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Faces of Unemployment Amid the Coronavirus Crisis; Clash Over Relief Bill; Youth Shares his Battle Against Coronavirus; British Prime Minister Making Progress. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired April 9, 2020 - 06:30   ET



VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS AND POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: Who has owned Duo Restaurant in Colorado for 15 year.

STEPHANIE BONIN, OWNER, DUO RESTAURANT: In order to be able to reopen down the road, we had to make the hard decision to lay our entire staff off.

YURKEVICH: That's 20 people, including herself, without jobs, now applying for unemployment.

BONIN: We are creating an entirely new population of -- a new population of people who are not used to being in the social services program. It's a change of identity for, I think, many, many people in the United States right now.

YURKEVICH: Ed Chan from Queens, New York, is a gig worker, stringing together four jobs to make $40,000 a year.

ED CHAN, GIG WORKER: I think it might take me at least another year to rebuild my life, my portfolio of work right now. So it kind of sucks. I mean and it's a dreadful thing to think about, but that's what (INAUDIBLE).

YURKEVICH: If March's unemployment numbers are a sign, April will bring more sleepless nights. Last month, jobs in the restaurant industry fell over 400,000. And the unemployment rate for black workers shot up to 6.7 percent.

JACORY WRIGHT, ELEVATOR DISPATCHER: If you don't have a job at the moment, if you don't have insurance at the moment, if you didn't save up, if you don't have wealthy parents, you are shut off at the moment. Your life is on hiatus.


YURKEVICH: And in just a few hours, we will hear about millions more Americans that have filed for unemployment, John. Experts are saying it could be around 5 million more people. And, remember, John, those are just the people that have been able to get through to the unemployment line. And we've heard a lot about this $1,200 check that Americans are going to be getting as part of that stimulus package. But the Americans I spoke to say it's probably not coming until the summer or fall and that is simply too late for many, John.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: That's right. There is not nearly enough cushion for so many people to wait that long. Those new numbers, we should note, Vanessa, and thank you very much for that report, will be released later this morning. If it is five to seven million people, that would make 14 million jobs lost to coronavirus over the last three weeks alone. We'll discuss that, next.



BERMAN: Later this morning, the Labor Department will release new jobless claims numbers. The number of people who filed for unemployment last week.

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

Romans, what are the predictions for these new numbers and where does it fit combined with the weeks previously?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: There's just no historical precedent. So say you get 5 million new weekly unemployment claims. That's probably right -- right there in the middle of the forecast. That would be 15 million people out of work in just a few weeks. That's just -- there's no historical precedent for this.

And we're doing it on purpose, John. We're shutting down big parts of the American economy to fight this pandemic. And Congress has allocated a quarter of a trillion dollar to pay all those people these enhanced unemployment benefits. So, on purpose, we're moving people out of the workforce and on to the unemployment lines so that we can try to just pause the economy and get through this moment here.

I think these numbers will probably certainly really be higher than what they're reflected because all these people who can't get through, the portals are crashing, these states are having a really hard time processing all these claims.

BERMAN: And, Julia, I've seen people estimate, like Janet Yellen and others, that our real unemployment rate right now may be at 10 to 14 percent, which would make it higher than it was at any point during the Great Recession, higher than it was in 1982, which was an incredibly bad dip, but really, really almost unprecedented.

JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: It is unprecedented. The speed of this is important, too. Some of these estimates are saying we could see a further 7 million at worst people losing their jobs and claiming unemployment benefits just in the last week. You know my rule of thumb, 1.5 million job losses equates to a 1 percentage point approximate rise in unemployment. We could today be talking about an unemployment rate, if these numbers are worse, of between 14 and 15 percent.

I mean if we continue to see, as Christine was rightly saying there, more and more people that are still struggling to get through, you know, I've seen estimates that even by the end of April we could have a 20 percent unemployment rate. It's -- these are families, these are children's lives put in peril. It's not even just the absolute numbers that we should be talking about here, it's whole families, too.

It's purposeful. The safety net that's been put in place by Congress is supposed to capture them. But we're not only struggling capturing the numbers of people, we're struggling getting the money out to them to protect them in the short term too. It's devastating.

BERMAN: And it was so great to see that piece from Vanessa Yurkevich moments ago.


BERMAN: I say so great. In fact, so horrible to see the faces and the stories of some of the individuals.


BERMAN: Because you lose sight of that. When you see a number, 14 million people losing their jobs in a few weeks, you forget that, again, we say this in many things, the most important number is one if it's your job.

Christine Romans, we are in the middle of yet another debate in Congress about what the federal government can do to get money in people's pockets. There is discussion about a new round of stimulus for small businesses, $250 billion to make it available, assuming it can get out to the businesses that need it because that's been a problem so far.



BERMAN: But there's also a discussion about more money that will go directly to the states themselves.


BERMAN: Why would that be important?

ROMANS: And hospitals too. I mean they're going to need it. I mean the entire American economy has been so strained and stressed by this. You know, tax receipts are going to be down for these states big time. These hospitals are going to have to rebuild. What if there's another outbreak in the fall? What if we're still dealing with this into next year? The states are going to need more money, the hospitals are going to need more money. What if the four months of expanded unemployment benefits isn't enough if we're doing a staged re-entry of people into the economy?

We don't have widespread antibody testing yet. We don't have contract tracing. We don't have a system in place for public health to be able to -- to re-enter into the real economy sometime in the weeks ahead. So there's more money that's going to be needed and more, I think, coordination of what this is going to look like when we get back to business.

BERMAN: Julia, I was struck by our new CNN poll which asked people their views of the economy and their views have dropped precipitously, almost unprecedently, in a very short period of time. But most people say that they think that the economy will recover in a year. That's awfully optimistic given where we are right now.

CHATTERLEY: And that was actually my -- my strongest take away from that report. What we're seeing in terms of the deterioration short- term is reflecting everything we're seeing, the shutdown, the job losses. Two-thirds of people saying actually they hope it will be a short-term blip and then we'll recover. Protecting that confidence is key and it brings it back to the need to get money out to people, to not let that confidence deteriorate so that when and if we do come out of this in the next few months, people are willing to spend. As we've always -- and we keep talking about we're a consumer-driven economy.

Yes, as Christine and I completely agree with the (INAUDIBLE), the states need more money because their tax inflows have stopped with businesses closed. The health care sector's on the front lines. It needs money. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, the red lights are flashing on this lending program simply to try and stem the job losses that we've seen.


CHATTERLEY: So if they can simply come back and agree, just increasing that in the short-term and do that cleanly, I do think that's critical this week.

BERMAN: All right, we're going to see you both back again in a couple hours when we get those new jobless claims.

In the meantime, the elderly most at risk from coronavirus, but a new analysis shows that no age group has been spared. Up next, we're going to speak with an 18-year-old who suffered severe symptoms and survived.



ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: We know that the elderly and compromised are most at risk from coronavirus. But a new analysis from "The Washington Post" shows that hundreds of young people have also died from it. At least nine people under the age of 20. This is not a complete count. Some large states with large outbreaks were not even factored into that "Washington Post" analysis.

But let's put a real face on young people struggling with Covid-19. Joining us now is 18-year-old Dimitri Mitchell, who tested positive, and Dimitri's mother, Laura Yoder.

It's great to see both of you. Dimitri, you look good right now, but I know that you say that since

the time that you test -- that you came down with symptoms on March 17th, it was the sickest you have ever been and ever felt.

Can you just tell us what you've just lived through and what your symptoms were?

DIMITRI MITCHELL, 18-YEAR-OLD TESTED POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS: Yes. So like you said, I got sick on St. Patrick's Day. It started out as just a small cough and I thought at first it was just a normal cold. And then it progressively started getting worse. And about four days in, the really bad symptoms started coming along. I started having really bad outbreaks, like sweating and my eyes were really watery. I was getting warmer and warmer. And I was super fatigued. I could hardly make out words to my mom when she was trying to talk to me. And I started experiencing the worst headaches I've ever felt in my life. They were absolutely horrible.

CAMEROTA: That sounds horrible. I mean that just sounds like a living nightmare.

And so, Laura, you took him to the emergency room and --


CAMEROTA: I understand that they wouldn't test him because they thought he didn't meet the criteria. Was that because he was too young?

YODER: Right. Because he was too young and we couldn't get tested because of that shortage of test kits. We had to go back second time because his condition got even worse. And I had to contact health department to allow us to run the test on Dimitri.

CAMEROTA: And, Laura, I know that there were some moments or nights when it was so bad that you were really scared.

YODER: Right.

CAMEROTA: Did you -- were there times that you thought that he might not make it?

YODER: This time I didn't think he was not going to make it. I just wanted to fight. I was (INAUDIBLE) and so confident and just like I wouldn't stop (INAUDIBLE). I keep going. I told myself, I have to fight. I have to find strength in myself to give him comfortable. Never showed to him it's going to be bad. I just want to make sure I stay positive and did everything my best what I could.

I didn't think about if it's going to happen or if it's not going to happen. My target, my goal, number one, it was to keep him going.


YODER: Like keep talking, checking on him. Yes, just don't let him fall asleep, like he would sleep and never wake up, yes.


CAMEROTA: Dimitri, you work at a grocery store. And we've heard this story before. I mean just yesterday we interviewed the family of a young woman named Laylani Jordan (ph) who everyone believes caught it at her grocery store. Is that what you think happened with you?

MITCHELL: Yes. Like you said, I work at a grocery store and I'm a cashier there, so I deal with hundreds of guests a night. And it was when everybody was panic buying all of their -- all of their items they believed they needed at home. So there was a huge rush of people. So very well could have been that night when I was working.

CAMEROTA: And, Dimitri, you -- you admit that because you're 18 years old, you had a false sense of security about your ability to, I think, catch this or at least get really sick. So what was your misconception before this?

MITCHELL: I guess -- I mean, I didn't really feel like bulletproof to say, but just hearing all of the headlines before it was a huge problem around here, just about how mainly it affected only older people, I guess that's what gave me that false sense of security. I just -- hearing all of that made me think I just never expected myself to get it and I never expected it to even reach my community, but --


Laura, we can't help but notice that you have a cough. Have you been tested?

YODER: Yes, I was, but it still bother me sometimes. Actually, yesterday, two days ago, I was tested and my results came negative. So I'm good to go. And so excited to go back to work. But sometimes it just bothers. You cannot even control to stop it.

CAMEROTA: But do you think that maybe that was a false negative? Do you think maybe you're sick?

YODER: No. I actually right now feel pretty good. I think I got my symptoms already. I passed through this because I've had my eyes watery and I had a body aches, fatigue. So I think -- it was horrible cough. It was much worse than this one. And fever, sweats, chills, you know, all -- I had to go through all this. So I --

CAMEROTA: I see. So you've had -- you think you've had it but you passed through it and now are negative.

And so -- so, Dimitri, what is your message this morning to other teenagers out there listening?

YODER: Yes. I just want to make sure everybody knows that no matter what their age is, it can seriously affect them and it can seriously mess them up, like it messed me up. I just hope everybody's responsible because it's nothing to joke about. It's a real problem and I want everybody to make sure they're following the social distancing guidelines and the group limits and just listen to all the rules and precautions and stay up to date with the news, make sure they're informed.

CAMEROTA: Well, Dimitri, you are living proof that teenagers can get it, but you can also get through it.

And, Laura, thank you very much for sharing your story, as well as Dimitri's, with us. Really important to hear this. Thank you both.

YODER: Thank you.

MITCHELL: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: OK, now to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. He just spent his third night in the intensive care unit. So we have the latest for you on how he's doing, next.



BERMAN: So, new this morning, we're told that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is making steady progress recovering from coronavirus, though he does remain in intensive care.

CNN's Clarissa Ward live at the London hospital where Johnson is being treated. I guess sitting up in bed is some of the better news that the U.K. has received in the last few days.

CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It certainly is. After two days of being just told that he was stable but in good spirits, we're now learning a little bit more. As you said, the prime minister is making steady progress. His condition is improving.

He is still in the intensive care unit, but he has reportedly been sitting up in bed. He has also been, quote, engaging with his clinical team, i.e. chatting to the doctors. All of this does slightly call into question, though, just how serious his condition was a couple of days ago, the fact that he wasn't sitting up in bed, that he wasn't previously engaging with his clinical team. It seems to indicate that he was in pretty bad shape, John. And certainly seems to fly in the face of the repeated testimonies that he was in, quote, good spirits.

But, nonetheless, this is being greeted as very positive news by almost everyone here in the U.K., not least because this is an important time. The crisis, of course, ongoing, more than 7,000 deaths in the U.K., but also on Monday it's the three-week anniversary of the lockdown. This is when the lockdown was supposed to be reviewed. We're hearing from all sorts of ministers that it is very unlikely, though, that that lockdown will be lifted. Much more likely that it will be extended at least until the end of the month. The London mayor told British media that we are nowhere near the end of that lockdown.

The U.K. government will be holding an emergency so-called COBRA (ph) meeting today. Top on the agenda, of course, will be trying to determine what that lockdown should continue to look like, if it does continue, how long it should continue. These are questions that people desperately want answers to, not least because we're going into Easter weekend and this is a big holiday weekend here in the U.K.


BERMAN: In the U.S. as well. The very same questions here, Clarissa.

Clarissa Ward in London, thank you very much.

And as this pandemic deepens, we're told that President Trump's aides are working on a plan to reopen the economy, maybe as soon as May 1st. But is America ready for that?

NEW DAY continues right now.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They have consistently decreased the mortality.


That is modeled on what America is doing.

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): We are by no means out of the woods and do not misread what -