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President Donald Trump Uses Defense Protection Act To Require General Motors To Make Ventilators; First Responders Under Strain Due To Lack Of Protective Equipment; More Than 400 Deaths Reported In U.S. On Friday; The Science Of Coping With Anxiety, Loneliness Amid Crisis; Will Warmer Weather Help To Slow The Spread Of COVID-19. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired March 28, 2020 - 08:00   ET




VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: This is Saturday morning for you time for the hour now. This morning what appears to be a breakthrough in the fight against Coronavirus, the FDA has authorized a 15-minute test for the virus. The maker expects to deliver 50,000 of those per day starting next week.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: And the number of Coronavirus cases in the United States, it's staggering. The U.S. is now the focal point of the global pandemic. There are more than 102,000 reported cases across the county yesterday alone the virus killed more than 400 Americans and that means nearly 1600 people have died.

BLACKWELL: Now, the President has now invoked the Defense Production Act. He's requiring General Motors to produce ventilators. But a source to the company told CNN that the act really doesn't change their plans. They insist that GM was already offering to produce ventilators at cost.

PAUL: And across the country, as there are supplier shortages remain one of the biggest hurdles. Emerging hot spots, such as Chicago, Detroit, New Orleans, they're seeing a rapid increase in cases. Officials there say just they don't have enough resources.

BLACKWELL: You know the hospitals, and you know this, they're overwhelmed. More than 45,000 cases have been reported there. The state's Governor New York they say they there may be weeks from hitting a peak.

Let's start with CNN's Athena Jones she is outside of New York's Elmhurst Hospital. 13 patients died in just one day. Athena good morning to you. What are you seeing?

ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Victor. We can see the line growing is just over my left shoulder here at the line of people. It's growing slightly. There's still not as many as we've seen during the week. During the week, that line of people waiting to be tested has been quite long. We'll be watching to see how it develops today.

This is one of the hardest hit hospitals in the hardest hit state in the country. New York with just under 46,000 cases at last count accounts for almost half of the cases in all of America. And of course New York City hardest hit, Elmhurst here in Queens, a hospital that serves a large area has also been very, very hard hit.

We've talked to physicians there who say that it's so crowded inside that the stretchers are stacked up, or sort of lined up, three-deep. So it's hard for doctors to even get across the room. We do know that the city is bringing in more supplies.

We know that they're delivering 800,000 N-95 respirator masks, those are those masks that are very necessary to keep health care providers safe from the particles this virus puts out. They're also going to be delivering about 1 million surgical masks.

This hospital has gotten a lot more resources in recent days according to city and state officials more ambulance staff more nurses more physician assistants and the like. And today, they're going to get another 105 nurses.

I should also mention, you said Governor Andrew Cuomo saying that the State of New York may still be 21 days away from the peak of the number of cases. We know that the number of new cases is now doubling roughly every four days, down from having been doubling roughly every two days.

That's an indication, we believe, that the stay-at-home measures are having some effect. And I should note that already, New York State and the National Guard are assembling these 4,000-bed temporary overflow hospitals. We saw the great work that was done at the Javits Center in a short period of time.

That's also being done in existing buildings in various places across the state. As of yesterday, the Governor is asking for approval to build an additional four 1,000-bed temporary hospital site to prepare what you see as a coming peak Victor and Christi.

PAUL: All right, Athena Jones, so appreciate it, thank you.

BLACKWELL: So a big chunk of the $2 trillion allocated by Congress will soon be headed to businesses and families across the country obviously struggling because of the Coronavirus pandemic. This is a historic bill passed by Congress, signed by the President question is, is it enough the CNN Senior Congressional Correspondent Manu Raju reports?

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Now, after several days of intense bipartisan negotiations, Congress approved a sweeping $2 trillion rescue package to deal with the fallout from the Coronavirus crisis in the United States.


RAJU: This is the biggest rescue package that Congress has ever enacted in American history. And it will touch all facets of the American economy small businesses, big businesses, all who have been impacted by this pandemic. They'll be able to apply for loans.

State governments who have been hit hard also will be able to get federal dollars in addition to the jobless, expanded jobless benefits and the like. And people will also get direct payments if you make under a certain income threshold, you'll get direct cheques from the U.S. government. The question is how quickly can this get implemented and will it be sufficient enough to keep the economy that falls into a session could it keep a float?

Now this came after days of talks that happened first at the beginning in the Senate, with Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer along with top officials of the Trump Administration and Republican leadership in the Senate, after an intense back and forth they passed their legislation earlier this week.

And then it came to the House and on Friday in the House, things were uncertain because one Republican member was threatening to force all members to come back, essentially, and have to vote on this legislation which was going to sail through anyways.

Members had to come back to Washington to ensure that they could prevent him from using the process to force all members to return. So, about half of the 435-member House came back for this. A lot of them were not happy. They were forced to deny this effort by Congressman Thomas Massey of Kentucky to reverent him from forcing a vote.

Nevertheless, they all - they overruled his effort. They pushed back. People were upset. But at the end of the day, this bill did pass, signed into law by the President. Now Americans can start sensing some relief the question, though is, what will Congress do next, especially if this is not enough? Manu Raju, CNN, Capitol Hill.

BLACKWELL: Manu, thank you for that. Hours after the President signed the bill he then issued a statement saying that the administration would not comply with one of the provisions one of them involves oversight.

PAUL: Kristen Holmes is live in Washington with the details on this. Kristen we had an economist on earlier who said oversight is imperative here because this is a bill where there could be ripe indicators of fraud or misuse. So what reasoning is the President giving to dismiss the oversight portion of this?

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right, Christi, and keep this in mind, Democrats certainly think that this is a critical part of this bill. It's a safe guard that they put in place in order to get Democrats to agree to the $500 billion portion of the corporate bailout fund.

Essentially it legally gave the Inspector General, the right, when he was auditing or reviewing anything coming out of that fund in terms of investments or loans, that they could demand answers and information from any agency including the treasury. Then if they got information, they could pass it on to Congress. Especially President Trump saying he doesn't believe that's within his constitutional powers he has to do that. That he can in fact ignore the Inspector General and keep information from Congress.

Now we already heard from Nancy Pelosi on this. She said last night that this wasn't a surprise that the House would still be forming a panel and that the Congress would still be issuing oversight on what happened with these funds.

BALCKWELL: Kristen, let me ask you about the back and forth, about the Defense Production Act. The President has now used it for ventilators. But we're hearing from GM that says it really doesn't add anything or change anything. What do you know about this?

HOLMES: Yes, a lot of questions surrounding this. So essentially yesterday, General Motors puts out a statement that it will be working with a ventilator company called Venntech Life to make a large amount of ventilators at one of GM's facilities in Indiana.

Later, President Trump says he's going to use the Defense Production Act in order to force GM to make these ventilators. The company saying well, that doesn't change much. We're going to keep the same time line we're going to make the same amount of ventilators.

But remember, this comes after a week of intense criticism from Governors across the country, Democrats and Republicans, saying that they were not getting the medical supplies that they desperately needed. That they were getting a fraction of what they were requesting.

And New York Governor Andrew Cuomo essentially pleading with the federal government to use the Defense Production Act to try and get these supplies to the much needed states. Now President Trump and Cuomo have gone back and forth particularly are about those ventilators.

President Trump last night casting a little bit of doubt on the amount of ventilators that Cuomo said he needed. Take a listen.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think their estimates are high. I hope they're high. They could be extremely high. We're doing even hospitals based on pretty high estimates. I'm doing them anyway. If we do not need them that would be wonderful, we could help a lot of great people all over the world, we can help them live.


TRUMP: But I think these estimates are going to be very high. We're going to see.


HOLMES: Now, the New York Governor is not the only one calling for those ventilators, health care professionals on the ground in New York in that epicenter saying they need more of the ventilators at some points having two people on one ventilator.

Now despite the fact that there have been intense criticisms from Governors, Americans in general are approving the President's response to the Coronavirus. I want to pull up a poll here. This is one of President Trump's highest approval numbers. This is how he's responding to the Coronavirus.

52 percent say they approve of the way he's handling the Coronavirus, with 45 percent disapprove. Now, that is the not the only number here. There's also been a spike on President Trump's actual overall approval rating. You see 47 percent approved, with 48 percent disapproved. That's the highest number that President Trump has seen since taking office.

BLACKWELL: Kristen Holmes for us in Washington. Kristen thank you.

PAUL: So during last night's CNN Town Hall, Former Vice President Joe Biden outlined how he'd respond to the Coronavirus outbreak.

BLACKWELL: So he recommended a national lockdown for a period of several weeks and suggested that social distance guidelines being extended into June.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Based on the data I'm getting from the medical experts, they indicate to me that it's more likely to be some time after the 31st of May, into June, before we'd be in that position. But nobody knows for certain.

What we do know is that it's a false choice to make, saying that you either open the economy or everything goes to hell. Or, in fact, you take care of the medical side. You cannot make this economy grow until you deal with the virus.


PAUL: The Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders also held a roundtable discussion with doctors and first responders, regarding COVID-19 and says now is not the time to play politics.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is not a time for political rhetoric. This is a time for science and for the American people to understand the reality of what they're facing.


PAUL: So, we also know that when you wake up in the morning, it's a lot to take in, in the last few weeks here. We want to make sure that you are also aware of some good news. And some good people who are doing remarkable acts of kindness every day for the past three years. I want to introduce you here to Shirley Baines and her nonprofit, "Beauty to the streets". They provided services and supplies for homeless people in Los Angeles well social distancing obviously the guidelines there forcing her to rethink how to help?

So, take a look at this, last weekend, she continued to carry out her mission. She distributed hand sanitizer and vitamins, this time doing so from a safety distance. Shirley, we appreciate you and I'm sure that they do, too. Thank you for what you're doing.

BLACKWELL: Yes, folks are finding a way, even though there are new guidelines, they are finding a way to help.

PAUL: Yes.

BLACKWELL: Still to come, doctors, nurses, they are still not getting the protective equipment they need. We'll talk with an emergency room physician about how they're managing with this deficit of PPEs and how they're serving their patients?

PAUL: And we want to talk more about this new hope in the fight against the Coronavirus this 15-minute test, the new one, soon to hit hospitals across the country after the FDA cleared a path to use it.



BLACKWELL: The FDA has approved a new Coronavirus test that promises to provide results in 15 minutes. Now, the technology behind the test looks for genes that are present in the virus. That's similar to tests that are already on the market.

PAUL: Now the federal health officials cleared the test for emergency use, saying it benefits that way in a risk such as false positives or negatives. The test maker expects to deliver 50,000 of those per day beginning next week.

BLACKWELL: So, there are these growing concerns about the lack of protective equipment for doctors and nurses who are working to fight this pandemic person to person the simple equipment, masks, gloves, running low. Nurses, health care workers are reusing those masks sometimes up to for a week or five days, to stretch them out.

PAUL: This is a picture of a nurse mask. Look at this that was stapled together after the strap broke. Let's talk to Dr. Esther Choo she is an emergency room physician and health care advocate who started that viral #getmeppe started it last week. Doctor Choo, thank you so much for being here. I want you to listen to a Doctor Somil Viradia talking about having to reuse some of their PPEs.


DR. SOMIL VIRADIA, CALIFORNIA: You currently have to check out a mask in order to see a patient that is suspected to have the Coronavirus and after that you actually have to use the mask, the same one, for five more patients.


PAUL: Are you finding that that is becoming a more common practice? And talk to us really about how detrimental that is, not just to the patients, but to all of the doctors and nurses who are in the thick of it?

DR. ESTHER CHOO, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, OREGON HEALTH & SCIENCE UNIVERSITY: Yes, that's absolutely accurate. That's what I'm seeing, talking to colleagues across the country who are at the front lines of patient care. Now, these are - these are resources that we normally consider single use items.

So, things like face masks, face shields, gowns, gloves, those are things that in typical circumstances we are using once for a single patient and then throwing them out. And that is because we are worried that that is contaminated. And we know neither want to spread disease, nor do we want to be sick ourselves and not be able to other patients.


CHOO: And so, the danger is, as we use these items, multiple times during a single day, or even as you said for many days, and it is absolutely true that health care workers in some places are needing to use this kind of equipment for five or six days in a row for many, many patients, that they are not protecting anybody, that we're not protecting ourselves and that we might even be contributing to the spread of disease.

BALCKWELL: Dr. Choo, in addition to the potential spread of disease, I want to make sure that we have a conversation about the psychological strain of having to do this, do this job, being so close with something that is so contagious. I want you to listen to a nurse. She's in New York. Her name is Sarah Buckley, and she talks about the experience of having to do this with so little protection. Just watch.


LAVITA PAYTON, REGISTERED NURSE, NEW YORK PRESBYTERIAN HOSPITA: What we used to see with a lot of patients who had like strokes and heart attacks, right now our emergency room is about 95 percent with COVID patients. So it's like you're walking into a war zone. You see people on ventilators alone.

And it's very saddening, I even saw a husband and wife couple you know ended up on ventilators because they both have the disease. And this is a very serious matter. In the midst of all of this, health care workers should not have to worry about their PPE, our personal protective equipment we should not have to worry about rationing masks, gowns or gloves. We should have plenty of that so we could do our job to our best Ability.

SARAH BUCKLEY, REGISTERED NURSE, KALEIDA HEALTH HOSPITAL: I don't know if you can imagine, but you come home from work and you see your child who has asthma. And they brighten up because they want to see you and they want to hug you because you're home from work.

You like hesitate, because you're like, what, what am I bringing home to you, because I wasn't provided the proper equipment. You know, health care workers really want to take care of their patients. There's nothing more - I mean, I have co-workers you know who have been trying for years trying to get pregnant, they're pregnant another co-worker who has been hospitalized twice this year for lung issues.

But you know they want to run into this virus that everyone is trying to avoid through these drastic measures. We just need the protective gear which we could get through the DPA if it were fully used.


BLACKWELL: Sarah Buckley and Lavita Payton there, both registered nurses. Talk about if you would the balanced dilemma of wanting to fulfill the mission without the protection and then having to go home and protect your family, knowing the exposure that you might have had during your work hours.

CHOO: Yes, my heart just goes out to all my colleagues out there. Those stories were put so eloquently. Understand that all of us have colleagues who have fallen ill with the disease when there was adequate PPE earlier in the course of this pandemic, now that our supplies of PPE are breaking down and we have to go in using it in these unusual ways or completely lacking it, the risk has really gone up.

And, you know, we're also regular people with families and obligations to those that we love. And it's this decision you have to make to continue going in and fulfilling your duty to the people that we care for, while also not wanting to put your loved ones at risk.

And many of us are doing these elaborate things after our shifts to try to decontaminate ourselves knowing that our equipment didn't keep us from getting contaminated. We go into our houses and run away from our kids so we that can shower and change again to avoid passing the illness on to them.

Many people are isolating actually, are moving out to hotels or staying in their own garages or basements and not having any physical contact with family members because they're seeing so many COVID positive patients cannot bear the thought of getting their family members sick.

And you know just imagine, this is not a short time thing. We're going to be fighting this for a long time. And to separate from your loved ones, the people who give you support in this time is psychologically tremendously hard.

I didn't hear a single colleague complain about the duty they had to take care of COVID patients. We were all feeling, you know, that we were prepared for this, and we wanted to go in with a lack of PPE, it seems like this added burden that is not fair to ask us to be completely unsafe while we're fulfilling that duty is extremely stressful. PAUL: We only have a couple seconds left, but I wanted to ask you about something you told Brian Stelter earlier this week, because of there were so many people who are in quarantine and not on the front lines like you are, understanding what this really does to a patient may feel a little disjointed to them or disconnected to them.


PAUL: So, you said the sickest patients are terrifying. What do you mean by that?

CHOO: I think it's so hard to imagine how devastating and difficult this disease is. I mean, the truth is, many people will have mild disease. And they will look fine to us. They look like they have a cold or a mild case of the flu.

What we're increasingly seeing in hospitals just look to New York and New Orleans, they're seeing patient after patients extremely sick as sick as we've ever seen people, their oxygen just dropping their ending up on center ventilators with terrible lung disease and prone positions we have now widely available effective treatments right now. These are sick patients many of them will go on to die.

This is more than just a hypothetical to us. This is extremely scary. And staying in shelter has never more important. I know it's hard to do that and to completely upend your life and your jobs and every in - schooling and everything, in order to attack something that's visible. That's what every American needs to do so they don't get to us ever.

BLACKWELL: The hastag is #getmeppe, the creator Dr. Esther Choo. Dr. Choo, thank you for what you do and thank you for your time this morning.

CHOO: Thank you.

PAUL: So grateful for you thank you. So we're talking about how the virus is spreading across the country. In Georgia now, there are nearly 2200 cases. We're talking to the Mayor of Atlanta who has instituted a lockdown in the city. She's next. Stay close.



BLACKWELL: 31 minutes after the hour. The number of Coronavirus confirmed cases, it's staggering. And the deaths on Friday alone, consider this, the virus killed more than 400 Americans one day. The number of people killed, you see it on your screen, approaching 1,600.

Now, in Georgia, there are almost 2,200 cases. 65 people have died. The Mayor of Atlanta says ICU beds in her city have reached capacity and with me now to talk about that is the Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. Madam Mayor, good morning to you.

MAYOR KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS (D-GA): Good morning, Victor. BLACKWELL: Let me put some numbers here just checked these from the Georgia Department of Health, 2,198 confirmed cases. 607 of those have been hospitalized. That's more than 27 percent. What does that mean for Atlanta's doctors, nurses and hospitals?

LANCE BOTTOMS: I have a number of friends who are medical professionals and they're afraid. We've seen them on television. We've seen them on social media. I have one friend who is home with a fever. So this is very, very real for them.

What it means is that we are a large urban city in an even larger metropolitan area. So on a good day, our hospitals and our ICU beds are at a premium. Just a few days ago, in the total information I received is that a major hospital was at about 90 percent capacity. And what people have to realize is that strokes don't stop.

Diabetes and all of these things that send people into our emergency rooms, these things continue. And it's stressing our health care system. And you add this pandemic on top of it and we have a real problem of it growing right here in Atlanta.

BLACKWELL: Well, let me ask you, you told a CNN Affiliate this week that the Atlanta hospital system could collapse under the added strain of COVID-19 like New York. But in New York, we're seeing the addition of retrofitting facilities adding hospital beds, creating ICU spaces. What's the Atlanta version of that? Are you doing that in Atlanta?

LANCE BOTTOMS: So, the predictive model that I've seen is that at this rate, by May 3rd, we will exceed our capacity for our hospitals. So, what's happening now is that with the help and the leadership of the state government and Governor, we are already scouting locations within Atlanta.

The metropolitan Atlanta area, to create additional hospital beds and create additional space for health care and it's the reason that I took what was at that time an extreme measure in our state, and I instituted a stay-at-home order.

I am very pleased to say that even over just the last day, many other cities throughout the state have followed that order because we don't have a stay-at-home order statewide. There are many counties that still don't have infections yet, but obviously, we can see where this is headed.

So, we will continue to work with our Governor. And as he continues to work with Federal Government to try and be as ready as we possibly can, so that he goes just down the road to Albany, Georgia, they are already overwhelmed.

There has been a huge outbreak there. And what people across America need to understand is simply because it hasn't happened in your community yet, does not mean that it did not happen. And that's why it's so important that we take the social distancing and simply staying at home seriously.

BLACKWELL: Yes, Doherty County where Albany is to have the number of cases that they do is really a remarkable trend that we're seeing there.


BLACKWELL: One other issue here, we were during the break and taking liberty here, I don't know how many specifics you want to share. But I was checking the statistics, here in Georgia more than half of the confirmed cases are adults under the age of 60. And we were talking about, these aren't just numbers, these are people you know.

LANCE BOTTOMS: I know so many people who are sick right now, Victor. When I look at those numbers, what it says to me is those numbers couldn't possibly be correct. I mean, these aren't people that I know as Mayor. These are people who I've known for many years who I call friends.

There are so many people who are sick healthy people young people. One of my friends who is a doctor is at home with a fever right now. I have another friend who I was just on spring break with who is very, very sick and has been to the emergency room twice. And I can go down the list.

My college roommate's mother is incubated in a local hospital. I can give you 10, 20 other people who I know right now is fighting for their lives. And so even for as grim as the statistics look, people need to understand that it's happening right in our families.

It's happening in our communities. And it's just a matter of days. And this is not too alarm people. But it is to stress to people that this is real. And the thing that we can do, Victor, is stay at home.

We're not asking people to pick up arms and go to war where people are flamed famine. We're asking to you stay at home. Stay in the comfort of your home. It's a simple request so that people can have an opportunity to simply live.

BLACKWELL: Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms of Atlanta. We'll end it right there. Thank you so much.


BLACKWELL: Stay healthy.

PAUL: Feeling uncertain or anxious? I know it's tougher. And you are not alone here. We're speaking to a psychology professor who says our collective well-being is at risk right now. But we can find the answers on how to cope with science? She's with us next. Stay close.



PAUL: 42 minutes past the hour. I know it is human nature to want to connect with people as a way to cope during the crisis, right? That's what we feel like doing. During this pandemic though, the need for this social distancing makes that so much harder.

Well, our next guest is taking on challenges like that in creative and science-based ways in her podcast is called "The Happiness Lab".


DR. LAURIE SANTOS, HOST, THE HAPPINESS LAB: Everyone has seen changes in their daily lives. Like not being able to eat at your favorite restaurant or attend your weekly yoga class. I've even had several friends who have had to postpone their weddings.

We might feel scared, frustrated or angry about all of this but such emotions are draining. They end up making us feel even worse. A better way to react to all these setbacks might be to see them a little differently, say, as challenges, to take on and overcome, to look at the trials ahead and confidently say game on.


PAUL: Dr. Laurie Santos is with us now. Dr. Santos, so good to have you here - I mean, it's a great idea that you just mentioned to flip your brain around to see it as say game-on as a challenge and there are a lot of people out there that would take it. But where do you start to try to flip that switch in your head?

SANTOS: I think where you start is just you realizing that science suggests that we can do it, right? It's up to us. We have a choice about how we see this awful situation. Now I mean just to validate, it is an awful situation, right?

We're facing something that's unprecedentedly scary but we have a choice about whether to see it in a kind of woe is me everything this is bad frame or like hey, this is a challenge for me and my family. We're on and I want you to view this positively when I look back on in years later.

PAUL: We know that some people are coping by thinking about other people which is it's so brilliant at the end of the day because you're helping yourself and you are helping somebody else at the same time.

We've heard these great stories of people delivering food to neighbors they don't even know, to - who are selling sewing masks for all of those nurses and doctors in the ER. How effective are those actionable steps to helping to stay focuses not just you know some people will say people just think happy thoughts. When you put something into action, how does that make a difference?

SANTOS: I think it makes it different in two important ways. The first way is just that we're taking an actionable step which I think is so important in the current time. People are telling us, hey, the way to help is just to do nothing, like just stay home.

And people don't like that we like to take agency. But in a more important way, what we're doing when we're helping other people is that we're harnessing our other regarding emotions. And just the act of doing that makes us happier.

So by selling masks by doing these things where you help elderly neighbors, you're helping them but are also helping yourself, you're giving yourself a much needed well-being boost in an otherwise really stressful time.

PAUL: You mentioned a little bit earlier, and I wanted to dig in more. Our natural reaction to trauma or stress is to connect with somebody. And we can't do that in a way that we're used to doing that thus far.


PAUL: So how do we fill that void?

SANTOS: I think this is really important because our natural instincts are tricky to do right now. I mean, all I wanted to do is to like run to my mom's house and give her a hug.

PAUL: Yes.

SANTOS: I can't do that. But the good news is that, technology gives us so many ways to connect with other people even while we're social distancing. We can do a zoom yoga class with our co-worker. We can call up our friend you know we just see on the general basis and have them like hang out with us in the kitchen while we chop vegetables.

Like these are the kinds of informal interaction, we can mend it with technology. It takes a little bit of a startup cost of course it's a little awkward but once you get into it, you get the same social boost as you would by hanging out with someone in person.

PAUL: Do you have concerns that the longer this goes on, there will be a disconnect that will be harder to overcome for us? You go to the grocery store say and you see somebody and they sneeze, and you think, oh, my Gosh, I don't know if I'm going to get sick because of this now as opposed to seeing them as an average person and feeling some sort of connection?

SANTOS: Yes, I think that's the double whammy. We can't connect with the people we care about. But the second part of it is that we see other people as a threat. You know so the people who we would normally see like in the grocery store, we can't kind of see how it was like - oh my Gosh, if they sneeze or if they touch something.

But the optimistic part is that we're also opening up new channels of connection. I think the more we use these channels to you know have a zoom yoga date with our friends or just you know like meet up with a bunch of folks over say like Netflix and watch something together, these are something we wouldn't normally do in our normal life.

And the research suggest for - in our normal life. These are techniques that we can borrow from this awful time that we can import later. So I actually think the longer this goes on, we're going to be forming new official habits that might help us when all this is over.

PAUL: Yes, I keep saying - I think it's a reset to re-evaluate what we really value. And where we want to focus our lives and trying to just find the blessing in it the in the midst of all the horrible things that we're to keep seeing. Dr. Laurie Santos, such important work you're doing, thank you so much. Again it is called "The Happiness Lab" podcast. BLACKWELL: So question, with the rising temperatures slow the spread of Coronavirus? We're asking experts next.



BLACKWELL: So, this is a question that we have heard in lots of people, especially now that we're stretching into deeper into spring, will warmer weather slow the spread of Coronavirus? Well, here's an answer from Dr. Anthony Fauci.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: We are hoping, though it hey not happen, that we will see that impact of warmer weather on bringing the infection rate down. But you can't guarantee it.


PAUL: So CNN Meteorologist Allison Chinchar is with us from home, we should point out because there are some record temperatures across the country right now. So, that's why this is so relevant. What are you seeing, Alison?

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: I think that's the thing people want to know okay, when I step out my door, it feels like summer so does this count when you're talking about what Dr. Fauci said?

I mean take a look at some of the temperatures that we've seen just yesterday alone Ft. Myers, had a high of 94 yesterday. Shreveport, Louisiana topping out at 90 degrees yesterday and today, we're going to see even more cities topping out with records, you're talking over 30 southern cities potentially breaking record highs.

The question is does this make a difference? Because for cities like Atlanta, and Montgomery, these temperatures are going to be more what they would be like in mid-June, rather than in late March which, again, that's the target point that Dr. Fauci was talking about, the summertime where you have not only high temperatures but also higher humidity levels because that also comes into play, too in terms of the spread of this virus.

And we actually have both. You've got very warm temperatures across much of the south, but you also have a lot of moisture surging up from the Gulf of Mexico. And that's increasing those humidity levels. Now, on the downside, it's also going to trigger some severe storms very potent severe storms across areas of the Midwest today.

But in terms of the temperatures, I think the key difference here is that this is a short-term heat wave. Look at this. Notice a lot of these cities drop back off, once we get into Monday of the upcoming week.

So Victor and Christi, what Dr. Fauci was talking about was more prolonged heat that you would get in the summertime, not necessarily these short-term heat waves like we're having right now.

BLACKWELL: Allison Chinchar, with us from home thanks so much. Stay healthy, stay safe.


BLACKWELL: And thank you for watching.

PAUL: Always grateful to have here. "Smerconish" is next. We're going to see you again in an hour. First though, at a time when grocery stores and even online sellers are struggling to keep up with demand Americans you are pulling together in some pretty creative ways.

There's a community that have a turned these - little free libraries into little free pantries. This is great they're filling in with canned goods, pasta, even those toilet paper rolls from their own stashes. Families from Florida to Minnesota are taking part.

Anyone can take what they need and donate what they don't. To find other ways to help those struggling during the Coronavirus epidemic, you can go to Thank you for doing so.



MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN HOST, SMERCONISH: A ray of light in a darkening sky. I'm Michael Smerconish in Philadelphia. You don't need me to tell you that it has been a tough week. But let's not forget that while we're witnessing a 21st century test of American ingenuity, in many ways, we're proving our resiliency.