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CNN NEWSROOM

Vaccine Hesitancy Frustrates U.S. Health Care Workers; Corporate America Tells U.S. Workers to Get Vaccinated; Greenland Experiences Biggest Melting Event of 2021; Olympic Athletes Dealing with Grueling Heat; Nigerian Cop Accused of Making Arrest at Request of Abbas; What's with all the Hybrids? Aired 1-2a ET

Aired July 30, 2021 - 01:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[01:00:30]

JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Hello everyone. I'm John Vause. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Studio 7 at CNN's world headquarters in Atlanta.

Ahead this hour:

From really bad to even worse. Soon-to-be released data from the CDC about the delta variant means, quote, the war has changed.

Also ahead --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have patients that deny they have COVID, all the way until intubation.

REPORTER: What do they think they have?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They think they have a cold.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Complete COVID denial, and literally holding on to conspiracy theories until the very last breath.

And it's 2:00 at the Tokyo Olympics. It is day 7, lots of medals, and we have Patrick Snell.

The global battle to end the coronavirus pandemic, just took a turn from the worse. New data set to be released later Friday and confirmed by CNN revealing a new delta variant is not only highly transmissible, but it is as contagious as the measles, and chicken pox. It can cause more severe illness, and also be spread as easily by an infected vaccinated person, as someone who is not vaccinated.

"The Washington Post" was the first to report the story, and the headline here, quotes from the CDC internal documents, the war has changed. And, if that is the case, then the CDC sudden reversal on mask guidance, earlier this week, appears to be a strategic retreat, brought on by the delta variant. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky has confirmed she was part of a small

group briefed on the new data Thursday, and told CNN, quote, I think people need to understand that we're not crying wolf here. This is serious. It is one of the most transmissible viruses we know about. Measles, chicken pox -- they're all up there.

For more on what this now means for the pandemic response, I spoke earlier to a virus expert, Dr. Eric Topol.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. ERIC TOPOL, CARDIOLOGIST & PROF. OF MOLECULAR MEDICINE, SCRIPPS RESEARCH: There's no question, this is a formidable strain of the virus we've seen, since the beginning of the pandemic. But, we have known about this. We have known, it was highly transmissible, and very, very contagious, and it has been studied to know, if it is in the same ballpark as some of our most communicable diseases. So, most of this is not a surprise. I think the one thing that is noted is that if you're vaccinated, you could carry and transmit delta. That is the thing that is, of course, is very disturbing because all along, we've been thinking, well, if you're fully vaccinated, you're fully protected and you won't spread.

But you're now, potentially, part of the chain. It is important to emphasize though, John, still, these breakthrough infections are not going to be common. There are going to be more common than they were in prior areas of the virus, because there is such a large viral load, the people harbor, and their nose, and upper airway. That is why it can override the vaccines, in certain people.

But these breakthrough infections are not going to be widespread and common. And the biggest problem we have is the unvaccinated issues, that we have in the United States, for example. You know, half the population hasn't been vaccinated. That's what's making this an even more urgent problem.

VAUSE: We also have this new information, and it is the reason why the CDC suddenly reversed guidance on masks earlier this week, advising them to mask up instead of public venues, in areas with low vaccination rates. But yet within these documents, this is what they say: Given high transmissibility and current vaccine coverage, universal masking is essential to reduce transmission of the delta variant.

So, what could explain why that recommendation was watered down? Why not just go with the whole universal recommendation?

TOPOL: Yeah. Well, you know, what is amazing here, John, is that you were warned about this -- first through India, and then the U.K. We knew this virus was, highly transmissible, and it was doubling every 10 days from May. Now, it's well over 94 percent of infections.

So, there was no reason in May to let go of the mask. All we're doing now is what we should have been doing back in May as we knew this virus was spreading, and growing in this country.

VAUSE: Very quickly, if we're at this stage now with the delta variant, if this keeps mutating, how much more worse can it get?

TOPOL: Great question. No one knows the answer to that one. Now, the hope is we have hit the peak challenge, but, we don't know that for sure. If we don't contain this virus, during the different means we have, and we are not using them all, but if we don't contain it, it's possible that there will be another Greek letter that's potentially worse than delta, but I sure hope not.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[01:05:04]

VAUSE: The delta variant, now the dominant strain worldwide, and the U.S. infections are once again on the rise, at the highest level now since last month. The vaccines are among the most effective way to slow the virus, but in the United States, around half the population are fully vaccinated.

So, now, the U.S. government, implementing new measures to increase the rate of vaccination.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The paid leave to get the shot. And the federal government, fully reimbursing any small, or medium sized businesses that provides workers with paid time off to get vaccinated. I'm calling out all states and local governments, to use funding to refer to the American Rescue Plan, to give $100 to anyone who gets fully vaccinated.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Corporate America is also taking a harder line on the unvaccinated. A growing list of corporations are making proof of vaccination, a condition of continued employment.

Israel is soon to be one of the first countries in the world to offer a 3rd shot of the COVID vaccine. It would be offered to people over 60 who are fully vaccinated, which is Israel's latest effort to ramp up defense against the extremely transmissible delta variant as the country sees a spike in cases.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NAFTALI BENNETT, PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL: The decision was based on considerable research and analysis, as well as the rise and risk of the delta variant wave. Israel has already vaccinated 2,000 immuno- suppressed people, with a third dose with no severe adverse events. Now, we are rolling out a national third dose campaign. We'll share with all -- all the information we have with the rest of the global community, as we make progress.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Elliott Gotkine live for us this hour in Jerusalem. So, this is a program which gets away on Sunday. Going it pays for it.

It is, essentially, an effort because we found the efficacy and the effectiveness of the current vaccine, kind of, diminishing over a very short period of time.

ELLIOTT GOTKINE, JOURNALIST: Yes, John, that's right. And I think the other important thing to note is that, of course, Israel was among the fastest countries, the fastest out of the blocks to vaccinate its -- start the vaccination campaign for its population, around 85 percent of adults are now vaccinated.

So, it kind of follows that if you were among the first to receive both doses of the vaccine, back in December, it kicked off, you may recall, with then Prime Minister Netanyahu being -- receiving his first dose live on television. It follows that if you're the first to receive, but you would also be among the first to start seeing the effects waning.

Now, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett referred to that study or the 2,000 people was suppressed immune systems who received a third dose already, there is other data out there as well. For example, there was a research paper on a dialysis patient, that is showing that those who received a third dose, two thirds of them, were better protected against the delta variants.

Of course, the big concern here, in Israel, is that if you cast your mind back a month or two ago, you saw fewer than 10 cases on a daily basis. On the past few days, who's in an excess of 2,000 cases, every day. Now, the number of serious cases is still pretty low, but there are clearly concerns that that could also increase.

Israel doesn't want to take chances, and as a result, it rolls out a camp in the takes effect in about 90 minutes time with President Isaac Herzog receiving his third dose of the COVID vaccine. He is age 60 himself -- John.

VAUSE: Elliott, thank you. Elliott Gotkine there in Jerusalem with the very latest.

Well, Vietnam is now just the latest Asian country to crumble in the face of the delta variant. This comes as authorities are trying to ramp up the national vaccination rollout. Roughly 7,500 new infections were reported on Thursday. Now, the Vietnamese military is taking action -- as CNN's Paula Hancocks reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPODENT (voice-over): Army trucks fanned out across Vietnam's capital, Hanoi, this week. Soldiers in hazmat suits has been spraying down streets with disinfectant despite guidance from the World Health Organization that is ineffective against COVID. And can be bad for people's health.

A nation that, previously, prided itself on containing the coronavirus, Vietnam is now experiencing a dramatic spike in infections. Looking at the seven-day moving average since the pandemic began, it was almost flat for a year and a half. Now, there are over 6,000 new cases per day.

Those rising numbers, adding to the stress of students across the country who have been sitting there crucial high school examinations.

NUGYEN VU CHINH, STUDENT (through translator): My family numbers are very worried that these examinations will trigger another outbreak affects other plans, as well as my future. It is quite risky, but I decided to take it anyway because it is a decisive exam.

HANCOCKS: Besides the disinfection campaigns, the government has imposed strict lockdowns. Shops and services are shut in the capital, and in Ho Chi Minh City, where most of the cases have been reported.

The usual bustling streets are now empty. People are struggling to earn money.

NGUYEN VAN THONG, RESIDENT (through translator): In this latest COVID wave, our business has been difficult. Not much income. We have to limit our spending on daily expenses.

HANCOCKS: The current outbreak, putting pressure on the government to increase its vaccine supply, and speed up inoculations. So far, only one half of 1 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated. COVID-19 treatment centers are cropping up in Ho Chi Minh City to accommodate more patients. The more transmissible delta variant is putting pressure on the country's health care system, while highlighting the slow vaccination program.

The government has said it's trying hard to control the spread, with some techniques less effective than others.

Paula Hancocks, CNN, Seoul.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: One week into the Tokyo Olympics, and coronavirus cases, nationwide, are hitting record highs.

For the first time during the pandemic, Japan has reported more than 10,000 new daily infections. Their plans, now underway, to keep in the emergency orders in place in Tokyo, and Osaka, and three other prefectures.

CNN's Blake Essig live in Tokyo for us.

The issue here is, actually, trying to separate what is being caused by the Olympics, and the gathering of people outside of the stadiums, and people coming together to celebrate. And what is actually just happening as an all part of a pandemic.

Is there a way of knowing what is being responsible for what part of the surging numbers?

BLAKE ESSIG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, John, I really think it is too early to tell, or make that connection between what's as a result of the Olympics, versus just the delta variant, which at this point, national infectious disease specialist hearsay, accounts for around 70 percent of the cases, here in Tokyo.

But, look, just last week, you had tens of thousands of people gathering, outside of the new national stadium, in the buildup to the opening ceremony, at the same time, where cases are running rampant. So, it's hard to make that connection. I think, over the next couple of weeks. We're going to start seeing the effects of these Olympic Games.

You know, obviously, not these big numbers that the Olympic cases involved to have, but there is a chance that the Olympics is resulting in increased cases.

Now, across the nation here, cases are soaring. The case count topped 10,000 for the first time since the pandemic began. Here in Tokyo, more than 3,800 cases were reported just yesterday. That is a highly daily total for the capital, ever recorded -- a record now set three days in a row.

And now, Olympic officials are reporting that 27 new cases are linked to the Olympics. That was reported today, and that is also a daily record. Although Olympic related cases are remaining relatively low, public experts tell CNN that the Olympic bubble, has already burst, and that the board transmission outside, the opportunity for those within the bubble to get infected. As the 5th wave infection continues to swell across the country, public broadcaster, NHK, is reporting with several prefectures near Tokyo have asked the central government to declare a state of emergency, in effect, to contain the spread of infection. Those requests are expected to be approved later tonight by Japan's prime minister, Yoshihide Suga -- John.

VAUSSE: Blake Essig in Tokyo with the latest, thank you.

To Fukushima Japan, and Dr. Kenji Shibuya is the director of the COVID Vaccination Medical Center, in the city of Soma.

So, thank you for being with us again, sir. It's good to see you.

DR. KENJI SHIBUYA, DIRECTOR, SOMA COVID-19 VACCINATION MEDICAL CENTER: Very nice to see you again.

VAUSE: Well, the number of new COVID infections, especially in Tokyo, appears to be only going in one direction. These are the highest number since the pandemic began. So, how much longer can hospitals, and medical centers, cope with these increasing numbers? How close is Tokyo, in particular, hospitals in Tokyo, to that moment when patients are turned away because beds are filled?

SHIBUYA: Yes. The pace of creation, took faster than expected and -- which is dominated by the delta variant. And that is very concerning. In fact, hospitals have not been doing an increasing job of it i. So, underground, it is already overwhelmed.

VAUSE: So, I understand, there is a waiting list, already, to get into hospitals at the moment for many patients, who may not be seriously ill, but just moderately ill. SHIBUYA: Yeah. So, right now, you know, despite the degrees in

admission day to day, the growing number among young adults, speaking of big issues.

[01:15:02]

And they are initially, and more importantly, severe, moderately ill, but soon to be severe. So, people, particularly policymakers are claiming that we don't see increasing in cases, which is not true.

VAUSE: One of the issues here, especially in Tokyo, the international fans may not be there for the Olympics, and the venues maybe empty, but outside these stadiums and the Olympic venues, people gathering to celebrate with the Olympics and to take part in everything, but they are gathering in large numbers and they are -- many are not vaccinated.

And so, it seems that there is a direct correlation between the Olympics, and the surge in the number of patients, COVID patients, especially in Tokyo.

SHIBUYA: The IOC claims that the games do not have direct impact on local transmission. But, the Olympics is the world's largest sporting event, and has the goal, theme and sentiment of celebration, excitement. So, for example, a boy -- high school boy who I vaccinated yesterday, asked me, Doctor, could I go to a sporting event today, because I'm so excited by the athlete. So, you know, the sentiment here.

So, although the Olympics may not have a direct impact, but indirectly, they have brought in the sentiment of celebration and excitement.

VAUSE: So, there's definitely a connection there between what is happening with these numbers, and hospital admissions and the games, which are underway.

One thing which is interesting, though, is that in Japan, the number of people who are dying from COVID-19 has not increased significantly, which I imagine means that they were both being treated staying in hospitals longer, which is taking up beds, you know, for an increasing amount of time.

SHIBUYA: That is true. And we expect more, you know, patient, severe patient among the young adult who are not vaccinated soon.

VAUSE: And that's the situation with Japan, and the vaccination. Still, it is a very low rate vaccination. So, you take the contagious delta variant, low rates of vaccination, and this is where you get the situation now, with the skyrocketing numbers. These are the highest number since the pandemic began.

SHIBUYA: That is absolute truth. And although the vaccination is being ramped up, and the government is pushing it, but still, less than 30 percent of the Japanese population is fully vaccinated.

VAUSE: At this point, what can be done?

SHIBUYA: Well, unfortunately (INAUDIBLE) of emergency declaration are not so effective as before. And if you go around Tokyo, people are behaving as usual. So, I think what the government could do is turn out the vaccination, expand testing massively, and also, I think, the fundamental mistake has been the inconsistent message as to where they had to stay at home and, the other, they had to see (ph) the Olympics.

VAUSE: Yeah, it's one of those sort of situations where so many people obviously want to enjoy the Olympic Games, but that is something which is maybe best avoided at this time -- at this point in time.

Dr. Kenji Shibuya, thank you so much for being with us.

SHIBUYA: My pleasure.

VAUSE: BMX racing, off to a horrific start in Tokyo with serious crashes in both the men's and women's heat. And we'll details, just ahead.

Also, John Lee did not win Olympic gold, but his daughter did. How she triumphed over tragedy to become a world champion.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SUNI LEE, TEAM USA GOLD WINNER: I just feel like I could have never been here, ever, like it doesn't feel like real life.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[01:21:06]

VAUSE: Rowers, runners, swimmers, all celebrating Olympic gold at this hour in Tokyo, up for grabs and more than a dozen sports. Qualifying underway in athletics, including track, discuss, and hurdles. China, Japan, and the United States, all in contention for the most gold medals. The U.S. is leading in the overall medal tally.

CNN's Will Ripley is standing by live in Tokyo, but let's go to World Sport anchor Patrick Snell for all the details on what is happening with the competition.

So, Patrick, take it away.

PATRICK SNELL, CNN WORLD SPORT ANCHOR: John, thank you so much.

Yeah, plenty going on, especially when it comes to BMX this day Friday. We are monitoring the situation carefully, indeed, at the moment. We can tell you that defending gold medalist from the United States, Connor Fields, involved in a crash, earlier today. He failed to finish during the 3rd round, of the men's semifinal. Fields, actually, taken away in an ambulance, and not able to race in the final, which he had qualified, for the record. No word at this hour, and the 28-year-old's condition. We will keep you updated on that.

The final itself, won by Niek Kimmann of the Netherlands, despite the fact that he made suffered a fractured knee, on route to the title there.

And, another crash as well, Friday and BMX racing. This is the first run of the first women semi by Australian competitor, Saya Sakakibara, stretching off, after being involved in the crash. He was leading at the time, didn't finish the run.

Great Britain's Bethany Shriever, holding off for 2-time Olympic gold medalist Mariana Pajon of Colombia, to win gold by the finest of margins.

Let's get to the aquatic center today. We go South African star Tatyana Schoenmaker has had a day to remember, not only wining gold in the women's 200 meter breaststroke, but also passing the world mark, was a time out to 2:18:95. The 24-year-old from Johannesburg, overcome with emotion, upon realizing what she had accomplished.

The USA's Lily King was leading with the 150 meter turn, but that's when the South African just surge forward to seal a famous victory. King with silver medal.

And the Russia Olympic Committee's Evgeny Rylov's fine Summer Games continuing Friday. The 24-year-old now the first swimmer not representing the U.S. to win a gold medal in the men's 200 meter backstroke at the Olympics, in 1992, would you believe? His wining time, 1:53:27, that is a new Olympic record. It's been a great week for him, having already won 100 meter backstroke gold medal. America's Ryan Murphy with a silver place finish there.

John, that is the latest so far, on a busy Friday again.

VAUSE: Yeah, absolutely. And Friday when track events get underway.

SNELL: Yeah.

VAUSE: So, who are you looking for a potential break out here?

SNELL: Track and field eventually underway. So when I interviewed recently, pole vaulting star, Mondo Duplantis. Pole vaulting getting underway on Saturday in Japan, where much of the focus will, indeed, be on Sweden's world record holder, Duplantis.

He's actually born in the United States, 21 years of age from Louisiana, but he has been reacting, John, to news on Thursday, that the American, athlete and rival, Sam Kendricks, has now been ruled out of Tokyo 2020, due to a positive COVID-19 test.

Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ARMAND "MONDO" DUPLANTIS, SWEDISH POLE VAULTER: It is hard to react to, because it still doesn't really feel real right now. I, mean as far as an hour ago, I was still preparing myself for a big battle with Sam, because I feel like coming into here that he, is of course, one of my main rivals and somebody who's going to push in the entire final and qualifying.

But, it is hard to explain. I am quite shocked, I still don't believe it, really. Still feels, like somehow, some way, he will be able to compete. But, as far as right, I guess it's not looking that good for him. So, I man, I don't know. It's hard to say, really. It still doesn't even feel like it's the way it is.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SNELL: And Duplantis there speaking on Thursday, John, as I send it right back to you.

VAUSE: Patrick, we appreciate that. Thank you. Patrick Snell with the very latest.

Let's go to Will Ripley in Tokyo.

And, Will, you know, Simone Biles -- she wasn't there.

[01:25:01]

The U.S. still won gold.

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, I mean, look, Simone Biles, let's be clear here. She is a once in a generation, if not once in a lifetime, gymnastics talent. She overshadows everybody when she is on her A-game. But, when she realized she was not performing up to her standards, or team, standards she checked her ego, she stepped back, and she gave others, on her team, an opportunity to shine.

And who is shine in the brightest right now? Suni Lee.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RIPLEY (voice-over): From a family of Southeast Asian refugees, to or Olympic gold for Team USA.

SUNISA LEE, U.S. GYMNAST: It's like it doesn't feel like real life.

RIPLEY: Eighteen-year-old Sunisa Lee, the first Hmong American Olympics, stepping up after Biles step back, taking women's individual, all around gold. Win number 6 in the event for Team USA, tying the former Soviet Union's record.

LEE: This metal would not be possible without my coach, is the medical team, my parents, and it is just so surreal. I haven't even let it sink in yet.

(CHEERS)

RIPLEY: Nearly 6,000 miles away in Oakdale, Minnesota, the small Hmong refugee community celebrating big time. Lee's parents fled Laos for the U.S. Her dad says winning gold is the greatest achievement of any Hmong

American.

JOHN LEE, SUNISA LEE'S DAD: All the hard work, all the broken bones, all the time you missed vacationing with us, it paid off.

RIPLEY: Lee's road to gold, tougher than most. In 2019, her father fell from a ladder, leaving him paralyzed from the chest down. In 2020, her aunt and uncle died of COVID-19.

S. LEE: Because there was a point in time where I wanted to quit and I just didn't think I would ever get here, including injuries and stuff. So, there are definitely a lot of emotions, but I'm super proud of myself for sticking with it and believing in myself.

RIPLEY: And now, Suni Lee, making Olympic history.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

RIPLEY: This is what the Olympics are all about. These stories, these amazing back stories. Suni Lee's family, not wealthy by any means. You know, the daughter of refugees from Southeast Asia, they actually built a balance beam in the backyard, John, so that she could still train, whenever things were locked down during the pandemic.

VAUSE: That's a great story. Will, thank you.

Will Ripley live for us in Tokyo.

Well, still to come, Olympians in Tokyo facing a tough competitor. That's the unbearably high temperatures. Some even forced to quit because of heat illness. We speak to a former athlete who almost died of heatstroke while competing.

Also, health experts are trying to wrap their heads around a COVID trend in Britain. Mystery, why did new infections decline once the country opened up?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[01:30:14]

JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back, everyone. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.

I'm John Vause.

Well, we have more now on those internal reports for the Centers for Disease Control which are highlighting just how threatening the delta variant is. New data says the strain is as contagious as chicken pox. It can cause more severe disease. It also suggests vaccinated people with breakthrough infections can carry just as much of the virus as the unvaccinated.

The documents urged health officials to acknowledge the war has changed. "The Washington Post" was the first to report on these documents saying "The agency knows it must revamp its public messaging to emphasize vaccinations as the best defense against the variant so contagious that it acts almost like a different novel virus, leaping from target to target more swiftly than ebola or the common cold."

And even though more than four million people have died and almost 200 million have been infected despite all the warnings from scientists, despite the pleas from exhausted doctors and nurses, there is a small wrongheaded group who just refuse outright to receive a COVID vaccine.

Louisiana's vaccination rate is among the lowest in the U.S. Look at all the light green on that map. In much of the state less than 27 percent of the people are vaccinated. Infections and hospitalizations are soaring.

As CNN's Miguel Marquez reports, the danger is now overwhelming.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Aimee Matzen (ph) struggles to breathe.

(on camera): What does it feel like to have COVID?

AIMEE MATZEN, LOUISIANA COVID-19 PATIENT: Exhausting. Extremely frustrating. Tiring. And the fact that I am here now, I am furious with myself.

MARQUEZ: Why?

MATZEN: Because I was not vaccinated.

MARQUEZ (voice over): Not anti-vaccine, she says, he just didn't get around to it. The 44-year-old is now one of dozens of COVID-19 patients in Baton Rouge's Our Lady of the Lakes Regional Medical Center. Her oxygen low, her doctor says she might need a ventilator.

MATZEWN: Just don't want anyone else winding up like me especially when the vaccine is so easy to get now.

MARQUEZ: The delta variant now prevalent in the Bayou State, not only is it enormously infectious --

DR. CATHERINE O'NEAL, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, OUR LADY OF THE LAKES REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER: The delta variant is far more contagious, right. But that viral load doesn't just mean that I'm going to spread it to more people, it also means that when I inhale somebody else's breath, I'm getting a massive amount of virus.

MARQUEZ: It is spreading everywhere in cities and rural areas.

DR. O'NEAL: There is nowhere safe. If you're interacting in this community, you should be vaccinated and you should have a mask on because we are inundated with COVID.

MARQUEZ: Ronnie Smith, 47, says he thinks he got it from a friend outdoors. Outdoors at a barbecue. He was planning to get the vaccine when COVID-19 got him.

RONNIE SMITH, LOUISIANA COVID-19 PATIENT: Two days after the event, it was just like I went down on the floor and I couldn't get up.

MARQUEZ: Nurses here say they watch the number of critically-ill patients grow rapidly.

Some anti-vaccination patients still in denial COVID-19 is real.

MORGAN BABIN, NURSE, OUR LADY OF THE LAKES REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER: Some people insist that we are lying to them about their COVID positive diagnosis.

MARQUEZ (on camera): Even sick people?

BABIN: Even sick people.

MARQUEZ: Who need oxygen, who might be on their way to death --

BABIN: Yes.

MARQUEZ: -- are still denying they have COVID?

BABIN: Yes. I have patients that deny that they have COVID all the way up until intubation.

MARQUEZ: What do they think they have?

BABIN: They think that they have a cold.

MARQUEZ (voice over): Carsyn Baker, only 21, has a kidney condition. Her doctor has advised against getting vaccinated for now. She thinks she picked up the coronavirus while in a screened-in porch across the room from someone else who had it.

(on camera): What does that tell you about how easy it is to pick this variant up.

CARSYN BAKER, LOUISIANA COVID PATIENT: Yes, it just kind of sucks because people like myself with (INAUDIBLE) disease, you can't really go anywhere now because just everybody is getting sick. And it just doesn't matter what you do.

MARQUEZ: Laurie Douglas has been in nursing for 35 years. The last year -- her hardest. Frustration with sickness, death and the unvaccinated at boiling point.

LAURI DOUGLAS, NURSE, OUR LADY OF THE LAKES REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER: Sometimes praying isn't enough. I'd yell at Jesus if I need to. It is head-shaking, teeth-grinding, knees tight, standing up, just wanting to scream from the hilltops. It's frustrating.

MARQUEZ (on camera): So a couple of things, health officials say while there are a lot of people who are just not ever going to get the vaccine, there is a broad swath that are persuadable and to keep working on them. [01:34:51]

MARQUEZ: The other question is where are they on this current surge? It is hard to say where they are in the way they say because they are so busy. But other hospitals in the region have crunched the numbers and looked at it and they believe that it will be late September before they see the crest of this current surge.

The worry there is that it'll be right in time for autumn and for winter when a whole new surge can begin.

Back to you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: Miguel Marquez, thank you for that report.

Now, in corporate America, more employers are insisting their workers are fully vaccinated. If they are not, find another job. Facebook, Google, Netflix are among the growing number of big companies which require vaccinations for everyone on campus sites.

CNN's Richard Quest has the latest now from New York.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS ANCHOR: It is the increasing COVID cases from the delta variant that is causing the greatest alarm.

So from Silicon Valley to Hollywood to hospitality to Wall Street, executives and HR departments are now telling people get vaccinated or face the consequences. And those consequences could include strict testing, unpaid quarantines, even being fired, termination.

Some business leaders are giving their workers the ultimatum, get vaxed or get out. Danny Meyer, runs Union Square Hospitality, a major presence in New York City's restaurant scene. And he says his restaurant staff must be vaccinated in 45 days or they'll lose their jobs.

And the customers aren't getting off scot-free. If you are not vaccinated, find somewhere else to eat.

DANNY MEYER, FOUNDER AND CEO, UNION SQUARE HOSPITALITY: Look, in a city that's got 26,000 restaurants, if you really want to smoke, you are welcome to do that somewhere else.

And I would say the exact same thing here. If you really want to go unvaccinated, you could dine somewhere else and you can also go work somewhere else.

I really hope that the small number of our employees who have yet to be vaccinated will say I actually like this place even better because they cared about me.

As the artificial date for many people returning to office gets ever closer the beginning of September, so this is an issue that's going to become ever more present as workers are told vaccinate or face the consequences.

Richard Quest, CNN -- New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: Increasing vaccination rates in Portugal means an end to a nighttime curfew this coming Sunday. Other restrictions coming to an end -- opening hours for shops and restaurants who will no longer be limited. More than half of Portugal's population is now fully vaccinated.

Italy though extending a ban on travelers from India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Brazil until the end of next month.

British visitors will now be able to get around using U.K. vaccination and health certificates. But they will still have to quarantine for five days on arrival.

The U.K. is reporting another increase in cases over the past two (ph) days. The rise breaks a week-long streak which saw new cases falling and left experts scratching their heads.

Phil Black explains.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over) : In the first week of England's hands-off, mostly unrestricted policy of living with the coronavirus, something extraordinary has happened.

The U.K.'s growing wave of cases has suddenly unexpectedly fallen away. The drop has been quick and dramatic. Compared to the previous week the total number of confirmed cases is down 36 percent. Scientists admit no one saw this coming.

DEEPTI GURDASANI, QUEEN MARY UNIVERSITY OF LONDON: It's not something that I expected or predicted.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it surprised a lot of people to see something that's come down this quickly this much in the same (INAUDIBLE).

BLACK: So they only have theories on why this is happening. The end of the European soccer championships means no more big emotional crowds. A recent stretch of good weather encourage people to stay outside. Schools are out for summer, closing what some scientists believe is a significant environment for transmission.

Awareness of surging cases may have inspired more cautious behavior and there's also the possibility vast numbers of people are still being infected, they're just not following up with tests because they don't want to cancel plans and stay at home.

LAWRENCE YOUNG, UNIVERSITY OF WARWICK: So the issue is, is what we are seeing in terms of a reduction in cases a true reflection of the community levels of infection?

BLACK: Scientists feel confident on one point. vaccines are helping but it's too soon to attribute the drop to herd immunity.

GURDASANI: We need to remember only 55 percent of our population are fully vaccinated. The rest are either partially vaccinated or not vaccinated at all.

BLACK: The delay between infection and symptomatic illness means that figures don't yet reflect the consequences of England throwing away its pandemic rules on July 19th.

BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: It's very important that we don't allow ourselves to run away with premature conclusions about this.

BLACK: But the sudden changes are fueling hope the U.K. will not experience the grim difficult summer many predicted.

Phil Black, CNN -- London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: Greenland has lost trillions of tons of ice this week. A major meltdown causing some major concern when we come back.

[01:39:59]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VAUSE: Surging summer temperatures are causing the biggest meltdown of the year for Greenland. The amount of ice that liquified on Tuesday alone would be enough to cover the entire state of Florida or about five centimeters of water -- that's two inches.

This is Greenland's third extreme melting in just the past decade.

Let's go to CNN meteorologist Gene Norman with more on this. It is quite -- when you put it in those terms -- covering the entire state of Florida, it gets kind of real.

GENE NORMAN, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Exactly right, John. And it, again, underscores the climate crisis that we are dealing with as temperatures continue to rise globally.

Now, here's something I want to point out that's pretty interesting. I saw this from climate.gov. They've been tracking the loss of the Greenland ice sheet going back to let's say 2002.

And since that time, we've lost five trillion tons -- it's actually metric tons of ice. And it's been a steady loss as you can see -- year by year, that blue line keeps going down.

That's the wrong direction. That's not what we want to see. But that is what's happening. And to underscore what happened this week, let's go back to the end of May. And here is a map showing where the melt was occurring indicated by the kind of reddish-rust color along the outer edges of Greenland.

Now, let's move it forward to what happened this week when we lost 18.4 billion tons since Sunday. And on Tuesday, we had the one-day spike of 8.6 billion which, as you mentioned, would cover Florida with about two inches or five centimeters of water.

Now, why is this all important? Well because when Greenland loses the ice like this, that's what actually causes the sea levels to rise. So it's a big, big concern globally well, because we know that the melting water from Greenland is the largest contributor to that sea level rise.

The sea levels are expected to rise anywhere from point to 0.2 to two meters by the end of this century. And of course, 8 of the 10 largest cities, they're located near coasts where about 40 to 50 percent of the global population lives. So being concerned about sea level rise is something we definitely have to keep monitoring.

And if you are wondering, supposing all of the ice in Greenland melted. Well, that would cause sea levels to rise globally by about seven meters. So it is significant and something that we have to continue to track.

Let's take a look, for instance, at what would happen in different scenarios here. We are looking at the cities that are most at risk by population from a sea level rise threat.

Let's take Shanghai, for example. This is a simulation from Climate Central. This is what Shanghai looks like now. but let's say we -- the temperature rose another 2 degrees Celsius. Well, then we'd have a sea level rise that would cover this much of downtown Shanghai.

[01:44:57]

NORMAN: If you raise it by 4 degrees Centigrade, this is how much water is now covering that area.

So it's all due, of course, to the rise of global temperatures which continue to spike. The last time we had this much ice that we lost in Greenland was 2019.

Of course, John, that was the second warmest year on record -- not a good trend.

VAUSE: Not a good trend, absolutely. Gene, thank you. Appreciate it.

Deadly wildfires continue to sweep across southern Turkey. At least four people have died with emergency crews still battling 20 major burns. Thousands of animals have also been killed. Dozens of villages were ordered to evacuate.

And there's still no end in sight to the searing temperatures in Tokyo with these Olympics on track to being one of the hottest ever of the modern era.

CNN's Selina Wang reports now on the health risks and the precautions now being taken by athletes.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Sweaty, hot, and humid. That's the Tokyo summer. Before the pandemic, heat stroke was the biggest health risk for the Tokyo Games held during the hottest time of year in Japan.

Natsue Koikawa knows the risks of heatstroke all too well. A former professional runner, she passed out during a 1995 marathon in Japan and almost died. It took her more than a year and a half to recover and she never returned to a major marathon race again.

Now a professor and track coach at Juntendo University, she's been researching the dangers of competing in the heat.

NATSUE KOIKAWA, FORMER MARATHON RUNNER (through translator): Heatstroke can happen to anyone, and it's a very common cause of death.

It may be extremely difficult for athletes to give up competing in the middle of the game, because the athletes are representing their country on a stage of their dreams.

And so I tell athletes that having the courage to quit is the best way to prevent heatstroke.

WANG: Back in 1964, the Tokyo Games were actually held in October in order to beat the heat. And it's only gotten hotter since then. According to a report from the British Association for Sustainable Sport, temperatures in Japan have increased three times as fast as the world average since 1900.

MAKOTO YOKOHARI, PROFESSOR OF ENVIRONMENT, UNIVERSITY OF TOKYO: When you take into account not only the temperatures, but of the humidity, I would say the Tokyo summer is the worst in the history of the Olympic games.

WANG: In a statement to CNN, the IOC said it provides shade and water supplies at venues because the health of athletes is, quote, "at the heart of our concerns".

Still, we have already seen athletes struggle under the sun during these games with Russian archer Svetlana Gomboeva being treated for heat exhaustion.

KIT MCCONNELL, SPORTS DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE: A lot of the competition schedule has been built where possible depending on the sport to accommodate, to avoid the hottest parts of the day but that's not possible with every sport.

WANG: On Wednesday, Russia tennis player Daniil Medvedev was visibly struggling. When the umpire asked if he could continue he replied "I'm a fighter I will finish the match, but I can die."

Later in comments posted by Tokyo 2020, he added "I couldn't breathe properly. I think that was the most humid day we have had so far."

Later that day, Spain's Paula Badosa retired (ph) from her match with heatstroke. She had to be escorted off the court in a wheelchair. In response, the International Tennis Federation said that matches will now begin later in the day due to these weather conditions.

But Yokohari says that isn't enough.

YOKOHARI: Having Olympic games in mid summer in Tokyo is not something that you should do. And we should postpone it until like October or November.

WANG: But in the future, it might not just be Tokyo. According to a commentary published in "The Lancet", by 2085, the number of large cities that would be considered low risk to hold the Olympics in summer months would be extremely limited.

In the meantime, Koikawa says athletes must stop if they feel the onset of heatstroke as it's better to put their Olympic dreams rather than their lives on the line.

Selina Wang, CNN -- Tokyo.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: At least 13 cities across Brazil reported snow and freezing rain this week. Temperatures are forecast to continue to drop. Friday, expected to be one of the coldest days of the year. Chance to get out and have a little bit of fun.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am 62 years old, and I've never seen the snow, you know? To see nature's beauty is something indescribable.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was worth it. Actually you almost don't feel the cold because of how exciting the snow is. It is marvelous. It is marvelous.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: It's marvelous. It's marvelous.

Well, coming up, social media star Hushpuppi gained millions of followers by showing off his luxurious lifestyle. Turns out, he's spending other people's money. Now he faces years in jail.

[01:49:53]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VAUSE: Well, a high-ranking Nigerian police officer is under investigation by the FBI for allegedly making an arrest at the request of popular Instagrammer Roman Abbas. He's better known as Hushpuppi. The officer has denied the allegations. Hushpuppi though, he grew up by flaunting a very lavish lifestyle on social media and has now pleaded guilty to fraud and faces decades behind bars.

CNN's Larry Madowo has details.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The case of Ramon Abbas or Hushpuppi was a weird, wild story when I first wrote about it about a year ago.

This newly unsealed Department of Justice guilty plea adds a new layer to it that makes it sound almost made up, except it's not.

On Instagram Hushpuppi, who got 2.5 million followers, looked like a high-flying, successful real estate developer with a taste for the finer things in life -- designer clothes, chartered jets, luxury items all the way through.

But he just pleaded guilty at least in one case to defrauding Qatari businessmen of $1.1 million. One of his accomplices is said to be a 28-year-old Kenyan man and they pretended to be bankers in New York.

Hushpuppi, according to the DOJ, has also admitted to his role in a ring of cyber scams that led to losses of more than $24 million.

At the heart of this is money laundering and what is called business email compromise scams, where they pretend to be a legitimate business contact, and try and trick them into sending money into a wrong account.

He was previously accused also of trying to launder $15 million that was stolen from a foreign financial institution.

The arrest of Hushpuppi in Dubai last year was a scene straight out of a movie. Police say they found $41 million in cash, 13 luxury cars worth about $6.8 million, about 20 computers, twice as many smartphones, and the email addresses of about two million victims.

He faces up to 20 years in jail. But the fact that he's pleaded guilty could mean that it's part of a plea bargain for a shorter sentence. His lawyer says they do not advise him to do that though when asked for any more comment, he says he does not comment on cases that he is handling.

Nigeria's a deeply entrepreneurial country, it's the start-up hub of Africa and the many legitimate businessmen and women are frustrated by these scammers that give the country a bad name and get all the press internationally.

Larry Madowo, CNN -- Nairobi.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: One of Marvel's biggest stars is suing Disney. Scarlett Johansson, who plays the superhero "Black Widow" in the movie of the same name, alleges the company breached her contract. The actress argues she's losing potential box office earnings because her film was released simultaneously on the Disney Plus streaming platform and theaters.

Disney claims Johansson's lawsuit has no merit and releasing it on Disney Plus will increase here compensation. The film has made just over $300 million worldwide since released earlier this month.

Wild horses cannot drag Adam Driver's fans away from his new ad for Burberry's fragrance. That's where he morphs into a sexy centaur. This is on the heels of a horror movie trailer featuring a childless couple who raise a lamb-human baby.

Here is Jeanne Moos.

[01:54:57]

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Adam Driver is driving fans wild. Shirtless, racing a horse on a beach then submerged.

No, it's not a Sprite commercial. You thought those old Obsession ads where puzzling?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Obsession.

MOOS: It will take more than horse sense to decipher this.

Adam and the horse swirl and mingle below the surface creating a centaur.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Burberry Hero. A new fragrance for men.

MOOS: The bottle in the shape of a horse hoof. "Nothing smells as good as sweaty man-horse," posted one commenter.

"I mean, he does like being the centaur of attention," chimed another.

His fans swooned turning themselves into horse flesh. They showed off their fan art. And now you are attracted to a centaur. Move over, Megan Thee Stallion. Adam the stallion is the new cowboy in town, riding in on himself?

Images from his other films like "Marriage Story" --

ADAM DRIVER, ACTOR: Life with you is joyless.

MOOS: -- seemed a little more joyful once they got the centaur treatment.

But Adam Driver isn't the only hybrid. The horror film that won the Originality Prize at the Cannes Film Festival is about a childless Icelandic couple who helped birth a bundle of joy in their barn, a lamb-human combo.

The sheep seem just as freaked that the humans are sheepishly treating the baby as their own.

Someone tweeted "If I have trouble sleeping after watching this, I can always count the -- oh."

And you can count on Netflix to have its own hybrid, "Sweet Tooth" -- a human-deer mix.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They don't like you because you are different.

MOOS: Half-deer, half-lamb, half-horse --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Burberry Hero.

MOOS: -- half-baked?

Jeanne Moos, CNN -- New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: It's official, we are now out of good ideas.

I'm John Vause. Thanks for watching.

Michael Holmes takes up after the break. You are watching CNN NEWSROOM.

See you next week.

[01:57:23]

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