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tv   CNN Newsroom Live  CNN  July 19, 2020 2:00am-3:00am PDT

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as the world hits a single day record of confirmed cases. the latest on the pandemic. then unrest late into the night in portland, oregon, as local officials say the presence of federal police is adding fuel to the fire. and later, honoring john lewis, we'll hear from a fellow freedom fight beefighter. live from cnn world headquarters in atlanta, welcome to our viewers here in the united states and around the world, i'm kim brunhuber. the world health organization says the alarming rise in covid-19 around the world has led to the largest number of new cases in a single day. more than a quarter of a million new cases were documented in the past 24 hours. that's about three people becoming infected every second. widespread testing and contact
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tracing are considered critical to containing the virus, but a source tells cnn that the white house is opposed to giving additional money to the centers for disease control for that purpose. meanwhile, the cdc has released new guidance to americans who are self-isolating after testing positive. we'll have more details on that guidance in just a moment, but, first, cnn is covering the u.s. coronavirus crisis from coast to coast. later this hour, paul vercammen takes us to a testing facility in california where some say the state opened too soon. in a moment, natasha chen talks about how there is confusion in atlanta. we begin with rosa flores. the state of florida reporting more than 10,000 new cases on saturday. here in miami-dade county where i am, this is the ensepicenter this state, acti iaccounting fo
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of the cases. icu capacity now in miami-dade county is at 122% this is according to county data. the goal is not to exceed 70%. but for the past few days the county has exceeded 100%. here are the numbers for saturday. there are 484 covid-19 patients. and 396 beds. now, the good news is that the county says they have more than 400 beds that they can convert into icu beds. when it comes to ventilator use in the past two weeks, it has increased by 64%. now, i wish i could give you a full report on the positivity rate in this county, but today when we went to go look for the data, it was not presented by the county. we asked the county about this and they sent thus statemeus th saying county officials are meeting with state, doh statisticians on monday to go over discrepancies in the way
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the state and county collect and report testing data. once all agree on the appropriate parameters, miami-dade county will be updating the daily dashboard to ensure as much of an accurate measure as is statistically possible. the state of florida had some issues with transparency and now apparently also with the quality of the data that is being presented here. what i can tell you about the positivity rate here in miami-dade county is that yesterday it was at 27%. and the goal for the county is not to exceed 10%. but for the past 14 days it has been exceeding 22%. with all that said, governor ron desantis had a press conference on saturday, and if you would have listened to the entire press conference you would have walked away thinking that florida has it all under control. rosa flores, cnn, miami. tensions have been growing between atlanta mayor keisha
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lance bottoms and georgia governor brian kemp who sued atlanta officials late in the week over the city's rollback to phase one. that's a set of recommendations that calls for restaurants and other businesses to go back to curb side pickup or delivery only. the governor said that no local jurisdiction can make any rules more or less restrictive than what he's made for the entire state. the city mayor said this is a political move, she said taxpayer dollars are better spent expanding testing and contact tracing. the business owners we talked to in atlanta have found this extremely frustrating, not knowing what to do because their local and state leaders can't agree. here what he here's what they said. >> we're having to make decisions on our own of how to do this. it is a political pickle we're in that we don't want to be in. i don't want people to see us as choosing sides. >> reporter: in georgia, the trend of new cases has been climbing steadily upward,
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especially in the first half of july, since the pandemic began more than 3,000 georgians have died of covid-19 and more than 100,000 have tested positive including the mayor herself. natasha chen, cnn, atlanta. as the number of coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths continue to climb across the u.s., "the new york times" is reporting a blistering account of failures at the highest levels. it suggests the trump administration allowed a mix of optimism, impatience and politics to influence its respond leading to the crisis that is still playing out across the country. david sanger, "a new york times" reporter explains how the white house passed the buck to the states to devastating effect. >> in early april, the president said that it would be the most important decision of his presidency whether to go about doing the reopening. and instead of make that decision, they decided in mid-april to basically look to
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make sure that they had provided the states with ventilators, and protective equipment and so forth, and then tell the states it is up to you. you'll remember, we all reported at the time, they turned out some recommended standards of each state should meet before they reopened. but, of course, the president quickly discovered that those were boxing him in. that the states weren't going to be able to meet that standard, some were reopening already, so he simply said liberate the states. in other words, open them up. he never really repeated his own administration standards. and that set of decisions paved the way for the resurgence we're seeing to this very day. >> the u.s. centers for disease control and prevention has updated its guidance for people who are isolating at home with covid-19. the information is aimed at people who have tested positive for the virus, but are not showing symptoms as well as those who do have symptoms. it tells people when they can
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discontinue isolation based on different factors. the agency warns the recommendations will prevent most but not all instances of secondary spread of the virus. one of the key mysteries of covid-19 is how long immunity lasts for those who survived. brian todd investigates. >> reporter: adam stadler and his doctor in houston believe stadler has been infected with coronavirus twice. they say stadler first got infected in the spring, battled through it for weeks, then they say he tested negative twice. >> my wife got it. she started having symptoms, three days later it just flat kicked my butt. this go around, this section of it has been 100 times worse than the first time. >> reporter: dr. clay ackerly believes he had a very similar patient, who had the virus, cleared it, he says, then tested negative twice. >> then in mid-june had a family member who caught coronavirus
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again, came into the home, and caught it a second time from that family member. >> reporter: did those patients really get coronavirus a second time? two new studies out of britain and spain say that after people are infected with c eed with co their natural immunity could diminish within months, meaning antibodies that could help fight it off again, could decrease after a month or two. >> your body forgets they ever were infected and come back and get you again. you can be reinfected by the same cold virus every year and get the same cold. >> reporter: but william hassle teen and other experts point out we don't know for sure that people can get reinfected with coronavirus. if it were true that the antibodies and protection were lasting 20 to 30 days, we would see some significant amounts of reinfection. we haven't. >> reporter: experts say traces of coronavirus can linger in patients for up to six to eight weeks. meaning people could falsely believe they have gotten the
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virus twice when in fact it could be one long drawn out case. and those negative test results which stadler and the other patient got after they thought they had cleared the virus might not mean anything either. cnn covered several cases of false negative tests that later proved to be positive. and experts say even if you're antibodies diminish -- >> antibodies are not the only part of the immune system that fights off infection. there are many parts of the immune system and in the case of coronavirus, antibodies may not be the most important immune response. >> reporter: but if our immunity does diminish and if we can get this virus more than once, experts say that has big implications for a potential vaccine. >> you may need to be revaccinated every year, two years or three years. we just don't know what that interval would be yet. >> reporter: expertes say if immunity doesn't last long if you can get reinfected, it would make it difficult for the public to reach a critical is mass of people who have immunity,
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so-called herd immunitimmunity, enough people are immune and it stops the spread of the virus. brian todd, cnn, washington. many issues to unpack. to help me, i'll bring in dr. daria o'connell, an emergency room physician in honolulu, hawaii, i should get your name right. we spoke a couple of days ago. so -- >> good to be back. >> i'll start here with testing. so we heard earlier on the program about how the white house is balking at increased testing and many states including hawaii where you are testing is an issue, contact tracing is an issue, it is something we're seeing as a growing problem across the country. surely more money should be a priority on this, right? >> yeah, yeah. that's correct. speaking locally here in hawaii that one of our main laboratories roche, was the company, and they all of a sudden had to allocate most of their supplies and agents, the
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chemicals we use to conduct these pcr tests to other areas of the country that were experiencing spikes. and at the moment we are not experiencing any spike here in hawaii, but we're gearing up as we're potentially opening up our state to travel without the 14-day quarantine coming up on september 1st. it is concerning that any time that we hear cuts in testing, cuts in contact tracing, these are two vital elements, pivotal elements into combatting this virus that we should be throwing as much money as we can at the moment. because everywhere in the country is experiencing some sort of testing bottleneck. >> i'm going to come back to that quarantine issue you just mentioned. i want to continue on here talking about texas, one of the worst hit states, more than 10,000 cases every day for nearly a week now. cnn spoke earlier to the mayor of austin. i want to play you what he said.
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>> we shouldn't have been in this position, we're here now, we were late getting to overall state mask ban. but we are the example of why masks are important, we have plateaued here in the last few days. but that's a trailing indicator, the people that had gotten sick more than three weeks ago before we did the masking are now passing away in my hospitals, fully a third of my total deaths in my city have happened over the last two weeks. >> so, you know, you heard there that idea of regret came across so powerfully. what if, you know, a more aggressive mask ordinance had come in sooner. you're on the front lines, what is your view? >> i agree. it is tragic in that the science is showing, you know, quite convincingly that masks are helping to prevent transmission of this droplet spread and, you
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know, maybe there is a fraction of aerosol spread of this virus. and so masks really do work. and so to -- it is encouraging that the governor of texas is now recognizing that, hey, look, you know, the science is pointing in this direction, and i encourage everybody in the country to, you know, follow his lead and that, you know, learn from mistakes. the worst mistake you can make is ones you don't learn from. let's learn from that and take a positive out of it and keep moving. and, you know, you never can put, you know, triviality on any life, but he seems to be showing some regret there and we need to move forward and masks are an important part and mandating masks throughout the country would be an important part of combatting this virus as dr. redfield of the cdc mentioned quite visibly and regularly. >> another national issue there has been so much debate over going back to school and a recent study muddying the waters even more there, the conventional wisdom from most experts was that children aren't
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major vectors of covid and the recent study suggested that's -- children younger than 10 transmit to others much less often than adults do. but the risk isn't zero. and those between the ages of 10 to 19 can spread the virus at least as well as adults do. so what effect would this have given some officials are pushing all schools to reopen. >> you're exactly correct when you said that transmission rate is probably not zero. when you get a lot of people, whether it is adults or children into one place like they are in class rooms and schools, there is going to be some sort of transmission. and the studies have shown maybe not quite as readily as adults, but there is a good study that came out -- albeit very small, out of south korea, there is 12 children and, you know, nine of them had mild symptoms, three of them were completely asymptomatic, but they all had viral rna or detection of this
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virus in their nasal swabs, in their stool samples for quite some time, sometimes up to three weeks. and then there is another study out of switzerland that also had 23 symptomatic kids that actually had not just the viral rna, but they're able to culture live virus eventually out of their nasal swabs, about 50% of those 23 kids. and so those are small studies, we need larger studies. there is the heroes study that is being funded by the nih, it is human epidemiology and response to sars. but it is a much larger study and it should be up relatively soon. it is 6,000 people, 2,000 families and they're following children and adults and seeing what the exact transmission rate is between adults and children and vice versa. so that type of information is what we should base definitively
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where you can't make a blanket statement that every school has to open. i think if every school was to open, especially in hot spots, it would be very dangerous for those places and for those children. and thank god that children aren't being affected in the severity that, you know, some of our older adults are. but they're still go to be a vector of transmission in some capability. >> so much still unknown as you say. listen, dr. o'carroll, thank you. there is much more ahead on cnn including tense scenes in portland, oregon, amid ongoing protests over racial justice and controversy over some bizarre arrests. - [narrator] the shark vacmop combines powerful suction with spray mopping to lock away debris and absorb wet messes, all in one disposable pad. just vacuum, spray mop, and toss. the shark vacmop, a complete clean all in one pad.
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the streets of portland, oregon, are tense this hour. police deployed tear gas at demonstrators not long ago. demonstrations for racial justice and against police brutality have been going on for weeks now. saturday evening, demonstrators dismantled reinforced steel fencing that had been put around a vandalized federal building. here is josh campbell with the
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scene in portland. >> reporter: another night of protests here in the city of portland, oregon, this going on for well over 50 nights. this following the death of george floyd at the hands of police officers in minneapolis. now, what transpired here is something we have seen night after night and again protesters coming out, demanding racial justice, demanding an end to their view excessive use of force by police. now, the epicenter of the protests has been this building here. this is the federal building, federal courthouse, earlier today there were metal fences that were set up here to try to keep these protesters back. you can see what the -- what is left of the fences. they were dismantled in the span of about 20 minutes. and pushed up against this building. on the other side of the doors are heavily armed, heavily trained, highly trained federal agents who have already made their presence out here known tonight. earlier this evening they came out and dispersed this crowd using tear gas, and other crowd dispersant tools to try to push this crowd back.
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we ourselves were teargassed as we experienced that and we're told that is something that will routinely happen here. but, again, you can see the crowd is back, they continue to protest, they want their issues to be heard here. one thing that has really fueled a lot of the anger in the crowd recently is a social media post that showed a man being arrested by two highly armed, heavily armed officers that approached this man, took him to an unmashed van where he was driven away. we learned those agents were from u.s. customs and border protection. we asked what happened to that man, whether he was charged, released, they have not yet returned our request for comment. that remains something that we continue to seek answers for. i can tell you there remains a standoff between federal officials and local officials here. local city officials want to see the feds out of here. there has been this influx of resources. president trump and the acting homeland security secretary say federal resources will remain. that's a real point of
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contention here by both the protesters and local officials who want to see the feds out of here. yet to be seen how long these protests will continue here in oregon. josh catmpbell, cnn, portland. many questions about the protests, the federal law enforcement agencies there, and especially those controversial arrests. cnn chief legal analyst jeffrey toobin spoke about that earlier with our wolf blitzer. >> here we have a bizarre situation where the governor of oregon doesn't want these federal police, the mayor of portland doesn't want them, the two senators don't want it, but the president feels it is important to have a federal presence in this situation. the question is are they doing more harm than good? but the local authorities, state and municipal, they don't have the ability to tell the feds to
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just go home. so they have to deal with the fact that the feds are there, and the question is are the feds provoking more outrage, provoking more protests or are they serving to quiet things down? i don't have the answer here, and i don't think anyone knows the answer at this point. >> so if the protesters are, you know, obviously protesting, but let's say they're going through and breaking down that fence around that federal building in portland, does that justify the local police doing something about it, or does that justify federal armed personnel coming in and we have seen the pictures? >> well, according to the president's executive order, federal authorities, including these federal agents, they are -- they do have the ability to arrest people for interference with federal property. they have the legal right to do
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that. the question is it wise? is it a -- is it an appropriate use of federal force? are they doing it as something the president is trying to prove that these democratically run cities and states are outlaws or are they trying to keep the peace. i think as a technical legal matter, the feds have the right to do this. the question of whether it is wise or not is very different. >> there are disturbing new details about the breonna taylor case. taylor was shot eight times inside her home in louisville, kentucky, during a police raid in march. a lawsuit now claims she was alive for five to six minutes after being shot. that's on top of claims from taylor's boyfriend who said she was coughing after being shot and that police didn't rush in to try to help her. the coroner is denying this saying taylor likely died within a minute of being shot and
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couldn't have been saved. new cases of covid-19 are surging all over the u.s. in california, some local officials now say the state might need to shut down again. brazil's people are paying a tragic price as their president downplays covid-19, but the country could also be crucial in developing a vaccine. we'll explain coming up. - [narrator] the shark vacmop combines powerful suction with spray mopping to lock away debris and absorb wet messes, all in one disposable pad. just vacuum, spray mop, and toss. the shark vacmop, a complete clean all in one pad. when it comes to parenting, you're a pro. you know reflexes are key. you know your kid doesn't step around puddles. and wet shoes, not cool. you know what else isn't cool? those cheap leaky diapers. because with luvs, you get the pro-level leak protection you're looking for.
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welcome back to our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm kim brunhuber. you're watching "cnn newsroom." more than a quarter of a million people around the world have
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contracted the coronavirus in just 24 hours. the world health organization says it is the biggest one day total so far. many of those new cases are in the united states. so to speed up testing, the u.s. food and drug administration has given emergency approval to so-called pool testing that can analyze multiple samples at once. cnn's paul vercammen has more from los angeles. >> reporter: los angeles city leaders say a way to stop the tide of bad covid-19 numbers is through testing and then contact tracing and finding out just who does or doesn't have covid-19. testing here at the crenshaw christian center in this neighborhood predominantly black and latino, the council president here, herb wesson, says he would be in favor of even more shutdowns in los angeles and los angeles county to get after this rising problem. he also said he wants to see more leadership out of the white
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house. >> now this is not a time where government shrinks. this is when government rises. this is when government does what the people hired us to do. take care of them, make sure they're safe. >> reporter: wesson is also critical of california's governor. he said part of the problem now is he believes governor newsom reopened california way too soon. reporting from los angeles, i'm paul vercammen. now, back to you. brazil's government has been widely criticized for its handling of the pandemic. but some advance vaccine studies are under way in the country. that's partly because of its coronavirus troubles, but also because of its research centers and experience distributing vaccines. shasta darlington reports from sao paulo. >> reporter: brazilian doctor lives his life helping others. providing care to help people deal with illness. but now he's taken that mission one step further.
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campos is taking part in phase three clinical trials of an experimental coronavirus vaccine developed by uk pharmaceutical giant astrazeneca and oxford university. >> translator: i was motivated to help. i know the importance of having a well designed clinical study, of having participants so it is a well done clinical study. i'm not scared. it is likely a safe vaccine. >> reporter: campos is one of several thousand volunteers, mostly health workers, from brazil's biggest city sao paulo. half of the volunteers are receiving the experimental covid-19 vaccine, while the other half receive a meningitis vaccine which can provoke similar symptoms. they are then closely monitored by the vaccine team. >> translator: i have to fill out a virtual questionnaire that i received in my email. it asks if i have any symptoms. if i have a fever. in the first few days it was
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more specific. now it is more about symptoms and fever. it asks if i had any injuries, any wound at the site of the vaccine. >> reporter: the astrazeneca trial is one of two phase three studies under way in brazil. and is one of only three in the world to have reached this advanced stage. the chinese biotech firm sin vac is testing in partnership with an institute. 9,000 volunteers will participate. several factors combine to make brazil an attractive market for covid-19 vaccine trials. it is also because of the country's rapid covid-19 transmission rate. in the last few days, brazil achieved an unenviable milestone, registering 2 million cases of infections, second only to the united states. it also has the second highest number of confirmed deaths.
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scenes like these are common across the country. some here see these ongoing vaccine trials as a positive step inattling this deadly disease. and a chance to gain access to vaccines if they're approved. >> the agreement provided for the purchase of lots of vaccine and technology transfer. the initiative therefore not only guarantees that the product is available, but will give autonomy and production. >> reporter: preliminary results of the trials are expected by the end of the year. shasta darlington, cnn, sao paulo. there is much more ahead, celebrating the life while mourning the death of lawmaker and civil rights icon john lewis. stay with us. - [narrator] the shark vacmop combines powerful suction with spray mopping to lock away debris and absorb wet messes, all in one disposable pad. just vacuum, spray mop, and toss. the shark vacmop, a complete clean all in one pad. ♪ ♪all strength
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brazil is still the world's second worst hit country with covid-19 after the u.s., but there are troubling must ing nu
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coming out of other countries. in mexico, a record new number of cases on saturday. it is on track to past the uk for the world's third highest number of coronavirus deaths. overall, latin america and the caribbean have around 3.7 million known infections. so for the latest from the region, journalist stefan stefano pozzabon is live from colombia. it seems like they're setting new records and colombia where you are is no different, the worst single day number of cases, the highest since the pandemic began. what is the latest there? >> reporter: yes, exactly. it really feels that this has become the critical moment here in colombia and that perhaps is the same moment that was in europe in february, march, early april. and after four months of
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quarantining and preparations, now the country seems to be bracing for the moment when coronavirus is hitting it. the most we have seen record cases, consecutive record cases for three days in the last seven days. the government is saying that he's pledging that their plan is working and that they have all the resources in place. but the next few days and the next few weeks could prove crucial here in colombia, kim. >> on top of the health effects, the new lockdown orders are really having a huge effect on people's ability to work, people are getting desperate, i understand. there is even some looting. >> reporter: yes, exactly, kim. the thin line that many governments around the world are walking between the health emergency on one side and the economic situation on the other
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is perhaps even thinner in region like latin america, where the developments of the last few years cannot mask a very delicate situation with many people that leave still very close to the poverty line. here in colombia, especially in colombia, urban areas in the main cities, the unemployment has more than doubled since the beginning of the pandemic and was exactly as you said an incident where several people lost their lives when trying to loot a track of gasoline in a low income community, a few hundred kilometers north of bogota, where i'm staying at the moment. and that's perhaps also the reason why the government has so far resisted the possibility of imposing a lockdown, a total lockdown on the whole country and instead the government is trying to use localized
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lockdowns around the hot spots that is tracking in order to limit as much as possible the damage in the economy. >> all right, i really appreciate that insight, thank you so much, stefano, appreciate it. the british prime minister is expressing his reluctant toward implementing a second national lockdown, comparing it to a nuclear deterrent. he says, quote, i can't abandon that tool any more than i would abandon a nuclear deterrent but it is like a nuclear deterrent, i don't want to use it. the prime minister says he doesn't believe a second lockdown will be necessary because the government has a better understanding of the virus. spain is reporting a surge in new coronavirus cases. the latest daily infection figures are the highest in more than two months with many of them in the hard hit catalonia region. al goodman is in madrid, spain, for us. new records, new restrictions,
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they have been hoping to reopen, take advantage of what is left of the tourist season. doesn't look like it is going to happen. >> reporter: well, actually, kim, it is happening. it has led to these increasing number of outbreaks. the nationwide lockdown was lifted just about a month ago on june 21st. since then, people have been going out, people who were confined to their provinces have been moving around, especially from here in madrid, moving out to the coast, to go many of them have second homes, or just to go to hotels on the beaches. people on the coastal areas, everybody moving around quite a bit more. and what has happened is there is more than 1100 o00 outbreaks around the country. there is a large suburb right near the airport, that has had an outbreak that has spread beyond just the social -- the usual social event of a
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family -- a large family getting together for a wedding or for meals or something like that, it is called community spread. now they don't know where it is coming from. and so in the city of barcelona, the authorities in catalonia, that region, asked people to stay home and not go away for the weekend, though people aren't re specting that. they don't have the authority to impose a lockdown. there are other places like this across the country. this is increasing concern. the number of new cases reported on friday was the highest, 600 plus, the highest since may, when the nation was locked down. the good news is that the death rate has not gone up. it is still just a little bit over 28,000, 28,400. the number of deaths in the last week just up ten in the country that has been so hard hit, one of the worst hit countries in europe by the coronavirus. but the increasing number of cases is really putting to the test the government's claim that there were enough contact tra r
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tracers. critics are saying there are not. they're having a real problem right now in the barcelona area and area two hours from barcelona and other localized hot spots around the country. kim? >> al goodman in madrid, thank you. appreciate it. and the german chancellor is sounding a warning, she says the european union may not be able to agree on an economic recovery fund for the damage inflicted by the pandemic and lockdowns. angela merkel and her fellow eu leaders are in brussels trying to hash out the deal. she says there is a lot of goodwill but other different positions. after the break, house parties are making comebacks in the u.s. in this pandemic and causing a pounding coronavirus hangover. stay with us. plus, as japan wrestles with rising coronavirus numbers, it is unique national sport is back. we'll go to tokyo for the return of sumo. for bathroom odors that linger try febreze small spaces.
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house parties in the u.s. often involving lots of young people seem to be leading to troubling spikes of coronavirus cases. one recent gathering in michigan
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led to dozens of new cases which then spread across state lines as cnn's tom foreman reports. >> reporter: the fourth of july holiday fallout is landing hard in michigan, where officials say a single house party in the town of celine has exploded into at least 43 confirmed cases of covid. >> it sounds like from our investigation that there were some folks at the initial event with some mild illness and that's probably one of the reasons that we have seen it spread so quickly. >> reporter: indeed, authorities say the partygoers carried the virus to stores, restaurants, other businesses, a canoe rental place, camps, even connecting with athletic teams and a retirement community. triggering confirmed infections in all those locations, some even went to other states. >> the case count does continue to go up. >> reporter: most of those infections hit people between the ages of 15 to 25, raising new concern about that huge lake party on the northern end of the
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state, where health officials say people are also turning up with covid. but michigan is far from alone. in state after state, the warnings are stepping up from young people who contracted the virus -- >> take this seriously. it is not a joke. >> reporter: and officials who worry about environments that attract the young, tired of being locked down. parties, bars, concerts. >> just nothing about that environment that is conducive to slowing the spread of covid-19. >> he went to a -- someone's home, there was a few people there, and i'm sure they were eating, drinking. >> reporter: michelle's 21-year-old son went to a gathering of friends, came home and now her whole family is covid positive, her husband john is on a ventilator. >> it is scary he's there all alone fighting for his life. you let your guard down one time, all it takes, you come home and infect the entire house. >> reporter: this is precisely what health officials worried about all along, people mackke
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decision to do what they want to do and go where they want to go and that affects hundreds of other people who did not make that choice. tom foreman, cnn, washington. two more u.s. military personnel in okinawa, japan, have tested positive for the coronavirus. that brings the total number of cases on u.s. military bases in japan to 143. the japanese defense ministers is asking the u.s. to test all military personnel arriving in the country. the numbers have been rising across the country including the capital of tokyo, where thousands of fans will attend a sumo tournament over the next few weeks. sumo wrestling is a uniquely japanese with its artful rituals, revered as the country's national sport. but as journalists explain, this tournament will be different. >> reporter: even some sumo fans are surprised they're being let into watch a match so soon. it was a last minute decision
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before the 15-day grand sumo tournament, it comes at a time when new coronavirus cases are climbing in tokyo to record levels. >> translator: letting fans in is good for japan and good for wrestlers, so long as we take every precaution. i just think the timing is a little bad. >> reporter: baseball opened up to spectators last week. that's outdoors. sumo is indoors. and sumo is the only sport in japan to have one of its athletes die from covid-19 back in may. it is a contact sport, competitors are virtually naked, in an era of social distancing, it might be a template for sports like judo and boxing, organizers are being extra cautious. 2500 people are going in. that's 25% of capacity. no shouting. just clapping, please. these are the spectator guidelines that are becoming the standard across all sporting events here in japan. masks and temperature checks are so common nowadays that it doesn't feel unusual anymore.
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but the virus has wiped out many of the rituals that go with the ancient sport of sumo. the prematch ritual of power water, wrestlers taking a sip of water from a shared ladle, not today. a ritual that did happen was one to pray for safety, salt and rice, traditional offerings were buried in the ring. the favorites to win are the two yokozuna, but it is going to be disorienting to wrestle in front of a 25% full arena, not quite as much an empty arena in march, but enough to make this one of the most unpredictable sumo tournaments in years. for cnn, tokyo. before we leave you this hour, at the white house, and across america saturday, u.s. flags were lowered to half-staff to honor the life and legacy of congressman john lewis. he died friday after battling pancreatic cancer. he was 80 years old. for much of his life, lewis worked to make sure every
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american enjoyed the rights and freedoms promised in the constitution. wolf blitzer spoke with senator cory booker about lewis' impact on the nation. >> since he was a teenager he was on the front lines of the fight for justice in america. the youngest person to speak on the march on washington, leading a major protest from freedom rides to pivotal marches like we saw on bloody sunday on the edmund pettus bridge. but even in his senior years, he was there at the center of the well of the house of representatives fighting for just about every major issue from immigration reform to the rights of lgbtq americans. he's got an extraordinary career and he did it in a way, in a society that can often be too materialistic, too much about possessions and position, he showed you that in this country you have true power, which comes from your capacity to love. your dignity, your grace, and your unrelenting commitment to
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make true the virtues of this country put down on our founding documents but yet to be achieved in a reality for all. >> a man who fought for civil rights along side lewis, former u.s. ambassador to the u.n. andrew young talked about his friend's humble character. >> john's strength was his humility. he had almost no ego. no sense of his own self-importance. but he had a sense of his spiritual power and he also had a very charming sort of personality where even when you disagreed with him, you couldn't get mad with him. and i think -- and he didn't -- with anybody who disagreed with him. he learned to disagree without being disagreeable.
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and that's -- and one of the reasons i think we all live so long is we had no anger in our movement. we understood the complications racism and we saw it as a sickness. not something that people were, you know, you don't get angry with anybody for having polio, and you don't get angry for people if they were born in a situation that deprived them of the love and understanding of different races, agendas, that made them prejudiced. >> that was civil rights activist and former ambassador andrew young talking about his friend the late congressman john lewis. well, that wraps this hour of "cnn newsroom." i'm kim brunhuber. thanks for watching. the news continues.
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another day, another incredible surge in coronavirus cases across the united states. >> a little frustration, a lot of anger that we're in this place. we shouldn't have been in this position. we are the example of why masks are important. >> mayor bob's mask mandate cannot be enforced. >> the people in our state a dying. perhaps the governor doesn't know anyone who lost a loved one to covid-19. i do. >> we cannot give up now. we cannot give in. >> no. >> keep the faith. keep our eyes on the prize. >> i thi


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