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CNN RIGHT NOW
University of Texas' Annika Olson Discusses Officials Warning Young People "This Is Not a Vacation"; Coronavirus Updates from Around the World; Italy Surpasses China in Coronavirus Cases; Yolette Bonnet, CEO of FoundCare, Discusses Florida Drive-Thru Testing Center Running Short of Test Kits & No Longer Taking Appointments; U.S. Businesses on Verge of Changing Forever Amid Outbreak. Aired 1:30-2p ET
Aired March 19, 2020 - 13:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BRIANNE KEILAR, CNN HOST: Annika, I don't want us to -- I don't know. I want to address the fact that there's also young people out there who are doing the right thing.
ANNIKA OLSON, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR FOR RESEARCH, INSTITUTION FOR URBAN RESEARCH POLICY AND ANALYSIS, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS, AUSTIN: Sure.
KEILAR: I've heard of college students who are -- because they are home from school -- look, I know of a college student in a sort of my family whose taking care of grandma and self-quarantining with grandma to provide that social support that's needed and also making sure that everything is going right in the household around grandmas.
So there is also -- maybe you can speak to that. Is there a role for young people to play -- so it is not just do no harm, it is also like you can help out here with your family?
OLSON: Yes, I want to encourage the young people who are reacting. I completely agree. I see people every day that are delivering meals to senior citizens or helping out at home. I want to give kudos to those people.
We don't want to let a few people, not acting in an appropriate way and not social distancing, reflect an entire generation and impacting so many lives.
But there are plenty of ways to stay home and help. Call friends and family. Stay home and help your relatives. Bake them something and send it to them. There are plenty of ways young people can step up.
You know the faster we tackle this, the faster we can get to normal life and get back to those restaurants we love and back to those beaches we love.
KEILAR: That's right.
Annika Olson, thank you so much. It has been a grim milestone in Italy ha the country surpasses China
when it comes to the number of coronavirus deaths. We'll have more on that just ahead.
Plus, why Florida's first drive-thru testing was forced to stop taking appointments just days after opening.
KEILAR: Some welcome news out of China. For the first time, China is reporting no new domestic cases of the coronavirus. But in order for lockdown restrictions in Wuhan to be lifted, Chinese health experts say there needs to be 14 consecutive days of no new cases.
In France, health officials are finding that half of all coronavirus patients in intensive care are under the age of 60.
And Iran's health ministry says that one Iranian dies every 10 minutes from coronavirus.
More now from our CNN correspondents who are based around the world.
DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm David Culver, in Shanghai, where Chinese health officials are reporting their lowest number of locally transmitted cases of the novel coronavirus since the outbreak began.
That number is zero. They say zero new cases within Wuhan, the epicenter of all of this, and zero across mainland China. However, they are keeping close watch on imported cases.
Interestingly enough, China is now on a defensive of people bringing in the virus from other countries and potentially exposing those here in the Peoples' Republic.
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Scott McLean, on the very empty streets of the Spanish capitol where the headline is the death toll, which is now well over 750. The vast majority of those are here in Madrid. The total of number of cases is now over 17,000.
Keep in mind, the state is not testing people with mild symptoms. Those people are told to stay home. So the true number of infections is much higher.
This morning, the president of the Madrid region says she believes 80 percent of people in this area will eventually contract the virus.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I'm Matthew Chance, in London, where British authorities are finally stepping up their response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
There has been criticism that they were acting too slowly. But now Boris Johnson, the prime minister, is closing schools, curbing public transport and placing thousands of military personnel on standby to help contain the virus.
A talk of a lockdown where the virus is most severe is being played down by officials despite concerns that many Britains are not heeding the government's advice to distance themselves to avoid infection.
FRED PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Fred Pleitgen, in Berlin, where Chancellor Angela Merkel has made a dramatic appeal to the citizens of this country. In a rare TV address, she said that the coronavirus epidemic is the biggest crisis this country has faced since the end of the World War II.
Cases of coronavirus have spiked here in Germany the past couple of days. Germany is a country with the fifth most cases in the world.
KEILAR: Now there's a grim new milestone out of Italy. Italy reporting 3,400 deaths, 3,405 to be exact, from the virus, which surpasses China's death toll roughly 3,200. This makes Italy the deadliest center the of the pandemic.
I want to go to CNN's Barbie Nadeau in Rom.
Barbie, this is a stunning statistic, a stunning turn of events for Italians.
BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes. And Italians are not taking it well. They're in the middle of this lockdown, 16 million locked down, and they're hoping to see the number stabilizing and starting to go down and not up. It's been a difficult time for the Italians.
What we heard from a Chinese Red Cross official, who was in Italy, in northern Milan today, saying, you are not doing the lockdown right. You should not have public transportation. You should not let people in the grocery stores. No one should be on the streets.
So we're expecting in Italy with these numbers to rise, that the lockdown gets a little tighter and the country starts to react and take it more seriously.
We've got people still out on the streets that should not be. You should be out for the groceries or at pharmacies, walk your dog and that's it.
I think we'll see the government come down and really start enforcing those measures -- Brianna?
KEILAR: All right, Barbie, we'll be waiting to see if they do that soon. Thank you.
Overwhelmed and out of tests. We'll talk to a creator of the drive- thru testing facility in Florida about how they can't keep up with this demand. Plus, the economic dominos continue to fall. Jobless claims soaring as
more and more companies struggle with unprecedented restrictions and huge drops in demand.
Stay with us.
KEILAR: Now we continue to follow the latest development in the U.S. coronavirus outbreak. The number of cases in the U.S. topped the 10,900 mark. Two members of Congress are the latest to contract the virus.
The impact starting to affect businesses and consumers. One of the nation's most prestigious restaurant companies in New York, the Union Square Hospitality Group, just laid off 2,000 employees.
And the city of Atlanta has shuts down all bars and restaurants and other gathering spots. This is Georgia's entire state capital. It's under quarantine after a local lawmaker tested positive.
Stores like Walmart are cutting hours. And Netflix has been asked to slow down its streaming so that the Internet doesn't go down. And "American Idol," the latest national TV show to shut down. It has suspended its season.
It's the severe shortage of supplies that is keeping frontline medical workers across the country from testing for the coronavirus. FoundCare, a nonprofit facility in Florida, started the state's first free drive-thru testing station on Monday. A few days later, it was swamped. It ran out of testing kits, ran short, I should say, and is no longer taking new appointments.
Yolette Bonnet is the CEO of FoundCare, a nonprofit federally qualified health center there in Florida.
Yolette, thank you so much for joining us.
You are there and on the front line and trying to test and treat people with the coronavirus. Talk to me about what you are seeing on the ground.
YOLETTE BONNET, CEO, FOUNDCARE: OK. Well, bottom line is we started -- we made the decision, my board and my staff made the decision to test on Monday because the local government as well as providers and doctors and nurses were sending people to our health center because we are a nonprofit and qualified health center. So they were asking us to test their patients.
We realized that these people were new patients to us. We did not know why they were sending it to us. However, our mission is to serve.
And so instead of basically make the decision to not help the larger community and still safeguard our current patients and our staff, we took it outside and testing.
We did that with my committee, which included -- I have two daughters who are physicians and including my board members and my infectious disease doctors, and they were all counseling me on this. So the board agreed we would do that.
We worked the whole weekend to make it happen. Knowing that we did not all the supplies but, however, we figured, let's start small. We did not anticipate the volume.
I can tell you, we are about 150 to 160 staff. By last night, we received 15,000 calls. Our organization does not have the capacity to handle all of that. So we had 10 people working and trying to work from 8:00 to 8:00 p.m. at night answering these calls.
I can tell you that we made inroads. We have not stopped testing. However, we don't want to over promise and under deliver.
We ran out of kits but, luckily -- I want to thank you, Brianna, and all the media. I think that folks stepped up. And now they're trickling in. And I'm so happy to report that we don't have a problem with testing. It is just that we were missing our PPEs. It's called personal protective equipment --
KEILAR: That's right, the protective equipment, which is so concerning to front line workers, health care workers there.
KEILAR: I want to ask you a question. This is something that I think Americans, regular Americans out there are wondering. There are actors, like Rita Wilson, athletes, who have tested positive for the coronavirus.
The question is, how are they getting tested, how are the limited number of tests making their way to celebrities on the front line of testing. At yesterday's briefing, President Trump said that's been the story of life.
What do you make of the rich and famous maybe getting ahead of the line here for getting tested?
BONNET: Well, I can say that's probably beyond my pay grade. I'm just focusing on the people that we are screening through the different protocols that's set aside from the CDC.
And so, it's heart-wrenching, though, to turn people away. And some of them, when you hear the story as to why, and some of their stories, like I just traveled, I just got home, my mother lives with me, my children live with me, and I'm afraid to touch them. So, I do understand that it would be a great idea to test everybody. But with our limited supply, I suppose we have to pick. But I have no idea why others get tested. I couldn't answer that.
KEILAR: Yes, well, you are testing the folks that you can, there, in Florida.
KEILAR: Yolette Bonnet, thank you so much.
BONNET: Thank you, Brianna.
KEILAR: The job losses are piling up as companies reel from one precedented restrictions and a sudden lack of business.
Plus, the millions still working from home are putting an epic strain on the Internet. How Netflix is taking action to help ease the load.
KEILAR: The economic damage from the virus is accelerating at a rate that we haven't seen in years. Job losses skyrocketing as more and more cities shut down nonessential businesses and put extreme restrictions on others.
Airlines worldwide continue to announce unprecedented cuts to service. The nation's top automakers are shutting down plants indefinitely. And millions are now working from home. And this could all change the way that the world works forever.
CRISTINA ALESCI, CNN BUSINESS AND POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: The economy already feeling the impact of this virus. This is going to be probably the biggest test for President Trump, his presidency, and possibly his re-election.
Look, all advisers are saying we're headed towards a recession that's inevitable. It's just a matter of how hard and how long that will be.
Today, we got a glimpse of that. Weekly jobless claims jumped to 281,000. That's not a good sign. That's why the president wants to push the aid relief through Congress, a trillion dollars in cash to Americans and relief to U.S. businesses.
He's also directing the Energy Department to buy oil, support the price of oil, and help domestic producers.
But we're going to have to see how this impacts him politically.
ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: I'm Alison Kosik, at the New York Stock Exchange. And I'm watching volatile swings of hundreds of points on the Dow following yesterday's drop that erased all of the Dow gains since Donald Trump became president. That's three years of stock market gains gone. Fear continues to drive the volatile trading action. Not only is it
uncertain when the number of coronavirus cases will slow down, it's hard for anyone to know how much of a blow the virus will have on the U.S. economy, on businesses, on households.
Already, last week, jobless claim numbers spiked. That number is expected to pale in comparison to the job losses we could see in the weeks to come.
VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS AND POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: We are just starting to get a sense of what unemployment looks like right now in America. The Department of Labor just releasing new numbers. And 281,000 weekly jobless claims -- that's for last week -- up 70,000 from the week prior.
And that is because of what you're seeing behind me. These stores are shuttered. Here in Manhattan, some say that they'll be shuttered indefinitely. They're having to lay off employees.
And they're looking to the federal government for that stimulus package to see what kind of help they're going to be able to get to get them through these trying times.
KEILAR: Everyone, thank you so much.
A damning new report from the "New York Times" showing the Trump administration was warned last year that the U.S. was not ready for a pandemic. We'll have details ahead.
Plus, any moment now, we will hear from President Trump as he meets with the nation's governors and emergency officials from FEMA.
Stay with us.