Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Poll: 54 Percent Of Voters Disapproved Of Trump's Handling Of Coronavirus; N.Y. Governor Gives Update On Coronavirus Response. Aired 12:30-1p ET

Aired April 8, 2020 - 12:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[12:30:00]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: -- winning it powerfully, we're down to numbers that are incredible. As we wage medical war on the virus, we're also speeding economic relief to our people. It's incredible.

We want to open up, but we want to get an open soon. That's why I think maybe we're getting to the very top of the curve.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN KING, CNN HOST: Joining me with some expertise and analysis here, Margie Omero, she's a Democratic pollster and principal at the firm GBAO, and Neil Newhouse, Republican pollster, principal at Public Opinion Strategies. Neil, I want to start with you. The Republican in the conversation. You see the -- you know, majority of Americans disapprove of the President here. You have written some memos to Republican candidates out there who you work for talking about the delicate balance here with what the President is doing and how it could impact Republican campaigns, explain.

NEIL NEWHOUSE, REPUBLICAN POLLSTER: It's kind of like, as truthfully, it's somewhat dated now. But the early data as of maybe a month ago or three weeks ago, indicated that Republican voters were not taking the kinds of precautions that other voters were taking with respect to, you know, protecting themselves from the spread of the virus. And my concern is that the more we downplay the seriousness of the virus, the more that Republican voters, you know, may not take it seriously. And that's dangerous. That's, I mean, we're putting people's lives at risk. And so, I just -- I wrote that -- I put that piece together just to remind people that our voters, you know, should be concerned about this, just like everybody else should be.

KING: And Margie, you're the Democrat. I bring you into the conversation. I'm reluctant to have many political conversations at all at this moment. Most people watching are anxious about their lives, anxious about their children, anxious about whether they might -- whether they can get state unemployment benefits, if that's where they are. But when you do see this playing out and Sanders dropping out today reminds us, we are living through this in the middle of a presidential election year. When you see the numbers about approval of the President or whether people thinking that the federal government could do more, what does that tell you?

MARGIE OMERO, DEMOCRATIC POLLSTER: Well, it tells me that people are crying out for leadership and answers, and they're not really getting that from the President. You see more people trust in the polling that we've done for navigator research. More people trust their state governor and their state government rather than the President. People don't feel that they can trust the information that they're getting from the President. A majority don't feel the President is being honest about the pandemic.

And this is consistent across all of the different polls that you've seen, the CNN poll, the poll we've done, other polls that have come out. The President's numbers overall and beneath the surface are troubling. And it shouldn't be -- I mean, to Neil's point, it shouldn't be a partisan viewpoint on how you feel about this health crisis. It's a health crisis that will affect everybody.

The coronavirus is agnostic on what people's political party and what state they living in. It's something that will affect us all. So, it's really a tragedy that voters are having to decide for themselves how they feel since they're not really getting consistent advice and guidance from the President.

KING: And people are -- we see this in our poll, we see this in other ways to judge the metrics -- people are paying incredibly close attention to this. And we asked in our poll question, do you believe the worst is behind us or yet to come?

Neil, 82 percent say the worst is yet to come. If that is public opinion, how do you balance that if you're advising a, whether it's a congressman, a senator, or president of the United States -- in this case the President -- who understandably, understandably, it's part of his job to plan for the day when you can get the American people out of their house and back to work, and yet, it's also part of his job to be very careful in when he decides we are at that moment. If people think the worst is yet to come, how do you balance that?

I'm sorry, I need interrupt the conversation. The Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, giving his daily coronavirus briefing. Let's go to Albany. Sorry, Margie and Neil.

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: These are stressful, emotional times, as we know. And today is a day in the state of New York with very mixed emotions based on two very different pieces of information we have. I'm trying to work through mixed emotions from myself, so I'll just present the facts and then we'll go from there.

There is good news in what we're seeing, that what we have done and what we are doing is actually working and is making a difference. We took dramatic actions in this state. New York pause program to close down schools, businesses, social distancing, and it's working. It is flattening the curve, and we see that again today.

So far, meaning what? Meaning that curve is flattening because we are flattening the curve by what we are doing.

[12:35:11]

If we stop what we are doing, you will see that curve change. That curve is purely a function of what we do day in and day out. But right now it's flattening, the number of patients hospitalized is down. And again, we don't look at just day-to-day data. You look at the three- day trend, but that number is down. The three-day average trend is also down.

Anecdotally, the individual hospitals, the larger systems are reporting that some of them are actually releasing more people than are coming in, so they're net down. So, we see the quote/unquote flattening of the curve. We have more capacity in the hospital system than ever before, so we've had more capacity in that system to absorb more people. The sharing of equipment which has been really one of the beautiful, cooperative, generous acts among different partners in the health care system, is work.

If the hospitalization rate keeps decreasing the way it is now, then the system should stabilize over these next couple of weeks, which will minimize the need for overflow on the system that we have built in at Javits and that the USNS Comfort. So, that is all good news. There is a big caution sign. That's if we continue doing what we're doing, if we continue doing what we're doing. We are flattening the curve because we are rigorous about social distancing, et cetera. So, if we continue doing what we're doing, then we believe the curve will continue to flat.

But it's not a time to get complacent. It's not a time to do anything different than we have been doing. Remember what happened in Italy, when the entire health care system became overrun? So, we have to remain diligent. We have to remain disciplined going forward. But there's no doubt that we are now bending the curve and there's no doubt that we can't stop doing what we're doing. That's the good news.

The bad news isn't just bad. The bad news is actually terrible. Highest single-day death toll yet, 779 people. When you look at the numbers on the death toll, it has been going steadily up, and it reached the new height yesterday.

The number of deaths, as a matter of fact, the number of deaths will continue to rise as those hospitalized for a longer period of time pass away. The longer you are on a ventilator, the less likely you will come off the ventilator. Dr. Fauci spoke to me about this, and he was 100 percent right. The quote/unquote lagging indicator between hospitalizations and deaths -- the hospitalizations can start to drop, but the deaths actually increase, because the people who have been in the hospital for 11 days, 14 days, 17 days, pass away. That's what we're seeing, hospitalizations drop and the death toll rises.

I understand the science of it. I understand the facts and the logic of it. But it is still incredibly difficult to deal with. Every number is a face, right? And that's been painfully obvious to me every day. But we have lost people, many of them frontline workers, many of them health care workers, many of them people who were doing the essential functions that we all needed for society to go on, and they were putting themselves at risk, and they knew they were.

Many of them vulnerable people who, this vicious predator of a virus targeted from day one. This virus attacked the vulnerable and attacked the weak. And it's our job as a society to protect those vulnerable, and that's what this has always been about from day one. And it still is about.

[12:40:14]

Be responsible. Not just for yourself, but to protect the vulnerable. Be responsible, because the life you risk may not be your own. Those people who walk into an emergency room every day and put themselves at peril, don't make their situation worse. Don't infect yourself or infect someone else or their situation becomes more dangerous.

Just to put perspective on this. 9/11, which so many of us lived through, yes, in this state and in this nation, 2,753 lives lost. This crisis, we lost 6,268 New Yorkers. I'm going to direct all flags to be flown at half-mast in honor of those who we have lost to this virus.

Big question from everyone, from my daughters, I'm sure around most people's dinner table -- when will things go back to the way they were? I don't think it's about going back. I don't think it's ever about going back. I think the question is always about going forward, and that's what we have to deal with here. It's about learning from what we've experienced, and it's about growing and it's about moving forward.

Well, when we -- will we return to normal? I don't think we return to normal. I don't think we return to yesterday, where we were. I think if we are smart, we achieve a new normal. The way we are understanding a new normal when it comes to the economy and a new normal when it comes to the environment. Now we understand the new normal in terms of health and public health. And we have to learn just the way we've been learning about the new normal in other aspects of society. We have to learn what it means -- global pandemic. How small the world has actually gotten.

Someone sneezes in Asia today, you catch a cold tomorrow. Whatever happens in any country on this globe can get on an airplane and be here literally overnight. And understanding this phenomenon and having a new appreciation for it, how our public health system has to be prepared and the scale to which we need a public health system. Look at the way we're scrambling right now to make this work. We have to learn from that.

I think we've also learned positive lessons. We've found ways to use technology that we never explored before. You have a New York state court system that -- thank you chief judges -- basically developing a virtual online court system, which has all sorts of possible benefits going forward, using technology for health care, using technology work from home, using technology for education. I think these are all positives that we can learn.

Testing capacity. Which we still have to develop. That is going to be the bridge from where we are today to the new economy, in my opinion. It's going to be a testing-informed transition to the new economy, where people who have the antibodies, people who are negative, people who have been exposed and now are better, those are the people who can go to work, and you know who they are because you can do testing. But that, we've all developed a sense of scale over the past few weeks in dealing with this.

There's also lessons to be learned. Why are more African-Americans and Latinos affected? We're seeing this around the country. Now, the numbers in New York are not as bad as the disparities we see in other places across the country, but there still are apparently disparities. Why? Well, co-morbidity. I understand that, but I think there's something more to it.

You know, it always seems that the poorest people pay the highest price. Why is that? Why is that? Whatever the situation is, natural disaster, Hurricane Katrina, the people standing on those rooftops were not rich, white people. Why? Why is it that the poorest people always pay the highest price?

[12:45:10]

But let's figure it out. Let's do the work. Let's do the research. Let's learn from this moment and let's learn these lessons and let's do it now. We're going to do more testing in minority communities, but not just testing for the virus. Let's actually get research and data that can inform us as to why are we having more people in minority communities, more people in certain neighborhoods, why do they have higher rates of infection?

I get the comorbidity. I get the underlying illness issue. But what else is at play? Are more public workers Latino and African-American? Who don't have a choice, frankly, but to go out there every day and drive the bus and drive the train and show up for work and wind up subjecting themselves to, in this case, the virus, whereas many other people who had the option just absented themselves. They live in more dense communities, more urban environments. But what is it? And let's learn from that and let's do it now.

I'm going to ask our SUNY Albany Chief, Dr. Havidan Rodriguez, to head an effort, to do it right now. We'll do more testing in minority communities now. With more data research done now. So, let's learn now. Department of Health will be doing it along with Northwell. But let's learn these lessons now.

We're also going to make an additional $600 payment to all unemployed New Yorkers. The federal government says they will reimburse us for it, but people need money now in their pocket. So, New York will be doing that immediately. We're also extending the period covered by unemployment benefits for an additional 13 weeks, from 26 weeks to 39 weeks, so that should be a relief.

On voting, I've seen lines of people on television voting in other states. This is totally nonsensical. God bless them for having such diligence for their civic duty that they would go stand on a line to vote. But people shouldn't have to make that choice. And we're, by executive order, all New Yorkers can vote absentee on June 23rd primaries coming up.

I want to say thank you to the many places and people who are working with the state of New York. Mercury Medical donated 2,400 BiPAP machines. BiPAP machines are technically not ventilators, but they can be modified to effectively ventilate, even though they're not ventilators, and we're using them. They were brought up from Florida. Thank you very much, JetBlue, for doing that.

I also want to thank Oregon and Washington State and California for freeing up ventilators. I want to thank the direct care workers who are doing a fantastic job, and they're doing it every day. I want to thank the state workers who are showing up and doing a great job every day. Every first responder. This has been a long battle, and it's going to go on, but I want them to know how thankful we all are of them for what they're doing.

I want people to remember that we're flattening that curve. And if anything, we doubled down now on our diligence. We're going to start a social media campaign. Who are you staying home for? Right? It's not about staying home for yourself. Stay home for others. Stay home for the vulnerable people who, if they get this virus, are in a really bad place in life.

Stay home for the health care worker who's in the emergency room because you don't want to infect anybody else, who then puts another greater load on our health care system. So, who are you staying home for? I'm staying home for my mother. But everyone -- it's not about just you, it's about all of us. So, who are you staying home for, and we'll start a social media campaign that does that.

But thank you to all of the New Yorkers for all they've done. And we still have more to do. We are by no means out of the woods.

[12:50:17]

And do not misread what you're seeing in that data and on those charts. That is a pure product of our actions and behavior. If we behave differently, you will see those numbers change. I just doubled the fine on disobeying the social distancing rules. Why? Because if anything, we have to get more diligent, not less diligent. And we have more to do.

And that's New York tough. But tough is more than just tough. Tough is smart and disciplined and unified, and tough is loving. The toughest guys are tough enough to love, right?

Last point. Our brothers and sisters in the Jewish community celebrate Passover tonight. We wish them all a happy Passover. The Jewish community has had a long and difficult year, besides any of this. The number of incidents of anti-Semitism across this country, the violence that they have seen, even in this state of New York that has such a large Jewish population. So we wish them all well on Passover.

And the message of Passover I know helps me today, and I offer it to others to consider. Passover says, we remember the past, we learn from the past, we remember the lessons of the past, we teach a new generation those lessons, but there's also a message of hope in Passover. Next year in Jerusalem, next year in Jerusalem, next year the Promised Land, next year will be better. And yes, this has been a difficult month. We'll learn a lot. We'll move forward and we'll be better for it. Questions?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Governor, New York City, 75 percent of frontline workers are Black and Latino. They're talking about grocery store clerks, people who work in public transit, child care. Is it time to scale back some of these grocery stores that are open or some of these businesses that are still open at this point to try to bridge that gap?

CUOMO: Yes. Question is, many of the essential workers, public workforce, tends to be African-American and Latino. I think that's probably right. I don't know the statistics, but I think that's probably right. I also believe the frontline workers do have a greater exposure than most people. I think that's one of the things we'll find when we do this research on why is the infection rate higher with the African-American community and the Latino community.

Again, the disparity that we're seeing in New York is nothing like what you see in other places across the country. But I think it is something that we have to understand. I don't think we can reduce the essential services. You know, we're down to basically food, pharmacy, basic transportation, which, frankly, is more for our essential workers to get where they're going.

If you didn't have public transportation, you couldn't have those health care workers showing up, you couldn't have the grocery workers showing up. So, I don't think we're in a position to say eat less or use less drugs or use less health care. I think we have to get through this now and then learn from it and see what changes we can make in the future.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Governor, do you think the state was very -- would you think the state was slow --

CUOMO: Excuse me, one second, Karen. Just Bernadette --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sorry. Was the state slow to shut everything down? Did New York pause come too late? Do you guys wish that you had started --

KING: The Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, giving his daily coronavirus briefing, saying he does so on this day of, quote, mixed emotions. Some good news. He says New York is proving through social distancing to be flattening its curve. The number of hospitalizations down. The number of intensive care unit beds down. The governor saying that is the good news as he flattens the curve.

He also then, though, talked about the vicious predator of a virus, the coronavirus, as he shared just stunning numbers. This is just the state of New York, 6,268 New Yorkers killed by the coronavirus so far, 779 increase from yesterday to today. That, again, is the New York state setting another record as it deals with the deaths of the coronavirus. The Governor making a number of promises there, including some new testing. Says he needs to ramp up testing. Says he's now considering when the moment will come to turn up -- turn back on the New York economy, but he says, first, you need a better testing system. Also promises do some a new task force to study the racial disparities in the coronavirus infection and death rates.

[12:55:13]

Thank you for joining us today through this. Anderson Cooper picks up our coverage after a quick break. Have a good afternoon.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: I'm Anderson Cooper. You're watching CNN's special coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. Thanks for being with me. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is urging residents not to get complacent and to continue with social distancing.

Just moments ago, he announced his state posted its highest single-day death toll ever with 779 people dying in one day. That number part of an overall death toll that continues to climb. Nearly 13,000 people --

[13:00:00]