Return to Transcripts main page


U.K. Ramps up Response amid Criticism; Protecting the Elderly from Coronavirus; Kentucky Derby Postponed; Clever Ways to Encourage Social Distancing. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired March 17, 2020 - 06:30   ET



CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Right now are telling you, you need to do something more.


ROMANS: I mean the markets are saying they need a coherent message from Washington. The Fed can't do it on its own.

CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh.

Christine, Rana, thank you both very much for all of this information.

The number of coronavirus deaths globally now surpasses the deaths inside China. So we have a live report from the U.K., where the prime minister is being criticized for that government's response, next.


CAMEROTA: All right, we want to bring you the latest numbers right now as of this morning. There are 4,477 coronavirus cases in the United States. That's up more than 1,000 cases in just 24 hours. Eighty-seven people have died.

Also breaking overnight, the state of Ohio is calling off today's primary. Three states, Florida, Illinois, and Arizona are moving forward with their voting for this morning's primaries, today's primaries. The Trump administration advising all Americans to avoid social interactions with more than 10 people.

Millions of people are hold up at home and cancellations across the country are cascading this morning.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Overnight, the Kentucky Derby postponed for the first time since World War II. They'll try to run the race in September.

One of the biggest nights on the fashion calendar, the Met Gala in New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art postponed indefinitely.

McDonald's has closed seating areas in all of its restaurants across the country.

Regal Cinemas has shut down all theaters nationwide until further notice. That's 7,200 screens in 42 states.

Major League Baseball is pushing back the opening of the 2020 season indefinitely.

And "Saturday Night Live" has suspend production until further notice. Look, if we ever needed a laugh, it's now. But, bottom line, they just can't do it.

We keep reading you these new developments, but the message you should be taking is everything, just about everything except for grocery stores and drug stores and necessities is either shut down already or about to.

CAMEROTA: Globally, the number of coronavirus deaths outside of China has now surpassed the number inside of China where the outbreak began. As of midnight, the Trump travel ban for Europe now includes the U.K.. Prime Minister Boris Johnson also taking drastic measures to contain the virus there. There are more than 1,500 coronavirus cases in the U.K. and more than 50 deaths at last count.

CNN's Phil Black is live in London with more.

What are they doing there, Phil?

PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Alisyn, up until now the U.K. has followed a very different line to other countries around the world, implementing almost no restrictions on people's lives and freedoms. But they've had to shift from that position suddenly with a range of tough, new measures. And that's because the latest scientific modeling shows without these steps hundreds of thousands of people in this country would die.


BLACK (voice over): Every Londoner knows the city's underground, the tube, is a filthy breeding ground for disease even on a good day. But the growing coronavirus threat isn't keeping people away. No social distancing down here. It's hot, crowded, and far too intimate.

But even as many Brits calmly carry on with their lives, they're also scared and confuse and they blame the government.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I don't think that they're doing enough because there's still people going out, there's still people going to school.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I just feel frightened, you know, because I don't -- just don't think the tone is enough.

BLACK: The British government waited longer than others around the world to make the hard decisions to keep people away from each other, insisting the science supported holding off, while at the same time, Prime Minister Boris Johnson made grave predictions about what's likely to come. BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Many more families are going to

lose loved ones before their time.

BLACK: A message shared and mocked widely online for sounding a little too similar to Shrek's Lord Farquhar.

LORD FARQUHAR, "SHREK": Some of you may die, but it's a sacrifice I am willing to make.

BLACK (on camera): So there's a perception the government isn't acting fast enough and there has also been some clumsy handling of some very important information. The government's plan to very soon ask everyone in the country over the age of 70 to stay in their homes for months was made public when it was briefed to one journalist without any detail about how it's going to work or what it's going to mean for people's lives.

BLACK (voice over): Now the government is trying to fix its messaging and ramp up it's social distancing policies, the first of what they promise will be daily briefings, advised people to stop socializing in public places and work from home.

But while the U.S. and other European countries are mandating bars, restaurants, theaters close down, the British government is only asking people to stay away from them.

JOHNSON: If you ask, well, why are we doing this now, why now, why not earlier or later, why bring this this very draconian measure, the answer is that we are asking people do something that is difficult and disruptive of their lives. And the right moment, as we've always said, is to do it when it is most effective.

BLACK: There are now tougher isolation instructions too. If one person in a home has a high temperature or a continuous cough, everyone who lives there is being told to stay in for 14 days. Only patients in hospitals are being tested. There's no longer any effort to trace contacts and spread in the wired population. For the moment, schools aren't being told to close.

Not that long ago, the British government's core message was, please wash your hands. Now it's moving some way to match other countries far less concerned about how stopping coronavirus will impact people's social lives.


BLACK: So the government says it may eventually be forced to close schools across the country, but it really doesn't want to do that because it thinks if you do that, suddenly child care becomes a real burden, especially for doctors, nurses, other key workers. And you make it much harder for them to be able to get to work and do the jobs that are going to be so desperately needed through this crisis.


John. BERMAN: Yes, no one says it's an easy decision, Phil, but one thing is

clear, is that to be effective, which is what the prime minister said he wants to be, you have to make these decisions early. So we'll see. We'll see who's right here.

Phil Black for us in front of 10 Downing Street. Thank you very much.

There is no mystery over who is most vulnerable in this pandemic. It is our parents, our grandparents. How can we protect the elderly from the coronavirus? We're going to speak to a doctor who has new recommendations. That's next.


DR. DEBORAH BIRX, WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE COORDINATOR: We now need to appeal to every single American so they can have their role in stopping the spread of this virus.

To our older population or those with pre-existing medical conditions, everyone in the household needs to focus on protecting them. Everyone in the household.


BERMAN: Everyone in the country needs to work on protecting our older population. That was Deborah Birx on the White House Coronavirus Task Force stressing just how much of a responsibility it is to all of us, the young, the people in their 40s, to take care of older Americans.


Joining us now to talk about what we can do right now to help is Dr. Sean Morrison, the chair of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital here in New York.

Dr. Morrison, you've been so helpful the last couple weeks to help understand what we can do today, now. You have three new recommendations for people who are concerned about their parents.

DR. SEAN MORRISON, CHAIR, DEPT. OF GERIATRICS AND PALLIATIVE MEDICINE AT MOUNT SINAI: Yes, when -- for adult children who are concerned about their parents, they need to ensure three things. First of all, do their parents have adequate supply of food, medication and other essentials and, yes, toilet paper, for 30 days? Second, if they have a home care worker, or somebody coming into their house who helps them get through the day, do you have a contingency plan in place if that person can't come to work or is ill themselves? And finally, and perhaps most importantly, if one of my parents gets ill, how am I going to take care of both them and their partner if they're still well? What's the backup plan and the contingency for caring for them if they become sick?

BERMAN: Come up with a plan now.

Last week when we were talking you still told me you thought that home health care workers should very much be a part of the lives of older Americans who need them. Is that still the case?

MORRISON: That is absolutely still the case. They should take precautions, obviously, rigid hand washing, personal protective equipment if somebody has a respiratory symptom when they come in. But absolutely we need that workforce to ensure that our older adults are safe in this country.

BERMAN: We have some viewer questions and I'm going to read these because I think they're exactly in line with what some of the biggest concerns are across the wider population.

Trisha from Michigan writes, my husband and I are both 68. We care for our two grandchildren several times a week. Should we continue to do so?

Basically it's the reverse of the question we've been asking, because a lot of grandparents are part of child care.

MORRISON: To the extent that they can stop, they should stop. We know that children can come down with this virus, but they're at very low -- very, very low risk for complications. It's our older adults who are at risk who are most risk for severe illness. And, yes, grandparents should stop babysitting their grandchildren if they can.

BERMAN: That's tough, right, because a lot of people, that is what keeps them going.

MORRISON: It's very tough. It is absolutely very tough. And, yes, they have to, though. We will get through this. We've put the plans in place. We can get through this. And if we act by not, for example, caring for our grandchildren for a couple months, we will -- we will get through this.

BERMAN: Exercise. This is key.

Abe from Canton, Georgia, writes, if you're a senior in a high-risk category, can you still go walking for exercise at a local county park that's usually not very crowded.

What's your overall exercise recommendation?

MORRISON: Oh, my overall recommendation is, eat well, continue to exercise if you can do that away from other people. So if you have a treadmill or a Stairmaster in your home, use it. If you can take a walk in the park on off hours where nobody's around, take that walk. But take your -- eat well, exercise well, continue to take your medications, that's going to help you get through this.

BERMAN: I told my father yesterday, because he asked me if I thought he could still go to the store to buy food. Yesterday I told him, yes, I thought he could still do so if he needed to. How correct was that answer?

MORRISON: You know, what I would say is, if he can avoid it, he should avoid it. For some people that is just not realistic. They don't have somebody who can go to the grocery store, go to the drugstore for them. But if you can have somebody go, pick up your groceries, pick up your supplies, you should do so.

BERMAN: And if you do have to go, I know some stores are now setting aside hours for elderly people. Does that make sense?

MORRISON: That makes a lot of sense. Again, what we want to do is we want to minimize as much as we can contact with other people.

BERMAN: There was a person -- we don't have a graphic for this -- but it's an interesting question, which is, is there anything you can do, supplements, to boost your immunity, to reduce your chances of getting this?

MORRISON: Do we have a magic pill. And the answer simply is no, we do not. But what we can do is we can continue to eat well and regularly, continue to exercise, get rest, take our medications and, of course, like everybody should be doing, washing your hands, don't touch your face and disinfect often.

BERMAN: And, again, I asked you this question last week, and your answer was no, but now is the time to be eating the supplies and using the supplies you've stored up?

MORRISON: Now is probably the time to be using them. Things have changed fairly dramatically since last week and they're going to change in the future. So we just need to keep following the Center for Disease Control Guidelines and find out what the new recommendations are.

BERMAN: Have a plan.

Dr. Sean Morrison, thank you for helping us have a plan get through this. Really appreciate your time.

MORRISON: Thank you very much.

BERMAN: Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: OK, John, how are some famous people handling being under quarantine?


Well, comedy legend Mel Brooks and his son Max have some advice for us to stay safe and healthy, next.


CAMEROTA: For the first time in 75 years, the Kentucky Derby will not be held on the first Saturday in May.

Carolyn Manno has more in the "Bleacher Report."

What's the plan?

CAROLYN MANNO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hype, good morning. Well, this is not unlike what we've seen over the last couple of days.

This is just the latest very jarring example of why sports is a focal point here. We love a good crowd. We love a good crowd. And, unfortunately, that's a problem. More than 150,000 people gather together annually on the first Saturday in May to show off their hats and be with each other. Now it's going to be the first Saturday in September. That new date coming with sources that I've spoken with close to the race and also multiple reports that are citing the same time frame.


An official announcement from Churchill Downs is expected in about two hours.

The derby is the longest running sports event in America. It has run uninterrupted since 1985, even when coinciding with really profound events, like the Great Depression, the Second World War, it goes on.

The start of Major League Baseball's season is pushed back indefinitely. The league say it's following the CDC recommendations that no gatherings with 50 people or more take place for the next eight weeks. That means the earliest opening day could potentially take place is in mid-May.

Nascar is suspending its season through May 3rd, with plans to returns to competition in Martinsville, Virginia. Nascar says it intends to hold all 36 of its planned races this season.

And the UFC is postponing its next three events. President Dana White says the April 18th fight that is set to take place in Brooklyn, New York, is on for now. He will not give up on this, though he would consider moving it out of the United States if necessary. He certainly raised eyebrows last week after moving forward with an event in an empty arena in Brazil.

You know, the Derby is an icon of Americana. It's very special. It's going to affect the rest of the Triple Crown trickledown effect. Fall is going to be very interesting in sports.

BERMAN: Look, I think pretty soon, and I mean days, we're not going to be reporting on things that are canceled because everything is just going to be canceled.

MANNO: Well, don't say that to me because I love being with you guys. But it's the reality of it all.

BERMAN: Oh, it's not that. It --

MANNO: No, it's right. You're right. It's -- it's (INAUDIBLE).

BERMAN: But I do think the story is how they will get back when they do get back.

MANNO: Yes, absolutely.

BERMAN: You're right. Fall's going to be a heck of a time.


CAMEROTA: Carolyn, thank you very much.

MANNO: You're welcome.

BERMAN: All right, so the Internet is full of ideas on how to creatively hunker down and encourage social distancing.

CNN's Jeanne Moos explains.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Going stir crazy? How to fill those endless hours of quarantine. The Internet has plenty of suggestions, from a Pac Man-type puppet gobbling up vehicles, to the fitness instructor in Spain who gave a workout class to his neighbors, to turtle tic tac toe, the turtle was the o, competing from permanent quarantine in his aquarium. The turtle tanked.

There were plenty of cheerleaders like Max Brooks.

MAX BROOKS: This is my dad Mel Brooks.

Hi, dad.

MOOS: Urging younger folks to protect the older ones, like 93-year-old Mel.

BROOKS: 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 legend of comedic legends.

MOOS: Model Heidi Klum posed herself kissing her husband through glass, not to mention her own reflection.

And Arnold Schwarzenegger trotted out a pet mini horse and donkey.

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, ACTOR: Oh, yes, that's yummy. (INAUDIBLE) Whiskey and there's Lulu.

MOOS: To promote eating at home, while these live-action matchsticks representing the power of social distancing caught fire on line created by Los Angeles visual artist Juan Delcan and his wife Valentina.

The message everywhere, don't be a spreader.

BROOKS: I'm going. I'm going.

MOOS: Let's hope the message is contagious.

SCHWARZENEGGER: Look at this picture here.

MOOS: Jeanie Moos, CNN -- SCHWARZENEGGER: No biting.

MOOS: New York.


CAMEROTA: I don't know how long I can be satisfied with the Pac-man sock puppet? I don't know if that could kill a few hours or --

BERMAN: Well, you could always go to donkeys, apparently. If you -- if you don't like sock puppets --

CAMEROTA: I have -- well, I have those. Those are fine.

BERMAN: Yes, exactly. Those are your kids.


BERMAN: Sorry.

CAMEROTA: What? Wow.

You can see what --

BERMAN: See, space us apart. I just don't know how to act when I'm this far away from you.

CAMEROTA: I know. It's -- it's very distant.

Meanwhile, we do have some new coronavirus numbers to give you and that's why NEW DAY continues right now.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: With coronavirus fears mounting, Super Tuesday three is down to just three states.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I thought that it was definitely more important to come out. I understand the fears that some older people who have immuno deficiencies.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ohio announcing overnight polls will be closed.

GOV. MIKE DEWINE (R-OH): We should not force them to make this choice between their health and their constitutional rights as American citizens.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is this the new normal until the height of the summer?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We'll see what happens, but they think August, could be July, could be longer than that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It isn't that these guidelines are now going to be in effect until July, the trajectory of the outbreak may go until then. Make sure we don't think that these are solid in stone until July.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

BERMAN: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY.

And a milestone this morning in the coronavirus pandemic. For the first time, the number of deaths outside China has surpassed the number of fatalities inside that country's border.

Moments ago, Spain announced 2,000 new cases. And look how quickly the cases are spreading, or at least how quickly we're becoming aware of the cases in the United States now that we're doing more testing.


More than 4,400 cases now known of in the United States. That's up about a thousand from yesterday. And the number of deaths has jumped to 87 from 65.