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Trump Administration Wants to Send Money to Americans; New York Task Force Prepares for Patient Surge; Biden Sweeps Three Primaries; Spain on Partial Lockdown. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired March 18, 2020 - 06:30   ET



CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Of course, if you're going to get a tax refund, you should, of course, file your taxes so you can get that money. But they're just trying to keep the money in the system, right, the money in your pocket so you can use it.

And that just shows you, I think, how this crisis has revealed just how on the margin so many people were, even in a very strong economy. The president called it the best economy in the history of the world. Of course it wasn't. It was a strong economy, though. It shows you how quickly this could turn and just really, you know, when the tide went out, just how vulnerable so many people were.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, but I don't understand -- Rana, I -- just help me understand this.


CAMEROTA: If stores are all closed and restaurants are all closed and small businesses are all closed and lots of businesses are closed, how will this $1,000 be a cash infusion into the economy?

FOROOHAR: Well, people are still spending online. And, you know, it's worth saying that the only two sectors that are not being decimated right now are Internet and telecoms because everybody's online, everybody's using their phones. So, online shopping is still a possibility. I think that there -- you know, there can be cash purchases at corner shops, bodegas, things like that that are still open. Certainly in New York.

You know, this is just about trying to build in some liquidity, some security in the system because, as Christine says, all this has exposed how vulnerable our society is.

You know, my kids are in the New York City Public Schools. One of the reasons that they didn't shut down sooner is that so many children receive the majority of their calories from free school lunches and breakfasts. So, I mean, we're really seeing this sort of two America's economy being exposed.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: We're talking about food and we're talking about rent for a lot of people.

FOROOHAR: Yes. A hundred percent.

BERMAN: Those may be the first two things that this money goes to.

Just very quickly, Romans, when we talk about industry level bailouts --


BERMAN: What are some of the discussions there?

ROMANS: They're talking about airlines, the airline -- the CEO of United said this was worse than 9/11 and it was a, you know, an existential crisis for the airline industry. Other analysis show they're going to be bankrupt by -- by May at the -- at the -- at the very latest. So they're asking for up to $50 billion there.

Airports, they also want help. You know, the whole hospitality industry would like help. We've already seen the Fed sort of step in with -- with direct lending. We're talking about direct lending to companies so that they can sort of stay -- stay afloat here.

But, you know, this is -- you know, I don't know about that 20 percent number, the unemployment 20 percent number, but I can see why the Treasury secretary, behind closed doors, would have been using numbers like this to really hammer it home to Congress that they've got to speak with one voice and work quickly on this.

CAMEROTA: Rana, Christine, thank you very much for helping us all understand this.

Hospitals in New York are bracing for a surge of coronavirus patients. So we'll talk to the head of the task force in charge of this, next.



BERMAN: We want to give you an update on the very latest developments in the coronavirus pandemic. There are now cases in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and several U.S. territories. More than 6,000 confirmed cases. But that number is certainly higher. We're only beginning to scratch the surface with testing. We now know of 112 deaths.

The White House scrambling to stabilize the economy, requesting a $1 trillion stimulus package. The administration wants to send $1,000 checks to many Americans. Congress has arranged proposals on that line as well.

CNN has learned that Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin warned Republican senators that without action the unemployment rate could skyrocket to 20 percent. Those are Great Depression-era numbers.

CAMEROTA: The United States and Canada preparing to suspend non- essential travel between those two countries. In northern California, a shelter in place order has been expanded with nearly 8 million people now impacted. New York's governor is downplaying the possibility of a similar order in this state, but, at the same time, New York City's mayor is urging everyone to prepare for that measure. And that means that more than 8 million New York City residents are living in limbo.

BERMAN: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is sounding the alarm, warning that a likely surge in coronavirus patients could soon overwhelm health care facilities.


GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): Everyone has talked about the height and the speed of the curve and flattening the curve. I've said that curve is going to turn into a wave. And the wave is going to crash on the hospital system.


BERMAN: Joining me now is the man leading Governor Cuomo's new surge planning counsel, Michael Dowling. He's the president and CEO of Northwell Health.

Thank you so much for being with us.

What's your top priority this morning?

MICHAEL DOWLING, LEADING GOVERNOR CUOMO'S SURGE PLANNING COUNCIL: Well, the top priority right now is -- you know, in the health care arena is to stay calm, stay confident, do everything we possibly can to prepare for what we believe will be happening in a month or so. How big the surge is going to be, how big the spike is going to be in volume is a little bit of an unknown, but we have to prepare for the fact that it might be large.

So what I'm doing at the moment, and I and others are doing, is to make sure that in the hospital systems that we have the capacity to deal with a surge like this. To create as much capacity as possible, get the staff prepared, increase confidence among the staff, keep the morale high, because, remember, it's the staff at the frontlines who do all of this great work and everybody should be congratulating them and feel great about what it is they do each and every day

BERMAN: They're heroes.

DOWLING: It's a -- it's a human resource issue and it's a capacity issue and it's a bed issue. And that's what we're focusing on.

BERMAN: What are you doing -- what are you doing to get the number of beds that you need?

DOWLING: We -- right. Every -- every hospital surges up and -- to respond to increases in volume on an ongoing basis. So what we're doing at the moment is working with every hospital in the region to get them to identify what the capacity is that they can create when there is a dramatic increase in volume. Hospitals can create extraordinary capacity. So we are aggregating all of the potential bed availability that can be made available by all of the hospitals.


So then we know exactly how many beds we will be able to have, which I believe will be a lot. Then we have to make sure that we had the staff and we had the supplies. This is something that hospitals do, as I said, on an ongoing basis. It's not unique to them. And if the hospital capacity is not large enough, then we will have to create facilities outside the hospital to add to that capacity.

BERMAN: Where? What kind of facilities? What kind of facilities --

DOWLING: And all of that is being done.

BERMAN: What kind of facilities are you talking about outside the hospital?

DOWLING: Well, you -- you can talk -- and every facility has other buildings. Every hospital has buildings next to them that they can create. I'm not going to identify at the moment what those buildings are. But that will be done pretty shortly. And once we actually are able to identify all of that, which will happen very, very, very quickly, I believe that we will be prepared.

BERMAN: We saw Governor Cuomo with that chart talking about this wave cresting.


BERMAN: When? When do you think that might happen? We heard from emergency room doctors live in real-time yesterday on our show saying they were already seeing people coming in fast and furious.

DOWLING: Well, we -- we haven't seen that spike in volume yet. Everybody suggests that sometime at the end of April, that could be the possibility that we see a large spike. So that's why between now and then we obviously have to be as prepared as we can possibly be. That's what we're spending all of our time doing these days.

BERMAN: Talk to me about --

DOWLING: But, remember, it's also connected --

BERMAN: I understand.

DOWLING: But it's also connected to what the public does as well.


DOWLING: In the meantime, it's not just the hospitals.

BERMAN: We are all on the frontlines of this battle. There's no question. We all have to be our own public health officials in some ways. DOWLING: Right. Right.

BERMAN: Equipment, ventilators, we know, we're very concerned. Dr. Sanjay Gupta talks about it every day that we don't have enough in this country.


BERMAN: Where does New York stand? Do you feel like you have enough and how will you get more?

DOWLING: We are doing everything possible right now using every resource that we can possibly find and every source we can possibly find to get the supplies that we need. I would agree that we do in this country have a shortage. How we deploy that, what we currently have, how we deploy that in the areas, like the hotspots, where we -- we will have the biggest surges immediately, those -- those ventilators and other things will have to be deployed to those areas.

So we are working very deliberately at the moment to make sure that we have as many vents as we can possibly get. The same with masks. The same with gloves. The same with gowns, et cetera.

BERMAN: Michael Dowling, we really appreciate your time.

DOWLING: So that's what we're doing and --

BERMAN: We wish you the best luck.

DOWLING: Thank you so much.

BERMAN: Please, let us know how we can help get the message out going forward.

DOWLING: Appreciate it. Thank you.

BERMAN: You're doing really, really unprecedented and important work right now. So we appreciate it.


CAMEROTA: Joe Biden is closer than ever this morning to capturing the Democratic nomination. What's next for Bernie Sanders? We discuss, next.



CAMEROTA: Former Vice President Joe Biden winning big in Arizona, Florida and Illinois last night. He has an almost insurmountable lead over Bernie Sanders in the delegate race now. He has 1,086 to Sanders 772.

So what is next for Sanders?

CNN's Phil Mattingly breaks down the numbers for us.

So what happened last night, Phil?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, look, if you had the answer to that question, what's next for Sanders, you'd be really important and popular right now, Alisyn, there's no question about it. It's one everybody wants to know.

And let me explain why. Look, over the course of the last couple of weeks, it has become clear, Joe Biden is the favorite, bordering on prohibitive favorite. And last night seemed to lock that down for good.

Here's why. Look at the largest delegate haul of the night, the state of Florida. Joe Biden was expected to win this state. The Sanders campaign was not expecting a good performance here. But this was a blowout performance. Take a look at the state. All you see is dark blue. That means Joe Biden won every single county in the state of Florida. Something Hillary Clinton, who also won big in Florida in 2016, was unable to do.

Now, let's flip up to Illinois. Here's another comparison that's worth watching. Take a look at that. All of the dark blue, you see Bernie Sanders currently winning in one county. Back in 2016, Hillary Clinton won the state of Illinois, but look at all the light blue here. Joe Biden winning, winning white voters, winning non-white voters, winning college educated voters, winning voters without college degrees. Kind of a cross the board a coalition we've seen with the exception of younger voters over the course of the last three weeks.

And it was the same story in Arizona. Flip it to 2020 and you see Joe Biden, again, with a very sizable lead. And, obviously, all three of these states have been called by CNN.

Let me explain what this all means. Alisyn, you hit on kind of the top line numbers that matter the most right now. Joe Biden, 1,086 delegates. That means he's more than halfway to the 1,991 he needs to clinch the nomination.

Perhaps most importantly, right now he's more than 300 delegates ahead of Bernie Sanders. At this point in time, there is no historical precedent for a primary candidate coming back from down by more than 300 delegates.

The reality is, based on what we've seen over the course of the last three weeks, based on what we've seen of the coalition that Joe Biden has put together across the state, some in the northwest, winning states in the northeast nobody expected him to win and how he's been able to do that has essentially put an end to this race to some degree with one exception, Bernie Sanders has not put an end to this race.

I think one of the last thing to pay attention to right now, if you want to look at the math going forward, up to this point, Joe Biden has won more than 55 percent of the pledged delegates that are out there. That means he can win less than half of the delegates remaining and still clinch the nomination at this point. Bernie Sanders has won less than 40 percent of the delegates up to this point. He has an enormous hill to climb.

And there's no real idea of what states he can do it in. First, there's a lot of concern about who is going to be voting when given the primaries that have already moved. And the last real state, at least in the near term, that Bernie Sanders can focus on, that his team might want to focus on, would be Wisconsin.


But even that, based on what Joe Biden has done in the Midwest, seems to be a questionable guess at best.


BERMAN: Phil Mattingly, thank you very much. Just one amendment to something you said. Alisyn Camerota is both important and popular already.


CAMEROTA: Thank you, John. Thank you.

MATTINGLY: That's -- yes, that's -- that's a --

CAMEROTA: If there's one thing we can all agree on this morning.

MATTINGLY: Yes, that's a good -- that's a good save, John. Well done.

BERMAN: All right, Phil, thank you very much.

I've been married a long time. I know how this stuff works.

So, the best in people coming out of this escalating public health crisis. An NBA star donating money to support arena staff suddenly out of work. We're going to bring you all these acts of kindness ahead.


BERMAN: Developing this morning, the European Union taking unprecedented action to try to contain the coronavirus pandemic there, sealing its borders and banning travelers from outside the block for 30 days.


Spain is one of the hardest hit countries in the EU. It's now on partial lockdown. The number of cases there has surged to close to 12,000 with more than 500 people now dead.

CNN's Scott McLean is live in Madrid at a military base.

And, Scott, I have to say, what a sight there behind you. Can you explain what's going on?

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely. So this is a sterile military production facility, John, which is exactly why I am wearing this. Normally this area would produce things -- all kinds of drugs for Spanish troops who are going to be posted abroad for hospitals over there. Now, though, they've been asked to produce only two things, hand sanitizer gel and paracetamol, what we know in the United States as acetaminophen or Tylenol.

So this is the part -- through a couple rooms back there, they're actually producing the capsules themselves. And then, obviously, they're put into the blister packs and then from here this is just where they're getting put into boxes and then eventually shipped out. So this is the least sterile part of the process, which is exactly why we're allowed to be here at this stage.

Obviously, the government is concerned the longer that this goes on, perhaps there may be shortages in these types of things and so they want to make sure that the hospitals are well-stocked.

The government seems to be pretty well on a wartime footing, John, based on their actions. The military has been called in not only to use their production facilities like this, but they've also been asked to clean train stations, bus stations, to patrol the streets as well.

The number of deaths has nearly doubled since the weekend, almost 500 now. Now more than 11,000 confirmed cases total in this country. We should have a better update on those numbers just in the next few minutes, actually.

This lockdown has really taken a hit on the Spanish economy. Yesterday, the prime minister announced a $200 billion bailout package in aid for the economy. He said that no one will lose their home because of this coronavirus outbreak. He's also extending $100 billion line of credit to businesses to make sure no one goes under.

And one other thing that they're doing, that I thought was quite interesting, is changing the rules around corporate ownership to make sure that Spanish companies aren't bought out at a low price to some foreign companies. So they want to make sure that Spanish companies stay Spanish at the end of this. That $200 billion -- or euros, I should say, that is the largest injection of cash into the Spanish economy in this country's history.

John. Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: Scott, hand sanitizer obviously in huge demand. We've also heard for many days now from doctors that they are desperate here in the U.S. for protective gear, for surgical masks, for gloves, for the type of gown that you basically are wearing there. Are they going to expand production there at that facility, things beyond hand sanitizer and the acetaminophen?

MCLEAN: So I'm not sure that this specific facility has the capacity to do that. But you are right, Alisyn, Spain just took in a donation of about half a million face masks for its health care workers that are now being distributed across the country. The Spanish government has also said that if you are a company that

has the capacity to manufacture any type of medical supplies, face masks, gloves, gowns like this, then you need to let the government know perhaps with the idea that they may be asked to produce that specifically for this outbreak. It has also asked any companies -- told any companies, I should say, that if they have supplies of face masks or anything like that for sale, they must be turned over to the government so that they can be distributed to the hospitals across the country.

BERMAN: Right.

MCLEAN: Clearly, they're not taking any chances with this virus.

BERMAN: All right, Scott McLean for us in Madrid. And I think this is a really important thing for Americans to see this morning. A military effort to produce hand sanitizer. It is the type of thing now that many people, many leaders in the United States say we need to see here. We need to see this nationwide effort in every sector to get us the things that we need. The military now making hand sanitizer.

CAMEROTA: Yes. I mean there it is, in action. We watched it.

BERMAN: All right, there are officials concerned this morning that Americans are not heeding the warnings over the coronavirus pandemic.

NEW DAY continues right now.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're taking aggressive action now as one nation and one family so that America can rebound stronger.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's now just time to absorb and recognize that we need to change our behaviors.

We will get back to the life that we have lived.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: Don't get the attitude, well, I'm young, I'm invulnerable. You don't want to put your loved ones at risk, particularly the ones who are elderly and have compromised conditions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody's invincible. We need you to show real rigor here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People were being responsive and realizing this is like no other moment in our recent history.



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.