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Growing Concerns about Impact of Virus on Children; Putin: Russia Approves "World First" COVID-19 Vaccine; Growing Fears Ground Ship Could Split in Half; Security Questions Raised Surrounding TikTok and WeChat; Top U.S. College Conferences Postpone Football Seasons. Aired 1-2a ET
Aired August 12, 2020 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm John Vause. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.
Ahead this hour. The wait is over. Joe Biden announces Kamala Harris as his running mate for the upcoming presidential election.
Coronavirus restrictions making a comeback in New Zealand. The nation has its first locally transmitted case in more than 100 days.
And Russia claiming it has the world's first coronavirus vaccine. Really? There's a lot of skepticism, to say the least.
It is the biggest decision Joe Biden has faced so far in his bid for the White House, his choice for vice president.
He promised it would be a woman, many demanded a black woman. A nod to African American voters whose unflinching support saved Biden's failing campaign during the party primary.
And in the end, he went with the woman many saw as the most likely choice. The junior senator from California, Kamala Harris.
Making her the first black woman, the first candidate of Indian descent, the first Asian to be running for the White House.
CNN's Arlette Saenz begins our coverage.
ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: The Democrat ticket is set with Joe Biden selecting California senator Kamala Harris as his running mate.
Biden informed Harris of his decision over a zoom call from his Delaware home on Tuesday.
Now the two faced off during the democratic primary as they were both running for president, including a heated debate moment over school bussing.
But ultimately, Biden has said he doesn't hold grudges, and decided to go with the experienced campaigner as his partner on the democratic ticket.
Now, Kamala Harris is one of only three women to ever be picked for the vice presidential slot on a major party ticket.
But she's also making history of her own, as the first woman of color to be in that vice presidential nominee position.
She is the daughter of immigrants. Her mother, from India, her father, from Jamaica.
So this is quite the historic pick, selecting her. Particularly as Biden had faced some pressure to place a woman of color on the ticket with him.
Now Biden and Harris will appear for the first time together as the democratic ticket, here in Wilmington, Delaware.
They will deliver remarks before holding a grassroots virtual fund- raiser with their supporters to try to energize the base and all of their supporters heading into November's election.
Arlette Saenz, CNN. Wilmington, Delaware.
VAUSE: Throughout the Veep stakes process, former President Barack Obama was a sounding board for Joe Biden.
And on Harris, the most popular Democrat in the U.S. says she is more than prepared for the job.
Barack Obama wrote this:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
"Her own life story is one that I and so many others can see ourselves in.
A story that says that no matter where you come from, what you look like, how you worship or who you love, there's a place for you here."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
The 2016 Democrat nominee, Hillary Clinton, tweeted:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
"I'm thrilled to welcome Kamala Harris to a historic Democrat ticket. She's already proven herself to be an incredible public servant and leader.
And I know she'll be a strong partner to Joe Biden.
Please join me in having her back and getting her elected."
(END VIDEO CLIP) The Atlanta mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms, was not only in the running but she had been a loyal supporter of Biden during some of the darkest days of his campaign.
Here's what she had to say:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS, ATLANTA, GEORGIA: I immediately thought of my nine-year old daughter, and what this will mean to her. To look at television and to see someone who reflects all that we encourage our girls to be. And that's someone who is courageous, someone who works hard. Someone
who's obviously intelligent and well studied. And someone who cares and is willing to put themselves out to serve others.
And so, it makes me proud. But I think more than that, it should make our country proud.
That there would be representation at the highest office, that represents who we are as a diverse people, and what we value as a country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Reaction from the White House and President Trump was nothing, if not predictable.
Here's CNN's Jeremy Diamond.
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it took less than two minutes into President Trump's first comment on the historic pick of Kamala Harris as Joe Biden's running mate, the first black woman to be on a major party ticket, for the president to refer to her as "nasty and mean and disrespectful."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Plus she was very, very nasty to -- one of the reasons that surprised me, she was very -- she was probably nastier then even Pocahontas to Joe Biden.
She was very disrespectful to Joe Biden.
And it's hard to pick somebody that's that disrespectful. When she said things during the debates, during the Democratic primary debates, that were horrible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DIAMOND: Now those attacks play directly into racist and sexist stereotypes about black women.
But the president making clear that he is not going to shy away from his divisive political playbook, one that he used during the 2016 campaign when he referred to Hillary Clinton during a debate as as "nasty woman."
And one, of course, that he has used since, during his time as president.
Now despite the fact that the president insisted that Senator Harris was his number one draft pick in terms of somebody who Vice President Biden would pick as his running mate, Trump campaign advisers are making very clear to me that Kamala Harris was by no means their number one pick.
They would've much rather seen somebody much more divisive, much more controversial, like the former national security adviser Susan Rice, or California congresswoman Karen Bass.
Those people, the Trump campaign advisers feel, they would've been able much more easily to brand them as part of this radical left.
But nonetheless, the Trump campaign making very clear in its statement on Tuesday that they will continue with that strategy. To tie both Senator Harris and former Vice President Joe Biden as part of this radical left.
Despite the fact that Senator Harris is viewed as much more of a moderate within the Democratic Party. So much so, that she was even attacked by progressives as not progressive enough during the Democratic primary in 2020.
Jeremy Diamond. CNN, the White House.
VAUSE: And to Los Angeles. We have CNN political commentators Angela Rye and former -- she's former director of the Congressional Black Caucus, and Van Jones, a veteran of the Obama administration.
It's great to have you both with us. It's rare, and it's great.
OK. Angela, just quickly, off the top. An historic choice but it seems at the same time, a very predictable and safe choice, which doesn't seem to rock the boat a whole lot.
ANGELA RYE, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I don't know what boat we're in, but it definitely is rocking the boat, it's definitely moving the ocean, we definitely are feeling the waves of it. It is both controversial and historic at the same time.
Kamala Harris is not a safe choice. There was a lot of pushback about Kamala Harris up until this point.
In fact, I think that had everything to do with how long it took Vice President Biden to decide if he would choose Kamala Harris.
At the same time, it is exactly the type of momentum he needs around this historic election.
Joe Biden's candidacy up until now was hardly discussed.
We've been inundated with racial injustice issues in this country and certainly, with issues around coronavirus.
And so, it is just time for something to happen, to just ignite this ticket. And I think that's exactly what she does.
VAUSE: OK. Well, Van, Angela mentioned the pushback and the blow back and not entirely safe.
Well, here's some of the pushback, if you like. It comes from Briahna Joy Gray, the national press secretary for the Bernie Sanders campaign in 2020.
She tweeted this:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
"We are in the midst of the largest protest movement in American history, the subject of which is excessive policing, and the democratic party chooses a "top cop" and the author of the Joe Biden crime bill to save us from Trump.
The contempt for the base is, wow."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: OK. So can Harris win over those Bernie supporters, is that a fair point?
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR & FORMER OBAMA ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Look, I think what she missed the opportunity to point out is that this is a historic moment. Period.
Shirley Chisholm is happy right now, looking down from heaven. Barbara Jordan is happy right now looking down from heaven. Ella Jo Baker, Fannie Lou Hamer.
Kamala Harris looks like the kind of American who has been saving and rescuing American democracy for centuries. Black women.
She looks more like a champion of the people and a champion for democracy and for justice than anybody who has ever sat in the vice president's chair. Period.
And before you rush to the partisan piece, the progressive piece or whatever, I would encourage her to just at least take a moment to acknowledge that this is a tremendous achievement. And it was hard won.
It was not handed to Kamala Harris. To Angela's point, African American women had to stand up and fight
for this. African American men came right behind to say you are not going to pass over half a dozen qualified black women to pick whoever you want to.
This is a party, the backbone of which is black women.
And by the way, the backbone of the Republican Party are white, male evangelicals.
Nobody was surprised when Pence was picked because that's done in the Republican Party. They honored their base, they recognized their base.
This is the first time in the history of the democratic party the backbone and the base of this party has been recognized and acknowledged.
And I think that on the strength of that alone, a lot of people who want to pick nits right now will be swept along by the tide of support that you're seeing for Kamala Harris.
VAUSE: OK. Well, the Trump campaign was ready for this, an attack ad ready to go.
They released it just moments after the news broke.
Here's part of it:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (Voice Over): Voters rejected Harris. They smartly spotted a phony. But not Joe Biden, he's not that smart.
Biden calls himself a "transition candidate." He is handing over the reins to Kamala while they jointly embrace the radical left.
Slow Joe and Phony Kamala. Perfect together, wrong for America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Angela, the conventional wisdom is that vice presidents don't win an election but only can lose one.
Is Harris the exception here? What does she actually bring specifically to this campaign that will get Biden over the line?
RYE: Well, let's just talk about how her favorability numbers changed and shifted dramatically right after, again, the racial tension in this country reached a fever pitch around George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
Let's talk about how during the Democratic primary season, at every debate, she was armed and ready to serve not only as a debate opponent of the rest of the stage, but a prosecutor of Donald Trump's record.
Let's talk about how she is the only candidate on this ticket, the only running mate -- or the only person on this ticket who has never lost an election. And in fact, has won twice statewide.
So I think that she brings a lot to the ticket, including -- and I don't want to discriminate by age at all but she is only 55. So Kamala also brings a little bit of youth, a little bit of an inter- generational component to this.
And let's also not gloss over the fact that she is the first black person in history to serve in this role. And she would become the first black woman to ever be in the White House above -- or a VP level and above.
I think that's a big deal.
And I'm not just resting on history, I also think that we can look at her senatorial record where she was a lead sponsor of the Justice in Policing Act and has done so much more around criminal justice reform.
VAUSE: I like the fact (inaudible)
RYE: So Briahna's pushback and other -- I'm sorry, Briahna's pushback and for others who are questioning her progressive record, I would actually challenge them to look at her record where she has one of the most progressive in the United States Senate.
VAUSE: I like the fact you said 55 is young. I want you to listen to Donald Trump --
RYE: It is for this ticket.
VAUSE: It is. Absolutely.
On Tuesday, Donald Trump was talking about Biden's announcement earlier in the campaign that he would choose a woman as his running mate.
Listen to this. Here's Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (Captioned): "He had to pick a woman."
Trump (Voice Over, Captioned): He said that, and you know, some people would say that men are insulted by that. And some would say it's fine."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Van, I don't know many men who are insulted by it. But should Biden have said I will choose the best person for the job, not a woman necessarily?
Remove any appearance of tokenism, remove any question about why Harris is on the ticket?
JONES: Look, no matter what he said, if he picked a woman, if he picked an African American, if he picked anybody who wasn't a straight, white male, someone was going to holler tokenism, et cetera.
I think what was important was he recognized that this is a changing party.
And for him to stand there on the stage as he did that night, for CNN, and say I'm going to pick a woman.
To me, it signaled that he understands that in the era of Black Lives Matter, in the era of Me Too, and Time's Up, when you have populist movements rising up in the American people and around the world for change, that he doesn't represent that kind of change. He represents a return to something important.
But the future belongs to a different chorus of voices. And he honored those voices.
And then, when the deal went down, he picked somebody who, as Angela just said -- won at the local level and served with honor. Won at the state level, served with honor. Won a seat in the senate, served with honor. And competed for the presidency.
What more do you have to do to not be a token when you have that kind of a record?
VAUSE: We're out of time, guys. But thank you so much for being with us. And hey, at least the VP debate should be interesting this time around.
RYE: Oh, yes.
VAUSE: Thank you, both.
New Zealand's government has reimposed coronavirus restrictions after reporting its first locally transmitted cases in more than 100 days.
Auckland, the biggest city, where the infections were confirmed, is now under lockdown for at least three days. That prompted a dash for food and other supplies.
Restaurants, bars, retailers, schools; all closed.
The rest of the country is facing less severe travel restrictions but restrictions nonetheless.
For more on that live, to CNN's Will Ripley.
So right now, we're talking four confirmed cases, maybe four more. But the fear is that there a lot more yet to be found.
And one of the things here that officials are looking at is that maybe the virus came into the country via freight.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And that is really interesting because in China they have actually tied some possible cases to packaged food that's come in.
And we know that the virus, COVID-19, can actually live in refrigerated areas for quite some time. It likes colder temperatures.
And so one of the people, one of these four confirmed cases, apparently works at a cargo facility and they're looking at whether this infection came in that way.
Because New Zealand had a 102-day streak of no local transmission.
People would fly in. If there was a case detected, they would immediately be quarantined, isolated, treated. And now they're trying to do the same thing with these confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases. Eight so far.
But New Zealand health officials, John, are saying that they're prepared to test tens of thousands of people in the coming days. And what tends to happen when you test more people, you find more cases.
So right now, the restrictions are level two out of four for all of New Zealand outside of Auckland, level three in Auckland.
You mentioned what that means. Schools closed. They're going to delay the dissolution of parliament by a few days, not sure whether it'll affect the national elections that are scheduled for next month, they say it's too soon to tell.
But this just kind of underscores how seriously New Zealand has taken this from the very beginning.
And it's part of the reason why they one of the first back in June, to the envy of the world, really, to have -- basically declaring the country COVID-free.
Granted it is an island nation with fewer than five million people, not that densely populated. So they do have a lot going for them. But clearly, the government has taken really decisive action.
And they're doing so again, even though the number of cases is still at the moment, quite low.
VAUSE: When we look at the way the New Zealand government has reacted to this from the very beginning, it's been quick and it's been decisive and they've left no room for error in many ways.
And I guess a part of that -- if you look what's happening on the streets of Auckland right now -- this is a city of a million people, it's the biggest city in the country -- police are out there manning checkpoints.
RIPLEY: Yes. And they're doing that because one, to make sure that people are adhering to the lockdown restrictions -- not a full lockdown, obviously, because essential businesses are still open like grocery stores -- but people can't leave their house if they just want to go shopping or go exercise.
That's the kind of thing that for -- at least for the next few days, is going to be banned in Auckland. To try to get people to comply.
If you've ever been to Auckland, it's a city where people drive around a lot. It's not as densely populated as a place like hong Kong, for example, where we have seven million people in a very tight area.
But even here where we also had our own long stretch with no local transmission, and then a third wave that bubbled up -- now that this city has locked down, the number of cases has gone back down to -- it was a couple dozen yesterday compared to triple digits for a long period of time.
New Zealand hoping that by doing what they're doing now, they're going to keep those numbers low. And how ever many cases there are, it's not going to spread like wildfire in that country.
VAUSE: Yes. Auckland, it's kind of like a mini-version of Sydney, if you like. It's got a north shore, a harbor bridge, that kind of stuff. Beautiful city on the water. But yes, not as densely populated as hong Kong, for sure.
Will, thank you.
Will Ripley, live for us there with the details from New Zealand.
Well, from decisive and swift action to contain the coronavirus to whatever it is they're doing in the U.S.
Many states are opening schools, even though community transmission is surging.
In Georgia, though, one school district is seeing first hand the end result of risking the health of students, parents and teachers.
CNN's Nick Valencia has more.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Or maybe a symbol of how it's treated in Woodstock?
JAMIE CHAMBERS: Yes. That are not a big deal, and should not be mandated anywhere.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VALENCIA: Woodstock, Georgia in Cherokee County where Jamie Chambers and his family live, was among the first in the nation to reopen schools. After the first five days of classes, at least fifteen schools or more
than a third of the district reported cases of COVID-19, according to the school district.
As of today, the district said more than 900 students and teachers, from elementary to high school, were asked to stay home and quarantine.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHAMBERS: I would think, objectively, anyone looking at this would see it as a disaster.
But what's ultimately going to happen is, is it's going to spread out, all throughout our area. And there's going to be a lot of people who are in danger because of it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRANDI HEATH [ph]: We were lied to.
VALENCIA: Brandi Heath worries she might be one of those in danger.
At first, the mother of four who says she's immune-compromised elected to send her kids to learn face-to-face but pulled them out two days later after one of her kids came home and said he didn't feel safe.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HEATH: We expected the Cherokee County School District to keep our kids safe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VALENCIA: CNN reached out to Cherokee County School Superintendent, Brian Hightower, who declined a request for an interview.
In a written statement today, he defended reopening schools saying that he had the majority support from parents.
While he stopped short of mandating face coverings, he said:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
"We know all parents do not believe the scientific research that indicates masks are beneficial. But I believe it and see masks as an important measure to help us keep schools open."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Three weeks before school reopened, Chambers wrote an open letter to the superintendent, blasting the district's 77-page reopening plan as flawed alleging it was hastily put together.
He chose to keep his kids home, to learn virtually.
Off camera during our interview, several parents happened to be at the park with their children. Including this self-described teacher who confronted Chambers, accusing him of generating controversy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I hope that you're right, and I'm wrong.
VALENCIA: No one at the park would speak to CNN on camera.
Though one mother said she sent her elementary age kids back to school because they were going to get the coronavirus, quote, "sooner or later."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHAMBERS: We all want it to be normal. We all want our regular lives back. And I have nothing but sympathy and empathy for people who do. But we're not living in normal times.
VALENCIA: Yes. But it looks normal behind us, right now.
CHAMBERS: Yes. And that's the thing. People are just choosing to live as if it is. Until it's impossible to ignore.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VALENCIA: I spoke to a parent in Cherokee County who tells me that they were told by a school principal that they didn't need a mask because they were shielded by God.
It's that kind of cavalier attitude in the county that many parents worry will lead to an increase of infections.
Nick Valencia. CNN, Atlanta.
VAUSE: Still to come. On Monday, the government resigned but on Tuesday, protesters were back in the streets in Beirut.
Now they want the ouster of Lebanon's entire political elite, the ones with the real power.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Demonstrators returned to the streets of Beirut for a fourth night. The government's resignation was just a start, it seems, for their demands. Now they want the ruling elite thrown out.
CNN's Ben Wedeman reports now amid the violence and chaos of these street protests.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SNR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We are outside. Right behind me is the road leading to the Lebanese parliament.
These security forces are right up the street and they have started to fire tear gas in this direction.
What you see now is security forces, it's not clear who they are -- are approaching. They're going to try and clear the street, which is now thick with tear gas.
This is a clash that has taken place just hours after thousands of people held a vigil for the more than 170 people killed, more than 6,000 wounded, and the 300,000 people who lost their homes as a result of the blast one week ago in the port of Beirut.
Now, what we hear -- see here, this is the Lebanese security forces are now approaching. What you're hearing over here, somebody's coughing from the tear gas.
Are now approaching and they are going to put out -- try to put down this protest, these clashes. Which are the -- it's the fourth consecutive evening that we've seen these clashes between protesters angry over the blast in the port of Beirut.
And the failure of the government to account for what actually happened there one week ago and the incredible damage that happened to this city.
I'm Ben Wedeman, CNN, Reporting from Beirut.
VAUSE: And live now to Beirut. CNN's Sam Kiley is with us again.
So, Sam, yes. Getting the prime minister and his cabinet to step down and resign, that's one thing.
Forcing the political elite who have the real power from office or from whatever they do, it's a different ball game altogether.
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it is.
And ultimately, what's going to happen now is that the outgoing government will remain in position as a caretaker administration until a new government is brought in.
And there are not going to be elections so there isn't going to be a change in the political dispensation.
So what happens? Well, the Lebanese political classes go behind closed doors and they try to stitch together a coalition alliance. Which in the previous administration meant an alliance between a predominately Christian party and Hezbollah, a radical Shia movement, that the United States and others in the world consider a terrorist organization.
But it is not just that at all. It is also very much part of the fabric of the political life here in Lebanon.
But that's just one example of the strange bedfellows that you can find in Lebanon as a consequence of the constitution that was drawn up in the wake -- obviously, it was part of the solution to the civil war that ended 30 years ago. Sharing power between the different religious communities in the country; Sunni, Shia, Christian, and Druze.
Now in that context it means that, as far as the protesters are concerned, this traps Lebanon in a previous era.
They want to go forward into a one-man, one-vote dispensation. They want to see an end to foreign influence, particularly of Iran which is extremely influential both financially and politically and culturally and religiously over Hezbollah.
Hezbollah, of course, is operational in a military sense inside Syria, on the side of the Assad regime. It also is very much part of the friction with neighboring Israel.
So in all of this context, there is from the protesters' point of view -- and there's a generational issue at work here. These are young people, a lot of them on the streets calling for change, who were too young to have even been born when the civil war was on, much less recall what had gone on there.
And therefore, they are looking to the future and saying we want to have a much more outward looking, less religiously based political dispensation.
The sort of language that we also heard recently from protesters in Iraq, for example. A very similar political energy.
But in this country, it is bound at the moment by a constitution that insists on a distribution of power according to people's religious backgrounds.
And that is what many of the protesters want to get rid of but the old guard certainly doesn't.
VAUSE: Yes. Calls for revolution versus those who want to hold on to power. Not exactly a good equation at this point.
Sam, thank you. Sam Kiley in Beirut.
We'll take a short break.
When we come back. Russia claiming the holy grail, a COVID-19 vaccine.
But that announcement has been greeted by many with skepticism, a collective eye roll, and concerns over whether it's even safe, let alone effective.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you for staying with us. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.
I'm John Vause.
Well, a growing number of schools and universities across the U.S. are being allowed to open this month, despite protests from educators and parents. The average daily death toll has now topped 1,000 for more than two weeks in the United States. Florida alone has reported another 276 fatalities on Tuesday -- that was a record.
Case numbers in at least 20 states have actually fallen over the past week but the infection rate is still holding steady in about half of the country. And there is no reason to believe the death toll in the U.S. will begin to fall anytime soon.
And amid all the unanswered questions, it is still not known why this virus is barely noticed by so many while others suffer painful death. And as schools reopen, there is growing concern about the impact on children.
CNN's Athena Jones has details.
ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: New startling statistics about COVID- 19 among children and the elderly.
DR. ROCHELLE WALENSKY, CHIEF, DIVISION OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES, HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL: When you start looking at the sheer volume of numbers, even very small death rates tally to a lot of children dying from this disease.
JONES: COVID cases among children jumped 90 percent over the last four weeks, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children's Hospital Association soaring 137 percent in the state of Florida alone. The Florida Department of Health says the total number of children who have been hospitalized due to COVID has also more than doubled.
DR. LEANA WEN, EMERGENCY ROOM PHYSICIAN: It just is not safe or prudent to open schools against a backdrop of increasing infections.
JONES: The new data adding to the concerns surrounding COVID cases at schools in Mississippi, Indiana and Georgia where students at North Paulding High School, the home of this viral photo, are learning remotely after nine students or employees tested positive.
More than 800 students in Cherokee County are in quarantine after COVID cases were reported in at least 16 schools. Officials closing one high school to in-person learning after more than a dozen students tested positive for COVID and around 300 students and staff are under quarantine.
The superintendent saying the goal is to resume in-person classes on August 31st. This as COVID deaths among children are fast approaching the yearly death toll from the flu.
DR. SEAN O'LEARY, AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS INFECTIOUS DISEASES COMMITTEE: We have had 90 deaths in children in the U.S. already in just a few months, right. Every year, we worry about influenza and children and there are roughly around a hundred deaths in children from influenza every year.
JONES: Dr. Anthony Fauci pushing for the kind of simple but effective measures some state and local leaders continue to resist.
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: Universal wearing of masks is one of five or six things that are very important in preventing the upsurge of infection and in turning around the infections that we are seeing surging.
JONES: That upsurge in cases being led by the South, while new cases are growing fastest in Hawaii. And even as new cases are holding steady in most states, deaths nationwide averaging over a thousand a day for most of the past four weeks now.
A new report by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living says community spread is to blame for an alarming new spike in nursing homes. A 58 percent jump from mid June to mid July.
JONES: Gatherings like this Smash Mouth concert at a South Dakota Motorcycle Rally drawing hundreds, prompting fears of a super spreader event.
Meanwhile, long lines at a Dallas food bank illustrating the economic hardship the uncontrolled virus is wreaking on communities.
Athena Jones, CNN -- New York.
VAUSE: President Vladimir Putin himself made the stunning announcement that Russian scientists had developed a vaccine which offers stable immunity for COVID-19 except only a few small details apparently were overlooked like it hasn't been proven effective in clinical trials.
And as CNN's Matthew Chance reports, there are concerns about if it is even safe.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well Russia has now approved what it says is the world's first coronavirus vaccine despite major concerns about its safety and effectiveness.
In a video conference with top officials, the Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that the Russian-made vaccine, which has been named Sputnik V has undergone what he called all necessary checks and is now registered for use. Putin also said one of his own daughters has already been vaccinated, an extraordinary statement and a sign of just how much confidence Russia wants to show it has in what it is casting as a huge contribution to the victory against coronavirus.
Earlier, a prominent Russian pharmaceutical industry body called on Russian officials to postpone the vaccine saying it could put peoples' lives at risk. And a letter to the Russian health ministry pointed out that crucial phase three human trials had not yet been started.
Russian health ministry says frontline health workers and teachers will be the first to be vaccinated. Critics say Russia's push for a vaccine comes amid intense political pressure from the Kremlin keen to tackle the country's raging coronavirus pandemic and to portray Russia as a global scientific force.
Matthew Chance, CNN -- Moscow.
VAUSE: Michael Kinch is the director of the Center for Drug Development at Washington University in St. Louis, author of "Between Hope and Fear: A History of Vaccines and Human Immunity".
Michael, thank you for being with us.
MICHAEL KINCH, DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR DRUG DEVELOPMENT, Washington UNIVERSITY IN ST. LOUIS: Thank you for the opportunity.
VAUSE: Ok. This vaccine has been approved by Moscow. It received a certificate. And on that certificate it says it could be given to a small number of people from vulnerable groups -- medical staff, the elderly, that kind of thing.
But ScienceMag.org adds this reporting. The certificate stipulates that the vaccine cannot be used widely until 1st January 2021, presumably after larger clinical trials have been completed.
In reality, despite what the press release may say, what the president says, the Russians haven't approved a vaccine for widespread use. That is still four months away. This seems more about propaganda and spin.
KINCH: It certainly seems like it. There was a similar situation actually that had occurred in China, where China in June approved a vaccine but only for use in the army troops. And so it seems like in the case of Russia, this is intended to be sort of a Cold War-like propaganda tool to be able to say how dominant their technology is. And the reality is that this is a technology that probably doesn't have a very high likelihood of working.
We've already got a preliminary look at this technology through a Chinese vaccine. And it looks like this adenovirus-based vaccine that the Russians are touting probably wouldn't work in somewhere between a third and two-thirds of the population.
VAUSE: So if this is just a propaganda ploy, it doesn't come without harm. It doesn't happen in a vacuum.
KINCH: Well, that is certainly the case. I mean the whole world is watching and we really have one chance to do this right. And the reason that I say that is because the big health story at the beginning of 2020 was the rejection of vaccine by a growing population both in Europe and in the United States of North America.
And if we approve a vaccine that is either less effective than it needs to be or, Lord forbid, if that vaccine ends up causing toxicity, then those anti-vaccine movements might actually gain strength.
VAUSE: You know, the overwhelming reaction from experts around the world on the science of this has ranged from skepticism like Dr. Anthony Fauci in the United States. This is what he said to National Geographic
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. FAUCI: Having a vaccine, Deborah, and proving that a vaccine is safe and effective are two different things. I hope that the Russians have actually, definitively proven that the vaccine is safe and effective. I seriously doubt that they have done that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: So, from skepticism to anger with this tweet, "The Russian vaccine gamble is reckless and foolish, whether it works or not. Actually, the worst long term outcome maybe for the gamble to pay off at the cost of decades of health care ethics ruined."
And to that point, can you see the real long term consequences here beyond the coronavirus? If somehow the Russians pull this off as successful but in the process, they upend the protocols which have ensured the safety of vaccines for generations.
KIND: I mean if you look at what has occurred, there are stories coming out of Russia that friends and relatives of high officials have been vaccinated. And you know, this is all anecdotal and from the scientific and the medical perspective, it's incredibly irresponsible. We have faith in effective vaccines for many different diseases because they have undergone rigorous scrutiny to establish that they are both efficacious and that they're safe.
We can't do the sort of shotgun science that runs the real risk of harming people, both to assure the public that health (ph) vaccines are safe, but also moving forward to make sure that we don't use the sort of shotgun approach for future vaccines.
VAUSE: Clearly, transparency is the issue when it comes to vaccines and how they are developed. That's something which we don't get out China, something we don't get out of Russia. But are we getting it out of the United States? Out of the U.K. with the Oxford trials? Out of Australia and all these other western nations which are developing a vaccine right now? KINCH: We are absolutely demanding it. And so I think that there will
be no way that a vaccine will be approved and used without complete transparency as to both the efficacy and meaning does this vaccine work both in the short term and in the long term. That we have some evidence and some suggestions from coronavirus that perhaps the immunity might be short-lived in natural infections. We need to be sure that this is a long lived situation.
But we also need that transparency for safety. We need to be able to assure the public that this is a safe vaccine to take.
VAUSE: Yes, we thought wearing masks was a problem, and antivaxxers with this could even be -- much bigger than we've ever seen before.
But Michael, thank you so much for being with us. We appreciate it.
KINCH: Thank you.
VAUSE: The head of the state-run fund that's bank rolling Moscow's vaccine spoke to CNN a little earlier. He says all the data about the vaccine will be published this month. He says Russia had a head start because they've already done a lot of work on the MERS vaccine -- virus rather, I should say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KIRILL DMITRIEV, CEO, RUSSIA DIRECT INVESTMENT FUND: We can say that it works. You know, I have taken it myself. I have given it to my parents, to my wife. If you learn the science, and we are happy to share it with you, you will be much more convinced. And other companies are following our steps, like Johnson and Johnson and CanSino.
And we will start mass vaccination of Russians in October. This vaccine will be available to other countries around November. And we know the technology works and we will publish the data in August and September to demonstrate that.
So it's a gradual roll out in August and September for some additional data. But our minister of health, our bureaucrats would not have approved it unless they were absolutely confident the technology works, that it shows incredible safety and efficiency.
And safety is at the core of the vaccine because again as I mentioned, it is proven over the last six years' platform that Russian had and so they have started it versus some other nation who started to use more novel approaches not proven before.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Speaking from a bunker somewhere but the top infectious disease expert in the U.S. remains skeptical. Dr. Anthony Fauci says the U.S. follows certain standards for vaccine development. People should remember that when they hear announcements from countries like Russia and China, they do not have the same standards. Coming up on CNN NEWSROOM, the U.S. president says TikTok and WeChat are national security risks. But what data is really being collected and how significant is the threat? More on that in a moment.
VAUSE: Crews off the coast of Mauritius are working to pump the remaining oil out of a grounded Japanese cargo ship. Nearly a thousand tons of oil have leaked into the pristine Indian Ocean lagoon. But now, there are growing fears the vessel could break in half.
Kaori Enjoji picks up the story now from Tokyo.
KAORI ENJOJI, JOURNALIST: An environmental disaster in Mauritius could get worse, as the operator of this grounded ship says cracks are expanding inside the hull. The MV Wakashio ran aground two weeks ago. And despite a multinational salvage operation, Japanese shipping giant Mitsui OSK says 1800 tons of fuel oil and diesel remain on the bulk carrier.
A thousands tons of oil have leaked out already from the Wakashio turning the famed blue waters off the southeast coast of Mauritius into a deluge of black slick.
The ship has been grounded since July 25th, but its operators says the team has yet to reach the site. Brace for worse, warned the prime minister of Mauritius which has already seen tourism crippled this year amid the pandemic.
VIKASH TATAYAH, CONSERVATION DIRECTOR, MAURITIAN WILDLIFE FOUNDATION: The first thing SI that this ship should not have been there at all. It was a ship coming from Asia and it was bound for Brazil. It should have been way off the coast of Mauritius.
It is still weird why it would ever come to Mauritius. People are mad- furious about this happening. Mad furious. And I think we need appropriate commission of inquiry to look into this and check all the light comes out of this matter.
ENJOJI: Mitsui OSK and ship owner Nagashiki Shipping apologized for the incident on Sunday. But they said they did not know why the ship had been so close to the shoreline.
After bad weather delayed the building of an oil fence, salvage crews are now trying to remove remnants of oil from the ship. Volunteers and conservationists are helping to clean up the toxic waste, and it fears the vessel may break in two.
Kaori Enjoji, for CNN -- Tokyo.
(END VIDEOTAPE) VAUSE: Well, the clock is ticking for social media apps TikTok and WeChat. They have until September 15th to find not just a buyer, but an American buyer. And if there are no takers, they could be banned in the United States. President Trump is forcing the sale, he believes the Chinese owned apps are a security risk.
CNN's Selina Wang joins us now from Hong Kong, live. So Selina, we're looking at the risks here, what do the experts say about what we're looking at here in terms of the daily collection, what's the threat which these apps are actually posing?
SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The risks overly barging (ph) hypothetical at this point and the security experts I spoke to say THAT well yes, it does make sense f0r a sensitive personnel. U.S. government employees to avoid downloading Chinese apps like WeChat and Tiktok. The risks do not warrant an outright ban.
But given this backdrop at the trump administration IS ON THIS BROADER campaign to decouple U.S. TECHNOLOGY FROM China and given the fact that Xi Jinping's government has increasingly viewed as an existential threat. There really is very little that these Chinese companies can do to eliminate any security gaps.
But take a listen here to learn more about what those concerns are and whether or not they're justified.
WANG: Dancing ferrets, lip syncing kids, teenagers playing pranks on each other -- that is the stuff of TikTok, it's the first Chinese owned app to become a global social media sensation.
Yet on Friday, President Trump issued executive orders that would ban TikTok and messaging app WeChat from operating in the U.S. in 45 days.
TikTok said in a statement it was shocked, and willing to sell its U.S. business to an American company. The Trump administration says the apps are a threat to national security, and the personal data of American citizens. They are also a tool for the Chinese Communist Party.
But do those claims stack up? The data TikTok collects is similar to what companies like Facebook and Google do. It knows your location, Internet address and browsing history. It tracks what videos you like, share and watch. That all helps power the TikTok algorithm that makes the app so powerfully addictive.
WANG: So James, I have TikTok on my Phone. You can see lots of fun, dancing videos. How is any of the information captured in that app relevant to Chinese intelligence? What makes TikTok a national security threat?
JAMES LEWIS, SENIOR VP, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: Probably no information captured by TikTok is relevant to Chinese intelligence. The risk comes from ByteDance, TikTok's Chinese owner and the fact that it is subject to the whims of the Chinese government. And so it's ByteDance that could use TikTok as a vehicle for espionage, if they chose to do so.
WANG: Lewis said TikTok could theoretically be used as a vehicle to get access to people's other private information on their phones. TikTok says it has never shared user data with the Chinese government nor censored content at its request.
In the U.S. WeChat has not had nearly the same success that TikTok has had. But it is a keyway for people abroad to connect with friends, family and business contacts in China where it is indispensable for daily life.
Imagine Facebook, LinkedIn, Uber, Instagram, PayPal and several more apps, all rolled into one. Experts say that WeChat is surveilled and censored.
SAMM SACKS, CYBERSECURITY POLICY AND CHINA DIGITAL ECONOMY FELLOW, NEW AMERICA: From a national security standpoint, does WeChat pose a threat? I would say yes. Now, does that mean that it should be banned on everyone's devices? That is a separate question.
Federal employees, people with security clearances, military personnel should not be downloading WeChat on their devices.
WANG: China's ministry of foreign affairs said on Friday said it firmly opposes the executive orders targeting WeChat and TikTok. It claims the U.S. is using national security as an excuse to oppress non-American businesses.
But, as Sino-U.S. relations spiral downwards, banning Chinese apps may just be the tip of the iceberg. The move indicates the Trump administration is broadening its attempt to restrict Chinese tech companies from operating in the U.S.. even if it appears to be little more than a platform to share viral dancing videos.
WANG: And John, the security experts I spoke to say that banning WeChat and TikTok does not actually help achieve this broader goal of protecting national security and the data of American citizens. The Internet does not map (INAUDIBLE) unto geopolitical borders. So even if you were to entirely purge Chinese tech from the United States, security risks are still going to exist.
Instead, what they say the U.S. should be focusing on is creating broader standards and legislation that apply to all apps, regardless of what country they are from. They say this is a better way to mitigate risks rather than playing whack-a-mole, and selectively banning certain apps from certain countries.
They say this is a more important way, and better way to protect the data of American citizens.
VAUSE: You mean like long-term planning, and actually have a strategy and a process in place? Gosh, how unusual.
Selina thank you. Selina Wang there in Hong Kong. Appreciate it.
Also staying in Hong Kong, pro-democracy newspaper owner who was arrested under the national security law, has posted bail. Jimmy Lai was detained Monday on suspicion of colluding with foreign powers. Police raided the headquarters of his "Apple Daily" newspaper.
Critics called his detention an attack on press freedom. Authorities claim they are targeting individual offenders, not entire media organizations.
Well, with the coronavirus pandemic still surging in the United States, some universities have done what would have been unthinkable before now -- postponing their football seasons.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: As we safely restore our great economy, reopen our schools, and hopefully we can watch colleges play football. We want to get football in colleges. These are young strong people. They won't have a big problem with the China virus. So we want to see college football start.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Well, despite what President Trump wants, football will not be starting for many universities this year because of the coronavirus. College football is a big deal in the U.S. and passionate, it makes big money, billions of dollars every year.
For this season, at least two of the major conferences or leagues are pulling the plug on the upcoming season.
CNN's Andy Scholes has details.
ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS; CORRESPONDENT: Well, if we do have college football this fall, it certainly will look different. Two of the biggest conferences in college football, the Big 10 and Pack12 making a decision on Tuesday to postpone their seasons due to coronavirus concerns.
Both conferences do say they do hope to play football in the spring, and a Pack 12, citing concerns over the availability of FDA-approved accurate testing, with rapid turnaround times, where all of their schools are located. While the Big 10's commissioner says, Kevin Warren sys, there's still too much unknown about the virus.
KEVIN WARREN, COMMISSIONER, BIG TEN CONFERENCE: One of the things that we promised ourselves, that this was going to be a fluid situation. As things began to evolve, you look at the number of cases that are spiking. The number of deaths, not only in our country, in our states, where many of our schools are located, but worldwide.
When you look at this decision, it just -- we just believe collectively there is too much uncertainty. At this point in time in our country, and to really -- to encourage our student athletes to participate in fall sports.
SCHOLES: There is no central governing body for college football. Each conference makes its own decisions. And while the Big 10 and Pack 12 doctors are saying that they should not play football right now, the SCC and ACC's medical experts are telling those 2 conferences that they can proceed as planned with football in the fall.
Both of those conferences do say that they will make adjustments as needed.
VAUSE: Thanks to Andy Scholes for that.
Now, it is a costly decision to postpone college football, according to "Fortune Magazine", it generates more than $4 billion annual revenue. That is just from for 65 universities which make up these power five conferences or leagues.
Those schools ripped nearly 1.8 billion dollars in profits from their football program in 2018. That worked out to almost $28 million for each university.
Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM.
I'm John Vause.
Please Stay with us. Robyn Curnow takes over after a very short break. You are watching CNN.