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Hurricane Isaias Barrels Towards Florida, Landfall Possible Tomorrow; Red Cross Won't Staff Evacuation Shelters In Miami-Dade; White House, Democrats Hold Talks On Deal As $600 Unemployment Benefit Expires; CDC: Hundreds Infected At Georgia Camp In Just Days; Trump Floats Delaying Election Despite Lack Of Authority To Do So; Battle Between Feds And Chicago Over Gun Violence. Aired 12-1p ET

Aired August 1, 2020 - 12:00   ET




ERICA HILL, CNN HOST: Good afternoon. Thanks for joining me. I'm Erica Hill in today for Fredricka Whitfield. We begin this hour with a grim new prediction of just how devastating the Coronavirus pandemic may still become?

The CDC forecasting another 20,000 lives in this country will be lost to the virus in just the next three weeks this despite 30 states now pausing or rolling back their plans to reopen. The U.S. death toll today stands at more than 153,000. In July alone, ten days where reported deaths topped 1,000 reported daily deaths over 1,000 on ten days this month.

Meantime a critical lifeline for millions of struggling Americans has now expired. That $600 supplemental unemployment benefit now gone. Top Democratic leaders and White House officials have been meeting for hours to work out a deal, but all of this, of course, in the background as there's a new problem emerging for much of this country.

Some 70 million Americans threatened by Hurricane Isaias which is threatening coastlines from Florida all the way up into Maine as I said potentially impacting 70 million people.

CNN's Rosa Flores is in Miami, Florida, as we know. Of course, already struggling dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic. So this is a double whammy at this point, Rosa. How are the preparations going and how are people responding to this?

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, well, officials are preparing for the worst. According to Miami-Dade County, they say that they have 20 shelters on standby. They have activated their emergency operations center. They have UV sterilization fans so that they can kill any airborne particles of COVID-19.

They've closed parks and marinas and they've asked people here to have three to seven days of food and water ready. Look, there is nothing about this storm that is going to be normal because of COVID-19. We checked in with FPL for example about power restoration. FPL says that there could be a delay in restoring of power in the State of Florida because of COVID-19. They have implemented measures like the wearing of masks, the sanitation of equipment, social distancing and also this working of smaller groups, just in case there's an outbreak, it makes it easier to contact trace and also to isolate.

Now because there say pandemic, we also check with hospital systems here in Miami-Dade County because they have been bombarded due to the pandemic. They say that they have at least four days of power generation that they can use independent of the grid. That's important, of course, according to Governor Ron DeSantis.

Announcing earlier today only one hospital way north of us in Brevard County has moved COVID-19 patients. We have not seen any of that activity here where I am. How will shelters operate? That's another big question given COVID-19. We asked the Director of Emergency Management in Miami-Dade County.

They used schools to - as emergency shelters here in Miami-Dade. They say that there will not be these mass gatherings. They're going to have at least 40 square feet per person so that there can be social distancing. Anyone with COVID-19 would be isolated in classrooms.

There are also talks with hotels, not only here in Miami-Dade County but statewide so that these isolation areas can be available in case of a storm. Erica, from talking to both county and state leaders about this early on in the hurricane season, their biggest concern is because officials have been telling people to stay home, because that's the safest thing for the pandemic, during a hurricane, it's not the safest for individuals to stay home if an evacuation order is issued.

I should say that an evacuation order has not issued - has not been issued here but Erica their concern is that people might not heed the warning and what they would like the public to know is that in the case of a hurricane, in the case of storm surge, it's going to be safer for you to leave your house if your local officials tell you to do so.

HILL: Such an important point. Rosa, thank you great reporting as always. Let's take a look at where the storm is right now? CNN Meteorologist Allison Chinchar is tracking it for us. So the Bahamas and Florida right now really bracing. What can we expect over the next several hours, maybe the next couple of days?

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Right, so the long term is that more states will be impacted. Obviously, the focus right now is on Florida because that would be the most imminent threat. It's not the only state that's going to be impacted. So Hurricane Isaias right now has sustained winds of 80 miles an hour.

It's moving to the northwest at about 12 miles per hour. Now it is entering an area where there is a lot of dry air and this is really going to limit the storm from get anything stronger. But in the short term, this strength doesn't really have much to do with the storm surge. This is still going to be a huge factor in the short term.


CHINCHAR: Especially from Jupiter up to Jacksonville. We expect two to four feet of storm surge. But keep in mind this is on top of what the normal high tide would be. And in some areas, the full moon is on Monday. So in some areas, these high tides are going to be at their highest point all month. So keep that in mind.

Here's a look at the track. When we talk about some of those tides, again West Palm Beach, the average should be about 3.27. So now you have to factor in an additional 1 to 2 feet on top of that. Farther to the north, Jacksonville, for example, their high tide should be about six feet. Now you have to add two feet on top of that.

Charleston, South Carolina, kind of known for flooding in these particular situations expecting a high tide around 6.2 feet. You will also likely have to factor a couple of feet on top of that as well. One of the other things to notice is that there's still model discrepancy here.

About half the models still want a landfall somewhere over Florida. The other half just want to skirt along the East Coast. Where they do all come into alignment is over North Carolina. Every single one of those models has a landfall at some point of a location across North Carolina.

Then they all continue to take it up into the Northeast across states like New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and even into Maine. Winds will be the highest for places like Melbourne and Jupiter where you could get those winds in excess of 74 miles per hour.

Even places inland, say like Orlando for example, still likely to get some winds about 40 to 60 miles per hour. That's still enough to bring small trees, to bring power lines down. So power outages will still be a concern in Florida.

Here's a look at the storm system as it slides up the East Coast. Not just today but especially on Sunday and into Monday. That's when you'll start to see some of the heavier rain bands say from the space coast up towards Jacksonville. But rainfall, oddly Erica, is not expected to be the heaviest in Florida. It's likely going to be its heaviest around the Carolinas.

HILL: All right. We'll be watching for all of that. Allison Chinchar with the latest for us. Thank you so much. As this storm, of course, makes its way toward South Florida, the Red Cross says it won't be staffing evacuation shelters in Miami-Dade County because of Coronavirus concerns.

Brad Kieserman is the Vice President for the Disaster Operations of Disaster Operations and Logistics for the American Red Cross. Good to have you with us. So why not, why not staff these evacuation shelters? What's the concern on the part of the Red Cross?

BRAD KIESERMAN, VP OF DISASTER OPERATIONS & LOGISTICS, AT AMERICAN RED CROSS: Erica thanks for having me with you today. I have to say Rosa's report really hit it on the mark. COVID-19 fundamentally requires people to maintain distance. And, of course, disasters fundamentally drive people together in congregate shelters and for feeding.

And so when you have the convergence of those two disasters COVID-19 and a hurricane, you have got to mitigate the risk. So one way that we mitigate risk in the Red Cross is by reducing our footprint in shelters, but we still open shelters post impact, and we also are opening shelters up and down the eastern seaboard based on some prior commitments we have.

The Miami-Dade has got a set of really good mitigation in place. We have trained Miami-Dade employees and provided some other resources to Miami-Dade to support the approach that they are taking. And I would say if Miami-Dade local emergency managers tell folks to evacuate, it is really important to follow those evacuation orders, whether in Miami-Dade or Wilmington.

Anywhere up the coast. We all collectively in the emergency management community, we can mitigate the risk of COVID. We cannot mitigate the risk of someone staying in the path of a dangerous hurricane.

HILL: It's such an important point, and we can't hammer that home enough. As you look at what Florida is facing, and you look at what you deal with normally during a storm, right, and the concerns you have in terms of disaster preparedness. Beyond that very important social distancing, as we know, these mitigation factors, what else has changed because of Coronavirus in your preparations?

KIESERMAN: Coronavirus has not changed the mission we in the American Red Cross do, but it does change the way that we do the mission. So we are, in fact, opening shelters up and down the eastern seaboard.

I've got over 300 volunteers this morning who are actively on the ground in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia and more moving in towards Delaware and Maryland which is a little later in the forecast.

But they are prepared, at the direction of and to support our local emergency and state emergency managers, to open congregate shelters. Everyone in the Red Cross shelter, everyone must wear an appropriate face covering.

We're providing surgical masks to anyone entering a Red Cross shelter. We've put social distancing into place. We have 60 square feet we're requiring a standard of 60 square feet per person in those shelters to support social distancing.

We put special food handling procedures into place and we're following the isolation procedures that you heard Rosa describe that Miami-Dade are using, which is, if folks are presenting as symptom 80.


KIESERMAN: We're going to locate them in an isolation space and have health service workers attend to their care. And so one of the other things we're doing is we have a larger virtual footprint this year. There's many things we do, like some case work that can all be done virtually and reduce the risk of contact.

But our volunteers are showing up. They are present. And they are continuing to alleviate human suffering up and down the eastern seaboard and right now in Texas from Hurricane Hannah as well.

HILL: Yes, important to not to forget the aftermath of Hurricane Hannah. As we look at this so Isaias is the ninth named storm for the 2020 Atlantic Basin Hurricane Season. And this is actually the earliest year that there's been a ninth named storm. We had two hurricanes in the last week of July.

How concerning is that to you as we move forward into really the thick of hurricane season, which is just starting?

KIESERMAN: Based on the forecast that we've seen, I believe that the 2020 hurricane season will be one of the most energetic and potentially dangerous of our generation. And that's not just because of COVID-19. It's because we're expecting a well above normal hurricane season.

And not just for formation but also for landfall along the eastern seaboard and in the gulf. So you take that together with COVID and that means we all - and that includes every person who lives in a place that's potentially hurricane prone, all of us have to take steps to be ready for what is not just coming but as you said, what's already happened. We can see what's coming around the corner. We need to make sure we're ready for that.

HILL: And quickly before you go, is there one thing top of mind that is your biggest concern at this point?

KIESERMAN: Yes, my biggest concern is the one Rosa mentioned earlier. And that is people staying in their homes in the path of a hurricane. Folks if you get an evacuation order from your state or local emergency management leave your home and if you can't have - you can't find another place to go you should go to congregate shelters that are being opened by the Red Cross or counties and states across the nation. Don't stay in the path of a hurricane.

HILL: Brad Kieserman, great to have you with us and thanks to you for the work that you're doing and for all the volunteers as you mentioned volunteers are so important throughout all of this. Thank you.

Some troubling news for millions of struggling Americans who will not be receiving that additional $600 federal unemployment check, those benefits of course expired at midnight last night. There is no new deal in place. Negotiations are happening at this hour. We're going to update you on what's going on there in Washington?

Plus, the future of education around the world in the middle of a pandemic, parents debating whether to send their kids back to school, if they even have the option here in the U.S. So what's happening overseas, we're going to take a look? And then a bit later, the controversial deployment of federal agents to Chicago. CNN has an exclusive behind the scenes look at "Operation Legend."



HILL: Crucial talks are under way right now on Capitol Hill, lawmakers trying to come to an agreement on the next Coronavirus relief package. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are meeting today to hopefully agree on some sort of a plan.

Overnight, that $600 federal unemployment benefit expired leaving millions of Americans wondering how they may be able to make ends meet. Just moments ago, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Speaker Pelosi talked about the negotiations over the last couple of hours. Take a listen.


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): --that a million people are without food, you don't say let's compromise and give half a million people food. If there are a million people, a million small businesses hurting you don't compromise and say we're only going to help half of them. But on the other hand, we had really - it was the best discussions we've had so far. And I'd call it progress but a ways to go. Is that fair?



PELOSI: But the fact is this week for the 19th straight week, over a million Americans filed claims for unemployment insurance. Millions of people are food insecure in our country. Millions are on the verge of eviction. People need resources in order to meet the needs of their families.

So it's very important as we come to - this is not a usual discussion because the urgency is so great health wise, financial health wise and again, the health of our democracy because our elections will be affected by the Coronavirus and we must address that.

CHUMER: Thank you, everybody.

PELOSI: Thank you.


HILL: CNN's Lauren Fox is on Capitol Hill. So fairly positive, I would say. What we were hearing there. But is it your sense there's any real movement happening behind the scenes?

LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Well Erica, I think the top line here is after three hours of negotiations, there still is not a deal to extend those unemployment benefits that, like you said, millions of Americans have been counting on.

So I know that lawmakers are going to meet again on Monday. The hope is that they can continue moving closer. What you heard there was Chuck Schumer saying look, these are the most productive talks we've had. And that's significant.

Because remember last week they continued to have these discussions, and every time they would come out of these meetings they'd essentially say the exact same thing. They didn't feel like the White House was serious.

The White House would say they didn't feel like Democrats really wanted a deal. You are seeing there that there's a little bit different posturing happening and I think that that's still significant if we're reading the tea leaves.

But look, the bottom line is that Democrats want a broad deal. They want to ensure that any discussion that they have includes not just an extension of unemployment benefits.


FOX: But also an extension of other key provisions, including small business programs, including state and local funding. Those are the items that they care about. There are lots of sticking points here. And remember Republicans aren't even all on the same page.

The White House is negotiating directly with Democrats. You know who is not in the room is Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans. They are still deeply divided over how to address this crisis with many fiscal Republicans arguing they don't even think it's not time for another stimulus deal at all.

They are arguing that there is still unspent money and that's what should be re-appropriated to finance the next stimulus bill. So you are getting a sense here that, yes, they are moving closer, but there are still so many disagreements, Erica.

HILL: Yes, still seems like there is a long way to go. Meanwhile, tens of millions of Americans are waiting and need answers and help. Lauren, thank you.

A new study about children and Coronavirus more than 40 percent of kids at one overnight camp in Georgia tested positive for Coronavirus. So what could that mean? What could we learn from that as districts and states around the country put together their plans to reopen schools?



HILL: New York State's Coronavirus infection rate now has dropped under 1 percent, the state continuing to make significant progress. All this is a dire new forecast from the CDC projects another 20,000 lives could be lost in this country over just the next three weeks. CNN's Polo Sandoval joining us now from New York. So Polo, what more are we hearing this morning?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Erica, one of the big areas of concern is actually right across the River in New Jersey where the Governor is saying that he's alarmed by a recent rise. They confirmed about 2,000 COVID cases in about four consecutive days.

Those are numbers that we haven't seen in about a month. You're about to hear what the Governor believes is behind it and why he's even considering possible rollback in reopenings? The Coronavirus may kill another 20,000 Americans by late August, according to a sobering fresh forecast from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC projections warn of an increase in increased deaths in Puerto Rico, Washington State, Kentucky, Alabama, Tennessee and New Jersey. The Governor there says house parties are contributing to COVID spread among young people.


GOV. PHIL MURPHY (D-NJ): We are not past this. Everyone who walks around refusing to wear a mask or who hosts an indoor house party or who overstuffs a boat is directly contributing to these increases.


SANDOVAL: The White House Coronavirus Task Force says COVID cases are plateauing in the hard-hit states of California, Arizona and Texas. Florida is also on that list, though it may face further complications with approaching Hurricane Isaias. Nearly 8400 COVID patients remain in Florida hospitals and there's a possibility some Floridians near the storm's path may have to turn to shelters.


MAYOR DEAN TRANTALIS (D), FORT LAUDERDALE: The storm just exacerbates the conditions. What it does, it forces people to remain in close quarters and this is the - this is where we need to get that message out that people need to make sure that those protocols are not sacrificed, that they understand how important it is to wear face masks.


SANDOVAL: This week, Texas became the latest state to surpass New York in the number of COVID cases. The hot spot is in South Texas where death counts are staggering. Ron Rivera, a Funeral Director in hard hit Hidalgo County says his facility is overwhelmed. They are turning to additional storage for the influx of bodies and worried surviving family members may worsen the spread of the virus.


RON RIVERA, OWNER/DIRECTOR, RIVERA FUNERAL HOME: It's the loved ones, the families that come in to give their condolences to the family. That's where the danger is. And you get all sorts of people coming in at one time, and that's what really makes these families vulnerable to having this disease spread amongst the living. Not actually the dead.


SANDOVAL: With many schools nearing reopening, a new CDC study offers insight into what can happen when young people are allowed to assemble? Researchers looked at a Georgia summer camp not named in the study and found high infection rates among campers at that facility. The data shows the camp followed most but not all of the CDC's safety guidelines.


DR. ROSHINI RAJAPAKSA, NYU LANGONE HEALTH: As this study shows, when you have large groups of people and children especially because you really can't expect children to strictly adhere to some of these safety precautions, there's a high risk of transmission.


SANDOVAL: Students already back in the classroom at Indiana's Hancock County where the local health department confirmed on the first day of school that a middle schooler tested positive for the virus. Officials with the school district told parents the student was immediately isolated.

Another similar case in Northern Mississippi where authorities confirmed that a high school student tested positive for the Coronavirus this week after the first week of classes here, this is certainly not surprising to health officials who have warned school districts that they can expect these kinds of cases.

But Erica the key here is to isolate these kinds of cases as soon as they are identified to try to limit exposure to students and staff.

HILL: That's for sure.


Absolutely, Polo, thank you. Joining us now to discuss, Dr. Michael Saag (ph), who is an Associate Dean for Global Health at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a Medical Professor in the School's Division of Infectious Diseases?

As we look at this CDC study that looked at this overnight camp in Georgia, what's interesting is a parent of a child who went to that camp who ended up becoming infected, weighed in this morning, I just want to play a little bit of what this dad had to say, take a listen.


TOM MAIELLARO, SON ATTENDED SUMMER CAMP WHERE VIRUS BROKE OUT: The camp had done everything they possibly could to ensure that our kids were safe. And they had the best laid plans. Well, we know that the best laid plans as we saw with camp, something could happen.

(END VIDEO CLIP) HILL: There's always the possibility that something can happen. The CDC said they followed most of the guidelines but they didn't follow all of them. The kids didn't wear masks. We know there wasn't as much ventilation, the windows and doors in certain areas weren't open, per CDC guidelines and the way they recommended. And there was a lot of singing and chanting.

How important is the planning as we look forward to school, which as we, you know, as Polo just pointed out, has are started in some areas?

DR. MICHAEL SAAG, ASSOCIATE DEAN FOR GLOBAL HEALTH, UAB: Well, it's an issue of planning, but it's also an issue of implementation. So in the case of the camp, the counselors wore masks, the campers did not.

And if you dig into those data a little bit, you'll see that the rate of infection among the counselor was about half of what you saw in that camper. So that kind of makes sense. When we translate this into school reopening, we need plans for sure. And they need to be different than just business as usual.

But once the plan is made, the implementation has to follow in lockstep. If it doesn't, we should be expecting cases in schools and it won't be news that somebody in Mississippi or somebody in other school system became infected. That's going to be the rule. The question is, what are we willing to live with?

HILL: Yes. I think that's a question that people are having a hard time answering, right? But when you look at the protocol, you mentioned the student in Mississippi that Polo mentioned. We also know there was a student in Indiana who tested positive, that student was isolated per protocol in the school district, they said.

It's not just isolating, though, it's about quarantining. We heard here in New York City yesterday from the city, that if there are positive cases, for example, in a classroom, where they're trying to limit kids to staying within that classroom pod and limiting adult interaction, that there could be a two-week quarantine for the class. How broad do you think a quarantine would need to be in a school if there's someone in one classroom where they are pretty much contained to that group of kids?

SAAG: Right. So let's take that one single individual who tests positive. The problem is if that person was probably symptomatic. In the days before the symptoms came on, they were spreading virus to others. So that means a fair number of people in that class were also infected. Certainly everybody in that class was exposed.

So then the question becomes, are you quarantine the whole class? And if you do, 10 days is probably long enough to pull them out. But at some point, it becomes impossible to quarantine everyone. And this is why the decisions of when do we go back to school matter so much.

If we were in Canada, where the rates are about 128, on what they are saying now, you can do that with a little bit more confidence. But coming back to these, what we call red zone states, the ones you mentioned earlier and some more, the rates are so high of infection, that the chance of at least one person in a classroom of 25 being infected starts to go up to about 75 percent likelihood.

And how are we going to manage all that? One other point real quickly, we have to ask the question, are we willing to live with the end result of the inevitable situation where teachers are going to become infected, that's going to happen. And then the teachers because they're older have a higher likelihood of getting sick.

And God forbid if one of them passes away. Are we willing to live with those consequences? Because I think that's what we're going to see in about three months from now, unfortunately, with the rates of infections that we have, and those are individual decisions.

HILL: What we're seeing in terms of the rates of infection, as you know, while things may be plateauing in these current hotspots, Arizona, California, Texas, even showing a little bit of a decline yesterday on their seven day average, they're plateauing in such a high level. We know deaths arriving -- are rising and that there a lagging indicator, at least two to four weeks in this new prediction from the CDC, we could see an additional 20,000 deaths in just three weeks.

A, do you agree with that prediction? And B, is there anything at this point to make sure we don't get there?

SAAG: The deaths are relatively easy to predict, unfortunately, because that's what follows that spike in cases. So you get transmission, infection, reporting, hospitalization, and then it's just a simple calculation to say we're going to have about 1,000 deaths a day based on the number of people in the hospital right now. Those certain proportion are going to die. That's understood.


But I think the real question here coming back to the notion of how do we mitigate this? Everybody knows what we're supposed to do. Everyone can tell you about distancing and mask. The question is, can we do this reliably?

And finally, when you see those things plateauing, that's not good enough. That's obviously a step in the right direction. But look at how New York manages. It wasn't just plateau. It was actually going down to pre epidemic levels. And unfortunately, that's what we have to be patient and wait on.

HILL: The patience for a lot of folks is the hardest part, but boy, is it worth it? Dr. Michael Saag, I appreciate your time and your expertise this morning. Thank you.

SAAG: Thank you, Erica.

HILL: President Trump dropping a bombshell this week floating the idea of delaying the election even though, let's be very clear here, the President does not have the power to do so. So what's behind that move? And does it actually undermine the President's effort to reopen schools?



HILL: Shocking outrage this week as President Trump openly floated the idea of doing something that's never been done in the nation's history. On Thursday, the President tweeting his disdain for mail-in voting. That, of course, is not new.

But this is, at the same time, he questioned whether in fact the country should delay the November election, 94 days now until Election Day, 94 days stand between the contest, of course, between the President and the presumptive Democratic nominee for Vice President Joe Biden. So why is the President pushing for this now?

Joining me to discuss senior editor for the Atlantic, Ron Brownstein. Ron, always good to see you. So, I mean, I think we kind of know why. The President perhaps not performing the way that he would like in the polls, polls which he'll discount but still openly trying to sow discord and doubt about the election. I think the real question though here, Ron, is, is any of this working for him?

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think the President is testing the waters, really, to see how far the Republican Party will follow him as he tries to delegitimize the election as, you know, either he or certainly maybe more likely someone around him knows that he can't delay the election. He does not have the authority to do that.

But I think what he was doing by putting out such a, you know, outrageous idea, which, of course, Republicans in the Spring said was conspiracy mongering when Joe Biden suggested he might float this at some point. By putting this out, I think he is trying to test how far he can go in -- on trying to undermine the election and have Republicans follow.

It was very notable to me, Erica, that while many Republicans said that he was incorrect, you know, the sky is blue. You can't change the election date. Very, very few, maybe none other than Will Hurt said that he was wrong, said that it was dangerous, inappropriate for a president to be talking this way.

And I think he probably took that as a sign that he can go further in other ways, especially after the election to contest the result.

HILL: Further, further, you said after election, he talks about some of that too, right? So part of the reasoning that he was putting out later in the day was, well, it could take weeks, it could take months, you know, it could take years, we may never know who will win the election. The reality is, it could take a little while if more people vote by mail, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

BROWNSTEIN: No, I mean, we've done this, you know, we've done this for years in this country. And it is not unusual for the result on election night to be different than the final result as all the ballots are counted. In 2018, in Arizona, Martha McSally was leading on election night against Kyrsten Sinema. And then Sinema won comfortably as all the ballots are counted, especially in Maricopa County. You know, the irony in all of this, of course, is that in many states, it has been Republicans more than Democrats who are focused on having their voters vote by mail.

And one of the things the President is clearly doing if you look at the CNN polling and other national polling is, he is discrediting the use of male voting among his own supporters. We've seen in these primaries in Georgia, in Pennsylvania, elsewhere, far more Democrats requesting mail ballots than Republicans.

By contrast, in 2016, the share of Republicans who voted by mail was essentially the same as the share of Democrats, so there are Republicans who are worried that this may backfire in the sense of discouraging his own voters from using a tool that may be critical, given the level of virus circulation that we're now experiencing in this country.

HILL: And it's a tool the President himself uses and has talked about. He's an absentee voter, which means he is voting by mail. And we should point out to even in those five states that vote almost exclusively by mail, none have shown widespread fraud.


HILL: And that is something that has not happened, so important to continue those fact checks as well. Ron Brownstein, always good to see you, thank you.

BROWNSTEIN: Thank you.


HILL: Still to come, just how and when should schools reopen? Should it be in person learning, should it be virtual, a hybrid of the two? What schools in the United States can learn from what's happening in countries around the world?


HILL: In the United Kingdom, a government science advisor is now warning, may be time to choose between keeping pubs open or reopening schools. And that warning comes as crowds fill bars and pubs and parts of northern England where COVID-19 cases are spiking.

Let's check in now with our CNN reporters who are covering just how schools around the world are dealing with the pandemic.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Nic Robertson here in London where coronavirus infections are increasing, but the Prime Minister says it's a priority to get children back into classrooms. In England he says, all classes will be up and running for all pupils by September. In Scotland, First Minister says, all pupils will be back in classrooms there, by the middle of August. In Northern Ireland, they're going to have the year sevenths, 12ths, and 14ths in classroom by the end of August and all other pupils with them sometime in September.

Wales is taking a more cautious phased approach there. They say the classroom groups will be smaller and some pupils will be doing online tuition.

CYRIL VANIER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Cyril Vanier in France. And the government is working on different scenarios for schools reopening in September. Plan A if the virus remains under control is to fully reopen schools. Health restrictions will be fairly light, all students will go back to class, attendance will be compulsory, and face masks will only be required for 11 year olds and above where distancing isn't possible.

But France has seen a spike in the number of new cases recently. And if that continues, schools may need to move to phase two, a hybrid between in-class learning and home learning. Schools would bring in smaller groups of students and find any available space including outdoors to distance them while the other group works from home.


And if the virus spreads even faster, phase three involves targeted school shut downs where the virus is active. Those students would revert to learning from home except this time, schools are planning to provide computers to students who need them.


HILL: And thanks to our reporters there. Every parent of course wants a great school for their kids. As W. Kamau Bell uncovers though, that's really not possible for so many families. Go inside the public school system on an all new United Shades of America tomorrow night at 10:00 only right here on CNN.

Federal agents on a mission in Chicago, they are fighting gun violence as the city copes with a rise in shootings. But how is their presence being received? We have an exclusive report, next.



HILL: Whether local officials want them or not, hundreds of federal agents are being deployed to several U.S. cities where violence is surging this summer. It's being called Operation Legend.

Chicago is one of those cities seeing an influx of federal agents amid a spike in gun violence. CNN's Ryan Young joins us now with this CNN exclusive from Chicago. So Ryan, you're actually just down the street from where a nine-year-old boy was shot and killed yesterday. Give us a better sense of why there's this added federal presence there. And what this boy's death has to do with all of it too?

RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Look, absolutely this has been devastating for the community when you talk about a nine-year-old, losing his life, this happened at 6:45 in the afternoon.

This is why people in the community want more resources, especially when it comes to stopping crime. But we walked over there. I mean, it's less than half a block from where I'm standing where the shooting happened where this nine-year-old boy lost his life. In fact, we just got this photo from his father. I mean, take a look at this photo.

This is a young man who had a full life ahead of him. I was talking to his dad. He told me he loved playing basketball. He loves sports. He loved Fortnite. And these were the things he was actually going to go get a controller, ran outside to get that. And that's when he was caught in the crossfire. And he was hit several times by bullets. The family is grieving across the street. And that's why these federal resources matter.


YOUNG (voice-over): About all words about Chicago as violence in the city explodes.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Chicago is a disaster. People are dying in Chicago and other cities, and we can solve the problem.

MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT (D), CHICAGO: I've drawn a very hard line. We'll not allow federal troops in our city.

(voice-over): More than 100 federal agents are surging into the city as part of Operation Legend.

Do you think this operation will make a difference?

JOHN LAUSCH, U.S. ATTORNEY, NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS: Yes, I do. I do. I think adding more federal resources to help on this, it can only help.

(voice-over): John Lausch, the United States Attorney for the Northern District is leading the federal effort to cut violence in the city. He understands people's concerns about the influx of agents.

LAUSC: The people coming in for Operation Legend, they will not be doing patrol. They are not out there, you know, in uniforms like the Chicago police officers. But they will certainly be there in the background. They will be working with the police officers in the background to help on various kinds of cases whether they're gun cases or drug cases.

(voice-over): Agents have brought in cutting edge technology to help process critical evidence faster.

KRISTEN DE TINEO, SPECIAL AGENT IN CHICAGO, ATF CHICAGO FIELD DIVISION: The vehicle that you see behind us, this is the Crime Gun Intelligence Mobile Command Vehicle, Mobile Command Center. It is the only one of its type.

(voice-over): And inside agents show me guns pulled off the streets just days ago. One of the guns agents tell me has been illegally modified making it fully automatic with just a switch. Inside this mobile lab unit, you can see a gun was taken from the streets, fired and then examined within hours.

TINEO: Each firearm leaves a unique imprint on the casing. So like fingerprints, it takes an expert to take a look at that and match those.

(voice-over): Any bit of evidence helps to connect crimes and maybe even offenders. In Chicago law enforcement is dealing with a staggering amount of violence.

LAUSCH: So far this year in July of 2020, we have more murders in the city of Chicago than we had in all of 2014. It's just staggering.

(voice-over): Over the last 28 days, murders in Chicago are up 152 percent. And shootings are up 62 percent in Chicago compared to last year, the gun violence here cruel. Through July 26th, 212 of these shootings victims have been kids, 36 kids have lost their lives to violence.

Federal agents working with the Chicago police have made several arrests so far. But each day, the stakes seem to be getting higher.

LAUSCH: Well, there's never going to be an a mission accomplished as long as there are people who are being killed in the streets of Chicago.


YOUNG: And the number was 36, now is 37. So you have Janari Ricks who was killed. That was the nine-year-old across the street. There'll be a candlelight vigil for him.

And Erica, the reason why I keep bringing his name up and talking about his case, is because you think about such a young man who had his life cut short for no reason. And right now, police are still searching for his killer.

There were cameras in the area. A lot of the family members are hoping that police will be able to pull that evidence to find the shooter. But you have many stories like that across the city, more shootings on another hot weekend. People are bracing themselves for more violence.