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: Prime Minister Boris Johnson Still in ICU; U.S. Remains the Epicenter of Coronavirus; Spain and Italy Proves Lockdown Works; Coronavirus Pandemic; Johns Hopkins, 368,000 Plus Cases, 10,900 Plus Deaths In The United States; USNS Comfort To Treat Covid-19 Patients Off New York; British Prime Minister Boris Johnson In The Intensive Care; How Markets Are Reacting To Boris Johnson's Move To ICU; India To Relax Export Ban On Anti-Malaria Drug; Cardinal Pell Freed From Prison; Young Composer Plays Isolation Waltz; Families Draw, Create Rainbow Art To Brighten Days. Aired 3-4a ET
Aired April 7, 2020 - 03:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: At St. Thomas' Hospital in London where the British prime minister has spent the night in intensive care because of the virus.
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Also, ahead.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 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 bed struggling to breath.
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CHURCH: CNN takes you an emergency room being pushed to breaking point in New York. But there are extraordinarily different scenes where this all began in China. Our report from Shanghai, that's ahead. But first --
And we want to go back to the British capital where our Max Foster is standing by for us right outside the hospital where the country's leader is being treated. Max?
FOSTER: Yes. Rosemary, alongside many other people with the same symptoms sadly the pressure on the hospital is really mounting. The death toll in the U.K. passing 5,000 because of this virus, and we're told that the prime minister's condition has worsened, which is why he is ended up in ICU.
He was admitted to the ICU late on Monday just hours after Downing Street announced that he was still governing. We're told the prime minister is conscious but receive oxygen at some point.
Nick Paton Walsh is over in Downing Street, because, Nick, that's where you're getting the updates from.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: Yes, that's right, Max. Little though since the rather shocking statement that emerged.
About 7 o'clock yesterday, local time in the evening, that the prime minister had been moved to an intensive care unit. Now at the end of that statement the spokesperson suggested that this was a precautionary measure, and it was designed perhaps to put him nearer the correct facilities, quote, "should he need to go on a ventilator."
And I have to point out, Max, the mere fact that they raised the possibility of a need for ventilator is a very stark revelation indeed, certainly given the sad number of people who have required that sort of breathing assistance who subsequently passed away.
But behind me there is an hour by hour struggle frankly to balance the immediate need for the medical privacy of the prime minister and national security that they have to be control of the information that comes out behind me, and also to make the British public feel both adequately informed, but not unduly alarmed.
Now this morning Michael Gove, one of the top aides, another minister to Boris Johnson has been doing the rounds, s to speak, in British media talking about how the cabinet are unified they have a purpose. But there been some, you know, problems frankly with the messaging.
And that Dominic Raab who is the first secretary of state who has been designated as the man to step in, in the event that Boris Johnson is incapacitated. And he is now it seems running the country, quote, "where necessary," that's what we're hearing from behind me.
He was standing in front of the British public late yesterday afternoon, talking about how Boris Johnson had spent a comfortable night. And it must have been in around that time that he was apparently speaking to Boris Johnson and being told that he would have to take up those further responsibilities.
So, clearly, officials here struggling to keep the public informed, to balance what they're saying publicly with what may be happening behind closed doors inside private hospital wards as well.
An exceptionally difficult time for the British government, particularly given right now we are supposedly entering into the time in which the peak of infections and deaths begin in the United Kingdom.
There's been some good news for the couple of outlier figures suggesting maybe things aren't continuing to get as bad as they could be, but certainly, there's no suggestion that we're about to lift any lockdowns although the next week ahead isn't going to be particularly awful for many families in the United Kingdom.
And we enter into that period here without the prime minister, the man who amongst the debate and his own cabinet will be making the decision about whether movement restrictions are eased. Exactly how fast and well can testing will be implemented.
All those daily decisions that have to be made are now being made somewhat the constant changing team with the terrifying backdrop too of the fact that the prime minister and his condition may be deteriorating further, we simply do not know at this point.
But you've got to remember, Max, no government on earth wants to admit that their leader has been admitted to the hospital. There's plenty of medicine that can be administered, at least in this quarter behind me here. And definitely no government wants to say that he requires treatment in intensive care unit. So, these are stark times indeed, certainly, Max.
FOSTER: Also, other countries have a clear succession plan, don't they? This is one of the issues with the British Constitution, and presumably over the next week we're going to see that tested here.
Because if there's -- Dominic Raab is only going to be able to lead with the authority of the cabinet, if there are divisions forming in the cabinet about questioning the sort of decisions he's making at a crucial time, and saying Boris Johnson wouldn't have made that decision, that's going to be a problem, isn't it, in dealing with this crisis.
WALSH: Well, in terms of how much British actually has a Constitution, it's fairly clear that Boris Johnson is allowed to designate the person who he would like to see standing in his stead, but yes, if we do see this protracted and of course, it may well be that his health improves given the state of the art best healthcare that the United Kingdom can provide in this circumstance.
If we can get into more than a number of days, in which the government will be giving nothing but a message of unity and singular purpose here, then there may be dispute. I would personally consider that to be certainly a messy situation for the Tory Party to get into behind me, the ruling party of the United Kingdom. They have an enormous majority here.
And I think if we do end up in the circumstances where Boris Johnson isn't able to return to work no matter what the horrifying circumstances around that be, they obviously will end up being some further debate.
But for now, we are still dealing with a man who is still it seems doing part of his job. Remember, he said that Dominic Raab, or his spokesperson said that Dominic Raab is only filling in, quote, "where necessary." And remember too, that we may learn further, possibly good news in the hours ahead. Still, though, very little information coming out from the British government at this time, Max.
FOSTER: OK. Nick in Downing Street, thank you. Back to Downing Street as soon as we have an update, possibly around lunchtime here in the U.K. But it could be sooner. We are waiting to hear of course. Let's look at some of the medical decisions that are being made here
as well, though. Dr. Sanjay Gupta has been looking at what doctors will be weighing up or would have been weighing up before they moved Boris Johnson out of the regular unit here at St. Thomas' over to ICU.
SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we know Prime Minister Johnson was diagnosed with the coronavirus about 10, 11 days ago. He was at home, you know, had minimal symptoms, and then Sunday night he went to the hospital, at that time we are told for routine testing.
Although I can tell you that, you know, it's a significant decision to send anyone to the hospital at this point especially to be admitted. Obviously, there's a lot of people in the hospital with the coronavirus, you do worry about being exposed or other things while you're in the hospital as well.
And then this afternoon, so a day after he was admitted to the hospital, he was sent over to the intensive care unit.
Now, look, there's a few reasons why someone might go to the intensive care unit, typically, especially in the wake of significant respiratory virus that's circulating, you do worry about difficulty breathing and whether he'd need more breathing support, he need to be on a ventilator, it could be something to do with one's heart as well.
Sometimes there is medication that need to be given is someone is having difficulties with their heart, it could be they just need to monitor somebody out of an abundance of caution, you get more dedicated nursing care and overall care in the ICU.
And then sometimes if there's new therapies or something that need to be tried, they would want to try that in the ICU as well. As you know there is no particular new medication for this COVID-19, this particular disease caused by the coronavirus.
So, likely, they are concerned about the prime minister's breathing, whether he developed some worsening shortness of breath, whether or not something else is going on monitoring him there, and you know, basically being ready to provide his breathing support should he need it by placing a breathing tube and placing him on a ventilator.
I'm sure is probably what the clinicians, the doctors, nurses, and respiratory therapists are all thinking about with the prime minister right now.
It is not an easy decision. None of these are easy decisions. Couple of points. One is you got to sort of figure out what exactly is going on with the patient, they're having breathing difficulties but why? Is it the virus that has replicated and started to overwhelm the body? Or is it sometimes the body's own immune system that is overreacting or reacting strongly and causing problems with the breathing.
Either way, if someone does go on a ventilator if you look at some of the data that's coming out of New York, and other places around the world, that usually means that pretty prolonged course, you know, several days, 11, 12 days, even up to a couple weeks that people are typically on the ventilators, and it, you know, it can be difficult to get them off the ventilator once they're actually placed on a ventilator.
So, these are the decisions that are likely being made for the prime minister right now, easy decisions nowhere no matter if you're the prime minister or you're anybody else, these are tough to sort of figure out.
I, as we get more details about the prime minister, if we hear of any more details regarding his therapy or a ventilator or anything, we'll certainly bring them to you.
FOSTER: The latest we've got in the prime minister, by the way, not a major update, but the chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster telling the BBC, that as of 7 a.m. local just over an hour ago, Boris Johnson is still in intensive care.
Muhammad Munir is a virologist from Lancaster University, he joins me from Lancaster here in the U.K. So, we know that Boris John went into ICU late last night or about 8 o'clock, we think, still in there nearly 12 hours later. What do you make of that?
MUHAMMAD MUNIR, VIROLOGIST, LANCASTER UNIVERSITY: Well, the one thing is pretty clear that in this unprecedented time when there was a massive burden onto the healthcare system, no one would be taken to intensive care unit when it is not needed.
So, this means that Boris Johnson wasn't really supporting himself in terms of respiratory system, in terms of heart supply or in terms of getting the medication. And so that is the point when intensive care unit is needed.
And it seems like because he needed a little bit of oxygen before he was shifted to the intensive care unit, so that means that probably the respiratory system required a lot more support, and it is really likely he went into that he would be put on a ventilator. Their ventilator has a certain range of intensities, it would be very mild to very severe, for example, intubation.
So, intubation probably isn't the first choice for Boris, and apparently, he seems OK with other underlying causes, so as it stands now it is really concerning and worrying.
FOSTER: What's your understanding of the protocols here. Would the prime minister be allowed to stay in ICU longer because he's the prime minister or he is being treated do you think like any other patients?
MUNIR: Well, there are certain criteria that need to be followed for any person to go into the intensive care unit. is that when the body isn't coping its own physiology that is the time when intensive care unit is required.
So, regardless of any designation, healthcare system always provides the support for the people who are not or deteriorating with the clinical signs from the coronavirus. So, it isn't particular to Boris Johnson.
But one thing is clear, that any support that is required in terms of disparity systems or into supporting the blood pressure or the heart rate because that is also (Inaudible) especially for his course infection when (Inaudible) above things are required.
So, as Gupta, being Dr. Gupta been mentioning before, as he is on the 10th day of infection. So, 7 to 10 days are those days when the body immune system is highly proactive and then overwhelmed, this sort of immunosuppression is really required to really help facilitate the multi organ retention and recouping.
So, apparently, it seems like in this situation, it would certainly be extra help required.
FOSTER: So, we are going to get an update later, we are looking to see whether or not he is being released from ICU, or indeed, whether he's gone onto a mechanical ventilator. Is that your understanding? I mean, what are we looking for in the statement when it comes out later to get a sense of his condition?
MUNIR: Well, one thing is pretty clear that he doesn't have any underlying causes like heart issues or diabetes and although his age is within that bracket from, you know, 52, 50 plus.
However, I think he would be overall OK with in terms of intensity of the care he would be receiving, but I think it is don't we as physiology and the (Inaudible) response to the treatment and then the decision would certainly be made on how intensive the (Inaudible) is required, especially in terms of ventilation.
But one thing is really concerning that if someone who on to ventilation is required for several days until they put the ventilator off to see if the body can itself cope with the need. So that is where it is currently standing.
FOSTER: OK. Thank you very much, indeed, for joining us with that, Mr. Munir.
Rosemary, it's very difficult for the government. Obviously, that's the primary concern for the Prime Minister and his family as well, very worried about him and all the patients here, but also just managing the concern of the nation when they hear this news, and so far, just seems to be going worse for him. And there's real hope that there's at least some stabilization in his condition.
CHURCH: Yes, it is a real concern. Of course, Max, we'll continue to monitor this and come back to you with more a little later. Many thanks. I'll talk to you soon.
Well, U.S. President Donald Trump is sending his best wishes to Boris Johnson. He also suggested he rushed an unspecified mystery treatment to the British Prime Minister. The coronavirus has now killed almost 11,000 people in the United
States with more than 360,000 infected. More than 97 percent of the U.S. population is under stay-at-home orders right now.
Well, Donald Trump has repeatedly said no one could have predicted the coronavirus pandemic would be so devastating. But one of his top advisers did just in late January. The New York Times reports 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 would leave Americans defenseless.
Well, New York remains the hardest hit state. Governor Andrew Cuomo says there are hopeful signs that cases are starting to plateau, but it's too early to say if the trend will hold.
CNN's Erica Hill has our report.
ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR & CORRESPONDENT: Two hundred fifty beds at the meadowlands in New Jersey. Twenty-five hundred each at Chicago's McCormick Place exposition center, and New York's massive Javits Center where COVID-19 patients began arriving over the weekend.
The navy hospital ship Comfort now accepting COVID-19 patients as well. The two facilities acting as relief valves for the states hospitals as New York's death toll continues to rise. Though, more slowly.
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GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): While none of this is good news, the flattening, possible flattening of the curve is better than the increases that we have seen.
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HILL: The CDC today warning the country's death toll could be higher because data is lagging by as much as two weeks. As a New York City councilman tweets, the city may need to bury victims in parks because morgues and trailers outside hospitals are reaching capacity.
That's not happening at the moment. Though, Mark Levine staff says it is part of a contingency plan which seem to catch the governor by surprise.
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CUOMO: I have heard a lot of wild rumors but I have not heard anything about the city burying people in parks.
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HILL: Around the country, communities adapting and bracing for what the surgeon general cautions will be the hardest and saddest week yet. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
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.
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HILL: In New Orleans, mortuaries and morgues are at capacity. Louisiana's governor says they could run out of ventilators and beds by the end of the week. Officials in New York warn they may have even less time and resources.
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DEANNE CRISWELL, COMMISSIONER, NEW YORK CITY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT DEPARTMENT: The numbers that we're really watching is still the number of hospital admissions. The numbers that are going into the ICU and eventually on ventilators. And we're not seeing a decrease in those numbers yet. Those are the numbers that are really going to strain our healthcare system.
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HILL: Meantime, a new government watchdog report finds, quote, "severe widespread shortages of critical supplies across the country adding to the strain." And the report says those shortages are making it harder for hospitals to test and protect their staff.
The government adding new travel restrictions for all cruise ship passengers and crew arriving in the U.S. No longer allowed on commercial flights and subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine.
A third passenger from Macquarie Princess now docked in Miami has died. In New Jersey, a mother, an ICU doctor is recovering from the virus anxious to hold the children she wasn't sure she'd see again. Dr. Julie John even made them a good-bye video.
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JULIE JOHN, ICU DOCTOR: I just wanted to tell my kids that they are the most important thing in the world to me. I love you and I want to be there. But I can't. But be amazing, be nice. And then I just -- that's the most important thing. Right? When you're -- when you can't breathe, I thought of my children and how I can say good-bye in the best way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: A hero along with all the only other medical professionals here in the U.S. and around the world. Well, violating your country's coronavirus lockdown can get you in big trouble even if you're a government minister.
New Zealand's prime minister has demoted Health Minister David Clark after he disclosed a trip to the beach. Clark will keep his health portfolio, but will be stripped of his role as associate finance minister and demoted to the bottom of the cabinet rankings.
He says, quotes, I've been an idiot and I understand why people will be angry with me."
We'll take a short break here. Still to come, the Spanish government is making plans to ease back into normalcy. We are live from Spain and Italy where the rise in new COVID-19 cases has been slowing down.
CHURCH: It is just after eight in the morning in Britain where an official has just said Prime Minister Boris Johnson remains in a hospital intensive care unit. He was transferred to the ICU Monday after taking a turn for the worse in his battle with COVID-19.
Now this comes at a critical juncture for the pandemic in the United Kingdom.
In other parts of Europe, the virus continues to spread in Switzerland. Health officials there say from Sunday to Monday more than 550 people tested positive for the coronavirus. There are more than 21,000 cases in Switzerland with over 700 deaths.
Italy's month-long lockdown may be paying off with a continued decline in new cases there. Someday saw just a 2 percent increase in the number of infected patients. The lowest percentage increase since the pandemic first hits the country.
More than 16,000 have died overall, and it is a similar story in Spain where the percentage of new cases has been dropping for two weeks. The Spanish government is making plans for a gradual return to activity sometime after Easter.
So, let's get an update on all of this. And joining me now journalist Al Goodman in Madrid, and CNN contributor Barbie Nadeau in Rome. Good to see you both. Al, let's start with you. And of course, those encouraging numbers coming out of nearly all Spanish regions. What's the latest on this?
AL GOODMAN, JOURNALIST: Well, here's another one. The number of people who went into the intensive care wards across Spain in the most recent day is just 7o. It had been hundreds. So that is really is the pressure on hospitals like this, the Gregorio Maranon, one of the most important hospitals in the capital.
The emergency room doctor saying far fewer cases coming in at least far fewer cases in the intensive care ward. And that military field hospital was set up last week is still empty because it hasn't been needed. Although there have been others across the country that have been used.
Also, the infection rate, how many people somebody with coronavirus infects is less than one. So those are all encouraging numbers. Our not so encouraging number, more than 19,000 healthcare workers have been infected. That's 14 percent of all the cases.
So the government as you say, Rosemary, will ease some of their restrictions after Easter, but the nationwide stay-at-home lockdown order has been extended and will go almost to the end of April, but next week they may let construction workers who have been ordered off the job for at least two weeks.
They may be able to go back. They're talking about wrapping up the testing and possibly isolating new cases, not in their homes but in hotels. And there's also talk of potentially tracking people electronically with their cell phones to make sure they're in the region where they say they are.
These are controversial measures. The government says they are going to respect the rule of law, but there is a debate now coming up as the medical part of the coronavirus crisis seems to ease a little bit, how do they get back to normal and how quickly. Those are the key questions right now. Rosemary?
CHURCH: Indeed. And of course, other countries have learned you don't want to move too quickly with this, just baby steps of course, but we'll keep an eye on all of that. Al Goodman bringing us some encouraging news from Madrid. Many thanks to you.
So, let's go to Barbie Nadeau now. And Barbie, while the overall numbers are still shocking, there are signs of improvement. Talk to us about that.
BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes. No, they really are. You know, we heard yesterday from the civil protection authorities that we are seeing the decline now, the curb was flatten and now we're seeing it start to go down. That's so encouraging.
Today is the day 30 of the nationwide lockdown, people are very restless, the economic situation is dire especially in the south where they haven't had so many COVID cases but they've seen really, really strong effects of the economic downturn.
And the government here is really working on what phase two looks like. Right now, we're under lockdown April 13th, Monday but we're expecting that to be extended. But they're really working on how to reopen the country, what of those vital services will go back online first, how they might be able to open some factories to give a kickstart to the economy.
All of those things are optimistic. And we haven't seen optimism here for a good long month now. And so, people are really, really, really helpful that the news is going to stay good and that everything is going to move forward, Rosemary.
CHURCH: That's great news. Because of course, what's happening in Italy and in Spain is the future, certainly for the United States and other nations. So, very encouraging indeed.
Barbie Nadeau and Al Goodman, many thanks to both of you for bringing us up to date on that situation. I appreciate it.
Well, the United Arab Emirates has flown around 10 tons of medical supplies to Italy. Emirati state media report the shipment will help more than 10,000 healthcare professionals. The UAE says it's committed to working with countries affected by the pandemic.
Italy's foreign minister says the aid symbolizes solidarity between the two countries.
And still ahead, from mild symptoms to hospitalization to intensive care. The latest on U.K. Prime Minister Bris Johnson's fights against COVID-19. Back with that in just a moment.
CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well, the coronavirus has now killed almost 11,000 people in the United States. At least another 368,000 people are confirmed to have the virus. Health experts are warning the death count is likely much higher as data can lag by as much as two weeks.
Well, New York remains the hardest hit state. And while there are early signs that cases there are starting to plateau, Governor Andrew Cuomo said they are still in desperate need of hospital beds, and medical equipment. On Monday, President Trump said he would grant the governor's request to convert a hospital ship docked off of Manhattan to treat covid-19 patients.
Well, the head of the U.S. Navy is apologizing for blasting the former captain of an aircraft carrier whose crew was hit with the coronavirus. Captain Brett Crozier was removed after he wrote a memo warning superiors the virus was spreading on board. The Navy said it was because he went outside the chain of command, not because of the concerns he expressed.
The acting Navy secretary, Monday, told the crew said that Crozier was either too naive, or too stupid to command the ship. But he now says, he didn't mean it.
All right. For more now on British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, let's go back to Max Foster in London, right outside of the hospital where he is being treated, Max?
MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Rosemary. He is in the intensive care unit here after his symptoms for coronavirus have worsened. He has been in the intensive care all night. He is still in there, as far as we know. He was admitted to St. Thomas here on Sunday evening for a routine test though. He said on social media at the time, he was in quote, good spirits. Now, in the meantime, Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary has taken all the responsibilities to leading the country where necessary. He is the country's most senior cabinet minister, after Boris Johnson.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DOMINIC RAAB, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: During the course of this
afternoon, the Prime Minister's condition worsened. And on the advice of the medical team, he was moved into a critical care unit. Under those circumstances, the Prime Minister asked me as his first secretary to deputize for him, when necessary in driving forward the government's plans to defeat coronavirus.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: Of course, when he was appointed first secretary, none of this was expected. So, he has suddenly been pushed to the very top of the government. So, what do we know about Dominic Raab, who will be running the U.K.'s response to the virus pandemic.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Dominic Raab, has been handed day-to-day decision-making by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Raab was effectively Johnson's Deputy serving as foreign secretary and First Secretary of State. While Johnson remains Prime Minister, Raab is now leading the country. So, who is Dominic Raab? The 46-year-old is a former lawyer, and staunch Brexiteers. Raab himself wanted to be head of the Conservative Party.
RAAB: I'm the candidate who can be trusted to deliver on Brexit, and then unite our party behind an optimistic mission. Fitting for our great country and worthy of our great people.
ROBERTSON: But he lack enough support from other M.P.s last year and didn't make it past the second round of voting. Raab quickly endorsing Johnson, a move that would land him the position of foreign secretary in Johnson's cabinet.
RAAB: I usually humbled to take on this roll, at this time. And excited about the opportunities that lie ahead. Obviously we have the challenges of Brexit, but that's something that we want as a country to rise to.
ROBERTSON: Brexit was an important steppingstone in Raab's career. In July 2018, he was made Brexit secretary under then Prime Minister Teresa May. But quit the post after 4 months. Saying he could not get behind May's Brexit plan. In recent weeks, Raab has increasingly focus on the coronavirus.
RAAB: The U.K. travelers abroad are now facing widespread international border restrictions, and lockdowns, in various countries.
ROBERTSON: The pandemic, now a monumental battle in the U.K., is putting unexpected responsibilities on Raab, as Boris Johnson continues his deeply serious personal fight against the virus in a London ICU. Nic Robertson, CNN, London.
FOSTER: For the government, this is also about managing the optics, reassuring the public that the country is being run in an effective way. Also, to reassure the markets that the economy is being run in an effective way. Are they convinced? Let's go to Anna Stewart, who has been monitoring that for us.
ANNA STEWART, CNN PRODUCER: Yes, the European markets have open over the last half hour, bringing those all trading much higher today, Max. This reflects hope that the coronavirus outbreak might be stabilizing in those main, worst-hit, countries, of course, including the United States, 30100 does join that rally up about 2.6 percent right now.
The British pound, Max, that is where we really saw reaction last night. As soon as the news came out, the Pound dropped against the dollar. It was $1.22, checking it now, it is a bit higher. Slightly due to dollar call back. This is however a sign of some investor reaction. And what we should watch as the story develops. Because there's two questions here, first of all, the matter of succession. Currently Dominic Raab, the First Secretary of State, he is deputized in for now. Longer term, investor will be concerned if Boris Johnsons cannot lead the government longer term. Who takes over that role? Boris Johnson swept a huge victory in December in that election but it is a very much a personality lead government.
And I think there were some concerns that we saw in that reaction yesterday, max, to the idea that just hours before, we were to understand that the Prime Minister was in the hospital purely as a precaution. And then this news of course, he was rushed into the ICU. So, obviously investors will also start to treat some of the communications from the government with caution. Are they getting the full picture? So, markets all are up to date, but certainly want to watch as the story develops. Max?
FOSTER: Is there any concern that, effectively, having the role of Prime Minister split between Raab and Boris Johnson will be harmful in any way to the running of the country? Can there be conflicts in (inaudible)? Economist worried about that, or do they assume there will be unity as we get through this very difficult time?
STEWART: I think at a time of crisis, you can expect some political unity at the top, in fact across the political spectrum, and we can see that in some of the messages that we had today, hoping that the Prime Minister is well. It is really when we look longer term, if the Prime Minister, if his condition worsens, if he has to go on a ventilator, that's what to think, that's where we can see more reaction. But of course, it is very hard to pinpoint a reaction to one event in this time of crisis, given we are looking towards a global recession. And so many little flash points all over the world.
FOSTER: OK. Anna, thank you. We can also speak to John Rentoul in London, he is chief political commentator in the Independent. Thanks for joining us John. Obviously this is, a force first of all with Boris Johnson, and all the other people in the same intensive care, but what do you make of the government's messaging here? There is a bit of a narrative seeping in that they are holding information back. But that is understandable to some extent isn't it? JOHN RENTOUL, CHIEF POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, INDEPENDENT: Well, I was
going to say, it is understandable. I mean, you know, if someone is ill, the people around them are bound to want to reassure the rest of us, to minimize the seriousness of it. I mean, we have been told this morning that Boris Johnson is still isn't on a ventilator. And although it seems unusual to go into intensive care just as a precaution, I mean they are dealing with a fairly unusual patient I suppose. So, they are being extra cautious and keeping him under observation, and feeding him with the oxygen.
FOSTER: You have heard that he is actually on a ventilator in the ICU, not just being monitored? I mean, what's your understanding about what is going on in there?
RENTOUL: No, he is not on the ventilator. He has been sent to intensive care in case that he needs a ventilator. But the fact that he hasn't been on one yet. He spent the night in intensive care, but not on a ventilator.
FOSTER: Take us to the mechanics of leadership here as well. Because we do have a slightly murky situation don't we here? And Boris Johnson is still the Prime Minister, Dominic Raab is picking up when necessary, but doesn't that create a split leadership which could potentially cause some issues later down the line?
RENTOUL: Well, I mean, it is causing some problems right now. Because obviously, if you have your Deputy standing in for you, there is a slight lack of clarity about who is in charge. And there is a sense that, you know, you really need a Prime Minister to take a grip of a situation like this. And when the Prime Minister is not available, it is hard for someone to step in and do it for them.
I mean, there has been some debate about whether Dominic Raab, the Foreign Secretary is as a deeply immersed in all the details of the coronavirus crisis, as either the Prime Minister, or the health secretary. But he has been sharing a lot of cabinet committee, I mean, obviously by a video conference, but he has been enrolled in the sick of this, but it was a surprise yesterday, for him to reveal that he hadn't actually spoken to the Prime Minister for two days.
FOSTER: And we've also been hearing from Michael Gove today, haven't we, who is particularly close to Boris Johnson. And in he's wording was interesting he said, you know, obviously throwing a support behind Dominic Raab, but also talking about how we are going to do this together. But, you know, a cabinet working together, is always the best way of managing a crisis, is it? Because there are obviously different opinions.
RENTOUL: Well, indeed. You know, there have been some tensions in the top team. One thing Boris Johnson does have a good reputation for is delegating. And delegating to capable people. But we are talking about ambitious politicians and large egos, at the top of the system. And so there's bound to be a bit of complete, but the cabinet system is designed to try and harness those different talents and bring them together.
Whether that is harder and while you are practicing social distancing is an interesting question which appears to be legal and it will be written about in due course, I am sure. But if the team is working together. There is no reason why they should not be able to do a reasonable job. But the problem with the crisis is that you want leadership. And there is a question mark of whether a temporary Prime Minister, or a Deputy Prime Minister can provide that.
FOSTER: OK. John, we appreciate your insight on that. Thank you very much indeed. And Rosemary, that is the wider issue here. Of course, Boris Johnson, to some extent, just another patient here at the hospital. But, the wider response of the hospital and the whole country is dictated by how he is looked after. So, he is a particularly important patient right now. Although we understand that he is being treated in many ways the same as others here.
CHURCH: Indeed, and we will of course continue to monitor the condition of the British Prime Minister and come back to you Max, in just a moment. Many thanks.
Well, India has partially lifted a ban on the export of the anti- malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine. The government says that the ban was relax after a review of its national needs. Exports of the drug were halted on Saturday. Just as the U.S. President was touting it as a possible treatment for covid-19. Even though there is no definitive evidence to back that up. Well, for more on I'm joined by CNN producer, Vedika Sud, she joins us live from New Delhi. Good to see you, Vedika. So, what is the latest on the lifting of this ban on hydroxychloroquine?
VEDIKA SUD, CNN PRODUCER: So, we do all know that the American president Donald Trump did reach out to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi over a call. He claims that he discussed even having this drug, HCQ, is a short form of it, for people in America. There was a phone call between them after which, we are now hearing from the Foreign Minister of India, there has been a lift on the ban. And the word largely has been used. We still have to get some data on how much of this will be exported.
The Foreign Minister has made it very clear as been used. We don't know how much will be exported. The foreign ministry has made it clear, Rosemary, we could look at our internal needs first. Well, (inaudible) combinations have been worked out of how much of this drug will be required by India. Only after they have gone through that discussion, are they now allowing this to be release and exported to other countries, neighboring countries, and countries in need of this drug, is what they are saying.
Remember this drug is also used for people who are frontline workers and hospitals. Therefore, this drug is being used in places in India as well. They made it very clear, they are looking at the internal needs for this medicine. And then they will go ahead and export this. This comes on a day when we already heard from the President Donald Trump talking about a possible retaliation in a way, if India did not pay heed to his advice, Rosemary. CHURCH: Yes, indeed. And we will wait to hear how much of it will be
exported, I appreciate that, Vedika. So, joining us live from New Delhi. Many thanks. We will take a short break here. Still to come. He was a highest ranking Vatican official to serve time in the church sex abuse scandal. Now the Cardinal George Pell is a free man. Back with that in a moment.
CHURCH: Welcome back everyone. A reminder of our top story this hour, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is in intensive care after his coronavirus symptoms worsened Monday, the Prime Minister has asked Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to deputize for him when necessary, the change in Mr. Johnson's health has shock the country, and leaders from around the world including U.S. President Donald Trump are sending him good wishes.
Well, the most senior Vatican official ever convicted of child sex abuse, is now a free man. Cardinal George Pell walked out of prison hours ago after Australia's high court overturned his conviction. He spent more than a year behind bars. Pell maintained his innocence throughout, saying he has no ill will towards his accuser. And CNN's Anna Coren has been following this case for us, she joins us now from Hong Kong, good to see you Anna, so what was the legal argument behind this decision to free Cardinal Pell?
ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it's quite stunning Rosemary, and it took many people by surprise, the high court in an unanimous decision also the judges decided that there was reasonable doubt with the evidence, that was presented that could not support a guilty verdict. So, they overruled the jury and they overruled the majority of the appeals court, and they squashed the conviction. And as you say, George Pell is now a free man.
He left the Barwon prison around midday, local time in a convoy, he has been taken reportedly to a convent, in Melbourne. Which is where he will stay for the time being. But this is something that has truly shocked the nation, George Pell has spent 405 days behind bars and many thought that he would see out his sentence.
So that was a six year sentence and then on turn three years and eight months, he would see out the entirety of that sentence behind bars, but the high court decided that there was reasonable doubt, and that was why they decided within 26 days, to quash that conviction, Rosemary.
CHURCH: So, Anna what message does this send victims of sexual abuse.
COREN: Well, I've spoken to a number of them this morning, and I've been covering this story from the get-go, and it started five years ago, and they are absolutely devastated, gutted with the words that was used, shock disbelief. One said to me this makes an absolute mockery of the Australian justice system. How can you go through all these legal proceedings and come to this conclusion. They feel that it is a slap in the face, for people who have survived clerical sexual abuse. Take a listen to Chrissie Foster, she's a mother whose two children were sexually abused by a priest. Take a listen to Chrissie.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISSIE FOSTER, ADVOCATE FOR PEOPLE IMPACTED BY CHILD SEX ABUSE: I was a shock I was really shocked, I was hoping that it wouldn't happen, in my mind, you know reading about I thought this cannot happen, it should not happen, yet it happens. So, a real shock and a bit of disillusion as oppose, disappointment, I feel gutted.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COREN: Yes, there is just a real sense of shock and pain, Rosemary. The choir boy, who brought forward the allegations against Pell, he testified that he and his friend had been sexually abused by Pell back in 1996, at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Melbourne. He is going to release a statement through his lawyer tomorrow. But the father of the other choir boy who died in 2014, from a drug overdose before any legal proceedings had commenced, he said that he is going to take a civil action against George Pell.
And there are reports and we have heard from other lawyers in Australia, who said they also have civil claims to be made against Cardinal George Pell. So while he may be enjoying this freedom, multiple lawsuits are expected to be filed in the near future, Rosemary.
CHURCH: Understood Anna Coren, bringing us the very latest on that story, many thanks. Now we will take a very short break here, still to come, how a Greek boy is using music, to spread some happiness during the coronavirus pandemic, we need some of that.
CHURCH: A 7 year old Greek boy, is trying to spread some joy, in the midst of the stress of being lockdown during these challenging times. Take a listen
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: And the piece you are listening to is called isolation waltz. His father says his son wrote the piece to support those suffering for the virus as well as those stuck at home. Magnificent. Good on him.
Well throughout the U.K., and cropping up across the world, a rainbows are brightening the day for families and children during the coronavirus pandemic. In a rare televised speech Sunday, Queen Elizabeth said the rainbows drawn by children would symbolize the spirit of the nation. CNN's Anna Stewart has our report. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
STEWART: In Italy, Spain, United States and the U.K., rainbow trails are being laid around the world. Crystal Stanley, set up the U.K.'s rainbow trail Facebook group.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You might see a rainbow in the window, and you think, what's a rainbow doing in the window and then you spot more as you go down the road? And it's incredible, it just gives everyone a little smile and it cheers people up.
STEWART: Cheering passersby, bringing communities together, and keeping little hands busy at home.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What are you doing now?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm drawing a picture for the window.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We've got big crime in America, in Australia as well, Thailand just to name a few.
STEWART: Children reminding us all over the world, a brighter days to come we.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We love you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Well even in the darkest of times, some light is coming to the end of our show now, but before we go let's check back in with Max. Max just brings up today on the situation there in London.
FOSTER: Well, the sun rising here in the U.K., and people getting the news that Boris Johnson spent the night in intensive care, we don't have any further update on that as yet, but of course, we bring it to viewers when we get it, and has his condition worsened that's what we're looking for, or indeed improved.
As hospitals focus on the Prime Minister's welfare, the government is also showing that leadership is in place. Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary stepping up to stand in for the Prime Minister, at key meetings. It's a big test, Rosemary, of cabinet unity, of government unity, can they hold things together while Boris Johnson can't do his job effectively. And how long will Boris Johnson be out. We will bring full analysis throughout the day, Rosemary.
CHURCH: Certainly will, thanks so much for that, Max. And we will be both be back in just a moment. I'm Rosemary Church, thanks for joining us.