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U.S. States Still Seeing Spikes of New Coronavirus Cases; Brazil has the World's Second Largest Outbreak Second to the U.S.; U.K. and Norway Imposing Quarantine for Travelers from Spain; Hurricane Douglas Closes In on Hawaii; U.S. Consulate in Chengdu Closes. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired July 27, 2020 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KIM BRUNHUBER, CNN HOST: From bad to worse, some U.S. states see a spike in coronavirus cases as health officials urge shutdowns. We'll speak to a doctor in California about the situation there.
Plus, China closes down an American consulate, a retaliatory move for having to close one of its own.
And U.S. stimulus relief is set to expire soon. Why the White House and Republicans are optimistic about their latest proposal.
Welcome to you, our viewers here in the United States and around the world. I'm Kim Brunhuber and this is "CNN Newsroom."
Day by day thousands around the world are finding out they're infected with the coronavirus, but nowhere is the pandemic being felt more acutely than in the United States. Here's the latest.
New daily infections are still on the rise in nearly half the states. The U.S. Accounts for about a quarter of the world's total coronavirus cases and about one-fifth of all deaths.
More than 5,000 people are now reported dead in Texas alone. The Trump administration is acknowledging to CNN that it's taking too long to get test results back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRETT GIROIR, ASISTANT U.S. HEALTH SECRETARY: We are never going to be happy with testing until we get turnaround times if within 24 hours, and I would be happy with point of care testing everywhere. We are not there yet. We are doing everything we can to do that.
What can we do? We can test everybody in a hospital within 24 hours so they can get the new treatments that we developed. We are point of care testing in nursing homes or prioritizing all nursing homes because that's where 50 percent of the mortality are.
Where there's an outbreak, we're surge testing there. We're supplying the public health laboratories. I work with ACLA every single day. I call their CEOs, those are the big labs, the Quest and the LabCorps. They have pooling that was just certified last week.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRUNHUBER: With special unemployment benefits about to run out in days for millions of Americans, Republicans are about to unveil a $1 trillion relief package. So we'll take a closer look at what's in it and what happens next later this hour.
And a potential vaccine will enter phase three clinical trials this week. They'll be the most advanced trials in the U.S. and will involve some 30,000 volunteers.
With nearly 419,000 confirmed cases, 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 and Sunday was no exception. Intensive care beds in the state are filling up, and despite that, officials are looking for ways to reopen. Randi Kaye has details.
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 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 masks when they can't safely social distance inside and outside.
Miami-Dade police department telling me that they've issued 150 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 that 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.
BRUNHUBER: California still has the highest number of confirmed cases in the U.S. Right now more than 452,000, and the state's health department says cases and hospitalizations have been trending upward over the past week.
Now, that news comes almost two weeks Governor Gavin Newsom ordered all counties to close indoor activities at restaurants, movie theaters and other businesses. To discuss that, we're going to bring in Dr. Anish Mahajan who is the chief medical officer at Harbor UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles.
Thanks so much for joining us, doctor. When I left my home in Los Angeles a couple of months ago, officials in southern California were, you know, taking bows for having flattened the curve.
Now fast-forward to the present, and according to L.A. County's public health director, COVID-19, and I'll quote from her here, "appears to be on track to claim more lives in L.A. County than any disease except coronary heart disease."
So what is L.A. County going to have to do differently this time to get the cases down because what southern California did the first time obviously didn't work?
ANISH MAHAJAN, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, HARBOR-UCLA: Yes, well, what we're learning about this virus is that it's very pesky. I think everyone thought that after the stay-at-home order, when we got the case rates down and with the summer heat that we would be in better shape to keep the virus down.
But a few things happened. We reopened too quickly. And in reopening too quickly, the public didn't necessarily do everything they could to prevent the transmission of the virus in Los Angeles, across California, and as you're seeing, across the United States.
Wearing a mask is essential. Social distancing is essential. But another part of the story, what we have to do differently now, is we have to have more testing. We have to have contact tracing.
Without these steps we will be in this perpetual cycle of as we reopen, and if people don't wear their masks and they can't get tests and we don't have contact tracing, we'll again see a resurgence of infections.
BRUNHUBER: We heard from the Trump administration just recently here on CNN that, you know, states should have all the resources they need to do testing and if there's any failure, well, it's up to, you know, the states and local officials. Is that accurate? I mean, what's the problem here with testing? MAHAJAN: Well, we, unfortunately as a nation did the right thing
early in March. We were able to close and stay at home and bring the virus rates down, but what did not happen is we did not take the necessary steps to, as a nation, shore up our testing supplies.
We didn't shore up contact tracing. Without national strategies in these regards, local jurisdictions are competing with the rest of the globe for these necessary supplies.
BRUNHUBER: Now, in southern California the disease seems particularly to be targeting people in the Latinx community, urban and rural, so why is that? And are there efforts to, you know, particularly help those hard-hit communities?
MAHAJAN: Well, what we are seeing this virus do is exacerbate existing structural inequalities in racism that affect communities that are black and brown. The access to care and disparities in care for chronic diseases are worse in these populations.
And with the pandemic, it's only gotten worse. And so what we have to do is improve access to testing for these communities. We have to do a better job of educating all of our communities to come in and get care and get testing when they may be infected by the virus.
BRUNHUBER: Now, you know, there's plenty of bad news out there. If we're searching for good news, it's in the realm of vaccines.
As we reported, a potential vaccine will enter phase three clinical trials this week, but even that is fraught. Some polls suggest only half of Americans are committed to actually, you know, getting that vaccine. And I know particularly from experience, there's a very strong anti- anti-vax movement in California where you are. How do you plan to convince those folks?
MAHAJAN: Well, it's a very big challenge. I mean, if we look at annual flu vaccination rates, we are challenged. But what we can try to do this time around with the pandemic, if we are fortunate enough to have a vaccine that is safe and that's effective as we come into the winter and early spring, I think we have to have a national campaign and strategy to convince all Americans that now that we have a vaccine, this is the way out, this is the way that we can get back to living our lives.
BRUNHUBER: To do that, we might have to see, you know, President Trump taking that vaccine live on camera. Well, we'll see if that happens. Dr. Anish Mahajan, thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it.
MAHAJAN: Thank you.
BRUNHUBER: Brazil now has more than 2.4 million coronavirus cases and it only took five months to get there. The country has the second highest confirmed case count in the world behind the United States. A coalition representing more than one million health care workers in
the country says President Jair Bolsonaro is responsible for crimes against humanity for how he's responded to the epidemic. Nick Paton Walsh has the details.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: A slight respite perhaps in the numbers Brazil recorded in the 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 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 medication 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 seat of government, the capital Brasilia.
In the day, Saturday, in which he declared himself negative, he went to a motorcycle shop, talked about how he wouldn't 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 seen more focused on an ongoing battle of the freedom of speech in social media in the country than necessarily fighting the virus that is sweeping across the country.
Stark criticism levelled against him, though, by medical professionals who put together a 64-page document that they're sending to The Hague, the international court there to essentially accuse President 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 the numbers on Sunday, only 24,000, but that's after a horrifying week, frankly, in where most days saw 50,000 new cases. The surge still continuing here. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Brasilia, Brazil.
BRUNHUBER: It's also been a particularly deadly week in Mexico. The country reported more than 46,000 new cases in the past seven days alone and more than 4,500 deaths. Still, Mexico's president has said he doesn't think wearing a face mask is scientifically proven to work so he won't wear one.
And that goes against all advice from global medical professionals who say wearing a mask is the single most important thing we can do to stop the spread of the virus.
Now, 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 because of Spain's recent surge in coronavirus cases. CNN's Simon Cullen has the details.
SIMON CULLEN, JOURNALIST: With the number of new coronavirus cases in Spain spiking to two-month highs, authorities there are re-imposing some restrictions. So 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 medical supplies. Now, the situation has become so bad that some other countries, most notably the U.K. and Norway, are re-imposing 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 Sunday morning. U.K.'s foreign secretary Dominic Raab essentially saying he had no choice but to act.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DOMINIC RAAB, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: Well, because the cases in Spain, the data we got was on a Friday. You obviously compile that through the course of the day, showed a big jump right across mainland Spain. That was then 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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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 are 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 as being battered by the coronavirus pandemic.
Response so far from the Spanish government has been relatively diplomatic. The 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 respects 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., Norway are taking a different approach. Simon Cullen, CNN, London.
BRUNHUBER: Coming up, we'll show you just how bad relations are between Washington and Beijing. CNN is there as the deadline passes for the U.S. to shut down its consulate in Chengdu. We'll have the latest on the dispute and look at whether there is an overall growing resentment towards Americans.
Plus, Hawaii is starting to feel the effects of Hurricane Douglas. We go live to the CNN weather center for the latest on what could be a historic storm.
BRUNHUBER: Hawaii is bracing for Hurricane Douglas as it barrels towards the islands. The Category 1 storm has top sustained winds nearly 140 kilometers or 85 miles an hour. Hurricane warnings are in effect in Maui and Oahu and the governor is urging people to stay home.
If Douglas does make landfall in Hawaii, it would be the third hurricane to hit the state since 1959. Let's bring in meteorologist Pedram Javaheri. This sort of phenomenon I understand is rare. How bad will it be?
PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: You know, it really depends on how close to the islands it gets here within the next couple of hours, Kim. Great working with you. And you know what, when you take a look at the storm system, only 60 miles away from Honolulu at this hour.
This is the closest approach of any hurricane to the Hawaiian Islands since Iniki in 1992. That storm, of course, made landfall. It was a Category 4, devastating impacts.
This particular storm, far, far smaller, but still menacing Category 1, 85-mile-an-hour winds. You take a look. This is what Kim was referencing when it comes to only a couple of storms that made landfall as a hurricane.
It was, again, Iniki in '92 and Hurricane Dot in 1959. And a few more have kind of skirted by as tropical storms, but out of 60-plus hurricanes across this particular basin, only two have made landfall. And this particular one, Douglas, again, very close proximity.
You'll kind of notice the perspective. The strongest winds just offshore near the eye wall of the storm system, so, right on the islands there, winds about 10 to 20 miles per hour. That's the good news. But a lot of people kind of mistakenly believe that hurricanes move in a straight line. That is not the case.
I mean, you notice this. We do have hurricane warnings across a wide area of the islands at this hour. And the track often kind of misleads you in thinking that hurricanes travel in a straight line, but in fact, every single mile they kind of wobble, zigzag, left and right, up and down as they move towards a particular direction.
And in this case, it is towards the west-northwest. And within the next, say six or so hours, the storm system has the potential to make landfall near Kauai. I'll give you a most likelihood scenario here. If it wobbles slightly farther to the south and west, if that is the case, again, third storm would come ashore as a low-end Category 1.
But it's not the wind speed that's the impact. About 70 plus percent of damage, all injuries, all fatalities are related to the storm surge potential of this tropical systems and that's going to be significant.
And we know, of course, an island here with a lot of people that typically like to spend time on the beaches, hopefully that's not the case on this Sunday night into Monday morning as the storm system skirts the coast.
And again, the models do want to keep the heaviest rain offshore, but we know this is a very mountainous setup of islands. So, once you get moisture, it kind of pushes up against the mountains here. The air is forced to rise.
As that rises, it cools and condenses and squeezes out all the rainfall it could. So, you still see about five to eight inches of rainfall across the islands within the next few hours, Kim. So we'll watch this very carefully as we go into the morning hours.
BRUNHUBER: All right. Excellent. Thank you so much. Appreciate it. Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri, appreciate it.
JAVAHERI: Thank you.
BRUNHUBER: The American consulate general in western China has officially been shut down days after Beijing ordered its closure. Located in the city of Chengdu, the building was an important diplomatic outpost that covered large parts of China. And now, not long ago, the American flag outside the building was lowered as U.S. officials prepared to leave.
China ordered them to close after the Washington made a similar move last week when it forced the Chinese consulate in Houston to shut down. So let's bring in CNN's Kristie Lu Stout who has been following this live from Hong Kong.
Kristie, there's been, you know, a lot of curiosity, tension even as the clock ticked toward neared the deadline. Now, we understand Chinese officials have actually entered the consulate premises. What's the latest?
KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, they have entered the premises according to video that we've seen from CCTV. And it was that dramatic moment earlier today, 6:18 a.m. in the morning when the American flag was lowered at the U.S. consulate in Chengdu.
Just a powerful symbol of this downward spiral in relations between the U.S. and China. The U.S. consulate in Chengdu was declared officially closed at 10:00 a.m.
A CNN crew led by David Culver is there on the ground filming the scene. He wasn't able to get too close. They reported seeing a very heavy security presence around the compound.
[02:25:01] In the hours leading up to the closure, staff were seen leaving the building with plastic bags, with files, with boxes. Also, local residents were seen outside the U.S. consulate in Chengdu before the closure, waving Chinese flags and taking selfies.
China's minister of foreign affairs confirmed the closure of the diplomatic mission, first on Weibo, then via Xinhua. Let's bring up the statement for you. And this is what Chinese ministry of foreign affairs said.
They said, "At 10:00 a.m. on Monday, as required by China, the U.S. consulate general in Chengdu is closed. Relevant Chinese authorities then entered through the front entrance and took over the premises."
And on twitter, the U.S. mission in China posted a 39-second rather emotional video, accompanied with a tweet that was written in Chinese, translated to English.
The message was this, "Today we bid farewell to the U.S. consulate in Chengdu. We will miss you forever." And if you watch this 39-second video, it features a photograph of then U.S. Vice President George H.W. Bush opening the U.S. consulate in Chengdu back in 1985.
The video also lists a number of areas inside China that the consulate had served and covered including Sichuan, Chongqing, Guizhou, Yunnan, as well as Tibet.
Of course it was on Friday when China's ministry of foreign affairs announced the closure of the U.S. consulate in Chengdu in retaliation for U.S. actions, including the closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston.
The U.S. State Department laws Wednesday had asked the closure of the consulate in Houston in order to "protect American intellectual property rights." China called that "talking nonsense."
And at this moment, as officials in China have confirmed the closure of the Chengdu consulate, we are waiting the latest U.S. reaction and also just to see how far this diplomatic tit for tat can go. Kim?
BRUNHUBER: So as we wait for that U.S. reaction, let's turn to the Chinese reaction. When I spoke to David Culver in Chengdu yesterday, he said the sentiment on the street out there wasn't hostile towards Americans, more curious, if anything, but there seems to be a growing anti-American sentiment out there, at least online. What have you seen?
LU STOUT: There has been anti-American sentiment expressed online, anti-American trolling. But it's interesting to note how that is in stark contrast to the official Chinese response.
You know, despite a lot of domestic internal pressure by nationalists inside China for Beijing to really strike back hard and retaliate hard, especially after the closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston, China did not choose to respond by closing the more high- value or significant consulates in Shanghai or Hong Kong, but, rather, the one in Chengdu. And that has been seen by many as a sign of restraint on the Chinese side. Kim?
BRUNHUBER: All right. Always appreciate your analysis. Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong.
A key unemployment benefit expires this week in the U.S., so we'll look at what Senate Republicans and the White House are proposing instead in their latest stimulus plan coming up.
BRUNHUBER: Welcome back to you, our viewers in the United States and around the world, I'm Kim Brunhuber. The White House and the U.S. Senate Republicans are expected to unveil a $1 trillion stimulus plan in the coming hours. It comes as the $600 weekly boost to unemployment benefits is set to expire this week.
This new plan will offer 70 percent of a worker's wage instead of the flat-rate Democrats want. It also includes a $1,200 direct payment to many Americans, $105 billion for schools, and another targeted round of forgivable small business loans.
STEVEN MNUCHIN, U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY: The administration and the Senate Republicans are completely on the same page. Mark Meadows and I were up yesterday just working on technical issues in the drafts. We had previously agreed on all these issues earlier in the week.
We want to move forward quickly. The bill will be introduced Monday, and we're prepared to act quickly. This is all about kids and jobs. This is our focus, and we want to make sure something gets passed quickly so that we deal with the unemployment and all the other issues, paycheck protection plan, tax credits to rehire people, and money for schools.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRUNHUBER: All right, to break this down, let's go to Lenny Jocose in Johannesburg with more on this so. You know, as we said, millions of unemployed Americans, they got their last enhanced and benefit checks this weekend, and all the while Washington still hasn't passed and other relief plans. So I imagined for, you know, all those people waiting for help every day that goes by will seem like an eternity. But we are getting more details about the Republican's new recovery package. What do we know?
ELENI GIOKOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I mean, this is what's interesting, right? So you hear him, yes. We've agreed, and we want to pass this as quickly as possible. But at the end of the day, we were hoping to have something tangible by the end of last week to ensure that the enhanced benefits plan doesn't expire, which actually happens in the next few days.
We also know millions of Americans received their last $600 enhanced check on Saturday. We also know that eviction protections are coming to an end. It's just so much uncertainty for the most vulnerable of people in this country.
And you also have to remember that the important debate and discussion has been occurring within the Republican Party. This still needs to go to the Democrats. Republicans are saying $1 trillion, Democrats said that their bill and plan has already been passed since May and they're looking closer to $3 trillion.
The divergence is enormous, and the sticking point here is that enhanced benefits. I want you to take a listen to what Larry Kudlow, the White House Economic Adviser said yesterday during negotiations and discussions.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY KUDLOW, ECONOMIC ADVISER, WHITE HOUSE: 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: And of course, the Democrats have said that the reason that there was one flat figure is to ensure that it's easily dispersed. We already know that many Americans have said they are still yet to receive their enhanced benefits. So, when you bring in a calculation into the fold, there is concern there's going to be a major issue.
So now it's all about discussions and negotiations. And of course, when you look at the GOP proposal plan and take a look at these key points $1,200 stimulus check for many Americans, and of course, the extension of that eviction protection, that is going to be absolutely vital for many people in the coming days.
BRUNHUBER: All right. Now, in that same interview, we did hear White House Economic Director Larry Kudlow's bullish assessment that the U.S. economy is still set for a third-quarter recovery despite you know, plenty of signs that the recovery is faltering. Does he have a case?
GIOKOS: I mean, look, this is whole question about a V-shaped recovery versus U, versus even a W-shaped recovery. When you look at Coronavirus cases increasing in such key states across the U.S., there is a worry about a return to full economic activity. There's a concern for many businesses to open up shop again, and of course, there's reticence to start rehiring.
We've got second-quarter GDP figures that will be released on Thursday. The prognosis is the outcome that people are expecting and annualized contraction of over 35 percent. Now, if Kudlow is right, and his administration is calling for, you know, fantastic growth in the second quarter, it means that the stimulus plan needs to stay in place. And honestly, the recovery is directly correlated to the amount of
money and cash flow is going to be pumped into the system. Whether it's in the hands of the U.S. consumer, or whether it's bailing out companies and looking at tax incentives. All of this is going to play a strong role. And of course, market participants are going to be watching this very closely.
It's monetary policy that's going to play a role. The Fed is going to be announcing its stance on interest rates going forward and the play on inflation this week, and of course, in terms of what we're seeing on the earnings front also very key. All these pieces of economic data and financial earnings of companies are going to play a role in the way that we'll see a recovery or even economic rebound in the U.S. very vulnerable and many saying it's not going to be a straight line.
BRUNHUBER: So much unknown and still the needy waits. Thank you so much for your analysis Eleni Giokos. We appreciate it. The U.S. state of Georgia was among the first 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.
NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: 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 districts change of hearts 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 protect 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.
AMERICAN CROWD: Kids over COVID. Kids over COVID.
RUTH HARTMAN, PARENT, FULTON COUNTY: 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.
DEBORAH BIRX, CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE COORDINATOR, WHITE HOUSE: 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 virus as the same as children over 10. 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 hospital or high transmission section right now. And we as an organization cannot add to the transmission rates increasing.
CHEN: Parents' 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 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: And I've actually attended to 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.
BRUNHUBER: Police in South Korea say a man who allegedly brought Coronavirus into North Korea was fleeing arrest. The man considered a defector cross back into the North illegally about a week ago. As a result, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un called an emergency Politburo meeting this weekend to deal with the possible spread of the virus.
Now, this is the first suspected case reported in the reclusive north. The government has declared an emergency and locked down areas around the border city. South Korean police say the man was being investigated in connection with a sex crime. So for more on this, let's turn to CNN's Paula Hancocks in Seoul, South Korea. Some new details emerging there, what more do we know?
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kim, at this point, we've heard from the defense ministry here in South Korea, and they confirmed that a man did in fact -- they believe cross into North Korea from South Korea at the time that North Korea claims it happened.
Now, from the police point of view, they say that this individual, this man had been accused of a sex crime. They say that they had been trying to track him down. They were investigating this particular allegation, and they believed that he had fled to try and avoid that.
So what this tells us from a North Korean point of view is it's effectively the closest we have come so far to North Korea admitting that they have coronavirus within their country. Now, what we heard over the weekend was that the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had convened an emergency meeting, a Politburo meeting where they discuss this issue, where they claimed that the so-called runaway, as they called him, had crossed back into North Korea after defecting just three years earlier and had showed symptoms of coronavirus.
They say that he was quarantine, that he's in Kaesong City, just a border city were quarantined as well, the area isolated. But what this does is this gives North Korea a chance to say that they do have the virus, chances are many experts are pointing to of blaming the science for the fact that this virus may have come into North Korea, and also of blaming a defector which North Korea has very little love for defectors. They quite often call them human scum and a very dismissive of those who choose a life outside of North Korea.
So this really plays into the narrative from a North Korean point of view. They do claim to have zero cases before this, something not many officials around the world believed. Kim?
BRUNHUBER: Yes, that's right. I mean, blaming a defector from North Korea -- from South Korea certainly gets one's propaganda Spidey senses tingling. But on the issue of the larger COVID-19 in North Korea, there have been rumors that it's been in there for months. Any sign that this -- there's a larger crisis brewing in the country?
HANCOCKS: It's an extremely difficult country to get concrete facts out of as we -- as you know. The fact is, North Korea shut down its border in January when this pandemic first started. They share a border with China where obviously this originated from. They also share a border with South Korea, which in the early days of the pandemic, was the worst hit apart from China around the world for some days and weeks.
So clearly, they do border to countries which were very heavily hit and impacted by this. Now, they were able to shut down the borders in a way that very few countries, in fact, I don't think any other country around the world is able to do to make sure people weren't coming in and out. Diplomatic sources told me that they believed in Pyongyang at least that they had a confidence that they had a control of the virus.
But of course, they knew very little of outside Pyongyang itself outside the capital, what was happening in the other cities, what was happening in the rural areas. They pointed out people were wearing masks, they were having some degree of social distancing. But as of May time, schools had gone back and Pyongyang was running fairly much as it was normally.
So it's very difficult to know exactly how bad the situation is. The WHO, the World Health Organization representative for North Korea is basing this on figures from North Korea itself say that less than 1,000 people had been tested up until early this month. Kim?
BRUNHUBER: All right, Paula Hancocks, I appreciate your insight. Thank you so much. Coming up on CNN NEWSROOM, all weekend long protests in Portland marred by violence and clashes with federal agents. So we'll get a live report on the situation there right now. Stay with us.
BRUNHUBER: Protests in Portland continue with this hour after a weekend of violent clashes between demonstrators and police. The activity there has taken center stage after President Trump sent federal agents to the city, in his words, to protect federal property. Now, this comes two months after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Black Lives Matter protests disrupted by violence fires damaged cars and buildings and confrontations with federal agents. CNN's Lucy Kafanov has been reporting for us from Portland all weekend. Lucy, so, we're right about that time that things usually go from peaceful to more violence. Are things a bit more quiet tonight than they have been this weekend?
LUCY KAFANOV, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A lot more quiet, Kim. Although it's funny that you say it's about that time, literally a few minutes before we went on the air, some of the demonstrators lobbed a few fireworks over the fence towards the federal courthouse building. We haven't seen any federal agents come out this evening yet. The atmosphere has been fairly calm, fairly quiet. It's been a smaller crowd than what we've seen over the past few days.
Yesterday was one of the largest gatherings, about 5,000 people. We're hearing some cheering now. I'm not exactly sure what's going on. It looks like a man is playing the trumpet to the federal agents. So it's a bit of a festive atmosphere, but a very different picture yesterday evening.
You know, there's almost two protests, two different atmospheres that we talk about when we talk about Portland. During the early evening hours, you see families, mothers, veterans, all kinds of people coming out to really keep the message focused on Black Lives Matter and racial equality. Later in the evening, as you're seeing now, the focus becomes on the federal paramilitary presence here at the federal courthouse building.
What we saw last night is kind of similar to what you're seeing this evening as people start sort of banging on the fence trying to pull the fence down. Yesterday, a group of protesters were trying to use ropes to pull down the fence. That didn't work. They then switch to chains, and then it actually came down, and that's what escalated the clashes.
The federal agents and the local police here declaring the situation a riot at around 1:00 a.m. in the morning. We actually saw federal agents leave the fence in the area and push the demonstrators down a few blocks which has been a first.
BRUNHUBER: All right, well, we'll keep an eye on this all evening. Thank you so much for that live look at what's going on in Portland. Lucy Kafanov, I appreciate it. And we will be right back with more.
BRUNHUBER: In the U.K., the English Premier League ended its season Sunday in a dramatic way with thrilling plays and wild finishes as multiple clubs competed for the final spots in the Champions League. As Patrick Snell reports, only two would come out on top.
PATRICK SNELL, CNN WORLD SPORT ANCHOR: On a tense Sunday, it was Chelsea who struck first in the race for the lucrative riches of Champions League qualification. Mason Mount's superb free-kicks setting them on their way to a two-nil win over wolves.
It was estimated Manchester United could have lost some $90 million had they missed out on the top four. Bruno Fernandes with the United record 14th penalty of the season against Leicester City, who themselves knew victory would have given them Champions League football next season.
And then right at the end of the game, Kasper Schmeichel howler allowing Jessie Lingard in for his first league goal since late 2018.
OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER, MANAGER, MANCHESTER UNITED: We've come so far as a team. We're building a culture and very proud of all their efforts. I'm pleased with their efforts. Next season will be even more testing and challenging for them.
SNELL: The Red Devils two-nil winners, meaning they finish above Chelsea on goal difference, the Foxes ending in fifth place, Europa League football for them next season.
Dropping out of the Premier League means huge financial setbacks. Bournemouth doing what they had to do with an impressive three-one victory at Everton. But to stay up, they will needed Watford and Aston Villa to lose, Watford going down three-two to Arsenal, meaning relegation heartbreak for the Hornets.
Villa went ahead against West Ham thanks to a stunning Jack Grealish goal, though they had to enjoy a tense last few minutes after the host leveled the delight on Grealish's face, Birmingham allowed through and through, Villas players absolutely ecstatic as questions continue to swirl now over Grealish's future at the club.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's the end of the season now, so what do you expect? Do you expect him in the next season?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I expect him -- I expect him to get drunk with me tonight. SNELL: Villa beat the drop by a point, and you can see now the significance of that match with Sheffield United back in June, when a lapse in technology played a key role in the game ending goalless.
After a three-month suspension due to Coronavirus, this marathon Premier League campaign is finally at an end after 352 days. But the Champions and Europa Leagues are set to resume next month, and in just seven weeks from now, the Premier League returns. Back to you.
BRUNHUBER: And Arsenal finished eighth. Thanks for watching. I'm Kim Brunhuber. My colleague Rosemary Church returns with another hour of CNN NEWSROOM coming up next.