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6.6. Million Americans Filed Jobless Claims Last Week; CNN: Trump Aides Talking Plans To Reopen Economy As Soon As May; Coronavirus Deaths Projected To Peak Today In Michigan; Macron To Address Public As Coronavirus Deaths Surge; Italian PM: Could Be "End Of Europe" If EU Doesn't Act. Aired 12:30-1p ET

Aired April 9, 2020 - 12:30   ET




JOHN KING, CNN HOST: New numbers out from the government this morning confirms what most of you already know that coronavirus is putting the American economy in a freefall. Look at these numbers from the Labor Department on the latest weekly jobless claims, showing more than 6 million Americans, more than 6 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits just last week. That on top of 6 million the week before, 3 million the week before that.

Joining me now, CNN Business Anchor Julia Chatterley. Julia, there are a lot of crises you can prepare for in life. This one stunning, unprecedented, historic. I don't know the right word.

JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN BUSINESS ANCHOR, "FIRST MOVE": We lost words. There aren't enough to describe what we're seeing. It's ugly and it's deliberate. Remember, this is the increasing price we're paying for the economic shutdown that we're seeing all over the country. As we just heard, Governor Cuomo say this is more devastating for the New York economy than September the 11th.

The key difference here is this is happening nationwide. We've got now 46 out of 50 states reporting and jumping claims. And it's happening so fast just in the space of three weeks. One in 10 workers filing for unemployment benefits now. As you and I keep discussing, I mean, look at that spike there. As you and I keep discussing, the support is coming, the extended unemployment benefits, the loans to small businesses to try and stem the job losses. But the challenges, the overwhelming challenge of the numbers here is delaying that cash getting to people.

I spoke to one of President Obama's economic advisors, Professor Jason Furman this morning and he said, two very important things. He said the first, he hopes that around half of these people have just been furloughed. So if we can kick start the economy, those jobs will come back. But on the downside, he said, he thinks it will take five years to get back to where we started. Five years, John, that I think science aside because we can't fight the science is the strongest argument I can give Congress for acting now to provide more aid.

KING: Let's assess the numbers before you starting that long-term forecast.


KING: Julia Chatterley in New York, very much appreciate your insights as sober as some of them are.

Let's continue the conversation now with what Washington can do to try to help how the federal government is responding and canned response. CNN's Lauren Fox joins us, also Josh Dawsey from "The Washington Post" White House reporter. Josh, I want to start with you and I want to start by asking you to listen to the Secretary of Treasury here who, you know, the President is an optimist. You were the first to report the President is creating this new second task force to look just at the economic question here. Listen to the Treasury Secretary offer his diagnosis, if you will.



JIM CRAMER, HOST, CNBC "MAD MONEY": There's a possibility, if the doctors let us that we could be open for business in the month of May.

STEVEN MNUCHIN, TREASURY SECRETARY: I do, Jim. I think as soon as the President feels comfortable with the medical issues, we are making everything necessary that American companies and American workers can be open for business.


KING: The question, Josh, is when. Jim Cramer trying to push for May. I think Dr. Fauci would say, not so fast. So where are they behind the scenes at the White House?

JOSH DAWSEY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: So the goal is to create this economic task force, John. So by April 30th, the President can reopen large parts of the country and he wants to reopen, you know, different states, different parts of other states that bring together kind of a comprehensive plan of poises. They think they can reopen by April 30th.

And this taskforce it's made up of private business leaders and White House aides led by Mark Meadows, has a plan right now, is going to start meeting there soon to talk about how to do this. Now, obviously, if you have a surge in cases or you had more hotspots that could derail the plans, but the President is agitating almost nonstop, according to our sources to reopen the country and this new task force is designed to try and expedite that.

KING: And Lauren, one of the bigger questions is what is there, what is left when you get to the point that you can reopen whether it's a big reopening, whether it's a gradual or regional reopening? And part of that calculation is how much money is Congress at the administration's request willing to pump in? They already think they need $250 billion more for a multibillion dollar small business plan that was already enacted. Partisan hang up on that one, right? LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Exactly. This morning, Majority Leader McConnell went to the floor, he asked for unanimous consent on to try to get that $251 billion, a surging money for that small business loan program that started less than a week ago now but it's already seeing large volumes of applications but he was unable to do that. Democrats want to see more provisions included in any kind of increase in funding. They want more money for state and local governments. They want more money for hospitals, more money for individuals on food stamps.

But McConnell's whole point this morning was this small business loan program is the lifeblood of the economy. It is what is going to keep people from going on unemployment insurance. We need to boost this money now. It's the only program that's actually been enacted at this point. Other programs are still getting off the ground.

He said Democrats just need to wait. And remember, lawmakers aren't in Washington right now, which means when they go to the floor, they have to have that unanimous consent. We just didn't have it this morning.

KING: And Josh, as you know -- because you cover the Trump White House very well -- the President gets a lot of his ideas, sometimes a lot of his rhetorical suggestions, if you will, from his friends at Fox News, I will say you don't have to weigh in. Some of those are not very helpful at times. But in the case of this economic panel, a second task force to focus on the economy.

I just want to put up a tweet Dana Perino, the former George W. Bush White House Press Secretary now works in Fox News. She tweeted the other day, you know what, maybe we need a second task force to just look at the economic questions. While the other guys deal with the urgent public health challenge before you and the President retweets, "Good idea, Dana". Good idea that she gave him or good idea that he already had and they were just on the same page?

DAWSEY: Well, folks in the White House -- this idea had been percolating for some time and then Dana obviously promoted it and the President amplify that. And the President this week, according to our reporting, has been more and more fixated on getting this set up. The President feels that a lot of the discussion so far has come from Dr. Birx and Dr. Fauci and they've pointed out, you know, the public health concerns and they've shown the charts and the graphs and talked about how contagious this is and how difficult this disease is. But he feels that the economic problems are not getting enough attention and that he needs to build some momentum to reopen the government.

Now, what you can imagine are probably gladiator style fights coming forward in the White House in the next few weeks between the public health professionals and economic professionals on what can be reopened, what's safe. And the concern you hear from some folks, John, is that you reopen the government and then all of a sudden you reopen the economy. And you have a second surge in cases where the disease is still spreading and, you know, more people are out potentially contracting it. So there's a lot of thorny discussions ahead I think in the task force, in the Oval Office in the next couple of week. KING: Next couple of weeks, three weeks until the end of the month when those current guidelines would lapse, if not extended, can be a fascinating time ahead of us on both the healthcare and the economic front. Josh Dawsey, Lauren Fox, appreciate the reporting and insights today.

Coming up for us, back to this big healthcare challenge. The number of deaths in Hartford, Michigan projected to peak today. We'll go live to Detroit, next.



KING: State of Michigan now struggling to deal with a rising number of coronavirus cases. The state now has the third number of deaths and infections in the United States. CNN's Ryan Young is in Detroit. Ryan, what's the latest says with the state there. The numbers are just staggering.

RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, John, honestly the numbers are staggering. And when you say them out loud, they sort of hit you. We're almost talking about 959 people have died from the coronavirus in this state. And to give you an idea of how even the city of Detroit is struggling with this, there are 1,400 ventilators that are in use right now in the state, 1,200 are being used in the city. The data is getting better because the state is getting better at putting out some more information.


In fact, the city of Detroit just started reporting things by race that was yesterday. But something that we wanted to show you, there's one hospital that's sort of struggling a little more than the others in this area. Sinai-Grace, I will show you this video. This was video taken by some of the nurses there on Sunday. What we're told is they were upset with the staffing numbers that were there, they wanted more staff to be there. And in fact, they had to sit in because they wanted more staff. Some decided to walk out.

We've learned from physicians and folks who are inside that building that apparently there have been people who've died in the hallways there. Now the hospital was pushed back and said they're doing everything they can, but obviously some of the healthcare workers there are stressed and they are upset about the levels that people are being taken care of.

Here at the TCF Center, which I'm standing in front of, there's a 970 bed facility that's going to come online tomorrow. We're told they're going to surge up using 25 to see if they can start alleviating some of the hospitals around this area.

And to give you another punch in the gut here. There were so many workers who are in the -- on the front lines, EMS, police officers, firefighters who could not go to work because they were scared they had COVID-19. Abbott's fast (ph) testing labs, this was the first place in the country started using them. We've now been told 851 tests have been done, about 100 tested positive so all those other workers were able to go back to work. John?

KING: Ryan Young for us in Detroit. Ryan, take care of yourself. It's both amazing and depressing when you see these makeshift hospitals setup amazing that people rushed to help their neighbors, depressing that they are so needed. Ryan, thanks so much.

Up next, we check in around the world how it's dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.



KING: Several important coronavirus developments around the world today. Canada announcing it lost a record 1 million jobs in March because of its coronavirus shutdown. The British government now agreeing to use its emergency borrowing powers in an effort to help cushion the economic blow. Spain's Prime Minister sees progress in his country's latest case number saying quote, the fire starts to come under control.

The latest global numbers on the right of your screen there. The images often tell us much more than those numbers. Faces covered with masks, essential workers wearing personal protective equipment. And science to remind people, please just stay home. Our international correspondents help us take a closer look.


CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Here in London at St. Thomas's hospital just behind me, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is said to be making steady progress. His condition apparently is improving after several nights in the ICU. He is apparently now sitting up in bed. He is having conversations with his doctors. All of this very comforting to people across the U.K. on all sides of the political spectrum.

Because this is a key moment not just because this is a crisis with more than 7,000 people in this country killed, but also because Monday is a big day. It will be three day -- three weeks rather since the lockdown was introduced. And at that point, we expect to hear some news on what the future plan is. Whether the lockdown will continue, whether it might be lifted, all indications that we're hearing from a number of different ministers are that they expect that lockdown to be extended probably until the end of the month. But we do know that the government is having a meeting today an emergency so called Cobra meeting to determine just that.

Clarissa Ward, CNN, London.

CYRIL VANIER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Here in France, we are in the eye of the storm, especially in the capital region of Paris. That means there is a high daily death toll and has been for the last week, just under 500 to 600 hospital deaths a day. Now some people look at those numbers and say, well, maybe we're at the peak.

But the government has actually caution that is starting to look more like a plateau, that means a sustained period of high daily hospital death tolls that are putting the French health system under immense stress. It hasn't been under this much duress since World War II. And that is why the stay-at-home order, the national stay-at-home order has already been extended beyond mid April. It is likely to be several weeks but we don't know exactly how long. The French President Emmanuel Macron is set to address the nation and outline his plan going forward. That will happen on Monday.

Cyril Vanier, outside Paris.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Here in Italy, another grim milestone. More than 100 doctors have died due to coronavirus as the death toll approaches 18,000. The growth in overall numbers of new cases and deaths is slowing but the nationwide lockdown now more than a month old and due to expire on April 13th, is likely to be extended.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte meanwhile, is warning that the health crisis is putting unprecedented strain on the European Union, which despite a 16-hour video conference between his finance ministers failed to agree on an economic rescue package worth more than half a trillion dollars.


Conte warned that the lack of solidarity in the COVID-19 crisis, a crisis the worst Europe has seen since the Second World War threatens the very idea of European unity.

Ben Wedeman, CNN, Rome.


KING: Up next, a stunning number that will tell you just why the Treasury Secretary today will present to the President the plan to bail out the airline industry.


KING: Before we leave you this hour, an eye-popping number from the airline industry is it takes a pummeling from the coronavirus pandemic. The number of people travelling by plane down by about 96 percent. A major industry group says U.S. airlines currently have about 30 percent at U.S. fleet sitting idle. The President will get briefed today on airline bailout plan.

Thanks for joining us today, we'll see you back here tomorrow. Anderson Cooper picks up our coverage right now.