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British Prime Minister in ICU; U.S. Faces Widespread Shortage of Medical Supplies; Inside a New York Emergency Room Battling Coronavirus; China Reports No New Deaths for First Time on Monday; Japanese P.M. to Declare State of Emergency; Cardinal Pell Freed, Sex Abuse Conviction Overturned; Investigating the Origin of the Coronavirus. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired April 7, 2020 - 00:00   ET




JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hello and welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm John Vause.

Coming up on CNN NEWSROOM, the British prime minister spends the night in intensive care, as his coronavirus symptoms dramatically worsen and concerns grow over his prognosis.

There are some hopeful signs, even as the death toll from the coronavirus soars to 11,000 in the U.S.

Also Cardinal George Pell set to walk free as Australia's highest court overturns his pedophilia conviction.


VAUSE: The British prime minister is spending his first night in intensive care. It's now morning in London and there are concerns over precisely what his prognosis is. He took a turn for the worse, just on Monday. That was when he moved him to hospital.

He spent 11 days in self isolation after being diagnosed positive with the coronavirus, the COVID-19 disease.

Downing Street says Boris Johnson is conscious and this move to the ICU was precautionary but he has taken oxygen at some point. CNN's Nick Paton Walsh is live in London.

So Nick, clearly there is much to be concerned here. And there's not a lot of information coming out of Downing Street.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: No, and that information does at times appear to be conflicting with the timeline, if you look at it from a further perspective.

What we know is that he was moved, according to Downing Street, at about 7 o'clock yesterday to the ICU, should he require an assistance from a ventilator. That statement was written at the back end of yesterday.

It's a matter of hours for the man who is stepping in where necessary, quote-unquote, for the prime minister, Dominic Raab. The first secretary of state said the prime minister, quote, "spent a comfortable night in hospital."

Clearly during the afternoon his condition worsened and he was no longer said to be in need of tests and in need of assistance in the intensive care unit. Obviously, the government balancing imperatives of privacy of the prime minister and national security and that the sense that the public need to be given up-to-date information but not unduly alarmed by what is going on behind me.

But make no mistake, the fact that the government now, two nights in a row, has had to come out with fairly devastating news about the prime minister's health, is exceptionally bad news for a country that is walking now into its peak moments.

We had an outlier number of deaths reported yesterday, just over 400 but we seen 600-700 plus over the past days, suggesting that the surge in deaths is upon us. And the U.K. walks into that now with a prime minister in a bad medical condition, having to get his deputy to step in for him and knowing that every suggestion about what happens to him inside that hospital will be heavily scrutinized by everyone across the nation and the world, John.

VAUSE: Is there any indication that Dominic Raab may in fact not be the person that the cabinet wants to be leading at this particular point in time?

WALSH: None of that really matters, at the end of the day, because this is Boris Johnson's decision, who he seeks to nominate to sit in for him in the event that he is incapacitated. That is how it functions here and, obviously, whether not the cabinet is in agreement of that is a subsequent matter.

But we are dealing with an unfortunate hour by hour situation here, where, in the last 24 hours, it became impossible for Downing Street to suggest what no government wants to make, that they had to send their leader for a hospital admission, not an outpatient treatment for scans or tests, but an actual overnight stay that has turned into a second overnight stay.

And now they're saying he's in intensive care should he need access to a ventilator. I have to draw a line between discussing the possibility of what is happening to the prime minister and the general eventualities of what people in the U.K. have been experiencing from this disease.


WALSH: And white males between the age of 50 and 70 have made up quite a lot of the people who have lost their lives to this disease. So all care that the nation can provide will be given behind closed doors but certainly this is a very grave moment.

And a stark reminder to Britons, that this disease does not discriminate, no matter who you are -- John.

VAUSE: It's hard to remember a time when a British prime minister was in intensive care, thank you, Nick Paton Walsh, outside of St. Thomas Hospital in London.

Since this news broke that the British prime minister had been moved to intensive care, there's been a global get will soon message for Boris Johnson.

In a tweet, former British prime minister David Cameron said, you are in great hands and we want you safe, well and back in 10 Downing Street.

The new Labour leader of the opposition party, tweeted, "Terribly sad news, all of the country's thoughts are with the prime minister and his family during this incredibly difficult time."

From the Scottish National Party, "Our and everyone's thoughts at the SNP are with the prime minister and his family right now. We hope and wish for a speedy recovery."

The French president tweeted, "All my support to Boris Johnson and his family and the British people during this difficult moment."

And U.S. president Donald Trump called Boris Johnson a friend, saying his administration has been in touch with the prime minister's doctors.


TRUMP: We are saddened to hear that he was taken into intensive care and Americans are all praying for his recovery. He's been a great friend, he has been something very special, strong, resolute, does not quit or give up.


VAUSE: CNN European affairs commentator Dominic Thomas joins us now from Los Angeles.

One thing that is very clear, the 1 million plus people that are fighting off this virus, wishing Boris Johnson a speedy recovery but there is a reality that needs to be looked at, especially what happened in China, Italy and Spain, where there's a mortality rate with surges once someone is admitted to the ICU.

If this was anyone not called prime minister, you would say their prognosis is not good, so under the current circumstances, it would be almost standard operating procedure for the government to play it down a bit, hoping that the prime minister has a quick recovery, while planning for a worst-case scenario.

And that could be something from an extended stay in the ICU or put on a ventilator or worse.

DOMINIC THOMAS, CNN EUROPEAN AFFAIRS COMMENTATOR: Well, yes. Initially, that is what the government attempted to do. But the fact is that his diagnosis as being positive is over a week old. So the British public have known about it.

The fact that it was admitted at the weekend to a hospital was already a serious development. And the fact that less than a day later he moved from a hospital bed into the ICU unit, which, as you just mentioned, really underscores the fact that this situation has worsened.

This is a sitting prime minister; they are doing everything they can to make sure that he gets the closest attention. But I would say that the situation here has escalated and is a source of tremendous concern.

VAUSE: He deputized Dominic Raab essentially to take over for the time being. But there are issues there that are not essentially a clear line of succession, if you like, under the British system. So long-term there could be some issues but in the short term, because Johnson made this decision, if it's a short-term thing, that should not be a problem.

But that changes if this goes on for some time, right?

THOMAS: It does. And I think what we saw throughout the number of years when we were looking at the Brexit situation is there were so many uncertain turns, because the British constitution is not written down in stone and there is a lack of clarity there.

I think the most important thing to remember is that is the party, that Conservative Party that is in power and the leader, Boris Johnson, who serves as prime minister.

The Conservative Party won an overwhelming majority in Parliament, the government serves and has the confidence of the house and should something happen to Boris Johnson, whether he is incapacitated or passes away, the Conservative Party has the opportunity to appoint the new leader.

And without a doubt, would have the confidence of the House so for the short term, Dominic Raab, as foreign secretary and as first secretary, can serve as the deputy prime minister. And it's up to Boris Johnson to appoint him.


THOMAS: So for the time being, the important thing is keeping the ship going, at this absolutely crucial moment in this national or international crisis.

VAUSE: Less than a month ago, the U.K. government, taking no action to slow the spread of the coronavirus, looking at this herd immunity.

Here's part of a report from the "Financial Times."

"Defending prime minister Boris Johnson's decision not to follow other European countries by closing schools and banning mass gatherings," Patrick Vallance, Britain's chief science officer, "said it was the government's aim to reduce the peak of the epidemic, pull it down and broaden it while protecting the elderly and vulnerable."

They changed course late in the day when the numbers of seriously ill overwhelmed the health system. And the prime minister's condition is how dangerous that course could have been once this virus was out, it was very hard to control.

THOMAS: Yes, and I think it's even more of concern to people. This is a time when you need leadership. What you've seen is that countries who've had decisive leaders have ended up with better outcomes.

This has not been the case in the U.K., where they took a long time to decide on what their particular strategy was going to be.

And when you see other world leaders, like Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, talking about the fact that this is the greatest crisis that the E.U. has faced since it was created over 60 years ago; where you have the queen intervening and speaking to try to boost the country's morale, you can see how serious it is.

This is a time when the country needs decisive leadership and certainty. And this is a huge disruption to the process of managing this crisis in a place in which this situation has continued to deteriorate.

VAUSE: Dominic, thank you for being with us.

In the U.S., the coronavirus has now killed almost 11,000 people, three times the death toll from the 9/11 attacks. New York remains the hardest hit state. Governor Andrew Cuomo says there are hopeful signs that cases are starting to plateau. But it is too early to say if the trend will hold.

Meantime, a new report from the Department of Health and Human Services' inspector general finds that hospitals are dealing with severe and widespread shortages of medical supplies. More than 97 percent of the U.S. is under stay-at-home orders but experts say each state is at a different point of this pandemic. CNN's Nick Watt reports.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is what we trained to do and this is what we signed up for, just not in this volume.

NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In New York state, the rate of new infections is finally falling.

ANDREW CUOMO (D), GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK: It is hopeful but it's also inconclusive and it still depends on what we do.

WATT (voice-over): So despite good news, the governor just extended their stay at home order through the end of the month and doubled the fine for noncompliance. CUOMO: This is an enemy that we have underestimated from day one and

we have paid the price dearly. Well, the numbers look like they may be turning. Yay, it's over.

No, it's not. And other places have made that mistake.

WATT (voice-over): Even if peak infection has passed, health officials say peak death rate still likely to come.

ADMIRAL BRETT GIROIR, M.D., ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR HEALTH: For New York and New Jersey and Detroit, this is going to be the peak week.

WATT (voice-over): In New Jersey, Sheryl Pabatao just lost both her parents, both health care workers.

SHERYL PABATAO, DAUGHTER OF COVID-19 VICTIMS: This was the year that they were supposed to retire and this was their retirement.

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 will be our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment.

WATT (voice-over): Around our nation's capital, D.C., Virginia, Maryland, confirmed cases have near tripled in just a week. More than 10,000 Americans dead already, according to Johns Hopkins University.

And one model the White House task force is using suggests we are still 10 days from the peak, when we could lose 3,000 or more in one day. In Michigan, more than 600 dead and counting.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are running dangerously low on PPE. At one hospital, we have less than three days until N-95 masks run out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a nationwide impact and it's hard to adjudicate those resources across the nation, knowing we will not have enough for everybody.

WATT (voice-over): Peak infection in California now not projected until mid-May.

LT. GOV. ELENI KOUNALAKIS (D-CA): I think it's pretty clear at this point that this is what April will look like.

WATT (voice-over): Most of us still told to stay home at least another three weeks, likely longer. In Louisiana, the same model suggests they have actually passed their peak need for beds and ventilators.


WATT (voice-over): It was grim, it still is.

LATOYA CANTRELL, NEW ORLEANS MAYOR: Our coroner's office is at capacity as it relates to our dead bodies of our loved ones.

WATT: Here in the U.S., the coronavirus is hitting different places at different times. California yet to see a surge so the governor has given 500 ventilators to the national stockpile.

But we are being told here in L.A. County to brace ourselves. We were told that, if we have enough supplies, this week might be a good week not to even go to the grocery store -- Nick Watt, CNN, Los Angeles.


VAUSE: Italy's months-long lockdown may be paying off with continued decline in new cases. Sunday say just a 2 percent increase in the number of infected patients, the lowest since the pandemic hit the country. Sadly, more than 16,000 are dead.

Similar story in Spain where the percentage of new cases has been dropping for two weeks. The health minister says there are plans for a gradual return to activity some time after Easter.

But he warned the outbreak is still serious, one of the biggest medical emergencies in 100 years. The virus has killed more than 13,000 people in Spain.

You are watching CNN. Still to come, two words that no doctor wants to hear: code 99.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is what we trained to do and this is what we signed up for, just not in this volume.

VAUSE: An exclusive look at how a New York emergency room is battling the coronavirus. That's next.

Plus more on the condition of Boris Johnson.

Is Downing Street being completely honest about his move to intensive care?





DOMINIC RAAB, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: The prime minister is in safe hands with a brilliant team at St. Thomas Hospital and the focus of the government will continue to be, while making sure that the prime minister's direction, all the plans for making sure that we can defeat coronavirus and pull the country through this challenge will be taken forward.


VAUSE: Pretty short words from the man who is standing in for Boris Johnson as the British prime minister battles the coronavirus at a hospital intensive care unit. He tested positive last month but has insisted his symptoms were mild.

Downing Street says he is conscious and breathing on his own but he has taken oxygen at one point. His condition appeared to worsen very quickly. Dr. Larry Brilliant is an epidemiologist and CNN medical analyst and joins us now from Mill Valley in California.

Thank you so much for being with us.


VAUSE: I want to wrap this into what's happening in U.S. and Britain, obviously they had this leadership there but here in the U.S., Donald Trump often appears to in public shoulder to shoulder with the man next in line for the presidency, Trump has asked if maybe they should keep a distance apart, to avoid them both being sick at the same time. So here's his answer, listen to this.


TRUMP: So, no, I don't think so.


TRUMP: But I think we'll probably, just because of questions like that, I think we'll probably have maybe quite a few tests, it's not the worst idea. You know, the system of testing that was so quick and so easy, so I could see -- and you were tested again today?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You sure you're OK?




VAUSE: Isn't it a fair assumption by the time either one test positive that both could be infected?

Given that the president is over 70, that would maybe put him in a high-risk category and perhaps that is not the best strategy?

BRILLIANT: I think it's not the best strategy. After 9/11 they separated the president and the vice president, in separate quarters just out of caution. I also think that the president should model the best behavior to the country. It's an opportunity for him to win to teach by showing.

VAUSE: The British prime minister I guess now knows how contagious this virus is, how hard it could be to shake, he's 55 years old which is in the risky group, he's been self isolating for about 10 days.

But he had persistent fever and he went to the hospital. Then he went to the ICU where he was given oxygen.

So in the midst of this pandemic, when the medical workers are already feeling the strain, a lack of beds and ventilators and given his symptoms, the fact his breathing has deteriorated in hours, do you think Number 10 is not being honest when they're talking about this being done and just being careful about the prime minister?

BRILLIANT: Of course I have no unique insight into the situation other than to send our warmest, best greetings and hopes for a speedy recovery.

I just would remind everybody of two things, first this is a novel virus, that means we know how it operates, we don't have a 10-year history, we don't have millions of cases that happened a long time ago that we can tell you with any certainty how it progresses from symptoms to a positive test to coming to the hospital.

I would also say that these statistics that we have about what percent of people enter intensive care unit and go on to ventilators, they're great statistics in the aggregate. But every individual is different.

So I wouldn't jump to any conclusions. I understand the need because he is the prime minister and because of the system of government in the U.K. you have to have some caution. But I would not come to any conclusions.

VAUSE: Fair enough. And looking at the statistics and these numbers, with the issue of ventilators, Johnson is not on a ventilator, which they say is good news.

But why is it that this virus tends to leave some people, especially with pre-existing conditions like asthma, it ravages the lungs and causes so much problems for a specific part of society that can catch this?

Is there a theory?

BRILLIANT: I remember watching these doctors in Italy, who would talk to anybody who would listen. And they would go through the ward and patient after patient, they would write bilateral interstitial pneumonia, it's a unique kind of pneumonia.

We've seen the CT scans that show these big puffy areas of glassy luminescence in the lungs. This is a very wicked virus that causes a unique kind of pneumonia and the best thing we can do is to prevent it. We know the good epidemiology, social distancing, wash your hands, wear a face mask. Those are the best things we can do from a public health point of view.

VAUSE: Doctor, we will leave it there but thank you so much. Great advice to finish on, social distancing is the way to go, thank you.

BRILLIANT: Thank you.

VAUSE: Well, in the States, New York City alone has nearly 70,000 cases, that means hospitals there are being pushed to the limit. This is like a slow-moving natural disaster. CNN's Miguel Marquez was given access inside the emergency room of a major hospital.


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The front line in the fight against coronavirus. The Brooklyn emergency room of SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University, patient after patient struggling to breathe.

This morning has been brutal.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today is pretty intense. We've had a bunch of people die.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): As we arrive in the E.R., the latest victim of coronavirus at SUNY Downstate is being wrapped up in the emergency room bay, where doctors try to save them.

We visited for about three hours midday Friday.


MARQUEZ (voice-over): In the short time we were there, in the emergency room alone, six patients coded -- in other words, they suffered heart or respiratory failure. Four of them died, a devastating part of just one day.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is what we trained to do and this is what we signed up for, just not in this volume.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): The corridors in the emergency room here are lined with those suffering from coronavirus, patients unresponsive, struggling to breathe

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Code 99, code 99.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): And it is not just in the emergency room where patients struggle to breathe and code. While interviewing doctors in other parts of the hospital,, nearly constant overhead announcements that another patient has coded.

Those announcements for patients already admitted, not those in the E.R.

MARQUEZ: Can I just stop you for a second?

This is the fifth or sixth code 99.

DR. ROBERT FORONJY (PH), SUNV DOWNSTATE: UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Code 99 is typically a rare event. We're having, I would say, 10 code 99s every 12 hours at least.

MARQUEZ: We have been here for about 30-40 minutes and that's the fifth or sixth one.

FORONJY (PH): And a lot of that, what that represents, is calling for a team to put an individual, a patient on a breathing machine.

DR. ROBERT GORE, E.R.: This is definitely disastrous. It's kind of difficult for people from the general public who don't work in a hospital.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): SUNY Downstate is ramping up, adding beds, staff and capacity as fast as possible. Still, the worry, it won't be enough.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But it's supporting (INAUDIBLE) like the respirators, the bed space, the bed capacity, those are my fears, that we are that I'm worried that we're not going to be able to truly meet our patients' needs.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): The need already overwhelming. When we started our visit in the E.R., one person had just died and was being moved out. By the time we came back around, another victim of coronavirus was moved already into the same, struggling to breathe.

MARQUEZ: And there's one other disturbing way that the hospital is ramping up. The regular ward is overloaded; they have two semi-tractor trailer trucks out back and they have a plan to add shelving to them so that they can add more bodies to them and there's even a plan afoot to close off surrounding side streets and bring in three more trailers.


VAUSE: Miguel Marquez with that report, thank you.

Now the outpouring of gratitude for health care workers on the front lines is showing no sign of ending anytime soon. On Monday, the New York Philharmonic recorded "Bolero," as their way to say thank you.



VAUSE (voice-over): All performances by the Philharmonic happening (INAUDIBLE) because of the coronavirus.


VAUSE: Still to come, Japan declaring a state of emergency which could force some businesses to close for almost $1 trillion in government money made a difference.

Also one of the most prominent figures in the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal is set to be released from prison, his conviction overturned. We'll have more on that decision that makes George Pell a free man.


JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: On Monday, a milestone when this outbreak began. China reported no new corona deaths for the first time since it started publishing figures in January.

[00:31:16] For more, CNN's Steven Jiang is live in Beijing. So, Steven, clearly this, at least on paper, appears to be good news. But it also comes as China battles the second wave of coronavirus cases.

STEVEN JIANG, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER: That's right, John. I mean, probably and a sign of their cautious optimism. The government is not really making a huge deal out of this fact. They reported no new deaths for the first time since they began tallying these numbers on Monday.

Now, some people have also pointed to other figures, including, they still have more than 2,000 active confirmed cases, meaning people who have not been discharged from hospitals, as well as more than 1,000 asymptomatic cases. And not to mention, on Monday, they still recorded new confirmed, as well as a suspected cases, all of them imported from overseas.

So, that's why the government is continuing their efforts when it comes to strengthening their screening, contact tracing and quarantining measures targeting international arrivals and asymptomatic cases. These are their priorities now.

But you know, these numbers still have been very encouraging in the last few weeks, as we have been talking, especially ahead of Wednesday. That's the date Wuhan, the original epicenter of this global pandemic, Wuhan is ready to be reopened, if you will.

That is because, now, for the first time on Wednesday, if you are deemed healthy and low-risk by the government, as reflected in the QR code on your mobile phones, you'll be allowed to leave the city for the first time over two months. And we are seeing some signs of life returning to some sense of normalcy across the country, including in Wuhan, public transportation has been restored, workers are returning to work, and the shops, restaurants, even parks have reopened.

Now, this of course, is a very delicate balance the government tried to strike. They're trying to, on one hand, gradually and orderly restored business activities, economic activities, but on the other hand, they've been saying from both officials and experts that complacency is now the biggest enemy facing this country, as we have seen over the weekend, of thousands of people cramming on narrow paths, trying to go back to this one tourist attraction in eastern China.

This is the last thing they want to see in terms of people getting complacent and then triggering a second wave of infections, not only from overseas, but also here, domestically -- John.

VAUSE: OK. Steven, thank you. Steven Jiang, live for us in Beijing. Thank you.

The Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, will declare a state of emergency in the coming hours for parts of Japan, in an effort to contain the coronavirus. While not all details have been explained, the prime minister says the state of emergency will last for about a month. Japan has announced almost a trillion-dollar relief package to help

soften the economic blow.

Live now from Tokyo, CNN's Will Ripley. Also standing by, journalist Kaori Enjoji. But, first, to Will.

It seems we've sort of reached that point now in Japan where the costs of the prevention, the lockdown, the social distancing is now sort of being weighed up with the cost to the economy and for many businesses, and they're looking at their bottom line and how much longer they can survive.

WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's really not a coincidence, I suspect, that Prime Minister Abe is talking about this nearly one-trillion-dollar stimulus package at the same time that he's talking about a limited state of emergency for Japan. Because keep in mind, while it does impact Tokyo's two largest cities -- or I should say Japan's two largest cities Tokyo and Osaka, it only affects, in total, seven Japanese prefectures.

And the lockdown is only a request. People could still travel to other prefectures, raising questions about just how effective these measures are going to be as Japan tries to take stronger steps to stop the spread of the virus.


RIPLEY (voice-over): In this trendy Tokyo neighborhood, the stage is set. The band is ready. The show may never go on.


(on camera): What's your biggest fear?

(voice-over): "I don't know when the coronavirus outbreak will end," says Yu Suganami. He's been saving for years to open a live music venue. He can't have a concert without an audience.

(on camera): You have a cushion that can last you one, maybe two months. What happens after that?

(voice-over): He says, "This place will be closed, without ever being opened."

For small businesses, already on life support, Japan's state of emergency threatens to pull the plug. People in seven prefectures, including Tokyo and Osaka, are being told to stay home. Only basic economic activity like public transit and supermarkets will continue.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced an unprecedented stimulus package, worth nearly $1 trillion, 20 percent of Japan's GDP. It includes desperately-needed handouts for struggling families and small business owners. Also, tax deadline breathing room for cash-strapped corporations.

JENNIFER ROGERS, ATTORNEY, CORPORATE BOARD MEMBER: I don't think there's any company that hasn't been adversely affected, unless they're selling ventilators or really needed items.

RIPLEY: Japan has only 22,000 ventilators for a population of almost 126 million. Around 40 percent of those were already in use a month ago.

JASPER KOLL, ECONOMIST/INVESTMENT ANALYST: In a country that prides itself on being the best manufacturing country on earth, that is inexcusable.

RIPLEY (on camera): Yes, and there's a real shortage.

(voice-over): Making more ventilators takes time, time Tokyo hospitals may not have. The city is running out of beds for coronavirus patients. Japan only has seven ICU beds for every 100,000 people. That's one-fifth of the United States.

Government warnings to stay at home cut hairdresser Takeki Suzuki's business by more than half.

(on camera): Can you survive this pandemic?

"I don't know," he says. "It depends on how long this goes on. If everyone listens to the government and takes strong measures, I believe this will end."

For now, he's giving home styling lessons on social media.

"Because of coronavirus, I'm afraid of draining my savings," he says. But my passion, my dream won't die.

That dream, to study in New York someday, a dream that can only come when this nightmare is over.


RIPLEY: The lockdown is expected to take effect at midnight, local time 11 and a half hours from now. But I can tell you, John, from walking around in the city this morning, there are still plenty of people on their way to work, in their suits. A lot of Japanese companies don't have the capability to telework.

So there are serious questions about whether these measures, which are stronger requests than what the government has requested so far, that has have failed to get people to stay indoors, will actually be enough to stop the spread of the virus, which continues to really escalate here in Tokyo, Osaka, and those other prefectures.

VAUSE: OK. Will, thank you.

We'll go to Kaori now for reaction, I guess, on the financial market to the stimulus bill, which was a lot bigger than what many people had expected. You know, this is a country no stranger to stimulus bills.

And also, in relation to that emergency declaration, there were some concerns about how that would go down. It seems to be a limited declaration, as well, which seems to be very political of Abe. KAORI ENJOJI, JOURNALIST: That's right. I think the headline figure

for the economic stimulus was a lot bigger than inspected. I mean, 104 trillion yen.

But when you take a look at what's happening and what they're going to implement, you're talking about a soft lockdown on an economy -- about half of the economy.

So Tokyo's economy is roughly the size of the economic stimulus package, which is about the same size as Canada. So if businesses start to slow, even at a faster pace than they have in the month of February and March, this is a very, very dire picture.

And, on top of that, you have to remember that, yes, Japan has put together, cobbled together stimulus packages in the past. The economy here contracted much more sharply after the financial crisis in 2008, then the U.S. or some European economies.

So there are real fears that economy -- that the economy here is going into a freefall. Even before this planned state of emergency, there are houses like Citibank who were saying that the economy would contract as much as 20 percent in the second quarter. That is a very, very grim prospect.

And these cash handouts that are being doled out will get a little bit more of that detail. I think it really highlights the way the labor market has changed over the last decade.

I mean, the image of the salary men in suits working at lifetime employment in big companies is just no longer. More and more people are working for themselves. More and more people are working part- time, freelance, and whether or not they will meet their requirements to get these cash handouts are very, very questionable.


Plus, your income has to disappear by as much as 50 percent. So it hasn't been a complete drop-off, as we know. So how many people are actually going to meet that to get these payouts is also very questionable.

And, lastly, I would point out that debt issuance -- I mean, how are they going to finance this massive stimulus package? The only answer is issuing debt, to the tune of maybe 16 trillion yen. This is a country whose debt to GDP ratio is already the highest among industrialized nations. It's 200 percent. So what they're effectively doing, John, is monetizing the debt.

VAUSE: Right. And they're not the first ones, I guess, in many ways, and they won't be the last.

Kaori, thank you. Good to see you. Kaori Enjoji there in Tokyo.

Well, U.S. futures are seeing some volatility after Wall Street's best day in two weeks. The Dow finished Monday almost eight percent up. The NASDAQ and S&P 500 also up, around 7 percent. JP Morgan Chase chief executive Jamie Dimon is predicting a bad

recession is on the way for the U.S. economy. In his annual shareholder letter released Monday, he laid out a worst-case scenario because of the impact of the coronavirus, saying gross domestic product could plunge at a 35 percent annual rate in the second quarter. U.S. unemployment could spike to 14 percent.

Dimon also blasted politicians for bad planning, saying there should have been a pandemic playbook. But there actually was one. It was by the Obama administration. They just didn't use it.

Still ahead, justice served or a slap in the face to survivors of clergy sex abuse? We'll have the court decision which frees one of the most prominent figures in the Catholic Church abuse scandal.


VAUSE: A stunning development in the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal. A short time ago, Cardinal George Powell left an Australian prison after the high court overturned his conviction on charges of pedophilia, abusing two choir boys.

CNN's Anna Coren has been following this case for us from the very beginning. She is live this hour in Hong Kong.

Let's begin with the legal basis, Anna. What is sort of the legal background here, this decision by the high court?

ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's a stunning turn of events, John, for Cardinal George Pell. He has spent 405 days behind bars. A few hours ago, he was released from Barwon Prison in Victoria, and he is now a free man.

Well, the high court found earlier today that his conviction be overturned for historic child sex abuse. This was a unanimous decision, all seven judges of the high court. They found that there was reasonable doubt, with the evidence prevented, that could not support a guilty verdict. And that the jury of the magistrates court and that the court of appeal should have had this doubt.


Let me read you some of that statement.

The high court said, "The jury, acting rationally on the whole of the evidence, ought to have entertained a doubt as the applicant's guilt with respect to each of the offenses for which he was convicted."

Now, this legal drama, John, has dragged on for five years. Well, the high court made its decision within 26 days.

As we say, Pell left Barwon high-security prison a few hours ago in the back of a black SUV. He was escorted away from that prison. We don't know where he is heading, but he is a free man.

He was expected to speak to the media. That did not happen, but he did release a statement. Let me read you some of that. He said, "I have consistently maintained my innocence while suffering from a serious injustice. This has been remedied today with the high court's unanimous decision."

John, Cardinal Pell, he is no longer on the national register for sex offenders. Obviously, his supporters are overjoyed, over the moon. From the very beginning, they have maintained that this was a witch hunt.

For these survivors, however, of clerical sex abuse, this has been an absolutely devastating blow.

VAUSE: This case has sort of become something of a political issue, if you like. There's some former prime ministers, conservative prime minister who support Pell. There are some in the right-wing media, you know, on the crazy end of the radio dial who have been supporting Pell, as well.

So how has that played into the -- this decision? Obviously, the hard court said they weren't impacted by that, but it has had some impact on how Pell is seen by many around the country.

COREN: Well, John, I mean, the high court is supposed to be above all of this. It is the highest court in the land, but you mentioned the two ex-prime ministers who were character references for him, for the right-wing media that has been his cheer squad throughout this five- year saga.

Pell is the highest Catholic in Australia. He is the third highest Catholic in the world, as treasurer of the Vatican. Speaking to the survivors of clinical sex abuse, they believe politics was at play. They believe that the high court's decision makes a complete mockery of the Australian justice system. They are shocked. They are in disbelief.

They feel that the message that it sends is, why come forward if you are a survivor of clerical sexual abuse? The courts will not believe you. The highest court in the land will not believe you.

Now, the former choir boy who testified that he and his friend had been sexually abused by Pell in 1996 at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Melbourne, he will be speaking through his lawyer tomorrow. His lawyer will make a statement.

As for the other choir boy, who died in 2014 from an overdose, drug overdose, his father came out today, saying that he was absolutely shocked with this decision, but that he blames Pell for his son's death and will be pursuing civil claims.

And this is a very interesting point, John, because there are lawyers in Australia who have indicated that there will be numerous civil claims made against George Pell and the Australian Catholic Church.

And the other bombshell that we must mention is the royal commission into clerical sexual abuse. The 60 pages involving Cardinal Pell were redacted, and now that these legal proceedings have finished, they will be unredacted. This involves his time in Ballarat, his hometown, also the epicenter of clerical sexual abuse in the Australian Catholic Church.

From all reports, those 60 pages extremely damning, so John, this may not be the end of Pell's experience with the Australian legal system.

VAUSE: But it is the end of his criminal convictions, I guess.

COREN: Right.

VAUSE: Anna, thank you. Anna Coren, live there for us in Hong Kong.

So, where did the coronavirus begin? When we come back, we'll have the leading theories and the latest on the hunt for an answer.



VAUSE; To believe the U.S. president is to believe that no one predicted the coronavirus pandemic, but someone did. And not just anyone. Not some Obama administration holdover. No, it was one of his own senior advisers.

"The New York Times" reports late January, the president's trade adviser, Peter Navarro, wrote a memo warning officials the virus could put millions of lives at risk and cost the U.S. trillions of dollars. The memo says the lack of a cure or vaccine will leave Americans defenseless. He warned the administration not to overlook the worst- case scenario, given the information coming from China.

So where did the coronavirus come from? Its origin is one of the biggest mysteries of our time right now. Conspiracy theories abound. Experts are divided on what science can tell us at this point.

CNN's Drew Griffin reports on the race to find an answer.


DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Because we don't know where the coronavirus came from yet, the conspiracy theories fill the void.

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I'm telling you, the Chicoms are trying to weaponize this thing.

GRIFFIN: Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh, with zero proof, suggesting a Chinese bio weapon lab is to blame.

A Chinese official tweeting, "It might be U.S. Army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan."

But to find the real source of this pandemic, it's best to leave it to science. CNN has spoken to a half dozen virus hunters who right now say anyone who claims they know the exact source of the coronavirus is guessing. Did it come from bats? Most likely. Chinese researchers have already

determined the coronavirus is 96 percent identical at the whole genome leveled to a bat coronavirus. Twenty-seven public health scientists from across the U.S. and the world wrote this letter in the journal "Lancet," condemning conspiracy theories and citing scientific evidence, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, that supports the theory that overwhelmingly conclude that this coronavirus originated in wildlife, as have so many other emerging pathogens.

PETER DASZAK, PRESIDENT, ECOHEALTH ALLIANCE: The common thread is wildlife. These pathogens emerge from wildlife.

GRIFFIN: One of those scientists is one of the most preeminent virus hunters in the world, Peter Daszak.

DASZAK: Because we've been doing this work in China for 10 years, we have a whole series of genetic sentences of viruses we've found with our colleagues.

So when they've got a new virus in people because of COVID-19, they could compare it to what they'd seen in bats. So they knew straightaway, this is likely a bat origin virus.

GRIFFIN: And because it has that 96 percent comparison rate to what was actually in a bad, that is why you're saying it's very likely this did come from a bat, although we don't know where the strain came from.

DASZAK: We're very confident that the origin of COVID-19 is in bats. We just don't know where exactly it originates. That's what we need to do now.

It is a genetic detective story. Researchers will trace the virus that is killing thousands to a yet-to-be-captured bat in the wild, to a potential animal that became the crossover vehicle for COVID-19.

Yes, the virus could have transferred directly from bat to human, but most likely, says Daszak, it was bats infecting farmed animals, the animals brought to market alive and kept with people in one of the most perfect incubator for viral infection: the Chinese wet market.

DASZAK: There's a huge diversity of animals, live in cages on top of each other with, you know, a pile of guts that had been pulled out of animals and thrown on the floor.

As you walk towards the stalls, you slip on the feces and blood. These are perfect places for viruses to spread. Not only that, people are working there. People are coming and buying animals. They're chopping them up in front of you, and kids are playing there. You know, families almost lived there.

GRIFFIN: It's called zoonotic spillover. Professor Andrew Cunningham with the Zoological Society of London has studied them for decades.

ANDREW CUNNINGHAM, PROFESSOR OF WILDLIFE EPIDEMIOLOGY, ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF LONDON: Wet markets, these live animal markets are certainly a very good way of, if you like, trying to get a virus to spill over into people from wildlife. They're susceptible to getting viruses or other pathogens from the environment or from other animals that they wouldn't naturally come into close contact with, again because they're stressed, and then they can become a virus factories. And they're in close contact with human beings in the markets. And they're butchered in the markets and by people in relatively unhygienic conditions.


GRIFFIN: Other researchers point to reports from China that some of the earliest cases were not associated with the wet market.

And then there's this theory, widely debunked. This paper from two Chinese researchers that says it is plausible that the virus leaked, accidentally, from one of two labs near the Wuhan seafood market.

After an uproar, and heated denials from the Chinese government. One of the authors told "The Wall Street Journal" the paper had been withdrawn, because it was not supported by direct proofs. Experienced virus hunters Daszak and Cunningham say the theory is bunk.

DASZAK: People don't keep bats in captivity. Complete baloney.

CUNNINGHAM: We don't need to involve conspiracy theories. It's just basic biology.

GRIFFIN: Tensions between the U.S. and China over the origins of the virus and accusations of misinformation from both sides are slowing the work of the virus hunters who are grounded by the same travel restrictions that have crippled the world. That is concerning, because without knowing where it came from. There is still a chance that original host species is spreading it.

DASZAK: It's the most so-called intermedia host, an animal that the bat virus got into, and then allowed it to get into people. The virus might still be in that host. And there are hundreds, thousands of these animals in farms, and maybe the virus is still there.

So even if we get rid of the outbreak, there's still a chance that that virus could then reemerge, and we need to find that quickly.


VAUSE: Thanks to Drew Griffin for that report. You can find out more about his reporting on our website. Also, while you're there, find out how you can help those hit hard by this pandemic, or help those on the front lines. Go to

Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause. Please stay with us. I'll be back with more news in about an hour.

In the meantime, "AMANPOUR" is next.