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19 Dead, 475 Plus Infected As Coronavirus Spreads Across The U.S.; Nearly 16 Million People On Lockdown In Italy As The Coronavirus Cases Grow; Kasich, Kerry And Schwarzenegger Team Up For Climate Coalition. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired March 8, 2020 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: Hello again, everyone, and thank you so much for joining me. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.
All right, starting this hour, with the growing spread of the coronavirus, the number of cases continues to rise across the country. Now, more than 475 people are confirmed to be infected, 19 people have died and that number is likely to rise.
Oregon's Governor is the latest to call a state of emergency for that state after seven new cases were identified there. California and New York are also seeing a growing number of patients. New York's governor confirming 16 new cases of coronavirus there overnight.
And the epidemic is growing globally as well. In Italy, the number of deaths has spiked to more than 360 people, with over 7,000 now infected in that country alone.
The outbreak is forcing the government of Italy to impose a lockdown on most of Northern Italy, restricting travel, shutting down events.
The U.S. military is suspending soldiers and their families from traveling to and from Italy and South Korea.
We have a team of reporters across the globe as the coronavirus epidemic spreads. Let's begin with CNN senior medical correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen.
Elizabeth today, the Surgeon General said the U.S. is going from a containment response to a mitigation phase. What does that mean?
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. I think those are words that Americans might become familiar with shortly, and let's sort of explain what they mean.
Containment means we're going to take measures to contain this. We think that we can essentially stop it or at least really, really slow it down.
So for example, with the first few cases you saw come in, the C.D.C. said, we're going to take a look at this person's wife and their best friend and their co-workers or whoever they were in contact with. See if they get symptoms. We're going to quarantine them. And that's the way you do it.
You do it case by case where you draw a circle around the person, you quarantine those people. If they get sick, then you isolate them, and it is called contact tracing. It's a tried and true method.
What we're hearing basically is while that method should still be used, it is probably not going to stop this outbreak. We need to do bigger things, things on a grander scale.
We need to do things like for example, you talked about the military telling people not to travel, travel orders like that, or you know what, don't come in and work, work from home, or let's cancel the concert. South by Southwest being canceled would be an example of mitigation.
So there's a feeling of, we're not going to stop this just by taking each individual case and stopping them from spreading it, we need to take bigger measures.
WHITFIELD: The Surgeon General also said something else that was interesting. He talked about, you know, why there are so many cases that are popping up in small pockets of the country. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. JEROME ADAMS, U.S. SURGEON GENERAL: It is that if we had massive numbers of cases, we would be seeing more deaths. And so we actually feel pretty good that some parts of the country have contained it, just like when you look at the flu, and when we look at the flu tracker, some parts of the country are having much more severe flu seasons, some are having very mild flu seasons, the same thing for coronavirus.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: All right, we also learned today that only about 75,000 coronavirus tests are available to the public right now. We heard Anthony Fauci say earlier in the week, millions and millions and millions were needed. So where -- what is the status?
COHEN: Well, the status is as you said, those 75,000. We were told yesterday that tomorrow -- as of tomorrow, there will have been 850,000 sent out.
But it's important to note that once those are sent out, they are not necessarily ready for use that minute. In many cases, they have to be -- public health labs have to validate them. That's something that can take several days or even longer.
So this is not sort of something instant where you like get a package and you open it up and all of a sudden you can use it. Oftentimes there are other steps.
Clearly, if Dr. Fauci says we need millions of millions and we're talking about things in the hundreds of thousands, it is not enough to do the work they need to do. WHITFIELD: Wow. All right. Elizabeth Cohen, keep us posted. Thank you
so much. Appreciate it.
All right, so New York State -- in that state, there have been 16 new coronavirus cases since yesterday, bringing the total now to 105.
Last hour, I spoke with Governor Andrew Cuomo who warned that panic is a real danger in and of itself.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): I'm afraid that the fear is actually outpacing the facts and we're fighting the virus, but we're also fighting this anxiety.
And people have to take a step back, a deep breath and actually understand what we're looking at.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: CNN's Polo Sandoval is in New York. So what do we know about these latest cases?
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Only about a dozen of those, Fred, here in New York City, really a majority of them now totaling 105 throughout New York City are actually confirmed in Westchester County, which is suburb just north of the city. So context is certainly key as we continue to see those numbers significantly rise throughout New York State in general.
Here again, 82 of those in Westchester County, and we should note that a majority, at least many of those, have been traced to a single cluster there, which according to Governor Andrew Cuomo was one individual patient that possibly infected those that he lived with and worshipped with. So that's certainly a concern versus some of that community transmission.
Now, as for what the big question is for many New Yorkers is, of course, how can they calm those concerns that Andrew Cuomo mentioned during your conversation with him in the last hour, Fred, and that is, of course, to try to stay informed.
And then in the last few hours, he's also told people to essentially try to avoid some of those community events.
Community transmission is still a real concern, and authorities warning simply try to stay away from some of those crowded places to avoid the coronavirus.
WHITFIELD: Polo Sandoval, thank you so much, in New York. Appreciate it.
All right. Meantime, officials with the Conservative Political Action Conference confirmed that one attendee has tested positive for coronavirus.
Both President Trump and Vice President Pence spoke at last week's CPAC event in Maryland. CNN's Kristen Holmes is in West Palm Beach, Florida near Mar-a-Lago where President Trump is spending the weekend.
So, Kristen, what is the White House saying about all of this?
KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fred, we heard from the Press Secretary last night who said that the Vice President and the President did not interact with this attendee. But there are still a lot of questions surrounding who this attendee actually did interact with.
Remember, this is a big conservative conference. There are a lot of people who talk to, who work with the White House, who work with President Trump on a daily basis, who attend this conference.
Now, listen to what the chairman of CPAC said, when it came to what exactly and who exactly the attendee interacted with.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATT SCHLAPP, CPAC CHAIRMAN: I think he was there most of the time, and the patient did not -- you know, he -- I would say this, he didn't spend a lot of time going all over the conference. He stayed more in a small area.
And if anybody I know that might have had contact with the patient, if I can verify it, believe me, I've called that person.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: So two things to note there, one of course, we know that it doesn't matter whether or not the patient was all around the conference or not, he would only have had to interact with a couple of people to make this a very dangerous potential situation here.
The other is that you hear him say that he has contacted several people, but we still don't know who that is. Again, a lot of President Trump's allies were at this event. Is it people that he could have worked with since that he's been in close proximity two since?
And I do want to note, the Press Secretary said that both the White House doctor, as well as the Secret Service are working with government agencies to make sure that President Trump and the First Family are safe.
And President Trump himself said he is not concerned about it. He said that he's going to keep having big political rallies. He is going to keep interacting with people.
But of course, there is a larger question here as to whether or not he is going to be allowed so by (AUDIO GAP) -- as we continue to see this big outbreak, I was with him in Tennessee.
He was shaking hands. He's in close proximity to so many people. Is this going to be considered dangerous as we get further and further into this outbreak?
WHITFIELD: All right, valid questions. Kristen Holmes, thank you so much.
All right, coming up, nearly 16 million people on lockdown in Italy as the coronavirus cases there grow to more than 7,000. Train stations empty, museums closed, sporting events suspended.
Plus two key endorsements in the race for President. Who Senator Kamala Harris and Jesse Jackson are supporting as the fight for Michigan intensifies.
WHITFIELD: Right now, nearly 16 million people across Northern Italy are under a lockdown. Italy's Prime Minister announcing the strict new quarantine for a massive region in Northern Italy, including major cities such as Milan and Venice.
The lockdown comes as Italy is dealing with the largest outbreak in Europe with more than 7,000 cases and more than 360 deaths.
Public and cultural events in Italy are now banned. Congress, schools and universities are also closed, and religious ceremonies canceled.
Today, the Pope live streamed his Sunday address instead of delivering it from the ritual window overlooking St. Peter's Square.
More on this, let's bring in CNN's Ben Wedeman in Bologna, Italy, who just evacuated himself from the so-called red zone. So tell us about what your experience has been like and what you're seeing there.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, our evacuation from the red zone was really we just got in the car and drove down here. Even though this decree was announced early in the morning by the Italian Prime Minister, it hasn't been put into effect, essentially.
And we spoke -- I spoke with some policemen along the way who were guarding a previous red zone, who told me that until they did -- basically the Ministry of the Interior hasn't come out with any orders or directives on how to implement this new decree which of course expands the red zone area from just an area with 50,000 people in it to 16 million.
WEDEMAN: So they're probably going to require the Army among others to come in and enforce it.
And therefore, when the news first came out that this decree was going to go into effect, there was a rush on the train station in Milan, with people wanting to get out of there and not get stuck inside. But this morning, we were at the train station and there wasn't much
going on. I spoke to one woman and who had two young daughters with her, she said she wanted to get out and go visit her grandmother in Genoa.
But the problem is, he was afraid she wouldn't be able to get back in. But if you look at the list of things that are included in this decree -- no more weddings, no more baptisms, no more funerals. Swimming pools, dance house, discotheques -- all of them closed until further notice to try to bring this virus under control.
WHITFIELD: Oh my goodness. Incredible. I mean, just a variety of industries shut down. So then, you know, how is the National Health Service handling this outbreak? And what are people saying about you know, their jobs and income and what they're going to do?
WEDEMAN: As far as sort of the economic side of things, people are profoundly concerned that this is really just the beginning of this crisis in terms of its economic impact.
People have enough money to get by for a few weeks, perhaps a few months, but the fear is that the long term impact of this crisis is going to be severe on the Italian economy.
So as far as the health service is concerned, it is under extreme stress. We heard the Italian Prime Minister say this on live TV, that it has been overwhelmed.
One of the problems is, there's a shortage of beds in the Intensive Care Units and in fact, part of this decree, they said anybody who has just a slight temperature, a slight fever and perhaps they think they have coronavirus stay at home.
Don't go to the hospitals because they are overwhelmed with the severe cases that are really pushing the Italian healthcare service, which is really a very good one to the brink -- Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: All right, Ben Wedeman, thank you so much from Bologna.
All right, now for what it's like to be living on lockdown situation there in Northern Italy, I'm joined now by CNN producer, Antonia Mortensen. She is in Milan, one of the cities under quarantine.
So Antonia, good to see you. You good. You look at peace, but then really, tell me how, you know how afraid do you feel? How disconnected? Given that so many services are closed. I mean, a virtual shutdown in your city.
ANTONIA MORTENSEN, CNN PRODUCER QUARANTINED IN ITALY: It's a totally surreal experience. It really feels like living in a totally different place.
Today, for example, Sunday afternoon, we live in the center of Milan, places that would be heaving with lots of people walking around, getting ready to have their Sunday lunch, which is a big thing in Italy. The streets were absolutely deserted, barely anyone to be seen. There's a real sense of, I would say, anxiety and stress in the air.
There's a lot of unknowns. People are extremely worried about what the future will bring.
And I think that's really been brought on even more in the last couple of days after we've seen an exponential number of cases that are in the thousands now.
WHITFIELD: So when you or anyone, you know, in your family, decide to venture out, how do you do that? What do you equip yourself with and you know, is it just to get a breath of fresh air? I mean, why do you go out? What takes you out into the elements and how do you prepare yourself and what are you seeing when you're out there?
MORTENSEN: Well, actually, the masks and hand sanitizer have been sold out here for weeks. So it was impossible to get any.
I managed to have some sent over to me from one of my relatives in the United States, actually, so I have a mask that I go out in, if I'm going somewhere where you know that there'll be a bigger number of people, for example, the supermarket, hand sanitizer, and gloves.
The other thing that is quite strange is that now, in coffee bars, and you know Italian coffee bars, right, everyone stands next to each other, has their coffee, no one does take away.
In coffee bars, they've actually disallowed people from standing next to each other in the coffee bar, which for Italians is like a huge change in daily life as well.
WHITFIELD: Wow. So how long do you or anyone that you are interacting with, you know, feel like you can, you know, kind of carry on before you really feel like your anxiety has, you know, overcome you? What are you preparing for?
MORTENSEN: I think, younger people who statistically have been seen not to be as affected by this virus as older people who are in much more danger, and in Italy, actually most of the people who have contracted the virus and sadly passed away have been older or have had preexisting conditions.
And I think for us, we're extremely worried about family members getting this virus and then not being able to perhaps get the right medical attention because like Ben was saying, from Bologna, the Health Services is getting very, very overwhelmed in this area.
And also the other thing is like, we just don't know when it's going to end. We -- for now, they said, you know, this lockdown zone that we're living in, which is huge, as Ben said, of almost 16 million people is going to be closed until the third of April.
But what's going to happen in that month? Are we going to be able to contain the amount of cases? Are the cases just going to explode? There's so many unknowns that are really unnerving a lot of people here.
I can't just stay at home. Because, for personal reasons I need to go out every day to go and take care of my daughter who is not at home with me. So I don't have the luxury of staying and hiding away at home and I'm extremely, you know, nervous every day about that.
I do realize that I've always been a healthy individual, and I obviously hope for the best for that. But, you know, it's totally surreal.
WHITFIELD: Yes. And then quickly before I let you go, I know you mentioned you know, masks, hand sanitizers, those things are hard to. But what about food?
You know, I mean, most people probably don't have, you know, weeks or months' stockpile, you know, to sustain themselves. So how do you -- how do you pace yourself on food?
MORTENSEN: Yes. So, two weeks ago, when the first number of cases were announced in Italy, there was a huge rush on the supermarkets in this area. So a lot of people did go out and get food.
Now, actually, supermarkets are actually limiting -- some supermarkets are actually limiting the amount of people that can go in at once.
For example, this morning, a large supermarket in Milan had a big queue outside of it because it was only allowing clusters of people in at once so that they could have the situation under control and also say that people could -- there's a law here where you can't be more than two meters. You can't be closer than two meters to a person.
So they also have to limit the amount of people in certain spaces so you can keep that distance between yourself and another person.
How enforceable that is, in the long term? I'm not sure, but at the moment, we're not supposed to be closer than two meters to another person now.
WHITFIELD: Huge challenges. Antonia Mortensen, we wish you the best. We're hoping the best for you and everyone there.
MORTENSEN: Thank you. Thank you very much.
WHITFIELD: All right, coming up next, two former governors and a former Secretary of State joining forces to combat climate change.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KASICH, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: The public is saying save our planet, do something, don't play politics.
And it's very exciting to be here with the Secretary of State John Kerry and of course, my dear friend, the Terminator himself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: I talked to the unlikely trio ahead of today's Climate Town Hall. Our conversation, we'll be back with it.
WHITFIELD: Right now, in Ohio, an unlikely alliance with a lofty goal. Former Governors, John Kasich, Arnold Schwarzenegger and former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry are holding their first Town Hall for their nonprofit organization, World War Zero. Their goal: Move the country toward net zero carbon emissions.
Their plans sparked millions of climate conversations in 2020, including at Town Halls like the one being held in Ohio today.
Well, they joined me earlier to talk about their nonprofit as well as another one global health issue, the spread of coronavirus.
WHITFIELD: You have quite the roster of people who have enlisted to World War Zero, but you really want to fill the room today. Do you think you'll be able to do that given the coronavirus? Are you concerned that people might stay away?
KASICH: Oh, yes. No, Fredricka, it's really -- it's really amazing. We were hoping in the beginning, because we had short notice on this. It was John Kerry's idea, the whole thing. And he brought Arnold in and how could I -- how could I say no to all of that?
But you know, we were hoping to fill a couple of hundred seats, and now we are -- we have about 2,000 people here today and no one is staying away. Everybody was lined up.
And it shows you as I had said earlier that politicians better open their eyes and open their ears, because the public is saying save our planet, do something, don't play politics, and it's very exciting to be here with the Secretary of State, John Kerry. And of course, my dear friend, the Terminator himself. He's here to terminate carbon.
WHITFIELD: That's right. Well, I can't wait to hear more about what you expect from people. Secretary Kerry, so this was your idea. You know, how do you allay fears of people who might be a little concerned about this coronavirus?
WHITFIELD: And then now being in a setting with lots of people at your Town Hall?
JOHN KERRY, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, what's critical is taking all the precautions. Nobody here is shaking hands. I've seen more elbow touches than I've ever seen in my life, and you wash your hands, you need to be careful, don't be around somebody who is sneezing and coughing and there are clear precautions.
The only way it is passed is in droplets, and so if you take the kind of precautions we are aware of, I think we can begin to actually begin to contain. It's going to grow for a bit. We all know that and it's a challenge.
But the bigger challenge for the long haul is the climate change, the crisis of climate change. We're not getting the job done despite what we did in the Paris Agreement, no country in the world is meeting the kind of targets that we need in order to save catastrophic damages from happening.
And we're seeing everything -- I mean, Antarctica 70 degrees, that's unheard of. We're seeing changes in the oceans, the warming of the oceans, the currents are now 76 percent faster than they were at any time previously. And that was something that was predicted to happen at the end of the century, not now.
So all the feedback loops are coming to us faster. Mother Earth telling us, hey, you guys better get to work to protect me. And that's exactly why we're here. We think -- by the way, I think all three of us are united in this partly because we know this is one of the greatest economic opportunities the world has ever had.
Moving to do the new energy, cleaning up the way we power our vehicles, the choices we have to stop pollution, and thereby make people healthier. All of these things are to our benefit and they create jobs and there is an enormous amount of money to be made in doing it.
WHITFIELD: So Governor Schwarzenegger, yes. I mean, we're talking about, you know, two very big climate, you know, global issues, you know, the global health concerning you know, coronavirus, and of course, the global you know, health of Mother Earth, World War Zero effort, what is the goal here?
You know, how do you move this country towards zero carbon emissions? You know, and how is it that you all came together and plotted this plan and really recruit, you know, a varied -- a varied array of people, talent, and minds?
ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, FORMER CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR: Well, first of all, I think that John just mentioned all the things, the changes that are happening right now in the world and that we have seen over the last few decades happening.
I think the one thing that I want to add to that is, which is, for me, the most important fact and that is that we have seven million people die every year because of pollution.
And I think that when you think about the coronavirus now, how worried we are, because there are over 3,000 people that have died worldwide. Now, think about seven million people that have died.
So we have to go and really fight back just like we do with the coronavirus. I think every move that we make to really protect people is the right move, and I think we have to do the same thing with the environment. It's not just the environment, it's the health, and it's the amount of
people that are dying because of pollution. And we've got to stop that. We've got to slow it down. We've got to find ways to do it.
We talk a lot about, you know, what we should do, and I think the important thing is to learn from what has been done.
And we, in California, we have really shown that you can do it, that we have made a commitment in 2006 to reduce our greenhouse gases and our pollution by 25 percent by the year 2020 and we hit it by 2018. We were two years early, and we hit our goal.
The same is with renewable energy. We were at 21 percent renewable energy, now we are at 50 percent. So we hit our goal early.
So when they talk about the Green New Deal, it's all bogus. Because the fact of the matter is, go for the real deal. The real deal is in California. We have shown that you can do it. We have shown that you can go and not harm the economy, because we are now much more ahead of the United States, when it comes to GDP growth.
The national GDP growth is around 2.2 percent. We are at 3.4 to 3.6 percent. We are the fifth largest economy in the world. We have proven that when you go green, it saves the economy, and at the same time, it creates jobs and it makes people be able to go from the coal jobs, the oil jobs to the green jobs, and they build solar and electric cars and stuff like that.
So we have done it. So the United States has just to follow what we have done.
WHITFIELD: All right, much more of that wide ranging conversation next hour, including their thoughts on the 2020 race.
But first Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders battling it out in several key states, including Michigan. Find out who is helping Sanders in his fight for black voters.
WHITFIELD: Mini Super Tuesday is quickly approaching and for Senator Bernie Sanders, the Michigan Primary is make or break.
Right now, former Vice President Joe Biden is leading in that state, but after a key endorsement from Civil Rights leader Reverend Jesse Jackson, Sanders believes he has the boost he needs to slow down Biden's momentum.
Whereas Biden appears to be confident after Senator Kamala Harris says she will do anything in her power to help Biden win.
CNN's Abby Phillip is in Ann Arbor, Michigan with the Sanders campaign. Jessica Dean is with the Biden campaign in Jackson, Mississippi.
So Abby, you first, how big of a boost is this endorsement from the Reverend Jesse Jackson for Sanders.
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jesse Jackson is a Civil Rights leader, a former Democratic presidential candidate himself and someone who is almost universally known among black Americans. And it really is a reflection that he endorsed at this particular moment in this race, that the Sanders campaign knows that they need to start digging into this problem of how much more can he appeal to black voters, particularly here in Michigan, who are a really important constituency for Sanders.
Now, Michigan in general for Bernie Sanders is a really big deal. But he knows that he's got to appeal to black voters. He did a Town Hall on African-American issues in Flint, Michigan yesterday, and now, this endorsement from Jesse Jackson. Take a listen to how Jesse Jackson described why he is endorsing Bernie Sanders.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REV. JESSE JACKSON, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST: A lot of talk has been about Democratic socialism. What does all that mean? The operative word is democracy all, for and by the people. Bernie can win. We will win. Must win. If Bernie wins, healthcare wins.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PHILLIP: Now, the Sanders campaign is planning on spending a lot of time over the next couple of days here in Michigan.
He won the state very narrowly back in 2016 and changed the momentum of that race. They're hoping it will do the same for him this time around on him -- Ana.
WHITFIELD: All right, it's Fredricka, but that's okay. We're interchangeable these days.
PHILLIP: Oh, Fredricka. I'm sorry.
WHITFIELD: That's okay. It's all right. Hey, Jessica. So --
PHILLIP: I can't see you. I can only hear you.
WHITFIELD: I know, I know and our voices can sound the same. All right, so how about for you, Jessica, you're with the Biden group. There have been a stream of endorsements within the last week. Do we know why Senator Harris waited until now to throw her support behind Biden?
JESSICA DEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Fredricka, we're getting some information about that. A source telling CNN that she really came to her decision yesterday, and then she was waiting until Elizabeth Warren got out of the race, that she didn't want to go against Elizabeth Warren or Amy Klobuchar -- of course, two fellow female U.S. senators.
And that she made her decision and then, of course, announced it this morning. Take a listen to what she had to say about Joe Biden.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I do believe that he is the candidate at this point who can unify the country. There is so much at stake, and we need a leader who speaks from his heart, who has compassion and who has empathy.
You can't underestimate what that means when you look at issues like the coronavirus, when you look at issues like childhood poverty, when you look at issues about working families who cannot afford to get through the end of the month.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DEAN: And Senator Harris is expected to be at a rally in Detroit, Michigan with Vice President Biden tomorrow.
Meantime, we are here in Mississippi, Fredricka. Joe Biden has done very well in Primaries all across the south. They're counting on Mississippi to be no different.
But they are certainly spending time here. He went to church earlier this morning and has a rally coming up this afternoon as they really hope to turn out the African-American vote in the Democratic Primary here in Mississippi.
WHITFIELD: All right, Jessica Dean and Abby Phillip, thanks to both of you. Appreciate it.
And we'll be right back.
WHITFIELD: There has been a spike in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases across the U.S. We're now at more than 490.
More than a dozen states and Washington, D.C. reported their first cases just this weekend. So far, 21 people have died.
I want to bring in Dr. Celine Gounder. She's Assistant Professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases at the NYU School of Medicine in Bellevue Hospital. Good to see you and also the host of the "Epidemic" podcast. Good to see you.
So the Surgeon General says the shift and focus is moving away from containment and toward what he is calling mitigation. What does that mean to you?
DR. CELINE GOUNDER, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF MEDICINE AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES, NYU SCHOOL OF MEDICINE - BELLEVUE HOSPITAL: Well, we've been debating for some time now, is this an epidemic or a pandemic? And here's how you define a pandemic. It's a novel virus that people have not been exposed to, before that they do not have immunity to that is spreading across continents, and at the community level.
And this is precisely what has been happening actually over the last couple of weeks as we've moved into pandemic mode, but the strategies have not moved into that mode until now.
So the strategy changes from containment to mitigation when you are dealing with a pandemic, and that really means like, look like the cat is out of the bag. We need to focus less on can we prevent this from spreading across the country and rather, how can we reduce the morbidity so how severe the disease is, as well as reduce the number of deaths?
WHITFIELD: So the Surgeon General said something else, you know, saying parts of the country have contained the virus. Do you agree with that assessment?
GOUNDER: I don't think we can make an assessment like that when we don't have testing to pick up what cases are out there.
Right now, we are functioning blind because we don't have enough test to test everyone who may have symptoms.
WHITFIELD: And what about testing kits? We heard Vice President Pence say on Friday that they are currently not enough. What is the danger of not having enough? How quickly can more be produced?
GOUNDER: Well, we have had some good news in terms of some of the big commercial labs starting to test, LabCorp and hopefully later this week Quest.
The University of Washington is also starting to offer testing, and they are partnering with the Gates Foundation to try to offer a home based testing at least in the Seattle area initially, and possibly more widely later on.
WHITFIELD: Okay, we are, you know, in an election year -- newsflash on that one -- you know, a presidential race is in the middle of it right now, in fact. Should the candidates including President Trump, you know, be scaling back their rallies, their events, gatherings, asking a lot of people to, you know, be in attendance?
GOUNDER: I think the candidates should show that they care for their supporters, whichever the candidate is, and that includes taking measures that will help protect their supporters at rallies and perhaps rescheduling or changing how those rallies are being done, perhaps outside, making sure everybody is given hand sanitizer, maybe a logo with the with the candidates name as they come into these sites.
So, you know, I do think there needs to be some measures taken to reduce the risk and in some cases that may mean even cancelling the rally.
WHITFIELD: All right, Dr. Celine Gounder, thank you so much. Good to see you.
GOUNDER: My pleasure.
WHITFIELD: All right, more news in a moment, but first, here's today's staying well.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OLIVIA CHRISTINE PEREZ, WELLNESS TRAVEL BLOGGER: A retreat doesn't have to be a high end spa. It can literally be whatever you need it to be.
Before I started traveling, it was a full on physical manifestation of burnout. I had lupus flare ups, I was extremely stressed, and I was no longer my best self.
I realized taking time to travel can help remind you to take that moment for self-care.
I've trekked multiple days through Patagonia, not only taught me how to pace myself and how to listen to my body, but it also taught me how much peace and solitude could bring.
DR. TAZ BHATIA, INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE SPECIALIST: Not feeling good is propelling that desire to get answers, go somewhere where they can check out of their stressful life and really focus on themselves and their health.
If you're going to take anything away from a retreat, you should take away self-awareness because when you can find your own traps and triggers, then you know how to block them.
So it could be as simple as planning your food, doing a five-minute meditation in the morning. I mean, those are the tools that you should be getting when you go to a wellness retreat so that you know, you know that this is where I need to return back to.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Prince Harry and Meghan make one of their final appearances as members of the Royal Family. The couple receiving a standing ovation at a British Music Festival in London last night -- you see them there -- the praise coming just weeks before they officially leave their roles as Senior Members of the Royal Family later on this month.
And there, you can hear the applause and boy, don't they look ravishing and beautiful.
CNN Royal commentator, Kate Williams joining me now from London. I've never seen a bad picture of either one of them so no surprise there that they look so great.
So Kate, you know, what do you make of the fact that their reception is so grand? People are excited to see them and this is while they're on their way out of those, you know, Royal duties.
KATE WILLIAMS, CNN ROYAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, that's so true, Fredricka. This is their last -- their last engagement, final few engagements as working Royals before they move mainly to North America.
Their final engagement, we will see them with the Queen tomorrow at Commonwealth Day Service. And now we're not going to have them anymore.
And yet, there has been so much excitement. They have these brilliant engagements. And Meghan has been to a local school and blew the minds of the children. She has star power. She has such star power. And that's what the Royal Family are losing.
They're losing the star power and also representation diversity. So it is a big loss to the Royal Family.
WHITFIELD: What does your gut instinct say? Do they look happy? Are they, you know, thrilled about what's on the horizon for them?
WILLIAMS: They do look happier. We understand they're excited moving forward. Obviously, it was very painful to them. They were hoping as we know, in January to be a half in half out Royals, the Royal Family decreed that wasn't going to happen.
So they had to be wholly out and they couldn't use Sussex Royal, but I think that was very upsetting for them. But now they're beginning to move forward, look to the future and I think they can see that Britain is really seeing what they're losing.
And it's interesting, some of these tabloid presses who were so anti- Meghan. They have been quite pro-her this weekend. They're realizing what damage has been done.
WHITFIELD: Well, I just like to read body language and they look really happy.
All right, well, let's talk about this all new, you know episode, the CNN original series, "The Windsors." It's all about the marriage saga of Charles and Diana. Here's a preview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SALLY BEDELL SMITH, BIOGRAPHER: As Diana walks down the aisle with her father, she sees Camilla.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here is the stuff of which fairy tales are made. The Prince and Princess on their wedding day.
SMITH: There she is on this magical day. And the one thing that she is focusing on is the image of Camilla.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Charles Philip Arthur George wilt thou have this woman to be thy wedded wife?
PRINCE CHARLES: I will.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Diana Frances, wilt though have this man to be thy wedded husband?
PRINCESS DIANA: I will.