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Trump Downplays Woodward Recording; West Coast Fires Drive Half A Million People From Their Homes; Aid Organizations Struggling To Help Lesbos Migrants; Health Experts Cast Doubt on Timeline for Vaccines; India Reports More than 96,000 New COVID-19 Cases; Mexico's Ancient City of Teotihuacan Reopens to Public; Citi's Fraser to be Frist Woman CEO of Major U.S. Bank; Microsoft: Foreign Hackers Targeting 2020 U.S. Election; Toddler Recreates Iconic Movie Scenes. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired September 11, 2020 - 01:00   ET



PAULA NEWTON, CNN ANCHOR: Hello. And welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Paula Newton.

Ahead here on CNN NEWSROOM.

President Trump saying he didn't lie when he didn't tell t4he truth about the severity of the coronavirus.

And yet again, a lives of his own supporters put at risk at a crowded campaign rally.

Grim projections meantime. The CDC says up to 25,000 more Americans could die from coronavirus in just the next three weeks.

And where do you go when you literally have nowhere to go? Thousands of migrants now facing this fear.

We'll speak to someone on the ground, helping those ravaged by the massive fire.

OK. So U.S. President Donald Trump says he played down the threat of the coronavirus because he didn't want to frighten the American people.

But late Thursday, at a campaign rally in Michigan, the president turned up the fear to extreme. Claiming a Joe Biden presidency would bring riots, arson, and anarchy.

Of course, creating fear has been a hallmark of the Trump presidency. You'll remember when he warned Americans about caravans of invaders on the border with Mexico, and Democrats coming to take your guns.

Now few people in the Michigan crowd -- you have to see for yourself -- few masks there. Social distancing, you can see again, non- existent.

And the president made some fantastical comparisons about his handling of the pandemic.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: America will prevail over the China virus.

As Franklin Deleanor Roosevelt said, "The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself." That's it.

We're doing very well.

As the British government advised the British people in the face of World War II, keep calm, and carry on. That's what I did.

This whack job that wrote the book he said well, Trump knew a little bit. And they wanted we to come out and scream, people are dying, they're dying. No, no. We did it just the right way.

We have to be calm, we don't want to be crazed lunatics."


NEWTON: OK. Now that "whack job," the president's words, that he just mentioned is veteran journalist Bob Woodward.

He recorded Mr. Trump in early February. Remember, he recorded him, admitting how deadly the coronavirus was.

And now the president is trying to blame Woodward for not alerting what he calls the authorities.

CNN's Jim Acosta reports.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN SNR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: One day after bombshell recordings revealed the president intentionally downplayed the COVID-19 threat, Mr. Trump is claiming it was all about keeping Americans from panicking.


TRUMP: I didn't lie. What I said is we have to be calm, we can't be panicked.

I don't want to jump up and down and start screaming, "Death, death."


ACOSTA: The president is even trying to shift the blame to the journalist with the Trump tapes, Bob Woodward.


TRUMP: Certainly, if he thought that was a bad statement he would have reported it because he thinks that you don't want to have anybody that is going to suffer medically because of some fact.

If Bob Woodward thought what I said was bad then he should have immediately, right after I said it, gone out to the authorities so they can prepare and let them know.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But (inaudible) recorded (ph) --

But he didn't think it was bad, and he said he didn't think it was bad. He actually said he didn't think it was bad.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bob recorded (inaudible) end.

TRUMP: The only one that --


ACOSTA: Democrats aren't buying it. With Joe Biden tweeting:

"Donald Trump said he didn't want to tell the truth and create a panic, so he did nothing and created a disaster."


SEN. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: He hid the facts and refused to take the threat seriously, leaving the entire country exposed and unprepared.

He didn't want to cause a panic. Why? Because of the stock market?


ACOSTA: The president has used the panic excuse before, way back in March.


TRUMP: (...) will go away.

ACOSTA: What do you say to Americans who believe that you got this wrong?

TRUMP: And I do want them to stay calm. And we are doing a great job.

If you could ask a normal question. The statements I made are I want to keep the country calm. I don't want panic in the country.


I could cause panic, much better than even you.


ACOSTA: But here's the problem. In February, the president warned Woodward the virus was deadly, but not the public.


TRUMP (Voice Over): It goes through air, Bob. That's always tougher than the touch.

You know, the touch you don't have to touch things, right, but the air, you just breathe the air. That's how it's passed.

And so, that's a very tricky one, that's a very delicate one.

It's also more deadly than your, you know, even your strenuous flus.

WOODWARD: (Inaudible)

TRUMP: This is more deadly (...)"


ACOSTA: Even with Mr. Trump's admissions caught on tape ---


TRUMP: I wanted to -- I wanted to always play down. I still like playing down.

WOODWARD: Yes, sir.

TRUMP: Because I don't want to create a panic.


ACOSTA: Top administration officials are trying to tell the public don't believe your own ears.


MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE USA: I actually didn't sense the president was downplaying anything.

We were giving the American people the facts as we knew them, as we learned them, every step of the way.


ACOSTA: The Woodward book has GOP senators running for cover. With Iowa's Joni Ernst telling CNN: "I haven't read, it I haven't seen it. So give me a chance to take a look."

And John Cornyn of texas praising Mr. Trump saying he's done as good job as you can under the circumstances."

But there are other pressing questions for the president raised in the Woodward book.

As to why Mr. Trump thought it was a good idea to tell the author about what sounds like a top secret nuclear weapons system.


TRUMP: But I have built a nuclear -- a weapon, I had built a weapon system, weapon system, that nobody's ever had in this country before.

We have stuff that you haven't even seen or heard about. We have stuff that Putin and Xi have never heard about before.

There's nobody -- what we have this incredible."


ACOSTA: And during this rally Michigan, the president and his campaign team were violating his administration's own coronavirus guidelines.

As they packed in thousands of supporters who weren't practicing social distancing and many were not wearing masks.

Jim Acosta. CNN at the Saginaw Airport in Michigan.


NEWTON: More than 28 million people around the world have now been infected with the coronavirus. That's according to Johns Hopkins University.

Now the United States continues to be the hardest hit country with, you see it there, more than 6.3 million known infections.

Here's the issue, though. A new CDC projection, as you see it there, says that the death toll could reach 217,000 within just three weeks. That's about 25,000 more deaths than the current tally.

And while the average number of cases in the United States has been trending downwards, the country reported nearly 35,000 new infections on Thursday. And at least 870 deaths.

So far, the U.S. has had more deaths than any other country in the world.

And as the death toll continues to climb in the United States, some health professionals are slamming President Trump after his admission, as we were saying, about downplaying the threat of the virus.

CNN's Nick Watt has more.


WILLIAM HASELTINE, FORMER PROFESSOR, HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL: How many people could have been saved out of 190,000 that have died? My guess is 180,000 of those.


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DR. CRAIG SPENCER, NEW YORK PRESBYTERIAN COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER: I'm furious. Because, you want to talk about panic, and wanting to reduce panic?

I think of the panic of every single family I called on Face Time to let them know their family member was dying, or had died.



DR. CELINE GOUNDER, FORMER NEW YORK CITY ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER OF HEALTH: This is medical malpractice, negligent homicide on a grand scale.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is stunning. He should resign. This is really stunning.


WATT: But the president still thinks, or at least says, he's been great.


TRUMP: If you look at our numbers compared to other countries, other parts of the world, it's been an amazing job that we've done.


WATT: OK. Let's look at the numbers. Compare the U.S. to some other countries.

"Foreign Policy" Magazine does just that and ranks the U.S. very near the bottom. Just below Ethiopia, Russia, Hungary and Indonesia.

The magazine highlights "the federal government's limited use of facts and science."


TRUMP: You know, in theory, when it gets a little warmer, it miraculously goes away. I hope that's true.


WATT: A new poll shows 62 percent of Americans are worried the FDA will rush approval of a vaccine due to political pressure.

And a new study suggests the U.S. massively undercounted COVID-19 cases in the early days, confirming just over 720,000 cases by April 18th. Researchers estimate there were really over 6.4 million by that point.

Why? Because there wasn't enough testing.

Still isn't. And the CDC's guidance still says, if you've been at an unmasked gathering of more than 10 people but don't have symptoms, you do not necessarily need a test. Unless you're from a vulnerable population.

Something the administration's own testing czar contradicts.



ADM. BRETT GIROIR, ASST. SECRETARY OF HEALTH, U.S. DEPT. OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES: We do need to test asymptomatic people. There's no doubt about that, full stop.


WATT: Still, with the mixed messaging.

Look at the president's slides this afternoon as we passed 40,000 cases on college campuses. In every single state.

As always, there are state to state differences, in terms of spread, attitudes, and safety measures.

New York City doing great. Still super cautious as they prep to reopen some indoor dining, with temperature checks at the door, and a warning.


MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO, N.Y.: If we get to 2 percent infection rate on a regular basis on that seven-day average, at that point, we need to immediately reassess indoor dining.


WATT: In Missouri, right now more than 13 percent of tests are coming back positive.

Still the NFL season opener is tonight in Kansas City, with some fans in the stands.

So the coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force is now telling anybody who might have let their guard down a little over the long Labor Day holiday weekend to get a test.

That is now just a little bit harder here in Los Angeles County.

You can see this is smoke from wildfires that have burned three million acres in the state.

As a result of the air quality L.A. County has now closed six COVID-19 testing sites.

Nick Watt, CNN, Los Angeles.


NEWTON: And our coverage of the coronavirus continues. I'll speak with Dr. Amy Compton Philips later this hour.

She's a CNN medical analyst and the chief clinical officer at Providence Health System, a network of hospitals and clinics. You will want to hear what she has to say.

Now, as Nick was saying, there are dozens of wildfires raging out of control right across the Western United States, not just in California now. Despite the efforts of firefighters called in to help from right across the country.

As of Thursday, the blazes had charred more than 18,000 square kilometers. Hundreds of thousands of people have now been forced to leave their homes.

And at least 15 people have died in California, Oregon, and Washington State.

Now thick smoke is blanketing the region, and entire communities in Oregon have been reduced to ashes.

U.S. President Donald Trump has now approved an emergency declaration in that state.

About half a million people were forced to leave their homes because of the fires. And that's more than 10 percent of the population of Oregon.

CNN's Lucy Kafanov is in Clackamas County, Oregon, with an update on the fire fight.


LUCY KAFANOV, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is an incredibly dangerous situation across the state of Oregon.

We are in Clackamas county, Oregon's third more populous county where a lot of the area has been affected by the fires.

This specific location is sort of this safety staging areas for the fire crews to be able to stay safe as they figure out the plan for where to go next, which area to target next.

But I can tell you that the residential areas around here are under a mandatory level three evacuation order. That means get out, don't risk your life.

This is a very agricultural area. There's a lot of farms with animals, so some folks are choosing to stay back to try and protect their homes, and save their animals. But again, officials are warning people not to take any chances, and

to get out while they can.

Now we heard from the governor, Kate Brown, she said that 900,000 acres have burned so far in the past 72 hours. That number likely to rise.

Just to give you some context. 500,000 acre burn on average in an entire year. So this is a historic, unprecedented fire event.

The governor predicting loss of life, loss of structures.

The weather conditions that we've had so far with very heavy winds and incredibly dry conditions have made it difficult to begin to contain the fires.

Up until now, the focus have been on evacuating people and trying to protect structures.

But officials are hoping for the weather conditions to change over the next few days so that they will be able to begin to start the process of containing the fires.

This is devastating to the State of Oregon. The resources here spreading incredibly thin. The governor requesting health from the Defense Department as well as the Army Corps of Engineers, the National Guard has been activated as well.

We know a team is flying in from Utah to help the firefighters here. Because not only this state but neighboring Washington, as well as California, battling its own fires as well.

Lucy Kafanov, CNN. Clackamas County, Oregon.


NEWTON: And we want to bring in meteorologist, Derek van Dam now.

Derek, it is very good to see you. Unfortunately, I don't think I'm going to like what you have to say.

We saw from Lucy and Nick's report there that the smoke from these fires is choking the West Coast. What's the forecast here?

DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: So many aspects of this story, Paula, are disturbing.

But showing the amount of smoke that these wildfires are distributing across the Western United States is just really astounding.

At least to me personally as a meteorologist. But it should be for the people on the ground too. Because this is going to be impacting the quality of the air going forward. As it already has been.


But even more so over the next 48 hours, specifically across the Pacific Northwest. By the way, that is all smoke.

Never in my career have I actually seen an entire state, let alone two states, covered by what is called a poor quality of air, air quality index -- that shading of gray that you see there -- for all of Washington, all of Oregon and much of Central California.

Just to give you an example of why this is so dangerous.

The average human hair, about 60 microns, so very, very small. The smoke particles that we are talking about are less than one micron. So they can penetrate deep within our lung systems.

And, of course, that gives issues to people with upper respiratory issues. And also, people with heart disease or heart problems. The elderly and young children can be susceptible to smoke inhalation.

So all in all, this is a very dangerous situation as this smoke is forecast to move inland as well.

You can see the air quality index, the shading of red and purple are the most unhealthy, very unhealthy to hazardous air quality index that we have for many of the cities across the West Coast.

Again, we are going to see more of an onshore component to the wind over the next 24 to 48 hours. So that will allow for the smoke that has billowed over the Pacific Ocean to move back inland and impact places like Portland down to Bend, Oregon all the way to Sacramento and San Francisco once again.

And the Jet Stream will loft that high into the upper levels of the atmosphere and actually push some of that smoke eastward as well.

Get this. The top five largest of the top ten largest in acreage burned wildfires over the State of California's history occurring right now, Paula.

But I want to end this broadcast with a little bit of positive information here.

There is a potential for an atmospheric river, that is rainfall, that is precipitation. That will bring some much needed relief to the firefighting efforts across the Northwest. But we have to wait until Tuesday and Wednesday.

Back to you.

NEWTON: Oh, you read my mind. How soon? Because I'm sure the relief can't come fast enough.

Derek, the pictures are just apocalyptic.


NEWTON: You're so right. It is so difficult to see what's going on.

Good to see though, Derek. Thanks. Appreciate it. DAM: Same to you. OK.

NEWTON: Now thousands of migrants now left with nothing after a fire ripped through the largest refugee camp in Europe. They have barely any food or water.

We'll show you what's happening, next.

Plus a Beirut port is still recovering from the massive explosion and fire just last month. And now a new fire is billowing smoke for miles.

What's the cause of this one? We'll have details after the break.



LELA, MIGRANT FROM IRAQ: My family needs clothes, maybe some place to stay. Maybe food and water.

There is nothing here.


NEWTON: The woman you heard there along with thousands of other migrants fighting just to survive after the largest refugee camp in Europe was destroyed.


A fire broke out on Wednesday at the Moria camp on the Greek island of Lesbos.

French President Emmanuel Macros and German chancellor Angela Merkel both say they are working to try and welcome some of those refugees and they are urging other countries to do the same.

Now dozens of families who lived at the camp have now found refuge at a nearby cemetery.

Some of them say the conditions inside that camp were appalling, even before the fire.

CNN's Melissa Bell was able to hear some of their stories.


MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: By Thursday night, fires were still being lit and put out.

But on the outskirts of Moria, the only emergency that now matters is the humanitarian one.

Thousands of refugees still surrounded in by police, but now without any refuge at all. It is miles and miles of human misery stretched out along these roads

around what was the Moria migrant camp.

Have a look over here. You can see families doing what they can to try and find shelter and keep themselves warm because the evenings get quite cool here. Even though the days are pretty hot.

You can see that people here, these women were told to queue because food would be brought. A truck then arrived and everyone rushed down to try and get at something.

For many, this was the first sign of help they'd had since the fire on Tuesday night deprived them of what little they owned.

As they fled, many took videos as their shelters went up in smoke.

These images were shot by two teenage sisters, Mariam and Mahtab who with their family are now living among the dead.


MAHTAB, AFGHAN MIGRANT: We lost everything, like clothes, and medicine, my medicines -- mother.


BELL: Like the others here, they tell us that they do not believe that the migrants were responsible for the fire. Even as Greek authorities say it was lit my migrants angry with the COVID-19 related restrictions.


MARIAM, AFGHAN MIGRANT: I know it was the fascists because the second time I saw that the Greek people --

MAHTAB: Yes, second time.

MARIAM: -- on the motorcycle, that they coming and they were around the camp and they do that. They said the refugee do that. But it is not true because refugee cannot do this.


BELL: An estimated 13,000 people had been living in Moria. Those who knew the camp say conditions inside were appalling.


FARIS AL-JAWAD, DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS: I was here in 2018 as well as 2019 and I thought at that time that it couldn't really get much worse.

I'm here now in 2020 and I was wrong. It's worse and -- for children as well. We're talking about children who potentially have never known anything but war. And now their futures are, once again, being ripped away from them.


BELL: For now it is their very immediate future that is of most concern.

In Moria, they had food and water. Here in the cemetery they have nothing at all.

Melissa Bell. CNN, Lesbos.


NEWTON: Nick Powell is the head of communications for the NGO Refugee 4 Refugees, and joins me now live from near that camp that you just saw there.

Obviously, the situation is dire. I guess most important now is what can be done in the short term or what is being done in the short term to try and change the circumstances on the ground there?

NICK POWELL, REFUGEE 4 REFUGEES: So on the ground, multiple actors are working to provide immediate emergency response.

This is becoming very difficult to coordinate due to restrictions around accessing the area and also the general situation. We're facing 12- to 13,000 people split among multiple locations in a large restricted area.

And this makes it incredibly difficult to conduct distributions and do so in a safe manner. As the safety risk for our teams also increases with the presence of fascist groups creating blockades and being present around Moria and the access points where we need to get in for the people on the ground.

NEWTON: When you say groups -- and I want to be clear here. There's also a global pandemic going on in the middle of all of this.

When you say groups, what do you mean? And I kind of really want to know what the character is on the ground there.

Because certainly, they're in the middle of Europe. They should have food and water on a daily basis.

POWELL: Yes. So what we're talking about here is blockades from people in the local communities. Small groups in the local community creating blockades that's restricting access to some pathways.

There's also police blockades around this restricted area in which we can gain access through to provide aid.

But this is incredibly difficult to coordinate.

Finding safe routes in and out of this area is not really possible at night and it constantly requires checks on which route is possible to go down. And you sometimes will not know if it is safe until you actually begin driving down there.

This is not a safe environment for our teams to be able to operate and constantly have access to this area to provide the aid required throughout the day and throughout the night.

NEWTON: What's at stake here if you can't get the aid to them?

POWELL: We're looking at an absolutely dire situation.

There's multiple vulnerable groups of increased vulnerability within this population. That includes unaccompanied minors who have mostly been evacuated from the island and which we've been supporting through our teams identifying the locations of unaccompanied minors.


And then also other vulnerable groups. Like single women, young families. They are surrounded in areas they are unaware of. These are unfamiliar areas.

There's no access to wash facilities, no access to electricity. And distributions are incredibly difficult to conduct, because the spread of people amongst this area is all the way from Moria camp through to the main road heading towards Medellin.

NEWTON: Now if we go by the mantra never waste a crisis, do you think this might spur European nations to act?

Look, in our report you heard the conditions inside the camp weren't good even before the fire. Do you think this will motivate any kind of policy change?

POWELL: We've been demanding Europe to act for an extended period of time now. This has been a preventable situation.

These camps have been congested and overpopulated for now a significant period of time, and no action has been taken.

So we do hope that, based on this current situation, Europe will come into action not just for Lesbos but for all of the Aegean Islands where the camps are overcrowded and we face a global pandemic where people cannot isolate themselves.

If they test positive or if they show symptoms for COVID, it is impossible to isolate in a camp that is so overcrowded. And that requires immediate evacuation of these people to different E.U. member states.

NEWTON: We will continue to watch and learn from European leaders, if they do have a plan in mind.

Nick Powell for us there in Lesbos, Greece. Thank you. Appreciate it.

POWELL: Thank you.

NEWTON: Now a huge fire broke out in Beirut's port Thursday.


Creating massive plumes of smoke, as you can see there and waves and waves of panic.

This fire comes almost -- comes after almost 200 people died in the explosion at the same port last month.

Now anger is, of course, growing as many ask how could this happen again?

CNN's Arwa Damon has details.


ARWA DAMON, CNN SNR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No one knew what was happening as the smoke darkened the skies. And the fire burned through what was left of Beirut's port.

Just a few days ago, four tons of ammonium nitrate were found in the port. All they could think was, another blast is coming. Flee.


"I live some 500 meters from this fire," Magad Hassinan [ph] says. "I have to take my wife and children out of Beirut because of this. Since they are still living in fear after what happened before."


It's been barely a month since the 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate exploded in Beirut's port. Ripping through swathes of the city, taking lives, and shredding homes.


"We saw the same thing happening again," Andre Murabe [ph] says. "We are definitely scared, and people are freaking out."


The trauma from that is still all too fresh, the anger at the governments incompetence too raw.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "This another disaster. (Inaudible) (bleep) politicians they are doing? I don't know. Let me show the truth. Because people, the truth.

We are working here in Beirut every day to help people. Where is the government?

(END VIDEO CLIP) DAMON: This area, just a short distance from the site of the deadly

explosion in August should have been secured. This should not be happening.

How did cooking oil and tires go up in flames? We don't know what caused this fire. Just like we don't know what caused the initial fire that led to the ammonium nitrate's detonation back in August.

And this, this just adds to the deep despair among the population here. A choking reminder of all they have suffered.

Still, so incomprehensible.

Arwa Damon, CNN, Istanbul.

NEWTON: Still ahead here on NEWSROOM. It's the distinction you just don't want.

India is breaking the global record for most coronavirus cases in a single day.

A live report from the region, when we come back.



PAULA NEWTON, CNN ANCHOR: And welcome back to our viewers from right around the world. I'm Paula Newton and you're watching CNN NEWSROOM.

Now the U.S. Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention is now predicting up to 217,00 Americans will have died from the coronavirus by October 3rd, less than a month from now.

Right now, the U.S. death toll stands at more than 191,000 and that means another 25,000 people could die within the next three weeks.

Now meantime the race for a vaccine is under way with many drugs in their final clinical trials.

Now, earlier, during CNN's "GLOBAL TOWN HALL: CORONAVIRUS FACTS AND FEARS", the director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health spoke on the safety of potential vaccines.


DR. FRANCIS COLLINS, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH: We have now six vaccines that are either already in Phase 3 trials or will be quite soon. Each of those requiring 30,000 participants to be sure we have enough evidence to decide about safety, and efficacy.

And it is moving forward at a pace that the world has never seen but I will say, not in a fashion that allows cutting corners with safety. I want to make that really clear. We sped up this process in a variety of ways, but not to compromise safety.

In fact, I would, say these trials are more rigorous than almost any that have ever been done for vaccines.


NEWTON: And CNN medical analyst, Amy Compton Phillips, joins me now from Seattle, Washington. She is also chief clinical officer at the Providence Health System. And thanks so much for joining us.

Listen, if you are out there, as a layperson like me, with no medical background, this has been very confusing to take in when we start to talk about virus and timeline. Let's talk about the timeline first.

Here on CNN we just heard Doctor Francis Collins, you know, the head of the NIH in the United States, say look, it's incredibly optimistic to think that we would even have the results of those third stage trials by the end of October. What is it telling us when we hear this information that, look, we are already working at, quote-unquote, "warp speed" and even that will not give us what we need by the fall?

DR. AMY COMPTON-PHILLIPS, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: You know, it would be absolutely wonderful if we could speed things up. But already, this is the fastest vaccine developments ever in the history of any vaccine development.

And so if we look at what is logical and what is possible, we are really talking about, you know, probably the end of the first quarter of 2021 that we have a vaccine. Not right now. You have to give the vaccine to people, you know, recruit lots and lots of volunteers, so 30,000 in the AstraZeneca trial for example. So you recruit all these volunteers, you give them the shot, and then you track them over a period of several months to see whether or not the shot both creates the immune response, as well as actually prevents developing the virus and the symptoms, as well as watching for side effects.

That is a lot of science to decompress into a short period of time. So we're really talking, you know, much more logically, early 2021.

NEWTON: Yes. And I think people need to really take that in.

The other piece of information this week that really, you know, unnerved a lot of people was the fact that there was a pause in one of the vaccine trials. It was because one of the volunteers was having adverse medical effects. What should we take away from that?


COMPTON-PHILLIPS: Well, let's clarify that just a little bit. One of the volunteers had something that happens, something called transverse myelitis and we don't know whether or not it was from the vaccine or not.

Because if you think about doing an appropriate vaccine trial, you're taking in 30,000 people of all types of varying health, right. And so those 30,000 people, if you just follow 30,000 f for six months, some might have heart attacks, some might have strokes, some might have cancer, some might develop transverse myelitis although that is quite rare. And the challenge is to tease out whether or not you're seeing their

normal health progress, or whether or not you're seeing something happen because of a virus. And so that is why it takes a lot of people and time to develop the studies, to understand what really is cause and effect, and what is just random variation that you would expect in a broad population.

NEWTON: And what is the message that the company, and certainly the researchers working on this vaccine, are trying to tell us? By the fact that look, we are just putting a halt to this, we just want to be safe.

COMPTON-PHILLIPS: That's exactly the message that they are doing it the right way. People are very concerned that we are trying to do this super fast, and that it's not going to be safe. But they're doing it the right way, and they are making sure that they have safeguards, have panels of scientists looking at the information, and that we really are adhering to the whole concept in medicine of first no harm.

We are not doing this to hurt anybody. We're doing this to help save millions of people.

NEWTON: The amount of cases really mounting. It's arguable as to whether or not even the (INAUDIBLE) going down in the United States given that testing has also come down a little bit. But then you are seeing these surges as well in Europe, and even certain parts of Asia, certainly, India still having a hard time.

What does that tell us about this disease? This pandemic? And what we are in store for the next six to eight months?

COMPTON-PHILLIPS: I think that it's going to be a rough six to eights months. You know, Doctor Redfield, the head of the CDC, has been warning for a while that fall could be bad. And there's a couple of reasons. One is that we know outside is better than inside, and that further apart is better, wearing a mask is better, right. And those things are a little bit easier in the summertime. You can be outside; you can be socially distanced in a simpler way.

When people in the fall have to move inside, we have to double down on the things people are getting sick and tired of doing. They want to be around their friends. They don't want to be socially distant anymore. They are tired of wearing masks.

But you know what? We can't stop. If we stop, particularly with the amount of virus that's in circulation right now, we're only going to see rapid escalation in the cases.

So everyone, please wear those masks, stay apart, don't get tired of it yet. It's a few more months.

NEWTON: Yes, fingers crossed, we're not saying years. We're saying a few more months. A hard winter ahead, like you were saying.


NEWTON: Doctor, thank you so much. Really appreciate it.


NEWTON: Now, as I was saying there, there are those stunning numbers out of India now. It reported more than 96,000 new infections on Friday, a day after setting a global single day record.

India now has more than 4.5 million confirmed cases nationwide, second only to the United States. Now meantime, the government in Delhi is continuing to try and reopen its economy.

For more we go live to New Delhi, CNN's Vedika Sud joins me now.

Vedika, the issue here is quite complex, isn't it? Because you've got the potential for exponential growth still in India. And at the same time, there seems to be this push to open the economy. What is that doing, really, in terms of infections that we are seeing on the ground?

VEDIKA SUD, CNN REPORTER: Well, let me just start by saying when it came to the second quarter of India's GDP, it suffered a huge setback. The contraction was extremely severe when compared to other countries as well, Paula.

What we're seeing now is for the second consecutive day, the global numbers when it comes to a daily increase in COVID-19 cases have been reached by India yet again. So for two consecutives days India has broken any global record when it comes to (INAUDIBLE) an increase in numbers.

This is serious (ph), of course, in a way. But then you have to keep in mind what the government also is saying that when it comes to reopening India's economy, you just have to coexist with COVID-19. And of course, that's something that not only India's doing, a lot of other countries are doing it as well.

So ever since June, we've seen, you know, the restrictions being lifted across India and with that the cases also going up. India has tested over 54 million samples to date with over 13.3 million samples being tested in just the last two weeks. These are staggering numbers for India because when it started testing initially when COVID hit India, the numbers of testing were extremely low.

You also had Prime Minister Narendra Modi speak on Thursday evening where during a function, he reached out to people to tell them not to take COVID-19 lightly. He said that until a vaccine is available, social vaccine could be the alternative solution where you continue to wear your mask and maintain social distancing, is what he tried to even say to people.

And that is what even the doctor that you were talking to before we spoke, is saying. That's something that is a dilemma for India as well.

[01:39:55] SUD: A lot of people here have gone complacent because the government

has been talking about the low recovering rate and -- rather the high recovery rate and the low fatality rate because of which complacency seems to have set in, and you see people on the streets without masks, as well as not maintaining social distancing, which is a huge worry here in India, Paula.

NEWTON: Yes. The pandemic fatigue seems to be universal at this point.

SUD: Yes.

NEWTON: And it is a problem, as you say.

Vedika Sud for us, really appreciate it.

To France now where new coronavirus infections are at a record high. The country reported nearly 10,000 new cases on Thursday. To be clear, that's its largest daily increase since the pandemic began.

Now, the startling numbers have led government officials to reconsider the possibility of imposing local lockdowns. So far, more than 30,000 people have died from the virus in France. That's according to Johns Hopkins University counts.

Now, an ancient city in Mexico has lasted 2,000 years, but it was the coronavirus pandemic that shut the tourist destination down.

Matt Rivers is on the scene there as the holy city reopens to the public.


MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Throughout its more than 2-000-year existence, centuries of wars, gods, empires, colonizers, tourists -- something new this week at the ancient city of Teotihuacan, northeast of Mexico City -- masks, temperature checks and sanitizers.

EMILIANO, CELIS, TOURIST: Ok, the measures that they are taking.

RIVERS: One of Mexico's cultural touchstones reopened to the public Thursday after a COVID-19 based closure in March. Among the new rules, capacity capped at 3,000 visitors a day with safe distancing.

Tourist Carla Hernandez said we're still not at 100 percent, but in open air, it's doable to go out and enjoy it.

But this reopening is about more than just giving tourists something to do. It's also a sign that Mexico is trying to jump-start its tourism sector.

Consider that in 2018, nearly 9 percent of Mexico's overall GDP came as a result of activity in the tourism industry. An industry that has been decimated as of late. At the Mexico City and Cancun airports, the country's busiest, July international arrivals were down by 90 and 84 percent respectively. The IMF says Mexico's GDP might fall more than 10 percent this year. There's hope that reopening might bring tourists, which might bring relief.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We feel like now you've got to the opportunity to start moving around.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just as long as, we know, keep our distance. Stay safe.

RIVERS: Ben, John and Gilberto are Americans on a Mexican road trip -- their first vacation during the pandemic.

It isn't weird for you to kind of be out doing things again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. It definitely is. To see people again, yes, definitely not the same.

RIVERS: If it were the same, they could climb the fabled steps to the top of the pyramid of the sun where it's said climbers receive special energy.

But Mexico has more than 650,000 coronavirus cases and counting, safe distance and slim stairs don't match, so they are closed. Any spiritual enlightenment these days will have to come on the ground.

Matt Rivers, CNN -- Teotihuacan, Mexico.


NEWTON: So the glass ceiling over at Wall Street just started to crack. Meet the first woman tapped to lead a major U.S. bank, but as little as 2 years ago, in her own words, it really seemed out of reach. We will play that sound for you.

Stay with us.



NEWTON: U.S. stocks took a dive on Thursday in what was a wild session, we're getting used to those. First time jobless claims came in higher than expected and claims under the pandemic unemployment assistance program went up yet again.

Now, the Dow finished almost 1.5 percent lower, while the S&P 500 fell close to 1.8 percent. The tech-heavy Nasdaq meantime continued its drop nearly 2 percent. It did manage to stay out of correction territory, but only just.

Now, there was one piece of good news out of Wall Street Thursday, Citigroup has made history by naming Jane Fraser as its next CEO. I remind everyone, it is 2020. She is the first woman to lead a major U.S. Bank.

Now, she's set to take over in February about 16 years after she joined Citi. In 2018, CNN's Poppy Harlow asked Fraser about potentially breaking the glass ceiling on Wall Street.

Have a listen to what she had to say.


POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Do you think because you have been called the number one woman to watch for consecutive years by American banker, it has a lot of people wondering, murmuring whether you may be the first woman to be CEO of a major American bank?

JANE FRASER, CEO, CITIGROUP: I think the piece that's most exciting out there is the fact that we've got a different generation running banks, who I think have a much -- are much more in tune with what's going on. And I look forward to seeing a woman being the first CEO of a Wall Street firm, whoever that may be.

HARLOW: Is it a dream? Is it a goal, one day? Either CEO of Citi or CEO of one of the other big banks to break that proverbial glass ceiling but also because you know you could do it.

FRASER: I do feel I'm running a business in running a bank today, I have the privilege of running the National Bank of Mexico of my colleagues down in Mexico and a very large organization. And sometimes, it is much more fun to be able to run a division of a business because it's not the same limelight as it is when you are running a public organization.

I never had the ambition to be the CEO of Citi or any other organization. Things can change over time, but at the moment, I have still got a lot to learn.


NEWTON: The modesty there. We go to CNN's John Defterios, who is live in Abu Dhabi.

You know, Jane Fraser's promotion, you know, we all applauded, and you heard my cynicism there about it being 2020. But in the context of the U.S., of course, it's a big move, but in Europe, you know, there are examples of women, you know, executives doing quite well in some of these banks. A couple of them happened to my friends, in fact. So, it does depend on which continent you're on.


JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Yes, that's true, Paula because through the prism of the United States this is a very big deal, but I would say Wall Street is a bit late to the party. You can hear by the accent that Jane also is not from the United States.

So, kudos there, they brought an international player to head one of the largest institutions in the world, by the way. It's in the top 10, has assets of $2 trillion. So it is a major deal and also a challenging time, right. We cannot overlook that.

Michael Corbat handled the global financial crisis a decade ago but she has COVID-19. And for those who think this is going to last 12 months they're mistaken because it will within the U.S. and global economy for the next few years at least, and it's going to be a difficult job to handle.

But as you were suggesting in your question to me, think of some other major players like Anna Botin, who's the executive chairman of Banco Santander in Spain. Her father was a scion of the banking system, but she has done a fantastic job, was in Latin America, the United States, Asia before taking over as executive chairman.

Also Alison Rose who took over one of the largest institutions in the U.K., the city of London, the financial center. She took that job last year and applauded for her work within the institution as well.

Then we have to think in the context of international organizations or the public sector. Christine Lagarde, Paula, obviously -- the International Monetary Fund, now at the European Central Bank, really respected.

Her successor at the IMF, Kristalina Georgieva who was at the World Bank before, I interviewed her back in February. Really well respected throughout the international financial community.


DEFTERIOS: And then let's circle back to the United States to Janet Yellen, who was the chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, and before that served as vice chair. Again, this is not new, but man, did they need to do it on Wall Street? It was well overdue -- let's put it that way.

NEWTON: Yes. And you mentioned COVID, of course, it'll be interesting to see with her there, because of course, many, you know, there were mainly men around the table after the great recession, as you and I covered the fallout from that.

Ok, we have to talk about that mining giant. It has removed its global CEO over a major incident in western Australia at a sacred indigenous site. Now, this has been brewing for a while, as you understand it.

DEFTERIOS: You know, Paula, this is extraordinary because it was in the courts for seven years. So, Rio Tinto cannot say that they didn't have any opposition to this blowing up of a site that's 46,000 years old, called the Juukan Gorge which is extraordinary.

So Jean-Sebastien Jacques who was the CEO and two other senior executives were shown the door, but again, why did the mining company resist this for so long if there was public pressure, in which to do so, and do something about it? The chairman suggested in a statement, very blunt words, "What happened at Juukan was basically wrong, saying that they broke through all their own internal governance procedures, and they had some very loud voices from the global communities saying this was extraordinarily done poorly within the organization.

NEWTON: Yes. you wonder, as you said, though the accountability. I mean seven years. John Defterios, so good to see you. Thank you for joining us live there from Abu Dhabi. Appreciate it.

DEFTERIOS: Thank, Paula.

NEWTON: Now, a warning from Microsoft about the U.S. Presidential election. The company says hackers from Russia, China, and Iran are trying to interfere in the race. But are they succeeding? That's key.

CNN's Donie O'Sullivan has more on Microsoft's statements and what experts are saying about this.


DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN REPORTER: Yes. There is a lot to unpack here in this Microsoft announcement. Microsoft saying that the same Russian hacking group that's tied to Russian military intelligence that broke into the Democratic Party here in the U.S. in 2016 has recently tried to hack both national and state parties here in the United States, as well as political consultants working with republicans and democrats.

Microsoft also saying that Chinese hackers targeted vice president Joe Biden's campaign and at least one person formerly associated with the Trump administration.

And when it comes to Iran, Microsoft is saying that in May and June, Iranian hackers tried to log into the accounts of Trump administration officials, and Trump campaign staff.

Now it is important to point out here that Microsoft is not saying that these attacks on the campaigns specifically were successful but it's also true that there is much more attempts happening on other services beyond Microsoft. But what Microsoft described as happening, does somewhat match what the intelligence community said recently, when they put out a statement, saying that Iran, Russia, and China were all seeking to interfere in the 2020 election.

Of course, one of the big fears here is that a situation might play out like what happened in 2016, where Russian hackers broke into Democratic Party emails, Hillary Clinton campaign emails, and then distributed them across the Internet, and caused chaos in the final weeks of the election campaign.

Back to you.


NEWTON: And thanks for that, Donie.

And we will be right back with more news here on CNN NEWSROOM.



NEWTON: A four-year-old girl in Connecticut is becoming a movie star, a home star, that is. She and her dad have been having a blast recreating famous film scenes, thanks to being quarantined during the pandemic.

Jeanne Moos has more.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Remaking classic film scenes, nothing new. But a kid knocking off Jack Nicholson's crazed eyes, hacking through the door just like Jack.



MOOS: Here is Mattie. Mattie Presser is a Connecticut four-year-old who starred in remade scenes from movies ranging from "Braveheart" to "The Godfather" to the "Wizard of Oz".

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'll get you, my pretty.

PRESSER: I'll get you, my pretty. And your little dog too.

MOOS: How could Ozzy the family dog, not appear in the "Wizard of Oz? Her dad directs.

DAN PRESSER, FATHE: For Mattie's preparation, we usually show her the clip on YouTube, so she can kind of get into character, you know.

MOOS: It all started with "The Lion King", the family was just trying to kill time, creatively, during quarantine.

D. PRESSER: That's the silver lining of this miserable year.

MOOS: Dan Presser is a producer at ESPN. His youngest son, 21-month- old Barton has frequent cameos, usually crying.

M. PRESSER: Are you crying?

TOM HANKS, ACTOR: There's no crying in baseball.

M. PRESSER: There's no crying in baseball.

D. PRESSER: He's a very good crier. Believe it or not, we don't have to do much to get that out of him, either. That's all natural talent.

MOOS: Sometimes, the material is a bit adult, but dad just feeds the kids lines from isolated g-rated clips from "Pretty Woman".


M. PRESSER: Big mistake. Big.

MOOS: To "Thelma and Louise".

Since the Pressers didn't have a nearby cliff, they used a pile of dirt where a house was being built. You would think Mattie might want to be an actress, but no.

M. PRESSER: Cowboy.

D. PRESSER: A cowboy.

MOOS: She just started writing lessons. Mattie played Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic, and repeatedly played Tom Hanks.

HANKS: My mom always said --

M. PRESSER: -- life is like a box of chocolates.

MOOS: Using cardboard from paper towels, to serve as Forrest Gump's leg braces.

Requests for donations, accompanying the videos, have raised over $12,000 for the charity Feeding America.

Mattie's favorite role? Was in "Home Alone".

M. PRESSER: I like jumping on the bed.

MOOS: While eating popcorn, just like Macaulay Culkin did and if Dad really wants a good performance?

D. PRESSER: You know, she's very easy to work with, especially if you throw a fruit snack out there every once in a while, you know.

MOOS: Or as the pint-sized starlet puts it.

M. PRESSER: Fruit snacks, now.

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN -- New York.


NEWTON: A box of chocolates, a bag of popcorn goes a long way, apparently, in that family. That's a great story.

I'm Paula Newton. CNN newsroom is back after a quick break.

Stay with us.