Return to Transcripts main page
Coronavirus Outbreak; Trump Names New Chief of Staff; America's Choice 2020; Grand Princess Cruise Ship under Quarantine; Seattle Schools and Businesses Stay Home; Elbow Bump is the New Handshake. Aired 4-5a ET
Aired March 7, 2020 - 04:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): The number of confirmed cases from the coronavirus outbreak tops 100,000 and it is far from contained.
Cruise ship quarantine: a ship off the coast of the U.S. is the latest to be affected by the virus. Hear what some of the passengers are saying about it.
Plus the two-man race for the Democratic presidential nomination, what Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders are doing to increase their chances of winning.
Hello and welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. We're live in Atlanta, I'm Michael Holmes. NEWSROOM starts right now.
HOLMES: More than 100 additional cases of coronavirus were confirmed on Friday in the U.S., a 50 percent increase from the day before. American health experts now recommend that the elderly as well as people with chronic medical issues stay home and avoid social events and crowds.
All around the world, well over 100,000 people are now infected, nearly 3,500 of them have died. The vast majority have been in China. Off the California coast, meanwhile, at least 21 people aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship have tested positive. Nick Watt with the latest on that.
NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On board the Grand Princess cruise ship, uncertainty and fear, how many, if any, passengers are positive. The testing continues. At least five from the ship's last leg of its voyage caught the virus. One died.
CYNTHIA TRAVERS, PASSENGER ON GRAND PRINCESS: He was around a lot of us on the cruise up on the 14th deck where we all kind of lounged and hung out.
WATT (voice-over): It's an older crowd and that demo is hardest hit.
DR. PETER HOTEZ, DEAN, SCHOOL OF TROPICAL MEDICINE AT BAYLOR COLLEGE OF MEDICINE: Those over the age of 70, were looking at 10-15 percent case fatality rates.
WATT (voice-over): In Washington State where at least seven deaths are now tied to this nursing home. There is grief, fear and now confusion. Add Herrick's mom among the dead.
PAT HERRICK, MOTHER DIED FROM OUTBREAK IN NURSING CENTER: --tested, I want her body tested. And I've been told, well, we do that. You know, we just gave to assume that it's natural causes. And so I'm saying, it's not OK. I need to have her tested for the larger picture.
WATT (voice-over): The University of Washington just announced no more classes on campus. The North Shore School District already shut down. At least 80,000 students in the Seattle area now being kept home.
JESSICA READ, KIDS OUT OF SCHOOL UP TO TWO WEEKS: They said up to 14 days they might be closed.
WATT (on camera): Are you concerned that you know the virus is going to get inside your home and that you and that you and or your kids might be infected?
READ: Yes, my middle son has asthma. So it's mild asthma. But that's a big concern. Seems like here it's really what it's going for is the lungs.
WATT (voice-over): The number of confirmed cases across the country climbing at nearly three per hour in just over the past day.
And Connecticut, Emma, just back from Italy, where nearly 200 have died, is in self-quarantine, just in case.
EMMA, COLLEGE STUDENT IN SELF-QUARANTINE AFTER STUDYING ABROAD: I've been allowed to like pet my dog every once in a while, but it's pretty lonely.
WATT (voice-over): In New York State right now more than 4,000 in a similar situation.
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): This is like a flu on steroids.
WATT (voice-over): Eleven new cases in the state and names today all connected to contact with one man who's right now being treated in a Manhattan hospital.
HOLMES: Nick Watt reporting there.
On Friday, the U.S. president got a firsthand look at the coronavirus response with a visit to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Here's what he had to say about the infections on board the ship.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If it were up to me, I would be inclined to say leave everybody on the ship for a period of time and to use the ship as your base. I like the numbers being where they are, I don't need to have the numbers double because of one ship. That wasn't our fault.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: While U.S. health experts scramble to address the growing outbreak, the Trump White House continues to downplay the threat. More from Jim Acosta.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With President Trump urging Americans to remain calm and avoid panicking over the coronavirus --
TRUMP: You have to be calm. It will go away.
ACOSTA (voice-over): -- top White House officials are misleading the public about the true nature of the outbreak, insisting the public health emergency has been contained.
ACOSTA (voice-over): When in fact the data shows the virus is spreading, causing more illnesses and more deaths. The officials offering those rosy assessments, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway...
KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP SENIOR ADVISER: But I am pleased to report is that the 14 deaths so far that are completely tragic and very sad in this country, shows that this has been contained because the president took action and a lot of you criticized him for doing that.
ACOSTA (voice-over): -- and economic adviser Larry Kudlow are not infectious disease experts.
LARRY KUDLOW, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL: We don't actually know what the magnitude of the virus is going to be, although, frankly, so far, it looks relatively contained.
ACOSTA (voice-over): One big problem: administration officials have yet to understand the full scope of the outbreak as testing kits for the virus are still being distributed.
ALEX AZAR, U.S. HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY: Just want to make it clear that in terms of tests, we have provided all the tests to the state of Washington and the state of California that they have asked for. The production and shipping of tests that we've talked about all week is completely on schedule.
ACOSTA (voice-over): A top expert on the coronavirus task force pointed to missteps at the Centers for Disease Control.
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: It is unfortunate that is got off it a slow start, there were some missteps with regard to the CDC's test. They had a problem, they fixed the problem.
ACOSTA (voice-over): Despite the rocky response, secretary of state Mike Pompeo claimed the U.S. is outperforming the rest of the world in its response.
MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: I'm confident that we'll handle it better than any nation in the world.
ACOSTA (voice-over): Democrats aren't buying that.
ANDREW CUOMO (D), GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK: The CDC says basically anyone who thinks they need a test should go to their doctor and ask for a test. The vice president says we don't have enough testing capacity to address all the tests that we need to take.
ACOSTA (voice-over): There was even confusion over whether the president would visit the CDC. First, the president said his visit was scrapped due to concerns somebody at the CDC could have the coronavirus...
TRUMP: We may go. There was -- they thought there was a problem at CDC with somebody that had the virus. It turned out negative, so we're seeing if we can do it.
ACOSTA (voice-over): -- then the White House cleared Mr. Trump to go. The president is trying to find a silver lining in the outbreak, noting that more Americans may avoid traveling overseas and choose to spend their money in the U.S.
TRUMP: I have to say, people are now staying in the U.S., spending their money in the U.S. and I like that.
HOLMES: Joining me now, Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, a professor of epidemiology and community health services at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, also the former director of communicable disease control and prevention at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, more than well enough qualified to talk about this.
I was wondering if we could, start, Doctor with the messaging. The president says that when it comes to the coronavirus, he, his word, stopped it. You had Kellyanne Conway, senior adviser, saying coronavirus outbreak has been contained.
Clearly from a medical standpoint, are either of those statements true?
DR. ROBERT KIM-FARLEY, UCLA FIELDING SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH: The issue of containment means that everything then is not having any local spread and we do have areas of local spread in the United States at this time.
HOLMES: Tell us about this testing kits issue. You don't know how many people have it if testing isn't being done. Dr. Sanjay Gupta is at the bottom tier of the world when it comes to testing. When the U.S. tested 1,500 people, the South Koreans were testing 10,000 a day.
Do you think there could be unnecessary spread going on because of this lack of testing?
KIM-FARLEY: Maybe not so much unnecessary spread but I think we certainly do have spread going on that we may not be aware of. In one sense, as these million plus kits come out over the next week or so, I think we are going to have increased numbers of cases being reported just because there is more testing going on.
HOLMES: The president said on Friday, anyone who wants to test can have one. He called the test kits "beautiful" but it is demonstrably not the case. Speak to the importance of transparent messaging at a time like this from the public's perspective.
KIM-FARLEY: You bring up a very good point. It is very important for public health officials to be consistent in their messaging, to be able to make sure the public understands what they can do themselves personally.
And when it comes to community wide measures, that their clear understanding is what may need to be closed, what needs to be changed in terms of going to, events things like this. But that should be very clearly messaged so that there is no confusion on the part of people in the community.
HOLMES: I wanted to ask you about the readiness for what might come. There are modeling scenarios out there, even moderate ones, that show potential for perhaps 1 million hospitalizations going forward, more needing intensive care, tens of thousands needing ventilators. That would overwhelm resources.
HOLMES: What plan is being made for the situation, what is planning for that?
KIM-FARLEY: It will be a challenge for the public health officials in the United States. What is being done, we are more prepared today than we were yesterday and will be more prepared today than we were yesterday.
We have to try through such measures such as personal non- pharmaceutical interventions, covering the cough, ensuring that we are not shaking hands anymore. If we need to, to institute these community wide measures, these things will blunt the epidemic, will make it over time, go slower. That will then help ease some of the pressures we will see on our health care system. HOLMES: I was wondering, from a medical standpoint, not necessarily a
political one, health insurance. There are millions in the United States without sick pay, without insurance. Tests are going to be free, apparently. But not hospitalization or doctors' fees, these things that could bankrupt people who are not insured.
Should provision be made for those people given how widespread this could become?
KIM-FARLEY: I think society has an obligation to make sure we are protecting the most vulnerable, including those who may not have access to some hospitalization to make sure that everybody for coronavirus is getting the care that they need, whether that is at a clinic or whether that is actual hospitalizations, even if it means intensive care units. This needs to be provided.
HOLMES: I'm wondering, when you look at the overall situation this is how it's been handled, there's talk about cuts to the system in recent years, the removal of the White House pandemic response unit, budget cuts to the CDC and so on.
How much of an impact does that have on what we are seeing now in terms of preparedness?
KIM-FARLEY: Public health infrastructure in the United States has been defunded or underfunded for several years going on. I think it is a good opportunity now as a society and for elected officials to take a good look and realize what the value of public health is, why you need to have even in times when things may not be an outbreak, strong, robust public health programs, that are planning for such events such as this.
We need surge capacity in hospital systems, all of these things, very important for us to fund a very robust public health network.
HOLMES: Surge capacity is a phrase we are going to hear more and more. Good points well made, Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, thank you so much.
KIM-FARLEY: A pleasure to be with you, Michael.
HOLMES: We'll take a quick break. When we come back, for those now on lockdown aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship it is not the vacation that they had hoped for. We'll talk to two passengers about what life is like on board.
Also it is now basically a two-man race, how U.S. Democratic presidential candidates, the ones left, are prepping for the next round of voting.
HOLMES: President Trump has chosen to replace his chief of staff. Mick Mulvaney is out and Mark Meadows is in. He decided to make this switch at a crucial time which might cause some concern. Kaitlan Collins with the details.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: President Trump announced in a late night tweet on Friday that he is shaking up his staff once again, pushing out his acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney after a little more than a year on the job and replacing him with Mark Meadows, an outgoing congressman from North Carolina, who, when he announced that he was retiring, led many to believe that it was only a matter of time before he took this job.
Now the president didn't announce anything further about the swap at this time beyond saying that Mick Mulvaney is going to be going as the special envoy to Northern Ireland. That is a job our sources tell us he has pushed for long before he became chief of staff and reminded the president recently as he was clearly on the outs in his role that that is a job that he wanted.
Now Meadows is going to take over at a time where Mulvaney had really lost the president's confidence. He was not seen as someone that the president turned to for advice anymore. He often didn't even travel with the president on trips he made and he wasn't at work the day the president announced he was pushing him out, instead he was on a personal trip out west.
Now in comes Mark Meadows, a conservative stalwart and someone who has been a consistent adviser of Donald Trump. It's not a surprise he's taking this job. Many people will wait to see if he makes other staffing changes inside the West Wing and what his tenure is going to look like because the other chiefs of staff that the president has had, Reince Priebus, John Kelly, Mick Mulvaney, have all had very different governing styles in the West Wing.
So what they will be looking for in Mark Meadows is, of course, also the role that he will play in the next critical months ahead as the president is trying to keep his presidency and stay in office.
Some say that they believe that Mark Meadows will be helpful, he is a politician and knows how to campaign, and he has been campaigning with the president since early days of 2015 and 2016.
So Mick Mulvaney is out. No comment from Mulvaney yet, though Meadows did issue a statement,, thanking Mulvaney for his time in the job and saying that he looks forward to taking over from here -- Kaitlan Collins, CNN, Washington.
(END VIDEOTAPE) HOLMES: On the other side of the political aisle, the race for the U.S. Democratic presidential nomination looks different than it did a week ago. It is now down to three; essentially really only two. Jessica Dean with that.
JESSICA DEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For 2020 Democrats, it's now effectively a two-man race, Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders looking ahead to the next round of Super Tuesday voting and its biggest prize, Michigan.
DEAN: Sanders canceled his planned event in Mississippi to turn his focus to Michigan, where he's added additional events and will hold a rally tonight in Detroit.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I can't be in six states at the same, so Michigan is where we will spend a bit of our time. I think we're going to be certainly in Arizona. We will be elsewhere as well. But it's just a question of having to make decisions.
DEAN: Biden continues to rack up key endorsements that now include Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and her lieutenant governor.
LT. GOV. GARLIN GILCHRIST (D-MI): He's shown up over the years for the auto industry. He has been a friend of this community.
DEAN: The endorsement both Sanders and Biden want? Senator Elizabeth Warren's. She said Thursday night she wants some time to make a decision.
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I will get up tomorrow morning and start thinking about that question.
DEAN: But Sanders isn't waiting, encouraging Warren's voters to back his campaign.
SANDERS: I think they will find many of the issues that Senator Warren campaigned on are exactly the issues that we are fighting for.
DEAN: With the Democratic field narrowed, Sanders and Biden now drawing sharper contrasts, the two candidates sparring over Social Security on Twitter and on the airwaves.
SANDERS: Well, we have got some bad news for them. We are not going to cut Social Security.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Joe Biden has always been a strong supporter of Social Security. Negative ads will only help Donald Trump. It's time we bring our party together.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: Let's dive a little deeper into all of this with Natasha Lindstaedt, professor of government at the University of Essex in England.
How do you see Michigan shaping up in terms of the Democratic fight?
NATASHA LINDSTAEDT, UNIVERSITY OF ESSEX: Well, it will be really interesting. Prior to Super Tuesday, it was Sanders that was ahead in the polls in Michigan. A new poll just came out after Super Tuesday results and we see Biden ahead by six points.
It is looking like Biden is going to win Michigan based on that most recent poll and based on the momentum he's gained from Super Tuesday. He has made big inroads, with support coming from white working class voters.
These were people that had been supportive of Sanders 2016 but Sanders seems to have lost these voters to Biden. He's done well with the suburbs and he's done well with African American voters and, of course, with older voters.
Sanders has mostly been doing well with young voters and Hispanic voters. Not a lot of Hispanics in Michigan, so we would project Biden to win Michigan based on you how he has been doing thus far.
HOLMES: You have seen Elizabeth Warren drop out of course, a progressive. But the interesting thing there, it seems her supporters don't automatically go to fellow progressive Bernie Sanders. They are pretty much split.
What does that tell you?
LINDSTAEDT: Right, it is not necessarily the case that Warren supporters are going to go to Sanders. She is delaying when she will make the endorsement; of course, that endorsement is going to make a big impact of course.
But something that she didn't necessarily always clarify during the campaign was that she was somewhere in between. She got lumped into this progressive category but she said, you know, there is a place in the Democratic Party at the moment for someone in between a moderate and a progressive. And that is where she felt that she stood.
She did really well with white, liberal, educated, middle to upper middle class voters. Some of them may decide to vote for Sanders because maybe their policies are more in line with his policies.
But there are those that are very strategic at the moment, looking at Joe Biden's momentum and thinking about who is best suited to beat Donald Trump.
So both are going to be trying to get her endorsement. It is important to note that in January there was tension between Sanders and Warren over allegedly this comment that he made that woman couldn't win in 2020. We'll see if that tension ends up impacting what she decides to do.
HOLMES: And the GOP already pushing videos of Joe Biden, basically compiles of various gaffes for getting details so on and so forth. And the GOP also claiming that Bernie Sanders is communist, which he isn't of course. It does point to how dirty the main campaign will be, whoever gets the Democratic nod.
LINDSTAEDT: It is going to be one of the dirtiest campaigns ever. And we saw that in 2016, it got incredibly personal. And we see that that is the way that Trump has been leading, with making personal attacks against -- against Democrats, I'm sorry.
And we're seeing some of the ads that Biden is coming out with, he is trying to say that the reason to vote for him is to bring the U.S. back to its morals, to unite the country.
LINDSTAEDT: But he will respond and he had responded in the past when Trump makes personal attacks. The same with Sanders. Sanders doesn't allow Trump to just make personal attacks on him either.
So I think that we can assume that this campaign will be one of the dirtiest ever and it will get very, very personal and based on candidate characteristics, possibly more so than the issues.
It is better for the Democrats if they focus on the issues, on health care, on improving things for just the average worker, improving life for the average worker. If they focus on issues that the Democrats really care about and independents care about, that would be better for them than if they get locked into the battles about personality.
HOLMES: It is interesting with the various primaries, the various states, I mean Joe Biden has won a slew of states lately but because of the way the delegates are calculated, Bernie Sanders just has to stay close. The delegate gap is not that great.
Does that point to perhaps increased chance of a contested election -- contested convention?
LINDSTAEDT: There are concerns that there could be a contested convention. Somebody obviously has to win. And the majority of 1,991 delegates. The establishment in the Democratic Party is hoping that it will go to a moderate although they're not officially saying that and that it is not a contested convention.
The worst-case scenario for the Democrats is if that happens because that would benefit Trump. Trump is hoping for that. He doesn't want there to be a frontrunner anytime soon. He wants everything to be up in the air with a lot of uncertainty and then a lot of inter-party wrangling at the convention.
And best case scenario, whoever loses, their supporters don't come to the polls, so you have a depressed voter turnout that would benefit him. To some extent that is what happened in 2016. There was low voter turnout compared to previous elections and in key states that ended up benefiting Trump.
HOLMES: All right. Professor Lindstaedt, thank you so much. Appreciate it.
LINDSTAEDT: Thanks for having me.
HOLMES: We'll take a quick break. When we come back, a cruise to paradise on lockdown because of the coronavirus. We talk to some passengers aboard the Grand Princess.
Plus why the U.S. is lagging behind other countries when it comes to testing for the coronavirus.
HOLMES: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Michael Holmes. Let's update you on the main stories this hour.
HOLMES: And more now on the cruise ship off the coast of California where at least 21 tested positive for coronavirus. We understand that the ship is moving closer to shore because a passenger is in need of medical assistance and could be airlifted off. It is unclear though whether anyone else might be leaving. Lucy Kafanov has the latest.
LUCY KAFANOV, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There is so much shock, so much confusion on board the Grand Princess cruise ship, passengers there hoping Friday's announcement would be the end of their ordeal. Instead, it looks like it might be the start of a new one.
The big question, what is the fate of the 3,500 or so people on board?
The vice president Mike Pence, he says that the ship will be taken to a noncommercial port. It is not clear where, it is not clear when or what exactly a noncommercial port is.
We know that the 1,100 or so crew members will not be allowed to disembark. The rest of the passengers, they will be tested for symptoms and taken to military bases and quarantined as needed.
Again, it sounds like the administration is still working out the details. The passengers themselves have had very little information. In fact, finding out about the news of these test results, 46 people swabbed, 21 positive results, one test result inconclusive, they found out about this like the rest of us, by watching the news. Take a look at this one clip that a passenger sent us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Vice president Mike Pence announced that 21 people have tested positive for COVID-19. You may have heard this on the news by the media already. We apologize but we were not given advance notice of this announcement by the U.S. federal government.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAFANOV: I'm in touch with several passengers, they say they are confined to their rooms, they have been watching the news, they have been watching TV and they have been given activity kits.
One woman sent us a photo of a tote bag that they could bedazzle to pass the time. And another woman posted a message on Facebook, joking, "Put us all in Trump properties since the president doesn't believe there is any serious danger."
A bit of levity perhaps and then a lot of confusion -- Lucy Kafanov, CNN, San Francisco.
HOLMES: And joining me now from aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship, passengers Michelle and Steven Smith.
Sorry that you are going through this on what was meant to be a relaxing vacation.
But what is your understanding of what is going on, what information do you have about what is going to happen?
STEVEN SMITH, QUARANTINED PASSENGER: Well, they just came on the -- the captain came on a few minutes ago with another announcement that the helicopter was just dispatched to the ship to drop off some supplies and to pick up a passenger, who needed medical attention. And they flew that person back to San Francisco.
HOLMES: When you heard that somebody who had been on the ship before had passed away after they had gotten off and there was the risk of spread on board the ship, what was the mood, what did you guys think, what was the mood onboard?
S. SMITH: We didn't realize until that time that there had been sick passengers or crew members until we were well into the cruise. And when we found out about it, we were about 10-11 days into the cruise when we found out about it.
S. SMITH: So that is when they turned the ship around and, instead of heading to Mexico, they headed back to San Francisco. So we were surprised. And then, of course, you always think, well, it will never happen to me. And then they tested the 21 people -- or they tested about 100 people and found 21 of them to be --
MICHELLE SMITH, QUARANTINED PASSENGER: Infected.
S. SMITH: And they had already quarantined us to our rooms. So we don't have any exposure to anybody else on the ship except us.
And then when they come -- even when they come to the door to bring our food, they leave it on the floor outside our door and they are not standing there when we open up the door.
HOLMES: It is sounding like they will take you into a port and you will come off. It is not going to happen but earlier the president said he would prefer that passengers on board the ship remain on board the ship.
I mean, the quote that I like the numbers being where they are, I don't need to have the numbers double because of one ship that wasn't our fault.
I don't want to be political but does it make you feel like you are thought of as a number?
S. SMITH: It doesn't do us any good to go out in the general population and just going to get a bunch of people sick. And I'm fine. You know what, we just sit here for a couple weeks or whatever it takes and keep it from spreading, I think that is the right thing to do.
M. SMITH: We're good for that.
S. SMITH: Yes, I don't look at it as being a number. I think he is making a very conservative decision about that.
HOLMES: I think that the concern about that tactic is they tried it on the Diamond Princess in Japan. And the feeling is that, what it ended up doing was, you know, making the spread worse because everyone was kept there and the idea of getting you on land and then having separate quarantine facilities is the idea.
I just can't imagine what it is like if you sort of are going through, hour to hour.
What are you doing, what do you do to pass the time?
S. SMITH: Reading books and they put 100 movies on the television screen.
M. SMITH: Talking to our friends and family. Tomorrow would have been our last day on the cruise. So it feels we would have been here anyway if everything was going well.
S. SMITH: Not a whole lot that you can do in 150 square feet. M. SMITH: Luckily we do have a window, so that really helps.
S. SMITH: We do have a window.
M. SMITH: We want to do what is good for the common good, that is for sure.
HOLMES: Understood. At least you do have a window. I remember with the Diamond Princess, the people with interior cabins were not quite as happy. They had nothing to look at it. Michelle, Steven Smith, thank you so much. Really appreciate it. You probably have another 89 movies to go.
S. SMITH: Exactly right.
HOLMES: In good spirits, considering.
Now Washington state is the epicenter of the outbreak in the U.S. CNN's Omar Jimenez has a look at how residents and leaders are trying to deal with the growing problem.
OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In Seattle, there is a new reality beginning to form, affecting nearly every aspect of life, from business to travel and even education.
JIMENEZ: On a normal weekday morning, these hallways would be packed with students. As you can see, there are absolutely none. This school is one of 33 in the Seattle area school district that will look like this for the foreseeable future, empty classrooms, instead moving to online learning for up to 14 days, all as a precaution for the novel coronavirus.
DR. MICHELE REID, NORTHSHORE SCHOOL DISTRICT: I was actually prayerful that it was the right decision.
JIMENEZ: And you feel like it is?
REID: Absolutely no doubt.
JIMENEZ (voice-over): Dr. Michele Reid is the superintendent of Seattle's North Shore School District, where a parent volunteer tested positive for the coronavirus.
REID: When we have a fact pattern that affects the safety and health of our students then we will stop and recognize that it is not business as usual.
JIMENEZ (voice-over): But this district wasn't alone. The University of Washington announced that they, too, are suspending in-person classes.
ANA MARI CAUCE, UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON: We are very much guided with the very best public health information possible.
JIMENEZ (voice-over): Between the university and the Northshore school district, that is around 80,000 students now out of classrooms. Statewide, cases have soared, going from just a few to more than 75 in less than a week, including double digit deaths.
In the wider Seattle area, they have felt the difference.
MICHELE AULD, BAKERY OWNER: It can be stressful when you are just in your day to day trying to do what you normally do and you're running into stumbling blocks of things, you know, beyond your control.
MARGARET WINDSOR, SEATTLE RESIDENT: On a rainy day, I mean, I hardly see anybody around here. You'd see groups. Yes, kind of empty.
JIMENEZ: But some like at Seattle's signature fish market, famous for tossing fish, say that they are not changing a thing.
MIKE KIM, PIKE PLACE FISH MARKET: It doesn't matter who you are, where you come from, you travel all this way to see a fish fly, I'm going to give it to you.
JIMENEZ (voice-over): And while life in Seattle hasn't entirely shut down, it is adjusting to a new reality at the epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak.
And the legal world is not immune, either. A federal judge here announcing that they would be postponing all in-court proceedings for multiple courthouses in the Seattle area.
Many of these places are in crucial assessment periods. University of Washington for one says at this point they have every intention of reopening once their quarter ends in a little over two weeks' time. But only time will tell -- Omar Jimenez, reporting from Seattle.
HOLMES: And one major concern in the U.S. is the limited testing. Dr. Sanjay Gupta looks at why that happened.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: We will need millions and millions of tests. Problem is, more than a month after the first patient was diagnosed in the United States, we still don't have nearly enough tests.
According to our review of CDC reports, only around 1,500 people have been tested total. It is a big difference from other countries like South Korea, where nearly 160,000 people have been tested, even in the drive-through. And in the U.K., more than 20,000 people. It is basic surveillance.
And in the United States, that lack of testing has led to a lack of planning.
DR. MARIA VAN KERKHOVE, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: It is very important that there is an aggressive approach in the beginning, that you look for all of those cases because, as case numbers increase, systems become overwhelmed.
So as much as can be done in the early stages, the better chance you have to delay and reduce and suppress transmission.
GUPTA (voice-over): The test itself is similar to one done for the flu, a swab from the nose or the throat. The culture is then sent to a lab to see if there are any genetic traces of coronavirus. Takes about six hours.
So what happened here?
Many point to two issues: the initial test kit sent to state and county labs were defective. And then the initial CDC criteria limited testing only to those who had traveled to areas impacted by the epidemic or been around someone who had tested positive.
That greatly limited the number of people who qualified to get a test. On Thursday, the vice president publicly acknowledged the U.S. effort is behind.
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We don't have enough tests today to meet what we anticipate will be the demand going forward.
GUPTA (voice-over): And even Dr. Anthony Fauci is making no promises that the problem will be fixed anytime soon.
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: It got off to slow start. There were some missteps. But up to this point, there has been a lag in the ability to get tested.
GUPTA: Now this is not to suggest that everyone should run out and start asking for tests. If you go to your doctor with symptoms, the doctor may say first, hey, look, let's rule out common things first, such as the cold or the flu.
If you don't have anything to explain your symptoms, this coronavirus test may be ordered at that point. It may still, though, take a few weeks for all these tests that you just heard about to make their way to clinics and hospitals around the country. Back to you.
HOLMES: Our thanks to Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
Now keeping your distance is one the best ways to stop transmission. So how companies are rethinking how they do things.
And now shaking hands is passe. We'll show you the safe way to greet someone during the outbreak.
HOLMES: One of the biggest challenges in fighting the coronavirus is preventing person to person transmission. But given the social nature of most workplaces, that presents a challenge, of course. It is causing employers to increasingly consider work from home options. Brian Todd with that.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Around the country some workplaces are telling their employees stay home because of the coronavirus outbreak. Tech giants Amazon, Microsoft, Google and Facebook are asking employees in Seattle to work from home when possible with the encouragement of local officials.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're encouraging employers to maximize telecommuting.
TODD (voice-over): Other employers are preparing to make that move. NASA and JPMorgan Chase are preparing by conducting one day telework practice runs.
In New York state, a few thousand people have been asked to self quarantine. Teleworking, teleconferencing, refraining from travel, getting much of our work done at home could be more commonplace. The University of Washington in Seattle said classrooms will be shuttered for the next two weeks.
CAUCE: In many of our classrooms, there is incredibly close proximity.
TODD (voice-over): Meanwhile some schools, like St. John Vienne in Homedale, New Jersey, can offer students their lessons, textbooks and assignments online and are prepared to go into virtual days if the school needs to close.
Is America ready to telework?
NICK SELBY, PAXOS: I think we're already seeing over the past 15 years a lot of companies, even very large companies, companies that might surprise you, like IBM, which has a huge portion of its workforce working at home already.
TODD (voice-over): But for many, it means a shift in workplace culture. Employees will be needed to be outfitted at home with the computers and other equipment they will need and they have to be trained on how to use them.
STEPHEN WARD, RISKLENS: Luckily this is very intuitive. Obviously there are a number of different software solutions out there to enable telework or virtual conferencing. Very simple to set up. TODD (voice-over): Workplace analysts acknowledge there are many
businesses, like carmakers, factories, food services, banks with retail branches, where employees working remotely is out of the question.
But in other sectors they say the psychological advantages of working from home could lead to better productivity. Employees feel his stressed, the freedom of being able to walk around at home and grab a snack can build creativity. The downsides: sometimes employees feel isolated or lose focus on the mission.
SELBY: People who are not used to working in a remote location at home falling victim to the fact that they are at home and they get to work in bunny slippers, which they might mistake for the opportunity to sort of goof off and maybe miss some deadlines.
TODD (voice-over): Stephen Ward, whose cybersecurity firm has half its people working from home, has a formula for keeping employees focused.
WARD: Use your calendar.
WARD: Set tasks for yourself. Get up and take a shower. Simply just going through that process of like not working in your pajamas is a good idea.
TODD: Workplace experts say that when making the decision to ask people to work from home, corporate leaders have one other thing to take into account: that for every office building where people are encouraged to work from home, there is an ecosystem of people who support that building, people who could be out of work or who could get their shifts reduced, people who work in restaurants, shops and bars, who depend on that traffic of employees -- Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.
HOLMES: When we come back, social greetings are evolving in the midst of an epidemic. We'll explain why handshakes are a thing of the past and what is replacing them.
HOLMES: Welcome back. The coronavirus could make handshaking and fist bumping a thing of the past.
What is the safest way to greet people?
Jeanne Moos has a few ideas.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If the now dreaded handshake leaves you shaking your head, no, our doctors and our politicians are elbowing their way in.
MOOS (voice-over): From Senator Dick Durbin to the vice president and not just once --
JIMMY KIMMEL, JIMMY KIMMEL SHOW: And there you go.
MOOS: Jimmy Kimmel has a name for it.
KIMMEL: It's called the elbow.
MOOS: Something Jimmy practiced with his side kick wearing a coffee filter mask, even a floor broker known as the Einstein of Wall Street is doing it. But you know who's not doing it? President Trump shook 10 hands on a single receiving line.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: if we don't shake hands they're not going to like you too much.
MOOS: He says he's not taking protective measures, though he must at least be doing what Stephen Colbert did.
If you're not in the sanitizing, jokey alternative range from the booty bump, to the foot bump, to the Vulcan salute, even Germany's leader had her hands spurned and whatever you do --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: start working on not touching your face.
MOOS: Maybe you better start working on it.
TRUMP: And I haven't touched my face in weeks. I miss it.
MOOS: You know, what else is catchy, that germy pen you used to sign the coronavirus spending bill.
TRUMP: Here, this is for you.
MOOS: Tossed to an unsuspecting reporter.
There are even pizza do's and don'ts, don't lick your finger and then touch the coffee lid. Do, do the elbow bump while wearing a pizza mask.
When someone noted, is that the same elbow that everyone is supposed to cough and sneeze into?
"The Daily Show" did a bit called "Watch Those Hands."
I can't tell you the number of you who have put your hands to your face in the last 20 minutes.
Go ahead, lecture us. Just be smart.
And then rub it in -- Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
HOLMES: I'm Michael Holmes. CNN NEWSROOM continues after the break.