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U.S. Coronavirus Deaths Surpass 7,100; Trump Announces New Face Mask Recommendations; NYC Mayor: NY Doesn't Have Enough Ventilators For Next Week; Trump Names Acting Intel Community Inspector General; Medical Staffers Risk Getting Disease To Treat Those Fighting It; NYC Seeking Health Care Workers To Assist Hospitals In Need; Wisconsin Gov. Asks State Lawmakers To Delay Primary Election; Biden, Sanders Struggle To Stay Relevant Amid COVID-19; Workers In Gig Economy Fear Financial Help May Come Too Late. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired April 4, 2020 - 08:00   ET





UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The CDC now recommends face coverings in public--

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: --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.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mounting frustration among governors who are looking to the White House for help to get ventilators, masks and other lifesaving equipment.

GOV. J. B. PRITZKER (D-IL): This will go down in history as a profound failure of our national government.

PETER NAVARRO, ASSISTANT TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: as we speak, we're putting in place a better system in real time.

DR. MEETA SHAH, 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.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think somebody 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.


ANNOUNCER: This is New Day weekend with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: 8:01 is the time, so grateful to have you with us, as I know so many of us are looking for hope right now after the day that we've seen of record setting COVID-19 numbers.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, the U.S. reported 1,169 deaths yesterday alone. The country has lost more than 7,100 people to the virus,

PAUL: We're talking about mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, there's no corner of a nation that's been left untouched by this tragedy. So as you wake up this morning, the number of cases is growing. More than 278,000 people across the country have now been affected.

BLACKWELL: Right now almost the entire country is under a Shelter in Place Order, but - not the entire country, but despite the recommendations, you see the states there that do not have these orders and the President will not issue a national order. He says it's best that the governors decide what's right for their state.

As that curve continues to push upward. The President is just playing, "Do as I say, not as I do" mentality it seems. Moments after unveiling these new recommendations that Americans do wear face masks, the President quickly noted that he will not wear one.

BLACKWELL: CNN National Correspondent Kristen Holmes is live at the White House. So he says, it's recommended to wear face mask. He says that he will not. Why?

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right, Victor. So essentially, he was asked why he wouldn't wear a face mask. And he said that if he was sitting in the Oval Office with dignitaries or leaders, he just didn't think that something covering his mouth would work for him.

But there is a larger point here, which is that this is just the latest in a series of mixed messages that we've seen since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak here in the U.S. We know President Trump at one point was saying that people shouldn't be concerned, that this was not going to be as deadly as the flu. Now, of course, he's saying something different.

But the whole time we saw those public health officials saying we just don't know that and people should take this seriously. The other thing we know from President Trump, at one point he said that the warm weather would end the virus that would likely be over by April. Of course, right now, it is April, the virus is not over. We haven't even reached the top of the curve. All things that health officials were noting while President Trump was saying.

And this and this is really leaving Americans confused, particularly when it comes to the latest guidance. When you mentioned that CDC, the Centers for Disease Control, one of the government's top health agencies recommending that people wear some sort of fabric or cloth, saying that this could help stop the spread. And then you have President Trump saying this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) 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 recommendations. Its only recommendations. Its voluntary.


HOLMES: Just a reminder that these recommendations are to help flatten the curve. And while, President Trump himself might not be taking this extra precaution, those around him are taking an extra precaution that not all of us have the luxury of which is, that anyone who is expected to come in contact with either the President or the Vice President, will now take a Corona virus test.


The White House told us this yesterday, it's the 15-minute quick test before they can interact with the President or Vice President. So it won't matter quite as much if he's not wearing that face mask, because we'll know as those dignitaries or leaders go into the oval, whether or not they actually have the virus.

BLACKWELL: Kristen Holmes for us there at the White House. Thank you.

PAUL: I don't know if you've heard what's expected tomorrow, but supply shortage, as we know, are still among some of the biggest issues in New York. And the city's mayor is now saying tomorrow is D Day. What he means by that is that is the day the city is expected to just run out of ventilators.

BLACKWELL: Let's go to CNN, Athena Jones. She is following the latest in New York. And the numbers we're getting out of New York City, New York State at large really are just saddening, Athena.

ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They are. It's frightening to see these numbers. Victor, the report from yesterday, New York State has over 100,000 cases, nearly 3,000 deaths. That's the biggest one-day increase in deaths. So this is still the epicenter of this crisis here in the United States.

And of course, New York City is the epicenter of the epicenter, accounting for more than half of those of those cases, at just over 56,000 cases. And we're seeing it in the hospitals. You talk to hospitals, you talk to ER doctors, you talk to intensive care units, they're talking about overflowing hospitals.

And that's why there's so much discussion about supplies, whether it's ventilators or personal protective equipment to keep hospital workers safe or its hospital beds. That's why we're here at the Javits Center were 2,500 extra beds are now going to be treating - begin treating COVID patients on Monday.

And just resources, you hear state and city officials talking a lot about the need for more resources, particularly a Mayor de Blasio talking about running out of ventilators. He said that the city of New York will need a total of 15,000 ventilators to get through April and May. And just for next week, the city is going to need a minimum of an additional 2,500 to 3,000 ventilator. So this is something that's getting a lot of attention every single day in the press conference we're seeing.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has said of the state's hospital system that they need to work together. All the hospitals need to work together to shuffle around not only equipment, but also patients if one hospital gets overloaded. He has asked hospitals upstate to loan 20 percent of their unused ventilators to downstate hospitals in the city and on Long Island who are experiencing a real surge.

And he has also signed an Executive Order that will allow him to take ventilators and also this personal protective equipment we've been talking so much about from institutions that don't need them right now and to move them to places that do need them. He says that those places will be either reimbursed for the cost of that equipment or they will be returned to them.

But this is kind of a massive effort to make sure all the hospitals have what they need. And so why de Blasio talked about tomorrow being D Day for ventilators, the hope is that these efforts, this Executive Order announced by the Governor will begin to make sure that those ventilators gets where they need. So a really a massive effort as we are still pretty far it seems like from the apex of this, at least in New York,

PAUL: And so many changing gears it seems every day. Athena Jones, so glad you're on it live for us from New York City. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Let's bring it down Dr. Ashish Jha. He's the Director at the Harvard Global Health Institute and a Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School. Dr. Jha, good morning to you.

Good morning.

BLACKWELL: So let's start here with something we heard from the President. He has resisted calls for a National Stay at Home Order. One of the justifications was that some of the states that have not enacted these stay at home orders, he says, that they are and this is the quote, "Not in jeopardy." Now, their confirmed case numbers may be low, but what's your assessment of there being states in the U.S. that are quote, "not in jeopardy."

DR. ASHISH JHA, DIRECTOR, HARVARD GLOBAL HEATH INSTITUTE: It's very hard for me to know exactly which states are in jeopardy and which ones are not. And that's because many of the states that have very few cases actually haven't been doing that much testing. So if you're not testing people, you won't have cases, or at least it will look like you don't have cases, but they very well might.

So I think one important issue nationally is that we've really still got to ramp up testing. I know we hear about this all the time. I'm sure your listeners are getting a little tired of hearing about it. But we are still far away from the kind of testing we need. And until we do, we don't know which places are the hotspots in which places are not.

BLACKWELL: The President has been lauding this 100,000 tests per day for several days now. Obviously, you think that's not enough. Where should we be?

JHA: Yes, we clearly should be doing more. And by every bit of evidence, we should be doing more. There isn't a precise estimate and it depends on how much disease there is in the community.


The estimates that I have seen, and the ones that our group has calculated, suggests we should be doing three to five times as many tests as we are doing right now. So we have a long way to go to doing - to getting to the kind of tests we need. Before we will have a full complete picture of how bad the virus infection rates really are in America.

BLACKWELL: We've talked throughout the morning and heard from some of the medical professionals who are dealing with the long hours and the psychological challenges of fighting COVID-19, but also the lack of protective equipment. You tweeted this, and I'd like you to expound.

You tweeted, "If we had enough PPE and providers still got sick, I would say society did its best. Providers must do theirs. But our government is choosing not to do everything in its power to provide PPEs and that raises an ethical dilemma." PPE is the personal protective equipment. Talk about that dilemma and should we expect some health care workers to say, "I can't do it. I won't do it. I won't put my family in jeopardy."

JHA: This is the first time I've really thought about the ethical dilemma in this way. My feeling has been, look, as doctors and nurses, we have an ethical obligation to our patients under any circumstance, we've got to go take care of them, and I still believe that.

But society has an ethical obligation too, which is, they're supposed to provide protective equipment and our government has failed doctors and nurses on the front line, has not provided that. And I would argue has chosen not to provide that. Is not doing everything it can.

And so then the question is, do doctors and nurses still have an ethical obligation, not only to put themselves at risk, to put their spouses at risk, put their kids at risk, put their parents at risk, when society is saying you're on your own figure it out.

You know, would we expect a fireman or firewomen to run into a burning building if we said we're not going to give you protective equipment? Would we expect police officers, if we said we're not going to give you what you need? I think it is an ethical dilemma and I think as society we really have to think about what are we asking doctors and nurses to do and is it fair?

BLACKWELL: Yes. We hear some of those doctors and nurses struggle with that, and we've been hearing for them for weeks now. One more from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says that the administration's decision to bar 3M, specifically, from exporting N95 masks, the respirators, to other countries that are in need now, Canada being one of them, will come back to bite the U.S. I'm paraphrasing there.

What's your assessment? The theory here is that if the U.S. bans exports, China will ban exports, other countries will ban exports and the country with the most confirmed cases in the world, the U.S. will suffer in the long run.

JHA: Yes, look, I'm very - I'm very sympathetic to the idea that a lot of people are feeling right now that we shouldn't be sending our stuff elsewhere when we need it here, and I get that. The bottom line is that we're all going to get through this if we're willing to share equipment.

So right now we're getting shipments from China and Russia and other countries. I think we should test those equipment, make sure they're high quality. If they are, we will use them. And then when other countries get into trouble, we should ship ours, if we don't need it, that's how we're going to get through this, is by sharing and by realizing that the war is between the virus and humanity, not between America and Canada and not between America and China.

If we can take that approach, I think we're going to be much better off than everybody for themselves.

BLACKWELL: Let's wrap up with a viewer question here. This one from Candice (ph). Is the severity of COVID-19 related to blood type?

JHA: You know, there's been a lot on this. And I just, I don't think the facts are in. I don't think that there's any compelling reason to think that blood type is going to end up being a major determinant. What we know is age, chronic disease, immune compromised, those are the big factors. But, we'll have to see what the evidence tells us. But I don't think about that as a major factor at this moment.

BLACKWELL: Dr. Ashish Jha, thank you so much for your insight,

JHA: Thanks for having me.

BLACKWELL: All right. We are getting questions from some viewers. We want your question. Coming up. We have more experts throughout the show answering your questions, let us know what's on your mind. You can tweet us, I'm @victorblackwell. Christi is @Christi_Paul. We're also grabbing some questions from our Instagram accounts as well. And we will do our best to get your answers here on "NEW DAY."

PAUL: Yes, thank you so much. We want to make sure that, obviously, you do get those answers, because that's a priority to you.

Listen, across the country, we know that health care workers, they are making extraordinary sacrifices, some you may not even realize, just to save fellow Americans from the coronavirus. We're talking with a nurse who traveled to help a state that is not her own. But she answered the call for reinforcements. What she's seeing now at the frontlines in New York. BLACKWELL: Plus, the President's names a new Intelligence Community Inspector General, after firing the previous Inspector General, the latest developments from Washington, coming up.



PAUL: So President Trump, we have now learned, has named Thomas Monheim is Acting Intelligence Community Inspector General. He's the current General Counsel for the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, that's an arm of the Defense Department, and he retired as a colonel from the U.S. Air Force Reserves.

He replaced us of course, Michael Atkinson, who told Congress about the whistleblower complaint that launched the impeachment process. This is the latest case of the Trump administration removing officials who took part in the President's impeachment.

BLACKWELL: Congressman Adam Schiff, Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, issued a statement responding to Atkinson's firing. Here's part of it. "At a time when our country 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."

Last hour, Nancy Pelosi Speaker of the House responded as well, "The president must immediately cease his attacks on those who sacrifice to keep America safe, particularly during this time of national emergency."


PAUL: All right, back to the coronavirus here, because we know so many of us are desperately trying to avoid catching the disease. So we stay at home as much as we can, but there are people who work and are surrounded by people with COVID-19, they're doing it just to help treat those people.

BLACKWELL: Yes, CNN's Ryan Young went inside a hospital and he has their stories.


DR. MEETA SHAH, 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.

RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): That's Chicago's Rush University Medical Center, doctors and nurses come to work to fight COVID-19

SHAH: I'm seeing all the beds lined up in the hallway, waiting to be used. That's not anxiety provoking at all.

YOUNG (voice-over): Their work starts right as they walk in the door. SHAH: The patient was hypoxic, so they're trying to get her oxygen saturation improve 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 is definitely high 100 percent. I 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 D-con area. See, don't enter unless we're taking care of our PUIs, which is our persons under investigation.

YOUNG (voice-over): This sick many times show up in denial of their symptoms, not wanting to be sick, I'm sure afraid of what could be next.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some people turn around and leave actually, or it can be an anxiety inducing experience, I think, when people come in and they're - maybe they haven't been in the medical system for a while or they're - they don't really 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 (voice-over): Despite the risk to themselves, those here believe in an oath to help save lives.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 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.

Ryan Young, CNN, Chicago.


PAUL: I know it's hard to sit at home and feel like I'm not doing anything to help this, but I can't go out, because I do have to stay at home. First of all, you are helping by doing that. But if you are looking for ways to impact your community, help people who are affected by coronavirus, just visit our and thank you so much for doing so. We're going to be right back.


BLACKWELL: The CDC is recommending the voluntary use of face coverings now when in public. The health officials, they do not want you to go out and get medical or surgical mask. Instead, they want you to make one at home potentially.

Surgeon General Jerome Adams shared this video showing how one can be made from something maybe you have around the house like a scarf or a hand towel or a T-shirt or part of a shirt. The surgeon general says that the face coverings should be worn in public places like supermarkets, where social distancing can be difficult to follow, but it is not a substitute for social distancing.

PAUL: And there you go. So the new measures to stop the spread of the virus come amid really an incredible strain being reported at hospitals across the country. I want to talk about New York City here, because the need is so great there right now. Phones across the city got this emergency push alert yesterday seeking licensed health care workers.

Well our next guest is a nurse who's answered that call for help in New York. She usually works at Emory University Hospital here in Atlanta. Well, she recently was one of the more than two dozen health workers seen in this now viral photo from Southwest Airlines, flying to New York to help with a response.

Nurse Letha Love is with us now. Letha, thank you so much for everything you and your comrades are doing there. We appreciate it so much, and we hope that you know that we understand to some degree, as much as we can, the personal sacrifice you're making. I understand you left your two kids with your aunt to do this. What was it about this that made you say I have to go?

LETHA LOVE, ATLANTA ICU NURSE WHO FLEW TO NY TO HELP PATIENTS: First off, good morning. What made me want to come is I want to be able to help people up here. The amount of people up here is just outstanding. So any help that I knew that I can give was warranted. Not wanting to be my job and being exposed at my job, and bringing it home to my kids is one of the main reason that I decided to take this assignment.

PAUL: Right, so helping other people there and then protecting your kids at the same time. I understand that when you walked into the hospital for the first time there in New York, you were shocked. Why is that?

LOVE: I really was. I wasn't expecting it to be the amount of people that it was, and the severity of it.


PAUL: So what - would help us understand what you saw?

LOVE: I just - it's just so many people that are sick from this virus. People intubated. All different ages. This increase is a lot. You wouldn't expect it. I guess because I wasn't working in this environment at the time. I was working in a clinic. And just to walk in and see these amount of people sick from the virus--

PAUL: I would think one of the most difficult parts of this is the fact that once they get this, they can't have any contact with their families. I've heard stories about some of nurses - some of the nurses and doctors who will hold up a phone and help them FaceTime with their family. Have you seen anything like that?

LOVE: Well, most of the patients that I've worked with has been intubated. So is not an option to even speak with them. We're just taking care of them the best way we can, so to let people know that their family members are being taken care of. We wouldn't come here if we weren't going to take care of them. We came here to help and take care of them. Yes, I mean, if we could do that we would. But the patients that I've been taking care of they're intubated.

PAUL: I know you've said as well, and I want to quote you here. You said, "You've never been in a place with that much death." I want to show a picture of the enthusiasm initially of you and all of your colleagues on the plane there Southwest. This was this was put out on social media as you were heading to New York.

Seeing what you have seen now since you've been there, I think for about a week, what is the emotional and psychological process for you and all of these health care workers? When you see what you see to try to process that and keep going?

LOVE: Christi it is a lot. I have ran into so many nurses crying. I ran into so many nurses just so emotional about this. I don't think none of us can leave this without having to get some psychological help.

When I say standing in death, it is like, hearing colds night. On a regular ICU unit you do get a cold here and there. But to have the whole hospital calling colds all night, it is emotionally draining. I - for me, I have to step away for a minute just to collect myself sometimes, because it is overwhelming.

PAUL: How long do you think that you can do this?

LOVE: And I don't know. I'm just going day by day with it. I had intentions on trying to stay up here three to six weeks. But being up here, I don't know if I can last that long. I do whatever it takes for me to protect myself, so that I can go back to my kids healthy and strong.

But this is a lot. It's a lot. And people need to take it serious. And when I say you need to take it serious, you need to take it seriously. If you don't know until you get a family member in this condition or have this virus and you can't see them. So when they say stay at home it's very important to stay at home.

PAUL: Now we've been saying that, because some people do wonder why they would have to stay at home and or why they would have to wear masks and he's saying - when you realize it's not about you, it's about it's about them. It's about you making sure that the other people around, you if you feel well, that that they do not come into contact with you, because you could be asymptomatic certainly.

Before I let you go. I want to give you a chance to say something to your family. I mean, I would think your kids certainly miss you so much. Your aunt misses you What would you like to tell them right now?

LOVE: First, I want to tell my aunt, thank you. Thank you very much for taking care of my kids while I'm not able to do it right now. I love my kids so much. My son is my hero right now, because he's accepting this and he's taking it very well. He's 12 he calls me. I call him up as much as we can.

He's making sure I have my mask on. He asks me why I don't have gloves on. You know you don't just walk around with dirty gloves on. But I do explain that to him. My daughter is four. She's not quite understanding it, but she misses me and she lets me know every time we speak. I miss y'all so much. But just know that mommy came here to help and I'm doing the best I can.


And I do want to say if there are any nurses out there that has any time to give, please give come up here and help out, it is just it's overwhelming. It's not enough nurses. It's not enough nurses up here. It's not enough health care workers up here. If you have a week, it helps. If you have five days, anything helps. So I just want to say that and I want to also say stay at home. Stay at home. It's very important to stay at home. I love you Randy, and that's it. Thank you, Christi

PAUL: Letha Love you are doing some of the most important work that can ever be done right now. Thank you so much for stepping up to the call. And please, please keep up with us. We wish you the very, very best. We'll be keeping you in our prayers.

LOVE: Thank you very much and it's needed.

PAUL: You and all, thank you, thank you, thank you. We'll be right back.



BLACKWELL: Wisconsin's governor one state lawmakers to delay the Democratic primary this Tuesday over COVID-19 concerns. They're going to meet for a special session to vote on that today.

PAUL: Several other states with April primaries have moved from in person voting to vote by mail. The Democrats pushed back the national convention that was set for July. When Senator Bernie Sanders was asked about the convention possibly not happening this summer here's what he said.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: God only knows. I mean, we are in a moment where there's very little understanding of where we're going to be from a coronavirus perspective a month from now, two months from now, four months from now. I suspect that there is thinking on the part of the DNC and I would suspect in the Republican Party as well that maybe you're not going to bring thousands of people because of you need to--


PAUL: Want to bring in Political Correspondent Arlette Saenz. She's following the Biden campaign and CNN Correspondent Ryan Nobles, he's following the Sanders campaign. So good to see both of you. Thank you.

Ryan, I want to start with you since we're talking about Bernie Sanders. And I want to talk about strategy from this point forward, because there are a lot of questions about why he is still in this race. He has no rallies, he has no traveling to meet people face to face, there are no debates. Let's listen to what he said to Whoopi Goldberg and "The View" about that.



SANDERS: People have a right. Last I heard people in a democracy have a right to vote and have a right to vote for the agenda that they think can work for America, especially in this very, very difficult moment. We are assessing our campaign as a matter of fact where we want to go forward.


PAUL: Ryan, is there any indication how they assess his viability at this point?

RYAN NOBLES, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you know, Christi, it's something that I talked to his advisors about on a pretty frequent basis. And basically, because of everything that is happening with the coronavirus, it's essentially put the campaign in a freeze frame. It's not moving forward.

As you mentioned, they're not able to hold rallies. They're very limited in their fundraising opportunity, and also limited in - it limited in their opportunity to actually talk to voters.

And then when you combine into it, this situation where many of these states have decided to delay their primaries, I believe the Sanders campaign - he thinks that there's an opportunity here where there couldn't be a bunch of elections to take place all at once and there are still a lot of delegates out there to be had. They want to give voters that opportunity that choice - about the reality of his path forward. Pretty clear--

PAUL: OK. Ryan. I apologize. We're having a hard time with your audio, so we're going to take a minute. Let me go talk to Arlette and see if we get you back as well. Arlette, I also want to point out something that Vice President Biden - former Vice President Biden told donors yesterday in this virtual fundraiser. It actually happened last night. He said that he has spoken with Bernie Sanders regarding vetting a vice presidential candidate here.

Here's what he said, "I'm in the process, and I've actually had this discussion with Bernie, because he's a friend. We're competitors. He's a friend. I don't want him to think I'm being presumptuous. But you have to start now deciding who you're going to have background checks done on as vice presidential candidates." Publicly we know he stated, it would be a woman, is there any preview as to who he's considering and how Bernie Sanders received that information from him?

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is really the first acknowledgment that we have from Joe Biden that he has spoken with Bernie Sanders since they faced off on that debate stage about a month ago.

But the former Vice President over the past few weeks has started to give us some insight into his vice presidential selection process. He has said that he hopes to have a team assembled by around mid-April that will start doing those background checks on the candidates that he is going to consider.

There's been a wide range of number of people that he has said. Sometimes he said he'll consider five people. Sometimes he said that his list is around 11 people. But he has made clear that he wants to select a woman as his running mate, and that he has also mentioned specific people over the course of the past few months, including some of his former rivals Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren.


As well as recently he mentioned a Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who is in the middle of this coronavirus response in her state. He said that she came on her his list about two months ago. We've also heard him talk about a Stacey Abrams down in Georgia. So there are quite a few people that the former Vice President will be coming Considering and vetting going forward.

And not only has he discussed this with Bernie Sanders in that conversation that he mentioned to donors last night, but he's also said he has talked to President Obama about this selection process. So right now, while the campaign trail is on the standstill, there's not large rallies, it's very clear that Biden is already turning his focus to the general election.

PAUL: All right. And Ryan, we've got you back. I just want to ask you a quick question about how they're looking at President Trump right now. Because according to the ABC/IPSOS Poll, latest. the President's handling of the coronavirus approval has gone down from 55 percent in March to 47 percent this month. And - but his approval rating overall, according to Gallup is going up. January it was 44 percent, on March 22nd it was 49 percent. Is Bernie Sanders addressing that at all and what he thinks that means?

NOBLES: You know, I think both he and Vice President Biden are being very careful to not make the coronavirus about politics. But it's been very clear that both of them have not refrained from being very critical of the way the Trump administration has handled the response to coronavirus, in particular, the delayed response and the lack of the supply chain of PPE to the to the various states and working with governors.

They've been not been afraid - really criticized President Trump's vision (ph) as a result. But what they are taking great pains not to do is turn this into a campaign issue. And in fact, you know, Bernie Sanders has talked very specifically about his work in the United States Senate helping push through these stimulus bills, particularly looking for opportunities for working class people.

It is a very difficult place to be right now. You really can't campaign, because that's not what we're talking about. You see both Vice President Biden and Bernie Sanders being very careful of that,

PAUL: Ryan Nobles, thank you so much. You're a trooper. I know these technical glitches happen, but we got in there and got a good answer there. Thank you so much. Ryan and Arlette Saenz, thank you.

BLACKWELL: So there are a lot of people who work in the gig economy. You know what that is from gig to gig, people who drive for Uber or Lyft or their actors from one job to the next. The question is, what will this economic rescue passed by Congress bring to them. We're going to examine some of their struggles, their challenges in this new abnormal.



PAUL: 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment last week. Now that number may not be reflective of the millions of workers in the gig economy.

BLACKWELL: Yes, we're talking about people who work from gig to gig. They're talking to Uber drivers, house cleaners, Lyft drivers. Well CNN's Kyung Lah looks at their unique challenges in this time.


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.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BLACKWELL: Thanks to Kyung for that story. All right. That's it for

this hour of "CNN NEW DAY." We're back at 10:00 o'clock continuing the coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.

PAUL: Yes, we will speak with Commander of the U.S. Northern Command to discuss how the military is joining the frontlines of the battle against the coronavirus. "SMERCONISH," though is with you next. We'll see you in an hour.



MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN HOST: The sooner we're all on the same page, the sooner we can get back to business as usual. I'm Michael Smerconish in Philadelphia.

The CDC changed its recommendations, suggesting face coverings and announced the following. "CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. Example, grocery stores and pharmacies, especially in areas of significant community based transmission.

The President was quick to note that this is voluntary and he will not be among those doing so. I just don't see it for myself he said when questioned. I had earlier predicted on radio that we would never see him with any kind of a face covering. My hunch was that he would view it more as a sign of weakness than prevention.