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Seventy Million In Path Of Hurricane Isaias; First Student Going Back To School In Rural County; Hundreds Infected At Georgia Camp In Just Days; Atlanta Police To Stop Responding To Non-Injury Car Accidents Due To COVID-19 Concerns; North Korea Claims It Is Developing A COVID-19 Vaccine; Fatal Great White Attack In Maine & Shark Sightings In NY Prompt Beach Closures And Restrictions. Aired 1- 2p ET
Aired August 1, 2020 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You have many stories like that across the city. More shootings on another hot weekend. People are bracing themselves for more violence.
ERICA HILL, CNN HOST: Yeah. A boy who just ran out of his house to get a controller. Ryan, thank you.
Hello, and thanks for joining me on this Saturday. I'm Fredrick Whitfield -- I'm Fredricka Whitfield, I'm Erica Hill in for Fredricka Whitfield. We'll try it that way. We begin this hour with a grim new prediction. A prediction of just how devastating the coronavirus pandemic may become. The CDC now projecting another 20,000 lives in this country could be lost in just the next three weeks because of the virus.
Thirty states have now paused or rolling back their plans to reopen. The death toll in this country has topped 153,000. Look at that. July saw 10 days of daily reported deaths topping a thousand. All of this is a critical lifeline for millions of struggling Americans has now expired. A $600 unemployment benefit gone. Top Democratic leaders and White House officials are meeting today to try to hammer out a deal.
Meantime, there's a new problem emerging. Hurricane Isaias is threatening coastlines and not just in Florida. This is threatening coastlines from Florida all the way on up into Maine. The potential impact some 70 million Americans. We want to start in Washington this hour where those negotiations for an important relief package have just wrapped up for the day. CNN's Lauren Fox is on Capitol Hill.
So, we know we've heard a little bit from both sides after they came out of that meeting. Is there a sense that they're any closer to an agreement, Lauren?
LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Well, Erica, what we are hearing from both Republicans and Democrats is that they are closer, but they are still far away from a deal. And of course, that is not going to be any comfort for the millions of Americans who have been depending on that additional $600 and unemployment benefits every week. Remember that those expired last night at midnight, like you said.
But here's what Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi had to say about today's discussions.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): This was the longest meeting we had, and it was more productive than the other meetings. There are many issues that are still very much outstanding when we're apart. But we had a serious discussion and we went down piece by piece. And so, we're each side is that.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: We have to get rid of this virus so that we can open our economy, safely open our schools, and to do so in a way that does not give a cut in benefits to America's workers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOX: And, of course, they met for about three hours today, Erica, but I'll tell you that, you know, they're very far apart on (INAUDIBLE) issue of unemployment benefits and whether or not they need to do a short-term situation to make sure that Americans have those benefits but they're far apart on whether or not to give state and local governments more money.
They're far apart about how the U.S. government should approach giving school districts more money to ensure that they can reopen safely.
They are far apart in so many pieces of this negotiation. And it's not just a difference between Republicans and Democrats. Remember, all week long, we have been hearing from Senate Republicans who are divided over whether or not there should even be another stimulus package at this point. Their argument, of course, that this was always supposed to be a short-term fix. They don't want to spend any additional money.
They argue that there are still trillions that are unspent. So that gives you a sense of where negotiations are right now. Even though you hear that they are making progress there are still big divisions to work out, Erica.
HILL: Yes. Baby steps on that progress. But even those are important as we know. Lauren Fox, thank you.
Well as financial struggles for families grow, more and more Americans are relying on food banks just to get food on the table. CNN's Paul Vercammen is at a food bank in London. Paul, what are you seeing there today?
PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, look over my left shoulder. Erica, you can get the signs now that people are really concerned and need food. One of the big factors in all of this, of course, is that the unemployment benefits running out that happened yesterday. I look at this slide. This is at the First Unitarian Church. This is in Koreatown in Los Angeles, and people, about 2000 of them are coming here to get anything they can.
And by the way, this box of produce right here a sign of the times, it's going to go to farm workers who are quarantined throughout Los Angeles County. And Trinity Tran runs this food giveaway. And Trinity, I have to ask you, you're starting to see signs of desperation as these checks start to go away.
TRINITY TRAN, BOARD MEMBER, URBAN PARTNERS LOS ANGELES: Yeah, for the first time and our food bank operation people are waiting in line at midnight for our doors to open at 7:00 a.m. So we are witnessing firsthand the widespread devastation that those pandemic is causing, especially on poor working class neighborhoods of color. The community that we serve here in Koreatown is once the most densely populated areas in Los Angeles.
TRAN: We grew from serving a few hundred people before the pandemic, so now well over 1700, we had our record number last weekend. This is an entirely volunteer run operation as well. That serving close to 2000 in addition to pickups and drop offs every Saturday.
VERCAMMEN: And obviously by the mouth, you're seeing a lot of new faces and what are they telling you?
TRAN: They're grateful that we're here. So, we were doing what we can to feed as many people as possible. What we try to do every week is sourced enough food to feed a family of four. So, it's not only a box of meat, a box of cheese, a box with assorted vegetables in it. So, there's enough food. Everyone walks away with about three to four boxes of food and it's enough to feed a family of four going for a week.
VERCAMMEN: And you've had your pulse on the community. Can you give us a sense for just what desperation is out there?
TRAN: You know, at the frontline of all crises, those who are going to be hardest hit, those who are going to feel the heaviest toll are the poorest, are the most vulnerable. And so, you know, what we're seeing is just this -- every week our line continues to grow. It's now a 60, 70 percent volunteer operation that helps serves not only just this immediate area of Koreatown, Westlake, but we're seeing people coming from all areas of Los Angeles County to stand in this line.
Our lines now span about five blocks long. It goes all the way down 8th Street, down Vermont, down for at St. Francis all the way, you know, a few blocks down the street. And it's surreal to see, you know, that many people standing in this line for food.
And it's really a larger indictment of a failed system in the middle of the day of the Federal government to take care of the people because at the end of the day, it's unconscionable to live in a world where people have to wait for seven hours for a box of groceries.
VERCAMMEN: We super appreciate your time taking time out, keep up the good work. I appreciate, Trinity. Well as she said, these are challenging strange times, indeed. People waiting until -- they started midnight. That was just staggering. Erica, to get in this line. Back to you.
HILL: Yes, it certainly is. And, Paul, what we're seeing there what Trinity just told us about what she has seen over the last several weeks and months that is indicative of what is happening in communities all around this country. So important that we continue to shine a light on it. Paul, thank you.
Florida is of course coping with this pandemic. At the same time that Hurricane Isaias is headed toward the state. I want to check it out with CNN Meteorologist Chad Myers. So Chad, you're taking a look at this storm. What can Florida expect at this point?
CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: They're going to expect hurricane conditions. I mean, winds are going to be over 75 at least gusts along the coast. This is going to turn to the right as they almost always do and kind of skim along the coast like they almost always do. But this is a -- it's a half a cane right now. I can't even call this a hurricane. We're looking at the Bahamas Radar here and the bottom half of the entire storm is gone.
There's not a bottom of the eye. So that's good news. The storm isn't developing, it isn't getting stronger, but it's still a 70 or 80 mile per hour storm right now. And there are hurricane warnings all the way up from South Florida, almost all the way up past Melbourne. So that's what's going to happen tonight. The forecast track from the hurricane center has a category one hurricane getting very close.
It is so close that, you know, we do these polls, the margin of error is 3.2 percent. The margin of error here is closer -- higher than the storm is away from the coast. So, left or right 20 miles margin of error here. I'd say 15 miles, it's going to be very, very close.
Even if it's not, that's the center, the eyewall could certainly be on land by tomorrow morning. There are a couple of separate things going on here. We always talk about the European model, and the American model in which does best.
And even the Canadian model does very, very good job by the way. So, we're going to see what these models do. One thing we noticed about the models today is that the American model is much faster with the approach to Florida. 5:00 a.m. here, 2:00 p.m. with the European model. So that means that European model thinks the storm is going to slow down, or the American model thinks it's going to speed up.
What they all agree on so far is that this thing hugs the coast. It is a wind maker, it's a storm surge maker, and certainly there could be some power outages as well. Erica.
HILL: All right. Chad, I know you continue to follow it for us. We'll check in again soon. Thank you.
MYERS: You're welcome.
HILL: Just ahead. Jefferson City Schools in North Georgia, the first in that state to go back to class. Parents there how they feel and students how they feel about reopening schools.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Our administration has done a excellent job in getting us prepared and ready to go back to school. I have full confidence that they have put in all the right protocols and all the right things to take care of our kids and our staff.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HILL: She has full confidence not everyone feels that way will give you a better sense of what folks are saying just ahead.
And speaking of schools, CNN's W. Kamau Bell exploring the inequities in the public education system in this country through two very different school districts near Cleveland, Ohio. That's in this week's United States.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To understand where students are going, you have to know where they come from. Right? I want to know, what does it mean that a ZIP code can tell you so much more about where a child is going to end up. Any of the fact that you can learn about that child. We need to make sure that we understand not just the differences between students, test scores and all that kind of stuff.
We understand how inequality works, and how it's localized within our neighborhoods and schools. I was admitted to George Washington Carver Middle School, and the assistant principal saw me fooling around with two of my best friends. She walked up to me and said, you don't have the potential to be a carver, right?
W. KAMAU BELL, CNN HOST: It's not what you say to a kid.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. What was funny about that is that they created an award for the best school -- best student in the school. My eighth- grade year because of things I did that she had hand it to me.
HILL: The CDC now warning the potential danger there could be in reopening schools after coronavirus outbreak at a summer camp in Georgia. Researchers say nearly half of a group of some 600 campers, the kids there tested positive. This is an overnight camp. It opened in mid-June. The CAC says the camp did follow most of its mitigation guidelines. But some that were not followed, campers didn't need to wear masks.
CNN's Gary Tuchman has more now on the concerns that some families in one north Georgia school district are facing. It's the first in that state to reopen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Mareida Jaime isn't sure if sending
her son back to school is a good idea. But 11-year-old Christopher says he's ready to start sixth grade and to do it in person. So, when the school bus arrived here in the small Georgia town of Jefferson, he boarded with his books on his back and his mask on his face, and prepared to start his middle school career in this most unusual of times.
Are you sad?
Christopher's mother tells me, yes, I am, sad and worried about my son going to school.
As the bus pulls away, there is at least one student not on it. Christopher's sister, Sherelli. She was going to start eighth grade, but at the last minute was too frightened to go.
Tell me why it's scary.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because I don't want to go because I'm scared of getting it. And --
TUCHMAN: It's OK. Lots of children are scared. It's OK. I think you'll be OK tomorrow or next week maybe. It's OK. And your mom is nice to let you stay home. Do you agree? You brother went to school today. He'll tell you how it is, right? So, we wish you the best.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.
TUCHMAN: Just up the road, at the high school, students gathering and hugging like they would any year on the first day, many of them wearing masks. But just as many, if not more, not wearing any face coverings.
At the elementary school, parents dropping off their children, most of whom seem to have masks, but not all. The fact is while masks are mandated on the district school buses for students and drivers, there is no mandate for mask wearing in the actual schools for students or teachers.
The Jefferson City Board of Education has many guidelines in place designed to keep the students safer, and masks are handed out. But actually, wearing them is not required, only strongly recommended. We talked to high school seniors Hope Terhune and Rylee Meadows before they returned to school.
HOPE TERHUNE, STUDENT: I'm ready to be back like in-person learning, but it is scary not knowing what it's really going to be like.
RYLEE MEADOWS, STUDENT: I think I would feel better about it if we had stronger mandates in our school system to keep us staff.
TERHUNE: Me, too.
TUCHMAN: So they started an online petition asking their board of education to mandate masks. MEADOWS: I'm scared for not just myself, but for other teachers that are at our school, elderly and pregnant. And then the people that you could be bringing it home to, some people live with their grandparents or people that are at high risk if they got the virus.
BRETT KELLEY, STUDENT: Our country was built on freedom.
TUCHMAN: In response to that petition, sophomore Brett Kelley started his own, with the support of his older high school sister and his father. His petition declaring mask wearing should be a choice.
KELLEY: I think it's a freedom issue because it's slowly taking our rights away.
TUCHMAN: And your right not to wear a mask?
KELLEY: Yes, sir.
TUCHMAN: Would you feel less safe if I was standing here talking without my mask on?
KELLEY: No, we're outside.
TUCHMAN: But what if we were inside?
KELLEY: No, I would probably be OK. Yes.
TUCHMAN: The district superintendent did not want to talk on camera, but Donna McMullan told us in a written state they are confident in their plans. And regarding masks, we are following the guidelines established by the CDC and Georgia Department of Public Health in recommending the use of face coverings as one effective measure to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Meanwhile, Yolanda Payne is not going to let her fourth grader go back to school right now.
They are part of the roughly five percent of Jefferson school families who have chosen to learn remotely. She says her father passed away from COVID two months ago, and her son Josh has asthma.
YOLANDA PAYNE, MOTHER OF STUDENT: I can't take the risk of sending him back to school and getting COVID.
TUCHMAN: A worrisome school year now beginning.
Gary Tuchman, CNN, Jefferson, Georgia.
HILL: Jessica Malaty Rivera is a microbiologist and the Science Communication Lead with the COVID-19 tracking project. Great to have you with us today. So, Jessica, you know, we have that report that we just saw from Gary and there's also the CDC study about this. Coronavirus outbreak at a summer camp in Georgia. And just to put up some of those numbers, it shows that 51 percent of kids between ages six and 10 tested positive.
As we can see they're 44 percent between ages 11 and 17 tested positive. A third of the kids ages 18 to 21 did.
What should we take away from those infection rates?
JESSICA MALATY RIVERA, SCIENCE COMMUNICATION LEAD AT THE COVID TRACKING PROJECT: Right. It's a very important question especially because there was a study that came out that was, you know, talking about what transmission is like for children. One thing we know from the data and even from observations here in the U.S. is that children can get the virus and they can spread the virus.
We've seen mild and acute pediatric cases of COVID-19. So, no age group is at risk which is why we need to be protecting all communities. And we also need to be thinking about children who might be medically fragile who require other children around them to be healthy.
HILL: Which is such a great point, right? It's not just the mask protecting you, it's the mask protecting other people from you as we hear about so much. In that school system as Gary pointed out, masks are mandated on the bus, not in the classroom. Masks were not worn by campers at the camp in Georgia. Do children of all ages in your view need to wear masks?
RIVERA: So the CDC recommendation on this is that children over two years old should wear masks. But I think in the context of schools, any kind of group setting there should definitely be measures taken for children who are over two to wear masks, have physical distancing in place to avoid sharing things. I mean, it's also not a simple as those things because schools are not existing or even camps are not existing in vacuums. Need to be thinking about this is a community county.
HILL: Yes. It's such an important point. One thing too that was fascinating to me is a leading medical journal is calling the widespread fault information that's out there. A threat to public health. It's not just misinformation and faulted.
And we're hearing it from the top, from the president of the United States. There's also so much mix messaging out there. How much do you think that has contributed to the spread of the virus?
RIVERA: It's so hard to measure but it's so significant. I mean, unfortunately, misinformation and disinformation kind of come hand in hand with infectious disease outbreaks. We've seen this form the beginning of time.
I mean, it was crazy speculation when vaccines first began to be rolled out, the smallpox vaccine that was anti mask sentiment and hysteria in the 1918 flu. So, misinformation and disinformation are pretty prevalent in the infectious disease community.
We call it kind of the infodemic that happens during an epidemic or pandemic. And we need to be dealing with both of those things because they're both public health threats. HILL: There's also from the CDC, this new ensemble forecast that is projecting an additional 20,000 deaths in this country by August 22nd. So that would bring us to more than 173,000. Is there a way to limit that number at this point?
RIVERA: I mean, I hope so. And I hope it's that everybody takes very seriously that we have ways to protect our communities, it's wearing masks, it's making sure that we're not reopening schools and businesses too soon. It's making sure that we're practicing physical distancing, and that we're isolating when we're sick. And it's making sure that our testing infrastructure is actually growing.
We're -- right now we're seeing some major delays in capacity for testing centers and even the ability to get results and that's a huge concern of spreading more infections with people not knowing if they're positive or not.
HILL: Doctor Ashish Jha from the Harvard Global Health Institute has said more once on our air this week, he really supports quicker testing may not be as accurate. But to get to the point where everybody could be tested every day essentially and know even if there was less accuracy. Can you explain for folks that (INAUDIBLE) why would that be a good thing, even if some of the tests might be wrong?
RIVERA: I mean, the point is, especially in communities where low transmission is, say low or like not as high in certain hotspots, you'd want to at least get more data to know if you're getting possible tests -- possible pot -- identifying possible positives, right? And the less data you have, the more of a cloud you're working through, on top of the fact that when you're dealing with delays, some people are waiting 18, 19 days to get their test results.
That essentially -- it nullifies the process; you need these test results within 48 hours. After 72 hours, it's kind of pointless, because the more data you have in the beginning, the more actions you can take to get people to isolate if they're symptomatic, isolate if they're positive, and make sure that they're not unknowingly spreading the virus.
HILL: Yes, we know what we need, the frustrating thing for a lot of people as we were told again at these hearings this week (INAUDIBLE) that we're not going to see that 48 to 72-hour turnaround time right now.
HILL: Jessica Malaty Rivera, really appreciate you being with us and all the work you're doing there. Have a tracking project. Thank you.
HILL: Still to come, the pandemic and the police, why one department is no longer responding to some car accidents. Up next.
HILL: This just in. Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva has tested positive for coronavirus. The Democrat says he currently does not have symptoms. He said he feels fine, hopes to make a quick speedy recovery but it feels fine to have symptoms right now. But he's calling on colleagues in Congress to take this pandemic seriously in a statement calling out Republicans for walking around Capitol Hill without a mask.
Grijalva said earlier in the week he would quarantine himself and also get tested after fellow Congressman Louie Gohmert tested positive for the virus.
New today in Atlanta. The police department there says it will no longer respond to car accidents unless someone is injured. That's due to health concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. Joining me now to discuss former police chief Cedric Alexander along with CNN legal analyst and attorney Joey Jackson. So, Cedric, as we look at this, I mean, what are your thoughts on this new policy?
How much of an impact do we think that will have first from a health perspective in terms of lowering the risk for police officers becoming infected?
CEDRIC ALEXANDER, FORMER POLICE CHIEF, DEKALB COUNTY: You know, after learning more about this, first of all, good afternoon to you.
But learning more about this, I really have to applaud the leadership there in Atlanta. Both the council and the mayor's office were supporting this idea because anything that we can do at this very moment to mitigate unnecessary exposure to COVID, when officers are out there involved in the work that they do, keeping the community safe, keeping those involved in accidents safe, keeping those folks away from each other who are also involved in accidents, I think it's -- because here's what we have to remember.
This is temporary. If they need an officer to respond, they can request one. If there's someone, they're injured, they can request one.
I'm not overly concerned about it as a former law enforcement executive. But I do support thinking on the part of leadership in Atlanta.
HILL: Joey, from a legal perspective, is there anything to stop somebody from fleeing the scene of an accident, if they know that they don't have to wait for the police to show up? And how do you think that could impact things? How could it impact a DUI, for example?
JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Sure, Erica. Good to see you and my friend Dr. Alexander.
Certainly, any policy that you implement is going to have some shortcomings. There's not a panacea which would resolve everything. So stepping backward, stepping forward, we expect an awful lot of the
police. We know they are on crime scenes, dealing with dangerous situations every day.
We're at a point more globally, Erica, where we're discussing issues about funding the police, where resources should be distributed, et cetera.
And I think when looking at the issue, we have to start thinking outside the box. We are in a pandemic. We certainly want to provide for the health and safety of the public but we want to provide for the health and safety of the police.
And so, yes, there are shortcomings. Will people and could people flee? Absolutely. Will people who were involved in an accident, who were impaired, potentially get away? Sure. People who are uninsured and should have insurance not be caught? Yes.
Complaints and reports not be as accurate? That's a potential issue, right? People embellishing issues. So, yes, there are shortcomings.
But from a legal perspective, we have to think globally about how to protect the public, how to protect the police, and how to perhaps redirect resources in a way that makes sense.
And to that extent, I think this potentially does that. We'll see. Everything in time. We'll see how it's implemented and administered. But for the time being, it's perhaps a sensible idea.
HILL: This is an idea obviously as we -- oh, go ahead.
ALEXANDER: Yes, if I could add one thing. It's very important to note that many accidents, and most metropolitan cities, even small cities for that matter, are usually fender-benders. In most cases, you'll find motorists who are going to be cordial to each other.
And even under this particular set of circumstances in which we're asking -- in which the city of Atlanta is asking, I should say, that there's no response to police, unless someone is injured or someone requires the police there.
I think it's important to note that we sometimes don't give citizens the credit that we should. And they themselves in minor incidents -- I've seen it thousands of times. You probably have, as civilians, where people will exchange information. They'll take pictures of each other's car tag.
Because even if I respond as a police officer to an accident, someone could leave the scene even before I get there.
So I think it's forward leaning and forward thinking on the part here again of city leadership there in Atlanta.
HILL: Just to follow up on that point, as we talked about, this is about the health issue, right, and this is a temporary policy.
But to your point, in Los Angeles and New York City, there are officers who haven't responded to noninjury accidents in those cities for years because they're allocating those resources to crime prevention.
So is this something that, A, has been effective in those other cities and could it actually last beyond coronavirus for other reasons?
ALEXANDER: Well, it very well could. I think it would be interesting after we get through this pandemic at some point they're able to look at the data.
Because what's important here is that we begin -- certainly, want to go back and look at calls for service that are more important than others so that we can use those police resources and put them in places to help preventing crime as opposed to always being reactionary.
So it becomes a matter of prioritization. But it's going to take their own examination there in the city of Atlanta to come to maybe, or maybe not, the conclusions that have been made in Los Angeles and other major cities.
HILL: Joey, Georgia is a no-fault insurance state. So there's no police report taken at an accident. What would happen?
JACKSON: So what generally happens, just to be clear, they are an at- fault state. What is fault? What does no fault mean? In no-fault states, there are a very few. There's about a dozen. It doesn't matter who was at fault. Everyone is individually insured and fault is a non- issue, right?
There are other legalities involved, which we can leave for another day.
But at-fault states, you have to apportion or otherwise assess liability. What does that mean? Who is responsible, who is not.
The reason I'm not as concerned about this, Erica, in terms of the liability, who is at fault, who is not at fault, who caused the accident, who didn't, let's keep in mind in discussing this issue that this involves fender-benders. It doesn't involve situations where there's an injury.
And I think that they've made clear, in those situations, where there's an injury, if you get into who was at fault, the significance of the severity of the injury, those will see a police response. So I don't think it implicates liability in terms of legally, at this point. Again, it depends upon how it's administered.
I think it's a good first step. We're thinking outside of the box, a new normal, what officers can be valuable, what they can't be.
And we're in a pandemic and it's important to keep everyone safe. To that extent, it's a good first step.
Let's assess it moving forward and see how it works and where else, if anywhere, it could be implemented successfully.
HILL: Joey Jackson, Cedric Alexander, really appreciate you both joining us this afternoon. Thank you.
JACKSON: Thank you, Erica.
HILL: Just ahead, they claim to have just one suspected case of coronavirus. And they also say a COVID vaccine is already in clinical trials. Up next, a look into North Korea's stunning claims.
HILL: This week, the U.S. began its first large-scale trial of a coronavirus vaccine. The World Health Organization says it's tracking some 25 vaccines in development around the world.
But that doesn't include a vaccine that North Korea now claims it's developing, despite also saying that it has no confirmed cases of the virus.
CNN's Will Ripley explains.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): COVID-19 has crossed nearly every border, except this one, North Korea says.
Days after announcing its first suspected case, state media claims the country is still virus-free, eight months into a global pandemic that began in neighboring China.
North Korea also claims to have a coronavirus vaccine already in clinical trials.
CHAD O'CARROLL, CEO, KOREA RISK GROUP: There's a lot of suspicion that North Korea, that COVID has already been present in North Korea for many months now.
RIPLEY (on camera): Why would North Korea say they're developing a COVID-19 vaccine but also continue to deny any COVID-19 cases?
O'CARROLL: There's a remote possibility they would be able to do it. And if they did, it would be a game-changer for their global reputation.
RIPLEY (voice-over): And a game-changer for North Korean leader, Kim Jong-Un.
BRUCE BENNETT, DEFENSE RESEARCHER, RAND CORPORATION: This year, he has disappeared for more than three weeks four different times, Obviously trying to be away from places where the virus might infect him.
RIPLEY: Finding a vaccine may not be Kim's only motivation, experts say.
BENNETT: They would not just be looking for a cure. They would want that for Kim Jong-Un and his concerns. But they might also be looking for weapons.
RIPLEY: Blurring the line between science and the military is nothing new in North Korea. This 2012 satellite launch used technology experts say is similar to an intercontinental ballistic missile.
North Korea has long been suspected of having biological and chemical weapons. In 2017, Kim's half-brother was killed with a Cold War-era nerve agent. Pyongyang denies any involvement.
JOSEPH YUN, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR: North Korea may have biological and chemical weapons in their stockpile, but we've never really known exactly how much they have. And this is something certainly we would have talked about along with nuclear weapons if the conversation and negotiations got under way.
RIPLEY: Diplomacy never fully did get under way. Three presidential meetings, little, if any, progress on key issues.
Analysts say a successful coronavirus vaccine could give Kim new leverage with the U.S. and potentially a new biological weapon.
Will Ripley, CNN, Hong Kong.
HILL: Coming up, danger at the beach. We are hearing about shark attacks and shark sightings from the coast of Maine down to Long Island. We're going to speak with an attack survivor who says the pandemic is actually impacting shark behavior.
HILL: Some beaches in Maine and New York are closed or restricted this weekend after a fatal shark attack and numerous shark sightings.
That attack happened in Maine. A 63-year-old woman was killed by a great white near Bailey Island. It was the state's first ever known fatal shark attack. Since that incident, several dead seals with huge bite marks have been washing up on the beaches in Maine.
Meantime, in Long Island, New York, there have been nearly a dozen shark sightings this week. Officials actually creating shark patrols to keep people safe in some areas.
Joining me now is Paul De Gelder, the shark expert who survived a harrowing attack by a nine-foot bull shark in 2009 while diving for the Australian Navy. He lost an arm and a leg in that attack. Paul, good to have you with us.
I know you're also hosting Discovery Channel's upcoming "Shark Week" documentaries and you'll talk as part of that about what happened to you.
But just give us a little bit of a what happened to you on that day. Take us through that.
PAUL DE GELDER, SHARK EXPERT & DISCOVERY CHANNEL HOST, "SHARK WEEK": So I was working as a Navy clearance diver, which is like a bomb disposal diver, but we have a lot of different roles.
And I turned up to work one day, 2009, swimming in Sydney Harbor, doing some counterterrorism testing. And all of a sudden, a big bull shark came up underneath me and grabbed me by the hamstring and the hand and decided it wanted them more than I did.
HILL: Wow. You say that so calmly. I mean, I know you've had a lot of time to reflect on it.
But it is something -- as you know, especially being part of the documentary and being part of "Shark Week," your own experience, humans are fascinated, people are fascinated by sharks.
In the grand scheme of things, though, attacks on humans are pretty rare. But there's always been this idea that, you know, you don't want blood in the water, that human blood really attracts sharks.
You actually tackle that misconception in the documentary. I want to play a little bit of that moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DE GELDER: A shadow appears.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here comes a tiger.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nothing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It just passed below him.
DE GELDER: The sharks have absolutely no reaction to the human blood.
When you find out that something that's commonly believed is totally false, it's amazing. So you just learn this new fact, you put it in your tool kit, and then you move on to the next one.
(END VIDEO CLIP) HILL: So we've learned that new fact, so sort of mind blown, we're all going, wait a minute, this is not what we thought we knew. Why didn't the shark respond to your blood? What are we getting wrong?
DE GELDER: The elements that make up our blood aren't what the sharks are after. It would be like us going to the drive-through at McDonald's and choosing between a Big Mac and a brick. We know that's not food.
And the sharks, when they can see clearly through the water, they also know that we're not food.
But they are curious animals. And because they come up and have a little feel with their fins, they use their mouths. And unfortunately, we are very delicate animals. And so that's why there's a lot of serious injuries and death due to traumatic blood loss.
One of the great things we got to test was a shark-proof wet suit. And I'm looking forward to seeing that, too.
HILL: I'm looking forward to seeing that as well.
Before I let you go, I know in some areas there are definitely fewer people because of coronavirus in the water, which can make research a little bit easier for people who are studying sharks.
Is there anything that you know of that they've notice in that research with fewer humans around to bother them? Are sharks behaving any differently?
DE GELDER: I haven't heard anything about that. I'm not a shark expert working in the field like the scientists are. I never take that title away from them.
But I do know a lot more than the general public. I know exactly how to interact with them in the water. But I don't study that and I don't know if that's true or not.
What we discovered, though, was when we went to places like the Bahamas where we would usually get big tiger sharks, they aren't there. Because the eco-tourist businesses hadn't been operating and there wasn't any food for them and they had moved on to find food elsewhere.
HILL: It's fascinating. I'm looking forward to learning more.
Great to have you with us today, Paul. Appreciate you joining us. Thank you.
DE GELDER: Thank you very much.
HILL: Hurricane Isaias is on the move. That storm already causing flooding and damage in the Caribbean. The United States could be next.
We are live for you in Florida. Power companies bracing for possible widespread outages. But first, this week's "GREATEST GENERATION," a series that reveals the harrowing and heroic stories of those personally impacted by the events of World War II.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People may not realize during World War II there were more than 6,000 African-American women in the Army. And 855 formed the 6888th Central Postal Direct Battalion, the only African- American women's Army corps unit to serve in Europe in World War II.
The 6888th was formed to clear the backlog of mail for the seven million Americans in the European theatre of operations.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was hard. We had poor lighting, poor heating. We couldn't let the sunlight in because they were still fighting and bombing in that area.
They gave a dance for us. This white soldier came into the dance and saw me there, and he said, what are you doing here, using the "N" word? That was very devastating and very painful, to see that the same countrymen that you're fighting the same war for was the one who disrespected me the most.
I'm sure that you have seen how service people were heralded at "Johnny Comes Marching Home" parades. Our dismissal was quiet and unpronounced. We simply came home.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think there's an opportunity now to correct a wrong. The highest award the 6888th can receive and should receive is the Congressional Gold Medal. They deserve their place in history and to secure their legacy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)