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CNN NEWSROOM

Cruise Ship With Dozens of Sick Passengers Begs Florida to Allow It to Dock; Walmart Will Start Taking Worker's Temperatures; Interview with Joe Biden, Democratic Presidential Candidate on Trump's Handling of The Coronavirus Crisis; Biden Says Trump Should Stop Misleading the American People; Biden Says Trump Was Slow to Act; Nurse Starts Program to Spread Positivity Called Hope Huddles; Dr. Fauci Warns Second Virus Wave May Come in the Fall. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired March 31, 2020 - 15:30   ET

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


[15:30:00]

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: -- the virus on board is begging Florida officials to let it dock.

Our correspondents are covering these angles and more. CNN Rosa Flores starts off with the cruise ship -- Rosa.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Rosa Flores in Miami. The situation on the Zaandam cruise ship has worsened. Eight people have tested positive for COVID-19, four individuals have died. The cause of death has not been announced. And dozens of others have exhibited flu like symptoms.

This ship is expected to arrive Wednesday or Thursday, but it does not have permission to dock. That decision will be made by Broward County Commissioners and a unified command. But here's the thing, governor Ron DeSantis has already announced that he, the U.S. Coast Guard and the White House don't want the ship to dock because they want to make sure there are hospital beds available for Floridians.

We've learned that there are 305 U.S. citizens on board including 49 Floridians, and also 247 Canadians. Meanwhile Governor Ron DeSantis announcing a safer at home order for southeast Florida which includes Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe counties. Those first three counties account for about 60 percent of the more than 5,000 cases in the state. That's why it's no mistake that these local governments have already issued similar orders.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: I'll Alison Kosik in New York, Walmart will begin taking temperatures of its employees when they report to work at stores and distribution centers. Anyone with temperatures of 100 degrees or higher will be asked to stay home and seek medical care and not to return to work until they're fever-free for at least three days.

The world's biggest retailer will also provide masks and gloves to employees to wear at work to employees who want to wear them. The masks will arrive in one to two weeks. Thermometers could take three weeks. Walmart is also beginning to install sneeze guards at pharmacies and checkouts.

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Brynn Gingras in New York City where there continues to be a critical need for supplies. We've learned that the federal government is sending 250 ambulances to New York City along with that 500 emergency personnel. Those working on the front lines.

We've also learned that the city has put in a second request for a disaster relief morgue, likely that will be set up in Queens which is it the borough hardest hit by this pandemic.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BALDWIN: All right, ladies, thank you all.

Coming up, I'll talk to a nurse on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic and the idea she came up with to help her fellow health care workers during this difficult time.

[15:35:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: The Democratic Presidential front-runner Joe Biden is criticizing President Trump's response to the coronavirus pandemic. Saying President Trump and the federal government should act, quote, more rapidly and that, quote, speed matters in saving lives.

So, joining me now, former vice president, Joe Biden. Mr. Vice President, it is nice to see you there and healthy and I hope your family is well, sir. Welcome.

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They are. Thank you, Brooke. Thanks for having me.

BALDWIN: So, President Trump was asked whether or not a federal lockdown will be instituted, and he said thus far that they are leaving it up to the states. What do you think? Should all 50 states issue stay-at-home orders to stop the spread of this thing?

BIDEN: Well, I think that is a matter we should listen to the scientists, folks like Dr. Fauci and others. And my guess is you're going to see it happening more and more and more.

One of the things we know is that it spreads with contact, to state the obvious. And one of the things that helps is we have to do three things quickly, one, get more tests out there to find out who has the coronavirus. You had Vice President Pence saying several weeks ago there will be 4 million tests out there. We're nowhere near that now.

And in addition to that we have to make sure that we're able to follow like they did in South Korea, they brought down the numbers. Follow those who are infected and who they had spoken to, who they had not spoken to, who they had come in contact with, so we can track it back down to is doesn't re-erupt.

And but you'll notice, most of the states are moving in that direction now. Tennessee and others did today. And I think that's going to be where we're going to end up.

BALDWIN: We'll come back to your point about this worry that it will re-erupt in the fall. But just staying on President Trump for a moment. You know, you said the President should stop misleading Americans. Do you believe he is doing so intentionally to paint a rosier picture?

BIDEN: Well, you know, I've learned a long time ago never question a person's motive, but you can question their judgment. And his judgment is that many things he says simply are not accurate. They're simply not accurate.

Like yesterday he was talking to a bunch of governors on the telephone and he said the first time he heard about the needing more tests was on that telephone call. Well, come on. I mean, I don't know where he's been. He's standing on the podium every single day speaking to all of his experts. We badly need more tests for example. And so, the things he says don't seem to comport with what everybody else knows.

And I wish he'd listen more to the scientists and think less about the political consequences like asking the governors if they -- the governors don't appreciate enough what he's doing. That the government is not a federal shipping clerk.

The government, the federal government is in charge. The President said he's a war-time President.

[15:40:00]

This is a war against this virus. He should act like a war-time president. He should have someone else in charge with him, making sure all of these things get implemented. It's not like we didn't know this was coming.

BALDWIN: I hear you saying he's maybe thinking more about reelection. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi took it farther, she was talking to Jake Tapper and said that she believes the President's failure to act early on cost American lives. That is a bold accusation. Mr. Vice President, do you think President Trump is responsible for the deaths of Americans?

BIDEN: President Trump is not responsible for the coronavirus. But he is responsible for using all of the power at his disposal to be able to deal with this virus by changing the peak, getting down the curve, so that we move in a direction where instead of going up like this, we're going like this.

And he's been very slow to act. For whatever the reason has been. Been very slow to act on a whole range of things. For example, he still hasn't fully invoked the Defense Production Act. Which I called for a while ago. He finally did with General Motors after a little roundabout in terms of building ventilators. What about the masks? What about those gowns that those nurses and doctors need? They're made of paper. What about the goggles they need, the face shields, what about the gloves they need?

He can do that by the Defense Production Act right now. He could have done it yesterday, a week ago, three weeks ago, five weeks ago. They're in short supply. And our first responders are literally risking and some losing their lives to try to help the American people.

BALDWIN: I've got a nurse who I'm talking to in just a moment who of course we're so incredibly grateful for. I do want to pivot and talk election.

Of course, as a politician, you know, your strength really your strength is in traveling around the country and connecting with people, right. Connecting with voters. Looking them in the eye, a hug, handshake. Especially in these crucial months before the election. And you can't do any of that right now. Mr. Vice President, does that worry you?

BALDWIN: No, it doesn't worry me. The thing that worries me is whether we get this under control. I'm not being false here. That's what worries me the most.

Number two, I'm also learning how to use the media you've mastered. I'm sitting in my basement, there is a television studio set up down here and I'm being told by the people who run this thing for me and staff that millions of people, over 20, 30 million people now have heard what I'm saying and what I'm thinking. That's just going to have to do.

And in the meantime, we have to focus on how do we get a handle on this virus? Bring it to an end. Reduce the number of deaths and cases in the first instance dramatically, and it can be done if we move and listen to the scientists now, now, now.

BALDWIN: Vice President Biden, thank you for your time, sir. Be well.

BIDEN: Thank you. You too. Be careful.

BALDWIN: Thank you. Thank you.

BIDEN: Thank you.

BALDWIN: Coming up next, speaking of that nurse, I'll talk to her on the front lines of this pandemic. How she's trying to help her fellow health care workers, coming up.

[15:45:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: The best medicine right now may be hope. Hope. Especially for the medical professionals on the front lines of this pandemic risking their lives to save others. And that is why one nurse at Lennox Hill Hospital in New York came up with the idea of hope huddles turning their shift change into a dose of positivity.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CATHERINE FOGARTY, SENIOR DIRECTOR, PATIENT CARE SERVICES, LENNOX HILL HOSPITAL: In the last couple of days, we had, you know, five patients that came off of respirators, the staff was cheering. So, it was actually like a celebration.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: And joining me now Emily Fawcett the creator of hope huddles and a nurse treating coronavirus patients at Lennox Hill here in New York and, Emily, just thank you for you and all of what you, the staff, the nurses the doctors are all doing at Lennox Hill. Just thank you. And how are you hanging in there?

EMILY FAWCETT, CREATOR OF "HOPE HUDDLES" FOR FRONTLINE NURSES (via Cisco Webex): You know, I'm taking it day by day. I've been working the COVID units here at Lennox Hill since day one, so starting about two and a half to three weeks ago. And I'm just taking it day by day, patient by patient right now.

BALDWIN: All right, so tell me about these hope huddles and how did you come up with this idea?

FAWCETT: Yes, so I was actually on a late-night text thread with some of my nurse friends down in our emergency rooms. And they were just telling me how upset they were and how they were having breakdowns and how some of the -- their first times that they had ever cried at work and they were just so overwhelmed.

And meanwhile I'm up on the floors and I'm hearing all of this positive news that we're taking patients off of ventilators, that we're getting patients home and discharged, and we are saving lives.

And so, I knew we needed to do something to kind of cheer up the nurses, to increase morale, to share with the whole hospital that we are saving lives. Though I wanted, you know, this information to get back down to them so that they knew that all of their work down in the emergency room wasn't for nothing and that they were saving lives. So, hope huddles came about.

[15:50:00]

BALDWIN: So, can you tell me one story, one story that has been shared during a hope huddle that, I don't know, brought you tears of joy or just is a story you'll never forget.

FAWCETT: Yes, so we had a wife and a husband, and the husband was extremely sick in the ICU for almost two weeks on a ventilator, critical, critical condition. And I took care of the wife on another COVID floor. And finally, after two weeks of hard work, the husband got extubated, so he got off the ventilator. And like three days later they're in the same room, the husband and the wife. And it was just so, so amazing.

I actually checked on them last Friday. And the wife was going home and the husband turned to the wife and said, you know, you're lucky you got to meet all of your nurses, I didn't get to meet anybody because I was in a coma essentially.

So, yes, so it was just so amazing that the emergency room intubated this guy and now he's joking with me, sitting next to his wife in the same room. It was just incredible.

BALDWIN: I love stories like that. And the thing is, I don't work in a hospital, but it's my understanding that, you know, emergency nurses and doctors, right, these patients come in, you intubate these patients and they're total strangers, but you remember every single person you intubate. But you don't necessarily know how it ends on the other side. So how hard is it just to see patients in this way and often not knowing if they make it out?

FAWCETT: Exactly. So that is exactly why we started hope huddles. These ER doctors and nurses remember every single patient that they intubate coming in. They know their names, their age, everything. And so to get this information back down to them, that, hey, we extubated Mr. Whoever today, it's just --- it's everything to them right now. It's everything that we need to hear to keep going, to keep our hopes up, to keep positive.

BALDWIN: Yes.

FAWCETT: So, it's so important that we hear these stories of success.

BALDWIN: And I just wanted to share just lastly the cover of the latest "New Yorker" magazine, I'm sure you've seen it. But just to all of our viewers, you see this doctor, a nurse FaceTiming her husband and the two kids at bedtime from the hospital. And I know you're an auntie to three little nephews, but for the moms and dads you work with, Emily, what is it like for them? You know being in the thick of all of this. And also having in a lot of cases having to stay away from their own family so they don't get them sick.

FAWCETT: Yes, it's absolutely heart breaking. I know a nurse on one of the floors here who has two little boys at home, and she says that she hasn't kissed her kids in two weeks, it's devastating, it's so, so sad.

And so, my heart breaks for all the moms out there, for all the dads out there. It's pretty upsetting.

BALDWIN: Emily Fawcett, hope huddles, at Lennox Hill, Emily, bless you, thank you very much.

FAWCETT: Thank you, stay safe.

BALDWIN: Thank you.

You know, so many small businesses are taking big hits right now. But even as they lose money, they are donating food and supplies to their communities. In Detroit, for example, an emerging hotspot for coronavirus, these chefs decided rather than let their perishable food go to waste, to pool their resources and cook for homeless shelters. Everything from Caribbean cuisine to Thai and soul food on the menu. The project is called Too Many Cooks in The Kitchen for Good. So far, they've fed over 2,000 people.

Meanwhile, tattoo shops around the country have donated thousands of gloves, masks, gowns, even antiseptic to local hospitals. It turns out they use a lot of the same supplies that doctors and nurses so badly need right now.

And if you'd like more information on these stories or just ways you can help during this pandemic, go to cnn.com/impact,

Coming up, our Dr. Sanjay Gupta just talked to Dr. Anthony Fauci what he is saying about whether regular Americans wearing masks. Should it be required? Ahead.

[15:55:00]

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.

And we begin this hour with the staggering death toll from the novel coronavirus. It's now 3,662 people who have lost lives in the U.S. that's up from around 600 this time last week. From 600 to more than 3,600 in week. It's just 4:00 p.m. East Coast time. We've already seen 658 deaths just today, more than any other day so far.

Globally the death toll is nearly 42,000. More than 800,000 have been confirmed infected worldwide. And of course, the actual number is much higher.

And while experts hope this constant exponential growth of death and illness will ultimately slow, the peak in the U.S. still is likely weeks if not months away. And the nation's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, is now waring that there could be a resurgence of the coronavirus later this year, a second coronavirus wave in the fall.

Right now, Dr. Fauci says the task force is discussing what could be a major change for the public, potentially advising all Americans to wear masks when they leave their homes. The CDC has not said that yet but officials are discussing the possibility of this recommendation. It's something President Trump seemed to endorse last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're not going to be wearing masks forever, but it could be for a short period of time after we get back into gear. I could see something like that happening for a period of time --

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