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Boris Johnson's Successor; Covid-19 Survivor Describes his Battle; Trump May bet Involved in Navy Captain's Case; Frustrations Grow for Small Business. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired April 7, 2020 - 06:30   ET



MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Where she's making political decisions. That's not what she's there for. But if Dominic Robb (ph) does something that the rest of the cabinet doesn't like, it's a problem and what if he goes to the queen and says, I want to be appointed prime minister? It's uncharted territory.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: It is. And, look, I think the whole world right now wants Boris Johnson to recover as quickly as possible, but this confusion that you're describing, Max, is part and parcel, I think, of the British response to this, the official response to this pandemic from the very beginning. I'm going to play sound of Boris Johnson before he got sick. He was reluctant to put in the social distancing measures. Listen to how he described a visit to a hospital.


BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: But I can tell you that I -- I have -- I am shaking hands continuously. I was at a -- I was at a hospital the other night where I think there were a few -- there were actually a few coronavirus patients and I shook hands with everybody, you'll be pleased to know, and I continue to shake hands.


BERMAN: So, Clarissa, again, I think this only adds to the sense that the British government response to this has been haphazard.

CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think that's exactly right. I -- you know, there's a difference between stiff upper lip, John, and essentially being reckless. And what the concern is here is that potentially earlier on that this government was a little reckless in its handling of coronavirus, that there weren't enough measures put in place soon enough. Don't forget, the U.K. only took these sort of more draconian social distancing measures a good week after many states in the U.S. chose to take those measures. And the U.S. has even been criticized for being a little bit late to the party.

And even since we've seen Boris Johnson, you know, succumbing to this illness, it's been every day, oh, I'm fine, it's just mild, everything's OK. And to a certain extent, I'm sure that was probably true for some period of time. But once you have the prime minister of the country admitted to a London hospital on a Sunday evening, he is not released the next morning, he is clearly going to be spending two nights there, then it's clearly become a more seriously situation that the public deserves to know about.

BERMAN: Indeed. It is a matter of public interest.

Clarissa Ward, Max Foster, thanks for being with us this morning. Please, keep us posted throughout the morning.

Our next guest spent 17 days in the hospital battling coronavirus, including six on a ventilator, and he recovered. His story of survival, next.



ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: This morning, the death toll in the United States from coronavirus is nearing 11,000 people. But we're also hearing incredible survivor stories.

Our next guest spent 17 days hospitalized with Covid-19, including six days on a ventilator, before being discharged last week.

And David Lat joins us now.

David, it is great to see you at home and looking healthy. What a crucible you have been through for those three weeks.

Let's just start at the beginning.

You describe yourself as a healthy 44-year-old. You didn't smoke. You have no underlying health conditions. You ran two New York marathons. You were in good shape.

Can you just quickly take us through what happened leading up to you having to be intubated on a ventilator?

DAVID LAT, RECOVERING FROM COVID-19: The only caveat I would add to my health condition is, the one thing I did have, which people should be aware of is, I had exercise-induced asthma. I would get a little short of breath if I exercised. This was very well managed. I had an inhaler. It never bothered me. But there are probably a lot of people out there who have conditions that are similar that don't make a big impact on their day-to-day lives but they should be aware of because if you get coronavirus or Covid-19, it can make things a lot worse for you.

So turning to my story, I had symptoms of a flu in early March. I didn't really think much of them. I had them for about a week. And then things got worse. I had a hard time breathing. So eventually I went to my local emergency room at NYU Langone Health Center and eventually I got admitted with shortness of breath. They tested me for coronavirus. Turned out it was positive. I was in the hospital for a few days getting oxygen. And then -- and then I wound up on the ventilator.

CAMEROTA: Yes. And so you were on a ventilator for six days. And I don't have to tell you how grim the statistics are for people who go on ventilators. Most don't come off, actually.

And so do you have any memory of being intubated and having been on the ventilator for six days, or were you sedated the whole time?

LAT: So they do give you anesthesia before they intubate you, put you on the ventilator, because otherwise you'll resist the tube being put into your mouth to help you breathe. So I remember the intubation a little bit. It was like a scene out of "ER" or "Chicago Hope" or something. But I have no recollection of my time on the ventilator, which is interesting because I've since read that some ventilator patients have hallucinations, delusions. I don't remember anything.

CAMEROTA: But I know that that time was really hard for your family, obviously. And that's -- that's the story that we keep hearing, that the patient may not know what's happening, but the family is, you know, sitting vigil and just praying that your body will respond.

And you were given, I believe, some of these experimental drugs while you were in the hospital. So the Hydroxychloroquine, which we hear so much about, with the z-pak, which we hear so much about. I don't know if I'm pronouncing this right, but the Remdesivir.

LAT: Well, I (INAUDIBLE) apologies. I just tweeted this out late last night.

CAMEROTA: Yes, tell me.

LAT: I asked a doctor to look at some of my patient records. It turns out some of the things that were discussed were not given to me. So, I got the Hydroxychloroquine. I got -- with the z-pak, with the azithromycin.


I had a drug, an antiviral, before that called Kalitra (ph), which is used for HIV-AIDS. And I also got a drug while I was on the ventilator called Klasakisuma (ph), which is for people with lung failure. So those are the drugs I received. I think I might have misreported some of my drugs previously, which is why I that that correcting tweet on my own Twitter account because (INAUDIBLE).

CAMEROTA: OK. Super helpful.

LAT: Yes.

CAMEROTA: But, I mean, were doctors able to tell you what they think worked on you?

LAT: No, it still doesn't change my bottom line. My bottom line, as I've been saying is, look, I got multiple things. I got better. Did they help? Did they work together? Did they do nothing? It's too early to say. CAMEROTA: Yes.

You were active on social media from the hospital. And why did you want to peel back the curtain, literally, to take people into this experience of yours?

LAT: Well, initially, when I went on FaceBook and Twitter to tell people I had coronavirus, Covid-19, it was because I wanted to let any friends of mine or contacts of mine know that if they had been in contact with me, they should be careful, they should get tested. That was my original impetus. But then I found that people were very interested in getting more information about this mysterious, new disease. And so just kept on tweeting and I just kept on writing about what I was going through.

CAMEROTA: And once you were extubated, once you no longer needed the ventilator to breathe, what was it like to talk to your family and see your son?

LAT: So, it's funny, I didn't appreciate how long I was on and what the agony that my husband and parents were going through because, as I said, I was out of it. And then when I came back from off the ventilator, I kind of just went back to what I was talking and thinking about right before I went on the ventilator, even though it had been a week ago. I had asked my husband to bring some books to the hospital. And so I asked Mo, did you bring those books? I just -- it didn't really dawn on me yet.

CAMEROTA: Right, time had stopped for you, like frozen for you.


CAMEROTA: And then you came out of your, you know, sort of unconscious state and you're like, hey, where are those books and your husband was like --

LAT: Exactly. Exactly.

CAMEROTA: You've been intubated for six days.

What a story. It's really, I think, helped people that you've shared it with because people are so desperate for any information, particularly from survivors.

David Lat, thank you very much for being on NEW DAY. Great to talk to you.

LAT: Thanks for having me.


BERMAN: Face (ph) from the acting Navy secretary who berated the captain of an aircraft carrier relieves of his command. Now the president hinting he could get involved. Details, next.



DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: A very important person in the military. He knows it better than anybody in this room what he should have done. And I'm sure he feels he made a mistake. But, I'm going to look into it and I'm going to see, maybe we can do something, because I'm not looking to destroy a person's life who's had an otherwise stellar career, as I understand it.


BERMAN: New turmoil in the highest ranks of the Navy. President Trump there suggesting he may now intervene after a Navy captain who sound the alarm about coronavirus outbreak -- a coronavirus outbreak on a ship was relieved of his command. And it comes as the acting Navy secretary apologized after calling that captain stupid in a speech to the entire crew.

CNN's Ryan Browne live at the Pentagon.

Ryan, there are several different levels of embarrassment here.

RYAN BROWNE, CNN PENTAGON REPORTER: That's absolutely correct, John. It's been a lot of twists and turns in this story in the last 24 hours. Early yesterday we first got the word -- reports of this speech that acting Secretary Modly had given to the crew of the USS Theodore Roosevelt.

Now just days ago -- days earlier, that same crew had given their former now fired captain, Brett Crozier, a very warm sendoff. But Secretary Modly chose to take that time to slam their former commanding officer for disseminating that memo warning about the coronavirus pandemic aboard his ship, saying that he was either too naive or too stupid to not realize that that memo would get out into the public.

Let's listen.


THOMAS MODLY, ACTING SECRETARY OF THE NAVY: If he didn't think that information was going to get out into the public in this information age that we live in, then he was, a, too naive or too stupid to be the commanding officer of a ship like this.

It was a betrayal. He put it in the public's forum and it's now become a big controversy in Washington, D.C., and across the country about a martyr CO who wasn't getting the help he needed.


BROWNE: Now, his comments were met almost immediate with sounds of shock and disappointment from the same sailor, you can hear in the recording, and other officials in the Pentagon telling CNN that they were very dismayed by his comments. Initially, Secretary Modly stood by them. He said I meant everything I said in a statement issued after the comments became public. But then several hours later, after several senior members of Congress called for his ouster over this issue, he issued a new statement apologizing for his comments, saying, let me be clear, I do not think Captain Brett Crozier is nadve, nor stupid. I believe precisely because he is not naive and stupid that he sent this alarming e-mail with the intention of getting it into the public domain in an effort to draw public attention to the situation on his ship.

So a very about-face for the acting Navy secretary as he faces withering criticism for his actions with regard to that ship and its former commanding officer.


CAMEROTA: OK, Ryan, thank you very much for that developing story.

So, loans for small businesses and for the owners, they are hitting some obstacles. Millions of unemployed workers are still hoping for answers on when they will get help. So we have all the details in a live report, next.



BERMAN: This morning, millions of Americans waiting for relief as officials are working to fix problems with the small business lending program. This was part of the $2 trillion rescue plan. President Trump now acknowledges the program's rollout was shaky.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Really been performing well. A couple of little glitches, minor glitches, that have already been taken care of.

If we run out of funds, by the way, we're already preparing, because it's going so fast, for the small businesses and their employees, we'll ask Congress to refill it immediately.


BERMAN: Joining us now, CNN chief business correspondent Christine Romans and CNN international anchor Julia Chatterley.

Romans, the president acknowledged some minor glitches there.


BERMAN: This has been tough, this rollout, and people need this money.

ROMANS: Yes. And, you know, so frustrating because the money is there. You know, the promise is there to help these small businesses and they just don't feel like they can get to it. A couple of glitches, the technology that allows the lenders and the

SBA to talk to each other and actually get the deal done, and also guidance.


Some of the banks say they needed just a little more time, a little more guidance to get up and running here.

Bank of America reporting that they just see a ton of interest here. Something like 212,000 applications for about $36 billion in loans on Monday. That is a lot.

But some of these banks are prioritizing their current borrowers, not necessarily new clients. And customers just don't feel like they're getting the money yet and they don't have clarity on when it's going to be better.

What I'm hearing is the middle of the week the major banks are hoping to be really up and running and getting the money out the door. SBA says there's about $38 billion of loans that have already been processed. So they are sending some money out.

CAMEROTA: OK. Well, what -- but, Julia, what -- what is the truth? Is it the president saying that it's going so fast for small businesses and their employees getting money, or that there are more than minor glitches that's slowing it down?

JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: These are massive glitches. These are technology issues. The infrastructure simply can't deal with it, as Christine was saying. I mean I heard one of the largest banks in the country issued billions of dollars of loans. They only managed to upload applications to the tune of 13 on Sunday. We have 30 million small and medium-sized enterprises in this country.

The one thing that I think I can pull from what the president said that is truthful at this moment is that there will be more money. You have bipartisan support and we always did for providing money to small and medium-sized enterprises. But right now the blockage in the system, the website is not capable of dealing with the volume of applications, whether that's at the community bank level or the bigger bank level. The system at this moment, the website even went down for several hours yesterday. The system's not working at this stage and that's impacting small and medium-sized businesses badly.

BERMAN: And, Julia, these businesses don't have the cash reserves to be patient, correct?

CHATTERLEY: This is the key. On average, they have one to two weeks of cash in hand. So they're looking at this situation and saying, every day makes a massive impact here of whether I make my employees redundant and they have to go and claim benefits, or whether my business can survive. Particularly from what I'm hearing from restaurant businesses, they're actually saying already, my work is better off taking unemployment benefits, there (ph) four months, and all I can guarantee, even if I get one of these loans, is that I can pay them for the next two months and get forgiveness on that. So the glitches that I see in this system here are huge.

One of the positive things that I can take away from what I'm hearing, the Consumer Bankers Association saying they have enough cash for the next two weeks. So that's the message I think to Congress here, guys, you have a couple of weeks max to come up with more money and for the infrastructure here to get up to speed and get that money out there.

CAMEROTA: Christine, any sense of how this week looks?

ROMANS: Well, the Fed's going to backstop those loans as well. There was some concern that some of these lenders were nervous about having to hold these loans. So the Fed has stepped in here. So that's -- that's important here.

But I think this week is just critical in what is a tragic layoff story here. You have these small businesses literally fighting to survive here just for another week or two, that want to get that that bailout money. And then you have the unemployed who are frustrated and furious that they can't get through to their state unemployment offices. They also know that there's bailout money there and enhance unemployment benefits but they can't get to it.

You know, I'm hearing from people who have been recently laid off who are setting their alarms for the middle of the night so they can try to call the hotline or log into the portal that they need to use because there are just so many people losing their jobs in America that the -- again, the infrastructure can't handle all the demand for relief.

BERMAN: All right, Christine Romans, Julia Chatterley, thank you very much. We're watching this very, very closely.

Also this morning, into the newsroom, we're seeing the first signs -- excuse me -- of progress in the battle against coronavirus.

NEW DAY continues right now.


GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): Number of deaths are up. The possible flattening of the curve is better than the increases that we have seen.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: When the president was asked about the HHS report, he didn't address any of the substance in it. They interviewed hundreds of hospitals across 46 states.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Give me the name of the inspector general. Could politics be entered into that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's no basis for the suggestion that all of these reports, all these interviews are somehow the product of political bias.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was taken into the ICU early Monday evening.

They say that he was taken in case he needed to be put on a ventilator.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The prime minister is in safe hands with a brilliant team.


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

CAMEROTA: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY.

We may, may be seeing the first signs of progress in the battle against coronavirus. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says the numbers show his state may be flattening the curve. Governors in neighboring New Jersey and Connecticut are reporting similar trends. As you can see on your screen, the death rate goes up a little bit in some of the states, like New Jersey, but it appears it could be leveling off.


These could be signs that social distancing is working.