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Hundreds of Millions on Lockdown As Coronavirus Keeps Spreading; Trump Floats Quarantine of NY, NJ & CT, Then Backs Off. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired March 29, 2020 - 08:00   ET




JOHN KING, CNN HOST (voice-over): Coronavirus case count mounts, states enact sweeping restrictions and there's tension at the top.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASE: You don't make the timeline, the virus makes the timeline.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm not going to do anything rash, but the country wants to get back to work.

KING: Plus, governors demand more help and get under the president's skin.

TRUMP: I say, 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.

KING: And on the front lines, medical risks, economic anxiety.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are asking our healthcare workers to go into battle without the appropriate arms that they need.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's going to hit every aspect of life. It's very devastating.


KING: Welcome to INSIDE POLITICS. I'm John King. To our viewers in the United States and around the world, thank you for sharing your Sunday.

The novel coronavirus continues its global march with devastating personal and economic impact.

Russia is closing its borders. Spain ordering all nonessential workers to stay home for two weeks. Japan's cases spiked again. And the coronavirus count now climbing across Africa.

And in the U.K. this week, Prince Charles tested positive as well as the prime minister.


BORIS JOHNSON, U.K. PRIME MINISTER: I developed mild symptoms of the coronavirus. That's to say a temperature and a persistent cough. And on the advice of the chief medical officer, I've have taken a test. That has come out positive. So I am working from the home, I'm self- isolating.


KING: The latest global numbers are staggering. More than 669,000 confirmed cases worldwide, over 30,000 coronavirus deaths.

The United States now owns the distinction no country wants, most cases by far, more than 121,000 at last count, more than 2,000 deaths here in the States.

New York is hardest hit by a lot. But there are giant increases in several other states. You see just the top five on the screen there.

With new cases came a host of new restrictions, closing businesses and urging or ordering residents to stay at home. Rhode Island announced its first two coronavirus deaths Saturday. And the governor issued a new statewide stay at home order because she says up to half the state is ignoring social distancing guidelines.


GOV. GINA RAIMONDO (D), RHODE ISLAND: Knock it off. You are risking the lives of everyone in this state. Today, I reported two deaths and in the days and weeks to come, there will be many more. We know we're on the way up the curve.


KING: The impact is everywhere you look. Factories shuttered, streets empty, the Summer Olympics postponed, America's new normal, social distancing, forcing America's past time to delay opening day.

What we hear from President Trump swings wildly at times from day to day, sometimes even hour to hour. Thursday night, he said governors were exaggerating the need for ventilators and that acquiring them is a state responsibility anyway. Friday afternoon, he flipped, said he was using federal wartime powers to order General Motors to make 100,000 ventilators in 100 days.

The president began the week vowing to reopen the country soon, saying the cure seems worse than the disease. But by Friday, after days of bleak numbers, he said health and safety would come first when he makes that decision.

And another big swing, just yesterday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: I am now considering, we'll make a decision very quickly, very shortly, a quarantine because it is such a hot area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. We'll be announcing that one way or the other fairly soon.


KING: Just hours later, the president backed down saying there would need to be some new travel restrictions, but no quarantine. That retreat coming after fierce objections from the tri-state governors.


GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: It would be chaos and mayhem. I don't even think it is plausible. I don't think it's legal. This is -- would be a declaration of war on states, a federal declaration of war. And it wouldn't just be New York, New Jersey, Connecticut. Next week, it would be Louisiana with New Orleans and the week after that it would be Detroit and Michigan, and it would run all across the nation.


KING: CNN's Jason Carroll is live for us in New York this Sunday and our White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins is also with us.


Kaitlan, I want to start with you. This is the latest example of the president sowing confusion, some say even risking panic, by speaking about his instincts, his reflexes or things he's thinking about and hours later having to dial it back.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and, John when the president suggested this idea yesterday, he didn't offer a lot details at the time. He said he thought it could potentially be enforceable, he didn't offer any other details, though, and then several hours in between when the president first floated this idea and when he backed off of it last night where White House officials were not offering hardly any details on this.

I'm told by sources that several of the top aides were caught off guard by the president's suggestion and we know the governors were as well because New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he had just spoken with the president and had not raised this idea during that. I'm told this came after a call that the president had with the Florida governor, Ron DeSantis, who was complaining about too many New Yorkers coming into hi state, he had this fear that it was potentially going to create a bigger spread of coronavirus in Florida.

And then, of course, you just saw moments later, the president suggested this idea with very few details, and, of course, the question was whether or not it was going to cause panic, cause people to try to flee the states for fear of being stuck in them, and we're told that in the hours after several aides had to go to the president, explain they did not think this is something he could legally enforce from his position, and so that's why you saw that guidance come out last night, simply suggesting for people to not travel unless it was essential, which, John, largely is something that those people have already been doing in these states, operating under that.

And here is the thing that raises the question of, you're seeing this split between guidance from the president and the governors and that's a big question of what is going to come out on Tuesday when the White House does release its new guidelines.

We heard several governors say even if they told people to go back to work, if they're healthy if they're young, governors are going to make their own decisions for their states based on the data they have.

KING: All right. We'll continue that converse -- that part of the conversation in a moment too. Kaitlan, stay with us.

Jason, I want to get to you in New York. You're in New York City where the mayor is dealing with the crisis. The governor in the state is dealing with a crisis. Your neighbors in Connecticut and New Jersey are dealing with a crisis.

I'm going to guess the last thing they needed was the president throwing a lightning bolt across the bow saying I may put you under quarantine.

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Without question. It caused some concern here in the ground and a great deal of confusion. You heard Kaitlan say earlier, basically this is what folks here in New York City and New Jersey and Connecticut have been doing all along. That's essentially what New Jersey's governor said in so many words.

But really the focus here now is the increased need for hospital beds, the increased need for medical supplies. Whether it be here at Elmhurst Hospital where we heard from medical workers on the front line or other hospitals across the city, you heard from medical workers who say we don't have the medical masks that we need, we had to re-use them, some of them don't fit.

Late last night, I was emailing with one of the representatives from the city health department who says, look, we're following CDC guidelines. She went on to say we have conservation efforts in place to ensure we continue to have the supplies that our staff needs.

Now, aside from that, the governor has been very clear, look, we need more ventilators here in state, some 30,000 ventilators, we need more hospital beds. You've got these emergency centers that are going to be opening in all five boroughs, that's going to be happening. You're going to hear more about that later on today.

The need here on the ground, more medical supplies, more ventilators -- John.

KING: Jason Carroll, appreciate the live reporting, busy time in New York City. Appreciate it very much.

Also with us this Sunday, again, to share their expertise, Dr. Ashish Jha, he's the director of Harvard's Global Health Institute, and Dr. Megan Ranney, an emergency room physician in Rhode Island, affiliated with Brown University.

Dr. Jha, I want to start with you.

You were here last Sunday and you said, by the end of the week, the United States would be likely be number one in cases. We are now.

Give me the trajectory. You look at this, we're at 1,000 deaths on Thursday, two days later, we are above 2,000 deaths. You see the cases spiking in the United States, where we have the most cases and across the country, the smaller states that might have 100 or so, rates are going that way.

Where are we?

DR. ASHISHA JHA, DIRECTOR, HARVARD GLOBAL HEALTH INSTITUTE: Yes, good morning, John. And thanks for having me back.

You know, I thought that with -- last Sunday, I said within a week, we're going to surpass China and become number one. I was wrong. We got there in four days. So, we're moving much faster than I think any of us have predicted.

The number of cases, as you said, are going to continue to rise, going to continue rising across the country. I think every part of the country is going to see exponential growth in cases. We're going to see a lot more in Florida and Louisiana and Illinois and other places.

I'm really worried about the number of deaths as you said, we doubled it in three days. If that trajectory continues, we'll be at 10,000 within a week. And then at some point, we're going to be seeing thousands and thousands of people dying every day. And so, instead of being distracted by travel restrictions, we got to focus on the three things that we know work. We got to increase testing. We've got to do social distancing, and we got protect our healthcare workers and get the health system ready.

Any conversation not about those three things is a distraction from the crisis we have in front of us.


KING: Well, Dr. Ranney, let's stay there then. Again, we talked last week, you said you're worried about PPE supplies. You heard your governor in the lead to the program to the program essentially screaming at people in the state, knock it off. Listen to Dr. Jha, listen to you, listen to the health care professionals and social distance.

So, she has an order in place. What are you seeing in the emergency room this week that is different from last week and I'm going to hope it is better but I'm going to guess it's not?

DR. MEGAN RANNEY, EMERGENCY PHYSICIAN, LIFESPAN BROWN UNIVERSITY: It is not better. We are seeing a dramatic increase in the number of people coming in with symptoms consistent with COVID-19. We are going to see high increases the number of deaths in the states in the next few days and we're seeing dwindling supplies, all of those protective masks and gowns that as Dr. Jha said we desperately need has been appropriately diverted to New York City.

So, we're not receiving the shipments from those strategic national stockpile that we were hoping for. The supply chain on protective equipment is completely frozen up.

And my healthcare colleagues are terrified because we are working under the same CDC recommendations but, again, those are not standard practice in standard times and people are scared for themselves getting infected, bringing it home to their family and getting admitted to the hospital or even dying.

KING: And so, one of the challenges is that there needs to be long- term planning and there also needs to be immediate response. So, I want you to listen here and I'll bring Kaitlan Collins back into the conversation as well.

The president of the United States yesterday said we get it. America's manufacturing sector is rallying to the cause.


TRUMP: We are so geared up at Boeing, Ford, Honeywell, 3M, Hanes and other great American companies, factory floors and manufacturing lines are being converted to produce the respirators, protective masks, face shields and other vital equipment.


KING: But the Republican governor of Ohio, listen here, says, no, I need it now.


GOV. MIKE DEWINE (R), OHIO: It should be no secret to anyone that we have a real, real shortage. We're talking about masks, we're talking about goggles, gloves, gowns, face shields, other essential items that are essential to keep the people at the front line, the real heroes of this story. If you are a manufacturer and you can make any of this stuff, we need to hear from you right away.


KING: Kaitlan, still a bit a disconnect between the president says we're on top of this and the governors and not just Democratic governors, governors around the country, Mike DeWine, a Republican there in the Trump state of Ohio, saying I needed it yesterday and I still don't have it.

COLLINS: Yes, and the president has gone from downplaying how much they need it, saying some of these governors are exaggerating their requests, saying the federal government is ready to step in once the states try to secure it themselves first. But what you're hearing from a lot of these officials is there say

lack of coordination here. It is difficult for them to go out and buy this on their own because they're competing with other states and other private companies as well, trying to get this. Now they also say they're competing with FEMA where you heard from several governors say they placed orders for personal protective gear for their healthcare workers, but then they can't get it because FEMA has purchased it out from under them. As FEMA is trying to make sure it has enough so it can back up those states.

So what you're seeing is a cycle where there is no coordination, these governors say, on how they're going to secure this equipment. They're not even sure how it is going to be distributed, whether or not it is going to go to certain areas. So, that's the big question here.

And people internally at the White House know this. They have been trying to conduct basically a nationwide inventory of what exactly there is, so they can know what exactly they need.

The question, of course, is going to be the timing here. If they coordinated that in time for them to be able to have these companies make this, and that's why you've seen so much confusion over this Defense Production Act that the president has used, where he said he's using it, then he's not, and then employed it on Friday with General Motors, even though they said they were already making those ventilators that the president wanted.

KING: All right. We're going to continue to track that because up next, we'll take a closer look at the coronavirus numbers and whether the map matches the president's goal of reopening at least parts of the country soon. Those numbers are climbing, testing front line healthcare workers and supply lines.


DR. NASIR KHAN, ANESTHESIOLOGIST: We're going to run short. We're already doing a lot of measures here at UNC to recycle, potentially re-use after sterilizing masks is something we have never had to do before.

DR. ALEXANDER SALERNO, PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN: Primary care and it all starts out here in the trenches before we get to the hospital door. But we can't fight a war in the trenches which we're given sticks and stones.

DR. JONEIGH KHALDUN, CHIEF MEDICAL EXECUTIVE, STATE OF MICHIGAN: I got doctors and nurses on the front lines who are using one mask for their entire shift.

We don't have enough masks. We don't have enough gowns. And we need more from the federal government and others.





TRUMP: We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself.

I would love to have the country opened up and just raring to go by Easter.

REPORTER: Who suggested --

TRUMP: I jus thought it was a beautiful time.

I'm not going to do anything rash or hastily. I don't do that. But the country wants to get back to work.

Each location is different. Some are very, very different. Some are day and night. Some are in great shape. Some aren't in great shape.


KING: President's push to reopen the country ASAP puts him at odds with his own public health professionals, and at the moment anyway with the coast to coast facts about the coronavirus spread. Even his tone was different on Friday than it was on Monday as the week's coronavirus count grew more dire and the governors see little chance of bending the arc by Easter, which is two weeks from today.


Let's take a closer look at some of the numbers. One, there's a heat map, the darker the state, the higher the case count. You see New York dark.

But look across America. Only a few states, fewer than 100 cases, if you look at the scale there. This virus is touching everywhere and in most states the count is growing -- growing and growing.

The states with the biggest increase, they include Idaho, out west, 521 percent. Alaska, 629 percent. Just look at the numbers as you come across, 878 percent up week to week. In Indiana, the count is going the wrong way.

Here is another way to look at it. My emphasis here is on the arrows, up 366 percent overall nationally. New York, Indiana, West Virginia, Missouri, Massachusetts, Arizona, up.

The doctors talked about bending the curve, the arrows are headed up. This is the point about bending the curve. A surge of cases will overwhelm hospital capacity. Both the beds, the supply lines, that's a surge of cases. So, you need to stretch it out with social distancing and other measures to bend the arc, stretch out the care.

That's not what is happening at the moment in most of America. Here is the United States. The line is still going up. New York, perhaps a slight bend, watch in the week ahead. Still going up. New Jersey, Michigan, these just some of the states. This is happening across the country.

So, when the president says maybe soon, some counties, where you have a low case count, maybe open this county, keep that county closed, Kentucky's governor among those saying no way.


GOV. STEVE BESHEAR (D), KENTUCKY: If your small businesses in your counties are sacrificed, if you drive over the border to another state and have all the contacts we're trying to stop, you frustrate the sacrifice of those in your community. While I'm governor, we're going to make sure the whole state is operating under those same -- under the very same game plan because the moment that we relax something in county A, somebody from county B drives to county A, and all of a sudden, we see a very large outbreak.


KING: Dr. Jha, that's the governor. Is it feasible to open county A and keep county B closed, counties or across the state line?

JHA: You know, John, it is good advice. It is going to be very hard to open up county by county. You could imagine a region, a stay, a couple of states, that could do it, but the problem right now is we don't even know what the hot spots are. We know what place we're having a lost outbreaks, but not doing adequate testing every.

So there are lots of places that may be hot spots that look OK on the map. And so, until we have a very good picture of exactly is happening, we can't even discuss opening up entire regions of the country. I'm pretty skeptical that there is any place that is going to be ready to open up in the next week or two.

KING: And one of the controversy, Dr. Ranney, including -- your governor says this over the weekend is, you know, the president was talking about a quarantine, he quickly backed off, the governor of Florida says we're going to on the lookout for New York license plates. Your governor seems to be the same.

Listen, to the governor of Pennsylvania saying he is worried about people leaving New York and going elsewhere.


GOV. TOM WOLF (D), PENNSYLVANIA: We're a border state to New York and I want to reiterate the president's call for all people who have been in New York City to quarantine for 14 days, whether you're coming from New York or some place else, coming to Pennsylvania, stay home. If you don't have to interact with other people, don't.


KING: Help us understand this from a health perspective, Dr. Ranney. Is that solid advice trying to stop New Yorkers from traveling or should you have to trust their goodwill, should government get involved? The ACLU is already complaining, you can't pull people over because they have New York license plates. What is the public health answer?

RANNEY: John, listen, the reason my governor is recommending people from New York quarantine at home for 14 days is that we know that many people who are infected are asymptomatic. So they don't have symptoms, but they can still spread the virus.

Even those people who go on to actually get sick or even need to be hospitalized can spread the virus before they know that they're getting sick.

So folks that are coming out of New York, where we have tremendous community spread of the virus, if they're going and interacting with shop keepers and neighbors when they come up to their beach houses or summer houses here in Rhode Island or Pennsylvania, they could potentially spread that virus, you know, significantly, among our communities.

So that shelter in place or stay at home, self-quarantine for 14 days, that recommendation is being made on good public health data and I just want to reiterate what Governor Raimondo said, to knock it off and stay home. You are protecting not just yourself, but also the lives of your neighbors and community.

KING: And so in this public health pandemic and emergency, we see some politics. And I'm not smart enough to know who is right or who is wrong, but I want to give you an example, and, Dr. Jha, I'll start with you.


In the state of South Carolina, the governor had his attorney general put out a legal opinion yesterday that says only the governor, only the governor has the authority to impose restrictions that mayors and county executives cannot do that. This opinion you see on the screen there says only the governor can do this. That because several towns had shut down.

This is the mayor of Edisto Beach, Mayor Jane Darby. She says she had shut things down at the beaches. Now, she says you're going to have to keep yourself safe because the governor is not going to back us up.

What happens in states where a mayor tries and the governor says, no?

JHA: Yes, so, John, this is -- this is the lack of federal coordination on these policies, kind of coming to bear the brunt for all Americans. We can't have every mayor and every governor fighting with each other.

Again, we got to focus on the disease at hand. The mayors who are trying to shut down their cities are actually completely right from a public health point of view. And the problem with this disease is that if you don't act, it looks fine for a while, until the cases become overwhelming and then action at that point is really late and you have to act much more aggressively.

So, I'm worried if South Carolina doesn't act now, in a couple of weeks, they are going to be overwhelmed like the rest of the nation is starting to get to now.

KING: Well, we're going to continue to watch states. Dr. Jha, Dr. Ranney, I appreciate you coming in. I hope to bring you next Sunday as well as we walk through this challenge together.

Up next for us here, we move to the economic output, unemployment claims shatter the record and Congress rushes a $2 trillion stimulus plan to help an economy stalled by this global pandemic.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have somewhat of a cushion and people are being kind and reaching out. And like that's all I can do, right?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you worried about how long this is going to last?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 100 percent. Yes. If it goes on months, I don't think any of us have any idea what we're going to do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm like millions of other people. I'm not going to be able to find a place to live if I have no income. I have to go out and have an eight-hour day if I want to eat. If I want to have a roof over my head.


JOHN KING, CNN HOST: We know the global and U.S. economic toll of the coronavirus pandemic is devastating. Just how devastating and how lasting is the question that just cannot be answered yet.

But three things from this past week do help us understand just how unprecedented this challenge is. A staggering 3.3 million Americans filed initial unemployment claims last week. Nearly five times the previous record of 695,000.

Congress passed its third coronavirus emergency package, the latest a $2.2 trillion stimulus program, The largest spending bill in American history. One piece of the stimulus is direct government checks, quickly is the plan, to American workers and parents based on income levels.

The President who signed it into law Friday already concedes there will be more to come.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, there may be something where we're going to have to help states because the states have been hurt very badly. We can handle it and we can handle -- I watched Jerome Powell the other day and he did a good job. He said, we'll do whatever we have to do. John -- we have to do whatever we ever to do.


KING: Joining our conversation, Seung Min Kim and Damian Paletta, both of "The Washington Post".

Damian -- I want to start with you. The economy is your wheelhouse. The stimulus plan -- it has bigger unemployment benefits including for big workers. It suspends federal student loan payments, $500 billion in loans to big businesses, state and local governments, $350 billion in loans and grants for small businesses, $125 billion for hospitals.

How will we know if it is enough? It seems like a ridiculous question. It's $2 trillion. How will we know if it is enough to prop up the economy?

DAMIAN PALETTA, "WASHINGTON POST": Well, I think it's going to be enough to stop the free fall. But it's certainly not going to be enough to get the economy up and running again. I mean certainly no one is going out and buying a new car or fixing their roof or, you know, making another big investment, planning a summer vacation.

Everyone is kind of waiting to see what's going to happen. So as we're all hunkered down, you know, this money is going to help prevent some companies from collapsing, prevent some people from falling behind on their credit card bills but it's not going to be enough to get the economy up and running again like it was a few months ago, for sure.

KING: And one of the stunning parts Seung Min is the checks haven't even been cut yet. The businesses, I guess, they could start applying for loans but the regulations aren't even written yet. And you have the President there at the White House briefing saying, yes, we're probably going to need more. He thinks direct aid to states will have to be part of that package.

Listen to the top two House leaders, the Speaker and the Republican Leader. The Republican -- Nancy Pelosi seems to be in line with the President, not so much Kevin McCarthy.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Our next bill will lean toward recovery, how we can create good paying jobs as we go forwards, perhaps building the infrastructure of America. Family medical leave is not as inclusive as it needs to be to cover the needs of America's working families.

In terms of well, we do want to see more direct payments --

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA), HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: We've now given the resources to make and solve this problem. We don't need to be crafting another bill right now. Let's let these $2 trillion go to work for us.

(END VIDEO CLIP) KING: Seung Min, there may be a disagreement over the details between the Speaker and the President but they seem on the same page. And the President kind of pulled the rug out from under the Republican leader there.

SEUNG MIN KIM, "WASHINGTON POST": Exactly. I mean you're seeing a lot of concerns already from Capitol Hill that this package, even though it is $2.2 trillion, is not going to be enough at the end of the day. And I spoke with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell shortly before the bill passed the senate and he had a similar view as Kevin McCarthy. He said let's look and wait to see how these bill is implemented, how these checks go, how the small business loans go particularly, and then we can reassess whether we need to come back for a phase four.

But a lot of people on Capitol Hill and clearly in the administration are preparing for that second package. You can expect a lot of discussion about infrastructure. I would expect the discussion about the payroll tax cut which was a favored policy of the President, but not so much favored by people on Capitol Hill. It could come back again.

And it is -- and the direct aid to states is also going to be a major issue. We reported, my colleagues and I at "The Post", about a very tense phone call between Governor Andrew Cuomo and members of the New York House delegation where Cuomo just lambasted (INAUDIBLE) saying it did not give enough aid for New York.


KIM: So all these factors are going to come back up again and it may come back again when all the lawmakers are dispersed back home in their states. I mean they have left Washington. They do not want to come back to the Capitol anymore soon so the logistics of that are going to be very challenging as well.

KING: They are going to be challenging. And Damian -- we know one way the President looks at the economy and this is not necessarily a good way to judge the economy. But the President follows the stock market.

And if you look at the last month of the Dow Jones, you don't need me. You can just look at the chart on the table there. I drew that green line. The red line tells you the story.

It went up a little bit at the end of the week when Washington was doing its stuff and it dropped a little bit on Friday. I don't need to analyze the day-to-day here. This is one of the things the President watches.

What do you watch when you try to get a sense of is this working or at least as you said, you know, putting a floor underneath to help us get through this because these are the $2 trillion in the United States, probably more to come but this is a global pandemic in a global economy?

PALETTA: Sure. I mean I think we really need to watch these weekly jobless claims numbers that come out each Thursday. That's going to really tell us kind of real-time the state of the labor market. And that's going to tell you if people can feel comfortable spending money or if they're all pulling back.

Obviously we're going to be needing to watch very closely credit card payments, whether those people are falling into default; mortgage payments that those folks are falling into default in big numbers. That will tell you that -- as more and more people fall behind on these payments, they pull back on their spending, then the financial industry gets a little bit shakier, then you start to see things getting worse.

When those things stabilize, then I think we can feel a little bit more comfortable about the economy. But none of that is going to really work until the health care situation and the hospitals start to feel more comfortable. Then I think a lot of the economy will follow behind.

KING: The connection of the two is what we need to track mostly in the days and weeks ahead.

Seung Min and Damian -- I really appreciate it on this Sunday morning.

Up next for us here, the new normal is everywhere. Members of Congress testing positive, colleagues in quarantine and a House stimulus debate like no other.



KING: The House passed the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus plan by a voice vote. That is a very rare move on such consequential legislation and it is yet another item on the coronavirus disruption list.

There was a debate for lawmakers who were here in town. Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon sharing this photo here of a near empty House chamber. Most of those on hand, as you can see, practicing social distancing.

Freshman Democratic Congresswoman Haley Stevens of Michigan was among those who spoke and things got a little chaotic when she went a bit past her allotted time.


REP. HALEY STEVENS (D), MICHIGAN: Why before you --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The gentleman from Maryland is recognized.

STEVENS: -- not for personal tension. Not for personal tension, but to encourage you to take --

(CROSSTALK) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The lady -- I'm going to give you more time.

STEVENS: -- I rise for every American who is scared right now to the families --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The gentle lady will suspend. The gentleman from Maryland is recognized.

STEVENS: Our society needs you to stand together at this time. Our country loves you. To our doctors and our nurses, I wear these --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The gentle lady's time has expired. The gentleman from Maryland is recognized --


KING: Congresswoman Stevens is with us this Sunday. Congresswoman -- take me inside that remarkable moment and what was the point you were trying to make amid the chaos there.

STEVENS: Well, I guess I did go over my time a little bit -- John. But, you know, more so in Michigan, people are really hurting. The big three has shuttered; 124,000 unemployment claims were made last week. And in just 24 hours from when we passed the Cares Act, from Friday to Saturday, coronavirus cases in Michigan doubled and we had 20 more deaths.

So we're in the heat of this virus battle. And honestly it's just important to make sure people know that they're being heard, that our doctors and our nurses know that we're standing by them, our grocery store workers. And you know, we're here to carry this through together.

KING: And in the middle of this, the President has had a bit of a public sparring match with your governor. Let's listen to a little bit of that.


TRUMP: Michigan, all she does is -- she has no idea what's going on and all she does is say, oh, it's the federal government's fault. And we've taken such great care of Michigan.

Don't call the woman in Michigan. It doesn't make my difference what happens.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The governor of Washington --

TRUMP: No. You know what I say, if they don't treat you right, I don't call.


KING: What do you make of that including the part that the President doesn't appear to know your governor's name or at least he won't speak it?

STEVENS: Well, Governor Gretchen Whitmer has been doing a fantastic job, communicating clearly and effectively to everyone in the state about the need to stay home, stay safe, about the business closures and also with the allocation of resources.

And, John, just to couch this for you. Last weekend I was on the phone with my hometown mayor Bryan Barnett. He's the president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. and he was running from construction site to construction site trying to get access to that personal protective equipment, that PPE equipment citing that -- and this is in Rochester Hills, Michigan, right.

And he's citing hey, we have a shortage of equipment. We're just in desperate need for this equipment here in Michigan. And so we're doing what it takes to get it done. I've been match making some of our manufacturers who can produce this. We have a rich supply chain -- this is Chrysler and General Motors stepping up.

And this is also an industrial call to action, right. This is what Michigan is made of is the people who are dedicated to making things as well as, you know, responsibly addressing a medical crisis.

KING: And you talk about the medical crisis and the big spike in your state. Let's hope that arc bends. But it's arc in Michigan and many other places going up right now. And so you have this conversation in health care systems across the country including the great Henry Ford Health System in your state.

I want to read you a letter from the system talking about a question doctors might soon face. "Some patients will be extremely sick and very unlikely to survive their illness even with critical treatment. Treating these patients would take away resources from patients who might survive. Patients who are treated with a ventilator or ICU care may have those treatments stopped if they do not improve over time. Patients who have ventilator, our ICU care withdrawn will receive pain control and comfort measures.

Is this advance planning for an if or is this a when?


STEVENS: So there's a lot of planning going on in Michigan right now and certainly a lot of reworking. You're seeing the TCF Center formerly known as the Cobo Center, potentially putting their hand up to serve as a medical center for people. The suburban showcase which is located in my district -- same sort of thing.

It's essential that we protect our frontline, doctors and nurses, who are going to be working really closely with those who are most infected from getting this disease.

so, look, there's certainly some questions that come up when you hear a letter like that there are ethical questions.

I'm chair of the House Science, Research and Technology committee and there's a big role that scientific integrity, that bio ethics plays in this process. But the message I've been sending, John -- to every single one of my constituents from the beginning of this is that we will not let you fail. We will not let you fail financially or medically and that we are all in this together and every American life counts. Every hard-working family counts here and we're going to get through this.

KING: Right. Congresswoman -- tell me what you can about the President and General Motors. I don't' know how involved you are talking to GM maybe. But He keeps blaming GM saying they're the problem for this mix up about how many ventilators, how fast. What do we know about that?

STEVENS: Yes. Well, look, what people have to understand, writ large, about the manufacturing sector and -- I'm very close to the manufacturing sector. I spend every week visiting a supplier in my district or a manufacturing firm.

And I'll tell you, it's not a light switch. And so right now we're doing inventory. We're trying to see where our products are, who's got what, asking for more equipment, even what the mayor was doing by going to construction sites or dentist's offices or things along those lines. We're looking at the national stockpile.

And then we're looking at this great manufacturing moment for our country and I'll tell you, there's a lot of match making you have to do. Some companies have the specs, some don't. I have a form on my Web site,, that connects makers to one another as well as connects constituents obviously who have impact stories that they want to share.

So the big thing here to understand John -- is manufacturing is not a light switch. You want to revert your production, it's going to take a couple weeks.

KING: Congresswoman -- I really appreciate your time on this busy Sunday. Take care and stay safe.

STEVENS: Thank you -- sir.

KING: Good luck back home.

STEVENS: You, too.

KING: Up next for us, a closer look at coronavirus disruption. The pope preaching to a completely empty St. Peter's square in the Vatican. And Texas Church aiming for a smile in these trying times.



KING: We close today far from New York, the coronavirus epicenter, or far from Washington, where I work and where we rightly spend a lot of our time tracking the federal coronavirus response and tracking the President's words and his tweets.

This pandemic is touching just about every inch of America. New Orleans, for example, is bracing for a surge.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right now the city is bracing for what's to come this week. The governor says that by the end of this week, they will be running out of hospital beds and ventilators.

The Governor has requested he says some 12,000 ventilators. And the last we heard they had even received 200 of those ventilators. So there is a great deal of concern.

There's also a makeshift hospital that is being set up in the New Orleans Convention Center. This was the scene 15 years ago of so much grief and despair in the days after Hurricane Katrina, now once again the focal point of another crisis.


KING: From New Orleans to Wilcox, Arizona -- one of those places deliberately away from it all. But even there in Wilcox the Safeway says keep your distance, and the shelves are missing what you're looking for.

In Midland, Texas it is a double gut punch. Coronavirus hit just after oil prices plummeted and crashed the local economy. Midland's mayor is also a pastor. Every day now, he says, has the stress of a funeral.

El Paso is or was a thriving border town. Streets where thousands normally crossed both ways daily are now deserted. In tiny Marfa, Texas -- old graffiti takes on a new meaning.

In another Texas town, Garden City, the first Baptist church, hoping for a laugh in these very trying times.

Holly Bailey of the Washington Post captured these images as she reports on how this virus has changed the American life and community colleague joins us from Oklahoma City this Sunday. Holly -- you're reporting and your writing is fantastic.

I want to take our viewers through some of your journey, and I want to start in Wilcox, Arizona. "Up and down the aisles people shook their heads at a strange scene in a community distant enough to be spared the drama of places like Tucson or Phoenix.

This was the place where people came to escape, a small town surrounded by even smaller ones where social distancing was kind of the point. But not anymore, right? Even tiny Wilcox cannot escape.

HOLLY BAILEY, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, WASHINGTON POST: Right, and I mean, as I wrote in that story, you walk up and down the aisles, you see evidence of panic and fear.

And there was a man who happened to be in the checkout line who was kind of unnerved because store employees were wearing masks and there were these signs about social distancing. And he kind of ranted and raved a little bit about, you know, how he had known someone who just took Vitamin C and was fine and it seemed to be overblown.

And just steps away was a woman who was kind of looking at him in fear and in the parking lot, I talked to her and she had just gotten off a cruise ship a few weeks earlier and was very aware of the fear of this. And so she had self-quarantined and had only emerged because they were running out of food.

So everybody's kind of feeling this, in one way or another, across the country.

KING: Right. And so let's move on to Midland, Texas whereas I noted in the intro, the mayor happens to be a pastor, and he says it everyday. It feels like a funeral.

I'll read you from your reporting.

"When I used to do funerals, especially of young children or something like that I would always just take the rest of the day and just try to decompress from the tragedy. This is the same feeling. It's the same emotion."

That, the Mayor Patrick Dayton of Midland, where the economy crashed right before coronavirus hit.

BAILEY: Yes, and it's sort of a double gut punch there. And they're trying to figure out how to handle all of this. And one of the big concerns is that, you know, a lot of people are referencing this and referring back to the oil bust of the 1980s where tens of thousands of people lost their jobs, not just in Texas but in places like Oklahoma and Louisiana.

And back then, people could kind of blow off steam, or they could pick up and go somewhere else.


BAILEY: But now, no jobs -- they're being asked to shelter in place. And so he and his team are really worried about the psychological impact of this. You know, what does it mean for people who just have no way to decompress or deal with the stress of all of this?

So that's one thing that they're really looking at in the coming weeks as this gets worse.

KING: And I'm going to move on to El Paso where I just love the writing, the lead of your piece.

"Some believe clues to the future can be found by studying the lines on your palm. But Miss Eva wasn't about to tempt fate. Outside her small studio on a busy stretch of road not far from the U.S.-Mexico border, where her business was marked by a giant sign featuring an outstretched hand.

The fortune teller shook her head when asked if she was doing palm reading. In broken English she explained she was scared of catching the virus." Tough. BAILEY: Yes, I mean it's every little thing, these things that you

wouldn't expect, are being touched by this. And what was really striking to me about el Paso is that we drive to that down and it's such a vibrant -- such a vibrant community. It's really always pulsating with energy, especially along the border.

And I went there a little over a week ago, it was as deserted as I've ever seen it. The border crossing was empty. It was just hours before they were shutting down nonessential travel between Mexico and the U.S. but it was already very, very slow.

KING: Holly Bailey -- fantastic work. I appreciate you joining us today.

And for everybody, go to the Washington Post Web site and read these articles in totality. It's a wonderful snapshot of the stress and strain across America today.

Holly Bailey -- really appreciate it.

And that's it for INSIDE POLITICS. Hope you can catch us weekdays as well at noon Eastern.

Up next, "STATE OF THE UNION" with Jake Tapper -- a very busy day ahead for Jake. His guests include the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Governors Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, Jay Inslee of Washington and Pete Ricketts of Nebraska, plus the New York City Mayor, Bill de Blasio.

Thanks again for sharing your Sunday in these trying times. Have a good day and stay safe.