Return to Transcripts main page
Trump Acknowledges Coronavirus Threat, Gives New Guidelines; Social Distancing Key to Stem Spread; Trump Says Economy May Be Headed into Recession; Actor Idris Elba Tests Positive; Italy Reports 3,200+ More Cases in Past 24 Hours; Panicked Shoppers Stockpiling Toilet Paper, Sanitizer; IOC: Plans for 2020 Summer Games Will Go Forward; Communicating with Kids About the Outbreak; China's Air Quality Improves Due to Lockdown. Aired 12-1a ET
Aired March 17, 2020 - 00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hello and welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm John Vause.
For week now, the U.S. president has downplayed the threat and the potential impact of the coronavirus, calling it a hoax, claiming it was shut down, under control. He predicted the warmer weather in April would see it disappear, claiming the number of confirmed cases would quickly fall.
On Monday it seems that reality set in. Trump's tone and demeanor were more serious, as he warned the outbreak may not be contained until July or August. Notably he conceded the economy could fall into a recession and CNN's Kaitlan Collins asked if he stood by his weekend comments, that the virus is under control.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If you're talking about the virus, no, that's not under control for anyplace in the world. I think I read -- I think I read --
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: You had said it was, so I just want to clarify.
TRUMP: No, I didn't. I think I read -- no, I didn't. I was talking about what we're doing is under control. But I'm not talking about the virus.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: The White House wants Americans to avoid groups or 10 of more, delay discretionary travel and cancel social visits, stay way from bars, restaurants and gyms.
Italy remains on lockdown which began last week with restaurants and shops closed, its sporting events canceled. As the number of cases soars in Spain, a partial lockdown is now in place with exceptions of traveling to work, grocery shopping and visits to a pharmacy or hospital.
This is an upheaval of everyday life, not seen for generations. This new reality can be described with two words: social distancing. Here's Nick Watt reporting from Los Angeles.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Inside or go home.
NICK WATT, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Closures and chaos; the message: get used to it.
TRUMP: We'll see what happens but they think August, could be July, could be longer than that.
DR. JEROME ADAMS, U.S. SURGEON GENERAL: We have the same number of cases now that Italy had two weeks ago and we have a choice to make.
WATT (voice-over): Because in the past two weeks Italy has seen more than 1,400 deaths; to avoid that fate as a society and this fate as individuals...
KEVIN HARRIS, CORONAVIRUS PATIENT: Yes, that's the cough.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE).
WATT (voice-over): -- we must now social distance. At 8 pm tonight, all movie theaters, gyms and casinos across New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will close indefinitely. Bars and restaurants now takeout only; other states and cities, already doing the same.
ANDREW CUOMO (D), GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK: You can purchase through takeout. And we hope that goes a long way toward alleviating any economic hardship.
WATT (voice-over): In New Jersey, now all nonessential travel strongly discouraged between 8 pm and 5 am.
From midnight tonight in San Francisco, everyone must stay home except for essential needs. Meanwhile about 36 million schoolkids in at least 35 states are forced to stay home, schools are closed.
GOV. MIKE DEWINE (R-OH): Would not surprise me at all if schools do not open again this year.
WATT (voice-over): At airports, long lines for screening international passengers.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Very crowded, which is not ideal, considering what this contagion is.
WATT (voice-over): Some stores now disinfecting hourly. STEVEN STUDENT LOAN, GROCERY STORE CO-OWNER: When 9/11 occurred I was
around; the blackouts, we had the hurricanes. Nothing has ever been like this.
WATT (voice-over): Supply chains slowing as demand explodes.
MIKE GRAHAM, BUSINESS OWNER: Right now, we are not charging people when they come in. As long as I can keep getting deliveries, I will get through. I may go bankrupt.
WATT (voice-over): Amazon under a surge of online orders, now warning of delivery delays.
ADAMS: When you look at projections, there's every chance we could be Italy but there's every hope that we will be South Korea, if people actually listen, if people actually social distance.
WATT: In South Korea, of course, there has been aggressive testing and strong social distancing. They have seen the daily number of new cases fall dramatically. But it did take some time.
And in the United States, as the surgeon general points out, there's only a limited amount that the federal government can do. As he said, we are not an authoritarian state -- Nick Watt, CNN, Los Angeles.
VAUSE: Right now it seems the only effective defense against this virus is social distancing, essentially limiting physical contact between people as much as possible to break the chain of transmission. During the 1918 flu pandemic in the U.S., Philadelphia and St. Louis took two very different approaches.
This graph from "The Washington Post" shows what happened.
Philadelphia held a parade 11 days into the pandemic; officials were slow to implement closures of places like schools, dance halls and churches. St. Louis, on the other hand, quickly started social distancing protocols, they just didn't call it that.
VAUSE: At one point the death rate in Philadelphia, was eight times higher than St. Louis.
In South Korea health officials have identified patient 31, who could be responsible for 80 percent of all confirmed cases in the country. Early last month, she reportedly refused doctors' advice to be tested.
For the next two weeks she went to church services, traveled to Seoul, attended at least one social function. She only agreed to testing when her symptoms developed. At that time she was officially the 31st person diagnosed with the virus in South Korea, which at last report put the number of confirmed cases at 8,320.
For more now, we are joined by Dr. Sanjaya Senanayake, a specialist in infectious diseases at the Australian National University in Canberra.
Doctor, thank you for being with us and I'm sorry I mangled your name but I'll try to get it right. I want to talk about the reasons why social distancing actually works.
The vast majority of people who catch it and if they live, they have an immunity and the virus doesn't survive. So if they avoid contacts with others, the virus has nowhere to go. For the few who die, the virus will die with them. So until there is a vaccine or other treatments, this is the best we've got to slow this spread.
DR. SANJAYA SENANAYAKE, AUSTRALIA NATIONAL UNIVERSITY: Yes, absolutely, John, you hit the nail on the head, we have this wonderful thing called immunization or vaccination. But unfortunately we are good 10-12 months from having a vaccine widely available for us.
So the next best thing is quarantine or social distancing, which are somewhat interchangeable terms. But we know that, over the century, that social distancing, quarantine, they can stop or slow an outbreak.
And I think it is important as so many countries are doing at the moment, for the U.S. to embark on social distancing.
VAUSE: The other part to this and the example I read is that like for a family of four, Mom, Dad and two kids, so would it be better for everyone to get sick all at once or would you rather get sick one at a time, so only one person needs to be cared for?
So it's about managing resources. And that is the difference between a crisis and a catastrophe.
SENANAYAKE: Yes, exactly. And I'm sure in the U.S., it's probably seen these two different curves, one where an outbreak happens during very quickly and ends very quickly and you get this big curve.
And when you get that big curve, that means that your health infrastructure cannot cope with all that is thrown at you. But if the outbreak takes longer, it drags on and there's a smaller curve, then your health infrastructure and societal infrastructure can cope. That is why we're trying to slow this virus down, with social distancing.
VAUSE: We saw the comedian Mel Brooks and his son, Max, they posted a video online, explaining why social distancing is important, especially to those who are younger and could be carriers but they don't know it, look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAX BROOKS, SON OF MEL BROOKS: Hi, I'm Max Brooks, I'm 47 years old. This is my dad, Mel Brooks.
He is 93.
If I get the coronavirus, I'll probably be OK. But if I give it to him, he could give it to Carl Reiner, who could give it to Dick Van Dyke. And before I know it, I've wiped out a whole generation of comedic legends.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: It's a good point. Dr. Deborah Birx from the White House task force, saying that it will be the Millennials who will lead us through this crisis. Here is what she said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. DEBORAH BIRX, WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE COORDINATOR: I think we have always heard about the greatest generation. We are protecting the greatest generation right now and the children of the greatest generation. And I think the Millennials can help us tremendously.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: The problem is, though, in many places Millennials are not really following that advice, they are going to bars, they're going out, so if that continues, does that undermine the efforts of everyone else?
SENANAYAKE: Look, absolutely. For social distancing to work, everyone needs to do it, John. I understand from the Millennials, people between 20 and 35, make up the largest population group. So if they are not complying, then the efforts are not going to be very successful.
And perhaps it is that Millennials like me have grown up in a very fortunate world, where really we have what we like, we haven't had to make a lot of sacrifices, so this requires an adjustment. And I'm hoping that they will come around to it.
VAUSE: Very quickly, best-case and worst-case, how long do you think social distancing will be necessary?
SENANAYAKE: Look, I would've thought, at least as we say the virus has an incubation period of 14 days. So just be on the safe side, close to two incubation periods, maybe 3-4 weeks.
SENANAYAKE: But it could drag on for much longer.
VAUSE: OK, will leave it there, thank you very much we appreciate it.
SENANAYAKE: Thank you, John.
VAUSE: Another day on Wall Street on Monday we saw 13 percent fall in the Dow, its biggest one day point loss, 3,000 on record but U.S. futures especially Dow futures are looking up perhaps what more than 3 percent.
But it started plummeting so quickly and so fast the circuit breaker was triggered and trading was halted for 15 minutes. At the close the Dow was just a few hundred points higher compared to the day Trump took office.
Meantime in Asia, stocks are trying to take off Monday's huge losses. Kaori Enjoji is live with us from Tokyo.
What are we looking at?
KAORI ENJOJI, JOURNALIST: It's encouraging that the Dow futures are trading higher. But we are seeing a lot of whoopee trading in the Asian markets, look at Tokyo, which is trading at a 1,200 point range, this is huge.
And what seems to be supporting sentiment, is what they call the whale here, this is the government pension fund, which is the biggest pension fund in the world. And it looks like, or at least traders are telling me, that looks they're stepping into the market and that is offering some support.
But otherwise the big picture hasn't really changed, the fiscal stimulus is what the market is waiting for next from governments around the world, especially at a time when monetary stimulus, led by the Fed earlier on this week, had very little impact and in fact reinforced the seriousness of the economic fallout from the coronavirus.
That's where we stand right now. But oil is a little higher than the $30 a barrel mark, that's helping a little bit.
And the fact that Australia, which really tanked 10 percent yesterday, is trying to claw back those losses, helping sentiment as well. But I think the bottom line, is as long as businesses remain shut and their bottom lines are being compromised as a result of this and people are not going out, sentiment is pretty much still pretty nervous and that explains the wild swings we are seeing in the broader markets.
VAUSE: Kaori Enjoji, thank you so much for the update.
With stock markets tumbling and businesses closing their doors, economists are bracing for a global recession, On Monday, Trump said the U.S. economy could be headed in that direction.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUESTION: The stock market took another hit today.
Is the U.S. economy heading into a recession?
TRUMP: Well, it may be, we're not thinking recession. We're thinking in terms of the virus. Once we stop, I think there's a tremendous pent up demand, both in terms of the stock market and in terms of the economy. And once this goes away, once it goes through and we are done with it, I think you're going to see a tremendous surge.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Ryan Patel is a senior fellow at Claremont University Drucker School of Management. He joins us from Los Angeles.
VAUSE: -- we be heading into a recession?
I mean, the only unknown right now is how big the contraction will be and how long it will last. I want you to listen to the White House economic adviser.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY KUDLOW, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL: I believe this is a short-term problem, I believe it's a matter of weeks and months, it is not a matter of years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: When Larry said dumb stuff in his old job at CNBC, it didn't matter but now saying stupid stuff does because this is not going to be over in a matter of weeks or months.
RYAN PATEL, GLOBAL BUSINESS EXECUTIVE: Oh, he said "could;" I thought you'd be saying, wow, you got Donald Trump to say "could." He actually acknowledged that it could be versus saying, no, it's not.
But to your point, this is not a two-week shutdown. Here in the United States people are saying closer to two weeks this has, an effect. People are moving, Congress' businesses are planning to move to the fall. That is a six-month kind of delay, no matter how you look at it, when you get consumer confidence to come back.
There's no switch, John, there is no on switch after this, because you know why?
We went three weeks ago, when you and I were together actually before it was a world emergency, saying nothing really is going to happen outside of China, which you and I believed it would spread.
And that kind of confidence, when consumers and businesses hear that, oh, it is not that big a deal and now it's a big of a deal, yes, people are not going to trust. I hate to say it, trust what is out there except for the numbers.
And the numbers unfortunately, when you talk about the coronavirus, is accelerating, governments and cities and the states are blocking small businesses to open, from restaurants and bars, rightfully so. And it does have an impact on even how you do your job remotely.
Here at CNN, most everybody is at home working and most other companies are not able to do that.
VAUSE: I want you to listen to President Trump from last week during his Oval Office address.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Because of the economic policies that we have put into place, over the last three years, we have the greatest economy anywhere in the world by far.
This vast economic prosperity gives us flexibility, reserves and resources to handle any threat that comes our way. This is not a financial crisis. This is just a temporary moment of time that we will overcome together.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Yes, here's what happened to the Dow when the president opened his mouth on Monday and started talking to the White House coronavirus briefing. This thing accelerated.
The message for investors is maybe these amazing policies are not so great and maybe this is a sell-off that has to do more with the overvalued stock market, which has been high on tax cuts and cheap money for way too long.
PATEL: Well, listen, if you had seen the last three weeks, every time either the Fed or the U.S. administration would say something, it did not react great. You saw when the Fed decided to discount the rate -- we knew that this would be bad on Monday. There was no reason for President Trump to come out and maybe hope there would be an academic (ph).
And then you see the futures now, because he is not talking, they're saying maybe it's going to come back up a little bit. But we are out over the next few weeks, this is not over. We're going to see this bumpy ride because of the effect of businesses closing.
We won't know until the end of April. We see what China is doing now, we saw their numbers and how January and February really hurt them. Yes, they are full fledged a little bit on the economic side.
But how fast can they get back into it?
VAUSE: We'll look at China's numbers and a moment but I want to look at the headlines that we saw on Monday alone.
From "Politico," "How ugly could it get? Trump faces echoes of 1929 in coronavirus crisis."
Over at "Slate," the not so subtle, "You should be absolutely terrified about the economy."
And a headline from the opinion piece in "The New York Times" says, "The U.S. economy cannot withstand the coronavirus by itself."
One of the reasons why these headlines is in the past few days the U.S. Federal Reserve and the U.S. government have done more than they did during the entire 2008 financial crisis and it's had no effect. They seem like military commanders who are fighting the last war. They need new and creative solutions for an unprecedented crisis and we are not getting that.
PATEL: They're making me nervous. These are the things that you would hold to save these bullets, per se, to help inject this. And they did not do that. What happens to me is, OK, I hate to use the word panic.
But why are you panicking this quickly?
Let this play out, put the right protocols in place, get everyone set in nervousness. There's some fundamentals of these companies that are going to be fine through the economy. But here's the question, this is not just about the coronavirus.
There are plenty of companies out there that were teetering on that piece and this pushes them into the red because they do not have -- even the cheap money is not going to bail them out. They are going to have to close.
And that's what we will see over the next few months. Those companies already on the edge, already tight globally, the places that this is happening in Europe, it's going to affect the U.S.
Italy, Spain and France, does have an effect that we are not talking about because those multinational companies will see aid from the United States.
VAUSE: You see the numbers from China. Retail sales plunged 20.5 percent between January and February over 2019. Industrial output was down 13.5 percent. Fixed asset investment fell by nearly 25 percent, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
These numbers were much weaker than expected. Forecast the economy in China will contract by 6 percent in the first quarter. The last time China's economy was that bad, it was 1976, the year Mao died and the end of a decade of economic and social upheaval. This is unprecedented. And back in 1976, China's economy was 1 percent of the world.
PATEL: To your point, you gave me a history lesson, let's look at when things happen in front of your.
China is a big example of what the U.S. would face. China just went through it, these are the numbers they look at. For the U.S., there is going to be a lag of getting everything back. Let's face it.
And you're going to see some of those numbers. I'm not going to say it's going to be 25 percent like China but a 5-10 percent hit on some of the sales numbers is a huge thing for the number one economy in the world.
So when you have the number two economy ahead of you, you have to be smart enough to understand that kind of effect could happen in the United States and more than likely we will have to face that as well. VAUSE: This is not over by a long shot, we will be facing this for a
long time to come. Ryan Patel, thank you for being with us from Los Angeles.
Another big name in Hollywood has tested positive for the coronavirus, actor Idris Elba tweeted on Monday, we all need to help fight the outbreak.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
IDRIS ELBA, ACTOR: Look, this is serious, you know. Now is the time to really think about social distancing, washing your hands.
ELBA: Beyond that, there are people out there who aren't showing symptoms and that can easily spread it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Elba says he is feeling OK and is showing no symptoms.
Meantime, Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, announced last week day they, too, have the coronavirus. But they are now out of hospital and are in self quarantine.
Still to come, in Italy, coronavirus tests are free, no one has to pay for their time in hospital upfront but that still is not slowing the outbreak. More on that in a moment.
Plus we tell you about new pressure on Japan's prime minister to postpone the Summer Olympics. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE (voice-over): Italians their sharing their musical talents whilst on lockdown.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: We just heard residents in Rome singing the national anthem, an attempt to lift spirits amid some tough times. Italy is Europe's worst hit country, with more than 3,200 cases in the past day, 3,200 in one day. There are nearly 28,000 overall cases. CNN's Melissa Bell reports the country's health system is being pushed to the brink.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The picture has become a symbol in Italy of a system in the north of the country that is stretched to its limit. Hospital workers, nurses, doctors, the heroes of the fight against coronavirus themselves, near breaking point.
DANIELA CONFALONIERI, NURSE (through translator): We are united and we will fight this forsaken virus.
BELL: At a hospital in Milan, hallways and offices have been turned into makeshift intensive care units. In Prussia tents are used to treat the sick, Rome too beefing up its capacity. When you lock down the country, the prime minister explained.
GIUSEPPE CONTE, ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER (through translator): We live in a system in which we guarantee health and the right of everyone to be cured.
BELL: Italy's healthcare system is facing a challenge like no other by its nature. This is an epidemic that spikes quickly and in clusters requiring urgent and expensive treatment for some. So far the system here has delivered free tests, intensive care, emergency treatment all free of charge.
So is Europe's often criticized public health system now showing its true strengths?
ALAN FRIEDMAN, ITALIAN-BASED AMERICAN WRITER AND ECONOMIST: See, an x-ray somebody wants to get treatment, they can wait weeks or months for an appointment. That's the inefficiency of national health.
But the plus side is that, at a time of crisis, the tests for coronavirus are free for everybody. They take care of all their citizens and there's no worrying about insurance.
BELL: So how does the system stack up against America's private profit driven healthcare system?
First, on capacity as the crisis hits, the United States has 2.8 hospital beds per thousand people fewer than Italy's 3.2 beds per thousand people according to the OECD. Then once the outbreak begins, there's the question of the response. And here, the more fragmented American model could make coordination harder.
DR. CARLO PALERMO, PUBLIC SECTORS DOCTORS ASSOCIATION (through translator): To deal with an epidemic which affects the population globally. The response must be centralized. There must be one crisis you need that gives a unanimous response.
BELL: As infections continue to rise here at record daily rates. Italy is a country where everyone fears getting the virus, but no one need worry about being treated for it -- Melissa Bell, CNN, Rome.
(END VIDEOTAPE) VAUSE: Head to France now, where president Emmanuel Macron had some tough words for the French, who he says are not taking the outbreak seriously enough. He has ordered France's borders closed, starting noon Tuesday. He's instructed people to stay at home and leave only when strictly necessary.
The second round of France's municipal elections have been postponed.
EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE (through translator): This effort, which I'm asking of you, is unprecedented but circumstances oblige us to take these measures. We are at war, a health war, certainly. We're not fighting against an army or a nation.
But it is a health war which requires our general mobilization. We are at war. All the activity of the government and the department has to be focused from now on this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: In the U.K., prime minister Boris Johnson is wrapping up his government's response to the coronavirus. There is no mandatory lockdown but he is urging people to avoid unnecessary contact and travel.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS JOHNSON, U.K. PRIME MINISTER: Now is the time for everyone to stop nonessential contact with others and to stop all unnecessary travel. We need people to start working from home, where they possibly can. And you should avoid pubs, clubs, theaters and other such social venues.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: The policy shift comes after the prime minister's initial response came under criticism, sparking suggestions he was not taking the coronavirus seriously enough.
Germany's temporary restrictions across its border, issuing new guidelines to the public, health officials have reported 12 people have died from the virus, more than 4,000 coronavirus cases. And Fred Pleitgen reports from the Polish-German border.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Severe travel restrictions all over Europe as Germany has closed several of its borders in the south, west and also towards the north of the country as well.
Poland also closed its border with Germany and that's where I stand right now. Essentially, what the Poles are doing is what other European countries are doing, not allowing travelers from Germany to come in but allowing Poles to come in and go back to their country.
And also people have to commute to work between countries and across the border. The other thing that most European countries are trying to keep in place and the Poles as well is trying to keep trucks moving across the border, to keep that cargo going to make sure that the economy of the European Union does not come to a standstill.
That's easier said than done. There were massive jams here at the border as every trucker, like every other motorist, had to get his or her temperature taken and then fill out a form as well to make sure that the government has all contact data in case that person needs to go into isolation.
Needless to say, there were massive traffic jams at this border and other European borders as well as the continent's economy, public life continues to shut down with the Germans also clamping down, putting up new restrictions on public life in that country as well -- Fred Pleitgen, CNN, the Polish-German border.
VAUSE: When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping. But in many places, they find empty shelves. Ahead, what is driving the panic buying.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back, everybody.
To prevent the spread of the virus, health officials have constantly been advising us to regularly wash our hands, either with soap and water or hand sanitizer. Well, good luck trying to buy sanitizer at your local supermarket or pharmacy. Almost everywhere, it seems, it's sold out.
All made worse by people like Matt Colvin. After the first death from the coronavirus was reported in the U.S., he spent three days driving across the state of Tennessee, buying all the hand sanitizer he could find, nearly 18,000 bottles, telling "The New York Times" he resold them on Amazon, asking up to $70 each.
After a huge backlash online, Colvin now says what he has not sold he will give away.
But it's not just sanitizer which is sold out. Some everyday items like toilet paper are also being stockpiled by shoppers.
It seems just the possibility of quarantine or looming self-isolation seems to have sparked a fear contagion around the world.
VAUSE (voice-over): Amid all the chaos and uncertainty, the confusion and fear, there seems to be one common response: panic buying. Around the world, store shelves have been laid bare, emptying faster than they can be restocked. And in the United States and many other countries like Australia and the U.K., there is one item in huge demand.
(on camera): This area is where they actually had all paper products like, guess what, toilet paper and paper towels. And I guess stuff like that, you see just in the distance there one or two boxes left. But again, completely and totally empty.
(voice-over): At this 24-hour Wal-Mart in Atlanta, a familiar sight, with key essential household items all sold out.
(on camera): Clearly, a lot of people stocking up on pizza. Not a lot of pizza. Although what it's telling is here in Atlanta, it seems there is not a lot of demand for the California Pizza Kitchen. And a couple others. But yes. Certainly, a lot of it's gone.
So I guess what would be good right now would be to try and find some hand sanitizer, or at the very least, some rubbing alcohol, somewhere around here. I'm not too sure where. I'm going to ask somebody.
It looks like this is where they had the gloves. And that's all gone.
Seriously, I may just actually get some hand sanitizer, which is here. I also managed to get some alcohol, rubbing alcohol, which is almost as good. But there is a limit, three per person. And yes, I actually had to speak very nicely to a sales assistant, or a customer service associate to get this stuff, but yes, I feel lucky.
VAUSE: Juliette Kayyem joins me now. She's a CNN national security analyst and former DHS assistant secretary, Department of Homeland Security.
So Juliette, good to have you with us.
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Thank you for having me.
VAUSE: OK. I admit: I gave into that fear that I was going to be one.
KAYYEM: I'm mad at you.
VAUSE: I know, but I thought I was going to be called out. Everyone else is going to have toilet paper around me, and I have none. You know, like with the napkins I found at Wal-Mart. I mean, there is a real fear that is somewhat contagious.
KAYYEM: It is. I mean, there's -- I want to tell you sort of the good news. This is not a hurricane. It's not an earthquake. We -- the supply chains don't flow. The electricity is still on. Your water is still on. This is not like some disaster that we've seen where there's a real deprivation.
And in fact, one of the reasons why we push, you know, social distancing is to protect the workforce that is helping move things. There is plenty of stuff. All of these markets that emptied out on Friday and Saturday, when people woke up to what was happening, are essentially replenished now. There's no -- and I'll tell you honestly, there's -- you're going to be more likely to be exposed, in those horrible lines, and those big supermarkets than if you just rationally bought for three or four days, and just stayed at home and then occasionally went out to your local market, to help the neighborhood, and buy things there.
VAUSE: Does this essentially come down to sort of just stopping for a moment and thinking, do I really need 400 toilet paper rolls? You know, or 40 lots of baby formula, or whatever it is. You do not need that.
KAYYEM: Right. Exactly. So the most important thing is, what are the things that you're going to need very quickly, that if the local store was out of, you would not be good. So if you have specialized medications, obviously. Things like baby diapers. It would be a nuisance if you ran out of diapers, or specialized formulas, if your children have any kind of issues. Just things like that that, you know, if you had to wait a day would be a bit of a burden.
But if you have to wait a day for Kraft macaroni and cheese, you'll survive. Right? So just --
KAYYEM: -- put it in perspective. Also the hoarding -- I mean, the problem with the hoarding also is, of course, it gives you, I think, a sense of deprivation, which is actually not what we're going through. We're quite lucky is a nation, to -- for most of us to be able to stay inside, stay -- you know, have an ability to protect ourselves, and then protect our community. So I am very against this hoarding.
VAUSE: I can tell. One thing I realized that, when I got to the Wal- Mart, I actually didn't really know exactly what to buy.
VAUSE: So what do you buy at times like this?
KAYYEM: I'm going to tell you, I have three teenagers. Sometimes I think the difference between having three teenagers and hoarding is very, very thin.
I'm going to tell you, so the most important thing is just think about what would you want for -- and I'll be honest here. I was at -- I normally do three days in my house. I did go up to seven just in case there is anything, you know, that I need to worry about, or just that I don't want to go outside that often. In other words, a mother like me, I feel like I'm at the market every day, so I just wanted to, you know, get stuff so that I didn't have to go out as often.
So it's just basically, you know, breads that you can freeze, meats that you can freeze, and then just nonperishables, like crackers, potato chips, and cereals and oatmeal and things like that that you can make relatively quickly. And then you just -- and then you just keep restocking. Every time I'm out, I just buy a few things.
VAUSE: Yes. Your freezer is your friend, I read --
VAUSE: -- at one point. I want you to listen to the president of ATV Foods. His name is Scott McClelland. ATV is a retail chain with about 400 stores across Texas and Mexico. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTT MCCLELLAND, PRESIDENT, ATV FOODS: We've been through this before with the hurricanes, and it really brings out the best in Houston, because we all come together. There will be food. There's not a reason to stock up. Just come back tomorrow.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: You know, it's good advice, but what we are seeing is that some items are taking longer than a day or two to restock, and that plays into the fear that maybe supply lines could be disrupted.
So how bad would this crisis have to be for the supply chains to be cut in some way?
KAYYEM: You would have to see -- you would have to see a pandemic so bad -- worse than China, worse than Italy. I want to remind people, neither of those countries had any food deprivations in the areas hardest hit. The markets still run.
You would have to have it so bad that you would have to impact the supply chain and the workforce working the supply chain. We're not even looking at numbers that close. So this is why I do not worry about it. Manufacturing is still working.
And remember, this is a cycle. So you see China coming back online. Italy will eventually come back online. It's going to be bad, but it's not bad forever. This is not a deprivation. If you have to wait a day or two, it's not something that it's going to last forever.
So I will tell you, I worry about a lot of things with this pandemic, but this is not the thing I worry about. So that should make people maybe feel slightly better, but maybe not. I don't know.
VAUSE: Absolutely. If you don't worry about, I don't worry about it.
VAUSE: So that's good news. Thank you, Juliette. Appreciate it.
KAYYEM: Thank you so much. Take care.
VAUSE: Well, planning for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games is moving ahead despite the pandemic, but there will be changes.
[00:40:07] CNN's Blake Essig is live in Tokyo.
So Blake, for starters, what we're looking at, a scaled-down Olympic torch handover. And it will be closed to the public.
BLAKE ESSIG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, John, the Olympic flame actually arrives here in Japan from Greece this Friday. And, you know, following that, you have the scaled-back torch relay that will go through all 47 prefectures. But again, the people that will actually be able to witness that happen is up in the air at this point.
Now, despite the novel coronavirus canceling and postponing sports all around the world and here in Japan, you know, the one thing that Tokyo 2020, the Summer Olympic Games, actually have going in their favor, is the fact that the games don't start for another roughly four months from now.
So at this point, IOC officials, the Japanese government, local Tokyo 2020 organizers, maintain that they are fully committed, at least in public, to hosting these games as is currently scheduled.
And again, it's about four months from now.
Now, Shinzo Abe, the prime minister here, actually got further support from leaders around the world just last night. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHINZO ABE, JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER (through translator): As for the Olympics, I secured the support from the G-7 to realize the Tokyo Olympic games in their complete form as proof of the victory of mankind over the coronavirus.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ESSIG: And John, when you listen to what the prime minister just said there, the games in their complete form. He was actually pressed on that comment, because the idea of, again, leading to the fact that that could allude to the postponement of these games, hosting them at a later point in their complete form. He repeated the comment that you just heard, really kind of dancing around and avoiding answering the direct question John.
VAUSE: And also, the games will be a victory of mankind over the coronavirus. Wow, I mean, let's not, you know, build up the expectations here. What -- how are the Japanese people thinking about this? How are they reacting?
ESSIG: You know, I guess it's the idea, kind of to your point, that these Olympic games are supposed to bring the world together. And obviously, right now the world is fighting the coronavirus.
But yes, the Japanese people, actually, just recently, in an internal poll that was released just yesterday, 70 percent not only said that they believe that the games will be postponed, but that they should be postponed. And people that I've talked to here on the streets say that they want these games to be happy and successful. And the reality of that is that that means that postponement might be in the cards, John.
VAUSE: Yes. And there's also the athletes, who actually may have a thing or two to say about this, if they want to go into a, you know, basically a coronavirus zone. And, you know, they are highly-tuned professional athletes. It's not a great situation for them, as well.
Blake, thank you for being with us. Blake Essig there, live in Tokyo.
Still to come down, Donald Trump says he talked about the coronavirus to his son. So what are you saying to your kids? We'll give you some ways to help your children deal with the stress of a pandemic.
VAUSE: Well, all the evidence so far suggests healthy children are at a much reduced risk of serious illness or death from the coronavirus. But what are their emotional and mental health?
With me now is Wendy Walsh, a psychologist and adjunct professor at California State University.
So Wendy, it's been a long time. It's good to see you. And you're Skyping in from home, which is also good. We'll talk about the kids in a moment.
WENDY WALSH, PSYCHOLOGIST AND ADJUNCT PROFESSOR, CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY: Yes, I'm under quarantine. I'm under quarantine with -- self-quarantine with some kids myself.
VAUSE: OK. Well, you're in a perfect position to talk about the kids, then, which I'll get to in a moment. But explain very quickly why it is so hard to stop touching your face, especially at stressful moments like this.
WALSH: Well, there are a couple things. One is we have a lot of nerve endings around our eyes, our nose and our mouth. And this is the way we explore the world. You know, through taste, and touch, and sight. We also have ways -- (AUDIO GAP)
VAUSE: Yes, I think we're having some problems. I think that's the coronavirus is getting us with the Skype connection there, with Wendy. So we're going to try and work out exactly what we want to get to her, because we'll talk about this.
Because this is the big issue for a lot of parents who are now stuck at home with their kids. So we'll get back to Wendy in a moment.
But in the meantime, this lockdown in China which shuttered all the factories and forced so many to stay at home to stop the spread of the coronavirus, actually had another benefit. It was unintended, but it is very real and very tangible.
CNN's Ivan Watson reports how the lockdown actually helped the environment. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is what Chinese cities usually look like this time of year. Thick smog blanketing the skyline.
But this year, there's something different in the air. Blue skies. In several Chinese cities, the air pollution has improved. Especially Wuhan, the original epicenter of the deadly coronavirus. The face masks many Chinese used to wear to filter out polluted air now worn to protect against the virus.
NASA and the European Space Agency released satellite images from January, showing Wuhan's nitrogen dioxide levels, and the dramatic drop in February after 11 million people there were quarantined.
LAURI MYLIYVIRTA, CENTRE FOR RESEARCH ON ENERGY AND CLEAN AIR: CO2 emissions for the past four weeks are down by at least 25 percent because of the measures to contain the coronavirus.
WATSON: For the world's biggest polluter, that could mean a drop of 200 million tons of carbon dioxide.
MYLIYVIRTA: This is more dramatic than anything else that I've seen in terms of the impact on our missions, but of course, the impact on people's lives and the economy was equally dramatic.
WATSON: The Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air says coal consumption that fire power stations saw a 36 percent drop compared to last year. The research also shows carbon emissions from the aviation industry plunging due to falling demand and widespread travel restrictions.
But Greenpeace says improved environmental conditions may be temporary if China ramps up industrial output to boost the economy.
LI SHUO, SENIOR CLIMATE POLICY ADVISER, GREENPEACE: The political attention of the Chinese leaders will be distracted in the short term, you know, to calm down the outbreak of the coronavirus and that might distract from other important social and economic issues, including the need to fight climate change.
WATSON: In neighboring Hong Kong, air quality has also improved as the virus triggered partial shutdowns.
PATRICK FUNG, CLEAR AIR NETWORK: Lots of people work from home, and that's reduced the traffic for them and reduced the traffic congestion.
WATSON: Activists like Patrick Fung have been warning about the long- term impact of air pollution in his home city for years. His clean air network released this dramatized public health warning.
FUNG: There's a 1,500 premature death one year alone here in Hong Kong that is caused by air pollution.
VAUSE: Now Fung says this brief period of clean air should be a wake- up call.
FUNG: If we want the children, the elderly, who could live healthily in Hong Kong, then we should think about how to make business as usual change.
WATSON: There's nothing business as usual about a global epidemic that has closed thousands of lives. But in the short term, this public health crisis for humans may actually be helping the environment.
Ivan Watson, CNN.
VAUSE: And we'll take a short break. Back in a moment. You're watching CNN, NEWSROOM.
VAUSE: So one quirk or unique feature about this virus seems to be that children are at a much-reduced risk of serious illness or death, but what about their emotional and mental health?
Well, Wendy Walsh, psychologist and adjunct professor at California State University, is back with us, trying to talk about where we stand with all this.
So I want to get to the kids in a moment, Wendy, but first of all, there is this issue of they keep telling us not to touch our face. But it is really hard not to trust -- touch your face. You don't realize you're doing it.
So why is that, especially in stressful moments?
WALSH: In fact, in two separate research studies -- we touch our face, apparently, between 16 and 23 times per hour.
Think of it this way. There are lots of nerve endings in our nose, our eyes, our mouth. It's how our sensory awareness is to the world. Also, we have tiny little hairs that keep particles from coming in. Dangerous things in both our ears, our nose, of course, eyelashes and eyebrows to prevent debris from entering our body.
And so that debris can cause itch. And when we're told not to touch our face, we've become even more aware of that itch. So we're touching more often.
VAUSE: Yes. Do this with your hands, because it gives you that moment to think about what you're doing with them before you react to something, I guess. Anyway --
OK. Let's talk about the kids and parents having a lot of special quality time at home right now with the little ones. But this -- especially with the kids, you know, the younger ones, it can be quite terrifying. Your advice -- and this is important -- for dealing with their anxieties and their fears.
Manage your own feelings first, so explain why that is so important.
WALSH: Because children have an emotional lifeline to their parents. And as a result, they're little sponges and they absorb, no matter what you say, they absorb what you're feeling.
So the best way to help calm a child is to calm yourself, whether it's mindful meditation, whether it's some cognitive behavioral tricks, to sort of reframe this as a positive, interesting new stage in life.
And then you can get to the good work of explaining to kids what's going on. In, you know, simple language, not scary language, but this is an interesting science experiment happening in the world.
VAUSE: And kids are smart. They know when someone is spinning, you know, a lie at them, or something, or someone is not being genuine.
The question of what to say to your kids. It came up during the coronavirus briefing at the White House on Monday. This is how President Trump answered the question.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I've spoken, actually, with my son, and he says how bad is this? It's bad. It's bad. But we're going to -- we're going to be, hopefully, a best case, not a worst-case, and that's what we're working for.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: I'm thinking parents should be maybe a little more reassuring than that, you know, explaining stuff like your handwashing is really good. A way of stopping the virus. Empowering children, as opposed to maybe just terrifying them.
WALSH: Exactly. I mean, we can quell people's fears by giving them a sense of control, whether they're a kid or an adult.
So what are we telling adults? Wear masks, wash your hands, wear gloves, et cetera. And with kids, we can reassure them with one other thing. Besides spending time teaching them about microscopic germs, we can also teach them that there are lots of scientists working very hard right now to quickly make a vaccine. Kids understand vaccines. They've been getting the vaccines since they were born.
And so explaining to them that very soon, some amazing, smart scientists are going to bring a vaccination to all of us, and we'll all be safe again. And in the meantime, just to stay a little separate from each other, to keep us safe.
VAUSE: USF (ph) point out it's important how you end the conversation. This is from their blog. "As your conversation wraps up, try to gauge the level of anxiety by watching their body language, considering whether they're using their usual tone of voice and watching their breathing."
So it's not just what children will say, because sometimes, when they don't have the words to express their feelings, it's the nonverbal language which is sort of equally as important.
WALSH: Of course. And even with adults, you know, you're looking to see how stress -- you know, ignore the words. Pay attention to the body language and what they're doing. If they're having sleep disruptions, if they're crawling in with your -- into bed with you, this is OK. Reassure them, hold them close. They just need to be told that everything's going to be OK.
VAUSE: You got some very good advice on -- on what parents should be doing right now. Essentially play games, be with the kids, don't worry about the timing or all that kind of thing. We're out of time, but there is some great advice. It's out there on a lot of web sites. But also from you, as well. So we appreciate you being with us, Wendy. Thank you very much.
WALSH: Thank you.
VAUSE: Wendy Walsh for us in Los Angeles.
Well, more from CNN NEWSROOM after a very short break.
VAUSE: Hello and welcome to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause at the CNN Center in Atlanta.
For weeks, the U.S. president has downplayed the threat and the potential impact.