Return to Transcripts main page


Doctors and Nurses Battle for Protective Gear; Commander of Navy Aircraft Carrier Pleads for Help; Answers to Viewer Coronavirus Questions; Comedians Team up for "Laugh Aid". Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired April 1, 2020 - 08:30   ET



DR. CORNELIA GRIGGS, PEDIATRIC SURGERY FELLOW, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: Honest and emotional place. And I think it struck a nerve because it reflected what a lot of health care workers, especially in New York, are feeling right now.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: You also wrote an op-ed in "The New York Times" where you admitted to being an alarmist about Covid-19 coronavirus because of what you're seeing. So how frightened or alarmed are you when you go to work every day right now?

GRIGGS: So a lot of people wrote me really beautiful messages of support on Twitter after my post. And I freely admit I -- I don't feel brave. I feel scared every day. But I'm still very determined to go to work every day and do the job that needs to be done because I still love my job.

BERMAN: So what can we do, what can the city, the state, the federal government do to help you do your job?

GRIGGS: Hospitals around the city are still really hurting for personal protective equipment for healthcare workers. And so the effort to secure more needs to continue because we still haven't reached our peak and we need our front line workers protected. So that effort needs to continue.

But it's not just going to be PPE that we run out of. Now that we see so many very sick patients coming to the hospital, we need to focus on a lot of other supply chains, including critical medications that help us keep patients comfortable and protected while they're on a ventilator. And we need to secure more ventilators and we need more machines that can give patients dialysis. And it's going to get really complicated. And it's hard to say to the average person at home, how do I secure a ventilator? How do I secure a dialysis machine? It feels really overwhelming.

But everybody at home has a part to play in this. And part of that role is staying at home, sheltering in place, flattening the curve, buying us time, holding the line. I have so many friends at home who feel frustrated and claustrophobic, but what everyone is doing by staying at home is also saving a life.

BERMAN: Stay at home, hold the line. And also, hold public officials accountable now to get this equipment to people like you who need it on the front lines.

One other thing, and one of the things we've been talking about, it's not just the PPE, it's the people wearing the PPE we need to think about and need to be concerned about. And I mean you and I mean your husband, who's a medical worker, a doctor, also. And I understand that you two just wrote your wills. Why did you take that action?

GRIGGS: That's true. We wrote our wills. And I think it felt like the responsible thing to do as parents at this moment in time because both of us have friends who have contracted Covid-19 and some have recovered and some are still very sick and some of our colleagues are now patients at the hospital. And it's alarming. So it felt like the responsible thing to do. It wasn't a move that we made out of panic, we just wanted to be prepared.

BERMAN: What's it like when you walk in the doors every day at this point? Is it getting better? Is it getting worse? What's the emotion that hits you when you arrive at work?

GRIGGS: So waking up in the morning and walking into the hospital can feel like walking into the fire. But I also want to encourage everybody that the sense of camaraderie for those of us at the hospital is incredible and inspiring. And we are learning more and more every day about this virus and how to fight it better and how to restructure our systems so that we can be more effective as a hospital.

BERMAN: Dr. Cornelia Griggs, thank you for what you're doing. Thank you for being on the front lines of this. We'll stay at home and do what we can to help you out. We really appreciate your time this morning.

GRIGGS: Thank you.

BERMAN: Alisyn.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: John, really inspiring.

The commander of a U.S. aircraft carrier with at least 70 coronavirus cases on board says the Navy should evacuate and isolate crew members in order to save lives.

CNN national security reporter Ryan Browne is live at the Pentagon with details.

So what's the status here, Ryan?

RYAN BROWNE, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: Well, Alisyn, in a very dramatic memo, the commander of that aircraft carrier, Captain Brett Crozier, wrote that, you know, we are not at war. Sailors do not need to die. This was a very stark message he was sending to his leadership in the U.S. Navy, warning that if sailors are not removed from this ship, that there is potential for them to die due to the outbreak of coronavirus there.

Now, we're told there are at least 70 cases. Now, Navy leadership has said that none of these cases so far have

required hospitalization.


They are relatively mild cases to date. But one of the key issues is, you can't get all these sailors off the ship in time. The captain wanting to do this as quickly as possible. Navy leadership saying, look, the fact is there's a nuclear reactor aboard this aircraft carrier. This isn't a cruise ship. You can't just take everybody off. They've been working -- the ship is currently in port in Guam. There hasn't been enough space where they can place these sailors. They're working with the government of Guam, which has just this morning opened up some hotels to put some of these sailors into quarantine as they try to get as many as they can off. But it's really hard to prevent the spread of this pandemic in such a confined space like this warship there.

CAMEROTA: Yes, understood. That is definitely complicated.

Ryan, thank you very much for the update.

BROWNE: You bet.

CAMEROTA: All right, up next, Dr. Sanjay Gupta is going to answer your medical questions about coronavirus. You've been sending them in. He is ready to answer them.


CAMEROTA: OK, we've been asking you to send us your questions about coronavirus and CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta has been answering them. Here he is to answer some more.


Sanjay, great to see you, as always.


CAMEROTA: So, our first question comes from Rebecca. She wants to know, if you wear a face mask to the grocery store, maybe even for an hour, can that mask be re-used? Also, does clothing need to be washed after such a trip?

Now, she also says an N-95 face mask. Isn't that the surgical variety that regular people shouldn't be wearing anyway?

GUPTA: Right. Yes. So two points here. The N-95 mask is really one of those masks that needs to be saved for healthcare works. As we've been talking about, there's not enough of them. That is the airtight sort of mask, sometimes called a respirator mask. There's a surgical mask, which isn't the airtight mask, which is typically worn during operations.

But as far as going out just in public, if you -- if you're wearing a mask like that, you know, a cloth mask or something like that, that's fine. They can be re-used. In fact, the surgical -- an N-95 mask can also be re-used. But, again, save those types of masks for healthcare workers.

BERMAN: So, on the subject of masks, some crafting tips, Sanjay. Kathy writes, why don't we make our own masks? What kind of materials are needed? How many layers? What shape, et cetera?

GUPTA: Yes. You know, this is becoming something that people are really asking a lot about, and understandably so. You can make your own mask. You can make a cloth mask. There's lots of instructions, actually, online, do it yourself sort of masks. Again, surprising, John, that we're -- we're having this conversation. But, yes, this is something that can be done. And new recommendations, I think, John, are going to be forthcoming about if you have to go out in public, again, first recommendation, stay at home, but if you have to go out for something essential, wearing a cloth mask like that may not be a bad idea. The reason being, not so much to protect yourself from the virus, but the idea of being that even if you're asymptomatic, you could be spreading the virus, this could help decrease that spread.

CAMEROTA: OK, this comes from Carolina in New Jersey. She said, my father is 85 and in home care in Brazil with six nurses that rotate shifts to take care of him while they work at other hospitals. I'm afraid for his health since these nurses come in and out of the house and hospitals but he depends upon them for daily needs and can't isolate himself from them. How can we protect him?

I mean this is just really a question about how many other people can you come into -- into contact with if you need them?

GUPTA: Yes. I mean, you know, look, it's a -- if he's 85 years old, then he needs that level of care, obviously. That's going to be the primary issue here. Can you reduce the number of people because, you're right, each time you sort of come in contact with somebody else, you then have to ask, who have they come in contact with? Could they be harboring the virus? Many people, again, who are asymptomatic, they seem to feel fine, could still be spreading the virus.

They have to act as if they're carrying the virus, especially with someone who's elderly, which means, besides the obvious things, the good hygiene practices of washing hands and making sure you're not bringing anything into the house that could have the virus. They may -- they hopefully are wearing personal protective equipment when they're interacting with him as well. So challenging, you know, and -- but we think about that, you know, and everybody needs to think about that in their own homes. Even if you're not 85 and if you're bringing people into your home for some reason, do you have a plan in place as to how you're interacting with that person? Do they stay in one area of the house? How do you keep a good social distance? These are -- these are questions we need to be talking about for now. Again, this isn't going to be forever, but for now, you know, you just -- just be mindful of that.

BERMAN: Sanjay, we have to let you go. I have one last question for you. Did you really cut your own hair this weekend? I'm asking for a friend who might need a haircut in a couple of weeks.

GUPTA: I did. Yes. I have some -- I have some DIY tips for you as well.

I will say this, you -- it is actually hard, even with the mirror, to get the back. So if you've got some help, that would be helpful.

BERMAN: Who needs to cut the back?

GUPTA: Luckily now you just have this one shot on me. So what's happened --

BERMAN: You know, the coronavirus mullet. I -- don't cut the back.

GUPTA: My wife -- my wife pitched in on that.

BERMAN: All right, Sanjay.

GUPTA: OK. I want to see that. It will be worth it.

BERMAN: I will be calling you for tips sometime soon (INAUDIBLE).

CAMEROTA: And don't turn around. We don't want to know what's going on back there.

GUPTA: That's right.

BERMAN: All right, thanks, Sanjay. Really appreciate it.

CAMEROTA: Thanks, Sanjay.

BERMAN: So, a golden retriever named Sonny is helping a Colorado woman shelter in place by doing what he does best, retrieving. Sonny is delivering packages of food to his neighbor every night. The neighbor has medical issue and can't leave her house. Sonny runs back and forth with the goods with the help of his owner.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She got the list. She gave it to Sonny. Sonny brought it to me. I went to the store, got her, her groceries, and he delivered them all to her.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What a wonderful thing. Just a sweet thing. So we started doing the schlepping back and forth. And it's been fun. It's been a real treat.

Who's a good boy.


BERMAN: I like Sonny. Sonny also retrieves mail and picks up the trash for his owner. There are many ways Americans are helping each other during this pandemic. Go to to see how you can help. Coming up, some really funny help. Comic relief in more ways than one. Bob Saget joins us next.


CAMEROTA: OK, time now for "The Good Stuff."

Communities inspiring each other to persevere through the pandemic. In South Carolina, the Charleston Hospitality Group had extra food after restaurants were shut down, so this week they are making sure healthcare workers and laid off hospitality workers have enough to eat.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's very, very difficult to accomplish anything else if you're hungry.


If you have a full belly, then you can have a full heart.


CAMEROTA: Now to Indianapolis. One couple saw a major slowdown at their Air BNB so they offered the space for free to exhausted healthcare workers, including a nurse who cannot go home because her son has leukemia.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was planning on just staying at the hospital through the weekend and it was nice to be able to get out and go somewhere else and kind of just decompress.


CAMEROTA: And in Richmond, Virginia, social distancing did not stop birthday celebrations for Noraburt Kapecko (ph). The World War II veteran turned 101 years old.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's just so unusual to have my neighbors come together and celebrate a birthday to an old geezer like me.


CAMEROTA: How can he be 101?

BERMAN: No one ever looked better in a hat. He looks awesome. Happy birthday to him.

CAMEROTA: That's incredible.

BERMAN: All right, more good stuff now. Some of the biggest names in comedy joining forces for "Laugh Aid,"

Saturday's four-hour live stream to benefit the Comedy Gives Back Emergency Relief Fund for comics affected by the pandemic.

Joining us now is Bob Saget, co-host of the event.

Bob, it's great to see you.

Before we get into what you're doing, first, how are you doing? How are you and your family doing through all this?

BOB SAGET, ACTOR AND COMEDIAN: I'm good. My wife is upstairs, so we're maintaining social distance. And my daughters are in New York, which concerns me a great deal. And a lot of loved ones all over the place. We're fine. I've been using -- I made my own face mask out of my underwear.


SAGET: It's hard to find humor in these times and it was a mistake because I -- you don't -- don't get it out of the hamper, people, that's all I have to say.

But I'm very proud to take part in this Comedy Gives Back. And it's to support young comedians, older comedians that can't work. I mean everybody's job, if you're a comedian and if you're successful, you're very fortunate. But a lot of people aren't. There's thousands of people that applied for a grant and this organization Comedy Gives Back it putting on a telethon of sorts, a web-a-thon, for four hours, this Saturday, from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Pacific, which is 8:00 to 12:00 because I passed math.

And I want to tell you some of the comedians. Just added were Adam Sandler and Jimmy Fallon. And I'll be hosting part of it. There's other hosts as well, because it's four hours long. My friends Bill Burr and Marc Maron and Howie Mandel and Ray Romano, Maria Bamford, Iliza Schlesinger, a lot of really wonderful people. It's going to be -- everybody's only going to do like five minutes, maybe a little more. And it's probably going to be extremely heartfelt. You don't come on strong and try to do -- try to kill on something like this. It's people that have been blessed with some success in comedy, really trying to help those that need to pay medical bills, can't afford the rent, they're going deeply in debt. And a lot of them are going to be where a lot of the people are going to be where a lot of the people that are performing are going to be one day, they just have to get through this hard time.

So it's comedy giving back. It's comedians giving back to their younger selves in a way.

CAMEROTA: Bob, it sounds great. I mean those are lots of headliners. It sounds like it's going to be really entertaining people. I just want to let them know they can watch on the Laugh Lounge app or Twitch, or Twitter, or Comedy Central's YouTube channel.

SAGET: Right. CAMEROTA: Again, it's this Saturday from -- on the East Coast, 7:00 p.m. to 11:00.

As so -- but just, as a comedian, I mean since you'll all be isolated, and you won't have a live audience, isn't it hard to be funny without hearing the laughter back?

SAGET: Well, all of us that are professionals and most comedians have lived that way for a long time, before (INAUDIBLE) laughs. So it will be like kind of like when I began and you just heard nothing. So I might even hire some crickets just to be in the background, just so I know where I am.

And the point is to (INAUDIBLE) what you're doing is the same -- it's not the same, but it is the same. When you bring humor at any moment during this hard time, you're providing it. And it's broadcasting. And that's when everybody is doing and just trying to be themselves and own where we're at and try to help whoever we can. In this case it's Comedy Gives Back. People can go to if they want to find out about it and donate and all that stuff.

BERMAN: Look, we all need a laugh right now. And as you were saying, you know, you're going to town down maybe some of your comedy. I can't imagine, there's nothing funny about Covid-19.

SAGET: Oh, yes.

BERMAN: But there are new situations in all of our lives which are pretty funny. I mean we're being put in awkward situations we've never been put in before.

SAGET: And that's why someone like Bill Burr or Patton Oswalt is going to be on. These are people -- Marc Maron, they -- some of -- some of my peers can make those jokes and might offend some who are especially in a sensitive time, but it's not meant to do that.


It's like to let the air out because it is so painful. If you can have a laugh during -- we've all been getting memes and all the things on our phones and we go, oh, my God, why would they send that? And Michael Che actually put out on his Instagram, please, no more Covid jokes. Please. Let's stop it. No more corona jokes. We've heard them all. And I don't think you're going to be hearing a lot of them on this thing. And I was wrong about the time. You're right. Because you're on CNN and I'm in my -- I'm in front of a fireplace.

CAMEROTA: Wearing your underwear on your head, exactly. That's right.

SAGET: Yes, breathing through my underwear.


SAGET: So, yes, it's 7:00 on the East Coast on Saturday. And it's four hours long. And I used to do comic relief a lot. And that was for the homeless. (INAUDIBLE) -- CAMEROTA: Well, Bob --

SAGET: And that was an amazing thing when HBO did that back (INAUDIBLE).

CAMEROTA: I remember. That was great. Everybody loves a free comedy show. It's going to be fantastic. I can't wait. I'm going to set my alarm right now. I can't wait to see all the comedians and you, of course, there. So, thanks so much for previewing it with us.

SAGET: My pleasure. And it's p.m., so you're going to set your alarm for 7:00 p.m. in New York?

CAMEROTA: Yes. Yes, you never know when I may be napping. That's the dirty little secret of morning -- morning show anchors.

SAGET: I think we're all like that. Yes. Well, thank you so much. Thank you for all you're doing.

CAMEROTA: Thanks so much, Bob. Great to talk to you.

OK, that's enough from him.

CNN's coverage of the coronavirus pandemic continues. What you need to know, next.