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NY Gov.: Asking That Navy Hospital Ship Treat Coronavirus Patients; Michigan Has Third Most Confirmed Cases In U.S.; Honoring The Victims Of The Coronavirus Pandemic. Aired 12:30-1p ET

Aired April 6, 2020 - 12:30   ET



GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): Yes, there has been anecdotal evidence that it is promising. That's why we're going ahead. Doctors have to prescribe. But there are some people who have preexisting conditions where it doesn't work or they're taking medication that's not consistent with this treatment.

But anecdotally, it's been positive. We'll have a full test once they have a large enough sample and dataset, Jessie (ph). But anecdotally it's been positive. And if we get an additional supply we can, which the federal government says they're going to send, I'm going to mention it to the President, actually, when I called him this afternoon with the Comfort, I'll make a note that right now, if they increase the supply, we can lift the 14-day limit ban.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sir, earlier today, the notion that that the city would maybe be burying these COVID bodies in parks, in New York City, wondering one, have you heard of that and two, is there any way to say and when the assistance with managing these bodies, and what do you think about that?

CUOMO: I haven't heard nothing about that. I've heard a lot of wild rumors. But I have not heard anything about the city burying people in parks.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Would you see about that?

CUOMO: No, no.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What plan do have to manage these bodies? I know --

CUOMO: I didn't know that there was an issue. I haven't heard that there was an issue. Has anybody heard that there's an issue?


CUOMO: Does the city raise any issue? They talked in New York City -- I talked to New York City yesterday. I have not heard that this is an issue.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mayor Bill de Blasio this morning request that the state police more ventilator from the stockpile to the city. To date how many ventilators have come from the state stockpile to city and have they asked for any more at this point?

CUOMO: They have not asked for any that they have not gotten. We're releasing 802. The city is basically responsible for the 11 H -- Health and Hospital Corporation, hospitals, public hospitals, there are 11 health and hospital corporations. Eleven health and hospitals, hospitals in that system, and I spoke to the head of the system last night. I'm going to speak to -- he's going to be on a phone call at 1 o'clock.

Dr. Mitch Katz, he had all the equipment he needed. And I'm going to speak to him again at 1 o'clock. So if they need anything, we'll get it to them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These 800 funerals combined like that's how many --

CUOMO: Eight hundred and two for the downstate area. Now, every hospital will say to you, I am running low on everything because they are low on everything, right? When we do these daily surgeon flex discussions, nobody -- there's no margin for error because we don't have any margin for error. We just don't have the supplies. The whole system is over capacity. So everybody is low on everything.

And if they had a wish list, everybody would want, you know, stockpile and a reserve in their own hospital, I get that. We don't have that luxury. You know, taking ventilators from one hospital on a daily basis, bringing them to another and then shifting them back and forth. So every hospital can get through this period. That's why I say, it's unsustainable for us.

So we're doing that with PPE equipment. We're doing that with ventilators. We're doing that with patients. If we can systematically get patients out of the hospital system into Javits and the Comfort, then you can really pressure on the whole system. But the system is running at red line has been four days. This is the most intense management function that we have ever undertaken.

So it's not here -- in this situation is not what they want, it's what they need. That's what I say, you know, everybody would want. I want to have 100 ventilators on reserve. I know. It's what you need. And that we're doing on a day to day basis. But everyone has what they need. There is no one who said, I'm out of ventilators and I have a critical need, who hasn't gotten them.


JOHN KING, CNN HOST: The Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, giving his daily coronavirus update in Albany sobering statistics from the governor. And yet he says there is some hope in the numbers 4,758 that is the current death toll in the State of New York from coronavirus.

But the governor saying that increase of 599 day-to-day from yesterday to today is relatively flat all of a sudden. He hopes that is a hopeful sign. He also says the numbers hospitalizations is down. The number of New Yorkers and intensive care is down. The number of New Yorkers who require intubation when they come in for coronavirus treatment is down.


The governor hoping New York might be at that apex moment. The question he raised was, will there be a long plateau? Will you stay relatively the same? Or will the state start to come down quickly?

Let's discuss that and more, two guests with me now to understand the medical side of this Dr. Kevin Tabb is CEO of the Beth Israel Lahey Health Center in Massachusetts. Dr. Aaron Milstone is a pulmonologist at the Williamson Medical Center in Franklin, Tennessee. Doctors, thank you both for being here.

Dr. Tabb, I want to start with you. When you listen to the governor. New York is obviously first here as we watch New York go through this. You're in Massachusetts, our next guest is in Tennessee. As we go through this, when you hear that from the governor, he's the politician giving the data from a medical perspective, he -- the chart he showed said he believes there's a possibility New York is going to come in well under their worst case scenario, is there reason to be hopeful?

DR. KEVIN TABB, CEO, BETH ISRAEL LAHEY HEALTH: Well, I think is certainly reason to be hopeful. But as the governor himself said, they just weren't sure exactly where they are on the curve. And I think that's true for New York, it's true for us in Massachusetts, and it's true around the country.

So there's reason to be hopeful. But I think we need to be cautious and make sure that we're not looking at a single data point. But we see this continue over a number of days.

KING: And Dr. Milstone, come in on that point in the sense that, you know, Tennessee is a state that is behind these other states, as you watch the case number grow, but the case numbers in Tennessee have grown quite dramatically. When you hear the governor say, you know, maybe we have a hopeful sign here, but and he adds a very important but, he said this is no time to back off when it comes to social distancing.

He left the school closings and the business closings in place through the 29th essentially matching them up with where the President's guidelines are. What was your biggest takeaway there in a state that is now has the right going this way were there signs of hope that you can get to that point as well?

DR. AARON MILSTONE, PULMONOLOGIST, WILLIAMSON MEDICAL CENTER: Absolutely, John, so you know, new models from the IHME are very similar to New York where the Tennessee medical community was essentially right all along after accounting for Tennessee's new stay at home order, those projections changed from showing us thousands of bed shortages, many more deaths to now showing no bed shortages and a drastic reduction in deaths. But just as the governor pointed out, models change all the time, and this one will change as well. And keeping deaths and strain on our healthcare institutions low really depends on both citizens and our governor remaining committed to the state and order in keeping people separated. Now is not the time for complacency in this pandemic.

KING: Well, and Dr. Tabb, that's part of the challenge for the political leadership and also for the medical experts who give us the grace of your time here in the sense that if you're an average American, a lay person, and you see oh, the numbers are flattened, and they said we would flatten and then things would get better.

You have the President who, yes, says, we're going to have a horrible week or two but himself publicly clamoring to open up. You're in Boston, the mayor over the weekend put a curfew in place. What is the challenge to say, yes, we may see something promising but no, do not think for a second this is over?

TABB: Well, I think that's exactly right. We can't let up for a moment. Here in Massachusetts, we are still seeing the numbers rise. So we have not reached that plateau. And I think it's important for everybody to understand that, well, the social distancing is working. It is not enough. And we certainly can't let up right now.

Our numbers are rising still on a daily basis. We hope that we're not going to reach the point that New York has. But our ICUs are already near full. And, you know, we would approach a really dangerous point if people were to let up at this point in time.

KING: And Dr. Milstone, the Governor of New York is not as diffusive in his praise of hydroxychloroquine as the President of United States is. But he says in their hospitals that he has seen some anecdotal evidence, it helps. The President mentions this just about every time he gets to the podium, and some of the medical community kind of pull back saying, whoa, whoa, let's get some trials first. Have you seen anything to suggest? Is this being done in your state, helpful, not sure, harmful?

MILSTONE: So the answer to it is desperate times call for desperate measures. And so when you don't have a vaccine, and you don't have a lot of clinical trials to support medication, people begin to resort to things that the science just isn't there for. And I would caution the medical community, I would caution our legislators, I would caution our leaders to be very thoughtful about these medication, recommendations.

We don't have large controlled clinical trials to really support the use of these medications. Anecdotally, there are certainly reports they may work, but for every good success, you can find many people that have tried these medications and feel that they're not working. So I think we need science to support recommendations. And the pandemic really shows us that we have a long way to go in order to bolster our scientific knowledge of this virus.


KING: Dr. Aaron Milstone and Dr. Kevin -- jump in sir, go ahead.

TABB: I want to -- yes, I want to check out that statement and say that, you know, history is littered with examples of treatments that we believe initially could be helpful and turn out when we conduct trials and have larger groups that we look at that turned out not to be helpful at all and in some cases can be quite harmful. And so I think it's really important for us to embrace the science here and be cautious.

KING: Dr. Tabb and Dr. Milstone appreciate both of your perspective. That's exactly why we have you here to put science first and medical professionals first. We appreciate your insights very much. Thank you so much and both -- to both of you good luck in the days and weeks ahead.

MILSTONE: Thank you John.

KING: Up next we go to the State of Michigan, now the third highest number of coronavirus cases here in the United States, a live update just ahead.



KING: In the latest state by state coronavirus case count it is New York, New Jersey, and then Michigan. Michigan now third with the most -- third most confirmed cases state by state of coronavirus. Currently, you see the numbers there. The state has nearly 16,000 confirmed cases 617 deaths in Michigan. The governor today warning of dire shortages in critical supplies.

Detroit has been hit especially hard. That's where CNN's Ryan Young is today. Ryan, what are the latest numbers and the prognosis looking ahead?

RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Now, John, as you can imagine, the folks here are very worried about what the next 24 to 48 hours could be when you talk to people who work in the medical field, there are of course worried about PPE. There are some hospitals that have more supply than others.

But we've been able to talk to some people who are noticing that the death numbers are starting to tick up when you're talking about 617 people losing their lives in this state. And when we talk to how healthcare professionals, they're saying they're seeing sicker and sicker people come in, and they're losing their lives a lot faster.

And one of the things that we do know is there's a TCF Center that's just right behind me exactly. And they're going to be able to add 1,000 hospital beds to the -- a field hospital. But here's the thing there. They don't have enough people to even staff the new space. So there's an all call right now for nurses and doctors from around the country to please come to Detroit like you've seen happen to New York where they made the all call for. So they're hoping they'll get more people who's going to flood into the area. The other part about this is get the awareness up and the testing to be a little bit better. What we have noticed is Abbott Testing Labs will show this video now, the 15-minute test. The city has been able to use that. One hundred and eighty first responders were sidelined over the last few weeks as they were waiting their test results.

One hundred and fifty have been able to test and we know they are negative. But 30 new cases of first responders who tested positive for the coronavirus. We're going to get another update at 3 o'clock today from the mayor. These are critical numbers when you think about the city of this size because obviously they need their first responders to get out there to meet the need.

But there's been all sorts of conversations about people showing up to hospitals sicker and sicker and needing that lifesaving work as soon as they come in. So John, this story continues to grow, especially in an urban city like Detroit, that's struggling with so many things in terms of poverty and health care.

KING: Critical numbers to watch in the week ahead to see where this is going. Ryan Young, appreciate the live reporting on the ground there. The State of Georgia facing criticism from some of its own local leaders for reopening beaches in the state, that includes Tybee Island, a popular vacation destination in Georgia.

More than two weeks ago, Tybee Island leaders voted to close the beaches there as a precaution. But that was overruled last week when Governor Brian Kemp issued a statewide shelter in place order that superseded local ordinances and allowed those beaches to reopen. Georgia's lieutenant governor defending that decision on CNN this morning.


LT. GOV. GEOFF DUNCAN (R-GA): The beaches are not open for spring breakers. They're open for folks that are exercising. It's just an area for folks to go get a little bit of exercise, maintain plenty of distance. We've got all the state resources to be able to keep an eye on it to make sure that it continues to be a safe place.


KING: The Tybee Island Mayor Shirley Sessions though disagree. She calls the reopening reckless and vows to proceed -- pursue legal avenues to overturn that state mandate.


Ahead, they were parents, daughters, sons, medical workers, police officers, will honor some of the victims next.


KING: As those numbers you see there on the right side of the screen sadly grow. It is critical to remember each one of those numbers represents an individual life. Family and friends now mourning those who have died due to the coronavirus pandemic. And every day we're learning more of their stories. Thirty-one-year-old Riley Rumrill believes to be the youngest patient in Massachusetts to die from coronavirus.

His parents Diana and Bob Rumrill remember him as the light of the party always smiling and laughing they say, always taking care of others. Their message now, honor their son's life by staying at home.


BOB RUMRILL, FATHER OF CORONAVIRUS VICTIM RILEY RUMRILL: We couldn't really be there with Riley. But we could take his death and make him if you want to post your child for the least is Alabama area where we live and across the country that where we got friends and neighbors so that he's not just a number he's a person with a face. And the fact that he had a message. And the message is, don't take undue risk.


KING: Alfredo and Susana Pabatao were together for 44 years. They both worked in healthcare. He is a medical transporter and she as an assistant nurse. Two weeks ago, Alfredo was taken into the ICU, four days later, Susana also admitted. The two died just days apart. Their daughter says they were inseparable and that her mother took a turn for the worse after learning her husband had lost his fight.


SHERYL PABATAO, PARENTS DIED OF CORONAVIRUS: It's beyond hurt. It's beyond pain. My parents are my life. I have so many plans with them because they're -- my dad was only waiting for my mom to retire and this was the year that they're supposed to retire. And, you know, this was their retirement they were talking about. But, you know, I'm trying to bring awareness to this virus and it's not to scare anybody just to make them aware.



KING: This disease of course also taking a heavy toll on first responders. The Broward County Sheriff's Office in South Florida this morning, Deputy Shannon Bennett. Deputy Bennett was a 12-year veteran, school resource officer who protected and mentored students at Deerfield Beach Elementary School. The Sheriff's Office says, he was in love and said to get married later this year.

On Saturday, his fellow men and women in uniform offered a salute as his body was escorted to a local funeral home. BSO Court Bailiff Patrick Johnston, sharing this rendition of amazing grace in honor of his fallen colleague.