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U.S. Maintains the Highest Number of COVID-19 Cases; WHO Warns More People Will Die from the Virus; Millions Will be Out of Work; Religious Groups Giving Headaches to Israeli Authorities; U.S. to Limit Its Aid to Allies; Coronavirus Pandemic; WHO, Global Infection Will Soon Be 1,000,000; Democracy Under Threat Amid Virus; European Union, Emergency Measures Must Not Last Indefinitely; New York City Becomes A Ghost Town Amid Covid-19; HBO Max To Launch In May; Should We Make Our Own Masks; How To Help During Coronavirus Crisis; Coronavirus Upends Another Sporting Event; Working From Home; Love In The Time Of Coronavirus Pandemic. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired April 2, 2020 - 03:00   ET

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


[03:00:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: This hour, the numbers are devastating and we are nowhere near the end.

I'm Rosemary Church. You are watching CNN Newsroom.

Just ahead. Well, with almost every American ordered to stay at home, the countries stockpile of medical supplies nearly empty, we are across the states following the story. Then --

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Close your eyes, OK? Relax, I will finish. I will finish. Very good.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's very good.

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CHURCH: I felt every bit of that. CNN gets very up close and personal with one of the world's most extensive coronavirus testing regimes in the United Arab Emirates.

Plus, Wimbledon has been canceled for the first time since the Second World War.

Well, nearly four months into this coronavirus pandemic that has turned our lives upside down, we are now on the cusp of seeing one million cases worldwide.

You can blame some of it on defiant governments slow to react or selfish individuals refusing to practice social distancing but the bottom line, more than 47,000 people have been killed worldwide. That is according to Johns Hopkins University.

And that death toll is only going up as the virus keeps exploding across the United States. From Miami to Madrid, Lagos to London, once vibrant cities are now empty. They are enduring painful but necessary restrictions with many under lockdown.

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TEDROS ADHANOM GHEBREYESUS, DIRECTOR-GENERAL, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: Over the past five weeks, we have witnessed a near exponential growth in the number of new cases. Reaching almost every country territory and area. The number of deaths has more than doubled in the past week. In the next few days, we will reach one million confirmed cases and 50,000 deaths.

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CHURCH: And in the midst of all this, U.S. President Donald Trump started his daily coronavirus briefing by announcing a new effort to fight drugs coming into the United States. But Americans are obviously concerned about the pandemic, which has now claimed more than 5,000 lives in this country according to Johns Hopkins University.

The U.S. already has almost twice as many cases as Italy, almost three times as many as China. A new report has found that one in four cases show no symptoms and evidence is mounting that those asymptomatic patients are contagious. The president insists his administration is doing all it can.

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DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We are attacking the virus in every front with social distancing, economic support, for a workers, rapid medical intervention and very serious innovation.

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CHURCH: Now although he has been much more serious in the past few days, critics accuse the president of repeatedly downplaying the threat from the virus. But Vice President, Mike Pence says, Mr. Trump was just being optimistic.

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MICHAEL PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I don't believe the president has ever belittled the threat of the coronavirus.

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CHURCH: About 9 out of every 10 Americans are now being asked to stay at home but some states are still resisting.

CNN's Kaitlan Collins has our report. KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, at the

president's latest briefing he insisted that he does not need to issue any kind of federal stay-at-home mandate from the government, he says it's up to states and their governors to choose what they are going to do for their people living in their state.

Though, of course, we've seen several governors who have been reluctant to do so including Georgia and Florida who just instituted theirs in the last 24 hours or so telling their residents they actually do need to shelter in place and that still leaves a dozen states who have not done so yet.

[03:04:58]

And of course, the question is, as the president is saying he doesn't feel like every state needs to do that and really, it's up to them. When you heard the doctors and the president's coronavirus task force team, they didn't rule out that certain states did not need to follow the social distancing guidelines, they said if everyone follows those guidelines perfectly, then we are looking at the projected death toll potentially of 100,000 to 240,000 people.

So, the reasons why the president is refusing to take that next step were not clear, but he is insisting that right now he doesn't feel that is necessary.

That comes as the president is confirming these reports that the national stockpile of gear like masks, gowns, these respirators that health cares -- healthcare workers so desperately need is running low and nearly depleted. The president said, as they have been sending it out to hospitals.

Though, he does say they are keeping a small reserved for federal healthcare workers who they expect to need it in the time to come and of course those ventilators that the president says they are holding on to about 10,000 of those as well.

The president insists that many ventilators are being made, though, of course we know healthcare providers still say they need more of them, they are still concerned about experiencing shortages in their hospitals.

And while the president has insisted that these companies are getting started on making them, we know that several of them are actually dealing with regional factories and have not taken that extra step just yet.

Kaitlan Collins, CNN, the White House.

CHURCH: And doctors at one emergency room in the U.S. have been left stunned by just how quickly the virus affects patients leaving some in critical conditions struggling for their lives but others barely affected.

CNN's Ryan Young reports on the sobering reality doctors are facing.

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JUSTIN BRIGHT, EMERGENCY ROOM DOCTOR, HENRY FORD HOSPITAL: It's a bit scary walking because everyone is wearing all this crazy protective gear and you can't even tell who is under there.

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RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Tonight, a new reality sinking in for doctors in Detroit.

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BRIGHT: I've had shifts that have put spooked me in a way that I've never been spooked before in my job.

I think the big shock is how rapidly some of these patients are deteriorating in their clinical condition. Like their breathing and their oxygen needs to get pretty -- pretty intense and pretty critical and we have to intervene.

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YOUNG: For nurses like Michelle Thompson, the dramatic jump in cases has been a sobering reality.

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MICHELLE THOMPSON, EMERGENCY ROOM NURSE, HENRY FORD HOSPITAL: Up until a week ago I thought, how much of this is hype and this and that? And until you start seeing it come in and how real and how sick people can get with this. We are seeing young people as well get very ill.

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YOUNG: For a city that's been emerging from an economic crisis that has been decades in the making, Detroit once again at the center of another crisis, has a profound step backwards.

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BRIGHT: It is a perfect storm of patients with poor access to care. Poor financial situation. Just a normal life for them. Poor transportation and poor health. And so that is the perfect recipe for what we are seeing in Wayne County right now.

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YOUNG: Business as usual grinding to a halt for the motor city. Plans for the annual Detroit auto show scrap to make way for this makeshift hospital capable of holding 1,000 patients.

On Tuesday, the state received 400 ventilators from the strategic national stockpile. Officials say they'll need thousands more but doctors like Bright warned, there is only so much they can do.

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BRIGHT: It's tough because we have ventilators and we have experimental medication, but there is no magic cure for this. Our goal is really just to keep them alive while their immune system fights it.

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YOUNG: Fear, anxiety, and hope, all part of the daily battle for those with the biggest impact on saving lives.

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BRIGHT: I'm tired of being afraid and I'm tired of worrying about the next germ that I get is going to be coronavirus. And I'm really trying to maintain a positive attitude where all of us are on the front lines.

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YOUNG: And you could focus on the numbers all you want when it comes to the cases here in Detroit but you think about these doctors and nurses and support staff that are going to work every single day to fight this virus, they are worried about going home and giving it to one of their loved ones.

The doctor was telling us, Dr. Bright, soon as he gets home, he strips down and then make sure he takes a shower before greeting his family. It's a battle that they all are fighting all across the state, especially with the fact that now hospital beds are becoming in short supply.

Reporting in Detroit, Ryan Young, CNN.

CHURCH: U.S. allies looking to the United States for a critical medical gear will soon be out of luck. A congressional source tells CNN that the Trump administration will stop sending protective equipment, such as gowns, masks and gloves to allies overseas.

On Wednesday, President Trump denied the reports saying the U.S. would honor any agreements already made.

[03:10:02]

But he added that Americans need a lot of those supplies and said, we are not going to be shipping too much.

Well, Nicholas Locker is a senior lecturer in virology at the University of Surrey in England. And he joins us now. Thank you so much for talking with us.

NICHOLAS LOCKER, SENIOR LECTURER IN VIROLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF SURREY: Good morning, Rosemary.

CHURCH: The experts say there is no magic bullet right now, just social distancing, some countries are doing that, some are not. But what about the importance of early and extensive testing? Germany and Australia and the United Arab Emirates did that with impressive results but the United States and Britain are playing catch-up right now, why?

LOCKER: So, I think there are two reasons for that. The first is because in the early weeks or in the early days of the coronavirus, you know, being detected and appearing on U.S. soil, the virus was not recognized as a threat and potent enough.

And you know, the potential impact was downplayed by various levels of the government when in fact we could see from the worldwide pattern that it was just going to explode within the next few weeks. And that has basically allowed the virus to spread and noticed throughout the country before we could actually get a grip on what the real figures are. And this --

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CHURCH: Right. So, we have missed an opportunity here. How does the United States and of course the United Kingdom, how do they catch up?

LOCKER: How do we correct this huge mistake? It's by basically combining social distancing and adhering to social distancing and lockdown. We are going to see testing measures.

CHURCH: Right.

LOCKER: So, at the moment, countries -- these two countries, the U.S. and the U.K. are focusing on testing people that are admitted to the hospital but this is not going to work.

What we need to do is to massively test in the community so that we can screen for full size of viral outbreaks so that we can contain the people we need to contain and not people that could be working in hospitals or could be working in supermarket, shops, deliveries, ensuring that the country keeps running.

CHURCH: Right. And that's a critical point, isn't it? Because if the United States and the U.K. had done this earlier, they could have been -- they could have differentiated between those who pose a threat and those who don't and we wouldn't have to necessarily go in this shutdown in a way, although it's a stay-at-home order.

But without a vaccine or any approved treatment, we only have the social distancing at our disposal, don't we? And about 87 percent of Americans are currently under stay-at-home orders, but some states are not.

And Microsoft founder Bill Gates is calling for nationwide shutdown but President Trump doesn't support that.

As a virologist, what's your view on a national shutdown? Is that what the U.S. should do now that they have missed all of those earlier opportunities to test everybody?

LOCKER: Yes, so basically shutdown doesn't work, if you are only shutting down portions of the country. You know, it has to be national. A federal shutdown is not going to work especially if it's not coupled to extensive testing measures.

So, it has to be global and it has to be coupled to testing so that we can know who is infected, who can go back to work, who has to stay indoors.

CHURCH: Right.

LOCKER: And in that way, manage the resources as best as we can.

CHURCH: And I want to ask you this because up to this point, most U.S. and U.K. citizens have been told not to wear face masks. Apparently, more for supply reasons than what's for best for the public. But now we're learning one in four cases of the very contagious COVID-19 shows no signs of symptoms. So, should -- should we all be wearing homemade face masks at this point?

LOCKER: Well, I think it is going to do more good than bad. OK? So, if you have access to masks, OK, if you can -- there are really good WHO recommendations on how to make your own. If you can make your own. If you are going -- if you are in lockdown area and go out for shopping, wear a mask, wear gloves, disinfect your hands or wash your hands with hygienic soap when you go back home. This will do more good than bad. Definitely.

CHURCH: And clearly, we need to do everything we possibly can to shut this down.

Nicholas Locker, thank you so much for talking with us. We appreciate it.

LOCKER: My pleasure.

CHURCH: Well, one of the most hope high profile figures on the White House coronavirus task force is receiving growing threats to his personal safety.

[03:15:00]

And now Dr. Anthony Fauci is receiving security protection from law enforcements, according to a CNN source. It's not clear where the threats are coming from but Fauci's recommendations to President Trump for the country to practice social distancing during the pandemic have not earned him fans among some groups.

Well, CNN's Sanjay Gupta interviewed Dr. Fauci about why the coronavirus affect some people more than others. And here is a portion of their conversation.

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ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: This is an unusual disease. I am fascinated, Sanjay, by what I would call the pathogenesis. You know, you got so many people who do so well and then some people who just bingo. They're on a respirator, they're on ECMO and they're dead. I mean, the dichotomy between that, there's something there, Sanjay,

that we're missing from a pathogenesis standpoint. And I don't think it's only if you are elderly or if you have underlying conditions. There is something else going on there that hopefully we'll ultimately figure out.

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CHURCH: And to get more information on the coronavirus, be sure to check out Dr. Sanjay Gupta's podcast, Coronavirus: Fact Versus Fiction. He speaks with health experts and gives you important information to stay safe and healthy. Episodes are released each weekday and are available on Apple podcast, Spotify or wherever you like to tune in.

A new study is offering hope in the fight against the coronavirus. Scientists at Empirical College London say about 59,000 lives have been saved across Europe due to measures like social distancing and restrictions on people's movement.

The researchers warned against relaxing these measures until transmission drops to low levels.

Well, Israel is dealing with thousands of coronavirus infections and one community in particular seems to be making the situation worse. Back with that in a moment.

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CHURCH: Well, the latest evidence of economic disaster from the coronavirus will come in just a few hours from now with new U.S. unemployment figures. Analysts expect as many as five million Americans or more file for benefits last week.

And CNN's business emerging markets editor John Defterios is live in Abu Dhabi. He joins me now. Always good to see you, John. So, of course, clearly, the priority is to end this pandemic. But in the meantime, the economic impact has been enormous and one way of measuring that is through U.S. unemployment figures. How bad will those numbers likely be, do you think?

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN BUSINESS EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Well, first, Rosemary, these jobless claims on a weekly basis is not something normally would pay much attention to but the alarming number of 3.3 million last week was more than four times more than the record in 1982.

[03:20:02]

The expectation this week is five million over 3.3 million but that's very shocking. And I see higher expectations going forward. There are direct links between the jobless benefits and what we see on factory floors.

By the way, not just United States but the U.S., Japan, South Korea, Indonesia have this purchasing manager indices that we look at very carefully within the financial markets and all were right near their low since 2009 in the financial crisis.

India reported today still in positive territory but at a 4-month low. So, you can see the trend line going into the second quarter and into the second half of 2020. We see U.S. stock futures slightly higher today, over 1 percent. This is giving some solace to the Asian markets.

The Nikkei index is down but Shanghai and Hong Kong, around the break- even point. And we saw a rally in Seoul here in the last hour of trading.

The market yesterday was just abysmal across the board from Asia to the United States. The curse number was negative 4 percent, that's what we saw yesterday and we see some stability today. But this uncertainty we see on a day-to-day basis is an indication where we don't know where earnings are going to be going in the fourth quarter of 2020.

CHURCH: yes. It's all such a concern, isn't it? And of course, while the market waits for the weekly jobless claims in the U.S., what about all those workers who have to go to work in the midst of this COVID-19 pandemic? Because that brings problems with it as well, doesn't it?

DEFTERIOS: Well, I'm glad you brought it up because it is the silent minority, let's put it that way, those in the healthcare business, the nurses, the doctors, ambulance drivers, right, they are under incredible pressure. The pharmacists, even here in the UAE those are the two things that are still remain open.

How about the supermarket workers themselves? The field workers to keep the farm production lines going? They are really under incredible pressure but the vast majority of populations, and this is the example again of the United States, are going to be in the firing line and I mean that literally when it comes to their jobs.

We are looking at record unemployment and just a span of three months here, Rosemary, we've been hovering around 3.5 percent, which is a record low. We see a report from the St. Louis Federal Reserve board, that was out in the last few days, didn't get a lot of coverage.

They are suggesting the jobless number of people would be 47 million in the United States by the end of June, taken the unemployment rate to better than 30 percent. Now the real question is, the second quarter in isolation as they carry into the third quarter and candidate in by September? But have you heard a number like since the Great Depression? Absolutely not.

CHURCH: We are seeing a lot of numbers we haven't seen in a very, very long time and sometimes not in our lifetime.

John Defterios, many thanks to you for joining us. I appreciate it.

Well, the UAE appears to be ahead of the curb in containing the spread of the coronavirus. The country has been aggressively tracking cases with some of the highest per capita test rates in the world. And it appears to be paying off. Sam Kiley has our report.

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Known for its oil wealth and architectural ambition, the United Arab Emirates now sees itself as a world leader in fighting the coronavirus through testing. Recently bringing drive-through testing for the virus to the Emirati capital.

There is no question that here in the United Arab Emirates, because they are ruled by monarchies, they are not subjected to the trials and tribulations of democratic rulers. They also have a high level of surveillance of the population.

Both of those things mean that they can impose pretty draconian responses to problems. When it comes to the coronavirus, they though, have been very far ahead of the curve than other western nations.

The UAE closed schools and colleges before the epidemic in China and nearby Iran spread into a global pandemic. And before long, the Emirates were in a near total lockdown. Now, with just over 600 known infections and under 10 deaths, authorities here say that they are testing on a relative scale that eclipses western powers.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, the idea is to identify the positive, do the contact tracing, test all the contacts, screen populations, if need be, to identify all the positives and isolate them to stop the spread of infections.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KILEY: The more tests done, the easier it is to isolate those who are infected and break the pandemics chain. It's a simple process that's been ruled out across every one of the emirates. It's free to vulnerable patients and those showing symptoms.

In the U.S., the U.K. and most other nations, tests are limited to those likely to be infected. Here, everyone is encouraged to get screened. It costs about $70.

[03:25:02]

KILEY: Good morning.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How are you?

KILEY: I'm scared.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No need, sir. It will be very fine. I have to take temperatures.

KILEY: Are you going to shoot me?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, no, no. Just take. Yes, it's very normal only 36.6. KILEY: Then it gets uncomfortable.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, don't worry, everything is OK. I just want you to relax. Try to make your head up. Everything is good. Just close your eyes. Do not feel what I --

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just relax and spread like this.

KILEY: Like that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just close your eyes. Nothing to worry, OK?

KILEY: It sounds appalling now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Close your eyes, OK? Relax, I'll finish. I'll finish. Very good.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's very. Good

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Very good. Whenever it's coughing that means that it's right.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Take this. Take this.

KILEY: Thank you. Results are out in 24 hours.

AYSHA AL-DHAHERI, HEAD OF HEALTH PROMOTION, ABU DHABI DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH: The aggressive of the test is very important because it will early detect the cases and provide the proper care and also allow the system, the healthcare system to trace the cases and contain the spread of the disease.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KILEY: That might work in the Emirates but as the World Health Organization has said, testing on an even greater scale is a global imperative.

Sam Kiley, CNN, Abu Dhabi.

CHURCH: Well, Israeli officials are facing unique challenges in the coronavirus fight.

Oren Liebermann explains why the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community there has the highest rate of infections.

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The SWAT team advances down the street, armed for combat but dress for protection. In this ultra- Orthodox neighborhood in Jerusalem, there are two problems. Coronavirus and the community where some refused to obey government restrictions.

Infection rates in ultra-Orthodox areas are higher than the rest of the country according to the ministry of health. Also known as the Haredim, the ultra-Orthodox community makes up only 14 percent of Israel's total population.

But in one hospital near Tel Aviv, there are 60 percent of the patients, a spokesman tells CNN. The danger of coronavirus has yet to fully penetrate the ultra-Orthodox community.

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MICKY ROSENFELD, ISRAELI POLICE SPOKESMAN: The majority of the public and the communities understand the message and realized the importance of staying at home. The problem being inside those religious communities, they unfortunately, they're not online and not using communicate of systems such as telephone and televisions. They don't exist inside the neighborhoods.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LIEBERMANN: Communication is part of the problem, compounded by strict belief in God over government. In the Jerusalem neighborhood of Mea Shearim, we found posters instructing people to obey the ministry of health restrictions to save lives but they were right next to other signs warning of a terrible discovery that the coronavirus was caused by a lack of modesty, instructing women and girls to cover themselves and obey religious laws.

Despite the outward appearance of uniformity, the Haredi community has many factions and groupings. The rabbi of one group has little, if any sway, over others. That makes conveying one message to the entire community particularly difficult.

Many Haredi leaders have instructed their followers to abide by the latest restrictions but not everyone.

In the religious city of Beit Shemesh, police warn those in the street they were violating ministry health directive. Officers went through the streets, breaking up public prayer sessions and issuing fines, I've seen that played out in many of these communities.

Here, police broke open a door and found an ultra-Orthodox man hiding inside. Police say they issued steep fines to 20 people for illegal gatherings. Police helicopters search from above spotting large prayer groups forbidden under the latest restrictions.

In the city of Bnei Brak over the weekend, hundreds have gathered for the funeral of a prominent rabbi with large crowd packing the streets. Health officials say they are considering locking down this ultra- Orthodox city, an option rejected by the mayor.

In a fight that has united so much of humanity, here there are still signs and no matter who wins, the entire country is at risk of losing.

Oren Liebermann, CNN, Jerusalem.

CHURCH: The music world is mourning the loss of a legend called the prototype of New Orleans Jazz. The pianist and composer, Ellis Marsalis, Jr. has died at 85. His son, Branford Marsalis told the New York Times the cause of death was complications from the coronavirus.

Marsalis was the patriarch of an incredible musical family. Four of his six sons followed in his musical footsteps. His son Wynton posted that his father went out the way he lived, embracing reality.

Incredible loss there.

[03:30:00]

CHURCH: And still to come on CNN Newsroom, not long ago, the street of New York were crowded with people, but now the city has gone silent as it struggles with the coronavirus crisis.

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CHURCH: The World Health Organization warns their soon will be 1 million cases of covid-19 reported around the world and Johns Hopkins University has recorded more than 47,000 deaths so far. A figure likely to increase multiple times in the coming weeks.

Some of the sharpest daily increases are in the United States. Johns Hopkins has counted more than 216,000 cases and in the past few hours, reports the death toll there has surpassed 5,000. The U.S. government forecasts the disease could ultimately kill 100,000 to almost a quarter million Americans or in worst cases, even more than that. They are staggering numbers.

And for some world leaders who may tilt towards authoritarianism, well, the coronavirus pandemic is creating a new opportunity for them to expand and solidify their power. Hungary's Victor Orban, wasting no time tightening his control. But he isn't the only one. For more let's bring in CNN's international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson. And Nic, this is the problem, some of these leaders are opportunists, they are seizing this moment.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Victor Orban, who has long been the bad boy of Europe straining against this Democratic values says that he needs the powers that he is taking because he needs to be able to make quick decisions about the covid pandemic. However, there just wasn't enough people within the Hungarian parliament to oppose him and they have given him a pass on duration as well.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERTSON: Unfolding on national TV a blatant power grab. Hungary's autocratic Prime Minister, Victor Orban, using covid-19 as a parent cover wins a vote, giving him the power to rule by decree. No time limit on the sweeping reforms that effectively allow Orban to lock out journalists who criticize him for up to 5 years. Perhaps as shocking as the European Union's tempted reaction. A page long written response not even mentioning Hungary by name.

[03:35:05]

ERIC MAMER, EUROPEAN COMMISSION SPOKESPERSON: Any emergency measures must be limited to what is necessary and strictly proportionate. They must not last indefinitely.

ROBERTSON: All across Europe, police forces and armies are getting new powers. Interpreting the limits is a hot button issue. In the U.K., one regional force was criticized for using a drone to film a couple driving to a beauty spot to walk their dog then shaming them by posting it online.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There have been some incidents that we would not have wanted to happen, before trying to understand how to work in this very new environment.

ROBERTSON: We are all asking ourselves those same questions, how much freedom to give up, for how long, and under whose control? What Orban is doing in Hungary, however, goes way beyond that debate. Europe's most illiberal democracy has just lurched towards a Russia style autocracy.

Since he came to power a decade ago, Orban has been straining against Europe's Democratic value, refusing to take in migrants during the 2015 crisis. More recently, hollowing out Hungary's judiciary, who overtime, turning the country into a one party state. All this, when truth about the coronavirus pandemic is at a premium.

MAMER: Now, it's more important than ever, the journalists are able to do their job freely and precisely so as to counter disinformation and to ensure that our citizens have access to crucial information.

ROBERTSON: Orban's timing is perhaps not surprising, only a few weeks ago, Russia's Putin extended his own rule until 2036. As the world is distracted by the pandemic, both men reaping personal gain.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERTSON: Now, the European Union may be sort of delaying, you know, its focus on Hungary to focus on the pandemic and that certainly what sort to seem to fit Orban's thinking. But the reality is that Orban also depends on a lot of E.U. finding. There's a lot of money that comes to him and to Hungary. That is going to be an important piece of leverage for the European Union going forward. But their certainly and Orban and Putin are not the only leaders around the world looking to take advantage but perhaps with Orban the European Union does have some leverage in the future to kind of turn this back. They have not used it yet though.

CHURCH: Indeed. And we have to be ever vigilant of all of this power grabbing, don't we? Our Nic Robertson joining us live from London with that report. Many thanks.

Well, it's known as the city that never sleeps but New York's once bustling streets are now deserted. Sub ways are empty and Times Square has fallen silent. CNN's Richard Quest looks at how the coronavirus has turned the big apple into a ghost town.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS ANCHOR: Eight o'clock on 7th Avenue, normally this main artery would be full of traffic. Heading south to Wall Street, and the towers a finance. Today, a few cars, fewer people. This is exactly as the authorities wanted. Stay at home. The subway is still running, sort of. This one train and there's a long wait for the next. Normally crowded platforms are deserted as it should be.

As the train arrives, it's obvious there are few passengers on board. These are the essential workers of New York. God bless them. Keeping the city going while the rest of us stay safe at home. And behind those masks, what it faces. The train is the riskiest part of their day. Its three stops to Times Square. I should be battling by now.

So, this is Times Square, normally it would be packed with commuters but as you can see, this major interchange, there is virtually no one here. Times Square is the most obvious example of today's New York. This is rush hour and one of the busiest places in the city. Times Square is known as the crossroads of the world. Today, the crossroads are empty and the traffic, well this is the extent of the rush hour.

Some things don't change. The giant lit up screens are still screaming their messages. Normally advertising the latest in everything, now they give the latest advice to keep us safe. As I walk to the square, time and again, one thought keeps coming back to me.

[03:40:05]

Walking through Times Square actually feels like something out of a science fiction movie or a disaster film. There is nobody here and just warnings everywhere about staying at home and washing your hands and of course, ubiquitous police cars are everywhere. Time Square has a special place in my heart as I walk back home I am reminded why.

Four months ago I was standing just here, looking up there when the ball dropped on New Year's Eve. 2020 had a lovely ring to it, a new decade with so much promise. Who could've imagined? Who knows how long this will last. It's good to see it's all still here waiting for us to return. Richard quest, CNN, New York.

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CHURCH: Well, we're certainly living in a change world and now that so many of us are staying at home, we are using our time to stream a lot of video on our TV screen and devices. Our Richard Quest again caught up with two people very much in the business of making that work for us. Take a listen.

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QUEST: Jason, do you think it is still realistic and we should still launch HBO Max at the end of May? So many things are being delayed for very understandable reasons. Should this be delayed to?

JASON KILAR, INCOMING CEO OF WARNER MEDIA: I don't think so, Richard. I think it's a fair question but I believe and John allude to this a little bit, when you think about what is going on right now for people not just in America but all over the world, I think that being able to have stories that mean something to people to be delivered in very convenient ways, I think that is maybe even more important now and in May that it might be another points in our history.

So, I think that is the kind of service that you'd really love to see put out there in this world. And so I think there is no reason to delay that and thankfully the team is a good position to launch that service in May.

QUEST: John Stankey, are there any problems that you have experience? Is there any likelihood that AT&T will have to throttle network bandwidth for over consumers in any way? The demand on the networks is so huge.

JOHN STANKEY, AT&T PRESIDENT AND CEO WARNER MEDIA: Richard, it's interesting to see what is happening in different parts of the globe and since we are a worldwide provider, we see a lot of different dynamics but I will tell you, in the United States, we have local access, broadband networks. We are not having that kind of a dynamic or issue and I think a lot of reason behind that, frankly, is policies in this country that have been very pro investment and very well thought out in terms of making sure that there was infrastructure put in place that was scalable.

And there were economic models that weren't on both sides of the equation, the people had provide the local access and those who use that to get their information out to the end-user consumer are very rational. And they are very market oriented. And because of that, there's been a couple of little snag and points where we have seen some contention here and there but very quickly you have seen the market work and getting those iron out in the last couple of weeks. I think the network is performing incredibly well.

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CHURCH: And just a reminder, CNN and HBO are both a part of Warner Media. Well, some people are taking safety matters into their own hands by making their own masks. There has been some mixed signals about this in the United States and we will see what health officials have to say about it. Back in a moment.

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[03:45:00]

CHURCH: We have been hearing some devastating stories from those fighting coronavirus on the front lines. A lot of you have been wondering what you can do to help. Well, these health care workers at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago needed masks. So, a group of retired women got sewing. The lady spent hours making about 160 masks from home and as you can see, those masks were put to good use right away. Well done. But what if you are not a health care worker? Should you also wear masks? That is a big question that are a lot of people are asking. And I asked Dr. Zeynep Tufekci, associate professor of the University of North Carolina and a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and here's what she had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DR. ZEYNEP TUFEKCI, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA,

A CONTRIBUTING OPINION WRITER, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Well, Doctors wear them not to get infected. The population as a whole should wear them not to infect. So, there's a little bit of a difference there. But you are right, I think the messaging has been terrible because they want to emphasize the shortage and instead they sometimes ended up saying things like, you know, they won't work for you, you won't figure out how to wear them, those are really messages that backfired, because, of course people can figure it how to wear masks and even if they wear them a little incorrectly, this scientific evidence is even not in perfect mask as better than nothing.

And what you have seen is that a lot of countries and a lot of people have responded with homemade masks. And I think that is great. And that is where I would like guidance from the CDC. I'm happy to make my own masks but I want guidance on how do I sanitize it? Do I put a towel in between? And those health authorities, World Health Organizations and the CDC have to step up, have to recognize the evidence is clear. There's asymptomatic and presymptomatic spreading of diseases. So if everybody masks up we will be better off. But they need to lead us rather than giving this contradictory messages that end up with people -- trusting them even less and I fear actually it will lead to hoarding because we don't trust you, just go buy something.

CHURCH: I mean, that's the problem. There has been a lot of dysfunction on the government's part, hasn't there? With the sort of messages. And of course, as the pandemic rages, there aren't even enough masks for medical professionals. Doctors are dying in the United States because they don't have enough protective gear. That's just astounding and now the national stockpile is nearly depleted.

So, we've talked about people making their own masks but we do need guidance on making sure we make the right kind of masks. And as you say, when we take it off, we have to make sure we don't infect ourselves in some ways so we do need guidance on that. But why do you think the WHO is saying that there is no evidence to suggest masks protect you and saying that they may even put you with more risk if worn incorrectly?

TUFEKCI: I can't answer that, but I think WHO has been rather than leading, following on this issue, we have health authorities in countries like Hong Kong, countries like Taiwan that have responded and have gotten great results including South Korea in containing this epidemic, this pandemic. And in fact, the masks shortage, once you realize that you need masks for the whole population, countries could do what Taiwan could do, which is as soon as they realize there was an epidemic growing, they ramped up their national production and they distributed some masks to individuals, they put limits on how many person, you know, how many you could buy per person and therefore it made it impossible to hoard.

But they make sure everyone had it while they wrapped up. Their doctors have it, their nurses, frontline people have it. Their population has it. But I think there's a much better message. And as for WHO, I think they have not been fast enough in changing the recommendation, especially after it became really clear in late January, early February that this infection was being spread by people who did not even know they were sick.

[03:50:03]

So, seeing wear it only if you are sick make no sense, if we don't have a way of knowing if we're sick, there is not enough test available and some people have no symptoms.

CHURCH: Exactly right. I mean it feels like the United States and the WHO, in some instances, are playing catch-up continually and people, individuals, have to figure this out by themselves. Doctor Tufekci, thank you so much for talking with us. We do appreciate it.

TUFEKCI: Thank you for inviting me.

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CHURCH: And to find out how you can feed the hungry, protect health professionals, aid refugees and support service workers during the pandemic, you can go to cnn.com/impact.

The coronavirus keeps rattling the sports world, weeks after forcing the summer Olympics to be postponed, the pandemic is taking aim at another major sporting event. We will have that in a moment.

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CHURCH: Well, another major sporting event has been shaken by the coronavirus pandemic. Wimbledon, one of the most important tennis tournaments in the world will not be played this year. Organizers of the competition at the all England club are canceling it for the first time since World War II because of public safety concerns. And CNN's Alex Thomas joins me live from London with more on this. I mean, clearly this had to be done, Alex, but how are people reacting to this and one of the players saying?

ALEX THOMAS, CNN WORLD SPORTS: I think as far as the Wimbledon tennis championship are concern, Rosemary, it's one of those sporting events, isn't it, that is up there, well not as big as the Tokyo Olympics, which we heard about last week getting postponed until next year, It is just one of those events that not just sporting fans, not even just tennis fans look forward to, but anyone has a passing interest in sports.

Some people will tune into Wimbledon even when they don't watch sports or tennis any other time of the year, because of the traditions and the feel of the event. So, no wonder the reaction from some of the top players, well, probably expecting the news was sad. Roger Federer tweeted out that he was devastated with an appropriately sad gif. While Serena Williams, the, you know, one of the most famous women's players in the world, is still going for that record equaling 24th grand slam title said that she was shook -- I guess a combination between shaken and shook.

To show that she was genuinely surprising upset to see the tennis championships will be postponed until next year. Cancelled effectively for this year even though one of the grand events, the French Open, has decided to delay until later in the year. Wimbledon organizers have decided simply to cancel the event. Having to do it now even until three months ahead of time that was due to play at the end of June, beginning of July.

But so much preparation goes into these major sporting events. Just to let people know and clearly not just problematic in terms of health reasons but also it's just striking the wrong mood were I don't think anyone around the world is quite ready to enjoy a sport just yet even though we would had welcome the destruction of it, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Yes. This pandemic has turned every single person across the globe lives upside down. Alex Thomas, many thanks to you bring us up to date on that. I appreciate it. And while Wimbledon has been canceled for this year, that hasn't crushed the competitive drive of the world's top ranked tennis player.

[03:55:04]

Novak Djokovic playing a game of frying pan tennis with his brother there. OK, it is no substitute for a real tennis major, but Djokovic is encouraging fans to stay at home during this pandemic.

And with all the pandemic developments. It may be hard to find the rays of light in the dark clouds but our Anna Stewart found a couple who found love in this time of covid-19.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANNA STEWART, CNN PRODUCER: Love knows no borders. An elderly couple living on either side of the German, Danish border are not letting its closure get in the way.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A day does not go by that we don't meet.

STEWART: In Wales, the streets of this town aren't as empty as they should be. Mountain goats are running riots. Flouting governments stay at home rules, they left their nearby (inaudible) to take advantage of the deserted streets providing a free hedge trim service not to every residents liking.

And in Tennessee, a dance off held by a 6-year-old, (inaudible). Challenge accepted by her 80 -year-old grandfather who lives over the road. Social distancing made fun.

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CHURCH: Leave it to Anna Stewart to find some ray of sunshine. Well, for athletes around the globe disappointed by the postponement of the summer games, one Olympian is trying to offer up some encouragement to his colleagues.

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(MUSIC PLAYING) (END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: Three-time Olympian medalist Will Clay, released this music video on his YouTube channel featuring numerous athletes. The video sent a message of inspiration by reminding Olympian that their dreams won't die, it will only be delayed. The Olympic Games will be postponed last week amid the coronavirus pandemic. A regionally scheduled for this summer. The games will now begin on July 23rd of 2021 in Tokyo. More time to prepare, right? Thanks so much for joining us at this hour. I am Rosemary Church. I'll be back with more news right after this.

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