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President Trump Visits Hotspots Areas; Rep. Louie Gohmert Tested Positive; Mexico Facing Two Pandemics; France Reaps Lax on Rules; Germany Screen Travelers In and Out; Tech CEOs Pushback to Lawmakers; Many Brazilians Believe Unproven Drug Can Treat COVID-19; Hong Kong Braces for Third Wave of Coronavirus; Georgia School District Prepares To Open; A New Way To Dye Clothes And Reduce Water Pollution; Italy Makes Masks A Fashion Statement. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired July 30, 2020 - 03:00   ET




ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. You are watching CNN Newsroom. And I'm Rosemary Church.

Just ahead, with the U.S. death toll from coronavirus passing 150, 000, health experts urge reset to prevent hundreds of thousands more people from dying.

European leaders are taking measures to keep cases down amid fears of a second wave. Live reports from Berlin and Paris.

And a small U.S. city is planning to put children in classrooms starting Friday with masks optional. We will talk to the parents of two students.

Good to have you with us.

Well more than 17 million people around the world have now been infected with the coronavirus since the pandemic began. Johns Hopkins University reports that three -- threshold -- that threshold was just crossed as a staggering one million new cases were added in just the past five days.

Now the U.S. accounts for 25 percent of all cases, more than 150,000 Americans have died so far. And U.S. medical experts warn that hundreds of thousands more will die if the country doesn't change course. U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday, ordered all members and staff to wear masks in the House chamber and office buildings.

This, after Republican Congressman Louie Gohmert, who has notoriously resisted wearing a mask, tested positive. And just as the country gears up for a new school year, there is growing concern the situation in the nation's heartland is about to get worse.


ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: When the southern states that have already been hit, the Florida, Texas, Arizona, Kansas (Ph), and California. When you look back, you saw an increase in the percent positives of the tests that were done.

That's a sure-fire indication that you are in a process where you are heading towards a resurgence. We are starting to see that in some of the states now, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, and other big -- Indiana, and other of those states.


CHURCH: And President Donald Trump traveled to hard-hit Texas on Wednesday, but the coronavirus was not a priority. Instead, the president toured an oil rig in west Texas and told confidently of ending the pandemic.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Our hearts are with the people of Texas. We love our people. We love our country.

Together we will and the plague from China. We will defeat the virus. I want to thank everyone at Double Eagle Energy.


CHURCH: But Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert did not make that trip, shortly before he was to board Air Force One, he tested for positive. Gohmert suggested wearing a mask made him sick.


REP. LOUIE GOHMERT (R-TX): I can't help but wonder if by keeping a mask on and keeping it in place, that if I might have put some germs or some of the virus on to the mask and breathe it in.


CHURCH: And worth mentioning, many people at the president's events Wednesday in Texas were not wearing masks or social distancing. One Texas doctor says he is frustrated that so many people refused to do the simplest things to prevent the virus from spreading.


JOSEPH VARON, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, UNITED MEMORIAL MEDICAL CENTER: My mother has been, you know, at the prison time I'm pretty much fighting two wars. The war against COVID, and a war against stupidity. And the problem is that the first one, I have some hope about winning, but the second one is becoming more and more difficult to treat. And why do I say that? Because people are not listening. Whether it is, you know, we're backed by science or just by common sense. People are not listening throughout the country. (END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: California, Texas and Florida have once again broken records for the most deaths in a single day.

CNN's Erica Hill has more headlines from across the country.


ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Masks, social distancing, good hygiene. The tools are there. But the virus just keeps spreading.


ROB DAVIDSON, EMERGENCY ROOM PHYSICIAN: Like whack-a-mole. With hotspots all over this country it's just going keep popping up if we don't do something nationally.


HILL: That lack of a national plan could result in hundreds of thousands of additional deaths according to the Association of American Medical Colleges which released a road map Wednesday for a coordinated response.


ROSS MCKINNEY, CHIEF SCIENTIFIC OFFICER, ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN MEDICAL COLLEGES: Having common standards sort of sets expectations, it provides some consistency so that we don't get these continuous waves of infection, that have followed our premature reopening so far.


HILL: While the president is urging governors to reopen, his own administration is warning that 21 states in red on this map, they may need stronger restrictions. The yellow states also being watched closely. Dr. Deborah Birx noting young adults are fueling the spread in those areas.


DEBORAH BIRX, COORDINATOR, WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS TASK FORCE: Remember the majority of those are asymptomatic, so if you expect to see hospitalizations, by the time you hospitalizations your community spread, is so widespread that you've flipped into are red state incredibly quickly.


HILL: Indiana, one of those yellow states closing beaches and gearing today for at least two weeks if cases continue to rise. Indoor gatherings also causing concern across the country.


GOV. PHIL MURPHY (D-NJ): We simply cannot continue to have crowded house parties. They are not safe. Period.


HILL: Deaths are rising in 29 states. California and North Carolina posting new daily highs on Wednesday, Florida reporting record numbers for the second day in a row. The governor, focusing on the new school year.


GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): I would absolutely have, you know, my kids in school, because I do think that it's safe to do so. I believe that this is something that's very low risk for kids.


HILL: The governor also noting his kids aren't yet you old enough for school. Meantime, a new study finds statewide school closures last spring have to reduce the number of infections and deaths as Dr. Anthony Fauci offers this blunt warning to teachers.


FAUCI: So, in many respects, unfortunately, though this may sound a little scary and harsh. I don't mean it to be that way. Is that, you're going to be actually be part of the expire experiment of the learning curve of what we need to know.


HILL: We did learn on Wednesday, Miami-Dade County which is still in phase one will begin the year later than plans starting school on August 31st and they'll begin with remote learning. Denver public schools will also start with virtual learning, and that is expected to go through at least October.

In New York, I'm Erica Hill, CNN.

CHURCH: Brazil is now letting foreign travelers into the country by air even after another record spike in new coronavirus cases. The country reported almost 70,000 new infections on Wednesday, along with a staggering 1,500 fatalities, with more than two and a half million cases, it's by far the worst affected country in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Well Mexico has the second worst COVID outbreak in Latin America, and the crisis shows little sign of improving. The death toll there rose past 45,000 on Wednesday, up to hundreds more fatalities were recorded.

CNN's Matt Rivers has our report.

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Here in Mexico there continues to be really nothing bad news when it comes to this pandemic. It was Wednesday night that health officials reported nearly 500 newly confirmed deaths. That pushes the country's overall death total to more than 45,000 for the first time.

And with that, it is very likely that in the next few days, we are going to see Mexico's death toll overtake the United Kingdom, and when that happens, Mexico's death toll will be third highest in the world, trailing only the United States and Brazil.

And the reason why that death toll keeps going up is because the number of newly reported deaths each day is not going down. And if you look at the numbers throughout the entire month of July, it's hovered right around 600 deaths per day, and with each week that goes by, we're just not seeing that number get any lower.

But it's not just human life that is being affected by this outbreak. We've also done a lot of reporting on domestic violence, and the effect of the economic shut down here that it has had on the country's women. And today we got some data to back up our reporting, which has shown that a lot of women who are in abusive situations, things were getting worse for them as a result of the country's lockdown, because they were trapped with their abusers.

It was today that Mexico's government reported that 911 calls related to violence against women increased by nearly 46 percent during the first half of this year as compared to the same time period from January to June back in 2019.


And that gives you some evidence there, that this outbreak has had a brutal effect on victims of domestic violence as evidenced by those numbers. So, this outbreak is just having such an effect on all aspects of society here in Mexico.

Matt Rivers, CNN in Tijuana, Mexico.

CHURCH: Well, Europe is trying to stem an increasing number of cases across the continent and head off a second wave of infections. Italy is extending its state of emergency until mid-October. And France has recorded almost 1,400 cases in the past 24 hours, its highest daily increase in more than one month. The health minister there says another virus emergency must be avoided at all costs.


OLIVIER VERAN, FRENCH HEALTH MINISTER (through translator): Nothing says we will have a second wave. Nothing says we will not have a second wave. Look around us. In Catalonia, 10 days ago, you would have said that there was not going to be a second wave, but now, Catalonia is in difficulty.

This is also the case for certain English towns. It's also the case in Belgium. It's the case in Germany and certain German territories. So, we that there is a virus emergency that must be avoided at all costs and that this increasing viral circulation does not meet to new epidemic.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CHURCH: And Germany says it has the capacity to test all travelers

returning to the country from abroad.

So, let's get the latest on all of this. I want to turn to Cyril Vanier. He joins us live from Paris. Good to see you, Cyril.

Let's start in France. Because almost 1,400 cases that have been reported in the past 24 hours there. What is behind the sudden increase and how is the country responding?

CYRIL VANIER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Rosemary, authorities here are concerned. Now, what's behind the increase? Well, it's a number of factors. People's life has been going back to normal gradually over the last few weeks. That means more mingling. People have become less fearful of the virus, and therefore less disciplined when it comes to respecting social distancing and other health guidelines.

People have also started to travel a little bit more, since travel has opened within Europe. So, people are going to some of those countries where on occasion, in some regions, the virus is circulating faster.

You just heard French authorities talk about the Spanish region of Catalonia. All of these are factors now. What French authorities notice that the circulation of the virus started increasing first among young adults. That means 20 to 30-year-olds.

Now they're not so much concerned about that population per se, because 20 to 30-year-olds tend to be either asymptomatic or present very mild symptoms, but those people then pass it on to their parents or grandparents. And that has been the issue worldwide, Rosemary, hasn't it?

So, authorities are taking local measures. A short while ago, about 10 days ago now, they reimpose -- or they imposed, I beg your pardon, wearing face masks in all public indoor settings, so that's to say shops, malls, et cetera, where it wasn't mandatory yet.

Beyond that, they are really trying to take localized targeted measures to contain outbreaks where and when they find them. They want to avoid a national re-confinement. So, they're trying to be very targeted in their measures. And the last thing this is happening is you can see France now warning its nationals against traveling to outbreak areas such as the Spanish region of Catalonia.

CHURCH: What about other European countries? How are they responding, because it's very much a case of whack-a-mole, isn't it?


CHURCH: And this is the problem in coming up with a strategy. Travel obviously helps fuel the infection. So, what are these countries going to do and what have they decided they need to do to this interim?

VANIER: Well, you know, what I described in France, we're really seeing that happen across multiple countries. You've got multiple western European countries that are seeing the biggest numbers they've seen in either weeks or months in terms of daily new cases. That's the case for Belgium as well. So, they are taking targeted measures.

In the province of Antwerp, for instance, there is now a curfew to limit, to try and contain an outbreak that occurred there. In Germany, local authorities in Bavaria are racing to contain the spread of the virus after an outbreak on a vegetable farm.

So, you are seeing these very localized outbreaks and what countries are trying to do is limit and contain them. For that, of course, you have to test massively. Every country is at a different level right now, but trying to ramp up its testing, and you are right about the traveling.

Germany did point out that one of the reasons the virus was spreading faster now, is that because there are more large gatherings than there were before. And there are people returning from traveling. Usually at this time of year, it's holidays.

So, a lot of countries are now looking at travel restrictions. We know the U.K. a couple of days ago re-imposed a 14-day quarantine on anyone returning from Spain nationally from anywhere in Spain, not just the outbreak regions.


And other countries are thinking about not so much a national quarantine, but they are warning their nationals against going to outbreak regions and they are thinking, you mention that Germany is going to test everyone returning from what they call at risk countries, so that's a big pillar of their response as well.

CHURCH: All right. Cyril Vanier bringing us the very latest there from Paris, France. Many thanks.

So, we have our Frederik Pleitgen, he is joining us live now from Berlin in Germany. Of course, we were talking about the testing of Germany. And that's the thing. That Germany did so well in the initial stages, didn't it? Really just crushing the numbers and doing those tests very early, but now we're seeing these cases pop up again. So how is Germany responding to that?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Rosemary. Well, testing is also going to be a big part of it. And we just heard a little bit about that from Cyril, is that, they want to test all the travelers who come back to Germany from those high-risk countries as they put it, but they actually want everybody who comes back to this country to take a coronavirus test on arrival. Also, people, for instance, coming from European countries.

And in the order to make that easier for people, Rosemary, they say they want to make those test free and easy to get, for instance, when people get to airports. In fact, one of those testing centers was opened just yesterday at Berlin's airport. Also, the authorities in Bavaria as well, they are making tests for Munich airport and Nuremberg as well.

One of the interesting things I heard yesterday, there was a government press conference going on, Rosemary, where the German government was questioned, look, if you are going to try and test everybody who comes back to this country, are you actually able going to do that with the test capacities that are out there?

And the German government clearly stated is that they say, that right now they have the capacity to do 1.2 million tests every week, and currently, only about half of that is being used. So, if a lot of travelers come in here, the German say they still are going to be able to have the test capacity to test all those people, and to get them results in a good amount of time.

So that's certainly going to be into the big part as Germany tries to get those numbers down again, and then a lot of it is just reminding people about the discipline.

One of the things that we've seen here in Germany is that the measures that have been put in place to try and stop the coronavirus pandemic have been very successful, and something the government continues to say again and again, and the German government is just saying, look, people get back to that. And then while the testing to people who come back in and they do believe that they are going to be able to get this under control.

The final note, Rosemary, we've been talking about this past couple of days, the reason why the German government was so up in arms about the fact these cases were rising because there were about 800 cases in two days in the past, the end of last week.

The last three days have been a little bit over 600 cases, so we are already seeing that, possibly, go down once again. But the German government saying look, people need to stay vigilant the entire time, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Yes. That is the word, vigilance. Fred Pleitgen joining us live from Berlin. Many thanks.

And joining me now from London, Dr. Richard Dawood. He is the medical director at the Fleet Street Clinic. Thank you, doctor, for being with us.


CHURCH: So, we are seeing Europe fight off a second wave of coronavirus infections, Hong Kong is dealing with its third wave. The United States is still drowning in its first wave, along with Latin America, and the global number of cases just surpassed 17 million.

So, doctor, five months into this pandemic, where are we right now, and can we ever get on top of this virus without a vaccine?

DAWOOD: Well, that's a very difficult question. Ultimately, it will have to take a vaccine or widespread immunity gaining through national infection to definitively bring it under control. The measures that are needed to control the virus are very clear, this is a virus that spreads from person to person. So, without a vaccine, we require social distancing and inability for one person to spread the virus to the next.

And this requires very well coordinated measures and an acceptance of the need to reduce person to person spread, and whether that's by legislation, lockdown, widespread adoption of masks and hygiene measures, whatever. Those precautions are clear, but the problem is how to bring the community with you in following those precautions and how to apply them in a sensible way that balances the need to control infection would mean for other things to continue.

CHURCH: Yes. We see considerable resistance, don't we? And the U.S. just crossed the grim milestone of 150,000 deaths from COVID-19. With health experts calling for a total reset.


Is that what the U.S. needs to do, or could the wearing of masks, social distancing, as you mentioned, the washing of hands, turn this around if only Americans would actually do these things?

DAWOOD: Well, the success in Europe and other countries where, you know, while speaking of a second wave or a third wave, that -- that success is only because the first wave was being brought down and under control, and tough measures were introduced to reduce spread.

So, that really hasn't happened in many parts. It's happened in New York where, you know, successful leadership did bring transmission down, brought the rates down, and have put things under relative control. That's not happened in many other parts of the U.S., and it really does need to happen in order to bring things under control.


DAWOOD: There is no real substitute for that. The problem is it becomes more difficult, people get fatigued and fed up with the precautions and the restrictions. But it will need to be done in order to reduce deaths and cases. It will really need to be done, otherwise, you know, the consequences are going to be huge.

CHURCH: Yes. And I want to talk about that because a report from Johns Hopkins University is calling for a mask mandate. New stay-at- home orders, and for the federal government to take a leadership role to improve the speed and accuracy of testing, but none of that appears to be happening.

So, what might that mean in terms of deaths and cases in this country, and what is it about the human condition that some people won't do what's best for them and for everyone else?

DAWOOD: Yes. I mean, this has got to be on the point where understanding the virus is what's important. It's really, it becomes about understanding human behavior, and it's very unfortunate that in some countries this is really becoming a political thing where as it really should be a scientific and a medical matter, and it just seems that people don't really believe or trust science anymore.

Yes, I mean, it's human behavior. We really do need to find a way to get people behind us and get people behind the precautions that need to be followed, otherwise this thing will go on and on.


DAWOOD: The virus has a limited incubation period. It causes an illness for a limited period of time with social distancing, with lock down at times. It is possible to bring this under control but people need to follow the precautions.

And the long -- you know, there are consequences to this that there are consequences to like not getting back to normal, particularly in healthcare. That so many people who've got other medical conditions being neglected, preventive medicine, people who could be diagnosed with serious diseases more swiftly if life had returned to normal.

CHURCH: Yes. And doctor, you know, we worry about our health workers who were there on the frontlines having to deal with this.

Dr. Dawood, thank you so much for talking with us. We appreciate it.

Well, the CEOs of some of the most powerful companies in the world grilled by U.S. lawmakers on how they treat their competitors. We'll have that after this short break. Stay with us.



CHURCH: The chief executives of four of the most powerful tech firms in the world face pointed questions from U.S. lawmakers about their competitive practices. Amazon's Jeff Bezos, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Goggle's Sundar Pichai, and Apple's Tim Cook all appeared at a high-profile antitrust hearing Wednesday.

Democrats repeatedly asked about each company using their data to unfairly compete. Without having more than anecdotal evidence, Republicans accused the tech companies of having an anti-conservative bias.

Well, CNN's Hadas Gold joins us now with more on the testimony. Good to see you, Hadas. So how did this grilling of the four big tech CEOs play out and what all came out of this antitrust hearing?

HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's a very long hearing about six hours long, and it comes after more than a year of investigation by this committee, which got them more than a million documents that they had hours upon hours of closed-door testimony for people who work for these companies.

And as you noted, much of the questioning was about whether these companies are too powerful, or whether they engage in anti-competitive behavior. And probably one of the most anticipated testimony is actually was from Amazon Jeff Bezos because despite being the richest man in the world, despite controlling Amazon, he's actually never appeared before Congress before.

And he was grilled especially by people like Congressman Jayapal who's really prove to be one of the most effective questioners yesterday. And she really pushed him on how Amazon uses all of this data they have on these third-party sellers on their platforms which Amazon is also selling its own products on the same platform. Take a listen.


REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL ((D-WA): Let me ask you, Mr. Bezos, does Amazon ever access and use third-party seller's data when making business decisions and just a yes or no will suffice, sir.

JEFF BEZOS, CEO, AMAZON: I can't answer this question yes or no. What I can tell is, we have a policy against using seller's specific data to aid our private label business, but I can't guarantee you that that policy has never been violated.

JAYAPAL: You have access to the entirety of sellers pricing and inventory information, past, present, and future, and you dictate the participation of third-party sellers on your platform. So, you can set the rules of the game for your competitors, but not actually follow the same rules for yourself. Do you think that's fair to the mom and pop third-party businesses who are trying to sell on your platform?

BEZOS: I'm very proud of what we've done for third-party sellers on this platform.


GOLD: And the strategy from a lot of the CEOs was to try to appeal to how they provide really essential services, many for free, and how that they are essentially American companies competing against a lot of other companies from places like China, really trying to appeal to the members of Congress, saying hey, listen, we have a lot of competitors around the world, especially from places like China, which is obviously getting a lot of attention recently in Washington.

Meanwhile, as you noted, some Republican members of the committee tend to focus more on whether these platforms have an anti-conservative biased. This of course despite the fact that oftentimes many of the most popular pages or sites are actually from conservative publications or from conservative figures.

But this hearing, you should -- we should note, is more sort of a wrapping paper over what may happen in the future because a lot of the actual actions that might be taking place against these companies in the coming year or so, will actually come from places like the Department of Justice. Congress cannot, themselves, break up these companies but they can change the laws around them.

So, keep in mind, these investigations are very important. They may provide some firepower for places like the Department of Justice, but a lot of the action on maybe breaking them up or causing these companies to spin off parts of their companies, that will come from different agencies in Washington.

CHURCH: All right. We shall see what comes of it.

Hadas Gold bringing us that live report. I appreciate it.

Well, Hong Kong is clamping down after a disturbing rise of coronavirus cases. The city has seen more than 100 new cases a day for more than a week. And we will have a report from Hong Kong just ahead.

And a Georgia school district begins in-person classes Friday. I spoke with the parents of two students who won't be going back to class and we'll explain why.



CHURCH: On the same day the U.S. death toll from COVID-19 reached 150, 000, President Donald Trump made his way to hard-hit Texas. But the coronavirus was not a priority. Instead, the president toward (ph) an oil rig in West Texas and attended a fund-raiser.

The Texas Congressman, Louis Gohmert, did not make that trip as planned. Shortly before he was to board Air Force One, he tested positive for COVID-19. Well, many people at the president's event Wednesday in Texas were not wearing masks or social distancing.

Medical studies have confirmed over and over again that the anti- malaria drug hydroxychloroquine is basically useless in the fight against the coronavirus. Yet Brazil's president claims it cured him, and many Brazilians believe him.

CNN's Nick Paton Walsh has our report.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Leaders were meant to give hope, but not this false (ph). Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, and his favorite miracle prop, whether with his exotic birds, are announcing he has recovered from coronavirus, is the drug hydroxychloroquine.

In quest fall in hard hit Brazil, its government recommended even for mild cases in pregnant women and an easy sell to the supporters who just want to see him, even though security wants them quiet.

President answer, he shouts, you are telling us to shut up. He tested negative, one said. So today's a day to celebrate. He said since March to use the drug. He then launches into a passionate but unproven explanation of how it works and sells.

Here, Brazil is suffering and confusion is something Bolsonaro often speeds past. No matter how powerful the person advocating for the drug, study after study has shown the hydroxychloroquine is not medically effective in fighting the coronavirus. It may even be harmful.

But its use here has become an act of worship almost. This evangelical church follows science and social distancing in its seating plan as they offer a prayer for the president's health. I want us to pray for the country and him. Can we do that now, he says. But science steps aside for belief when it comes to the drug. We are congregation of 3,000 people, the pastor says, and we have no deaths. None. People are infected. Some of them have followed the hydroxychloroquine protocol with azithromycin.


Medicine isn't our focus. However, here in the church, we have some doctors and other doctors too today who agree with that protocol that the president speaks about, guided by a doctor.

Faith can only go so far though, in this cemetery the COVID funerals pile up, eight in a day. Two of the people whose relatives say they were using hydroxychloroquine. It's unclear if it hurts, but it did not help enough.

Fiona Guard is for one, 58-year-old police sergeant, Jonas Mendonza, who went in three weeks from healthy, to suddenly dying Tuesday at a hospital. Yesterday, the doctor was smiling as he was getting better, but on one hand I got the call.

The hospital gave him antibiotics, adrenaline and the hydroxychloroquine protocol. However, I'm also using hydroxychloroquine without other drugs, ivermectin and azithromycin, and I am here. Friends have two and did very well. Sometimes another issue causes the serious situation.

The stark fact it didn't work for Jonas is so sadly clear before them, but still, in this dark slump of Brazil, false hope seems better than none.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Brasilia, Brazil.


CHURCH: The U.S. Education Secretary says there is no need for a national plan on how to reopen schools during the pandemic.


BETSY DEVOS, SECRETARY OF EDUCATION: You know, there is not a national superintendent nor should there be. Therefore, there is not a national plan for reopening.


CHURCH: Instead, every school system would decide for itself when and how to reopen. And one of the first school districts set to reopen is doing that this Friday in Jefferson, a small city in Georgia. Hospitalizations across the state are rising and ICU beds are at 88 percent capacity.

Joining me now, Pete and Raye Lynn Fuller, parents of two children who have chosen to do online learning. Thank you so much for talking with us. PETE FULLER, FATHER OF TWO STUDENTS ENROLLED IN ONLINE CLASSES: Thank

you for having us.

CHURCH: So, your school district, Jefferson, is about an hour northeast of Atlanta, Georgia, and kids their will return to school Friday for in-person classes, but you both made the decision to keep your kids home for virtual learning instead. Why did you decide to do that?

P. FULLER: Really I felt -- we talked about this a lot. We love our kids to get back to normal but right now is not a normal time. And when presented with the options, and looking around the data of the area with the infections rates we are right now, there is no way that we can keep kids safe but also all the staff's and this buildings without massive infections right down there.

CHURCH: Right. And infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, says all those kids going back to the classroom will be part of the experiment, as we learn what works and what doesn't. Clearly, you have decided you don't want your kids to be a part of any experiment.

Why do you think other parents are willing to take that risk and send their kids back to in person learning? And in the end, do you think there are any alternatives anyway?

P. FULLER: I think there is a lot of conflicting and misinformation that is out there right now coming from all different sources. And it really muddies the water and makes a lot of people really unsure about a lot of things. So, it really makes all options equal -- which they're not equal right now and now really -- yes.

CHURCH: And Raye Lynn you mentioned earlier to me just before we started this interview that you only stumbled upon the option of virtual learning. You did not realize initially that you had any other options.

RAYE LYNN FULLER, MOTHER OF TWO STUDENTS ENROLLED IN ONLINE CLASSES: Correct. When they started to talk about having school again, there was a small section that if your child have any extenuating circumstances that they could contact the special ed department.

And when I contacted them -- I am a nurse, and I work with the elderly. So I contacted them and said if my child is not the one with special circumstances, but I am, and I would choose to have an alternate method then in person learning.

CHURCH: I'm glad for both of you, that you had that option. And of course, we know that Florida Governor DeSantis says there is very low risk for kids going back to school. He says he would send his kids to school, but as it turns out, his kids are too young to attend school. While here in Georgia, the governor is suing Atlanta's mayor for mandating mask.


How do you feel when governors tell parents to send their kids back to school without even mandating mask while they are not actually taking the same level of risk themselves?

P. FULLER: I hate that this has become a political issue because it really doesn't have to be and it really shouldn't be. This should be something that is a clear message from the top on down to our local officials. And the fact that there is conflicting information at different levels, the government just makes the entire thing really difficult for people to manage.

Look, right now, if you call the Governor's office and try to take a tour of the mansion, you can't right now. They are closed. And some of our officials are making decisions for doing so over an online meeting. Socially distance. That is not a possibility for the kids actually going back into the classrooms. So it's very difficult.

CHURCH: Pete and Raye Lynn Fuller, thank you so much for talking with us and sharing your experience. We appreciate it.

R. FULLER: Thank you for having us.

P. FULLER: Thank you so much.

CHURCH: Well, Hong Kong is clamping down on social gatherings and suspending dining and restaurants as the city braces for a third wave of the coronavirus. For the eight straight days, new cases there have surpassed 100.

CNN's Will Ripley has the latest.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: American Steven Hightower has been living in Hong Kong for seven years. The Alabama native was teaching gymnastics until the city's third wave of COVID-19 shut down all the gyms, again. Hightower came down with a mild fever and sore throat last week.

STEVEN HIGHTOWER AMERICAN EXPATRIATE: So, I decided to get the test done, and then lo and behold, I was tested positive.

RIPLEY: Do you have any idea how you got it?

HIGHTOWER: Zero idea. Like, I backtracked everyone that I had been in contact with. No one had any symptoms. No one feels ill.

RIPLEY: He has been isolating ever since, waiting for days to go into government quarantine.

HIGHTOWER: The hardest part of this experience has been the not knowing. We don't know what is coming next.

RIPLEY: This could be what is next for patients like him, people with mild symptoms. These expo center near the airport is the future site of a COVID-19 field hospital like the one in Wuhan. In fact, China has even agreed to help build it. The goal, to ease the strain on Hong Kong hospitals. Even though the city has far fewer cases than most, the numbers are rising fast. Ivan Law is a nurse in one of Hong Kong's most crowded in COVID-19 wards.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You get another patient to leave, another patient will come in.

RIPLEY: And as over and over again, new patient.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, over and over again. You have to keep working. You cannot see when this ends.

RIPLEY: A survey from the Hong Kong Nursing Association says nearly 90 percent of medical staff don't think the hospital authority is prepared for the third wave.

Do you think that Hong Kong could have or should have done more during the period of time when there was no community spread?

JOSEPH LEE, NURSING ASSSOCIATION CHAIRMAN: That is obviously a yes. Health experts and also health professionals also press the government to do more testing and screening.

RIPLEY: Hong Kong's chief secretary defends the city's approach.

MATTHEW CHEUNG, HONG KONG CHIEF SECRETARY: I think we have been adopting the right approach all along. Approach is lift and suppress. On the basis of scientific evidence and on the basis of expert advice --

RIPLEY: Just this month, Hong Kong began contracting with private companies to conduct mass testing of restaurant workers, taxi drivers and elderly caregivers, all groups with recent clusters of infection. Hong Kong Biotech Prenetics aims to eventually test up to 20,000 people per day.

If Hong Kong sees an explosion in numbers like other places, is the city prepared to deal with that?

DANNY YEUNG, CEO, PRENETICS: No country is prepared to be quite honest. No country is prepared because again the virus is so new.

HIGHTOWER: Anyone can catch it and even if you are doing everything that you can possibly can. Probably not enough.

RIPLEY: A lesson Hong Kong learned the hard way. Will Ripley, CNN.


CHURCH: And we will be back with more news after the break. Stay with us.



(COMMERCIAL BREAK) CHURCH: At this hour, the late Georgia Congressman and civil rights icon, John Lewis, is lying in state of the Georgia State Capital. And later today, his funeral will be held in Atlanta. Lewis' motorcade traveled through the city Wednesday, driving along the parkway named after him, and passed the John Lewis hero mural.

Sources say former President Barack Obama will give the eulogy at Lewis' funeral, and former President Bill Clinton and George W. Bush will also attend the service at the historic Ebenezer Baptist church.

Well, the Trump administration has reached an agreement with Oregon's Democratic Governor to withdraw federal officers from downtown, Portland. The scene of peaceful protests and violent clashes.

This video was shot just a short time ago. The atmosphere around the federal courthouse remains tense. Tear gas and flash bangs were fired into the crowd as protesters were asked to leave.

Governor Kate Brown says the federal forces will start to withdraw from the area in the coming hours. But the Department of Homeland Security says it will maintain a presence in the city until it believes federal facilities there are secure.


KEN CUCCINELLI, ACTING DEPUTY HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: FPS will be a visible force outside of the courthouse, so will Oregon state police. That will be a collaborative effort there on the courthouse property.

Outside of the courthouse property, the state police will maintain responsibility, so we will be relying on the Governor and her team to maintain those lines of communication and the goal, of course, is to see not only violence move off the courthouse, but the goal we all have is that the violence dissipates entirely.


CHURCH: The decision to send federal agents into Portland earlier this month escalated tensions in the city, Portland has been on edge for two months over demands for racial justice and police accountability.

Well, the new fashion trend in Italy, face masks how the protective equipment has crossed over into the world of style when we return.




CHURCH: Well, fashion has a water problem. The textile dying industry is the world's second largest polluter of water according to the World Economic Forum. A synthetic biologist in England has come up with a way to dye clothes guided by nature's own methods and as Cyril Vanier shows us, it could make the industry a whole lot greener.


CYRIL VANIER, CNN SHOW HOST: The art of applying color to fabric goes back over 4,500 years. And since the invention of synthetic dyes in 1856, we have had an ever growing palette of brilliant colors at our fingertips. But creating synthetic pinks, reds, and yellows comes at a cost to the world's water supply, as 35-year-old synthetic biologist, Orr Yarkoni, discovered while researching water pollution in Nepal.

ORR YARKONI, CEO COLORIFIX: About 20 percent of industrial water pollution comes from textiles. Nature puts colors into lots of things and rivers still run clean, so there must be a biological way to do this that does not come is such a high cost.

VANIER: In 2016, Yarkoni cofounded Colorifix here in the U.K.

YARKONI: This is our color development plan.

VANIER: To develop a non-toxic way to die fabric. The technology taps into some of the most vibrant hues found in wildlife by replicating the color code found in its DNA.

YARKONI: So, what we can do is take a feather off a parrot, scrape a few cells off the tail end of the feather, and in those cells, look for the DNA message make red. We can now put that same message into our microorganism that will make the same red that parrot makes, the same that the parrot makes it.

VANIER: While French startup, Pele (ph), also engineer microorganisms to grow sustainable dyes, Yorkoni says Colorifix is the only one to transform the dying process.

YARKONI: You can use the same equipment, the same guys, the same recipe even, to dye all of these different materials. They say they are doing from 50 to 90 percent less water between 20 and 40 percent less energy. But in all cases, we don't use anything hazardous in the process.

VANIER: Swedish fashion giant H and M is in early backer of the company, producing hundreds of millions of garments each year, H and Mm is among the number of fast fashion brands facing growing pressure to reduce their environmental footprints, experts say.

FRANCOIS SOUCHET, ELLEN MACARTHUR FOUNDATION: More and more investors are starting to adhere to environmental and social performance of organizations they invest in. There is more expectations from the customer for better solutions and a cleaner fashion industry.

VANIER: Yarkoni says one vial of color packed microbes can't generate 50 tons of die solution a day, a small start to grow a more sustainable industry.

Cyril Vanier, CNN.


CHURCH: Well, as Italy adjusts to a new world filled with masks, it comes as no surprise, the Italian being in one of the world's global fashion hubs are turning them into stylish accessories. Barbie Nadeau has our report.


BARBIE LATZA NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: As fears of the second wave of COVID-19 in Europe, Italians are doing their best to mitigate the spread by putting their best face forward with masks. Almost from the beginning of the pandemic here in Italy, the first epicenter outside of China, face coverings have been the norm. But before Italy started to open up after its strict draconian lockdown, the Italian President, Sergio Mattarella led the way by wearing a mask, even when it wasn't required.

Now face coverings are part of daily life and no one leaves home without one. Italians carry them anywhere they can so they will always be ready. Eleger Cardin (ph) who runs a Rome of vintage boutique in central Rome tells me the customers are not using them as political statements but as fashion statements.

She tells me that at the beginning that people did not like them at all. They resisted. But out of necessity, they became part of daily life, so people want them for summer, for dinners out. For all occasions. So, now she offers these with sequence and glitters. She says they have something for everyone. Even the performers at the summer opera are wearing them on stage to help send a message.


But not all face masks are created equal. Luca D'Elia is a cofounder of Tuma Studio, which is a design studio and digital fabrication lab. Here they use 3d printers to make masks for the masses. Their specialty, masks where vents where people want to look trendy and stay safe.

LUCA D'ELIA, COFOUNDER TUMA STUDIO: This mask has a product that has a fashionable appeal for our customers that can help people to accept masks as a medical device that has to be wear in public spaces. And especially, these masks are made for people who have to go to events or to public spaces, for late nights for example.

NADEAU: After the initial outbreak, Italy has so far been successful in keeping COVID-19 away, and the country's health minister Roberto Esperanza continues to emphasize face mask use and says they will stay and essential rule, even as the country moves out of the pandemic. And at the height of a brutally humid Roman summer, Italians are respecting the rules and as expected, doing it in style.

But masks aren't just trendy here. You cannot enter any public space without one. They are the law indoors and you must wear them outdoors when you cannot socially distance. No mask, no service. It is working. Italy has gone from worst-case scenario to leading by example. Italians are fighting the pandemic head on.

By now, wearing face coverings has just become part of everyday life and everyone has a mask for every occasion. The very secure mask. The less secure mask. The dental mask. The advertising mask. The night out mask. And the mask just for fun. Barbie Latza Nadeau CNN, Rome.


CHURCH: Well, NASA is just about four hours away now, launching, from launching its first space mission. Specifically to search for a life beyond earth. The Mars Perseverance Rover is set to arrive on the red planet next February to look at signs that life once existed there. The rover will search for remnants of microbial life and collect rock and soil samples that are to be sent to earth on another mission six years from now.

And thank you so much for joining us. I'm Rosemary Church. I will be right back with more news in just one moment. Please stay with us.