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White House And Senate Leaders Close To Deal On Stimulus Plan; Health Care Workers Speak Out About Supply Shortages; Pandemic Strains U.S.-China Relationship. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired March 24, 2020 - 05:30   ET



DR. DARRIA LONG, EMERGENCY ROOM PHYSICIAN: That was just a sign that there is so much, they haven't even scratched the surface.

And if you look at New York City compared to South Korea, South Korea is 2 1/2 times the size of New York City. They tested four times as many people, which means that there are many, many, many people who have it that we're not finding out. And we may find out in seven to 10 days if they start to get critical.

So we just don't know where this curve is going to go. We need time. We need time to solve it.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: And Dr. Long, just tell me --


BERMAN: Go ahead, Bianna -- go ahead.

GOLODRYGA: Oh, it's just like if I could just jump in because the president -- and I get the frustration that the economy is really taking a bit hit now, but we've past the time where we could just test people and keep the economy going.

If we had started testing people as soon as the president, who keeps on fighting -- you know, congratulating himself for cutting off travel from China -- if we started testing earlier then, maybe we could keep the economy open now.

But I think what's really frustrating is that you're seeing the president say the economy can reopen in two days. You've got Congress fighting over a $2 trillion bailout package and rescue package. And that's really confusing --


GOLODRYGA: -- not only for Congress but for the markets and for those watching at home.

BERMAN: Very quickly, Dr. Long, I just want to know when you think you will see the peak. If you're anywhere near the peak in your hospital yet.

LONG: I think we are seeing such a difference across the United States. Right now, New York's the epicenter, they're calling it -- it's ahead -- and then we're seeing it trickle down to other areas.

I think the reality is we're also seeing bidding wars between states, between hospitals. Some hospitals that don't have money are going to be not have -- be able to afford PPE and different things because the prices are rising. And I'm really concerned that some of the decisions are being made by those who know they have special access to things that the rest of the public and my patients are going to experience in shortage, John.

BERMAN: All right, Bianna Golodryga, Dr. Darria Long. Dr. Long, thank you for the work that you are doing.

LONG: Thanks, John.

BERMAN: Bianna, thank you for the work you're doing also.

Dr. Long is saving lives.

Senators working to close final gaps in this $2 trillion stimulus plan. How it will affect the broader economy. How it will affect you with so many of you having their jobs on the line in these days. That's next.



CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: All right, welcome back.

Stock index futures are higher this morning. A couple of things here.

Negotiations moving closer to a deal on a $2 trillion stimulus plan. This is a critical week, of course, for stimulus and for the job market in America. Will the stimulus be enough to help?

Joining me this morning, Julia Chatterley, host of "FIRST MOVE" on CNN International. Good morning, Julia.

And you know, the Fed -- the Federal Reserve -- the central bank come out yesterday announcing basically limitless support for the American financial system. I think that gives Congress some breathing room to try to get this thing done. Does it look like they're going to get a stimulus deal out of Congress here soon?

JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN ANCHOR, "FIRST MOVE WITH JULIA CHATTERLEY": They're certainly moving closer and I completely agree with you, what we saw from the Federal Reserve was about buying a bit of time here. But clearly, getting this package agreed in whatever form has to be the priority.

The suggestion last night was there was a handful of things that they were still negotiating -- as you've been discussing on the show and I said yesterday -- just trying to perhaps boost the amount of money that goes to individuals. Will it be a paycheck of $1,200 or as the Democrats would like to see, $1,500.

But also the restrictions on simply how the money to big corporations is going to be used here. That's going to be critical I think, too.

ROMANS: Yes. They don't want -- the Democrats don't want the optics of a big limitless sort of bailout for companies without strings attached. That's something that they regretted from 2008 and 2009.

But you know, Julia, even as they're sitting here and they're talking about this and they're saying that there's this emergency in the financial system that needs to be addressed with all of these checks getting out as quickly as possible, the president appears to be growing impatient with flattening the curve.

Listen to what the president said yesterday.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm not looking at months, I can tell you right now. We're going to be opening up our country. You can't keep it closed for the next -- you know, for years, OK? This is going away.

You can't do that with a country, especially the number-one economy anywhere in the world, by far. Number one economy in the world. You can't do that --

REPORTER: So you're saying --

TRUMP: -- because -- well, it causes bigger problems than the original. That's why I talk about the cure being worse than the problem.


ROMANS: You know, he's saying something that you and I, I think, have heard from some business leaders who are worried about the damage that's happened to the economy. But if -- you know, if you don't get control of the virus, that could crush the health care system, which is a fifth of the economy anyway, and really disrupt business anyway. It's almost a lose-lose situation.

CHATTERLEY: He also said this economy's not built for this kind of shutdown. No economy's built for this kind of shutdown, but what this is exposing is the underlying fragilities in the health care system in the lack of support.

Look, from what I'm hearing, this ending after 15 days -- the suggestion -- is not policy right now. It will be reviewed.

But to your point, and it's not just the White House. There is an evolving opinion that perhaps we're imperiling more lives with the policy on the economic front and the economic sleep that we're putting the economy in versus perhaps the lives we're trying to save. Christine, let's take the medical aspect of this out of it, let's take the emotion out of it, which is incredibly hard, and just talk about the facts and figures.

I spoke to the St. Louis Fed president yesterday -- the guy that said we could see a 30 percent unemployment in this country. When I said to him what about with the stimulus, what about with what the Federal Reserve has done, he didn't back away from that 30 percent. That's 47 million Americans --



CHATTERLEY: -- when you and I know that 40 percent of households can't cut a $500 check.

When you start to do the economics on here you can -- you can understand that we can't exist like this forever, and that's part of the fragility of the system that needs changing going forward. The Senate can't fix that now. They just have to agree to deal, meet in the middle, and start getting checks out to people. That's the bottom line.

ROMANS: Yes, and there's some economists who are saying that even with this $2 trillion, should it get done, you might have to go back again with more stimulus in this economy. We're going to see this week -- these numbers -- these layoff numbers are going to come in this week and they will be epic, won't they?

CHATTERLEY: They will. They're going to be absolutely shocking -- things that we have never seen before in this country. And it's the speed, remember, as well.


CHATTERLEY: Twenty-eight million Americans on the front line businesses -- restaurants, tourism, all the things that have taken the brunt -- and they're wage workers. They'll lose their jobs instantly. They operate paycheck-to-paycheck.

But to your point about needing more money, absolutely -- and I've been arguing this for weeks. Look at what the U.K. is doing, look at what Germany's doing. They're writing blank checks. They're talking about wartime spending.


CHATTERLEY: Twenty percent of the output of the economy -- and if we're looking at $2 trillion, it's less than 10 percent. America needs to do more here and protect the weakest and the most vulnerable, whether that's on the health front or economically. And that tradeoff here is being discussed and it's being discussed more and more.

ROMANS: Sure. Certainly, no playbook for this, you know.


ROMANS: No playbook for shutting down an economy for a health crisis and then trying to start it back up seamlessly.

Thank you so much, Julia Chatterley. Nice to see you this morning -- thanks.

All right. Would you want your doctors reusing supplies in a hospital? They say they're being forced to do just that because of a nationwide shortage.




DR. PHILIP MANNORS, MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSPITAL: I work at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. And it's currently about 6:30 in the morning. I'm about to head into work to start my 7:00 a.m. shift.

And the thing that's concerning us most, right now, I think for the majority of physicians, at least, is the decrease in supplies of PPE or personal protective equipment. I'm going to finish my cup of tea and head out.


BERMAN: This morning, the nation's health care workers face a critical shortage of protective equipment. It's so bad they're being asked, in some cases, to reuse supplies. One anesthesiologist even turned to eBay to buy masks. There are so many harrowing stories.

Here's CNN's Drew Griffin.


DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From the front lines, the lack of ventilators, personal protection equipment, and face masks is at a critical stage where medical workers from across the country say they're being asked to do something that weeks ago would have brought reprimand or even termination -- reuse supplies.

DR. SOMIL VIRADIA, CALIFORNIA: You currently have to check out a mask in order to see a patient that is suspected to have the coronavirus. And after that, you actually have to use the mask -- the same one -- for five more patients.

DR. DANIEL VARGAS, CHIEF PHYSICIAN EXECUTIVE, NEW JERSEY: We have probably three to five days of N95 masks left.

DR. JESSICA KISS, CALIFORNIA: I am down to my last N95 mask and I'm reusing it.

DR. MARIANNE HAMRA, NEW JERSEY: It's unacceptable that we are sending medical professionals like lambs to the slaughterhouse.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): Dr. Patrice Harris, president of the American Medical Association, says what she is hearing from her physicians is just unprecedented.

DR. PATRICE HARRIS, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION: They are saying they are having to reuse masks, and they're saying they are being asked to resterilize masks -- all things, which in normal times, we would certainly not do. It may even be grounds for discipline or dismissal for violating routine infection control policies and practices.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): New York has now topped Washington State as the new epicenter and the epicenter of critically-short supplies and staffing. The mayor issuing dire warnings to federal officials.

MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D), NEW YORK CITY: If we don't get more ventilators in the next 10 days, people will die.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): Dr. Nisha Mehta runs two closed Facebook groups with about 65,000 physicians across the country. She says a doctor in New York told her conditions are so dire he compared it to third world health care.

DR. NISHA MEHTA, NORTH CAROLINA: He's like this is worse than anything I've seen in any of the third world countries I've been in. I feel like if there such a thing as a fourth world country -- he's like that's what our hospital system is already.

GRIFFIN: Supplies are steadily increasing but not enough to fill exploding demand in state after state where hospitals are already at critical shortages or preparing for them.

In San Diego, the UCSD system posted this guide requiring good stewardship of masks. The memo warning staff, "Inappropriate use of N95 respirators could easily end up with minimal supplies during the peak of this pandemic."

The bigger threat is running out of health care workers because of the lack of protection. In Teaneck, New Jersey, 35 physicians and nurses are no longer working at Holy Name Medical Center because they're either confirmed or suspected of having COVID-19.

Chief medical officer Dr. Adam Jarrett says those supplies and staffing are holding up -- he's not sure for how long.

DR. ADAM JARRETT, HOLY NAME MEDICAL CENTER, NEW JERSEY: I'm very concerned that if things don't slow down, if the supply chains do not open up, if we don't figure out a way to get some nurses in here from the federal government, from the military, that in a week or so from now I may not be able to feel the same way about the fact that I have not had to compromise here.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): One question being asked, how long will doctors and nurses stay on the job risking their own lives if asked to do so without proper protection?


DR. TERESA GALLO-THYS, FLORIDA: We are all scared, as health care providers, that we're going to bring it home to our families.

GRIFFIN (on camera): Several health care workers are already reporting illnesses. If that trend continues and doctors and nurses can't go to work because they're sick or worse, frightened of getting sick, that could only deepen this crisis.

Drew Griffin, CNN, Atlanta.


BERMAN: Our thanks to Drew for this story, Romans.

And one thing I want to make clear is that this is so abnormal --


BERMAN: -- for these health care workers. We were talking to someone at Mass General yesterday -- a doctor who says she's never seen anything like this, ever, in her decades-long career, ordering workers to reuse their equipment. It's just not done.

ROMANS: No, and it's -- look, they've been complaining about this for weeks. It's not like this happened overnight. They have been sounding this alarm.

For weeks, you've seen big hospitals compounds not doing elective surgeries because they don't want to waste any material they might need for this pandemic. So they have been adapting but they just can't get the supplies. It's so frustrating.

BERMAN: That's right.

All right. So, U.S. and China relations at a very complicated stage right now because of coronavirus. Why this should matter to you, next.



ROMANS: All right.

Tensions are escalating between the U.S. and China as the two countries try to assign blame for the coronavirus. These are the two biggest economies in the world, so long-term damage could be significant.

CNN's Alex Marquardt has more.


TRUMP: -- of the Chinese virus -- ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As the world declares war on the coronavirus, another battle has erupted between two of its great powers, China and the United States. The Trump administration ramping up its accusations that China failed to identify, stop, and warn about the virus early on.

TRUMP: I wish they could have told us earlier about what was going on inside. We didn't know about it until it started coming out publicly. But I wish they could have told us earlier about it because we could have come up with a solution.

MARQUARDT (voice-over): Beijing firing back. The foreign ministry accusing the U.S. of trying to defame them, to shift responsibility, and find a scapegoat. The spokesman calling it immoral and irresponsible.

The White House undeterred. CNN has learned that the National Security Council sent a cable to State Department officials with talking points about China's alleged cover-up and a disinformation campaign. Among those leading the charge is Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: There's been some discussion about China and what they knew and when they knew it, and I've been very critical. We need to know immediately. The world is entitled to know. The Chinese government was the first to know of this risk to the world.

MARQUARDT (voice-over): China has accused Pompeo of lying through his teeth, while the secretary has repeatedly referred to the virus as the Wuhan virus, for where it started.

The president has tried to walk a careful line, praising China's leader --

TRUMP: I have great respect for President Xi.

MARQUARDT (voice-over): -- while also being keen to point the finger. A photographer spotting Trump changing, in his prepared remarks, the word "corona" to "China."

REP. MICHAEL MCCAUL (R-TX): It came out of the wildlife markets in Wuhan and it spread beyond control outside of China. For nearly two months, there were many things they could have done to contain the virus and they failed to do that.

MARQUARDT (voice-over): While the U.S. struggles to flatten the curve at home, China has been able to and is now helping other countries in a way American cannot. And as China looks to take that leading global role, it has hit back at the U.S., trying to shift the blame with disinformation.

This foreign ministry spokesman, Lijian Zhou, claims that COVID-19 actually started in the U.S. and accused the U.S. Army of bringing the virus to China last year.

MCCAUL: We hear the Chinese ambassador and the foreign minister saying through their propaganda machine that the United States military somehow concocted this virus and spread it in China. It's absolutely false. Everybody knows the truth here and the truth needs to come out, and they don't want the truth to come out.

MARQUARDT (on camera): The Trump administration is also accusing Iran and Russia of carrying out disinformation campaigns as well, but the focus clearly is on China. As for accusations that the president is fueling racism against people of Asian descent by calling it the "Chinese Virus" -- the president now says on Twitter it is very important that we totally protect our Asian-American community.

Alex Marquardt, CNN, Washington.


ROMANS: All right, Alex. Thank you for that.

NEW DAY continues right now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody's getting what they need and the private sector is ramping up. FEMA is starting to deliver some of those supplies.

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): I just got off the phone with a new projection model. New York City was seeing double the number of cases every 2 1/2 days. That can take your breath away.

TRUMP: If it were up to the doctors, they may say let's shut down the entire world. You can't do that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is a big disconnect between what the president is saying and the reality on the ground. It killed 100 people in the last 24 hours.

DR. DEBORAH BIRX, RESPONSE COORDINATOR, WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS TASK FORCE: What the president has asked us to do is assemble all the data and give him our best medical recommendation.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It is Tuesday, March 24th, 6:00 here in New York.

President Trump and his top health advisers are at odds this morning over how long to keep the nation at home and to keep the economy frozen. President Trump says he wants to reopen the country in weeks, not months.