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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo: Highest Single Day Increase in Deaths & Hospitalizations; 10 Percent Of Pennsylvania Nursing Homes Have At Least One Case; Dr. Deborah Birx: We're Still Not Receiving 100 Percent Of The Tests; Congressional Candidate In Detroit Contracts Virus. Aired 12-12:30p ET

Aired April 3, 2020 - 12:00   ET




KATE BOLDUAN, CNN HOST: Hi everyone, I'm Kate Bolduan. Thank you so much for sticking with me. Get a lot to get to today the numbers it's another bad day. Today the numbers are climbing the death toll reaching hitting alarming milestones in the fight against the Coronavirus.

Questions mounting about when life will return to normal and what does that normal look like to be quite honest? New guidance's coming off from the CDC that I think is important. Suggest that it could be a matter of months not weeks as some elected officials have been suggesting before anything gets back to normal.

The CDC recommending now the communities will be evaluated for four consecutive weeks. Show a significant decrease in cases and hospitalizations and other markers before they could open back to try to get back to normal.

But as of now the numbers obviously are not decreasing. There are nearly 250,000 cases in the United States, over 6,000 people have died. Just last hour as we have been listening, New York's Governor Andrew Cuomo he announced yet another tragic milestone in New York the epicenter of the nation's fight right now. Listen to the Governor.


GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): The curve continues to go up. The number of tests has reached a new high. We did over 21,000 tests. You have more deaths you have more people coming into the hospitals than any other night and also more people going out which is obviously the ebb and the flow that's coming in and out of the hospital system.


BOLDUAN: The highest single day jump in both deaths and hospitalizations in New York and they are still desperate and pleading as you heard from the Governor earlier for supplies. CNN's Shimon Prokupecz he is at the David Center in New York. Shimon the Governor announce his executive order too he did not like the word seize he said he is just going to redeploy resources from different parts of the state to try to fill in the gaps where things are needed most. What are you learning about this?

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, these are ventilators that are at other hospitals throughout the state and the city that right now may not be needed in those facilities and he wants to go in and take them and bring them to facilities that really need them.

You know we are really hearing a lot from hospitals in New York City that are really inundated. There are a lot of patients on ventilators. A lot of the hospitals just strictly now dealing with COVID patients and some of the most critically some of the most sick are at these hospitals.

A lot of cases they can't survive without these ventilators. And that is what they need, that is what these hospitals need and so the Governor saying I'm going to do this order, it is going to be an executive order and if hospitals don't want to give up their ventilators I'm going to go in and take them.

He's is going to have the National Guard transport them to places that really need them. You know the other thing is you watched the Governor every day I watch him every day and each day he gives these briefings. He always hopes that there is that there is some way these forecasts and these models could be wrong.

You know you just have this glimmer of hope perhaps and each day as you said Kate these numbers they get worse and worse as he said the highest numbers of deaths in the last 24 hours, 600 deaths.

The other thing I think it's important to note here is the Governor calling out the Federal Government you know the Javits Center not wanting to initially take COVID patients. He is now changed that, he went to the President asked them to change that. I've talked to doctors they say that is going to make a huge difference.

They need the less serious, people who can leave hospitals that are COVID patients that just need oxygen, they need them out of the hospital and places like the Javits Center will help.

BOLDUAN: All right, Shimon, thank you so much buddy I really appreciate it. We've got a lot of questions and I am sure you do as well. Let me bring in right now Dr. Sanjay Gupta for some important perspectives.

Sanjay, so what we heard from Governor Cuomo is sad and it is troubling. It was the highest day increase in deaths. In one thing that Governor Cuomo has been getting at and a lot of Governors have been getting at is this speaks to the piecemeal, patch work pick your word nature of the response that has had to happen around the country.

I just had Dr. Michael Osterholm on and he made a really strong case for how this is not going to get better? [12:05:00]

BOLDUAN: This is not going to work without a national strategy and we are talking about a national strategy looking out months not weeks that is really the only thing that we're seeing right now.

I mean at this point when you see the projections that Osterholm is looking at and you just see how it's getting worse and worse in New York and it's trickling and continuing in other in other locations what the hell I'm sorry to say it that way?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: No, no look I mean I can understand why you - why you would say it that way. And look Michael Osterholm this is his life's work so when he's talking about this stuff I mean he's basing it on lots of different models and observing things around the world.

We could see what's happening? I mean the data is - the data doesn't lie in terms of what is happening in this country right now. And the fact that it's sort of a piecemeal approach means that there are still several places around the country that are not abiding by these stay- at-home orders don't have them in place.

That's a problem for the country not just for those states. I think that that hopefully is clear to people what they're doing doesn't just affect them, doesn't just affect their community it affects the entire country now.

So it it's got to be very clear as grim as the projections are right now even those grim projections are sort of predicated on the idea that the entire country is in a stay-at-home status by tonight really but you know the end of this week.

And that those orders last until the end of May not the end of April and even then it would probably need to be reassessed. I don't you know take any joy in saying this I mean it affects everybody and I realize that it's a huge sacrifice for people.

But I think the point that Michael Osterholm and other people are making that is if we don't do these things this is going to last a lot longer in effect a lot more people. I thought it's also interesting that Governor Cuomo says look you know a national strategy it has practical sort of applications in other ways.

We know New York so hot spot right now where you are Kate. There are other cities around the country that are going to have the hot spot sort of coming the waves coming later should we be deploying resources into places and chase these hot spots around the country so that we don't run out of resources or at least have limited chance of running out of resources in those places. Perhaps, I mean that that is what he's advocating right now.

BOLDUAN: Yes. Sanjay thank you so much and sorry for my language everybody sometimes the nice words just seem to escape me. I really appreciate it Sanjay thanks buddy. Great work last night with the town hall. GUPTA: You bet.

BOLDUAN: Thank you as always. All right still it is clear the threat - so one thing we do we've heard for a very long time is that the elderly are most at risk. There are a lot of signs that that is not a necessarily entirely the case a lot of young people who have been showing up a lot of young people dying and a lot of young people showing signs that this is a risk a great risk to everyone.

Young, old and in between but we do know that there is still a very real concern for the elderly. Cases in nursing homes are climbing as communities are desperately lacking supplies needed to slow the spread.

In Pennsylvania the state is now reporting one in every ten nursing homes across the state has at least one Coronavirus patient. Let's hone in on that right now. Joining me right now is Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine thank you so much for being here I sincerely appreciate it.

DR. RACHEL LEVINE, PENNSYLVANIA SECRETARY OF HEALTH: Thank you. It's a pleasure to be here.

BOLDUAN: Thank you. You all reported yesterday 10 percent as I just said of Pennsylvania nursing homes have at least one case of COVID. How big of a concern is this for you right now?

LEVINE: So this is a very significant concern in relation to the epidemic of COVID-19. As you've been reporting our most vulnerable citizens are our seniors and especially seniors in all long term care living facilities including nursing homes but also personal care homes and assisted living homes.

BOLDUAN: The President has issued new guidelines just yesterday for nursing homes. What do you think the impact of those guidelines will be it had to do with this - the way I guess I would put it is kind of sequestering the staff that interact with folks in the nursing home and other details like that?

LEVINE: So we have - will be implementing those guidelines and we have our own guidelines for long term care living facilities and it's critically important that the staffs are wearing personal protective equipment according to the patient's needs.

That the patients are in their rooms and then we take all precautions to protect this vulnerable population. We're also actually working with the company to have essentially a nursing home swat team that we can send into a nursing home at risk to talk about infection control and to help them protect our seniors.


BOLDUAN: Can you take a step to help us with a broader view of Pennsylvania right now? What would you say? How would you describe the status of your state when it comes to COVID cases and how it's going? LEVINE: Sure. So obviously COVID-19 poses a significant threat to public health in Pennsylvania. We have more than 8400 cases of COVID- 19 it went up over 1400 cases in one day and tragically we have had over a 100 deaths due to COVID-19.

Under Governor Wolf's leadership we have three pillars to our response. The first is mitigation and prevention with the type of stay-at-home orders that you were describing as well as closing the schools and closing nonessential businesses.

The second is expanding testing and the third is purchasing our health care system for the expected surge of patients over the next number of weeks to a month.

BOLDUAN: So let me ask you, you've been talking about the stay-at-home orders a statewide orders and the question of if is there would there should there be a national order if you will? The Governor of your state issued a stay-at-home order this week.

We now have top infectious disease experts in the country saying there should be a national stay-at-home strategy. You have states neighboring you who issued those types of orders two weeks ago. Are you afraid you may have moved your state may have moved on this too late?

LEVINE: No. So the Governors of full state stay-at-home order was earlier this week but the Governor actually issued stay-at-home orders for specifically hard hit counties starting approximately two weeks ago.

So the Governor has moved in a very measured - approach our first including the Southeast Philadelphia and the surrounding counties including Allegheny County. And then we were looking day by day at counties most affected by COVID-19 in terms of the number of cases and the number of increasing cases.

And so we've been itching stay-at-home orders for weeks now but now it's to the times as you were suggesting that we had to go through the whole state.

BOLDUAN: Yes. And that continues across the country. Thanks for your work we'll check back in thank you Dr. Levine.

LEVINE: Thank you so much.

BOLDUAN: So persistent problem complicating the U. S. Coronavirus response over and over again you can probably guess at this point has been testing. The U. S. has run 1.3 Coronavirus test that's according to Dr. Deborah Birx but half of those only 660,000 have come back in.

To help explain why the testing problem matters let me bring in Dr. Amesh Adalja he is a Senior Scholar at Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security. Doctor thank you for coming back in - this is something that as the tragedy of deaths started picking up it almost seems like the talk of testing fell by the wayside a bit.

What should it mean to everybody that the White House doesn't have 50 percent of the test results that they're looking for back?

DR. AMESH ADALJA, SENIOR SCHOLAR, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY FOR HEALTH SECURITY: It still means that were fine partially blind. We don't really know where the cases are? Where they aren't? We have some idea better than we did a couple of weeks ago but we don't have full situational awareness.

Without full situational awareness we can't write size the response to outbreak predict what our capacity needs are going to be? So we really need testing to be seamless just like it is for HIV or influenza.

BOLDUAN: Yes. I mean and this gets to you how can you really know where you need things? How can you really know what the strategy should be? How can you know where you are in this fight if you don't have the data?

I saw you on an interview where you said that you were spending hours approving patients to be tested. Why is that? What does that mean for this hold up?

ADALJA: It means that we still have scarcity in terms of some of the reagents that we used to run these tests in the nasal swabs. So we can't test every person that wants to test or that they need a test. So if they're not getting admitted to the hospital and you're not a health care worker or somebody particularly at risk.

We just say you got a clinical diagnosis of Coronavirus and we're going to tell you to stay home for 14 days and watch out for these symptoms. But those people don't get counted instance are not getting counted that kind of skews our perception of this disease because we still have a denominator problem.

We don't know how big this is and we may be overestimating something's we may be underestimating other things because we don't know. And the fact is we need to have the ability to test without having to call me throughout the night to approve and disapprove tests. They should just be able to one of those tests without me having to ration.

BOLDUAN: And that might be the answer to my next question but I mean what do you say to somebody who thinks look we're in the middle of this crisis that were beyond testing now since it's so widespread?


ADALJA: It is so widespread but we don't - we know that it had a root genius around the country. So I'm actually sitting in Pittsburgh right now where we don't we have about 70 something individuals hospitalized. So it isn't hitting us very hard now.

So we have time to understand what our capacity needs are going to be and prepare for the future. And I think that the only way that we're going to get good numbers and infidelity with that kind of planning is if we actually have full capture as best as we can of what's going on in this local area.

And I think that's going to be the case throughout the country. And it's going to be especially important as we try to lift social distancing trying to know where this is and where it is and what can be done safely? To what a hospital can expect?

BOLDUAN: Does it make sense to you and all of your expertise does it make sense to you that there is still such a problem with access to testing and turnaround time with testing results?

ADALJA: No. It doesn't make sense. This is something that we call for a long time before this pandemic that diagnostic testing was going to be a key pillar. And we have the technology. We have the private industry companies that are doing it but there are just a lot of logistical issues that weren't well planned for.

And it's created this bureaucracy in testing that has made it impossible to get a test fast. And there's always a new hick up every day that I hear about it. And it's frustrating because we don't have those hick ups with other infectious diseases. It's just something that really is inexcusable when the story of this pandemic is written diagnostic testing is going to be it is original son.

BOLDUAN: Original son. Doctor thank you so much for being here and thank you for what you're doing.

ADALJA: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: We'll check in soon. All right coming up for us still top officials around the world have started to test positive for Coronavirus. We've seen that happen over and over as the days tick by. Here in the United States that now includes a top official in Detroit where the situation continues to deteriorate that official joins me next.



BOLDUAN: Starting today Detroit will be the first city in the country to use Coronavirus testing that returns results in just 15 minutes. Rapid Result Tests, the first priority is first responders and essential workers and it couldn't come soon enough. Just listen to the last conversation we had with Dr. Adalja.

Detroit's Mayor also is warning that the number of Coronavirus cases is sure to go up significantly. The virus has hit some of the city's top officials now including the Detroit Police Chief and the City Council President. City Council President Brenda Jones joins me now. Councilwoman thank you for coming in. First of all how are you feeling?

BRENDA JONES, DETROIT CITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT: First of all thank you for this opportunity and I am blessed. You know I'm just praying for those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 unfortunately my symptoms.

BOLDUAN: That's really wonderful to hear. I mean I assume that you did not have obviously access to rapid testing or the Rapid Result Testing. What was testing like for you? JONES: So testing was not bad for me. First I tried to get the testing prior and I was told that I didn't have any symptoms and to go home. I went back to get the testing and they stuck to swab up my nose and it took some days for me to get my results back.

Over a week for me to get my results back and you know testing oh, it's good to know that we're going to have the rapid response for testing now. That's a good thing. But testing was not a bad thing for me. I did not wait that long once I actually got the test. And I'm just you know I'm glad that on Monday my quarantine will be over.

BOLDUAN: Do you need - what led you to get tested? Do you know how you got it?

JONES: I have no idea how I got it? But what made me to get testing was the first time I went to get testing I was short of breath and because we did not have sufficient testing they took my vitals based on my vitals was good.

I have asked my bronchitis they checked my lungs and they indicated everything was good and that they would not want to do the test. The second time I went to get tested I was still having a shortness of breath and the first responders, the police officers were getting tested and because I had up we've got shortness of breath I went to get tested.

BOLDUAN: In the midst of all this and thank God first and foremost that you're right now your symptoms are mild. So thank God for that but you are also in the midst of this not only City Council President you're also running a campaign. You're running in a primary against a Democratic Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib for that congressional seat.

At this point I mean there's not a lot of talk of politics right now is your campaign completely shut down?

JONES: So there's not a lot happening in politics but I'm constantly talking to people. I'm doing things from my home. I am not leaving my home. I am following what the Governor said and so no, my campaign is not completely shut down. But I am following the Governor's orders. I am staying-at- home. I am taking care of myself and I am talking to those by my home.

BOLDUAN: We wish you that it all remains that way in terms of that you have mild symptoms and that you recover quickly.


BOLDUAN: Thanks so much really appreciate your time.

JONES: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Coming up for us so Michigan one focal point for the country right now and it will remain a focal point but still another focal point Florida. There are still major confusion and controversy in that state. The Governor Stay-at-home order allowed for religious services gathering for religious services. Well, then the Governor said that local officials could actually still stop them. Where does that then leave the county that has already arrested one pastor for holding services?