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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Source: Trump May Declare "Major Disaster" as Coronavirus Spreads; Soon: Trump Oval Office Address on Coronavirus: Trump Told His Team He Was "To Do Something"; NCAA Bans Fans From March Madness as Coronavirus Spreads. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired March 11, 2020 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, President Trump about to address the nation as a top health official says coronavirus is going to get worse. Will the President be on the same page as the experts?
Nearly two dozen states tonight declaring states of emergency, schools and businesses shut down. The NCAA announcing a ban on fans for March Madness, but will this slow the spread?
Plus, the Dow officially entering bear market territory today, down 20 percent already. Is this the new normal?
Let's go OUTFRONT.
And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, President Trump is planning to address the nation about the coronavirus crisis tonight. A planned briefing from the Vice President who is heading up the administration's coronavirus response was actually canceled earlier tonight.
This as the World Health Organization has just declared a coronavirus pandemic. There are now 118,000 cases and more than 4,000 deaths worldwide. Here in the United States, the number is growing. There now 1,209 declared cases and 37 deaths. And the CDC said today it will get worse.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: I can say we will see more cases and things will get worse than they are right now. How much worse will get will depend on our ability to do two things, to contain the influx of people who are infected coming from the outside and the ability to contain and mitigate within our own country. Bottom line, it's going to get worse.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And very clear there on that bottom line. Well, here's the President's solution thus far tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're going to have to do something with respect to getting rid of this virus as quickly as possible and as safely as possible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Something. Well, according to the World Health Organization, that something included testing. The WHO says that early testing is the key, the key to making sure that things do not spiral out of control. But getting a test in the United States was close to impossible for weeks, fewer than 6,000 tests were administered as of this past Friday.
And even now, as the Trump administration touts that it is on track to have 4 million tests distributed by the end of this week. The context for that number is that there are 325 million people in the United States and the people who do get tested typically use at least two tests.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): We're not in a position where we can rely on the CDC or the FDA to manage this testing protocol.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have been really hampered at the early stages of this, because we did not have enough testing.
GOVERNOR J. B. PRITZKER (D-IL): But let me be clear about one thing, I am very frustrated with the federal government. We have not received enough tests.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Now, the Illinois Governor you saw there, Governor Pritzker, he will be my guest later in the show.
First, though, I want to go to Kaitlan Collins at the White House. So, Kaitlan, the President going to address the nation tonight. What do you expect to hear?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, the President started pushing for that address this morning, though it had not been on the radar for aides who have been tasked with handling the coronavirus response, but it comes after he'd been telling his economic team, he wanted to do something big here.
We know that they haven't finalized any kind of a package yet for fiscal stimulus yet, though that certainly is something that they've been discussing. The President has also been hinting, though, that he might take some
kind of executive action when it comes to this instead of waiting on lawmakers because he's been frustrated that there wasn't any kind of consensus reached after he and his visited there earlier this week.
There is also the chance that he says something about China, because his aides have been pushing him to be tougher on them because really he's been praising them so far while you see his top two National Security aides hold them responsible saying that they actually helped the world miss out on a lot of response time for this.
But, Erin, regardless of what the president says, this is an Oval Office address during an outbreak that is spreading across the nation. And it's really going to be a test of his willingness to meet the moment here. And we should note that there is this sense of urgency inside the White House about this today.
But what we're told by several people around the president is it seems to have more to do with the negative coverage he's seeing of their response so far than it does with any kind of reckoning he's had about this outbreak after downplaying it for weeks.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Kaitlan.
And tonight, local officials are working hard to contain the spread of the virus at the site of the largest cluster in the United States. Erica Hill is OUTFRONT there in New Rochelle, New York.
ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR AND NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT(voice-over): Life is changing quickly and drastically.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is a scary time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HILL(voice-over): Perhaps nowhere is that more obvious than in this New York suburb. Home to the State's largest cluster of positive coronavirus cases and a new one mile containment zone.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We hope and expect that the measures that have been put in place will be helpful in mitigating the spread of the virus.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HILL(voice-over): At the center of that zone, the synagogue where the first positive case in New Rochelle. A man in his 50s attended services just before his diagnosis. And while the area is not on lock down, large gatherings have been restricted and some schools are closed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: We really need to take more aggressive actions. This is not going away on its own.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HILL(voice-over): The focus on large gatherings, worship services, school events, upcoming St. Patrick's Day celebrations extends far beyond New Rochelle. San Francisco is limiting events to less than a thousand people.
In three counties in Washington State, the crowds will be even smaller. Nothing over 250 people by order of the Governor and Seattle schools will close Thursday for two weeks.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOVERNOR JAY INSLEE (D-WA): It is clear that our state needs a more vigorous, and more comprehensive and more aggressive position if we are going to slow the spread of this epidemic.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HILL(voice-over): Meantime, the number of those infected exploded as more are tested. Ten long-term care facilities in Washington State now reporting positive cases. A Canadian passenger from the Grand Princess who was allowed to fly home because they did not show signs of the virus tested positive upon arrival.
Others from that ship settling in for a protective two week quarantine at Dobbins Air Base in Georgia. They're among the more than 2,000 passengers who will be monitored at multiple bases for the next 14 days.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FAUCI: Whenever you have an outbreak that you can start seeing community spread, when you have enough of that, then it becomes a situation where you're not going to be able to effectively and efficiently contain it. It makes the challenge much greater.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HILL: Erin, part of that challenge as you pointed out is the testing. Now, Governor Cuomo said a satellite testing facility will be set up here in New Rochelle as part of that containment zone. But just to illustrate what folks are dealing with here, I spoke with a woman earlier today who said she was feeling symptoms for four or five days. Once she realized there was a containment zone. She was in it.
She wanted to make sure that she wouldn't affect anyone in the community. She called her doctor who told her to call the hospital coronavirus line. She did. She said they seem to be using a questionnaire and criteria from weeks ago. She said it sounded like something from February.
They told her to call the County Department of Health, she did. The County Department of Health sent her back to a primary care physician. She said she couldn't get an answer. She couldn't get a test. And while she's feeling better, again, her concern are all of the other people in her community and she wants to make sure she's being responsible and doesn't want to infect anyone unknowingly.
BURNETT: All right. Erica, thank you very much. And I want to go now to Sanjay Gupta. He is with me here tonight along with Dr. Seema Yasmin, Director of the Stanford Health Communication Initiative and a former CDC Control Detective. And Dr. William Schaffner, Professor of Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Sanjay, so the President may propose a national emergency tonight to free up aid. What does that actually mean in practice? Is this words or is this more?
SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we don't know. I mean, there's been presidential emergencies declared before. You typically think about them in the wake of storms and things like that. And in some ways, this is being treated like a storm. We can sort of see what's coming. We got to sort of prepare for that.
But I think there's two big issues. Erica just brought up one of the big ones that we've been talking about for weeks, you and I, the testing. We still don't know exactly what's going on with the testing, why it's still so slow. Obviously, people are still having trouble getting tested.
BURNETT: And that's someone in the middle of the biggest cluster in the United States, unable to get an answer or a test.
GUPTA: I'm getting these calls all of the time from colleagues of mine, who are physicians, who are saying this exact thing. We want to be able to do this. We think this person deserves a test based on the criteria, can't get them. That's still happening.
So I think that's one area. Is there something that could be done to really just accelerate that process once and for all. We know it's been done in other countries around the world.
The second thing is something, again, that we've talked about is like what's going to happen to these hospitals as all of these patients come in? Are there enough beds? Is there enough intensive care and breathing machines in particular?
We've done the calculations. We seem short right now.
BURNETT: We've seen a hundred thousand the country. That's the limit on those ICU beds, yes.
GUPTA: On the bed, there's about a hundred thousand ICU beds. Predictions are that we will need close to 200,000. We have about the right number of ventilators, but a lot of them are being used because it's flu season.
So I think those types of things might be a good use, if this happens, the national emergency, to put that national emergency to good direction.
BURNETT: So Dr. Yasmin, you heard Dr. Fauci of the CDC at the beginning of the program. He said this will get a lot worse. So what exactly does that mean when you hear him say that, what does that mean to you?
DR. SEEMA YASMIN, DIRECTOR, STANFORD HEALTH COMMUNICATION INITIATIVE: So on the one hand we know that the number of cases is going to increase, Erin, because now we're starting to do a bit more testing. It still seems delay in a lot less than we would like.
But it's normal in the course of an epidemic that we start to reach a peak where we have the most number of cases and we reach that peak and then start to see a decline.
The question I keep being asked is, well, when will we reach that peak, how many people will become infected and have died by that point. And at this point, it's a new virus and we just don't know.
What we do know, Erin, is that the first day, the first moments of an epidemic response are absolutely crucial in framing how you're going to get a handle on this. And we have seen delay after delay, particularly with the testing. The virus moves fast and we're not moving fast enough.
BURNETT: Dr. Schaffner, I know that a medical worker at your medical center at Vanderbilt University Medical Center has tested positive for coronavirus and I believe is at home recovering. I understand you said the symptoms were mild.
But do you feel like you're even able to get all of the tests that you need even for the people who are on the frontlines?
DR. WILLIAM SCHAFFNER, PROFESSOR, INFECTIOUS DISEASES DIVISION, VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER: Well, testing is underway both at my medical center and in the state health department. We're not testing people without symptoms. We're testing people who have at least some symptoms.
Testing is very important. We need to find out how widely distributed this virus is, not only in my state, but across the country. And then when we get a handle on that, we will have a better idea of where to focus our interventions.
BURNETT: Sanjay, the World Health Organization today declared it a pandemic. I want to be clear, you actually did that a few days ago.
BURNETT: So what does this mean when you're looking at just the spread and the numbers of what we're talking about, where we're going versus where we are?
GUPTA: Well, I think there's one important thing to remember about pandemics, it's really talking about the spread really alone, not necessarily the lethality of this. Immediately, it's one of those terms that conjures a panic ...
GUPTA: ... understandably.
BURNETT: People think of death.
GUPTA: You think of death. And to be - I don't want to minimize it, because obviously there are people who are getting very sick and even dying from this. But this was really about the spread and when we did the calculations, looked at the evidence of community spread and countries around the world, it met the criteria for pandemic.
But I think more practically speaking, while there are still may be communities around the world where containment is sort of the name of the game. I think this is an acceptance that this is spreading and the numbers are going to increase everywhere around the world and we need to be prepared. I mean that's the whole thing.
GUPTA: People keep using this term flattening of the curve.
GUPTA: And what that means is luckily, hopefully, we don't see this big peak of cases. They all come at once, millions of cases at once.
BURNETT: Right. You're trying to spread out when they happen.
GUPTA: Spread it out.
BURNETT: So it's still going to get through the whole population. It's a matter of how quickly it does.
GUPTA: That's right. And think about the impact on the medical system being different if you're able to flatten that curve, patients coming in, in a more graded sort of manner as opposed to all at once.
BURNETT: So, Dr. Yasmin, when the World Health Organization is talking about testing being crucial to stop the spread, how much more testing? I mean I put the number at the top of the show, they said 4 million. They've been saying that by the end of the week, that's what we're going to have.
You have 325 million Americans. Obviously, some of them are at risk of getting very sick and many of them are not. How many tests do you need to be able to adequately test the United States given that each person uses a couple of tests on average?
YASMIN: Yes. A very important question and it's not just about the availability of the test, it's also about the testing protocols and who you allow to give a test to. And what I'm hearing right now from very frustrated physicians and nurses, Erin, is that they want to test more people and they're currently being guided to.
So right now the protocol seems quite narrow and the concern is that even with the availability of more test kits, hopefully, that they still feel like with those guidelines, there'll be missing many of the people that could be infected.
BURNETT: So Dr. Schaffner, when you look at this and people at home are trying to understand, and you look at the numbers now with a few thousand cases and not much testing, everyone knows it's more widespread than that. Then, you look at scenarios such as Sanjay lays out where you could have many more people than you do have room for beds.
What's the timeline here for when we're going to know if that is the scenario we're looking at, an overtaxed health care system across the country?
SCHAFFNER: Well, I think we'll see a lot in the next week, week and a half, two weeks, three weeks and it'll be very important to see whether we can as Sanjay says dampen that curve so we can stretch things out, so the health care system can deal with it. We've done this before. We've done it with the Hong Kong flu. We've done it with 2009 H1N1.
So we've all got pandemic preparedness plans ready. We've rehearsed them and we're putting them into place. Ready to go.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you all very much. Of course, 2009, the H1N1 swine flu, 61 million Americans were exposed to it, 12,000 deaths, but this country did get through that.
Next, a top homeland security official says U.S. travel restrictions for Europe are now under discussion, their words as Seattle announces its closing all public schools.
And breaking news about one of the biggest sports events in the United States, the NCAA banning fans from attending March Madness games.
Plus, how just one person may have led to dozens infected without having any idea?
We have new details from inside the New Rochelle containment zone.
BURNETT: Breaking news, the NCAA announcing no fans are allowed at March Madness games this year as the coronavirus spreads. But not everyone is heeding warnings against big crowds in Washington, D.C. where there are 10 cases of coronavirus known. Fans will be allowed to attend NBA and hockey games as usual.
Leyla Santiago is OUTFRONT from the arena where the Washington Capitals will be playing tomorrow. Leyla, obviously, the city and the team though not seeing eye to eye here?
LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. NHL and NBA still planning to have games here, still planning on hosting fans here but it'll be interesting to see if they move forward with that, which is what the wizards and the capitals teams are owners say is the plan who will actually show up, given the really stern warnings that the city has put out.
The mayor says that any mass gathering, that's anything above a thousand people should be postponed or should be canceled. And to give you an idea, this is an arena that at capacity is about 20,000. So this is big, big for businesses, also big for the people should, they show up who will be sitting right next to each other crowding concessions and bathrooms, et cetera.
The Mayor saying this type of event doesn't really help the overall goal which is to flatten that curve and contain this virus.
But for its part, the teams are saying, look, we are taking extra precautions when it comes to cleaning. We are following the league guidelines when it comes to the locker rooms. And until the leagues update their guidelines, we will do so accordingly. If they update them, they will update.
The Mayor today in a news conference asked about this and she insisted she was very quick to emphasize she has the power to shut it down. She's not doing that just yet, urging people to voluntarily take precautions and letting the public know that she's a fan of the teams, not a fan of these events right now.
So we'll have to wait and see tomorrow as a game is scheduled. If it'll look more like this or if there will be fans pouring in and out, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Leyla.
And everyone is back with me. So Sanjay, Leyla points out, 20,000 people in the arena for this D.C. teams. You can look at this a lot of ways. You could look at it as large gatherings are places where this spreads. You could look at it there's 10 known cases of coronavirus in D.C., which is not very many, no doubt there's more that obviously that haven't been detected.
How do you get this right as public health?
GUPTA: It's a tough call and there's not national guidance on this. So you're seeing this sort of community handling it ad hoc, essentially. We saw what Governor Cuomo obviously did here in New York with the containment zone. There's a couple of things to consider. Obviously, we don't know how
many people are obviously infected. The number is probably a lot higher. It's very hard to create social distance within these arenas. I mean, people are on top of each other.
BURNETT: Yes. They're right next to each other. Yes.
GUPTA: People come from other areas and then they go back to those other areas. So if there is a source of infection, all of a sudden, you may see other communities around that area or even other states, people come in from other state for these.
And finally, let's say somebody does come back as testing positive in a certain area of the arena.
GUPTA: Contact tracing them, trying to figure out who they came in touch with, possible quarantines for people, I mean, the social disruption here is something that you have to take into consideration. Even if I don't think I'm going to get sick might I get wrapped up in all of that, it's a possibility.
BURNETT: And the tracing.
And Dr. Yasmin, how long could we see the coronavirus impact large events like this? It is a big question. Because of the huge economic impact that these events have, I mean, if you take March Madness, I mean, it's the largest sporting event really in its whole in this country.
YASMIN: Yes. Erin, the goal is always to try and promote the functioning of life as we know it as much normality as possible. With that trying to mitigate the spread and trying to protect as many people's health as possible, it is a tough call, as Sanjay says. But this could be our new normal for the next few weeks, if not into the next month or so.
And I'm saying that based on what we're seeing from other countries, particularly when there hasn't been a quick jump on the epidemic response early on. Like I said earlier, that call to action early on is really, really important than getting a handle on the epidemic.
It feels like we've totally missed the ball on that, unfortunately. And now we're playing catch up and that does sadly mean more disruption to normal life.
BURNETT: And how much disruption, Dr. Schaffner? Seattle is closing all public schools. The death toll, 29 in Washington State, just a tragedy there. Obviously, those deaths most of them connected to nursing homes.
Closing public school systems, though, is perhaps one of the most economically disruptive things you can do. You would have even doctors and nurses who then - that their ability to go to work is compromised by the closing of public schools. They don't do that lightly in Seattle. Is that something that you think will happen more broadly?
SCHAFFNER: Well, Erin, you describe it very well. There is a great deal of social and economic disruption that comes along. Nobody is a fan of this coronavirus. It does that. It will go on for quite some time. And it could be a month, it could be even longer.
We don't know whether this coronavirus has read the textbooks and is scheduled to go away along with flu in the spring. We'll just have to see. We're in for a tough time for a while.
BURNETT: So Sanjay, I want to just ask you because this is just coming in. Acting Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli is saying tonight that travel restrictions to Europe are under discussion.
BURNETT: Obviously, Italy is in lockdown but Europe is an open borders place.
BURNETT: And other countries have cases, obviously, as well. And it may come up with President Trump tonight. Do you think that that's a smart move?
GUPTA: We did see evidence of the benefit when we had some of these travel restrictions, obviously, from China initially. I mean President Trump talks about that quite a bit. This coronavirus task force uses that as an example of why they think that they've been able to limit cases.
Again, we don't know because we haven't had an adequate surveillance in this country. But I've seen some of these same discussions happening for some time now. It would not surprised me if they carry forth with this, at least for a short period of time.
BURNETT: Dr. Schaffner, would you agree?
SCHAFFNER: Yes. Certainly, I do agree. We don't know exactly how much there is out there. But these quarantine issues and the travel bans I think really bought us some time. We'll see if we can benefit from that.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you all very much.
And you can learn more about the coronavirus, Sanjay's podcast, Coronavirus: Fact vs. Fiction.
And next, the National Guard moving into a community outside of New York City, health officials tracing dozens of cases back to one lawyer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CUOMO: They took off like fire through dry grass ...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And a stunning CNN investigation tonight, U.S. workers without proper gear assisted people who were evacuated from the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in China. Wait until you see where they went after working in the quarantine zone.
BURNETT: Breaking news, President Trump to address the nation tonight on his administration's plan to combat coronavirus. Just days after one of the President's top health officials warned Americans that the virus is much more lethal than the flu.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FAUCI: It is 10 times more lethal than the seasonal flu. I think that's something that people can get their arms around and understand ...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: And tonight, there are 24 states across the country, plus Washington, D.C., which have declared states of emergency because of the coronavirus, including Illinois. The number of known cases there has grown to at least 25.
OUTFRONT now, the Democratic governor of Illinois, J.B. Pritzker.
And, Governor, I appreciate your time.
You know, we saw a brief clip of you at the top of our program, talking about your frustration on testing. You called earlier today for the federal government to rise to this occasion. Those were your words.
What do you want to hear tonight from President Trump?
GOV. J.B. PRITZKER (D-IL): Well, I am very frustrated. And I want to hear President Trump address the fact that we do not have the tests that we need to test all of the people who need them and want them.
He said that a little while ago, maybe a week or two ago. That, well, everyone who needs a test can get a test. Well, the truth of the matter is that we only have a few thousand tests total. So, we've had to make sure we do lots of other testing before we even get to a coronavirus test. And there are many people in Illinois who need or want those tests that can't get them. What I'm most frustrated about is the federal government has
completely mishandled the testing. There aren't enough -- there aren't enough reagent, there aren't enough RNA extraction kits or test kits or tests, and the result is that we've been left on our own.
If he had let our great research institutions, our hospitals, right here in the state of Illinois, not to mention around the country, develop our own tests, we would have been much further along, but they banned that early on. I think they've given up on that now. But it's late.
BURNETT: Well, right. And, obviously, for people, there's just a knowledge factor here that would reduce stigma and be economically crucial in tests. And also, for people who aren't getting tests who may have it, time is of the essence, as we know.
You look at Fauci talking about the death rate being ten times that of the seasonal flu.
President Trump's former homeland security advisor Tom Bossert, Governor, warned in an op-ed that the U.S. is running out of time. And he says, in part, and I'm quoting Tom Bossert: Simply put, as evidence of human-to-human transmission becomes clear in a community, officials must pull the trigger on aggressive interventions. Time matters. Two weeks of delay can mean the difference between success and failure.
Do you think there is still time, from where you sit, Governor, to turn things around?
PRITZKER: Well, here's what I can say, is that I think governors around the country have done a very good job of trying to stay ahead of this. We, in Illinois, have been working on this, frankly, since last summer when we did tabletop exercises, imagining a pandemic that might take place, something coming from Asia. And we had all of our agencies around the table, figuring out what would we do?
So, in January, when we first learned of this, we began working on the plan that had been developed that last summer. So, we've done a good job of staying ahead of it. There's more that we can do and will do.
But my great concern, now, is that, as you're pointing out, that time is of the essence. We've got to make sure we've got hospital beds available to us. That we've got places we can self-isolate for people.
You know, we have couples that have had to be separated. One suspected, potentially, of getting coronavirus. And another that can't be in the vicinity of their spouse. We need to separate them, provide them housing.
We also need to provide unemployment benefits. This is something the federal government should and could get on, right now. There ought to be a declaration of an emergency around coronavirus, which will unlock our ability to provide unemployment benefits to people who are living paycheck to paycheck but who are being asked to stay home perhaps for 14 days.
You're living paycheck to paycheck, 14 days is a very long time not to get one.
BURNETT: Governor Pritzker, when -- as of right now, you have 25 confirmed cases. Obviously, there are more cases than that in Illinois. We know that just because of this testing issue, right? If you are showing that many, you have many more.
Do you have any sense of how big the number is? And when you look at hospitals, do you have any issues there at this point? I mean, how -- what is the real number in Illinois?
PRITZKER: Well, we don't know. Because although we are doing what's called sentinel surveillance, our hospitals are testing to see what the incidence of this is in communities, the truth of the matter is we don't really know because we don't have enough tests. If we had more tests available, if the reagent, RNC extraction kits were available, we would have much more information.
But, look, let's remember, about 80 percent of the people who get this recover and do just fine. We have people who get it, though, who are elderly, who are immuno-suppressed, you've heard this from the doctors, who don't do fine. And so, we've got to make sure we've got those hospital beds ready.
And that means we've got to optimize our healthcare system. We want people who might have the flu or a cold or some other condition to recover from those things or not get them in the first place and not go to the hospital if they don't need to so that we can make sure we have availability for people who might have coronavirus and need to be isolated.
BURNETT: Governor Pritzker, I appreciate your time. Thank you, sir.
PRITZKER: Thank you, Erin.
BURNETT: And here in New York, there is a race to contain the coronavirus.
I told you earlier about New Rochelle. It has now turned into a containment zone. Dozens of cases there, the biggest cluster in the United States and they all may be linked to one person.
Brynn Gingras is OUTFRONT.
BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The coronavirus catapulting the New York City suburb of New Rochelle into the national spotlight. The number of cases here continues to spike with a majority of them tracing back to a 50-year-old lawyer who tested positive earlier this month.
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): New Rochelle has about three times the number of cases of New York City.
GINGRAS: Lawrence Garbuz, identified by his wife in a Facebook post, did not know he had the virus. After retracing his steps, state health officials realized he commuted to New York City where he is a partner at a law firm. He attended a service at this local temple and eventually, he went to an area hospital with symptoms of pneumonia. Doctors treated him for several days before he tested positive for coronavirus.
His wife saying in the post, she believes he was, quote, run down and susceptible to the illness.
Two days after his diagnosis, on March 4th, she, along with their two children, a neighbor, and friends, all tested positive.
CUOMO: It took off like fire through dry grass.
GINGRAS: Now, about one week later, more than 100 people in New Rochelle have the virus. More than half trace back to the lawyer and about a thousand people are under quarantine.
Tamara Wineburg (ph) is among them.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What day are you on right now?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't even know. The thing about quarantine is that every day feels like someday.
GINGRAS: Wineburg is a member of the Young Israel of New Rochelle synagogue, the center point of the containment zone.
In an aggressive move to curtail the virus, the state ordered schools within a mile radius of the temple to close. An estimated 5,500 students are impacted. Places of worship like young Israel are shut down. The National Guard is being deployed to assist the city with cleaning public spaces. A testing facility will also open within the designated area.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can't manage what you can't measure.
GINGRAS: Some residents, still questioning, is it enough? Like this mother, her son's school outside the containment zone remains open.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Maybe they just close two or three days to go clean.
GINGRAS: Garbuz's wife posting Tuesday she hopes her husband is, quote, a messenger of something good, that his illness was able to make us all aware of the problem. He remains in critical condition in the hospital.
GINGRAS: And officials stress this is a containment, not a lockdown. That means people will still be able to come and go from the designated area.
Will even more enforcement be needed to get a handle on this? That's what some local residents are asking. And, in some cases, are calling for -- Erin. BURNETT: All right. Brynn, thank you very much.
CNN has reached out to Garbuz's wife. You heard her mention there with her Facebook post. We have tried several times. We have not heard back.
OUTFRONT next, first responders in the U.S. were ill-prepared and not properly protected to handle the coronavirus outbreak evacuees from China. This is a CNN investigation and what they told us, what you'll hear, is frightening.
Plus, the bear market is here. Fear and uncertainty driving stocks even lower today. The overall plunge now, 20 percent from coronavirus. How long will it last?
BURNETT: Tonight, health care workers revealing new details about staff that they say lacked proper training and equipment while helping the first Americans evacuated from the center of coronavirus outbreak in China.
Drew Griffin is OUTFRONT.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When the first evacuees landed at Travis Air Force Base from Wuhan, China, they were met by a U.S. government team equipped and ready to handle Americans who may have been exposed to the deadly coronavirus.
DR. HENRY WALKE, CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION: Throughout their quarantine, we will be following CDC guidance for infection control.
GRIFFIN: But that was not the case, according to three professionals who worked with the quarantined passengers. All three tell CNN medical staff were ill-prepared, not given personal protective equipment, and all three say the lapse could have led to a possible spread to the virus if any of the passengers carried COVID-19 back with them from China.
Among the complaints -- no protective clothing, inadequate face masks used to prevent dusts not airborne germs.
The workers tell CNN even cleaning was inadequate, baby wipes used to clean surfaces, instead of medical- grade antibacterial wipes.
And though advised to maintain a six-feet distance between themselves and evacuees, two of the sources say during the 14-day quarantine, that rule was not followed.
Failure to follow the proper procedures is troubling to infectious disease experts, especially since it's believed even people showing no symptoms can spread this virus.
CAROLINE BUCKEE, HARVARD T.H. CHAN SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH: We think that at least some people never show infection at all, never show symptoms of the infection, but they can spread the disease to others.
GRIFFIN: CNN has obtained this after-action report filed with the Department of Health and Human Services by a disaster worker, stating that, when the worker complained about the lack of protective equipment, the worker was told, "If you don't feel comfortable, we will find another job for you."
DR. PETER HOTEZ, BAYLOR COLLEGE OF MEDICINE: Any time you have an epidemic with a new pathogen, you're always going to have missteps. The key is making sure those missteps are not repeated over and over again.
GRIFFIN: The sources speaking to CNN echo concerns raised by a whistle-blower from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, who filed a complaint about a different group of workers, saying more than a dozen people who worked with the first Americans evacuated from China at two Air Force bases were sent into quarantine areas without personal protective equipment, training or experience.
The Department of Health and Human Services has launched an investigation into the complaints at both Travis and March Air Force bases in California, to include what protocols and procedures were followed at both facilities.
BUCKEE: It's really a disaster if we don't properly protect our health care workers. If they get sick, not only are they no longer able to care for patients, but also they can transmit the virus in their communities.
So there's kind of a double threat to not caring for our health care force.
GRIFFIN: An even bigger concern to the sources speaking to CNN is the possibility workers could have easily transmitted the virus outside Travis Air Force Base, claiming they left the quarantine area every day with no restrictions, wearing the same clothes, going straight to a Starbucks on base, to local hotels, some even enjoying day-off field trips to San Francisco tourist spots, including Alcatraz Island.
"They're spraying down streets with bleach in China," one source told CNN, "and we were out there wearing our uniforms."
California's first suspected community spread illness took place near Travis Air Force Base. It's still unclear how that person contracted the virus.
GRIFFIN: And, Erin, the quarantine workers talking to CNN did return to their civilian jobs. None have developed symptoms, nor have they been tested for coronavirus -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Drew, thank you very much. It's amazing.
And next, a new report says President Trump went on an explosive tirade with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin with frustrations over the economy. With the stock market tanking again today, the president wants to do something big. But what?
BURNETT: Tonight, I want to do something big. That is what president Trump told his economic team, according to a senior White House official, and we could hear those plans in just, you know, moments from now, about on hour, the president is going to address the nation.
As the Dow is now in a bear market. That means it has fallen more than 20 percent since its most recent high, cutting the gains during president Trump's presidency in half.
OUTFRONT now, Austan Goolsbee, former chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers under President Obama. So, Austan, he says he wants to do something big. We know he wants a payroll tax cut.
Is that -- is that big? I know he thinks that would obviously be possibly popular, but is that big right now?
AUSTAN GOOLSBEE, FORMER CHAIRMAN, COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVISERS : Well, it depends what you're trying to do. Personally, I think that in a business cycle driven by a virus, the greatest economic stimulus you can have is anything that slows the spread of that virus, so public health is where they should be putting their focus.
I don't really see how giving a payroll tax cut when people are too afraid to go out and spend money and especially when the great risk is people losing their jobs and retirees getting hit and those people don't pay any payroll tax whatsoever. If that's what he called for, I'm going to be a little disappointed, but, you know, we got to get on it.
BURNETT: So, according to "The Washington Post" the president went on a tirade, urging Secretary Mnuchin, treasury secretary, to try to strong-arm the Fed to lower interest rates which, of course, the president tries to strong-arm and do all the time. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Fed should stimulate and the Fed -- they should cut.
I would say that the federal fund rate, the rate, as you would call it, is too high. It should be eased down, so that we're competitive.
Our Fed has been a follower. We need a Fed that's going to be a leader. We should have at least the same rates, and ideally, lower rates than other countries.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Those are all things he said and he's tweeted much -- much more bluntly, shall I say, since this started.
But would cutting interest rates at this point, which, by the way, Powell's already done once, would it do anything right now?
GOOLSBEE: Very modest amount, you know, the president said far worse than that about the Fed chair. He called him a dope, said he was an enemy of the state, stuff like that.
GOOLSBEE: If you remember, on this very program, we talked about that the problem of undermining the Fed over and over is that when you actually get to a crisis, somebody needs to have some credibility. And so, I think to cut the interest rate now, fine, I understand that's why the fed would want to do that, but do you really think that cruise line companies are going to go buy another cruise ship in the immediate term because the interest rate is lower?
The thing driving the economy downward is the fear factor that everybody is withdrawing from the economy. And so, that's why I say, the best economic stimulus that you can have is to slow the rate of spread of the virus. Not lie about the test.
South Korea has shown us what you do. They've gotten the rate of spread of their virus well below other countries by doing extensive testing, being honest, and trying to get people to stop interacting if they're sick.
BURNETT: So on this -- on this point, I know, Alan Blinder in "The Wall Street Journal" today, former vice chairman of the Fed, so he is saying basically, sounds like what you're saying, tests is what you need to do, right? We know now, they said, they're going to have 4 million tests by the end of the week.
He's making the fact, look, you got 325 million Americans. You can get rid of the fear of who has it, who doesn't have it, people can continue with their economic lives if they're not sick or recovered and he's saying it would be much, much cheaper just to get those tests.
GOOLSBEE: Absolutely. Absolutely right.
And, look, look at what's happened in Italy. OK? So, when the virus first gets to Italy, they're cavalier about it, they're letting people on and off of planes without being checked.
If they had early on tried to slow the spread of the virus, like they did in South Korea, they would, perhaps, not be in a position they're in now in which they're shutting down the entire economy and all stores except grocery stores and pharmacies.
So, it would have been better and it would be better now for us to have a paid sick leave policy so people don't have to go to work when they're sick. That would be a great economic stimulus.
BURNETT: All right. Well, let's see what he says. Thank you very much, Austan.
And next, President Trump has instructed his top advisers to prepare dramatic action in response to the coronavirus threat, and he's going to address the nation. So what will he say?
BURNETT: President Trump addressing the nation on coronavirus in about an hour. We are going to bring that to you live here on CNN.
And don't miss a special, CNN Global Town Hall, tomorrow night, Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Anderson Cooper, "Coronavirus: Facts and Fears." You can watch that at 10:00 p.m. eastern tomorrow.
And thanks so much for joining us.
"AC360" starts now.