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Jobless Claims Expected to Smash Record; Japan Ignores Warnings; Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) is Interviewed about the Coronavirus in Florida; Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired March 26, 2020 - 06:30   ET



CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: You just shut it down and people started laying off their workers. And -- and I think every one of those numbers is really important to remind people. Every one of those numbers is a family, right, that's going to be looking to the stimulus and going to be looking elsewhere to figure out how they're going to get through the coronavirus pandemic.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: And, so, Julia, what are the complications for the government to handle an influx of this record- setting amount?

JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Even just processing these claims is a problem. I mean the framing here is important. It's a strange way -- it's a measure of the success of the policies that we're putting in place, of course. At the same time, what you've got, as well as this step up in unemployment benefits that we've seen, so it's going to capture parts of the economy, the gig economy, that we've never seen before. So some estimates suggest that's around a third of the economy. So you imagine that. We've got no sense of these people being captured, too.

And, of course, as Christine was saying, simply trying to suppress the number of job losses is what this survival bill is about. But it's time to get the money to people. We've got a sense of it now from the Treasury secretary. He said, look, direct deposits for the cash could come within three weeks. They mentioned this April 6th date for simply trying to process and get these checks out too, if it is in the form of checks.

But, for small businesses, you know, every day counts. Execution on all of these measures is going to be key.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Can you put that graph that you just had up on the screen again so people can see it one more time, so people can understand the scope of what we're going to hear in a few hours.

So these are weekly jobless claims since 1980.


BERMAN: Today is going to come in at a level that's four screens higher than what's on there right now. So, you know, you'd have to stack four television sets up to get where the figures are likely to be today, Romans. And it doesn't even cover what they might really be, because as Julia was saying, it doesn't cover the gig economy.


BERMAN: But there's a but here. The but is, that this rescue plan that is in the process of getting passed now does address some of this --

ROMANS: It does.

BERMAN: Does help some of these people filing. How?

ROMANS: It does.

Well, a couple of things here. I mean small business owners, the Treasury secretary wants, in a matter of days, he wants small business owners to be able to walk into an FDIC insured bank branch in their town, walk in, apply for an emergency loan, get that loan and be able to pay their workers for the next couple of months.

And then the loan's forgiven if you retain the workers. So that's one way they want people to not lay off their workers but instead keep people on board here. So that's something that's going to be really important.

And I think Julia's absolutely right, that the execution is going to be really key here. I know they're working feverishly to try to figure out how to make sure all of this is rolling smoothly and quickly so people can get the money to prevent the layoffs.

What we will see today is the layoffs that have already happened. And that's that huge number, that 1 million to 4 million. Those are layoffs that have already happened before any kind of rescue package from Washington.

CAMEROTA: I mean, Julia, we hear all sorts of predictions from doctors, the CDC about how long this is going to last. But the truth is, nobody really knows. And so what's the financial system and the economy prepared to do in terms of sustaining all of this?

CHATTERLEY: We've seen unprecedented levels of money coming in from the central bank to try and shore up the system. We've also, of course, now hopefully we'll get this money to support the real economy.

But you're absolutely right, Alisyn, we can't gauge yet. So these numbers in particular are going to continue to be simply a measure of the success of those stimulus policies. But, as I mentioned, the science here is so imprecise because -- and it's a good thing in a way for the first time the expansion of these unemployment benefits and the increase on the weekly basis will capture parts of the economy that we've not seen. It's going to show the underlying lack of support measures and the weaknesses in this economy, which is, you know, what this whole crisis, numerous crisis has revealed in such stark measure and so quickly. BERMAN: It was interesting, Romans, listening to Steve Mnuchin last

night who, from an economic standpoint, is looking at the medical reality and he doesn't -- he's planning for a medical reality that doesn't clear itself up for three or four months economically.

ROMANS: Yes, that's absolutely right. And, you know, you're hearing a lot of people say that they might have to go back to Congress. Congress might have to go back to the drawing board and do maybe another kind of package after this. I mean there's -- there's numerous expectations.

Manu Raju was reporting last night that they might have to go back and put some more stimulus measures into the pipeline in the next three months or so. So, you're right, there's a feeling that this isn't the end of the story. We're just trying to get through the immediate future.

Could I just say that seven weeks ago I was reporting on this program that it was record high 401(k) balances. I mean just think about that for a minute and now we're talking about record high layoffs in one week. What a swift decline.

CHATTERLEY: We are in recession.

CAMEROTA: I think about that all the time, Christine.

Sorry, Julia.

I think about it all the time. I mean this is just whiplash from truly the peaks to the valleys. And nobody could see, you know, this on the horizon.


I mean even if you saw coronavirus in China, you didn't know that this -- this, today, was going to be happening, Julia.

CHATTERLEY: Absolutely. This is part of the anxiety of it, the speed at which, one, we've seen the markets fall, we've seen the tensions created there. But far more importantly, the uncertainty for people, too. And, of course, the fact that Congress, they've taken a few days extra, but they've moved swiftly too. I mean this is -- this is all part of it.

And what I butted in there to say, and I apologize, is that I don't care about the technical definitions here, this is the definition of recession for people, the anxiety that that creates. We're experiencing it on a daily basis. And, for the most vulnerable in society, it's devastating. The money needs to flow fast.

BERMAN: Indeed.

All right, it will be debated for some time that if the public health situation had been taken on more seriously, more quickly --

CHATTERLEY: Yes. BERMAN: Whether or not the economic situation would have been as dire. That's a discussion for the future. Right now, get it back on track.

Thank you both very much.

So the strain on health care workers is a global problem. We're going to take you to the country where the most first responders have become infected. A live report, next.



CAMEROTA: The nation's top infectious disease doctor, Anthony Fauci, is warning that the coronavirus pandemic is accelerating. Wednesday was the deadliest day so far. The death toll in the U.S. is about to reach a grim milestone of 1,000 people.

New York is by far the hardest hit. Conditions at hospitals there and across the country are dire. Health care workers say they're bracing for a surge in patients that could overwhelm them. Some of them are building makeshift morgues on the street. Nurses are using plastic bags, garbage bags, to make up for a shortage of personal protective gear. Governor Cuomo says 40,000 healthcare workers have volunteered their services once the predicted staffing shortages begin.


BERMAN: There's a new disturbing development. CNN has learned that hospitals on the frontlines are now discussing universal do not resuscitate orders for coronavirus patients. This morning, Louisiana is emerging as a coronavirus hotspot. It has been for some time. Cases there now, though, have spiked to more than 1,500.

Spain is extending its nationwide lockdown until April 12th. This is in an attempt to contain the virus spread. The death toll now there tops 3,600. They also have the highest number of healthcare workers who have been infected.

CNN's Scott McLean is in Madrid with the latest.

We have lost Scott.

CAMEROTA: OK, we'll get back to Scott as soon as we can.

But let's get to Japan right now. That's where government officials fear that coronavirus may be running rampant but going undetected. The number of cases in that country is spiking as well, but many residents in Tokyo appear to be ignoring the warnings.

So let's get right to Will Ripley. He is live for us in Tokyo.

Will, what's the situation?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Just a couple of days after the announcement of the Olympics being postponed, the Japanese government is dramatically changing its messaging when it comes to the coronavirus. We know that here in Japan, there are now more than 1,300 cases, and that number continues to rise dramatically here in the Japanese capital. In fact, we're expecting some kind of an announcement from the Tokyo governor, Yuriko Koike, in about 20 minutes. What will she say? She'll probably announce more cases.

And the -- there is a lot of talk that there could be a lockdown here in Tokyo in the coming days. In fact, government officials have said as much if the coronavirus situation does not get under control. And, at this point, the numbers are only rising.

Yet that has not stopped people from going out to view the cherry blossoms. We were out on a shoot today and were shocked to see along the Meguro River huge crowds of people standing very close together, a lot of them not wearing masks, taking pictures of the cherry blossoms. And yet, at the supermarket, just within the last hour or so, it was the busiest I have ever seen it. A lot of the shelves are empty. Panic buying appears to be setting in.

There is a change in the mood here in Tokyo. It seems like people realize something serious is about to happen. And I lived in this building for four years. To the fact that I've never seen this store as busy as I saw it about an hour ago certainly says something.

Also news from the U.S. services here in Japan. An active duty service member has now tested positive for coronavirus. And on Friday, local time, new restrictions on movement, on social distancing, the canceling of official events are going to be taking effect. So the U.S. military personnel, more than 50,000 of them here, will soon be not necessarily locked down, but their movements severely restricted. The big question, if and when that will be happening in the Japanese capital, which now, finally, after weeks of taking a more relaxed approach, seems to be realizing the severity of the coronavirus situation on the ground here.

CAMEROTA: Will, it is really interesting to see what's happening in Japan because for a while it seemed that maybe they had dodged the coronavirus bullet. Maybe they were doing something right. But now, from reporting, it looks as though it was just postponed for them.

Thank you very much, Will. We'll check back with you.

So coronavirus cases in Florida, back here in the U.S., are beginning to surge. Should the state take stronger measures? Well, Congressman Ted Deutch has some strong feels about that. He'll be with us right after the break.



BERMAN: This morning, the coronavirus outbreak is growing. The state is now reporting nearly 2,000 cases, 23 people have died and so far Florida's governor, Ron DeSantis, is resisting calls for stay at home orders, a statewide stay-at-home order. Joining me now is Democratic Florida Congressman Ted Deutch. He is

calling on Governor DeSantis to order a state-wide stay at home order.

Congressman Deutch, thanks very much for being with us. We can talk about the politics in just a second. But, first, I do want to get a sense, because you are at home in Florida in Boca Raton right now, what you're seeing, what is happening around you at these hospitals?

REP. TED DEUTCH (D-FL): Well, John, thanks for asking the question. And that's the biggest concern that we all have. I'm fielding phone calls every day from hospitals. I'm talking to health care workers. I'm talking to doctors. And we have such an enormous debt of gratitude to the doctors, the nurses, the health care workers who are literally on the frontlines of this.

Right now some are coming home, some -- others are getting ready to go into the emergency rooms and the hospitals, and they -- we need to give them a chance. We need to make sure that they're in the best position to use their incredible skills of helping people to actually provide that assistance. And what we're so worried about is that if we don't get control of this, if we don't push down on that curve, as we've all been talking about, then they're going to be completely overwhelmed here in Florida.


They're not going to be able to care for everyone. And that's going to put lives at risk. That's why it's so important for us to take -- for the governor to take stronger action than he's taken so far.

BERMAN: So there is a stay at home order, a countywide stay at home order in Broward County, and I believe in Miami-Dade also. It's county by county at this point.

Why don't you think that's enough? Why do you think a statewide order is necessary?

DEUTCH: Well, that's actually not the way it's really working. There -- it's county by county, but different cities have different variations of it. There's no -- there's no clear guidance. There's no leadership coming from the top. And -- and we want that. We want to work together. I want to work with the governor to help keep people safe.

But we're not doing enough testing in our state. We have no idea -- we have no idea how many cases there really are because we're testing so few people. So to say that -- that we can just focus on a handful of counties and ignore the counties where it's not bad, we just don't know that that's the case. And if one county treats it one way and the county next door has different rules entirely, you're not going to be able to really prevent the spread.

Look, it is safer at home right now. This is an enormous challenge for our country, an enormous challenge for our economy. Congress is going to act. The Senate acted. We're going to act tomorrow morning and pass this bill and start getting the help out to people. But right now we have to focus on public health and keeping people

safe and saving lives. And the way to do it is for people to stay home, especially when we see the numbers increase dramatically as they have.

BERMAN: There are business leaders in Florida telling Governor DeSantis, don't shut the state down. That there are pockets, hotspots in the states, but it doesn't need -- it's a big state they say and you don't need to shut it down, for instance, in the panhandle or maybe in the northern part of the state.

What do you say to those business leaders -- the chamber of commerce is -- says don't do the statewide?

DEUTCH: Sure. If the governor -- if the governor wanted to roll out a plan that made it statewide and had some ideas on how to deal with a handful of counties where they have no cases, I don't think that that's the right approach. But let's have that conversation. But by refusing to do anything, refusing to put any orders in place around the state, the fact is we have -- there's no uniformity. People are at risk. We need -- we're all in this together, John.

BERMAN: Right.

DEUTCH: No one wants our economy to suffer. No one -- no one wants people to lose their jobs. But we all want to protect our neighbors and our parents and grandparents and our friends. And that's what we need to do now.

BERMAN: One --

DEUTCH: We have one opportunity. And this is it.

BERMAN: One of the measures the governor is taking is sort of protecting people like you from people like me, right? He doesn't want New Yorkers coming to Florida right now. And if they do, they're being asked to self-isolate for 14 days. In some cases, the National Guard is being asked to look for New Yorkers flying in.

What do you think of those measures?

DEUTCH: I support those measures. I'm glad the governor took that action. But those actions need to be enforced. We need to make sure that people actually self-quarantine when they come down here.

The problem -- look, the problem is, when -- when you have an outbreak in one place and -- and people are -- are told to stay at home and then they choose to come someplace else, that poses a risk for the -- for the other place. And that's -- that's why the best idea -- and if the governor actually acted and -- and imposed a stay at home order across the state, then he wouldn't have to ask certain people to quarantine and certain people to try to protect others because everyone would be doing it because we would all be in it together.

BERMAN: Congressman Ted Deutch, we appreciate your time. Always nice to see you here on NEW DAY. Please join us again soon. DEUTCH: Thanks, John. Always good to be with you. Appreciate it.

BERMAN: Stay safe.

So, people of all ages doing what they can to help families and communities weather this storm. Some extraordinary acts of kindness in the middle of a pandemic, next.



CAMEROTA: Now we want to bring you some uplifting stories. Around the country, people are doing what they can to shine some light in this dark time.

In Sycamore, Illinois, a company that puts on live concerts is shifting gears. They have no shows to produce right now, so the company is putting their warehouse of equipment and employees to use making medical devices.


JOHN HUDDLESTON, DIRECTOR OF LIVE EVENTS FOR UPSTAGING: This is one of the items. This is a mask that we're currently manufacturing. We got an order from the state of Illinois for 7,200 pieces. And that's just the beginning.



In Gulfport, Mississippi, 11-year-old Alexander Enriquez was looking for a way to help his family, so he went with his mom to work for a day selling cars.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I did all my schoolwork and I'm bored at the house. So I volunteered to come help my mom.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The more car washes we get, business is able to stay open and I'm able to feed my kids.


CAMEROTA: Even animals are helping out. This is Wynn (ph), a one-year- old yellow lab you're about to meet. She is a service dog in training. And she's getting thrust into early service. Wynn is bringing comfort to medical staff at Rose Medical Center in Denver. Look at her there, John.

So to learn how you can make a difference in communities fighting the pandemic, go to

Of course, hospitals are at a breaking point as the pandemic worsens. NEW DAY continues right now.



SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): Our people need help. There was virtually no dissension.

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: House Democratic leaders planned to spend the day reviewing --