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NEW DAY SATURDAY
U.S. Records Deadliest Day Since Outbreak Began; Trump Undermines CDC Advice To Wear Masks In Public; NYC Mayor Announces That NY Doesn't Have Enough Ventilators For Next Week; Nearly 96 Percent Of People In The U.S. Told To Stay At Home; Thousands Of Volunteer Doctors Respond To Italy's Crisis; Trump Fires Official Who Flagged Ukraine Whistleblower; President Trump Announces New Face Mask Recommendations; Under Armour Creates "No-Sew" Face Mask. Aired 6-7a ET
Aired April 4, 2020 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's going to be really a voluntary thing. You can do it. You don't have to do it. I'm choosing not to do it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mounting frustration among governors who are looking to the White House for help to get ventilators, masks and other life-saving equipment.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This will go down in history as a profound failure of our national government.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As we speak, we're putting in place a better system in real-time.
MEETA SHAH, DOCTOR, RUSH UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER: It's just amazing to me how quickly people turn. They come in and suddenly they looked OK and then they don't.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At Chicago's Rush University Medical Center, doctors and nurses come to work to fight COVID-19.
LEAH SIEGEL, NURSE PRACTITIONER: Yes. I think something that's going to stick with me through all of this is just kind of the initiative people are taking and the ingenuity people are exhibiting, just like figuring this out as we go.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is NEW DAY WEEKEND with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Well, this morning governors and mayors and doctors across the country, they are hoping that today will be different. After days of new record numbers of deaths from COVID-19, Friday now became the new deadliest day in the U.S. since the pandemic started. One-thousand-one-hundred-sixty-nine people died yesterday. We've now lost more than 7,100 Americans to this virus. CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: You know who they are. They're mothers, they're fathers, brothers, sisters, friends, family. I mean, there's no corner of this nation that's been left untouched by this crisis and as you wake up, the number of cases is growing. More than 278,000 people across the country have been infected now.
BLACKWELL: Almost the entire country is under a stay-at-home or shelter-in-place order. Forty-two states have told people to stay in their homes, but despite the recommendations from top officials, the president is resisting a national order. He says the governors are best to decide what's in the best interest of their states.
PAUL: AS that curve continues to push upward, the president's displaying a do as I say, not as I do stance. Moments after unveiling new recommendations that we all, Americans, need to wear face masks, President Trump quickly noted that he will not participate in that.
BLACKWELL: CNN National Correspondent, Kristen Holmes is with us now live from the White House. Kristen, the president answered some questions, created others yesterday, a bit of confusion from the White House.
KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Victor. Well, look, that's absolutely right and this is just the latest in what we have seen over and over again since this coronavirus outbreak started here on U.S. soil. Essentially two teams, you have the public health officials on one side and President Trump and the administration on another obviously oftentimes having completely different viewpoints.
At one point, President Trump was saying that this was all a hoax, that we didn't need to take it that seriously. Health officials of course saying you need to do that, people need to stay home, they need to stay away from others, we don't know how quickly this could spread. So back and forth, back and forth and of course, as you mentioned, Christi, the latest with these masks.
The CDC, one of the nation's top health organizations, part of the government here, saying that they believe -- they're recommending people wear some kind of fabric or cloth over their mouth in public, especially if you're -- if you're in the hot spots and President Trump almost essentially coming out right afterwards and saying this. Take a listen.
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TRUMP: So with the masks, it's going to be really a voluntary thing. You can do it. You don't have to do it. I'm choosing not to do it, but some people may want to do it and that's OK. It may be good. Probably will. They're making a recommendation. It's only a recommendation. It's voluntary.
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HOLMES: Now, there was a follow-up there that why President Trump wouldn't wear it and he said he didn't think that, you know, wearing some sort of mask or something over his face in the Oval Office when he was talking to dignitaries would work for him, but again, sending a mixed message here that it's totally voluntary, that this is just one idea when you have these health officials who are desperately trying to end that upward curve that we're seeing.
BLACKWELL: Kristen, there were those comments on Thursday from senior adviser and the president's son-in-law Jared Kushner about the strategic national stockpile. The president tried to take some steps to clear that up. Did he do it?
HOLMES: Not really, no and instead he actually got into a back-and- forth with a reporter and called the question nasty at one point. I do want to make something very clear. There are two things to note here. The strategic national stockpile is for the United States of America, meaning it is also for all of these states. If there is any sort of disaster, that is where people turn.
Now, on the other hand, it is not meant to solve a nationwide pandemic, but that's not exactly what Jared Kushner was saying. What he was saying was it's not meant for the states and the big question then is who is it meant for?
Why is it there if it's not meant to help supplement these states, particularly at a time like this when there is a nationwide emergency and we know that these states still to this day, months, weeks into this pandemic, cannot get the materials that they need?
PAUL: Kristen Holmes, thank you so much. I know a lot going on there. We appreciate it.
BLACKWELL: Well, let's talk more about the masks now. If you are confused, we understand, about whether you need a mask, you're not alone. CNN's Sanjay Gupta takes a closer look at these new guidelines from the CDC.
SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: If you've been a little confused about the whole mask thing, you're not alone here because the recommendations have been changing and I got to say, you know, this whole situation is obviously evolving. So let me tell you what the current guidelines are and give you a little bit of an explanation as to why.
First of all, now the CDC is saying if you go out in public, if you have to go out in public for some essential reason, then you should wear a cloth mask of some sort, something that looks something like this. This is something that my daughter actually made for me, but point is you should not wear a medical mask. You need to save those obviously for health care workers.
Now, you may be asking, well, why do I have to wear a mask? Here's the thinking. It's this sort of idea that even if you don't have any symptoms, if you're asymptomatic as you have heard this term now, you're not coughing, you're not sneezing, you could still harbor the virus in your nose and your mouth and you could still spread the virus that way. That is what asymptomatic spread is. So by wearing a mask like this, even a cloth mask like this, you're actually decreasing the amount of virus you're putting out into the environment. So when you wear a mask in public, that is to protect other people, not to protect yourself necessarily. So that's an important point that I want to make sure people understand.
The other thing, again, it goes without saying that the first recommendation is that you stay home. I mean, this is still about social distancing and a mask should not give you some sort of -- make you feel like you have a sense of comfort about going out. You don't want to have that false sense of security from the mask nor do you want to lose your discipline about staying home as much as possible.
I will say, look, it's still a controversial recommendation. The World Health Organization doesn't necessarily recommend this. This is unusual in the United States. I mean, obviously culturally around the world there are countries where people are more likely to wear masks and I'm sure that was a big part of the debate as to whether or not to recommend it voluntarily in this country, but here we are. This is a changing time for everybody everywhere in the world.
So the current recommendations, again, recommendations, if you have to go out for some essential reason, can wear a cloth mask, not a medical mask. The reason being to protect others from you possibly spreading the virus to them. Hope that helps.
BLACKWELL: It does. Dr. Sanjay Gupta for us. New York City, the mayor there, Bill de Blasio, he issued a pretty frightening warning. He says that Sunday, tomorrow, is D-day because that's when the city is expected to run out of ventilators.
PAUL: That warning came of course as New York saw its biggest one-day jump in deaths. The state now reporting nearly 3,000 people who've died. Want to go to CNN's Athena Jones. She's following the latest in New York for us this morning. Athena, helped us understand what it is like for people there right now.
ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christi. Well, you know, New York is still the epicenter and New York City is the epicenter of the epicenter with U.S. cases approaching 300,000. Cases in the state of New York account for almost a third of that. More than half of those are right here in New York City and that's why you're seeing all of these efforts to make sure there are enough hospital beds, there are enough staff to take care of these, what's this influx of patients and that they -- that staff has enough supplies like annihilators, like personal protective equipment and that is what we've been hearing from state and city leaders for days now.
You know, you just mentioned that jump of nearly 3,000 deaths. That's the biggest one-day increase in deaths that the state has seen and so it shows that we are still a long way from that apex we hear Governor Cuomo talking about. We have not yet seen a real flattening of the curve in terms of these statistics that we're seeing at these daily press conferences.
Now, when it comes to the issue of ventilators, because we've seen so many of these COVID patients, doctors and nurses telling me they're arriving sicker at the hospital, President Trump said at his press conference on Friday that New York -- he can't guarantee that New York will have enough ventilators from the national stockpile. He said New York should have had more ventilators at the time, saying they should have taken advantage in the past of opportunities to get more ventilators.
But you know, the bottom line about this national stockpile is that everyone's acknowledged that the supplies there are dwindling, there have been reports of problems with some of the supplies that they've sent out, some of the ventilator machines in particular.
Listen to what Governor Cuomo had to say about the ventilator situation at his press conference on Friday.
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GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): We don't have enough ventilators. We're doing everything possible, splitting of ventilators, using BiPAP machines by this new protocol, using the anaesthesia ventilators. We're talking to the federal government to be as helpful as they can from the federal stockpile, but in truth, I don't believe the federal stockpile has enough to help all the states.
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JONES: And one more thing about this ventilator issue. The governor said that he's been talking about the state's hospital system as a system where the hospitals should be working together. He said it's essential that we all help each other and so he asked upstate hospitals that aren't seeing the big surge that New York is seeing to loan 20 percent of their unused ventilators to the struggling hospitals here in New York City and other areas around downstate they call it. He said there is no upstate, there's no downstate, we're one state and we act this way.
And to that point, he -- through an executive order, the governor is going to be allowed to take ventilators and personal protective equipment from institutions that don't need them now. Those institutions will either be reimbursed for the cost of that equipment or the equipment will be returned to them. This is all part of making sure that what -- that New York City's hospitals and New York's hospitals have what they need.
BLACKWELL: Athena, tell us more about the Javits Center and the acceptance of COVID patients now.
JONES: That's right. So we're here outside the Javits Center. It's a huge convention center on the west side of Manhattan. This is one of the places that has been set up as a temporary hospital and so originally it wasn't going to be housing COVID-19 patients, but now, starting Monday, they will begin to receive patients suffering from the coronavirus.
Now, I want to note that these are going to be non-critical patients because, you know, this whole idea of ICU, intensive care units and ventilators, here the idea is to transport patients who are more stable. Maybe they need oxygen, but they don't necessarily need to be intubated and put on a ventilator and this is important because, you know, hospital administrators said, you know, they were relieved that this facility is now going to be used for COVID patients because we thought it was unrealistic that Javits and the U.S. Navy ship Comfort would be not accepting COVID patients because as a practical matter in New York. everybody is COVID.
And I can tell you that's what I'm hearing from sources as well. They're seeing patients coming into hospitals. I talked to an ER doctor in Brooklyn. Patients coming in with appendicitis, with a stroke, with a leg infection, they end up showing a signs of COVID. So it's mostly hospitals devoted to COVID patients.
JONES: Victor, Christi.
BLACKWELL: Athena Jones for us there outside the Javits Center in New York. Thank you so much.
PAUL: Thanks, Athena. Obviously so many of us are desperately trying to avoid catching the disease or passing it on by staying at home, but listen, the reality is there are people who are going to work surrounded by people who are infected with COVID-19 and they're just trying to treat them.
BLACKWELL: Yes. So our Ryan Young went to a hospital to give you an idea of what it's like to work inside a medical facility as it's consumed by COVID-19.
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SHAH: It's just amazing to me how quickly people turn. They come in and suddenly they looked OK and then they don't.
RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: At Chicago's Rush University Medical Center, doctors and nurses come to work to fight COVID-19.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:I'm seeing all the beds lined up in the hallway waiting to be used. That's not anxiety-provoking at all.
YOUNG: The work starts right as they walk in the door.
SHAH: Patient was hypoxic so they were trying to get her oxygen saturation improved and get her stabilized quickly. So this is kind of what happens when a patient comes in. You try to minimize the number of people that are in the room right now. So you can see there's probably only three or four people in there, only the key people and they will try to get her stabilized so that she doesn't need to get intubated and put on a ventilator. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stress level's definitely high. Hundred percent have difficulty sleeping at night. I think it's important to note that this affects the young and the old. No one's really immune to this at all.
SHAH: This is our decon area. See, don't enter unless we're taking care of our PUIs, which is our persons under investigation.
YOUNG: The sick many times show up in denial of their symptoms, not wanting to be sick, unsure, afraid of what could be next.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some people turn around and leave actually or it can be -- it can be an anxiety-inducing experience I think. When people come in and they're -- you know, maybe they haven't been in the medical system for a while or they don't really know, you know, the state of things now and they see us in full personal protective equipment and our masks and the tents set up.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So you can see right now we have a patient who's come in who actually is known COVID positive and is feeling very short of breath.
YOUNG: Despite the risk to themselves, those here believe in a oath to help save lives.
SIEGEL: I think something that's going to stick with me through all of this is just kind of the initiative people are taking and the ingenuity people are exhibiting, just like figuring this out as we go.
DOUGLAS KRYSAN, PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT: I think every health care professional gets into this field because they want to help people. So being able to be somebody who can make a difference in this time is also something that I think is empowering.
YOUNG: Ryan Young, CNN, Chicago.
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BLACKWELL: Our thanks to Ryan Young for that story and our thanks to our medical professionals who work the long hours with a lot of concerns who take care of all of us. Now, listen, we are wrapping up week three of our new abnormal and I know there are a lot of questions. The guidance changes pretty often. We want to hear from you. What are your questions about how to protect yourself, protect your family, where you should and should not go, things you should and should not do?
Submit your questions on Twitter. We're at @Christi_Paul, I'm at @Victor Blackwell. We're both on Instagram as well. We will try to get your answers today on NEW DAY. We've got some epidemiologists, public health professionals to answer all of those great questions.
PAUL: We will get them and thank you so much for your questions because our priority is to make sure that they get answered for you. Listen, there's another figure in President Trump's impeachment saga that's out of a job this morning. The fallout over the firing of the intelligence community inspector general.
BLACKWELL: Plus, when the Italian government asked for volunteer doctors to help with their COVID-19 crisis, the response really exceeded their expectations. We're going to share some of their stories.
PAUL: Well, Italian health officials say the COVID-19 curve is flattening due to a decrease of new cases there. The virus has killed nearly 14,000 people, though, in that country including dozens of doctors.
BLACKWELL: The government asked for 300 volunteer doctors to help with the crisis and nearly 7,000 responded. CNN's Ben Wedeman has a few of their stories.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The hospitals of northern Italy are overwhelmed, intensive care units overrun with coronavirus patients, doctors and nurses pushed to the limits of endurance. The Italian government recently called for 300 volunteer doctors to help their beleaguered colleagues. Nearly 7,000 responded. Among them was Samin Sedghi Zadeh, a young doctor now working in a hospital in the badly hit northern town of Cremona.
SAMIN SEDGHI ZADEH, DOCTOR: There were several times in these weeks where I felt that I should cry or I should scream. The situation made us living in a sort of illusion, a bad dream, a nightmare actually.
WEDEMAN: And a nightmare for his parents knowing where he is and what he's doing.
ZADEH: I can see when I -- when I call my parents, for example, that they are scared of course.
WEDEMAN: At a military airport outside Rome, a group of doctors prepares to fly north. More doctors and nurses are desperately needed in the effort to stop the spread of coronavirus. At this point, dozens of doctors have died from the disease. More than 10,000 medical personnel have tested positive.
The youngest doctor on the flight, 29-year-old Julia D'Angelo (ph), didn't hesitate to volunteer. As a doctor, she says, I felt I had to help out and not think about me and my concerns, but rather to be useful to others. Thirty-one-year-old Dr. Juliana Victrongulo (ph) recalls that her parents were alarmed when she told them she'd signed up. They didn't react well, she says. They were worried, they tried to dissuade me, but they saw I was motivated and determined, so they accepted it and supported me.
Friends and family are worried, yet cardiologist Angelo Arrestia (ph) is stoic about the risks. It's our work, he says. If not now, when? And now is when the need is greatest. Ben Wedeman, CNN, Rome.
PAUL: Still ahead, breaking down the CDC recommendation to use those face coverings when going out in public places. We're talking to a doctor, what she recommends and how she recommends we approach this. Also, your other coronavirus questions, we thank you so much. We've gotten a number of them already. We will be posing those to her as well.
PAUL: Well, despite the coronavirus embroiling every level of government right now, President Trump found time last night to fire another official that's involved in the impeachment.
BLACKWELL: Here's CNN's Senior Justice Correspondent, Evan Perez.
EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Michael Atkinson, the inspector general for the intelligence community, is out of a job, the president informing the intelligence committees in the House and Senate that he has lost confidence in Atkinson. Atkinson is the one who forwarded to the intelligence committees a whistleblower complaint that said that the president was trying to pressure the Ukrainian government into announcing investigations into Joe Biden and his son.
We've been waiting for some time that Atkinson might be out of a job and it appears that in the middle of the coronavirus emergency, the president has decided that now is the time to get rid of the inspector general for the intelligence community. Evan Perez, CNN, Washington.
BLACKWELL: Representative Adam Schiff, chair of the House Intelligence Committee, issued a statement. Here's part of it. "At a time when our nation is dealing with a national emergency and needs people in the intelligence community to speak truth to power, the president's dead of night decision puts our country and national security at even greater risk."
PAUL: The Trump administration is planning to reimburse hospitals for treating uninsured coronavirus patients. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar says the money is coming from a $100 billion fund set up in the CARES Act. According to Secretary Azar, another 1 billion is already being sent out to cover provider's expenses for testing and diagnosing the uninsured.
And now he says, providers will be reimbursed at Medicare rates and will not be allowed to balance bill the uninsured for the cost of their care.
BLACKWELL: Well, the American Hospital Association says it is encouraged the administration to look at options other than using the fund which it stress it's meant to provide emergency relief at the hospitals. It suggests including opening a special enrollment period for Obamacare or expanding Medicaid.
PAUL: Now, the CDC is recommending the voluntary use of face coverings to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, even if people who don't have symptoms. But they're not meant to be a substitute for social distancing, washing hands, all of that still applies here. So, what is the right way to use these masks? Dr. Jennifer Caudle is with us now. She's a family physician and associate professor at Rowan University Department of Family Medicine, thank you so much for the work that you're doing, for answering people's questions.
Because this is a really tough one. So, what do you say about this new mandate from the CDC that we --
JENNIFER CAUDLE, FAMILY PHYSICIAN: Happy face masks --
PAUL: About wearing face masks and people are wondering what kind do I wear?
CAUDLE: Yes, well, you know, I personally think that it's a good idea. And I have to tell you I was one of the doctors just like all the other health care providers out there saying on the news, saying to my patients for months and months following CDC guidelines that asymptomatic people should not be wearing them. But they've sort of had a little bit of change of heart.
And this really had stemmed from this idea that we learned more about how the virus is likely transmitted, and we know that now a lot of asymptomatic people are likely spreading or shedding the virus and can potential infect others. So, that's where the idea comes from. And because of this, I do think it's a good idea. Now, the cover part, how do we do the mask you say.
We're not supposed to be wearing masks that are intended for health care workers. That is not the N95, not even necessarily the surgical masks. We know that we have a shortage in this country for medical supplies. Those need to go to healthcare workers. But the CDC has said that you can use sort of a cloth covering, there's actually been guidance by the surgeon general.
I recently saw a video that he did on exactly how to make a facemask using an old T-shirt or things like that to cover your face and nose to give you extra protection. So I think it's a good idea for now, it's something I'm actually going to do in my personal life now, I'll recommend my patients do it as well.
PAUL: Yes, and I think it's important for people to remember because I've heard people say, but I'm not sick, I don't need to wear it and I'm not worried about getting sick, I don't fall into that category of people. And it --
CAUDLE: Right --
PAUL: Comes down to, it's not about you. It's actually about you --
CAUDLE: That's right --
PAUL: Helping people. It's about the other people and maybe that will help shift that --
CAUDLE: That's right --
PAUL: That proper assess --
CAUDLE: And mindset.
PAUL: Yes --
CAUDLE: Yes, a lot of people actually think that face masks is about protecting them, it's about protecting other people --
PAUL: Other people --
CAUDLE: Against what we could spread --
PAUL: Because there are parents that are going out to -- they have to go get groceries and they have a child with asthma at home. I know a couple of those families, and that's why they're so scared. They don't know what they're bringing back. So, that's just -- you know --
CAUDLE: Right --
PAUL: To get that in the mindset out there. I wanted to know before --
CAUDLE: Right --
PAUL: We get to some of these viewer questions as well, do you agree with Dr. Fauci's call for a federally-mandated stay-at-home order?
CAUDLE: I actually do. I have not been asked that question yet. I'm so glad that you asked me, I do agree with it. We have enough information to tell us that this is spreading and getting bigger and getting bigger. And we also have enough information to tell us that the more mitigation that we do, meaning that the more we stay-at-home, the more we social distance, the more we employ all these practices that we know, our best practices, the better we can flatten this curve and hopefully beat the model, so to speak.
You know, health officials are estimating that a 100 to 200, 240,000 people may die. That alone is enough for me to say we need to do everything that we can. I do agree with an idea of a federal mandate. I wish all states would get on board.
PAUL: Right, Aaron wrote, and -- or actually, Moore Felicie(ph) wrote, "is the coronavirus airborne?"
CAUDLE: That is a great question. It's a complicated question. The way we think that coronavirus is primarily spread these days is through person-to-person contact and the sharing of respiratory droplets, that's the liquid that sort of sprays when we cough or sneeze and things like that. What I will say though is that, it's not always black and white, and with coronavirus, we are learning new things every day.
So I think that the information is going to be evolving in terms of exactly how it spreads. But right now, we think it's person-to-person contact and exchange of respiratory droplets.
PAUL: OK, is -- and Nicky wrote, "is COVID-19 like chicken pox? If you get it, are you good after that or can you be reinfected?"
CAUDLE: Sure, so COVID-19 and chicken pox, just to be clear, are very different viral illnesses. However, when we talk about immunity, we do think that if you get COVID-19, you're likely to be immune to some degree after you recover. Now, we don't necessarily know how long you'll be immune and how much immunity you will have, but we do think that some immunity will be conferred once you get COVID-19 and recover.
PAUL: All right, Dr. Jennifer Caudle, so appreciate you taking the time to be with us, love watching your Twitter feed and some of the good information --
CAUDLE: Well, thank you --
PAUL: You're putting out there. Thank you so much. Do take care.
CAUDLE: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: Pop singer Pink is donating $1 million to Temple University Hospital and the Los Angeles Emergency Crisis Fund. This is to help, of course, to fight coronavirus. Both she and her sons spent weeks in isolation after testing positive. A few days ago, they tested negative.
PAUL: But Pink said she felt fortunate that her daughter was able to get her and her son tested. She slammed the administration's handling of the outbreak though, saying quote, "it's an absolute travesty and failure of our government to not make testing more widely accessible."
BLACKWELL: Coming up, we'll remember some of the victims of the coronavirus including singer and songwriter Bill Withers.
BLACKWELL: Welcome back. Let me correct something that I said just before the commercial break. This week, singer Bill Withers, 81 years old, he died of heart complications, not as a result of coronavirus. My apologies for the statement. Of course, he's best known for his hits "Lovely Day", "Ain't No Sunshine", "Lean on Me", a singer we've all known his songs over years. PAUL: Oh, yes, we have, and certainly thoughts going out to his family
and all of these families. Because there are so many people who have died in this pandemic. CNN's Tom Foreman takes a look at some of those people that we've lost to COVID-19 thus far.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When Ellis Marsalis played with his musical sons, Branford, Wynton, Delfeayo and Jason, it was jazz royalty at work. Now the virus has racked their hometown of New Orleans, taking Ellis away.
FLOYD CARDOZ, CHEF: I grew up in Bombay.
FOREMAN: When chef Floyd Cardoz stepped into his New York kitchen, he brought the flavors of India with him and a special spirit too.
CARDOZ: I believe that if you want to cook, you've got to be happy. Happy people make good food.
FOREMAN: And when Dr. James T. Goodrich went into the operating room to separate conjoined twins, he came out with a bond of his own.
JAMES GOODRICH, NEUROSURGEON: Together, I think after a while, they kind of like become your own kids. This really doesn't have to be your own.
FOREMAN: The number of famous and influential folks falling to COVID- 19 is steadily growing. Many have been musicians including Adam Schlesinger, Alan Merrill, who wrote I love "Rock 'n' Roll", Wallace Roney and Joe Diffie.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where's the man from the backwoods.
FOREMAN: Actor Mark Blum, playwright Terrence McNally are gone. Journalist Maria Mercader too. In one Manhattan hospital, the staff celebrates every COVID-19 patient well enough to go home, and most people who get the virus do survive. Still, so many have fallen, taking their important work with them. Sociologist and author William Helmreich walked every street in New York to better understand the human condition.
Lorena Borjas came from Mexico to become an outspoken American activist for transgender rights, Rabbi Romi Cohn survived the holocaust, but at 91 did not survive this. Minister Ronnie Hampton, renowned for his community outreach "Down South" is gone as well.
RONNIE HAMPTON, REVEREND MINISTER: I want you to know that my faith has never wavered.
FOREMAN: And Janice Preschel ran a New Jersey food pantry, a job she continued by phone, even as she lay dying in her hospital bed.
(on camera): None of these folks are more important than the thousands of other Americans who have fallen or who will fall in coming days. But they are highly visible reminders of how this pandemic is changing the human geography of this country, changing who we are. Tom Foreman, CNN, Bethesda, Maryland.
BLACKWELL: Sports apparel company Under Armour says it's found a way now to streamline production of face masks.
PAUL: Coy Wire is with us now. So they're calling them No-Sew Masks, I understand. What do you know and good morning.
COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS REPORTER: So more and beyond. You know, with no sewing involved, they're saying this mask design could produce, boost production to a 100,000 masks per week according to the company. They're also calling it an origami-style design, it could be folded into the proper fit. That would be completely breathable and still moisture resistant as well.
Now, Under Armour's team, they're making not just masks at their Baltimore lab, but face shields and specially-equipped fanny packs. Those will go to some 28,000 healthcare providers in the University of Maryland statewide medical system. They'll be looking into manufacturing hospital gowns and in talks with other medical institutions as well about their needs.
Now, NBA players, they're supporting relief efforts by playing hoops while practicing social distancing. In a video game tournament, Net star Kevin Durant and 15 others playing NBA 2K with the winner getting 100 grand to benefit the coronavirus relief effort of their choice.
Top-seeded Kevin Durant losing in round one while two-seed Trae Young of the Hawks dominating Harrison Barnes, 101-59, the championship game will be played next Saturday.
Now, Victor and Christi, you know, we've seen athletes and teams stepping up in major ways during this pandemic. Well, today's difference makers are the Atlanta Hawks along with their sponsor State Farm and local restaurants, they're feeding 4,000 meals per week they're giving, I should say to heroic healthcare workers who are treating coronavirus patients on the frontlines all across Georgia.
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BRYCE GARTLAND, PRESIDENT, EMORY HEALTHCARE GROUP: The origin of this was really around, you know, how can we help support our healthcare workers during this tremendous time of need, as well as supporting the restaurant industry and service workers who have been displaced, just given the economic challenges going on.
STEVEN SATTERFIELD, MILLER UNION CO-OWNER AND EXECUTIVE CHEF: What's special about this project is that we're able to feed healthcare workers after a long 12-hour shift. It's Miller Union quality food. So, we're using all the same purveyors, all the same kind of ingredients that we would put on to a plate if you were dining in the restaurant. It's a really special gift, and I believe that we're able to give.
MICHAEL PATRICK, EXECUTIVE CHEF, STORICO FRESCO: It's the suite's first production going out to the healthcare workers was beautiful, almost made me cry. So, it's like everybody was just happy, happy to be like work no matter what it was.
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WIRE: The Hawks have also sponsored pop-up grocery stores handing out big bags of food, Victor and Christi, to families who need it. They're even finding ways to get food to elderly people who aren't able to leave their homes, leading, caring, helping others who need it. That's what difference makers is all about, Victor, Christi?
PAUL: And we need that good news for sure right now. Coy Wire, always good to see you, thank you.
BLACKWELL: Me too --
BLACKWELL: Financial help, it is on the way to American workers, businesses as well. But will the rescue arrive soon enough for so many? So many workers in the gig economy especially. Coming up, a look at the challenges they are facing.
PAUL: Well, 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment last week. That number may not be reflective of the millions of workers in the gig economy.
BLACKWELL: So, what's the gig economy? We're talking about Uber drivers, Lyft drivers, so you get what we're talking about now. CNN's Kyung Lah looks at the unique challenges that they're facing.
ANTONIEO WILLIAMS, LYFT DRIVER: Average worker, what are we going to do? By the time we get them, there are not going to be any help.
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In Newark, New Jersey, Lyft driver, Antonieo Williams says it's too late for Washington stimulus checks. He is down to his last $65.
WILLIAMS: Currently unemployed. There's no rides. I don't know how to feel right now. I'm definitely lost. I want to be mad but I can't be mad at anybody, there's nobody to be mad at.
LAH: The calls and the cash flow have simply stopped for Williams and millions more who earn their living in the gig economy, the workforce that relies on booking appointments or gigs for their income.
TY MAYBERRY, ACTOR: You have to be out every day working and constantly thinking about where that next job is going to come. So, something like this and we're unable to get out there and work, this is making us realize just how fragile, how fragile it is.
LAH: In Los Angeles, actor Ty Mayberry is used to gig --
MAYBERRY: In this video --
LAH: After gig --
MAYBERRY: What you're seeing --
LAH: 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 e-mail, 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 drug stores 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.
AMERICA GONZALEZ, HOUSEKEEPER: We are like kind of low on the jobs.
LAH: America Gonzalez and her son, Jason used to clean 10 to 15 homes a week in Houston, Texas.
JASON GONZALEZ, HOUSEKEEPER: We have seen probably like a 15 percent drop in this. Very drastic drop actually. It feels like we're in a desert. And it feels like really -- so --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are you doing?
LAH: While they are grateful for the few clients that continue to support them, they've had to speak frankly about what might come next.
J. GONZALEZ: The thing that we agree on is if the worst is to come, and you know, we can't face that thing, we end up being without a home or a car. Then it's still going to be a big.
STEVE MNUCHIN, TREASURY SECRETARY: Within two weeks, the first money won't be in people's account.
LAH: Two more weeks and Washington's best case scenario is longer than many can afford to wait.
WILLIAMS: What about the people like us right now. You know, we're just waiting.
LAH: Kyung Lah, CNN, Los Angeles. (END VIDEOTAPE)
PAUL: Tough times right now, and it's important to remember good things are happening every day all around us. Take this next story from New York City of heroes, honoring heroes.
BLACKWELL: The firefighters used their lights and the sirens you hear it, you see it to applaud and thank healthcare workers, this is outside of a hospital. Crews have gathered at hospitals across the city to show their support for healthcare workers. You know, we've seen a video of people standing out on their balconies applauding, and anything you can do just to say thanks.
PAUL: Yes, but, man, getting applause from firefighters and police officers and those people who are heroes as well, that has got to be a moment for all of those nurses and doctors. We remember you, just please know we remember you. Our coverage of the coronavirus pandemic continues.
BLACKWELL: The new recommendations on when and where you should wear a face mask, and if you don't have one, we'll show you how to make your own, at least the surgeon general will do that for us. Stay with us.