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Almost Half Of U.S. Coronavirus Deaths In New York State; Trump Downplays States' Supply Needs Despite Shortages; Inside NYC Hospital On The Front Lines of Outbreak; U.K. Prime Minister Admitted To Hospital With Coronavirus; Gov. Cuomo: Deaths In NY Over Past Few Days Dropping "For The First Time"; Gov. Cuomo: NY "Running Short Of Supplies All Across Board"; Eleventh Member Of NYPD Dies From Coronavirus; Trump Accuses Governors Of Playing Political Games With Ventilators; U.S. Reports More Than 331,000 Confirmed Cases, 9400-Plus Deaths; WH Official: Colorado Among Next Possible Hot Spots For Virus; Eight States Still Without Stay-At-Home Orders; Surgeon General: This Week Will Be A "Pearl Harbor" And "9/11" Moment. Aired 4-5p ET
Aired April 5, 2020 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: Hello on this Sunday. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. And today we in this country are coping with a grim milestone that none of us expected.
It's about the numbers of people sick from the coronavirus and those who have died. Today, I want you to see how this pandemic looks next to other horrific events in our recent memory. It will show you why today this awful, unspeakable time in our history is so much more than just numbers.
As of this weekend, triple the amount of people have so far died from the coronavirus than perished on 9/11. The death toll is also five times that of Hurricane Katrina. The first reported fatality was 36 days ago. One death to more than 9,000 deaths in 36 days. And that's just the United States. I don't need to tell you that this is a catastrophe that will define this generation, no matter how old you are, and I don't need to tell you that it's not going to end soon.
If you listen closely to nothing else today, listen to the U.S. surgeon general this morning. He does not mince word.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. JEROME ADAMS, U.S. SURGEON GENERAL: This is going to be the hardest and the saddest week of most Americans' lives, quite frankly. This is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment. Only, it's not going to be localized, it's going to be happening all over the country. And I want America to understand that. But I also want them to understand that the public along with the state and the federal government have the power to change the trajectory of this epidemic.
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: We are struggling to get it under control. And that's the issue that's at hand right now. Just buckle down, continue to mitigate, continue to do the physical separation, because we've got to get through this week that's coming up, because it is going to be a bad week.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: And we are not alone in this battle. Worldwide right now, more than 1.2 million people are infected and the number of deaths from this virus around the globe is staggering.
If what U.S. officials say is true and we're about to experience the hardest, saddest week of our lives, what on earth do we tell our kids about the week coming after?
Of the more than 9,000 deaths in the U.S. from coronavirus, nearly half of them are in New York. 122,000 cases. Governor Andrew Cuomo warning this morning that New York has only three to four days of supplies left.
CNN's Evan McMorris-Santoro is in New York City outside the Javits Center.
Evan, tell us what elsewhere we are hearing from Governor Cuomo today.
EVAN MCMORRIS-SANTORO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, as you mentioned, the governor is still looking for supplies and for personnel. The past couple of weeks here in New York have been about ramping up a massive hospital system, as quickly as possible. To put it in perspective, when this thing started out, New York had around 50,000 hospital beds across the entire state. Now there's about 80,000.
There was a time that it was thought there might have to be more, which is why we see things like the Javits Center behind that's become a COVID hospital next week. And the naval ship up the block that's going to be 8,000 beds. But today in his press conference, the governor said that the focus are shifting away from hospital beds and to that equipment that we mentioned.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: 140,000 beds was the worst case. The 110,000 was more of the moderate case. I don't -- look, I hope -- I hope we're somewhere near the apex, right? Or we're somewhere near the plateau. So I would hope that we don't need anywhere near that number of beds. That's the good news. The bad news is, the number of beds doesn't really matter anymore. We have the beds. It's the ventilators. And then it's the staff. That's the problem.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCMORRIS SANTORO: So that mad dash for beds apparently over for the moment, but the problem now is having enough gear and people inside those beds, inside where those beds are, rather, to take care of people who need them -- Ana.
CABRERA: All right. Evan McMorris-Santoro, thank you for the update. Joining us now is the former secretary of Homeland Security under
President Obama, Jeh Johnson.
Secretary Johnson, it's always great to have a moment to talk with you. When we last spoke a couple of weeks ago, you really hammered the point that the federal government in this moment is supposed to be the shipping clerk-in-chief to make sure that states don't end up in a bidding war over masks, over ventilators, over test kits. Well, listen to what we've heard from governors across the country since then.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: It's like being on eBay with 50 other states bidding on a ventilator. And then, FEMA gets involved and FEMA starts bidding.
What sense does this make?
GOV. J.B. PRITZKER (D), ILLINOIS: We're competing against the federal government. We're competing against big states like New York and California. We're competing against other countries.
GOV. LARRY HOGAN (R), MARYLAND: The president has said, the states, you know, are sort of on their own. They're up to -- they should go out and get these things, and we all are trying to get them. But the federal government is also in the private sector trying to purchase those same things and each individual state, so there's some competition going on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: But what we are hearing from the president is that the requests are being inflated. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have some states and areas where they're just asking for far more. I mean, look, we had one state asking for 40,000 ventilators. 40,000. Think of it. 40,000. It's not possible. They won't need that many.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Secretary Johnson, what's going on here?
JEH JOHNSON, FORMER SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY: Ana, this is exactly what should not be happening right now in the dire need for ventilators, PPE, and test kits. I've been saying this for weeks. FEMA ought to be the center of this effort. The federal government's principal role in this crisis is to provide resources and husband resources and shepherd them out to the communities that need them most.
To the extent they don't have it now, FEMA ought to have the authority to take control of our nationwide stockpile and allocate ventilators to the communities most in need. And as Governor Cuomo has pointed out several times now, after New York is through the worst of the crisis, ventilators can go elsewhere, to other states.
But we cannot have, and it appears we are having, a bidding war between states, as well as the federal government. And bidding wars don't often end up with the result where they go where they're most needed. And so this is most unfortunate.
CABRERA: We've learned the administration has actually been pushing back on FEMA taking the lead and distributing supplies and equipment with federal officials saying, quote, "attempting to replace private sector supply chains does not work." Do you buy that?
JOHNSON: I don't -- I don't understand that. I don't understand that. Now I've been asking -- I've been asking DHS, I've asking the administration. I've been talking about this publicly, why FEMA cannot be in a position to shepherd these resources, take control of this situation. That's one of the reasons -- that's one of the things FEMA's good at and why FEMA is not allowed to take this very critical role at this time is beyond my understanding.
CABRERA: One more question on this whole supply issue, because now it's the president's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who appears to be the person in charge of working with FEMA on the supply chain issues. And I want you to hear the messaging from him and the president when it comes to the national stockpile.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JARED KUSHNER, SENIOR ADVISER TO THE PRESIDENT: The notion of the federal stockpile was it was supposed to be our stockpile. It's not supposed to state stockpiles that they then use.
TRUMP: We have a federal stockpile and they have state stockpiles. And frankly, they were -- many of the states were totally unprepared for this. So we had to go into the federal stockpile. But we're not an ordering clerk. They have to have for themselves. It's a federal stockpile. We can use that for states or we can use it for ourselves.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: He says the stockpile was meant for the federal government, not the states?
JOHNSON: Ana, there ought to be one American stockpile for the American people. Let's get passed states versus federal stockpile and let's start allocating ventilators to the places where they are most in need and after a particular state or hospital is through the worst of the worst for them, the ventilators can go elsewhere.
This should not end up being state versus state, federal versus state. That is really, really unfortunate. And I don't -- I have been asking this question now for some time and I do not get a straight answer as to why FEMA cannot take control of allocating these resources. Their main -- that authority may exist under the Defense Production Act, it may not, but I suspect that FEMA and DHS have ample authority to do this should they choose to exercise it.
CABRERA: We are getting some really tough warnings about what to expect in the days ahead. Let's take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: This will be probably the toughest week between this week and next week. And there will be a lot of death, unfortunately.
DR. DEBORAH BIRX, WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE COORDINATOR: This is the moment to not be going to the grocery store, not going to the pharmacy, but doing everything you can to keep your family and your friends safe. And that means everybody doing the six-feet distancing, washing your hands.
FAUCI: Ending the COVID outbreak in 30 days has some aspect of it a physical separation. Whether that's avoiding crowds, whether that's staying six feet away from people. Whether that's doing teleworking.
All of it does that. That's our most important tool.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: At this hour, Mr. Secretary, there are still eight states in this country that haven't issued stay-at-home orders. So if the warnings are that grave, is it time for the president to order a national lockdown?
JOHNSON: Well, first of all, I don't know that the president of the United States, the national government, has the authority to order a national lockdown. The national government regulates international borders. They have some authority to regulate interstate borders, but the president does not have the authority to issue some sort of nationwide curfew.
I continue to believe that there's no one-size-fits-all approach to social distancing. It depends upon the particular state, the community, the density, the workforce, the demographics. As long as governors and mayors are taking the most aggressive action suitable for their particular states or communities, and we will -- sooner or later, social distancing has to work.
Governor Cuomo today in his briefing gave a glimmer of hope that we may be reaching the plateau in New York state, but once you reach that plateau, the other point that needs to be made is that we'll be at that plateau for some weeks, where we're at maximum demand. Where you've got -- you've reached the peak in terms of hospitalization. And that's when the need will be greatest, and it won't just be for a day. It will probably be for several weeks.
But there's no one-size-fits-all solution to the national problem. There are general guidelines that can be issued, but each governor, each mayor has to take the most aggressive action suitable for their communities. CABRERA: Let me ask you about this because of your previous role, as
well, in the Defense Department, as general counsel. "The New York Times" is reporting that the Navy captain removed from his command of the USS Theodore Roosevelt after warning action was needed to save the lives of his crew from coronavirus. He has now apparently tested positive for the virus, according to "The New York Times." What is your reaction to that, and more broadly, to his situation? Was his removal justified?
JOHNSON: Ana, I cannot and will not sit in judgment of the skipper trying to protect his crew. I do not understand while he was so abruptly removed from command in the middle of his crew's crisis. And frankly, I think that the president has said that he supports that action.
And so, frankly, I think it's incumbent upon the president now to explain to the American people and as commander-in-chief, to explain to the military and the Navy specifically, the apparent inconsistency between clemency for the Navy SEAL who took matters into his own hands versus relieving of command a skipper who was taking matters into his own hands, apparently by trying to protect his own crew. That's an apparent inconsistency and I think the president owes us an explanation for that.
CABRERA: Former secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, as always, thank you for sharing your insights and experience. Be well.
JOHNSON: Thank you.
CABRERA: We have an exclusive look inside a New York hospital on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis. The view from a medical war zone, next.
CABRERA: Because of the nature of this pandemic, just how contagious it is, just how fast it moves and technical challenges, we really haven't been able to show you what this crisis looks like on the front lines until now.
CNN's Miguel Marquez has an exclusive look inside a Brooklyn hospital on the front lines of this pandemic.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Every corridor, every corner, every ward.
Every inch of Brookdale Hospital Medical Center in Brooklyn now inundated with those suffering from COVID-19.
(On camera): What are you looking at on a daily basis? How difficult is this? DR. ARABIA MOLLETTE, ER DOCTOR, BROOKDALE HOSPITAL: Well, this is a
war zone. It's a medical war zone. Every day I come in, what I see on a daily basis is pain, despair, suffering, and health care disparities.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): Through Sunday afternoon, Brookdale said it had at least 100 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with nearly 80 awaiting confirmation. More than 20 people have died so far from the disease. On top of its normal emergency flow, coronavirus is pushing the hospital to the max.
MOLLETTE: We are scared, too. We're fighting for your lives and we're fighting for our own lives. We're trying to keep our head above water and not drown.
MARQUEZ: Doctors, nurses, even those keeping the floors clean. They say rising tide, uncertain how long it will rise, unsure this coronavirus won't sicken them as they struggle to stay a step ahead.
(On camera): What do you need right now?
MOLLETTE: We need prayer. We need support. We need gowns. We need gloves. We need masks. We need more vents. We need more medical space. We need psychosocial support as well. It's not easy coming here when you know that what you're getting ready to face.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): The deaths here keep coming. While filming, another victim of COVID-19 was moved to the hospital's temporary morgue, a refrigerated semitrailer parked out back. The hospital's regular morgue filled to capacity.
(On camera): How much room do you have in your morgue?
KHARI EDWARDS, VP, EXTERNAL AFFAIRS, BROOKDALE HOSPITAL: Usually we have around 20-plus bodies that we can fit comfortably.
MARQUEZ: And you've gone over that?
EDWARDS: Gone over that and they've, the state has been gracious enough to bring us apparatus to help keep families and keep the bodies in comfortable areas, because we didn't want bodies piled on top of each other.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): Brookdale needs more of everything. Today Edwards said the hospital has 370 beds. They'd like to add more, many more. Two weeks ago, this was the pediatric emergency room. Now it's dedicated to victims of COVID-19. Plastic tarp, taped to the ceiling offering some protection, and a bit of privacy.
The intensive care unit filled nearly to capacity and sealed, so fewer doors and less traffic than usual comes and goes. This window is the only place where family members can watch their loved one inside the unit, as they chat with them via cell phone. It's sometimes as close as they can get as COVID-19 takes another life. As grim as it is right now, Dr. Mollette expects it will get worse.
MOLLETTE: It could end in the fall, it could end at the end of the year. But this is why we're begging everyone not just -- to only put that pressure on the emergency department but also for everybody to help us to help them by staying home.
MARQUEZ (on camera): You think we're in it for the long haul?
MOLLETTE: Yes, definitely.
MARQUEZ: This is months, not weeks.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): Another worrisome thing she's seen coming through the doors, not just the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.
MOLLETTE: I work at two hospitals. So I work here in Brooklyn and then I work at another hospital in the Bronx and it's the same thing, and the South Bronx is the same thing. I've had patients that who are in their 30s and they are now intubated and they're really sick. I've had patients that are well --
MARQUEZ (on camera): No underlying conditions?
MOLLETTE: No underlying conditions. So the thing is about between life and death as far as this coronavirus is that this virus sees no -- there's no difference, has nothing to do with age, has nothing to do with lack of access to health care, has nothing to do with socioeconomics, race or ethnicity. This virus is killing a lot of people.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): Brookdale has one advantage, hospital officials say it can do rapid testing for coronavirus on site, its own lab. Right now up to 300 tests a day, they hope to get to 500 a day.
ANDREI LEGOUN, LAB TECHNICIAN, BROOKDALE HOSPITAL: And right now we have about 52 specimens in here, we're about to, that we're preparing to test at the moment.
MARQUEZ: The hospital following Centers for Disease Control guidelines on who gets coveted tests. Patients admitted for possible coronavirus, health care workers showing symptoms and symptomatic long-term patients. Each test a laborious and time-consuming process.
LEGOUN: Very easy to make a mistake, very easy, just from an extra milliliter of reagent, adding it to the machine, can mess up the entire, all the batch, entire batch, all the 52 specimens we would have to start all over from the beginning.
MARQUEZ: ER doctors are used to stress. Dr. Mollette says she has never experienced anything like this.
MOLLETTE: I don't really sleep that well at night. I worried about my family. I worry about my safety. I worry about my colleagues. I worry about how the shift is going to be the next time I come. I worry about if a family member is going to come and be a patient as well, fall victims to the coronavirus. I worry about a lot of things.
MARQUEZ: The disease, a marathon that health care workers alone cannot win or even finish.
MOLLETTE: It's not up to just only to the emergency department to pull through and to make sure the curve is flat, and this is a responsibility for everybody in the country to help us pull through. So --
MARQUEZ (on camera): So stay the F home.
MOLLETTE: Exactly. I'm very calm.
MARQUEZ: Is that literally -- I mean, how --
MOLLETTE: No. Stay the F home, exactly. Exactly. Because it's not just on -- it's not just us that has to help flatten the curve and take care of everybody. Help us help you.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): She says it will take everyone pulling together. The worst day she fears are still ahead.
Miguel Marquez, CNN, Brooklyn, New York.
CABRERA: And a quick programming note, you'll see much more of that hospital in the CNN special report "INSIDE THE ER: THE INCREDIBLE FIGHT AGAINST CORONAVIRUS." It airs tonight at 9:00 Eastern here on CNN. We'll be right back.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.
CABRERA: Some breaking news for you right now. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been admitted to the hospital as he battles coronavirus.
CNN's Max Foster joins us now with more. What have you learned, Max?
MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that he's been admitted to hospital. They are playing down the crisis here, though, simply that he went on the advice of his doctor, he's admitted to hospital for tests. It's a precautionary step, as the prime minister continues to have persistent symptoms of coronavirus 10 days after testing positive for the virus.
But, obviously, the prime minister going to hospital is seen as a very serious move. It's very concerning to the public, on the evening that the Queen came out to try to calm public nerves. This now is clearly the talking point across the country. They are emphasizing, my source is emphasizing that it wasn't an emergency admission. The prime minister remains in charge. He is still in contact with ministers and officials. He's running the show, but the optics of this is clearly very serious, indeed. And it's interesting that they're trying to play it down, when, clearly, it's a major move to admit the prime minister in hospital.
CABRERA: Yes. Well, we certainly wish him the best. We know you're going to continue to work your sources to find out more details on his condition.
Max Foster, thank you for that.
Now with the more than 9200 deaths in the U.S. from coronavirus, nearly half of them are in New York. It has more than 122,000 confirmed virus infections and more than 4,100 people in this state have died.
But for the first time today, Governor Andrew Cuomo says, there has been a drop in the daily number of deaths. And Governor Cuomo is joining us live on the phone right now.
Governor, we all want to hold on to every bit of good news. How much can we read into this decrease in deaths?
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): Good afternoon. Good to be with you, Ana. Look, I wouldn't read too much into it and I made that point at the press conference, but we've been watching the numbers every day. We're waiting for this quote/unquote apex of the curve.
And there's a theory that the apex is actually a plateau where you'll hit a high number and then you'll stay at about that high number for some period of time and then start to drop on the other side. But it's the first time we've seen any drop at all. So, you know, in a place where we're just hoping and praying to see a light at the end of the tunnel, it was good news. We'll know better tomorrow, in the next day, when we see what those results are.
CABRERA: Is it possible New York already has hit its peak?
GOV. CUOMO: You know, nobody knows. We're following different projection models, and we look at a number of models. But basically, nobody knows. And the quote/unquote experts can't give you any definitive advice. So, they wait to see the data. They wait to see the numbers. And are they going up? Are the ICU numbers going up?
This is the first time we saw a drop in the numbers. And then, they want to see, is that drop continuing, or have we hit a quote/unquote plateau, which some models predict. But look, it's in a -- for a state and a nation that's eager to see some home and some turn of events, it's the best thing we've seen since this started.
CABRERA: No doubt about it. Let's just put this unfolding tragedy into perspective. 2,977 people died in the U.S. in the 9/11 attacks. More than 4,100 have now died in New York alone from coronavirus. And we heard Mayor de Blasio today saying he has enough supplies to last until Wednesday, at the latest. That's three days from now. What then?
GOV. CUOMO: What we are doing is the entire system is overcapacity, right? We've never seen anything like this. The system was designed -- we have 50,000 beds statewide as a hospital system. And the entire system is overcapacity.
So, what we're literally doing, Ana, is we're taking all of the hospitals and managing them as one unit. In other words, who has extra gowns and then we shift the gowns to a hospital that doesn't have gowns. Who has masks? And we shift them back. Because we -- we're overtaxed on supplies, what they call PPE; the masks, the gowns, et cetera, the necessary chemical agents for testing.
Staff has been heroic here. You mentioned 9/11. I lived through that. And, you know, the heroes of 9/11 were the police and the firefighters who ran into those burning buildings and put their lives at risk to help others. The doctors, the nurses who walk into these emergency rooms every morning and put their lives at risk, they are the heroes of this pandemic.
So, we are literally shifting resources among all the different hospitals literally on a daily basis. So, it takes a difficult situation dealing with this coronavirus compounded by your overcapacity. You have people in hallways. You don't have enough staff. And then, you don't even have enough supplies for the nurses and doctors to protect themselves. I mean, you couldn't have a worse situation.
CABRERA: Let me ask you about what you're talking about when it comes to personnel and the stresses there. Because we learn the Pentagon has sent more than a thousand additional doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel to New York. What kind of difference will that make?
GOV. CUOMO: Well, you have an entire system that is overtaxed, right, all the hospitals, et cetera. What we're going to do is set up a COVID center, 2,500 bed in the state convention center, which is called the Javits Convention Center, which is on the west side of Manhattan. That will be 2,500 beds. That is very large. Northwell Hospital system is helping manage it, which is a major health system in the state of New York.
But the federal government and the military will be providing the staff, the medical staff, which is key for us because the entire system, we don't have a nurse to spare. The Javits Convention Center will be probably the largest emergency hospital in the United States, at 2,500 beds.
And those military personnel staffing that facility, that facility will basically be a relief valve for the overcapacity of the hospitals. And the fact that the military is staffing it is a major asset because we don't have the staff to do it. You know, to staff a 2,500-bed facility, just think of the need of medical personnel. So, that comes online. It's online now, but it's getting ramped up this week. And that's -- that's going to be a key to us making it through the week.
CABRERA: We learned today of the death of an 11th member of the NYPD from a suspected case of coronavirus. We now know that about 20% of the force is out sick, not necessarily with coronavirus. But how does the city function with one out of every five officers off the street?
GOV. CUOMO: Well, Ana, we have that all across the board. We have police officers who are getting sick -- fire -- FDNY fire department, people who are getting sick, transit workers who are getting sick, bus drivers, subway operators, and on top of that, the health care staff that has the highest rate of sickness.
So, there's no easy answer. You know, you do the best you can, again, with deploying assets from all across the state. So, if you get to a situation where the New York City Police Department was so short on staff, we would bring in state police and we'd bring in police from other areas. The most difficult --
CABRERA: Are you there yet?
GOV. CUOMO: We're not there yet, no.
CABRERA: OK. I wanted to ask you about Brookdale Hospital in Brooklyn as well because it was home to the emergency room described at one point as a quote, medical war zone. But Brookdale has been using that rapid COVID-19 test in their own lab. This is a test where you can get -- you know, get tested and the results in as little as 6 hours. What can you tell us about Brookdale hospital in Brooklyn?
GOV. CUOMO: You know, Brookdale hospital, they're doing amazing work. But the pictures you see of that emergency room, you can see that in almost any hospital you walk into in down state New York, so New York City, Long Island, Westchester, Rockland. They are all like that, Ana, the entire system.
And as I mentioned before, you know, when we will literally shift resources on a daily basis among the hospitals, all of them underwater, all of them overstressed, all of them struggling for supplies, and literally, we shift resources from hospital to hospital. But what they are doing, you talk about doing the lord's work. This is a week of religious holidays for many. I mean, God bless these people. I can't say enough, the heroism, the courage of the people who are working in those hospitals.
CABRERA: No doubt about it. I want to play a clip from the president's latest briefing with the coronavirus task force where he's talking about ventilators, which I know is something that you so vitally need as well as all the other states that are preparing to have the influx of patients with coronavirus. And the president here has accused governors of playing political games with the ventilators. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's very understandable that officials would seek to get the most they can get for their communities. But the fears of the shortages have led to inflated requests. We have some states and areas where they're just asking for far more. I mean look, we had one state asking for 40,000 ventilators -- 40,000! Think of it, 40,000. It's not possible. They won't need that money and now they're admitting they don't need that many, but we're getting as many as we can to them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Governor Cuomo, how many ventilators have you specifically asked for?
GOV. CUOMO: We had a projected model that we would need about 30,000 ventilators. You know, what governors do -- well, I can't speak for all governors. I work with many of them and many of them are my colleagues. What we do in New York is we do this from data and from a science. You know, I'm not a medical professional. And I don't have a crystal ball.
So, use the data. Use the science. And follow the numbers. We have projection models, which by the way, are basically on track with what we're seeing. And from those projection models, we've been trying to get supplies, which has been a great shortage all across this country and that's going to be a story for another day. But those are the models we've been following; how many beds, how many ventilators, et cetera.
Ventilators wound up key in this specific situation. And I don't think anyone anticipated it. And frankly, I don't think anyone could. We had --this virus happened to be a respiratory virus, happened to be almost paralyzing of the lungs in the right circumstances. And you needed a ventilator to keep a person alive. And if you didn't have a ventilator, you couldn't be of any assistance to that person.
So, you had this mad scramble for ventilators nationwide. And -- but everyone had to do what they could do to get the right number. And you were following a projection model. So, we'll see what we need at the end of the day. But there's no reason for anyone to get defensive about this either, you know. I understand the federal government does not have a stockpile that can serve the nation. That's a fact. So, let's stop worrying about yesterday and start planning for tomorrow.
CABRERA: So, at this point, if you requested 30,000 ventilators, how many does New York have and is it enough?
GOV. CUOMO: Right now, it is not enough. What we're doing is we have come up with very creative and elaborate plans. We're moving ventilators around the state from hospital to hospital. There's a new device that actually, what they call, splitting a ventilator, where one ventilator can operate two sets of tubes for two sets of patients.
We're using what's call BIPAP machines, which are not really ventilators, but they can help people who don't really need a full ventilator. And they assist breathing rather than a full ventilator. So, we've come up with all of these fallback adaptations to make do, you know? The old expression is, you don't go into war with what you want, you go to war with what you have. So, yes, plan, and we try to get the right supplies. At the end of the day, you have what you have, and you have to make do. You can't find a ventilator on this planet at this point. Every country is trying to get it. So, we've come up with very creative ways to make do with the equipment that we have.
CABRERA: And each one of us has a responsibility to do what we can to help prevent the spread, to help pull back some of the stress on the system. The most recent recommendation is for every American to wear some kind of face covering out in public. You're on the phone, so we obviously can't see you. But have you been wearing a mask or a face covering?
GOV. CUOMO: Look, in public, of course. Your point is right, Ana. You look at these pictures, you have people dying. You have other people putting their lives at risk in hospitals trying to keep people from dying. What is your obligation and my obligation in the midst of all of this? At least, at least, don't compound the problem.
Quarantine. Stay home. If you have to go out, social distancing, wear a mask -- wear a mask. I mean, why wouldn't you at this point? Just do whatever you can. You know where we are. You know the situation that people are putting themselves in. Everyone has to be part of the solution, by definition. This really shows us how we are one society and how we are interconnected and how we are mutually dependent. And this is a social disease, in some ways. It's spread from one to the other. So, everyone has a role and everyone has to do their part.
CABRERA: And a lot of us have personally been impacted. Now, I know your family has been hit. Our CNN family has been hit. So, I just have to ask, you know, how is my colleague, your brother, Chris doing?
GOV. CUOMO: Your colleague, my brother is doing ok. You know, it's a tough illness to deal with. It's been tough for him and he is not what we would call in the vulnerable population, right? He's not a senior citizen. He doesn't have an underlying illness, et cetera. And he's gone through a lot. Chris, you know, he's a tough guy, as you know. But it's really taken its toll. He's been functioning and he does what he has to do. But he's been suffering with it.
CABRERA: Having heard you day after day after day at your press conferences, I have to wonder what it's like to be in your shoes with the weight of this responsibility and just the sheer exhaustion you must be feeling right now. What is it like to be in your shoes?
GOV. CUOMO: You don't want to be in my shoes, Ana. The -- first, you do everything you can and we are doing everything we can. We're bringing operational strategies to bear, moving goods all over the state. It's a logistical nightmare. Begging people for help and supplies.
So, it's physically exhausting. But more, it's emotionally exhausting. It's hard to be in a situation where day after day you're doing everything you can, and you see more people die. And, you know, that whatever you do, it's not going to be enough. And as hard as you work, it's not going to be enough. And there's no way you can really stop the death.
You just can't. And that's hard because I take my job and my responsibility very seriously. You know, I don't point fingers. I'm the person in charge. And I'm responsible. And I just -- I have tremendous pain, frankly, that going through this and knowing I can't do enough to protect the people of this state from dying. And that emotionally is burdensome.
CABRERA: I have to ask then, because as you're speaking, the death toll ticked up. Nationally, we are more than 9,400 deaths. If the projections nationally are over 100,000 deaths, up to 240,000, and that's with these measures that we're taking to stay at home, to shelter in place, what are the models saying for New York specifically? How many deaths are you anticipating for just New York?
GOV: CUOMO: You know, I don't -- the models are all over the place, Ana. And what the models are trying to account for is how effective the social distancing is. But whatever the national number, New York has been the number one place of the occurrence of this infection as well as the death rate.
So, whatever model you pick, you put New York at the top of the list. That's why we're so aggressive about doing everything that can do. But I don't even want to think about the worst-case scenario. I don't even want to think about it.
CABRERA: Yes. All right. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. As always, thank you, be strong, and we really appreciate your time.
GOV. CUOMO: Thank you, Ana. Thank you very much.
CABRERA: We'll be right back.
CABRERA: While New York, New Jersey, and Louisiana are seeing the worst of the coronavirus cases and deaths right now, the top medical experts at the White House are already eyeing some other emerging hot spots.
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DR. DEBORAH BIRX, WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE COORDINATOR: We continue to watch in addition, the Chicago Area, the Detroit Area, and have some developing concerns around Colorado, the District of Columbia, and Pennsylvania.
We're watching them because they are starting to go on that upside of the curve. We're hoping and believing that if people mitigate strongly the work that they did over the last two weeks will blunt that curve and they won't have the same upward slope and peak that New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and part of Rhode Island are having. (END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: And the Governor of Colorado, Jared Polis, is joining us now. And governor, before we get to that warning by the White House task force, we're learning a member of your state's coronavirus response team has tested positive and this group, of course, works out of the building where you've been holding your briefings. Have you been tested? And does this change your response to fighting this pandemic?
GOV. JARED POLIS (D-CO): Well, we have at least one member of our cabinet. We have a member of our governor staff. We have now at least one person in our emergency operation center. We know that this is rampaging through everywhere. And that's why we moved early to allowing our state workers to telecommute. We closed bars and restaurants. But this is touching so many people. And of course, everyone is at risk and we're looking forward to doing what we can to save as many lives as possible.
CABRERA: Given how close it's come to you, have you been tested?
POLIS: It's not somebody that we think that I was exposed to. So, I have not had any reason to have a test or to enter isolation at this point. But we're doing that tracing and analysis every day. And depending on who comes down with it, it's certainly possible that other members of my senior team or myself might have to go in isolation or, in fact, contract coronavirus.
CABRERA: It has been exactly one month to the day since your state reported its first case of coronavirus and a lot has changed in one month. As governor, what goes through your mind when you hear that model suggest your state may be following the same path as New York?
POLIS: Well, it's all a matter of time for really every place in the country, every place in the world. We already have about 875 people in hospital beds with coronavirus. We have about 5,000 cases in our state, but that's just diagnosed, Ana. It's very likely 20,000, 30,000 people that have COVID-19.
For people who have COVID-19 symptoms, we're encouraging them to stay at home unless they have medical treatment. And really for everybody, what's most important now is stay at home unless absolutely necessary that you go out. And if you do go out, wear a facial mask. You can make one with an old t-shirt. But please, stay at home unless absolutely necessary. We got to squash this thing sooner rather than later and save lives.
CABRERA: You are hammering home on stay at home. But what impact does it have that three of the states bordering Colorado; Nebraska, Wyoming, and Utah still don't have statewide stay-at-home orders?
POLIS: It's not great for our communities that border those. They're worried about, you know, contagion from elsewhere. We've already -- even within our own state, many of our mountain communities are worried that people from the Denver metro area are still going up there spreading the virus. This is not a vacation. It's not a holiday. Of course, people need some physical activity if you need to walk your dog around the neighborhood. But, please, don't go to a different state. Don't go to a different area of the state. We can't treat this as a holiday. We have to treat this like the serious quarantine that it is. It's the only way that we can squash this thing and get back to any sense of normalcy.
CABRERA: I'm sure you've heard by now. President Trump has been saying some governors are playing politics when it comes to asking the government for supplies. But let me play it again.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We're working to ensure that the supplies are delivered where and when they're needed. In some cases, we're telling governors, we can't go there because we don't think you need and we think someplace else needs it. And pretty much so far, we've been right about that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Governor Polis, you said just two days ago that you have not heard from FEMA about what equipment the state will receive in Colorado. Has that changed in the last couple of days?
POLIS: We've shared our needs with the vice president, with FEMA. We would love and appreciate a timeline for what we're getting and when. In the meantime, we have a really nimble group from the private sector, businesspeople and others that have come in and volunteered full-time, trying to acquire things on the global market.
We're doing everything we can. Of course, we hope the federal government comes through. We also have a number of separate acquisition channels that we're pursuing for everything we need for the projections that we know are ahead in terms of hospitalizations and ventilations.
CABRERA: And the president seems to be implying that some governors are asking for more ventilators than are needed. Does the federal government have a better idea of how many ventilators you need than you do?
POLIS: Well, I hope they're looking at the same numbers that we are. Certainly, the national modeling is helpful. I think it's really similar to many of the models that have been presented to us. You know, it's about the timing. Obviously, in New York, they're at that peak. We hope that the steps we took put back -- pushed back the peak here.
But, you know, we're growing hospital beds every day. We're doing everything we can. And we know that that rush is still ahead of us here even with 875 people in hospitals. It's a large number for a state the size of Colorado. We know that's going to get worse, an increase before it gets better. CABRERA: You said you have been, you know, exploring other channels to acquire supplies. I know you've been reaching out to other countries like China, Taiwan, South Korea. Do you feel like you're getting more help from other countries than your own?
POLIS: Well, I don't know if I would use the word help. We're buying it, Ana. We're paying for it. But, yes, much of the supply chains are international. We are working them very hard. South Korea, China, Taiwan, some domestic manufacturing. You know, this is a global marketplace wherever we can acquire what we need to save lives in Colorado, we are going to do it and we are doing it.
CABRERA: The surgeon general today compared this upcoming week to "Pearl Harbor" and "9/11". And President Trump warned -- there will be a lot of death. You know, as residents of Colorado hear these warnings, what do you tell people who are scared and are asking -- is everything going to be ok?
POLIS: Well, we have well over 100 deaths in Colorado and climbing. Nationally, of course, the picture will get worse before it gets better. But remember, at the same time, that most of us are going to get through this fine. It doesn't mean we won't experience loss in our extended friend or family network.
And what we need to do is hold those who we love close and use technology, whether it's FaceTime or telephone or Zoom or Skype, whatever you use, and by doing that, we're saving lives rather than spreading the virus even more by physically encountering our friends and family members.
CABRERA: The vice president says he is expected to talk to governors tomorrow. What's the first thing you're going to bring up on that phone call?
POLIS: Well, we're in touch regularly with the vice president, with the team. There's a regularly scheduled call at least once a week. I think it's important that we look at the data and let the data drive the very difficult decisions ahead.
Colorado and I think most states are doing what they can to get the materials they need to save lives. We're hopeful that we can get some clear numbers worked out with the federal government so we know what we're getting when as we continue to rise to the occasion of taking on this virus and beating it.
Look, this is a tough time but it's also a time where we can show the very best of what it means to be an American, what it means to be a Coloradan. And there's so many great acts of people making masks for others, delivering groceries for their elderly neighbors, and that really shows who we are as a people at our core.
CABRERA: Colorado Governor Jared Polis, thank you. My family is there in Colorado. I know they're counting on you, wishing you best of luck in the days ahead.
POLIS: And we miss you here in Colorado, Ana. CABRERA: I miss all of you, as well. Thank you.
Firefighters in Florida surprised one of their own who is recovering from the coronavirus. A crew with Miami Dade fire rescue drove to the hospital in their fire truck. They raised their ladder to the hospital's fourth floor window and held up get-well-soon cards and a sign that read, your new firehouse. While gasping for air, he recorded a video to thank his colleagues.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And they're all going to come up and say hi.
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