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WTO Says Global Trade to Fall by at Least 13 Percent in 2020; OPEC and Russia to Debate Oil Price War in Emergency Meeting; Macron to Address Public as Virus Deaths Surge; COVID-19 Causing Disruption in Food Supply; Bernie Sanders Drops Out, Clearing Joe Biden's Path; Opera Star Andrea Bocelli Performing Live on Easter. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired April 9, 2020 - 04:30   ET



ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back, everyone.

The coronavirus has been hammering the global economy for months now, and the damage is expected to continue throughout the year. The World Trade Organization now predicts that the global trade will fall by 13 percent in 2020 and perhaps by as much as 32 percent with North American and Asian exports hit the hardest. CNN's John Defterios is live in Abu Dhabi with the details. The joins us now, good to see you, John. So, the W.T.O. warning of a massive plunge on global trade. How might this play out?

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN BUSINESS EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Well, looking for the best analogy here, Rosemary, I think it's almost like a boxing match. We're in the early rounds of it. And it could get much worse before it gets better. Because the developing world hasn't been hit yet. We could have a return of the virus in the latter half of 2020, perhaps in the fourth quarter.

Donald Trump makes the point that there is pent up demand. That we cannot overlook the fact that salary destruction is going to be severe and it's eating away at savings at the same time.

So let's see what the W.T.O. is suggesting. You have line here showing the trend over the last 10 years. Decent growth every year and then you have the green line here, a drop of 13 percent. That matches what we saw during the financial crisis. And then you have the severe drop in the red line, which matches what we saw in the great depression if not worse.

Now I'm not worried about liquidity, the banking systems operating unlike ten years ago, $5 trillion put into the G20 here. However, I am very worried about the developing world. Because this pandemic is slowly hitting South Africa. It's hitting some major economies in Southeast Asia, like Indonesia and the Philippines and its moving to Latin America. They were the drivers of growth for the last ten years, Rosemary. So the global recession that's starting to take hold now is going to hit the developing world which has been growing 4, 5, 6 percent over the last 20 years as a matter of fact. CHURCH: Yes, that is a really big concern. And, John, the pandemic has

also caused a drop in demand for oil. But Russia and OPEC will meet on Thursday. What's the likely outcome of that meeting?

DEFTERIOS: Well, I think it's the clash of oil and money, if you will, Rosemary. We have three major players with the big three producers represented by Donald Trump in the states, Mohammad bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia and Vladimir Putin of Russia. Saudi Arabia and Russia were fighting a month ago at the OPEC meeting in Vienna. Because they wanted to cut production on one side -- that was Saudi Arabia. Russia resisted that attempt now. They see more eye to eye after the pressure from Donald Trump saying we need to cut at least 10 million barrels a day.

In fact, going into the meeting that's going to happen in about six hours' time in Vienna with the OPEC alliance of 23 producers, another dozen from outside their alliance like the U.S. and Norway, the U.K. and Brazil, for example. We see prices rising. The targets will take 10 million barrels a day. The sticking point here, Donald Trump is the one that wanted the cuts to take place. Putting pressure on Saudi Arabia to do so. Congressional pressure on Saudi Arabia to make sure this happens.

Now Russia and Saudi Arabia are saying to the United States and the other non-OPEC players, what is firm that you can put on the table? You can't put the onus only on OPEC. So OPEC gets criticism, prices go up above $70 a barrel. They get pressure on the price war of $20 a barrel -- because that puts pressure on U.S. shale producers. Is there a Goldilocks price in between? That's what they're trying to achieve in Vienna today and Aa the G20 energy summit that's taking place on Friday -- Rosemary.

CHURCH: We'll be watching to see what happens Thursday. Many thanks to you, John Defterios, joining us live from Abu Dhabi.

Well, in France President Emmanuel Macron will make a televised address Monday. And a nationwide lockdown is expected to be extended beyond April 15th. The government is reporting 562 people died Wednesday but warned that because of a lack of information from elderly care facilities, the number is likely much higher. CNN's Cyril Vanier joins me now live from Normandy. Good to see you, Cyril. Let's talk about these numbers and the latest on how France is dealing with this.

CYRIL VANIER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Rosemary. The numbers are a little hard to read day to day just because of the difficulty in tallying exact numbers. And some of them there's a lag and how they come back up to the central government from, for instance, nursing homes. So I think what's more useful is to look at them on -- look at the last several days and the lessons there are this.

Number one, according to the head of the scientific council who advises the President and the government, he believes the worst of the crisis, is the peak, if you will, is over in the eastern part of France.


That's number one. And that was the first and hardest hit part of the country.

He believes we are in the eye of the storm in the Paris region, which is currently the hardest hit part of the country. However, everybody's desperately looking for a peak, for any kind of encouraging sign as to whether things might be trending down, right, in the right direction. And the government said yesterday, look, it's probably going to be a plateau more than a peak and we're probably there now.

The French health system hasn't been under this much duress since World War II. So everybody is bracing themselves. The number of deaths in hospitals yesterday was roughly equivalent to that of the previous few days.

What we are missing is the number of deaths in nursing homes. Because, Rosemary, that is a crisis within the crisis. These are elderly, sick people and that means they are particularly vulnerable. And those nursing homes that have been hit by the virus have unfortunately paid a very high price in terms of human lives.

I was struck and hit, Rosemary, by the story of nurses who say that they say good-bye one evening to a patient, a resident whom they believe is virus free only to learn a few hours later that that patient has actually died of the virus. That's how quickly the virus can kill in those environments.

CHURCH: Yes, there are some horrible stories. Just so heartbreaking. Cyril Vanier bringing us the very latest from Normandy, France. Appreciate that.

Well, as countries continue to shut their boarders, getting food to those most in need is becoming challenging. The World Food Program now warns that the pandemic has the potential to cause mass famine in the world's most vulnerable regions.

Fred Pleitgen joins us now live from Berlin for more on the issue. And, Fred, this is a real concern. Just what is the situation now and how extensive could this be?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Rosemary. Well, it's a real concern. It certainly is a global concern as well, and one of the things, of course, that we are hearing is that the coronavirus is now more and more seeping into the developing world as well. Where you do have a lot of countries that have big problems providing food security for their citizens. It's a huge problem there. But it's also a problem in places like Europe providing food and making sure that it gets to the places back it needs to go as the corona pandemic continues. Here's what we learned.


PLEITGEN (voice-over): Easter time is asparagus time in Germany, but in the country's famous Brandenburg asparagus region, there is fear the harvest could be in danger. Not from weather or pests, but from the novel coronavirus.

JOSEF JAKOBS, ASPARAGUS FARMER: If you have to shut down the company, the whole company would go down, of course and therefore we are very careful.

PLEITGEN: Josef Jakobs, a lifelong asparagus farmer is very careful to make sure his workers, mostly from Romania don't come down with COVID- 19. Fewer are allowed on the field at once to adhere to social distancing rules and each laborer gets driven to his or her workplace separately rather than by large buses.

But many agricultural firms around Europe are having trouble even getting workers now that most borders between countries have been closed due to the pandemic. In Germany, farmers have to organize flights to get the people they need for the harvest.

JAKOBS: If we don't get enough workers inside Germany then we can't produce everything and some fields will lay down and that would, if the production is smaller, then the prices will get higher, of course.

PLEITGEN: Rising prices are a problem in places like Europe and the U.S. But in areas suffering from severe food shortages like parts of sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East disruptions in food supply could lead to mass starvation, the World Food Program said.

BETTINA LUESCHER, SPOKESWOMAN, WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME: What we are seeing is just a crisis on top of a crisis. Look, the thing that keeps me up at night is whether, and how we continue to feed some 87 million people who are hungry around the world.

PLEITGEN: W.F.P. Says it is already moving food stocks to strategic locations to get them to people in need as more countries shut down their borders trying to slow down the virus' spread. And they are modifying some programs like school meals to get food to children even now that schools and many nations have been closed.

LUESCHER: This is like a tsunami of suffering that is going around the world and we have to make sure that the people who are affected by this and will get affected by this get the help that they need.

PLEITGEN: Like almost all other production around the world, food production and distribution are also impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. A burden for many people in developed nations, an existential threat for many of the world's poorest.



PLEITGEN: As you can see there, Rosemary, those big organizations like the World Food Program are already bracing for what they think will be a tough situation a not too distant future, is not only food production is becoming more difficult but especially the logistics of getting things to people that need them is becoming more difficult, as well as many borders around the world have already been shut -- Rosemary. CHURCH: Yes, all of the problems this pandemic is creating, it is a

domino effect. Frederick Pleitgen, bringing us the very latest on that situation. Appreciate it.

Well, it's easy to forget that a U.S. Presidential election is coming up. Now Senator Bernie Sanders is out of the race leaving Joe Biden as the presumptive Democratic nominee, but Sanders may still have a role to play. Back with that in just a moment.


CHURCH: After an historically large field of Democratic candidates ran for President, now there's only one left standing. Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is poised to get the party's nomination and face President Trump in November. That's because Bernie Sanders on Wednesday dropped out of the race. Sanders explained what he calls a very difficult and painful decision.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), FORMER U.S. DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I know that there may be some in our movement who disagree with this decision. Who would like us to fight on until the last ballot is cast at the Democratic convention. I understand that decision, but as I see the crisis ripping the nation, exacerbated by a President unwilling or unable to provide any kind of credible leadership and the work that needs to be done to protect people in this most desperate hour, I cannot in good conscience continue to mount a campaign that cannot win and which would interfere with the important work required of all of us in this difficult hour.



CHURCH: Sanders had fallen behind in the delegate count after a strong performance early on, but now the question is will Biden take the necessary steps to win over Sanders' base?

Joining me now is Caroline Heldman, an associate general professor of politics at Occidental College. Good to talk with you and I understand you have survived COVID-19. So I want to say, I'm so happy to hear you have recovered and you are feeling much better now.


CHURCH: Well, now that Bernie Sanders has dropped out of the race, we are seeing some of his ardent supporters venting on social media threatening not to vote for Joe Biden. We saw that happened back in 2016. How will Biden persuade Sanders supporters to vote for him and what role does Sanders need to play in all this if the Democrats really want to beat Donald Trump?

HELDMAN: Well, I think that Biden has an easier case than Clinton did in 2016 to pull in Bernie Sanders voters because we have four years of Trump, right? And so, Democrats can look at this and say, we want to get this man out of office, even if we don't particularly like this candidate. So I think he has an easier road to hoe than Hillary Clinton did.

But with that said, I think is important to note that 12 percent of Sanders's supporters actually voted for Donald Trump in 2016. And this was enough of a margin in the states of Wisconsin and Michigan and Pennsylvania to put him over the top. So Biden really does need to make an appeal to, you know, Bernie Sanders supporters if he wants to win this election.

CHURCH: Right, and Sanders changed the debate on healthcare in the United States, and now during this global pandemic we are seeing the current healthcare system in this country laid bear with all its flaws. How likely is it that Biden will consult with Sanders and perhaps consider including some of his policy ideas on healthcare and perhaps other issues?

HELDMAN: Well, I think Bernie Sanders has already profoundly changed the landscape of America politics. He has certainly pulled Joe Biden further to the left. He's brought these ideas that even a decade ago or five years ago, some of them were considered fringe ideas, into the mainstream. So, his "Medicare for All" plan, 63 percent of Americans support that. About the same amount support the idea of a $15 an hour minimum wage. And even a majority support the idea of having free college.

So at the end of the day even though Bernie Sanders didn't get the nomination, his ideas are what a lot of -- Biden is going to be running on come the fall. And I think you bring up a really good point that this global pandemic has really caused a lot of Americans to question why their healthcare is associated with their work. So I would assume that Biden would move even further to the left on that, not just because of Bernie Sanders but also because Americans are starting to question the logic of paying so much money for a healthcare system that doesn't work for millions of Americans.

CHURCH: Yes, it will be interesting to see what they decide to do there. And of course, most of us tune in to the White House coronavirus task force briefing each afternoon and we watch the U.S. President transform that briefing into a political rally. He has the stage right now. So how does the Democratic Party, and more specifically Joe Biden, counter some of those attacks from the President and misinformation without looking political.

CHURCH: Well, the President certainly using these opportunities for both policy and political purposes and I think Joe Biden should be doing the same thing now. Although it will be much easier for him since Sanders is out of the race because he is now the titular head of the party. It is now a two-man race. So he should be countering -- if he's smart about this. He should be countering Donald Trump, who is incredibly smart at getting the word out every day, as you said turning it into a campaign statement.

In between now and the election it really has to be hammering him on the 71 days that he waited to effectively respond to this pandemic and all of the downplaying. So, Joe Biden has a -- should have a pretty easy job every single day responding to what is happening in these press conferences and reminding voters, you know, that Donald Trump can't erase history. He downplayed this. He waited a very long time and many would argue that his response has simply not been inadequate.

CHURCH: Yes, and then on Wednesday at that same briefing we heard President Trump attempt to divide the Democratic Party talking about Bernie Sanders still vowing to amass delegates despite dropping out of the race. What is Sanders trying to do here?

HELDMAN: Well, I think Donald Trump is definitely trying to go after his supporters, which is very wise, right. Donald Trump did that in 2016 and was able to pull enough over to put him over the top. Bernie Sanders waited a while to get out of the race. He waited a while to get out of the race in 2016. The question is whether or not he will come together and get his supporters to unify the party.


The number one, when you ask Democrats, what the number one issue is in the election, it's not so much voting for Biden or voting for Sanders or another candidate whom they like, it was actually about electability and beating Donald Trump. We rarely see an election that is this divisive, and I think Bernie Sanders will do well to advance his platform by unifying the party, and I imagine he'll do that.

CHURCH: Caroline Heldman, thank you for talking to us. And again, I'm happy that you're feeling well.

HELDMAN: Thank you, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Well, a key figure from the Bill Clinton impeachment scandal has died. Linda Tripp secretly recorded phone conversations with her co-worker Monica Lewinsky back in 1997. Ms. Lewinsky, you may remember, had an affair with then President Clinton which led to his impeachment. Tripp shared her recordings with the special prosecutor and even wore a wire to a meeting with Lewinsky. Tripp's family says she had been diagnosed with cancer. She was 70 years old.

And you're watching CNN NEWSROOM. Still to come --


ANDREA BOCELLI, SINGER: Amazing grace, how sweet the sound.


CHURCH: Opera star Andrea Bocelli is offering up a treat for a stay at home Easter and you can stream it live for free. More details on the other side of the break.



CHURCH: The owner of a restaurant in Georgia is taking an unusual step to help staffers pay bills during the coronavirus outbreak. Customers who came to Jennifer Knox's, The Sandbar, would staple dollar bills with messages to the wall. And now she's found a perfect way to help the staff she had to layoff due to the pandemic, by removing the money and giving it to them. It took five volunteers 3 1/2 days to remove the cash, but at the end they had collected more than $3,700. Each staff member received $600. That's wonderful.


BOCELLI: Amazing grace, how sweet the sound --


CHURCH: Churches all over the world are closed because of the pandemic, so Italian opera star Andrea Bocelli will hold an audience free Easter concert on Sunday. "Bocelli Music for Hope," will be held at the historic Duomo Cathedral in Milan, Italy. Bocelli will be accompanied by the cathedral's organist. The concert will stream for free through his YouTube page. The beloved tenor is also scheduled to perform in the "One World Together at Home" benefit concert on April 18th. You need to tune in to that.

And thanks so much for your company. Stay home, stay safe, stay strong. I'm Rosemary Church. CNN NEWSROOM continues next with Robyn Curnow.