Return to Transcripts main page


Trump Says States Refusing to Issue Statewide Stay-at-Home Orders Are "Not in Jeopardy" Despite Dozens of Combined Deaths; CDC Recommends Americans Wear Non-Medical Grade Masks But Trump "Won't be Doing it Personally"; Gov. Mike DeWine (R) Ohio Discusses About Not Relying on the Federal Government All of the Time When it Comes to Supply; High School Assistant Principal in NYC Dies from Coronavirus; Wife Mourns Loss of 42-Year-Old Husband: "I Am Shattered". Aired 7-8p ET

Aired April 3, 2020 - 19:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: I thought that was significant as well. All right. Jim Acosta, thanks as usual for joining us. To our viewers, thanks very much for watching.

Our coverage right now continues with Erin Burnett OUTFRONT.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next breaking news, the CDC now recommending all Americans wear face masks to slow the spread of coronavirus. But President Trump says he is not going to comply.

Plus, a massive $350 billion rescue plan for small businesses off to an extremely chaotic start, banks don't know what to do. So what's the administration's response as everyday matters so much.

And in New York, mother of three who's just lost her 42-year-old husband to coronavirus. She joins us. What she wants you to know.

Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, the breaking news, President Trump says the CDC is now recommending all Americans were non-medical face masks to help slow the spread of coronavirus. Now, the new guide lines, according to the President are voluntarily - are voluntary, I'm sorry, and he told reporters he will not be wearing a face mask.

The President also shooting down guidance from his task force that he consider a nationwide stay-at-home recommendation.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Should every state in this country have the kind of stay-at-home orders that we now see in places like Washington and New York.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'll leave it up to the governors. The governors know what they're doing. They've been doing a great job. I guess we're close to 90 percent anyway. And states that we're talking about are not in jeopardy. No, I would leave it to the governors.


BURNETT: The President's decision to leave it to the governors comes as the U.S. reports 1,094 deaths today. That is the most in one day. Every day, that seems to be the thing we say because that's the truth. It is rising day by day and with every passing hour, those numbers are getting worse.

And across the country, one state after the next reporting a record number of cases or deaths; Connecticut, Illinois, New York. The number of deaths in New York has doubled in the past three days to nearly 3,000.

Kaitlan Collins is OUTFRONT live near the White House to begin our coverage. And Kaitlan, in his task force briefing tonight, the President was combative, undermining guidance from the CDC on the face mask saying go ahead and wear them even if they're non-medical, which is confusing in and of itself, but then saying he himself will not even be wearing any kind of a mask when it comes to just the mask issue alone.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Erin. We knew there had been a lot of debate behind the scenes over whether or not to put out this guidance, telling Americans when they're going out in public, they should be covering their face in some manner. Obviously, the President said non-medical tonight because people were concerned that A; it could cause a run on an already low supply of masks and B; that it could let people get to relax and not pay as much attention to those social distancing guidelines if they felt like they were protecting themselves.

But then the President came out there and made some really notable remarks by really insisting that this was just voluntary guidance, saying it was not required and saying he himself is not going to follow it. So he seemed to undercut the fact that the CDC is now putting out this guidance saying this is the best practice they think people should be following when they're leaving their homes.

And it also comes, of course, after the Surgeon General himself gave people explicit instructions in early March saying do not buy masks. Tonight he said that was at the best guidance they had at the time saying that Americans didn't need to wear those masks. And of course, right now, they're saying do not wear a medical mask, but you should, if you can, if you want, according to the President, be covering your face in some manner.

So it does seem to undercut that and then, of course, the other thing the President said was talking about the stay-at-home orders really giving cover to those Republican governors and other governors who have not yet ordered those stay-at-home order. As you saw Alabama was really one of the later ones tonight doing so ordering that stay-at- home order.

The President says he is leaving it up to the governors. They are going to be making the decisions, he says, not the federal government with any recommendations about that.

BURNETT: And when you talk about sort of the mixed messaging, there's also, I know, this confusion over whether the governors should do national stay-at-home orders. Obviously, 6 percent of the population is not under them. But for those states, the President refusing to instruct them to do so.

This is something I know from your reporting, Kaitlan, I believe Dr. Fauci had advocated that the President would do a national stay-at- home order. And then Dr. Fauci, I understand, just at the last minute was not at the briefing.

COLLINS: No, Dr. Fauci wasn't there. There are times when he's not always at these briefings. They tend to rotate some of the officials out. You saw someone we haven't seen in a long time, the CDC Director, onstage with the President.

But just last night, Fauci was saying on CNN's town hall he doesn't understand why there are states that haven't issued these stay-at-home orders. They believe this is the best guidance. Of course, they've made clear that every state needs to be following those social distancing guidelines they put out in order to flatten the curve.

So he was saying he doesn't understand. The President did not offer that same amount of skepticism when he was asked about it. He really just said it's up to the states. He's not even going to make recommendations about it.

So it's really notable and the question, of course, is how long it takes for those states to eventually move into these stay-at-home orders if they ever do and, of course, what are the consequences if they don't.


BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Kaitlan.

And I want to go straight now to Dr. Sanjay Gupta. So, Sanjay, with the point here that Kaitlan was just talking about, the President said he won't be wearing a mask because, I guess, it would be odd if he was across from a king or a queen wearing a mask which, of course, is sending a message that is not the message medical professionals want people to get about wearing masks.

So now they're saying the CDC recommend that you wear non-medical mask, which is confusing anyway because people think if they need to wear masks, they're going to want to wear once that work and they were told the non-medical ones don't work, so there's that confusion. And then the President himself saying he won't do it. So what's the bottom line here?

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think, first of all, this is an evolving recommendation and I think there's confusion even among the CDC and how it's interacting with other health organizations. But I think what is really driving this, Erin, now is this knowledge that people who don't have any symptoms at all, who weren't coughing or sneezing or anything can still have the virus in their nose and mouth and they can still spread the virus.

So the medical masks like the N95 masks, for example, which have that airtight fill, are really designed to sort of protect you from getting the virus. With these cloth masks, these non-medical masks, it's more about preventing you from spreading the virus.

Now, it's not going to work perfectly because it's not a medical-grade mask. But the idea is that if you do carry the virus in your nose and mouth, it's going to make you less likely to put as much of the virus into the environment. It's not a perfect solution. I think they're really operating from this might help probably won't hurt sort of philosophy.


GUPTA: I will say this, maybe to your point, Erin, the head of the CDC, Dr. Robert Redfield, got up and made a few comments at the lectern and I was watching that pretty closely. I think he was sort of lukewarm on this whole thing. I don't know if the CDC felt a little pressured to do this or not. Up until yesterday, the CDC and the World Health Organization and I've asked them both about this have said, no, nobody really needs to be wearing a mask in public unless you're sick and in that case, you shouldn't be going out in public anyway.


GUPTA: So it's evolving quickly.

BURNETT: And just, I guess, to this point, we've also known that this could spread a symptomatically for quite some time. So I guess when people hear this, they're saying, all right, we knew that, but you're now saying that it can spread a symptomatically or just in general a lot more easily. This whole comment that they've been making over the past day that just by breathing.

Has it suddenly become the are not that they call it, in other words how many people or single person can in fact. Is that number suddenly much higher they think than we were told before that it's much more transmissible?

GUPTA: That's a great point and I asked them, I asked Dr. Fauci about this, specifically, and he basically said no. I mean, he said it can leave your nose and mouth and people who are asymptomatic, but he seemed to suggest that the distance that it would go would be even less than the six feet that they're sort of recommending.

So he thinks that while this can be something that can drive spread that the primary driver of spread still was people who were symptomatic. So it is a caution, but it's not as big a deal sort of. And the whole point about this letter that went out that said this can be spread through talking or just even breathing, you're absolutely right. That is what asymptomatic spread is.

If you're not coughing or sneezing, you're still spreading it, it's through these daily activities of just talking and breathing. So some of this was not surprising. I think what is surprising Aaron, again, to your point is that they're now reacting to it. They've known this for some time. They're now reacting to it and exactly why that got pushed like that, I'm not sure.

BURNETT: So how much does presidential leadership matter on this? I mean, just take this as a specific issue, because when the President was asked pacifically, when he made the announcement about the masks, here's part of what he said, Sanjay.


TRUMP: I just don't want to wear one myself. It's a recommendation. They recommend it. I'm feeling good. I won't be doing it personally. It's a recommendation.


BURNETT: All right. He has the benefit of anyone who comes around to now be taking a test, so I'll ask you about that in a moment. But, "I'm feeling good," the whole point is that people who are feeling good could be spreading it.

President Xi of China, he wore a mask and I understand it's culturally different there. However, how important is it that the President sort of giving the impression of I won't be doing it, I'm feeling good, it's kind of like a macho thing. I mean, is that something that's going to negatively impact people doing it?

GUPTA: It might. I mean, obviously, there's an example that's set at the top. I will say two things. One is that it's interesting because he has been tested a couple of times and he is negative.



GUPTA: I guess, just yesterday he was tested. The presumption with this is for people who have not been tested but are asymptomatic, they could still be spreading the virus. If you're negative, then this is really for you not to spread the virus, one could argue that you really don't need to do it.

The other thing is that this is in public. So if you're able to keep social distance like I wouldn't wear a mask in my own house, because I'm able to maintain some social distance and, obviously, I'm living with people. But if I was out in public and I could not maintain social distance, that would sort of be the time to do it.

So I think people are going to approach this differently. It is a voluntary recommendation, for sure. But you make a good point. I mean, look, if we're going to set an example and we need to flatten the curve, decrease the spread of this and this is now a recommendation, then we should be honest about it and diligent about it.

BURNETT: So now to this point that you mentioned that the President being negative and he did mention again that he had had another test which isn't surprising and he said he got the results back in, what, 30 minutes or something like that. The White House now says tonight that they're going to be giving those same rapid tests to anybody who is going to be coming in close contact with either the President or Vice President Pence.

Their reasoning is that they want to evaluate for pre symptomatic or asymptomatic carriers to limit inadvertent transmission. I mean, it seems like this makes sense but what's your take on that?

GUPTA: It's really interesting. You may remember some time ago, Erin, the President before he made that trip to the CDC, it was scheduled and then they took it off his schedule and the reason they took off the schedule at that time was because somebody at the CDC had tested positive. And I remember thinking at that point, I think we even discussed that night that is this going to become a thing where everyone around him is going to need to be tested and proven to be negative before interacting with the President.

And it seemed a little farfetched at that time because we didn't have enough tests. They take a while to get back. I don't know that this is a sustainable sort of strategy and also you do have surfaces that people touch. I noticed him with his hands on the lectern several times during the comments he just made, other people came up, put their hands on the lectern.

There's all of these different ways that people could potentially spread the virus and it's a difficult thing to say. By testing every single person, I'm going to guarantee that I will never get the infection. I'm not sure they can say that and how sustainable it will be in a week or two or three weeks from now.

BURNETT: So the President also tonight said that it is up to the governors to decide on stay-at-home orders and he will not do a national one, 94 percent of the U.S. population is, of course, under one because of their states. But there are states that don't have one, that 6 percent of the population. Should he make this now a national mandate?

GUPTA: Yes, he should. I mean, look, people need to say that and they need to be unequivocal about that. I mean, all of the modeling that we've talked about and there's some dire projections in terms of the number of people who could die here are based on the fact that the entire country, every state has these stay-at-home orders.

These are grim numbers already, but people don't always realize that we're not even there yet, we're not even where we should be in order to get to the numbers that we're talking about. The number of people who could die and get really sick by this could be higher, because there are states around the country that are not doing this.

And by the way, it's not just for the people in those states. It's for the people in those regions. This obviously is a very contagious virus. But also look, we have a certain amount of resources in terms of hospital beds, ICU beds, ventilators. We've been saying that for three months now, Erin.

If a state suddenly turns into a hotspot, knowing full well that the country doesn't have enough of these supplies, enough of these resources, what are they going to do? What is their plan at this point? We know what we're dealing with in terms of a finite number of resources, so they're gambling at this point.

They're gambling and hoping that they don't turn on one of these hotspots and what they're gambling with is a very contagious lethal virus.

BURNETT: All right. Sanjay, thank you very much.

And next, President Trump deflecting blame for the lack of medical supplies in the National Stockpile. He tells states they are on their own. Ohio's Governor responds next.

Plus, a 42-year-old man, a father of three no known preexisting conditions. He has died after contracting coronavirus. And tonight, his wife is OUTFRONT with a very important message for every American.

Plus, hospitals putting new policies in place as ventilators are running low. The excruciating question, who gets one and who doesn't?




BURNETT: Breaking, President Trump deflecting blame for the inadequate medical supplies in America's National Stockpile telling states that they should not rely on the stockpile.


TRUMP: We have a stockpile. It's a federal stockpile. We can use that for states or we can use it for ourselves. We do use it for the federal government.


BURNETT: It comes as state governments are warning they lack the resources needed to effectively fight the coronavirus.

OUTFRONT now, Gov. Mike DeWine of Ohio. And Governor, I appreciate your time, of course, and I know you have a lot going on right now.

You warned earlier that your state needs ventilators, your state needs other resources as well. But it sounds like you cannot count on the federal government for that. Are you counting on them at all at this point or are you assuming that because that stockpile is gone and he's saying it's gone that it's over from the feds?

GOV. MIKE DEWINE (R-OH): Well, we have states that really need it right now and I'm sure they're getting it, New York, for example, Louisiana is coming online. And so, we've always had the attitude we're Ohioans and we're going to go try to figure this out ourselves. Look, we've got help from the White House last weekend, for example,

the President intervened and we got an approval from the FDA about what Patel Lab was doing, what they've come up with. It's an amazing thing they can sanitize, sterilized 80,000 of the N95 mask every day. So that's really going to be a big help to us and that's frankly the kind of help that we need from the White House and this White House has been forthcoming in doing it.

BURNETT: So you're getting everything you need.


DEWINE: Well, look, everybody is looking for more masks. Everyone is looking for more tests. I mean, if you want to take a big lesson away, I guess, from this tragedy once we get done we'll look back and I think everybody will say, we've got to invest more in public health in the United States. We've not historically done that and we need to do that.

Second, we got to make this stuff ourselves. The fact that we now have to go to other countries to get this personal protection gear, for example, of our first responders and our doctors and our nurses, that's just not a good situation. So we got to change that in the long run. But right now, as governor of Ohio, we're focused on sourcing and procuring and finding whatever we can find and we also have - frankly, we've asked manufacturing based in Ohio and they've come forward, and they're trying to repurpose and manufacture some of the things that we need, so it's a race.

Look, we've told our people to stay home. Help us flatten that curve out. Give us more time to get ready. We're building out more hospital beds, doubling the capacity there. So we're getting ready and we're in a big race.

BURNETT: So you've told people to stay home, of course. And you've been praised for that for reacting early as obviously you're a little bit earlier on the curve and I know your surge is expected to come in weeks, not days. At least from the numbers that we've seen, Gov. DeWine.

Your stay-at-home water in Ohio, I understand extends till May 1st. But you have states in this country that have not issued stay at home orders at all. The President says he leaves that decision up to those governors, all of whom happened to be Republican governors. Is that the right public health decision or should the President just ask them to do it because they'll do it if he asks them to?

DEWINE: Well, I think everybody is coming around to that. And as you said, 90 percent of the population in the country is already there. The states around Ohio has certainly done that. I just got off a call with the governor of Kentucky and Indiana and we're working very, very closely together.

We did this early on, but we had an incident or not an incident, but we had something scheduled called the Arnold Classic in Columbus, Ohio and it kind of forced us to make this decision early. We're going to have 60,000 people come in for four days from 80 different countries and it made just absolutely no sense.

So early on we made that decision and we started down the pathway, frankly, of closing things and trying to, as I say, flatten that curve and buying us time and saving lives.

BURNETT: So you those governors will get there? Does it frustrate you though that the President hasn't asked them to do so? I mean, in the sense of people from those places could be coming to Ohio. I mean, this isn't a state by state issue. We don't have militarized borders in this country.

DEWINE: No, that's right. And look, we've said anybody coming to Ohio today who's not just passing through, but is actually going to come here, we've asked them to shelter in place, wherever they're going for 14 days and that's the right attitude. So we're conscious of people coming in from other states and certainly that does concern us.

BURNETT: Are you going to enforce that? Try to enforce that?

DEWINE: We've made that as a recommendation to them. I don't anticipate we're going to be arresting anybody for that. But, again, it's a very strong recommendation and we're telling people don't come here. We got to protect Ohioans.

BURNETT: Before we go, I want to ask you - right, one final question here. Your stay-at-home order does not apply to religious institutions. And one mega church in your state is continuing to hold services, downplaying the threat of the virus.

Last Sunday, Pastor Darlene Bishop Driscoll was talking about like, "We've already got rid of this thing they're calling the coronavirus or whatever, I'm praising Him," speaking of God, "like it's already done because it's already in Him." Are you OK with services like that still being held? What are you going to do about that?

DEWINE: No. No. Our churches - 99.9 percent of our churches are closed in Ohio, I would say. When I talk to pastors, I'm amazed at what they're doing remotely. When I talk to people, they tell me they're online with their congregation or they're doing it by radio, they're doing it some other way.

So the vast, vast majority of people in this state get it, the pastors get it, rabbis, priests, everybody, everybody gets this. There may be one or two or three outliers. We've told them this is a mistake. I've talked directly into the camera and address them.


I said, look, you're putting your congregation at risk and you should not do that. That is not the right thing to do.

BURNETT: All right. Gov. DeWine, I appreciate your time tonight. Thank you, sir.

DEWINE: Thank you very much. BURNETT: And next, a healthy a father of three, a popular basketball

coach dies after contracting coronavirus. His wife is OUTFRONT with an important message.

And chaos and confusion surrounding the administration's plans to give out these desperately needed loans to small businesses across this nation.



BURNETT: OUTFRONT tonight, the many lives lost too soon to coronavirus. Joseph Lewinger was a husband and father of three who lived on Long Island just outside of New York City. Worked for 20 years at a Catholic High School where he was the assistant principal and coached the basketball team. He was incredibly beloved by his students. One saying he was like a second father.

Lewinger passed away on Saturday at the age of 42 and his wife, Maura, joins us now. And Maura, look, you and I were just speaking briefly before this began and not only am I so sorry but, of course, it is impossible to truly imagine the depth of your loss, the suddenness of it, the unexpectedness of it.


But I know that you are on tonight to speak to people at this moment, and that you have something important you want to tell them.

Tell us.


My husband gave 110 percent to everything he did. When I met him in college, he was known as Mr. St. Joe's because he -- everything, he embodied every spirit of that college.

And then getting a job at Mary Louis Academy right out of college, he just became that guy who everybody loved, everybody was inspired by. Every lesson he had his students engage and wanting to learn more.

I received a letter from his chairperson and she said she never learned more about economics than in his Santa's workshop elves lesson, and that touched me because I don't -- I never got to see him as a teacher in front of a classroom, but I can imagine because I see him with our own children, and I see him with the members in our community, and with our friends. And he always has a listening ear, no matter what you're talking about, Joe was always listening. Always felt like you were the most important person in the room.

BURNETT: And, Maura, you are -- you both are just so young. I mean, he was only 42. No preexisting conditions that you know of. I mean, when he became sick, I'm sure that this could have happened, never crossed your mind that this could have ended this way. LEWINGER: Not, not at all. I mean, he started out mild symptoms. Low

grade fever. And then couple days later he stayed up quarantined right away not thinking.

He actually was -- denied the test originally because he wasn't symptomatic enough, and then when we did get the test, those results took longer and we're told, if he gets worse to go to the emergency room. And that's what happens on St. Patrick's Day, the 17th.

His fever continued to spike and he started to have labored breathing and he said, I have to go. This is -- something's not right so they admitted him. And he had already been on oral antibiotics for what they knew was a pneumonia. And it had gotten worse and he was immediately put on oxygen and put -- admitted to the floor.

And then they began the protocol that they're using, anti-malaria drugs and azithromycin, he had that for five days and then he had a trial drug, the name escapes me right now, and that drug is used in rheumatoid arthritis treatment. And it was part of the trial, so there is a chance that he didn't get it. I don't know the answer to that yet. But he did become a febrile 24 hours after receiving that infusion, whether it be the drug or a placebo, I'm not sure.

So, everybody kind of got their hopes up with being without a fever, 24 hours, 48 hours. But I saw his breathing. We spent pretty much 24/7 on FaceTime just trying to meditate, trying to calm him, trying to not let him feel alone.

Everybody -- the world is getting -- the country is getting used to remote learning and I had -- we had to get used to virtual care giving and virtual marriage, and just being there for each other.

And when I finally -- I had said to him, do you want me to say something for the prayers? Do you want me to put it out there and not make it public public but with our own friends and family who didn't know yet?

And he was -- he was debating it, and then when I finally did post and I made it public I said to him, before I did it I said, babe, it's time. I said it's time to make this known. Besides the prayers I said, people are not listening. People are not taking this serious enough.

There are still kids riding their bikes, there are still that don't live together. You want to go for a walk with your family, you want to take a ride the car with your family, I get it. We're stir crazy too, but only be with the people that live in your house.

Only go to the store if you must, if you must. People -- OK.

BURNETT: And I just wanted to ask you, Maura, you talk about FaceTime. Were you able to be with him when he died or no?

LEWINGER: I was. I was. I was. Yes.

BURNETT: You were, thank God. LEWINGER: I was. Yes, they -- the doctors kept me very much in the

loop. She called and told me that -- I had called in the morning. He was put on the ventilator and sedated. And then he -- he was transferred to the ICU.


And then I called and spoke with that nurse and he was very reassuring and I asked him to play music and I told him what he liked to listen to, and then he said he -- he's like he's heavily sedated but I definitely will.

And the next morning, I waited a little bit. I know everybody's busy taking care of everybody. So around 11:00, I called and I got a friendly -- talked to a nurse and she said that the team would be calling later in the afternoon. They're going to call all the ICU families but he was fine, stable, and sedated, so, no change. So I said, OK. And I went about taking care of my children.

And then around 2:00, the doctor called and I expected to hear the same thing and I had a list of questions because everybody asked about this, ask about that, and so I did. And she said that she's a little bit concerned because he's on three blood pressure medications and his breathing is just not good. That he's not expelling the carbon from his lungs.

And then I said, well, I need to -- I need to speak with him. And she said, OK, I don't think there's a phone, I said just go get his. I'll give you the code, get his and she FaceTimed and I saw him and I begged him not to leave us and I told him that we all needed him and -- and then she said, I don't want to cut your time short but we have to take care of him and I said, OK, please call me back, and she did.

She called me back and she told me her next idea that was kind of out of the back pocket, you know, they didn't know if it was going to work but a last ditch and I said, OK. And then I was just busying myself. I was actually doing dishes, just busying myself listening to our wedding song on loop, staring out to the backyard and it dawned on me that oh, my gosh, he would need last rights. We're Catholic. He would need last rites.

If this it, he's going to need last rites and I called back and she -- she said, absolutely. We'll have that waiting and I said, OK, and then, call me back. So, she again called me back and her words to me were, we have thrown the kitchen sink at him and I'm afraid he doesn't have any more time.

And so, I said, then I need to be on FaceTime again. I need to be with him. I said, hurry, hurry in the room and get him on FaceTime. And so she did. She did.

And I thanked him. I thanked him for being the most amazing husband and for making me feel cherished and loved every single day. Every single day, my husband wrote me beautiful love letters in my lunchbox, not just have a great day, but just beautiful letters about what I meant to him and our plans for the weekend, maybe if it was Friday or just about you know, maybe the nice morning -- we always had a beautiful morning.

He always took care of me, he got me my coffee and just wanted to help me get out of the house and help me -- help me in every way. And so I thanked him. I thanked him.

And then I prayed, and then the doctor took the phone and he said, I'm sorry. But there's no more pulse.

And then I played our wedding song for him. And then -- and then that was it. So, I was -- I was with him when he passed.

But I don't anybody else to experience this. This morning, I woke up to a notification on my phone that 43 in Nassau County, 43 people alone overnight died because people are just not being careful. People are just being so invincible feeling.

They think it can't happen to them and maybe -- maybe they won't. It won't happen to them. But maybe they're carrying it and they don't know it.

And I -- for my cousin today, I heard that my -- my -- their 11-year- old daughter had to yell at her 11-year-old friends for inviting her to the park. Why are you inviting me? You're supposed to be home. Why are you together?

Parents, you have to mean, you have to not care if your kids hate you right now. They're going to hate you no matter what, because this whole thing, everything about it is awful. But you cannot -- you cannot be with people that are in your house, as sad and lonely and everything that is, you must, must stay with only the people in your house.

BURNETT: You know, Maura, I want to just so our viewers know I mean, I think your love for him -- I'm sorry. It made me cry actually. It's a beautiful thing, but I also wanted everyone to know about the love that your community had for your husband.

I know that the procession yesterday because you couldn't have a funeral.


There were at least a hundred cars, many of them with these beautiful signs of support.

LEWINGER: A hundred thirty-one -- 131 plus the fire trucks.

BURNETT: And, you know, you -- you and your three children have this indescribable loss, but he had such a huge impact on his students. You know, when we talk about 20 years at that school and being a coach, I know they called him J. Lew (ph) I guess that's what we were told.

LEWINGER: Yes, yes.

BURNETT: And a few of them reached out to us today just to talk about how much he meant to them, and I just wanted to play what three of them said -- Amanda, Mauriel (ph), and Madden -- for you, Maura.

LEWINGER: Thank you.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I knew that if I went to that school under his watch, I'd be OK. We'll always love the Lewingers. They're always with us.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Joe had a special way of connecting with folks. He also set this, you know, bar high and continuously wanted you to excel.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am certain that his presence of compassion and kindness and sense of humor and goodness will be with every single student he impacted forever.


BURNETT: He meant so much to them. I mean, how much did his calling, his job, his students mean to him, Maura?

LEWINGER: Oh, gosh. It's indescribable. It's indescribable. The amount of time and effort that he put into everything he did. Everything he did.

He served, besides teacher, coach athletic director and assistant principal, he was on our board of education for our own children's school districts. He just gave every part of him to every part of his life, his family, his friends.

It's just -- that was Joe. And everybody meant the world to him. He never complains about anything. He just did.

It was always a race against the clock. He would come home from one meeting, shove dinner down his face, and he'd be off to the next one and it just -- that's just what he did. It was always like, on the weekend, OK, let's talk about the week coming up.

All right, what day are you going to be home with me? Like that's what -- you know, because he just -- he's just such a giver. He was such a giver and in every respect of the word.

He just loved to make people happy. He loved to make people feel loved. And I think everybody around him did.

And something that one of the students I don't remember who it was or where I saw it, but it rang -- it just resonated so much with me that she said that she was grieving for the future students of Mary Louis that they would not experience J. Lew and they wouldn't know what it is to walk down the hall and get a high-five from him.

And that just -- just spoke volumes to me.

BURNETT: Maura, you shared a picture that your son posted on Instagram of himself and his father there in the water, and the caption read: He was my Marvel superhero, my Jedi master, my Costco shopping buddy. Even though it breaks my heart that he's gone, I'll always know he has his hand on my shoulder looking down on me.

You also have two daughters.


BURNETT: And I know one very young for your children.

How are you handling them and how are they handling this indescribable and in incomprehensible loss?

LEWINGER: It's hard to put to words. They're relying on their friends a lot, FaceTime is definitely a blessing. Madison especially, she's my social butterfly. She is involved in so many circles and loved by so many, and is Jack.

But Maddie has really -- she's relied on FaceTime and talking with her camp counselor friends and her school friends and her neighborhood friends, and she's just always on talking with somebody.

And Jack also through text and FaceTime, and he finds a lot of solace in his comments that people wrote and just reaching out and just, you know, made him feel proud especially.

My little one, she's mad. She's really mad. She's -- her vocabulary and her expressive language skills are higher than the bar and -- but she is acting out. She's definitely -- and that's not her.

It's just not her at all and she's just angry. She's just angry. She told me just before actually two minutes before I began talking with you, I was cutting and gluing paper, we're making people, and she said, I have nowhere. I'm mad, I'm mad at God. I'm really angry.

I said, that's OK. You're allowed to be angry. You're allowed to be angry at whoever and whatever you want. We're all -- we're all angry. We're all upset.

But it really -- it hasn't 100 percent set in, of course, because we can't go through the typical pomp and circumstance that we're used to.

My six-year-old also said, daddy, can have a wake?


We haven't had a wake in so long and she's saying that because we had my grandmother's wake a year and a half ago at 92. You celebrate that. You're laughing with your cousins at the wake, you're telling stories, you're so excited to see people and not for that reason, but you're happy to see them.

And so, she said that -- you know, that's -- that's what daddy should have and I 100 percent agree.

There's nobody deserves a party more than my husband. Nobody deserves a celebration of life more than my husband. So, hopefully, when this madness is over, that's what he'll have and for now, we can have a quiet private family burial, just immediate family, and at least say good-bye in some respect to make it a little bit more real because right now not seeing anybody, it's sometimes just feels like he's at work.

I'm doing the dishes and I'm asking my son to take out the garbage, and it just feels like he's working late and then, of course, I realize he's not.

BURNETT: Maura, you are in our thoughts and I know the thoughts of everyone watching.

LEWINGER: Thank you. Thank you.

BURNETT: I hear that precious little voice behind you.

But I do hope that for everyone watching, not only can they realize and celebrate the life of someone who is clearly a beautiful person, who was gone too soon but also to take this, as you say, so seriously and understand the lives and the families that are -- that are on the line. Thank you so very much.

LEWINGER: You're very welcome. Thank you for listening to our story.

BURNETT: And we'll be right back.



BURNETT: Tonight, devastating news across the country on jobs, unemployment rate rising last month, millions of people searching for ways to put food on the table as government says the stimulus checks aimed at helping relieve their pain are weeks away.

Kyung Lah is OUTFRONT.


ANTONIO WILLIAMS, LFYT DRIVER: The average worker, what do we do?

By the time we get them, they're not going to be any help.

KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In Newark, New Jersey, Lyft driver Antonio Williams says it's too late for Washington stimulus checks. He is down to his last $65.

WILLIAMS: Currently unemployed. No rides. I don't know how to feel right now. I'm definitely lost. I want to be mad, but I can't demand at anybody. There's nobody to be mad at.

LAH: The calls, and the cash flow have simply stop for Williams, and millions more who are living in the gig economy, the workforce that relies on booking appointments, or gigs for their income.

TY MAYBERRY, ACTOR: If they could be out every day, working, and constantly thinking about where that next job is going to come. So, something like this, they are unable to get out there and work. It's making us realize just how fragile -- how fragile this is.

LAH: In Los Angeles, actor Ty Mayberry is used to gig, after gig, after gig. But now, the married father of twins is experiencing a frightening new scene.

MAYBERRY: I do wake up without any auditions in my email, without my manager calling, without my agent calling. And it's kind of a shock to the system.

LAH: And a shock to the U.S. economy. According to a 2018 research poll, nearly a quarter of the American workforce relies on gigs for their income. Now, all but gone.

Employers that are still busy, from supermarkets, to drugstores, and online retailers, have stepped up their hiring efforts, but it's not nearly enough to absorb the 10 million unemployment claims made last month.


LAH: America Gonzalez and her son Jayson used to clean 10 to 15 homes a week in Houston, Texas.

JAYSON GREY, HOUSEKEEPER: We've seen a 50 percent drop. A drastic drop, actually. It feels like we are in the desert. It feels like really, really tough.

LAH: While they are grateful for the few clients that continue to support them, they have had to speak frankly about what might come next.

GREY: The thing we agree on is that if worse is to come, we cannot pay stuff, and we end up being without a home or a car, we are still going to be OK.

STEVEN MNUCHIN, TREASURY SECRETARY: Within two weeks, the first money will be in people's account.

LAH: Two more weeks in Washington's best scenario is longer than many can afford to wait.

WILLIAMS: What about people like us right now? You know, we're just waiting.

LAH: Kyung Lah, CNN, Los Angeles.


BURNETT: And OUTFRONT now, Austan Goolsbee, former chairman of the council of economic advisers under President Obama.

And, Austan, of course, you went through the financial crisis and the great recession. So, so, what is the solution here? They're saying, you know, it takes several weeks to get these checks out. Is there any way that this can go faster? Because for so many people, living week to week, there is going to be an issue, right? Even just food on the table?

AUSTAN GOOLSBEE, FORMER CHAIRMAN, COUNCIL ON ECONOMIC ADVISERS UNDER OBAMA: I think there is going to be an issue. Getting the money out in 2 to 3 weeks, that's about as good as the government has ever done. I am worried about more of the money going out through unemployment to chariots. Gig workers are supposed to qualify for employment insurance payments, but the state unemployment filings are totally overloaded.

If you look at New York, you have to -- you have to literally speak to a person live, you can't just do it online. And you have had people calling 200 times in the last week, they cannot get through. I think this is a big problem to get this money out the door, and get it in a timely way.

BURNETT: Right, every day, really does matter. It is not as if there was a small drop, this is a complete and sudden cessation of their living. You also have small businesses, restaurants, bars, right, this is the first day that they can apply for loans through this stimulus program, right?


BURNETT: My understanding is that this process could be best described as chaotic. Banks are frustrated, business owners are frustrated. I mean, what do they do to fix this? Again, for these people, this is their livelihood.

GOOLSBEE: It's their livelihood, and they have to address this issue.


Look, it's a lot of money for small business, more than $350 billion, but they set it up so that it is going through banks. They only gave them the rules last night about how the program works, so almost every bank has adopted a strategy that if you weren't already a customer of that bank, then they are not interested in making the loans yet.

And the thing about the $350 billion, it is first come first serve money. So, the people who are the best connected, who, in other words, are the least at risk, are the ones who already have lines of credit at their bank, and those are the ones who are going to get the money first. So, I think that's a problem.

BURNETT: It would certainly seem to be.

All right. Thank you very much, Austan. I appreciate your time. Talk to you again next week. Thank you so much.

GOOLSBEE: You bet.

BURNETT: And we'll be right back.


BURNETT: And thank you for joining us as we continue to cover the pandemic, our coverage continues now with Anderson and "AC360".