tv The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN July 1, 2020 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT
lead cnn. our coverage on cnn continues right now. >> this is cnn breaking news. >> welcome to our viewers in the united states and around the world. wolf blitzer is off today. i'm jim acosta in the situation room and we're following breaking news. the coronavirus death toll in the u.s. now nearing 128,000 people as cases rise in 37 states prompting at least 19 of them to pause or roll back reopening. the crisis in california is so bad that the governor there has just ordered almost 75% of the state back to near shutdown with all indoor activities in 19 counties closed for at least the next three weeks. that includes museums, theaters, dine-in restaurants. california joins georgia and arizona all setting another one day record number of new cases in the last 24 hours.
all of this apparently lost on president trump who claimed a short time ago that his administration, quote, did it all right when it comes to the pandemic and that the virus will, quote, sort of just disappear. we begin with cnn national correspondent in new york. disturbing developments in some of the country's largest states tonight. >> reporter: despite what the president says, jim, you know more than anyone, this virus is not going away. it is not disappearing. in fact, it is getting worse in some parts of the country. california's governor forced to close businesses to try to get a handle on it. california's governor gavin newsom announcing new statewide restrictions this afternoon, halting all indoor activities in businesses such as restaurants, museums, zoos, and movie theaters in 19 counties which represent 72% of the state's population. >> we are now requiring they close their indoor operations due to the spread of the virus.
>> reporter: 37 states seeing a surge over the past week and now results of a new study say the u.s. death count might be higher than the official numbers show. research published in the medical journal internal medicine says the number of u.s. deaths from march to may was 28% higher than what was attributed to covid-19. >> storm clouds on the horizon. >> reporter: the alarming rise in cases nationwide prompting new york governor andrew cuomo to stop restaurants in new york city from opening indoor dining next week. cuomo warned if people do not comply the state which has seen its numbers moving in the right direction could end up where it started. >> we're back to the mountain. that is what is going to happen. >> reporter: troubling numbers continue coming in from texas, arizona, and florida where that state's department of health reported more than 6,500 additional covid cases today. the governor continues to push
back on critics who say he reopened too soon and should by now have had a state mandate to wear a mask. in texas, 6,975 new cases. that tops the previous single day record by more than 1,000. in the face of those numbers, the state's lieutenant governor says he will stop listening to recommendations from the nation's top infectious disease expert dr. anthony fauci who cautions states against skipping over cdc guidelines when reopening. >> he doesn't know what he is talking about. we haven't skipped over anything. the only thing i am skipping over is listening to him. >> reporter: jim, this number just coming into us. texas now reporting 8,076 new covid cases. this is the state's highest number of cases in a single day. again, another sign this virus is not just disappearing, not just going away. >> we are seeing a resurgence no question about it. cnn's jason carroll, thank you very much. let's get more now on the breaking news out of california.
cnn's dan simon is working the story for us. dan, this near lockdown is a dramatic reversal for california. this must be stunning to residents in that state. how extensive are the closings? >> you're right, jim. this does mark a major reversal. we are talking about a shutdown of indoor operations across a whole bunch of sectors for 19 counties. no indoor operations for restaurants, bars, wineries, museums, zoos, movie theaters, and family entertainment. these 19 counties represent 72% of the population. this is going to have a significant, economic impact for people who work across those industries but the governor is saying this is absolutely the right call to stem this surging tide. in terms of what we expect over the weekend governor newsom also saying that state beaches, the parking lots for state beaches will be closed. obviously they are trying to prevent large gatherings from
taking place. the beaches themselves will remain open but without accessibility the crowds should be a bit lower. you see this beach behind me, a moderate crowd today but a lot of people expected to come to the beaches this weekend. >> it will be a very different scene this weekend i assume, dan. in the meantime do we know exactly why we're seeing this surge in california right now, what went wrong? can we put our finger on one thing here? >> well, jim, there seems to be a broad consensus among health experts and elected leaders that once the economy began to reopen around memorial day people sort of went back to the prepandemic mentality. people weren't as diligent about wearing masks, particularly young people, not as much social distancing, and that seems to at least contribute to the problem. >> all right. that is bad news indeed. dan simon, thank you very much. let's get more on all of this with cnn chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta and dr. chris murray leads a team at the university of washington, very important organization out there.
doctors, thanks to both of you. dr. sanjay gupta, let's start with you. california was seen as one of the early leaders in combatting this virus. everybody was looking to california and saying what a great job they are doing and now it looks like they're almost back to square one. what happened out there? >> well, first of all the data, you got to trust the numbers. the virus doesn't lie in this regard. sometimes people go back and they say well the numbers don't fit therefore something didn't happen. you know, they had a sudden surge of cases. that is true. why it happened i think is sometimes more challenging to figure out. one thing governor newsom has pointed to is the fact that private gatherings may have been contributing to this more. these are harder to regulate even if you close down the public institutions, jim, large private gatherings in neighborhoods or extended family. people possibly spreading the infection to lots of people at those events and then people scattering back to their communities. that could be part of the
problem. we don't know. it can go into very rapid growth quickly, jim, like the old thing when you're a kid you want a penny today, two pennies tomorrow, four pennies the next day and so forth for a month or do you want a million dollars? most people take the million dollars but if you did the pennies it would be worth closer to $5 million. the point is when it starts to double rapidly the numbers grow. >> absolutely. dr. murray, what lessons can we learn from california's reopening and this roll back? it is not a success story anymore in california. >> this surge, you know, cases in california -- now we're seeing hospitalizations going up. you know, back to the message that we were talking about previously, that is some of this could be avoided if everybody was diligent, wore a mask, and avoided physical contact of 6 feet or less.
so quite a bit of this is in people's control. >> sanjay, one expert is warning small, incremental health measures aren't going to be effective when cases of the virus are out of control. when you look at the situation now compared to a month ago do you think it is time for more drastic measures and what could they be? >> yeah. i mean, unfortunately, you know, i don't get any joy in saying that, i think one of our contributors talked about, you know, when you have smaller numbers you can sort of do more incremental adjustments like a dimmer switch but when you have large numbers like this, of newly infected people, it's more a hammer that you need and, you know, some of it may be what governor newsom is talking about. you know, these stay-at-home orders are very disruptive. we know that. it can be very disruptive for communities, for the state as a whole. in order to get this under control and get back to the point where you say, okay. we're looking again for the 14 day downward trend, get that under control and then open up the right way, i think, is maybe
something that is necessary. nobody wants that i realize, jim, but the decision may be made for people after a while. >> dr. murray, in georgia governor kemp went around on a tour of the state today encouraging people to wear masks. but he still won't issue a statewide mandate on them. does that water down the message? would mandates help if we had mandates for masks across the country, would we be seeing a very different picture right now? >> i think we would. you know, people's behavior, it is great to appeal to individuals to protect themselves, their family, their community. i think if we look in other countries where mandates are being put in place, where it is not a recommendation but a requirement, that's led to higher mask use and so that would be a beneficial thing. you probably saw goldman sachs came out saying that mask use would save five percentage points of gdp in the u.s. there is both a health reason
and an economic reason to have these mask mandates in place. >> and you've got to wonder if they're talking about that metric around the white house. that would be a fascinating conversation to listen in on. sanjay, governor desantis of florida says he is less worried about 4th of july barbecues this weekend because, he says, quote, the science is pretty clear that outdoor activities are safer. i suppose there is some truth to that. but do you worry that sends the wrong message going into the holiday weekend, that everybody can just start congregating at barbecues and in many cases i suppose without masks? obviously we want people to wear masks but there are so many people who just resist doing so. >> yeah. people like to think of these things in binary terms. you can do it totally the normal way they used to or you can't. i do think the truth lies somewhere in between. it is true that outdoor events are much safer i think even according to some of dr. murray's modeling, you know, 15,
18 times safer in terms of decreased likelihood of transmission. but keep in mind now you're dealing with a state where there's a lot of people carrying the virus. if i came back to you and said after that barbecue you were in close contact with somebody who is carrying coronavirus and now you have to be part of the contact tracing, possibly have to quarantine, that is more likely to happen given how much virus is circulating there. you have to keep that in mind. also, jim, as you say, it is not just the area where you are inside versus outside or even just the distance but the duration. if you're next to somebody for a long period of time, even if you're outside that increases the risk as well. >> okay. dr. sanjay gupta, dr. chris murray, fascinating discussion and great information. unfortunately, just a sad predicament the whole country seems to be in right now. thank you very much for all of that. we appreciate it. up next increasingly isolated on masks president trump appears to change his stance just a touch. but will he set an example for the nation by wearing a mask
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to relieve the pressure on your business. as you adapt and transform, we're here with the people, financing, and technology, ready to help. more breaking news we're following, president trump speaking out about the coronavirus pandemic a short time ago and making some stunning claims. cnn white house correspondent jeremy diamond has details. jeremy, the president seems unaware of how this crisis is escalating. >> reporter: well, jim, you know, amid the alarming surge in coronavirus cases, we really haven't heard much from the
president. over the last five days the president has been out of sight. today he is breaking that streak, making some movement on the question of masks but where he is not changing is on the notion that the coronavirus is somehow simply going to disappear. the president saying today, that he believes at some point coronavirus will just disappear. >> i think we'll be very good with the coronavirus. i think that at some point that is going to sort of just disappear i hope. >> reporter: tonight president trump is betting on wishful thinking to stop the alarming surge of coronavirus across the country. >> you still believe so. >> i do. yeah, sure. at some point. >> reporter: with coronavirus cases trending upward in 37 states, and his own public health experts calling for swift action, trump who once called himself a war time president in the face of a pandemic now appears to be taking a back seat. he hasn't appeared at a briefing alongside health experts in weeks and undermined cdc
guidelines by rallying thousands of people at an indoor arena last month. but today -- >> i am all for masks. i think masks are good. >> reporter: the president who has found himself increasingly isolated over the issue of wearing masks now saying this. >> you would wear one. >> oh, i would -- oh, i have. people have seen me wearing one. if i'm in a group of people where we're not, you know, 10 feet away, but usually i'm not in that position and everyone is tested. actually i had a mask on. i sort of liked the way i looked. okay? i looked like the lone ranger. >> reporter: but the president is still resisting calls for a national mandate. >> i don't know if you need mandatory. you have many places in the country people feel good about it. they should do it. >> reporter: trump's comments after a slew of democrats have stepped up their calls for americans to wear masks. >> we shouldn't have to require a mandate for people to wear a mask. it is the right thing to do. i trust people that they're going to do that if we ask them. >> reporter: vice president mike
pence also stepping up his calls for mask wearing. if local officials agree. >> we believe that americans should wear a mask whenever state and local authorities indicate that it is appropriate. >> the president's campaign meanwhile finding a fall guy for the president's tulsa campaign rally re-assigning the chief operating officer to a new role after trump privately fumed not about the lack of health precautions but because the arena wasn't packed to the brim. and then there's the culture wars. trump keeping up his defense of monuments to the confederacy and threatening to veto a military funding bill because it would strike the names of confederate generals from military bases. he is also attacking new york's mayor for plans to paint black lives matter in front of trump tower on 5th avenue, calling the slogan a symbol of hate and suggesting police officers should block the painting. amid mounting evidence that russia tried to pay taliban
fighters to kill u.s. troops, the president stepping up his attacks on those reports, discrediting the intelligence as just another hoax. even as his administration prepares to brief the congressional gang of eight on the issue tomorrow. >> this didn't rise to the occasion. and from what i hear, and i hear it pretty good, the intelligence people didn't even -- many didn't believe it happened at all. i think it's a hoax. i think it's a hoax by the newspapers and the democrats. >> reporter: jim, the white house press secretary had a briefing a few moments ago where she defended the president's comments about the virus simply disappearing at some point saying it's the president having confidence in the team he put together. what is clear, jim, is this is a white house that doesn't want to make the latest surge look like the first surge. they don't want this to look like the national emergency style briefings we saw during the early part of the coronavirus pandemic when cases
were surging and hospitals reaching capacity. instead they want this to be very different because they want americans to be less alarmed. of course, jim, the president's re-election is just around the corner and that is a big part of this. they do not want americans to feel like this surge is us going back to square one. >> all right. jeremy, people are alarmed because the emergency is not disappearing. cnn's jeremy diamond, thank you very much. let's bring in cnn white house correspondent john harwood and cnn political correspondent abbey philip. john, to you first. the president says he is all for masks but so far he hasn't really taken any steps to reflect that. how can he say that right now? >> well, he is backing into it under extreme pressure from a whole range of republicans. what you have to ask yourself is, given the scale of the crisis, given the scale -- the fact that very large states are now throwing reopening into reverse, because of the threat of coronavirus in their states, is backing into it good enough? in that clip jeremy just played
a moment ago, brian kemp the governor of georgia said you don't have to have a mandate. if you ask them, people will wear it. well, the president isn't really asking people to wear a mask. he is saying, oh, it's okay. if they want to do it, that's fine. that is not leading on this issue and you've got entire range of people. i was in a briefing yesterday where the surgeon general was pleading with americans to wear a mask and so were other members of the administration. that's a message that the president has a unique ability to deliver much better than anyone else in the country. he is not doing it and sounds disconnected with reality about the scale of the crisis. >> that's right. he has the bully pulpit. president trump says he likes how he looks in a mask but this isn't about looks. it is about saving lives. what do you make of that comment? >> it really just gives you a window into how the president is approaching this and has been from day one. one of the things you have to remember is he has used masks as a political weapon against vice
president biden because he has said that biden looks weak. his campaign has used images of biden wearing a mask in campaign attack ads. so it is not surprising that the president would be first and foremost concerned about the way that he looks and wanting to change that narrative before he changes his behavior on the subject of whether he will wear masks but, you know, i also think that this is a sign of how the president has had trouble with this part of the presidency, which is the way in which he has to demonstrate the kind of behavior that he wants the public to actually exhibit. the argument that the white house makes is that the president is tested regularly and so they do not believe or they think there is a very good reason for them to believe that he does not have the coronavirus and therefore doesn't have to wear a mask. but at the same time the way in which he demonstrates leadership on the subject is what you're hearing from a lot of mayors and governors and people who are leading cities and struggling to
get their populations to listen to government officials. they want the president to demonstrate that to his supporters and he's always had a very difficult time with that. it's usually do as i say not as i do. in this case that is just not sufficient given the level of crisis we're facing. >> john harwood it took a new peak of infections and many republicans breaking from him on masks to get to this point. is the president leading here or is he being led? >> reporter: quite plainly he is being led. what was governing his behavior lately is the same thing that was governing it at the beginning of the crisis, that is, the idea that he doesn't want to disturb the psychology of the country around the state of the economy. in the beginning it was to protect a strong economy that we began this re-election year in. now it is to try to protect the recovery but it is quite obvious that the worse the coronavirus situation is the worse the economy is going to be. what the president doesn't get in this re-election calculation
is one of the reasons why he is in deep, deep trouble for re-election is people don't think he is taking coronavirus seriously. if he continues to not take it seriously in hopes of not disturbing the psychology he is digging a deeper hole. >> today the president repeated this line that the virus will disappear at some point. we've heard this before. let's watch a compilation of when he said this before. >> by april, in theory when it gets a little warmer it miraculously goes away. when you have 15 people and the 15 within a couple days is going to be down to close to zero -- >> it is going to disappear one day. it's like a miracle. it will disappear. this is going to go away without a vaccine. it is going to go away and we're not going to see it again hopefully. >> as ronald reagan once said, there he goes again. >> yeah. it is basically magical thinking on the president's part that somehow if you just ignore the virus it is going to just disappear. that is obviously not how this works and the problem for president trump is that the american public understands
that. they by and large want the government to do more to protect them from this virus. they understand their lives and livelihoods are on the line here. a couple months ago when the whole thing started the president's own aides were telling me that he understood that he had to get control of the virus in order to have the best shot at re-election. but day after day the president seems to have given up on that hoping that this thing will all just go away. we could be facing really a worse public health situation than we faced a few months ago given the way the cases are rising and then if there is an economic fallback, where we're going backwards in terms of economic progress, i think the american public are not going to look at that very positively and the president could be in an even deeper hole when it comes to his political situation. >> seems to be shaping up that way. thank you very much. this breaking news is just coming to us. new data from the pentagon showing the number of coronavirus cases in the u.s. m ill tri has more than doubled --
military has more than doubled since june 10th. as of today almost 6,500 service members are testing positive for covid-19. that is up just over 2,800 three weeks ago. defense officials say the rise in cases is happening largely in hot spot states including california, arizona, texas, and florida. we'll keep our eyes on that as our service members need to stay safe in the middle of the covid-19 pandemic like the rest of us. coming up massachusetts requires visitors from all but seven states to self-quarantine for two weeks. will it stop the virus from spreading? i'll ask the mayor of boston. multiple states are ordering bars to close again. is there any way to keep them open and safe? want to brain better? unlike ordinary memory supplements, neuriva has clinically proven ingredients that fuel five indicators of brain performanc: memory, focus, accuracy, learning, and concentration. try our new gummies for 30 days and see the difference.
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with the 4th of july holiday weekend just around the corner massachusetts now is allowing people from only seven new england states to avoid a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine when they come to visit. with us now is the mayor of boston, marty walsh. mayor, thanks so much for joining us. we appreciate it. one of the states on that list is new york.
where governor cuomo is warning of new problems in new york city. has there been enough progress for you to feel safe welcoming visitors from the seven states? i know you're trying to be cautious about it but are you being cautious enough? >> i think we are right now. i know the governor has expressed concern over the last couple days. we're watching, obviously monitoring very closely the other states and other cities around the northeast part of the country. even right at the positive test rate for covid so we are tracking this number literally on a daily basis and tracking these trends on a daily basis here as we move forward. >> in new york city mayor de blasio wants the names of people flying into the city in order to make sure they are getting what they need while quarantining. is that something you would consider in boston? that megalittle too invasive? >> i don't think we'd do that here in boston. i think we are asking people that come from outside of the state of massachusetts to our
city other than those seven states, the northern states plus new jersey and new york, to self-quarantine for 14 days. one of the concerns i have coming up in the late summer or early fall is schools and colleges. a lot of our colleges here in boston want to open up and my concern is seeing the spike in cases around the country many of the kids coming from those states right now that are seeing these incredible surges that we're all witnessing over the last seven days. >> how do you police this? just very quickly, are you checking license plates? how do you monitor this? >> no, we're not doing license plates. we're asking people to kind of self-quarantine. we've done it here pretty much the whole time in boston and in massachusetts made recommendations for wearing masks and keeping physical social distancing. and, you know, quite honestly i think a lot of our numbers being so low is due to the fact people are paying attention. i think what people are seeing now around the country adds another layer of concern to them and seeing that people and what
is really alarming to me in florida and places like that is the folks that are testing positive are younger people. the 30, 40 somethings. that is something that in the very beginning here i was having personal concerns with that people weren't wearing face coverings but now i think we understand the importance of wearing them. i think as we watch what is happening around the country all of the states shut down, all the states reopened, and they put these rules out the window. we didn't reopen until it was appropriate and we're still not fully reopened. the governor is going to announce another phase in the next couple days here in massachusetts and we are taking it very cautiously. >> president trump today repeated his claim that the virus will eventually disappear. i'm sure you saw that in our report from jeremy diamond a few moments ago. what goes through your mind when you hear the president say that the virus is going to disappear? >> yeah, i mean, there is no hope of that. i think we were told in the very beginning if i remember correctly in february and march that the virus would have a life span and by the summer it would
die out. we're in the summer and we haven't had a heat wave in boston but just seven or eight very warm days and the virus is very much alive not just here in boston but throughout the country. unfortunately, until the scientists or a doctor tells me the virus, when the virus might end its cycle, i'll believe that. unfortunately, we keep hearing from everyone, every expert, that we're in desperate need of having a vaccine here to combat this virus. >> one expert at boston medical center warns this weekend could be the perfect storm for a spike in new cases. people are going to be out barbecuing, some will be tempted to go to parties and watch fireworks and so on. what is your message to bostonians as your great city heads into this 4th of july holiday? >> you know, we've done a lot of work here. when i say we not just myself and elected officials but the community has done a lot of great work here in keeping our rates down and our cases down and i'm asking you as the
weekend comes on, comes and goes do the same. social distance, physical distance. wear masks. no large gatherings. this is not the year for cook outs. this is the year for intimate, small, family gatherings. why would we want to risk all of what we're doing here and potentially have to shut down the economy again by people being irresponsible in some cases to their own health? so i am asking people to be responsible for your own health, be responsible for your family. be responsible for your neighbors. >> very good advice. mayor marty walsh, thank you very much for joining us. i hope you stay safe as well. we appreciate it. >> thanks, jim. coming up something president trump and russia's vladimir putin seem to have in common. no mask. later, is there any way to make bars safer other than closing them down to prevent the coronavirus from spreading?
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coronavirus headlines from around the globe. president trump is not the only leader reluctant to wear a mask in public. vladimir putin was conspicuously unmasked today when he cast an important vote in russia. cnn's matthew chance is monitoring developments from london. tell us more. >> reporter: jim, a big day in russia as voters decide on changes that could see vladimir putin remain in power for another 16 years. state television showing him casting his own vote and he appears to be the only person there not wearing a facemask. everyone else, election officials, security, journalists have all got their masks on. sensible in a country where
coronavirus is still raging. of course another leader who prefers not to wear a facemask is president trump who suggested that some americans wear masks not to protect against coronavirus but to signal disapproval of him. i don't think it's taken o knn t kind of political symbolism in russia and putin has appeared on at least one occasion wearing a full head-to-toe hazmat suit. what putin has been doing in the runnup to the national vote is saying the battle against coronavirus is all but won and perhaps wearing a mask wouldn't project the right kind of confidence, jim. >> brazil is second to the u.s. in the number of cases and experts say cases likely won't peak until mid july or august. despite that rio de janeiro is starting to reopen. let's go to cnn's shasta darlington. what are you seeing? >> reporter: jim, rio de janeiro is preparing to reopen bars, restaurants, and gyms all
starting tomorrow and private schools next week. even though the number of new covid-19 infections in the state has not slowed, and the rate of contagion has actually gone up since it allowed shopping malls and offices to reopen earlier this month. in fact the panamerican health organization warned countries such as brazil, argentina, and peru aren't likely to peak until mid august. the group's director also said the death toll in latin america and the caribbean could nearly quadruple to nearly 438,000 by october. at this point brazil has reported more than 1.4 million infections and nearly 60,000 deaths, jim. >> thank you. mexico city is finally starting to reopen though coronavirus cases are rising at an alarming rate there. cnn's matt rivers is there right now for us. tell us more, matt. >> reporter: of all the tests mexico has reported over the last seven days, more than 43% of them have come back positive
for covid-19. this is mexico regularly has one of the highest testing positivity rates of any country around the world. the reason is simple. it is mexican government policy to only test people who have strong symptoms of this virus, which means they have only tested less than 600,000 people overall since the outbreak began. mexico's government argues they don't need to engage in mask testing to get a handle on the outbreak but that goes against what many public health experts would tell you that mass testing is crucial to understanding the true nature of any outbreak. more news out of the presidential office here in mexico city today with an announcement the mexican president will be traveling to washington on july 8th for a bilateral meeting with president trump. jim? >> matt rivers thank you very much. coming up, california shatters its one day record for new coronavirus cases as the governor orders thousands of businesses to close again.
plus, multiple states order bars closed as cases surge. is there any way for them to operate safely during the pandemic? tv announcer: come on down to our appliance superstore where we've got the best deals on refrigerators, microwaves, gas ranges and grills. and if you're looking for... (grilled cheese sizzles) (timer chimes)
the worsening pandemic is prompting some states to once again order bars closed. cnn's brian todd is working that pardon of the story. bars seem to account for at least part of the increasingly rapid spread of the coronavirus. it is getting scary. >> it is. >> reporter: it is inescapable crowded bars have accounted for at least part of the spikes. experts say the atmosphere, the dynamic in bars make them potential super spreaders. a care free crowd at a bar in austin, texas. many inside not wearing face masks. in jersey city this bar was cited twice in one weekend for over crowding. police say hundreds of people were inside not wearing masks or social distancing. at this club in houston, an owner says they required patrons to show they had a mask in order to get in and had the tables spaced out. but he says customers ignored the rules. >> as much as distance as we try
to put everyone, based on the guidelines, it's not the facility. it is the people. >> reporter: these scenes from reents days prompted america's top voice on the coronavirus outbreak to issue a stern warning about bars. >> bars are really not good. really not good. congregation in a bar inside is bad news. we really got to stop that. >> reporter: in texas where a coronavirus spike has surged to alarmingly dangerous levels governor greg abbott admitted he made a mistake with his state's reopening. >> if i could go back and redo anything it would have been to slow down the opening of bars. now seeing the aftermath of how quickly the coronavirus spread in the bar setting. in reality the bar setting doesn't work with a pandemic. >> reporter: abbott and his state are certainly not alone. tonight texas is among seven states some of them experiencing massive spikes in cases which
have either shut down bars completely or have partially shut them or paused reopenings. experts say crowded bars alone don't account for the recent spikes. but they say the natural social atmosphere in bars is especially dangerous. >> bars are places where people aren't wearing masks, places where people aren't social distancing, and after some drinks of course you lose your inhibitions and you are less cautious. >> reporter: the doctors we spoke to say there's almost no way to make an indoor bar setting safe during the pandemic. indoors they say especially if there's loud music playing at a bar is like a petri dish for the spread of the virus. >> inside a bar if it is noisy and music playing the am bient noise is going to make you talk louder. when you talk louder you expel more droplets from your mouth. those droplets of course can contain the virus and infect other people. >> reporter: another part of the so-called perfect storm of infection experts say is the
average age of many people who go to bars. >> they feel invincible because they are young. quite frankly throughout the beginning of the pandemic it is mostly messaging about older folks and people with preexisting health conditions as being vulnerable. >> reporter: so has the pandemic killed the bar scene completely? the medical experts we spoke to don't believe it has. they believe that traditional, crowded bars will make a comeback but they say that can't be until we have proven vaccines and what they call herd immunity. they say that may not happen for maybe another year or so. >> the video is downright stunning. thank you for that. california rolls back reopening as the state posts a record number of new coronavirus cases. details of which businesses the governor is ordering closed again coming up.
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welcome to our viewers in the united states and around the world. wolf blitzer is off today. i'm jim acosta in the situation room. breaking news tonight the coronavirus death toll in the united states now approaching 128,000 as new cases skyrocket in at least 22 states pause or reverse plans to reopen. georgia, arizona, and california as well as texas all reported record new cases in the last 24 hours. the surge is prompting california governor gavin newsom to order 72% of residents into a near lockdown, shuttering indoor
activities like bars, restaurants, museums, and movie theaters. president trump is still in denial, claiming his administration did it all right on the virus and clinging to his false hope that the virus will, quote, sort of just disappear. we begin with cnn's nick watt in los angeles. nearly three-quarters of californians, life is about to look like it did during the lockdown. >> reporter: it is, jim. not quite. you will still be able to get a hair cut, which is one thing. but 19 counties in this state and they are big counties. talking l.a., orange county, ventura, santa barbara are all on the governor's watch list right now. he says he is sending strike teams into those counties and he is rolling back some reopening. california has got a problem. every state beach