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Markets Struggling Under Weight of COVID-19 Fears; U.S. Republican Senate Leader Defends Stimulus Plan; Iranian Authorities: COVID-19 Death Every Ten Minutes; China Shares Lessons with Hard Hit Europe; Maintaining Good Mental Health During Isolation; California Orders 40 Million Residents To Stay Home; France Confinement Likely To Be Extended; China Reports No New Locally Transmitted Cases For 2nd Day. Aired 1-2a ET
Aired March 20, 2020 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Paula Newton and this is CNN NEWSROOM. We are tracking a lot of fast-moving developments here on the coronavirus pandemic right now for you though. First this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): This is not a permanent state. This is a moment in time and we will meet this moment together.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: Entire state of California, 40 million people in lockdown in hopes of slowing the spread of this virus. A deadly milestone meantime in Italy as the number of people killed in that country tops that of China for the first time since the outbreak began. And a terrifying development in Iran where officials are reporting one death from the virus every 10 minutes.
And the big news this hour, California's governor is ordering all 40 million people in the state to stay home, the entire state. They want to try and stop the spread of the Coronavirus. Gavin Newsom says experts predict 56 percent of Californians will be infected with the virus over the next eight weeks, undeniably an absolutely staggering number.
The Shelter in Place Order is in fact now open-ended, no end date. Grocery stores, pharmacies, and banks will stay open but the move is bound to have a devastating impact on the state's economy which is larger than that of the U.K.
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NEWSOM: This is not a permanent state. This is a moment in time. And we will meet this moment together. And we will look back at these kinds of decisions as pivotal decisions. If we're to be criticized at this moment, let us be criticized for taking this moment seriously. Let us be criticized for going full force and meeting this virus head- on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: Joining me now on the line Mayor Sam Liccardo of San Jose, California. And thanks for joining us. This had to be a difficult decision in terms of what's behind it. You know, what was the thinking in California in communities like yours that said, look, this is too much now. We have to continue to lockdown. And I understand that, obviously, in that Bay Area, people were already in the shelter in place order.
SAM LICCARDO (D), MAYOR, SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA: That's right. We had probably about four and a half million people already in that situation here in the Bay Area. And it was inevitable. That would have to happen statewide. And I'm grateful that the governor moved to act when he did, because we can see the trajectory of the infection rate here and the death rate, and we need to do something dramatic to change that trajectory.
NEWTON: Will this work though? I mean, what do your numbers tell you in terms of how many cases you have now, and how you'll be able to treat those people when you look at your frontline staff and equipment in hospitals?
LICCARDO: Well bluntly, the projections that I'm aware of tell me that we are going to exceed the capacity bar, our medical infrastructure to respond. And that's a nice way of saying that, frankly, treatment is going to be allocated in ways that are going to be very sick people without adequate care. And so, the best we can do is to try to mitigate that and shorten that period of time where very sick people are not getting the care they need.
NEWTON: Just so I understand you, Mayor Liccardo, you've pretty much laid it on the line there. There will be difficult decisions to be taken. And you're saying even with this lockdown, you're saying those decisions will still have to be made. It's inevitable that health care system will be overwhelmed.
LICCARDO: Based on where we are today. That is what I seem to -- that's what I've learned certainly from multiple sources. But I'm not an epidemiologist, and I certainly hope I'm wrong. But in either case, I think the decision is warranted. We have to do everything we can mitigate the extent of that harm. And hopefully the decision today will be able to really flatten the curve.
NEWTON: Yes, as one health officer said today, we don't need to, you know, flatten out, we need to plank it. And I think when you look at your numbers, and you're so alarmed, you can see why. Do you believe that more resources are needed from the federal government? What would you tell the Trump administration and what have -- has the state been telling them about what you can do to actually be able to have all the health support that you need?
LICCARDO: Well, I think it's atrocious that, you know, a nation like South Korea can be testing 15,000, 20,000 people a day, and we're struggling to get to even hundreds a day in a region as large as California. It's obvious that we need dramatically more resources and testing.
We know that even if we are successful in being able to slow the spread of this virus, we're going to need to get out there and do what epidemiologists have been telling us to do from across the globe for some time, which is do the testing, do the contact tracing, get people into isolation, so we can really stall the spread.
NEWTON: Do you have faith in California that they will heat by this? I mean, I've been talking to people, there's an economic cost here, and that economic costs also spills over into people's wellbeing. There's going to be a very difficult time for a lot of California. And I know already a lot of folks are suffering in my own community.
But you know, there are generations in history that have experienced extraordinary hardship, a great depression, World War II. We all know those accounts and they somehow found a way to rise to that moment. And this is our moment. And I confident that we can amid all the comments here find some uncommon valor.
NEWTON: Sobering conversation. Mayor Liccardo, we'll continue to watch California and obviously a hope that as you said, the predictions that we have will not come to fruition. Mayor Liccardo, thanks so much. I appreciate it.
LICCARDO: Good to be with you. Stay healthy.
NEWTON: You as well. Now -- yes, that was really quite an alarming conversation. But we have in fact other major coronavirus developments to tell you about. First, the U.S. State Department is telling Americans not to travel abroad and the Trump administration is considering possibly, possibly, it's on the table, grounding many or all domestic flights.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, meantime, is warning medical supplies are running low there too as they were in California. He says, there's enough to get through only this month. But the city is looking at a serious shortage by the beginning of April.
Meantime, Iran's Health Ministry says one person is dying every 10 minutes in that country, with another 50 people being infected every hour. And in Italy, the death toll from Coronavirus is now more than 3,400, surpassing even China. CNN Senior International Correspondent Jim Bittermann is standing by outside Paris -- outside Paris. But we want to begin now with International Security Editor Nick Payton Walsh.
And Nick, beginning with you, it has been really profound to see how quickly the change in posture and messaging has changed in the U.K. Why now and what does the worst-case scenario in the U.K. tell them?
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: As far as we can tell, and the government haven't really outlined in detail the rationale behind the sudden shift in their posture, it seems to stem from new modeling done by scientists in the U.K. that informed United States decision making as well, that seemed to suggest that the Italian data they were getting showed many more people were going to need intensive care in hospitals than they had previously thought.
And that meant they had to go from hoping the virus would possibly spread in a controlled way through the population to outright trying to stop its movement at all, a strategy known as suppression. That has led to a startling number of announcements over the past week. Economically, 300 billion British pounds being injected into the economy.
Today is the first day that schools will be closed for the majority of people. In fact, just in the last hours or so, the government have put out a list of the key workers they say who will still be able to send their children to school. But on top of that, as well, there been a lot of rumors, some of it frankly, reported in the mainstream media here suggesting that there could be a wider lockdown possibly, particularly here in the capital London.
There were suggestions that might involve broad restrictions on travel. The government came out yesterday morning and tamp that down immediately saying there was zero prospect of travel restrictions in and out of the capital, didn't necessarily comment on the possibilities. We might see shops or cafes or bars here restricted in what they're able to do.
The government also releasing legislation it hopes to pass which could potentially allow police to put people into quarantine by force over a matter of weeks. Things are changing here quickly, and London I think having been told by the Prime Minister here, Boris Johnson, that it was a few weeks ahead of the country, wondering whether or not it is literally on the brink of the kind of scenes that we've seen in northern Italy. Paula?
NEWTON: Yes. Really horrifying to think of. Nick, thank you for that. We're going to go to France now where Jim Bittermann is standing by. And Jim, French officials were blunt, right? They were calling out their own citizens for not observing the isolation, right, the directive to isolate. Are the French getting it now?
JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's up to President Macron is also calling out the way the citizens have been behaving here. They seem to be. They've upped the fines here now. You can be fined up to $700, 735 euros for breaking the rules about being out and about without the proper kind of authorization.
In any case, that's just one of the things going on here. There's a number of other things. They announced the number of cases overnight. And in fact, the number of cases here is almost touching 11,000 cases. The statistic, people are quick to point out that in fact, about 1,300 people have recovered. So just over 10 percent recovery, and that there are still 1,100 people in the ICU in the intensive care wards.
Other things going on here, the Cannes Film Festival, the very famous Cannes Film Festival, which brings in people from all over the world has been delayed. They're not sure when they're going to reschedule but it's not on for the moment. It's probably going to be rescheduled sometime in June and July.
Down on the south coast as well, we heard from the Principality of Monaco, and Prince Albert has said that he's tested positive. He says he's not suffering. He's going to work from home. Paula?
NEWTON: Yes, I mean, Jim, at this point, if something does go ahead and is not canceled, that's actually more shocking. Jim Bittermann there giving us an update on the situation in France. I appreciate it.
And now to Spain. Again, Madrid's regional president warns that 80 percent of the city's residents will eventually get the coronavirus, 80 percent. This comes as John Hopkins University reports the number of deaths across the country has risen past 800. Journalists Al Goodman has a look at how hotels are pitching in to help medical staff.
AL GOODMAN, JOURNALIST: This is one of the major hospitals in the Spanish Capitol, and Madrid has about half of all the coronavirus cases in Spain. And this hospital and others here in the capital are worried they may not have enough beds to handle these patients. So just down the street is a hotel that's closed because there are no clients.
Today it's reopening as a hospital, an auxiliary hospital to this one. It will take early and late-stage coronavirus patients who don't need intensive care but can't be at their home.
Like so many other hotels in Spain, this one has been closed. But now it's reopening for a new and very different kind of use. The coronavirus patients here will be taken care of by young doctors recently graduated from medical school, working with nurses and other medical personnel. Just in Madrid, 40 hotels have offered to participate in this program.
If authorities take them up on it. That would mean an additional 9,000 beds for coronavirus patience. That gives you an idea of the kinds of numbers that officials are planning for. They are working against the clock to get everything ready in time. Al Goodman, CNN, Madrid.
NEWTON: Dr. Celine Gounder joins me now. She's a CNN Medical Analyst, a clinical assistant professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases at the New York University School of Medicine. And, of course, the host of the Epidemic Podcast. Yet, we're into week two of pandemic already. In terms of the way you are seeing this now, and I'm going to speak specifically about the numbers in the United States, is it in line with what you expected to see, or much more grave at this point?
CELINE GOUNDER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Well, given how we've responded to this epidemic, this pandemic, it is very much in line with what I expected to see, because we're mimicking the same responses and patterns as other countries like they have in Italy and other parts of Europe. So it's really not surprising. We are still very much in the
exponential phase of this. And so I anticipate fully that in the next two, three weeks, we're going to see a huge spike in cases. We're just in the beginning of that right now.
NEWTON: And when you say just at the beginning and a huge spike in cases, the fact that everyone is trying to practice social distancing, you know, they're basically only on, you know, essential needs only, do you believe we will understand if that pandemic curve has been flattened within the next week or do you think we're looking more towards April to figure out if that's happened?
GOUNDER: Yes, I think it's going to take several weeks to figure out if we're having any impact. Because what you see today is really a reflection of what happened a week or two ago. So you're going to need to wait at least a week, if not longer. And then what you'll see is maybe a little bit of a decline, but to really see this flatten out and tail off is going to take much longer than that.
NEWTON: Wow. I mean, we have more disheartening news from Italy every day. Certainly, they are really not seeing any light here yet. In terms of those numbers, why not? Because it has been a good 10 days where they've put in extreme measures, and yet it's still the deaths and the cases still continue to spike?
GOUNDER: Well, again, what you're seeing in Italy is still a reflection of what was happening, you know, two weeks ago, so before they instituted extreme measures. And it really takes time because essentially the incubation period, time from exposure to time of disease can be as long as 14 days. So that's why there's this lag time between when you institute measures and when you actually see an impact.
And unfortunately, part of the additional problem is that the hospital systems are overrun. And then so you have a second place where you can be having lots of infections. Even if the community is shut down, the hospitals themselves become massive sites of transmission.
NEWTON: And I want to talk about that in terms of what's happening in Italy and everything we've heard about the lack of supplies and public health care workers absolutely inundated, and then bring it back here to North America on what's been going on, what the numbers specifically in the United States. I mean, the shortage of equipment, of beds, this is real, right? It was extraordinary.
I mean, the CDC today was saying if you run out of surgical masks, it's OK In an emergency to use a scarf or a bandana. I mean, what do you think of that, when you hear that?
GOUNDER: I find that to be incredibly alarming and incredibly upsetting to because I know there are people sitting at home with their own stashes, boxes of N-95 respirator masks. I know there are companies that have bought huge stashes of them for their employees, they're not the ones that need them. And the idea that we would be caring for patients in such intense settings, intense exposure, and we're supposed to order a bunch of bandanas on Amazon to protect myself.
I mean, literally, some of my colleagues today were talking about that. That's what they were doing. And to me, that is crazy that that is how we are undervaluing and treating healthcare workers who are really the ones that are going to dig us out of this situation.
NEWTON: And to that, in terms of preparedness, you know, in CNN here, we were talking to members of the Obama administration saying that in the handover, in the transition to the Trump administration, that they talked about these pandemic scenarios. Did you know that? Were you involved in any of that? I mean, we have to stop acting like this came out of nowhere, right?
GOUNDER: I mean, this definitely did not come out of nowhere. We had multiple experiences, H1N1, Zika, Ebola, you know, SARS, all of those should have taught us lessons that seemed not to have been retained. And yes, I was not involved in those practice exercises at the time of the handoff, but they were done it with very thorough, detail, and information as to what should be done.
Unfortunately, many of the Trump administration officials who were involved in those exercises are no longer there. So there is really no institutional memory and understanding of what was being transitioned and passed off.
NEWTON: And here we are. We will all have to work together, I think, to make sure we get on the other side of this and not have that nightmare scenario that they're, unfortunately, living through in Italy. Dr. Celine Gounder, thank you for joining us. I really appreciate it.
GOUNDER: Yes, my pleasure.
NEWTON: China is reporting no new locally transmitted cases for a second straight day. Yes, I'm going to put a fine point on it. That's good news. It's now shifting its focus to preventing travelers from bringing the virus into the country. Steven Jiang is in Beijing and joins us live.
OK, we've got day two. From what you've told me before, Steven, it's 12 to go, right? That's how many days they would like to see zero infections from, you know, local transmission community spread before declaring victory. And yet, you know, is China really -- are they looking back on this and really assessing what kind of cost it's had on its people and its economy?
STEVEN JIANG, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER: That's right, Paula. Both the economic and human costs have been enormous. Of course, when it comes to human cost, one name that really stood out was this young doctor Dr. Li Wenliang. He was a young ophthalmologist in Wuhan who was trying to send an early alarm about this virus but was only silenced by local authorities.
And his death of this from this virus on February 7th really triggered nationwide outrage. I mentioned this because a highly anticipated report from national investigators into his death was finally released on Thursday night, but it was quite a letdown, disappointing a lot of people across the nation judging from social media reactions.
Basically, the national investigators did not address any of these questions, any of the burning questions in the minds of many people, including us who ordered the silencing of the doctor and other whistleblowers and why, as well as addressing any of these deeper issues surrounding the initial mishandling of this crisis or even alleged cover-up.
So they only found two low-level police officers responsible because they apparently took inappropriate action against the doctor and they were slapped on the wrist. One received a demerit, the other received a warning. So I think this issue, of course, is even made more relevant right now because of this war of words between China and the U.S.
As you know, U.S. President Trump has been insisting on calling this virus the Chinese virus saying the Chinese authorities did not inform their U.S. counterparts early enough to give other countries enough time to prepare for this pandemic now. But of course, the Chinese have been working hard to push out their own narrative of propaganda to cast doubt on the origin of this virus.
And I think the report the investigative result, Dr. Li is really made this issue all the more broader and meaningful again, Paula.
NEWTON: Yes. And again, you know, you reported at the time just how outraged -- much outrageous they can show on social media. There was a lot of empathy and of course, outrage about this doctor. And I'm glad that we're talking about this because depending on which country you're in, seven to 10 percent of all those infected are frontline health care workers. Think about that, frontline health care workers.
We have people now in Europe and the United States and Canada just starting to deal with that whole scenario, you know, having to work all those long hours and coming to their homes. In terms of the toll that it has taken on the Chinese medical community there, is there any coming to terms with that? Because we also heard in the early days from China and the fact that yes, a lot of their frontline health -- public health, people were ill and severely ill with this and some died.
JIANG: That's why several thousand were infected on the front lines, including doctors from this very hospital Dr. Li worked in. And that was one of the hardest-hit hospitals actually, because of the initial alleged to cover up. So, this is still very much a very, very important issue on the minds of many people. So they really wanted the government to get to the bottom of this.
I think that's why this report released by the investigators was such a disappointment. But I think on the other hand, as you were saying, the government -- from the government perspective, they're trying to move on. They're trying to shift the focus including these increasing number of imported cases that you were saying. That's why they have adopted some new measures as well, including diverting some Beijing bound international flights to nearby cities to have the health screenings done there instead of in Beijing.
So now passengers need to clear immigration customs at their first point of entry, then only those deemed healthy will be allowed to board their aircraft again to fly into Beijing. So as we were saying, this is definitely not over here yet, and they're very much concerned about second wave of new infections coming from overseas. Paula?
NEWTON: Yes, and the infectious disease doctors warn us, complacency really is the enemy at this point in time. Steven Jiang, I appreciate it. Now the coronavirus is threatening both lives and economies. Coming up, we'll talk about the global impact of what lies ahead as daily commerce around the globe grinds to a halt.
Plus, the Olympic flame arrives in Japan amid calls from world leaders and athletes alike to postpone those games. The latest from Tokyo ahead.
NEWTON: The Olympic flame has made its way to Japan. Just a few hours ago, it arrived at an air base north of Sendai. It now begins a 120- day trek across the country. This comes amid calls sadly to cancel the game's outright. On Thursday, U.S. President Donald Trump said he talked to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe earlier this week, but said Mr. Abe hadn't made a decision one way or the other as to whether they would postpone or cancel the Olympics.
We want to bring in journalists Kaori Enjoji who joins us live from Tokyo. And I'm sure most of the world was hoping for a very vibrant, exciting, and peaceful games from Tokyo. And yet now many are also wondering, is it not time to really make a decision here? Why no decision especially when members of the IOC and athletes alike are now saying, it's time to call this off?
KAORI ENJOJI, JOURNALIST: Well, that's a question that even the Japanese public has been asking for weeks now. But I think you have to remember that from day one, this has been not only bringing athletes together. Japan has been determined to make the Olympics the symbol of Japan's comeback from the 2011 disaster in particular.
And I think that's why you saw the flame arriving in Miyagi Prefecture earlier on today, which was really the center of the earthquake, the devastation, and the tsunami that followed, and the nuclear disaster. And the fact that this flame is going to spend the next 120 days traveling through Japan in what's called a recovery tour, I think the Prime Minister wanted to make this a symbol and the Olympics a symbol of Japan's come back not only from this disaster, but from two decades of stagnation in the economy and losing the number two spot in the world economically to China. And I think by successfully hosting this game, he wanted to cement his
legacy as the Prime Minister that brought Japan back. And I think to cancel that at this stage is a very, very big decision from him politically because he has spent so much political capital doing so. And you also have to remember, Paula, that this is a much, much more consensus-driven society than you have in other parts of the West.
NEWTON: Right. We will wait to see how those decision-makers really align in the next few days. Thanks so much for the update there live from Tokyo. Now financial markets struggle under the wave of the coronavirus. A global economist shares his thoughts as the pandemic ramps up in Europe and the United States.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN ANCHOR: And you are watching CNN NEWSROOM.
Welcome back. I'm Paula Newton.
Here are the headlines this hour.
The U.S. state of California is ordering all 40 million residents to stay home to try and stop the spread of coronavirus. Essential activities are still allowed and grocery stores, pharmacies, banks will remain open. The governor says Californians are expected to self regulate.
Italy, meantime, is turning to its army to collect dead bodies and move coffins to crematoriums. More than 3,400 people have died there surpassing even China. Patients are being treated in field hospitals now and a growing number of doctors and nurses are infected.
India has executed four men for the brutal gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old student on a Delhi bus more than seven years ago. They were convicted in 2013 and had been on death row ever since. A crowd celebrated outside the prison, calling the executions a victory for women.
Wall Street, meantime, is bracing for another volatile trading day when the New York Stock Exchange reopens Friday morning.
Here is what's happening right now though in Asia. A solid little gain there both the Hang Seng and in Seoul with the Kospi. Shanghai there though basically flat. Toronto's -- pardon me -- Tokyo's stock exchange is closed Monday and I'm sure they're hopeful for that little breather.
In New York, the Dow on Thursday finished up 188 points after some fairly dramatic gyrations. It was only last month before the pandemic really hit the United States that the Dow posted its all-time high of close to 30,000.
With us from Los Angeles is economist Ryan Patel with the Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University. I mean, I always feel like we have to just take one big, deep breath right, before we start discussing the economy here given, you know, the serious nature of the pandemic we are dealing with. But there are many people, of course, absolutely concerned about this.
You are in California. As I keep saying, this is the largest economy in the United States, ok? 40 million people -- I don't know, are we up to $3 trillion in an economy -- I can't remember my latest figures?
RYAN PATEL, ECONOMIST: Yes. North of $3 trillion.
NEWTON: Good, that's (INAUDIBLE). So that's it. It is shut down. That's it. Indefinitely. We just had one of the L.A. supervisors here saying this is, they have no timeline for this.
What are we looking at here? Is it a recession? A global depression? And what -- how profound would the difference be between the two?
PATEL: Well, we need to take multiple deep breaths after what just happened a few hours ago because you see, you want to stay calm and cautious.
But think about what this was. This was -- in Asia kind of everyone was talking about how trade was going to affect with Asia. Then it turned to Europe. How the U.S. would be affected from the European, you know, lockdown.
Now we are in the U.S. And just to give you an example, like you mentioned, California is north of $3 trillion in GDP; 15 percent of the U.S. GDP. Just take that for example when businesses shut down indefinitely.
This is no longer a two-week let's see what happens. People are talking about when do we get back to normal? If and when and how does that turnout? And what's happening especially in the small businesses, in the mid-sized companies they have no choice but to lay off and closed down employees. That's unfortunate.
We saw the unemployment rate jumped from the first week of March to the second week to 33 percent of people file unemployment. And what that means into the recession terms is when you see unemployment start to rise, you see consumer confidence -- as this was not a confident piece of news being -- you know, they are not saying it's a complete lockdown but pretty it feels like it.
Almost like we are going towards Italy and Spain and France. And this is not the only part of the country that's going to face this. Obviously, we saw it in Washington.
You're going to see multiple places in the U.S. take this hit. And that's when we start getting into the recession conversations because people are going to choose not to spend more and have that layoffs. And people are going to get numb (ph) and this is where the panic sets in.
Do you want to -- y, if you've got money on cash, do you want to spend it? How are you being stringent with your money right now? And the answer to that question has been going towards yes it has, when there is no timeframe to the indefinite. It does have a little bit of more of a scare.
NEWTON: Right. And a scare that you think even global depression at this point is a word we should start using.
PATEL: Well, part of that because it is already ahead before the U.S. So if you are already talking about the Chinese the number two economy in the world, and people are already going to feel it. Now you've got what -- the number one economy in the world going to feel it?
Yes, I thought truthfully with the European, you know, European economy taking a hit, I thought the U.S. was definitely going to feel it because of China as well. And you know, not to say that it would be completely negative but the GDP was going to take a hit.
PATEL: But now with the U.S. in its own turn, it's almost like well, everyone needs to trade with everybody. And if everyone is in the same boat, who's going to help you and bail you out on that?
NEWTON: Yes. And that extends to so many different things.
Let's talk about bailing out here -- ok. The United States -- Mitch McConnell was just speaking to CNN, you know, basically saying that it's going to be at least a trillion dollars, perhaps more.
You know, what does a bailout look like in terms of how should that money be distributed? And Ryan -- you know as well as I do, right, there is this debate right now, which company should be bailed out and should you be bailing out the companies or should you just be giving the money directly to Americans?
PATEL: Yes. I mean we live in a different world than we did 10 years ago. This administration talks about how systems were old and that they are just following the systems. We live in a gig economy. Let's just be honest.
North of 30 percent are in gig economy. So if you bailout some of these companies, does that help these folks out? Does that help the consumer spending out? And so this conversation is actually really different.
Should it be traditional like, let's help these two companies. This has to be very strategic on places and people that you can actually make an impact. So if you can't get to the individuals with some of these stimulus packages, you better figure out a way to do so.
This is not like hey, we're going to go help Boeing or some of these airlines out which obviously need that help, but it doesn't stop there, right? It does help those hourly workers get paid, but there is also a different part of our economy now that is much different. And I think if we learned anything from the coronavirus and the way that the administration has responded and has stated how there's old systems in places and processes and that that's why they are behind, let's just take that conversation there then this is the same thing.
How can you follow the same pattern on trying to help the American people when our economy is a lot more diverse digitally now?
NEWTON: And so -- I don't have a lot of time here but it sounds like you are saying give the money to those people who have no backup, no safety net, and really be careful about the corporations you try and bail out?
PATEL: You know, in an ideal world, we do both. The conversations happening in Congress right now, I feel like those folks are not included in this conversation. And that is a mistake.
Those folks meaning the people who are entrepreneurs.
PATEL: They don't come from the big companies. They need to be included.
NEWTON: Yes. And I think that there are some voices on the hill saying that they need to be included. I know, you and I, whoever we talk to, we can hear them, right. They're saying that they need to be included.
Ryan -- I have to go. One question just hanging out there in the ether, right. Is the medicine going to be worse than the disease at this point? But leave it for another time.
Ryan -- thanks so much. Really appreciate it.
PATEL: Appreciate it.
NEWTON: Now, you heard Ryan and I talking about the U.S. Senate Republicans and this deal. They are proposing a $1 trillion economic stimulus plan to battle the coronavirus.
Now Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is defending how it was all put together. The plan was made without any input from Democrats.
CNN's Dana Bash asked McConnell why.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANA BASH, CNN HOST: The obvious question is why did you insist on only starting the negotiations that you have been having over the past couple of days with Republicans and the White House, obviously all Republican instead of making it bipartisan?
And I ask you that not as a process question. It's not a process question; it's because of the times we are in right now. And the question is whether or not that is slowing down the process at a time when Americans need action right now. SENATOR MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: Actually, it
is speeding it up. We just passed yesterday a bill that was written in the Democratic House of Representatives. 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 the majority.
And the Democrats, of course, need to be given an opportunity to react to it and that all begins tomorrow.
Don't create controversy where there isn't controversy.
BASH: Well no, it's not about controversy. It's just this is about Americans saying we need help and we need help now.
MCCONNELL: I know. And this is the quickest way to get it done. Trust me. This is the quickest way to get it done exactly the way we're doing it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: Ok. Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are poring over the Republican leader's plan and are already skeptical of it saying, quote, "We are beginning to review Senator McConnell's proposal and on first reading it is not at all pro worker and instead puts corporations way ahead of workers". Again, following on, on that discussion we were having with Ryan Patel.
Ok. Iran is pleading for help with the coronavirus outbreak, one person dying every 10 minutes, if you can imagine. Europe is getting a hand out from China, or is it goodwill? Are there strings attached?
NEWTON: More than 18,000 cases of COVID-19 have already been reported in Iran and authorities say one Iranian dies from the virus every 10 minutes. Tehran is blasting the United States, claiming sanctions are part of the reason the toll is so high.
Fred Pleitgen has more.
FRED PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Iran continues to grapple with the novel coronavirus which is having a devastating effect on that country. It was just on Thursday that the Iranian government said that one Iranian dies of coronavirus every 10 minutes. And about 50 are infected every single hour.
So the virus there clearly raging in that society. And all this came on a day on Thursday when the Iranians announced another -- over a thousand new coronavirus cases in Iran and almost 150 people who have died of the coronavirus, bringing their death toll to well over a thousand. Now, the Iranian government also blasting the United States, saying in part, the high death toll is also caused by U.S.-led sanctions in Iran. Now, those sanctions aren't directly targeted at Iran's medical sector but they do have a knock on effect where international companies don't want to sell Iran things like spare parts for medical equipment or new medical equipment out of fear of being punished by the United States.
And if you look at a lot of hospitals in Iran that we have visited in the past, they certainly do say it is very difficult for them to get key drugs and also spare parts for the medical devices that they obviously at this point in time need to try and deal with the coronavirus.
All of this comes as Iran is gearing up for its most important holiday of the year, the Persian New Year. And already, the Iranians are saying it will be like very few others have been in the past as there are severe travel restrictions right now in Iran as the country tries to slow down the virus that is having such a devastating effect on that country.
Fred Pleitgen, CNN -- Berlin.
NEWTON: Meantime more desperately needed medical supplies are arriving in Europe, courtesy of China. Beijing looks to be getting the coronavirus under control inside its own borders. Now it is trying to play Good Samaritan but there may be some strings attached.
CNN's Melissa Bell has more.
MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was China who came to the rescue as Italy shook, sending medical personnel, nine pallets of ventilators, electrocardiographs, and tens of thousands of masks -- all desperately needed by a health care system in crisis and appreciated by Italians stuck at home singing China's praise.
That help from China coming in the absence of aid from Italy's European neighbors, some of whom have closed their borders, garnering international headlines. The frustration, palpable in the towns bearing the brunt of the crisis.
In Bergamo, in northern Italy where the army is now transporting the dead to be cremated, people are taking to social media to express their anger and their grief. Like Roberta Zannunoi (ph) who lost her healthy father to the outbreak.
"He didn't deserve to die like this. He died like a dog."
BELL: Beijing bringing its experience of a crisis it has now seemingly overcome to those in its midst as it looks to rehabilitate its image and perhaps deflect blame in the crisis.
KENNETH ROTH, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: We don't even really know the accuracy of the figures coming out of China about prevalence, (INAUDIBLE) of the coronavirus.
And what they certainly don't want us talking about is what the Chinese government did in those early days when early action might have prevented an epidemic, but their censorship worked (ph) against that.
BELL: But it is not just Italy. China also trying to curry favor by helping Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, Iran, Spain as it locked down, and most recently France with one million masks promised to the country on Wednesday.
URSULA VON DER LEYEN, EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESIDENT: We are grateful for support from China -- 200,000 N-95 masks, two million surgical masks and 50,000 testing kits. This support is highly valued and we are grateful for it.
BELL: All the more so that Europe had few other options. Donald Trump's America First policy has seen a gradual worsening of the transatlantic alliance over issues like climate change, trade, and most recently, over Trump's failure to consult Europe over the coronavirus travel ban with China now stepping into the global leadership role, long abandoned by the American president.
Just last, year President Xi Jinping sought a new alliance with Italy. The Italian prime minister becoming the first G7 leader to back Xi's belt and road initiative which seeks to loan countries money to build a network of infrastructure projects connecting Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Europe.
ALAN FIREDMAN, ITALY BASED U.S. WRITER: America has left a vacuum because of Trump's isolationism. And the Europeans don't feel like America is their friend.
BELL: While Washington continues to accuse China of being responsible for the outbreak.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It comes from China. That's why. It comes from China.
BELL: China is denying a cover-up and responsibility for the pandemic. It says that its forceful measures slowed the outbreak.
Now, Beijing may be trying to turn a crisis into an opportunity by gaining ground in its longer term fight for soft power globally.
Melissa Bell, CNN -- Paris.
NEWTON: You know, these are such uncertain times. And of course, there are so many questions. We're going to try and answer some of them for you. Join CNN for a "GLOBAL TOWN HALL ON THE FACTS AND FEARS OF THE CORONAVIRUS". The program is coming up at 8:00 a.m. in London, 4:00 p.m. in Hong Kong.
Mental health experts say people should be preparing for the psychological fallout of self quarantining. When we return, we will get some tips on how to stay sane -- yes, I know it is tough, during the isolation.
NEWTON: Queen Elizabeth issued a message to the British people Thursday calling on them to change their routines quote "for the good of the communities we live in". This as the Queen herself decamped to Windsor Castle.
Here is Max Foster.
MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: On Thursday, the Queen relocated from Buckingham Palace in London to Windsor Castle in Berkshire where she met up with Prince Philip. They have gone there earlier than they normally do this time of year, effectively in isolation.
They are after all in a high risk group because of their age. They have to be protected from anyone that might be carrying this virus.
FOSTER: As the Queen arrived though, she issued a statement, really in her role as a symbol of unity in the country. She talked about us entering a period of uncertainty and concern.
She said that her family stand ready to play their part in bringing the country together, supporting the country. She says we are all being advised to change our normal routines and regular patterns of life for the greater good of the communities we live in and in particular to protect the most vulnerable within them.
She goes on to say, "At times such as these, I'm reminded that our nation's history is being forged by people in communities coming together to work as one, concentrating our combined efforts with a focus on a common goal."
She has had a long range. She has overseen crises before. She's speaking to those previous crises where we only really got through them by communities coming together.
So, a difficult time as she says of uncertainty and concern. But the Queen being very clear that she's going to be the symbol of unity and coming together.
Speaking off the hymn sheet, interesting as well as the Prime Minister here. He will have seen this statement before it went out. And he's saying a very similar thing right now.
Max Foster, CNN -- Berkshire, England.
NEWTON: Yes. It seems like every other day, right -- there is another government ordering its citizens to stay inside due to the coronavirus. And with much of the world now in isolation, it is taking a psychological toll, especially with no clear end in sight.
Wendy Dickinson joins me now. She is a psychologist and the founder and CEO of Grow Counseling. And thanks so much for joining us and in the nick of time because I have a feeling many of us will be needing some therapy early and often throughout this whole ordeal.
You know, it is called isolation for a reason. It is negative, right. And now hundreds of millions of us all over the globe are now doing it. I mean if we're feeling like we are going to go crazy -- it's for a good reason, right?
WENDY DICKINSON, PSYCHOLOGYIST: Absolutely. It is a hard time. You know, the thing that makes stress go up are things that are unpredictable, unknown, or don't have a timeline, an end to the timeline. So I have pretty much just described our situation.
NEWTON: Absolutely and there it is.
And, you know, for as much as you're in the home, on your own or with family -- how important is it to validate that you might be feeling fear, panic, anxiety -- whatever it is?
DICKINSON: Absolutely. I think if we are honest, we all are. We are all feeling some amount of stress, some amount of fear and anxiety. And I think it's ok to acknowledge that. It doesn't mean that we can't look for the positive and still be grateful and hopeful. But it's a normal thing to be feeling right now.
NEWTON: In terms of the person who's doing this alone, I mean there have been lots of jokes about how to (INAUDIBLE) your family, right? More family time than a lot of people want.
And yet, I say spare a thought for the person who's doing this on their own and can't go out and doesn't have that closeness with anyone else.
DICKINSON: Yes. That's hard. I think that the idea of social disconnection is one of the most damaging concepts. What we are really talking about is physical disconnection. We want to be physically disconnected to slow the spread.
However, relational connection is what actually insulates us from experiencing trauma when we are under stress for long amounts of time. So we want to find ways to connect through technology, you know, talk to your neighbor off the balcony. You know, write a letter to somebody.
Find ways to stay connected relationally. It is super important for people who are by themselves during the quarantine.
NEWTON: You know, Wendy -- and I wonder how you handle the fact that people have to have information. It is vital in this pandemic that they seek out information. They get good information.
And at the same time, what would you say to them about information overload and what damage that can do?
DICKINSON: That's a great question. I think that we need to be really careful about what we are taking in. So there is a psychological concept called confirmatory bias which means that we find what we are expecting to see.
So the more we are inundated with negative messages, where we talk to people in our lives that are negative, the more we're going to be looking for negative things.
So it's really important to try to balance that out. Look for the positives. Start a gratitude journal. It's not going to totally change what we are dealing with, but it helps to find some balance in the midst of a scary time.
NEWTON: And when we go to what the proven strategies to mitigate it -- I mean you've already said quite a few things -- social connection, the gratitude journal. What else? I mean exercise, routine, a schedule. I mean what is it? What seems to work best?
DICKINSON: Absolutely. I would start by saying check in with yourself and determine what brings you life because this is not a one size fits all approach. What works for you may not be the same thing that works for me.
We know that a couple of things that do work across the board for everyone -- you mentioned exercise. That's the best way to burn off stress hormones. They'll get your heart pumping. Even if you're just doing jumping jacks in your living room. Try to eat healthy. Try to get enough rest.
DICKINSON: Routines are really helpful to sort of give us some sense of predictability and control in the midst of a time that is pretty unpredictable.
NEWTON: Yes. That is the watchword these days -- unpredictable.
I'm going to ask you a tough question -- Wendy. I mean at what point -- and a lot of people have talked to me about this already -- at what point does the cure become more difficult to handle than the disease?
I mean we are only into week one of this and already a lot of people are strained. I mean how long do you think we could actually keep this up and still keep our mental well-being intact?
DICKINSON: I think we're going to start seeing people adjust to some kind of temporary normal. To your point they can't stay at such a high level of stress for so long. And people start to find ways to manage that stress -- whether it be to engage it or to disconnect from it. Usually, there is a spectrum and we kind of see people fall along the spectrum. So I think that as we live with this more, we will start to establish a temporary normal that hopefully isn't a long term normal. But will find ways within that to find some predictability and control.
NEWTON: And finally, Wendy -- when you are reaching out to other people, because as bad as it feels for us, I think it is a proven fact if you reach out to other people in need it will make you feel a lot better. What are your suggestions for reaching out to others right now? Whether it's neighbors or family?
DICKINSON: So there is an idea called emotional contagion. And the idea is that emotions are as contagious as illnesses. We are talking a lot about contagious things right now.
Pay attention to who you are talking to and what kind of emotion you are getting from them because unfortunately, negative emotions, fear, anxiety, worry, panic are more contagious than the positive ones.
So you really want to make sure that you are connecting with people who bring you life, who make you feel more grounded, who give you a sense of peace.
NEWTON: And we should be doing that for others obviously, right?
DICKINSON: Yes, absolutely.
NEWTON: We should, yes.
OK. So much great advice there. Wendy Dickinson -- thanks so much for joining us. Really appreciate it.
DICKINSON: Thanks for having me.
NEWTON: And thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Paula Newton.
The news continues right here on CNN with Natalie Allen.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Live from CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta -- hello, everyone.
I'm Natalie Allen and this is CNN NEWSROOM.