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COVID Second Wave Crashes And Spikes In Europe, India And Asia; Russian COVID Vaccine Ready In Weeks; Barr Pushes Back In Dem Hearing; Bolivia Declares "Public Calamity" as Crisis Grows; Air Traffic Won't Return to Normal Until 2024; Mounting Concerns as Hundreds Gather for Parties in the U.S.; Bushfires Impact Billions of Animals in Australia; U.S. Lawmakers to Question Tech Leaders on Competition; Baseball Season in Question as Positive Tests Grow. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired July 29, 2020 - 01:00   ET


JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: In sight (ph) long lines to get in partying. Like it's 2019 is about to come to an end, people.

And it could be a similar story for major league baseball. Just a few days into the season, an outbreak of coronavirus has already caused eight games postponed, maybe more to come.

Thanks for being with us.

The second hour of CNN NEWSROOM about to start now.

And we begin with major developments in the race for a COVID-19 vaccine.

Russia claims it's in the lead and intends to approve a vaccine by August 10th.

Moscow has released no scientific data, but officials say tell CNN it's a so-called "Sputnik moment."

Critics have raised concerns about safety and effectiveness and whether Russia has actually cut corners.

Meantime, American biotech company Moderna says a study done on monkeys show its experimental vaccine may reduce the risk of passing the virus on to others. It started phase three testing in the U.S. this week, human trials.

Also in the U.S., pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and German partner Biotech began advanced trials for one of their candidates, the first four volunteers injected on Monday.

The trails will eventually include up to 30,000 volunteers.

A close look now at Russia's announcement. Matthew Chance has the exclusive details from Moscow.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Russian officials are calling it a "Sputnik moment," a technological leap like the unexpected launch into space of the first satellite back in the 1950s.

And now Russian officials say it's the coronavirus vaccine that's being launched into the global pandemic to highlight Russian scientific achievement.

And this is the clearest indication we've had yet as to when that Russian vaccine will have been approved for use. Russian officials telling CNN they're working towards a date of August the 10th, perhaps even earlier.

Extraordinarily quick. Partly, according to Russian officials, because the technology they're using they've used successfully in the past on other vaccines.

But, also undeniably, because human trials would still be incomplete when the vaccine is approved.

Russian officials tell CNN that third phase human trials have been conducted only in parallel with the vaccination of frontline medical workers. Risky, of course.

But given the acute coronavirus problem in Russia, which has the fourth highest number of infections in the world, it's apparently a risk that the authorities here are willing to take.

Now, there is, of course, enormous skepticism around the world about the effectiveness and the safety of this Russian vaccine.

Critics say Russia's push for it comes amid political pressure from the Kremlin and allegations that Russian spies hacked U.S, Canadian and British labs for vaccine secrets.

Also, no test data has been released by Russia so far. But Russian officials now tell me that that data will be made available for publication and peer review early next month.

Which will undoubtedly attract a great deal of international scrutiny.

Matthew Chance. CNN, Moscow.


VAUSE: In the United States, five states are reporting a record death toll in the past 24 hours: California, Florida, Arkansas, Montana, Oregon.

Meantime, Donald Trump once again talking up hydroxychloroquine as an effective treatment.

Almost every major study has found the anti-malaria drug to be ineffective for COVID-19, potentially harmful even fatal.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I happen to think it works in the early stages. I think frontline medical people believe that too, some. Many.

And so we'll take a look at it. But the one thing we know, it's been out for a long time. It doesn't cause problems.

I had no problem, I had absolutely no problem. Felt no different; didn't feel good, bad or indifferent.

And I tested, as you know. It didn't get me and it's not going to hopefully hurt anybody.


VAUSE: Dr. Amy Compton-Phillips is the chief clinical officer at Providence Health System, a CNN medical analyst. And she is with us from Seattle in the State of Washington.

Dr. Compton-Phillips, thanks for being with us.

DR. AMY COMPTON-PHILLIPS, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Thanks so much for having me, John.

VAUSE: OK. Well, to back up his faith in chloroquine, the president retweeted a clip from a speech given by Dr. Stella Immanuel. Facebook removed this video because it was sharing false information.

But regardless of that, the president seemed quite impressed. Here he is.


TRUMP: I thought she was quite impressive in the sense that -- from where she came, I don't know which country she comes from -- but she said that she's had tremendous success with hundreds of different patients.

And I thought her voice was an important voice. But I know nothing about her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Last week you said --

TRUMP: Go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Last week (inaudible), you said masks --

TRUMP: OK. Thank you very much, everybody.



VAUSE: OK. So apart from the doctor's claims about chloroquine curing COVID-19 and saying that masks do not work, Dr. Immanuel has also claimed that gynecological problems like cysts are causing about people having sex in their dreams with demons and witches.

Alien DNA is being used in medical treatments. And the government is run by "reptilians" and other aliens. That could be true.


There must be some kind of responsibility here for the President of the United States not to use the loudest megaphone in the world to promote a bizarre claim be it about about demon dream sex or chloroquine.

COMPTON-PHILLIPS: Well, fortunately, he only focused on the latter, not the former. But even that is not good.

What we really have to do is be coherent and consistent in talking about the science behind what we use to treat COVID.

And we now have multiple, really high quality studies that look at hydroxychloroquine.

And even though, theoretically, it could be good, which is why people started investigating it back early in the spring, all the studies that have come out have been consistent in saying it doesn't matter when you take it, whether it's early, whether it's in the middle, whether it's late, hydroxychloroquine does not work to help battle COVID.

VAUSE: And in case anyone was in any doubt, here's Dr. Fauci saying exactly the same thing you did.

Here he is.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: The overwhelming prevailing clinical trials that have looked at the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine have indicated that it is not effective in coronavirus disease.


VAUSE: How much time and energy are we going to waste on this asinine discussion about chloroquine when people are dying in record numbers?

COMPTON-PHILLIPS: Unfortunately, too much. Even the fact that we're still talking about this when it's been proven not to be the case is an issue.

And part of the issue is that we learn from our own experience.

And so think about all those times that maybe when you were growing up, you didn't wear a seatbelt in a car because people didn't realize how important it was, right? But your experience was, "Well, I didn't not have an accident, I didn't die without wearing my seatbelt."

So some people take hydroxychloroquine, it's an anti-malarial drug, people take it for malaria. So if they've traveled to a country where they need to have it for malaria, they might have taken it and been okay. That doesn't mean that it's okay for everybody all the time.

Not taking a drug that is risky is preferred to taking a drug that's risky. It's like riding in a car with a seatbelt is better than riding without one. What can we do to optimize the risk?

VAUSE: And we're hearing from the White House recommendations for five states to shut down bars and reimpose restrictions on movement.

The governor of Kentucky, a Democrat, said he would follow this advice, while the governor of Tennessee, a Republican, said no. I don't know there's a huge difference between Kentucky and Tennessee, but it doesn't seem to be.

Is it possible to see these decisions in any other way than through the lens of partisan politics?

COMPTON-PHILLIPS: Well, unfortunately, something as simple as being able to follows CDC recommendations and guidelines has gotten politicized.

And so now there's this intrinsic belief that if you are pro being careful and pro wearing a mask, you are anti-business. And that's not the case at all.

It's about saying how do we do both? How do we keep people safe and open up the economy?

The one thing we can do is if we do have these two very similar states with politicized differences on how to go about opening up the economy in a way that protects people is we can at least study it.

And let's learn from it. So that we make sure we do it right next time.

VAUSE: Our lead story this hour is a report from CNN's Matthew Chance from Moscow that Russia plans to approve a fast-track vaccine within two weeks.

At this point, phase two trial still have not finished. Developers plan to complete that phase by August 3rd then conduct a third phase of testing in parallel with the vaccination of medical workers.

How concerned are you about the cutting of the corners here, the risks that are being taken?

And if this all goes badly, how could that impact public confidence on other vaccines which are currently being developed?

COMPTON-PHILLIPS: Yes. It's a huge risk. So we talk about phase one, two and three trials.

And one is about are they promising, are they safe? Phase two is what's the right dose now they're promising and safe? And phase three is about let's make sure they actually work and what are the side effects. Right? And so if we -- and phase one is with tens of people, two is with

hundreds, phase three is with thousands of people.

And if we don't have that thousands of people data behind us, we're not going to know what the downsides are.

We're not going to be able to look patients eye to eye and say this is safe and this is why I think it should work for you, right? And be able to tell our patients, backed up by data, what is the best thing for them.

And so, without that, we are putting significant people at risk without good information for them.

And so it could really subvert our goal of ensuring we don't just have vaccines but we have vaccinations because vaccines don't work if they're still in a tube.

We have to have people willing to get the jab in the arm.

VAUSE: Yes. That confidence in the safety of the vaccine is crucial. And all this could backfire, I guess. So that's the concern. As you stated.

Dr. Compton-Phillips, thank you. Good to see you.

COMPTON-PHILLIPS: Thank you so much.


VAUSE: The rate of infection in parts of Europe once again spiking upward. New cases in Germany had fallen below 500 a day for weeks but now top 800.

Spain has seen a return of the outbreak. That led to the U.K. imposing a 14-day quarantine on travelers from Spain.

The British prime minister Boris Johnson was criticized for not acting quickly enough at the beginning of the beginning of the pandemic. Now he says there's a sense of urgency with signs of a second wave across Europe.


BORIS JOHNSON, PRIME MINISTERS OF BRITAIN: These are decisions for families, for individuals, about where they want to go. And what we have to do is take swift and decisive action where we think that the risks are starting to bubble up again.

And let's be absolutely clear about what's happening in Europe, among some of our European friends. I'm afraid you are starting to see in some places the signs of a second wave of the pandemic.


VAUSE: France is offering free testing as its daily case numbers are back to where they were in early May. That's when the country began easing restrictions.

The prime minister is pushing for localized restrictions to try and avoid another nationwide lockdown.

And for the first time in three months, China has confirmed more than 100 daily infections of the coronavirus.

Health officials say most were locally transmitted and came primarily from the western province of Xinjiang.

CNN's Kristie Lu Stout following this live for us in Hong Kong with the details.

Xinjiang is far away from the capital, it's a remote region. But clearly, not remote enough.

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. The lion's share of new cases coming out of China are in that far western region of the country.

Look, there has been a significant jump in new COVID cases in China as the nation is battling this fresh wave of infection, especially in Xinjiang.

Yesterday, we reported the fresh numbers out of China, 68 new COVID-19 cases. Today, 101 new cases.

This is the (inaudible) single-day jump in COVID-19 since April in China.

Let's bring up the data for you. It's from China's national health commission out earlier this morning.

China is reporting 101 cases, including 98 locally transmitted cases. Of the 98 locally transmitted cases, 89 were reported in Xinjiang, eight in Liaoning, one in Beijing. That's a total of 86,982 confirmed cases.

Now let's bring in the second slide and zero in on Xinjiang.

All of Xinjiang's 89 new cases are in the capital of Urumqi. Xinjiang has a total now of 322 confirmed cases, 320 are there in the capital of Urumqi.

John, of course, given the opaque nature of reporting in Xinjiang, it's very difficult to get any additional information on the region, let alone fresh video.

But this is what we know. All of those cases coming out of Xinjiang are linked to what's been described as a gathering event in Urumqi, that's the capital there.

The individuals who have been infected had not traveled abroad this year. Also, the cases are concentrated in one district in particular. The Tianshan district of Urumqi, which is the core downtown area of the capital of Xinjiang. There's a lot of residential sites, commercial buildings as well as

cultural sites as well.

It was a week ago local officials in Urumqi declared that the city was in wartime mode so they could battle this flare up of infection.

In this community of 3.5 million people, residential communities have been on lockdown. People are banned from leaving their homes. The bus system has been suspended, the subway system as well. And mass testing is still underway. John.

VAUSE: Kristie, thank you. This is becoming a familiar story across the region. Thank you.

Kristie Lu Stout there in Hong Kong.

Because Japan has just recorded its highest daily spikes since the pandemic began. Almost 1,000 new cases on Tuesday.

The rise is happening in some of the biggest cities there including Tokyo and Osaka.

Vietnam had this virus under control, it seems. It reported another eight infections in the resort city of Da Nang. That brings Vietnam's total to almost 450 cases although the country is yet to report a single death from the coronavirus.

On Monday, 80,000 tourists ordered to leave Da Nang because of a new outbreak.

And the Australian state of Victoria reported nearly 300 new infections, more than 9,300 confirmed cases in total.

The state premier is urging those with symptoms to get tested. Adding this second wave is largely fueled by outbreaks in workplaces.

We have new coronavirus numbers just in from India. We have Vedika Sud there reporting from New Delhi.

So what are we looking at here with the total numbers from the world's most populated -- or the second most populated country?

VEDIKA SUD, CNN PRODUCER: Well, the numbers are in. And unfortunately we have crossed the 1.5 million mark, John.

And this comes at a time when even the deaths that I have on me, 768 deaths reported in the last 24 hours is the highest that we've recorded, at least in the last 15 days.

Now this comes at a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday had said that India is doing better when compared to other countries.


He also said that the rate of people recovering is pretty high. He said the recovery rate is going up when compared to other countries. The deaths as far as -- when you compare to the world is much lower, yes. But then you also have a population of 1.3 billion people. Testing has to be done more aggressively at this point in time.

The biggest worry as of now also is that there could be the unlocking, the third phase of unlocking, of India's restrictions that it imposed ever since the 24th of March.

You know we've been through four successive lockdowns. And now the third phase of unlocking could see more loosening of restrictions, which could be a worry given that we are already escalating our numbers over the last few days.

Sample this. It's taken us over four months to get to a million mark. And it's just taken us over 12 days to get to a million-and-a-half. Those are worrying figures.

As of now, we've all been telling you ever since I've been reporting on this story that Mumbai and Delhi have been severely hit. But Mumbai has been seeing somewhat of a recovery over the last week.

But there are other states in the south that are compensating because of which -- we have figures, when it comes to the daily numbers, jumping to close to 50,000 for over a week now. John.

VAUSE: Vedika, grim news indeed. We appreciate the update. Thank you.

Vedika Sud there in New Delhi.

We will take a short break.

When we come back, Donald Trump playing one of his greatest hits. We haven't heard in this for a while. But praising an unproven drug to treat the coronavirus.

The U.S. attorney general under fire from Democrats on Capitol Hill. His smug stonewall defense when we come back.


VAUSE: A Republican county official in the U.S. state of Minnesota has resigned after posting an image on social media comparing mask mandates to an order by Nazi Germany.

The post showed a man wearing a star of David, the same badge Jews were forced to wear by Nazis during World War II.

Jewish activist groups slammed the official for preparing that image to the mask requirements which are meant to contain the coronavirus.

The county board has since apologized, calling it disappointing.

Donald Trump repeating one of his favorite bogus claims. That the drug, hydroxychloroquine, is an effective treatment for COVID-19.

Almost every major study has found the drug ineffective and potentially harmful.

We get more now from CNN's Jeremy Diamond.


JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: After trying to stick to the script and show Americans he is taking coronavirus seriously, President Trump is back to amplifying dangerous misinformation about the virus. Attacking Dr. Anthony Fauci and pushing states to reopen.

In a series of late night retweets, Trump promoted a viral video that included bogus claims, touting hydroxychloroquine as a cure for coronavirus and calling masks unnecessary.

Multiple studies have found hydroxychloroquine is not an effective coronavirus treatment.

And Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have all removed the video, including three of Trump's retweets.



TRUMP: You know what I find? It's not the tweets, it's the retweets that get you in trouble.


DIAMOND: And the president's son, Don Jr, saw his tweeting privileges revoked for 12 hours, for spreading misleading and potentially harmful information by sharing the same video.

And with at least 27 states pausing or rolling back their reopening plans, Trump is once again rowing against the tide.


TRUMP: I really do believe a lot of the governors should be opening up states that they're not opening.


DIAMOND: The governor of Florida, who followed Trump's advice from the beginning --


GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FLA): Well, hell. We're eight weeks away from that and it hasn't happened. So we've succeeded.

And I think that people just don't want to recognize it.


DIAMOND: -- now experience winning worst outbreaks anywhere in the world with an average of 10,000 cases per day. Even as cases begin to decline.


JOE BIDEN, FMR. VICE PRESIDENT AND PRESUMPTIVE DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: There's no clear message. There's a federal responsibility to lay out really clear guidelines.


DIAMOND: Tonight, Former Vice President Joe Biden slamming Trump's response.


BIDEN: From the beginning, in my view, the president has had -- given us a false choice. He said that we have to get back to work and also deal with COVID.

You can't get this country going again unless you get COVID under control.


DIAMOND: Echoing Dr. Fauci.


FAUCI: Unless we get our arms around this and get it suppressed, we're going to have further suffering and further death.


DIAMOND: Amid the conflicting messages, Trump is back to undermining Dr. Fauci's credibility, retweeting a claim that Fauci has "misled the American public" on many issues.


GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC HOST "GOOD MORNING AMERICA": Can you continue to do your job when the president of the United States is publicly questioning your credibility in this way?

FAUCI: You know, George, I don't know how to address that. I don't really want to go there.

I just will continue to do my job no matter where it comes out. Because I think it's very important.

We're in the middle of a crisis with regard to an epidemic, a pandemic. This is what I do, this is what I've been trained for my entire professional life and I'll continue to do it.


DIAMOND: Just last week, Trump tried to undercut Fauci again, announcing he would throw out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium. Just an hour before Fauci did the same in Washington.

A senior administration official now telling CNN Trump's announcement caught White House officials by surprise, because there was no agreement with the Yankees.

According to "The New York Times," Trump was so annoyed with Fauci's turn in the limelight that he told aides to call the Yankees and make good on a long-standing offer from the team's owner.

Days later, Trump canceled. Citing his strong focus on coronavirus.

Jeremy Diamond. CNN, the White House.


VAUSE: The president's swing and a miss on the first pitch claim didn't there. He went on to question why Dr. Fauci is so highly respected by the American public. When he's not.


TRUMP: You know it's interesting. He's got a very good approval rating. And I like that, it's good.

Because remember, he's working for this Administration. He's working with us, John. We could have gotten other people, we could have gotten somebody else. It didn't have to be Dr. Fauci.

He's working with our administration. And, for the most part, we've done pretty much what he and others, Dr. Birx and others, who are terrific, recommended.

And he's got this high approval rating.

So why don't I have a high approval rating with respect -- and the Administration -- with respect to the virus?


VAUSE: The president went on to ask why the doctors on the task force are so highly thought of but no one likes him, saying it can only be quote, "my personality, that's all."

In the game of cricket it's called a straight bat when a player holds the bat vertically deflecting the ball.

And the U.S. attorney general took a straight bat to Capitol Hill when it came to almost every question from Democrats.

Here's CNN's Jessica Schneider.


JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Bill Barr standing his ground.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) WILLIAM BARR, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: The president has not attempted

to interfere in these decisions.


SCHNEIDER: In the long-awaited showdown between the attorney general and House Democrats, holding firm that he is not using his position to do the president's bidding.


BARR: On the contrary, he has told me from the start that he expects me to exercise my independent judgment to make whatever call I think is right. And that is precisely what I've done.


SCHNEIDER: Democrats laid into him.




SCHNEIDER: Accusing him of politicizing protests around the country by sending in federal agents, inappropriately stepping in to investigate the origins of the Russia probe.

And protecting the president's allies, like Michael Flynn and Roger Stone. But Barr pushed back.


BARR: You say I helped the president's friends. The cases that are cited, the Stone case and the Flynn case, are both cases where I determined that some intervention was necessary to rectify the rule of law.

To make sure people are treated the same.


I agree, the president's friends don't deserve special breaks. But they also don't deserve to be treated more harshly than other people.


SCHNEIDER: Barr also repeatedly defended the presence of federal officers in Portland, Oregon.


BARR: We're trying to protect federal functions and federal buildings. If the state would come in and keep peace on the streets in front of the courthouse, we wouldn't need additional people at the courthouse.


SCHNEIDER: But the committee chair brushed off Barr's explanations.


NADLER: The president wants footage for his campaign ads, and you appear to be serving it up to him as ordered.


SCHNEIDER: Referencing the killing of George Floyd, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee confronted Barr about police brutality.

And she said the DOJ has failed to adequately pursue federal cases against officers accused of police brutality.


BARR: I don't agree that there's systemic racism in the police department.

REP. SHEILA JACKSON LEE (D-TEXAS): That's what we need you to join us on, Mr. Attorney General. And to recognize that institutional racism does exist.

And until we accept that, we will not finish our job and reach the goals and aspirations of our late, iconic John Lewis.



SCHNEIDER: Republicans went on the attack. Accusing Democrats of targeting the attorney general because he has ordered a probe into the origins of the Russia investigation and because of the A.G.'s previous assertion the Trump Campaign was spied on.


REP. JIM JORDAN, (R-OH): Spying on a political campaign is a big deal. It sure is.

And since that day, since that day, when you had the courage to state the truth, they attacked you. They've been attacking you ever since.


SCHNEIDER: And then, of course, there was the looming election. Bill Barr said he saw no reason to believe that the election could be rigged, something the president has often said.

But Bill Barr did say that there is a high risk of widespread voter fraud when it comes to mail-in ballots. That's really echoing the false claims often made by the president. Bill Barr, though, did not directly say what he would do if the

president tries to change the date of the actual election. Nor did he address what he would do if the president refuses to leave office if he's defeated.

Jessica Schneider. CNN, Washington.


VAUSE: Well, partying during a pandemic. Here's a newsflash: It's not a good idea, it could be fatal.

As hundreds of young people across the U.S. gather for more and more get togethers like that one there.




JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back, everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.

I'm John Vause with the headlines this hour.

Russian officials say a coronavirus vaccine will be approved within two weeks. This would be a global first on what's being described as a modern-day Sputnik moment. That's despite safety concerns and questions over Russia if they cut some critical corners.

Growing outbreaks in European countries are sparking concerns of a possible second wave -- Spain, Germany, France among those seeing a spike in cases. The U.K. has now imposed a 14-day quarantine on travelers coming in from Spain.

Donald Trump is once again touting the unproven drug hydroxychloroquine saying he believes it's an effective treatment in the early stages of the coronavirus, whereas every major study has found it ineffective and potentially harmful for treating COVID-19.

In Latin America, Colombia will extend some restrictions after reporting a record number of new coronavirus cases. The mayor of Bogota tells CNN mitigation should be the goal because it's now impossible to eradicate the virus.

Across Latin America, neighboring Brazil to Colombia has had the worst response to this pandemic. On Tuesday, it confirmed more than 40,000 new cases, pushing its total to nearly 2.5 million.

Argentina has confirmed its highest daily death toll since the pandemic began. Some hospitals are now concerned their intensive care units could reach capacity. The health ministry says authorities are working to provide more beds.

Bolivia has declared a state of public calamity as it struggles to contain its own outbreak. The move is meant to address the economic fallout caused by the pandemic.

Journalist Stefano Pozzebon has details.


STEFANO POZZEBON, JOURNALIST: Desperate times are indeed when people turn to desperate measures. These prisoners rioting in Cochabamba, Bolivia because an inmate reportedly died from COVID-19. They want to get tested and are begging for medicine and access to doctors.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): There are no doctors. There is no medicine. They are dying inside. They can't let them die. We are all human beings.

POZZEBON: The Bolivian government, already reeling from a sharp spike in coronavirus cases, has declared a state of public calamity due to the economic fallout from the virus.

As the death toll rises and more citizens become exposed, people are turning to untested, unproven, and potentially dangerous treatments to try and combat the deadly illness.

Residents like Derniso Flores (ph) who admits to purchasing chlorine dioxide, despite public health warnings about the toxic nature of the industrial bleach like disinfectants used for water treatment plants.

DERNISO FLORES (through translator): Authorities say you have to consult with your doctor. What doctor? We never had a doctor. Poor people -- we don't have doctors.

POZZEBON: One of the poorest nations in Latin America, Bolivia has been especially hard hit by the pandemic. The interim Bolivian president, the mayor of La Paz and more than 12 other government officials have all tested positive for COVID.

Hospitals are overflowing with patients, cemeteries and crematories struggling to manage the volume of incoming dead. Not one area of its society has been spared by its cost.

But Bolivia's health ministry says those promoting chlorine dioxide as a coronavirus treatment will be prosecuted as the compound can cause severe vomiting, life-threatening low blood pressure, acute liver failure and possible death.

DR. RENE SAHONERO, BOLIVIAN HEALTH MINISTRY ADVISER (through translator): It is not appropriate for human consumption, and then it can have grave consequences for human beings and the body. We have even seen cases of chlorine dioxide poisoning.

POZZEBON: And yet, some of its main proponents are local government officials in the hard hit area of Cochabamba, religious leaders as well as opposition lawmakers.

The Bolivian senate has adopted a measure to manufacture, market, supply and use of chlorine dioxide solution for the prevention and treatment of coronavirus. But the bill has to clear the deputy's chamber and survive a potential presidential veto, an outcome which is highly unlikely.

Despite the deadly warnings and no proof whatsoever of its effectiveness against COVID-19, people are waiting in long lines outside of pharmacies to try and get their hands on it. Their fear of the virus stronger than their fear of the disinfectant's dangerous and possibly deadly side effects.

Stefano Pozzebon, CNN.


VAUSE: A return to pre-pandemic levels of air travel is now expected much later than first thought, in fact 2024, according to the International Air Transport Association. This new prediction comes after air travel failed to rebound significantly in June with Europe seeing almost no recovery.


ALEXANDRE DE JUNIAC, CEO, INTERNATIONAL AIR TRANSPORT ASSOCIATION: We are still facing a very, very difficult situation. So we are asking governments to maintain their financial support packages, all the bailouts, all the stimulus (ph) that they have put in place to support our industry that are still and even more than ever necessary for our survival.



VAUSE: As for business travel, that may never return to what it once was. Companies are looking to cut back on transportation expenses.

One of the key things experts have been telling us for months is to maintain our distance. Stay at least six feet from each other. Avoid those crowds. But some young people are getting together by the hundreds. They're ignoring those guidelines. And that has authorities very worried.

Here is CNN's Athena Jones.


ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Illegal and reckless -- that is what New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said in announcing a Department of Health investigation into a concert in Southampton over the weekend that he said violated social distancing regulations.

GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: To young people, this is not the time to fight for your right to party.

JONES: Headlined by the Chain Smokers and billed as a "socially distanced drive-in concert" to benefit charities like No Kid Hungry, the event was just the latest to draw large crowds that have raised the ire and concern of local leaders who are demanding better enforcement.

In a statement issued Monday, the organizers said they made "best efforts to ensure New York's social distancing guidelines were properly maintained throughout the event and collaborated with all state and local health officials to keep everyone safe".

Then there was this street party in Queens a couple of weeks ago.

CUOMO: It is a problem in New York City. It's a problem in places on Long Island. It's a problem in places upstate.

JONES: And it's not just a problem here. Witnesses say a recent house party outside Philadelphia drew hundreds. Some arriving in shuttle buses.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was a good 300. And it's a small -- it's a small backyard.

JONES: Revelers in New Jersey also raising COVID concerns.

GOVERNOR PHIL MURPHY (D), NEW JERSEY: We are seeing it in indoor, again lack of ventilation, not wearing masks. More young people than not. We are seeing the virus flare-up there and that's a concern for us.

JONES: One party in Middletown in early July may have been responsible for at least 20 new infections, according to the governor. And it took police nearly five hours to break up a house party of 700 people in Jackson recently.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I looked out the front door and all I saw was droves and droves of cars just coming down and packs of kids, young adults just walking all along our sidewalk.

JONES: Crowds at beaches, bars and other public places, as well as private homes are a problem from coast to coast --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It looks like there are two separate crowds.

JONES: -- in states that have brought the COVID infection rates down and hope to keep them there and in others that haven't, like Florida, where the Osceola County sheriff's office captured this scene.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People just dancing on the road.

JONES: And in Mississippi.

DR. THOMAS DOBBS, MISSISSIPPI STATE HEALTH OFFICER: If we look at how the people get it, pretty clearly there is some common threads that we have identified. And the most common thing that we have seen about 80 percent of the time it was a social gathering where people let their guard down.

JONES: A concert and rodeo on a private ranch in Weld County, Colorado shut down Sunday after hundreds showed up, prompting worried neighbors to call authorities. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They were not social distancing, you know. They

were shoulder to shoulder.

JONES: Holiday weekend festivities bringing out the masses, like the Fourth of July in Michigan. Earlier this month, health officials in Jackson County, Missouri called for up to 200 teenagers to quarantine immediately after they attended a party linked to at least five COVID infections.

A nationwide trend showing little sign of abating as coronavirus continues to spread and health officials and leaders hammer home stern warnings.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: This is something we have got to get under better control.

MURPHY: This is about public health and preventing a lethal virus from spreading even further.

JONES: Athena Jones, CNN -- New York.


VAUSE: It had to happen sooner or later. And chances are, it was going to happen in Florida. That's where investigators believe David Tyler Hines lied on his paycheck protection loan application, spending $4 million on luxury personal items like this $318,000 Lamborghini, according to investigators. Just one purchase he made along with thousands spent at a diamond store, Saks Fifth Avenue as well as luxury hotels.

Hines' attorney says his client is a legitimate business owner who suffered during the pandemic and he is anxious to tell his side of the story and we can't wait to hear it.

Next on CNN NEWSROOM, one of the worst wildlife disasters in modern history. We are learning just how devastating Australia's recent bushfires were to billions, just billions of animals.



VAUSE: At the time, there was no doubt, the bushfires in Australia were bad but now we know how bad. One of the worst wildlife disasters in modern history.

A new study finds nearly three billion animals were killed or displaced, some now face extinction. The crisis is renewing calls for urgent action on climate change.

Here is CNN's Simon Cullen.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) SIMON CULLEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: These koalas are some of the lucky ones, rescued from Australia's catastrophic fires and slowly nursed back to health. Others, though, weren't so lucky. During the peak of the fire crisis, it was thought that just over a billion animals were affected. But a new report now puts the figure at close to three billion.

LILY VAN EEDEN, UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY: It doesn't include everything. We haven't included invertebrates. We haven't included some groups that we didn't have data for. So it really hits home the scale of the impact of these fires on our wildlife.

CULLEN: Aerial footage taken in the aftermath of the fires shows hectare after hectare of scorched bushland. Those animals which managed to avoid the flames were left without water and food. Their habitats destroyed.

DARREN GROVER, WWF AUSTRALIA: It shows you just how devastating these fires are, the intensity of these fires and the scale over which they occurred.

CULLEN: Scientists say the record-breaking bushfire season is a worrying sign of things to come urging governments to do more to tackle climate change and protect native vegetation.

CHRIS DICKMAN, UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY: One thing that we really need to be looking at is how quickly can we decarbonize? How quickly can we stop our manic land clearing?

CULLEN: But for some animals, it's already too late. And for the rest, it is a changed world. One in which they are ever more reliant on humans to act to ensure their survival.

Simon Cullen, CNN.


VAUSE: In the coming hours, CEOs from four of the world's most powerful and influential companies will be the focus of an historic antitrust hearing, the first by the U.S. Congress in more than 20 years. Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook will face questions about their dominance on the tech economy, and whether they have too much control.

Here is CNN's Clare Sebastian with details.


CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: When these four CEOs come before Congress albeit remotely, it will be hard to know who is the most powerful in the room.

DAVID CICILLINE (D), RHODE ISLAND: Google controls nearly all of the search markets in the United States. Amazon controls nearly half of all online commerce in the United States. Facebook has approximately 2.7 billion monthly active users across its platforms. And finally Apple is under increasing scrutiny for abusing its role as both a player and a referee in the app store.

SEBASTIAN: A year-long congressional investigation is looking for ways to check that power in what experts say will require a new understanding of U.S. competition law.

WILLIAM KOVACIC, FORMER CHAIRMAN, FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION: A major point of these hearings is to move away from a conception of competition law as focusing on the well-being of citizens as purchasers of goods and services and to adopt a broader conception that looks at the citizen as an employee, as a resident of a community, as a consumer of news.

SEBASTIAN: The four companies have all denied anti-competitive behavior.

NATHAN SUTTON, ASSOCIATE GENERAL COUNSEL, AMAZON: We do not use any cell or data to compete with them.


SEBASTIAN: Apple even commissioning a study last week that found its app store commission rates were in line with others. Several have also voiced concerns that regulation might make them less competitive globally.

SUNDAR PICHAR, CEO, GOOGLE AND ALPHABET: I worry that if you regulate for the sake of regulating it, that's a lot of unintended consequences. You know, if you take a technology like artificial intelligence, you know, it will have implications for our national security and, you know, and how -- or for, you know, other important (INAUDIBLE) of society.

SEBASTIAN: And yet even as the COVID-19 pandemic has made these companies ever more essential and more invaluable, they've been facing growing backlash. Protests over safety at Amazon and an advertiser boycott at Facebook over hate speech --

KOVACIC: I think they come into the hearing not with a halo, but with great concerns about exactly whose side they are on. And that should be a matter of concern. Again, you look at the mood of the Congress. You look at how Republicans joined Democrats today in scolding these companies. That is a combustible environment for the leading enterprises.

SEBASTIAN: The House investigation is expected to lead to a recommendation for new legislation, perhaps bringing greater scrutiny of tech acquisitions. Deals like Facebook's purchases of WhatsApp and Instagram, and Google buying YouTube and Fitbit.

It could also ramp up the pressure on other ongoing investigations -- a delicate moment for these titans of tech.

Clare Sebastian, CNN -- New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE) VAUSE: The ex-wife of Jeff Bezos making good on a pledge to give away most of what was his fortune but now hers. McKenzie Scot has already donated more than $1.5 billion to organizations focused on racial equality, LGBTQ equity as well as democracy and climate change.

Scot signed on to the Gideon Pledge Initiative last year. Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates launched the initiative to encourage the world's richest to give a majority of their wealth to charitable causes.

The Major League Baseball season is less than a week old but a coronavirus outbreak on one team threatening the entire league. Next on CNN NEWSROOM.


VAUSE: Major League Baseball season in the U.S. maybe down to its final strike. A growing number of players tested positive for the coronavirus, possibly threatening the rest of the season.

Here's CNN's Brian Todd.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A stunning decision, just a few games into the new and bizarre season. Major League Baseball announces several upcoming games, many of them involving the Miami Marlins will be postponed after what medical experts call a team outbreak. At least 17 players and staffers testing positive for the coronavirus, according to ESPN.

The league says those people are in isolation and are, quote, "receiving care".

CHRISTINE BRENNAN, CNN SPORTS ANALYST: This is exploding. This is a huge problem for Major League Baseball and it is happening so soon.

I think that's what's really the key headline here if you look at it. The real surprise is how soon this has unraveled.

TODD: According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Marlins players wanted to play their game against the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday and made a collective decision in a group text, even though the team knew a few players have tested positive.

Marlins shortstop Miguel Rojas acknowledged the group chat and was asked if the players had considered not playing.

MIGUEL ROJAS, MARLINS SHORTSTOP: That was never in our mentality. We always knew this could happen at some point and we came to the ballpark and ready to play.

[01:49:59] TODD: Some Marlins players were observed not distancing during the games this past weekend.

BRENNAN: The Marlins handled this horribly. I think there's no other way to describe it.

TODD: Marlins CEO Derek Jeter said in a statement, the team is taking this entire situation quote, "very seriously". Once the league's decision to postpone games forced by one of the Marlins' upcoming opponents?

According to unnamed sources cited by multiple news outlets, the Washington Nationals voted as a team not to travel to Miami for a series this coming weekend against the Marlins. Nationals manager, Dave Martinez, who's been treated for a heart condition was blunt about the general climate.

DAVE MARTINEZ, MANAGER, WASHINGTON NATIONALS: I'm going to be honest with you, I'm scared. But right now, you don't know because of my heart condition what happens to me if I do get it.

TODD: Health experts are skewering major league baseball for not playing its season in a bubble, isolating play in one or two cities and in closed off enclosed off environments like the NBA and National Hockey League are about to do.

ARTHUR CAPLAN, DIVISION OF MEDICAL ETHICS, NYU LANGONE MEDICAL CENTER: I think it's absolutely inexplicable that baseball is traveling in the middle of a plague. You have outbreaks in many of the areas where teams are located -- Miami, phoenix, southern California, Texas that are out of control. This plan that baseball has come up with makes no sense.

TODD: Baseball's break down comes as the NFL has announced it's canceling all preseason games ahead of the 2020 season. Football, like baseball, not planning to play in a bubble.

I think if you're in a bubble, you've got a good shot of finishing the season. But if you are not in a bubble, I think this is showing us that it's going to be very difficult to finish the season, and it maybe difficult to start a season.

TODD: There is another stark reality that baseball's problems are exposing, according to medical experts. Major League Baseball is a $10 billion a year industry that has the resources to test and treat players all the time. And so far, this experiment has not worked for them. Experts are worried about how we're going to bring schools back in session in school systems that don't have anywhere near those kinds of resources.

Brian Todd, CNN -- Washington.


VAUSE: Bob Nightengale is a Major League Baseball columnist for the "USA Today", He's with us this hour from Phoenix in Arizona.

Bob, thanks for staying up late. Appreciate it.

BOB NIGHTENGALE, MLB COLUMNIST, "USA TODAY": Sure, y pleasure back there. VAUSE: Ok. So here's the headline from Forbes on Tuesday. MLB should move to a bubble plan before it's too late.

Why not play the season in a bubble like, you know, professional basketball and hockey are already doing, what's the downside?

M1: Well, it's over because Baseball is an outdoor sport. You know, they talked about originally having been in Phoenix Arizona and going to use it in the spring training sites and a major league ball part which has retractable root.

The players did not want to do that. Unlike NBA in a chill, their season has hasn't been started yet. So anyone want to be away from their families all summer long.

And as it turns out, Arizona is one of the hotspots of all of the country, so I don't think it would've worked being in a bubble.

Right now, they're running out of hospital beds in Arizona.

VAUSE: Yes, good point. For now, America's doctor, the guy who can't pitch, Dr. Fauci had this prognosis for the infected team players. Here he is.


FAUCI: And even though they are young, vigorous, and very healthy. I hope they are ok. But you just have to watch this. This could put it in danger. I don't believe they need to stop, but we just need to follow this and see what happens with other teams on a day by day basis.

VAUSE: Where do you see the red line here? How many more infections? What is the tipping point before something gifts?

NIGHTENGALE: Well, Major League Baseball says they're not on a danger point yet, although they have to shut down the Miami Marlins for a week.

How the Marlins got this? We are not sure. No one is kind of saying how it happened, but major league baseball has their concerns that may be a few players were not following protocols. Maybe they went outside, you know, the hotel and GOT infected, either at a restaurant, bar or what have you.

So it's a nightmare -- a scheduling nightmare -- must be sitting out and for, you know, the Baltimore Orioles to not be playing, Washington Nationals will miss all weekend. So it's going to mess up the schedule big-time. But as long as this can find the one team baseball feels comfortable.

Remember now, since they tested last Thursday, you know, the only players that were infected in all of baseball, were the Miami Marlins.

VAUSE: With that in mind, here's the latest statement on Tuesday from Major League Baseball. "In over 6,400 tests conducted since Friday July 24th, there have been no new positives of on field personnel from any of the other 29 clubs. That's your point.

This outcome is in line with encouraging overall data since the June 27th start of testing. The last Thursday, July 23rd, 99 of the 32,640 samples -- 0.3 percent -- had been positive.


VAUSE: And these are the impressive numbers that are being tested. And this is a wealthy sport. You know, they can spend whatever it takes. You know, they can do whatever they think is necessary to keep players safe. But even then, there are no guarantees.

You know, the NFL has canceled preseason games. So does this now raise questions about when and how, you know, all professional sports should be looking at restarting and just -- if they can?

NIGHTENGALE: Well, that's their point. I think just everybody is trying at least to see what happens. The players want to play and get money and, you know, finish out the championship seasons. And the NHL and NBA -- the bubble plan works. A lot of guys don't like it, but it's only going to be there for about six weeks. It's a beautiful complex, it is a complex in Orlando, Florida. NHL, of course, the two bubble cities in Canada.

You know, baseball can't do that. They can't have, you know, 15 games on one night under a stadium, and everybody just going, you know, staying inside the stadium. It just doesn't work that way.

So we'll see what happens. When you talk to baseball officials, they kind of worry about the NFL and college football, saying if we have a team that gets infected, you know, what in the world is going to happen when teams are, you know, hitting each other and colliding. And there's no social distancing like there is in baseball.

VAUSE: Just very quickly, how important is it that, you know, the season goes ahead as best it can?

NIGHTENGALE: I think it's important for, you know, the country. I think people miss sports. You know, TV ratings are sky-high right now. Baseball ratings have never been this high for regular season games, you know, in about a decade.

So I think for the American public to feel good about themselves, it's great to watch. The players get taken seriously. The players can be a role model for all organizations and businesses and industries, saying if you do this right, wear your mask and social distance, you can be safe.

VAUSE: Bob Nightengale, Major League Baseball columnist for "USA Today" there in Phoenix, Arizona. Thanks for being with us. We really appreciate it.

NIGHTENGALE: My pleasure, thank you.

VAUSE: Take care. VAUSE: Well, Dr. Anthony Fauci has become such a cult figure in the United States, he has his own baseball card, and now it's the best selling card ever for Topps limited edition series. The card shows him mid pitch in that terrible throw that he made before the Washington Nationals season's opener.

But fans clearly do not care just how bad it was. They snatched up more than 51,000 of his cards in just 24 hours. Go Dr. Fauci.

Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause.

But I will be back another hour, 100 percent more Vause next hour, right after this.