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President Trump States He Has Been Tested for Coronavirus; President Trump Comments on Practice Refraining from Shaking Hands During Coronavirus Spread; White House Official States Coronavirus Not Yet Reached Peak Spread in U.S.; New York Officials Confirm First Death from Coronavirus; Forty-seven Employees of Nursing Home in Washington Test Positive for Coronavirus; White House Issues Travel Ban on Flights from U.K. and Ireland; Mayor of Atlanta Keisha Lance Bottoms Interviewed on Steps Taken to Ease Concerns of Citizens Due to Coronavirus; Confirmed Cases of Coronavirus in Spain Rises Rapidly. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired March 14, 2020 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MATT EGAN, CNN BUSINESS LEAD WRITER: Of course, this is a health crisis, and it's hard to see how easier borrowing really gets people to hop on planes or go on cruises or go out to restaurants. This has to be solved at the federal level from a health standpoint.
ERICA HILL, CNN HOST: Yes, that rate cut would not automatically make tests appear across the country. Matt Egan, appreciate it. Thank you.
For the hour here, good to have you with us on this Saturday. I'm Erica Hill in this afternoon for Fredricka Whitfield.
And we begin with breaking news. The president now confirming he was given a test for coronavirus. He made that announcement during a news conference just a short time ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I had my temperature taken coming into the room.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So did we.
TRUMP: You did? Good.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sir.
TRUMP: Let's compare.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We all passed.
TRUMP: Good. That means we're all looking good. I also took the test last night. And I decided I should, based on the press conference yesterday, people were asking did I take the test.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When will we hear the result, Mr. President? TRUMP: I don't know. Whatever it takes, a day, two days. Whatever it
is. They send it to a lab.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HILL: The president's own test comes as the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise exponentially. Keep in mind as we've heard from experts, the more tests that are able to be done, those numbers will rise. The death toll stands at 50 now. That includes a new case, a new death confirmed in New York this morning, an 82-year-old woman who also had emphysema. We know more that more than 2,400 Americans have now tested positive across 49 states.
Our team of reporters at the White House and across the country is covering all of the angles of the coronavirus pandemic. We do want to begin our coverage at this hour at the White House. Kristen Holmes was in the room at that coronavirus briefing, and Kristen, just like you, the president, we learned, had his temperature taken before he entered that room.
KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Erica. And we heard it was not just President Trump, but his entire task force before they had a meeting. And I want to note we actually watched one person get turned away from the briefing room before the task force came out after they saw the temperature. Apparently, the White House physician's office took the person's temperature multiple times, and it was too high for the CDC guidelines, so they escorted him away. He wasn't allowed to go to the briefing.
But I really want to note something here about President Trump's saying that he got tested. There are a lot of questions about this. First question being, when exactly did he get tested? The reason I'm asking is because we're hearing from the White House doctor last night just before midnight issuing a memo saying that President Trump and Vice President Pence did not need to get tested, yet this morning President Trump saying he got tested last night.
Another big question is Vice President Pence was asked if he was tested. He said that he heard President Trump announce he was tested and that he had not been yet. He was going to go straight to the White House physician's office after this briefing to see if he should also get tested. A lot of questions. Remember Vice President Pence is the second in command. How did he not know President Trump was getting tested? But we are asking about the timing of all of that.
And the last thing here to really go into is that social distancing. We have heard from numerous health officials who say that if you are being tested, if you have been exposed, you need to practice social distancing. We have not seen President Trump do any of that. Moments before this press conference he tweeted out a picture that showed him around a conference table where he looked pretty close to the members of that task force. So whether or not he is going to start practicing that, whether or not he is going to stop shaking hands as we noted that he did on national television yesterday multiple times, we asked him about this, and this is what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: People come up to me, they shake hands. They put their hand out. It's sort of a natural reflex. We're all getting out of it. All of us have that problem. Somebody comes up to you, they put their hand out. You probably tend to just shake it. And we're all getting out of that. Shaking hands is not a great thing to be doing right now, I agree. But people put their hand out, sometimes I'll put the handout. You don't think about it. People are thinking about it more and more. We have to think about it. It's important. But no, we all have to get away from -- I mean, getting away from shaking hands is a good thing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: Yes, so he says getting away from shaking hands is a good thing. Again, yesterday we saw him shaking hands with numerous officials. Of course, we'll be watching to see if he follows those public health officials' guidance and starts using his elbow or not touching other individuals as we saw, again, yesterday.
And the other thing to note here about that testing was that President Trump said he wasn't sure when he was going to get the results. So a lot of questions as to how he could not be sure, reaching out to the White House on this, trying to figure out exactly what happened between yesterday and this morning when he said he had in fact been tested.
HILL: We appreciate you making the push for those answers. We know you'll let us know as soon as you hear back. Kristen, thank you for that.
And before I let you go, one of the other points that came up, and you and I were hoping that maybe we would get an answer before the press conference, I'm not sure that we did, was to clarify what's actually happening with Google after the president touted a big national website Google was working on, and then Google pushed back and said, this isn't really what's happening. What's the word from the White House today?
HOLMES: I think this is so important. Vice President Pence tried to clarify this. He essentially said there was going to be an announcement at 5:00 p.m. tomorrow with more details on this. He said that there was going to be a pilot program that's going to start in the Bay Area, which is all of the reporting we had leading up to this, and then eventually Google was going to try to get it to be a national program.
But really look at what we have been so worried about, what Americans have been so concerned about. It means that testing, the fact that there has been limited access, that the development was so slow when it comes to testing, that was all on the administration. It was on the roll out, on the various health departments within the government. Now you have an offer of a website that they're saying is in the works, that it's going to come any second, it's going to help people who have so many questions about how they can get tested, where they can get tested, what exactly they need to be doing. And it wasn't true. It is not for the nation. It's not something they can go look online and try to figure out if they have the symptoms should they be moving forward.
And so this is really another situation here in which we've seen one hand saying one thing, one side saying another. And, particularly, when it comes to the testing, the fact that we still don't have answers on it, the fact we have someone coming on presenting something that is, again, not what it seems, that is very hard for the American people who are just trying to grapple with this.
HILL: That it is. Kristen Holmes, appreciate it as always. Kristen, thank you.
Also with us, CNN senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen. So Elizabeth, we heard from Dr. Anthony Fauci today at the press briefing. One of the things he said that really stood out to me, to put this in perspective for folks at home, is he reminded us we have not reached the peak yet in this country for this outbreak. And he stressed again protecting the elderly will be a challenge. What should we take away from that statement especially about not being at the peak yet?
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: So Erica, I think what we can take away from that is that some of the, I'm going to dare to call it kind of happy talk that has happened over the past couple of weeks that maybe this wasn't so bad and sort of downplaying things, they are no longer doing that. There is a full recognition that the worst is still ahead of us. They're not predicting how bad it will be, but they are saying that the worst is still ahead of us.
And to that second point, and this is extremely important, and this was discussed at the press conference, we are not worried about the 20-year-old or the 30-year-old who gets coronavirus because chances are if they're healthy and don't have underlying medical conditions, chances are overwhelming that they will be fine. We're concerned that the 20 or 30-year-old is going to give it to their nana or their granddaddy, as Dr. Adams, the surgeon general, put it. That's the worry. The worry isn't about young people. The worry is that they're going to spread it to older people or to people with underlying severe medical conditions.
HILL: As we look at, too, what has changed in the last 24 hours, the fact that the president declared a national emergency, that frees up a great deal of money. Where does that actually go? What does this do in terms of fighting the pandemic?
COHEN: Right. So I don't know if they've allocated exactly where they want all that money to go, but we heard about one place where that money needs to go, and that is to make sure that nursing homes are doing what they are supposed to be doing. There was mention that some nursing homes don't have a great record with infection control. I've looked at some nursing home inspection reports and, frankly, your jaw kind of drops because there appear to be all sorts of problems with infection control. And so that takes money. You have got to get people to go in. You've got to get people to explain to them what they need to do. They need to take measures. So that is certainly a place where that money would go.
HILL: Elizabeth Cohen, always good to see you. Appreciate it. Thank you.
CNN's Shimon Prokupecz is in New York where officials confirmed the first death in that state from coronavirus. The number of cases in New York also exploding overnight. Shimon, I'm guessing part of that comes from the additional testing that is being done across the state. What more are you learning?
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Yes, that's right. That would likely be the case. The more testing, more people going in, getting tested, and therefore the city and state officials learning results. And as you said, our first death in this state, an 82-year- old woman who died at a New York City hospital. She had a prior health condition, emphysema. So that of course contributed on top of the coronavirus. Together, that is what officials say killed her.
We also learned from the mayor this afternoon that a firefighter, a New York City firefighter has tested positive for coronavirus. They say that the members in that firehouse where this firefighter was, some 30 members, they've self-quarantined and are cleaning the fire house. And here's what the mayor had to say on what New York City is doing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D-NY): While on duty the firefighter did not respond -- I'm going to say it again, while on duty did not respond to any medical runs or treat any patients. As a matter of precaution, 31 members of that firehouse will be quarantined immediately, those who had worked with the member directly. And the member is now quarantined at home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PROKUPECZ: So New York City there dealing with more than 200 cases at this point. Obviously, the mayor, one of the big decisions that he is going to have to make at some point, he is saying he is not going to close schools. There is some pressure on him to close schools. That is going to be still a big decision that he is going to have to make at some point. They do expect more cases, like everywhere else, in New York City. The latest numbers, talking about 30 people now hospitalized, 19 of those people in New York City that are hospitalized are in ICU, which is a pretty high number. Obviously, this is affecting a certain population of the community, elderly people in particular, but there is still a lot more to come here.
HILL: All right, Shimon Prokupecz with the latest for us from New York, from New Rochelle where that large cluster is, Shimon, thank you.
A nursing home at the heart of the epidemic as we talk about the most vulnerable here, in Washington state, now says that 47 of its employees have tested positive for the coronavirus. Nineteen patients at the Life Care Center died. Those deaths have been linked to the coronavirus. CNN's Ryan Young is in Seattle. So Ryan, what do we know about these new confirmed cases among the staff there?
RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you think about the perspective here, you have people working in close proximity to these folks who had the coronavirus, and you can understand why people were so upset about this. That number, 47 right now. We know 95 employees have been tested. But I can tell you this entire area, people really are taking this seriously. When you're thinking about the fact that 37 people have died from the coronavirus in Washington state.
They've closed down schools for the next six weeks. We're in the downtown area because we wanted a perspective of what people were dealing with here. And I can tell you, a lot of the shops here have seen businesses just completely fall off. We talked to Uber and Lyft drivers. They're saying they are seeing 70 percent of their sales drop off.
When you think about schools, there's a major impact here. In fact, listen to the superintendent of Seattle schools talking about what they were thinking about especially as school cancellations happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DENISE JUNEAU, SUPERINTENDENT, SEATTLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Our initial decision to close, that's why it was so heart wrenching and so hard. Our intent was to keep our doors open as long as we possibly could because of those equity issues. We have students who not only learn in our schools but that is the access for social services, mental health, health needs, food, and so those basic needs. And so we know that when a school closes, it puts families and students in really a hard place.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
YOUNG: You think about the ripple effect here. They're going to set up a food program come tomorrow morning to make sure some of these kids get fed. We've talked to food banks in the area who said they're also feeling distressed. And just late last night we learned there was a kid in a dorm room who also just contracted the coronavirus, and you're talking about that dorm room is full of 600 some students. So you understand the idea here, as it multiplies. On top of that you do see people walking around with masks covering their faces. But we did talk to some people who say they just want to do what is normal for them. So as long as they feel OK they plan to be out.
But this is having a major impact. And hotels here, we have seen occupancy rates drop to 20 percent. So only 25 rooms sometimes in some of these hotels have been full. You can see the impact. Even as buses go by us right now, most have been empty.
HILL: That's a story we are definitely seeing across the country. Ryan Young, good to see you. Thank you.
Amid growing concerns around the coronavirus today, the United States top doctor for infectious diseases warned the worst is still to come. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: When this is all over and it will end, you will see a curve of how the coronavirus outbreak evolved. We have not reached our peak. Now, we will see more cases and we will see more suffering and death, predominantly, as the vice president said, among the vulnerable in our society, the individuals with the conditions that we spoke to, and the elderly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HILL: Joining us now, Dr. Leana Wen. She's an emergency room physician and former health commissioner for Baltimore city. Doctor, based on what we're seeing, and our own Sanjay Gupta has done a fair amount of reporting on hospitals spending some time in New Rochelle where that major cluster is, of course, not too far from New York City. There is a lot of concern about preparedness for hospitals. How prepared do you think hospitals are for when this virus does hit its peak?
DR. LEANA WEN, FORMER BALTIMORE CITY HEALTH COMMISSIONER: I'm glad you said "when," because it is certainly not if. It's when. And we are not even close to the peak of the epidemic yet. The problem is we just don't know how many patients are going to be coming in all at the same time. If we have patients coming in slowly over time, our hospitals can handle that. We can handle a mild outbreak. But we cannot handle a severe outbreak or even a moderate outbreak because we simply don't have enough intensive care unit beds. We don't have enough ventilators.
Most of this life-saving equipment are already occupied. There are already patients who are in need of these supplies, and we just don't have nearly enough. And that's the reason why all of us have to take matters into our own hands now and do our best to reduce the rate of transmission, because the more that we can prevent the spread of COVID-19 to other people right now, the more we're going to stop that rapid rise all at the same time to avoid overburdening and overwhelming our health care system.
HILL: Just to stress that point, one of the things that we can all do as a society, as a community, of course, is this social distancing, which doesn't mean that you have to completely avoid talking to people, but keeping distance between yourselves, not embracing, certainly not shaking hands. Just put in perspective for us how important it is, these small things we do every day, washing our hands, wiping down surfaces, and the difference that that can make.
WEN: That's right. We should not feel helpless or powerless in the face of this virus, because, actually, there is so much that we can do in our own lives that make a difference to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and all of those around us, because these individual actions make a big difference. Something as small as washing your hands and staying six feet from people and trying to reduce as many interactions as you can, reducing your nonessential travel, not going out as much as you used to.
Something else, too. Schools are being closed and businesses are being told to keep employees at home. Don't treat this like a snow day. Don't treat this as, well, now, I can do whatever I want, because the reason schools and businesses are making these sacrifices is so that we can maintain the social distance and reduce the spread during this very significant period in our history.
HILL: Which is key. There were a lot of questions, as we know, about the president, his proximity to people who then ultimately test positive. He said today at the press conference that he was tested last night. The other thing that stood out to me in that, in the press conference earlier today, the update from the task force is that the coordinator, Dr. Birx, said, listen, if you have a negative test, the next day you could actually have the virus. You could be emitting symptoms. So when I hear, we don't have the president's results yet, but from a public safety perspective, and also just from an optics perspective, if the president tells us his results were negative, if you were his physician, would you recommend that he have subsequent tests to make sure that he is in fact negative moving forward?
WEN: And not only that, I would also want to make sure that he, my patient, would be self-quarantined in that period of time, because we know this is a virus that is transmitted from person to person. And even casual contact can result in virus transmission. So I would give the president the same recommendation I would give to everyone, which is that we need to act out of an abundance of caution. And it is not just about us individually. It's also about protecting the most vulnerable around us, too.
HILL: Dr. Leana Wen, always great to have you with us, and I appreciate your perspective. Thank you.
Up next, the Trump administration expanding a travel ban from Europe as the coronavirus spreads. How this could now affect people in the United Kingdom and Ireland, what it means for American travelers as well.
Plus, a state of emergency in Spain. Flights turning around midair as airlines scramble to respond to the crisis.
HILL: The Trump administration a short time ago expanding its travel restrictions from Europe to include, now, the U.K. and Ireland as the U.S. fights the spread of the coronavirus. That ban on foreign nationals will begin at midnight on Monday. And that of course comes on top of restrictions which were placed on other European countries. Those restrictions went into effect last night.
CNN's Salma Abdelaziz is in London. So as we look at these new rules, will they be as restrictive for folks from the U.K. and Ireland as they have been for those other European countries? SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN PRODUCER: The short answer to that is yes, it
appears that they will be. And that is that if you are a European citizen, if you're a citizen of the U.K., you simply cannot travel to the United States for the next 30 days unless, of course, the exception being that you are an American citizen or a green card holder. Upon landing back home in the U.S. you have to land in one of only about a dozen airports in the United States, undergo additional screening, enhanced screening, and then you are asked to self- quarantine essentially once you're back home.
But I can tell you, I was inside Heathrow Airport just a short time before President Trump made that announcement, and I spoke to several American citizens who are trying to make their way back home. And they said over and over again, we're confused. We don't know where to go to get clear and concise information on the new restrictions, on the new guidelines.
I was speaking to one woman, a teacher from Florida, and she was asking me, I've heard about the enhanced screening, but what is it? And this overwhelmingly is the feeling inside Heathrow Airport, across the E.U. and across the U.K., is that there is chaos and confusion, a lack of understanding of how these regulations are being put forth, how quickly the decisions are being made.
And we are not just hearing this from citizens, from ordinary people. We're hearing this from E.U. leadership. Remember, that European ban went into effect at midnight last night, E.U. leaders condemned that last week, saying it was a unilateral action by the United States, that they had not been consulted on it. And at a time when we are battling a global pandemic there should be global cooperation.
We have yet to hear from the U.K. government any sort of response to this new ban, but one can only expect if it follows along the same lines as the earlier European ban that they also were not given any heads-up, which means that they have only a couple days to put in restrictions to make this happen, to send information to their airliners, to their businesses. And all of this, of course, creates a great deal of instability.
HILL: Instability and anxiety for so many. Salma Abdelaziz, we appreciate it. Thank you.
As we are watching all of this unfold in the U.S. and around the world, what can we learn from past pandemics? What can that teach us about fighting future outbreaks? The CNN film "Unseen Enemy Pandemics" airs tonight at 11:00 right hear on CNN.
Coming up, a health emergency in Georgia as the coronavirus spreads through the state. I'll speak with the mayor of Atlanta about how it is affecting schools and also the city's economy.
[14:30:45] HILL: This just in to CNN. The archdiocese of New York announcing all masses will be canceled beginning this weekend amid concerns over the coronavirus. We are told churches will remain open for private prayer. However, gatherings with more than 20 people are now prohibited.
The governor of Georgia declaring a state of emergency to address the coronavirus outbreak in that state. So far Georgia has 64 confirmed cases of coronavirus and one related death. Joining me now is Keisha Lance Bottoms. She's the mayor of Atlanta. Mayor, we appreciate you taking the time to join us today. So I know you've postponed the state of the city address, as I understand it, and you were considering a ban on large gatherings in Atlanta. What is the status of that plan?
MAYOR KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS, ATLANTA: So it is really interesting, Erica, to see how quickly things have changed. As of Wednesday, we were even contemplating if it was prudent to cancel our state of the city, and then in just a few short hours it became abundantly clear that we needed to discourage large gatherings. And I think like the rest of the world, we are receiving and processing information in real time.
But what we've been doing on a local level is giving consideration to what it is that we can do. So, for example, this week I signed an executive order that has said we will not disconnect water service for our customers. We've encouraged our corporate partners in the city to do the same. As of last night, Georgia Power, our largest utility provider, has said that they will not disconnect customers. We are also working with our school system and have a plan in place to provide food for our students who participate in our after-school care programs.
And so as local leaders across the country, I'm sure I join many other mayors who are thinking through what is it that we can do in uncertain times? And we are just telling the public, don't panic. But, certainly, be prepared.
HILL: You mentioned water and electricity not being shut off. For a lot of people, honestly, as we know, that will come as a great comfort. And the bill that was passed in Congress that will hopefully pass the Senate and be signed by the president also providing some relief. But there are still a number of people who are concerned who may not fall into the categories that are addressed in that legislation, members of the gig economy, people who are self-employed. I've had people texting and even tweeting asking about what they do. And this, I imagine, is something that you're thinking about in your city given the loss of March Madness and so many people who count on large events like this at major arenas, and that is a major source of their income. What is being done at this point, because this is a huge loss for your city and for all of those workers?
BOTTOMS: We are asking our corporate community to do what we do best in Atlanta and throughout this state, and that is to combine compassion with commerce. I know that Arthur Blank has announced that his hourly employees will continue to be paid, those who work at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. We have also taken that step with our city employees who are our
hourly employees, and we're asking all of our corporate partners if they are able to do the same. But, specifically, with our hospitality industry, which is a huge industry in our city, we know that those workers will take a huge hit. And so we're asking people, even if you are patronizing restaurants, whatever you're doing, please dig in your pockets, tip a little more. And to the extent that we are able to fill in the gaps, we will continue to do that, even looking at ways that we can tap into our city's reserves and make a determination on what if any resources we can continue to extend to the public.
But again, we are just encouraging our residents, don't panic, but certainly be prepared. This is a different time for all of us. But we are continuing to work very well with our state partners to make sure that we have all of the resources in place to make sure that our communities are cared for.
HILL: What is the number one question that you are getting from folks within the city of Atlanta when they come to your office? What do they need an answer on?
BOTTOMS: The questions are very simple, even as I was preparing to come here. Can I still go out? How far apart should we stay from people? This is such an unknown territory for all of us. And what we are saying is that this is a different time for the world. Continue to practice good sense, good common sense, social distancing. The recommendation is to stay six feet apart if you are able, continue to handwash. The information that we received in a download yesterday from one of our local community health partners was even in buildings have someone there who is wiping down the elevators on a regular basis, the elevator buttons. And I think that people really have to heed the warnings we are seeing on CNN all day, and that is that this is a serious crisis that our country is facing, and we have to seriously.
HILL: And in terms of this latest travel ban that we're just learning about, Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson, is it the busiest airport these days in the world? I know there is sort of a back and forth sometimes with Chicago. There is a massive amount of traffic internationally, and certainly from Europe that comes through your city. As we know, Americans and U.S. residents, green card holders will be allowed to return. How is all of that, though, impacting your city, these travel bans, including the most recent one from the U.K. and Ireland will go into effect on Monday night?
BOTTOMS: It is a huge impact, again, economically because our airport is one of our largest job centers in the state, with 26,000 employees, many of whom are hourly employees. I read today that Ed Bastian, CEO of Delta Airlines, is going to forego six months of his salary. We are already looking at legislation as it relates to our concessionaires, and if there is some relief that we can give to some of our business owners that they can also pass on to the hourly employees in the airport. But as always, we are urging all of our employees to continue to
follow the recommendations from the CDC as it relates to their interaction with passengers. We've been very fortunate. When we have had passengers who have been suspected of infection, we are the home to the CDC, so we literally are able to call them and they are there on the spot to make sure that we're following all of the appropriate safety protocols.
HILL: Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, appreciate you taking the time to join us today. Thank you.
BOTTOMS: Thank you.
HILL: Still ahead, nearly 6,000 cases and rising, the coronavirus taking a toll on people in Spain. We are live in Madrid, next.
HILL: Spain's government declaring a state of emergency for at least two weeks, and it's also expected that Spain will introduce new restrictions on people's movement. According to a government source, that source telling CNN of the plan. One U.K. airline, meantime, actually turned around its planes, which were in midair, on their way to Spain, canceling all flights into the country. Spain has reported an increase of more than 1,500 cases of the coronavirus in one day, and it now has the largest concentration of confirmed cases in Europe outside of Italy.
CNN's Al Goodman is live for us this hour in Madrid. So what more do we know about these possible restrictions of movement, Al?
AL GOODMAN, CNN MADRID BUREAU CHIEF: Hi, Erica. We are waiting for the prime minister to speak to the nation in a national press conference. This after a special cabinet meeting on this Saturday which went for seven hours. It was supposed to be over much earlier and he was supposed to come out this afternoon Spanish time to make a statement about what the cabinet has decided. But obviously, it gives you a sense of the difficulty that the government leaders are trying to grapple with as they try to get a hold on this.
This government source telling CNN here in Madrid, a few hours ago, that there certainly would be new restriction on movement of people. But we don't know how that will go. Would it just be, for instance, that people can only leave their homes to go to the grocery stores and the pharmacies that are still open, or the hospital, everything else is closed here in the capital, or would it be something else? There has been a lot of speculation. The mayor of Madrid was quoted in one leading publication that maybe a lockdown might be coming on the city. That's not confirmed. So everybody is waiting right now on what the prime minister might say.
And this is such a difference from just a week ago when Spain had just hundreds of cases, was behind Germany, was behind France, and now, as you say, they are up there right behind Italy, these 5,700 cases, and Madrid is the focal point because more than half of the cases and more than half of the approximately 130 deaths have happened right here in this city.
So you've seen restrictions here in the capital, and you're seeing that in other parts of the country. I'm here right now in the Puerta del Sol, which is the center of the city. These are the most number of people that we have seen here throughout the day. There is some speculation that may be coming out before possible restrictions. We've seen police trying to move people away, not be so close together.
The government here and in other countries is trying to slow down the pace of the infections. They are concerned an avalanche of infections, Erica, could lead to overwhelming problems at the hospitals. Back to you, Erica.
HILL: As has been a concern, understandably, in Italy, and things that people are talking about already here in the U.S. Al Goodman in Madrid, thank you.
A number of you are wondering how you can help people affected by the coronavirus, and you can. For more information on how to help feed the hungry, protect health professionals, support service workers during this pandemic, just log on to CNN.com/Impact.
Coming up, inside a nursing home at the heart of the nation's coronavirus pandemic, many families desperate to be reunited with their loved ones.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's been horrible. It's like a nightmare that I just can't wake up from.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HILL: The coronavirus outbreak and its deadly impact on the elderly has prompted the U.S. to take extreme measures for nursing homes across the country.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEEMA VERMA, CENTERS FOR MEDICARE AND MEDICAID SERVICES: We did take action last night to indicate that nursing homes should restrict all visitors effective immediately, and that includes all nonessential personnel. There are some exceptions for end of life. We are also canceling all group activities and communal dining, and there is active screening of health care workers that are in the facility.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[14:50:10] HILL: So what does that mean for the millions of families who have loved ones at senior living centers, in nursing homes? CNN's Sara Sidner has a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, pops. Why don't you guys cover his legs up?
SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: One after another.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Better, same, or worse?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can open the windows today.
SIDNER: Daughters and sons desperately trying to show their sick parents how much they love them without being able to touch them. Their parents are living in a nursing home that is the epicenter of the deadliest outbreak of coronavirus in the United States to date. Sisters Carmen and Bridget sat outside their mother's window with a picnic trying to soothe her on the phone. In reality, the sisters are filled with dread.
Does she understand what's happening?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sometimes. Today and yesterday are both not good days for her. She is rather confused.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She said she woke up crying this morning.
SIDNER: Do you feel that your mother is deteriorating at this center?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely. Without question.
SIDNER: They say their mother came to the Life Care Center in Kirkland, Washington, to rehab from a knee replacement and ended up getting coronavirus.
What has the process been like for you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's been horrible. It's like a nightmare that I just can't wake up from. I just want to see mom and talk to her face to face and laugh with her and joke with her and play backgammon, and all the stuff we used to do together.
SIDNER: They do not speak their biggest fear, but they are acutely aware coronavirus has killed 22 people associated with this facility, 18 of them were patients. Families are worried their parents and grandparents aren't getting the care they need, especially after hearing this.
TIMOTHY KILLIAN, LIFE CARE CENTER SPOKESPERSON: We've lost one-third of our active employees.
SIDNER: Are you absolutely sure the patients who are there are getting the care they needed considering you don't have the staff that you normally have? KILLIAN: I'm absolutely sure our staff is doing all they can with the
resources that they have.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Non-answer.
SIDNER: That answer did not satisfy the families.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're saying "they." Who is they, so we can follow up with them?
SIDNER: There are too many lingering questions to count. How is it possible that some of the staff has still not been tested three weeks after the deadly outbreak? And why is this facility's entire staff not quarantined when a third of the staff has reported coronavirus symptoms?
At the beginning of the outbreak in Wuhan, China, the U.S. government flew Americans by charter out of Wuhan and put them on a mandatory 14- day quarantine. Meantime, in this facility, where nearly two dozen people have died, and yet staff can come and go.
Why hasn't there been a self-quarantine?
KILLIAN: We have not received, and we have been in discussion with the CDC and the Department of Health in Washington. They have not told us to completely quarantine in place.
SIDNER: He says no one else will take the patients unless they show life-threatening symptoms.
Do you find that odd since they were quarantining and people who they had flown out of Wuhan for 14 days even though they didn't test positive but they haven't quarantined a facility that has so many people dead?
KILLIAN: I can't speak to the CDC's own decisions and the directions that they're giving. I can only tell you what they have or have not told us.
KATHERINE KEMPF, FATHER QUARANTINED IN LIFE CARE CENTER: Dad, I love you. You look good.
SIDNER: Still, the families of patients keep showing up trying to boost their parents' spirits.
KEMPF: You need to rub your legs. Get that blood flowing. OK?
SIDNER: Katherine Kempf's father has tested positive, though he is not showing major symptoms.
KEMPF: For him to say to me one on phone, it's rough in here, that's a huge statement for my dad. So to walk in there and just like --
SIDNER: Kempf has been bringing him herbal medicine. Her dad, she says, is a stoic Vietnam veteran, but even he has indicated how bad things are. Now he's losing friends to an enemy no one can see. KEMPF: He's dealing with it stoically, and he's just doing this kind
of thing. But the reality is his friends have died.
SIDNER: Sara Sidner, CNN, Kirkland, Washington.
HILL: Really puts it in perspective.
Thanks to all of you for joining us this afternoon. I'm Erica Hill. Ana Cabrera has much more in the Newsroom in just a moment.
But first, in today's "Human Factor."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KRIS KEYS, TRAVEL WEAR FASHION DESIGNER: For me, blood is something that just strings all of us humans together. My name is Kris Keys, and I'm a travel wear fashion designer. My first collection hematology is inspired by a blood disorder called hereditary elliptocytosis. I've had a few complications like an enlarged spleen, gallbladder attack. When I was seven my mother noticed that I was really, really weak. I had jaundice, yellowing of the eyes. I could not walk. My blood cells completely stopped reproducing. The only thing that kept me calm was drawing and painting and doing watercolors, with is the theme of my art and my fashions.
I studied at London College of Fashion, and I knew for my ending collection I wanted to do something that told the story of my life. Hematology is the study of the physiology of the blood. That's been a common theme since I was two-years-old. I came back to Memphis and I got blood smears. I infused that into my collection by taking all the colors of blood, blood as it oxidizes, purples, plums, ox bloods. The prints on the scarves and on the prints of the travel wear garments, they replicate blood disorders.
I'm really happy that I was able to take those dark moments and make it into something that people can love and wear and cherish.