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CNN TONIGHT

President Trump Always Have Someone to Blame; A Glimpse of Hope for Rapid COVID Test; One Roof with Border for Medical Couples; Married Doctors Sleep in Separate Bedrooms to Avoid Infecting Each Other and Their Children with Virus; Walton Mayor Talks About His Frank Facebook Rant About Coronavirus; Coronavirus is Changing Lives Across America; Local Subway Shop Delivers Sandwiches to Doctors and Nurses. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired March 27, 2020 - 23:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[23:00:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: This is CNN Tonight. I'm Don Lemon.

Here is our breaking news. The nation has hit a terrible milestone as the coronavirus pandemic spreads across the country. There are now more than 101,000 confirmed cases in the United States. The most any country, of any country in the world. More than 1,500 people in the U.S. have died.

And tonight nearly 200 million Americans are living under stay-at-home orders. But President Trump may be dialing back on his goal of reopening the country by Easter, saying tonight that he'll hear recommendations on social distancing guidelines from his coronavirus task force early next week. And they may tell him to keep the current guidelines in place.

Also, today, the president signing the $2 trillion coronavirus economic rescue bill into law which will soon put money directly into the wallets of millions of Americans.

Let's discuss now. CNN White House correspondent, John Harwood, our resident fact checker Daniel Dale and Dr. Celine Gounder, she is clinical assistant professor of medicine and infectious diseases at NYU and host of the epidemic podcast.

Good evening one and all. John, we're going to start with you. We now have over 101,000 coronavirus cases in this country. More than any other country in the world. And we still haven't reached the peak. Over 1,500 people have died. So why is the president talking about lifting restrictions in certain areas?

JOHN HARWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Don, let me start with the good news. It appears that the president is not going to do that. He has been trying to back away from that prospect, which he held out a few days ago.

In his comments today that we want to reopen safe, expressing uncertainty about the Easter timeline he suggests that. But as to why he felt the need to hold out that prospect, I think he is afraid.

This is a president whose self-image is caught up in the idea that he's produced economic success when he wants his reelection campaign, the strong economy was his principle asset. Now the response to coronavirus is eroding that. You had huge surge in joblessness this week. That's going to continue for a while. We're in a recession. So that feels very bad to him.

And as for coronavirus, it has exposed his lack of interests and aptitude for governing. He skated by for more than three years without a serious crisis as president. Now one is upon him. The response has been widely condemned by people across the political spectrum. And so, in multiple ways, the walls are closing in.

LEMON: Yes. Exposed his lack of preparedness as well as a commander in chief. Dr. Gounder, I want to bring you in. The president says that the U.S. will make 100,000 ventilators in the next 100 days. Is that enough?

CELINE GOUNDER, INFECTIOUS DISEASES SPECIALIST & EPIDEMIOLOGIST, NYU SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: Well, within 100 days, we may have hundreds, thousands of people dying in various cities and towns across the country. That is not nearly enough, not nearly fast enough.

We need those ventilators now. We needed them yesterday. So, I do have tremendous concern, even with him having invoked the Defense Production Act to force G.M. to produce these ventilators. I'm still worried this is going to be too little too late.

LEMON: Talk to me a little bit more than. Why so?

GOUNDER: Well, you know, when you have somebody who goes into respiratory distress in the hospital you have minutes quite literally to get them on a ventilator. And if you don't, then they go into cardiac arrest because they're not getting enough oxygen to the heart. They're not getting enough oxygen to the brain.

So, you have this very precious short window to make a difference in somebody's life. And if you don't have the ventilator there at your disposal for that window, then it's game over, unfortunately. You've lost your opportunity to save a life.

And so, waiting 100 days to have 100,000 ventilators, that's not going -- that's not going to solve this problem.

LEMON: Something that could have been handled weeks ago when this crisis or even months ago when this was on the horizon. Daniel, I want to bring you in, because the governor of New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo has been begging for ventilators for New York. Here's what the president said about that today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Don't forget, we sent thousands of ventilators to New York, and they didn't know they got them. So, we sent thousands of ventilators to New York, and they didn't know about it at the time they were complaining. Thousands. We had 2,000 and then 2,000 and then 4,000.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: What's the truth, Daniel?

[23:05:01]

DANIEL DALE, CNN REPORTER: I can find no factual basis for that claim. So. Governor Cuomo of New York said on the weekend that he thinks they will need 30,000 ventilators for the apex of this crisis there. Then on Tuesday morning, Trump tweeted in a self-congratulatory way that he had secured 400 ventilators for New York City to which Cuomo responded a little letter on Tuesday, you shouldn't pat yourself on the back for getting 400 when I need 30,000.

Then after about on Tuesday, the Vice President Mike Pence announced we're going to -- that they had shipped 2,000 that day and we're going to ship 2,000 the next day to New York. And so, there is no evidence that New York was unaware of the shipment of 2,000 where -- the coming shipment of 2,000. That happened after Cuomo began pressing Trump to provide up to 30,000.

LEMON: Yes. And the New York City -- the New York health commissioner was on, Howard Zucker was on with Chris Cuomo earlier tonight and said they did know they had these ventilators in storage. He said they didn't know about. He said they did know that they were in storage and that the president was not telling the truth there.

John, the president seemed to be talking out of both sides of his mouth today. Is he invoking the Defense Production Act or not? Which is it?

HARWOOD: He says he is. And he appointed Peter Navarro, who works in his White House, not a manager. He is an economist on the fringe of the economic profession. So, it's not clear how effective that appointment will be.

And G.M. announced after the president signaled that he was going to invoke the act that it was going ahead with a partnership that it had already undertaken with Ventec at a plant in Indiana.

So, the administration has been reluctant to use the authority because business objected because free market ideologues within the White House thought it was a slippery slope to government control of business.

So, it's not clear whether what he did today was simply to call out G.M. and criticize them in hopes of getting them to move faster, or whether he will actually take control of this process as a government and direct the production of these ventilators. We just don't know yet.

LEMON: But also, John, saying that they should -- tweeting about opening, you know, the plant in Ohio, which they closed and on and on. I'm paraphrasing what his tweet said. But that was a political play because I don't think according to the folks, I know who have worked -- who work in the auto industry saying that that plant was closed last year, and that it is basically a dilapidated plant and they sold it. Thinking that he is making --

(CROSSTALK)

HARWOOD: It was sold.

LEMON: Yes, a political --

HARWOOD: G.M. doesn't own the plant anymore.

LEMON: Yes, it's basically a political play. And from what they've told me about how these plants work, I have the information here from what my friend told me, about how these plants work, to retrofit a plant -- here it is, John. I'm not sure if you've had this research. But I asked him, I said, can they -- how do they do this? Can they retrofit an entire floor?

This is someone who has worked before and for G.M. He said a good question upon the same. I don't foresee retrofitting a vehicle assembly plant line given the effort and knowing production will resume soon. A suspected vehicle assembly plants are allocating a floor space area to provide ventilation -- ventilators to FDA standards.

Once the plants are up and running, the production vehicles, the production process can run in parallel. So, you know, it's going to take a while for them to even get this production up. And if they're even going to make it's going to take a 100-day mark --

(CROSSTALK)

HARWOOD: Right. That's why it takes time.

LEMON: Yes, it's going to take a whole lot of time for them to do that. So that's even iffy. Daniel, so here's how the --

(CROSSTALK)

HARWOOD: Again, the theme, Don, of this whole response is time lost.

LEMON: Yes.

HARWOOD: Time frittered away.

LEMON: Yes. So, Daniel, here is how President Trump described the coronavirus today. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: You can call it a germ. You can call it a flu. You can call it a virus. You can even call it many different names. I'm not sure anybody even knows what it is.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Daniel, nobody knows what this is?

DALE: Don, this is a whole family of Trump claim where he claims that nobody knows something that is widely known. You cannot call the coronavirus a flu. It is a coronavirus. Not only do we know that, we have its precise genetic information.

And Trump has said this before, you can call it a flu. He seemed to have come off it for a while and come to understand that this is a different virus with much higher transmission -- transmissibility, much higher mortality. And today he returned to it for reasons that I can't begin to explain.

LEMON: John, I want to bring you back in and talk about this. President Trump has repeatedly tried to blame others for the U.S. response to this pandemic. It has been happening all month. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: The Obama administration made a decision on testing that turned out to be very detrimental to what we're doing.

[23:10:01]

When I took this over, it was an empty box. We didn't have testing. We didn't have anything. We had a broken system there. We had a broken system to stockpile. And we had a lot of broken systems.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So why can't this president take responsibility for anything? I mean, he's been there for three years. It's his job to make sure that the U.S., that the government is prepared for an emergency.

HARWOOD: Because, Don, his psychological makeup does not permit him to acknowledge failure or setbacks. He is compelled to constantly project himself as the best, as somebody who is doing a great job, who is on top of it. He needs people to affirm that for him.

And he uses this phrase that Daniel referred to a minute ago. Nobody could have foreseen this pandemic. This is false. Not only did the Obama administration create an office or post at the NFC to deal with pandemics which Trump eliminated, it also briefed Trump administration officials on prospects for a pandemic when they took over.

The Trump administration itself ran a pandemic exercise that showed the shortcomings of potential response and all the things that needed to be done. Now does Donald Trump know that what he said was wrong? Or can he not accept that it's wrong? It's not really clear.

One of the things we see with the president is he in his public comments and what he acknowledges, he veers between delusion and reality fairly regularly. Kind of like last night when he said to Sean Hannity, I don't think these hospitals need 30,000 or 40,000 ventilators. Obviously, they do. And today he acknowledged it in a tweet when he was ripping G.M. He said these are much needed ventilators. So, he ping-pongs back and forth depending on what kind of criticism he gets or flattery he gets.

LEMON: Dr. Gounder, I want you to take a listen to the president what he said about potential treatment for coronavirus. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Hydroxychloroquine is a very powerful drug for certain things. And it's a very successful drug. There is reason to believe that it could be successful here.

Now the reason I disagree with you, and I think Tony would disagree with me, but the reason I disagree with you is that we have a pandemic. We have people dying now. If we're going to go into labs and test all of this for a long time, we can test it on people right now who are in serious trouble who are dying. If it works, we've done a great thing. If it doesn't work, you know, we tried. But this is not something that's going to kill people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: How important it is to test a drug like this, Dr. Gounder?

GOUNDER: Well, it's important to do it right, because otherwise at the end of the day, you may not know whether you harmed your patient, whether you saved your patient.

You know, and I think more importantly we do have a proven treatment, and that is ventilators. Ventilators do help people get through this.

And in addition to invoking the Defense Production Act to try to get G.M. and others to produce these ventilators, there are a number of companies that are trying to get into the mix, companies that have never done this before, everything from Tesla to smaller biotech companies.

And from what I'm hearing is they need for FDA to fast track approvals of these new ventilator technologies. So that is something concretely that the Trump administration could do right now to get proven life- saving treatment for patients.

LEMON: Thank you, doctor. Thank you, Daniel. Thank you, John. I appreciate your time.

The FDA green lighting a new coronavirus test that could provide results in just 15 minutes. We'll have the latest on that as we dig into the truth about testing. That's next.

[23:15:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: The FDA today green lighting a coronavirus test that can provide results in less than 15 minutes. Could it help speed up testing across the country?

Let's break down the truth about the testing. CNN's Drew Griffin joins us now. Drew, good evening to you. So, tell us about this test. How soon could we see it roll out?

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Well, it is going to roll out next week, according to Abbott Labs. They're going to roll out this new test which has a turnaround time of just 15 minutes, Don, in which is really going to improve if it can work and be at a point of care situation.

A lot of the time it's been taking to process the tests is the time it takes to send them to the lab and get the results back. We've already talked about on our show earlier this week how the labs are all backed up.

So, beginning this week, 50,000 tests a day is what Abbott says it can provide. Mostly to these hot spots. Another company Cepheid is going to roll out later this week a similar test, 45-minute turnaround time. Both of these designed to go to hot spot, Don, where they need the testing.

But also, both of these are dependent on these components which are still in short supply, naming these nose swabs that you see. There is a shortage of them all across the country.

LEMON: Well, you mention hot spots. The president has talked about opening up parts of the country that aren't heavily affected by the virus. But with what we know about the state and local testing right now, do you think that's realistic? Is that realistic, Drew?

GRIFFIN: I mean, I guess the president can say or do what he wants. The question is he going to open up parts of the country that don't have hot spots just because they haven't been tested. That I think is the key question for a lot of the health practitioners and the public health officials.

A lot of these areas where there is not widespread, you'll also find a lot of not widespread testing. And the lack of testing early on in this epidemic really hampered the U.S. response, as you can recall. We didn't know where it was.

[23:20:02]

LEMON: Right.

GRIFFIN: It was blowing up at places. And we didn't have the testing to find out.

LEMON: Yes. We keep talking about the president saying he is going to open it up. It's really up to the governors and the mayors to open it up. The president doesn't have the power the open up any of that. It's up to the governors of the state and the mayors and the local folks do it. He didn't shut any of it down. He didn't have the power. He doesn't have the power to open it back up. But I digress, Drew. You know, President Trump has talked about stockpiles of medical equipment for hospitals. But you've been speaking with frontline medical workers. They say there is a critical shortage of supplies.

GRIFFIN: And they're having to ration their supplies, and they're having to reuse masks. Some of them are holding on and trying to clean their masks at home. It's a mess from coast-to-coast. And I don't know where the stockpiles are. Neither do they. Listen to what they have been telling us. This is just from today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KELLEY CABRERA, NURSE: It's like we're going into a war with no protection. We're being exposed over and over again. And it is criminal. This is absolutely criminal.

ARYA CHOWDHURY, E.R. DOCTOR: I can tell you my biggest concern right now as an emergency room physician is the lack of PPE.

JONEIGH KHALDUN, DOCTOR, MICHIGAN HEALTH DEPARTMENT: I've now got doctors and nurses on the front lines who are using one mask for their entire shift.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRIFFIN: Don, one nurse sent us a picture of her mask. It was stapled together. She had to staple it together because it was the only mask, she had to cover the whole day today.

LEMON: Unbelievable. Drew Griffin, I appreciate your reporting. Thank you, sir.

My next guests are married doctors who are sleeping in separate rooms to avoid infecting each other and their children. Dr. Michelle Au is an anesthesiologist at Emory St. Joseph's Hospital in Atlanta. And Dr. Joseph Walrath is a surgeon. And they both join us now.

Dr. Au, good evening to both of you. Dr. Au, I'm going to start with you first. Nobody has to tell you about the shortages and supplies and the risks to medical workers. You're on the front lines. And you say you feel like you're working at Chernobyl. Why do you say that?

MICHELLE AU, ANESTHESIOLOGIST, EMORY ST. JOSEPH HOSPITAL: I make the analogy to Chernobyl because it is very similar to the risk of radiation. It's an invisible risk that trails you. When we work with very infected patients, we have suboptimal production because we are having these severe PPE shortages, as you've noted, reusing masks.

The current N95 mask that I have been using I've had for a week. At the end of the day we put it into a little brown paper bag and, you know, reuse it again the next day.

So, you feel that there is this risk of infectivity that we can't see that we could be carrying around with us, infecting other patients, infecting our colleagues and possibly bringing home, infecting our families. So, it's really a concern that I have.

LEMON: Dr. Walrath, where are you -- and Dr. Au, where are you both right now?

JOSEPH WALRATH, SURGEON: At home.

AU: We're both at home.

WALRATH: Different rooms.

AU: Right. We're in different rooms. And we've been trying to keep a little bit separate deliberately because, you know, the sense is that one of us has to stay healthy. And given that we're both in medicine, we're sort of in this unique position where we're here in a vulnerable population, as they say.

LEMON: OK.

AU: We know that health care workers are three times more likely to get infected and they're, quote, "more severe." So, we're trying to separate ourselves so that one parent can stay healthy.

LEMON: And you have like separate living quarters, I understand, that you are, right? And -- right? And so is it do you have --

AU: Right.

LEMON: -- do you have more limited -- Dr. Au, do you have more limited contact with your children than Dr. Walworth?

AU: Yes. So here the thing is about two weeks ago, I did move down to the basement. Separate bathroom, separate bedroom. I don't know if that's enough, because I still am living in the house. I still am seeing my kids. I am still cooking dinner.

So, you know, maybe it's just a psychological thing or it feels like a start to try to create some separation, at least for the two adults in the house who are in charge to limit exposure to each other.

However, it's hard to know where to draw the line because I still feel like I could be infecting my kids. I still feel that I'm a risk every time I come home.

However, you know, I have colleagues who have literally left their houses or sent their families away to live with in-laws or, you know, just a different location. But then I feel like if we do that, how do you know when it is going to end? When do you come back home?

LEMON: Yes.

AU: So, we've done this sort of half measure, but I don't know how effective it is. I don't feel confident that it's enough.

LEMON: Yes. I can't even imagine what you're dealing with. But Dr. Walworth, I want to bring you in now. What's it like knowing that your wife is in danger, you know, every day when she goes to work? WALRATH: Well, it's pretty stressful. To envision the idea of running

the whole show solo. I'm not seeing patients. My practice is shut down. I'm only seeing emergencies. So, my main goal is to stay healthy.

[23:24:57]

I figure there's 5 percent, 10 percent chance one of us gets hospitalized because I know we're both going to get it. So maybe a 1, 2 percent chance we're both hospitalized. And my goal is to be hospitalized at a different time than when Michelle's hospitalized.

So that's my primary goal. I'm not the hero here. Michelle and people like her who are on the frontlines right now reusing their masks are the heroes. When she gets through this, if she gets infected and recovered, then I'll go and do whatever I need to help out.

LEMON: People at home don't realize this, but the reason some people ask me why do you look down? I'm looking down because of the monitor. I can see you. I can't see in the camera. So, when I'm looking down, I'm looking at the monitor, so I'm looking at your faces.

I mean, this has got to be incredibly hard on you guys as a married, a young married couple. How old are your kids?

AU: Our oldest is 14. So, we're actually not that young. So, thank you for the compliment, but we're elderly.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Yes. But you look really young.

AU: We got 14-year-old --

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: A 14-year-old --

AU: -- and 11-year-old and a 7-year-old.

LEMON: OK. It's got --

(CROSSTALK)

AU: A 14-year-old, and 11-year-old, and our young --

LEMON: And a 7-year-old. I got it. It's got to be hard to make this kind of calculations. I know because you're a surgeon. Much of what you do is not considered I would imagine essential, right? You're only doing emergency stuff, Dr. Walrath.

WALRATH: That's right.

LEMON: But still being at home with your kids and having the pressure, I'm sure you got to home school. You got make sure that you keep them safe. You probably have to make sure that, you know, the cleaning is done, and not in the normal sense, but like that everything is clean and that you don't come across, but if some -- if your wife brings stuff home and that sort of thing.

And if your kid -- if your wife hugs the kids or what have you, because you're in a maybe at a higher risk category than your kids, you got to worry about yourself as well.

WALRATH: Yes. Well, that's a good point. I was thinking, you know, I'm trying to decide, well, she's going to get it. Should she hug the kids? Maybe the kids are going to get it anyways. Maybe I shouldn't hug the kids. I don't know the right answer to that. It's awfully hard not to hug your kids.

(CROSSTALK)

AU: It's become ridiculous about hygiene. We've become very meticulous about hygiene in the house just to try to minimize the spread in these risks. So, we have many bottles of dilute bleach solution everywhere.

And basically, every time I come home I shower for the second time because I shower before I leave work and I shower after I leave work, change clothes twice, wipe down everything in my path, and take the bleach bottle and spray everything that I've touched since entering the house.

So, you know, if you told me three weeks ago that I'd be doing this, I would have laughed at you because it sounds insane. But at this point I honestly wonder if it's even enough.

WALRATH: And I walk around with a bleach bottle a couple of times a day, make the rounds look at, you know, what's on the right. There's a doorknob, there's a coverage handle, there's a light switch, there's faucet, and just walk the house doing that a couple of times a day.

LEMON: That was my next question to you, Dr. Au. If, because I know many families have routines. And mine is as soon as I get home from work at the door, I just, you know, I go to the mud room. I take the clothes off. I shower at the door. And then I'm free to go about the house, you know, take and let the dogs out and do whatever.

But I would imagine for you, it is much more complicated than that. Residents in Atlanta, doctor, have been cheering health care workers as they change shifts. So, I want you to listen to this.

(APPLAUSE)

(CROWD CHEERING)

AU: It's really nice. We really do appreciate the support. And I think the support has also been coming through in terms of the community responding to our deficiency in supplies.

LEMON: Yes.

AU: So, we have talked about these PPE deficiencies. So many members of the community have come out, donating everything we could possibly need, masks, gloves, gowns, eye protection. These are like gyms and nail salon donated gloves to us. So, these are really people coming together to help us.

LEMON: Yes.

AU: What we really need, though, a larger level response. This is not the level that while the community helping is heartwarming and it helps incredibly, we really need a higher level, larger, federal level response to both increase supply of PPE, which is really the problem.

We need to increase our supply and also to centralize distribution so it can get to where it needs. Because currently hospitals in the states and individuals are all competing with each other for the same set of supplies and it's not getting to where it needs to go. It can't be that the loudest voice or the richest hospital gets what it needs whereas a rural hospital might be underserved.

LEMON: I got to go. Dr. Walrath, if you can, listen, I'm not trying to get in your business, but can you just let people know that you guys in the frontline, this is hard on your family, hard on your marriage I'm sure. Can you give us a word, Dr. Walrath, before we go?

[23:30:05]

WALRATH: I don't have a very positive outlook for our region or our country with this. I think we're just at the beginning. I'm hopeful that we can have a coordinated national response to really give hope to people because right now, I think on a local level, people, I think, who are in the know don't have a great deal of hope about where this is going.

LEMON: Thank you, both. And as I would say to anyone who is even military, you put on a uniform every day as a parent and as doctors and health care workers. Thank you for your service. I appreciate it. Best of luck to you.

AU: Thanks, Don.

WALRATH: Thanks.

LEMON: One Kentucky mayor has a message to people who aren't taking social distancing seriously, and he is warning that his message doesn't come with the best bedside manner.

[23:35:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: OK, so, sit down and listen to this. We've had some really great folks on tonight who have been conveying what it's like all across this country to be dealing with this. And another person who is going to share his perspective is the mayor of Walton, Kentucky. He is not mincing words, posting what you have to call a very direct message on Facebook about coronavirus. And here's what he says. He says, "Listen up dips, you know what's, and sensible people. I might not have the best bedside manner. I might not put you at ease like the governor does, but I don't care. You need to realize that this is a serious ordeal. In fact, it is a big f-ing deal. Stay at home."

Mayor Gabe Brown joins me now. Mayor, thank you so much. I appreciate -- I like your candor and I like your frankness. So, thanks for coming on. Look, you're not holding back. Why did you feel that it was necessary and the right time to share those tough words?

MAYOR GABE BROWN, WALTON, KENTUCKY: Well you know, i addressed -- we've known that this was coming to the Cincinnati area and towards northern Kentucky for weeks now. We've seen it creep across the world. We've seen it hit New York. And local governments have been working together up here for, you know, a while now on this, discussing this daily. We knew it was coming.

I put out the information that we had got our first confirmed case. It came later in the day, and, you know, people didn't believe me. I instantly had people coming back at me, saying, you know, you're trying to incite panic, you're lying, you don't know what you're talking about.

You know, after a few back and forth shots, I -- you know, I'd had enough of it. It's ridiculous that people are just taking this, you know, so blah, blah. You know, just walking around like no big deal. They don't shut down the whole entire world because something is -- you know, just the flu.

LEMON: Yeah. Let me ask you this. We talked on the break and I said what do you want to get across? You said the small town perspective. What is that?

BROWN: The small town perspective in my opinion is, you know, it's not a New York problem. It's not -- I know you're a Louisiana guy. It's not just a big city issue, you know. This is going to affect a small town at some point. It's already affecting a few towns that some would call small in Kentucky.

At some point, you know, from a local governmental level, you know, there is a good chance that a small town mayor is going to have somebody die in their town and it's going to be somebody that they know, you know. It's going to be somebody in this community that a lot of people know. I don't want that to happen. I want people to take this seriously, to do what they're being asked to do, whether they like it or not.

We're all going through it, you know. I don't -- I don't like some of the things that are being asked of us to do. You know, I love to be out doing stuff. My mother lives next door to me, and I haven't even got to give her a hug in a couple of weeks, you know. We're all making sacrifices. But it's the, you know, the few that just put up the resistance and that are going to drag this thing out. It's frustrating and it's infuriating. You know?

LEMON: Yeah. Mayor, go on.

BROWN: You know it is. Just as I said, it's frustrating. It's mad. You see it. You put out information to people. They don't pay attention to it or they laugh it off.

LEMON: Mayor, listen. I feel your frustration because I've been sitting here for weeks, if not months, giving information. And I've been called fake and lots of the news media has been called fake. And listen, I know people don't like us or whatever. That's just a job. It goes with you as a mayor, I'm sure you understand that as well.

[23:40:00]

LEMON: But what you said to me in the break, I think you're exactly right. It is time for people to stop blaming each other. We're all Americans who get together and do what the scientists and the doctors and the experts tell us to do and come together as Americans. And stop this and stop trying to politicize it. And that goes to the tippy-top of our government, as well.

Mayor, I appreciate the small town perspective. I came from a small town, and my family is still in a small town. And I want them to be safe as well, as well as the big city I live in now. So thank you, mayor. I appreciate your time and I appreciate your perspective.

BROWN: Hey, Don, we're going to be real happy to have Joe Burrow here playing for the Bengals this year.

(LAUGHTER)

LEMON: G-E-A-U-X, go Joe, and go mayor.

(LAUGHTER)

LEMON: Thank you, mayor. We'll see you, Gabe Brown.

BROWN: Thank you, Don.

LEMON: We'll be right back.

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[23:45:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Tonight, life in America is now very different than it was just a short few weeks ago. Here is CNN's Martin Savidge.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Across America, coronavirus is changing lives. Instead of studying, 22-year- old college student Asia Judge (ph) is getting a hard lesson in life. Her mom sent us video and pictures of Asia (ph) cleaning out her dorm at now closed Johnson C. Smith University in North Carolina, her entire senior year in question.

With her high school closed, senior Kristin Lee of Hendersonville, Tennessee stands to lose life-long memories, dreams of softball, prom, maybe even graduation.

KRISTIN LEE, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR: I heard about it, and I started crying. I was really upset about it because this year was my -- it's already seniors year.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Coronavirus changed everything at Zace Brand in Fredericktown, Ohio until recently, one of the last denim producers in the country. But the news of medical shortages haunted owner Zach Myers.

ZACH MYERS, OWNER, ZACE BRAND: It really just started to kind of build up inside to the point to where I realized we needed to take action.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): So he bought army surplus material, read up on CDC guidelines, and with his son and three employees, makes hospital masks, selling for five bucks a piece.

MYERS: This isn't a for-profit effort. What we like to have is just enough to cover our material and our labor.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): He is hoping the masks help others, while helping him stay in business. John Henderson checked in from Texas, saying he is crazy busy.

JOHN HENDERSON, PRESIDENT AND CEO, TEXAS ORGANIZATION OF RURAL AND COMMUNITY HOSPITALS: I'm driving down the highway with a load sticking out of my sunroof of my wife's four-runner. I've got 60,000 surgical masks in boxes in my car.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): He and his team from Texas rural community hospitals are going nonstop delivering personal protective equipment to 157 rural health care facilities all over the Lone Star State.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Two boxes are going to go to the hospital in Dalhart --

HENDERSON: OK.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- for a total of 3,000 masks.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): He says his family is healthy, the kids have started learning online, and they all appreciate life more.

ADRIAN, AMAZON EMPLOYEE: Hi, I'm Adrian. I've been with Amazon for about 10 years.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Adrian checked in with us while on the job in an Amazon fulfilment center in Connecticut.

ADRIAN: The children are at home, doing their lesson plans with mom, with help from teachers and distance learning. We're practicing social distancing.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Online services like Amazon have become more vital to people as they isolate. Adrian knows it and is proud to play a part.

ADRIAN: I remember growing up that Mr. Rogers said, when there were scary things on the news, I'd always look for the helpers. And for me, that's been the best part about being an Amazonian.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Stanton Moore could really use some helpers or just plain help.

STANTON MOORE, DRUMMER, GALACTIC BAND: We have had to close the club. We have had to cancel our tour.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Moore is the drummer in the band Galactic. The group own the famous Tipitina's in Uptown New Orleans. But coronavirus has devastated the music scene.

MOORE: It's kind of an eerie feeling to be in this iconic venue and have it be empty.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): There is no money to pay musicians, bartenders or roadies. To try the get some income, Stanton teaches drums online.

MOORE: I've been doing Skype lessons right here with my computer set up right over here.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): You can also go online and buy a virtual drink at Tipitina's as a donation.

MOORE: This has been daunting for us, and we don't know when all of this is going to end, and we don't know what the future holds.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): That is just as true in New Orleans as it is everywhere else.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SAVIDGE: And Don, those are just some of the stories that we found out there. Of course, there are many, many more. You know, we like to say that we're all in this together, which of course we are. But we're not all impacted by the coronavirus the same way.

Some of us, it's financial. You've lost a job or your business is suffering. For others, it's medical. You may have the disease or you're helping to fight it. Or for others still, it's just social isolation. You can't go to school.

So, we are all in it together. But to use another cliche, we're not all in the same boat. We're, actually, in many different boats, all battling on the very same stormy sea. Hopefully, we'll get to tell more stories about how people are coping. Don?

LEMON: Martin Savidge, thank you so much. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:50:00]

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LEMON: Now, for our nightly taking care segment highlighting people who are helping out their communities during the coronavirus crisis, Jennifer Asher and Jeff Kaplow in New York have started a project called "Heroes for Heroes" where they organize meal deliveries of subway sandwiches to health care workers at their local hospitals, up in those in the frontlines of the pandemic so they can continue to treat their patients.

Jennifer Asher and Jeff Kaplow join me now. So, first of all, you guys are great. Jennifer, how did this start? How did you come up with this?

[23:55:00]

JENNIFER ASHER, STARTED "HEROES FOR HEROES": First, thanks for having us. This actually started from a socially distant happy hour with a neighbor and a close friend who works at Mt. Sinai, Benjamin Salter. He was explaining to us the overwhelming scene going on at the hospital, his decision to quarantine from his family, and I just wanted to help.

My original thought was pizza as a New Yorker but decided that maybe something healthier and individually-wrapped was better.

LEMON: And the heroes thing -- the heroes thing, actually -- yeah. So, Jeff, you own this subway shop and you have done this, you know, two big deliveries. So tell us about it. You provide how many hospitals so far?

JEFF KAPLOW, STARTED "HEROES FOR HEROES": So right now we're working with the Mt. Sinai network of hospitals. There are three separate hospitals we're working with. We're working with upper eastside, Columbus Circle, and upper west side. So, so far, we've serviced the morning side location. We've done two deliveries, 250 individually- wrapped lunches for each delivery. So we have done 500 customers so far, 500 healthcare workers.

LEMON: Yeah.

KAPLOW: Next week, we have four more deliveries scheduled. We will be feeding another thousand hospital workers. So by this time next week, we'll have fed over 1,500 workers.

LEMON: I got to tell you, listen, we had so much news, but you guys have a "go fund me" and I tell people to go online. "Heroes for Heroes" "go fund me." Jeff and Jennifer, you are indeed heroes. I'm going to call it "heroes for heroes for heroes." But it is the "go fund me." Look for heroesforheroes/NYCheroes. Thank you, guys. You take care.

ASHER: Thank you. LEMON: Keep up the great work.

KAPLOW: Thank you so much.

ASHER: Thank you so much.

LEMON: Absolutely. And thank you for watching, everyone. Our coverage continues.

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