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Parents And Caregivers Adapt To Sudden Homeschooling; UNICEF: Coronavirus Poses Latest Threat To DRC Health System; Explore The World Without Leaving Home. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired April 6, 2020 - 05:30   ET




ROBYN CURNOW, CNN ANCHOR: The U.S. surgeon general says the week ahead will compare to Pearl Harbor or 9/11. The sobering comment came as the number of U.S. cases neared 340,000 people. That's according to Johns Hopkins University. We know at least 25,000 new cases and more than 1,100 deaths were reported on Sunday alone.

And the U.S. President Donald Trump is promoting the use of an antimalarial drug to treat the coronavirus again even though it has not been proven to work. At a news conference on Sunday, Mr. Trump acknowledged he is not a medical expert but recommended the medication anyway, saying he is using common sense.

And the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spent the night in the hospital where he is said to be undergoing tests as a precautionary step. Mr. Johnson continues to have coronavirus symptoms days after he tested positive. On Friday, he said he was still experiencing a temperature.

And also at this hour, futures for the U.S. markets are looking up but make no mistake, the coronavirus has been a massive economic problem as all of you know.


Look at these numbers. We know we're in positive territory but look at the graph we're seeing now. Red lines showing a record 10 million Americans filing unemployment claims in just the past two weeks.

Well, let's go straight to our Christine Romans who is standing by in New York with all of this. Christine, hi, good to see you.

I don't think we could see. That was a graph with no graph on it, which I suppose is a slight indication of where we are economically. Give me a sense of what we know about small businesses right now.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT, ANCHOR, EARLY START: OK. Well, we know there is free money for small businesses. There's $350 billion worth from the government. They want to get that money into the hands of small business owners so that they can pay their bills for the next couple of months. And that money will be forgiven if they keep their workers or they rehire their workers, so this is a really critical part of the Main Street bailout.

We know that the whole system went live on Friday but there's a lot of frustration from small business owners who say they're having trouble kind of figuring out how to get this money. Some of the big banks are saying that by the middle of this week they hope that things go a little bit more smoothly.

The president has said it was a flawless rollout, but just about everybody involved with it said no, there have been some glitches -- in part because it's so much money -- we've never done it before. So much money going out of the door so quickly to try to help these small business owners and they desperately need it.

There's also talk that maybe there has to be more small business relief even before this one is started. You're hearing that they'll need to be more aid to Americans and small business owners to get through this, Robyn.

CURNOW: OK, so it's Monday morning. It's a whole new week. Medically, there have been huge warnings that this is going to take a desperate toll on American lives. Economically, financially, what are we looking for in terms of the week ahead?

ROMANS: I just think that April is going to be awful and we know it, in the economy. "The Wall Street Journal" this morning has a really good analysis by Moody's Analytics that a quarter of the American economy has been shut off. A quarter of the economy has been shut off and more will be shut off in the days ahead.

This is going to means millions of layoffs, it's going to mean millions of furloughs. It's going to mean companies are going to be -- small companies are really going to be wondering if they're going to be able to come out on the other end, which is why this stimulus money is so critical and why cash payments to Americans is so critical so people can pay their bills.

What we have done Robyn is we have shut off the American economy on purpose, but we haven't shut off the need to pay the bills, right? So that leaves citizens and small business owners really holding the bag here in this -- in this very short period of time.

When you tell people to stay home that means job losses. And I think you probably have an unemployment rate right now in this country at least at 10 percent, and that's a really difficult place to be.

And the president says there is light at the end of the tunnel and that is true. We will come out of this. But we don't know how long that tunnel is and we don't what kind of damage it's going to do, specifically to small businesses and to American families who don't have much savings. We just don't know how they're going to weather this.

CURNOW: OK, thanks for that. Christine Romans and I will be talking pretty much the same time every day this week, so thank you. OK, so as I said, it's Monday morning here in the U.S. Another school week starts with no school.

All around the world school systems are buckling. Nearly 900 million children are out of the classroom globally. We know that more than 100 countries have shut all schools in an effort to stop the spread of this virus. Now, in the U.S., the pandemic has forced schools to close at an unprecedented level as well -- of course, disrupting the academic year.

And for teachers and students and parents it's already been a pretty challenging shift to virtual learning, hasn't it? But with less one- on-one teaching, many children will struggle to make up for all this lost time.

Well, Josh Clark joins me now. He's the headmaster of the same school in Atlanta which provides a specialist education for children with dyslexia. And Josh, great to see you.

We know hundreds of millions of children are out of school. They're either sitting or home or receiving some sort of lessons online. But it's the kids who are finding this hard in the first place, whether their diagnosis is dyslexia or not, that are really going to struggle through this, and it's a large percentage of these 100 million -- 900 million kids.

JOSH CLARK, HEADMASTER, THE SCHENCK SCHOOL, ATLANTA: Yes, Robyn, we're thinking at least anywhere from 10 to 20 percent of our student- age population is going to be navigating online learning while also struggling and navigating with dyslexia.

CURNOW: So what does that mean for parents, particularly if you're involved far more than you normally are with lessons? What red flags do you need to look for?

CLARK: Certainly. So, we know also that the vast majority of our students that are struggling with dyslexia are also going undiagnosed. So as parents, we really encourage you to be investigators to understand your child's learning and there's some common signs that we could look for.

In younger students, we're looking at difficulties with rhyming. Difficulty recalling known information like sight words or objects or even colors. And as students get older, we're looking at struggles with spelling -- inconsistent spelling, poor spelling.


And also, students who have a discrepancy between what we know that they know -- the information we know that they're able to recite -- but then when we ask them to write it or we ask them to read independently, they fall apart.

CURNOW: So -- and this is interesting. The stats that are really -- I think many parents will be surprised to know that 10 to 20 percent of the student population is likely dyslexic. It's far out -- it's there -- much more than people think.

So teachers can almost be guaranteed of having a few dyslexic kids in their classrooms, now virtually. What can they do to reach out to these children who are struggling with this different way of learning?

CLARK: Yes, you're right. Without question, all of our teachers right now are trying to serve dyslexic learners whether they realize it or not, and I would make two important recommendations.

One, for teachers, is flexibility. We need to give students options. We need to not assume that one way of expressing their understanding or displaying their learning is optimal.

So we need to give them options. We need to give them accommodations, give them extra time. Give them the opportunity to use audiobooks and things like that.

And I would also really encourage all teachers during this time to take the opportunity to develop their own learning from things like the teacher training and teacher awareness produced by groups like Made by Dyslexia.

CURNOW: And for children who are watching this and know they think differently -- perhaps, even better -- what do they know and what can they do to try and manage these weeks of homeschooling?

CLARK: Yes. So what I would tell students right now that are at home, whether or not they realize they're dyslexic or not -- what I think is so important for them to know and understand is that they are brilliant, they are smart. But often, their brains are made for the world but not for school. And so they often have to struggle and navigate and find their way through, but if they can stay strong, if they can keep that confidence up, they will get through this.

And again, the capabilities and some of the opportunities that they have and the way they think really shine in the world but not always in our school tasks.

CURNOW: And I know you've spoken about how teaching dyslexic kids -- 20 percent in the class, potentially -- is good for all kids in any classroom. And this is going to be very relevant to parents who are having to interface with their children on an educational level in ways they have never done before.

What is -- what is the advice that you would give in terms the stuff that can help people -- the stuff that can help you learn without having to read through lots of slides and books?

CLARK: Yes, certainly. So there's a lot of adaptive technologies out there that can be helpful to us. Things like Microsoft learning tools. Any -- a lot of our software now has built-in speech detect. So instead of asking students to write or to type, they can recite and it automatically types it for them. Those audiobooks -- things like Learning Ally. All those could be very helpful.

The International Dyslexia Association also has a long list of adaptive technologies that are useful for students as well.

CURNOW: OK, Josh Clark there with the Schenck School in Atlanta. You do great work. And also, all these teachers around the U.S. and the world, you're all being amazing. Thanks so much.

CLARK: Thanks, Robyn.

CURNOW: OK. So, the public health system in the DRC -- in the Democratic Republic of Congo is straining. First, under measles and cholera, then Ebola, and now coronavirus. UNICEF says coronavirus poses the latest threat to an already battered health system in the DRC.

And if you look at these pictures in these scenes you can see how easily the virus could spread along the busy streets of a town like -- a city like Goma, for example.

Take a listen to freelance filmmaker Thomas Nybo.


THOMAS NYBO, FREELANCE PHOTOGRAPHER AND FILMMAKER: We just rolled into one of the most popular markets in Goma and as you can see, it's business as usual. No social distancing.


CURNOW: So that was Thomas on the streets of Goma and he joins us now live from the DRC. Thomas, good to see you.

In many ways, as people complain about having to be stuck at home on a never-ending sort of schedule, it's a luxury. Social distance is a luxury because in many places of the world it is just not possible, as you just pointed out there.

NYBO: That's exactly right, Robyn. What you have to remember is three out of four people in DR Congo live on less than $2.00 a day, which is the definition of extreme poverty. So what you're seeing across Africa when you're having these lockdowns is people are forced to make a very difficult decision if they don't have any food on hand. They either starve or riot.

Even in Kinshasa, there was a four-day lockdown that was supposed to be in place but the threat of looting made the government back off.

And here in Goma, it's especially dangerous. As you saw from my video, the streets are full of people. Now, the restaurants are closed, most of the flights are suspended, the borders are shut down, but it's business as usual in many ways.

And if you have a family of five or six people and a mother, for instance, who needs to feed those five or six children, staying at home does not seem to be an option for her.


CURNOW: No, it's not. And again, that's why I said it is a luxury being able to social distance or order on Amazon.

Give us also an understanding. This is a highly vulnerable population already. This is -- this latest virus is compounded on top of other health emergencies. How does that play into it?

NYBO: If you go back to the Ebola outbreak, what's happened here in the Congo, especially in the east, it's a very delicate, dangerous situation because you have instability. You have brutal militia attacks, which have displaced more than a million people.

Everyone talks about Ebola, they talk about COVID-19. But what you have to remember is this country is in the middle of the world's worst measles outbreak. Five thousand three hundred children under the age of five have died in the past year.

So, while COVID-19 presents a problem, you have to look at the basic health structure. Many of the hospitals lack basic equipment, they lack toilets, they lack clean water. So it is perhaps the most vulnerable population in Africa.

CURNOW: As you know, I used to be CNN's Africa correspondent and anybody who has reported from the continent in the last few decades knows that instability in the Congo has a ripple effect across the continent.

What does it mean -- how vulnerable is it -- how important is it that the Congo is in the center there of Africa and this is such a ticking time bomb in many ways?

NYBO: It sets a dangerous precedent because while it's a very poor country, it's minerally rich, so there's a lot of international business. A lot of people look to DR Congo for guidance.

And in these communities it's very fragile, as we saw with Ebola, where in a moment, the local populations can blame outsiders for spreading the disease. I'm on the streets with UNICEF doing work every day and increasingly, six, seven, eight people a day are accusing me of spreading coronavirus.

And if you look in these communities there's a lot of fear, there's a lot of explanations that oh, this is the coming apocalypse. So it's very dangerous and as you mention, very precedent-setting perhaps.

CURNOW: Yes. And again, that warning that leaders have to have very clear messaging in times like this, and don't confuse the populations.

Thomas, appreciate it -- freelance filmmaker there on the ground. I know you're doing, as you said, other work as well for UNICEF. Thank you very much for bringing us this story.

NYBO: Thank you, Robyn.

CURNOW: OK, so the one thing experts continue to say is that no one is immune to the coronavirus. And now it seems not even tigers. I know, it's amazing, isn't it? This is Nadia, a 4-year-old tiger at the Bronx Zoo in New York, who

has become the first of her kind to test positive for COVID-19. I kid you not.

Public officials are now warning anyone sick with the virus should restrict contact with animals.

So, coming up next, from wildlife safaris to art museums or a night at the opera, people stuck inside because of COVID-19 are finding ways to enjoy the wonders of the world. We'll take you on a virtual tour after the break. A little bit of good news.



CURNOW: Firefighters in Florida surprised one of their own who is recovering from coronavirus. On Friday morning, a crew with the Miami- Dade fire rescue drove to the hospital in their fire truck, raised their ladder to the hospital's fourth-floor windows -- you can see here -- and held up get well soon cards and a sign that read "You're new firehouse."

While gasping for air, he recorded a video to thank his colleagues.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE CORONAVIRUS PATIENT: And they're all going to come up and say hi. This is love. This is -- this is the only kind of love you can get from the brother and sisterhood at the firehouse.


CURNOW: You can hear him gasping for breath there. The firefighter has not been named but it is great to see how his coworkers really came together to brighten his day.

So, the coronavirus may be keeping you inside but that also doesn't mean some of the wonders of the world aren't available to you. From safaris to sports to concerts, it's all still virtually there.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now, (INAUDIBLE) is going to climb on him -- watch. He can't help it. He can't help it.

CURNOW (voice-over): Young elephants playing in the bush -- a welcome distraction from the grim headlines of the coronavirus and one that anyone stuck in their house can share in through the growing use of virtual experiences to pass the time in lockdown.

GRAHAM WALLINGTON, CEO, WILDEARTH: We don't know what's going to happen. Nature will do what it will do but we'll be there to capture those moments. And it's really exactly like going on safari.

CURNOW (voice-over): The outside world is just a click away with a virtual game drive in South Africa. It may not be the vacation that had to be canceled but it is a reminder of what still could be.

The crack of a bat in South Korea and baseball fans are back in the game, even if they aren't in the stadium. One team is livestreaming its practice games to fill the void until it's safe enough for the season to begin.

KIM JIN-WON, VIRTUAL BASEBALL FAN (through translator): Each team broadcasts their internal games around two times a week, so I feel less sad. But the crowd is the best part of the baseball game so it does feel a little empty.

CURNOW (voice-over): Museums around the world are also empty but that doesn't mean they don't have visitors. Italy's Uffizi Gallery opened a Facebook page for people to virtually browse its hallways and to take mini-tours of its famous artwork.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): This initiative allows people who can no longer physically visit the museum to admire the masterpieces and have a window to appreciate priceless works.

CURNOW (voice-over): Or how about a night at the opera? There's no dress code -- even pajamas will do. The Metropolitan Opera in New York is streaming some of its most famous performances for free.


But if it's just a view of the outside you crave, you can find that, too, online. A window to the world that's still turning. Not even the virus can stop that.


CURNOW: So, actress Jane Seymour is also encouraging people to share their talents during a time of social distancing.


JANE SEYMOUR, ACTRESS: So what are you going to paint today?


CURNOW: Seymour is encouraging everyone to do something good for someone and she started the chain by painting in California with a senior citizen in Dallas over a video call. During the call, she shared some of her expertise.

Seymour wants people to consider doing something for others and then share it online using the hashtag #openheartedchallenge. You've certainly got time to do it.

So, I'm Robyn Curnow. Thanks so much for your company this hour. Let's help all of our medical workers by staying at home and staying safe.

"NEW DAY" is next -- enjoy.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES, NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH: We are struggling to get it under control and that's the issue that's at hand right now.

DR. JEROME ADAMS, U.S. SURGEON GENERAL: 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.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We've also sent an additional 200 ventilators to Louisiana, a definite hotspot.

GOV. JOHN BEL EDWARDS (D), LOUISIANA: We now think it's probably around the ninth of April before we exceed our ventilator capacity.

TRUMP: New York, the first time deaths were less from the previous day.

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: The number of deaths has been dropping. What is the significance of that? It's too early to tell.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It's Monday, April sixth. It's 6:00 here in New York.

And this morning, the surgeon general is warning the country to brace for disaster.