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There Are Now More Than 4,400 Cases In The United States; The Trump Administration Advises All Americans To Avoid Social Interactions With More Than 10 People, Causing Self Quarantines and Cancellations Across The Country. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired March 17, 2020 - 08:30   ET




JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: An update now on the latest pandemic developments. There are now more than 4,400 cases in the United States. Those are cases we know about. The number is no doubt higher than that. The official number though has jumped by more than a thousand in just 24 hours. 87 people have now died.

New York City's mayor just told Alisyn he is quote "absolutely considering a shelter in place order." The pandemic has led the state of Ohio to call off its primary election today. Three states, Florida, Illinois and Arizona, they have moved forward with voting this morning.

The Trump administration is advising all Americans to avoid social interactions with more than 10 people. No groups higher than 10 people. So, millions of people are at home as cancellations across the country have cascaded. Overnight, the Kentucky Derby was postponed for the first time since Word War II.

They'll try to runt hat race in September. One of the biggest nights on the fashion calendar, the Met Gala in New York postponed indefinitely. Mcdonald's has closed seating areas in all of its restaurants across the country.

Regal Cinemas and AMC have shutdown all theaters nationwide until further notice. Major League Baseball has pushed back the opening to the 2020 season indefinitely. And Saturday Night Live has suspended production until further notice.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: My kids and I were just watching SNL last night when we got the text that it's been suspended and that is a loss for sure. The CDC has issued new guidelines to help Americans cope with feelings of stress and anxiety around the coronavirus pandemic.

They recommend taking breaks from news and social media, taking care of your body, eat healthily, exercise, get enough sleep and avoid alcohol. Also, make time to unwind and connect with others. Joining us now with more is Dr. Jodi Gold, child and adolescent psychiatrist at Brunel Medical College.

Dr. Gold, great to have you back with us. You have your own tips. Let's just pop those up for everybody. You say stay connected. Number two, build new structures. Number three, no catastrophizing. Four, develop a routine. And five, manage information.

Let's just start with number one, stay connected. How are we supposed to do that when we are shut in our homes?

JODI GOLD, DIRECTOR, GOLD CENTER FOR MIND HEALTH & WELLNESS: Let's be clear, you can be lonely in a crowded space and feel very connected alone in your apartment. So I'm not buying any of that. We can all stay connected, OK? We love social media at this moment. You can use video conferencing.

One thing I want to be clear is I want to make sure that all Americans can get access to video conferencing and to the internet. And I think that there's people trying to do that. But call your parents, video conference them.

I'm all for keeping the streaks going. I'm all for doing the dances. I've been checking in on my Facebook friends. They've got suggestions on how to do exercises, what books to read. We can stay connected. Reach out to that friend you haven't spoken to in a while.

CAMEROTA: Now is a -- I'm glad you brought this up. It's a great time for a great book. I mean, it really is. That is self care.

GOLD: Yes.

CAMEROTA: Number two, build new structures. What does that mean?

GOLD: All right, we have to have a routine. This is the deal. We could have a routine; it's just a little bit new. All the advice coming from everywhere is stick to a routine. That means as we discussed yesterday out of the pajamas, showered, I need you to eat your meals. There is people delivering meals if you don't have enough food.

I want you doing -- working out at home in the morning. I want you going for walks if that's appropriate and no napping. I really don't want Americans napping. Sleep at night, wake up in the morning. OK, you guys get up early so that's one thing.

CAMEROTA: You're giving us special (inaudible) I hope.

GOLD: I'm giving you special (inaudible).


GOLD: But basically no napping. It's a normal day.

CAMEROTA: No catastrophizing. I think this is such an important one because of course our imaginations do run wild. So how do you stop from thinking the worse case scenario? GOLD: So, catastrophizing means that you always think the worst. For instance, you study for a test, you're going to do well but you're convinced you're going to get an F. When in actuality you get an A or a B, right, that's basically understanding catastrophizing.

Right now we're talking about today. You can manage the anxiety; you can manage your family today. Let's try not to worry about the future.

CAMEROTA: You've already talked about developing a routine. Number five, managing information. What do you mean?

GOLD: So, what I want is I want everyone watching New Day of course, I want you checking in but I want you to be mindful of your media and social media diet. You need to be connected and check in. When you feel like it's making you anxious, you need to shut it down and you need to go to sources that you trust.

CAMEROTA: Shonda Rhimes, the creator of course of Grey's Anatomy and other things put out this on Twitter and she's got10 a lot of attention. It's been shared many, many times.

Been homeschooling a six year old and a eight year old for one hour and 12 minutes. Teachers deserve to make a billion dollars a year or a week. Being with our children now--

GOLD: Yes.

CAMEROTA: -- everyday can be a little stressful. And it can be stressful for them to be with us as I hear (inaudible) week. Being with our children now every day can be a little stressful. And it can be stressful for them to be with us, as I hear from my kids (inaudible) every day.

GOLD: Yes, it can be.

CAMEROTA: Any thoughts?

GOLD: First of all, let's try to actually be mindful of the fact you're going to have more family time. For those of with us teenagers who are always running around, this is an opportunity for family time, so that is one wonderful thing. Number two, we're going to have to work on the remote schooling piece. I was talking to some teenagers in Seoul this morning and they were telling me the advice they give to other teenagers is stay on a structure, sleep at night, and don't procrastinate and try to keep your motivation up. That's going to be a challenge.

And for those with little kids, we're just trying to do our best. I need everyone to manage their expectations. I'm sure everyone out there, I know we all want our kids reading books and studying and all of that. But this might be a moment to watch movies, play video games, give everyone a little bit of a break.

CAMEROTA: Yes, I really appreciate you saying that it also can be a great thing. I'm enjoying the Monopoly marathons and endless Yahtzee right now with my kids. This is something we always sort of yearn for and now we have it. So let's just be grateful.

GOLD: Yes, family games, wonderful. We love them.

CAMEROTA: Dr. Jodi Gold, we really appreciate your tips, thank you very much. John?

BERMAN: So Dr. Gold, Gary Gullman (ph), Cardinal Dolan, just a few of people we've talked to this morning helping others get through this coronavirus pandemic, but there are so many wonderful stories from around the country. And CNN's Laura Jarrett, co-anchor of Early Start joins us now with a few of them. Laura.

LAURA JARRETT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well as we just heard, it's a time of high anxiety for many of us. But we continue to hear so many great stories of people stepping up to help out their neighbors. In Ohio, a regular customer at COACHES bar and grill left a $2,500 tip for the staff there on a $30 tab. The customer wrote on the bill to please split the tip up equally between five workers. Movie stars Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively pledging a million dollar donation to food banks in the U.S. and Canada.

The Hollywood couple joining stars like Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga and Vanessa Hudgens who donated money to the relief effort as well. At Chicago's shed aquarium -- this is John Berman's favorite story, workers were able to give Wellington, the penguin, a tour after the facility was closed to prevent the spread of coronavirus. With visitors away, he safely waddled around meeting other animals. There you see him meeting the fish.

BERMAN: (Inaudible) He's checking out the entire museum.

JARRETT: Everyone loves Wilmington. And Frozen actor, Josh Gad, taking to Twitter to read children's stories each night for kids in quarantine. The first he read one of his own favorite books, Olivia Goes To Venice by Ian Falconer.


JOSH GAD: On the plane, Olivia asked her mom about the food in Venice. Don't worry, sweetheart, you can get pizza and ice cream anywhere. Everywhere? Olivia was relieved. They arrived very late at their hotel. Hotels were places that you used to be able to go to and check in, by the way. Olivia was so...


JARRETT: I didn't want to interrupt him, but Gad promised to spend send 10 minutes a day voicing the characters some of beloved children's books for anyone who may need a pick me up right now. It may be a reason for Alisyn to get back on Twitter, there's a lot of good stuff going on. John Legend doing performances.

CAMEROTA: Is that right?

BERMAN: You weren't referring to me? John Legend wasn't me, that's the actual guy, John Legend, not John the legend. CAMEROTA: I get confused.

BERMAN: I got confused.

CAMEROTA: Yes, thank you both very...

BERMAN: That was great, Laura, thank you very much.


BERMAN: For more information on how you can help during this pandemic, go to

CAMEROTA: All right, shoppers have left some store shelves empty. I'm sure you've seen this. So we check in with a supplier who is trying to keep up with the demand. That's next.



CAMEROTA: Grocery store chains and their suppliers are trying to keep up with the heavy demand as shoppers stock up. The White House says it is not necessary to hoard essentials. CNN's Vanessa Yurkevich is live at a distributor in Bayonne, New Jersey. So what's the situation, Vanessa?

VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS AND POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Alisyn. Well, this food distributor is going to be seeing its largest shipping day in their history. They are up about 50 percent in demand and that is because Americans are flocking to the grocery store buying everything they can off the shelves.

In order to meet this demand here you're going to see these trucks coming in and out of this facility all day long trying to get food on to the grocery store shelves. And this facility behind me, Alisyn, is now air tight. They're not letting anyone in here who doesn't need to be here.

They're trying to keep their employees safe and they're trying to keep the food safe as it needs to get on to these shelves very quickly. There's one silver lining in all of this. It is the fact that this company is one of the few companies that is now hiring.

They need more drivers on the road, they need more supervisors, they need more people coordinating this huge demand in food supply that Americans are needing right now.

But I just want to be clear there is no food shortage right now. It's just a matter of getting these trucks moving as quickly as possible in order to meet this incredible demand, John.

BERMAN: Such an important message. Vanessa Yurkevich, thanks so much for being with us with that. So, some people watched the president yesterday and they noticed what appeared to be a shift in tone on the pandemic. What's going on? John Avlon has a reality check. John? JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Hey, guys. So look, President Trump's superpower is his reality distortion field. He can convince himself and many of his supporters that facts don't matter.

But it turns out that his kryptonite is coronavirus. Because Trump's four step formula of deny, distract, deflect and divide doesn't have any positive impact on this pandemic or American people.

We saw something like an acknowledgment of that fact yesterday as a restrained President Trump spoke to reporters. It was almost enough to give you whiplash because on Sunday President Trump said this.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE U.S.: It's a very contagious virus. It's incredible. But it's something that we have tremendous control over.



AVLON: But on Monday, he said this.


TRUMP: No, that's not under control for any place in the world.


AVLON: Now, that's what you call a 180, a concession to reality, because he's been singing variations of that same, it's totally under control tune since he was first asked about coronavirus on January 22.


TRUMP: We have it totally under control. It's one person coming from China, and we have it under control. It's going to be just fine.


AVLON: But in the weeks since, Trump repeatedly downplayed the danger. Even his administration's scientists were raising red flags. So, yesterday when President Trump said this --


TRUMP: We have a problem that a month ago nobody ever thought about.


AVLON: That's just not true. People were trying to warn him. In January, two veterans of his own administration were publicly begging him to act now, to prevent an American epidemic, but the stock market didn't really begin to notice about three weeks ago, and that go this attention. Now, he tried to calm things by tweeting, "The coronavirus is very

much under control in the USA." The day before there were 53 confirmed cases across six states, as of yesterday, there were over 4,000 confirmed cases in 49 states.

But what's got10 the president's attention is more than a historic drop in the stock market. It's the belated realization that he can't hype his way out of this problem. The facts are bad and they're going to get worse.

And that in large part because the test kits that the president promised were available to anyone who wanted were not available, and they're still not widely available. So, we don't actually know how many people have coronavirus today, which is why experts are expecting a surge that could overwhelm hospitals, when President Trump was asked if he took responsibility for the testing kit debacle, he tried to pass the buck saying, I don't take responsibility at all. Harry Truman would not be amused.

But, if there's a silver lining in any of this, it's that actual scientific experts, Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx, seem increasingly to be driving the White House response and they have credibility that the president has squandered with his reality distortion filled dependents.

So, as we brace ourselves for this new normal, life in a pandemic, it's going to require responsible changes from all of us, even New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who called for the nation to be put on a war footing and then promptly went to the gym.

But, hey, old habits are hard to break. After all, when he asked how he'd grade his response to coronavirus with escalating infections and a plummeting stock market, you just knew Trump was going to pull a Trump.


TRUMP: I'd grade it a 10. I think we've done a great job.


AVLON: And that's your reality check.

BERMAN: John, thank you very much.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta back to answer more of your coronavirus questions next.



BERMAN: Well, I've got some breaking news for you. On Twitter, moments ago, Tom Brady announced he is leaving the New England Patriots. He wrote a long note --


BERMAN: -- to his fans and the coaches. And in there he says, my football journey will take place elsewhere.

CAMEROTA: Get tissues. Who has tissues right now?

BERMAN: I'm going to digest this for a few minutes and I will let --

CAMEROTA: I'm sorry I can't comfort you right now.

BERMAN: No, we have to keep social distancing.

CAMEROTA: We're too far away from each other.

BERMAN: This is tough time for social distancing in my life.

CAMEROTA: All right, well John, while you process that and mourn, we have been asking you to send your questions about coronavirus into us and CNN chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta is back with answers to them.

Sanjay, this has been so helpful for people. This is their favorite segment, so lets get right to the questions. This comes from Elizabeth (ph) in Kansas City, Missouri. She says, my 11-month-old granddaughter is home from daycare while her parents work from home. Is it safe for me to go over and babysit here so they can work? She's been home from daycare for about two weeks. I'm 69-years-old.

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Gosh, that -- tough one. And -- and I can just tell you that we're dealing with the same sort of thing in our own family. I think a lot of families are. You're home now, you got the kids, how do you get some -- some help.

Look, unfortunately, the answer -- the recommendation is -- is, no, you shouldn't do that. At 69-years-old you are in this vulnerable population and we know children, even if they're not getting sick from this, can still carry this.

So, for people who are -- who are vulnerable, the best guidance is that you sort of stay home as much as possible and try not to be around people who could potentially spread the virus to you.

Look, I -- I -- Alisyn, I think every time we do these segments, we should remind people, this isn't going to be forever. This isn't the new normal, as people of10 say, so I know that's tough, but that -- that's probably the best answer.

BERMAN: You know, it strikes me, again, that people are doing so much of their own research, Sanjay, which I think leads to this question from Cheryl (ph), from Virginia, who writes, since both the common cold and COVID-19 are both types of coronaviruses, if you currently have an active case of the common cold, could you theoretically be protected from COVID-19?

GUPTA: Yes. No, you're right. People are getting very smart on this and reading and -- and I've looked at some of the most recent studies, for this exact same reason, and unfortunately, again, no, one does not protect you from the other.

They are both coronaviruses and we've known as other coronaviruses, such as SARS and MERS, for example, and obviously some of the common cold viruses.

But even though they're within the same family, they're still very different viruses. They -- they behave differently, the body reacts to them differently, so one doesn't give you protection from the other.

CAMEROTA: I just want to skip down to the bottom of our list, because I think this is a really interesting one. This comes from William (ph). He wants to know, how can politicians, actors, professional athletes, all have access to the coronavirus test kits, when thousands of doctors offices are not able to? I mean, should we all just go to Australia with Tom Hanks, Sanjay? Why are they able to know their test results when regular doctors are clambering to get those test?

GUPTA: Yes, I mean, not only are they able to know their test results, they're able to get the test. And, look, it's not fair. I mean, you know, I mean, some of these -- I asked the same question about it, and especially some of the athletic organizations and the answer I got back was, they had some specific relationships with hospitals and healthcare systems.


But that doesn't matter. There's no good answer to this question. We all need the tests. I mean, look, if we had enough tests in the first place the way that we've been talking about for the last several weeks, somebody wouldn't have had to ask that question. But the healthcare system doesn't always work perfectly, most times it doesn't.

And this is another example. Luckily, thankfully I think the tests are finally ramping up. And I think they're important. But I really think going forward the testing will remain important.

But right now we got a larger mission which is to understand as we were talking about throughout the show today how to take care of patients who are going to get sick from this. And we got to make sure we can do that as well.

CAMEROTA: Sanjay, thank you very much. Keep the questions coming, everyone. Sanjay has a million answers. And also join Sanjay and Anderson Cooper for a new CNN global town hall. There'll be lots of questions answered there. That's live Thursday at 10 P.M. Eastern. Also be sure to download and lis10 to Sanjay's new CNN podcast Coronavirus: Fact vs. Fiction.

BERMAN: You can learn so much on that podcast. It's such an important lis10 now because again people have so many questions. And in some cases they're doing their own research and there's a lot of bad information out there, right? Don't trust social media. Trust Sanjay.

OK, big news this morning. New York City's Mayor Bill de Blasio told Alisyn a little while ago he is quote "absolutely considering a shelter in place order amid the coronavirus pandemic." CNN's coverage continues right after this.