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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
U.S. Hits Single-Day Record for Reported Deaths: 785+; Nearly 80% of Americans Under Stay-at-Home Orders; Top Health Official: Americans Should be Prepared for 100,000 Deaths; Trump: "Very Painful Two Weeks" Ahead. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired March 31, 2020 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: We didn't. But I believe, Jim, that we acted very, very early in That.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we had adequate testing, wouldn't we have known?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No, we would have known the same thing. We've inherited an absolute test.
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Can I speak to that too as well? President made reference - in fact, January 31, he suspended all travel from China. Shortly thereafter, we issued strong travel advisories for the sections of Italy implicated and sections of South Korea and we've reached agreements with those countries to screen all passengers from all airports coming into the United States of America.
The President's initial efforts were designed at preventing the coronavirus from coming into the United States. And what our experts have told us again and again at the coronavirus task force is that those actions bought us a significant amount of time on this curve to respond with the kind of mitigation efforts, standing up resources, testing and supplies that are in effect. But we went from a prevention strategy the President acted on before the month of January was over to a mitigation strategy, which continues to this day.
And if I can also say just to every American, all of the questions about resources are very important. And I can assure you that the President and our task force are preoccupied with these issues and working with governors hour by hour to meet those needs. But if Americans will put into practice these guidelines for another 30 days, they'll do their part to lower the curve and save lives, most importantly, and limit the burden on our hospitals and our health care system in the country significantly and so make no mistake about it.
Well, we're going to work our hearts out, leaving no stone unturned to find the resources, the masks, the ventilators that we need. And we are going to meet that moment with a full energy of the American economy and the whole of the American government. The American people have a role to play in preserving that medical capacity in a way that will ensure that people that are caught up in the coronavirus, particularly those that are vulnerable to the most serious outcomes, which are seniors with serious underlying health conditions or anyone with an immunodeficiency have the resources, the support and the health care that every American family would want their loved one to have.
TRUMP: I do think we were very early, but I also think that we were very smart because we stopped China. We had never done that before. We had never closed our borders before as I read. I don't know, maybe that's not right.
And Dr. Fauci had also said that was - I think it was maybe the biggest moment because we were stopping the source, we were stopping the infection. But we also stopped Europe very shortly thereafter. That was a big decision. That was not an easy decision either.
I stopped them a long time before people started stepping in, anyway. So we stopped China, we stopped Europe, we stopped all of Europe and then ultimately we stopped U.K., Ireland. Yes. On the back, please.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President and the team, going back to hydroxychloroquine, how many clinical trial tests in America would you like to see before you put a stamp of approval on it? Because there are clinical trials been taking place around the world right now.
TRUMP: (Inaudible), sure, please.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is there a number of how many cases would you like to see ...
FAUCI: That is an FDA decision and it really depends on a variety of factors. What I would like to see a clinical trial that has a comparison to something that is comparable to what it means without the drug. I mean, I keep saying it. I say it all of the time and I'll say it again, it's a controlled trial that compares it to something meaningful.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Inaudible) trials that you're watching taking place around the world right now?
FAUCI: Well, there are a number of trials going on not only in the United States, but also in other parts of the world. Right now it's too early to make any determination, but I just want to get back to what I say all the time. The definitive way that you get an answer is by doing a randomized controlled clinical trial.
TRUMP: Yes, please, go ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) ...
TRUMP: You're talking about the chloroquine, is that what you're talking about? Specifically from the last question, yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hydroxychloroquine.
TRUMP: No, there are trials going on. But there are also trials going on, we're trying them on people that are now sick, that's a very important trial.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are cocktails being experimented with around the world. So my question was really like are there specific ...
TRUMP: We're watching whatever happens around the world? We're watching those trials very closely. Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) Mitch McConnell, yes.
He said that impeachment diverted the attention of the government. Do you think that in any way - this was happening and building at the same time, you didn't divert your attention or your team's attention or the Vice President's attention.
TRUMP: Well, I don't like to think I did. I think I handled it very well, but I guess it probably did. I mean, I got impeached. I think I certainly devoted a little time to thinking about it, right? But think of it, it was a hoax. It was a total hoax.
And when you think that I got impeached, only because they had a majority of the House. They didn't get one Republican vote, 196 to nothing, not one Republican. I don't think it's ever happened. The Republicans stuck together and they stuck together in the Senate, 52 to a half a half, a half.
So when you say that, yes, I think it took a lot. I see them going and saying about speed, well, they probably illegally impeached me in the sense that if you look at the FBI today with what happened, the horrible things, nobody cares about that now because all their things about is the virus and that's OK with me.
But you look at the report that came out from IG Horowitz. It's disgraceful what went on. It's disgraceful. It's a total disgrace. They got caught in the act. But you know what, we won't talk about that now. Did it divert my attention? I think I'm getting A pluses for the way I handled myself during a phony impeachment. OK. It was a hoax.
But certainly, I guess I thought of it and I think I probably acted - I don't think I would have done any better had I not been impeached, OK. And I think that's a great tribute to something. Maybe it's a tribute to me. But I don't think I would have acted any differently or I don't think I would have acted any faster.
But the Democrats, their whole life, their whole being, their whole existence was to try and get me out of office any way they can even if it was a phony deal and it was a phony deal. And it turned out and all you have to do is look today at the FBI reports, take a look at what the FBI did.
Take a look at the people. Take a look at Comey's report, 78 pages of total kill. Take a look at that. Take a look at the report on McCabe. Just read it and you'll see how horrible it was. And you know what? I don't think this country is going to take it. You want to know the truth.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) ...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) offering to Florida when it comes to the two Holland American cruise ships that are seeking to dock here.
TRUMP: Yes. Well, I'll be speaking - I'm going to be speaking - in fact, he's 1905 [00:02:40] to me and we'll be speaking to the Governor and we'll be speaking to him soon.
But here's a case, we have two ships. There are people that are sick on the ship and we don't want to be like they're going to be ghost ships. People turn those ships away. There was a ship as you know in a certain part of Asia and from port to port, nobody would take it.
But in the meantime, you have people that are dying on the ship or at least very sick, but they're dying on the ship. So I'm going to do what's right, not only for us, but for humanity. I mean, these are two big ships and they have a lot of very sick people and I'll be speaking to the Governor.
Let's do just a couple of more back here, yes, go ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President.
TRUMP: Yes, go ahead, please.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you very much. I was hoping you could ...
TRUMP: You ever run out of questions? It's the most unbelievable thing. You don't (inaudible) but I have nothing else to do, so if you want us - I mean, if you want, shall we keep it going, John? I think so. Let's go.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Could you clarify something for me, please? Andrew Cuomo today said that the system that you have with governors trying to get ventilators it's like being on eBay with 50 other states bidding on a ventilator plus FEMA. And then you just said tonight that he will be doing that.
TRUMP: I mean, he was complaining ...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He said (inaudible) ...
TRUMP: Say it. What did he say exactly? What did he say? Go ahead. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He said that when you have states competing for
ventilators and medical care, it's like being on eBay 50 with other states bidding on a ventilator plus FEMA.
TRUMP: Well, he shouldn't be complaining because we gave him a lot of ventilators. And if you take a look at the chart, it's down, but I wish he got going a little bit sooner. But we gave him a lot of ventilators and you know what he has a lot of ventilators.
The problem is with some people no matter what you give it's never enough. It's never enough. Like they'll say, how's Trump doing and you're a Democrat. Some of them said really good. I'll take Gavin Newsom from California who's doing a good job, by the way. And others said really good.
But generally your natural reflex. "How's Trump doing?" You ask that question to a Democrat. "Well, we don't like it." "Oh, really, you don't like it?" We're getting very high marks. But I'm not doing this for marks, I'm doing this to save lives. When John acted - wait, when John saw the numbers and when Jim saw those numbers, they're shocking numbers.
You're talking about deaths. Even at the low end, you were shocked when you see 100,000 and 120,000 and 200,000 people over potentially a very short period of time. I want to save lives. I'm not doing this for any other reason. I want to save lives.
But the Governor of New York's gotten, I think, maybe probably got more than anybody, he's gotten four hospitals. He's gotten four medical tents. He's gotten a ship, the likes of which nobody's ever seen before, other than Los Angeles, which has the twin.
I mean, we've done a lot. But many ventilators were sent to New York and Mayor de Blasio, I'm getting along with Mayor de Blasio great and I think he's very happy with the job we're doing too. We're sending a lot of - actually Mayor de Blasio had an interesting request. He wanted people and we're sending medical people.
A lot of people, a lot of the states aren't having a problem with ventilators, they're having a problem getting medical people and we're sending a lot of people in, military, very talented people.
Who didn't (inaudible) go ahead and then I'll (inaudible) second.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your response to that question earlier was that they shouldn't be doing that. They need something - well, if they need them (inaudible) ...
TRUMP: They shouldn't be doing what?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Governor shouldn't be competing with each other.
TRUMP: No. They shouldn't be competing and they should call us. Wait. No, I don't want them to compete because all they're going to do is drive up the price. I don't want them to compete. They should be calling us and we can work it so they get the ventilators and they get shipped directly.
If they're competing, if they're calling, even if there's only two of them calling, they're going to just drive up the price. Because as nice as some of the people that do ventilators, they do want to make money, OK? Now, New York had a chance to buy 16,000 ventilators, I guess they didn't take that option. That was in 2016.
And that's a hard option to take, because it's a lot of money and who would ever think you need 16,000 ventilators. Who would ever think it? But this is a very unique time in life and I think I'm dealing with New York and we're having a very good relationship. And you see what just happened in Central Park with the tents. I mean, we're having a really good relationship.
Go ahead, (inaudible) ...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, Mr. President.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You mentioned Gavin Newsom and the job that he's doing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm interested in what you think California has done to contribute to the suppression of (inaudible) ...
TRUMP: Well, they've done a good job in California. Now, let's see what happens because we could have a spike, doctors. I mean, you don't know. They could have a spike where all of a sudden it spikes upward. We had a couple of like, Louisiana, I think they're doing a really good job, but they had nothing.
Now, they had Mardi Gras and then all of a sudden after Mardi Gras, which tells you about distancing, I guess. I mean, it's an example of what could happen, but they were like flawless. I was always surprised. I was looking at Louisiana and I understand that state. I love that state.
And I'm saying they're in great shape. Then they have Mardi Gras. It was a big success, tremendous success, and then all of a sudden it went like a rocket ship. So that tells you about the distancing. Please.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you concerned about the homeless population in California? Because I know California officials think that it can spread like wildfire and obviously there are some homeless ...
TRUMP: Say it again louder.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a homelessness crisis in California.
TRUMP: Yes, there is. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And they're obviously concerned that it could
spread like wildfire in that community, so is there anything the administration (inaudible) ...
TRUMP: Well, they're looking at that very strongly and I know that it bothers Gavin. I don't know if it bothers Nancy Pelosi, but she's got it in her district at a very high level. They have to be very careful. They have a very big homeless population in an area which just a few years ago didn't have anybody in those areas and they're living in the streets.
And I know that some people in California are working on that very hard.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, you spoke several times with Prime Minister Trudeau, President Macron and at the end of last week, President Macron talked about an important initiative that you and him would launch. Any news on that?
TRUMP: No, we're talking about something that will be very positive for the world if we do it. We'll see if we'll do it or not. Well, I don't want to talk - it's a private thing. But it will become public if we decide to do it, but positive.
Our relationship with the President, our relationship with France is, I think, extraordinary, very good, probably as good as it's ever been. Yes.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: So your comments about what could have happened and the actions that you took, is there any fairness to the criticism that you may have lulled Americans into a false sense of security when you were saying things like it's going to go away?
TRUMP: Well, it is.
ACOSTA: And that sort of thing.
TRUMP: Jim, it's going to go away.
ACOSTA: But when you were saying ...
TRUMP: It's going to go away hopefully at the end of the month and if not it hopefully will be soon after that.
ACOSTA: But has your thinking on this evolved?
TRUMP: So it is going away.
ACOSTA: Has your thinking on this evolved? You're taking it more seriously now.
TRUMP: I think from the beginning my attitude was that we have to give this country - I know how bad it is, all you have to do is look at what was going on in China, it was devastation. Well, yes, if you look at the numbers from China, those initial numbers coming out from China.
But I read an article today which was very interesting. They say we wish President Trump would give more bad news. Give bad news. I'm not about bad news. I want to give people hope. I want to give people a feeling that we all have a chance.
I mean, when you saw the numbers and when John and all of you saw those numbers and you're saying 120,000 people, you mean that's good? A hundred thousand dead people within a short period of time. I want to give people a feeling of hope.
I could be very negative. I could say, wait a minute, those numbers are terrible. This is going to be horrible. This is a horrible thing. Hey, Jim ...
ACOSTA: (Inaudible) OK, let's go to the beach. Let's go to the airport. Let's go down to Mardi Gras. Let's go do those things.
TRUMP: Well, there were a lot of people that could have said that. We didn't say that. Fortunately, I didn't say that. And that was an alternative. We talked about it. That was always an alternative. That's what I said, let it rip, let it ride, do nothing and we could have had 2.2 million dead people more than that, because I didn't do that.
And we did catch it early and we stopped China really early. And we stopped Europe really early because I saw what happened as I stopped Italy, because Italy was really heavily infected. We started off with certain parts of Italy, then all of Italy, then we saw Spain.
Then I said, stop Europe. Let's stop Europe. We have to stop them from coming here. Europe. I love Europe. But they were having problems. I don't think anybody did a better job than that, especially when you see the 2.2 million number. And I hope we're going to be substantially under the numbers that you're looking at on the minimum side.
Then I think we will have, hey, look it's still tremendous death.
ACOSTA: You weren't just hoping that it would dissipate, that this would disappear.
TRUMP: I want to be positive. I don't want to be negative. I'm a positive person. Somebody said, oh, I wish you'd be more negative. They literally have that in one of the wonderful newspapers today. I wish you'd be more negative.
Well, this is really easy to be negative about. But I want to give people hope to - I'm a cheerleader for the country. We're going through the worst thing that the country's probably ever seen. Look, we had the Civil War, we lost 600,000 people, right?
Here's the thing, had we not done anything, we would have lost many times that. But we did something, so it's going to be hopefully way under that. But we lose more here potentially than you lose in World Wars as a country. So there's nothing positive. There's nothing great about it. But I want to give people in this country hope. I think it's very important.
ACOSTA: (Inaudible) it was going to be this severe when you were saying this was under control and ...
TRUMP: I thought it could be. I knew everything. I knew it could be horrible and I knew it could be maybe good. Don't forget at that time, people didn't know that much about it even the experts. We were talking about it. We didn't know where it was going. We saw China but that was it.
Maybe it would stopped to China. We wish we could have killed it in China, but it didn't happen. It started spreading to Europe. It started spreading here. It started spreading all over. And I'm not blaming anybody.
I'm just saying that we have an incredible thing. I think the people are professionals, our military, our governors, our politicians, I think they've done an incredible job. I mean, with few exceptions, I think they've done an incredible job.
But I don't want to be a negative person. It'd be so much easier for me to come up and say, we have bad news. We're going to lose 220,000 people and it's going to happen over the next few weeks. And with that, I did start off by saying today long before this question, I said this is going to be a rough two or three weeks. This is going to be one of the roughest two or three weeks we've ever had in our country.
We're going to lose thousands of people. When I see 28, 29 people from the Governor of New Jersey, 29 people, when you see 173 people died in New York yesterday or whatever the number was, I think it was more than that.
When you see the kind of numbers that we're witnessing, we've never seen numbers like that. So it's easy to be negative and then everybody can be negative. But I'm a cheerleader for a country and I wanted to do a great job.
So the number can be kept - and I've always said it, I want as few a number of people to die as possible and that's all we're working on.
ACOSTA: You don't like the question, but are you now taking responsibility ...
TRUMP: I don't mind the question.
ACOSTA: ... (inaudible) ...
TRUMP: I don't mind your question. I think it's actually ...
ACOSTA: (Inaudible) ...
TRUMP: ... it's not meant to be. Look, I know you well enough. So it's not meant to be a fair question, but it is a fair question. I think we've done a fantastic job.
ACOSTA: (Inaudible) ...
TRUMP: OK, fine. I'll accept your word. Look, Jim, I think we've done a great job. We're going to see how it comes out. But when you look at minimal numbers of 120,000 people, when you look at - it could have been 2.2 million people died and more if we did nothing, if we just did nothing it would have gone up, it would have come down, as per your statement, it would have been confined.
It would have been a similar time maybe even less time. It would have been violence like we've never seen in this country before. We had great professionals, great military, really great governors and politicians. I cannot say enough about what's going on.
And as per what you said, I think we're way ahead of schedule in terms of numbers. I think. I hope. But if we can keep it under the minimum numbers, the country has done, not me, the country has done a great job. But I think I've done a really good job of mobilizing. I think Mike Pence has been fantastic. I put him in charge of the task force.
We have wonderful people in the task force, Jim. Wonderful people. This man was working literally. He had days where he didn't go to bed. He didn't go to sleep. He called. He went 24 hours and then started the next day.
People don't know the job he did. I didn't even know he was that good of a manager to be honest with you, Mike. OK. And you never know that about somebody until they're tested under fire. But he saw it very early also, we both did. They saw it very early.
They knew pretty soon. They probably knew sooner than anybody, because that's what they study. That's what they do. Must be a depressing business. Must be a little bit depressing. But they've seen it all. Go ahead, John.
JOHN(?): Can I ask Dr. Fauci a question about a headline that's been running all day to get his perspective on it. There's a professor from MIT, Dr. Fauci, who suggest that coronavirus can be carried on droplets a distance of 27 feet. Do you buy into that? And if that might be the case, does that suggest that current social distancing guidelines may need to be extended?
FAUCI: This could really be terribly misleading, John. What it was looking at the distance that droplets by speaking by coughing or sneezing. So if you go way back and go like that, you might get 27 feet. So when you see somebody do that, get out of the way but that's not practical. That is not practical, John, I'm sorry. But I was disturbed by that report because that's misleading.
That means that all of a sudden the six foot thing doesn't work. That is a very, very robust, vigorous sneeze. That's what that is and that's not what we're talking about.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you want to keep going? One more. I have one more (inaudible) ...
TRUMP: All right. Go ahead, (inaudible) ...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've got a follow up on the mask, sir. But first, you mentioned Franklin Graham earlier talking to him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As you know, his father, Billy Graham was a trusted spiritual adviser in front of many presidents. A lot of your predecessors in times of national emergency reached out to pastors and other spiritual counselors, have you done that during this national emergency?
TRUMP: Well, I never say that. But Franklin Graham is somebody that's very special. I have many very special people and very many special in the evangelical Christian community. You can talk rabbis, you can talk a lot of - I have tremendous support from religious leaders.
And Franklin Graham, I just spoke to him today for an extended period of time. I told him what a fantastic job you're doing and he does this. He loves doing it. He loves helping people. And he loves Jesus, that I can tell you. He loves Jesus. He's a great gentleman. Go ahead.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: All right. And you have been listening to President Trump and his corona task force briefing with, of course, Dr. Fauci, Dr. Birx with him and Vice President Pence. Good evening.
They were giving the latest update that they have in terms of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States. President Trump warning of a very, very painful two weeks ahead. At one point saying it's going to be hell, referring to it as a warzone. Saying that the roughest weeks will be ahead. Saying that it was going to be over the next two to possibly three weeks.
And this comes in a day that the United States reports more than 785 deaths related to coronavirus, which is the most deaths in one day in the United States since the start of the outbreak. And I want to talk about all of this from the briefing. Obviously, this was an extensive briefing with a lot of questions and answers.
OUTFRONT now Kaitlan Collins, John King, Daniel Dale and Dr. Sanjay Gupta to begin our coverage.
John King, the President welcoming question after question after question during all of this. He obviously wanted to be out there and it was a very sobering analysis presented by the chief doctors.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Incredibly sobering analysis. That's the headline on the substance, Erin, and also a very different briefing, especially at the top when it came to style, the President deferring to the experts right out of the box and then coming back and taking questions.
And then at the end, we also - throughout the briefing, we saw evidence of a giant communications problem at a minimum, a communications problem that still exists. Let me come back first to the substance, though, when they talk about 100,000 to 200,000 people at a minimum. Now, again, all the experts saying they hope with mitigation to press it under that. But a hundred thousand people, that is South Bend, Indiana. That is Green Bay, Wisconsin.
That is what you're talking about at the minimum. If everybody is almost perfect, a hundred thousand Americans will perish. That's a city, South Bend. That's Green Bay.
If it's 200,000, that's Tempe, Arizona or Salt Lake City. This is what we're looking at in these painful weeks ahead the President is talking about. You take the numbers, you have to project what do those numbers mean. This is stunning and that's why I think you saw the President out of the box being so serious and deferring to Dr. Birx and Dr. Fauci to convey that message that a hundred thousand is within the realm of possibility. It could be considerably higher than that. They hope to push it down.
That was striking and I thought the style of deferring was very interesting there. You did see though throughout, whether it was on the question of testing, whether it was the question of ventilators, whether it was the question of PPE that all of the federal people there, the President, Dr. Birx, the Vice President all saying these supplies are out there. The states can't find them. The states are the problem. The states have all said, no, we don't have them. The federal government is the problem.
So there is a giant, at a minimum, a giant communication and logistical disconnect. The problem could be better than - and just lastly, Erin.
KING: The President trying to insist there to our colleague, Jim Acosta, he has gotten this from the beginning. He has known from the very beginning how bad that is. It's simply not the case. He didn't communicate it. Today he talked about a friend who went into the hospital who was in a coma and he said emphatically and importantly, this is not the flu.
On February 26, the President of the United States said this is a flu. This is like the flu. He didn't get it at the beginning.
BURNETT: Right. He certainly didn't.
And Kaitlan, to this point it was a very sober president that we saw and again taking question after question, even from reporters he doesn't like to take questions from, engaging in a back and forth. On this point, talking about a friend of his who is now in a coma because of coronavirus and emphatically saying this is not the flu, this is vicious, as John just referenced.
Kaitlan, John gave a tweet even as recently as March 9th, the President was saying, comparing the deaths of the flu to the deaths of coronavirus and saying think about that, downplaying this and, again, saying perhaps the flu was more disruptive.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Erin, that was just three weeks ago that the President was saying that. It was just last week that he was pushing that Easter day to reopen the country. But tonight in that briefing room, what you saw from the President is he's acknowledging the grim reality that these numbers and these models that his team of doctors have been presenting to him over the weekend show and it's something he had to acknowledge and that's why you saw the president there today disavowed the flu argument. An argument he himself pushed on multiple occasions.
And the President did have a more serious tone tonight. That doesn't change the fact that he downplayed the coronavirus for months and that also there was an incredibly slow start to testing here in the United States, which some health experts say is what brought us to the situation that we're in now. But it's notable given those numbers, seeing those charts because, Erin, we've been hearing from some officials who have been skeptical of those numbers actually and thought that some of them may have been overblown.
And doctors Fauci and Birx acknowledged that some of these numbers are based off the worst-case scenarios that you're seeing in New York and in New Jersey. But then saying that even if these social distancing measures are executed perfectly, you could still see 100,000 deaths to 240,000 deaths. It was something that the President acknowledged multiple times and said was a sobering factor for him.
I do want to note one other thing the President said while he was in there. He was asked about a comment that the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made saying that the government's response to this was changed or altered because of impeachment that was going on. The President did acknowledge that his attention was likely also diverted from that issue, but he said he does not think that he would have responded differently if he had not been impeached earlier this year as the coronavirus outbreak was happening.
BURNETT: Which is an important point to make, Kaitlan.
Sanjay, let me ask you on the on these numbers, which both John and Kaitlan are raising. You I know have had a chance to speak with Dr. Fauci as well. So when people hear and I think John was so apt to put this in the concept if you're talking about entire towns or cities, the equivalent of that possibly perishing in the next few weeks.
But the President there at the end kept emphasizing, well, we could come in well below that. Is that realistic? Is it possible indeed that these numbers are significantly below 100,000 or do you think that that is misleading for him to say that?
SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I'd love to be able to say that, Erin, but in fact I think when you look at this, what is now a best case scenario, really this hundred thousand number, I think Dr. Fauci has said that, that's what the modeling shows. This is sort of the best case scenario.
And by the way, if you look at the models a little bit more carefully, I really dove into this model, it actually relies on these social distancing measures going to the end of May, not to the end of April. So it's a longer sort of term proposition. It's more stringent.
And if you do that, you could get to the 100 - you could be as low as the 100,000 number. I mean, look, again, Erin, I get no joy in saying this.
I think that, you know, you have the worst case scenario, which President Trump talked about, the best case scenario, 100,000 to 240,000. Because we haven't uniformly in this country enacted these social distancing measures, you know, across the country, the answer's probably going to be somewhere in between the best case and worst case scenario.
And I -- again, I take into account what John is saying. I mean, it's hard to imagine, it's hard to believe. But that's I think where we're headed right now.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: And, Daniel, you know, to this point, the president, you know, has kept saying. well, he knew -- he knew what was happening in China and knew how bad this would be. Obviously, what he said many times publicly during that time frame shows that to be untrue.
You're a fact checker. What stood out to you?
DANIEL DALE, CNN REPORTER: I think what we saw here was both the usual barrage of specific false claims and then a broader overall narrative. In terms of the specifics, Trump falsely said that he stopped all travel from Europe. The restrictions he imposed exempted numerous Europe and countries and many people even coming from the countries that were covered. He falsely said his impeachment was illegal. He falsely said even the experts didn't know how bad this was at the time that he himself, Trump, was downplaying this in January and February. No, the experts were pretty uniformly warning us that this was going to be bad.
And then, Erin, the broader dishonest narrative was his attempt to portray himself as the leader who stood up to the people who were downplaying this as a flu. People just wanted me to ride this out and that was unwise. And so, because of the action that I and we took, now we can keep this to 100,000, which would be pretty good.
He was the downplayer in chief for weeks and weeks, even amid these expert warnings. And so, for him to now say he is the one who stood up against the people who were against himself, I think is quite dishonest.
BURNETT: So, Sanjay, you know, when he points to China and how bad it was in China, of course, one thing we all know from China is that when you look at it relative to their population, their reported infection and death rates are incredibly small. It is not what we're seeing here. So what really happened there? I mean, are they just lying on a level
of magnitude that we just can't even comprehend, or was it somehow -- is it just somehow that much worse here? I mean, which do you think it is?
GUPTA: You know, I think there's two things. One is that it is challenging to really make sense out of all the Chinese data. I've looked at some of very carefully. If you take its at its face value, you're right. There was a paper published in "The Lancet" that said, if you take into account everybody, either the symptomatic and the asymptomatic, everybody who tested positive, the death rate is maybe around 0.66 percent.
But, you know, one thing I think we're learning, this is important, is that the virus is bad. Obviously, it's a lethal virus. But if you look at places where the death rate is much higher, why that? Is the population that much different? I mean, genetically, we're all the same human beings.
I think what's driving up the death rate in countries like Italy for example, which is closer to 10 or 11 percent is the strain on the medical system. It's the lack of preparation. It's the fact that people show up that could have been saved that aren't because they weren't ready to handle it.
Yes, the virus is bad. It's something that people are acknowledging but what is really the problem in these places, even in the developed countries is the strain on the medical system.
I think that's what we're trying to avoid here. You know ,did we act fast enough? Time will tell.
BURNETT: And it appears, John, from what the president was saying, I think you just pointed out a moment ago that you have states saying they can't get what they want. Governors are telling all of us when they interview them that they're competing against the government and the federal government to overpay for medical supplies that don't even seem to be there, and yet the president is saying that that isn't happening, basically.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And so, Erin, let's hope -- we're speaking of Tuesday evening. Let's hope if we meet on Friday night or next Monday or Tuesday, we're not having this conversation.
Clearly, there is a problem. The White House is trying to insist, and some people think this is happy talk, and it doesn't back up the numbers , but the White House is trying to insist that things are in the pipeline. They are coming. They will get to you before you hit your crisis point. If you have a problem, pick up the phone.
If you listen to Governor Cuomo -- but it's not just Governor Cuomo. To be clear, it's not just the Democratic governors. Mike DeWine, Republican of Ohio, Asa Hutchinson, Republican of Arkansas. These governors are saying we have a problem.
So, there is either a giant communications breakdown or a giant logistical problem or worse. And so, let's hope by the end of the week they have figured this out as more and more of these states get closer to crisis point, because clearly, there's a problem. There's a lot of finger pointing right now.
Sometimes, the finger pointing gets fierce, sometimes less so. But let's hope that they figure this out, because they clearly is at a momentum, a gigantic breakdown in communication, command and control and organization.
To the other appointment, though, it is striking to me as we have this conversation, as they showed, California has shown some progress.
There could still be a spike in the future, but especially in the Bay Area, they acted quickly. They have some progress. Washington state, some progress.
Look at Kentucky where the governor acted quickly, the line's going like this, next to Tennessee where the governor just today did a stay at home order, and the line is going more straight up. The fact that you have Tennessee just today, Texas just today, Florida still has not had a statewide position, to Sanjay's point about it, and to Dr. Birx and Dr. Fauci's point, that if you mitigate, if you push down, then you may delay the crisis on the health care system. You may push it off, spread it out, so you don't get in Italy -- it's stunning to me that some people with won't listen even to the converted president of the United States who says this is urgent.
BURNETT: And he's now saying that, Kaitlan. What do you understand from your reporting is responsible basically for what has been a very sudden and dramatic turnaround, right, for him saying this is not the flu, this is vicious, talking about these death tolls, when they presented these numbers to him what made him change his mind so dramatically?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, it wasn't just the numbers. That's important. You look at the models, they're stunning. But what we're told by sources is that it wasn't just the models. It was also polling that showed Americans favored keeping more restrictive measures in place to sway the president.
And also, those images that he was talking about there of Elmhurst Hospital, that's in Queens, not far from where the president grew up, just a few miles. And he was talking about seeing those images over the week. And we're told by people that the president was actually pretty shaken by those, realizing, you know, that's his community, seeing what it looks like, the state of affairs there.
But really also notable what the president said about ventilators and talking about hospitals that have these needs. He said that some states and some hospitals have been requesting ventilator. And he says the federal government has decided they don't actually need. That's really notable and that's different than saying we're working on getting them, we're trying to get up to capacity to have all the ventilators we need. He was simply saying that he thinks some of these requests aren't founded.
So, he didn't say which hospitals, we're going to be asking, certainly. And, of course, that comes after you're hearing about the testing issue where the president was saying, testing issue has been resolved, when, of course, state governors are saying that is just simply the case at the time.
BURNETT: Right, and certainly I'm sure many watching and all of us know people who will have a hard time getting a test and they have to wait over a week to get its results if they even are able to.
Thank you all very much.
One of the cities now being hardest hit by the virus is Detroit. Detroit is now reporting a 45 percent increase in deaths over the last 24 hours. The city's police chief, one of the more than 2,000 there who has tested positive for the virus and he is OUTFRONT, Detroit Police Chief James Craig.
Chief, I appreciate you taking the time. First of all, think know you're home right now. You're under quarantine.
JAMES CRAIG, DETROIT POLICE CHIEF, TESTED POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS: Yes.
BURNETT: You have tested positive. How are you feeling tonight, sir?
CRAIG: I'm not feeling bad. I mean, it's been a little bit a fight, but I've been fortunate. I had some mild symptoms now which I've had to deal with the last week, but all in all, I'm fighting a good fight and I certainly appreciate all the support I'm getting across this country, particularly my family here in Detroit, both the DPD family, just the prayers and thoughts have been wonderful.
BURNETT: So, Chief, you know, the mayor of Detroit said today that about 20 percent of your force, about 522 officers are now under quarantine. They're out. So, let me ask you so people understand. What impact does that have on Detroit? On their ability to do their job and your ability to keep that city safe and your ability to help people who may be sick and need care?
CRAIG: You know, we've been very fortunate. We made some -- we planned for the what-ifs. And so, what we did -- we tried to anticipate that we would have some loss of staff.
As you indicated, we're sitting at right now 639 total sworn civilian members of our organization that are in quarantine. So, what we did, we collapsed some of our nonessential units and moved them into our hardest hit stations so they could continue to do the most important work and that is respond to calls for service. The emergency calls for service. That's what's key.
We've done that very well. We have an impact to our communication system. The good news there, we were able to move out of our new communications system into a backup so that we wouldn't have any service disruptions. So, we've been able to manage. Our response time has been lower than
it's been for sometime. Climb is lower, somewhat.
CRAIG: So we've been surviving this thing so far.
BURNETT: And you know, I do, though -- I see members of the NYPD every day here in this city and have a chance to talk to them. And you know, they are proud and -- to go about their jobs as your officers are as well. But I know many of your officers, they sign up knowing they're going to have to go into the line of fire literally, right?
They're willing to take that rest. But I'm sure very few of them ever thought that going into -- a call for emergency for a contagious virus that could kill them or their family or responding to a domestic violence call which could result in infection. How are they handling this? It's got to be really hard.
CRAIG: It's difficult, but you have to understand why an American police officer, for starters -- you know, we have contacts with people each and every day. Sometime we make traffic stops. We don't know who we're stopping. We may find out later that the person we're stopping is armed and dangerous. As soon as the officer approaches that vehicle, the person opens fire.
So, our police officers are trained and diligent in dealing with the unknown. Of course, this is unknown that none of us, I've been doing this for 43 years.
I've been through civil unrest. I've been through earthquakes in Los Angeles. There is nothing that can compare to this. I think some of my colleagues even in 9/11 will share some of the same anecdotes.
But the bottom line is our folks want to be out there, they want to serve, they understand that they're going into the unknown. Many of those who are quarantined, they want to come back to where. And so, really that's a testament to the kind of police officers we have here in the city of Detroit.
BURNETT: It sure is. Well, chief, I appreciate your time, Chief Craig, and I hope that your symptoms continue to be mild and you're back and fully better very soon. Thank you, sir.
CRAIG: I'm looking forward to it. And thanks so much.
BURNETT: And top health officials are stressing the need for anti- body testing. That will provide the crucial information, right, of how widespread this virus was. Who has already had it? Who has already recovered?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. DEBORAH BRIX, WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS TASK FORCE RESPONSE COORDINATOR: We really can't anxious your question until we can get antibody testing out there. Dr. Fauci and I are very focused on getting serology testing out there to really figure out when it came.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: So testing, antibody testing is already under way in one town in America. Telluride, Colorado, that is where one biotech company is testing every person in this county for coronavirus antibodies.
And OUTFRONT now is Lou Reese. He's a member of the executive committee of that company which is called United Biomedical.
So, Lou, thank you very much.
You know, let's start with the process. If you're -- you're going about and doing this, what is the process to get this done, to test someone for antibodies? How do you do it and how long does it take for you to get your results?
LOU REESE, EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBER, UNITED BIOMEDICAL, INC.: So, it's -- the process is a simple blood draw. And then those are applied to an Elisa -- a peptide based Elisa diagnostic and then we process in the lab. Once they're being processed, we do about 92 per hour or per hour and a half so it's fairly fast. There are machines that allow high throughput than that even.
So, it's not rapid but the idea is it's about specificity and it's about detecting, you know, who's built up some level of exposure to the virus.
BURNETT: OK. So, what have you found so far in Telluride?
REESE: You know, there are some publicly announced things by the county and as it pertains to the results, you know, that's not something that our company is privy to that's really County-led. And I believe that they announced that there were of the initial kind of 700-ish that had gone through, there were two that showed signals likely to zero convert during the 14-day interim.
BURNETT: OK. So, two out of 700 is not a lot. Look, both you and I both know -- it's not just the economic view, that before you get a vaccine, being able to have an antibody test could be economically crucial, right? We all understand that.
But you just heard what Deborah Birx was saying at the presidential briefing, right? She was saying we're not going to know if we got this right, if intervening earlier would have helped unless we can tell whether people have antibodies, like rather this was circulating in the community before we started doing social distancing, right?
So, my question for you is, with your antibody test, you're able to tell somebody has antibodies. Are you able to tell when they had the coronavirus? Are you able to know at what time they had it?
REESE: You know, you're not able to specify an exact date of exposure, but you -- the antibodies persist for quite some time, it seems. Obviously, a new virus that we're learning a lot about.
With the bodies persist, the important thing is to get the front line workers back to work right now and the 650 or 700 workers that are in Detroit right now that is part of the police force that aren't serving because they're stuck home can be tested and have robust antibodies can go back into the force and know that being in the frontline, they're safe and they can protect other people.
And I think that we're doing that now in hospital systems and I believe it's just urgent for getting people, you know, taken care.
BURNETT: Oh, and on the frontlines absolutely.
But what's your bottom line, though? Is that something you could roll out more broadly? And I don't mean in terms of throughput, I mean cost wise. Is this something you could do more broadly across -- across the country?
REESE: Yes, absolutely. I mean, these are things that are dollars per test and they're absolutely scalable. Elisas are well-known technology. Our approach is highly specific.
So, I think many this up stance we've been deploying it in hot spots around the country already and major hospital systems and working with communities to help give them real actionable information. Like we said right now, we're really focusing on the front line and trying to get people a that help us back to work so they can help other people.
BURNETT: All right, Lou, I appreciate your time. Thank you so much.
I want to go straight now to Dr. Margaret Hamburg. She was the FDA commissioner under President Obama and a former New York City Health Commissioner.
So, Dr. Hamburg, what do you mean? Earlier there was a little confusion perhaps earlier today on the FDA and antibody testing. What do you make of the fact they haven't approved anything? Obviously, Lou was talking about something they're doing in Telluride and also for hospital workers on the front line.
DR. MARGARET HAMBURG, FORMER FDA COMMISSIONER UNDER OBAMA: Well, I'm note certain but I think there have been emergency use authorization for some antibody tests but they need to get out into use. But I might be wrong about that. But it's crucially important as Dr. Birks said, that we get these out into use and that we use it both to define the nature and scope of the outbreak in communities and across the nation and that we use it as a tool in order to get people back into the work force.
And importantly right now, to get health care workers who have to play such a vital role in carrying for patients who are sick with COVID-19 and sick with other causes and also front line workers like the police chief, we just heard from in Detroit. BURNETT: Right. And the antibody concept does seem so crucial. You
look at the numbers they're giving. There are ranges of 100,000 to 240,000 deaths, that is even with the states being able to get all these ventilators coming on line, you know?
So, if you want people to be able to go back to their lives at some point, there's going to be fear. People don't want too take that risk that this can still happen to you, even when you have the medical care that you need. It's completely understandable.
To this point in New York, because you have spent a lot of time in the New York system as well, Doctors Birx and Fauci both pointed today that the curve from Italy as a hopeful sign. It's maybe things are getting better and they mentioned specifically, Dr. Fauci did, that there were inklings of this in New York. In New York, day over day increase for the past week was 17 percent the past week, it was 58 the prior seven-day period.
What does that say to you? Do you read anything into that? Is that just testing? I mean, what -- do those numbers mean anything?
HAMBURG: Well, I think we have to take it day by day. We have to do everything we can to help support the health care system. And we have to do everything we can to make sure that the testing is adequate so that we can assess the number of new cases.
But there are encouraging signs that some of the rates of increase in terms of hospitalization are slowing. And certainly, there is reason to take encouragement from the experience in other countries who have quite aggressively put in place social distancing measures and are seeing improvement.
So, you know, I think we are all dealing with an uncertain situation here. We are all hoping for the best and preparing for the worst.
BURNETT: All right. Well, Dr. Hamburg, thank you very much. I appreciate your time tonight, ma'am.
HAMBURG: Thank you.
BURNETT: And one of the hardest hit states in the United States, still Washington state, home to both the first confirmed case of coronavirus and the first death in the United States and Washington hospitals are now bracing for a surge of patients as the state years 5,000 detected cases.
Sara Sidner in is OUTFRONT.
DR. JOHN LYNCH, HARBORVIEW/UW MEDICINE INFECTIOUS DISEASE CONTROL: It's changed how we run this (ph).
SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Nurses and doctors at Seattle's Harborview Medical Center suit up. To go to battle with coronavirus, they have to go through an exhaustive dressing regimen, hoods and tubes and masks and gowns, just to enter a patient's room.
LYNCH: We think the greatest risk, actually, for healthcare workers is when they remove things, that they contaminate themselves.
SIDNER: They have a checklist and a spotter helping with every step. They also have to adapt to new realities and shortages.
LYNCH: So, these are what are called PAPR hoods. These are the hoods that hook up to these machines that filter air.
They do get cleaned inside and out so they can be reused, because the way they were built was for one-time use, but that's not the way -- if we did that, we would already be out.
SIDNER (on camera): Wow.
(voice-over): They have completely revamped two intensive care units.
LYNCH: So, this whole unit was meant to be for people with brain injuries and strokes and so forth.
And so, now, we have to move all of them some place else because we have to continue that care.
SIDNER (on camera): So, all the people with brain injuries were moved and this was turned into a COVID-19 ICU unit.
SIDNER (voice-over): All to try and help coronavirus patients live, isolate them from others and keep the staff safe too.
(on camera): So, I am not wearing the full personal protection equipment because in these rooms where the actually COVID-19 patients are, these are considered negative pressure rooms. That means that we are considered in a safe space for not wearing full personal protection.
Patients are being cared for, but we don't need to wear the full apparatus unless we are a doctor or nurse who has to go into the room to care for the patient.
(voice-over): Inside the rooms the patients are hooked up to a shocking number of tubes, using those precious ventilators, the only thing keeping them breathing.
LYNCH: So, for the ICU patients, they tend to stay -- they get very sick, and they stay sick very long. So, you need to require ventilator for weeks at a time. And that's really the big issue.
SIDNER: Across just their four hospitals, 60 coronavirus patients were hospitalized last week. Already, this week, it's at least 100. For each one, a delicate dance to keep staff healthy and patients
(on camera): It is just coming in here, and seeing the work that's being done and seeing the patients being cared for, it's stressful, it's -- I'm scared for their families as well. And so, as you walk through and you see the hard work being done and people doing everything they need to take care of patients, just awe-inspiring, considering the fact that they too could be putting themselves in harm's way.
(voice-over): Outside the hospital, a large tent has been erected to assess and test potential coronavirus patients. And this is happening before the anticipated surge here.
(on camera): I feel dread and I feel fear and I'm not working on the front lines. What are you feeling as you're dealing with all these COVID-19 patients?
ARIEL ROGOZINSKI, REGISTERED NURSE, HARBORVIEW/UW MEDICAL CENTER: Certainly, a sense of anxiety because we -- right now, we're kind of wondering what it's going to be like when the peak comes, once people are, you know, flooding in.
SIDNER (voice-over): While the number of new infections in Washington seems to be slowing down, there's a growing sense they haven't seen to worst of it yet.
LYNCH: What they do is heroic. Going and taking care of patients without equipment is not acceptable.
SIDNER: And we should mention that this is believed to be the first hospital in America to have a patient who died of COVID-19. That was more than a month ago. They are expecting a surge to happen here, the height of it in April 19th, and everyone here, the doctors, the nurses, the entire staff are hoping to ready -- Erin.
BURNETT: Incredibly piece. All right. Sara, thank you very much.
And tonight, as we learn more about the coronavirus, it appears to be hitting some families particularly hard, including one Missouri family that had five of its family members -- five family members become sick with coronavirus. One is still in the hospital.
Joining me now, two members of the family recovering, Michael and Ryan Weinhaus.
And I appreciate very much of both being with me.
Michael, I know you were hospitalized with the coronavirus, along with your wife who is still in the hospital, though. And, I know, obviously, your brother Jason got it as well. And also Ryan, your wife. So, let me ask you just to start with you, Michael, how you are
feeling? I mean, are you still -- I can obviously still see you have, you know, oxygen. So, please tell me how you're doing, sir, how you're feeling.
MICHAEL WEINHAUS, HAS CORONAVIRUS: Well, I'm feeling great. I'm home. I am on oxygen, but I really feel wonderful. Recovering and couldn't feel better.
BURNETT: Wow, well, I know it's just a relief in your voice. I can't imagine how terrifying a moment this may have been.
Ryan, I know your mother who is still in the hospital tonight was the first in the family to get sick, and then it seemed to spread to the family. I mean, how quickly did this happen? People see this and say, oh, my goodness, an entire family. I mean, how quickly did this happen that you all got sick?
RYAN WEINHAUS, HAD CORONAVIRUS: Yes, it's definitely been a long month, that's for sure.
You know, she's a very healthy individual. And by the time she got sick, it all started with a basic cough and about five days later after being laid up in bed, that's when the rest of us, my dad, my brother, my wife and myself all started having some symptoms.
When she went to the E.R. initially after about five days, she was diagnosed with pneumonia, sent home with some antibiotics, but two days later, she was right back in the E.R. where she was admitted by ICU and hooked up to a ventilator within 24 hours for eight consecutive days.
BURNETT: Wow. Look, and I know on so many levels you must feel so lucky because there are many who go to the hospital, get sent home like she did. By the time they come back, it's too late.
And, Michael, I know you must be so grateful that she is seeming to be getting better. I know that you and she eventually got to be together and share a private hospital room which in and of it several is a small miracle as you know compared to what many are enduring.
Were there moments during your hospitalization when you were really afraid for yourself or for your wife and what might happen?
M. WEINHAUS: Well, certainly. But I always kept an extremely positive attitude with hope, and that made all the difference in the world, is to remain positive and hopeful. And fortunately, she's on her road to recovery, very slowly, but it was all the support of the community and always remaining positive and with hope.
BURNETT: And, Ryan, obviously, our viewers here every day about ventilators and the short supply of ventilators. Of course, they are so desperately needed. I mean, when you talk about what happened to your mother and how she
went in and was sent home with an antibiotic for bacterial pneumonia, ends up in the hospital a few days later again, and is within 24 hours on a ventilator in an ICU, do you think that ventilator, that access saved her life?
R. WEINHAUS: Absolutely. We were scared, very, very scared. It was easy to think negative thoughts. Fortunately we have so many people wishing well upon us that allowed us to be more positive. When she was hooked up into the ventilator, we were certainly scared.
And without that ventilator, who knows, right? It would be a mystery. But thankfully the doctors and nurses, you know, they're rock stars. They're our heroes. Yes, we're definitely, definitely believing that ventilator saved her life.
BURNETT: Michael, how long was she in the hospital and with such severe symptoms, and obviously in the ICU? How far behind her, I guess, is the way I would ask this question, was your onset of symptoms and going to the hospital?
M. WEINHAUS: Well, my symptoms were probably three days behind her. And I was admitted into the hospital I think a couple days right behind her, maybe a day behind her, where I was admitted to the ICU as well. Not on a ventilator thankfully, but serious enough to be in the ICU for I think maybe eight days.
BURNETT: Wow. Well, look, I'm so glad you're home, Michael, and many look at you. You are hope for many and that your wife is getting better.
And, Ryan, thanks to you, I'm glad you are better. Your brother, your wife, that all of you will end up a happy story out of this of recovery and togetherness. Thank you all so very much.
R. WEINHAUS: Thank you for having us.
M. WEINHAUS: Thank you.
BURNETT: All right. And also tonight, New Yorkers on their balconies showing a little love for those on the front line.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Why are New Yorkers heading to the windows at 7:00 every night? To clap. They're clapping from balconies. They're clapping from doors, too.
It's a standing ovation for the performance by doctors, nurses, sanitation workers and store clerks.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALES: Thank you!
We're so appreciative. MOOS: It comes across as a distant DM. Across the cityscape or a loud
MOOS: Up close.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hooray!
MOOS: Normally cool New Yorkers are banging pots and ringing cow bells.
So who knows where a New Yorker gets a cow bell? It's enough to touch even a comedian's heart.
STEPHEN COLBERT, COMEDIAN: I have never been more moved by applause that wasn't for me.
MOOS: And on it goes by the #clap because we care.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Got to keep clapping for two minutes.
MOOS: In addition to applause, the Empire State Building lit itself up like a flashing police light to honor first responders.
And how about a hand for Dr. Anthony Fauci? And we don't mean a hand on his head, for his shining role.
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NIAID: We're starting to see glimmers.
MOOS: He's been plastered on t-shirts, even turned into customized socks. Peter's Clam Bar in Long Island has named a linguini with white clam sauce dish after him. Just order a Fauci. And a Donut Delight in Rochester, New York, that added an image to their donuts that's now been imitated by other bakers, adding butter scotch COVID cream and quarantini sprinkles.
JIMMY KIMMEL, COMEDIAN: Making dough nuts to bring attention to a health crisis might be the most American thing.
MOOS: The accolades aren't a cure if the "I love New York" treatment makes it all feel a little better. Even man's best friend chimed in.
MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
MOOS: And thanks for watching.
Anderson starts now.