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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
U.S. Hits Single-Day Record of 502 Reported Deaths; Three- Quarters of Americans Under Stay-at-Home Orders; Top U.S. Health Official: Second Outbreak in the Fall is Likely; 911 Calls Skyrocket by 50% in NYC Amid Coronavirus; Governors to Trump: We Need More Testing, Medical Supplies; Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) Rhode Island Discusses About The Lacking of Coronavirus Testing. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired March 30, 2020 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: A really important inside look.
And to our viewers, thanks very much for watching. We're going to continue to stay on top of this coronavirus crisis. It's a huge crisis. We're trying to share as much information with as we possibly can.
Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, the breaking news, the nation's top doctor on coronavirus warning a second outbreak in the fall is likely as the United States sees its highest number of deaths in just one day.
Plus, a health crisis on the front lines. 9/11 calls are at an all time high in the nation's biggest city, New York. I'm going to speak to one EMS worker who has just tested positive for the virus.
And he has been called patient zero, the first person to be diagnosed with the coronavirus in America's capital. Three weeks in the hospital. How is he doing tonight?
Let's go OUTFRONT.
And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.
OUTFRONT tonight, the breaking news, the government's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, warning that even if the coronavirus fades, there could be another outbreak.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you prepared for this to strike again, say, in the fall?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I hope it doesn't happen, but we're certainly prepared.
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: In fact, I would anticipate that that would actually happen because of the degree of transmissibility. However, if you come back in the fall, it will be a totally different ballgame.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: So he fully expects it to happen as more than 500 deaths were reported today from the coronavirus in the United States, which is the most deaths reported in a single day. It has been rising throughout the day. Each one life, family, friends dying alone. There will be no funerals.
So far, there have been nearly 3,000 deaths and that means nearly one sixth of all deaths in the United States occurred today. And the worst, we are told, is still to come. At least 13 states are now reporting more than 200 new cases tonight. It starts with two.
You may see nothing and then all of a sudden it's four and then it's eight and then that's how the math works. Now, cities and states across the country are desperately trying to curb the spread. Nearly three quarters of Americans, which is more than 256 million people are now under stay-at-home waters.
Kaitlan Collins is OUTFRONT near the White House tonight. And Kaitlan, the President laying out his vision for the next 30 days in terms of how Americans are going to be living their lives.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, which is still a surprise, given the fact that last week aides inside the White House did not think the President was going to go along with their advice to not ease those guidelines. But then in the end, of course, he did.
And we saw another turn in what the President has been saying today when he said that the economy is now number two in his book as far as his priorities go and that is not the message we heard from the President last week. When he kept saying as you heard, he did not want the solution to be worse than the cure or the problem itself was in this situation.
Of course, talking about the impact that social distancing is having on the economy. But two other interesting things from the President's briefing today in the Rose Garden, Erin, where he was talking about testing, suggesting that United States is now up to par with all of the other countries. They're comparing it to South Korea, something he's been doing several times in recent days as people have been trying to compare and say, well, it's not the same if you compare them per capita, the rates that we're testing compared to what South Korea is.
And the President tried to defend that saying that Seoul, South Korea has 30 or actually he said close to 40 million people and we don't have anything close to that. Actually, the population of Seoul is much closer to 10 million, which mirrors the population in New York City, of course, around 9 million.
So the President there trying to defend that, but we know some governors still have been telling the President they're still struggling to get the test to have adequate testing in their states and that's becoming a problem in more rural states. And then one other thing I do want to point out, Erin, that the President said when he was talking about ventilators.
He was saying that essentially the United States soon, in his opinion, will be making so many that they will be able to outpace what we need here and then can send them to other countries in Europe. He listed off several of them. And it's just really notable that that comes as you've seen doctors and hospitals pleading with the federal government saying they do not have enough ventilators and they are worried they are going to have a shortage in the days to come.
So while we do know companies are getting in the process of making them, people like General Motors, they also told us yesterday they are not making them yet, given they are such complex machines, they've got to retool their factories. But the President says that he believes we're going to be able to have every American who needs a ventilator, get one.
BURNETT: All right. Kaitlan, thank you very much. And, of course, as Kaitlan points out, you've got to retrofit, retool and then be able to build them. And you may not have them when you need them.
Later this hour, we're going to have a piece on the doctor who's actually found a way to use a ventilator for up to four people. We're going to show you exactly how that works and where.
Also tonight, we have some new projections as to when the virus will peak in each state.
Nick Watt is OUTFRONT in Los Angeles.
NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT(voice over): A life lost in Brooklyn. One of thousands now across this country.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FAUCI: I'd like to avoid it. But I wouldn't be surprised if we saw a hundred thousand deaths.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATT(voice over): Today, a Navy hospital ship docked in New York City.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REAR ADM. JOHN MUSTIN, VICE COMMANDER, U.S. FLEET FORCES COMMAND: The last time this great hospital ship was in New York was in the wake of 9/11.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATT(voice over): A field hospital now in Central Park and fines for those who refuse to social distance. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D) New York: The fines are in the range of $250 to $500. That obviously be a violation of summons that would be provided. I don't want to see that happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATT(voice over): One research organization now projecting New York will reach peak death rate 10 days from now at nearly 800 deaths that day. Michigan will peak a day later, California 25 days from now and Virginia not until mid May.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D) NEW YORK: What you see us going through here you see happening all across this country. There is no American who is immune to this virus.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATT(voice over): And Michigan confirmed cases exploded from around 50 to nearly 6,500 in two weeks.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FAUCI: We're also worried about Detroit. Detroit is starting to show some signs that they're going to take off.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATT(voice over): State to state travel restrictions also spreading. Rhode Island now ordering all visitors to self warranty. They weren't just stopping cars with New York plates and New York State threatened to sue from noon to date anyone traveling to Texas from these states and cities must self quarantine 14 days, hotspots in all of those places and now it's time we're told for more rural areas to brace themselves.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. DEBORAH BIRX, WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE COORDINATOR: If the metros and the rural areas don't take care now, by the time you see it, it has penetrated your community pretty significantly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATT(voice over): Louisiana today reporting 485 new cases and 34 deaths, still hundreds reportedly attended this church Sunday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REV. TIMOTHY SPELL, FATHER OF REV. TONY SPELL, LIFE TABERNACLE CHURCH: The church is the most essential thing in all the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATT(voice over): A pastor in Florida who once prayed over the President was arrested today for continuing to hold large services. Doctors from the frontline begging us all to stay home.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. RAVI WETTASINGHE: If you can think of it as your lungs being filled with fluid, like you're drowning. And once you get to that point where you're drowning, you need a ventilator to stay alive and we're running out of that equipment for people.
DR. BENJAMIN OBASEKI: The one that's beeping in the background is a young patient who was presumably healthy before they came in. This is not something that's isolated to old.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATT: Now, there are no federal domestic travel restrictions in place. But as I mentioned, the states are pretty much taking care of that themselves with these new mandatory quarantines on people coming in. And today what I think is a first, the Governor of Kentucky has now banned all non-essential travel out of the state. They have a relatively low case count and the government doesn't want people leaving Kentucky, catching the virus and then bringing it home. Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Nick, thank you very much.
And I want to go now to Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Dr. Nicholas Christakis, a Professor of Social and Natural Science, Internal Medicine and Biomedical Engineering at Harvard. Thanks to both of you.
Sanjay, I want to start on this issue of testing. We just heard the President in the Rose Garden. He kept talking about the U.S. tests and how accurate they are. More than a million people have been tested. Alex Azar says they're testing now a hundred thousand people a day.
Look, that's a huge improvement and they say it's more than anyone else, of course, per capita that it's a very different picture but overall. I mean, are we now at the place we need to be for testing? I mean, that's the bottom line. When someone needs to get a test, can they get a test and get a quick result or not?
SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I don't think that that's still something that we can say that everybody that wants to test can get a test. I mean, we are a lot better off clearly than we were before. But there's a couple of points, Erin.
One is that this isn't something that you can necessarily fully catch up on when you're testing like this. If you look at Germany, for example, they've had a lot of people who've tested positive for coronavirus, very few deaths I think early testing really helped there. So it's not just the number of tests, it's when they're performed. The other thing I thought was very interesting if you listen to this
news conference, Ambassador Birx said, if you're starting to look at some of the early data from these other states that have few cases, they are really following the same curve that we've seen in some of these places that are considered hotspots. Problem is that we don't know for sure how many tests or how many people have the coronavirus in those places because we haven't tested sort of more uniformly or provided those sorts of testing everywhere around the country.
So a lot more but still very late.
That's going to make a difference and still not in all the places that needed, Erin.
BURNETT: So Dr. Christakis, when you hear Dr. Fauci says he does think a hundred thousand deaths in the U.S. is very possible. And obviously, he and Dr. Birx had talked about a range of 100,000 to 200,000. This would be happening over a very short period of time over the next weeks if not a month plus. Is that realistic do you think?
DR. NICHOLAS CHRISTAKIS, YALE PROFESSOR OF NATURAL SCIENCE, INTERNAL MEDICINE & BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING: Yes, I do. I think there's a range of possible levels of mortality we might see and it's difficult to pick a single number to articulate. I think at least 35,000 Americans are going to die over the next year or two years during the pandemic, probably more than a hundred thousand and could be more than 200,000, 300,000 or 500,000. There's a range of possible outcomes. We don't know exactly what's going to happen yet, but I think that a hundred thousand is certainly a conservative estimate over the coming months.
BURNETT: Wow. A conservative estimate.
So Sanjay, then the President says that these masks, he brought up the masks and the shortage of equipment. And he says that they have a technology now. They're going to sanitize the masks that will make them as good as new. Will it really? And when you hear about they say it's in a couple of states, I mean, is that relevant to doctors who are on the frontline in a hospital? I mean, what do we read into? What's the truth here behind that claim?
GUPTA: Well, first of all, this technology was something that apparently just approved by the FDA to basically be able to sterilize these masks. And I've heard we've done a little bit of digging into this that they say they can sterilize up to 80,000 masks, even a hundred thousand masks. So if that is true, that it would obviously be a benefit.
One thing I want to point out, Erin, is that the demand for masks in the midst of a pandemic, if you look at some of the projections, it's in the billions of masks that are necessary, billions. So, I mean, obviously all of these technologies help but working in a hospital myself, I can tell you that every time you go see any patient, I'm not an infectious disease doctor, I'm a neurosurgeon, but all of the patients that we see now, you have to sort of think that they might have this coronavirus. What does that mean?
It means your entire team has to wear personal protective equipment for every patient you see. So the magnitude of masks and all the personal protective equipment that's necessary, goes up exponentially 20, 30 times what it used to be. So this new technology may be there, it may help and I admire American ingenuity in situations like this.
But we need billions of these types of equipment, Erin, I'm not sure we're going to have that.
BURNETT: Right. And, again, it's all about when you have it, we can have it.
GUPTA: That's right.
BURNETT: But if you don't have it in the window you need it, it doesn't matter.
Dr. Christakis, we now are looking at, as Sanjay points out, the curves of each of the states and some of them are very nascent. I mean, their numbers are extremely low. But even if you just map out the data points you have day by day, you see them all following on the same sort of a chart as you would for New York.
New York, the peak deaths per day expected on April 10, California April 25, Florida May 3rd, Virginia not until the middle of May and there are other states where it could even be further out than that.
You wrote a best-selling book called Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society and the bottom line is that to stop these deaths, to not have these worst-case scenarios or even these mid-case scenarios come true, you have to have people stick with this way longer than they think they need to. And by that, I mean social distancing. Are people going to be able to do this for six weeks, for eight weeks more?
CHRISTAKIS: Yes. I think unfortunately those are the limited tools we have at our disposal. We're not going to have effective drugs or vaccines for quite some time and so we only have social means of responding what is classically called non-pharmaceutical interventions. These are things people can do other than drugs on their own.
For example, washing their hands, keeping their distance, not shaking hands, maybe wearing masks or as a collective, for example, closing schools, banning public gatherings, stopping traffic. Those are the things unfortunately we have to do if we want to slow the epidemic.
The alternative is to be willing to tolerate a great number of deaths in a short period of time and unfortunately, those are the unpleasant choices before us. We will have to, for some time, to give us time to erect our defenses.
Remember, what we're doing now is flattening the curve. We are trying to stop transmission of the virus to buy time so that our healthcare providers can be ready, so that our personal protective equipment which we unfortunately didn't prepare for the last two months is ready, so our ventilators are ready and so that the public is prepared to make the necessary sacrifices once we try to begin to resume a more normal life.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you both very much.
CHRISTAKIS: Thank you for having me.
BURNETT: And OUTFRONT next, the number of first responders testing positive for coronavirus is up sharply. They are literally putting their lives on the line to save others. I'm going to talk to one EMS worker in New York City who has just tested positive. This as new 911 calls hit a new record every single day now.
Plus Rhode Island taking extreme measures to stop the spread of the virus, forcing anyone from out of state to self quarantine, will it work? States' Governor is OUTFRONT.
And a potential life saving breakthrough. One doctor coming up with a way to use one ventilator on multiple people. We're going to show you how it would work.
BURNETT: Tonight, a record number of 911 calls in New York City. The FDNY says the last five days have been the busiest in the department's history, with calls surging by about 50 percent. And the demand is increasing as more first responders are getting sick, 5,000 NYPD officers are out sick which is nearly 15 percent of the workforce. It is five times the normal sick rate.
OUTFRONT now, Vincent Variale. He is EMS lieutenant in New York. He tested positive for coronavirus. He is also President of the Uniformed EMS Officers Union.
And Vincent, look, thank you so much for coming on. I know you just tested positive a little over a week ago. How are you feeling now?
VINCENT VARIALE, PRESIDENT, UNIFORMED UMS OFFICERS UNION LOCAL 3621, FDNY: A lot better than a week ago. Thank you.
BURNETT: And you feeling like you're fully on the mend, is that how you understand it at this point?
VARIALE: Yes. Well, a week ago I had high fever, bad cough. I've been four days now with no fever, but I still get an occasional cough. A little bit of shortness of breath, but it's far better today than I was last week. BURNETT: And I know obviously you are grateful and will be lucky to
fully recover as obviously many are not and some of your colleagues I know are very sick. I mean, the FDNY received nearly 6,000 911 calls yesterday alone. And obviously, that's a huge jump from a normal day, I mean, it's an incredibly huge jump.
I mean, just tell me about how grueling this is. I mean, how are you all even managing to do this when so many people are getting sick and getting sick from the very people that are going into help?
VARIALE: Yes. It's really tough out there. An average day was 4,000 calls a day. Maybe in the summer, we peaked at around 5,000 calls a day. Here we are in March, we're doing well over 7,000 calls and on top of that we were short staffed before the crisis, now with members going out sick, we have less members with a higher call volume, so it's just exacerbating the problem.
BURNETT: And I know that your teams are - their dedication is incredible and they are going out and they're going in people's homes who have coronavirus. They're doing it off and they don't even have all of the gear that they need. They're doing it anyway to try to help people. Many of them I know are so worried about spreading it that they're even sleeping in their cars between shifts.
VARIALE: Yes. There's a big concerned because we're also short on N95 masks. So they're rationing these masks and many members are afraid to go home and either expose their family to this or some of them are positive and they have elderly relatives at home or they have a children and a wife at home with small apartment and they don't want to expose their family, so they were staying in cars.
As recently as today, we may have found some places where these members can go to and get some relief and stay inside a lot.
BURNETT: So I want to ask you about something, Vincent, that I saw that really surprised me. The FDNY has told first responders that they are required to work even if they are exposed to coronavirus as long as they don't have symptoms. Obviously, we know that a lot of people without symptoms can spread it.
I mean, you I know believe you may have gotten coronavirus from a fellow EMS worker. Does this policy concern you? I mean, I guess, you're responding to calls from people who have coronavirus every day, so if you don't have symptoms and you can't get a test, what are you supposed to do? But still this seems disturbing.
VARIALE: It's very disturbing. We have asked for testing for all EMS and members of the FDNY from day one. It's important not only to our members to - so we know if we're affected or not so we know so we don't have to deal with the patients. Because if the patients we're picking up are sick and have underlying conditions and we are positive, we're only hurting the patient.
BURNETT: All right. Well, Vincent, I appreciate your time. I hope the city hears this and I'm glad that you are feeling better. Thank you. VARIALE: So do I. Thank you very much, I appreciate it.
BURNETT: And next, a growing number of people rushing to the hospital, thinking that they are having a heart attack. They're calling 911 for a heart attack, but they find out that it actually is coronavirus.
Former Vice President Dick Cheney's cardiologist is my guest. He's going to tell you what he's seeing in his hospital right now.
And he was the first person to be diagnosed with coronavirus in Washington, D.C. Just when he thought things were getting better and he was out of the woods, he took a serious turn for the worse. Three weeks later released from the hospital Father Tim Cole is OUTFRONT tonight.
BURNETT: New tonight, governors warning President Trump about the lack of medical supplies and the lack of an ability to test for coronavirus in their states. This is according to a source familiar with the call between the President and governors.
According to The New York Times, Trump said, "I haven't heard about testing in weeks. We've tested more now than any nation in the world. I haven't heard about testing being a problem."
OUTFRONT now the Democratic Governor of Rhode Island, Gina Raimondo, who was on that call.
And Governor, it is nice to talk to you again. Obviously, I'm not happy about the circumstances but here we are. President says he hasn't heard about the testing issue from the governors in weeks. I don't know. We just heard about an EMS responder in New York City saying they can't even get tests for people who are going into the homes of people who have coronavirus who are asymptomatic. What more did he say and is that true that no one raised this as an issue on the call?
GOV. GINA RAIMONDO (D) RHODE ISLAND: Yes. So good evening and thank you for having me.
First, I would say I want to give the President credit for having these phone calls. We have them once or twice a week, almost every governor calls in and they've proven to be actually incredibly helpful for us as we are fighting this on the frontlines. Having said that, I think we're all continuing to struggle with testing, testing supplies and also procuring PPE and that's a pretty regular refrain that all of the governors have when we talk to each other and when we talk to the President.
At this point, there just isn't enough out there. We are hopeful ...
BURNETT: And do you feel like you're competing with other governors now at this point. I mean, just to be blunt about it, you essentially are, aren't you, to get the same supplies?
RAIMONDO: Absolutely. There's no question that we're competing. And I would say as a smaller state, it's doubly hard. My state is - I'm not asking for a lot. I'm not asking for more than we need. But I'm out there literally every day and all night scouring the globe to try to find the necessary life saving equipment that we need here in the State of Rhode Island, competing against other states, in some cases, many cases competing against the federal government.
So it is a challenge and I think every governor is doing the best that we can.
Again I give the president credit when he switched from HHS to FEMA, communication has been a bit better.
But, look, Erin, the bottom line is there just isn't enough out there. We need a massive increase in production, particularly ventilators. You know, every state is facing it.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: So, what can the president do specifically to change this? Can he? With the priorities with the DPA?
I mean, is there anything at this point, forget looking backwards, but at this point that he would do that would make this -- you guys aren't competing with each other and the federal government to run up prices, not get what you need, have the taxpayers pay more for what you actually get?
RAIMONDO: I think the first thing is really ramp up the supply. You know, continue to increase production. Again, I want to hammer home ventilator production is just not where it needs to be and that's a role the federal government can play and is playing but needs to really ramp that up.
And then, the same thing really just increasing production on all of this and trying to get it out to the states.
BURNETT: So, you have a self-quarantine. Anyone who comes into Rhode Island from another state has to self-quarantine for 14 days. Originally, that was just related to New York and New York license plates. You've made it now everybody.
But when it was New York, here's what Governor Cuomo said to you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): If they don't roll back that policy, I'm going to sue Rhode Island because that clearly is unconstitutional, and I think what Rhode Island did is at that point of absurdity.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Point of absurdity?
RAIMONDO: Yes, so he got a little carried away but like all of us, he's under a lot of stress. He's doing the best he can for his state. I'm -- I'm doing the best for my state.
He didn't sue. I think he realized he doesn't have a good case, and we are pursuing our strategy.
So, listen, we governors are all working hard right now. And here in Rhode Island, I know I put policies in place based on facts and public health, and this is a policy that right now that is keeping us safe.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Governor Raimondo. I appreciate your time. Thank you.
BURNETT: A troubling new trend also seems to be emerging because there's so much we just don't know about this virus. Now there are reports of patients going to the doctor or calling 911, thinking they're having a heart attack and they find out it's related to coronavirus instead.
OUTFRONT now, the co-director of the cardiac cauterization program at George Washington University Hospital, Dr. Jonathan Reiner, who also advised George W. Bush White House for eight years and is a cardiologist for former Vice President Dick Cheney.
Dr. Reiner, thank you for being on the program tonight. So, someone thinks they're having a heart attack, they go to the hospital, and you say you're seeing this right now in your hospital?
DR. JONATHAN REINER, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL CARDIOLOGIST & PROFESSOR: Well, not just at GW, but all around in the world. Early on in the pandemic, reports started to circulate, first coming out of China and then out of Italy, patients who would present with more typical COVID-19 symptoms, maybe even severe symptoms recover from their or seemingly recover from their respiratory illness and suddenly decompensate in a matter of hours and die.
And what physicians around the world were identifying were patterns that suggested that the heart itself was being attacked by either the virus or by an exuberant immune response to the virus, in some cases mimicking that of a heart attack.
BURNETT: So, is there any way to tell if someone comes in and you're talking about some cases where you're saying someone may have recovered. But in some cases when someone doesn't know they had symptoms of COVID-19, so they had no awareness that they have anything to do with coronavirus, or asymptomatic, they come in presenting with a heart attack. How can you tell whether it's the coronavirus or a heart attack? How do you know?
REINER: Yes, it can be really hard. And it's creating a dilemma for teams around the United States and around the world. Many of the symptoms of acute coronavirus illness, you know, the shortness of breath and chest pain mimic those of a heart attack. And we're seeing in an increased number of patients EKG abnormalities that also mimic or differ in a very subtle way from a classic noninfectious heart attack. And it can be very hard to tease this out.
The problem is that still very few places in the United States, almost no place in the United States has the ability to do rapid COVID-19 testing. You know, hopefully with the announcement of the system coming online, that will change. But right now, if a patient comes to the emergency room with symptoms of a heart attack and an EKG consistent with a heart attack, it may be a classic myocardial infarction or it could be a patient presenting with COVID.
So, early on, we developed a strategy to suggest every patient coming into the ER with these symptoms might be infected with COVID-19 and put in place a protocol to protect our staff, and to essentially a universal precaution --
BURNETT: So, this is -- I mean, look, it's very terrifying for people especially because you don't know what you don't know and you think oh, this isn't what I'm suffering from and indeed it could be something else. But you're also mentioning the fact this changes the entire way you treat people, right? You have to assume more people have coronavirus than probably do or you would otherwise have assumed, because you now have this data which affects how you have to prepare yourself.
And the president today was talking about New York hospitals and why they're running out of personal protective equipment, and, you know, he was defending it was sort of walking out the door implying that it was being -- I don't know, being taken for personal use or stockpiled or something like that.
Here's what he said Dr. Renner.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I addressed what was told to me by a tremendous power in the business. When you go from 10,000 masks to 300,000 masks, Mike, over the same period of time, there's something going on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Just talking about the masks seeming to be I guess walking away. You know, what's your reaction to the president -- I mean, when he seems to think that's what's happening as opposed to demand from doctors like yourself.
REINER: I don't know why this is so hard for him to understand. We have a pathogen which is easy to transmit. We now know it can be transmitted before you even develop symptoms. It's now thought that maybe 20 percent to 30 percent of the transmission occurs from either mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic people. So we've had to put in place practices in hospitals to protect staff
not just from acquiring the virus from patients but also to protect them from transmitting unknowingly the virus to their colleagues. So, our hospital, GW Hospital, was among the first to put in a plan where all staff in the hospital, all clinic facing staff in the hospital wear masks all the time.
So, again, I don't know understand why it's so hard for the president to understand where if you have a virus which is rampant in the community and in a hospital not only with the patients but also among the staff that everyone needs to wear a mask. So, you take a situation where only surgeons or surgical staff are wearing mask or people interacting with a small number of patient, and now, we put in a system where the entire staff of a hospital is wearing a mask, right? It should not be that hard to understand.
BURNETT: You can do that.
All right. Well, Dr. Reiner, I appreciate your time and thank you very much, sir.
REINER: My pleasure.
BURNETT: And next, a priest who was the first to test positive for coronavirus in Washington, D.C., he spent several days in the ICU, three weeks in the hospital. Tonight, he is finally home. How is he? He's speaking for the first time.
Plus, access to a ventilator. It literally will be the difference between life and death for many Americans. And tonight, one doctor has come up with a way for multiple people to use one ventilator while supplies lag.
BURNETT: Tonight, the first person in Washington, D.C. to test positive for the coronavirus he's been called D.C.'s patient zero. After three weeks in the hospital, about half spent in the ICU, he's now finally home and better.
And OUTFRONT now, Father Timothy Cole.
And, Father, thank you so much for coming on. Your story is one which may buoy and bolster so many. I mean, what was your experience like in the hospital for so very long?
FATHER TIMOTHY COLE, CHRIST CHURCH, GEORGETOWN: Well, it's this kind of sensory deprivation and exercise after a while. But you're sick and so, you don't think too much about it. You just get by each day as you can.
BURNETT: I know that, originally, you started feeling like you had the flu and after a few days, you actually felt better, so much better so that you were able to go back to your parish to conduct services, but then you took a sudden turn and had to go back to the hospital.
I mean, tell me about that. How you thought you were better and then how sudden that decline was.
COLE: Sure. I mean, I thought I had flu. I went to bed for three days, went until the fever broke and waited another 24 hours before going back to work, and then I worked Friday, Saturday and Sunday and Monday afternoon, I just started feeling really bad again, and so, then, so I flew to the doctor.
BURNETT: You are a man of faith, Father, but, of course, your situation was dire. I mean, you did any moment -- when you talk about a sense of deprivation, but did you at any moment think this could be the end?
COLE: To be honest, I never thought to myself I was that sick and it's only in retrospect and that -- people are telling me that. I did feel -- it did occur to me, of course, because you're just sitting there waiting for your body either to get better or to get worse. So it did occur to me from time to time that, you know, maybe it's going to get worse. So, yes, it occurred to me.
BURNETT: You know, because you obviously had what you thought was the flu, you waited for the fever to go away, you gave it an extra day. When you went back to work for those three days, that weekend, you know, 550 people then, of course, from your church had to self- quarantine and 500 of your parishioners had tested positive. I mean, how hard was it for you to hear about these other cases when you had done everything right, right? You have done everything you thought you should do and then that still happen?
COLE: Yes, it's -- I was really sorry, of course, to hear in particular about the organist and the four parishioners and, of course, the huge inconvenience everyone had to go through to be quarantined, sure.
BURNETT: When do you think you'll be able to be fully back at work again now that you are better?
COLE: Well, I'm now in quarantine for a couple of weeks and then we'll have to look at, you know, some kind of gradual return to work and getting my healing done as well. But I hope soon, and certainly to start soon.
BURNETT: All right. Well, Father Cole, thank you so very much and we do wish you the rest of your recovery to be rapid and -- rapid and strong. Thank you so much, sir.
COLE: All right, thank you for having me. God bless, Erin.
BURNETT: All right.
And OUTFRONT next, what could be a game changer in the fight against coronavirus. One doctor discovering a way for multiple people to use one ventilator for more.
And we're going to take you inside the struggle for business owners as they're doing everything they can to stay open.
BURNETT: Tonight, the potential game changer in treating coronavirus patients. Doctors in New York City using a strategy to treat multiple people with one ventilator, maybe four or more.
Paula Newton is OUTFRONT.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Out of desperation, doctors in New York City and Italy are now using ventilators meant for one person to keep two patients alive. And doctors like Alain Gauthier say if they don't try it more patients could die.
DR. ALAIN GAUTHIER, CANADIAN ANESTHETIST: We know that difficult decisions will have to be taken.
I'm optimistic that we'll be able to save some lives if we try this. We've got nothing to lose.
NEWTON: Dr. Gauthier is a small town Canadian anesthetist and has a PhD and has a PhD is respiratory mechanics. He is now working with engineers and doctors across North America to refine a crude, but life-saving technique first seen here.
DR. CHARLENE BABCOCK, ER DOCTOR: So, here you have a T2 here, here and here.
NEWTON: Dr. Charlene Babcock posted this YouTube video two weeks ago. As an ER doctor in Detroit, she wrote a study on the technique more than a decade ago. She says doctors all over the world have asked her for this how-to video. She uses T-tube a splitters in the video and shows how to use three adapters to split two valves into four ports, helping up to four patients at once.
BABCOCK: This is not a study in humans. I will tell you what has been done in humans.
NEWTON: In the tragic hours that followed the Las Vegas shooting, doctors used T-tubes and adopters to keep more of the injured on ventilators until they could be transferred to other hospitals. This is the kind of ventilator Dr. Gauthier is working to adopt.
GAUTHIER: What Dr. Babcock suggested is that we use T-connectors at both ports with appropriate filters to decrease the amount of cross- contamination from one patient to the other.
NEWTON: He is studying it closely teaming up with engineers at MIT to brain storm on best practices. GAUTHIER: The challenge with that is the matching of those two
patients. So, initially, we're going to try to put two patients that are the same size, same respiratory system properties and we'll be able to ventilate them for a while.
NEWTON: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has been blunt that more patients will die if his state runs out of ventilators. He has pushed the FDA to approve doubling up on those ventilators.
CUOMO: The tricky thing is the ventilator has a set pressure and normally you regulate the pressure to that patient's lungs.
NEWTON: And that is why this technique is highly controversial. Some respiratory specialists question whether multiple patients on one ventilator receive optimal treatment.
That's where specialists like Dr. Gauthier come in.
GAUTHIER: I know we will not be able to save everyone. There's going to be a lot of learning during this whole process. But I'm confident in the end that we'll be able to help people by this system.
NEWTON: Paula Newton, CNN, Ottowa.
BURNETT: And next, as Macy's and Kohl's announce major furloughs, small business owners are also asking, how can they survive?
BURNETT: Tonight, three major retailers, Macy's, Gap and Kohl's, announce they are furloughing employees because of the shutdown. Many small business owners have been forced, though, to taken credibly drastic action just to try to keep their doors open.
Kyung Lah is OUTFRONT.
KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Behind the forced closure of each door on one short block of stores is a story, about the small businesses that employ half of America's private workforce.
JEN YATES, CO-OWNER, STUDIO METAMORPHOSIS: I mean, when you put everything into watching something grow and then it stops suddenly -- I was sitting on the floor just sobbing.
LAH: Jen Yates and Alex Hartunian own fitness center studio Metamorphosis.
YATES: Scrounge every single dollar, every penny to open, and we did it. ALEX HARTUNIAN, CO-OWNER, STUDIO METAMORPHOSIS: How are we going to
survive with -- we're going to wake up the next morning and have zero income. Like how does that work, you know?
LAH: Small businesses like Studio Metamorphosis are due to receive close to the $400 billion earmarked and the $2 trillion government stimulus plan.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good, excellent form.
LAH: But as business owners wait for that financial relief --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good job, Pam. She's doing it, it sounds great.
LAH: They're trying to stay connected to customers. Yates holding free virtual workout classes, making no money.
MICHELLE HELSETH, OWNER, NATIVE BOUTIQUE: I'm sorry.
LAH: While at Michelle Helseth's store, Native boutique --
HELSETH: I overdrew my account. I had payroll today.
LAH: -- speed for this aid is key to her survival.
HELSETH: I'm concerned of getting dug deeper into a hole, more debt. Oh, I have a great opportunity to stay open, to be in more debt. We need grants, not just loans.
LAH: Emergency grants and loan forgiveness are a part of the stimulus package, so is a payroll tax credit, and a pause on existing small business loans.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hello again. Earth angel, won't you be mine --
LAH: Welcome news to Bloom School of Music and Dance. That's moved to all virtual lessons, proven to be successful so far.
But with the large payroll and high rent, owner Laura Porter worries how long this package will sustain mainstream with weeks or months ahead of fighting the outbreak, and what this block will look like at the end.
LAURA PORTER, OWNER, BLOOM SCHOOL OF MUSIC AND DANCE: It's so frightening because it's a day-by-day thing. You know, I can't even look at September.
LAH (on camera): What is it that you would like your leaders and this country to hear from you?
PORTER: They have to listen to the average American out of work, you know, and small businesses are a big part of that.
LAH: There are 30 million small businesses operating in the country, employing nearly 60 million Americans in the private sector. Erin, we are talking about this one block, but this can be any block in any town in this country -- Erin.
BURNETT: Kyung, thank you.
And thanks to all of you.
Anderson starts now.