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Coronavirus Spreads Fear And Transforms Life Across America; Interview With Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D); Biden And Sanders Debate With No Audience Amid Outbreak. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired March 15, 2020 - 15:00   ET



ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: And people across the country this weekend, their reactions ranging from commonsense caution to panic and hysteria. Many grocery stores are wiped out today of home cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer and of all things, toilet paper.

Walmart joining other big retailers in changing their operating hours to try and keep the stores clean and the shelves stocked.

Also major developments overseas right now, Germany is closing its borders with five neighboring nations effective just a few hours from now. Many other countries are implementing tight new entry rules all aimed at keeping coronavirus exposure to a minimum.

Meantime, Italy has just announced 368 more deaths in just the last 24 hours from coronavirus that brings the death toll in that country to more than 1,800.

And in American airports, a lot of people moving over fast, waves of travelers returning from overseas and it's caused an enormous back up of people who have to be health screened before they can leave the airport.

Some U.S. officials say people should expect this new normal for the foreseeable future.


MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D-NY): Let's be clear. This is a crisis that will be with us, first of all, I believe at least six months. It's unlike anything we've dealt with in our memory. It's changing every hour. So we're going to constantly make new decisions.


CABRERA: CNN's Omar Jimenez is at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, one of the places where returning travelers have been backed up trying to enter the country.

So Omar, people are confused. I imagine they are very frustrated. What are they telling you?

OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Ana, as we've been speaking to people coming out of the international arrivals here, people have really tried -- or have been frustrated with the process of receiving information.

And I should say, we just spoke to some students that were essentially trapped in Poland, and didn't know if they were going to get out, in the midst of the announcements of the European travel bans that were coming through here, they were finally able to make it back.

And they say, again, the most stressful part was finding which countries they were able to go to, what timeframes they would able to do so effectively, and being able to effectively communicate with those airlines. So that's one factor.

The second factor in all of this is what they are seeing once they get to places like O'Hare.

Last night is where we saw some of these tremendous images where a huge influx of passengers came through as flights began to land as a result of this European travel ban that went into effect.

Hundreds were packed into small areas, which we know is the exact opposite of what health officials are urging at the moment.

But all of this was as they were just waiting to be processed to be let into this country.

So as we understand there are three layers of security and screening that you could potentially go through, one being the classic Customs and Border Patrol screen that you would typically see on a normal flight under normal circumstances, and then based on your travel history, you would then go through a secondary set of screening by the Department of Homeland Security.

And then if that person was potentially showing symptoms, or there was concerned based on their travel history, they would then get a third screening by the C.D.C. All of this happening and resulting in some people waiting up to five hours from when they step off the plane to be able to step on U.S. soil.

The Mayor here in Chicago says both she and Governor J.B. Pritzker of Illinois had been requesting more resources from the Federal government in the form of screeners.

But in the meantime, they say they've been trying to work with the F.A.A. to even do things like staggering letting people off the flights, so if we have those wait times, they wait on the flight, rather than in these areas, again, tightly packed together.

They still have yet to get a response. And I asked Mayor Lightfoot, what fundamentally different are we going to see from last night into tonight, and she says, well, until anything changes on that Federal front, it's going to be bad once again this evening -- Ana.

CABRERA: Okay, Omar Jimenez, we know you're going to stay on top of it and will bring us any new reporting from there. When it comes to what steps the Federal government is willing to take

in order to contain this virus, and where President Trump's thinking is on all of this. We are getting two completely opposing approaches from one of the President's closest allies in Congress and the President's own Coronavirus Task Force.

Here's Congressman Devin Nunes followed by Dr. Anthony Fauci.


REP. DEVIN NUNES (R-CA): If you're healthy, you and your family, it's a great time to just go out -- go to a local restaurant.


NUNES: Likely you can get in easily. There's no -- let's not hurt the working people in this country that are relying on wages and tips.

Don't run to the grocery store and buy, you know, $4,000.00 of food.

BARTIROMO: Yes, they're cleaning off the shelves.

NUNES: Go to your local pub.

BRIANNE KEILAR, CNN HOST: Would you like to see a national lockdown? Basically people -- you can't go out to restaurants and bars. You need to stay home.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: Well, I would like to see a dramatic diminution of the personal interaction that we see in restaurants and bars. Whatever it takes to do that. That's what I'd like to see.


CABRERA: CNN's Jeremy Diamond is live at the White House now, and Jeremy, who is the President listening to right now?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Look, well, that is the question, Ana. If you listen to what the President was saying yesterday, the President was asked, for example, about Apple closing all of its stores. The President's response was, that's fine. If other businesses want to do it, that's fine.

But we haven't necessarily heard the President with the same emphasis as Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the government's top public health officials and other public health officials in the government, you know, say with the same kind of emphasis, the extent to which Americans really need to start making changes to their daily lives, involving the social distancing, involving not attending certain events, for example, and staying at home more.

That is something though that in conversations with administration officials today, they are indicating that an increased focus in the messaging on Americans needing to really make some serious changes to their lives, that that is something that we could be seeing from this administration.

We know of course, that there is a briefing at 5:00 p.m. today, perhaps that is where they will start to make that messaging effort a bit more concerted.

We do know that Fauci, he was this morning, really advocating, saying Americans need to prepare to start hunkering down, to start changing the way that they behave in their daily lives and even not ruling out the possibility of some kind of a national mandate, a national shutdown for non-essential businesses.

Those are steps that we have seen European countries like France, Italy, Spain all taking and we're told that that is something that has been discussed in these Coronavirus Taskforce meetings. But of course, there is nothing imminent at this point in terms of an order for the President to move forward with something like that.

CABRERA: And Jeremy, I've been getting a lot of questions from viewers asking, what is the Federal government doing to help me? You know, Congress passed a Bill.

We know the President declared a National Emergency, but people want to know, what does that mean? How will everyday people benefit?

DIAMOND: Well, look, there is that legislation that was passed by the House late Friday night, early Saturday morning, that legislation will have a few key provisions including paid emergency and sick leave for employees of small businesses, companies with fewer than 500 employees.

Of course, that doesn't cover all Americans. But larger companies do typically have better or some kind of paid sick leave policy.

This will also offer free testing for every American, expanded unemployment insurance, and increased Federal funding for Medicaid.

Now the Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin would not say for sure whether he knows that Senate Republicans who of course have the majority in the Senate, whether they will be able to pass this legislation. That is, of course the hope from this White House to deliver a first step of relief here.

And Mnuchin also made clear that there will be additional targeted economic relief packages that they will try to move through Congress, including for those individuals in the airline industry, in the travel industry, and other industries specifically impacted the most by this coronavirus outbreak.

Of course, we know that the President himself that while he is leading all of these efforts, and he is focused on his coronavirus response.

If you look at his Twitter feed today, there is also a focus on a lot of other things particularly very partisan, very controversial issues despite the President yesterday talking about the need for bipartisanship, the fact that we are all in this together, the President today tweeting about everything from a potential pardon for Michael Flynn, tweeting out parroting some claims from Flynn's attorneys, as well as also going on the attack against the top Democrat in the Senate, Chuck Schumer.

And also, of course, attacking the news media, who at the same time, we are seeing the Vice President, for example, and other members of this administration, really asking the news media for help in getting out the right information here.

The President certainly striking a very different tone, at least on social media.

CABRERA: Jeremy Diamond, thank you for that reporting. As this global pandemic continues, we are getting an onslaught of questions from viewers about this virus, how you can best protect yourself and others and I want to bring in a medical expert to answer some of your questions.

With us now is Dr. Seema Yasmin, Director at the Stanford Health Communication Initiative and a CNN medical analyst.

Dr. Yasmin, here's just one of our viewers questions. My young adult children, my husband and I were very sick at the beginning of February, how do we know it wasn't COVID-19 and do recovered people test positive?

DR. SEEMA YASMIN, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: So with the kind of tests that we're talking about now, Ana, and really trying to encourage the government to roll out that kind of test, we call it a PCR test, and it normally tests positive when you're sick, or you have a lot of virus actively in your body.

And the kind of test that we might want to do with these folks after they've already been sick, and maybe they are well now is a different kind of test. It's called an antibody test.

And what it's detecting is not virus inside your body. It's detecting the proteins our immune system makes to fight off viruses.

Those proteins are called antibodies, and they can hang around for weeks, sometimes even months. And we in fact, we've done this in previous epidemics. We did it with the 2009 swine flu pandemic after the fact.

We did lots of antibody tests to find out exactly how prevalent was the disease and how many cases did we miss.


CABRERA: Dr. Yasmin, another question I got from a viewer is what precautions should we take if we have to fly?

YASMIN: Try not to fly and especially for at-risk groups and older adults, anyone who is immunosuppressed because traveling and flying in particular can really put you in close proximity with people and we're trying to limit that as much as possible, especially now. That's really important to bear in mind. Of course, if there's some reason that really means you have to be on

a plane, then I want us to think about a public health approach where we're not just thinking, oh, I don't want to get sick.

Take an approach where you imagine that maybe you're already infected and just don't know it, what can you then do to protect those around you, those you love, those in your community, possibly those on the same airplane as you and in that case, you can make sure you're wiping down all the surfaces you're touching.

Using disinfectant wipes with more than 60 percent alcohol, and making sure that you're wearing a surgical mask because that prevents any infected droplets from leaving your body and touching anyone or anything else.

CABRERA: People want to stay healthy and do whatever it takes to keep themselves healthy, part of that is exercise for a lot of us. Is it safe to go to the gym, one viewer asks.

YASMIN: Unfortunately, gyms can be perfect breeding grounds for respiratory pathogens. Just imagine, we are touching so many different surfaces in a gym, and although most of them have those cleaning wipes, not everybody is using them very diligently.

If you can, try and work out at home using your own bodyweight exercises, maybe you have your own dumbbells at home, but really right now, we're trying to do that social distancing as much as possible.

And I urge viewers to look up these incredible graphs from a hundred years ago during Spanish flu. You look at Philly compared to St. Louis.

Philly, the officials were reassuring people saying you don't have to do social distancing. St. Louis, they were saying no. Take this seriously. Do social distancing. Their death rates, those graphs are wildly different.

And that's why we're hammering home this message to try and limit your contact with others as much as possible.

CABRERA: In terms of immune system boosters, give us some tips, because another viewer wrote me and said, if people take more vitamin supplements, does that help fight off the virus?

YASMIN: Unfortunately, the studies don't really show that. There are some studies kind of on the fence about taking vitamin C before a cold, but really, there's no one thing that can boost your immune system.

Plus, we're already in that time of year when flu is circulating. And actually, Ana, there's a bunch of cities across the United States that are seeing a peak in flu infections right now.

And again, because we can't point to one particular thing, one magic tablet, one vitamin that will boost your immune system, that's why we're saying to limit contact, stay healthy and be at home. CABRERA: Do people need to worry about their pets?

YASMIN: So no, we don't think so. The evidence right now shows that they can't get infected, at least with this coronavirus.

There is a different coronavirus that can infect dogs and actually give them terrible stomach problems, but there's no evidence at the moment the World Health Organization is saying about pets being infected.

CABRERA: Okay, that's some good news. Thank you for the great information, Dr. Seema Yasmin.

And we've talked about the physical health and your personal safety. All of this, though, has to be taking a toll on your mental health as well.

So I want to bring in Jeff Gardere. He is a clinical psychologist and an Assistant Professor at Toro College of Osteopathic Medicine. Doctor, what is the biggest risk to people's mental health in a time like this?

JEFF GARDERE, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST AND ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, TOURO COLLEGE OF OSTEOPATHIC MEDICINE: Well, it's the isolation, Ana. What we know is when people are stressed, one of the most important things they need is the physical and emotional support of others.

And now with the self-quarantining, now with the social distancing they may or may not be getting what it is that they need, so they'll have to figure out another way in order to keep some sort of sanity as we're going through this really insane time.

CABRERA: What do you recommend? How should people cope with that isolation?

GARDERE: I think it's important that we use one of the things that we used to give people a hard time about, which is social networking.

Make sure that you're able to use a social media platform, if not even just your plain old cell phone to touch base with loved ones, to make sure you're talking to your elders or parents or relatives who are in nursing homes, checking in on other people.

And knowing just as Dr. Yasmin said that this is something that needs to be a community working together.

CABRERA: There is a sense of panic out there right now in America. We've seen people stock up on food. Supermarket shelves are empty. There's been a run on toilet paper, even on water. What does this tell you? Why do people react like this?

GARDERE: Well, because we're dealing with the unknown here. We're getting more answers every day. But people are waiting for some sort of systematic testing so we know exactly what we're dealing with.

They are waiting for more leadership which some people feel that they haven't really gotten. They're getting it more on the state and local level and that's a very, very good thing.


GARDERE: But really, the most important thing that we need to understand is that this is going to be a new normal for quite a while.

There is something that we call habituation, which means given enough time, the panic and the anxiety will begin to slow down a little bit.

But we are going to be at edge -- on edge, and we should accept that and not put people down for that.

But the calmer that we are in our communities, the calmer we'll make other people and I think the less of a run that we'll have on stores.

CABRERA: Quickly, if you will, I think this is an important question for a lot of parents who are out there right now whose children maybe aren't going to school. They're automatically impacted.

I know my eight-year-old son is worried about coronavirus. How do we talk to our children about what's happening?

GARDERE: The first and most important thing we need to know is where they are with this topic with really horrific time for them? What does it mean to them?

So we need to listen as to what it is that they know, and then meet them there and then give them the information, but given in a way where we're not panicking, and if there's something we don't know, say simply, we just don't know and we'll wait to get answers or research to get answers.

But our kids need the truth from us. And they need for us, as parents, to handle this in as much of a rational manner as we can and that will set the tone for the rest of the home.

CABRERA: All right. Jeff Gardere, thank you very much for your expertise. Really appreciate it.

GARDERE: Thank you.

CABRERA: In Los Angeles, life as residents know it there as all but stopped. The Mayor has called for all events of more than 50 people to be canceled to try to stop the spread of coronavirus.

And the school system there, the second largest in the nation is now shut down for two weeks. The Los Angeles Mayor will join us live, next.



CABRERA: The numbers now stand at 3,100 confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. and 62 deaths. I want to get straight to Los Angeles and Mayor Eric Garcetti. Mayor,

thank you for taking the time. I know it's got to be stressful for you and all of those there on the West Coast.

First question, is your city getting the tests it needs?

MAYOR ERIC GARCETTI (D), LOS ANGELES: No, I think the short answer nationwide is we don't have enough.

We're getting the test to the critical people who need them, who are the most vulnerable. But by and large, to address the pandemic, we still don't, even though we have here in Southern California a number of private labs and our public labs that are working around the clock and doing an amazing job, but short answer is no. We need more.

It was dereliction of duty to not have that prepared, but we are now scrambling and I think we can get those tests the people who need the most right now.

CABRERA: Do you have an idea of how many people have been tested in your city?

GARCETTI: We don't know in the county. It's in the low hundreds about three days ago, we're probably closer to about a thousand right now.

But we have a lot of private testing that's going on. Good news of those tests, those that make it through to the public health authority, 75 percent are coming back negative, only 25 percent positive.

In the private lab, so far 96 percent negative. That may be people who are kind of the worried well as we call them, folks who are worried and taking the test, and have some access to them. But those numbers are at least hopeful.

And Los Angeles looks a little bit like a holiday or even a ghost town, which is a good thing right now and I want to thank all of my residents for really heeding the advice.

Unlike some of the other things you've covered in the past, fires here or earthquakes, and we've had heroic firefighters. We all are first responders and the decisions we make no matter how healthy we feel are the difference between life and death for family members, neighbors and our fellow residents.

CABRERA: So true. And speaking of first responders, we learned today that an LAX police officer has now tested positive for coronavirus. First, do you know about the officer's condition?

GARCETTI: Yes. The officer is doing okay and we have also a number of quarantined, both sheriffs in the county and some firefighters. They're asymptomatic luckily.

But we know that this has been a gateway in for a lot of people. We are doing everything we can post the Federal screening to make sure that we have as secure as safe and as clean an airport as possible. It's the fourth busiest in the world.

But we know first responders and our healthcare professionals, we have to take special care of, not only the equipment, the safety, but also things like child care.

I'm very worried about nurses and hospital workers now that schools are closed, being able to have the healthcare and the childcare that they need as well.

CABRERA: And Mayor, this also brings up a larger question when we talk about public safety because we saw, you know, one NBA player test positive and it resulted in the immediate shutdown of the entire league. Who takes over law enforcement if for some reason an entire police department needed to quarantine?

GARCETTI: Well, we feel very strong here in Los Angeles that we have sufficient personnel that that shouldn't be a worry and people's worst case thinking, we're not going to lose every police officer.

For smaller cities that we border, we have mutual aid, so we will be able to help them make sure that these borders kind of calm down and sometimes the best in people comes out in these moments.

I know we see a lot of the most panic of human beings, but I've been amazed how much people have come together. They're being good to each other and we will share those resources across our borders no matter what.

CABRERA: You know, Dr. Anthony Fauci says he would like to see a two- week national shut down. Are you considering closing restaurants and bars, or even all non-essential businesses to help contain the spread of this virus?

GARCETTI: Absolutely. Bars will happen today. We're awaiting the Governor, I think we'll give some guidance here in California for all of our cities on restaurants.

But besides pickups, take out you know, drive-thru, that's just smart. And for a lot of folks worried about a school district closing down too early or these things, when it feels right -- sorry, when it feels wrong is exactly the right moment.

If you wait too when it feels right, it is too late. And we're seeing that play out in Italy. Don't wait till there's one or two kids in a school district that are sick.

When two are found, you probably have at least a dozen. When there's nobody there, that's exactly the right time to be doing these measures. So we're going to continue with that, as well as some pretty aggressive things to help our unhoused brothers and sisters, our homeless population that's on the streets, making sure especially as we see motels, and other places that don't have the usual visitors.


GARCETTI: It's a perfect place. We're asking for state assistance and optimistic our Governor will be able to help us get folks off the street where they're most vulnerable to this as well.

CABRERA: Mayor, finally, you know, we've seen so many local officials like yourself and governors of states take action. But it's been sort of a piecemeal approach, right?

One jurisdiction is doing this, another jurisdiction is doing something else. Does there need to be top down guidance? Or can this work if everybody is acting independently?

GARCETTI: We would love that and I'm so proud to be an American mayor. I've been on phone calls with hundreds of mayors across the country, here in California where the other big 13 cities and the 88 Mayors of La County, consistently, we share best practices. We say, oh, you're doing that, we can do it, too.

We're sharing resources and ideas. We'd love for that national leadership to also guide us. But remember, this is a country that has never asked for power to come from Washington to our localities.

It really comes from our localities to Washington. So we're proud to lead, but we need more help, especially with testing and resources, and everyday citizens who are stepping up and those in LA can certainly help those vulnerable families and healthcare workers.

At where we are raising money to make sure families on the brink of evictions which we are going to get rid of, who might have their jobs lost that we can help them get through and here we are sharing those practices with other cities around the country while we await national leadership.

CABRERA: Okay, that's good to hear. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. Thank you very much for your time.

GARCETTI: Thank you. Appreciate you.

CABRERA: Good luck to all of you. All right. As you just heard, the impact of the corona virus pandemic stretches beyond those who have contracted the disease.

If you want to help feed the hungry, protect health professionals and support service workers. You can visit and learn more there.



CABRERA: We're just hours away now from the next presidential primary debate, and when Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden take the stage in Washington tonight, they will be six feet apart. Their podiums placed in accordance with C.D.C. recommendations.

And with social distancing in mind, this will also be the first debate in this election cycle to take place without an audience.

CNN's Jeff Zeleny joins us now with more. Jeff, there's no way this pandemic isn't front and center tonight. But what's most important for Biden and Sanders to do in this moment?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Ana, there's no question this is a different moment. It's without precedent. It's without a rulebook because this moment nationally is so different.

So both Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders tonight, of course have their own objectives. But everything has been overtaken by this pandemic and the reaction to it and the handling of it.

So there's no doubt at all that Joe Biden's objective first and foremost is to show competency, is to show governing that he could do a better job in his view of running this pandemic crisis.

Bernie Sanders, of course, has been talking about that as well. He'll be taking on the Trump administration, pointing out the differences of course using it as an example for why his health care policy is necessary.

But, Ana, it is no question that we are not going to see the same back and forth between these two rivals as we've seen all year because the moment is so different.

So I am looking for Bernie Sanders. What is his tone going to be? What is this posture going to be?

He still is in this race without question. It is difficult for him to make up the delegates in terms of beating Joe Biden, but this moment is a different one. So is he going to sort of save his energy for the President and the Trump administration? Or is he going to try and draw sharp distinctions with Joe Biden?

I think we will know, early on in the evening, if he'll do that. And Joe Biden simply, you know, must make the argument he has been trying to make really for the last year so that he is the one to defeat President Trump, and he'll make his competency argument again.

But no question that this is a different moment without precedent, without an audience for sure. But it makes -- it puts politics into perspective, I think we can say, Ana, during this moment of national crisis

CABRERA: Jeff Zeleny. Thank you. Make sure you tune in tonight to the CNN/Univision Democratic Presidential Debate at 8:00 p.m. Eastern here on CNN. We'll be right back.



CABRERA: Governments around the world are now taking drastic measures in a frantic bid to stem the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

What you're looking at right now is just a snapshot of some of the nations most affected, but globally, there are now more than 150,000 cases and more than 5,000 deaths across 135 countries. Just since March 12, just three days ago, more than 25,000 new cases

have been diagnosed and we have Scott McLean in Madrid, Salma Abdelaziz in London.

But first I want to go to Melissa Bell in Rome and Melissa, some stunning numbers out of Italy this evening. The country confirming that more than 300 people have died in the last 24 hours in that country from coronavirus, what more can you tell us?

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ana, that is a big old spike. It is a big record compared to what we've seen before. So far, the largest number of deaths recorded over a 24-hour period was about 250. It gives you an idea of how quickly this is progressing.

The other big metric that we have in terms of measuring the speed with which this outbreak is worsening is the number of new cases, that number as well has grown quite a lot.

We are talking about more than 3,500 new cases in that 24-hour period. Those numbers were announced at 6:00 p.m. just a few hours ago here in Rome. They represent a big progression on both those fronts.

Now, that is important because it is our measure of whether authorities with this extraordinary crackdown -- nationwide crackdown -- that's underway, are managing to bring it under control.

It is important to note, however, that given the nature of the contagion, given how long it takes for symptoms to show, for people to realize that they need to get tested, for the numbers to be countered by authorities that was to be expected.

So you couldn't have seen, despite the fact that we're now at the end of the first week of this nationwide crackdown, a real progression so far, and I think it's really important to make that point.

Another set of figures very quickly, Ana, from the north of the country where this outbreak began and where those measures were initially introduced long before they were introduced nationwide, we are seeing some progression, a stabilization of the fingers in the Lodi area. That is where that town of Codogno, where patient one was found. They do show that there's lockdown measures that were introduced three weeks ago well before the rest of the country, they do suggest that they're working.


BELL: So what it means is that Italians are going to have to be patient, what it means for the rest of the world, Europe, but also the United States looking at what's happening here in Italy now on the front line of this epidemic is that it takes extraordinary measures, a lockdown, the economy at a standstill, people no longer leaving their homes in order to hope to see any kind of progression and even then, Ana, it takes some time.

CABRERA: Yes, tough times right now. Thank you very much. Now, to the U.K. because citizens there are being advised against all

but essential travel to the U.S. CNN's Salma Abdelaziz has the latest for us from London's Heathrow Airport. Tell me more about this warning, Salma.

SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN FIELD PRODUCER: Well, and of course this comes on the heels of the U.S. expanding its travel restrictions to include the U.K. and Ireland, that's 28 countries now that are barred for the next few weeks from having their foreign nationals enter the United States.

And as the U.K. begins to close its own borders and restrict travel here to bring down the number of cases, this new advice and warning coming out.

We have only had just over a thousand cases here in the U.K., just over a thousand people have lost their lives, but all these changing guidelines are impacting travelers here at Heathrow Airport.

Just a short time ago, speaking to an American woman, a lawyer from California and I asked her, are you worried about contracting coronavirus here in Europe, the epicenter of this crisis? She said no, I'm worried about contracting it when I land in the United States because I fear that I'm going to be stuck in an airport with other people who might have the illness for hours, potentially, as we've seen in other airports.

So a lot of fear and concern and especially among American citizens as to what they might face once they land back home -- Ana.

CABRERA: Okay, Salma, thank you. Thank you for that reporting. Let me turn to Scott McLean in Madrid, Spain. And Scott, the entire country there is in lockdown and the number of cases also continues to rise across the country. Describe what you're seeing and what life is like in Spain right now?

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ana, even getting into the city was a pretty bizarre experience. The airport is nearly deserted. The first thing the taxi driver did was offer me hand sanitizer, and our hotel has more than a hundred rooms but only four of them are actually occupied.

As you mentioned, the number of cases jumped up today by about 2,000 to nearly 8,000 total. Nearly half of those are in Madrid alone.

The Spanish Prime Minister has said that these extreme restrictions that they are taking on people's movements are drastic and will have consequences.

The first consequence is that the economy is virtually ground to a halt. Stores, businesses, restaurants, they are closed with very few exceptions. You're not even allowed to leave your house unless you are going to pick up food or essential supplies or if you're going to work.

This is Madrid Puerta del Sol. This is the Times Square of Madrid. You could say normally this is a packed square.

Today, the only people that you will see are police officers you see there with the blue lights and then you'll see some food delivery people on bicycles or you might see the odd person going to the store.

You are allowed to walk your dog, but you're not allowed to just go out for a walk. If you do, you will be stopped by police and fined.

We saw police handing out tickets today. They start at 100 euros. We even saw in one case, one of those police stops escalate into an arrest.

Police are also using drones with loudspeakers attached to them to try to warn people to get back inside of their homes.

One other thing, Ana, and obviously public gatherings are not allowed during this time. But just about 30 minutes ago, we heard people gathering on their balconies organized via social media to cheer and give a round of applause for this country's healthcare workers -- Ana.

CABRERA: That is a little silver lining there. It's great to hear people doing that and putting their best foot forward. Scott McLean, thank you. Melissa Bell, Salma Abdelaziz, our thanks to you as well.

You want to know at home as coronavirus continues to get worse here in the United States and around the world, what's going to happen? I don't know if we have those answers, but you can look at what's happening in countries like China, Italy, France and Spain, people are on lockdown not allowed to leave their homes unless absolutely necessary.

Cafes, restaurants, cinemas -- all closed. The only places with their doors still open are those considered essential like grocery stores and pharmacies.

So let's talk about this. It's time for cross exam with CNN's legal analyst, Elie Honig, who is a former Federal and state prosecutor and Elie, a lot of questions right now about government-mandated quarantines and how do you enforce those? So let me ask you this.

What legal authority does the government have to declare quarantines and how can a quarantine be enforced if someone violates it?

ELIE HONIG, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, Ana, so our government has very broad authority, I think broader than people may realize to order and enforce a quarantine, meaning a restriction on people moving into or out of either specific places or broader geographical regions.

Now under Federal law, the government through the Department of Health and Human Services has the authority to order a quarantine as necessary to prevent the spread of communicable diseases.

That can either be an isolation order on a specific individual known to have a certain condition, or in rarer cases, we can see a broader mass quarantine.


HONIG: The last time we saw that was over a hundred years ago. In 1918-1919, there was a mass Federal quarantine when we had that different influenza outbreak.

Now, also all 50 states have laws enabling governors to order quarantines. So how are these enforced? Well, first of all, you hope it's sort of self-enforcing. You hope people do the right thing and obey.

But if not, they can be enforced by fines and in some cases, some states and under Federal law, even by arrest and prosecution. We hope it doesn't come to that. We hope everyone does the right thing.

But the government does have the power if necessary to enforce a quarantine.

CABRERA: The majority of governors have now declared a state of emergency for their states, and so one viewer asked, legally, what effect do those declarations have?

HONIG: Yes, so a lot of different declarations coming through last week. Let's sort them out. First of all, on Friday, President Trump ordered a national emergency. That really has two effects.

First of all, it frees up funding up to $50 billion to assist in the response effort across the country. Second of all, it streamlines things. It cuts out red tape. It allows the government to access and mobilize resources more quickly than normal.

Separately, the H.H.S. Secretary has the authority to issue a public health emergency that was actually done six weeks ago. On January 31st of this year, H.H.S. Secretary issued that order, similar effect, but much more narrow.

And separately, governors, as you said, can issue states of emergency that can free up money. It can activate laws like quarantine laws.

So again, our laws are designed to give government the power to respond quickly and flexibly when we see an emergency like this.

CABRERA: And I see there are other -- some states like it also helps to remove certain regulations that are in place in order to get things -- make things happen more quickly, for example.

Another viewer wants to know, is there any way to prevent businesses from raising prices on essential products like hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes?

HONIG: So most states, not all, about 35 states have what anti-price gouging laws and they make it, in some cases a crime, in some cases a civil violation to raise prices by a certain amount once there's a state of emergency.

In New York where we are right now, for example, the law prohibits an unconscionably excessive increase. They don't specify what that is. For other states, if you cross the Hudson River into New Jersey, prohibit an increase of 10 percent when there's a state of emergency.

There can be fines attached up to $50,000.00, and in some states, about nine states, there also could be criminal penalty. So if you see this, let your State Attorney General know, let your Consumer Protection Bureau know, they can handle it from there.

CABRERA: Okay. So much good information packed in there.

HONIG: Thanks, Ana.

CABRERA: Thank you very much, Elie. And don't forget, you can submit your legal questions at Look for Elie's Cross Exam segment there.

Okay, after the stock market plunged into bear market territory last week, the question now is will the Fed act to stabilize the economy? Here's CNN's Christine Romans with this week's Before the Bell.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Ana. With coronavirus panic gripping the stock market, investors are looking to the Federal Reserve.

Last week the historic 11-year bull market came to a crashing halt as stocks went into freefall.

The Dow, the S&P 500, the NASDAQ plunged into bear market territory -- that means they're down 20 percent, at least from the recent high.

Now this week, a lot hinges on the Fed. The Central Bank meets on Wednesday and a press conference will follow. Investors are expecting another steep cut in interest rates. But that may not be enough to calm Wall Street. The big question, what else can the Fed do to stabilize the economy?

Last week, the New York Fed vowed to pump more than $1 trillion dollars into the system. More large scale bond purchases could be coming like during the 2008 financial crisis, but there's growing speculation the Fed could also follow the playbook of other Central Banks.

Europe buys corporate bonds. Japan buys exchange traded funds and the Swiss National Bank buys individual stocks. Investors want to know just how aggressive the Fed will get to stem this crisis.

In New York, I'm Christine Romans.



CABRERA: Breaking News. More school closures because of the coronavirus. The Governor of New Hampshire announcing that for a three-week period beginning Monday, all K through 12 public schools will be conducted online.

The Governor of Vermont also canceling school and all school related activities for a period that will last through April 6th.

We've just learned the Governor of New York City -- of New York State wants to close schools but he needs to make sure two key issues are addressed before taking that step -- child care for essential workers and meals for students who need them.

We want to switch gears and bring you a story that will hopefully make you smile here. Thousands of child victims from both sides of the militant insurgency known as Boko Haram are getting hope for brighter futures. Meet this week's CNN Hero, Zannah Mustapha.


ZANNAH MUSTAPHA, CNN HERO: We started with 36 orphans, but currently, we have over 860 of them.


CHILDREN: Good morning, sir.

MUSTAPHA: We don't mind where you hail from, what's your religion, what's your ethnicity. Gender does not matter. It is unique.

We bring harmonious working relationship between all stratas of the society. I see the faces of these children and how these students are dreaming. It gives you the hope that still there is a light at the end of the tunnel.



CABRERA: To see how Zannah builds peace and to nominate someone you think should be a CNN Hero, go to

I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. My colleague, Wolf Blitzer will continue our coverage with a Special Edition of "The Situation Room" right after a quick break. Thank you.