Return to Transcripts main page


Trump Wants to Open "Large Sections" of U.S. Sooner Than Others; 177 Million Americans Now Under Stay-at-Home Orders; Wash Post: Hospitals Consider Do-Not-Resuscitate Orders for Coronavirus Patients to Protect Doctors; Dozens Of FDNY Members Test Positive; 911 Calls Surge by 40%; Mnuchin Defends Giving Americans Out of Work More Unemployment Money As Some Republicans Object; Doctor Working on Treatment Using Blood From Recovered Patients. Aired on 7-8p ET

Aired March 25, 2020 - 19:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: They're working together to get this $2 trillion package passed to help the American people. Gloria, thank you very much.

And to our viewers, thanks for watching.


BLITZER: Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next breaking news, moments ago President Trump saying some parts of the country may be able to return to work sooner than others. Is that realistic?

Plus, cases of coronavirus spiking among New York's first responders as 911 calls are also skyrocketing. The Commissioner for the New York Fire Department is my guest.

And not only are many Americans still not able to get a coronavirus test if they want one, the wait time to get your results can be seven days. Why were other countries able to get results in a few hours?

Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, the breaking news, President Trump holding his coronavirus taskforce briefing right now. The President floating his latest plan to end the national shutdown.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There are large sections of our country probably can go back much sooner than other sections and we're obviously looking at that also. People are asking, is that an alternative, I say absolutely.


BURNETT: Trump also talking about the $2 trillion emergency relief bill that the Senate has been struggling to pass, saying he thinks it will be passed soon and that he'll sign it immediately.

Now, all of this happening on what really is the deadliest day of the coronavirus pandemic for the United States, 215 new deaths reported today. At least 11 states now each are reporting more than a hundred new cases of coronavirus just today. New York had 5,000 new reported cases.

It is still the hardest hit state in the country with nearly half of the national cases. There are more tests in New York and the majority of the cases are right here in New York City. One seventy-seven million Americans are now under stay-at-home orders.

Erica Hill begins our coverage OUTFRONT in New York tonight. And Erica, so many states right now as we talk about 11 states with a hundred or more cases just today and they need supplies. How are they coping?

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR AND NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They absolutely do. In fact, we even heard from the World Health Organization today saying that there is a critical shortage. There is concern about supplies around the world here in the U.S. or here in New York specifically, Governor Andrew Cuomo saying ventilators remain the single greatest need. But add to that too the need for 10s of thousands of hospital beds and those are cries that we are hearing from states across the country.


HILL(voice-over): A virus that once seemed distant hitting closer to home with each passing day.


GOV. LARRY HOGAN (D) MARYLAND: The vast majority of people in our state who have tested positive so far are in their 40s and we have children as young as 10 months old who have the virus.


HILL(voice-over): Louisiana is showing the highest growth rate for the virus. Governor Edwards warning his state's health care facilities couldn't be at capacity by the first week of April. Michigan one of several states facing a shortage of critical supplies. New Jersey now has the second highest number of cases in the U.S. and in New York.

The Governor warning the peak in his state which now has 30,000 confirmed cases is likely weeks away.


GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D) NEW YORK: We still have the trajectory going up. We have not turned the trajectory nor have we hit the apex.


HILL(voice-over): But there are early signs the shelter-in-place orders are easing the strain on hospitals. Still, the state needs 10s of thousands of additional hospital beds and ventilators to meet the expected need. At across the country, officials are pleading with retired health care professionals to return to work.


CUOMO: God bless them. Forty thousand people have signed up as a surge health care force. That's a big, big deal because you can create beds, you can find the equipment, you have to have the staff.


HILL(voice-over): The fight against this invisible enemy is increasingly defined by those on the frontlines. The exhausted doctors, nurses and hospital staff working around the clock.


JUDY SHERIDAN-GONZALEZ, RN, PRESIDENT, NEW YORK STATE NURSES ASSOCIATION: We are terrified. Everybody is terrified. We feel an obligation to take care of our patients. Everybody does. But we don't want to become sick and we also don't want to become carriers.


HILL(voice-over): For the 900 Americans who have died, their grieving families facing another painful reminder of all that has changed.


DR. NGOZI EZIKE, DIRECTOR, ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH: And for those who have passed on, their loved ones are now grieving and don't have the opportunity to celebrate their lives with traditional funerals and wakes. Let's send our thoughts, our support and our prayers to all of these families and their friends.


HILL(voice-over): In Alabama, Emmarie Grace, just a month old is now Isolated as a precaution after a nurse in the NICU where the baby has been since birth tested positive.


Her father telling CNN he felt this moment was inevitable, given the number of people tending to his daughter every day.


HILL(voice-over): Erin, one other need the Governor Cuomo brought up today is the mental health need for folks here in this state and obviously across the country. He talked about the emotional trauma that many people may be experiencing as their lives are changing so rapidly.

And here in New York, a hotline has been set up and the Governor says some 6,000 mental health professionals have now volunteered to staff that hotline to help people.

BURNETT: All right. Erica, thank you very much and we're going to hear shortly from that emergency room nurse that you just saw in Erica's piece, the one who said healthcare workers are terrified. She'll be on this program in just a few moments.

I want to go now though to Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Dr. William Schaffner who is the former CDC official and Professor of Infectious Diseases now at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. I appreciate both of your time.

So Sanjay, the President sort of floating this idea now of ending the shutdown in stages that in some places you would just reopen for business and other places it might take a little longer would that work?

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, one of the things people have to keep in mind is that we don't really know how widespread this virus is. I mean that sort of makes sense if you say, hey, look, this virus is really only present in certain parts of the country and not present at all in other parts of the country.

I don't think we just know the answer to that, because even though the testing has improved, there's still a lot of places around the country where they still have done inadequate testing. And part of the reason we're seeing such high numbers in New York is because it is spreading there but also because they've done a lot more testing, so I don't know.

I would also remind, Erin, something that we've talked about that young people are at risk of, A; carrying this virus and spreading it to others and also of getting sick. It is true that they are far less likely to die, which is which is good. But the idea that they can just go back to work and not potentially add to the problem, I don't think is true.

So Dr. Fauci says we'll have to look at the data and the data will change.

BURNETT: So I'm going to ask you about this, Dr. Schaffner, because Dr. Fauci did say yesterday that part of the problem is we don't know what we don't know, because this country has done a terrible job at testing up to this point. So there are certain regions where you don't see a lot going on. And that maybe is because nothing is going on or may be because we're not testing to see what is going on.

But the President tonight said that we're not seeing numbers, it's because there's no problem here. Here he is.


TRUMP: Many states that I'm talking about, they don't have a problem. We have some big problems, but it's confined to certain areas, high density areas. So why would we test the entire nation, 350 million people. With that being said, I'm going to say it again, we tested for more

than anybody else. We have the ability to test. I mean, we've come a long way from an obsolete broken system that I inherited. We have now tested with the best test far more than anybody else.


BURNETT: Several questions from that, but Dr. Schaffner, first this point, when he says, "Many states that I'm talking about, they don't have a problem. We have big problems, but they're confined to certain areas, high density areas." Do we know that to be true?

DR. WILLIAM SCHAFFNER, PROFESSOR, INFECTIOUS DISEASES DIVISION, VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER: We're not certain about that at all, Erin. We have some hotspots, we have some warm spots and we have some other spots, such as Nashville, that's warming up. I'm sure that this virus is just about everywhere, but how dense it is, how widespread it is, we don't know yet. We haven't tested sufficiently.

If we could test a lot more, we would have a much better idea of how distributed this virus is.

BURNETT: Right. I mean, so you can't say it's not there if you haven't been looking for it.

I mean, Sanjay the other question is what the President said there, he also said we wouldn't want to test everybody, why would we test 350 million people. I understand you don't need to test 350 million people to know how many of them have it. That is what statistics are for.

But you do need to test a lot more than you've been testing and you do need to test a lot more than sick people, which is really the extent of who has been tested in this country, right?

GUPTA: Yes. No question. I mean, look, to give you a sort of context for the seasonal flu in any given year, we may say 30 million people had the seasonal flu, but fewer than a hundred thousand tests were performed just for the reason you said, Erin.

I mean, they use all of these different metrics to try and figure out just how widespread the flu is. This is different. This is a brand new virus and it's still important to identify people who are positive and be able to isolate them and then find out who they came in contact with. That's getting increasingly challenging, obviously, in areas where the virus is very widely spread and it's very dense, but it's still important to do that, because we haven't had adequate testing.


I mean, look, we're not nowhere close to really getting to the surveillance part of things right now. In fact the people are being told not to even get a test unless they have symptoms, so that's a ways down the road still.

But you're absolutely right, we do need to really broaden testing, maybe not 350 million people, clearly not. But to get to get a statistical relevance here, a lot more needs to be done.

BURNETT: Right. And especially because on the Diamond Princess, Dr. Schaffner, which is the one sort of the perfect zone you have in the sense of people were stuck there and everybody was tested. So they were tested, whether you had it or not.

Half of the people who had it had no symptoms. So, I mean, we don't know if that's true across the general population. But if it were to be true, the incidence of this could be way higher. I mean, it has immense implications for a lot of things, including how many people are sick, what your fatality rate is, how long the country should stay close, whether social distancing is working, doesn't it?

SCHAFFNER: Oh, absolutely. People have gotten the information that you can spread this virus even though you have minimal or no symptoms. So there are a lot of people out there who would like to be tested just on those grounds, because they're concerned for their own families and other people they come in contact with.

And, of course, this expectation has been raised, because people have been told, if you want to test you can get it. So for public health reasons, that's the main reason we want to test as well as for clinical reasons so we can take good care of patients and healthcare providers can use the appropriate protective equipment.

BURNETT: So Sanjay, the other question I have here is what's wrong with the U.S. testing system at this point? I mean, there's several questions there but the one that I want to ask about is the time. I mean, I know people, I have friends who've had this.

By the time they were identified as being worthy of getting a test, it then took several days to get the test and then it took seven days to get the test back and in one of those instances, it was a positive. So in all of that time that person, of course, was self quarantining, thank goodness.

But I mean, how in the world can it be taking seven days to get these tests back when we hear about three hours test results in other places?

GUPTA: Yes. I mean, that's not acceptable. I mean, clearly the test itself like if you're in the lab and you have the specimen, and you're going to get the result back is hours. Typically around six hours is what I've heard. But as technology improves even around this testing, you can shorten that time.

Everything else is if the place where the person you know got tested doesn't have a laboratory on premises, it has to be sent out, many of these places that are receiving the specimens, they're starting to get a lot of specimens now. You're hearing about the testing ramping up, but that can slow things down as well in terms of getting results.

But you're right, I mean, seven days is not acceptable because that person who doesn't know thankfully, your friend quarantined, but if they didn't, that would be a source of increased spread. One thing if I can just add as well, Erin, the Diamond Princess, which was a really interesting point that you brought up.

About half of the people who tested positive did not have symptoms. Within a period of time several of them did develop symptoms. So in the end about 18 percent of people did not have symptoms.

Point is this, that even if you don't have symptoms now, it can take up to a couple of weeks to develop symptoms. I'm not trying to scare people, but just keep that in mind. We're still early days. You're thinking I'm totally fine. I have no exposure. I feel great.

And I hope you stay that way. But it can take awhile to develop these symptoms as well.

BURNETT: Right. And people should know during all of that time you can be spreading the virus and I guess some studies have shown perhaps even more virus present in your system right before you have all those obvious symptoms, you can really be infecting others.

Thank you both very much. I appreciate your time.

And next, a nurse on the frontlines of the battle against coronavirus calls her experience in the ER terrifying and she joins me next.

Plus, New York police officers and firefighters, lots of them are infected with coronavirus. They have gotten those tests back. They are positive as emergency calls for help in the nation's biggest city are surging. The Commissioner of New York's Fire Department is OUTFRONT.

And trillions of dollars for an economic stimulus package. But is this just the tip of the iceberg?



BURNETT: Tonight, coronavirus cases surging in the epicenter of New York City. One hospital system saying they have seen a tenfold increase in coronavirus patients in just the past week. The total cases in New York State passing 30,000 detected with 285 known deaths.

OUTFRONT now, ER nurse Judy Sheridan-Gonzalez. She's President of the New York State Nurses Association as well.

And Judy, thank you, I appreciate your time. Our viewers saw you a moment ago in Erica's piece. You were talking about how you're terrified as you take care of patients. I mean, what is life like right now in the ER?

GONZALEZ: Well, my ER is not different from other ERs from what we're hearing around the state. This health system is totally unprepared for this disaster. So we're kind of making it go as we go along.

We're not getting the PPE, the personal protective equipment that we need to protect us, the N95 respirators or certainly not the hazmat suits that you see in China and Korea, Singapore, and in Italy post disaster, after they were not using the correct things and people are scared.

They're afraid that they're going to get sick. They won't be able to take care of the patients. They'll pass the virus on to their families and their friends. We hold the CDC responsible for this because initially, the CDC regulations were very strict in terms of what we needed to protect ourselves and, of course, to protect our patients.

When they relax the guidelines and we can't understand why that happened, because they had months to prepare for this, then we were subject to have to change the rules along the lines and it's just totally unsafe for the nurses.

BURNETT: I mean, look, it's scary to hear it. I know you all are heroic to be working under those conditions. What are the conditions of the patients who are coming into your ER right now and are you, would you say, fully at this point at or over capacity?

GONZALEZ: From what I understand almost all of the ERs are overcapacity. When I worked in - and I don't work that often, because I have presidential duties in the organization, my colleagues are working overtime and extra shifts to be able to just meet the need because we have so many people who are out sick.

They're taking care of way too many patients at one time and we have patients waiting for beds upstairs. They're cohorting COVID positive with presumptive COVIDs, which is not safe.


People are waiting days for beds. We don't really have enough beds and we were behind the eight ball to begin with. Because over the past 10 or 20 years, we've lost 20,000 beds in New York state because of the Medicaid cuts and this kind of draconian attitude of just letting us function under bare bones. So we were ill-prepared to begin with and now it's just total overload.

BURNETT: So The Washington Post reports tonight, I don't know if you saw this, but they're reporting that some hospitals are discussing a universal Do-Not-Resuscitate policy for infected patients. They're talking about hospitals in Washington, D.C. hospitals in Chicago having conversations they never thought they would have to have.

But that they're discussing this because of the danger to exposing doctors and nurses that basically they wouldn't be able to do everything possible to resuscitate a person who may be dying because of the risk of infecting everybody caring for them and the great risk that that carries. I mean, are those conversations also happening at your hospital.

GONZALEZ: I've heard whispers about that but that's what's so outrageous if we had the appropriate equipment, that wouldn't be an issue. If you look at what happened in China after the initial epidemic where people didn't have the appropriate PPE, when they brought in 40,000 healthcare workers from across the country, they gave them those hazmat suits and all of the appropriate PPE and they had zero infection rate. Same thing happened in South Korea and also in Singapore. If we have

the appropriate equipment, we can resuscitate people. We can do whatever it is that we need to do for people. This is inexcusable and I hold the CDC and the federal government responsible.

They're supposed to protect us. They're supposed to protect the public instead of responding the way that they should. They didn't prepare and now who are the victims, the public is the victim and the caregivers are the victims. It's outrageous.

BURNETT: Are the caregivers or the nurses able to - you talk about them being sick and also, I mean, we all know in Italy 10 percent of those infected are frontline health care workers. We see it in Spain. And these are people like you, nurses, doctors who are literally putting their lives on the line.

When you see some of the people who are younger, who are succumbing to this disease, many of them are healthcare workers who are exhausted and around so much of it. Are they able to get the nurses right now if they're sick, access to test, get those tests back immediately? Are they able to get answers?

GONZALEZ: No. They had done some testing, then they increase testing and now they pulled back on the testing. You have to be really sick to get a test right now. And the wait time I had some symptoms, I had a test, they said 24 hours it would come back. That was on a Thursday. I didn't get my results till Monday, but they allowed me to go back to work on Sunday, not even knowing my test results because they've relaxed the return to work rules, but the test results aren't coming back in time.

And very sadly, we lost a nurse today not in my hospital, in one of our sister facilities who succumbed to the disease. That was our first nurse death that we know about. And we also have nurses who are ill, one of our own nurses in my hospital was in the ICU, is still in the ICU, I believe, on a ventilator from COVID-19.

BURNETT: Well, we are thinking of them and just the incredible heroism, I know, everyone in this country. I get chills when you think about the people who are willing to go everyday to work, knowing that they could get sick or they could die and they do it anyway and they do it to save other people. Thank you so very much, I appreciate your time.

GONZALEZ: (Inaudible) we want to get the appropriate equipment so we can help you, that's what we (inaudible) ...

BURNETT: All right. Well, you have the nurses on the front lines. You also have first responders. And in New York City many of them are also now testing positive for coronavirus, more than 3,000 NYPD officers are out sick today. That is nearly 10 percent of the police force and triple the normal sick rate.

This is in the largest city in the United States, hundreds of them have tested positive for coronavirus. The fire department is now also seeing a spike in positive test results as 911 calls are skyrocketing, up by more than 40 percent.

And joining me on the phone now is Daniel Nigro. He is the Commissioner of the New York City Fire Department.

Commissioner, I want to thank you for joining me and I want everyone to understand you're on the phone because you're so busy right now. You cannot make it to a camera. So how much does it concern you to see these numbers? People out sick first responders, coronavirus positives, accelerating in your department.

DANIEL NIGRO, DFNY COMMISSIONER: Well, certainly, this pandemic has created a very, very difficult situation for my department. Our people are the front lines that take these patients and deliver them to the hospitals and our calls have gone up somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 percent as of today and they're projected to continue to rise.

BURNETT: And that surge in demand, those numbers, what, 5,700 911 calls, as you said up more than 40 percent, 2,000 more than you would get on a normal day.


And your firefighters and paramedics are responding to these calls. They don't know who may have the virus. We do know some of those first responders are among those who got, infected. Of course, they're worried. They could be infected or they could have it themselves and infect someone else. I mean, how dire is this situation for your men and women who are on the front lines going into people's homes right now for these life saving 911 responses?

NIGRO: Well, proof of their bravery and their dedication is that they're on the front lines. While we're asked to shelter-in-place, the members of our department don't have that luxury. They don't have that luxury. They're out there dealing with these patients each and every day. They're going home. They're worried about their families and yet their dedication and their pride brings them to work and they serve the public.

BURNETT: Do you have the supplies you need or how close are you to not having them?

NIGRO: A few days ago I was interviewed a few times and said it was critical. And I was hoping that the pleas of the Governor and the Mayor were heard in Washington. They have been heard and we've received some supplies.

Certainly we're not flush with supplies. We don't have an overwhelming amount, but we have supplies for the coming weeks, and hopefully months and we think the supply chain will continue to bring the protective equipment we need.

BURNETT: Well, Commissioner Nigro, that I hope ends up being true and that is very good news. I appreciate your time, sir. And we wish you and every single one of your responders the very best. Thank you.

NIGRO: Thank you and we urge people to please use 911 just for medical emergencies. It's a matter of life and death for your friends, family and yourself. And please do that. Thank you.

BURNETT: All right. And OUTFRONT next, the Senate says there is a $2 trillion stimulus deal, the biggest in history. So why has there still not been a vote?

And testing remains a huge issue. And even those who now can get a test, you still have to pretty much be really sick to get one. Why do you have to wait five to seven days to get results? Why?



ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Breaking news: Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin defending the historic $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus plan, firing back as Republicans threaten to block the plan, because they say an extra $600 week for four month of unemployed Americans could be an incentive not to work.


STEVEN MNUCHIN, TREASURY SECRETARY: I don't think it will create incentives. Most Americans, what they want is to keep their jobs. This is no fault of their own that businesses have been shut down. The president and vice president wanted to make sure those hard-working Americans got money.


BURNETT: This as President Trump vows to immediately sign the bill, which is based on income levels could give individuals up to $1,200, $2,400 with married couples with $500 additional per child, which is how they get to the $3,400 a month.

Phil Mattingly is OUTFRONT.

So, Phil, where do things stand? I mean, a lot of people watching this say, OK, guys, why hasn't there been a vote?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it's been a long couple of days. Look, just about there, that was the text message I got for somebody working on this package. They think they're just about there. They think they've gotten through the several concerns that were outstanding towards the end of things.

It's worth noting, the concern the Republican senators raised about the federal benefits that will be put on top of state unemployment insurance, those benefits were actually agreed to by the administration, by Republican negotiators, by Democratic negotiators. And they are a key part of a package that is supposed to interconnect.

You have the expanded, enhanced unemployment insurance. Obviously, you have the direct payments, as well, $350 billion in small business loans, $500 billion for distressed larger industries. All of these things, Erin, and you know this stuff better than anybody, are supposed to work together in concert, not to stimulate the economy from a growth perspective, but to seven as a bridge loan, basically to keep America alive over the course of the next several weeks or months depending on how things work.

So, the reality is, the Senate is almost there. They should be voting in the next couple of hours. The expectation is the House will take it up and pass it as soon as tomorrow. As you said, the president is planning on signing it. The big question right now is, one, how quickly can they get this money out the door? And two, are they going to need more given the depth of this problem of this issue of what the country is facing economically over the course of the next several months, Erin?

BURNETT: And that is the crucial question. You look at the biggest package in history, whether that will only be the beginning. It is, of course, money that will be borrowed.

Thank you very much, Phil Mattingly.

And I want to go now to the chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, Marc Short.

So, Marc, you know, you had the treasury secretary, he says that this plan, you know, sending people this money, up to $3,400 a month would not be an incentive not to work. That he says Americans want to work, they want to keep their job, they want to get back to work. Nonetheless, there are some Republicans who seem to think that this is a disincentive to work.

What are you saying to them?

MARC SHORT, CHIEF OF STAFF FOR VICE PRESIDENT PENCE: Erin, thanks for having me on tonight.

I concur with Secretary Mnuchin's belief that Americans don't want a handout check, they want to get back to work. The reality is, is that the income levels are different in different parts of the country. New York, wages are different than Nebraska wages. And so, for some in the smaller states, perhaps more rural states, the dollar amount that's being given, some worry it's going to be higher than what some workers will be get thing their wages, so therefore as you suggested, disincentives them to work.

But I think that the vast majority of Americans want to get back to work. And so, this is providing protection, because as the secretary said, the coronavirus is no fault of their own. It's no fault of their employer. This is a -- this is a health care crisis that we're anxious to get to the other side of. And this provides them temporary relief. It's up to four months. It's not in perpetuity.

BURNETT: Up to four months. And so, that's what -- that's what you are willing to do at this point, anticipating, I suppose, that this would not go on longer than that. But just to be clear, it may not go on that long, correct?

SHORT: Erin, it is our prayer that the coronavirus outbreak, we're on the other side of it before four months is up. [19:35:04]

So, yes, that is certainly -- that is certainly our hope. And -- but the four months was given, because in some cases employers who go back a little bit if they wanted to, it doesn't have to start the day that the bill is signed.

BURNETT: All right. So, the plan, you know, in addition to checks that are going to go American families who earn under $100,000, you're also going to have loans, you know, bridge loans to companies, companies which do employ a lot of Americans, millions of Americans.

However, former Republican and now independent congressman, Justin Amash, tweeted today, Marc, this bipartisan deal is a raw deal for the people. It does far too little for the ones that need the most help while providing hundreds of billions in corporate welfare and widening the gap between the rich and the poor. Why is he wrong?

SHORT: Erin, I think any time you have a package of this size which you're putting together both sides of the aisle and trying to provide relief to the American people, there's going to be provisions that you can look and say, I don't support every one of those. But the overall holistic part of the bill we think is important to get passed, we think it's important to get passed soon, we think it's important to provide that relief to Americans, not just individuals but also small businesses, because, again, what the economic consequences through no fault of their own, no fault to their business plan, it's the reality of the health care crisis that nobody could have foreseen.

So, we are anxious to get this bill passed. It's not to say every single provision in there is something that everyone would love. It's to say, when you bring together both sides on something of a bill this large, overall, it's something that we support.

BURNETT: So when we are going to get the unemployment numbers, the weekly ones, you know, they're not always paid so much attention. They are going to be tomorrow morning, we all know that.

Larry Kudlow says it's going to be a dramatic increase. Here he is earlier today, Marc.



LARRY KUDLOW, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF ECONOMIC ADVISER: it's going to be a very big increase. Everybody in the market knows that.


BURNETT: California's governor alone says 1 million people filed for unemployment since March 13th. I mean, how high do you think this number tomorrow could be? You know, someone said 2.5 million. Could it be higher than that? SHORT: Erin, I don't want to try to predict a specific number. I

think Larry is right, that the number is going to be large. I think we recognize that.

But it's all the more reason that we're anxious for Americans to comply with the guidelines that we put forward to try to shorten the duration of this outbreak and the severity of it because the sooner we can do that, the sooner we can get the country back to work.

So, that is - that is our desire, it's our ask for the American people. And candidly, we have been inspired by the way Americans have come together from all walks of life to pitch in and try to help and comply with the guidelines that the virus is not spread to the most dangerous populations.

BURNETT: All right. Marc Short, thank you very much. Good to talk to you again.

SHORT: Erin, thanks for having me on tonight.

BURNETT: And next, President Trump boasting about testing in the United States. But the reality of it is, is that most people who want the test still can't get it?

And those who have been tested are waiting seven days for results. Many of them, seven days at least. Why? How could that be?

And a ground breaking experiment using the blood from recovered coronavirus patients has just gotten the green light from the FDA. One of the world's leading experts on this technique is next.



BURNETT: Tonight, President Trump says the U.S. is doing a great job testing for the coronavirus, yet in the United States, there are still long lines of people, I mean, you see this right here, right? Those are people waiting to be tested.

One New York City hospital system says they have 1,600 hospitalized patients who are either waiting on test results or waiting to be tested.

Now, for those who do get a test, getting results back is frankly unacceptably slow for so many.

Drew Griffin is OUTFRONT.


DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Commercial labs, even among the country's largest, tell CNN coronavirus testing results are seriously delayed because of backlog.

Quest Diagnostics said the lab's current turnaround time is in average four to five days, but can be as long as seven days. And although the company is rapidly expanding testing capacity, demand for the testing is growing faster, and we cannot accommodate everyone who wants testing, and meet tight turn around expectations.

It's just the latest issue in a long list of delays of testing since coronavirus first arrived in the U.S.

DR. LEANA WEN, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY: That luck of testing is preventing us from understanding the true spread of coronavirus in communities. It's almost certain that not only in New York and the identified hot spots, but all over the country, there are significant underestimates of the true number of coronavirus cases.

GRIFFIN: First, there weren't enough test kits. Then there was a shortage, still ongoing in the supplies needed to conduct the tests.

Now, the critical delay, which is having a dangerous effect in hospitals and other health care facilities, is delays in getting test results.

DR. ALEX GRENINGER, UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON'S DEPARTMENT OF LABORATORY MEDICINE: Quick turnaround time can save personal protective equipment. That's probably the most important thing right now.

GRIFFIN: When doctors don't know which patients are infected with COVID-19, they waste precious personal protective equipment, because they have to switch out masks, gowns, everything in between patients to prevent the virus from spreading even more. It's making the uncertainty inside hospitals even more terrifying.

JUDY SHERIDAN-GONZALEZ, RN, PRESIDENT, NEW YORK STATE NURSES ASSOCIATION: People are very frightened of contracting the illness, of not having the equipment to protect themselves, transmitting it to other patients and transmitting it to each other, and transmitting it to family members. There is absolutely not enough testing going on.

GRIFFIN: And, shockingly, for the most powerful nation on Earth, many health care workers cannot get tested unless their symptoms become severe. In New York City, EMS workers say they do not have N95 masks or enough personal protective equipment.

They are being exposed, getting sick and told to just go home. They are getting no tests.

OREN BARZILAY, FDNY EMS UNION: We are not provided with any tests, even after we've been exposed and showing signs and symptoms of coming down with the virus, which is -- it's unacceptable to us.


GRIFFIN: Health care workers, first responders unable to get tested, unable to get proper equipment daily make the decision to go to work and risk being infected or give up. This nurse from Ohio quit, she says, to save her own family. STACY FOYTIK, CLEVELAND, OHIO: I feel that people should know that if

we walked into rooms like this a month ago, a year ago, we would have been reprimanded. We would have lost our jobs, because what we were doing? Not providing safe care.


GRIFFIN: Erin, one of the big questions is why are these tests taking so long to process when we see tests overseas like South Korea being turned around in one or two hours. The answer is, the FDA did not have a rapid response test approved. That ended a few days ago. A company called Cepheid is going to roll out a test which can be done in perhaps 45 minutes. But it's limited supply.

And like everything else in this testing issue, the testing demand is way far exceeding the capacity to process these tests -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Drew, thank you very much.

And next, taking the blood from recovered coronavirus patients and using that to help the sick. The technique was just approved by the FDA. And I'm going to ask one of the world's leading experts how big this could be.

And Jeanne Moos on her New York, the city bent but not broken by coronavirus.



BURNETT: New tonight, New York state hours way from receiving the first blood donations from people recovering from coronavirus to help treat those who have it. It's a process the FDA just expedited called convalescent serum, basically taking the blood from a recovered coronavirus patient and injecting the antibodies from the plasma into someone who is very sick.

OUTFRONT now, Dr. Arturo Casadevall, the chair of molecular microbiology and immunology at Johns Hopkins University and leading expert on this research.

Doctor, it's good to have you back.

When we spoke last week, this process hadn't yet been approved, and now here we are. I mean, how quickly could we know, you know, how dramatically this could help people who have coronavirus?

DR. ARTURO CASADEVALL, MOLECULAR MICROBIOLOGY & IMMUNOLOGY CHAIR, JOHNS HOPKINS: Well, we are -- it's been tremendous progress in this area in one week. At the very least today, the FDA has allowed the use of convalescent sera. So, this is something we'll now be using in the United States for the first time against the coronavirus.

As to when are we going to know how effective it is, it's going to require some time. We're going to have to do some testing to determine how, when and if it worked.

BURNETT: So, when Dr. Fauci said last week this could be a few weeks until they knew more information, you know, what do you think it is here? Is it a few weeks, is it a few months? I mean, what do you think is realistic?

CASADEVALL: Well, I think that New York is moving to deploy this very rapidly. I understand they are already trying to recruit people to donate their convalescent serum. And I think it's important that the viewers know this has not started yet. That the areas where people can donate will have to be locally, and that it is for compassionate use only. That is, doctors will have to make a determination as to whether this will be likely to benefit a patient potentially, and then make -- then use it in that case.

It is not a clinical trial. It is compassionate use, means that a decision has to be made that there is some likelihood that this will help, and that the likelihood is better or greater than if there was going to be any side effect of it.

BURNETT: How many donors do you need?

CASADEVALL: How many donors? Well, you're going to need to have at least one donor per person who needs it. In the future as we know more about this, we may be able to change the dose. We think (AUDIO GAP) calculation, one donor may be able to treat two people, but right now, we're probably thinking 1-1.

BURNETT: And, quickly, before we go, when this does work on a patient, how significant is their turn around?

CASADEVALL: Well, we don't know that. We do have (AUDIO GAP) information we have is from China. The information that we have received is sketchy, but it's encouraging. And it's being used in very ill patients and they appear to be reporting some positive results.

But I caution, it is not a clinical trial. Until you do clinical trials, you don't really know how good it is as a therapy.

BURNETT: All right. Well, I appreciate your time and certainly we all understand that crucial caveat. I know there are many, though, who will be glad to have what they can get from the compassionate use. And I appreciate your time, Doctor. It's good to talk to you again.

Next, Jeanne joins me with the times in the epicenter of New York City.


BURNETT: Tonight, a new normal in the city that never sleeps.

Here's Jeanne.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The first thing I notice these days, I open my eyes in my Manhattan apartment, is that there is no traffic noise because there is no traffic. No commuters from New Jersey, no trucks, no beeping horns.

Don't be afraid of anyone. No one to be afraid of, but 42nd Street.

You know the cliche when things are crowded, people say it's like Grand Central? This is Grand Central, at rush hour. Central, but not so grand.

Do you mind if I take a picture of your sign? It's OK?


MOOS: Coronavirus, I drink mine with a shot of wine disease.

For guys asking for money and coronavirus, you know it's in the nation's bloodstream.

Staying apart is the best way to stay united.

Thank you health care workers.

Tough times don't last, tough people do.

So, this is a line from whole foods in midtown. They're letting people in a couple at a time. And notice how far apart everyone stands in the line. Have you ever seen a line like this before?

Even Ralph Crandon, Jackie Gleason from "The Honeymooners" is wearing a mask. It makes sense he was a bus driver.

Social distancing honeymooners' style.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you see me coming down the street, get on the other side.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you come down the street, there ain't no other side.



BURNETT: And thanks so much for joining us.

Anderson starts now.