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Impeachment Trial Lawyer On Testing Positive For Coronavirus; Senate And White House Agree On Largest Stimulus Package In U.S. History; Spain Uses Ice Rink As Morgue For Coronavirus Victims. Aired 7:30-8a ET
Aired March 25, 2020 - 07:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right. New this morning, New York City being hit very hard by coronavirus. The number of cases here doubling every three days.
One of the first patients that we spoke to here on NEW DAY is recovering at home here, near New York City. I want to check back in with Daniel Goldman. He was, of course, the lawyer for the House Intelligence Committee during the impeachment inquiry.
Dan, it's great to see you. Last time we spoke you were still symptomatic. Tell us how you're doing, how your wife is doing.
DANIEL GOLDMAN, CORONAVIRUS PATIENT, FORMER SENIOR ADVISER, HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Well, John, finally, after about two weeks, we're both nearing full health. This thing really knocks you out and we were very lucky in that we had relatively mild versions. Neither one of us had any lung issues, any breathing issues, which is really the biggest concern for anyone who gets coronavirus. But it still has taken two weeks for us to get back on our feet.
It is not a trifling matter, this coronavirus, and it really, really gets me angry when I hear people say oh, I'll just get and then we can move on because I'm healthy. No one has any idea how it's going to hit each individual and that is a very, very dangerous approach to what is a very, very strong virus.
BERMAN: Also, you're a strapping young man, right? I mean, you are not the demographic that everyone is warning --
GOLDMAN: Well, I appreciate that.
BERMAN: -- so many people. I know, but you are. You're a young guy and you got it and you got sick. And I think it's important to get that message out, correct?
GOLDMAN: And I don't have any underlying compromised issues. I don't have any lung issues, I don't have any immunocompromised matters. My immune system is fine. And I think it's a very important point is that from a medical perspective I am very healthy and it still knocked me out, and I think everyone needs to understand that.
BERMAN: What are your plans to reintegrate with society as a whole?
GOLDMAN: It's a very good question and I think that's the big $64,000 question right now. If we are going to lift this lockdown or this stay-at-home order around the country, how are we going to do it? The way it has been done effectively around the world is by testing, and the only effective way that makes any sense is to test people so that you know whether or not you have it when you get back out in the world.
I've been told that in order to get out from our quarantine we need to have two tests within 24 hours that are negative. My babysitter, who came into contact with me, is waiting now 10 days later to get her test results from the original one. There's no chance in the world I will ever get two tests --
GOLDMAN: -- within 24 hours, so that's a big open question.
And I think that one thing that has fallen in -- from the attention of a lot of people right now that should not is the testing. In order to get back to normal, in order to get our economy back going, the only way that we can do that is by ramping up the testing so we know whether or not we have it.
There are people who are carriers who are asymptomatic but they can still be carrying it. And you cannot just base it on whether you have symptoms or not. There needs to be a much more aggressive testing protocol before we can move forward.
BERMAN: It's unclear even if the protocol still is. And I remember Dr. Anthony Fauci talking about two negative tests within 24 hours. I'm not even sure they still want you to do that given that they want the tests going to people who are symptomatic and in need of care immediately. That's one of the things we have to look into, but I'm glad you brought that up.
I do want your take on what now appears to be the administration's stated goal of relaxing some of the social distancing measures. I want you to listen to the president and then Dr. Anthony Fauci talking about the possibility of people being in churches at Easter.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I hope we can do this by Easter. I think that would be a great thing for our country.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Who suggested that date?
TRUMP: I just thought it was a beautiful time. It would be a beautiful time -- a beautiful timeline. DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES, NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH: You could look at a date but you ought to be very flexible on a literally day-by-day and week-by-week basis. Obviously, no one is going to want to tone down things when you see what's going on in a place like New York City. I mean -- I mean, that's just good public health practice and common sense.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: Now, I don't know what you celebrate, whether it's Easter or Passover or like my house, both or neither or everything all at once, but could you imagine a situation where in a couple of weeks you're in a church or at a Seder packed with people?
GOLDMAN: No, and I think it would be medical malpractice for any doctor. I'm not a doctor, of course, but it would be absurd for anyone to suggest that we should all eliminate social distancing at an arbitrary date. This has to be done based on science, based on medicine, and we have to listen to the medical professionals.
It does no good to have three or four weeks of stay-at-home if we then just decide arbitrarily OK, it's time that we now end social distancing and all interact with each other. This virus will come back. It has come back in Hong Kong because they eased restrictions a little bit and now they're putting much more draconian restrictions than we have.
So if this is going to be successful we have to do it and we have to do it right. We have to eliminate the spread of the virus and then we can start talking about getting the economy back going. But it makes absolutely no sense to create an arbitrary deadline that is just a short-term gain but it will be long-term pain.
BERMAN: If I can ask some parenting advice here, take me inside your house. How have you been interacting with your children over the last few weeks? I mean, have you been able to be in the same room with them, give them a hug? How are they doing?
GOLDMAN: We were told by doctors that because of the requirements of taking care of three children under five -- and obviously, our babysitter is self-quarantined so we don't have any help -- so we're both sick and trying to take care of three little kids, it's impossible to isolate ourselves from the children. So we have basically been all cooped up together trying to figure out activities, but interacting as we normally would.
Thankfully, our three kids tested negative. That was before we integrated fully in this way. But they have not suffered very much from it. I think that is one of the very lucky silver linings to this virus --
GOLDMAN: -- is that it does not seem to affect children nearly as harshly as it affects adults. But it's been a long two weeks John, as you might imagine. Certainly,
we've spent a lot of quality time together.
BERMAN: All right, Daniel Goldman. We appreciate you being with us. I think it's very important for people to hear your story and also your warnings, so thank you for being with us this morning. We'll check back in with you hopefully, in a different location next time.
GOLDMAN: Yes, I'd love to join you. Take care.
BERMAN: All right.
So, this $2 trillion economic stimulus deal reached overnight, what does it mean for workers? When can you see that check and how much will it be for? That's next.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: OK.
Breaking overnight, Congress got an agreement on a $2 trillion economic stimulus package, the largest in U.S. history. It includes $500 billion for distressed companies, $300 (sic) for small businesses, and $250 billion in direct payments to individuals. People earning less than $75,000 will get $1,200 per individual with an additional $500 per child.
Joining us now is Seth Harris. He's the former acting Labor secretary under President Obama. Secretary Harris, great to see you and your experience with these things.
How soon will people be able to get that $1,200 in their hands?
SETH HARRIS, FORMER ACTING LABOR SECRETARY UNDER PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: It shouldn't take long. It's just a matter of the IRS and the Treasury sending out the checks.
But equally important Alisyn, it's the unemployment benefits is really what's going to matter to the people who are hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic. The most important thing in this bill is that Congress extended unemployment benefits and they increased the value of the benefits by $600.
That's going to help not just the families that have really been devastated by losing their jobs, but also it's going to help our economy because those folks will spend the money right away. The folks who get those checks who earn less than $75,000 a year, they're going to spend it right away. That's what we need to keep the economy moving forward.
CAMEROTA: And so, just explain that a little bit more because for all of the people who have been laid off -- when you say they've extended it, they'll get money for a longer period of time, you're saying.
HARRIS: That's exactly right. So in most states -- and sadly, not all -- unemployment benefits last for 26 weeks. What Congress is going to do in this bill is extend that to 39 weeks.
In the Great Recession, under President Obama's Recovery Act, we extended it to 99 weeks because the recovery took so long. And let me just say, in the future, that might be necessary here. But in addition to that, there's more money going to workers who are unemployed.
Right now, the benefits only replace less than half of your weekly wage. What Congress is doing is plussing that up to give people more money so they can pay their mortgage, feed their kids, keep their Internet running so kids can go to school. So, that's a very important contribution to our society.
CAMEROTA: Boy, I remember some hue and cry in conservative circles back then when you all extended it to 99 weeks. Now, nobody is saying that because they realize that this is such a dire -- at least not many people are saying it because they realize that it's such a dire situation.
But I remember also back then the concerns about oversight. What have you heard this time around? I know that the news just broke at 1:00 a.m. but are you satisfied that there will be oversight of all these billions of dollars?
HARRIS: Well, the big area of oversight that was lacking in the original bill from Sen. McConnell but that is now in the bill that Congress is going to pass this week had to do with a huge fund of money. It was $500 billion that was going to be available for corporate loans to help industries that are really suffering -- the travel and tourism industry, eating and drinking establishments, and others.
The original plan was for Sec. of Treasury Mnuchin to unilaterally decide how that money as going to go out and for us not to find out for six months who got the money. Well, Congress changed that -- in negotiations with the Democrats, Sen. McConnell was forced to change that.
And now, there will be a congressional oversight panel with five members on it, there will be an independent inspector general, and that way it will look a lot more like what we did in the Recovery Act. And the Recovery Act had very, very, very little waste, fraud, and abuse and that's because of those protections, so that's an important change.
CAMEROTA: I also thought it was interesting that Sen. Schumer pushed for this provision that President Trump's companies -- his golf clubs, his resorts -- and his children can't be the beneficiaries of any of this nor can any member of Congress. I think that will help Americans feel better, but it's interesting that they had to add something like that.
But in terms of the actual numbers -- $1,200 per person, $500 per child -- in some places that doesn't go very far. But how do you think this will help?
HARRIS: I think you're exactly right. In sort of high-cost cities like my hometown of New York City or Chicago or Los Angeles -- some of the hardest-hit cities in our country -- $1,200 is not going to -- it's not going to make the big difference for a lot of folks. It will help. It will alleviate the pain some.
That's why there's talk about future packages and there was a big push among some Democrats that didn't end up getting in the bill to have repeated payments over time.
Ultimately, there's no substitute for a paycheck. And that's another thing that's in the bill that I think will be helpful is that the corporations that receive money, including small businesses -- there's a $375 billion fund to help small businesses, which I think is very, very important because they're at greatest risk. But in order to get the loans from the federal government, the businesses are going to have to agree to keep people on the payroll.
That will help a lot because we won't see the kind of massive unemployment that we're all hearing about and we will be able to get people paid what they're currently being paid. They've structured their lives around the paychecks they're getting right now, so we can keep those paychecks flowing for as long as possible and that's going to make a big difference.
CAMEROTA: And can you just explain the mechanics of this? Let's say that somebody has a small business in New York -- a retail store or something like that -- a restaurant. What do they do? How do they begin to get that money? Who do they call today?
HARRIS: Well, I don't think they can call today because the bill hasn't passed yet, but I expect that the money is going to flow through the Small Business Administration. So what they should do, starting towards the end of this week, is reach out to their local Small Business Administration office and see what loan facilities are available to them.
My hope is that a lot small businesses will take up this money and continue their businesses. I fear that some number of folks are not going to want to take on additional debt and are going to just walk away. And that's not only going to be a shame for them and their families and their communities, but it's going to hurt the workers who work for them and it's going to slow our recovery from what is shaping up to be a fairly deep recession.
CAMEROTA: In the minute that we have left, what do you think you're going to see with the jobless numbers this week?
HARRIS: I fear the worst. It's going to be more than we can bear.
There's a terrific study out by Aaron Sojourner, a terrific labor economist at the University of Minnesota, projecting that the unemployment claims numbers that we'll get tomorrow morning will be 3.4 million. That would by far, by a factor of five, be the largest number of unemployment claims ever filed in a week. It's a 1,200 percent increase over the prior week. That's a really frightening number.
And I fear that those numbers are going to continue for several more weeks, maybe not quite that high -- a little lower. But I think we're going to see some bad news about unemployment. That's why getting this stimulus package out is critically important.
CAMEROTA: And, you know, look, President Trump had said you can't let the cure kill the patient. I think that we all understand that metaphor. He is engaging in what medical experts say is some wishful thinking about getting people back by Easter.
How long do you think we're going to be in this situation?
HARRIS: Well, the worst thing we can do is to set an arbitrary deadline and send a bunch of people out into a virus environment -- a pandemic environment where we really don't know how to protect them. And that's where we are right now and I fear that's where we're going to be come Eastertime.
So, I think that's the wrong approach. The right approach is an evidence-based, data-driven set of decisions driven by public health professionals because that's going to give us the best result.
Let me just say there is not a trade-off between the economy and public health. There doesn't have to be; there shouldn't be. If we send people out and they get desperately ill and we have a lot of dead bodies, then that's going to be as bad for the economy and tragic for our society as keeping our society slowed down for a while and trying to figure out what to do about this pandemic.
CAMEROTA: Former Labor Sec. Seth Harris, thank you very much for all of the information. Great to talk to you.
HARRIS: Thanks, Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: Coming up, we have Sen. Chuck Schumer, the minority leader. He will be here to explain what happened at 1:00 a.m. last night. What they were able to agree to in this compromise.
BERMAN: All right, a new development this morning. Spain now has the second-highest coronavirus death total in the world. Thirty-four hundred people have died there, second only to Italy. The Spanish government has been forced into this grim improvisation -- everything from hospitals to morgue space.
CNN's Scott McLean has the latest from Madrid.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The largest hospital in Madrid right now is actually not a hospital, it is a convention center that can fit some 5,000 coronavirus patients. And surely, one of the largest morgues in the city is not actually a morgue. It's this ice rink which is now housing the bodies of the many hundreds of dead arriving every day.
The bodies are coming here because the state-run funeral service is no longer collecting the bodies of coronavirus patients because they don't have the proper protective equipment. So instead, the military is doing that job.
The lack of protective equipment also extends to health care workers who account for more than one in every eight confirmed coronavirus cases in this country. That is a higher rate than Italy and more than three times the rate of China.
There are also concerns about nursing homes. One in every five Madrid nursing homes has an infection of the coronavirus. In fact, the military has found dead bodies inside those nursing homes when they've gone in to disinfect.
Meanwhile, the Spanish Parliament will vote on an extension of the state of emergency today. That would mean that Spaniards would be homebound until April 11th -- John, Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: Our thanks to Scott there.
So we want to take a moment now to tell you about just a few of the lives that have been lost to coronavirus, starting with four-time Tony Award-winning playwright Terrence McNally. He passed away Tuesday. McNally was best-known for plays like "Ragtime" and "Kiss of the Spider Woman." McNally received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Tony's last year. He was 81 years old.
And then there's Detroit community leader Marlowe Stoudamire. He died on Tuesday. A close friend describes Marlowe as someone who would light up any room with his ideas and strategic thinking. Marlowe is survived by his wife and two young children. He was just 43 years old.
Ron Golden was the brother of Minnesota's Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan. She described him as a tough-as-nails Marine who was a big teddy bear on the inside. Golden was just diagnosed with cancer, which compromised his immune system. He was 56.
And, George Possas, he was the son of Greek immigrants. At 17 years old, he lied about his age so he could enlist in the Army during World War II. He was married to his wife Evelyn for 64 years and just became a great-grandfather. He passed away in Long Island, New York without his family because he was in a hospital quarantine. He was 93 years old.
John, those are just a few, obviously, cases and you see that they run the gamut of age and life story. BERMAN: And these are prominent names but we're all going to know someone before long with the death rate rising -- someone who passed away. And it does affect so many people. I would say that the most important death is the next one -- the one that we can prevent -- and that's what the government needs to be working on this morning.
CAMEROTA: John, we're also getting breaking news about new people testing positive, including Prince Charles. He has tested positive for coronavirus. We have new details for you and NEW DAY continues right now.