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Coronavirus Pandemic, U.S. Science Panel, Talking Or Breathing Could Spread Virus; Johns Hopkins More Than One Million Cases Worldwide; Jared Kushner, Trump Hearing About Masks From New York Friend; Record 6.6 Million Americans File Jobless Claims; U.S. Navy Relieves Commander After Memo On Virus; Pentagon Working To Get 100,000 Body Bags As Deaths Rise; Tokyo Next Hotspot; China Sends Medical Supplies To Europe, U.S.; Passing The Quaran-time; Untalkative COVID-19 Carriers Can Infect Others; London Braces for Another Wave; Germany's Aggressive Response to COVID-19 Saves More Lives; China Sends Ineffective Medical Supplies. Aired 3-4a ET
Aired April 3, 2020 - 03:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. Live from CNN center in Atlanta, I'm Natalie Allen. Thanks for being with us.
We are learning about new ways that the coronavirus can spread, and that is coming up next here on CNN Newsroom.
Let's get started right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: You don't have to cough, you don't have to sneeze, there is an aerosol that goes out just a short distance, just a couple of feet.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: A new study suggests that you can spread coronavirus just by talking, even breathing. That, as unemployment here in the United States jumps by millions. Also, this hour.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They have imposed tough new travel restrictions, banning foreigners for more than 70 countries, including the U.S., and asking everyone who arrives in Japan to self-quarantine for 14 days.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Our Will Ripley reporting there, still no lockdown. So, is Tokyo risking becoming the next New York? We will take you there also.
Being stuck at home all the time can be nerve-racking. We show you some of the quirkier ways that people are rising to the challenge.
Thank you again for being with us.
As the global number of coronavirus infections passes one million with more than 53,000 deaths, scientific experts here in the U.S. believe they have found the virus can be spread even more easily than previously believed.
Research from the National Academy of Sciences suggests that all it might take for an infected person to spread the virus is for them to talk or breathe.
Dr. Anthony Fauci from the White House coronavirus task force explains what the study means, and whether it should make people change their behavior even more.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FAUCI: You don't have to cough. You don't have to sneeze. There is an aerosol that goes out just a very short distance, just a couple of feet. And I think that's one of the things that's putting a red flag for people why, people who are completely asymptomatic, not coughing, not sneezing we know now are transmitting the virus, which brings up a number of issues.
First, it underscores why you should continue to try and stay six feet away from someone. Because that would obviate that right away.
SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: So, I mean, if it is -- if it even goes a couple of feet, but if it stays airborne any time at all, would you -- would you change your behavior base on this information like running outside, for example?
FAUCI: No, no, Sanjay. I wouldn't because I believe that the six-foot distance would really obviate that concern.
FAUCI: Because if you look at the video of what came out of that person's mouth when they spoke, it was sort of like this. But it stayed there for a bit, a couple of feet, and then went down.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: A doctor involved in that study tells CNN that he is now planning on wear some kind of face covering the next time he goes to the grocery store.
U.S. President Donald Trump says nationwide recommendations on wearing face masks are coming soon. Some cities are already asking people to wear them if they need to go out.
Well, about 93 percent of Americans are now under stay-at-home orders. But Dr. Fauci thinks it should be 100 percent because that 7 percent still represents millions of people. Meanwhile, hospitals across the nation are trying to get enough
surgical masks, N95 masks, personal protective equipment, ventilators, and testing kits to deal with the surging numbers of cases. But President Trump said the states should have been ready.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: They should have -- long before this pandemic arrived, they should have been on the open market just buying. There was no competition. You could have made a great price.
The states have to stock up. It's like one of those things. They waited. They didn't want to spend the money because they thought this would never happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Meantime, the U.S. government is rethinking its position on whether people should wear masks in public as we were just talking about. The Trump administration has been hesitant to tell people to wear face coverings even as several governors have been pushing for it.
CNN's Jim Acosta tells us what the White House is saying now.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: President Trump told reporters of the coronavirus task force briefing that is administration is preparing guidelines for Americans to wear a mask when they go outside to protect themselves from the coronavirus.
The president said that if Americans don't have access to those masks, they should wear scarves instead. But a top doctor on the coronavirus task force, Dr. Deborah Birx, said that Americans should not love themselves into a false sense of security with this mask, and they should continue to practice social distancing.
In addition to that, Dr. Birx says she does not believe that Americans are doing enough to protect themselves from the virus.
Here is more of what she had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DEBORAH BIRX, COORDINATOR, WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS TASK FORCE: I can tell by the curve, and as it is today, that not every American is following at. And so, this is really a call to action. We see Spain, we see Italy, we see France, we see Germany, and we see others beginning to bend their curves. We can bend ours, but it means everybody has to take that same responsibility as an American.
(END VIDEO CLIP) ACOSTA: The president was also asked about shortages of critically needed medical supplies and states across the country, but the president tried to shift the blame to the state saying it's up to those states to stock up on those supplies.
Jim Acosta, CNN, the White House.
ALLEN: Those who have contracted COVID-19 are showing a wide range of symptoms, some are showing no signs of the virus, while others are falling into severe respiratory distress. The stark contrast has even America's top infectious disease expert, Anthony Fauci, searching for answers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FAUCI: It's strange how one individual can get infected and have either mild or no symptoms, and another can get rapidly deteriorate with viral pneumonia and respiratory failure. There is something in the mechanism, whether it's genetic, whether it's immune response.
The one thing I can say that we have to be humble. I've been doing infectious diseases now for almost 50 years, and I can tell you I don't fully understand exactly what the mechanism that is and we really need to figure it out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Let's talk about this with global health expert, Dr. Peter Drobac joining me now from Oxford, England. Good to see you, doctor. Thanks for coming on again.
PETER DROBAC, GLOBAL HEALTH EXPERT, OXFORD SAID BUSINESS SCHOOL: Good morning.
ALLEN: Good morning to you. Well, that comment from Dr. Fauci, our go-to man on all things COVID-19 illustrates how difficult it is to understand this virus doesn't it? Some people don't get critically ill, others do, and often die quickly.
DROBAC: I think every day with every new discovery it's just a reminder of really how little we know about this virus that we are really at an uncharted territory, and I think Dr. Fauci's admonition that we stay humble is really important.
ALLEN: Well, there doesn't seem to be a correlation between whether people have pre-existing conditions now, and whereas what we had heard prior is that those who already had issues like diabetes, heart issues, lung problems or in high-risk, and now it seems healthy people could also be at severe risk. That's the big question, isn't it?
DROBAC: Yes. I think it's both. That's not to say that individuals who have underlying medical conditions are not at high risk, I think in some cases that still appears to be the case. What we're seeing now is that being healthy at baseline doesn't eliminate your risk or doesn't protect you from the risk of severe disease. And so, in some sense, we're all vulnerable. And that's really a
caution, especially to younger, healthier people that they need to do their part to bend the curve and to social distance.
ALLEN: And now we learned that the -- yes, the six-foot separation rule may not be enough social distance, that just breathing maybe spreading the disease. How should people react to that as far as personal safety?
DROBAC: Again, this is a really difficult one, and this is part of the renewed debate around whether everyone should be wearing masks. I think at least with regard to the U.S., there is still not a national shelter in place order, and so in a number of states people are still going about their business.
And so, the first and most important thing that could be done would be to try and keep everybody home. But I do think that the shift towards -- towards using masks where possible for everyone who is circulating in public will help to further reduce that risk.
ALLEN: Right. Dr. Fauci of course says that 100 percent of Americans should be sheltering at home, but that just isn't happening at this time. We'll wait and see where that goes.
Meantime, the United States is being ravaged by this disease. I know that you have worked in countries that have had much less resources than the United States, but let's talk about what's going on in the hospitals because it's surreal and what our doctors and nurses and frontline health workers are going through without the proper equipment.
Sadly, we got to tussle still between the White House and the governors. This is just horrific what they are having to deal with. What are your thoughts?
DROBAC: It's really sad to see. And you know, for all of -- all of the health workers on the frontlines, including many of my friends and colleagues, it's just so difficult that they put themselves in harm's way, and are being sent into battle without proper armor.
One of the things that we saw on Italy was that when there were shortages of PPE, the hospitals themselves became epicenters of transmission as the sort of health system broke down.
And so, even if you are doing everything you can in the community to social distance you can still have ongoing transmission between patients and health workers and hospitals, and that can worsen the problem.
The other issue, of course, is that when you start to lose health workers who become ill with this disease, it puts further strain on the system. This is something that needs to be sorted out, and there is really no excuse for the continued bickering. Everyone needs to get together and find a solution on this. ALLEN: Did you -- could you ever imagine a time when they would be
setting up a makeshift hospital in Central Park? In New York City?
DROBAC: I've seen things like this in other parts of the world, I've never thought that I would see the day that it would be happening in a place like Central Park. It is pretty unprecedented in these times.
ALLEN: It certainly is. But what are bright spots on the horizon? You mentioned Italy, where are some areas that where we've seen it start to turn around and how that's happened.
DROBAC: Most of the bright spots have been in in Asia, South Korea, in Taiwan, in Singapore, in Hong Kong, these are places that responded and reacted very early. South Korea and the U.S. had their first case on the same day, January 20th, and where the U.S. really sort of minimize the threat and dithered for several weeks.
South Korea sprang into action and began testing, tracing, social distancing where appropriate, and they were able then to bend the curve and have a very small number of new cases that were mostly imported. That doesn't eliminate the threat but they've things under control and have just a couple hundred deaths, whereas in the U.S. we're obviously in the thousands and been mounting quickly.
So, there are some real lessons from those countries even now about what's possible. Another bright spot would be Germany which has really used widespread testing over 70,000 patients a day, not just people with symptoms, to try and stay ahead of their epidemic. And even though they have a lot of cases their death rate has thus far at least been extraordinarily low.
ALLEN: We'll learn more about that when we go live to our reporter there in Germany soon in this hour. We always appreciate your insights. Thank you for ending on a bright spot because we need those too.
Dr. Peter Drobac in Oxford, thank you.
DROBAC: Thank you. Thanks.
ALLEN: Well, the United Kingdom is vowing to test 100,000 people per day for the coronavirus by the end of April despite being unable to reach its current target of 25,000. Outrage over the slow pace of testing comes as London prepares makeshift morgues. The death toll in the U.K. around 3000.
CNN's international security editor Nick Paton Walsh is outside the temporary morgue you just saw being constructed there in London. This is certainly another heinous sign of this disease. Nick, hello.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: Something frankly, Natalie, nobody would ever expect to see on the outskirts of London. Even behind me you can just see the peaks of two hastily constructed kind of large marquee tents.
So, we have a stand wall essentially be there for the bodies in the events that we see a death toll that cannot be managed by London's normal mortuaries and also crematoriums just off the road from where we are.
At least one of the grim signs of what Britain potentially is bracing for particularly here in the capital. In fact, they try and obviously to put as much positive news out there.
Later on, today, Prince Charles who himself tested positive for COVID- 19 will by video link now he's healthier, open NHS Nightingale, a potential 4,000-bed capacity mass hospital down on the banks of The Thames. It will only open though with about 500 beds being available, but that's part of the United Kingdom's beds to show how ready it is for what comes ahead.
Because of the growing criticism frankly, even from newspapers that would be loyal unto the death frankly, to the conservative administration, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson they've taken a lot of criticism from different sides.
And the messaging yesterday, saying that they want to change tack, having initially said testing wasn't necessary, certainly on a scientific level are now saying it is essentially key plank of their strategy moving forward.
But even as Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, himself, returning to the job after recovering from COVID-19 himself, says that 100,000 is their goal by the end of April.
Today, he did accept in the morning talking to British media that that was a substantial ask. We are moving into crunch time here though, for the United Kingdom where messaging and promises and numbers are irrelevant when we start seeing the peaks hit the United Kingdom, particularly London where it's due to hit any day soon here at all.
Frankly, it's eerie being here, Natalie. Often the streets are quiet, and you hear nothing but ambulances. Troublingly too, actually there's been more traffic in the capital over the past days. Suggesting that the restrictions on movement aren't being heard as clearly as the past.
But we are going to see, most likely, the death toll which is getting near to 600 a day at this point, increase in the days ahead.
And it's chilling signs like this behind me here that frankly, the messaging is irrelevant now, it's how many lies can actually be saved. And one troubling number I heard in the last 24 hours, Natalie, one of the key London hospitals dealing with patients of COVID-19 said to us that about 6 percent of their workforce were off for COVID related issues.
That means that they or someone they know is sick and they have to stay away from work. That seems to echo some of the general numbers across the free healthcare service known as the NHS which is doing all the work to save lives here. And that's the key issue too. Because if you can't test frontline healthcare workers, then you can't
tell if they have to stay away from the job and not be able to save people's lives, or they can't go back to work because they're clear of the disease.
That's why testing perhaps has become so suddenly important to the British government because it's depriving them of their frontline healthcare workers. But we are in to a [potentially a very bleak and trying week here ahead of us in the United Kingdom. Natalie?
ALLEN: They can only hope that they can reach that testing goal very grim, indeed. Nick Paton Walsh for us, thank you so much, Nick.
Just ahead here, more on Europe's fight against coronavirus with medical system's push the limit. We just heard Nick's report from there in U.K. Spain's government though is raising hope with talk of the future vaccine.
Stay with us.
ALLEN: As people return to work and traffic begins to build up on the streets of China, the country is playing the role of Europe's savior shipping medical equipment across the continent.
But as Isa Soares finds out, some European countries are questioning the quality of the supplies.
ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As coronavirus ravages Europe, China is stepping up, taking an international leadership role in the war against the pandemic, saying that they are delivering supplies to over 100 countries.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HUA CHUNYING, CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESWOMAN (through translator): We do this to reciprocate these countries earlier support for us and out of humanitarian considerations.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Despite the pace of these deliveries, some countries claim there have been major faults with the goods.
In Spain out of 640,000 rapid tests, the government says it sent back the first delivered batch of a thousand after government certification test found them to be unreliable.
The Chinese embassy in Spain is distancing itself, saying that the company behind the kits Shenzhen Bioeasy Biotechnology does not have an official license from China's medical authorities to sell its products. In a statement to CNN the company says their antigen rapid test is
good for the screening of suspicious patients but it's not a confirmation method.
Meanwhile, medical equipment is still entering Spain with a new sale announced last week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SALVADOR ILLA, SPANISH HEALTH MINISTER (through translator): Spain has made a deal with China to buy equipment worth 432 million euros.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: From 550 masks, to 11 million gloves. And while some European countries are embracing China's generosity, others question its motives.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LUCREZIA POGGETTI, ANALYST, MERCATOR INSTITUTE FOR CHINA STUDIES: What China is trying to do from my perspective is to divert foreign public's attention away from Beijing's are initial cover-up and mishandling of the epidemic at home. To make sure that foreign public instead focus on this other image of China as a savior, China coming to the rescue of countries in need.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: With more countries raising similar issues, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, and Turkey being the latest, China is hitting back with state media asking not to sensationalize the mask dispute. Adding that China is doing a hard but thankless job to assist western countries.
Meanwhile, China tells CNN it has started to tighten its medical goods exports requiring companies to meet key criteria.
Isa Soares, CNN, London.
ALLEN: Well, let -- let's take a look across Europe right now and how different countries are faring. Our Fred Pleitgen is in Beirut for us. And Germany is one of those that it's a little more encouraging in that country. What are they've been doing?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think you're absolutely right, Natalie. I think it is, on the one hand encouraging. But I think also the Germans realize that the worse is probably still yet to come for them.
It's quite interesting because earlier this morning the German Center for Disease Control, the Robert Koch Institute announced that Germany had now also surpassed the number of a 1,000 people who have died of COVID-19.
Now, Germany of course, reached that mark a lot later than a lot of other countries and the death toll here in Germany is only about a third of what it is in the United Kingdom and about a quarter of what it is in France even though Germany has many more confirmed cases.
Now the German say, essentially what they believe that they've done right so far, is that they've tested a lot more than many other countries. It was the number going out last week, and the German government saying that they were testing around 500,000 people every week.
And there was a number that came out yesterday in German media saying last week it might have been up to 900,000 people that were tested. So, therefore they say, they were able to isolate a lot of cases fairly quickly and therefore keep them away from vulnerable populations like, for instance, the elderly or people with existing medical conditions.
The other thing that the Germans have done is because they know that the wave of illnesses is going to continue to come towards Germany, they have built up their hospital capacity.
I was listening to the German health minister on TV yesterday. And he was saying loo, we can't guarantee that things aren't to be like Italy or like Spain in this country, but we can guarantee that we are going to be prepared.
And so, the Germans who already have by far the most ICU beds in all of Europe, have increased that capacity already by another third. I think there are around 40,000 ICU beds here in Germany, 30,000 ventilators here in Germany right now.
And what they're able to do at this point because of course, those capacities a lot of them are still vacant. In fact, about half from what I've heard recently, they are able to take in patients from some of these countries that are hard hit. They say they've taken about 113 patients so far from Italy and from France, a couple from the Netherlands as well. They are going to continue to also try and do that.
So, the Germans certainly hit very hard by COVID-19. They have about 80,000 confirmed cases, but at the same time the hospital system so far isn't overwhelmed and they say that's one of the main reasons why the death toll still here is not as high as it probably could be.
And if you look at the German public, and of course, right now, very important to have the public on the side as well, There was a number that came out yesterday from a research institute saying that 93 percent of Germans approved of the current measures of social distancing that are in place right now.
They're not as strict as in many other countries, but from what we're seeing when we're out in the streets here in Berlin and in other cities, it seems that most people are adhering to them, and even if they do go out they do try to keep their distance and try to stay away from other people, Natalie?
ALLEN: Well, the fact that they're prepared with their hospitals that must bring a lot of comfort to people there as this certainly will get worse before it gets better.
Fred Pleitgen, thank you so much, Fred. I appreciate it.
Now let's go to Barbie Nadeau. She is in Rome in Italy for us. That country of course just a horrible situation there. Has it started to ease, Barbie?
BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, you know, we are seeing a stabilization in the contagion rate, and that gives people so much hope that this lockdown that we're under is starting to takes effect. But the authorities are saying it's just too soon to celebrate. You know, we still got an incredible high death rate. More than 700 people died in the last 24 hours alone.
And we've also got a very disturbing new number of medical workers infected. More than 600 were infected over the course of 24 hours. And that just tells you how difficult it is for these medical workers, these overburden systems, health systems, especially in the north of the country how they are coping with it. And when the health workers are getting infected at this high rate that means that there's a problem with the system.
And you know, as Fred said, they've sent a lot of patients to Germany to the ICU where there that has absolutely, you know, let up on some of the pressure here. But the battle is not over even though those numbers are stabilizing.
And the prime minister extended the lockdown until at least April 13th. And we'll see after that what kind of the -- what's going to look like coming out of this lockdown. Whether or not there's like a phase two they're speaking about, the gradual return to whatever the new normal is going to be when this is over, Natalie?
ALLEN: All right. Barbie Nadeau for us there in Rome. All right, thank you. Barbie.
Well, scientists in the U.K. hope to use specially trained sniffer dogs to help detect carriers of the virus. The dogs will go through a six-week training to prepare there to sniff out cases of the virus within seconds.
This is a project at the U.K. charity Medical Detection Dogs working with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES LOGAN, HEAD, LONDON SCHOOL OF HYGIENE AND TROPICAL MEDICINE: We published a paper in the last infectious diseases just last year where we demonstrated the dogs can detect the odors associated with malaria infection, and they can do that with very, very high accuracy.
So, we know that dogs have this amazing g ability to smell and to learn smells. And so, if COVID-19 has a smell and a distinctive smell, then we would be able to train dogs to detect it. (END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Where would we be without our dogs? The goal is to use them during the post-pandemic period to detect asymptomatic carriers to stem the spread of the virus.
Almost 10 million Americans have filed unemployment claims in just the past two weeks. As that number continues to soar, we look at the impact the virus is having on the world's largest economy.
Much more ahead. You're watching CNN Newsroom live from Atlanta.
ALLEN: Welcome back to our viewers here in the U.S., and all around the world. I'm Natalie Allen live in Atlanta.
We want to update you on the very latest this hour.
. A new study suggest coronavirus might be contagious simply by talking and breathing. It has long been believe that the virus can pass from person to person through a cough, or a sneeze, but this new possibility bolsters those who say people should wear a mask when out in public.
There are now more than 1 million covid-19 cases worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University here in the U.S., that is about eight times what it was three weeks ago when the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic.
President Trump's son-in-law, and senior adviser, who has no background in public health, spoke at the White House, Thursday after he says that the president received a call from a friend in New York about medical supplies running low. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JARED KUSHNER, PRESIDENT'S SENIOR ADVISER: I got a call from the president, he told me he was hearing from friends of his in New York that the New York public hospital system was running low on critical supply. He instructed me this morning, I called the Dr. Katz, who runs the system, asked him which supply was the most supply he was most nervous about, he told me it was the N-95 masks, I asked him what is daily burn was, and I basically got that number, called at Admiral (Inaudible), made sure we had the inventory.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: City and state officials in New York have been warning for weeks that they are an imminent danger of running out of critical medical supplies. On Wednesday, New York Mayor, Bill De Blasio said, city hospitals still need more than three million N-95 masks by this Sunday. The United States is seeing record shattering unemployed numbers --
unemployment numbers through all of this. The government, saying 6.6 million Americans filed jobless claims last week, 3.3 million in the week before, for a total of 10 million in the past two weeks. President Trump suggested on Thursday, that the stunning numbers are only temporary.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And then you see six million on people unemployed, unemployment numbers get released, and you see six million people. And it's an artificial closing. It's not like we have a massive recession, or worse. It's artificial, because we turned it off.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Let's talk about it with CNN business emerging markets editor, John Defterios, joining me now live in Abu Dhabi. And hello to you John. I want to start right there with what the president was saying. With these economic numbers you're seeing, could the president be right? That this is just temporary?
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Well, he is trying to make it that way, that's for sure. Because he is up for reelection Natalie, in November, and he'll be judged on how he handles the crisis, but also the economy, and the state of play by then, of course, no doubt about that. I think it's going to get a lot worse by June. Let's put it that way.
We have 10 million people in two weeks who filed for those unemployment benefits. It could be five times that amount by June, according to the U.S. Federal Reserve. We are looking at unemployment, with the latest figures coming out today of 3.5 percent, eventually going to maybe 25, or 30 percent. This is like the great depression.
So, his treasury secretary is also addressing this issue saying that the benefits will be enhanced, and then for small business, he is trying to take the loans, and where it's possible, transfer those into grants. Because they are squeezed, and are laying off workers as well. Let's take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVEN MNUCHIN, U.S. SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY: We are very sympathetic to this. That these companies can't afford, and for those people, the enhanced unemployment will be a significant benefit. But we want to make sure, 50 percent of the American work forces, small businesses under 500 people. The president, the vice president, the administrator and I, we all want to make sure that this part of the economy is ready, and intact, when we are ready to reopen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DEFTERIOS: And that's the question here, Natalie. When can you reopen? You know, the president was pushing for mid-April, but had to slide back that deadline going forward. It's all about flattening the curve, whether it's in the United States, the Italian model, France, Germany, as Fred was talking about and we can see the lead that it successfully worked for in South Korea. But can you do the same in such a large economy like the United States? Huge question mark going forward, of course.
ALLEN: Absolutely. And so many people watching this part of the story so closely, that they have just lost so much. Also, let's talk about the fact that President Trump. John, weighed in to end the oil price war going on with Saudi Arabia and Russia. We saw a huge spike up in prices. Is this as easy to solve as the president makes out?
DEFTERIOS: Well, he surely tries to make it sound easy, as you are suggesting, 10 million is his baseline for a cut, and he said perhaps, we could even get 15 million barrels a day for context. I was at the OPEC meeting on March 6th, and we had a big split between Saudi Arabia, and Russia, over a cut of another 1.5 million barrels a day.
So, the simple answer, it is not easy. And also, you need to cut of that scale though, according to the president, because of the drop in demand. We are looking at that falling 15, to 20 percent, because factories are closed, airplanes are not flying, people are not driving as much. So the justification for what he's saying, but there is also a misunderstanding here, the president basically was putting those on Saudi Arabia, Russia, and some other 20 producers of this OPEC alliance.
Two senior sources that I've spoken to here, as part of that alliance, say that there has to be this burden sharing, that it can't just be OPEC doing the cuts here. They are talking about the United States, Mexico, Canada, the U.K, Norway, going forward, perhaps even Brazil. So, there's a huge gap there. The president of bringing CEOs of the U.S. oil and gas companies to the White House today. Let's listen to the narrative to see if the U.S. is willing to help on this front. We have a huge rally, a flat needs to day. That the president has to deliver on these and try to bring Saudi Arabia and Russia back together, Natalie.
ROMANS: All right, we will be watching that meeting as it takes place. Thank you so much, John Defterios for us in Abu Dhabi. See you again, John.
The Pentagon has removed the commander of the USS Theodore Roosevelt from his post after he widely circulated a memo pleading for decisive action to combat the virus on the aircraft carrier. That memo got leaked, and was reported in a major U.S. newspaper. The ship currently has more than 100 coronavirus cases, and many of the sailors are evacuating. CNN's Ryan Browne has more about this story from the Pentagon.
RYAN BROWNE, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY: The U.S. Navy has fired the commanding officer of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, a nuclear powered aircraft carrier, currently facing a major outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. And the Navy said that it's firing Captain Brett Crozier, because he to widely disseminate his concerns, urging the Navy to take immediate action, or sailors aboard the ship would die.
Now the Navy said that he showed poor judgment in sending that note to so many people, some 20 to 30 people, according to the Navy, that he did not take the proper measures to ensure that that information would not get out into the public. They said that he helped create a firestorm around the safety, and health of the sailors aboard that ship, and the ship is currently facing a major outbreak over 100 sailors have now tested positive for the coronavirus.
And the Navy is working to evacuate sailors from the ship, some 1,000 sailors have already been moved to shore into Guam, where they are in isolation, and quarantine. The Navy plans to evacuate another 2000, but they can't empty the ship entirely. Some sailors will have to remain aboard to operate key programs like the nuclear reactor, but the Navy is taking steps, however. One step they have taken today is to fire the ship's commander, who first made the concerns public.
ALLEN: In our next hour, we will go live there to Guam with more on this developing story. As the coronavirus deaths escalates in the United States, the Department of Defense is now confirming, it is getting 100,000 body bags for state health agencies. This comes after President Trump's task force warned this country could see 100,000 to a quarter million deaths. And that of course, would put a dramatic strain on funeral homes, cemeteries, and crematoriums. And of course, put morgues beyond their capacity. That, of course, another extremely grim part of the story. And we know, that so many people who die, die without their loved ones being with them.
Well, let's go to Japan next. It is seeing a surge in coronavirus cases as the Prime Minister refuses to declare a national emergency. Plus, a dire warning for those who don't stay home. We will have a live report as we push on.
ALLEN: We have been sharing with you the stories from the United States, across Europe, and now we are going to go to Japan. New numbers coming in from that country on the pandemic, say health officials are reporting now 235 new cases, and three deaths in the past day. Here to talk about it, our Will Ripley is live from Tokyo. Always good to see you Will. What is happening there in Japan?
WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Natalie. Particularly troubling to epidemiologists is the number of cases rising quickly here in Tokyo. Last week, the highest number was 40 per day, now it is 97. So, it is more than doubled in one week. You do the math, if it keeps doubling, epidemiologist say Tokyo is on track to have a situation similar to New York, and a whole lot of other places that are grappling with a huge pandemic, a pandemic frankly, the city is not yet prepared for.
RIPLEY: This is what doctors call a mild case of novel coronavirus. Your cough sounds very painful. Issey Watanabe (ph) struggles to breathe as he speaks to us from his Tokyo hospital room. Watanabe is 40, a nonsmoker, in good health, and when he asked for a coronavirus test, he says that he was turned down.
How long did it take before they actually allowed you to get tested for coronavirus?
Five days you had to wait for that test? Watanabe says that he infected at least two people that he knows of during that time. Is that a problem?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a huge problem.
RIPLEY: Kobe University infection control specialist, Kentaro Iwata is worried about a spike in cases in the Japanese capital.
KENTARO IWATA, KOBE UNIVERSITY INFECTION CONTROL SPECIALIST: The beginning of the first of the infection in Spain, France, Italy, and New York City, it was all just like Tokyo right now.
RIPLEY: Iwata fears, government warnings about the danger of spreading the virus, may have reached many people too late. Tokyo governor, Yuriko Koike and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, are pleading with the public, asking people to stay home, avoid travel, and practice social distancing. The government still has not declared a state of emergency, or, called for a lockdown of Tokyo. They have imposed tough new travel restrictions, banning foreigners for more than 70 countries, including the U.S., and asking everyone who arrives in Japan to self-quarantine for 14 days.
IWATA: Japan needs to have the courage to change. When we are aware we are on the wrong path.
RIPLEY: What happens if Tokyo doesn't change the plan?
IWATA: We might see the next New York City in Tokyo.
RIPLEY: Watanabe says the Japanese government is not acting quickly enough, acclaim the health ministry denies, saying, we believe appropriate measures have been taken.
There is a real lack of good information, he says, your life is in your hands. Stay home, please stay home, don't go out.
He worries about the 10s of millions of Japanese over 65. He knows he will recover, many in Japan's aging society, won't.
RIPLEY: What is particularly troubling, Natalie, is that Japan has just over 100 hospital beds remaining, available right now, to deal with coronavirus. They're trying to get that number up, but as of now, they are running out of beds. In fact they're thinking about moving some patients to hotels, patients like the one we just interviewed, to try and free up space.
And keep in mind, we are seeing the numbers double, as Japan continues to test just a tiny fraction of what they are testing in other countries, raising questions about whether there is even a full picture of how many people are actually infected here, in the Japanese capital.
That is why the Tokyo governor, Yuriko Koike held a press conference less than an hour ago, Natalie. And she said this city is on the verge of a major outbreak and people need to stay inside this weekend and wake up and start taking precautions before it is too late, if it is not too late already.
ALLEN: That is so troubling. Yet another country about to face something really -- could be horrendous. And you're interview with that man, the way he was coughing, it certainly shows what people are dealing with. All right. Will Ripley, Will, we always appreciate you, thanks.
Well, Hong Kong based Cathay Pacific says that is passenger fee is virtually grounded, thanks to this pandemic. Usually the airline expects to fly about 100,000 passengers per day, but one day this week, only 582 people flew. China is sending test and medical supplies to countries around the world, fighting the pandemic, and it was the first to report cases, and the hardest hit, until the virus spread to Europe and the U.S. But as David Culver reports, we may not be hearing the whole story about China's outbreak.
DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As the United States, and the rest of the world locks down, China cautiously opening back up. Easing travel restrictions, and next week, it will allow people to freely leave Wuhan, the birthplace of the pandemic, for the first time in more than two months. The World Health Organization has consistently praised China's handling.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are rapidly finding these cases, rapidly containing them and using the principles that China employed.
CULVER: President Donald Trump, also applauding the Chinese efforts, just a few weeks ago.
TRUMP: I know that President Xi, loves the people of China, he loves his country, and he is doing a very good job, with a very, very tough situation.
CULVER: But as numbers in the U.S. continue to rise, so does the skepticism over just how reliable China's numbers are, and how transparent it has been with its data.
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The reality is that we could have been better off if China had been more forthcoming.
CULVER: Video shows Wuhan grieving residents collecting the remains of their loved ones, Tai Tsin (ph), a leading Chinese business publication claim there were thousands more urns delivered than the official coronavirus death toll. Worth pointing out, two days after the lockdown, Wuhan officials halted all funeral services in a city of 11 plus million. So, it is plausible that the urns are also used for those who died from something other than coronavirus. But CNN's early reporting, inside Wuhan back in January, suggest that the numbers were not adding up when compared with the stories from the front lines, in part because of something that now many countries are challenged with, a shortage of tests.
DORA JIANG, NIECE OF CORONAVIRUS PATIENT: It is really difficult. You know, and it is really emotional for me.
CULVER: Dora Jiang told us that it took four days for her uncle to get tested, the results, also delayed.
JIANG: I don't think it is because they really want to control the numbers, but I think it is more about the capacity.
CULVER: (Inaudible), told us by phone, his mother died in mid-January in Wuhan. She never had a nucleic acid test, he told us, and her cause of death was officially listed a severe pneumonia, but during her treatment, the doctor said it was very likely that she had coronavirus, and yet she was not a confirmed case, and hence, could be counted.
China says, they first detected the virus on December 12th at this Wuhan seafood market, but they did not shut it down, until January 1st. And during that three week period, the people of Wuhan continued on with their normal lives, as local government officials censored so- called rumors about the then mysterious illness. And silenced the whistleblowers, like Dr. Li Wenliang who tried to sound the alarm. He was reprimanded by police, later died from the virus, and now the Chinese government is hailing him a hero.
The country's national health commission officially began releasing daily figures on January 21st, almost six weeks after the first detection. Within days, they had reported a total of 1,052 confirmed cases in Hubei province alone, but almost immediately, health experts at the University of Hong Kong challenge those figures, believing that the real number to be 40 times that just in the city of Wuhan.
One possible reason, China in the early days, not allowing international experts in the country. For weeks, Health and Human Services Secretary, Alex Azar said, the CDC was ready to deploy, hoping to get a handle on the problem before it got out of control.
ALEX AZAR, U.S. SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES: We were ready to go.
CULVER: But the World Health Organization team did not land in China until February 10th. Again, almost two months after the first detection, and now, two months after that, experts still doubt China's official count.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Chinese government, they are definitely not transparent. The local government has an incentive to under report the cases to boost the appearance of their good performance. We really don't have the information and evidence needed to be more confident about the Chinese government's numbers.
CULVER: Its acclaim the Chinese government has repeatedly shot down.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): The fact is, China has always been open, transparent, and responsible on informing the World Health Organization, and international community.
CULVER: China's health officials also heavily stress the recovery rate, pointing out that of the 82,000 reportedly infected here in China, more than 76,000 have survived this illness. And just this week, after some pressure, health officials began releasing data on asymptomatic cases. The new concern here, as lockdown restrictions ease, both people without symptoms, and those infected coming in from other countries, may expose others to the virus, and lead to a 2nd wave of infections here, the place where it all began. David Culver, CNN, Shanghai.
ALLEN: We've been bringing you a lot of grim statistics from around the world this hour, so next, some of uplifting stories, including this. A hunker down America finding interesting ways to pass the time. We will show you how some are spending their quarantined, including this guy.
ALLEN: Most Americans are staying at home during the coronavirus pandemic, and the videos they are posting online are any indication, they are finding some interesting ways to pass the time. Here is our Jeanne Moos with that.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's pretty obvious that everyone has too much time quarantine on their hands. Even someone as famous as Jack Black seems to be losing his equilibrium. Not to mention, his hat. If you cannot entertain yourself, let's say a casino, you might as well make-your-own slot on TikTok. And if you can't go to the gym, squirt dishwashing liquid, add water, make your own treadmill, and have the dog take the kids out for a spin, his dad can use cabinet doors to perform a drum solo.
Home quarantine videos have become a staple of late night. This for instance, was a recreation of a scene from home alone. Some folks are decking more than the halls, and getting museums in L.A. ask people to recreate famous paintings, a reclining nude gave rise to a reclining lab. Salvatore dollies melting timepieces led to limp lunch meat, and nothing limp about this performance by a family in the U.K. Their rendition of lame is, included in unfurled jacket flag, and many of the existential questions provoke by quarantine.
Or better yet, change your species. We were a little worried about how these little video has been galloping around the globe, spotting imitators like this dad and his daughter, seems likely two were about to position themselves, when she let her hair down.
This little video has been galloping around the globe, spawning imitators, like this dad and his daughter, seems likely, that people will keep horsing around, until it is time to dismount, and get back to work. Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
ALLEN: That is awesome. Please, keep it coming America, and everyone else. More of that. We all need some laughs. With the worldwide shortage of masks, some of found creative ways to meet the demand in Italy. A family owned tailor shop is now using dressmaking material to sow face masks. They have already donated more than 1,000 masks to their fellow residents, one group, though, was their focus in particular.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Every mother who gives birth during this period, will receive a free mask, with a heart from our town, as a gift.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: A makeshift workshop in Gaza, right here in Gaza city, with artist putting designs on face masks to encourage people to wear them. One of the artists says, that she came up with the idea, after her children refuse to wear masks at home. Yes, those are much more fun. I like those.
And in Algeria, volunteers are making disposable masks from paper towels. They hand out the mask to motorists, and others on the streets of Algiers. How about that.
Well, every cloud has a silver lining, but stay-at-home orders, and social distancing in place around the world, the birds are the big winner, free to roam, and many experts are keen on finding out how these measures are affecting these feathered creatures.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN WEAVER FITZPATRICK, DIRECTOR, CORNELL LAB OF ORNITHOLOGY: We have never seen anything like this. And, so indeed, we are learning about the very questions you are asking namely, how much does the human behavior actually changed bird behavior? That citizen scientists asking that question actually literally all over the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Well, a number of studies in the U.S. and Europe have shown that birds respond to human-made noise by reducing their own songs, or changing their frequency. Did you know? I didn't know that. With less human activity, birds are more likely to sing more. Ornithologist also believe that bird populations may increase, so all those sheltering in place may be for the birds, we should be glad that there will be more of them to see and hear.
I'm Natalie Allen, follow me on Instagram, @nataliallencnn, and I will have more news for you just ahead, our top stories here, you are watching, CNN.