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Coronavirus Rattles U.S. Economy; Young People Are Not Immune from Coronavirus; E.R. Dr. Rob Davidson, director, Committee to Protect Medicare PAC, Answers Viewer's Questions on Coronavirus; The Situation on Coronavirus Across the Globe. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired March 20, 2020 - 14:30   ET



JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN HOST: So you imagine some of the decisions that are being made today. People are -- are looking at their business. They've got nobody coming in to buy anything. They're worried about feeding their families. They are worried about paying their bills. They want to look after their workers but they simply can't. So they let them go.

And this is going to happen like a tidal wave. And it's going to happen really quickly. So that sort of first thing that's going on. And we are going to see these numbers multiply.

But just to give you a sense of the numbers that are required to fight this. We have a $20 trillion economy. We are, basically, saying the economy has to stop for two to three months. So a quarter of that $20 trillion is around $5 trillion.

If you assume half of that is worker costs, that's $2.5 trillion just to fill the financial gap over the next two to three months.

So we are simply not even beginning when we're talking about $1 trillion to fight this. We have to think way, way bigger, and protect workers who are simply going to get crushed from now on in.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: All right. Julia, thank you for the real talk on that. Julia Chatterley, we appreciate it.

The World Health Organization has a message for young people today: You are not invincible. And my next guest knows that all too well. I will be speaking to a 30-year-old woman who tested positive for the coronavirus, and her doctor as well. You do not want to miss what they have to say.



KEILAR: For many officials, it is proving to be a frustrating and challenging part of the fight against the coronavirus, and that is just convincing millions of younger Americans that they, too, should take this threat seriously.

This morning, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo once again tried to underscore the urgency of this.


GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): There's some bad information, especially among young people. You look at some of these videos that are going around and some of these newscasts on what young people are saying. I can't get it. Yes. That's wrong. That is wrong. Young people can't get it. That is wrong. It's just not a factual statement.


KEILAR: My next guest has tested positive for the coronavirus at just 30 years old.

With me now is Kate Throneburg, and her primary care physician, Dr. Genevieve Brauning.

I want to thank you both for being with us.

We hear so much about this. Young people can get this. And now, Kate, here you are to show us you are someone who has.

Tell us a little bit about how you're feeling and really how you felt at the worst of this. Because we know each person experienced -- can experience this differently.

KATE THRONEBURG, A 3-YEAR OLD WHO TESTED POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS: So I'm very lucky that I am on the mend. I've probably had symptoms, now, for like 12 days. But, at the worst, it felt like -- it felt like the flu. I had, like, 101 fever. But I only had a fever for a period of, like, 16 hours. So it was the other symptoms that really clued me into this might be coronavirus.

KEILAR: Like, what were the other symptoms?

THRONEBURG: So about four or five days before I had a fever, I had -- was just achy. I had a headache that didn't seem to go away. And I had a cough. And I have asthma. So I thought it might, you know, could have been something related with my asthma.

But when it didn't really fix -- fix the problem by using my normal inhalers, I -- I knew it was probably time to go get checked out.

KEILAR: And, Dr. Brauning, so she comes in. She gets -- she gets checked out. And also, look, I have to tell you we've heard a lot of stories about people saying initially because their primary care physicians thought it wasn't in the area yet or something like that, they just dismissed this as maybe a cold or a flu or something.

Maybe you can speak to that, as well. But tell us about Kate coming in and what you do from there.

DR. GENEVIEVE BRAUNING, PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN & PHYSICIAN TO KATE THRONEBURG: Yes. Well, so Kate followed the protocol that I would encourage everyone to follow, in that she reached out to us electronically before she came for an office visit. And we were able to talk back and forth through messaging to give

further evaluation of her symptoMs. And, ultimately, decided that we did want her to come in and do some testing.

One of the things that was really important to me, as a primary care physician, as Kate mentioned, she has asthma which puts her at increased risk for pulmonary complications and, potentially, more difficulty clearing this coronavirus.

And so, you know, looking at all her symptoms, including the fact that she had asthma, we felt strongly that she should come in.

But I will say that we've been able to prevent a lot of people from having to come to the office by utilizing communication before they get here. And that's helpful to reduce the number of people who potentially need to be seen at their physician's office.


And, Kate, I wonder if -- if any of your friends -- I wonder if you think they've been taking this seriously, and if you think they're taking it more seriously now that you've been diagnosed.


THRONEBURG: So, yes, I think a lot of my friends are taking it seriously and my sister's friends. She is a few years younger than me. But it's really sad to see people, you know, like in Florida.

And it's really nice here in North Carolina. It's 80 degrees today, just being out and about. And you can literally do the easiest thing for your community, which is staying in your House and watching TV. And I really hope that others will do that.

I mean, my symptoms were -- on a normal day, a day like today, I probably would have gone to work. And we just need to be hyperaware about our -- our symptoms so that we don't -- we don't infect our community members.

KEILAR: Kate, it's such an important message.

Kate Throneburg, thank you for coming on to talk about it.

Dr. Brauning, we appreciate you, as well. Thank you, both.

THRONEBURG: Thank you.

BRAUNING: Thank you.

KEILAR: An alarming new statistic out of Italy that coronavirus has been twice as deadly for men there than women. We are going to ask a doctor why that might be. We're going to get answers to your questions, next.



KEILAR: CNN is committed to answering your questions about living through this pandemic. And we have Dr. Rob Davidson, an E.R. doctor in Michigan. He is also director of the Commission of the Committee to Protect Medicare. And he's joining me to answer some of the questions we all have.

Before we do that, Dr. Davidson, you have actually been working night shift at the hospital. Tell us what it's like there in the E.R..

DR. ROB DAVIDSON, DIRECTOR, COMMISSION OF THE COMMITTEE TO PROTECT MEDICARE: Yes. Right now, in our area, we're not seeing surges. We think of this -- it could be the quiet before the storm, what I am hearing from colleagues on both coasts and what you read about in Italy.

People, when they're in the midst of it, they look a week or two back, and they were the time when they cancelled elective procedures. And there's a lot of phone triage by primary care offices in our area, encouraging people not to go to the hospital with more minor symptoms.

And so right now, we're just waiting in anticipation, conserving resources. And, you know, getting ready for what we anticipate in the next few weeks.

KEILAR: Which is?

DAVIDSON: Well, I mean, we're very concerned about these surges of patients that have put hospitals in different parts of our country and certainly in other parts of the world, on the brink of being overwhelmed and unable to care for the number of people that are coming in. We would like to avoid that.

That's why our committee, the Committee to Protect Medicare, announced today -- I announced today on Twitter and will be putting out a statement, putting out a statement endorsing a national lockdown, essentially, a shelter-in-place, nationally.

We think we need to do everything possible to decrease the transmission of this virus from person to person, both for urban areas that we are seeing now, and in rural areas, particularly places like where I work, with critical access hospitals with, you know, a limited number of inpatient beds and staff. We don't want to overwhelm these systems.

If we can limit the transmission now and -- and we've all heard the term flatten the curve. If we can do that, we can -- we can sustain this. You know, we can withstand this over a period of months and months, rather than a period of weeks.


I want to ask you some of our viewer questions here. One person said: Is it OK to use communal spaces in my apartment complex?

DAVIDSON: You know, we are encouraging social distancing. Part of this -- this national shelter-in-place that we are supporting would suggest that is not a good idea.

You know, in your own dwelling, with the people that you normally live with, you know, that is part of your normal routine. You don't, necessarily, know who is in your communal spaces.

So really exercising the six-foot distance, you know, social distancing is, absolutely, appropriate in those scenarios. And really trying not to congregate in numbers. I think, nationally, now suggesting over 10 people. So I would heed that advice.

KEILAR: I want to -- guys, this is question seven that I want to ask. This one says: I just had a newborn. Should I not allow other family members to hold her?

DAVIDSON: I would limit that as much as possible. Certainly, I mean, that's an important part of you bonding with your newborn. And -- and -- and your partner bonding and others.

But, you know, people do carry this virus without having symptoMs. And we don't know the degree to which they can transmit the virus.

And newborns, you know, there's not a lot of data on how they can be impacted. But their immune systems are somewhat fragile. While early on in life, they have the immunity of mom and we encourage breastfeeding to continue that immunity.

But, again, they have limited ability to fight off any kind of illness. Particularly, a virus like this. So I would limit that as much as possible.

KEILAR: OK. Dr. Davidson, and, then, finally, I just want to ask you some people are wondering about food they can eat. One person asked: My wife and I just ordered sushi but is it safe to eat raw foods right now?

I would also add what about foods that people are using their hands to prepare, which is one of the things about sushi.


DAVIDSON: Yes, I mean, I haven't been asked that before. We're telling people with any kind of packages as long as they wash their own hands. We don't have a direct link that this is transmitted orally in that fashion. So I would say there's no evidence to suggest that that is a problem.

So that -- I haven't seen recommendations against it. I would suggest it is probably OK. We do have tips on the committee Web site, So people can access information in many places and other places where they can access information.

KEILAR: OK, that's great.

Thank you so much, Dr. Davidson, for answering these questions. We really appreciate your input.

DAVIDSON: Thanks, Brianna. Have a good day.

KEILAR: Behave or be confined to your homes. The coronavirus pandemic prompting Germany to tell its 83 million citizens to be responsible or the country could go on total lockdown.

Plus, shocking new numbers from Italy. We'll look at the situation across the globe next.


KEILAR: Now today, the Trump administration announced that the United States and Mexico will limit nonessential travel across the border. This, as more than a quarter of a million people around the world are infected with coronavirus.

Italy announcing that it recorded 627 new deaths in the last 24 hours. But in China, the health ministry is reporting for a second day in a row that there were no new locally transmitted cases.

We have our correspondents covering this, starting in Mexico City.



MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Matt Rivers, in Mexico City, where officials have spent the last few days negotiating with the U.S. And that has led to a new temporary partial shutdown of the U.S./Mexico border, meaning all nonessential travel, both foot and vehicle traffic along that border will be restricted.

Notably, there are exemptions, including cargo and trade could still go back and forth across the border because it is so important to the respective economies.

But this is a substantive closure along the one of the busiest, most lucrative borders in the world.

HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: I'm Hala Gorani, in London, and I'm between two primary schools in the northwest part of the U.K. capital. And today is the last full day of classes across the country.

Starting Monday, only the kids of essential workers like doctors and nurses will be able to attend classes. That being said, pubs, bars, stores are still very much open, unlike other countries.

This is happening against the backdrop of an already stretched National Health Service calling on up to 65,000 retired doctors and nurses to volunteer to come back to work to fight what the NHS is calling the greatest global health threat in its history.

FRED PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Fred Pleitgen, in Berlin, where German Chancellor Angela Merkel is considering whether this country needs tougher measures to deal with the outbreak of the coronavirus. There are many in the German government who believe the current

measures for social distancing are simply falling short as cases of coronavirus here in Germany continue to skyrocket with thousands of new infections every day.

And come Sunday, Angela Merkel might put this country on a complete lockdown.

DAVID CULVER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm David Culver, in Shanghai. Chinese health officials are reporting a second day with no new locally transmitted cases of the virus but they saw a jump in imported cases, people from traveling in from other countries. They're now stepping up quarantine for international travelers.

Meantime, Chinese coronavirus experts in Italy's Lombardy region warn that the lockdown measures there are not enough, like in Wuhan. They saw residents in Italy are still moving around casually and that public transportation is still operating. Instead, they recommend people there stay at home.

BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I'm Barbie Nadeau, in Rome, where the situation all across this country is increasingly devastated. That's especially true in the north of the country where the health care system is under such pressure, they've started moving patients out of ICU and into hospitals in the southern part of the country.

Now this comes amid a nationwide lockdown. And 60 million people are told to stay in homes. Government is asked the military to help the police enforce the lockdown and get people to stop spreading the deadly virus.


KEILAR: Thank you so much to all of you.

President Trump invoked a war time act to help ramp up production of desperately needed masks and protective gear. We'll have details just ahead as our special live coverage continues.