Return to Transcripts main page


U.S. Supreme Court Confirmation Hearing Underway; Trump Returns To Campaign Trail Despite Public Health Risks; COVID-19 Cases Rising Sharply In Parts Of Europe. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired October 12, 2020 - 10:00   ET



BECKY ANDERSON, CNN ANCHOR: Well this hour we have been watching the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing for Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald

Trump's nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court.

I'm Becky Anderson. Hello and welcome to what is CONNECT THE WORLD.

Well, two highstakes political clashes unfolding at this hour. The presidential race of course now just 22 days away, but perhaps just as

consequential for America, the break-neck speed the Trump administration is moving to fill the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg seats on the U.S. Supreme

Court. Judge Barrett right now before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee a confirmation could have a profound impact on the Affordable HealthCare Act,

abortion rights, even the presidential race itself if the results are in dispute. Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham expects a contentious but

predictable outcome.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): This is probably not about persuading each other unless something really dramatic happens. All Republicans will vote

yes and all Democrats will vote no.


ANDERSON: Well, high-call confirmation hearings aren't moving at a dizzying pace. CNN legal Analyst Joan Biskupic is watching for us and his live for

you. It was interesting, wasn't it? You heard what Lindsey Graham said then which some of our viewers, therefore might feel. What's the point of these


JOAN BISKUPIC, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes. Hello, Becky. That -- I think that's right. You know, this is a done deal. I don't anticipate any surprise. We

don't, you know, shut that out completely. But as Chairman Lindsey Graham said, Republicans have the votes. We're going to get through this soon. And

you can tell from the tone of Democrats, Becky, they know that Republicans have the votes.

So, they're trying to make their case to the American people on two other issues. One, the Affordable Care Act, which will be argued before the

Supreme Court on November 10th that a new Justice Barrett could possibly be sitting on and then of course, our November 3rd election, and that

President Donald Trump has said that he wants this ninth justice in place, because he anticipates that an election dispute can go to the Supreme


So, you're -- what we're hearing so far and this is just day one, are a lot of, you know, that references to those two key dates, November 3rd

election, November 10th arguments over the Affordable Care Act. And with Republican speaking confidently trying to shut down any line of contentious

questions that would come on Tuesday or Wednesday, and Democrats themselves seeming to shy away from anything that would hurt them in the election


ANDERSON: This is a week-long process as you suggest. Should these hearings be heard at all at this point given that we are some 22 days away from a

U.S. election?

BISKUPIC: That's right. And you will remember that back in 2016 when Justice Antonin Scalia passed away in February of that election year,

Republicans shut down any consideration of then President Obama's nominee, man by the name of Merrick Garland. And they held that vacancy for about a

year, whereas this time around as everyone is observed on both sides of the aisle, this is a break neck speed. People are voting right now in the

November 3rd election.

They're mailing in balance. We are, you know, just three weeks from the election. And, you know, what happened to the argument that the next

president should choose the next justice? That's not being adhered to here. And what Democrats say essentially is, we have nothing to do with throw up

our hands.

ANDERSON: Fact is these hearings are happening just three weeks out from the election. So, who is Amy Coney Barrett?

BISKUPIC: Well, she's a 48-year-old mother of seven children. She will be playing up her family at many points in her own opening statement and

likely throughout the hearing. She's been a Notre Dame law professor for many years. In 2017, President Donald Trump put her on a powerful appellate

court here based in Chicago, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. She does not have a deep record of rulings on that court.

Although she does have a deep record of scholarship before she went on that court. And together it shows her being incredibly conservative which is,

you know, what President Donald Trump wants. She has also spoken about her continued alliance and allegiance to the late Justice Scalia for whom she

was a law clerk who was one of the most conservative members of the bench.

Someone who has -- used to dissent all the time in abortion cases, he was very much against abortion rights. He was against same sex marriage. As I

said he was one of the conservative icon here and she is at least setting herself up in some ways to follow in his footsteps. Now, things might be

different when you're actually on the Supreme Court compared to being an academic or a lower court judge.

But that's what we're seeing so far. And we'll have -- her personality will be fleshed out a little bit more, Becky, over the next couple days. But I

have to say having gone back and rewatch her during the 2017 hearings for the appeals court post, she is incredibly disciplined, is likely not to

have any mishaps and to be very poised and not defensive to senators as she deflects their questions.

ANDERSON: Fascinating. The week will be an interesting one. Thank you. While his Supreme Court nominee is in Washington, President Trump himself

is headed back out on the campaign trail. Today he plans to hold a rally in Florida ignoring the public health risk of scattering people during a

pandemic to remind you he only got out of the hospital a week ago. Mr. Trump says he is now tested negative for the coronavirus.

But the White House has not provided any proof of that. The President will be holding additional rallies over the next several days or at least nine

people who attended a Trump rally in Minnesota last month have been infected with coronavirus. One of them is currently in the hospital in an

intensive care unit.

Well, public health and playing politics, new restrictions and growing anger or doing a number on hard working people trying to figure out how not

to wind up at a food bank or in a hospital. The ugly truth is that this second wave of COVID-19 cases is hitting Europe like a tsunami. Take a look

at these numbers. Leaders frantic trying to get a grip on the intensifying crisis that you see reflected here.

In Germany, nearly every major city in the country is now a virus hotspot. Stuck out asking the military for help fighting the pandemic and we will

hear about new restrictions very shortly from the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson about to unveil a three-tiered system of alerts for England.

And that is not without controversy. Our correspondence sidetracking developments across Europe.

For you in fact they are in the sort of nerve centers of power as it were. CNN's Nic Robertson is standing by for us outside 10 Downing Street in

London. First let's get you to Scott McLean who is near the Reichstag in Berlin. What is the story that -- what's the feeling on the ground as well,

we keep reporting these numbers and certainly, Scott, you know, the picture is very worrying. How are people feeling in Germany?

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Becky. Look, Germans have been quite good up until this point of following all of the

coronavirus restrictions, but there seems to be a bit of a fatigue setting in as to what they can and cannot do. And you can certainly understand

that. Germany had one of the best coronavirus responses in Europe. It seemed to have tackled the virus. This summer was quite good with cases

quite low.

The death toll was a quarter of what the U.K. had recorded. It was even sending ventilators to other countries because they had a surplus. Ad so,

Germany had all the reasons in the world to do a sort of coronavirus victory lap but now things seem to be getting out of control. Almost all

large cities in this country are now considered coronavirus hotspots. Stuttgart is even calling in the military for help.

And here in Berlin, well, this is the hottest of hotspots. In fact, night - - not nightclubs, but bars and restaurants have had to close early starting just this past weekend because of this spike in cases, which is quite the

blow for a city, which is really famed for its nightlife. Today is also the beginning of the fall break. So, two weeks off of school, you would think

that this would be prime time for Germans to go on holiday.

But right now it's not so appealing to go abroad, given the web of rules and quarantine restrictions in other countries. It's also not very

appealing in many cases to go from a so-called high-risk area like Berlin or like some of the other big cities in this country to other parts of

Germany even because each state makes their own rules, and it is a real hodgepodge. And so, in some cases, the states or the areas require you to

have a negative test within the last 48 hours before checking into a hotel room.

In other cases, you have to have that negative test and then also quarantine on top of that. So, that is leading to really long lines at

testing sites in these high-risk areas like Berlin. It's also leading to a lot of cancellations in some of these tourist destinations. The Health

Minister has warned about the uncontrolled spread of the virus. But at least from what we heard today from officials Becky, it seems like a second

nationwide lockdown isn't so much on the agenda because like the U.K., this government's priority is getting the economy restarted and getting schools

or keeping schools open.


ANDERSON: Yes, Nic. Look, that picture across Europe is an ugly one. The story in the U.K. it seems equally as alarming. There does seem to be a

drip feed of incremental restrictions across Britain, none of which seem to be working out. I mean, when you consider these numbers continue to rise,

is it clear what is going on? In the first instance and secondly, what is it that the Prime Minister is about to announce?

I mean, these are -- these are restrictions specifically for England, will they be reflected elsewhere?

MCLEAN: I think the vote -- you almost you could say that they've been preempted to a degree in Scotland and Northern Ireland, the First Minister,

Deputy First Minister over there talking about having a national lockdown. So again, Northern Ireland may be before the U.K., what the Prime Minister

is expected to announce today will bring clarity to what has been a series of different regional and local lockdown measures that have been frankly

confusing for the population confusing even for the Prime Minister at time.

So, three tiers that is expected to introduce today medium, high and very high. We still don't know what it requires to hit one of those levels. And

we don't know what it means if you hit one of those levels. We know that the city of Liverpool, for example, will be at the highest level with --

that's what Liverpool is expecting there. The gyms, the pubs, the casinos will shut down. Will the restaurant shut down? That wasn't clear this

morning that's been debated.

No, the Prime Minister is going to come out of here shortly on his way to Parliament. So, we will begin to find out in the next half an hour what he

plans. But we've heard from medical officials earlier today and the medical director of England for the National Health Service was very clear and

straightforward and his warning for the population. This is how he laid out what it looks like right now.


STEPHEN POWIS, NATIONAL MEDICAL DIRECTOR NHS ENGLAND: It is a sad truth that whilst we've done much to improve the care of those who are infected,

while scientific research continues apace, there is still no cure, nor no vaccine for COVID-19. That means, sadly, as the number of those infected

increases, then so will the number of people who die.


MCLEAN: So, you've had three of the emergency overflow hospitals put on standby in the north of the country. And of course, the criticisms of Prime

Minister has faced and the fine line he has toward is that local councils have been saying exactly what you were saying, Becky. Show us the data that

tells us what we're doing is correct because in some areas, lockdowns have been in place and the -- or partial lockdowns have been in place.

But the infection rates have not been coming down. That's in some areas. So, there's this disparity between what local authorities want and also how

they think they can contribute to what the government's doing and the decisions it's making and how they can help out in the -- in the test and

trace. So, there's a -- this is a very difficult find political line for the prime minister to walk. Business is a big part of that, Becky.

ANDERSON: Nic, very briefly, we've been talking for some time now about this sort of complacency, this fatigue, with restrictions that has sadly,

allowed for this spike across Europe, it has to be said. No finger pointing at any one country at this point, because it's a mess all over the place.

As the Prime Minister gets set to announce these new measures, this new tearing of restrictions, are people taking this seriously?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: That was the intention of the, you know, announcements by medical officials earlier today. The

reality is that there is a sense and you see the pictures on the video show up the day after when pubs turned out in London over the weekend, there

were people playing a game of cricket in the street for example. And fingers have been pointed particularly towards a younger community.

But the point being made by officials today was we cannot really believe that we can allow young people to mingle and go out and drink and have fun

and be infected because they have less likelihood of dying and believe that that won't touch the older population. And medical officials are saying it

is infection rates are on the rise in the over 65-year-olds in the over 85- year-olds are on the rise.

They just say it is ridiculous to think that we can try to pretend one part of the population can do one thing and another age bracket of the

population can do another because they will be affected. And again, this is a dilemma faced on the Prime Minister.

ANDERSON: All right. Nic Robertson is outside number 10, the home of the prime minister. And Scott thank you from Berlin. I mean, it does seem very

clear that his people have started to lose patience with restrictions and indeed long for their normal lives. COVID fatigue has become a real



ANDERSON: I'm keen to show you that some of the numbers coming out of this crisis are actually hopeful. Check this out, the race to find an effective

vaccine is really picking up. 42 candidates are now in human trials around the world, including China, the U.S., Germany and the United Kingdom,

amongst others. But health officials are already warning a vaccine will not mean an immediate return to normal life.

And then there is the issue of trust as the former head of the US Centers for Disease Control said at a CNN Coronavirus Town Hall. Have a listen.


DR. THOMAS FRIEDEN, FORMER DIRECTOR, U.S. CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION: Before a vaccine to actually work, it's got to not only be safe

and effective, but also be accessible and trusted. And that's why it's so important that it not get politicized and not be seen as -- from any

political party or political figure. Vaccines are already an area where there's a lot of suspicion, a lot of rumor.

And so, we need to be completely transparent about the information. We need to see vaccines go through the standard procedures, they can go through

them very quickly, but they need to go through all of the standard procedures, no cutting corners on safety.


ANDERSON: Hmm. Well, as we've been reporting, one of those procedures is of course, human trials. Some -- while most of us are trying to avoid the

virus. Some people are volunteering to expose themselves to COVID-19 to try to help with this vaccine research. CNN's Phil Black went to meet some of

those volunteers.


PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Like so many, Estefania Hidalgo has quietly endured the challenge, the inconvenience of living

through a pandemic. But she wanted to do more.

ESTEFANIA HIDALGO, ONE DAY SOONER VOLUNTEER: This was a way for me to take control of the situation, to feel like I was in a more -- or in a less

hopeless place, in a less hopeless world. And be like OK, I can do this, to make it better. I chose not to be in fear.

BLACK: So she volunteered to be deliberately infected with the coronavirus.

HIDALGO: I was shaking but then I just, without knowing, I just typed my name in and was like let's go for it. I want to be a part of it --

BLACK: Shaking?

HIDALGO: Yes. Because it can be scary, right? You're going to be potentially exposed to the virus.


BLACK: Alexander Fraser Urquhart is also very keen to be infected.

FRASER-URQUHART: I've just got the e-mail.

BLACK: He helps with running the recruitment campaign Estefania has signed up to. 1Day Sooner finds volunteers so far tens of thousands around the

world and has been lobbying the U.K. government to make use of them through potentially risky research.

FRASER-URQUHART: I wake up thinking about science trials, I go back to bed thinking about science trials.

BLACK: Challenge trails involve giving young, healthy people a potential vaccine. Like this one developed by London's Imperial College.

Then later, testing it by deliberately dozing them with the virus. Proponents say it's faster than waiting for test subjects to be exposed to

a specific virus in the real world.

With numerous COVID-19 vaccines being developed, some scientists think challenge trials could help identify the best of them sooner.

FRASER-URQUHART: By taking that small risk on myself, I can potentially protect thousands of other peoples from, you know, having to be infected

without consenting to it.

BLACK: Critics say challenge trials have limited use because the young healthy people who take part don't represent the broader population.

They have been used against other viruses.





UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: Through to quarantine then?


BLACK: This is corporate video from a London facility that recruits, exposes and strictly quarantines people to test influenza vaccines.

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: We've got a wonderful safety record that we're all proud of.

BLACK: But there are always risks. Especially with a new virus that's already killed more than a million people.

And epidemiologists say it's likely some volunteers would be needed for a control group, to make sure the virus does -- can cause disease. It means

they'd be exposed to the virus without receiving a vaccine.

The real potential for doing harm to volunteers would be closely scrutinized by regulators.

TERENCE STEPHENSON, CHAIR OF ENGLAND'S HEALTH RESEARCH AUTHORITY: A challenge trial would have to make the cogent argument that the benefits to

society greatly outweighed the risk.

And that that evidence of those data could not be achieved in a simpler or safer way.

BLACK: Test subjects in challenge trials are compensated financially but Alastair's father knows that's not motivating his son.

ANDREW FRASER-URQUHART QC, VOLUNTEER'S FATHER: It's at the forefront of science and technology. It's something to benefit others. It's something

rather brave, it's something slightly different. And that's him in a nutshell.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To be totally honest, I really don't care what he says. I do what I like.

BLACK: A crucial ingredient for any COVID-19 challenge trial will be the determined idealism of its young volunteers.


Phil Black. CNN, London.


ANDERSON: Well, this new coronavirus restrictions linger over England. The mayor of Liverpool is accusing the government of arm twisting or in his

words have locked down by diktat. Mayor Joe Anderson will join me in the next hour to explain what he means by that.

Well, still ahead this hour, the uphill battle against the coronavirus becomes a whole lot steeper in parts of the Middle East. In some countries,

the virus is spreading faster than it ever has before.

And Russia reporting a slight dip in coronavirus cases, but that follows a weekend with his highest daily COVID numbers yet.

After months of being almost virus free China reporting a dozen new locally transmitted cases. We'll have more on all of this coming up.


ANDERSON: With months since this pandemic (INAUDIBLE) had some countries in the Middle East are now seeing their worst spread of the coronavirus.

According to Johns Hopkins University, Iran, Lebanon, Jordan, Tunisia all saw record. Seven-day case counts last week. And here's another number to

note. Half a million total cases, that is the threshold that Iran the worst affected country in the region crossed on Sunday.

On Monday it had a record daily death toll, fast affair. Facemasks are now mandatory in the capital of Tehran and the vast majority of Iran is

considered a coronavirus red zone. Ben Wedeman joining us now from the streets of Beirut. This -- the story in in in Iran clearly not good and the

story where you are equally as depressing.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, indeed. In fact, the last time we spoke Becky, I told you 111 Lebanese towns across the

country had been placed under a total curfew or lockdown. Now that number has been increased to 169. As of today, there will be a 1:00 a.m. to 6:00

a.m. total curfew. Bars, discos and nightclubs will now be closed until further notice.

Nonetheless, today Lebanon schools reopened, classrooms are going to be held at 50 percent capacity. There's going -- there -- instruction is going

to be a mixture of online and in person. But the numbers are rising. We understand that (INAUDIBLE) the hospitals have reached out 82 percent

capacity when it comes to their ability to deal with COVID patient.


WEDEMAN: Nonetheless, there are some rather odd things about the outbreak here, only 459 fatalities from COVID since the first case was recorded on

the 21st of February. That compares to the road fatalities in Lebanon last year, which was 487. And keep in mind that on the fourth of August this

year, when Beirut's port blew up, more than 200 people were killed. So, the Lebanese attitude seems to be fairly relaxed when it comes to the dangers

of coronavirus.

Despite the government's attempts to encourage everyone to wear masks to keep social distancing. That message doesn't seem to be catching on. Most

people more concerned with the dramatically rising cost of living political unrest, the falling value of the Lebanese currency and the fact that this

place hasn't had a proper functioning government in a long time, Becky?

ANDERSON: And they say in a week that effectively celebrates the anniversary of the protests there in Beirut and in towns and cities across

the country. Prayed -- people protesting exactly what you have just laid out. What prospects for any sort of promising movements in Lebanon anytime

soon? Is there a light at the end of the tunnel here?

WEDEMAN: No light at the end of the tunnel at the moment there. The government is paralyzed. We just have a caretaker government. People are

exhausted. There's sort of no on the 18th of October 2019, where I'm standing was full of people protesting, they've gone home, nobody as people

seem to have lost faith in the possibility of any sort of political process leading to the resolution of this country's so many problems.

And therefore, a real sense of hopelessness is beginning to descend, like a dark cloud upon Lebanon where -- what we've seen -- well, you know, with

the Beirut port blast and the withering economy and the lack of any real political leadership to drag this country back out of the abyss. Becky?

ANDERSON: And it's just 27 minutes past the hour or 5:00 o'clock where you are, Ben. I was just -- I had one of my producers remarking in my ear about

the lack of people and traffic on the -- on the road behind you. Is that a reflection, a fair reflection of what is going on in Beirut today?

WEDEMAN: It's a fair reflection of the collapse of the economy, not so much a reflection of concerns about COVID. Yes, under normal circumstances a

year ago today, this road would be busy, it would be rush hour, but between the barriers that have been set up around government headquarters and the

fact that as many as 70 percent of the population may fall below the poverty line by the end of this year.

The pace of this normally very busy country has slowed down dramatically. So yes, that explains why this one's very busy street is pretty empty.


ANDERSON: Ben Wedeman is in Beirut for you. Ben, thank you. That was pandemic. Chaos grips much of the Middle East. There is new hope for peace

in the region. The Israeli Prime Minister and the Emirati Crown Prince are going to meet both soon. The prime minister says the two spoke over the

phone over the weekend for the first time since signing what was that landmark deal in Washington to normalize their relationship.

Stay with us for more on this in the hour to come. When we come back, this hour President Trump returns to the campaign trail. Will this week's

rallies look any different from the ones before he caught the virus?

Plus, the unthinkable is now a reality. As he's running the UAE open a new trading partnership, we will speak with the deputy mayor of Jerusalem about

what is this historic agreement.



ANDERSON: There are 22 days until Election Day in the United States and it is very clear that President Donald Trump thinks he can't wait any longer

to get back on the campaign trail. He will have a rally this evening in Florida. His first since announcing he has coronavirus. The President says

he is tested negative and that attending the rally will be safe. The White House though has not provided any proof of that negative test.

Mr. Trump will have rallies in Iowa and Pennsylvania scheduled for later this week. Well, let's bring in our senior Washington correspondent Joe

Johns to discuss the president getting back on the trail. And anybody who thought that he would sort of sit at the White House and see this out.

Well, they were --- they were vastly wrong, weren't they?

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: They absolutely were and this is not surprising because the fact of the matter is in a presidential

campaign, when you're down in the polls and a lot of the polls show the president down by double digits. That's what you do. You hit the road even

though in this case, as you said, we don't have a negative test in the president.

The president also says he's immune from coronavirus, but that's an unsettled question of science.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're starting very, very big with our rallies and with our everything.

JOHNS: With just 22 days until Election Day, Trump is ramping up his campaigning causing rising concerns about potential coronavirus spread

among rally goers. The Minnesota Department of Health reporting at least nine cases linked to a Trump rally in September landing one patient in the


TRUMP: There's a lot of people. That's great. Thank you very much.

JOHNS: Well, the President claims he has tested negative for the virus nine days after he initially revealed his positive diagnosis. His physician Dr.

Conley only says he is not a transmission risk to others.

DR. ROCHELLE WALENSKY, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: We know that the PCR test usually remains positive for some period of time up to in fact, 12 weeks

after your initial positive,

JOHNS: Much still remains unknown about the President's condition. And Trump himself is now saying he's immune from the virus.

TRUMP: I beat this crazy, horrible China virus and it also gives you immunity. I mean, it does give you immunity. But I have to tell you, I feel

fantastically. I really feel good. And I even feel good by the fact that, you know, the word immunity means something having really a protective

glow. It means something I think it's very important to have that.

JOHNS: According to medical experts. Much is still unknown about the immune response to the virus and there was no proven immunity.

DR. CELINE GOUNDER, FORMER NYC ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER OF HEALTH: Yes, the President has tested positive for coronavirus antibodies but he was treated

with antibodies produced by Regeneron. Those Regeneron antibodies are going to be floating around for a while.


JOHNS: Meanwhile, Dr. Anthony Fauci speaking out after he says the Trump campaign used his words out of context, and without his consent and a

campaign video. Fauci tells CNN in my nearly five decades of public service, I have never publicly endorsed any political candidate. The

comments attributed to me without my permission in the GOP campaign ad were taken out of context from a broad statement I made months ago about the

efforts of federal public health officials. The President defending the ad tweeting, they are indeed Fauci's own words.


The Democratic nominee Joe Biden is also on the campaign trail today scheduled to go out to Ohio. Meanwhile, the Trump campaign is slamming the

presidential debate commission for canceling the second debate, even though it was the President himself, who said he wasn't going to participate if it

was held virtually. All eyes now on October 22nd which is the potential date for the next debate. Becky? Becky, back to you.

ANDERSON: Joe Johns in the house out of Washington for you. And CNN digital as details on what to expect from all things domestic U.S. news including

the Senate Judiciary hearings that we discussed at the start of this hour. There is plenty of analysis on on how these last-minute hearings

may impact everything from healthcare to LGBT rights in the states. That is

Well, much like in the USA is an alarming rise of COVID-19 cases in Russia. For three consecutive days. Russia reported record high increases with

Sunday topping out as the highest daily increase since the pandemic began today. There's a slight decrease from that high but it is still the second

highest number of daily cases so far. I want to bring in senior international correspondent Fred Pleitgen reporting for us in Moscow.

And look, you know, no finger pointing here in it to add any one -- single one country because we've been reporting on this sort of tsunami of cases

across Europe for example, but the system of fighting coronavirus created in Russia makes it possible to refrain from going over to a full lockdown.

That is the view of the Kremlin spokesman despite the current increase in the number of cases. Do explain what Dmitry Peskov means by that.

FRED PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, essentially, Dmitry Peskov, he said that earlier on a call with journalists, and

essentially he said, what he meant is the fact that they had so many more new hospital beds now. ICU beds here in Russia that they had prepared for

spikes that might happen. And essentially, what Peskov is saying is that they could avoid a full lockdown to happen once again because of course,

Russia was on a very, very tight lockdown for a long period of time with people literally stuck in their apartment -- apartments for a month.

He says that's something that can be avoided. But if you listen to the local authorities here, especially in Moscow, which Becky is, really by far

the epicenter here in Russia with around 4400 cases in the past new cases, in the past 24 hours alone, they are saying that there might have to be

additional measures. Right now, it's school holidays here in Moscow in other places in Russia as well.

They sort of extended those a little bit or started those a little bit more early just to keep kids out of school just to make sure that there's a

little bit less public life going on a little bit less interaction between people. But the authorities here and the Russian capital in other places as

well, are saying that people really do need to stick by these pandemic measures, wear masks, indoors in public spaces, and also try to physically

distance as well.

Otherwise new measures could be upcoming. Now, so far, the authorities have not said what those measures are. But despite the fact, Becky, of course,

we've been talking so much about the fact that the Russians have also -- have already certified their vaccine against the novel coronavirus. That

vaccine is still far away from being widely available to the general population. And therefore, they are saying people need to stick to these


Otherwise tougher measures might be ahead. And certainly, the numbers that we're seeing, as you've noted have been very worrying over the past couple

of days. Right now sort of plateauing at 13,600 in the past 24 hours, Becky.

ANDERSON: Fred Pleitgen on the story for you in Moscow today. Thank you, Fred. Well, coming up, this pandemic has sports fans around the world

hunkering down at home except in New Zealand. We're going to have more on the rugby match that has an awful lot of people talking.



ANDERSON: Well, sports fans getting a taste of what life was like before COVID-19 swept the globe. Remember those days? Well, viewers Sunday pretty

stunned off to seeing images of fans not wearing masks in a packed stadium as test rugby resumes in New Zealand. All the while much of the sporting

world still holding spectator less events. Amanda Davies with more. Amanda?

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN INTERNATIONAL SPORTS ANCHOR: Thanks, Becky. I mean, we've started slowly, slowly getting some events. Back with fans here in

Europe, haven't we? We had 1000 today at the French Open. A few here and there at the Formula One but these scenes were like something out of an

alternative reality. Oh, I have to say how I missed them. But these are scenes that have massively divided sports fans around the world as the

impacts of the pandemic continue to be felt 31,000 fans.

I mean, it's so difficult to kind of put that into context at the moment. You know, it's obviously something that can't be done lightly. There's the

health impacts of huge financial implications that we're talking about here. And this has to be done in the right way, doesn't it? I'm choosing

say it positively as a ray of light in the dark. We are going to get there across the world again with the chance to see the kind of history that's

played out this weekend in so many sports in person once again soon but only when it's right, Becky.

ANDERSON: Absolutely. This is what happens. I guess when you get a handle on the pandemic which is certainly what has happened in New Zealand but

you're right to point out people have got to be so careful but it is great to see a packed stadium. Amanda, is that with World Sport after this short

break, I'll be back. Top of the hour for you with the second hour of CONNECT OF THE WORLD. Stay with us.