Return to Transcripts main page


Trump Campaigns In Florida As COVID-19 Deaths Surge; "The Lancet": False Information About Coronavirus Is Public Health Threat; Summer Camp Outbreak A Warning To Schools; WHO: Over 292K Cases Set New One-Day Record; Hurricane Hits The Bahamas As COVID-19 Cases Rise; U.K. Ending "Shielding" Guidance For Medically Vulnerable; U.S. Still Sees Debate On Wearing Masks, Social Distancing; New York Has Yet To Certify District's Primary Results. Aired 5-6a ET

Aired August 1, 2020 - 05:00   ET





DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's a tribute to your governor and government, the job they've done, you've done a really great job. And you have a really big nursing home population. You've done a fantastic job. So I think we're doing really well in Florida.

KIM BRUNHUBER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): The American president strikes a positive tone in Florida, despite the state's grim new record for coronavirus deaths. This as Florida braces for Hurricane Isaias.


BRUNHUBER (voice-over): And President Trump calling voting by mail a disaster. Why postal ballots may pose a challenge for this year's presidential election.

Live from CNN headquarters in Atlanta, welcome to you, our viewers, here in the United States and around the world, I'm Kim Brunhuber.


BRUNHUBER: The World Health Organization says more cases of COVID-19 were documented around the world in the past 24 hours than ever before. Nearly 300,000 people were infected.

While the disease has struck more than 17.6 million people worldwide since the pandemic began, the crisis is especially bad here in the United States. According to Johns Hopkins University, the U.S. has surpassed 400 million cases and more than 153,000 deaths and it's not getting better. The virus is expected to kill another 20,000 Americans in the next three weeks.

Georgia, one of the first to end stay-at-home orders, on Friday joined at least 30 others in pausing or rolling back reopening. Florida has had a terrible week in dealing with the coronavirus. The state has now hit four straight days of record deaths with 257 fatalities on Friday.

And it's the direct result of the sharp spike in cases several weeks ago. But the U.S. president downplayed the crisis when he traveled to the state on Friday. Listen to this.


TRUMP: Well, I hate it anywhere. But if you look at other countries, other countries are doing terribly. I will say this, proportionately, relatively, when you look at your nursing home situation, it's a tribute to your governor and government, the job they've done. I think we're doing really well in Florida.


BRUNHUBER: The spiraling numbers are already threatening to end the young baseball season. The major league commissioner reportedly warns he could shut it down if cases keep rising among players and coffees. The latest from across the country, here is CNN's Erica Hill.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: I think that with such a diversity of response in this country from different states that we really did not have a unified bringing everything down.

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR AND U.S. CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There was not one national plan to get the virus under control. And despite guidelines from the White House, there wasn't a unified plan to reopen either.

DR. LEANA WEN, FORMER BALTIMORE CITY HEALTH COMMISSIONER: We should've been able to anticipate that these surges of infections would occur. And I think so much of our response has been reacting to what's happened rather than anticipating what's ahead.

HILL (voice-over): Those decisions now playing out in real time. While things are looking better over the past week, even in the recent hotspot of Arizona, California and Florida, Texas seeing a slight decline in new cases. Infections are growing in the Midwest. And deaths which lag by at least two to four weeks are rising. The CDC now predicting fatalities could top 173,000 in the next three weeks.

GOV. PHIL SCOTT (R-VT): Taking personal responsibility is the best way to keep this in check and win the war against this invisible enemy.

HILL (voice-over): Hospitalizations are hitting record highs in several states. Earlier this month the administration moved to bypass the CDC, telling hospitals to send their data directly to HHS.

REP. MAXINE WATERS (D-CA): Dr. Redfield, when did you first learn? When were you first told? When were you first notified?

DR. ROBERT REDFIELD, DIRECTOR, CDC: Again, as I mentioned, I wasn't involved in the decision -- WATERS: So you weren't -- am I to understand --

REDFIELD: I don't remember the exact date --

WATERS: Am I to understand that you were not told at all?

REDFIELD: Well, I was told actually once the secretary's office made the decision that that was the decision. And we worked together.

HILL (voice-over): In the early epicenter, just 1 percent of tests are now coming back positive. New York City, the nation's largest school district, releasing new details about the plan for hybrid learning and how it will deal with an outbreak.


TED LONG, TEST & TRACE CORPS: If there's a case in a classroom, the kids, students and the teacher are going to quarantine for 14 days no matter what.

HILL (voice-over): Schools in Indiana and Georgia already welcoming kids back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're ready to start. We need to get our kids in school.

HILL: Infections could be controlled at colleges this fall if students are tested every two days. Many universities have already decided to move learning online, instead -- Erica Hill, CNN, New York.



BRUNHUBER: Casting a European eye on these issues, Dr. Hans Kluge, regional director for Europe at the World Health Organization.

Doctor, thank you very much for joining me. Whether we're in the U.S., Europe, to the U.K., as regions reopen the numbers start spiking again.

Do you think it's due primarily to human nature, as things reopened people relax their guard?

Or is it just the nature of this virus, is it just not possible to go back to any semblance of normalcy without incurring these spikes?

DR. HANS KLUGE, REGIONAL DIRECTOR FOR EUROPE, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: Right. The WHO opinion indeed, we also see resurgence in many countries and the question often asked, is this the first wave, is this the second wave?

That's secondary. The key issue is due to change in human behavior. As we what we see in Europe, particularly the age cohort between 20 and 39 years, people are infected so the incidence is increasing, not necessarily the mortality rate. So we have to take advantage of this huge potential of young people to

get them on board and to, infect, not only themselves but also the --

BRUNHUBER: You've placed a lot of emphasis on reaching that young cohort. But they seem immune to many of these messages.

How do you actually go about doing that?

KLUGE: Right, I think the last thing we do is to finger point or to blame and the same for the vaccination in many countries. We have to get them on board and mobilize people who reach out to them, whether it's youth leaders, youth ambassadors, and take advantage of what they try to do globally of behavioral and cultural insight.

Reach has worked in the past, speaking, for example, vaccination.

BRUNHUBER: Unfortunately, politics and the pandemic go hand in hand. Earlier this month, the U.S. notifying the WHO that it intends to leave.

How has the Trump administration's adversarial role relationship with the WHO affected the fight against the coronavirus?

KLUGE: Well, what I can tell is that the United States of America has been for many, many years a very strong partner of the World Health Organization. I sincerely hope it will continue.

I have been working in some of the most challenging places on Earth. And what I saw is that with the help of the American people, so many vulnerable people, whether people with multiple conditions or refugees have been safe. And I would like to thank the American people for that.

BRUNHUBER: But without that support, what now?

KLUGE: Well, we hope that we will continue the partnership because it's not only about financing, it's about collaboration with the united Centers for Disease Control and many, many other partners.

So at this stage, we focus on saving lives. We're in the midst of a pandemic resurgence, so all hands on deck to save lives and prevent more damage to the people.

BRUNHUBER: And more and more evidence suggested that it will be a long battle. As you know, the director general of the WHO just recently said the effects of the coronavirus will felt for decades.

What exactly did he mean and do you agree with that?

KLUGE: Right. It's true. Coming back to the point of resurgence, the virus is still there. As we see a big increase in cases in a number of countries, it's not because the virus has appeared; it's because of the effect of lockdowns and lockdown life.

Naturally, when you lift it, it will increase again. So we have to learn to live through the virus for quite a while, as our WHO director general is saying. Mental health is also a concern. And communicable diseases and breast cancer screening.

We have to try to accelerate, a focus on the COVID but as much as is needed and it is needed, on all of the other pandemics, for example, the HIV/AIDS which is another big very big pandemic which we shouldn't forget about.

BRUNHUBER: If we do have to live with it for a long time, as we say, one of the key issues is schools.


BRUNHUBER: Many of the cities and schools in the U.S. are in the throes of heated debates about reopening schools but the science seems at times contradictory and the examples from Europe from reopening schools seems conflicting.

So what's your guidance as to the questions as to what conditions make it safe to reopen schools and how to best do it successfully?

KLUGE: Right. The science is activity. So it's evolving. I know sometimes, people would like to see that one size fits all. I'm very well aware of the recent reports in the last 48 hours in different parts of the world, that children, also of all ages, are susceptible to the coronavirus. They're part of a transmission cycle.

So in that sense, I'd like to refer to positive examples that in several European countries schools have been reopened gradually and safely.


Because the attention went to pushing back the community transmission because schools are not a stand-alone entity in the society. Conditions have to be put in place and we have to be aware of adverse effects of leaving younger and sick children out of school, especially those with special needs.

I co-chaired in Italy a seminar on ways of safely reopening schools again. In the United States, we have so many good experts and also all around the world learning from each other.

BRUNHUBER: Hopefully, people will actually listen to the experts. We're out of time. Thank you for joining us, Dr. Hans Kluge of the World Health Organization. Appreciate it.

KLUGE: Thank you.

BRUNHUBER: Well, the Bahamas and Florida are facing storms on two fronts even as a hurricane bears down on them. Right now, the category 1 storm is packing maximum sustained winds of 85 miles per hour. It's expected to dump a foot of rain on the Bahamas. Journalist Matthew Moxey is waiting out the storm.

I'm familiar with the area, the Bahamas. Many people still rebuilding from the devastating Hurricane Dorian last year.

What's the latest?

MATTHEW MOXEY, JOURNALIST: Right, Kim, as you mentioned, Bahamians are slightly fearful of Isaias, we're still recovering from the savage hurricane that ravaged the island last September.

We were told not to worry about it but it did some damage. Residents right now on the providence and other islands are fearful of the heavy amounts of rain the system decided to bring, you know in some areas of the capital. It floods on an average day of rain. Imagine the thoughts on the minds of residents who live in swampland areas and communities prone to flooding.

BRUNHUBER: And not only flooding but there's also a huge spike in coronavirus there.

How are people dealing with that?

Because, of course, people are wanting to take shelter and that would be just a huge petri dish.

MOXEY: Right, Kim, you know, folks are dealing with the shelter and COVID-19 the best way they could. Health officials are just add advising everybody to be practicing the best. And shelters will have to unfortunately have to accept those who are at home in isolation, those COVID positive and monitored. And as we know, shelters are not designed to accommodate individuals impacted by COVID-19.

BRUNHUBER: Yes, so hard to fight so many battles at the same time. Wish you best out there in the Bahamas, Matthew Moxey in the Bahamas.



BRUNHUBER: Parts of the U.K. slowing down their reopening as infections rise.

And Mexico has one of the highest coronavirus death rates in the world. The government blames other health problems but critics say it's b3cause officials are failing to deal with the crisis. Be back in a moment.





BRUNHUBER: A three-year-old child has died in Belgium, the latest victim of the country's battle with coronavirus. Officials say cases in Belgium have increased by 91 percent in recent days. Belgians are being told to wear masks while shopping. The top health official says the child's death proves no one is immune from the disease. Once optimistic officials in the U.K. say they're squeezing the brakes

on plans to reopen the economy. Prime minister Boris Johnson said he's going to stop easing lockdown restrictions and even reverse some plans for the next two weeks.


BORIS JOHNSON, U.K. PRIME MINISTER: Our plan to reopen the society and the economy is conditional, that it relies on continued progress against the virus and we would not hesitate to put the brakes on if required.

With those numbers creeping up, our assessment is that we should now squeeze that brake pedal, squeeze that brake pedal, in order to keep the virus under control.


BRUNHUBER: This happening as the coronavirus cases rise in the U.K. again. Now cases jumped to 4,900 a day compared to 2,000 in June. For more from this is Milena Veselinovic in London.

It seems consistent; open up and up go the cases. Schools are set to open there.

What's the government saying?

MILENA VESELINOVIC, CNN PRODUCER: Yes, well, Kim, for the first time, both prime minister Boris Johnson and England's chief officer said there are going to have to be difficult tradeoffs.

For example if you want to open schools in September. The chief medical officer hinting there that it could be that other areas might need to be restricted in some way or form, which he didn't define yet, in order for people to be back in school ventures back in September.

And it is a difficult situation. U.K.'s top scientific advisory body now says that they're not confident that all important R number is below 1 in England. And the outbreak could be growing again nationally.

And he said we shouldn't be thinking of this as a second wave but rather, it's a consequence of people going out and mixing together and those social distancing rules being reduced.

BRUNHUBER: Exactly. Well, England's chief medical officer summed it up very well. He said the idea that we can open everything up and keep the virus under control is clearly wrong.

How are Britons reacting to the threat of further shutdowns?

VESELINOVIC: Well, it's really disruptive there. It's really hard to roll back from something that you have already allowed. We've seen that this week when tighter restrictions were imposed on millions of people in northern England because of the spike, a worrying spike, of coronavirus infections there. They're now no longer allowed to visit other households in their homes

and their gardens. And that has affected the Muslim community there. The announcement came hours before they were celebrating Eid.

And leaders say how could they not gather in homes for celebrations but they can still go to pubs, they can still go to bars, they can still go to restaurants?

They don't understand it and they have called on the government to clarify their criteria.

But what's for sure is the U.K. government is going to have to try to perform a very difficult balancing act in order to, you know, protect public health but also try to go ahead with keeping the economy going. The U.K. is facing one of the worst recessions of its history.


VESELINOVIC: And there are going to be difficult days ahead.

Absolutely. Milena Veselinovic, thank you so much, live from London.

Well, Mexico just passed the U.K.'s coronavirus death toll. Mexico now has the third highest death toll in the world with more than 46,000 lives lost. And there are several reasons why the virus is killing more people there. Matt Rivers explains.


MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Maria Isabel Cruz Hernandez was struggling to breathe back in May when her son first called the ambulance. We watched the 72 year old diabetic get wheeled out and brought to the hospital.

And a week later, she would become one of the more than 46,000 Mexicans that have died from COVID-19. It is a staggering death toll, that is now third highest in the world behind only the U.S. and Brazil.

And compared to the rest of the world, Mexico's mortality rate, the percentage of people who contracted COVID and died, is nearly triple the global average. Asked to explain that, Mexican health officials consistently point to one thing: chronic diseases are the fundamental reason why COVID-19 is more intense in Mexico, says the deputy health minister.

The government says nearly three-quarters of those of who have died of the virus in Mexico have had a pre-existing condition.

DR. VANESSA FUCHS TARLOVSKY, NUTRITION AND DIETETICS SPECIALIST: The reality that we are seeing in Mexico, it's because Mexican population has a lot of problems with obesity, with diabetes, with hypertension.

RIVERS (voice-over): But COVID-19's lethality here can't be explained only by chronic illness. This chart shows countries with similar rates of diabetes. Mexico's mortality rate is the highest by far. And among countries with similarly sized populations, Mexico's death

toll soars above the rest. By focusing on the impact of chronic disease, critics say the government is conveniently shifting blame away from another key factor: its own inaction.


RIVERS (voice-over): Dr. Francisco Moreno Sanchez runs the COVID response unit at a private Mexico City hospital and says the government simply was not ready for the pandemic. He argues that a lack of quality care across Mexico's sprawling government run public health system has resulted in many lives lost, be it from a lack of supplies or a lack of properly trained staff.

SANCHEZ: This is a very complicated machine. We need very good care intensive care doctors to take care of the patients.

RIVERS (voice-over): And that blame, he says, lies squarely at the feet of the government that, in some cases, still isn't taking the right steps to mitigate this crisis, a government led by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who recently said this when asked why he doesn't wear a mask.

He says, "If it would help others, I would do it. But it is not scientifically proven."

RIVERS: So that is the leader of more than 120 million Mexicans, saying masks do not work, which is just fundamentally false. The government constantly defends its response to the coronavirus, saying there is adequate care in public hospitals like this one. But whether you believe that or not, the numbers don't lie.

Mexico's death toll is among the highest in the world and it just keeps getting worse -- Matt Rivers, CNN, Tijuana, Mexico.


BRUNHUBER: Coming up, you've heard how important it is to wear a mask.

But is it really enough protection?

Some American health officials are saying you might actually need more. Despite soaring coronavirus numbers, a mask-free U.S. president paid a visit to Florida on Friday. He also stirred the pot with some conspiracy theories. That's ahead.





BRUNHUBER: Welcome back to you, our viewers, in the United States and around the world, I'm Kim Brunhuber.

Nearly 300,000 cases of COVID-19 were confirmed worldwide in the past 24 hours. The World Health Organization says it's the highest one-day total to date. And the U.S. remains the global epicenter, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The U.S. has surpassed 4.5 million cases and has more than 153,000 deaths. Another 20,000 Americans are predicted by die by August 22nd.

The why isn't the mystery. Researchers at the University of Washington who model how the virus is likely to behave say not enough Americans are wearing face masks to slow the rate of infection. Some experts are wondering if masks are enough protection, especially for teachers. CNN's Brian Todd explains.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Dr. Deborah Birx is now recommending adding a face shield in addition to wearing a mask.

DR. DEBORAH BIRX, WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE COORDINATOR: The thing about the face shields, we think that that could protect the individuals and that it would decrease the ability for them to touch their eyes and spread viruses as well as those droplets coming towards them. So, there are two different technologies for two different reasons.

TODD: Her colleague, Dr. Anthony Fauci, spoke about teachers getting back to classrooms this year, saying, while they don't need to wear medical grade protective equipment --

FAUCI: The minimal things you might want to do is you could use just a mask and eye goggles and possibly gloves.

TODD: Fauci later clarified that in CNN's town hall, saying he wasn't recommending that all Americans should wear face shields. Still, all this is raising questions about whether masks have been enough to protect us from coronavirus all these months.

ANNE RIMOIN, EPIDEMIOLOGY PROFESSOR, UCLA FIELDING SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH: Masks will provide a very significant measure of protection and what it really is doing is it's protecting everybody else from you. The point here is now that wearing a face shield could provide extra protection.

TODD: Experts say, face shields or goggles or especially important for teachers who could be more vulnerable if they deal with younger children in classrooms.

PROF. SASKIA POPESCU, INFECTION PREVENTION EXPERT, GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY: We are likely to be in environment where children pull down their masks or not be very complying with them and you might get coughs close to the face. There is concern that you could get respiratory droplets in the eyes.

TODD: But what about the rest of us? For that trip to the grocery store, should we be wearing masks and

face shields?

RIMOIN: The bottom line here is, at minimum, you should be wearing a mask. If you want to add a face shield, goggles, large glasses, that is all going to help reduce spread.

TODD: Public health experts acknowledge getting large segments of the U.S. population to wear masks has been a struggle. People have balked at the discomfort, the inconvenience, the very principle of it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a violation of my constitutional rights and my civil rights.

TODD: And there could be even more resistance to the appeal to wear a face shield. Many may complain that they are hard to find, balk at paying the extra money but experts have some reassurance.


POPESCU: Really, eye protection and face shields are much more available and they are much cheaper than people realize. A lot of companies are able to print them and make them for a couple of dollars.

TODD: But health experts say those of us who may think that our standard eyeglasses or sunglasses are going to be able to take the place of a face shield or a set of goggles, think again. They say these standard glasses have too many gaps around the sides, above and below. You simply need the tighter fit of a face shield -- Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


BRUNHUBER: On Friday, President Trump said he will ban the popular video app TikTok from the U.S. TikTok is under scrutiny in the U.S. because some policymakers complain the Chinese owned company is a national security risk.

But cyber security experts say there's no evidence that TikTok's user data has been compromised. The president's promise to ban the app comes as Microsoft is reportedly in talks to buy TikTok.

Mr. Trump visited Florida on Friday without wearing a mask even as the state reported a record high number of COVID-19 related deaths. He also repeated a conspiracy theory about the U.S. election and voting by mail. CNN's senior White House correspondent Pamela Brown has more.


TRUMP: This is going to be the greatest election disaster in history.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tonight, just 95 days before the U.S. election, President Trump is stoking fears of election interference, pushing an unfounded conspiracy on the use of mail-in voting. TRUMP: Nobody wants that date more than me. I wish we could move it up, OK, move it up. But you're not prepared for what they're doing.

BROWN: And laying the groundwork for a contested election.

TRUMP: They're not prepared for an onslaught of millions of ballots pouring in. You watch. They're not going to announce anything on November 3. They're not going to announce it on the 4th or the 5th or the 6th. It'll go on forever.

BROWN: His advisers even ramping up the assault with false information.

STEPHEN MILLER, SENIOR ADVISER TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: Nobody who mails in a ballot has their identity confirmed. Nobody checks to see if they're even a U.S. citizen.

BROWN: Fact-check, non-citizens aren't allowed to register to vote in federal elections and mail-in ballots are authenticated.

And CNN has learned, during a closed-door House hearing today, top intelligence officials dismissed the possibility foreign powers would interfere on a mass scale by producing and sending fake ballots to voters and election authorities, despite this claim by the president:

TRUMP: Well, you guys like to talk about Russia and China and other places. They will be able to forge ballots. They will forge them. They will do whatever they have to do.

BROWN: Instead, U.S. officials are concerned foreign adversaries will exploit the president's vocal distrust of mail-in voting as part of their online campaign to sow discord surrounding the election.

President Trump also visiting the ground zero for coronavirus, Florida, which is shattering its own daily records for new cases, as Trump continues to make false claims about testing for the virus, which has already claimed the lives of over 152,000 Americans, tweeting today: "We do much more testing than any other country in the world. If we had no testing or bad testing, we would show very few cases."

Soon after, the nation's leading infectious disease specialist, Dr. Anthony Fauci, directly refuted that claim yet again.

FAUCI: If you do more testing, you're going to see more cases. But the increases that we're seeing are real increasing in cases, as also reflected by increasing in hospitalization and increasing in deaths.

BROWN: Fauci and other key members of the Coronavirus Task Force were on Capitol Hill today, trying to determine a national strategy going forward, all this as enhanced unemployment benefits for millions of Americans are set to expire at midnight tonight, with lawmakers and the White House in perpetual gridlock.

There seems to be no agreement in sight, as each side blames the other. MARK MEADOWS, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: They're going in the wrong direction because of partisan politics. It is very disappointing.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), HOUSE SPEAKER: They don't even have the votes for it in the Senate. But let's get real about what -- who says what. We passed a bill 10 weeks ago.

BROWN: On Saturday morning, House Speaker Pelosi will be hosting a meeting with the chief of staff and secretary Mnuchin, to try to hammer out a deal. As of right now, both sides are very far apart -- Pamela Brown, CNN, Washington.


BRUNHUBER: It's been more than a month since New York State held its primary and officials are only now preparing to certify the results in one troubled district. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, many New Yorkers chose to vote by mail but officials were overwhelmed by the flood of absentee ballots.

Is it a warning for November?

Jason Carroll shows us the problem.



JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Looking for what happens when a system fails in handling an influx of mail-in ballots, look no further than New York's 12th Congressional District.

The Democratic primary between incumbent Carolyn Maloney and challenger Suraj Patel was held more than five weeks ago. As of today, there's still no winner.

SURAJ PATEL, NEW YORK DISTRICT 12 CONTENDER: The voters in 12 got screwed.

CARROLL (voice-over): The problem, Patel says, is the city board of elections and the U.S. Postal Service were grossly underprepared for the massive number of people voting by mail due to the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the city board of elections, roughly 400,000 mail-in ballots were counted compared to fewer than 30,000 during the 2016 primary. Problems with the race drawing the attention to President Trump.

TRUMP: Everyone knows mail-in ballots are a disaster. Take a look at New York City. Look at New York.

CARROLL (voice-over): Adding to the county concerns in New York, Patel said are thousands of absentee ballots rejected for late or missing postmarks or signatures. PATEL: Most of them have signatures and dates by the voter that say

voted June 18th, signed June 16th. They're not going to get counted. Thousands of voters are being disaffected (ph).

CARROLL (voice-over): So what does the city or state board of elections have to say about these problems?

Our repeated requests for an interview or a statement were denied. The state board of elections provided a statement, saying local jurisdictions had to deal with a "more than a 12-fold increase in absentee ballots and had to follow appropriate social distancing and staffing protocol so a longer canvasing process was one outcome."

New York governor Andrew Cuomo, who decided in April to send absentee ballot applications to all registered voters, acknowledged the system needs to be improved and the clock is ticking.

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): We did have -- not we, the boards of elections and operational issues -- some better, some worse. And they have to learn from them and we want to get the lessons and make the system better. And make it better for November.

ZELLNOR MYRIE, NEW YORK STATE SENATOR: I think there's blame to go all around.

CARROLL (voice-over): New York state senator Zellnor Myrie says the infrastructure needs an upgrade before November. One recent poll found 38 percent of Americans would prefer to vote by mail this fall.

MYRIE: Our post offices were not prepared for this. They weren't prepared for the volume, our boards of elections operating at minimized capacity and dealing with a condensed timeline and increased volume. We're not totally prepared for this.

CARROLL (voice-over): The board of elections is finally expected to name Maloney the winner. But in the 12th District on Tuesday, when the votes are officially certified. Patel says he just wants to make sure every vote is counted.

PATEL: We want to make sure that we do this right and count every vote so we don't supply Donald Trump and Republicans with any sort of argument to discredit vote by mail.

CARROLL: The city board of elections says it did approve to have extra mail processing equipment in place that was supposed to speed things up. Unfortunately, that extra equipment didn't make it in place in time for the primary. They say it should make it in place in time for November's election -- Jason Carroll, CNN, New York.


BRUNHUBER: Wanted in Hong Kong but living abroad. Just ahead, how a city is now using its controversial new security law to crack down on pro-democracy activists who don't even live there.

And a warning from baseball's commissioner. Teams are told to start handling the COVID crisis better or it could be game over for the season.





BRUNHUBER: Hong Kong police have arrest warrants out for six pro- democracy activists who fled the city. The six are wanted for allegedly violating Hong Kong's controversial national security law despite the fact that they're living abroad. And some of them are lashing out against the move on Twitter.

CNN's Kristie Lu Stout has more from Hong Kong.


KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN ANCHOR: Hong Kong police are reportedly seeking the arrests of six pro democracy activists who have fled the city. State-run CCTV says they're wanted for breaching the national security law, namely for inciting secession and for colluding with foreign forces.

If found guilty, they could face life in prison. And CNN has reached out to Hong Kong police for comment. They refused to comment.

One of the six is Nathan Law, a high profile activist as well as former lawmaker. Around the time the national security law came into effect, he fled to the U.K.

So from the U.K. on Twitter he wrote, "My advocacy work overseas is conducted in my own personal capacity without any collaboration with others. Since leaving Hong Kong, I've also stopped contacting members of my family. From now on, I will sever my relationship with them."

Also wanted, Samuel Chu from the United States. He writes this, "Today, I woke up to media reports that I am a wanted fugitive. My alleged crimes, inciting secession and colluding with foreign powers under Hong Kong's national security law except I am an American citizen and have been for 25 years."

It has been around one month since the controversial national security law has come into effect. It criminalizes secession subversion, terrorism, including with foreign forces. It applies to everyone, even those outside Hong Kong and are not Hong Kong permanent residents.

Supporters say it brings stability to Hong Kong and fills a legal loophole. Critics say it undermines Hong Kong's freedoms and autonomy. In response, a number of governments have suspended extradition treaties with Hong Kong, including the U.K., Germany and Australia, providing potentially a safeguard for these exiled pro democracy activists now wanted by Hong Kong police -- Kristie Lu Stout, CNN, Hong Kong.


BRUNHUBER: James Murdoch has resigned from the board of his family's company News Corp. He said it's because of disagreements over certain editorial content and other strategic decisions.

Murdoch has disagreed with his father, Rupert Murdoch's conservative political views before and already left his family's other company, 21st Century Fox partly because of his dislike of the right-wing FOX News.

Next, America's national pastime threatened: the baseball commissioner warns the coronavirus is jeopardizing the shortened season while other sports come up with innovative ways to keep players safe. We'll explain, coming up.





BRUNHUBER: Major League Baseball players hit the diamond about a week ago but now there are fears their COVID shortened season could be cancelled altogether. Some games have already been postponed as the league and players association confirmed 29 players and staff have tested positive for coronavirus.

Now ESPN is reporting this morning from baseball commissioner Rob Manfred, the season could be called out completely unless the league manages the crisis better. Our Martin Savidge looks at how various sports are coping.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Sports leagues are using shortened seasons, bubbles, team sequestering and rapid testing to let the games begin.

Could the winners and losers teach us something?

Take baseball. Already a number of games are on hold as more than 20 members of the Miami Marlins tested positive for coronavirus. Players aren't sequestered and teams travel to outbreak hotspots. The Washington Nationals were so concerned about going to Florida, they put it to a vote.

DAVE MARTINEZ, WASHINGTON NATIONALS MANAGER: We all decided that it was probably unsafe to go there.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Friday, the Cardinals-Brewers game postponed after two members of the St. Louis team tested positive.

Meanwhile, the National Hockey League and the National Basketball Association have opted for a different approach. [04:55:00]

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Keeping participants in a closed environment, where they live, practice and play their games, the bubble.

So far, so good. During training camp, the NHL tested more than 800 players. There were two positive the first week and none the second. The teams now face off in two secure zones, in Toronto and Edmonton, Canada.

GARY BETTMAN, NHL COMMISSIONER: We feel good about the fact we have a contained environment.


BETTMAN: In fact, one player was quoted saying from the bubble, that this is the safest he's felt since the middle of March.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): At the NBA bubble in Orlando, where the season resumed Thursday, they're also declaring success. The league said only two players inside the bubble have tested positive and that was over two weeks ago.

ADAM SILVER, NBA COMMISSIONER: In essence, everyone is tested on a nightly basis. As a practical matter, they don't leave their room until they have the results the next morning.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Still to come, football. The NFL says it takes safety seriously, reconfiguring locker rooms, reducing travel schedules, doing away with preseason games. But like baseball, the NFL is allowing players and staff to go home, increasing their risk of getting infected.

In an open letter, commissioner Roger Goodell wrote, "In a year that's been extraordinarily difficult for our country and the world, we hope that the energy of this moment, will provide some much-needed optimism."

But growing numbers of NFL players opting out of the 2020 season would seem to indicate they don't share that optimism.

SAVIDGE: So what have sports taught us?

Pretty much what we already knew, that quarantine and ample axis statistic (ph) is a winning strategy -- Martin Savidge, CNN, Atlanta.


BRUNHUBER: Acclaimed British filmmaker Alan Parker has died. His family says he passed away in London Friday following a prolonged illness. He was remembered for directing classics like "Fame," "Evita," "Midnight Express" and "Bugsy Malone."

He was considered a Hollywood heavyweight and received two Oscar nominations for Best Director. His movies won 10 Academy Awards and 19 BAFTAs, the British Film Academy awards. Alan Parker, who was 76, received a knighthood in 2002.

That wraps this hour of CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Kim Brunhuber. For U.S. viewers "NEW DAY" is just ahead. For everyone else, it's "LIVING GOLF."