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Health Care Worker Shares Sister's Fight for Life; Economy Braces for Another Devastating Week; Answers to your Coronavirus Questions. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired March 31, 2020 - 08:30   ET



MIA MUNGIN, 30-YEAR-OLD SISTER SICK WITH CORONAVIRUS: Just really believed that there was a shortage in supply and we didn't fit the parameter. It felt that in order to --

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: What is that? I mean what do you mean by -- by that you didn't fit the parameter?

MUNGIN: Basically when we came into the hospital, or to the ER, we wasn't at death's door. We wasn't nearly dead.

CAMEROTA: So you think that even though your sister was presenting with chest tightness, chest pain, shortness of breath, a fever, that the ER didn't think that that was coronavirus?

MUNGIN: That is correct. I don't believe that they didn't think that it wasn't coronavirus, because the doctors generalized that it was a possibility. And it's just that they wasn't willing to test because our oxygen saturation was still good at the time. And so was hers, even though she did come in the ER with respirations of up to 36 to 38 per minute.

CAMEROTA: It just doesn't make sense. It doesn't make sense. And I know that you have tried to pull out all the stops.

MUNGIN: It doesn't, on so many levels.

CAMEROTA: I mean you've tried personally to get her the help that she needs through your connections and then I think you've even had her -- her friends from school and college try to lobby their lawmakers, their congressmen and senators, to try to get her help. I mean it really sounds like a full court press.

MUNGIN: It really was. You know, her Wellesley alumni really stood with me in this struggle and this fight. And without them making such an outreach for help, I don't think that I would have ever received any kind of help for her, honestly.

CAMEROTA: That is really frustrating to hear.

Meanwhile, you've been on social media, you've taken to Twitter. And I just want to read one of the posts. You do this every day, sometimes more than once a day. And this is obviously the language that you are fluent in.

MUNGIN: I'm sorry.

CAMEROTA: It's the medical language that I'm not. But I'm just going to phonetically make may way through it because you say, spoke to the nurse this am. Rana Zoe is Prone again fio2 is at 50. This is the lowest it's been. Yes, Lord, I thank you. Peep at 14 to 16. Blood pressure, I got this one, 190/100, is elevated. They're going to restart her hypertension medication. Thank you for your prayers.

So why did you want to share this kind of technical information, you know, with social media and the world?

MUNGIN: I've been very open and Rana's, you know, her success or declines with social media. I have had so much support with the world praying for us. And then as also there is some doctors that have reached out to me in the past and when you ask me some questions to give some sort of guidance, they specifically needed some sort of information as far as that. So the fio2, those are really the oxygen (INAUDIBLE) inside arterial levels as far as that. The goal is to keep her somewhere between 80 to 100, so she's around there.


MUNGIN: What it means is that when she's proning is that she tends to breathe better when she's on her tummy. So that's a good thing. And also a bad thing. They noticed that had they put her on her tummy. So that's a good thing and also a bad thing. They noticed that when they put her on your tummy, that she has some fluid in the base of the lungs. And as they flip her on her tummy, that fluid will disperse into the top areas of the lobes of the lungs. If they can remove that fluid from those areas, oxygen and diffusion can come to those areas of the aliverons (ph).


I've seen the -- I was wondering about that.

Yes, that's really helpful, Mia, because I was -- I've been seeing some of the videos that we've gotten here at CNN do show the patients on their stomach and I was confused about why they were -- I mean clearly I knew there was a medical reason, but I didn't understand that it helps to diffuse the liquid.

Well, Mia, we're sorry that this has been so frustrating. And I'm not sure exactly what the lesson is for everyone listening about why you, as a healthcare worker, weren't able to get sort of the attention and the care that you and your sister needed. But we are praying for you guys and certainly for your sister.

MUNGIN: OK. Thank you.

CAMEROTA: And we're very, very comforted to hear that she is making incremental progress today.

MUNGIN: Thank you so much. CAMEROTA: So, please, keep us posted on how she does today and tomorrow.

MUNGIN: Thank you so much.

CAMEROTA: Thank you so much, Mia. Great to talk to you.

MUNGIN: Have a great day.

CAMEROTA: You too.

MUNGIN: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: Rent and mortgages are due tomorrow, but millions of Americans are, of course, without a job now. So what happens? We discuss that, next.



JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: So, within the next 24 hours, rent and mortgage payments due for millions of Americans across the country. What happens though if you can't make those payments because you lost your job?

Joining us now, CNN chief business correspondent Christine Romans and CNN anchor and correspondent Julia Chatterley.

And, Romans, the macroeconomic numbers are terrible. The reports we are expecting this week are terrible. And that matters a lot. But I think what matters more so to so many across the country is, how are they going to pay their rent tomorrow?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Right. Well, today is the end of the quarter, so businesses have bills to pay. And tomorrow is the first day of April, so people have bills to pay, workers, and many of those workers who have been laid off.

The stimulus money isn't here yet. And I think this really underscores the urgency here that the government get these stimulus funds, these rescue funds to American workers and small business as quickly as possible.

They say they're working on it, but you're still in this very difficult period right now. Maybe the most difficult period of our lifetimes, honestly, in terms of the economy. This difficult period between the layoffs and before the rescue gets here, John.

CAMEROTA: So, Julia, if people haven't -- obviously the checks haven't gone out. They haven't gotten them yet. What are they supposed to do about their rent?


JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: They have to call their landlord, they have to call their banks, their payment providers if it's car payments too. The number of people that we've been inundated with saying, look, we're trying to call these people, we're trying to contact them, just keep trying. I think that's the first advice.

Bank of America, the bank that said, look, we'll help you with mortgage payments, top down banks have been told to be supportive in this environment. So, again, just picking up the phone or trying to contact them is key here.

If you have a mortgage with housing, a federal housing loan, then they will allow you to delay your payments. There's no foreclosures on those loans too. Renters, too, have got 120 days, so they can delay payments.

But, guys, there's no secret that for the people at this moment, particularly those, the millions of people that have lost their jobs, this is a pretty devastating time and a very uncertain and anxiety inducing time.

BERMAN: Romans, Goldman Sachs came out with new forecasts overnight and I had to look twice to make sure that they were real.

ROMANS: I know. It's not a typo. A 34 percent contraction in the American economy in the second quarter after a 9 percent fall in the first quarter. Those are just devastating numbers there. And Goldman Sachs says by the middle of the summer you'll see a 15 percent unemployment rate. Guess what, that is not even a, you know, controversial forecast. There are a lot of economists who are forecasting 15 percent and, in some cases, much, much higher because we've shut off the American economy. And we've seen the layoffs. Last week, more than 3 million. Moody's Analytics forecast 4.4 million more this week. Every one of those numbers is a person and a family who's trying to figure out what to do here next.

So, in the very near term, I think it's just devastating the economic news. But longer term here, the stimulus is the rescue. And the third round of stimulus is a life preserver to keep you afloat. There's already talk and chatter about more rounds after this. House Democrats are already starting to work on something. You like to see them talking with Republicans to see what they can do next. Aid for states, maybe some kind of infrastructure build, the money needs to keep flowing. The Fed has been backing up the economy. Congress is spending trillions of dollars. There is help on the way, it's just not there yet.

CAMEROTA: I just want to reiterate those numbers that Christine just said. So 4.5 million jobless claims expected. That's the estimate, Julia, of what you all are seeing for this coming week?

CHATTERLEY: Absolutely. And I was saying to you, the ranges are very wide once again. If you remember from last week's data, we know that in New York state, 1.7 million people tried to call up to claim for benefits and we just saw a fraction of that recorded in the actual claims. So, again, I'll reiterate, it's an imperfect science at this stage.

But, you know, the math I was doing with you before, I think we're already looking at an 8.5 percent to 9 percent unemployment rate in this country already at this stage. And the expectation is with gig economy workers being added in for the first time too, these numbers could rise again. They're devastating numbers. And like Christine said, you know, we've never seen anything like this. The hope is that we can stabilize the economy with the financial aid that's been provided. The big question here, and we're still very uncertain about this is, what kick starts the recovery when we come the other side, more money from Congress, I think, is going to be the key here.

BERMAN: Julia, the small business loans, small businesses, have some money available to them. Talk about the parameters.

CHATTERLEY: OK, so what you can get as a small business is a loan up to the amount of 2.5 times your average monthly payroll. For the first eight weeks you can get rent, interest on your mortgage, your payrolls, utility bills as well forgiven. So it becomes a grant rather than a loan.

There are some parameters around that, though. If you've got rid of workers or you've reduced their salaries by around 25 percent, you're going to have to bump those up. But you have until June of this year to do it. The big issue that I've been hearing is, what can we do in the next eight weeks? There's too much uncertainty. My fear is that they hold off from reemploying people until the back end of the second quarter so the gain is this mismatch that we keep talking about between letting workers go and getting the support through the door and the cash through the door and into bank accounts.

CAMEROTA: Christine, I was just sent this press release or whatever, article, out of Reuters, saying that some -- the global airlines are obviously beginning to figure out what the future looks like for them and that some may not survive.

ROMANS: Yes. I mean and this is the international air travel lobby saying that they're going to lose tens of billions of dollars in the quarter and it's already happening right now and that the survival of some of these airlines is certainly in question.

One of the numbers that jumped out at me is that if $35 billion in ticket refunds alone, I mean I'm -- my family accounts for some of those. I'm sure yours do too. Spring break's canceled. Summer break's canceled. You know, trips to see grandma and grandpa canceled.


That's just been devastating for that airline. And they will receive some bailout money. But these numbers would suggest that the bailout money isn't quite enough.

You know, the thing about workers who have been losing their jobs, so many of these layoffs this week, I think it's important to note, is that in the stimulus there's enhanced unemployment benefits. So you're going to get more from your jobless check than you would have a year ago. And the jobless benefits are going to last longer, like 13 weeks longer. So there -- there is a -- a hope to try to keep people -- at least their head above water here for the near term. But those airline numbers certainly show you the depth of the problem in the global economy.

BERMAN: That's a lot of money. A lot of money.

Christine Romans, Julia Chatterley, thanks very much.

CAMEROTA: So, so many small business, of course, as we've been taking about, are taking this big hit right now. And even as they lose money, they are still managing to donate food and supplies and to help their communities.

So, rather than let perishable foods from restaurants go bad, there's a group of Detroit chefs who've pooled their resources and cooked for homeless shelters. They came up with unique, healthy recipes from across their cuisines, from Caribbean, to Thai and soul food. This project is called Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen for Good. So far they have fed more than 2,000 people.

And tattoo shops across the country use a lot of the same supplies that doctors and nurses need so badly right now. So they have donated thousands of gloves and masks and gowns to local hospitals.

For more on these stories or the way that you can help your community during the pandemic, go to

All right, up next, Dr. Sanjay Gupta is back to answer some of your medical questions that you've been sending in about coronavirus.



CAMEROTA: We've been asking you to send us your questions about coronavirus and CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta is back to answer some of them.

Sanjay, before we get to view questions, we've just gotten a headline -- information here into CNN that says that the rate of growth of Covid-19 in New York appears to be slowing a bit.

Do you know anything about the daily increase and the rate?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Alisyn, we've been following that fairly closely. And, you know, that's an important sort of measure is not just the number of cases as they change day to day, but that pace at which they change. And it does appear to have slowed now a couple of days in a row. That could be good news. We're not clear if that just means that they're -- they've caught up now more with testing and therefore we're going to sort of plateau at this point, or if the numbers are still going to bounce around.

So, you know, we're watching this very closely, Alisyn. If it -- if it holds, that might be a little bit of good news for New York. Keeping in mind, of course, different places in the country are sort of different places in the curve right now.

CAMEROTA: For sure.

BERMAN: Yes, the rate of -- the rate of growth for the last seven days, 17 percent. The previous seven days, 58 percent. We'll see where it goes from here.

GUPTA: That's right.

BERMAN: Let's jump into the view questions.

This is from Harriet. If someone doesn't get a test, has a mild case and recovers without hospitalization, is there an after the fact test to confirm their immunity?

GUPTA: Yes. Well, that's the idea ultimately. These tests do exist in some parts of the world. They're called either antibody tests or serology tests. The premise is pretty simple, once you're been infected, your body reacts in a specific way, makes these antibodies, and you can test for that afterward. It doesn't mean that everyone should necessarily get this test, but they're going to do some of this testing to try and figure out how long people have these antibodies because that will give some idea of how long they are sort of protected against the virus the next time they see it.

CAMEROTA: Why don't we have that in is U.S.? Why don't we have those tests?

GUPTA: Well, you know, look, we're so far behind, Alisyn, as you know, just on testing for the virus. So, you know, the idea of getting ahead on surveillance like this is something that we should be doing. We're just not there yet.

CAMEROTA: OK, next. This comes from John. I understand the 1918 pandemic that went around the world three times, that's the Spanish flu he's referring to, what if coronavirus does the same?

GUPTA: Yes, I mean, you know, this idea that it may come in waves sort of, so it affects different parts of the world at different times, maybe the northern hemisphere of the world, then the southern hemisphere of the world. I think, you know, we're starting to get more evidence that that is possibly going to happen here.

And as with so many things about this coronavirus story, you know, there is some good news and bad news in there. The good news is that perhaps it won't -- you know, we'll get a little bit of a break, you know, within the next several weeks or months as the weather really starts to warm. The virus spread in the northern hemisphere may start to decrease.

But it does mean possibly, Alisyn, that it will come back in the fall. Dr. Fauci has sort of acknowledged this. When it comes back in the fall, hopefully we'll be better prepared. Maybe we'll be better ahead on the same testing that we're talking about. Maybe one of these drug trials you've been asking about, maybe we'll have better data and even something more available at that time.

BERMAN: So Katrina writes, my husband works in the hospital and he can be exposed to the virus. I have to wash his scrubs. Is it safe for me to do it? I use gloves and a mask when I wash it. Will virus really die in washer and dryer?

GUPTA: Yes. This is a good question. And I think it applies for a lot of people who are out there in the community who may have been exposed in some ways. The answer is, yes. I mean, you know, the one thing about this virus is, as much of disease as it can cause, as sick as it can make people, it is fairly susceptible to cleaning agents, thankfully. So, yes, I think you're doing it exactly right. You may want to wear gloves in that -- in that situation, throw the scrubs into the washer. Make sure you take the gloves off properly after that so you don't contaminate yourself. Wash your hands and you should be good.

CAMEROTA: Sanjay, so many people, of course, are on ventilators in hospitals this morning. So this is from Sarah.


She says, Dr. Gupta, as a healthcare professional, you know that a patient cannot actually die on a ventilator. How are Covid-19 patients actually dying? Meaning, that a ventilator keeps you alive artificially?

GUPTA: Right. Yes, so the ventilator, you know, will continue to pump oxygen into the lungs, remove carbon dioxide. That's what it's doing. It can become challenging for a ventilator to keep doing that if the lungs become distressed and become stiff as a result of something known as ARDS.

But, you know, you're overall right. I mean someone on a ventilator, you know, can be kept on that machine for a long time. The problem is that the virus can continue to replicate, continue to spread, affect other organs and eventually someone might develop multiple symptom organ failure. And that's ultimately what might lead to their death.

BERMAN: All right, Sanjay, wish we could end on a cheerier note.

GUPTA: Yes, I know..

BERMAN: Thanks very much for being with us this morning, helping us understand this, as always.

GUPTA: You got it.

BERMAN: So we're just getting word the White House may make some changes to the social distancing guidelines today that were supposed to last until the end of April.

CNN's coverage continues right after this.