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California Governor Orders Entire State to Stay Home; New York City to Run Out of Medical Supplies in 2-3 Weeks; Florida Opens Mobile Hospital, Drive-Thru Testing Sites; Senate Democrats, GOP and White House Officials Meet on Stimulus; Hospital Workers Battle Supply Shortages as Outbreak Grows; Kevin Hassett to Return to White House in Advisory Role. Aired 9-9:30a ET
Aired March 20, 2020 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. I'm Poppy Harlow. It is Friday, March 28th, and all of our lives once again turned upside down. So much different than just a week ago.
The headlines on this pandemic are moving as quickly as the outbreak. So here is where we begin this morning. California's governor overnight ordering all 40 million people in that state, the entire state, to stay home. Governor Gavin Newsom predicting 56 percent of California's population will be infected with coronavirus in eight weeks.
Here in New York City, the mayor says hospitals are on track to run out of key medical supplies like masks, some ventilators in two to three weeks if immediate action is not taken. And across the country the same story, officials sounding the alarm as crucial tools needed to treat patients and protect medical teams are running out.
And as more testing becomes available, more cases are confirmed. Today, the U.S. stands at over 13,000 confirmed cases. This time just one week ago it was just around 1600 cases. It gives you a sense of the magnitude and the speed of which this is developing.
And this morning on Capitol Hill, negotiations kick off on a trillion- dollar stimulus plan, attempting to stem the economic fallout of this pandemic. This comes as Goldman Sachs is predicting a startling number. They expect that over two million people filed unemployment claims this week alone. That would be the highest level in a single week on record.
That's where we begin this morning, let's start in California, our Kyung Lah joins us in Los Angeles.
This order overnight by Governor Newsom, what does it mean for every person in California, what they can do and what they can't do.
KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, let's just start by saying what it looks like here in California, Poppy. And that will begin to answer some of your questions. I'm in a commercial district in Pasadena, California, and this is an area I'm familiar with, I don't live that far away from here, it's 6:00 a.m. here in California. Normally the street would have boxcars, all standing along the medians, deliveries beginning, people out getting their morning coffee.
None of that is happening. Residents here, 40 million of them, in America's most populous state, ordered to stay home, to not go shopping, to not go to businesses and to not go to school or to work. If they do try to go out anywhere, a lot of the nonessential businesses have been closed. That is per the governor's stay-at-home order. Take a listen to the governor's announcement.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D), CALIFORNIA: A state as large as ours, nation state, is many parts. But at the end of the day, we're one body. There's a mutuality and there's a recognition of our interdependence that requires of this moment that we direct a statewide order for people to stay at home. But we are confident that the people of the state of California will abide by it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAH: The governor came to this decision through simple math. At the rate that California was seeing the virus spread, the governor believes that within eight weeks, 56 percent of this state would have the coronavirus.
Poppy, that would be a shortage looking at how many people have to go to the hospitals, a shortage of 20,000 hospital beds -- Poppy.
HARLOW: Wow. Kyung Lah, thank you very, very much. A sobering reality there.
Now here in New York City, where we've learned that supplies are very quickly running out, Athena Jones has more.
The prediction here from Mayor de Blasio is unfathomable to so many.
ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Poppy. That's right. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is saying that the city could run out of supplies in the next two to three weeks, and he's demanding federal help to replenish supplies, saying we can't leave our health care workers vulnerable.
The mayor says I can't tell you what day, but in two or three weeks' time we're going to need to have had a very substantial resupply. Listen to what more of what the mayor had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D), NEW YORK: For the month of March, we have the supplies that we need. The federal government has essentially two weeks to get us major resupply or the people in New York City are going to be in much greater danger. (END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: And when it comes to that resupply, the numbers of items the city's mayor says they need is staggering. Take a look at this. 3.95 million masks, 50 million surgical masks, 15,000 ventilators, and 45 million each of surgical gowns, coveralls, pairs of gloves and face masks.
And just as a sign of how quickly moving this situation is, that number, the last number of items, the personal protective equipment, that number of what the city says they need went up just in a matter of hours. They originally asked for 25 million. The mayor really putting pressure on the federal government to step up with these supplies -- Poppy.
HARLOW: OK. Athena Jones, thank you very much.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York City's mayor, will join us in just about half an hour. We'll ask him more of these questions.
Let's get to our Leyla Santiago, she is in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, where they're opening up mobile hospitals and drive-through testing centers.
I mean, Florida is in such a predicament particularly because you have so many young people going there, right, for spring break and not heeding these warnings and then such a -- one in five people in population as you always note are older.
LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. Right, yes, we were in Clearwater yesterday, where we were on the beaches and we could see those younger folks out there. I should not that Pinellas County did decide to close that down. And today we are in Pembroke Pines where they are setting up a testing site or they have set up a testing site right behind me.
And I want to show you video that I just took just a few minutes ago that shows the very long line of cars at the entrance. Folks that are coming to this testing site, hoping to get a test for coronavirus.
Now I'm also going to step out of the way, so we can get a little bit of a closer shot and you can see what we've already seen, which is the National Guard out here, health care workers out here, people now ready to try to test folks that feel that they need to be tested.
So the governor was here yesterday and he said that they are ready to start off with 4,000 collection swabs and that's just to start. He very much admitted that they're seeing the biggest crunch and demand for medical supplies that the state and quite frankly the country has ever seen.
So what is going to happen here? They have those swabs, thousands of them, and that's to start. We don't know exactly how long that will last. Then they will send that off to a private lab for testing. How long that will take, we'll have to wait and see. But what they are asking folks is that you don't come here to be tested if you are not one of a few people that fall under the categories of 65 and up, health care workers, someone who whose immune system has been compromised or someone who was in a cruise ship or an area with direct -- possible direct contact with someone who has coronavirus -- Poppy.
HARLOW: Leyla, thank you for that reporting.
Let's talk about all that has happened overnight. With me is Dr. Colleen Kraft, the associate chief medical officer at Emory University Hospital and Dr. Gigi El-Bayoumi, professor of medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine and Health.
Good morning, doctors. Thank you both for being here. I'd like you to listen to -- again, to Mayor de Blasio of New York City, who emphasizes how urgent the need is for just basic supplies. Here he was just yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DE BLASIO: I have talked to the top health officials in the city and they're saying there is a point in the first week or second week of April, when they're just going to literally run out of the things they need to save lives. It's as simple as that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: Dr. El-Bayoumi, that is a startling reality in America. But that is where we are in the nation's most densely populated city. Where does this leave us?
DR. GIGI EL-BAYOUMI, PROFESSOR OF MEDICINE, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY: Well, it leaves us so that we are already having a problem with an already stressed system. Don't forget that nothing else stops. We still take care of patients with cancer, with heart failure, with emphysema, so this is -- this is a real issue, this is no joke.
HARLOW: Absolutely. Dr. Kraft, we heard from Dr. Anthony Fauci who is leading this effort on the medical side, last night say that even after this coronavirus outbreak is suppressed, whenever that happens, a recurrence is, quote, "likely, not inevitable, but likely," meaning it can mutate, there can be different strains.
Will there be enough sort of herd immunity if you will or what will that look like for us?
DR. COLLEEN KRAFT, ASSOCIATE CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, EMORY UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL: It's really hard to tell when we're a couple of months into this outbreak what it's going to look like. I wanted to add on and say that many hospitals are very -- working very hard to conserve their resources. So when we hear these predictions, many of us are really looking towards how we can, you know, sort of conserve different measures we can take with other diagnostic testing and how we can use other fragile resources.
In terms of herd immunity, I think that we -- you know, it's going to become like another typical seasonal coronavirus and that's probably what he's alluding to, is that these may never go away, they're introduced into the population.
HARLOW: Dr. Bayoumi, I think we're not talking enough about the most vulnerable population, so when you see California essentially locked down, stay home, what does that mean for so many homeless people especially in San Francisco, Los Angeles? What does it mean for those who are food insecure, the tens of millions of Americans? How much more will this weigh on those people?
EL-BAYOUMI: Well, here in Washington, D.C. it really does strain the system.
Fortunately we have the Capital Area Food Bank, Food and Friends, and Martha's Table where my brother is volunteering, but we are really reliant on volunteers, on donations. The other day Dr. Catherine Crosland who runs our homeless clinic at Unity Health Systems called me up because they were not getting enough food for the homeless patients. So I called my friend, Mr. George Munz at the Ritz Carlton down the street from us, and he said, you know what, because we're shutting down, we have a lot of food, so they got connected.
So I think that we really have to look at ourselves as interconnected. I think we're always talking about that, but I think this is sadly a real example, but that's the silver lining of this.
HARLOW: We heard from the president in the White House briefing yesterday that he is urging and working with the FDA to try to fast- track some of these antivirals that may be effective. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have to remove every barrier. There were a lot of barriers that were unnecessary. And they have done that to get the rapid deployment of safe effective treatments and we think we have some good answers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: One that they're looking at, Dr. Kraft, is as you know an anti-malaria drug. Can you -- the FDA was quick to sort of jump in and qualify softly the president's statement there, we need to make sure it's done safely, et cetera. What does it actually -- is that a good idea to ease some of these typical restriction on the FDA to try to fast track some of this stuff?
KRAFT: I think we have to balance this with trying to keep our patients safe. So we don't want to be giving things that have side effects and have no benefit. So while some of these -- this placebo controlled clinical trial that we tend to do to show efficacy, I think those still need to be implemented so that we can make sure that we're not doing anything harmful to our patients and -- or that it has no benefit for them. HARLOW: Dr. El-Bayoumi, very quickly, is there anything that people
can look forward to that could be similar to a Tamiflu, for example, that might lessen the impact? Right? You're still going to get it, but it might not be as severe?
EL-BAYOUMI: Well, the small trial out of China looked at chloroquine, the drug that the president mentioned, but it was in people who are already infected. I think we have people working around the clock, around the world, to test already existing drugs. Remember the best thing is actually immunization, so Dr. Peter Hotez down in Baylor is actually -- has been working since 2016, but unfortunately his funding at that time was cut off. So we're looking at existing drugs and there is a fast track within the FDA. There is also something called compassionate use.
HARLOW: Yes, that's true.
Doctors, thank you, both, very, very much. Appreciate your time this morning.
Still to come, minutes from now, lawmakers will attempt to negotiate the details of the $1 trillion stimulus package that has been proposed by Senate Republicans. There are already some signs of disagreement here. Will this thing get through and in what form? We'll talk about that.
And also just unprecedented, Goldman Sachs is predicting this morning that more than two million people could file for unemployment benefits this week alone. That would be a record high in a single week.
And a survivor's story, last week Clay Bentley showed us firsthand what it's like in isolation with coronavirus. Well, today he is home and he'll join us live.
HARLOW: All right, so back to the negotiating table. And in just a few minutes, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Democrats and several top administration officials are expected to meet, hoping to hammer out a compromise on this one trillion dollars stimulus package. Here's what Senator McConnell told our Dana Bash about why Senate Republicans put together this on their own, and now only Democrats are getting to weigh in. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): The Republicans are in the majority in the Senate. We wanted to put forward our proposal, we feel like we have an obligation to do that as a majority, and the Democrats, of course, need to be given an opportunity to react to it. This is the quickest way to get it done, trust me. This is the quickest way to get it done.
(END VIDEO CLIP) HARLOW: There will be some Democrats at the meeting today, we'll see
if they can hash something out. They do have some key differences on where this money should go. Let's talk about big picture here, I'm joined by Jeremy Konyndyk; a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development. He's also the former director of the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, he served in the Obama administration. It's nice to have you, Jeremy, thank you for the time.
JEREMY KONYNDYK, FORMER DIRECTOR, USAID OFFICE OF U.S. FOREIGN DISASTER ASSISTANCE: My pleasure, thank you.
HARLOW: You say this is the tip of the iceberg, and you expressed concern earlier this week, just a few days ago, when you were asked if you're confident that the government is using every available resource to combat this. What more could they be doing on a federal level that's not being done?
KONYNDYK: Well, I think there's a lot they could be doing, and I think there's a lot they had needed to be doing since really the middle to end of January. You know, we're -- we lost about two months of time, and we could have been prepping our hospitals, we could have been targeting additional protections to high risk populations.
You know, we've seen what happened in nursing home in Kirkland, Washington. That sort of thing remains a risk and a lot of nursing homes around the country. You know, there is a lot of support that's needed at a local level, and a lot of the action has to happen at a local level. But as we're hearing from governors and mayors, they can't do that on their own. They need support and guidance from the federal government, and they're not getting nearly enough of that.
HARLOW: So, let's focus on what is also being done right, right? What has been done right in the last few weeks, particularly that you think can be a guiding light going forward?
KONYNDYK: So, I think we have seen a lot of leadership from the state and local level. You know, governors are stepping up, mayors are stepping up, hospitals are, you know -- hospitals are scrambling, I think if they had gotten more of a heads-up earlier, they could have been in a better place.
They're now scrambling to try and get on top of and get ready for this surge in cases. You know, right now, there's not a lot that is going right yet. I think that some of the -- some of the actions that have been taken and announced, you know, activated in the defense production act and something like --
HARLOW: Right --
KONYNDYK: That. Those will be the right things, but they're not going to be delivering anything that they can change for -- you know, for weeks at --
HARLOW: Right -- KONYNDYK: The most optimistic. And so, you know, the challenge is
that the things that are going right take time, and that's why they needed to start earlier than they did.
HARLOW: Let's stick on that for a moment, the Defense Production Act, it came into existence in 1950 at a very different time. But the point was, you are able to essentially force companies to make the things that you need. So the president --
KONYNDYK: Yes --
HARLOW: Qualified it this week, by saying, look, we're only going to do this in a worst-case scenario. In your read, having the experience you do, is this that time for it to be implemented now? Is this worse- case scenario?
KONYNDYK: We were -- we were on -- we were well on our way to worst- case scenario several weeks ago. You know, the important thing to understand was how this disease works, is that whatever numbers we are seeing officially right now reflect -- you know, reflect transmission that was happening up to 10 days ago, because it takes about five days --
HARLOW: Yes --
KONYNDYK: For -- since from exposure to infection, and then more time for the infection to get serious enough for you to start showing up in the hospital system. And so, you know, whatever we're seeing now is a kind of 10-day old echo of what transmission was happening then. So where we're going to be in 10 days is what's happening right now.
And so, you know, to say, we'll wait for the worst-case scenario before we start triggering these things is insane. I mean, that just guarantees that wherever --
HARLOW: Yes --
KONYNDYK: We are by that point will be worse.
HARLOW: It's a very important point. We're going to have New York City Bill de Blasio on in just a few minutes. I'll ask him about that as well. Thank you, Jeremy, appreciate your time.
KONYNDYK: Thank you.
HARLOW: OK, on top of the health impact, the economy and the fallout out of a job running out of money, a surge in layoffs hitting so many Americans across the country, what can they do next? And as I mentioned, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio will be with me live, we'll get an update from him.
HARLOW: So yesterday, you heard a pretty dire prediction right here from the president's former top economist, Kevin Hassett. Listen to this. Of course --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEVIN HASSETT, FORMER CHAIRMAN OF COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVISORS: If it runs into the Summer and the Fall, then I think that we're going to have to either have a great depression or figure out a way to send people back to work.
HASSETT: By April, you're going to see the worst jobs number you ever saw, and that's a virtual certainty.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: Well, Hassett stepped down as the chairman of the Council of Economic advisors in June. This morning, I have learned that the president has asked him to return to the White House to advise him on the economy and the COVID-19 response. It's just a sign of how pressing the need is right now and what this means for our economy. We look forward to having Kevin join us again soon from the White House and wish that whole team luck.
A stunning sign of the toll of coronavirus on the economy. Goldman Sachs this morning predicts that more than 2 million Americans could file unemployment claims this week alone, that is eight times the number last week and it would be the highest on record. Our chief business correspondent Christine Romans is here with me now. This has moved as you know rightly from a market crisis --
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes --
HARLOW: To a job crisis.
ROMANS: A stock market crash to a job market crash is what I've been saying this morning. And a new phase here that affects everybody, every family. And in the garden variety recession, it hurts, but small and medium-size business owners, they tend to hold on to their employees as long as they can because they feel like they're going to get through it, right? They hold on as long as they can, that's not happening this time.
We are seeing layoffs spike here because business owners are looking at three months of an economy deliberately shut off. They know there won't be work, they know there won't be money coming in. So, this is a real test of American capitalism, we've never done this before, deliberately shut off the lights. And at this point, we're leaving small businesses to fend for themselves until we see exactly what comes out of Washington.
There's been a call by many in -- they're doing this in New Hampshire to a certain extent. If you're going to have the government press the pause button on the economy, maybe for people, real people, there has to be a pause button pressed on their bills. Because --
HARLOW: Yes -- ROMANS: How are they going to come out on the other side --
HARLOW: Yes --
ROMANS: Of this. So, there needs to be some real creative and urgent action in Washington. We got futures up right now, probably because you've seen stimulus around the world from central banks and governments --
HARLOW: Yes --
ROMANS: Promising to do something. But Mohamed El-Erian who has been on this program many times, he says, please be careful out there right now --
HARLOW: Yes --
ROMANS: There is a lot of uncertainty and we're in the midst of an economic experiment and a healthcare experiment we've never done before.
HARLOW: Experiment is a great way to put it. Thank you, Christine --
ROMANS: Yes --
HARLOW: I appreciate it. Let's hear from someone living this reality right now. Jen Shoemaker was just laid off from her job at a comedy club here in New York. It's closed of course because of the pandemic. And a little background here, Jen, you and I have known each other for years. You used to work at the local restaurant where I would go and bring my baby --
JEN SHOEMAKER, RECENTLY LOST HER JOB AT NEW YORK COMEDY CLUB: It's true --
HARLOW: When I was on maternity leave and you messaged me on Instagram --
SHOEMAKER: You like rose --
HARLOW: I do, I like rose in the evening. And you messaged me on Instagram, and you said, look, we're living a nightmare right now. So, just tell everyone what it is like for you and so many people.
SHOEMAKER: Oh, my gosh, it's literally a nightmare. Like, cannot get through to the unemployment, I've tried for four days, probably have spent about 30 hours alone just e-mailing and going through the process. The process is like the 1990s version of, like, internet explorer. And then you get through like two or three or six pages, and you're so excited because you got to six pages and then the system kicks you off.