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Coronavirus Pandemic; Johns Hopkins, 1,900 Deaths In United States On Tuesday; Virus Hitting African Americans Especially Hard; Second Coronavirus Vaccine Trial Begins In United States; First Phase Of Trial Expected To End In Summer; Acting U.S. Navy Secretary Resigns After Speech Leaked; Race To Stop Virus In One Of Asia's Largest Slums; Lockdown Puts pressure On India's Poor; Middle East, Africa Working To Combat Virus; 17,000 Plus Arrested In South Africa For Defying Lockdown; WHO Reports New Cases In Iran Decreasing; Turkey's ICU At Over 60 Percent Capacity; Self-Grooming In Quarantine. Aired 3- 4a ET

Aired April 8, 2020 - 03:00   ET

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


[03:00:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us here in the United States and around the world. You're watching CNN Newsroom. I'm Rosemary Church.

Just ahead.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Every American has a role to play in winning this war. World Health Organization, because they really are -- they called it wrong. They called it wrong. They really, they missed the call. They could have called it months earlier.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: This hour, as President Trump plays the blame game, the coronavirus kills more people right here in America than on any other day.

We go to a slum in India where the virus could take hold and where the population density is almost 30 times that of New York. And the very latest on new trials for a human vaccine.

Well, as the coronavirus surges through the United States, Americans are wondering how much worse can it get. And when will my state hit its peak? Well, Tuesday was the country's deadliest day since the start of the pandemic. The virus killed more than 1,900 Americans, according to Johns Hopkins University with the total number of cases rising to just below 400,000.

And you can see, the biggest hotspot right here New York. It has more than a third of all U.S. cases. And just south of there, New Jersey is also facing a serious threat. On the west coast, California is still struggling with well over 17,000 infections.

And when the U.S. president was asked why he initially downplayed the threat and predicted that cases would go down, he had this to say on Tuesday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I am not going to come out and start screaming, this could happen, this could happen. So, again, as president, I think a president has to be a cheerleader for their country. But at the same time, I'm cheerleading, I am also closing down a very highly infected place, specifically the location, as you know, in China, that had the problems.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: Meanwhile, despite all the delays, the U.S. surgeon general says two million tests will have been carried out by weeks' end.

Erica Hill looks at how the country and the hardest hit states are handling this difficult stretch.

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR & CORRESPONDENT: With about 97 percent of the country now under stay-at-home orders, new evidence it may be working.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The numbers are going to be much, much, much, much lower than would have been predicted by the models.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HILL: The director of the CDC saying the U.S. death toll could be far lower than previous projections of 200,000. Thanks to widespread social distancing which models had initially estimated just 50 percent of the American public would follow. The reality today is much higher. Though officials caution this is no time to ease up.

On Monday, New York logging the state's largest single day death toll. One overwhelmed funeral home doing its best to meet the need.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OMAR RODRIGUEZ, NEUFELD FUNERAL HOME: We're no longer embalming them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why is that?

RODRIGUEZ: Just because the -- we don't have time to have visitations. We're simply either burying directly or direct cremation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HILL: Healthcare workers continuing to sound the alarm about personal protective equipment. In Maryland, one nurse practitioner tried making a face shield out of

a page projector and a head band.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARJORIE SIMPSON, NURSE PRACTITIONER: I put it on and I started crying. And I thought I can't imagine anybody working wearing something like that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HILL: Staff also a major concern. Retired nurses and doctors answering the call to help relieve those on the frontlines.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JULIANA MORAWSKI, RETIRED E.R. NURSE: I've never seen emergency departments or nursing or any of the services actually in general under so much threat. And you know, it's a family. So, when families is threatened, you try to step up as much as you can.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HILL: On board the Comfort, which will now be dedicated to COVID-19 patients, the number of beds cut in half to 500 for safety. One crew member has tested positive.

Meantime, in Florida, this tightly packed line for unemployment forms are sobering picture of the growing need.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everybody out here is risking their lives to get this application.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've given out hundreds and hundreds of applications.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HILL: In Connecticut, unemployment applications are about 20 times higher than anything the state seen during a recession.

[03:05:00]

Wisconsin voters on Tuesday trying to keep their distance at the polls. As one of the nation's largest grocery chains announces new restrictions on capacity amid concerns about how and where the virus is spreading.

In Miami Beach, face coverings now required for all customers and employees at grocery stores, pharmacies and restaurants including those making deliveries.

Here in New York City, as we see in communities around the globe, there is a focus on first responders. At the NYPD, today we learned of a 13th coronavirus related death. There are 57 NYPD employees in the hospital, five of them are in critical condition.

And on Tuesday, some 7,600 uniformed members called out sick. That's nearly 20 percent of the NYPD. But it is important to note that those sick do not mean all of those folks have coronavirus. Back to you.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We will put a hold on money spent to the WHO. We're going to put a very powerful hold on it, and we're going to see.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: That was President Trump at the White House Tuesday threatening to withhold funding for the World Health Organization. Among the WHO's nearly 200 member states, the U.S. is the biggest funding contributor.

President Trump has complained for weeks that the WHO was critical of his decision in late January to restrict travel from China. Now, that complaint has grown with the president claiming the WHO has failed in every aspect of pandemic and favors China.

But when a reporter asked if he would really slash funding in the midst of a pandemic, here is how the president responded.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Quick follow-up on that. So, is the time to freeze funding to the WHO during a pandemic?

TRUMP: Maybe not. I mean, I'm not saying I'm going to do it. But we're going to look at it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You did say that.

TRUMP: We give a tremendous -- no, I didn't. I said we're going to look at it. We're going to investigate it, we're going to look at it. But we will look at ending funding.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: The WHO and its director general do you have a vote of confidence though from the top infectious disease expert on President Trump's Coronavirus Task Force. Here is Dr. Anthony Fauci just a few weeks ago.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: So, Tedros is really an outstanding person. I've known him from the time that he was the minister of health of Ethiopia.

I mean, obviously, over the years, anyone who says that the WHO has not had problems has not been watching the WHO. But I think under his leadership, they've done well. He has been all over this. I was on the phone with him a few hours ago leading a WHO call. (END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: Well, Sterghios Moschos teaches cellular and molecular science at Northumbria University in England. He has been leading research into a device to collect breath samples which could be tested in minutes to detect coronavirus. Thank you so much for talking with us.

STERGHIOS MOSCHOS, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR IN CELLULAR & MOLECULAR SCIENCES, NORTHUMBRIA UNIVERSITY: Good morning.

CHURCH: Before we get to specific questions relating to COVID-19, I don't want to put you on the spot, but I did want to get your reaction to President Trump's threat to cut funds to the World Health Organization in the midst of this pandemic. What impact could that potentially have on the work of the WHO?

MOSCHOS: I think the impact will be mostly felt by the developed nations. Because the WHO's primary role is to ensure that developing nations are able to cope with outbreaks such as this one.

We saw what the role of the WHO was in West African Ebola outbreak. And President Trump at that time wasn't a president. He was calling for closure of airports in Taiwan. The outbreak was contained in West Africa and the rest of the world didn't suffer. That was the WHO's role.

We have gotten past that point and it has nothing to do with international travel why we've got to this point. The question is, are we interested in restarting the economy and not have a continued cycle of interruption? Or do we want to get to the point where the economy can function after the coronavirus has been fully contained on the latest reports are closed on it?

CHURCH: very important points. All right, let's go back to this device that you've come up with. So, this could be a quick -- a quick check for COVID-19 through breath. How is that going to work? And when would that be available?

MOSCHOS: OK. So, the principle here is quite straightforward. Coronavirus-19 gives you a disease in your deep lungs. Under the best sample for detecting coronavirus is when we go in with some kind of tube to collect a sample from your lungs.

Now as you can imagine this is not something you can't readily do on everybody. That's why we rely on these nasal swabs.

[03:09:57]

What we propose that we collect breath because it comes from inside the lungs. And we look how whether or not the virus is there. At this point in time, I can report that we have detected bacteria, we have detected fungi in that breath sample.

We are certain that the breath sample does not contain saliva contamination. We have publicized that data on Twitter of all places. We are actively seeking out ways by which we can confirm the presence of viruses in that breath sample.

The physics are quite straightforward. There is no reason why it shouldn't be there. As soon as we have early data showing that the viruses detectable, we will report it. And as soon as we have validated that this is the case and it's better than doing the nasal swabs, then we will be seeking to get emergency use authorization for use of this technology worldwide.

CHURCH: And how quick could you get a result? Because we know President Trump has been touting this quick 13-minute, 15-minute test that he has been taking along with the vice president. How would that work in comparison to that?

MOSCHOS: It would work with that test or any other test that the laboratory in question decides to use. We are just providing a sample right now. We're not carrying out any testing. But we think we are providing a better sample than that nasal swab, which while the least of things as President Trump has certainly found out himself, is highly unpleasant.

CHURCH: Yes.

MOSCHOS: What we are proposing is just breeding out into a tube.

CHURCH: Right. And I did want to ask you this as a virologist, because some countries have done better than others. So, we know that New Zealand has somehow because it moved so quickly and so aggressively --

MOSCHOS: Yes.

CHURCH: -- on this virus it has only lost one person, although that is one very important person. And then in the United States, we've seen a very different outcome. We are starting to see some encouraging news, though. And certainly, also from Italy and from Spain. But where do you think, when you look at where this stands across the globe, what does that tell you about where this virus is right now?

MOSCHOS: I think the virus is pretty much everywhere. And if we want to prevent this being something that causes havoc in healthcare systems for years to come potentially, we should really collectively as a planet try and stop it under what New Zealand did.

CHURCH: All right. Sterghios Moschos, thank you so much for talking with us. And we look forward to hearing more about your test. Many thanks. I appreciate it.

MOSCHOS: You're very welcome.

CHURCH: Well now to Europe where France has surpassed more than 10,000 coronavirus deaths. The government says more than 1,400 people died on Tuesday. The largest single day increase to date. But the director of public health says the peak is yet to come.

In contrast, Italy has recorded its lowest daily rise in new infections in almost a month. According to the government, there are about 94,000 active cases. However, Italy's coronavirus commissioner warns the country is not yet close to overcoming this pandemic.

For more, CNN contributor Barbie Nadeau is live in Rome. But first, we want to go to France where our Cyril Vanier joins me now from Normandy. Cyril, good to see you.

So, the numbers coming out of France there are a real concern. What's the situation there and what measures are being put in place now?

CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR: Rosemary, I agree with you that they are extremely concerning with the highest single death toll that we have seen since the beginning of the crisis here in France. The health ministry saying we are not past the peak. We haven't even plateaued. Things continue to deteriorate with more patients and more deaths every day.

We are now entering the fourth week of the lockdown. And people are getting restless. They have been at home for three weeks. It's a strict lockdown. And it is getting stricter as we speak. The health ministry has been very clear that we need to redouble, doubled down on our efforts to stay home and increase social distancing.

So, what that means in practice is that, for instance, in places like Paris, it is no longer possible starting today, to go out and exercise between the hours of 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. This, because the authorities simply saw too many people out and about jogging, walking in the streets, especially over the weekend, especially with the weather getting better.

In some places some towns in the north of France, if you actually spit in the street or if you failed to cover your mouth when you cough, that could now get you fined. The mayor of Nice in the south of France has also now made public face masks mandatory in public.

So, you have towns and cities and different parts of the country that are taking their own measures to try and increase and tighten the lockdown where they can.

[03:14:57]

There is, to some extent, a silver lining, which is that, if you look at the number of additional deaths every day, yes, we saw the spike. I beg your pardon -- if you look at the number of additional patients every day, you compare that over the last few days to the few days before, and there might be a flattening of the curve.

But authorities have been reminding everybody, we haven't past the peak yet. We need to double down on the social distancing and on the lockdown.

CHURCH: Indeed. I mean, we're certainly seeing from other countries. We know it has to be done. We just have to see some of these countries do it.

Cyril Vanier, many thanks to you bringing us that update from France. And Barbie, let's go to you. We know of course, we're seeing some encouraging signs coming out of Italy. But it's a cautious optimism, isn't it? What is the latest on that?

BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, you know, we have seen really, really good signs. We have seen signs that this lockdown, this draconian lockdown we've been in now for a month, has shown some results. The authorities are cautioning that it's not the time to let our guard down yet.

You know, everybody is talking about phase two, what that's going to look like. Right now, the lockdown is supposed to end on Monday, the 13th of April, but nobody thinks it will be over then.

But they are looking at starting to open some of the industries, some of the factories, doing widespread testing to try to kickstart the economy again. It will be a good long time though before they let society back out in any sort of normal way.

It will be a long time before their coffee bars and restaurants and all the things that make living in Italy so enjoyable. We're not going to be seeing that for quite some time, they're telling us.

But there is cautious optimism. The numbers are looking good. They are at where they were before the lockdown now and that's very, very encouraging. But there is still a long way to go, Rosemary. People are optimistic, but they are also realistic at this point.

CHURCH: Yes. It's probably a good piece to be. Barbie Nadeau and Cyril Vanier, many thanks to both of you for bringing us to date on the situation.

Well, in Spain, some lockdown restrictions are expected to be lifted Monday. The health minister said they're looking to reopen parts of the economy, while taking measures to avoid another spike in cases.

This, despite the number of new infections and deaths rising for the first time on Tuesday after a week long decline. Johns Hopkins University reports Spain has nearly 142,000 confirmed infections.

Well, the city where this outbreak began, Wuhan, China, lifted its lockdown just hours ago. For more than two months no one has been allowed to leave the city in an effort to contain the virus. Now, anyone deemed healthy or low risk is allowed to travel.

Some businesses have reopened and public transportation, as well as some commercial flights have resumed.

Well, next, we'll head to London. We'll get the latest on the condition of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who just spent a second night in intensive care. We're back in just a moment.

[03:20:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHURCH: Well, Tuesday was the deadliest day for the U.S. since the coronavirus pandemic began. That is according to Johns Hopkins University, which recorded more than 1,900 deaths. The number of confirmed cases in the country is now almost 400,000.

This grim milestone comes as the U.S. president threatens to withhold funding for the World Health Organization, accusing it of mishandling the pandemic.

All right. I want to go now to the United Kingdom. And my colleague Max Foster who is outside the hospital where Prime Minister Boris Johnson spent a second night in intensive care being treated for the coronavirus.

Good to see you, Max. So what information are you getting on Mr. Johnson's condition?

MAX FOSTER, CNN LONDON CORRESPONDENT: Well, we have an informal update. A U.K. junior health minister saying he continues to be stable. That was the news we got last night as well. Although he's received oxygen he's not on a ventilator. Another good sign because the ventilator is obviously the next step in the seriousness of the virus as it develops.

He doesn't have pneumonia. Another good sign. And his condition deteriorated initially, you'll remember after he brought -- he was brought into the hospital behind me on Sunday, more than a week after announcing he tested positive, I think it was 10 days.

Now, while he stabilizes, the rest of the government can focus on who is actually running the country. And it's a murky affair.

Nina Dos Santos, you're over there in Downing Street, take us through some of the issues there coming up against.

NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we'll expect a series of briefings throughout the course of the day, formal and informal ones. And then of course, that coronavirus update at 5 p.m. local time later on this evening.

Dominic Raab, the man standing in for the prime minister on various issues chaired that particular meeting yesterday. And we may well see him again take to the podium to update us on the prime minister's condition.

As you said, people are taking heart from the fact that the prime minister is in a stable condition and does not need the help of mechanical ventilation at this point.

Dominic Raab made it clear that this prime minister is not just a friend. He is a colleague. He is somebody who is deeply affected by coronavirus, but that he will battle this disease as so many people around the country are doing. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DOMINIC RAAB, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: I think it's probably worth just remembering that as will be the case for many people up and down the country, who know someone at work who has fallen ill with coronavirus, it comes as a shock to all of us. He is not just the prime minister. For all of us in cabinet, he is not

just our boss. He is also a colleague and he is also our friend.

So, all of our thoughts and prayers are with the prime minister at this time, with Carrie and with his whole family. And I'm confident he'll pull through, because if there is one thing I know about this prime minister, he is a fighter.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DOS SANTOS: Well, he certainly is a fighter. He delivered a huge resounding election victory for the conservative party after some very turbulent time as he's trying to negotiate Brexit under Theresa May's leadership. That election was hardly fought at the end of last year, and one with more big convincing majority.

But, remember, this is a rather young government. It's a rather young cabinet here. And there is real concern here at this point that the prime minister may end up needing a significant amount of time to recover after his time in intensive care when he gets out of hospital.

And as such, you are starting to hear among the political commentary here, lots of loud voices asking who really is in charge. There are some big decisions that need to be made in the immediate future, Max, one of them of course is how long to continue with this lockdown that's set to be meetings taking place in the days to come about that. Probably next week.

before we get to that point, we've also got the prospect of a long Easter holiday weekend. And the government again having to send out those messages to people through the airwaves whatever way they can, stay at home and try and save lives to prevent this pandemic from spreading further.

One last thing I want to talk about also, Max, is the fact that, remember, in terms of national security as well, if the prime minister is in hospital, he is supposedly in good spirits, supposedly keeping abreast of what's going on and very much in charge according to Dominic Raab.

But it was clear yesterday that Dominic Raab did not have the full instruments of government at his disposal. He is just deputizing as and where necessary. And we're saying, for things like national security that also raise as a big hypothetical question mark about if the prime minister is in hospital, who really has control over the army and so on and so forth. Max?

[03:25:04]

FOSTER: OK. Nina, thank you. We'll look a bit more in-depth into that issue. There are so many questions about who is in charge and when.

Boris Johnson is still officially in charge, but as Nina was saying, that Dominic Raab is picking up many of the responsibilities while he's in there. And one of them is that question about whether or not to renew the isolation period, the lockdown, effectively, but then you have questions about whether or not the U.K. can go to war.

Dominic Raab might be able to make that decision with a cabinet or defend the U.K., at least, but he can't hire and fire ministers, we're told. It's all a very murky affair.

And Nic Robertson has been looking into it.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Dominic Raab, now the U.K.'s de facto decisionmaker offers reassurance about the man he is deputizing for, Boris Johnson. In very good hands in a nearby hospital ICU.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RAAB: Well, the government's business will continue.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTSON: The country, effectively in Raab's hands now, effectively because unlike the United States, the U.K. has no constitutional line of succession, no codified Constitution.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That Boris Johnson is elected as the leader of the conservative and unionist party.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTSON: The country doesn't elect a leader. It elects a party, who picked their leader. Meaning, it's the party's leader, Boris Johnson, who designates who takes his place. Months ago, when drawing up his cabinet, Johnson gave the nod to Raab as likely successor when he appointed him first secretary of state as well as foreign secretary.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I just want to say one crucial thing, one quick thing to everybody thinking about --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTSON: Despite being increasingly ill over the past few days, Downing Street has insisted Johnson was running the country. Only finally handing some leadership powers to Raab before going into ICU.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL GOVE, CHANCELLOR OF THE DUCHY OF LANCASTER: The prime minister designated Dominic to be, the Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab as first secretary of state. That means that Dominic takes on the responsibilities of chairing the various meetings that the prime minister would have chaired. But we're all working together to implement the plan that the prime minister set out. (END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTSON: Beyond Raab, no steps of succession are guaranteed, the expectation, however, is that after Raab, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, then the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, then Michael Gove, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, would step up as needed.

For now, though, the plan clear according to Raab. The cabinet to work together following the prime minister's instructions.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RAAB: I've total confidence in the arrangements that the prime minister has put in place so that I can discharge the responsibility for him, deputizing for him while he is out of action. Obviously, we hope that will be for a very limited period of time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTSON: Johnson is not the first to hand over powers. Churchill did in 1953, reluctantly following a stroke. He managed to keep secret for a while. Margaret Thatcher, for hand surgery. John Major for flu. Tony Blair for heart surgery. All relinquished decision-making powers, briefly, and conventionally. Designating replacements who duly stood aside on their return.

Precisely when Johnson returns remains an open question. Best-case scenario according to doctors working on COVID, but not brief on Johnson's symptoms, could be a week, perhaps two, depending on his recovery. Until then, officials here insist the government can cope with any eventuality.

Nic Robertson, CNN, London.

FOSTER: What we keep hearing from political sources, Rosemary, is that the cabinet will make joint decisions. They'll do joint responsibility, effectively, but we've seen how in the past if that goes on for too long, divisions occur in this vacuum of leadership that we currently got in the U.K.

But for now, it looks like a unified order, at least.

CHURCH: Indeed, but very difficult times for the nation right now. Max Foster, we'll talk with you again very soon. I appreciate it.

Well, as the pandemic grows worse in the United States, we will tell you about a new vaccine trial that just gotten underway and how soon it could start helping people.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[03:30:00]

ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to CNN Newsroom. A reminder of our top story. The U.S. has confirmed a high number of new deaths from the coronavirus pandemic. According to Johns Hopkins University, more than 1900 fatalities were reported on Tuesday alone. Many of them came from New York City, where the daily death toll crossed 800 on Tuesday. Still, New York's governor says the number of hospitalizations is reaching a plateau. But he is still urging people to stay indoors in order to slow the spread of the virus.

In the U.S., African Americans are dying at a much higher rate from covid-19 than other groups. President Trump calls it a real problem and a tremendous challenge. Dr. Anthony Fauci says the virus is shining a bright light on how unacceptable the disparity is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALERGY AND INFECTOUS DISEASE: When you look at the predisposing conditions that lead to a bad outcome with coronavirus, the things that get people into ICUs that require intubation and often lead to death, they are just those very core mobility's that are unfortunately disproportionately prevalent in the African American population. So we are very concerned about that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: And President Trump says his administration will release more data over the next few days to better understand how the virus is impacting African Americans. CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta meantime takes a closer look at possible reasons the community is at higher risk.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: In the beginning, covid-19 was far away and it did not even have a name.

DR. CAMARA JONES, FMR. PRESIDENT, AMERICAN PUBLIC HEALTH ASSOCIATION: It is coming over to our shores from people who traveled.

GUPTA: But once it got a foothold in the United States, it's true self was revealed.

JONES: Once people got infected, because of their diabetes and heart disease and the like, they would get it more severely, and be at higher risk of dying.

GUPTA: Doctor Camara Jones is past president of the American Public Health Association.

I was really struck Dr. Jones, we are both doctors. And as I was hearing the story, it sounded just all of the sudden tragically familiar. Is this a familiar story?

JONES: What we see is so familiar because the conditions of our lives haven't changed significantly. And so what is happening is that we are carrying the burden of these limited opportunities in our bodies, and it shows up as diabetes, the heart disease, the hypertension, even in terms of you know, immune compromised, and all of that. GUPTA: Already we are hearing from some officials that blacks have

been disproportionately hit by the outbreak. Early data shows that in Michigan, where I grew up, 14 percent of the population is black, though they make up 41 percent of coronavirus deaths. In Illinois, 15 percent identify as African American, but they make up 42 percent of deaths. Louisiana's population is 32 percent black, which accounts for about 70 percent of coronavirus deaths. But here is the problem, according to Dr. Jones. As inadequate as testing has been for the country, the problem is even worse for African Americans.

[03:35:00]

JONES: Our whole national testing strategy has started out as a clinical strategy, not a public health strategy. That of course, has disadvantaged the whole nation in terms of knowing who is infected, and I am told also that it has been harder for many people of color to get the tests, just because of where testing stations have been located.

GUPTA: While blacks are less likely to be tested, less likely to be treated, they are more likely to be on the front line. Essential workers, upon whom we all depend.

JASON HARGROVE, DETROIT DRIVER: We are out here as public workers, doing our job, trying to make an honest living, to take care of our families.

GUPTA: Detroit driver Jason Hargrove posted this online on March 21st.

JONES: It's not as easy for them to shelter in place. And it's not as easy because they might have front-facing jobs like health home aid, or bus drivers, or postal workers, or working at Amazon and the like.

HARGROVE: For you to get on the bus and stand on the bus and cough several times without covering your mouth and you know that we are in the middle of a pandemic that lets me know that some folks don't care.

GUPTA: Four days later, Hargrove, who was 50 years old, became ill. He died last Wednesday. It's still unclear how he got covid-19.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHURCH: Dr. Sanjay Gupta with that report. Well, a second coronavirus vaccine trial has begun in the United States. Biotech Company on Inovio dosed its first subject on Monday at the University of Pennsylvania. The first phase of the trial is meant to establish that the vaccine is safe. But proving it is effective in preventing coronavirus infections will take many more months. The first phase of the trial is expected to be completed by late this summer.

Well, Dr. Sarah Hardison, joins me now from Cambridge. She is the Head of Regulatory and at Clarivate Analytics. Thank you so much for talking with us.

DR. SARAH HARDISON, HEAD OF REGULATORY AND AT CLARIVATE ANALYTICS: It is a pleasure to be here.

CHURCH: So, news of a second coronavirus vaccine being trial in the U.S. is exactly what everyone wants to hear? We need some hope. We have been told a vaccine will take 12 to 18 months. Can you see any situation where this could happen sooner than that timeframe?

HARDISON: Well, the regulatory agencies, we are talking about the FDA with regards to the Inovio trial that you are talking about, the agencies is definitely want to make sure that a new vaccine is safe and effective before they released it to the general population. That's the role of the agency in society. And that will their goal.

So we will have to make sure that it is safe, like you mentioned. It is in phase one trials right now. Those trials are geared towards checking safety. Phase two trials will look at those escalations and those finding. And phase three trials will look at the pivotal trials that will look at whether or not it is effective.

CHURCH: Right.

HARDISON: There is a precedent -- there is a precedent for using drugs --

(TECHNICAL PROBLEM)

I could hear you, OK?

CHURCH: Please, keep going. Yes.

HARDISON: OK. So, there is a historical precedent for releasing drugs or approving drugs out of phase two, if they show that they are highly effective. We've seen this in oncology cases. Where you have a real -- a patient population with a real critical need. And I think everyone will likely that we have real critical need. And so, there is a precedent out of phase two to approve drugs and get them out there more quickly.

CHURCH: I think a lot of people would be eager to hear that. And Dr., while we await a vaccine or a viable treatment at least, our only weapon appears to be social distancing and good hand hygiene. And there is evidence that that is starting to work. How important is it that we continue doing all of that, even when we see a flattening of that curve? And will it need to become a part of normal life for maybe a long time ahead of us?

HARDISON: Absolutely. While we wait on a vaccine, which is a really critical piece to all of this, there are drugs that are in development that can help treat patients. But really, to prevent the spread of the infection, we need a vaccine. A lot of people are talking recently about unprotected antibodies and people who make antibodies. But we don't know what kind of long term protection from those antibodies will afford you or even how quickly the virus might mutate.

[03:40:09]

We know that influenza mutates. But we have to have a different vaccine for it every year. And for coronavirus, we know that it mutates at a slower rate. But we are not exactly sure how quickly it mutates and will it look differently in winter. So, even if you had been exposed to it now and you have protected antibodies against it, that doesn't necessarily mean that later down the road you will still be protected.

ROMANS: Right.

HARDISON: So, it will be really important to shelter in place until we are absolutely sure that we know that there is enough virus that has cleared the general population that it is safe to emerge again. So, I keep saying that we all need to do this, keep having fortitude and keep having (inaudible).

CHURCH: I think, we've all learned a lot of lesson with this and I do want to ask you, what do deregulatory authorities need to be doing to speed up access to covid-19 testing? Antibody testing that you mentioned. Anti-viral and antibody treatments and ultimately the vaccine. Because that whole process of approving these things, certainly we've seen in the United States, it's a very slow, it's encumbered by a lot of bureaucratic hurdles.

HARDISON: The FDA has enacted a number of different policies to accelerate. They have this (inaudible), which is the coronavirus therapeutic acceleration plan that they've launched last week. And so, that includes a number of different measures that will allow trials to be enacted more quickly. They are engaging senior level people in the organization to review trial applications and get advice on how to collect that efficacy data. That's going to be so critical to get vaccines and drugs out there.

They have given priority to new trials that exist around covid. And they are working very closely with people who are developing drugs and vaccines to create the trial design that willing to generate that efficacy data quicker. So, things like adaptive trial design where you can change their -- you can start with five different vaccines and whittle it down to the most effective one very quickly. They are being more -- I'll say generous with inclusion and exclusion of criteria. So, that is which patients are eligible to participate. So, they are really doing all the things that they can do to open up the trial process to as many patients as they can and to accelerate it as quickly as they can while also making sure that it is safe and effective.

It's very important and I think a lot of people think about regulatory agencies being very concerned with safety and only concern with safety. And certainly, they're concerned with safety but it's also very important to make sure that the vaccine is effective. If it is only partially effective, then we still have a problem.

CHURCH: Absolutely. Thank you so much for explaining that all to us. Dr. Sarah Hardison. We appreciate chatting with you. Thank you.

HARDISON: Thank you so much. It is great to be here. And I think at this point in time, it's really important to educate the public on the science, so that everyone can be data driven and objective on what they talk about. So, thank you for having me.

CHURCH: It is very important. Thank you so very much. And thank you for all you do, as well.

Well, the acting U.S. Navy secretary resigned on Tuesday, a day after leaked audio revealed he called an ousted commander of an aircraft carrier stupid. CNN's Barbara Starr has our report.

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: After days of controversy, the Acting Navy Secretary Tom Modly finally resigned. He gave the Secretary of Defense his resignation letter and late in the day issued a memo to the entire U.S. Navy apologizing, saying he took full responsibility for his actions. Modly's problems have been ongoing for days. It began when he relieved to the captain of the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt of duty, essentially fired him, after the captain Brett Crozier issued a memo that was extensive and far and wide. That Captain Brett Crozier, issued an extensive memo that went foreign wide, not clear if it was ever meant to be public, but criticizing and worried about the Navy's effort to stem coronavirus on board his carrier.

He wanted the Navy to act much more quickly. Modly now departed the fired Crozier saying that the information never should have gotten out. And then when out of the ship, which is in Guam, yesterday, gave a speech on board and called that now departed now fired captain naive and stupid. Well, by the time he got back to -- from Guam to the U.S. late last night, he had to present himself to the Secretary of Defense who made it clear this just really wasn't going to be acceptable.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper letting it be known, he did not find Modly's comments appropriate or respectful. So he accepted his resignation and now another official has been put in as the acting secretary of the Navy. But, of course the bottom line is, what about the more than 4,000 sailors on board that ship?

[03:45:18]

And the effort to get everybody healthy and make sure they treat those who do have a coronavirus. Well, so far, about 230 troops have tested positive. That's up 57 cases in just one day. The Navy insists none of them are severe. None of them have been hospitalized. But what they have to do now is get as many troops off the ship, get treatment, isolation for the ones who have the virus, isolate the ones who are still healthy, so they can put them back on the ship and work towards getting that ship back out to sea. Barbara Starr, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHURCH: And you are with CNN. Next, we ask, is it possible to curve the coronavirus without social distancing? A crucial question now as an outbreak looms for one of Asia's largest slums. We are back in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHURCH: France is one of the latest country reporting severe financial fallout from the coronavirus. The countries central banks as the economy shrank by 6 percent in the first quarter. France is under a nationwide lockdown to battle the virus. The country has more than 110,000 infections and more than 10,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

And one of Asia's largest slums is racing to stop the spread of the coronavirus after an outbreak in India's Dharavi in Mumbai, home to around 1 million people. Its population density is almost 30 times that of New York. Self-isolation and social distancing are not options in efforts to curb the pandemic. So, what measures are being put in place?

CNN's Vedika Sud joins us now live from New Delhi. And this is the problem for these slum areas. It is impossible to put in place those sorts of social distancing. So what options are available?

VEDIKA SUD, CNN PRODUCER: In fact, Rosemary, one of the biggest challenges that the Indian authorities are facing at the moment. There are about nine cases that have emerged from the Dharavi slums in the last week itself. Now, Indian authorities are making sure that they are trying to contain the spread of the coronavirus in this area. They have sealed off a lot of these localities, they've also put over 350 homes under quarantine. So, they are trying to make sure that they don't let this spread. There's also sports ground that has been done into quarantine facility or any other cases that come up in the near future. As far as social distancing is concerned, well, really it is not an option for and slum areas in India and here is why.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

[03:50:05]

SUD: Dharavi in Mumbai is one of Asia's largest slums, with around 1 million residents, it has a population density almost 30 times greater than New York. Now with confirmed cases of coronavirus including a death in the last week, authorities are worried. If not contained in time, Dharavi could turn into a breeding ground for the virus.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We really need to see how can we isolate these individuals and put them into an institutional base quarantine because they cannot quarantine themselves at home. If you have a number of people living in one room and it is not possible for them to have home quarantine or self-quarantine.

SUD: Ever since the announcement of the three week lockdown, most residents who depend on daily wages have lost their jobs. This cubes you see on the roads are for food handed out to the poor by officials, politicians or volunteers. Back home in the small shanties, the situation is no better. With one public toilet for 1440 people, social distancing is not an option.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the industry workers are on a daily basis mostly. Most of the people are not getting food (inaudible).

SUD: The fear of contracting coronavirus is also the biggest concern for people living in slums in New Delhi. Grandmother (inaudible) collects waste from garbage sheets to support her family of nine. But now, out of work, she wonders what will kill her first.

Earlier, we were dying from the coronavirus says (inaudible). Now we will die from hunger. Where do we go to earn a living?

Detah, who makes a living on the rough streets woman says she is not getting even to square meals. What will we do, she asks?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SUD: Well, that is the biggest concern right now is in the slums or just to give you the latest from India, as well, we are in the third and final week of the nationwide lockdown that was called by the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, all eyes now will be on when this lockdown, whether or not this lockdown is extended or phased out on the 15th of April. Rosemary?

CHURCH: All right. Many thanks to Vedika Sud, bringing us that report from New Delhi. We appreciate it. While the number of reported coronavirus cases is lower in the Middle East and Africa, long running conflict economic, political, and humanitarian crisis are crippling both regions ability to fight the virus. For the latest, CNN's Arwa Damon sent us a report from Istanbul. But first to David McKenzie in Johannesburg.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Here in South Africa, authorities are taking a very strict view of the lockdown. More than 17,000 people have been arrested during this time for defying lockdown orders. According to South Africa's police minister, the neighboring Zimbabwe, more than 2,000 people had been arrested. Many of them have been fined, according to state media there.

But in Uganda, in East Africa, at least 20 members of the LGBT community were arrested and then placed in prison because the authorities said they were defying public gathering bans. Human rights groups have said that civil liberties here in Africa and elsewhere should not be impinged because of the fight against the virus.

And just over the last week, you've seen iconic cities in Africa like Johannesburg and Nairobi, where they have stopped travelers from coming in and out and even Lagos, the center of the economy in West Africa, really shut down and brought to a standstill. Governments will be hoping that this is enough to stop the virus from spreading. David McKenzie, CNN, Johannesburg.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There may be a positive trend for the Middle East hardest hit country Iran with the WHO is saying they are observing a flattening off of the number of coronavirus cases being reported there. And President Rouhani has told the population that some of them may be able to return to what is being described as low risk economic activity, pledging a billion dollars to further stave off the spread of covid-19.

Now the region's other nation that is in the global top 10 is Turkey. And the government is trying to reassure the population that they have the situation under control. The minister of health is saying that ICUs are out about 62 percent capacity and that under 50 percent of hospital beds are currently occupied.

Plus, the government is planning on turning to decommissioned airports in the Istanbul area, this being the hardest hit city into hospitals. But there is quite a bit of criticism here that the government has not implemented a full lockdown. Yes, businesses are closed. Some of them, public spaces are off limits. But you are only under a government mandated lockdown if you are under the age of 20 or over the age of 65.

Masks have now been made mandatory in places that could potentially be crowded such as the supermarket. And masks are now free. Even pharmacies are not allowed to sell them. But the population here is very worried about what direction this country is going to be going in, especially if stricter measures are not put in place. Arwa Damon, CNN, Istanbul.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[03:55:18]

CHURCH: Well, the coronavirus has led many people in quarantine to take things into their own hands, including their personal grooming. We will take a look at how they are meeting that challenge. That is next on CNN Newsroom.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHURCH: Well, with all the lockdowns, quarantines, self-isolation, stay-at-home orders, one thing is clear. People have way too much time on their hands. Here is Jeanne Moos.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is pretty obvious everyone has too much quaran-time on their hands. Even someone as famous as Jack Black seems to be losing his equilibrium, not to mention his hat. If you cannot entertain yourself let's say a casino, you might as well make- your-own slot on TikTok.

And if you can't go to the gym, squirt dishwashing liquid, add water, make your own treadmill. Have the dog take the kid out for a spin. And dad can use cabinet doors to perform a drum solo. Home quarantine videos have become a staple of late night. This, for instance, was a recreation of a scene from home alone.

Some folks are decking more than the halls, the (inaudible) museum in L.A. asked people to recreate famous paintings. A reclining nude gave rise to a reclining lab. Salvatore dollies melting timepieces led to limp lunch meat. Nothing limp about this performance by a family in the U.K. They are rendition of Les Mis included and unfurled jacket flag, and many existential questions provoked by quarantine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do I change my underwear?

MOOS: Or better yet, change your species. This little video has been galloping around the globe, spawning imitators like this dad and his daughter. It seems likely that people will keep horsing around until it is time to dismount and get back to work. Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHURCH: Very, very clever. Thanks so much for joining us. I'm Rosemary Church. CNN Newsroom continues right after this.

For now, we leave you with images of the super moon rising behind the iconic Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the tallest building in the world.

END