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Florida Prepares For Major Storm As COVID-19 Cases Surge; Arizona Congressman Tests Positive For Coronavirus; CDC Projects 20,000 COVID Deaths In Three Weeks; Miami-Dade Emergency Center Using U.V. Fans To Kill COVID-19; Trump Again Tries To Discredit Dr. Fauci On Twitter; Herman Cain Dies After Being Hospitalized For Coronavirus. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired August 1, 2020 - 19:00   ET




ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Welcome to our viewers here in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer in Washington. This is a special edition of THE SITUATION ROOM. And we begin with breaking news tonight amid a coronavirus pandemic that is surging in the state of Florida right now.

Residents are dealing with a new threat tonight, a major tropical storm, tropical storm Isaias this hour is setting its sights on the Florida Atlantic Coast and is expected to turn to hurricane strength overnight. With a federal disaster declaration already issued, the state today is also reporting more than 9,000 new daily cases of coronavirus. That's a fifth straight day.

Also breaking tonight, another member of the U.S. Congress, Democratic Representative Raul Grijalva of Arizona says he's tested positive for the virus. This just days after he attended a Committee hearing with Republican Congressman Louie Gohmert who tested positive for the virus and who has repeatedly refused to wear a mask up on Capitol Hill.

Meanwhile, a new very grim projection from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tonight. It now projects an additional 20,000 Americans will die from the virus in the next three weeks alone. More than 1,000 Americans have died daily from the virus over the past five days.

Let's begin our coverage right now in Florida. A state of emergency in 16 counties, while people there wait and watch the storm slowly march up from the Bahamas. CNN's Chad Myers is over at the CNN Weather Center in Atlanta. CNN's Rosa Flores in Miami for us. Chad, we just got an update a little while ago. What's the latest?

CHAD MYERS, METEOROLOGIST: The latest is that they took it from a hurricane down to a tropical storm, but only went from 75 to 70, so that's the threshold. What the latest is on the satellite is what has happened in the past few hours. We are going to wake up tomorrow morning and we're going to say,

remember when this storm almost died? Well, it isn't dying now. It is intensifying rapidly. An awful lot of convection here; thunderstorms to the east of Miami around what I believe now is going to be a new center of circulation, possibly a new eye. It is here to the east now of Miami proper.

It will travel to the northwest overnight and likely make some landfall either Northern Broward, maybe farther north than that around 8 to 10 o' clock tomorrow morning. If it stays on a slightly more left trajectory, there is not as much distance there and it'll hypotenuse. The hypotenuse is smaller to get there, than it is to get here.

Now, something else I just want you to look at because I know the explosion of this weather is kind of going to get to people. More than half of this cone is offshore. So the chances of this staying offshore are greater than 50/50, but the models have been slightly turning to the left and so has the hurricane center.

Our next update will be just in one more hour and then a full update all the way at 11:00 tonight. We're watching the models. We're watching the America model and European model of course. They always battle it out for supremacy. We'll see who wins this one.

All the models though at least since about 2 o'clock this afternoon have shifted slightly closer to Florida than the ones from last night. And then finally, by the time you get up here to New York and New England, the spread is so wide. I mean, it's 200 miles of either direction so that would be really, really hard to predict at this point. 74 miles per hour would be the - probably the biggest gust we see, although certainly if this continues, this rapid intensification, that could get higher.

We are going to see some power outages, too. We are going to see quite a few people without power, and we've already had this story on that you get the COVID and you get the power outages, things slow down. Well, if you get power outages in this very large area, you can't just send one crew or a bunch of crews to one spot. You have to spread out those crews.

BLITZER: So what I hear you saying, Chad, is that everyone from Miami to Fort Lauderdale to Boca Raton and West Palm Beach, everybody along there, that's just the beginning. It then could go all the way up to Florida Coast and up to East Coast of the United States?

MYERS: Well, let's say it does hit the Florida Coast the first time. It will glance out back into the water somewhere around the Tybee Island and then back into the water, getter stronger again, and then possibly making a second landfall, plus or minus 200 miles from let's say Myrtle Beach and back offshore again, and then maybe over Long Island.

But like I said, the error by the time you get to Long Island is all the way from nowhere land to Albany or so on. So we have to kind of keep watching it. We are going to focus on the next 24 hours for what this is going to do, because that I've never seen before. This is an explosive piece of development around what is now a TS, but certainly will be a hurricane I think if this continues by morning.


BLITZER: Yes, tropical storm will become a hurricane. All right, we are going to check back with you in an hour with the latest forecast, Chad. Thank you. Rosa Flores is in Miami, Florida. So, Rosa, as we all know, there is no good time for a massive storm like this to hit, but now especially right in the middle of a very dire deadly coronavirus, where the cases are sharply rising where you are in Florida, first of all, Rosa, tell us about shelters. Are they even open?

Are they available? What precautions are being taken to protect people who need a public shelter?

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, there are no shelters that are open here where I am in Miami-Dade County. But in Palm Beach, just up the road, officials there announced today that they opened five shelters and this is not for a mandatory e evacuation, only for a volunteer evacuation for Zone A.

Now, these are individuals and residents that live in areas that have mobile homes or manufactured homes. And again, it's only a volunteer evacuation. Here where I am in Miami-Dade County, the Mayor tweeting earlier today saying that he doesn't expect his county to get the worst of Isaias, but he prepared nonetheless.

This county has 20 shelters that are on standby with COVID-19 precautions at the ready, including 40 square feet per person to allow for social distancing. Now, here in this county, they use schools as evacuation centers. So because of COVID, they were going to use classrooms to isolate individuals.

Now remember, Miami-Dade County is one of the counties that is not opening their schools for in person instruction this month, and so these schools are empty. As for power, Florida Power and Light advising that they are expecting widespread outages in the impacted areas. That's why they have more than 10,000 personnel staged at 16 different sites.

But they also warn, this power company says, it might take a little longer for Floridians to get their power back this time because they have implemented some of their COVID-19 precautions that we have been reporting on, wearing a mask, sanitizing equipment, social distancing and also very important, working in smaller groups.

So this allows the company to isolate individuals, to contact trace and be able to control any spread of the virus. And Wolf, because we're in a pandemic, we also check with hospitals here in Miami-Dade County, the two largest health systems, they say that they have at least four days worth of generator power, just in case. Wolf?

BLITZER: Just in case. All right, last thing they need right now, a tropical storm or a hurricane as is expected to develop overnight. Rosa, thank you very much. Dr. Patrice Harris is joining us right now. She's the immediate past president of the American Medical Association. Also with us, Dr. Jeremy Faust, the emergency physician over at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Dr. Harris, the intersection of a pandemic and a potential weather disaster in Florida, testing centers are obviously closing down in the midst of this storm. One official in Palm Beach County saying because of COVID-19, you're safer at home right now, that shelters should be considered your last resort. What is your analysis? First of all, could this storm turn into what's called a super spreader event?

DR. PATRICE HARRIS, FORMER PRESIDENT, AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION: Well, certainly, if folks have to go into a shelter, there would be more folks indoors. Hopefully, they would have the capacity to keep people at least six feet apart and hopefully they have the masks. But if there is a large crowd indoors, certainly the risk of the spread of the virus increases, no question.

BLITZER: Doctor Faust, we've learned that the Miami-Dade Emergency Operation Center is using UV sterilizer fans that are designed to supposedly instantly kill these airborne particles of the coronavirus. Could these kinds of fans be the key potentially to reopening on a larger scale in the midst of a hurricane?

DR. JEREMY FAUST, EMERGENCY PHYSICIAN, BRIGHAM AND WOMEN'S HOSPITAL: I think we have to watch very carefully about the science and not undermine the science, whatever it shows. Too many times, science has been undermined and therefore people make a political issue out of something that's science based.

Look at yesterday, Dr. Fauci was grilled on Capitol Hill about what he's been doing, when he's been doing a great job. I'd like to see the tables turned. I'd like to see somebody like Dr. Fauci saying to our leaders, where is the testing, the funding for testing? Where is the PPE to keep us safe? Why are the British, the U.K., running circles around us here in terms of research for therapeutics, when we have the best scientists?

I'd like to see our leaders being held to account, because every time that they see science they don't like, they make it political and we're all suffering. And Florida now having two problems at once is an example of why you try to take one problem at a time and do it right.


Because when you have two coming at the same time, you get into real trouble.

BLITZER: Why is that, Dr. Harris? Why have the Europeans done so much better, the Canadians done so much better, the Koreans done so much in better containing this virus than we have?

HARRIS: Well, I believe at the very beginning, they took very aggressive measures, certainly more aggressive than we decided to do. And I believe also, Wolf, that we in many cases opened up our businesses too soon.

The goal, and if you think back, the original recommendations from the White House Task Force was to really tamp down on the spread before we opened up. But in many jurisdictions, as you know, that did not happen, and that is one reason why we are continuing to see an increase in the number of positive infections, increase in the number of hospitalizations and unfortunately, increase in the number of deaths.

So certainly, there is no one size fits all approach, and each jurisdiction has to make their own decisions. But really, what's required is everyone doing what they can to get the spread of the infection to certainly below 5%.

BLITZER: We've seen so many days, Dr. Faust, in July where there has been more than 1,000 Americans dead as a result of the coronavirus. We have a chart; I'll put it back up on the screen right now. And it's so worrisome right now, because even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now projects that at least 1,000 Americans are going to continue dying for the foreseeable future.

In the next three weeks, another 20,000 or 30,000 Americans could die. What is the most important thing we should be doing right now, Dr. Faust, to slow this spread down?

FAUST: We need to start thinking about how we can convince each other that being - that we're in this together, and that putting on masks and staying socially distant is not some kind of political divide.

Whether or not schools reopen, for example, which I think is the question on so many of our minds right now, it turns out the Brookings Institution has nothing to do with whether you know the science. It has to do with what district you're in, whether you are in a Trump district or a Clinton district in 2016.

That's not good. We need to be a culture, a society that says, like Dr. Harris says, let's get below 5%, let's have really low cases, and that's how we know we're safe to move forward. If we do that, if we put science over politics and make it so that that's the goal, then I think we'll do a lot better.

I don't want to have to look at the next 100,000 deaths that are coming down the pipeline and say, well yet again science was undermined because certain people didn't like what it said. We can do this together.

BLITZER: And 154,000 Americans have died over the past five months alone, and thousands more are about to die as a result of this dire, dire virus. All right, Dr. Faust, thanks very much for joining us. Dr. Harris, thanks to you as well.

Meanwhile, President Trump once again taking aim at Dr. Fauci after he testified that Europe's lockdown actually worked better than it did here in the United States. We'll have more on that and all the day's breaking news when we come back.




BLITZER: As coronavirus numbers continue to rise here in the United States, President Trump once again is trying to discredit one of his top medical experts. Once again on Twitter, the President falsely claimed that America's rise in cases is simply due to a rise in testing.

He was tweeting in response to video of Dr. Anthony Fauci pointing out that cases in Europe have dropped because European economies shut down a lot more than the United States did. CNN political analyst Sabrina Siddiqui is with us, as well as our White House correspondent, Jeremy Diamond. Jeremy, first of all, what can you tell us about the latest attack by the President on Dr. Fauci?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Wolf, well the president seems to be back at it again. You know, we have seen the president time and again criticize Dr. Fauci sometimes in a more subtle way, sometimes more with a retweet. This evening, Wolf, the president going quite directly after Dr. Fauci in his own words arguing that Dr. Fauci is wrong when he talks about why the United States is seeing so many more cases than Europe, for example.

The president once again falsely claiming that a rise in testing is due - is the cause of the increased cases in the United States. Of course, Wolf, we have repeatedly debunked that. We know that it is false. But the president seems to want to continue to undermine Dr. Fauci.

And we know earlier this week, he gave us a little bit of a taste as to why and that is when he suggested that Dr. Fauci has higher approval numbers than he does, and the president seems frankly quite jealous about that fact, questioning why that could possibly be the case when Dr. Fauci is a member of his own administration.

BLITZER: Sabrina, the president seems to be bothered by the popularity of his medical experts as Jeremy says, specifically Dr. Fauci who has got very high job approval numbers, the president very low job approval numbers when it comes to coronavirus. What do you think the president hopes to accomplish by trying to bring these experts down instead of promoting them, and following their advice, for example, showing the country an example by wearing a face mask?

SABRINA SIDDIQUI, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, it seems to be another effort by the president to distance himself from the government's response to the coronavirus pandemic here in the United States. From the outset of the pandemic, the president has declined to take this crisis seriously.

He initially left governors to go at it alone and refused to implement a nationwide lockdown. He, despite a brief shift in tone for maybe a period of a few days last week, has now gone back to trying to discredit the science and attacking Dr. Fauci, the nation's top expert on infectious diseases.

[19:20:00] And that's why I think you've seen a correlation between the president's handing of the pandemic and his drop in his own approval ratings because as much as he wants to try and will this virus to go away, that's not how this works.

You have the numbers right up there, more than 4.6 million cases in the United States; the death toll surpassing 154,000. This is something that is affecting the American public in a very profound way.

And so, going into the election, if we continue to be in a state of crisis, it is very much the case that the public is going to look to the president and they will apply - they will take - place blame on the president for his response, not on Dr. Fauci and all the public health experts whose have been giving very clear and consistent guidance on how the nation should respond.

BLITZER: You know, Jeremy, the former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain was at that president's rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma a month or so ago without a mask. Cain died unfortunately, sadly of coronavirus complications on Thursday.

One day later, the president let a largely maskless event in Florida where there is a serious coronavirus pandemic crisis underway. Is there any indication you're getting from your sources that White House staffers are actually trying to lobby the president to get him to wear a mask, to change his behavior?

DIAMOND: Look, they certainly did for quite some time, Wolf. Remember, it took several weeks, one source described it to me as pleading with the president to get him to wear a mask in public and encourage his supporters to wear a mask. That was when we were seeing that surging cases in the southern part of the United States, in large part because that's where much of his political base of support also is.

And we did ultimately see the president wear a mask during a visit to Walter Reed Hospital. We saw him last week wearing a mask during a visit to a factory. But, by in large, the president has resisted doing so and it doesn't seem that there is much more that aids can do.

Look, they got him to try and embrace a more serious tone for a matter of days the week prior and that quickly, Wolf, that has disappeared because ultimately, it seems that the president's default setting is not to take this coronavirus seriously and give Americans factual data about what is actually happening, about the surging cases, about the deaths that are likely to continue to rise.

Instead, the president's default setting is to defend his response to this pandemic and to try and put a positive spin on the situation, and that was just as evident as we see him undermine the credibility of Dr. Fauci as it is with anything else.

BLITZER: Yes, it's a serious situation indeed. Very quickly, what was the president doing today, Jeremy, on a day when probably another 1,000 Americans are going to die from coronavirus? DIAMOND: We did see the president golfing once again, Wolf. And that is something that we've seen him do throughout this pandemic, at least over the last couple of months. The president is, of course, also focused on this issue of TikTok but that executive order that the president had floated to potentially ban TikTok did not ultimately end up coming today.

We're not sure why, Wolf. We have asked the White House repeatedly when that is going to come. But, certainly, it appears to have hit a pause button on some of those talks, as Microsoft is looking to buy TikTok from the Chinese company that currently owns that application. Of course, all of this, Wolf, is amidst those concerns about data.

This has been a long-running concern but the president now is also looking at this through the political lens and he has recently taken a more hawkish stance on China. It appears because, Wolf, he believes that it's political savvy and of course, he has sought to deflect a lot of the blame for his own failures, his own administration's failures with the pandemic on to China.

BLITZER: Alright. Jeremy Diamond, Sabrina Siddiqui, guys, thank you very much. We have a lot more coming up here in our Special Situation Room when we come back. Lines stretched, look at this, five blocks at one California food bank as this coronavirus pandemic puts financial pressure on millions and millions of American families who are in deep trouble right now. We'll be right back.



BLITZER: Right now, the place in the United States with the most people confirmed to have coronavirus is California, more than half a million people there are infected. And now, more heartbreaking news. In the past 24 hours alone, another 219 people have died from COVID-19 just in California; that's the most single-day fatalities blamed on the virus in that state.

Also today, proof that this public health emergency is taking a very serious toll on the economy and creating families that are suddenly in desperate need of food donation center in Los Angeles in OverDrive since dawn providing basic food supplies to people who are out of work and watching all their federal benefits expire. CNN's Paul Vercammen is on the scene for us.

So Paul, set the scene for us. What is behind all of this very hard work? People are really suffering.

PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN REPORTER: Well, you're right, Wolf. And in part of this, what you eluded to, the expiration of those federal benefits, then some of these people have been unemployed for almost half a year if you think about it and you have a situation where they may not have any more renters' protection in Southern California.

[19:30:00] So they walked up just like this, most of them, 1,500 of them to grab

their box of food. They also have distributed pallets of food. If you look over here, this is a whole pallet of cheese that's going to go to a church in Bell Gardens also in Southern California. So 500 other boxes went to other people, other places, other churches.

This is the First Unitarian Church in Koreatown. And when we talked to an organizer here, she was just heartsick over the fact that she was seeing people she'd never seen before, and she full well realize some of them had absolutely no income.


TRINITY TRAN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, URBAN PARTNERS LA: 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 and the ability 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: And the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank working with the church to distribute all of this, so a lot of volunteers involved.

You should have seen the expression on some of the volunteers faces when they realized all of their hard work was paying off because on the faces of people receiving these boxes of food, a sense of relief, Wolf, knowing that perhaps they could tide their family over for a few more days.

And if you look just right over here, there it goes, yet another pallet in this particular instance, full of cheese, going to wind up in another spot in Los Angeles County, the most populous county in the nation. It's been ravaged by the COVID pandemic and now, a looming economic crisis.

Reporting from Los Angeles, I'm Paul Vercammen. Now back to you -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Yes, millions of Americans out of work, 1.4 million Americans only last week, in one week, 1.4 million Americans have lost their job. They applied for first time unemployment. It's been going on for 19 weeks alone. More than a million Americans applying for unemployment.

They're hungry. They need to put food on the table for themselves and their kids. So, we thank all of those organizations that are helping achieve that.

Paul Vercammen, thank you very much.

A quick programming note for our viewers. Every parent wants a great school for their kids. But W. Kamau Bell uncovers why that's not possible for some. Go inside the public school system on an all-new "United Shades of America." That's tomorrow night. 10:00 p.m. Eastern, right after our special SITUATION ROOM.

There's more breaking news coming into THE SITUATION ROOM right now. Matthew Stafford, quarterback for the NFL's Detroit Lions, he has been placed on the league's reserve COVID-19 list by his team. This move does not necessarily indicate that Stafford himself has tested positive for COVID-19. This, as we learn have more positive tests leading to more Major League Baseball games canceled tonight.

Will sports be able to continue here in the United States? That's next. This is a special edition of THE SITUATION ROOM.



BLITZER: We hope it doesn't happen, but Major League Baseball season potentially could come to an end fairly soon. Just tonight, a Cardinals game against the Milwaukee Brewers was postponed as is the doubleheader scheduled for tomorrow after more and more players are testing positive for the coronavirus.

All of this comes as the league reported at least 29 players and team employees who tested positive this week. CNN's Martin Savidge has more.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): 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: And 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, 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 testing 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 Edmonton and Toronto,



GARY BETTMAN, NHL COMMISSIONER: We are feeling good about the fact that we've got a contained environment. In fact, one player was quoted as 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 for the season resumed Thursday, they are also declaring success. The league says 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 and then they, as a practical matter don't leave their room until they have the results the next morning.


SAVIDGE (voice over): Still to come, football. The NFL says they take 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 (on camera): So what have sports taught us? Pretty much what you already knew that quarantine and ample access to testing is a winning strategy.

Martin Savidge, CNN, Atlanta.



BLITZER: Thank you, Martin. And there's breaking news into THE SITUATION ROOM right now. Matthew Stafford, the quarterback for the NFL's Detroit Lions has been placed on the league's reserve COVID-19 list by his team.

This move does not necessarily indicate that Stafford himself has tested positive for COVID-19. CNN sports analysts and "USA Today" sports columnist Christine Brennan is joining us right now.

Christine, let's talk about what's going on the NBA bubble, and I hope it works. It is working so far, but baseball and football attempting to play while traveling from city to city that's causing a lot of potential problems.

You heard ESPN reported that the baseball Commissioner Rob Bamford is warning of a potential league shutdown. How do you see it?

CHRISTINE BRENNAN, CNN SPORTS ANALYST: Wolf, I think if there's one more outbreak, especially on the West Coast for Major League Baseball, they may well have to shut it down. I hope I'm wrong, but they've already been two, of course, the one in the East with the Miami Marlins and then of course, the St. Louis Cardinals.

That's eight teams involved, 33 games over one week postponed, and I don't think Major League Baseball can handle one more of these. I think if something happens on the West Coast and we know the hot spots in California, Texas, Arizona, if there's one more outbreak in Major League Baseball, I really do think as much as they want to get this season in, as much as the TV money, Wolf is everything to Major League Baseball, I just don't think they'd be able to pull it off if there's another outbreak.

BLITZER: I suspect you're right. ESPN is also reporting that the Commissioner is blaming the League and the players for not doing a better job of following COVID-19 protocols.

But he made the call to let these teams play and they're not using what's called the bubble. Should baseball, Christine, follow the lead of basketball, hockey and soccer and force all the players to be in a bubble instead of traveling from city to city?

BRENNAN: Wolf, they should have done that, absolutely, and if not one bubble, maybe a couple -- many bubbles. I've never said the word bubble more in my life. But maybe you would have had something in New York, maybe Washington, maybe one out West one in the Midwest, and then have it all there -- more of a tournament just as the men's soccer and the women's soccer have done.

And of course, just as the NBA and the WNBA are doing because a bubble really is the only answer and you don't have to take my word for it or your word for it. Wolf, let's take Dr. Anthony Fauci his word for it.

Back in the middle of June he said that he thought that football would have to play in a bubble to be a success. Obviously, that's difficult to do. Major League Baseball those showing us really the future for both college and pro-football and just how difficult this is to pull off.

BLITZER: As you know, the NFL has canceled all the preseason games in August getting ready for the regular season in September. Do you expect the Commissioner to take more precautions after seeing what has now happened with baseball?

BRENNAN: I certainly do, Wolf, although baseball had a 113-page list of protocols and clearly they weren't being followed and look at what baseball, the mess that baseball is in right now.

I think that the NFL has been lucky that they have had this time to look at all the mistakes that everyone else has made and also the good things that have worked.

But, you know, football is the antithesis of social distancing. Literally, it's blocking and tackling every play. Twenty two guys all on a big pile, everyone slobbering on each other. I just don't know how it works.

With the outbreaks and the problems we're having in this country with the coronavirus and COVID-19, I just don't see how the NFL can pull it off, but at least they're professionals. College football, 18 to 23- year-olds. That's just pure recklessness if colleges try to play football.

BLITZER: Well, you wrote a column and you write this and I'll put it up on the screen, Christine, "The historic recklessness of that decision should it happen will be remembered for decades." You're referring to college football for example, tell us why.

BRENNAN: The question, Wolf, is how many deaths, how many hospitalizations, how many illnesses are we willing to accept to have our college football this fall? My thought is the answer should be zero for deaths.

But as we learn this today, "The Washington Post" broke a story that the Southeastern Conference where football is king, they actually had a call with some of their student athletes, the football players, and the football players were very concerned and one of the officials for the Southeastern Conference, Wolf actually said these words, it is a given that there will be cases, there will be illnesses and outbreaks on every team in the Southeastern Conference.

How in the world as leaders of young people in universities, university presidents, how can they possibly move ahead, knowing that they are going to subject these football players and also field hockey, volleyball et cetera to what could of course alter their lives if not kill them, or a member of their family and or an assistant coach or a staffer or a referee?

That today, that breaking news from "The Washington Post" I think shows us just how difficult this is and how reckless and how history will judge these universities if they don't shut it down now.


BLITZER: Yes, these are life and death decisions, a lot of these individuals have to make. All right, Christine Brennan, as usual, thanks very much.

Meanwhile, public health experts have been urging Americans for months and months to do something very simple. Simply wear a mask, and now, they may not necessarily even be enough.

We will tell you what's going on when we come back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


BLITZER: Public health officials here in the United States have spent months and months and months stressing the importance of wearing face masks to slow the spread of the coronavirus. But now many experts are actually urging the public to do more, to use face shields, even eye goggles. Here is CNN's Brian Todd.


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 (voice over): 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 --


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: The minimal things you might want to do is you could use just a mask and eye goggles and possibly gloves.


TODD (voice over): 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.


DR. ANNE RIMOIN, EPIDEMIOLOGIST, UCLA 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 (voice over): Experts say, face shields or goggles are 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 environments where children might pull down their masks or not be very compliant with them and you might get coughs close to the face.

There is concern that you could get respiratory droplets in the eyes.


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


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a violation of my [bleep] constitutional rights and my Civil Rights.


TODD: And there could be even more resistance to the appeal to wear a face shields.

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 (on camera): 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.


BLITZER: Thank you, Brian. From closing schools again to separating students to encouraging social distancing. Countries are taking various approaches to reopening schools amid this pandemic.

We're going to show you some of the plans from around the world, that's next.



BLITZER: The U.S. is still trying to figure out how to reopen schools safely, if at all, and it's not just an American problem as other countries are preparing for their schools to reopen even as case numbers are still climbing in some regions.

CNN's correspondents have the latest on how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting schools around the world starting with Cyril Vanier in Paris.


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 facemasks 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 2, 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 3 involves targeted school shutdowns 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.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: 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, the 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 seventh, 12th and

14th 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.

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in a rainy Hong Kong. Schools here first closed in January when the outbreak again and finally reopened at the end of May.

Students wearing masks returned to the classroom but with strict rules in place. For example, at the peak school, classes were separated, half in one room, half in the other with the teacher using Zoom to be in both place at once.

With weeks of zero new local cases, it appeared that Hong Kong was winning the war against COVID-19, but it is now battling a fresh wave of infection. Schools are closed yet again, and parents including myself are bracing for another round of online learning in the fall. It is a set up.

But Hong Kong has yet to report any new coronavirus infection or outbreaks in its schools.