here.
(END VIDEO CLIP) HOLMES: The Spanish government says it is negotiating with the U.K. to
try to revise the quarantine order so it won't apply to some of the country's popular beaches.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARANCHA GONZALEZ LAYA, SPANISH FOREIGN In particular our dialog efforts at the moment are focused around excluding from the quarantine measures the Balearic and the Canary Islands. For two reasons. No. 1, these are islands. Very safe territories. Number 2, their epidemiological data is extremely positive.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: The U.K. has the third highest virus death toll of any country and has more cases and fatalities than Spain.
We'll be back with more news in just a moment.
HOLMES: Plastic waste leaking into the ocean is a problem, of course, all around the world, but South Africa ranks as the 11th worst offender, with as much as 250,000 tons of plastic debris entering its waters each year, according to a 2015 study. Two hundred and fifty thousand tons.
Well, surfers from Cape Town encounter marine plastic more often than most, and some are working to solve the problem themselves. Cyril Vanier with their story.
CYRIL VANIER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With more than 17,000 miles of coastline, South Africa has a deep connection with the ocean.
However, a 2015 study showed that the rainbow nation is one of the worst polluters on the planet. World-renowned surfer Frank Solomon has spent most of his life in these waters.
FRANK SOLOMON, PROFESSIONAL SURFER: I'd honestly heard about people talking about the problem of pollution and the issues that we're facing. But to see it for myself on my home beach that's traditionally very clean, that was definitely a moment that changed my perception of the problems we are facing.
By 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish, by math. And that just blows my mind.
VANIER: Solomon has founded the Sentinel Ocean lines in his hometown of Hope Bay, Cape Town, to give underprivileged children in the area an opportunity to learn to surf and swim, whilst teaching them valuable lessons in conservation. SOLOMON: Once we've taught the kids how to surf and about lifesaving,
they'll come upstairs, and we'll educate them on why we need to protect the ocean, why we need to protect the environment. And they take that with them to real life. I think that's the biggest change that we can make.
VANIER: Solomon is not the only member of the Hope Bay surfing community looking to tackle the plastic pollution problem.
Mike Shlebach and Jasper Eales founded Sealand Gear in 2015, producing bags and accessories made from upcycled materials.
JASPER EALES, CO-FOUNDER, SEALAND: Upcycling is a process of creating new value from an existing waste material through a process of not breaking it down, but reshaping it into something new.
MIKE SHLEBACH, CO-FOUNDER, SEALAND: There's a huge amount of waste, and a lot of these materials make their way to landfill. And a lot of these materials are very good qualities. Essentially, waste is a lost revenue source. For us, there's a huge amount of waste material which holds a great value to it. You just have to look at it through the right lens.
VANIER: This year, the South African Plastics Pact was launched with government back, working towards eradicating plastic waste and pollution in the country.
SHLEBACH: One individual can have a huge difference. If every person picked up a plastic bottle, say, in South Africa that would be 50 million bottles every day that wouldn't be on the streets and wouldn't be going into waste and landfills, that would be going into the ocean.
VANIER: With the likes of Shlebach, Eales and Solomon spreading the word, there is hope that South Africa could turn the tide on its plastic plague.
Cyril Vanier, CNN.
HOLMES: And I'm Michael Holmes. Thanks for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'll be back with more after the break.