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Coronavirus Shutting Down American Life; Trump Says He's Considering Domestic Travel Restrictions; Trump Gets Tested For Virus After Downplaying Threat For Weeks; UCLA's Dr. Anne Rimoin Discusses Restricting Visitors To Nursing Homes & Answers Viewers' Questions On Coronavirus; New York Presbyterian Hospitals Postponing All Elective Procedures & Surgeries; Streams Of Cars Visit New York's Drive-Through Testing Site; New York Reports First Coronavirus-Related Death; People In Italy Cope With Confinement Through Music. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired March 14, 2020 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: Hello. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York and you are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
And these are extraordinary times. A national emergency, America is shutting down. And there is real panic, panic about the number of people who will get sick or die, panic about the markets and your retirement, about the jobs on the line, panic about the kids in this country who can't go to school, about those empty store shelves at the store, and whether it'll be harder to get things like milk or bread or toilet paper, America is shutting down.
And the things we normally look to for escape, they aren't there either. Disneyland is closed. Broadway is dark. There is no basketball or baseball or hockey. People are even being told, don't go to church. Now, under different circumstances, any one of those things on its own would be headline news.
But now, they're all just part of an enormous story that has touched all of us. I know a lot of you are feeling afraid. We are here to help. There is power in information and knowing the facts and that is what I promised to give you over the next three hours.
Now, we have some breaking news this afternoon. The president revealing at a briefing today he finally did get tested for coronavirus but no results yet.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I had my temperature taken coming into the room. I also took the test. Yes. And I decided I should based on the press conference yesterday, people were asking did I take the test.
REPORTER: When will we have the results, Mr. President?
TRUMP: I don't know. Whatever it takes, a day or two days.
REPORTER: Was your temperature normal, Mr. President?
TRUMP: Totally normal.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: It wasn't just the president getting his temperature taken. A surreal scene, members of the White House press corps had theirs taken too before being allowed in to today's briefing.
Also in effect right now, a travel ban on 26 European countries. Come Monday, these restrictions will also expand to the U.K. and Ireland. U.S. citizens are still allowed to fly home from those countries but they'll have to return through specific airports and undergo enhanced entry screening.
Right, now there are more than 2,400 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the U.S. 50 people have died, including the first reported death in New York City. That patient, an elderly woman with advanced emphysema, had been in critical condition since last week.
But some good news overnight. The House passed coronavirus relief measures to help you take paid emergency leave if you can't work and will allow all of those who need to be tested for this virus to get it for free, even if you don't have health insurance.
Meantime, Japan's prime minister is announcing Tokyo will continue to prepare for the Olympic Games this summer despite the concerns about this growing pandemic.
And a big announcement from the tech world. Apple says it will close all stores outside of greater China until march 27th in hopes of reducing the spread of the virus.
Let's get straight to the White House now, President Trump making an unannounced appearance at a coronavirus briefing today and CNN's Kristen Holmes joins us from the White House. She was inside that briefing.
And we now know, Kristen, the president has been tested. And everyone in that briefing room had their temperature checked beforehand, I assume you, too?
KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Ana. And, really, take a look at how different this is. It's night and day from what we saw yesterday. President Trump in the Rose Garden shaking hands with all of those health officials, very proximity, touching the microphone. Now, you see really precautions being taken. All of the reporters having their temperatures taken, all of the task force members having their temperature taken before they met with the president.
I do want to note, one journalist was denied entry into this briefing after their temperature came back multiple times as too high under CDC guidelines. So they are taking this very seriously. Again, a very big change from what we saw yesterday. And on top of that the big seriousness is President Trump, himself, getting tested.
Now, the timing was pretty interesting. We know yesterday he said he would probably get tested. But late last night his doctor issued a note saying that President Trump and the vice president did not need to get tested, that there was not enough interaction, yet President Trump again saying today that he did, in fact, get tested. He said, as you heard there, that he doesn't know when those results are going to come in.
And I kind of want to go over what else we picked up in that press conference because it was clear that there was a lot more information coming. We know that there are more travel restrictions. We know that there are potentially going to be financial bailouts or some sort of financial ease to these companies. Mnuchin mentioning specifically airlines and cruise industries, the entertainment industry. And we heard about a possible domestic travel restriction. Take a listen to what was said about that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Are you considering other travel restrictions, perhaps domestically in that regard?
TRUMP: Yes, yes.
REPORTER: Can you describe what type of --
TRUMP: Specifically from certain areas, yes, we are. And we are working with the states and we are considering other restrictions, yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: And we had heard that these conversations were happening behind closed doors, particularly when it came to what they're calling hot spots, of course, those areas with a huge outbreak of coronavirus, that there might be some sort of travel restriction there. And just to note, Vice President Pence is having a conversation with governors on Monday, so this is likely to come up in that, Ana.
CABRERA: All right. Kristen Holmes at the White House for us, a great summary of all of the new developments today. Thank you.
I've got a terrific group of specialists here to help break down the latest message from the White House. Anne Rimoin is an infectious disease expert and virus hunter, she's an epidemiologist and head of the Center for Global and Immigrant Health at UCLA. Also with us is former Assistant Secretary at the Department of Homeland Security, Juliette Kayyem, and Catherine Rampell, Opinion Columnist for The Washington Post, who covers economics with a special emphasis on data- driven journalism. And before joining The Post, she covered economics for The New York Times.
So let me start with you, Dr. Rimoin. I want to get your reaction first to the president now announcing he has indeed taken the coronavirus test. We know he has had contact with people who have tested positive for the virus just this week. How important is it that he got tested?
DR. ANNE RIMOIN, EPIDEMIOLOGIST AND INFECTIOUS DISEASE EXPERT: I think it's very important that he got tested. I think that the president needs to set an example to everyone else that if you are exposed and you need to be tested that you should be tested. Now, that being said, he does not appear to be symptomatic and we are not telling people who are asymptomatic to be getting tests. But I think that just setting the example that testing is an important thing to do is the right thing to do and that he is actively taking part in this is very important.
CABRERA: Let me follow up, because you said it's not necessarily all people who are asymptomatic should be tested. So if he is asymptomatic, why would a test for him be important?
RIMOIN: As the president, he has a lot of responsibility. He needs to be -- he is also circulating among other people. And there is one thing that is very important to consider. If he has had multiple exposures, if he does have symptoms, it's very important for him to get tested.
But the thing that's really important here to remember is that asymptomatic infection is also becoming clearer and clearer. The evidence is becoming clearer and clearer that this is something that we should all be thinking about, and not only for him but for everybody around him.
I think the big issue that I keep seeing is that they're doing all of this fever screening. But the fever screening is not really the thing that we need to be worried about. Of course, you're going to get people who are highly symptomatic but fever screening also can be avoided as we saw with the Ebola outbreak with Advil, Tylenol, just a fever reducer.
I think that we need to be really smart about it. I thinking we need to be thinking about do people have symptoms of any kind, not just fever, what have their exposures been, and to be implementing social distancing. And I don't see a lot of social distancing going on in these press conferences. I think that's something that we really need to think about.
CABRERA: That's a great point. And handshaking too, we continue to see that also from the administration.
Let me turn to Juliette, because this travel ban that has been mentioned now extending to non-Americans coming from the U.K. and Ireland. That ban starts on Monday at midnight. Do you believe that will help?
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I think in the priority of things we should be addressing right now, it would not be in my top five. So would it help minimally? Yes, certainly, because you just want to keep people apart from each other to the extent possible. So it's part of a social distancing effort.
But, you know, I just think that the White House needs to focus a lot on, it's here. I mean, it's every state, by the end of this weekend or by mid next week, every state will be in a state of emergency. And then to focus our efforts on not keeping it out but identifying where it already is, treating those who are here, and then, of course, preparing the American public for what's ahead.
This week was what we call in crisis management activation week. We all activated personally and how we're going to live, institutionally, and how we're going to work and then through government in terms of the rules about how many people can be together. That was anticipated. It came quick for a lot of us, even those of us who were anticipating it.
And now, we're in for the long haul, right? We need to just sort of prepare that this is going to be -- it's not going to be one week. It's not going to be two weeks. It is going to be for people like me, you're sort of anticipating sort of March and April, and if we're lucky, May, we start to think about reconstituting society and getting back to normal.
CABRERA: Catherine, life, as we know it, really has changed. And for so many people, it's become much more stressful when wondering about their next paycheck, wondering who is going to take care of their children who are home from school. Just talking about these travel restrictions, the travel industry has been completely upended.
And now we hear the president say today maybe domestic travel on airlines will be restricted even more. That just seems like a game changer to our economy. We Delta saying already, they're facing deeper cuts than they faced after 9/11.
CATHERINE RAMPELL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: And, in fact, one of the major contractors that services Delta amongst other airlines announced that they were laying off several hundred workers as a result of these various decreases in demand at the very least for travel.
So even if there aren't formally, legally instituted travel restrictions that go into place, the fact that Americans are afraid to go to places that employers have said, don't do any unnecessary travel, that people have canceled vacations and other things that are, again, not of necessity, all of that is going to reduce demand for airline tickets, for hotels, for leisure activities, all sorts of things.
So you've already seen at this point a number of major employers indicating that they are either laying off workers or they're telling workers to stay home. They're uncertain about future shifts and things like that.
The official government data has not caught up with this yet because the government data, while they are the gold standard for things like what is the unemployment rate and it still looks quite low, it is released with a lag. So we have to look to these individual anecdotal announcements from employers as well as other real-time data that's being released by companies like OpenTable, for example, OpenTable, which does a lot of restaurant bookings. They had released numbers recently suggesting that here in New York City there are something like 50 percent fewer diners going out, making reservations through any platform, this week relative to a week, the same week a year earlier.
So we have these indicators trickling in, suggesting that people are hunkering down, they're less likely to go out. They may be losing income, they may be losing work opportunities, but we just don't know the extent of it yet.
CABRERA: Before I move on from the travel ban of sorts, doctor, is restricting air travel in the U.S. an effective way to combat the virus?
RIMOIN: I think we need to all consider how we can social distance most effectively. And by reducing the amount of travel, we are social distancing. This is the key to reducing spread of this virus at this time. The containment, the idea of containment is far too late. What we really need to be able to do now is work to reduce the spread of the virus in our country by keeping people away from each other as much as possible.
This is going to be the cornerstone of our strategy, making sure that testing is widely available and making sure that people are social distancing. And so reducing the number of flights, reducing the number of opportunities for flights may just be the appropriate thing to do.
CABRERA: Juliette, China used somewhat draconian methods to contain this virus, but how do you stop the spread here when the expectations of personal freedom are certainly far different?
KAYYEM: Yes. I mean, every country has a history, a constitutional structure, a governance structure that is going to command sort of how we respond. And so, you know, this is essentially, as we say -- this is locally executed, state coordinated and federally supported. And so we are at the local, state and federal all working together.
It may be that there are areas that are confined. Most of the time, those rules are under governors and not the president because you just have a hot zone in New York, you know, they're using voluntary measures, getting support from the National Guard. The National Guard there serves the governor, not the military.
But there are hints out there that the federal government is positioning to help with whatever sort of additional capacity we need, what we call surge capacity, and that includes the use of the military to support the sort of civilian needs that we will need. The military is good at tent hospitals, they're good at triage. They know how to do things very quickly. And we may need this.
I want to be clear here, this is not going to hit every place at every time at the same time, right? So what we're trying to do is simply, when this scales, it's try to control how fast it scales. So we are seeing lots of activity on the west and lots of activity on the east. My state is fourth, Massachusetts, and that's sort of how we think about the division of resources across the United States.
CABRERA: All right. Ladies, thank you all very much, Anne Rimoin, Catherine Rampell and Juliette Kayyem.
So what can we learn about past pandemics to fight future outbreaks? The CNN film, Unseen Enemy, Pandemic, airs tonight at 11:00 here on CNN.
So the president is still blaming the coronavirus and lack of testing on others. So far, the former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci is going to join us live with reaction to the messaging coming out of the White House.
But first, eerie emptiness from soccer stadiums in Buenos Aires to churches in Italy, theaters in India, and airports in Jerusalem. The coronavirus is putting so much of the world on hold.
CABRERA: This just in to CNN. Ronna McDaniel, the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee has been tested for the coronavirus.
Her spokesman says McDaniel was tested after experiencing flu-like symptoms but tested negative for the flu. McDaniel met with Trump in Orlando on Monday. She is now self-quarantining at home and is awaiting for those test results.
President Trump has been giving regular updates to the public about coronavirus, but -- and this is a huge but -- the information he gives is not always accurate. And he often downplays the threat and contradicts statements he or his expert advisers have previously said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus.
This is their new hoax.
It will go away. Just stay calm.
REPORTER: Dr. Fauci said earlier this week that the lag in testing was, in fact, a failing. Do you take responsibility for that? And when can you guarantee that every single American who needs a test will be able to have a test? What's the date of that?
TRUMP: Yes. No, I don't take responsibility at all.
REPORTER: You said that you don't take responsibility but you did disband the White House Pandemic Office and the officials that were working in that office left this administration abruptly. So what responsibility do you take to that?
TRUMP: You say, me. I didn't do it. We have a group of people. I could ask perhaps my administration, but I could perhaps ask Tony about that because I don't know anything about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: And yet despite these inaccuracies, blame shifting moments, original claims of a hoax, Vice President Mike Pence has been effusive in his praise of the president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Mr. President, from early on, you took decisive action.
Throughout this process, Mr. President, you've put the health of America first.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: With me now, President Trump's former White House Communications Director, Anthony Scaramucci. Good to have you here, Anthony.
Is this what it looks like to work with Trump behind the scenes? Is there no one who privately would tell the president, you can't call this a hoax, it's no joke, and you are going to put everyone at risk if you don't take this seriously?
ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Well, I mean, I would imagine that a few people, particularly Vice President Pence, has sort of indicated that to him. And, listen, I know the vice president is working probably 24/7 on this thing, but there are a couple of things that are going on.
They release a statement from the White House physician that he doesn't need to be tested but then he's tested. And so that sort of is strange in itself. The new Roche Test has a four-hour determination of whether or not somebody has the COVID-19. So it's sort of astonishing that they haven't released that test yet as well, Ana.
So there are a lot of different things that are going on. But the main thing is the president is a rogue operator, he's always been the Lone Ranger without Tonto. And so his aides are literally scrambling around to try to make something more sane that's absolutely insane which happens to be the president. And so that's why you see all this confusion.
And, you know, the Dow Futures are down a lot after this last press conference. So it would be better served for the president that he gets out of the way here, let Vice President Pence and the medical team and Steven Mnuchin handle the questions. But you got the Futures now in a rout again. Because what's happening is people are resetting for Monday and they're looking and saying, there's really no good news, and the economy, the global economy is going to be at a standstill for likely one to two months.
CABRERA: Well, the reassurances just haven't been there. People aren't feeling any calmer than they did earlier in the week, that's for sure.
The New York Times has talked about how the president has handled this and put it in these terms. They said he being more of a follower than a leader right now during this crisis. We know this is a moment that really tests leadership.
They write, while he presents himself as the nation's commanding figure, Mr. Trump has essentially become a bystander as school superintendents, sports commissioners, college presidents, governors and business owners across the country take it upon themselves to shut down much of American life without clear guidance from the president.
Anthony, based on what you know of this president, what is your biggest fear of what he'll do if he feels like he is not in control?
SCARAMUCCI: Well, I mean, he had the information in January, Ana. And he made a decision in January not to take the aggressive measures that other people were recommending, primarily because he wants those numbers lower and he wants the economy stronger to go into re- election.
And so one thing the president has tried to do his whole life is curve reality towards him. Lots of entrepreneurs do that. But in the case of crisis management, you have to hit the intersection between not underreacting, which the president did for the first two months, or overreacting. You certainly don't want that either.
But, yes, there is no question, somebody will look back on this five, ten years from now, and say that he didn't define this thing properly and his lack of clarity and realism in his communication has hurt him.
And I think it's hurt him as a leader. And I think going into the election, he's really caused a crisis of confidence in him as it relates to, I would say, the moderate and independent voters.
So he would be best served if there was a group intervention that just sat down with him and said, okay, your strategy is not working. Let us intervene here on your behalf and use the experts and their ideas to try to curb the pandemic that's going on right now.
CABRERA: If you were still White House Communications Director right now, what would you be doing?
SCARAMUCCI: You mean not taking a cyanide tablet? That would probably be at the top of the list. But after that, I would definitely try to get a group intervention involved here with the president. I that think what happens is he's got a bellicose nature. He is somewhat intimidating, just his physicality sometimes intimidates people and so they sometimes cower in front of him.
I think they would be best served to team up, have a group intervention with him and try to get the messaging more consistent with Dr. Fauci's messaging, which is that this is a global pandemic, lots of people are going to get sick, and we have to do everything we can to create social distance right now, which will eventually curb it.
I mean, the very, very good news is looking 3, 6, 12 months out, there will be good news for America, good news for the economy. But we've got to do everything we can to clamp it down right now, otherwise we're going to have a hospital and healthcare crisis.
So I probably wouldn't take the cyanide tablet, Ana, but I would definitely want to have a group intervention with the president to get him to stop this rogue operation and this lone ranger business without Tonto.
But somebody should ask the White House press secretary why his test results aren't out yet.
CABRERA: Well, he said it should take another day or so. We'll see where that ends up.
But let me ask you though about --
SCARAMUCCI: Remember, the new test is four hours.
CABRERA: Let me talk about some of the politics for just a moment and we can certainly ask the medical experts about the testing requirements and what the expectations should be in terms of turnaround.
But when it comes to, you know, this president and how much he values loyalty and what we've seen as a reaction among Republican lawmakers has largely been lockstep with the president typically. This is different. Many Republicans have started to break from this president on the success of the testing, for example. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY (R-IA): There're questions that haven't been answered. And until I get answers, I wouldn't want to make a judgment whether or not I'm satisfied.
SEN. JAMES LANKFORD (R-OK): No one is satisfied with where we are right now. We've got a long way to be able to go to to be able get rapid, efficient testing. Because right now, people just want to know, do I have it, do I not have it, and that people can't do yet.
SEN. MITT ROMNEY (R-UT): I think a lot of people, like myself, are concerned that we don't have the level of testing that you're seeing in other countries, like South Korea. And we wonder why they have several thousand people a day getting tested and we have, you know, a handful. So our testing process has been lacking.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Anthony, do you think the president's GOP support is at risk right now?
SCARAMUCCI: Well, I would say it is probably not at risk right now. But I think if this continues and, clearly, if the market crashes, and you go into a recession, then it is at risk. And I think you're seeing the fracturing there or some cracks in that very thick ice because of what's going on in the economy. At the end of the day, Senator McConnell and the Senate Republicans want to keep the majority, and so that is really guiding them.
Obviously, you know I think they made a mistake. You just saw Mitt Romney up there. There was ample reason to convict and remove the president from office. They could have done that 38 or 39 days ago and this crisis would be -- being handled totally differently.
So the Senate Republicans are going to have to answer for that as well come November. And so I think that's why you're seeing a change in their posture as well.
CABRERA: Anthony Scaramucci, always good to have you with us. I appreciate your perspective. Thank you.
SCARAMUCCI: It's good to be here. Thank you.
CABRERA: Coming up, we are answering your questions on the coronavirus.
But, first, some news for those of you who will be traveling. The TSA will now allow travelers to have larger bottles of hand sanitizer in their carry on luggage, up to 12 ounces. All other liquids and gels still need to be 3.4 ounces or less size.
CABRERA: Now to Washington State we learned today 47 employees at that nursing home at the center of the coronavirus outbreak there have tested positive.
CNN's Sara Sidner captured this video of daughters and sons desperately trying to show their sick parents how much they love them without being able to touch them. Waving at them through the windows at the Live Care Center. This is in Kirkland, Washington.
As part of the national emergency declared yesterday, nursing homes across the country are restricting access to visitors.
We are getting so many questions about how to stay safe during this crisis so please keep tweeting me, @anaCabrera. And we want to get these answers back to you.
And to do just that is a professional virus hunter. Dr. Anne Rimoin is an epidemiologist and head of the Center for Global and Immigrant Health at UCLA.
Dr. Rimoin, thanks for sticking around with us. Again, we saw the 47 new cases at that nursing home. We saw the video families trying to talk to their older parents through the windows. How necessary is it to restrict visits to nursing homes right now?
RIMOIN: It is critical to restrict nursing home access right now. Data from Kirkland is clear. We've seen exactly what will happen not only in this nursing home but any nursing home in the country.
This is our most vulnerable population, the elderly and people who have underlying conditions. Most elderly in any of these nursing homes also have underlying conditions. So they are at greatest risk. We need to make sure that only essential personnel are in the nursing homes and having daily contact with them.
But that said, what we're seeing in Kirkland is so important. Restricting access doesn't mean you can't call or e-mail or Facetime or Skype. Everybody should be reaching out to these elderly because all of these people will be feeling very isolated right now and that also leads to poor health outcomes.
CABRERA: A great point.
We saw this other video out of Tennessee of parents wiping down children's backpacks with Lysol wipes. And parents even spraying their kids with disinfectant. That brings us to this viewer question: Should parents be doing that?
RIMOIN: I think it is also very clear that disinfecting works. How you disinfect and what you're using and how you're using it actually matters.
My suggestion to everybody is to do what we've been saying over and over again. Good hand hygiene and wiping down commonly used surfaces. Commonly used surfaces include doorknobs and counters, all of these things we normally touch.
Backpacks are a good idea. You can even wash most backpacks. Not all backpacks. Some can't be washed, in which case you should carefully wipe them down.
Another thing everybody needs to be thinking about is a lot of these cleaning products can be toxic and so you want to be sure you clean them, spray them when you have ventilation, and you follow the directions on the labels.
RIMOIN: It can be very important because we don't want to have people having, you know, poor lung functions --
CABRERA: Chemical reactions.
RIMOIN: Exactly. Exactly.
CABRERA: That's a good reminder.
Another viewer asks: If I come in contact with somebody who is -- who has tested positive, how soon will I start having symptoms?
RIMOIN: It really depends upon the type of contact you had with them and for how long and your own health at the time you were in contact. So the answer is it varies.
We assume it can be anywhere from two to 14 days, which is why we're asking people to self-quarantine for two to 14 days after exposure to somebody. That is the best data we have right now but it is why social distancing is so important.
I want to bring up, again, this point, the evidence about asymptomatic transmission or transmission when you don't have symptoms is becoming clearer and clearer. That is why social distancing is so important for everybody to consider.
You may not feel very sick right now. You might not feel sick at all. So you want to be able to keep yourself away from others who might be -- you might infect.
And vice versa. You may not know that somebody else around you might not know they're sick or that they have a small cold, which is what we are talking about here.
All of this is very, very important. It comes down to social distancing.
CABRERA: And there was a second part to the question I left off. Forgive me. If you can give a quick answer. It was: When am I most contagious? Do we know?
RIMOIN: From what we know so far, you are most contagious when you are symptomatic. That is true of most infections.
That being said, there's evidence to suggest that a couple days prior to onset of symptoms you are also contagious. We've seen this with influenza and measles. This is not uncommon in a viral infection.
The most infectious time is when you're sneezing and coughing and actively producing materials you can spread but it doesn't mean you can't spread it prior to when you are most symptomatic.
CABRERA: OK. Dr. Anna Rimoin, as always, thank you very much.
RIMOIN: My pleasure.
Coming up, getting tested for coronavirus through the drive-through.
But, first, late night is suspending production after trying to film without an audience. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: New York has reported its first coronavirus-related death. The governor says the victim was an 82-year-old woman, who had been, quote, "long-suffering with emphysema." She died Friday at a New York City hospital.
Meanwhile, the number of cases there exploding overnight. And in just the last hour, we learned all elective procedures and surgeries scheduled at New York Presbyterian Hospitals will be postponed until further notice starting on Monday.
Shimon Prokupecz is in New Rochelle, New York.
Shimon, what's happening there? You're near one of the drive-through testing facilities, right?
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. We are. Through the day, we've seen a steady stream of cars come here. You can see some cars here now over my shoulder.
They're pulling up. There's an officer there. State troopers are there as well. They're asking them if they are here to be tested. If they've had an appointment. You have to make an appointment. You can't just show up here. If they have an appointment they drive through to another area just over the bridge where they are tested.
It's been a steady stream here through the day. Sometimes several people are in the cars, driving through.
And as you said, this certainly has been a busy day for New York. They have over 500 cases now, statewide, over 200 in New York City.
And the first fatality. As you said the 82-year-old woman who died, sadly, this morning. She had a prior health condition, the mayor said, emphysema, and combined with coronavirus, she died.
Again, you know, the state and city, obviously, prepping for more cases. The state, the governor today in New York said they are trying to open up another drive through testing site similar to the one behind me. That would be out in Long Island where they are also seeing a spacecraft in cases and hope to get that up and running.
And I think we are going to be seeing a lot of scenes like the one behind me with people pulling up in vehicles hoping to get tested. The question is when. And of course, that is what everyone is wondering, when will we have more testing. CABRERA: As you say, people pulling up makes it easy and convenient
and protects those from being exposed outside of the vehicle when people go to the hospitals for example.
But, Shimon, important to also point out that you have to have an appointment to go to the drive through testing facilities at least here in New York. So those who are watching need to know that.
Shimon, thank you very much for your ongoing reporting there.
Life under lockdown. Just ahead, how people in the hardest-hit European country, Italy, are coping with confinement through music.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
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CABRERA: This just in, France has just announced plans to close all restaurants, cafe, cinemas, and clubs to halt the spread of the coronavirus. Now this plan goes into effect starting at midnight tonight.
In making the announcement, the prime minister acknowledged that French people find the concept of social distancing repugnant because they are joyful people who like to spend time together.
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CABRERA: Social media is buzzing with videos like this of Italians locked in their homes under the coronavirus quarantine singing to each other from their windows and their balconies.
Italy, by far, is the hardest-hit country in Europe right now with more than 20,000 confirmed cases of the illness. It has banned all but necessary travel.
CNN's Melissa Bell is joining us from Rome.
Melissa, what is life like there under this lockdown?
MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think you're quite right to show those images because they really are quite extraordinary. What an emotional moment, again, a few hours ago, 6:00 p.m. local, when people went to their windows. It's become a regular event. It happened yesterday at 6:00 p.m. It happened at midday today.
If they can play an instrument, they play an instrument. It they want to sing, they sing. They bang their saucepans if they have nothing else. The idea is to make as much noise from their windows as they can because, remember, these are people who are entirely on house lockdown.
Essentially anywhere in Italy now, including Rome, if you go outside, the streets are being patrolled by the police, by the military. You have to explain why it is you're going out.
The only reason you can leave your apartment or your home is to go food shopping or to the pharmacy. And so you can imagine how deserted the country is.
And I think one of the things that's showing is the emotional, the psychological impact of that. We need to be with each other. And finding yourself disconnected from the rest of the world, even your neighbors, in some cases, your family, it is really difficult.
These moments are extremely important. They're full of emotion. Remembering, Ana, they're not just surviving but, in a sense, trying to live a little bit, as well. They're extremely important.
The latest figures that came out this evening, another massive rise in Italy in the number of new cases, another record, nearly 3,500 new cases since yesterday. That shows that the outbreak continues to progress. It has yet to be brought under control.
And yet, Ana, authorities had warned that this these extraordinary measures now applied nationwide would take a couple of weeks to bear their fruit. It takes some time.
A glimmer of hope from the north, though, where the measures were brought into place three weeks ago. The figures in those parts of the country that were on lockdown early, now starting to rise not as fast as they did.
I think that provides a glimmer of hope to everyone that are looking to the end of this and the hope that one day life will get back to normal.
CABRERA: I think that is one of the biggest questions lingering, is long will this last, how long will people have to endure such very difficult measures in some cases.
Melissa Bell, thank you for that update from Rome.
We want to switch gears and bring you a story that will, hopefully, make you smile today. Thousands of child victims from both sides of the militant insurgency known as Boko Haram are getting an education and hope for brighter futures in a region where many thought it would once be impossible.
It's thanks to one man and his school. Meet this week's "CNN Hero" Zana Mustafa.
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ZANA MUSTAFA, CNN HERO: We've had testing so far. But currently, we have over 860.
MUSTAFA: We don't mind where you from, what's your vision, what's your ethnicity. It is unique.
We bring harmonious working relationships between all parts of society. I see the faces of these children and how these students are dreaming. It gives me hope that still there's a light at the end of the tunnel.
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CABRERA: To see how Zana builds peace and to nominate someone you think should be a "CNN Hero," go to CNNheroes.com right now.
We'll be right back.