Return to Transcripts main page
Trump Considering Tri-State Quarantine; First U.S. Infant Death From Coronavirus; Supply Crisis For Hospitals Fighting Coronavirus; Interview With New York Governor Andrew Cuomo; Breaking Down The Coronavirus Emergency Stimulus Package. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired March 28, 2020 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: This would be the first death of a child under the age of one from the virus in this country. The Illinois Department of Public Health says a full investigation is underway to determine the cause of death.
Across the country, more than 200 million Americans in 25 states are ordered to state at home, and governors are pleading for help. They desperately need supplies, like personal protective equipment for hospital staff, and ventilators, that could mean life or death for their patients.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine is calling on any manufacturers who can make face masks, shields and gowns to do so. The governor says 75 percent of Ohio's counties now have virus cases. And that this is, quote, "the tip of the iceberg."
Michigan has been asking for more supplies. And, today, the governor announced it received 112,000 N95 masks with 8,000 more on the way.
And in New York, nurses at Jacoby Medical Center in the Bronx are protesting. They say they have each been using a single face mask for a full week now.
Overseas, Russia is planning to close its borders with some exceptions, beginning Monday, in hopes of preventing spread of the virus. Meanwhile, the director of the National Health Service in the United Kingdom, which has seen just over 1,000 deaths so far, says if there are less than 20,000 deaths when all this is over, that would be a, quote, "good result."
And a grim milestone in Italy, as that country surpasses China in both number of Coronavirus cases and deaths. More than 92,000 people are sick there and more than 10,000 are dead, including 51 doctors.
There is a glimmer of hope, though. The FDA has just authorized a Coronavirus test that promises results in just 15 minutes. Deliveries are expected to start next week.
Let's begin with New York, the U.S. epicenter for this virus. Nearly half of all U.S. Coronavirus cases are here. And, in a sudden announcement today, President Trump said he is considering a mandatory short-term quarantine in parts of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. The president first made this revelation while on his way to a sendoff ceremony for a Navy hospital ship bound for Manhattan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There's a possibility that sometime today we'll do a quarantine, short term, two weeks, on New York, probably New Jersey, certain parts of Connecticut.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What about travel to some of those places?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Restrict travel. Because they're having problems down in Florida. A lot of New Yorkers going down. We don't want that. Heavily infected. Well, this would be an enforceable quarantine.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE.)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And, you know, I'd rather not do it, but we may need it.
CABRERA: Florida's governor, Ron DeSantis, says President Trump told him about this possible quarantine during a phone call. And the governor says he's supportive. He says it's not fair to Floridians to, quote, "just be air dropping in people from the hot zones, bringing infections with them." DeSantis says he is also setting up checkpoints to watch for New York traffic.
So, what does New York think about all of this? Evan McMorris-Santoro is live for us in New York City. Evan, is Governor Cuomo supportive of his state or at least New York City being under some kind of mandatory quarantine?
EVAN MCMORRIS-SANTORO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, the short answer to that question is, no, he does not. He does not think it's a good idea, and he doesn't think it's enforceable. But, more interestingly, he doesn't seem to know much about it, coming from the White House.
Obviously, you mentioned that Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida says he's spoken with the White House about it. But this morning at the governor's daily press conference, he had not heard anything about this, despite having spoken with the president just before he came to the microphones, as he mentioned when a reporter brought it up during that press conference.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Trump has apparently ordered (ph) a quarantine for New York, Connecticut and New Jersey. He said so in the White House remarks today. He said, also, that you had spoken to him about this. Can you comment on that?
GOV. RON DESANTIS (D), FLORIDA: I spoke to the president about the ship coming up and the four sites. I didn't speak to him about any quarantine. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Has he spoken to you about a quarantine? Have you
had any indication that that's a possibility for New York or parts of Connecticut?
DESANTIS: No, I haven't had those conversations. I don't even know what that means.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCMORRIS-SANTORO: This has been floating around all afternoon now. And over the past hour, we've seen responses from the other two governors in this tri-state area, Connecticut and New Jersey, both of which agreeing with Cuomo that it may not be a good idea. And also saying they haven't heard from the White House either.
Now, what these governors are saying is, look, our residents are already under orders to stay home, to only travel when necessary. And this overarching question of, what does the president want to do? And can he enforce it? And, also, is he going to talk to the governors of the three states involved about it? All those remain open questions right now, as I stand here in Manhattan -- Ana.
CABRERA: New York has more than 52,000 Coronavirus cases, nearly half of all the cases in this country. How is this state doing now, in terms of equipment and supplies and just how dire is it at the hospitals?
MCMORRIS-SANTORO: OK. Well, outside of that news we've been talking about, what this weekend is really about is preparing, here in New York State and New York City. Behind me is the Javits Center, which is one of the emergency hospitals that's being set up across the city and across the state. This one's a thousand beds for non-COVID cases. The idea is to take those out of the hospital system and put them in places like the Javits Center behind me, freeing up hospitals to deal with a potential influx in cases. This one's supposed to open on Monday.
But the idea here is that, look, there could be an apex, the governor said in his press conference. There could be an apex in cases in the next 14 to 21 days. And what he's trying to do is prepare a health system for a massive influx in cases that could come under a worse- case scenario.
And so, that's what the governor has been talking about and that's what he's been working with the federal government to do. You talk about the reason President Trump was at that location in Norfolk today was to see off a massive U.S. Navy hospital ship that's coming here to New York City, also to help alleviate the health system and bring needed medical personnel to the system. The governor also announcing a bunch of new hospitals he's trying to open up, including six specific COVID hospitals that will -- that would handle just COVID cases.
But that's what's happening right now, is a preparation for potential apex that could reach 140,000 cases. The governor mentioned, obviously, 52,000 cases -- confirmed cases so far here. But that's what this weekend was about, until we heard this quarantine thing that people still don't really know what the full details are -- Ana.
CABRERA: Right. And he's said to be considering it. We don't know if there'll be some kind of announcement later. We'll turn to our White House reporter for that. Evan McMorris-Santoro, thank you.
And let's go to the White House and Jeremy Diamond. Jeremy, what are you learning about what's going into this possible quarantine decision?
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, there is still a lot of questions, and most of those questions have, so far, been unanswered by the White House, as to exactly what the president is considering. We do know that the White House's incoming chief of staff, Mark Meadows, he told reporters, as he arrived with the president back at the White House today, that we are evaluating all the options right now. As far as what kind of legal authority the president would have to quarantine a specific number of states or regions in the country.
What the president appears to be referring to, though, is really more of a travel restriction. Restricting travel for individuals who are living, currently, in New York, parts of New Jersey, parts of Connecticut. Really, the epicenter of the tri-state area here, where the epicenter of this Coronavirus epidemic in the United States, has been so far.
But where this is coming from, it appears pretty clear. The president has had some conversations with the Florida governor, Ron DeSantis. A Republican and staunch ally of the president's, who has repeatedly criticized or been frustrated by the fact that there are a lot of people from New York coming to Florida. He fears, potentially, spreading the virus further in his state of Florida. And the president has repeatedly mentioned those concerns in public.
So, that appears to be what is, perhaps, driving the president to consider these quarantine measures. He said he'll be giving a decision shortly on this. But, so far, no word from the president or from the White House.
CABRERA: Meantime, the president continues to feud with some Democratic governors, including the governor of Michigan. What can you tell us?
DIAMOND: That's right. Well, we know that the president has repeatedly feuded with different Democratic governors who have been critical of the federal response or who have said that they are not getting exactly what they need to. The Democratic governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer, the president, yesterday, said that she was in over her head, repeatedly critical of her. And he even said that the vice president, Mike Pence, should not call her, as a result of that criticism.
But we do know that this morning, the vice president actually spoke with Governor Whitmer over the phone to announce that there would be this delivery of more than 100,000 N95 respirators. That was in contrast, of course, to what the president said just yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I tell them, I mean, I'm a different type of person. I say, Mike, don't call the governor of Washington. You're wasting your time with him. Don't call the woman in Michigan. It doesn't make any difference what happens.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, the governor of Washington --
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No, you know what I say? If they don't treat you right, I don't call. He's a different type of person. He'll call quietly anyway, OK?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DIAMOND: And those are comments very similar to what we've heard the president say before, which is that this should be a two-way road between the states and the federal government. Suggesting that he needs these states, these governors to actually praise him and praise his government's response in order to get the kind of federal support that they need.
That is, obviously, a very different approach than the one that the vice president is taking, who is fielding all these calls from these governors. And, really, he is getting praise for the fact that he has been nonpartisan in the way that he's handled this Coronavirus task force -- Ana.
CABRERA: Jeremy Diamond at the White House. Thank you.
More now on our breaking news. The first death of an infant of Coronavirus in the United States. This news coming from the state of Illinois. Officials there announcing this child was less than a year old. That a full investigation is now underway.
I want to go straight to CNN's Ryan Young. Ryan, what else can you tell us?
RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Really heartbreaking news. We learned this about an hour ago from state officials, basically saying this child had tested positive for the Coronavirus. We're not sure exactly what the cause of death is right now. That investigation, of course, into this will have to take place.
That child coming from the city of Chicago. We've been talking about Chicago being a hot spot for the last few days. And this is something that everyone's concerned about. In fact, when we talked to an ICU doctor today, one of the things he warned us about was the fact that so many younger people were coming into the hospital who were having some symptoms from the virus. And that's something they were concerned about.
In fact, they were talking about sicker and sicker patients coming in. And they were having to use new techniques to make sure they could alleviate some of their pain. But this is the real concern, especially when you deal with an urban city the size of Chicago, the third largest city in America, when it comes to the potential spread of this.
In fact, there have been several other clusters just outside the city. They were the church service that was held a few weeks ago, where several people in that church service got sick. We also had the Cook County Jail, where we had several inmates who started to get sick there as well. What they're concerned about is how quickly this spreads. They don't want it to spread throughout the city. They're worried about that curve.
So, there is a shelter in place. In fact, just the other day, we had a beautiful day here in Chicago. And people were out and about. That really angered the governor and the mayor, who, basically, came out and said, look, we're going to enforce these rules as quickly as possible, to make sure people stay inside so we can knock this curve down.
But the focus right now -- and I can tell you, your heart just goes out to that family that lost this child. That's what people will be thinking about. Until we figure out exactly the confirmation of this, you have to just feel the pain for that family that's going through this. That infant dying that we just learned about just a few hours ago.
CABRERA: It is such a tragedy. Ryan Young, thank you.
And to viewers that are parents, I know this probably has your -- you know, all your concerns, hackles up, all the concerns up about your children being at risk now. And, certainly, I just spoke to a pediatrician about that concern. And he said we should all take this seriously.
They're still seeing, you know, the biggest risk is with the elderly. And that children, by and large, have been suffering more mild symptoms from this coronavirus. But it's not anything to mess with. But I just don't want anybody panicking, at this moment.
More communities are now emerging as virus hot spots. Los Angeles is one of them. We'll bring you a live report from there, coming up next. Stay with us.
CABRERA: In California, there are now nearly 4,000 confirmed Coronavirus cases. And, in the next couple of weeks, California's health director warns the state could see a doubling of cases every four to six days. Amid those odds, L.A.'s mayor issued this grim warning. No matter where you are, this is coming to you.
Yesterday, the Navy hospital ship, Mercy, docked at the port of Los Angeles, bringing 1,000 much needed beds to the west coast. CNN's Paul Vercammen joins us now from Los Angeles. And, Paul, what a welcome sight that ship is.
PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. If there were crowds allowed in Los Angeles, you would have heard a thunderous ovation as it came into the port here. Where you would normally see some fancy cruise ships, now we have the Mercy which has been on humanitarian aid missions before. Also, we should note this in Los Angeles. We can see a plane flying around, warning everybody to stay at home.
Well, among other things, the city has come out and banned people from going on any hiking trails or to any beaches. That's astounding when you consider southern California culture. So, into this fray, if you will, sails the Mercy. As you pointed out, Ana, it has the thousand beds. It has 12 operating rooms. It is going to operate in its own bubble. And that bubble meaning that no COVID-19 cases are allowed on board. And on the flip side, they are not letting any of the crew members to come ashore. That's how much they want to keep the contamination from spreading anywhere else.
We should also note, Los Angeles have other rules in place. They're trying to take the heat off people who are suffering economic woes. No commercial or residential evictions for 12 more months. In other words, those people have time to pay. They're doing everything on a myriad of fronts, Ana, to ease the burden of the city of Los Angeles. And the Mercy is going to play a big role in that.
CABRERA: Paul Vercammen, thank you for that update. Good to see the sun shining. That's a glimmer of light for those of us experiencing some dark days right now.
Coming up, health professionals across the nation are pleading for more essential Medical and protective equipment. And, for many, the dire shortages are putting medical workers and their families at risk. This was one nurse's emotional message.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SONJA REINERT, LABOR AND DELIVERY NURSE, EMORY HEALTH: We have families, too. And all the nurses are so scared. And we don't want to be scared. And being told you can't -- you have to reuse masks that are meant for one time and when to go in to different patients. It's just insane.
CABRERA: Nurses and doctors on the frontlines of the Coronavirus crisis say they are coming home afraid to hug their own children. CNN Senior Investigative Correspondent Drew Griffin takes a closer look at the global shortage of medical masks and other protective equipment, and what is being done to try to remedy the shortage.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): What does proper protective gear look like? Chicago anesthesiologist, Cory Deburghgraeve, sent this video, double gloves, N95 mask, face shield. All, as he demonstrates, needed to protect healthcare workers, like himself, whose contact while intubating patients is near cheek to cheek.
CORY DEBURGHGRAEVE, ANESTHESIOLOGIST, CHICAGO: So, as you can see, my head was this close to the patient. So, if they're coughing or have any sputum, that's all going right to my face.
GRIFFIN: It is a far cry from this, a mask stapled together to last until the end of a shift.
Nurses, in Upstate New York, being told they get one surgical mask for five days because of shortages. And medical personnel getting sick on the frontlines.
DR. ROCHELLE WALENSKY, CHIEF OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES, MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSPITAL: We have about 41 people in our hospital that tested positive for the Coronavirus.
GRIFFIN: This week, in one New York City hospital, an assistant nurse manager, Kious Kelly, who suffered from asthma, died. His sister said the last time she heard from him was Wednesday.
MARYA SHERRON: But he texted and said that he was in the ICU. He had the Coronavirus. He said, I can't talk because I choke. He was having difficulty breathing. He said, I'm going to be OK.
GRIFFIN: Many Medical workers are fighting this battle without the thinnest level of protection, the face mask, the plastic face shield, the flimsiest of plastic gowns that could mean the difference between treating the infected and becoming one of them. Kelley Cabrera, emergency nurse in the Bronx New York, says she gets one set of gear to last the day. Masks being reused for five days.
KELLEY CABRERA, NURSE IN BRONX, NEW YORK: It's like we're going into a war with no protection. We know how this is transmitted. We know that this is incredibly contagious. And we're seeing it. We're being exposed over and over again. And it is criminal. This is absolutely criminal.
GRIFFIN: Supplies across the country are dwindling. In Arizona.
DR. ARYA CHOWDHURY: I can tell you, my biggest concern right now, as an emergency room physician, is the lack of PPE.
GRIFFIN: In Michigan.
DR. JONEIGH KHALDUN, CHIEF MEDICAL EXECUTIVE, STATE OF MICHIGAN: I have now got doctors and nurses on the frontlines who are using one mask for their entire shift.
GRIFFIN: The biggest question we are hearing, where is it? Where are the strategic stockpiles the president and his administration talk about? DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We've got tremendous amounts of equipment coming in.
GRIFFIN: Only 12 percent of healthcare facilities say they've received supplies from the federal government, according to this recent survey of 1,100 healthcare providers. Nearly half do not have enough face shields. And nearly one-third are almost out or completely out of masks. Desperate medical workers don't know where to turn.
CABRERA: We just feel like we've been abandoned. We're being told to do things that are really dangerous.
GRIFFIN (on camera): They're telling us, because of the shortage of equipment, they are being asked to do what would have gotten them fired just a month ago. They are in a desperate situation for supplies. Drew Griffin, CNN, Atlanta.
CABRERA: The president today is teasing a possible quarantine for parts of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. And now, the Florida governor is announcing new measures to stop New Yorkers from entering his state. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo joins me live to react next.
CABRERA: No state has been hit by coronavirus than New York. It accounts for nearly half all U.S. cases.
Now President Trump is considering a mandatory short-term quarantine on the state, or at least parts of it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There's a possibility that sometime today we'll do a quarantine, short term, two weeks on New York. Probably New Jersey. Certain parts of Connecticut.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE QUESTION)
TRUMP: Restrict travel. Because they're having problems down in Florida. A lot of New Yorkers going down. We don't want that. Heavily infected. This would be an enforceable quarantine, and, you know, I would rather not do it, but we may need it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo joins us now.
Governor, I know how busy you are. Thank you for taking time.
What's your reaction to what you just heard? ANDREW CUOMO, (D), NEW YORK GOVERNOR: Good to be with you.
Well, Ana, as far as the quarantine, which means a lot of different things now in this environment, but that's where we are, that's what we're doing.
We started a mandatory isolation. You stay home unless you're an essential worker. We're doing that. That makes sense, makes sense for our state and other states, neighboring states, Connecticut, New Jersey, which the president mentioned are doing the same thing. So that policy I think makes sense.
I don't know what enforced quarantine means, but that's what we're doing already.
CABRERA: Do you have any problem with the idea of there being travel restrictions? Essentially what I heard from the president is perhaps New Yorkers couldn't leave the state.
CUOMO: Well, that's not a quarantine. That would be a lockdown. If you said we're geographically confining people, that would be a lockdown. Then we would be Wuhan, China. And that wouldn't make sense.
This is a time the president says he is trying to restart the economy. New York is the financial sector. You geographically restrict a state, you would paralyze the financial sector. You think the Dow Jones, the stock market has gone down, it would drop like a stone.
I don't even believe it is legal. Interesting, Commerce Clause, et cetera. I think it would be exactly opposite everything the president is talking about. How would you ever operationally stop goods from coming to New York and New Jersey and Connecticut and food and trucks, et cetera. So I can't believe he's considering that.
CABRERA: What if that is what he wants. What if he wants a lockdown? Would you sue to stop him? You said you don't think it is legal.
CUOMO: Look, a lockdown is what they did in Wuhan, China, and we're not in China, and we're not in Wuhan. I don't believe it would be legal. I believe it would be legal. I believe it would be illegal.
I don't believe you can say you cannot leave the state of New York or state of New Jersey or state of California. If you wanted to start to do that, that would ripple across the country.
New York, New Jersey, Connecticut today, tomorrow New Orleans, then Detroit, Texas, then Florida, then California. At the same time, we say we try to restart the economy.
I mean, I can't remember in history when it was done. You would have to go back to the Civil War to talk about borders of states like that. I think it would paralyze the economy. I think it would shock the economic markets in a way we've never seen before.
As a governor, I'm not going to close off my borders. Trucks have to come in, food has to come in, mail has to come in. I'm not going to put health and safety of my people at risk.
And it is not what the president has been trying to achieve. He's worked very hard to be working with the governors, he's worked very hard to be working with the state of New York. I spoke to him this morning. We have a good cooperative relationship.
So it would be exactly opposite everything he has said and everything he has done to date and it will be totally counterproductive.
CABRERA: Have you talked to him this afternoon since he made those remarks?
CUOMO: No. I literally spoke to him just a few minutes before. We had a good conversation. We talked about additional aid for the state of New York in terms of temporary hospital beds. We talked about the medical ship that's coming to New York. He never mentioned anything about a quarantine.
CABRERA: I mean, how would this even work? Would he send in the military to guard bridges and tunnels going in and out of, for example, New York City, if it is just the city that's locked down?
CUOMO: It couldn't work. It would be the pictures you saw on TV with Wuhan province in China. I don't even know how you could possibly do it. We need goods coming in and out of New York. We need food and mail coming in.
CABRERA: On that point you made about the financial sector, about being able to have interstate commerce, and also the financial sectors, it is the heart of Manhattan, right? What would this mean for the stock market? Would it have to shut down?
CUOMO: Oh, it would drop like a stone. I mean, I don't know if it would operationally have to shut down, but it may as well shut down.
You say you can't come to New York to do business. Businesspeople can't leave New York to go to Chicago for a meeting. I mean, it would be chaos and mayhem. And that would drop this economy in a way I think that wouldn't recover for months, if not years. So it is totally opposite everything he has been saying.
I don't even think it is plausible. I don't think it is legal. And it would really be total mayhem. I don't have another word for it.
CABRERA: The New York Stock Exchange specifically -- I'm sorry, I don't mean to interrupt you. There's a slight delay with our signal here. I was thinking about the New York Stock Exchange. Obviously, if it is
again, a little vague now about the quarantine that he's speaking of, but one point he mentioned New York City. I imagine there are a lot of people that go in and out of New York City that don't live in the city, might be part of the New York Stock Exchange.
That's where I was thinking about an impact when it comes to the stock market, right?
CUOMO: Oh, no, you're exactly right, Ana. There are people that come in and out all day long dealing with the stock exchange. There are meetings, I mean, thousands of people coming in and out that are directly related to the stock exchange.
And I know the president is concerned what happened to the stock market, we all are, I am as governor of New York, every person that has a retirement fund, watched the drop is concerned. So why you would want to just create total pandemonium on top of a pandemic I have no idea.
CABRERA: Well, if you think about the actions you took, right, when it came to New Rochelle, you put in a zone that was somewhat restrictive, and you did that in order to stop the spread. If there isn't some kind of lockdown, how do you get it under control? How do you prevent the spread from getting worse?
CUOMO: We had the hottest cluster, if you will, the hottest hot spot in the United States of America, with New Rochelle, Westchester. We did something with the containment zone, closed school and no large gatherings. We never said you can't come and go. We've never confined people's mobility, imprisoned people in a geographic area, even in New Rochelle.
We called it a containment zone which was not the best word. It was to contain the virus, not people. We never contained anyone. I can't remember the last time this country said we're going to contain you in an area. Again, that's why I think I don't even believe it is legal.
Also you have provisions, states' rights, interstate commerce, et cetera. So it's a preposterous idea frankly. And again, it is totally opposite what the president wants to do, which is work with the states, help the states, get the economy running, and bring some sense of stability.
You wouldn't at this point, literally, fracture the entire nation. It is Louisiana, New Orleans. You'll see the numbers continually going up. Every few days, it is going to be another hot spot. That's where we are.
And if you start walling off areas across the country, it would be totally bizarre, counterproductive, anti-American, anti-social, it wouldn't even be productive.
This virus, you don't know who has it. We have done more testing in New York than any other state. That's why we know better who has it in New York. Once the other areas start to have the right tests and the volume of tests, you're going to see it is all across the country.
CABRERA: Governor, will you call the president tonight and speak with him about this?
CUOMO: Look, if the president was considering this, I guarantee he would have called me. I mean, we talk about relatively trivial matters when it comes to dealing with this situation. This is a civil war kind of -- this is civil war kind of discussion.
CABRERA: So you don't believe he really is serious about it?
CUOMO: I don't believe that he could be serious, that any federal administration could be serious about a physical lockdown of states or parts of states across this country. I don't believe it is legal. I think it would be economic chaos. I don't think the American people would stand for it.
It's just a question of time before you see the numbers growing in hot spots across the nation. So I think it makes absolutely no sense. And I don't believe any serious governmental personality or professional would support it.
CABRERA: There are growing concerns, though, we're hearing not just from the president but from governors in other states about travelers coming into their states from New York. There are reports that the governor of Rhode Island ordered all vehicles with New York State license plates be stopped when entering that state. What's your reaction to that?
CUOMO: Yes, I think that's a reactionary policy. I am concerned about people with the virus coming to my state, right? That's a reactionary policy and I don't think that's legal.
We're talking to Rhode Island now. If they don't roll back that policy, I'm going to sue Rhode Island because that clearly is unconstitutional. I understand the goal. And I could set up my borders and say I'm not letting anyone in until they take a test to see whether or not they have the virus.
But there's a point of absurdity. And I think what Rhode Island did is at the point of absurdity. Again, it is not legal.
They're a neighboring state. I'm sure we'll be able to work it out. But I think we need balance in this.
I understand people are nervous, anxious. It is a frightening situation. But we have to keep it in focus. We have to keep the ideas and policies we implement positive rather than reactionary and emotional.
CABRERA: If you think that these actions are illegal, what are you prepared to do? Would you sue Rhode Island? Would you sue the federal government? What happens?
CUOMO: Well, I've sued the federal government many times, by the way, over the past few years, we've had quite a number of policy decisions. I do not believe it's going to come to that on this.
Again, I have been speaking to the president. This would be a declaration of war on states, a federal declaration of war, and wouldn't just be New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, next week, it would be Louisiana with New Orleans, and week after that Detroit, Michigan, and it would run across the nation.
I don't think the president is looking to start a lot of wars with states about now for a lot of reasons.
With Rhode Island, they're a neighboring state. I think what they did was wrong. It was reactionary, illegal. But we'll work it out amicably, I'm sure. We have conversations going back and forth.
No state should be using police to prohibit interstate travel in any way. No state should be able to say, you know, I'm going to use my police to make sure you don't come in with a license plate.
By the way, you're in Rhode Island. What if you travel to New York, you travel back to Rhode Island? Do you get stopped? You can't re- enter Rhode Island? You know, how many people from Rhode Island come here to do business? We have to be smart in these policies.
CABRERA: I want to ask about the situation in New York. Stories we are hearing from hospital workers are not good. We see lines outside places like Elmhurst. What's the status when it comes to ventilators in New York State? That's been one of the big issues of concern for you.
CUOMO: Well, the ventilators, which, by the way, before this situation, nobody really gave a second thought to ventilators.
What has happened, one of the peculiar situations with this disease is a respiratory disease, effects the lungs badly. People that are acutely ill with the virus all need a ventilator, and they're on these much longer than most people are on ventilators with other diseases.
So you have more people needing ventilators, and they're on them longer, which increases the need for the ventilators.
And everybody is trying to get ventilators. You have 50 states bidding against each other for ventilators. You have 50 states competing with the federal government to buy ventilators. You have countries around the world trying to get ventilators. So we're trying to do the best we can. We're acquiring as many as we can.
There's a new technology we're using that splits, call it splitting, one ventilator can do two people. We are implementing that procedure across the state.
And we're doing the best we can to move people that need the ventilators to places that have the ventilators. But that's one of the great logistical problems with this entire situation.
The problem is you want to flatten that curve so you don't overwhelm the hospital system. The hospital system, it is beds, it's staff, then it is equipment, and at the top of the equipment list are the ventilators.
CABRERA: What's the latest on the fatality rate in your state?
CUOMO: You know, it dropped today. It is still going. The overall line is still up. Today was a drop. We're not sure if it is a one-day drop. Tested 17,000 people overnight, 7,000 hospitalizations. But we still see it going up.
The possible apex by numerical projections has us needing 140,000 hospital beds and about 40,000 ventilators, which is a very big number that would overwhelm the health care system.
So we're trying to get down the curve, get down the spread of infections, and at the same time, ramp up that hospital capacity, god forbid, that actually happens.
And we're getting very creative in doing that. We're opening temporary hospitals in locations across the state. So we are doing everything we can to increase the hospital capacity and flatten the curve at the same time.
CABRERA: I hear what you're saying about reaction in terms of providing space, having resources to deal with influx and rush of more and more patients. You were completely against a federal lockdown. How do you get it under control?
CUOMO: You get it under control the way we're operating. Look there are not a lot of options. Reduce the spread. Quote/unquote, "flatten the curve." That is what they all talk about.
We've taken every action you can take there. Nobody can go to work except essential workers. Reduce density, close the restaurants, close the gyms. No gatherings. So you reduce the spread. You increase the hospital capacity.
You test, test, test. We're doing more test than any state in the United States. More per capita than China or South Korea. So you isolate the positive. And part of it is it runs its course.
All you are hoping is that you slowdown that spread of infection. You drop that curve to a level that you can treat in the hospitals. And that's what we're doing. We're anticipating an apex of that curve, the high point to be anywhere from 14 to 21 days.
That is really the essential moment for us when you get to ha high point. And they say that is 14 to 21 days. With any luck at all after that high point the number of cases start to drop.
CABRERA: Governor Andrew Cuomo, thank you very much. You have taken a lot of time. Thank you for the conversation. Wishing you lots of luck. Be well.
CUOMO: Thank you. Thank you, Ana.
CABRERA: Thank you.
With millions of Americans struggling with not only the health risk here, but also the economic burden caused by coronavirus, President Trump has signed a $2 trillion stimulus package. What does that mean for you? And economists will breakdown your questions, next.
CABRERA: Welcome back. You just heard from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. He says President Trump's tease of a possible quarantine for parts of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut could undermine the entire U.S. economy.
Let's bring in CNN global economic analyst, Rana Foroohar.
Rana, what would quarantine, or locking down, as Governor Cuomo put it, for the state of New York, what would that do for the entire financial system, not just in New York but really around the world?
RANA FOROOHAR, CNN GLOBAL ECONOMIC ANALYST: Well, look, a lot of the financial system is virtual. The New York City Stock Exchange, for example, is really just for show. I mean, people use it as a television set. There's not a lot of trading that happens there.
A lot of trading is online, a lot of that is continues. There are heads of Goldman Sachs, other banks working from home now. That would be OK. The world financial system could continue on.
New York is very diverse economy. Even the city. It's not just about Wall Street. There's a lot going on. A tremendous number of small businesses that are really already two weeks into the various measures that have been taken here are close to not being able to make it.
So this is a big deal. There's no two ways about it. And there's going to be a tradeoff between health and having the economy functioning.
CABRERA: And so I think you hit on this. But obviously. the financial devastation is inevitable, right? If nothing else get this is public health crisis under control, we're going to be in this for a while. And 3.3 million people already have filed for unemployment.
FOROOHAR: Yes. I mean, this is -- it is unprecedented. It is just unprecedented. It makes the great financial crisis and the recession of 2008/2009 really look quite mild by comparison.
We are going to be in this for a long time. We'll be in the pandemic and the aftermath itself for months.
But the economic damage is going stretch on beyond that. Even the stimulus package that we're taking on right now, OK, that is going to give folks you know in many jobs 26 weeks of unemployment. It is going to give many Americans a one-time payment.
But that is not going to do everything. You know, most unemployment payments are about 40 percent of what people make per week. So there's going to be massive devastation. Many small businesses are going to close. This is a big deal.
CABRERA: I want to circle back to this economic impact of the possible lockdown or quarantine of New York, of the New York Stock Exchange. Is it important for traders to physically be there?
FOROOHAR: It is not nearly as important as it used to be. About 80 percent of trading globally is done by computers anyway. So you know, I think that is going to continue.
But, frankly, the financial markets are seizing up regardless of whether we have quarantine or not. They are seizing up for other reasons right now. A lot of companies are drawing down credit. Many companies are seeing their credit downgraded. Their bonds downgraded. That is causing a cascading effect of asset price falling for both safe assets and riskier assets.
You know we're going to be in this market for a long time. If you look back historically, for example, to the great crash of 1929, it actually took two years for the market to finally hit lows.
So I'm not saying this is 1929 but certainly a bigger deal than the last recession and the last crisis we had and it's going to be months if not years before we recover.
CABRERA: What is your biggest fear financially now with Trump even talk about a potential quarantine? What would you be concerned about?
FOROOHAR: Yes. Well, you know, I'm really concerned about how the fortunes of average working people are going to just ripple throughout the economy.
And already you are seeing a lot of financial instruments that were based on the ability of working people to pay off loans, home loans, mortgages, rent, their automotive loans. Those -- that's having a real effect in the market. There's a tremendous human cost.
But similar to the subprime prices when people couldn't pay for their houses and caused a financial crisis, we're seeing this real-world crisis ripple into the financial markets globally. And that has a snowball effect. When asset prices go down. People feel worried. They are poorer. Their retirement is gone.
So it is that snowball effect I really worry about.
CABRERA: Thank you so much, Rana Foroohar. We appreciate your expertise.
FOROOHAR: Thank you.
CABRERA: Stay with us. Hello, and thank you for staying with me. I want to welcome our
viewers in the U.S. and around the world. I'm Ana Cabrera, in New York.
First, let's get caught up on the very latest of this coronavirus crisis. Tonight, the United States with a distinction that no country dealing with this pandemic wants to have, the largest number of cases anywhere in the world with 113,000 cases total.